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Dillard University a Finalist in Eight HBCU Awards by

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Physics Department Finalist for 'Best STEM' Program

NEW ORLEANS, June 19, 2017 -- Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough and Presidential Professor of Physics and Pre-Engineering, Abdalla Darwish, are finalists for Best Male University President and Best Male Faculty Member, respectively, in the 2017 HBCU Digest Awards which honors excellence at the nation’s 105 historically black colleges and universities.  They are among eight categories in which Dillard is a finalist.

Along with Darwish, the Dillard Physics Department also was a finalist for Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) Program.

Kimbrough has been Dillard’s president since 2012, and has worked to increase student enrollment and to promote the work of HBCU’s around the country. Kimbrough has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. He has used his following on social media (@HipHopPrez) to engage young students and raise questions about issues affecting higher education in the United States.

Darwish is Chair of the Physics and Pre-Engineering Department at Dillard, and has been a champion of pushing more students into the science and mathematics fields, and of graduating more minority students in Physics. Because of his work, Dillard University was recently recognized as the number two institution for graduating African-American physics majors.

Darwish has six inventions and pending patents that changed the way of making nanocomposite thin film using a Pulsed laser deposition technique. For that, he became a Fellow, SPIE optical and photonic society which has over 40 Nobel laureates.


Dillard also is a finalist in six other categories: Best Student Government Association; Best Fine Arts Program for its Theater Program; Best Female Alumnus of the Year (Dorothy Perrault); Best Male Coach of the year (Mike Newell); Best Female Student of the Year (Cheslea Bosley); Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) Program for the Physics Department.

The annual HBCU Awards recognize the nation’s best historically black colleges and universities, and were started to help generate more interest and increase national recognition of HBCUs. The finalists were chosen from 175 nominations from HBCUs across the country and the winners will be announced at a ceremony July 14 in Washington, DC.

For a full list of finalists:


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