N.C. A&T Recognizes 12 Distinguished Alumni during Fall Convocation

By Alana V. Allen / 10/28/2022 Alumni

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 28, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University celebrated its annual Fall Convocation program Thursday, Oct. 28. During the program, Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. provided the state of the university and welcomed alumni to the “Greatest Homecoming on Earth” celebration.

At this year’s event, Jerome Myers, PE, PMP, MBA ’05, served as the keynote speaker. He is the developer and founder of The Myers Development Group LLC, where he helps people invest in multi-family real estate to create generational wealth.

Established in 2006, The Myers Development Group LLC offers private lending, business strategy, organizational development and engineering consulting services to businesses and individuals in North Carolina and Virginia. The organization prides itself on delivering undeniable results to its partners through innovative thinking and solid execution strategies. The company is expected to have ownership in more than 1,000 units and approximately 750,000 square feet by 2030.

Also, Myers is the founder of DreamCatchers, a boutique consulting firm that supports first- and second-generation wealth creators.

Myers graduated from North Carolina A&T with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He holds an MBA from Longwood University in 2010. He serves on the board for the Richmond Minorities in Engineering Partnership and established the first fully endowed engineering scholarship at N.C. A&T.

Myers’ speech during convocation focused on his transition from corporate America to his entrepreneurial journey and for those who consider taking the red pill – a metaphoric symbol that derives from the movie, “The Matrix” – to pursue success in an uncertain world by facing reality. He also encouraged the audience to understand the power of creating generational wealth by buying assets and charging other people to use them.

While the university commemorates the 96th edition of the Greatest Homecoming on Earth, it also honors and recognizes 12 alumni for their outstanding work and accomplishments on behalf of their respective colleges and service to the alumni community. 

Myers received the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Engineering. 

The following received Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards: 

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences 

Walter Hood ’81 is America’s most decorated landscape designer and the owner of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California. His work spans the breadth of art, design and public realm engagement. Focusing on local, community-based needs, his public space designs embrace the essence of urban environments and their links to urban redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization. In 2017, he received the Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, in 2019 the Knight Public Spaces Fellowship, the MacArthur Genius Fellowship, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and the 2021 Architectural League’s President’s Medal award.    

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 

The Honorable John Houston ‘74 is a senior judge with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego. As a judge nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he has had the significant responsibility of exercising jurisdiction over federal criminal and civil matters. He is active in numerous local continuing legal education programs and with the Black Law Student Associations at San Diego’s three law schools. Additionally, he has served on the Chancellor’s North Carolina A&T Board of Visitors. 

Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics 

Melanie Glover ’04 is a Certified Public Accountant in North Carolina and Florida, as well as in Washington, D.C.,a Certified Information Systems Auditor. She has extensive experience working with clients in the design, implementation and assessment of processes and controls that impact their business. She is a partner within Trust Solutions at PriceWaterHouseCoopers and serves as the firm’s relationship partner for A&T. Additionally, she serves on the university’s Executive Advisory Council for the Deese College. 

College of Education 

Shirley Frye ‘55 started her professional career in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a public school teacher. She taught second grade and exceptional children and later taught briefly at Bennett College. Throughout her career, she has also been a devoted community volunteer. She led the integration of Greensboro’s two segregated YWCAs in the 1970s. Greensboro's newest YWCA building is named in her honor. The wife of former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry E. Frye, she has been involved in more than 100 former and present associations and affiliations and is the recipient of more than 25 honors and awards, including the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 1985 and the Triad Business Journal’s 2022 Women in Business Special Achievement Award.

John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Services 

Army Gen. Clara Mae Leach Adams-Ender ’61 participated in the Woolworth sit-ins to desegregate its white-only lunch counter. In 1975, she entered the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, where she became the first woman to earn a master's degree in military arts and sciences in 1976. She graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 1982 the first African American Nurse Corps officer in the Army to do so. In 1991, she assumed command of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and served as deputy commanding general of the Military District of Washington. After retirement from the army, she published her autobiography, “My Rise to the Stars: How a Sharecropper’s Daughter Became an Army General.” 

College of Science and Technology and Howard C. Barnhill Distinguished Service Award 

Sonja Hines ‘92 is the president and owner of Akata Global. She graduated with honors with a B.S. in industrial technology with a concentration in occupational safety and health from A&T and an M.S. in safety and systems management from the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including being named to the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise list and being awarded SmartCEO’s 2016 Future 50 Award. Additionally, she has served on A&T’s Board of Visitors. 

The Honors College

Adrina G. Bass ‘05 is an assistant attorney general at the North Carolina Department of Justice with 13 years of experience in the legal profession. She takes pride in giving back to her community through service and through her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.  She serves on the N.C. Department of Justice’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a member of Wake Women Attorneys, Wake County Bar Association and N.C. A&T’s Chancellor’s Roundtable. She received her B.A. in political science from A&T in 2004. While attending A&T, she was a member of the University Honors Program and graduated summa cum laude. She obtained her Juris Doctor and MBA from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2009.

Joint of School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering 

Prithviraj Deshmukh ’19, Ph.D., is a technology development process engineer in the Thin-Films Module of the Logic Technology Development division at Intel Corp., the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer. He is ranked internationally among the top researchers in his field. He has been recognized for providing cost-effective solutions and creating technologies that are transferred to fabrication facilities overseas, through departmental and organizational level accolades and awards.  

Velma R. Speight Young Alumna Award 

Ashley Little ‘08, Ph.D., is the CEO/founder of Ashley Little Enterprises LLC. She is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, TV/radio host, and speaker. She has received many awards and recognitions. She was selected as one of the Forbes Next 1,000 in 2021. She created the first Black-owned publishing company focused on books about the alumni and traditions of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). She created “The HBCU Experience Movement,” to increase HBCU enrollment and alumni giving – two areas essential to the longevity of HBCUs. She aims to bring exposure and attention to HBCU stories around the world.

Julia S. Brooks Achievement Award 

Ebony Ramsey ‘05, Ph.D., has been an active proponent for students, equity, and inclusion since her high school years. Originally from Kansas City, her passion, awareness, and drive has led her to become a true catalyst for change in all she does. She received her undergraduate degree in theatre with a minor in mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She then went on to pursue a master’s degree in adult education with a concentration in higher education administration from A&T. She obtained her Ph.D. in higher education and leadership at Colorado State University with her research focused on Black women HBCU presidents. She has a passion for working at HBCUs, enjoys serving the community and has been heavily involved in giving back through her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She serves as assistant dean for student involvement at Maryville University in St. Louis.

Media Contact Information: avallen@ncat.edu

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