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UCF was recently recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine as one of seven Diversity Champions nationwide.

The champions “exemplify an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels,” according to a press release from UCF.

“We consider UCF a national leader in diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “As a Diversity Champion school, UCF has developed an overwhelming number of successful strategies and programs that serve as models of excellence for other institutions of higher education.”

One of the five visionary goals of UCF is to become more inclusive and diverse, something which the university strives to accomplish every day.

One of the newest programs at UCF, CREAR — which stands for college readiness, achievement and retention — Futuros, is a direct reflection of that goal. The program, which means “to create futures” in Spanish, pairs students with knowledgeable and highly trained students mentors who will introduce them to campus, provide tips on stress and time management, and offer insights on how to make the most out of their time at UCF, according to the release.

This fall, a record 43 percent of UCF students are minorities.

In 1994, UCF established an Office of Diversity and Inclusion to collaborate with members of the community to advocate and educate about the university’s goal of diversity and inclusion. The office conducts more than 300 workshops on 120 topics each year, according to the release. The office also coordinates the UCF Summer Faculty Development Conference diversity track on curriculum transformation, and the annual Diversity Week in October.

“UCF provides extensive educational and support services to our students, staff and faculty,” said Karen Morrison, UCF’s chief diversity officer. “This year’s #RespectUCF campaign and innovative programs promoting cultural competency, collaboration and personal accountability for an inclusive environment demonstrate UCF's success and its continuing pursuit of excellence as a higher education diversity and inclusion leader.”

Other universities recognized as Diversity Champions this year include Florida State University, Columbia University, Kennesaw State University, Pennsylvania State University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Texas Tech University.

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Rosie Reitze is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @rosie_ucf or email her at RosieR@centralfloridafuture.com.

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