Showing posts with label University of Central Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label University of Central Florida. Show all posts

Thursday, February 28, 2019

UCF police officer honored for responding to 100 crisis calls

UCF police officer honored for responding to 100 crisis calls: 'He's part counselor, part detective'

Orlando Sentinel
Michael Williams
February 28, 2019

In 2010, the University of Central Florida Police Department detained 30 people under the Baker Act, a state law that allows law enforcement to temporarily hold those who are deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Detective Luis Rivera (left) shakes hands with Chief Carl Metzger during the University of Central Florida Police Department Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. Rivera won CIT Officer of the Year, and Officer of the Year. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / Orlando Sentinel)

By 2017, that number was 118.

Whether that increase is due to the proliferation of social media or typical student stresses, campus police officers are routinely expected to juggle being a cop as well as a therapist. The stakes are high: in December, a 24-year-old student took his life on campus. During two other incidents in the past year, students faced charges after illegally possessing or modifying high-powered weapons.

In response to that demand, the department recently assigned Detective Luis Rivera to be UCFPD’s first “Persons of Concern” detective.

Rivera — who has handled more than 100 cases over the past year for students who have been suicidal, mentally ill or even homicidal — was honored as UCFPD’s Officer of the Year during an awards ceremony Wednesday. He was also named the Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year for the entire Central Florida region.

“He’s part counselor, part detective — in some cases he has prevented individuals from hurting themselves, and in some cases he’s prevented individuals from hurting other people right here at UCF,” Chief Carl Metzger said. “ … We’re going to take a sample of his blood and clone him, because we need about three Luises.”
Others honored at the ceremony include a group who went to the Florida Panhandle to assist with Hurricane Michael recovery efforts; an officer who developed a bond with a student who posted a picture holding a gun to his head on social media; and Officer Victoria Scott and Sgt. Anthony Chronister, who saved the life of a student who threatened to jump off a parking garage last year.
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

UCF Veterans Resource Fair

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida is helping people get back on their feet, including veterans! They helped a veteran and his family find a place of their own after becoming homeless. That homelessness happened after Marine was discharged for medical reasons after serving 4 years!

I have spent most of my life knowing what the DAV does. After all, my Dad was 100% disabled Korean War veteran and they helped him with his claim. Then they helped my husband. 

If you have questions or need some answers...or someone to fight for you for a change, contact them! DAV Chapter 16 in Orlando~

Orlando Vet Center has everything you need to let the healing begin!
Address5575 S Semoran Blvd # 30, Orlando, FL 32822

The Vet Centers have been able to get veterans understand that they are not taking another veteran's place, but help them understand that they matter just as much. Heck, they helped me back in the 90's in Massachusetts when I was trying to get my husband understand that he paid for his care the day he signed the blank check to Uncle Sam.
VITAS Healthcare
"You fought a war for us. 
Is your health still a battle?"
No one washes their hands of veterans who choose hospice services from VITAS. It does not matter if you need to be in a facility or, choose to stay home, they will help you when you need it, but also help your caregivers when they need it. They know what you are dealing with and everything that came from your service. It does not matter which war, illness or even if it is from being on a contaminated military base, like Camp Lejeune. If you want to find out more about all the fabulous services they offer, call 407-921-2695

The UCF Veterans History Project is also near and dear to my heart! Since I grew up surrounded by two generations of combat veterans, I am ashamed to admit, I stopped listening to their stories...then I stopped remembering them. This is about documenting the services of veterans so that we never forget those who paid the price for the freedoms we have.

Orlando Veterans Court has a mission to help veterans heal instead of seeing them locked up! It is not a get out of jail free pass, but they set veterans up with the resources they need to begin to heal their lives!

UCF Cares About You
Phone 407-823-5607
Location Ferrell Commons, Room 142
UCF Cares is an umbrella of care-related programs and resources dedicated to fostering a caring community of Knights. However, it takes all of us from students to staff, from faculty to friends, to show that we care about one another. The goal of the UCF CARES initiative is to build a culture of care one KNIGHT at a time. We are all UCF and need to do our part in connecting any fellow knights in distress to appropriate resources.

 UCF Restores
Among other awesome things UCF Restores is doing, they are conducting research on smelling~ Yep! You know how when you smell something, it can bring back memories of growing up. I sure do, because it is chocolate chip cookies out of the oven and right away I remember my Aunt's cookies. I get all warm and filled with great memories. 

Those smells can also be a trigger for something bad that happened to you. When you survived "it" every part of "you" was involved. That is why sounds and smells can bring things back you do not want to relive. They are trying to understand the association and how it can be treated.

Awesome right? For older veterans it is the smell of diesel. You know what that does.

Anyway, they are looking for males from 18 and up who are OEF OIF veterans. They want you to call 407-823-3910. 

If you are still wondering how to #TakeBackYourLife, then contact all those great groups and START DOING IT!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Rosengren Trauma Clinic at UCF RESTORES has opened

UCF RESTORES opens PTSD clinic in Brevard County
Orlando Sentinel
Naseem S. Miller
September 5, 2018
Since its launch, RESTORES trauma clinic has treated more than 450 veterans and active-duty personnel, victims of military and civilian sexual trauma, first responders from 20 states and survivors of mass shootings, including Pulse nightclub, according to a news release.
UCF RESTORES PTSD Clinic unveils new name and plaque on Sept. 7, 2018. Center director Deborah Beidel (left) and Jim and Julia Rosengren.
UCF Foundation / Courtesy photo

The Rosengren Trauma Clinic at UCF RESTORES has opened a new clinic at UCF’s regional campus in Cocoa.

This marks RESTORES’ second trauma clinic since it was established on UCF’s main campus in 2011 to treat veterans with PTSD.

“Brevard County has the fourth-largest veteran population in the state of Florida. We’ve had patients from Brevard travel to us in Orlando for treatment, but we know that’s not possible for everyone,” said Deborah Beidel, founder and director of UCF RESTORES and a Pegasus Professor of psychology, in a news release.

Beidel estimated that the new center could treat up to 100 patients in its first year. All treatments are free.
read more here

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

UCF Community in shock after Steven Sotloff beheaded

Purported killing of journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS shocks UCF community
Orlando Sentinel
By Gal Tziperman Lotan
September 2, 2014

A video purporting to show the killing of journalist and former UCF student Steven Sotloff by militants was released today, sparking outrage and calls for more action against his killers.

The White House is working to determine the authenticity of the video, which shows an Islamic State militant beheading a man he identifies as Sotloff, 31, and threatening British hostage David Haines, according to the SITE Intelligence Group monitoring service.

"I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State," the man said, according to SITE. "So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."

If the video is legitimate, Sotloff would be the second American journalist killed by the Islamic State militant group known as ISIS in two weeks. Reporter James Foley was beheaded in a video released Aug. 19.

Sotloff attended UCF between 2002 and 2004, took a few journalism classes, and wrote for the student paper, the Central Florida Future. He left during his junior year.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

UCF campus reopens after dorm death, explosive devices found

UCF campus reopens after dorm death, explosive devices found
FBI, OCSO and UCF Police continue to investigate after explosives found in residence hall.
By Amy Pavuk, Denise-Marie Ordway and Leslie Postal
Orlando Sentinel

4:00 p.m. EDT, March 18, 2013

University of Central Florida officials confirmed that the man found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound early Monday morning was a student at the school and that explosive devices were found in his dorm apartment.

The deceased student, identified as James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30, was found in his dorm room in Tower 1, a seven-story structure near the UCF Arena.

UCF Police, the FBI and Orange County Sheriff's Office bomb squad have been on campus since early Monday morning.

The explosives found in a bag near the student "have been made safe" by law enforcement officers and school officials said they have been removed.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

University of Central Florida researchers try smells

The researchers have part of this right. Smells do play a big role in flashbacks. For Vietnam veterans, even diesel fuel can still be a reminder of war just as the sound of a helicopter can trigger memories.

