JEFFERSON CITY, MO — Lincoln University of Missouri’s (LU) Nyah Singh has been selected as the first LU participant for the Milken Institute’s inaugural HBCU Fellowship Program, a program created in order to recruit top talent from a geographically diverse group of HBCUs. A junior at LU majoring in health and wellness (sports management) from Nassau, Bahamas, Singh is one of 16 fellowship participants selected from eight HBCUs across the nation.
Despite a decades-long history of producing global leaders in financial services, HBCUs continue to be overlooked as a resource for talent in the finance industry. With a goal to develop diversity, equity and inclusion across the business community, the Milken Institute introduced this fellowship program to help connect resources to talent. The 8-week program offers virtual curriculum in finance, as well as professional development and in-person networking opportunities. It is designed to provide participants with financial fluency.
Lauren Carter, the LU Center Director for Small Business Development, which falls under the School of Business, recommended Singh for the fellowship. Carter noted that multiple faculty members recognized Singh would make an excellent candidate.
“I wanted to pursue this opportunity because I believe that it is a great networking opportunity,” Singh says about why she pursued the application process.
Milken Institute Senior Director of the Center for Financial Markets Blair Smith, who holds more than 20 years of financial services and capital markets experience, says he is glad to bring this fellowship opportunity to a LU student.
“Our HBCUs strategic initiative and fellows program is designed to help tackle a specific program in what we call the asset management industry,” Smith says. “That’s an $87 trillion industry, but only 1.6% of that industry is represented by women and people of color.”
Singh says she had a great experience and expanded her knowledge of finance while attending her first class for the Milken Institute’s inaugural HBCU Fellowship Program.
“She [Singh] is outstanding,” Smith says about that first class and Singh’s participation. “We had a Q&A session with a guest speaker, and she was among the first to raise her hand.”
The goals of the fellowship, according to Smith, are to create a quality cohort of fellows who will be recruited and as competitive as their counterparts, to create greater financial fluency and to offer a path to wealth creation.
“We have the ability to put HBCUs on a global stage and show not just the U.S. the value of HBCU graduates, but the whole world the value and advantages of hiring top talent from HBCUs,” Smith says.
“The relationship with the Milken Institute is new, but it’s wonderful,” Carter says. “When we were first on a call and Blair was explaining the fellowship, at the end of it I said, ‘Can I be a part of it?’ I know I’m not a student anymore, but I wanted to be because of all the opportunities it presents and the benefits that students receive through this fellowship program.”
The Milken Institute’s inaugural HBCU Fellowship Program adds to the opportunities that Singh says her Lincoln University experience has created for her. Singh chose LU because she always wanted to attend an HBCU, and she says her favorite thing about the University is the people.
“It’s very family oriented,” Singh says about LU. “The opportunities here for me have been endless.”
Lincoln University of Missouri is a historically Black, 1890 land-grant, public university that provides excellent educational opportunities to a diverse population within a nurturing, student-centered environment. Lincoln is known for its innovative undergraduate and graduate programs in agriculture, business administration, criminal justice, elementary education, nursing, business administration, guidance and counseling, and natural science. Located in Jefferson City, Missouri, Lincoln University was founded in 1866 by the men of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Infantries and their white officers for the benefit of freed African Americans. The university boasts an exciting residential life and a full slate of NCAA Division II athletics.