Alumni Spotlight

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Voorhees welcomes the inaugural class of Young Alumni 10 Under 40

During the Voorhees College National Alumni Association Convention held June 9-11, five honorees were inducted into the inaugural class of the Young Alumni 10 Under 40.

Dr. Michael A. Smith, Litany Lineberry, Megan Freeman, Monika Lamb, and Major Tommie Williams were recognized at the convention’s 10 Under 40 program.

Smith graduated in 1999 as first honor graduate of Voorhees with a bachelor’s degree in biology pre-med and a minor in chemistry. He earned a doctoral degree in microbiology from Howard University and a medical degree in 2010 from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Smith is a native of Denmark, S.C. and is currently the director of the Hospitalist Medicine Program at Carolinas’ Hospital Systems in Marion, S.C.

He holds memberships in Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masonic Order, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and serves nationally on various medical boards and committees.

Lineberry is a 2012 graduate of Voorhees with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and earned a master’s degree in computer science from North Carolina A&T University.

Lineberry, a native of Augusta, Ga. is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Mississippi State University where she serves as a graduate teaching assistant, lead instructor for the GenCyber grant.

She holds memberships in the Association for Computing Machinery, Order of Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Women in Cyber Security, Cyber Discovery Group, Voorhees College True Blue and White Alumni Alliance, Miles Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and Davidson Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Freeman is a 2013 graduate of Voorhees with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and has earned a master’s degree in leadership from South University. Freeman is a native of Denmark, S.C. but grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C. She is currently the director of communications and head cheerleading coach at Voorhees College.

She holds memberships in Public Relations Society of America, National Association of Black Journalists, Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business, Voorhees College National Alumni Association Midlands Chapter, Brookland Baptist Church (west campus) in Columbia, S.C., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Lamb is a 1999 graduate of Voorhees with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Phoenix University. Lamb is a native of Opelousas, La. and is currently the president at Tri-City Visionaries in Columbia, S.C.

She holds membership in the Voorhees College National Alumni Association Midlands Chapter and the Disabled American Veterans Woodrow Wilson Chapter No. 4. In addition, she volunteers for New Economic Beginnings Foundation, Juveniles Upholding Morales and Principles of Society, The Dagger Squad Business Group, SC Housing Trust Fund, The Gospel Hammer Housing Recovery Project, and We Girlz Rock, to name a few.

Williams is a 1999 graduate of Voorhees with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Williams is a native of Johnston, S.C.  and is currently a major for the United States Marine Corps.  He was recently board-selected to attend the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, convening July 2017. 

He holds membership in Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. He is the recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medals with one gold star.

Voorhees College grad gets appointed as a marketing associate

Brandon Beal, a 2014 Voorhees graduate, recently accepted at a job at the Brown-Forman Corporation. The company announced the appointment of Beal as a marketing associate on the Old Forester brand team. In this role, Beal will participate in Brown Forman's first ever Global Marketing Rotational Program. Throughout the next few years, he will spend 6-8 months covering assignments in digital, consumer, and product marketing.

Brown-Forman Corporation is  one of the largest American-owned companies in the spirits and wine business Based in Louisville, Ky., the company manufactures some well- known brands throughout the world, including Jack Daniel's, Chambord, Early Times, Finlandia, Herradura, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Old Forester and Woodford Reserve.

Beal recently earned a master’s degree in business administration from Alabama A&M University, where he held a graduate assistantship developing and executive marketing strategies to increase the school’s digital and social media presence.

During his time at Voorhees, Beal joined the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society, and the Voorhees College African-American Mentorship Program and Baseball team. In addition, he served on the SGA as the vice president (2013-2014) and graduated cum lade with a major in accounting.

Beal is eager to begin his new career at Brown-Forman after having received the proper education and training he feels any past challenges or obstacles no longer matter.

"No matter what background you come from, remember that you're just as capable as anyone else. Get a quality education so the possibilities and opportunities will be limitless. Do what you can, with what you have and where you are.”

Voorhees alumnus accepts leading roles supporting special needs youth       

Robin Boynton works as a special needs teacher at Thompson Child Family and Focus. He is also a case manager for the Unique Caring Foundation, a foster home facility.  As a special needs teacher, he works with children building their communication and educational skills.

