Black History Month Alumni Spotlight

In celebration of Black History Month, we wanted to highlight some of Binghamton University’s Black alumni who are doing exceptional work! Binghamton’s alumni are here for you to connect and network with, always eager to offer career advice because, at one point in time, they were in your shoes. Here are some highly accomplished Black alumni who can help you gain insight on your career!

Maija N. Williams

Headshot of Maija N. Williams

Maija N. Williams is currently the Chief Operating Officer at the Rockefeller University Hospital and Administrative Director at The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (RUCCTS). She has spent 20 years in healthcare management as a professional non-profit healthcare administrator.

Williams holds a B.A. in Sociology from Binghamton University and a Masters of Public Health from New York University, as well as certifications in Healthcare Executive Management and Diversity and Inclusion from the University of California, Los Angeles and Cornell University, respectively.

Heavily involved at a leadership level in numerous public health organizations including the Healthcare Leaders of New York, National Association of Health Services Executives, and the American Public Health Association, she is slated to receive the 2023 Young Gifted & Black Businesswoman of the Year Healthcare Management & Administration.

A piece of advice you would give to current Binghamton students:

My advice to students would be to follow your own path. Don’t allow someone else’s goals for you to predict and set your course. Use your time at Binghamton to discover what your true talents and interests are, and use those discoveries as a building block for shaping your future self. Allow space for creativity and exploration.

Reginald Gardner

Since beginning their time at Binghamton University Reginald Gardner has been heavily involved in student affairs and public service, working across the fields of First Year Experience, Housing, and Libraries. Gardner received a B.A. in Political Science and went on to complete a dual Masters of Public Administration and Student Affairs Administration, as well as a Certificate in Community College Teaching. They are currently working with the Graduate Division and Dean of The University of California at Irvine as the Associated Graduate Student President and a Diversity Ambassador, while also pursuing a Ph.D. in Informatics.

Headshot of Reginald Gardner

Gardner grew up in New York City and developed an interest in public administration and government while at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. After transferring to Binghamton University to finish their B.A. in Political Science with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa, they began volunteering with Alpha Phi Omega, a service-based fraternity. Later while pursuing their dual masters degree, they worked overnight at the library and became engrossed in the literature about games and play. This inspired their pursuit of a Ph.D. in Informatics, which focuses on the relationship between people and technology. In their current work, Gardner develops surveys and conducts data analysis for post-doctorate students, and works with their department on recruitment efforts and programming.

A piece of advice you would give to current Binghamton students:

On schooling: Set aside time to read deeply and think through what, who, and when you’re reading. Take time to dance, explore, cry,  yell and experience life.

On work: If you are or want to be a practitioner, take time to reflect on your active work, and think beyond your current position. Ask how your work and its successes and failures contribute directly to greater programs and plans. (ie. What does your boss’s boss think?)

If you are/ or want to be a scholar: Read fields that border you, read epistemology, and read literature that you don’t like. None of them are emphasized; each of them has something you can pull from — parallel theories, philosophical sophistication, methodological congruence, etc. Also, practice writing in any form regularly; publishing is hard.

If you want to teach: Practice every style you can, and modify your syllabi until you find your groove. Your best practice = (what you enjoy * what you’re best at) / what’s best for students.

Jabrille Williams

Headshot of Jabrille Williams

Jabrille Williams is the Chief Operating Officer at JT Asphalt, an Asphalt Plant located in Atlanta, GA. Williams holds a B.A. in English, a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and a Master’s Certificate in Sustainability from Binghamton University, as well as a MBA in Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Williams was a student-athlete at Binghamton University, playing basketball from 2011-2015 during undergrad before pursuing his first Masters and Master’s certificate at BU, and eventually his MBA in Georgia. He also earned a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification in 2022, credentials which demonstrate Williams’ proficiency in understanding problems that hinder a company’s productivity and implementing solutions that foster continuous improvement.

A piece of advice you would give to current Binghamton students:

Have confidence in yourself, even when faced with uncertainty and doubt. Life is challenging, and it is those same challenges that make it worth living. Difficult times can provide valuable opportunities for growth, self-discovery, and ultimately make the moments of success even more meaningful. As you progress in your studies and career, do not be intimidated by the perceived accomplishments or titles of others. Instead, focus on working hard, being consistent and persistent, and never be afraid to ask questions or seek guidance when needed.

By Erin Zipman
Erin Zipman Marketing and Communications Assistant