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Los Angeles – The recipients of Antioch University Los Angeles’ (AULA) second annual alumni awards include a philanthropy strategist, an advocate for formerly incarcerated young people and the site director of an innovative learning center.
Amelia Williamson, ’05, will receive the President’s Award for Distinction in Professional Accomplishment; David Durand, ’12, will receive the Alumni Association Award for Exemplary Community Service or Activism; and Cindy Short, ’09, will receive the Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Service to the University.
At an awards luncheon on Saturday, October 17, 2015, AULA will recognize these outstanding alumni who have distinguished themselves in some special way— in their professions, in their communities, or in their service to their alma mater. The event will be held at the Del Rey Yacht Club at 13900 Palawan Way in Marina Del Rey.
“These three alumni embody the heart and soul of the University’s mission,” said Tex Boggs, AULA’s president. “They have made social and economic justice the cornerstones of their careers, and they have dedicated their lives to serving others. AULA is proud to recognize them for their work in their communities and beyond.”
Williamson serves as CEO and Chief Strategist for AWA Consults, a social impact agency whose mission is to build bridges across philanthropy, community and influence. AWA provides philanthropic advising, organizational development and brand management specializing in services for high impact individuals and organizations. Before launching AWA, she served as the president of the Magic Johnson Foundation, whose mission is to provide resources, build participation, and inspire self-sufficiency in underserved communities. She serves as board chair for Liberty Hill Foundation as well as board chair for Social Action Partners, a start-up focused on building capacity for South LA organizations.
"AULA has played such an instrumental role in not just my career journey, but in life,” Williamson said. “AULA is truly a pioneer in the world of organizational management and development and I’m humbled to be honored by such a forward thinking institution."
Williamsons’ recognition, the President’s Award for Distinction in Professional Accomplishment, celebrates people who have been recognized by their peers, have published or presented works of influence, or whose work within a profession has attained recognition and appreciation by the general public. She earned a master’s degree in organizational management from AULA.
Durand, the recipient of the Alumni Association Award for Exemplary Community Service or Activism, earned a master’s degree in education with a concentration in leadership and change from AULA. He is the site director for New Earth YouthBuild, an arts and environment-focused educational leadership program that works with incarcerated youth in half of L.A. County's probation camps as well as "at-risk" populations in the community. He also currently serves as the Co-chair for the Empowerment Congress' Education Committee.
"I didn't pursue a career in community service for the recognition, but it is a profound honor to receive this award from an institution that means so much to me," Durand said.
Short, who has been awarded the Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Service to the University, is the associate director for the Bridge Program at AULA, and directs the off-campus location in Boyle Heights. She is also an adjunct instructor in AULA’s bachelor’s completion program. The Bridge Program provides higher education coursework centered on liberal arts and social justice to those otherwise unable to attend college, at no cost to the students. Over the past two years, the program has connected hundreds of students to further education and career advancement. As an undergraduate, Short designed and curated the first annual Artistic Uprising, an art exhibition and fundraising event to benefit the Bridge program.
"Having the experience as an undergraduate at Antioch University Los Angeles has taught me the necessary value of educational justice,” Short said. “Working in the Bridge Program and learning to apply the principles of its pedagogies has helped me put that knowledge base into practice, and has been the backdrop for my educational work ever since."
To learn more about the alumni awards and recognition celebration on October 17, visit antiochla.edu/alumniawards Tickets are $35, and sponsor packages and congratulatory opportunities are available.
About Antioch University Los Angeles
Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA) provides a rigorous progressive education to prepare students for the complexities of today’s diverse societies. AULA, a not-for-profit institution and part of the Antioch University system, has served the greater Los Angeles area since 1972. The core values of social justice, service to the community, and lifelong learning lie at the heart of the undergraduate degree completion programs in Liberal Studies, Applied Studies, Applied Arts and Media, Urban Communities and Justice, and Applied Technology and Business Leadership and graduate programs in Nonprofit Management, Education and Teacher Credentialing, Psychology, Creative Writing, and Urban Sustainability.
Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With campuses in Keene, New Hampshire; Los Angeles; Santa Barbara; Seattle; Yellow Springs, Ohio; and online at AU Connected, Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.