What do our Alumni Say?

Honors has an impact on lives!

Linda Parker Hudson, Chairman and CEO, The Cardea Group

The UF Honors Program was formative in my journey from an engineering student to the first female CEO of a major U.S. defense company. My time at the University of Florida helped shape my commitment to becoming an effective and ethical leader who can work across a variety disciplines to influence others, drive change, advance technology, get things done and – I hope change the world. I remain a die-hard Gator football fan and never miss a home game. Go Gators!

Joe Lezama, MD, FACP

The University of Florida Honors program was the start of the intellectual challenges both in the science and the humanism studies that shaped me in my pursuit to become both an outstanding physician leader and an outstanding medical educator. I learned at the UF Honors Program how to have the confidence, courage, and pride in myself and my work such that I would never have to settle for anything less than the best from myself. I especially have a soft place in my heart for my fourth year of college in which I was able to take advanced level humanism courses that helped round out my education before I transitioned into the UF College of Medicine. The values I learned as part of the UF Honors Program have helped shape my successful medical leadership career and my personal life."

UF Honors Program alumni
UF Anderson Scholar
UF Truman Scholar Finalist
UF BS Microbiology with Honors
UF College of Medicine Alpha Omega Alpha
UF Young Distinguished Alumnus Member
Chief of Medicine, James Haley VA Hospital
Vice-Chairman, USF Department of Internal Medicine

Chris Bell, Buchanan, Ingersoll, and Rooney

Anyone else ever feel like college graduation was only for super old people, so elusive and distant that it could never be reached by mere mortals? That you would never grow up to be THAT old, wise, and accomplished? Yeah me too. One month into post-grad life, I am still questioning how I reached this surreal limbo stage, but I am also feeling appreciative and grateful for my undergrad experience.

I had the fullest four years, characterized by laughs, exhaustion, adrenaline, more laughs, and carbs. I explored new hobbies, discovered new horizons of knowledge, and, most importantly, found myself. As a freshman, I was looking forward to growth in every sense of the word, but I grew more than I expected to (facial hair, a vague understanding of personal fashion, financial discipline, etc.). I came to love the natural beauty, activity, and community of Gainesville, the hippest city in Central Florida. That said, Gainesville is the product of its fine people. I can only hope to be in an environment as diverse, supportive, and nurturing as UF. UF introduced me to so many unique individuals, passionate about what they do and who they are. So thank you to everyone who was a friend, acquaintance, or random passerby (including those of you who rode your bikes around campus and managed to not bike into me as I walked in fearful paralysis of you destroying me from behind).

I’m sad to leave, but I am damn happy that I had such a fulfilling college experience. Stay stoked and go gators!!!!!!!

Sarah Gustitus, Graduate Student at North Carolina

The Honors Program provided me with a small community within a large university. I loved the big university feel of UF, from the diverse opportunities, to hanging out with 90,000+ fellow Gator fans at football games; however, it was also nice to have the Honors Program niche to develop more intimate connections. I found countless stimulating discussions, intellectual challenges, and rewarding experiences through spending time with fellow Honors Gators, whether it be through Honors courses, Honors student organizations, or a friendly Krishna lunch. I was also thrilled to get to know the Honors advising staff, who made me feel like more than just another student to push through to graduation. These advisers opened my eyes to some of the most rewarding co-curricular and extracurricular activities that I engaged in during my undergraduate years, including joining the Honors Ambassadors and participating in an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates.

Amy Sapp. Late Night Programming Associate for Feinstein's/54 Below, Broadway Journalist

When I think back on my undergraduate experience at the University of Florida, I immediately am flooded with memories of my family within the Honors Program. When I first entered Gainesville during a summer semester, I struggled to find my place amidst the thousands of students. Everything changed when I became involved with the Honors Program. I found a community at the Hume Residence Hall, mentors in the Honors faculty, and a family within the Honors Ambassadors. Notably, the Honors advisors guided me through application processes and offered me wisdom when faced with an internship opportunity that would cause me to take a semester off from classes. In fact, thanks to Honors scholarships, I was able to partake in over six internships in college, some in Washington, D.C. and New York City. With the Honors Program, I found mentors who truly invested in me both professionally and personally, mentors with whom I am still friends today.

She has some more mentoring advice with her profile in Forbes!

Sarah Lotspeich, Biostatistics Ph.D. Student at Vanderbilt University

I came to the University of Florida from a small high school in a quaint town on the east coast of Florida (with a smaller population than UF’s undergraduate enrollment). My first days on this campus were full of both shock and awe: amazement at the caliber of students this institution attracts, distress at the multitude of bus routes, fascination about the Hare Krishna people and their “karma free” lunches, and uncertainty about where I might find my place in all the madness. Within a month, I joined the Student Honors Organization, and my fate was sealed. I spent my first year organizing events (Pie Your RA, Haunted Hume), my second year advising the incoming executive board as they planned their own programs (a campus-wide art show, baking competition), and my final year embracing all the relationships I had forged within the Honors Program as I prepared for graduate school. This program gave me not only a tight-knit support system in my peers, but a wonderful mentor who went above and beyond to enrich my experience by seeking out exciting opportunities on my behalf. This university provided so many destinations for my future, but this program delivered the map.