NUBAA Board of Director Applications – Application Responses from Vice Presidential Candidates

Three candidates have successfully completed the application process for the position of Vice-President for the 2017-2019 term. Here are the responses to the application questions. Candidates are presented in the order in which their applications were received. We thank you for your willingness to serve and support our great University! Go Cats!

Candidate 1: Sonia Waters (SESP, ’89)

  1. Please state why you would like to serve on the NUBAA Board of Directors.

As the current Vice President, I have and would continue to fulfill implementation of the remaining objectives of the Programmatic Agenda that has been accepted and adopted by the NU administration and community. I believe NUBAA would benefit from continuity and demonstrated competence moving into and conducting the year-long activities of the 50th Anniversary of the Bursar’s Office Takeover.

  1. What previous volunteer background do you have with NUBAA?

For the past three years, I have served as Vice President of NUBAA. I have served as Chair for each of the three NUBAA Summit in addition to assisting the President, fulfilling various NU committee appointments such as the Black House Steering Committee and representing NUBAA in the President’s absence.

Through NUBAA, I also serve as Co-Chair (Operations Director) for the upcoming 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1968 Bursars Office Takeover.

  1. Please indicate any professional activity you possess that qualifies you to serve on the NUBAA Board of Directors.

I have served as the Executive Director of a local United Way. In implementing my three-year strategic plan, the donor base increased 11%, fundraising increased 120% and the board was re-constituted to include members of Fortune 500 companies. In my current position, I manage legal operations for an $8B company.

  1. Please state your familiarity with NUBAA’s current Programmatic Agenda and other initiatives.

I am well versed on the objectives of the NUBAA Programmatic Agenda. As Vice-President, I help to implement every aspect of the Agenda and serve as liaison to NUBAA committees and the NU community in carrying out initiatives in the Agenda.

  1. What NUBAA events have you attended in the last two years?

I have attended nearly all NUBAA-sponsored events, including Homecoming activities, Multicity Mixers, Throw Back events, Student Based Initiatives receptions, Athletes-connect events, The NUBAA Summit and many others. I have also attended and conducted numerous in person meetings and one on one calls with NU staff and administration in furtherance of NUBAA objectives.

  1. Please state your plans and priorities should you be elected to the NUBAA Board.

Please see my responses to questions #1 and #4. My plans and priorities involve successfully conducting the Commemoration activities and institutionalizing the vision outlines in the NUBAA Programmatic Agenda.

  1. What leadership roles have you held in service to Northwestern?

I was a member of the planning committee for NU’s Leadership Symposium for two years. I helped select seminar topics, moderated seminars and drafted seminar summaries for posting.

  1. Are you familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the office you seek? Please match your skills and qualifications to those roles and responsibilities.

I currently fulfill the role and responsibility of Vice-President. I brought my experience as a former Executive Director of the largest fundraising organization in the United States and organizational and planning skills to the role.

  1. How many hours a week are you willing to serve in your capacity as a member of the NUBAA Board?

I participate in monthly board scheduled conference calls, program/events conference calls, and planning meetings with external sources. In addition, I attend functions, serve on committees; and represent NUBAA in the absence of the President. In all, I volunteer more than twenty hours per month to NUBAA.

  1. Have you made any financial donations to NUBAA within the last two years? Have you made any financial donations to Northwestern outside of NUBAA within the last two years?

Yes to both questions. I am a member of NU Loyal (the designation for those that havemade donations for at least three consecutive years).

  1. In the event you are not elected, are you still willing to serve NUBAA?

Yes, as I have always done, I will support through attendance and financial contributions.

Candidate 2: Jeniece Fleming (SESP ’09)

1. Please state why you would like to serve on the NUBAA Board of Directors. Currently, I serve on the NUBAA Board of Directors as Secretary and have done so for the past year. During this time I have fulfilled the duties of secretary which include maintaining documents, keeping records, providing correspondence, and presenting minutes. In addition to these duties, I have worked to recruit other NUBAA members to participate in events or committees and supported the efforts of other NUBAA Board Members which include assisting with the NUBAA Summit two years in a row. While I love serving as Secretary, I eagerly await the opportunity to serve as Vice President. This Summer I move back to the Chicago / Evanston area which will allow me to be more active with the initiatives of the Board and with the Northwestern community in general. My network of NUBAA alumni is vast and spreads across a variety of student experiences including those who participated in Greek life, ministry, performing arts, athletics, professional organizations, student government, and FMO. I plan to use this network to recruit others to become more active in NUBAA which is one of the key responsibilities as Vice President.

