Student Advisory Council:Provide valuable feedback, consultation, and advice on current and future initiatives in order to enhance student life, success, and satisfaction at UCF. Apply to participate in the 2014-2015 SDES Student Advisory Council!
What is SDES? Student Development and Enrollment Services (SDES) is a division of the university comprised of a wide-ranging array of programs and services dedicated to providing students with opportunities for learning and a broad, collegiate experience.
First time to the division? Not sure where to go? Check out our list of common SDES provided services! If you need to search the entire university, use the convenient UCF search bar at the top of the page or in the footer of any SDES site at UCF.
SDES News & Happenings
First-generation college students face a myriad of challenges when they are the first in their family to take the leap from high school to higher education. College can be exciting, but it can also be filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Most of these college students don't have anyone in their families to offer support and first-hand advice on how to succeed in post-secondary education. Many first-generation students are also members of an ethnic minority group, and not only need academic advice, but guidance necessary to navigate day-to-day campus life.
Student Development and Enrollment Services staff member, Dr. Cyndia Morales serves as the assistant director for Multicultural Academic & Support Services, where she coordinates the programs, First-Generation and Multicultural Transfer. She is passionate about her work and understands these students as she was a first generation college student as well. She persevered through life’s barriers – financial, personal, emotional, social and educational – to achieve her dream. Now she guides and advocates for first-generation students to continue their education.
Student Government Association has safety on top of their list. They launched the KnightLYNX bus service that provides transportation for students around the campus vicinity, to Waterford Lakes, and to Downtown Orlando. This bus service is free for all UCF students with a valid UCF ID card. Whether you are walking or riding the bus, the information will be useful below:
Pegasus Palooza is UCF’s official welcome week and begins Friday, August 15 through the 23. Whether you’re a new Knight or a returning student, Pegasus Palooza makes the first week of fall semester an event you’ll remember.
“You might find us in front of the classroom or in the office down the hall and yet never suspect the secret we share. We are artists. Whether we have exhibited in galleries around the world or have never shown our work before, we are artists. We present to you our dreams, our hearts, our passion…We are the Hidden Artists.”
UCF’s Health Services was ranked No. 2 in the nation from among more than 2,500 universities and colleges, according to a survey of students released today by The Princeton Review.
UCF’s ranking was included in the education company’s annual guide, The Best 379 Colleges, which was based on responses from 130,000 students nationwide.
For the first time in its history, the Lambda-Epsilon chapter at UCF received the fraternity’s Founders Circle award, the highest award any Kappa Sigma chapter can receive. Only 8 out of 314 chapters nationwide also received this award from the Kappa Sigma International office. For a chapter that had reorganized in 2010, the evening reflected the culmination of hard work over the past four years.
From Trinidad and Tobago to France and Tanzania ... over 600 participants from more than 12 countries resided in the UCF residence. The UCF Housing Conference Services team hosted the 2014 World Jump Rope Competition that began on June 30.
The housing conference team said “it was an exciting challenge” as this group was not only on a ‘linen plan’ but many of the athletes did not speak English. The team was busy with many tasks including translating general housing signage for the groups.
The Sophomore and Second Year Center held a Summer Social on July 2 for Accelerated FTICs (students coming to UCF for the first time with 30 hours or more college credits) at Academic Village in the Nike Programming Center.
The theme was “Get Smart.” A total of 63 students attended and met with academic advisors from SSYC, plus support staff from the Student Academic Resource Center, Career Services and Study Abroad.
The University of Central Florida’s Creative School for Children is expanding opportunity to more of the children of UCF students, faculty and staff members.
Starting Aug. 18, UCF’s early education school will serve infants and toddlers ages 6 weeks to 24 months. The children of parents who are UCF students will be given first priority.
“There is an increased demand for high-quality infant and toddler care across Orange County. Even as providers increase services, waiting lists exist at all accredited programs,” said Amy Hesse, director of the Creative School for Children.
