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 27, 2015

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Here are five things you should know this week:

  1. Renowned physician, surgeon, educator, entrepreneur and proud UCF Knight Dr. Gideon Lewis, ’00, was named to the UCF Foundation Board of Directors. “I have always strived to lead by example,” he said. “Serving on this board provides me with a much larger platform to encourage more people to give back to UCF.”
  2. ICYMI: Alumni, students, faculty and staff, and the Central Florida community came together to help Tivoli Apartments residents who were devastated by a July 12 fire.
  3. After losing his partner to an early retirement due to medical issues, UCF Police Officer Matt Scott has a new K9 partner, a 16-month-old German Shepard named Justice.
  4. UCF Athletics announced a change in traffic flow following all of this season’s home football games. Get in the know!
  5. We’ve got six new UCF Alumni Facebook cover photos anyone can use! Spruce up your profile and share with friends!

Alumni Community Unites to Help Fire Victims

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About 75 residents, including 25 UCF students, were displaced by a fire on Sunday, July 12, at the Tivoli Apartments off McCulloch Road in Oviedo. (Photo: Johnathan Kuntz, Central Florida Future)

When Ken Brown, ’02, got an email last Tuesday inviting donations for the approximately 25 UCF students displaced by an apartment fire two days before, he had some of the help they needed literally at his feet.

Managing director of the Orlando-based IT staffing company Tekk Fusion, Brown keeps a stack of laptops under his desk that employees can use while traveling or working from home.

“I looked at them and thought, ‘Those kids need these more than we do right now,'” he said.

So, he loaded up all 14 laptops, along with bags of food, clothes and other essentials, and headed to campus, where he donated everything to the Knights Helping Knights Pantry, the organization designated to receive and distribute donations to help victims of the fire.

And, Brown wasn’t alone — not by a long shot. Hundreds of other UCF alumni and friends came together to give more than $20,000 in cash and truckloads of food and necessities to victims of the fire via the Knights Pantry.

In fact, pantry manager Jessica Roberts says that as of July 23, the pantry has received 150 pounds of food, 25-30 bags of clothing, multiple small appliances and furniture items, hundreds of toiletry items, school supplies, and $700 in gift cards.

“When the Tivoli fire victims come to the pantry, they are given unrestricted access to toiletries, produce, clothing and the food donated specifically for them, in addition to 10 food items from our other inventory (instead of the traditional five items),” Roberts says.

The Knights Helping Knights Pantry is still collecting items for the displaced Tivoli students, and can always use donations throughout the year to help all Knights in need. Visit their website below for more details.

More Info

Knights Helping Knights Pantry

Update on donations