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Graduates ready to build history of UF

Published: April 25 2014


The graduates whose stories are told in the video share advice for future Gators in these videos:

Lily Svete

Svete came from Granger, Indiana, to play basketball and study psychology. After tearing her anterior cruciate ligament following her third game in her freshman season, Svete realized how much she wanted to be a doctor. As a result, she added biology as a second major to be on the pre-med track. Svete continued to play basketball her entire time at UF. With her team, she did community service through Goodwill Gators. She visited elementary schools and the pediatric wing at UF Health Shands Hospital. She spent time in the Cancer and Genetics Research Complex doing research on intervertebral disc degeneration and limb development. She plans to earn her master’s degree in medical sciences at UF and attend medical school. She plans to help the women’s basketball team with practices.


Nicole Ruggiero

Ruggiero is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. While at UF, she interned at Viacom in New York City and worked as a design director of Swamp Records where she designed the entire brand identity on her own. She plans to move to New York City for an eight-week internship at Macy’s. Ruggiero hopes to work in the entertainment industry on design, motion graphics and illustration.


Claudia Sotomayor

Sotomayor grew up in Cuba in the 1990s and moved to the United States when she was 14. She studied materials science and engineering, specifically semiconductor physics. In her five years at UF, she completed internships at SpaceX in California and Micron Technology in Virginia. Sotomayor will realize her dream and work as a semiconductor failure analysis engineer at Semtech in California.


Reggie Malebranche

Jean Alexandre Réginald Malebranch is Haitian and French Canadian. He moved to Florida from Ottawa, Ontario, in middle school. During his time at UF, Malebranche got involved with several organizations, such as the Florida Cicerones, the Black Student Union, Dance Marathon and Streetlight at Shands, a palliative care group for teenagers. He is graduating from the College of Public Health and Health Professions with a degree in health education and behavior. Malebranch plans to attend medical school.


Andy Zaleski

Zaleski came to UF from Pennsylvania. During his first years in school, Zaleski found his home in the business college He became involved with the Florida Cicerones and the Florida Leadership Academy. He will graduate from the Warrington College of Business Administration with a degree in accounting. Zaleski will work for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Kansas City.