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TCC announces 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Awards

Above, from left: Barbara Hamm Lee, Katina Barnes and Emeline Jones

Tidewater Community College honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by presenting annual awards to those who embody his teachings and spirit.

The 2017 recipients are:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Distinguished Award: Barbara Hamm Lee, executive producer and host of WHRO’s “Another View”
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Distinguished Service Award: Katina Barnes, coordinator for dual enrollment academies at TCC’s Portsmouth Campus
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award: Emeline Jones, a TCC student working toward her Associate of Science in Science, who lives in Chesapeake

The three will be honored on Feb. 23 at a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Campus Student Center. RSVP at

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Distinguished Award: Barbara Hamm Lee

Hamm Lee, the executive producer and host of WHRO’s “Another View,” exemplifies Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of people working together for the common good. She holds immense pride in creating “Another View,” which airs on radio Fridays at noon and explores topics from an African-American perspective.

Her lengthy career in media includes being the news director at WTKR. Hamm Lee was the only African-American woman to hold that position in a Top 50 television market in 1994. The station’s 6 p.m. newscast rose to No. 1.

“The show focuses on issues of interest to the African-American community, but we want everyone as an audience,” Hamm Lee said. “I hear from listeners that it’s an opportunity to hear conversations that they otherwise might not by privy to.”

Hamm Lee, 59, is chair for Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; reform and change in public housing is among her pet projects. She is the vice chair of YWCA South Hampton Roads, and is passionate about empowering women and eliminating racism. She is equally supportive of education as chair of the Norfolk Education Foundation.

Hamm Lee holds a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on mass communications from Bennett College, earned in 1978.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Distinguished Service Award: Katina Barnes

Leader. Advocate. Luminary.

Those are words TCC’s Barnes attributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fittingly, those are words that also apply to Barnes, the inaugural director of the Portsmouth Campus Student Center, which opened in 2012. She assumed the role of coordinator of dual enrollment academies on the Portsmouth Campus on Jan. 1, 2017.

Barnes still holds a place in her heart for the student center that has evolved into a vibrant building on campus and in the community.

“I’m so proud of every nook and cranny of that place,” she said. “It holds a connection with our community. I’m proud of changing the culture of engagement on the Portsmouth Campus.”

All programming on the campus aligns with general education competencies. Last spring, Barnes started “Champions for Change,” a retention effort on that campus geared toward males.

In addition to her work at TCC, Barnes started her own nonprofit, Butterfly Village, which advocates for empowerment of women. Barnes also serves as the executive director of Bases for Barnes Foundation, a nonprofit established by her son, Jimmy III, an outfielder in the Los Angeles Angels organization.

Barnes, 43, graduated with a master’s in urban education – community counseling and a bachelor’s in social work, both from Norfolk State University. She earned her associate in fashion marketing design from the Art Institute of Atlanta.

Barnes and husband Jimmy reside in the Deep Creek section of Chesapeake.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award: Emeline Jones

Jones, 20, remembers being inspired by Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and the sit-ins he inspired in North Carolina.

Jones will earn her Associate of Science in Science in May. She plans to pursue forensics at George Mason University this fall.

“It is a privilege and honor to be chosen,” she said, attributing it to an anti-bullying project that dates back to her days as a Girl Scout.

Jones started scouting in the first grade with her mom as the troop leader. She earned the Gold Award – the highest award in scouting – for the interactive program she put together for her fellow scouts. It included a slideshow, speaker and card game that provoked her fellow scouts to think about their actions toward others.

Jones resides with her mother and stepfather, Denise and Dennis Connell, and brother, Daniel, in the South Norfolk section of Chesapeake. Her father, John Jones, resides in Chatham, N.Y.; her older brother, Zach attends the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.