The Alumni Association Board of Directors has announced the recipients for the 2021 awards bestowed by the Alumni Association. Nominations were received from the entire Antiochian community. The nominations were reviewed by the Alumni Board Nominations Committee which presented candidates to the full Board for discussion and ratification.
The recipients are: Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk ’68, Paul Millman ’68, Sambia Shivers-Barclay ’89, Peter Townsend, and John Sims ’90.
The recipients will be featured in virtually presented via Zoom during Reunion 2021; see the full schedule for sessions on the Alumni Association website.
Horace Mann Award: Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk ’68
The Horace Mann Award recognizes contributions by alumni of Antioch College who have “won some victory for humanity,” following Horace Mann’s advice to the graduating class of 1859. Recipients are persons, or groups of persons, whose personal or professional activities have had a profound effect on the present or future human condition. Mann was the first president of Antioch College.
Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk ’68 left Antioch College with a BA in Literature. She spent 18 months AEA in Europe, learning both Swedish and Italian. A summer coop as a teen counselor at Central State University heightened her awareness of Black history and the need for social justice.
She moved to Detroit after Antioch and soon began teaching, transferring in 1987 to Mumford High School where she taught Creative Writing and began writing poetry herself. Terry worked hard to help her students shine, garnering them state, local, and national writing awards, hosting guest poets, publishing student work, and building supportive writing communities in her classroom.
A Mumford benefactor encouraged Terry to expand her work citywide; hence the founding in 1995 of InsideOut Literary Arts Project, where she remained as Executive Director until 2015. Grounded in her teaching practice, the 501© 3 program is devoted to fostering and empowering the voices of Detroit youth. InsideOut is today one of the nation’s premier writers-in-schools programs, with over 65,000 young people encouraged, per its mission, to “think broadly, create bravely, and share their voices with the wider world.”
In 2009, Michelle Obama honored InsideOut in a White House ceremony with a Youth Program Award for Citywide Poets, an after-school program that Terry initiated. US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey featured InsideOut on the PBS NewsHour in 2013.
Three decades after leaving Antioch, Terry published her first book of poetry. Her awards for poetry include the 1990 Foley Prize, the John Ciardi Prize for Escape Artist (BkMk Press, 2003), the 2010 Pablo Neruda Prize, and a Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. Kirkus Reviews named her fifth book, One Less River (Mayapple Press), a Top 2019 Poetry Title.
Since retiring from InsideOut, Terry has lived in Connecticut near her son, Yale Professor Ned Blackhawk, and grandchildren Eva, Tobias, and Evan Aaron. She is grateful that InsideOut continues to flourish and feels honored and deeply humbled to receive the 2021 Horace Mann Award.
Arthur Morgan Award: Paul Millman ’68
The Arthur Morgan Award recognizes contributions by alumni or friends of the College which exemplify the concept of “community” advocated by Arthur Morgan. The nominees for this award should be persons, or groups of persons, who have contributed to their community—either local, national or world—in a manner which brings members of the community together in order to work toward common goals. Morgan served as President of Antioch College for 16 years.
Paul Millman ’68 spent his first two post-Antioch decades as a perpetual coop: underground journalist in New York, tending bar in Oregon, tending bar in New York, teaching in day care and public school, and back to tending bar. In 1987, he drew a circle on a map from North Carolina and Kentucky to Vermont and fell in love with Brattleboro. The state employment office sent him to interview at a manufacturer of optical filters, where he worked three years as a salesman and learned the business.
Fired from his job for insubordination (not for the first time), Paul and five co-workers started a competing company. They called their start-up Chroma.
Chroma began with used equipment, very modest capital, and a social mission: it was employee-owned from day 1. Thirty years later it is one of Vermont’s largest employers and is still 100% employee-owned. Employees receive equal bonuses of company stock and profit sharing is distributed equally irrespective of job description. Family health care is totally covered by the company.
A socialist to his core, Paul parlayed his influence as Chroma CEO: director on the Vermont Business Roundtable, served on the Healthcare Financing Business Advisory Council, member of the board of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, chair of the Vermont Employee-Ownership Center, president of the Westminster Fire and Rescue Association. In 2016, he received the Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business.
Although Paul retired in 2020, the Antioch legacy at Chroma lives on: two former coops are now permanent employees.
Rebecca Rice Award: Sambia Shivers-Barclay ’89
The Rebecca Rice Award recognizes alumni of Antioch College who by their actions, achievements, and leadership have distinguished themselves and their alma mater. The recipients of this award are persons who have excelled in their vocation or field of study. The award is named for the first female trustee—and longtime faculty member—of Antioch College.
