The Magazine of the University of Central Florida
Powering Pomolong Honors students supply a South African community with electricity.
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Hello, UCF. The only failure IS NOT TO try.
In this issue,
applauds the doers.
“THERE’S NO QUIT IN US. I knew they would never quit. They wouldn’t be in the program if that’s the kind of kids they were. Tough game, tough loss.” UCF head football coach George O’Leary after 3-point loss to No. 12 South Carolina on Sept. 28
S ECTION (COVER (COVE R STORY)
VOL. 20 • ISSUE 2 • FALL 2013
Pedal to the Mettle Support System
A bug in the ear prepares students for success
The process of sinking
From the NCAA to Medical City to student debt
Powering Pomolong Training Cybersleuths
It’s “CSI for geeks,” says former FBI agent
What’s the Difference
ESPN The Magazine contributes to Pegasus
From the Tailgate 34 to the Game
When Swimming with 36 Sharks, Bring Your Ammo
Alumnus wins big on “Shark Tank”
News and notes
Back in the Day
A young alumnus on a clean power mission
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Mail UCF Marketing P.O. Box 160090 Orlando, FL 32816-0090 Phone 407.823.2621 Fax 407.823.2567
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And from hamburgers to Homecoming
Wind turbine, solar panels and Justin Bieber
Biking and building across America
Color, art, service and culture
UCF joins The American
Our first (and almost last) Homecoming queen
Pegasus is published by UCF Marketing in partnership with the UCF Foundation, Inc. and the UCF Alumni Association. Opinions expressed in Pegasus are not necessarily those shared by the University of Central Florida.
©2013 UCF. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Pegasus is a registered trademark of the UCF Alumni Association.
MAILBOX AS A GRADUATE OF THEN-FTU and a university professor who specializes in sustainable tourism development and protected area management, I was extremely disappointed to read that UCF chose to construct a natural gas-powered energy plant on campus. I believe Florida residents and university students would benefit more directly if state and local decision-makers provided subsidies and other financial incentives to encourage solar energy, rather than a “cleaner” source that still emits harmful particulates and emissions into our air. So, it’s great that UCF is taking steps to actively reduce the campus footprint, but shame on UCF administrators for replacing one fossil fuel with another, rather than the abundant clean energy that shines on Florida every day.
Editor’s response: Greg, UCF supports research and implementation of renewable energy infrastructure such as solar, geothermal and biofuels while it studies the improvements in renewable technologies in terms of cost, output and storage capabilities. UCF also works with students on these initiatives (see page 39, “Entrepreneurial Energy”). I AM TECHNICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY a Florida Technological University alumna. I am grudgingly a University of Central Florida alumna. I have always been unhappy with the university’s name change. I embrace all the voluntary changes the university has made in its history, but I don’t feel the name change fits the category of voluntary. Pamela Stevens Rhodes, ’76
Greg Ringer, ’73
PEGASUS PUBLISHER University of Central Florida CHAIR, BOARD OF TRUSTEES Olga Calvet, ’71
I NOTICED A WORD that does not appear in any dictionary and is definitely out of place in academia ... Impactful ... spell-checker highlighted it! I am proud to be an alumnus and will continue to keep the UCF brand shiny. Don Evans, ’12 Editor’s response: Don, we took our lead from Merriam-Webster and other sources, but we recognize that not everyone is a fan of the word. For a more thorough discussion, you may like to read bit.ly/1b9OSWl.
Emails to the editor should be sent with the writer’s name, graduation year, address and daytime phone number to email@example.com. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium. Due to volume, we regret that we cannot reply to every letter.
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT John C. Hitt PROVOST AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Tony G. Waldrop VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OF STAFF John F. Schell VICE PRESIDENTS W. Scott Cole Helen Donegan Maribeth Ehasz Deborah C. German Alfred G. Harms Jr. Robert J. Holmes Jr. Daniel Holsenbeck William F. Merck II M.J. Soileau Todd Stansbury EDITOR IN CHIEF Terry Helms ASSOCIATE EDITOR Michelle Fuentes CREATIVE DIRECTOR Patrick Burt, ’08 ART DIRECTORS Lauren Haar, ’06 Steve Webb COPY EDITOR Peg Martin
Helen Musselwhite creates cut paper works in her Manchester, England, studio. She begins with a quick sketch, then uses a scalpel and colored and painted paper to build multilayered scenes. The progression of Pegasus’ cover is detailed below. For more about Helen, visit helenmusselwhite.co.uk.
PHOTOGRAPHERS Michael Chen Corryn Goldschmidt PRODUCTION MANAGER Sandy Pouliot ONLINE PRODUCER Roger Wolf, ’07 WEB PROGRAMMERS Jo Dickson, ’10 Brandon Groves, ’07
CONTRIBUTORS Brian Boesch David Dadurka, ’12 Allison Glock Jason Greene, ’10 Geoff Levy, ’13 Angie Lewis, ’03 Andrew Lyons Eric Michael, ’96 Helen Musselwhite Patty Gray Neff, ’74 Peter Yang
To view the final illustration, go to page 24.
PEGASUS ADVISORY BOARD Barb Abney, ’03 Chad Binette, ’06 Anne Botteri Richard Brunson, ’84 Cristina Calvet-Harrold, ’01 John Gill, ’86 Michael Griffin, ’84 Mike Hinn, ’92 Valarie Greene King Zack Lassiter Gerald McGratty Jr., ’71 Tom Messina, ’84 Michael O’Shaughnessy, ’81 Karl Sooder Dan Ward, ’92
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Dialed In WHO UCF President John C. Hitt, key members of his staff and guests WHAT Conference call WHEN Dec. 7, 2011 WHERE President’s conference room in Millican Hall March 8, 2013 Seven Big East basketball schools break away from the footballplaying members to form a basketball-centric conference. The football members get a cash haul of roughly $100 million; the basketball schools get the Big East name. April 3, 2013 The American Athletic Conference name is introduced to the media. Official debut and conference play begins July 1, 2013.
THE PHOTO: President Hitt accepts the all-sports invitation from John Marinatto, Big East Conference commissioner. PHOTO BY JASON GREENE, ’10
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Launched July 1, 2013, the new American Athletic Conference is composed of former Big East and Conference USA schools.
Full members from eight states
Sports, 11 women’s and 10 men’s
Members in 2014 when The American adds East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa while Rutgers and Louisville exit conference. Navy joins July 1, 2015 (football only).
THE PHOTO: UCF returns seven starters from last year’s nationally ranked team to compete for The American’s first soccer championship in November. 8 / FA L L 2 0 1 3
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P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 9 IMAGE COURTESY OF UCF ATHLETICS
WHO UCF vs. Penn State WHAT Croke Park Classic WHEN Aug. 30, 2014, 8:30 a.m. EST WHERE Dublin, Ireland This is the first time UCF or Penn State will play a football game in another country. To enjoy the game and explore Ireland travel options, contact Anthony Travel at 877-260-0645 or UCF@AnthonyTravel.com. THE PHOTO: Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College Dublin boasts stellar alumni, including playwright Oscar Wilde and Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. 10 / F A L L 2 0 1 3
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Children got rolling with Volunteer UCF students at the Down Syndrome Foundation of Floridaâ€™s Skate Out of Summer Family Fun Night.
A student experiences the thrill of victory during Pegasus Palooza, a weeklong fall semester kickoff that featured concerts, parties and other activities.
A parade featuring music, dancing and big smiles marked the start of Hispanic Heritage Month festivities.
Works by celebrated island artists highlighted the Caribbean Expressions exhibition and lecture series at the UCF Art Gallery.
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and in the community
ON CAMPUS 22
Student volunteers blast runners with brightly colored powder during The Color Run 5K race at Orlandoâ€™s Florida Citrus Bowl.
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O T L PEDA This summer, senior Lauren Brown pedaled 3,609 miles to help Americans in need.
arreling down the Colorado Rockies at a blistering speed of 44 mph on her road bicycle, Lauren Brown and her fellow cyclists started crying. “We had a 20-mile downhill with gorgeous valleys,” she remembers. “It had just rained. I heard one of the other girls yell, ‘Look left!’ “There was a huge double rainbow. It was the first time I could actually see where a rainbow started and ended,” the 22-year-old Longwood, Fla., native says. “I’m not sure what it was [that made us cry] — being surprised by the beauty of this sight, how fast we were going, the wind in our eyes, or the combination of everything and being so scared.” In May, Brown, a senior majoring in event management at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, embarked on a 10-week, 3,609-mile journey across the U.S., pedaling her way from Nags Head, N.C., to San Diego.
E L T T E M E TH
Riding alongside 27 other cyclists in a program called Bike & Build, the group literally worked their way across the nation, stopping at 14 different housing sites to build, prime, paint and occasionally garden for homeowners. The nonprofit organizes trips for young adults to volunteer for affordable housing projects. Before the trip, Brown raised $4,500, which helped pay for the support van, food, supplies and housing project grants. The trip was one of many firsts for Brown. Prior to it, she’d never ridden a road bike, seen snow in the mountains or traveled farther west than Tennessee. “I heard about Bike & Build three years ago through one of my brother’s friends,” she says. “I thought she was absolutely insane. I couldn’t understand why anybody would want to do something like this.” But then Brown began thinking about graduation and reconsidered her summer plans. She began raising money through donations from sponsors and, with her dad’s help, by making and selling balloon animals. On the road, Brown learned to live more simply. She had the largest duffel bag in the group, but two weeks into the trip, she shipped a quarter of its contents home. “It’s a different way of life,” she says. “Literally, all you need is your cycle clothes and maybe a shirt and shorts. It’s kind of funny, but you don’t need to bring underwear.”
Hoping to maximize her grant funds, Brown and her riding partners sought out food donations from local businesses along the way (eating day-old bagels or donated fruit) and kept costs down by arranging free shelter at churches and other organizations. At the end of the trip, the cyclists decided which organizations would receive the money they had raised for affordable housing projects. Brown donated $500 of the funds she raised to the Habitat for Humanity’s Orlando chapter. Brown says the experience has made her more aware of affordable housing issues — an industry still recovering from the recession. She notes, “There is not one county in the United States where an individual can work 40 hours a week at minimum wage and afford a one-bedroom apartment at the local fair market rent.” On her ride through Arizona’s Navajo Nation, she learned that only a small percentage of homes in the area had electricity and running water. One of her most memorable experiences was working with a family to help raise the first wall of their house in Colorado Springs. “They worked with us both days, and we got so much done,” she says. “The couple broke down in tears and expressed how thankful they were to have us help them. “The thing that I take most from this trip is the mental strength I’ve developed,” she says. Brown’s using that newfound strength for her next adventure: training for a half-marathon.
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ILLU ST RAT I ON BY A N D REW LYO N S
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Firsthand counseling experience gives students a career head start.
eated in front of two large closed-circuit television screens, Bryce Hagedorn, ’00, surveys the 10 rooms at UCF’s Community Counseling and Research Center (CCRC). Hagedorn, a UCF associate professor in the Counselor Education Program, drags his cursor along the computer screen and clicks a button to enlarge the screen for one counseling room. On screen, a lone supervisor sits with her back to the camera, adjusting her chair and looking over her notes. Hagedorn watches the room fill with a dozen counseling practicum students, who settle in for their morning discussion. Hagedorn was among the first group of student counselors to train at the clinic when he was studying for his master’s degree in 1999. “Before the center opened,” he recalls, “I remember doing family therapy with our knees basically touching due to the small rooms.”
