President: Michael Newsome ’83

Email: president@vuunaa.org

Michael Newsome is a member of the 1983 graduating class and received his BS in Business Administration from the Sydney Lewis School of Business. He became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity at VUU and has been active with the VUU Alumni Association and the JW Barco Alumni Chapter for the past few years. Michael has over 30 years of experience in accounting, administration and management at a major research university. His previous service to the VUUNAA is as Chair of the Finance Committee and as a member of the Homecoming Planning committee.

As VUUNAA President his goals are to:

  • Promote intergenerational relationships and networking
  • Increase endowment/ Alumni Giving
  • Member recruitment/ Student recruitment

Vice President: William Hairston ’78

Email: vicepresident@vuunaa.org

Mr. Hairston, a native of Winston Salem, NC, received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University (VUU) in education K-8. His professional career spans over 20 years as an educator in the District of Columbia, North Carolina and Virginia public school systems. He retired from the Richmond Public School system in 2014. During his tenure as an educator, Mr. Hairston served on the board of the Richmond Education Association (REA). Mr. Hairston continues to serve as an ambassador for VUU through his active participation in local and national alumni affiliations. He was selected by the University to serve as one of two class agents for the class of 1978 during the 2018 homecoming festivities. He contributes generously and regularly to the University. He is an active member of the JW Barco chapter. He has served on the membership committee and currently serves as the assistant fundraiser chairperson. Mr. Hairston supports the VUUNAA by taking on leadership roles, as well as, serving behind the scenes in a number of capacities. His mantra is “doing the right things for the right reasons”. With that approach, Mr. Hairston is helping to lead the way for the 2019 VUUNAA National Convention as the assistant convention chairperson. He has also served on the national’s homecoming committee in several capacities. Mr. Hairston participated in the Alumni Charity Challenge held at Hardywood Brewery in Richmond, Va. This event attracts several major colleges and universities throughout the USA. With Mr. Hairston’s support, VUU finished in the top ten of the alumni charitable contributions. His skills and resources are used to support is faith community and his family. He serves on the Board of Trustees with his church and as a board member of The National Hairston Clan, Inc.; he has successfully organized reunions resulting in awarding thousands of dollars in scholarship support to deserving students throughout the USA. Mr. Hairston is well known as someone you can trust and depend on to carry out his responsibilities with a high level of integrity, honesty and transparency. His goal is to increase financial support to the University through increase alumni engagement.

Treasurer: AńJou C. White ’87

Email: treasurer@vuunaa.org

AńJou C. White has served and worked hard to meet the goals and visions of the VUUNAA for over twelve years and she currently serves as Treasurer of this organization. She has served in various capacities in other organizations, including but not limited to the following: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Life Member and Silver Star, International Membership, Chapter Membership Chairman; Greater Richmond Urban League – Controller; NAACP – Member; Indiana Black Expo – Membership Chairman; PROC Foundation, Inc. – Board Member & Treasurer; Educational Advancement Foundation – Board Member and Regional Coordinator; National Association of Black Accountants; and National Black MBA Association.

AńJou is a member of the Tom Harris Alumni Chapter, and continues to work toward the advancement of growth within the community as well as giving back to our alma mater. She has a son, Tyler R. Johnson who is also very actively involved in the community.

Corresponding Secretary: Stephanie Cason ’67

Stephanie Crittenden Cason is a native of Richmond, VA where she received her early education graduating from Maggie L. Walker School in 1962. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education at Virginia Union University in 1967 and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Virginia Commonwealth. Stephanie retired in 2000 after teaching in the Henrico County and Richmond Public School Systems for 34 years.

Stephanie has been an active member of the Virginia Union University National Alumni Association for the past four years. She is also a member of the John Barco Alumni Chapter. Her community and professional organizations include: American Association of Retired Persons, Richmond –Henrico Retired Teachers Association, Henrico Chapter of the NAACP, Hechler Village Association and The Riverview Baptist Church.

