Alumni

Onyx and Ruby Past Recipients

2021 Honorees

Recognizing the contributions of alumni 30 or more years removed from graduation who have made sacrifices, shared their experience and expertise, and enhanced the quality of life at UC and in the community.

Julius W. Dudley, PhD

A champion of education, Dr. Dudley was born in 1944, in Atlanta, the oldest of nine children, born to a hard-working, illiterate father and a former sharecropper. He attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta and later did graduate work at Clark Atlanta University, the University of Cincinnati and Harvard University. While attending Morris Brown, Dudley was first acquainted with South African blacks, and he joined their struggle against apartheid. He also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was active in the voter registration movement. While in graduate school, he became involved in the National Teacher Corps Program, and later, while at Harvard, he became involved in TransAfrica and worked as a tutor in Boston's urban schools. After earning his Ph.D., Dudley became a professor at Salem State College in Massachusetts. Dudley has led the charge in spreading his love of books to Africa, both through Salem and the Phelps-Stokes Fund Books for Global Literacy Program. He has worked with a number of world leaders, including Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela and the state of Massachusetts to send more than a million books to students in South Africa. He has also been involved with a similar project with the Universidade Católica de Angola. In total, he has helped send more than four million books to people in South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Malawi and Angola.

Recognizing alumni for their professional accomplishments and active development of those around them.

Phyllis Turner-Brim

Phyllis T. Turner-Brim is Deputy General Counsel and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for HP Inc. (“HP”) where she leads global teams of legal professionals managing HP’s vast intellectual property portfolio in support of its sustained and growth businesses. Prior to joining HP, Phyllis was vice president, assistant general counsel at Starbucks Coffee Company. Before Starbucks, Phyllis held executive positions at Intellectual Ventures Management LLC (“IV”), Intermec Technologies Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Cabot Microelectronics Corporation and Amoco Corp (now BP). Phyllis is a graduate of the UC College of Law, and an honors graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology (B.S. Chemical Engineering). Phyllis is a professional executive and career coach with a focus on supporting women who aspire to executive leadership in the private sector. Prior to pursuing a career in the law, Phyllis held technical management and product development positions with General Electric Co. and Procter and Gamble Co. Demonstrating her commitment to community service, Phyllis is a Trustee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Foundation for the Advancement of Diversity in IP, the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation, and the Snohomish County (WA) YMCA. She is also Vice President of the Greater Seattle Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Recognizing alumni who support their communities by sharing their time, talents and treasure.

Rob Richardson, Jr.

A resolute leader with a breadth of experience in labor law, civil rights, labor and management relations and public service, Rob is passionate about challenging the status quo, he’s been the voice for the under-represented and disadvantaged. His vision and expertise in workforce development, labor practices, entrepreneurship and crisis management have influenced law enforcement policy, systemic inequities and private/public partnerships that led to reforms, new opportunities and an inclusive, more innovative economy. Richardson is the founder and CEO of Disruption NOW Media, a digital media platform and full service media agency focused on disrupting narratives and empowering black and brown, artists, entrepreneurs and leaders. When appointed chairman of the University of Cincinnati’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Richardson became the youngest person to serve in this role in the University’s history. His education includes a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He established the UC chapter of the NAACP and was elected student body president. He received the University of Cincinnati Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence, Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award, and an honorary degree Doctor of Laws.

Recognizing a UC faculty or staff member for shaping students’ personal and professional development.

Kenneth Simonson

Kenneth Simonson began his work on behalf of the African American students in 1986 in the Office of Student Organization and Activities, and then in 1990 in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. He assisted in the development of the Emerging Ethnic Engineers (E3) program, specifically with the summer bridge program. Mr. Simonson dedicated his service to the recruitment and graduation of underrepresented students in the college and the university. He earned a certificate in Management Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education Institutes of Higher Education, a certificate in Higher Education Leadership from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, and his bachelor degree from Bowling Green State University. He will complete his Master degree in Educational Studies from UC in May 2021. He believes that education should be used in service of the community.

Recognizing alumni from within the last decade who are rapidly becoming new leaders, with significant talents and contributions that actively enhance their communities and fields of endeavor.

Carmen Gaines

A native of Cincinnati, Carmen obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from UC and has spent over a decade as a mentor to high school students. She launched a girls' leadership program at a local high school, which set in motion the building blocks of what Carmen believes is her life's work. Carmen was previously at Woodward Career Technical High School as the program coordinator of the Career Enrichment Program. In 2018, Carmen partnered with Dan Lincoln Institute for Hospitality Leadership to establish A Seat at The Table hospitality program to provide young women with professional etiquette skills, essential employment skills training, and career development. Her work as earned her many awards and over $100,000 in grants. Her belief in supporting and inspiring women fueled her creation of the Women's Liberation Workshop (WLW), a health and wellness in 2017. She serves as a board member of the Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative (GCMI), and School Board School. In 2020, Carmen received a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Union Institute & University and currently serves as the Career Technical Education Pathway Specialist with Activities Beyond Classroom working with more students throughout the Cincinnati Public School district.

Recognizing current UC students who embody leadership qualities, are extremely involved in the campus community, inspire their fellow students, and blaze the trail for ongoing progress.

Camryn Morrow

Camryn Morrow is a third-year Human Development and Community Engagement student in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. As a Cincinnati native, Camryn prides herself on her commitment to service in her city and has dedicated herself to inspiring the next generation of leaders through youth advocacy. Recently awarded with the honor of Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy by The Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Camryn enjoys supporting students on and off-campus. On-campus, Camryn is a University Honors, Darwin T. Turner, and Ronald E. McNair Program Scholar. Camryn holds leadership positions in Undergraduate Student Government and organizes her own book club for women of color, Sister Outsiders. Her past leadership includes the United Black Student Association and the African American Cultural and Resource Center Leadership Team.

2019 Honorees

In honor of the late Georgia E. Beasley, this award recognizes the contributions of our alumni pre-1975 who have made sacrifices and shared their vision to enhance the quality of life at UC and in the community. Their legacy is timeless and one that set a standard of excellence that inspires us to keep our eyes on the prize, while pressing toward the mark.

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 J. Phillip Holloman, '78

After earning his UC degree in civil engineering, J. Phillip Holloman rose steadily through the business ranks of Procter & Gamble (his co-op employer) and later Cintas, where he became the company’s first African American senior manager. He proceeded to lead the engineering and construction of 37 new North American plants, and soon applied his growing management expertise to ever larger leadership roles. He eventually became Cintas’ president and COO, was the founding member of the company’s Diversity Committee, and received the Excalibur Award, Cintas’ highest honor reserved for executives who demonstrate all-around excellence during their tenures. He retired in 2018 after 22 years with Cintas, leaving a legacy of tremendous corporate growth while embedding the broadest principles of diversity into the company’s operations and culture.

Holloman has received many awards recognizing his business success, vision and selflessness: Black Enterprise magazine named him one of the “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America”; he was celebrated as a “Men of Honor, A Salute to African American Men” award recipient; he received the Merlin Pope, Jr. Diversity Leadership Award; he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wilberforce University; and he has been a UC Kautz Alumni Master.

Holloman was recently appointed to a nine-year term on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees. His other board service includes Rockwell Automation, the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), the business school at Florida A&M University, and the business and engineering and applied science colleges at UC. He also serves on the University of Cincinnati Foundation’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, and on the Advisory Board of the Middletown, Ohio, Teen Mentoring Program.

This award highlights our most recent alumni within the last 10 years, who are blazing the trails toward becoming our future leaders. The Emerging Leader Award recognizes the significant contributions of young alumni whose impeccable skills and talents have created opportunities toward building a better tomorrow for themselves and their community, and honors them for remembering to reach as they climb.

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Anndrea Moore, '10

Those who knew, taught and worked with Anndréa Moore when she was a UC student clearly saw a young woman on her way to great things. A Carl H. Lindner Honors Scholar, Darwin T. Turner Scholar and University Honors Distinguished Scholar, she received the Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence in recognition of what she’d achieved on campus and what she seemed destined to accomplish.

Around earning an advanced degree from Harvard Business School, Moore’s professional career has taken her to Google, Apple and Facebook. From consulting with small and medium-sized businesses on digital marketing strategy to launching global product features impacting millions of users, Moore has shared her range of marketing and product growth expertise, including digital marketing, product storytelling, email engagement, and customer journey optimization. Her experience in the tech industry led her to see potential in creating a formal network of her peers, so she founded and became CEO of Black Tech Women, growing it from a small online community to an organization of more than 3,000 members internationally. She now leads a team of 15 that executes partnerships with many premier tech companies.

