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Regent McMillan, Student Body Pres Mike Kenyanya, Chancellor Black
November 1, 2017

UMD Student Body President, Mike Kenyanya, is featured this month's Story Harbor

(Image: Regent McMillan, Student Body President Mike Kenyanyya, Chancellor Black)

In our Bulldog Update Story Harbor articles, you’ll have the chance to meet a student, faculty, or staff member from UMD.

This month we are very pleased to introduce Mike Kenyanya, UMD Student Body President. Mike was born in Nairobi, Kenya and grew up in Maple Grove, Minnesota. He is a senior with a major in Management Information Systems and a minor in African and African American Studies. We had the opportunity to catch up with President Kenyanya in October.

Mike shared with us that he chose UMD for the atmosphere on campus.  After visiting friends, he could picture himself going to school at UMD: “The size was just right; not too big and not too small. The city was also a big draw with all it has to offer in terms of nature. After doing more research, the decision was easy.”

Mike has been a member of the University of Minnesota Duluth Student Association (UMDSA) for several years, and has held several leadership roles within the organization. Before his election as President, Mike spent an eventful and impactful year as UMD’s Student Representative to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Last March, Mike had the chance to present to the Board, advocating for additional mental health resources for UMD and other U of M system campuses. UMD received word this summer that two new counseling positions were approved as part of the U of M system budget.

Mike spoke eloquently about the importance of his involvement with the UMDSA.

“It's defined my college experience and really changed me as a person. It's given a purpose here on campus beyond just getting a degree and it's helped me grow as a leader and as a servant. I've learned the importance of considering different perspectives and how different issues affect different people. It's just a great feeling to see tangible effects of the work our team has done. Furthermore, it means a lot to me knowing that when I graduate and leave UMD, other people's experience here will be better because of things we did. Even when my team and I are scattered around the world in 10 years, someone here at UMD will be getting much-needed counseling from the counselor we advocated for or doing an experiment in the Chemistry building we lobbied for. That's why I do it. “

After graduation, Mike sees his future in terms of his many interests: business, entrepreneurship, global economic development, education, and international relations, saying: “I think I'll start out my career in the corporate world so I can pay back my loans and support my parents, then later I'll hopefully explore those non-business interests a bit more. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me. “

We are very fortunate indeed, that Mike chose UMD!