Eastern Michigan University Chair of the Board of Regents and Associate Professor both recognized as 2021 Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Honorees

Award celebrates local African American women who inspire others through vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service

Eunice Jeffries and Rema Reynolds
2021 Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Honorees, Eunice Jeffries, left, and Rema Reynolds, right.

YPSILANTI — Rema Reynolds, associate professor at Eastern Michigan University, and Eunice Jeffries, chair of the EMU Board of Regents, have been recognized as 2021 Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Honorees for their exceptional success in business, community involvement, and philanthropy. 

For over a decade, the Michigan Chronicle has celebrated local African American women who inspire others through vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. 

“Each year in character, in manner, and in style; the Michigan Chronicle celebrates phenomenal women who have demonstrated exceptional courage, unwavering conviction, and extraordinary grace,” said Hiram E. Jackson, Publisher of Michigan Chronicle, in the publication’s announcement.

Reynolds and Jeffries are recognized alongside an elite group of the area’s most influential women, including fellow EMU alumni, Melanie Bender Ivery, District Controller & Associate Vice Chancellor for Wayne County Community College District who earned a Master of Business Administration in 2012, Cali Crawford, Director of Athletics at Schoolcraft College who earned a Master of Science in Sport Management in 2012, and Tatiana Grant, Principal at 2050 Partners, Inc.; Cultivate MI Solutions who earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations in 2006.

Other honorees include Monique Wells, Director of Diversity of Equity, and Inclusion for DTE Energy, Nancy Quarles, Oakland County Road Commissioner for Oakland County Government, Denise Z. Fair, Chief Public Health Officer for the Detroit Health Department and Stephanie Jones, Lead Counsel Electric Vehicle Growth Operations at General Motors. 

“We are proud that Rema and Eunice have been named 2021 Women of Excellence by the Michigan Chronicle,” said Walter Kraft, Vice President of Communications for EMU. “Their contributions to EMU and other Michigan communities over the years have been tremendous and this honor is very well-deserved and a testament to their hard work.”

Associate Professor Rema Reynolds

Reynolds has worked as a consultant for a number of school districts across the country, assisting teachers and administrators in taking deliberate action in facilitating community engagement and inviting parents to participate in ways meaningful for them and beneficial for students. Most notably, she is a mentor for Detroit Public Schools Community District current and future leaders through the Eastern Michigan University Masters and Aspiring Leaders programs. This program allows her to work with aspiring and veteran education leaders to improve school communities of Detroit. 

She has been a transformative and instrumental innovator for the Department of Leadership and Counseling in the EMU College of Education, where she teaches Masters and Doctoral students, provides service to the University and greater Educational community, and conducts research with minoritized communities.

She’s the founder of the Vanguard Research and Writing collective where she encourages writers to use their voice through writing to advocate for change and empowerment, a consultant for the African American Student Initiative, a Family and Community Engagement Advisory Group Member and a University Partnership Committee Member for Detroit Public Schools Community District. All roles converge as she advocates for Black students, families, and schools serving their communities. 

When it comes to mentoring and teaching, Rema says "I know the power of the teacher. Teachers shape and mold lives, fashioning destinies in each classroom. If we want to change the world, it starts in the classroom, the point of greatest influence. When we change schools, we change the world.”

Regent Eunice Jeffries

Jeffries has enjoyed a highly distinguished career in public service. She was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to Eastern Michigan University’s Board of Regents in 2016, and most recently was appointed chair of the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents in February 2021. 

Eunice has been an active community member her entire professional career. 

“It's an honor to be recognized alongside so many impressive women in Michigan, and other women with connections to EMU,” said Jeffries. “The Michigan Chronicle is an iconic and legendary publication that has significant history and meaning in the Black community. It has played an integral and major role in hosting relevant and needed conversations in our region on issues that traditionally have not been held. To be recognized as a leader by such a leading publication is an honor and a privilege.”

She served as the costume coordinator at the Institute of Dance at Marygrove College for 7 years and counting, where she works with the creative directors for all performances as it relates to measuring the dancers, ordering costumes, stage props and maintaining inventory and other tasks assigned, including being the equipment manager for performances.

Recently, Jeffries also stepped into a new role as Director of Government and Community Relations at Oakland Community College. 

She is also currently serving a second three-year term as Mayoral appointee to the Commission on Community Health for Farmington Hills. As Mayoral appointee, Eunice has helped to support and encourage an environment where residents have access to quality health services and wellness programs, and to the information, education, and resources necessary to promote physical and mental health and wellbeing. 

Her purpose is to achieve a community-wide collaboration and partnership of organizations and individuals to work together to identify and develop new and innovative programs, utilize existing programs, and locate and capture funding to assist in building a healthier community.

Eunice is also a Board of Trustee member at Crossover Church in Southfield, where she assists with decision-making as it relates to finances and provides support and structure as our church grows. After starting out in the children’s ministry, the church’s Pastor asked Eunice to sit on the Board. 

To view all of the 2021 honorees, visit the honorees list on the Michigan Chronicle website.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

April 14, 2021

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Media Contact:
Morgan Mark