This leadership experiences inspires her to serve on a national level and considers it an honor to be corresponding secretary where she can give back just a small portion of what Virginia Union University has given her.

Financial Secretary: Melody Wise ’87

Email: financialsec@vuunaa.org

Melody Smithers Wise is currently employed as VP, Fair Lending and Compliance Analytics at Citizens Bank where she is charged with overseeing the analysis of all of the company’s lines of business data and ensuring that any potential lending disparities are reviewed in compliance with all fair lending laws and regulations. Prior to her current role, she has held a variety of positons in the management of data and projects within several Fortune 500 financial companies throughout the Richmond area. Melody received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree, graduating with honors, magna cum laude, from the university in 1987.

Melody is a proud member of the alumni who enjoys serving and giving back where possible. She joined the inaugural group of alumni mentors last year and is currently serving in her second term as a class agent.

Melody is a member of the John W. Barco alumni chapter, where she currently serves in the position of assistant financial secretary. Melody has also held a prior financial officer role on the board of a non-profit organization, serving for two terms in the role of treasurer.

Recording Secretary: Sheila Harris-Scott ’75

Email: recordingsec@vuunaa.org

Shelia Harris-Scott is a 1975 Virginia Union University graduate, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She continued her education receiving her Master of Education degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Administration & Supervision in 1983. Her educational career began in Surry County Public Schools in 1975, then Richmond Public Schools in 1978, culminating with her 2013 retirement. Her thirty-eight (38) year successful career included twenty-six (26) years as a classroom teacher, mathematics specialist, teacher specialist and assistant principal, with the last twelve (12) years as principal at Miles Jones Elementary School. During her career, she also received National Principal Mentorship and School Reform Turnaround Specialist certifications. She joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 1972 through Virginia Union’s campus chapter, Beta Epsilon and is now a Golden-Life member. As a current member of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter, she served several terms of office as Sgt.-at-Arms and Recording Secretary and works on numerous committees. She is a member of the John W. Barco Alumni Chapter, diligently serving as Recording Secretary and working on the Scholarship Committee. She is a thorough, hard-working and dedicated individual looking forward to the opportunity to serve her beloved alma mater in this position.

Parliamentarian: Marian Martin, RP ’61

Email: marianjmartin@aol.com

Marian Johnathan Martin is a native of Henrico County (Varina), VA where she received her early education graduating from Virginia Randolph High School in Glen Allen, VA. Receiving her BS degree in Business Education from VUU in 1961, she continued graduate study at the University of VA and VA State University. With a love of children, she began her teaching career in the public schools of Madison, VA, Henrico County, and Charlottesville, VA. After 37 years, she retired from the Richmond City Public School System. She believes that it takes a village to raise a child and with the right nourishment, all children have endless possibilities.

Some community affiliations include life member of VUUNAA, NAACP, VEA, NEA, St. James Baptist Church (Varina), Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., OES/PHA, and United Order of Tents. She is recipient of the Henrico County NAACP award for top recruiter for the year. Marian is a Registered Parliamentarian and a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP). She has served as Northeast Region Parliamentarian for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She now serves as parliamentarian for the VA Dental Hygienist Association at their Annual Conference held in Richmond, VA. She also serves as Chairman of Education and Training for the M. Stanley Ryan Unit of Parliamentarians—VSAP, NAP. She loves parliamentary procedure and wishes that everyone (members and officers) affiliated with any type of society would become familiar with the rules of a meeting in their conduct of business, so that time, efficiency, and practice of Democracy can better be served for all. As parliamentarian of the VUUNAA, she is focused on serving to the best of her ability the officers and members in the proper conduct of business according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

Chaplain: Dr. Michelle McQueen-Williams ’87

During her career as a professional educator, Reverend Dr. Michelle Kelly McQueen-Williams has shown a deep concern for the educational, social, and emotional well-being of the children she has encountered as a teacher at Highland Springs High, assistant principal at Henrico High, and an elementary principal at Glen Lea Elementary. In 2008, she was named principal of Harvie Elementary, the 45th and most recent elementary school to be opened in eastern Henrico County. Currently, she serves as the Director of Elementary Education in Henrico County Public Schools and is an adjunct instructor at Virginia Union University where she is also serves on their teacher advisory council.

She is a product of the Richmond Public School System and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Virginia Union University, and was crowned Miss Virginia University. Additionally, she holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University and recently completed the Aspiring Superintendents Program at Virginia Tech. Dr. McQueen –Williams also graduated with honors from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, with her Master’s of Divinity. Recently ordained, she serves as an Associate Minister at the First Baptist Church of South Richmond where the Reverend Dr.s Dwight C. and Derik E. Jones are the pastors. Reverend Dr. McQueen-Williams is the mother of one son Byron, a junior at L.C. Bird High School. Additionally, Dr. Michelle K. McQueen Williams has served as Chaplain for Chesterfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and the John W. Barco Chapter of Virginia Union University where she has also served on the scholarship committee and it’s guest speaker for the scholarship awards banquet. Civic minded, she seeks to motivates, empower, and inspire all with whom she comes in contact.

Necrologist: Delsena Vera Willis-Sammons ’67

Delsena Vera Willis-Sammons was born in Richmond, VA. She is a product of Richmond Public Schools and graduated from Virginia Union University in May, 1967. She was a member of the MATH club and a runner up in Miss Unions court.  She was employed with the US Governments Health & Human Service’s Social Security Administration for 30 years.

She became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1967 and has been a member of chapters in Steubenville Ohio, Washington DC, Richmond Alumnae and presently Chesterfield Alumnae. She helped to charter the Chesterfield chapter and served as the chapters third president, corresponding secretary, chairperson of membership service committee, Rituals and Ceremonies committee to name a few.

She became a real estate broker in 1994 and has a membership with the Richmond Association of Realtor, Virginia Association of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors.

She began her religious journey at the age of 9, have experienced joy and direction as a church usher, Sunday School teacher, Director of Youth Ministry, Co-Chair of a church Financial Ministry, Higher Education Ministry, and Trustee of Second Baptist Church-Southside of Richmond, VA.

She has been a member of VUU’s John W. Barco Alumni Chapter since 1990, serving on various committees, Second Vice President, Financial Secretary, and Corresponding Secretary. As an active member of VUUNAA since 1992, she has provided help as the Financial Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Co-Chair of Homecoming Activities and as SGA coordinator.

She enjoys reaching out to alums to encourage participation in VUU’s campus activities and  support of the Universities programs and financial support.

Member-At-Large – Sponsorship Officer: James Wiggins ’95

James Wiggins is a 1995 graduate of Virginia Union University and a member of the D.C. Alumni Chapter.  For the past thirteen years Wiggins has lived in Washington D.C. where for seven years he served as Dean of Student Affairs at Maya Angelou PCS.  After his years in education he switched gears and pursued his passion for the culinary arts.

Currently, Wiggins conducts educational health programs for corporations in the city.

Member-At-Large- Special Events Officer: Maria James ’04

Maria D. James, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, grew up as a preacher’s daughter in the historic Church of God in Christ (COGIC). After graduating from Ocean Lakes High School in 1999 with academic honors and advanced studies diploma, Maria received an academic scholarship to study Mass Communications at VUU. While on campus, Maria served as Panther News Editor for the campus newspaper, The VUU Informer, and as a woodwinds section leader for the marching and pep bands. Upon graduating from VUU in 2004, she began her journalism career working for The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City, NC. Today she is the CEO of MDJ Public Relations & Events and the first African American managing editor for local community newspaper, The Hyattsville Life & Times. Her work in public relations has received industry-recognition from PRNews and the Public Relations Society of America. Maria is an active member in the community as well. Her professional memberships include the American Marketing Association, Washington Women in PR and ColorComm, Women of Color in Communications. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tau Beta Sigma National Band Sorority, the Prince George’s County Women’s Bureau Toastmasters Club, and Top Ladies of Distinction.
She is a member of VUU National Alumni Association and the VUU Maryland Alumni Chapter. In 2007, Maria was recognized as the VUUNAA Young Alumni of the Year.

