April 20, 2017
When Kyanna L. Williams-Pate graduates from Saint Vincent College this May, she will leave behind a multifaceted legacy of contributions she has made as an active campus leader.
Williams-Pate co-founded the campus chapter of the American Medical Student Association and the women’s club rugby team during four busy years of service to students at Saint Vincent as well as those less fortunate outside the campus.
President of the Saint Vincent College Visionaries of H.O.P.E. since fall 2013, she also led a Haiti drive, a minority mentor group, served as a volunteer note taker, assisted in planning the Martin Luther King Day of Service, served as a buddy for Sports Friendship Day and participated in a service trip to Haiti during spring break 2014. Upon her return from Haiti, she started fundraising to purchase shoes, soccer balls and multivitamins for the children there.
“Appreciating her strength to care for others and her unwavering compassion, Kyanna’s service trip to Haiti reaffirmed her desire to respect the needs of others and to help the less advantaged, especially in the field of medicine,” commented Dr. Nancy A. Rottler, director of the Opportunity SVC/Act 101/Student Support Services-TRIO program. “This experience inspired Kyanna not only to reflect on how she could make a difference during her time in Haiti, but energized her to identify ways to keep the momentum building in an effort to help those in need.”
In addition, she participated in the Studio SVC Dance Group and the SVC Dance Team and served on the Orientation Committee and the International Student Union.
Williams-Pate won second place at the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society Regional Conference for her research on sickle cell anemia. “I am very proud of my student research because I have been able to find an anemia model in zebrafish which can help pregnant women who may be thinking about having a child and who may be genetically predisposed to sickle cell anemia,” she commented. “I found that if you alter different nutritional factors you can prevent that child’s blood from sickling even if you have a genetic predisposition to it. My adviser, Br. Albert Gahr, O.S.B., has helped me reach my goal of figuring out a different way to treat sickle cell anemia patients before they develop the disease.”
She was named to Who’s Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities, was the winner of the Ronald Gorka Scholarship, winner of a Pennsylvania Trio Scholarship and was inducted into the National Chemistry Honor Society. A member of the Dean’s List, she was named to the Opportunity Outstanding Student Honor Roll, was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Academic Honor Society and Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society.
She was first introduced to Saint Vincent College at the age of 14 when she participated in the summer Challenge program, an academic residential camp. That same summer in 2010, she was selected from a group of students to participate in the Crossroads Foundation program whose mission is to provide promising youth who have limited options access to a quality Catholic high school education by nurturing their academic and personal growth so they may succeed in college and in life.
After graduating with a bachelor of science degree in biology with a minor in psychology, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health and then apply for admission to medical school.
A member of Nazarene Baptist Church in Homewood, she is the daughter of Letiticia Williams of Pittsburgh (Penn Hills). She is a 2013 graduate of Serra Catholic High School.
Photo: Kyanna Williams-Pate