Kenneth Donald Kinney and Sara Christensen, both class of 2014 UMKC School of Law graduates, received prestigious awards during the law school’s annual student awards ceremony. Kinney received the Law Alumni Association Charles E. Whittaker Award for Academic Excellence, named after the School’s Supreme Court Justice and recognizing the outstanding third-year student who has advanced the intellectual life of the Law School. Christensen received the Law Alumni Association Harry S. Truman Leadership Award, which is given annually to a graduating third-year student who exemplifies commitment to the legal profession, service, and leadership, standards set by the Law School’s most famous alumnus, Harry S. Truman. Both students received a plaque and cash award.
In addition to these honors, Kinney and Christensen also received several other awards Friday, May 16 at the awards ceremony.
Kinney graduated Summa Cum Laude and received the award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, reflecting the highest grade point average over three years of study. As recipient of this award, he had the opportunity to speak briefly to his classmates at the Awards Ceremony. At the Awards Ceremony, he received several awards recognizing his outstanding performance in mock trial and trial advocacy competitions, his highest grades in many classes, serving on the Board of Barristers, graduating with highest honors in pro bono/public service and his work as Articles Editor of the The Urban Lawyer and his service as a staff member on the UMKC Law Review.
Christensen also received awards for her excellent work in the National Trial Competition, Jury Trial Challenge, South Texas Mock Trial Challenge, National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition, Student Trial Advocacy Competition, serving on the Board of Barristers, and with highest honors in pro bono/public service. In addition, Christensen also worked with the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri to host former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at an event for more than 1200 high school students.