About Us

Meet the Team

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Phone & Fax

407-823-0144 (P)
407-823-2028 (F)

Online

Appointment Request Form Email: is@ucf.edu

Location

Trevor Colbourn Hall,
Suite 239

Learn more about the administrators, faculty, and professional advisors who work together to provide a valuable and meaningful interdisciplinary education at UCF.  Meet the team and travel back in time to 1969 when the earliest iteration of this academic program provided a viable alternative for students seeking a greater breadth of education than a traditional disciplinary degree.

Meet the Team

Wayne

Dr. Wayne Bowen, Director

Dr. Bowen became Director of Interdisciplinary Studies on August 1, 2017. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in European History from Northwestern University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, a B.A. in History from the University of Southern California, and is also Professor of History at UCF. He was formerly the Director of University Studies and Chair of the Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University. Bowen’s research has focused on Spanish history, with five published books in this field, and two additional ones on the Middle East. As someone who changed his major from physics to history as an undergraduate, and his career plan from petroleum engineer to historian, he identifies with IDS students seeking to find their own academic and professional paths. Dr. Bowen is also a Colonel in the US Army Reserve, with completed tours in Bosnia and Iraq.

Pete

Pete Wallace, Assistant Director

Mr. Wallace joined Interdisciplinary Studies in June 2008. Immediately prior to joining the office, he worked on curriculum development and program enhancement projects for the Interdisciplinary Studies undergraduate program while serving in the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Mr. Wallace earned a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Counselor Education before starting work full-time at UCF in 1999.  He has served in Judicial Programs, Campus Life, Student Conduct, Dispute Resolution Services, and The Burnett Honors College before joining Undergraduate Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Iris

Iris Rios, Administrative Assistant

Ms. Rios joined Interdisciplinary Studies as Administrative Assistant in March 2008. Prior to this position, she served for 17 years in various key positions including Operations Manager for the Counseling Department at Cuyahoga Community College. In that role, she worked closely with administrators, faculty, staff & community leaders to ensure retention and success of students until graduation. She has also worked as an English-as-a-Second Language Instructor in the metro Orlando area. Ms. Rios earned dual undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Real Estate/Mortgage Finance. She continues her studies in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Central Florida.

Miriam

Miriam Rosario, Office Manager

Ms. Rosario joined the Interdisciplinary Studies team in March 2011. Prior to coming to UCF she had worked at a family health center as an HR administrator, in the WIC and Community Services programs within a community action agency, as well as in brokerage firms on Wall Street.

Joanna

Joanna Hoyt, Program Assistant

Ms. Hoyt joined Interdisciplinary Studies in July of 2015. Prior to joining the office, she worked as a student assistant in the Dean’s Office for the College of Undergraduate Studies for 2 years. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida in 2016. Joanna is currently working towards a Bachelor of Arts in the Interdisciplinary Studies – Women’s Studies track. 

Sharon

Dr. Sharon Woodill

Dr. Woodill joined us as visiting lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies in Fall 2016. Dr. Woodill is an interdisciplinary scholar with an eclectic academic background. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She holds an MA in Gender and Women’s Studies and a BA (honors) in Music (jazz piano). Her research interests include religion, gender and sexuality, science and religion, feminist theory, atheism and secularism, and interdisciplinary methodologies.

Dr. Richard Plate

Dr. Plate joined us in August 2016 as visiting lecturer in Environmental Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies. A central Florida native, Dr. Plate holds a PhD in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida and degrees in English and chemical engineering from Clemson University. He has taught courses in environmental science, environmental ethics and politics, marine resource management, and writing. He has authored numerous articles on the human dimensions of natural resource management and co-authored a textbook on sustainability. Dr. Plate’s research focuses on how people learn and make decisions about complex social-ecological systems.

Devon Cadwell Bazata

Ms. Bazata joined Interdisciplinary Studies in 2013 to teach and develop courses for Cornerstone and Capstone and has taught at the university level since 2008. Ms. Bazata earned two master’s degrees: an M.A. TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from UCF, an M.A. in Journalism, News/Editorial from the University of Nebraska, and is a doctoral student in UCF’s College of Education in the Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program. She holds a B.S. degree in Journalism with a minor in math from the University of Kansas. Ms. Bazata has over 20 years of experience as a professional writer in the publishing and public relations fields.

