|Dr. Annika Barnett|
North Carolina Central University will celebrate the academic achievement of students at the 122nd Commencement Exercises on Dec. 14, at 9 a.m. in the McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium. More than 600 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees will be conferred. NCCU alumna, Dr. Annika Barnett, will serve as the commencement speaker.
Barnett was raised in Raleigh, N.C., and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2009. She is a second generation Eagle; both of her parents graduated from NCCU in 1983. In May of 2013, Barnett graduated from Harvard Medical School and became the first NCCU alumna to do so. While at Harvard, Barnett received the Bemy Jelin Award for academic excellence and interest in a career in pediatrics.
At 26, Barnett is the university’s youngest commencement speaker and one of a handful of alumni invited to deliver the commencement address. She is a first-year medical resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Pediatrics and Anesthesiology Combined Residency Program in Baltimore, Md. Barnett dreamed of becoming a doctor since the age of 12. During a visit to the pediatrician, she realized that doctors have a great responsibility and influence on their patients and endeavored to pursue a career in medicine to have a positive impact on the lives of those she encountered.
This year, NCCU will also award the Student Service Impact Award to seven undergraduate students in recognition of their work in the community. Students receiving the award completed a minimum of 240 service hours —twice the number of service hours required for all NCCU graduating seniors—while maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA. A nominating letter from a campus/community partner detailing the impact of the student’s service over the course of at least one semester and preferably an academic year, as well as a letter from an NCCU faculty member or Student Affairs representative were also required. Award recipients are: Norjuana Anderson, Amber Lashley, Kamisha Maxwell, Iimani McKnight, Derrell Parker, Lawrence J. Reid and Xavier Wallace-McGrew.
Three graduate students, Tracy Turner, a law graduate, Etienne Farquharson, an MBA graduate, and Courtney Williams, a psychology major, will also be recognized for their work in the community. Turner served multiple communities including: Habitat of Durham, Meals on Wheels, SPCA of Wake County, Salvation Army and Citizen Schools. Farquharson completed service projects with Habitat for Humanity and Central Park School for Children. Williams created POISE (Providing Outreach and Inspiration through Sisterhood and Education), an outreach program designed to improve the health and well-being of at-risk middle school girls at Sherwood Githens Middle School.
Media interested in covering the commencement ceremony should contact the Office of Public Relations at 919-530-6295 or firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a media pass. For more information on Commencement, please visit http://web.nccu.edu/commencement/.