Dr. Kagendo Mutua, professor of special education and director of CrossingPoints, is the 2020 recipient of the E. Rogers Sayers Distinguished Service Award.
The E. Roger Sayers Distinguished Service Award was created in 1996 by members of the President’s Cabinet and the National Alumni Association to recognize faculty and exempt administrative personnel who have performed in an exemplary manner to further the mission of the University. The award is named honoring Dr. E. Roger Sayers, president of The University of Alabama from 1988-1996.
Professor Mutua is the Director of the CrossingPoints program at the University of Alabama and a Professor of Special Education in the College of Education. Through her work at CrossingPoints, Professor Mutua has been at the very forefront of working with young adults with cognitive disabilities. She has grown both the size and the stature of the program by securing grant support for it and otherwise helping to lift the quality of the experiences in the program through her own good insights. CrossingPoints is now preparing to offer residential experiences on campus for its students that will allow them to enroll as non-degree students, and on the strength of a multi-million dollar gift from an admirer, is readying itself for some expansion of its resources and ambitions…The work in CrossingPoints is moved by big ideas and by a big helping of love, most of which originates from Professor Mutua’s leadership. She is a serious scholar with a sharp sense of how to proceed according to the best available evidence and while also understanding that much of the work in CrossingPoints comes straight from the heart. Very few scholars can claim to be advancing a research agenda while also advancing a profoundly important social purpose. –Dean Peter Hlebowitsh
“Throughout her 19-year career at UA, Dr. Mutua has woven exemplary, thriving collaborations across partners in the community, in the surrounding public school systems, and within the College of Education. Her collaborative efforts to assist the special needs populations at UA and in the surrounding school districts are both heartwarming and unparalleled.” –Dr. Joy Burnham
“Dr. Mutua demonstrates a level of commitment and responsibility in everything she does. In the classroom her focus was always on student growth. Working with individuals with special needs provides opportunities for active involvement in another person’s life. Dr. Mutua has touched many individuals with her caring and positive attitude. She is a hard worker, who takes pride in getting the job done as long as it benefits students. Dr.Mutua has been an inspiration to her peers and others because of her dedication.” –Dr. John Myrick
“Throughout my time at UA, I have always known Dr. Mutua to be accessible to all students, making herself available even at odd hours if their schedule requires it. She is creative in the way that she meets student’s needs and is willing to go beyond the call of duty in helping students to be successful. I have known Dr. Mutua to mentor students over the years and stimulate the best in them, driving them to become more professional and marketable following their graduation.” –Dr. Amy Williamson