top of page

Chapter Officers

WMAA chapter officers are elected by our members to serve two years terms.

These dedicated members are our current officers. 

John Lucas

 John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management Technology from UMES in 1988.
He is a native Washingtonian and has resided in Prince George's County Maryland for almost 19 years.
John is a son, brother and most importantly father of a beautiful daughter who’s also a UMES alumnus
of the class of 2014. John has been active in the Washington Metropolitan Area Alumni Association for
more than 12 years and has held numerous executive board positions in the WMAA Chapter. John is the
current Chapter President.”

John Lucas

Ramona Haggerty 
1st Vice President

I attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and graduated with Bachelor of Science in 1985
with a Major in Human Ecology (now called Family and Consumer Sciences) with a Concentration in
Fashion Merchandising/Textiles and Clothing and a minor in Photography.
I am a Member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Past and present member of several public
service and professional organizations including but not limited to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.,
AAFCS and National Coalition of 100 Black Women and our great UMES WMAA Chapter.

Ramona Haggerty

Anthony Murrill
2nd Vice President

Anthony Eric Murrill, holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He is a retired veteran correctional officer with the Department of Corrections in Prince Georges County where he has done extensive work in his work with juveniles in the mist of advocating for them,
becoming someone they can call a mentor. He co-founded the Motivational Game Show and Mission Youth Outreach Program to further educate the youth and this work allowed him to be invited to host at private, governmental health, and human service outreach programs. With all this work, Anthony
became a Program Executive Director of a nonprofit youth advocacy organization called X2REP, Inc. This Program was instituted with the belief that “children are the future and given the proper environment or foundation, time, and attention-they will be able to grow to their fullest potential”. Anthony
consistently sustains a high energy outreach program. He has done collaborations with ‘The Youth Summit on technology, Howard County Police Department, Takoma Park Department of Parks, and Recreation, Montgomery County’s National Night Out, The South /Carolina Department of Juvenile
Justice, South Carolina Department if Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, Clinton Baptist Church, El Shaddi Care Center, Cornerstone A.M.E Church and many other organizations. He is also with the Peacemakers Band, where he presents many of his musical talents with rapping, spoken word,
motivational speaking and his usage of multiple instruments. With all these titles, you can call him a “Motivational Action Hero” in his own right. Anthony Eric Murrill overall is a pioneer in everything he does, a powerhouse and a legacy in the advocacy world.

Anthony Murrill

Shepherd Brown
Financial Secretary

Shepherd Brown, PMP, CICA, serves as the Financial Secretary for the Washington Metropolitan Alumni Association (WMAA). He graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Professionally, Mr. Brown is Senior Accountant in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters, Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s (OCFO) Quality Assurance Division. His main focuses are enterprise risk management, fraud risk management, statement of assurance, payment integrity, and internal controls. Prior to joining NASA in 2019, Mr. Brown worked as a management consultant where he managed projects in assessing and strengthening internal controls; assessing improper payments; developing policies and procedures; and conducting pre-audit readiness activities for agencies  such as NASA, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Architect of the Capitol (AOC), U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM). Shepherd is an avid sports fan with football being his favorite sport and the Dallas Cowboys his favorite team. 

Shepherd Brown

Willie Baker

Prior to Willie Baker’s retirement, in 2006, as International Vice President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), Willie’s labor career spanned over forty years. He began his labor activism as a member of UFCW Local 56, while working at the P.J. Ritter Processing Plant in Bridgeton, New Jersey. As his exceptional organizational and communications skills emerged, he began a rapid ascension up the ladder of the UFCW structure. In 1974, he was appointed Assistant Business Agent of Local 56. Three years later, jurisdiction of South Jersey canneries was entrusted to him. By 1980, he was Vice President of the local, and in 1985 he was elected UFCW International Union Vice President and appointed Director of the UFCW Civil Rights Department.

In 1989, he was appointed Director of the UFCW Public Affairs Department, and within a decade was Director of Southern Region 3, that consisted of Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; and later Mid-Atlantic Region 2 consists of Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.

Willie Baker was elected Executive Vice President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (CBTU) in 1990 and served in that position for over two decades until he stepped down in 2006. He currently serves on the CBTU National Executive Board as Executive Vice President Emeritus. Willie is also a member of the UFCW Minority Coalition and served as Chair of the Labor Round Table of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. Willie is a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

In October 1991 Willie was part of the Democracy Now Tour of South Africa. Meeting with the freed leader of the ANC, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu and other leaders of South Africa. Willie Baker served as an International Observer in the first multiparty elections in Kenya in 1992.

In October 2015 Willie Baker was a part of a fact-finding mission to Columbia, visiting Cali, Palmira, Quibdo and Bogota; where he and others in the delegation, including Atlanta Congressman Hank Johnson; where they met with Afro Colombian and Indigenous People to discuss the assassinations, land grabs, intimidation and forced exits from their homes.

In March of 2017 Willie returned to Bogota with another fact-finding mission, including Atlanta Congressman, Hank Johnson. On this mission, they met with the negotiators of the Peace Agreement to push the Colombian Government to honor the commitments they made in the Peace Agreement.

Willie is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and served as President of the National Alumni Association in the late eighties. He continues to be active in the University of Maryland National Alumni Association.

Willie Baker has committed a lifetime of energy and passion, fighting for worker’s rights, human rights, and a more just social and economic society both domestically and internationally. He continues to be active in the fight for worker’s rights and his community.

