What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing, working in Communications & Marketing and Academic Affairs on important university-wide projects, such as UCF Downtown, faculty hiring campaigns and strategic planning
What is your history at UCF and before UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
Began my career as a police reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, then a news writer and senior communications coordinator in UCF News & Information. Later helped launch WUCF TV – Central Florida’s PBS station as its communications and outreach director. I left UCF for about a year to be the senior director for marketing and communications at the Orlando Economic Development Commission, but returned to my alma mater in September 2015.
What is your academic background?
B.A. in Journalism and M.A. in Political Science (Environmental Politics) – both degrees from UCF!
What is your favorite UCF memory?
Time spent working as a student editor at the Central Florida Future, learning about the campus and meeting new students with interesting stories and backgrounds
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would love to see more collaborative spaces and innovative infrastructure. Our ways of working, teaching and learning are changing – and we should consider how space guides our behaviors.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Be proud of your ideas and not afraid to speak up – our words are our opportunity to have impact. Don’t shy away; but remember to listen just as much, if not more, than you speak.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
A tree or community garden – something that reminds us we’re always growing and providing for others.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
This is a tough one! I would really love to have lunch with a different faculty member everyday – to hear their story, learn about their work and discuss their passion for what they do.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Grant Heston, vice president of Communications & Marketing, for his constant support and guidance, and Provost Dale Whittaker for his incredible leadership. Also the amazing UCF News & Information team, led by Chad Binette; the UCF Marketing team, led by Patrick Burt; and the Academic Affairs operations team!
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Associate Instructor Rick Brunson in the Journalism program. If you don’t know “Brunson,” you should – he tirelessly works with students to help them find their potential, offers real-world guidance and is just an all-around role model.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why
Volunteering as a media coordinator for a youth-focused non-governmental organization at the 2010 UNFCCC climate negotiations in Mexico while I was a graduate student at UCF. It was amazing to join young advocates from around the world and help articulate how climate change is impacting our planet – and what we can and should be doing about it.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Anything my husband Lee makes. He’s a terrific chef!
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
Just finished Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy and found it riveting – and just a bit too scary!
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Anywhere I haven’t been yet! Preferably a more secluded setting for time to relax, think and recharge!