West Virginia State University Student Selected as White House HBCU Scholar

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
June 16, 2022
West Virginia State University Student Selected as White House HBCU Scholar  
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – A West Virginia State University (WVSU) student has been selected as a 2022 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) scholar by the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through HBCUs.

Cedric Caschetta, who is a junior Criminology with Forensic Investigations major at WVSU from Lowell, Indiana, was selected among 85 other undergraduates, graduates, or professional students. The honor recognizes students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, civic engagement, and more. Collectively, the scholars are enrolled at 56 HBCUs and were selected from a competitive pool of more than 350 students.

“This isn’t just me who got this honor, this is West Virginia State,” Caschetta said. “This is everybody from our side. I’m excited to help out in any way that I can to not only highlight State, but Indiana, my home state, as well.”

Throughout the academic year, HBCU Scholars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative on HBCUs. They will be offered training and cross-university networking opportunities and will have an opportunity to work on issues specifically related to the HBCU community and participate in national and regional events with professionals from a wide range of disciplines.

Another feature of the HBCU Scholar Program is a partnership with NASA to foster innovation and opportunity for the cohorts. The partnership makes the Minority University Research and Education Project Innovation Tech Transfer Idea Competition part of the HBCU Scholar Program. In September, scholars will have the opportunity to present their intellectual property ideas during the National HBCU Week Conference in Washington, D.C.
Caschetta said in 2020 he participated in a few protests in Indiana and created an organization called “Change for Real” that focuses on inclusion and diversity.

“Honestly, all we were trying to do in 2020 was trying to change the idea of people asking the questions of ‘why this and that,’” he said. “The death of George Floyd opened a lot of eyes for people and that was a moment, with me being one of five African Americans in my graduating high school class, where it could be a monumental moment of asking questions for good.”

Caschetta, who previously lived in Washington, D.C., said he had the opportunity to participate in the August 2020 March on Washington on the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He also attended the U.S. presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.

“Not a lot of people at 22 can say they went to an inauguration,” he said. “I’m trying to do things a little bit different than other people in my grade/class because those hard questions started off early in my life and so why not continue to help people out.”

Caschetta, who also plays football for the Yellow Jackets, said he hopes to become a civil law lawyer in the future.

The White House said program events are designed to enhance HBCU Scholars with professional development and create post-graduation opportunities within non-profit, business, and federal agency partners to ensure that as a nation we remain globally competitive.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram @wvsu_official, and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
– WVSU –
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