Volume 5 Number 25
June 20, 2008


Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) President Dr. 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.

“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.”

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.

“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 real-world experience and instruction acquired through this program will give our students a great opportunity to succeed in either the public or private sector” said FSU President T.K. Wetherell. “I thank CFO Sink and the mentors throughout the department for investing in the future.”

The inaugural class of 2008 consists of 18 university students from FSU and FAMU within 11 divisions of the Department of Financial Services. 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.

Florida State University (FSU)

Alex Conrad, Oviedo, Florida
Grafton Memorial Senior High School, Grafton, Massachusetts
Undergraduate Major(s): Accounting and Finance
Division: Administration - Financial & Support Services

Trent Kilpatrick, Ocean Ridge, Florida
St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida
Undergraduate Major(s): Finance & Applied Economics
Undergraduate Minor: Mathematics
Division: Inspector General

Aaron Lindsey, Mayo, Florida
Lafayette High School in Mayo, Florida
Undergraduate Major(s): Applied Economics
Undergraduate Minor: Business
Division: Treasury

Michael Rodriguez, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Allen D. Nease High School, St. Augustine, Florida
Undergraduate Major(s): Political Science and Sociology
Graduate Major: Public Administration
Division: Administration – Office of Budgeting

Cody Whelan, Coral Springs, Florida
Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida
Undergraduate Major(s): Risk Management/Insurance and Finance
Division: Risk Management

Florida A&M University (FAMU)

Rodney Dean Adair, Jr., Chicago, Illinois
Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois
Undergraduate Major(s): Business Administration
Undergraduate Minor: Marketing
Division: Agent & Agency Services

Kyesha Austin, Lauderhill, Florida
Piper High School in Sunrise, Florida
Undergraduate Major(s): Health Information Management
Division: Workers’ Compensation

Dariaen D. Brown, Tallahassee
James S. Rickards High School in Tallahassee
Undergraduate Major(s): Business Administration
Undergraduate Minor(s): Accounting
Graduate Major: MBA
Division: Accounting & Auditing

Tiffanie Cash, Saint Louis, Missouri
Metro Classical and Academic High School in Saint Louis
Undergraduate Major: Criminal Justice/Biology
Division: Fraud

Latrese Cherry, Hollywood, Florida
Hallandale High School in Hallandale Beach,
Undergraduate Major(s): Criminal Justice
Undergraduate Minor: Anthropology
Division: Agent & Agency Services

James Harden, Jr., Miami, Florida
Miami Carol City Senior High School in Carol City
Undergraduate Major(s):Public Relations
Undergraduate Minor: Spanish
Division: Consumer Services

Kendra L. Lee, San Antonio, TX
Gar-Field Senior High School in Woodbridge, VA
Undergraduate Major(s): Business Administration and Spanish
Graduate Major: MBA
Division: Accounting & Auditing

Geena Lewis, Jacksonville, Florida
Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, Florida
Undergraduate Major(s): Business Administration
Graduate Major: MBA
Division: Accounting & Auditing

Manuel Moody, Canton, Mississippi
Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi
Undergraduate Major(s): Business Administration
Division: Rehabilitation & Liquidation

LaToya Russell, Charlotte, North Carolina
Harding University High School in Charlotte, North Carolina
Undergraduate Major(s): Public Relations
Graduate Major: Public Administration
Division: Office of Communications

LaToya Sheals, Lakeland, Florida
Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida
Undergraduate Major(s): Criminal Justice
Graduate Major: Public Administration
Division: Fraud

Kaili Walker, Thomson, Georgia
Thomson High School, Thomson, Georgia
Undergraduate Major(s): Accounting
Undergraduate Minor(s): Finance/Auditing
Graduate Major: MBA
Division: Accounting & Auditing

William Wiggins, Tallahassee, Florida
FAMU Development Research School, Tallahassee, FL
Undergraduate Major(s): Accounting
Division: Accounting & Auditing