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Gezai Berhane Black Student Community Impact Award

Congratulations to RACHEL KINDRED '22, the first recipient of this award!

The Black Student Center, Black Student Union, Black Faculty & Staff Association, and the Dean of Students office are pleased to announce the inaugural process for the Gezai Berhane Black Student Community Impact Award. This award has been created and named in honor of the tremendous impact Gezai Berhane has made on the Black student community at CSUSM. This award will be given to a selected student annually each Spring semester. The winner will be presented at the annual Sankofa Recognition Ceremonty and the recipient's name will be on a perpetual plaque displayed in the Black Student Center.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN! Please visit to access the nomination page! Nominations are due by March 31, 2022.

Award Nomination Criteria:
- Student has demonstrated an intangible quality that uplifts the Black Student community at CSUSM
- Student is engaged in various leadership and/or civic activities at CSUSM that positively impact the Black Student community at CSUSM
- Student has served as a role model at CSUSM and within their community
- Student is in good disciplinary standing with the university
- Student is graduating in the upcoming Spring or Summer terms

If you are nominating a student, please notify them. The selection committee will request information from them to complete the nomination (including the submission of a current resume).

If you are a student self-nominating, you must submit a letter of recommendation from a member of the CSUSM community in support of your nomination and your current resume.

The letter and resume must be received by 5pm on March 31, 2022 at

Award Timeline:
March 31, 2022 - Deadline to submit nominations
April 15, 2022 - Deadline for committee to select the awardee
Late April (2022 Sankofa Reception) - Student receives award

Questions? Contact a member of the award committee. 

Lavonne Davis, Student Rep (Black Student Center)
Saraya McClean, Student Rep (Black Student Union)
John Rawlins III, Director of the Black Student Center
Jennie Ruiz, Associate Dean of Students
Rochelle Smarr, Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement