College of Medicine

College of Medicine Dean, Dr. Deborah German, presents the college's 2014 Professional Achievement Award to Dr. James Norman, '82. (PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
College of Medicine Dean, Dr. Deborah German, presents the college’s 2014 Professional Achievement Award to Dr. James Norman, ’82.
(PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
James Norman, ’82, M.D. | Senior Surgeon, Norman Parathyroid Center

Professional Achievement Award 2014

Dr. James Norman’s incredible ambition as a first-generation, college-bound student coincided with a particular neighbor’s eye for talent to yield a life-changing opportunity. With the encouragement of his former neighbor, who was then-dean of UCF’s College of Health and Public Affairs, Norman would pursue an education in microbiology and go on to medical school. He currently dedicates his medical career to the study of hyperparathyroidism, and continues to make advances in easier treatments for the disease.

Learn more about James:

Shut Out Trafficking

trafficking-help

By Gene Kruckemyer

The National Consortium of Academics & Sports, based at UCF, partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to launch Shut Out Trafficking, a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking and encourage students to become active in efforts to end it.

During events on 10 university campuses across the nation this fall and spring, Shut Out Trafficking will use sports as the platform to help inform and engage students about one of the most horrific human-rights violations in the world today. The participation of student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators will help to engage students.

Week-long outreach programs on the 10 campuses include public service announcements, film screenings, discussion groups with students, and possibly speakers who are survivors of human trafficking. Speakers will share their personal stories and their reflections about the power of love and forgiveness in their lives. Students participating in the events will be invited to become active in working to help end human trafficking.

Events already took place at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, St. John’s University in New York, Tulane University in New Orleans, and Brown University in Providence, R.I.

The campaign visits UCF Nov. 10-14. —VIEW EVENTS

Spring visits, with dates to be determined, will include UCLA, the University of Denver (Colorado), the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), the University of Nebraska (Lincoln), and Chicago State University.

The goals of Shut Out Trafficking are to raise awareness about human trafficking in the United States and to empower students to take action. Shut Out Trafficking will educate college students on the brutality of human trafficking and the $150 billion dollar industry it has become.

An estimated 27 million people — one third of whom are children — are enslaved now, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The root causes include poverty, discrimination, lack of education, lack of social and legal protections, and violence. In the United States, many people who know human trafficking exists believe it is a problem only outside our borders. However, trafficking has been reported in all 50 states. In the United States alone it is estimated there are 100,000 to 300,000 children at risk for sex trafficking, and thousands more are exploited through labor trafficking in agriculture, carnivals, and domestic servitude.

For 29 years, the mission of the NCAS has been to “use the power of sport to effect positive social change.” The NCAS educates and empowers individuals and organizations by inspiring values-based thinking leading to actions that promote social responsibility and equality.

Through Dr. Richard Lapchick’s leadership at UCF, the NCAS has improved college student-athlete graduation rates, advocated for issues of diversity that plague athletic organizations, and created programs to affect social change in sports and society. Lapchick also is chair of UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management program and director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. In partnership with concerned individuals and groups, the End Trafficking project aims to eliminate the cases of exploited children.

The Shut Out Trafficking project is funded by the Fetzer Institute.

More Info

Contact:
Lizzie Haldane

National Consortium for Academics & Sports
NCAS at UCF | 407.823.4770

NCAS – Human Trafficking
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Marketing Wizard

Magical marketing behind Universal’s “Harry Potter” attraction casts alumna in 2014 Nicholson Alumni Hall of Fame

