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College Honors Donors, Recipients at Scholarship Dinner

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By Karen Guin

There were plenty of smiles to go around at the 8th Annual Reach for the Stars Scholarship Dinner hosted by the College of Health and Public Affairs.

Donors to scholarships in the college met the latest beneficiaries of their generosity -- the 2015-16 scholarship recipients -- during an elegant reception, dinner and ceremony held April 7 at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center.

It was both a joyous and moving experience for many.

The event provided speaker Paul Lewis with an opportunity to share memories of his esteemed colleague and friend Kevin Tyjeski, for whom he helped establish The Kevin Tyjeski City Planning Endowed Scholarship. Lewis, the chief planning manager for Orlando, also had the opportunity to meet this year's recipient of the scholarship, Hector Guerrero, a graduate student in urban and regional planning.

Speaker Kamillia Crawford, a recipient of three of the college's scholarships this year, talked about the impact of scholarships during her college studies. "[They] allieviated a heavy burden that enabled me to focus on my academic, leadership and career goals," said Crawford, who will graduate in May with a degree in legal studies.

Crawford enjoyed dinner with the donor of one of the scholarships she received, retired Associate Dean Pamela Kirby, who established the Robert and Pamela Kirby Endowed Scholarship in memory of her husband.

Twenty-five years ago, when the college was established, there were no college-based scholarships to award; however, since then many donors have established and contributed to scholarship funds in the college, shared Dean Michael Frumkin.

"As of today, the college has awarded 432 scholarships, bringing the total amount of dollars awarded to nearly $500,000," he said.

"Scholarship gifts help the college attract and retain the best students," Frumkin told the guests. "They also lessen the financial burden so academic pursuits can take priority. Thank you to each and every one of you in the room who has made an investment in our students."

View a list of the scholarship donors and 2015-16 recipients.

See additional photos from the event. Watch a video honoring the donors and recipients. (Both by Abi Bell)

The scholarship dinner was coordinated by Sarah Drehoff, Briana Morrison and Hannah Nguyen.

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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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