WE ARE MOREHOUSE A MONTHLY PUBLICATION FROM THE MOREHOUSE COLLEGE YOUNG ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM
Action. Power. Opportunity. ROBBIE ROBINSON â€™98 SHARES HIS INSIGHT ON CULTIVATING A LIFE OF PURPOSE AND SERVICE
. . . & W E L L- G RO O M E D
Well-read, spoken, traveled, dressed, balanced, & now we add, well-groomed. Intended to alleviate dr y, itchy scalp while keeping hair healthy & moisturized. Exper tly made by a Board-Cer tiied Dermatologist, Spelman College c /o â€˜96.
L I V S O.C O M We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 1
WE ARE MOREHOUSE MONTHLY > FROM THE EDITOR On Sunday, we'll celebrate their maturation in grand style, befitting not only the importance of the moment, but also the beautiful rarity of the idea of 400 men of African American descent ascending to and assuming the mantle of 'college graduate'.
love this time of year. It's May, so it's graduation and reunion time.
There's no better feeling than watching students that I've gotten to know, and who I've poured into, advised and been that shoulder to cry on, become strong enough to go out into the world.
The Class of 2018 has many of the characteristics of your class. They enter a world in perilous times and uncertainty in a variety of areas. However, their ebulliant spirit, boundless energy and optimism overshadows the naysayers and those who would look to quickly deride and brush this momentous occasion away. No. We're not going to let them do that. We're going to celebrate them.
I think we take this good feeling for granted at times, and act as if it's something that's promised.
So, if you're in Atlanta, come to campus on Sunday morning and take commencement in. If you're not in Atlanta, commencement will be streaming on Morehouse. TV. Watch, remember and reconnect to this beautiful place.
I happen to be a fifth generation college graduate, but several of my classmates were the first people in their families to attend college and graduate.
I truly hope you enjoy reading and learning from the brothers that have been highlighted this month, they are truly extraordinary.
That pressure must be unimaginable. And despite the distractions and other worthwhile pursuits that a student can involve themselves with, somehow, our students focused on what was important and as mother would say, 'got their lesson'.
True Forever, Joe Joseph S. Carlos, III '04 Program Manager Young Alumni Engagment Program email@example.com
WE ARE MOREHOUSE MAY 2018 Volume 1, Number 7 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Joe Carlos, III â€™04 Program Manager, Morehouse College Young Alumni Engagement Program CONTRIBUTING EDITOR D. Aileen Dodd Interim Executive Director of the Morehouse College Office of Strategic Communications COPY EDITOR Peggy J. Shaw Morehouse College Office of Strategic Communications 2018ÂŠ Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, includingphotocopying, recording, or information storageor retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
WE ARE MOREHOUSE, is published monthly by the Morehouse College Young Alumni Engagement Program and the Morehouse College Office of Strategic Communications 830 Westview Dr., SW Atlanta, GA 30314-3773 Phone: 470.639.0925 www.wearemorehouse.com Letters, comments and suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY 2018: CONTENTS
Letter from the Editor 6
Steadfast, Honest, True 15
Trey McDonald ’08 Kris Turner ’11 19
Rasheed McWilliams ’99
Attorney gives back to Morehouse in a major way 23 - COVER STORY
Robbie Robinson ’98
Investment banker provides sound advice for a life of purpose 29
Josh Packwood ’08
Keen insight from the Class of 2008's Valedictorian 33
Kyle Mosley ’08
The Netflix exec talks success and balance in life and career 37
Tony Clark ’98
Lifelong educator shares the wisdom of his experiences 39
Charles Thompson, MD ’03 Surgeon reflects on his life and career, 15 years after graduation 43 - HEALTH
Andre Holmes, MD ’02 "No smoke. No smoke." 45
Shaka Rasheed ’03
Clarity and purpose color advice from respected business leader 49
Harold Booker ’13
Recent grad shares great advice 50 - FOOD
Chef David Thomas ’05
Succulent recipe for pork pancakes 51
Chris Doomes ’93
Championship coaches shares key to success 53
Eugean Moore ’13
Famed photographer, Cameron Kirkland '11 was recently a guest lecturer in a class of David Wall Rice '95. Kirkland spoke on his meteoric career success and was invited by Austyn Wyche '19
'Decisions today will impact the man you become' 54
Dontavious Taylor ’13
Educator talks opportunity and risk taking 55
Calvin Wingfield ’03
Wet graduation hasn't dampened attorney's love for Morehouse 57
Storm Briggs ’03
Dentist makes it a point to generously support his alma mater 61
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STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE NEWS & VIEWS FROM YOUNG ALUMNI >
RISING STAR John David Washington ’06's star continues to rise after the successful premiere of his work in "Black KKKlansman" John David Washington ’06, breakout star of HBO's ballers, stars in Spike Lee '79's latest feature, Black KKKlansman, which received a ten minute ovation after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this month. Black KKKlansman premieres on August 10, 2018 and the fourth season of HBO's ballers premieres on August 12, 2018.
Alvin Schexnider ’05 named Senior Director of Operations for Erie Neighborhood House Sam Beresford ’04 named Senior Manager, IMC and Creative Excellence for Sprite Sam Beresford ’04 was recently named Sr. Manager, IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) and Creative Excellence for Sprite. Prior to working for Sprite, Beresford was a Sr. Strategist in the Atlanta office of AKQA. Throughout his career, Beresford has held several positions at a variety of marketing companies: Sr. Brand Planner/Account Supervisor at Moxie, Sr. Digital Manager at BBDO, Social Media Strategist at JWT Atlanta and Marketing Manager at Hannon Hill. Having worked for firms in the past, working for a brand and being a client will be a bit of a departure, but one that he is excited about, "...underneath it all the core of it is ensuring that the creative work is excellent."
Alvin Schexnider ’05 was recently named the Senior Director of Operations for Chicago's Erie Neighbood House. Erie House is "a social service agency founded in 1870 that promotes a just and inclusive society by strengthening low-income, primarily Latino families through skill-building, access to critical resources, advocacy and collaborative action." Prior to Erie Neighborhood House, Schexnider was the Director of Operations at the Greater Good Studio in Chicago. He was a 2015-16 Impact Fellow, a hybrid program with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Chicago Urban League. Schexnider was also the Director of Human Resources for Youth & Opportunity United, Director of Planning and Administration for Urban Ministries, Inc. and a Global Management Associate at Abbott Laboratories. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse, Schexnider received a Masters degree in Management and Organizations from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
Quentin Johnson ’02 joins the Federal Reserve Board as Senior Management Analyst - Senior Economics Outreach Specialist After over a decade in Higher Education, Quentin Johnson '02, has joined the Federal Reserve Board, assuming the role of Senior Managament Analyst - Sr. Economics Outreach Specialist. At the Federal Reserve he is now a member of the Economics Division recruitment team, responsible for diversity & inclusion outreach and recruitment, and strategic partnership development with colleges, universities, professional and community organizations.
Defense acquisition policy agencies.
Prior to working at the Federal Reserve Board, Johnson was the Senior Consultant at Artlin Consulting, where he was deputy to the Program Manager on client engagement with Department of
Johnson worked as the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions at American University's Kogod School of Business and prior to that role, he was an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at American University. Johnson was also a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Morehouse. After graduating from Morehouse with a degree in Mathematics, the Detroit native was an Assistant Language Teacher in Kawasaki, Japan, where he taught English in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program. Johnson earned his MBA from the American University Kogod School of Business.
Cameron Hawkins ’05 wins UGA Law School Young Alumni Award Cameron Hawkins ‘05 was recently recognized by the University of Georgia School of Law by being named the 2018 recipient of the Young Alumni/Alumnae of Excellence Award. Hawkins is a trial lawyer with Busby Negin specializing in civil litigation. He currently mentors moot court and mock trial teams statewide, including service as an assistant coach for the Morehouse College Moot Court Society and also assists with the Davenport-Benham: Black Law Student Association moot court competitions. In addition, he serves as an instructor for the Fulton County Youth Leadership Academy for Boys. Hawkins earned his JD from UGA in 2008, and his bachelors of arts in Political Science from Morehouse in 2005.
Kory Hawkins ’00 named the Associate Director of Admissions, Diversity and Inclusion at Columbia Law School Veteran Higher Education administrator Kory Hawkins ‘00 switched coasts, leaving the picturesque Bay Area for Manhattan's Morningside Heights to become Columbia Law School's Associate Director of Admissions for Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to the move, Hawkins was the Deputy Director, Diversity and Engagement in the University of California's Office of the President. Prior to his work at the University of California, he was the Associate Director of Admissions at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.
Educator, Hon. Torrance Harvey ’97, appointed mayor of Newburgh, NY for the remainder of 2018 Hon. Torrance Harvey ‘97, a city councilperson in Newburgh, NY, was recently appointed mayor for the remainder of 2018. According to the @recordonline, Harvey “was the unanimous choice of his City Council colleagues” to succeed Judy Kennedy as mayor, who died earlier this month.
His career in Higher Education began at Morehouse where he was the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Recruitment for nearly 8 years.
Harvey is an educator who teaches social studies at Newburgh Free Academy. He was elected to the Newburgh City Council in 2015.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse, Hawkins earned his JD from Emory University School of Law in 2003, and his bachelors of arts in Spanish Language and Literature in 2000.
Harvey earned his B.A. in Drama in 1997, an M.S. in Education from Mount Saint Mary College and an M.F.A. from DePaul University's Theater School.
From Amazon.com, "Christopher Sumlin knew he was destined for greatness as he headed off to a historically black college hundreds of miles from home, but that didn’t help him thrive in his new independence. Dealing with This Thing Called College is a heartfelt, sincere introduction to college for the nervous high school graduate. Chris artfully navigates the pitfalls of college life—from campus food to new friendships and even credit cards—with tested advice, earnest humor and straightforward wisdom. This easyto-read, concise guide is written from the perspective of a recent college graduate. The information is relatable, relevant and up to date." Sumlin is a 2017 Morehouse graduate and is currently a graduate student at Boston University, where he is pursuing a Masters degree in Television Producing & Management. Dealing With This Thing Called College can be purchased from Amazon by clicking HERE.
Through Investing in Spirits.
Experienced Enrollment Management professional, Tim Fields '98 recently penned his first book, Lessons I Learned From Drinking: Life Principles Gained
The book is a "fun, lighthearted reflection" on Fields's most memorable drinking adventures over the last 20 years. According to Fields, Lessons I Learnd From Drinking is "about the life lessons learned around a bottle." He goes on to share, "Without these experiences, I would not be the person I am today. But they were necessary to make me a better person and to give me peace of mind." Fields is currently the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission at Emory University. He holds a Masters of Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Lessons I Learned From Drinking can be purchased from Amazon by clicking HERE.
