Amy Hesse

Director of Research Programs and Services for SDES 2017 Women's History Month

What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Director of Research Programs and Services for SDES and Adjunct Faculty for the College of Education

What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
Prior to arriving at UCF I served as the Great Start Collaborative Director for a six county region in Northern Michigan and was the Owner/Director of the Children’s Learning Center at Kirtland Community College in Roscommon, Michigan and taught Child Development at the regional Career and Technical Education Center in Northeast Michigan.

What is your academic background?
I earned my BA and MA in Education from Western Governors University

What is your favorite UCF memory?
My favorite UCF memory has been the dedication and Certification of our Outdoor Classroom at Creative School, giving children and staff the opportunity to expand STEAM curriculum in dynamic, nature-based play and learning spaces, and our school garden.

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
If I could change one thing at UCF it would be a brand new state of the art facility that could offer care to additional infants, toddlers, and 2 year olds and reduce the current wait list.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Striving for a good work/life balance is challenging throughout your career, work to keep positive people around you both at home and at work increases your happiness. Advocating for others builds strong supports for both others and ourselves.

If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
The Outdoor Certified Classroom or Scholarship fund for Creative School families in need.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
I would love to have lunch with Dean Pamela “Sissi” Carroll from the College of Education to gain an understanding of the college’s vision for Early Childhood Education and brainstorm what further supports Creative School for Children can provide to support that vision.

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I would have to thank David Pavlonnis and the entire staff at UCF’s Creative School for Children for welcoming me to UCF and supporting my vision and expanding programming at Creative School.

Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
The most inspiring teacher I have been influenced by is Daniel Hodgins. Dan is an internationally renowned educator, presenter, and author. He served as my mentor in his position as the Coordinator of Early Childhood Education at Mott Community College in Michigan where he developed and received recognition for one of the most outstanding early childhood education programs in the country. Mr. Hodgins is one of the main influencers of my continued education and career successes.

My favorite food?
A true Northern Pasty, and I love chocolate.

What is your favorite movie, book or music?
My favorite book is the Harry Potter series, I believe you can apply the saga and the lessons it teaches across most experiences in life and the series itself creates rich literacy experiences for all ages.

What is your favorite vacation destination?
My favorite vacation destination is definitely the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along Lake Superior or Lake Michigan, there is no greater natural beauty and peace than I am able to experience there.

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Linda Walters, Director of the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty
Linda.Walters@ucf.edu

Fran Ragsdale, Administrative Assistant
Fran.Ragsdale@ucf.edu

Phone: 407-823-4240

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University of Central Florida
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