2018 South Atlantic Conference Honorees


2018 OUAA South Atlantic Conference Certificate of Merit Honoree

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.

2018 OUAA South Atlantic Conference Alumnus of the Year Honoree

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’).

Dr. Clora  Young Ward

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.

2018 South West Conference Honorees


Patricia & Burrell Burns
2018 OUAA South West Conference Certificate of Merit Honorees
​In 1956, the average yearly wage was $3532.36, the average house sold for $22,000 and the average price of a car was $1606.00.  A gallon of milk was $.92, a loaf of bread was $.18 and gas sold for $.23/gallon.  That very same year, Patricia Berry married Burrell Burns in her hometown of Springfield, Ohio.

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

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.



Check back soon for other 2018 OUAA Honorees!


2017 South Atlantic Conference Honorees


​Drs. Johnathan and Zsakeba Henderson graduated from Oakwood College, Summa Cum Laude, with the Class of 1995.  Both Zsakeba and Johnathan came to Oakwood as the Valedictorians of their respective high school classes; Zsakeba from Pine Forge Academy in PA, and Johnathan from Newton County High School in GA. They both entered Oakwood as Biochemistry majors and excelled academically. Their friendship grew as they worked together as lab assistants and tutors, in addition to being involved in many other student clubs and activities. Although they were close friends throughout their time at Oakwood, it was not until their senior year that Johnathan and Zsakeba’s friendship grew into a deeper relationship.  They both were accepted to multiple medical schools, but chose to continue their educational journey together in New England.

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. David A. Stewart is a proud graduate of Oakwood College, class of 1989. He went on to complete his medical training at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia; and residency at the State University of New York (SUNY), in Buffalo, New York. He is board certified in both anesthesia and pain management.
Dr. Stewart currently practices at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville, Georgia and as the director of the Spine and Wellness Center with locations in Snellville and Johns Creek.
Atlanta Belvedere Seventh Day Adventist church is where Dr. Stewart and his family have worshiped for the past 18 years. He has enjoyed serving in the capacity of church elder, pathfinder counselor, and on the stewardship committee. He can be found sleeping under the stars and guarding the campfire at the annual camporee or making sure the sound system is working just right at the church socials.

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.




​Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Carla D. Joseph-Jones is the middle child born to the union of Dr. Charles D. and Vivian-Holland Joseph. She is a product of lifetime attendance of Adventist Christian  schools attending F.H Jenkins in Nashville, Tenn.; Trinity Temple in Newark, N.J. and completing her primary and secondary education at Shiloh Academy in Chicago, Il. In the fall of 1986, she entered “Oakwood College”, the alma mater of both of her parents as well as her older sister.
After entering college, she soon recognized that she had an inner passion for serving people, especially children and chose to join the department of nursing. While in nursing school she developed a fond affection for her pediatric instructor and mentor Mrs. Andrews which greatly increased her passion for caring for children.
Attending Oakwood College for 4 years was one of the greatest experiences in her life – developing lifelong friendships and an increased relationship with Christ have helped to mold her into who she is today.  She chose to complete her nursing degree at Andrews University and graduated with her bachelor’s in nursing in 1991. Immediately upon graduation she began her dream of working with children and started working for St. Mary’s Medical Center in Gary, IN. as a pediatric nurse.
She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1994 and continued to grow her work experience in pediatric nursing which has included Pediatric Home Health and Pediatric Nursing Instructor for over 7 years at Carolinas College of Health Sciences.  In the fall of 2005, She returned to Andrews University and graduated in 2008 with a Master’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Nursing Education. Carla’s passion for children and nursing education allowed her to now serve in the role of CNS-Clinical Nurse Specialist over nursing education for the 234 bed Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.  While serving in this role, she was chair of nursing policies and clinical practice guidelines and was an intricate part of helping Carolinas Medical Center/Levine Children’s Hospital to be granted the prestigious Magnet Recognition.
For the past two years, she has been serving as the Pediatric Coordinator and Patient Navigator of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at Levine Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Center. Her passion continues to drive her to improve the care of this patient population while providing them with education and empowering her patients and their families to be advocates for their health.
Carla not only has a passion for children and youth in her profession but also in her church work as well.  She has served as children and youth Sabbath school teacher, AY leader and NC State Youth Federation President. She is currently serving as assistant Children’s Ministry Leader and is a member of the Phenomenal Girls Ministry at her church Trinity Worship Center SDA, which serves as a mentoring ministry for young girls in the church as well as the Charlotte Community. Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House with the women and young ladies from her church is by far her favorite activity to participate in.

Carla is married to Patrick Jones (OC class of ’90) a Technical Account Manager for Microsoft. They are blessed with three children: Ryan Leigh (OU class of 2013); Amber Danielle (OU class of 2016) and Patrick II a Freshman at Morehouse College

2017 Allegheny East Conference Honorees​


In 1958, in Washington, DC, Rose Walker Toussaint witnessed to Catherine Saunders on her job by her dress and demeanor. Catherine, a young lady noticed how Rose dressed without makeup or jewelry, but always “looked so nice” was curious as to why Rose dressed in such a manner.  One conversation led to an invitation to the First Seventh-day Adventist church in Washington, DC. Then Bible studies began with Catherine. Meanwhile, in Germany the Holy Spirit revealed to her husband, Lawrence that the seventh-day, Saturday was the day to worship God in church. Neither had shared information until Lawrence was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1958.   Upon returning home, Lawrence began visiting the church with his wife and on one Sabbath they both responded to the Saviour’s call to totally surrender their lives completely to God in Spirit and in Truth.

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! 


Milton L. Brown, M.D., Ph.D is a physician scientist who has a passion for the discovery and translation of new drugs. After graduating from Oakwood College (Now Oakwood University) in 1987 with a degree in Biology, Dr. Brown earned a Ph.D. in synthetic chemistry from University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1995 and then a M.D. at the University of Virginia in 1999.  Dr.  Brown received postdoctoral training in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia, and in 2000 became an assistant professor of chemistry in the same department.  In 2003, Dr. Brown was promoted to Associate Professor and tenured at the University of Virginia.  In June of 2006, Dr. Brown accepted the position as inaugural Director of the Drug Discovery Program (DDP) at the Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) to coordinate and for 10 years manage University drug discovery and development efforts. 

​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. 


Love Everlasting.  Forever Friendships.  Memorable Moments.  Highest Honor.  These are just a few of the phrases that capture the heart, mind and soul of Oakwood University’s 2017 Alumna of the Year for Allegheny East Conference – Mrs. Kathleen Woodfork Coleman.
Kathy enjoyed the privilege of growing up on the campus of Oakwood College where her father, Elder Robert Woodfork wore many hats.  He served with Oakwood as the Pastor of the College Church, Professor of Religion and Dean of Men.  It was during her formative years – interacting with the big kids on campus that Kathy knew unequivocally this was the place where she would return for her college education.
Fast forward to 1969 when Kathy, excited, energized and eager, returned to the place she once called home.  Her freshman year was filled with making new friends and charting new waters.  She sang in the Oakwood College choir and toured with the Aeolians; is a proud member of the class of 1973 and was selected as an Oakwood University Living Legend in 2008. Kathy is very clear, her Oakwood years were the best time of her life!
Caring for people has always been Kathy’s passion. She knew her special calling was nursing from the young age of four. Her time at Oakwood provided her the academic foundation to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. Subsequently, she earned her Master’s in Health Promotion from Loma Linda University and became a Nurse Health Educator. A visionary and astute leader, Kathy conceived the idea to organize this professional organization and became the co-founder of the Association of Black Seventh-day Adventist Nurses (ABAN). She served with distinction as the first president from 1987 to 1993. At the end of her term, Kathy was named President Emerita and is featured in a landmark publication for her accomplishments, The Path We Tread – Blacks in Nursing by Elizabeth Carnegie. 1993 also marked the year that she was inducted into the Archives at the Eva B. Dykes Library at Oakwood University.
Kathy has spent the last 43 years meeting the needs of the sick in various nursing positions, from primary care to health promotion and preventative care.  Now she has been afforded the great honor to combine her nursing experience with her extraordinary faith as she directs the Faith Community Health Network for Adventist HealthCare, in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
She is a member of the Emmanuel Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Brinklow Maryland and the Greater Washington Oakwood Alumni Association.
Kathy is married to her high school sweetheart, David Coleman. Together they have 3 daughter’s and one son; Tiffani (Terrell), Kristen (Daniel), Kimberley (Richard), and  Dustin.  The Coleman’s enjoy traveling and spending time with their 14 grandchildren.


Joe and Judy Dent celebrated a 40 year marriage anniversary relationship this past December which was actually conceived on Oakwood’s campus during a South Central Conference camp meeting.  And for more than 40 years they have been life-long Oakwood fans, supporters, and cheerleaders.  Judy is an Oakwood alumna, but Joe, regretfully and sorrowfully, he painfully admits, is not.
Judy graduated from Oakwood in the Class of 1972 as an elementary education major, sitting at the feet of her mentor and model, Dr. Norwida Marshall.  And since 1972, 1000’s of children and youth have had their lives positively touched, their minds honed and sharpened, and their characters stamped for success on earth and citizenship in heaven in Judy’s classrooms in New York City, Nashville, Los Angeles, Maryland, and Pine Forge PA where, for the last 4 years, she has ably served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Allegheny East Conference.
Just one example of the character building and life changing influence of Judy’s impact on her students is Judy’s administrative assistant at Allegheny East Conference at Pine Forge.  Shayla Little had been a little 3rd grade student in Judy’s classroom at the Oaklands (public) Elementary School in Laurel MD.  Judy so positively impacted little Shayla like she has with thousands of other children that Shayla left Oaklands, grew up, and happily reconnected with Judy in high school. Long story short, because of Judy, Shayla became a baptized member of the Emmanuel Brinklow SDA Church, an adopted member of the Dent family, and is now a faithful and hardworking SDA church worker and entrepreneur, all because of Judy’s character building Christian influence in a 3rd grade public school classroom.  1000’s of students, Shayla being just one example among many, enthusiastically testify that Judy was the hands down best teacher or principal they ever had. 
As a popular and widely respected principal at Patuxent Elementary School in Prince George’s County MD, Judy was recognized for her exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to students by being chosen by her school system not once but twice as a finalist for the Washington Post’s prestigious annual Principal of the Year Award.  At her retirement dinner the Prince Georges County Executive, Rushern Baker, school system and government officials, and pastors of local mega churches along with former teachers and students all came out to celebrate Judy’s stellar public school leadership career.
Even though Joe is not an Oakwood alum his roots and family connections with Oakwood are extensive and deep.  His father, Joseph Dent, Sr. was a biology professor at Oakwood College; his uncle, Garland Millet, was Oakwood’s 5th president after Oakwood became a college in 1943; his sister, Gwendolyn White, is a retired nursing professor; his cousins, Carmen Bucknor, is a psychology professor, and Wayne Bucknor is a music professor; his sister, Jeannie Watkins, was the administrative assistance for former VP, Tim McDonald,  and former president, Delbert Baker; his cousin, Debbe Millet, is with OU’s PR Dept; his niece, Karen White, is an administrative assistant for OU and his grand nephew, Charles White II, now an employee with Adventist Health Systems FL, was the OU USM Finance VP.; 2 of their 4 children, Frank and Eleanor Dent, are both Oakwood graduates. 

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.


