Tag Archives: UCF

Project: SPIT #OnePulse Vigil

The mission of Project: S.P.I.T. is to create a spoken word/poetry community and awareness on the UCF campus that promotes and develops creative writing, allowing students to be in a safe environment that enables them to express and grow in the art form.

On Friday, we’ll have a vigil to remember those lost in the Pulse Massacre. We are having a vigil honoring those who died in this terrible tragedy 5 PM Friday June 17th at the reflection pond. If you are in Orlando, we would love and appreciate your support. Please share our flyers and spread the word. If you are apart of an organization or group and are interested in helping out or performing please reach out to me. We are UCF and We are strong. Project SPIT raises our voices through adversities, together. Thank You ‪#‎onepulse‬

UCF Candlelight Vigil #OrlandoUnited

The University of Central Florida will host a vigil tonight to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the shooting at Pulse this past weekend.

Members of the UCF community and the public are invited to attend. The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. at Memory Mall on the main campus. Guests may park at no cost in Garage H, and Garage D will handle overflow.

Speakers include UCF President John C. Hitt, Joe Saunders of the Human Rights Campaign, SGA President Chris Clemente, members of UCF student groups and faculty. The event is being organized by members of UCF’s LGBTQ+ community with support from UCF Social Justice and Advocacy.

The names of the shooting victims will be read. Among the victims of the Pulse tragedy are two members of the UCF family: student Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, and alumnus Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32.

To keep everyone safe and keep entry to the location efficient, UCF Police are asking that attendees refrain from bringing the following items:

  • coolers
  • chairs
  • large bags
  • large backpacks

Guests are encouraged to bring water bottles to keep hydrated, and drinks will be available on site. We anticipate a large crowd, so please plan accordingly.

Additional information about the event is available on its Facebook page. UCF also plans to Facebook Live the event from https://www.facebook.com/UCF/.

For updated information about the vigil and other ways you can help or get help dealing with this past week’s tragedy, please visit: http://www.ucf.edu/orlandounited/.

New Health Services in Lake Nona UCF College of Medicine

Lake Nona UCF College of Medicine to Offer Health Seminars, Support Groups, and Classes. UCF Health offers a variety of opportunities to improve your health with the help of https://www.foreseemed.com/value-based-care. Even at home you can stay healthy or maintain your health with the help of in home care services kansas city mo. They offer the best and quality services and products like topical spray for nerve pain. You can find more info here. They have also decided to use the latest technology and software including https://www.patientnow.com/innovative-emr-for-hormone-replacement-therapy-practices/.

Image Credit: UCF College of Medicine

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Caring for your skin goes beyond wearing sunscreen. Learn what products deliver results and how you can ensure beautiful skin for years to come here: http://www.eyeserum.com. This talk is being led by Dr. David Weinstein, dermatologist at UCF Health. You can also check out dermatologist practicing in Miami, FL for more information.

Date: April 27, 2016
Time:  6-7 pm
Location: UCF Health Medical City office. 9975 Tavistock Lakes Blvd. Orlando, FL 32827
RSVP: megan.pabian@ucf.edu or 407-882-4770

Thursday, April 28, 2016 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

 Inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases, including cancer. Learn how food can function as medicine to lower inflammation and help you live a healthy, pain-free life. This talk is being led by Christopher Smith, an Integrative Medicine specialist at UCF Health. To make sure that the smoke you’re inhaling is filtered when smoking you should visit percolators and try their products.

Date: April 28, 2016
Time:  6-7 pm
Location: UCF Health Medical City office. 9975 Tavistock Lakes Blvd. Orlando, FL 32827
RSVP: megan.pabian@ucf.edu or 407-882-4770

Caring for the Caregiver – a 6-week series

New sessions starting  May 10 at UCF Health on University Blvd.

Serving as a caregiver for a loved one can be a rewarding experience. It also can be one of life’s most challenging experiences.

Caring for the Caregiver sessions will address valuable coping skills needed to deal with conflicting demands, ways to understand and manage challenging behaviors, the importance of self-care and time away, future care considerations, and more. When you want an exceptional eye care for its customers, check eye glasses Dallas on americaneyeweardallas.com for more information. You can learn more about enchroma glasses on this page. And because caregiving can be isolating, support group members often find great comfort by sharing their experiences with others in similar situations. Please also checkout this related blog about the types of pheromones.

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Upcoming 6-week sessions: 

TUESDAYS, 4:30PM – 6:00PM

May 10

May 17 (ADRC)

May 24

May 31

June 7

June 14

Location: UCF Health, East Orlando office. 3400 Quadrangle Blvd. Orlando, FL 32817

Contact Daniel Paulson at Daniel.Paulson2@ucf.edu or see the Dept. of Psychology OLDeR Lab for more details.

Mindfulness Yoga

In today’s busy world, it is important to take time to just be. Meditation is a great way to bring balance to your life and reduce stress and anxiety. UCF Health is introducing a new Mindfulness Meditation class starting in the New Year. The class is led by a nationally-certified yoga instructor and includes some gentle movements. The class is taught at your comfort level- either on the floor or in a chair. Classes are an hour long and cost $10. No need to sign-up in advance- just show up! Check with your insurance company to see if it provides reimbursement for yoga or could find a new one that does with the Insurance Partnership service. Come experience the benefits that mediation can have on your health! For a list of dates and locations, see our events calendar.

Fridays at the Medical City office location at 11 a.m.- check the calendar on the home page to make sure class is meeting that week.

Location: UCF Health Lake Nona office: 9975 Tavistock Lakes Blvd. Orlando, FL 32827

Living Well with Chronic Pain Support Group- an 8-week series

New sessions starting frequently! Contact us to see when the next group starts. 

