Alumni Stories

Norfolk State alumni are passionate and driven leaders, prompting worldwide change in industries such as business, public policy, healthcare and the arts. The stories below show the impact of an education at NSU. Read about Spartans making their mark within their communities and abroad. 


Thej Tumkur '15


Alumnus Wins Research Slam Competition

Thej Tumkur (Ph.D. ’15) won first place in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 2019 Postdoc Research Slam! Tumkur earned his doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from Norfolk State. Dr. Mikhail Noginov served as his adviser. Dr. Tumkur beat 12 competitors for the first-place win, which has a cash prize of $4,000.


The research slam, in its fourth year at the laboratory located in Livermore, California, is designed to help postdocs improve their science communication and presentation skills, according to a news release. Participants give a three-minute, three-slide research presentation that is judged on intellectual significance, individual contribution to the project, clarity, delivery, visuals and engagement. Each speaker walks on stage to music of their choice. 


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Heather Wilson

Alumna Named 2019 Top 40 Under 40

I am executive director and founder of Kennedy’s Angel Gowns, a nonprofit that provides handcrafted burial Angel Gowns made from donated wedding gowns to bereaved families who have suffered the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death. Kennedy’s Angel Gowns also provides education and raises awareness to the silence that often surrounds infertility, miscarriage, early neonatal loss, still birth and infant loss. 


Throughout my career, I have counseled children, adolescents, adults and families. In addition to my own personal loss and professional training working with various populations, I also have experience working with individuals who have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse, depression, self-harming behaviors, anger, anxiety, trauma, grief and relationship issues.





Cody Ellis

Ellis Named Head Baseball Coach at Patrick Henry Community College

Cody Ellis has been hired as Patrick Henry Community College’s (PHCC) new head baseball coach, college athletic officials said Wednesday. Ellis replaces Jordan Basile, who resigned to take a coaching position closer to his home in Jamestown, New York. Ellis takes over the reins of the Patriots’ National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 10 program in August.





Wendy Morton-Huddleston

Alumna Appointed National President-Elect of the Association of Government Accountants

The Association of Government Accountants (AGA), the member organization for public sector financial management professionals, has elected Grant Thornton Principal Wendy Morton-Huddleston, CGFM, PMP, to the role of national president-elect. Morton-Huddleston takes office on the AGA National Governing Board for a two-year term, first as national president-elect, effective July 1, 2019, and then as national president, July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. In her leadership roles, she will represent AGA’s 96 chapters and more than 14,250 members across the United States. 





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