Black History Month Black Women in American Culture and History The Kendall Campus Story February 2012
Black Women in American Culture and History The 2012 Annual Black History ThemeFrom the American Revolution to the present, African American women have played a myriad ofcritical roles in the making of our nation. Their labor and leadership, their motherhood andpatriotism, and their intellect and artistic expression have all enriched both the African Americancommunity and the nation at large. In slavery and freedom, their struggles have been at theheart of the human experience, and their triumphs over racism and sexism are a testimonial toour common human spirit.In American culture today, many know of the accomplishments of a few prominent figures. FromPhillis Wheatley, the unlikely American patriot during the Revolutionary War, to Harriet Tubman,the leader of the Underground Railroad from slavery, to Ida B. Wells, the unyielding opponent oflynching, to Rosa Parks, the mother of the modern Civil Rights Movement, black women havebeen notable for standing against oppression. From Gwendolyn Brooks to Toni Morrison to RitaDove, they have distinguished themselves in American letters, and in recent years they havebeen recognized as actors and recording artists with Academy Awards and Grammys.The accomplishments of these exceptional women are the expressions of a vibrant culture inwhich African American women play a singular role. The labors, struggles, organization, andsacrifices of common women have made possible the prominence of heralded individuals. Inchurches, community groups, literary societies, sororities, and advocacy organizations, AfricanAmerican women have been the core of organized black life, but here their strivings have oftenescaped the gaze of the public and hence their history is too little known.
Their story is unique in the annals of American history. Black women were held as slaves andmiddle-class black women labored while their counterparts were housewives. Subjected to along history of stereotypes about their sexuality, morality, spirituality, and intellect, AfricanAmerican women have never succumbed to victimhood and have pressed forward to upliftthemselves, their families, and their community.To gain an understanding of the history of African American women is to broaden ourunderstanding of a people and the American nation. The Association for the Study of AfricanAmerican Life and History dedicates the 2012 Annual Black History Theme to exploringAfrican American women’s roles in and contributions to the making of America.This pictorial presentation serves to highlight some of the Black Women at KendallCampus of Miami Dade College. Their contributions to the college, departments, and allstudents is priceless. Their dedication and desire to help has transformed the lives ofmany at the college and in the community. To all of them, THANK YOU!
Ms. Shirly Ferguson Shirly has been an academic advisor for many years at Kendall Campus. She also teaches workshops to students about Professionalism, Dress Codes, Job Interview and Resume, etc.
Ms. Merlene Purkiss Merlene is an Associate Professor, Sr. She has been an employee at the Kendall Campus for 38 years. After graduating with an A. S. degree in Secretarial Science, she landed her first part-time job in Continuing Education. She worked in various departments part time for two years. In the meantime, she continued her education. Finally, in 1976, she became a full-time employee in the Dean’s office. In 1995, after obtaining a Master’s degree in English Education, she was hired full time in the College Prep Department. Merlene did not stop there. She became certified in Reading, and she has written three English textbooks!
Ms. Karen Hawkins Professor in the School of Business Education: B.S., M.B.A., Business, Florida State University ; Ph. D., University of Miami . Work history includes experience as a small business consultant for Southern Bell Management. The College awarded Karen Hawkins with "The Friends of Kendall Campus School of Business" Endowed Teaching Chair in 2001.
Ms. Joy-Ann Perard She began working at MDC over 24 years ago as a student employee for the Social Sciences Dept. After completing her degree at Trinity International University, she started working in the Advisement and Career Services Dept. at Kendall as an Intervention Specialist. In this role, Joy-Ann teaches Student Life Skills classes as well as provides student academic advisement. She has also taught Dance for the last ten years for the School of Continuing Ed. & Professional Development. In addition, she teaches workshops on Professionalism, Customer Service, Career Explorations, etc.