Humans learn from events in their lives. This article mentions fear of dogs. If someone is attacked or threatened by a dog, they learn from this experience, become afraid the next time and they do have to come into contact with other dogs overcoming their fear as long as it has a different outcome.

For me, my fear was of heights. I was not even 5 when I was pushed off a slide at a drive-in movie playground. My scull was cracked all the way around and I had a concussion. While most kids were daredevils, unafraid to climb trees, I was terrified. I would go with my friends into the woods, climb the rocks to get a view of the city but as they were enjoying it, I was feeling my heart pounding, taking deep breaths to avoid passing out. Amusement parks were even harder when I tried to explain that roller coaster rides were a no go for me. They called me "chicken" but I told them I was only thinking of them and the fact they would end up paying for making me go on when I tossed my "cookies" in their hair. Once they were given the choice of going on without me or having me sit behind them, they decided to let me sit out the ride in peace. That fear stayed with me for many years so I avoided a lot of places that would expose me to the memories of that night when by all accounts, I should not have survived. Time made it a bit easier but I still avoid roller coaster rides.

Dogs come with a "smell" but the scent of a dog is usually not reported to be the cause of a flashback. The sound of a bark or growl can cause nerves to jump. Not all life threatening events come with scents that remind the survivor of it. For me, with drive-in movies, there was the smell of popcorn, hotdogs, burgers and fries but these scents do not remind me of anything other than the fact I usually end up with a craving for them as soon as someone mentions the words. For combat veterans, there are too many reminders of war. While scent therapy wouldn't do much good for someone like me, it can help make a world of difference for combat veterans in helping them heal. It can get them past the "smell" trigger so that other triggers can be addressed like anniversary dates.

Researchers combine smells, combat scenes to treat veterans' stress disorder
By Linda Shrieves The Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — It's not quite smell-o-vision, but University of Central Florida researchers are kicking off a study that will combine a virtual reality simulation of wartime scenes along with the "smells" of Middle East combat zones to help veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder.

Because smells are so acutely tied to memories, researchers hope that the combination of reliving painful experiences — along with the smells of war — will help Iraq and Afghanistan veterans overcome their anxieties.

Known as exposure therapy, the technique teaches people to face their fears by confronting them gradually.

"If you're afraid of a dog, how do you get over it? By being around a dog," said Dr. Deborah Beidel, a University of Central Florida psychology professor who is leading the study.

In the program, Beidel and a team of therapists will use software programs known as Virtual Iraq and Virtual Afghanistan — which look like a video game but simulate the experience of being in those countries — to duplicate the traumatic experiences the soldier witnessed.

Gradually, the teams will take the soldier back through the experience, talking about it and reliving it until he or she overcomes the fear.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Deputies: Trustee stole from slain UCF officer's trust fund

This was less than $5,000, but if true it would mean that this betrayal had no conscience at all. Millions, could have been tempting for the greedy. I'll give you that. But less than $5,000? That shows no limits to the depths a person is willing to sink to. I really hope that this turns out to be one huge misunderstanding and no one tried to take advantage of the kindness of others for this widow. I will hang onto that hope until all the evidence comes out, but after being stunned over and over again, I have a feeling this will be one more case of the worst people are capable of.

Deputies: Trustee stole from slain UCF officer's trust fund
Susan Jacobson

Sentinel Staff Writer

11:31 p.m. EDT, August 26, 2009
A deputy's wife has been arrested on a charge of stealing from a trust fund meant to help the family of a University of Central Florida police officer killed on duty.

Bambi Darcey, 33, was a friend of the family of Mario Jenkins, who was mistakenly gunned down by a reserve Orlando police officer while both were working a UCF football game at the Citrus Bowl in September 2005.

