Civic and University Engagement Committee

Ben Weiner | Civic and University Engagement Co-Chair


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Ben Weiner is a fourth year Political Science major with a Minor in Business Administration. In addition to serving as Civic and University Engagement Ambassador Chair, Ben is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the University of Florida Student Government Senate and the Legislative Director for Gators for Israel. Ben is also an active member of his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. Ben is excited to share his passion for politics with the University community and help students become more civically engaged.

Brad James | Civic and University Engagement Co-Chair


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Brad is a fourth year Political Science major on the Pre-Med track from St. Augustine, Florida. In addition to his work as Civic and University Engagement Chair he was previously Director Of State Engagement for Florida Blue Key and also the President of the Board of College Councils. He is an active member of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, as well as Florida Blue Key. Brad’s goal for this year is to expand and define the role of Civic and University Engagement, and get more students interested and involved in the political process.

Nathalia Ortega | State Civic Engagement


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Born in the country of coffee and emeralds, Nathalia moved with her family from rainy cosmopolitan Bogotá to sunny South Florida when she was five. Now, as a converted Gator, she is a third year student studying Economics and Chinese with a certificate in Public Policy.
In efforts to combine her love for policy, international development, and social justice, she has worked in law firms, political campaigns, and on congressional youth cabinets. Through these different avenues, Nathalia has seen how fortunate we, as Americans, are to have a voice in our political process; the root of her passion in civic engagement.
At the University of Florida, she has been able to hone in on these through her involvement in the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, the Florida Cicerones, the Hispanic Student Association, and student government. Her involvement is constantly introducing her to innovative and impactful projects spearheaded by fellow Gators, made possible by the funding UF receives from the state of Florida. This sparked her interest in the role of Director for State Civic Engagement and how working for one common cause— the University of Florida, can create tangible change for future Gators to come. Nathalia plans to create competitive opportunities for students, in conjunction with our preeminence initiatives, to set the University of Florida apart as a world-class institution.

Ethan Heller | Local Civic Engagement


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Ethan Heller is a third year student majoring in Advertising and Marketing within the College of Journalism. In addition to Directing Florida Blue Key’s Local Civic Engagement, he is the Director of Public Relations for the Interfraternity Council and a Research Analyst for The Agency: a student-led marketing and research firm located on campus. He is also a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Over the past few years, Ethan has worked in multiple law firms in Gainesville and Philadelphia and is excited to capitalize on those experiences to help influence beneficial initiatives that will impact the Gainesville community for generations to come.

Suzy Livingston | Local Government Internship Program

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Suzy Livingston is a 4th year student majoring in Marketing with a minor in Mass Communication Studies.  In addition to serving as the Director of Local Government Internship Program, Suzy serves as the Vice President of Panhellenic Affairs for her sorority Gamma Phi Beta.  She is also a student manager for the UF Women’s Volleyball Team and is involved in the business school.  As a director this year, Suzy hopes to provide meaningful and educational internships for students passionate about pursuing a career in politics.

Kathryn Dowling | Operations


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Kathryn Dowling is a third year marketing major with a retail minor. In addition to serving as Director of Operations, Kathryn is involved in Student Government Senate as a District A Senator and Florida Blue Key’s Speech and Debate Tournament as an Assistant Director of Public Forum Debate. Kathryn also serves as Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Panhellenic Delegate and Assistant Recruitment Chair, as well as the Director of Service for University of Florida’s Panhellenic Council. As Director of Operations, Kathryn plans to further enhance the efficiency of Florida Blue Key’s external affairs, and increase the cohesiveness of external affairs through Florida Blue Key Divisions.

Lexi Sidle | Operations


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Lexi Sidle is a third year Finance major from Weston, Florida, minoring in Nonprofit Organizational Leadership and Mass Communications Studies. Lexi has a passion for community service and has served on campus as Vice President of Community Service for Kappa Delta, Assistant Director of Philanthropy for Gator Growl, and a Dance Marathon Hospitality Captain. She is looking forward to serving as Director of Operations and hoping to add to Florida Blue Key’s strong relationship with the community with even more service oriented events.