Central Florida Future alumni: Where are they now?
Former CFF news editor and photo editor. Now a multimedia reporter at MassLive in Springfield, Massachusetts and soon to be a graduate student of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
Former news editor and columnist from 1983-84. Today, I teach the next generation of journalists at UCF to be better, stronger and more talented than I was.
Drexler B. James
Contributing writer from 2010-13. I am an award-winning project writer for The Villages Daily Sun newspaper in The Villages Florida.
Jessica Gillespie Ormiston
Former sports writer and copy editor from 2009-12. Now working as a social media producer at the Orlando Sentinel.
"My CFF coworkers are some of my closest friends still, and some of my best college memories happened in the newsroom or with my CFF friends."
Former opinions, variety and entertainment editor. Today, I work at legal news publication Law360 in New York City.
Former sports editor from 2010-11. I now manage live content updates at EA Sports in their Maitland HQ. Currently work as a producer on the Madden NFL and NBA Live franchises.
Former senior staff writer, copy editor, digital producer and news editor from January 2014 to December 2015. Now a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer in Winter Garden.
"I'm absolutely positive I would not be where I am today career-wise without two things: the instruction and guidance of Rick Brunson, and my experience at the Central Florida Future and all the opportunities it presented me."
Former sports beat writer (softball and volleyball) from 2012-14. Now a news reporter and photographer for the Lake City Reporter in Lake City, FL.
Former variety editor from 2012-13. Now working as an employment assistant and social media coordinator for a workforce development nonprofit called Career Collaborative; also in the process of completing a graduate degree in International Relations and Global Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Eric Alas Gutierrez
Former digital producer. Today, I'm a reporter and photographer for the Fernandina Beach News-Leader, Florida's oldest weekly newspaper.
"I truly believe that I wouldn't have this job today if it wasn't for the Central Florida Future."
Award-winning photographer and writer currently working as a Community Editor with Colorado Community Media, which prints 18 weekly papers in the Denver metro.
Jessica J. Forgino
Former news editor and opinions editor from 2007-08. Managing editor from 2012-15. Now a columnist and reporter for FLORIDA TODAY and the USA TODAY Network.
Former online digital producer/social media marketer during the spring 2014 semester. Now I am a graduate student in the Social Journalism program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Former senior staff writer from 2010-12. Now the public relations manager of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
"The loss of the CFF is heartbreaking and feels like an end of an era."
Former photo editor from 2003-04. Now a statewide communications director for SEIU Florida.
"I got my very first editing job because of a clip I wrote for CFF about the history of protests at UCF. I remember spending hours at the school library going through their archive of issues from decades past. I felt such pride at thinking of myself as another link in this long chain of student journalists."
Former senior staff writer from January to August 2013. Now a full-time reporter at Orlando Business Journal, covering commercial real estate and restaurant news.
Former photo editor for spring and summer of 2012. Now a photographer for The Tico Times in Costa Rica.
Former senior staff writer, digital producer and editor-in-chief. I am now a production editor at Daily Press.
Former copy editor from 2010-11 and staff writer from 2007-10. Now web editor at WKMG News 6 in Orlando.
Juan David Romero
Former senior staff multimedia reporter in 2015 and on-and-off contributor from 2012-14. Today, I'm Communications Officer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington D.C. where I report and communicate about the world's largest general scientific society through multimedia news packages and video production projects.
"I am deeply, deeply saddened by the news and I owe the CFF so much."
Former news editor in 2005. Now at WKMG as an investigative producer. Also volunteer as an adviser for Knight News.
"The CFF let me test out the whole journalism thing when I was too afraid to major in it."
Former news editor in 2010. Now an independent journalist and social media editor in NYC.
Former UCF basketball beat writer from 2013-14 and contributing writer from 2013-2014. Now I'm the Managing Editor at Yachting Magazine.
Former sports editor from 2013-14 and editor-in-chief from 2014-15. Now covers Lake County for the Orlando Sentinel.
Former managing editor from 1975-76.
Former men's soccer and baseball beat writer in 2012-13. I now cover local and high school sports for the Charlotte Sun.
"Very sad to see CFF go. It gave students like me, who didn't major in journalism, an opportunity to contribute as a journalist."
Former photo editor and editor-in-chief. Now the community reporter contributing features and multimedia content in the communities of Sarasota and Siesta Key for the Sarasota Observer.
Former contributing writer in 2014. Now I am a breaking news/crime reporter for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida.
"Without CFF, I would have never accumulated the clips or experience I needed to land this job, which I was offered the same day I graduated from UCF."
