Our Students. Our Story. #UMKCGoingPlaces

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Shaunika Leonzon Wants to Fight Crime and Loves to Dance

At UMKC, the students are our story. Introducing a new digital storytelling project. Look, listen and learn about us through interviews, photographs and videos of our students. Read the other student stories and go to umkcgoingplaces.tumblr.com and follow.


Sociology major | College of Arts and Sciences | 2016

Where is UMKC taking you?

I was a pre-med student; however, I was not as engaged as I should have been. I spoke with some professors in sociology, and, based on my interests, they encouraged me to consider it as a career. My lifelong goals are to work for the U. S. government as an FBI agent or in criminology. I want a stable family life and good career.

Why did you choose UMKC?

Initially, it was the six-year School of Medicine program that led me to UMKC. My mom works at Truman Medical Center (one of the medical school’s clinical partners) and she said the doctors are easy to work with. I wanted to attend school close to home, and UMKC was a good choice. My mom worked abroad for a while, and I wanted to be near my family while she was gone.

Also, I love to dance and considered applying to the Conservatory of Music and Dance. I chose, instead, to dance with the UMKC dance team. I love jazz and hip hop.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I learned that I have to always be doing something. I cannot be sitting still or else I will not want to do anything. College has kept me busy and I now know that I am a person who likes to always be on the move.

What motto do you live by?

My motto is: Always try your best and work hard. If you’re not giving 100 percent, there’s no need to try.

What excites you?

Dance and my family.

What is one word that describes you?

Passionate. I am very passionate about everything I do in life. When I do not put passion in something I feel that I am not giving it all I have.

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