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KU School of Health Professions hosts Student Kickoff 2022

At this informal event held at the beginning of the school year, students can connect with the dean and other students from across KU School of Health Professions.

Dean Akinwantun playing Jenga with a student
Dean Akinwuntan and Maryam Sadeghi, a second-year doctoral student in the Rehabilitation Science program, enjoy a game of Giant Jenga.

Students from the University of Kansas School of Health Professions took a break from their studies on the afternoon of Sept. 1 to play some games, enjoy some free snacks and mingle with classmates as well as faculty.

The annual School of Health Professions Student Kickoff, held this year in the Ad Astra room of the Health Education Building at the University of Kansas Medical Center, gives students the chance to celebrate the start of the new school year and to meet other students from across the school, which offers a variety of degree programs in different health fields.

“We’ve found that students who are enrolled in the School of Health Professions identify mostly with their department,” said Christi Jones, assistant director, Office of the Dean of KU School of Health Professions, who organized the 2022 Student Kickoff. “This event is an opportunity to help bring the whole school together in an informal setting. It’s always very popular.”

And it’s an opportunity to have some fun. The school hired KC Crew to provide a taco bar, soft drinks and games, including giant versions of Jenga and Connect 4 and a memory game involving enormous playing cards placed face down on the floor. Large dice with ice-breaker questions printed on each side were placed at round tables scattered through the room.

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of KU School of Health Professions and the school’s student senate, the Student Kickoff has been held annually since 2017, except for 2020 when it was canceled because of the pandemic.

“I think it’s really cool,” said Mary Kate Donegan, a student from Chicago who is pursuing a doctorate in audiology. “I met some people from the dietetics and nutrition program; we did a couple of good get-to-know-you questions.”

Students could also grab a School of Health Professions t-shirt, pen, or lanyard from a table of free items at the event.

“It was great to see people's faces again after various disruptions the past two years, share some good food and play a few games,” said Abiodun Akinwuntan, Ph.D., MPH, MBA, dean of KU School of Health Professions and an enthusiastic Jenga player. “I wish all our current students the best for the 2022-2023 school year and beyond.”

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