WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 7, 2020) — Hampton University alumni Justin Shaifer and Asia Ware have been named to the 2020 HBCU Top 30 Under 30, presented by HBCU Buzz, honoring the achievements of alumni of historically Black colleges and universities.
“Mr. Justin Shaifer and Ms. Asia Ware epitomize everything that makes Hampton University THE Standard of Excellence. Congratulations to both of our alumni for this recognition, and for displaying great character and poise in their respective fields at such a young age. We wish them more continued success, as they strive to make impacts in science and communications,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
A rising star in STEM education and advocacy, Justin Shaifer is a LinkedIn Top Voice in Technology and popular science communicator with a talent for understanding and inspiring Gen Z. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Fascinate, Inc., a nonprofit that partners with organizations such as Microsoft, Google and the MIT Media Lab to excite underrepresented students about STEM careers. Shaifer is also a science education PhD student at Teachers College of Columbia University and host of WGBH’s live science show, Escape Lab featured on Twitch. Known for the Magic Cool Bus Project and his TEDx talk, “How to Speak Generation Z.” Justin continues to reach millions with his content, keynotes and workshops.
His goal “to be for STEM what ESPN is for sports” and to, inspire young people to “embrace their inner nerd despite their surroundings,” springs from his own life experience. Growing up in a single parent home on the South Side of Chicago, he had little awareness of the potential of a STEM career. Self-taught and fascinated by science, Justin earned scholarships from NASA and NOAA that covered 100% of his tuition and room and board at Hampton University where he graduated in 2016 with a degree in marine and environmental science, earning the department’s highest GPA while also serving as student body president.
He recently launched the Magic Cool Bus a mobile museum and STEM program that “travels to schools in black and brown neighborhoods offering guided instructional play with 3D printers, drones and other gadgets.” His other notable work includes ‘Hood Science’, an animated series designed to demystify STEM concepts for urban students and Fascinate, a YouTube channel featuring animations and explanations of STEM concepts. Justin’s work has been featured in Forbes, Variety, Essence and other media.
Asia Ware is a New York-based fashion and beauty writer who inspires young women to tackle their goals through sharing her lifestyle. Ware is a 2017 graduate of Hampton University where she received a Bachelor of Art in Strategic Communications and English. On campus, Ware was a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.
Ware is currently an Editorial Assistant at Teen Vogue and has previously worked at InStyle Magazine as an editorial intern, Fashion Bomb Daily as a fashion writer and as the Fashion Bomb Kids Editor, ESSENCE Festival as event assistant, and more. Ware was awarded “Youth Blogger of the Year” by Brown Women in Media. Asia is a driven and hardworking media professional and she aspires to thrive in the digital media and fashion industry.
HBCUs yield more than a quarter of all African-American graduates in the country. In the 2017-2018 academic school year, 48,300 degrees were conferred by HBCUs. These institutions of higher education consistently produce the highest numbers of prominent Black civil rights leaders, doctors, religious leaders, bankers, writers, Olympians, lawyers, musicians, engineers, actors, humanitarians, professional athletes, educators, scientists, and politicians that are woven into the advancement of The United States of America and beyond.
“Now especially, highlighting Black business, Black stories and Blacks’ success is of the utmost importance. The game changers and community leaders on this year’s HBCU Top 30 list reflect Black excellence and they each deserve to be celebrated,” shares HBCU Buzz Founder and CEO, Luke Lawal Jr.
HBCU Buzz began the HBCU Top 30 list in 2014 as a way to celebrate and recognize the overlooked achievement of men and women who have studied at historically Black colleges and universities.HBCU Buzz is black-owned and delivers HBCU news, insights and editorials from the Black College community. Since 2011, HBCU Buzz has been a resource for prospective & current students and alumni. View the full 2020 HBCU 30 Under 30 list here: hbcubuzz.com/top30.