Archive for January, 2013

First UCF Medical Students Chosen for Top Choice Residency Programs

January 16, 2013

Some of the University of Central Florida’s pioneering medical students have been selected for top-ranked residency programs.

Sarina Amin, of Orlando, and Briana Gapsis, of Ellicott City, Md., were ecstatic when they learned Tuesday that they had landed their preferred residency programs in ophthalmology, the first medical residencies to be announced nationwide.

Amin will be attending the University of Florida’s program, which keeps her close to home while Gapsis will be attending Nassau University Medical Center on Long Island, N.Y.

The rest of the nation’s residency matches will be announced at noon March 15. The College of Medicine will be holding a special event on that day and media outlets will be provided details in the coming weeks.

The soon-to-be doctors, members of the College of Medicine charter class, all received full scholarships to attend the school for four years beginning in 2009. The scholarships were a result of community donations. The students, who have helped shape the college ever since they arrived, will be graduating on May 17.

“Tuesday’s results are very exciting because we have a 100 percent match success rate so far for our graduating seniors,” said Dr. Deborah German, UCF vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the medical school. “This is an impressive accomplishment for Sarina and Briana, particularly given the highly competitive nature of the field of ophthalmology.”

Medical school graduates cannot practice medicine until they have completed a residency. In their fourth year of medical school, students interview with programs and then rank their choices. Residency programs do the same, placing students in order of their top candidates. A national computer then matches students and programs – ensuring that students are placed in their highest choice with a program that has also chosen them. It’s a highly competitive process.

“Words cannot describe how excited I am,” Amin said from Orlando Health, where she is completing clerkship training in emergency medicine. Amin has earned top honors for her scholarship and research at UCF. She is one of only five students nationwide selected for residencies in this specialty at UF. “Florida has a great program that will provide tremendous training.”

Gapsis came to UCF with a keen interest in ophthalmology because “people rely on their eyes for virtually everything. You can restore someone’s life by giving them back their vision.” She has conducted corneal research at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, and she said she chose Nassau University’s program because the teaching hospital serves a large and diverse population and combines private and academic medicine. She was one of only four students nationwide to be selected for that program.



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UCF Global Perspectives Announces Programs

January 8, 2013

Several prominent figures, such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams and African human rights activist John Prendergast, will speak at UCF this semester.

The presentations are hosted by the UCF Global Perspectives Office, which strives to broaden awareness and understanding on campus and in the community about global issues. Each event connects to the office’s annual theme for 2012-2013, “The Changing Face of Freedom in Today’s Turbulent Times.”

The events, which are free and open to the public, include:

  • Former director for African Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, John Prendergast, who will present “Blood and Soil: Land, Politics and Conflict Prevention,” at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union.
  • International development expert and author, Stephen C. Smith, who will present “Can We End Global Poverty,” at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union.
  • Nobel laureate, Jody Williams, who will present “Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy and Human Security,” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 21, in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union.
  • Author and film producer, Mark London, who will present “Sharks of the Amazon,” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 28, in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union.

For a full list of upcoming events or to learn more about the Global Perspectives Office, visit


Rosen College of Hospitality Management Celebrates Anniversary

Nation’s Largest Hospitality College Celebrates 30th Anniversary

In 1983, with just a single administrator hired, the University of Central Florida established a small degree program specifically designed for educating and preparing individuals for careers in the hospitality and tourism industry. On Monday, Jan. 7, UCF’s Hospitality Management program will celebrate its 30th anniversary as the largest hospitality college in the United States.

Now known as the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, the program was elevated to full college status in 2004 after originally being housed as a department within UCF’s College of Business Administration and College of Health and Public Affairs.

More than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students currently study hospitality at UCF, making it the largest college of its kind in the nation. Consistently, 95 percent of graduates find work in the hospitality industry, and most of them serve the Central Florida tourism industry.

“Students from throughout the globe choose to study at our college because they want to learn and work in the tourism capital of the world,” said Dr. Abraham Pizam, dean of UCF’s Rosen College. “Through the partnerships that we’ve cultivated over the last three decades, our college allows students to gain real-world work experience in the industry’s most competitive market, while simultaneously learning from top researchers and industry executives. Simply put, there is no better laboratory to study hospitality than Orlando, Fla.”

The program’s rise to prominence largely took place over the past decade. In late 2000, Orlando hotelier Harris Rosen donated $18.2 million to build a specially designed campus in the heart of Central Florida’s tourist district, making industry guest speakers and internship opportunities with world-renowned companies readily available to UCF’s Hospitality Management students.

Rosen’s gift, along with state matching funds and contributions from other donors, ultimately turned the program, with fewer than 100 students and seven faculty members at the time, into one of the nation’s top hospitality management programs.

“Congratulations to Dr. Pizam, his faculty and the administration at the UCF Rosen College on their 30th anniversary celebration,” said Rosen. “It is difficult for me to express the pride I feel whenever I am on campus or when I have an opportunity to speak with a student, a faculty member or a parent of one of our students, who share with me so many kind and wonderful comments about their experience at the college. I am also overwhelmed by the extraordinary success Dr. Pizam has achieved in a relatively short period of time and I wish to thank him from the bottom of my heart for creating such an extraordinary institution.”

Since 2004, UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management has served students on a 159,000-square-foot Mediterranean resort-style campus, at the foot of the Rosen Shingle Creek resort, near Orlando’s touristy International Drive.

The UCF Rosen College campus is the largest facility ever built for hospitality management education, with academic amenities such as an American- and European-style test kitchen, a dining room area for event classes, and a beer and wine laboratory where students can become certified experts in some of the foodservice industry’s most profitable products.

Today, with a faculty of more than 50 professors and instructors, UCF’s Rosen College offers one of the widest selections of hospitality degrees in the nation, including Bachelor of Science degrees in Hospitality Management, Event Management and Restaurant & Foodservice Management. The college also offers a Master of Science degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management, plus Florida’s only stand-alone doctoral program in Hospitality Management.

Over the past 30 years, UCF’s Hospitality Management program has awarded more than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees, with alumni currently serving in management and executive positions for restaurants, theme parks, airlines, convention centers and resorts around the world. Others have gone on to serve as industry research consultants and university professors. One graduate even became a finalist on season eight of Food Network Star.

“I’ve overseen this program since its inception, and what we’ve accomplished in the last 30 years is nothing short of amazing,” Pizam said. “I want to thank everyone, from the faculty and staff, to our students and alumni, and especially UCF, the community, the industry, and Mr. Rosen, for their contributions over the years. It is because of them that we are leaders in Hospitality Management education and research.”