Program Alumni

Click the links below to learn more about our Alums

Adam Amir

Linda Parker Hudson

Dr. Jose (Joe) Lezama

Cara Malek

Kevin Nead

John Pinckard

Yevgin Sautin

Wells Weymouth

Adam Amir

Adam Amir graduated in May 2010 summa cum laude with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Political Science, and reflects fondly on his time at the University of Florida Honors Program. "The support of the Honors Program is hard to quantify," Adam, a former Honors Ambassador and Professional Development Peer Leader, said. "In Honors, I not only found my friends but tremendous freedom to explore my interests with a safety-net of advisers and resources when I inevitably stumbled."

In the summer after his graduation, Adam moved to Washington D.C. to research the nexus between the environment and international free trade in the Executive Office of the President. His internship was sponsored through the Harry S. Truman Foundation's Summer Institute, which brings Truman Scholars to live and work together on substantive public policy issues in government and at non-profits. Following his internship, Adam spent two years at the Office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, working to advance the City of New York’s national priorities on issues such as public safety policy, immigration reform, and LGBT rights. 

Adam is currently enrolled at Stanford Law School and will graduate in 2015.

"As transient and exciting the next few years will be, I don't want to stray too far from my roots," he said, before explaining his plans to return to the Swamp this fall for some Gator Football. "Which reminds me," Adam said. "Does anyone have any extra tickets?"

Linda Parker Hudson

Chairman and CEO, The Cardea Group

Linda P. Hudson is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Cardea Group, a consultancy specializing in C-Suite transitions, leadership in today’s multi-cultural and multi-generational workplaces, managing risk, strategic change, and scaling businesses in rapid growth environments. Hudson coaches high-performing individuals to become more effective leaders and valuable citizens by positively impacting their companies, colleagues and communities. Additionally, Hudson serves as director on the boards of Bank of America, Southern Company and Ingersoll Rand.

Hudson retired as president and CEO of BAE Systems, Inc. on January 31, 2014. Hudson led a global, U.S.-based defense, aerospace, and security company, wholly owned by London-based BAE Systems plc, with approximately 40,000 employees and $13 billion in annual revenue. Hudson served as an executive director on the BAE Systems, Inc. and BAE Systems plc board of directors.

Prior to becoming CEO, Hudson was president of BAE Systems' Land & Armaments operating group, the world's largest military vehicle and equipment business, with operations around the world. Before joining BAE Systems, she served for seven years as an officer and vice president of the General Dynamics Corporation and was president of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products.

Hudson held a variety of senior management positions in engineering, production operations, program management, and business development during a period of significant consolidation in the defense industry. Beginning her career with the Harris Corporation and Ford Aerospace, she led organizations at Martin Marietta through the Lockheed Martin merger and a subsequent divestiture to General Dynamics.

Selected to receive the USO’s 2011 Woman of the Year Distinguished Service Award for her tireless commitment to the military and their families, Hudson has received numerous accolades and recognitions for her professional accomplishments and philanthropic activities. In demand as a powerful keynote speaker, she has also been recognized as an innovative leader and trailblazer and featured in numerous periodicals such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Forbes. The London Sunday Times proclaimed her “the first lady of defense.”

Hudson currently serves on the non-profit boards of the University of Florida Foundation, Wake Forest University Charlotte Center and Discovery Place. She is a member of the International Women's Forum and C200, the premier global organization of women business leaders. Hudson received C200’s 2011 Luminary Award for Corporate Innovation. She has been cited as one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and one of Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington. Washington Business Journal has named her one of its Power 100 and one of the Most Admired CEOs. She was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame in December 2013. Hudson received the 2013 Association of the US Army’s Dixon award for her industry leadership and contribution to national security. The Charlotte Business Journal honored her with their 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Hudson received her bachelor's degree in systems engineering with honors. She remains active in the alumni and athletic associations and serves on advisory boards for the College of Engineering. Honored as a Distinguished Alumnus, she is a member of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Hall of Fame. She holds an honorary doctorate in engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Florida.

