Norma Barfield Named 2011 Ron Brown Scholar Program Mentor of the Year
March 30, 2012
The Ron Brown Scholar Program (RBSP) announced the selection of Mrs. Norma Barfield as the fourth annual recipient of the Ron Brown Scholar Program Mentor of the Year Award.
Mrs. Barfield, of Potomac, Maryland, was selected from over 7,000 guidance counselors and mentors nationwide. The Mentor-of-the-Year Award was established in 2008 to recognize outstanding public servants who embody the Program’s commitment to the support of its Scholars.
Mrs. Barfield served as the Chief Development and Marketing Officer for the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy, a network of charter schools in the District of Columbia serving 1,300 students from grades 6 - 12. Prior to joining the Chavez Schools, Mrs. Barfield served as the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for The Bartech Group, a staffing services and human capital management firm. She also practiced banking and commercial law with Jenner & Block in Chicago and corporate law with Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone in Ann Arbor, MI.
Mrs. Barfield has a long-standing commitment to providing educational opportunities to underserved students. She served as the Vice Chairman of the UNCF Campaign in Southeastern Michigan for five years contributing to a significant increase in funds raised during her tenure. Other community activities have included serving on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health and the Boards of Reading is Fundamental, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan. Currently Mrs. Barfield serves on the Howard University College of Dentistry Board of Visitors.
Ron Brown Scholar Danielle Andrews-Lovell (2002) talks about spending time with Ms. Barfield recently, “Norma Barfield and I connected on a random train ride back from NY to DC. What began as a polite conversation turned into a fascinating thought-provoking dialogue on as many issues as we could discuss over the four hour commute. Since that train ride, Norma has truly been one of the women I hold in high regard.”
Danielle goes on to describe Norma’s dedication to the Program, “I am not the only Scholar Norma has provided with guidance, and many may not be aware that they’ve been supported by Norma. Often behind the scenes with the Program, Norma has been instrumental in working to ensure that the Program is at its best. She is thoughtful, intelligent, poised and experienced. The Ron Brown Scholar Program has long benefitted from FORBS that mentor the Scholars and remind us of our purpose and Norma is the personification of that mentorship.”
Associate Director of the Ron Brown Scholar Program Vanessa Evans says of Barfield’s selection, “She embraces our mission to cultivate the next generation of great American leaders and spends significant time not only with our Scholars, but in opening doors and creating professional networks for them. We salute Mrs. Barfield as the 2011 Mentor of the Year.”
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