SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — In Springfield on Saturday evening, the African American Female Professors Award Association held their second annual University and College Presidents Ball at the Sheraton Hotel.

The group’s goal is to recognize African-American female professors and encourage African-American female educators to pursue advanced studies. With the goal to ultimately change the landscape of professors across higher education.

At the ball scholarships were given out to three students, and awards handed out to four professors who embody what the organization stands for.

“We only make up about 2 percent of faculty in higher education, 6 percent identify as people of color. So to be able to help them, and recognize them, and celebrate them,” expressed the Founder and President of the African-American Female Professors Award Association, Traci Talbert.

The Association also honored and remembered Professor Dora Robinson who recently passed away. Robinson had an impressive trailblazing career including; becoming the first woman and first Black woman to serve as the CEO and President of the United Way of Pioneer Valley in 2009.

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.