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Community Engagement

See how UCF academics and leaders intersect and collaborate with the community and others in making the world a better place.

UCF Police Officer, Professor Recognized by Secret Service

Aveteran UCF Police officer and a College of Sciences professor were recently honored by the United States Secret Service for their work with the federal agency. Detective Eric Walton, a 30-year veteran with UCF Police, and Michael Sigman, a chemistry professor at UCF, were honored with a surprise presentation as a thanks for providing valuable…

Limbitless Solutions Moves into New 6,000 Square Facility on its 7-Year Anniversary

Limbitless Solutions, the UCF based non-profit which creates bionic limbs for children, celebrated its seven-year anniversary Friday, July 23, by moving into its new expanded 6,000 square foot facility in Research Park. “It’s a great way to celebrate seven impactful years,” says Limbitless Solutions CEO and President Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD. “The new laboratory triples…

Addressing Antisemitism and Recent Events in the Caribbean

Over the summer we saw an alarming surge in antisemitism and antisemitic hate crimes throughout the state of Florida and the country as a whole. UCF is proud to have one of the largest Jewish student populations in the country, and we are disheartened to hear about this increase in antisemitism. For the over 6,000…

UCF Pioneer in Remote Learning Had an ‘Unmatched Optimism for the Work’

Barbara Truman ’94 ’96MA, who helped create and develop UCF’s early ventures into online learning, died July 17 from cancer. She was 59. Truman held multiple positions at the university dating back to 1996, beginning when she was a graduate student hired to help build UCF’s inaugural online program. She later was named director of…

Jonathan Varnell Named VP for Facilities and Business Operations

Jonathan P. Varnell, who currently serves as associate vice chancellor for Facilities Management at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, has been selected as UCF’s new vice president for Facilities and Business Operations. Varnell, who was selected following a competitive national search, has nearly 25 years of experience in higher education. At UNC Charlotte, he…

UCF Partners with JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft to Offer Free Skills Training for Pandemic-Displaced Workers

UCF has received generous donations from JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft Corporation for a new online job skills training program designed to assist pandemic-displaced workers in Central Florida. The UCF ChargeUP! program is geared toward residents who lost full-time jobs in the hospitality or leisure industries. The program offers professional development training from Microsoft Learn and LinkedIn…

UCF’s Academic Health Sciences Center Receives $300K Gift

The University of Central Florida’s Academic Health Sciences Center (AHSC) has received a gift of $300,000 from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation to fund innovative projects and programs to improve community health. The donation is the first major programmatic gift to the AHSC since it was created in 2018 and will support the UCF Genius Innovation Challenge,…

Optics Trailblazer Credits Influential Mentors For Successful Career

Richard DeSalvo, Ph.D. ‘93, takes wireless communications further into the future every day, but it’s the people of his past that inspire his every step — beginning with Neil Armstrong. DeSalvo credits the 1969 moon landing and his mother for steering him toward the sciences in general, but it would take years of starts and…

UCFPD Welcomes New Officers, Adds New Training

Family, friends, UCF Police officers and staff welcomed three new officers to the department at a swearing-in ceremony earlier this month. The three bring military service, experience in campus law enforcement, a background in behavioral health and numerous other exceptional qualities to UCFPD. “We want individuals who have some previous experience and who offer a…

Limbitless Solutions Releases 2nd Installment of The Bionic Kid Comic Book

The origin story of the next big superhero franchise is taking place at UCF thanks to the combined efforts of Limbitless Solutions, the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) and 12-year-old Zachary Pamboukas. Two years after creating the first issue of The Bionic Kid comic book series, Bionic Kid Zachary and his older brother, Christo, return…

Endowed Scholarship Further Cements UCF’s Leadership Role in Gaming Industry

Thanks to a $100,000 gift from Electronic Arts (EA), an endowed scholarship was created to benefit students in the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media in the College of Sciences. One of many initiatives in a multifaceted strategy to empower students from diverse backgrounds to explore successful careers in fields of…

UCF RESTORES Provides Mental Health Aid at Surfside Condo Collapse

While in Surfside, Florida, a first responder working the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building approached Deborah Beidel with fine jewelry he found among the rubble. He was worried about who it belonged to and the significance it held. “With discoveries like this, you’re helping people get a part of their relative…

WUCF FM Launches ‘Side Player Stories’ Music Podcast Series

You may not know their names, but you know their sounds. Side Player Stories, a new podcast produced by WUCF FM (89.9) Jazz & More debuts Thursday. The first episode features Liberty DeVitto, Billy Joel’s long-time drummer at wucf.org/sideplayerstories, with additional episodes released each Thursday. In this series, musician and WUCF FM producer Jesse Morgado gets…

HCA Opens New Simulation Center to Train Nurses

HCA Healthcare North Florida Division announced the opening of a $5.5 million state-of-the-art simulation training center in Central Florida designed to empower and support nurses through innovative learning experiences and leadership development opportunities. The HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Advancement (HHCCA) provides HCA Healthcare North Florida Division nurses and nurse residents advanced training in a supportive,…

The Pandemic Ruined My Social Skills

Idon’t know if you noticed, but we are back outside! The world is opening back up, and after over a year of being in the house, working from home, and attending Zoom celebrations and parties, I may not be the same person I used to be. During the last few months I have gathered with…

UCF Journalism Alumna Part of Pulitzer Prize-winning Team at The New York Times

AUCF graduate was part of the data collection team that helped The New York Times win the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service — the highest honor in journalism. The award was announced June 11. Bianca Fortis ’10, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media, was part of the daily data journalism team…

“You Can’t Give Up: You Were Meant To Be A Doctor”

Today she is. As Dr. Alani graduated with honors from her UCF-HCA Healthcare neurology residency this month, she cried telling the story of Mary Ann Reiner, the colleague who sent her text messages saying, “You got this!” before every residency interview. Now Dr. Alani is off to Yale for a fellowship in movement disorders such…

Aphasia Family Connects UCF Students with Central Florida Aphasia Community

The Aphasia House, an outpatient clinic under the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, provides a comfortable place for patients with aphasia to receive treatment and find a community home.   “We provide intensive services for people who have aphasia, which can be due to stroke or brain injury that has caused damage to the part of the…