College of Sciences

College of Sciences Alumni

With more than 54,000 alumni, it’s no surprise that some of UCF’s biggest movers and shakers are graduates of the College of Sciences. The UCF College of Sciences Alumni Chapter supports UCF Alumni and UCF College of Sciences initiatives by cultivating a legacy and nurturing lifelong relationships with the college's current and future alumni through professional development and networking, while offering meaningful opportunities for engagement that generate multifaceted support for UCF. Best of all, there are no membership dues!

 
 

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Get Involved

All Knights are welcome to join us for social, career and community events throughout the year.

Getting involved is easy! Here's how:

Contact:
Peter Dowling
Assistant Director, Alumni Engagement
UCF College of Sciences
407.823.3491

Signature Events

COS Graduation Receptions
The College of Sciences Alumni Chapter hosts a reception for new graduates immediately following its commencement ceremony each semester. This is a great opportunity for them to celebrate accomplishments with classmates, family and friends, and faculty members. In addition, graduates can commemorate the moment in a photo with our special guest, Knightro. They also can return rental regalia at this time. View photos from past receptions.

COS Distinguished Speaker Series
The College of Sciences Distinguished Speaker Series takes place annually at the University of Central Florida to enrich the lives of students, faculty, alumni and the community. Our speakers address topics relevant to the natural, computational, social or behavioral sciences and to the societal implication of developments in these fields. We invite you to join us for these complimentary, fascinating discussions. Learn more.

COS Scholarship Luncheon
The College of Sciences Scholarship Luncheon is an annual event held in mid-September to celebrate the year's student scholarship recipients and the college's generous scholarship donors. Students from across the college have an opportunity to meet and thank their scholarship donors, and department chairs come to celebrate the philanthropic efforts behind their students' acheivements. Learn more.

COS Outstanding AlumKnights Awards
On March 2, the College of Sciences Alumni Chapter will host its alumni awards event to recognize the college's most outstanding alumni that represent each academic unit. View last year’s awardees.

Volunteer Board

  • Talia Popovski '04 (Political Science) | Chair
  • Melyssa Allen '12 (Biology/Psychology) | Vice Chair
  • Rishi Bagga '03 (Political Scienc) | Immediate Past Chair
  • Andre Garcia '08 (Psychology) | Past Chair
  • Michael Lawrence '99 '01 (Communication) | Member-At-Large
  • Vu Tran '14 (Anthropology)| Member-At-Large
  • Jacques Werleigh '13 (Biology) | Member-At-Large
  • Jennifer McKinley '94 '96 | Member-At-Large
  • Richard Kerr '91 (Communication) | Member-At-Large

Advice from COS Alumni Chapter Immediate Past Chair, Andre Garcia, '08 — Psychology

cos-andre garcia2A Message to New Graduates: 
Your UCF Journey Doesn't End at Graduation

Each semester, UCF's graduating students look forward to the commencement ceremony as a celebratory end to their college careers. However, their connection to UCF doesn't have to end. At the 2014 spring commencement ceremony, graduates from the College of Sciences had the opportunity to hear from COS alumnus, Andre J. Garcia, '08, who shared how graduates can stay connected to their alma mater.

Garcia has split his career between being a perpetual student, earning an associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree and a doctorate in psychology, and working in research for the U.S. military. As a lifelong learner, he plans to return to UCF in fall 2014 to earn his executive M.B.A.

Garcia most recently worked with the U.S. Army Research Lab as an ORAU post-doctoral research fellow, Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) in the Human Factors Integration Division and Simulation and Training Technology Center. While at ARL, he worked on the Autonomous Robot Pilot Initiative (ARPI) and IMPACT (Intelligent Multi-UxV Planner with Adaptive Collaboration/Control Technologies). In January 2014, Garcia was named the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's Space Coast Chapter's social chair and membership coordinator.

Upon receiving his invitation to speak at the commencement ceremony, Garcia thought about what he wished he had known before graduating from college. In preparation for commencement, he kindly shared his advice for graduating seniors entering the professional world.

Every person should become fiscally literate. By this, Garcia means understanding how debt works — specifically, the difference between consumer/revolving debt (e.g., credit cards and the like) and installment debt (e.g., mortgage payments, etc.). Understanding how the stock market works, and understanding what a ROTH IRA, 401k, 429 and other retirement vehicles are. Understanding the different components of a FICO score (your credit score), like debt-to-credit ratio, debt-to-income ratio, etc.

Understand how geopolitical events affect our everyday lives. For example, understand how a new free-trade agreement affects our country and certain industries. Understand how a new war with a certain country may directly affect your life and your work industry. How does a recession or a war impact the tourism industry different from the technology industry or the military-industrial complex? For example, a recession will have a very bad impact on tourism because it's a luxury. Similarly, peace time will hurt the military-industrial complex. There's a saying that democracy and capitalism work best with an educated population. The original signers of the Declaration of Independence were not all lawyers and political science people. There were engineers, teachers, scientists, doctors and a whole variety of professions involved in the forming of our country.

Every single new graduate needs to stay technologically literate. Technology is never going away. Embrace it. Stay up to date with it. Understand the latest and greatest. For example, there is a whole generation of older FORTRAN programmers out there who refused to learn new languages and as the computer world stopped using FORTRAN, they all lost their jobs if they didn't learn the newer programming languages like C and Java. Technology can work for you or against you. Make it work in your favor. The most important thing I would stress about staying up with technology is to learn a programming language. Even if you never use it in your day-to-day job, there's a Public Service Announcement out there from Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, will-i-am and Chris Bosh who say learning how to program teaches you how to think differently, break down problems into addressable chunks, and understand how all the parts interact with each other.

Give Now

The success of the College of Sciences is owed in large part to the generous contributions of the alumni, friends, corporations and foundations that have supported our efforts. Every gift has an impact that extends beyond campus into our communities. We thank those who have invested in the college, and who have inspired our students and faculty to pursue their academic and professional dreams.

View a complete list of funds that support the college's students and programs.

For more information, please contact Ray Allen, Senior Director of Advancement, or Jacey Poppell, Associate Director of Advancement.

Communication Alumni

Are you a graduate of the UCF Nicholson School of Communication? If so, check out our Nicholson School of Communication Alumni Chapter to learn more about programs and opportunities for you.

Alumni Awards

Each year, the College of Sciences presents a Professional Achievement Award, at the UCF Alumni's Black & Gold Gala, to a deserving alumnus who has "reached for the stars" in his/her respective field. We honor the college's past recipients:

  • Gwen Griffin, '85
  • Philip Inderwiesen, Ph.D., '74 (2013)
  • Douglas K. Dew, M.D., M.B.A., '79 (2012)
  • Yvette Gordon-Kanouff, '88, '93 (2011)
  • Michael Griffin, '84 (2010)
  • Clay Newbill, '82 (2009)
  • Honorable Jose R. Rodriguez, '74 (2008)
  • Heissam Jebailey, '00 (2007)
  • Robert Easton, '77 (2006)

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UCF Alumni's mission is to enhance the lives of UCF alumni, students and friends by fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with the university.

UCF Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving
UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center
12676 Gemini Blvd. N., Orlando, FL 32816-0046
407.823.2586 | 
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