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PEGASUS The Magazine of the University of Central Florida


Better Together Students and their professors team up to tackle undergraduate research. 24

What’s Next? 14 Worldview 16 False Security 20 Going Public 30

Reflecting Pond and modern sources of inspiration. an inspiring spring formed wherever


PEGASUS magazine serve as Curious, in Greek mythology, Pegasus stamped his hoof. Read on.

Symphony Under the Stars The UCF Music Department, working with the Campus Activities Board, hosts the annual event featuring performances from music professors, alongside students and guest performers.

mproved d fewer ed to tem.



V o l 2 0 • I s s u e 1 • SU M mE R 2 0 1 3

In Focus 6

From Orlando to Washington, D.C. and back


Knight Power 12

Power plant saves millions

What’s Next? 14 Faculty forecasts

Worldview 16

Computer vision turns complexity into performance


CONTENTS MAKE YOUR OWN MEGAWATTS — 5.5 TO BE EXACT The generator drive shaft spins at 720 revolutions per minute to efficiently meet one-third of the university’s energy needs. In context, 5.5 megawatts would power 3,700 homes.

False Security 20

Paying attention to men’s health

Enjoying the Journey 22 Med students share their photos

Better Together 24 Mentoring matters


Going Public 30

The road to commercialization

Tech 32

Student ingenuity pays off

On Campus 34

UCF celebrates its 50th anniversary

Memory Mall 36 Alumni stories

Creative Direction 38 Etsy's Randy J. Hunt, ’05

AlumKnights 40 News and notes

Back in the Day 46

All the world's a stage for UCF's original Shakespeare troupe



46 Email Mail UCF Marketing P.O. Box 160090 Orlando, FL 32816-0090 Phone 407.823.2621 Fax 407.823.2567 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.

On the Cover: Dr. Steven Berman and Kaylin Ratner, ’13, talk identity research at UCF Daytona Beach. 4 / SUMMER 2013

©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 I am a bit disappointed to see so few highlights of strong women in the [Spring 2013] edition. I got through half of this magazine with the school [showing] what’s important for it to display to the public; it’s certainly not strong women. I had to go through the entire magazine to find only five women of success! I look forward to someday seeing growth and advancement in this area from the university. Lori Giuttari, ’86 Editor’s response: There’s a heartfelt expression worth borrowing because it fits well here: The good news we like to hear, but the bad news we need to hear. We try to please everyone but know we will fall short. Thank you for keeping us on our toes. Kudos on a very enlightening look at UCF’s first 50 years! I appreciate how difficult it must be to condense and highlight 50 years in one publication. However, I must say that I was dismayed that you didn’t include the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. I was delighted that this prestigious program was offered when I enrolled at then-FTU. As a result, I proudly served our nation for 26 years in the U.S. Air Force. Col. Frances Clark Martin, ’77, U.S. Air Force, retired

PUBLISHER University of Central Florida

Chair, Board of Trustees Michael J. Grindstaff, ’78

Editor’s response: Thank you for your service and for your note. Classroom Building 2 opens in Fall 2013 with portions of three floors dedicated for the Army and Air Force ROTC programs. The ROTC entrance fronts Memory Mall and the Veterans Commemorative Site and will house a military history library, recruiting offices and more. My name is not listed in the class of ’70. Bob Scribner, ’70 Editor’s response: Thanks for taking my call the other day, and as promised, here’s your Pegasus note. The coffee is on us if you make it down to Florida one day. Love it! Love the new layout, love the articles and love receiving it. You guys are doing a great job! Lindsay Keegan, ’05 Hello, I was one of those students in the first graduating class of ’70; I really enjoyed the anniversary issue! Well done! Richard King, ’70 Congratulations on a beautiful Spring 2013 issue reflecting back on the history of our school! I learned a lot and especially loved the page layouts and graphic design. I look forward to future issues.

I was thrilled to receive the 50th anniversary celebration issue. It was a wonderful presentation of the vitality, influence and progress that has been made building UCF into a leading national institution. As a former mascot (1987 Puff ), I was pleased to see “all” of the history remembered. Congrats! I appreciate receiving a print version in addition to various digital formats. (P.S. Thanks for including President Altman, a face not typically seen in UCF coverage.) Daniel Montplasir, ’90 I am writing in response to [name withheld by editor] and her complaints about what a huge waste of money and paper was spent on the Fall 2012 issue of Pegasus. I completely disagree; your marketing department seems to be doing a fine job, and it shows in the quality, journalism, design, illustrations and overall content of the magazine. I cherish the opportunity to curl up on the couch to read this amazing creation that I can actually hold and enjoy. Tina Machowski, ’86 Editor’s response: To Lindsay, Richard, Lauren, Daniel and Tina, thank you for the kind words.

Last year, President Hitt asked for changes to Pegasus magazine. The magazine’s mission became to remind readers what they love about UCF. The audience increased to all alumni, and faculty and staff members. And grace, intelligence and connection evolved into design tenets. Industry experts have responded generously to Dr. Hitt’s in-house publication and to his vision. In recent months Pegasus won 19 local, regional and national awards. Here are the judges’ comments.

“Imaginative spreads, bold use of type, great photography.”

Vice Preside nt and Chief of Staff John F. Schell Vice Presiden ts 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 E dito r IN CHIEF Terry Helms Ass ociate Editor Michelle Fuentes Creative Director Patrick Burt, ’08 ART DIRECTOR Lauren Haar, ’06 Copy EDITOR Peg Martin PHOTOGRAPHerS Steven Diaz Danielle Taufer PRODUCTI ON MA NAGER Sandy Pouliot ON LINE PRODUCER Roger Wolf, ’07 WEB PR OGRAMMERS Jo Dickson, ’10 Brandon Groves, ’07

CON TRIBUTORS Brian Boesch, David Dadurka, ’12, Regan Dunnick, Joanne Camilli Griggs, ’76, Angie Lewis, ’03, Sara Kerens

Pegasus Pride

“Quick read. Great black and white and color photos throughout that were enhanced by the large size of the magazine.”

Provost AND Executi ve Vice Preside nt Tony G. Waldrop

Con tributi ng Editor Anne Botteri

Lauren Rice, ’07

“In love with this publication! Informative and entertaining. Excellent use of photography and illustration with wonderful writing and design. Best infographics I have seen in a college publication!”

Un iversit y Presiden t John C. Hitt

“Fabulous use of charts to promote and reinforce their various messages. They did a nice job reporting on how their alumni are changing the world.”

“Nice infographics. Liked the size of the publication and photography; mix of photos and infographics; nice use of type.”

“The new Pegasus is a very attractive package — innovative and well-executed design made me want to spend more time with the stories.”

“Plenty of variety from spread to spread. Love the size change; the uncoated paper choice gives the piece a softer feel.”

“Stunning visuals, bold design and optimal use of larger page size are the hallmark of this magazine.”

“Larger format and nice use of infographics and illustrations made this a winner."

PEGASUS ADVIS ORY BOARD Barb Abney, ’03 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 Suhtling Wong


Emails to the editor should be sent with the writer’s name, graduation year, address and daytime phone number to Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium. Due to volume, we E Gwe A Scannot U S . U Creply F. E D U / 5 regret P that to every letter.


6 / SUMMER 2013

PEGASUS M AGAZ I NE Friday, Feb. 15 With minutes to go before the first take, a sea of students is ready to dance the “Harlem Shake.”


“It’s crazy, right? It started off as a joke, but when it happened, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.” — Devin Raposo, event organizer A flash mob of 700 students gathered in the Student Union to film UCF’s version of the viral sensation the “Harlem Shake.” Knightro kicked off the video, then a cast of characters including Captain America, Santa Claus and a few stormtroopers joined in the fun. The student-produced video can be seen at UCFHarlemShake.

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 7

IN FOCUS Wednesday, March 27 Julia Pierson, ’81, is sworn in as the first female U.S. Secret Service director in the Oval Office.

Top Service

“Over her 30 years of experience with the Secret Service, Julia has consistently exemplified the spirit and dedication the men and women of the service demonstrate every day.” — President Barack Obama Julia Pierson, an Orlando native, earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UCF in 1981. She joined the Secret Service in 1983 and worked in a Miami field office until 1985, when she transferred to the Orlando office. In 1988 she was promoted to the Presidential Protective Division, which protects the current president and his family. She served on security details for presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during her tenure with the service. 8 / SUMMER 2013


P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 9

PEGASUS M AGAZ I NE Friday, May 3 President Hitt addresses graduates of the College of Business Administration and the College of Nursing.


“What the next 50 years hold will no doubt be as unpredictable as these first 50 years. However, we can confidently predict that we will continue to reach for the stars, stars that embody our highest hopes.” — UCF President John C. Hitt Former U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke at one of the five Spring 2013 commencement ceremonies. In total, 7,800 Knights graduated.

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 11

195 F 56 F

42 F 185 F

BONUS HEAT The modern heat and power plant has improved operational efficiency, greater return on investment and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Here, recaptured heat is used to chill 1,000 tons of water for the on-campus cooling system.


Providing one-third of the university’s energy needs, this newly constructed on-campus natural gas power plant cuts UCF’s power bill by more than $2 million per year.

BREATHE EASIER By operating the UCF energy plant rather than purchasing energy, the university prevents the release of 9,586 metric tons of CO2 per year, the same as taking 1,880 cars off the road.


MAKE YOUR OWN MEGAWATTS — 5.5 TO BE EXACT The generator drive shaft spins at 720 revolutions per minute to efficiently meet one-third of the university’s energy needs. In context, 5.5 megawatts would power 3,700 homes.

Illustration by BRIAN BOESCH

VROOM, VROOM! The power plant’s 18-cylinder, 30-by-10 foot engine operates 24 hours a day. Burning natural gas is a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally conscious method for energy generation.


