What’s Next: Student Advisory Council

What's Next: Student Advisory Council

What is What’s Next? What’s Next: Integrative Learning for Professional and Civic Preparation is UCF’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an initiative to help students make connections: between the work they do in their courses and the experiences they gain through co-curricular and professional activities, and between their experiences within the confines of the university and the challenges that they’ll face in their careers and communities when they leave. The initiative has three main components—plan, connect, and reflect—which help students prepare for what’s next.

The Goal of the Student Advisory Council: As we continue to implement the What’s Next initiative, we are eager to incorporate the student voice in the development of the various programs and curricula.

The What’s Next Student Advisory Council currently comprises 12 undergraduate Knights of Distinction students from 11 different majors spanning 7 unique colleges at UCF. Council members work with faculty and staff in the QEP office to provide feedback and insight on our various initiatives. The student advisory council has been active since spring 2018 and has helped shape the development of the milestone points system and the implementation of the new online milestone submission portal for the program. They have also provided ideas for networking opportunities and student-facing workshops. In 2019, the council will shift its focus to the topic of digital course content to help us cultivate ideas for more online resources for the Knights of Distinction program.

Member profiles can be found below if you’d like to learn more about our Student Advisory Council!

  • What motivated you to choose your major?

Coming into college, I never decided on a major and never really knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my college career and life. My high school was known for their Magnet Program in Engineering, which I was a part of for all four years. However, I never really loved and enjoyed what I was doing, so when I was nearing high school graduation I was scared because I did not know what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Luckily, the last semester of senior year I was taking an AP Macroeconomics class where my amazing teacher taught not only about the normal curriculum but also taught our class about the stock market. Ever since his teachings on the stock market and how it worked and how someone can make a career out of it, I fell in love with it. Freshman year in college, I changed my major to Finance and have stuck with it ever since.

  • If you could go back in time and give yourself advice before you began your first year of college, what would it be?

If I could give myself one piece of advice back then, I would tell myself to really find what it is that I love to do. No one wants to waste time learning or working on something that he or she doesn’t like to do. It may be hard initially trying to figure out what you want the rest of your work life to revolve around, but once you do, it is the greatest feeling. Finding that something will give you so much more motivation to work towards your goals and will really give you satisfaction and pride in what you do.

  • Which Milestone is the most meaningful to you and why?

The most meaningful milestone to me is definitely Citizenship! I say this because of the amazing and numerous relationships that I have gained and strengthened through different activities. From volunteering to playing sports, I have met people who I know I will be friends with for life and whom I’m so happy have in life.

  • How would you explain Knights of Distinction to someone who knows nothing about the program? In your opinion, what does it mean to be a Knight of Distinction?

I would explain Knights of Distinction as students who really go above and beyond to not only stand out but also to really connect their in class experiences with the outside world. To me, it feels so encouraging to be around and work with students with the same mindset as me, and this program really excels at providing an opportunity for that.

  • What interests you most about the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council?

What really interests me the most about the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council is having the ability to really make an impact on the program and give feedback on the program. I get to be in a leadership role where I get to help create changes that will benefit future Knights of Distinction students.

  • One of the goals of the What’s Next Student Advisory Council is to incorporate the student voice into our various initiatives. What do think is the value of adding your voice to the university and do you have any advice for students who are hesitant about expressing their voice or providing feedback on university initiatives?

The value of adding my voice to UCF is priceless. I get to truly make an impact on students joining this amazing program and really help others who want to further their career development. To those hesitant about expressing their voices, this is a perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and truly make a positive impact for students, which is the best feeling ever.

Kurt Adler

Knights of Distinction Logo Crest Color-01

Major:
Finance

Anticipated Graduation Term:
Spring 2020

Catherine Sarah Flatt

HSFlatt

Major:
Political Science

Anticipated Graduation Term:
Spring 2020

 

  • What motivated you to choose your major?

I chose my major because I constantly found myself reading about current social issues.

  • What has been your biggest success and how did you accomplish it?

My greatest success has been becoming the first in my immediate family to earn a bachelor’s degree. I have always watched my parents sacrifice and work hard so that I could focus on school and achieve what I have managed to achieve, and I want to honor that sacrifice by making them proud. I am an inducted member of three honor societies and, as of next spring, will have served as an officer for two of those societies. I have also received the National Excellence in Leadership Award.

  • Describe a challenge you’ve encountered and explain how you overcame it.

I failed every math course I took in High School and remedial algebra twice in my first semesters of college. This caused me to drop out of school and return six years later determined to pass the courses and graduate. Not only did I pass those courses, I was also inducted into Phi Theta Kappa.

I also endured bullying by other students, some who were also leaders on campus, who referred to me as a “Super Senior” and stated that I clearly must be unintelligent because of the age I was in college, not understanding the struggles I had faced to attend at all. I used these experiences to seek out opportunities to make the University and surrounding communities a better place for others, becoming the Community Outreach Chair of the National Society of Leadership and Success. In this position I was able to lead students to volunteer with a local non-profit off campus that provides clothing to at-risk and homeless youth in our community. I also have volunteered with UCF’s Alternative Break Program where I helped to re-build a home for a family that lost theirs after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. This year I will travel to North Carolina to help protect their forests and rivers.

  • Choose one of the Milestones you’ve excelled at and describe some of the skills you developed from engaging in specific experiences.

A milestone that I have excelled at is Leadership and I think that is because I truly enjoy and feel comfortable encouraging others to participate in activities that help make the world a better place! Furthermore, I get to learn from those individuals and I think that’s what leadership really is. It is the ability to lead others but not need to always be in charge and a willingness to learn from those you are leading. Some of the skills I’ve developed have been learning to be observant, realizing I can’t do everything myself, trusting that I have given proper instructions and need to allow people to help me. I have also learned that there is not only a polite but also an inclusive way to address groups of people from diverse backgrounds which helps to make everyone involved feel comfortable and included.

  • One of the Knights of Distinction milestones is “Knights in the World,” which encourages students to get more involved in the community outside of the university. Do you have any advice for how to get more involved with the community beyond UCF? What is an experience that you’ve participated in outside of the university and what did you learn from it?

My best advice would be to reach out to any organizations, societies and businesses that you think you might be able to learn something from or gain valuable experience from. Almost every professional organization has a website or online presence where their contact information is listed so that people can contact them. This is also true for the head faculty members of each educational program at UCF and those individuals are usually more than willing to advise students on what opportunities exist, as well as where you can find experiences that relate to your specific major or course of study.

  • One of the goals of the What’s Next Student Advisory Council is to incorporate the student voice into our various initiatives. What do think is the value of adding your voice to the university and do you have any advice for students who are hesitant about expressing their voice or providing feedback on university initiatives?

I feel that by adding my voice to the diverse initiatives of the What’s Next Student Advisory Council, I am helping to make the program stronger for future students, who will participate after I graduate. This is important because only students can truly understand what is beneficial and valuable for other students in these types of programs. The value of my voice is that, maybe someday, a future student who may experience similar struggles and achievements might be able to relate to my experiences and will get farther because the program will be able to evolve and offer more because of my input and involvement.

My advice for students who are hesitant about getting involved would be that they can only make a difference if they get involved and share their experiences. They should not fear being judged or making a mistake because we all have at one point or another. But by not getting involved, they will miss out on an opportunity to make a difference and interact with other students who are also interested in making a difference. After all, college only lasts so long and there are only so many chances to use those skills in such a valuable way.

  • In what ways has your participation in Knights of Distinction helped you prepare for your life/career after UCF?

The most valuable way that Knights of Distinction has helped me prepare for my future career after UCF has been to help me more effectively organize and communicate what projects or organizations I have been involved in at the university. This has allowed me to translate that participation into meaningful skills and experiences that demonstrate how I have been and will be an asset to whatever endeavors I may devote myself to in the future.

  • What motivated you to choose your major?

Interestingly enough, when I came to UCF as a transfer student in 2017, I was still undecided on my course of study. I graduated from Valencia College with my general A.A. and had hoped to have discovered my “passion” by that time, however, this was not the not the case for me. In all honesty, I chose Sociology with the mindset of “Well, I still don’t know what I want to do for a career, but I do find the study of Sociology to be quite interesting and I know I can use and apply what I learn in this major to virtually any job I choose.” Lucky for me, I ended up loving my major and decided to also pursue a minor in Psychology to help me dive a little bit deeper into the mind of the individual versus Sociology’s study of the ideas and views of society as a whole.

  • If you could go back in time and give yourself advice before you began your first year of college, what would it be?

If I could go back in time and give myself advice for my first year of college, I would say to not be afraid to put myself out there. One of the most beneficial things a college student can do is gain experience in a variety of activities, whether this is through clubs, leadership opportunities, internships and externships, jobs, networking, etc. It is so important for you to allow yourself to participate in an assortment of opportunities in order to discover what you love and enjoy and what you may not love so much. I personally feel that college is the perfect time for students to find out more about themselves and what truly sparks their interests.

  • Which Milestone is the most meaningful to you and why?

Although I find an enormous amount of meaning in every milestone, Knights in the World is probably the most meaningful milestone for me because it focuses on real-world experiences that students have beyond UCF. This could be your employment, your service projects, the organizations you are involved in off campus, etc. I feel that Knights in the World is one of the easiest opportunities for students to visualize how they can apply what they learn in the classroom to their normal/every day routine. These experiences can help students to gain/strengthen skills that will help them in their future careers.

  • How would you explain Knights of Distinction to someone who knows nothing about the program? In your opinion, what does it mean to be a Knight of Distinction?

I feel that the best way to describe Knights of Distinction to someone who may be unfamiliar with the program, is to think of it as a way of connecting the dots between your experiences in and outside of the classroom. Knights of Distinction aims to help students identify the correlation between what they are learning in their studies/college career and their involvement in other activities either on or off campus that could be beneficial to them beyond graduation. In my opinion, being a Knight of Distinction means to be a student who goes the extra mile in any way possible whether this is through academic achievement, campus involvement, or off-campus experience. As a Knight of Distinction, I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself, as well as strengthen my skills in order to become more valuable to potential employers, as well as to really set myself apart from other individuals.  

  • One of the goals of the What’s Next Student Advisory Council is to incorporate the student voice into our various initiatives. What do think is the value of adding your voice to the university and do you have any advice for students who are hesitant about expressing their voice or providing feedback on university initiatives?

I will admit, I was hesitant and nervous to join the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council. I tend to struggle with doubt in my skills and abilities and I most definitely second guessed myself many times when debating on whether or not I felt I would be a good fit for the council. However, I realized that I am not alone. There are plenty of students just like me who may not have it all “figured out” and may struggle with navigating their way through their college career. Therefore, I decided that by adding my voice to the university, I could  bring value by example, and show students that it’s good to do things that may be out of your comfort zone and that it can lead to very useful and helpful opportunities. My advice for students who are hesitant about expressing their voice is DON’T BE. You are capable of more than you think. Do not let fear hold you back from expressing ideas that could be extremely helpful and influential for other students as well as yourself.

  • In what ways has your participation in Knights of Distinction helped you prepare for your life/career after UCF?

Participating in Knights of Distinction has helped me prepare for life after UCF in more ways than I can explain. By committing to this program, I have been forced to step outside of my comfort zone and become more involved on campus and in my community. This alone has allowed me to build my confidence and self-esteem which will help me immensely in my life/career after UCF. I have also become a more versatile student by participating in a variety of activities and events that I most likely would have completely dismissed in the past. Versatility is a key factor that many employers look for in potential employees.

Clara Kirkland

HSKirkland

Major:
Sociology

Anticipated Graduation Term:
Summer 2019

Nicole Morin

HSMoran

Major:
Marketing

Anticipated Graduation Term:
Spring 2019

  • What is your biggest motivation? What are you most excited or passionate about?

My biggest motivation has been my husband. A few years ago, he went to get his master’s degree and now he loves his job. I wanted that in my life, too. I want to love going to work every day. Throughout this journey he has been extremely supportive. I couldn’t have done any of this with out him.

  • If you could go back in time and give yourself advice before you began your first year of college, what would it be?

This is my second college adventure. If I could go back to my first year the first time around, I would tell myself that it is ok to not know what you want to do with your life yet. Continue to explore the world and learn who you are. The rest will fall into place.

  • Which Milestone is the most meaningful to you and why?

High-impact learning because it is the tangible resources you take with you that will help you secure a career after college.

  • How would you explain Knights of Distinction to someone who knows nothing about the program? In your opinion, what does it mean to be a Knight of Distinction?

The Knights of Distinction program is like the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. You must complete different tasks, each of varying levels of difficulty, which require you to work a different set of muscles. However, completing the program sets you apart from other students and the title of “distinction” on your degree is something no one can take away from you.

  • What interests you most about the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council?

Having an opportunity to potentially help future students who are returning to school. Throughout my journey I felt like there were less opportunities to get involved for students who work a 9 am-5 pm job. I wanted a chance to discuss making it a little easier for returning students to take classes and be involved on campus.

  • One of the goals of the What’s Next Student Advisory Council is to incorporate the student voice into our various initiatives. What do think is the value of adding your voice to the university and do you have any advice for students who are hesitant about expressing their voice or providing feedback on university initiatives?

You have a chance to affect the future of students who are like you. The things you found difficult can become easier, the things you found helpful can become more accessible. It allows you to leave a lasting mark on your alma mater. 

  • What motivated you to choose your major?

Although a little peculiar, one of the numerous motivators that led me to choosing my major in Health Sciences and Biomedical Sciences was simply because I was fascinated with being sick as a child. I wasn’t the healthiest of people. Due to my recklessness while playing, I would continuously get scrapes by falling and get sick from others by playing with them frequently. I thought my body was invincible because I would always ‘regenerate’ and I could just keep pressing on doing what it was I wanted to do. It wasn’t until the beginning of my academic career that I knew the science behind it, and it was this culmination of fascination and realization that birthed my keen interest—figuring out the body’s functions and its substituent parts.

  • If you could go back in time and give yourself advice before you began your first year of college, what would it be?

“School is hard.” Although it is a little bit of a childish response, when I first came into college, I didn’t realize this basic thing because I was ignorant in thinking that my ‘genius’ from High School would directly translate into college. Yet the reality was that college was something entirely different. To give an example, during my high school years, I was simply walking up steps one at a time, but the moment that college started, my pace increased to 3-4 steps with each stride. It is very easy starting out, similar to just walking up the stairs one step at a time, but that is but a front of pure and utter deceit. Eventually you’ll be out of breath a quarter of the way and wanting to stop but you are already so far in so you decide to keep on going. By the time you are a third of the way in, you get numb to the ordeal and you are then able to outperform what you thought you were capable of getting accustomed to the challenge. By the end of it all, once you reach the top, whether you regret doing it or are thrilled with it being over with, you’ll come out stronger and with a better perception and greater understanding with which to do it all over again.

  • Which Milestone is the most meaningful to you and why?

I personally believe that planning & self-assessment is by far the most critical milestone. The simple reasoning being that I’m a firm believer in always having a rough outline as to what it is you’re going to have to do day by day. Even if you aren’t going to follow the schedule you make yourself, at the very least you understand what it is that you have to do and know the consequences both good and bad of whatever you end up deciding to do. Also, planning & self-assessment makes you think of the approaching future. This inevitably ensures that you must think about the other milestones as well.

  • Describe some of the soft skills you have developed from participating in high-impact experiences (i.e., research/internships/assistantships/study abroad/etc.).

Participating in high-impact experiences provided a number of new experiences and, above all, new knowledge.  Amongst them all, the few skills that stuck were how to code for data and statistics, how to communicate with others, and most importantly, how to lead. The most fascinating part of it all is that what you learn during your high-impact experiences are skills that you will be able to adapt and apply beyond just your major or desired career field. That is the benefit of reaching out and putting your feet in the water of the real world.

  • What interests you most about the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council?

The student advisory council consists of a wide variety of students in a number of different fields and with a variety of backgrounds that try and represent the student body, or at the very least some form of it. Coming from a number of different backgrounds, each person is able to tell a tale of their own and it is utterly wonderful being able to branch out and meet such great people.

