Three winners of UCF’s 2019 Women of Distinction Award were honored this week by Faculty Excellence at the annual President’s Office reception to bring together new and returning women faculty members.

“My job over the next year is to keep our momentum going and to position us all for success,” Interim President Thad Seymour Jr. says. “One of my priorities is faculty excellence and part of that is events like today’s because as we accelerate our pursuit of excellence will continue to fuel our region and state through education, innovation and developing talent.”

Faculty members are known for research, leadership and service – but many are also creative entrepreneurs with programs and initiatives that benefit the community beyond the UCF campus. Here are the winners for 2019:

Anne Bubriski

Bubriski is a lecturer in the Department of Women and Gender Studies. She coordinates the Young Women Leaders Program, an after-school curriculum-based mentoring program assigning a 7th grade “little sister” to one UCF student “big sister.” While the program is associated with UCF, Bubriski has secured outside funding. After winning a grant and piloting a smaller one-day program focused on STEM leadership, she saw an opportunity and transformed the program into SLAM: Science Leadership and Mentoring this year. Through SLAM, Bubriski has secured funding to help empower girls to be assertive, brave and confident and develop leadership abilities while exposing them to STEM careers. In partnership with a local middle school, SLAM meets weekly with 20 UCF STEM women majors and provides programming with workshops and guest speakers.

Caridad Hernandez

Hernandez is an associate professor of internal medicine and medical education in the Department of Internal Medicine. She secured funding to establish the Chapman Humanism in Medicine Initiative at the College of Medicine. The initiative provides different programing geared toward fostering a culture that values and sustains humanism and promotes students’ wellbeing. Alongside her medical students, Hernandez established the Chapman Compassionate Care for the Homeless Clinic, known as CCCare. The clinic exists to bridge the gap of unmet health needs with Orlando’s homeless population and develop compassionate patient-centered physicians. The first clinic took place in January and treated more than 100 patients, distributing hygiene kits, socks, medications and administering vaccines.

Julia Listengarten

Listengarten is a professor and the artistic director of Theatre UCF. A theatre artist, Listengarten collaborates with stakeholders from the academic community and the city of Orlando to combine scholarship with creative activities. In 2018 she created Pegasus PlayLab, a festival dedicated to developing plays by emerging playwrights. With more than 300 scripts submitted nationally, four are chosen to “workshop,” engaging national playwriting networks, UCF students, Orlando audiences and professional theatre networks. She was also recently awarded the Pabst-Steinmetz Foundation Arts and Wellness Award to spearhead “The Arts and Aging: An Interdisciplinary and Intergenerational Initiative,” a community-based project to study and establish protocols for arts and literature programs to enhance the well-being of Florida’s aging population.

Each winner was given $1,000 in professional development funds.