Shani McMichael Serves Bennett and The United Methodist Church as Lina H. McCord Ambassador

October 17, 2016

Since 2015, Shani McMichael, a junior majoring in psychology at Bennett College, has been serving as a Lina H. McCord Ambassador, having the opportunity to be a member of an elite group of students and alums representing the 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities.

McMichael, along with her fellow ambassadors are deployed around the world, wherever United Methodists gather, to promote the work being done on their campuses.

“After a rigorous orientation and training, up to 10-12 students may be chosen to participate annually,” said Cynthia Hopson, Assistant General Secretary, The Black College Fund General Board of Higher Education & Ministry. “Students are carefully screened and must be approved by the college president and chaplain.”

According to Hopson, the ambassadors receive a stipend for incidentals and are paid through scholarship funds to their schools.

“For more than 35 years now, these ambassadors have been our most effective tool for interpretation of this vital ministry of empowerment, accomplishment and hope,” said Hopson.

McMichael is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society at Bennett College and has been on the Honor’s and Dean’s lists for four consecutive semesters.

This past July, McMichael had the opportunity to study abroad in Hangzhou, China. She participated in the China and U.S. Women in Clean Energy Project where she was able to conduct research pertaining to biofuel energy in China and the U.S. Due to this experience, McMichael will have the opportunity to present her research at the National Environmental Justice Conference in Washington D.C. She will also be inducted into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars this November.

After graduating from Bennett College, McMichael plans to pursue her master’s and Ph.D. degrees and become a marriage and family therapist. She also aspires to become an international motivational speaker and mentor for girls who suffer from low self-esteem and self-image.

About her selection as an ambassador, McMichael said, “An ambassador is more than just being a representative for an organization. A true ambassador posses this innate capacity to look past ones self in order to help others in need. A genuine ambassador is extremely humble in knowing everything that they have done, achieved, and experienced was not solely of their own doing. An authentic ambassador is simply someone who is willing to go the extra mile for their community, family, and God.”

McMichael is the daughter of Marty and Veronica McMichael.

The Lina H. McCord program was established in 1981 and named for the fund's first executive director upon her retirement in 1985.

The Black College Fund was created in 1972 by the General Conference as a means of consistent, unrestricted, reliable support for the 11 United Methodist-related HBCU. Churches in the U.S. give to the fund monthly and contribute more than $9 million annually. Ms. McMichael was chosen in 2015.

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