Dr. Aundrea Matthews is a Buffalo Soldier descendant. Aundrea received her PhD at Rice University, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University (TCU), and a Master of Theological Studies from Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. While at Brite, she received the 2007 Emerging Black Church Studies Scholar Award, and helped raise funds to establish the Black Church Studies program at Brite. She also participated in two study abroad programs, one in Ghana, and the other in Egypt.
While at Rice, Aundrea earned a Master of Arts in Religious Studies, co-authored Breaking Bread and Breaking Beats: Churches and Hip Hop: A Basic Guide to Key Issues and co-authored a chapter in Esotericism in African American Religious Experience: There is a Mystery, with Dr. Margarita S. Guillory from the University of Rochester in New York. She was the 2014 Rice University Graduate Student 90 Second Thesis Competition School of Humanities Winner. She is the creator and curator of the bi-annual Hearts, Hands, and Heritage quilt exhibition at Rice, and has curated more than 10 art exhibitions within the Greater Houston area. She has served as an adjunct professor in the Humanities Department at Lone Star Community College. From 2012-2014, she participated in the Embodiment and Religion Symposium at the University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom. She also served as Assistant Project Coordinator for the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) at Rice and was the Teaching Assistant and Logistics Coordinator for the nationally acclaimed Religion and Hip Hop Course at Rice. Her father, Sanders H. Matthews Jr., now deceased, was a Veteran of the Vietnam War and worked for IBM; her mother Rose Matthews is retired and lives in Texas.
Michelle Clark-Dismuke graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Hotel and Restaurant Management. As the Assistant Financial Controller for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels in Nashville, Tennessee she is responsible for training employees through the Service for Success program. Mrs. Clark-Dismuke travels across the country teaching corporate employees how to be successful and enhance customer service. Prior to joining the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, she was a successful commercial business owner in Haverstraw, New York. She is an active member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW).
Gail M Chambers grew up in Coatesville, PA, she received her B.A degree in Biology from Cheyney State College (now Cheyney University) in Cheyney PA. She moved to Dallas, Texas after graduation where she worked for seven years as a geologist for Core Laboratories. She married and left Core Labs to operate her own dry-cleaning business for ten years.
After closing her dry cleaning business, she joined Southwestern Bell Telephone (now AT&T Communications) as a Facilities Specialist. She retired from AT&T in 2015. For her second act, she is enjoying retirement and traveling and works during the income tax season as a professional tax preparer having had over 20 years’ experience preparing taxes for friends and relatives. She also volunteers with AARP as a tax aide assisting the elderly with their tax preparation. She currently resides in Duncanville, Texas. She is the niece of late Sgt. Sanders H. Matthews.
Sharon P. Matthews
Sharon P. Matthews, a Buffalo Soldiers descendent, is a health care administrator and adjunct college instructor with over 30 years successful experience in health plan operations, hospital operations, ambulatory care operations and strategic planning. She holds a Bachelors in Psychology from Cheyney State University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health.
While serving on the administrative team at a major medical center, she became intrigued with lifestyle factors contributing to unhealthy beginnings (births), the development of chronic diseases, premature aging, and premature death. Her curiosity led her to macrobiotics, a whole-food, plant-based way of eating.
Adopting a plant-based way of eating resulted in her maintaining excellent health; free of chronic disease or the need to “diet” to maintain a healthy weight and propelled her to pursue certification in plant-based nutrition from the Plant Based Nutrition by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies; as well as pursue certification as a Food for Life Instructor by The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Her own positive personal experience along with published research confirming the preventative and restorative benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition undergirds her passion to teach and coach others to pursue vibrant health. Sharon is featured as a plant-based chef in the Perfectly Plant Based Cookbook.
Being eternally grateful for the sacrifices and contributions made by Buffalo Soldiers, Sharon considers it an honor and duty to devote her time, skill and talent to honor, promote, and preserve the history and contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers and military persons that served the United States of America.
Dawnyela Meredith is a forever Texan who moved to the big city. Prior to her move she obtained an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University. She has also earned a Master of Science Degree in Counseling from the University of the District of Columbia. She has been a member of the Buffalo Soldiers Association of West Point for over 20 years and previously served on the board back in 2016/2017. Dawnyela looks forward to the opportunity to support the team in erecting the monument to forever memorialize the service and sacrifice of the Buffalo Soldiers at West Point.
Melvin Smith is a retired Special Agent with over 20 years of service with the United States Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. He has expertise in law enforcement, and is a licensed Private Investigator in the State of New York.
Mr. Smith is an avid motorcyclist. He is a member of the National Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club and is the current President of the West Point New York Buffalo Soldier Motorcycle Club chapter. The Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club is comprised of former and active military, law enforcement officers, teachers and other civil servants, as well as other positive thinking members of the community.
The West Point chapter is named in honor of the African American Soldiers who served with distinction at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The club is concerned with promoting and participating in charitable and positive activities to support Veterans and the community.
Mr. Smith has established through the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club West Point chapter a Thanksgiving food drive, a back to school supply program in Highland Falls, New York, Peekskill, NY, and Fishkill, NY.
Events Committee Chair
Michelle Mosley Young received a BBA in Finance from the University of the District of Columbia, a Master’s Certificate in Information Technology Project Management from The George Washington University School of Business and is a certified business process management professional and project manager for the federal government.
Mrs. Young also sits on the board of directors for The Nehe Foundation and volunteers at the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center, helping victims of domestic violence and their families. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, long walks with her dogs, and cooking.