Above: Religion alumnus Jamal Sowell has been named executive assistant to UF President Bernie Machen

Above: Religion alumnus Jamal Sowell has been named executive assistant to UF President Bernie Machen. Photo courtesy UF News Bureau.

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UF President Names Former Student Body President as Assistant

Jamal Sowell, a former University of Florida student body president, has been named executive assistant to UF President Bernie Machen. His appointment is effective Jan. 10, 2011.

Sowell, who received a bachelor’s degree in religion from UF in 2005, also served as student body treasurer at UF before moving onto a career as a Marine Corps reservist and active duty officer. Along the way, he received a master’s degree in higher education administration and policy at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

As Machen’s assistant, Sowell will work with the UF Board of Trustees on activities, requests and projects. He also will assist Machen with other projects and initiatives. Sowell’s role will include working closely with Brian Beach, senior vice president for administration and business ventures.

“Jamal’s list of accomplishments at such a relatively young age is impressive, and his energy and leadership abilities are excellent. I know he’ll do a fine job in his new position,” Machen said.

Sowell, 28, a fifth-generation Floridian, grew up in Orlando before becoming the ninth of 11 family members to attend UF. His academic career is marked with many achievements and accolades such as being named to the UF Hall of Fame. He was a graduate career counselor at Amherst College and assistant in the Center for Student Development at the University of Massachusetts.

Sowell, who enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve as a combat engineer after graduating from UF, transferred to active duty after receiving his master’s degree and was commissioned a second lieutenant. During the past three years, he has served as platoon commander and company executive officer at Camp Pendleton, and as an assistant operations officer in Afghanistan. He received several medals in recognition of his service there. He will continue his service with the Marine Corps as a reservist with Company B, 4th Amphibious Assault Vehicle Battalion, based in Jacksonville.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve beside the men and women who work diligently in making UF a premier university,” Sowell said. “I am elated that after traveling around the world I am able to return to the institution that was fundamental in my professional development.”



Ron Wayne, rwayne@ufl.edu, 352-392-0186


Steve Orlando, sfo@ufl.edu, 352-392-0186


UF News Bureau

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