- GW Home
- About GW
- University Life
- News & Events
- Faculty And Staff
GW to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Vision of Service, Diversity and Community
2012 MLK Awards Recognize Students and Staff Dedicated to Dr. King’s Legacy
January 12, 2012
WASHINGTON—A renowned choreographer, feminist scholar, student justice, education activist, aspiring engineer, community leader, LGBT ally and active volunteer who have completed more than 500 hours of service in the D.C. area are recipients of the George Washington University’s 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award. Their individual efforts reflect a wide range of achievements, service contributions and leadership experiences, and the impact of their work lives on in their university, the greater community and at service sites throughout the world. Along with the MLK Awards, this week-long celebration of Dr. King will also feature a reflective walk through campus to the steps of the Lincoln memorial and onward to the King Memorial on Monday, Jan. 16; a MLK oratory event on Wednesday, Jan. 18; an interactive panel discussion to honor Dr. King's published works on Friday, Jan. 20; and the annual MLK Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 21. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on these events.
This marks the 25th year that GW community members will be recognized as stewards of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of equality, compassion and empowerment. The 2012 MLK student awardees are Karissa Broderick-Beck, Natasha Dupee, Emi Kamemoto, Michael Komo, Uchenna Chikelue Alochukwo Nwokike and Maya Thomas. Dana Tai Soon Burgess, associate professor of dance, performing artist and choreographer, and Travis Wright, assistant professor of education, are the 2012 faculty award winners. These individuals will be awarded on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Marvin Center Dorothy Betts Theatre, located at 800 21st St., NW.
“Dr. King is the epitome of leadership. He lived in a purposeful, principled and values-driven manner that inspired the world.” said Michael Tapscott, director of GW’s Multicultural Student Services Center. "Dr. King gave his life for the freedom all Americans enjoy today, this is what people should think about during this holiday! The students and staff that we honor are living reflections of Dr. King's dream and sacrifice. We applaud the award winners, the King Commendation winners and each of the nominees for their dedication to others through service, leadership and scholarship.”
The 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Awardees:
Karissa Broderick-Beck is a junior studying human services in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Hailing from Long Island, N.Y., Ms. Broderick-Beck has completed more than 500 hours of community service in both the GW and greater D.C. communities, and she plans to pursue a career in non-profit management and social services.
Natasha Dupee is a senior majoring in women’s studies. A native Washingtonian, Ms. Dupee has a passion for of instrumental music, romantic fiction, the French language and the Afro-French Diaspora. Pooling her passions, abilities and experience, Ms. Dupee plans to teach high school science as a 2012 Teach for America corps member.
Emi Kamemoto is a junior in the Elliott School of International Affairs and a proud member of both the Japanese American Student Alliance (JASA) and Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. Ms. Kamemoto and JASA coordinated GW’s Hope for Japan event last April in support of those who have been affected by the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan.
Michael Komo is currently in a five-year B.A. /M.A. program at GW. He graduated with a B.A. in political science in May 2011 and will finish his M.A. in legislative affairs in May 2012. He is a proud and active student, staff member and alumnus. In his short time at GW, Mr. Komo has worked on behalf of many different campus groups such as the LGBT community, women and communities of color, among many others. Upon the completion of his program, Mr. Komo plans on attending law school, and he envisions a career in law and public service.
Uchenna C. Nwokike is studying mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Mr. Nwokike was raised in a Nigerian household that values family, education, faith and loyalty. Keen and observant, Mr. Nwokike strives to better himself as well as those around him as much as he possibly can.
Maya-Lindsey Thomas is a senior from Long Island, N.Y., originally from Trinidad, WI, majoring in international affairs with a minor in Africana studies. An active student leader, Ms. Thomas is the president of the Caribbean Student Association, treasurer and social action chair of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. and a student justice in the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school, with a focus on international law. Ms. Thomas believes that her education will enable her to serve as an advocate for marginalized voices.
Dana Tai Soon Burgess is an associate professor of dance and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, performing artist, renowned choreographer and cultural figure. As a Korean American, Mr. Burgess uses dance to explore Asian-American identity and has established two dance companies: DTSB&Co and Moving Forward Asian-American Youth Dance Program. He also serves as a cultural envoy for the U.S. State Department, an appointment he has leveraged to promote international cultural dialogue through “the language of dance”. Mr. Burgess is the recipient of two Senior Fulbright awards in dance, and he has won seven Metro D.C. Dance Awards as well as the Pola Nirenska Award. He has been referred to as the “poet laureate of Washington dance” by the Washington Post, and his dance works focus on the immigrant experience and cultural divides. Mr. Burgess’ work also opened the 2007 Kennedy Center dance season.
Travis Wright is an assistant professor of education at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, where he leads the GW Resilience Project. The majority of Dr. Wright’s work explores risk and resilience in the lives of young people who navigate various forms of trauma and urban poverty, with an emphasis on the influence of schools, relationships, neighborhoods and social policy. Dr. Wright’s long-range goal is to develop improved/alternative models of child-care, maternal support and mental health services. He presently serves on the Head Start Governing Board for Washington, D.C. public schools, on the board of Bright Beginnings, a preschool serving homeless children and families, and on a number of community advisory boards.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Award Committee and Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) coordinate the ceremony each year on behalf of the university. The ceremony includes the awards program and a dessert reception. This event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, contact the Multicultural Student Services Center at 202-994-7010 or email@example.com. For more information on all MLK celebration activities, please contact the Multicultural Student Services Center.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Michelle Sherrard - 202-994-1423 -
Taylor Tibbetts - 202-994-6460 -