Susan D. Rozelle, ’94, J.D. | Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Law,
Stetson University College of Law
The UCF Alumni Association and The Burnett Honors College presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Susan Rozelle at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
After teaching at Capital University, Seattle University, and the University of Oregon, Susan joined the faculty at Stetson University in 2009. Her primary research interests are in the areas of criminal responsibility and death qualification.
She’s presented at scholarly conferences across the country, from Georgetown University Law Center to the University of California at Berkeley. She’s also been a legal commentator in the popular press, appearing on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX evening news, as well as on NPR and FOX News Radio.
Susan comes from a family of Knights, which includes her late father, Samuel Gross, ’89, and brother, Alan Gross, ’91. She graduated summa cum laude from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
The newest member of the UCF Police Department can’t use handcuffs or fire a gun, but he can chase his tail.
Justice is the newest pup on patrol with UCF PD’s K-9 unit. On his first night of active duty, Justice and his partner, Officer Matt Scott, were called in to handle a narcotics case.
On Aug. 5, Scott and Justice were called to the scene of a traffic stop when another UCF PD officer pulled over a woman who had recently been arrested for possession of cocaine, according to the arrest affidavit.
When Scott and Justice arrived, the dog indicated a positive alert on the suspect’s car. Inside, officers found a purple Crown Royal drawstring bag filled with used syringes, a green USB cord used as a tourniquet, and an Altoids tin containing 28 plastic bags filled with white and brown powder residue.
A sample from one of the bags was field tested for heroin and yielded a positive result, and the woman was arrested on charges of heroin possession.
Justice and the other K-9s are imperative in making arrests like these.
“That’s the call we want the dogs to be at their highest capacity for,” Scott said.
It was a big night for Justice, who has only been with the department for a few months. After Scott’s previous dog Buster was forced to retire due to medical reasons, Justice was purchased in replacement.
While UCF PD put in 480 hours to train Buster, Justice was purchased already trained from Germany.
It’s not uncommon for police dogs to be trained in Europe, Scott said. In fact, he said, for the most part, almost every K-9 in the country is brought in from overseas.
Because of the way he was originally trained, Scott uses German commands to give Justice orders.
The K-9 unit is made up of four teams: Scott and Justice; Officer Chris Holt and his dog, Jogy; Officer Mica Wenner and her dog, Samson; and Cpl. Chuck Reising and his dog, Max. Two of the dogs, including Justice, have been trained to handle narcotics cases, while the other two handle explosives detection.
Twice per month, the four teams meet behind the police department for an extensive day of training.
The dogs learn how to do bite work, narcotics detection, tracking, and building searches. The officers also train the dogs to be comfortable in many different situations and environments.
“Some of these dogs have never been on tile,” Scott said. “You don’t want a dog freezing up because he’s never been on marble before.”
Reising, the K-9 unit’s leader, said they put the dogs in a variety of different situations to get them used to any scenario that could happen while on patrol.
They take the dogs into the Reflecting Pond to get them used to water, make them climb over fences and take them to the gun range to get them used to the sound of shooting.
The dogs must follow their partners’ commands immediately, or they risk the chance of accidentally hurting someone besides their intended targets.
The dogs are trained to run after a suspect and, then, after a command from their partner, to instantly stop the chase and return.
“If another cop or someone else gets close, the dog might key on them,” Reising explained. “We don’t want the dog to bite an innocent person.”
When they aren’t training, the teams alternate shifts to patrol. Their schedules vary, but they usually work 12-hour shifts for half of the month on alternating days during the week.
Because of the long hours, Scott said he makes sure he keeps a close eye on his partner. He must make sure he stops to give Justice water or a bathroom break so the dog is always ready to jump into action.
“That way, when the time to deploy him comes, he’s doing what he needs to do,” he said.
For Scott and the rest of the K-9 unit, preparing the dogs also includes a lot of petting and praising; they want the dogs to be happy when they come to work.
“You want the dog to be excited,” Scott said. “You want the dog to want to be here.”
This story was published in an Aug. 20, 2015, edition of the Central Florida Future online. It has been slightly edited in accordance with AP and alumni association style guidelines. See original article, which includes more photos.
Most shoppers enter a mall to window shop, try on clothing or purchase items. UCF alumna Kailyn Perez, however, received a little more than what she bargained for.
In February 2013, Perez, a UCF student at the time, and her sister entered a Bloomingdale’s with the intention of trying on sunglasses. They instead walked out with a career-changing recommendation for Perez.
Jewelry consultant Peter Morales spotted Perez in the store and immediately complimented her beauty, asking her if she had ever modeled. He then suggested she try out for a beauty pageant, and little did Perez know what she thought was a simple compliment could ultimately lead her to being crowned as the first-ever Miss Florida World America 2015 in April.
Morales, who has been working as a fashion designer for more than 20 years, said when he saw Perez, he knew that “this is a girl who is not going to be overseen.”
He suggested Perez attend a preliminary round for Miss Florida USA, which was being held in Kissimmee, and offered to design her pageant dress because he specializes mostly in beauty pageant gowns and couture dresses.
Although she never thought about entering a beauty pageant, Perez said she didn’t want to miss what could be a great opportunity.
“Kailyn has the ability to communicate through a way of talking and projecting herself that is very unique and very powerful,” Morales said. “Everything she does, she does with a big smile.”
When Perez decided to take part in the pageant, her ambitions, enthusiasm and personality shined through. She eventually won runner-up and gained a new perspective on how she could connect her personal goals to the pageant world.
“Through pageants, I realized I can reach people and have an influence in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise,” she said. “I have that drive to make a change in my community and be able to spread a message of positivity to young women and to people in general.”
Although she didn’t win Miss Florida USA, she realized how inspired she became while experiencing the pageant world.
Last March, with the help of Morales, Perez decided to apply to a newly formed pageant, Miss Florida World America 2015.
She used her innate flair in public speaking, her personal experiences and her dance background to showcase her talent and make her way to the top.
Growing up in a single-parent household, Perez gained a special appreciation for her family.
“I have the most amazing mom and family in the whole world,” Perez said. “I couldn’t imagine not having that kind of support in my life. I couldn’t imagine that for children.”
Working with organizations such as A Kid’s Place and the Faine House, Perez focuses her platform on foster youth and providing homes, education and life-long skills to children in need.
The Tampa native started at UCF in 2010, majoring in political science, while also working as a freelance model.
During her time at UCF, Perez was involved in the Student Government Association, taking on the roles of senate representative and chair of the Elections and Appointments Committee.
With the dedication toward different outlets in college, Perez was unsure about the path she would take after graduation.
After graduating in December 2013, Perez was accepted to law schools in and out of state, but decided she wanted to model full time and pursue a business endeavour. She will, however, go back to that dream as she pursues a corporate and Internet law degree at Stetson University this fall.
“If you have a goal or dream, and you’re not sure exactly the plan, take advantage of every opportunity, especially at UCF.”
In the intermin, Perez has launched a start-up company called Sociover, which focuses on teaching proper social media etiquette and offers services that can revamp social sites.
“Through pageants, I realized what a source social media is,” she said. “I use it to promote my platform and my personal brand.”
While continuing to work on her company and modeling, Perez plans on fulfilling more accomplishments in the pageant world. On July 3, she will compete against 50 other young women in Washington, D.C., for the chance to be crowned Miss World America 2015. The winner will represent the country at the esteemed Miss World 2015 pageant.
“I hope I can represent Florida well,” Perez said. “I hope I can represent our school in the best way possible.”
While some students go into college without the vision of what their career path will look like, Perez says it’s important to soak in every opportunity that is presented.
“If you have a goal or dream, and you’re not sure exactly the plan, take advantage of every opportunity, especially at UCF,” Perez said. “As long as there is some kind of good that can come from it, go for it because you never know where the opportunity can lead you to one day.”
This article appeared in the Central Florida Future online. It has been slightly edited for style. See original story.
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.
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.
UCF alumni and friends from the Central Florida legal community mingled at Ember in downtown Orlando for a fun night of blackjack, craps, roulette and poker at the Legal Knights & Friends Alumni Chapter‘s annual Casino Knight on Oct. 29.
Beginners and high rollers alike enjoyed fine wines, craft beers and hors d’oeuvres, while pressing their luck with the house.
Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for students in pre-law programs.
“Since this organization started, we’ve always focused ourselves on providing UCF students aspiring to go to or are already in law school with something many different lawyers in our local community didn’t have while in school: Perspective and the opportunity to help fund the start of their careers,”says Mike Mendez, ’04, immediate past chair of the Legal Knights & Friends Alumni Chapter. “I’ve met all of the recipients of the scholarships we’ve awarded throughout the years, and there’s no better feeling than seeing the difference we’ve made for these hard-working students.”