Robert J. Trulaske Sr., College of Business, University of Missouri

MU Vasey Academy Leaders and Students Win INROADS Awards

Two MU Trulaske College of Business academic advisors have been named 2009-10 Educators of the Year by INROADS, a multicultural career development organization. Several MU students also received honors from the organization.

Marvin Burns, a senior advisor and the college's Vasey Academy director, and Susan Klusmeier, an advisor and the college’s coordinator of student diversity, received the 31st annual award from INROADS Midwest Region, Inc. during a ceremony on July 29 in Kansas City. INROADS, a St. Louis-based not-for-profit group that trains multicultural students for professional business careers, bestows the award on people who consistently support its mission.

"We always make sure we recognize those people who help us achieve success, and Marvin and Susan definitely helped us do that," said Melissa Amaya, an INROADS manager who helped select the award winners.

INROADS specifically cited the work Burns and Klusmeier have done to help arrange student training sessions at the college’s Vasey Academy and to include the career development group in corporate showcase events. Burns, who for years has encouraged MU students to take advantage of INROADS resources, continued building those relationships when he stepped into the Vasey Academy director’s post in October 2009. “It’s nice to be acknowledged, but for me, the award underscores the beneficial relationship between the Vasey Academy and INROADS,” Burns said.

Burns said students benefit greatly from the personal touch INROADS provides to professional development programs. The academy was established in 1997 to introduce minority students to business career paths and opportunities.  Funded by gifts from MU alumnus Roger Vasey and his wife Sandy, the academy served 55 students during the 2009-10 school year.

Vasey Academy students also received INROADS honors this year in five of seven award categories, Burns said. The student awardees are:

  • Lea Brown, a business sophomore from Lee's Summit, Mo., received an Academic Achievement award.
  • Tyrell Everett, an accountancy junior from Wichita, Kan., received an Academic Achievement award.
  • Kimberly Johnson-Anderson, a management junior from Grandview, Mo., received the Female Scholar of the Year, Sophomore Intern of the Year, an Academic Achievement and the Frank C. Carr Community Service awards. The latter award included a $1,000 cash prize.
  • Michael Martinez, a finance and banking senior from Kansas City, Mo., received the Male Scholar of the Year award and an Academic Achievement award.
  • Nadege Ngomsi, a business junior from Kansas City, Mo., received an Academic Achievement award.
  • Kendra Samer, an accountancy graduate student from Kansas City, Mo., received the Trendsetter Award and an Academic Achievement award.
  • Shirin Zarinkia, an accountancy senior from Overland Park, Kan., received an Academic Achievement award.