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Workshop to Focus on Describing 'The Juniata Difference

(Posted October 1, 2012)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Four Juniata College alumni from graduating classes spanning five decades will return to campus to reflect, remember and instruct current students on "The Difference Juniata Makes." as part of a Beyond Tolerance workshop at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11, in Sill Boardroom in the von Liebig Center for Science.

The workshop will focus on the personal reminiscences and memories of Harriet Michel, a 1965 graduate who participated in Juniata's civil rights activism in 1965; David Corman, a 1977 graduate who is currently a Washington, D.C.-based management consultant, Marissa Gunn, a 2004 graduate and an attorney at the Children's Law Center in Washington, D.C, and Brenton Mitchell, a 2006 graduate and a facilitation coach at Penn State University. Luke Thompson, a Juniata College senior from Newtown, Pa., will moderate the panel.

Michel, retired president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the keynote speaker at Juniata's 2010 Commencement, was one of a group of Juniata students to travel to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 as part of a countrywide effort to bring attention to the civil rights abuses that were brought to national attention by "Bloody Sunday," an attack on peaceful marchers on Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge. During one of these events, policemen attacked the demonstrators, including some of the Juniata students. A local photographer took photos of Richardson tending to a bloodied Galway Kinnell, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who was serving as a Juniata artist-in-residence in 1965. This photo and several others were featured in a photo spread in Life magazine.

Michel led the National Minority Supplier Development Council from 1988 until her retirement in 2011. Before signing on with the council, Michel was president and chief executive officer of the New York Urban League from 1983 to 1988, where she was responsible for services provided to more than 70,000 New Yorkers through more than 20 programs focused in education, employment, housing and health and social services.

She has been honored by numerous awards, among them the 2006 "50 Most Powerful Women in Business," by Black Enterprise magazine and a 2005 induction into the Minority Business Hall of Fame.

David Corman specializes in relationship management and project management since establishing his consultancy in 2011. Previously he worked at ICF Macro, as a senior manager, and Circle Solutions Inc., as director of clearinghouse operations. He worked as health communications manager at Constella Group from 1999 to 2008 and at Spherix Inc., as director of quality of services and project manager from 1994 to 1999.

He earned a bachelor's degree in communication from Juniata and went on to earn a master's degree in 1984 in public administration.

He was president of the Juniata College Alumni Association from 2008 to 2009 and served on the college's Alumni Council from 2004 to 2010. In addition, he also has been a member of the JC-DC Club since 2004. He also is a member of the American Society on Aging.

Marissa Gunn has been a staff attorney at the Children's Law Center, in Washington, D.C., since 2009. Before earning her law degree, Dunn worked as a law clerk for National Partnership for Women and Families from 2007 to 2008.

In 2005, Gunn worked for a year as an Americorps volunteer as a case manager for Bread for the City, a non-profit social services organization. She also worked as a policy analyst with the National Council of Nonprofits.

She earned a bachelor's degree from Juniata in sociology and politics and philosophy and went on to earn a law degree from Howard University School of Law in 2009.

Brenton Mitchell has been since 2010 a facilitation coach for the World in Conversation, where he trains and manages almost two dozen discussion facilitators who conduct discussions at Penn State University colleges and departments.

He also has worked as a sales associate at Appalachian Outdoors since 2010. After graduation from Juniata, Mitchell worked on campus as a residence director and an Americorps volunteer in New Orleans and Habitat for Humanity in southern California.

He earned a bachelor's degree in peace and conflict studies and communication.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.