Three UNC undergraduates have been presented with the 2018 Harvey Beech Award. Named for the late Harvey Beech, the first African-American student to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, the awards have been given annually since 1989 to recognize community leadership and support of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Black Alumni Reunion. Winners are chosen based on academic GPA improvement (semester-based or cumulative), financial need, and contributions to campus life. The scholarships are open to all Carolina sophomores and juniors.
The winners of the 2018 UNC Harvey Beech Awards are Juniors Madison Langston and Gabrielle James, and sophomore Holden Cox.
Major: Exercise and Sports Science
Holden is a Morehead-Cain semifinalist, made the Dean’s List in Spring 2017, and is a Hayden B. Renwick Academic Achievement Awards participant. He is the co-volunteer chair with the Carolina Cupboard’s Community Food Pantry, a Minority Advising Program (MAP) Mentor, Buckley Public Service Scholar, Spring 2017 athletic training football observer, member of UNC-HOSA’s Future Health Professionals; NC-HCAP Health Careers Club, Impact Religious Group, and intramural basketball.
Holden is pursuing a career in physical therapy. A high school football player who suffered a tibial plateau fracture requiring surgery and rehabilitation, he was inspired by the passion and drive of the physical therapists who led him back to health. After interning with Pivot Physical Therapy last fall, he realized that physical therapy was his career path. “Mr. Beech’s journey laid the foundation for me to have the ability to attend this great institution,” Holden said. “The Harvey Beech Scholarship will help me obtain my career goal.”
Major: Political Science and American Indian & Indigenous Studies
Minor: Social & Economic Justice
Gabrielle earned a Renwick Academic Achievement Award in Spring 2018, made the Dean’s List in Fall 2017, was presented with the FAITH Award in Spring 2017 and was named Sister of the Year in Spring 2017. She is the vice president of the Carolina Indian Circle and service director and social director for Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. She has worked at the American Indian Center and been on the planning committee for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week. She is also a mentor for Movement of Youth, an organization that mentors local middle and high school students, has worked with both the Project Uplift and Uplift PLUS programs, and was a counsel for the boys and girls club run by her tribe, the Lumbee.
“All of this involvement mostly just relates back to my immense passion for giving back to people, specifically those who have been historically marginalized, such as my people…my success is their success,” she said. “Everything I am gaining here at UNC, I am bringing back to my people ten-fold…my love for my people and the family I have created here at UNC has totally changed my life.”
Major: EXSS Sports Administration
Madison is an AmeriCorps scholarship recipient, made the Dean’s List in both Spring 2016 and Fall 2017, was a Summer Health Professions Education Program Scholar in 2017 and winner of the Hayden B. Renwick Academic Achievement Award in 2016, 2017, and 2018. She is currently the vice president of We Wear the Mask, an organization that targets the negative stigma regarding mental health in the Black community. She’s also served as a counselor for Healthy Girls Save the World (HGSW), a member of the Minority Student Recruitment Committee, and has worked on the Student Government Student Safety and Wellness Committee. Last year, she was selected as a member of the Tar Heel Beginnings Board, which develops programming for over 4,000 incoming Carolina students. She is also an office assistant for Carolina Football and a bookseller at UNC Student Stores.
“I have loved being part of [the aforementioned] organizations because I get to directly assist and mentor minority students like myself,” she said. “HGSW gives me the opportunity to mentor middle school, low-income African American girls in order to create healthier minds, bodies, and relationships. With the Student Government Student Safety and Wellness Committee, I was able to successfully create a Professor Guidebook in order to create a better, safer classroom environment.”