Honors Ambassadors

Honors Ambassadors are students who support the Grindle Honors Institute by participating in a variety of activities including student recruitment and assisting with events throughout the year.

Students who choose to serve in this capacity represent the program and provide a positive example of campus leadership through scholastic achievement, high involvement and service.

Honors Ambassador Duties

Honors Ambassadors assist the Grindle Honors Institute in a variety of ways including:

  • Providing prospective students, their parents, and alumni with information about the Grindle Honors Institute based on a student perspective
  • Participating in recruitment events
  • Assisting with events such as the President's Dinner and Dream Gala

Become an Honors Ambassador

Students who wish to become an Honors Ambassador must submit an application. All applicants must be in good standing in the Honors Program. If you are unsure of your standing, please contact the Honors Institute at honors@seminolestate.edu or 407.708.2600.

Current Ambassadors

Jane M. Lozada Foster

Jane M. Lozada Foster joined the Grindle Honors Institute in Fall 2017. She is  pursuing an associate degree in social science secondary education and will graduate from Seminole State in Summer 2019. She plans to transfer to the University of Florida or University of Central Florida to finish her bachelor’s degree but is still keeping out-of-state options open.

Jane believes the Honors Program has helped her by advancing her learning and has strengthened her leadership and communication skills, which she feels will help her excel in the rest of her college career. The Honors Program has supported her financially through scholarships, funding not only courses but also helping her in her travel abroad program to Ireland. She has enjoyed all of her honors courses because they are based in discussion and have not only touched the surface but have included research to have a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the material.

Jane studied abroad in Ireland during Spring Break 2018 as part of an honors course studying the relations between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, giving her an inside look into world history. She was awarded the Rotary Rising Achiever Award by the Seminole County South Rotary Club in conjunction with the Foundation for Seminole State College. As part of her campus involvement, Jane is a student campus tour guide, a member of Every Nation Campus (ENC), a faith-based discipleship and mentoring program, and a member of the SGA Student Services Committee. She is always open to helping students and welcomes any questions.

Hayley Furman

Hayley Furman is one of the many non-traditional students of the Grindle Honors Institute. She started at Seminole State College in Spring 2017 after being out of college for four years. While she has a broad range of academic interests, she is pursuing a degree in environmental studies with a focus on sustainability and environmental policy. As president of the Environmental Initiative Club, she is able to bring the campuswide sustainability ideas she and her classmates have to life while inspiring future leaders. Hayley plans to graduate in Summer 2018 with an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree and continue to take courses at Seminole State as she explores her options for universities. Her top choice is Florida Gulf Coast University.

Hayley has been part of the Grindle Honors Institute since Summer 2017. She thought joining the Grindle Honors Institute would just be something to add to her resume, but after becoming an active member in the program, she learned that there is so much more the program has to offer. The courses offered by the Grindle Honors Institute align with her desire for a more dynamic classroom that goes beyond the course text. Since the courses are discussion based, she feels she has the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other students in addition to the instructors. The Grindle Honors Institute has supported Hayley by providing the opportunity for academic scholarships, research and travel.

This semester, Hayley was awarded the opportunity to present her research on animal agriculture at the Florida Collegiate Honors Council conference, at which she conquered her fear of public speaking. She has also been awarded the opportunity to study abroad in Salzburg, Austria, at the Global Citizenship Conference alongside other honors students. The Honors Program has not only provided Hayley with opportunities, but has taught her about leadership, dedication and accountability: skills needed to thrive as she takes on the task of saving the world.

Braulio Matias

Braulio Matias has been a member of The Grindle Honors Institute since Fall 2016. His interests are mainly in the areas of mathematics, science and engineering. Braulio will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida after he completes his Associates in Arts in Summer 2018.

The Honors Program has made a great impact on Braulio’s point of view of the world. Honors classes have helped to expand his ideas and problem-solving skills through discussion-based classes. They pushed him to his limits, while showing him that he is more capable than he thought. Braulio says his classmates are great and always willing to help each other, no matter the odds. He also says the program can open so many doors for networking opportunities that will lead students to a more successful life. Braulio has represented the program at the 2018 Florida Collegiate Honors Council Conference, where he presented his research titled “The Physics Behind a Two Ball System.”

Teresa Medina

Teresa Medina has been a part of the Grindle Honors Institute since Fall 2016. Her interests consist of graphic design, illustration and art history. Teresa is pursuing an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree with a concentration in digital media. She plans on graduating in Spring 2018. After graduation, she will transfer to Savannah College of Art and Design to receive a bachelor’s degree in graphic design with a minor in illustration.

The Honors Program has helped Teresa find individuality through academics. She enjoys having classes that give her the platform to challenge herself and understand concepts outside her major. The Honors Program has supported Teresa with scholarships and opportunities to deepen her understanding on current issues outside the classroom. She has enjoyed being a part of the Grindle Honors Institute for the past year and hopes to encourage new students to join as well.

