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College of Community Innovation and Education

UCF Faculty Member Appointed to Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals

“I have desks all over the place,” laughs Eric Merriam. “I think I have four right now. I spend a lot of time at those desks.” Merriam is an associate professor with a joint appointment to the Department of Legal Studies and the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs at UCF. He’s also a husband and father, UCF’s Moot…

Exceptional Education Doctoral Graduate to Prepare Future Teachers

For seven years, Whitney Hanley was a teacher. During her time teaching in Georgia as well as her home state of Kentucky, she noticed a disconnect between girls who exhibited behavioral problems and their teachers, specifically that the teachers were not usually open to them being in the classroom. The students would turn to Hanley, then a…

New Project Will Explore Telehealth Effectiveness on Veterans During Pandemic

The UCF and Orlando VA Healthcare System research project will examine telehealth for veterans during the pandemic. The team members pictured are, from left, Adam Golden, Andriy Koval, Teresa Carper, Diana Mendez, and Christian King. The switch to remote psychotherapy treatment for veterans diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder has worked for some patients…

Classes to Take at UCF for Learning More about Social Justice

As protests and demonstrations spread around the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, UCF students have the opportunity to enroll in a variety of courses that can help them better understand the calls for equality, reform and justice. These 13 courses are a sampling of what is offered at UCF this fall…

Students Explore Program Evaluation through Podcasting

ElevateEvaluate is available on major podcast platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Podcasts are a growing trend both domestically and internationally. Many people have turned to podcasts as a source of entertainment and information as well as an outlet for sharing personal opinions and experiences. According to a 2019 report by Edison Research, for…

Public Administration Alum Helps Orange County Fight COVID-19

As of July 7, 2020, the Orange County emergency operations center has been activated for 117 days. It’s an unprecedented time. Among the law enforcement officers and members of Lynx and the National Guard sit Carrie Mathes ’08 ‘14MPA and her team: the procurement division. The group’s work may be mostly behind the scenes, but they help…

UCF Faculty Collecting COVID-19 Data for World Health Organization

Unruh and Koval will be collecting data about COVID-19 until after a vaccine is created. In late March, Lynn Unruh and Andriy Koval — two health management and informatics faculty members — and a medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University formed the Health System Response Monitor team for the United States. Reporting for the World Health Organization (WHO), the group analyzes…

UCF Launches 11 New Graduate Certificates and Tracks in Response to COVID-19

The University of Central Florida has launched 11 new graduate programs in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs, which begin in the Fall 2020 semester, offer candidates a short series of courses that were specifically woven together to provide useful tools when facing COVID-19 related-challenges. The certificates, tracks and special topics courses cover…

UCF Names Director of Emergency Management

Joe Thalheimer ’08 has been a part of UCF’s Emergency Management team since 2014. Last week, UCF Associate Vice President of Public Safety and Chief of Police Carl Metzger ’03MS appointed Joe Thalheimer ’08 as the director of Emergency Management. The announcement comes after an exhaustive search. Metzger is confident in Thalheimer, who has led the department in an…

UCF Health Management and Informatics Faculty Member Awarded Fulbright

Yara Asi ’07MA ’15PhD, a lecturer in the health management and informatics department, recently received the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award. The prestigious program provides 470 awards to researchers and teachers in over 125 countries. Asi will begin her two-year project in the spring of 2021 (depending on the effects of coronavirus at that time). Her work will…

UCF Study Will Look at COVID-19 Effects on Services that Help Prevent Reoffending

With many in-person services halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, correctional agencies responsible for probation and parole have had to find new ways to help ensure people are receiving the help they need while also maintaining public safety. These agencies, which traditionally rely on face-to-face interaction, serve some 6 million Americans by helping them find…

UCF Exceptional Education Faculty Launch Podcast to Offer Tips to Teachers

The Practical Access Podcast launched earlier this year with the goal of providing fast, flexible thinking about real-life problems for educators, people with disabilities and their family members. Lisa Dieker and Rebecca “Becky” Hines have been friends and colleagues for 16 years. Both are exceptional student education faculty members at UCF. Hines is an aunt to a person…

UCF Alumnae Teach Coping Skills during COVID-19 Pandemic

Navigating what may be the “new normal” brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has left many people grappling with unknowns. From worrying about one’s own health and safety as well as their family members’ well-being, adapting to a remote-work situation or job loss, juggling new family schedules, experiencing isolation from friends and loved ones —…

Honest Conversations on Race Will Help Move Us Forward

Aquote from novelist and activist James Baldwin encapsulated what it is like to be Black in America: “I know your countrymen do not agree with me about this, and I hear them saying, “You exaggerate.” Throughout that particular essay, Baldwin offers his nephew a critique of racism while warning him of the challenges he will encounter. In…

UCF Global Student Reflects on Pulse Shooting 4 Years Later

Millican Hall is light up with rainbow-colored lights in honor of the 49 lives lost during the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016 (Photo by Thomas Bell ’08) Zoe Williamson began the evening of June 12, 2016, partaking in a police ride-along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. By the end of the night,…

I’m in Paris Today Via an Online Course…Bonjour Mes Amis!

For many years I’ve wanted to become a fluent speaker of the French language. While studying French in high school, I was intrigued with the culture of France, especially the cuisine and great works of art.  As time passed, I often dreamt of visiting Paris someday. After completing my doctoral program, I received a faculty…

Introducing Six Leaders to New Roles in College Leadership

We are pleased to announce several leadership updates at the College of Community Innovation and Education. With extensive experience as leaders in research, teaching and collaboration, we look forward to working with them in their new roles. Charles “Chuck” Dziuban, Ph.D. Coordinator, Rosen Foundation Educational Initiative Charles “Chuck” Dziuban will serve UCF and the college…

Alumna at the Ready to Help Orlando Airports in Emergencies

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority received a “gold seal” in January to become  the first airport operation to earn full accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. “Emergency management is essential in the aviation world,” says Keila Walker-Denis ’07, assistant director of airport operations in emergency management for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which oversees Orlando…

UCF Alumni: Teachers on Teaching

The first week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week, and we want to celebrate the hard work and dedication of teachers. This year, we spoke with four teacher education alumni about what inspired them to pursue a career in education and how they are navigating remote instruction and learning. Elementary Education: Chris Pombonyo ’12 Elementary School Teacher…