Meet our officers

 Past President: Krista Vaught
(former) Director, Academic Strategic Initiatives and Compliance, Levin College of Law

Krista Vaught served as APA president from 2018-2020, after serving as president-elect, programs chair, and signature series chair. Under Krista’s leadership, APA held its first membership survey, increased and diversified board membership, piloted a Warm Welcome event to officially welcome new staff and foster a sense of belonging, and finalized the first strategic plan in APA’s 15-year history, honing in on the group’s goals of employee connection, engagement, and advocacy.

From 2013-2020, Krista served in multiple roles at UF Law, where she oversaw projects related to accreditation, academic initiatives, and support for faculty. Through participation in multiple leadership programs such as UF Academy and the Strategic Communications Academy, teaching First Year Florida, and serving as a coach for first generation students, Krista recognized her passion for connecting people with resources and ideas. Her research centers around the intersection of wellbeing, connectedness, and technology. Krista holds a master’s in educational technology, a law degree, and a bachelor’s in journalism. In the larger community, Krista participated in Leadership Gainesville 43, served as a mentor for Leadership Gainesville 45, and served on the board of the Leadership Gainesville Alumni Association.

Outreach/Engagement Chair: Ruth McIlhenny

Strategic Academic Programs Manager for UF’s Levin College of Law. She is a 2001 graduate of UF Law and after practicing law early in her career, transitioned to working as a staff member at UF Law in 2017. Sadly, she isn’t a double Gator; she got her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Ruth enjoys hiking, paddling, and (pre-Covid) live music. She is a certified PADI Rescue Diver and takes every opportunity to be on, in, or under the water.

Advocacy Co-chair: Honey Langford

Program Co-chair: Monica Delaorra

Monica’s 15-year career has spanned writing, editing, teaching, recruiting and marketing. Higher education is a great fit as she is, above all, a lifelong student. She returned to her home state of Florida and began working at UF in 2016 after many years in the Midwest. Monica is currently the marketing manager for the College of Pharmacy & UF Health Lifelong Learning. Her involvement with APA spans four years in a variety of roles including board and committee involvement. She believes that UF can feel like a friendly neighborhood for all staff – APA can help make that a reality.

Program Co-chair: Sierra McVeigh

Sierra McVeigh was born and raised in central Florida, just south of Ocala National Forest. She attended the University of Florida and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, intending to pursue a career in medicine. After being a Peer Advisor for many years and participating in numerous mentoring programs as a student, Sierra re-directed her passion for helping others from healthcare to advising. Mentorship has always been integral to her success in all aspects of her own life, and she enjoys few things more than paying it forward. She left her doctoral program to become an Academic Advisor for her home department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in May of 2020 and has since greatly enjoyed assisting students as they progress (and struggle) through the same program she completed.

Developing programs and initiatives that encourage continuing education, personal growth, and community are top priorities for Sierra as an advisor to undergraduates and as a staff member of MAE. Re-strategizing the communication of advising with students and mentoring MAE student group leaders are two areas in which she is proud to be engaged with students. She is also a member of the MAE IDEA Committee, mentor for UMMP, and a Success Coach. Sierra recently spearheaded the establishment of a departmental committee for running events and programs that aim to foster a sense of community and connectedness among staff and faculty, as well as celebrate achievements of individuals and units. Although in this virtual environment it can be easy to disengage, Sierra believes there is plenty of opportunity to be creative and bring people together to learn, grow, create positive change, and just have fun.

Opening a bed and breakfast with bakery and event planning are Sierra’s secret dreams, as she loves baking, crafting, decorating, and planning activities that bring people together. Sierra loves to give as many treats away to coworkers and friends as possible (so she can try even more recipes) and believes all rooms must be decorated for every season and holiday of the year. Life is a celebration and should focus on togetherness, growth, and development.  Most of all, she loves spending time with family; either traveling the world or just staying home and forcing them to play board games.

Communications Chair: Sasha Sequeira

After completing my Masters in Information Systems and Operations Management at UF, Gainesville just felt like home and I never left! I started at UF as an Intern moved on to being OPS and finally became a TEAMS employee!

During the course of my career, I have held various IT roles ranging from Fullstack Developer, Social Media Consultant to my current Applications Programmer role. At UF as part of the Reporting and Analytics Team, I’ve been a part of efforts to aid Student Success, Course Enrollment, Sponsored Programs, Employee Leave Management and Return to Campus. To relax I like to read and play board games.

Treasurer: Anika Nathan

Anika Nathan joined the Dean’s office in 2016 as the Assistant Director of Finance for the University of Florida College of the Arts. Prior to coming to UF, Anika served as the Operations Manager in the Engineering Education department at Virginia Tech for four years and the Business Officer in the International Programs department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington for six years. With over twenty years of professional experience, she brings a wealth of financial and management knowledge. Anika earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, singing in the church choir and spending time with her family.

Secretary: Janice Shepard

Janice Shephard has been employed with the University of Florida for 20 years. She began her career as a Program Assistant with the Quantum Theory Project in the Chemistry Department. Since then, she has served as the Administrative Specialist in UF/IFAS Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication for 19 years. In 2014 she began supporting the UF/IFAS Center for Leadership by providing secretarial support as well as other duties for the Center.

In her current role, she is responsible for the financial administration of the program as well as planning and implementing various elements which are successful to the program. She maintains state budget appropriations, the University of Florida Leadership and Education Foundation, Inc. accounts for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute as well as an endowment housed in the UF Foundation, a second endowment, prepares annual audit for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute as well as the annual Operating Budget. Janice makes logistic arrangements for all program seminars, the annual University of Florida Leadership and Education Foundation, Inc. Board meeting, Semi-annual Board meeting and, Wedgworth Leadership Institute Advisory Council Meeting. She maintains historical information about the program.

Having volunteered in some capacity most of her life, Janice saw running for secretary of the APA a chance to give back and be part of the process of positive change at UF.

Board Member at Large: Deanna Nelson

Faculty Relations Coordinator, UFHR. Deanna is a Florida native. She currently serves as the Faculty Relations Coordinator/P&T Administrator for UFHR at the University of Florida. In this role, her focus is managing and evaluating the tenure and promotion process for the use by the Academic Personnel Board, Provost and the President – Administrate and analyze the Online Promotion and Tenure (OPT) process working closely with the Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs. She earned a Master of Science in Employment Law from Nova Southeastern University (Cum Laude) and a Bachelors in Applied Sciences from Santa Fe College. Deanna is PHR and SHRM-CP certified. She has been involved with APA since 2016, and she is excited and committed to enhancing the lives of UF staff by driving meaningful engagement, enriching educational opportunities, and consistent advocacy.Deanna enjoys traveling, spending invaluable time with family, and loving on her three precious spoiled grandchildren.