Ms. Leslie Wilson Leslie is the Director of Student Life at MDC Kendall. She has worked in higher education for the past 10 years. Her educational experiences include working in public and private universities. She attended Historically Black College/University during her studies. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Speech from Georgia State University and a Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University. (Go Spartans!) A pageant enthusiast, Leslie held the first ever title of Ms. Black Continental US in 2002. She has been an active volunteer with the Miss America program as a contestant, judge, and pageant producer, and local franchise director. Leslie has been involved in the arts from a young age as a tap dancer, theatre actress, and now enjoys singing as a stress reliever. The most adventurous thing she’s ever done was jump into the Detroit River in 18 degree weather to raise funds for Special Olympics!
Ms. Rita Fernandez-Sterling She has worked at MDC, Kendall Campus for almost 12 years and began as a reading and writing instructor in the GED Lab and adjunct professor for both the English and College Prep. departments. During this time, she was finishing her MA at Barry University. In 2003, she became faculty in the College Prep. departments writing division. In addition to teaching developmental writing, she has assisted in many campus and college wide committees. She has been the co-chair for several years of the Annual Arts and Letters Day committees. Furthermore, periodically she facilitates CT&D workshops. She has been fortunate to have found a career that is both fulfilling and rewarding. However, her most fulfilling and rewarding role is being a mother to her two wonderful boys ages 9 and 15. Although her life is very busy at work and at home, she still finds time to enjoy reading, dancing, and traveling.
Ms. Patricia Freeman She is the proud grandmother of two boys, Jaylen and Jordan. In 1974, Patricia was employed at Miami Dade College. She currently works in the School of Continuing Education and Professional Development. Over the past thirty five years, she has assisted students in their pursuit of higher education. Her experience at Miami Dade College has inspired her to further her own educational dreams. Patricia truly believes that she can achieve her goals with God at her side.
Ms. Ginger ParkerGinger teaches at Kendall Campus School ofBusiness. This is her 33rd year at MDC –Kendall, teaching Accounting andEconomics. She has been awarded twoEndowed Teaching Chairs and the NISODAward for Faculty Excellence from theUniversity of Texas at Austin. Last year, shewas selected to be an Oxford UniversityScholar. Several of her students havenominated her to be in Who’s Who AmongAmerican Colleges and Universities. She hasserved MDC in many capacities, includingformer President of the Faculty Senate andfounding member of United Faculty of MiamiDade College and on the faculty team thatover a period of two and one half yearsnegotiated the first union contract with theCollege. She recently completed eight yearsas Connectional Treasurer of the InternationalWomen’s Missionary Society and a foundingmember of the WMS Foundation thatprovides educational and economicopportunities and health care services towomen and children in developing countries.
Ms. Regina Ferguson Regina has over 31 years of experience in higher education at MDC and has held several positions in student services. She is currently the Director of Financial Aid at the Kendall Campus. When it comes down to business, she is a very dedicated and hardworking administrator; taking care of business with a smile makes her an amazing professional and she always looks forward to making every year successful! Ms. Ferguson was raised in Miami, Fl. She is married with three children and a proud graduate of University of Miami and an active officer on the Board of the Cultural Pearls of Excellence, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to providing quality services that nurture the academic and personal growth of special needs and at-risk females. She is also active in her church and devotes time in her community mentoring high school students who are preparing to attend college. A few other things that she loves doing is spending time with her family, attending church affiliated functions, dancing, traveling, shopping, watching basketball and football games and just having fun!
Ms. Andrea Nicholson Andrea has worked at MDC for 9 years, 6 of them as a full-time Financial Aid Advisor. She earned her Associate in Arts in Biology from MDC and went on to Barry University to complete both her Bachelors and Masters degrees within 3 years. What is most interesting about her is that she became a Certified Nursing Assistant at the age of 17 and actually worked in the Ryder Trauma Center. Working in the Financial Aid office at Kendall has made her shift her focus professionally and now she is in love with education and feels passionate about assisting students with their educational goals.
