WRC Distinguished Student Award Recipient 2013
Kenya-Jade Pinto currently was the Students’ Union vice president academic where she didn't waver in serving and representing over 25,000 undergraduate students. While her role as VP Academic asked wisdom from Kenya-Jade, one example was the unexpected resignation of the student ombudsperson in August 2012 and subsequent interim role Kenya-Jade would fill. In addition to her full-time duties and part time studies, Kenya-Jade made herself available to students on an individual basis – making time to both impart advice about how best to navigate specific issues, and to offer a compassionate ear. She has a BA in International Relations and Minor in Development Studies.
Kenya-Jade’s road to VP academic was not without difficulty. During her campaign in early 2012, Kenya-Jade received the difficult news that her time with her father was limited. Kenya-Jade was dedicated to her belief that her candidacy for VP academic was strong, and even more dedicated to spending as much time as she could with her dad. Long hours on campus meant long nights at the hospital, but she remained resilient. When Ashley Pinto died, Kenya-Jade began the daunting task of mapping uncharted territory at work, at home, and within herself.
In an attempt to navigate personal loss and advocate for cancer research and education, Kenya-Jade helped to organize Terry’s Cause on Campus as student spokesperson and spoke about her loss alongside Darrel Fox. She was also part of a team of students who raised funds for cancer research through participating in a head shave in Mac Hall. As a founding member of the Women in Leadership (WIL) club on campus, Kenya-Jade’s compassion can also be found in her dedicating the time to support a mandate of collaboration and innovation between women of various backgrounds, disciplines and career paths. Kenya-Jade led a project aimed at highlighting the diversity of women and narratives that exist on campus, which were showcased at WIL’s year-end networking luncheon.