Continuing to exhibit the kind of collaborative leadership that marked her days on campus, Moore actively coaches and mentors others in their professional journeys. She advises within the Management Leadership for Tomorrow Career Fellows Program, coaching more than a dozen juniors across the country to secure internships in the technology, media and entertainment fields. She has also been a speaker at SxSW 2018, Tech Inclusion 2018, the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference, Clinton Global Initiative University, and the Google Online Marketing Challenge Summit.

This award recognizes alumni who are avid supporters of their communities by sharing their time, talents, and treasure with individuals and organizations where they live, work, and play.

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Dr. C. Keith Melvin, '80

A widely respected doctor of internal medicine, Dr. Keith Melvin turned his own personal history as a cancer survivor into motivation to positively influence the lives of countless members of his community.

A Cincinnati native, current Mercy Health Systems physician and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UC’s College of Medicine, Melvin earned his medical degree from UC before training for his specific field at Jewish Hospital. His career has included practicing emergency, critical care and internal medicine. He has been appointed a Fellow in the American Academy of Cardiology, named one of America’s Top Physicians, and selected as a Top Internist by the Leading Physicians of the World.

Melvin’s life and career took an important turn in 2000 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Overcoming the disease ultimately led him to spearhead the work of the Black & White Cancer Survivors Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about cancer, promotes early detection through screening, and donates generously to help others meet cancer’s many challenges. He recently staged the foundation’s 10th Black & White Cancer Survivors Gala to celebrate the many lives that have been sustained.

Also the president and CEO of Community Health Speaks Inc., Melvin is active in many civic organizations, serves as a mentor to aspiring medical students, and offers personal support and counsel through the American Cancer Society “Man to Man” educational initiative. He serves on many local boards, including the American Cancer Society and the Cancer Support Community, and is a member of the National Medical Association, Cincinnati Medical Association and the International Society of Hypertension in Blacks. He has received numerous awards for his volunteer and professional service, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Closing the Health Gap in 2018.

As special recognition for faculty and staff, this award honors those individuals who play a valuable role in shaping the personal and professional development of alumni during their college years. Alumni credit these individuals for enhancing their educational experience and for being instrumental in helping them chart their path in life.

CEAS staff, faculty and students

Cheryll Dunn, PhD '66, '68, '69, '77

Throughout her long career as a treasured UC professor and administrator, Dr. Cheryll Dunn has provided her students with invaluable life lessons as well as quality instruction in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. In fact, Dunn became known first and foremost for her “students come first” approach to teaching, steadfastly accepting nothing less than their best efforts, and finding ways to partner with them toward the achievement of their academic goals.

A Cincinnati native, Dunn became a legacy UC student, following in the footsteps of her mother, a 1941 grad. She later began her career on the faculty in what was then the College of Applied Science. She served as associate professor of chemical technology, director of student services, department head, assistant dean and associate dean. Her dedication to improving opportunity and diversity in education included serving as faculty advisor to the Society of Women Engineers, the Society of Black Engineers and the student chapter of the National Technical Association. Dunn worked diligently to bring Tech Prep programs to southwest Ohio and served on the OBR Tech Prep Advisory Board. She was a staunch advocate of facilitating transfer credits from all colleges (inside and outside of UC), and has written thousands of recommendations and nominations to help students enter graduate programs and obtain scholarships.

Recognizing the inherent connections between the university and the community as well as an individual’s profession and civic responsibilities, Dunn has been a volunteer leader with many local organizations, including Lighthouse Youth Services, United Way, the Private Industry Council, the Cincinnati Institute of Justice, and the YWCA. She has received many honors, from a pair of National Technical Association awards to the NAACP Innovative Educator Award to UC’s Award for Excellence. She was the only female and only African American to be inducted into the College of Applied Science Hall of Fame.

This award acknowledges individuals who created university firsts or were at the forefront of movements and activities. They embody all the qualities of a leader-motivational, charismatic, critical thinker, risk-taker, visionary, creative, change agent, and a community activist. These individuals are extremely involved on campus, are an inspiration to other students, and continue blazing the trail for change.

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Alberto Jones, '19

Alberto Jones is one of UC’s most unlikely and inspiring success stories, having overcome an incredibly challenging and painful upbringing, including abuse of all kinds, yet persevering down the path of higher education toward lofty personal ambitions and a life of service to others.