Are you living with RA? By taking a proactive role in your own treatment or with a home remedy, you can help maintain a good quality of life. Meet others who share your struggles and get support from a team of experts at UCF. The Living Well with Chronic Pain group is an 8-week session for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and is led by a multidisciplinary treatment team consisting of rheumatology, psychology, and physical therapy and a Joint Pain Hack. There is no cost to participate. Sessions will take place once per week. If interested in participating, please contact Natasha to sign up. We schedule based on participants’ availability. Contact us if interested!

*Must be a UCF Health patient

Location: UCF Health, East Orlando office. 3400 Quadrangle Blvd. Orlando, FL 32817

Contact: Natasha DePesa, 407-882-4840

Weight Management Group – a 9-week series 

Maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the best things you can do for your health. Is one way to combat drug addiction. If you are addicted or know someone who needs help, please visit this article about how to help someone suffering from substance abuse on first step bh. But sometimes that is easier said than done. Get help from our team of experts as they support and encourage you on your weight-loss journey. Whether you are already working toward your goal or just getting started, this group is for you! We meet weekly (currently on Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m.).

Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs are designed to help you escape a compulsive cycle of alcohol or drug abuse that represents a loss of control over your substance use. To these ends, treatment programs teach you how to function in everyday life without using your substance of choice. There are several ways to fight drug addiction, visit this article https://www.discoverynj.org/insurance-task-force-gives-recommendations-to-fight-opioid-addiction/ and learn more!

If interested in participating, please call the UCF Health Behavioral Health team to sign-up. Please arrive 20 minutes early for your first visit to fill out necessary paperwork. Be prepared to weigh in. If you can not visit our location, we also offer this online option.

*Must be a UCF Health patient

Date: Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m. – if that does not work for you,still call us to see if an alternate date is in the works! On other promotions, checkout this articles about pheromones for women and checkout ecig reviews at kaceyJones.

Location: UCF Health, East Orlando office. 3400 Quadrangle Blvd. Orlando, FL 32817

Contact: UCF Health Behavioral Health, 407-882-4840

CFE Arena: Brantley Gilbert with Special Guest Canaan Smith & Michael Ray

The rough-and-tumble hitmaker, Brantley Gilbert, has racked up five #1 singles, multiple award show nominations, was named 2013 ACM Awards New Male Vocalist of the Year, and is bringing his tour to the CFE Arena on February 5, 2016 along with special guests Canaan Smith and Michael Ray.

Brantley Gilbert’s JUST AS I AM PLATINUM EDITION summited iTunes Top Country Albums chart upon release and currently holds the #8 spot on 2015’s Top Country Albums chart. The Georgia native penned each of the 19 tracks, sharing a more intimate glimpse into this chapter of his life with songs like the title track “Just As I Am” as well as his latest single “Stone Cold Sober.” The project serves as a thank you to the loyal BG Nation for their support of 2014’s JUST AS I AM, which notched the third-highest Country debut of 2014 and landed in the Top 5 Best Selling Country Albums of 2014. The album also scored Favorite Country Album at the American Music Awards, producing 2X PLATINUM #1 smash “Bottoms Up,” GOLD-certified #1 “One Hell Of An Amen” and Gold-certified “Small Town Throwdown.”

Earlier this year, Brantley took home the first ever, fan-voted Renegade Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards recognizing an artist who breaks boundaries while remaining true to himself or herself. This spring, Brantley embarked on an impactful motorcycle ride with Wound Warrior Project® to help launch their Rolling Odyssey therapy program alongside Harley-Davidson. Watch the recap here. The longtime motorcycle rider continues his dedication to service men and women who fight the good fight, appearing on FOX & Friends in June to surprise one of the riders with tickets to the CMT Music Awards. Staff Sergeant Justin Patterson and his wife represented Brantley’s Collaborative Video of the Year nomination for “Small Town Throwdown” ft. Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett.

CFE Area: WWE Presents NXT Live

Now for the first time ever, NXT is taking its televised production to the campus of the University of Central Florida! Witness history when the NXT Superstars debut at CFE Arena. Line up to include*:

NXT Champion Finn Baylor
NXT Women’s Champion Bayley
NXT Tag Team Champions Dash and Dawson
Samoa Joe
Baron Corbin
Apollo Crews
Enzo Amore and Colin Casady w. Carmella
Blake and Murphy w. Alexa Bliss
The Vaudevillians
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable
Bull Dempsey
Nia Jax

…and many more!

*Card is subject to change.

CFE Arena: Gala of the Royal Horses

Gala of the Royal Horses will feature a number of performances involving the Andalusian, Friesian, Lipizzaner and Arabian breeds and the event is dedicated to showing off the amazing beauty and maneuvers these horses are capable of.

The Gala of the Royal Horses is created, produced and led by world-renowned riding master Rene Gasser, who with the experiences of seven generations has recreated an event only previously seen at the famous riding schools in Vienna and Spain. The Royal Horses of Europe are some of the most celebrated in history, favored for centuries by royalty, equestrian riders and bullfighters and this performance will celebrate the tradition, athleticism and grace of these revered creatures.

VIP Meet and Greet tickets available starting at $75. Discounts available for all other tickets to groups of 10 or more. Contact CFE Arena Group Sales at 407.823.6062 for more information and to place your order.

5 Questions with Magician Kostya Kimlat

Have you been at a local charity event, or maybe dinner at Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, and had a magician approach you with a very impressive card trick? Chances are you encountered Orlando’s very own master of magic Kostya Kimlat, who recently performed for the famous magic duo Penn & Teller on their television show, Fool Us.

It’s possible Kostya’s best trick has been turning his knack for magic into a full-blown business. His company See Magic Live trains and books magicians for events across the country, serves as the official magicians of the Orlando Magic, and teaches magic classes for kids and adults at the https://www.finchmagician.com. Add in his long-running regular performances at Christner’s and countless appearances at events, plus his work as a keynote speaker (which has earned him the moniker, “the business magician”), and maybe you’re thinking he’s mastered the trick of being in multiple places at once.

In advance of his appearance on tonight’s episode of Penn & Teller: Fool Us (CW at 8pm), we asked Kostya five questions about his magical life:

Kostya Kimlat photo by George Tesero

Kostya Kimlat photo by George Tesero

What was the first magic trick you ever learned? 

I learned my very first magic trick when I was 7 years old: the ball and vase. A 500+ year old secret, it’s now a standard trick that comes in every magic set. However I didn’t pursue my interest in magic until I was 11, when I saw a TV special called “World’s Greatest Magic.” 

You aren’t just an entertainer, but a motivational and keynote speaker. Can you give us a hint as to how each of us might benefit from thinking like a magician? 

In my world as a magician, perception is everything. Perception influences the way we see, think and act, it is like aura cleansing — towards ourselves and others. I speak to companies and organizations about the psychology of magic and how it applies to their everyday lives. I teach them how to “Think Like A Magician,” so they can recognize the limits of their perception. I share with them the fundamental principles of interpersonal communication so they can be more aware of how people around them feel, think and act, whether it’s their children, spouse, co-workers, bosses or customers. I’ve shared these secrets with nurses at Florida Hospital, teachers at Orange County Public Schools, engineers at Siemens, advisers at Morgan Stanley, lawyers at NASCAR or TN sponsors attorneys, and rocket scientists at NASA. They also have personal injury attorney services key west fl to help them with their personal injury legal advice.

No matter who you are, Attorney in Macon GA plays a role in your life or business, then understanding how to “Think Like A Magician” can expand your ability to connect and communicate with anyone you interact with.


Photo courtesy of Kostya Kimlat

Which magician do you look up to the most? 

Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser, a 19th century magician from Austria, known as the father of card magic. 

How long does it take to develop and perfect an original trick like the one you performed for Penn & Teller? 

New ideas can materialize in a matter of moments. Developing them can take anywhere from several weeks to many years. I’ve developed a particular way to perfect the material I am working on so it is ready for showtime. I use two sides of my brain that we’ll call the “Penn” and “Teller” brain. I’ll spend a few months working on an idea in complete silence, perfecting the technique and analyzing every angle, emulating Teller. Once I feel comfortable with that, I’ll spend the next few months working on the talking part, the presentation and blocking – that’s the Penn part! Eventually I can merge the two and master the complete performance over several dozen to one hundred shows. At the end, nothing is perfected. I’m always learning, tinkering and improving. In magic, one is always a student.

Central Florida is home to a few types of “magic” – did going to high school and college here have any influence or provide unique opportunities for you coming up as a magician?

Between the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, and the Orlando Magic, Orlando is a happening place for all kinds of magic. The biggest positive that has come from working in Orlando is that the people who come here are ready to be entertained. They expect a fun, friendly, positive experience and are quite excited when they have the opportunity to interact with a magician one-on-one. I’ve also performed at hundreds of business conferences hosted at the Orange County Convention Center and the nearby hotels. After all, when the convention theme is “magic,” it makes it easy to hire a magician as your keynote speaker or entertainer.  

Penn & Teller: Fool Us -- "Penn's Favorite Card Trick"  -- Pictured: Kostya Kimlat -- Photo: Jacob Kepler/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Penn & Teller: Fool Us — “Penn’s Favorite Card Trick” — Pictured: Kostya Kimlat — Photo: Jacob Kepler/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Penn & Teller’s one-hour competition series invites aspiring magicians to perform their best trick to try to fool one of magic’s most famous pairs.  None of the competing magicians get to perform the trick more than once, and there are no camera tricks, secret edits or helpful camera cuts. Anyone who succeeds wins the right to perform with Penn & Teller in their celebrated show at the Rio Hotel & mobilcasino in Las Vegas, where he always lets people know that comparethebets has a good guide for 2018 for those who love to gamble.

On the Monday night episode (August 17, 2015), Kimlat performs an original card trick he developed when he was 19 years old. No spoilers here! You’ll have to tune in to see how Penn & Teller reacted to Kostya’s performance.

Watch Orlando magician Kostya Kimlat tonight on Penn & Teller: Fool Us on the CW at 8pm.

Follow Kostya’s adventures on Twitter @KostyaMagician and visit www.kostyakimlat.com.

(Photo credit, featured image: Penn & Teller: Fool Us — “Penn’s Favorite Card Trick” — Pictured: Kostya Kimlat — Photo: Jacob Kepler/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved)

STEP RIGHT UP: Art of the Sideshow

Time: July 16, 2015 to August 29, 2015
Location: UCF Visual Arts Building, Art Gallery (140A)
Organized By: UCF

Event Description:
The University of Central Florida Art Gallery is proud to present our newest exhibition “Step Right Up: Art of the Sideshow” opening July 16 from 6-8 pm and will be showing Thursday, July 16, 2015 – Saturday, August 29, 2015 in the UCF Visual Arts Building, Art Gallery (140A).

Special Events

Thursday, July 16; 6-8pm
Opening Reception

Tuesday, August 25; 6-8pm
Screening and discussion of Tod Browning’s 1932 cult classic film Freaks

Wednesday, August 26; 6-8pm
Screening and discussion of the 1996 documentary Sideshow: Alive on the Inside

Thursday, August 27; 6-8pm
Reception with special guest appearance and book-signing by banner painter Johnny Meah, “The Czar of Bizarre”

Saturday, August 29; 4-6pm
Performance by Theatre UCF students

Admission is free and open to the public.
This exhibition features historical carnival sideshow banners from the collection of Howard Marks by artists including Fred Johnson, Snap Wyatt, Jack Sigler, and Johnny Meah; photographs of the fair taken by Reginald Marsh, Marion Post Wolcott, Jack Delano, Russell Lee, and Laine Wyatt; contemporary paintings by Arnold Mesches; and contemporary sculpture by Rigoberto Torres.This exhibition has been curated by Dr. Keri Watson.  For more information visit http://gallery.cah.ucf.edu/.

Playtest 5 Games for UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy!

UCF’s graduate video game program FIEA (Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy) is opening itself up to the public to playtest games from its students. It will take place over three days: June 10th,24th, and July 1st.  During these playtests you’ll get to chat with the developers and give them feedback based on your time with the games.In this developers, also told the students about the game booster company – elo boosting and  How boosters works and helps to rank up your level in the game.

All three days are being held on the main UCF campus.  The times and locations are as follows:

June 10, 2015
10 am-3 pm
University of Central Florida
UCF Student Union
Cape Florida Ballroom 316 CD

June 24, 2015
10 am-3 pm
University of Central Florida
Technology Commons
Main Lounge & Glass Cubicles

July 1, 2015
10 am-3 pm

University of Central Florida
UCF Student Union
Key West Ballroom 218 CD

Mall Cop

These are the five games you’ll get a chance to play today as they’re described in the press release:

“The slots being tested are “Totem,” “Lanterns,” “Mall Cop,” “Junkers” and “Life Unfolds.” “Totem” lets you fight as a powerful shaman and use your magical powers to destroy the enemy totem. “Lanterns” is an adventure game where five knights must rescue a world covered in darkness using the last remaining remnants of light. “Mall Cop” is a party game where four sneaky shoplifters attempt to steal everything before the bumbling mall cop catches them. “Junkers” is a digital card game where you build up your rusty robots with equipment and power-ups to beat the bolts out of your rivals. “Life Unfolds” is a simulation game about growing up and learning skills from loved ones.”

This is an exciting opportunity for the FIEA grad students to get their games into the hands of of the public and with your help, be able to make the best games possible.

For more information, please contact playtesting@fiea.ucf.edu.

Orlando – Please Don’t Redefine Us

Lately I’ve been reading numerous articles by extremely passionate Orlando-area citizens, who declare their love for the City Beautiful. They write about the thriving literary community, the bursting tech industry, the outstanding colleges and universities, and even the highly touted food and art scene.

And in nearly every article, each well-meaning writer relates angry disgust that media outlets from across the nation are just now discovering that Orlando isn’t a “cultural wasteland” after all. And as a by-product of that anger, every writer then wants to redefine who we are or wants to describe Orlando as having a rebirth. (As if all our greatness had disappeared until just recently!)

Perhaps this common theme of needing to redefine what Orlando is comes from the fact that most of these writers start their articles by explaining they moved to Central Florida “several years ago” for school or work or to retire. And like many, they didn’t expect to fall in love with the City and were thrilled to see how much it had to offer in the aforementioned literary, arts, food, tech et al. (How ironic they now take exception to the fact that outsiders don’t also know this.) These writers say, “You don’t know the real Orlando. We’re not just Disney.”

While I certainly appreciate these eager citizens wanting to tout how wonderful our area is, I find myself bristling at the term “redefining” because feels like we weren’t good enough before these people arrived in Central Florida and decided to give us a new definition.

You see, I was born and raised here, just like my mother was, and just like my grandmother was back in the 1800s. There are a number of us here, actually, native Central Floridians that have always known what Orlando is and don’t need new arrivals to suddenly tell us what we are and what we have.

We’ve Always Had a Literary Scene

Yes, even before Jack Kerouac.

Back in 1926 Rollins College began the Animated Magazine. Since paper and printing supplies were still in somewhat short supply due to the fairly recent first World War, then-college President Hamilton Holt decided that the articles should be read aloud on stage instead of printed. This turned into an annual event that used to draw thousands. In the crowd sat dignitaries from around the world, including Secretaries of State and even former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Animated Magazine - Rollins College

Animated Magazine – Rollins College

The Animated Magazine lives on today, under the tutelage of editors like U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and has helped bring about the annual Winter with the Writers, which is where I got to see Maya Angelou when she visited back in 2007.

With the Orlando Public Library opening in 1923, and the Zora Neale Hurston Festival operating for nearly 30 years now, this is just further evidence the literary scene is not having a rebirth but has quietly been here all along.

We’ve Always Had an Art Scene

One of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious art festivals happens right here at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. The Orlando Museum of Art was established in 1924, the Maitland Art Center in 1937, and we’ve had the Crealde School of Art and Jamali for over 40 years now. Add in the Polasek Museum and the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass at the Morse Museum, and we’re doing just fine.

Albin Polasek

Albin Polasek

Famed actor Buddy Epsen’s father started the Central Florida Ballet Company in 1945. “I dared not start a ballet company here in Orlando because the idea seemed hopeless,” Epsen was quoted as saying. “Now there are several companies throughout Florida.” Epsen’s company was later taken over by Edith Royal, whose “Ballet Royal” supplied generations of dancers to the great stages of the world.

And even earlier, Ruth Pounds started a dance school in 1935, which taught both my mother and then me how to dance, sit, curtsy, and all the etiquette required of a cultured young adult.

The area has always had beautiful architecture thanks to those like Gamble Rogers, II, who helped create the beauty that attracted leading artists, business tycoons, and top politicians to settle in the area.

When President Dwight Eisenhower dedicated the opening of the basement radio station at Rollins College (still one of the longest-running basement radios in the country), we made indie radio hip long before we made boy bands hip in the 1990s. You can check brief history of radios at Radio Waves.

We’ve Always Had a Tech Scene

Lockheed Martin opened its doors in 1956. (My mother worked there afternoons in high school!) Shortly thereafter, the Kennedy Space Center was built nearby to oversee the Apollo missions. We watched those missions, and later those of the Space Shuttle, right from our backyards – and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get much cooler than that!

