2019 - 2020 University of Chicago Association of Black Alumni Board Nominees

The following are a list of nominee profiles for the 2019-2020 UCABA Board.
 

Nominee: Althia Gayle, Ed.D, MSW

State: Illinois
Graduation year: AM’12


Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.

I am interested in being involved in the UCABA as board member because I believe in supporting diversity at the University of Chicago. I want to be a great example of excellence that is a representation of the University especially as an Alumna. The opportunity to participate on the board will be an honor to support the decision making in creating a vision to engage alumni, parents, families, and friends with the University. I am an advocate for providing the necessary tools for professionals to serve the needs of their environment.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for? 

I am seeking opportunity to highlight professionals that have graduated from U of C to go and do amazing things in their careers and their communities. As a servant leader, I have the capability to support the needs of others, supporting the needs of others and problem solving. As a leader, I am compassionate and a nurturer. I have high expectations of myself and others. I am a strong community and social services professional with Master of Arts in Social Service Administration (Equivalent to Master of Social Work) from University of Chicago and Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) focused in Educational Leadership from University of St. Francis. Working in the social services field, I have gain the ability to be an active listener and be empathetic to others. I strive to create a positive experience for all stakeholders of the University. With the opportunity to lead within the career committee, I will be able to provide opportunities to network and provide adequate resources.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
I have participated in alumni activities with School of Social Service and Administration. I have a sat on committee meetings with SSA as well for workshops and event. I am an active alumna that participates in events like student orientations and other networking events.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
No, I have not ever served on a board.


Nominee: Juana J. Harper
State: Florida
Graduation year: AB’74

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.

To continue my efforts to encourage and  assist UCABA members in their efforts to support the University of Chicago.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
Many years of experience planning and developing activities for UChicago Alumni outreach  including class reunions, regional clubs  and affinity groups. President Gray appointed me to the Ad Hoc Commission on Alumni Affairs after I had spearheaded several programs for Black Alumni during the 1979 Alumni Reunion Weekend. Having had close to  200 in attendance, I asked her how the University could continue the momentum and further engage and encourage Blacks to participate in alumni affairs.  Her response was to appoint me to the Commission.  I am still on the same mission I was on back then: Motivating Alumni to stay connected to the University by attending programs and to support the institution through fundraising.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?

See answer above.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
I served on the Ad Hoc Commission created by President Gray and chaired by Arthur Schultz  to study Alumni Affairs.  As a result of that report I was tasked to work on the creation of a club for alumni in the metropolitan Chicago area and became its first Secretary. Over the years I served on the board three different times.  I am currently on the boards of the MidFlorida Club (as vice-president) and  UCABA (as fundraising chair).
 

Nominee: Safiya Johnson
State: Illinois
Graduation year: AB’14

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
I've attended the UChicago Alumni Weekend every year since 2014 and since 2019, I have been interested in making sure recent Black UChicago graduates are better represented at UCABA events. I am interested in bolstering young alumni visibility, voice, and leadership as well as building a Black alumni mentoring program for current and recent UChicago College students. Essentially, I am interested in working with the UCABA Board and leadership to provide services I believe I and my fellow recent alums could benefit from.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
I feel comfortable speaking in front of large crowds as a former UChicago College Admissions Counselor. I have experience planning medium-sized events that serve up to 200 attendees. I live close to UChicago's campus, in the event that someone needs to speak to maintenance or attend an on-campus event. I am detail-oriented. I am eager to learn.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
I have attended UCABA events for the past five years. I really enjoyed the mixers that bring together black alumni from different schools.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
I have not. But I have served as a president of a UChicago RSO and as the Vice President of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Black Student Union. Specifically, I was the VP of Educational Programming, which meant that I launched the first ever SOC Ed.LD-Ed.M mentoring program at HGSE. I also organized panels related to applying to doctoral programs and diversity recruitment strategies led by Harvard's Chief Diversity Officer. Therefore, I feel comfortable scheduling speakers, booking space, and advertising events.
 

Nominee: Sabrina A. McCarthy
State: Maryland
Graduation year: AB’79

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
I am interested in forming a community of black alumni.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
I am organized, imaginative about events to propose, and willing to work.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
Yes, I have participated in Harper lectures and have organized Chicago Women's Alliance events.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
Yes, I have served on the Board of the Chicago Women's Alliance and as Metro Chair-D.C. for the Chicago Women's Alliance.  Please forgive me. I have forgotten the exact dates, perhaps 2014-2016.
 

Nominee: Larasz Moody
State: Delaware
Graduation year: BA’91

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
To give back to UChicago and increase the number of minority students in the university.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
Experience on Boards and within higher education. I have extensive experience serving on boards, legal experience and higher education experience.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
I have served as an alumni admissions interviewer.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
I currently serve as the treasurer on a non-profit board and have served as a board member on several other non-profits.
 

Nominee: Igolo Obi
State: Illinois
Graduation year: BA’17

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
During my undergraduate career at UChicago, cultural groups such as the Organization of Black students, and the African & Caribbean Students Association were the most enriching aspects of my student life. I want to be a part of UCABA now to help cultivate a strong global network and continue to maintain these interpersonal relationships with other Black alumni.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
I am extremely organized and adept with working in leadership roles, larger committees, and I am capable of meeting deadlines. In relevant experience, I served as the Social Chair for the Organization of Black Students from 2014-2015, and was responsible for programming and outreach communications, as well as maintaining relationships with other external community and campus organizations.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
Thus far, I have not had the opportunity to participate in other UChicago alumni committees.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
During my time on-campus, I served as a board member of the Organization of Black students, as the Social Chair, from 2014 to the conclusion of winter quarter 2015. I also served as a Committee Member for Fire Escape Films, the student film society on campus at the University of Chicago, from 2014 to the conclusion of winter quarter 2017.
 

