Florida Alpha Zeta Chapter Bestowed Highest Award

Alpha Zeta is an honorary, professional society for students studying in agricultural and natural resources fields. Earlier this year, the Florida Alpha Zeta chapter attended the Alpha Zeta Conclave and 58th Biennial Conclave. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, the conference allowed student and alumni members of Alpha Zeta to network. 

The four Florida chapter members who received VP Promise funding to support their participation were: 

  • Kasandra Camejo, wildlife and ecology conservation graduate 
  • Lily Cope, animal sciences and entomology and nematology senior 
  • Erin Kaufman, microbiology and cell science graduate 
  • Cameron Courtney, microbiology and cell science senior 

During Conclave, students toured North Carolina State University’s (NC State) agricultural facilities, including their agroecology farm and brewing laboratory. While on NC State’s campus, members participated in a service project where they helped clean up garden plots. Attendees also visited a winery, hydroponic farm, sweet potato farm and processing plant. 

Delegates selected from each chapter also attended to national business items such as annual award voting. Every two years, Alpha Zeta presents more than 15 awards to its chapters and members. The Florida chapter received three awards in recognition of the chapter’s achievements.  

The four awardees holding The Founders Cup.
Florida Chapter members holding the Founder’s Cup Award.

The Florida Chapter was awarded The Founder’s Cup Award, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a chapter by the Fraternity. The Cup is awarded to the chapter that best accomplishes certain criteria through the school year, such as active participation with the national chapter. The Florida Chapter has had this honor conferred upon them twice before in 2009 and 2015.  

In addition to the Founder’s Cup, the Florida Chapter received two Middaugh Chapter Achievement Awards. The Service to College and Campus Award recognized the chapter’s ongoing support of the Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry. The club collected over 350 items for donation during the 2022-2023 school year.

The Service to Community Award was granted to the chapter for their collaboration with Keep Alachua County Beautiful. The Florida Alpha Zeta chapter conducts roadside cleanups on NW 23rd Avenue between NW 83rd Street and NW 59th Terrace. These cleanups are held two to three times a year and help decrease human impacts on Gainesville’s urban environment.  

Florida Alpha Zeta Chapter members with their Individual Achievement Awards.

Several Florida Chapter members received Individual Achievement Awards for their roles as officers. The individuals who were recognized for their year of service included: 

  • Emily Roeder, Outstanding Chronicler 
  • Lily Cope, Outstanding Treasurer 
  • Erin Kaufman, Outstanding Censor 
  • Cameron Courtney, Outstanding Scribe 

Camejo, who is now an Outreach Specialist at the South Florida Wildlife Center, was appointed to Alpha Zeta’s High Council. The High Council is the national officer team for the organization. Camejo will serve as the High Chronicler for two years before moving to a higher ranked role in 2025.

The VP Promise is an initiative to provide financial assistance for students pursuing experiences in agriculture, life sciences and natural resources. CALS supports student success both inside and outside of the classroom and encourages students to broaden their perspectives through enriching opportunities such as study abroad programs and travel to conferences. For more information on the VP Promise visit the CALS website.


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Posted: October 30, 2023

Category: Community Volunteers, Events, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Alpha Zeta, Professional Development, Student Success, VP Promise

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