LAS in Action – September

September 20, 2018

The Latin American Studies program has launched a new initiative this Fall semester to recognize the volunteer efforts of LAS students in the community.  Brittany Zengotita is the first LAS student to be recognized this fall for her contributions to the UCF community and Central Florida.  Brittany is pursuing a double major in Latin American Studies with CAH in addition to a BS degree in Biomedical Sciences with the College of Medicine.  Soon after completing the LAS Spanish Heritage study abroad program this summer in Spain, she le interned at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied neurodegenerative disease genetics in the Neuromyelitis Optica lab. She is currently working on an HIM thesis that focuses on Neuromyelitis Optica in Latin American nations.  She continues to pursue research opportunities in neurodegenerative disease, a project with UCF faculty that she hopes to continue until her graduates from UCF.

In spite of Ms. Zengotita’s heavy academic schedule, she is also a member of the neuroscience alliance and plans to pursue volunteering opportunities in the Central Florida Brain Bee this year, which provides undergraduates focused in neuroscience the opportunity to volunteer in OCPS high schools; this volunteer after school program for the neuroscience clubs, familiarizes high school students with the materials they need to learn to compete with other schools to participate in the final competition in Baltimore. She was a part of the Read2Succeed program helping 1st grade students improve their reading skills and mentoring and an iACE mentor for the Division of Teaching and Learning at UCF.

Ms. Zengotita’s career goal is to establish an International Medical Outreach Clinic in a rural area that is underserved in medicine, hopefully in one of the countries in Latin America.  Brittany is an excellent example of other LAS majors who have the passion and dedication for helping others in our community.