Congratulations To Our 2022 Inductees
The FGCU Hall of Fame is the highest recognition given to student leaders at Florida Gulf Coast University. Each year, up to 10 students who demonstrate superior leadership, integrity and achievement as members of the university community are selected for this honor.
Logan Alles is originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin, and is the youngest of four siblings. He is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from Florida Gulf Coast University in May 2022.
He currently works as a medical scribe at a cardiology office in Naples under Dr. Mouhannad Dalao. For two years prior, he also worked as a scribe in the Emergency Departments of Lee Health. This semester, he is interning at Lee Health in the Adult Specialty Care Division, working on better physician scheduling to improve patient access to care.
For the last year, Logan has led Global Medical Brigades as president and the Honors Mentor program as a co-lead mentor. He first became an Honors Mentor three years ago and is currently writing his Honors thesis about the program. In addition, Logan was a member of the inaugural Millennium Fellowship, a unique leadership development program centered around sustainability, created by the United Nations.
Logan helped start the Campus Cancer Campaign in 2021 as a Team Leader. In 2020 during the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, he coordinated a PPE donation drive and mask-making event on campus to benefit the residents of Immokalee. He participated in Honors Immokalee Immersion trips for three years. And in 2019 and 2020, Logan has also served on FGCU’s student government and participated in legal advocacy trips to Tallahassee to help secure funding for the campus’s new Watershed & Coastal Studies building.
Logan will be starting medical school in July to pursue his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine at Kansas City University in Kansas City, Missouri.
In his free time, Logan enjoys FGCU’s intramural sports, reading by the pool and craft beer. He is known around campus for his contagious smile and his enthusiastic wave to his friends, no matter how early in the morning.
Grace Anderson is a senior Honors student graduating with a dual B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in Music this Spring. She is originally from the West Coast but has lived in Fort Myers for the past 10 years.
She has been conducting chemistry research with Dr. Arsalan Mirjafari for the past 3 years, resulting in 6 publications, presentations at the international level, and a research internship at MIT! Grace has also been the recipient of top awards like the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and the NSF-GRFP.
In music, Grace has sung with and served in leadership positions in the FGCU Chamber Choir, Women’s Chorale, and Choral Artistry. She has also performed in various opera productions and as a soloist in churches and concerts.
She will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at MIT next year.
Camila Garcia is graduating with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Biology. She is from Naples, Florida and a first-generation Colombian American. Camila is a student researcher working with Dr. Sulekha Coticone on optimizing the amplification of Low-Copy Number DNA from fingerprints; while implementation in the future may allow law enforcement to lower the number of cold cases in America. She presented her findings at over 15 university, state, and nationwide symposiums, like the ACS Spring 2022 conference. In addition, she collaborated on various manuscripts with Dr. Coticone like her first publication in the Journal of Forensic Education, and their upcoming book review for the Handbook of DNA Profiling discussing Next-Generation Sequencing technology. To culminate her research, she will be defending an Honors thesis and manuscript for publication in Spring 2022.
Camila also has research experience away from FGCU, as she was selected for the ten-student highly competitive cohort at the NSF-REU University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill. Lastly, she also applied and was named a semi-finalist, awaiting for final decision, for the Study/Research Fulbright Masters award at the University College Dublin in Ireland.
Aside from research, she is also involved in various registered student organizations on campus. Currently, Camila serves as the President of the FGCU Chemistry Club and Treasurer of Project Narrative. She was selected as a member of the 2021 inaugural cohort of the Millennium Fellowship, and she is also a member of the inaugural editorial board for the Florida Undergraduate Research Journal (FURJ).
In the coming Fall, Camila will be attending Yale University for her PhD in Biochemistry as a Gruber Science Fellow! She plans to research protein folding and interactions to target genetic diseases caused by misfolded proteins.
Kaelyn is graduating with a degree in Biology and is originally from Fort Myers, Florida.
She is also a member of the Honors College and will be studying abroad with them to Peru this summer.
Over the past four years, she has served as the Vice President and now President of the Cancer Research Program, while also conducting breast cancer research on campus.
In addition, she has served as a Teaching Assistant for the Whitaker Center, working with middle school girls by displaying what a career in STEM look likes. She has worked as an Instructional Assistant for the department of Chemistry & Physics and a tutor for the Center for Academic Achievement. These experiences have led her to become a Fulbright Finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship opportunity.
She will be pursuing her Fulbright Fellowship in Poland at the end of September. Upon return, she plans to attend medical school to pursue a career in surgical oncology.
Samantha Nelson is graduating with Honors in Resort and Hospitality Management and a minor in Marketing. She was born and raised in Libertyville, IL, and attended high school there.
During her four years on campus, Sam has been highly involved with the Programming Board. She has held executive board positions such as Special Events Director and has been President of the organization for the past two years. She has also served as Programming Director on the Homecoming Committee in 2021 and 2022. In the Honors College, she has been an Honors Mentor, Honors House Leader, and is currently an Honors Ambassador.
Her other campus involvement includes Best Buddies, Lutgert Advisory Board, and University Ambassador.
Samantha completed over 1,000 internship hours, including this past summer when she was an intern supervisor of the Poolside Café at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, IL. In September, she will continue her work in food and beverage as an F&B Manager in training with the Marriott Voyage Program at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain in Tuscon, Arizona.
Tara Nichols (she/her) is graduating with a degree in psychology and is from Hollywood, Florida.
In the last year she has worked as a Residence Life Team Assistant in University Housing as well as participated and presented Research on student success.
On campus Tara has been a Tour Guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, a Resident Assistant for the Office of Housing and Residence Life where she was awarded Resident Assistant of the year for 2019-2020, a Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dance Marathon Chair, the Director of Student Opportunity in Student Government, and the NRHH Representative for the National Residence Hall Honorary Eagle Chapter where she was awarded Representative of the year on a National level, and found Project Period advocating for and establishing free menstruation products in a handful of gender-neutral restrooms on campus.
She will be pursuing a Master’s of Science in Child Development and Family Studies at Tufts University in Massachusetts this upcoming Fall.
Katherine Patterson is graduating with a degree in Biology and her hometown is Marco Island, FL. She was homeschooled growing up and is the daughter of a Navy veteran. She appreciates everything her parents have done for her to get a good education.
She was FGCU's first recipient of the U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship to study Mandarin in 2020 and was selected again in 2021 for the program. She was also part of FGCU's inaugural cohort for the Millennium Fellowship, and her project, Campus Cancer Campaign, focused on educating college students about cancer risk factors and prevention techniques.
Her studies of Chinese led to her writing an honors thesis, with the support of her mentor, Dr. Lyndsay Rhodes, on herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine that can help reduce metastasis or proliferation in triple-negative breast cancer. In the future, she hopes to continue to study the applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a complementary therapy in cancer treatment and apply this research as a practicing physician.
On campus, Katherine has been an Honors Mentor and Ambassador. She also has been a founding officer for two registered student organizations, Cooking Club and Project Narrative, which is an outreach program to underserved students from local high schools to help them with their college application process, and a co-founder for the Campus Cancer Campaign. She also serves as an undergraduate fellowship advisor for the Office of Competitive Fellowships.
And just last week, Katherine found out she was selected as a Fulbright finalist for the English Teaching Assistant program in Taiwan for 2022-2023. After the completion of her program, she plans to apply to medical school as her goal is to help people manage symptoms of chronic diseases, such as cancer.
Elizabeth Recker is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Chemistry. She is originally from Palm Coast, FL and attends FGCU fully on scholarship.
Elizabeth began chemistry research her sophomore year here at FGCU with Dr. Mirjafari and has been working in his lab ever since. Her main project focuses on designing new materials for carbon capture. She has received many awards through this research such as the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention.
However, what is most rewarding for her is the outreach projects that she has created through her research. Becoming a campus director for the inaugural class of Millennium Fellowship at FGCU, she used this opportunity and platform to bring her project to undergraduate chemistry courses with the goal of encouraging lower-level undergraduates to pursue research opportunities. Last year, she mentored four high school students bringing them into the chemistry lab on campus and this year Grace Anderson and her work closely with three undergraduate students, guiding them on their own projects in the Mirjafari lab.
Elizabeth has not only excelled in the academic portion of her time here but has also fully immersed herself into campus life. She is the president of an all-inclusive club, FGCU Dance Company, works as a tour guide for the university, and represents FGCU as a Whitaker College of Engineering Ambassador. Lastly, she has been a member of Delight, a women’s Christian ministry on campus, for all four years.
Elizabeth will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin this fall.
