2010 Award Winners

Xavier University's Thailer Buari, 21, a junior finance major from Columbus, OH (43227) is the recipient of the 2010 Antonio Johnson Scholarship. The scholarship was announced at the Dare to Dream, Strive to Succeed 34th annual Antonio Johnson Scholarship Banquet held April 16 at the University. Buari will receive a full year of tuition, room and board and a book stipend. The other finalists for 2010 were: Michele Brockington, Alexis Ponder and Amanda Tooley.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Anthony Anderson. Anderson, an alumnus of Xavier, is a music producer and manager, educator, researcher, and PhD candidate at the University of Delaware in Newark. He is credited with being one of the foremost thinkers and researchers on Hip-Hop Pedagogy, an educational theory that involves exploring the educational and entrepreneurial possibilities of Hip-Hop culture. Anderson believes that he is just getting started in his efforts to change the world through music and is ecstatic to see the change.

Buari, the son of Mr. Shamisdeen and Mrs. Teari Buari, is very involved on campus. He is involved in United4Change XU, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Xavier African Students Association, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Gentlemen Organized for Achievement and Leadership (G.O.A.L.).

Nursing major Alexis Ponder of Dayton was the runner-up for this year's award. She will receive a $10,000 scholarship from Macy's Credit and Customer Services.

Other awards presented were:

  • Outstanding Freshman Award: Roderick Curry of Westland, MI (48186) is majoring in electronic media.
  • Outstanding Sophomore Award: Arzell West-Estell of Toledo (43607) is majoring in chemical science with a minor in natural sciences.
  • Outstanding Senior Award: Leon Hampton of New York (10030) is a criminal justice major.
  • Antonio Johnson Leadership Award: Aaron Marble of Cincinnati (45207) is a senior majoring in human resources with a theology minor.
  • Outstanding Service Award: Elise Harris of Perrysburg, OH (43551) is a senior majoring in psychology.
  • Benjamin J. Allen Alumni Award: Vonnya Thomas of Cincinnati (45231), a 2004 graduate of Xavier, is the university cashier.

The Antonio Johnson scholarship is given annually to an African-American junior demonstrating academic excellence, outstanding leadership, involvement and service. It covers one year's tuition, including book stipend and room and board. It is given in memory of an African-American student who pioneered social change and justice at Xavier. Johnson, who died at age 22 while a Xavier student, organized activities for Black Awareness Month in February 1976, but died later that year. He was majoring in urban studies and was president of the Black Student Association.