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Accolades & Honors

Winners of the Black Excellence Service Award announced

Danielle Obisie-Orlu posing in front of panther statue

The virtual Black Excellence Bash held Feb. 25 marked the conclusion of the University of Pittsburgh’s 2022 K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program.

The event brought together Pitt people, community members and stakeholders to announce and honor the recipients of the Black Excellence Service Award. The winners include current and former Black students, faculty or staff who were nominated for making significant contributions to the community through their time, actions, talents and dedication, and as role models for compassion and service.

Winners were announced across five categories — students, staff, faculty, businesses and alumni:

  • Jorden King (EDUC ’22)
  • Taylor Robinson (A&S ’21)
  • Channing Moreland, inaugural director of the SHRS Wellness Pavilion at the Homewood Community Engagement Center and senior director of strategic programs and services in School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences’ Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement
  • Khamara Turner, senior access and early engagement coordinator in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
  • Karen Gilmer, award-winning costume designer and lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Alecia Young, founder of YOGAMOTIF
  • Khristen Scott, assistant professor of English in the Dietrich School
  • Rev. Paul Abernathy (GSPH ’06)
  • Tre Tipton (A&S ’19)

Jumoke Davis (CGS ’05), Pitt’s new director of video production, served as the host while introductions were made by Kimberly Williams, a research associate and instructor in the Department of Anthropology, and Clyde Wilson Pickett, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion.

Danielle Obisie-Orlu (pictured above), a junior and the 2021-2022 Allegheny County Youth Poet Laureate, closed the ceremony with a performance of her original poem “The Becoming” — an ode to the contributions of Black Pitt community members at Pitt and the overall blue, gold and Black experience.