From the university’s YouTube channel to Instagram account, if you’re following UCF’s social media channels, chances are you’ve heard of UCF social media ambassadors. But who are they?

Social media ambassador applications are available online and open through
11:59 p.m. May 8.

This select group of 25 students provides their perspectives on life at UCF — from academics to special occasions such as Homecoming — through engaging content that aims to share what the campus experience is really like, while connecting them with peers. The UCF Social Media Ambassador program offers students a chance to express themselves in authentic, creative, and fun ways — such as day-in-the-life vlogs to hosting video segments and takeovers for Instagram — as well as exclusive opportunities that benefit them now and in the future.

Developed in 2017 the UCF Social Media Ambassador program has grown quickly in just a few years — and UCF Social is always looking for passionate students to join the group. Each semester the Social Media team opens an online application to find the right people to rep Knight Nation officially. Here’s who joined this year.

For more on the history of the UCF Social Media Ambassador program and its benefits, click here.

Christina Adams

Hometown: Oviedo, Florida
Major: Advertising/public relations, which I find super interesting because of the role it plays in how we digest media and make the purchases we do. I also have a passion for social media.
Why UCF?: I decided on UCF because it was super close to my family and they mean the world to me. I also attended UCF football games when I was younger and fell in love with campus.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to travel to Europe and explore new opportunities.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I wanted to become a UCF Social Ambassador to learn from the best. Everyone in the program looked so passionate and sincere and it would be a missed opportunity to not join such an amazing group of diverse individuals.

What’s the most underrated part of being at UCF?
The most underrated part of UCF is the quiet atmosphere. There can be a lot always going on, but I am able to find the most joy when I am sitting in the Student Union quietly studying with friends, sitting next the Reflecting Pond while reading a book or people-watching while walking around campus. It is in those quiet moments that I find myself truly grateful for the journey that is college.

Who are five artists that would perform at your dream music festival?
This is hard because I like a lot of artists, but I would have to say Niall Horan, Lauv, Ed Sheeran, Wallows and Taylor Swift. A bonus if the Jonas Brothers would be free that day to do Burning Up, but not necessary.

Vanessa Alvarez

Hometown: Jersey City, New Jersey
Major: Human communication, which allows me to speak about things I am passionate about and have the flexibility to use my degree in different areas.
Why UCF?: I am a transfer student from Valencia College and loved the convenience of DirectConnect to UCF. UCF also had so many opportunities I wanted to get involved in, such as my major, programs, clubs and campus diversity.
Future: Class of 2021 with plans to continue pursuing opportunities in modeling, activism and social media, as well as explore new ventures.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I saw what the Social Media team was doing with engaging videos for the university and knew I wanted to be involved. I love being in front of the camera, challenging myself and wanted practical experiences.

Where do you like to grab a bite on campus?
Being raised in a Hispanic household, Cafe Bustelo was a household staple, so the fact that I have it as a coffee shop right on campus is so awesome. The coffee tastes homemade, the food is delicious. A perfect grab and go!

How has modeling helped you build your confidence and how can other people build theirs?
Being a model helps me be more confident in who I am as a person and what I can bring to the table. Each opportunity can bring its challenges, but facing those challenges is an opportunity for growth.

For someone looking to be more confident, I would say first know who or what you rely on for confidence. Then know what area(s) you are not confident in and find practical ways to work on those areas, such as praying, working out, dressing up, making gratitude lists and spending time with family. All of these things can help boost your confidence.

Henry Bryne

Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
Major: Advertising/public relations, which I discovered after taking a few classes and time to figure out my interests. I have a passion for creating genuine and lasting connections with others, and my major is helping me build the skills necessary to do that for individuals and for brands.
Why UCF?: After touring the campus and meeting some of the students, I began to love the community here. There are so many friendly faces and interesting people to meet. It was important to me to step out of my comfort zone by moving away from home, and UCF felt like the right place to do that.
Future: Class of 2021 with plans to work in advertising for small businesses and nonprofits.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?I wanted to share my excitement for all the programs and events that UCF offers with other students. There are so many opportunities to get involved on campus and to meet other students that will become life-long friends. That is what being a Knight is all about.

