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Dodor Receives 2022 Witherspoon Award

Two-time Nubian Message editor honored at 2022 Ebony Harlem Awards

Elikem Dodor

By Patrick Neal

Two-time Nubian Message Editor-In-Chief Elikem Dodor received the 2022 Augustus Witherspoon Distinguished Person Award at the 2022 Ebony Harlem Awards ceremony held April 24.

Augustus McIver Witherspoon received his Ph.D. from NC State in 1971, becoming only the second Black student to receive a doctorate from the university. He became an instructor upon graduation and would eventually become the first Black teacher in university history to achieve the ranking of professor. The Witherspoon Student Center — which is home to the Nubian Message today — is named in his honor, and was the first building on NC State’s campus to be named after a Black person.

The Witherspoon Distinguished Person Award honors students who support and advocate for the Black community through both word and deed. Honorees demonstrate overall excellence in character, leadership skills, scholarship and advocacy.

Dodor first served as editor-in-chief of the Nubian Message for the 2020-21 academic year and returned to that role this semester. As editor, Dodor brought a new focus on self-expression to the Nubian, most notably with her “Elikem’s Corner” poetry feature. 

“I’ve been reading Elikem’s honesty, vulnerability and bravery in the Nubian Message for the past year, and it is everything this award describes,” one nominator wrote. “Elikem leads the community by sharing herself and using it as a catalyst for change. Her character is what I hope to see in many of us.”

Dodor was awarded the Literary Talent Award at last year’s Ebony Harlem Awards and was able to perform an original poem entitled “Black Boxes” at this year’s awards ceremony. 

Dodor, who will graduate in May with a degree in science, technology and society (STS), has served as vice president, social media chair and co-founder of the National Society of Black Physicists’ NC State Chapter; a mentor and office assistant in the Women in Science and Engineering Village; economic development chair for the Mu Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; special events chair for the National Pan-Hellenic Council; historian for African Student Union; and co-captain of Botewa, NC State’s African dance team.

The Witherspoon Distinguished Person Award is not the only accolade Dodor earned in her final undergraduate semester at NC State. She also received a senior award and the student advocacy award at the College of Sciences’ Diversity Senior Banquet held April 23.