Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week—Sept. 25

1. Thank you to all alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of UCF who donated to help restock the shelves at Knights Helping Knights Pantry. In just over a week, 459 of you have combined to raise more than $84,000 in addition to hundreds of non-perishable food items that were generously dropped off.

Anyone interested in joining the cause, click here.

2. The UCF football team is coming off a big win at Maryland, and the Knights want to #SelloutSpectrum for their conference opener against Memphis this Saturday at 7 p.m.

If you are watching from afar but wish you could be there in person, consider sending someone to the game in your place. UCF Athletics is encouraging fans to donate tickets for first responders, National Guard members, law enforcement officers and power company employees as a thank you for their efforts during and after Hurricane Irma. To donate tickets, click here.

P.S. Shoutout to the New York UCF Alumni Chapter for representing the Black and Gold proudly on ESPN’s “College GameDay” in Times Square on Sept. 23!

3. UCF Athletics announced last week that the Oct. 14 Homecoming football game will be dubbed the “Space Game” and will honor the university’s long-time ties to the United States space program. Fans will be encouraged to wear black with white shirts among them, giving the illusion of stars in the night sky. Mission Patch T-shirts are currently available at the UCF Bookstore or on online.

4. UCF is making heads turn. The university was recently recognized by “U.S. News & World Report” as one of the top innovative institutions in the country. UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management has been ranked No. 2 in the world as a hospitality and hotel management school, according to “CEOWORLD Magazine.”

5. UCF alumnus Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD knocked it out of the park with his TEDx Talk about prosthetics and Limbitless Solutions earlier this month. See for yourself:

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — Jan. 4, 2016

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(From No. 5 below:) Palmer Vorkapich, a 6-year-old patient at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, lights up during a visit from Ion, a therapy dog owned by UCF College of Medicine student Christa Zino.

Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. Knights had much to be proud of last year! Check out just a few of them in this list from UCF Today of the “15 Moments that Made Your Heart Burst with Knight Pride in 2015.”
  2. With $20 million needed in community support for the UCF Downtown campus, alumnus and CEO Alex Martins, ’01, and the Orlando Magic stepped up, contributing $1.5 million toward the project. And, just this morning, it was announced that the CFE Federal Credit Union has committed its own $1.5 million. Keep up with all the latest developments on the UCF Downtown campus at ucf.edu/downtown.
  3. UCF economist Sean Snaith says Florida’s economic future is merry and bright, with the state’s housing market continuing to improve, and job growth forecasted to continue to outperform the U.S. labor market.
  4. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected a UCF team to receive a P3 Award — a first in UCF history — which recognizes student projects that benefit people, promote prosperity and protect the planet by using environmental solutions that move the nation toward a sustainable future. The winning project focuses on ways to make algae biofuel easier and less expensive to produce.
  5. To help cheer up patients at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, UCF second-year medical student Christa Zino regularly brings her therapy dog, a 2-year-old boxer named Ion, for visits.

UCF Joins Harvard, MIT and Stanford among Nation’s
“Most Innovative Schools”

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By Chad Binette
Assistant Vice President, UCF Communications and Marketing

The University of Central Florida ranks alongside Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Duke among the most innovative universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2016 guide.

University presidents, provosts and admissions deans around the nation selected the institutions they credit with making the most innovative improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

UCF was tied as the 13th “Most Innovative School” along with Georgia Tech and the University of Southern California. This is the first year the category has been included in the magazine’s annual rankings.

“We added this ranking so that college officials could pick schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses,” according to the magazine.

In the magazine’s overall rankings, UCF moved up four places on the Best Colleges listing of national institutions, from 173rd to 168th, and eight places among public universities, from 99th to 91st.

A total of 1,376 colleges and universities are included in the rankings.

The “Most Innovative Schools” list included three of UCF’s partner institutions in the University Innovation Alliance. The alliance consists of 11 top public research universities working together to help more low-income and first-generation students earn college degrees.

Alliance member Arizona State University ranked No. 1 in the nation for innovation, while Georgia State University placed No. 5 and Purdue University ranked No. 21.

UCF also was tied for 50th for online degree programs and 131st for best business programs. The university also is listed among the nation’s best colleges for veterans.

The print edition of the “Best Colleges 2016” guidebook will be available on newsstands Sept. 29.

This story originally appeared Sept. 9, 2015, on UCF Today.