Michael Bell


As a University of the Virgin Islands student,
Michael Bell traveled beyond the shores of his
Crucian homeland many times, attending and
presenting at national conferences, interviewed
important government officials, served as
president in the University’s Association of Black
Journalists and last Fall was named one of UVI’s
HBCU White House Scholars in 2023.

Michael’s career path is a far cry from what he had
originally planned for himself. After graduating
from high school in 2019, Michael told his mother
he would get a job and make money instead of
attending university.

Family and friends, however, insisted he pursue
post-secondary education. He enrolled at the
University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), with an
interest in communications, but did not have a
major in mind. Michael decided to engage with
students in the program to get a better
understanding of the field.

“Once I did that, I threw my hat in the ring to see
what would happen when I got into
Communications,” the UVI Summer Bridge
program graduate said. “It has been a love affair
ever since.”

Michael Bell
Michael Bell

Michael has fond memories of his Communications
Professor, Dr. Sharon Honore. “I want to say a special thank
you to a true champion of education, an inspiration, and a
devoted faculty member of the Communications
Department,” he says. “If it were not for her continued
expertise and guidance, I would have missed out on some
truly unique experiences.” Michael served as one of the
founding members of the University of the Virgin Islands
Association of Black Journalists (UVIABJ) Chapter of the
National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), hosted
and coordinated the annual UVIABJ Communication
Summits and film festivals, all while being a contributor to
UVI’s Voice 2.0 online newspaper.

“My involvement in the UVIABJ has shown me that
Communications has many components,” he said. “There
are so many careers you can access through this route. I
saw individuals starting off as Communications majors
who have their MBAs and are running public relations and
marketing firms. I was also able to network with people in
the media industry who are doing great things. Through
the Association of Black Journalists, I have a more open
view of what Communications can offer and where it can
take you.”

Michael Bell and Jackeima Flemming attend the National HBCU Week Conference.
Michael Bell and Jackeima Flemming attend the National HBCU Week Conference.

Balancing academics and extracurricular activities,
Michael continuously traveled to enhance his career
opportunities. He represented UVI at the 2022 Thurgood
Marshall Fund Leadership Institute in New York City.

As part of UVI Career Day, Michael interviewed Governor
Albert Bryan Jr., in 2022. The interview won the Top Feature
Film Award at the Caribbean Cinematic and Arts Festival in

He also traveled to two NABJ National Conferences, in Las
Vegas, Nevada and Birmingham, Alabama. In Spring 2023,
Michael, traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the
White House press briefing with Vice President Kamala
Harris and former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms.

This would not be his last interaction with the White House,
however. Michael and fellow UVI student Jackeima
Flemming were selected to the ninth White House HBCU
Scholar cohort.

They were chosen from a competitive pool of 300
applicants and were recognized along with 102
undergraduate, graduate, and professional students
from 29 different states and countries for their
accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic

Michael and Jackeima also had the opportunity to
collaborate with other scholars on ideas to
commercialize technology derived from NASA
intellectual property. Last Fall, they traveled to the 2023
HBCU Week National Annual Conference in Virginia and
the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to
present their IP ideas in-person. They also served as
ambassadors to the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Wrapping up his undergraduate career, after being
named to the Dean’s List four times, Michael had the
honor of being selected student speaker at his 2023
commencement ceremony.


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