What’s Next? YouNews


Plus Ça Change James Wright

College of Sciences

The leading conceit of intellectuals of every age is that we stand, even now, on the edge of the great transformation. From Aristotle to Alvin Toffler, the path of intellectual prognostication is littered with arrogant predictions — most of them false starts, bad guesses or plain wishful thinking. Futurists frequently have an unreasoning faith in human progress — not only will the future be different, it will also be better. Thus, the information technology revolution is expected to democratize access to information and in the process transform politics — but it won’t. And alternative renewable energy resources are said to be ushering in a new economic era — but they aren’t. Our politics are driven by bigotry and fear — smartphones don’t change that. And economics is driven by greed — renewable energy resources are just another market opportunity for global capitalism. On the social side, the past few decades have witnessed increasing poverty and inequality, a general worsening of the homelessness problem, a resurgence of racial intolerance, new hostilities directed toward our growing immigrant population, and related lamentable trends. My prediction is that if we could fast-forward 50 years and have a look around, we’d be as disturbed by what we saw as we are today.

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Future Robots: C-3POs or Workhorse Machines? Florian Jentsch

College of Sciences

When hearing the word “robot,” most people conjure up something roughly humanlike in form and size, extremely strong or smart, but lacking emotion. The reality is that it would be extremely difficult and costly to build a humanlike all-purpose robot that even approximates the flexibility, adaptability and vast range of physical, perceptual and mental capabilities that define us as uniquely human. Instead, most practical robots will continue to be designed for specific functions and tasks defined largely by the three D’s: dull, dirty or dangerous. None of these are particularly suited for the human form or size, even if we expand our focus to social and entertainment functions. So, the next time you imagine the appearance of most future robots, don’t think of C-3PO or the T-1000 from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Instead, think of evolutions from existing tools, or maybe of machine incarnations of working animals: smart enough to survive most of the time, but without constant human help; quite capable for a specialized task or environment; and ranging widely in size and form, but, ultimately, not much looking like humans.

The Future of News is in Your Hands Rick Brunson, ’84 College of Sciences

Almost half of Americans own a smartphone, and 62 percent of them say that’s where they get their news on a weekly basis, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Standing in line or sitting in a drive-thru, Americans are gobbling up news on their iPhones and Androids, keeping up with what’s going on in the world and in their communities. Look for that trend to only continue to explode. Americans aren’t just passively consuming news. They’re interacting with it, commenting on it, and sharing it with family and friends through social networks like Facebook. When a big news story breaks — an election or a mass shooting — they become “two-screeners,’’ watching the story unfold on TV and reacting to it through their phone and tablet apps. Indeed, thanks to smartphones and tablets, people are spending more time with the news than ever before — an average of 70 minutes a day. Technology is enabling the dream of the Founding Fathers who wrote the First Amendment, envisioning a democracy brimming with news, debate and civic engagement. James Madison, meet Steve Jobs.

Amateur Historians Benefit from Digitization Scott Waring

College of Education and Human Performance

The future is rife with opportunities for amateur historians, most importantly K–16 students. In the past, professional and novice historians alike had to travel great distances to conduct even the most rudimentary research. With the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and digital primary source repositories, one can access sources, data and information from just about anywhere. For example, the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, has more than 155.3 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves. Luckily, the library, through increased digitization efforts, has more than 38 million digitized items available through its website, with the number increasing daily. Add to this the multitude of sites focusing on digitizing the past and allowing individuals to conduct genealogical research. As a result, today’s students have unique opportunities not afforded in the past by even the most tenacious historians. No longer must the average history student rely strictly on lectures and district-approved textbooks.


From doom and gloom, unemployment and homelessness, to vroom and zoom, electric cars and robots, eight UCF faculty members look ahead and share with us what they see.

The Instructional Coach is the New Catch-All Coach Cherie Behrens

College of Education and Human Performance

Florida is embracing instructional coaches in lieu of literacy and content area coaches. As a result, there has been an increase of instructional coach positions across the state. By offering the new and only state-approved K–12 instructional coaching course, the College of Education and Human Performance is spearheading efforts to teach educators how to become impactful instructional coaches. Districts and schools need coaches who can work with all teachers in promoting student learning in the age of Common Core State Standards. Thus, educational leaders are seeking to hire coaches who have more than one area of expertise to enrich the teaching practices of diverse educators and bridge cross-curricular collaborations in efforts to increase student learning. An instructional coach has a broader and deeper background than other specialized coaches to more effectively support the varied teachers that make up a district or school site. As a result, instructional coaches will have beyond just literacy or contentspecific credentials. For example, an instructional coach’s background may include literacy credentials along with other expertise (e.g., K–12 ESOL Endorsement, experience teaching in the content areas and/or advanced technology skills).

Profiting from Florida’s Solar Energy

Radical Change in Careers for Graduates

Virtual Classroom Innovates Teaching

James Fenton

Karl Sooder

Michael Hynes

Florida has the capacity to save energy, reduce gasoline consumption and create greater efficiency in our homes, all while being sustainable and profitable. Electricity created from solar power and our local biomass can be used to power plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), as well as make our homes more economical.

Little focus is placed on a significant and growing issue: the permanent underemployment of our college graduates. According to current economic studies, about 50 percent of graduates in the U.S. are jobless or underemployed at commencement.

Florida Solar Energy Center

Florida’s renewable energy has been considered too expensive to invest in — this couldn’t be further from the truth. Gasoline is what’s too expensive, even with the introduction of higher gas-mileage conventional vehicles. As the price of gasoline continues to rise, and the price of photovoltaics (PV) drops, the gasoline-equivalent cost of solar electricity is predicted to be 70 cents a gallon in 2021. The automotive industry has gotten serious about producing effective, efficient electric cars, with more than 40 new PEV models being introduced over the next several years. More than 300,000 PEVs are expected to be on Florida roads, and 14 percent of the state’s electricity will come from unsubsidized rooftop solar at prices less than those of retail utility companies. With this market potential, one hopes that both automobile and PV manufacturers will set up shop in Florida. Not only will this create jobs in Florida, it will create profits.

College of Business Administration

Students often have no choice but to move in with their parents. They accept low-paying service work while searching, often in vain, for professional positions. Substantial time and money have been invested in college degrees, but these degrees no longer guarantee paths to high-paying jobs. In response, students must begin developing their own personal marketing plans. Often, this will take the form of preparing to be an entrepreneur in order to create one’s own brand and company. Graduates are no longer able to assume that corporations, the government or other classic institutions will provide employment. Beginning in their freshman year, more students will need to create their own job descriptions, tailor their education and then successfully fill those personal entrepreneurial positions. College graduates can no longer assume anything in today’s job market; self-starters who possess ambition and innovation may now hold the keys to career success.

College of Education and Human Performance

A UCF research and development effort, TLE TeachLivE™, is showing the world that there is a place for using simulation techniques in education. Currently, teachers are evaluated based on the performance of the children they teach, but just presenting content is not sufficient in today’s classroom. Teaching effectiveness is the new holy grail of K–12 education. TLE TeachLivE™ is a virtual classroom that allows both prospective and practicing teachers the opportunity to hone their education skills without impacting real students. Case studies have shown that as few as four 10-minute experiences in the TLE TeachLivE™ simulator can make a dramatic difference in how a teacher performs in their classroom. UCF is leading the effort to make simulation a go-to method for the improvement of education. To date, 22 universities with teacher education programs and two school systems are using the TLE TeachLivE™ system, with nearly 50 more clients requesting to be added. Organizations such as AACTE, Sesame Street, LiveText, ASCD and Google have recognized UCF’s use of the innovative simulator to better education.

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 15


The future of computer vision is changing, but where is it going?

Most people are computer vision consumers. If you’ve undergone an MRI, been fingerprinted for a background check or viewed images of Mars taken from the Curiosity rover, you’ve engaged in a computer vision activity — all dominated by computers that are preprogrammed to solve a particular task.


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Computer vision tasks run the gamut — from medical to machine to military — and vary from preprogrammed assignments to the challenging task of getting computers to learn as they go.

Today, Shah’s team includes 25 Ph.D. students, the largest Ph.D. student staff at UCF.

At their most formidable, computer vision tasks require computers to look, see, interpret and report back.

Worldwide Mission

Meet Dr. Shah “I was born in the small village of Lakhi Ghulam Shah, which was named after my grandfather in the Sindh province of Pakistan,” says UCF Professor Mubarak Shah. “We had no electricity, no running water, no sewage system and no telephone. When telephones did come to my village, our phone number was 1. “My older brother was the first computer science Ph.D. in Pakistan, and he opened up higher education doors for me.” Since 1986, Shah, who earned his Ph.D. at Wayne State University, has been UCF’s go-to computer vision expert. In fact, there are only five people in the world whose computer vision work has been read more over the last five years.

Global Destination The Center for Research in Computer Vision (CRCV) delivers high-quality research and attracts top students and researchers to UCF. “Last year, I received more than 500 emails from 150 future doctoral students from all over the world who wanted to join our computer vision program,” says Shah. Mikel Rodriguez, Ph.D., ’10, says, “While at the computer vision lab, Dr. Shah required us to work on large messy video data sets that were representative of real-world conditions. Writing computer vision algorithms helped me in my current position.”

“It’s humbling to work with students. They’re so smart, and as each new class comes in, I’m reminded of how little I actually know.”

