Miss Bennett College 2022-2023 Crowned
During Elegant Coronation Ceremony

Winter Wonderland

GREENSBORO, NC., On Saturday, October 15, 2022, Bennett College was host to the 43rd Miss Bennett College Coronation. With the theme, "Winter Wonderland,” Ja'nylah Lottie Johnson, a senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in education, was crowned Miss Bennett College 2022-2023. It was a stunningly beautiful coronation ceremony set amidst a glamorous wintry transformation of Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel on the Bennett College campus.

Ms. Johnson entered to applause and adoration from those gathered to witness this special moment. It was a sophisticated affair with family and friends elegantly attired and poised to offer support and encouragement to Miss Bennett and her Royal Court. The Royal Court is Miss Royal Blue & White - Nusayba Rochelle Guiro, Miss Senior - Kyresha Lynnae Bowman, Miss Junior - Callyce Nicole Tucker-Reves, Miss Sophomore - Sinclair A. Bennett, and Miss Freshwoman - Michelle Nelson. As each young woman entered the chapel, they were reminded, with each intentional step, of the significant forward motion it took to arrive at Bennett College and this historic moment.

In her acceptance speech, Miss Bennett College Ja'nylah Lottie Johnson had this to say, “I owe all praise, gratitude, love, and joy to God, especially since this path hasn't been easy. The woman in front of you now is very different from the young girl who entered these same doors four years ago. I cannot express enough gratitude for the opportunities this institution has provided me. I was only 17 years old when I decided to travel 2000 miles by myself, relying solely on my faith. I was a first-generation college student who traveled to North Carolina alone. I had no idea where I was. For me, fear was the biggest roadblock.” She adds, “I was terrified of my greatness. However, I discovered that since I am a woman who walks with God, there is nothing that I cannot accomplish. No matter how many times you decide to give up on yourself there are faculty and staff here [at Bennett] who will push you so you see what they see in you. Being a Bennett Belle has a certain attraction. We were born with brilliance, ready to take on the world and pave the way for tomorrow's leaders.”

President Suzanne Elise Walsh's remarks to the newly crowned Miss Bennett College, Ja'nylah Lottie Johnson:  “We're so glad that you came to Bennett College. We are so glad you made it here because Bennett is that place for women who want to create something better, not just for themselves, but for the world and others.” She adds, “I cannot believe that you were terrified of your greatness because that greatness is so evident; it just exudes from you, and yet you are humble at all times. You are living into your greatness today. I look forward to seeing how you live into your greatness moving forward.”

Listen to Remarks Here

The Miss Bennett College Coronation ceremony can be traced back to 1978 when Bennett College crowned the first “Miss Bennett College," Rose M. Hudson. This year, six young women from around the country were awarded their honorary titles during the annual coronation event.

Photo (left to right): Miss Senior - Kyresha Lynnae Bowman, Miss Royal Blue & White - Nusayba Rochelle Guiro, President Suzanne Elise Walsh, Miss Bennett College - Ja’Nylah Lottie Johnson, Miss Junior - Callyce Nicole Tucker-Reves, Miss Sophomore - Sinclair A. Bennett, and Miss Freshwoman - Michelle Nelson


Miss Bennett College - Ja’Nylah Lottie Johnson

Ja’Nylah Lottie Johnson is a Senior, Interdisciplinary Studies major with a concentration in education. She was raised on the coast of the San Francisco Bay Area in Alameda, California by her mother, Lakisha Harris, her aunt, Nunie Johnson, and her grandmother, Lottie Evans.

Ja’Nylah, a 2018 graduate from Nea CLC in Alameda, started the first-ever Black Student Union at her high school in hopes of emphasizing Black culture and providing a sense of community for Black students. Later that year, Ja’Nylah was selected as Alameda Boys and Girls Club Alameda Youth of the Year, making her a two-time Youth of the Year, winning the title for Northern California.

Throughout her years at Bennett College, Ja’Nylah has served in various leadership positions, including her position as Freshman Class President, a Mentee of Save a Girl, Save a World, a member of the Bennett College Pre Alumnae-Council, Eastern Regional Director, of the National Pre-Alumni Council, a student Liaison for the Middle College at Bennett, Miss Sophomore, Miss Royal Blue and White, a member of Delta Alpha Pi Honors Society, President of the Chi Gamma Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and President/Founder of Built to Last Mentorship, an organization she started on campus in 2019 in hopes of providing a brave space for growth, healing, and discomfort while unifying the Bennett College community & surrounding villages.