A graduating senior studying journalism with an emphasis on broadcast news, Jones helped revive and became president of UC’s Association of Black Journalists. He is also co-president of the United Black Student Association (UBSA), member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, and undergraduate student trustee on the university’s Board of Trustees after his appointment by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2017. Previously, he had served as vice president of UC’s Online News Association, staff reporter for The News Record, Editor-In-Chief of Noir magazine, and president of UC’s student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has also interned with WCPO-TV, WVXU 91.7 FM, and NBC’s The TODAY Show.

At UC, Jones has organized two annual black media panels, UBSA’s Black History Month Opening Ceremony, and helped launch #WeGotUs, a movement that addresses race-based stress and trauma while promoting unity, support, community and mental health awareness among students of color. He has received the 2015 CDF-Ohio Beat The Odds Award, the AACRC’s 2017 Usoni Award, and the 2017 New Student Organization Award of Excellence. Jones has achieved dean’s list honors every semester he has been in college, and became the only UC journalism student to earn a departmental scholarship in three successive years. Upon graduation, he looks to become a multimedia journalist and motivational speaker where he can lend his voice on behalf of others who have suffered abuse and have no platform or voice themselves.

Recognizing alumni for their professional accomplishments and active development of those around them.

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Michael Wright, '93, '96

An influential attorney in Cincinnati and Dayton and one of America’s top trial lawyers, Michael Wright is the founding partner at Wright & Schulte and managing partner for The Cochran Firm of Ohio. His work is focused on protecting the rights and interests of clients in the areas of catastrophic and personal injury, wrongful death, birth injury, medical malpractice, products liability, and nursing home neglect. He is admitted to practice law in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and in multiple federal courts.

Wright is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, one of the nation’s most prestigious groups of trial lawyers, limited to attorneys who have won million- and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements; fewer than 1% of U.S. attorneys are members. He serves as committee chair for the Ohio Association of Justice and belongs to such professional organizations as the American Trial Lawyers Association (selected one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers 2009 through 2018), the Ohio State Bar Association, the Dayton Bar Association, the Thurgood Marshall Law Society, and the African American Chamber of Commerce. Last year, Wright was among the select 5% of the state’s 44,000 practicing lawyers recognized as an Ohio SuperLawyer.

Wright continues to be a champion for his university, providing matching funds to help establish an endowment for future UC Law students who serve as president of the college’s Black Lawyers Student Association. A prominent advocate for civil and human rights, he has been featured on numerous local and national programs and media outlets — from Good Morning America and The Today Show to the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. His is deeply respected for his thoughtful commentary and legal expertise on topics that relate to social change.


2018 Honorees

Honorable Michael B. Coleman, A&S '77

Mr. Coleman is a College Arts & Sciences graduate of 1977. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Dayton and went into private practice in 1984. In 1992, he served on the Columbus City Council for seven years. In 1999, Coleman was elected Mayor of Columbus where he would serve for 16 years as the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history. He is currently a partner and Director of Business and Government Strategies for Ice Miller LLP.

Dr. Ryan Marable, Pharm '13

Dr. Ryan C. Marable is a pharmacist with The Kroger Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he currently serves as a Pharmacy Manager. He attended the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, graduating in 2013. Immediately following graduation, Dr. Marable committed his professional career to serving underrepresented community populations through service leadership. He currently serves on the national executive board of the National Pharmaceutical Association, and president of the Cincinnati Pharmaceutical Association. He also serves as Communications co-Chair for the Winkle College of Pharmacy Alumni Council. Dr. Marable is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Judge Fanon Rucker, Law '96

Judge Fanon Rucker is a 1996 graduate from the College of Law. A native of Gary, Indiana, he earned his undergraduate degree from Hampton University. From 2000-07, Judge Rucker worked in the areas of civil rights, employment, municipal law and general civil litigation, as well as the prosecutor for three villages. He also represented clients in State and Federal court at both the trial and appellate levels. In 2007, Judge Rucker was appointed to the Hamilton Court Municipal Court, the youngest Ohio judge on the bench at 35 years old. Other leadership positions in the community includes, but are not limited to: the Association of Municipal and County Judges of Ohio, Seasongood Good Government Foundation, Black Lawyers’ Association of Cincinnati, Children’s Law Center, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and on the local and state level of the Prince Hall masonic organization.