Ms. Toyia Brown Toyia, has been an Information Specialist at MDC for the last 2 years. While seeking the opportunity to be of help to our community, she found a thirst for the medical field and earned an Associate in Science degree in Radiology from Keiser University. Her educational pursuits then led her to become certified in Medical Assisting, EKG operation, and in Phlebotomy. She is currently working in Financial Aid and enjoying meeting new people while helping students receive the necessary aid to pursue their educational goals.
Ms. Pamela AlexanderPamela currently serves asSecretary for the CampusPresident. She has worked atMiami Dade College, KendallCampus- yes, Kendall Campus-for more than thirtyyears, making her part of the“permanent collection.” Sheis filled with a wealth ofknowledge and experiencehaving served under a total ofeight Campus Presidentsduring her tenure atMDC, Kendall.
Ms. Dana CrawfordDana was born in Jamaica and graduatedthere with a BA in Chemistry. She hasbeen the manager of the College PrepMath Lab since 1990. A firm believer incommunity participation, Dana was anoriginal founder of the JamaicanMovement for the Advancement ofLiteracy. She is also a founding memberof the Florida Chapter of the SAOGA, andpast president of this association. Inaddition, she is a board member ofCreative Adoptions, Inc.Dana has 2 adult children and 2grandchildren who live in N.Y. Althoughshe is not able to be with hergrandchildren as often as she wouldlike, she is most happy to be able to“visit” with them weekly via Skype!
Ms. Tenecia Bradley Tenecia currently serves as Assistant Dean of Student Services at MDC, Kendall Campus. She has been employed full-time in the arena of higher education since 2002. She has participated in the Leadership Development Institute hosted by the National Council on Black American Affairs, and has been awarded two Presidential Excellence Awards. She also received numerous additional commendations. Tenecia is passionate for the cause of underrepresented students and staff. Additionally, she recently received her doctorate in education from the University of Florida. Her dissertation was entitled Upward Journey: Exploring the Experiences of Black Administrators at Two-Year Hispanic-Serving Institutions.
Ms. Latrice Ross Latrice is a Financial Aid Advisor at the Kendall Campus. She has been with MDC for 16 years working in different capacities and departments. She attained her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from FIU, and Associates of Arts degree at Miami Dade College. Over the years, she received various awards from Support Staff to Service Excellence. Latrice is a hardworking and dedicated individual committed to helping student’s educational goals and providing assistance to her fellow colleagues. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending local cultural events and traveling the world.
Ms. Denise AriasDenise has been working for thecollege since 2004 in variouscapacities and campuses. At Kendall,she is an Information Specialist forthe Financial Aid Department. Shehas also worked in the past for SouthFlorida Workforce, SatterwhiteAcademy, and the Sheriff’s Office.
Ms. Lavern Morgan Lavern is new to the MDC family. She currently works as an Information Specialist at Kendall Campus. Born in Kingston, Jamaica; she became a native of South Florida in 1976. The daughter of a renowned Reggae/SKA singer Derrick Morgan, Lavern lives and seeks to further her career and education while at the same time inspiring others to follow their dreams no matter how far they may seem. She worked as a Patient Coordinator at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and as a Medical Administrative Assistant for the Miami Dade Correctional Institute where she not only assisted with the day-to-day work duties in her role, but also shared her love for God with fellow employees and inmates. In her spare time she enjoys the company of her three wonderful children and a host of friends and family. Her motivation in life is working hard to build an even better self, family, community, and world by reaching a wider audience; and encouraging them to seek out the very dream that is beyond the stars.
Ms. Michelle Grant-MurrayMichelle has continued to bring forth a vast amount ofexpertise, diversity and advanced curriculum to thepedagogy of Dance at MDC/Kendall Campus. She hasserved Dade County Public Schools, Pierce County PublicSchool, St. Johns Community College/Florida School of theArts, Bale de Mata, Instituto Oya as well as working withinthe community with various churches and civicorganizations. She is also the Artistic Director of OlujimiDance Theatre and serves on the board of Brazz DanceTheater.Michelle has acquired great experience from working withsuch companies and artist as Black Door DanceEnsemble, Aluja Dance Theatre, Giovanni Luquini, AlvinAiley Dance Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem School, andmany others. She is the recipient of state and local grantsfrom the Pierce County Cultural Affairs Council, Tiger TailProductions and Metro-Dade Cultural Affairs Council.Michelle has continued her studies inEducation, Dance, Choreography, PerformanceStudies. She holds an M.F.A. degree in Choreography fromJacksonville University and an M.A. degree from FloridaInternational University in Cultural Studies and Pedagogy.Her primary research concentration incorporates thehuman aesthetic of memory, movement fused withAfrican Diaspora movement forms and other technicalforms of dance as a formal foundation to the pedagogy ofdance.
Ms. Ashley Morning Ashley is an Information Specialist at Kendall Campus. She is a native of Miami, who enjoys the climate and its multi-cultural atmosphere. Currently, she is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Healthcare Administration with the goal of one day making a major impact in hospital administration and/or an institution administration such as Miami Dade College. She has worked at various departments at the college and in various capacities for the last 5 years. In her spare time, Ashley has worked as a Student Missionary for the Florida Baptist Convention teaching Vacation Bible School to local church communities, is a Junior Chef for her families personal chef /dining company “Angela’s Taste of Heaven.” She also loves and lives the art of giving back to her community. She is a volunteer for Miami Dade County Public School System assisting teachers in after school hours.
Ms. Susan SummonsA renowned Head Women’s Basketball Coach andProfessor, Sr. in the Biology Health and WellnessDepartment at Miami Dade College-Kendall has beennamed among the TOP 100 Most Influential SportsEducators in America by the Institute for InternationalSports. In addition, Susan has been twice honored withthe prestigious Endowed Teaching Chair Award. She alsoreceived the Ambassador of Peace Award and aninvitation to join some of the nation’s high profile civicleaders, politicians, educators at the United Nations.Known also for her motivational speeches, talks andvoices that permeates throughout the classroom andcorridors on campus. Summons is an experiencedcoach, teacher, recruiter, administrator and studentadvocate both at the national and international levelboasting a 93% graduation and placement rate of herstudent-athletes to the University level. Herenthusiasm, dedication, energy, national notoriety andexperience have made her one of most recognized andrespected Women’s Basketball coaches, sportseducators and professors in the United States.
Ms. Shelly Wellington Shelley Wellington joined Miami Dade College in 2008 as a Student Advisor and has over 10 years’ experience in financial aid and overall 13 years of working with students. Shelley earned her Doctorate in Education during 2011 and was also an Adjunct Professor for over 10 years at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Shelley loves to travel and is dedicated to her family.
Ms. Deborah C. Powell Deborah is a Full Professor in the Social Sciences Dept./Psychology Discipline and has been with the college for over 32 years. She is a proud alumnus of Clark College (known now as Clark Atlanta College) and Ohio State University. She has served in other areas of the college as director of Recruitment, Director of Minority Services, etc. In addition, she has been the faculty advisor for United Black Students for 15 years. One of her favorite contributions to the campus is Black History Month’s Cotton Club. Deborah has been the Co-Advisor for the Psychology Student Association and the Psi Beta Honor Society for Psych majors. Her favorite quote comes from John Dewey: “Education is not preparation for life it is life itself.”
Ms. Veronica NicoleauVeronica is a ProgramLeader in the AcademicAdvisement Dept. ofKendall Campus.
Ms. Vanya AlburyVanya is the Director ofStudent Development andRetention at KendallCampus. She has workedat the college for manyyears.
Ms. Gwendolyn Broussard Gwen is the Campus Facilities Planner for Kendall. She works at MDC District.
Ms. Gilda ChangGilda is a HumanResources Specialist II inOperations. She works forDistrict at Kendall.
Ms. Ferne Creary Ferne is an Associate College Registrar working for College-wide Registration Services at Kendall Campus.
Ms. Elizabeth DelancyElizabeth is a professor ofDance at Kendall Campus.
