Where Are They Now Alumni Profile - Harvard University Grad Traces Educational Roots to Rio’s Dual Enrollment Program
In 2017, Lennon Audrain was a 17-year-old Brophy College Preparatory student considering his college and career options. Thanks to taking dual enrollment classes through Rio Salado College while in high school, Audrain earned a fast track to a university degree.
“By my sophomore year, I already knew that I wanted to be a teacher,” said Audrain, who decided to pursue education after developing a love for teaching from his parents.
“I came upon Rio Salado’s website and saw that they had an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education. Rio’s portfolio of online courses made it possible for me to earn my associate degree five months before I graduated from high school.”
During his time at Rio, Audrain joined the college’s chapter of Educators Rising Arizona, a national organization for aspiring teachers, and served as the organization’s national student president.
“Educators Rising is transforming how America develops aspiring teachers,” Audrain said. “They provide hands-on teaching experiences that help cultivate the skills teachers need to be successful educators.”
When he began taking classes at Rio Salado, Audrain said he found online learning challenging, but that it also offered a few silver linings.
“As both a student and teacher, online learning has provided both challenges and chances,” Audrain said. “It forces you to learn and adapt to new technologies but also lets you be creative with your work schedule and space.”
In 2018, Maricopa Community Colleges Television featured Audrain in a video profile that recognized his achievements and passion as a teacher advocate. See the video.
After earning his Rio Salado degree, Audrain went on to Arizona State University (ASU). In 2018, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Classics (Latin) and in 2019, he earned a master’s degree in education at the age of 19.
Audrain followed that up by moving to Boston to attend Harvard University, where he earned a second master’s degree in technology, innovation, and education and taught Latin and Spanish at a high school in Brookline, MA.
So, where is Audrain today?
“Now, at 21, I’ve returned to ASU to pursue my Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in educational policy and evaluation,” Audrain said. “My research interests explore how pre-collegiate teacher training programs—like Educators Rising—are mechanisms for teacher recruitment and teacher education and how these programs can be enhanced with educational technology.”
Audrain recently launched the Community College Teacher Education Program Database (CCTEdDb.org), an online catalog of certificate and degree programs in education offered at community colleges in the U.S. He also works closely on this and other projects with the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP), which is housed at Rio Salado College.
At 21, Audrain has already accomplished a lifetime of educational experience and success, but that doesn’t mean he’s finished just yet.
“I would love to be the national director of Educators Rising or maybe a professor at a university or a community college one day,” Audrain said. “My future is unwritten, but I hope that whatever I end up doing, I keep students and teachers at the center of my work.”
Learn more about how to become a teacher through Rio Salado’s Educator Preparation Programs.
By Mira Radovich, PR & Marketing Analyst