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FSC Spotlight: Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month! We’re celebrating by featuring some of our amazing Black alumni and community members. Meet Messiah R. Gaymon, Sr. ’19, Dr. Veronica Henry ’77, Darrien Hunt ’21, and Dr. Patricia Hill Williams, and celebrate Black History Month by learning more about them and their time at FSC! Thank you to all that shared their stories.


Messiah Gaymon Black History Month

Messiah Gaymon '19

Meet Messiah R. Gaymon, Sr. ’19! Before coming to FSC, Messiah served in the United States Air Force, working as a KC-135 Flying Crew Chief and Founder of Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) Academy. After his retirement, he decided to further his education at Farmingdale State College as a student veteran and father of two. Quickly finding his place on campus, Messiah joined the Student Government Association (SGA) as a senator and was later unanimously elected SGA President. He worked to polish SGA’s image, creating a new logo, constitution and bylaws for the organization, establishing the House of Representatives ensuring equal representation, and establishing it as a non-profit organization.  

For his dedication and involvement on FSC’s campus, Messiah was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence along with the President's Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In 2019, he became an FSC alumnus, graduating with his degree in Science, Technology, and Society.

Today, Messiah serves as the Director of Residential Services for Life’s WORC, an agency that supports more than 2,000 people with intellectual disabilities and autism and their families in Queens, Manhattan, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Life's WORC provides at-home support, skills development and behavioral intervention, social recreational programs, and vocational training opportunities and other comprehensive services. 

When asked what Black History Month means to him, Messiah shared: "To me, Black History Month is a celebration of how far I've come in eradicating the shame around my identity, a time set aside to honor my ancestors and their hidden contributions, and a time of reflection on the work still to be done. Black History Month stands as a reminder to all Americans that though overlooked and underappreciated, the innovation, hard work, intellect, and courage of Black Americans laid the foundation for the nation we are today. Black History Month re-affirms the fact that I, a proud Black man, have no excuse to not impact my community, this nation, and ultimately the world."

Messiah, congratulations on all of your hard work and success, and thank you for sharing your story with us for Black History Month!


Veronica Henry Black History Month

Dr. Veronica Henry ’77

Meet Dr. Veronica Henry, a 1977 graduate of Farmingdale State College’s Nursing Program. After graduating from FSC, Dr. Henry earned her Ed.D. from the Teachers College, Columbia University, and completed postdoctoral studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her career at FSC, Dr. Henry served as a Professor of Nursing, Secretary and Chair of the Farmingdale Executive Committee, Dean of the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center, Chief Diversity Officer and Executive Assistant to the President, and member of the President’s Cabinet.

While at FSC, Dr. Henry was a champion for STEM Education, creating the STEM Diversity Roundtable and Summit. She has been honored for her work at the College and beyond, having been awarded the 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine, named a Suffolk County Woman of Distinction, and awarded the Educator of the Year award from the Long Island Black Educators Association.

Since retiring from FSC, Dr. Henry has continued to stay involved with the college and with education. She currently serves on our Farmingdale College Foundation Board as trustee. She is a member and sits on the Board of Directors for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, with which she holds a monthly mentoring group for K-12 STEAM and STEM students. She is also a member of the Eastern Shore (NY) chapter of Links, Inc., Partners of the Americas, LI Chapter., and serves as the DEI Committee Co-Chair for the Rotary Club of Amityville.

When asked what Black History Month means to her, Dr. Henry shared that it’s about “learning and celebrating who we are, and creating new pathways for future generations”. Dr. Henry certainly exemplifies that philosophy through her work, and through her service to FSC! Thank you, Dr. Henry, for helping us celebrate Black History Month with you!


Darrien Hunt Black History Month

Darrien Hunt '21

Meet Darrien Hunt ’21! Darrien graduated last May with his degree in Computer Programming and Information Systems, with Cum Laude honors. During his time at FSC, he participated in research with the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, was a member of the Student Government Association and the Black Student Union, and served on the Multicultural Committee, Campus Safety Committee, and DEI Advisory Council.

Darrien is also the founder of Farmingdale State College’s chapter of the NAACP! In recognition of his hard work and success, Darrien received the President’s Award for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, the Irene Luetje Poetry Award, the David Dicker Memorial Scholarship Award, and was the first ever recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

When asked what #BlackHistoryMonth means to him, Darrien shared: “Black History Month is one of the biggest platforms Black people have in the U.S. This month allows us to place concentrated efforts and attention to celebrating modern and historical Black excellence. With an opportunity to learn, share information, engage in positive social activity, and enforce unifying values, Black History Month is a powerful resource. While we might have a long way to go for extensive integration of our history, culture, and experiences into society in even more meaningful ways, Black history shows that progress will always be made, even if just steadily.

If my experience with advocacy and education at Farmingdale State College showed me anything, it was that there will always be reason for optimism and hope for change. Being a part of the establishment of the NAACP on campus, I recognize the shared similarities in value between this organization and Black History Month as an effective platform which I look forward to seeing students leverage.”

Today, Darrien is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Hampton University in Virginia. He continues to be involved at his new university, working with the Organization of Graduate Students and as a graduate assistant. He will soon be interning with Microsoft as a Software Engineering Intern.

Darrien, thank you for the work you have done to create positive change at FSC, and for helping us celebrate Black History Month with you!


pat William Black History Month

Dr. Patricia Hill Williams

Meet Dr. Patricia Hill Williams, a longtime member of the FSC community, serving FSC for 25 years in a variety of positions before retiring in 2004 as Vice President for External Affairs. Continuing her service to FSC, Dr. Williams was appointed to Farmingdale’s College Council in 2006, and was appointed Chair of the Council in 2013. Dr. Williams continues to serve our college as the College Council Chair today. 

Dr. Williams’ work within the SUNY system and love for education extends beyond her service to FSC. She earned a doctorate in Higher Education Administration at California Coast University, master’s degrees from both NYIT and Stony Brook University, a certificate in management from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and she is a graduate of SUNY Old Westbury. Dr. Williams is also a member of Long Island's Eastern Shore Chapter of The LINKS, Inc. and a Lifetime Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Theta Iota Omega Chapter.

Dr. Williams has been honored as a distinguished SUNY Alumna, and a Woman of Distinction by the New York State Senate. She is a member of the SUNY Council for University Advancement Hall of Fame and is listed in Who’s Who Among American Women. In 2019, she was elected president of SUNY ACT, the Association of Council Members and College Trustees. Commenting on her position as SUNY ACT President, she described SUNY as “one of the best public higher education systems on the global stage.”

Dr. Williams has served four U.S. Presidents on their President Advisory Boards and she is currently the main NGO Representative to the UN for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Thank you, Dr. Williams, for your service to Farmingdale State College and beyond, and for helping us celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth with you!


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The Office for Development and Alumni Engagement works closely with the Farmingdale College Foundation – raising and managing critical philanthropic dollars for the College, cultivating meaningful relationships with donors, corporate partners and community friends – and the Farmingdale Alumni Association, keeping our 100,000 alumni informed, engaged, proud, and supportive of the College, strengthening their lifelong connection to FSC students and each other.

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