Staff Who Inspire: Kanye Gardner

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally appeared on WSU's alumni website

As employees of Wayne State, we stand in a unique position. For us, the idea of "paying it forward" can be accomplished through our everyday service to the university, being advocates for our students and school in arenas outside of work, making a gift or, like Kanye Gardner, we can do all three.

Kanye Gardner, the director of continuous quality improvement for the School of Medicine, is a two-time Mike Ilitch School of Business alum (B.S. '02, M.B.A. '11) and former football player of Wayne State. His job is to ensure we're delivering high-quality education to our medical students, and he loves knowing that in higher education, we're helping students become doctors, teachers and other careers that help the community. "It's bigger than us. I have a community mentality," Kanye says.

Kanye gives to the Wayne Black Business Student Association through payroll deduction. He was involved in the Association of Black Business Students, now the Wayne Black Business Student Association, and wants to support their networking and leadership activities. "I'm passionate to see business students succeed. My purpose is much bigger than just me. I do things for my students, for those I mentor, because people did that for me."

"I got scholarship support from Wayne State that helped a lot; giving through payroll deduction, I like the fact that I'm able to choose exactly where I want my money to go- to students like me."

Kanye says he's very proud of the university and proud of what Dr. M. Roy Wilson has accomplished here. With experience in private industry prior to making the move to Wayne State in 2017, Kanye says he appreciates the purpose working in higher education gives him, and encourages employees to give back: "If you are an employee of Wayne you should give back. If you are an employee and got a degree from Wayne you should give back. It goes to the students."

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