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Life Experience, Academic Excellence

July 2021
Audi Brown head shot

“She has been a student exemplary of academic excellence at the nexus of Arts and Sciences,” Professor Bettina Judd says of Dean's Medalist Audi Brown.

Audi Brown has planned more than 1000 events over several decades, including celebrity weddings and high-profile galas. She also founded Legacy of Love and Light Foundation, dedicated to the generational healing of the Black community through wellness and education. And she is a doula who provides guidance and support to women during and following childbirth.

Recently Brown set another goal — to earn a college degree. She has now accomplished that brilliantly, as her professors can attest. Brown (BA, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, 2021) was recently honored by the UW College of Arts & Sciences as Dean's Medalist in the Social Sciences

“Ms. Brown returned to school after years of successful careers, building a family, and traveling. This life experience only enhanced her curiosity,” says Bettina Judd, assistant professor of gender, women & sexuality studies (GWSS). Brown enrolled in two of Judd’s courses, including a graduate seminar, and was impressive in both. “Her contributions to class as a thinker were spot on and generous,” Judd says.

Brown first earned an associate degree at Bellevue College in 2019 before transferring to the UW. She had decided it was time to do something for herself and understood the responsibility of being a model for her community. She chose a major that would not only benefit her but her culture. 

[Brown's] life experience only enhanced her curiosity. ...Her contributions to class as a thinker were spot on and generous.

“Her presence in my Gender, Race, and Medicine course was a boon, as our study of Black maternal health was informed by her experience in assisting Black births,” says Judd. “She was an example of GWSS work in action for her classmates.”

While continuing her businesses and earning a 3.98 GPA, Brown also found time to serve as a mentor/tutor for UW Athletics and as a student representative at GWSS departmental meetings. “She has been a student exemplary of academic excellence at the nexus of Arts and Sciences,” says Judd.

After a short break from academia, Brown plans to pursue a doctoral degree.