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UCF Alumni's 30 Under 30

UCF Alumni announced the recipients of its third annual 30 Under 30 Awards on July 18. This year’s class includes entrepreneurs, attorneys, security analysts, business professionals, education leaders, doctors and social media experts among others.

This year’s 30 Under 30 class is a bold group of young alumni who have made an impact from the early stages of their careers. Their commitment to their profession, community and UCF is inspiring,” said Mike Kilbride '12, chair of UCF’s Young Alumni Council.

This group represents the best of the best from UCF’s accomplished young alumni base. As a fellow alumnus, it is inspiring to see so many of our graduates using their UCF experience to make an impact. The entire Young Alumni Council is proud of the group of finalists, and on behalf of UCF, I extend my sincerest congratulations on this well-deserved accomplishment.”

The 30 Under 30 awards program recognizes outstanding young alumni who strive for greatness in their professional and personal lives. Nominations for the 2017 class were accepted through the month of May, and winners were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Must be a graduate of UCF (undergraduate or graduate degree)
  • Must be age 30 or under on June 30, 2017
  • Must have made an impact in one or more of the following areas: professional success, community involvement and/or university engagement
  • Must demonstrate a commitment to maintaining a lifelong relationship with UCF
  • Must strive to uphold the tenets of the UCF Creed

The winners will be recognized in a formal ceremony on campus in late August. 



  • Tip of the Cap
    UCF radio and TV alumnus Vince Cotroneo ’83, who has been a radio broadcaster for Major League Baseball for 25 years, is now watching his son Dominic follow in his footsteps. Read the Story

  • Business Incubator Helps Propel Nursing Startup to Millionaire Club
    After growing their revenue from $300,000 to $6 million within the Business Incubator, long-time friends Alvin Cortez ’08 and Richard Manuel are now paying it forward with an endowed scholarship to help nursing students at UCF. Read the Story

  • Small World Moment for Knights in Texas
    It doesn't matter where in the world you are - fellow Knights have your back. That's what UCF student Justin Tejada learned after gaining a mentor and friend in alumna Shelby Shankin '13 during his summer internship in Texas. Read The Story

  • Kitchen Connoisseur
    Current UCF hospitality and tourism management graduate student Andra Chrisholm ’16 put her baking skills to the test on new Food Network show, “Dessert Games.” Read the Story

  • Taking it to the Theme Parks
    Leave it to Knights to figure out how to avoid long lines at theme parks. Kanak Choudhury ’17, Taha Mokfi ’17 and statistical computing major Phuong Pho each earned first place in a competition that challenged college students to build statistical models that would predict the wait times for multiple Walt Disney World attractions up to a year in advance. Read the Story

Meet Handshake

Handshake is a new service hosted by Career Services and Experiential Learning that allows UCF students and alumni to apply for thousands of jobs, internships and other opportunities. Participants can use the system to store a resume, cover letter and other documents to use for each application. Click here to sign up for the program.

Watch Party newsletter

Watch Out for Watch Parties

If you’re excited for the return of football season, we’re right there with ya! When you can’t make it to the game, UCF Alumni’s official watch parties around the country are the next best place to tune in to cheer on the Knights. Visit ucfalumni.com/watchparties for an updated list every week of where you can find fellow Black & Gold fans watching the game in your city.

Comedy Knight Discount

UCF Homecoming has announced Adam Devine as the headliner for Comedy Knight! He will perform with Adam Ray at CFE Arena on Monday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. UCF Alumni can receive a $5 discount on tickets to the show using discount code UCFHC17.

Sports Clubs

UCF’s varsity teams aren’t the only ones taking care of business. Of UCF’s 31 sports club teams, 17 finished first in the state during the 2016-17 season. Three of those teams – wakeboarding, kiteboarding and paintball – also finished first nationally while Justus Griffith added an individual national title in wrestling. Did you participate on a sports club in team while you were at UCF? Tell us about your experience in this short survey.

 sponsor a white coat

Sponsor A White Coat

The White Coat Ceremony marks the first moment of a medical student's journey to become a doctor. You can help to make that moment special for a new Class of 2021 M.D. student by sponsoring his or her white coat. Two sponsorship levels are available:

  • A $100 gift for a new medical student's white coat
  • A $1,000 gift to sponsor 10 white coats and provide support at the President's Circle Level

For those interested in supporting this special milestone, kindly make your gift by Aug. 3. For more information, please contact Erin Oglethorpe or call 407.266.1044.

Mentors Needed for Knight Nurses

Now in its second year, the Knight Nursing Alumni Mentorship Program launches again this fall. This program pairs nursing alumni with traditional BSN students in their senior year as well as second degree BSN students who are looking for guidance as they transition to their careers. Mentors are needed to share valuable experience and insight with our current student body. Please apply by Aug. 25. Must be a graduate of the College of Nursing to participate.

Gift for Rosen

The Rosen College of Hospitality Management is getting a new foodservice lab thanks to a generous $1.5 million commitment by the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. The new 3,500-square-foot lab is needed to accommodate rapid growth in the college. It is expected to be completed by 2019. The college is ranked among the top five hospitality schools in the world and houses 3,500 students.

call for artists

All-Call for Artists

The College of Arts and Humanities Alumni Chapter Board and the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design invite all UCF alumni, students and faculty to submit work for selection in the ninth annual Eclectic Knights event at the Orlando Museum of Art on Sept. 7. This night of art will feature work in a variety of media. The deadline for entry is Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. and the entry fee is $25. For more information and to download the application, please click here.

Athletics Highlights

This comes as no surprise – UCF Athletics was outstanding in 2016-17. In this retrospective breakdown, we learn that every sport was represented on the all-conference team by at least one student-athlete, with an overall total of 62 honorees, and a record 11 programs made postseason appearances. Still need to get your season tickets for 2017-18? Visit UCFKnights.com or call 407.823.1000.

The Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for UCF student-athletes has increased from 93 to 94 percent. The NCAA GSR is designed to show the proportion of student-athletes who earn a college degree. Although the NCAA has yet to release nationwide results this year, UCF’s 2016 score left was the best GSR of any public NCAA FBS institution for a third straight year.

UCF stands for opportunity, and that’s true of a recent study of head coaches nationally. UCF was the only school to earn an ‘A’ for racial and gender hiring practices for women’s teams’ head coaches in a report released in late June that examined 94 schools from eight different conferences.

Congrats are in order for several UCF football student-athletes who are gaining recognition on watch lists for national awards:


Summer Issue of Pegasus

The summer issue of Pegasus hit mailboxes recently, and you can access even more content online – like this cool comic-book-style feature on Robert Venditti ‘01MA -- by visiting ucf.edu/Pegasus. If you haven’t received your copy, make sure we have your most up-to-date address and contact information.


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