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T H E N E W S L E T T E R O F T H E C O RN E L L B L AC K A LU M N I A S SO C I A T IO N Sharing the vision of our education
Conversations: Laura Wilkinson, MBA ‘85, JD ‘86 Appointed to four-year term on the Board of Trustees Laura Wilkinson is no stranger to leadership at Cornell. She is a member of the Cornell University Council, Cornell Law School Advisory Council and Cornell Black Alumni Association. In addition, Wilkinson is a former Chair of the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW), the first African-American to hold this position. Her strong commitment to Cornell organizations has prepared Wilkinson for a seamless transition as one of Cornell’s newest members of the Board of Trustees, a role for which she will serve a four-year term starting in July 2013. Wilkinson, who originally hails from Brooklyn, was the first in her family to go to college, graduating with a BA. from the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in economics. Her brother, Frank Wilkinson AAP ’84, was a major influence in her decision to attend Cornell for a dualdegree program in the Law School and Johnson Graduate School of Management.
CALS ’11, has continued the Cornell tradition and AKA legacy.
She says, “I could not decide what career path to pursue. I wanted a legal education but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to practice law, so I got the MBA to fall back on.” While she recalls the JD/MBA program being an intense and academically challenging experience, Wilkinson says, “The difficulty strengthens you, and I found value being immersed in both disciplines.” While at Cornell, she served as the graduate advisor for the undergraduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA), which connected her to the Cornell undergraduate experience. Her niece, Blisse Wilkinson
One of Wilkinson’s most significant involvements as an alumna was her appointment as Chair of PCCW from 2007-2009. During her tenure, PCCW streamlined committee operations, increased communication with members, and focused on sponsoring more local activities to engage members and other Cornell alumnae. Additionally, the organization developed a long-term plan to extend membership to more outstanding alumnae as well as keep members engaged beyond their term. Under her leadership, PCCW not only attained the $1 million mark for the AffinitoStewart Endowment Fund, but also launched the PCCW Leadership Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship assistance to sophomore, junior and senior women who have demonstrated leadership while attending Cornell. (continued on page 3)
Inside this issue: Membership
Black Ivy Alumni Gala
CBAA Leadership Award
2013 Graduate Profiles
OFFICERS President Anika Daniels-Osaze, Arts ‘96 Treasurer Darien Ward, ILR ‘90 Secretary Sharon Foretia, ILR ‘11 VP Membership Carol McIntosh, MD, Arts ‘83/ WCMC ‘87 VP Programming Jade Dean, Hotel ‘08 VP Fundraising/Scholarship Chimene Liburd, MD, Arts ‘92 VP Student Relations Cynthia Cuffie, MD, HumEc ‘74
Have you filled out the fundraising survey? In an effort to fully engage our membership in CBAA”s strategic plans, please share your thoughts about Cornell fundraising by taking five minutes to fill out our survey.
Your responses will help our leadership prioritize its fundraising efforts on behalf of CBAA and Cornell. == We are almost at our goal
of 400 responses. If you haven’t had the chance to complete it yet, you can find the survey here. Thanks for your time!
Click an icon to visit our page
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Why be a Paid CBAA Member? Since 1976, CBAA has promoted the professional development of and provided giving opportunities to its members, supported black students at Cornell through endowment of scholarships and development of other resources, and provided assistance in recruitment efforts.
What the advantages are of being a paid CBAA member?
lifetime member dues of $325 (onetime payment).
ness on our website
meetings and elections
Connect with friends and former classmates
Access to special discounts (The Buyers Club)
Discounts to CBAA events
Access to job announcements via
Access to quarterly webinar series Dues payments will cover fiscal year July 2013 to June 2014.