Ms. Dana DingleDana is an InformationSpecialist for Admissionsand Registration atKendall Campus.
Ms. Alysia Dyer In her 5th year at Miami Dade College, Alysia Dyer, 28, serves as the Assistant Director of Athletics for all five intercollegiate programs at the college. Alysia helps to provide administrative direction and oversight for all intercollegiate athletics staff and over one hundred student-athletes, while adhering to all rules and regulations of the NJCAA and FCSAA. Dyer acquired a Master of Science degree in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University in 2007, and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Florida, 2005. Alysia has also been working for the Miami HEAT, as a member of the Stats Crew for the NBA for the past 5 seasons. One thing you may not know about Alysia, is that she was a member of the Jazz and Concert bands throughout school and has been playing the drums for over 12 years.
Ms. Lacie Fairweather Lacie is a Human Resources Coordinator for District at Kendall Campus.
Ms. Ireatha Fuller Ireatha is an Accounts Specialist III for the Bursars Office at Kendall Campus.
Ms. Candice Hunter Candice is the new Chairperson for the Business Department at Kendall. She comes to us with over 15 years of professional experience which includes a diverse mix of senior human resources leadership, higher education administration, faculty/staff development and teaching. She most recently served at Broward College as the District Director, Compensation and HR Information Systems . She earned her Masters in Business Administration at FIU and her undergraduate degree in Psychology from The George Washington University. She also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification. Candice is actively involved in the local community and beyond. She is a certified volunteer leader with Volunteer Broward and the K-12 system. She was recently appointed to the executive board of the George Washington University’s Black Alumni Association as the Membership Chair.
Ms. Latoya James Latoya is a Dispatcher working for Public Safety at Kendall Campus.
Ms. Patrick JonesI was quite familiar with the college, as I tookclasses and worked in various temporarypositions around the campus before Ibecame a full time employee with the MiamiDade College family in 1981. I’ve receivedspecial awards, volunteered oncommittees, as well as a mentor to some anda mother to others. I take great pleasure inmy job as a front line employee for TheHonors College. It is a pleasure to work inone of the largest multi-cultural institution inthe Nation.I have a love for learning and I am currentlyworking towards a BA in Management, whereI hope to extend Service to South Florida as aBanquet Hall owner in my next career.I am a single mother of two, and a grand-mother of three. I have worked 15 years as apart-time employee for Baptist Hospital alsothe “# 1” Hospital in the Nation.I believe if we are all of one body, then we allmust work together in THAT body for thesame cause.
Ms. Rita McClure Rita is a Secretary I for the Financial Aid Department at Kendall Campus.
Ms. Colleen McKenzie Colleen is a Manager for the Division of Human Resources at District, Kendall Campus.
Ms. Daniella Pierre Daniella works for Human Resources at District, Kendall Campus.
Ms. Letitia Rackley Letitia is a Manager for the Division of Human Resources at District, Kendall Campus.
Ms. Jennis RamsayJennis is an AdministrativeAssistant III for theDivision of HumanResources at District,Kendall Campus.
Ms. Tekesha Serrano Tekesha is an Information Specialist for Admissions and Registrations at Kendall Campus.
Ms. Elaine Spence Elaine is a Compensations and Benefits Manager at the Division of Human Resources at District, Kendall Campus.
Ms. Ali Stewart Ali started at MDC in 1980 working in the foundation department part-time to full-time in the Graphics Services department then on to the Business Department totaling 31 years of service. She is in the drop and when she completes the drop sunny Miami and the Keys will be her weekend get a ways. She enjoys her 4 grand’s when her day is done at MDC which keeps her on her toes, she also enjoys her commitment to the Cotton Club with the Divas of MDC, you know who you are.
Ms. Katrina TillmanKatrina is a StudentServices Assistant I forAdmissions andRegistration at KendallCampus.
Ms. Mary Woodson Mary is an Account Specialist III for the Bursars Office at Kendall Campus.