Mary Little

Professor, Dept. of Child, Family, and Community Sciences, College of Education and Human Performance 2015 Womens History Month

What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Exceptional Student Education Program
Child, Family, and Community Sciences Dept.
College of Education and Human Performance

Co-Principal Investigator
USDOE Personnel Preparation and Research Project
Intensive Interventions in Education

What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
1996 – Present University of Central Florid, Department of Child, Family, and Community Sciences

1994 – 1996 Kansas State Baord of Education, Program Consultant

1992-1994 University of Kansas, Department of Special Education, Project Coordinator – OSEP Federal Grant

What is your academic background?
Ph.D. University of Kansas, Dual Major:  Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction

M.S. State University College at Buffalo, Major:  Special Education

B.S. State University of College at Buffalo, Dual Major: Special Education and Elementary Education

What is your favorite UCF memory?
My favorite memories within UCF include our students and collaboration among the dedicated professionals who also conduct research, teach, and provide service within the UCF and numerous other communities.

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
Continuing to create the opportunities to provide input and co-construct the next steps as UCF continues to be America’s Partnership university through innovation advance the vision, knowledge, and skills among all of us is one change to continue.  It appears that several of the most recent initiatives, such as the Faculty Cluster initiative, are providing these opportunities as we co-construct our vision for a Downtown campus and future for UCF.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Dream and express your ideas to others as you collaboratively innovate and complete your scholarship. There is much support and many resources for faculty to facilitate accomplishing our visions, dreams, and goals, such as the Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.

If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
I would hope that my legacy would involve supporting and enhancing a passionate vision, continued learning, and sincere caring for teaching and learning among others in education.  One of our graduate students described our Graduate program in Exceptional Student Education as UCF: Unconditional Caring Family.  Scholarships to support, mentor, and professionally develop diverse teacher candidates within an inclusive, caring educational environment would be the greatest tribute that I could consider.

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 ask to have lunch with Provost Whittaker, as I am interested in his vision and directions for us.

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I sincerely thank all who have shared their time, talent, and resources with me and our students throughout my years at UCF.  UCF Leadership has created and implemented a visionary, inclusive, and innovative institution, with supports and resources to accomplish our goals.  My colleagues within the CEDHP have collaboratively shared and co-constructed numerous learning and development initiatives for our teacher candidates and programs.  I am honored to collaborate and learn from each of you!

Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Collins (2005) describes true leaders as humble, passionate professionals who have clearly identified and live their passion each day. Servant leadership is inspirational leadership, which incorporates many of Collins’ attributes for leadership within teaching and research. Given those criteria, the most inspirational teachers and researchers are those who daily live their passion to serve others.  Many of these humble icons work here at UCF.                                         

What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
Within our College, we are partnering with schools and districts increasingly to teach courses within schools, to develop and conduct research and to conceptualize innovations for grant applications.  It is this nexus of learning, sharing, and synergy about education and continuous improvement that is the most inspirational for me. Learning is synonymous with our continued growth and innovation, personally, professionally, and within UCF.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Good friends, good food, good conversations!

What is your favorite movie, book or music?
I really enjoy bio-pics and/or biographies, as I am always interested in lived experiences of others.

What is your favorite vacation destination?
I truly enjoying relaxing with family and friends, preferably if is at a beach!


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Linda Walters, Director of the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty

Fran Ragsdale, Administrative Assistant

Phone: 407-823-4240

Mailing Address
Center for Success of Women Faculty
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 160955
Orlando, FL 32816-0955

Physical Address
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816

Internal Mail (UCF)
Center for Success of Women Faculty
CL1 Room 207