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Hicks Honors College

Hicks Honors Graduates

Nothing makes the Hicks Honors College more proud than to hear and share tales of success from our soaring Ospreys. We can't wait to see what they will do next, and what you can too!

Alexanderia Crotts '24

Alexanderia Crotts graduated from the Hicks Honors College and UNF in the spring of 2024 and is the perfect example of what Hicks Honors students strive towards. Alexanderia majored in both Transportation & Logistics and Economics. This, paired with a double minor in Leadership and Digital Marketing, made her a standout graduate at UNF for her love of learning.

As a student, Alexanderia was heavily involved in both on and off-campus organizations including:

The Transportation Logistics Society (President); Presidential Envoys (President); Osprey Involvement Center (Director); Student Government (Senator); Honors Colloquium Facilitator (NIM Philanthropy); Jacksonville Chamber Transportation & Logistics Council (UNF Ambassador); Propeller Club Port of Jacksonville; The Honors Student Union (Events Committee Member); Economics Society (Treasurer); Omicron Delta Epsilon-The International Honor Society for Economics; UNF Navigators; UNF IERE Environmental Leadership Program; The Council of Supply Chain Management; Transportation Club of Jacksonville; Clay & Duval County 4-H (Volunteer).

Even though Alexanderia was involved with fifteen different clubs and organizations, she still made time for nine internships and practica, research, and study abroad! Alexandria interned with Magellan Transport Logistics, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay, Crowley Logistics (Procurement Intern and Corporate Accounting Services student part-time worker), Southeastern Grocers Inc., and Bacardi Corp. She also participated in the Intermodal Association of North America Case Competition three times, twice as the UNF Representative in Jacksonville and once as the UNF Team Lead in Long Beach, California. 

Alexanderia also participated in the research project "Leveraging Intermodal Capability to Build Port Capacity" in 2022 with Dr. Dawn Russle. For her Honors Capstone, she worked to expand the relationships of the Transportation and Logistics Society from two professional organizations to eight in the Jacksonville community. Alexanderia also made time to study abroad in Frankfurt, Germany and Brussels, Belgium where she fondly recalls watching a master's music student's "wonderful" performance of Beethoven at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels.

 Alexanderia made the absolute most she could out of her university experience, and we can't wait to see what she does next as she begins to pursue her career! 

You can read more about Alexanderia and her university experience on the UNF Newsroom's website. 

Portrait of a woman with dark hair and brown eyes with a blurry lake background.
Girl in black dress and wearing a dark blue graduation cap stands in front of a UNF sign.

Kristy Ramirez '23

Kristy Ramirez certainly did not have a typical university experience. In 2020, Kristy started her college career online due to the COVID-19 Pandemic but, over the last four years, has still managed to ensure that just about everyone in the Honors College knows her.

Kristy graduated this past fall with a BA in Psychology and minors in Criminal Justice and Digital Marketing. She worked in the Hicks Honors College office for three years during which she held the titles: Student Assistant, Social Media Lead, Off-Campus FTIC Events Coordinator, and Colloquium Fellow. Kristy is also a well-loved community leader in the Honors Student Union Special Interest Group-Unidos. Kristy started as a regular member in 2020 shortly after the Interest Group’s formation, attending Zoom events before becoming the Head of Public Relations in 2021. Then, in early 2023, Kristy became President of Unidos where the Interest Group quickly became “her baby.” Kristy and her team worked hard to improve event attendance, and their efforts were rewarded when attendance almost tripled, the majority of these attendees being freshmen who enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and fun conversation. Kristy’s favorite event by far was “Karaoke Night,” which also happened to be Unidos’s most well-attended event ever!

In addition to her heavy involvement in Unidos, Kristy was also the Communications Chair for the Child Psychology Club and a Public Opinion Research Lab Student Interviewer. Outside of UNF, Kristy worked as a Case Manager at Mind360, an Academic Advisor with the Arc of Jacksonville, and a volunteer with Night to Shine at the Tim Tebow Foundation for over five years.

Kristy also spent two months in Nantes, France studying the Psychology of Human Behavior at Audencia. While there, she learned “so many” life skills and about the French culture, both of which she will value forever. Italy happened to be a nice side trip along the way.

Kristy feels her greatest accomplishments are her work at the Hicks Honors College, being President of Unidos, and being the first in her family to graduate from college. Now, she is applying to master’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs at UNF and JU where she hopes to become a certified Mental Health Counselor.