“My first written proposal was for a new National Science Foundation (NSF) program — Research Experience for Undergraduates,” says Shah. “It was funded for $44,000 — more than my nine-month salary! Since then, UCF has received continual NSF funding for 25 years, totaling $2.5 million. And students from more than 35 institutions have studied computer vision at UCF because of this funding.” “Dr. Shah’s constant efforts to introduce our research to internationally acclaimed scholars resulted in UCF becoming a part of an elite research network that provides unprecedented opportunities,” says Alper Yilmaz, Ph.D., ’06. “You learn more in sharing than withholding knowledge,” says Shah. “Science is a noble art; it is for public good. Researchers care a great deal about people and solving real-world problems.” “The CRCV puts UCF in a position to capture major grants in this developing research area and support more local industries that can benefit from the technology,” says M.J. Soileau, vice president of UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization. “We want to build on Dr. Shah’s expertise and be in the forefront of this important field.”

Dr. Mubarak Shah, College of Engineering and Computer Science

This wide-area surveillance video demonstrates vehicle tracking in a high-density traffic scene.

“It’s humbling to work with students,” says Shah. “They’re so smart, and as each new class comes in, I’m reminded of how little I actually know. However, roughly 30 percent of students leave because they cannot keep up with the expectations and amount of effort required.”

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 17

ON DISPLAY If It’s Easy, It’s Already Been Done “Computer vision today addresses big questions and hard problems that impact our quality of life, including our health and security,” says Shah. “It’s becoming increasingly common for computers to learn as they go, but we are stretching the limits of our expertise. The solution is to work with researchers at multiple institutions around the globe.”

Medical Image Processing:

Crowd Management:

Pedestrian Dynamics:

National Institutes of Health, Maryland

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

University of Wuppertal, Germany

“We worked jointly with Florida Hospital and Orlando Health to develop an automated system for measuring the size of a brain tumor in MRI scans. Preliminary test results show automated analyses are up to 90 percent as accurate when compared to the analyses provided by radiologists.”

“UCF is experimenting with Milano’s modeling and simulation techniques to support crowd management in public spaces. Their work includes an analysis of the dynamical formation of crowds and pedestrians and the related influence of multicultural issues.”

“We are working with the Institute for Advanced Simulation and Jülich Supercomputing Centre to study pedestrian dynamics. Studies include evaluation of escape routes in the context of crowd management and the optimization of pedestrian facilities for urban development.” Video Analysis: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.

Transportation Infrastructure and Crowd Management: Center of Research Excellence in Hajj and Omrah, Saudi Arabia Medical Computer Vision: IBM, New York “In another collaborative project, we developed an automatic method for identifying attention deficit hyperactivity disorder patients from MRI scans. IBM has filed a joint patent with UCF.”

“With our input, Hajj CORE has collected videos and Kinect data for UCF research experiments, including identifying behavior in crowd flow in cases of bottlenecks and distress situations.”

“For two years, we provided crowd density video analysis using data recorded from Boston Logan International Airport through its new high-resolution 360-degree video sensor developed by the MIT Lincoln Lab and Pacific Northwest National Lab.” Geotagging: UCF “Using ‘Where am I?’ we can match a camera phone photo or video with millions of geotagged reference images to determine your location. For now our locations are limited to Orlando, Pittsburgh and parts of New York.” Aerial Video Analysis: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.

Video Surveillance: Orlando Police Department

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“In a joint project with UCF criminal justice professor Raymond Surette, we built and installed the KNIGHT surveillance system. Developed to help the Orlando Police Department with electronic patrol, KNIGHT detects significant changes, events and activities. It uses computer vision, flags significant events and presents a summary of activities to a monitoring officer for final analysis and response decision.”

“We partnered with Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control for the VIRAT program and with Kitware (a company co-founded by a UCF alumnus) for the PerSEAS program, and developed new algorithms for aerial video analysis.”


Using computer vision to track people's movements assists with urban planning.

John Rush, chief of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, says, “The deluge of video data from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is likely to get worse. By next year, a single new Reaper drone will record 10 video feeds at once, and the Air Force plans to eventually upgrade that number to 65. We project that it would take an untenable 16,000 analysts to study the video footage from UAVs and other airborne surveillance systems.”

“We project that it would take an untenable 16,000 analysts to study the video footage from UAVs and other airborne surveillance systems.”

Homework Each Sunday morning, Shah sits at his dining table to schedule the week ahead. Person by person, hour by hour, he fills his Outlook calendar for himself and his students. It is a habit he has acquired over 25 years of teaching. And each Sunday morning, his wife shakes her head in disbelief. “My wife thinks I’m crazy,” Shah says with a shrug and a slightly guilty grin. “I guess you could say I’m devoted. But there are lots of smart people at the Berkeleys, MITs and Oxfords of the world. And the only way to keep up and have any chance of success is to work hard and be disciplined.” For Shah, his Sunday scheduling routine is not a minor inconvenience but a major chance to stay ahead of the competition. “When you love what you do, 25 years goes by very quickly,” says Shah.

Among other tasks, Reaper drones allow analysts to determine motion patterns and activities.

“That’s where computer vision can play a very crucial role,” responds Shah. “The fact that we have earned millions of dollars in research funding creates more million-dollar opportunities,” says Shah. “Funding for computer vision projects is very tough, very crowded, and it takes lots of effort to compete and to win.” The College of Engineering and Computer Science, where Shah works, received more than $17 million in research funding last year — the largest amount among UCF’s 12 colleges. P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 19

False Security

Health sciences instructor works with students to bring more attention to men’s health.



hen Michael Rovito was 17, he discovered a lump on one of his testicles. “I thought it was cancer,” he recalls. “I had no idea what to do, and back then there wasn’t the Internet.” A visit to a urologist revealed the lump wasn’t cancer, and Rovito didn’t think much of it until he had a second scare in graduate school. The second recurrence provided Rovito the impetus to begin researching health risks specific to men. “If I have the power to inform other guys about some of the risks they have being a guy, then I am going to do it,” he says.

Men’s Health Initiative

“A year after getting my Ph.D., I co-founded the Men’s Health Initiative,” explains Rovito. The Men’s Health Initiative (MHI) is a collaborative effort of researchers and students who study men’s health issues and engage in public health outreach. Rovito, a health sciences pre-clinical instructor in UCF’s College of Health and Public Affairs, began offering MHI research fellowships for students in 2011. The positions provide students with opportunities to conduct research, publish in peer-reviewed journals and conduct public health outreach. In the 2012–13 school year, more than 40 students vied for 15 unpaid research fellow positions. Part of MHI’s mission is sharing information about health and wellness. “During last year’s Save Your Balls event, we spent five hours on campus handing out literature, playing informative trivia games and giving out prizes to approximately 500 students,” Rovito says. MHI’s research director Chase Cavayero, ’13, says, “I didn’t realize how much men need help in getting information. It is typical of men to ignore symptoms.” “What boys are told as kids leads to health outcomes later in life,” Rovito says. “Boys are often taught not to cry, especially if they get hurt.”

“I thought it was cancer. I had no idea what to do, and back then there wasn’t the Internet.” Mentoring Men and Women

“I have been blessed with great mentors, and I always say that when I have the chance to mentor somebody, I will, because that is what propelled me to the next level,” says Rovito. He continues, “Any wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother or female friend has a vested interest in keeping their male loved ones healthy. Within the MHI research fellowships, 60 percent of our applicants are women.” MHI research fellow Amy Elliott, ’13, says she became involved in the group due in part to her father’s battle with prostate cancer. She says, “Prostate cancer is known as an elderly man’s disease, but my father was diagnosed at age 53.” Elliott worked with Rovito to plan a seminar on sexual health and relationships, which was attended by more than 200 UCF students. She says, “Some public health officials use statistics about pregnancy and birth control to try to scare students into compliance. We were trying to relate on a personal level to create audience feedback and sharing.” The project led to Elliott’s first co-authored research publication with Rovito and other research fellows in the academic journal New Male Studies. Cavayero, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, says that working with Rovito has made him more accepting toward getting treatment, if needed, and helped him discard macho attitudes. He says, “I have become more involved in advocating for my family’s health.” With Rovito’s guidance, Cavayero recently published a piece on robot-assisted urological surgery procedures in UCF’s Undergraduate Research Journal.

Talking About Touchy Subjects

“What is the point of public health if you don’t reach out and inform people?” Rovito asks. Offering free lectures on sexuality and health to the university community, he sums it up thusly: “I want to go out and talk to guys about their health.” Dr. James Leone, an assistant professor of health at Bridgewater State University who has collaborated with Rovito for the last three years, says that Rovito has done good work getting younger people and the community involved with the topics of men’s health. Leone says, “We’ve been lulled into believing that men die sooner and take more risks, so we ignore it. We have talked about redefining men’s behavior and understanding how masculinity adds to the picture.” Rovito, who grew up in Mount Carmel Township, Pa., credits his working-class upbringing with his ability to talk about sensitive issues like testicular self-examination and colorectal cancer screening. “I was sweeping the floors of my dad’s mechanics shop,” says Rovito, a first-generation college graduate. “I knew the guys who smoked cigarettes, chewed tobacco and cursed — salt-ofthe-earth guys — and that helped me learn to talk to people. The problem is that a lot of academics lack empathy. They give you a pamphlet, and it’s like reading stereo instructions. It’s ineffective and doesn’t work. The message needs to be more personable, with heartfelt intentions.”

In 2013 Testicular CanceR:

7,920 new cases

of testicular cancer will be diagnosed.

370 men will die of testicular cancer.

A man’s lifetime chance of developing testicular cancer is about

1 in 270.

Because treatment is so successful, the risk of dying from this cancer is very low: about

1 in 5,000.



new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed.


men will die of prostate cancer.

1 man in 6

About will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

The average age at the time of diagnosis is about

67. About 1 man in 36

will die of prostate cancer.


Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer. Source: American Cancer Society

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 21


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Enjoying the Journey Working toward a medical degree isn’t all fun and games, but there are certainly moments to enjoy the journey. Here are some joyful and spontaneous moments captured of and by College of Medicine students.

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 23


Better Together Students and their professors team up to tackle undergraduate research.

