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Area High School Students Explore Opportunities for Study

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By Karen Guin

Some 40 students from area high schools visited the College of Health and Public Affairs today as part of a weeklong Summer Institute sponsored by UCF's Office of Student Outreach Programs. They came to hear about opportunities for study. They also received words of encouragement and support.

"You need to go for it," college adviser Mary Rente told the students. "Stay in school, do your best and, most importantly, make sure you are always learning something."

Students enrolled in the Summer Institute are also participants in UCF's Student Outreach Programs, which run during the academic year. The programs are designed to motivate and prepare underrepresented students in sixth through 12th grade to pursue and complete a college education.

Each year, high school students in the outreach programs may apply for admission to the Summer Institute, which provides a week's stay on the campus, including meals, room and transportation - all for $15, said LaTasha Holcomb, a coordinator with the Office of Student Outreach Programs.

This year's institute includes tours of the campus, visits to various colleges, field trips and interactions with counselors who are UCF students from underrepresented groups. .

At the College of Health and Public Affairs, the students heard from Rente, Associate Dean Mel Rogers, and criminal justice Associate Professor Lee Ross, who shared the story of his own professional development. All three are members of underrepresented groups themselves.

When Rogers asked the students to identify the area of study that interests them, most every student had a clear idea, some down the exact major and minor they would choose.

"I was really impressed with the motivation these students have about attending college," said Rogers. "I think COHPA could be a good fit for a number of them."

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— Michael Neimann M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
— Adam Stubley B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
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— Jamie Dyson Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
— Daniel Barr V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
— Krysti Griffith Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
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— Deborah Reith Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
— Jacqueline Iaquinta Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
— April Heyward Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
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— Richard "Ben" Hagen Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
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The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
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