Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week—July 24

1. Feeling Lucky? Knight’s Pantry is! They’ve been selected to compete in the Bags for Change contest at Lucky’s Market Orlando. If they win, it means more resources for Knights in Need. Help them win: like the Knights Pantry at UCF comment in the comments section of the Lucky’s Market Facebook post by July 31 to cast your vote.

2. The City of Orlando unveiled its new flag Monday, and the winner is a design by UCF alumnus Tim Eggert. Eggert graduated with honors in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in art. The new flag, which was selected from more than 1,000 submissions, will be raised on July 31 to celebrate the city’s 142nd birthday.

3. UCF alumnus Sam Borkson ’01 will debut an animated video series that blends art and technology on Netflix in August. Check out more about Borkson’s series, True and the Rainbow Kingdom, and his installations across North America, Asia and Europe in Pegasus Magazine.

4. The UCF Board of Trustees unanimously voted last week to accept the updated contract of the on-campus hotel. The unnamed hotel will consist of 179 rooms, a full-service restaurant, 10,000 square feet of conference and banquet facilities, and a 4,500-square-foot entertainment area.

5. As UCF gears up for football season, pencil in some save the date opportunities for unique opportunities to interact and hear from the Knights:
>Fantasy Camps: Aug. 6-8 | Aug. 10-12
>Kickoff Luncheon with special guest, Hall of Famer Tom Osbourne: Aug. 18
>Fan Fest: Aug. 19

BONUS: We’re feeling very proud of UCF alumnus Matt Williams ’16, who signed a contract with the Miami HEAT on Monday after a stellar campaign during NBA Summer League games. The Orlando native is one of UCF’s most decorated men’s basketball student-athletes.

Courtesy of UCF Athletics

 

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week—Sept. 19, 2016

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1. The UCF community was introduced to IGNITE: The Campaign for the University of Central Florida on Sept. 16. IGNITE is the most ambitious fundraising effort in our history — an intense, focused and strategic effort to raise $500 million in philanthropic support by June 2019. More than 66,000 people have contributed donations of all sizes to reach approximately $275 million to date. Let’s keep it rolling!

2. UCF’s annual State of the Union address, delivered by President John C. Hitt, will take place on Tuesday at 3 p.m. For those unable to attend, viewing access will be available on Facebook at Facebook.com/ucf.

3. We love to see Knights helping Knights! A UCF alumnus, who has chosen to remain anonymous, challenged UCF to match his $1,000 commitment to fight hunger in support of Knights Pantry. The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is promoting a Skip-A-Meal-Challenge this month that encourages people to skip a meal, and instead, donate the money they would have spent. Knights Pantry is one of the food bank’s partners, so funds raised by UCF will benefit the pantry.

4. Limbitless Solutions visited the White House this week for the White House Design For All Showcase. The event is designed to highlight the ways that assistive technology breaks down barriers, reduces stigma and improves the quality of life for Americans with disabilities. We’re so proud of Albert Manero and his team at the College of Engineering and Computer Science!

5. UCF recently selected Hospital Corporation of America, the nation’s largest hospital company, as its partner to build a proposed teaching hospital next door to the College of Medicine in Lake Nona. Under the plan, HCA will pay all costs to build and operate the hospital; UCF will seek no state funds for the project. The two will share governance of the facility on a 50-50 basis.

