PVAMU Students Partner with NFL Execs for “Experienceship” Program

Prairie View A&M University’s first-place victory earlier this year in the HBCU Battle of the Brains Competition during South by Southwest (SXSW) led to an extended relationship with the National Football League (NFL). Over the summer, PVAMU’s winning team, Dannick Boyogueno, Amber Diehl, Oluseun John, Seif Hediya, and Uchechukwu Uboh, along with faculty and staff advisors Rick Baldwin, Audria Ford, and Herbert Thomas participated in the NFL’s HBCU Battle of the Brains Experienceship. It was an all-expense-paid trip for the students from the Colleges of Business and Engineering.

During six weeks, PVAMU’s team, as well as a team from Morgan State University, which also participated in the 2019 HBCU Battle of the Brains Competition, studied the NFL’s diversity programs and occupational mobility patterns of minority head coaches, coordinators and position-based coaches, and senior football executives. They were each tasked with submitting reports analyzing current diversity and inclusion initiatives to evaluate overall effectiveness within the league. Several NFL executives helped facilitate and compile the teams’ research so they could present the findings on June 20.

“The students did a phenomenal job presenting their results and materials at the NFL’s New York City Offices,” said Ford. “The league’s executive team was very impressed and elated with the work submitted.”

PVAMU received $10,000 on behalf of the NFL for participating in the Experienceship. The university also was granted access to up to $1,000 of related research materials and publications.

College of Business Dean Munir Quddus said, “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these students who have made us proud.” Ford said, “The students’ motivation encouraged them to devote countless hours of research to ensure the final product met superior standards for best practices. The 2019 Battle of the Brains team exemplified ‘PVAMU Produces Productive People.’”