2017 Southeastern Conference Honorees


​Jonathan Harrell, Sr. graduated from Oakwood College in 1984, with a BA in Music and Minor in Computer Science. He sang in the Aeolian Chorale under the direction of Dr. Alma Blackman. His wife Ferren “Marr” Harrell, MSN, Lactation Consultant, Nursing Professor a graduate of the University of Central Florida.  While not an attendee of Oakwood University, she remains a staunch supporter, and has many family ties (cousins, nieces, nephews) to the university.
Their oldest child (Rachel) attended Oakwood University from 2007 to 2009 and their youngest son Jonathan II is a senior graduating in May, with a major in Biomedical Sciences (Pre Med). They also have a 10-month-old granddaughter (Teagan), who is fully expected to matriculate at Oakwood university in about 17 years (2034) if the Lord should tarry.
The Harrell Family has a rich tradition with Oakwood University stretching back approximately 70 years. His parents, Pastor Ira L. Harrell, Sr. ‘54, and Sadie “Richardson” Harrell ’52 (deceased, 2015), met at Oakwood in 1950 and were united in holy matrimony in 1952. To this union were born 5 children who would all matriculate and graduate from Oakwood University. Frank, Sr., Pastor ‘79, Kamala (Gilleylen), MSN, ‘79, Ira Jr., MD, ‘82 (deceased, 2014), and Ingrid (Palmer), RN 86’. There are many other relatives, nieces and nephews who have attended and graduated from Oakwood University.
With the completion of their youngest son’s graduation in May, they would have completed 3 full generations of matriculation and graduation at Oakwood University.
We think it is safe to make the observation that Oakwood University is in the Harrell’s DNA.


Stanton graduated from Oakwood University in 1983, and has been an avid supporter of the University since that time. After holding business positions with Sprint, the former Northeast and Mid America Adventist Health Care System and Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Stanton and his wife Monica moved to Orlando Florida, where they currently reside.

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.


Marixa (Alleyne) Cummings was born in Toronto, Canada to Trinidadian parents. When she was two years old, her father, who was working for a Canadian International organization was transferred from Canada to Trinidad, where he would be in charge of marketing operation in the Caribbean. Marixa spent eight formative years of her life in Trinidad, before the family was transferred back to Canada. Her late Junior High and High School years were spent in Canada, where she began her love for writing and public speaking and won her high school public speaking competition. On graduating from high school, she then moved on to Oakwood University in 1997, where she became involved in the Madison Mission and VOT choirs, as well as the Oakwood gymnastics team. That same year the family moved to Orlando, Florida. Marixa has been living in the United States since that time. Sometimes she is confused as to whether she is Canadian, Trinidadian, or American.
After spending three years at Oakwood University, Marixa transferred to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida where she graduated with a B.S. degree. From the University of Central Florida, she immediately moved on to graduate school at Florida International University, in Miami Florida to pursue a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Marixa used her prior experience in public speaking and was nominated by her graduating class to present their thesis to Occupational Therapists throughout the state of Florida at an Occupational Therapy Symposium.
So far her entire working career has been at Adventist Health System/Florida Hospital as an Occupational Therapist. Presently she is at the AHS Rehab facility in Apopka, Florida. While attending graduate school in Miami, she met her future husband, Darryl Cummings whom she married on July 1st. 2007 (Canada Day). They have two wonderful children – Kendyl, age 7 and Rylee, age 4.

Her key years in life were all spent in SDA schools – Maracas SDA in Trinidad, Grandview Academy in Ontario, Canada and Oakwood University. It is in these institutions as well as a strong Christian upbringing at home that has propelled her to be a committed participant in church activities. As a member of Patmos Chapel in Winter Park, Florida, Marixa is highly engaged and involved in singing solos, and/or leading out in Praise Groups – skills she acquired from singing at Madison Mission and VOT, and being the anchor on the church’s “TV” program, Patmos Chapel News. Apart from donating a lot of her time at church, she gives back in other ways to the community such as tutoring Math/Calculus at Huntington Learning Center, or in “Rixercise” – a physical fitness group she organized for the ladies in the community where she lives. She continues to inspire others spiritually and otherwise. She is grateful to Oakwood University for the part played in achieving her accomplishments.