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.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — July 13, 2015

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Cheryl Hines, ’90 (left), appeared on last night’s episode of “Celebrity Family Feud” with her two brothers, Chris Hines and
Michael Hines, ’95 (center), mother, Rosemary Harbolt, and sister, Rebecca Hines (far right), a UCF professor.
(PHOTO: Orlando Sentinel via Adam Taylor/ABC)

Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. On Thursday, the Space Coast UCF Alumni Chapter hosts its annual Starry Knights event, recognizing alumni who have made a notable impact on the local economy and significant contributions within the community, as well as honoring two Debbie K. Phillis, ’84, Scholarship recipients.
  2. Last year, UCF launched a hiring campaign to recruit 200 new faculty members. This year, Provost Dale Whittaker says the university expects to hire another 200 faculty members to join our Knights family. One hundred of those positions are new, made possible because of performance funding that UCF will receive from the state based on our university’s academic performance, students’ graduation and retention rates, and other metrics set by the Florida Board of Governors.
  3. Actress Cheryl Hines, ’90, appeared with her family on last night’s episode of “Celebrity Family Feud,” winning $25,000 for their charity of choice, United Cerebral Palsy.
  4. About 25 UCF students lost their homes after a fire at the Tivoli Apartments community destroyed several dozen units yesterday. UCF Housing and Residence Life, and Victim Services, worked with the affected students to find them temporary housing. Those who wish donate food, toiletries or gift cards for Publix and Walmart can take them to the Knights Pantry from noon to 5 p.m. today through Thursday.
  5. UCF’s physical therapy program in the College of Health and Public Affairs this May partnered with GoBabyGo, an initiative to help toddlers with motor impairments increase their mobility and interaction with others.
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UCF Students Provide Linens for the Homeless

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(Photo: Central Florida Future/Courtesy of Shakera Quince)

By Shanae Hardy
Central Florida Future

Blanketing the city with compassion and comfort, the White Linen Project at UCF is leaving its mark around Central Florida in the form of sheets.

Students at UCF formed the White Linen Project, a volunteer initiative that provides linen to homeless families, to leave an imprint on their community.

Shakera Quince, a junior management major, was influenced to begin the nonprofit organization when she began volunteering for the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, one of the largest homeless shelters in Central Florida. After volunteering twice a week and witnessing several families that slept in the cold, Quince said she felt a deep connection with the children and families she served. She decided to challenge herself on what she could do to further provide resources to the families at the mission.

“I was able to find out that one of the major needs was linen, specifically white linen at the time,” she explains. “So, I stayed up late at night for a couple of weeks trying to figure out what can I do. Lo and behold, the White Linen Project was born.”

Quince paired with four other students who shared her passion for wanting to change some of the circumstances of the homeless, including her former roommate, Katrina Poggio, a senior journalism major.

Poggio said she is currently working on a photo project for the White Linen Project’s website to bring awareness to the homeless community.

“I got involved because Shakera and I have a mutual interest in making a difference,” she says. “My favorite part about the volunteer initiative is that I have an opportunity to give a voice to those who go unheard.”

After developing the program for almost a year, Quince and her team introduced the White Linen Project on campus in April. By partnering with several community-wide volunteer initiatives, such as Volunteer UCF, Straight Street Orlando and the Mustard Seed of Central Florida, the White Linen Project has beckoned attention for the immense demand for linen donations.

In order to provide students with opportunities to donate, members of the White Linen Project tabled outside the Student Union every Monday in April, allowing students to either drop off linen directly to them or at other designated areas around campus.

For the summer, Quince and the rest of the team have obtained two options for students to continue to donate to the White Linen Project: the UCF cubicle located on the second floor of the Student Union and the Knights Pantry.

After their first month on campus, Quince, Poggio and their team collected more than 150 pieces of linen.

Poggio and Quince are looking to expand the team with more volunteers so the organization can eventually grow into a registered student organization.

“We have so many ideas as we grow, and one of them is maybe even handing linens out downtown to people who sleep on the ground outside. Coming with a box of pizza and some linen and just saying, ‘Hey, have a nice night,'” Quince said.

In the future, Quince is hopeful that her initiative will expand beyond the UCF proximity.

“Hopefully one day we can go outside of Orlando,” she says. “One day, maybe we will collect enough linen to send over to other countries.”

More Info

White Linen Project

This article appeared in a May 13, 2015, edition of the Central Florida Future online. It has been slightly edited for style. See original story.