Inaugural UA Honor Society Members Named

University Communications
Feb. 12, 2013

AshleyMonét Woods is among the first in a group of UA students to be inducted into the Elgie Mike Batteau Honor Society.

The organization was established in conjunction with African American Student Affairs (AASA) in memory of Batteau, who is considered the first African American student to graduate from the UA with a master's degree in teaching.

"I feel proud to be one of the few students sought out," said Woods, who was honored alongside other students during an induction ceremony held in January.

"It seems like something sacred and to be proud of," said Woods, an Honors College student studying special education. "And it's not one of those things you have to pay an annual fee in order to gain the acceptance. You do so because you've done a good job."

Elgie M. Batteau was born in Texas in 1905 and spent decades serving as a teacher in Tucson and Phoenix schools.

In Tucson, Batteau taught at Dunbar Jr. High School beginning in the 1930s. It was the only school for African American studies in elementary though high school. Batteau also was the first African American to serve on the Pima Community College's governing board. 

Houston Harris, student coordinator for the honor society, said recipients are honored for their outstanding achievements in scholarship, leadership and service on and off campus. Harris also noted that students must complete 10 hours of service and attend two AASA workshops each semester to qualify for membership.

Woods, a Future Teachers Club member who wants to eventually work with students with severe/multiple disabilities, organized an awareness group at the UA To advocate on behalf of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.

"I realize that, for these students, the support out there just isn't enough," said Woods, who is working toward an administrative position in education.

In addition to her work and studies at the UA, Woods said she carries pride for being chosen as an Elgie M. Batteau 2013 Scholar for another very important reason: the dream of her father, Tony DeSayles, who recently passed having been diagnosed with cancer.
"I was taking 21 credit-semesters and working 20 to 30 hours a week, helping around campus and in the College (of Education), Woods said.
"He wanted to see me graduate. He was my motivation, and will always be, to graduate," she said. I am going to continue to work hard so I can graduate in December, as he discussed. It's a heavy work load, but I'm not going to slow down."
The other Elgie M. Batteau 2013 Scholars are: Arielle Allen; Andrei Allicock; April Banks; Martha Batista; Sydney Beke; Matthew Berkley; Wynton El; Shontia Holden;Kenneth Kokroko; Gabrielle Lacy; Preston Linzy, II; Gabriel Mathews; Shanice Meddleton; Mariesha Nash; Ochuko Ojameruaye; Christiana Owusu-Ankomah; Akos Owusu-Dommey; Steven A. Palmer; Matthew Scarber; Maryann Shakir; Kristel Smith and Mary Ann Warren
The Elgie M. Batteau 2013 Rising Stars are: Houston Harris; Aliana Pitts; Danielle Pitts; Melissa Sainsume; Gabrielle Scott; DJ Stroughter; Dalmar Whiltshire and Shelby Thomas.
The Elgie M. Batteau 2013 Scholars are regularly inducted members and must have at least 30 credit hours completed with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point avearge. Scholars also must be involved in at least one campus organization. Rising Star members are undergraduates who have demonstrated uniquepotential in the areas of scholarship, leadership and service.
Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/

Contacts: Charles H.F. Davis III, African American Student Affairs graduate assistant, at or 520-626-0608; Houston Harris, student coordinator, at


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