24 / S U M M E R 2 0 1 3



hen associate professor of physics Costas Efthimiou proposed a research project involving string theory to student Christopher Frye, ’13, an ideal collaboration was conceived. Under Dr. Efthimiou’s mentorship, Frye became a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, one of only four in UCF’s history. STUDENT


Christopher Frye

Dr. Costas Efthimiou



This particular project investigated how string theory modifies Einstein’s theory of general relativity and, in particular, the effects on phenomena in our own solar system. String theory is an attempt to explain all phenomena that occurs in our universe; thus it must include a theory of gravity. In my research, I calculate the effects these “stringy” equations would have on what we should observe in the classical tests of general relativity.

My academic strengths have always been mathematics and physics, so it was natural to pick an area of concentration that allows me to practice both.


I am most interested in the theoretical areas of physics, and I was thrilled when my adviser suggested a research topic that would allow me to learn string theory. ON CHALLENGES

Calculations in general relativity are almost always computationally demanding, and I did this work by hand. There were a lot of chances for careless errors that could become dangerous if not caught. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDENT RESEARCH

Research experience allows students to determine whether they might prefer a career in academics or in industry, and it also helps a great deal when applying for graduate school and jobs. ON WORKING WITH DR. EFTHIMIOU

Dr. Efthimiou believes that learning a subject deeply requires a large amount of pain and suffering, even if one is very interested in what he studies, but the reward is great.

Bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics, The Burnett Honors College • 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar • Awarded $10,000 by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation • Participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research


Supervising undergraduate students has always been one of my strengths, especially helping them to study advanced material in my area of concentration — theoretical high energy physics. I have learned to be very effective, and my students have won many competitive awards. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS RESEARCH

This work is just one piece in a grand theory known as string theory, which has been proposed as the Theory of Everything (TOE). The TOE is a dream of physicists; a unique theory that can explain any phenomenon taking place in our universe — past, present or future. Through research such as ours, we can propose many tests that can (in principle) verify the theory. Eventually, some of these tests will be feasible, and we’ll know if string theory is the TOE. ON WORKING WITH CHRIS

This project would stress the abilities of most graduate students. Chris’ intellectual abilities, great mathematical skills and conscientiousness allowed him to become an independent researcher quickly.

Associate professor, Department of Physics, College of Sciences • 2013 Founders’ Day honoree • Authored textbook Introduction to Functional Equations: Theory and Problem-solving Strategies for Mathematical Competitions and Beyond • Recent publications: Nuclear Physics B; Physical Review A; Praxis der Naturwissenschaften Physik

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 25



hen associate professor of psychology Steven Berman introduced Kaylin Ratner, ’13, to the field of identity research, it not only sparked

her interest but reignited his own. Under Dr. Berman’s mentorship, Ratner has received much recognition, including winning first place in the Social Sciences III category of the Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence. MENTOR


Dr. Steven Berman

Kaylin Ratner



When I came to UCF, Dr. Alvin Wang invited me to serve as the Daytona Beach campus coordinator for our Honors in the Major students. Mentoring student researchers is my favorite part of my job.

Identity style is how adolescents process incoming identity-relevant information and use it to form their personal code (the roles, goals and values that will give their life direction and purpose). This study set out to determine if an adolescent’s identity style could be predicted by the parenting style by which they were raised, and by the degree of attachment to which they felt toward their parents.


As a psychotherapist, I helped one person at a time. As a researcher, I am able to develop intervention programs that serve many people. ON ADVISING ASPIRING STUDENT RESEARCHERS

Choose a mentor that is successful in publishing their research and is willing to spend time nurturing their mentees. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS RESEARCH

This project examines the role of parenting in helping teenagers form their sense of identity. A better understanding of these relationships will help us in developing intervention and prevention programs aimed at fostering positive youth development. ON WORKING WITH KAYLIN

Kaylin is one of the most diligent, driven and hardworking students I have ever met. In our project together, Kaylin and I found that one of the widely used measures in our field has some conceptual problems, which was an important discovery. She has taught me to have more trust in my undergraduates.

Associate professor, Department of Psychology, College of Sciences • Teaching Incentive Program Award recipient • Guest editor, special issue of Child & Youth Care Forum: International Perspective on Identity • Recent publications: Journal of Adolescence; Encyclopedia of Adolescence, Parts 5 and 9; Child & Youth Care Forum; Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología

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This research is applicable outside of the lab by way of family therapy, which can emphasize the importance of supportive behavior in the parent-child relationship, leading to psychological well-being. ON CHALLENGES

I had two major learning curves: First, I had to learn how to write in a professional genre. Second, I had to learn graduate-level statistics in a matter of two or three months. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDENT RESEARCH

Participating in research has better prepared me for graduate school. It has also given me the opportunity to network with faculty members and other professionals within my area of research. ON WORKING WITH DR. BERMAN

Ironically enough, I think working with Dr. Berman helped me solidify my identity. I always knew that I loved the study of psychology, but I feel as if I have found my niche since beginning this research project.

Bachelor’s degree in psychology, The Burnett Honors College • Honors in the Major program participant • President of Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, UCF Daytona Beach Chapter • Presenter at the 2013 Southeastern Psychological Association convention

“Mentoring student researchers is my favorite part of my job.� Dr. Steven Berman

“There is no better experience than coming up with a crazy idea for an experiment, discussing it with my mentor, and then planning and carrying it out.� Moses Murdock



ssociate professor William Self and Moses Murdock, ’13, share a common topic: silver. Their research on the therapeutic uses of silver

ions is garnering attention, including Murdock’s induction into the 2013 Order of Pegasus, UCF’s most prestigious student award. STUDENT


Moses Murdock

Dr. William Self



Every day, humans encounter silver in its many forms, and while silver is a known antimicrobial, how it interacts with human cells is not fully understood. Metals similar to silver (e.g., gold and platinum) are known to inhibit human enzymes, and have been exploited for therapeutic use against diseases as diverse as rheumatoid arthritis to cancer. My research with Dr. Self focused on understanding the details of silver’s ability to inhibit two human enzymes.

The biggest push for me to become a scientist was my undergraduate research experience at the University of Florida. I also credit a ninth-grade chemistry teacher with giving me an interest in science that paved the way for my career.


At the outset of any research project, there can be a rather intimidating learning curve. Mastering new techniques and grappling with complex terminology was the most difficult obstacle for this project. ON COLLABORATION

There is no better experience than coming up with a crazy idea for an experiment, discussing it with my mentor, and then planning and carrying it out. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDENT RESEARCH

Research brings the concepts learned in the classroom to life. It changes the way you think: Facts are no longer considered absolute and rigid; they are subject to critical analysis. Most importantly, research provides the opportunity for students to interact with and learn from professors who are experts in their field. ON WORKING WITH DR. SELF

Dr. Self is very open to consultation. His strong work ethic inspires and motivates me because he has invested so much in me as a person and in my projects.


In addition to teaching Microbial Metabolism to undergrads, I lead an active research laboratory where I mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and a postdoctoral fellow. My laboratory studies the trafficking and metabolism of a variety of metals and metalloids. ON ADVISING ASPIRING STUDENT RESEARCHERS

No matter how difficult the problem, stick with the fundamentals. Hard work, thoughtful use of the scientific method and a careful experimental design with lots of controls can usually overcome any obstacle. ON WORKING WITH MOSES

Moses’ accomplishments are on par with the top students at the best universities in the U.S. This gives me confidence that our biomedical sciences program is strong.

Associate professor, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine • 2010 Research Incentive Award recipient • Recent publications: Biomaterials; Nanoscale; Environmental Health Perspectives; Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and microbiology, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine • 2013 Order of Pegasus • Newman Civic Fellow • 2013 Founders’ Day honoree

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 29

Going Public G OIN G P UBLIC

The journey to develop, protect and commercialize scientific discoveries begins the day researchers and scientists are hired.

Welcome to UCF

Quality Work

When new faculty arrive, they begin working with students, collaborating with other researchers and partnering with industry.

Many researchers hit the ground running and soon reach out to federal, state and industry partners to fund their projects. The competition for funding is fierce.

Researcher starts in UCF lab


Researcher applies for funding

AVG. NUMBER of Days from hire to APPLY FOR FUNDING: 153

AVG. NUMBER of Days from hire to RECEIVing FUNDING:

Hurry Up and Wait

Success Stories

UCF submits patent application

These projects are in the commercialization phase and hope to make the world a better place.

It may take from 18 to 36 months to apply and receive the patent protection from the U.S. Patent Office or from other national and regional authorities.

Detecting Cancer with Gold Nano Discovery Inc. is a medical research bioassay company founded by UCF Associate Professor Qun “Treen” Huo. Huo and her team developed a new technique involving gold nanoparticles to help detect cancer. She expects to commercialize this new technology to the biomedical research community in one to two years and to the diagnostic market in three to five years.


60% of UCF Patents Granted

UCF now owns a U.S. issued patent and possibly, if elected, a patent granted by another national or regional authority. For products or methods that have strong commercial potential, UCF may invest up to $100,000 to expedite market readiness.


Return on Innovation Revenue is generated

License fees and royalties accrue when the innovation enters the marketplace. Companies grow, hire students, sell products and sponsor research. What started as an idea is now impacting the economy and UCF.

Sold: 1.8 million energy-efficient ceiling fans using researcher Danny Parker’s INNOVATION

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UCF Research Foundation

FY 2012

Stronger. Lighter. Cheaper. Garmor Inc. has developed a costeffective method of producing highquality graphene for use in aircraft automobiles and construction. Common applications for the allotrope of carbon include high-strength plastics used for automotive bumpers and bed liners, boat hauls, bridge components and custommolded parts. The graphene technology was developed by Richard Blair, assistant chemistry professor at UCF, and Ph.D. student David Restrepo, ’08.