The CCRC opened in 1998. Through the center, counselors see more than 1,800 clients a year. More importantly, Hagedorn notes, it is the only free mental health clinic in Central Florida. “That’s a very active practice,” he says. “There’s always a waitlist.” In addition to serving the Central Florida community free of charge, counselors at the clinic also work with UCF students who have been referred from the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) center. These referrals occur when students’ mental health needs go beyond the mission of CAPS, which is to address concerns in six to eight sessions. If students need longer-term counseling, they can be referred to the CCRC and see a counselor for up to one year.
“Before the center opened, I remember doing family therapy with our knees basically touching due to the small rooms.”
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S UP P ORT SYSTE M
The clinic is also unique in its staffing arrangement — all 60 or so counselors are master’s or doctoral Counselor Education students at UCF. “Our advanced graduate students gain supervised clinical experiences during their practicum (i.e., pre-internships) in ways that surpass students from other university counseling programs in Central Florida,” Hagedorn says. In other graduate programs, students often enter their initial internships in the community needing to shadow licensed counselors for an entire semester before being ready to work with clients. The clinic puts UCF student counselors in a position to go into the community and begin immediately working with clients
A Bug in Their Ear
New counselors are highly supervised in the CCRC, meeting with faculty supervisors for weekly sessions and to discuss ongoing cases. Once students successfully complete the practicum portion of their graduate studies, some choose to stay at the clinic as interns and manage a larger caseload of clients. Whenever a student counselor is working with a client, their supervisor sits in the control room, able to offer the counselor suggestions through an earphone. Vanessa Dominguez, a master’s student and counselor in the clinic, says the earphone was awkward at first. “My supervisor chimed in on the bug in my ear — you can hear it sometimes if it’s a little too
example, whereas beginning student counselors may be paired with clients who are experiencing mild depression, advanced students would be paired with clients with more severe depression,” Hagedorn says. Because the clinic is a training facility where clients only have access to their counselors on the day of their weekly session, there are certain concerns the CCRC isn’t equipped for. “The clinic is not a crisis facility,” says Hagedorn. “We do our best to refer clients with more severe concerns to specialists they can access more than once a week.” Clients seeking counseling for substance abuse, domestic violence or depression that has resulted in a suicide attempt within the last six months are referred to other facilities.
“Having multiple clients at once is good preparation if you are going into the mental health field in the community.” during their internships. “We have a current list of approved internship sites where we have strong reciprocal relationships: We provide them with strong student counselors, and they refer clients who are looking for the services we can offer,” Hagedorn says. “Our students come highly prepared, so site supervisors are always asking for us to send more students their way.” One of those approved internship sites is The Center for Drug-Free Living, one of Central Florida’s largest nonprofit behavioral health organizations. Roughly 10 to 15 UCF student counselors work as interns at the center each semester. “Within a couple of weeks, the UCF interns are ready to start seeing their own clients,” says the center’s clinical director, Jody Scott, ’77. “When we get students from another university counseling program, we end up serving as their practicum site, and it can take two to three months before we allow those students to have their own caseload.” 18 / F A L L 2 0 1 3
loud — and there was this moment when the client and I made eye contact, and I said, ‘Yeah, you just heard my supervisor chime in.’ ” Hagedorn says, “To settle the potential nerves of clients who may have some initial trepidation with having cameras in the rooms and the counselor having an earphone, I suggest that the counselors tell them on the first day that they are getting two counselors for the price of none.” All counseling sessions are digitally recorded, allowing student counselors and their supervisors the opportunity to review and assess their work with clients. According to Hagedorn, this greatly enhances self-critique and supervision processes, which lead to better counselor development. The staff at the CCRC pairs counselors and clients based on the counselor’s experience level and the severity of the client’s concerns. Student counselors work with a wide range of mental health concerns, from self-esteem issues to depression and anxiety to relationship issues. “For
“The challenging thing about those three areas [substance abuse, domestic violence and active suicidal ideation] is that people are as forthcoming as they feel they can be during an initial telephone call. These issues often come up later in counseling sessions once trust has been established,” he says. “So we navigate those issues on a per-case basis. If we find out that a client’s panic attack is related to the fact that she is being abused by her partner, the last thing we want to do is penalize her disclosure by telling her she can’t be seen here.”
Trust in the Training
Some new graduate student counselors are their own worst critics. “I constantly remind them that they are too self-critical and ask, ‘OK, how long have you been doing this? Oh, so you should be an expert?’ ” says Hagedorn. “ ‘Remember who you are, trust in your training and in your supervisor, and give yourself a little break.’ ”
Aaron Distler, ’13, a graduate of the Counselor Education master’s program, recently finished four semesters working in the clinic (two as a practicum student and two as an intern) and is taking a position as a residential life coordinator at Stetson University in Deland, Fla., managing residence hall assistants and being responsible for crisis response in the dorms. One challenge for Distler was the transition from having live supervision as a practicum student to being on his own during the internship phase. “It’s a lot of dealing with having personal confidence and knowing that I do know how to apply the class lessons that I’ve learned and relate those to actual people,” he says. In the internship phase of training, graduate students like Distler are given a caseload of 12 to 15 clients per week. “I think that as you transition from a practicum student to an intern, there’s a lot more paperwork, and the caseload is something you need to get used to,” Distler says. “Having multiple clients at once is good preparation if you are going into the mental health field in the community.”
The clinic continuously assesses both how its clients are improving and how new counselors are performing. “We use pre-, mid- and post-assessments on clients’ progress so we can actively demonstrate what our students are doing to make an impact,” Hagedorn says. “We also assess our counselors’ development to ensure that they are progressing as professionals.” The clinic’s focus on assessment has attracted the attention of other institutions looking for ways to measure the effectiveness of new counselors. UCF Associate Professor Glenn Lambie and his research partners have developed the Counseling Competencies Scale, a means for assessing how beginning counselors perform. Other institutions have adopted this measurement tool, including Rollins College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Denver and Syracuse University.
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Despite the more spacious setting today, the clinic continues to look for ways to grow. Counselor Education faculty are mulling an expansion that would make the clinic a site for DUI assessments and educational programs, which would require more space. Another challenge facing the university is the center’s location. “If you live in Ocoee or Winter Garden, you are 25 miles away from the CCRC,” Scott notes. “And if you need free services, you may not be able to get there. It would take you half a day on a bus.” “There is a tremendous need for low-cost or free services,” she adds. “Florida’s near the bottom for allocating funds toward mental health services. At [The Center for Drug-Free Living], we serve thousands of people a year and are in four counties, and we still have to turn people away sometimes. That’s heartbreaking.” The clinic is in the process of adopting a new system called TelePresence, which Hagedorn describes as “Skype on steroids,” a way of seeing clients in a teleconference setting. Such a system, he says, might allow for clients who can’t travel to UCF to tap into the clinic’s free services.
Bryce Hagedorn, ’00, is an associate professor of Counselor Education in UCF’s College of Education and Human Performance. As the Program Director of Counselor Education and School Psychology, he oversees the education and training of graduate students with tracks in school, mental health, and marriage and family counseling.
Help in High Definition TelePresence connects students 1,530 miles away.
n Mankato, Minn., the winters are unusually harsh. To help keep her students from having to traverse treacherous roads, Diane Coursol of Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU), stays connected via TelePresence high-definition videoconferencing technology. “I have some students who commute from Fargo, N.D., which is a seven-hour drive,” says Coursol, a professor in the university’s Counseling and Student Personnel Department. She describes TelePresence as watching the very best high-definition television. “Some of my students say, ‘I’ll have to wear makeup because every blotch is going to show.’ ” In March 2013, Coursol visited UCF’s Community Counseling and Research Center and proposed a partnership between UCF and MSU to use this tool to train counselor education graduate students. As early as next spring, she hopes that students at UCF and MSU will begin practicing their counseling techniques with each other (as part of UCF’s Techniques of Counseling course and MSU’s Counseling Procedures and Skills II course) before they begin counseling real clients. Originally from Florida, Coursol has worked with UCF Professor Edward “Mike” Robinson through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. “I’ve had a long-term connection with Mike,” she says. “When I thought of universities that I would want to partner with, I thought of Mike and knew of the quality of UCF.” She began working with TelePresence about three years ago when MSU introduced the technology as a way to enhance distance education between its main campus and its satellite campus in Edina, Minn., more than 70 miles away.
She believes that UCF and MSU students will benefit by using the system to practice their skills with unfamiliar students and gain exposure to different regional and cultural issues. Speaking about the relationship between the two programs, Coursol says, “What I think we are bringing in is a broader exposure to diversity for all of our students.” MSU’s TelePresence system utilizes a large monitor with a built-in HD camera; each unit costs close to $9,000. The technology helps students identify nonverbal cues more clearly than traditional Webbased videoconferencing technology. It also features a recording setting that allows users to replay both sides of conversations side by side for analysis, allowing counseling students to review their techniques and their partners’ responses. Though Coursol’s experience with the technology is relatively recent, she has been studying distance counseling and supervision since the late 1990s, having examined both the counselor and client sides of the online counseling process. “I think [counseling’s] future is online,” she says. “Those digital natives are seeking counseling services, and currently, our field hasn’t prepared counselors on how to break through the digital barrier to meet those needs.” However, she adds, “I don’t think you can ever take away the human element.” Instead, Coursol envisions counselors using a hybrid model where initial meetings are face to face, followed by periodic online appointments using videoconferencing technologies. “I have lofty ideas about putting these systems in YMCAs and local community centers, so that people can access therapeutic services regardless of where they live,” she says. “Here, when people can’t travel due to snow and ice, TelePresence could allow them to see a counselor and get the services that they need.” P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 19
SINKHOLES S ECTION (COVER STORY)
What are these underground cavities that can open without warning? Civil Engineering Associate Professor Manoj Chopra explains the mechanisms behind this natural phenomenon.
The most damage from sinkholes tends to occur in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Below- surface conditions make sinkholes possible for 35 to 40 percent of the United States.
Surface Depression (Cover-subsidence Sinkhole)
Sandy soils fall into cracks caused by the slow deterioration of the limestone rocks.
A column of sandy soils fills the empty space.
As rock deterioration and sand migration continues, a noticeable depression forms on the surface.
Cracks in walls and foundations, doors and windows not closing properly, depressions in surrounding soil, accumulating water and creaking noises can all signal that something is happening below the surface.
Downward erosion forms a surface depression (sinkhole) from 1 inch to several feet in depth.
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ILLUSTRATION BY BRIAN BOESCH
DID YOU KNOW?
UCF hosts the Florida Sinkhole Research Institute in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey.
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Natural and Man-made Causes
Changes to the subsurface water profile â€” including excessive rainfall, prolonged drought and groundwater pumping, changing water drainage patterns and heavy machinery operation â€” may accelerate sinkhole formation.
Surface Collapse (Cover-collapse Sinkhole)
Soils fall (spalling) into a cavity in the splintering limestone substrate.
As spalling continues, the bonded clay soils form a structural arch.
Further downward soil migration causes the cavity to expand upward.
The roof of the cavity breaches the surface in a sudden and catastrophic manner, creating a sinkhole.
