Meet Our 2023 Incoming Presidential Scholars
The Presidential Scholars Program is a vibrant community of high-achieving students at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU). With nearly thirty students in the program, students connect with faculty, participate in numerous activities, and obtain leadership and research opportunities on campus. The Presidential Scholars Program is a community of learners focused on leadership, academic excellence, and community service.
Presidential Scholars are outstanding incoming first-year freshmen with at least a 3.8-grade point average (GPA) and a minimum of 1100 SAT (math and verbal) or a 22 ACT score.
Meet all six of the incoming Presidential Scholars who joined SAU this fall:
Kendall Mae Artis
Hobbies & Interests:
- Watching documentaries
- Hanging out with friends
- Making memories with my family
Why did you choose SAU? I chose SAU because of the environment and because it is an HBCU. HBCU are huge in my family and I wanted to go to a small one so I picked SAU.
Why did you choose your major? I chose exercise science because I want to be either a physical therapist or an occupational therapist because I used to go to the physical therapist all the time due to gymnastics injuries and I loved the encouragement that the therapist would give me and at the same time she pushed me to work here to get better. So I want to give that same encouragement to hard working kids/adults as well.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? It means a lot for me to be a Presidential Scholar at SAU because I’ve always worked hard to earn the grades that I have received, and it feels amazing to see that it finally paid off.
What are you most looking forward to this year? One thing that I’m looking forward to this year is creating new bonds and getting involved with the school.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? I think “Create What’s Next” means making a difference in the world and truly making an impact during my time at SAU and after I graduate.
Fort Pierce, Florida
Hobbies & Interests: Reading, playing sports, and laughing.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose SAU because of the different opportunities that I would be able to experience here.
Why did you choose your major? I chose to major in biology because I want to be a physical therapist. In my personal experience, I’ve seen many people I know that need therapy.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? To be a presidential scholar means to hold yourself and others around you to a higher standard.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I’m looking forward to just being able to be surrounded by good people and accomplishing great things.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? To be the reason for something new and make a difference.
Garner, North Carolina
Computer Information Science
Hobbies & Interests: Playing basketball and investing in stocks
Why did you choose SAU? Because it felt home.
Why did you choose your major? I love dealing with computers.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar?It means a lot and it pushes me to become better.
What are you most looking forward to this year? Learning and playing basketball for a university.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? It means that I need to set an example for future students attending the university.
Long Island, New York
Hobbies & Interests: I like to do hair, watch true crime stories, make-up, and listening to music.
Why did you choose SAU? Although SAU is a smaller university, it exposes students to several opportunities and platforms. I knew this school would be a good fit for me.
Why did you choose your major? I enjoy science and learning about different forms of organisms. I plan to enter the career field of biochemistry.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? To be a Presidential Scholar means I have displayed outstanding academic achievements which allows me to create a name and platform for myself at an early age.
What are you most looking forward to this year? Meeting new people and being exposed to new environments outside of my usual comfort zone.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? Be a leader and set an example for those who come after you. Create a better environment!
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Hobbies and Interests: I love going to the movies, reading, drawing, playing basketball, and just being surrounded with people I have a common interest with.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose SAU because I wanted to go to an HBCU; however, there wasn’t many with film majors. My family and I visited all of them and this was by far the best visit.
Why did you choose your major? I always knew I wanted to make movies. I took classes in high school, and the love I have for the industry continued to flourish.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? To be a Presidential Scholar means that I must be a role model for my peers. I must continue the habits I performed in high school. Getting good grades and putting academic success over anything else is my plan. This opportunity means a lot to me. I’m excited for what this year has to offer.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I just won Mr. Freshman this year. I am looking forward to the events and opportunities that come along with the title.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? It means to create or change SAU for the better. As Presidential Scholars, we must do things differently than the class before us. Leading the class of 2027 should be our number one priority.
Hobbies and interests: People who know me would describe me as goofy, understanding, intelligent and opinionated. I’m interested in fashion, cosmetics, drawing, singing, cooking, good conversations and really anything hands-on.
Why did you choose SAU? Here at a community based university, I feel at home away from home which was a big part of why I chose SAU.
Why did you choose your major? I chose business because I want to later own my own community center to provide mental health services to the youth.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? It means a lot to me that I am named a Presidential Scholar, all of my hard work paid off to something that not many people get to experience.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I’m looking forward to joining clubs, learning about all of the people that go here and finding out more about myself this year.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? I am blessed to have started my journey to “Create What’s Next”, which is nothing but black excellence and accomplishment.
