Elon presents 28th annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards

Outstanding Elon students, along with distinguished faculty and staff, were recognized for their achievements and contributions to Elon during a virtual version of the campus tradition on Saturday, April 24.

Outstanding students along with distinguished faculty and staff members were recognized Saturday, April 24, at the 28th annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards.

Held virtually again this year due to the pandemic, the celebration carried forward the tradition of recognizing the achievements and affirming the presence of Black students at Elon. Approved by the Elon University Board of Trustees, the annual Black Excellence Awards celebration was named on April 22, 2006, to honor former Elon students Glenda Phillips Hightower, the first Black student to attend Elon (in 1963), and Eugene Perry, the first Black student to graduate from Elon (in 1969).

John Robinson-Miller, assistant director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE), offered a welcome, noting that before honoring current Elon students, we should also honor the ancestors and elders that have come before us and whose labor and guidance have paved the way.

Tyrone Jean, assistant dean of students and director of the CREDE, noted that this year, the university is honoring 243 Black students who have earned a GPA of 3.2 or higher, which is about two-thirds of all Black undergraduate students at Elon.

“Over the years the Phillips-Perry Black Excellence program has grown in both its standards for excellence as well as its participants,” Jean said. “In addition to hearing about students’ high academic achievements, we will celebrate great accomplishments in the Elon experiences, scholarship, and athletics. …We are so proud of all of our awardees and I hope you join me in congratulating all of them.”

In her remarks, President Connie Ledoux Book said she was thankful that members of the university community could come together virtually to celebrate student achievement. “We have had quite a year, with many challenges and, so right now, I want you to pause, take a deep breath and recognize that you have persevered,” Book said. “Against all the hardships and loss, you are here, celebrating Black student achievement at Elon. Reflect on all of your accomplishments and on all the ways in which you have grown this year, giving thanks to all who have stood beside you and supported you along the way — your family, your friends, and your mentors.”

The celebration included musical performances by the a capella group Melanated Melodies and by Jahmai Bruce ’23.

Academic Excellence Awards

Students enrolled at Elon University as full-time undergraduate students with a minimum of 12 semester hours of academic course work and a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher during the Fall Semester are eligible for this award.

Highest GPA by Class

  • Class of 2024 (five-way tie): Zeth Dixon, Kara McKinley, Amaya Sheffield, Maya Simmons, Naomi Washington
  • Class of 2023 (two-way tie): Jay Blue and Dani Toma-Harrold
  • Class of 2022: Mikayla Ford
  • Class of 2021: Briana Brewington

Phoenix Group Awardees (3.8-4.0)

Amaya Gaines
Amaya Sheffield
Amillion Kearse
Anelisa Holder
Anne Sophie Hill
Ariana Wilson
Briana Brewington
Briston Whitt
Camille Duplechain
Cassidy Perry
Cedar Zobel-Williams
Chandler Vaughan
Christin Hackney
Christine Wanda
Daija Rion
Dani Toma-Harrold
Danielle Dyer
Demya Culp
Destinie Lovgren
Deztinee Allen
Genesis Tolbert
Giselle Watts
Hunter McIntosh
Jasper Myers
Jay Blue
Jazmin Campbell
Joshua Cole
Kara McKinley
Kayla Spalding
Kiara Hunter
Makayla Oby
Mari’ Robinson
Maya Simmons
Mikaela Benton
Mikayla Ford
Mya Osborne
Nadia Lawyer
Naomi Washington
Nia Griffin
Raea Tyson
Samantha Dominguez
Shannon Seignious
Sidney Wilson
Spencer Buehlman
Trevor Gee
Trinity Dixon
Trinity Swepson
Zeth Dixon

Gold Group Awardees (3.5-3.79)

Akani Bey
Aleezah Adams
Alexis Alston
Alicia Clanton
Aniyah Adams
Briana Edwards
Brittney Hope
Chandler McKelvey
Chloe Franklin
Chris Terry
Christina Carr
Ellery Ewell
Emmanuel Tobe
Erin Poole
Eukela Little
Fabienne van Rijssen
Felicia Robinson
Gloria Cadet
Haley Love
Hallie Gardham
Hannah Gneco
Hannah Hubbard
Heeba Chergui
Ivy Montague
JaDun Michael
Jaelan Price
Jaelyn Alexander
Jahmai Bruce
James DiBiasi
Jasmine Smith
Jasmyn Brown
Jeremiah Timberlake
Jewel Tillman
Jinger Callwood
Jordan Young
Julian Boddie
Kaliah Alford
Kamal Lado
Kayla Brunson
Kayla Jacobs
Keiarra Bray
Kelsy Williams
Kendall Saulsby
Kendra Johnson
Kev Lacey
Kimberly Jones
Lake Sims-Winfrey
Lauryn McCarthy
Leila Jackson
Madison Holmes
Mahogany Madden-Roberts
Malcolm Capers
Matisse Gilmore
Mekayla Frazier
Michaela Neal
Miracle Smythe
Mj Jones
Moriah Griffin
Noah Dyson
Nyah Britt
Nyjah Rollins
Patrick Brundidge
Quirah Hamilton
Rebecca Collins
Rebecca Oliver
Renell Taylor
Samantha Cabbell
Sarah Mouton
Sarah Parks
Sarah Poselle
Sarah Talley
Sayo Oni
Scottlyn Goodman
Sedric Beulah
Shaela Chaires
Sophia Ortiz
Sydnie Rogers
Tamara Evans
Tyja Traore
Vanessa Taylor
Victoria Colbeck
Victoria Getter
Zion Middleton

Maroon Group Awardees (3.2-3.49)