What are you hoping to accomplish at UCF before you graduate?My biggest goal before graduating from UCF is to create meaningful connections with as many of my peers and teachers as possible. There are Knights all over the nation and you never know when you’ll be able to help someone out in the future or when someone else will be able to give you a helping hand. Take the time to connect with people. Make friends, and keep doors open for the future.

What advice would you give to someone who needs their day brightened?My advice would be to go talk to someone. Humans are social creatures and connecting with someone new will show you that we all have a lot in common. We all have tough days, and we all have wonderful days too. Keep your head up and remember you are not alone.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIhMP5IHM1p/

Andrea Concepcion

Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Major: Journalism, which allows me to influence and inform the world and create in a positive way.
Why UCF?: UCF was always a dream for me and has given me the opportunity to be close to home.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to work as a teacher for the Osceola County School District.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
When I was in high school, seeing UCF social media ambassadors always made me more excited about becoming a Knight. When I started attending the university, it felt right to join and give that feeling to others.

Why do you love most about being a Knight?
I feel like I represent a tight-knit community all around me, not only in Orlando but all around Florida.

As a dancer, what are some songs you can’t help but dance to?
It is inevitable for me to dance to any song by Dua Lipa, “Dangerous” by Michael Jackson and “Bad Idea” by Ariana Grande.

Alex Cumming

Hometown: Orlando
Major: Theatre, which I’ve been active with throughout high school.
Why UCF?:  I come from a UCF family and fell in love with the school and the theatre program from a young age. When I was selected into the BFA program, there was no doubt about coming here.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue theatre full time.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I love the energy and culture of the school and being able to share my passion for UCF through my perspective was really enticing.

What’s your favorite spot to spend time on campus?
My favorite spot to spend time will always be the performing arts center where all my classes and favorite people are, but when it’s football season, nothing beats the Bounce House.

What’s one acting tip you’ve learned that also applies to life?
From acting, learning to be genuinely present and listen honestly to the person in front of me is my biggest takeaway. Getting lost in your head is the easiest way to lose track of a scene, staying in the moment is where the true power is.

(IG: @ale.loves22)

 Alejandra Del Carpio

Hometown: Queens, New York
Major: Integrated business, which allows me to network and become a well-rounded individual that personalizes the degree to my career choice or more than one business area.
Why UCF?:  Through the DirectConnect to UCF program, I had the opportunity to stay close to home and use the most of my time to reach my professional career goal. UCF has given me the opportunity to grow professionally and academically, all while offering me a welcoming and loving environment to become a better version of myself every day.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to turn part-time internship with PM Pediatrics into a full-time role where I am able to exercise my human-resource skills.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
To improve my communication and presentation skills and for networking. Getting exposed to working closely with other Knights that have different experiences and perspectives allows me to be more open minded.

Where do you like to grab a bite on campus?
Food has always been my weakness and no matter how stressed I am about an upcoming test or excited for a school event, and Gringos Locos is one of the best spots on campus — hands down the best burritos and cheese sauce within walking distance from the arena.

After the pandemic, where is the first place you want to travel to and why?
Japan has always been on my bucket list. There’s something about the culture, food and people that just attracts me to want to explore it in person someday.

Elli Harmon

Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Major: Actuarial science, which a high school calculus teacher suggested since I’m a mathematics fanatic.
Why UCF?: UCF is the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen, and it’s so clean. This school is also one of the only schools in Florida that offers my major.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to become an actuary, entrepreneur, world traveler — and a season pass holder to UCF football games!

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I love UCF with all of my heart. I know so much about the school and I love answering people’s questions about the school. I also always have a positive attitude, so I knew I would be a great voice for the school.

What campus organizations are you involved with on campus?
I’m the treasurer of the UCF Actuarial Science Club. It truly is a hidden gem for actuarial students. I am also a member of the UCF Starlet Knights Color Guard.

What do you love most about being a part of Marching Knights?
Performing in front of thousands of people is my favorite thing about being in the Marching Knights. I love being a face of UCF. When I spin my flag to UCF’s fight song or as the football team runs into the end zone, it gives me so much pride — it’s a feeling unlike any other.

Kendall Haworth

Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Major: Communication sciences and disorders, which interests me because I grew up in a foster family and many of the kids had speech impediments. Seeing the impact speech therapists had on their lives inspired me to pursue speech pathology.
Why UCF?: I chose UCF because of the wide variety of clubs they offer., tThere really is something for everyone’s different interests.
Future: Class of Spring 2023 with plans to become a speech therapist in an elementary school.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
When deciding on the university I wanted to attend, I turned to social media to see how students were enjoying life on campus. Especially with the pandemic going on right now, I assume a lot of incoming freshmen are doing the same and I want to help them decide that UCF is the perfect place to be.

What advice would you give an incoming student?
Put yourself out there! When you leave high school, you get a blank slate and are provided with the chance to totally be yourself. Whether it’s clubs, classes or Greek life, UCF offers so many opportunities to make new friends with similar interests.

What are your rules for the perfect playlist?
All my playlists have a very specific “vibe,” so I keep an eye out for songs that fit that mood. I try to make my playlists very relatable and specific to capture attention from certain audiences.

Kim Hong

Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Major: Health sciences, pre-clinical track, which will help me prepare for medical school.
Why UCF?: UCF was my dream college since I was a high schooler, I fell in love with the campus — and the black and gold colors are a plus.
Future: Class of 2023 with plans to attend medical school and become an anesthesiologist.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I love every single thing about the campus, and I thought being a UCF social media ambassador would provide me with a lot of good experiences. This program cured my camera shyness, and I am truly beyond grateful to be able to express my love for UCF publicly.

What’s your favorite spot to spend time on campus?
Since I am taking a heavy course load, I love the fifth floor of the library, where everyone just focuses on their own tasks.

How do you like to relax between your studies?
I usually have a study goal for each day. After a study session, if I have finished a good amount of my goal, I will reward myself a snack or a drink. This reward method really pushes me to work harder and accomplish my goal.

Ava Ingle

Hometown: Oviedo, Florida
Major: Emerging media, graphic design track, which I knew was the perfect role for me in high school when I took my first graphic design class.
Why UCF?: UCF has one of the best graphic design programs in Florida. Plus, it’s close to home and I’m very close with my family.
Future: Class of 2023 with plans to pursue a master’s degree.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador?
I wanted to get more involved at UCF and someday I’d like to work in social media using my major, so this seemed like a great way to get my foot in the door.

What do you like about being in Orlando?
I think Orlando is one of the best places to be as a college student because there are so many career opportunities with Disney and Universal so close by, and it’s also great for social life because there’s always so much to do.

How would you describe your art style?
I’ve always loved art. I enjoy working with technology while still being able to use my creativity. I take a lot of inspiration from the art deco style and I would say that’s the closest description of my style, as well. I love pairing bold colors and geometric shapes together.

(IG: @stephjimenez__ )

Stephanie Jimenez

Hometown: I’m originally from Queens, New York, but have been in Orlando long enough that this is my hometown.
Major: Biomedical sciences, which feels like it was my calling because I’ve always loved medicine and I want to change kids’ lives.
Why UCF?: I started off at another college but realized UCF was a better fit for me since Orlando has a strong piece of my heart and I like the program I’m studying here more.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to attend medical school and become a pediatric physician and explore an interest in neurology.

Why did you become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I have a lot of love, pride, and joy for my school and had a feeling I was going to find another community of people who felt the same way through the program.