Former Nicholson School of Communication Hall of Fame inductees (left to right) Roger Pynn, ’73 (2000); Michele Cooper, ’83 (2002); Dan Ward, ’92 (2011); Heissam Jebailey, ’00 (2012); Kim Strong, ’93 (2006); and Peter Cranis, ’84 (2003), were happy to welcome 2014 inductee, Donna Mirus Bates, ’93 (center), to their elite group. (PHOTO: Shaloni Prine, '07)
Former Nicholson School of Communication Alumni Hall of Fame inductees (left to right) Roger Pynn, ’73 (2000);
Michele Cooper, ’83 (2002); Dan Ward, ’92 (2011); Heissam Jebailey, ’00 (2012); Kim Strong, ’93 (2006); and Peter Cranis, ’84 (2003), were happy to welcome 2014 inductee, Donna Mirus Bates, ’93 (center), to their elite group.
(PHOTO: Shaloni Prine, ’07)
Donna Mirus Bates, ’93 | Senior VP, Marketing Communications & Content Development, Universal Orlando Resort

Lightning never strikes twice — except in the case of Donna Mirus Bates, ’93, who worked on the marketing opportunity of a lifetime, then created an encore marketing campaign to reignite global excitement for a theme park expansion of infinite magnitude.

Bates and her team first helped to launch The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort in 2010. Following its success, Bates and her team partnered with Warner Bros., the “Harry Potter” cast and filmmakers, author J.K. Rowling, and a team of creative geniuses to once again capture the world’s imagination, bringing Diagon Alley to life for the devoted fans of the books and movies.

On Thursday, Nov. 6, Bates was celebrated for her successes, as well as her continued involvement at the university, becoming the 31st inductee in the UCF Nicholson School of Communication Alumni Hall of Fame, which was established in 2000.

Tom Alexander, ’03, chair of the NSC Alumni Chapter, emceed the luncheon, which was held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. He was joined by Robert Chandler, NSC director and professor, who presented Bates with her award.

“Through all of her actions and efforts, Donna truly exemplifies integrity, community, creativity and excellence, making her a remarkable Knight,” Chandler said.

Fellow NSC Hall of Fame inductees, and members of the NSC Alumni Chapter and UCF Alumni Association, as well as Bates’ co-workers were in attendance to congratulate her.

“I’m incredibly proud to be a graduate of the Nicholson School of Communication at UCF,” Bates said. “I love seeing the high caliber of candidates our program is producing, and I’m so honored to be a member of the NSC Alumni Hall of Fame.”

UCF Nicholson School of Communication Director and Professor Robert Chandler presents 2014 Hall of Fame inductee, Donna Mirus Bates, '93, with her award.
Donna Mirus Bates, ’93, 2014 Nicholson School of Communication Alumni Hall of Fame inductee,  receives her award from Robert Chandler, NSC director and professor.

Finding Neo

Alumnus works to help cancer patients get reliable diagnosis for treatment

BradleyCampagna-lab-web

Bradley Campagna, ’11 | Cytogenetic Technologist, Neogenomics Laboratories

By Daniela Marin

In an effort to raise awareness and funds from sparked conversations, the Movember Foundation encourages men from around the world to sprout and sport mustaches for an entire month for men’s health issues.

Biotechnology graduate Bradley Campagna, ’11, is one of many “mo bros” who has begun his hairy journey in the fight against prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health problems. And, though a full-blown mustache might ordinarily cause concerns in a professional work setting, Campagna’s position as a cytogenetic technologist delivering results to cancer patients lands him in a unique position.

Campagna says most of his co-workers at Neogenomics Laboratories in Fort Myers, Fla., participate in cancer-awareness initiatives, making them understanding of his growing facial hair. In honor of breast cancer awareness month in October, Campagna and his co-workers organized a potluck and donated all of the proceeds to breast cancer research.

Not a whole lot of people know the way your body works on a molecular level, and to be able to educate people, even if it’s something small, is a great benefit.

“It’s really relevant to my field of work, so I try to keep up with all initiatives,” he explains. “Most people at work do it [too], so they are very understanding. It’s fun. You just have to stay away from Chuck E. Cheese and places like that so you don’t look like a creep.”

Besides avoiding children, Campagna spends his days in the processing lab at Neogenomics preparing samples for analysis. On other days, he obtains results by analyzing isolated white blood cells from patient samples such as blood or bone marrow.

“I get a much more sense of pride when I do the analysis because, regardless of the result, both a positive or negative result can be great,” he says. “A negative result means the patient is in remission and their treatment is working. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with a positive result because that means the doctor actually found the problem and the patient can now begin treatment.”

In addition to analyzing samples, Campagna particularly enjoys working in his field because of the knowledge he can provide to others.

“Not a whole lot of people know the way your body works on a molecular level, and to be able to educate people, even if it’s something small, is a great benefit,” he says. “[Biotechnology] isn’t something that a lot of people do, and not a lot of people know about it, and that’s what I find very interesting.”

In fact, Campagna was one of only 102 UCF biotechnology undergraduates in the class of 2011.

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Campagna worked as a bartender until landing his first career job with Neogenomics, at which point he was able to pursue the additional certifications and licenses required to work in a clinical laboratory.

“Neogenomics has absolutely been a great first job,” he says. “They put me through their own training program where I was able to get the further education experience I needed. The company has grown so much, and I’ve had every opportunity to grow with them. I’m thankful for that every day.”

We Mustache You to Read This Q&A

Q. Favorite UCF professor/class?
A. I can’t say that I had a favorite professor. They were all different and every professor had a different way of teaching, which I liked because it reached out to all the different ways of learning. As for a favorite class, they were all tough, but I found one of the most interesting was molecular biotechnology. It was hard, but some of the things I learned were very, very interesting.

Q. Proudest moment?
A. I think my proudest moment would be back in January, when I received a CARE award. Every quarter, our company gives out these awards to employees who have gone above and beyond, and they recognize that. It was really nice to be recognized for a lot of the extra work I had been doing.

Q. Most rewarding aspect of your job?
A. Definitely getting the results out. That’s the whole point of what we do. We’re very customer focused and patient focused. Being in an oncology lab, we may not actually meet the patients, but behind every sample there is a patient who’s sick and waiting for a test result, so it’s definitely really nice to help do that for them.

Q. What/who inspires you?
A. Besides my family, everyone who supports me. My girlfriend supports me all the time, and she inspires me. Everybody who’s close to me has really helped me out, and I’ve needed every bit of it.

Q. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A. As a little kid I wanted to be a vet, but what kid doesn’t? I never saw myself getting into this when I was smaller, that’s for sure. It’s something you kind of fall into.

Q. How do you hope your career will transition/grow over the next five years?
A. I used to have a really good five-year plan, and I don’t really have one anymore. The past year alone has changed so much. I see myself with Neogenomics, and I definitely see myself in the medical field. I just want to keep growing regardless of who that’s with.

Q. Any hidden talents?
A. I’m pretty good at watersports. Before I started working full time, I loved surfing and wakeboarding.

Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A. I’d probably be a pilot. Everybody always dreams about flying, but you don’t really see too many pilots, and I think it’d be really cool.

Little Legacy

First scholarship in memory of alumna’s daughter awarded to nursing student

marlie-in-dress

Marlie Dodson dreamed of someday being a UCF cheerleader and a nurse. But, sadly, those dreams would never be realized, as Marlie succumbed to a lifelong battle with brain cancer on Dec. 31, 2011. Because her generous spirit made such an impact on those who cared for her while she was in the hospital, Marlie’s mom, Sarah Dodson, ’01, knew that the UCF College of Nursing would be a perfect home for Marlie’s memory. The Marlie Kai Dodson Memorial Endowed Scholarship supports future caregivers, and was awarded for the first time this year to UCF nursing student Bryce Catarelli.

READ MORE

Dang Good Snack

Students’ start-up company gets first taste of big success

UCF student-entrepreneurs Jesse Wolfe (second from right) and Ryan Atkins (right) won the $15,000, second-place award for  their venture, O'Dang Hummus, at the Blackstone Charitable Foundation's Demo Day.
UCF student-entrepreneurs Jesse Wolfe (second from right) and Ryan Atkins (right) won the $15,000, second-place award for
their venture, O’Dang Hummus, at the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Demo Day.

UCF is one of 15 colleges and universities in the Blackstone LaunchPad network, a co-curricular, experiential campus program designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path and develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets through individualized coaching, idea and venture-creation support.

