Vanderbilt Magazine

Five Honored with 2020 Alumni Association Awards

The Vanderbilt Alumni Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce its 2020 alumni award recipients.

“It is an honor to celebrate these alumni who are leaders in their professions and in their communities,” says Jodie Leeka Kim, BE’10, ME’11, awards committee chair for the Alumni Association Board. “They are shining examples of the impact of the Vanderbilt experience.”

A dedicated volunteer leader, Tamara Baynham, BE’93, receives the Alumni Volunteer Award. She has served as president of the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and on the School of Engineering Board of Visitors. She also has volunteered for Reunion, Commodore Recruitment Programs, and as a VUconnect career adviser.

The Young Alumni Professional Achievement Award is presented to Blake Hall, BS’04. Hall received the Bronze Star twice during four years of service with the U.S. Army and then became co-founder and CEO of He holds two patents related to online credential authentication and has been recognized in several publications for his success as an entrepreneur.

Monique Nelson-Nwachuku, BS’96, chair and CEO of multicultural marketing agency UWG, receives the Alumni Professional Achievement Award. A marketing and advertising industry thought leader, she also has been honored for her work to improve the lives of others by United Way of New York’s Women’s Leadership Council with its Power to Make a Difference Award.

The Rev. Becca Stevens, MDiv’90, a speaker, social entrepreneur, author, priest, and founder of eight justice enterprises, including Thistle Farms, for which she also serves as president, receives the Alumni Public Service Award. Stevens has been featured for her global social impact on PBS NewsHour, NBC’s Today show, CNN and ABC World News, and has been named a CNN Hero and White House Champion of Change.

The Young Alumni Volunteer Award recognizes Washington, D.C., Vanderbilt Chapter President Teresa Temkin, BA’11. Having also served in leadership positions with the Miami and Wisconsin chapters, she recruits undergraduate students through the Commodore Recruitment Programs and is helping to create a Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic and Latinx Alumni.