For the fifth year, the UCF Alumni Association hosted its annual Jefferson Awards Reception, which recognizes the association’s most active volunteers for their countless acts of generosity and numerous volunteer hours. Hosted by the UCF Alumni Community Volunteers Chapter and sponsored by the UCF Division of Community Relations, the awards focus on public service and the importance of giving back.
The event featured special guest speaker Bob Brown, CEO of Heart of Florida United Way, who spoke on behalf of the contributions alumni have made to the community while showcasing the values of volunteerism.
This year’s celebration also included a special proclamation delivered by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who declared Thursday, April 19, 2012, as UCF Alumni Association Jefferson Awards Day.
In addition, Dyer acknowledged the hours contributed by the UCF Alumni Community Volunteers Chapter to the City of Orlando through its Keep Orlando Beautiful program. “They’ve participated in cleanup projects at the Greenwood Cemetery, our MLK Day of Service and countless others,” he said. “We wouldn’t be the City Beautiful if it weren’t for dedicated and passionate volunteers who give their time, sweat and resources to help make Orlando the best place to live, work and raise a family.
“As the late, great Winston Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.’”
Prior to the announcement of the winner for each category, nominees shared their favorite things about being UCF Knights (see the winners’ responses below).
The 2012 UCF Alumni Jefferson Awards recipients are:
STUDENT VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Joseph Myszkowski, ’11
“My favorite thing about being a UCF Knight is being part of a growing university and making traditions for future students.”
COLLEGE CHAPTER VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Herb Gingold, ’91
College of Engineering and Computer Science
“The best part of being a UCF Knight is watching as our nation grows and grows, and feeling the camaraderie when I run into another Knight I did not know!”
REGIONAL CHAPTER/CLUB VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Jenelle Lovell, ’06
Atlanta UCF Alumni Chapter
“My favorite thing about being a UCF Knight is the instant bond which has been created by students and alumni alike. We share a special pride and fond memories of our experiences at UCF. Knowing wherever we go in life, we will always have this in common.”
CONSTITUENT CHAPTER/CLUB VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Carla Berrios, ’09
Young Alumni Chapter
“Being a UCF Knight has helped me appreciate what it means to say ‘UCF Stands for Opportunity.’ I am grateful to live that phrase daily through personal growth and development in my professional career, while also contributing and giving back to our university.”
CHAPTER COMMUNITY SERVICE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Matt Cecil, ’07
UCF Alumni Community Volunteers Chapter
“UCF is a fairly young university that has already adopted a high standard of excellence and continues to grow and make a name for itself. Simply, my favorite thing about UCF is being proud to be an alumnus. I received a wonderful education while having the best time of my life and, through my time here, I met my amazing wife, who has given me a loving family and beautiful baby girl.”
ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Teresa Shipley, ’82
“Being a UCF Knight is much bigger than one can imagine. As an alumna, I am part of an amazing group of people who love and care about the University of Central Florida, its students, staff and the community. Go Knights!”
LIFETIME OF SERVICE TO THE UCF ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Mike Hinn, ’92
Watch Mike’s video.
Congratulations to all of these awesome volunteers!
The UCF Alumni Jefferson Awards Reception was modeled after the National Jefferson Awards, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. The Jefferson Awards is a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America. The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels — national and local. Honorees have included Barbara Bush, Rosalynn Carter, Colin Powell, Bob Hope and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Join the UCF Alumni Community Volunteers Chapter.