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KU Black Alumni Network 2023 Emerging Leaders

Young alumni earn recognition.

by Kansas Alumni staff
Emerging Leaders were honored by the KU Black Alumni Network on Oct. 26 at the Jayhawk Welcome Center.

Seven Jayhawks who have made impressive strides early in their careers also were honored Oct. 26 by the KU Black Alumni Network. This is the second group to be recognized as Emerging Leaders, following the inaugural class in 2021.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Steven Johnson Jr.
  • Olivia Jones
  • Chanté Martin
  • Whitney Morgan
  • Stanton Parker II
  • Keon Stowers
  • Derrick Williams

Steven Johnson Jr.

Johnson, EdD’22, currently serves as the interim director of KU’s Student Involvement & Leadership Center and the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, roles he has added to his responsibilities in the School of Business, where he is assistant dean of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. He’s also involved in the American College Personnel Association as past chair of the Pan African Network. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at Iowa State University and his master’s in student affairs administration at Michigan State University before completing his KU doctorate in educational leadership and policy.

Olivia Jones

Jones, c’22, a second-year doctoral student in KU’s counseling psychology program, works as a graduate research assistant for the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project in Kansas City. As an undergraduate, she was a Ronald F. McNair Scholar, and she received an Undergraduate Research Award for her work titled “Cross-Cultural Code-Switching: Its Relationship to Black Americans’ Adaptability and Identity.” She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and applied behavioral science. As a member of the Applied Masculinities and Positive Psychology lab, she hopes to pursue research that uses positive psychology principles to create a more inclusive and accessible therapy culture for marginalized people, specifically for Black men.

Chanté Martin

Martin, g’18, directs strategic partnerships for Polco, a company focused on elevating the voice of community members in government decision-making. She grew up in Topeka and rural Arizona and now lives in Phoenix. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Washburn University before completing her KU master’s in public administration. She is the incoming president of the Kansas University City Managers and Trainees Alumni Organization, and she previously worked in local governments in Minnesota and Texas.

Whitney Morgan

Morgan, a’11, g’13, works for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, where he is the civil rights program manager and the liaison to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. He previously served as a transportation planner at the Mid-America Regional Council. He is the immediate past president of the Kansas City chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, and he received the 2020 Rev. Jerry Moore President’s Leadership Award. He earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture and his master’s degree in urban planning.

Stanton Parker II

Parker, b’12, is a certified information systems auditor and director of internal audit for MacroSource. In addition to his full-time role, he provides accounting services to entrepreneurs and other business owners. A Kansas City, Kansas, native, he is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and served in leadership roles for the organization as a student and an alumnus, including undergraduate grand board member and undergraduate chapter adviser.

Keon Stowers

Stowers, c’15, is an associate development director for KU Endowment, where he assists the KU Alumni Association in cultivating major gifts, including the commitments that funded the $29.5 million Jayhawk Welcome Center and Adams Alumni Center renovation. He previously worked for the Association as assistant director of student programs, helping the Student Alumni Network become the largest organization of its kind in the Big 12. He began his career with KU Admissions, recruiting first-generation students and those from underrepresented groups. As a student-athlete, he led the Kansas football team as captain during the 2013 and ’14 seasons before completing his sociology degree. He serves on the board for K-Club and is the finance and fundraising chair for the Black Alumni Network. In addition, he is a board member of Special Olympics Kansas and the American Red Cross Lawrence chapter.

Derrick Williams

Williams, b’17, is a wealth manager and financial planner for Creative Planning in New Orleans. He recently obtained his certified financial planner designation; only 1.9% of these professionals are Black. As a KU student, he was a Multicultural Scholar, and he tutored student-athletes. After earning his business degree in marketing and finance, he began his career at Renaissance Financial before moving to Morgan Stanley and U.S. Bank. He now offers guidance on various financial topics through a monthly broadcast segment on WWL-TV in New Orleans, and he is involved in Pathway Education, providing financial education for underrepresented communities. He is treasurer of the Black Sports Professionals New Orleans chapter.

Top photo by Dan Storey

Issue 4, 2023


Alumni honors, Black Alumni Network, KU Alumni Association
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