|Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (center) and Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons (center) take a photo with the FAMU students selected to participate in Sink’s Academy of Leadership Excellence Program.
– Thirteen Florida A&M University (FAMU) students were part of the 2008 inaugural class of Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s A.L.Ex.” Academy of Leadership Excellence Program. CFO Sink, FAMU President James H. Ammons, and Florida State University (FSU) President T.K. Wetherell today announced the launch of the A.L.Ex., the Academy of Leadership Excellence program within the Florida Department of Financial Services.
The inaugural class of 2008 consists of 18 university students from FSU and FAMU within 11 divisions of the Department of Financial Services.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to gain experience that will help give them a competitive edge,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “The students recognized today by CFO Sink are some of our best and brightest. We are hoping that they will seriously consider careers in Florida and in state government. These are students who have the potential to become the future leaders of our state.”
The FAMU students who were selected included the following:
• Rodney Dean Adair, Jr., a business administration major from Chicago, Ill., who will work in the agent and agency services;
• Kyesha Austin, a health information management major from Lauderhill, Fla. will work in the workers’ compensation division;
• Dariaen Brown, from Tallahassee will work in the accounting and auditing division;
• Tiffaine Cash, a criminal justice/biology major from St. Louis, Mo. will work in the fraud division;
• Latrese Cherry, from Hollywood, Fla. will work in the agent and agency services;
• James Harden, Jr., majoring public relations with a minor Spanish from Miami, Fla. will work in the consumer services division;
• Kendra Lee, from San Antonio, Texas will work in the accounting and auditing division;
• Geena Lewis, a business administration major from Jacksonville, Fla. will work in the accounting and auditing division;
• Manuel Moody, a business administration major from Canton, Miss. will work in the rehabilitation and liquidation division;
• LaToya Russell, a public relations major from Charlotte, NC will work in the Office of Communications;
• LaToya Sheals, a graduate student from Lakeland, Fla. will work in the fraud division;
• Kaili Walker, an accounting major from Thomson Georgia will work in the accounting and auditing division; and
• William Wiggins, an accounting major from Tallahassee will work in the accounting and auditing division.
FSU students included the following:
• Alex Conrad, an accounting and finance major from Oviedo, Fla. will work in the administration for the financial and support services;
• Trent Kilpatrick, from Ocean Ridge, Fla. will work in the inspector general division;
• Aaron Lindsey, an applied economics major from Mayo, Fla. will work in the treasury division;
• Michael Rodriguez, a political science and sociology major from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. will work in administration for the Office of Budgeting; and
• Cody Whelan, from Coral Springs, Fla. will work in the risk management division.
Dariaen Brown is excited to be a part of the inaugural class and looking forward to working in the accounting and auditing division.
“I will have the opportunity to travel to various counties in the state of Florida to review their budgets to make sure their agency is following Florida statutes,” said Brown. “This experience will help me because I plan to be a CPA.”
The Academy of Leadership and Excellence program will provide real-world work experience, professional development, and career opportunities in public service for Florida’s best and brightest university students. Students will receive substantive and challenging work assignments from their assigned mentor and have their work evaluated on a professional level.
“I commend the 2008 inaugural class of the A.L.Ex. program for their academic achievement and their commitment to public service,” said CFO Alex Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “As a state, we need to do everything we can to encourage and mentor our young people, providing a pathway for public service and a lifetime of success.”
Students have paid positions and are required to work at least 20 hours a week. All students must maintain above a 3.0 GPA and be a junior, senior or a graduate student. This class’s average GPA is 3.5. Future classes will be open to all state university students.
As a token, Sink presented each student with a nameplate for his or her desk.
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Posted: June 17, 2008