Dr. Alicia Shelly is the Oakwood University Alumni Association 2018 South Atlantic Conference Alumna of the Year. Dr. Shelly was raised in Atlanta, GA. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science from Oakwood University. Dr. Shelly earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH and completed her residency in internal medicine at Saint Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, CA.
After finishing her residency, Dr. Shelly joined Advanced Internal Medicine located in Stockbridge, GA in 2010. Her interest includes Preventative medicine, Women’s health, Diabetes, and Hypertension. Her ultimate goal is to help others achieve ultimate wellness. She is also a member of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Atlanta Medical Association, and Georgia state Medical Association. Dr. Shelly’s attention to detail and compassionate nature set her apart as an internist. Dr. Shelly is an empathetic and accomplished primary care doctor in the Stockbridge, GA area.
Dr. Shelly is very passionate about giving back to the community that gave so much to her. She has participated in many health fairs, including Shiloh SDA’s Annual Taste of Shiloh Fair. She also participated in the Atlanta Medical Association’s Shadowing program where she has students from high school through medical school shadowing her in her office during the summer. This gave them exposure to the daily routine of a doctor. She also works with Morehouse School of Medicine to expose their 1st year students to clinical practice. This year she will embark on her first medical mission trip to Belize in June.
Dr. Shelly is very passionate about Oakwood. From her excitement to be honored this year, she literally “ran” for Oakwood by raising funds through running several half-marathons and 10k races leading up to the 2018 alumni weekend. Each mile she ran, her donors pledged a dollar amount toward Oakwood student’s scholarships. She and her family have been active members of the Shiloh SDA Church in Smyrna, GA for years. She is also an officer of the Joseph Hinson OUAA Chapter in Smyrna, GA.
Walter L. Pearson is the OUAA South Atlantic Conference 2018 Alumnus of the Year. This Pine Forge Academy Alumnus holds a degree in Religion and Theology from Oakwood College, now Oakwood University. Walter Pearson married Sandra Holland in 1967, shortly after their graduation from Oakwood College. As college students, they pledged to blend their gifts and talents to winning souls for the kingdom of Heaven. He has done graduate studies at the University of Kentucky and Georgia State University. Pearson is the recipient of the four honorary doctorate degrees.
Elder Pearson entered the Adventist ministry in 1969 as the Associate Pastor of the Glenville SDA Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He was blessed to be a protégé of Dr. Harold L. Cleveland, who was Senior Pastor of that church. Pearson was ordained in 1971 at the Allegheny West Conference campmeeting.
His next assignment took him to northwestern Virginia where he was district pastor serving Charlottesville, Gordonsville, and Staunton. In this district, Pearson conducted his first solo evangelistic effort which would expose him to the joyous challenge of soul-winning. The conference committee voted to send Pearson to Dayton, Ohio. The membership, in Dayton, increased significantly as his gift for soul-winning blossomed.
From the beginning of his ministry, Pearson had demonstrated an affinity for young people. His youthful charisma and God-given ability to communicate with young people and them involved in every facet of church ministry was noticed, and Pearson was asked to be Youth Director and Director of Urban Ministries for the Allegheny West Conference.
Under the tutelage of Dr. H.L. Cleveland, and the influence of certain extraordinary preachers in the local ministerial alliance, his preaching gift and ability to make the Word of God live in the minds of his audiences was enhanced. Because he became active in the local ministerial alliance, he was invited to preach in area Adventist churches as well as various churches of other denominations.
Pearson accepted a call from the Alleghany East Conference to pastor the North Philadelphia Church in the mid 70’s. For five years, Pearson served as Senior Pastor. During that time, the church claimed more than 1,500 members and was the second largest congregation in the Conference. The members of this church were loved and respected in the community, and Pearson’s ministry there affirmed that reputation. He was also Executive Director and Speaker for a television program called “Daybreak” in Philadelphia and another in Atlanta.