Proud Owner

14% UCF Research Foundation

30% Inventor

28% Inventor’s Department

Royalty Distribution

for agreements > $200K


Dean of Inventor’s College

PEGASUS M AGAZ I NE The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)

Types of Technologies Protected Science

The OTT team brings UCF discoveries to the marketplace through intellectual property protection, marketing and licensing processes. The office connects UCF researchers and their innovations with companies and entrepreneurs to take the technology to market.


Technology Transfer Law



Disease Detection


Disease Therapies

Clean Technology


Computer Vision and Imaging

Optics and Lasers



Protect the Goods

Top 5 Funding Agencies

Research is funded

Researcher submits invention disclosure

Once a scientist has solidified their hypothesis, made their discovery and is ready to publish their discovery, it’s time to record and protect the intellectual property. The invention disclosure is reviewed by a team of experts at the OTT to assess the viability of a patent application and commercial potential.

1. National Science Foundation

Because ideas are often evaluated on scientific and commercial value, it’s particularly satisfying to receive funding. With funding, intensive research begins. Public and private funding agencies are getting to know UCF and the quality of its research.

2. National Institutes of Health 3. Lockheed Martin Corp. 4. Florida Department of Education 5. U  .S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Based on amounts awarded during FY 2010-2012


AVG. NUMBER of Days from application to RECEIVING FUNDING: 86

Top International Patent Protection Filings

China Australia India Taiwan


UCF works with researcher on utility patent application

UCF submits provisional patent application

The OTT works with the researcher and patent attorneys to fulfill the U.S. nonprovisional patent application requirements. UCF may also file for international protection during this time.

The scientist has one year to the day to further substantiate their innovation’s claims and file a nonprovisional patent application.

European Union Canada

Big-time Patents

Did You Know?

UCF promotes new innovation

The OTT reaches out to potential partners to detail how UCF’s new product could increase revenue, reduce expenses and/or avoid future costs.

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

96 109 127




Find a Good Match

Invention Disclosures Reviewed by OTT

License to Thrive


Life science technologies typically have a longer sales cycle because the discoveries often need to undergo clinical trials. Faculty are often considered the best salespeople for their own technology.

A license agreement is reached

UCF authorizes a licensee who may be a research sponsor, an industry partner, a government agency or a venture capital firm to use its intellectual property. Researchers may also launch their own spinout company and execute a license.

Patents Available for Licensing as of June 2013

Built to Last

Product goes to market

The industry partner must now design, develop and deliver the product.

11 Licenses Executed

FY 2012


Licenses Executed by Academic Unit 3

College of Engineering and Computer Science


College of Optics and Photonics


College of Sciences


The Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences


Florida Solar Energy Center


Institute for Simulation and Training


NanoScience Technology Center

FY 2012

Licenses Executed to Spinouts

48% FY 2012


P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 31


The wireless radio frequency modules are embedded into the toy truck to receive information that originates from the headset.

Mind Over Matter

In a successful experiment, students control a toy truck with their brain waves sent from a high-tech headset. After a full year of trial and error, $1,500 in unfunded expenses and skeptical parents, one team of College of Engineering and Computer Science students drew the largest crowds at the college’s annual Senior Design Day Showcase. Then came an NPR radio spot, a Fox News TV appearance and more. “The biggest surprise is all of the media attention,” says Michael Stobridge, ’13, one of two electrical engineering students on the team, along with two computer engineering students. Why all of the hubbub? It has a lot to do with a red toy monster truck that moves seemingly on its own. “At first we thought we’d put on the headset, and just think ‘go’ to make it move,” laughs Chris Perez, ’13, who was recently hired by Harris Corporation. It ended up being more complex than that. “The truck moves through the combined efforts of computer software and hardware components,” says Perez. “They work together to direct a remote control by reading and interpreting EEG waves from the human mind as well as facial expressions.” A headset on Stobridge picks up concentrated brain waves from 14 sensor pads and sends the signals that move the truck. “When I left blink, the truck goes left; right blink makes it turn right,” says Stobridge. “I activate the part of my brain that senses pain to make the truck go forward, and I concentrate on the part of my brain that interprets language to make the car go backward.” Stobridge continues, “Early on, I needed help activating the correct parts of my brain.” For example, to practice firing up the pain sensors, he stomped on a tack. Soon, he learned how to manufacture pain without the tack. It’s complicated. Its microcontroller, motherboard, circuit board and software are custom-programmed. There were no instructions to follow. “Even our parents were skeptical that this would work,” says Perez. What’s next? The team says it is feasible to create a mind-controlled wheelchair that works the same way one day. Soon. The toy Ford F-150 is large enough to carry the perfectly square 4-by-4 inch circuit board underneath the body.

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Nicole Enterlein and Taylor Cheeley show off their winning product.

On Two Feet Students consider strategic business objectives to

solve problems of design, usage and production to protect women’s health. A disposable urine funnel designed for women won the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s Joust Business Plan Tournament. Winnings included $12,500 and a year as a client of the UCF Business Incubation Program. “Winning the Joust is undoubtedly one of our greatest accomplishments,” says Taylor Cheeley, chief operations officer. “It validates that the Smartway Cup is a revolutionary product with serious market potential.” The Smartway Cup enables women to stand while urinating, eliminating unnecessary contact with contaminated surfaces. To date, approximately 5,000 pieces have been sold.

Unsanitary public restrooms expose women to more than 1,800 types of dangerous bacteria, parasites and viruses; studies have shown that female restrooms are seven times more contaminated with harmful pathogens than male restrooms.

games,” says Nicole Enterlein, Smartway’s marketing director. “Knight Aide Pharmacy and Convenience Store was the first place to give us a real opportunity.”

Company CEO August Reign says, “Female urine funnels are making such a global impact that universities, airports and restaurants in Europe, Asia and Africa are beginning to accommodate women by installing urinals.”

“Currently, we’re working with Steven Felkowitz, ’79, this year’s Joust sponsor, to establish our first major contracts,” says Cheeley. “We anticipate statewide deals with Walgreens and CVS by 2014.”

“We started right here on UCF’s campus, selling our products near portable toilets during home football


allowed me to discover that I want to be a professor and help influence how fields of science are taught and perceived in terms of writing.”

“Trained writing consultants, known as embedded tutors, were first utilized in the chemistry lab in Spring 2013,” says Erin Saitta, Ph.D., ’06, assistant director, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.

Students learn to write everything from scientific research papers to communications for nonscientific audiences. They also learn about a variety of topics, from writing ethics to correct verb tense to literature citations, symbols and abbreviations.

UCF recently launched an innovative program to connect students with discipline-specific writing experts.

Embedded tutors help students develop critical thinking skills, learn problem-solving techniques and master deductive reasoning. “Being able to work as a disciplinary tutor in the chemistry lab gave me hands-on experience in my field,” says Adam Benzekri, a biomedical sciences and psychology senior. “This experience

“These tutors have undergone training to assist students with general writing techniques as well as writing specifically for chemistry,” says Saitta. “Working together, the Writing Across the Curriculum Program and the University Writing Center identify, train and guide these tutors.” P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 33




College of Sciences alumni cheered the women’s basketball team to victory.





Students struck a pose in the Student Union during SGA Days.

Engineering students competed in a series of competitions: an electric car race, a scavenger hunt, a duct tape wall, a tower build and sandwich-making.

34 / S U M M E R 2 0 1 3






Laissez les bons temps rouler! The College of Business Administration feted with a Mardi Gras-style celebration.

The Music Department hosted two anniversary concerts with performances by students and faculty.

More than 6,350 fans signed UCF’s birthday card sponsored by 4EVER Knights, breaking the Guinness world record for most contributions to a greeting card.



Creative chalk drawings covered sidewalks at the Teaching Academy.



The Rosen College of Hospitality Management served snacks during its 50th anniversary cookout.

ON CAMPUS Celebrating UCF’s 50th around campus





UCF fans gathered at the Reflecting Pond to wish UCF a happy birthday.

Foodies raised more than $700,000 for student scholarships at the CFE Arena. P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 35


Memory Mall

Alumni share stories of their time at UCF during the Knights Give 50 fundraising campaign. if there would be any journalism or writing courses offered, or even a newspaper. Soon, we were on our way to downtown Orlando, where the temporary administrative offices for FTU were located. We visited with Dr. Charles Millican, the president of the new university. With very little formality, we chatted easily with this distinguished gentleman and quizzed him about the possibility of starting a newspaper in the future. To our surprise, Dr. Millican agreed to finance our efforts, and we suddenly had a goal: publishing the first edition of the FTU newspaper on the opening day of the school! The next step was my first of probably thousands of trips to Alafaya Trail and beyond. John and I worked all summer coming up with story ideas, interviewing anyone who would talk to us, taking pictures and trying to figure out how we were going to print it. Along the way, we met up with others who wanted to become involved. John had become the glue that was holding it together, and I was working on it as much as I could while holding a summer job.  There was no name, so we called it F.T.U.??? It was typeset on a typewriter, laid out using scissors and glue, and it was practically the size of a poster board! Quite frankly, it was ugly, but to us it was the most beautiful publication in the world.

Using a typewriter, scissors and glue, Linda (Mettel) Tomlinson, ’72, and John Gholdston, ’72, spent the summer of ’68 assembling the first edition of the student newspaper, known today as the Central Florida Future.