When running for Miss Royal Blue and White in 2021, Ja’Nylah ran on the campaign platform “Metamorphosis - The Beauty in Rebirth,” which led to her 2022 campaign “Back to the Basics,” a slogan that was designed to emphasize the beauty in new beginnings and encourage her Bennett sisters to see the beauty in their new academic chapter. During her reign, Ja’Nylah wishes to emphasize the importance of mental wellness amongst Black female scholars and provide opportunities for individual development. Ja’Nylah has a passion for Mental Health, Education, and Social Justice as she plans to pursue a career intertwining her passions and allowing her to continue advocating for mental health matters while reforming and breaking the barriers that people of color face from the education system.


Miss Royal Blue & White - Nusayba Rochelle Guiro

Nusayba Rochelle Guiro is a Senior Stellar Scholar studying social work. She was raised by her mother, Rachel Parrish in East Oakland, CA. Nusayba graduated from Realm Charter School in Berkeley, CA, in 2019.

Throughout her time at Bennett College, Nusayba has held various leadership positions and membership in honor societies. She is the founding member of Bennett College’s first and only environmental sustainability organization Green Team, the lead Bennett College student ambassador, the social work club student representative, and a full-time preschool educator. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Phi Alpha Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, Zeta Omega Honor Society, and Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society.

Nusayba’s Miss Royal Blue and White campaign centered on authenticity and becoming your own ideal “IT girl”. During her reign, Nusayba wishes to emphasize the importance of community service and balancing one’s confidence and motivation in their own skin, whether it be in the professional or social environment. As an environmentalist, Nusayba is continuing the work toward expanding the Green Team beyond Bennett’s Campus internationally and intertwining environmentalism with the education system.

With a passion for social justice and environmental sustainability, Nusayba plans to further her education in social work and is currently on the path to obtaining her Master’s in Social Work. Nusayba plans to become an advocate for mental health and communities of color through the social work profession.


Miss Senior - Kyresha Lynnae Bowman

Kyresha Lynnae Bowman is a graduating Senior, Vocal Music major from Washington D.C., where she was raised by her mother, Christine Hughes, and is the youngest sibling to Erica Silas, Stephen Hughes, Dana Mitchell, and her twin brother Kyree Bowman. Before starting her journey at Bennett College, Kyresha graduated from Eastern Senior High School in Washington D.C. in 2018.

While at Bennett College, Kyresha participated in the Bennett College Choir and the Bennett College Choir Honor Ensemble. Due to her talents, Kyresha was able to represent Bennett College in 105 HBCU Voices and serve as a media representative for 105 HBCU Voices on behalf of the college. During her junior year, Kyresha focused on advocating for herself and her fellow sisters to ensure that they would receive the most out of their matriculation here at Bennett College as Music Majors. Not only did Kyresha advocate for her major, but she also joined the Mental Health Advocacy program to be able to support her sisters, regardless of what they were going through, and to remind them that they aren’t alone. Kyresha also became a recipient of the About Love Scholarship from Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Tiffany & Co. by spreading her talents and explaining how the arts have played a huge part in creating safe spaces for Black people in the United States during the difficult times they’ve faced throughout the years.

Kyresha did not choose Bennett College, Bennett College chose her. In 2018, Kyresha received full scholarships to other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) for music, but no other institution created successful and phenomenal Black women as Bennett College did, and continues to do. Bennett College produced an extraordinary alumnae named Joyce Garrett that influenced Kyresha’s decision to look at her institution. After becoming the director of Eastern Senior High School Choir and The Washington Youth Choir, Kyresha knew that she wanted to follow in Dr. Joyce Garrett’s footsteps which led her to dear old Bennett. Since starting her matriculation here at Bennett College, Kyresha has learned what it feels like to take up space and not feel bad about it. Kyresha has also learned to give grace, not only to herself but her peers, faculty, and staff. She has also learned to be loud and proud about being a talented Black woman that has the right to create her own lane and enjoy every moment of it, even the bad ones.

Upon graduation, Kyresha plans to be an independent artist, creating her first official EP. During her free time, she will go back to her alma mater in Washington D.C. to pour the knowledge that Bennett has instilled in her into young Black creatives in District of Columbia Public Schools.


Miss Junior - Callyce Nicole Tucker-Reves

Callyce Nicole Tucker-Reves is a Junior Social Work major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She was raised in Plainfield, New Jersey with her sister Caylah Tucker-Reves by her mother, Chawanda Tucker. With the help of her "village," which included both sets of her grandparents, uncles, and aunts, Callyce graduated from Bound Brook High School in 2020 in the top 15% of her class.