2. What previous volunteer background do you have with NUBAA?

  • Multi-City Mixer co-host for Indianapolis (2015)
  • Multi-City Mixer host for Indianapolis (2016)
  • Multi-City Mixer host for Indianapolis (2017)
  • NUBAA Summit 2016 (Opening Reception check-in, Gala A/V operator, Celebrity Golf Outing)
  • NUBAA Summit 2017 (Opening Reception check-in, Gala A/V operator, Celebrity Golf Outing)
  • 50th Anniversary of the Bursar Takeover Commemoration Committee (2016-Present)
  • NUBAA Secretary (2016-Present)

3. Please indicate any professional activity you possess that qualifies you to serve on the NUBAA Board of Directors. 

  • Licensed School Counselor (student based initiatives/engagement)
  • Pursuing graduate degree in Learning Sciences at Northwestern (SESP) – Circle City Classic Coronation Committee Chair (Indianapolis)
  • Planned high school 10 year reunion as former class president (Class of 700 students)
  • Project Management certificate

4. Please state your familiarity with NUBAA’s current Programmatic Agenda and other initiatives. 

I am very familiar with NUBAA’s programming and events which include the anchor events (Destination Homecoming, NUBAA 5K, Summit, Multi-City Mixers) as well as student based initiatives and alumni events. Once I became Secretary, I learned more about the infrastructure of NUBAA and its engagement with Northwestern as a whole which include Black House Oversight, NUBAA Achievement Scholarships, NUBAA Archives, NUBAA Economy project, etc. I am familiar with the goals and challenges of NUBAA as well as its relationship with the Northwestern community in general. As Vice President, I would be able to step up and assist with NUBAA’s agenda, especially in the event of the President’s absence.

5. What NUBAA events have you attended in the last two years? 

2015-2016: 

  • Destination Homecoming 
  • NUBAA Summit & Salute to Excellence Gala 
  • NUBAA Board Meeting (during Summit) 
  • NUBAA 5K Race for Diversity 
  • Multi City Mixer (Indianapolis) 
  • NUBAA Annual Meeting 

2016-2017: 

  • NUBAA Summit & Salute to Excellence Gala 
  • Multi City Mixer (Indianapolis) 
  • NUBAA Board Meeting (during Summit) 

6. Please state your plans and priorities should you be elected to the NUBAA Board.

My plans and priorities will be the following:

  • To work with the student based initiatives committee already established by NUBAA to enhance the current student experience. The structure is in place for networking between alumni and current students. However, I plan to work with the team to make it more effective. I will be a graduate student in the fall, so it will be easier for me to commit to being a part of these initiatives – as I will be local. I’ll have the opportunity to build a rapport with current students and increase enthusiasm among graduating seniors on joining NUBAA. Last year, the Northwestern Black community lost Jordan Hankins, who happened to be from my hometown. Since her passing, I have been more committed to discovering how students on campus can benefit from having additional supports, especially from Black alumni who were once in their shoes.
  • To focus on the Black enrollment rate. Northwestern has a higher than average Black student retention and graduation rate. Still, there can be more efforts towards increasing enrollment rates of Black students as well as student satisfaction with their experience.
  • To provide leadership and support to the team as we plan the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Bursar Takeover in 1968. These events are very critical for the University’s relationship with NUBAA for the years to come.

7. What leadership roles have you held in service to Northwestern?

Student (Undergraduate) Roles 2005-2009:

  • ASG Senator (FMO)
  • Vice Coordinator of Programming (FMO)
  • President (NPHC)
  • Co-Chaplain (NCE)
  • Center Manager (Norris University Center)

Alumni Roles (Since 2009):

  • Coordinator of Summer Academic Workshop (SAW) 2009
  • NU Club of Indianapolis Member
  • Northwestern Alumni Admissions Council
  • NUBAA Secretary

8. Are you familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the office you seek? Please match your skills and qualifications to those roles and responsibilities.

In the role of Secretary, I have familiarized myself with the Roles & Responsibilities of all NUBAA Board of Directors positions. My commitment to NUBAA and the Northwestern Black Experience is evident in my history of service. Serving as Vice President is a two-year commitment that I am prepared and excited to possibly take on soon. Some of the specific skills I have that relate to the role of Vice President include excellent project management skills, collaborative leadership, problem solving, and extensive experience in advising and mentorship of students.

Project Management – In several roles both personally and professionally, I have been responsible for designing and executing programs and events. These specific skills are useful as NUBAA has a very ambitious programmatic agenda.  This skill relates to the responsibility the Vice President has to serve on the Executive Committee or other assigned committees as well as to assume the roles of the President in his/her absence.

Collaborative Leadership – I am a team player with enthusiasm and positivity that loves to lead by empowering others to use their strengths to help the team accomplish a goal. I get along with others well and am able to manage conflict professionally. I am responsive and often use my counseling skills to understand if the work load needs to be shifted to another team member.  This skill relates to the responsibility the Vice President has to assist with the recruitment of new board and committee members as well as attend and participate in meetings and monitor accomplishments.

Problem Solving – Pressure and time constraints do not push me away from a challenge. I enjoy coming up with solutions or managing priorities efficiently.  This skill relates to the responsibility the Vice President has to work with the board to determine the goals and objectives of NUBAA and serve as spokesperson if the President is unavailable.

