Kristin Joys

Social Entrepreneurship Lecturer honored with awards for teaching and service

Social Entrepreneurship Lecturer in Management Kristin Joys is this year’s recipient of both the B Academics Instructor of the Year Award and the University of Florida Presidential Service & Leadership Faculty/Staff Advocate of the Year Award.

B Academics annually recognizes an outstanding instructor from their international network of educators, researchers, students and practitioners who are committed to accelerating the movement for sustainable business through education, research and engagement. Also lauding professional outreach, UF’s Presidential Service & Leadership Advocate of the Year Award recognizes a UF faculty or staff member who has gone above and beyond in promoting the university’s students to pursue service and leadership opportunities.

“It is truly an honor and joy for me to have received these awards this spring,” Joys exclaimed. “I’m overwhelmed to have received both awards, as they are from very different entities, spotlighting different accomplishments.”

As chair of Teaching & Curriculum Innovation at B Academics and co-founder and director of the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative in the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business, Joys delights in using her roles to better the community and empower students to make a lasting change. Helping others drives our success, she says, drawing inspiration from the philanthropic philosophies of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and renowned management professor Adam Grant from the Wharton School of Business. Encouraging students to help others has been a part of her teaching practice since joining UF in 1999, and she offers practical opportunities by incorporating community service into each of her course curriculums. Through her initiatives, UF students have volunteered over 111,851 hours, generating nearly $3 million of value in the local community.

“Encouraging students to see themselves as ‘helpers’ has underscored my approach to teaching, which is why all of the courses I’ve taught over the past 25 years have included service learning [and] experiential learning projects,” she explained. “When I began teaching social entrepreneurship courses nearly 20 years ago, I integrated team projects where students work together, leveraging responsible changemaking and collective impact to create capacity building deliverables with our community collaborators.”

In 2021, Joys was honored for her work contributing to sustainability with UF’s Champions for Change Award. Her dual recognition this year from B Academics and the University of Florida mark her continued commitment to use business as a force for good.

“The credit isn’t mine alone – this was all made possible thanks to the support of so many folks in our community, alumni and, most importantly, the students themselves,” she shared. “What I’m most proud of, personally, is playing even a teeny tiny role in students’ lives – offering a listening ear during office hours, encouraging them to do things they’d not thought possible, connecting them with information and resources, opening doors, making introductions, writing letters of recommendation, helping them pursue their paths… It’s always an honor and joy to hear from former students.”

As she celebrates the impact she has made through her career, Joys reflects on a favorite quote by Minor Myers, Jr.: “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”