Since Callyce’s high school experience was cut short due to COVID-19, she made it her mission to enjoy her matriculation at Bennett College to the fullest and get involved as much as possible. During her Freshwoman year, she became Parliamentarian for the Freshwoman class, while helping conduct meetings she also helped execute virtual events for the Freshwoman class. Callyce’s Sophomore year was her first time being on Bennett's campus. While she was very nervous, she was also very excited about what was yet to come. She became a student ambassador, Miss Social Work, an office assistant in the President's office, was inducted into Phi Alpha Honor Society and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated where she served as financial secretary for the Zeta Xi chapter.

Now, in her Junior year, Callyce interns at the Research Triangle Institute as a Small Business Market Analyst, serves as the Publicist for the Student Union Activities Board, Miss Social Work, sergeant at arms, and hostess for the Zeta Xi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Callyce’s Miss Junior campaign focused on “Being the change you want to see." Many ask for a change but do not act. As Miss Junior, Callyce wants to alleviate problems on campus through community service and sister bonding events to assist current and future Belles. All in all, being a good Big Sister and making sure everyone has a positive experience while on campus is one of Callyce’s main goals this academic school year, that she will achieve.


Miss Sophomore - Sinclair A. Bennett

Sinclair A. Bennett is a transfer, Elementary and Special Education major from Hopewell VA. Sinclair was born in Rutherford County, TN to Heather and Sinclair Bennett Jr. She is the middle of five children, having one older brother, one older sister, one younger sister, and one younger brother. Sinclair graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA in 2020. While in high school, Sinclair was extremely active in her community, including volunteering with voter registration/election awareness, Good News Club, feeding the homeless, working as a lifeguard and swim teacher. Sinclair also participated in year-round swimming, NSBE Jr. (National Society for Black Engineers), and the Young Eagles Flight Club. She is currently certified in nonviolence365 professional development with The King Center. She also holds emerging leaders certification through Truist Leadership Institute.

While at Bennett College, Sinclair has served on the student conduct board, social work club, and co-hosted the Weekly Ring, a campus television production. She is a Strada Scholar and works as a D.A.P intern. As Miss Sophomore and as a fellow belle, Sinclair is dedicated to creating an environment of service, unity, and acceptance. She aspires to represent Bennett College in the best way possible.

After graduation, Sinclair hopes to teach and run her own group home. Sinclair hopes to encourage her scholars to have a love for learning, seeking to produce an environment that will show her future scholars the broader advantages of what having an education can help them accomplish.


Miss Freshwoman - Michelle Nelson

Michelle Nelson is a Freshwoman Psychology Major from Orlando, Florida. Michelle was born in Abington, PA, and relocated to Orlando, FL at age seven. She is the oldest of four, having three little sisters. Michelle graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA and in the top 25% of her class in 2022. While in high school, Michelle was an avid volunteer in many organizations, including Interact Club, Soul In The City, and at the Church of St. Luke and St. Peter. She also volunteered at Osceola Arts, a community theatre that focuses on community outreach and fine arts for children, and was a Camp Counselor and Arts Assistant. A member of many clubs, including Black Student Union, Glee Club, and ASL Club, Michelle took on leadership roles such as Social Media Manager and Publicist.

Coming from a family of educators, Michelle has centered her passion around School Psychology and the social-emotional development of students around the country. She plans to spend the next three years finishing undergrad, then pursuing professional degrees in School Counseling and Counselor Education. As a New Belle and Miss Freshwoman, Michelle has an aspiration of building a community centered on social engagement, advocacy, and community service through Bennett and beyond. Her goal is to represent the Freshwoman Class and Bennett in the highest regard.

After graduation, Michelle hopes to work in the Florida education system as a School Counselor and Mental Health Advocate for students around the state. She wishes to be an outlet for students in every grade, especially for minority groups. Michelle believes that education and psychology are connected and wants to push students to be their best selves, starting with understanding who that may be.



About Bennett College

Bennett College is ranked the #1 national liberal arts college for social mobility by global education ranking authority U.S. News & World Report, in their 2022 Best Colleges list. Founded in 1873, Bennett is an historically black college committed to cultivating bold women leaders, entrepreneurs and agents of social change. Bennett combines an entrepreneurial spirit with a leading-edge vision for the future, and emphasizes an integrated approach to the intellectual, social, and spiritual development of its student body. Beyond its undergraduate degree program, its continuing studies offerings provide learning opportunities for professional development and personal enrichment, engaging and inspiring women to connect, exchange ideas, and upskill.

Legendary Bennett leaders include alumna Dr. Carolyn Payton, appointed in 1977 by US President Jimmy Carter as the first woman and first African American Director of the Peace Corps; former Bennett professor and current United States Congresswoman Alma Adams, founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus; alumna Glendora Putnam, first African American woman to serve as assistant attorney general in the state of Massachusetts; and alumna Beverly Buchanan, an artist whose work is in the collection the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art. For more information, visit bennett.edu.