Each year the RCPD hosts an annual awards and appreciation reception at the end of the spring semester to honor the outstanding achievements of scholarship recipients, exceptional faculty and staff, and generous donors who support the RCPD mission. This year marks the 51st anniversary of the RCPD and each award recipient demonstrates what it means to maximize ability and opportunity through ambition and innovation.
Jennifer Kirk, an instructor in the MSU Biological Science Program, is the recipient of the 2023 RCPD Spirit of Ability Award. This award is given to leaders within the MSU community who are compassionate and who create welcoming and inclusive environments that provide opportunities for all.
Jennifer was nominated for this award for her never-ending ability to empathize with students, be flexible, and understand each and every student’s unique situation and ability. The student who nominated her said, “Jenn goes out of her way to make sure that students feel welcomed and supported in her classroom and is always willing to take the time out of her busy schedule to chat and teach. Jenn is one of the few professors who takes extra steps to ensure that her learning is accessible for students of all learning types. I have been lucky to work for Jenn and witness the extreme patience and care that she puts in with every single student. Jenn carries the weight of her student's worries on her shoulders and gives them all the benefit of the doubt.” Jennifer is described as being a professor who exemplifies what it means to be inclusive in an academic setting.
Jennifer exemplifies the spirit of ability through her leadership, compassion, and the belief that all students can reach their fullest potential no matter their disability—a true leader in maximizing ability and opportunity for all.
Congratulations to Jennifer Kirk!