Looking for a fun way to help raise funds for the United Way Campaign and have fun at the same time?
I have just the answer for you! On Friday, October 30, the Recreation and Wellness Center is sponsoring its 2nd “United Way Spooky Knight 5k Run/Walk” beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Ferrell Commons. It is going to be a festive, fun event with the proceeds benefitting the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.
UCF’s Common Reading Program: Read it. Love it. Live it.
The incoming FTIC [First Time In College] class will have something new to talk about this summer-UCF’s Common Reading Program. Coordinated by the First Year Experience office, every incoming student will receive a copy of the same book at orientation, will read the book over summer, and then have the chance to participate in great events throughout the year relating to the theme of the book.
The first book selection for the program is Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes. In his book, the author discusses the 102 ton legacy of trash and how everyone can work to lessen our own trash legacies. He provides startling facts along the way such as:
- “Americans throw away 96 billion pounds of food per year. Approximately 4 million people a year could be fed with just 5% of that waste.”
- “694 water bottles are thrown away by Americans every second.”
- “5.7 million tons of carpet is sent to landfills each year- all of it could be recycled, but mostly it’s not.”
How many times did your parents tell you when you were a child: “Don’t get dirty!”? Children had the opportunity and go ahead to do just that and play in nature’s earth on June 26 at the Creative School for Children.
Over 100 children and Creative School for Children staff and volunteers jumped, rolled and swam in a 24’ by 32’ mud pit for the 3rd annual Mud Day. The event coincides with the World Forum Nature Action Collaborative for Children’s International Mud Day.
The idea for Mud Day began as a conversation between members from Nepal and Australia in 2009, and is now celebrated by thousands of children worldwide. The goal of Mud Day is to provide the children a different learning opportunity that many children today sadly miss…exploring nature by playing in mud.
Amie Kusak, Creative School instructional specialist, noted, “The children were super excited. What they loved most was knowing there were children all around the world playing in the mud at the same time as them.”
Photo: Seoyoul Roh enjoying the Mud Day Celebration.
LEAD Scholars have the opportunity to learn about leadership studies and leadership development from student affairs professionals and faculty members from across disciplines here at UCF.
There are four classes offered in the LEAD Scholars curriculum and the Leadership Studies minor and certificate program which provide knowledge, skills and leadership experience using classroom and service learning opportunities.
These instructors attend a yearly summer training meeting to enhance teaching skills and leadership education. Staff from the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, Center for Distributed Learning, and LEAD Scholars provide interactive presentations and sessions for LEAD instructors.
Photo: LEAD Scholars faculty members prepare for fall classes.
Underdogs one year and a national juggernaut the next; either tag is just fine with the UCF Men’s Rugby Team. On their way to a 2013 national championship experts considered the Knights longshots to win a rugby national title. A year later, UCF rolled into Palo Alto, California and Stanford University as the heavy favorites to win a second consecutive championship. They did not disappoint. UCF shook a slow start in the USA Rugby Men’s Division I-AA title match against the University of Arizona to defeat the Wildcats 64-13. This is the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center’s eleventh Sport Club National Title and a second in a month. The UCF Paintball team won a national title in April.
UCF trailed 8-3 early in the match but in the 24th minute James Boozer scored a try after a pass from Gerhard Veit to tie the match at eight. Jason Ross, a senior finance major and spring 2014 graduate, says the team dug itself some holes early, “We kept committing penalties. We slowed down, took a deep breath and went back to what we know.” What the Knights know best is to get the ball into the hands of playmakers like Division I-AA Tournament Most Valuable Player, Scott Watters. Watters scored on a run to give UCF its first lead of the match at 15-8.
Marc Mero, former WWE wrestler, motivational speaker, and founder of Champion of Choices spoke at UCF on May 9, 2014. He addressed both the attendees at the Case Manager Drive in Conference representing over 13 universities across the State of Florida, along with UCF staff, students, faculty and administrators. In addition, as an SDES professional development opportunity, he presented a special workshop for SDES staff members.
