CALS Student Excellence Fund to honor longtime UF/IFAS employee

emilie mattews 121514

Emelie Mattews

GAINESVILLE, Fla. ─ Graduating transfer students in the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences can soon receive a special award named for a 35-year CALS employee.

The new CALS Student Excellence Fund will be renamed to honor college Admissions Coordinator Emelie Matthews, a longtime Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and CALS employee, when she retires in 2015.

In her position, Matthews works primarily with transfer students. She has been working for UF for 35 years. For 12 of those, Matthews also has served as an adviser for Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority.

“I’ve always tried to look at what’s best for the students and guide them, so that they can go out and be successful individuals,” Matthews said.

The fund will support an award to an outstanding transfer student who is graduating from CALS. The fund will also help to support the UF chapters of Sigma Alpha and Alpha Gamma Rho, Matthews said.

“There are so many opportunities for our students in CALS,” college Dean Elaine Turner said. “Emelie has been such a valuable member of our team, working to make those opportunities available to students, and this fund will continue to do so.”

The fund needs to reach $30,000 to reach endowment status, Turner said.

During her career, Matthews has gone beyond her duties as admissions coordinator to invest in students’ lives.

“It’s about what we can also teach (students) about working with people, leadership and the communication skills that they need to be successful,” she said.

To make a donation to support the CALS Student Excellence Fund in honor of Emelie Matthews, visit www.cals.ufl.edu/matthews or mail a check, made payable to the University of Florida Foundation, to: Matthews Fund c/o CALS Development Office, P.O. Box 110170, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0170.

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Sources: Christy Chiarelli, 352-273-0353, ccw@ufl.edu

Elaine Turner, 352-392-1961, returner@ufl.edu,