Nicole Knorr '22

Nicole Knorr graduated from the Hicks Honors College and UNF in the Spring of 2022 with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on Piano and Composition. While a student, Nicole co-founded the UNF Composer's Collective, a space for student composers to share their work, receive feedback, and discuss new ideas. She also served as President of the Composer’s Collective for two years.

Nicole is currently working on her master's at the prestigious University of Michigan which she chose because of the impressive faculty and alumni work she has seen. She loves how active her program and its graduates are in the music community. She also loves learning from a wide variety of voices and artists who show her how different music practices can be.

If you are familiar with UNF Shakespeare’s OTHELLO: A Multilingual Production of Shakespeare’s Tragedy, then you are also familiar with Nicole’s work. Nicole, by recommendation of Dr. Kaplan and in partnership with Professor Pewitt, composed musical motifs for each character, created ambiance with sound design, and even composed a tune for Desdemona’s Willow Song. In total, Nicole composed over an hour’s worth of music and is honored to have been involved in the project. Very impressive!

But Nicole’s compositions don’t stop there. This summer, Nicole’s hard work will take her to France to participate in Du Vert A l'infini, a music festival focusing on approaches to compositions from a non-Eurocentric perspective. The festival will focus on Iran, Syria, and the United States, and Nicole is excited for the opportunity to meet new people in the same field as her and to premiere her new work in France.

Check out what Nicole has been up to on her website Nicole Knorr | Composer or find her on Instagram @nicoleknorr

Portrait photo of a woman in an orange halter top posing in front of a river.
Maria Encinosa at Harvard medical school

Maria Encinosa '21

Maria Encinosa, a 2021 Hicks Honors College alumna, is fascinated by the intersections between healthcare and sociocultural environments. While still an undergraduate, she wrote her article “Embodied Injustices: COVID-19, Race, and Epigenetics” which combats myths of innate biological difference between racial groups and the normalization of minority sickness. This piece, and her conference presentations, earned her the SOARS 2021 Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Award. 

Maria holds a dual degree in Biomedical Sciences and International Relations & Politics with minors in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of North Florida. As a passionate member of the Hicks Honors College, she co-designed and taught a novel course that develops students as deep learners as they pitch solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Maria was just accepted to Harvard Medical School with a near full-ride scholarship, and while moving away from Florida is bittersweet, she is looking forward to the incredible opportunities ahead of her. Maria even received a shout-out from Jaxtoday in recognition of all her hard work.

Congratulations Maria!

How about a different perspective? 

Jazmyne Jackson is an Honors alumni who bridges the gap between the original Honors Program and the Hicks Honors College. She graduated in 2017, less than a year after the College's official endowment. We decided to check in to see what she's been up to since then and were not disappointed!


"I was a part of the Honors Program (now Hicks Honors College) throughout my entire undergraduate education at the University of North Florida. While in the Honors program, I had the opportunity to travel internationally for the first time and study abroad in Morocco and Spain focusing on social innovation and entrepreneurship. That experience gave me the travel bug and I try to go somewhere at least once a year, either out of state or out of the country. During my last year at UNF, I was a recipient of the Hicks Honors Fellowship and was able to attend my first international conference and present my undergraduate thesis research about bacterial antibiotic resistance. Moreover, I remember when the Hicks Honors College was going to be announced, I was asked to be a spokesperson and represent the Honors Students. Above all, I had a blast being an Honors student and having a community of people to go to and talk with about classes and life.

While at UNF, I became heavily involved in bench work and conducting research. I worked with Dr. Terri Ellis and my project focused on understanding how antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae altered capsule production. I worked in her lab for 2 years. I graduated from UNF in Fall 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and two minors: Psychology and Spanish Language. After graduating, I worked as a lab tech at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in their Neuroscience department learning/using various genetic techniques to understand the clinical implications of a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. After working at Mayo Clinic for 2.5 years, I decided to apply to graduate programs and ultimately chose to attend Temple University. I started in Temple’s Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program in 2020, which was not easy, but I am currently in the beginning of my 4th year as a PhD candidate! My thesis work focuses on delineating the mechanistic and functional role of mitochondria in Eosinophilic esophagitis, a food-allergen inflammatory disease of the esophagus. I enjoy doing clinically-relevant research and hope to continue to work in the realm of inflammation."

black female student poses in front of lake with blue graduate cap and yellow honor chords.