Network with Alumni across all decades and disciples
As of September of 2012, CBAA reinstated its dues-paying membership status per the approved vote of the general body. To be considered an active member, you must have either paid your individual dues of $35 or
Ability to vote at general body
Ability to advertise your own busi-
To register and pay dues online (via Paypal), please visit our website. An alternative to Paypal is sending a check or money order payable to CBAA to the following address: Carol McIntosh, VP of Membership PO Box 376 Mount Rainier, MD 02712 For any inquiries regarding memberships please reach out to Carol.
the members-only section
First Annual Black Ivy Alumni Gala
Scholarships & Funds
On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, over 600 guests joined together at The Carlton Hotel in New York City for a highly successful celebrity fundraising gala hosted by the Black Ivy Alumni League in partnership with the Cornell Black Alumni Association, the Columbia Business School African American Alumni Association, the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association and the Association of Black Princeton Alumni. Read the full press release here.
Our institutions and our students need your support! Please consider giving to at least one of CBAA's fundraising initiatives:
Cornell Portraits To the right are some of the extraordinary students that Cornell has profiled as part of its Portraits initiative. Learn more about these students and others on the site. L to R: Kevin Render, DVM ‘13; Matilda Ceesay, HumEc ‘13; Renita Chaney, MBA ‘13; Larry Slaughter, Eng ‘13. All photos are courtesy of Cornell.
Africana Rebuilding Fund
CBAA Tradition Fellowship
Janice & James Turner CBAA Scholarship Endowment
John Henrik Clarke Scholarship
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Conversations (continued) She is optimistic about Cornell’s current state and future. In her role as trustee, some of her priorities will be to increase diversity among the student body and faculty, and strengthen the ties of graduate and professional school alumni so that they feel a strong affiliation to the university beyond their particular program. According to Wilkinson, “Trustees must provide longterm vision and direction, focusing not only on challenges presented by the current global economic environment, but also positioning Cornell for the future with the goal of maintaining our preeminence as an educational institution with a diverse student body, stellar faculty, committed leaders, and active alumni.” As she reflects on her own experi-
ences, Wilkinson shares advice for current undergraduate students, “choose classes and a major that you like so that you can get the best grades, and the rest will take care of itself.” For alumni, Wilkinson encourages them to “be involved with your alma mater because the education you received is the foundation for your career and profession. It also is the place where you developed important friendships, and engagement with the university as an alumni helps to not only deepen those friendships, but also form additional relationships with people whom you can bond with due to the shared Cornell and Ithaca experience. So, give back to Cornell by volunteering your time and supporting the school with monetary contributions at what ever
level you can — I view it as an obligation.” Wilkinson currently resides in the Washington, DC metro area and is an antitrust partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges where she specializes in mergers and acquisitions. In addition to her Cornell responsibilities, she serves on the board of directors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation and Legal Momentum – the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. CBAA congratulates Laura Wilkinson on this significant milestone and wishes her a successful term!
Recent and Upcoming Regional Events May 2013
Breast cancer walk in ATL
Juneteenth and Father’s Day cele-
Black Ivy Alumni Gala with BIAL in NYC
CBAA @ “The Trip to Bountiful”
August 18: Robert Pruitt “Women” exhibit viewing in NYC
CBAA @ CU in Central Park
August 13: Summer mixer and
September 1: Labor Day Potluck in NYC
August 18: Reginald F. Lewis Museum Tour in Baltimore
bration with BIAL in NYC July 2013
Annual New Student Sendoff at Nixon’s Farm in Maryland
Region Kick-off in Boston
September 20-23: CBAA @ Homecoming in Ithaca
In The News The Cornell Chronicle highlights Joseph Michael Porter CALS ‘13 and Joe Porter, Jr. MPS ‘13 on being the first father-son duo to graduate from the University at the same time. == Dr. Bernard Rawlins WCMC ‘87, was featured in a Fox News video for his extraordinary work as an orthopedic surgeon.