In 1993, he completed a term of more than eight years as Senior Pastor of the twenty-0ne hundred-member Berean Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Atlanta, GA. During his tenure in Atlanta, he was a member of the Executive Board of Mayor Maynard H. Jackson’s Atlanta Religious Mobilization Against Crime (ARMAC); and a volunteer Chaplain for two law enforcement agencies.
Pearson participated in services at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on the first national celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in 1986. Because his benediction was delivered as that congregation of notables sang “We Shall Overcome,” it was aired on national and international news broadcasts. On three separate occasions in two local Conferences, he was designated “Pastor of the Year” by his peers.
In 1991, he became the first Seventh-Day Adventist member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers and Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College in Atlanta. In the year’s following, Pearson used his influence to have at least a dozen other Adventist pastors invited to join this prestigious group.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2005, he received a “Legacy of the Dreamer Award” from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). More than a hundred other awards, from religious, academic, civic, and community organizations speak to the efficacy of the Holy Spirit’s power in his ministry.
He initially came to the World Church Headquarters to join the Ellen G. White Estate where he was the first African-American to serve as an Associate Director. Next, he was invited to serve as Director of Evangelism and Church Growth at the General Conference Ministerial Association. While serving there, Pearson received the invitation to become Speaker/Director of the Breath of Life Television Ministries. He served concurrently as a General Field Secretary for the North American Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist.
He conducted successful evangelistic crusades annually in each of his assigned districts as well as others in Kingston, Jamaica; Tema, Ghana, Warsaw, Poland; Nairobi, Kenya; and three in London, England. His zeal to communicate the Gospel message has carried him to sixty-seven countries on six continents and the island nations of the sea. The Lord has honored his faith with more than twenty-five thousand baptisms to date including more than five thousand baptisms in one day at the end of NET 2004, a satellite evangelistic event.
Walter suffered a stroke in 2006 that might have ended his life and silenced his witness, but God’s grace and mercy spared him. His delivery may not be quite as animated, but the message is still effective. For forty-two years, he and Sandra kept their promise to serve together to win souls for the kingdom and did so by God’s grace until her untimely death in 2009.
This double catastrophe robbed Walter of the stamina to cope with the significant demand of media ministry. Desiring the best for the telecast, he asked that a search be initiated for a new Speaker/Director. Pearson seriously considered leaving ministry altogether, but confides, “God kept calling him back to service.”
Pearson was blessed to secure the services of the gifted Adventist Psychologist who helped him realize that he functioned best in partnership with a dedicated life partner. Eventually, God guided Pearson to pursue a friendship with Patricia Patterson, an Education Administrator, who had also experienced the loss of a beloved spouse.
Patricia encouraged Pearson to “get back to work.” The two were married in 2011, and together they are working for the salvation of lost souls. Elder Pearson retired from active Pastoral Ministry in 2016 but is excited about the next phase of the vision for continued ministry through ‘rebranding”. He is grateful for the opportunity to still serve, praise and honor God.
Now, a blended family, the Pearsons are blessed with three adult children, Ericca, Walter III, Mia-Liani; and four grandsons, Walter IV (Pierce), Gabriel Alexander, Pearson Gault Paige (Diesel), and Robert Crawford III (Tre’).
In 1945, Dr. Clora Ann Beard Dumas went to Oakwood College and graduated in 1949, but many years before that her great-grandparents sent their daughter to school to become part of the first 16 students of Oakwood College in 1896. Clora graduated debt free by pressing heads of hair for twenty (25) cent each, by working as Dean in Henderson-Cunningham Hall, and by being a literature evangelist. She married Wilbur Young who was also an alumnus of Oakwood College, and then she went on to earn a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois before she went on to work for the State Hospital in Elgin, IL. Not forgetting her alma mater, in 1966 Clora helped develop the Oakwood Social Work Department with Dr. Earl Gooding, Chairman of that department.
Clora also taught at Miles College, University of Alabama Huntsville, Alabama A&M, and did post graduate work at Berkeley. She was awarded in 1983 & 1984 The Marquis “Who’s Who of American Women” of which no one can be surprised as she exhibited qualities of unbridled concern for others and unwavering philanthropy. In 1992, Clora also received an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Faith College in Birmingham AL. In her quest for even more knowledge Clora went even further, and at the age of 81 graduated from J. F. Drake State Technical College in cosmetology.
Among Clora’s other accomplishments is singing on Ted Mac Amateur Hour and winning. However, the Ted Mac TV show was scheduled on Saturday and Clora did not appear due to her religious beliefs. Not losing momentum, however, Clora continued singing and was blessed to have Chapel Records record her “I Talked to God” album.
Dr Clora Young-Ward is also a founding and lifetime member of the J.L. Moran Alumni Chapter of the Oakwood University Alumni Association, and believes strongly that she was indeed blessed by God to have been placed at Oakwood College.
Patricia and Burrell Burns will celebrate 62 years of marriage in July 2018. The two have been life-long Oakwood supporters, joining as Life Time Members of the Oakwood Alumni Association in 1974. Patricia is an alumna of then Oakwood Junior College, attending and graduating in the late 1940’s. Burrell never attended Oakwood, however he learned to love and support the Oakwood Alumni Assoc through Patricia.
Patricia graduated Oakwood in 1947. She went on to receive a degree in Education and her teaching certificate from Central State University in her home state of Ohio. After relocating to Chicago with her husband, Patricia began a nearly 40 year teaching and administrating career for the Chicago Public School System, helping to educate thousands of students over the years in one of the cities’ most challenging neighborhoods. She taught elementary education and set up special educational reading labs in some of the poorest communities on the south side of Chicago. She served as Chairperson of the Graduation Coordinator Committee for 20 years the Altgeld School. A champion of education, Patricia served diligently for over 25 years as she led a very active Chicagoland Oakwood Alumni Chapter first by serving as president and later as Regional Vice President for the Lake Region Conference. The chapter raised thousands of dollars over the years, encouraged area students to attend Oakwood and gave financial support to those students. In addition, Patricia served as part of the UNCF council in Chicago that helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for students at Oakwood and other HBCU’s.
Burrell earned his undergraduate and master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. Together, he and Patricia operated Burns Chrysler Plymouth, the first black owned Chrysler Dealership in the Midwest Region. Burns Chrysler Plymouth was a major supplier of automobiles for People’s Gas and Commonwealth Edision. The partnership was featured prominently in Ebony and Jet magazine. In addition, Burrell served as an employee and later board member of Great Lakes Adventist Health System in Hinsdale, Il. In the late 1960’s, Burrell served as the Chairman for the building committee for the Shiloh SDA Church, still the largest church in the Lake Region Conference. In addition, Burrell served as a local elder for years at Shiloh and has served on numerous conference committees and Shiloh academy school boards over the years.
When in 2013, Patricia and Burrell relocated to Houston, both became active in the Texas Oakwood Alumni Associated and used their time, talent and dollars in a continued effort to support christian education by way of Oakwood University. They now reside in Florida most recently due to health concerns but continue to support the Oakwood Alumni Association and all it stands for.
Patricia and Burrell are proud parents of four children, all Oakwood alums. They are Patricia Lewis,MD (’79) Peggy Burns,DDS (’83) Peter Burns,MD(’87) and Paul John Burns. In addition, they are the proud grandparents of twelve, six of which are alums and six future alums if the Lord should tarry. They are Lauren Lewis,MD(’05) Peggy Toole-Rollins, MD(’10) Ashley Lewis ,MD(’11) Megan Toole, MD(’11) Hilary Toole (’15) Steven Lewis and Shannon Toole (’20). Other younger grands and future alums include John Burns, Andrew Burns, Pat Burns, Kylie Burns and Paul Burns Jr. Last but not least, let’s not forget the one and only great-grand Landon Lewis, age 5, in a class all by himself.
Patricia and Burrell are thankful to God for blessing their family to be a part of the Oakwood University family. All praises to God for the blessings of Oakwood University and the Oakwood Alumni Association.
