Two A&S Alums Win UMKC Alumni Awards
(The following are abbreviated versions of stories and photos previously provided in “Perspectives” and elsewhere in Alumni News. For the full stories see: info.umkc.edu/perspectives/features/honor-roll/)
David Westbrook (B.A. 1971), Defying the Odds Award. Unhindered by the juvenile glaucoma that took his sight at age 17, David Westbrook has proven that vision has nothing to do with one’s ability to see. Westbrook founded Corporate Communications Group, one of the nation’s leading communications and public relations firms. In 2008, Westbrook took his talent and dedication to longtime client Children’s Mercy Hospital. As a volunteer, he has provided his energy and expertise to many community initiatives and organizations, including Alphapointe, American Federation for the Blind, the American Jazz Museum and many more. For Perspectives, he said:
“I think I got my passion from my experience at UMKC as chair of the Kennedy Symposium,” Westbrook says. “I was privileged to be with some truly remarkable thought leaders of the day. Being with those thought leaders and trying to make an impact on issues like the environment, civil rights and the war in Vietnam were experiences that prepared for a life of dealing with change and managing it on my own behalf as a blind man and also on behalf of clients.”
Michelle Wimes (B.A. 1988), College of Arts & Sciences. Wimes has used her UMKC Spanish and Communications degrees to spearhead workforce diversity and inclusion across the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Currently she is director of Professional Development and Inclusion at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. Wimes previously served as the director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives at Shook, Hardy & Bacon and its nine city offices in the U.S., and abroad. She has garnered many professional and community awards for her work, including The Daily Record’s Leader of the Year Award.