Four African Americans Presented With Awards

M. Christopher Brown II, president of Alcorn State University in Mississippi, received the 2012 Isaac Murphy Image Award for Education from the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville, Kentucky. The award is named after the three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey, Isaac Murphy (1861-1896), an African American. Dr. Brown was honored for his “contributions in advancing access to higher education and his commitment to research and academic excellence.”

Dr. Brown is a graduate of South Carolina State University. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

Sonja Trent-Brown, associate professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, was named the 48th Hope Outstanding Professor Educator at the college’s commencement ceremony. The award is presented by members of the graduating class. Dr. Trent-Brown has been on the Hope College faculty since 2005.

Dr. Trent-Brown is a graduate of Harvard University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in cognitive and neural sciences from the University of South Florida.

Isabel Wilkerson, professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University, was selected to receive the Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award from the Rutgers University Living History Society. Professor Wilkerson was honored for her book The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Random House).

A graduate of Howard University, Professor Wilkerson has also taught at Emory University, Princeton University, and Northwestern University.

Nell Russell, associate vice president for diversity at the University of Wyoming, received the Award of Merit from the university’s board of trustees. In announcing the award, university president Tom Buchanan said the Russell “instilled confidence in processes that are fair and equitable, and developed clear strategies related to diversity that have a meaningful impact on our campus community.”

Before coming to the University of Wyoming in 2004, Russell was director of EEO compliance and Title IX coordinator at the University of Akron in Ohio.

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