Eight alumni received the college’s Outstanding Alumni Awards for 2016-17. This annual award recognizes stellar professional achievement by alumni of academic programs in the college. The evening began with a reception with live music and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a formal presentation of the awards in the museum’s auditorium.
Dean Michael Frumkin opened the presentation by sharing news about the college and his appreciation for those who contribute so much to its programs. Department representatives then introduced the respective Outstanding Alumni Award for each discipline. The recipients then spoke briefly to the audience about their experiences as a UCF student, and the impact of their education on their careers.
The 2016-2017 College of Health and Public Affairs
Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients
Suzanne King ’09
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
An assistant professor in the departments of Otolaryngology Head neck Surgery and Communication Disorders at the University of Louisville, Suzanne has a gift for research. Early in her studies, she helped develop a 3D computer model of the upper and lower airway function of non-small cell lung cancer patients. Her master’s thesis involved studying the feasibility of using an entertainment voice therapy video game to help children diagnosed with a voice disorder.
Since graduation from UCF, her work has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health, which provided her with a prestigious pre-doctoral fellowship and most recently in collaboration with myself and the laboratory of Dr. Teresa Pitts (another UCF-CSD alumna) from Louisville, Suzanne was awarded the 2016 American Speech Hearing Association New Investigators Research Grant for the project, “Characterization of radiation-induced pharyngeal mucosa fibrosis after head and neck cancer”.
Currently, Suzanne continues to support UCF by consulting on ongoing head and neck cancer research projects, and also serves as a guest lecture on two courses. She also keeps a keen eye on all Knights athletic programs, and finds unique ways to support and recognize UCF throughout her career-related endeavors.
Richard Beary ’04
Department of Criminal Justice
Nearly 40 years ago, Richard Beary was sworn in as a police officer at Altamonte Springs Police Department. At 18, he was the youngest sworn officer in the State of Florida, graduating from the police academy before completing high school. After retiring as the Chief of Police for the City of Lake Mary, Chief Beary joined the University of Central Florida as Chief of Police in August 2007. In 2014, he was sworn in as president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the largest professional law enforcement organization in the world with more than 25,000 members. Of that honor, Chief Beary noted that “being named IACP president is a huge honor for me personally, but beyond that, it’s an important recognition for UCF and the role campus law enforcement plays in the larger scheme of community safety.”
Daniel Barr ’04
Department of Health Management and Informatics
Professional Achievement Award
Dan is the Vice President of Operations at the largest children’s hospital in America, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and has served in this capacity since 2012. Dan is responsible for outreach and strategy development, physician practice management, payer relations, research strategy, financial management and joint-venture oversight. He is an active Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives – the highest level one can achieve, and a further example of his commitment to striving for excellence in his profession. Dan embodies the principles and has all the non-cognitive traits that are highly desirable in our leaders. He is highly principled, forthright and of unquestionable integrity. There is no doubt he is a leader. Dan was also selected as the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award for the College of Health and Public Affairs.
John Scandura ’05
Department of Health Professions
As the Manager of Rehabilitation Services at South Lake Hospital in Clermont, John is responsible for the operations of two outpatient centers and hospital acute care with multidisciplinary staff. For the past three years, John has served on COHPA’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program advisory board and he has also served as an adjunct faculty member for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program for the past five years with involvement in the Physical Therapy Integrations course. John has always found time to support UCF by participating in clinical education and by contributing his time to assist UCF Physical Therapy with admissions interviews, and he also participates in the career preparedness activities the program develops for its graduating students. John’s career achievements and his continued strive for greatness warrants our recognition.