What campus organizations are you involved with on campus?
The Pre-Med America Medical Student Association, Her Campus, Latino Medical Student Association, Psychological Society. I’m also the president of Transfer Knights, which is a place for transfers to become comfortable at UCF and fall in love with it as much as I have. It was the very first student organization meeting I attended all those years ago and I knew instantly that transferring was the right decision.

Which book/movie from the Harry Potter series is the best?
Movie wise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is my favorite because I felt they portrayed the Battle of Hogwarts absolutely on par. However, I can’t ever decide whether I like Prisoner of Azkaban or Deathly Hallows more as a book as they are both literary masterpieces.

Sarah Lewis

Hometown: I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but grew up in South Florida.
Major: Hospitality management, which my love for service and making personal connections with others is what led me to.
Why UCF?: I chose to attend UCF because of the world-renowned Rosen hospitality management program and for its diverse and expansive student body.
Future: Class of 2024 with plans to pursue a career in media management or operations in the theme- park industry.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
To show other Knights my personal experience being involved on both main and Rosen campus. I truly live the best of both worlds and wanted to show that other students can do it too.

What do you hope to accomplish at UCF before you graduate?
To make as many meaningful connections as I can. Whether that be the lifelong friends I have already started to make or professional relationships that I will carry into my career, the people here at UCF are the absolute best to be around.

What are your favorite ways to express yourself creatively?
My favorite way to express myself creatively is dance. I’ve been dancing since the age of 3 and continue my passion here at UCF by being a part of the dance minor program and the Knights and Damsels Dance Company. Also, I love to draw on my iPad. I’m definitely no Picasso but being able to sketch and doodle is an easy way to distract from my homework for a bit.

Regin Mantuano

Hometown: I was born in the Philippines, but I grew up in Lady Lake, Florida.
Major: Marketing, which is a field that is very flexible and will allow me to use my creativity to send out a positive message to the community.
Why UCF?: I chose to attend UCF because it seemed like the university that would provide me with the best opportunities for personal and intellectual growth.
Future: Class of 2021 with plans to pursue a career where I can incorporate my love for all things fashion and mental-health awareness into one.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I believe in using my voice to make a difference and I thought UCF Social was the best platform for me to use my voice for students like me.

How do you like to relax between your studies?
I really enjoy going for walks around the Arboretum, which is such a calm place to relax and enjoy nature, and cooking during study breaks. Also, you might find me laughing at random TikToks or listening to the same five songs on repeat in between studies.

How do fashion and beauty help you to express yourself and connect with others?
I typically dress depending on my mood. Personally, fashion and beauty have been the best way for me to translate those emotions physically. It is a great way for me to connect with people who have similar styles and hobbies as me. Fashion and beauty have helped me form friendships and build a community with like-minded individuals.

Geela Margo Ramos

Hometown: Miramar, Florida
Major: Computer science, which was inspired by the  fictional robot Baymax from Disney’s Big Hero 6.
Why UCF?: Choosing UCF was a mixture of the opportunities the university could provide as a leading research institution and excitement for all the places to explore in the area as a foodie.
Future: Class of 2023 with plans to pursue a master’s engineering science or in computational neuroscience overseas.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
There are many stereotypes I want to challenge when it comes to being a researcher, mental health advocate and even taekwondo athlete. Also, having a platform to showcase my love for UCF is always a plus.

What are you hoping to accomplish at UCF before you graduate?
I am hoping to complete my thesis on developing a wearable device for generalized anxiety disorder  real-time staging and monitoring. I also hope to create a large impact on public policy and programs for mental health in Florida.

What do you love about being involved with research?
The research community is what I love the most.  My lab, Wearable Engineering and Assistive Robotics (WEAR) lab@wear_lab_ucf on Instagram — is my family, and it’s amazing to have a group who will always be there to support each other’s academic endeavors and passions in our discipline.

Mandi Nelson

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Major: Advertising/public relations, which allows me to gain experience in so many different fields.
Why UCF?: I want to work in college athletics and I felt that the future of the athletics program here was so promising that I wanted to be able to witness that growth firsthand.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to pursue a master’s in sports administration or mass communications before working for a college athletics operations or creative media department.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I have always loved the presence of UCF on all social platforms and I wanted to be able to express my love for this university in a unique way.

What’s your favorite spot to spend time on campus?
The fourth floor of the new part of the library.

Who are your top three greatest athletes of all time?
Roberto Clemente, Sue Bird and Tom Brady.

Erin Pitcher

Hometown: Stony Brook, New York
Major: Communication and sciences disorders, which I fell in love with after changing my major four times. When I was younger I had to attend speech classes myself and I want to be able to help others communicate properly.
Why UCF?: I not only wanted to get out of the freezing cold weather up north, but felt like UCF had a lot of opportunities for me to personally grow. Also, both my parents attended UCF.
Future: Class of 2021 with plans to gain experience in the workforce for a year before applying to grad school.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I previously had a YouTube channel and wanted more experience on how to make it grow. Now that I don’t have the channel, I’ve come to realize that I also joined to provide my experience as an out-of-state student and show non-Floridians how great this school is.

What advice would you give an incoming student?
One piece of advice that I give to any incoming student is to get involved. I got involved as soon as I stepped foot on this campus because I wanted to make friends. I pushed myself to get involved with the UCF Social Media Ambassador program, National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, and Rho Lambda. I’ve met so many amazing individuals by pushing myself to join different clubs here and on top of that I gained some amazing experience that I am able to put on my resume.

If you could only watch/play one sport for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?Basketball. I grew up playing soccer and basketball my whole life and I was so much better at soccer, but I enjoyed playing the game of basketball so much more. Go Celtics (and Tacko)!

Leandra Sainz

Hometown: Dorado, Puerto Rico
Major: Psychology, which interests me because I’d like to understand more about the human mind and behavior.
Why UCF?: I chose to attend UCF because I absolutely love how amazing the campus is and that there are so many events. I also love that it is located in Orlando and is close to my favorite theme parks.
Future: Class of 2021 with plans to pursue grad school.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
It’s the perfect opportunity for me to express my love for UCF and help other students by answering their questions and showing them the best parts of the university. I also love talking to others and engaging on social media.

What do you like about being in the Orlando area?
What I love about being in the Orlando area is that there’s so many things to do and so many places to go. I love how close Universal, Disney parks, Disney Springs, ICON Park and other cool places are and that I never really get bored here.

Which Disney park is your favorite, why and what’s the best ride there?
Animal Kingdom because I love seeing all of the animals and my favorite land of all time, Pandora the World of Avatar, is there. My favorite ride is Flight of Passage because it so beautiful and immersive, you feel like you’re in a movie.

Erin Schaffer

Hometown: Fort Pierce, Florida
Major: Human communication, which fascinates me especially through social media in the digital age. I often wonder about the long-term effects of being so involved on the internet and I hope to study these effects as they happen.
Why UCF?: UCF had amazing innovative programs and professors that I could experience without being too far from home.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to pursue a master’s degree in mass media.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
As a part of many groups I don’t always see represented, such as the LGBTQ+ community and the chronic illness community, I wanted to provide a different perspective and represent more of the student population here at UCF that identify similarly.

What are some of your favorite resources on campus?
I have felt so supported by Student Accessibility Services in my time at UCF. My advisor, as well as the whole team, is always there to help me succeed in my college experience. I deeply appreciate what they do to make sure all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

What was the biggest adjustment you had to make when you started college?
Learning how to take care of myself, do things independently and holding myself accountable. I find that this can be made easier with organization. Scheduling time to do homework, setting alarms to take your medications, meal prep and budgeting have all been very helpful to my adjustment. When all my tasks are done, I make time to practice self-care by taking a bath, laying with my cat, lighting some incense and writing about whatever is occupying my mind.

