Ashley Knight Honored With President's Volunteer Service Award
If UMKC student Ashley Knight shows up at your door,
you can be sure she is going to ask you to do something – spend a day at
the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, make a donation to
Dentistry Professor Michael McCunniff knew Knight
as the faculty advisor for Students Take Action (STA), a student run
organization of dental and dental hygiene students who come together for
community service and companionship. Since
the inception of STA in 1998, members do dental screenings, participate
in low-cost clinics, provide free dental care to children and perform
many additional community service activities.
“The White House organization, USA Freedom Corps,
was aware of Ashley and her work,” said McCunniff.
“She is known as a person who would rather make a difference in
someone else’s life than spend time thinking about herself, and those
are the qualities that the White House wanted to spotlight.”
“Ashley went to Arrowhead Stadium with a group
called Team Smile, to treat low income children.
She also organized the 7th annual Shear Madness
fundraiser, where she found people willing to have their heads shaved –
for the right price. She
brought in $11,000 in bids from students and faculty, and everyone had a
ball on Shear Madness day when the hair came off.”
Knight has no intention of changing things much
after graduation from
“I may study for an advanced degree, or start my
practice. But wherever I am,
I will connect with a comparable group and work some nights or Saturdays
as a volunteer.
“This award is very flattering, but what is
important to me is making a difference.
So many other students pitch in, and faculty are really generous
with their time. Every year
that we’ve had Shear Madness, Dean Reed (
Knight, age 25, is a native of
Following are links to a few of the media interviews over the last several days.