Nominee: Temi Okubadejo
State: Illinois
Graduation year: AB’11

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
I would like to have an impact on the UC community and surrounding Hyde Park community share my ideas with the club in a formal way. I am interested in contributing to and supporting the diversity and inclusion efforts in addition to engaging alumni in the UChicago spirit of discourse which should be more effective in these tumultuous times. Empowering alumni to evolve the manner in which we lead the way for the next generations as well as helping new UChicago students succeed in engaging with the outside UChicago community while still enrolled. Alumni should help build the foundation for imparting uncommon application in the world. I am also interested in implementing strategic efforts to increase diversity and inclusion through the creation of successful networks from an organizational behavior mindset to provide equitable opportunity by reducing conscious and unconscious bias.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
Events and engagement. I volunteer at Extrospection an organization that empowers young adults to explore a variety of opportunities abroad, personally and professionally develop, and engage in social responsibility with a global community. I have a background in organizational development and pursue activities in diversity and inclusion. I have been responsible for the planning, design, and execution of events for 40-150 people in addition to supporting events with 100-200 people. Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy admissions review board member since April 2014. I have volunteered at many events and conventions such as the Social Innovation Summit 2017, Social Innovation Summit Saloon 2018, etc.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
Previous Alumni Schools Committee Volunteer. I have attended various alumni activities- Alumni Weekend, Alumni Club Chicago events, etc. Attended some UCABA events in the past as well. I have attended UChicago events and alumni events in addition to encouraging my network to attend. I am a facilitator for the Hearing One Another Workshop and believe these skills would be applicable to a board member position as it focuses on diversity and inclusion efforts.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
A recent addition to the Alumni Club of Chicago Board- July 2019.
 

Nominee: Tosin Olusola
State: Illinois
Graduation year: MBA’17

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
I have had the privilege of serving on the UCABA board for the prior leadership year.  In that time, my commitment and passion to build the community across all UChicago verticals has only towered higher.  It would be my honor to serve on the Board again.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
Leadership, Community, Strategic Thinking, Finance, Community Engagement

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
Yes, current Washington D.C. Metro Chair for UCABA.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
Yes - Washington, DC representative


Nominee: S. Adria Peery
State: Illinois
Graduation year: AB’14

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
As a student at UChicago, it felt as if I rarely met and interacted with black alumni. I want to help be a part of making UCABA more visible to current UChicago students as a beacon of hope and as a support to help fill the gaps between what is known and what is unknown about life at UChicago and after while also helping to develop the social and cultural capital necessary to succeed after graduation.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
I have built my career in higher education and facilitating connections between students and the supports that they need. I also have a great deal of experience in programming and event logistics. My past leadership positions have also seen me found new initiatives that maximize partnerships with local government and alumni.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
I regularly attend Phoenixphest and have attended UCABA events when my schedule allows.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
I served as the Executive Chair of the Higher and Postsecondary Association at Teachers College, Columbia University for 2 years. I was History and acting Treasurer and Secretary for Kappa Delta Pi International Honors Society for Education at Teachers College Columbia for 1 year.
 

Nominee: Chase Weldon
State: Texas
Graduation year: AB’12

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
I served on the Board in previous years and miss being connected to the UCABA community. I have great respect for both past and present Board leadership and would love to become active again.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
I’m a strategist that is committed to giving back to the UChicago community. I have experience in strategy, recruitment, and community outreach.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
Past Board Member.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
Yes. UCABA-Board Member at Large 2017.
 

Nominee: Alicia May
State: New York
Graduation year: BA’10

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
I had a fantastic experience at the University of Chicago. Beyond the academics and extracurricular opportunities, the secret sauce is the community. And UCABA is an essential part of this community, providing support for students who may feel uncertain about their place in the broader UChicago family. When I was 18, UCABA helped me find my footing on campus, and I would like to support this organization by lending my skillset and advancing its mission.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
Over my professional and educational career, I have had the opportunity to develop networking, strategic planning, and implementation skills. Also, as the former Chief Strategy Officer of a 150-person startup, I have been fortunate to hone my ability to originate strategic visions and encourage teams towards successful executions. I have also dedicated my career to consensus-based leadership and strive to create collaborative environments where productivity and camaraderie flourish. I believe these skills would lend themselves to a Board Member At Large, Programming Committee, or Metro Chair NYC position.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
Yes! Despite living internationally for the past 5 years, I have remain connected to the UChicago community. I was an Alumni Application Interview for 3 years and hosted UChicago coffee chats for prospective students.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
No, I have not had the opportunity to serve on a board. However, in my previous role as Chief Strategy Officer, I worked closed with our board of directors. In this role, I worked alongside board members to fund raise for investment capital, present to potential investors, and provide company updates to key stakeholders. I believe this role has increased my understanding of board governance and the board's role for a broader organization.
 

Nominee: Nicholas Turner
State: Virginia
Graduation year: MA’02

 

Briefly state why you are interested in being involved with UCABA as a board member.
Working with and serving fellow Black University of Chicago graduates will help me to begin to rebuild the personal and professional networks I've neglected while being a stay-at-home dad for the past 12 years.

What strengths do you have for the specific position you're applying for?  
I've worked in marketing communications since 2002. My experience includes writing, editing, photography, web development, and graphic design for universities, non-profits, startups, and established small businesses. My work has generated millions of dollars in revenue and donations.

How have you participated in other UChicago alumni activities, committees, events or groups?
I have not participated in the past because of family responsibilities.

Have you ever served on a board before? If so, please specify the board, your role, and dates of service.
I served on the communications committee of the TJ Partnership Fund's Alumni Advisory Board from April to December in 2010. I worked with other members of the committee to write and to edit fundraising letters.