Rodd Santomauro ’93
Department of Legal Studies
Rodd’s aptitude for juris prudence was noted by his nominator when he was a student in COHPA’s Legal Studies program. Later, at law school, Rodd received the Dean’s Achievement Award, an honor that was given to just one student who exhibits qualities that would likely lead to a successful career as an attorney. Since then, Rodd – who is currently the Chief Business Development Officer for Synergy Settlement Services in Washington, D.C. – continues to support COHPA by offering internships through his firm to students, and by serving as a guest speaker for COHPA classes. Also, through Rodd’s advocacy, his firm has established a permanent endowed scholarship to support UCF students who are in Legal Studies.
John Titkanich ’01
School of Public Administration
As the City Manager for the City of Cocoa, John has provided leadership to improve the city’s financial and human resources management; activities to enhance professional services in law enforcement, fire rescue and health care; and the development of a community-based strategic planning initiative. John has also been actively involved in SPA alumni activities, including service on the Public Administration advisory board, participation and presentation in the school’s retreat, workshops and guest lectures in the graduate courses of public administration, and hiring and mentoring public administration graduates. His life’s work has embodied the ideal public servant, and he exemplifies the COHPA mission of strengthening communities and changing lives.
Michael Freeman ’12
School of Social Work
Known throughout the Orlando community as an outstanding educator, speaker and advocate, Michael is recognized for his expertise in diversity and was the Assistant Director for Diversity Education and Student Engagement at the University of Central Florida from 2007-2012. He served on 22 campus initiatives in support of building a more inclusive and diverse campus, and has met with community partners on issues of diversity, inclusion and social justice. Michael provides counseling to victims of human trafficking through Florida Abolitionist, and has recently provided counseling services to community members who were affected by the Pulse nightclub shootings. Michael Freeman embodies not only what it means to be a social worker, but what it means to be a true community leader.
Lauren Josephs ’06
Doctoral Program in Public Affairs
Lauren is the Vice President for Research, Evaluation and Training with Visionary Vanguard Group in Orlando. In her current role, Lauren focuses on delivering training and assessment to organizations, government and corporations in the areas of diversity, cultural competency and equity with a particular focus on the health care industry and health care practice. Because of Lauren’s professional achievements and her outstanding contribution to the Orlando community to bring social issues to the forefront, we believe she is a great example for our students to emulate and model their own careers to continue addressing the concerns in our society.
Mariangelly Rente ’93 ’08
Staff Excellence Alumni Award
Mary holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Sciences, a Graduate Certificate in Career Counseling, and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration – all from the University of Central Florida. She began her service at UCF in 1996 as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and has been an extraordinary resource in her current position because of her tenure here.
She currently serves as the Director of our Academic Support Services here in the College of Health and Public Affairs supervising a staff of five professional advisors, and serves as the COHPA representative on countless UCF committees. For the past several years, Mary has been extremely involved in the DARS to PeopleSoft transition (a software transition for the university audit system), and has served as an invaluable expert on the academic system at the university level.
Ross Wolf ’88 ’91 ’98
Faculty Excellence Award
For more than three decades, Dr. Ross Wolf has had many varied roles at the University of Central Florida. In addition to having served the College of Health and Public Affairs as Associate Dean for the past four years, he also holds a tenured faculty position of Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice.
Dr. Wolf has built and maintained meaningful relationships with COHPA’s alumni, and also has the unwavering support of law enforcement personnel, not only from UCF and Central Florida, but also worldwide: in 2014, he received the United States Points of Light Award.
Dr. Wolf’s awards and recognitions are far too many to list in these few minutes, so we will share an anecdote from a colleague that speaks of his loyalty and dedication: “One day, shortly after I joined COHPA, I saw Dr. Wolf wearing his Orange County Sheriff’s deputy uniform. I made a bad joke about him keeping the students in line. I found out later that he was on his way to the UCF Police Department where he was volunteering so more UCF Police Officers could attend the funeral of a fallen fellow officer. That memory has stuck with me all these years.”
Dr. Wolf is an accomplished scholar with an impressive record of publications, presentations and research funding. We can’t imagine anyone who has been more committed to upholding the values and principles of UCF and the College of Health and Public Affairs.