Why I'm glad I attended an HBCU

Through mentors, supportive culture, NC A&T made a difference in Brian Moseley's life


Brian Moseley had just graduated from UNC Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in business, but something was missing.

Moseley wanted to experience the culture of a predominantly black college, like many of his family members. So he decided to get a master’s degree and headed back to his hometown of Greensboro, N.C., where he attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

N.C. A&T, known for intensive research programs and community-focused initiatives, is consistently rated near the top of the nation’s more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In 2016, N.C. A&T ranked as the No. 1 public HBCU and the No. 1 producer of undergraduate-level African-American engineers in the country. Most HBCUs were institutions established in the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, primarily to serve the African-American community.

Moseley's decision to attend N.C. A&T was challenging yet life-changing and inspiring.

Professors instill confidence and worth

Brian Moseley

Attending N.C. A&T had a lasting impact that forged success in Moseley’s personal and professional life. “At A&T, professors had a unique understanding of experiences and questions posed by African-American students,” Moseley said.

What benefited him the most at N.C. A&T were the mentoring relationships he had with his teachers. They affirmed his abilities and challenged him to reach beyond his comfort zone.

“Professors demonstrated a genuine concern for my well-being and success. It was never easy; in fact, some of my classes were the hardest I ever had,” Moseley said. “I was consistently encouraged to strive to achieve academic and personal goals, even during the most challenging of times. With this supportive culture, I gained a greater confidence in my abilities and came to appreciate my value and potential in the field of education and technology.”

Life-changing decision

The turning point was a challenge by a professor for him to study abroad. She encouraged him to travel with her to the southeast African nation of Malawi, where the comforts of home were practically non-existent.

Photos courtesy of N.C. A&T SU/University Relations. Top photo: Proctor Hall/College of Education. Photo above: February One Monument at Dudley Memorial Building.

“My professor, Liz Barber, was going to help at a school in Malawi. Looking back, I feel it was providence,” Moseley said. “It was not the easy route. But through my time there, I put to use my desire for educating others.”

While working on a special project as a part of his master’s program, Moseley created a curriculum to help increase the life expectancy in Malawi by educating fourth-grade students on the importance of selecting health care careers, the required education paths and the economic impact of health care professionals. The program was so successful, the Ministry of Education adopted the program into the national curricula. 

“Although my time in Malawi was difficult, I learned much about myself and the world,” Moseley said. “This is just one example of how N.C. A&T provides its students with the opportunity to engage in real-world experiences that contribute to global citizenship.”

In 2009, Moseley earned a Master of Instructional Technology from N.C. A&T and, later, a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Instructional Design and Technology.

After working nine years in the field of education and technology from the Netherlands to California, Moseley joined Duke Energy in 2016, working as a technology implementation thought leader with the Human Resources Learning and Development team.

The right time to give back

Sustained by his faith and belief in the unique value of every person, Moseley feels a social responsibility to improve his community. He gives back by teaching college courses to future education and technology professionals. His first teaching role began as an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University, another HBCU, teaching K-12 teachers the art of instructional design. Currently, he’s an adjunct professor at his alma mater, N.C. A&T, teaching in the instructional technology master’s program.  

Moseley encourages everyone to be involved in giving back to their communities. He talked about the right time.

“Never say, ‘I’ll do it one day,’’’ Moseley said. “Today will never feel like the right time to volunteer and give back. But today is the day to get started.”

Value of HBCUs

According to Moseley, “There is not one type of school that fits the needs of all students. However, every school meets the needs of some students.” Because of this, there will always be a place for HBCUs that offer a great education at an affordable price.

“I recommend every high school student consider an HBCU,” Moseley said. “A&T provides a quality academic education that promotes creativity, leadership, practical application and a supportive culture. I take great pride in being part of the Aggie family.”

Duke Energy partners with HBCUs

Duke Energy supports historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through grants and sponsorships, many of which fund critical research. The company's giving to HBCUs supports its strategy to promote education, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

For the past five years, Duke Energy has given more than $700,000 to seven HBCUs in the Carolinas. In addition, the company matched more than $35,000 donated to HBCUs from Duke Energy employees. Employees also support HBCUs by serving on boards and as adjunct professors.

“Our commitment to education means ensuring opportunities and relevant programs are available to all students,” said Shawn Heath, vice president, Duke Energy Foundation and Community Affairs. “Our communities benefit from a growing talent pipeline of diverse, skilled workers who bring new and innovative ways of thinking to the table. HBCUs are cultivating their students today to be the leaders of tomorrow’s workforce.”