Nine new columnists for the weekly UCF Forum series will begin sharing their opinions Wednesday for the ninth year of the project.
The faculty, staff and student writers for the next 12 months of columns are from engineering, business, athletics and varied other fields around the university. Some of the writers also are graduates from UCF.
Narvin Chhay is a UCF junior majoring in sport and exercise science with the goal of becoming a doctor of physical therapy. He is from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, where he was raised by his Cambodian-American parents who immigrated to the United States to escape the genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Chhay has played an active role in the UCF community through his membership in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, where he has worked to benefit numerous philanthropic organizations such as the Children’s Miracle Network.
Ashley Colquhoun ’12 ’15 is the associate director of alumni professional engagement for UCF Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving. She joined the University of Central Florida Advancement team in 2012 and is a human resources certified professional with a background in HR generalist affairs, including employee recruitment and staff development. She is responsible for implementing career and professional-development programming, services and resources to meet the needs of UCF alumni in any stage of career management. Colquhoun is a two-time graduate from UCF, earning bachelor’s degrees in marketing and human resources management, and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Marc Daniels is in his 26th year as the radio play-by-play voice for UCF Athletics and serves as the director of broadcasting for the Knights. He has been behind the microphone for more than 300 consecutive UCF football games. He also broadcasts men’s basketball and baseball games and numerous volleyball and soccer matches in addition to serving as the host for all radio and television shows produced by UCF Athletics. Born in New York, Daniels grew up in South Florida before moving to Orlando in 1989. In addition to his work at UCF, he has hosted his own sports radio program for more than 30 years in the Central Florida market. Daniels resides in Orlando with his wife, Cynthia, and daughters, Ashley and Brooke.
Keith Harrison is a professor in the UCF College of Business and the chief academic officer of the DeVos Sport Business Program. He has published numerous academic articles and book chapters and has been a consultant to the NFL and several other brands at the collegiate and professional levels. Harrison is a former NCAA “scholar-baller” (i.e. scholar-athlete) making the honor roll all four years at Cerritos College and West Texas A&M University, where he played football. He has edited two books, one on sport data analytics and another on education/hip-hop/sport. In 2020-21 he received the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship Award at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois | Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies.
David Head is an associate lecturer of history at UCF. He also is an author, most recently of A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution, which was named a finalist for the 2020 George Washington Book Prize. He grew up in western New York and earned his bachelor’s in history from Niagara University and his doctorate from the University at Buffalo. He has received fellowships from Mount Vernon and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Head also has published books on pirates, privateers and the Atlantic world, and won awards from the Maryland Historical Society, Mystic Seaport Museum, and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
Richelle Joe is an assistant professor of counselor education in the UCF College of Community Innovation and Education with a focus on school counseling. She joined the UCF faculty in 2015 after graduating from the College of William & Mary with a doctorate in counselor education and supervision. She also served as a high school teacher and middle school counselor in Virginia, is a national certified counselor and an approved clinical supervisor. At UCF she leads HEART (HIV Education, Awareness and Research Team), which collaborates with campus and community organizations to address the HIV epidemic. Her personal life is guided by the belief that Black Lives Matter and the values of love, justice and freedom.
Seetha Raghavan is a professor in UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, where she leads the Aerostructures Laboratory. She completed her doctoral studies in aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University and her master’s in aerospace engineering at Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace in Toulouse, France. She has seven years of experience in the aerospace industry as a senior engineer involved in aircraft structural analysis, maintenance, repair and modifications, and non-destructive testing. She is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and was honored by Women in Aerospace with the 2019 Aerospace Educator Award.
Matthew Scott ’07 ’11MS is a sergeant with the UCF Police Department and has been in law enforcement for 15 years. He previously was a community service officer as a civilian with the department. Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2007 and his master’s in 2011 at UCF. He has been a detective and a K9 handler of three dogs at the department during the past few years. He helped create and was the supervisor of the department’s Threat Management Team, a unit devoted to identifying and mitigating threats to the campus. When not at work, Scott enjoys spending time with his family.
Bree Watson ’04 is senior copywriter with UCF’s Communications and Marketing team. She grew up wanting to be a matador — just like she’d seen Bugs Bunny do. But later turned her aspirations toward becoming an astronaut … then a chef … and finally a copywriter. While earning her bachelor’s in advertising/public relations, she worked as a resident assistant in the Lake Claire Community. After more than a dozen years in Orlando ad agencies, she returned to her alma mater. In addition to writing award-winning copy for higher education, she has worked on campaigns for clients ranging from fast-casual restaurants and sporting events to tourism and healthcare. She and husband Brett Watson ’09 have two young sons. They enjoy hiking and exploring Florida State Parks.
If the material from the former panel of writers is any forecast of what is to come, there will be a wide variety of observations such as these sample columns from the past 12 months: The Powerful Force of Nostalgia, There is Power Inherent in Working with Colleagues from Different Disciplines and A New Kind of Presidency.
For their time and contributions to the UCF Forum this past year, thank you to columnists: Emma Gisclair ’20 (UCF Library’s Curriculum Materials Center), Lillian M. Hernández Caraballo (junior planning to graduate in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and minors in writing and rhetoric and Latin American studies), Jeff Kunerth (Nicholson School of Communication and Media), Roy Lenfest (Recreation and Wellness Center), Chung Park (Department of Music), Katie Philp (Center for Higher Education Innovation), Syretta Spears (College of Nursing), Peter Telep ’95 ’98MA (Department of English), Brenda S. Thompson (College of Community Innovation and Education).
The UCF Forum is a project of UCF Communications and Marketing. In addition to posting on UCF Today, columns also are reprinted by various other platforms locally and nationally, and archived as podcasts by WUCF.
All of the past UCF Forum columns — more than 400 by writers from all over the university — are maintained in the UCF Libraries’ STARS digital repository. The chronological list can also be searched by author or topic.