Five Things Alumni Need to Know — Dec. 14, 2015

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Wondering what this pic is all about? Check out No. 5 on our list!

Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. For only the second time in its history, all three branches of UCF SGA’s Senate are led by women. The 48th Student Senate’s executive branch is led by Student Body President Cait Zona, the legislative branch is led by Speaker of the Senate Meghan Kircher, and the judicial branch is led by Chief Justice Taylor Scimeca. Congratulations, ladies!
  2. Throughout final exams week, which finally comes to an end tomorrow, the Student Union, Student Academic Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and UCF Police’s Safe Escort Patrol Service have been helping students ease some of the stress that can come with test taking (and the holidays).
  3. UCF chemistry Ph.D. candidate David Nash, ’11, MS14, and his team, which is developing a smartphone-based handheld drug system for law enforcement applications, was selected to further advance their innovation at the national level through the National Science Foundation I-Corps program.
  4. Last week in Tallahassee, Florida Gov. Rick Scott presented the Champion of Service Award to UCF mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate Albert Manero, ’12, MSAE14, for his work with Limbitless Solutions.
  5. A group of student-athletes is spreading Christmas cheer with the help of Mariah Carey, some jolly dance moves, and a video that’s making its way around the Internet.

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — Oct. 12, 2015

Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, UCF is hosting several events this month to encourage people to talk about domestic violence and learn more about the impact this crime has not only on the victims, but the entire community.
  2. The UCF Communications Disorders Clinic opened its doors to the public on Friday, showcasing its new state-of-the-art facility in Central Florida Research Park.
  3. The UCF Alumni Association is giving Knights an inside look at ways to help your children prepare for one of the most important decisions of their lives — applying for college! Join us this Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center for our Legacy Admissions Workshop.
  4. Thirteen UCF Alumni chapters and clubs participated in this year’s Knights Give Back, the university’s annual day of service.
  5. The UCF RESTORES clinic is helping veterans combat PTSD, but it needs your help to continue its vital work!

Alumni Chapters/Clubs Participate in Knights Give Back 2015

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As part of this year’s Knights Give Back day of service, the Chicago UCF Alumni Chapter prepared and served dinner
to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

Since 2007, students, alumni, faculty and staff have served more than 22,000 hours at UCF’s annual day of service, Knights Give Back, making a lasting impact on the Central Florida community that will continue to grow, and saving Orlando nearly $600,000.

As part of Knights Give Back this year, many of our regional alumni chapters and clubs participated in service projects across the nation:

  • The Chicago UCF Alumni Chapter prepared and served dinner to local families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
    PHOTOS
  • The Dallas/Ft. Worth UCF Alumni Club held a clothing and food drive benefiting The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center during its UCF at Tulane Watch Party.
    PHOTOS
  • The Denver UCF Alumni Chapter held a canned food drive to benefit the Denver Rescue Mission.
  • The Jacksonville UCF Alumni Club collected school supplies and non-perishable food items for the John E. Ford K-8 School and Ft. Caroline Elementary during its UCF at Tulane Watch Party.
    PHOTOS
  • The Ocala UCF Alumni Club held a children’s book drive, which benefited Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection, during its UCF at Tulane Watch Party.
  • The Palm Beach UCF Alumni Chapter collected items supporting the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League during its UCF at Tulane Watch Party.
    PHOTOS
  • On Oct. 25, the Space Coast UCF Alumni Chapter will be cheering on runners, manning water stations and helping to collect new/used running shoes to donate to local nonprofits at the Cocoa Beach Half Marathon.
  • On Nov. 21, the Southeast Florida UCF Alumni Chapter will be sorting through food before it gets donated to local food pantries through Feeding South Florida.
  • The Tallahassee UCF Alumni Club collected non-perishable food items to benefit the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.
    PHOTO
  • The Volusia/Flagler UCF Alumni Club partnered with UCF Daytona to paint the PACE Center for Girls, which provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy.
  • The Washington D.C. Alumni Chapter sorted through food, donated by local farmers’ markets, for the Arlington Food Assistance Center, and helped organize bundles for local families.
    PHOTOS

In addition, the UCF College of Sciences Alumni Chapter helped the efforts of Pegasus Professor Linda Walters, Ph.D., to restore degraded shorelines and oyster reefs at the Indian River Lagoon.
PHOTOS/VIDEO

The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management Alumni Chapter also helped out at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, a nonprofit animal shelter that takes in owner-relinquished pets. Through Pet Alliance, each animal is ensured to have a good quality of life and is provided with enrichment activities, socialization and exercise.
PHOTO

Plus, UCF Alumni Relations hosted a clean up at Orlando’s historic Greenwood Cemetery, where volunteers cleaned headstones, grave markers and memorials, removing debris, as well as doing some painting and landscaping.


Volunteers now have a new way to make an even greater impact, with a grants program called “Dollars for Doers,” in which some employers will honor your work as a volunteer by “matching” your efforts with a charitable donation of their own, often to the organization of your choice!
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Knights Take over Tallahassee!

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By Angie Lewis, ’03

During the second week of this month, a group of Knights descended on Tallahassee for the annual UCF Day at the Capitol, to meet with some of Florida’s lawmakers and discuss the university’s legislative priorities.

On April 7, Rep. Rene Plasencia, ’96, Rep. Chris Latvala, ’04, and Rep. Mike Miller thanked alumni who work in public service during an Appreciation Knight, hosted by the UCF Alumni Association. UCF Vice President of University Relations Dan Holsenbeck also addressed the group, thanking supporters for making the university look good. In addition, Mike Griffin, ’84, spoke about the alumni association’s Knights Advocates program.

On April 8, the UCF Alumni Association hosted a breakfast for the Central Florida delegation, where Keith Flannery, ’99, chair-elect for the UCF Alumni Board of Directors, thanked everyone for supporting the alumni association and university. Attorney Charlie Gray, of GrayRobinson law firm in Orlando, one of the forefathers of UCF, also spoke about the growth of both the university and Central Florida over the years. The morning was concluded by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, who discussed the partnership between Osceola County and UCF to build the Advanced Manufacturing Research, which was funded by the Senate.

Throughout the day, alumni staff and undergraduate research scholars manned a table to talk with Knights and legislative staff about the university, while some of UCF’s Alumni Association leadership met with members of the Knights Caucus. UCF’s Student Government Association president, Weston Bayes, joined the meetings, while other members of the SGA also met with legislatures throughout the day.

That evening, UCF’s Student Government Association hosted a reception, featuring Sen. Darren Soto of Seminole County, who talked about the importance of the new UCF downtown campus.

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Want to learn more about how you can affect the future of UCF? Become one of our Knights Advocates!

Five Things Alumni Need to Know — April 6, 2015

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Click on the image to watch the YouTube video.

Here are five things you need to know this week:

  1. A UCF scientist developed a $1 prostate screening test that’s more accurate than the standard PSA test currently being used for early-stage detection.
  2. On Wednesday, alumni and students will take over Tallahassee for the annual UCF Day at the Capital, where Knights Advocates and SGA will meet with our lawmakers to discuss UCF’s legislative priorities and ask for their support.
  3. Aerospace engineering graduate Matt Harrison, ’13, established a leadership scholarship in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “My goal is to not only give back, but also to inspire others to see their full potential,” he says.
  4. UCF Celebrates the Arts is a free, seven-day festival celebrating Central Florida’s performing and visual arts. It takes place April 10-15 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and will showcase UCF theatre, dance, film, and more.
  5. Starting Wednesday, members of the 2015 senior class will take part in #MyUCFStory on Instagram — a photo challenge started by the alumni association to increase social interaction with our newest alumni to be! Click on the hashtag above to follow along!

Knights in Office — 2015

Eight UCF alumni take their seats for the 2015 Florida legislative session 

Florida Sen. Jack Latvala was a proud papa on March 3, 2015, as his son, Chris Latvala, '04,  took his newly elected seat on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives.
Florida Sen. Jack Latvala was a proud papa on March 3, 2015, as his son, Chris Latvala, ’04,
took his newly elected seat on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives.

By Angie Lewis, ’03

On Tuesday, March 3, a new legislative session began in the Florida House of Representatives, where eight Knights are in position to help promote their alma mater. They include:

Click on their links above to view each representative’s photos, committee memberships, and member and contact information.

During opening day remarks, newly elected House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, ’96, presented his “Work Plan 2015” agenda, developed in partnership with Senate President Andy Gardiner and colleagues, saying, “Let’s put aside the politics and work together to pass our agenda — an agenda that will put the average Floridian on firmer ground and pave a stronger path for Florida,” he added.

The specific legislative priorities for the University of Central Florida are to:

  • Secure the necessary funding for the downtown presence, a joint-use campus between UCF and Valencia College, projected to open in fall of 2017.
  • Secure the necessary investments for UCF’s Partnership IV building in order to protect and sustain the Department of Defense Modeling, Simulation and Training cluster in Central Florida.
  • Support the statewide economic development project funding requests for the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Osceola County.

Knights Advocates are looking forward to a productive 2015 legislative session. Stay tuned for alerts on important issues!

Congratulations to all of our alumni representatives! Go Knights! Charge On!

More Info

Help our legislators understand that UCF and its graduates play a key role in economic development through science, research, business and the development of a highly educated workforce by becoming one of our Knights Advocates!