MVSU Scholars attend Presidential Forum for HBCUs in Atlanta

May 1, 2024

Marking a significant milestone in Mississippi Valley State University’s history, MVSU scholars had the honor of participating in the April 2024 Presidential Forum for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), held in Atlanta, GA.

This distinguished forum has been a beacon of excellence and collaboration for the past two decades, with its inception dating back to 2000.

Given the challenges faced during the global pandemic, forum organizers were delighted to announce the revival of this prestigious event, a landmark occasion in our ongoing mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship within the HBCU community.

The 2024 Presidential Forum presented a unique platform for MVSU Scholars to interact with top-tier leaders from education, government, and corporate sectors, including esteemed Fortune 500 CEOs, high-ranking military officers, and prominent national and international figures.

“This networking opportunity was one that our scholars thoroughly enjoyed. The forum afforded them access to individuals they may have never met," said Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr., President of MVSU. I am so proud of our scholars and faculty's work, especially with this being the university's first time participating," Briggs added. 

 The business plan competition was a standout moment of the forum, where student teams showcased their innovative ideas. The winning teams, who crafted exceptional business plans for internal campuswide competitions and a grand national competition in Atlanta, were awarded scholarships totaling $30,000.

MVSU's team included Team leader Tarisha Moncrief (senior), an Engineering Technology major from Greenville, MS.; Chanelle Houston (senior), an Engineering Technology major from Houston, Texas; Jabari Johnson (sophomore), a Business Administration major from Greenwood, MS.; De'Andre McGee (junior), an Engineering Technology major from Greenwood, MS.; and La'Patrick Whitehead (senior), an Engineering Technology major from Canto, MS.

The MVSU team presented a business plan for AI Secure Learn, a website/app that plans to revolutionize how universities train their teachers and students to use AI software properly. By providing access to AI etiquette courses and offering certification, its goal is to become the standard platform for universities to utilize in going full Pro-Ai in their curriculum.

The faculty advisors included Mohammed Elmellouki, who is in his first year with the university. He was the lead faculty advisor and played a tremendous role in getting the team prepared. Sabrina Perry provided technical expertise; Dr. Antonio Brownlow was the dean and advisor.

The 2024 Presidential Forum is more than an event; it is an opportunity to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit within HBCUs further and empower future generations of leaders.