Advising & Mentorship – My passion to connect students to resources that propel them to success is strong. I plan to use the skills I have acquired over the years in NUBAA’s Student Based Initiatives.  This skill relates to the responsibility the Vice President has to participate in NUBAA initiatives and guide the board’s objectives in support of the President.

9. How many hours per week are you willing to serve in your capacity as a member of the NUBAA Board? I am willing to do what it takes. I expect that on average I will have to commit 2-3 hours a week or 10 hours a month as outlined in the Roles & Responsibilities for the Vice President of NUBAA, with more time necessary as we gear up to our big events. Specifically in the next 2 years, I see the 50th Anniversary of the Bursar Takeover and Student Based Initiatives as the most time consuming.

10. Have you made any financial donations to NUBAA within the last two years? Have you made any financial donations to Northwestern outside of NUBAA within the last two years?

Yes, I have made financial donations to NUBAA within the last two years. I have not made financial contributions to Northwestern outside of NUBAA initiatives in the past two years.

11. In the event you are not elected, are you still willing to serve NUBAA? Yes, of course! I plan to continue to serve as Secretary, on the 50th Anniversary of the Bursar Takeover committee if I am not selected to serve as Vice President of NUBAA, and with the Student Based Initiatives.

Shannon Moorer (WCAS, ’88)

1. Please state why you would like to serve on the NUBAA Board of Directors.

My motivation for seeking an elected NUBAA Board position is contribute to its progress and direction from both strategic and policy vantage points. I also look to diversify the board by providing a different point of view in the planning and decision making process.

2. What previous volunteer background do you have with NUBAA?

My previous volunteer experience has been limited to Homecoming events.

3. Please indicate any professional activity you possess that qualifies you to serve on the NUBAA Board of Directors.

My current position in higher education equips me to provide valuable, substantive input into NUBAA’s role as a resource and protector of the interests of Northwestern’s African-American student population. My legal training and background lends itself to meaningful and substantive board participation.

4. Please state your familiarity with NUBAA’s current Programmatic Agenda and other initiatives.

A. Black House Facilities Plan

B. 50th Anniversary Commemoration of 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover

C. African American undergraduate student relations

D. NU Homecoming

E. NUBAA Summit

5. What NUBAA events have you attended in the last two years? Homecoming 2015, NUBAA 5K 2015, Multi- City Mixers 2014-16, Leadership Circle receptions, NU meetings on facilities plan to eliminate the Black House 2016.

6. Please state your plans and priorities should you be elected to the NUBAA Board.

A. Establish regularized, expanded relations with African-American undergraduate students to determine issues and needs and the best strategies for support:

1. Regular gatherings/programming

2. Office hours

B. Foster and maintain ongoing communications with African-American faculty and staff, as well as the wider NU African-American community.

C. Enhance efforts to connect undergraduate students to job opportunities.

D. Maintain regular communication and relations with the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs.

7. What leadership roles have you held in service to Northwestern?

I’ve held no leadership roles since my student days, when I served as Legislative Vice-Coordinator of FMO.

8. Are you familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the office you seek? Please match your skills and qualifications to those roles and responsibilities.

A. Assumption of presidential duties: My professional experience enables the assumption of leadership duties and obligations should circumstances warrant.

B. Assistance in board/committee recruitment: In my current role, I assist small nonprofit organizations strategically and in an advisory capacity with respect to these particular matters.

C. Determination of NUBAA goals and objectives: In my current role, I’ve engaged in this very process in in both a program development and advisory context.

D. Regular board business. My current work touches on most of these matters from a support/resourcing position.

E. Board/Committee meeting participation. My professional experience and training sufficiently equip me to fulfill these obligations.

F. NUBAA spokesperson. As Associate Director of a university program, I am periodically required to speak and act on behalf of the program and the university. I’m comfortable with this contingent duty.

G. Executive Committee service: My professional experience and training sufficiently equip me to fulfill this obligation.

9. How many hours a week are you willing to serve in your capacity as a member of the NUBAA Board?

I expect to work the required 10 hours per month, and am willing to put in the time necessary to accomplish goals and objectives, as well as address crises and issues that may arise during my tenure.

10. Have you made any financial donations to NUBAA within the last two years? Have you made any financial donations to Northwestern outside of NUBAA within the last two years?

I’ve made no financial contributions within the last two years.

11. In the event you are not elected, are you still willing to serve NUBAA?

I’m willing to contribute to the degree and extent I agree and connect with the strategy, programming and policy of the prevailing leadership.

This concludes the presentation of the responses of the candidates for NUBAA Vice-President for the 2017-2019 term. Please join us for the following next steps in the election process.

  • June 8th: Candidates forum via conference call at 8 pm CDT – to participate, dial in to 712-432-1500 access code 860073#
  • June 10th: Voting begins via email
  • June 16th: Voting ends via email
  • June 24th: NUBAA Annual Meeting; election results announced

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