Black Student Union Awards

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by | Jun 27, 2020

The Black Student Union (BSU) was founded almost two years ago and was based on students wanting to have Black community and wanting to find solutions for the challenges that we find troubling on our campus, community, and outside that radius. The purpose of the BSU awards is to shine a light on the amount of work black, marginalized, and indigenous bodies have done on our campus/community.  

The committee consists of: 

Chris Chavers ’21 – 3rd-year, President of BSU, ComCil Co-President and, Board of Trustee

Ariella Brown – Associate Director of Gender Equity Programs & Education Title IX Coordinator

Shane Creepingbear ’08 – Associate Director of Admission, Board of Trustee

JP Robinson – Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & the CSKC


 BSU Change Maker Award goes to Chris Chavers ’21

The BSU Change Maker Award is given to an individual who is committed to advocating and making positive changes at Antioch. This person has demonstrated a high level of pride, passion, and commitment to the Antioch community and to the Black Student Union.


2020 Outstanding Organization Award goes to the Prison Justice Initiative

The Antioch College Prison Justice initiative has been a vital project that connects our students, staff, and faculty to one of the leading social justice issues of our time. Taking action together with current and formerly incarcerated individuals,  they forge vital relationships to learn together, create a deeper understanding, and effectively organize for change within the prison industrial system. Members of this organization include Luisa Bieri, Jenny Grubbs, Mary Evans, Nia Milligan, Truth Garrett, Caitlyn Bove, Mila Cooper, Maya Ziegler, Noah Greer, Becca Hammond, Forest Bright, Catalina Alvarez & JP Robinson.


Community Advocate Award goes to Jennifer Knickerbocker 

In a short time, Jennifer Knickerbocker was able to have an immeasurable impact on the Antioch College Community. Her work is deeply rooted in the movement to decolonize our community and our campus culture. She has enriched the culture we have here by hosting a variety of events that centered indigenous knowledge and decolonization. Community engagement is optional to a degree when you are a staff member of Antioch, this depth of commitment and work shows how much respect Jennifer has for our community. Even though her work was centered around grant writing, she was able to step well beyond her required role to win victories for humanity simply by bringing her passions and knowledge to our institution. She has also taken on a leadership role by having mentoring and nurturing our students. Her work has touched all aspects of our community and for that we are extremely grateful.


Student Advocacy Award goes to Athina Peterson ’20

Athena is a proven student leader that gives voice to her fellow peers, from advocating for women’s rights as a leader in the Women of Courage group or speaking out for marginalized communities on campus, you can always count on Athina as a voice for others. She is a natural leader that volunteers for several organizations and causes on campus, including her work at the Coretta Scott King Center and being a tireless volunteer for the Bootcamp for Activism event this spring, as well as a Space Coordinator for Comcil during this past winter quarter, and being selected as a Miller Fellow, Athina’s student advocacy and leadership has been proven by her unwavering support and drive in all that she does.


Student Worker of the Year goes to Truth Garrett ’20

Truth we would like to acknowledge you for the work you have done while being at Antioch. Truth has worked for the Prison Justice Library, in Advancements, WYSO, Comcil and Birch kitchen. He has offered support to students and has shown leadership and drive in the Student government. It’s bittersweet to know he’s leaving but this community appreciates you and all your work.


Rising Star goes to Alexis McGilvery ’23

From the moment Alexis began at Antioch, she hit the ground running. Constantly showing a drive-in leadership and wanting to be involved in the community. Her work at CSKC, leadership as Co-President of Comcil, and working in the wellness center has been such an added addition to this community. Thank you, Alexis.


2020 Student Leader goes to Ka’Dae Brockington ’22 and Kensy Zelaya ’21

Ka’Dae Brockington is a 2nd-year, Biomedical Anthropology major with a focus on American Jurisprudence. At Antioch College, Ka’Dae strives to lessen the inequities seen by leading the Persons of Color Alliance, and by working closely with the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom with the hope to bring initiatives to this campus that doesn’t only benefit those that identify as persons of color but to everyone. He was also appointed to the Sexual Offense Protection Policy/Title IX board on campus that allows him even more insight on how to protect bodies on campus as well as to continue fighting for social justice and the erasure of all inequities.


