Kristi Ryujin earns the Chamber of Commerce Ace Award for contributions to UMKC’s culture of diversity
Ryujin earned the award for her innovation, leadership and contribution to the university’s culture as it relates to diversity. She was one of four recipients selected by The Chamber.
The Ace Award is a prestigious business and community salute to culturally diverse mid- and senior- level managers who achieve excellence in the manners in which they display leadership, solve problems, impact profitability, exhibit corporate values or make significant contributions to an organization’s overall success.
“Kristi’s recognition by the Chamber of Commerce is an outward symbol of her commitment to inclusion at UMKC and in the community,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton. “Kristi has been instrumental in programming – on and off campus – that created an environment of respect.”
The division’s work at UMKC has helped raise the profile of diversity efforts on campus. The Social Justice Book and Lecture Program, the MLK speaker series, the Cesar Chavez lecture series and others have attracted thousands of campus and community members to hear from the nation’s most influential leaders, scholars and thinkers including Cornel West, Ray Suarez and Candace Gingrich to name a few.
Partnerships with local agencies including Latino KC, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Hispanic Development Fund, United Services Community Action Agency and Mana de Kansas City resulted in many hours of tutoring, mentoring and pipeline programs for area K-12 students.
The division also raised more than $100,000 for scholarships for LGBTQIA and Latina/o students, and worked to enhance relationships with various communities with an interest in and commitment to the success of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“Kristi has played a vital role in the Diversity division’s success and the Ace Award is tangible proof of her achievement,” said Anne Hartung Spenner, vice chancellor for Strategic Marketing and Communications, who is serving as an interim co-director for the Division of Diversity, Access and Equity. “She takes her passion for inclusivity and social justice and turns that into high quality programming and outreach to students, faculty and staff and the community. UMKC is a better place for her efforts.”
Mel Tyler, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, was one of four ACE awardees in 2012.