Reilly Pierson

Reilly Pierson has been in the Grindle Honors Institute since Fall 2015. Her academic interests include musical theatre, music/vocal performance, social work and religious studies. Reilly is  pursuing an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree, with a focus in musical theatre/general studies. She plans to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a focus in musical theatre and a minor in music therapy, once she transfers to a four-year university in Fall 2018. Reilly will  graduate from Seminole State in Spring 2018. She plans to transfer to either Rollins College, University of South Florida or Roosevelt University. She would like to see where life takes her and roll with it!

The Honors Program has supported Reilly emotionally, mentally and financially through her studies. It has exposed her to multiple scholarship opportunities, unique elective classes, intimate discussion-based settings and a close-knit community of students. She has been able to take classes that engage her fully and challenge her to go the extra mile. Reilly had the opportunity to take classes that were specifically tailored to her interests. Reilly says the staff and students always look to support and guide you in any way that they can, which she’ll forever be grateful for.

As well as being able to take part in useful Skill Sessions related to financial planning, career planning, time management and more, Reilly enjoys the ability to have smaller class sizes, as it allows for a more comfortable and intimate feel. This is especially helpful, since most assessment is discussion based, allowing each class to fully emerge into the curriculum. Reilly also says that honors courses are geared for optimal understanding, thus ensuring each student comprehends and implements what they have learned.

The Honors Program also pushed Reilly to take on other leadership roles on campus. She is the human rights and immigration director for Seminole State Volunteers, president of the Dreamers Student Association and vice president of Environmental Initiative. The Honors Program furthered her desire to get involved in advocacy and environmental awareness. Reilly is a 2018 semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Melissa Ramirez

Melissa Ramirez has been a student in the Grindle Honors Institute since Fall 2015. Her academic interests include nutrition and dietetics, environmental sciences, engineering, biology and business. Melissa has completed an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree with a focus on environmental engineering at Seminole State and is working on an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree with a focus on chemical technology. She will graduate in Spring 2018 and hopes to transfer to the University of Central Florida.

Melissa presented her research on infantile eating disorders during the 2016 South Regional Honors Conference. She also presented her research on fossil fuels and renewable energies at the 2017 Florida Collegiate Honors Council Conference. The Honors Program gave Melissa the opportunity to design her own interdisciplinary studies class. This opportunity allowed her to do research on fossil fuels and renewable energies that ultimately influenced her desired focus for her future career as an environmental engineer.

Besides the endless academic opportunities offered by the Grindle Honors Institute, the thing Melissa enjoys the most about honors classes is the professors' enthusiasm during lectures. The Grindle Honors Institute comes with some of the most dedicated and passionate professors she has ever had the pleasure to work with. Melissa serves as the 2017-18 PTK chapter president. She says without a doubt, her involvement with the Grindle Honors Institute was the best decision she ever made for her college education.

Vanessa Caridad Rodriguez

Vanessa Caridad Rodriguez has been in the Grindle Honors Institute since Fall 2015. Her academic interests include biology, health sciences and mathematics. Vanessa is pursuing an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree with a focus in chemical technology after she completed an Associates in Arts (A.A.) with a focus in biology in Summer 2016. Vanessa will be graduate in Spring  2018. She plans to transfer to either the University of Florida or the University of South Florida to complete a bachelor's degree in health sciences with a minor in education to later attend medical school to become a pediatrician.

The Honors Program has helped Vanessa set up a better foundation for her college academics, because the discussion-based classes allowed her to understand other's perspectives and opinions while still learning new material. The program has also aided her in better understanding her weaknesses, like public speaking and sharing her opinion, to strengthen them to benefit her academic career. Vanessa really enjoys the discussions between her fellow classmates and professors, since it allows for a deeper understanding of the content that’s taught. It also allows her to know how to use that knowledge in the real world.

Thanks to the Honors Program, Vanessa had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Florida Collegiate Honors Council Conference, where she presented on "The Different Impacts of Domestic Violence on Victims/Survivors." The Honors Program has awarded Vanessa scholarships to help with the financial burden of paying for classes. She also had the honor to create the Honors Ambassadors Council, which is a group of honors students that represent the Grindle Honors Institute at college and volunteer events. She has served as council president since Summer 2016.

Katelyn Wheeler

Katelyn Wheeler is an active student in the Grindle Honors Institute. Her academic interests include everything, as she enjoys taking different humanities classes at Seminole State. Katelyn is  pursuing a math education degree, but would like to continue  with psychology, counseling and leadership for her master’s degree. She will graduate from Seminole State in Spring 2019. Her plan is to to transfer to University of Florida or University of Central Florida.

The Honors Program has helped Katelyn grow into a better student by allowing her to be involved with things such as the ambassadors program. It has forced her to step outside of her comfort zone and talk to new people. Katelyn enjoys being able to learn from everyone in the program and making friends. Honors courses are the best in her opinion. They give students some of the best and exciting teachers. Her instructors have given Katelyn a chance to grow in her academic career. Katelyn enjoys taking classes in honors because of the small class sizes, and she feels having group discussions makes it much easier to get to know everyone.

Katelyn is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and enjoys getting involved with different clubs at Seminole State. She holds mentoring and leadership roles within the church outside Seminole State and works full time at Walmart, where she has received employee of the month. Her most notable achievement, however, would be volunteering with the Seminole County dividends program.


The Honors Institute
V-004, Sanford/Lake Mary Campus

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.