BIGGER Than Ballin: The Parental Playbook on Raising a Student Athlete is the first book by Brandon Banks '06. Banks is an avid basketball coach, and penned this book to help other parents learn from his experiences in coaching and maturity and development of student athletes. From Amazon.com, " ...in BIGGER Than Ballin you have the perfect book that will help your child to: • Overcome the obstacles they encounter • Lay the foundations for success • Identify the pitfalls • Become the professional they always wanted to be • And fulfil their potential BIGGER Than Ballin can be purchased from Amazon by clicking HERE.
STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS Third annual College Charity Run raises over $3,000 for Sister's Song, Inc. and over $7,000 since 2016
On April 21, 2018, the third annual College Charity Run took place at B.T. Harvey Stadium. The College Charity Run was founded by Austin Easterling '16, and the event seeks to promote unity, physical fitness, and social consciousness amongst the Atlanta University Center students, faculty, and staff; while also seeking to raise funds to support and bring awareness to a meaningful cause affecting the African American community every year. This year, over $3000 was raised to benefit Sister's Song, Inc., an important organization that promotes reproductive rights for woman of color.
STEADFAST, HONEST, TRUE: NEWS & VIEWS Wayne Davis ’00 named Senior Director - Cafe Brand at GE Appliances, a Haier Company Recently named as Senior Director, Wayne Davis '00 had been the interim brand leader for Café since early April, in addition to his role as Senior Brand Director, for Haier & Hotpoint. In this important role, Davis will be responsible for continuing to shape the vision, launch plans and driving the brand building blocks, ( Distribution and Commercial focus) while delivering the 2018 and beyond plans for Café. Wayne's experience as Senior Brand Director, Haier & Hotpoint will serve him well in his new position. Prior to joining GE Appliances, Wayne worked in Brand Management with Procter & Gamble for the Dawn, Swiffer, and Mr. Clean brands. Davis holds a BS in Mathematics and an MBA from Xavier University.
Colin Hosten ’03 running for State Representative in Conneticut Educator and writer Colin Hosten '03 is running for Connecticut State Representative in the 140th district, which consists of Norwalk. Hosten has been a lecturer in the undergraduate Core Writing program at Fairfield University for several years. He serves as a member of the Human Relations Commission for the city of Norwalk, and is the current Recording Secretary of the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee. He is also a Board Member for the Triangle Community Center. After earning a degree in English from Morehouse, he earned a Masters degree in Publishing from NYU. To learn more about his campaign, please click HERE.
Today's recurring gift to the Annual Fund sustains Morehouse's future for Charles ’30 and Cameron ’38 GIVE TODAY BY CLICKING HERE INTERESTED IN BEGINNING YOUR CHARITABLE LEGACY AT MOREHOUSE? Contact the Office of Institutional Advancement today. PHONE: (470) 639-0545
WE ARE MOREHOUSE MONTHLY > VOWS
William "Trey" McDonald, III ’08 + Lauren Reed LO C AT I O N : THE GRAND IVORY LEONARD, TX D AT E :
MARCH 30, 2018
On March 30th, 2018, Trey McDonald ’08 married the former Lauren Reed at The Grand Ivory in Leonard, TX. The wedding party included Morehouse Men: Ryan Shepard '08 Several Morehouse Men were among the well wishers including: Chris Hollins '07, Aubrey Hooper '05, Sean Brazier '08, Alex “AJ” Smith, Ed Alexander '09, Fred Clark '10, Jason Williams '10, Ed Hills '09, Marcus Noel '08, and John White '07. McDonald is an associate in the media litigation section of the Houston office of Jackson Walker. He earned his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. Lauren is a graduate of Howard University. She's currently a chemical engineer at ExxonMobil Corporation. The couple resides in Houston, Texas.
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WE ARE MOREHOUSE MONTHLY > VOWS
Kristofer Turner ’11 + Melinda Moyo LO C AT I O N : TOP OF THE TOWN RECEPTION FACILITY WASHINGTON, DC D AT E :
MARCH 3, 2018
On March 3rd, 2018, Kristofer Turner ’11 married the former Melinda Moyo at the Top of the Town Reception and Conference Facility in Washington, DC. The wedding party included Morehouse Man Brandon Myers ’10. Several Morehouse Men were among the well wishers. Turner is a Staff Consultant with EY in McLean, VA. Melinda earned her undergraduate degree from Georgetown College and her MBA. from The George Washington University. She's currently an Enterprise Channel Manager for Microsoft. The couple resides in the Washington, DC area.
RASHEED MCWILLIAMS ’99
Alumnus Donates $111,000 To Morehouse For Giving Him A Community Of Intellectuals And Professors Who Challenged Him By D. Aileen Dodd
people from all strata of society, and I wouldn’t stick out in any particular way other than being a smart kid," he added. "I didn’t have to fulfill certain societal expectations on how black males should walk and talk or carry the banner for all black people. I was free to be me." Now, nearly 20 years later, McWilliams, a successful attorney, entrepreneur, and executive, is choosing Morehouse again. He donated $111,00 this academic year to say "thank you" to the college that helped him to forge lifelong friendships, learn more about his gifts as a leader and responsibilities as a man, and challenged him to give back to the community in an impactful way.
When Rasheed McWilliams ’99 was a senior at Passaic High School in New Jersey, he had his pick of top colleges vying for the chance to help him chart his course for the future. “I had a 4.7 grade point average and over $3 million in scholarship offers,” McWilliams said. “I got a full ride to Harvard, Yale, Brown, Virginia Tech and other schools.
But I didn’t want to be just another scholarship kid in the Ivy Leagues.” So, he chose Morehouse College without ever setting foot on campus for a visit. He was impressed by Morehouse’s worldclass reputation and prestigious graduates. “I knew that I would find a peer group and that there would be
“All of us who have the ability or the means, we should support the college and its mission...It is more important now than it has even been in any of our individual lifetimes." He is funding a scholarship in honor of his favorite professor, the late Dr. Morris A. Waugh who taught him organic chemistry. “He would not only teach you chemistry, he would talk to you
about life and about growing up,” McWilliams recalled. “He was like me, a guy who came from a disadvantaged background and had succeeded academically. He was crucial to our development, not just as chemistry majors, but also as men.” McWilliams credits Morehouse's focus on excellence, leadership, and service for helping him to reach some of his professional and personal goals. He came to Morehouse in 1995. He was bright, but socially awkward, he says. While he had lived in a black community and attended black schools, he spent much of his formative years in accelerated summer academic programs at colleges with mostly white students older than him. Morehouse rewarded him for sacrificing fun for academics. He received a full scholarship, the prestigious NASA/Project Space Ronald E. McNair Scholarship. And the chemistry major was offered something he hadn’t gotten in any scholastic program he had breezed through before —the opportunity to grow intellectually with a network of young men who personally identified with his journey. “Coming to Morehouse was like the X-Men comic book for most of us,” he said. “As a gifted student, I had been an outcast in my community in most of the schools that I had attended and among many of the black students in the area that I lived. I hadn’t felt the freedom to be an individual.
“But at Morehouse’s Summer Science Program, I was immediately welcomed,” he recalled. “I met all of my best friends on the first day. They were guys like me who had come from similar backgrounds and were considered nerdy in the towns that they had come from. We were all smart kids, and we were all together at Morehouse where very high academic exceptionality is not viewed as an uncool factor. ” McWilliams graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College in 1999 with an impressive resume. At Morehouse, McWilliams served as Chief Justice of the Honors and Conduct Review Board, president of the Golden Key National Honor Society, and as an intern at NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Kennedy Space Center. Of the 19 classmates he counts among his close friends, 15 went to medical school. He decided that he didn’t want to be a doctor, so he focused on law school instead. He had enjoyed his moot court experiences at Morehouse. But before he applied to law school, he decided to take some time to give back to his community as an educator. He taught high school physical science and chemistry in the Atlanta Public Schools for one year. Then, his Morehouse foundation gave him new choices. He received a full ride to law school at Duke and Emory universities. But McWilliams decided to attend New York University School of Law on a merit-based Dean’s Scholarship. He earned his law degree in 2003 and is licensed to
practice law in New York, Georgia and California. He specializes in entertainment law and intellectual property litigation and transactions. In addition, McWilliams is CEO of Reedley Ventures LLC, the holding company for a number of businesses in the entertainment space, including book publishing, music publishing, film and television production, music production and consulting services. He is also the co-founder, co-owner and President of iPEL, Inc., a patent licensing company based in Pasadena, Calif. “I had a big year in 2017,” McWilliams said. So, he decided to share his windfall with Morehouse. He encourages his Morehouse brothers to also take time to remember the College that gave them their start. “All of us who have the ability or the means, we should support the college and its mission," he said. "It is more important now than it has even been in any of our individual lifetimes. “The next generation of Morehouse Men are going to be fighting some of the battles against racism that men of Morehouse had to fight in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. They will be our future leaders. We need to support the college in its mission so that it can raise these young men up in the way they need to go.”
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"PUT MOREHOUSE IN YOUR PRESENT." Robbie Robinson â€™98 shares his insights on life, opportunity, prepartion and supporting Morehouse. We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 16
Robbie Robinson ‘98 lives a life of relentless purpose, defined
by meaningful choices that have shaped him along the way through today. The former political science major is currently a Partner at BDT & Company, a merchant bank that provides advice and long-term capital through its affiliated investment funds to help family- and founder-led businesses pursue their strategic and financial objectives. A trusted and respected leader, Robinson also spent nine years at Goldman Sachs prior to his role at BDT, working in several roles including advisory, principal investing and real estate financing. In addition to his work at BDT, Robinson spent last year working exclusively with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, advising them on the creation and strategy of their family office. Also, Robinson is an active supporter of a variety of worthwhile causes. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of After School Matters, a member of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees and also serves as a trustee of the George Lucas Family Foundation. Reflecting on 20 years since he graduated from Morehouse and the purpose-filled life that he continues to successfully build, Robinson shares his thoughts on a range of topics surrounding his experiences and opportunities, while providing pertinent professional and personal advice.
As you think about the 20 years since you graduated from Morehouse, tell us the story of your career path.
