It is an easy assumption to make that graduates from a college of education go on to be educators. However, our alumni from the Florida State College of Education enter the workforce in a variety of ways, equipped with the skills and passion gained during their time here.
Recently, the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship released its annual Seminole 100 list, which recognizes the fastest-growing businesses owned by FSU alumni. Three alumni from the College of Education made this prestigious list: Taylor Harris Gaynes, Jeff Hausinger and Karen Bartle Walker. These three alumni represent some of the most successful business owners not just from the college, but from the entire university.
As honorees on the Seminole 100 list, Gaynes, Hausinger and Walker will be invited to a special celebration in March at the University Center Club. There, the institute will release the final rankings and countdown for the Seminole 100.
Taylor Gaynes (Sport Management B.S. ’15) is a co-founder and chief marketing officer at Top Tier Group. The company specializes in event marketing and planning, promotion, and marketing. In his role as CMO, Gaynes helps devise promotional strategies and social media marketing plans to help local businesses. Additionally, Gaynes is responsible for a team of more than 70 staff members who help execute aforementioned strategies.
“The College of Education was monumental in my developing my interpersonal skills, leadership capabilities and creativity—all integral aspects of being a successful entrepreneur,” says Gaynes. “I chose the College of Education as I feel it’s one of the most well versed colleges at FSU. I will be forever grateful to be a graduate of COE and am excited to give back to the University, as it’s provided me a business foundation that allowed me to follow my dreams!”
Jeff Hausinger (Social Science Education B.S. ’98) became a financial advisor after graduating from Florida State. Hausinger worked at a number of high-profile financial advisory firms, including AIG, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. He eventually founded All Seasons Wealth. On top of his successful business venture, Hausinger is also active in community service and was a founding board member of Warrick Dunn Charities, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the First Tee of Tampa Bay, which supports local youth.
“My time at FSU was very rewarding,” says Hausinger. “I learned a lot about myself and the staff at FSU helped me grow as a student and an individual. I can attribute a lot of my success in business to the many lessons I learned in my four years at FSU.”
Karen Bartle Walker (Visual Disabilities B.S. ’87, Emotional and Learning Disorders M.S. ‘88) is the president and owner of Allied Instructional Services (AIS). AIS specializes in connecting schools and government agencies with trained staff members who understand the demands of working with individuals with special needs. In particular, AIS works with individuals who have visual impairments, mobility problems, and hearing impairments, as well as providing occupational therapy and physical therapy.
"I am honored to be named to the Seminole 100 for a second time," says Walker. "The education I received at FSU has enabled me to develop my passion into a company that positively impacts individuals with special needs every day."
Whether they leave the college for a classroom or a board room, our graduates make us proud in their accomplishments. The College of Education can prepare you for a meaningful career in any number of professions. Perhaps you want to follow in the footsteps of these three alumni, or maybe you want to explore a different career path. Whatever you decide to do, start your journey at the College of Education today.