December 20, 2023

CNN’s Abby Phillip to Provide Commencement Remarks at Bowie State

Graduates Myles Frost, Jakeya Johnson and Jaqueline Ware Personify Excellence

 CNN’s Abby Phillip to Provide Commencement Remarks at Bowie State


MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Saxon at, 301-635-8108 or David Thompson,, 301-860-4311

(BOWIE, Md.) – The spotlight will shine brightly on Abby Phillip, anchor of CNN Newsnight with Abby Phillip, as she delivers the commencement address to over 400 graduates at Bowie State University’s Winter Commencement Dec. 21, as well as the many graduates who exemplify excellence and are already receiving high profile recognition for their contributions.The commencement ceremony begins at 9 a.m. in the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex at Bowie State 

Three notable students have attracted recognition for their talents and perseverance to attain personal and professional success. 

Myles Frost 

Myles Frost graduates earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in music technology after spending a year on Broadway. Frost catapulted to national and international stardom after his performance on Broadway portraying Michael Jackson in “MJ: The Musical: which earned him a Tony Award in 2022. His accomplishments since attending Bowie State are “the stuff that dreams are made of.” 

A multi-talented artist, Frost composes and produces music, sings, dances, plays multiple instruments and is an actor. In his latest project he plays Trayvon Martin in the new film “Origin” which was written and directed by Ava DuVernay. “I try to show how much of a regular kid he was, show his personality, perseverance and strength in the best way,” said Frost.  

He leaves in a few weeks to begin rehearsing in London for “"which opens on March 7 in the West End at the Prince Edward Theatre. 

Jakeya Johnson 

Jakeya Johnson, graduating with a master’s degree in public administration, hasn’t changed the world yet, but she has helped to alter the reproductive rights landscape in Maryland. Earlier this year, Johnson was given an assignment in one of her graduate school classes that required students to develop a policy solution for a public problem. Johnson decided to address the issue of the availability of reproductive services on campus but then decided to take her campaign to another level.   

She collaborated with State Senator Ariana Kelly to write legislation that required all colleges and universities in the University System of Maryland (USM) to devise reproductive health care plans with referral networks and 24- hour access to emergency services including emergency contraception and abortion pills. Governor Wes Moore signed the bill and it became a state law on August 1, 2023. 

Johnson was in the first cohort of the Philanthropy Fellows program and served her fellowship at the Tides Foundation where she is now a full-time grant’s specialist. USM selected her as a Langenberg Fellow earlier this year and she received the Charlotte Ellertson Innovation Award from the American Society of Emergency Contraception. 

Jacqueline Ware 

Jacqueline Ware is a testament to perseverance and exemplifies “Bowie Bold”. A native of Washington, D.C., always wanted to work in the computer industry but found it challenging due to her husband’s military career. When they relocated back to the D.C. area a few years ago, she decided that it was time to pursue her degree in computer science and chose Bowie State. She will graduate this week with a bachelor’s degree and a job as a computer analyst. 

Ware said she was surprised to learn of the plethora of internship and professional development opportunities that are facets of the computer science program at Bowie State. “Once I became part of the program, I learned that it offered so much more than what I read about,” said Ware. “It’s been a really great experience, and I’m glad that I picked the computer science program.” 

Fast-forward to October of 2022 and her goals and ambitions seemed uncertain after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to drop classes and rearrange her life while having chemotherapy and radiation treatments. But that didn’t deter her from the goal of earning a computer science degree. “School kept my mind off things and kept me busy,” said Ware. 

This past summer, Ware attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference and landed a position as a cyber analyst at Northrop Grumman that begins in July 2024.


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit