Faculty and Staff members of the year honored at UCF Rosen College retreat

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Faculty and Staff members of the year honored at UCF Rosen College retreat

The annual back to campus gathering of UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management faculty and staff was a time for updates about the fall 2022 semester to come, and to recognize faculty and staff members for their accomplishments.  As is the annual tradition, Rosen College recognized exemplary faculty, staff and associates with an Employee of the Year award.  We congratulate those awardees who were nominated and recognized for this honor.

Faculty of the Year – Gisele Canova, Instructor; Internship Coordinator

Joining Chef Kate for the program at the Cannes Film Festival American Pavilion this year, Gisele stepped up in a most impactful way. Leading and managing 280+ interns in the south of France, Gisele was to assist Kate Wilson in her 11th year of directing the program. This year presented unprecedented challenges as Covid-19 spread to twenty-four participants and Chef Kate. Gisele took the reins on the entire program, fulfilled many needs, guided students, and hosted the Dean and Associate Dean.

In addition, our new PREP program has been a great success due largely in part of Gisele’s efforts in ensuring student engagement on campus and with the industry. Gisele manages all of the PREP questions and makes sure the students understand the purpose behind the program so that they feel invested in the strategic process of strengthening their skillsets to enhance their portfolio and open doors to a diversity of opportunities within the hospitality industry.



Staff of the Year – Vanessa Gonzalez, Academic Advisor III: Adjunct; Advisor to Rosen College Leadership Council (RCLC)

Vanessa’s work has gone far above and beyond what a typical academic advisor would be expected to achieve. Most extraordinary is Vanessa’s creation of the RCHM Transfer Student Success (TSS) course. She developed this academic course from ground level to give support to transfer students as they transition into the Rosen College with the intent of increasing the college’s retention and graduation numbers. The academic success and retention data provided evidence of the influence the TSS course has on reducing transfer student attrition and transfer shock, which supports the college’s strategic plan to meet the new state metric for transfer student success directly impacting state funding at UCF. Another remarkable initiative she undertook that went above and beyond the call of duty was her research study on our RCHM academic probation student population. She collected data to better understand what type of students on academic probation are experiencing the highest levels of academic dismissal and student drop out so that our team can identify intentional intrusive advising to provide elevated support to these students.



Associate of the Year – Marcial Romero, Maintenance Technician I

Where Marcial has really excelled, well beyond the scope of the average maintenance technician is in his thoroughness in the completion of the task. This process has all but eliminated that dreaded all too often “surprise” many students and parents have had to deal with on move in day. Today students moving into Rosen Housing can trust that their room will be ready.

Marcial was first on the scene with the catastrophic water pipe failure in Building 904. His quick actions and knowledge of the building allowed him to stop the water flow quickly, minimizing damage. When the flood damage remediation team arrived, he directed their actions maximizing clean up and repair of the damage. This fall, students will have first-class accommodations to move into that is much expected by those who know, work, and attend Rosen College.





Robert A. Ashley Culinary Excellence – A’Rion Raymond, Events Manager; Adjunct

A’Rion works tirelessly with clients to customize every single event. She had many parameters to work within during Covid protocols, social distancing, and general safety when the scholarship awards ceremony returned to campus after being held online during Covid. A’Rion met with the F&B staff to garner support before presenting alternatives to clients, such as moving events from plated to buffets.

“She goes above and beyond her duties, working long hours each day to ensure that every event for the college goes off without a hitch.” In addition, A’Rion manages and runs small events while the larger events are handled by the F&B staff. She always figures out a way to get to ‘yes’, going above and beyond the scope of her job to service students, instructors, faculty, and guests for events. She is very often the first person to arrive, and the last to leave during all events at the college.

Congratulations to our faculty, staff and associate members of the year and the honoree who received the Robert A. Ashley Culinary Excellence award.



*Award Criteria:
The Rosen College Awards Committee accepts nominations and select three individuals who will receive Employee of the Year Award in the categories of (1) Faculty members (including all full-time faculty members) (2) Staff members (including Office of Student Services, Office of Internship, Events and Catering, Technology, Administrative Assistants, Finance & Administrative Services, and Public Relations) and (3) Associate members (including Undergraduate Admissions, Experiential Learning, Career Services, Financial Aid, Counseling Services, Student Accessibility Services, Student Life, Housing, Health Services, Library, Development, Alumni Relations, Bookstore, and Facilities Operations).

These awards will be in the form of $2,500 cash awards for staff and associate recipients and a travel package worth $2,500 for the faculty recipient. The committee will be charged to select the awardee in each category based on primarily three qualities: (1) professionalism, (2) service orientation, and (3) above and beyond the call of duty.