Created by Dr. Art Sandeen, the J. Wayne Reitz Scholars Program was established to recognize and encourage academic achievement, leadership, and service among undergraduate students at the University of Florida. The program is named in honor of Dr. J. Wayne Reitz, who served as President of the University of Florida from 1955-67. Since 1997, approximately 25 students are selected by a faculty-staff committee to be "Reitz Scholars" each year. Emphasis is placed on identifying students from a broad spectrum of university life, including academic, political, religious, recreational, and service organizations. Students selected to be "Reitz Scholars" receive educational enhancements, including a faculty-staff mentor and an intentional leadership program that requires extensive participation.
The Reitz Scholars are expected to maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average in all of their academic work at the University while pursuing a degree program on a full-time basis. They are expected to volunteer their time in service to the campus and community and to be active leaders in student organizations at UF. Finally, all Reitz Scholars are expected to be outstanding citizens of the University of Florida community who will conduct their lives with integrity and honor. The program requires attendance at weekly class meetings, one weekend retreat and service project per semester, and other activities for the Reitz Scholars.
The Reitz Scholars program inducted its newest members this fall. Past scholars include:
- Dylan Nuquist (2010) – Teaches math in China
- Amy Rubin (2011) – Legal fellow for Trip Advisor
- Cesar Fernandez (2010) – Southeast Public Policy Advisory for Uber
- Anu Mathur (2007) – Vice President at Neuberger Berman in NYC
- Joey Wilson (2006) – Senior Managing Director of the Teach for America STEM Initiative
- Jake Raburn (2006) – A Representative in the Florida House
- Yasime Taeb (2001) – Commissioner in Arlington County, VA. for the Human Rights Commission
- Caitlin Lewis (2009) – FBI on assignment in Kenya
- Joclyn Steiner (1997) – Former Peace Corps Member
- Brian Dassler (1999) – Deputy Chancellor in the Florida Department of Education
A complete list of past scholars can be found online at http://www.ufsa.ufl.edu/students/honors_awards_scholarships/reitz_scholars/past_scholars/.