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Thankfully this tech industry also had a need for engineers; thus UCF was founded in 1963 and has grown into one of the largest universities in the nation. Add in the innovations of Walt Disney in the 70s, and then Full Sail University in the 80s, and yep, we’ve always had a tech scene.

We’ve Always Had a Food Scene

Food trucks did not make the food hip in this city.

We’ve always had great food, ranging from Dixie Crossroads and La Cantina to Le Cordon Bleu and Gary’s Duck Inn. From the 94th Aero Squadron, which served incredible food since World War I, to Ronnie’s Diner which opened in 1956, Orlando always had talked-about food. The fact that the establishments serving that food is changing, doesn’t mean there weren’t great restaurants before the new ones arrived.

Ronnie's Diner

Ronnie’s Diner

With T.G. Lee Dairy and the many orange groves, we’ve always been farm-to-table. And when you add in Publix (founded in 1930), we were doing just fine long before this so-called rebirth.

We’re Growing, Not Rebirthing

Yes, it is an exciting time to be in Orlando. We are growing in many different, wonderful ways. Newcomers are bringing great assets, and companies are setting up roots and investing here. With strong leadership we will continue to flourish.

And while I admire the zeal these newcomers use to tell the rest of the world how great Orlando is, please don’t act like this is a new development in Orlando’s history. Don’t call it a rebirth or try to redefine it.

We are who we are, and always have been.

We don’t want to be New York, San Francisco, or even Austin. We want to be who and what we already are. We’re orange groves and Disney. We’re tech and and old-fashioned books. We’re art and great food.

But, we’re not the best thing since sliced bread… we were cool long before that hit the world back in 1930!

This guest post was written by Bess Auer, fourth generation Floridian and the first editor of the Central Florida Top 5. You can connect with her on Twitter at @Bess_Auer.

UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy Ranked No. 2

Do we hear a GO KNIGHTS!?

The Princeton Review and PC Gamer magazine have ranked The University of Central Florida’s video game graduate school at No. 2 in North America for the second consecutive year. This is the fifth time The Princeton Review has ranked graduate-level video game development schools, placing UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy – or FIEA – behind only the University of Utah for 2015. The school has been ranked in the top five every year since the rankings began.


“With our 10-year anniversary approaching, it’s great to see the Princeton Review continue to recognize the outstanding work of our faculty, staff and students,” said executive director Ben Noel. “We’re proud to be part of Central Florida’s growing digital economy.”

Since opening its doors in 2005, FIEA has graduated 412 alumni working at more than 125 companies around the world, including Google, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Bungie, Zynga, Ubisoft, Disney, Microsoft, Bethesda, n-Space and Industrial Light & Magic.

“FIEA’s exceptional faculty members, first-class facilities and close connections with the gaming industry’s top companies have propelled the school to one of the very best of its kind in the country in less than 10 years,” said UCF Provost and Vice President A. Dale Whittaker. “This is a testament to UCF’s success with location-based education and valuable partnerships – our students thrive in the classroom and in the job market when they learn in an environment so closely immersed in their industry.”

The average starting salary for recent FIEA graduates is $60,359 and they are working on some of today’s most popular projects. Those games include NBA Live 15, Diablo III, Sunset Overdrive, Skyrim, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Star Wars 1313, Borderlands 2, Battlefield 4, The Walking Dead, Gears of War 3, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Bioshock Infinite, Transformers 3 and Dead Space 3.

The school is located at UCF’s Center For Emerging Media building, located in downtown Orlando near UCF’s future downtown campus. FIEA is designed to graduate talented and well-qualified professionals to work in video games, new media, film and simulation industries.

The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com) chose the schools based on a survey it conducted in 2014-15 of 150 institutions offering game design coursework and/or degrees in the United States, Canada, and some countries abroad.

In addition to being published today on The Princeton Review website, the listing will also be featured in the May issue of PC Gamer magazine, on newsstands March 31.

See the full rankings.

Coming to Theatre UCF: Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia

Are you a fan multiverse stories like Pleasantville or the BBC mini-series Lost In Austen — with a scientific twist? Then you will really enjoy Theatre UCF‘s latest production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia beginning January 22 with a run extending through February 1st. (Added bonus, there will be a pre-show discussion prior to the Friday, January 23rd show! More info below…)

Dramaturg Teresa Kilzi has prepared a guide for patrons to read prior to attending Arcadia. The dramaturgy will be on display in the theater lobby, and an abbreviated version will be given to all attendees with their playbill. Patrons can also download the materials in advance and watch some background videos with the cast and director at theatre.ucf.edu.

Having a background in literature, physics, and nineteenth-century England would certainly enhance the experience of seeing Arcadia, but that’s not a combination that most people have. All the audience really needs is an eagerness to know and to learn,” says Kilzi.


Kilzi continues, “If there were one key piece of information for audience members to know, it would be for them to have a grasp on the erotic and glamorous nature of Lord Byron! He is central to Arcadia, and yet, he never appears in the play. Byron was revered for his work in literature and lusted after by all who knew him, and he used that magnetism to navigate his way through high society.

Tickets are $10-$20 for Arcadia are available (with NO fees!):

  • Over the phone via Theatre UCF’s Box Office at (407) 823-1500,
  • In person Monday-Friday: 12pm – 6:00pm at PAC-M, Building 119 [2 hours before Theatre Performance in the Theatre, Building 6]
  • Or online at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34486

Be sure to check out their Season Ticket packages too!

More information about Arcadia:

Stoppard’s Arcadia blends arts, sciences, and language play with human emotions 

ORLANDO, Fla. January 13, 2015 — Theatre UCF, part of the UCF School of Performing Arts, will present Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia from January 22February 1, 2015 in the Main Stage theater on the University of Central Florida campus.