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O PIN ION
Is the NCAA Obsolete? BY MARC DANIELS
UCF’s play-by-play announcer, affectionately known as the “Voice of the Knights”
“They are a joke.” “They are taking advantage of the athletes.” “They need to be tossed out.”
Considering recent remarks made about the NCAA, times are tough for the governing body of college athletics. Cases involving the University of Southern California, Penn State, the University of Miami and UCF are a few of the investigations that have led members of the media and institutions to question the NCAA’s ability to govern. The NCAA was created with the help of former President Theodore Roosevelt, inspired by concerns over
THE FOLLOWING IS AN NCAA NOTICE THAT MUST BE IN THIS ISSUE OF PEGASUS TO MEET UCF AND NCAA REQUIREMENTS. NCAA COMPLIANCE The UCF men’s basketball and football programs are on probation until Feb. 9, 2017, for NCAA violations involving the impermissible recruiting activity of outside third parties, impermissible benefits, an impermissible recruiting inducement, unethical conduct, failure to monitor and lack of institutional control. The penalties include: public reprimand and censure; five years of probation through Feb. 9, 2017; men’s basketball postseason ban for the 2012–13 season; a
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safety in college football. A large group of universities created a set of eligibility requirements for football and other sports, and by 1910, the NCAA was formed with a six-page operations manual. While membership in the NCAA is voluntary, there are no bona fide alternatives. To compete at the highest level of college athletics, a school must join the NCAA, which is run by its member schools. Universities create, approve and enforce every rule and policy change of the NCAA. When the chancellor of Texas A&M University went public with his support of Johnny Manziel and questioned why student-athletes are not allowed to profit from autographs, no one asked if he had proposed legislation to change the rule. (He had not.) For a few years, University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier has suggested that players receive a stipend of $300 per game to help their families pay for tickets and travel to games. However, as long as Spurrier neglects to ask his conference commissioner and/or USC’s president and athletic director to push for the required legislation, his stipend plan may never be instituted. The NCAA has dealt with its share of internal issues that have damaged its image and credibility. While there is no excuse for breaking its own rules, the NCAA enforcement staff has failed to grow in manpower and budget at the same pace that the NCAA membership has grown. Counting all divisions of the NCAA, an enforcement staff of about 40 is asked to police hundreds of athletic departments and thousands of teams. The investigative system isn’t broken though, and the UCF case is a
reduced number of initial scholarships and total scholarships each year for three years; less coaches permitted to recruit off-campus at any one time for two years; reduction in the available number of recruiting evaluation and recruiting person days for two years; reduction in the number of paid official visits for prospects for two years; head and assistant men’s basketball coaches are prohibited from recruiting in July 2013; vacation of all basketball victories in which an ineligible student-athlete participated in 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11; head men’s basketball coach Donnie Jones was given a show cause over the next three years and will be required to complete additional rules training for three years.
great example of this. The case started with a series of media reports about alleged NCAA violations at UCF. The NCAA investigated and concluded that UCF had violated some NCAA rules, and UCF was successful in its appeal of some of the charges. The university went through the process, exercised its rights and demonstrated that the system can work. Changes are happening in college athletics, but criticizing the NCAA for every problem is a lazy position to take. The NCAA is not to blame for television contracts in the billions of dollars — those contracts are negotiated by conferences working directly with the networks. Why doesn’t the NCAA make money from the new college football playoff system? Conference commissioners control it. Why aren’t college football players paid or allowed to make money from selling their autographs? The answer lies with the leaders of the institutions that comprise the NCAA — they are the ones making the rules. Who controls conference realignment? It isn’t the NCAA. Why does your football team play so many day games? The television networks schedule the games according to potential revenue. Getting the picture now? Most fans falsely believe that there are billions of dollars available to pay student-athletes and instituting payment would eliminate much of the wrongdoing in college sports. While this isn’t presently true, it is an issue that universities will need to address as college athletics move forward. The NCAA can make recommendations, but ultimately the future of college athletics, its structure and its governance lies in the hands of the real differencemakers — the schools that need to step up and start building their future.
In response to the infractions, the institution has increased its compliance staff, as well as its compliance educational and monitoring efforts. A greater emphasis has been placed on educating coaches, staff and fans on the rules and regulations concerning representatives of athletics interests and third-party representatives. UCF has instituted the use of compliance and recruiting software for all athletics programs. In addition, the compliance office now shares a dualreporting structure to the Vice President and Director of Athletics and the University’s Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer. UCF will continue its efforts of promoting a culture of compliance throughout the university and becoming a national model for athletics compliance.
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Medical City and Orlando’s Economy BY SEAN SNAITH
Director, UCF Institute for Economic Competitiveness Orlando’s economy is, as most know, heavily invested in tourism. While we appreciate our vibrant tourism industry as a tremendous benefit to our economy, a heavy concentration of employment in a particular economic sector can be risky. One timely example is the recently declared bankrupt city of Detroit. A substantial concentration of employment in the automotive and related industries brought great wealth to that region during the height of the domestic auto industry, but subsequent restructuring and globalization turned the once-proud city into a shell of its former self.
Orlando got a taste of economic loss in the wake of 9/11. Those who lived in the region during the aftermath of that tragedy described Orlando as eerily quiet and empty. The shock to tourism proved to be transitory, but it was a wake-up call to regional and statewide leaders. The old adage of not putting all of your eggs in one basket is sage advice. While diversifying an investment portfolio may be a relatively easy task, diversifying the city’s economy is more daunting. The benefits, however, are just as tangible and more widespread. Diversifying a regional economy takes significant time. Orlando did not become a tourism powerhouse in a matter of a few years; it has taken decades. The speed with which a
region’s economy evolves is usually quite slow, similar to how a glacier affects the landscape. UCF’s College of Medicine and the Medical City that continues to grow around it at Lake Nona is transforming Orlando’s economy at a pace that is more cataclysmic than glacial. This rapid growth has captured the attention of economic development professionals nationwide. During the most recent recession, the health services sector was the single sector in Florida’s economy that consistently added jobs. Florida’s population is older than the national population as a whole, and as a result, statewide demands for health care services continue to grow.
Combine our older population, the baby boom generation’s imminent retirement, and the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of health care coverage, and you have a growing demand for health care services that will translate into job growth. The hospitals, research facilities and related establishments at Lake Nona Medical City offer the prospect of employment to thousands of people in Central Florida and represent an ongoing diversification of our region’s economy. While the health care sector isn’t impervious to recession, our region’s economy will suffer far less as a result of the job growth at Lake Nona Medical City. In this instance, diversification translates into a positive prognosis for Central Florida’s future.
Is Student Debt a Good Investment? BY JAMES WRIGHT
Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor, Sociology These days, student debt is featured often in the news. In summer 2013, the allowable interest on federally guaranteed student loans was doubled, and editorials decried the immorality of the federal government turning a profit on educational loans. Congress responded by rescinding the increase and voting to tie this and future rate increases to market rates, which increased the interest on current loans by a modest half percentage point instead. Still, the numbers are sobering: Nearly 40 million Americans have outstanding balances on their student loans, total student loan indebtedness is approaching a trillion
dollars, and the average indebtedness per student is about $26,600. Much the same is true in Canada. Student groups across the nation have clamored for resolution of this student debt crisis. University administrators are also concerned that the perpetually increasing cost of a college diploma will drive many students and their families to the conclusion that a college education isn’t worth the money. Has American higher education begun to price itself out of business? Not likely. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011 the median annual earnings of young adults ages 25 to 34 working full-time jobs was $30,000 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent versus $45,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree, a difference of 50 percent. With the average student debt amounting to about $26,600, students will recoup that sum in
two or fewer years. And these are only the income differences among younger workers. The salary gap between those with more and less education widens as age increases. If one considers lifetime earnings, the differences are much larger. Lifetime earnings for those with a high school education will average about $1.3 million. Those with a bachelor’s degree will average $2.27 million in lifetime earnings. Would you incur indebtedness of $26,600 for a return of almost $1 million? The fact is the payoff from getting a college degree is huge and increasing, and this will almost certainly remain true far into the future. The slogan “To get a good job, get a good education” was first used in 1965 and has been repeated countless times since. Unlike many timeworn clichés, this one is as true today as when it was first uttered. P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 23
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Honors students supply a South African community with electricity.
Though it’s home to roughly 70,000 people, you won’t find Pomolong Township, South Africa, marked prominently on many maps. Set against the backdrop of majestic mesas and dusty plains, the township — a mishmash of multicolored, corrugated metal shacks — is a remnant of the country’s apartheid era. “In America, when we use the word ‘township,’ I think it is a fairly benign image we have of a close-knit village of friendly people,” says Alvin Wang, dean of The Burnett Honors College at UCF. “A township in Africa is a very different concept. It’s a place where people don’t want to live, and they are there because they are black.”
ILLUSTRATION BY HELEN MUSSELWHITE
OFF THE GRID
Last May, Wang, Associate Dean Martin Dupuis, Burnett Honors Information Technology Director Michael Callahan, ’05, and a group of Burnett Honors students traveled to Pomolong to work with town residents. There they installed a 40-foot-tall wind turbine and sun-tracking solar panels to power the township’s new community center and provide Internet access to the nearby Swinburne Primary School. “[Pomolong] is off the grid,” Wang says. “The only running water is in spigots located about every 50 meters. So houses don’t have any water, and you have to use public latrines.” The genesis for the project occurred two years ago, when Annamarie Versfeld, mother of Burnett Honors student Zina Versfeld, approached Dean Wang about working in South Africa. Wang says that Annamarie, who owns a large farmstead in South Africa, was familiar with The Burnett Honors College service-learning, study-abroad program on the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. That project, which involved students and faculty in a range of sustainability projects, was one that she hoped the college might replicate in Africa. Annamarie volunteered her farmstead as a home away from home for the college’s first project in Africa. In 2011, Wang and Dupuis took a fact-finding trip to determine how they could help the town. “We don’t go to people and tell them what they need,” Wang says. “When our students are working toward a common goal with our international friends, that’s when true understanding of other cultures takes place.
