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A message from BCA president: Rising to the challenge

large group of people smiling

BCA members, ISU administration, and BCA scholarship recipients gather at 2017 BCA scholarship brunch

I am excited and humbled to begin my second term as Black Colleagues Association (BCA) president.  It gives me great pleasure to announce the newly elected officers and positions who will join our board:

  • Vice President: RoDina Williams ’02, ’10
  • Secretary: Rhona Israel ’83
  • Corresponding Secretary: Shelly Booker ’85
  • Treasurer: Joletta Martin ’87
  • Members at Large: Reland Carter ’96 and Stan Shingles ’82

The past two years, BCA’s condition and agenda is family and continues to be family as we are ignited to serve. The board remains passionate about the plight of black students, faculty, and staff.  BCA understands we have rich history, purpose, and presence on the campus. We are engaging current students through mentoring relationships, continuing to assist the Office of Admissions and other units with the recruitment of black students, developing opportunities to assist with retention and student transition to the Black Colleagues Association, as well as awarding scholarships.

We are proud to have administered over $163,000 in scholarships to date, increased the awards for the past two years, and assisted the Black Student Union in funding its first scholarship. This school year, we awarded 16 scholarships with a minimum value of $1,500 each.  We are setting a goal to increase the award amount to $2,000 each and hoping to increase our financial support to the Black Student Union Scholarship.

We are proud of BCA members that receive recognition and awards for their accomplishments including:

  • Olivia Butts, M.S. ’15 – 2017 Student Affairs Redbird Proud Young Alumni Award
  • Rosanna Fugate ’08 – 2017 recipient of the College of Business Early Career Achievement Award
  • Katie Pratt ’10 – 2017 Student Affairs Redbird Proud Young Alumni Award
  • Aisha Praught Leer ’12 – 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame
  • Ronnell Robinzine ’09 – 2017 recipient of the College of Business Early Career Achievement Award
  • Rene Shingles, M.S. ’86 – 2017 inductee into the College of Applied Science and Technology Hall of Fame
  • Michael Thomas ’85 – 2017 inductee into the College of Applied Science and Technology Hall of Fame
  • RoDina Williams ’02, ’10 – 2018 inductee into the College of Applied Science and Technology Hall of Fame
  • Quanisha Kumi-Darfour ’06 – new coordinator of case management, Illinois State Dean of Students

Our focus over these next two years is engagement and retention of our members. We want our fellow alumni to join us as we support Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State by becoming a contributing member, finding a committee to get involved with, and showing Redbird pride.

As a black alum of ISU and/or a friend of BCA, you are a part of the BCA family.  With your involvement on committees and financial contributions, we can continue to grow our family, have a presence at Illinois State University, and uphold our purpose. A purpose that allows for mentoring, advocating, supporting, and providing scholarships to the students, as well as identifying issues that potentially impact the needs and well-being of the black students, faculty, and staff at Illinois State University.

Comments

SO happy and proud of all the BCA does and continues to do to provide educational opportunities and assistance to deserving minority students. SO appreciative of the selfless leadership of President Aguirre and that of the other BCA officers. SO thankful for the contributions of the BCA membership. SO appreciative of the help given to BCA by President DIetz and the ISU department staffs.