Eric Patz

Anthropology Maya Archeology graduate student

Nominated by Graduate Student Association

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: I have a legacy at UCF and I'm the last one in my family to earn a degree from here. My dad started teaching here in 1969 in the electrical engineering department. My mom started teaching classes in the math department and all my brothers and sisters received their degrees here — bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. — and met their husband or wife while they went to school here. So, I wanted to return to UCF and I have a really big connection and wanted to show people what UCF means to me.

Past and current involvement: Member of the 45th and 46th SGA Senate, Graduate Student Association treasurer and advisory board chairman, graduate Anthropology Association, sat on A&SF Budget Committee, Library Advisory Board

Fun fact: I'm a master gardener and I love plants. I do a lot of volunteer work with gardening and teaching urban youth and Central Florida youth how to garden, and with Mayor Buddy Dyer's [Green Initiative]. I go around to four or five different youth centers and teach kids about exercise in Orlando, nutrition and where their food comes from.

Gerald Richardson

Biomedical sciences senior

Nominated by Student Undergraduate Research Council

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: I think it's going to be a very fun experience, but I also I think it's going to be a great opportunity for me to serve, not only as an ambassador for UCF, but also as a role model for my colleagues. I feel as though I embody a lot of the diversity at UCF because I am involved in a lot of different organizations and fields at UCF. I think homecoming court is a good fit for me because I can serve as an example to the other students — if you work hard, you can get to the unique opportunities.

Past and current involvement: 4EVER KNIGHTS, President's Leadership Council, Student Academic Resource Center tutor, supplemental instruction, undergraduate research in chemistry and CREOL departments, started teamwork and critical thinking after-school program at Cheney Elementary School through Burnett Honors College's HERO program

Fun fact: I'm a third-generation student at UCF. My grandmother went to UCF and so did my mother and her siblings.

Jimmy Briggs

Industrial engineering junior

Nominated by Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honors Society

Why I decided to run for Homecoming Court: I've really grown to love UCF. It's really become my home away from home. And because of that I really want it to be represented in the best light that it can. I just really want to put UCF's best foot forward and hopefully that's me.

Past and current Involvement: Honors Congress, Sigma Pi, vice president of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council, University Athletics Advisory committee positions, University Technology Fee committee positions, Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honors Society, Institute of Industrial Engineers, Give Kids the World, Abet, President's Leadership Council, member of the 47th SGA Senate

Fun fact: I really like to cook, but I'm really bad at it. I like trying new things and making new stuff, but it's always a struggle to find someone to get to eat it. Sometimes it comes out OK, but usually it comes out a lot better in my mind.

Joey Manglardi

Business management senior

Nominated by Sigma Pi

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: I was getting a lot of support from my fraternity and fraternity brothers to try and pursue this. I thought about it and all of the things I've done at UCF in my four years and how awesome it would be to have that kind of honor to represent the university as a whole that I've feel like I've gained so much from. So I figure it started with my friends' support and then thinking about how cool it would be to stand on the field and have everyone cheering for you: I just think that would be an unbelievable experience.

Past and current involvement: Sigma Pi secretary and vice president, LEAD scholar, 4EVER KNIGHTS ambassador, executive cabinet during Melissa and Jacob's administration, President's Leadership Council public relations coordinator

Fun fact: I really enjoy playing piano. Making music is fun.

Related: What does it take be on UCF's homecoming court?

Olivia White

Aerospace Engineering senior

Nominated by Knight Moves Dance Team

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: I think that homecoming really represents something that I'm passionate about. And being on the dance team, we spend our whole season trying to promote the school and show how proud we are to be UCF Knights and I think that homecoming really embodies that. And I think especially court, because you get to share your passion and your school and your organization to students through homecoming court and representing them.

Past and current involvement: Knight Moves Dance Team, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Burnett Honors College

Fun fact: I grew up in Orlando, Florida. I'm actually not from here, I was actually born in Illinois. But I did grow up right in the Orlando community, so I've always really grown up as a UCF Knight

Phillip Bent

Computer Engineering senior

Nominated by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: Alpha has taken care of me as a man and I feel like it's a way to, not only give back, but show how much they've contributed to me and the person I am because of it.

Past and current involvement: Community service chair of MOI, president of the Society of Black Engineers, public relations voordinator for SGA, vice president and president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Fun fact: I'm a pushover, but I love to see people happy. I don't know why, but just to see people smile makes me smile.

Shannon Payne

Anthropology senior

Nominated by Honors Congress

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: I've always been really excited about homecoming. My first leadership position was a member of the Honors Congress' homecoming committee. And because Honors Congress is so involved with homecoming, I thought it would be cool to have some representation on the court.

Past and current involvement: Honors Congress homecoming committee and officer positions, Knight-Thon morale team, Chi Omega, International Relations Club, Russian Club

Fun fact: I speak Russian. I've been studying it for two years.

Shanzay Pervaiz

Public Administration senior

Nominated by Kappa Delta

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: I was reflecting back and the University of Central Florida has really molded and shaped me into the leader and the woman I always dreamed of becoming. I'm confident, I have the faith that I'm becoming successful and I can do anything I set my mind to, and the opportunities that I've been presented with here at the University of Central Florida have given me the confidence to do things and I just want to give back. And I'm a Pakistani-American, and for me it's also so incredibly important for me to represent my country as well. Every day my country Pakistan is constantly attacked by the media, and I just think it's so imperative to have a role leader who will represent Pakistan in a positive way. My chapter has been the biggest support system for me while at UCF.

Past and current involvement: Senate Leadership Council, Student Conduct Board member, Positions in KD, Panhellenic, SGA senator, A&SF Budget Committee, executive vice president of Pan, LEAD scholar

Fun fact: I was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. It's absolutely beautiful.

Shelby Birch

Advertising and Public Relations junior

Nominated by Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: I decided to run, honestly, because I didn't really want to do it for the recognition or the prestige, I did it to inspire people to get involved. I have a lot of friends who do things, but they don't really go for the big things so I wanted to do that to show basically that if you work hard and are involved, you can accomplish these things.

Past and current involvement: Orientation Team 2014, President's Leadership Council, founder and president of Project Student Poetry Initiating Thought (Project S.P.I.T.), J. T. Washington scholar, resident assistant, intern for UCF Athletics

Fun fact: I learned how to knit on YouTube. It was my freshman year and I was so bored with not doing anything so I decided to knit, but the next semester was when I started to get involved.

Sheridan Kushner

Early Childhood Development senior

Nominated by Student Government Association

Why I decided to run for Homecoming court: Involvement has always been a huge part of my college experience and I've seen how much better it's made my college experience. I hope that through me being on homecoming court, other people can see not only how much fun being involved is but how many benefits it can bring.

Past and current involvement: Delta Delta Delta, Rho Gamma Panhellenic counselor, Student Body President's Advisory Council, member of the 45th SGA Senate, Knight-Thon Executive Board, deputy chief of staff for SGA, SDES Student Advisory Council, intern for Make-A-Wish Foundation, director of student affairs for SGA, President's Leadership Council, vice chair of Agency and Department Strategic Planning Board

Fun fact: My name is Sheridan because my mom's name is Sheri and my dad's name is Dan. I also live on Sheridan Street back home.What does it take to be UCF's Homecoming King or Queen?

Related: UCF homecoming week event schedule

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