In academia, recognition serves not only as a testament to individual excellence but also as a celebration of collective dedication to the betterment of students’ educational journeys. The College of Education recently honored three exceptional members of our faculty and staff for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Gayle Evans, Earl McKee, and Helena Mawdsley were recognized for their accomplishments, each receiving accolades in their respective fields.

Gayle Evans, Ph.D., received the Undergraduate Faculty Advisor of the Year for her dedication to mentorship and guidance within the college. As a clinical assistant professor in Science Education, Evans has a profound impact on the lives of her students, particularly those within the UFTeach program.

“Serving as a source of information, support and guidance for our undergraduate students is so personally and professionally rewarding,” stated Evans. “It feels great to be acknowledged for this work.”

Looking to the future, Evans hopes to positively impact undergraduate students by “helping them reach their potential and make the decisions that will lead to satisfying and fulfilling careers after graduation.”

Helena Mawdsley, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies (HDOSE), is thrilled to have received the Undergraduate Teacher of the Year award. “It is an incredible honor,” Mawdsley stated. “It means that my years of hard work have been recognized.”

With her passion, care and commitment, Mawdsley’s students have described her as an “approachable beacon of support.” In addition to providing the best instruction she can, Mawdsley hopes to inspire new teachers to “commit to a career in education” and “be committed to changing and inspiring their own students.”

Her approachable demeanor and ability to make complex subjects accessible have earned her the admiration and respect of students across the campus.

Earl McKee, College of Education academic advisor, was recognized as the Professional Advisor of the Year. This acknowledges the consistent dedication and support that he has provided to College of Education students. His impact extends far beyond course selection and program planning, as he plays a vital role in shaping our students’ personal and professional development.

“I strive to be a positive influence for my students, and I hope they feel seen and appreciated after our interactions,” stated McKee as he reflected on the impact of his work.

McKee inspires his students daily and encourages them to create positive change in their respective areas. When it comes to the futures of his students, McKee wants to “help them dream big and achieve even bigger.”

College administration congratulates Gayle Evans, Helena Mawdsley, and Earl McKee on their well-deserved recognition as College of Education award recipients. “Each of these individuals plays a critical role in undergraduate education at the University of Florida, and it was evident from the letters of support that they are impacting students’ lives well beyond the classroom — both personally and professionally,” said Elayne Colón, interim associate dean for academic and student affairs.

Gayle Evans, Ph.D.

Helena Mawdsley, Ph.D.

Earl McKee