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Hussein receives President’s Student Leadership & Service Award

Kadir Hussein, a senior chemistry major, has been honored with the President's Student Leadership & Service Award. This prestigious award honors outstanding students for their exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and its surrounding community. Kadir will receive this award from President Eric Kaler at the President's Student Leadership and Service Award banquet, which is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in the Great Hall of the Coffman Memorial Union.

"Kadir has a stellar record of academic achievement, leadership, and service," said Professor Christy Haynes, his adviser. He has been working in Haynes' laboratory since April 2013, exceeding expectations for undergraduate researchers by making a new laboratory instrument work despite some obstacles, presenting data at research meetings, and positively interacting with research collaborators at other universities.

In addition to laboratory research and a difficult course load, Kadir is committed to improving the Department of Chemistry and the university-at-large for underrepresented groups of students. Beyond performing a significant amount of community service work, he is president of the Oromia Student Union, is a Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence Ambassador, and has reestablished the university's student chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.

Kadir is also a founding member of the Department of Chemistry's new Diversity Committee. He has been instrumental in working with the Office of Institutional Research to obtain statistical metrics about the Department of Chemistry's diversity. As the only undergraduate on the Diversity Committee, he provides insightful comments and ideas for the development of new ways to assess and improve the diversity of the department's undergraduate and graduate populations.

"As an undergraduate working on a committee with graduate students, faculty, and staff, Kadir represents our undergraduate chemistry majors in the best possible ways," said Professor Lee Penn, chair of the Department of Chemistry's Diversity Committee. "He regularly voices informed opinions and leads the conversations, but can also be a thoughtful listener to the opinions and ideas of others in the room.

"He is an extremely professional and friendly person. His passion for improving climate for international students and students of color on campus comes through at every meeting. His creativity and ability to connect seemingly disparate information and ideas is wonderful," Penn said.

Earlier this year, Kadir received the Sue W. Hancock SEEDs of Change award. SEED stands for Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity. He was honored for his engagement with and commitment to issues of equity and diversity.