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From mentee to mentor: Kinshuk Tella’s reflection on his time at Miami University

Student Profile

Kinshuk Tella believes that to be a good leader, you need to be a good follower, something he has practiced throughout his four years at Miami.
Kinshuk Tella believes that to be a good leader, you need to be a good follower, something he has practiced throughout his four years at Miami.

If Kinshuk Tella could pick one quote to define his experience at Miami University, he would choose, “In order to be a great leader, you need to be a great follower.”

Tella has done many things during his four years at Miami. He is a double major in environmental science and geology, a resident assistant, a treasurer on the Students with Disabilities Advisory Council (SDAC) and more. He’ll walk away from Miami with not just his two bachelor's degrees, but his master’s in environmental science with a concentration in water resources as well.

Tella is from Dayton, Ohio, and ended up coming to Miami because of his liking for the programs and faculty here.

In Tella’s own words, “there is value in being diverse,” something he has both learned and embodied at Miami. 

Tella is legally blind, and has used his experiences to help other students with disabilities. Last summer, Tella helped lead a pre-semester program to help students with disabilities transition into life at Miami.

“It wasn’t until I came to Miami, I met other people that have had those same lived shared experiences and it meant a lot to me,” Tella said. 

But more than the things he’s accomplished are the people he’s managed to uplift along the way.

Annastashi Blesi, who met Tella back in 2021 when she started advising the SDAC, described Tella’s impact on those around him.

“He is this powerhouse that is so innovative and uplifting of other people,” Blesi said.

When Tella won the Presidential Distinguished Service Award this spring, he was nominated by not just one or two people, but five. During Thanksgiving, Tella put up a bulletin board in his hall asking people to write what they were grateful for. Most of his residents wrote “Tella.”

Though Tella would never brag about his accomplishments, he simply leads by example.

“That’s just quintessential Kinshuk,” Blesi said. “Sharing his experiences so other people are comfortable and so they know that he’s a person they can share their experiences with.”

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Tella will be in Washington D.C. this summer interning through a nonprofit called the American Association of People with Disabilities.

“I still haven’t found that career path that kind of clicks with me, and that’s OK,” Tella said. “And so I’m still very much exploring different options. The biggest thing I want to explore right now is government. I haven’t tried that out.”

Even though Tella is preparing for the next steps after his academic career, the students, faculty and staff at Miami who know him are sad to see him leave the university.

“We are so excited for him,” Blesi said. “But we are definitely going to miss him.”