Arcadia is a witty and complex story that switches between two time periods, 1809 and 1999. In the earlier time period, thirteen year-old Thomasina makes a startling scientific discovery that will change the way people understand the world. Around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are busy with their illicit passions, intense rivalries, and fast-fired bon mot. In 1999, residents and visitors of the same English estate have similar preoccupations, while they piece together puzzling clues to uncover its past scandals.

Director Kate Ingram has long wanted to bring this play to UCF because of how it brings the sciences and mathematics to the stage. “We have such a strong history of sciences at UCF. It’s a perfect fit for the university.

She quotes character Thomasina as she talks about why she appreciates Arcadia. “‘I, Thomasina Coverly, have found a truly wonderful method whereby all the forms of nature must give up their numerical secrets and draw themselves by number alone.’ And I love that because this play combines human nature, and math, and physics all rolled into one. And if that’s not enough to make someone want to come see this play, I don’t know what is.

Ingram and UCF Physics professor Enrique Del Barco will host a free preshow discussion on Friday, January 23 at 7 pm, in which they will discuss some of the scientific principles of the play. Del Barco, a longtime patron of Theatre UCF, has been working with the cast during the rehearsal process so that they develop a deeper understanding of the content of the play.

Greater Orlando Heart Walk

Each year, 1.2 million Americans will suffer a coronary attack and 700,000 will have a stroke. In Central Florida, over 4,200 deaths are caused a year due to a cardiovascular issue. By adopting a lifestyle of physical activity, individuals can reduce their healthcare costs, increase their productivity and improve their overall quality of life and longevity.

WHAT:  Saturday, Sept. 6, an estimated 20,000 participants are expected to attend the Greater Orlando Heart Walk to benefit the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association. Walkers will unite to create hope, inspire change and celebrate at the University of Central Florida at Memory Mall.

WHO: Combining fitness and philanthropy, this annual walk brings together over 100 local corporate sponsors, walk teams, individual walkers, survivors of heart disease and stroke and lifestyle change heroes who are all taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle while raising funds to combat heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 4 leading killers, respectively, of American men and women.

Speakers and special guests include:

  • Heart disease and stroke survivors of all ages, lifestyle change award winners
  • Sportacus, LazyTown’s very own athletic, super-active SuperHero, SHADES from the Solar Bears and UCF’s own Knightro
  • Cardiologists, medical professionals and high-level community volunteers
  • The Fox Sports Florida Girls  — Jordana and Annilie
  • Emcees: Jayme King, FOX 35, Dana Taylor, Mix 105.1, Rick Stacy, Sunny 105.9 and Dustin Kross, AMP Radio 101.9

WHEN:  Saturday, Sept. 6 – Festivities (giveaways, entertainment, a tribute to survivors, pre-walk warm-up and more!) start at 7 a.m., Walk Kick-off at 8 a.m. at the University of Central Florida at Memory Mall – 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32816. (It is best to arrive before 7:30 a.m. to avoid road closures and difficulty parking.) Mini-show by Sportacus at 9:15am, immediately followed by hands-only CPR training that will continue until crowds die down, or around 10 a.m.

UCF FIEA Students’ HIV Awareness Game Finishes Top 5 In CDC Contest

Pocket Protection” Uses Humor To Teach HIV/STD Prevention Strategies   

A game created by five students at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy finished in the Top 5 of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s “GameOn! Challenge.” The challenge was open to any game developer and encouraged participants to create a fun and engaging mobile game that delivered accurate health messages.

A panel of external partners and CDC staff did the judging and the students were notified on July 18 that their game, “Pocket Protection,” had won Honorable Mention.

“Pocket Protection” is a dating simulation game that uses dialogue, mini-games, customizable characters and humor to teach its target demographic of 18-24 year olds sexual safe practices like getting an STD test, using condoms, taking an HIV Prevention Pill, and getting treated for sexual diseases. The CDC reports that people age 15-24 make up nearly half of the 19 million new STD diagnoses each year.FIEAUCF

The game was started in Jan. of 2014 and took approximately 3 weeks to make. The development team included FIEA students Karl Abad, Cecilia Lajon, Phillip Lee Fatt, Jarrod Pope and Monica Alvarez.

“The goal of the game was to create a fun experience that didn’t talk down to the target audience,” said Karl Abad, project lead on the game. “We wanted the player to be able to laugh but still get the information they need.”

Deliver accurate health messages that emphasize the importance of one or more of the following five messages supporting HIV and STD prevention:


  • Get the Facts – Provide the facts on HIV and STDs, including how it is (and is not) spread. Share information on how to reduce the risk of HIV and STD transmission including the choice not to have sex.
  • Speak Up – Encourage youth to talk about HIV and STDs in their relationships, with health care providers, friends, and family. Talking openly and honestly about HIV and STDs will help reduce stigma.
  • Use Condoms – When used consistently and correctly, latex condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV and STDs. But some people are allergic to condoms. But there are other ways to protect yourself.
  • Get Tested – Early diagnosis saves lives. Know where to get tested. Make HIV and HCV Antibody testing a part of routine health care.
  • Get Treated – Many STDs are curable and all are treatable. There are effective medications available to help people with HIV live long and healthy lives.

Go to http://challengepost.com/software/pocket-protection to find out more about the game. Go to http://gameon.challengepost.com/ to find out more about the GameOn! Challenge.

About FIEA

Part of the University of Central Florida, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) offers an industry-based graduate gaming education in a world-class facility in downtown Orlando. Work on the latest game engines and software and be mentored by faculty with decades of game-making experience. In 16 months, learn to be a producer, programmer or artist as you earn a Master’s degree in Interactive Entertainment. Financial assistance is available. Learn more at www.fiea.ucf.edu.