The Future I was 18 years old, had just graduated from high school and was scared to death about what I was getting into next — a brand-new university on the other side of town that had to do with technology and the space program. What was I doing? I didn’t even like science or math and truth be known, I really wanted to go away to college. But money was an issue, and my mother orchestrated the whole process, from finding out about Florida Technological University, an under-construction four-year university in east Orlando, to providing me with an application form and a pen. Suddenly, I was an enrolled college student, not sure if I was ready for this next stage of my life. I learned that a friend from high school, John Gholdston, ’72, was also going to attend FTU. He and I had worked together on the high school newspaper, and we talked periodically about our anticipation, fears and the adventure ahead. One afternoon we were discussing what classes we would take, and we found ourselves wondering

36 / S U M M E R 2 0 1 3

During that brief summer, John and I went from being nervous teenagers to confident college students. On the very first day of this new university, we were part of something that would grow to be huge. John became the first editor in chief, and I was the associate editor. Shortly into the first year, John temporarily left school and I took the reins as editor, a position I held for about three years.

Soon the newspaper had a name, FuTUre, selected from a contest entry. Although the university name changed to UCF, making the newspaper’s name no longer relevant, it was kept and remains today as the cornerstone of the Central Florida Future. Throughout the years, I have visited the campus frequently for alumni functions; booster club meetings; football, basketball and baseball games; and as an adviser to my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. I visited my oldest daughter, Dawn, throughout her four years, and I expect to do the same for my youngest daughter, Sara, whose dream is to attend UCF and be on the dance team. And every time I am on campus and see a stack of student newspapers, I get a little thrill remembering the summer before the university opened. Linda (Mettel) Tomlinson, ’72

My Professors, My Mentors Three professors at UCF changed my life: Dr. James Taylor, Dr. Debra Reinhart and Dr. Andrew Randall. During my bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, they became more than professors — they became my mentors. Dr. Reinhart encouraged all women to be their best. Dr. Taylor introduced me to people who could be important in my future career. And Dr. Randall inspired me to become an academic. Under his supervision, I did undergraduate, graduate and doctoral research. I obtained an EPA STAR Fellowship with his guidance, and eventually became a professor. My experience with these professors encourages me to be the type of professor who loves her job and wants to mentor and inspire students. Isabel C. Escobar, ’95 Where Love Blooms I transferred into FTU as a senior in 1971, and was finishing a B.S. degree in math while working at Cape Kennedy. Fortunately, FTU required seniors to take seminars outside of their major. That April, I walked into a sociology seminar and saw the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was surrounded by three guys — all better looking than me — so I just went on about the class trying not to look at her. Evidently, it was the right thing to do. Before the next class, she waited for me and started a conversation. The conversation led to dinner, and dinner led to us driving to Tennessee to see the dogwoods in bloom. Our first date lasted three days. She moved in a week later, and we’ve been together ever since. That was 42 years ago, and she is still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Bob Martin, ’71

Watch a short film that captures UCF’s first 50 years at 3vY-gDWQ1bE.


The Kraus family poses for a graduation photo in front of Millican Hall.

Compounding Connections My flight from Boston to Orlando had been canceled, and I was in a panic. I knew I’d be late for my Quantitative Methods final exam, and I begged the ticket agent to put me on any southbound flight. I also asked the agent to give me a letter documenting my flight cancellation. The flight she put me on had me seated next to a UCF alumnus — my future husband, Matt Kraus, ’97. When I arrived to campus, I was an hour late for the three-hour test, and I slid the letter onto Professor Stephen Goodman’s desk. He read it and handed me the test materials. I’m proud to say that I finished the entire exam in the two remaining hours. I aced the test, met my husband and sealed a lifelong connection to UCF. It was a pivotal day for me. I later worked in the College of Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center for almost a decade. In 1997, Matt received one of the first master’s degrees offered in simulation and worked at UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training. Today, we are proud that our daughter Keira just completed her freshman year at UCF. It is great to be a Knight family! Rosellen (Salce) Kraus, ’90 From Groundbreaking to Graduation In 1967, my mother and father drove our family about four miles from our home in Goldenrod to a relatively unknown and isolated piece of property in east Orange County for a celebration. I remember playing in the sand, literally at the feet of the governor, while he and the other dignitaries dug shovels full of dirt and “broke ground” for the state’s new university. I am sure my parents had no clue that I would one day start college at Florida Technological University but graduate from the University of Central Florida in 1975, earning two diplomas — one with each name! Diane Nolin, ’75

Ruth Newberg is awarded a plaque for her 10 years of service to the university by UCF’s second president, Dr. Trevor Colbourn.

A Grandmother’s Service to UCF My grandmother, Ruth Newberg, worked at the university’s Print Shop from 1968 until her retirement in 1983. At one time, UCF was so small that she would collect lunch orders from professors and drive down the dirt road to the nearest sandwich shop. My grandmother passed away in 2007, a year before I earned my master’s degree in exceptional student education at UCF. I still treasure a plaque and certificate that was presented to my grandmother by UCF’s second president, Dr. Trevor Colbourn, for her 10 years of service. Heather (Newberg) Erickson, ’08 Greek Life In 1970, I transferred to FTU as a junior from Valencia Community College. The Greek system at FTU was new, but thriving at a time when college fraternities were in decline. I considered joining a local fraternity at FTU since no national chapter was available yet, and wrote several national fraternities about establishing a colony at FTU. One night at work, an elderly gentleman came into my office. He told me he was a Pi Kappa Alpha alumnus and the big, local alumni association wanted a chapter at FTU. He gave me $100 and asked me to do what I could. In those days, that was enough money for a garage band and two kegs of beer. I walked around campus asking guys if they were in a fraternity, and invited those that said no to a party at an apartment complex clubhouse. I even invited single sorority girls to come. From the guys that showed up, we started Pi Kappa Alpha at FTU with 15 brothers and became a chapter in 1973. I consider myself the “lost brother” because when the fraternity received its Eta Phi chapter charter, I was serving in the U.S. Army, and my name was never on the charter. As Paul Harvey used to say on the radio, “Now you know the rest of the story.” Jim Thomas, ’72

During a 50-hour social media campaign, Knights were invited to share their memories and to make a gift in honor of UCF’s golden anniversary. More than $33,000 was raised in support of First Generation scholarships. Every contribution received a 1-to-1 match from the state, doubling the amount available for scholarships.

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 37


Creative Direction

Randy J. Hunt, ’05, takes a break from his creative duties at Etsy’s Brooklyn offices. “Everyone wins when you play Ping-Pong!”

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Randy J. Hunt, ’05, earned his B.F.A. in art at UCF, and he now serves as the creative director at Etsy, an online marketplace featuring handmade and vintage items. There, he leads a team of designers building Web products and creating offline experiences, such as pop-up retail shops and meetups.

ON BALANCE Etsy has so much going on that it can become a part of every moment of life. To maintain perspective, I carve out time to take in other experiences and meet interesting people outside my usual circle.





The most important thing about Etsy is that we empower creative people to take control — they gauge the value of their work and offer it for sale. We help connect people.

I’ve realized that school was as much about collecting life experiences as it was about curricula, although I definitely had formative experiences. My UCF printmaking instructor, Ryan Burkhart, helped me become comfortable talking about my work, and that has served me well.

Whether you have a specific business objective or an experimental yearning, be able to clarify your intentions and expectations. Document your process: Sharing the end result isn’t always enough, and the ability to explain your thought process may serve you in unexpected ways. Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously; enjoying the experience usually produces better work. Photos by SARA KERENS

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AlumKnights ’70s

Larry Voyer, ’72, retired after 35 years as a hardware design engineer/ manager, finishing his career as a contract embedded systems software engineer. Larry lives in Louisville, Ky., and has two sons, Kevin and Eric, and one grandson, Tyler. Roger Pynn, ’73, named communications committee chair for the Florida Research Consortium’s board of directors. Michael Bounds, ’75, retired after eight years of selling Sea Ray and Boston Whaler boats for Gulfwind Marine, which followed his 17 years as a sales representative with Federated Mutual in southwest Florida. John “Randy” Evans, ’75, participated in the 2012 Arthritis Foundation California Classic. He wore a UCF jersey to represent his alma mater.

Bob Morrison, ’75, managing partner of Morrison Valuation & Forensic Services in Orlando, accepted an invitation to join the Appraisal Issues Task Force. Donald Robinson, ’75, appointed president and chief operating officer for All Aboard Florida. Michelle Hanchey, ’76, received Distinguished Toastmaster recognition, the greatest honor that can be earned by a member of Toastmasters International.

’80s Douglas Marks, ’82, married Joann (Tyson), ’03, April 2012 in Winter Park, Fla. Joe Sefcik Jr., ’82, recognized with the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by Florida Southern College.

Lou Ford, ’85, is chief scientist for BW Engineering Services in Orlando. Wayne Meadows, ’85, is director of maintenance and construction at Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun in Kansas City, Mo. Jeffrey Stone, ’85, graduated with an M.S. in forensic science from the University of Florida in December. He works as an attorney in Casselberry, Fla. John Gill, ’86, is the new chief operating officer for Quest.

Deb Melnick, ’87, is the manager of marketing events for Enterprise Florida. She has planned several events at the Florida Governor’s Mansion, and is pictured here (on the right) with Gov. Rick Scott and first lady Ann Scott.

’90s Dan Montplaisir, ’90, is the assistant vice chancellor for university development at the University of California, Irvine. Dan Ward, ’92, named the 2013 Central Florida Public Relations Professional of the Year by the Florida Public Relations Association Orlando Area Chapter. Laura Peddi-Bravo, ’93, opened The Bravo Counseling Group in Winter Park, Fla. Doug Ferrario, ’93, joined Soluble Systems as territory manager for eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. Joe Potuzak, ’93, promoted to senior vice president and senior risk officer for the operations division at Branch Banking & Trust in Charlotte, N.C. DOUBLE TAKE: Julia Roberts Times 2 Julia (Harper) Roberts, ’08, married into the name a year ago. “It has been so much fun! We share similar physical features and even our loud laugh. My name is certainly a conversation starter when making appointments or reservations. It makes me memorable, at least!” Julia is pictured with actress Julia Roberts’ wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York. Julia is the marketing coordinator at UCF’s Office of Technology Transfer.