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IMAGES COURTESY OF THE BURNETT HONORS COLLEGE
“[The township residents] said they would love to have electricity in their community center. Without electricity, there is nothing to do after the sun sets.” PEOPLE GET READY
On an average day, the lobby of The Burnett Honors College resembles a museum, complete with stylish marble floors, glass-encased sculptures, and modern art adorning the hallways. Before heading out for the 17-hour trip to Pomolong, Burnett Honors students turned the lobby into a hardware supply store, says Kelly Cox, ’13. Cox, now studying mechanical engineering at Stanford University, recalls bringing an empty suitcase to the lobby, where the floor was strewn with equipment for the wind turbine team. She filled her empty carry-on with as much as she could fit. Work on building the prototypes for the renewable energy plant involved 16 Burnett Honors engineering students, who helped devise the wind turbine and solar panel system as part of their senior design project. Seven student representatives from the four engineering teams made the trip to South Africa to install the renewable energy system. Three more students from biomedical sciences, anthropology and international studies also joined the trip. Callahan helped the Swinburne Primary School gain Internet access. He updated their computers, linked them to a server, and loaded new software, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica. Previously, the 10 governmentsupplied computers had never been turned on. “It turns 26 / F A L L 2 0 1 3
out there was one cable missing,” Callahan says. Burnett Honors faculty and staff also trained Swinburne teachers how to use the computers. At the Pomolong Township community center, Callahan and the students installed a video projector that the college donated. The college also donated a library of DVDs to the township, says Wang. “The IT was a small piece of what I did,” says Callahan, who earned his M.B.A. and undergraduate degree in computer science from UCF. “Originally, I thought that was going to be the primary piece, but about a month before we left for South Africa, I started to get more involved with the engineering senior design teams.” PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
Callahan says he began questioning the teams about key components among the renewable energy systems. “Three of the teams were building a 24-volt system, and one team changed theirs to an 18-volt system for technical requirements,” he notes. “[The systems] were not compatible.” The teams began addressing other
emerging problems, such as planning for lightning protection. “The hardest part was trying to figure out where your team fit in the project,” says Robert Bantz, ’13, who worked to design and install the solar panels. “It was interesting learning about collaboration.” To add to the challenge, says Bantz, the team was designing for a site they had never visited. Michael Jones, ’13, project manager for the wind turbine team, says, “A lot of things ended up being more expensive than we expected.” Jones, now pursuing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University at Buffalo, says despite having to scale back, the team ended up with a successful project. “We had planned on a 150-pound turbine mount at the top, and we ended up with a 15-pound one,” he says. “But we were able to get it all up in two weeks, which made us proud.” Bantz was impressed with the collaboration between The Burnett Honors College and the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “That was something that stuck with me,” he says. “The College of Engineering and Computer Science donated at least $3,000 worth of materials.” “The students did an amazing job working with me and helping identify what the bigger issues were, coming up with a plan, and getting everything packed before we left the country,” Callahan says.
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“The wind turbine was part of a kit that implied that three people could put it together — we had almost 20 people trying to build it, and we had our challenges.” “WE WILL BE BACK.”
Once on site in Pomolong with construction underway, Callahan says there were more surprises: “The wind turbine was part of a kit that implied that three people could put it together — we had almost 20 people trying to build it, and we had our challenges. But that was an obstacle the students overcame with help from local volunteers, and the turbine is now one of the tallest structures in the village.” With the construction of the community center and its renewable energy system, town residents and UCF faculty and students celebrated with a viewing of “The Lion King.” But the highlight of the festivities for Burnett Honors students Michael Jones and Kelly Cox was the impromptu dance party that happened in the community center. “After the movie ended, Andrea Solano, ’13, the electrical engineering student representative, pulled out
her iPod to play some music,” recalls Cox. “The children rushed in and said excitedly, ‘Play Justin Bieber!’ … They all knew every single word. It was really funny — we were having a dance party with all these little children singing Justin Bieber in the middle of South Africa.” Dupuis maintains contact with the town’s liaison, local religious leader Rev. Efraim Mbele, primarily through text messages. In a message, Mbele wrote, “The community is very happy to see such marvelous things in the area, because at night they come to the center to do homework. The teachers use the radio for the children, and they are happy to see their school developing.” Wang says The Burnett Honors College has plans to return for other projects. “At the very least, we can expand the power that is generated off the community center,” he says. “We will be back.”
CHEETAHS, KUDU LUNCH AND SPIDERS AS BIG AS A HAND During their trip to South Africa, Burnett Honors students spent a week working as honorary rangers at the Nambiti Game Reserve to care for baby cheetahs and other wild cats. “Cheetahs will be extinct in less than 20 years, and the only way we can perhaps prevent their extinction is with conservation efforts‚” says Dean Alvin Wang. “One way that is being accomplished is to raise cheetahs in captivity so that they are protected from predators‚ such as lions and hyenas.” Wang adds that the college adopted a male cheetah cub at the reserve‚ providing funds to support the wild cat‚ now appropriately named Knightro. To remain docile‚ cheetahs need daily socialization‚ Wang explains. “They are like giant house cats‚” he says. “Instead of a little kitten with a ball of yarn‚ cheetahs will play with automobile tires.” Student Kelly Cox recalls riding with a ranger to track down a hyena that had entered the cheetah enclosure. “While we were looking for it, we found a kudu [a species of antelope] that the hyena had killed‚” she says. “We pulled it out of the water and fed it to the cheetahs that day. Nothing goes to waste.” Cheetahs‚ hyenas and half-eaten kudu weren’t the only close encounters students had with African wildlife. Student Michael Jones remembers spiders as big as a hand. A ranger found a spider in one of the students’ rooms. Cox recalls‚ “I asked him to kill it‚ and instead he put the spider in a cup and released it outside‚ which was probably the right thing to do.”
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T R A I N I N G
CYBERSLEUTHS Former FBI agent Mark Pollitt, ’13, is building a cybersecurity workforce. In 1987, a fellow agent handed then-FBI special agent Mark Pollitt an 8-inch floppy disk. “He asked, ‘Do you know what this is, and can you tell me what’s on it?’ ” recalls Pollitt, now a professor of engineering technology at Daytona State College. “Digital forensics, which I call CSI for geeks, is a matter of looking at computer systems and networks to determine the who, what, when, where, how and why of things happening,” Pollitt explains. His initial experience led to a slew of other cases involving digital forensics — investigations into white-collar crime, organized crime and some of the first cases of online child pornography. Pollitt’s interest in this emerging field eventually put him at the forefront of the agency’s computer forensics unit, and led to him becoming director of the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. “One of the things I learned from my father is that when you get to a new job, see what isn’t being done, then do it,” says Pollitt. “When I got in the FBI, I realized they had a dearth of technology and virtually no folks with much of a technological background. I quickly became the go-to guy for technology stuff.” Pollitt and his research partner, Daytona State College Associate Professor Philip Craiger, were recently awarded a $1.6 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to train college faculty to teach digital forensics and establish new programs for cybersecurity, and create programs to interest students in grades K–12 in pursuing careers in digital forensics. They were also involved in creating the master’s program in digital forensics at UCF, one of 12 schools in the country to offer such a program. A 2012 survey found that more than 20 percent of federal government cybersecurity workers are eligible for retirement in the next three years. “The security of our computers
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and networks is critical,” Pollitt says. “One of the biggest problems with cybersecurity is that we don’t have an adequate, trained workforce.” Cybercriminals are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen data, according to a 2009 White House report. Pollitt first visited UCF on a grant to work at the National Center for Forensic Science. After his retirement from the FBI, he consulted and taught as a security expert before teaching as a visiting professor at UCF. He was later accepted into the College of Arts and Humanities’ Texts and Technology (T&T) Ph.D. program. “I came to the T&T program because it was advertised as interdisciplinary,” Pollitt says. “During my time at the FBI, forensic science focused on the traditional computer science approach. The problem was that our customers were investigators who focused on the narrative, which traditional approaches don’t address.” Pollitt says his background in investigations meshed well with the humanities approach in the T&T program. “What digital forensics forces you to do is think about security in a human context. It’s not the threats that do us harm; it’s the people behind the threats. And, by extension, it’s not the computer systems that get hurt; it’s the users of the computer systems.” As part of the NSF grant, Pollitt and Craiger have formed partnerships with schools in four states to establish cybersecurity training programs. The schools will work to build a larger network of digital forensics trainers and programs in the Southeast. The grant marks the first time the NSF has financially supported digital forensics, according to Pollitt. “I can remember going to meetings at NSF as an FBI representative and saying that this is the kind of research we need for digital forensics,” he recalls. “So, it’s pretty amazing that 10 years later, I’m doing it.”
“One of the biggest problems with cybersecurity is that we don’t have an adequate, trained workforce.”
Difference SHAQUILL AND SHAQUEM GRIFFIN ARE IDENTICAL, FROM THE FOOD THEY ORDER TO THE COLLEGE THEY PICKED TO THEIR DREAMS OF PLAYING IN THE NFL. EXCEPT THAT ONE OF THEM IS MISSING A HAND. BY ALLISON GLOCK | PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER YANG /AUGUST
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The twins were three-star DBs and nationally ranked track and field stars.
ABOUT 1,500 KIDS FROM A HANDFUL OF COUNTRIES ARE COMPETING IN THE BAYTAF AAU TRACK MEET IN TAMPA, FLA., the 99-degree heat gusting around the grounds like tumbleweeds from hell. The swelter does little to quell packs of squealing children zipping in and around the beach tents and loveseatsize coolers, and yet, as Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin wend through the crowd, spectators freeze and take note. “Twiiins!” shriek several observers of the obvious, as if they’ve spotted a shooting star, some pointing as the identical 17-year-old brothers pass in matching neon yellow zip-ups and black running tights, their globular white headphones pushed behind their ears. “Y’all look like you’re going to be somebody,” says a middle-aged woman in denim shorts and a tank top. “Can I take your picture?” The twins pose, arms draped languidly over each other’s shoulders, smiling full and proud. An audience gathers at the track
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fence as the Griffins practice their triple jumps, coaching each other: “Out, not up.” “Watch the knees.” Shaquem is precise in his prep. He leans back, then forward, over and over in a bobbing rhythm, elbows sharp and back stiff as if he is dancing in slow motion. Before he runs, he raises his arms, slaps his right hand into his left forearm, the crowd joining in enthusiastically. Then he is off, the rhythmic applause growing faster as he tears down the track and launches himself like an artillery shell into the sand. He travels 48 feet, 11¼ inches, enough for the lead and just shy of the meet record. Shaquill follows, and the spectators clap again until he too is airborne, landing with a nimble sprawl. He covers 48ˇ9¾ˇˇ, good for second. The twins are pleased, but they do not celebrate unduly. They cheer on the rest of the jumpers. They stay classy and humble, even as they wade into the throng of beaming fans, their gold and silver medals bouncing around their chests. Later, under a tent set up by their parents, Tangie and Terry, the brothers slurp down fruit cups and stretch, oblivious to a stream of double takes. Someone brings up their final football game at Lakewood High (St. Petersburg, Fla.); the team lost the Class 5A regional semis on a touchdown pass in the final 14
seconds. Shaquem, a safety, had been taken out. “Coach said he looked tired,” Shaquill says, his jaw set. “I think the coach believed Shaquem couldn’t make the play,” says their mother, Tangie, a medical data analyst. Both twins wept on the sideline. Not just for the crushing loss but for the lack of faith. Despite everything Shaquem had shown that season, over four seasons, in the end, in their eyes, Coach saw only what was missing.
The pain was so unbearable that he walked into the kitchen in the middle of the night sobbing and reached for a butcher’s knife. But his mother interrupted the plan. “Cut them off,” he begged, waving his fingers. “Please.” “I massaged his hand, tried to ease his pain any way I could,” says Tangie, who called the next day to schedule surgery. She and Terry did not tell their son why he was going to the hospital. They didn’t know how.
ALL SHAQUEM GRIFFIN remembers about the day his left hand was removed is the little red wagon: “I was pulling it around. After that, everything is a blank.” He was 4 years old, the hand a casualty of amniotic band syndrome, a congenital disorder that occurs in roughly 1 in every 1,200 births. While she was pregnant, Tangie had been told the amniotic sac had entangled with her son’s wrist, but because Shaquem was a twin, the risk was too great to operate. When the boys were born — Shaquill first at 6.3 pounds, then Shaquem at 6.4 — Tangie and Terry discovered the consequence of forgoing the operation. The tissue in Shaquem’s left hand was soft, his fingers like a glove filled with jelly. “Everything I touched burned,” recalls Shaquem of his first four years.
