Mary Lou Williams Honors Students, Faculty and Staff With Abele Honors

Part of the Spring 2020 Awards and Honors Series

Students, faculty members and staff were honored during the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture’s annual Abele Honors ceremony, which honors individuals for their excellence in scholarship and service to the university and to the community.

This year, of course, the celebration was held virtually, but Center Director Chandra Guinn said the spirit of the awards were undiminished.

“Throughout the year, so many Black folks have made a contribution to the broader community. Here, you will see students who have made an impact in scholarship, advocacy, leadership and over all with their communities on campus and beyond. But, there are always mentors who pave the way for some of that same impact.

“Though we are not able to honor you in person, know that the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture values each and every one of you. Your dedication, work and love for the community at large does not go unnoticed.”

Below are the awards and this year’s winners:

Undergraduate "Willing & Abele" Student Leader of the Year

This award will go to an undergraduate student that has demonstrated an intangible quality which uplifts the Black community and is engaged in various leadership and/or civic activities on campus or in the Durham community: Tyler Edwards T’22, Cartier Robinson T’21, De’Ja Wood T’21, James Mbuthia Ndung’u T’22, Corey Pilson T’20, Bruny Kenou T’20, Kelyce Allen T’23, and Kiamya Philson T’20.

 

Undergraduate "Life of the Mind" Student of the Year (Scholarship)

This category recognizes students who have demonstrated excellence in academics and/or resilience, growth and commitment to higher academic performance: Arianna Carr T’20, Nonnie Egbuna  T’20, Abebe Amare T’21, Jamal Burns T’21, Ashleigh Smith T’20, Kennedy Ware T’20, Camille Ampey T’20, and James Mbuthia Ndung’u T’22.

 

Undergraduate "Speaking Truth to Power" Student of the Year (Advocacy)

This award will go to an undergraduate student that has demonstrated a commitment to activism/advocacy on behalf of and in the best interest of the Black community and is engaged in activities on campus to raise awareness of issues and build community on campus: Jamal Burns T’21, Dara Sontan T’21, James Mbuthia Ndung’u T’22, De’Ja Wood T’21, Treniyyah Anderson T’20, Resilience Williamson T’21, Aisha Greene T’22, and Maryam Asenuga T’20.

 

Undergraduate "Lifting as We Climb" Student of the Year (Community Service)

Lifting as We Climb will recognize the undergraduate student that has demonstrated a strong commitment to community service: George Crawley T’20, James Mbuthia Ndung’u T’22, Bianca Rochelle T’20, and Andie Adkins T’20.

 

Undergraduate Mentor of the Year (Faculty/Staff/Administration)

In recognition of the importance of mentors for the continuing success of Duke students, this award will go to the faculty, staff or administrator who has gone above and beyond in providing support and/or mentoring to Black undergraduate students individually and/or collectively via their organizations at Duke:  Roslyn Mickens, Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture; Morgan Williams, Academic Resource Center; John Blackshear, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences; Shaundra Daily, Pratt School of Engineering; Zoila Airall, Division of Student Affairs; William “Sandy” Darity, Trinity College of Arts and Science.

 

Graduate Student of the Year

Students of the Year recipients are honored and recognized because of their outstanding work in specific Graduate/Professional Schools and for their commitment to Black communities and Black scholarship: Zaire McPhearson (MFA, Graduate School), Kirsten Simmons (Medical & Divinity School), Jakaela Davis (Divinity School), Nathaniel S. Neptune (Medical School), Dionna Gamble (Medical School), Nicholas Hastings (Medical School), Jewel Scott (School of Nursing), Morine Cebert (School of Nursing), Renata Poulton Kamakura (Nicholas School), and Danielle Bembry (Law School).

 

Graduate & Professional "Willing and Abele" Student of the Year

This award will go to a graduate or professional student that has demonstrated an intangible quality which uplifts the Black community and is engaged in various leadership and/or civic activities on campus or in the Durham community: Chavis Jones, (Law School), Morine Cebert (School of Nursing), Jewel Scott (School of Nursing), Renata Poulton Kamakura (Nicholas School of the Environment), Rheaya Willis (School of Medicine), Gwenaelle Thomas (Neurobiology), and Kirsten Simmons (School of Medicine).

 

Graduate Mentor of the Year (Faculty/Staff/Administration)

In recognition of the importance of mentors for the continuing success of Duke students, this award will go to the faculty, staff or administrator who has gone above and beyond in providing support and/or mentoring to Black graduate and/or professional students individually and/or collectively via their organizations at Duke: April-Autumn Jenkins, Women’s Center, Lamercie Saint-Hilaire, School of Medicine, Jacqueline Looney, The Graduate School, Valerie Cooper, Divinity School, Judith Holder, School of Medicine, Brigit Carter, School of Nursing, and Tolu Oyesanya, School of Nursing.