UMKC Recognizes Outstanding Alumni at the 2023 Awards Celebration

15 alumni and one family honored
A row of roo statue trophies sit on a table

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Class of 2023 Alumni Achievement Awards ceremony celebrated and recognized the accomplishments of UMKC alumni.

In addition, the ceremony generates funds to supports student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards event has garnered more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate student aid for UMKC.

A group of alumni pose for a photo

“I am always excited for the Alumni Awards because they recognize hard work, dedication and resilience,” Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said. “No one achieves this level of success without tenacity – and excellent preparation. It’s an honor to recognize our alumni’s achievements, and it’s always a joy to be with you for this event.”

Chancellor Mauli Agrawal hands Sean O'Brien a trophy shaped like the Corbin Roo statue

Alumnus Sean O’Brien, (J.D. ’80) was recognized as the Alumnus of the Year. He received the highest honor bestowed by the UMKC Alumni Association for his career of freeing the wrongly convicted. After directing the Missouri Capital Punishment Resource Center for 15 years, he returned to UMKC as a visiting professor and later became a full professor. He credits his education at the UMKC School of Law for providing the foundation for his success.

“UMKC School of Law prides itself on producing practice-ready lawyers, and that was true in my case.”

Complete list of awardees:
Alumnus of the year: Sean O’Brien (J.D. ‘ 80)
Bill French Alumni Service: Patricia Macdonald (B.L.A.)
Defying the Odds: Rev. Carl Moore (B.M.E. ’68)
Spotlight Award: Bruce Bubacz
Legacy Family: The Accurso Family
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences*: Beth Harvill (Ph.D. ’95)
Henry W. Bloch School of Management: Ramin Cherafat (MBA ’02)
School of Computing and Engineering*: Ken Gerling (B.S.C.E. ’91)
Conservatory: Charlie Corcoran (M.F.A. ’01)
School of Dentistry: Cesar Sabates (D.D.S.’87, A.E.G.D. ’88)
School of Dentistry-Dental Hygiene: Heather Samuel (B.S.D.H. '90, M.S.D.H. '91)
School of Education*: Chris Brown (Ph.D. '93)
School of Law: Scott Bethune (J.D. '88)
School of Medicine: Arif Kamal (B.L.A., '04, M.D. '05)
School of Nursing and Health Studies: Shweta Palakkode (B.H.S. '15)
School of Pharmacy: Craig Norman (B.S. '83)

Chancellor Mauli Agrawal poses for a photo with alumni, handing one an award

If you were unable to attend the event, but would like to donate to student scholarships, contributions can be made online.

*Nominations were collected before UMKC Forward realigned academic units. Next year, awardees will be named in their new academic units: School of Science and Engineering, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences.


Top Stories