UWS 2014 Chancellor's Leadership Award recipient honored
UWS University Relations
Kevin Jenkins is the winner of the 2014 Chancellor’s Leadership Award at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The award is given to a member of the graduating class who is committed to personal growth and has made a positive contribution to his or her peers, campus and community.
The Rhinelander, Wis., native demonstrated these qualities and quickly impressed his instructors with remarkable academic work and a natural ability to play a leadership and mentoring role in classroom discussions and activities. He was a recipient of the 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. He is a familiar face at campus events in Superior and Madison and held a variety of campus and community service roles. In addition, Jenkins also has been active with the Distance Learning Center, having served as the student representative on a DLC search and screen committee for an outreach specialist.While Jenkins enjoyed his time at UWS, in particular, he found research work to be rewarding. “I became interested in tribal issues while working with Dr. Erik Riker-Coleman to study the issues related to the walleye wars of the 1980s for my research fellowship. As I went further into my research, I began to look at other areas of impact on tribal communities, which led me to URSCA.” The senior presented not one, but two posters at the recent Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Creative Activity celebration on campus in Yellowjacket Union on April 16. One for the Department of Natural Sciences called “Another Inconvenient Truth — Indian Border Schools” with mentor Randy Gabrys Alexson, and another for the Department of Communicating Arts titled “What Happens When We Fail To Properly Communicate With Cultures That Are Different From Our Own.” His mentor for that project was Scott Smith. Living in Madison, he had easy access to the Wisconsin Historical Society and frequently used the archives as a resource for his research activities. In discussing the archives, Jenkins noted “For one of the projects I was working on, I started looking for historical photos. As I dug further into the archives, I ended up finding other historical materials such as diaries and essays that assisted me in my research.” Recently, Jenkins donated his collection of notes, interviews and documents from the SURF project to the WHS.Besides excelling in the classroom, Jenkins demonstrated his keen ability to use his talents in the workforce. He works at the capitol in Madison as a chief of staff in the Wisconsin Senate. He is a strong supporter for UWS and a great legislative ambassador for the campus and region. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was mayor of Rhinelander from 2002-05. As a nontraditional distance learning student, he connected with campus all the way from Madison and made it a priority to stay in touch with students, faculty and staff.For Jenkins, balancing full-time work, raising a young family and going to school was an accomplishment he was very proud of. “I have enjoyed the distance learning experience here at UW-Superior, it has presented some wonderful opportunities in addition to providing me with a great education. Just because you are not physically on campus doesn’t mean you can’t be involved with campus events.”Jenkins graduated with honors, summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in communicating arts and a geography minor. He obtained his degree through the UWS Distance Learning Center.