Fayetteville State University Figures Prominently in Fayetteville Observer’s 2023 40 Under 40 List

University alumni, faculty and staff comprise 40% of the 2023 Honorees
Date: June 14, 2023

Fayetteville Observer 40-under-40 2023

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., (June 14, 2023) – Fayetteville State University (FSU) alumni, faculty and staff comprise 40% of The Fayetteville Observer’s 2023 Class of 40 Under 40. Of the nearly 300 nominations received, 16 FSU alumni, faculty and staff members were among the 40 honorees.

The Fayetteville Observer has celebrated the community’s best and brightest young professionals through the 40 Under 40 award for 13 years. The list is designed to spotlight those who excel in their professional roles and serve their communities.

To be considered, nominees had to live or work in Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore, Robeson, Sampson or Scotland counties and be younger than 40 as of June 1, 2023. 

“It is extremely gratifying to see Fayetteville State alumni, faculty, leaders and staff recognized for their incredible talent, drive and contributions to our community,” said FSU Chancellor Darrell T. Allison, J.D. “We aim to support and prepare our students for rewarding and fulfilling careers after college; these are just a few of the many amazing people of FSU who are making a difference wherever they are.”

The University will host the 2023 Fayetteville Observer 40 Under 40 celebration on Tuesday, July 18th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Rudolph Jones Student Center on the FSU campus.

The Fayetteville Observer noted that this year’s honorees come from a variety of professions, including education, law, health, real estate, the arts and the nonprofit sector. One thing they all have in common, however, is success in their fields and a passion and commitment to serving something beyond themselves.   

FSU alumni/faculty/leaders/staff included in the 2023 list are:

  • Michelle E. Bates holds bachelor’s and M.S.W. degrees from FSU. She is the field education director for FSU’s Master of Social Work program.
  • Karen Elizabeth Bussey is deputy chief of staff and secretary to the university at FSU.
  • Elizabeth Victoria Caldwell holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in social work, mental health and substance abuse from FSU. She is a practice owner, executive clinical director and licensed psychotherapist.
  • Tiffany D. Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in education and social science from FSU. She is a youth counselor technician/certified driver for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the owner of Elite Steps.
  • Qu'Derrick R. Covington holds a bachelor’s degree from FSU. He is the founder and executive director of the Tulsa Initiative.
  • Manika N. Greene holds a bachelor’s degree from FSU. She is a program support assistant at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She is married to Travis Greene.
  • Travis Greene holds a bachelor’s degree from FSU. He is an assistant principal at Seventy-First High School. He is married to Manika Greene.
  • Jasmine Harris holds a bachelor’s degree from FSU. She is the family services program manager at the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County.
  • Bryan D. Johnson holds a master’s degree from FSU. He is an educator with the Department of Defense Education Activity.
  • Tyson Johnson holds an M.A. in school administration from FSU and is currently a doctoral candidate for her Ed.D. at the university. She is the principal at Reid Ross Classical Middle and High schools.
  • Shameka R. Joyner holds a B.A. in English language and literature and M.A. in secondary education from FSU. She is an assistant principal at Pine Forest Middle School.
  • Labecca Lesane holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in sociology from FSU. She is the CEO, owner and founder of Leaders and Achievers NC.
  • Amy Love holds an M.S.W. from FSU. She is a licensed clinical social worker and the CEO of Premeditated Prosperity Coaching.
  • Tercel D. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from FSU. He is the CEO of TDW Enterprises.
  • Adrian T. Williams holds a B.S. in psychology from FSU and is currently enrolled in its Ed.D. program. He is an academic support specialist at the university.
  • Matthew John Wynne holds a B.S. in social sciences education, a Master’s in special education, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, all from FSU. He is the Education in Residence Program coordinator for the United States Holocaust Museum.

This year’s nominees were considered by a panel of judges including Beth Hutson, Fayetteville Observer news director, and Myron Pitts, Fayetteville Observer opinion editor. Two judges from FSU were Wesley Fountain, vice chancellor for external and military affairs, and Jeffery Womble, university ombuds.  

About Fayetteville State University

Founded in 1867, Fayetteville State University is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina System and the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state. FSU is a historically black university offering degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. With nearly 7,000 students, Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in the nation. To learn more about Fayetteville State University, visit www.uncfsu.edu.

  • Tags:
  • News