Claudia Fontaine

Mentor: Dr. Heidi Radunovich
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
"After graduating with my bachelor's degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences (FYCS), I plan to go on to get a graduate degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs. I am interested in learning more about the Florida Opportunity Scholarship and its impact, in hopes of developing a similar program to help students at other institutions. "


Family, Youth and Community Sciences


Leadership; Communication Studies; International Studies in Agricultural and Life Sciences

Research Interests

  • First-generation college students
  • Low-income students
  • Academic engagement

Academic Awards

  • Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarship, 2011-Present
  • UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean's List, 2011-Present
  • Florida Bright Futures: Academic Scholars, 2011-Present
  • Daniel Sinclair Bredahl Memorial Scholarship, 2013


  • FYCS Club
  • Study Abroad Peer Advisors
  • Monteocha Baptist Church


  • St. Francis House Homeless & Rehabilitation Shelter
  • Keep Alachua County Beautiful
  • Interface Youth Shelter

Hobbies and Interests

  • Faith (Christianity)
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Travel
  • Learning Languages

Research Description

An Evaluation of the MFOS Program Using SERU Data

The study will assess the impact of the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars (MFOS) Program on the students in the program. Literature shows that low-income, first generation students experience significant barriers not only during their first year but throughout the college experience that affects enrollment, engagement, success, and retention (Tough, 2014; Ward, Thomas, & Disch, 2010; Institute for Higher Education Policy, 1997; Naumann, Bandalos, & Gutkin, 2003; Thering, 2010). The study will determine whether or not the intentional practices of the MFOS program, including financial aid, financial literacy, peer mentoring and support services, are associated with differences between this scholarship group and their peers from a similar background.