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Scholar-Athlete Kris Leverette is Passionate about Health Care

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Health Sciences | School of Nursing and Health Studies | 2015 | Track and Field | Starts Master of Public Administration program this fall at UMKC |Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Where is UMKC taking you?

After graduation this month, to the Summer Public Health Scholars Program at Columbia University. Then I’m headed back to UMKC to start on my MPA.

Why did you choose UMKC?

My senior year I got an email from the (UMKC) track coach. It was my first college visit. It’s kinda cheesy to say, but it just felt right. It’s a nice school. I like the combination of athletics and academics here.

What led you to UMKC?

I throw the hammer and the weight, and most everyone does the shot and the discus. It made me stand out to UMKC.

What are your lifelong goals?

To be a health care administrator. My dream goal is to be an administrator at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, where I was born. It would just kind of be like finishing where I started, basically.

How has college inspired you?

College has shown me that there are so many different types of careers out in the world. It’s shown me the variety of people in the world as well as new places and experiences. Being born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, it was inspiring to see how big the world truly is. College has also inspired me by not only showing how much potential I have, but to put me in places and situations that have helped me to get one step closer to that potential every day.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I’ve learned that I’m a leader who leads by example, not the outspoken sound of my voice. I’ve learned that I have a great ability as a natural introvert to listen to individuals, yet I can still act as an extrovert to make sure that my ideas are heard. Also, I learned that I truly do have a passion for health care that is aided by my natural want to help individuals in need.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

The best piece of advice that I’ve ever received from a professor is that being a leader isn’t about being perfect or fearless; it’s about overcoming your fears and imperfections to help not only yourself, but the individuals who surround you.

Who do you admire most at UMKC?

My coaches and my professors are whom I admire here at UMKC. My Track & Field coaches have always gone above and beyond to make sure that I am in the best position to be successful in all of my endeavors, whether it’s athletics, academics or career-related. They’ve worked tirelessly to make sure that not only myself, but the entire team is taken care of in a variety of aspects in life and I admire and appreciate that. As for my professors, I admire their passion for what they do. At UMKC, I’m not just some student sitting in a classroom. My professors take time to know my name, my goals, my strengths/weaknesses and write reference letters, participate in my projects, all while teaching me their expertise. They all went above and beyond in a variety of aspects.

Are you a first-generation college student?

Yes. It’s humbling to have the chance to start a new generation of individuals within my family to make going to college the norm instead of the exception. I feel as though it’s a major blessing to be a first-generation college student and it fills me with a great sense of family pride. This sense of pride is a huge motivator for me to put all of my effort into every productive aspect of college life.

What’s your greatest fear?

Complacency. When individuals become complacent, especially when they reach a level of success, they lose the drive and determination that helped get them to that level of success in the first place. As college students, we tend to want to just get a bachelor’s degree and work in a job that may or may not be related to what we study or even like. It’s my greatest fear to get stuck in that vicious cycle, so I strive to put myself in as many positions every day that will challenge me so that I have continuous growth throughout my career path and life in general.

What is one word that best describes you?

Adaptable. The current state of the world requires future health leaders to be malleable in their ideas, thoughts and connections. Adaptable is the best word to describe myself, due to my natural ability to change for the better and learn from previous failures.

What motto do you live by?

I would say that basically, you can’t be successful without failures first. For example, in track and field, you make mistakes every day. You just have to learn from it and go on.

What excites you?

Recently, health care policy. I’m interning at the (Kansas City) Health Department, and I’ve been reading the ACA (Affordable Care Act) really in depth for a post on my blog (www.noiandp.blogspot.com).

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