Oakland University to host virtual Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration Jan. 18

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January 08, 2021

Top row: Adriana Colin-Diaz, Rachel Jackson, Ja'Laaiyah Gordon and Maryam Nissan. Bottom row: LaCaya Smith, Mariama Toure, Niajah Hood, Teyler Thompkins and Alaya Freeman.

For helping break down stereotypes and promote racial and cultural understanding, nine students will be recognized during Oakland University’s 29th annual Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration. This year’s event will be broadcast via YouTube on Monday, January 18, 2021, starting at 11:30 a.m. The link will be posted at

The 2021 Keeper of the Dream Award recipients are:

  • Adriana Colin-Diaz (History within the Secondary Teacher Education Program)
  • Alaya Freeman (Pre-Business Administration)
  • Ja’Laaiyah Gordon (Marketing)
  • Niajah Hood (Linguistics)
  • Rachel Jackson (Integrative Studies-Higher Education Administration)
  • Maryam Nissan (Human Resource Development)
  • LaCaya Smith (Elementary Education)
  • Teyler Thompkins (Communication)
  • Mariama Toure (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Established in 1993, Keeper of the Dream provides annual scholarships of up to $5,000 for students who have demonstrated strong citizenship, scholarship and leadership. Since the program’s inception, more than 100 students from a variety of academic majors have been awarded scholarships.

This year’s event is sponsored by Autoliv, Comerica Bank, Magna International, Marshall Family Scholar Foundation, Lynne & Lia McIntosh Scholarship, Oakland University Alumni Association, Meritor, Willis Towers Watson, Oakland University Credit Union and the Alice Shotwell Gustafson Keeper of the Dream Endowment. This year’s vision sponsors are Rocket Mortgage and KeyBank.

For more information, contact OU’s Center for Multicultural Initiatives at (248) 370-4404 or

Eric Reikowski, Public Information Specialist, (248) 370-4348


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