GW Black Alumni Reunite for Annual Reunion and Awards Ceremony | Today
By BL Wilson
The George Washington University Black Alumni Association (GWBAA) hosted a weekend get-together for more than 145 black alumni who hung out with friends and classmates, some of whom they hadn’t seen since years, visited the National Gallery of Art to see James Van Der Zee’s “A Portrait of Harlem” exhibit and gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza in DC for a group photo.
The meeting, which takes place every year, ended on Saturday evening with a reception and the presentation of the Impact Awards, the highest honor awarded by the GBWAA to black GW alumni who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues for their contributions in their fields and to the GW community.
The alumni were joined by Aristide Collins, university vice president, university secretary and chief of staff; GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew; Paul Wahlbeck, dean of the Colombian College of Arts and Sciences; and Michael Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
Alumnus Natasha Dupee, BA ’12, who chairs the GBWAA Board of Directors and is currently studying for a Masters in Public Health, also works in GW’s Office of Disability Support Services. She explained the importance of the reunion weekend and the Impact Awards.
“Our network is part of our net worth,” she said. “We progress in our GW experience, either as students or when we progress to become alumni. We and our families have a point of contact here as we gain wisdom in our experiences of the world. We can share this wisdom within this beloved community. It’s an opportunity for us to have that point of reflection and connection.
Opening the Impact Awards presentation, Andrew Dixon III, BA ’92 said: “The award gives [GWBAA] an opportunity to shine a light on the alumni of this university who are forging their way to great and important things. It’s not just a tradition. It is an expectation. »
The 2022 GWBAA Alumni Impact Award recipients included one undergraduate student, one graduate student and three alumni:
- Moniah Dailey, a third-year public health major, who has been described as having a passion for learning about the social determinants of health and how they affect marginalized communities. She is the assistant director of the Learner Health and Wellness Center. She is vice president of special events and programming for the Black Student Union and this summer will join public health students from around the world at the University of Michigan in the Future Leaders of Public Health program.
- Ayana Thomas, MA ’18, Management Certificate ’12, and PhD student at GSEHD. She also holds a master’s degree in religious studies and counseling from Howard University. She is recognized for leveraging her experience to create personal and professional development content for everyone and is the author of three personal development books.
- Wendy Ellis, Dr. PH ’19, is Assistant Professor of Global Health and Founding Director of the Center for Community Resilience at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. She has spent the past 15 years building and growing a resilience movement to address systemic inequalities that contribute to social and health disparities. The Building Community Resilience strengths-based approach she developed is used in more than 20 cities across the United States.
- Heather Howard Hamilton, BBA ’06 is Vice President of FD Stonewater, a real estate brokerage, investment, development and asset management firm. She manages and oversees development projects nationwide as an institutional commercial real estate professional. She has managed new construction, building renovations and tenant improvements of more than 3 billion square feet for over $800 million.
- Dominique Hawkins, BA ’12 is the director of public relations for TIAA, the Fortune 500 financial company, and helps direct the company’s activities in corporate communications and public relations for its research arm. He is also a consultant on some public affairs projects in his spare time. His work has earned him an honor as a rising star in public relations by the prestigious industry publication PR News. He continued to give back to the community through presentations at GW classes for over two years.