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NIH Record

NIH BIG Celebrates 15th Year, Bestows 1st Scholarship

NIH's chapter of Blacks in Government recently held its third annual scholarship and 15th anniversary dinner dance at Bethesda Naval Medical Officers' Club. Ayni Brown, a 1997 graduate of Oakton High School, received a plaque and BIG's $1,000 scholarship award to further her education in the field of dentistry.

Felicia Shingler (l), NIH BIG president, greets former NIH BIG leader Vincent A. Thomas, Jr., under whose presidency the scholarship fund was established, and Linda Plummer, president of Montgomery County's NAACP branch.

Although the scholarship fund began in 1994, this was the first time funds were awarded. Keynote speaker Major F. Riddick, Jr., chief of staff for the State of Maryland, addressed the audience. Linda Plummer, president, NAACP Montgomery County branch, and Bettye Eley, BIG national membership chair, were on hand to congratulate Brown. The scholarship fund was supported by several corporations and community businesses, including the NIH Federal Credit Union.

"The success of the affair was largely the result of Ms. Gladys Whitted's [fund raising committee chair] efforts," noted Felicia Shingler, NIH BIG president. "BIG's commitment in developing youth and in enhancing the promotion of ethnic pride through fellowship with others who have similar goals and objectives as BIG was symbolic in the [dinner dance]."

Ayni Brown, a 1997 high school graduate, receives the first scholarship awarded by NIH's BIG.

Chartered in September 1982, the NIH chapter has directed its efforts toward improving opportunities for African Americans at the agency. During the chapter's years on campus, it has interacted with Congress, NIH management, and such local and national organizations as the NIH Black Scientists Association, NIH Black employee advisory committee, and the NAACP in an effort to resolve concerns that affect African Americans employees.

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