AJCU Conference on Diversity & Equity Announces Bill Davis Scholarship Recipients

By William H. Johnson, Associate Dean of Students, Fairfield University

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The AJCU Conference on Diversity and Equity (CDE) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Bill Davis Scholarship. This scholarship is named in honor of the late Mr. Bill Davis, director of the Upward Bound project at Loyola University Chicago from 1969-1990, and one of the founding members of CDE. This scholarship, awarded annually, commemorates his commitment to education, public image, and student of color motivation.

William H. Johnson, associate dean of students at Fairfield University, Danke Li, Ph.D., professor of history at Fairfield, and Sababu Norris, director of the ALANA Student Center at Canisius College served as application reviewers. Over 50 applications were submitted from 10 of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.

Three recipients were selected from the pool of applicants. Each student will receive an award of $500.

  • Marta Gamez (The Dalles, OR): Gamez is a Costco Scholar and member of the class of 2019 at Seattle University (SU), where she is majoring in Strategic Communication. She has been active in her residence hall community, Latino and Caribbean cultural organizations, and SU’s Center for Community Engagement. She has served as a peer mentor, is involved in the Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute, and has contributed a multitude of hours to service activities including the American Youth Soccer Organization and Seattle University Dance Marathon in support of Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. As a first-generation, Mexican-American student, Gamez’s goal is to one day work for a non-profit community organization that advocates for college access and success.
  • Areli Hernandez (Napa, CA): Hernandez is a member of the class of 2019 at Santa Clara University (SCU), with majors in ethnic studies, political science and Spanish studies, and a minor in Latin American studies. She is a second-degree, black belt in karate. Hernandez is active in the Santa Clara campus community serving as a first-year retreat leader, student tour guide, SCU Christian Life Community leader, and co-chair of Ballet Folklorico de SCU – a student-based, Mexican folk dancing organization. She has participated in an immersion program in New Orleans and will be traveling to Quito, Ecuador in the fall. Hernandez seeks to attend law or graduate school with plans to continue improving access to educational resources in her Napa Latino community through immigration law or public policy.
  • Khalida Saalim (Philadelphia, PA): Saalim is a CBCF General Mills Health Scholar, Samuel A. Green Scholar, and a member of the class of 2019 at Georgetown University (GU), where she is majoring in global health with minors in sociology and African-American studies. Since arriving at Georgetown, she has become active in the Washington, D.C. community by participating in the D.C. Schools Project as a tutor to English language learners, and as a part of the GU Medical Brigade volunteering at health clinics and blood drives. In light of her interest in women’s, pediatric and public health, Saalim has been a part of the Minority Health Initiatives Council which works to support and promote health policies that address disease prevention and health services delivery capacity in medically under-served communities.

To learn more about the AJCU Conference on Diversity and Equity, please visit ajcunet.edu/diversity-and-equity.