The Black Family Technology Awareness Association of Kansas City awarded University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo E. Morton with its African American STEM Pioneer Award.
Morton, who has led UMKC as chancellor since 2008, received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University and a master of science degree from MIT. Through most of his professional career, he has held high-level corporate positions in the field of STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
“Mr. Leo Morton is a valued role model in Kansas City and he has shown how the skills and training you have to be an engineer can be carried over to business and academia,” said Lewis George Walker, president of the Black Family Technology Awareness Association. “As a Pioneer, Mr. Morton has set many firsts in his career at Bell Laboratories, AT&T, Aquila and now by leading UMKC. The Black Family Technology Awareness Association was proud to bestow this recognition from the community to Mr. Morton.”
The association has been recognizing outstanding African Americans in STEM for 10 years in the greater Kansas City area. Morton received a certificate and plaque at the association’s 10th annual awards program. The event kicked off Black Family Technology Awareness Week 2014, and includes the Kansas City Youth Technology Fair and VEX Robotics Competition at Southeast Community Center.
Morton has been a speaker at many STEM programs at UMKC and throughout Kansas City.
“I am humbled by and grateful for this award from this association that encourages young people to become eager and enthusiastic about a science field,” Morton said. “Through Tuskegee and MIT where I studied STEM subjects, I was transformed. That is what education and information have the power to do. I became a problem solver. Today’s STEM programs put the personal, enjoyable aspect of science front and center to inspire future problem solvers.”