  • In what ways has your participation in Knights of Distinction helped you prepare for your life/career after UCF?

Knights of Distinction serves to better students’ lives while also preparing them for their future path. In fact, it has done just that for me. This program has essentially brought to my attention all the known variables that I need to ensure I keep in mind during my college career, but also highlights the unknowns—simple skills that are neglected, the general ensemble of things I need to know, etc. Having known nothing of what college life is like, being the first generation of my family to enter college, this program allowed me to properly progress and recognize where I am in my college career. I can’t recommend it enough.

Wilson Nguyen

HSNguyen

Major:
Health Sciences & Biomedical Sciences

Anticipated Graduation Term:
TBD

Sean Quinlan

HSQuinlan

Major:
Electrical Engineering

Anticipated Graduation Term:
Fall 2020

  • What motivated you to choose your major?

I really enjoy electronics and have always wanted to work with them. As I aged, I gained interest in robotics. Electrical Engineering covers the design and construction of both electronics and robotics.

  • What is your biggest motivation? What are you most excited or passionate about?

My biggest motivation for college is to learn the technical knowledge, which can then be applied creatively. This creative aspect is important to create mind-blowing feats. With a desire to enter the theme park entertainment design industry, I am most excited to apply the technical knowledge of power, controls, and robotics creatively to build world-class attractions. 

  • Which Milestone is the most meaningful to you and why?

Leadership is personally the most meaningful and important milestone. It is both a great quality and skill. Leadership is the most influential milestone to obtain as it strengthens the individual through communication skills, time management skills, multi-tasking skills, interpersonal skills, teamwork skills, and many more important qualities. However, Leadership also has the potential to influence others as a leader can bring out innovative skills in others, or even positively affect someone else’s day.

  • One of the Knights of Distinction milestones is “Knights in the World,” which encourages students to get more involved in the community outside of the university. Do you have any advice for how to get more involved with the community beyond UCF? What is an experience that you’ve participated in outside of the university and what did you learn from it?

Ironically, looking for club and organizations on-campus can create more opportunities for off-campus involvement. Being part of Circle K International, a service organization, has introduced me to college students throughout the whole United States while also getting me involved in community service through the Orlando area. Give Kids the World is a non-profit organization in Kissimmee that inspires hope in children with life-threatening illnesses by providing a one-week cost-free trip to their Village with an all-inclusive stay for the child and their family.  They also have the opportunity to visit all the Orlando attractions and all resort attractions for free. It is an awesome place that shows you how fortunate you are. At Give Kids the World I gained many communication and interpersonal skills, as volunteering at a place where one interacts with many people of different age groups from all over the world helps one better understand others.

  • One of the goals of the What’s Next Student Advisory Council is to incorporate the student voice into our various initiatives. What do think is the value of adding your voice to the university and do you have any advice for students who are hesitant about expressing their voice or providing feedback on university initiatives?

Opinions are very important as they can impact current and future students. Opinions can only improve UCF life as a whole. Participating in the What’s Next Advisor Council helps improve Knights of Distinction, as the ideas we discuss improve workshops, create a more unified initiative, and can increase member count. As for others that are hesitant about sharing their opinions with various panels, organizations, or UCF as a whole: don’t be scared. Every opinion matters, no matter if you think it is useful or not. Lastly, do not be scared of what other people think about your opinions because if you think it’s beneficial most likely everyone secretly also agrees, so express your opinions!

  • In what ways has your participation in Knights of Distinction helped you prepare for your life/career after UCF?

Knights of Distinction prompts diversity through various milestones. Planning and Self-assessment, Leadership, Citizenship, High-Impact Learning, and Knights in the World help instill qualities in each individual in the program to make them a better well-rounded student. This prepares them for the initial interview and provides experience for a career. Not only does Knight of Distinction prompt academic success, but it also prompts the growth of skills, qualities and a college experience as it pushes one to get involved both on campus and off. This program is a great way to meet new people while making yourself better as an individual.

  • Describe a challenge you’ve encountered and explain how you overcame it.

