The Future spotlighted one of the recipients of UCF's inaugural 30 Under 30 awards — Shelby Campbell of Melbourne.

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At the age of 28, Dr. Shelby Campbell is the baby of her family. Even so, her big sister Ashley can’t help but look up to her.

But Ashley, 32, would probably say that’s an understatement, as she did in her letter nominating her little sis by three and half years for UCF’s inaugural 30 Under 30 award.

Shelby, a 2008 alumna and Melbourne native, was honored at last month’s Alumni Association awards dinner.

“It’s humbling. To realize that people actually take notice of what I do and notice my hard work,” said Shelby.

But as to how she reacted when she found out what her sister had done, Ashley fielded that question: “She thought I was the best sister ever.”

With 250,000 graduates to date, young alumni, or those 30 or younger, currently make up one-third of UCF’s alumni population. Many awards in the past have recognized those further along in their careers, so the Alumni Association wanted an accolade to recognize the younger generation, said 2012 graduate Latoya Jackson, coordinator of young alumni and student programs.

Some 350 nominations were received, and those were whittled down to a pool of 206, from which the 30 winners were chosen.

“Honestly, we just thought it was amazing that Ashley wrote such a beautiful letter,” her mother Darlene said.

During the selection process, nominees were evaluated based on their impacts in the areas of arts, business, community, education, leadership, philanthropy and research. For Shelby, Jackson said it was her contributions to the Melbourne community that stood out.

Shelby, an audiologist working in Melbourne, has a bachelor’s degree from UCF and a doctorate in audiology from Nova Southeastern University. One of only five doctorate holders to receive the award, she also has an associate degree from Eastern Florida State College.

“She does hearing screenings in the local community. The fact that she utilizes her education was a big deal to us,” Jackson said. “A big part of the award was what areas have you made an impact in, so that was a big piece of what stood out about her application.”

A typical day for the Eau Gallie High grad consists of performing hearing tests and fitting hearing aids to patients of all ages.

“My mom is actually the one who was like, ‘Have you ever heard of speech therapy before?’” Shelby recalled. That’s when Shelby switched her major at UCF from psychology to communicative sciences and disorders.

But it was UCF’s Dr. Harold Utt of the College of Health and Public Affairs who turned her on to audiology specifically, she said.

“She made a B, and making an A or B in that particular class is really saying something. The audiology class is one of the most rigorous classes we have,” said Utt, who teaches at UCF’s Cocoa campus.

In the class, students first learn the anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism. Then they’re exposed to diagnostic tests to differentiate different types of hearing loss. They also perform hearing screenings, learn about sound and dabble in rehabilitation.

Of the nearly 3,500 students Utt has taught over the past 35 years, many go on to work along the Space Coast, where he says there’s a high demand for audiologists.

“I don’t know one student who graduates who doesn’t get a job here who wants one,” he said, adding that, with all the new technology out there, this is one of the most exciting times to enter the field.

Shelby is taking her talents beyond the Brevard border, too, as she recently traveled to Guatemala and the British Virgin Islands, fitting hearing aids to underprivileged youth.

“It’s kind of like you see those videos where people are getting fit for the first time with hearing aids … You put hearing aids on somebody and they just light up,” she said of the kids’ reactions. “You don’t always get that reaction in the States … all the kids that we fit couldn’t afford it.”

Helping those with special needs has always been a passion for Shelby, and Ashley for that matter. The duo coach Brevard’s first Special Olympics cheerleading team, and the other week brought their girls to compete at the Florida Fall Classic at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.

It’s more so about making sure the girls have a good time than transforming them into amazing cheerleaders, they said.

“You have to almost separate them from their disabilities and treat them like anyone else and then they start to act like anyone else,” said Shelby.

And even at her young age, Shelby is someone her father Pat admires.

"I look at her and look up to her,” he said. “Sometimes I stop and look at her and think I could be doing more.”

Full list of award recipients:

Joshua A. Andone, Esq., ’11, Attorney, Hale, Hale & Jacobson, College of Business Administration

Stephanie C. Bolyard, MSENVE12, Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, UCF, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Keith Brawner, ’08, MSCPE10, PhD13, Adaptive Tutoring Scientist, United States Army Research Laboratory, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Naomi Brownstein, ’08, Assistant Professor, Florida State University College of Medicine, The Burnett Honors College & College of Sciences

Janelle N. Burrowes, ’13, Service Director, Boys & Girls Club, College of Arts and Humanities

Shelby J. Campbell, ’08, Doctor of Audiology, My Family ENT, College of Health and Public Affairs

Amanda N. Castro, ’12, Anchor/Reporter, 41NBC/WMGT, College of Sciences

Chris Castro, ’10, Program Manager, Office of Sustainability & Energy/Senior Energy Advisor to Mayor Buddy Dyer, City of Orlando, College of Undergraduate Studies

Brett R. Chiavari, ’07, Owner & President, BC Restaurant Group, College of Business Administration

Aaron Dietz, MA13, PhD14, Research Associate, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, College of Sciences

Reshad D. Favors, Esq., ’10, Attorney & Fellow, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation/United States Congress, College of Business Administration

Julie Frost, ’12, Performer, Comfort Crew for Military Kids, The Burnett Honors College & College of Arts and Humanities & College of Sciences

Christopher R. Frye, ’13, Physics Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University, The Burnett Honors College & College of Sciences

Andre Garcia, ’08, Human Factors Engineer, Northrop Grumman Corporation, College of Sciences

Lindsay C. Gartrell, ’10, Corporate Training Manager, The Kessler Collection Inaugural Class, Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Adam J. Giery, ’08, MA11. Principal, Strategos Group, College of Education and Human Performance

Jen Glantz, ’10, Founder and CEO, Bridesmaid for Hire, College of Arts and Humanities & College of Sciences

Kristin Harris, ’11, Associate Celebrity Editor & Talent Relations, Buzzfeed, College of Sciences

Jake Junot, MBA11, Vice President of Global Accounts, C3Research, College of Business Administration

Bridget D. Keefe, ’09, MPA11, Executive Director, Downtown Orlando Partnership, Rosen College of Hospitality Management & College of Health and Public Affairs

Jamile M. Kitnurse, ’08, MBA10, MSBM11, Regional Marketing Manager, Diamond Resorts International, College of Business Administration

Stephanie Ann Koszalka, MSW12, Director of Human Trafficking Victim Services, Florida Abolitionist Inc., College of Health and Public Affairs

Albert C. Manero, ’12, MSAE14, Lab Director, The Limbitless Project, The Burnett Honors College & College of Engineering and Computer Science

Lauren Niederhiser, ’12, Assistant Project Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering, The Burnett Honors College & College of Engineering and Computer Science

Gregory A. Pearlman Jr., ’08, Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual, College of Business Administration

Leigha Audrey Proctor, ’10, Director of Business Development, Transperfect Translations, College of Sciences

Aubree A. Rider, ’10, Co-founder & Owner, The Heroes Group, College of Business Administration

Danny A. Rivera, ’12, MPA14, Special Assistant to Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Government, College of Health and Public Affairs

Colton J. Tapoler, ’12, Instructional Lead, Florida Virtual School, College of Arts and Humanities & College of Education and Human Performance

Victoria Vighetto, ’10, MNM13, Executive Director, March of Dimes Central Florida Division, College of Health and Public Affairs

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Caroline Glenn is the Content Manager for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter @bycarolineglenn or email her at caglenn@gannett.com.

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