Students Honored for Achievements

Two graduating seniors recognized for academics, leadership and service

Each semester, the office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management receives nominations of exceptional graduating students for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Honor Recipient Award.

Two seniors – Amra Suljic and Pei Song (Jack) Tan – were recently named the 2012 Honor Recipients. The students have maintained high academic achievements and provide leadership and service to the University and the community.

They were honored at a special recognition breakfast and will graduate on Dec. 14.

Suljic will graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences with a double emphasis in journalism/mass communication and interpersonal/public communication. She is a native of Bijeljina, Bosnia and lived in Cologne, Germany for six years.

Since coming to UMKC, Suljic has maintained a high academic standing and graduates with a 3.8 GPA – in addition to her numerous volunteer efforts. She has served as an intern at the Congressional Office of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center; volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City and the Ronald McDonald House; and currently serves as secretary for the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society.

According to Gina Lichte, UMKC coordinator for organizations/orientation in the Office of Student Involvement, Suljic is a perfect choice for this honor.

“I have worked with Amra since the fall 2011 semester, and I have been very impressed by her work ethic, commitment and integrity. She is an excellent recipient for this award,” said Lichte. “She continues to push herself while maintaining a high GPA, showing that her academics matter just as much as her contributions to the university.”

Suljic’s next goal is to pursue a master’s degree in higher education administration, preparing her for a career in International Student Affairs.

A native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Pei Song Tan has been a student at UMKC since 2010 and will graduate with a degree in finance from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. He has a 4.0 CGPA.

After graduation, he will join the Unilever Future Leaders Program, a 36-month rotation program in three different countries. Initially, Tan – who goes by the nickname “Jack” – will work in operations and logistics and rotate to various departments throughout the company.

“My goal during the next 10 to 20 years,” said Tan, “is to have at least one friend in every country in the world. Right now, I have friends in 60 countries.”

Tan’s ongoing involvement at UMKC includes serving as a senator of the Bloch School Student Association, participating in Enactus (formerly Students In Free Enterprise) and the organization’s China Project, designed to increase cultural awareness between the U.S. and China for business and education. He has prepared for his upcoming career in a leadership position.

“Jack has been a model student leader in the Bloch School and beyond,” said Kami Thomas, assistant dean at Bloch. “Many times, he volunteered to help our recruiting efforts in the Bloch School, including taking time out during his school vacation to talk with prospective students at two different universities in Malaysia.”

Thomas said that after meeting Jack’s parents – who are so invested in him – she understood why he was so invested in his education and why he has been able to turn his passion into action.

Narbeli Galindo, adjunct instructor in the Bloch School, reiterated that sentiment, adding that Tan is willing to offer his assistance to anyone in the school in need.

“When I began teaching undergraduates, Jack volunteered to assist in my classroom, and he was already working with seven groups on campus,” said Galindo. “He assisted me and Kami for two years. And, he worked with students at Bloch.”

Mel Tyler, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, summed up the qualities of the students who receive this award.

“These two students – our 2012 Honor Recipients – are great students, doing great things for UMKC. They are an indication of the why we do what we do,” said Tyler.


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