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SBS Places Humanitarian above others

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UA News | The Daily Wildcat Dino Kadich is the College of Social Behavioral Sciences Student of the Year. The award is chosen by a committee of faculty members who review nominations from 17 different divisions in the college.

With the semester winding down, senior Dino Kadich has been roaming around campus feeling nostalgic lately. 

Coming to America as a young immigrant, Tucson became his home. 

He thinks about his community full of friends that he will soon have to leave behind when he begins the next chapter in his life in a different place.  

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Kadich will be leaving Tucson this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in Geography at Cambridge University. 

“I am going to miss so much,” he said. “I’ve lived in Tucson for a long time, and I’ve come to appreciate 360 days of sun, which will not be the case when I come to England.”

Kadich, a geography and Africana studies double major with a minor in Middle Eastern and North African studies, has recently been chosen by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences as the spring semester Outstanding Senior Award in light of his numerous achievements.

SBS Associate Dean and facilitator of the award’s selection process Amy Kimme Hea said, “It is certainly incumbent of the college to celebrate, as well as elevate, the success of our students.”

Outstanding Senior Awards are given to one student every semester from each college. In the SBS College, a committee of faculty members are set up to review nominations from 17 different divisions. 

“These awards don’t create the success for the students, but acknowledge the success that the student themselves have created,” Kimme Hea said.

This year’s judges were School of Geography and Development Director Lynn Staeheli, SBS Assistant Direrctor Allison Ewing-Cooper and communication associate professor Kyle Tusing.  

Ricky Salazar, SBS associate director, provided review for two awards as Straeheli recused herself by nominating Kadich.

“He is just a tremendous person,”  Staeheli said, noting the 18 months she spent working with Kadich. “I’m not sure if I’ve had a student like this in 30 years that I have been teaching undergraduates.”

Kadich’s many achievements include managing a 4.0 GPA, being a UA Magellan Circle Scholar, a 2017 Beinecke Scholar and receiving the Gates Cambridge Fellowship — an award that had 55 recipecents out of 6,000 applicants. 

Born in Italy after his parents left Bosnia and Herzegovina to escape war, Kadich came to the United States with his family in 1997 as a young refugee.

 In his honors thesis, Kadich took great initiative in his independent research on youth politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to Kadich, one of his greatest achievements of all is being involved with Arizona Model United Nations, not because of the many travel opportunities but of the impact he felt he made on high school students.  

“The experience of bringing different people together to talk about political issues is really rewarding,” Kadich said. 

He said the work was similar to his current job giving tours at the Jewish History Museum, translating his research and impacting young children. 

“He has done a lot of service for the University of Arizona and the community — service that is about trying to build a more inclusive society and community,” Staeheli said. “If  you think about what he has done, it hits every marker of what we want of an Outstanding Student.” 

Kadich was equally appreciative in his praise back to Staeheli.

“She has been pivotal in everything I have done,” Kadich said on having Staeheli as his adviser. “I’ve been so lucky to work with her because her style is a good mix of toughness and helps in pushing me to do my best.” 

Though he has faced challenges being an immigrant and first-generation college student, Kadich said he feels like everything kind of “fell on his lap.”

“Every important or impactful thing I have done … was because I was coming from the right angle,” he said. “I had been there at the right time and am open to experience.”

Staeheli said Kadich’s character is the chief reason for his success.

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“He is a very thoughtful, careful person,” Staeheli said. “He is very aware of the work we do in academics can really profoundly affect peoples’ lives. And that is something I really appreciate from him and learned more from him.” 

Kadich said he hopes to become a professor.

“When I came to the UofA, I became much more plugged into the Tucson community and the interesting things happening here,” he said. “I’m really thankful for them.”

Kadich said he will definitely return to Tucson and could imagine teaching on campus one day.


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