At the end of October, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation held its inaugural Blackstone LaunchPad Conference and Demo Day in New York City, for which UCF students Jesse Wolfe and Ryan Atkins were chosen to participate and ultimately took home the $15,000, second-place award for their business venture, O’Dang Hummus.

A few months ago, Phil Santos, venture coach and community manager for UCF’s Blackstone LaunchPad, spoke to O’Dang’s founder for the UCF Starters blog (ucfstarters.org) to get the story behind Wolfe’s sensible, smooth snack. Here’s how the conversation went:

Q. Tell me a little bit about O’Dang Hummus.
A. With O’Dang Hummus, we’re really trying to revolutionize the hummus industry. Hummus has been such an ethnic dish that hasn’t changed in forever. The major players in the market right now are all doing the exact same flavors. We don’t want to do your classic, traditional hummus. Our idea is to be the rebels, the disruptive kids of hummus. We’re the guys who are coming out with the crazy color schemes, the funky logos and the fun ads. We’re making hummus fun and exciting. Our whole goal is to familiarize hummus across the United States, and then to go global.

Q. What’s your history with hummus?
A. I never really knew what hummus was until three years ago. I had my wisdom teeth pulled out, and I had my cheeks all swollen at home. I got tired of eating milkshakes and soups and that stuff, so I started eating Sabra [hummus]. And, that’s when it hit me that there are only four or five flavors of this stuff. So, I started going into the kitchen and whipping up my own hummus just to get me through the week.

My girlfriend at the time was taking it to work. She worked at a higher-end fashion store, and all those girls she worked with ate hummus regularly and said, “this is ridiculously good.”

Then, you know, its funny… Pam [Hoelzle, associate director for UCF’s Blackstone LaunchPad] substitute taught one of my classes here at UCF, and she gave us a pitch on joining the The Joust. I had 36 hours to submit an entry form. Fast-forward to the end of The Joust, and we end up placing third. We took home $4,000 in prize money, and it was validation. I thought, ‘Hey I’ve got nothing to lose. Let me run with this.’

Our idea is to be the rebels, the disruptive kids of hummus.

Q. How did your perception of O’Dang change over time?
A. The Joust was really what opened my eyes how big this really was. At first, I thought I could just do it as a hobby. You know, sell it to some people locally. But, I didn’t expect it to be the monster that we’re sitting on now. When you see something you’ve worked so hard at being picked up and people love it… We actually had one lady buy 18 tubs of hummus in one shot to give to co-workers, and friends and family.

Q. Have there been any struggles along the way?
A. Oh yeah. Struggle No. 1, just out of the gate, was actually getting into a farmer’s market. Lake Eola had a two-year waiting list. It’s crazy, and they’re very cut-throat. They should do a documentary on it — I’ll put it that way.

I’m a very persistent person. I was sending emails, sending emails — nothing back. So, I decided to be a little risky. I packed a lunchbox full of hummus, and I went down to the farmer’s market when they were doing it. I gave the guy changing trash $25 cash and said, “Take me to the person that’s in charge of this.” He took me over to this nice lady and I convinced her to try it. She was like, “Wow, this is really good.” That was Sunday. Monday at 3 p.m., I got the email from them saying I could start the following Sunday. And that was the biggest break we had, because in the farmer’s market world, Lake Eola is like the Superbowl.

bomb-a-licious-buffalo-hummus

Q. What’s your major? Have your UCF classes helped you out while going through this?
A. My major is business management with an entrepreneurship track. I found out early in college that I wanted to do entrepreneurship. I put so much of my major to use every day. Right now, I’m the head honcho — I do the marketing, the finance, the bookkeeping, I do all of the development, the packaging. I wear a lot of hats as a new start-up. I really can’t think of a class I haven’t utilized.

Q. What’s the outlook for O’Dang Hummus right now?
A. We’re in three farmer’s markets right now. I’ve got a crew of three employees. We’re in a huge commercial kitchen, which, I never thought I’d be in this size of a kitchen in a year, let alone four months. Going forth, I want to be in a showcase right next to Sabra. They’re so huge and corporate. We want to give them a run for their money because no one’s doing it.

