By Jeff Murphy, May 3, 2019
DaVontae Hair (left) and Tricia Hansen-Horn, 2019 recipients of UCM’s Learning to a Greater Degree Award.
WARRENSBURG, MO – Tricia Hansen-Horn, an educator who has dedicated her much of her life to serving students in the University of Central Missouri’s public relations program, and DaVontae Hair, a junior public relations student from Kansas City who is highly engaged in many facets of campus life, are the spring 2019 recipients of UCM’s Learning to a Greater Degree (LTAGD) Award.
LTAGD Awards were presented April 26 during a meeting of the university’s Board of Governors.
Kelly Waldram Cramer, director of Integrated Marketing and Communications, announced the award recipients, noting that Hansen-Horn is the faculty-staff recipient, and Hair is the student award winner. The awards are presented annually during the fall and spring semesters. Individuals are selected on the basis of nominations by UCM faculty, staff and students.
Learning to a Greater Degree conveys the essence of UCM as an institution which promises students the opportunity to experience engaged learning, future-focused academics, a worldly perspective and a culture of service. Members of the UCM community who are nominated for LTAGD awards support these reasons to believe and give life to these promises, Waldram-Cramer said. Individuals recognized are honored publicly by the governing board and have their names added to a plaque displayed in the lobby of the Administration Building.
Waldram Cramer said Hansen-Horn, a professor of public relations, was nominated by a student and a fellow faculty member. She demonstrates qualities that provide “an excellent example of engaged learning, future-focused academics, worldly perspective and culture of service” and was instrumental in helping the PR program become nationally certified.
“She not only makes sure the program curriculum meets cutting-edge industry trends and best practices, but she works directly with employers to provide internships for the PR students. She also assists and mentors Innovative Public Relations (IPR), the award-winning student-run public relations firm at UCM,” Waldram-Cramer said.
Hansen-Horn has enabled her students to develop a global perspective and experience a culture of service through opportunities such as leading a study abroad trip to Australia that included 33 UCM students and three faculty members. She spent hundreds of hours developing curriculum, setting up meetings with seven different Australian organizations and more than 25 industry professionals to make the trip a quality learning and cultural experience.
A student who nominated Hansen-Horn for the award noted that her guidance and support over the past five years made it possible to attend and succeed in graduate school. “No one else at UCM has had the impact on my professional career that she has,” the student added.
DaVontae Hair exhibits qualities that exemplify Learning to a Greater Degree including “a consistent focus on service to others,” Waldram-Cramer said, citing excerpts from a nominations on Hair’s behalf.
He has been in multiple leadership roles, including serving as Residence Hall Council President, United Student Housing Association President and Floor Leader for the Student Government Association. While serving on the Hall Council, he planned initiatives to benefit residents at the local veteran’s home. He also assisted in planning Green Dot training for nine residence hall councils during Project SAFE, and during his time with UCM’s Army ROTC program, he has had a significant role in planning the Patriot 5K Run which benefits veterans and active duty military personnel.
Waldram-Cramer said Hair’s nominator stated that he “commits himself to not only his academics but to being involved on campus. He doesn’t stop at involvement, he ingrains himself in the opportunities and creative, active ways to be a part of our commitment to service at UCM.” Hair was one of the PR students accompanying Hansen-Horn on the study tour to Australia. He also demonstrated a commitment to gaining a worldly perspective through his UCM education.
In nominations, Hair was described as an “inspiring student leader” who “steps up and sees the bigger picture and carries what he has learned with him. He is one of UCM’s most shining examples of a commitment to service as well as what it means to be involved as a student here at UCM.”