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Produced by UCF, the Knights Do That podcast features students, faculty, staff and alumni who continue to push the needle forward as innovators, entrepreneurs and creators making an impact on the world. The podcast debuted in May 2021 and new episodes post every other Monday. Audiences can keep up with the Knights Do That podcast through UCF’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts and by joining the conversation on all social media platforms using #KnightsDoThat.

If you are a student, graduate, or faculty or staff member who is doing something cool, please let us know what you’re up to by submitting details to Suggest a Story.

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black and white headshot of Gregg Buckingham

Gregg Buckingham ’02EdD is an associate lecturer in the School of Public Administration. Buckingham spent his professional career at NASA, working at both NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at the Kennedy Space Center before joining UCF.

Here Buckingham shares insight into his time working for NASA and how he makes an impact as an educator.

black and white headshot of Chris Clifford

Christopher Clifford ’22 is a UCF electrical engineering alum who is pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering at Harvard-MIT. Clifford’s research is centered around find a cure for and reducing the impact of Type 1 diabetes — a cause that’s personal to him. Here he shares his personal and professional insights into diabetes, finding your own version of success, and his hopes for the future of bioengineering.

black and white headshot of Stella Sung

Renowned composer and Pegasus Professor Stella Sung shares the importance of integrating science and the arts, as well as her research on using virtual and augmented reality in the classical concert setting.

black and white headshot of Bethany Backes

Bethany Backes, an assistant professor in the Violence Against Women faculty cluster who worked for the Department of Justice for more than 10 years, shares what it means to be a champion both against violence and for social justice.

black and white headshot of Gulnora Hundley

Earlier this year, associate lecturer and Uzbekistan native Gulnora Hundley ’04MA ’08PhD stepped up to provide free teletherapy sessions to Ukrainian mental health professionals. Here Hundley shares how the importance of culturally competent mental health education and practices and her work with broadening mental health training internationally.

black and white headshot of Debra Knox

Debra Knox, director of UCF’s Communication Disorders Clinic, shares the growing need for speech language pathology professionals, the constantly evolving nature of the field and what it means to help so many Central Floridian families.

black and white headshot of Fernando Rivera

Fernando Rivera, the founding director of UCF’s Puerto Rico Research Hub, highlights the local to global impact of the center and how it helps uphold the university’s Hispanic Serving Institution designation.

black and white headshot of Michael Johnson

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Johnson discusses strategic decision-making that serves a greater good, how universities serve a critical function to society and the future of higher education.

black and white headshot of Peter Weishar

Peter Weishar, UCF’s themed experience program director, shares how UCF is preparing graduates to make an impact in this multi-billion dollar field by providing the industry training, insight and connections needed to succeed.

black and white headshot of James Evans

As UCF’s official podcast returns, get to know the Knight who will be sharing stories of the innovators, entrepreneurs and creators making an impact on the world.

black and white headshot of Alex Cumming

Theater student Alex Cumming looks back on the first two seasons as his time as host comes to and end.

black and white headshot of Adrian R'Mante

Hollywood actor Adrian R’Mante ’96 discusses his journey from UCF to landing his hit role as Esteban Julio Ricardo Montoya de la Rosa Ramírez on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

black and white headshot of Desiree Diaz

Desiree Diaz, associate professor and undergraduate simulation coordinator in the UCF College of Nursing, shares how UCF is leading the charge in virtual reality education, how teaching students about cultural congruence can remove preconceived notions in patients, and how simulation technology is paving the way for the future of nursing.

black and white headshot of Michael Chiang for Episode 23

Michael Chiang ’20MS, who is specializing in emergency medicine and is the first UCF student to graduate with a dual-degree M.D. and master’s in hospitality,shares what drew him into these fields, how he plans to use both degrees in the future and the adversity he’s faced along the way. Here is an inspiring episode of how education and life experiences can guide you.

