2024 Founders’ Day Awardees

Congratulations to the 2024 Awardees. View awardees from prior years.

Kojo Nnamdi – Myrtilla Miner Award for Exceptional Service to Society

Kojo Nnamdi is host of The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi, a live talk show produced by WAMU (American University) that airs Fridays at noon. Mr. Nnamdi joined WAMU in 1998 to host Public Interest (formerly known as The Derek McGinty Show). In 2002, the show was renamed as The Kojo Nnamdi Show, which he hosted until the show ended in April 2021.

A longtime D.C. resident, Mr. Nnamdi emigrated to the United States in 1968 to aend college and explore the civil rights movement. He enrolled in Federal City College, now the University of the District of Columbia. From 1985 to 2011, he hosted Evening Exchange, a public affairs television program broadcast by WHUT-TV at Howard University. From 1973 to 1985, he worked at WHUR-FM, where he served as news editor and then news director, producing the award-winning local news program The Daily Drum.

In addition to his hosting duties, Mr. Nnamdi continues to moderate “Kojo in Our Community” live events with WAMU. He is also active in GUYAID, an organization devoted to the welfare of children in Guyana. He served on the Board of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center from 2003–2008. In 2005, he was named “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian magazine. DCist named Mr. Nnamdi one of “DC’s Most Influential People” in 2007. A proud naturalized American citizen for more than 20 years, his passions include cricket, Caribbean carnival, poetry, jazz and jogging.

Kojo Nnamdi

Angelyn Spaulding Flowers, Ph.D. – Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award

Angelyn Spaulding Flowers, Ph.D. is Professor and Coordinator of the Crime, Justice, and Security Studies Program at UDC; founding director of UDC’s graduate program in Homeland Security; Co-Director of UDC’s Institute for Public Safety and Justice; and lead author for the book Twenty Years of School-Based Mass Shootings in the United States: Columbine to Santa Fe (2021). She is currently under contract for a book on white Christian nationalism.
Dr. Flowers is the recipient of multiple grant awards including: three Scientific Leadership Awards for Minority Serving Institutions from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate; two awards from DHS/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and several intradistrict awards.

She received a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Commonwealth Open University where her work focused on the impact of over-policing in minority communities; a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center; and a B.A. in Broadcast Management from Howard University. She is admied to practice before the United States Supreme Court and D.C.

Angelyn Spaulding Flowers

Linda A. Conquest – Cleveland L. Dennard Distinguished Service Award

Linda A. Conquest currently serves as Information Processor for the Office of Recruitment and Admissions and has worked 40+ years at UDC, starting in the Registrar’s Office. In this role, Ms. Conquest has spent years working with a diverse population of students—including District residents as well as international students from Jamaica, Bulgaria, Turkey, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, etc.—gaining important knowledge of various cultures.

Because of the close relationship she has formed with students, many call Ms. Conquest “Mom” and have credited her with providing them with a positive and memorable UDC experience. She is respected and beloved by UDC colleagues and said that “My goal is to ensure that all students are enrolled successfully. Working at UDC has allowed me to work with great people and build good working relationships on and off campus.”

Originally from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, she moved to D.C. in 1981. She would like to recognize her sister, and her daughter, Monique Conquest, who works in UDC’s School of Business & Public Administration.

Linda A. Conquest

Arlene King-Berry, J.D. – Marjorie Holloman Parker Distinguished Educator Award

Arlene King-Berry, B.A., M.A., J.D., is a Professor of Special Education in the College of Arts & Sciences and Chair of the Faculty Senate of the University of the District of Columbia. Throughout her 40+ years of teaching, research and service, Professor King-Berry has made major contributions to transforming the lives of individuals with disabilities. As a special education teacher, she directly impacted the development of students with disabilities. As a Supervisor and Director of Special Education, she implemented and monitored special education policies and procedures.

As a school Attorney-Advisor and Hearing Officer, she resolutely protected and defended the right of students with disabilities to free, appropriate education. As a prolific writer and researcher, Dr. King-Berry’s academic publications and presentations have regional, national, and international influence. Her instruction, mentorship, and numerous grant awards continue to support and prepare new generations of personnel prepared to emulate her unwavering dedication and significant contributions to education.

Dr. King-Berry is a proud graduate and former director of UDC’s Mortuary Science program. She is also a graduate of the Antioch School of Law, predecessor of the current UDC DCSL.

Arlene King-Berry, J.D. – Marjorie Holloman Parker Distinguished Educator Award

Paul Cotae, Ph.D. – Ronald H. Brown Distinguished Leadership Award

Paul Cotae, Ph.D., is a Professor in UDC’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), where he serves as Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Director of the Engineering Ph.D. Program; and Director of the SEAS Research Center. His contributions and impact have been recognized internationally, nationally, and especially by the national capital area’s science and engineering community. Since joining UDC in 2008, he has earned approximately $3.5 million in federal research grants and instructed hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Cotae is a Fellow and a Board Member of the Washington (DC) Academy of Sciences and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies. He served as a Board Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Communication Society/North America Region. He also was selected as a Fulbright Scholar.

Dr. Cotae holds degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University “Polytechnica” Bucharest, Romania, and in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Paul Cotae

Kelita Boyd, MPA – Alumni Legacy Award

Kelita Boyd, MPA, received both her Bachelor of Business Administration (2007) and Master of Public Administration (2009) degrees from UDC. She began her career at UDC in 2002, serving in various positions, including: Assistant to the Associate Dean in the Business School; Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs; Executive Assistant to the Chief Student Development and Success Officer; and Admissions Officer. Currently, she serves as Program Manager in the Office of Title III.

Ms. Boyd was selected for the first cohort of the Parents Amplifying Voices in Education’s (PAVE) “Community Change Fellowship,” focused on the District’s
education and policy systems. She has also been an active education leader and advocate for Ward 8, pushing DC Public Schools to provide budget transparency, mental health support, trauma-informed training in all schools, and increased access to specialized school programs.

Besides her commitment to excellence and passion for making a difference, Ms. Boyd is a proud UDC National Alumni Society (UDC-NAS) life member and serves as co-chair for the UDC-NAS membership committee.

Kelita Boyd

Ronald E. Floyd – PathMakers Leadership Award

Ronald E. Floyd is being recognized for his unwavering commitment and exceptional contributions to the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). A distinguished member of the class of 1973, Mr. Floyd’s illustrious career spans many years of dedicated service as an Auditor for the US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Beyond his professional achievements, he has demonstrated remarkable philanthropy, generously supporting the UDC Foundation for an impressive 24 consecutive years! His benevolence is exemplified by a grand total of 57 gifts, amounting to a substantial sum.

Mr. Floyd’s impact extends across various vital initiatives, including: the UDC Fund; EB Henderson Memorial; UDC General Scholarship Fund; Intercollegiate Athletic Scholarship; Paving Your Legacy Campaign; Development Operations Fund; Alumni Scholarship Fund; 160th Anniversary; Reserve Fund; and the FCC Legacy Scholarship. This award not only acknowledges his outstanding financial contributions but also celebrates his enduring dedication to the University’s success and the advancement of its diverse range of programs and initiatives. Mr. Floyd truly embodies the spirit of a
PathMaker, leaving an indelible mark on the UDC community.

Lee Brian Reba – PathMakers Leadership Award

Lee Brian Reba joined the University of the District of Columbia in April 2010 and serves as the Senior Advisor for University Events and Protocol in the Office of the President. He is a recognized leader in the events and protocol community with more than four decades of experience. In addition to his duties at UDC, he is a civic and political activist in DC focusing on the development and enhancement of local programs and services aimed at improving the quality of life for District residents, with an emphasis on youth and seniors. He has served as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Single Member District 3C01 for 17 years.

Mr. Reba is being honored for his unwavering dedication to the UDC Foundation, with a history of generous donations spanning an impressive 12 years. His philanthropy has impacted UDC initiatives across a diverse range of causes, including: the Athletic Hall of Fame; E.B Henderson Memorial; UDC Fund; Emergency Student Assistance Fund; CAS Big Read; and Student Development & Success, to name a few.

Mr. Reba’s exemplary support underscores his dedication to fostering a thriving academic community and exemplifies the spirit of service that the PathMaker Award seeks to honor.

Lee Brian Reba

Heaven Frazier – Student Humanitarian & Civic Engagement Award, Associates

Heaven Frazier is a full-time sophomore at the UDC Community College (UDCCC) in the Computer Science program. She also works as a personal part-time tutor, specializing in mathematics, for area high school and middle school students. In addition, she has taught groups—ranging from youth (as young as 6 years old) to the elderly—different cooking techniques that she acquired through Brainfood, a D.C. nonprofit organization that uses food as a tool to help build life skills and promote healthy living.

Ms. Frazier was recently honored through “Guardian Innovation,” a national initiative now in its 4th year and presented through the Community College. It is designed to introduce entrepreneurship to the full range of students and programs at the UDC-CC. She won a national competition with her idea, which was selected by an external panel of national judges and resulted in an award and an internship—shining a light on the talented students and programs at the UDC-CC.

Born and reared in Washington, DC, Ms. Frazier graduated from School Without Walls. She enjoys gaming and a variety of sports.

Heaven Frasier

Jamil Mian – Student Humanitarian & Civic Engagement Award, Bachelors

Jamil Mian is a graduating senior, majoring in Urban Sustainability in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability & Environmental Sciences (CAUSES). He is from Washington, DC, and is the founder of Findmygreek.com, the world’s first social network for Divine 9 Greek fraternities and sororities.

Mr. Mian served the University as Mister UDC for the 2022-23 academic year and currently serves in the capacity of Chairman of the Undergraduate Student Senate. In addition to earning a 3.7 GPA, he holds the title of Polemarch for the Beta Kappa Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Mr. Mian has represented UDC’s achievements throughout the country. From tournaments in Los Angeles with our nationally-ranked Honda Campus Allstar Challenge Trivia Team, to a poster presentation in Philadelphia as a student representative for UDC at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s (MSCHE) Annual Conference, the accreditation organization for UDC. A proud Firebird, Mr. Mian hopes his legacy will leave a mark of achievement, advocacy, and service.

Jamil Mian

Craig Bass – Student Humanitarian & Civic Engagement Award, Graduate & Professional Degree

Craig Bass is a second-year student at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (DCSL). He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and information technology from Middle Georgia State University in 2014. Prior to attending DCSL, Mr. Bass worked in several industries, including the legal and technology fields, and spent almost two years overseas serving in impoverished communities.

Mr. Bass is passionate about serving others and currently holds leadership positions with the Christian Legal Society, Black Law Student Association, and the Student Bar Association. When he is not studying or serving at the Law School, he can be found spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Mr. Bass is originally from Macon, GA, but has lived in Washington, D.C., for seven years.

Craig Bass