Briefly Mentioned: Almuni Association awards

Louis Trigg

The UMKC Alumni Association announced the winners of its annual awards last week, recognizing 16 alumni and one family with top honors. Each year, the Alumni Association uses the awards to honor top-performing alumnus and raise money for student scholarships.

Recipients will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on April 26, 2012 in the Westin Crown Center. Proceeds from the event go to students with an immediate financial need.

Medicine graduate Catherine Y. Spong (’91) received the Alumna of the Year award for her role at the National Institutes of Health. It is the highest alumni award given by the Alumni Association to honor prominence in a professional field and outstanding service to society.

Spong is chief of Pregnancy and Perinatology at the National Institutes of Health, where she oversees nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts in obstetrics, neonatology and maternal fetal medicine.

The Class of 2012 Alumni Award recipients also includes Bloch School of Management graduate Esther George (’00), who was appointed as the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City earlier this year.

George is also a member of the UMKC Board of Trustees and has been active with the UMKC Bloch School Advisory Council.

She assumes her duties at the Federal Reserve Bank this week.

In addition, Conservatory of Music and Dance alumnus John Leavitt (’90) joins this year’s class as a renowned musician and teacher of the arts. As a regularly featured artist for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Series in Washington, D.C., he has achieved global recognition and distinction for compositions in his professional field.

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