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Katlyn Walden, ESE (4+1) '15

Originally aiming to go into the medical field, Katlyn Walden’s career plans changed course when she came to Southeastern and met her professors for the first time. “Discovering professors who are truly invested in developing students is something that sets SEU apart from other schools,” Katlyn said, reflecting on the mentorship-type relationships she developed with SEU faculty.

Katlyn was awarded the 2014 Florida Association of Teacher Educators (FATE) award, making this the ninth year in a row an SEU senior was selected.

The example set by her professors led Katlyn to also want to make a difference in students’ lives. She pursued a degree in exceptional student education through Southeastern University’s 4+1 program, allowing her to complete both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree is just five years. Katlyn also served as the vice president and then president of SEU’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi Alpha Beta Mu, an honors society for educators, and was selected for the 2014 Florida Association of Teacher Educators (FATE) award, making this the ninth year in a row an SEU senior was selected for this top scholar-teacher award

Katlyn attributes much of her success to support from dedicated faculty and the atmosphere at Southeastern, where she developed friendships with like-minded friends who are also committed to excellence and being a light for Christ. Prior to graduation, Katlyn was hired as an ESE teacher to work with students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

“SEU prepared me to stand out among those being considered for the FATE award by providing me with God-honoring, compassionate professors to help mold me into the Christian educator I am today.”

Q&A with Katlyn

  • SEU: How has Southeastern helped shape you into who you want to become? 
    Katlyn: The most crucial part for me was the mentorship from my professors and having role models who I could look up to and trust their judgment and that they weren’t going to lead me in the wrong direction. Any time there was anything going on my life — in my family, in my home — they cared.
  • SEU: How did Southeastern equip you for your career as an educator?
    Katlyn: In a lot of our education classes, we actually had to teach the class. We had to get up in front of our peers and pretend like they were first and second graders or whichever grade and teach them, whether it was a read-aloud or a presentation or a reading center. We were able to start in a safe environment where we felt comfortable being critiqued and helped, so that made me more confident when I went into the classroom.
  • SEU: You are the ninth SEU student in a row to receive the Florida Association of Teacher Educators (FATE) award. Share about your experience being chosen to receive this award.
    Katlyn: Receiving the FATE award means so much to me. There are many fabulous educators in the world, and the fact that I was chosen was confirmation that I am in the profession God wants me to be in. Southeastern prepared me to stand out among those being considered for the FATE award by providing me with God-honoring, compassionate professors to help mold me into the Christian educator I am today.