Dr. Vanessa Allen-Brown

Dr. Vanessa Allen-Brown is an Associate Professor in the School of Education, in the College of CECH at the University of Cincinnati. The James City, NC native received as BS in Biology and Pre-Med from Livingstone College, a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of Missouri. Dr. Allen-Brown is an ordained clergy in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at the United Methodist Church, having pastored churches in New Jersey, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio. Her research interests are in oral history, religion/theology, and human rights; however, her passion is traveling abroad with UC students all over the globe. Students have accompanied her to many different countries including Tanzania, Botswana, Morocco, Ethiopia, France, and Ghana.

Annette Echikunowoke, A&S '17

Annette, a native of Pickerington, Ohio, will be graduating from Arts & Sciences in 2018 with a degree in mathematics. On March 11, 2017, she did what no other UC track & field athlete had ever done: she won the weight throw competition at the NCAA meet, claiming the program’s first national title and just the fifth individual national title in UC history across all sports. A three-time USTFCCCA All-American, Echikunwoke has spent the past two years rewriting the UC record books as she ranks among the program’s all-time Top 10 in five of the six throwing events, including holding the school record in three events: indoor weight throw, outdoor hammer and outdoor shot put. She also volunteers for The Gaskins Foundation, as well as leads the Habari Gani Ambassadors program at the AACRC and is a member of the Lambda Society.

Dr. Monica Posey, CECH '99

Dr. Monica Posey graduated from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services with her doctorate in education in 1999. She previously earned her bachelor and master degrees from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Dr. Posey serves as President at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Her extensive list of community service includes serving on the boards of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Artswave, GRAD Cincinnati, Inc., the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection, and the StrivePartnership Executive Committee. Most noteworthy, Linda Bates Parker herself nominated Dr. Posey for the YWCA Career Women of Achievement award in 2008.

Bakari Booker, DAAP '93


2017 Honorees

Diane Jordan-Grizzard, A&S ’77, CECH ’87

 Sean Walton, Esq., A&S ’07

Marjorie Moseley, A&S ’82

Ewaniki Moore-Hawkins, Bus ’02, ’06

Mitchell Phelps, Bus ’18

Christie Kuhns, Esq., A&S ’01, Law ’06

Claudia Abercrumbie, Bus ’85 2016 Honorees


2016 Honorees

Dwight Tillery, A&S ’70

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Dwight Tillery grew up in Cincinnati where he was educated in its public schools and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor of Laws from the University of Michigan Law School. Dwight is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio.

In the fall of 1968 while serving as the newly elected and co-founder of the United Black Association, Tillery led a group of students to the President’s office at the University of Cincinnati presenting over thirty demands. Those demands ranged from greater black student enrollment to African American Studies Department, African American Resource Center to increase in black faculty and administrators. The President, the late Walter Langsam, agreed to every demand which laid the ground work for the most radical changes for African Americans at the University to this date.

Tillery joined the University of Cincinnati in 1974 as Assistant Executive Vice President and Associate University Counsel. He held adjunct professorships in the law school and African American Studies department where he developed a course entitled “The Law and Black People” (1973) which is still being taught to this day.

Tillery served in several other professional roles including Assistant City Solicitor, Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In 1991, Tillery became the first African American popularly elected Mayor of Cincinnati. As a member of city council, he sponsored many pieces of legislation that benefited the poor and minorities.

Currently, Tillery is Founder and President and C.E.O. of The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati whose mission is “to lead the efforts in eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities in Greater Cincinnati through Advocacy, Education, and Community Outreach. The Center has gained much national recognition for its work and unique organization.

Tillery is a recipient of many local and national awards and honors and has served on many boards and commissions. He has dedicated his life to community service.

Christina Brown, A&S ’10

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Christina D. Brown is a self-described freedom fighter in training and young leader in action who hails from Columbus, Ohio. Following the 2004 presidential election, Christina became interested in politics which led her to pursue undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

During her collegiate career, she served in various leadership positions, most notably as two-time president of the United Black Student Association. Her tenure at UC had as many challenges as it did highlights. One of the greatest privileges was being named the student keynote speaker of the 19th annual Afrocentric graduation ceremony, Tyehimba, in 2010.

Following graduation, she joined AmeriCorps, serving as first year apprentice, and as a second year Fellow with Public Allies Cincinnati. After graduating from the program in 2012, she accepted a position with the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission.

Despite transitioning from college into career, Brown’s commitment to strengthening her community never waned. She serves on multiple boards, including the Martin Luther King Coalition, Cincinnati Young Black Professionals, Affordable Housing Advocates and the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, where she was elected President of the Board of Trustees at age 27. Brown primarily uses her voice to promote racial equity through activism, and community education.

In 2014 she co-founded Black Lives Matter Cincinnati to address state violence and racial inequality. Persistently rallying for racial equity garnered her the opportunity to testify to President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force, and she was selected as one of fifty activists nationwide to attend Union Theological Seminary’s Millennial Leader Project.

Brown remains grounded and intends to dedicate her passion to creating a world where social justice is not just a product of our collective imagination, but a reality of each individual’s lived experience.

Jason Dunn, Sr., A&S ’03

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Jason Dunn, Sr. is a native of Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Dunn started his career at the Cincinnati USA CVB in September 2004. In his current role of Vice President, Multicultural & Government Affairs, he develops and manages the Bureau’s comprehensive multicultural strategy, working to more deeply engage the local community, region-wide partners, and the CVB sales team to provide support in analyzing and pursuing new business opportunities.

Over the past several years, Cincinnati USA has established itself as one of the country’s premier destinations for winning and hosting some of the most sought-after multicultural conventions in the industry. Dunn has been at the forefront of that revival and continues to be the region’s strongest voice for Multicultural Conventions.

A well-known and respected leader locally and nationally, Dunn has brought in significant new convention business and forged inroads with the national multicultural meetings market. During his tenure at the CVB, the number of multicultural meetings in Cincinnati has increased by 1800%, bringing $33 million in economic impact between 2006 and 2011. Dunn has helped attract numerous high-profile events including the National NAACP Convention, National Urban League, and the Prince Hall Shriners convention.

Dunn’s passion also extends into the community. Dunn was appointed to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority as a trustee of the $92.9 million Transit System, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board. Since 2012, he has helped the organization meet the community’s need for greater access to jobs, education, and healthcare. He helped spearhead the community conversation required about the future of the area’s public transportation system to ensure SORTA successfully contributes to the economic development of the region.

Dunn holds leadership positions on several boards and committees and has received numerous awards and accolades for his service.

Dr. Terri Hurdle, CECH ’12

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Terri M. Hurdle currently serves as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for Mount St. Joseph University. She also serves as an instructor within the Center for Ethical Leadership’s Leadership Pathways program and is a member of Cincinnati’s Chief Diversity Officer Roundtable.

A Cincinnati native, Terri began her academic pursuits at Tuskegee University located in Alabama then transferred to Xavier University (Ohio) where she received her B.A. in Political Science and M.S in Criminal Justice. In 2012, she earned her final degree from the University of Cincinnati, which was an Ed.D in Urban Educational Leadership. Terri’s dissertation focused on one of her many passions, the leadership development of African American women.

In October of 2000, Terri began her career at the University of Cincinnati. She served as the Program Coordinator for BASE (Brothers and Sisters Excelling) for the African American Cultural and Resource Center, Graduate Assistant within the Center for Access and Transitions and Center for Community Engagement. Her last appointment at the university resided in the Office of Student Activities & Leadership Development as a Coordinator for Student organizations and Emerging Ethnic Leadership Institute, a program she helped to establish at UC.

Terri is also a published author. In 2004, she was a featured writer in the book “Our Stories: The Experiences of Black Professionals on Predominately White Campuses”. In 2014, Dr. Hurdle formally established the Hurdle Lecture agency. To date, she has lectured at Franklin College (Indiana), Morehead State University, and as a featured presenter at the ACE Women’s Conference.

Terri’s first love is mentoring young people; therefore, this year she plans to establish a foundation to assist first generation students with their transition into college.

In 2015, she served as the national co-chair for the Undergraduate Leadership Summit for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. where she assisted in developing the mission, learning outcomes, and curriculum for institute.

Brittany Bibb, Bus ’15

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Brittany Bibb is a native of Louisville, Kentucky and a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she majored in Marketing. She was involved with The United Black Student Association, The Lambda Society, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Omicron Chapter, and many more organizations.

Most recently, Brittany was heavily involved with a student-led movement called The Irate 8 that was formed after the shooting of Samuel Dubose. The movement educates others about the experiences of black students on UC's campus and has moved to reform some policies and procedures at the University of Cincinnati to create a more inclusive campus for black students.

Brittany’s motto in life is "365 black, that's me" which has inspired her to keep fighting for equity daily and to use her voice for those who may not have the chance.

