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College Marks Its Founding 25 Years Ago Today

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With your help, we can continue to offer students an exceptional education that provides opportunities for engagement in research and community service. Learn how

By Karen Guin

Today the College of Health and Public Affairs begins a yearlong recognition of it first 25 years.

It was 25 years ago, in the summer of 1990, that UCF merged the academic programs in its College of Health with academic programs from its College of Arts and Sciences to create a new college with a unique interdisciplinary focus. Belinda McCarthy, Ph.D., was recruited to serve as its first dean.

UCF named the new college the College of Health and Professional Studies. However, McCarthy suggested in her first year that the name be changed to the College of Health and Public Affairs "to better [reflect] its mission." UCF adopted the new name in July 1991.*

In 1990-91 the college offered academic programs in cardiopulmonary sciences, communicative disorders, criminal justice, health sciences, hospitality management, legal studies, medical laboratory sciences, medical records administration, nursing, public administration, radiologic sciences and social work.

Its fall 1990 enrollment was 1,902 students. (UCF's was 20,387 students.)

UCF's tremendous growth over the past two and a half decades has brought many changes. But the college's academic mission -- to offer students an exceptional education that provides opportunities for engagement in research and community service -- has remained consistent.

That's not to say the college hasn't changed any since 1990-1991. Several of its original academic programs went on to form or become part of new colleges at UCF. Others relocated to neighboring academic institutions. The college established new programs too, in athletic training, health services administration, nonprofit management, physical therapy, public affairs, research administration, and urban and regional planning.

McCarthy served as dean of the college for 15 years, and Interim Dean Joyce Dorner succeeded her for two years. In 2008 Michael Frumkin, Ph.D., became the college's second permanent dean. After his arrival the college established its motto of "Strengthening Communities. Changing Lives."

Twenty-five years after its founding, the College of Health and Public Affairs is now the second largest college at UCF with some 9,500 students. This fall the college will offer a total of 57 degree, minor and certificate programs, including a new criminal justice doctoral program. And today the college boasts more than 35,000 alumni providing vitally important health and public services for community members in the region and around the world.

That's a lot to recognize.

* Purpose of College of Health and Public Affairs Better Reflected in New Name, UCF News - June 26, 1991

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The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
— 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)
UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
— 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)
The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
— 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)
It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
— 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."
— Carlos Gual Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
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. "
— Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13) 
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