Dr. Cheryl Pegus WCMC '88, is the first African-American woman to be President of the American Heart Association. == Abena Sackey Ojetayo ‘07, MEng ‘09, was featured on Cornell’s homepage and Portraits for her work on the Cornell NYC Tech campus. ==
Kalisa Martin HumEc ‘08 was on Good Morning America featuring unique treats from Tasting Table. == Adepero Oduye '99 is now starring in her first Broadway performance in “The Trip to Bountiful” replacing Condola Rashad as “Thelma.” ==
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Raquel Smith Wins 2012-13 Outstanding Leadership Award
Raquel Smith, a senior in the College of Human Ecology, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012-13 Cornell Black Alumni Association (CBAA) Outstanding Student Leadership Award. This award is given to a senior of African descent for his/her outstanding leadership and efforts to enhance the lives of students and the community-at-large while attending Cornell University. The award is granted based on the following: (1) academic
achievement; (2) leadership on campus or in community organizations; (3) contribution to improving relationships among Cornell students, faculty, administrative staff and/or the greater Ithaca community; and (4) commitment to uplifting people of African descent including future plans for contributing to CBAA, Cornell University, and the greater community. This award was presented to Raquel at Black Students United’s 7th annual “It’s a Black Affair,” hosted on May 4th, 2013 at the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room. Raquel, a native of Brooklyn, NY, has participated in numerous community service activities during her four years as an undergraduate student at Cornell. She has held leadership positions in organizations such as the Black Women Support Network, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated—Mu Gamma Chapter, the African Latino Asian Native American Students Programming Board (ALANA)
and Phenomenon Step Team. She has also served as a mentor in the College Discovery Program, which provides mentoring and academic support to local children of Ithaca. Furthermore, she is a coach for the Cornell Public Service Center’s chapter of the Public Achievement Program, an international organization that focuses on facilitating conditions under which youth can realize their potential as agents of change in their communities. Raquel will attend Columbia Law School in the fall and plans to do policy work and criminal justice reform in the future. She says, “I am honored to receive this award as it motivates me to continue working as a leader in the community after graduation. I am looking forward to my future with the Cornell Black Alumni Association.” CBAA is proud to honor Raquel.
Save the Date: 2013 Homecoming Weekend Please join CBAA and current students for the 2013 Homecoming weekend from
September 20-22. == Networking Panels Undergraduate/Graduate-Alumni Mixers Film screenings Fireworks & Laser Light Shows Tailgate events Game v. Bucknell
2013 Graduate Profiles CBAA congratulates all of our Class of 2013 graduates for reaching this significant milestone. From Teach for America corps members to entrepreneurs, this class is off to do amazing things. Read some of their profiles as they reflect on their time on the Hill and what’s in store for the future.
really enjoyed it because so many alumni came back and Kendrick Lamar was an amazing performer. My class really took Slope Day as an opportunity to look out for returning alumni and make sure they had a good time, just like they did for us when we were freshmen. It was great.” - Hatu Kanu
ing Cornell; it was so different from everything I knew at home and my preconceived notions about how I wanted college to be. Ultimately, Cornell became my home and the people I have met and the experiences I have had demonstrated that it was the perfect choice for me.” Tiffany Rose
“My Cornell experience was spontaneously enriching. I valued all of the things that I did at the university because much of the lessons and fun were unexpected.” - Arianna Bradley
“It was the busiest, most exciting, and most eyeopening period of my life. I'm so grateful for it because it has prepared me for so much more.” - Kristi McKenzie
“My favorite memory was Slope Day 2013. I
“At first I was very apprehensive about attend-
“Being at Cornell taught me the value of having a strong, supportive network behind you. In our most strenuous times, I was able to witness a powerful coming together that will shape how I view community in years to come.” - Raquel Smith
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Have You “Self Identified” with Alumni Affairs? You may be missing important information from CBAA! If you have not been receiving our emails (such as events, fundraising survey, etc), then it may be because you have not “self-identified” as Black or African-American in Cornell’s database. Directions ▪
Students and alumni can go in to the Cornell Student Center
**You need your NetID and password to log in. ▪
On this page enter the information and hit submit.
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SNAPSHOTS: Where Has CBAA Been? 4
Past CBAA Events Include: 1. Ithaca | 145th Commencement 2. NYC | Juneeenth BBQ 3. NYC | Black Ivy Alumni Gala 4. NYC | “The Trip to Bountiful” Check the website for more photos!