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Monday, September 27, 2021

Twenty-five senior, graduate and professional-school students were accepted into the UF Hall of Fame on Monday.

The students were recognized for their commitment to improving the student experience, especially through campus leadership.

“It’s literally the culmination of everything I’ve done at UF,” said Jason Putnam Hancock, who was chosen for induction. He is pursuing a master’s degree at UF in information systems and operations management.

About 80 students competed for UF’s highest recognition for student leaders by submitting an application, essay, resume and letter of recommendation to the selection committee.

The eight members of the committee judged the applicants based on their UF leadership, said Jeanna Mastrodicasa, assistant vice president of student affairs and chairwoman of the Committee.

“We’re looking for people that left a positive impact,” she said. “We’re looking for people that made a difference. We’re looking for people that exemplify excellence.”

Students accepted into the UF Hall of Fame this semester received an email Monday from the office of the vice president of Student Affairs. It was signed by the UF Hall of Fame selection committee. An induction ceremony will be held April 3 in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.

Inducted students’ pictures will join those of Stephen C. O’Connell, Tim Tebow and other UF Hall of Fame members. The pictures are on display on the third floor of the Reitz Union.

Micah Lewis, a political science senior and first-time applicant, was one of the undergraduate students accepted this year. He said he thought his essay about cooperating with students with different political beliefs as former Student Government Senate president gave him a competitive edge over other applicants.

“I think that because that lesson [rang] so true to me, it really appealed to the selection committee,” he said.

Lewis said he focused on improving the university through SG. As Student Senate president, he hosted the first Senate Outreach Day and authored the legislation to switch to electronic voting for SG elections.

Hancock, who has held two officer positions with the Interfraternity Council, said the award recognized his and his peers’ efforts to improve UF during their time as students.

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“It shows that hard work, determination and passion pays off sometimes in ways you never would have expected,” he said.

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