Dr. Jose (Joe) Lezama

Dr. Jose (Joe) Lezama joined the University of Florida Honors program in the fall of 1989 and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Microbiology and Cell Science in 1993 with Honors. He then continued his studies at the University of Florida, being accepted to the College of Medicine and successfully finishing his studies in 1997. Dr. Lezama then completed his training in Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine  in Tampa, Fl over the next three years. Among his accomplishments in his residency training were being awarded the American College of Physicians Award for the Best Resident in Training for USF for his final year in training, and receiving the Moffitt Cancer Center Housestaff Clinical Care Award.
Dr. Lezama joined the University of South Florida Internal Medicine Faculty after residency completion, as well as the  James Haley Veterans Hospital in July 2000, He made a mark for himself with excellent clinical care and leadership skills such that he was selected as the Chief of Medicine in February 2006 at the age of 34, one of the youngest physicians ( if not the youngest) in in the history of the Veterans Health Administration to have been selected with that honor. During his career, he has also been promoted to Associate Program Director of the USF Internal Medicine residency, Vice-Chairman of the USF Department of Internal Medicine, and Professor of Medicine at the University of South Florida.
Dr. Lezama’s accomplishments include winning the University of South Florida's Clinical Teacher of the Year award for the entire College of Medicine three times and winning multiple other College of Medicine awards, including the Leonard Tow Humanism Award and the Osler Award twice. He also won the nomination of the USF College of Medicine for the American Association of Medical Colleges Humanism Award, finishing among the final 42 nominees for this award in 2008. In addition to his excellent medical student teaching, Dr. Lezama is unique in being able to also teach residents to the same high level, having won the Department of Medicine's Teacher of the Year award five times in his career. He also was recognized as one of the top 10 Internal Medicine Physicians by the American College of Physicians (ACP) in 2010, making the cover of one of their magazines.  He has also won the ACP’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year award for the entire state of Florida that recognizes the best teaching physician of the year amongst all the state internal medicine training programs.
Dr. Lezama has instituted numerous patient safety mechanisms in the hospital for improved care of patients with bronchopneumonia, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and deep venous vein prophylaxis. He has been an avid contributor to innovative education of residents and medical students, developing a web site for education that has been used by thousands during his years in Tampa.
Among the many innovative leadership skills of Dr. Lezama is emergency disaster preparedness. Dr. Lezama has served as the Deputy Director for Mass Casualty in Hillsborough County since 2005 when he assisted in the Hurricane Katrina casualty reception, and he stepped into a greater role as the Medical Director of the Tampa VA FCC activation in 2010 when Operation Haiti Relief was initiated. Dr. Lezama served in his role as Medical Director for over a month, coordinating the reception of patients from the USS Comfort, and even providing direct triaging of patients by being the first to board the C-130 planes when they would arrive late at night at Tampa International Airport. Dr. Lezama coordinated all county efforts to support the federal mission which was a huge success. Dr. Lezama was recognized for his role in Operation Haiti Relief with a Letter of Recognition from the State of Florida Surgeon General, and he was part of the contingent that helped the James Haley VA be recognized that same year for an Natonal Medical Disaster Association award. Dr. Lezama shared his knowledge on successful coordination of federal, state, and county emergency services as one of the main speakers at the VA's national emergency management meetings over the past few years.
The University of Florida recognized Dr. Lezama’s accomplishments via Alumni nomination into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society in 2010. He was also recognized as a Young Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Florida in 2010 in a ceremony at Griffith Hall at UF.
Dr. Lezama is married to Amy Abreu Lezama, Pharm D, and they have three “future Gator” children ( Kaitlyn, Derek, and Madeline). They reside in Lutz, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area.
Dr. Lezama has fond memories of his time in the UF Honors Program and recognizes the importance of that program in his career.

Cara Malek

Cara Malek graduated cum laude from the UF College of Engineering in May 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Arts and Sciences.The collaborative spirit of the honors community helped develop her teamwork and leadership skills. She loved her time at UF, and inspired the next class of Gators through serving on Preview Orientation staff and teaching a First Year Florida course. She also worked as the graphic designer for the Dean of Students Office, and founded UF's first a cappella vocal ensemble, "No Southern Accent".  