Ashley Nkadi, A&S ’16

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Ashley Nkadi, a Jackson, Tennessee native, is a third year neuroscience major at the University of Cincinnati with a double minor in Medical Sciences and Fashion Design Studies.

On campus, Ashley balances a multitude of roles. She is currently the Co-President of the United Black Student Association and the President of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honorary. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Noir Magazine, UC's premier ethnics magazine designed to highlight people of color. She serves as the PR Director for both the Asian American Association and Midwest Dhamaka executive board. Ashley is also a Lambda Woman and a woman of CWEST (Cincinnati Women in Excellence & Spirit Together).

Ashley believes her most significant contribution in her time on campus was helping to spearhead the Irate 8 movement to push for diversity, inclusion, and equity in all facets of campus life.

After graduation Ashley plans to build upon her undergraduate education by seeking a Master’s in Business Administration (with a concentration in Healthcare Administration) and a Medical Degree.

Dr. Terry Kershaw, Professor UC College of Arts & Sciences, Africana Studies

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Dr. Terry Kershaw was a native of New York, New York whose career as a prolific professor in Africana Studies impacted thousands of colleagues, friends and students before his passing in October 2015.

Dr. Kershaw received his B.A. in Sociology and Black World Studies in 1976 from the State University of New York College at Cortland. Kershaw went on to receive an M.A. in Black Studies from The Ohio State University in 1978, and Doctorate of Sociology from Washington State University in 1985.

Kershaw taught at Antioch College, Temple University, the College of Wooster (Chair of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of Black Studies), and Whitworth College. He also held the Mini Lilly Chair at Marquette University. Beginning in 1999, Kershaw led the Africana studies program and was the director of the Center for Race and Social Policy at Virginia Tech. Because of his role and influence, Virginia Tech began hiring junior and senior faculty in order to become the first program in the South to offer a PhD in Africana Studies.

In 2009, Kershaw was recruited by the University of Cincinnati to build its Africana Studies program and develop a Ph.D. program with an applied focus. During his time at UC, he grew the department from five faculty members to 14 and persuaded university officials to headquarter the National Council of Black Studies (NCBS) within the Africana Studies department.

Recognized as a leading academic in the field of Africana studies, Kershaw was a longtime board member of the NCBS and received numerous awards for his scholarship, teaching, advising and service to the field of Black Studies. Dr. Kershaw’s commitment to Africana Studies was consistent and long-standing.

Brenda I. Woods, A&S ’80

Brenda Woods headshot

Brenda I. Woods, an Alumna of the University of Cincinnati, is a staunch supporter of higher educational opportunities. Brenda partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program to create the Brenda I. Woods Scholarship, an annual scholarship for a Turner Scholar who graduated from her alma mater, Walnut Hills High School. Brenda is also the co-founder of the “I Want You Back” Committee, an independent Alumni group serving as a fundraising vehicle for established African-American initiatives at UC.

Brenda has served on a UC Diversity Focus Group, to review and provide input about the university’s Five-Year Diversity Plan. Brenda has served as a Salute to Excellence participant, encouraging underrepresented students who have been offered admission to the University of Cincinnati to officially join the Bearcat family. Brenda received the significant honor of being permanently featured on the Wall of History, which celebrates the black trailblazers who changed the history and the future of the university and beyond, at UC’s African American Cultural and Resource Center.

Brenda is a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a Charter Member of the sorority’s Phi Psi Omega Chapter, in Forest Park, Ohio, and serves as the AKA Connection Committee Chairman. Brenda is a Regional Board Member of the Bootsy Collins Foundation, currently serving as Foundation Secretary. She also has oversight of the Grooveminte Girl Program, designed to lift the self-esteem of little girls and women around the world, through music.

Brenda is a Retired Purchasing Specialist for the United States Postal Service where she was responsible for soliciting, negotiating and administering contracts for significant purchasing programs. Brenda also began a professional singing career as a tenor with the James McCray Choral Ensemble (JMCE), later joining the BJ Mass Choir. The resulting recording, “Been there…Done That”, was nominated for the prestigious Grammy Award. As a choir member, Brenda has appeared on music shows, live recording sessions and regional events. Brenda also performed in the volunteer chorus of the Cincinnati Opera’s “Aida”.

Brenda balances her professional and personal goals by leading and managing people to work cooperatively, to make a better society by doing something for others.