The Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati would like to congratulate all of the 2023 Scholarship Recipients. We are excited to highlight our Scholarship Recipients and their accomplishments here and wish them all continued success.
Rokhaya A. Niang – Recipient of the Theodore M. Berry Scholarship is a Senegalese American from Charlotte, NC and a 3L student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She attended UNCG majoring in Political Science and Sociology, graduating magna cuma laude in 2020. In the Fall of 2020, Rokhaya embarked on a journey to Cincinnati to attend UC College of Law to pursue a career in immigration law. Rokhaya is currently a legal extern at the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center (IRLC). She is also a small business co-owner, operating a salon in Charlotte, NC. Rokhaya is an Executive Honor Board Member of UC Moot Court’s team and an associate member for UC’s Immigration and Human Rights Law Review. During her first summer, Rokhaya was a legal fellow with the Ohio Innocence Project and continued in that position for one year. In her second year, Rokhaya was an Access to Justice Fellow working at the Hamilton County Courthouse. Rokhaya is a student member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the National Muslim Law Students Association. In her free time, Rokhaya likes to cook, travel, and spend time with her friends and family. As the daughter of two relentless immigrants, it has become Rokhaya’s deepest conviction to participate in systematic changes to a structure that has fundamentally impacted her life as she prepares to be champion for human rights and immigration reform. Becoming an attorney has always been her dream and she is excited to step into the legal field to become the best advocate she can be.
Alexandria Anderson – Recipient of the William A. McClain Scholarship is a 2L at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She graduated magna cum laude from Wright State University majoring in Political Science with minors in Spanish & Legal Studies. During her time at UC Law she took the initiative to get involved and connect with law students within her school and across the Midwest. During her 1L year, she placed first in the KMK case competition, and placed 3rd in the MWBLSA mock trial competition qualifying for nationals. Alexandria was a pre-admit Rosenthal Fellow with the Ohio Innocence Project. She proudly served on the Midwest Black Law Student Association's executive board as Subregional-Director 4, and for the UC Law Student Bar Association's executive board as Internal Networking Chair. She also assists as an Admission Experience Champion. This year, Alexandria had the honor of introducing the keynote speaker for the Forging Forward OIP-u conference. She spends her free time with her husband, Dillin, and their 4-year-old son, Elijah, and she volunteers as a soccer coach for the Greene County Cosmos in Beavercreek, OH. Her love for people and law have proven to be a winning combination, as she focuses on making the most of her legal education.
Shantya Goddard – Recipient of the Shanda L. Spurlock Memorial Scholarship is a Dayton native and a 3L at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. In 2019, she graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. During her time in undergrad, she participated in organizations committed to serving minorities in the college community. Currently, Shantya is a legal intern with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She is also a part of the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic at UC where she works in collaboration with Legal Aid. She spent her first summer as a legal fellow with the Ohio Innocence Project and continued in that position for one year. Shantya has also completed an externship with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. She is a member of the Moot Court team. In her free time, Shantya likes to travel, eat new foods, and spend time with her family.
Jarvis Graham – Recipient of the Jack Sherman, Jr. Scholarship is a 2009 graduate of Spelman College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and a 2019 graduate of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, where she earned a Master of Science in Social Service Administration. Currently, Jarvis is finishing her 2L year at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, in the part-time evening program. She is currently ranked 7th in her class and is on the Dean’s list. Over the last two years, while Jarvis has attended law school, she has worked full-time at UC Health as Community Relations Manager. In this role, she manages community relationships, coordinates city-wide events like the Annual UC Health MLK Award Ceremony, and organizes programs for young men and women of color to see representation in the medical field. This school year, she has served as the Treasurer for the Chase Black Law Student Association, Vice President for the Student Bar Association, Student Ambassador, and NKU Chase National Mock Trial Team member. For the upcoming school year, Jarvis has been elected and will serve as the President of the Student Bar Association. And starting in May, Jarvis will be a Summer Associate for Vory’s Cincinnati Office. Jarvis is also a student member of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, is on the YP Board for the Cincinnati Opera, and is an active volunteer at Legacy Pointe Church, where she has been a member for seven years. In her spare time, Jarvis enjoys reading African American fiction and volunteering for places like Matthew 25 Ministries and Queen City Kitchen. Jarvis is the first in her immediate and extended family to attend Law School. Jarvis is passionate about her family and loves being an Aunt. As a person of faith, she knows she can do all things through Christ, and as an African American Woman, she believes that empowerment is necessary for upward mobility.
Travis Hardee – Recipient of the Judge Nathaniel R. Jones Memorial Scholarship is a 2019 sociology graduate of the University of South Carolina Aiken, where he received the university’s first human and civil rights student award and was awarded for his written scholarship by the midsouth sociological association. After his time as a student, while also serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, Travis was immediately appointed interim director, then Coordinator of Aiken’s department of Diversity Initiatives. In that role, he led various initiatives to enhance student experiences and educate the campus population on topics in race, gender, culture, and history. Currently, Travis is a dual-degree student at the University of Cincinnati, obtaining both his graduate degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies along with his Juris Doctorate. Upon completing his studies, Travis intends to pursue a career in public defense and continue supporting policy initiatives addressing racial inequality, queer (LGBTQ+) advocacy, and anti-colonial education. After this chapter, he wishes to teach and continue research on the intersections of race, queerness, masculinity, and technology and how those identities affect the experiences of Black queer folk in the legal system and beyond.
The application period for the 2024 Scholarships will open in January '24.
The Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati invites eligible law students to apply for scholarships. The selection of recipients will be made by the BLAC Scholarship Committee. The selected recipients will be recognized and presented with their scholarships at BLAC’s Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet.
Each recipient will be asked to submit an appropriate photograph and biography for the program, after the selection. In addition to awarding four law student scholarships, we will present our distinguished service award and introduce graduating students from our two area law schools to the greater Cincinnati legal community. The black-tie optional affair will be held on April 15, 2023. Over 300 lawyers, judges, law students, and friends attend our banquet each year. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at email@example.com