Black History Month 2022: Top 10 Morganites making a difference

The Spokesman cultivated a list of 10 Morgan State University graduates actively making a difference in the world.


The Spokesman cultivated a list of 10 Morgan State University graduates actively making a difference in the world.

Jaina Mosely-Lawson, Staff Writer

Each year, graduates of Morgan State University go on to pursue future career goals and potentially make a difference in the world.

In honor of Black History Month, the Spokesman is highlighting 10 of Morgan’s top graduates selected by university officials that are actively making history.

Various members of high academic accolades recommended these 10 individuals to be featured in the article.

This list was made possible by contributions from Jacqueline Jones, dean of the School of Global Journalism and Communication, Jerome Schiele, professor at the School of Social Work and Tiffany Mfume, associate vice president for student success and retention.

April Ryan

Ryan, 54, is an author and political journalist. She has spent most of her career serving as a White House correspondent covering urban problems. She received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Morgan State in 1989. Ryan is one of three African Americans to serve on the board of the White House Correspondent’s Association.

Calvin Ball

Ball, 46, made history in 2006 when he became the youngest person to hold the chairperson position in the history of the Howard County Council. Ball received his doctoral degree in education from Morgan in 2008. He made history for a second time when he became the first African American elected as county executive in 2018.

D’Angela “Dia” Simms

1999 Morgan graduate Dia Simms, is making waves in the alcoholic drink industry creating her own tequila and mezcal company named LOBOS 1707. In her career, she has worked in sales and advertising.  She previously worked for music mogul, P. Diddy, as president of Comb Enterprises.

David E. Talbert

Screenwriter David E. Talbert, stepped foot on Morgan’s campus to pursue a marketing degree, graduating in 1989. The 56-year-old went on to film school at New York University and began making his masterpieces such as: “He say, She say” and “Lawd Have Mercy.” Most recently, he wrote and directed “Jingle-Jangle,” a 2021 Christmas family movie that premiered on Netflix.

Frances “Toni” Draper

Draper, 75, is a chairwoman and publisher of the AFRO–American newspaper, a publication that has been in her family since her great grandfather founded it in 1892. She graduated from Morgan in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish education. Draper is also a pastor that leads the congregation of the Freedom Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Baltimore, MD. Draper evokes change with her writings, speaking on the many issues that plague Baltimore

Joe Clair

Clair, 55, is a Maryland native, born in Seat Pleasant. He is popularly known for his previous position at WPGC 95.5, giving years of radio entertainment. Clair graduated from Morgan in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Shortly after leaving Morgan, he hosted BET’s Rap City from 1994 to 1999. Clair is current pursuing comedy and.

Kimberly Hardy

Hardy, 50, is currently a social work professor at Fayetteville State University and has spent most of her life diving into the world of social work. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work at Morgan in 1997 and her doctoral degree in the inaugural doctoral cohort at Morgan’s School of Social Work. Hardy is also a community advocate in North Carolina.

Nunu Ntshingila

Ntshingila, 58, is an award-winning marketer who now serves as a regional director in South Africa for Meta. She graduated from Morgan in 1995 with a master’s degree in business administration. At Meta, she is responsible for building Facebook’s presence across the continent of Africa.

Rochelle Stevens

Stevens, 55, is a two-time 1996 Olympic gold medalist and former Morgan track star. Stevens attended Morgan on a full scholarship for track and field and graduated in 1988. She eventually moved back home to Memphis, Tenn. where she opened the Rochelle Stevens Health and Wellness Spa, a spa to promote health and fitness. She now is a substitute teacher and serves as a behavioral specialist at Cherokee Elementary School.

William C. Rhoden

Rhoden, 72, is an American sports journalist, author and 1973 Morgan graduate. Rhoden was a columnist for New York Times from 1983 to 2016 and wrote a multitude of sports articles While his time here at Morgan, he was able to act as assistant sports information director. Rhoden is currently the writer-at-large at ESPN’s The Undefeated when he directs his own fellowship program, Rhoden fellows, for aspiring sports journalists at HBCUs.