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McKayla Bull selected as IU Bloomington undergraduate student Commencement speaker

Bloomington, Ind.—Indiana University senior McKayla Bull will be the student Commencement speaker at the IU Bloomington undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 6.

A Hudson and Holland Scholar and Hutton Honors College student, Bull is majoring in human development and family studies in the School of Public Health. During her time at IU, she has tutored students at Fairview Elementary School and Head Start, directed programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington and mentored teens through the Sister2Sister program at the Banneker Community Center.

Bull will graduate with high distinction, earning a grade-point average of 3.96 during her undergraduate career.

“I am humbled, honored and elated to be speaking at Commencement,” said Bull.  “We all deserve to celebrate our accomplishments and achievements, and I cannot wait to revel in the glory that is the Class of 2017 upon graduation day!”

Bull, who is also completing a Spanish minor, studied abroad in the Spanish Immersion Program, which took her to Buenos Aires, Argentina where she worked at Club Athletica De Madre as a tutor. She lived in Argentina for six months during her junior year.

“Immersing myself in another language and culture was one of the most intellectually stimulating, difficult and rewarding six months of my life,” Bull said of her experience in Argentina.

“McKayla is a wonderful representative of the Class of 2017,” said provost and executive vice president Lauren Robel. “She has truly made the most of her time at IUB, with stellar academic accomplishments and outstanding service to the Bloomington community. We’re all eagerly looking forward to hearing her deliver this year’s student commencement speech.”

Bull was the co-founder of the women’s Little 500 team Phoenix Cycling, earning second place at the 2015 race and higher than any other first-year women’s cycling team. She holds cycling and yoga teacher certifications and has taught group exercise classes for Recreation Sports at IU since 2014. Bull completed her yoga certification while in high school, and she was the youngest certified yoga teacher in the state of Indiana.

A graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, Bull was the student speaker at her high school graduation ceremony in 2013. She has remained engaged in public performance and speaking opportunities, serving as an opening poet for the Strivers Row performance sponsored by the Black Student Union and performing spoken word at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and other local venues.

After graduation, Bull will work as a program director for the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club before heading to Minnesota this winter to lead dogsledding and winter camping trips. In 2018, Bull will depart for Miami, Florida to work for Teach for America. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

The undergraduate student Commencement speaker is selected by a committee of students, administrators and staff and demonstrates strong academic performance as well as campus and community engagement. For more information about the opportunity, visit the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education website.

The IU Bloomington undergraduate Commencement ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6 at Memorial Stadium. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about Commencement, visit the University Events website.

Watch this video about McKayla Bull's IU story.