​Carlotta was the 5th and last child born to Julia and Ernest Howard, Sr.  Love always filled their Adventist home.  After being baptized as a young child and becoming a member of Mt. Sinai Seventh-day Adventist Church in Orlando, Florida; she started serving immediately.  It all began at an early age when she was Treasurer of the Mt. Sinai Children’s Choir.  She still remains there and has worked faithfully all of her life.  She served as the Treasurer of Mt. Sinai SDA Church for over 15 years, and currently serves as the Finance Committee Chairperson, Asst. Treasurer, Church Board Member, and Stewardship Committee Member.  In the past, she has held several other positions in the church such as Asst. Head Deaconess and Recreation Department Leader to name a couple. 
Soon after high school, she married Stephen McKenzie in 1988, and continued to attend college locally.  After graduating from college, they began to travel, taking many vacations across the 50 US which they still continue to do.  Eight years after marriage, they decided to settle down and start a family.  To this union, God blessed them with three children.  Carlette Sheree (currently a Junior at Oakwood University), Stephen Jr. (deceased), and Stephanie Ann (will be arriving as a Freshman at Oakwood University in August).  
She has been employed by Adventist organizations her entire life.  She has worked at Florida Hospital in several positions for the past 32 years.  Currently, she works at Adventist Health System as the Finance Director for Population Health Services Organization, a newly formed company within AHS.  She absolutely loves her job and thanks God for it.
Not only is she active at Mt. Sinai SDA Church, but she is also active in other organizations.  She currently serves as the Treasurer and a School Board Member of Mt. Sinai Junior Academy; Treasurer and Day Care Board Member of Mt. Sinai Child Development Center; and Asst. Treasurer of King’s Daughters, Chapter 1.  Even though she never attended Oakwood, she loves OU and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Oakwood University Alumni Association, Greater Orlando Chapter; a position she has held for 10 years.  She also represents Southeastern Conference as a lay person on the Southern Union Conference Executive Committee and the Southern Union Conference Audit Review Committee.  She considers it an honor and a privilege to serve in God’s vineyard.  Her favorite bible text continues to give her strength daily.  In Philippians 4:13, God says “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”   Her extremely busy schedule puts God to the test. J
For the Howard children, Adventist Education was mandatory and she attended Adventist schools through high school.  Because of her firm belief in Adventist Education, her children have also attended Adventist schools their entire life. 
When she finds the time, she loves shopping, especially for unique hats and shoes, scrapbooking, working in the yard, decorating, designing, and DIY projects.   Vacations and spending time with family and friends continue to be the highlight of her life.  She enjoys traveling to golf and tennis tournaments; following Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams around the US while they chase old records and set new records. 
Carlotta knows that she is truly a very blessed person.  She thanks God for what He has done and continues to do each and every day.  Her goal is simply to serve the Lord at all times, to educate and train her children for the Lord who entrusted them to her, and to be ready when He returns.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  Quickly please!

​2017 South West Conference Honoree


Dr. Cecil C. Bailey, a Dallas, Texas native, began his journey as a Board-Certified Internist while attending Dallas Independent School District’s Health Magnet. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, Dr. Bailey completed his residency at Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. Dr. Bailey returned to his hometown more than 15 years ago, where he has become an influential, game-changing authority in an ever-changing industry.
Dedicated to his patients, Dr. Bailey, affectionately referred to as a workaholic, has served as the medical director for various hospitals in North Texas while maintaining his own private practice. For the past 13 years, Dr. Bailey’s private practice, Heritage Medical & Wellness Clinic in Cedar Hill, has reflected his passion for effectively taking a holistic approach to medicine. With extensive experience in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, disease prevention and the promotion of healthy lifestyles have become the cornerstones of Dr. Bailey’s practice.
Dr. Bailey is a Deacon and Board Member at his church where he oversees the Health and Wellness Ministry. As a humanitarian and philanthropist, Dr. Bailey volunteers as not only the on-site physician, but also as a mentor for the Steve Harvey Male Mentoring National Camp. 

​2017 Global Regions Honoree


Pastor Andre James Wilmot Campbell is the second son of Dr. S. Peter and Joanne Campbell. He was born in Nassau, Bahamas, raised in Jamaica, and the United States. He is a product of S.D.A. Christian Education from Elementary School through Graduate School, attending Pine Forge Academy, Oakwood College (B.S. Psychology 94’) and Andrews University (Mdiv 97’).

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.






The Richardson Family

The Richardson family comprises Stephen (class of 1981), Margaret (class of 1982), Marquita (class of 2012), Shelton (current student) and Shelbourne (attended 2010-12). The family traces its connection with Oakwood University back to the 1940s when Margaret’s parents, Edwin and Margaret (Daniels) Humphrey (both deceased) met as students, graduated in 1946 and 1948, respectively, and soon after married. All of their six children—Edwina, Edwin Jr., Virgil, Louis, Calvin and Margie (Margaret)—would attend Oakwood College. A host of relatives on both the Humphrey(s) and Daniels sides of the family attended and/or graduated from Oakwood as well, making the school a part of their family history.
Stephen arrived at Oakwood College in the fall semester of 1976, joining his older sibling Paul (class of 1979). Stephen chose to pursue a double major in Theology and Business Administration along with a minor in Biblical Languages. Margaret arrived in the fall of 1978 and majored in Home Economics with a minor in Child Development. Their shared love of choral music brought them together and fostered their engagement and eventual marriage. Each auditioned and was accepted into the Oakwood College Aeolians, under the direction of Dr. Alma Blackmon. Between rehearsals, extended choir tours and numerous concerts, opportunities arose to become acquainted with each other and, eventually, friendship blossomed into courtship.
Aside from their musical activity, Margie and Steve discovered they had a lot in common. They were both “preacher’s kids” whose fathers were respected ministers and mothers were gifted teachers. Both sets of parents were “Marge and Ed”!  They were married in the summer of 1982 at Ephesus SDA Church in Harlem, New York with their fathers officiating the nuptials. Their first home was on the campus of Andrews University (Berrien Springs, MI) where each enrolled in graduate study. A life of ministry and service ensued while moving several times between six states.
Annual trips to Oakwood College Alumni Weekend continued to be the norm, even with the arrival of children. As such, “The Oaks” figuratively became a part of the children’s DNA, which made the choice to join their network of family friends on the familiar campus very easy. Marquita studied Biology and Communications, Shelton selected Theology, and Shelbourne completed two years of general coursework before leaving to pursue undergraduate studies in Geography. For two of their college years, all three attended Oakwood together. While they share a love of music, each of them chose to be in a different choir! Marquita sang with the Aeolians, Shelbourne sang with Voices of Triumph, and Shelton still sings with Dynamic Praise (as this is his graduating year).
Margie currently works as the office manager for the Pine Forge Academy Foundation at its Pennsylvania location. Stephen serves as ministerial director for Allegheny East Conference. Marquita works in early childhood special education as a paraprofessional for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Shelton and Shelbourne are completing their college degrees.
The family thoroughly enjoys their time together, often singing solos or as a group and serving in various capacities to season their community with God’s grace. They are each animal lovers and lovers of good music and art. They long for heaven and the earth made new as their home.




Stafford Henderson Byers

​Stafford Henderson Byers is the seventh of ten children born to Adrian and Beatrice Byers. Originally from Antigua, West Indies, the Byers family migrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York. Pastor Byers is a graduate of Oakwood University B.A., majoring in Theology and minoring in Biblical Languages and History; Andrews University (M.Div.) Master of Divinity; Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law (JD) Juris Doctor;  and Dowling College M.B.A.
He has practiced law on his own (Byers and Associates); with his brother Eugene (Byers and Byers); as a senior associate (Bartlett, Mc Donough, Bastone and Monahan) Assistant Corporation Counsel (City of New Rochelle, NY); Assistant County Attorney (Nassau County, NY); Managing Attorney (Harlem Legal Services); Human Resource Director (Village of Freeport, NY) and Visiting Assistant Professor of Law (Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law), Houston Texas.
He has served as Associate Pastor of Ephesus Seventh day Adventist (SDA) Church in Harlem. He has pastored Bethany SDA church in Westbury; New Rochelle SDA Church; First White Plains SDA Church; Corona SDA Church; and Brooklyn Temple SDA Church, all in New Yok. He also pastored the Baytown United SDA Church in Texas. Currently he is the pastor of Bethesda SDA Church in Amityville, Long Island, New York.
He frequents the circuit both as a preacher and as a motivational speaker in many parts of the United States, as well as in Canada, England, Bermuda, Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Jamaica and Tobago.   
His family is an Oakwood family. In addition to Pastor Byers, four of his siblings also attended Oakwood University: Eugene, Griselda, Calvin and Melvin. Additionally, a number of nieces and nephews: Darthlyn, Marvin, Edlorn, Penelope, Terrence and Kamaaya are alumni of Oakwood University. He has four adult children: Stafford Henderson Byers II an Oakwood Alumni, Arthur Wentworth Byers, Tsahai Ngozi Byers an Oakwood Alumni and Adrian Nicholas Byers.




Rosalie van Putten

Rosalie van Putten is a member of Lebanon Seventh-day Adventist Church in Laurelton, Queens, NY.  She is currently Lebanon Early Childhood Center School Board Chairperson and has served as Education Director both there and at Springfield Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Her Christian ministry revolves around preaching and giving seminars on relationships, stewardship, health, Adventist education and how to obtain financial aid for school.

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.





The Broomes Family

Dr. Lloyd Rudy Broomes was born in Trinidad, West Indies. He completed training at the Shell Technical School for Automotive Engineering and received the Best Apprenticeship Gold Medalist award (‘55). At Oakwood, he sang in the male chorus, as a tenor soloist with Oakwood Academy Choir, and toured with the Aeolians. He was the Salutatorian and obtained a B.S. with Chemistry Major and Biology Minor (‘61). He was one the first two students accepted to Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Medicine directly from Oakwood. Dr. Broomes married the former Lauvenia E. Alleyne of Tobago, West Indies in 1963.  Lauvenia graduated from Kingsway College (Canada) and has a R.N. degree from Glendale Adventist School of Nursing (CA). Dr. Broomes graduated from LLU School of Medicine (’66). Their daughters, Lloyda and Melissa, completed their entire elementary through college education at SDA schools. Dr. Broomes career highlights include Staff Psychiatrist, Camarillo State Hospital (CA), private practice, Clinical Director, Meharry Community Mental Health Center, Asst. Professor of Psychiatry, Meharry Medical College, Asst. Commissioner, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, State of Tennessee, Chief of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) (TN), and Mental Health Service Line Manager, VAMC, (GA).  He retired in 2000 from the Tuscaloosa, AL VAMC. Dr. Broomes’ professional memberships include the American Academy of Physicians in Addiction Treatment, American College of Physician Executives, American College of Physician Examiners, American Psychiatric Association (Distinguished Life Fellow), American Medical Association (Life Member). He has also served on the Board of Trustees of Southern Adventist University. Publications include 3 books: Sufficient Grace: Surviving Prostate Cancer; Let’s Make Lemonade (co-authored Lauvenia) and Leaves from Life’s Tree. He also has served as a Deacon and as an Elder. Dr. and Mrs. Broomes have facilitated marriage seminars in North Eastern, South Central, South Atlantic, Southern Caribbean, and Southeastern Conferences of SDA. They are members of the Oakwood Committee of 100. They currently live in the greater Atlanta, GA area and are members of the Atlanta Berean SDA Church.

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 Mosley

Merkita Mosley is a native of Greenwood, MS and is proud to share that by God’s provision, all six siblings attended Oakwood University.  She is a 1997 graduate of Oakwood University holding a B.S. degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. During her time at Oakwood, she was an active member of both Dynamic Praise and the Aeolians. 
Merkita was raised in a religious environment and chose to serve God at the age of 12. Since that time, she has served the world church for over 20 years and is heavily involved in music and youth ministry at her local church. She currently serves the South Central Conference as Treasurer, but has also served in various roles in the Accounting Office.  She also served at the Southern Union Conference for four years as the Assistant and Associate Treasurer. By God’s grace and guidance, she has had the opportunity to share His love domestically and abroad through evangelistic meetings, women conferences, youth events and local conference camp meetings. 
Through her role at South Central Conference, she has helped maintained an auditing internship program which provides an opportunity for students to experience auditing and the business side of church work. 
Merkita is happily married to David Mosley and they have one daughter. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, traveling, bowling and spending time with family and friends.

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.”