The beginning of my career path was both remarkable and unconventional. Being a political science major at Morehouse, I spent the summer between my sophomore and junior year working as an intern at a law firm which was a good experience but also made me realize that I wanted to explore other things. Near the end of my junior year, I was in Wheeler Hall, which at the time housed the Business and Economics Department, and noticed signup sheets for Wall Street internships posted in the stairwell. I decided to sign up for these internships because 1) I knew my Dad wouldn’t let me come home and do nothing all summer and 2) I wanted to try something new. At the time, I didn’t know what Wall Street was and I didn’t know what any of the banks did. I obviously wasn’t a finance major, so I didn’t know an asset from a liability at the time. Still, I thought going to New York would be fun and that spending the summer exposed to something that was entirely unfamiliar to me, I might gain something out of it, not really knowing what that would be. So, I signed up, not fully understanding that those sign-up sheets were mostly intended for the business students. But, because I had strong grades for the first three years, Goldman Sachs took a chance on me as a summer intern. This was the beginning of a major transformation for me. At the time, I was still very curious about going to law school and had just read a book by the famed Reginald Lewis called "Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?" Reginald Lewis was a corporate M&A attorney before he went on to become a
buyout investor. So I thought, if I do this Wall Street thing, then I’ll go back to law school and eventually become the next Reginald Lewis. My thinking wasn’t anything more than that. Because Morehouse taught me how to work hard and smart, I ended up performing well at Goldman Sachs that summer and then started their analyst program right after graduation. During my nine-year tenure at Goldman, I became close with one of the firm’s senior partners, Byron Trott, who after 27 years with Goldman decided to start his own business, BDT & Company. As a 30-year old professional at the time, BDT was another eye opening, transformative experience for me. I was eager to take a risk in this new startup where I was employee #10. Now, nine years later, I’m a Partner at this tremendous firm that has built an important global presence. It has been an incredibly exciting journey, one that I couldn’t have predicted.
You were a political science major and took a Wall Street job. How did other business majors react to you taking one of those coveted spots? Throughout my journey, I’ve always been somewhat unaffected by what people think I should do. Instead, I’ve always been clear about what I want to do and stayed true to my own personal truth and conviction. It never dawned on me to be discouraged about signing up for something that wasn’t in my lane. I’ve always been comfortable doing what is interesting and right for me. When
I got the spot, I believed I deserved the spot. Fortunately, many of my dear friends who were business majors were really excited for me.
If you could go back in time to when you were graduating in May 1998, what advice would you give yourself (that you didn’t know then)? I would absolutely tell myself that the low points in your journey are where you’re going to learn the most about yourself. In conversations that I have with young people in schools, in the community or even young professionals at BDT, I try to help them think about their journey on a line graph, and rather than focus on the line going diagonally in a straight direction, they should be prepared for a line that has peaks and valleys. The importance of the valleys is that yesterday’s valley is never as steep as tomorrow’s valley. In other words, if you learn from your low points, then you’ll emerge from your low points actually prepared to push beyond yesterday’s high points. There have been moments over my 20-year career when I’ve questioned my purpose and my relevance. In hindsight, I’ve realized that everything that propels me is reflected in those low points, especially when I chose to focus on what I needed to learn and what I needed to do to get beyond that particular point. Then, when I encountered the next challenge, I was stronger, more informed and had a greater sensibility of how to conquer it.
How did Morehouse prepare you for your life
and post-college career? Morehouse taught me how to be confident. Morehouse taught me how to position my confidence, leverage my confidence and protect my confidence. As I reflect on my 20 years since graduating from Morehouse, a defining characteristic of my success thus far has been the confidence that Morehouse cultivated and structured for me in a way that no other institution in this world frankly could have done.
What can alumni do now to help Morehouse continue to be successful and thrive in the future? I think every former student of Morehouse should put Morehouse into their present, not keep it in their past. Too many people think of college as this wonderful time from years ago, but 20 years later, don’t have a substantive relationship with the college. I think that whatever somebody’s present looks like, we should all be working hard to make sure that Morehouse can fit into that present so that it can continue to be part of our future. So, whether you’ve got the ability to hire young people, speak to young people, mentor young people or provide resources to the college, everybody needs to figure out how to make Morehouse part of their present.
A few years ago, a scholarship was created in your name that has supported more than 300 Morehouse graduates. What was the idea behind this scholarship and how has it made a difference in the lives of these students in the final stage of their college career?
This is an example of me making Morehouse part of my present. As a result of my professional success, I have built some incredible relationships with individuals and families from all over the world. As those individuals have gotten to know me and my family, they’ve been supportive of my success. They’ve also gotten to know Morehouse through me. A very dear friend of my wife and I indicated that they wanted to do something significant, not just at Morehouse but also at Spelman College. My wife, D’Rita Robinson, went to Spelman and is on the Board of Trustees there. Our friend asked us to think about something really transformational and effective that would address a quantifiable and dire need. Fortunately, given our experience as trustees over the past few years, the notion of students running out of money as they get closer to graduation became something that we thought we could address. For many soon-to-be graduates, coming up with just a few thousand dollars -- literally to get to the graduation finish line --can be daunting. So, we established the Robbie Robinson Finish Line Scholarship at Morehouse and D’Rita Robinson Finish Line Scholarship at Spelman. We were blown away that in only a couple of years, we helped hundreds of students get to the finish line.
As a partner at BDT & Company, what has defined your success? Being myself. I bleed authenticity. Authenticity provides a real comfort and confidence in
knowing who you are and being who you are at every stage in your life. When I was a 21-year old leaving Morehouse, moving into a Brooklyn flat and taking the train to Manhattan every day, I was wide-eyed, somewhat naïve and very ambitious – and I was comfortable with that. Now, 20 years later, I’m still that kid, albeit a bit more sophisticated, thoughtful and aware. When you are comfortable being who you are, you become the best version of yourself, doing what you’re most capable of.
In 2014, you were named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 Under 40 List.” During your interview with Crain’s, you referenced the phrase, “nothing is given, everything is earned.” What does this mean to you? This is actually a statement that Lebron James made at some point in his basketball journey that really impacted me. And it impacted me for one simple reason -- it reminded me that hard work is a lifetime commitment. Even though people may have been given some things --whatever they’ve been given, whether that’s aptitude, whether that’s a financial head start or whether that’s a gift -- none of those things can be maximized or realized to their full potential unless you make a real lifetime commitment to hard work. I feel like I started making that lifetime commitment when I entered Morehouse and I’ve been working on it ever since.
What do you feel has been the high point of your career? I actually think about the highpoint of my life as opposed to
Robbie Robinson and his wife D'Rita Robinson
my career. And the reason I think about it in this way is because, how I work is how I live and how I live is how I work. I don’t draw distinction around that at all because it requires the same set of values, the same set of commitments and the same set of intensity. When I think about the highpoint of my life, it absolutely starts and stops with marrying my wife. We are true partners in life and continue to build a life together that we believe will have generational impact on our family. For
her and our partnership, I’m extraordinarily grateful.
What was the primary highlight (or key takeaway) of your experience working last year with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama? The Obamas are absolutely wonderful human beings. They embody everything that is right and extraordinary about our country, about our world, about our society, about the history of black people – they truly embody it all. The
most important takeaway, given my experience with them thus far, is that anything is possible. And not that anything is possible related to the two of them becoming the first black people to take the highest office in our land, but that anything is possible for all of us.
prepared for. As I reflected on being in the back of Grant Park, then nine years later here I am sitting in the Oval Office to tell them who Robbie Robinson is, what my story is and why I can serve them in a really unique capacity, this truly confirms that anything is possible.
In 2008, when President Obama first became elected, my wife and I stood in awe at the very back of Grant Park where he accepted his presidency. My wife was six months pregnant with our son Austen, literally in tears because that moment was so significant in our lives. (By the way, Austen is now 9-years old and our daughter Ava is 13-years old). Fast forward nine years later, as the Obamas were concluding their presidency, they reached out to me about potentially working with them. This was an opportunity I never could have dreamed of yet was very
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? There is nothing more important in this day and age than to focus on your choices. Webster’s defines the word choice as “the act of picking between two or more possibilities and the opportunity or power to make a decision.” There are three big words that define a choice -- action, power and opportunity. If young people are focused on the choices that they’re going to make, they’ll realize that they have the power
to act and that action will create opportunity. There are a bunch of choices that young people can make and they should choose to own them all. They can choose to be themselves, they can choose to reflect and they can choose to get comfortable being uncomfortable, which is something I discuss with a lot of young people. But, the most important choice that the graduates of 2018 should make is to choose gratitude. Gratitude centers you. It’s easy when things are going well, to feel grateful and acknowledge how grateful you are for things going well. But, we all know that life isn’t linear. We all know that life zigs and zags regardless of where you come from, what you look like, how much money you have or don’t have. If you focus on gratitude, particularly when things aren’t going well, being grateful in those moments will create a sense of clarity that enables you to be less distracted, less affected and less shaken by those zig zags in life. Ultimately, when you do come out of those zig zags and are moving in a direction that you want to be moving in, you’ll incrementally be more grateful because you chose gratitude.
WE ARE MOREHOUSE PRESENTS
Journeys A lecture series focusing on Alumni sharing their experiences with love, loss, triumph, defeat, success, change and more.
The Podcast Conversations surrounding young alumni achievement with topics and guests that run the gamut of the depth and breadth of the Morehouse experience.
(Continued on page 42)
We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 39
Class of 2008 Valedictorian Reflects On Success, Giving Back to Morehouse We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 26
Joshua Packwood was the valedictorian of the class of 2008. Fortunately for Packwood, and for Morehouse, however, the day he graduated was not his greatest day, nor did it solely define him. Packwood is currently the portfolio manager for New Yorkbased Point72, a global asset management firm that uses Discretionary Long/Short, Macro and Systematic strategies to invest. Recently, Packwood was back on-campus, informing students about internship and career opportunities with Point72. Packwood co-founded, and was the portfolio manager of, Lucus Advisors LLC, where he managed the low-net long-short equity portfolio. Throughout his career, Packwood has also worked at Wall Street stalwart Goldman Sachs as an analyst with the Special Situations Group, and the Citadel Investment Group as an investment analyst.
How do you analyze a situation from a value creation perspective and decide whether or not it’s in your best interest? “I try to create a ‘scorecard’ of the relevant factors and assign those factors scores and weights. Sometimes this is done crudely in my head, but often explicitly on a spreadsheet. I also often rely on close friends to provide me with advice and I try to synthesize their feedback. When I’ve made mistakes in my assessment of value creation, it’s often been due to the following: 1) making decisions based on evaluations of where I ‘should’ be relative to others
instead of assessing my situation and opportunities from my own vantage point instead of trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’; 2) letting “hopes” and “dreams” overwhelm my expected value calculations, e.g., I know the math doesn’t justify buying a lottery ticket, but I do it anyways; and 3) not trusting my gut when I get a really bad vibe. When I’ve done well in assessing value creation, it’s been when I keep the factors of assessment limited and simple, and have been brutally honest about what I really want and what matters to me.”
