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Students are my real inspiration

January 03, 2017

ReBUILDetroit student success coordinator, Kathleen Walker, receives Detroit Mercy’s 2016 "Commitment to Excellence Award" for her dedication to student success.

The award recognizes outstanding staff and administrators who provide excellent service, promote Detroit Mercy’s mission and go beyond the expectations of their position.

“I am honored to receive the Commitment to Excellence award,” says Walker.  “My own personal commitment comes from loving what I do and having an unlimited passion for the success of my students.”

Kathleen Walker with Detroit Mercy President Antoine Garibaldi

Kathleen Walker with Detroit Mercy President Antoine Garibaldi

Nominations for award recipients are solicited from Detroit Mercy faculty and staff. 

“Being nominated by my colleagues was the best part of the award,” says Walker.  “Knowing that others see my hard work really means a lot and gives me even more energy to continue.”

Walker is an alumna of Detroit Mercy and takes great pride in seeing her students succeed.

“The students are my real inspiration – knowing that my work makes a real difference in their lives keeps me coming back every day with new energy.  Their success is my success. I owe what I do to the students who have come to trust me with their educational experience,” says Walker.

In announcing Walker as the recipient of this award, associate vice-president in human resources, Steven Nelson provides this:

In her role as the Student Success Coordinator, this employee has been the main point person responsible to providing emotional and pragmatic support to the students.  She meets with the first-year students weekly to provide support and guidance regarding a host of issues related to their psychosocial development, transition to college and academic success.  It is not uncommon to find her working well beyond regular office hours as she frequently goes above and beyond to ensure the students’ needs are met.  This recipient wears many hats as the coordinator, scheduler, mentor, parent, life-coach and champion of every student she sees.  One nomination noted that “ I can recall her driving over 40 minutes to pick up a student when his ride fell through in order to ensure he could attend the first day of ReBuild’s Summer Enrichment program and subsequently teaching the student how to access a city bus to enable him to make it to the rest of the program”. This is just one example that speaks to this employee’s dedication to the mission of the University.

She is an extraordinary person who always puts the students before her.  She hears their concerns, fears, joy and delight and provides a shoulder for the scholars to cry on or celebrate good news which even includes arranging monthly birthday parties, cake included!  One nomination noted, “Without her level of engagement with our students we would often have been unaware of their concerns.”

Congratulations, Kathleen!

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