Hampton University Senior Kamaria Horton Named 2023 Schwarzman Scholar

Senior Kamaria Horton

Hampton, Va. (January 6, 2023) – Kamaria Horton, a Hampton University senior computer science major, has been named a Schwarzman Scholarship winner.  A native of Atlanta, Georgia, she describes herself as a “passionate and goal-oriented person with the work ethic and the determination to do what it takes to achieve my goals. I hold myself to a very high standard.” Horton has been awarded a one-year, fully funded graduate scholarship at Tsinghua University in Beijing.  Schwarzman Scholars, named after American billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman, is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century.  The program is designed to build a global community of future leaders who will serve to deepen understanding between China and the rest of the world.

Dr. Jean Muhammad, chair of the Hampton University Department of Computer Science, says, “If there was ever a deserving student to get this award, it is certainly Kamaria.  She has an excellent character.  She helps her peers. It’s just amazing to me and she has been like this ever since she entered the university and our department; it didn’t just happen.  This is just who she is.” Mentoring and helping others is a significant component of the Schwarzman Scholars Program.  Horton stated, “I will be able to identify and learn the skills needed to be an effective mentor. I will also be able to learn from so many other leaders and the steps they took in life. It is interesting and inspiring to hear the unexpected turns and decisions that lead a person to where they need to be in life. This information will help me explore different options to achieve my career and personal goals but also learn methods to adapt to unexpected changes in my life. Ultimately, this experience will connect me to people in a brand new way by learning a new language and perspective of life from a different culture.”

Horton was selected through a rigorous and thorough selection process.  Dr. Carlton Long, D.Min., and Hampton University Associate Professor and Director of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College states, “Hampton has been very engaged in prestigious scholarship pursuits, and so it’s through intentionality that Hampton has had three Schwarzman Scholars, and it is now the official HBCU leader in terms of producing Schwarzman Scholars, particularly if you consider the fact that we were the first HBCU to win the prize.” The competition for prestigious scholarships is demanding.  “We’re helping the students to understand that it’s important to build a portfolio early on, to innovate and to have all kinds of rich experiences, to lead on and off-campus so you have a track record of engaging and changing the world,” added Dr. Long.

Horton joins fellow Hamptonians Ivana Thomas, a member of the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars in 2016 and the first winner from an HBCU.   In 2016, Thomas graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Another Schwarzman Scholar Adaya Sturkey graduated from HU as a pre-med major in 2018.  Sturkey is currently a medical student in South Carolina.

“The model Schwarzman student or candidate is generally a senior undergraduate student; an honors student with at least a 3.7 GPA; a student who is curious about the world and who has a demonstrated track record of curiosity and leadership,” Long.

Horton’s career goal is to work in the technology field, and notes, “Whether it be researching and raising awareness of the effects of biases in Artificial intelligence systems or building more accessible STEM education platforms, I want my work to make a positive impact for the world around me. My goal is always to be a better person than I was yesterday and strive for deep introspection and personal growth.”