What year are you?
Cape Coral, Florida
North Fort Myers High School
Sustainability and the Built Environment
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
What is the one innovation you can’t live without? (ex. Duct Tape)
The wearable, wireless insulin pump. As a Type 1 Diabetic, this allows me to live a largely uninhibited, and very active lifestyle, as opposed to being chained to a myriad of medical supplies constantly, which is very inconvenient.
It is 2 p.m. Saturday. Where are you, and what are you doing?
Finishing up some community service, reading the latest political discourse, or watching some esports (competitive gaming) matches.
What are your goals at UF?
To mature into a person who anyone would be proud to know, and leave my mark on the community as someone who always led the way toward growth, in all aspects.
What innovative projects are you currently working on or want to work on?
Lately I’ve been interested in smart/human-centered design, in both products (technology and energy focused) and in possible civic/governmental regulation and policy, and have a few avenues in regards to these I’ve yet to make a decision on.
Why did you choose to attend UF IA? How has it enhanced your college experience so far?
I chose to attend IA because I always wanted my education to be different. Growing up, it always was different, because of how much better I was at doing traditional coursework than my peers at young ages. However, traditional coursework doesn’t cut it anymore. The world is more globalized than ever before, and human capital is king. IA has helped me master several key soft skills such as time management, public speaking, communication in general, acknowledgement of diverse perspectives, consideration of ethics in all of my work, and most importantly has instilled a constant ‘think outside the box’ mindset in my life. I am a completely different and massively improved person from who I was upon coming to UF, and I owe almost all of that to IA.
What are you involved in here on campus? (Clubs, organizations, hobbies, interests)
IA is a second family to me, and so I give back as much as my time allows. Currently, I serve as the assistant treasurer of the IA Ambassadors, the Director of Communications for LEAD by IA, and the Director of Innovation for IA Serve. I’ve always kind of been a natural coach and teacher, I’m sure I get a lot of that from my father, but I strive to continually raise the bar in terms of IA’s reputation and reach in the Gainesville community, and help others grow professionally and especially personally during these often turbulent years of one’s life.
How have you contributed positively to the Gainesville community?
With my student organizations, I’ve participated in dozens of community service events and projects, from tilling soil at small vegetable gardens that grow food for homeless shelters, to aiding in active treatment sessions at Tacachale Developmental Disability Center, to helping refurbish a local elementary school, and the list goes on and on. Growing up as a relatively sheltered middle-class individual in the suburbs, I was kept blind to the amount of strife and struggle that exists in the world. So, with gratitude for my holistically great health, great upbringing, and great opportunities provided to me, the least I can do is work to bolster those for others.
What is one piece of advice you would give to incoming IA freshmen?
Get involved immediately. The people in the IA program are second to none, and life is all about the connections you make with other people. Your network of both professional opportunities and personal fulfillment grow in direct relation to the number of people you know, and perhaps more importantly, who know you. Live boldly, and be memorable.
How do you plan to spend your fall semester(s)?
My first official IA fall semester was spent here in Gainesville, where I took two classes and interned for a local business, which gave me a good taste of the realities of running a lean startup and a small business.
My second official IA fall semester was spent in Madrid, Spain, where I took five total courses, learned a basic working proficiency level of Spanish, and participated in cultural exchange and travel with other motivated students of all backgrounds from around the world. My favorite trip was an eight-day tour of the Kingdom of Morocco.
My plans for my third fall, Fall 2017, are to find a job or an internship either here in Gainesville or back in Cape Coral. Ideally, I’d like something at the intersection of business management/economics/sustainability/design, which is an interesting, future-oriented disciplinary combination, which is why I study it, but also a large upcoming economic sector, with many major corporations and organizations already leading the way launching programs and divisions focused on this area.