THE MISSING HAND isn’t the first thing you notice about Shaquem Griffin. That would be the hair, plaited and falling just past shoulder length. He and his brother have been growing their respective braids since seventh grade. Like everything else the two do, the hair was a joint decision, which brings up the second thing you notice about Shaquem: Shaquill. “People say, ‘I never see you without him,’ ” Shaquill says, sitting on the well-worn sofa of their family home in St. Petersburg, Shaquem to his right. “Being a twin attracts a lot of attention. But we never wished we weren’t.” Identical twins are innately magnetic. They draw the eye, trip something primal in the subconscious. Mythology and science fiction are littered with twins, or the
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“BY EIGHTH GRADE, WE KNEW WE WOULD NEVER LEAVE EACH OTHER. WE TALK ABOUT HAVING ADJACENT HOUSES WHEN WE GET OLDER.” idea of twins, multiple copies of the same being, clones, otherworldly creatures that possess mystical knowledge and abilities normal humans do not. “Weird stuff does happen,” Shaquill says. “But we just roll with it.” The brothers say they often crave the same food at the same moment. Or switch separate TV sets to the same channel simultaneously. “It’s like we are in the room together when we aren’t,” marvels Shaquem. “Like today,” adds Shaquill, “I grabbed my blue swimming trunks, and he came out dressed in the same ones.” “When something happens to him, I feel it,” says Shaquem, as Shaquill nods in agreement. Injuries have followed suit. When Shaquem pulled a groin muscle, Shaquill did the same two days later. Their bodies are not only in sync but uncannily similar. They stand 6ˇ1ˇˇ and vacillate from 190 to 195 pounds. Even though Shaquem is a safety and Shaquill a corner, the two have developed in parallel, their muscles seemingly equal shape and size. “They have that twin connection,” says Terry, awed himself. “They share everything.” Both competed in baseball, football and track from age 5. Any physical disadvantage was ground to dust at home by Terry, a tow truck operator, who devised creative training solutions for Shaquem’s missing hand: Like “the book,” a block of wood with another smaller piece nailed to it, forming an L-shaped brace so Shaquem could bench-press. Or like the hurdles made from stacks of bricks and the bell hung from a tree limb 10 feet high. “I was harder on them than their coaches because I knew what they could do,” says Terry. He also didn’t want to give anyone an excuse to dismiss Shaquem. “Players thought they’d just knock the ball from him,” Terry says, laughing. “But they couldn’t; he just kept on running.” College scouts took note of the twins early, but doubts about Shaquem lingered. At a Nike combine, a coach threw him the ball underhand, as if tossing it to a child. “No one ever told me I couldn’t play,” Shaquem says, pressing his lips together. “They just said I wouldn’t be able to” — dismissals he was determined to make them eat. In his senior year, Shaquem logged 67 tackles and two interceptions for Lakewood, earning secondteam all-state. He also ranked fifth in the nation in the triple jump and was state champ in the long jump. Shaquill matched his brother’s success, with 44 tackles and five touchdowns, ranking fourth nationally in the triple jump, an event they taught themselves by watching YouTube videos. In June they were both declared Tampa Bay Track and Field Athlete of the Year by the Tampa Bay Times. The brothers are used to being fused into one person. It is the social irony of all identical twins. You stand out because you are a pair, but you are processed in the minds of others as a single entity. When asked if she ever imagines her sons independently, Tangie cocks her head and considers
the notion. “I don’t,” she realizes, smiling. “In my mind, they are always together.” The twins assert they are, in some ways, unique. “I’m funnier,” says Shaquem. Shaquill says, “I’m more chill.” On their 17th birthdays, both got tattoos. “I went first,” says Shaquem. “Any time Shaquill is nervous or scared, he makes me go ahead of him.” Shaquem inked power on one shoulder and strength on the other. Shaquill chose a griffin bird on one shoulder and honor scrawled on the other. They say their next tattoos (a Bible verse under the Virgin Mary) will match, though they promise Tangie nothing below the elbows. “We plan ahead so we know what’s to come,” says Shaquill. “By eighth grade, we knew we would never leave each other. We talk about having adjacent houses when we get older.” Shaquill admits some folks have urged him to ditch Shaquem. “Coaches wanted me to go to that big-name college to help their program,” he says. “They told me to think about it. I told them I wasn’t doing any more thinking.” He turned down inquiries from Florida, Florida State and Ole Miss, offers Shaquem says he would have been “happy” for his brother to take: “It was always his call.” Shaquill’s call was to field interest only from programs that wanted them as a pair. Arkansas, Boston College, Illinois and Alabama were among more than a dozen FBS schools that made offers. The twins were also hotly pursued in track, with Kansas, Penn and Wake Forest among the many suitors. After a campus visit, they chose Central Florida, in large part because it was close to home, a place neither is in much of a rush to leave, but also because of defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan, who made the bold move of recruiting the twins and screening their reels without informing the other coaches of Shaquem’s missing appendage. “Everybody loved the film,” he remembers. Then he told them, “There’s just one thing ... ” He chuckles. “They wanted to pause the film to verify it was even true. It was that unbelievable.” Following a thorough Zapruder-ing of the tape, the staff signed off on meeting the Griffin brothers. “You can see them being captains in two years,” says Callahan. “They have the height, weight and speed — and the GPAs.” (Shaquem graduated with a 3.6, Shaquill a 3.8.) “And we liked that they wouldn’t go one without the other.
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM AND GRATITUDE TO ESPN THE MAGAZINE
Worst-case scenario, they leave here at 21 years old and train for the Olympics.” AT RED LOBSTER, it is Shaquem’s turn to order. “Really? Barbecue shrimp and mashed potatoes?” Shaquill whines, wrinkling his nose. “I want to try something different,” Shaquem says with a shrug. “You want strawberry lemonade?” Shaquill shrugs back and keeps reviewing his menu, hoping to find something to tempt his brother. The waitress arrives. “Barbecue shrimp and mashed potatoes. Strawberry lemonade,” says Shaquem. “Same,” says Shaquill, never considering he could order something different. A few minutes later, Shaquem gathers his hair into a ponytail. Once he is done, Shaquill pulls his own hair back. They talk about when Shaquem was 6 and one particular girl mocked him relentlessly, calling him “pickle hand.” He took it in stride, made his own joke about a shark and a fishing trip. Shaquill was less sanguine. He bonked the pickle hand girl in the head. “Shaquill didn’t like when people even looked at his brother’s arm,” Tangie recalls. “People figured out pretty quick if they messed with Shaquem, they’d have to deal with Shaquill.” Back home, the twins settle onto the living room couch, and Shaquill reveals he did contemplate going to a different school from Shaquem, once or twice. Imagined what that might be like. To be on his own. Distinct. But in the end, “I wanted to stay with my brother.” Shaquill insists he does not operate out of guilt, that he does only what brothers do. They push and prod and pull, but mostly they protect with doglike loyalty, may the circle be unbroken. “I’ve never been lonely,” Shaquill says, simply. “Neither have I,” says Shaquem. The morning after his operation, Shaquem was already laughing and running in the yard, a football tucked between his hand and the bloody bandage where his other hand had been. As he leaped along, he kept looking over his shoulder, hollering for Shaquill to join him.
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TAILGATE GAME TO THE
CELEBRATE U C F ’ S GO L DE N H O M E CO M I N G 2 01 3 Thursday, Nov. 7
Saturday, Nov. 9
UCF Black & Gold Gala CFE Arena, 6 p.m. ucfalumni.com or 407.823.2586
Indoor Tailgate Party UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center, Event begins three hours before kickoff ucfalumni.com/tailgate or 407.823.2586
Friday, Nov. 8 Black & Gold Day Everywhere, all day! Homecoming Golf Tournament Walt Disney World Resort golf courses, 7:30 a.m. ucfalumni.com or 407.823.2586 Young Alumni Presents: Black & Gold Takeover Ember, Downtown Orlando, 9 p.m. — midnight ucfalumni.com or 407.823.2586
Homecoming Football Game UCF vs. Houston Bright House Networks Stadium, TBD ucfknights.com or 407.823.1000
FOR MORE EVENTS, VISIT EVENTS.UCF.EDU.
When Swimming with Sharks, Bring Your Ammo ALUMNUS TAKES ON REALITY SHOW ENTREPRENEURS WITH BANG-UP PRODUCT
In April, Jeff Stafford, ’04, and his business partner Dusty Holloway took on the sharks on the business reality show “Shark Tank” and persuaded billionaire investor Mark Cuban to purchase a 33 percent stake in their Oviedo-based company, Fishing Ammo, for $80,000. Stafford and Holloway pitched their signature product, the Shell Bobber, a fishing bobber made from a shotgun shell. The product combines two of the world’s most popular outdoor sports — hunting and fishing. Stafford, a software salesman, and Holloway, a licensed surveyor, were duck hunting when Stafford saw an empty shotgun shell floating in the water and came up with the idea for the Shell Bobber. Holloway, an
Jeff Stafford (right) and partner Dusty Holloway have developed the Shell Bobber (above), a new product that combines their passions for hunting and fishing. PHOTOS BY GEOFF LEVY, ’13
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Fishing Ammo founders Dusty Holloway and Jeff Stafford won an $80,000 investment on the ABC TV show “Shark Tank.”
engineering major from the University of Florida, crafted a prototype, and Stafford, who studied marketing and international business, began selling the product locally in 2012. “He made about 100 of them, and the first place I sold them, the lady loved it,” Stafford says. “I was sending Dusty photos of the sales receipts saying, ‘I think we are on to something here.’ ” When “Shark Tank” held a casting call in Orlando, Stafford joined the throngs of entrepreneurs eager for a spot on the show. “I got there late,” he says. “The line was wrapped around the hotel, and I thought we should leave because I was supposed to work that day.” Stafford and Holloway asked the investors on “Shark Tank” for money, in part, to help move the business out of Stafford’s garage. They were busy moving into their new 3,000-square-foot facility when Pegasus caught up with the longtime friends to talk about what it’s like to be reality show stars and to find out what’s next for the two entrepreneurs. Pegasus Magazine: Are you both UCF grads? Jeff Stafford: No, just me. He’s a Gator. Dusty Holloway: I actually went to UCF for a semester. JS: Did you? You’re in, man. (laughs) PM: I’ve heard you guys have been friends for a long time. When did you first meet? JS: We met on our school bus, going to Jackson Heights Middle School. I was the candy salesman, and he was one of my customers. DH: He was the kid in sixth grade who made more than $100 a week by selling Airheads candy on the bus.