Dr. Jane Moody

Dr. Moody graduated from UCF in 2011 with a PhD in Texts and Technology. She is currently teaching courses in both Technical Communication and Interdisciplinary Studies and serves on various academic and administrative committees. Dr. Moody’s research interests include online pedagogy, e-portfolios as evocative and informative objects, and the use of reflective assessment to enhance student understanding of online assignments.

Amanda

Dr. Amanda Pacheco

Dr. Pacheco joined the IDS faculty in 2012 and has taught at the university level since 1999. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware, a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. Prior to her role with Interdisciplinary Studies, she served as the Interim Associate Director and instructor for UCF Experiential Learning, the Assistant Director of Career Services at Stetson University, and the coordinator of a National Science Foundation grant held jointly between Seminole State University and Daytona State College. Outside academia, she has founded and led both a consulting company and a nonprofit organization, served as a corporate recruiter, and organized a multitude of community organizations and events.

Dr. Kevin Jardaneh

Dr. Jardaneh joined the Interdisciplinary Studies Office advising team full-time in January 2014. He has previously taught the Interdisciplinary Studies Cornerstone and Capstone courses at UCF, and American Government. Kevin holds a B.A. in Political Science (HIM), an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (earned concurrently with the Cognitive Science Graduate Certificate) and a PhD in Texts & Technology all from UCF. Outside of academia, Kevin has over six years of experience serving in the U.S. Navy as an analyst, stationed in Spain and Italy, and over six years of experience working as a Registered Representative and Senior Operations Specialist for Charles Schwab.

Dr. Dan Dutkofski

Dr. Dutkofski joins Interdisciplinary Studies in Fall 2018. Dr. Dutkofski began his undergraduate career as a Classical Languages major and then added a major in Philosophy.  He holds an MA in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, as well as an STB and JCB from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.  He received his doctorate in Education here at UCF.  Dr. Dutkofski has been a professor of philosophy, humanities, religious studies, and interdisciplinary studies.  He has also traveled internationally as an educational design consultant working in Namibia, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic.  Most importantly, he loves being a lifelong learner and sharing that passion with all his students.

Janet Baxter

Mrs. Baxter first taught Interdisciplinary Studies Cornerstone and Capstone courses in 2015 in partnership with Global UCF. She has been teaching university level English and related courses in the United States and Asia for more than 15 years. She earned a Bachelor of Education from the University of Florida and a Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of the Philippines. While living in Asia, Mrs. Baxter also served on the Board of Trustees of an international school while conducting research on effective English acquisition for non-native speakers in an international school environment.

Dr. Michael Gilbrook

Dr. Gilbrook joined the faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies as an Adjunct Instructor in August 2003 to teach two courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the Environmental Studies program. He has 30 years of experience using GIS for a variety of environmental planning, facility siting and environmental impact analyses for both the public and private sector. He holds a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Central Florida, and is both an AICP-certified planner and a GISCI-certified GIS Professional. Dr. Gilbrook says he gets tremendous satisfaction from the many former students who have found success in their academic or professional careers using the GIS skills they learned in the UCF Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies program.

Francis Salmon

Mr. Salmon joined the Interdisciplinary Studies faculty in 2008. Frank has a B.S. in Geography from Southern Connecticut State University and an M.A. in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He teaches two courses in GIS for Environmental Studies and he strives to teach students an applied approach to the discipline. Mr. Salmon is a GISCI-certified professional with close to 20 years of Geospatial consultant experience managing multi-disciplinary projects in the environmental, utility, transportation, and IT industries.

Mira Bourova

Ms. Bourova, GISP joined the Interdisciplinary Studies faculty in 2017.  She has a Masters Degree in Physics and Meteorology from Sofia University, Associates degree in computer programming and was awarded GIS Professional certification in 2007. Ms Bourova is GIS Coordinator for LYNX Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority since 2002 and a Board Member and Vice-Chair of Central Florida GIS Workshop, educational nonprofit organization established in 2005. 

Luisa

Luisa Cintron

Ms. Cintron joined Interdisciplinary Studies in October 2013. Prior to joining the office, she worked as an Academic Advisor in the College of Education and Human Performance, where she provided advising to both undergraduate and graduate students in the College. She also coordinated the degree certification process of graduate students completing their master’s degree. Luisa earned a B.S. degree in Geography from Salem State University and a M.A degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Central Florida.

Amy

Amy Van Epps

Ms. Van Epps joined Interdisciplinary Studies in May 2015. In 2009, she earned an Associate of Science in Photographic Technology from Daytona State College. While pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, she worked in the office as a transition advisor assisting prospective students. Her areas of study were Behavioral and Social Sciences, Arts, and minor in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. Amy graduated with a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Policy Studies from the University of Central Florida in May 2015. Prior to joining the office, Amy worked as a Student Services Advisor for Valencia College.

Karen

Karen Baxley

Ms. Baxley joined Interdisciplinary Studies in January 2017. Prior to joining the office, she worked as a coordinator advising students in Academic Support Services for UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center. She has also worked as an Academic Advisor at Eastern Kentucky University College of Arts and Sciences. Karen has a B.S. in Sociology from Columbus State University, and an M.A. in Sociology from Georgia Southern University.

James

James Smith

Mr. Smith joined Interdisciplinary Studies in September of 2017. He previously worked at Columbia College in Columbia, MO where he was the Director of Recruitment.  James served in the US Navy for 23 years. He is previously from Georgia and is a big sports fan.

History of IDS

Interdisciplinary Studies has a long history at the University of Central Florida. In 1969, the year after the Institution, then known as Florida Technological University (FTU), welcomed its first students, the Bachelor of General Studies degree (BGS) in General Studies was established. By 1972, the BGS degree was discontinued and the General Studies program began offering Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in General Studies. In 1978, by an act of the Florida Legislature, FTU underwent a name change and became the University of Central Florida. A few years later the General Studies program also underwent a name change and became the Liberal Studies program.

Between 1981 and 2006 the Liberal Studies program offered students BA and BS degrees with a major in Liberal Studies. While the program evolved a great deal across its quarter century, the foundation of the program was always to offer academic flexibility to students. The Liberal Studies program “recognize[d] that… there [were] many combinations of courses which [could] be structured into meaningful programs to meet the needs of individual students” (1989-90 Undergraduate Catalog. University of Central Florida. 1989. 22(1). P 72.) As such, a Liberal Studies degree allowed students, whose academic interests or career plans could not be met by another academic discipline, to build a major that suited their needs.

During the 2005-2006 academic year, the Liberal Studies program underwent its first independent program review. A consultant from outside the University was brought to campus to perform a thorough examination of the program. While the consultant was impressed with the Liberal Studies program, she brought fresh ideas to improve the program. These ideas, built upon the existing foundation of the Liberal Studies program, were meant to strengthen the academic experience of students pursuing the major. These suggestions included changing the program’s name to more aptly reflect its curriculum, developing foundation courses to help students better understand the interdisciplinarity of their degree, creating a common academic experience, and developing a stronger community amongst the students pursuing the major. The University chose to implement a number of the suggestions brought forth. By 2007, the new Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies program was ready to replace the Liberal Studies degree program.

Because the Liberal Studies program provided the foundation for the Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies program, there are a number of similarities between the two. However, the Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies program offers students an improved academic experience. While the program still focuses on providing academic flexibility to help students meet their individual needs, the Cornerstone (IDS 3933) and Capstone (IDS 4934) courses provide a common academic experience to all students pursuing a track within the degree. These courses also add to the curriculum a basis for interdisciplinary study, career development, and graduate school preparation, and provide a solid base upon which the Interdisciplinary Studies community can grow.

In 2017-2018 Interdisciplinary Studies welcomed some new programs, including a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Additionally, we introduced the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies, which prior to 2017-2018, was a track within the Interdisciplinary Studies degree. The Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies – Women’s Studies Track was also replaced by the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies – Transnational Gender Race and Sexuality Studies (TransGRaSS) Track.

Numerous researchers have found that the number and distribution of interdisciplinary undergraduate programs have increased substantially in the past 25 years, outpacing the growth rate of student enrollments. The Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies program at UCF is an example of this exceptional growth. Almost 9,000 degrees in general studies, liberal studies, and interdisciplinary studies have been awarded at UCF since 1971. The number of degrees awarded in General Studies in 1974-1975 was 37 compared to 564 degrees awarded in 2008-2009, a 1,424% increase in degrees conferred in a 34-year period, nearly triple the growth rate of bachelor’s degrees conferred university-wide in the same time-frame.

Request More Information

  • Request More Information
  • By submitting this form, I understand that the University of Central Florida may email me, or contact me via telephone and/or text messages about educational services at the phone number(s) provided, including a wireless number, using an automated technology. I also understand that consent is not a condition of enrollment.