Alumni Spotlight: Adam Casebolt ’02 ’06 and Melissa Casebolt ’03
Adam and Melissa Casebolt met while undergraduate students. Across a crowded basketball court, their eyes locked, briefly. Melissa, a member of the basketball team’s student athletic training staff, was focused on rendering clinical care to the players, and Adam, a dispatcher for the UCF Police Department, was a spectator. However, Adam did not just “phone it in” – by the end of the game, Adam had approached Melissa and left with her number.
The Casebolts’ chance encounter is just one of the many reasons why the couple love UCF. Adam grew up in South Florida, and Melissa is from Lakeland, but they now call UCF home.
UCF could not ask for better next-door neighbors. The Casebolts are passionate about UCF not only because of the aforementioned basketball game, but also because of the opportunities that UCF provided to them as students that continue to shape their lives.
Adam jump-started his academic career with a brief foray into electrical engineering, but was more electrified by the study of criminal justice. He has risen through the ranks at UCF PD, and is now a sergeant.
“It’s hard to imagine a different career path,” Adam said. He was named 2010 Officer of the Year by the Central Florida Crisis Intervention Team for saving the life of a man in the midst of a mental health crisis. Recently, he participated in an active shooter video produced by UCF PD as a public service communications piece. He is also a volunteer bagpiper with The Pipes and Drums of the Orange County Sheriffs Office, and will be part of a 250-mile, three-day charity bike ride next year to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“Adam is a valuable asset to our Criminal Justice program,” said Cory Watkins, associate professor for the Department of Criminal Justice. “As a professional in the field, he is extremely active and makes multiple efforts to bring his expertise to the classroom as a regular guest lecturer and presenter. He really helps the students understand the connection between academics and practice. We look forward to a longstanding relationship with Sgt. Casebolt.”
Both Adam and Melissa were high school achievers, and the first in their families to attend college. When Melissa, who is from Lakeland, was touring UCF, she said, “I just fell in love with it, and said, ‘This is where I need to be.’”
It appears the Casebolt legacy will continue through their little future Knights. The entire family cheers for the Knights at sporting events, and their daughter attends UCF cheerleading camp each summer. She was beyond thrilled when she received some real UCF pom-poms from a cheerleader, Melissa said.
“Every student should have the same opportunities that I had,” Melissa said. Throughout the multiple partnerships created by the Department of Health Professions, Melissa built a network of health care professionals that continues to serve her as a middle-school teacher at Wedgefield School in Orlando.
In addition to teaching physical education, Melissa also serves as the school’s Athletic Director & Healthy School Team Leader; positions that allow her to combine her love of health and fitness that was instilled in her at UCF.
“Melissa was an excellent student and has maintained her connections with the athletic training program,” said Kristen Schellhase, Program Director for the Athletic Training Program and Dean’s Faculty Fellow. “Melissa and Adam have faithfully supported UCF over the years, and Melissa still has close ties with her former athletic training program classmates and faculty.”
“On a bubble map,” Melissa said, referring to a system of graphing used by her students to help organize complex thoughts, “UCF is the middle bubble – it’s the heart of everything and extends throughout the community.”