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Nubian Message’s Arana Blake Earns 2021-22 Accolades

Rising senior honored at Ebony Harlem Awards, College of Sciences Diversity Senior Banquet

Arana Blake holding a trophy

By Patrick Neal

Longtime Nubian Message staff member Arana Blake, a rising senior majoring in chemistry and minoring in forensic science, has earned a pair of awards for her work both on and off campus in 2021-22.

Blake, who has served as a designer, writer and copy editor for the Nubian since her first year, received the Literary Talent Award at the 2022 Ebony Harlem Awards ceremony held April 24.

According to the award criteria outlined for voters and judges, the award is given each year “to recognize students involved in formal and informal campus art programs who 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.”

Blake also received the Dr. Marjorie Debnam Community Service Award at the College of Sciences’ Diversity Senior Banquet held April 23. For more than 30 years, the college has honored graduating seniors with awards in academic achievement, leadership, community service and other categories at the banquet, which is organized by the college’s Office of Academic Affairs and the Society for Multicultural Scientists.

Dr. Debnam graduated from the Meharry Medical College School of Medicine in 1991 and specializes in internal medicine. The Debnam Clinic PA has two locations in Raleigh that are affiliated with WakeMed’s Raleigh Campus.

Blake’s activities inside and outside the classroom go far beyond her work for the Nubian Message. She currently serves as a teaching assistant in the College of Sciences and financial secretary for the Black Students Board. She has also served as a mentor in the Women in Science and Engineering Program, an ambassador for the Goodnight Scholars program, and vice president of Channel Blond, which supports Black students who identify as LGBTQ+. Blake is also a member of the Gamma Xi Chapter of the Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity.

Off campus, Blake has also served as a volunteer at A Place at the Table, which serves meals to underserved and homeless people in the downtown Raleigh area.