What was the most impactful part of your Morehouse experience, and why are you an ardent supporter of Morehouse and its mission? “The most impactful part of my Morehouse experience was the inspiration I gained from seeing society’s most marginalized and disadvantaged group of people —young black men—making no excuses and striving to better themselves and succeed against the depressing odds against them. I felt as a white, straight man and citizen of the most opportunity-rich country the world has ever seen, that I was I born with an unearned privilege that my classmates lacked. And, therefore, I had no excuse but to work hard and take advantage of every opportunity provided me. And I hoped that over time I would move from the poverty into which I was born into a position of some influence where I could reach back and help out. I think that impact has materialized, though there is still more I need to
and expect to do.”
To know Josh Packwood is to know...? “I’m a very flawed person with a lot quirks, but many of those flaws and quirks are also big drivers in whatever success I’ve had. I’m constantly trying to evaluate and re-engineer myself, and I’m not afraid to make drastic changes, which can be both invigorating and terrifying to those close to me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to address my flaws with more scalpel-like precision as opposed to complete overhauls. To know me, is to know I’m very much still a work in progress.”
You were recently on campus recruiting and informing students about your company, Point72. How important is it for you to have engagement opportunities like that, and what do you hope to accomplish with those interactions? “It’s incredibly important to me. Morehouse gave me so much and I have not yet reached the point of wealth and influence where I can properly repay the school for its gift to me. So, trying to bring employment opportunities, mentorship, and education to the students and recent alumni are my little ways of trying to pay back the enormous debt that I owe.”
Your picture adorns several walls of buildings on campus. Do you feel a responsibility of achievement due to the success that you had here as a student? “Yes, and sometimes the responsibility that I’ve felt has been
crushing. I made some pretty risky career moves in my 20s, hoping to accelerate my wealth creation trajectory in part due to my feeling that I needed to achieve more in an unreasonably quick pace to live up to the expectations I largely set for myself based on my success at Morehouse, as well as a feeling of
indebtedness I had to the College and wanting to pay it back with substantial interest in a rapid fashion. Luckily, with age comes some wisdom, so now I think I’ve harnessed the ‘responsibility of achievement’ you mentioned in a purely positive way.”
What part of your 10-year college reunion are you most looking forward to? “Reconnecting with my classmates who had such a profound influence on me.”
Kyle Mosley â€™08 Advises Graduates: Give to Morehouse, Get Back to Campus We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 30
Morehouse Men are not myopic nor a monolith. And Kyle Mosley ’08 is no exception. Among his educational accomplishments, which include Morehouse, are an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and studies in French cuisine at the International Culinary Center. Mosley is the manager for content strategy for Netflix Original Films. Prior to his role at Netflix, he was the senior engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. in New York. Mosley is also the co-founder of GuideVine, an online service that helps people in all stages of their financial journeys to find strong and successful financial advisors. A proven business leader with sound expertise in consumer behaviors, Mosley is consistently a highly rated performer and a trusted adviser to CEOs, CMOs, and Chief Digital Officers seeking to better serve their customer base.
Reflecting on the 10 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and/or honed throughout your career? “Through lots of missteps and failures, I believe that I’ve gotten more clarity about my leadership style over the past 10 years. I’ve come to realize that I care deeply about helping people develop, and creating opportunities for others. That’s been the most consistent theme over the past 10 years: I get a great deal of joy from seeing people be great. This has impacted the way I lead, and the
way I approach my work.”
If you could offer your May 2008 self any salient advice, what would it be? “Keep your head down and do the work. The class of 2008 entered the working world in a treacherous time in the American economy. Banks were toppling, families were underwater on their mortgages, and even our country’s brightest economists didn’t have clarity on the right path forward. After the dust settled, I realized that my peers who survived were the ones that stayed focused on the work in front of them—acknowledging but not being distracted by the rocky currents facing them or their companies. Focus on the work.”
What is your definition of career success? How do you know when all things are aligned to achieve career success? “Honestly, I don’t know. Career success has felt like a moving target for me. When I first started my career, I found myself enamored by having a job at a well-respected firm with a great reputation. Then, I started to encounter people who, unlike me many days, were absolutely thrilled to wake up and go to work. Those folks seem to have it figured out, and they seem to be successful, because they were happy. In a way, career success may be that simple: being happy and fulfilled by your work.”
For Morehouse to thrive in the future, what are three things that alumni must do NOW to help? “First, I recommend getting in the habit of giving money to the Col-
lege. I remember my mother always making sure I put something in the collection plate in church as a very young child. I developed the reflex early, that when the plate comes around, I’m supposed to put something in it. Giving to the College ought to be done with that same, reflexive speed. “Second, I think we ought to give some time. I am terrible at this and need to do better. For some that may mean manning the table at a local college fair; for others that may mean leading a committee of the local alumni organization. “Lastly, I can’t express how important it’s been for me to get back to campus as often as I can. I owe Morehouse a great deal. Walking the campus is the clearest reminder of how far I’ve come and how much credit Morehouse deserves for any of my success.”
How well and in what ways did Morehouse prepare you for your life post-college? “Morehouse was the single greatest contributor to my professional success. As many of my classmates experienced, I learned who I was, as a black man, at Morehouse College. In corporate America, I encounter brothers every day, whom I wish I could offer the Morehouse experience to.”
You are a generous supporter of Morehouse. Why is providing Morehouse with financial support so important to you? “I know that I will forever be indebted to Morehouse College, as she gave me much more than
I could ever give her. I also though, acknowledge that Morehouse, like many of our HBCUs, is facing a great deal of financial pressure. My donations to the College are a way I can repay Mother Morehouse, while also helping ensure she thrives through those pressures.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “When the upper bounds of the human will collide with God’s grace, there is not a single thing on this earth that you can’t accomplish To be clear, ‘will’ isn’t simply wishing for things to happen, but it is doing the work with intention to achieve your goals. God will handle the rest. For what is yours, is yours, and God isn’t in the business of having leftover, unclaimed blessings.”
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TONY CLARK ’98 Education reformer offers advice to the Class of 2018 Boston resident and native Tony Clark ’98 was recently the education policy advisor to the mayor of the City of Cambridge, Mass. He has worked closely with Cambridge Public Schools and the School Committee to evaluate and maximize the education and extracurricular frameworks for the town’s 7,000 schoolchildren and their families. Since 2013, Clark has also been an associate professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College. Clark’s career in education has also included work at the U.S. Department of Education, Diploma Plus Inc., the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, and Boston-based Jobs for the Future. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Morehouse, Clark earned his Master of Arts degree in English education from
New York University and his Master of Science degree in education, leadership, and administration from the City University of New York City College. An outspoken and dedicated educator, Clark shared his opinion on a variety of topics while reflecting on the 20 years since he graduated from Morehouse.
Reflecting on the 20 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and or honed throughout your storied career? “Upon leaving Morehouse and entering graduate school, I subconsciously felt as though I had to remind anyone within an earshot of me that Morehouse furnished the greatest thinkers and leaders that the world ever met. I
learned through listening and being deliberate about my goals and aspirations to become a more complete professional, which required reading, studying my craft, and taking advantage of professional learning opportunities both domestic and abroad. I am still learning the importance of becoming an avid reader and engaging leaders in your field and other fields; I will take a couple of courses at Harvard Business School in the fall.”usiness School in the Fall.
If you could offer your May 1998 self any salient advice, what would it be? “At 22, you’re not aptly equipped to completely understand the complexities of the world. This can be further complicated for a Morehouse graduate since you’re leaving an environment where your black maleness is celebrated into a world where your merits are questioned and your talent is atypical to some. It is critical to think less about your bank account and to explore opportunities to see the world, possibly via work opportunities that may not reap a great deal of financial gain but life experiences. It’s critical to assess your network and to spend time with your classmates upon graduation. Lastly, meet new people and allow yourself to get to know yourself, which may consist of spending time alone, setting time in your schedule to read, and writing in a journal.”
What is your definition of career success?How do you know when all things are aligned to achieve career success? “Career success is leaving the office and/or closing the computer screen
and trusting yourself that you did the best you could do for that day. As a Morehouse Man, I am aware of the competitive nature that takes place in the classrooms and dormitories at 830 Westview Drive. However, as you mature in your career it is paramount to find solace and refuge in the journey, not the title or the size of your office, but the breadth of your work and your ability to walk away from the work and to take stock of what’s most important: your family.”
For Morehouse to thrive in the future, what are three that alumni must do NOW to help? “Alumni must understand the urgency to preserve HCBUs while working arduously to stop the systematic hemorrhaging of the black male image in America and abroad. In today’s social media climate, Morehouse is singularly positioned to lead the charge on shifting the narrative of Black Manhood in America. Morehouse graduates are not men who share monolithic thought, but their collective commitment to excellence is critical, and it is paramount that we lead and change the narrative, led by African American Men who attended Morehouse.”
How has your career work in education, shaped your world view? “Education is a third rail issue and it allows you to learn about people’s cultural and political blind spots. Throughout my career as a professor, administrator, advisor, and researcher, I have learned to listen to people in the schoolhouses and on the street corners because
all parties can and will provide salient insights on how to best stabilize the pervasive and persistent gaps in our urban centers. My work has taken me across the country and I have learned that most good-minded folks want a great education for all its citizens, but what is most concerning is that our definition of a great public education differs when coupled with race and class in America.”
As the Education Policy Advisor to the Mayor of Cambridge, what are your goals for the position and the people of Cambridge? “I started my own firm, which provides infrastructure advisement and programmatic systems. I am currently working with municipal and state agencies with creating infrastructures to mitigate The Achievement Gap and to create local chapters of My Brother’s Keeper. In addition to this work, I am a tenured professor.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “Don’t allow the world to rush you to be what you think you need to be. Take time getting to know yourself and spend time alone traveling and learning the world on your own terms. This may include considering a therapist to help you process your transition to a world that isn’t as warm as Morehouse. Find mentors who will provide you with sound and unapologetic advice, and never be afraid to seek assistance and guidance from both peers and elders.”
How do you straddle the delicate balance between success in family life and career trajectory? "The balance is manifested when you place family at the forefront. The right partner will enable and empower you to reach the apex in your career while lovingly reminding you of when to take a break. I am blessed to have a beautiful cheerleader who provides me with time to operate in the space of chasing my career goals to become the greatest in my profession while reminding me of when to push and when to prioritize family time.”