PM: What was it like being on “Shark Tank”? DH: It was nerve-wracking. They don’t give you much time when you are waiting to be called in. JS: They touched up our makeup and gave us water, and suddenly we heard: 5-4-3-2-1. The doors opened, and we took our places. There are 19 cameras, there are lights everywhere, and there are five billionaires sitting right in front of you. They had a sound check and made sure the camera angles were good while we stood and stared at the billionaires, wondering. It felt like 45 years. PM: Did you guys do anything special to prepare for the show? DH: We had this part where Jeff threw me a shell, and I made it into a bobber and tossed it back to him. We practiced in the hotel for hours. PM: What’s happened since Mark Cuban agreed to help finance your operation? JS: At least 100,000 Shell Bobbers have been spoken for. We’re about to launch in a few thousand 7-11 stores across the U.S. that sell bait and tackle. This afternoon, I have a conference call with 12 different sales agents who will be selling Shell Bobbers to retail chains across the U.S. and Canada. Mark Cuban’s business development manager has these relationships — it’s helped us a lot. PM: Were there any UCF classes that helped you prepare for any of this? JS: Yes. I took a public speaking class and a professional selling class at UCF. Those were the ones that I paid the most attention to, and I truly think it helped me understand the art and science of selling to people and keeping them engaged. PM: What does your family think about this? JS: They are very supportive. It’s tough. I think Mark Cuban said that if [your business] isn’t causing some
“There are 19 cameras, there are lights everywhere, and there are five billionaires sitting right in front of you.” problems in the family, you aren’t working hard enough. But I think both of us are pretty blessed that they understand. We are still working full-time jobs and making this work during odd hours at night. I’ve got three kids under the age of 6, and I have to have family time. So sleep is usually what gets sacrificed. PM: What’s next for your company? JS: Within 10 years, we want the Fishing Ammo logo to be popular in the industry; that’s our goal. It’s not just about creating the Shell Bobbers for us; it’s about creating a brand for people that like to fish and hunt.
Editor’s note: “Shark Tank” producer Clay Newbill, ’82, was inducted into UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication Hall of Fame in September 2013.
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Young alumnus brings wide-eyed enthusiasm to clean energy solutions.
Chris Castro, ’10, grew up on a palm tree farm in Miami. Before heading to college, he took part in a U.S. Department of Agriculture program for farmers’ children to plant and sell their own trees. That early experience helped shape Castro’s future in promoting clean energy practices at UCF and beyond. “I was lucky enough to work with my hands and grow my own crops,” says Castro, now executive director of the nonprofit IDEAS (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions) For Us. “Being raised in a family business that deals with the environment, I was able to
grow up with a distinct appreciation for the natural world.” During President Bill Clinton’s commencement address at UCF, he singled out IDEAS For Us, noting they were recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change. The presidential shoutout to Castro and the group’s co-founder, Henry “Hank” Harding, ’10, was one in a string of accolades for the nonprofit. The Florida Wildlife Federation recognized the group as Conservation Organization of the Year for its work in encouraging youth to participate in conservation issues and for organizing environmental cleanup projects. IDEAS For Us started as a small student group at UCF in 2008 and has expanded to 25 chapters that include universities, high schools and community projects in 13 countries. It is accredited as a nongovernmental
organization by the United Nations. “We have student groups developing projects that are furthering sustainability at their schools,” says Castro. Those student-led projects include outreach activities, such as a solar-powered charging station at UCF and using solar power to make smoothies at the University of Miami to promote Earth Week. “I came to UCF with a bunch of surf buddies,” says Castro. “I didn’t really think I was going to get into the environmental movement.” A class with Professor Emerita Penelope Canan spurred him to enter the environmental studies program and begin searching for opportunities to engage in promoting clean energy and sustainability issues. “A group of us came out of that class empowered and impassioned to do something,” says Castro. “I’m not about protesting,” he says. Instead, as a self-described “social eco-preneur,” Castro contributed to campus sustainability and outreach projects while at UCF and following graduation. His work includes serving
as the first U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) campus ambassador in the Southeast, helping draft a grant proposal to Progress Energy (now Duke Energy) to install 440 solar panels at UCF, and assisting the UCF Department of Sustainability and Environmental Management with LEED certification. Scott Minos, senior policy and communications specialist for the DOE, hired Castro as an intern and campus ambassador. “He is such a go-getter and has a lot of enthusiasm,” says Minos. “He came into my office one day and asked, ‘Can I have lunch with Bill Clinton tomorrow?’ He ended up attending a conference Clinton put on with a rather small group and met Clinton. I worked here throughout the Clinton administration and never got to meet him.” Today, Castro is working to establish more IDEAS For Us chapters, but also keeps busy as co-founder of Citizen Energy, which helps make commercial buildings more energy efficient. “Whether it’s how we use our energy and water resources, how we discard our waste appropriately, what food we decide to eat, and how we treat the surrounding ecology — it all has an incredible impact on our people and planet,” Castro says. “It’s all of us doing a little piece to make the world a better place.”
“I came to UCF with a bunch of surf buddies. I didn’t really think I was going to get into the environmental movement.”
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Fran (Kaufman) Lubell, ’74, opened her travel agency, Cruising Time Travel.
Jenni Gold, ’92, and her film company, Gold Pictures, hosted the premiere of “CinemAbility,” a documentary that examines the evolution of disability storylines in film, TV and the Web to see if the entertainment industry has impacted society’s perception of people with disabilities.
Robert Gleichauf, ’74, retired after serving 33 years with the state of Florida and 33 years in the U.S. military, both active and reserve. He lives in Merritt Island, Fla.
Robin (Davis) Silva, ’77, received her master of music in performance degree at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. She received a medallion from Alpha Chi for her 4.0 GPA. She wore honor cords for Pi Lambda Kappa, a music honor society, and Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity organization for women.
Paul Perreault, ’80, became chief executive officer and managing director of CSL Limited, a leading global biotechnology company that delivers innovative therapies to meet the needs of people with serious diseases. Julie Anderson, ’84, appointed to Florida vice president of digital publishing for Tribune Co., which owns two Florida newspapers — the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Robert Persan, ’86, accepted a position as account executive with national telecommunications provider TW Telecom. Russell Schenk, ’87, inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Florida Chapter. He was an AllAmerican at UCF and also won gold medals for Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling at USA Wrestling. Russell is currently the athletic director at Sunlake High School in Land O’ Lakes, Fla. Salli Setta, ’87, named president of Red Lobster. Salli joined Darden in 1990 and was credited with leading a successful rebranding effort for Red Lobster.
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Lewis Lineberger, ’90, manager/lead engineer for WaterGreat, announced nationwide marketing of a solarpowered, moisture-sensing watering system.
Rodd Santomauro, ’93, hired as chief operations officer at Synergy Settlement Services. A former personal injury attorney, Rodd brings 20 years of consumer advocacy experience to his new position. Rae Ward, ’93, appointed executive director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida, where she oversees daily operations, manages strategic direction and strengthens relationships with community partners. Leslie (Beery) Clark, ’94, awarded 2013 Alabama History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Leslie taught at Orlando’s Ivey Lane Recreation Site before she and her husband, Lincoln, ’94, moved to Hoover, Ala., where they both work as teachers. Lee-Anne Spalding, ’94, earned her third degree from UCF, a doctorate in education. She is also a lecturer at UCF. Isabel Escobar, ’95, appointed editor in chief of the IDA Journal of Desalination and Water Reuse. She is also a professor and assistant dean at The University of Toledo in Ohio.
JoAnne Puglisi, ’73, addressed graduates at this year’s summer commencements. A mechanical engineer who has worked in the field of military aviation simulation and aircraft development for 40 years, JoAnne has served on the Alumni Association’s board of directors and received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 1980 and the Distinguished College of Engineering and Computer Science Alumna Award in 2012.
Donald Jacobovitz, ’95, Putnam County (Fla.) public works director, named by the American Public Works Association as one of the national Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year. Alex Morales, ’95, promoted to fiscal and operational support manager for the Orange County (Fla.) Fire Rescue Department. Daniel Rini, ’95, president of RINI Technologies in Oviedo, Fla., named one of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council’s 2013 “Faces of Technology.” Brian Wheeler, ’95, stepped aside as CEO of the Tijuana Flats Burrito Co. he founded almost 20 years ago to focus on a new restaurant chain, Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen, which he helped create in 2010. Keisha Bell, ’96, Esq., appointed to the Pinellas County (Fla.) Health Facilities Authority. Keisha was also appointed to a three-year term on the Florida Bar’s Legal Needs for Children Committee. Pam Cavanaugh, ’96, selected as assistant vice provost for UCF Student Services and Advising. Deana Leffler, ’96, hired as director of marketing for Moore Stephens Lovelace, a certified public accounting and consulting firm.
Matt Wittman, ’96, and wife, Nicole, welcomed their son, Nathan Theodore, March 14. Nathan joins big brother, Luke, 4. The family resides in Sarasota, Fla. Josh Gardner, ’97, promoted to assistant director in the Federal Programs Branch, Civil Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School. Kristen Bazley, ’99, received tenure and was promoted to associate professor at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. Trent Flood, ’99, established Berringer Communications, a consulting business focused on the cybersecurity, technology, economic development and counterintelligence sectors.
Jake Bebber, ’00, and wife, Dana, ’07, welcomed their son, Vincent Gene, July 10.
Douglas Diggle, ’00, a safety of life at sea expert, completed a joint mass rescue exercise in Grand Bahama with the National Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard. Amanda (JonckheereCarling) Pulivarthy, ’00, and husband, Sankara, welcomed twin boys, Ashton and Austin, June 19.
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ndrea Zuvich, ’08, is “The Seventeenth Century Lady.” She has played the music of the Stuart era as a flutist and performed its literature as a Shakespearean actor. She’s researched its history as an author. And as a royal gardens guide at Kensington Palace in London, she helps visitors experience the age firsthand. The Stuart era became Zuvich’s main research interest after making a list of the things she loved about history, music, philosophy and art. “I think the 1600s mark a profound change in government and life philosophies,” she says. “From the time of Elizabeth I’s death in 1603 to the reign of William and Mary in the last decade of the 17th century, we see the monarchy shift from almost absolute power to constitutional limited power.” A graduate of UCF’s history and anthropology programs, Zuvich recently published her first historical fiction novella, titled His Last Mistress, which focuses on the tragic love affair between the Duke
Alumna Andrea Zuvich guides readers and tourists through royal history. of Monmouth and Lady Henrietta Wentworth. “I came across mention of Lady Henrietta Wentworth in John Evelyn’s diary, in which he refers to her as ‘that debauched woman.’ I found that quite intriguing,” she says. “I began to study her story in depth, though it was difficult to gather much information about her, unlike the duke, whose life is abundantly detailed. I have always loved tragic romances, such as Guinevere and Lancelot, but this was real, and that makes it more touching. Henrietta was an obscure historical figure, and now, more people know about her, Monmouth and his ill-fated rebellion in 1685.” Zuvich, 27, decided to write historical fiction because while “there are some excellent academic history books out there, the vast
Founded in 1605, Kensington Palace has been home to Queen Victoria and other British royals.
majority of people won’t read them. That’s why for me, it is crucial to get the facts as accurate as possible. I’ve found that in writing this type of fiction, there’s no need to make anything up — as I’ve learned with the Duke of Monmouth’s story, life is stranger than fiction.” Her love for European history started in high school, with encouragement from a history teacher at Rockledge High School in Brevard County. “I then had some brilliant UCF professors who had a great passion for history,” she recalls. In 2010, she began volunteering for the Historic Royal Palaces and an opportunity arose to lead history tours of the gardens. The Palace was home to William and Mary, Queen Victoria and others, and remains home to royal family members.