Anthony W. Winston, CRNA, LNC, Ed.D is the 2nd child born to Dr. Lonnie and Mrs. Grace Winston (both deceased). In 1980 he joined the United States Navy and became a Nuclear Engineer, a job he worked for 11 years. He also traveled the world on board the nuclear submarine USS Batfish as the leader of the Electrical Division. During this time, he received the designation as a Master Training Specialist and
taught Electrical, Mechanical, and Electronic Theory at Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Fl. It was during his time in Orlando as an instructor that Anthony decided to further his education. He enrolled at Columbia College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice administration followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Central Florida which lead to a commission in the United States Navy. Ensign Winston served as a staff nurse at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, SC.
He applied for and was selected to attend Georgetown University and received a Master of Science degree with a concentration in Nursing Anesthesia. In 2002, while stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD., Anthony deployed to the Middle East as a certified registered nurse anesthetist at the Military
Hospital, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. After his return to the states, he deployed to the Middle East a second time on board aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt as the Director of Anesthesia. In 2006, Anthony retired from active duty as a Commander, after serving over 26 years. He took a position as a staff
nurse anesthetist at various ambulatory surgery centers in the central Florida area. He was promoted to Chief Nurse Anesthetist covering 15 ambulatory surgery centers. He currently serves as the Director of Anesthesia Services at Palm Endoscopic Ambulatory Surgery Center in Altamonte Springs, FL. Fulfilling a promise to his father, Anthony received a Doctor of Education degree with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from Northcentral University. Dr. Winston serves as an Elder and Director of Technology at the Mt. Sinai SDA Church in Orlando, FL. He has been married to Karen Howard Winston of Orlando, FL for 32 years. Dr. Winston loves Oakwood University and hasn’t missed an Alumni Weekend since his retirement from the Navy. He has strong emotional ties to Oakwood. His father Lonnie graduated in 1956 and his sister Yolonda graduated in 1983. Anthony currently serves as the Parliamentarian of the Oakwood University Alumni Association.
Dr. Johnathan Henderson went on to earn his medical degree from Yale University and his specialty training in Family Medicine from Tufts University, and Integrative Medicine from the University of Arizona. He ultimately relocated to Georgia where he now works as a primary care physician at Bridgewater Family Practice, and serves as community faculty at the Morehouse School of Medicine. He has received awards from the National Congressional Black Caucus in Washington D.C., the National Council of Negro Women for excellence in medicine, and has medical and literary publications at Yale which include original poems and a thesis. Dr. Zsakeba Henderson earned her medical degree and completed her specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School, and then in applied epidemiology through the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Zsakeba is currently a Medical Officer in the Division of Reproductive Health at the CDC, where she works to improve the quality of care for mothers and infants across the country. She has authored numerous publications including articles in the medical literature, textbook chapters, and public health guidance, and has also earned multiple awards for her work.
Johnathan and Zsakeba have been married for 18 years, and they have three beautiful daughters, Johana (age 12), Kennedi (age 10), and Eden (age 5), all of whom are being groomed for Oakwood. When not spending time with family or at work, Johnathan and Zsakeba both enjoy doing health talks and working with the young people at their church, New Hope SDA Church, in Ellenwood, GA. Johnathan is an Elder, a Master Guide and is the Adventurer Club Director at their church. Zsakeba loves to sing and directs their church youth choir. The Hendersons cherish their Oakwood experience, and use every opportunity to encourage prospective students to attend.
They have also been involved with mentoring Oakwood students, preparing interested students for applying to medical school, and providing opportunities for summer internships. They both had the opportunity to return to Oakwood in 2016 to share with students and faculty; Zsakeba as the keynote speaker for the annual Faculty Research Symposium, and Johnathan as the keynote speaker for the program honoring students inducted into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. Their ultimate goal is to be of service, to glorify God in all that they do, and to spend eternity with Him.
Dr. Stewart has been happily married for 24 years to Jennifer Stewart and they are raising four sons: Joseph, Joshua, Jared, and Javon. He is passionate about Adventist education, therefore all four children are attending Adventist academies and universities. His eldest son will graduate from Oakwood in the Fall.