How far will the Celtics go, and will the Pats be playing in Atlanta in February? "The undermanned Celtics have overachieved thus far but will succumb to the buzz saw named LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals. We’ll definitely be in Atlanta in February."
CHARLES E. THOMPSON, M.D. â€™03 Physician attributes professional growth to extensive mentorship We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 36
Charles E. Thompson, III, M.D., FACS '03 is a member of the medical staff at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors in East Setauket, NY. The Washington, DC native earned his bachelors of science degree in Biology and returned to his hometown to complete his medical education and surgical training at Howard University. While in medical school, Dr. Thompson discovered a passion for treating obesity, and has performed over 300 bariatric, endoscopic and advanced laparoscopic procedures specializing in cutting-edge surgical techniques as well as minimally invasive procedures. In addition to his outstanding professional success, Dr. Thompson has been a generous Morehouse College donor, and has worked to shepherd the Class of 2003's reunion efforts this year.
Reflecting on the 15 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and or honed throughout your career? “My professional growth can undoubtedly be attributed to extensive mentorship and personal insight. That being said, I have had only a few mentors with whom a two-way communication between myself and the mentor existed. Other “silent” mentors are those who I admired from a distance, followed their example, learned from their success and failures, and tried to emulate in pursuing the goals I had for myself. Another crucial part of professional growth
was my ability to be honest with myself, personally critique my progress and setbacks, and have the ability to correct mistakes made along the way. Aside from the technical skills needed in my profession, one critical skill I’ve honed (and continue to develop) is networking. I have learned that there is a difference between meeting and connecting with people, and doing the same while leveraging your experience and skills to make networking beneficial for both parties. The former usually results in loose social acquaintanceships, while the latter traditionally leads to more fruitful encounters, both personally and professionally.”
If you could offer your May 2003 self any salient advice, what would it be? “While it is important to stay focused and develop expertise in the field for which you are current-
ly training, keep your mind open to other seemingly divergent paths. Don’t allow yourself to become pigeon-holed into a specific career and/or position within that industry. Yes, become an expert in your field- but don’t let tunnel-vision distort your ability to see outside economical, societal changes that may alter your current industry or provide you with opportunities not traditionally offered in your current career path.”
What is your definition of career success? How do you know when all things are aligned to achieve career success? “Career success isn’t a definite moment in time, an occasion or specific achievement. For me, career success is more of a feelingand that feeling of having achieved success is different for everyone. To achieve success, things inherently cant be aligned. One
achieves success because they have overcome obstacles and challenges that stand in the way. If these obstacles exist, then, naturally, conditions aren’t “aligned” to achieve success. Career success should be differentiated from career progress. Both include development within one’s industry- however success often includes serendipitous triumph over unideal situations in which the one who succeeds is prepared for such unforeseen circumstances. Using that definition, many (including myself) who have considered themselves successful are more likely to have achieved significant career progression, rather than true success.”
For Morehouse to thrive in the future, what are three that alumni must do NOW to help? “Give. Mentor. Give. Without knowing exact statistics, I’m
confident in saying that Morehouse falls behind other comparable institutions in its ability to raise money from its alumni. As an HBCU, Morehouse faces unique challenges that require a stronger infrastructure to attract the best talent (prospective students, professors, administrators) to compete in an everchanging academic landscape. Morehouse alum (who currently donate) mentoring future alum will help to start a pipeline of future alum who have been personally exposed to alumni giving back and will lead to better understanding of the importance of giving back. This could be a new initiative, where current alumni mentor current students, thus mentally preparing that current student (future alum) for giving back to his institution in the future (in addition to the mentor providing career advice and personal connection to the alumni community). I mention
“give” a second time to highlight the importance of raising money from alum to help Morehouse. Alumni giving directly benefits Morehouse two-fold: funds going directly to Morehouse and corporate giving increases as alumni show their increased willingness to give back.”
How has your career work in medicine shaped your world view? “Quite simply, I work with and for the sick. I see suffering on a daily basis. This has made me more empathetic on a broad scale. We are often consumed with the occurrences of our own lives that we forget the amount and degree of suffering throughout the world.”
What plateaus and accomplishments inspire you as you continue to grow and ascend in your career? “Because of the nature of my profession, I’m awarded the satisfaction of helping others daily. This inspires me greater than any single accomplishment or recognition I may experience.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “Remain passionate about your career choice and eventual progression. Be aware of societal and economical changes that affect your industry. If your passion for your work wanes, then do something else. It’s the love of what you do that will provide strength to forge ahead when difficult times present themselves (which they unquestionably will).”
How do you straddle the delicate balance between success in family life and career trajectory?
Saul Williams '94
Learn more about Saul at saulwilliams.com
"Most important decisions in life shouldn’t be made haphazardly, or strictly from an emotional perspective. They require strategical decision-making that allows one to accomplish goals that have been set forth. Finding a partner with whom a family will eventually be made is one of those important decisions requiring strategy implementation. One has to find a mate that understands your career goals and aspirations- and is comfortable with allowing you to do the necessary work to achieve them. IN addition, you have to be keenly aware of your partner’s needs so as to not have them feel neglected. If this has been achieved, that delicate balance between family life and career trajectory will fall into place."
You have been a very generous supporter of Morehouse. How do you hope your support of the college will be impactful? "Though I appreciate the “very generous” title, I wish I had the ability to do more. Id like to see my financial support of Morehouse be able to attract high quality talent that leads to more growth of the institution."
WE ARE MOREHOUSE
"No smoke. No smoke."
Andre Holmes, M.D., ’02 Discusses Links Between Smoking and COPD, Lung Cancer Tobacco abuse has been a big problem in the United States for many years, and it’s also a huge problem in the African American community. In 2014, an estimated 42 million African Americans were living in the United States, a number that made up approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population. In studies released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013, some 30 percent of African American adults admitted “current use” of tobacco and tobacco-related products, with most these being cigarettes. About one in six black adults smokes cigarettes, though cigarette smoke carries an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It also carries a very high risk for the development of smoking-related lung disease, like Chronic Obstruc-
tive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which consists of two types: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking also increases the risk for the developing lung cancer. What makes tobacco abuse and cigarette smoke so bad? There are two main ingredients in the cigarette, as well as a byproduct of burning tobacco, that are harmful to the body. The first is nicotine, which constitutes approximately 0.63.0 percent of the dry weight of tobacco. Believe it or not, nicotine is found in common foods like eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes, but the levels are very, very low— much lower than the amount of nicotine found in tobacco. It is the stimulant effect of nicotine that makes it addictive.
Nicotine is what generates the physical and psychological dependence and tolerance for tobacco. Next is tar. Tar is the sticky, brown substance that can be seen at the end of a cigarette filter. As individuals continue to smoke cigarettes, tar can actually build up in the lung tissue. Once the tar is inside lung tissue, it can destroy the cilia— fine hairs within the lung tissue that help filter out bad substances. Tar prevents the cilia from acting appropriately to clear toxins and other matter from the lungs. It also blocks gas exchange at a cellular level and can make it difficult for individuals to breathe. Healthy, lungs are normally pink, and lungs that have been exposed to direct cigarette smoke are usually black from tar deposits.
The third dangerous component of smoking is carbon monoxide (CO), which is found in the smoke from cigarettes. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced from cigarette smoke. Everyone—smokers, and nonsmokers—have some carbon monoxide in their bloodstream.
a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot expel back out into the atmosphere all of the air taken in; the air essentially becomes trapped inside the chest. This extra volume within in the chest, then pushes down on the diaphragm, not allowing it to contract and relax normally.
Non-smokers’ levels are, of course, much lower than smokers’. Smokers can sometimes double or even quadruple the amount of CO in the bloodstream, compared to nonsmokers, depending on the number of cigarettes they smoke per day. Carbon monoxide enters into the bloodstream and binds to hemoglobin, the major carrier of oxygen to all parts of the body.
This is what gives individuals the sensation of not being able to breathe, or feeling as if they cannot get air in. In essence, they are correct: They cannot get air in, but not because the airway is blocked on inspiration but because the flow is limited on expiration. And smoking cigarettes makes this phenomenon worse by keeping the muscles involved angry and irritated. These muscles close down quickly when someone attempts to exhale, a phenomenon that causes a cough or the loud whistling sound known as wheezing toward the end of expiration.
CO has a higher affinity or can bind tighter to hemoglobin, not allowing oxygen to be carried to where it needs to be in the body. This can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, depressed mental state, and even death, depending on the levels of CO in the blood. In some rare instances, COPD is not related to smoking, such as in people with genetic defects. But COPD is mostly a smoking-related lung disease. Obstructive lung disease, contrary to popular belief, is a disease state in which the body cannot expel all of the air it has inhaled. So when a COPD sufferer breathes in, (inspiration), he or she will not be able blow out the full amount of air that was taken in (expiration). Over time, this leads to the phenomenon of “air trapping” and “hyperinflation,”
Smoking, as mentioned earlier, also damages those fine hairs within the airways that clear out foreign matter. Cilia help keep the muscles healthy and can keep the airways open long enough to allow a full exhalation. Lung cancer, like COPD, is usually a smoking-related lung disease. Some genetic factors predispose nonsmokers to developing lung cancer, but the biggest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. Lung cancer is usually seen as a mass in the lung. It can involve one lung or both, and it can also have satellite lesions that spread to virtually anywhere in the body. Because cancer is slow growing, it
could be weeks before symptoms are noticeable, and even longer if individuals do not pay close attention to their bodies. The most common symptoms associated with lung cancer are shortness of breath, cough, weight loss (a large amount in a short period of time that is not intentional), fevers, and even night sweats. This is just a brief look into smoking and the awful things it can do to this amazing human body, the body that we have been blessed with. I hope this information has been useful and understandable. Many of us in our lifetimes will experience a loved one, friend, colleague, or a classmate suffering from smoking-related disease, particularly lung disease. Make a choice each day to do something positive with your life. Make a choice, to choose a healthy you. Andre Holmes, M.D., is a member of the Class of 2002 and a pulmonary disease specialist at Pulmonary Sleep & Medicine Associates, LLP, in Riverdale, Ga. He earned his bachelor of science degree in biology from Morehouse, and his medical doctorate from The Medical University of South Carolina.
SHAKA RASHEED ’93 Believe in Your Ability,Take More Risks, Have a Balanced Career So much has happened in the world in the 25 years since Sháka Rasheed crossed the graduation stage in May 1993. Rasheed has had a career marked with a meteoric rise and outstanding, sustained success. And he’s earned a reverential deference and respect from colleagues and peers the world over. The Liberty City, Fla., native is the head of sales for Bridgewater Associates, based in Westport, Conn. He’s also held a variety of ascendant positions at Lazard Asset Management, Citadel Asset Management, J.P. Morgan, and Merrill Lynch. The former Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow at Harvard Business School was an Oprah Winfrey Scholar, a Ford Foundation Fellow, a Woodrow Wilson
Foundation Scholar, and president of the 1992-93 Morehouse College Student Government Association. A born leader whose presence is felt, Rasheed answered questions on a range of topics including life, career, family, and Morehouse.
