The Virginia State University "Trojan 10 Under 10" award program recognizes the achievements made by alumni who earned their first VSU degree (undergraduate or graduate) within the last 10 years.
From teachers and thinkers, to entrepreneurs and creators, leaders and visionaries, risk takers and dreamers, our young alumni are changing lives and making an impact. To honor their accomplishments, nominate a recent graduate for the VSU “Trojan 10 Under 10.”
- Earned their first VSU degree (undergraduate or graduate) from VSU within the past 10 years (2009 – 2019).
- Demonstrates commitment to maintaining a lifelong relationship with VSU
- Made important contributions to their community through service
- Made an impact and reached remarkable success in their profession
Recipients will receive special honors during Alumni Winter Fest on January 25, 2020.
Shawna Brown is a 2012 graduate, with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, concentration in web graphics. She is the third generation to receive a degree at Virginia State University. While at VSU, Shawna managed to balance classwork and social organizations as she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in 2010 and was the president of the campus group of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 2011.
While employed at VSU as a web developer for web services, Shawna assisted with rebranding the University website. She has also successfully developed and designed several major brands for the university such as; “Out in 4”, The University Identification Card, VSU Information Technology Brand “We Make IT Work”, University Charging Stations and President Abdullah Inauguration Banners.
Shawna resides in Richmond, Virginia where she works for the Department of Housing and Community Development as the State Agency Graphics & Web Designer. In one of her many roles at the agency, she has successfully designed for the 2018 & 2019 Virginia’s Governor Housing Conference and currently planning on the designing for the 2020 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference scheduled for this fall.
In other activities, Shawna was a part of the YardTalk101 team as a designer helping developed the company website and special flyers for the social media platform to raise awareness about going to a HBCU. She continued to pursue art in her spare time and became a PaintNite Instructor in the Richmond Area for a local company in 2017. To view some of her designs, please view her portfolio at http://www.shawnabrown.net
Jason Daniels is a May, 2018 graduate of the Virginia State University. Jason graduated with honors while obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. During his tenure at VSU, Jason held the roles of Mr. Langston, Freshman and Sophomore class senator, and Mr. NAACP. Jason helped to bring Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. back to the land of Troy as a Spring 2016 initiate of the Alpha Alpha Alpha chapter. As a Sigma, Jason served as Chapter President, Step and Stroll Master, and a voting board member of VSU's NPHC. After graduation, Jason went to work with IBM in Washington, DC as a Federal Technology Consultant. He has also chosen to pursue his Master of Business Administration at the University of Maryland.
Tarik A. Floyd
Washington, D.C. native, Tarik A. Floyd, graduated from Virginia State University (VSU) in 2016, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with an established foundation in Finance. Upon arriving to VSU as a transfer student, Tarik was eager to hit the ground running and make history for his family, literally. As a former collegiate athlete, his ambition and work ethic was unrivaled. He used his upbringing, what set him apart from the crowd and his uncanny ability to code switch as a springboard to “change the game” for minorities hailing from his hometown. After achieving a longstanding aspiration of interning with Marcus and Millichap, Tarik was accepted into Harvard University’s 2017 Leading Finance Program. The opportunity of working with clients and brokers unearthed a real passion for real estate and diverse business opportunities.
At the heart of his work ethic, Tarik desired to transform the image of success and to do so, he understood the significance of mentoring—both gifting and receiving. Tarik was granted the esteemed fortune of being mentored in sales by several accomplished figureheads. One, Stacey Milam, impressed the importance of diligence, character and navigating the precise balance of integrity, energy and tenacity in every effort madeTarik has honed his skillset to build strong relationships across the board to provide unprecedented service to clients and companies alike. Shortly thereafter, in 2019, Tarik launch his own private equity firm, For The Fam Investments (FTF). Through FTF, Tarik is committed to curating unconventional partnerships to pursue and procure real estate investments that mimic the same cosmopolitan synergy in urban communities that continue to revolutionize the world around us. Tarik has cultivated the core values of FTF Investments to mirror that which he credits his success—integrity, loyalty, authenticity, service and work ethic.
Lastly, Tarik acutely believes that society’s multiple-handicaps have nothing to do with you or your future. Personal success is attainable, and hard work is a character trait in progress. Tarik A. Floyd, CEO of FTF Investments, came to VSU as a transfer student, but left as a TROJAN.
Tiffany Gullins, is a native of Virginia Beach, VA and began her VSU journey in August 2010. Tiffany majored in Business Marketing and received her Bachelors of Science in May 2014. Currently she is employed with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and a member of the Chesterfield Chapter of the VSU Alumni Association serving as the Chair of Marketing and Communications. Currently she is enrolled in the graduate double program at Virginia State, receiving her Graduate Certificate in Project Management, CAPM, and will be completing my Masters of Arts in Economics May 2020.
Everette Jackson, Jr.
Everette Jackson, Jr. is a 2011 graduate of Virginia State University; graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. While at VSU, he was a member of the Betterment of Brothers and Sisters organization where he served as President his senior year, a member of the Mass Communications Club and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. After attending VSU, he went on to obtain his Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from University of Baltimore.
Everette offers over 7 years in post-secondary education and training experience. He currently works as the State Approving Agency (SAA) Compliance Specialist for the D.C. Higher Education Licensure Commission which serves as the D.C. State Approving Agency (DC SAA) for veterans’ education benefits. His background in higher education is extensive with a focus on GI Bill® education programs.
An active member of the Virginia State University Alumni Association (VSUAA), Everette serves as the President, of the Betterment of Brothers and Sisters Alumni Association Incorporated (BBSIncAA). This organization serves as a professional chapter within VSUAA and Everette is one of the founding members. Through his work with BBSIncAA, Everette hopes to grow the chapter and encourage alumni to give back to the university and complete philanthropic endeavors post-graduation.
