Get to Know Us!

Michael Kester


Michael Kester is a fourth-year Political Science student at the University of Central Florida. Previously, he attended Seminole State College where he founded the school's FCD chapter. Last year, he had the privilege of serving as FCD's Director of Membership. He first got involved in local politics during the 2018 election cycle and hasn't looked back since, serving on the executive board of the Young Democrats of Seminole County and working on Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy's reelection campaign.  Michael is committed to growing FCD's influence and building the groundwork for a massively successful 2020 campaign.

Julia Simpson

Vice President

Julia is a senior Political Science student at Florida Southern College where she also serves as the President of the College Democrats chapter there. As Vice President, she hopes to work with fellow executive board members to expand the youth vote across Florida and make Florida College Democrats more welcoming for every college student. A few issues she is most passionate about include domestic violence, the environment, and healthcare. In the future, she plans to continue working in politics to help get Democrats elected down the ballot. 


Kala Tedder

Chief Financial Officer

Kala Tedder is a third-year Political Science and Environmental Science & Policy dual degree student at the University of South Florida, Tampa campus. Her political involvement stems back to the 2016 election, where she first gained experience doing fieldwork. Later, in 2018 she became the Chairwoman of Florida High School Democrats and also ran for the Polk County School Board. Her passions include environmental justice and education advocacy. 

Malik Moore

Director of Political Affairs

Malik Moore is a second-year political science student at Florida State University, hailing from Gainesville, Florida. He currently serves as the Black Caucus Chair for the FSU chapter of College Democrats. Prior to attending Florida State Malk served as the youngest campaign staffer in Alachua County, serving as the Campaign Coordinator for the Democratic nominee for Florida's third Congressional District. Malik is an advocate for civil rights and inclusiveness, and is ready to bring that passion to Florida College Democrats. 

Christina Pugliese

Director of Communications

Christina is a third-year Telecommunications student with a minor in Women's Studies at the University of Florida. She currently serves as the Vice President of her FCD chapter. She has been involved with politics from a young age, working alongside the press at political rallies, press conferences, town halls, and more. Christina has experience working in activist organizations, like Florida NOW and she is extremely passionate about women's issues as well as first amendment issues such as freedom of the press. Although her experience is rooted in the journalism world, her love for politics is evident in her protest speeches. 

Acushla Jagannathan

Director of Membership

Acushla is a 4th-year Political Science major at the University of Florida. She previously attended the University of Central Florida. where she served as chapter President, Secretary, and Women's Caucus Chair for the UCF College Democrats. She has worked on both local and national campaigns and is passionate about women's rights and gun violence prevention. Acushla is dedicated to growing FCD and making sure that it remains a strong and welcoming federation!

Matthew Barocas


Matt is a fourth-year majoring in History and Political Science in the Honors College at the University of Florida. Last year, he served as the President of the UF College Democrats chapter, and chapter Treasurer the year prior. Matt has previous experience in Democratic campaigning, as well as in federal human rights laws compliance. In December 2019, he served as a delegate to the Doha Forum on Governance in a Multipolar World in Qatar. Matt's other experiences include serving as a Senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in UF's Student Government Senate, as a Bob Graham Center for Public Service Scholar, and as a Dr. J. Wayne Reitz Scholar. 

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