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Honors Congress

2022 Officer Board

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Alex VanBennekom

President

Alex is a 4th year senior majoring in Health Sciences on the pre-clinical track and minoring in Spanish. He was born and raised outside of Jacksonville and loves going to St. Augustine and Vilano Beach. Alex has been involved with Honors Congress since his first semester at UCF, serving time as a Social Affairs committee member, Director of Social Affairs, and Director of Recruitment and Membership, and he’s so excited to keep helping out in the capacity of President this year! In addition to Honors Congress, Alex has a myriad of involvement, ranging from TAing for Anatomy, volunteering in the Winnie Palmer NICU, and participating in intramural sports. In his free time he loves hanging out with friends and going shopping, and he likes coffee, music, volleyball, and meeting new people!  

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Taylor Haycock

Vice President

Taylor is a junior studying Political Science with a focus on International Relations here at UCF. This academic year, she will be studying abroad in northern Germany and looks forward to deepening her understanding of the German language, studying European politics, and traveling as much as possible. Before serving as Vice President, Taylor was previously the Director of Social Affairs for Honors Congress. If she wasn’t studying abroad, Taylor would also be working as a Student Assistant for the Burnett Honors College and tapping with Rhythm of the Knight. If she can find a minute (or ten), she’s either napping or binging her favorite political comedies/dramas. 

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Jake Hanson

Treasurer

Jake Hanson is a third-year student from Sarasota, Florida majoring in Political Science on the International Relations and Comparative Politics track, with minors in Sociology and Diplomacy. Outside of Honors Congress Jake serves as a Recruitment Coordinator for the President’s Leadership Council, an Associate Justice on the Judicial Council in Student Government. A former LEAD Scholar, Jake also works as an Undergraduate Admissions Ambassador giving campus tours. This semester, Jake is working as the REIGN (Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance) Intern with the UCF Global Perspectives and International Initiatives program. Previously serving as the Director of Fundraising, Jake is excited to continue his involvement with Honors Congress on the Executive Board!

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Janice Zou

Secretary

Janice is a fourth-year student from Orlando, Florida majoring in Mechanical Engineering and hoping to one day work in the aerospace or tech industry--we'll see where life goes! Besides being involved in Honors Congress, she has interned at Northrop Grumman (structural design engineer), was a CWEP intern with Lockheed Martin (configuration & data management), interned at NASA Kennedy Space Center (Deep Space Logistics branch doing a fluids-related research project), and is currently involved with First Step UCF (mentor) and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society (corresponding secretary). You might spot her as a TA for the Intro to Engineering course that all freshmen engineers are required to take--don't be afraid to say hi! 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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Daniela Gomez-Dugan

Membership Coordinator

Daniela is a third-year student studying computer science major with a minor in criminal justice. She is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in Weston, Florida. Outside of HonCon, Daniela is a part of Mixed Mode A Capella and was previously an Undergraduate Learning Assistant for the College of Computer Science and Engineering. She loves going to the beach, trying new recipes, and watching new TV shows and movies. Previously as Director of Philanthropy, she is excited to be on the Executive Board and meet new members at future events!

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Alysha Irvin

Director of Academic Affairs

Alysha is a third-year student from Tampa, Florida double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Sciences. She has been a member of Honors Congress since her first year and has served on both the Special Events committee and the Housing committee. In addition to Honors Congress, she is involved in Knight's Bow Archery, Tau Beta Pi, the Bat Signal, and works as both an undergraduate researcher in a materials science research lab and as an undergraduate admissions ambassador for the university. In her free time, Alysha enjoys reading, playing video games, and baking.

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Archana Ram 

Director of Social Affairs

Archana is a second-year student from Phoenix, Arizona majoring in Biomedical Sciences. She hopes to attend medical school after graduating from UCF. Her experience with Honors Congress began when she was a member of the Committee of Social Affairs during her first semester at UCF. In her free time, Archana loves to be around nature, try different cuisines, and make every night karaoke night! Archana is excited to continue serving as Director of Social Affairs and cannot wait to see everyone at the events!

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Brianna Bergman

Director of Volunteer Affairs

Brianna is a third-year student majoring in Health Sciences (Pre-Clinical). She hopes to continue to focus on gaining healthcare experience and apply to Physician Associate school after graduating. Brianna has been involved with Honors Congress since the start of her freshman year by becoming a member of the Volunteer Affairs Committee and is now serving as the Director of Volunteer Affairs. She can't wait to see what volunteering opportunities she is able to bring to her fellow Honors Congress members. In addition to Honors Congress, she has been able to work with UCF outdoor adventure as a trip leader and a medical scribe at a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

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Michael Sola

Director of Housing Affairs

Michael is a second-year student majoring in Hospitality Management. He was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to Orlando for college. Michael is also currently working at Walt Disney World (come visit him at Trail’s End Restaurant!) and loves visiting theme parks around Central Florida. In his first semester, Michael was a member of the Housing Committee, and cannot wait to carry on the legacy!

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Uma Sriram

Director of Fundraising

Uma is a second-year student from Detroit, Michigan. She is majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. She hopes to attend medical school and become an OB/GYN. Outside of Honors Congress, Uma is involved in LEAD, Cardiovascular Alliance, and PERIOD. In her free time, she loves to read rom-coms, crochet, and spend time with friends! Uma is excited to serve as Director of Fundraising and raise money for member-voted charities and nonprofits!

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Sandy Ford

Director of Publications & Marketing

Sandy is a senior 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. This is her second year as the Director of Publications & Marketing. She is also working on an Honors Undergraduate Thesis on magical realism and Cuban emigration. In her free time, Sandy likes to write, read, and play video games.

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Mai Ly Nguyen-Luu

Historian

Mai Ly is a second-year student from Orlando, FL, and is majoring in Biomedical Sciences on the Pre-Med track. She began her involvement in Honors Congress as a freshman in the Historian Committee. Some of her hobbies include playing guitar, playing piano, video editing, and taking dance classes. She has trained in different styles of dance for 15 years and is currently the Cultural Dance Team Chair for Vietnamese-American Student Association at UCF!

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Anthony Trombetta

Director of Special Events

Anthony is a second-year student from Cleveland, Ohio. He is currently double majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Political Science, hoping to either become an Orthopedic Surgeon or a Civil Rights/Social Justice Lawyer. Anthony joined Honors Congress during his first semester at UCF. He became a member of the Special Events Committee and was appointed the Director of Special Events for 2022. Outside of Honors Congress, Anthony is involved in Relay for Life, Pre-Med AMSA, Knights Pre-Law Association and Children Beyond Our Borders. Some of Anthony’s hobbies outside of school include working out, cycling, swimming, and hanging out with friends. He is looking forward to being captain of the Honors College Relay for Life Team and is very excited to meet everyone!

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Jean Guadalupe-Nieves

Director of Philanthropy

Jean is a third-year student majoring in Health Sciences with a goal of attending medical school. At medical he plans on pursuing either emergency medicine or trauma surgery. He is originally from Puerto Rico but has spent the latter part of his life living in Orlando. In addition to Honors Congress he is involved in the Latino Medical Student Association as their Treasurer and volunteers on the Orthopedic Trauma Unit at ORMC. In his free time he enjoys playing and watching football, camping, and spending time with his family. He is looking forward to leading our Knight-Thon team for the upcoming year.