Five New Members Inducted into Honors Hall of Fame

Since 2018, the University of Florida Honors Program has inducted into the Honors Hall of Fame select members of its graduating class who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to Honors Program values.

Class of 2021 Hall of Fame winners, from left to right: R. Matthew Barocas, Cosette Brown, Hannah Calderazzo, Julia Paoli, Giselle San Filippo

Honors is pleased to announce the latest inductees from the Class of 2021, pictured above from left to right:

R. Matthew Barocas, of Pinecrest, FL, graduating with BAs in History and Political Science

Cosette Brown, of Melbourne, FL, graduating with a BS in Health Education and Behavior and minor in Health Disparities in Society

Hannah Calderazzo, of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, graduating with a BA in English and minors in French and Mass Communications

Julia Paoli, of Winter Park, FL, graduating with a BSc in Microbiology and Cell Sciences and minor in French and Francophone Studies

Giselle San Filippo, of Orlando, FL, graduating with a BA in Business Administration, Specialization in International Studies, and a minor in Jazz Studies

Impact and Inspiration

From a program in which a high-level of achievement, student leadership and deep level of involvement are a baseline, additional distinction is an exceptional honor. “These students have taken advantage of the opportunities UF offers and have challenged themselves to be their best selves,” says Honors Program Director Dr. Mark Law. “They fully exemplify the traits of Honors students and show how it’s possible to achieve across disciplines at UF and find a path that will distinguish you.”

This was a defining element of the Honors experience for 2021 inductee Giselle San Filippo who, with a wide variety of interests, recalls regularly asking herself how she could "do it all" in college. “The Honors community viewed my variety of different interests as a strength, not a weakness,” she says. “Everything within Honors—classes, advisors, experiences, friends and more—has created opportunities for me to learn and grow both professionally and personally.”

"These students have shown how it’s possible to achieve across disciplines at UF and find a path that will distinguish you."

Graduating seniors are invited to apply for the Honors Hall of Fame in late March by Senior Associate Director Dr. Melissa Johnson. Applicants reflect and respond to questions inspired by the Honors values of opportunity, challenge and community. Among other questions, students are asked to detail ways in which they have contributed to or been shaped by the Honors community. For inductee Matthew Barocas, advising and awards played a major role. “As a student whose parents did not graduate from college, I have experienced the feeling of being one step behind many of my peers in on-campus or national organizations,” he says. “The counsel of Honors advising helped me surpass that deficit and assisted me in navigating the start of a professional career.” In the fall, Barocas will begin a Master of Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing as UF’s second-ever Schwarzman Scholar.

"The Honors community viewed my variety of different interests as a strength, not a weakness."

Inductee Julia Paoli found her community as a Stamps Scholar. “The Stamps Scholarship program changed my life for the better,” she affirms. “It allowed me to travel the world, connect with amazing students and alumni, and work closely with Honors faculty.”

Evolving in Honors

Experiences outside the classroom speak to the crux of the program, which is rooted in interdisciplinary and holistic learning. As such, inductee Cosette Brown believes students can attain success simply by being involved in Honors. “Reflecting on my time at UF, I have now come to realize that ‘success’ can be defined as ‘participating in any opportunity that allows you to grow.’” Through a variety of involvement opportunities from service roles to study abroad, Brown notes her growth as a defining impact of Honors involvement. “I’m very proud that I can say I did not leave the University of Florida the same person I was four years ago,” says Brown. This sentiment is shared by Hannah Calderazzo. “Being in the Honors Program has completely changed my undergraduate experience over the past four years,” she says, noting the impact of friendships, study abroad and transformation through leadership roles in student orgs like PRISM.

“It has been a joy to see these students grow in their time here,” concludes Dr. Law. “The stories of these students are inspiring.” 

Hall of Fame induction is one of the most prestigious recognitions offered by the UF Honors Program, and is intended to recognize achievements of graduates who receive a medallion as well as inspire current and future Honors scholars to explore their personal, professional and academic passions to the fullest extent with courage and confidence.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 Hall of Fame members!


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