Muhammed S. Sumbundu
As a child, Muhammed Sumbundu, '13, watched political figures on CNN. Today, pursuing a master's in public administration at Buffalo State, he watches them in person. One day, he intends to be among them.
Since high school, Sumbundu has dedicated himself to one goal: representing those who do not have a voice and reaching out to those in need. Over the past five years, his campus involvement at Buffalo State has been extensive, varied, and brought him widespread recognition as a force for improvements in campus life.
He has served as a student assistant to the dean of Arts and Humanities, a graduate intern for the President's Office, a student assistant with the University Police, and as administrative vice president for community affairs in the Student Government. He also helped successfully negotiate with the city of Buffalo's Metro System to extend bus pass privileges, saving affordable bus service for hundreds of Buffalo State students.
In the spring of 2012, Muhammed campaigned successfully for a position on the College Council, the trustee board of the college. Of the ten members on the board, nine are appointed by the Governor and one is elected by the student body. He won with over 75 percent of the vote.
Muhammed has also served on the Alumni Association Board, the college’s “Year of the City” Committee, and the President's Council on Equity and Diversity. He is especially proud to have had the honor of leading the inaugural procession of the university’s eighth president.
Although he leads a busy life on campus and manages a hectic volunteer and work schedule, Sumbundu has never forgotten the importance of giving back. In addition to building bridges between Buffalo State and the community, he finds time to mentor young men, coordinate awareness workshops on bullying and mental health, and, for the last two years, work as a Resident Director for the school's Educational Opportunity Program, overseeing the summer housing, care, and orientation of several hundred incoming students.
Muhammed has a natural gift for making genuine connections and working collaboratively with just about everyone he meets, and he has used these gifts to become a catalyst for those who are disenfranchised, in need, or at risk.
After Hurricane Sandy, Sumbundu brought together friends, faculty, and college staff to provide an on-campus Thanksgiving dinner for the students whose families had been displaced by the storm. Subsequently, he worked to ensure that the dinner was expanded to become an annual Thanksgiving event for students staying on campus.
In other outreach, Sumbundu inspired and led a group of Buffalo State faculty and students to President Barack Obama's Inauguration, and because of his reputation as a campus leader and successful organizer, was able to persuade the associate vice president for Campus Life to cover the bill for the 48 students and 8 faculty members who attended.
Among his numerous awards are: Honorable Recognition by the Student Support Service and the Educational Opportunity Program for his outstanding GPA; the Mildred Keller Campbell Award for Leadership, along with a $1,000 scholarship; and a $2,500 Scholarship from the Children’s Aid Society of New York City.
In pursuit of his political and public service goals, Sumbundu plans to attend law school after completing his graduate studies at Buffalo State.