SU Announces 2023 Alumni Association Awards
SALISBURY, MD---Six lifetime Sea Gulls making major contributions to their communities — in areas including young leaders, children, the arts and more — were lauded during the Salisbury University Alumni Association’s annual awards ceremony.
“The process to select these award recipients was no easy feat,” Dr. Lili Leonard ’09, M’11, alumni association president, told this year’s recipients. “You are sitting in this room today because someone, or, in many cases, multiple individuals, took the time to write extensive nominations on your behalf.
“They believed in your accomplishments so strongly, with such confidence, to assert that out of nearly 60,000 SU alumni, you are among the best of the best. They were right. It is our absolute honor to celebrate you.”
Winners were recognized in three categories: Young Alumni, Service to Society and Alumni Leadership.
Young Alumni Achievement Award
The Young Alumni Achievement Award honors SU graduates who have achieved high levels of success early within 10-15 years of earning their degrees, with a commitment to excellence in post-collegiate life and a significant or ongoing commitment to extraordinary work, research or volunteerism.
This year’s recipients included Matthew Anderson ’14, Emily Bucheimer ’14 and Jimmy Jenkins ’13.
Anderson has made a name for himself in New Jersey politics in the past three years, most notably starting the non-partisan political action committee Millennials for New Jersey, which raises up to $50,000 each year to support Millennial candidates. He also has been a chief of staff in the New Jersey State Legislature.
Currently, he serves as the business development director for the communications firm Development and co-chairs the non-profit Monmouth Conservation Foundation, working to preserve open space and natural habitat. He also is attending law school part time.
Bucheimer displayed leadership at an early age. After her father died suddenly when she was a freshman in high school, she persevered to become class president and pursue a scholarship to attend SU. As a Sea Gull, she served as risk management chair for the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, was a member of the French Society and volunteered at Deer’s Head Hospital Center while working on campus, maintaining Dean’s List status and graduating with honors in social work.
Since completing her M.S. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, she has advanced through the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners’ licensure levels to receive her supervision certificate, which allows her to help less experienced therapists achieve their own goals. Today, she is the director of clinical services for Vesta, Inc., a clinic providing mental health services to some 1,200 clients annually.
Jenkins began his directing career in 2013 at Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Tyler Perry Studios. He has written and directed several productions in the past decade, including his hit 2016 stage play Black Boy Blues. The next year, he produced his debut feature film, Sinners Wanted, which premiered on BET and TV One. He followed with his debut documentary, Basketball Country — In the Water, on Showtime in 2020.
Other projects have included his original stage play Poor Man Rich’s Soul in 2022. He currently is working on two new sports documentaries, scheduled to debut this year, and launching a new streaming service , Playwatch Kids, that aims to close the availability gap for diverse children’s content.
Service to Society Award
The Service to Society Award is presented to alumni demonstrating contributions of service made for the betterment of society in a professional or volunteer capacity. This year’s recipients were Lee Anderson ’87 and Andrew Fisher ’18.
Anderson got her start behind the camera working for local TV affiliates WMDT and WBOC, where she produced commercials and news. Today, she is the owner of Filmsters, a television and film production company with national credits including ABC, CBS, HBO, Lifetime and Netflix.
A staunch advocate for youth, she also runs Filmsters Academy, a youth summer camp through which she personally has provided more than 100 scholarships to underserved children. For the past 27 years, she also has served as active member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, teaching youth about film production. She writes letters of recommendation for a number of college applicants through the program and provides many with their first jobs.
Fisher, a management team member, head coach and unified partner for the St. Mary’s County, MD, Special Olympics, was instrumental in bringing back sports programs following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also is a member of the St. Mary’s County Black History Coalition, assisting in its goal to provide academic scholarships to students and broaden awareness of social growth issues in communities with roots tied to the county. For the past two years, he has served as the master of ceremonies for the organization’s Black History and Dinah K. Somerville Scholarship Celebration.
In addition, he is a core team member of STEM-ing, a program focused on introducing science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to middle school girls by providing them with an opportunity to interact with positive STEM role models. He is a participant in Leadership Southern Maryland, a pilot program introducing emerging leaders to new leadership concepts and affording them a chance to get a better feel for the region’s strengths and weaknesses. At SU, he also is president of the advisory board for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Alumni Leadership Award
The Alumni Leadership Award recognizes alumni who participate in the life of SU through personal involvement on leadership committees, association with the student body and engaging with fellow alumni, augmented by their enhancement to the University’s financial welfare. This year’s recipient was D. Bruce Rogers ’78.
A past chair of SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business Executive Advisory Committee, Rogers has been instrumental in the success of the school’s annual student Entrepreneurship Competitions and Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery entrepreneurship competition. He also has served on the SU Foundation, Inc., board of directors and has spent countless hours connecting students and alumni to influential business leaders throughout the Eastern Shore.
In addition to his dedication to SU, Rogers serves on a number of community boards and organizations, including the Chesapeake Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD, and The Gunston School in Centreville, MD.
Horticulture and Grounds Department Recognition
Beyond alumni, the association also honored SU’s Horticulture and Grounds Department for its role in preserving the campus’ beauty by maintaining its internationally accredited, 200-plus-acre arboretum. Many SU horticulture employees also are SU alumni, noted Jayme Block, SU associate vice president of University advancement.
“The Horticulture and Grounds Department staff continues to go above and beyond to meet the needs of our office and the campus community—from Alumni Homecoming and Family Weekend setup in the fall to making the Alumni House and adjacent Miller Alumni Garden look pristine for weddings and events,” Block said. “Their work to ensure our Flock Parties and other engagement opportunities are beautifully landscaped and functional are crucial to what we do.”
Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at www.salisbury.edu.