Celebrating Men and Women of Color, Honor and Ambition | May 2017
Newsletter May 2017
Celebrating Men and Women of Color, Honor and Ambition
On May 3rd, the Men and Women of Color, Honor, and Ambition celebrated their graduation ceremonies of the program, were inspired by mentors, and introduced both the MOCHA and WOCHA incoming student cohorts. For the first time, MOCHA and WOCHA programs celebrated together, like “a family of leaders,” said Dr. Tomicka Wagstaff, Sr. Director for Academic Access & Support Grants, Division of Diversity and Inclusion and co-chair of the WOCHA Council. “It has been a wonderful year of workshops, community service projects, networking and bonding,” among all the participants.
During the ceremony, students had the opportunity to share their perspectives and appreciation to the mentors and volunteers who’ve made a difference in their lives over the past year.
“To see how far we have come” explained Vashti Green, a senior and WOCHA member, majoring in Electrical Engineering. “We’ve all changed a lot. We sit a little taller, speak a little louder and are all a lot bolder.”
This program “is about believing in and committing to the MOCHA mindset” shared Jeremy Clink, a third-year student and MOCHA member, majoring in Environmental Sustainability Health and Safety. Each participant builds the “confidence and drive to strive for more than your peers and mentors expect of you becomes the innate behavior of an ambitious gentlemen.”
The ceremony continued with a keynote address by the distinguished Melisza Campos, 2016-17 RIT Minett Professor and Vice President of Instruction for Dale Carnegie’s Rochester office and WOCHA mentor. Campos highlighted the importance of incorporating the Dale Carnegie Principles, continuously developing your leadership abilities, learning about others and to develop genuine relationships with sharp listening skills. Her energy, expertise and drive had the audience captivated and engaged.
In addition, John Rodriguez, MOCHA mentor, addressed everyone and highlighted the importance of learning from your past, engage in networking situations with intent and poise. Most importantly, Rodriguez said “to share my wisdom, I’d say to be present with the people you interact with” during your career or while volunteering in the community.
Several MOCHA and WOCHA students were recognized during the ceremony for their commitment, above and beyond attitude and making a difference on the RIT campus and Rochester community, as follows:
2016-17 M.O.C.H.A. Awards
MOCHA of the Year | Jeremy Clink | Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety
Breakthrough Man | Michael Johnson | Mechanical Engineering
Wellness Man | Zachary Orcutt | Packaging Science
2016-17 W.O.C.H.A. Awards
WOCHA of the Year | Mila Le* | Masters of Business Administration
Rising Star of the Year | Luisa Swan | Criminal Justice
Keeper of the Flame | Vashti Green* | Electrical Engineering
As with all development programs, the journey will continue;
Men of Color, Honor, and Ambition (M.O.C.H.A) is a one-year initiative open to all undergraduate male students between their second and fifth academic years of study, designed for male students of color. For additional information, visit the M.O.C.H.A. site.
Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (W.O.C.H.A) is a one-year program open to all female students who are in their second through fifth years of study at the university, with an emphasis on women of color. For additional information, visit the W.O.C.H.A. site.