Students Well Prepared for the Future

Photo Credit:  Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Seven Graduates Recognized for Academics, Leadership and Service

“It has been a pleasure to be a part of this University and to work with talented students each day,” said Mel Tyler, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

On that note, Tyler thanked the students, families and the UMKC campus community for celebrating the accomplishments of seven outstanding graduating students. They were recognized at the Vice Chancellor Honor Recipient Awards breakfast.

Each year in December and May, honor recipients are awarded for their academic achievements, leadership and service to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Faculty and staff are asked to nominate exceptional graduating students who have maintained high achievements. Once nominated, students are required to submit a personal statement describing their service and their contributions to the UMKC community.

Selections are made by committee.

Keela Scott, one of the awardees – and now an alumna – from the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke in her personal statement about the research opportunities afforded her while attending UMKC.

“Dr. Kathleen Kilway, a professor and mentor, has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and an incredible opportunity to engage in scientific research,” said Scott. “I quickly developed an appreciation for the patience that is required for research in any field … and I believe that without research we forfeit an opportunity to educate ourselves and the members of our community.”

Each of the honorees shared details about some of their sacrifices, their UMKC journey and their plans for the future. With one exception – Jason Anthony Regina, who is in Korea participating in a study abroad program. Felicia Hall spoke for her son, as she donned her shimmering pink reindeer ears.

“I am so proud of Jason, and the work he’s doing to provide clean water to countries,” said Hall. She spoke of his hard work and his dedication to serving others.

Tyler announced the 2013 Vice Chancellor Honor Recipients.

Kenneth T. Bacchus

Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Nominated by Dr. Jered Carr

Kasim Hardaway

College of Arts & Sciences

Nominated by LaShaundra Randolph

Audrey McCalley

School of Biological Sciences

Nominated by Dr. Peter Koulen

Jason Anthony Regina

School of Computing and Engineering

Nominated by Dean Kevin Truman

Keela Scott

College of Arts and Sciences

Nominated by Dr. Kathleen Kilway

Syed Jawad Hussain Shah

School of Biological Sciences

Nominated by Tammy Welchert

R. Jayson Strickland

School of Education

Nominated by Dr. Jennifer Friend

The graduating students received lavish praise from Tyler, as well as from those who nominated them – praise apparently well deserved. One quote from Babe Ruth shared by Scott seems to sum up the motto of the recipients:

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”


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