Darcey was trustee of the Officer Mario Jenkins Memorial Trust Fund. Darcey told Jenkins' widow, Valerie, that she would transfer that responsibility to Valerie Jenkins, according to arrest paperwork.
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Trustee stole from slain UCF officer trust fund

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Troops give new meaning to distance learning with UCF

Troops give new meaning to distance learning
Darryl E. Owens Sentinel Staff Writer
March 31, 2009
The day starts before 8a.m. for Jonathan Richman, a religious-program specialist 2nd class with the U.S. Navy, based at Joint Task Force-Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

After a day spent boosting troop morale and interacting with detainees, the petty officer 2nd class typically clocks out at 5p.m. He plays some racquetball, tends to his room and laundry, then pulls up a seat and dives into deep discussions with his legal-studies classmates at the University of Central Florida.

The Orlando campus might be miles from the military base, but online-degree programs are growing in appeal for veterans who've suffered grievous injuries and service members such as Richman whose worldwide deployments underscore the term "distance" learning.

"The biggest advantage of online education is the ability to 'attend' class when it is convenient for me," said the 25-year-old from Orlando. "If I feel like it, I can sign on in the middle of the night and do some homework, take a quiz or ask a question via e-mail or the bulletin board."
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Troops give new meaning to distance learning

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Police need help after UCF jogger was attacked

Jogger pushed to ground, spat upon at UCF
Susan Jacobson Sentinel Staff Writer
October 8, 2008
University of Central Florida police are investigating an attack on a jogger who was pushed to the ground and spat upon, they said Tuesday. The woman was jogging on the Apollo Circle sidewalk near the arboretum when the man attacked her and told her she should not run around there at night, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call UCF police at 407-823-5555.

Officers advise students to walk or jog with a friend, avoid jogging after dark, and tell someone where they are going and when they will return. They also suggest carrying a cell phone and not listening to a radio or iPod. For more tips, go to

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Intense fire leaves 8 homeless, kills three cats near UCF

Orange County Fire Rescue firefighter Darcy Lominy walks past the gutted apartment on Hunt Club Lane in east Orlando today after it was destroyed in an overnight blaze. (JOE BURBANK, ORLANDO SENTINEL / August 13, 2008)

Intense fire leaves 8 homeless, kills three cats
Walter Pacheco | Sentinel Staff Writer
6:58 AM EDT, August 13, 2008
Eight people are homeless, but safe this morning after an intense fire gutted out their apartments near UCF.

Although none of the victims was injured in the blaze, three cats died in the fire, Orange County Fire Rescue crews said.

The State Fire Marshal is investigating the blaze.

Fire rescue spokeswoman Marianne Nuckles said the fire started shortly before 11 p.m. at 2635 Hunt Club Lane, near the University of Central Florida. Witnesses told firefighters they saw heavy flames shooting from the roof and heard loud explosions, the report shows.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kissimmee woman gives back through AmeriCorps

Kissimmee woman gives back through AmeriCorps
Amy C. Rippel Special to the Sentinel
July 6, 2008
Sarah Ortiz always felt lucky to get help when she needed it.When a tornado swept through her Kissimmee neighborhood in early 2000, she was comforted by the presence of the American Red Cross.While attending the University of Central Florida, she got financial aid and scholarships to ease the financial burden.When her car broke down, there was always someone there to lend a helping hand.

So when she graduated from UCF in August with a bachelor's degree in biology and health sciences, she wanted a career that would give back. That's why Ortiz, 24, joined AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. It's a 10-month national program that focuses on community service and helping communities in need.

For Ortiz, who will end her stint July 31, it has been a learning experience like no other. She and her team members have worked in Mississippi rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina; in South Dakota at an Indian reservation running Boys & Girls Club programs; in Louisiana helping Katrina victims; and, most recently, in Fort Pierce installing hurricane shutters and ties on homes for low-income families.

"The most rewarding thing about this whole experience is the people you meet, from your project sponsors to your homeowners to the volunteers you work with and especially your teammates," she said.
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