A challenge I’ve encountered has been to face the reconsideration of my academic path during the first semester of my fourth year. My plan was to graduate in May of 2019, but now it is to take an additional year in order to complete psychology as a second major. I made this decision after taking the time to acknowledge where I stand as well as where I genuinely want to find myself in the future. The challenge of changing my plans along the way was more psychological than anything, since a lot of insecurity came with trying to decide. What helped me overcome this was my excitement and knowing that I was following my instincts.

  • What is your biggest motivation? What are you most excited or passionate about?

My biggest motivations are: first, my desire to help people work towards who they want to be, and second, the wish to find innovative and creative ways to do that. Everybody deserves time and space to heal and understand themselves even deeper than they already do, so I am extremely passionate about pursuing studies that will help people do just that.

  • Describe some of the soft skills you have developed from participating in high-impact experiences (i.e., research/internships/assistantships/study abroad/etc.).

Some of the soft skills that I have developed from participating in high-impact experiences have been respect, teamwork, and effective communication. Working with others in a laboratory setting requires a lot of respect for people, especially as researchers, either using similar resources or trying to focus, for example. Being a good lab citizen, as my P.I. says, has definitely been something I didn’t know much about before becoming a part of my research lab group. Learning to become more selfless while working as part of a team has been humbling. Within the lab, members help each other out constantly (for nothing in return!). Effective communication is critical mostly because each of our projects are so important. I know that all three skills have and will continue to be imperative.

  • Can you identify what the most meaningful part of the Knights of Distinction program has been for you so far?

The most meaningful part of the Knights of Distinction program has been its ability to narrate and tie my overall college experience together. It has allowed me to lay out my academic path in a comprehensive way and I have been able to see all that I have gained out of my experiences. In the meantime, I have also become aware of the skills that I was lacking along the way, so another meaningful part of it was becoming aware of and working towards those.

  • What interests you most about the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council?

I really like the uniqueness and open-mindedness of the Council. I really respect the fact that What’s Next takes the time to listen to what the students have to recommend. What’s Next is already a very innovative resource, and I think that this component makes it even better.

  • In what ways has your participation in Knights of Distinction helped you prepare for your life/career after UCF?

The reflective and creative components of this program have definitely helped me feel more prepared for the future. Reflecting on what I have done over the past years has allowed me to be proud of what I accomplish. I have become more aware of what I had worked on a lot and what I hadn’t so much and going forward accordingly. Without Knights of Distinction, I may had not thought of creating an ePortfolio for myself, so I’m looking forward to developing it and provide it as an all-encompassing reference of my experiences to my future endeavors.

Elena Triantafyllopoulou

ElenaTriantafyllopoulouHeadshot

Major:
Biology

Anticipated Graduation Term:
Spring 2020

Fenisha Walters

HSWalters

Major:
Biology

Anticipated Graduation Term:
TBD

  • What motivated you to choose your major?

Due to cancer streaming through my family, I chose the Biology major to pursue a career in Cancer Biology and to become a pediatric oncologist. My biology major is more of a stepping stone to this career path.

  • What has been your biggest success and how did you accomplish it?

My biggest success will be completing my degree in three years. This was accomplished by taking courses through every semester since I have started at UCF.

  • What is your biggest motivation? What are you most excited or passionate about?

My biggest motivation is not only my family, but the patients who I work with at Florida Hospital- Children’s Hospital. It is not an everyday norm to see kids going through chemo and their hair falling out. This motivates me to dive further down my career path so that one day I can be the one to help these kids get through and beat cancer.

  • If you could go back in time and give yourself advice before you began your first year of college, what would it be?

Go for it. Whatever you set your mind to, you can do it. Never fear the unknown and get yourself out there.

  • Can you identify what the most meaningful part of the Knights of Distinction program has been for you so far?

Knights of Distinction has helped me to get out of my comfort zone and to be more involved. It has also opened my eyes to the many programs and resources at UCF. This is meaningful because I came to UCF simply to get a degree, but now I see that there is so much for me to do and so many more goals to accomplish. Knights of Distinction has also showed me to not set limits and to be more open to new experiences.

