2018-19 Alumni Citations Winners
October 7, 2019 (originally published on October 1, 2019)
The Alumni Citations, started in 2018, honor alumni for their accomplishments and service. The awards are intended to respond to timely events in a person’s life. Given these criteria, it is fitting indeed that the first-ever Alumni Citations were given to Rev. Sandhya Jha, MDiv'05, MPP'05, and Rev. Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens, MDiv'03.
As director of the Oakland Peace Center and the director of Interfaith Programs for the East Bay Housing Organizations, Sandhya Jha is the author of multiple works, most recently Transforming Communities: How People Like You are Healing Their Communities. She has evidenced a thorough commitment to intellectual curiosity and excellence, interdisciplinary research and teaching, and living in service to her community. She serves as an anti-racism/anti-oppression trainer, and runs a podcast, Hope from the Hood, available on iTunes. She has also written Room at the Table, a history of people of color in The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination, and Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines.
Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens served as Dean of Students in the Divinity School from 2005 to 2018, where she was responsible for administration and development of academic policy, student advising, student academic progress, admisisons and financial aid, recruiting, and PhD student professionalization and placement. She was recently elected the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), making her the first woman of color to lead a mainline Protestant denomination. The Indianapolis-based denomination, which grew out of movements for Christian unity in 1832, has 600,000 members in the United States and Canada. She has shown exceptional service as minister, leading her previous congregation of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL through a number of justice-oriented initiatives.
Both Terri and Sandhya are amazing examples of the kind of work that the Alumni Citations were created to honor. We are fortunate to call them our alumni and eager to see what they will do next.