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Eastern Alumnus Ryan Davis Keynote Speaker at MLK Awards

Written by Danielle Couture

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University Alumnus Ryan J. Davis will serve as keynote speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library.
Davis graduated from Eastern in 2003 with a B.S. in Business Administration. He is now the senior program manager for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, which was designed to increase the number of students of color who earn postsecondary degrees.

Prior to joining the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Davis accumulated almost a decade of experience as a teacher, higher education administrator, and education policy researcher. Davis has authored or co-authored more than 25 publications, including reports featured in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" and "Inside Higher Ed." Davis' research on student success among males of color earned him and his colleagues the "Outstanding Research Award" by the American College Personnel Association's Standing Committee for Men.

Davis also has been the recipient of such accolades as 93.9 WKYS' "Top 30 Under 30" in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. He was named a "TRIO Achiever" by the Connecticut Association for Educational Opportunity Programs, a Graduate Fellow at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, a Fellow at the Association for the Study of Higher Education's Institute for Critical Policy Research and is a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Davis was presented with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award in 2003.

Recipients of the awards for 2014 are Alycia Bright Holland, lecturer of performing arts; Biology major Yollaine Kaja; and Rose Marie Hernández, family liaison at Windham Middle School and coordinator of the Puentes al Futuro/Bridges to the Future program.

The awards are open free and open to the public. For any information, please call Kemesha Wilmot at (860) 465-4421 or email

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