Natalie King, assistant professor in the College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Middle and Secondary Education, is one of a select group of University of Florida (UF) alumni named to this year’s prestigious “40 Under 40.” Honorees receiving 2019 Outstanding Young Alumni awards were recognized during a campus ceremony on Saturday, April 13.
The annual awards program was established in 2006 to recognize alumni under the age of 40 whose achievements positively reflect the university. Criteria for the competitive award include making a significant impact on the candidate’s industry and having civic or professional accomplishments at the state, national or international level.
“The word outstanding barely describes the alumni in this year’s ‘40 Under 40’ class. These young men and women are absolutely remarkable and have already made a significant impact in their professions and communities,” said Matt Hodge, executive director of the UF Alumni Association. “Collectively, they’re a wonderful reflection on The Gator Nation® and its potential to change the world.”
King is a three-time University of Florida graduate and an assistant professor of science education at Georgia State University. Her scholarly work focuses on advancing Black girls in STEM education, community-based youth programs and the role of curriculum in fostering equity in science teaching and learning. King is passionate about preparing students to enter careers within the STEM disciplines and founded I AM STEM Camps — community-based programs that provide comprehensive curricula that embrace students’ cultural experiences while preparing them to become productive and critically-conscious citizens. She challenges the capitalistic agenda for encouraging girls’ involvement in STEM, and reframes STEM as a mechanism to promote sisterhood and social justice.
King’s work is published in academic journals such as the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and the Journal of Multicultural Affairs. She is particularly interested in dismantling divisive walls and centering faith-based institutions as an underutilized resource in communities. Dr. King recently released her book, “Let the Church say Amen to STEM: Guidebook to Launching and Growing Extraordinary Youth Programs.” She believes that churches have the potential to be a driving force for STEM education and can positively impact younger generations by promoting intergenerational relationships, civic leadership and activism.
To learn more about the University of Florida’s 40 Under 40, visit ufalumni.ufl.edu.