Dr. Maya Patrice Byfield

​Dr. Maya Patrice Byfield is the daughter of Jamaican parents born in Queens, New York.  She was inspired by the sciences at an early age by her grandmother, a nurse. After graduating from Oakwood University with a BS in Biology, Dr. Byfield received her MS in biomedical sciences and Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. She conducted her Post-Doctoral associate work in Neuroscience at the University of Central Florida, College of Medicine.  She is currently a Tenured Professor of Biology at Seminole State College of Florida and a visiting Faculty at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Lake Nona, Florida.
For bright minds with the potential to become America’s next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) leaders, Dr. Maya Byfield is a bridge between innate talent and real-world opportunities. A role model to female and minority students, she helps a wide cross-section of young people chart promising futures.
As Project Director of Seminole State College’s groundbreaking STEM Research Program since 2010, Byfield has forged partnerships with some of the region’s most prominent institutions, allowing students in her program to be paired with mentors at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and the University of Florida IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, among others.
In the past year, Byfield has gained widespread recognition for her work with two dual-enrolled teenagers on a team of UCF scientists studying how technology aids the fight against autism and Alzheimer’s disease. Under her guidance, these young prodigies – and many of their classmates – are gaining valuable experience in Central Florida’s emerging biotechnology industry.  Dr. Byfield was featured in the PBS Stories of Champions segment of American Graduate Day 2015 and awarded as one of the Top 100 Inspiring Women in STEM in the nation by Insight into Diversity Magazine.




James English

​James English graduated from Oakwood University with a B.S. in Finance in 2004. Upon graduation, he was recruited to work for Adventist Health System as a Finance Resident in Sebring, Florida.  At that time, Mr. English completed his M.B.A at Webber International University.  Upon conclusion of the Finance Residency, Mr. English transitioned to the Revenue Manager for the Florida Hospital Heartland Division, also in Sebring, Florida.
In 2008, Mr. English was promoted to Director of Revenue Management for Florida Hospital Orlando, the largest hospital in the Adventist Health System, and later served as Assistant Vice-President over the Revenue Cycle department.
Today, Mr. English is the Vice President of Revenue Cycle Financial Operations, which includes Patient Access, Patient Financial Services, Revenue Integrity, Business Analytics, and Ancillary Financial Services.  In this role, he oversees 750+ employees supporting nine Florida Hospital campuses accounting for $3+Billion dollars in annual revenues.
Personally, James English is married to the former Kristina Leonard on September 4, 2011.  They have a beautiful daughter, Jordyn English (age 1).  Mr. English is very committed to his church, Patmos Chapel, in Winter Park, Florida.  At Patmos Chapel, Mr. English has been in the role as Treasurer since 2009.  Some of Mr. English’s hobbies include golfing, flying, and spending family time.




Eric Moore

​Eric Moore, MD, MBA, Is the Medical Director for the Central Florida Vitas Healthcare program. The Central Florida Program is the third largest Vitas program in the country.  Board certified in Family Practice and in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Moore has over 20 years of medical experience.
Dr. Moore joined VITAS in 2014 as Associate Medical Director and was promoted to Medical Director in 2015. Prior to joining VITAS, Dr. Moore served as Chief Medical Officer for Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, Florida, while concurrently serving as a Hospice Clinical Preceptor for Florida Hospital Family Medicine Residency programs for Florida State Medical School, the University of Central Florida Medical School and Nova Southeastern University School of Medicine. Prior to that, he was in private practice in Orlando, Florida for six years. Dr. Moore also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director for Moore Medical Group, Inc., in Lake Mary, Florida.
A Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice,  In 1985 Dr. Moore earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama and a Medical Degree from The Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. He completed a residency in Family Medicine at Florida Hospital in Orlando. Dr. Moore also earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Webster University in Orlando, Florida. He is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the American Academy of Family Practice and the American College of Physician Executives.




Daniel D. Smith

Elder Daniel D. Smith is a product of the Adventist & public school system. He made his decision to totally follow Christ after turning down a football scholarship that was offered to him from several universities in the state of Michigan. He was born in Detroit, MI. He went on to attend Andrews University where he majored in Nursing and Healthcare Administration. Upon Graduating from Andrews University he went on to pursue post-graduate studies for Masters of Science in Administration from Andrews University. He now works as an independent contracting consultant, in the field of healthcare management, marketing and business development. His clients are from the private and public sector, which includes Florida Hospitals, the State of Florida, Nursing Homes and other private and public Agencies in healthcare and business.

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).