by Jonathan Edouard
Florida A&M University students won a number of top awards during the recent Alpha Kappa Mu (AKM) National Honors Convention hosted by Jackson State University.
In the research category, graduate environmental science student, Jada Hoyle-Gardner of Irvington, N.J., won first place for “Reveal of Uranium Bioremediation Mechanisms by Bacillus Species through Proteomics Studies” at the Savannah River Site. She investigated “the chemical processes that drive certain bacterial species to detoxify radionuclides, such as uranium, in soil and water sources.”
In addition, Hoyle-Gardner was commended for her Chapter Showcase presentation of the FAMU chapter’s leadership, service, and scholarship activities.
Cedrita Demus, a graduate student in public administration from Tallahassee, placed second for her research, “Get Out, Stay Out: Own Your Future, Own Your Freedom,” a plan to mitigate recidivism in the state of Florida.
Tallahassee’s Joy Jefferson-Yager, a graduate environmental science student and national vice president of Alpha Kappa Mu, placed second for her artwork depicting a stricken out “July 4th” caption followed by “Juneteenth 1865: Because My Ancestors Weren’t Free in 1776.”
FAMU Chapter President Jorge Del’Angel, of Orrville, Alabama, a biological systems engineering student, won one of the two $2,000 Gore-Crawford scholarships. He plans to attend either Howard University or the University of Florida.
FAMU Chapter Vice President Timia Williams, an organic chemistry student from Atlanta, was commended for her upbeat rendition of the Alpha Kappa Mu hymn. She won two first-place awards – for her flute performance and her creation of a mask reflecting the Society’s founding principles.
FAMU students participated in all aspects of the convention where various speakers such as Williams, and Aayliah Brown, a senior biology student from Port St. Lucie, Fla., discussed how they adjusted during the Covid-19 pandemic to thrive mentally, socially, and academically.
“Being a member of Alpha Kappa Mu gave me hope. I was able to see how other scholars were managing their everyday lives,” said Williams about her panel experience. “I felt a little bit of comfort knowing that I was not going through challenges alone.”
The virtual event was presided over by FAMU Associate Professor of English Veronica Yon, Ph.D., national president of the 93,000-member Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society. Themed, “Mask Up: Leadership, Scholarship, and Service in a Pandemic,” the convention was an opportunity for participants to network, compete, share, and collaborate.
Nineteen FAMU students, faculty and alumni participated in the convention, which was held
March 25-26. More than130 other AKM Honor Society members from other historically Black Colleges and Institutions (HBCUs) also participated in the event.