Stories of Impact: How the UCF Burnett Honors College is cultivating talent and inspiring excellence.
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Issue 2 - November 2019

‘Tis the season of gratitude and appreciation. It is also a time when we reflect on those people in our lives that make an impact and inspire us—providing sound mentoring and advice, as well as a helping hand when we need it the most. This issue of Inspire is dedicated to all those who so earnestly provide the support that makes us successful.

The Burnett Honors College and its stellar reputation are the result of years of hard work and planning. Behind the successes of the College are the many community partners like you, who have chosen to support the development and growth of BHC Scholars. We recognize that life is about choices. Our outstanding students choose to come to UCF and BHC. Our dedicated donors and community partners choose BHC Scholars as a philanthropic priority with their time, talent, and treasures. Our committed faculty and staff choose to devote their careers to impacting the lives of the next generation of citizens and change agents. In concert with one another, we create an impactful and unparalleled community of academic excellence, leadership and service.

As we bid farewell to this year and begin to ring in a new one, the Burnett Honors College expresses its deepest gratitude to the many partners who have come alongside of us to cultivate talent and inspire excellence. We hope you enjoy reading about the lives you are impacting and how BHC Scholars are working to make our future a better place for all of us to live, work and dare to dream!

Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres, Ph.D.
Dean, UCF Burnett Honors College
This year we:
  • welcomed a class of 517 first-year students from 31 states, who speak 29 different languages, and have an average SAT of 1465. We also had our first class of sophomore scholars through the Second-Year Entry (2UH) program. We have the largest number of National Merit and National Hispanic Scholars that we’ve ever had on campus.
  • unveiled the Acclaimed Knights Wall in the UCF Student Union, which recognizes all UCF recipients of prestigious scholarships.
  • deepened relationships with alumni in Austin, Orlando, South Florida and Atlanta.
  • launched a pilot program with Healthy West Orange supporting our new ORANGE (Orlando Regional Alliance for Nonprofit Grant-writing Experience) program.
  • introduced 50 prominent business leaders to the distinctive pool of talent that exists at the BHC through our inaugural Business Leaders Luncheon.
  • launched the inaugural Research Match Day in April (40 faculty attended, 115 students participated) that connects students with active researchers and helps them find meaningful research positions in their labs.
  • updated the furniture in our Reading Room and in the lobby to create a greater sense of community.
  • supported UCF's sustainability mission by adding a water bottle filling station to the water fountains in the main corridor. Since its completion in the fall of 2018, we have already kept approximately 27,000 single-use bottles from entering the environment. 
Woody Walker on Supporting Diversity in STEM

Learn about why UCF alumna Woody Walker '92 '94 is passionate about supporting tomorrow's STEM leaders.

"Looking at our population demographics, we see large percentages of women and minorities that are present in the overall population, but largely absent in the STEM workplace...without diversity, we are also missing out on untapped talent, different points of view, and the innovation that can make a real difference in what and how we create and its impact on the world."
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Chantale Ninah, Zoe Barbeau and Hannah Crosby '19 share how the opportunities they've received at UCF have helped them grow into future STEM leaders.
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BHC Scholar John Clement, aspiring technical writertalks about how the college's TALENT program provided him valuable internship experience at Lennar Corporation, one of the nation's largest home-building companies.
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Thank you to Alvin Wang, Ph.D., former BHC dean and current UCF psychology professor! Dr. Wang joined UCF in 1986, serving first as associate dean, and then as dean of the Burnett Honors College for twelve years.

Dr. Wang stepped down as dean of the BHC in 2017. In honor of his transformative leadership, parents, alumni, faculty and friends created the Dr. Alvin Y. Wang Endowed Scholarship that helps to support undergraduate researchers.
Get involved. Contact Renzo Martorella for more information.