Cara went on to graduate school at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Design, with a specialization in Digital Animation + Visualization. She spent a year of her studies working on the Jane Project, a visualization of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex. Her work can be seen in videos and interactive displays about a juvenile T. Rex named Jane, at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois.  

During her graduate studies, Cara held an internship with DreamWorks Animation in Redwood City, California, and went on to land her "dream job" at the studio after graduation. She is currently a Character Technical Director Lead for the upcoming feature film, "How to Train Your Dragon 2". As a Character TD, she uses her technical and artistic expertise to create joints, muscles, and controls inside the digital puppets used in computer-generated animated films.  Her credits include "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," "How to Train Your Dragon," "Megamind," and "Kung Fu Panda 2".  

"The computer graphics industry involves a crazy mix of people, from programmers and engineers to artists and storytellers," Cara explains. "Not only did UF provide me with a great education. My experiences at the University of Florida taught me to be a better communicator and to understand different perspectives. These skills proved to be invaluable in my career."‌

Kevin Nead

Kevin Nead graduated in December of 2008 summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor of science in Zoology. During his time at UF Kevin was a member of the varsity swimming team and as a student-athlete was an athletic All-American (HM), a first-team Academic All-American, and became the first Gator male to ever be named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice.  As a junior Kevin was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which allowed him to live and work in Lille, France for six months where he studied the genetics of type 2 diabetes.  

Largely based on his experience conducting research in France, Kevin graduated from UF with an interest in medicine and biomedical research. In the autumn of 2009 Kevin matriculated at Stanford University School of Medicine to complete his MD. As a student, Kevin continued to undertake research where he studied metabolic and cardiovascular disease with the support of a fellowship from the American Heart Association. This experience motivated Kevin to take a year off of his medical training to complete a master’s degree in Epidemiology. In February of 2011, Kevin learned that he had been awarded a prestigious, full-cost Gates-Cambridge Scholarship to complete his MPhil in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge in England. Kevin graduated first in his class from Cambridge in 2012 and completed his MD at Stanford in 2014.  He is now a resident physician in the department of radiation oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on oncology and cardiometabolic diseases utilizing traditional retrospective and prospective datasets as well as novel bioinformatics approaches to analyze electronic medical record data.

John Pinckard

Two Time Tony Winner

JOHN ARTHUR PINCKARD is a two time Tony Award winning producer, most recently represented on Broadway and currently represented on tour by the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award winning best musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which he helped develop.

With David Carpenter he is a partner in Tilted Windmills Theatricals, a boutique production company with a portfolio of titles in production and pre-production across Broadway, regional, and touring markets. Tilted Windmills is currently represented Off Broadway by PUFFS, the hit Harry Potter inspired comedy that workshopped at the University of Florida in the summer of 2016.  

John’s other Broadway credits include Clybourne Park (Tony Award and Olivier Award for Best New Play, Pulitzer Prize for Drama), HAIR, Green Day’s American Idiot (Tony nomination) and Slava’s Snowshow on Broadway (Tony nomination). Off Broadway credits include Silence! the Musical (Lortel nomination), 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche, and Never Swim Alone.

As an inaugural recipient of the T. Edward Hambleton Fellowship for creative producers, he was trained in the development of new musicals by Harold Prince, the most successful producer and director in Broadway history. John’s notable collaborators include Tony winners Greg Kotis & Mark Hollman (Urinetown), Drama Desk winner Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, international music sensations the Scissor Sisters, and renowned author Armistead Maupin, among others.

Prior to his work on Broadway, John worked in the risk department of the investment bank at J.P.MorganChase & Co. He has lectured at Columbia University, the Commercial Theater Institute, and the University of Florida, which named him an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2009 and named him to the Alumni Advisory Council for the Arts in 2014.

