What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
Director, UCF Victim Services, a division of the Department of Public Safety and Police
What is your history at UCF and before UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I have held my current position as Director for almost 14 years. I am responsible for maintaining a 24/7 Confidential Hotline for all UCF community members, providing advocacy services to students, faculty and staff, providing information regarding the Criminal Justice/Civil Justice system, and all UCF Administrative processes. Insuring that victim advocates are well trained and able to perform their duties. Providing a wide variety of educational and informative prevention education programs, obtain grants, of which the most recent grant has funded the UCF mandatory online module for all incoming students regarding issues of consent to sex, dating/domestic violence/stalking and bystander intervention. Recently received a grant to launch Green Dot Bystander Intervention at UCF. I am also an adjunct instructor in the Criminal Justice Department teaching Victim’s and the Criminal Justice System, and also Domestic Violence to undergraduate students for over 14 years. For several years I also taught as an adjunct in the Women’s Studies program teaching Intro to Women’ Studies. Prior to coming to UCF I worked for the Office of the State Attorney for the 18th Judicial Circuit in Sanford, Seminole County. While I held several positions, to include Juvenile Advocate and Domestic Violence advocate, however; the most exciting opportunity was to be one of the first Neighborhood Advocates in the State of Florida. The opportunity allowed me to work on the ground, side by side with an Assistant State Attorney and investedcommunity members, to find ways to influence the reduction of crime in a high risk community. It required days/nights/weekends, and a lot of creative thinking.
What is your academic background?
I have a MS. Degree in Criminal Justice from UCF.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
The Vagina Monologues – performed annually. The audience has grown annually and the passion of the students and staff that are involved never diminishes.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
More free event space on campus. It can be very difficult to find space for special events or special educational programs on campus.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Find ways to think outside the box. Sometimes going the long way around gets you to the same place, but it provides an opportunity to incorporate ideas and strategies that would not necessarily appear on the surface to be what you were seeking.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
A Victim/Survivor memorial. We currently do not have anything on campus that serves a memorial for Knights who have lost their lives or for those that have survived traumatic events. A central memorial/statue in an appropriate space would allow for quite reflection and the opportunity to hold memorial events throughout the year or on anniversaries. The reflection pond is a difficult space as there is a cost associated with turning the fountain on and off so that you can hear speakers.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Provost Whittaker. I would like to learn more about his vision for UCF and discuss with him how we can engage faculty as proactive bystanders in our UCF community.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Vice President William Merck and Chief Richard Beary, both have been great supporters of the Victim Services program and have allowed me the opportunity to develop a program that provides outstanding comprehensive services to our UCF community members.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
I have received great support from so many people throughout my professional life that to list one would not be sufficient. All have provided encouragement, served as mentors, opened my eyes to possibilities and supported me in my decisions.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My Major is Criminal Justice and I learned a lot from both undergraduate and graduate programs. Opportunities to learn about other segments of a major or profession has allowed me to utilize outside of the box thinking while fostering personal growth from enhanced knowledge and experience.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
My favorite food is Indian/Asian
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
My favorite music would be instrumentals, particularly new age instrumentals.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Somewhere I have never been before. I am attracted to cultural destinations rather than beach or themed destinations.