Mungano president preparing for graduate school


U.S. Congressman to speak at spring commencement

In fall 2012, Lauren Allen-Brown was among the new batch of freshmen who entered Baker University. Like many freshmen, Brown initially struggled with her grades while majoring in biology and pursuing a minor in english.

“I think my best accomplishment would be my grades because I had a rough time between my freshman and sophomore year,” she said. “I had a 2.5 and now I have almost a 3.0.”

In the midst of elevating her grades, she believes she discovered the true meaning of sisterhood and support by joining Zeta Phi Beta and becoming a two-time All American in the 4×100 meter relay on Baker’s track team.

She became the president of Baker’s diversity organization Mungano during her junior year and continued that role during her senior year.

After overcoming her early struggles, she will be among the 119 seniors from the College of Arts and Sciences to walk across the Collins Center stage during Sunday’s commencement ceremony.

Associate Dean of Students and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Teresa Clounch has worked closely with Brown over the last two years and has seen her growth as a student leader.

“Her passion for keeping Mungano at Baker is her contribution and her willingness to lead Mungano this year means the four new officers may continue the tradition of Mungano going,” Clounch said.

Among those four new officers is sophomore Nia Madison, who will become the new secretary next fall. Madison has watched Brown lead and is inspired to follow in her footsteps in the upcoming years.

“Lauren is very passionate and you can tell by her actions,” Madison said. “She’s always trying to get everyone together and thinking of new ways to make not only Mungano but Baker a better place for everyone to be a part of.”

Brown hopes that same passion will follow her as she continues onto graduate school at Hampton University in Virginia to study medical science. Along with furthering her education, Brown is looking forward to living on her own as a way to reconnect and learn more about herself.

“All of these years I’ve been working on how to step out of my comfort zone and interact with people,” she said. ”Taking this year off from school will help me focus on myself to regroup things about myself until I make the next step in my life.”

Clounch believes Brown’s commitment, faith and selflessness make her special.

“Lauren is a servant leader, and she puts others’ needs before her own,” she said. “She is a woman of faith, and that has sustained her.”

As graduation approaches, Brown hopes everyone will remember her as a listener, leader, a Christian woman and a hard worker. Many students who are not even close friends with Brown see that she is thriving.

“I don’t know her extremely well, but when I have spoken to her she’s been very welcoming,” senior Taylor Whittum said. “She’s just very easy to talk to, and you can tell that she genuinely cares about people.”

As she moves on with her life, Brown will remember one particular lesson.

“One day in class I mentioned ‘it’s not what you know but who you know,’ and my professor corrected me and said ‘but also who knows you,’” Brown said. “I’ve learned that when it comes to being an effective leader, it’s who sees you, not so much about how you see yourself in others’ lives. It’s all about people being inspired and admiring you enough to not even follow in your footsteps but walk beside you in making a difference.”