Our goal is to get as many purchase orders as we can, with a main focus on Whole Foods, and to get investor money. We need to scale quickly to make an impact and to be the forerunners in this niche.

In the farmer’s market world, Lake Eola is like the Superbowl.

Q. Do you have any parting words for the starters reading this?
A. Network, network, network. I can’t express that enough. Just talk to people. Ask for advice. I’ve met so many people by just asking, “What’s your name? What do you do?” at events, and some of them are CEOs of major companies and you never would have guessed it.

More Info

UCF Blackstone LaunchPad
O’Dang Hummus on Facebook

College of Health & Public Affairs

College of Health and Public Affairs Dean Michael Frumkin (left) presents the college's 2014 Professional Achievement Award to Lt. Jean-Marc Chanoine, '07. (PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
College of Health and Public Affairs Dean Michael Frumkin (left) presents the college’s 2014 Professional Achievement Award to
Lt. Jean-Marc Chanoine, ’07.
(PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
Lt. Jean-Marc Chanoine, J.D., ’07 | Navy Judge Advocate Corps, U.S. Navy

Professional Achievement Award 2014

Growing up, Lt. Jean-Marc Chanoine was often described as argumentative, and, as the son of an attorney, he seemed to have been destined to study law. His current role as staff judge advocate for the Naval Nuclear Training Command, however, proves that his career extended well beyond law. Chanoine proudly wears his nation’s armed forces uniform while fulfilling his responsibilities in Charleston, S.C.

Learn more about Jean-Marc:

College of Engineering & Computer Science

College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Michael Georgiopoulos presents the college's 2014 Professional Achievement Award to Vinod Philip, '00. (PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Michael Georgiopoulos presents the college’s
2014 Professional Achievement Award to Vinod Philip, ’00.
(PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
Vinod Philip, ’00 | CEO (Generators Business Segment), Siemens Energy Inc.

Professional Achievement Award 2014

Vinod Philip traveled halfway across the globe from India, where he was born and raised, to pursue his studies at UCF. After making an impression on a visiting UCF professor, he was offered a graduate scholarship and went on to kickstart his career with a UCF-sponsored internship at Westinghouse. He’s currently the CEO of Siemens’ Generators Business Segment and serves on the College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean’s Advisory Board.

Learn more about Vinod:

College of Education & Human Performance

College of Education and Human Performance Interim Dean Grant Hayes presents the college's 2014 Professional Achievement Award to Pam Stewart, '85. (PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
College of Education and Human Performance Interim Dean Grant Hayes presents the college’s 2014 Professional Achievement Award to
Pam Stewart, ’85.
(PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
Pam Stewart, ’85 | Commissioner of Education, Florida Department of Education

Professional Achievement Award 2014

Pam Stewart rose to the honored position of commissioner of education for the State of Florida after a fulfilling journey from the classroom, to administration, to the Florida Department of Education. What has remained constant, however, is her source of inspiration, which, despite her position, continues to be her desire to help students.

Learn more about Pam:

College of Business Administration

College of Business Administration Associate Dean Foard Jones presents the college's 2014 Professional Achievement Award to Mary Merrell Bailey, '85, '89, '01, '07. (PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
College of Business Administration Associate Dean Foard Jones presents the college’s 2014 Professional Achievement Award to
Mary Merrell Bailey, ’85, ’89, ’01, ’07.
(PHOTO: Brandon Chestnut)
Mary Merrell Bailey, J.D., ’85, ’89, ’01, ’07 | Managing Partner, Your Caring Law Firm

Professional Achievement Award 2014

College of Business Administration alumna and Dean’s Advisory Board member Merrell Bailey didn’t stop learning after earning her first degree from UCF. After studying to become a financial analyst, she returned for her master’s in taxation and accounting, while holding a CFO position at a banking software company.

Learn more about Merrell: