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President's Award Winner: Brandi Mulligan

Brandi Mulligan Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko

President's Award—Brandi Mulligan

The President’s Award is given to a senior student who has greatly contributed to the development of a strong sense of community at Northern Kentucky University through special efforts to: break down barriers of discrimination, or promote international awareness or promote the interaction of traditional and non- traditional students, or promote diversity, or promote handicap awareness and access. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required. This award will be presented upon completion of degree requirements. The award does not have to be given if the committee determines there are no suitable nominees during a particular year. The Office of Student Life sponsors this award.

By J. Atley Smedley
Editorial Intern, NKU Magazine

Breaking down walls of discrimination is something Brandi Mulligan has dedicated herself to during her four years at NKU. As one of the few Black students in her early childhood education classes, Brandi didn’t want other students of color to feel alone or silenced. Brandi co-founded Black and Brown Educators of Excellence to combat this issue and promote diversity in her program. This led to her spot as a plenary panelist at the College of Education and Human Services’ Fall 2016 Think Tank event.

“I never see Brandi alone,” says Kimberly Vance, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life. “She is always with other students and frequently encouraging them to engage in the NKU student community. She makes a point of encouraging students to engage with others they might not already know. I believe she works hard to bring students from different groups and interests together and a deep interest in facilitating the growth of the community.”

The Louisville native is no stranger to being an active leader on campus. She became president of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority after serving two years as its vice president. She also serves as the vice president of the National PanHellenic Council. Since 2013, she’s been a member of the Trio program, which assists low-income, first-generation college students. She works part time to put herself through school and has worked as a teacher’s assistant in NKU’s Early Childhood Center for the last two years. In the summer, she goes home to Louisville to work at the Boys and Girls Club.

Brandi is beyond thankful for the relationships she made at NKU with her professors and fellow students.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a 4.0 student or not, you can still be successful as long as you put your best foot forward at all times,” Brandi says. “You never know who could be watching you and who has faith in you when you don’t have faith in yourself.”