Lawrence, who worked and witnessed at the Government Printing Office as an Offset Pressman and is retired, also became an ordained Pastor in the Allegheny East Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, under the leadership of Pastor Luther Palmer. God continues to bless his ministry, as he is currently the Pastor of the Liberty Mission SDA church, in Washington, DC. God has used him to lead over 800 souls to Jesus. Catherine, who is a certified teacher and is retired from the Department of Education, was also called to work in the Community Services ministry. She was the President of the Metro Federation for 25 years. Faithfulness to God is their Motto. God has blessed them to be married for 60 years, with 5 children, 17 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, who stated that they are “Oakwood Bound” too!
The five children which the Lord blessed their union with all attended Oakwood College. Renee is currently a Supervisory Clinical Therapist (class 1979), Lawrence Jr. is currently a Vice President Portfolio Manager, GET (class 1981), Andre is currently a Senior Pastor, Educator (class 1983), Timothy is currently a Patent Analysist/CSS Instructor (class 1985) and Karen is currently a Senior Montessori Educator (class 1987). The Saunders legacy of 42 years at Oakwood University continues as their grandchildren are following in their parents’ footsteps – Phaedra Jones Sampson (class 2011), Lawrence Saunders III (class 2012), Mia Saunders (class 2016), Tiffany Saunders (class 2017), Lauren Saunders (class 2017) and Ashley Saunders (class 2018). The Saunders’ family is grateful/blessed to be a part of the Oakwood University family. To God Goes All the Glory!
Dr. Brown was provided a $4.5 million dollar endowment and appointed as the first Edwin H. Richard and Elisabeth Richard von Matsch Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Brown was also appointed at GUMC as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Oncology and associate director for the experimental therapeutics program in the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC). In 2015, Dr. Brown was promoted to a full tenured professor in Oncology and honored with professorships in the departments of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology.
In 2016, Dr. Brown accepted the appointment as Deputy Director of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute and Director for the Center for Drug Discovery at Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax, Virginia. Dr. Brown has the passion and committed resources to develop a world class research center aimed at fostering impactful and collaborative science to design and develop new oncology therapeutics.
Dr. Brown is seasoned leader at maintaining multi-investigator collaborations in academia and industry, locally, nationally and internationally and is driven to develop an academic institute focused at the discovery and development of novel medicine for the next generation.
Judy’s brother, Mike, is a proud Oakwood alum with his wife, Ruth; her 2 siblings, Connie and Phyllis, are former students along with her nephew, Mike, Jr. And her nephew, Robert Chiles, is an 2012 OU honors graduate and a 3rd year Pharm D student at Loma Linda University.
Joe served the SDA Church for nearly 30 years as a teacher, principal and school superintendent in 2 conferences: the South Central and Allegheny East Conferences. He retired from Adventist work as a Vice-president for Student Services and associate professor at Washington Adventist University. He served as principal of LA Union SDA School (Now LA Adventist Academy) which was built at its present location by his father, Joseph Dent, Sr., as the first and oldest historically Black preparatory school in the Western US established in 1929, and is a school with the unique distinction of having produced 4 OU presidents: Frank Peterson (academy board chair), Garland Millet (academy teacher), Calvin Rock (alumnus), and Delbert Baker (alumnus). Joe is now a successful Realtor with 6 professional designations serving the Baltimore-Washington Metro market.
Joe’s proudest connection with and contribution to Oakwood University happened in 2012 when he organized a hard working group of 83 Oakwood administrators, faculty, staff, students, alums, and friends to, with God’s blessing, raise what was until then, he was told, the largest Alumni Weekend fund raising response in the history of Oakwood University. Joe says his experience with that fund raising experience fully persuaded and totally convinced him that Oakwood University has the untapped ability and unrealized potential to raise $1 million dollars ANNUALLY from its 10,000 plus alumni. Joe and Judy are humbled and honored to be recognized as the Oakwood University Alumni Association’s 2017 Certificate of Merit Honorees for Allegheny East Conference, and to be given another opportunity to support our students at Oakwood University.
Stanton earned his MBA from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and is a retired Certified Public Accountant in the State of Florida.
Throughout his thirty-year career he has held administrative positions in the fields of business and accounting in acute and post acute healthcare, higher education and in organized work for Seventh Day Adventist church. In 1998, Stanton was blessed to return to his alma mater as the Associate Vice President for Finance and Chief Operating Officer for Non-Academic Programs for Oakwood University. Shortly thereafter he was called to be the Treasurer of the Southeastern Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, a position that he held until 2005. Since 2006 Stanton has been an active and now tenured professor and Chair of the Business Department at Valencia College. He has held numerous academic administrative positions in addition to his classroom work. Recognized for his contributions, Stanton is a recent recipient of the Roueche Excellence in Teaching Award, a national award for professors who “make a notable impact with their students”.
Stanton is known for his dedication and dependability (as well as his bowties and cufflinks!) both in his profession and in the community. He is the Site Coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program, a Facilitator for Molding Men for Tomorrow and SEED – both programs dedicated to seeking educational equity and diversity within education – the former for students, the latter for faculty and administrators. He stays involved in his local churches as Elder and Sabbath school teacher.
He has been married for 28 years to Monica Reed, MD, Chief Learning Officer for Florida Hospital. They share a great bond with each other and their two lovely daughters, Megan, an Associate Brand Manager for Ferrero Rochere (New Jersey), and Melanie who will receive her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture this May from Andrews University.
He served for one year as a Student Missionary and English Language Teacher in Seoul South Korea. Pastor Campbell has traveled and ministered throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Over the last 20 years, he has ministered in Virginia, New Jersey, California and Florida. Currently, he is the Pastor of the Elim SDA Church in St. Petersburg Florida.
Pastor Campbell has served in the capacity of Youth Pastor for 6 out of those 20 years. During that time, he developed several youth programs including Spiritual Boot-camp (Youth Edition) and Youth in Focus (Ministry groups). He is also the creator of the value-based animated series for kids, “The Fruit Troop”, which consist of 8 fruit character that reinforce Christian values and encourage children to lead healthy, active lifestyles.
He is married to the former Tanisha Simmons of Harlem, NY and they have two daughters, Hope Elizabeth Campbell and Alandra Simmons Campbell.
Oakwood University has always been a part of her family. From 1940 to the present, each year has seen members of her family making their academic footprint at OU. Three generations of Ms. van Putten’s family have matriculated at Oakwood including many aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family members. Many have met their future spouses there. She loves and supports OU.
In 1987, when her daughter graduated from Pine Forge Academy, there was no one available to provide academic and financial aid information for her. She saw that very few students from local churches were attending SDA schools, particularly as they graduated from high school. Thus began her 29-year ministry of helping students make educated choices about which SDA college/university they should attend and assisting in the financial aid process. She researched all of the North America SDA colleges/universities, gathering boxes of information, giving seminars on Adventist education and became a liaison between the students and schools. She often drove prospective students from New York City to Oakwood College so that they could see the school first hand. Many students, more than she knows, have graduated from Oakwood as a result of her encouragement, academic guidance and assistance in completing financial aid forms and scholarship applications. She visits students’ homes to personally provide direction. Some students have contacted her via email or phone call. She does not personally know all of them, but says that she will meet them face-to-face in heaven. Her mantra is that every career you desire can begin with Adventist higher education.
Ms. van Putten was raised in Adventism. Both of her grandfathers were pioneer Adventist pastors in Guyana, Surinam and many islands in the Caribbean. Her parents were missionaries to Caribbean Union College in Trinidad for four years. Several uncles and cousins on both sides of her family have been involved in SDA pastoral ministry. She is a product of Adventist education from elementary school through college. She graduated from Loma Linda University with degrees in Legal Office Administration and Medical Office Assisting. After a 7-year career in international human resources at the United Nations and 15 years of legal office administration at some of America’s largest law firms, she returned to academia and earned a degree in Liberal Arts with honors. She went on to earn a degree in Physician Assistant Studies and a graduate certificate in Allied Health Studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She recently expanded her knowledge in the medical field and became a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.
Rosalie van Putten is honored and humbled that the A. Samuel Rashford Chapter of the Oakwood University Alumni Association chose her as the recipient of the Certificate of Merit. She enjoys promoting Adventist education and, under God’s leadership, will continue to do so. She considers it a privilege to be a part of the Gospel commission in this genre. She asks that you pray for this ministry and support our schools through encouragement and financial contributions.
Dr. Lloyda Renee’ Broomes Williamson graduated from Oakwood Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Natural Science (‘87). At Oakwood, Lloyda sang in the Aeolians and was a member of the Science Club. She was accepted to Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN, after 3 years at Oakwood and graduated with a M.D. (‘90). She completed a Psychiatry residency and a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at Emory University and is board certified in both areas. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. While living in Atlanta, Dr. Williamson was a member of the Opus I Choir at the Atlanta Berean SDA Church and was later Minister of Music at the Shiloh SDA Church. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama – School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa Campus, where she is the Psychiatry Clerkship Director and the Telehealth Division Director at the College of Community Health Sciences. She has clinical experience in community mental health, private practice, telepsychiatry and intensive residential treatment. She has also served as a consultant to a state hospital and the juvenile system. She is an active clinician and lectures undergraduate students as well as medical students, family medicine residents and fellows. She has presented at multiple community events, women’s retreats and health workshops. She enjoys singing and has been active in various church offices at churches in TN, GA, and AL. She married Dennis O. Williamson (’90) in 1987. Dennis is a member of the Georgia and Alabama State Bar Associations and practices law in both states. The Williamsons reside in Tuscaloosa, AL and have 2 children, Jonathan and Grace. The Williamsons are members of the Oakwood Committee of 100.
Attorney Melissa Yvette Broomes White graduated Cum Laude from Oakwood (‘89) with a B.S. with a Biology Major and a Chemistry Minor. At Oakwood, Melissa was involved in Blessed Peace Gospel Choir, the Science Club, and Natural Chic Modeling Club. In 1990, Melissa began her career as a science teacher at Greater Atlanta Greatest Academy, Atlanta, GA. As a member of Decatur SDA Church, Melissa was a Chorister and sang with The Voices of Decatur Choir. Her love for science education and young people continued as she headed the Science Department at Pine Forge Academy in Pine Forge, PA (‘95). After returning to Atlanta, GA, Melissa taught middle school science and high school Biology at the Atlanta International School. During her last year of teaching, Melissa obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the National Center for Paralegal Training prior to her career transition to law. Melissa graduated from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, TX with a J.D. (‘06). Melissa’s legal experience includes city government, pharmaceutical and healthcare litigation, and personal injury defense. Melissa and Richard White were married in 2008 in Atlanta, GA. They have one daughter, and are active members of Atlanta Berean SDA Church. Richard is a Senior User Experience/Interactive Designer at Deloitte. Melissa is a member of the Georgia State Bar and practices civil litigation in the Atlanta area.
Merkita’s favorite Bible text is Proverbs 3:5, the Message version: “Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out anything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.”
In his spare time Dan writes Faith-based play’s (which have been performed at various venues) and articles on health & wellness. His articles have appeared in various magazines, newspapers, and other publications which include; Message Magazine, the Colligate Sabbath School Quarterly, Florida Hospital Articles, The Orlando Advocate just to mention a few. He is currently developing a Christian talk show called “Urban Impact” where he is the host and producer. The show was developed to showcase Christian professionals and bring attention to what they are doing in their profession that reflects Christ character whereby making a difference in their urban community. Elder Smith ministry has taken him to witness throughout the U.S., Canada, England, Spain and various parts of the Caribbean through speaking, singing, management, workshops & seminars.
He is married to the former Rebecca Lee Bias, originally from Philadelphia, PA., who is a 5th Grade teacher in the Seminole County Public School system. Elder & Mrs. Smith now reside in Apopka, FL. Elder Smith is a member & elder at Patmos Chapel SDA Church, in Winter Park, FL. He is also the Current Oakwood University Alumni Association-Greater Orlando Chapter President (which is another story).