Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Audrieanna Burgin.
Hi Dr. Burgin, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My name is Dr. Audrieanna Burgin, and I am the founding director of the University of North Florida’s Diversity in Business program. I also proudly serve as the founding chairman of the board of directors for Becoming Collegiate Academy- Jacksonville’s first HBCU-inspired elementary school.
My journey began here in Jacksonville, FL, where I was born and raised. My father, Aaron Burgin, is a sixteen-year military veteran, and my mother, Kimberly Burgin, is a retired nurse. My parents instilled in me hard work, integrity, and a love of genuine service to others. They cultivated a mindset for me that there is no ceiling and that I could be anything I wanted to be. I decided that I wanted to be an economist. After completing dual degrees in Business Management and Economics at the University of North Florida, I entered the doctoral program in economics at Florida State University. I proudly earned my Doctor of Philosophy in economics from Florida State University in the summer of 2021, solidifying myself as one of few black female economists in this nation.
I have been heavily immersed in community development and nonprofit work for the last decade, serving my community and providing resources in our most critical, high-alert areas. I serve and consult nonprofit organizations that focus on revitalization and economic empowerment initiatives. My passion spans the education and labor sectors, and my experience is in research, development, and strategy. I believe that providing our children a high-quality education and ensuring individuals are gainfully employed are two of the most powerful ways we can propel our economy forward. My mission is to be a part of the teams and the strategic planning that ensure the success of these core initiatives.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Success requires consistency and perseverance. I genuinely believe that every obstacle I faced and overcame has shaped me into the woman I am today. Many of the rooms I enter are male-dominated and lack diversity. Over time, I have worked on shining authentically, embracing my culture and authentic self, and championing diversity efforts. Only 1% of doctoral degrees in economics are awarded to black females; this disparity has followed my academic and professional career. My work has propelled the creation of belonging communities within classrooms and workplaces where all individuals know and feel they belong and see a physical representation of themselves.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
This spring, the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business was excited to announce the launch of its Diversity in Business Program. The Coggin College of Business has launched this program to serve minority students within our business college and increase the diversity of UNF’s incoming cohorts. Therefore, the strategic goal of the Diversity in Business Program is to increase the diversity of students admitted to, enrolled in, and ultimately graduate from the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business. In March 2022, our program received a $700,000 scholarship and endowment from CSX.
I am the chairman of the board of directors for Becoming Collegiate Academy: the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) inspired elementary school opening this fall in the Norwood community of Jacksonville, Fl. Our founder is Jacksonville native Cameron Frazier. Becoming Collegiate Academy will open its doors to kindergarten and first-grade students in August 2022. Students across the city of Jacksonville are welcome to enroll in our tuition-free, HBCU-inspired public school.
Like HBCUs, at Becoming Collegiate Academy, we immerse students in a nurturing and intellectually stimulating environment that connects them to the history of the community and inspires them to carry that relentless spirit forward. Through a focus on fostering positive relationships, leveraging culture and identity, and upholding high expectations, we will prepare the next generation for success in college and life. Parents are encouraged to apply at www.becomingschools.org.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
When good luck is mixed with proper preparation, amazing things can happen. I believe any time I experienced luck, or what others may call “favor,” I was able to connect it to my effort and preparation. I was ready for the moment, so therefore I was able to seize the moment.
- All of my programs are nonprofits and provide free services.
- Website: https://www.becomingschools.org/ | https://bit.ly/unfdibprogram
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/audri_burgin/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/audrieannaburgin
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Audri_burgin