“The gardens have changed dramatically under each successive monarch since William and Mary’s time, and what visitors see today is really an amalgamation of garden designs through the intervening time,” she explains. “There have been changes under the Stuarts, the Georgians, the Victorians, the Edwardians, up to our current monarch, Elizabeth II, and we show images of what each stage looked like. Visitors are amazed at how different the gardens were originally — formal, heavily manicured box hedging Baroque parterres. “It’s tangible history,” she says of the palace. “I feel so comfortable there, and it’s become my favorite place in the world.” Zuvich will publish her first novel about Stuart era monarchs William and Mary in December. For Zuvich, the late 17th century “has everything — debauchery, warfare, religious tensions, pestilence, art, and economic and social changes — all of which add up to being completely interesting and enlightening.”
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Cari Mutnick, ’04, a pediatric speech pathologist and feeding specialist at Florida Hospital in Orlando, taught a webinar titled “Baby Trachs: PassyMuir Valve in the NICU to Optimize Swallowing and Feeding.” Jon Abrams, ’05, is director of Global Strategy Management in Winter Park, Fla. Bridget (Ryan) Holt, ’05, and husband, Matt, ’05, welcomed son, Declan Lansing, Dec. 29. Kyle Sill, ’05, and Robert Jeffrey, ’07, published their article, “Up, Around, Over and Under: Busting Through the Supposed Privity Barrier of CISG Article 4,” in the spring 2013 edition of North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation.
The Language of Opportunity As a recent college graduate and novice inner-city high school history teacher, Luiz Bravim, ’05, says he quickly became overwhelmed and burned out. “I took a step back from education, and I figured out what I was good at, which was test prep and teaching adults,” says Bravim, who left high school teaching and started his own test-prep company. After several years Bravim says he fell into teaching English as a second language in South Korea. “It was not something I was looking to do, but the opportunity was right, the company was great, and I had a great time,” he says.
Leah Nash, ’01, chief innovator and owner of Trusted Source Consulting, named program manager of Work Well Winter Park. Amy Overman, ’01, married Wesley Hausman at Gatorland May 25, surrounded by live gators in the wrestling pit. Jill Norburn, ’99, performed the unique ceremony which was attended by fellow Knights Charles Norburn, ’01, and Nicole Phanstiel, ’95. Andy Tjong, ’01, and Shengwei Xu, ’12, welcomed their first child, Shiloh Anya, June 19. Hillery (Brown) Lee, ’02, and husband, Gregory, welcomed their second son, Cameron David, May 21. Cameron joins big brother, Austin. The family resides in Wellesley, Mass. Paul Schatz, ’02, and wife, Jennifer, ’04, welcomed their second child, Carly Lynn, March 9.
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Today Bravim is the director of studies at the Beijing Haidian Foreign Language School. He is responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and supervising instructors in a school with 3,000 students, a staff of 800 and more than 100 foreign teachers from the U.S. and Canada. The all-English Beijing Haidian Foreign Language School prepares many of its Chinese students for higher education in the U.S. “I spent most of the last four years in East Asia,” he says. “The demand [for English language education] is unbelievable.”
Wendy (Simon), ’02, married Abram Jay July 12 at Makena Cove in Maui, Hawaii.
Erin (Brown), ’03, married Dash Verstegen July 5. The couple met while attending Whittier College, where both were earning their master’s degrees in education. They now teach and coach at La Serna High School in Whittier, Calif. Jennifer Chapkin, ’03, joined McGlinchey Stafford as an associate in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) office. Mark Lehman, ’03, and Cristina (Pla), ’03, welcomed their second child, Luke Crosby, March 18. Luke joins big sister, Olivia. Mark is a photojournalist/ reporter for WKMG Local 6 in Orlando, and Cristina is a teacher at Lake Howell High School in Winter Park.
Julie Ruth Owen, ’03, earned her doctor of medicine degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and began a psychiatry residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals in Milwaukee. Marco Peña, ’03, appointed to the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority by Gov. Rick Scott. Brianna (Schweitzer) Swales, ’03, returned to Vantage Communications, a global technology firm, as account director. Tammy (Weiler) Geerling, ’04, received Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women’s prestigious Young Alumna Achievement Award. Laura (Johnson), McCloud ’04, and husband, Michael, ’04, welcomed their son, Connor Edward, May 7. Connor joins big sisters, Erin and Jenna.
Melissa Arocha, ’06, is managing partner and co-founder of Silhouette Group, an award-winning event planning, design and lifestyle marketing company in New York City. Erin (Castleberg) Grassing, ’06, opened 33 Tanning Spa in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Jimmy Skiles, ’06, married Kim Merkur, ’08, June 15 in Key Largo, Fla. Alumni in the wedding party included Tom Kunnen, ’06; Adam Pallesen, ’06; Brandon Purington, ’06; Melissa Merkur-Ventre, ’07; Alexina Binnie-Alonso, ’08; Matt DeSalvo, ’08; and Abby Martin-Winblad, ’08. The newlyweds reside in Blacksburg, Va., where Jimmy is the director of athletics marketing for Virginia Tech, and Kim is a physical therapist. Asher Wildman, ’06, promoted to sports director of KVIA ABC-7 in El Paso, Texas.
Jen Berzinis, ’07, is assistant director of the Tufts Fund for Arts, Sciences and Engineering in Medford, Mass. Stephanie Felder, ’07, earned her credentials of licensed clinical social worker and licensed clinical addiction specialist associate in North Carolina. She works as a program management officer in the FEMA Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
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On her first day on campus, Bishop says she felt like a huge fish out of water. “I looked like somebody’s mom on campus, wearing a sundress. Everybody was in jeans and on their cellphones. I thought, ‘I am out of my mind.’ I took my cellphone out but had nobody to call. Everybody I knew was at work!” However, her first class with UCF English instructor Peter Telep made her feel at home, she says. “He started talking right away about how we were all book nerds … from then on, I felt accepted.”
t age 45, life started to change for Cindy Bishop, ’07. She began running road races and enrolled at UCF to study English and creative writing. “[Running and attending college] were both things that women my age don’t usually attempt, but I was doing them,” she says. The Merritt Island, Fla., resident recently became one of 26 people from around the world to complete all six World Marathon Majors. “The marathon majors are the biggest races in the world, so you get to run with the fastest people in the world,” she says. Before reaching middle age, Bishop never considered herself athletic. “[As a child], I was the last one picked for every sport,” she says. “I would take my kids to sports and watch and was the snack mom. They looked like they were having so much fun. “When I say I was a snack mom for my kids, I was eating those snacks too.” Looking to improve her physical fitness, Bishop began training in 2008 with Douglas Butler, a coach at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy who runs an adult running camp in Melbourne, Fla. She signed up for her first marathon at Walt Disney World in 2009, after several years of running 5-kilometer races. After completing the Disney marathon a minute off her projected time, the Queens, N.Y., native accomplished the New York City Marathon, the largest in the world.
“To be honest, I just like to check things off the list,” she says. “I just wanted to run one marathon.” But that list kept growing, including World Marathon Majors in Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and most recently, Tokyo. In addition to running and writing a sports blog, Bishop has been busy working on her creative writing. “I had two short stories published in a literary anthology. Then I had a novel accepted for publication and signed a contract with a small publisher, but they went out of business,” she says. Despite that setback, Bishop has completed a second novel and is now shopping both books to potential publishers. Meanwhile, she and her husband are accomplishing their goal of bicycling in all 50 states together. So far, they’ve biked in 41 states and co-write a blog about their adventures. In the fall, she’ll run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. And she’ll run the Boston Marathon again. “Now [running in Boston] is like a political statement,” she says. “We have to show the terrorists that they aren’t going to win.” Bishop doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon; during the London Marathon, she gained inspiration from a 101-year-old runner who finished the race. “We can do a lot more than people tell us we can do,” she says.
“The London marathon was so much fun because it is the only [race] that encourages people to dress up. They have wild costumes, everything from cartoon characters to people dressed as other types of athletes, like tennis players. Two men were dressed in hats and tuxedos, and when we crossed the London Bridge they pulled out a table and chairs, sat down and toasted each other. London is nuts.” P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 43
Jason Lee, ’07, a law student at Michigan State University College of Law, worked as a summer law clerk at Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt. Jennifer McVey, ’07, quit her job, sold her car and moved out of her condo to live in third-world countries, hoping to make the world a better place. Jennifer began a solo six-month journey from
California to Africa and Asia, during which she will volunteer at various organizations. Ashley Sherman, ’07, married Ted Spero, ’07, at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes May 4. Alumni in the wedding party included Beth Stroshane, ’04, and Sean Greenbaum, ’06.
M E M O R I A M Linda (Nordyke) Hambleton, ’92, passed away Jan. 27, 2011. She completed a book about her life struggle with diabetes, If Today Is All I Have, which was published 10 months after Linda’s passing at the age of 45. The book won the Christian Small Publishers Association Biography Book of the Year award. Her sister, Karen (Nordyke) Palmer, ’92, says graduating from UCF was one of the proudest moments of Linda’s life. The Linda Nordyke Hambleton Scholarship Fund was recently established in her memory, helping to provide scholarships for diabetes education.
Jill Balboni, ’98, passed away July 23 in Boston, following a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. Jill graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCF, after which her health began to decline. In 1999, her uncle passed away, and his lungs were donated to Jill. She continued her passion for education by attending the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she earned an M.B.A. specializing in nonprofit leadership and an M.S. in rehabilitation counseling. Jill also attended Northeastern University, where she earned her doctorate in law and policy. She loved spending quality time with her life partner, John Figmic, and her dogs. During her time at UCF, she brought the Get Carded and Dance Marathon (now Knight-Thon) programs to campus. She was voted Homecoming queen in 1997, was a Tri Delta, and served as an SGA senator and director of the Campus Activities Board.
Calvin Lee Brown Sr., ’08, passed away from illness May 25 at the age of 29. He was a 2002 graduate of Evans High School in Orlando and worked as a financial aid advisor. He was an outgoing community advocate, specifically with the Northwest and Smith community centers in Orlando. Calvin graduated from UCF with a B.A. in human resources. Prior to his illness, he was pursuing a master’s degree at Kaplan University.
Robert Davis, a retired faculty member from the Nicholson School of Communication, passed away July 23. Bob began his career at then-FTU in 1977 as a faculty member in the advertising/ public relations division, which he headed for many years. He was a dedicated teacher and a strong advocate for his students, and he worked tirelessly for the Roast and Toast/FPRA Scholarship program. He instituted C Day, where students, faculty and staff would picnic and play volleyball and softball.
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Crystal Ruth Bell, ’08, founded China Residencies, a nonprofit dedicated to building resources for more cultural exchange opportunities with China. Ashley (Conyers), ’08, married Trey Wadell Dec. 29 in Orlando. Alumni in the wedding party included Julie (Zimmerman) LeFils, ’07; Melissa Perry, ’08; and Erin Turner, ’08. The couple resides in Pittsburg, Kan., where Ashley works as a student success counselor at Pittsburg State University, and Trey is a band teacher. Catherine Hollis, ’08, joined the Health Law Firm as an attorney in its Altamonte Springs, Fla., office. Brian Rodgers, ’08, promoted to prosecutor in the Gainesville division of the State Attorney’s Office for the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida. Tiffany (Leibell) Sheldon, ’08, received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Louisiana State University. She graduated with the Dean’s Honor List of Scholastic Achievement, Merck Veterinary Manual Award, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for Graduate Studies. Tiffany is a veterinarian at Hollywood Animal Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. Laura (Foley) Stoff, ’08, and husband, Larry, ’10, welcomed their first child, Grayson Lawrence, July 13. Bori Um, ’08, promoted to captain in the U.S. Air Force. He is stationed at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he resides with his wife. Matthew Bilskie, ’09, married Lauren Fagan, ’09, June 22. Joseph Cuomo, ’09, received his M.B.A. with a specialization in sport management from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. He is an equipment manager for the Brooklyn Nets. Stefanie Esquijarosa, ’09, started a company called Florida Film Academy, which specializes in bringing film and media to students ages 7 to 17. The company also offers summer camps, after-school courses and adult courses. Janel (Rabinowitz) Kollangi, ’09, and husband, Ari, ’11, welcomed their first child, Lyla Gila, May 31. The family resides in Baltimore, Md.
