July 27, 2023 — Amid the floral, earthy and bitter aromas of a bustling cafe, over 100 people began their Thursday morning on campus with a helping of coffee, tea and community.
During the third annual Orange and Brew event July 27, the University of Florida College of Medicine, in collaboration with Opus Coffee, celebrated the start of the new academic year with students, postdocs, residents and fellows, bringing the college together over a tasty treat amid excitement for the fall semester.
Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., dean of the College of Medicine, and David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, served free hot or iced lattes and teas from Opus Coffee in the UF Health Shands Hospital Atrium to learners and trainees while chatting with familiar faces and getting to know new Gators. The event celebrated not just a new school year but also the camaraderie that forms the foundation of the College of Medicine.
One second-year medical student, Michaela Rechdan, said stopping by Orange and Brew in 2022 serendipitously brought her a new favorite study spot and study buddy-turned-life-partner, UF School of Physician Assistant Studies alumnus Cole Schaffer, MPAS ’23.
“Last July, I was an incoming medical student who moved in merely a few days prior prepping for orientation, and Cole was a second-year physician assistant student on rotations. His lunch break coincidentally coaligned with my moving break, and we met in line at the Orange and Brew event,” Rechdan said. “We ended up so engaged in conversation that we didn’t even realize our coffees had been sitting there for at least 30 minutes … I genuinely don’t think our paths would have crossed if it weren’t for Orange and Brew. Funny thing is, one of our favorite pastimes nowadays is studying at coffee shops!”
Students, postdocs, residents and fellows who dropped by Orange and Brew this summer enjoyed a short respite from their dedicated work and preparation for classes. Aside from receiving complimentary beverages, attendees also had the chance to enter a raffle to receive a free Opus Coffee gift basket filled with goodies like ground coffee and a mug. Raffle winners will be announced at a later date.