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News & Events Archive

Graduate Student Appreciation Celebration

April 27, 2006

On April 27, the annual Graduate Student Appreciation Celebration was held in the lounge of the Office of Women's Affairs, hosted by graduate studies director Professor A.B. Assensoh. Attended by special guests emeriti professors Phyllis Klotman and Williams Wiggins, the event marked the first year for several merit awards to be presented.

Wiggins spoke briefly of the more than 35 years of accomplishments in the department, adding that "this is just the beginning." He assured the audience that the emeriti faculty would "be there for the upcoming young scholars."

Klotman gave a stirring overview of the department's efforts to be recognized and build itself from scratch, saying that it was "like giving birth." After several years of retirement, she noted that "it's wonderful the department's strength is still here."

The Winona Fletcher Outstanding Leadership Award was given to Ryon Cobb, who demonstrated leadership in activities and organizations and who took time to serve as a mentor to other students. The William Wiggins Outstanding Associate Instructor Award was presented to Femina Ajayi, whose strong dedication to teaching demonstrated her serious commitment to helping undergraduates improve their skills. The Phyllis Klotman Outstanding Thesis/Creativity Award went to Kellie Hogue, who demonstrated superior work in the research and writing of her thesis.

The Community Outreach Award was presented to Garlia Jones for her Black Curtain Theater productions on AIDS-related topics. Medals of Honor went to Giva Wilkerson, for her work with the Herman Hudson Symposium; Damien Strecker, for his assistance with BFA/C programming; and Amina McIntyre and Jennifer Heusel for their work with the AAADS Graduate Society.

Chair Valerie Grim noted that "some students just keep popping up whenever you need them and always answer the call for help." The award-winning students fit that description.