Professor Shawnee Daniels-Sykes receives Black Excellence Award

Shawnee Daniels-Sykes, Ph.D., a noted expert on ethics, morality and Black Catholic studies, will be recognized by The Milwaukee 2017_shawnee_daniels_sykes_002.jpgTimes 35th Annual Black Excellence Awards.

As a Catholic theological ethicist and writer, her research interests lie in beginning, middle, and end of life issues, especially as these relate to institutionalized race, class and gender oppressions.

Daniels-Sykes has taught at Mount Mary University for 13 years. She is also an adjunct professor for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana, where she teaches the graduate course, “Moral Questions in the Black Community,” during the summer. A registered nurse by trade, Daniels-Sykes is the only Black Catholic female health care ethicist in the United States.

Driven by a passion for excellence, social justice, and the development of the whole person, Daniels-Sykes weaves these themes into her curriculum to inspire personal transformation in her students.

“As a Black/African-American family living in Milwaukee, my parents knew the importance of the need for improvement and empowerment for each generation. Hence, they deeply desired that I/we would be equipped well, educationally, spiritually, and physically to help make a difference, not only in our generation, but the next generation and generations to come," Daniels-Sykes said.

Through intellectual, theological, and moral discussions, Daniels-Sykes seeks to foster an awareness in her students that lies beyond their personal experiences to promote inclusion and create change.

"Dr. Daniels-Sykes is a servant leader and educator that gives time, energy, creativity and commitment to her work at Mount Mary University and beyond. As one of the few African-American, female Bioethicists in the United States, she lends a critical perspective to issues on race and health disparities in vulnerable populations,” said Karen Friedlen, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We are grateful to have her as a tenured Full Professor at Mount Mary as she is a much sought after source of global expertise."

The Black Excellence Awards started 35 years ago, in conjunction with Black History Month to highlight and honor individuals who exemplify the best qualities of leadership and have made a positive contribution toward the city of Milwaukee.

The 35th Black Excellence Awards gala, “2020: A Clear Vision of Excellence” will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020 at the Italian Conference Center. More information can be found at