Yevgin Sautin

Carnegie Junior Fellow, Boren Fellow, Gates Cambridge Scholar

University of Florida alumnus Yevgen Sautin has been selected as one of 35 Gates Cambridge Scholars from the U.S. to study for a PhD in Modern Chinese History at the University of Cambridge on a full scholarship. 

Yevgen Sautin [class of 2012] is a strategic risk analyst at U.S. Bank in Washington, DC focusing on cyber issues and political risk. Prior to working at the bank, he spent the 2014-15 academic year as a Boren Fellow at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. He also received an MA from the University of Chicago in International Relations. After graduating from UF he was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at the Russia-Eurasia and Energy & Climate Change Programs. At Florida, Yevgen triple majored in History, Economics, and Political Science and was the first Carnegie Junior Fellow in school history. A lifelong gator and Gainesville resident, Yevgen devoted a lot of time at UF attempting to broaden student access to campus resources and reform student government. Knowing both Mandarin and Russian, Yevgen’s commentary on international politics and energy is frequently published in leading journals and newspapers such as the National Interest. When not working, Yevgen enjoys globetrotting, running, and being a foodie.

“The University of Florida gave me tremendous opportunities without which I would not be where I am today, for which I am eternally grateful. From outstanding classes and faculty mentors to the Honors Office, I was in a perfect environment to thrive and figure out what sort of subsequent career and academic path I wanted to take.”

“Thanks to the Honors Program and its fantastic classes and advising, UF never felt like a large school to me. Honors Program classes or events was also where I met many students with similar interests who have since become lifelong friends.”

“I would also attribute my success in large part to being encouraged to try and failing at several key junctures during my time at Florida. My junior year I was a finalist for the Truman Scholarship and was also a Rhodes nominee my senior year. Although I didn't get either scholarship, the experience helped me prepare for future applications and helped me to think strategically about what my next step should be after graduation.”

 -Yevgen Sauti

Wells Weymouth

Wells graduated summa cum laude from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a B.S. in Psychology. During his four years at UF, he was supported by an Army ROTC scholarship. This rigorous program of physical training, leadership development, and tactical exercises was an integral component of his time at UF, and led him to combine his life-long passion to become a doctor with a military medical career path. Wells received his Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Branch Medical Corps, as a Distinguished Military Graduate in May, 2011.  

In the spring semester of his freshman year, Wells joined the Phelps Laboratory in the zoology department, where he worked under Dr. Steve Phelps and graduate student Dr. Alex Ophir on neuroendocrine studies of the prairie vole. Collaborating with colleague Elon Richman, Wells researched the heritability of forebrain hormone receptors. They presented their findings at the 2010 Society for Neuroscience National Conference in San Diego, California. Wells received Highest Honors on his senior honors thesis on the same subject.

In March 2009, Wells traveled to Ecuador with the UF College of Medicine. He was the sole undergraduate on the volunteer medical mission “Project Heal." This humbling experience of treating needy indigenous people in the remote mountains and Amazonian villages deepened his medical ambition. It also helped to further prepare him for a number of unique shadowing experiences in the medical field. In the summer of 2010, after successfully completing the required ROTC Leadership Development and Assessment Camp, Wells was selected for the Army Medical Department Internship Program at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Washington. During this four-week internship, Wells shadowed a variety of military doctors, including radiologists, anesthesiologists, and specialist surgeons, gaining valuable OR experience.  

During his four years at UF, Wells was actively involved with several campus organizations, including pre-health organization Alpha Epsilon Delta, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and fundraising for Project Heal. Wells was awarded the University of Florida Presidential Award for Volunteer Service. He graduated as a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Wells also perfected his Spanish through two UF Summer Study Abroad programs in Spain.  

In October 2011, Wells will begin study and research at the University of Canterbury, Graduate Program in Antarctic Studies, Christchurch, New Zealand, as a Fulbright Scholar. His research proposal, titled “Insomnia and Melatonin: A Polar Exploration” is aimed at traveling groups and researchers in Antarctica. You can follow his blog at to hear more about his Fulbright experience.  

Wells will begin Medical School in the fall of 2012. He will attend on US Army scholarship the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland and hopes to specialize in trauma surgery.