Past Award Winners
Dr. Valerie Dorsey Allen is the Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s African-American Resource Center (AARC). Dr. Allen is focused on addressing the needs and interests of the Penn community and on improving the quality of life for faculty, staff and students with a particular focus on those of African descent. Under her leadership, AARC coordinates the University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium which brings hundreds of people from across campus and the community together to commemorate and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. AARC also coordinates the Women of Color at Penn program which celebrates diversity and the contributions of women of color to the University and the Delaware Valley.
A 2010 graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) DSW Program. Her dissertation entitled Educational-Entertainment as an Intervention for Adolescents Exposed to Community Violence is published online at ProQuest and Scholarly Commons. She has written articles on the same topic for multiple peer reviewed journals. She also has a chapter in a text book entitled Police and the Unarmed Black Male Crisis. Additionally, she has been a lecturer at SP2 and at Rutgers University School of Social Work. She has been a field practice supervisor for Penn and Temple University Graduate Social Work students.
Dr. Allen serves as the President Emeritus of the National Association of Black Women in Higher Education. During her 5 year tenure as president, 2 signature programs (a recognition ceremony and a writing workshop), a National Honorary Council and a National President’s Recognition Award were established. There was also an increased social media presence including the development of a blog.
Dr. Allen recently completed the Philadelphia African American Leadership Development Forum presented by United Way of Greater Philadelphia and the Urban league. She serves as a mentor for other women of color and has developed and presented workshops on many topics including Violence Prevention/Interventions, Work-Life Balance, Racism, Social Change, and Sexual Harassment. Dr. Allen is a Center for Public Health Initiatives Fellow; an associate of the Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Coalition; and vice president of the Board of Trustees for the Alliance for Progress Charter School.
She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and resides in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia with her two talented children.
“Lift As We Climb…” Award
Michelle D. Ray Dorman has been a warrior in the sisterhood of ABWHE and for women everywhere for many years. Ms. Ray Dorman began her ABWHE journey in 1995 with ABWHE’s education exploration to Morocco. ABWHE offered Michelle her first taste of the Motherland and an amazing opportunity to be with remarkable sisters from two continents, which sparked her unwavering love for ABWHE. Since that life affirming introduction, Michelle has actively promoted and supported ABWHE. Michelle was instrumental in the visioning and implementation of the ABWHE Philadelphia revitalization and served as President from 2008 – 2011. She offered her time, talents, and treasures in many positions and for the enhancement of ABHWE.
Ms. Ray Dorman also worked very closely with the ABWHE National Board serving as Vice President for two terms and as National Membership Chair for many years. ABWHE has been a blessing to Michelle who credits a great deal of her professional and personal success to the amazing and numerous sisters she has had the privilege to embrace.
Michelle serves as the Dean of the Senior Class, Director of Case Management and the Director of the Diversity Peer Advisor Program at Swarthmore College. In 2018, Ms. Ray Dorman, at the request of the College President, served as the Interim Title IX Coordinator. Michelle also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Community College of Philadelphia, teaching the art of grant writing. Michelle is a long-time member of the Women Against the Abuse, Inc. Board of Directors and is a Charter member of RAD Systems International Self Defense Instructor Hall of Fame and a well-respected national award-winning certified self-defense instructor.
Michelle is a child of the most-high GOD and values all her blessings greatly! She is honored to be the daughter of Ken & Sarah Ray, wife of Lawrence “Tony” Dorman and to have an incredible family and endearing friends. Michelle believes in lifting others as she was so graciously lifted and is truly engaged in this way of life in all her endeavors, and especially for ABWHE sisters.
Colleen Winn is a Staff Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania's African American Resource Center. She specializes in program development and event planning, along with running the front office. Colleen brings to her position at the African-American Resource Center (AARC) a spirit of professionalism, enthusiasm, passion, and teamwork. She epitomizes the spirit of AARC whose mission is centered on serving the Penn community. Colleen is AARC's link for faculty, staff, students, campus organizations, and community partners. While in this position, she coordinates and executes the Women of Color at Penn "Noontime Network Lunch Series" and the annual "Queen's Tea,” co-chairs the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Executive Planning Committee, and is past chair of the programs committee for the Women of Color at Penn Annual Awards Luncheon.
Colleen has over two decades of counseling, program planning, and training development experience. She holds a B.S. in Social Rehabilitation/Social Service from Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Texas) and a Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Colleen is a board member for the Center of Aids Research (CFAR), a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and President of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education, (ABWHE), Philadelphia chapter.