Please join us this Friday for an AAS Alumni Panel from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. in Minor 125. There will be good food to share following the event.

Friday, April 22, 2016 | 1:00 - 2:30pm

Our alumni have a lot to say about how they have used the knowledge and skills they acquired as AAS students in their careers and beyond. We have a wonderful group of panelists joining us. Short biographies of the participants can be seen below.


Please do plan to join us! We look forward to seeing you there.

Joshua Adams (AAS 2012):

Mr. Joshua Adams is an arts & culture journalist with B.A. in African American Studies and a M.A. in Journalism from USC. Before grad school, he worked as a journalism instructor in the Division Street 2013 program for Young Chicago Authors, a non-profit focusing on youth empowerment through performance art. Joshua currently works as a freshman English teacher at Urban Prep Englewood. His writings often explain current and historical cultural phenomenon through personal narratives. Writing and Music are his biggest passions, connecting the dots is his life goal. He has had work published on, has been a guestblogger for HuffPost, has pieces aggregated by The Root, and more. He has also interned at HipHopDX, the world's largest website for Hip Hop news.

Jennifer Bowles (AAS 2014):

Ms. Jennifer Bowles was elected to the Martinsville, Virginia City Council on November 4, 2014, the youngest individual ever to have been chosen by that city's voters and only the second African American woman to be elected to that office. She began her four year term on January 1, 2015.  After taking her oath of office she was elected Vice-Mayor for a two year term. Jennifer is a member of the West Piedmont District Planning Commission and founder  of the Martinsville chapter of the Millennials and is one of the key players in the region's politics. 


Tomika Ferguson (AAS 2007):

Dr. Tomika Ferguson is the Director of Community Partnerships at James Madison University. In this role, she oversees a number of programs at JMU,  and develops and strengthens partnerships with businesses, professional associations, K-12 schools and community organizations. She is passionate about expanding access to higher education for students of color, those from low-income households, student-athletes and students who will be the first in their family to attend college. She speaks to students in grades K-12 and their families, higher education professionals and community organizations about how to prepare for, be successful in, and graduate from college. She utilizes her personal experiences as a first-generation college student from a rural community, relevant research, my academic and professional experiences to demystify the ways students can be confident in themselves, identify and articulate their strengths, and be successful to accomplish their goals. Dr. Ferguson holds advanced degrees in Education, Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Indiana, Bloomington.  She is a board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County and in her first year following her graduation from U.Va., she was a College Adviser with the Virginia College Adviser Corps.  


LaTasha Levy (AAS 2000):


We are grateful that Dr. LaTasha Levy has been in residence here at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for the past three academic years. While many of our students have had the benefit of her instruction during that time, many do not realize that she is a graduate of U.Va.'s AAS program or that she directed the Luther P. Jackson Black Cultural Center between 2001-2004. After teaching humanities at the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, Dr. Levy went on to earn a M.P.S. in Africana Studies at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in African American Studies from Northwestern University. We will miss her very much when she leaves to begin her new tenure-track position in American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington.


Kristen Lucas (AAS 2009):


Ms. Kristen Lucas works as a Family Services Associate with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, where she has connected potential partner families, family advocates, donors and community stakeholders since January 2013. She is a certified Housing Counselor through the Virginia Association of Housing Conselors. Before working with Habitat for Humanity, Ms. Lucas served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica.