Students from each of UCF’s colleges were honored for their dedication to excellence in academics, leadership and community service during the annual Founders’ Day ceremony Wednesday.
Tyler Campbell is a History major with special interests in Florida Unionists during the Civil War and in Ancient History. Among his many accomplishments are: the Dr. Thomas Greenhaw History Scholarship Award and the Honors in the Major Thesis Proposal Scholarship.. He is also active with Phi Alpha Theta and helped organize the group’s undergraduate research workshop and a distinguished lecture series. He’s given several academic presentations and completed an internship with the Florida Historical Quarterly. This summer he will be participating in an archaeological dig in Turkey. Campbell plans to graduate in this fall.
Jonathan Ted Deleon is a business management major with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. He is also earning a minor in information technology. Deleon is already putting his learning to work serving as a small-business consultant at the UCF Small Business Development Center. He was founder of the Business Leadership Council and chairman of the UCF COBA Student Ambassador Program. He is also an advisory council member of the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. He expects to graduate in December.
Carmen Gabriela Espinoza is an elementary-education major whose focus is on her students’ minds and hearts. Aside from her regular time commitment to complete her degree, Espinoza volunteers to tutor English Language Learners at two public schools in addition to serving as a mentor in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program at another school. At UCF she volunteers her time with the Student National Education Association, the Minority Teacher Retention and Recruitment Program, and Kappa Delta Pi. Through KDP she regularly helps children in the community through clothes drives and by raising money to purchase children new books. She also serves as a First Generation Ambassador at UCF and an ambassador for the college’s Professional Learning Community. She will continue to spread her volunteerism this summer by spending four weeks teaching children in a remote area of Botswana. She plans to graduate in 2015.
Rana Riad is an industrial-engineering major and a member of The Burnett Honors College. She received the Order of Pegasus award this year. She is on the President’s Honor Roll and dean’s list while staying involved on campus and in her community. She is the current vice chair of the President’s Leadership Council and a member of College Leadership Florida Class XV. She is a LEAD scholar alumnus and has served on the student body president’s advisory council in student government. She is currently a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the honor societies Alpha Pi Mu and Phi Kappa Phi. She is currently interning as a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin. She enjoys volunteering for the American Heart Association, the Walt Disney World Marathon benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Achieve a College Education Day. She is expected to earn her bachelor’s of science degree in May and plans to pursue a graduate degree in industrial engineering.
Jessica A. Sirianni is a double major in finance and legal studies and a Burnett Honors College scholar. In addition to completing two majors, Sirianni is also active on campus serving as a LEAD Scholar and an admissions ambassador. She also holds leadership roles serving as the secretary for the 4Ever Knights Ambassador program, the President’s Scholars Program and as a peer educator. She also is a member of the Moot Court Competition team and earned a trip to national competition after one year of participation. She offers her time to help students academically and found time to assist the director of UCF’s Center for Law & Policy on a special project in the community. She plans to graduate in May 2015.
David Woodstein is a double major in Hospitality and Events management with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. Woodstein is already involved in his field by being an active member in SKAL Orlando. He also is the CARE manager at the Doubletree by Hilton at SeaWorld. During his college experience he has held multiple leadership positions around campus. These positions included being the executive concert night director for UCF Homecoming and president of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. Under his leadership ZBT won chapter of the year for ZBT International. Woodstein plans to graduate in May.
Catherine Gutierrez is a double major in biotechnology and microbiology & molecular biology in The Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. She has been extensively involved in research while at UCF and has several pending publications. She attended the University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Student Scholars Program last summer, where she was involved in digestive and liver research at the National Institutes of Health Center for Metabolic and Liver Diseases. As part of a STEM Initiative Program, Gutierrez also participated as a research intern at Sanford-Burnham Research Institute. She volunteers at Shepherd’s Hope, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Florida Hospital East, American Red Cross, Give the Kids the World, Relay for Life, and organized a HIV/AIDS barbecue for more than 100 children born with HIV/AIDS. For fun she sings soprano in the UCF College of Medicine Capella Group. She plans to graduate in May and has already been accepted into the Case Western Reserve University Minority HIV Research Training Program and multiple medical schools, including Harvard University College of Medicine. She has also been recognized for her community efforts including the Governor of Pereira, Columbia, for her research, which found local lead poisoning and by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for academic achievements and social contributions.
Geraldine Martinez is a nursing major who is also defending her thesis on neonatal pain management as a member of The Burnett Honors College. Martinez is a board member of the Florida Nursing Student Association and vice president of the UCF Student Nurses Association. She has also volunteered her time at local hospitals and abroad traveling to the Dominican Republic on a medical mission in 2013. She’s a member of several honor societies including Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She expects to graduate in May.
Michael G. Tichy is chemistry major who has won numerous chemistry awards since enrolling at UCF. He has the best grade point average in his class and has been a student supplemental instructor since 2012 because of his grasp of chemistry and his people skills. As a Burnett Honors College student he also has been responsible for holding breakout sessions with first-year students to discuss a range of issues and has overseen service-learning projects performed by those same students. Tichy also is a member of the UCF honors Quiz Bowl team and received the 2013 UCF Undergraduate Organic Chemistry award. He plans to graduate in May 2015.
Diane Lieu is an interdisciplinary studies major with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, letters and modern language and art. She is also seeking a graduate certificate in teaching English as a Second Language. She is an active member of the UCF community in a variety of roles including a peer advisor for interdisciplinary studies, a writing consultant at the University Writing Center, a conversation partner at the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies, and an orientation leader for the First Year Experience Office. She has held a number of leadership positions with UNICEF at UCF, the Nakhra Knights, Engineers Without Borders, Teachers for America, and Student Development and Enrollment Services’ Student Advisory Council. She plans to graduate in May 2015.
Students selected to receive the awards for outstanding theses
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
First Place: Emily Edwards- Preserving the Right to a Fair Trial: An Examination of the Prejudicial Value of Visual and Auditory Evidence in the Context of a Criminal Case; directed by Karen Mottarella, Psychology
Runner-up: Vaughn G. S. Glinton Jr. – Southern Honor: An Analysis of Stand Your Ground Law in Southern Jurisdictions, directed by James Beckman, Legal Studies
Sciences, Engineering, and Technology
First Place: Thomas Bouchenot- A Simplified Approach to Thermomechanical Fatigue and Application to V-shaped Notches; directed by Ali Gordon, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Runner-up: James A. Wilson- Production Control and Actuation of Micron-Sized Particles in a Microfluidic T-junction; directed by Ranganathan Kumar, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering