Who can forget the moment our very own Ericka Dunlap, ’05, was crowned Miss America 2004? Preceding the competition, Ericka became the first African-American woman to be named Miss Florida. After moving to Nashville to pursue a career in country music, Ericka then traveled the world and came in third on the 15th season of CBS’ “The Amazing Race.” These days, she’s back in her home state of Florida, doing what she does best: keeping busy. She works as the principal consultant at Crown Communications Group, as well as both a keynote speaker and entertainer. And, in what little time to has to spare, she also serves on the UCF Alumni Board of Directors.
10 QUESTIONS WITH ERICKA
Q. Favorite thing about your job?
A. From the PR angle, I’m able to help business owners and professionals get exposure for their brands. As a speaker, I inspire people to create a vision for their goals. And, finally, as an entertainer, I convey the breadth of emotion in a song or another creative form, which motivates me to study new ways of making each project, speech or performance just as exciting as the last for the target audience and me.
Q. Describe a typical day at work…
A. It’s never typical. My car IS my office.
Q. Most memorable experience on the job?
A. I’m fulfilled when at least one person says they really needed to hear my message, or when my client sees the proverbial light bulb of creativity for their ideas to come to fruition.
Q. How do you hope your leadership will affect the future of the alumni association and the university?
A. I’m hoping to encourage a diverse perspective and offer ideas on how to incorporate more diverse representation that can directly speak for the ever-evolving population of UCF.
Q. In what other ways have you been involved with your alma mater since graduating?
A. I have made several presentations and speeches for CAB, my sorority (Delta Sigma Theta), the President’s Leadership Council, and many other organizations on campus.
Q. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to your fellow Knights to help advance our university and our alumni association?
A. Stay connected beyond graduation! What one person experiences may affect the lives of hundreds.
Q. Happiest/proudest moment of your life?
A. My proudest moment so far has been graduating from college, because I’m the first person in my family to do so.
Q. Volunteer work/philanthropy?
A. I do like doing projects with the elderly, and I love encouraging girls’ empowerment.
Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A. Learn sign language.
Q. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
A. I am addicted to thrift stores and yard sales.
Read more stories about alumni at ucfalumni.com.