Northeast College president to be judge at upcoming OZY Genius Awards

Mar 24, 2021

Houston Community College (HCC) Northeast President Monique Umphrey, D.M., PMP, will join a team of judges to select the next bright minds who will receive the OZY Genius Award.

OZY is a cutting-edge media company focuses on diverse storytelling across multiple media platforms. The organization’s award encourages undergraduate students to pitch innovative projects that can stimulate societal change. Recipients receive a $10,000 grant and mentorship opportunities.

Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of OZY Media, invited Umphrey to join the panel of distinguished OZY Genius Judges after the impression she made on the OZY team when she spoke at the “National Treasures” Virtual Graduation Ceremony in 2020. Watson said that Umphrey brings unique experiences to the judging table that include engaging in and providing higher education opportunities to underserved communities as well as work as an African-American woman in information technology.

“I’m honored to be one of the judges who will select the next OZY genius. We have so much talent out there and I am always encouraged when I see the fresh ideas of college students and how they want to change the world,” Umphrey said. “It’s amazing to know that U.S. Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman won the award four years ago. I was captivated along with the rest of the world by her on Inauguration day. I’m sure this year’s contestants will be equally inspiring.”

Umphrey will join judges that include former NBA player Jalen Rose; author Padma Lakshmi; BBC America news anchor Katty Kay; hedge fund mogul Marc Lasry; and Carmen Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

The awardees are selected for genius and bold ideas that could lead to new inventions or works in film, science, media or social justice. Winners will be named on May 15, 2021.

Northeast College is one of seven colleges in the HCC system and serves northeast Houston with five locations. It is home to three Centers of Excellence, including automotive, global energy and public safety.

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