Dorian Simpkins

Warrington student recipient of UF Outstanding Leader Award

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Management major Dorian Simpkins (BSBA ’22) is among the university-wide recipients of the University of Florida Outstanding Leader Award from the UF Alumni Association and UF Honors Program for her exemplary leadership during her time as a student.

The Outstanding Leader Award is given to select graduating candidates each semester, and recipients are featured in the commencement program.

“I was surprised when I received the email notifying me that I was awarded this honor,” Simpkins said. “I have always been proud of my accomplishments and would be proud of what I have achieved even if it was not publicly recognized. However, to be recognized by the university and the Alumni Association reinforces what I hope to be a substantive legacy that I will leave.”

As part of the award application, candidates must submit an essay describing why they should be chosen as an Outstanding Leader at UF. In her essay, Simpkins reflected on the impact and legacy she has left on the University of Florida through her leadership efforts.

“I define leadership similarly to how I define success,” she wrote in her essay. “Success for myself individually will not satisfy me, rather I yearn to see those in my community achieve success as well.”

Simpkins noted that she defines leadership as the actions that she takes to progress the collective effort, and the over 15 students in the Warrington College of Business who received job offers from prestigious companies as a direct result of her mentoring efforts are proof of these actions.

“To lead does not exclusively mean to hold the title of President or Captain but has more to do with how people respond to me when I speak, the respect they offer me, or the space I create for others to voice their opinions,” she said. “Respect is a fundamental element of my leadership.”

Simpkins said that while she’s honored to be recognized for her leadership, she’s also excited for the people who will be encouraged by her receiving this award.

“My long-term motivation has been to achieve my goals so that the Black women who come after me will be able to imagine themselves achieving greater, but my legacy speaks to a broader audience,” she said. “As a Warrington Diplomat, I left a legacy that represents the success that future Black students can emulate because of my own success. As Founder and President of Black Students in Business, I left a legacy of positive disruption that has opened numerous doors for people of my community to achieve success. As Director of Administration for Kappa Delta Sorority, I left a legacy of entering spaces that are not historically made for me and paving my own way to success.”

She added, “I proved that a leader does not have to be cold or cruel to be respected as I considered interpersonal relationships a stakeholder in my interactions.”

During her time at UF, Simpkins has been involved with a number of student organizations. In addition to serving as an ambassador for the Warrington College of Business in the Warrington Diplomats, Director of Administration for Kappa Delta Sorority, and founding and serving as a two-term president of the Black Students in Business, Simpkins was a mentor to many undergraduate business students.

Outside of Warrington, she volunteered with the Gainesville Black Professionals’ annual Leadership Conference and completed an internship with JPMorgan Chase in Los Angeles as part of the bank’s Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries division, where she will return this summer.

Simpkins is also a three-year member of the Business Ethics Case Competition team, as part of which she earned a first place in the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition.

“I am grateful for the support that Dr. Brian Ray and Bernadine Thomas have continuously offered me as I believe it showcases their commitment to helping students achieve their full potential,” she added.

Dr. Brian Ray, Director of the Poe Business Ethics Center and Master Lecturer of Leadership and Ethics, noted Simpkins’ tremendous leadership efforts in everything she’s done during her time at Warrington.

“Dorian is an outstanding leader in every respect,” said Dr. Ray. “The scope of her influence on diversity and inclusion within the Warrington College of Business community is quite impressive. Beginning with service as a Warrington Diplomat to the founding of Black Students in Business, Dorian has been the kind of ‘can do’ leader who embraces challenges and opportunities with a unique combination of grace and passion. Her contributions to Warrington’s award-winning Ethics Case Competition Team over the past three years are particularly noteworthy. What a wonderful legacy! Dorian is quite deserving of her selection for the University of Florida Outstanding Leader Award and will continue to make the Gator Nation proud!”