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A UCF alumnus and his wife have created a $25,000 endowed scholarship at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

Through their creation of the scholarship, Jeff Palla, a UCF grad of '94 with a master's in public administration, and his wife Monica hope to help undergraduate and graduate students studying hospitality management, with future plans to work in hotels or hotel management.

On March 19, the Jeff Palla Endowed Scholarship awarded its first recipient at the Rosen College Scholarship Ceremony. Palla hopes to be a mentor to the scholarship recipients throughout their careers as well.

"I had such great experiences at UCF, and it helped shape the person I am today," Palla said in a press release. "I'm so grateful for those opportunities, so I feel it's my responsibility now to help someone who's interested in this field and pay it forward."

Although Palla didn't study hospitality management during his time at UCF, he is now senior vice president of franchise operations for La Quinta, a growing hotel chain in the hospitality industry. Palla has worked with Walt Disney World, Red Roof Inn, BridgeStreet Accommodations and La Quinta.

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Paige Wilson is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @paigeshortstackor email her at PaigeW@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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