Acclaimed children’s book author and Medgar Evers College English Professor Tonya Hegamin is the winner of the 2010 Ezra Jack Keats Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature, for her picture book Most Loved In All The World. The picture book, which was featured in the parenting section of Ebony Magazine’s November 2009 issue and named one of the best books for Black History Month by USA TODAY, also recently won a Christopher Award for Young People. Prof. Hegamin will be presented with a bronze medallion by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the New York Public Library on Wednesday April 28 at 6 p.m. in the New York Public Library (located at 42nd Street & 5th Avenue). Prof. Hegamin shall also receive a $1,000 cash prize.
It is an honor to be awarded with the Ezra Keats Award,” said Prof. Hegamin. “When I received the notice that I won this award I was in total shock, but I am very grateful.”
Prof. Tonya Hegamin currently teaches Poetry Writing, Creative Writing and Introduction to English at Medgar Evers College. She received a degree in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh, a creative writing degree from the New School University and is a Cave Canem graduate.
“It’s great to know that one of our faculty members has received such an honorary award,” said Dr. Maria DeLongoria, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education. “I hope that our students can benefit from her knowledge and experience.”
Prof. Hegamin is also the author of a young adult novel, M+O 4EVR which was nominated for the American Library Association Quick Pick title for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list and on CosmoGirl!.com’s Best Summer Reads ’08 List and the teen novella, Pemba’s Song.
The Ezra Jack Keats Award was established in 1985 in honor of illustrator and writer Ezra Jack Keats. This award is given annually to a picture book writer. To be considered for this award you must be a new writer and have not published more than three books. The selection committee of this award is composed of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators, and experts in children literature. The committee looks at books which portrays the similar message of Keats; the universal qualities of childhood, strong and supportive families, and the diverse nature of the world.
Christopher Awards are presented annually to films, TV broadcast and cable network programs, books for adults and children. Special, Leadership and Life Achievement Awards single out individual media achievements and achievers as well. Honorees include David McCullough, Dave Brubeck, Elie Wiesel, Carroll O’Connor, Robert Coles, M.D., William F. Baker, Margaret K. McElderry, Charles Schulz, Art Linkletter, Mary Higgins Clark, Sesame Street, American Masters, “The More You Know,” American Experience, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, The Today Show, Hallmark Hall of Fame, ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre, Face the Nation, and CBS News Sunday Morning.
Medgar Evers College was founded in 1970 through the efforts from educators and community leaders in central Brooklyn. The College is named after Medgar Wiley Evers, a Mississippi-born black civil rights activist who was assassinated on June 12, 1963. The College is divided into four schools: The School of Business; The School of Professional and Community Development; The School of Liberal Arts and Education; and The School of Science, Health, and Technology. Through these Schools, the College offers 29 associate and baccalaureate degree programs, as well as certificate programs in fields such as English, Nursing, and Accounting. Medgar Evers College also operates several co-curricular and external programs and associated centers such as the Male Development and Empowerment Center, the Center for Women’s Development, the Center for Black Literature, and The DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy.