UCF’s stellar students being honored on Wednesday for Founders’ Day have unleashed their potential and excelled in colleges and disciplines across the university.

Among the undergraduate and graduate students are groundbreaking national and global scholarship winners, researchers, athletes, teaching assistants, residence assistants and leaders in campus organizations such as Student Government, LEAD Scholars and the President’s Leadership Council. The honorees include students in the Burnett Honors College, transfers and those from first-generation and international backgrounds.

Aside from focusing on academics and campus causes, many of the student honorees volunteered at hospitals, schools, parks, food banks, shelters, clinics, youth clubs and with many community service organizations — at times as organizers and coordinators for support drives and campaigns.

“These recipients are some of UCF’s highest-achieving, dedicated and passionate students, and they are already making an impact on the world,” UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright says. “The UCF community is incredibly proud of them and all they have accomplished, and we look forward to the great things they will do in the future.”

The Student Honors Celebration is Wednesday from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Student Union’s Pegasus Ballroom and can be watched online. For the first time, the annual event is part of a Founders’ Day celebration with separate staff, faculty and student ceremonies at the same place. The campus community is invited to all the celebrations.

Student award categories highlight new inductees of the Order of Pegasus, UCF’s highest student honor; graduate awards for outstanding master’s thesis and outstanding dissertation; undergraduate awards for honors undergraduate thesis; and individual college awardees as chosen by the respective college deans. All honorees earned financial awards.

The Order of Pegasus features 30 inductees with exceptional achievements as undergraduate or graduate students. With a collective GPA of 3.94, the group includes National Merit Scholars, Burnett Medical Scholars and earners of prestigious honors such as the Astronaut Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship, National Science Foundation Scholarship and Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

They conducted, presented and published research on many subjects, including domestic violence; bleeding disorder; resistance training for older adults; emergency management and equity in services; suicide prevention; molecular oncology; natural hazards and their impacts; viral infections; and food insecurity on college campuses.

Here are the students being honored.

Order of Pegasus Inductees

  • Lauren Abbitt, College of Medicine
  • Javed Ali, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Francesca Allegrini, College of Medicine
  • Melinda Ammon, College of Business Administration
  • Nicole Boisson, College of Undergraduate Studies
  • Bethany Bradshaw, College of Health Professions and Sciences/Burnett Honors College
  • Brenden Brown, College of Community Innovation and Education
  • Allison Calvert, College of Sciences
  • Brendon Cavainolo, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Brandon Cohen, College of Medicine
  • Sebastián Delgado Suárez, College of Sciences/College of Arts and Humanities
  • Shannon Doherty, College of Sciences
  • Nefertari Elshiekh, College of Business Administration/College of Sciences
  • Kimberly Emery, College of Nursing
  • Rebecca Entress, College of Community Innovation and Education
  • Sanjeev Gurshaney, College of Medicine
  • Layton Hall, College of Optics and Photonics
  • Marie Hamel, College of Medicine
  • Rayniah Jones, College of Community Innovation and Education
  • BriDé Key, College of Sciences
  • Nathanael Lapierre, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Shea McLinden, College of Health Professions and Sciences
  • Christopher Ngo, College of Medicine
  • Sarah Noureddine, College of Medicine
  • Sampada Nyalapatla, College of Community Innovation and Education
  • Geela Margo Ramos, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Jordan Sammarco, College of Medicine/Burnett Honors College
  • Angela Shar, College of Medicine
  • Eric Switzer, College of Sciences
  • Alexis Wade, College of Nursing

Graduate Awards

Award for Outstanding Master’s Thesis

  • Jaynlynn Sosa, College of Graduate Studies, Atomic Layer Deposition for Personalized Drug Release Systems: 5-Aminosalicylic Acid as a Model Pharmaceutical
  • Aaron Wizenberg, College of Health Professions and Sciences, The Acute Effects of Continuous and Intermittent Blood Flow Restriction on Sprint Interval Performance and Muscle Oxygen Response

Award for Outstanding Dissertation

  • Terry Henley, College of Community Innovation and Education, Financial Sustainability of Florida Cities: Comparative, Retrospective Modeling for Prospective Municipal Financial Health
  • Olivia Newton, College of Graduate Studies, Modeling the Effects of Diversity and Corporations on Participation Dynamics in Free/Libre and Open Source Software Ecosystems
  • Sabin Regmi, College of Sciences, Observation of Novel Phases of Quantum Matter Beyond Topological Insulators

Undergraduate Awards

Founders’ Day College Awards

  • Nicole Boisson, College of Undergraduate Studies
  • Nathalia Castre, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Madeleine Hanewich, College of Business Administration
  • George Knecht, College of Sciences
  • Braedan Larson, College of Optics and Photonics
  • Sydney Martinez, College of Health Professions and Sciences
  • Flora Ngo, College of Community Innovation and Education
  • Geela Margo Ramos, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Briana Reed, Rosen College of Hospitality Management
  • Kadambari Vyas, College of Medicine
  • Kaitlyn Yu, College of Nursing

Award for Honors Undergraduate Thesis  

  • Aïcha Camara ’22, College of Sciences, Shift or Stagnation: Analyzing Changing Japanese Attitudes Towards Various Minorities
  • Rowan Hassan ’22, College of Sciences, Structure of Unmodified and Pyroglutamylated Amyloid Beta Peptide in Lipid Membranes
  • Kasey Rigby ’22, College of Medicine, Novel Microbe-Resistant Clay Dressing for Healing Burn Wounds
  • Mel Turnage ’22, College of Sciences, Transcinematheque: Defining Cinematic Language in the Trans New Wave