What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Director, Operations Analysis
Accreditation, Assessment, & Data Administration
College of Engineering & Computer Science
What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
At UCF, I started out as a Program Assistant in 2002; promoted to Coordinator then Assistant Director between 2003-2004; and in 2005 promoted to Director for Accreditation, Assessment, & Data Administration in the College of Engineering & Computer Science.
Before UCF, I was a Production Editor at Grune & Stratton, Inc. (a subsidiary of Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich publishing company); Production Supervisor at Macmillan Publishing Company; English as a Foreign Language Instructor at La Fundacion Ponce de Leon in Spain; and a Tour Operator for All Nippon Airways Hallo Tours, Inc.
What is your academic background?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, both from UCF. I have a Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Teachers College, Columbia University.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
Moving stories by students in the Young Entrepreneur and Scholars (YES) program at UCF about how the program has helped them to achieve their career goals. YES prepares academically talented, financially needy, junior and senior STEM students to successfully transition to the workforce or graduate school, and more recently, or to create their own start-up company. YES has been continuously funded by various grants since its inception in 2008. I think of the program as “my baby.”
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be?
Reorganize the curriculum so that engineering courses are required earlier on in the freshmen and sophomore years and focused on project-based learning; make participation in a (paid) experiential learning activity (national or international research, internship/co-op, entrepreneurship) a graduation requirement for undergraduates.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Take advantage of the UCF employee tuition waiver program to get an advanced degree. If you have obligations (like a young family) that make it difficult to pursue a degree while working, volunteer to take on/be involved in an important project in your department or unit that interests you. Be curious and open to learning new things.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
The Experiential Learning Office because co-curricular, high-impact, real-world experiences give graduates a competitive edge when applying for jobs. These experiences also confirm for students whether or not they have chosen the right major and career pathway.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Martha Hitt; it would be interesting to see UCF’s growth over the last 25 years through her perspective.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Michael Georgiopoulos, Dean, and Charles Reilly, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Engineering & Computer Science. They have been very supportive of my professional development.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
My high school algebra teacher because she taught algebra in a way that made sense to me. My high school Spanish teacher because she cultivated my interest in learning foreign languages. I studied French and Spanish, and I have taken courses in Italian, Latin, Japanese, Russian, and German.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My graduate statistics courses. Those courses got me interested in education research.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Just about anything potato (French fries, baked potato) or bread.
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
It’s hard to pick just one genre – in general, beautifully directed movies with a good story line and interesting characters: period movies (e.g., Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre), thrillers or dramas with a twist in the plot (e.g., Sixth Sense), fantasy (e.g., Harry Potter).
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Western Europe, in particular, Italy. Locally, the beach.