Six UGA students and four staff members received scholarships and awards during the Black Faculty and Staff Organization’s 2023 Founders Award Scholarship Ceremony, held Sept. 19.
UGA President Jere W. Morehead expressed his appreciation to the BFSO for its assistance in supporting the institution’s students.
“What the Black Faculty and Staff Organization does at this event, and the work leading up to this event, is especially important because it is entirely focused on supporting our students,” Morehead said. “I want to thank the organization for remaining at the forefront of advocating for the success of our students.”
The 2023 scholarship awardees are:
- Undergraduate Founders Award: Myesha Mateen, a fourth-year student studying biology with a minor in sociology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences;
- Graduate Founders Award: Maiya Callender, third-year doctoral candidate in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s infectious disease department, and Jessica Moore, a third-year doctoral candidate in the Mary Frances Early College of Education’s counseling and human development services department;
- Mark Dawkins Leadership Award: Hannah Huff, a third-year student in the College of Veterinary Medicine;
- Myron G. Burney Service Award: Jordan Delaney, a master’s student in College of Public Health and School of Social Work; and
- Melanie Burden Community Arts Award: Ashley Ellis, who is earning a Master of Learning, Leadership, and Organization Development degree from the Mary Frances Early College of Education.
The BFSO also honored UGA staff members with the Ed Wilker Memorial Egalitarian Award, which recognizes the occupational excellence of UGA staff members. The 2023 awardees are Tammy Barrow, building services worker for the Mary Frances Early College of Education; Ella Kate Character, graduation and certification official in the Mary Frances Early College of Education; Tanesha Hitchcock, administrative associate in the College of Engineering; and Julian Williams, senior academic advisor in the Mary Frances Early College of Education.
During the luncheon, Victor Wilson, vice president for student affairs, led a conversation with Asa Boynton, one of the BFSO founders.
Boynton held several positions during his time at UGA, including associate director of the UGA Police Department’s environmental safety services department, director of public safety, and associate vice president for public safety.
They discussed a variety of topics, starting with the motivations for starting the BFSO. It was founded “to act as a support network for Black faculty, staff and students at the University of Georgia” and meant to be a get-to-know-each-other organization.
“It was very evident that Black students and Black faculty needed somewhere to look for help,” Boynton said. “That was initially what the Black Faculty and Staff Organization did, and it went on do great things, including the scholarships given today.”
Additionally, Boynton discussed his various roles in public safety and some of his greatest joys during his time at UGA.
Lastly, Wilson invited Boynton to offer some encouraging words to attendees.
“Remember that iron sharpens iron,” Boynton said. “Don’t hang out with the worst. Don’t be with the mediocre. Find the people who are setting the pace, and run with them. You can be sharpened by the people in your field who are doing the job in an excellent way.”
To learn more or join the organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org.