Member-At-Large – Professional Development Officer: Albersynia R. Quarles ‘70

Email: arq105@comcast.net

Albersynia was reared in Lynchburg, VA and lived in the Washington DC area for 35 years until her return home to Madison Heights, VA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Virginia Union University (VUU) and Masters of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services with a Specialty in Rehabilitation Counseling (1976) from the University of Maryland. Albersynia pledged SWING PHI SWING, DC Graduate Chapter. She serves as the President of the VUU Central Virginia Alumni Chapter and has been a member of the VUUNAA for two years.

Although retired, it is noteworthy to mention that her career experiences were all focused on assisting others who were in need of socio-economic empowerment, behavioral and mental health adjustments. Previous positions include: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Career Development Specialist, Correctional Officer, Case Manager, Supervisory Case Manager, Unit Manager, Chief of Pre-Release, and retired both, as a Substance Abuse Treatment Specialist (Government in 2007) and Program Director (Private Organization in 2010). In order to support her career professionally, Albersynia (until retirement), held the following: Licensed Graduate Social Worker (District of Columbia), Certified Addiction Counselor (CACII), National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCACII), and was an Approved Drug and Alcohol Supervisor (State of MD).

Albersynia will strive to bring impactful and effective professional support needed by aspiring students through the Mentoring Program.

Member-At-Large – Membership Officer: Eboni Haynes ’02

Eboni Haynes is a charter member and the Vice President of the Charlotte Chapter of VUUNAA. In her role as Vice President, she serves as an ex-officio member of all committees. However, as the chapter is fairly new, Eboni served as Chair of many of the Chapter’s committees until new members could be appointed to those committees. Eboni designed the chapter’s website and logo and was instrumental in drafting the bylaws of the chapter. Currently, Eboni leads the membership committee and, as a result of her work, streamlined the process by which members could join and pay their local and national dues. She created a system whereby the VUU Office of Alumni Relations would receive information so the school could update its listing of alumni from the Charlotte metro area and South Carolina. In less than one year, chapter membership has doubled, and members have been connected to committees that align with their passions and skills.

If selected for this position, Eboni would bring the same vision, creativity, and technical ability to the national association. She would promote alumni involvement in university activities, increase membership in local chapters and the national organization, organize workshops for local chapters on best practices in membership development, and streamline processes to make it easier for alumni to become more involved, update their alumni information with the university, and pay their dues. Eboni would be an asset to the national association, as she loves VUU, is a strong advocate for students and alumni, understands non-profit management and governance, is a skilled project manager, and desires to see her alma mater grow and improve. For all these reasons, I nominate Eboni for the Member-At-Large Recruitment and Membership Officer position.

Member-At-Large – Communications Officer: Ricky Parker ’08

Email: communications@vuunaa.org

Ricky Parker is a social entrepreneur that believes in using art as a means to effect social change. Currently, he serves as the Creative Director of Dream For Purpose, a creative agency that focuses on providing marketing solutions and brand management services to clients within the entertainment, sports, fashion, tech and non-profit industries. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Virginia Union University (VUU), a Visiting Entrepreneur at the University of Maryland, and newly appointed Scholar-In-Residence for the Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute at VUU.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Ricky served as the VUU Center for Undergraduate Research Inaugural Fellow performing research concerning Hip Hop’s place on the university’s campus. Ricky is passionate about creativity and entrepreneurship; and believes that anything is possible with God.

He is a 2008 graduate of the Sydney Lewis School of Business at VUU; where he earned a B.S. in Marketing. Ricky is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and currently resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland with his wife, Whitney, and two daughters, Kendall and Kali.