GMercyU’s Alumni Association Awards an Undergraduate and Graduate Student

Alumni Association AwardsGwynedd Mercy University’s Alumni Association is presenting two students, one undergraduate and one graduate, with an award at the 2024 Honors Convocation Ceremony on Friday, May 17.

Ben Chukwu

As a non-traditional student, Ben Chukwu has performed phenomenally academically, earning a 4.0 GPA while raising his three children with his wife.

Ben has shown everlasting commitment to his education and his peers’ success by unofficially tutoring fellow Nursing students, attending open Zoom meetings to share his methods of success, and serving as an advocate for his Nursing colleagues. In both his Junior and Senior years, Ben was nominated and selected to hold the leadership of student representative within the Nursing program. He also served as one of the Nursing ambassadors present for Governor Shapiro’s visit in March 2023.

Off-campus, Ben's selflessness shines through as he continues his service to others. He assists his disabled neighbor almost daily, whether helping with moving, transporting, or bathing. His actions reflect his genuine desire to impact the lives of those around him positively.

Looking ahead, Ben's future plans are nothing short of inspiring. After graduating, he aspires to work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), dedicating himself to the care of critically ill patients. Furthermore, he envisions returning to his hometown in Nigeria, to establish a healthcare facility focusing on preventative care, such as immunizations, vaccinations, hypertension prevention, and Type 2 diabetes prevention. Also, Ben envisions partnering with a non-government organization to promote access to quality education for young women and children, including primary, secondary, and vocational education and provide scholarships, school supplies, and other support to ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn and succeed. His vision for the future is a beacon of hope for the healthcare industry.

Tamela Harris

Tamela Harris is currently the Senior Director of Academic Leadership for the Legacy Traditional School Vertex, operating charter schools in Arizona, Texas, and Nevada. In her role, Tamela supervises Arizona Deputy Superintendents and Texas and Nevada Superintendents. She primarily creates governing policy, oversees federal programs and grants, provides quality control over budgeting, staffing, and instructional programming, and works on district improvement plans.

Tamela has worked her way up the ladder in charter schools from teacher, principal, director, and founding president/CEO within southwestern United States.

Tamela places great emphasis and focus on student achievement. Her dissertation research addressed math achievement disparities amongst low socioeconomic groups and was titled “Exploring Math Outcomes and Teacher Instructional Approaches for Students from Low SES Backgrounds: A Mixed Methods Study.”

She plans to use her new degree to become a traditional school superintendent.