The following stories gained great interest throughout 2023. They are ranked by page views from Jan. 1 through Dec. 5.

20. UCF Alumni Announces 2023 Shining Knights Award Recipients

Ten community members were recognized as Shining Knights, UCF Alumni’s highest honor, at a special ceremony during this year’s Homecoming events in October at the Pegasus Grand Ballroom.

19. UCF Researcher Finds New Dangers of Vaping

Research findings from Claudia Andl, an associate professor at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, showed that vaping creates chemical reactions in the mouth that can destroy good bacteria while increasing germs that cause cavities, gum disease and cellular changes that can lead to cancer.

18. How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a 30% chance of an above-normal 2023 hurricane season, and while Central Florida was not directly impacted by major storms this year, UCF’s university and personal planning, hurricane preparation kit information and alert system helped Knights prepare for storms.

17. Orlando Ranks No. 9 for Fastest-growing Tech Hubs Nationally

Orlando ranks ninth for fastest-growing tech hubs by job growth in the U.S., according to Best Colleges — and UCF produces a high volume of graduates across tech-related fields each year. Orlando’s tech industry job growth is projected to be 26.8% — more than double the growth for computer and information technology jobs nationally by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

16. UCF Partners with AdventHealth and Orlando Health to Address Nursing Shortage

Fueled by $10 million in combined commitments from AdventHealth and Orlando Health, the UCF College of Nursing took a major step closer to a new building at Lake Nona that will enable the college to graduate hundreds of additional nurses annually who will care for patients throughout the region and state.

15. UCF’s College of Medicine Graduates its 1,000th Physician

In May, UCF’s College of Medicine graduated its 1,000th physician. The new physicians will complete residency training at top hospitals around the city, state and nation in specialties that include pediatrics, internal, family and emergency medicine, OB-GYN, surgery and anesthesiology. A record 12 graduates were matched into psychiatry, looking to help address the nation’s mental health challenges.

14. UCF Researchers Develop New Technology to Recycle Greenhouse Gas into Energy, Materials

Laurene Tetard, an associate professor and associate chair of UCF’s Department of Physics and a researcher with the NanoScience Technology Center, and Richard Blair, a research professor at UCF’s Florida Space Institute, developed new methods enabling the harmful greenhouse gas methane to be used in green energy production and to create high-performance materials for smart devices, biotechnology, solar cells and more.

13. Ultimate Guide to UCF Homecoming 2023

Homecoming Week returned in October, providing a lineup of exciting and unforgettable events for the entire campus community. The weeklong celebration featured many activities, including special events for UCF Alumni, which happened at the main and UCF Downtown campuses.

12. New Ethanol Fuel Cell Technology Rivals Fossil Fuels and Electric Car Batteries

In recent studies published in science journals Nature Communications and Joule, UCF NanoScience Technology Center Associate Professor Yang Yang and his team developed new catalysts to make direct ethanol fuel cells last longer and boost their power density to a record level.

11. 3 Knights Set to Compete at 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Two former athletes, Kathellen Sousa (Brazil) and Konya Palmer ’20 (Jamaica) made their second World Cup appearance, while freshman Genesis Perez-Watson (Costa Rica) became the first player in program history to compete in the World Cup during her Knights tenure. Former United States Women’s National Team player and current UCF women’s soccer head coach, Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, also served as an assistant with the squad.

10. Ever Upward: The Significance of UCF’s Space Game Uniforms

As UCF hosted their seventh annual Space Game, their first as a member of the Big 12 Conference, what goes into the game? This story originally ran in October 2022 and was updated as part of UCF’s 12 for XII series, 12 stories that define UCF and the meteoric rise of the Knights in their journey to the Big 12.

9. New DOD-funded Project Will Develop Morphing Hypersonic Engine

Kareem Ahmed, a professor in UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was the principal investigator of a Naval Research Laboratory-funded project creating a hypersonic engine that can morph or transform its configuration during flights to optimize performance for ultra-fast travel.

8. UCF Rises to No. 36 Best National Universities Ranking by Washington Monthly for 2023

UCF rose 11 spots from last year to rank No. 36 among Best National Universities in Washington Monthly’s annual rankings. UCF also ranked No. 16 nationally among peer public universities, advancing 26 spots in the past two years, and moved into the top 20 among universities nationally for social mobility and moved to No. 9 for Best Bang for Your Buck School in the Southeast.

7. UCF Researcher Creates World’s First Energy-saving Paint – Inspired by Butterflies

Debashis Chanda, a professor in UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center, has drawn inspiration from butterflies to create the first environmentally friendly, large-scale and multicolor alternative to pigment-based colorants, which can contribute to energy-saving efforts and help reduce global warming.

6. UCF is Highest Ranked in Florida for Innovation by U.S. News, Rise to No. 14 Driven by Research and Student Success Outcomes

UCF ranked No. 14 for Most Innovative School by U.S. News & World Report, moving six places from last year. This places UCF as the highest-ranked school in Florida for innovation and is the sixth consecutive year the university has ranked in the top 20 for innovation nationally. UCF also ranked No. 124 among All National Universities — a 13-spot gain over last year. Among Public Universities, UCF is the No. 64 institution.

5. Why Do We Celebrate Pride Month in June and LGBT History Month in October?

Martha Brenckle, professor in the College of Arts and Humanities and one of the founding members of UCF’s Pride Faculty and Staff Association, helped explain the history of the recognitions in the United States for Pride Month, LGBT History Month and why representation matters.

4. Thursday Football: Student Admission, Classes, Parking and More

In the first football game of our inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference, UCF hosted Kent State on Aug. 31, for the “First Bounce” game. UCF provided class, ticket and student admission information, as well as parking and towing, student shuttles and game day road closures. UCF defeated Kent State 56-6.

3. UCF to Launch New Theme Park and Attraction Management Degree

This fall, the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management began offering a bachelor’s in theme park and attraction management, giving students a specialized understanding of the complex, global tourism industry and unparalleled experience in the tourism capital of the world.

2. How we Use Rhetoric in Everyday Life

When writing a college essay, negotiating with a significant other or interviewing for a dream job, the rhetoric used has the power to shape the course of one’s life. Language constructs the reality we all operate in — knowing how to use it can help us achieve goals in classrooms, careers and relationships while deconstructing messages used by others.

1. What is Diwali?

Maria Contractor, UCF’s Indian Student Association former Diwali director and current philanthropy chair, shares the significance of the five-day festival, which celebrates the triumph of light over dark and took place Nov. 10-15.