— by Mellany Armstrong, Associate Director of Communications
A young black woman with long braids and gold hoop earrings and wearing a black and white patterned blouse sits in front of artwork and easels in an art classroom.

Kendyl Boyd is the 2021 recipient of the Happy Fernandez Leadership Prize.

Named for Moore's ninth president, the Happy Fernandez Women’s Leadership Prize is awarded to honor a graduating senior who has demonstrated significant leadership through their contribution and impact on the arts, the Moore community or the community at large.

Boyd, an Art Education major from Teaneck, NJ, was recently elected to Moore's Board of Managers. She served as a student ambassador during her four years at Moore, and was a peer tutor and writing assistant.

"I worked to create programming initiatives and workshops for students because I saw that there was really a need for them to have more support outside of their liberal arts courses," she said. "That's an integral part of the writing assistant experience now."

Boyd was also a member of the Black Student Union and briefly served as president of that organization. 


Boyd was looking for the intimate environment of a smaller school, but with access to the offerings of a larger city.

"I really liked the idea of having a city as a campus and I absolutely have used The Parkway in this museum district as my campus and professional development," she said. "I was interested in going to a historically women's college as well, to really focus on what I was going to grow into here. And I think I've made the right decision."

As a Visionary Woman Honors Program student, Boyd had the chance to attend the annual Visionary Woman Awards scholarship fundraising gala, and was thrilled to meet photographer, professor and art historian Deborah Willis and gallerist June Kelly.

"What was really special was to have the opportunity to sit in a room with them as a Visionary Woman scholar and ask them questions and experience that moment of mentorship and hear from these women who have become part of my Rolodex of role models that I look up to and hope to be where they are one day."


Boyd will spend the next two years working at the Barnes Foundation as the FAO Schwarz Fellow in Community Engagement and Family Programs.

"A lot of my work will be in helping to strengthen their offerings in their community and public programming, and diversifying their offerings and guiding themes from social justice for programming that will relate to their special exhibitions," she said. Boyd volunteered at the Barnes as a first-year student at Moore, "so it's coming full circle, and I'm going to be a part of their team officially now."

Learn more about Kendyl Boyd.