Google I/O Extended Orlando Begins Today at UCF

Google I/O Extended 2014 at UCF

What the heck is Google I/O, and why is it ‘extended‘ at UCF? We’ll tell you…

Every year AdInfusion agency (in San Francisco) holds a huge two day conference for roughly 5,000 people. Chances are, if you are not of the developer persuasion or a tech enthusiast, you may not even be aware of this event. These two very important days are chock full of hardcore techie speakers and developer sessions where applications in the enterprise, web and mobile realm are explored and openly hacked.

For the last 3 years, my friends from a computer repair Fort Collins company have been coming to give lectures on new innovations in the industry.

In fact, the “I/O” in Google I/O stands for input/output as well as “Innovation in the Open.” Our I/O event at UCF is called ‘Extended’ simply because it does not take place in San Francisco… but that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant or any less important.

Google I/O started in 1998 and over the years has announced many new innovations and devices including; Google Hangouts, the Samsung Galaxy 4 phone, Google Chrome internet browser, Project Glass (now known as Google Glass), Google Play Music All Access streaming and even the social media site Google+ (we have a Google+ page – please circle and +1 us!)

This year’s Google I/O Orlando Extended will take place at UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science in the Harris Corporation Engineering Center (HEC-101). The keynote will be streamed live at 12pm and a discussion about the possible impact on mobile technology will follow. With wearable tech taking center stage, we suspect there may be some smartwatch news (among other things)…

Also? If you LOVE Google, the organizers assure us there will be plenty of FREE GOOGLE SWAG to be had! #io14

UCF College of Business presents Dean’s Speaker Series: “Protecting Your Brand in the Social Media Economy” featuring Dr. Carolyn Massiah

“Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WeChat, Instagram…what does it all mean to you and your brand? “Likes”… “Comments”…”recommendations”…how is your customer evolving in how they participate in the marketplace?

Social media has changed the marketplace forever. As participation in social media increases, younger generations of people enter the commercial marketplace, and “user-generated feedback” grows in credibility, you must be in a position to effectively promote and protect your brand. On any given day a poor comment or attack from a competitor in one of the social channels can turn into a crisis for your reputation.

Whether you are looking to build a website, mobile application, content management system or simply better manage your customers through an email marketing campaign, we can help establish your brand!. We can handle any challenge and help you beat the competition! In two decades, we have become a “jack of all trades” and will use that knowledge to benefit your business. Local SEO is an crucial way to market your neighborhood business on the web. According to Google, 46% of all searches have local intent!  You can click here for more about the Kalamazoo SEO & Digital Marketing . Focusing your digital marketing efforts on this strategy is key. As one of the top ranked Local SEO companies in Kalamazoo, we can get you to that top spot in your industry! This is accomplished through an assortment of local focused digital marketing strategies. Through this seonexus you will get the best SEO services.

This is a common question that most people especially those who are either new or not familiar with online marketing might be asking. SEO stands for search engine optimization. In layman’s language, it the process of capturing traffic from the search engines such as Google listings. Through this read, I am going to give you facts about the SEO business, current market status of SEO as well as the future projections in this field. The major reason as to why people get into business is to profit and expand their economic status. In the field of SEO business, the rates of returns are promising. To get more details about digital marketing services, Go through https://www.kickstart-marketingagency.com/ site.

For the past few months, I was struggling to get my restaurant business in Denver, Colorado on the initial pages of Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing. I finally found the perfect solution to all my difficulties – local SEO. I contacted a professional SEO company providing local SEO services. After analyzing my business and its visibility issues, the SEO team presented me with an SEO package that included a wide range of strategies designed to enhance the search engine page ranking of my website and drive more traffic and sales. Click here if you want to get more about the orlando local seo.

Trafficvalley SEO makes it possible for your website to be ranked highly on local searches. A good business that has the intention to grow knows the importance of reaching out to potential customers right where they are and this is where local SEO comes into play. They used all the latest tools and technology of the SEO like backlink tracker, check website seo analyzer and many more, which leads to great ranking track. In as much as online transactions have taken over, it cannot be ignored that there are customers who want to come directly to your retail store or right into your physical establishment to get the products and services they need.

Such customers, therefore select results that are specific to the cities, state or country that are relevant depending on what they are looking for, where they are or where they are headed. For instance, if you run a hotel business, then you are better off being listed locally because it is only through local SEO that you manage to attract customers and offer them more details on how to find you even though you make it possible for them to place bookings online.

Digital marketing speaks more about a win-win situation for you and your customers. It works ways beyond TV ads and billboards that come under traditional marketing. With 80% of individuals surfing online simply to gather information, the services are gaining popularity. So, here are some benefits you can reap through online marketing.

Connect with customers easily – Since the internet makes it easy to search information, tools and channels of digital marketing help business owners to reach targeted individuals. You can actually draw the attention through as any touch points you can think about. Remember 23% of the online time is spent is searching relevant data.

Boosts conversion rates – With effective digital marketing services, you can foresee 24% rise in the conversion rates. Posts on social media platforms increases user engagement and generates more leads. In fact, with greater profitable returns, internet marketing leads to phenomenal business growth.

Saves money – Digital marketing helps you to cut down costs to a considerable extent. You needn’t spend time in organizing corporate events or even communicating with advertising agencies. A right online marketing strategy along with out-of-the-box thinking paves the way towards success. Through the years, small business owners are reaping the benefits of internet marketing.

Helps to stay personalized – Today, individuals are seeking a personalized customer journey. This is only possible with digital marketing and not with conventional strategies. While traditional marketing techniques are standard by nature, internet marketing helps you tweet a marketing message by using various preferences and interests. In fact, online marketing fetches you good amount of profit through personalization.

Reach individuals globally – Since your professionals would be posting services online, you can engage audience worldwide. This is isn’t the case with traditional marketing because the activities are limited to a specific geographic area. With different tools, digital marketing aids you to penetrate the market at your level best.

