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Vice Chancellor’s Honor Recipients Are Deeply Rooted in Family, Friends

Graduating Students Honored for Their Leadership and Service

“When I see a tree, I am reminded that the tree must have strong, deep roots to withstand strong winds,” said University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton as he paralleled the foundation and support that family, friends, and UMKC faculty and staff have provided four exceptional graduates.

The four graduates were honored at the fall 2016 Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Honor Recipients Breakfast on Dec. 16.

The honorees for fall 2016 included: Kathleen Crow, MPA, Henry W. Bloch School of Management; Osasere Eke, School of Biological Sciences; Kartik Sreepada, School of Medicine; and Xiaomei Grazia Xiong, Bloch School.

Each semester the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management calls for nominations of outstanding graduating students who have maintained high academic achievements and contributed exceptional leadership and service to the University and the community. This semester, four students were honored for their tenacity and commitment to hard work and perseverance.

Dr. Anne Williamson, Victor and Caroline Schutte/Missouri Professor of Urban Affairs in the Department of Public Affairs of the Bloch School, said it was a privilege to nominate Crow as an example to her fellow students. According to Crow, her strong roots consisted of not only family, but the relationships she’d built with her fellow students in the Bloch School’s Master of Public Administration program.

Student friendships and bonds are a key factor in student success, which is why Grazia stands out within the Bloch School. Grazia, whose family traveled 16 hours by plane from China to celebrate with her, helped to develop a mentorship program for international students within the Bloch School to assist with their transition.

“Grazia is extremely dedicated and bright,” said Bloch School Assistant Dean Kami Thomas. Thomas nominated Grazia for this award because of the impact she’s had on many students within the School. Grazia, in turn, said Thomas has been a critical part of her growth at UMKC.

Mentorship, friendships and real-world experiences are key factors in what makes a UMKC education world class, Sreepada said. He gained experiences as a medical student working at the Sojourner Clinic that have opened his eyes to what his life could have been like had he “been born into another family.” Sreepada says he would not be here without his family and friends who have provided support when he faced strong winds.

“If I am great, it is because of the people who have supported me,” said Eke. Eke was largely involved in various student organizations on campus and is known for her work ethic and dependability. “Osasere is a doer and a fighter,” said Student Services Coordinator LaNee’ Bridewell.

Each class of Vice Chancellors Honors Recipients showcases the unique talents and leadership of UMKC’s best and brightest students – students who are going places.


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