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18th Annual WellsLink Transitions Ceremony and Keynote Speaker: Nic Stone

Join us for the 18th Annual WellsLink Transitions Ceremony featuring this year’s keynote speaker, Nic Stone. A book signing and reception will follow the ceremony. WellsLink Leadership Program The WellsLink Leadership Program is a nationally recognized academic excellence and leadership program for first-year students of color. Through structured academic, social and cultural enrichment activities, WellsLink scholars develop the leadership capital necessary for exceptional success at Syracuse University and beyond. The Transitions Ceremony is a formal ceremony honoring WellsLink Scholars from the previous year who have successfully transitioned to their second-year at Syracuse University. Keynote Speaker Nic Stone Stone’s work has attracted national attention—shooting to the top of bestseller lists, chosen as a William C. Morris Award Finalist, and appearing twice on NPR’s Best Books of the Year list. She is one of six contributors to the multi-authored Blackout, which went to a 12 house auction across the United States. Stone was inspired to write at a young age—left wanting by the non-existence of people who looked like her in the books that she read. The lives of the few Black characters she encountered either served as sidekicks or plot devices, but failed to show their full complexity or humanity. Today, she can’t help wondering how different the world would be if this generation had grown up reading about Black people just being human. Racism has always been about dehumanization, Stone says. “The more we see Black people living—loving and doing, and being and feeling…solving mysteries and being the heroes—the more we come to recognize our shared humanity.” Stone balances messages of economic and racial hardship with levity—offering humor, hope and excitement alongside crucial lessons about equity. In addition to her New York Times bestselling books Dear Martin, which uses the lessons of Dr. King to tell a modern story of social justice for a new generation, and Dear Justyce, Stone is the author of Odd One Out, chosen as a Rainbow Book List Top 10 selection; Jackpot—a searing look at economic inequality; and Clean Getaway, a road-trip through race relations past and present. Her books not only unpack the effects of systemic racism and implicit bias; they also examine how sharing our stories can build the foundations necessary for dismantling oppression. Most importantly, she holds a mirror up to the audiences who need it most. Called  “an unforgettable tour de force of social-justice and activist literature,” shared Booklist, starred review.  Recently, she crafted a middle-grade series about Shuri, the beloved character from Marvel’s blockbuster hit Black Panther, and her latest book Fast Pitch—described as “a Black girl retelling of The Sandlot”—is slated for release in August of this year. Like her written work, Stone’s talks are charismatic and eye-opening, exploring how we can create a world where we are all free to be fully human.

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One University Awards Ceremony

The One University Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 22, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel, with a reception to follow in the Heroy Geology Building lobby. One University Awards is a celebration of excellence by members of the Syracuse University community in academics, scholarship, creative work and dedicated service. Recipients of the 2021-22 One University Awards will be announced on Friday, April 22, 2022. Awards announced throughout the day will include the Student-Athlete Awards; Chancellor’s Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship; Emeriti Faculty; Meredith Professor Awards; Teaching Recognition Awards; Years of Service; Seinfeld Scholar Awards; Diversity and Inclusion Award; Tolley Medal; Chancellor’s Forever Orange Award; and the Chancellor’s Citation Awards.

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