Isabella Montoya-Bedoya

Information systems student recipient of UF Outstanding Leader Award

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Information systems and operations management major Isabella Montoya-Bedoya (BSBA ’22) is among the university-wide recipients of the University of Florida Outstanding Leader Award from the UF Alumni Association and UF Honors Program for her exemplary leadership during her time as a student.

The Outstanding Leader Award is given to select graduating candidates each semester, and recipients are featured in the commencement program.

“It is truly humbling and honoring to be recognized alongside amazing student leaders at the University of Florida,” Montoya-Bedoya said. “I am reminded that a true leader is not defined by the number of tasks they completed or the notability they receive. To me, leadership has been, and will always be fundamentally rooted in the idea that we as individuals always can positively bring change to those around us. So, while the biggest privilege of my life has been attending the University of Florida, the second is knowing I had the privilege to be part of a leadership community that valued these ideas, embraced them, and forever changed the course of the students at the University of Florida.

“To me, this award is for any student that has come to college in the pursuit of a brighter future and dreams, I hope they are reminded that ‘si se puede’ (it is possible).”

As part of the award application, candidates must submit an essay describing why they should be chosen as an Outstanding Leader at UF. In her essay, Montoya-Bedoya spoke to her passion for creating professional opportunities for underrepresented students at the University of Florida.   

“Leadership is not about accolades or recognition. Leadership is about resilience and passion,” she said. “It’s about empowering those around you and setting them up for success in order to accomplish their goals.”

Specifically, Montoya-Bedoya discussed her role as President of Woman of Warrington, where the organization just tapped the first inaugural class to recognize outstanding women in the college, her role with the Latin American Community at UF, contributing and speaking on multiple diversity panels and workshops in the last four years, and her role as Co-President of Latin American Women in Business, focusing on the creation of a Mentorship Program for other Latin American women.

During her time at UF, Montoya-Bedoya served in a number of student organizations in addition to Women of Warrington and Latin American Women in Business, including the Heavener International Case Team, the Florida Leadership Academy Advisory Board, Gator Growl, PorColombia, and Hackathons across the USA.

The UF Honors Program member also represented the University of Florida as part of the Heavener International Case Competition team, which just returned from competing in the Netherlands and Denmark. She was also a member of the University Scholars Program in which she published research on artificial intelligence. Montoya-Bedoya, who also minored in Portuguese, was tapped into Florida Blue Key and the Portuguese National Honors Society (Phi Lambda Beta) and received the Foreign Language and Area Studies in Portuguese Fellowship.

As a student, Montoya-Bedoya interned with Meta as a data analyst. After graduation she is planning to move to California to work for the same company as a Global Operations Specialist.