The 2018 Outstanding Young Alumni Awards recognized two EduGators who have impacted the lives of many through service in education. Lauren L. May BAE ’08 & MED ‘09 and Christopher M. Mullin BAAED ’99 & Ph.D. ’08 (Higher Ed Amin) have both dedicated their careers to the field of education, creating a significant impact in the lives of students and communities they serve leading us into the future.
According to the University of Florida Alumni Association, the Outstanding Young Alumni (OYA) Award was established in 2006 to recognize alumni who have graduated within the past ten years whose achievements positively reflect the Gator Nation®.
Recipients are selected annually by their college and honored during the UF Alumni Association’s Orange & Blue weekend festivities. Criteria for the award include being within ten years of graduation, making a significant impact on their industry and having professional accomplishments at the State, National or International level.
Leaders in their profession and community, OYA Award recipients possess an unmistakable tradition of achievement and a commitment to further strengthening the Gator Nation®. They are Gators who are truly making a difference in our world for the Gator Good.
Congratulations to the 2018 Outstanding Young Alumni Award honorees! #OYAA #GoGators pic.twitter.com/zwIbdaF2pp
— UF Alumni (@ufalumni) April 14, 2018
Lauren L. May
Lauren L. May’s illustrious career began at UF, earning her BAE ‘08 and MED ‘09 through the College of Education. Since graduation, May has taken on the role of being a strong leader in education, taking schools and students to the next level of achievement. Previously as a principal of St. Pius Catholic School, May’s leadership was reflected in student academic success and increased enrollment. Dedicated to quality education, May opened the Arlington Community Academy in fall 2017 to serve the downtown Jacksonville area. As Head of School, May plans to grow school enrollment over the next three years to serve 280 students and offer VPK- 5th grade education.
“I plan to continue my involvement with the Boys and Girls Club by helping them with fundraising efforts as we plan to build a community-based center and gym on the property of my school. I will work on a plan to expand my school by adding a building for middle school. I hope to continue assisting my students and families and helping other private school leaders create schools of excellence in Florida by working with Step Up for Students and other funding partners as a community leader.”
May also leads the Professional Development School for the University of North Florida, joining her work at the Arlington Community Academy to provide professional development.
Although undertaking such a feat (head-starting an entire school) is no easy task, May is committed to her students.
“I am inspired by the students and families at my school. Their drive and love of learning helps me love my job and they inspire me to work harder and do more. I enjoy learning more about education and best practice so that we can incorporate research-based best practice at my school so that the students can soar. I love helping my families and working with them to meet the needs of every child at my school.”
Throughout all of this, May has been involved with the Young Alumni EduGator committee and the Gator Club of Jacksonville.
Christopher M. Mullin
Christopher Mullin, a two-time UF graduate, has become an established name around the state of Florida for his contributions as a higher education expert. Since earning his BAAED ‘99 and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration ‘08, Mullin has dedicated his work to empowering others, working both in classrooms and policy.
Very proud to be recognized as an Outstanding Young Alumnus of the University of Florida!!! Go Gators #OYAA (Thank you family for your support!) pic.twitter.com/1vNqfVsfHU
— Christopher M. Mullin (@Dr_Mullin) April 14, 2018
As the previous Vice Chancellor of the Florida College System, he led the development of the performance funding model and co-authored two books. An expert in research and policy, Mullin’s work led him through DC where he was the program director for policy analysis of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and at the Illinois Education Research Council.
Currently, Mullin is the director of Strong Start to Finish, a collective network of educators, philanthropists, and organizations who share the aim to increase equity in postsecondary education. “Strong Start” has set out on the mission to increase student success by supporting them during their first years in postsecondary school.
As an Outstanding Young Alumni, the passion Mullin has for education is reflected in his career pursuit of research and action to make higher education more accessible for all. He credits his family as being his inspiration and supporting him throughout his career.
As dedicated educators, May and Mullin exemplify what it means to be outstanding professionals. The additional element of being a UF College of Education Alumni makes us proud.
Help us congratulate Lauren and Christopher: