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CALS Honors Two Environmental Science Students

The UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) honored two environmental science students who graduate at the end of the Spring 2020 Semester. Kristina Rodriguez and Hannah Montgomery earned collegiate awards in addition to being among the Top Ten Graduating Seniors in CALS. The environmental science degree program is offered through the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Larry J Connor Medal of Excellence Award
Female college student

Kristina Rodriguez, an environmental science student in the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment. (Credit: UF CALS)

Kristina received the Larry J Connor Medal of Excellence Award, named for the former CALS dean who served from 1991-1999. Recipients have achieved a distinguished scholarship record, have demonstrated a high degree of leadership, and contributed to and fostered diversity within the student body and society.

An environmental science major from Miami Beach, Fla., Kristina founded The Strong Roots Movement and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance organizations on UF’s campus. She is part of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program and volunteers as a mentor at Girl’s Place, Inc. Throughout her time at UF, Kristina has completed several internships including fieldwork with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Hawaii and undergraduate research at the UF Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience. She also spoke at The Economist’s World Ocean Summit in Abu Dhabi and the Our Ocean’s Conference in Bali. Kristina’s career goals include translating science into policy that promotes sustainable marine conservation.

CALS Alumni and Friends Award
female college student

Hannah Montgomery, an environmental science student in the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment. (Credit: UF CALS)

Hannah received the CALS Alumni and Friends Award, which recognizes a student who exemplifies leadership, scholastic achievement, and citizenship. Recipients also have a high degree of leadership in departmental or college organizations and support the agriculture, natural resource, and life science industries.

A native of Melbourne, Fla., Hannah will graduate with dual degrees in environmental science and sustainability in the built environment. During her time at UF, Hannah has been a Reitz Scholar, Florida Blue Key STEM Professions Day Divisions director, member of Gators Going Green and Action Student Government, sister of Alpha Delta Pi, and a teaching assistant. She has volunteered as a conversation partner for exchange students as well as with several organizations including Project Princess and Strong Roots Movement. Within the college, Hannah is a CALS Ambassador, member of the CALS Leadership Institute Cohort 9, and vice president of the CALS Philanthropy Council. After graduation, Hannah plans to attend law school to specialize in environmental and agricultural law.

The two were recognized during the 2020 CALS Scholarship and Leadership Awards Banquet. It was a Facebook Live event this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. You can watch the awards presentation at this link.