The Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Black Student Alliance hosted an African-American Alumni Discussion Panel, on Sept. 25 in the Campus Center Ballroom. The panel was a chance for students to engage in honest conversation with six panelists regarding education, life experiences and career opportunities. Each panelist is a former University of West Georgia grad offering perspective in a variety of backgrounds.
The panelists invited to speak included: David Dennis, Senior Agency Director of AIG Financial Network, Sandra “Penny” Houston, Associate Broker with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Louis Amis, Director of Benefits for the City of Atlanta, Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge for the Atlanta Office of the United States Secret Service, Howard McFarland Jr., technical writer and analyst for Delta Air Lines, Inc., and Juanita Hicks, UWG’s own Executive Director of Human Resources.
Deirdre H. Rouse, Director for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, began the panel by introducing each panelist’s biographies and closed the welcome with a quote by Zig Ziglar, “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”
Meredith NeSmith, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, took the stage to offer information about what aspects of UWG are handled by Alumni Relations. Panelists were then given a few minutes to re-introduce themselves and to comment on their professional backgrounds, as well as their best educational and professional experiences.
David Dennis spoke first. He is a founding member of Kappa Kappa, Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and a member of the Black Student Alliance.
“We are alumni with stories to tell and getting a degree from UWG was the best decision I ever made,” he said.
Reginald G. Moore moved forward as moderator of the panel discussion, offering interesting aspects of his own career. For those who watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta, it was Moore’s team who investigated the scandal that took place on the show.
After commenting on such a scandal, Moore urged students to “use discretion in college, it will affect your future.” He continued touch on “youthful indiscretions” students should avoid, such as spending too much time on social media.
Louis Amis offered advice to students for professional careers.
“The one thing you can’t buy is time, you can have fun, but you have to have a purpose and you have to study.”
Sandra Houston also added to this.
She said, “Growth will come to those willing to work for it.”
Panelists came to a consensus that networking and hard work is the best way for students to thrive in their own future careers.
Reginald C. Moore closed the panel answering a few last minute questions regarding résumés and thanked UWG for the opportunity to attend the event.
“We have to get to know people and to understand them,” said Moore, offering his thoughts on diversity at UWG.
Each panelist expressed interest in returning again next year to offer advice and guidance to future students.