Everette embraces the concept of servant leadership, in hopes to set practices and impact policies that enrich the lives of individuals to benefit and foster a more caring world. He believes this is integral in his daily work supporting veterans in the higher education space and to the community he serves through BBSIncAA.
N’Dea B. Jackson
N’Dea B. Jackson graduated summa cum laude from Virginia State University in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. While completing her undergraduate studies at VSU, N’Dea was an active force in her campus community, involved in various academic, volunteer, and social organizations including: The National Society of Black Engineers, Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honors Society, study abroad, as well as both the Trojan Introduction and Trojan Leadership Programs. She served her university in positions such as Student Government Association Vice President of Academic Affairs (2016-2018) and was a Presidential STEM Scholar in the Honors Program. N’Dea was also initiated as a member of the Alpha Eta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Upon graduating, N’Dea accepted a full-time offer with IBM as a Technical Solution Specialist in the Summit Program. Through this position, N’Dea continues to give back to her beloved Alma Mater by aiding students in securing internships and full-time offers, preparing the next generation for greatness.
ENS Cody E. Mitchell
ENS Cody E. Mitchell is a 2018, summa cum laude, graduate from Virginia State University, VSU, with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. While attending VSU, he was initiated into the Alpha Phi (E) Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and was the Student Government Association President and Student Representative on the Board of Visitors, 2017-2018. ENS Mitchell is a lifetime member of Virginia State University’s Alumni Association and strong advocate to giving back to his Alma Mater. He is a member of the Virginia State University Powell Society and is a fiscal year 2019 and 2020 University Club Donor with VSU.
Upon graduation at VSU, ENS Mitchell reported to United States Coast Guard Officer Candidate School, OCS, in New London, Connecticut. He is currently stationed on USCGC KIMBALL, a 418ft National Security Cutter, homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a Deck Watch Officer and Law Enforcement Division Officer.
Other organizations of which ENS Mitchell is a member include Mt. Nebo #43 Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, Inc., Golden Key International Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society, National Society of Leadership and Success, Association of Naval Service Officers, and National Naval Officers Association.
ENS Cody E. Mitchell is a native of Douglassville, Pennsylvania and is the son of Brian and Stefani Mitchell.
Frednesha Sanders is a high performing Senior Consultant in Risk and Financial Advisory at Deloitte, and she travels around the country to help leading healthcare companies save money through revenue optimization strategies. She is an active member of the National Association of Black Accountants, and she served as the 2019 Ms. Charlotte, NC Corporate America. Frednesha is an Advisory Board Member of A LOTT of Sista Love Inc., a faith-based women’s empowerment group. Under this organization, she moderated Girlz at the Gate and started a mission-driven group at Virginia State University (VSU) where she encouraged others to walk and pray on campus at 5:30 am. The organization was featured on NBC12 news, promoted by VSU through a professional YouTube video, and recognized as the 2016 Student Organization of the Year by HBCU Digest.
Frednesha modeled in New York Fashion Week, was a debutante, served as Miss Virginia State University 1st Runner-up, and she aspires to serve as Miss USA. She recently won the People’s Choice Award and placed in the Top 10 for the Miss North Carolina USA pageant. Frednesha graduated from Virginia State University as the highest-ranking student in the Reginald F. Lewis College of Business, and she is a Harvard Business School SVMP Alumna. Frednesha resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoys mentoring college students, teaching others about finance, and traveling around the world.
Joshua Ruffin, a native of Wilson, NC, is a May 2019 graduate of Virginia State University with a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice. While attending VSU, Joshua served as Graduate Residence Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life & Housing, President of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society, President of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, and a First-Generation Mentor for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. After completing his studies at VSU, Joshua received the Outstanding Masters Student Award from the Southern Criminal Justice Association at the 2019 annual conference in Nashville, TN.
Joshua currently resides in Norfolk, VA where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Criminology & Criminal Justice (social inequality and public policy) at Old Dominion University. Also, he is employed as an Instructor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at ODU and is a member of the First-Generation Faculty Mentor Program. Aside from this, Joshua spends his time researching areas surrounding police-citizen encounters, corrections, re-entry, and juvenile crime prevention and presents new research, each year, at professional conferences including the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Southern Criminal Justice Association.
Upon graduating, Joshua hopes to be a full-time professor at a Historically Black College or University. In the future, Joshua hopes to start a scholarship fund at both Elizabeth City State University and Virginia State University for first-generation male students pursuing an undergraduate degree in the humanities and social sciences.
Joshua holds active memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Shai West is proud graduate of the Virginia State University class of 2017. Shai holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with an Endorsement in Spanish. While attending Virginia State University, she was a member of several clubs and organizations to include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Honors Program, The NAACP, Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Student Government Association. She served as Student Government Association President fall of 2016 through the spring of 2017. Her diligent and creative executive board created initiatives that remain today to include The Culture Tour, The Student Organization Office, the singing of The Negro Anthem during athletic game openings and more.
Upon graduating, Shai accepted an offer from Dominion Energy and currently works as a Project Designer. She is also the founder and owner of Shai West & Company, LLC - a life coaching organization whose purpose is to serve millennial college graduates in their efforts to build a better reality. The company’s areas of focus include financial literacy and independence, emotional intelligence and wellness, and career readiness and fulfillment. Shai is also a member of the VSU NoVa Alumni Association and serves as a VSU NoVa Chapter representative for the HBCU Alliance. In the future, Shai plans to create a scholarship for VSU students, write financial literacy children’s books, and become a real estate and business mogul. She one day hopes to open global-learning schools for African and Asian, and South American orphans.