black and white headshot of Chung Park for Episode 22

Chung Park, director of UCF’s Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and a professor in the College of Arts and Humanities, shares his breadth of knowledge and deep passion for the arts, music and happiness — yes happiness. He also discusses his gift and passion for teaching, shares insight on UCF Celebrates the Arts and how you can learn to purposefully integrate music into your life.

black and white headshot of Mindy Shoss for Episode 21

Associate Professor of Psychology Mindy Shoss shares her research and expertise when it comes to workplace well-being and advice on how we can improve our communication in the workplace, what companies can do to have the most satisfied employees and common misconceptions about burnout.

black and white headshot of Terry Mohajir for Episode 20

UCF Athletics Director Terry Mohajir shares how college athletics plays a role in higher education.From student experiences to the roles that faculty, staff, alumni and fans play in creating an engaged culture, he speaks about how all of these key stakeholders push UCF towards excellence. In this episode, you’ll learn what drives Mohajir’s passion for UCF and athletics, his journey to becoming an athletics director and his hopes for the future of UCF.

black and white headshot of Brandon Nightingale for Episode 19

Brandon Nightingale ’16 ’19MA, a UCF 30 Under 30 alumni and the archivist at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida shares how his journey starting at UCF as an electrical engineering major has led him to now working to preserve Black history, and how slowing down to study the past is the best way to look forward.


black and white headshot of Sejal Barden for Episode 18

Sejal Barden, associate professor of counselor education and executive director of UCF’s Marriage and Family Research Institute, shares her expertise when it comes to couples and individualistic relationships, and her insights and advice on small steps we can all take to improve those relationships most important to us.


black and white headshot of Gerald Hector for Episode 17

Gerald Hector, UCF’s senior vice president for Administration and Finance, shares his story of personal triumphs, his journey through higher education, how he empowers and motivates people around him through leadership, and how we can all find where our values and passions intersect to live a fulfilled life.


black and white headshot of Michele Gill for Episode 16

Michele Gill, a professor of educational psychology in the College of Community Innovation and Education, shares her research in conceptual change and implicit beliefs, which play a role in what we value and how we create change in what we believe. In this episode, Gill shares her insights on how we can create new habits and resolutions, how we can stick to these resolutions and her expertise in educational psychology.

black and white headshot of Albert Manero for Episode 15

Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD is a three-time UCF graduate and the founder and president of Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit organization that serves kids with limb differences in an affordable and innovative way. Manero shares what ignited his passion to start Limbitless, where it’s at now and how his team continues to push the needle forward to create an impact on this world.

black and white headshot of Phil Metzger for Episode 14

Phil Metzger ’00MS’05PhD, a planetary scientist with nearly 30 years of experience at NASA, shares stories from working on the space shuttle missions, his controversial research on whether Pluto is a planet, and what the future of space exploration will look like.

black and white headshot of Elena Cyrus for Episode 13

Elena Cyrus, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UCF’s College of Medicine, discusses her expertise and research in infectious diseases, public health and COVID-19 vaccines.

black and white headshot of Deborah Biedel for Episode 12

Deborah Beidel serves as the executive director of UCF RESTORES. The Pegasus Professor and Trustee Chair of Clinical Psychology and Medical Education shares her experience and expertise in PTSD treatment, innovative treatments happening at UCF RESTORES, and how we can better acknowledge and support veterans.

black and white headshot of Martha Brenckle for episode 11

Martha Brenckle, a writing and rhetoric professor in the College of Arts and Humanities. Brenckle shares her expertise and love for writing, her involvement within the Orlando arts community, her role as treasurer for the LGBTQ+ History Museum of Central Florida and more.

black and white headshot of Annette Khaled for episode 10

Annette Khaled, a UCF College of Medicine professor and the head of the Division of Cancer Research at UCF, joins Knights Do That host Alex Cumming to discuss her expertise in breast cancer research — specifically in breast cancer metastases. Khaled shares her personal experiences that drive the passion for her work, the collaborative culture of teamwork, optimism, and humanity at UCF, and some of the biggest mysteries of breast cancer that we’re still trying to solve.


