Honors Congress

2021 Officer Board

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Alik Manoogian

President

Alik is a third-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 work with an amazing officer board as President this year! In addition to her involvement with Honors Congress, she is the Director of Communications for Relay for Life, volunteers as a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line, and works as a neurobiology ULA for Dr. Hawthorne. A fun fact about Alik is that she recently became a nationally registered and state licensed EMT.

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Brent Feldman

Vice President

Brent is a second-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 Vice President of the Towers Area Council, is a LEAD Scholar, in the Knights of Distinction program, and has worked in the district office of Orlando-area Florida House Representative Anna Eskamani. In his free time, Brent enjoys playing music, exploring Orlando with friends, cooking, and going to the gym.

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Henry Bright

Treasurer

Henry is a second-year student from Columbus, Ohio studying Aerospace Engineering. 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. Outside of Honors Congress, Henry is also involved with UCF club tennis, Cru, an on campus Christian fellowship organization, and the Igknighters, the student section leaders for UCF men’s basketball. When not studying, you can probably find him playing tennis, watching just about any sport, or hanging out in nature with friends. He is very excited to serve on this year’s executive board and help Honors Congress thrive in 2021!

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Janice Zou

Secretary

Janice is a second-year student from Orlando, Florida majoring in Mechanical Engineering and hoping to one day work in the aerospace or power/energy industry. Besides being involved in Honors Congress, she is also a UCF CWEP intern at Lockheed Martin, involved with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Social Media & Design chair), First Step UCF (mentor), and the Asian Pacific American Coalition (co-Creative Director). Outside of school and studying, Janice enjoys exploring new places with her friends, playing the piano, drawing, and spending time with her family.

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Alex VanBennekom

Director of Recruitment & Membership

Alex is a second-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 pediatric physician, looking into neonatology or an area of pediatric surgery. He is currently a volunteer at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, working as a neonatal volunteer in the NICU- his favorite part of the job is “baby cuddling” the NAS babies that otherwise get little attention. He also works at the Chick-Fil-A in the breezeway on-campus, and loves to see his fellow Honors Congress members! Alex is a Meyers-Briggs ENFP, and his favorite hobby is getting to know people, but he also loves volleyball, video and board games, swimming, and music.

Jasmine Barrett

Director of Academic Affairs

Jasmine is a second-year student majoring in electrical engineering. 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 and the Society of Women Engineers. Her other interests include cooking, traveling, listening to music, watching Netflix and shopping. Jasmine is very excited for the upcoming year and cannot wait to see everyone at the events!

Taylor Haycock

Director of Social Affairs

Taylor is on her second semester here at UCF and is currently double majoring in Film and Political Science. She was born in Mississippi, but as a military kid, spent most of her life moving around the world! Outside of Honors Congress, she spends most of her time dancing with the Knights and Damsels Dance Company and volunteering whenever she can. Along with dance, she loves to ski and travel, and can always find time to watch a movie!

Rachel Leiner

Director of Volunteer Affairs

Rachel is a first-year student from Seminole, FL currently majoring in Biomedical Sciences. After completing her degree at UCF, she hopes to attend a graduate school up north to pursue her studies in medical research. As a new addition to the Honors Congress and previous member of the Volunteer Affairs Committee, Rachel is ready and excited to lead her members in helping the community and growing along the way. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her friends, listen to music, and try new things. 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 is a first-year student majoring in the pre-clinical Health Sciences track. He is from Holly Springs, North Carolina, and loves that the state has everything from mountains to beaches.  He plans to minor in psychology and attend medical school in the future. He is also involved with pre med AMSA, Active Minds, and hopefully UCF club soccer. He also works at the RWC in addition to being a teaching assistant and involved in undergraduate research. In his free time, you can catch Jake anywhere it isn’t cold, usually at the gym either lifting or hooping or out in nature.

Jake Hanson

Director of Fundraising

Jake is a first-year student from Bradenton, Florida majoring in International and Global Studies with minors in Multicultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies. He hopes to attend law school after graduating from UCF to pursue a career in Environmental Law or 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 part of the LEAD Scholars Academy and UCF College Democrats. He is excited to work with this year’s board and members!

Sandra Ford

Director of Publications & Marketing

Sandra is a first-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. During her first semester at UCF she was a member of the Honors Congress Publications Committee and is excited to be its director this semester. She is also a member of Writers Uknighted and looks forward to having more opportunities to get involved in future semesters. In her free time, Sandra likes to write, read, and play video games.

Hannah Zwick

Historian

Hannah Zwick is a second-year student from Maryland pursuing a degree in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Spanish.  She hopes to attend medical school following the completion of her undergraduate degree.  Hannah has been involved in Honors Congress since her freshman year and is also largely involved in Medlife on campus.  In her free time Hannah is a triathlete while also enjoying time with friends at the beach or just outside in the warm weather.  She could not be more excited for this upcoming year in Honors Congress and can’t wait to see what it has in store!

Kirsten Whaley

Director of Special Events

Kirsten is a second-year student from Jacksonville, Florida. She is currently majoring in Biology and hopes to one day have a career in the medical field and make a difference in the lives of others. She has been a member of Honors Congress since her first year at UCF and served on the Special Events committee in 2020. In addition to Honors Congress, Kirsten serves as a mentor in the Science Leadership and Mentorship Program (SLAM), a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and member of the Service-Dog Training and Education Program (STEP). In her free time, Kirsten enjoys the beach, online shopping, 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 the 2021 year. Kirsten looks forward to making many memories in her role as Director.  

Daniela Gomez-Dugan

Director of Philanthropy

Daniela is a first-year Computer Science major from South Florida. She aspires to go to graduate school after graduation and then work in the technical field developing and designing applications to make people's lives easier. Outside Honors Congress, she is involved with Society of Women Engineers and two research labs with the College of Engineering and Computer Science. In her free time, she likes hanging out with her friends, baking, and appreciating the arts by painting or listening to music. Daniela is so excited to captain the HonCon KnightThon team for 2021 after being in the Philanthropy committee and hopes to see familiar faces in events!

Where Are We?

The Honors Congress office is located at the Burnett Honors College Computer Lab and is open on the weekdays. For office hours, click here.

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