Viola Malone, a junior majoring in mass communications and journalism (broadcasting emphasis), was honored as the Outstanding Person at the Fresno State African Peoples History Month Rosa Parks Awards.
The awards program Wednesday, Feb. 29, at the Smittcamp Alumni House recognized three other students, a Fresno State staff member and an organization.
The Outstanding Person Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the principles Rosa Parks lived by. The winner must be active in community and campus leadership and work to implement the messages Parks fought for, said Francine Oputa, director of the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute that coordinates the month-long observance on campus.
Malone, a 2009 graduate of Taft High School in Woodland Hills, is editor of Uhuru Na Umoja, the African American supplement in the student newspaper The Collegian where she is a staff reporter.
She has also worked as production assistant for the student radio station, KFSR 90.7 FM, and as music scene coordinator for USU Productions on campus. She is a member of the Black Student Union and Sistah 2 Sistah and volunteers at downtown Fresno’s African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley.
Students Kennard Harris and Kiani Shaw were co-recipients of the Owning the Spotlight Arts Award, based on character and performance. Harris is a senior from Los Angeles with a double major in Africana studies and mass communication and journalism, while Shaw is junior English major from San Francisco.
The Outstanding Scholar Academic Award was presented to Coreyon Edwards, a junior from Compton majoring in kinesiology. The award rewards academic achievement and working for community improvement. Edwards, who has a 3.63 GPA, was inducted into the National Scholars Collegiate Society and has volunteered with the Bulldog Pantry , Vinland Elementary School and Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo.
The Unsung Hero Award went to Tawanda Kitchen, a counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program Office. The award recognizes a Fresno State faculty or staff member committed to the success of students and devoted to inspiring them to achieve excellence in all aspects of life. Kitchen is an adviser to the San Joaquin Valley Bible Club and the Black Law Students Association, who also coordinates the annual African American graduation ceremony.
Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority received the Making It Happen Group Award, which honors a campus organization that mobilizes its members to be proactive citizens and dedicates itself to a cause by expanding outreach and creating a network of socially conscious students.
The final event in the campus African Peoples History Month observance will be a screening of the film “The Help” and a panel discussion about black domestic workers at 3:30 p.m. March 25 in the Henry Madden Library, Room 2206.
For more information, contact Oputa at 559.278.6946.