  • One of the Knights of Distinction milestones is “Knights in the World,” which encourages students to get more involved in the community outside of the university. Do you have any advice for how to get more involved with the community beyond UCF? What is an experience that you’ve participated in outside of the university and what did you learn from it?

The advice I would give to get more involved in the community is not to sell yourself short. Know your worth and how you can impact the community and go for it. With that being said, sometimes you must do more than shoot an email. Look for areas that relate to your major or spark your interest. From there, do your research and find places that are looking for help. I have participated in Florida Hospital- Children’s Hospital as well as Shepherd’s Hope. Both have taught me to never take life or your loved ones for granted, and both have shown that there is still compassion in a cold world.

  • What interests you most about the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council?

What interests me most about the student advisory council is the opportunity for the members’ voices to be heard, which was interesting for me because the program integrates our ideas and opinions into its curriculum. We feed off each other’s idea and come up with plans that will benefit everyone in the program for various majors and fields.

  • The expectations of our Student Advisory Council members align with the values of the UCF Creed, “Integrity, scholarship, community, creativity, and excellence are the core values that guide our conduct, performance, and decisions.” Can you talk about your future career plans and describe how you will continue to demonstrate the values of the UCF Creed as you enter into your career and life after college? How do these values align with your own values and expectations for yourself?

My future career plan is to earn my master’s degree in cancer biology/research then earn an Md/PhD in Cancer Sciences. From there, onto my career being a Pediatric Oncologist. I will certainly take the UCF Creed with me because (Integrity) being honest and having strong morals keeps me aligned and on the straight path. Scholarship and/or knowledge is a key to success. Community, helping spread compassion and love to those that are less fortunate or in need helps keep values within ourselves and uplifts the ones who are on their knees. Creativity creates diverse and beautiful pictures that each of us create for ourselves and for the world to see. Excellence always describes the quality and effort that I bring to the table. These values will follow me forever because they show that in all my values or expectations, I will succeed. “Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed… Phenomenal woman, That’s me” – Maya Angelou

  • What motivated you to choose your major?

Psychology has always been a passion of mine, specifically  human interactions and how the mind works. However, the reason that I am double-majoring in psychology and sociology is because I have a strong passion for people and want to delve into and learn every aspect of individuals. We are all unique in our own way, so figuring out how to satisfy the needs of those around me while tailoring my skills specifically to who they are, is what I am looking to accomplish with my degrees.

  • What has been your biggest success and how did you accomplish it?

My biggest accomplishment thus far at UCF has been being on the Dean’s list in psychology. In order to achieve that, I earned all A’s in my psychology courses during my semesters here. When you are studying something that you are truly passionate about, it doesn’t become a chore to do your work; you become highly motivated and have a strong drive to learn about what you love.

  • Which Milestone is the most meaningful to you and why?

The Leadership Milestone is most significant to me because it allows me to showcase my strengths as an individual. Being a leader isn’t about being a dominant force over those around you, it is about being someone who is looked up to and who supports the development of communication skills that allow them to be there for their peers.

  • Choose one of the Milestones you’ve excelled at and describe some of the skills you developed from engaging in specific experiences.

I feel as though I have accomplished the most within the Knights in the World milestone because I went from cashier to customer service manager at my current job and I feel as though this happened because I was determined to accomplish the goals that I wrote down for this program. I have developed multiple skills, including strategic planning, leadership, conflict resolution, and adaptability, which have afforded me many opportunities to be a strong leader for the people around me.

  • What interests you most about the QEP What’s Next Student Advisory Council?

I love being involved with this council because your opinion matters and your ideas are not rejected, only expanded on. Any belief that you express becomes a positive attribute of the Knights of Distinction program and you become a part of something that creates outstanding goals and accomplishments for undergraduates.

  • In what ways has your participation in Knights of Distinction helped you prepare for your life/career after UCF?

This program has truly allowed me to become a better version of myself by pushing me to go further in not only my studies but also my volunteer work and career as well. I have started committing more of my time to those around me, which has significantly improved not only my daily life, but also those that are need of aid.

Alexis Wilson

HSWilson

Major:
Psychology & Sociology

Anticipated Graduation Term:
Spring 2020