 As a case manager at the Unique Caring Foundation, he provides clinical and technical support to anyone seeking to adopt or serve as foster parents. His passion for working with special needs children comes from his belief that every child, regardless of their learning or behavioral disabilities, should be given an opportunity to succeed.

"I really love what I do and I think my purpose in life is to make a difference while enhancing the lives of students who are labeled as 'different'," said Boynton.
                                                                        
Robin is a 2012 Voorhees graduate with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. While at Voorhees College he was a member of the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.  In addition, he was Mr. Zeta Phi Beta (2008-2009) and Mr. Senior (2012).

This year he graduated from Strayer University with a master's degree in education with a concentration in technology education. He is a member of the graduate chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Nu Omicron.  In August, Robin will begin a doctoral program in educational leadership with an emphasis in educational management at Grand Canyon University. In the future, he plans to open a learning center for children with autism.


Voorhees alum publishes first book on understanding one's power

Anthony Hyland is a 2014 Voorhees College grad, who earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications, has published his first book titled, "The Purpose of Power." The book was written to help encourage others to discover their inner power and use it to create life's successes.

"Too often we go through life unsure as to what the true purpose of the power we possess is for," said Hyland.

"The Purpose of Power" was inspired by Hyland's not so fairy tale childhood coming from a broken home and referring to himself as a broken child. He knew he had to beat the odds and set on a journey to become a successful man.

Hyland is a first generation college graduate, and he currently is enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a boatswains mate residing in Virginia Beach, Va.

While at Voorhees, he joined White Rose Social Club, the Male Mentoring Program, Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and served as Mr. Voorhees College 2013-2014. He also was the first Voorhees student to compete in the Mr. HBCU competition, which he won in 2014-2015.
Hyland, and his wife Natasha, are expecting their first child in December.

The Purpose of Power is now available on Amazon on Kindle and paperback at www.createspace.com/5915622.


Voorhees alumna works to get more students in grad school

Naeisha Owens, a 2012 Voorhees College graduate, was recently hired as the new graduate school recruiter at Elizabeth City State University, which is located in Elizabeth City, N.C.

In this role, Owens works to double the enrollment of current students in the graduate program by 2017.

Owens is excited about this position because she firmly believes in higher education of African-Americans and feels she can aide in the process of encouraging them to take it beyond the undergrad level.

Owens earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Voorhees College and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Alabama A&M University.

While attending Voorhees, Owens joined the Eta Nu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and was a member of the Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Social Club.

She later has aspirations in working toward establishing her own charter school for students who are in need of an alternative educational opportunity. 

Alumnus becomes an adjunct instructor free of charge to the institution

Voorhees College graduate Tishiro Inabinet is giving back to his alma mater by teaching the College Dynamics course every Wednesday at 3 p.m. at no cost to the institution.

College Dynamics is a course designed to provide advantages of attending the institution and methods to achieve college success to first- time college students.

Inabinet said alumni can give back to Voorhees in other ways besides money such as giving their time.

He has been involved with hosting several events on campus especially during Homecoming in order to assist with bringing funds to the institution and unifying alumni.

“I want current students to understand if they apply themselves, they can receive a quality education and have an enjoyable time at Voorhees. While I attended Voorhees, I handled my studies, but I was also active socially and made lasting relationships.”

Inabinet is a native of Orangeburg, S.C. and graduated from Voorhees in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. During his time at the institution, he joined the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and participated in the Student Government Association.

He graduated from South Carolina State University with a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling in 1998 and is currently a clinical counselor for the South Carolina Department of Corrections and a sergeant first class in the United States Army National Guard.

Voorhees alumnus goes back to school to earn a second doctorate

Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization presented their first scholarship to Voorhees College graduate Jerome Higgs, Ph.D., to assist him with returning to graduate school to earn an additional doctorate degree. 

Higgs graduated from Voorhees in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. During his time at Voorhees, Higgs joined the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Players Guild and the track and field team.

He graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a doctorate degree in philosophy.

After graduating, he worked at the UAB in the laboratory of Dr. Ponnazhagan studying how certain plant products could be used to treat bone marrow tumors.

He recently had a desire to bridge the gap between clinical or translation research and healthcare, so he re-enrolled into UAB’s School of Health Professions in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

Higgs, a native of The Bahamas, is a member of the Blazer Male Excellence Network, which offers peer mentoring to black male UAB students to improve retention, graduation rate and provide leadership opportunities in the process.


