PennWest California presented the annual Jennie Adams Carter Award to Christina B. Kenney during a reception March 23 at Kara Alumni House.

While at California, she received the Jennie Carter Scholarship and was crowned by the Black Student Union as Miss Unity in 2014. She is an active member of the African-American Alumni Society.

“This is a full-circle moment,” said Kenney, a behavioral health therapist at the Center for Children and Families. “In 2010, I was the scholarship recipient and met the Carter family, and this year I plan on making a donation to that scholarship, so it is very meaningful to accept this award.

Kenney, a licensed professional counselor, earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2011 and her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling in 2015.

In addition to her full-time role as a therapist, Kenny works as the outreach coordinator for the Hope Team Clinic of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh and is a junior board member for Every Child Inc., a member of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association and a lead advocate with the Amputee Coalition.

“We are proud of Christina Kenney and her personal and professional accomplishments, which exemplify resiliency and perseverance,” said Sheleta Camarda-Webb, interim chief diversity and inclusion officer at PennWest.

“I got into a bad car accident while I was in grad school, and the whole place was instrumental in helping me to stay in school. Cal U has been everything and more. Cal U felt like home.”

The Jennie Adams Carter Award honors the legacy of California’s first African-American graduate, in 1881.

The Jennie Adams Carter residence hall was dedicated in 2007, and the Jennie Adams Carter Endowed Scholarship also was established that year and is awarded annually to an African-American student who exemplifies the values of academic excellence and leadership in service to a multicultural community.