Reflecting on the 25 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and or honed throughout your storied career? “I graduated from Morehouse with a tremendous sense of purpose and possibility. From that sound base, my thinking and skills have been further refined professionally (and personally) over the 25 years since. Professionally, I’ve evolved from a skill-building, analytically-centric orientation in my earlier years, to becoming more of a strategic thinker who considers first- and
second-order consequences to my decisions. I have sought to more preemptively address the questions being raised behind the questions being asked of me. I have become more curious and humbled by genuinely acknowledging the possibility that my brilliantly conceived ideas, may actually be wrong! Further, I have greater learned to appreciate the value of good counsel and weighing the benefit of divergent perspectives from my own, among many other professional skills. While still emerging, I have become a better synthesizer of complex problems and a leader with greater empathy.”
If you could offer your May 1993 self any salient advice, what would it be? “Take more risk, earlier on. Create and appreciate more quiet moments: Be still. Hold tight to prayer and meditation. Ask your wife to marry you earlier, you’ll be so
much better for it. Say ‘yes’ to that dot.com investment pitch in the late-’90s, despite its lack of earning or a legit biz plan... it will make you a billionaire!”
What is your definition of career success? How do you know when all things are aligned to achieve career success? “For me, career success is measured by balance: being equally refreshed and exhausted; obtaining mastery, yet still being a novice; learning new things. You know, all things are aligned to achieve career success when you are running at your fastest clip (pulling off the impossible), and the outside perception is that you are effortlessly still. Yet, you remain inspired to be at your ‘personal best.’”
For Morehouse to thrive in the future, what are three things that alumni must do NOW to help? “For Morehouse to thrive in the future, alumni consideration of this prophetic, timeless, and universal saying may best capture a framework of three things alumni must do now: If you see
something you want to improve, then first change it with your hands (do something, anything you can to physically to get involved to improve Morehouse, including time and tender). If you are unable to do so, then change it with your tongue (speak out, share your ideas with others for positive change). And if you are unable to do so, then change it with your heart (frame for yourself in your heart how you feel Morehouse could be best enhanced). But, the last of these is the weakest of your faith and efforts. Take direct action today to help Morehouse’s future!”
How well and in what ways did Morehouse prepare you for your life post-college? “Morehouse prepared me well to engage life post-College by igniting within me a burning desire to realize my fullest potential, and charging me with a willingness to accept my solemn responsibility to do so. From Morehouse, I began to truly visualize possibilities beyond the poverty of my youth and gained an ability to see through the most overtly difficult obstacles in my path. Even greater than any academic training I received from the College, was the conditioning
of my thinking to sincerely believe in my ability to realize even the most impossible aspiration, along with the tremendous brotherhood that had inspired, lifted, affirmed, challenged, and celebrated with me on my journey.”
You are a generous supporter of Morehouse. Why is providing Morehouse with financial support so important to you? “I have strived to financially s upport the College over the years, because I can never repay all that she has given to me. I am sincerely grateful for the experience, because it lifted me up in ways I could have never envisioned. “From a single mom and an incarcerated father, I entered Morehouse out of the poverty of inner-city Miami. I did not even have the ability to pay in full my first year’s tuition. I had a lot of dreams. I worked hard and made good grades. But, it was clear to me at one point that I may not likely be able to return as a sophomore. I reached out to Morehouse, and the College answered with the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship that made it possible for me to fully engage in the most transformative experience of my life. My greatest aspirations, deepest brotherhood, and wildest dreams were seeded at Morehouse, and it became a ‘finishing school’ for the type of leader I am still striving to be. How can I ever repay all of that? I can’t! But, I will die trying.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “Brothers, we need you now more than ever before. The best advice I
share with you is simple and consistent with the teaching of Mays: ‘Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no one living, dead, or yet to be born, could do it any better.’”
How do you straddle the delicate balance between success in family life, career trajectory and the fun and at times all-encompassing/ necessary demands of society? “Faith. Prayer. Mediation. Reflection. Being very clear about what I am solving for helps bring clarity to my life. Being reflective helps me to establish and refine those objects. Being ‘well married’ also adds to an iterative process of holding myself accountable to the things that I rank highest in my life.”
What was your favorite/most memorable wanderlust trip? “As a student? The Hampton University homecoming my junior year! Post-College: I once traveled alone on a trip from New York to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, and Bali over about a 2.5week span. Being a big extrovert, the quiet moments on that trip taught me a lot about myself that I will always treasure.”
June 2018 Issue of We Are Morehouse Monthly
Strategies with Johnathan Hill ’17
LinkedIn Business Leadership Program Sales Associate
We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 44
We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 45
HAROLD BOOKER ’13: 'Be patient. Give back. Stay Connected. From Al Price to Michael Sterling ’04, Beaumont, Texas has been fertile ground for outstandingly supportive and proud Morehouse Men. Harold Booker, Jr. ’13 is another in a long line of Beaumont natives who have come to Morehouse, been successful, and consistently support the College.
an expert in construction finance, document control, and process controls. The liberal arts education at Morehouse taught me how to learn, show up well dress and present myself. The rest was onsite job training."
Currently a business analyst at e-Builder, and formerly a consultant at Misys, Booker shared his feelings on the five years since his graduation.
If you could offer your May 2013 self any salient advice, what would it be?
Reflecting on the 5 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and or honed at Misys and E-Builder? "I have grown a lot professionally. While at Morehouse, I made the mistake of not interning during the summers. I took study abroad trips instead, so when I graduated I didn't have hard skills to market myself. Also, a former political science major turned techie I had to learn all about the software business. However, it has been very rewarding. At Misys, I learned so much about how professional services team implement technology, support/help desk resolve and debug issues and the overall development life cycle, from taking an idea or client request through the requirements gathering phase to development and internal testing to releasing it to a client. In my current role at e-Builder, I have honed my skills in project management and working towards becoming
“Relax, it will all work out. As I mentioned previously, I didn't intern during the summers. I caught the travel bug after my first summer at Morehouse. I went to Ghana and Burkina Faso with MPAGE. The next winter term, I went to Bangkok with the Business Department, and the following summer, I went to LSE and Geneva to study at the UN. So, when I graduated five years ago - that's a long time ago - I didn't have a job. I did have an offer to teach English in China, which I intended to take until meeting several people over the summer who had done similar programs and struggled to find jobs in the United States afterwards. I scrambled and spent more time on indeed.com than I would care to admit and finally found a corporate job four months after graduation.”
How well did Morehouse prepare you for your life post-college?
“Morehouse prepared me very well for life. First, I learned at Morehouse that nothing comes easy to you. Whatever you want, you have to work for it. Second, I learned how to present myself, show up, and be confident. Which doesn't go unnoticed by clients or other coworkers. Lastly, I learned how to lean on the brotherhood. After college, I moved to Harlem to accept the position at Misys not knowing anyone in the city not affiliated with Morehouse. It was the Morehouse brothers that became my NYC church members, brunch friends, and mentors.”
You are a generous supporter of Morehouse. Why is providing Morehouse with financial support so important to you? “I don't know about the generous word, but I try to give back what I can and the College has made it easy.
Through reoccurring gifts, a $25 monthly gift adds up to $300 after a year. Morehouse for me was a life changing experience. It’s where I met so many of my brothers, got the opportunity to see the world, and with the Morehouse College Glee Club, sing all over the place - Toronto, Nasdaq's closing bell, Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center, and with Yo-Yo Ma and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The three years I spent at Morehouse were not perfect but gave me so many experiences that I still talk about. So, I think that it is only fair to make sure that Morehouse is here for the next 150 years. Morehouse is already a special place, imagine what it could be if financial aid wasn't a problem for so many students.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “My advice to the Class of 2018 would be first to have patience. Job hunting isn't easy, but if you are determined you will secure a position. Secondly, get active with your local alumni association. You may not have the resources to sponsor events, but you have the knowledge of what Morehouse is like now. The local chapters get many request for alumni to talk about their experiences. Some of the chapters struggle to find recent alumni who can speak to the experiences of today's students versus 20 years ago. Finally, don't wait to give. There is misnomer that we should wait until we are old to give a big check. Start now!”
Pulled Pork Pancakes with Whiskey Maple Sauce Inspiration: A Southern Gentleman Does Brunch From Chef David Thomas ’05. INGREDIENTS For the Buttermilk Pancakes: 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 whole eggs, 2 cups buttermilk 4 tablespoons butter, melted For the Pulled Pork: 1 boneless pork butt, about 3-4 pounds, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons chile powder 3 tablespoons ground coriander, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 tablespoons paprika 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce For the Whiskey Maple Sauce: 1 Cup maple syrup, 1 Cup whiskey DIRECTIONS For the Pulled Pork: Place the pork butt in your Slow Cooker and cover with the spices and Worchestire sauce.Cover with the lid, turn the Slow Cooker on high and allow your pork to braise until tender and pulls apart with a fork, about 6-7 hours. (Tip: lay some parchment on top of the pork to keep in the steam while it cooks)When the pork is completely tender, pull it apart. It’s best to do this while it’s still warm as it’s much easier. Set aside while you make your pancakes. For the Pancakes: First, melt the butter and set aside to cool.Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.In a jug, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.Add the liquid to the dry mix and starting lightly mixing together. The secret to thick, fluffy pancakes is not to over mix. My trick is to stir it enough times to spell P.A.N.C.A.K.E, and then stop.Slowly drizzle in the cooled butter and stir another 3 times. Lumps are ok, resist the urge to mix more. Preheat your griddle to a medium heat-low heat. Spoon one big spoon of the batter per pancake.Cook for roughly 4 minutes on one side. It is time to turn them over when you see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake and the edges turn color.Flip and cook for another on the other side a little longer, until brown. 13. Enjoy with butter and maple syrup. For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the maple syrup and whiskey over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then turn it off. Keep warm to serve. To serve, layer hot pulled pork between the 3 pancakes. Cover with the Maple Whiskey sauce and top with a pat of butter. Enjoy
WITH FORTY TRACK AND FIELD AND CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSIPS, CHRIS DOOMES â€™93 IS A
TRUE CHAMPION We Are Morehouse Monthly|Page 48
Chris Doomes '93 is the Assistant Head Cross Country/Track & Field Coach, Head Recruitment Coordinator at Morehouse College. The native New Yorker transferred to Morehouse, and got involved in a number of ways, namely as a student athlete, running track and cross country for the legendary coach Willie Hill. Since he's been a full-time coach at Morehouse, Doomes has also been a critical partner in the recruiting efforts not only of the Track and Field program, but also for admissions in general, working initially with Dean Sterling Hudson. Doomes is a widely respected and highly successful coach, and not only has he coached Olympic athletes, but he's been a team coach for Olympic teams starting with the 2004 summer games in Athens.
