This article originally appeared in UTSA Today.
JULY 12, 2022 — Brenya Twumasi (Buchalski), a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is set to receive the U.S. President’s Lifetime Achievement award for her service to the San Antonio community and the nation.
The award recognizes those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.
“My dad and uncles are my heroes and modeled service work both nationally and internationally for me,” Twumasi said. “Dean Lynne Cossman also supports us to be the best that we can be.”
Twumasi joined the psychology department, which is housed in the UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy, in 2015.
In addition to being a lecturer, she serves as an Online Teaching Faculty Champion and faculty mentor in her department and is a co-founding member of the UTSA Community & Restorative Justice Office.
In 1998, Twumasi founded Tactical Ops. The company helps organizations create a culturally diverse and inclusive workplace—evaluating pre-existing programs and providing such resources as workshops, and train-the-trainer classes. The company also tracks the progress of these programs.
In addition to her work at UTSA, Twumasi has spent 11 years as a council member for the Bexar County Re-entry Center. The center provides services for formerly incarcerated individuals looking to re-enter the workforce and society. She also serves as a member on the following committees and organizations: National Association of Women in Business, San Antonio Criminal Justice Action Coalition, Texas Diversity Council, San Antonio Women in Technology and World Affairs Council – San Antonio.
Twumasi has been an expert speaker on several domestic and international radio and television shows. Her expertise ranges from human trafficking and serving the disadvantaged, to advocating and legal analyses for the cases of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor and more.
Prior to her move to San Antonio, Twumasi served as the State of Maryland’s child abuse and neglect specialist from 1998-1999. She worked with street gangs beginning in 1983 and up until her move. In 1994, she was part of the team that enacted the change in federal forms to include “Other” under submission of race.
Twumasi’s service to her community began at 11 in her native Ghana, where she founded her first corporation, the Perfect Peace Club, which operates today as C4C: Kaleidoscope. This organization serves muted voices such as victims of sexual assault and human trafficking. C4C also advocates for equitable water access.
Twumasi credits her father for her devotion to service. “In Ghana, my father would tell me to look at the queue of people behind me,” she said. “He told me to learn and study so that I can open the door for that line—and they can come through the door behind me.”
Twumasi earned her bachelor of arts in political science from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, and her master’s in mental health, community counseling, from St. Mary’s University in 1998. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1986.
Twumasi was nominated and vetted by The Caribbean and African Faith Based Leadership Conference for the award. She will receive the award at the organization’s gala on September 30 in Maryland.