Voorhees alumna releases new book on Love 

Voorhees College graduate Brittany Lawrence found herself married and heading for divorce by the end of her college career. She recalls her lessons learned in her new book “Not Approved: Overcoming Obstacles and Facing Adversities.”

Lawrence’s book explains her college years at Voorhees as it relates to falling in love with her “college sweetheart,” being married by her sophomore year and the struggles that came from being in a committed relationship so young.

“It is important for Voorhees College students to understand that true love will never disrespect you,” Lawrence said. “Take your time and focus on education and making a positive impact in the community and the rest will follow.”

The purpose of Lawrence writing a “tell all” is to encourage young people, who are in college and heading down the same road that she was, to consider waiting to get married and instead complete college and focus on  their career aspirations.

Lawrence graduated from Voorhees in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and while in school she joined the Iota Mu Chapter of Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business, the Delta Iota Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Alpha Mu Alpha Honor Society, Voorhees College Honors Society and the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program.

She is a native of Charleston, S.C., who, having achieved rank of First Lieutenant, is currently a quartermaster logistics officer with the S.C. Army National Guard.

In addition to becoming a self-published author, Lawrence is studying for a master’s degree in business administration and is a new elementary school teacher for the Teach for America program.

Copies of Lawrence’s book, both paperback and the Kindle version, are now on sale online at www.amazon.com.


Voorhees Alumna saves Lives one Lesson at a time

Colletta Orr, a 2002 Voorhees College graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biology, will be releasing a new book in October 2015.

Orr’s book, “Cancer Doesn’t Always Win: A Comprehensive Guide to Beating Breast & Ovarian Cancer,” will be available at Barnes & Nobles, Amazon and iTunes in October.

Orr is a trained cancer research scientist, who has partnerships with major hospitals throughout the United States to aide and assist her company, Colletta Orr & Associates, which is designed to help women get the resources and education needed early to begin having conversations with their physicians that can ultimately be lifesaving. Colletta Orr & Associate’s serves to educate women about breast and ovarian cancers.



Alum gets a chance to live out his passion (August spotlight)

After graduating from Voorhees in 2010, Taichien Dickerson went on to work for Horizon BlueCross BlueShield in New Jersey (BCBSNJ) in the Information Technology Desktop Engineering department and attended graduate school to earn a MBA concentrating on international business. With only six courses left, he decided to put his degree on hold to pursue a once –in- a- lifetime opportunity he described as “too good to turn down.”

In 2013, Dickerson left Horizon BCBSNJ to pursue an international job offer from one of the world’s most valuable companies and one of the largest integrated energy and chemicals companies, Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is the world’s top exporter of crude oil and natural gas liquids. Dickerson is a as a certified software asset manager, aiding in the efforts to manage and optimize their software portfolio.


   

Emmanuel 9…from an alum’s perspective (July spotlight)

Voorhees alumnus class of 2011, Antwan Carter, is currently a police officer for the City of Charleston Police Department in Charleston, S.C. and has been on the squad for approximately three and a half years. His was very influential in handling the Charleston Nine Crisis.

Following the shooting, Carter was asked to report to the crime scene the next morning to ensure the building was safe enough to enter. Later, he also secured the viewing memorial service for South Carolina State Senator Dr. Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims.

These days, Carter is assigned to two specialized units, which are the community action team focused on building stronger relationships with low income families in higher crime areas and an outreach program to promote anti-bullying and mentor young men. He has plans to attend graduate school to earn his master’s and is leaning toward majoring in business administration.



Recent college grad lands her dream job (June spotlight)

Iesha Coaxum, a 2013 Voorhees graduate, was recently hired at STARS Mentoring LLC in Moncks Corner, S.C. as a behavioral health specialist and family engagement coordinator.

In this role, Coaxum will be counseling individuals and families that need some guidance with redirecting behavioral or emotional issues. Additionally, she will be promoting success and breakthroughs at home, school and work.

Coaxum recently finished her graduate school at Springfield College (Charleston campus), where she pursued a master’s degree in human services and community counseling. Now that she has finished she hopes to advance within STARS in order to serve an even greater population.