Kensy Zelaya is a 3rd-year student. Since Kensy’s introduction to Antioch, she has found ways to be actively involved and lead in our community. This year alone, Kensy has served as a Residence Assistant, ComCil secretary, a Miller Fellow for the 365 Project, a volunteer with the Coretta Scott King Center, a student present for the GLCA Students of Color Conference, and a member of the Latinx Month planning committee. In her spare time, she also finds ways to connect with others and build community by hosting cultural nights, sleepovers, guacamole nights, Latinx dance nights, and a number of other events.


Leadership & Action Achievement Award goes to John Paul Robinson

This award goes to JP because of his groundbreaking ability to show up in each meeting, committee, and task force. Each time he shows up to support and advocate for students. Each time he brings racial equality and social justice to the table. For his resilience to continuously act and rise above during hardships. On behalf of this community, we thank JP for his leadership and constant action.

Outstanding Faculty Member (Teaching) goes to Teo Espada

Teo is organized, intelligent, and enthusiastic, if you are taking a class with Dr. Teo, you can always expect to learn in an engaging way. His knowledge of Psychology and Jazz draws the attention of many of the students at Antioch.


Outstanding Faculty Member (Advising) goes to Kevin McGruder

Students describe Dr. Kevin McGruder as a humble, involved, brilliant, educated, talented, and giving man. He is committed to the success of all of those that he advises and he genuinely wants to see them excel. Although he was recently appointed to a Vice President position at Antioch College, he still finds meaningful ways to stay connected to his students by making time for them. Dr. Kevin is understanding and accommodating and he constantly goes above and beyond for his students both inside and outside of the classroom.


Outstanding Leader Award goes to Mila Cooper and Gariot Louima  

As a leader, Gariot maintains a high level of ethics and devotion to our mission. He develops everyone that works with him and offers mentorship to students and staff that do not work directly with admission. He has taken a firm role as a community leader. His leadership is guided by his ethical understanding of our mission and the students that Antioch seeks to serve. Our community and institution is immeasurably (measurably) stronger with him in it. Gariot is also the type of leader that is able to grow and develop alongside our community. Whether or not you have worked directly with him, the work that he does at our institution has definitely touched you.


Mila is a leader and the award couldn’t be more fitting than for her. We can’t list all of her achievements and responsibilities but for starters, she’s the Vice President of Student Affairs and Senior Diversity Officer. Her role in this community doesn’t stop at the number of committees she sits on, the amount of policy work, the amount of advocacy she does for students, black students, for students of color, and the advocacy work she does for this community of Antioch. Mila heals, moves, and touches those with her spirit and light. This institution wouldn’t be what it is without Mila and her constant leadership and support. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you do.


Community Engagement Award goes to Shannon Isom of YWCA 

As a Board of Trustee member, she has done the work in this community. But not only our community has she done the work but to be exact the work she does for women. The advocacy and fight for women. We wanted to give her this award not just because she’s the CEO of YWCA in Dayton, DJB power 50, hall of fame inductee 40 under 40, top 25 women to watch but it’s because of the power of watching a woman in her community do for others. You lead by example and it’s an example we want our community to celebrate and appreciate.


Alumni Recognition goes to Shadia Alvarez ’96

Shadia Alvarez has been deeply involved with the Antioch for a long time. Following her graduation in 96, Shadia went on to become community manager. Shadia’s work at Antioch spans decades as she was the author of the original RDPP. Now Shadia continues her work with Antioch as she has been sitting on the board of trustees since our reopening. We commend her and the work she continues to do for our community.

BSU Award of Excellence goes to Mary Evans  ’20

Mary is receiving this award because the infinite amount of work she has done in this community rather be her having a donation drive, re-entry speaker, prison justice organizer, WYSO, Miller Fellow, speaker at the CSKC voting, and the work she’s done outside of this community within prison justice, we applaud you. She has shown nothing but determination through adversity and has excelled and achieved through it all. Once again, we applaud her and thank Mary for her contributions to this community.