Ainsley Shan
Alex Seymour
Amelia Broderick
Angel Howard
Angy Aguilar
Araya Sykes
Ashleigh Azan
Ashley Billie
Ashley Irby
Aulani Barnes
Austin Moore
Ayo Onasanya
Bolaji Oshin
Brandon Fowlin
Bri Brabham
Caitlin Strickland
Caleb Martin
Cameron Mullins
Camryn Harris
Candace Rhodes
Carlos Marte
Charlotte Bradsher
Chazz Harley
Chuck Hannah
Ciani Foy
Cierra Johnson
CJ Adams
Dejour Banks
Delyla Makki
Destin Flloyd
Dylan Tucker
Eileena Boyce
Ethan Gabriel
Gab Chambers
Haile Ferrier
Hana Hawthorne
Hannah Malvone
Imonni Withers
India Goode
Jabril Williams
Jahmai Sylvestre
Jamiliyah Ismaiel
Jasmyn Johnson
Jazmin Bender
Jazz Harris
Jenny Howard
Joel Davis
Jordan Haywood
Joycelyn Bentley
Julian Bumper
Julian Valderrama
Justin Cumberbatch
Justin Williams
Kaitlyn Aycock
Kamaria Majors
Karissa Ruiz
Kayla Clark
Kayla Liles
Kayla McDow
Kayla Tulloch
Kayleigh Putnam
Kendall Battles
Kobie Williams
Kris Wooten
Lareal McGill
Lashia Cross
Lauryn Carlton
Lauryn Clarke
Leah Short
Lindsay Gray
Maya Johnson
Maya Loehr
Mia Wilson
Michaela Bramwell
Mike Graham
Monique Fogg
Morgan Fisher
Natalie Green
Olivia Garnett
Paige Wilson
Queen Assata Stephens
Quinton Irwin
Rachel Code
Raheem Murphy
Rayna Mason
Rob Dalton
Saadia Munford
Samantha Steiner
Sarah Gaynor
Sarina Smith
Sena Cadmus
Shai Bey Superville
Shekinah Reese
Shields Riggs
Sky Penn
Soniyah Robinson
Sydney Austin
Sydney Randolph
Taylor Russ
Taylor Spruill
Teylah Saunders
Tiona Leach
Travis Foust
Valerie Stewart Rugbart
Victoria Marsh
Victoria Seymore
Waiverly Royster
Yancy Longin
Yannick Twumasi
Zeke Davis
Zoe Simmons

Elon Experiences Awards

These students were nominated by faculty and staff members of Elon University as students who excelled in on or more of the five Elon Experiences: Global Engagement, Undergraduate Research, Internships, Service and Civic Engagement, and Leadership.

Excellence in Global Engagement

  • Rebecca Collins

Excellence in Undergraduate Research

  • Mikaela Benton and Chandler Vaughan

Excellence in Internships

  • Felicia Robinson

Excellence in Service and Civic Engagement

  • Shalexzandra Dunkley

Excellence in Leadership

  • Kamal Lado

The Wilhelmina Boyd African & African American Studies at Elon Award

The Wilhelmina Boyd AAASE Scholar Award was created in the Spring of 2008 to honor the work and contributions of Professor Wilhelmina Boyd’s 18 years of service to Elon University and African & African-American Studies. The recipient of the award must be a graduating senior with a minor in African & African-American Studies, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA in the minor of 3.2. In addition, the recipient must demonstrate a commitment to African & African-American Studies as demonstrated through coursework, citizenship/community engagement, scholarship, and student activities/leadership.

Wilhelmina Boyd AAASE Scholar Award

  • Jewel Tillman

Athletics Awards

Top Black Male Student-Athlete

  • Destin Flloyd, Football

Top Black Female Student-Athlete

  • Samantha Dominguez, Women’s Soccer

Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Award

The Elon Black Alumni Network (EBAN) strives to unite and represent the interests of Elon University’s Black alumni and students and promote active participation of its members. EBAN also seeks to promote the Black presence on campus and sustain the general alumni contributions to the university. Intended to help make an Elon education available to Black students, EBAN established a scholarship fund in 2007. To date, alumni and friends have donated more than $250,000 to the EBAN scholarship, which has partially funded the educational endeavors of five deserving Black students at Elon University.

Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Recipient

  • Makayla Oby

Black Student Union Awards

Wilhelmina Boyd Community Service Award

  • Stephanie Baker, Assistant Professor of Public Health Studies

Janice Ratliff Community Service Award

  • Randy Williams, Vice President and Associate Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Associate Professor of Education

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

  • Akilah Weaver, Elon Black Alumni Network PresidentAnita Hodnett, director, Counseling Services
  • Barb Carlton, assistant director, Moseley Center
  • Buffie Longmire-Avital, associate professor of psychology and coordinator of the African and African American Studies at Elon (AAASE)
  • Carolyn Ent, director of events, Office of the President
  • Cayce Crenshaw, Director for Academic Support Services and Assistant Athletics Director
  • Deidra Smith, director, Alumni Engagement
  • John Robinson-Miller IV, Assistant Director, Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education
  • Julian Valderrama, Junior & CREDE Student Coordinator (Black Student Success)
  • Marilyn Slade, program assistant, CREDE
  • Michael Williams, director, Moseley Center
  • Robert Johnson, director, Event and Space Management
  • Ted Moree  Video Producer, Teaching and Learning Technologies
  • Tyrone Jean, assistant dean of students and director, CREDE

The 2021 Elon Experiences Awards Committee includes:

  • Bob Frigo, associate director, Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement
  • Melanie Bullock, director of the Center for Leadership
  • Meredith Allison, professor of psychology and director of undergraduate research
  • Mikayla Jones, Global Engagement Advisor, Isabella Cannon Global Education Center
  • Robin Kazmarek, Director of Internships, Elon College, The College of Arts and Sciences