Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week—Nov. 21


1. Save the date for Giving Tuesday! A wonderful counterpoint to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday began five years ago as a grassroots initiative to remind us all of the true meaning of the holiday season. On Nov. 29, UCF will encourage donations of all sizes to support students in their greatest areas of need. Follow along via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

2. It was a busy week for UCF Athletics, so here’s the breakdown:

      • Be proud of UCF student-athletes because they take care of business on and off the field. For the third year in a row, they boast the best graduation rate in nation among public universities.
      • In his first year as head coach, Scott Frost is as been named a national semifinalist for Coach of the Year. The list includes a field of 16 candidates, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 29.
      • Speaking of football coaches, UCF honored retired coach George O’Leary at the last home game of the season on Saturday, unveiling a statue and presenting him with a commemorative football on the field.
      • It’s rivalry week! The War on I-4 matchup against USF is set for noon Saturday on CBS Sports Network. The football trophy was revealed Sunday, and fans can view it first-hand and take pictures with it before Saturday’s game in the Bulls Zone, located near stadium Lot 6 outside of the south end zone. For those keeping tally at home, the Knights currently lead the Bulls, 15-9, for bragging rights in the year-long rivalry competition involving 14 sports. The winning university will take possession of the season-long trophy to display on its campus for the following year.


  • UCF Men’s Basketball big man Tacko Fall was unstoppable against defending national champion and nationally ranked Villanova in the Gildan Charleston Classic Championship game Sunday night. Fall was selected to the All-Tournament Team after he tied the school record for field goal percentage in a game, sinking all 10 of his shot attempts – by the way, the record was last set in 1980 – to finish with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

3. The Knights Helping Knights Pantry expanded its services to include rentable blazers. The blazer-rental service joins other clothing resources offered at KHK Pantry. Students also can pick out to keep five donated business attire items and enough donated casual attire items to meet their need. For those interested in donating food, toiletries or clothing, donations can be dropped off at the Pantry in Ferrell Commons or at donation boxes located around campus.

4. Happy 40th Anniversary, School of Public Administration! On Nov. 14, both Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer proclaimed it “UCF School of Public Administration Day.” Throughout the past 40 years, the School of Public Administration has produced multiple generations of public service professionals. Read more about this wonderful program here.

5. Knights have been making headlines recently in the Orlando Sentinel:

Five Things Alumni Need to Know this Week—Sept. 5, 2016



1. UCF clocks in at 59th overall on Washington Monthly’s recently released College Guide and Rankings. The publication rates colleges based on “what they did for their country.” No surprise here that UCF ranked among the top 10 percent overall, second among Florida’s public institutions and 32nd among public national universities. This ranking pairs nicely with UCF’s standing among Kiplinger’s Best College Values where we are 36th among the nation’s public colleges. Go Knights!

2. Welcome back, UCF Football! The Knights dominated South Carolina State, 38-0, to kick off the season with a bang and deliver a win to Scott Frost in his debut as a head coach. Up next: UCF travels to nationally ranked Michigan (preseason No. 7/8) this Saturday for a noon matchup that will air on ABC.

3. Two scientists at UCF have discovered how to get a solid material to act like a liquid without actually turning it into liquid – say what?! This discovery potentially opens a new world of possibilities for the electronic, optics and computing industries. Score one for the smart guys!

4. UCF is still in the running for Big 12 expansion after the conference narrowed down its list of candidates by nearly a third of the pool to 12 schools, ESPN reported last week. According to the article, UCF, which has not commented publicly, is expected to make an in-person presentation to league officials in Dallas this week. The league has said it hopes to make a decision on expansion by the Big 12’s regularly scheduled board of directors meeting Oct. 17.

5. When the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games begin this week, UCF alumnus Chris Seilkop, ’92, will represent Team USA in sitting volleyball. Seilkop, a DeLand, Fla., native, is making his fourth Paralympics appearance. Learn more about Seilkop’s story on Tuesday at

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — Feb. 8, 2016

The One Billion Rising initiative starts at noon Feb. 12 on the UCF Student Union Patio Stage, where those affected by violence are encouraged to speak out about what they’ve been through. (See No. 4 below.)

Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. The 63,000 current/former students and employees who were affected by a data breach, announced by the university on Thursday, should be receiving letters this week with details about free, one-year credit monitoring and identity protection. For more information, visit
  2. Twenty high school football players chose to suit up in black and gold on National Signing Day last week. In addition to 12 Floridians, and the first player in program history from Hawaii, UCF Head Football Coach Scott Frost welcomed players from Arizona, California, Finland, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Plus, the 2016 UCF Football schedule was released, with Family Weekend set for Sept. 17 and Homecoming set for Oct. 15.
  3. For the first time in more than 20 years, the pendulum in the atrium of the Mathematical Sciences building is swinging back and forth again, thanks to UCF alumna Eileen Swindling, ’88.
  4. On Friday, UCF Victim Services will host the Fourth Annual One Billion Rising, where female survivors of violence and their supporters join together to break their silence.
  5. Progress continues to be made on UCF Downtown, as the university will present its plan for a downtown Orlando campus to the Florida Board of Governors on March 2.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — Jan. 11, 2016

Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. UCF Head Coach Scott Frost continues working to rebuild the football program, last week announcing the arrivals of Erik Chinander, former outside linebackers coach at Oregon, who will take over as the Knights’ defensive coordinator; Greg Austin, former assistant offensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, who will lead the Knights’ offensive line; and Marcus Castro-Walker, former director of player personnel for Arizona State, who will serve as UCF football’s director of player development. (Hear from Frost and Chinander in the video above.)
  2. The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management has partnered with the United States Tennis Association to offer a new B.S. degree in professional tennis management.
  3. Thanks to a $1.5 million grant, UCF researchers could shed new light on undetected pollution lurking beneath the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
  4. The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators recognized UCF Multicultural Academic & Support Services with the Excellence Award Bronze Certificate.
  5. For the third-consecutive year, the UCF women’s flag football team claimed the national title! Way to go, ladies! (Plus, check out the newest inductees into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame.)

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

(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
  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 — Dec. 7, 2015

UCF engineering students, from left, Mathew Coalson, Evan Dipsiner, Keenan Bosworth, Caroline Kamm and Rebecca Shea are among the many members of the UCF chapter of Engineers Without Borders to build an aquaponics system to help the Bithlo community.
UCF engineering students (left to right) Mathew Coalson, Evan Dipsiner, Keenan Bosworth, Caroline Kamm and Rebecca Shea are among many other members of the UCF chapter of Engineers without Borders, who built an aquaponics system to help at-risk youth in Central Florida’s Bithlo community.

Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. A group of students in the UCF chapter of Engineers without Borders spent 18 months building an aquaponics system for Central Florida’s Bithlo community, which will benefit students at the Orange County Academy, a private school serving at-risk youth.
  2. UCF’s Seminole County Alumni Club will host a Networking Knight, in conjunction with a toy drive and fundraiser, on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the new Red Cypress Brewery in Winter Springs, which is owned by UCF alumnus Ryan Parker, ’09.
  3. Well, the rumors were just that — rumors. After much speculation that Bowling Green’s Dino Babers would be UCF’s next head football coach, it was instead announced last Monday that Oregon’s Scott Frost will be George O’Leary’s permanent replacement. “Fans better buckle their seat belts, because we’re going to punch the accelerator and go fast around here,” Frost said in his first press conference. Get ready, Knights!
  4. Knights who use service animals on campus are stressing the rules of etiquette when it comes to interacting with their furry friends.
  5. Looking for some fun holiday activities to do with the family this month? Visit Light Up UCF for ice skating, an ice slide, holiday movies, a light show, ferris wheel rides and, of course, Santa! And, this year, alumni can take advantage of the following discounts (online and at the box office):
    • $3 off ice skating with code ALUMNS
    • $17 for the Ultimate Pass with code ALUMNU