All posts in “Alumni Bios”

Abbi Allen

I was born in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina and have lived all over the United States, but I’ve been calling Jerseyville, Illinois my home for the past 15 years. I received my undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale majoring in Speech Communication with a Public Relations Specialization. During my time at SIUC I had the opportunity to get involved and take on leadership roles with many different organizations and activities. One of these opportunities included working at our Student Recreation Center; this is where I fell in love with Student Affairs.

While working there I took on numerous positions where I was able to attend conferences and gain a more in-depth look at how Student Affairs can affect a student’s life. It only took about an hour into my first conference and I knew I wanted to work on a campus for the rest of my life. I am currently a graduate assistant with the Department of Recreational Sports. Through internships, practicums, and committees I have also been involved with Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, New Student and Family Programs, Disability Resource Center, Center for Leadership and Service, and the Department of Housing and Residence Education. I have fallen in love with Gainesville and the University of Florida over the past year. I am excited to see what this last year has in store for me. Go Gators!

Lindsay Ritenbaugh

I was originally born in Pittsburgh, PA; however, I have also lived in Columbus, OH and Raleigh, NC. My family settled in the small town of Plant City, FL before I started middle school. I earned my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at Florida Southern College, which was recently ranked #1 as the “Most Beautiful Campus” by the Princeton Review! While in college I immersed myself in campus activities and student leadership through Kappa Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, campus ministries, and as an Orientation Peer Leader and Southern Ambassador (leading tours for prospective students and families). Thanks to the mentoring of student affairs professionals at Florida Southern, I applied and was selected as one of six consultants for my sorority’s national headquarters. Upon graduation I traveled the country assisting college chapters with recruitment, leadership and chapter development. After returning home I taught third grade reading/math and first grade social studies/science at an elementary magnet school for four years.

I was eager to return to student affairs as a part of the SPHE program here at the University of Florida and utilize the many transferable skills acquired while traveling and teaching. This year I am the Sorority & Fraternity Affairs Graduate Assistant in Student Activities and Involvement. In this assistantship I advise Order of Omega and the Multicultural Greek Council. I also completed a formal practicum with Student Government’s Young Leaders Conference and Volunteers for International Student Affairs’ International Month. I just finished up my summer internship with Orientation & Parent Programs at Georgia Southern University and was able to teach my SOAR Leaders all about Social Excellence!

I am excited to continue working as a graduate assistant this fall in Sorority & Fraternity Affairs as I will get to focus on student leadership and fraternal values at a large, public institution. I am excited for our hazing prevention and education efforts that we have lined up for the fall. In my spare time I enjoy playing board games, singing karaoke, shopping, working out, and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers (and Florida Gators)!

Patricia Aguerrevere

Hi, I am Patricia! I am originally from Orlando, Florida, but as a child I spent my summers in Caracas, Venezuela, where most of my mother’s family still lives. I went to the University of Florida and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Art History in Spring 2011. As an undergraduate student, I was involved in leadership positions in clubs, and was a Resident Assistant for three years, where I met many people in student affairs who helped me discern my future career path.

During my time as an RA, and as a Hall Director last year, I developed an interest in working with international students, so I was lucky enough to find an internship abroad in London, England working with students from all over the world! I look forward to my last year in SPHE and wherever my life will take me!

Nicole Wilson

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, I attended Ohio University where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Health in 2009. Upon graduating, I served as an Admissions Advisor at my alma mater. For two years I actively recruited and assisted high school, transfer, and international students seeking higher education.  Serving in this capacity, I collaborated a lot with student affairs professionals and became interested in Academic Advising. With my palate whet, I decided to return to school to pursue a Masters degree. My journey led me on a 16 hour drive to the University of Florida’s Student Personnel in Higher Education program.

Having just completed a wonderful summer internship experience in University Housing at Florida A& M University, I am excited to return for a second year as graduate assistant for Academic Advising and Career Coaching in the Heavener School of Business. I most look forward to teaching Warrington Welcome and helping first year business majors acclimate to college.

In the future, I hope to earn a Ph.D. Higher Education Administration and become a Dean of Students- preferably at a historically black college or university. In my spare time, I enjoy working out, taking random road trips, and listening to music.  I am truly looking forward to the opportunities this second year at UF will provide!

Jessa Carpenter

Jessa Carpenter is currently serving as a Graduate Assistant for Recruitment, Retention, and Student Services in the College of Education at UF. She works with a unique blended department (E-Learning, Technology, and Creative Services) of programmers and student services professionals to improve the experience of online and blended learning students.

Other professional activities include reviewing NASPA conference proposals, grant proposals, and University of Florida admissions essays and serving on the Resident Assistant/Resident Community Advisor Selection Committee.

Her current position is wildly different from her experience in the first year of SPHE where she ran the Office of Civic Engagement and Service at Santa Fe College, a primarily 2 year state college down the road from UF. At Santa Fe she was able to supervise student employees, serve on a presidential committee, advise a student government committee, and travel with students on alternative breaks trips. During her first year she also co-taught a College Success class for the Pathways to Persistence program and advised an amazing student organization, the Soul Sisters.

Jessa is incredibly grateful to everyone at SPHE for providing her with so many incredible opportunities to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. She is also grateful to her colleagues from Pacific University, where she spent the summer as an ACUHO-I intern, for giving her such stellar examples of what happy, healthy, and effective professionals look like.

Justin Shukas

I was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I attended Indiana University (Go Hoosiers) where I received my B.S. in Management in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, a minor in Policy Studies, and a certificate in Business Foundations through the Kelley School of Business. T

hroughout my undergraduate experience I learned a great deal about myself and where my true passions lie, leading to the graduate program in Student Personnel in Higher Education at the University of Florida. This past summer I completed an ACUHO-I internship at the University of Louisville in Housing and Residence Life and was also the faculty intern for the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention held at the University of Kentucky.

I am looking forward to second year of my assistantship in Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution in the Dean of Students Office as well as the academic challenges in the classroom. During my first year in SPHE I also had an informal practicum with Sorority and Fraternity Affairs working on hazing prevention efforts at UF and will be doing my formal practicum with GatorWell and the Dean of Students Office implementing online education modules for incoming students.

Catherine Pedersen

I was born and raised in Tucker, GA, which is just north of downtown Atlanta. I attended Auburn University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education- Social Science. Prior to graduate school, I taught 9th grade social studies, coached girls’ soccer, and advised numerous student organizations. Through my undergraduate involvement and my teaching experience, I recognized my interest in student affairs and my desire to help students develop holistically.

I am excited to be a second year in the Student Personnel program and am looking forward to new opportunities, building on previous experiences, and continuing to put theory to practice. My graduate assistantship is in the Department of Student Activities and Involvement and this past summer I was the graduate intern for the Preview orientation program here at UF.

This Fall, in addition to my graduate assistantship, I will be working with Conduct and Community Standards in Housing and Residence Education. My other interests include my wonderful dog Honey, playing soccer, watching football, running, and cooking. WAR EAGLE and Go Gators!!

Cheryl Walther

A true Florida girl, I grew up around Orlando and am a proud Double Gator- I earned my B.S. in Psychology from UF in 2006, then returned to UF 5 years later for my Master’s. I spent those 5 years in Manhattan and Raleigh, NC, contemplating how to combine my passion for sports, interest in education, and love of the college campus atmosphere when I discovered athletic academic advising.

Although a GA position advising student-athletes wasn’t available when I arrived, I have learned a ton from my experience in the CLAS Academic Advising Center. I look forward to continuing my GA position there and conducting research in Honors advising through a NACADA grant this Fall in my formal practicum.

My informal prac last Spring in student-athlete development with the UAA’s Office of Student Life (OSL) was the jump off for my career in athletics. Since I rarely do things the traditional way, I went on a mission to create my own summer internship in athletics. I was fortunate to do so with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Academic Services and couldn’t have imagined a better opportunity.

As part of my internship, I attended the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) national conference, and gained much more than I expected both personally and professionally from that experience. I am so excited to see where I end up and cannot wait for the crazy life that is part of working with this population.

My interest in pursuing a career in student-athlete affairs may have led me back to UF and the SPHE program, but my work at OSL, involvement in N4A, and summer internship in the B1G with Badger athletics has confirmed that student-athlete affairs is definitely where my passion lies!

Brittany Mattews

As our cohort begins this final year of the SPHE program, I cannot say that I have found that one niche within student affairs that I have to do; I have started to discover the areas of student affairs that I can see myself a part of and others that I do not have a passion for… yet. At this point in my career, I am still very open to a number of areas within the student affairs profession, particularly, academic advising, new student/orientation programming, civic engagement and service, and student activities and involvement.

With that said, I enjoy working at the community college and small-to-medium public or private colleges and universities. The University of Florida and the SPHE program have been instrumental in creating opportunities to learn from diverse professionals, gain experience in various programming areas, while providing the means to evaluate ourselves and decide on our own where we want our next journey to lead.

The faculty and staff of the SPHE program have been integral in providing challenge in the program, while also tailoring their support for each of us in unique ways. Because of the support, guidance, and wealth of knowledge that this program has provided, I am confident that each one of the students in this cohort will leave with a passion for student development, a love for student affairs, and with the knowledge to help challenge and support our future students in positive ways. I am excited to see where this next year will lead me and cannot wait for the year to begin!

Danielle Coronado

I was born and raised in the heart of football and oil country in the small city of Odessa, TX.  I attended the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) and received a bachelor’s in Child and Family Studies with a minor in Leadership. I discovered my passion for student affairs while being involved with the Homecoming planning committee, UTPB Program Board, student government and other various organizations. My participation and success with these programs opened the door to my first professional job as an Admissions Counselor for UTPB.  With my eyes originally set on working in non-profit leadership, I continued my education at UTPB and earned a Master’s of Public Administration. After working with non-profit organizations for a few years, I realized how much I missed working with students, so here I am!

I am looking forward to another year of advising the Reitz Union Board committees and working with Gator Nights in my Graduate Assistantship. In the spring, I completed an informal practicum at Santa Fe College with the Pathways to Persistence program and I enjoyed my summer at Savannah College of Art and Design as an ACUHO-I Intern.  In my spare time, I enjoy a good movie, golf, frozen yogurt, reading, nature, and being with loved ones.

Hunter Moore

I was born in Jacksonville, Florida and come from a family of educators. My family instilled in me an appreciation for education and the process of learning. I attended Santa Fe Community College (now Santa Fe College) and the University of North Florida, where I studied Education and Political Science. As a student leader, I was involved in community outreach, orientation, alumni affairs, and residence life.

From my academic and co-curricular experiences, I discovered my passions for Higher Education and working with college students and decided to pursue a career in Student Affairs. I was very excited to SWOOP into The Swamp and join the Gator Nation because of the incredible opportunities afforded by the SPHE program and the Division of Student Affairs.

During my first year in the SPHE program, I traveled as an advisor with two student conference delegations, completed a practicum at the UF International Center, and served as a Resident Assistant class instructor. This past summer, I completed an ACUHO-I internship at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

I am very excited to return to Gainesville and my position as the Graduate Hall Director for Riker Hall and the Tolbert Area Council Advisor in the Department of Housing and Residence Education. I look forward to another wonderful year in SPHE. And yes, it’s great to be a Florida Gator!

Brandon Ebenhoeh

Originally from Roseville, MI in the Suburbs of the great city of Detroit, I attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (GO BLUE!). I was able to spend an amazing four years falling in love with the university through my involvement.
I fell into the world of student affairs through my years as an RA and my senior year becoming the ResStaff Coordinator (a leadership position among the RAs). I even was granted the opportunity to work in the international center’s CREES department as a student assistant where I assisted with graduate admissions and other various tasks.

All of my roles on campus lead me towards this career path, but it didn’t hit me until I had a summer internship abroad in Vietnam. I applied to the University of Florida during a huge snowstorm back home in Michigan. I visited the campus and fell in love! I am currently a Graduate Hall Director for Broward Residence Hall a predominately first year student residence hall, a big change from my upperclassmen and student athlete building last year.

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to complete my internship with Camps and Conference through the Department of Residence Life at Georgetown University. This upcoming year will be full of excitement, opportunity, and a career search in hopes of returning to DC. Go Gators!!!

Steven Whitman

I was born and raised in a small town in northern Florida called Fernandina Beach. I attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL majoring in Criminal Justice. While there I developed a passion for working with people and more importantly other students. For three years I worked for the Recreation and Wellness Center, as a staff member in the Outdoor Adventure program. This is where I felt my calling to work with and help develop students during their time in college. My time at UCF is what made me know that I wanted to work in Student Affairs and continue working with and for students.

Currently I am the Lake Wauburg Graduate Assistant within the Department of Recreational Sports. I spend the majority of my time working with the student staff members who work for at the lake, as well as overseeing the Challenge Course Program, and all Special Events that take place at the Lake. Lake Wauburg has many different outdoor activities for everyone, and I enjoy all of them (boating, challenge course, climbing wall, disc golf and more). After completing my first year in the program, I know that I want to work my career in Student Affairs, specifically in the Recreation field. My goal is to complete my Masters in SPHE and seek a job in Recreation at another University. Go Gators!