Outstanding students honored at annual Black Excellence Awards

The 24th annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards celebration recognized students for academic achievement and involvement in the Elon Experiences.  

Outstanding students along with distinguished faculty and staff members were recognized April 29 at the 24th Annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards.

The annual celebration included a keynote address by alumnus Brandon Helton ’10, assistant vice president and relationship manager for Wells Fargo Executive Benefits. He recalled attending the Black Excellence Awards as a student and told this year’s recipients that at that time, he didn’t fully realize the advantages he was gaining in earning his Elon degree. “Never stop working to maximize your potential,” Helton said.

The dinner program included a special recognition of Smith Jackson, vice president for student life and dean of students, who is stepping down this spring after 24 years of service. Senior Alexandre Bohannon presented Jackson with the Phillips-Perry Lifetime Service Award. In his acceptance remarks, Jackson recalled growing up in Alabama and witnessing violence by white authorities against blacks during the 1960s. Those experiences shaped his attitudes and his commitment to stand up against injustice.

Also honored at the dinner were Damion Blake, assistant professor of political science and policy studies, with the Wilhelmina Boyd Community Service Award, and dining services staff member Cherryl Payne with the Janice Ratliff Community Service Award.

The awards ceremony included a special student video tribute to Elon President Leo M. Lambert, who has announced plans to conclude his presidency. In his remarks, Lambert told student honorees, “we are proud of you and we hold you up as great examples of what it means to be global citizens of Elon University.” 

In her charge to the students, senior Lauren Brown said, “as students of color, we must continue to break the stereotypes…I challenge you to use your platform as Elon students to make change in the world.”

Students honored at the event included the following:

Elon Experiences awards
Internships – K McKay
Study Abroad/Study USA – Maria Gant
Service Learning – Josephine Gardner
Undergraduate Research – Cameron Jackson and Lauren Brown
Leadership – William Tarpley

Highest grade point average for each class

Emily Roper, Alexis Williams, Gabrielle Beamon and La’shaundranique Love Marshall.

Academic Excellence Award for a female athlete
Emily Roper

Academic Excellence Award for a male athlete
Asunji Rashad Maddox

Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Award
Arianne Payne

Wilhelmina Boyd Outstanding student in African & African-American Studies
William Christopher Tarpley

Students honored at the ceremony included Maroon Club honorees (grade point average of 3.2-3.49), Gold Club honorees (grade point average of 3.5-3.79), and Phoenix Club honorees (grade point average of 3.8 or higher).

Phoenix Club

Bridgette Agbozo
Gabrielle Beamon
Maya Eaglin
Kayla Ervin
Destiny M. Frett
Dana Knowles
La’shaundranique Marshall
Taylor Noelle McFadden
Tres Marquel McMichael
Stephanie Ntim
El-Khalil Mohammed Khalil Osman
Emily Roper
Kira Nichelle Sedayao
Nyah Spearman
Maurice B. Tosé II “Bear”
Hannah Webster
Alexis Williams

Gold Club

Tiffany Anderson
Alexa Baer 
Nicole Baugh 
Amanda Benjamin
Judah Brown 
Sydney Brown
Loren Brunson
Matthew Clanton
Jordan Claytor
Haley Cole 
Micalah Collins 
Bernadette Cooper 
Brelynd Cyphers
Marta Djalleta
Alanna Dodson
Kiristen Draughn 
Amanda Echavarri
Brianna Elder
Kiera Ervin
Jaylan Evans
Olivia Ford
Victoria Ford
Samira Foster 
Katelyn Fowler
Josephine Gardner 
Jasmine Hager
Alaina Hall 
Maria Hamilton
Michelle Harlan
Audrey Harris
Jasmine Hodges
Dyamond Howell
Cameron Jackson 
Kelsea  Johnson
Jasmine Jones 
Lethon Jordan 
Jazmine Langley 
Chann Little 
Yasmeen Lee
Charleen Martins Lopes 
K McKay
Caitlin Mehta
Victoria Murphy
Sara Nderitu 
Nadia Nobrega
Mariatu Okonofua 
Arianne Payne 
Jessica Perry 
Chandler Posey
Contia’ Prince
Alexis Roberts 
George Roberts 
Kara Rollock 
Lumiere Rostick 
Kayla A. Sabre
Vanessa Salama
Perla Salazar-Rangel
Chelsea Saunders
Nosipho Shangase
Sydney Simmons
Joseph Stanley 
Sha’leicia Simpson
Aneesha Smith 
Erika Swinney 
Gary Summers
Naomy Thiombiano 
Jasper Thomas
Jordan Vaughn
Sean Webber 

Maroon Club

Arnold Ahimbisibwe
Kellcee Batchelor
Morgan Bodenarain 
Sydney Boldin
Kaylyn Brock
Kenneth Brown 
Lauren Brown 
Rachel Brown 
Brandon Bush
Dominique Cadet 
Crystal Carroll
Alonzo Cee 
Mason Chambers
Anthony Chatman 
Maxwell Chester 
Hannah Cheyney
Patrick Coleman
Victoria Coleman
Eric Cunningham 
Kaylin Dance
Mikisha Davis 
James Donnell
David Duncan 
Jonathan Duen 
Sheldon Eberhardt
Fredrick Evans 
Maria Gant 
Christopher Garner
Jayson Garner
Adria Gunter
Bryanna Hames 
Aminata Harris 
Jerlene Harris 
Madison Harrison
Dante Hart
Donald Harty
Delaney Hinnant 
Auston Henderson
Jered Henderson
Megan Hernandez-Greene 
Spencer Hodges 
Chantrisse Howard 
Faith James
Brittany Jeatter
Corey Joyner
Breia Kelley
Jordan Lauher
Kristin Leechow
Shawna’ Harris-Lenoir
Tydechelle Lewis
Janee Lomax
Derrick Luster
Brian MacCalla 
Asunji Maddox 
Jordyn McAtee 
Angelique McKenna
Jordon McRae
Atoria Mills 
Charlotte Mitchell
Mary Nickson
Alexander Ofori
Victoria Parrish 
Naomi Perry
Jasper Pike
Mariah Posey 
Omari Prescod
Carter Rayburn 
Erica Richmond
Jenna Reilly
Abbie Robinson
Aaliyah Rodgers 
Cierra Seawright 
Joshua Simmons
Eliza Singleton 
Hanna Smith-Benjamin
Nicholas Spriggs
Sienna Standfield
Jordyn St. Holder
Araya Sykes
Dainan Swoope
William Tarpley 
Tuki Tayali
Courtney Thompson 
Janay Tyson 
Shelby Valeriano
Autumn Vaughn
Imani Vincent
Arielle Watkins
Janice Wheaton 
Erin Wilkins
Jordan Williams
Madalynn Williams 
Rayven Young

The Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards Celebration is presented by Elon’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE). The planning committee included the following:

Sylvia Muñoz, interim director of the CREDE/director of the Spanish Center

Marilyn Slade, program assistant for the CREDE

Michael Williams, director of campus center operations and conferences

T.J. Bowie, coordinator for residential dining and engagement

Anita Smith, counselor

Princess King, Elon Academy assistant director of college success

Carolyn Ent, director of events, Office of the President

Deidra Smith, assistant director of alumni engagement