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Chris Tomasso, ’93, chief marketing officer for First Watch restaurants, named a Top Private Company CMO by ExecRank.

Clinton Pownall, ’95, owner of Computer Business Consultants in Oakland, Fla., had his company recognized as 2013 Business of the Year by the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. Patrick Ellis, ’96, named vice president, business development officer for Small Business Administration Lending by TD Bank in Winter Park, Fla. Michael Decker, ’97, is a travel agent for Expedia CruiseShipCenters VIP Services. Gene Albamonte, ’98, launched Doctors Etcetera, a humor site that parodies online medical sites. Bernard Mitchell Jr., ’98, and Jessika Stimpel, ’08, welcomed their son, Parker von Mitchell, Feb. 8. Tom Zimmer, ’98, joined NFP National Account Services in Scottsdale, Ariz., as vice president of operations. Yan Li, ’99, promoted to director of finance at HSNi in St. Petersburg, Fla. Jennifer King McVan, ’99, is media relations manager for Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Network. She and her husband, Daniel, have two children, Connor and Kylee. Cmdr. Larry Ollice, ’99, became commanding officer of Naval Submarine Support Command in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Jim Pello, ’99, is associate agency owner of a Brightway Insurance franchise.

Summer (Patrick) Woodard, ’99, is chief development officer for the Eastern North Carolina Region of the American Red Cross in Greenville, N.C.


In February, George A. Kalogridis, ’76, returned to Central Florida as the president of Walt Disney World Resort, the place where he began his career more than 40 years ago. Today, he oversees the world’s premiere vacation destination and its workforce of more than 66,000 Cast Members. Photos COURTESY OF WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT


Sarah Sekula, ’00, has traveled to 21 countries on six continents as a freelance writer and TV correspondent, and has written for USA Today and Sarah is pictured in Iceland where she hiked for 14 hours on Hvannadalshnúkur, a 6,920-foot glaciercovered volcano.


Mark Spafford, ’00, is senior program manager for the Denali Commission in Anchorage, Alaska. He is pictured in Alaska’s Arctic Village, at the gateway to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. David Moss, ’01, hired as vice president of property and casualty for Insurance Consultants of Central Florida.

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Andrew Petty, ’01, partner of Marlowe, Petty & Associates, joined the Financial Planning Association and was awarded the 2013 Five-Star Wealth Manager Award. Samuel Realista, ’01, completed his doctor of nursing practice degree at the University of Florida. Last year, he opened Real Health America, which provides education for dialysis patients.

Katherine Rodriguez, ’01, married Kevin O’Sullivan Sept. 8 in New York City. She is director of behavioral health for the housing division Volunteers of America — Greater New York. Christopher Schmidt, ’01, and wife Kathleen, ’11, love attending UCF football games with their son, Matthew Joseph, who turned 1 on Oct. 9.

Matthew Marcoux, ’02, and wife Lauren (Thompson), ’03, welcomed their first son, Bryce Matthew, Feb. 28. Jason Ampel, ’02, opened a virtual tutoring company called The Learning Liaisons. Kristine (McGuirk) Reed, ’02, and husband Jonathan welcomed their first daughter, Mia Mattison, Aug. 20.


John O’Donnell, ’02, president of Insurance Consultants of Central Florida, appointed chair of the Florida Hospital Foundation Board for Diabetes and Translational Research. Amy (Tyler) Reed, ’02, and husband Jeremy, ’05, welcomed their son, Anderson, Nov. 13. Evan Golden, ’03, is the spokesmodel for Stay Golden Apparel. Derek LaRiviere, ’03, is the Hernando County lead prep sports reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. Phyllis LaVigna, ’03, a licensed clinical social worker, celebrated the opening of her private practice in South Daytona, Fla.

Tiffany Levine, ’04, married Sean Griffin, ’07, March 16 in Lake Mary, Fla. Alumni in the wedding party included Brad Bailey, ’03; Derek Lipschutz, ’06; Lindsey Lipschutz, ’07; Matt Marshall, ’08; and Terri Furbish, ’10; as well as current UCF student Robert Fore. Joey Nobili, ’04, and wife Jenna (Roth), ’06, welcomed their daughter, Ella Grace, Dec. 19. Drew Ranostaj, ’04, and wife Melissa (Fox), ’10, welcomed their first child, Ava Judith, June 26. Louis Smoller, ’04, of the Bradley Legal Group, has been appointed to the board of directors of Jazz Archive.

Leon Bichachi, ’05, is the community affairs coordinator for the NBA’s Miami Heat. Angel Ramos, ’05, and wife Michelle, ’07, welcomed their daughter, Chloe Grace, Dec. 12. Angel is a data manager for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. Brett Register, ’05, is the director and executive producer for “What’s Trending” with Shira Lazar. He also directs the after show for “Dancing with the Stars,” as well as other syndicated productions. David Barrilla, ’06, named assistant director of the Downtown Development Board and Community Redevelopment Agency.

Brendan Carroll, ’06, married Sara Rhode, ’07, Feb. 23 in Naples, Fla. Chad Humphrey, ’06, served as the couple’s best man. Sara and Brendan reside near Hartford, Conn., where Brendan works at Traveler’s Insurance and Sara is director and senior genetic counselor for the cancer genetics program at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Hartford Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital. Laura Kern, ’06, associate director of marketing and communications with the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, successfully completed the exam for accreditation in public relations, entitling her to use the APR professional designation. Ginnie Pritchett, ’06, launched the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, a live video stream of an active pair of bald eagles in their nest. The camera emits no light or sound, so the eagles live in their natural habitat unaware they are Internet stars.

Lt. Bradley Miles, ’03, piloted an F-5 Tiger II jet during a stadium flyover before the start of the UCF versus Missouri football game. Bradley, who earned his B.S. in aerospace engineering at UCF, has flown over NASCAR races, NFL games and a ship dedication. The opportunity to return to his alma mater made this flyover his most exciting to date. “I feel extremely lucky every day that I decided to attend UCF.” P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 43


Kari Williams, ’06, volunteers with Rotary International and WaterStep to provide clean water for medical patients in the Caribbean and Central and South America following natural disasters. Todd Bryant, ’07, and Lindsey Johnson, ’07, were married Nov. 17 in St. Augustine, Fla. Alumni in the wedding party included Pierce Brehm, ’06; Lindsey Broccolo, ’07; Ashley O’Hagan, ’07; Austin Swanger, ’07; Ben Bertot, ’08; and Brett Bertot, ’09. Evi Christodoulou, ’07, married Woody Wommack, ’08, March 29 in Lake Mary, Fla. Alumni in the wedding party included Evi’s sister, Alycia Christodoulou, ’10, and Woody’s cousin, Ernie Rivera, ’10. The couple reside in Atlanta. Benjamin Collins, ’07, and wife Sarah welcomed their son, Phoenix Harrison Rye, March 19. Rachael (Field) Stodtko, ’07, and husband Michael welcomed their son, Benjamin Mark, Feb. 19. Christopher Tomko, ’07, and Helen Pastrana, ’07, welcomed their first child, Christian Anthony, Jan. 24 in Dallas. Christina “Krysti” Griffith, ’08, is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Growth from Grief, which helps children and their families ease the pain of losing a loved one. Shannon (Summers), ’08, married Jack Poole III, ’08, May 26 at the Orlando Science Center. Alumni in the wedding party included Brittney Eustis, ’07; Chad Johnson, ’08; and Jeremiah Stokes, ’09. Danay Jimenez, ’09, hired as vice president in charge of the Charleston, S.C. office of The Kidder Group. Jessica (McFarland), ’09, and Anthony Battaglia, ’10, were married June 9 in Largo, Fla. Alumni in the wedding party included David Cerbone, ’07; Amanda Hayes, ’08; John Sexton, ’09; Dave Comolli, ’10; Courtney Mann, ’10; Kelsey Owens, ’10; Andrew Peterson, ’10; Kathy Rodriguez, ’10; Jessica Wenson, ’10; John Antonelli, ’11; Kenny Hart, ’11; Ryan Talbot, ’11; and Kaitlynn Moody, ’12; as well as current UCF students Vince Keating and Peggy Valek.

Nika Nguyen, ’09, married Nicholas Simon, ’09, May 21. Alumni in the wedding party included Ismaniar Iswan, ’09; Pete Vogler, ’09; Angelo Bizzarro, ’10; Megan Kilday, ’10; Meghan Simon, ’12; and Andrea Essick, ’12. The couple honeymooned in Italy and Greece. They now reside in Florida, where both work in the aviation and aerospace industry. Samantha (Twitty), ’09, married James Oddo April 14, 2012, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Alumni in the wedding party included Janet Salabarria Jorden, ’04; Julie Fitzgerald, ’09; and Geoffrey Shetka, ’09. Seaman Charles Wankat, ’09, completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill.


Danielle Schelmety, ’10, received the Frisby Griffing Marble Scholarship from Mississippi College School of Law. Sylaisha Taylor, ’10, launched Think Outside The World, inspiring others to think differently. Pfc. Michael Aihe Jr., ’11, graduated from recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, S.C. Seaman Deanna Baltimore, ’11, completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. Seaman Joseph Giufre, ’11, completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. Pfc. Jarl Gustafson, ’11, graduated from recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, S.C.

Robert Venditti, ’01, is the writer for the monthly comic book series GREEN LANTERN. Robert stopped by A Comic Shop in Orlando to sign copies of his first issue, which went on sale June 5. After earning his M.A. in creative writing from UCF in 2001, Robert authored two New York Times bestsellers: The Homeland Directive and the graphic novel series The Surrogates.

Ensign Franklin Niles, ’11, 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.

I n

Samantha Scarpa, ’11, is an event coordinator for Conexsys International Registration. Omar Thompson, ’11, awarded the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Award for his contribution to the fields of science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Seaman Jeffrey Aybar, ’12, completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill.

M em o ria M Forrest Flaniken, ’09, was killed after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in Orlando. Forrest was the senior vice president of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA and served the company for 22 years. He also served as chief financial officer for Wycliffe USA and as chairman of the board of the Wycliffe Foundation. Forrest is survived by his wife, Kristen, his three sons and his daughter-in-law.

Michael Salerno, ’11, hired as a general assignment reporter for The Villages Daily Sun.

Pfc. Julian Mejia, ’12, graduated from recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, S.C.

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He signed a copy for UCF!

Alumni Notes and Announcements We welcome your announcements and high-resolution photos (minimum 3 megapixels, 300 dpi). Submissions are included as space permits. Email Mail Pegasus Alumni Notes P.O. Box 1600406 Orlando, FL 32816-0046 Phone

800.330.ALUM (2586)


Alumni Authors Iron Cross, Iron Curtain, Iron Will, by Christopher Falvai, ’85, is a biographical novel that tells the story of a Hungarian family’s struggle to survive in the German occupation during World War II and their eventual isolation behind the Iron Curtain.

Short novel Let’s Git Nakid, by Ken Vickery, ’70, is an allegory of life in the summer of 2025. More than a coming-of-age story, it’s a glimpse into a potential world void of violence, hate and inequality. Fate forges the pairing of a spitfire accountant with a special ops Coast Guard captain in a private fishing tournament. Taking place in a small Southern town, the tournament tosses the unlikely partners every conceivable roadblock. Find out what happens next in Catch of the Day, the second novel by Stephanie McCarty, ’75, who writes under her pen name, Petie McCarty.

Why have so many authors committed suicide? What is the allure of the proverbial bullet to the great literary minds of the last 100 years? Bullet, by Christopher Pumphrey, ’97, pierces through the spiraling psyches that made the authors examined notable.

Duane Griffin, ’85, published his first book, From Eden to the Ends of the Earth.

Taking place in Harlem in 1926, and jam-packed with mobsters, mystery, magic, and mayhem, Doc Voodoo: Aces & Eights, by Dale Lucas, ’99, offers a new twist on the action hero and serves as a love letter to classic pulp fiction.

Paul Taylor, ’86, is a Michigan State History Award-winning author. Wayne State University Press will publish his sixth book, Old Slow Town: Detroit During the Civil War, in October.

Trafford Publishing awarded The Gold Seal of Literary Excellence to the children’s book My Two Shepherds in the Garden: A Lesson in Listening, by Maureen Fine, ’77. Janet Page, ’79, published “The Duck in the Attic” and Other Children’s Stories on Kindle. John Mattone, ’80, taps into his years of experience working with high-achieving professionals as a leadership coach to give readers a road map for developing and mastering their executive maturity in Intelligent Leadership: What You Need to Know to Unlock Your Full Potential. John is also the author of Talent Leadership: A Proven Method for Identifying and Developing High-Potential Employees. Big T.’s Heart’s in Me! follows a close-knit group of barnyard animals on an educational journey that teaches them that life goes on after the sudden loss of a friend. Author Valerie D’Ortona, ’81, based the book on the life and sudden death of her 33-year-old son, Tony, who went on to save others’ lives by donating his organs.

Debatable Humor: Laughing Matters on the 2008 Presidential Primary Campaign by Patrick Stewart, ’88, represents the first systematic foray into understanding the use of humor by politicians on the campaign trail. Danette (Carr) Haworth, ’90, published Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning, a novel for middle-grade readers, which won the California Young Reader Medal.

Chasing the Light Within, by Stephani Bothwell Tucker, ’92, is about the trials and struggles one family faces due to autism, and how looking in the right places can lead to miracles.

Six high school friends reunite after 30 years to face the child-murdering entity called the Woodsman — the evil spirit they thought they vanquished graduation night. See what happens next in the paranormal thriller, Sacrifice, by Russell James, ’01. Russell is also the author of the novels Dark Inspiration and Black Magic.

FOR TICKETS 407 823 1000

Michael Sullivan, ’09, published Slaibron: A World Apart, the first in an eventual series about an underground boxer who is unwillingly sent to a medieval world. The book follows his adventures as he tries to find a way back to his wife. Infusing mundane life with elements of the fantastic, Karen Best, ’10, has written A Floating World, a 150-page collection of short stories. From mermaids and sea serpents to deadly pinpricks and crying icons, these 13 stories stretch the boundaries of reality.

A young girl named Geneva finds herself enslaved at an orphanage with a past she can’t remember. That all changes when she meets someone who promises her that there’s more in store for her than she ever could have imagined. See how far she will go to save her friends and find out her true identity in The Geneva Project: Truth, by Christina (Jones) Benjamin, ’03.


Aug. 29 vs. Akron Orlando, Fla.

Sept. 28 vs. South Carolina Orlando, Fla.

Oct. 26 vs. Connecticut Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 21 vs. Rutgers Orlando, Fla.

Sept. 6 at FIU Miami, Fla.

Oct. 5 at Memphis Memphis, Tenn.

Nov. 9 vs. Houston Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 29 vs. USF Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 16 at Temple Philadelphia, Pa.

Dec. 7 at SMU Dallas, Texas

Sept. 14 Oct. 18 at Penn State at Louisville University Park, Pa. Louisville, Ky.

The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook provides advice to find and vet ethical opportunities for those interested in volunteering internationally. Author Shannon O’Donnell, ’06, has been traveling around the world since 2008, integrating service and community development into her work and travel.

Reading Amplified: Digital Tools that Engage Students in Words, Books and Ideas, by Lee Ann Spillane, ’01, is part of an innovative series of online multimedia books called Read & Watch, which combine text, audio, videos and technology tutorials.

Knights Football Schedule

Go Knights

As a survivor of tragedy, Loretta Harris, ’03, speaks candidly about her encounter with death, the emotional upheavals and her struggle to transition back into reality in The Journey Less Traveled: Choose to Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph.

Homecoming 2013 Nov. 7 Black & Gold Gala — ­ Honorees include George A. Kalogridis, ’76, and Julia Pierson, ’81. Nov. 8 Homecoming Golf Tournament; Spirit Splash Nov. 9 Homecoming Football Game UCF vs. Houston

P E G A S U S . U C F. E D U / 45


A Method to Our Madness

How a wooden hook kept the audience in stitches.

BY Joanne Camilli Griggs, ’76

I’m very proud of the role I played in the creation of UCF’s Orlando Shakespeare Festival, admittedly a very small part, inadvertent and totally self-serving. I was an English major during the 1970s when UCF was still FTU. An eccentric, energetic English professor — Dr. Stuart Omans — lived to make Shakespeare come alive to students, drawing them into the Bard’s world, swatting away the cobwebs, and showing how the world’s greatest playwright was exciting and relevant. One day, he asked our class if anyone would participate in a reader’s theater for high school students. The 11 of us who responded should have been tipped off when, as an enticement, he offered to let us forgo one or two research papers. At the time, it seemed like a good deal. As we began rehearsing, we discovered that just reading the script wasn’t enough. Too much was lost without the accompanying physical movements, so we memorized our parts. The university’s Theatre Department loaned us Elizabethan costumes, and suddenly we were a throwntogether troupe. Prior to our first performance, one student noticed there wasn’t a prop for her line, “Here’s my dog.” She asked my 4-year-old daughter if she would stand in. My daughter cocked her head and gave a big smile. A photograph of the two of them appeared in the school newspaper. For our first performance, Omans chose a high school not known for its academics. We had no idea if the students would react to us with boredom or even disdain. When Omans crawled through the audience — climbing over chairs, dressed as a fool in a tricornered hat, colorful tunic and tights — proclaiming, “To thine own self be true,” the students howled in appreciation.

At a middle school, the youngsters were enthusiastically enjoying the second scene when a school administrator informed us that classes had been shortened that day, and the bell would ring before our performance ended, forcing students to leave early. We huddled backstage; we needed to cut the scene being performed. Omans scooted to the edge of the stage, concealed by the curtain, and gave the onstage actor the “cut” signal, drawing his index finger across his neck. The bewildered actor glanced over, his head wobbling in confusion, and continued on. Omans repeatedly tried to wave him off the stage. I looked around in desperation and found a pole with a wooden hook, used to pull the stage curtain back. Still behind the curtain, Omans reached out and hooked the actor around the neck. The actor struggled like a big fish refusing to be reeled in, grasping the pole with both hands. The students roared with delight. For them, it was just part of the humor. We had learned to be resilient and solve the problems that popped up when performing live. The original group later developed a series of scenes from Shakespeare’s history plays. The Simply Shakespeare troupe was born and went on to tour throughout Florida for 10 years. I’ve been told that some students who saw our early performances were inspired to eventually join the troupe. Years later, Omans grew restless; he wanted more. He convinced the Orlando community to support a Shakespeare festival, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Joanne retired from UCF in 2008 after 25 years as an editor and a writer. She continues to write and edit as a freelancer. You can reconnect with Joanne at This year, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF celebrates its 25th anniversary.

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Illustration by Regan Dunnick


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PEGASUS: The Magazine of the University of Central Florida P . O . B o x 1 6 0 0 9 0 O rlando , F L 3 2 8 1 6 - 0 0 9 0



Meet Bodhi, Therapy Dog “I make students smile by wagging my tail, sitting on laps or licking faces. Then repeat. You can visit me at the UCF Counseling and Psychological Services office.”

Pegasus Summer 2013  

Better Together, Knight Power, Creative Direction, Worldview, What's Next and more.

Pegasus Summer 2013  

Better Together, Knight Power, Creative Direction, Worldview, What's Next and more.