Honors Congress

2021 Officer Board



Alik Manoogian


Alik is a fourth-year student majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Medical Sociology and Psychology. She was born and raised in Florida, but plans to continue pursuing a future in medicine somewhere up north after completing her undergraduate degree. Alik has been involved with Honors Congress since the start of her freshman year by becoming a member of the Volunteer Affairs Committee and later served as the Director of Volunteer Affairs. She is excited to continue working with an amazing officer board as President this year! In addition to her involvement with Honors Congress, she is the Assistant Director for Relay for Life, volunteers as a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line, and works as a the lead TA for Dr. Hawthorne’s Neurobiology course. A fun fact about Alik is that she became a licensed EMT last year and now works as an EMT for American Ambulance!



Brent Feldman

Vice President

Brent is a third-year student double-majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology with a minor in Leadership Studies and a certificate in ser­vice-learning. He has spent most of his life in the Jacksonville area. He hopes to attend medical school after graduating from UCF. Brent has been involved in honors congress since his first semester and was on the fundraising com­mittee before being elected as the director of fundraising for the 2019-2020 term. Brent is super excited to return to Honors Congress this year as VP and help bring the club to new heights. Brent has a strong interest in being involved in the community. In addition to being an Honors Congress officer, Brent is in the Knights of Distinction program, and volunteers with various community organizations in Heath and Politics. In his free time, Brent enjoys playing music, exploring Orlando with friends, cooking, and going to the gym.



Henry Bright


Henry is a third-year student from Columbus, Ohio majoring in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Business. He started working with Honors Congress in his first semester at UCF as a member of the Philanthropy committee, and served as the Director of Philanthropy for 2020. Heavily plugged in to the Burnett Honors College community, he has also worked as an Honors Orientation Ambassador and is currently working as a BHC Computer Lab Monitor. (come say hi sometime!) Outside of Honors Congress, Henry is also involved with UCF club tennis and the Igknighters, the student section leaders for UCF men’s basketball. When not studying, you can probably find him playing tennis, disc golf, watching just about any sport, or hanging out in nature with friends. He is very excited to continue serving on this year’s executive board and help Honors Congress thrive, as well as see all your smiling faces post-pandemic regulations.



Janice Zou


Janice is a third-year student from Orlando, Florida majoring in Mechanical Engineering and hoping to one day work in the aerospace or tech industry. Besides being involved in Honors Congress, she has interned at Northrop Grumman, is a CWEP intern with Lockheed Martin, is involved with First Step UCF (mentor), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Asian Pacific American Coalition. Outside of school and studying, Janice enjoys exploring new places with her friends, playing the piano, drawing, and spending time with her family.



Alex VanBennekom

Director of Recruitment & Membership

Alex is a third-year student from Jacksonville, FL pursuing a major in Health Sciences and a minor in Spanish. He plans on attending medical school and becoming a neonatologist and eventual neonatal surgeon. He is currently a volunteer at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies working as a volunteer in the NICU; his favorite part of the week is his Saturday baby cuddling! He’s also involved in TAing, interning, IM sports, and working a job, and loves balancing a full schedule. Alex is a Meyers-Briggs ENFP, so his favorite hobby is getting to know people, but he also loves volleyball, swimming, coffee, and music. He can’t wait to welcome new members this fall!


Jasmine Barrett

Director of Academic Affairs

Jasmine is a second-year student majoring in electrical engineering with an environmental studies minor. She was born in Canada but has spent most of her life in Orlando, Florida. She hopes to focus her career on advancements within the renewable energy industry. Along with being an Honors Congress Officer, she is involved with the UCF Navigators. Her other interests include listening to music, collecting stationary, meeting new people, watching tv and cooking! Jasmine is very excited for the upcoming semester and cannot wait to see everyone at the events!


Taylor Haycock

Director of Social Affairs

Taylor is a sophomore here at UCF and is studying Political Science. She was born in Mississippi, but as a military kid, spent most of her life moving around the world! Taylor loves being the Social Director for Honors Congress because she gets to plan events that introduce her to all of UCF's incredible Honors students. This semester, she is working as a Team Leader for Honors Symposium and as a Student Assistant for the Burnett Honors College. In her free time, Taylor dances (or sleeps) and she can always find time to watch a movie!


Rachel Leiner

Director of Volunteer Affairs

Rachel is a second-year student pursuing a major in Film and minors in both Digital Media and Computer Science. She hopes to pursue a career in production and is excited to grow alongside others in Honors Congress. Going into the fall semester, Rachel can’t wait to lead her members in helping the community and get to know everyone along the way. She is looking forward to working with her fellow officers as Director of Volunteer Affairs and hopes you are too!


Jake Blendermann

Director of Housing Affairs

Jake Blendermann is a second-year Health Sciences major with a minor in Psychology from Raleigh, North Carolina. After college, he hopes to go to medical school. Jake loves everything outdoors: hiking, running, kayaking, snowboarding, you name it! In addition to being an officer in Honors Congress, he is a Team Leader for Honors Symposium, Psychology TA, and is conducting independent research.


Jake Hanson

Director of Fundraising

Jake Hanson is a second-year student from Bradenton, Florida double majoring in Political Science and Journalism, with a minor in Global Sociology. He hopes to attend law school after graduating from UCF or pursue a graduate education in International Relations. A few of Jake’s hobbies include spending time with friends, listening to music, and traveling. Aside from being an officer in Honors Congress, Jake is also a second-year in the LEAD Scholars Academy, a member of UCF College Democrats, and works as an Undergraduate Admissions Ambassador. He is excited to work with this year’s board and meet new members this semester!


Sandra Ford

Director of Publications & Marketing

Sandra is a second-year student from Cape Coral, Florida majoring in English on the Creative Writing track, as well as working towards an Editing and Publishing Certificate. She hopes to one day be a published author and is already working towards that goal. Her experience with Honors Congress began when she was a member of the Publications Committee during her first semester at UCF. She is also a member of Writers Uknighted, is starting an internship with The Cypress Dome, and is working on an Honors Undergraduate Thesis. In her free time, Sandra likes to write, read, and play video games.


Hannah Zwick


Hannah Zwick is a third-year biomedical sciences major with a Spanish minor.  She is originally from Southern Maryland and she enjoys exercising and going to the beach in her free time.  She plans to attend medical school after finishing her undergraduate degree.  Hannah has been involved with Honors Congress since the second semester of her freshman year and is incredibly excited to be able to be a part of the officer board again this semester.  Hannah is also the Vice President of MEDLIFE on campus, volunteers in the emergency room at Cape Canaveral Hospital, and works as an RA on campus.


Kirsten Whaley

Director of Special Events

Kirsten is a third-year student from Jacksonville, Florida. She is currently majoring in Biology and plans to obtain her degree in both Biology and Nursing in hopes of pursuing a career as a CRNA. She has been a member of Honors Congress since her first year at UCF and served on the Special Events committee in Fall 2020. In addition to Honors Congress, Kirsten serves as the Humanitarian Relief Director for VolunteerUCF (VUCF), volunteers at Knights Pantry on campus, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In her free time, Kirsten enjoys the beach and spending time with her friends and family. She is extremely excited to serve as captain for the Honors Congress Relay for Life team for another semester. Kirsten enjoys making new memories and meeting new people in her role as Director.


Daniela Gomez-Dugan

Director of Philanthropy

Daniela is a second-year student pursuing a computer science major with a criminal justice minor. She is originally from Puerto Rico but has lived in South Florida for the majority of her life. She is involved as an Undergraduate Learning Assistant, research volunteer with the College of Engineering & Computer Science, and recently was a Google intern this past summer. Outside of school, she enjoys watching new TV shows, listening to music, baking, and playing trivia games. She is so excited to be your team captain for our Knight-Thon team and meet you all in the Fall! #FTK