Notable Honors and Awards for Five Black Scholars
Filed in Honors & Awards on March 11, 2016
Stephan Moore, dean of students at the Albert A. Sheen Campus of the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix, has been selected to receive the African America Knowledge Community Sankofa Award from NASPA, the nation’s largest association of student affairs administrators. Moore joined the staff at the University of the Virgin Islands in 2014. Previously, he was director of student life at Georgia Perimeter College in Alpharetta, which recently became part of Georgia State University.
Moore is a graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. He holds a master’s degree from Argosy University and is pursuing an education doctorate from Georgia Southern University.
Sharon Draper, an author and educator, has been chosen to receive the Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award from the education department at Antioch University in Los Angeles. J. Cynthia McDermott, chair of the education department at Antioch University, says that the award honors literature that encourages readers to take that risk and stand up for something they believe in.”
Draper is being honored for her book Stella by Starlight (Antheneum, 2015), the story of a young Black girl living in Depression-era North Carolina. Draper is a graduate of Pepperdine University in California and taught in the Cincinnati public school system for 25 years.
Alfred Whitesides Jr., former chair of the board of trustees of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, was recognized by the university with the naming of a building in his honor. New Hall, an academic building that houses the departments of history, modern languages and literatures, philosophy, among others, was renamed Whitesides Hall. The building is the first structure on the university’s campus named after an African American
Whitesides is a prominent business leader and civil rights activist in the community. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University, where he served as student body president.
Tanure Ojaide, the Frank Graham Porter Professor of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been named the winner of the Fonlon-Nichols Award. The award, administered through an endowment operated by the dean of arts at the University of Alberta, honors an African writer for excellence in creating writing and contributions to human rights and freedom of expression.
Professor Ojaide is the author of 17 poetry collections, four novels, seven scholarly books, and two memoirs including Drawing the Map of Heaven: An African Writer in American (Malthouse Press, 2012). Dr. Ojaide is a graduate of the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in New York.
Airea D. Matthews, the assistant director of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, has been selected as the 2016 Yale Young Poet for her manuscript simulacra. The poetry collection will be published by Yale University Press in April 2017.
Matthews holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan. She is the executive editor of The Offing, an online literary journal of the Los Angeles Review of Books.