A Newman University graduate student has received an award for making a difference in diversity and inclusion.
Devin Smith, graduate assistant of diversity at Newman, accepted the Collegiate Impact Award presented at the third annual Dreamchasers Award gala hosted by the Wichita Urban Professionals (ICT-UP). The award is given to a student who has made a difference in diversity and inclusion on and off campus. The individual must also excel academically. ICT-UP seeks to empower young and talented individuals through leadership training, professional development and social networking.
Smith is currently working to complete his MBA in healthcare administration.
"I have always wanted to impact people’s lives positively," said Smith. "This award shows that I am doing just that but it doesn’t stop here. I want to continue to be an impact in other’s lives."
This year, he was an advisor for the Black Student Union and led them to win the Club of the Year award at the April 19 Newman Academic Awards Banquet. He is highly involved and supportive of several multicultural groups on campus including multicultural leadership.
Candidates for this award are co-represented by the Wichita State University Diversity and Inclusion office. They seek individuals who demonstrate dynamic leadership abilities and open doors of opportunities for others. The individual must be selfless, a visionary and able to step out of their comfort zone to make a difference.
Smith was nominated for the award by Ami Larrea, an academic and international advisor at Newman. Larrea has seen the impact of Smith's work on campus and felt he should be recognized.
"I was very surprised," said Smith about winning. "I was honored to be able to accept this award but I know all my actions and all that happened this past year was not just me by myself. I have had great support from everyone here at Newman and I couldn’t have done any of this without help from my Student Life team and Ami. They are big factors that help keep me going."
ICT-UP historian Christina Long noted, "We were really proud that they chose Devin. We've been aware of him and his work and were pleased to see him as a candidate."
Accepting the award, Smith told ICT-UP, "Thank you all for the help and support this past year that made this all possible. I am very honored to accept this award."
Smith said he looks forward to continuing to make an impact at Newman in any way that he can.