Jessica Cunningham graduated from FAMU in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in African-American history and went on to receive a master’s degree in education from American University in 2003. Cunningham serves as the principal of KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) College Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. Under her leadership, KIPP has become the highest performing open-enrollment high school in D.C. Since taking the reins at KIPP DC College Prep in 2012, she has boosted test scores in reading and math by 19 points. In 2014, the school posted a math proficiency rate of 95 percent, reading proficiency rate of 71 percent, graduation rate of 99 percent, and college matriculation rate of 89 percent. She is a fellow of the fourth class of the Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Cunningham was recently chosen as the winner of the Milken Educator Award, receiving an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000. The Milken Educator Award, which was launched by the Milken Family Foundation, has been described as the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine.
Alumnus Joey Womack is the co-founder and CEO of Amplify 4 Good, an educational startup that uses rapid problem solving to help social-impact organizations and underserved communities globally. Since its founding in August 2014, Womack’s organization has added companies like CARE USA, Google, the United Negro College Fund, Be The Match, Black Enterprise, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and General Assembly as customers or partners. As a Hive global leader, United Way VIP alumnus, and Awesome Atlanta Foundation Board of Trustee member he continues to implement his life purpose by equalizing socio-economic disparities in communities around the world.
Womack was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug in 2002 when he launched digitalguestlist.com as a graduate student at FAMU. He grew the site to 80,000 subscribers/users, and advertised thousands of events for Fortune 500 companies, agencies, and high-profile promoters during special events weekends like the NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl, and Essence Music Festival. He also used innovative digital marketing strategies to execute events in the Southeast for brands such as Crown Royal, Ciroc, Smirnoff, Coors Light, Warner Bros., and Hennessy.
Womack received an MBA from Florida A&M University in spring 2003, where he was also initiated into the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He has been named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Alumni and received an Outstanding Alumni Award during FAMU’s Quasquicentennial (125th) Anniversary Celebration. Womack recently conducted a “Goodie Marketing Hackathon” during FAMU’s 2015 Homecoming festivities.
Shundrawn A. Thomas serves as executive vice president, head of Funds and Managed Accounts Group at Northern Trust Corporation. He principally oversees the development, management, and distribution of Northern Funds, Northern Institutional Funds, and Flex Shares Exchange Traded Funds as well as related business activities. Thomas oversees the Managed Accounts practice, which provides investment advisory solutions to existing clients and financial intermediaries. His broad executive responsibilities involve developing long-term strategy, executing operating plans, managing client and vendor relationships, and developing and retaining talented professionals.
Thomas received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from FAMU and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He has also completed executive education programs in corporate strategy at the Chicago Booth School of Business and corporate governance programs at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business. Thomas currently holds Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) series 7, 63, and 24 securities licenses, serves as a trustee for Wheaton College and as a board director for the FAMU Foundation. A member of the Economic Club of Chicago, Thomas’ civic involvement has afforded him the opportunity to speak and lecture nationally on topics including leadership, strategy, investment management, and professional development.
Toneka R. Etienne, Ph.D., is a 2000 and 2004 graduate of Florida A&M University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in school psychology, and a doctoral degree in educational psychology. Etienne currently works as a school psychologist in metro Atlanta where she is fulfilling her mission of helping women achieve balance in their lives. Although the primary focus of her work includes working directly with children, she especially enjoys working with the parents, teachers, and administrators in her schools. Her background in psychology, counseling, and motivation has led her to discover her passion for working with women. She also enjoys offering support, guidance, and strategies to help women connect back to their essence, and regain confidence in their own knowing. Etienne recently published a book entitled, “Become You: A Transformational Blueprint for Your Mind, Body, and Soul,” which can be purchased on Amazon. Her book reveals a practical lifestyle blueprint for the modern day woman. Etienne lives in suburban Atlanta with her husband and two young daughters.