Anthony Winn ’92 (business management) caught the “public service bug” as a student leader at New Paltz, a passion that has stayed with him throughout his career.
“I never intended to work corporate – I always wanted to do community-based work,” says Winn. “I knew, coming out of New Paltz, that I was going to spend my career in service to people.”
Winn serves as chief operating officer of Nos Quedamos, a South Bronx-based nonprofit housing and social service provider. He has spent his career in nonprofit management, nonprofit leadership development, and public health, including a stint with Chicago Public Schools as part of the National Urban Fellowship Program.
One of the “most magnificent moments” of Winn’s career, he says, was being invited to the White House by President Clinton to participate in a special ceremony acknowledging the survivors of the infamous Tuskegee experiments in Alabama. While serving on a committee of public health professionals who “looked at why minorities, and particularly black people, don’t participate in clinical trials.” Winn, along with a roundtable of health and education professionals, composed a report of the group’s findings and sent it to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The group recommended “that the president should acknowledge the history of this legacy and really make a statement about it to help refocus people’s thoughts on what it means to be part of clinical trials and public health science.”
“He took our advice and did just that, and I was invited to the White House to be a part of that ceremony,” says Winn. “That stands out for me as a great memory. … When you feel like you’ve made an impact that influences the highest levels of policy, to me, that’s a major accomplishment. It was an opportunity to set some things straight.”
That inspiration to affect change on the highest possible levels is “what New Paltz gave me,” says Winn.
“If I had to identify one thing, besides great friends, great relationships, and a pretty good education, what I really got out of New Paltz was my sense of self,” says Winn. “I got a sense of what I was capable of, and where my passions were, and what excited me. … New Paltz gave me that first opportunity to see how far and how deep that passion was for me.”
At New Paltz, Winn served as president of the Black Student Union, president of the Student Association, president of Voices of Unity, and served as president and chapter co-founder of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. As an alum, he has served as a guest speaker for Black Solidarity Day and stays connected with his fraternity, as well as Black Studies faculty Zelbert Moore and A.J. Williams-Myers, and educational studies Professor Nancy Schniedewind.
Winn helped found the First World Reunion in 2000, which takes place every five years to “keep students of color connected to alumni affairs.”
“This was a special time in the history of people of color in colleges and universities as a whole, and we feel like we had a special time at New Paltz,” says Winn.
Winn is also a member of the newly formed Alumni Advisory Council, a position he is “excited and honored” to hold.
“It’s a great way for me to continue my engagement in some official capacity,” says Winn. “With the diversity of the committee, the diversity in (class) years, I feel like the committee is making an earnest effort to diversify the voices that give input on alumni affairs, which I think is a major move in the right direction.”