Harry Ellis III, ’10, is the chief information officer of Next Horizon and was named 2012 and 2013 CIO of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal.
Jennie Hayes, ’10, graduated from Stetson University College of Law in May with her juris doctor and certificate of concentration in advocacy. Jennie received the William Blews Pro Bono Service Award; the Florida Bar’s City, County and Local Government Law Student Section Award; and the 2012–13 Student Leader of the Year Award. She is interning at the State Attorney’s Office for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Daytona Beach, Fla. Brad Krygier, ’10, is serving a three-year term on the board of directors for the Florida Hospital Credit Union. He is a senior financial analyst for Florida Hospital in Orlando. Megan (LeClair), ’10, married William Sellinger, ’09, April 28 at the Historic Dubsdread Ballroom in Orlando, Fla. David Miller, ’10, started Iron Summit Media Strategies, a website design and digital marketing agency in Orlando. Mary Robinson, ’10, opened Project 7 Yoga, a luxury fitness center in Orlando.
Lucas Bard, ’11, enlisted in the U.S. Navy under the Delayed Enlistment Program at Navy Recruit District in Jacksonville, Fla. Lucas will report for active duty to undergo basic training at the Navy’s Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. Helayne Becerra, ’11, married Ricardo Loaiza, ’11, June 28 in Orlando. Alumni in the wedding party included Luis Lopera, ’09; Esteban Montoya, ’11; Jennifer Parra, ’11; Jessica Becerra, ’12; and Christopher Guzman, ’12. Jordan (Bledsoe), ’11, married Joshua Lyle July 6. She is the convention services manager for Wyndham Bay Point Resort. Ariel Dansky, ’11, is a volunteer technical assistant at Winrock International, an agricultural development nonprofit. He is stationed in El Salvador. Alex Fackler, ’11, is a digital account executive for the Orlando Sentinel.
PEGASUS M AGAZ I NE Laura Keesee, ’11, promoted to senior account executive at Vantage PR. Annie (Roeding), ’11, married Ryan Talbot, ’11, April 6 at the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando. Alumni in the wedding party included David Cerbone, ’07; Anthony Battaglia, ’10; David Comolli, ’10; Katherine Rodriguez, ’10; Kacie Zavada, ’10; John Antonelli, ’11; Andrew Peterson, ’11; Fletcher Basch, ’12; and Ryan Eggers, ’12. Lauren Sullivan, ’11, is the team manager assistant for Team Pelfrey in the Pro Mazda Championship series.
Authors A L U M N I
Roy Fraser, ’77, authored Pilgrim Soul, a coming-of-age story chronicling the journey of a man from his earliest remembrances to adulthood.
Linda Lenhardt, ’98, published three short novels, Train Up a Child: A Girl Named Elizabeth, All Aboard: A Girl Called Lizza-Betty and On the Right Track: Just Call Me Isabel.
Rosalinda Torres, ’11, is the founding president of the AmeriCorps Alums Orlando chapter.
Ida Eskamani, ’12, works as a Central Florida community health care organizer, following her internship at the White House. Her twin sister, Anna Eskamani, ’12, works as an external affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando. Michael Pardillo, ’12, graduated from Navy Officer Candidate School and received a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy while assigned at Officer Training Command in Newport, R.I. Kaylina White, ’12, promoted to district sales leader for Frito Lay in New Jersey. Ken Westerlund, ’13, graduated with his Ph.D. from the College of Engineering and Computer Science. In addition, he has four Knight children, Jennifer L. Westerlund, ’06; Kurt K. Westerlund, ’09; Neil A. Westerlund, ’09; and Kimberly Westerlund, who is currently enrolled at UCF.
Alumni Notes and Announcements We welcome your announcements and high-resolution photos (minimum 3 megapixels, 300 dpi). Submissions are included as space permits.
April Whitt, ’81, created a middle-grade humor/mystery series featuring a teen detective with cerebral palsy. The series includes Private Eye, Romeo Riley: The Boy Who Saw Too Much and The Case of the Crooked Campaign.
Michael Boswell, ’89, co-authored Local Climate Action Planning, which addresses the global problem of climate change. This book is designed to help planners, municipal staff, citizens and others working at local levels to develop climate action plans. Brian Lackovic, ’94, authored The Celestial Connection, a part historical fiction, part cyber-espionage thriller in which a mysterious phone cable and an old set of train tracks in Jupiter, Fla., connect the lives of two individuals separated by 120 years. Judy Lindquist, ’94, authored Saving Home, a historical novel set during the English siege of St. Augustine, Fla., in 1702. Based on meticulous research, Saving Home engages readers of all ages with its story of Spanish and Native American families seeking refuge within the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos as a battle rages and St. Augustine goes up in flames. Col. Robert Tonsetic (Ret.), ’96, authored Special Operations in the American Revolution, which analyzes numerous examples of special operations conducted during the Revolutionary War.
Vance Voyles, ’99, authored an essay titled “Regret” in True Crime: Real-life Stories of Abduction, Addiction, Obsession, Murder, Grave-robbing, and More, a collection of 13 diverse and compelling narratives by writers — criminals, law enforcement officers and victims — who elevate their personal stories of crime into high-powered literature. Laura Guttridge, ’02, authored children’s book Gypsy the Christmas Cat, in which a simple act of kindness marks the beginning of Gypsy’s journey, gently teaching children about compassion, patience and trust. Nathan Holic, ’02, published his first novel, American Fraternity Man, which tells the story of Charles Washington, a college graduate brimming with idealism and promise. Charles is out to save the world — the world of fraternities.
Richard Corey, ’09, authored The Blueprint, which explains that all things are possible with hard work, dedication and faith in one’s self. We are all truly great and have the ability to accomplish anything we undoubtedly believe in. The Blueprint simply shows us how.
Lindsay Moynihan, ’13, authored The Waiting Tree, a young adult book that tells the story of a young man named Simon who is outed to his conservative Christian community by his lover’s father. The book was nominated for the American Library Association’s 2014 Rainbow List.
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B ACK IN THE DAY
FTU’s First (and Last?) Homecoming Queen How a publicity campaign, a powder blue dress and a political statement started a tradition that almost wasn’t. BY PATTY GRAY NEFF, ’74 When Alpha Tau Omega brother Terry Gwinn, ’72, invited me to become an ATO “little sister” in September 1970, I had no idea it would lead this obscure little freshman to be crowned FTU’s first Homecoming queen. The vision and work of ATO Jim Mills, ’72, and his fraternity brothers made it happen in February 1971. They mounted an aggressive publicity campaign: Photo shoots with campus publications photographers Jon Findell, ’73, Bill Ivey, ’73, and Chuck Seithel, ’74, yielded posters, lapel pins and even a portable slideshow with background music that appeared at building exits just in time for class changes. They couldn’t have run a better campaign if they’d had email, the Internet and PowerPoint. I was very proud to be their candidate. The Homecoming committee organized a fashion show to showcase the 13 Homecoming queen candidates, with Jacobson’s Proctor Shop of Winter Park, Fla., providing advice and fashions for the event. On the day of the show, the cafeteria was packed (500 students and only seating for 240), and there was lots of cheering as each candidate strolled down the runway. After voting, the five finalists were announced the following evening between Homecoming skits and a street dance. The Homecoming game was a Valentine’s Day matchup between FTU’s first-year basketball team and the Florida Institute of Technology, played at FTU’s original home court in the Oviedo High School gym. FIT had previously beaten the Knights, so this was a grudge match. Coach Eugene “Torchy” Clark, ’72, rallied the team, and the Knights won 101–75. I’m sorry to say I didn’t attend the game. My formal attire for Homecoming court didn’t seem compatible with bleachers in a packed gymnasium, so my ATO “big brother” Terry escorted me to dinner and back to campus for the dance. The cafeteria was transformed with decorations, the band was great, and the other candidates looked beautiful. My own dress — powder blue with a high neck, long sleeves and a full skirt — was classic princess style. I saved the dress hoping to pass it on to a daughter (no luck there) or a granddaughter (there’s still hope). It was an honor to meet President Millican. He graciously offered encouraging words as he crowned me and helped me
don a queenly red velvet robe. The crowning took place about halfway through the dance, so I got to wear the crown for a few hours. (It went back to the Student Government Office the following week because it was the only one they had, and they needed it for the Miss FTU pageant too.) The 1970–71 school year was a controversial time. We were coming out of the ’60s and traditions like Homecoming queens were under scrutiny. Outspoken feminist Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, had visited campus just a few weeks before Homecoming. While some of those first Homecoming events were well-attended, not all had support. The following year, Homecoming was canceled. I think it was a combination of budget restraints, a small alumni base, and a predominantly commuter student body. Yearbook editors Maryke Loth, ’73, and Ron Page, ’73, registered their dissatisfaction with a two-page spread featuring the sole text, “What if they gave a Homecoming and nobody came?” In the yearbook office, a typewritten label mysteriously appeared, affixed to my trophy: “Patty Gray, FTU’s First, Last and Only Homecoming Queen.” Fortunately for enthusiastic Knights everywhere, Homecoming was revived in 1975. I didn’t crown my successor because my first son was soon to be born, and I didn’t feel comfortable about a public appearance. My husband and I supported the football team from its first season and rarely missed a Homecoming after that. I happily participated in 1989, riding in the campus parade before crowning the Homecoming king at the Citrus Bowl. I was invited back for the Homecoming parade in 1990, but it was canceled due to an encephalitis scare. I’ll end with a story about Dr. Millican: One evening some time after Homecoming, I was singing in the lounge of the local Steak and Ale restaurant when Dr. and Mrs. Millican and their nephew came in. As they waited to be seated, we chatted and Dr. Millican introduced his nephew, who was attending another college. When I asked him why he wasn’t going to FTU, he responded that he wanted to play football. I teased Dr. Millican, saying that he surely would want to start a football program so his nephew could come to his school. He looked me square in the eye and said firmly, “We will not have a football team at FTU as long as I am president.” He definitely had his priorities set and knew that the school had to establish its academic foundation. Needless to say, I never brought it up with him again!
Patty Gray Neff is a minister of music at Church of the Good Shepherd and lives with her husband in Maitland, Fla. Her oldest son and two daughters-in-law are UCF alumni.
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Letters of Recommendation Some of our biggest supporters on Capitol Hill share their congratulations on our 50th anniversary with colleagues in Washington, D.C. These well wishes are now part of the Congressional Record of the 113th Congress.
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