Junior Computer Science major from Miami, FL
Hello! My name is Joseph Cacioppo, and I am a third year computer science major. Before UF, I lived in Miami, FL and I had attended catholic school for my whole life since beginning my education. I knew that when I moved to Gainesville and wouldn't have that constant reminder to work on my spiritual life, I would need to join a community to continue to improve my relationship with God. I was introduced to St. A's through a high school friend who had been here for a while. However, besides the Alpha retreat, I wasn't too involved with Catholic Gators until I joined Newman at the end of my freshman year. Now having done that for a year, and continuing serving this year, I have made countless friendships that I wouldn't trade for the world. Catholic Gators is like a family to me.
I love basketball, football, and basically any other sport out there. I also watch way too many TV shows, and I love just chilling with my friends. I'm excited to see you all around St. A's!
Junior Food Science and Human Nutrition major from Naples, FL
Hi, my name is Lenie Cruz. I was born in Malabon, Philippines and I moved around a lot when I was younger, but I consider Florida to be my home. I love food but I did not know much about what I was consuming which is why I chose my major. I love to sing and dance particularly to Korean pop music. My favorite comic superhero is the Flash because if I had his speed, I could finish all my homework early, sleep the recommended amount, and read as many books as I want while also maintaining a nice figure. When I am addicted to a song, I listen to it, and only it, usually for week until it is out of my system. My favorite activity is kayaking and jumping on a trampoline. Window shopping at Walmart calms me.
So why Catholic Gators Newman Club? I love to cook, and I wanted to give back to the community that has been so welcoming to me. When I approached a Newman officer last year asking her if I could volunteer to cook for Newman, she said only officers were allowed to cook. So, when applications for Newman officers were released I just had to sign-up. I got a position, and now I could cook! I get to cook and get to meet different people every week; I am living the life.
Junior Applied Physiology and Kinesiology from Venice, FL
Hello! My name is Caitlyn, and I’m the VP of Church Affairs for Newman this year. The first time I went to Newman, I learned about the Alpha retreat, and going on it was the best decision I’ve made while at UF. Joining the St. A’s community has been a huge part in shaping my college experience. Being surrounded by so many students who want to grow in their faith is so inspiring.
Some things I enjoy include watching sunsets, taking power naps, going on adventures, and spending time with friends and family. I’m so excited for this year and to get even more involved with everything that Catholic Gators has to offer.
Newman is lit!
Junior Biology major (Pre-Med) from Rockledge, FL
One Sunday morning, during my fall semester of sophomore year, I was convinced to attend a breakfast at Hurley hall. At this breakfast I met some of the sweetest people ever who in turn, helped me find a FOCUS bible study so that I could continue to develop spiritually. Gradually after that, I started attending more Catholic Gators events and tried to come to as many Newman Dinners as possible. I never thought I could be an active part of any of the ministries as I’m shy in new crowds but… Here I Am! I’m so elated to be on Newman Team this year and I can’t wait to meet and serve you! If you see me around, just mention puppies or food or sports and you’ll instantly become one of my new favorite people!
Sophomore Mechanical Engineering major from Cooper City, FL
Coming onto the UF campus, I knew I wanted to get involved with the Catholic campus ministry but wasn't sure where to start. Although I had a great friend of mine, Lauren Troncoso, personally introduce me to the Catholic Gators, my fall semester became very hectic and I saw myself only going to mass every sunday as my "involvement". I saw myself becoming very spiritually dry and distant from my faith, longing for more . It was not until Alpha of the spring semester my freshman year where I took the leap of faith to sign up. My catholic highschool had a retreat program and I was both retreater and leader for three years, so I could not help but have predispositions about what Alpha could be like. But it was that weekend that completely changed my everything and set the bar for me. Everyone that went, either candidate, leader and other coordinators were all of the most amazing people I have come to know at UF. Meeting everyone there set a new bar for me ask to how much I wanted to get more involved now with the Catholic Gators and how much I wanted to become the best Catholic I can be. As service coordinator of Newman Club, I find so much joy giving back to the community as well as serving new people as a way to welcome them to our loving community. I am also an Ambassador for Christ where I can personally invite students to Catholic Gators through public representation.
I love music and going to concerts. Food is amazing (duh) and I enjoy playing any sports with people I love. Come out to Newman and see what's cookin!
Sophomore Nuclear Engineering major from Wellington, FL
Hello! My name is Zach Landress, and I am currently a sophomore studying nuclear engineering at the University of Florida.
After joining Catholic Gators in the spring of 2016, I immediately found my new home away from home. The people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve been given from being a part of this organization have greatly strengthened my faith and my person as a whole.
I am currently serving our community in our Newman Club, Ambassadors for Christ and Alpha Team ministries; all of which have been more rewarding than I could have imagined.
I love music, with the works of Bach, Palestrina, Victoria, and Gesualdo being some of my favorites.