Denison Honors Five Individuals With MLK Leadership Awards
Posted: January 9, 2006
Note:Link here [pdf] for a PDF document (3.0 MB) with the entire calendar for Denison's 2006 celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., Black History Month and Women's History Month.
Denison University will honor four members of the University family and a community member as winners of the 2006 Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award. The award seeks to identify individuals whose work embodies the values reflected in the work of King -- racial equality, human dignity, grace, humility, quality of life and service.
The honorees for 2006 are: Associate Professor Toni King, director of the Center for Black Studies, as the faculty winner; Vincent L. Briley, director of the Multi-Cultural Student Affairs Office, as the administrative staff winner; Sandy Spence, academic secretary in the Women's Studies department, as the support staff winner; Jason Allen, a Denison senior active in campus life, as the student winner; and Dr. Tracee Karaffa, a local physician who founded a program to bring medical and educational aid to Haiti, as the community winner.
King, who joined the Denison faculty in 1997, has provided personal growth workshops for women concerning leadership, spirituality, social support and personal/professional balance ever since arriving on campus. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Oklahoma State University, a master's degree in counseling at Ohio State and a doctorate in organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University. At Denison, King teaches "Introduction to Black Studies," "Issues in Feminism," "Feminist Research Methods (Cultural and Social Methods)," "Black Women and Organizational Leadership," and "Black Women's Lives: Autobiography as Protest." She has published numerous articles in professional journals and is the co-editor of an anthology in progress on Black women's leadership development.
Briley joined the Denison staff in 2003. He earned his bachelor's degree at Ohio University and a master's degree at Ohio State University, where he is now completing doctoral studies in educational policy and leadership. Briley has served as a graduate administrative and research associate in the office of minority affairs, Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center. A graduate of Walnut Ridge High School in Columbus, he came to central Ohio from Mississippi where he was born in rural Yazoo City. He resides in Columbus with his wife of four years, Tanisha. Briley credits his grandmothers, Mrs. Bertha L. (Mack) Briley and Mrs. Thelma L. Neal, and his mother, Lillie R. Briley Neal, for much of his success as they taught him to be just, persistent, imaginative and upright.
Spence joined the Denison staff in 2002 working part-time in the Women's Studies office. She added a second part-time position with the Off-Campus Studies office the following semester and continues to provide both offices with support services. Previously she was employed at Quest International in its program development, events planning and executive offices. Married to Tom Spence for 20 years, they are the parents of two children and are active with the Utica Band Boosters and the Heath Church of Christ. She has taught Sunday School for more than 15 years, directed the church's Vacation Bible School, sung in the choir, and served on many committees through the years. A native of Buffalo, N.Y. -- where she notes "snow is measured in feet not inches" -- she enjoys cheering for the Bills among her many leisure time activities.
Allen is majoring in English literature and is a California native. The youngest son of a minister, Allen graduated from Patrick Henry High School in San Diego. At Denison, he has been a member of the track and field team and the football team. He served on the Campus Affairs Council and helped to start the Chapel Advisory Council which conducts chapel services each Sunday on campus. He plans to attend divinity school after graduation. Allen also has served on the Academic Integrity Board, the Denison Religious Understanding group, and as an assistant in the resident halls, which he now serves as the head resident of Curtis Hall.
Dr. Karaffa, aHigh School graduate, earned her bachelor of fine arts and medical degrees at Ohio State. Married and the mother of two grown children, Karaffa opened her family practice in Granville in 1995. In 1997 she made her first trip to Haiti and two years later founded the non-profit Healing Art Missions (HAM) which funds a clinic and a school in Dumay, Haiti, as well as other public health, medical and educational projects. HAM is now supported by hundreds of individuals and groups from across the United States. She combines her interests in art and medicine through HAM by bringing Haitian art back to the United States which is sold in Granville and Seattle. The proceeds of the art sale provide medical supplies for the Haitian clinic which Dr. Karaffa visits four times a year, alone or with a team. In Granville, she has been a member of the St. Luke Episcopal Church's outreach committee for 20 years and is a member of the Rotary Club. She also has volunteered at the Newark Community Health Clinic for 10 years.
For downloadable high-resolution JPEG images of the 2006 Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award honorees, please follow the links below:
Toni King [jpg]
Vincent Briley [jpg]
Sandy Spence [jpg]
Jason Allen [jpg]
Tracee Karaffa [jpg]
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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