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AIC Hosts African American Female Professor Awards Celebration

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) served as the host site for the African American Female Professor Awards Celebration on Sept. 27, with the college’s School of Education Interim Dean Sylvia Mason delivering the welcome address.

The annual event recognizes African-American female professors and encourages African-American female educators to pursue advanced studies with a goal of changing the landscape of professors across higher education. 

While congratulating the award recipients, Mason also challenged them, “you are being held to a higher standard, and your work doesn’t stop here. Regardless of circumstance, support one another; lift each other up. Let nothing extinguish your spirit. If you face a mountain, go through it, not around it. Allow no one to take away what you bring to the table. Ensure the academic community knows that African-American women and women of color are a force to be reckoned with.”

Faculty awards were presented to Rhoda Smith, Springfield College; Decorti Rodgers-Tonge, Bay Path University; and AIC alum Linda Belton, Springfield Technical Community College. Azanda Seymour and Joan Fuller of the Urban Education Program at Westfield State University received the Alumna Award, while Adrienne Smith, dean of the School of Engineering Technologies and Mathematics at Springfield Technical Community College, was honored with the Inspiration Award during the ceremony.

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