Katherine Ryan, better known as Katey, is graduating with a B.A. in History and B.S. in Accounting. During her time at FGCU Katey became involved in many research, leadership, and service opportunities. Throughout her research at FGCU, Katey was mentored by Drs. Rowan Steineker, Jeff Fortney, Elizabeth Bouldin, and Terumi Rafferty-Osaki. Since 2020, Katey worked as a research assistant with Drs. Jeff Fortney and Rowan Steineker on their Reacting to the Past historical pedagogy game, Between Two Fires. Summer 2020 and 2021, Katey worked for the South Florida Collections Management Center in Everglades National Park transcribing nineteenth century documents from Fort Jefferson Prison and an all black Union Regiment in Baton Rouge Louisiana. In this role, she also wrote over 100 abstracts for National Park Service administrative oral histories. Katey was appointed the StoryMapping ArcGIS Student Project Manager in April 2021 by the Provost’s Office. In over 700 hours of work, she developed a digital history website series that incorporates over 100 stories, across 25 years. This project is the body of Katey’s Honors College Thesis, which she will defend at the end of April. Finally, in February, Katey published her first article investigating Everglades National Park’s historic impact on Native American nations in South Florida in the inaugural edition of the Florida Undergraduate Research Journal.
As for her leadership, Katey has served on the Honors College Senate for the past four years, and was elected their procedural chair the last three. She also worked with the Office of Scholarly Innovation and Student Research, as an FGCUScholars Ambassador, promoting research and mentorship opportunities to students across campus. On the FGCUScholars Ambassador team, she served as secretary, treasurer, vice president, and president over her three years. Katey is also a founding officer of Project Narrative, a registered student organization created in 2020 dedicated to helping underserved Title I high school students on their college applications.
Finally, Katey spent a significant amount of her time at FGCU committed to service learning. From 2018 to 2020, she worked as an assistant varsity softball coach at her high school. She taught 6-12th grade girls the fundamentals of softball, tutored them on their schoolwork, and served in a big sister role on and off the field. Because of Katey’s work in scholarship, leadership, and service, she was recognized in October 2021 as the National Collegiate Honors Council Student of the Year. Katey was also accepted to University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Research Opportunity Program in the Arts and Humanities, which she will attend this June. Finally, Katey was recently accepted to American University (AU) and selected as their White House Historical Association Fellow. She will begin her M.A. in Public History at AU in the fall.
2021 Hall of Fame ArchiveToggle More Info
2021 Hall of Fame Award Inductees
A nursing major from Miami and member of the Honors College, Seeka Agama amassed a remarkable 1,547 service-learning hours during four years at FGCU. She was heavily involved in the Multicultural & Leadership Development Center as an ambassador, peer mentor and eventual student director of the ambassador program. Agama spent three alternative spring breaks volunteering abroad through the Dominican Republic Outreach Program, which develops educational activities and sustainable projects; she was also elected president of the organization. She served on the Dean of Students Advisory Council, as a Girls in Engineering, Math and Science mentor and as president of the women’s rugby team.
“By being intentional and passionate in my academic journey and extracurricular activities, I have fostered a more welcoming environment for students to find their homes at this university,” she wrote in her Hall of Fame application essay.
Gervais Baptiste’s deep involvement with the Multicultural & Leadership Development Center began when he participated his first year at FGCU in the Frosh Mosh Institute, which helps prepare freshmen for college life and fosters learning about social justice and inclusivity. A finance major, he went on to serve as a Frosh Mosh mentor and then as student director of the program, while also overseeing MLD’s Emerging Eagles leadership development program.
An Honors College member originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Baptiste served as an advocate for his peers through Student Government and assisted incoming students and their families as an Eagle View Orientation leader. He also received the Student Excellence in Mentoring Award.
“Transformational leadership … has been the guiding force and my motivating factor in everything that I have strived to accomplish for the FGCU community,” he wrote in his essay.
Amanda Carroll didn’t only make her mark as a record-setting player on both the volleyball and beach volleyball teams; she also distinguished herself representing FGCU on the ASUN Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and as the conference’s national representative to the NCAA advisory council. She also offered academic advising to other Eagle athletes through the Hartley Academic Resource Center.
Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from FGCU in 2019 and has now completed a master’s in educational leadership. Carroll has been involved in volunteering at San Carlos Elementary School and PACE Center for Girls.
“Some of the most rewarding experiences I had at FGCU were the service-learning hours I was able to be involved in,” she said in her essay. “I was an advocate for mental health awareness, inclusion and diversity, as well as gender quality throughout the athletics department and the main campus.”
A president of four student organizations — Eta Sigma Delta Hospitality Honor Society, Women in Hospitality Club, Hospitality Management Association and FGCU French Club — Bryn Goldsmith certainly hasn’t shied away from taking on leadership responsibility.
“I remember being inspired as an underclassman by highly esteemed student leaders on our campus,” the RHM major wrote in her essay. “I knew I wanted to do what they were doing; they inspired me to become a student leader, and I hope that my leadership and outreach inspired others in turn.”
It’s no wonder she received The Golden Pineapple Award in 2019 for outstanding contributions to the School of Resort & Hospitality Management. In her spare time, the senior from St. Cloud, Florida, whips up homemade strawberry jam, which she sells to raise money for social justice causes.
Alexander Marsh was one of FGCU’s first two Goldwater Scholars, a highly competitive program aimed at developing the next generation of researchers in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. In fact, he has played an integral role in more than 10 research projects while at FGCU, including Eastern diamondback rattlesnake studies and a study-abroad project surveying herpetology communities in the Amazon Basin in Peru that led to two published papers.
A biology major from Bolivar, Pennsylvania, Marsh has dedicated himself to educating peers and the general public about wildlife and conservation as a student naturalist and a member of Animal Control Team on campus. An Honors College mentor and FGCU Scholars Ambassador, he also served as president of the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
“I have helped build a stronger collaborative research culture for undergraduates as well as pushed for more opportunities to further develop my undergraduate peers,” he wrote in his essay.
Cho Thinzar Maung Maung
“Florida Gulf Coast University has changed my reality,” Cho Thinzar Maung Maung said in her essay. “For this, my lifelong mission is to practice and exemplify the values of The FGCU Effect.” That effect — “Inspiring those who inspire others” — is something the clinical laboratory science major has already done in abundance.
An international student from Myanmar, where a military coup has the country on the brink of civil war, Maung Maung devoted much of her time at FGCU to tutoring peers through the Center for Academic Achievement and Student Support Services as well as sharing her experiences conducting clinical research. She also represented FGCU as a University Ambassador and Marieb College of Health & Human Services as an Honors College senator; the college also named her its Undergraduate Student of the Year.
A graduate of the Runway Program for aspiring entrepreneurs, the FGCU Dance Company president also found time to go into business as a partner and dance instructor at Residance urban dance studio.
As president of the FGCU Professional Sales Club, Peter Mitchell helped dramatically boost membership in the student organization, a sure sign that he knows how to deliver a good pitch. A double-major in business management and marketing, the Orlando native and president of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society also earned kudos in sales competitions, winning two firsts at the 2020 USF Selling the Bulls contest and becoming a finalist in national and international collegiate selling events that same year.
He served as a team manager for FGCU women’s basketball for three years and devoted many hours to University Recreation & Wellness as a sports official, recreation ambassador and facility manager.
“FGCU is about so much more than being a student,” he said. “It is all about being a part of a community that strives to get better each and every day.” Mitchell also was named Lutgert College of Business Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Year.
As president of the Chemistry Club, Isabella Riha has worked to provide students more access to exciting applications of the techniques they learn in class. Her own research into metal-organic frameworks has inspired her to explore new drug delivery methods through MOFs and resulted in a presentation to a regional meeting of the American Chemical Society. That achievement along with her collaborative research publication in the German scientific journal Angewandte no doubt contributed to the biochemistry major being chosen for the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
The daughter of deaf parents, Riha also led other students in educating the local deaf community about COVID-19 prevention and helped produce hand sanitizer in an FGCU lab for distribution on campus. An Honors College member from Clearwater, Riha also has been active in Women in Science, Technology Engineering and Math (WiSTEM) and the Center for Academic Achievement.
One of the key lessons she said she learned at FGCU: “Leadership is not a skill you are born with; it is one you learn. However, growing this skill is not what is important; it is what you do with it.”
As a Welcome Center tour guide and University Ambassador, Rebekah Rodriguez has been instrumental in creating a positive first and lasting impression of FGCU among newcomers and guests. A psychology major from Rockledge, Florida, she was also very active in the Honors College as a mentor and then as a leader among mentors, as well as one of the inaugural Honors House leaders.
Her honors thesis examining perceptions of physical disabilities reflected her avid interest in raising disability awareness through research and through her involvement with Eagles Gather, a social and service club aligned with that mission. Through the Office of Competitive Fellowships, Rodriguez also provided guidance and encouragement to fellow students applying to elite programs.
“I have grown more than I could have ever imagined, which makes it an honor to see that I have impacted the school even a fraction of the measure that FGCU has impacted me,” she wrote in her essay.
The first All-American in FGCU volleyball history and one of only a couple handfuls of All-Americans in school history across all sports, Cortney VanLiew distinguished herself off the court as well as on it. In addition to serving as a tutor and mentor to her peers in FGCU Athletics, the accounting major from Seymour, Indiana, advocated for them on the Eagles Council and represented FGCU on the ASUN Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Taking on leadership roles that admittedly took her out of her previous comfort zone, the Honors College accounting major was active in LEAD Like a Girl, Keep Lee County Beautiful and the Project Life Movement, which organized a bone-marrow registry and promoted donations on campus. VanLiew discovered in herself a passion for serving young people and underprivileged communities.
“With each opportunity, I have become more confident in my abilities as a servant leader and activist, working to discover and develop my own style of leadership and involvement,” she wrote. “I am filled with nothing but unfathomable gratitude for this university.”
2020 Hall of Fame ArchiveToggle More Info
2020 Hall of Fame Award Inductees
- Major: Biotechnology / Minor: Chemistry
- International student from Brazil who served as a mentor to other International students
- Mentor for Honors College, Student-Athlete Academic Mentor and Tutor, Administrative Leader for Eagle View Orientation, Eagle International Ambassador, International Organization President.
- Worked/Attended Camp Boggy Creek whose purpose is to foster a spirit of joy by creating a free, safe and medically sound camp environment that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses
- GPA 3.97 Highest of all Hall of Fame Recipients
- Major: Nursing
- First Generation College Student
- Received over $60K in local scholarships
- Served as a Peer Coach and Peer Tutor in Student Support Services for more than (2) years
- Lead Team Volunteer with the Hunting for Cure project which hosted (3) families whose children have Hunters syndrome
- Majors: Finance & Economics
- Founder and Former President of Global Business Brigades
- Student Government Senator, Appropriations Committee
- Study Abroad Peru, Barcelona
- Major: Bioengineering
- Undergraduate researcher who developed a mechanism for powered wheelchairs to be more effective in driving through a wider range of environments (Ex: sand, snow, narrow spaces, stairs)
- Recipient of Research Grants, Scholarships
- Developed many oral and poster presentations, also media appearances on FGCU 360 and Wink News
- (2) Degrees / Double Major: Civil & Environmental Engineering major representing FGCU at Honors Conference, Florida Undergraduate Research Conference
- Student mentor for the Women in STEM Living Community which aided young women in their first two years at FGCU
- Involvement in many environmental programs such as Engineering Community Outreach, Environment Association Student Chapter, ECHO Farms
- Research Assistant for Biosand Filters. Leachate in Wastewater, Constructed Wetlands
- Major: Political Science
- Honors College Senator, Student Government Senator and Assistant Director of Academic Engagement
- Internship at the United States Embassy in Ghana
- Interned in Iraq at Education for Peace as a Political Research and Advocacy Intern
- Major: Civil Engineering
- International student from Haiti
- Conducted research on the different properties of cement samples from the U.S. and Haiti and the effects of adding admixtures to the mixes to improve the quality of materials used in Haiti
- Student Government Senator and Treasurer serving (2) terms
Karla Moreno – Perez
- Majors: Forensic Studies & Forensic Science
- Fulbright Scholar Nominee
- Alternative Break participant (2) years; Alternative Break Director (2) years, creating Canvas based system
- Major: Biology
- Member of Honors College
- Volunteer Work
- President, Global Medical Brigades
- Founder of Project Ciclovia
- President, THE Big C
- Board Member, Hunting For a Cure
- COO, Hunting For A Cure
- Major: Biomedical Engineering
- Top 15% of all Bioengineering students that have graduated in the last 5 years
- Her service as an Orientation Leader and Parent Orientation Leader and ability to connect with families and students
- Committee Work
- Grade Appeals
- Medical Amnesty Policy
- Title IX
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Honors College Senate Scholarship Committee
- Major: Biotechnology / Minor: Chemistry
2019 Hall of Fame ArchiveToggle More Info
2019 Hall of Fame Award Inductees
The Division of Student Success and Enrollment Management is proud to recognize this year's FGCU Hall of Fame students. As a result of their exceptional impact on our campus, and for distinguishing themselves from our many other outstanding students, it is our honor to announce the following Florida Gulf Coast University as the 2019 Hall of Fame recipients:
- Chelsea Atkins
- Daryl Cordova
- Nicholas DeGuzman
- Krista Kihlander
- Briana Maierle
- Victoria McQuade
- Dominique Mobley
- Bryan Oliva-Infante
- Samuel Palmisano
- Sephora Saint Pierre
2018 Hall of Fame ArchiveToggle More Info
2018 Hall of Fame Award Inductees
Hall of Fame Photo ArchiveToggle More Info