Alcorn alum honored

The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) recently honored four Alcorn State University alumni. A native of Water Valley, Verdia L. Haywood received his bachelor’s degree with honors in political sciences and economics from Alcorn in 1970. He then received a national urban fellowship to attend graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and graduated in 1972 with a master’s degree in public administration. Haywood has held a number of prominent positions and retired as deputy county executive for human services in Fairfax, Va., in 2010. During his tenure, he held membership in many professional organizations and affiliations and received a number of awards and recognitions, including National Forum for Black Public Administrators Public Service Award for Human and Social Services, National Forum for Black Public Administrators Public Management Award, American Society of Public Administrators Award for Public Service, and the Katherine K. Hanley Public Service Leadership Award from Leadership Fairfax Inc. among others.

Dr. LaSandra Watkins, a native of Clarksdale, graduated from Alcorn in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and began her teaching career at the Camden City Public School District, Camden, N.J. In 1999, Watkins graduated from Rowan University with a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration, and in 2005 she received her doctorate in educational leadership and administration from Rowan University. Watkins has been the recipient of various awards and honors, including Woman of the Year from the National Stop the Violence Coalition, Who’s Who Among American Women and Who’s Who Among Teachers.

Widely recognized for his contributions to his alma mater, vice president for institutional affairs and interim executive director of the Alcorn State University Foundation Inc. Marcus D. Ward oversees advancement efforts including fundraising, public relations, strategic development, alumni relations and government affairs. In his two years with the university’s advancement team, Ward has collaborated to increase the number of donors by 25 percent, increased the amount of donations by 11percent and restored the foundation’s endowment by $2 million to its pre-2008 recession level. Ward holds a bachelor of arts in political science/pre-law from Alcorn State University and earned both his masters of public administration degree and an information technology policy and management advanced certificate at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

LaKeshia N. Myers is an educator for the Prince George’s County Public Schools of Maryland. As such, she recently created a series of citizenship-based service projects to assist and enhance civic education for students in Washington, D.C. She also serves as a social science instructor at Surrattsville High School in Clinton, Md. Prior to becoming an educator, Myers served as clerk of the Federal Workforce and Government Management Subcommittees of the United States House of Representatives. While in this capacity, she worked with congressional leaders to author many pieces of legislation pertaining to government contracts, diversity, employee pay and benefits, and human resources protocol in the federal government. She earned her bachelor of arts in political science from Alcorn and she earned her master of education degree from Strayer University.

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