Gaffin National Scholars

April 2, 2014

The National Council for Black Studies is the leading organization of Black Studies professionals in the world. For nearly forty years its members have been at the forefront of enhancing the development of Africana/Black Studies as a respected academic discipline. Their guiding philosophy is that education should engender both academic excellence and social responsibility. Growing fundamentally out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's, Africana/Black Studies has become the intellectual extension of that movement.
I have presented at the NCBS conference for over fifteen years. Last academic year was the first time I approached students to attend. Angelita Anderson, a Keystone Scholar who had written research papers in both African American Experience and African American Literature agreed to work on a graded paper for presentation and her paper was accepted. She presented her research on a panel which included a graduate student and an ABD candidate. Her work was very well received.
This year Amir Abner, a Political Science major and Branden Ellis, a Biology major and Keystone scholar followed through and sent their abstracts in. Both abstracts were accepted. Branden's abstract was from a paper he had written in an African American Experience class and Amir's paper was from a research paper written in African American Literature. At the conference, Amir was a member of a two person panel. The other presenter was a doctoral candidate from South Dakota University who referenced points from Amir's paper several times during his reading. Branden had a totally different experience. He was the sole member of a four person panel who appeared at the assigned time. Branden delivered his paper like a seasoned professional. He filled the seventy-five minute session answering questions from the audience. Additionally, Amir and Brandon had the opportunity to meet and speak with Drs. Molefi Asante and Maulana Karenga, authors of texts used in our classes.
My presentation complete with photos from the last two summers' experience working at an excavation site in South Asasif, Egypt (near the Valley of the Kings) completed our Cheyney 2014 NCBS experience.

I want to thank both the Cheyney Foundation and the Keystone Academy for giving Cheyney students the opportunity to see what academics at work looks like off campus - Amir, Brandon and I will cherish the memories!

Paper titles:
How the Media Influences the Perception of the Black Athlete by Amir Abner Bridging the Gap Between Traditional African Relegions and Black Christianity by Branden A. Ellis Contributions of and Corrections to The Study of 25th Dynasty Kemet by V. Nzingha Gaffin, Ph.D.

Thank you all,



Virgilette Nzingha Gaffin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English & Africana Studies Department of English, Communications & Modern Languages Cheyney University of PA