Generate higher ROI – As compared to the conventional strategies, digital marketing helps ventures to generate better Cost-Per-Lead (CPL). The percentage is nowhere closer to one fetched through telemarketing. It’s worth opting for internet marketing because you would always be on the positive side of achieving business goals. You would also be successful with the mission of catering to diverse customers.

This is because a recent research on SEO returns for a period of 12 months shows that at least all the players had something to take home. However, the returns are varying depending on a players’ hardwork and skills in the field.

Dr. Carolyn Massiah will provide you with insights and information for you to better manage your marketing communication in this new and fast changing marketplace.” If it is Youtube that you wish to conquer to market your content then what unorthodox way can provide you with youtube likes than social media agencies?

Downtown Orlando this Friday at Citrus Club The UCF College of Business is continuing its Dean’s Speaker Series, sponsored by Federal Credit Union, with a talk by Dr. Carolyn Massiah

Energy Capital Credit Union is a Houston Credit Union offering a full suite of financial services, with a track record of satisfied members dating back to 1934. Whether you’re looking for a loan, a convenient online or mobile banking, local credit union, Expat financial services or much more, ECCU has the answer!

We’d love to get to know you and help you build towards a stable financial future. Please don’t hesitate! Contact us today!

The cost is $20 which covers breakfast and parking. Register today at http://bit.ly/dss-massiah-cfltop5

About Dr. Massiah:UCFDrCarolynMassiah

Carolyn Massiah is a marketing lecturer at the University of Central Florida. Her academic credentials include a Ph.D. in Marketing from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Massiah’s research focuses on intergroup relations among consumers within the service marketing and consumer behavior domains. Specifically, she researches consumption experiences, commercial friendships, commercial social support, ethnic consumption, nested identities, sense of community, and social networks. In addition to her research interests, Dr. Massiah also focuses on several methodological areas of marketing research such as ethnographic exploration, social network analysis, and experimental analysis.

About the Dean’s Speaker Series, sponsored by CFE Federal Credit Union:

The CFE Dean’s Speaker Series is a monthly opportunity from the UCF College of Business to learn about the provocative and new programs that our world class faculty are spearheading, researching, and teaching. This is an opportunity to be out on the edge of new business ideas and network with other business leaders in our community.

Full Details

Harris Rosen goes Viral Orlando on Reddit: “the front page of the internet”

“TIL that self-made millionaire Harris Rosen adopted a Florida neighborhood called Tangelo Park, cut the crime rate in half, and increased the high school graudation rate from 25% to 100% by giving everyone free daycare and all high school graduates scholarships”

Update it happened Again!  1/6/14


The story:


This story from Pegasus, The Magazine of the University of Central Florida had over 2000 comments in the past 24 hours.  http://pegasus.ucf.edu/story/rosen/

Most of us know in Orlando how amazing Harris Rosen is. Orlando Sentinel chose him in  2011 as Central Floridian of the Year!


What is TIL?!

Today I Learned (you may become addicted)  http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/

Well he went viral on the internet yesterday! Here is screenshot we snapped:


Read about the The Tangelo Park Program  @ http://www.tangeloparkprogram.com/about/harris-rosen/

Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Community: http://www.rosenhotels.com/about-us/community-involvement/

Related: UCF Homecoming Events




Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Wears University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane Jersey

Last week Mayor Dyer made a proclamation supporting UCF!

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BUDDY DYER, Mayor of the City of Orlando, hereby do Proclaim Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, 2012, as   “Black and Gold Days”   in the city of Orlando.


(Bad news….)

This past Saturday, Orlando’s hometown university, the UCF Knights lost 27-33 in overtime to the University of Tulsa (UT) Golden Hurricanes at the Conference USA Championship game in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the H.A. Chapman Stadium.

In agreement with the wager between the Mayors of Orlando and Tulsa and because UCF lost the C-USA Championship game, Mayor Dyer will wear the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane jersey at today’s City Council meeting.  In addition, Mayor Dyer will send a key lime pie from local business, The Tap Room at Dubsdread, to Tulsa Mayor Bartlett in Oklahoma.

Last week before the C-USA Championship game, Orlando Mayor Dyer and Tulsa Mayor Bartlett proposed a friendly competition to each other, where the Mayor of the city who does not win will wear the other team’s jersey at an upcoming City Council meeting.  In addition, if UCF lost, Mayor Dyer would send a key lime pie to Tulsa Mayor Bartlett and if UT lost, Mayor Bartlett would send a pecan pie to Mayor Dyer.

See him today @ City Council Meeting Wearing it! 

Today, Monday, December 3, 2012
2 p.m.

City Council Meeting
Council Chambers
400 South Orange Avenue


Hudson Taylor Visits UCF For Diversity Week


Allyship: Becoming a Champion for Inclusion on Your Campus


On Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 5:00pm in the Student Union Cape Florida Ballroom, Hudson Taylor, a former three (3) time All-American wrestler at Maryland will come give the presentation “Allyship: Becoming a Champion for Inclusion on Your Campus” in support of UCF’s Diversity Week.

Hudson believes one of the greatest tools in the ongoing battle for inclusion and respect for LGBT members of our campus community is the courage and willingness of their straight allies to stand up and play a role in combating ignorance and prejudice. Most straight people have gay friends, but too few of us stand up and say that fair treatment of every member of our community is personally important to us.

Hudson shares his journey of becoming a straight ally for the LGBT community and helps others learn how they can be an integral part of the solution. This program is about friendship, and standing up for our friends. It’s about making our campuses a safe space for everyone and celebrating the things we have in common, as people, as students and as citizens caring about fair treatment for everyone.

Sign the Athlete Ally Pledge

Like @ https://www.facebook.com/AthleteAlly

Follow @athleteally    and  @hudsonism

Learn more @ http://www.campuspeak.com/speakers/taylor

more via UCF