How did you find this position or how did this position find you at Morehouse College? "The position found me. Willie Hill, my present supervisor was my coach while I attended Morehouse. He always told me once I graduated and was done with whatever I was going to do, I should consider becoming a coach. Never crossed my mind. I thought he was crazy. In my mind, I was going to Wall Street. "Though I’m from New York City, after graduation, I ended up staying around the Atlanta area, and I had a couple of jobs, but I always stayed in contact with Coach Hill. After graduation, I stayed around to help him out and assist
him. He told me, “Listen, I have a position open. I would like for you to consider thinking about it.”
So you graduated in ’93, you were hanging around Atlanta. When did he first offer you the position? "The full-time position, around ’97. But I was here voluntary for a year or two. I was on the payroll in ’95 in some way shape or form as an assistant coach."
You’re a former Morehouse student athlete, how did your teams do when you were in school? "At that particular time, we had Alabama A&M in the conference, which was an awesome program, and they were winning national championships left and right, like every year. So, when I was here, we placed first one time, but the other years we placed second to A&M. We were always competitive. And we always had one possibly two people per year that went to (NCAA Division II) nationals."
When did Coach Hill arrive at Morehouse? "Coach Hill arrived in the late 70s. He was a football coach at first."
Reflecting on the 25 years since you’ve graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired or honed throughout your career? "It’s vast. I’ve had the opportunity by being involved in the Morehouse culture, I was able to become internationally involved in the coaching field. After participating in sports, acquiring skills and learning as you go along, I became
an Olympic coach, for countries and individuals. Having the ability to experience that, has really given me the opportunity to travel the world. My first stint in the Olympic games, I was a coach for two athletes here in the United States for the 2004 games. That started me to literally understand, just by getting an opportunity. That opportunity was given to me just by Coach Hill, “My assistant would be very good for that.” And, because of his skills and his history, they believed him, and gave me the opportunity. That opportunity led to me still being involved in the international scene today.
If you could offer your May 1993 self any salient advice, what would it be? Never close the door on skills that you have, that you may perceive not worthy. And always grow within those skills. By doing so, you have no idea where it can take you. Never doubt it, don’t question it, just move forward and things will happen for you.
What is your definition of career success, and how do you know when things are aligned to achieve success? I think it’s twofold. You have success for self, and then you have perceived success for people who see your work. My success, would be dealing with the young people, the men of Morehouse and the young people outside of Morehouse, I have the opportunity to touch their lives and hear them express their thanks to me and see their growth and development in their lives. Success in the outer realm deals with success in our profession. I’ve been very fortunate, to be a part of a very
winning program here at Morehouse. Out of the 42 conference championships that Coach Hill has won, I was a part of 40 of them. So, on the international level, I’ve worked with a Gold medalist, a Silver medalist in the highest realm of track and field. So, I’ve had great success in the field in terms of accolades, but my success comes with helping those people achieve their ultimate goal, which is to be a champion…in life.
You just said ’40 of the 42’ that Coach Hill has won, you’ve been a part of that? That is staggering. So, you’re just a champion.
ment official, a CEO… I’m a coach. I’ve actually hit the pinnacle of what coaching is in my field. You can’t go higher or do better than being an Olympic coach, and I’ve done that. We have to make sure that these brothers speak about their successes more in the community where they’ve received their education. Lastly, brothers must physically show their presence. A lot of these brothers have family or sons. It’s amazing to me how I hear so many of our brothers say, “Well, my son is not gonna go here” or More-
For Morehouse to thrive in the future, what must alumni do NOW to help? Look beyond themselves and realize what’s needed for the future generations; donations and involvement. We constantly hear the stories. What I mean by looking beyond yourself is that I can guarantee each individual that shares a story of pain, about excellence (about Morehouse), but we hover around the pain. One of the things I say to all of my brothers, “Dude, look how many brothers you’ve met. Look and see what’s happened in your life and it was all a part of your experience at Morehouse. Secondly, the value of your experience needs to be forecast. We need to speak on it more. We need to put it in its historical perspective. You’ve had a journey, and students need to hear this, literally. Everyone is not going to be a govern-
How has your career work in coaching, shaped your world view? Tremendously. As it pertains to black males. We have dynamic young males working to achieve something and not asking for handouts. We have young men who want to have families, and from their families create a foundation for community. There’s so many great things. I get an opportunity to do speaking engagements around this, so I have the opportunity to travel around the United States and abroad and speak about the experience that society doesn’t necessarily focus on. Being a coach, I see great work ethic, that transcends just being an athlete, it’s life. Everything crosses over. I’m going to be disciplined here, then I’m going to be disciplined in life. I’ve been through a regimen, and it reminds me that I have to accomplish some things in a certain way.
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? Be the best you. Show your value. Don’t allow anyone to devalue who you are. Know who you are. house is not even an option for them. I look at the world the way it is right now, and people go to the University of Tennessee, Harvard, Yale, UCLA it’s a generational thing. We talk about community building, and where you obtained your education is a community dynamic. Your experience is a community dynamic. But if you say, “Naw, I’m gonna send my son over here, or over there,” you don’t create that. We wonder sometimes what is missing. And it’s just that.
How have you straddled the balance between success in family and career? Wow, that’s challenging.
Yeah, I’m not doing lightweight questions here. We’re not talking cosmetic, lightweight stuff. You’re coaching, you’re gone a lot. Exactly, man. I’m gone a lot, and It’s affected personally in my life.
As Morehouse Men, we don’t really discuss…
that. It’s part of my mission/crusade to have real conversations with Morehouse Men to learn how they’ve dealt with real problems or issues in life. Part of my ministry moving forward is for us to be able to talk about those kind of things. We all deal with it personally, and go through it with our friends or family, so we need to be able to discuss it to help one another or what is all of this for if we don’t? Even when you’re in town, you’re gone. You’re not home.
Exactly, man. You have a fall season and a spring season. This is year round. Here at Morehouse, you have practices later in the day. Your whole setup is for something later. How do you deal with that?
Our time is precious. People normally don’t understand, even in relationships. The first thing you hear is, ‘no I understand’. Mike Tyson used to say ‘everybody has a plan until you get hit’. So, you have a plan to understand what you’re dealing with until you’re actually in it. I’ve for lack of a better term, suffered in the arena of having people understand, and then when we’re in the dynamics of it…it’s different. I just know that in my relationship, when I have the time available, I need to make sure I’m putting that time in. We have a lifelong dynamic of adjustments that we have to realize.
When you’re running, what are you hearing in your head? Do you hear music? Do you shut everything out? Do you hear birds, the
surroundings, what do you hear? When I’m running, it’s so peaceful, I’m in another place.
Do you seek to find that place often? Yes, it’s second nature. It’s a quietness. I hear things clearly. So clearly when running or working out that it’s a zone. You can’t see the wind, but I can hear it when I’m running. So running is a way for clear connection with your mind, your heart rate and you become intuned with the universe. It’s a high that you chase. When somebody says, I got a second wind. You get a second wind, it’s like the air is so crisp and clean and everything is flowing.
EUGEAN MOORE ’13: Decisions Today Will Impact The Man That You Become On a historic and rainy day in May 2013, Eugean Moore graduated from Morehouse with a degree in accounting. He’s been working in Washington, D.C., as a senior consultant at the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP.
“You are not the only person in the world who has been through things. Seek support if you find it difficult to turn negative energy into a positive solution. And, most important, be patient, be kind, and appreciate the people in your life.”
When a graduate is five years removed from his alma mater, many colleges and universities tend to start asking for financial support. Moore is among a growing number of young alumni who has already begun supporting his alma mater. Moore took the time to discuss life after Morehouse and offer advice to the newly minted brothers of the Class of 2018.
How well did Morehouse prepare you for your life post-college?
Reflecting on the five years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and/or honed at Grant Thornton? “Over the last five years, one of the most important things that I have learned is that my success hinges on the success of those around me. It’s imperative to surround yourself with like-minded individuas who are continuously seeking ways to hone and further develop their skills. Grant Thornton has provided me with a network of individuals who have invested time and resources to ensure I acquired a broad range of experiences, which has helped me advance in my career and become a more well-rounded consultant.”
If you could offer your May 2013 self any salient advice, what would it be?
“Morehouse equipped me with the skills and knowledge to be successful in every aspect of life. But when I think about what has best prepared me for life post-college, it’s the supportive community fostered at Morehouse. The lifelong bonds that you build at not only Morehouse, but also at Spelman and the HBCU family in general is invaluable. My friends and line brothers who all come from the ‘Morehouse Mystique’ have helped me grow both personally and professionally.”
You are a generous supporter of Morehouse. Why is providing Morehouse with financial support so important to you? “Morehouse invested in me by providing me with life-changing opportunities, and those opportunities helped shape me into the man I am today and continue to progress into. I owe a great debt to Morehouse, which is why I created the
Moore Summer Classic, an annual charity softball game in 2017. This event was created to raise money to provide financial support for students who can’t afford to attend Morehouse. My friends, family, colleagues, and classmates all contributed to make this event a success and I look forward to hosting the event in Atlanta this summer.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “Be intentional. The decisions you make today will play a major part in the men you will become.”
DONTAVIOUS TAYLOR ’13: Uncommon Success Realized for Education Professional Atlanta native Dontavious Taylor is the Associate Director of recruitment for Uncommon Schools in New York. Though just five years removed from his days as a student at Morehouse, Taylor is an experienced educator and is a Teach For America Corp alum, and taught in Fulton County Schools as well after graduating from Morehouse. Currently, Taylor travels the country raising awareness for Uncommon Schools, seeking to attract educators offering internship and career opportunities for the New York based system of schools. He has been a vocal and consistent proponent of providing
career opportunities for Morehouse students and alumni.
How well did Morehouse prepare you for your life post-college?
Reflecting on the 5 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and or honed at Uncommon Schools?
“Morehouse gave me the knowledge and skills to compete in any environment—regardless of color or social economic status. From working with Fortune 500 executives to supporting non-profit leaders in underrepresented communities, I developed the confidence to work with everyone.”
“Within the past five years, I have served as a business consultant, a school teacher, and now a recruiter. While each of these roles is different, they have a common thread—relationship management. At Morehouse, all of my relationships were forged in the bonds of brotherhood—but sometimes we don’t always listen to our brothers. In the work place, I have learned to listen and to value the perspectives of others more. Honing these skills has allowed me to recruit high quality talent for Uncommon Schools.”
If you could offer your May 2013 self any salient advice, what would it be? “If I could offer my May 2013 self any advice, it would be to stay the course. Each of life’s experiences will guide you towards your purpose.”
You are a generous supporter of Morehouse. Why is providing Morehouse with financial support so important to you? “The nation’s most elite Liberal Arts Colleges have alumni giving rates over 50%. For Morehouse to exist for another 150 years, alumni have to increase the financial contributions to the college. I want to see Morehouse be more selective. I want to see Morehouse build a state-of-theart, 21st century campus. I want to see Morehouse provide deserving young men a free undergraduate education. So, I realize that my contribution to Morehouse ensures that what I hope becomes a reality.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “Howard Thurman ’23 said it best, “Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.””
STORMY MOREHOUSE COMMENCEMENT IN ’03 DIDN'T DAMPEN CALVIN WINGFIELD'S SUCCESS On graduation day in May 2003, the skies were dark and stormy. A torrential downpour blanketed the graduating seniors and all those who attended, save the dignitaries on the graduation stage. To shorten the time that graduates and guests were forced to endure the conditions, commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Vernon Jordan simply gave a short message of thanks and well wishes. Fortunately, those few hours on that day haven’t dampened the generous spirit of many in the venerable Class of 2003. New York-based attorney Calvin Wingfield ’03, is an intellectual property litigation partner in the New York office of Goodwin Procter LLP. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, Wingfield attended the Emory University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree. Wingfield is responsible for running day-to-day strategy and managing patent litigations. An ardent, generous and consistent Morehouse donor, Wingfield is also a board member in New York’s Metropolitan Black Bar Association.
Reflecting on the 15 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally, and what skills have you acquired and or honed throughout your career?
“When I started at my law firm, I concentrated on the law and developing the sharpest legal and analytical skills that I could. As I have gained more experience and advanced in the firm, I have honed the managerial and leadership skills necessary to spearhead large complex litigations while also developing associates on my teams. “One of my biggest challenges professionally has been honing my interpersonal skills when walking into a room full of unfamiliar people. My default is to seek out the familiar, but a key driver to professional advancement in my field is being able to connect with people both internally at my firm and in the courtroom.”
If you could offer your May 2003 self any salient advice, what would it be? “The bond that is Morehouse is real. Maintain those relationships that you developed in these past four years at Morehouse. There will likely be another Morehouse brother nearby wherever life takes you—fellowship with those brothers along the way and use that connection to Morehouse to build your network both socially and professionally.
What is your definition of career success? How do you know when all things are aligned to achieve career success? “I am a litigator at a large law firm. Legal excellence is expected. When your name and reputation get to the point that clients will follow
you wherever you go, or will seek you out for their matters, success will follow. At that point, you will have the freedom to do what you want and to work where you want.”
For Morehouse to thrive in the future, what are three things that alumni must do NOW to help? “We must support dear old Morehouse and her ideals in all things that we do. First, we should support the College financially through alumni giving. Objective indicators show that we as alumni need to get our numbers in terms of the percentage of alumni who give back to the school. “Second, we must show students and prospective students that the bond that is Morehouse is real. There has always been another Morehouse brother nearby to offer advice and guidance wherever life has taken me—from Emory University Law School, to summer associate positions in New York, to family vacations. We need to take whatever steps necessary to create, strengthen, or make more visible pipelines available to Morehouse graduates as they transition from their college days to post-graduate study or industry. Easing students’ transitions will tighten their ties to the College and show them firsthand that a Morehouse degree is a gift that keeps on giving, which hopefully will incentivize future contributions to the College. “Lastly, we must continue to strive for that crown that Morehouse holds overhead. Doing so, will ensure we are
the best brand ambassadors for the College in every facet of our lives.”
How has your career work in intellectual property litigation shaped your world view? “I do focus my practice on intellectual property litigation— primarily, patent litigation—but some trademark, copyright, and trade secret work, too. All of this has given me a deep appreciation for creativity and innovation and has made me more discerning in the technology and other goods that I support.”
Just 15 years out of Morehouse, you’re a partner at a large law firm. What plateaus and accomplishments inspire you as you continue to grow and ascend in your career? “I have handled all aspects of litigation and have taken witnesses at trial a number of times. In a jury trial, there typically can be only a few attorneys handling each side’s part of the case because they need to build a rapport with the jury. I am striving to become a first-chair litigator—the person that the client trusts to be his/her voice during the entire trial.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “You have made it this far, and that should be celebrated. But do not bask in the glory too long. There is still much to be done as you embark into the world beyond Morehouse. Stay focused, informed, and engaged. Travel the world and experience new cultures. And, most of all, remember that
you can lean on your Morehouse brothers when you need them— we’ve got your back. Good luck!”
How do you straddle the delicate balance between success in family life and career trajectory? “It’s a struggle. I plan out each week in terms of tasks that I need to complete for work and wake up early or stay up late to get them done. That way, I am present and engaged when my family is awake and able to spend quality time with
You have been a very generous supporter of Morehouse. How do you hope your support of the college will be impactful? “I hope my contributions will provide Morehouse with the flexibility to pursue programs and initiatives that will ensure the College is well-positioned to continue serving our community in the decades to come, when my nephews and son will be of age to attend the school.”
STORM BRIGGS, DDS â€™03 'Find balance in life, and remain true to that scale throughout your journey'
Storm Briggs, DDS ’03 loves helping his patients, and he loves being supportive of Morehouse. Dr. Briggs received his degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry After graduating from dental school, Dr. Briggs completed a twelve month Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Dr. Briggs is a member of the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He remains knowledgeable about market trends through regular continuing education, and he thoroughly enjoys providing all aspects of comprehensive dental care for his patients including implant placement, implant restoration and cosmetic style makeovers. Dr. Briggs has been a consistent Morehouse supporter over the years, and he’s led by example with participation in a variety of worthwhile Morehouse fundraising efforts.
Reflecting on the 15 years since you graduated from Morehouse, how have you grown professionally and what skills have you acquired and or honed throughout your career? “Over the past 15 years I've grown professionally in numerous ways. Matriculating through Dental School and Residency gave me the clinical foundation to practice dentistry at a very high level. Continuing Education throughout the years has sharpened my skills in General, Cosmetic and Implant dentistry, Endodontics, Oral Surgery and
Orthodontics. I am able to provide lifetime care for my patients and their family members under one roof, usually without them ever having to travel to see a specialist.”
challenge ourselves to always support more if possible. As alumni we must reach back and offer mentorship to current Men of Morehouse who need support.”
If you could offer your May 2003 self any salient advice, what would it be?
How has your career work in dentistry shaped your world view?
“The advice I would offer my 2003 self is to find balance in life and remain true to that scale throughout the entire journey of life. Build a strong relationship with God as your foundation. Your body is your temple and it must be preserved because you only get one which deteriorates over time; so eat healthy, workout daily and make that your standard of life. Refrain from poisonous vices such as alcohol and drugs; as you get older your body will thank you for a clean and healthy lifestyle.”
“I've been blessed with the opportunity to give back and offer free dental care to the underprivileged right here in the communities I've lived in as well as foreign countries as far as Malawi, Africa. Seeing and treating those less fortunate, especially those who's reality is a 3rd World Country, illuminates how blessed we are here in America. The World is so big and culture is so different in so many places, but when it comes down to the basics of human life we are all the same. We all have the same dental needs and suffer from the same dental pathologies. In America we have different desires and wishes, but our basic needs are the same throughout the world because we are ultimately from the same creator.”
What is your definition of career success? How do you know when all things are aligned to achieve career success? “In my opinion career success is using the gifts and talents that God has blessed me with to be the best leader that I can be personally and in my dental career. I set yearly goals and work as hard as I can to achieve those goals. For me personally I know that I am leading a successful career because I sleep well at night with the comfort that I give my best effort for my patients, they receive the best dental care I can offer them and I help a lot of people along the way.”
For Morehouse to thrive in the future, what are three that alumni must do NOW to help? “We must continue to support financially every year. We must
What plateaus and accomplishments inspire you as you continue to grow and ascend in your career? “As I continue to grow and ascend in my career my main driving force and inspiration is my reputation within my community. I want to always be known as a Great dentist who offers the best care and attention to detail that I possibly can. I understand in my profession as a dentist I cannot please everyone, but for the vast majority I hope and pray that I help those that I come across and treat. I strive to accomplish financial profitability and a positive culture for my team mem-
bers so that they can provide for their families and enjoy helping me take care of our patients every day. As I ascend in my career my inspiration to reach new levels of personal and clinical mastery, and unconscious competence is the driving force to push myself further.”
What advice do you have for the Class of 2018? “My advice for the graduating class of 2018 is cherish your Morehouse experience because college days swiftly pass. Hold the Crown of Morehouse high and always represent our great institution to the best of your ability. Make sure when people deal with you, they'll know they're dealing with a Morehouse Man! Set lofty goals and accomplish them or work as hard as you can to come close. Take care of your body because you only get one! Honor your current/ future family and remember that they are more precious than your career. Always put God first in all that you do!”
How do you straddle the delicate balance between success in family life and career trajectory? “Family life is always the most important aspect of life in my opinion. As the man of the household and sole provider for my family I have to work in order to give them the quality of life that they deserve and have grown accustomed to. I spend a lot of time during the week with my team members and patients so when it's family time I try my best to leave work at work. I work Tuesday-Friday and have a three-day weekend almost every week in order to spend quality time with my family.”
You have been a very generous supporter of Morehouse. How do you hope your support of the college will be impactful? “I hope that my support of Morehouse every year will help a student continue to enjoy the Morehouse experience at the Greatest College in the World! I hope my support will help them continue on their journey towards one day accomplishing their lifelong goals!”
WE ARE MOREHOUSE MONTHLY > ARRIVALS Josiah James Charleston Jones Jeremy Jones, â€™05 and his wife Marquita are the proud parents of a son, Josiah James Charleston, born on May 1, 2018 in Atlanta.
Vaughn Allen Spearmon Shaun Spearmon â€™01 and his wife Brooke (Spelman '02) are the proud parents of a son, Vaughan Allen, born on May 4, 2018 in Seattle.
Please send pictures and information about your weddings and newborns to joseph.carlos@morehouse. edu
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