ESU to Recognize Award Winners at 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on January 4, 2019, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania selected the winners for the 2019 Boddie Scholarship, Martin Luther King Jr. awards, and the Julianna V. Bolt Art Contest. The recipients will be recognized at the 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast, which will be held on January 21 in the Mattioli Recreation Center on ESU’s campus from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Boddie Scholarship Recipients

The Mary Gertrude Smith Boddie Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to undergraduate students of color at ESU. In 1904, Ms. Boddie was the first African-American student to graduate from what was then known as East Stroudsburg State Normal School, which ultimately became East Stroudsburg University in 1983. The students who apply for this scholarship are asked to describe, in essay form, their commitment to social justice through community and university involvement.

The Mary Gertrude Smith Boddie Scholarship recipients are Denasia Mosteller, a junior majoring in criminal justice and sociology from Phillipsburg, N.J; Naomi Ogbo, a sophomore majoring in nursing from Folsom, Pa.; and Angela Pender, a junior majoring in communication studies from Philadelphia, Pa. The three students will each receive a $3,340 scholarship award for the spring 2019 semester.

Mosteller is a peer mentor for the First Year Experience, Early Start, and STAR programs. She is extracurricular affairs chair of the student senate and corresponding secretary for ESU’s collegiate section of the National Council of Negro Women. Mosteller is a member of the black student union, the ALANI committee, and the University Honors Program. During her freshman year she was a member of the women’s track and field team.

Ogbo has found her time at ESU thus far to be eye-opening and educationally encouraging, as she has met people of various shades of color. Ogbo attended the black student union fellowship, is a member of the health sciences living learning community, and was a member of student senate. She traveled to London with ESU’s Christian Fellowship. Ogbo is also a volunteer with the Philadelphia Project where she spends her summer serving the city’s homeless population.

Pender writes a fashion and beauty column for the Stroud Courier, is the facility manager at the Mattioli Recreation Center, a tour guide and a member of the National Council of Negro Women.

Martin Luther King Jr. Award Recipients

The Martin Luther King Jr. Award recipients exemplify characteristics of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence, equality, justice, cultural diversity and respect for humanity. Awards will be presented to one student, one faculty member, and one member of the local community.

Naomie Pierre-Louis, a junior majoring in psychology from Philadelphia, Pa., has been selected to receive the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Award. Pierre-Louis is a resident advisor and is known by residence and dining staff for her leadership abilities. As a member of ESU’s diversity and inclusion committee, she took on key responsibilities and became the student leader in developing a new initiative – ESU Business Brunches – purposed to help student of color network with professionals of color in the community. She was also instrumental in writing a proposal that resulted in students attending the National Student Leadership Diversity Convention. Upon her return from the convention, Pierre-Louis was invigorated and determined to impact ESU’s campus. She planned the “Do It For Culture” diversity retreat and is developing a diversity conference for spring 2019.

Having spent time in the foster care system, Pierre-Louis admits that she struggled to thrive when she began her college experience. She now serves on the newly formed Foster Care Task Force to help this underserved population at ESU. She contributed her knowledge to drafting a grant application that was submitted through the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research.

The University Faculty/Staff Award recipient is Professor Stephanie French, who has been a faculty member of ESU’s theatre department for 17 years. She is highly regarded by both her students and her colleagues for her commitment to her craft, the quality of her teaching, and her innovative approaches to education.

French’s work encourages students to engage in deep exploration of the human experience and helps them to tap into and name the emotions that attend those experiences. She is very aware of the intensity of the personal work she invites students to undertake and is deeply respectful of the process in her role as champion, facilitator and guide. French uses her platform to have students engage in work around issues of social justice including race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, and class.

French was instrumental in hosting a weekend theatre workshop that exposed students to the “Theatre of the Oppressed”, a genre of performance art designed to assist people who are marginalized or subject to inequitable treatment in order to give voice to and make explicit their lived experience. The two-day workshop ended with a public performance where the student performers identified and explored perceived social and structured inequities at ESU. The deep and moving experience was an honest portrayal of what students perceived their experiences to be like. The workshop was representative of the hard work of diversity and inclusion education.

Tameko Patterson is the recipient of the Community Member Award. Patterson is the president of the Greater Pocono Section (GPS) of the National Council of Negro Women Inc., a sister organization to the Monroe County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As the president, she leads and oversees the executive board and all committees aligned to NCNW’s national initiatives. NCNW’s mission is to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities.

She was instrumental in spearheading the College 101 Program, a program geared towards exposing junior high school and high school students and their parents to educational resources and support services. Participants learned college and university expectations regarding admissions, financial aid, acceptance, the importance of SAT/ACT Scores, grant opportunities, and test taking tips. In the fall of 2016, the initiative culminated with a four-day, five-college tour, visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History & Culture and a tour of the White House. To date, more than 150 Monroe County students ages 13 through 18 participated in the College Planning 101 Program.

After the success of the college tour, Patterson has worked with East Stroudsburg High School guidance department to bring Historically Black Colleges and Universities to its annual college fair. Additionally, she helped raise funds to provide buses from neighboring high schools to allow them to send students to the annual event.

In 2016, Patterson started “Dinner with Dignity”, a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and needy.

Patterson was a chartering member of Monroe County United, a grassroots community initiative designed to build relationships and break down barriers and served on the executive committee as the secretary for nearly 2 years. In 2017 Patterson became the first African-American member elected to the Stroudsburg Area School Board. She was subsequently nominated as a member of the Monroe Career and Technical Institute Joint Operating Committee.

Patterson is the co-founder of Monroe County’s first multicultural parade which started in 2016. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Jason L. Simpson Memorial Scholarship Foundation, and the Stroudsburg Little Bethel Historical Association. She sits on the Executive Committees for the Greater Pocono Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (Recording Secretary & Legislative Chair), the African American Network (Membership Chair) and Monroe County Branch of the NAACP (Legal Redress Chair). She is also a member of the Rotary Club of the Stroudsburgs.

Julianna V. Bolt Art Contest

There were 51 entries to the Julianna V. Bolt art contest this year. Brianna Soule from East Stroudsburg High School North won first place, Kerriann Cox from East Stroudsburg High School North earned second place, and Shanajah Cooper from East Stroudsburg High School North was awarded third place. Kayla Patney and Hope Porter from Stroudsburg High School were awarded honorable mention.

For more information about the Celebration Breakfast or for special accommodations, contact Juanita Jenkins, director of multicultural affairs, at 570-422-3896 or