Mero shared personal struggles and the current trends he has seen regarding student mental health issues, bullying, harassment, and suicide and how we can come together as a community to support our students in need. He shared a presentation similar to the one he shows for the middle and high schools he visits nationwide, and the overwhelming responses he receives from students that are going through many of the struggles that he himself experienced. He has worked with many K-12 school systems, attempting to implement better follow-up care for students in distress, and discussed that many of these distressed students may be transitioning into institutions of higher education and that we need to be aware of how to support them.
A good introduction to Mero’s work and initiative is available in this CNN clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXMBCu-sxS0&feature=youtu.be
Mero is founder of the nonprofit organization Campion of Choices. The goal of Champion of Choices: Positive choices are the key to the healthy development of America’s youth and lay the foundation to strengthen families and society. The goal of the Champion of Choices School Program is to provide a motivational learning experience for youth that builds positive life skills, improves school cultures, and strengthens family relationships. For more information, visit www.thinkpoz.org.
Photo: Marc Mero speaks to SDES staff members about bullying.
PRIME STEM/Student Support Services has launched its first learning community. The PRIME STEM Learning Communities is a resource designed to support scholars to succeed in their coursework and promote overall academic success. “Think of this as study groups by subject,” said Rebekah McCloud, director SDES TRiO, PRIME STEM/Student Support Services.
The learning communities are scholar facilitated (and can be aided by PRIME STEM peer tutor/mentor staff). Each learning community or study group organizes its meetings and participants bring their own study materials. The PRIME STEM/Student Support Services office is available for scholars to use as a resource center including study materials, study spaces, computers, free printing and access to program tutors and mentors.
The Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC) continues to improve on its reputation for developing students as the next generation of campus recreation professionals. The RWC is proud to announce five of its graduating seniors have accepted graduate assistant positions at various universities across the country.
The Career Services in collaboration with the College of Education and Human Performance Office of Clinical Experiences brought the Spring 2014 Education Career Fair on April 16 to the UCF students and alumni.
The residents of the Neptune Community at Academic Village learned how to make a positive impact on the local community. Neptune Community, which houses the Volunteers uKnighted living learning community; hosted Volunteer UCF to discuss issues facing the neighboring community of Bithlo, FL.
Volunteer UCF presented Project Bithlo and educated residents about the partnership that has been created between College Democrats, College Republicans, Engineers Without Borders, and VUCF to help create an aquaporin system in Bithlo, an impoverished suburban food desert of Orlando. The presentation focused on educating students on the troubles facing the community residents, including pollution, water contamination and illiteracy.
Everyone has seen a sign “Adopt a Highway” where volunteers clean up the trash along the road. Along the same idea, LEAD Scholars have volunteered to clean up but for something different, “Adopt A Pond.”
This initiative was created during the fall semester 2013. Its original members (Rungrote Athajarusith, Wessley Dennis, Kenzhane Pantin, and Christian Vazquez) had a great desire to not only help the environment but encourage involvement and heighten awareness.
Currently, the group has created a sign [pictured] which does just that. Also, as the project grows, more and more LEAD Scholars are coming out to clean the pond every two weeks to recycle, dispose of trash, and spread the message of environmental activism. The LEAD Scholars clean up helps improve the water quality as well as the wildlife habitat.
Photo L-R: Francin Espiritu, Adil Ali, and Valeria Simonetti.
The Neptune Community at Academic Village, one of UCF’s newest on-campus housing facilities, is home to the Volunteers uKnighted living-learning community. The Volunteers uKnighted community promotes service through citizenship increasing social awareness, civic responsibility, and one’s appreciation, involvement, and engagement in the local and global communities. Residents of this community served on an Alternative Spring Break trip in partnership with the Volunteer UCF Alternative Break Program travelling to Wauchula, Florida to work at the Center for Great Apes.