by Janelle L. Williams
Founded in 1837, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is the nation’s oldest historically Black institution of higher education. This May, the Class of 2018, will add to the legacy of over 30,000 graduates who represent a wide range of prominent and influential professionals. Recognized globally, Cheyney alumni affectionately known as living legacies are making contributions in business, medicine, education, law and policy. We invite you to meet six of those legacies on today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up.
1) Julbert Abraham, Class of 2008: CEO, Abraham Global Marketing
Widely known as “The LinkedIn Guy,” Julbert Abraham is CEO of AGM, a New Jersey-
based LinkedIn Training and Marketing firm that works with small and mid-sized
businesses, as well as nonprofits, helping them generate traffic, leads, and sales with a combination of LinkedIn techniques and strategies. With more than 12 years of sales, marketing and entrepreneurial experience, Abraham has appeared on numerous business podcasts and has been featured in Business Innovators Magazine, Entrepreneur.com and BBC Capital. Originally from Haiti, the tri-lingual entrepreneur has an MBA from Northeastern University and is a Social Media Marketing Professor at Baruch College in New York City.
2) Kanita Benson, Class of 2005: Recording Artist
Kanita Benson is an artist, songwriter, creative visionary, strategist, missionary, mobilizer, global women’s advocate, and speaker. Her career has evolved into full-time ministry, nonprofit advocacy, music, missional work, rooted from a passion for God, marginalized women, the globe’s human rights. In 2013, Benson launched a global refugee women’s initiative (NGO), She Saves A Nation Foundation, operating in Kenya, East Africa. As a recording artist, Benson has toured nationally and has lent background vocals to several veteran gospel artists, including Lonnie Hunter, Structure, Dorinda Clark Cole and Donald Lawrence. Her debut album is set to release spring 2018, with her debut single “Faithful” available now on all digital outlets. Benson has a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University, with plans to attend Fuller Theological Seminary, pursuing a doctoral degree in Missiology.
3) Dr. Martina Randall, Class of 2009: Foot and Ankle Surgeon
Martina Randall is an athlete first, and a surgeon second—if you ask her. It is her love of sports that has led her to a career in Sports Medicine and Foot and Ankle Surgery. In her first experience as a student athlete (Women’s Basketball), she realized that her love for sports went well beyond the hardwood, as she became more intrigued by the physiology, anatomy, and subsequent surgical correction of injuries that plagued teammates. Randall, a former Keystone Honors student, was awarded a full scholarship to pursue a career in Medicine at Temple University. After the successful completion of medical school, and residency at Palmetto General Hospital in Miami, FL, she was granted acceptance to a Fellowship in Sports Medicine at Virginia Mason in Seattle, WA. Dr. Randall currently specializes in sports medicine, trauma, limb salvage/reconstruction, arthroscopy, and ankle replacements.
4) Garvin A. Reid, Class of 2008: Higher Education Professional; Entrepreneur
With over 10 years’ experience, Garvin A. Reid has solidified his place as a higher education professional, motivational speaker and career coach. Earning a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University, Steinhardt, Reid’s areas of interest include global education, college access, the anti-deficit model, and HBCU relevancy. Currently Reid is the Assistant Director/Career Coach at NYU, Abu Dhabi. Additionally, Reid is the co-owner of G.Reid New York, a clothing company specializing in dapper wear for both men and women.
5) Nicholas Roper, Class of 2014: CEO, Destined to Achieve
Nicholas Roper is the CEO of Destined to Achieve, a non-profit organization focused on teaching and promoting the importance of higher education and mentorship in urban communities. With his non-profit, Roper has provided necessities for families in times of need in both Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA. As a former Keystone Honors and Bond Hill scholarship recipient, Roper now funds a scholarship for students within the Pennsylvania Higher Education System. Furthering his education in access and development, Roper pursed an MPA at Pennsylvania State University. After 2 years at Penn State, Roper became the Grant Manager for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where he administered CDBG and HOME grants. Roper now wishes to pursue a doctoral degree in Health Policy.
6) Layna Ware, Class of 2008: CEO, Why U?, LLC.
Layna Ware, M.A. is the Founder and CEO who is known to connect passion with
purpose. As a certified Successful Strengths Coach, Ware has had experience in diverse business environments with an emphasis on training, leadership development, complex problem solving and leadership training. After earning her M.A. in Industrial Organizational Psychology 2012, Layna began to think differently about mental and physical barriers that affect women in leadership. In 2015, Ware sought to change the narrative concerning women and formed her own company that empowers, inspires and engages women.
Are you a Cheyney Alum? Share your story in the comments below!