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Cheyney University Honors Scholars Told to Pursue and Reach Goals

February 22, 2014

Keynote Speaker Dr. Keith Leaphart addresses the crowd at Cheyney University's Keystone Honors Academy Dinner Banquet where a number of students were recognized for high achievements and honors

Keynote Speaker Dr. Keith Leaphart addresses the crowd at Cheyney University's Keystone Honors Academy Dinner Banquet where a number of students were recognized for high achievements and honors

Keystone Honors Academy (KHA) scholars, faculty and staff attended a dinner banquet on Thursday, February 20 in Carnegie Hall. The event featured a keynote address  by Dr. Keith Leaphart, an entrepreneur, physician and chair of the Lenfest Foundation, one of the region's powerhouse philanthropic foundations.

Dr. Leaphart encouraged the audience to pursue their goals with focused dedication and a daily commitment to take action to achieve them. He shared his own story with candor--telling the crowd how he went from being a Philadelphia, PA public school student to earning a biology degree from Hampton University followed by dual degrees in medicine and business back in his home city.

As a medical doctor, he practiced at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital for eight years before changing careers in 2009  and purchasing Replica Global, LLC, a design and printing company which he runs as President & CEO.  In addition, as Chairman of the Lenfest Foundation Chairman, he is a champion of investment in urban communities.

By the end of his speech, it was clear that he believed that success is not pre-determined by how one begins in life, but by the actions one takes to achieve their goals.

Dr. Tara Kent, Dean of the Academy, spoke about the significance of Black History Month. Referring to "The Talented Tenth," an essay written by the  late civil rights activist, WEB Debois, she said, "he made reference to a percentage of African Americans who have the potential to become leaders through education and who can have a direct impact on positive social change."  Then, she introduced a small group of KHA students who she calls "The Keystone Honors Academy Talented Tenth."  These students  earn an average GPA of 3.8, take on leadership roles on campus and in the Academy, and  are fully engaged in the  Honors Academy offerings.

Additionally, a number of students were recognized for their achievements:

Branden Ellis – his paper,“Bridging the Gap Between Traditional African Religions and Christianity,” was accepted for presentation at the the National Council for Black Studies 38th Annual Conference. 

Julianne Lewis - was accepted into the West Chester University Master’s in Statistics Program  and has had a paper accepted into the American Sociological Association Society for the Study of Social Problems Symposium! 'Does Gender Matter? Students at a Historically Black College.”

Ahn-Yea Graham - was awarded The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities HBCU All-Star Recognition. 75 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students received this recognition for their accomplishments in academics,leadership, and civic engagement.

Alexis Peterson – participated in the Summer 2013 Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology Research Internship in Baltimore, Maryland. She wrote a paper “Quantification of Contaminating Host DNA from the Gut Contents of Menhaden,” which was accepted for presentation at the 2014 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Multicultural Program Conference. She was awarded a stipend to cover all expenses for her travel to present the paper as a poster at the conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Travonya Kenly - was accepted into the MIT Scientista Symposium to present a paper.