Willie Baker

Tia Harriston

Tia Harriston graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2002 with a Bachelor of Administration (BA) degree majoring in English and minoring in Computer Graphics. Tia went on to continue her education at Bowie State University graduating in 2007 with a Master of Information System (MIS) Graduate Degree. Tia is currently the Director of Information Technology for the Office of Federal Occupational Health with the Department of Health and Human Services. Tia continues to support the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as an active member of the UMES National Alumni Association (NAA), as well as serving as the Sargent at Arms for the UMES Washington Metropolitan Alumni Association (WMAA). Tia also serves on the Community Outreach and Membership Committees for WMAA. Tia enjoys partnering with WMAA to support the community.

Tia Harriston

Marjorie Davis-Lawson
3rd Vice President

Class of 1977
Bachelor of Science - Business Education
Teacher: 1977 - 1984
Xerox Corporation: 1984 - 2020
Real Estate Professional: 2007 - Present
Member:  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority / FWAC
Member: Washington Metro Alumni Association / 3rd VP
Member: Ebenezer AME Church, Fort Washington, Maryland

UMES WMAA Chapter.jpeg

Towanda Searles

Towanda Searles graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in the Spring of 1990. Towanda is the WMAA Chapter Treasurer and has held the recording secretary and corresponding secretary positions.  Towanda is a member of the UMES National Association. 

Towanda Searles

DaeJanae Day
Recording Secretary

DaeJanae Day is an Undergraduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore class of 2018, and she
has a major in Sociology (B.S.). Ms. Day is also the co-chair of the Prince Georges County Youth Action
Board, an advocacy group that advocates for ending youth homelessness within the County and the
State of Maryland. The reason why she likes this work and advocating for this issue is because she has personally experienced homelessness during her college career, and she has seen the struggle of my peers to survive and thrive because of the larger obstacles in the community. Currently DaeJanae is a Board Member for Mending Families INC. DaeJanae Day is also currently the recording secretary for UMES Washington Metropolitan Alumni Association (2022).

DaeJanae Day

Rhonda Cardwell Chaplain

Attended and graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern
Shore, (UMES) in 1990. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Communications.

While attending UMES Rhonda was one of the first Communications program students who worked at the campus radio station WESM 91.3 FM in its inception. She also worked for
the news channel WMDT TV-47 in Salisbury, Maryland. After graduation she worked in radio and television in Washington, DC at Black Entertainment Television (BET), WPGC 95.5 FM, and
Fox Channel 5 News. Rhonda is currently employed in the Federal Government.

Rhonda is passionate about mentoring and community service. She was born in Washington, DC and currently resides in Prince George’s county, Maryland. 

Rhonda Caldwell

Gioia Wallace

Gioia (pronounced like Joy-ah) (Dupuy) Wallace has been employed by the Federal Reserve Board, the nation’s central bank, in Washington, DC for more than 17 years. As Senior Talent Management Operations Specialist, Mrs. Wallace is the Program Manager over two programs – (1) the Boardwide
Training Program, which offers 12 -15 courses yearly to staff, and (2) the Executive Coaching Program. The coaching program offers over 200+ Board leaders and other high potentials with the opportunity to focus on their leadership goals and development through a collaborative, individualized learningrelationship with an external leadership coach. Mrs. Wallace also oversees the Board’s Academic Assistance program for eligible employees.

Gioia holds a Bachelors in Rehabilitation from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Mrs. Wallace and her classmates were the first graduating class with this major (1989), under the direction of Dr. Suzanne Clay. Following graduation, she went on to work for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
and many other grant funded employers who provided support to those who are ‘differently abled’. She found her passion to be in working with those who had head injuries and enjoyed this field immensely. Seeking more stability, Ms. Wallace then began to focus her talents on assisting anyone looking for a
job, instead of a special population. In 2005, Ms. Wallace joined the Federal Reserve Board. In 2009, Ms. Wallace decided to pursue her graduate degree in Human Resources Management and enrolled at Capella University. Mrs. Wallace was able to successfully work fulltime, care for her family, which
includes her husband and their two sons, and operate the family’s limousine business, while simultaneously returning to school.
Mrs. Wallace’s oldest son, wanting to follow in his mother’s footsteps, attended UMES and graduated in 2017 with his degree in Criminal Justice. In 2016, Mrs. Wallace was inducted into the UMES Hall of Excellence.

Mrs. Wallace has faithfully served the WMAA Chapter and previously held 2 different positions, Recording Secretary and Correspondence Secretary, concurrently for many years. Mrs. Wallace now holds the office of Parliamentarian.

Gioia Wallace

Shaynie Mercer
Corresponding Secretary

Shaynie Mercer is a proud two-time graduate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services in 2003 and Master of Science degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling in 2005.

As a student at UMES, she was a part of the Student Rehabilitation Association, NAACP, and maintained at least a 3.0 to remain in the Honors Program. During her senior year, Shaynie participated in the
Coronation as Miss NAACP.

Shaynie Mercer has always been an advocate for children as she has continued to be an educator for almost 18 years throughout various school systems in the Metropolitan Area. Currently, she is a Compliance Specialist in the Special Education Department for Charles County Public Schools.

Shaynie has been an active member of WMAA since 2017 and currently holds the position of Corresponding Secretary.

Shaynie Mercer
bottom of page