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Student Life

Jeanine Ikekhua receives Ebony Harlem Award

Picture of Jeanine Ikekhua, managing editor of Nubian Message, and winner of the Ebony Harlem Award for Visual/Literary Art.
Picture of Jeanine Ikekhua, managing editor of Nubian Message, and winner of the Ebony Harlem Award for Visual/Literary Art.

Jeanine Ikekhua is one of the recipients of this year’s Ebony Harlem Awards for Excellence. The awards, which began in 1993, are sponsored by the African American Cultural Center. 

The awards are the annual celebration of Black life at NC State, and recognize undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, staff, mentors and the community at large.

Ikekhua, a Park Scholar and fourth-year student studying International Studies and Communication, with a minor in Chinese Studies, won this year’s Visual/Literary Art Award. 

This award recognizes “undergraduate students involved in formal and informal campus art programs that share their literary talent with the campus community through prose, poetry, blogging, journalism and other forms of writing that keep the tradition of Black literary expression alive.”

As one of Student Media’s most prolific students, Ikekhua’s work embodied that mission and purpose.

As managing editor of Nubian Message, the student newspaper that serves Black and marginalized students, Ikekhua oversaw production of 13 print editions that focused on the experiences of Black students and students of color.

Ikekhua also was a co-host of the award-winning podcast “On Black” from WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2, which explored topics like family, education, marriage, and friendship. She also served as host of WKNC’s public affairs program “Eye On The Triangle.”

Outside of NC State, Ikekhua was a part of the 2022 Youth Reporting Institute at North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC Radio, sharpening her journalism skills and producing a piece about how transitioning to NC State disconnected her from her Nigerian culture. She also served at ABC11/WTVD as a Disney community engagement intern, and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

“While her work speaks for itself, the best reason Jeanine deserves this award is her ‘demonstrated willingness to share this talent constructively to make significant contributions to the cultural enlightenment and development of Black people on campus,'” said Student Media Associate Director Jamie Lynn Gilbert. “I could not have said it better myself.”

Ikekhua will attend New York University on a full scholarship from The Payne Fellowship. She will be pursuing master’s degrees in international relations and journalism, with the goal of becoming a Foreign Service Officer. 

“Her strong sense of social justice and how her work can amplify the voices of students of color is at the heart of her journalism,” said Editorial Advisor Ben McNeely. “What I admire the most about Jeanine is her self-awareness and maturity beyond her years. She has a strong sense of curiosity about her, tempered by a no-nonsense attitude.”

The Ebony Harlem Awards recognize excellence in performing arts, leadership, entrepreneurial efforts, research, and mentorship.

NC State Student Media serves as the learning lab for journalism and media training, putting the “Think And Do” mantra to work in everything we do. 

Our outlets – Agromeck, Nubian Message, Roundabout, Technician, Windhover and WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2 – teach students journalism, photography, design, broadcast and life skills they can use in whatever field they choose. 

To join Student Media, visit our website.