Inspiring Excellence RYAN RUST: Mechanical Engineering Imagine 250,000 people (and growing) in 24 countries working together to send care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ryan Rusts organization Adopt a Hero connects the generous with those far from home. Ive always lived by the saying: If not you, then who? As an accomplished race car driver, he has won 90 races. For me, racing comes down to fun, but it also the competition of it all.
Inspiring Excellence JENNIFER RAYNOR: Forensic Science Jennifer Raynor is learning to collect and analyze evidence from crime scenes – and to catch criminals. But she is also using science to make an impact in her community. She has volunteered at the Orlando Science Center and at Health Central Hospital. You really have to want to help. You also have to respect the science. UCFs program has given her confidence in her skills, too. It gave me the confidence to apply to any grad school or any lab job I want. I know Im qualified.
Inspiring Excellence BRANDIE HOLLINGER: Nursing As UCFs first female Student Government Association president, Brandie Hollinger knows a thing or two about being a communicator and advocate. And as a pediatric nurse at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, she uses those skills to provide the best care to her patients. The rigorous academics and hours spent in the hospital working directly with patients really prepared me for the job. Already a leader of her peers, shes now taking on the greatest responsibility of all: future generations.
Inspiring Excellence DR. BILL FISHER: Darden Eminent Scholar in Restaurant Management The plan is simple. Build a state-of-the-art college in the worlds most famous tourist destination for the worlds largest industry. Ive seen schools across the U.S. and nothing compares to the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. As a professor, Bill is also past President of both the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Employers see it too. Typically, each graduate receives several job offers. Our industry partners know they have been taught by the best faculty in the business.
Inspiring Excellence LALITA BOOTH: Accounting and Finance As a Truman Scholar, Lalita Booth is an example of hard work and dedication. But as a former homeless mother, she is something much greater – an example of the resilience of the human spirit. Things that are worth achieving are unreasonable. Set unreasonable goals and pursue them unreasonably. Her unreasonable goals have led to a Harvard dream, a stable home for her son, and the start of her nonprofit, Lighthouse for Dreams.
Inspiring Excellence DREW HAMPTON: Burnett Honors College A National Merit Scholar and psychology major, Drew Hampton knows progress when he sees it. The opportunities available in the Burnett Honors College demonstrate the universitys commitment to being a top-notch research institution. Taking advantage of UCFs atmosphere of opportunity, Drew conducts research on the interaction between humans and machines. Hes also planning for his future. Its great how willing the professors are to help prepare me for graduate school.
Inspiring Excellence HYE JUNG KIM: Mathematics Education Being at UCF is exciting. There are so many organizations to get involved with. But Hye Jung Kims experiences arent just fun and games. She volunteers for Give Kids the World, an organization which helps terminally ill children visit Orlando. Looking ahead? Hye loves kids, mentors students and wants to be a math teacher. Math needs strong teachers to make it fun. And knowing Hye, were sure shes perfect for the job.
Inspiring Excellence DR. DIANE CHASE: Pegasus Professor, Dept. of Anthropology For more than 25 years, Dr. Diane Chase has been bringing students to Caracol, Belize to discover clues about the past. UCF is a place where students can do fieldwork. Theyre part of a project. But archeology isnt just about digging up history; its also about discovering student potential. For Dr. Chase, a hands on education is they key. Learning to problem- solve, to work in teams and how to do interdisciplinary work are the skills of the future.
Inspiring Excellence BLAKE VAN BRUNT: Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Blake Van Brunt expects the extraordinary. I always knew I wanted to serve and lead. A giver, not a taker, Blake leads a group of fraternity brothers on a Habitat for Humanity project one day and collects food for Second Harvest the next. I have become the best that I can be for all the right reasons. Where does he go from here? Well, Blake plans to enroll in medical school where he will continue to serve and lead.
Inspiring Excellence JACQUELINE BOEHME: Biomedical Sciences Jacqueline Boehme has been a student of many things, from physics to Kung Fu to painting. But her first passion is helping people in her community through medicine. A doctor is not just somebody who helps others at a hospital or practice. You go out into the world and find those who really need it. A fast starter, Jacqueline has already engaged in cutting- edge research. I started researching stem cells my first semester at UCF.
Inspiring Excellence MIKE SIMS-WALKER: Alumnus, Class of 2002 Jacksonville Jaguar Mike Sims-Walker plays for the big league, but hasnt forgotten his UCF roots. I remember working hard to make it out of a rough neighborhood, attend college and play football at the next level. And now hes giving back by starting the Michael A. Sims-Walker Scholarship Foundation at UCF. My father is a very influential person in my life. Mike is one of UCFs most successful players on the field, and also a dedicated, lifetime Knight.
Inspiring Excellence DAVID TATE: Theatre David Tate has three national television commercials under his belt, thanks to UCFs connections and the Central Florida location. What cant you do in Orlando? There are so many different attractions you cant find anywhere else. And David hasnt just experienced the industry on the stage or in front of the cameras. Ive had the chance to work backstage with costumes, take a class on makeup, and work in the box office, in addition to starring in productions.