University of Rochester

Six Rochester Graduates Awarded for Campus Leadership

June 5, 2009

University of Rochester graduates Edgard Duque, Myra Mathis, Ashley Anderson, Dayo Lukula, Brittany Carter, and Robert Duran were honored by the Office of Minority Student Affairs for their campus leadership during their college careers.

Edgard Duque and Myra Mathis were recipients of the 2009 Francis Price Student Leadership Award which honors the performance of outstanding student leaders who have achieved a 3.0 grade point average or higher and have demonstrated high standards of dependability, citizenship, leadership, enthusiasm, and support for the college community.

Duque graduated this May with a bachelor of arts in financial economics and a minor in German. The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native was also the recipient of the Kodak Young Leaders Scholar Award and Scholarship for community service, leadership and academic excellence. He was an active member of the University's Modern Languages Undergraduate Council and served as the vice president of finance for the Catholic Newman Community Steering Committee. In addition, he was awarded the Alice DeSimone Student Life Award, which recognizes a student's dedication, enthusiasm, collaboration, positive role modeling, and contributions to co-curricular life at the University.

Mathis earned a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry. The Rochester, N.Y., native was the president of the University of Rochester's Gospel Choir, and co-president of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students. Inside the classroom, Mathis conducted a year-long independent study on Proteomic Research Techniques that led into a DeKiewiet Research Fellowship through the department of biology. At the completion of her fellowship, she presented the results of this project.

Ashley Nicole Anderson was given the 2009 Frederick Jefferson Award for Outstanding Student Achievement. The Frederick Jefferson Award honors a student who has demonstrated exemplary achievements in his or her major.

Anderson graduated with a bachelor of arts in English with a concentration in theatre. The Riverdale, M.D., native was president of the Black Students Union, spearheading many culturally relevant outreach programs involving the campus community. As a student leader, she helped coordinate a college-wide bus trip to President Obama's inauguration in January.

Beyond the campus community, Anderson volunteered her time as a tutor and teacher for local area third grade students at the God's Vision Ministries VISION Program. In addition, her advocacy for HIV/AIDS issues and passion for dance led to her participation in the United States Conference on AIDS and the Tom Joyner Sky Show at Morris Brown College.

Dayo Lukula was the recipient of the 2009 Olivia Hooker Academic Achievement Award, recognizing his outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment, and intellectual development.

Lukula earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology. The Upper Marlboro, M.D., native participated in an externship at Highland Hospital and worked in the NICHE program through the Friends of Strong at Strong Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department. He was a coach for the STEP Science Bowl team and served as a two-year teaching assistant for biology and chemistry courses.

Brittany Christine Carter was the recipient of the 2009 Kesha Atkins Citation for Student Leadership. The Citation honors a student who has demonstrated the qualities as set forth in the Senior Charge from the previous class. The Class of 2008 charged the Class of 2009 to continue their work in creating a diverse faculty and unified campus community.

Carter, who received a bachelor of arts in history and a minor in political science and legal studies, was involved in numerous campus activities and programs during her college career. The Dallas, Texas native was a freshman senator, an associate justice for the All Campus Judicial Council, and the president of the Minority Student Advisory Board (MSAB).

During the 2008-2009 academic year, she was an active member of the College Diversity Roundtable (CDR) and helped organize the MSAB Student Leadership Conference. Academically, Carter has been on the Dean's List several times and was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society, a national history honor society.

Robert Duran was the winner of the 2009 Family Pillar Essay Contest. Presented jointly by Rochester's Office of Minority Student Affairs and Parent Relations within the Office of the Dean of Students, the Essay Contest provides seniors with the opportunity to honor the significant contributions, sacrifices, and support that family members make in the lives of University of Rochester students.

Duran, who graduated with a bachelor of arts in biology, wrote his winning essay about his sister, Cynthia German. A native of Highland Mills, N.Y., Duran credited his sister for his success at Rochester, citing her support for his academic achievements. While at Rochester, Duran was active in the Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity and the Multicultural Greek Council.