Erika Wert - Director
Major: Health Science
Minor: Public Health
I am a very diligent worker and nurturing friend with an immense passion for helping people and children. I am pursuing a degree in health science on the pre-med track in order to deliver babies one day as an OB/GYN or neonatologist. I am involved with the Panhellenic sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and the charity event to benefit Children's Miracle Network, Dance Marathon. I hope to continue to develop my own identities and commitment to advocacy for social justice issues.
Amana Abdulwakeel - Director
Major: Microbiology and Cell Science
Minors: Statistics and International Relations Certificate
As a fun-loving and dedicated student, I have enjoyed being involved in many activities such as research, Islam on Campus, and Model UN. Going to Gatorship was certainly a lens-altering experience which helped me develop a heightened sensitivity for others, cognizance of issues on campus, and the tools to widen my scope and become an ally. This is my second year being on Gatorship staff, and I hope to apply the knowledge I'm gaining to affect change in the health care field because I am passionate about health policies and medical law.
Steven Che- Director
Major: Food Science & Human Nutrition - Specialization in Dietetics
I am a focused individual that strives to succeed in whatever I choose to do. Being raised in Vancouver, BC, I decided to come to the University of Florida for a change of pace through the Florida-Canada Linkage Institute. I am extremely passionate about cooking and believe that it is the cure to many health and diet related diseases in all around the world. To me, Gatorship was the step in my life that I became aware and conscious of many of my identities; I believe awareness of these identities is crucial to not only my personal growth, but the growth of the local and global communities.
Aileen Vazquez - Director
Gatorship to me really changed the way I viewed leadership and my life. I realized that even for my dream of becoming a physical therapist it is important to know the issues that surround people every day. I have learned that a leader cannot lead people if they do not understand them. Gatorship opened my eyes to different perspectives that connected me to the world around me.
Arielle Konen - Assistant Director, Fundraising
Major: Public Health
Minor: International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
Here at UF, I am most involved with the University of Florida Student Senate, Honors Ambassadors, Gatorship, and my Panhellenic sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. To me, Gatorship means finding my voice. It represents the person I'd like to be, and the person I've been all along. I can't wait to jump in this year and see what kind of an impact the Gatorship community will make in the years to come.
Sarah Lambert - Assistant Director, Fundraising
Major: Spanish, Linguistics (Pre-Dental)
I'm an empathetic, spirited individual who loves sunflowers, dancing, languages, and spending time with her friends. After graduation I hope to work as a dentist for either UNICEF or Dentists Without Borders. Gatorship was an immensely eye-opening experience for me because it showed me just how important it is to know one's place in the world, the effect we as humans all have on each other, and what we can each do to improve the lives of everyone around us.
Dee Jolly - Assistant Director, PR & Marketing
Majors: Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Anthropology
Minor: Communication Sciences and Disorders
I am so passionate about equity for all groups. Inclusivity and awareness are super important in my life. Gatorship has been integral to furthering my understanding of social issues, and how I can work on these issues in my future work in medicine.
Assistant Director, PR & Marketing
I am extremely interested in Queer issues and rights, and I have become really involved with social justice since I arrived on campus. I have no idea what I am going to do with my life after graduation, but I know I want to go to grad school (just not sure for what). This year for Gatorship, I am really looking forward to hearing other people's experiences, and I am excited to help guide people through intercultural dialogues.
Annika Goldman - Assistant Director, PR & Marketing
Major: Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
Minor: Studio Art
I am a positive person who aspires to be a lifelong learner. I love art and strive to utilize my talents to connect with people and facilitate social change. I am a residence assistant with UF housing as well as a research assistant at the Vitality of Mind Lab. My goal is to become a neuropsycologist and help improve quality of life for older adults with Alzheimer's and Dementia. To me, Gatorship means celebrating what makes people different. Gatorship helped me think more critically about my identity and role in society, and reassured me that I can make a difference in the world.
Kyle Maharlika - Assistant Director, PR & Marketing
Major: Computer Science
I have a deep interest in problem solving and people, so why not combine both? I'm a senior student of computer science and a fierce advocate for social justice, and my dream is to build a career in which I can solve large-scale social problems using computer science. Participating in and leading Gatorship has changed the trajectory of my entire career as a computer scientist and catapulted me into the field of solving social problems using computing. My perspective of our society has dramatically changed, and my knowledge of those issues has only grown since my participation in Gatorship. It was literally life-changing for me.
Jay Teran - Assistant Director, Recruitment
Major: Public Relations
I am a brother of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc., an ambassador for the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures alongside with being a staffer for Gatorship. Gatorship helped me find my identities and the intersections of them all. I am excited to help others find their identities and solidify them as salient. Through open dialogues I hope to hear stories and share experiences together with the other staffers and participants.
Anna Kolp - Assistant Director, Recruitment
Major: Psychology and Sociology
Minor: Teaching English as a Second Language and the Theories and Politics of Sexuality
I have a great love for learning and traveling, and I hope to leave the world a better place. I loved my experience at Gatorship because it brought together people who have a wide range of life experiences, creating a safe space for sharing, and empathy building. I am a passionate social justice advocate and radical feminist interested in social work and building a safer and more inclusive, equitable society. I am so thrilled to be on the staff for Gatorship this year, and I look forward to making it a memorable experience for all participants. I enjoy educating and listening to people, and I'm currently really into Vines of screaming baby goats.
Carolyn Cesarotti - Assistant Director, Recruitment
Major: International Studies
Minor: Mass Communications
I am a Student Ambassador for LGBT Affairs and am greatly interested in making this campus more inclusive. I was a participant on Gatorship my first year at UF and it has greatly influenced my student experience. I'm happy to return as staff and serve my team and future participants.
Maya Iyyani - Assistant Director, Recruitment
Minor: Communication Studies
I have been involved with several organizations on campus including the Freshman Leadership Experience, Preview Staff, and the Florida Cicerones. I love reading, dancing, and collecting quotes. Yes, I believe in the Oxford comma. Gatorship opened my eyes, inspired me, and helped me find that ever-elusive "passion." Because of Gatorship I know who I am and I know how I want to impact the world.
Daniel Tippenhauer - Assistant Director, Recruitment
The world is filled with opportunities. I seize mine at every sunrise by choosing the ongoing opportunity to be happy, live happily, and share happiness. The key to this happiness is knowing who I am and where I fit in with a world as expansive as ours. Thanks to Gatorship, I have defined who I am as a student, a leader, a friend, and overall - a person. I aspire to use what I've learned about myself and those involved in the world around me to progressively better lives throughout all of my endeavors.
Hailey Leiva - Assistant Director, Morale
Minor: Theories and Politics on Sexuality
I am a fun and feisty person passionate about friendship, family, and personal connections. For me, Gatorship was eye-opening in the sense that it made me aware of the varying identities and feelings of the people I encounter every day. This year, I hope to inspire this awakening in others and further develop in my own identities. It is my firm belief that we all have room to learn and gain understanding from one another. I would like to use the knowledge and skills I gain from Gatorship in my career as a Counselor or Social Worker. In addition to Gatorship, I enjoy being an RA, mint chocolate chip ice cream, making people laugh, laughing, dogs, braiding people's hair, and theme parks.
Jessica Grobman - Assistant Director, Morale
Major: Elementary Education
I like to think of myself as fun loving, blunt, and very caring person. I'm not very cookie cutter, I have a lot of opinions and I will make them known but as I grow older, I learn how to convey what I feel effectively. Gatorship helped me and continues to help me grow up and grow out. I know that I have a lot to learn about identities and being comfortable with who you are and those around you, but I also know that I have a lot to contribute and Gatorship allowed me to see that not only in that group but in any group that I'm a part of. My passion is to be an educator to those who can't educate themselves on what they themselves are passionate it. My passion is with social justice awareness and allowing everyone to see the world through their own perspective and I one day, I'm going to look back and just be eternally grateful for Gatorship giving me the courage and confidence to educate hundreds of people in what I, myself, am passionate in. I was a Preview Staffer, I am a Campus Diplomat, a sister of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated, and above all I am honestly just Jess. I love to sing and dance and crack jokes and laugh. That's me! Can't wait to know all of you!
Akida Azad - Assistant Director, Morale
Major: Environmental Science
Throughout my time here at UF, I have had so many wonderful experiences but I don't think any single experience helped me develop into a better student, leader, friend, and overall more empathetic person as much as Gatorship. Gaining a better understanding of my identities and learning from my peers was an invaluable experience that I will carry with me always -- especially as I pursue a future in environmental justice (social justice + environmental studies). During my spare time you can probably (and by probably I mean definitely) find me either on the floor crying from laughter, saying "I can't even," watching too many youtube videos, dancing around my room, or staring at all the maps on my wall.
Hanain Fazal - Assistant Director, Logistics & Programming
Major: Psychology and Japanese
I am very passionate about medicine, especially health disparities, as well psychology and the human experience. I really enjoy learning languages and I listen to music in many different languages, and wish that I could live to a really old age so that I could learn all of the languages in the world (unrealistically ambitious, I know)! Gatorship shaped not only my college experience, but my perspective on life and what it means to work towards an inclusive community. Gatorship also inspired me to speak out against injustice and be proud of my identity and where I come from.
TehQuin Forbes - Assistant Director, Logistics & Programming
Minor: Nonprofit Organizational Leadership
I like to read, write, and watch dramatic television shows. To me, Gatorship is a chance to open people's eyes to the possibility of how great our society could be if everyone were treated equally and fairly. In the future, I hope to find a way to use what Gatorship has taught me to promote social equity in all of the things I do.
Michael Ngo - Assistant Director, Logistics & Programming
Major: Nutritional Science (Pre-Pharmacy)
Minor: My hobbies include cooking and playing Frisbee. I'm the cultural director of the Culinary Arts Student Union and I am an Asian Pacific and Islander American coordinator under the Multicultural and Diversity Affairs department. I know my involvements do not directly match my career, but I am hoping to apply to UF's College of Pharmacy. Gatorship has helped me develop my identities and create a space for me to grow and learn. I would like to provide this opportunity for others and I am excited to work with my fellow staffers to accomplish this goal!
Claudia Reyes-Rios - Assistant Director, Logistics & Programming
Major: Psychology and Family, Youth, and Community Sciences
Minor: Educational Studies
I am a proud Chilean American that was born and raised in Miami, FL. My heart belongs to Netflix, food, FRIENDS, and all things Disney. I suffer from serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and can find a reason to laugh at most anything. My biggest passion lies in service work - I hope to one day work with a non-profit organization or in a pediatric hospital serving children fighting life threatening illnesses. Gatorship opened my eyes to a world beyond my comfort zone, and it has challenged me to step up to make a difference.
Jannet Mathew - Assistant Director, Logistics & Programming
I love hanging out with my friends and catching up on the latest celebrity gossip whether it be via magazines or twitter. I hope to become a dentist one day and work with Smiles for Life to help create a better smile for all. Gatorship gave me a voice I didn't know I had and it opened up my eyes to so many issues in our world I wasn't aware of. It shapes how I view everything and how I approach everything in life. I'm excited to see how Gatorship will grow this year with our hard-working staff and to see the impact it will have on campus.