Students and faculty gather at UCF for a vigil honoring former Knight Steven Sotloff. Video by Arnold Godoy, Central Florida Future Arnold Godoy


Steven Joel Sotloff was a student at UCF from 2002 until December 2004. In his time as a Knight he was a member of the rugby team and was a senior staff writer for the Central Florida Future.

His former Managing Editor at the Future, Heidi A. Barley, reached out to the Future this week to share memories of working with Sotloff:

Just wanted to write a note acknowledging Steven and his commitment to journalism. I was his managing editor at the Central Florida Future during the time he was a senior staff writer there. Steven was passionate, determined and a genuinely nice person. I remember having pizza after editorial meetings and the way he offered unique perspectives of news that affected the UCF community. He was already showing interest in international affairs - we discussed the Madrid terrorist attacks and the Darfur conflict, among others. His determination to be an excellent journalist is shown by his dedication to covering the Islamic world for a variety of media. The Central Florida Future should be proud that they had such a wonderful journalist and PERSON previously on their staff.

My heart goes out to Steven's mother, Shirley, and the rest of his family and friend. He will be missed.


Heidi A. Barley

In his time at the Future, Sotloff contributed numerous stories, with many of them on the front page. He covered the 2004 election, international issues and breaking news. Below are passages from selected works by Sotloff:

Photos:: Steven Sotloff vigil at UCF

Dec. 16, 2004

What I want for the holidays…

A peek at the gifts Future writers hope to find under the tree

Dreidel or razor?

You pay: $180

I'm wishing for an efficient Hanukkah gif this year. The last few years have been filled with stuff that breaks: my computer, a pair of glasses and Tickle Me Elmo.

This year, I need something to life some stress and the nicks from my daily schedule, something with a full two-year warranty.

This year, I want what every man should have —the new Braun 8595 Activator Deluxe Model Shaver.

The manufacturer says it has a revolutionary new foil design that gives a comfortable close shave, even in the hard-to-shave areas of my face.

As this razor glivdes along your face, it chomps up hair, regardless of what direction it grows. Its full-width pop-up trimmer will surely make maintaining the sideburns a little easier.

Better yet, I don't need to dip it in alcohol (or acid) because it comes with a three-in-one contraption that cleans, dries and charges. It takes only one hour to fully charge, so there's no excuse to show up scruffy for that blind date.

Oct. 14, 2004

Absentee, early votes let voices be heard

New state laws ease voting woes, eliminate local poll bureaucracy

Nicole Lopez is like many college students across the country.

"I just want my voice to be heard," the 18-year-old psychology major said. "I need to vote absentee because I am registered to vote in Broward [County]. But I don't know anything about the absentee process."

In fact, Lopez doesn't even know how to acquire an absentee ballot, and she isn't alone. Many students haven't been instructed on how to vote using an absentee ballot and many more will not be allowed to vote in the upcoming election unless they do so by using such ballots or by going to their registered county.

Oct. 28, 2004

Colleges are political hot beds

Group seeks to expand Israel rights on campus

Five UCF students were invited to a national summit to learn how to lobby for Israeli interests on college campuses.

About 100 college students went to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual national summit in Hollywood, Fla. on Sunday. AIPAC is one of the largest pro-Israel lobbying organizations in the nation, helping to pass more than 100 pro-Israel legislatives a year.

Johnathan Kessler, who has been training young people to be advocates for Israel, is hoping clubs like Knights for Israel and Hillel will join the effort.

"An individual properly motivated can make a difference," he said. Kessler ran the development programs the invited students participated in on Saturday. He said it is important to work closely with students because "colleges and universities are increasingly political hotbeds," and that students are "just beginning to form opinions."

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