The Pittsburgh 40 Under 40 Award, presented by Pittsburgh magazine and PUMP, recognizes “outstanding individuals under the age of 40 whose creativity, vision and passion enrich the Pittsburgh region.” And Lauren Wallace is just that.
Wallace, a 29-year-old proud Pittsburgher, is in the final year of the EdD program at the Pitt School of Education, where she specializes in social and comparative analysis of education.
She is also the Director of Recruitment at the University of Pittsburgh and leads the strategy of Pitt’s multifaceted recruiting efforts. At the time when she began the position, she became the office’s youngest member of Senior Leadership.
As a two-time alumna of Pitt, including the Master of Education in Higher Education Management program of Pitt Education, Wallace has cultivated her love for the University. Those positive feelings continue to grow as she looks to complete her Doctorate of Education at 30 years old.
“I don’t know what’s next, but I know, whatever it is, it will be here at Pitt,” said Wallace, “After a long and fulfilling educational journey, I’m ready to invest everything I’ve learned back into the Pittsburgh community.”
The EdD program at Pitt Education has allowed Wallace to integrate her passion and studies into her work in big ways. Her biggest feat yet? Under her direction, Pitt created a student retention program to build bridges between the City of Pittsburgh and Pitt communities. The program serves Pittsburgh Public Schools students from sixth grade through college, providing mentoring opportunities, free textbooks, and individual transition support from the Community College of Allegheny County to the University of Pittsburgh. Her instrumental roles in planning, implementation, and program evaluation have proven quintessential to the program’s success
“This is my biggest project to date. Integrating my studies into my work has transformed how I view my job. I’m fortunate to have fantastic bosses and an incredible staff who believe in my vision and actively support it,” said Wallace.
In addition to her roles at Pitt, Wallace is active in a multitude of community organizations including the Bible Center Church, Coalition for College Success, National Partnership for Educational Success, Pittsburgh Admissions Collaboration, and the Urban League of Young Professionals. And that’s just to name a few.
Wallace’s tireless commitment to the University and the greater Pittsburgh begs the question, “How have you accomplished so much,” and “How can others get there, too?” Ms. Wallace’s reply is quite simple. ““As soon as you can, figure out who you are and don’t be afraid to be that person. I know I have a lot of areas in which to improve but I also know what makes me, me. It is easy to get a lot accomplished when you aren’t always worried about changing yourself to fit each individual circumstance. People know who I am, and they know who I will be: loud, fast-paced, passionate, and energetic. They can trust that this is the me that they will get consistently.”
Linda DeAngelo, associate professor of higher education at the Pitt School of Education, was one of Wallace’s instructors when she was a student in the MEd in higher education and now serves as Wallace’s advisor for the EdD program. Wallace has set herself apart, she said, through her commitment to the community and the ways she makes a difference.
“I instantly recognized Lauren as a mover and shaker years ago when I met her,” said DeAngelo. “The equity and justice-based programs Lauren has built in her work at Pitt are not only creative but also innovative. They are making a real difference in the lives of our youth in the Pittsburgh community
A reception to honor Lauren and the other outstanding individuals will be held Thursday, November 14 at the Rivers Casino Ballroom. Click here for more ticket information.
Join other education leaders and change makers in the Doctor of Education (EdD) program at the Pitt School of Education. Applications are now being accepted for the next program cohort.