Sambia Shivers ’90 graduated Antioch with a thirst for international relations fueled by AEA in Yugoslavia and the Netherlands, a BA in Human Development, and a minor in Deaf Culture. Bilingual in ASL, she quickly launched a contracting business to provide sign language interpreting services in a wide array of fields from education to health care to theater and corporate and cultural affairs. She was selected to interpret for Bill Clinton’s 1993 Presidential inauguration
For the last 25 years, Sambia has worked with the U.S. Department of Education, currently with the Federal Student Aid Strategic Communication Conferences Management Team. Prior to that, she served as the Lead on International Visitors, Protocol and Dignitaries for the Office of the Secretary, International Affairs Office.
Sambia is a member of the Steering Committee of Women Who Opera/Kennedy Center. She also holds seats on the Board of the International Student House, the International Career Advancement Program Alumni Association (ICAPAA), and previously on the Board for Rotary International, LearnServe International, and Youth Leaders International. She is certified by the Protocol School of Washington and licensed in International Protocol and Corporate Etiquette
J.D. Dawson Award: Peter Townsend
The J.D. Dawson Award recognizes significant contributions to Antioch College by alumni or friends of Antioch. The recipients of this award are persons who have contributed in a significant way to Antioch College or a program of Antioch College. Perhaps best-known for his involvement with the Co-op department, J.D. Dawson’s entire career was dedicated to Antioch College.
Peter Townsend came from the University of Texas to join the Antioch College science faculty in 1971. He never left.
In a questionnaire before his arrival, Peter listed among his interests, “…Role of geology in past, present, and future regional development. Political realities in environmental solutions…” Over the next 37 years, Peter pursued those interests and more, inspiring successive cohorts of science students to follow their passions wherever they took them. He assumed leadership of the Environmental Field Program, which ran until 2003, taking students to different ecoregions for about 10 weeks, and brought nearly 50 of them back to the 2018 EFP Reunion-within-Reunion.
When Antioch University abruptly announced the closing of the College, Peter was a major organizer of the faculty push-back, including filing a lawsuit against the university’s actions. Along with stalwarts and prior JD Dawson awardees such as Duffy and Scott Sanders, Peter was part of the glue transitioning from university back to independent College, and he has continued to help keep the College moving ever since – including holding the roof over Olive Kettering Library after decades of maintaining the Science Building roof and pitching in to volunteer with the bookstore/mailroom. Peter is Emeritus Faculty of the College and in 2011 was awarded status of Resident Scholar.
Walter F. Anderson Award: John Sims ’90
The Walter F. Anderson Award recognizes contributions by alumni and friends who have advanced Antioch College’s ideals by breaking down racial and ethnic barriers. The award is named for Antioch’s longtime music department chair, the first African-American department head at a historically non-black institution of higher education. Recipients have shown fortitude and effectiveness in promoting diversity within the Antioch community and beyond.
John Sims ’90 — multimedia artist, writer, and activist — cites AEA in Germany, math professor Bill Houston, and music professor Bill Chapelle as critical elements of his Antioch experience. A Detroit native based in Sarasota, FL, John creates art and curatorial projects spanning installation, performance, text, music, film, and large-scale activism, informed by mathematics, design, the politics of white supremacy, sacred symbols/anniversaries, and poetic/political text.
For the last 20 years, John has been working on the art-activism project, “Recoloration Proclamation”, which explores, re-examines and remixes Confederate iconography as it relates to the African American experience. The project features recolored Confederate flags; an installation in Gettysburg hanging the flag from gallows; funerals for the Confederate flag across the south; videos; live performances; a play; experimental films; the music project, “AfroDixieRemixes,” the annual “Burn and Bury Confederate Flag Memorial”; and mostly recently, the exhibition AfroDixia: A Righteous Confiscation, at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC. Over the years, this work has incorporated more than 150 collaborators including poets, musicians and artists throughout the country.
His work has been featured in print and electronic media from the New York Times and Washington Post to Nature and Scientific American. He has written for CNN, Al Jazeera, The Tampa Bay Times, The Huffington Post, Guernica Magazine, and The Rumpus and TheGrio.
John is currently Artist in Residency at the Ringling Museum, where he developed the performance film piece 2020: (Di)Visions of America. He will also be in residency at La Mama, New York City, developing new work for the stage.