Karly Heavens Gerome
Hobbies and interests: I am passionate about reading, writing, drawing, playing soccer and basketball.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose Saint Augustine’s University because it offers the courses and classes which would enable me to excel not only as an Engineering mathematics major but also in different areas of life. Moreover, Saint Augustine’s University embodies the perfect environment to grow academically and socially with the support of an expert faculty dedicated to educate the students in the best possible ways.
Why did you choose your major? The choice to be an engineering mathematics student is fueled by my passion for everything related to innovation, automation and problem-solving. Reflecting on my experience in the Robotics Club back when I was in High school, I believe that Engineering provides the tools to empower change while putting into consideration the concept of sustainability and the preservation of ecosystems.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? To be a Presidential Scholar represents a milestone in my life. Excellence has always been a driving force in everything I have done so far, so I would like to keep on the same path. My goal as a Presidential Scholar is to inspire younger generations while making the most out of this opportunity both personally and professionally.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I am looking forward to meeting people who share the same interests as me as well as those who are interested in other fields of study and learn as much as possible.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? “Create what’s Next” at SAU means to me “Go beyond the limits.” I dearly hope that more young Haitians can join the ranks of the Falcons and work to consolidate the legacy that SAU represents while creating a future for themselves.
Hobbies and interests: Playing sports, rapping, bowling, watching the infographics show.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose SAU because even though it is a small school, the support system here is huge. I feel like support is something that is crucial when you want to get your degree. Even as I have already been here for 3 weeks, I feel like my teachers helped me out a great deal. Another reason I came was that this school came to me. With other schools I had to chase them and try hard to get into their program, but this program came to me and found me.
Why did you choose your major? I chose my major because as of right now, I am not entirely sure what exactly I want to do. I have an interest in having my own business, and I also want to learn about how people can deceive you and do whatever it takes to get a step-in front of you. I also want to be educated so I can understand different documents, and when someone presents me a contract with anything, I can identify what it means and what to do.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? It feels great to be a presidential scholar. I worked hard for this, and I will do everything in my power to keep this scholarship. Not everyone is blessed to be in this position, and I thank GOD, for this scholarship. This also means that the work starts now. I’m ready to put in the work and see what I become here at Saint Augustine’s University.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I am most looking forward to growing and learning. I am away from home, and I hope to learn valuable skills while becoming an adult in this society. I also look forward to making connections and internship opportunities to improve my skills in the work environment.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? For me to “Create What’s Next”, at SAU means that I can create something different. This means that the ball is in my court and that I should use my time wisely. This also means that I need to become a leader and a great role model and do something great while I am here. Im not going to say my exact ideas on here, but it means a lot for me to create what is next here at Saint Aug, and I am up for the challenge.
Lamont Littlejohn III
Shelby, North Carolina
Hobbies and interests: Being with family and friends, watching movies, reading, studying, playing football.
Why did you choose SAU? I love the small community, family-oriented campus environment. I wanted to be a part of the HBCU community.
Why did you choose your major? I want to coach football on the college level and eventually be an athletic director at a HBCU.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? It means that I have prioritized my time and efforts in excelling in academics. It also means that I can do anything I put my mind towards; and as long as I keep God first in my life, nothing is impossible.
What are you most looking forward to this year? New opportunities in the classroom, on-campus and being a part of changing the culture in the football program.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? Thinking outside of the box and allowing nothing or no one to hold me back. All things are possible if I just believe!
Hobbies and interests: Drawing, Reading, Softball, Going to the movies, watching the 49ers & Dodgers play, and helping others through volunteering.
Why did you choose SAU? Aside from SAU being the nation’s first historical black college and of course being selected as a President Scholar, I chose SAU because of its high academics, home-like atmosphere, and the legacy SAU has.
Why did you choose your major? I chose Exercise Science as my major because it will lead me to my career path to becoming a physical therapist.
My motivation for this chosen career comes from me wanting to change poor health outcomes and health disparities for Black communities and other persons of color due to lack of trust in the healthcare system, systemic racial bias, and other factors. I am motivated to represent the African American community in this field, as we make up less than 5%.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? Being named a Presidential Scholar means that all of my hard work in school and decisions that I’ve made for myself thus far have been recognized. It means that I have been given a great opportunity to achieve my academic and personal goals, something I am grateful for and do not take lightly.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I am looking forward to joining clubs, being of service, continued learning, challenging myself, creating memories, and meeting new people.
What does it mean for you to “Create What’s Next” at SAU? For me, it means to lead, set the example, think outside the box, and to create the best future myself, and for future falcons.