A Model of Compassion and Leadership in Community Engagement: Kyndall Kleinman, ‘24

May 3, 2024
Woman with dark brown hair stands outside a brick building with graduation gown and cords

Kyndall Kleinman, who is graduating with a major in Care, Health and Society, is the recipient of the spring 2024 SBS Excellence in Leadership and Community Engagement Award, which recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills through their involvement on and off campus and their impact on the lives of others.

While Kyndall ranks academically among the top five students in this semester's graduating CHS majors, her excellence transcends high marks.
“Kyndall’s engagement in our campus community, in Tucson, and internationally reflect a level of dedication beyond what is common or expected, wrote Carrie Langley, director of Care, Health & Society. “She genuinely cares about making the community better, and she understands the investment of time and experience will grow her knowledge in how to help those who need it most.”

Kyndall demonstrates active compassion across various settings. On campus, she precepts for CHC 334, a course that centers on the unique needs of those experiencing homelessness. She also volunteers as a crisis textline counselor and a Campus Health WellCat Ambassador — a program that connects students to mental health and wellness services on campus. In the College of Family and Community Medicine, Kyndall is a lead clinical research assistant with the RENEW, a team whose research focuses on substance misuse and women’s health. She also volunteers her time in the clinic with The Flying Samaritan’s Club, a UArizona organization that provides free medical and dental services to the community of Agua Prieta, Mexico. 

"I'm immensely grateful for the wide array of courses and extracurricular activities available at the UA,” Kyndall said. “These opportunities have not only enabled me to engage with local and global communities but have also fostered collaborations with exceptional professors and peers. Their dedication has inspired me to deepen my commitment to serving my community."

In the community, Kyndall works at the Z-Mansion, an organization founded in 2002 by Reverend Tom Hill and his wife, Emmeline, as a barrier-free center for feeding and caring for Tucsonans experiencing homelessness. Now the clinic coordinator, she started as a volunteer in 2021 during COVID-19 when in-person engagement was difficult. Not only did Kyndall take the initial step to show up amidst challenging circumstances, but she has also volunteered her time nearly every weekend since 2021. 

“Kyndall not only creates a safe space for so many in our community who feel they have nothing left,” wrote Langley. “She [also] mentors others on how to be the next volunteers.”

Looking ahead, Kyndall plans to attend medical school and work with underserved communities and women’s healthcare.

“After graduation, I intend to pursue a future in medicine in the hopes of being able to continuously advocate for my community. Through ongoing advocacy efforts, I aspire to empower individuals in my community and to promote equity in healthcare outcomes, ensuring that no one feels overlooked in their quest towards achieving quality and trustworthy healthcare."