MARCH 2018 NEWSLETTER
“What excites me most about UCF is the opportunity that it creates for so many to become so much through innovation; through a youthful, high-energy spirit; through resourcefulness; and through this aspiration to be the best it can be.” -- UCF President-Elect Dale Whittaker, PhD
Dale Whittaker, PhD, who currently serves as UCF’s provost and executive vice president, was named the university’s president-elect on March 9 after a nationwide search. He would become president July 1 if his selection is confirmed March 29 by the Florida Board of Governors. He would replace John C. Hitt H'17, who will become president emeritus on July 1. Special thanks to alumni The Honorable Richard Walsh ’77 ’83MS HC’14; Mike Manglardi ’84; and UCF Alumni Board Chair Sara Bernard ’00, who all served on the Presidential Search Committee.
UCF Day of Giving
On March 29, the UCF community — alumni, parents, students and friends — will come together and give generously to the academic or athletic programs most meaningful to them. UCF Day of Giving is the day to support what YOU love about UCF, too.
At UCF we dream BIG, so we’ve set a goal to reach 1,000 donors in 24 hours. Whether you're a first-time donor or a loyal annual donor, we need your support to achieve this ambitious goal that will help to ensure a strong future for UCF.
First-Ever Spring Game Indoor Tailgate!
The UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center will host its first-ever Spring Game Indoor Tailgate on April 21 from 3-5 p.m. in celebration of our first-year head coach Josh Heupel! All UCF alumni (with driver’s license or valid ID) and their guests are welcome to attend this free event! Just like the regular season, this Indoor Tailgate will feature:
- A performance by Knights of the Turntable
- The Future Knights Fun Zone, offering family friendly game room and amenities
- Bubbalou's Bodacious Bar-B-Que available for purchase
- Complimentary Coca-Cola products
- Air conditioning and clean restrooms
In honor of President John C. Hitt's 26 years of service to UCF, we are also encouraging Knights to submit their best Hitt-selfies and well-wishes before his retirement from the presidency in June. Visit ucfalumni.com/greatesthitts to submit your heartfelt regards and photos, which will be shared with the man, myth and legend himself.
We look forward to seeing you on April 21! Go Knights! For ticket information regarding the Spring Game, please visit ucfknights.com.
30 Under 30 Update
Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for this year’s 30 Under 30. Voting and selections will be made in the coming weeks, and this year's class is expected to be announced by March 30.
Outstanding Nurses Nominations
The UCF College of Nursing is accepting nominations for its Outstanding Alumni Awards Program. Through this program, five distinguished alumni and one student will be presented with awards at the 2018 UCF Alumni All-Class Nursing Reunion on April 14. Applicants and recipients of these awards have demonstrated remarkable work in the field of nursing in one of six categories: Community Service, Education, Innovation, Mentorship, and/or as an outstanding UCF College of Nursing faculty member, or Senior Noble Knight. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 16. What are you waiting for? Nominate an Outstanding Knight Nurse today.
UCF Celebrates The Arts Returns
UCF Celebrates the Arts — eight days of music, performances and visual displays — returns April 6-14 for a fourth year. The university’s annual showcase of student and faculty presentations at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando consists of free or low-cost presentations by the School of Visual Arts & Design and the School of Performing Arts. Many events feature collaborations across the university and community partners. Tickets are now available for purchase through arts.ucf.edu, where you can also access a detailed schedule of performances and exhibits.
Alumni Making Orlando “A Better Place”
Three Knights are featured among Orlando Weekly’s annual selection of its “10 people making Orlando a better place to be.” College of Engineering and Computer Science alumni Ricky Ly ’08 and Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD along with College of Medicine alumna Rasha Mubarak ’08 all received shoutouts in the article.
UCF-led Consortium to Manage Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico
The largest fully operational radio telescope on the planet – the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico – will soon be managed by a consortium led by UCF. The university’s agreement with the National Science Foundation’s Observatory is valued at $20.15 million, subject to the availability of funds, over five years and is scheduled to begin April 1. You may recognize the 18-acre reflector from the James Bond movie GoldenEye.
Triple Alumnus Honored
Sanford Middle School Magnet Assistant Principal Eric Basilo ’94 ’05MEd ’08EdD has been recognized as the 2018 Florida Assistant Principal of the Year. The nine-year assistant principal veteran will represent Florida at the National Association of Secondary School Principals conference in Washington, D.C.
Congratulations, College of Business Hall of Fame Inductees!
In late February, three alumni were inducted to UCF’s College of Business Hall of Fame: Sheila Jordan ’86, senior vice president and chief information officer of Symantec; Terry McNew ’86, president and CEO of MasterCraft Boat Company; and Dawn Olivardia ’89, ’90, tax partner, Grant Thornton LLP. In addition, several deserving alumni were honored Entrepreneurial Alumni Awards at the event. Read More
- The Buzz on Alumna Kristin Harris
Whether Kristin Harris '11 is in her BuzzFeed office interviewing Bill Murray or attending a red carpet movie premiere with Blake Lively, it's safe to say she has the job pop culture nerds dream about. Read Harris’ Spotlight
- More To Her Story
Radio-TV alumna Kaitlyn Chana ’13 overcame three eating disorders from the time she was in middle school until she was ready to get help in college. Now, she’s using her experience to help others and raise awareness for mental health. Read Chana’s Spotlight
- Pride Commons Connection Leads to UCF Love Story
Cecil Chik ’09 ’15MA was working at UCF’s first LGBTQ safe space on campus, Pride Commons, in 2013 when Nicole Dumbroff ’15 walked through the door. And the rest, as they say, is history for the couple, who married on campus in 2017. Read The Chiks’ Spotlight
- UCF Alumnus’ Drive to Champion Orlando Leads to NFL Pro Bowl
CEO of Florida Citrus Sports Steve Hogan ’91 played an instrumental role in bringing the NFL Pro Bowl to Orlando. Read Hogan’s Spotlight
- Whatever It Takes: Alumnus Aids in Disaster Relief Following Irma
For nearly 40 days, William D’Aiuto ’92 ‘94MPA and his team at the Department of Children and Families worked tirelessly to help residents of 12 counties across Central Florida who had been devastated by Hurricane Irma last September. Read D'Aiuto's Spotlight
- Alumna Receives Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship
Burnett Honors College alumna Amanda Fleming '15 was named the recipient of a highly competitive fellowship, which provides academic funding during a two-year master’s degree program focused on a field related to the Foreign Service. Read Fleming's Spotlight
UCF Athletics News Feed
- Bravo, Baseball!
The UCF baseball team is currently riding a 12-game win streak and has notched two wins over top-15 programs early in the season. After opening 2018 with a victory over No. 15 Virginia, the Knights then knocked off the Florida Gators -- the No. 1 team in the country -- in back-to-back games at home and on the road. UCF's first win over the Gators in front of 4,106 fans at John Euliano Park marked the first time in team history that UCF topped a No. 1-ranked opponent. They Knights are playing five games at home this week, so take the opportunity to cheer on this incredible team!
- Eyeing The NFL Draft
Shaquem Griffin '16, Mike Hughes, Tre'Quan Smith and Jordan Akins all traveled to the NFL Scouting Combine in early March and now have their sights set on the NFL Draft, which will take place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
- UCF Cheer’s Dynasty
The UCF cheer team has consistently reigned as one of the nation’s elite programs, and the squad’s performance at the 2018 College Cheerleading National Championships was no exception. In fact, their runner-up finish marked the 23rd time over the last 25 years that the Knights have placed among the Top 10 in the competition – which includes national titles in 2003 and 2007 – under head coach Linda Gooch ’85.
- Cheers for Chamberlain
Rosie Chamberlain was recently named the American Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. A native of Exeter, England, Chamberlain holds a 3.914 grade-point average and will join the UCF Alumni family when she earns her bachelor's degree in sport and exercise science in May. She is also a two-time 800-meter American indoor champion.
- National Championship Notoriety
Florida Governor Rick Scott surprised the football team to congratulate the Knights on their undefeated season. The celebration continued at the NFL Pro Bowl when the team was recognized on the field at Camping World Stadium during the game.
Host Your Event at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center
From elegant weddings to corporate meetings, the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center is ready to host your next event. Learn more about the grand ballroom, meeting spaces, amenities and convenient parking accommodations from a friendly staff of fellow Knights! Discounted pricing is available for UCF alumni at this premier venue in the heart of campus.
Regional Alumni Facebook Groups
Your UCF connection is never far from home! Each of our regional UCF Alumni Chapters and Clubs have their own Facebook groups, so join the fun with fellow Knights in your area.
Things to Do
- March 14: Miami Hurricanes at UCF Baseball– 6:30 p.m.
- March 18: Space Coast Tap Room Taste and Tour – 7 p.m.
- March 20: Networking and Trivia Knight in D.C. – 7 p.m.
- March 29: UCF Day of Giving
- April 4: Florida Gators at UCF Softball – 6 p.m.
- April 6-14: UCF Celebrates the Arts
- April 7: Seminole County Public Schools Job Fair – 9 a.m.
- April 14: College of Nursing All-Class Reunion – 6 p.m.
- April 20-22: UCF Baseball at USF series (Tampa, Fla.)
- April 27-29: UCF Softball at USF series (Tampa, Fla.)
- April 28: Southeast Florida UCF Alumni Volunteer Event – 7:45 a.m.