Director of We Are Neutral
Anna Grace Sampson is a Gainesville native and has been passionate about healing the environment since a young age. She received her Masters of Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 and has since used mathematics and the nature around her to inspire meaningful, local change. As the director of the environmental nonprofit, We Are Neutral, she uses her analytical skills and passion for the environment to calculate and offset carbon footprints while improving the community around her.
Computer Science Professor
Benjamin Lok is a Computer Science professor at the University of Florida, and has worked in the Virtual Reality (VR) field for the past 20 years. Along with UF Professor Sri Kalyanarman, Dr. Lok is the Co-Founder of the VR for the Social Good Initiative. The VR for the Social Good Initiative invites everyone to tell their stories to improve the social good using VR.
'Canes On Da Mic Poetry Club is dedicated to free and open, creative expression of young minds. They tap into youthful energy to share their ideas with the world. They believe the arts inform social justice.
Giancarlo Tejeda is a third-year biomedical engineering major at the University of Florida, and a DACA recipient. His family immigrated to the United States when he was three years old, leading him to receive the right to study in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA). Giancarlo now serves as an advocate for the undocumented community. As the CHISPAS Vice President of External Affairs, he works to provide on-campus resources for undocumented students at the University of Florida, and to educate the general student body about DACA and its impacts.
Sexual Assault Victims Advocate
Gretchen Casey is an advocate for victims of sexual assault. In 2016, Gretchen launched Unshame.org, a platform dedicated to helping connect victims of rape with a supportive community through messages of hope, resilience and compassion. As an extension of this project, Gretchen also led a local #MeToo campaign in Gainesville, FL, with the goal of bringing visibility to the people behind the statistics of sexual assault, and an end to victims feeling ashamed by someone else’s behavior. Her goal has and continues to be helping survivors of sexual assault regain control of their lives.
Researcher and Engineer
Jack Kendall is an engineer and researcher specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) at the University of Florida. Pulling inspiration from the biological efficiency of the human mind, Jack served as the lead designer on an innovative AI processor that combines the fields of nanomaterials and AI to push the boundaries of processing power. As Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Rain Neuromorphics, a local start-up, Jack hopes to continue replicating the profound computational power of the human brain to make AI cheap and massively accessible.
Jared Feldman is an undergraduate mechanical and aerospace engineering student at the University of Florida, and mechanical systems lead for Gatorloop. As a member of Gatorloop, Jared has worked with a team of students to develop a revolutionary ground transportation system for SpaceX’s Hyperloop competition. His knack for solving complex problems with simple strategies has secured him an internship with SpaceX, where he hopes to continue challenging and redesigning the blueprints of tomorrow.
Jennifer Rothschild is a philosophy professor at the University of Florida. She specializes in ethics, primarily Aristotle's ethics of virtue. Her work aims to use philosophy to help us understand what makes actions, people, and whole human lives good or bad. Jennifer has enjoyed using her TEDxUF talk to bring together three of her favorite philosophical topics: gifts, friendship, and the structure of action.
Rhonda Wilson is the Founder and Director of Star Center Children's Theatre in Gainesville, Florida, and a Theater Teacher for Alachua County Schools. Rhonda founded STAR 18 years ago to educate and give performance opportunities to youth and their families. Since its beginning, she has directed more than 100 shows. Rhonda's work has been recognized nationally, regionally and statewide. Her dream is make sure that every child has a place to express themselves and build their confidence.
Valeria Hernandez is a fourth-year psychology and family, youth, and community sciences dual degree student at the University of Florida and an advocate for mental health. As an advocate, Valeria has worked to spread awareness of mental health issues on school campuses and to increase mental health preventative care resources for students in primary and secondary education. Her goal is to diminish the stigmas associated with mental health conditions and allow those suffering from these stigmas to feel comfortable validating their experiences and seeking the help they need to improve their quality of life.
Veronica Mentor is a University of Florida student and a powerful spoken word poet. She speaks of her experiences and struggles of growing up as a brown girl.