The IAAPA Brass Ring conference and award ceremony, held Nov. 17 at the Orange County Convention Center, included representatives from theme parks from all over the world.

Galarza auditioned for RWS and Associates – one of the biggest full-service entertainment firms in the country – when the company came to UCF earlier this year. She subsequently landed an internship and a professional performing job at Santa’s Village in New Hampshire. RWS and Associates nominated Galarza for the award.

“Rebecca is one of the best students in this program,” said Earl Weaver, her adviser and UCF’s Musical Theatre coordinator. “She’s a triple threat, a leader in the department and a good mentor to other students. When I met the president of RWS and Associates, he couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful an employee she was, and this is the guy who does the hiring.”

Galarza’s personal goals include finishing her degree program in UCF’s Theatre Department and performing in a play that represents her Hispanic background. She also hopes that winning the IAAPA conference award will help her get signed with an agent in Orlando.

“I felt like I was at the Oscars of live entertainment,” she said. “I could not stop smiling for the rest of the night, I was so thankful.”