Jeremy Singh

Hometown: I’m from a little bit of everywhere having grown up a military brat, but I graduated from high school in Spring Lake, North Carolina, and now my family resides in Tampa, Florida.
Major: Advertising/public relations, which seemed perfect for me because I’ve always believed my strongest attribute is my ability to tell stories and communicate with others.
Why UCF?: I chose UCF because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something BIG (as UCF would put it). I wanted to be somewhere full of life and people, and UCF was that for me. And it’s only about 40 minutes from Walt Disney World, so that’s a plus.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to pursue a career with a marketing or social media team for Disney.

Why did you want to become a Social Ambassador for UCF?
I originally started my YouTube channel freshman year for the sole purpose of communicating with my friends back in North Carolina about my college adventures. The more I experienced at UCF, the more I really leaned into social media to tell my stories. And as soon as I learned about the UCF Social Media Ambassador program, I knew it was where I wanted to be.

What’s your favorite spot to spend time on campus?
The Reflecting Pond has been my favorite spot since freshman year. I’ve spent many hours just sitting out there doing homework, hanging with friends or just enjoying the Orlando sunsets.

What are your top three Disney movies?
My favorite Disney movies are the underrated gems that some people have never seen, which are Hercules, Oliver & Company, and The Aristocats.

Sarah Stukey

Hometown: Satellite Beach, Florida
Major: Nursing, which fulfills my passion for healing and education.
Why UCF?: I chose to attend UCF because of the energy that the campus brings, the diverse community that surrounds it, and the excellent hospitals in Orlando that UCF’s College of Nursing allows you to complete clinical rotations in.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to work in the field for a few years before going back to school to become a family nurse practitioner.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I really love this university and all it offers, and I love the idea of being in a position to show these things to incoming Knights. I also wanted to meet a group of Knights who share the same passion for the school and for learning more about marketing and social media.

What are you hoping to accomplish at UCF before you graduate?
I am hoping to meet as many people and form as many relationships as possible at UCF before I graduate. My main goal is to make this big school feel a little bit more like home to a fellow Knight.

What makes you instantly smile?
The idea of living life with others makes me instantly smile like nothing else. The idea that even the most mundane of tasks can be a privilege with the right people in your life makes me so happy and excited to be alive.

Alexandra Sullivan

Hometown: Broward County, Florida
Major: Print/digital journalism, which I fell in love with after becoming involved with extracurriculars here at UCF.
Why UCF?:  I chose to attend UCF because it’s full of opportunities for growth, and it has lots of awesome majors and programs to choose from. It also has lots of ways to get involved and develop experience.
Future: Class of 2024 with plans to work in the print journalism/production industry.

Why did you want to become a Social Ambassador for UCF?
In the past, UCF social media ambassadors helped me learn more about the university and I wanted to do that for others. I also love the opportunity to be a voice for the student body.

What campus organizations are you involved with?
I joined Her Campus at UCF, which is an online magazine written for college women, by college women, because I love to write and it’s given me the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people. I’m also involved in Strike magazine as a makeup director, and it’s allowed me to get professional experience working for a magazine and has helped me develop my skills as a leader and artist.

What’s one beauty tip everyone can benefit from?
Wear sunscreen with a high SPF ! If you’re going outside, even just for a few minutes, put it on. Your skin will not only look so much more glowy and healthier, but it will prevent sun damage and wrinkles later on.

Isabella Thalheimer

Hometown: Winter Park, Florida
Major: Radio/television with a minor in sports business management, which I chose because in high school I was involved in my video production program and realized that film was my creative outlet and a way to make a big impact on my community.
Why UCF?: Growing up in the area, I was always around UCF. I grew up on campus and went to UCF games. I always felt at home here and there was just a great sense of community that I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life.
Future: Class of 2024 with plans to work with a sports team doing broadcast/video work and also continuing to make documentaries for good causes.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
I was already making content for my different social media platforms and I wanted to learn more about the social media side of things. It is also a great way to get involved and give back to the UCF community.

What do you like about being in the Orlando area?
I love being in the Orlando area because not only is there so much to do, but also it allows you to make so many connections and get involved in the city in so many different ways. It is a diverse city with endless opportunities for people of all studies.

What is one documentary you think everyone should watch?
While I am super into crime documentaries, I think the most important documentaries are those that connect people to causes and teach us about our history. For that reason, I would recommend Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnamor The Cove.\

Chelsea Velez

Hometown: I was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, but I’m from Tampa, Florida.
Major: Journalism, I have always loved writing as a way to express myself and sharing stories, especially those in your neighborhood, with others.
Why UCF?: UCF appealed to me as a university that is extremely diverse, inclusive and full of opportunity. I loved the idea of moving to Orlando and being a part of a community where there is so much spirit.
Future: Class of 2021 with plans to pursue a master’s in communication while also working on writing a book full of poems.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?
Before I even began attending UCF I was painted black and gold, carrying that Knight Nation spirit with me anywhere and everywhere I went. To have such an opportunity to represent the university in the social media realm felt like the perfect fit to continuously inspire others in the Orlando area and share why being a Knight is so special.

What do you love about being a Knight?
One thing that I always tend to say is, “In the face of adversity, be a Knight.” I feel that this explains why I love being a Knight so much. UCF is so extremely diverse, everyone can feel welcomed on campus and learn more about people that may not have the same background. It is so beautiful to know we can all come together from a variety of backgrounds yet share the same collegiate culture of being Knights!

When you’re struggling to write, how do you find inspiration?
If it is regarding a news or life article, I playback through all of my interviews and find the most important pieces. Especially finding the emotional core of each is so crucial. If I struggle to write in the creative sense, I take a breather and imagine where I want readers to be taken to.

Phillip Wright

Hometown: I was born in Port St. Lucie, Florida, but grew up in Tallahassee.
Major: Electronic journalism, which will allow to explore my interest in film and acting through broadcast reporting in the entertainment industry.
Why UCF?: UCF was an opportunity to leave my hometown and experience something new. I’ve always wanted to go to a more diverse university so I can meet and learn how to talk to different people every day.
Future: Class of 2022 with plans to pursue entertainment reporting and eventually become an anchor for Entertainment Tonight or E! News.

Why did you want to become a social media ambassador for UCF?I wanted to be a part of a team that could positively impact the perspective of new students at UCF. I want people to know that UCF has many great things to offer and that all people are welcome to attend.

What do you hope to accomplish before you graduate?I would like to produce, direct and write a feature film tailored to students at UCF. I am currently working on this production and excited for students to know the great talent and resources that UCF has to offer.

If you were in a movie, who would you want to be your costar? Viola Davis or Meryl Streep. They both are fantastic actresses and truly dedicated to their craft. I feel like these two thespians have so much wisdom that I could really use as I continue to grow within this industry.

Frank Barberena is also a UCF Social Media Ambassador who is studying human communication. His Instagram account is @frankebarberena.


More about the UCF Social Media Ambassador Program

Developed in 2017 by UCF Marketing’s Social Media team, the UCF Social Media Ambassador program started with just one student — Sonali Prabhu ’19, a then-sophomore who had more than 10,000 YouTube subscribers and was already creating content about UCF on her channel. UCF Social partnered with Prabhu to take her and the university’s digital content to the next level, and even helped her earn an internship with UCF Marketing. Now the radio-television grad is a full-time content creator in Austin, Texas, who still is gaining followers through her past work with UCF.

Through the program, UCF social media ambassadors have the opportunity to develop professional skills, gain experience behind and on camera, learn more about creating quality content through workshops, gain exposure and grow their audience, advocate for issues they feel are important, receive individualized help to reach their goals before graduation, and more. Being involved with the program is also a great way to build practical skills for resumes and get referrals or letters of recommendation.