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Alumni Spotlight

The Legacy of Kylie Burke

Photo courtesy of Kylie Burke.

As commencement ensues for the class of 2022, Howard University Student Association  (HUSA) Executive President Kylie Burke reflected on her time leading the student organization and the impact she hoped to leave on campus. 

Burke is an honors political science major and psychology minor from the Bay area of California. She is passionate about servant leadership, civil service and connecting with her peers through policy work. 

Outside of her work as HUSA president, Burke has interned in various political arenas. Burke previously worked as a communications intern for former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, a congressional fellow for Kamala Harris, and is now a White House Historical Association “Next-Gen” Leadership Ambassador. Yet, to Burke, her most treasured position was being HUSA executive president. 

Graduating senior Alana Thomas is a strategic, legal and management communications major English minor from Boynton Beach, Florida, who worked alongside Burke as HUSA’s vice president. 

“Kylie is ambitious, kind-hearted and truly a force to be reckoned with. She is the epitome of our motto “In Truth & Service,” and has served the campus community with grace and humility, even through the most stressful times. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve alongside such an amazing woman,” Thomas said. “I am extremely excited to see where life takes her and for her to continue lighting up every room she walks in. Kylie Burke is someone who you’ll meet and never forget due to her work ethic, kindness and dedication to impacting others.”

Photo courtesy of Kylie Burke.

As a freshman, Burke was inducted into the Howard University Leadership Academy. The purpose of the leadership academy is to provide first-year students with the duties, responsibilities, opportunities and challenges associated with student leadership.

One of Burke’s favorite professors, Keneshia Grant, Ph.D., had a few words about her teaching experience with Burke. “It was an absolute pleasure to teach Kylie. From the first class she took with me— state and local government, during her first year— it was clear that she was one of the students who read the materials and engaged with the ideas. I taught her again in my urban politics class, and was able to observe just how far she has come as a scholar,” Grant said. “I fully expect that we will see Kylie among the nation’s leaders in the years to come. I look forward to watching her evolution and all that she will accomplish for our nation.”

As Burke embarks on a new journey, she described a few of her emotions as she walks the campus for the last time as an undergraduate student.

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“It’s very bittersweet. I mean, I’m excited to be graduating and moving forward in my career, personal life and things like that, but there’s so much love at Howard, so much community. So it’s definitely bittersweet to be leaving behind the people in a physical way, but I know that we’re all going to stay connected. Senior year was a great sendoff to be back in person and everything, so I’m grateful. I’m emotional and excited, but also bittersweet because something great is coming to an end,” Burke said.

HUSA’s new executive leaders Jordyn Allen and Eryka Anabell Clarke, think of Burke as one of their main inspirations.

“Over the past few years, we both have worked closely with President Burke. I, Jordyn Allen, was actually President Burke’s intern when she was chief of staff for the 59th administration. From her, I learned the importance of organization and strategy and hope to hold those principles high during the 62nd administration,” Allen said.

Burke has plans to attend Georgetown law on a tuition scholarship. Her goal is to help communities understand complex events and policies. Just last week, she was awarded the Norman Beckman Award, which is given to a senior who exemplifies the highest GPA and campus involvement on and off-campus.

Copy edited by: N’dia Webb

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