black and white headshot of Cyndia Muniz for episode 9

Cyndia Muñiz ’13EdD, director of HSI culture and partnerships at UCF, shares how her work strengthens the sense of belonging for the Latino community, how UCF continues to uphold its HSI designation serving students, faculty and staff, and how her education as a first-generation student herself plays a role in her work.

black and white headshot of Reina Castellanos for episode 8

A Venezuelan artist featured in Target’s Latino Heritage Month line this year, Reina Castellanos ’16MFA shares how her culture and experiences as an immigrant influence her work, the joys and struggles of being an artist and the importance of staying authentic in your work.

black and white headshot of Marc Daniels for episode 7

One of the area’s most recognized and respected media personalities, UCF Athletics Director of Broadcasting Marc Daniels reminisces on his experiences and favorite memories of the last three decades, gives an insider look into some coaches and players, shares his expertise as a broadcaster and previews this season of UCF Football under new head coach Gus Malzahn.

black and white headshot of Kate Mansfield for episode 6

Kate Mansfield is a Davis-Schein Endowed Professor of Conservation Biology, lab director for the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group and graduate coordinator for UCF’s Department of Biology in the College of Sciences. She discusses why sea turtles are such important and interesting animals to study, how she got into this field, some of the coolest things that she’s discovered over the years, and what hands-on experiences for her students look like.

black and white headshot of Daniel West for episode 5

Daniel West is a third year computer science student in the Burnett Honors College and is a member of the UCF programming team, along with teammates Sharon Barak and Seba Villalobos, which is well known around the world for consistently placing in the North America championships and world finals. This August UCF will be hosting the North America Championship of the 2021 International Collegiate Programming Contest, the oldest and most prestigious collegiate programming competition. In this episode, we talk about how West originally got into programming, what it means to have the championship hosted at UCF and what makes a good team able to compete at this national stage.

black and white headshot of Darin Edwards for episode 4

Darin Edwards is a UCF alum and the director of immunology at Moderna. Darin earned his bachelor’s degree in biology, master’s degree in molecular biology and doctorate in biomedical sciences with a focus on neuroscience at UCF in 2011 and has an impressive resume from computer programming to, of course, most recently leading the research for the COVID-19 vaccine and a deep love for all things UCF – especially Knights football. Hear what it was like working on the COVID-19 vaccine, the moment it was released and what he looks forward to most as we approach a return to pre-pandemic work and life.

black and white headshot of Kent Butler for episode 3

S. Kent Butler is a professor of counselor education in the College of Community Innovation and Education and a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion at UCF. He’s conducted extensive research into mentoring among diverse groups and led successful initiatives for African-American male students. Kent joins Knights Do That Host Alex Cumming to discuss how we can all be better listeners, the dynamics of mentorship and how we can cultivate a space where everyone feels like they belong.

black and white headshot of Claire Connolly for episode 2

Associate Professor Claire Connolly Knox, who is an expert in crisis and emergency management, discusses hurricane season, impact of coastal wetlands and learning from crises, such as Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and Pulse Nightclub.

black and white headshot of Alexander Cartwright for episode 1

As the podcast’s first guest, President Alexander Cartwright talks with host Alex Cumming about his experience as a first-generation college student, what it was like becoming a university president during a pandemic, how higher education has impacted his life, and how he believes servant leadership is key to moving the university forward.

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What is it that Knights do? They discover. They create. They inspire. They build. They achieve. That’s what Knights do. And that’s who has inspired this podcast – the innovators, entrepreneurs and creators.

Hosted by James Evans

UCF Podcast Host James Evans
James Evans is a first-generation student and member of the Burnett Honors College. He is a junior majoring in accounting and minoring in computer science.  He is a former LEAD Scholar, orientation leader and resident assistant. Evans has also served within Student Government as a senator, fiscal committee chair, and Safety & Transportation coordinator. He currently serves as a member of the President’s Leadership Council. (Photo by Kadeem Stewart ’17)