Message from the President: Congratulations to Black Inventors Hall of Fame Student Innovators

Monday, June 7, 2021
Contact: Chanel Donaldson
Senior Associate, Media Relations

Dear Berkeley College Community,

Please join me in congratulating a team of Berkeley student innovators who represented the College at the Black Inventors Hall of Fame (BIHOF) Inaugural Design Thinking Collegiate Challenge, which was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Sunday, May 30, 2021. The challenge was hosted in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the destruction of Black Wall Street. Students were tasked with developing a solution to a problem that disproportionately affects the Black community. Berkeley College New York students Rebekah Andrews-Brannock, Cadjnie Cameau, and May 2021 graduate Keyry Broncano received an honorable mention for their presentation of an app idea to provide education and resources that will prevent human trafficking in young girls. Nicknamed the “Ladies of Distinction,” our esteemed students faced off against the University of Tulsa and the University of Colorado.

Berkeley College faculty and staff are also to be commended for the support they provided to the team in preparing for the competition. Students received the guidance of Byron Hargrove, PhD, Team Advisor and Director of the Honors Program; LaTysha Gaines, EdD, Team Advisor and Assistant Vice President of Student Development and Campus Life, who traveled to Tulsa to support our students; Susan Van Alstyne, EdD, Director of the Library and Black Inventors Hall of Fame Board Member; Traci Dingle, JD, PhD, Professor of Justice Studies; Heidi Hoefinger, PhD, Professor of Social Sciences; and Charlane Brown, JD, Professor of Justice Studies.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the event sponsors, the Black Inventors Hall of Fame and the Black Excellence Alliance, for opening the door for Berkeley College students to rise to the occasion of solving some of society’s most pressing social issues. I am especially appreciative of James Howard, BIHOF Executive Director, for his care, encouragement and mentorship of our students.

I have no doubt that Rebekah, Cadjnie and Keyry will continue to have much success in life, thanks in no small part to the devotion of Berkeley College’s faculty, staff and caring friends.

Click here to read more about Berkeley College students' recognition at the BIHOF Challenge.

To watch a replay of the Black Inventors Hall of Fame Challenge, click here.

Michael J. Smith


Photo Caption: Pictured left to right: LaTysha Gaines, EdD, Berkeley College Team Advisor, and Assistant Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life; Berkeley College student Rebekah Andrews-Brannock of Brooklyn, NY; James Howard, Executive Director, Black Inventors Hall of Fame; Keyry Broncano, of Pomona, NY, who graduated from Berkeley College in May 2021; and Berkeley College student Cadjnie Cameau, of Brooklyn, NY, are photographed on Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Tulsa, OK, at the Black Excellence Alliance 2021 Inaugural Induction Awards Ceremony.