Former copy editor. Now works at the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale as a copy editor.
"I always thought of the CFF as a place for great journalism students to make mistakes, push themselves and then go on to do something impressive."
Former photo editor and contributing writer from 2006-10. Now, I'm a Naval Officer stationed in San Diego, California.
Former news editor from 2009-10. Now a business reporter with the Tampa Bay Times by the way of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sun Sentinel and the St. Augustine Record.
"Once referred to as the ‘reign of terror’ [in a good way]."
Former staff writer for from 2006-10. Now a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia), prior to that, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia) and The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.)
Former contributing writer, senior staff writer, digital producer and news editor from 2013-15. Today, I am the religion reporter at The Villages Daily Sun in Lady Lake, Florida.
"I dedicate my knowledge and experience to my time with the Central Florida Future."
Former staff writer in the summer of 2012. I'm now teaching English in South Korea.
Jenny Andreasson Babcock
Former news editor, variety editor, copy editor and staff writer from 2006-07. Now at 90.7 WMFE public radio in Orlando as marketing and communications specialist.
Former contributing writer and photographer from 2011-14. I'm now attending the FIU College of Law.
"None of this would be possible without the Future. You could say that the Future made my future possible."
Now a content marketing manager where I'm responsible for setting the editorial calendar, managing writers and editing all of our company's content prior to publishing.
Former contributing writer and news editor from 2011-12. Now at The Huffington Post in NYC where I'm the deputy healthy living editor.
Former contributing writer and music blogger from 2013-14. Now works as a marketing and communications coordinator and social media strategist in Austin, Texas.
Former contributing writer in 2009, opinions editor from 2010-11, online editor from 2011-12 and editor-in-chief from 2012-13. I'm currently a digital producer at the Orlando Sentinel.
Former contributing writer from 2011-14. I'm currently a student at FIU College of Law.
"I'm eternally thankful not only for the friendships I made through the Future, but for the Future's sensitive and empathetic coverage of some extremely difficult events on campus."
Former contributing writer for summer and fall 2013. I'm pursuing my master's now and married to the military.
Former contributing writer and editor from 2012-14. Now the health reporter at The Villages Daily Sun.
Former staff writer, opinions editor, first online editor and editor-in-chief. Now an assistant professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, where I teach news literacy, news reporting, and writing for a mass audience, among other things.
"I was the first online editor the CFF had, and figuring out how people used news in an increasingly social media-heavy world helped lead me astray into academia. That question still guides my research."
Former copy editor from 2008-09 and online news editor from 2009-10. I currently teach high school and am an adjunct professor for college English and communications courses.
"There is no single stretch of time in my life that taught me as much about myself and about working with a team to make something great."
Former content contributor from 2007-10. Now a high school English teacher in St. Louis, Missouri.
Megan Van Waus
Former staff writer and photographer from 2009-10, with a short stint as news editor the summer of 2010. Now the director of membership services at the REALTOR Association of Southwestern Illinois.
"The Future taught me some tough lessons and allowed me to meet some amazing people and have unforgettable experiences."
Former sports editor from 2009-10. Now a sports anchor at CBS Sports.
"I would not have the writing skills, or the job, I have now without the CFF."
Former contributing writer from 2010-11. Now I'm an associate editor with Turnstile Media Group in Orlando, publishing the Winter Park/Maitland Observer newspaper and Baldwin Park Living magazine.
Former contributing writer, digital producer and opinions editor from 2013 to 2015. Now work as a digital content writer/editor, overseeing the websites for more than six treatment centers.
"Without the CFF, I wouldn't have learned the art of hustle and empathy while writing about such sensitive topics. I have the chance to teach people about an overlooked community that is no different than anyone else. An opportunity I was able to take advantage of plenty of times working at the CFF."
Former sports writer from 2007-09, covering women's tennis and men's and women's basketball.
Former contributing writer from 2012-13, senior staff writer in 2014 and digital producer in 2015. Now associate editor of Professional Artist Magazine and a freelance writer.
Former entertainment and sports editor from 2009-11. I ended up going to law school and I now work for a firm in Tampa.
"UCF not having a newspaper is a sad thing, but I'm glad I got to be a big part of it for a time."
Former news editor in spring 2012. I'm running the copy editing and design desk for the business section at The National, a daily in Abu Dhabi.
Former staff writer and opinions editor from 2011-12. I'm now a freelance copywriter.
Today I'm a communities reporter at the Orlando Sentinel, covering Winter Park, Maitland, Eatonville and Osceola County.
Isaac Benjamin Babcock
Former reporter and news editor from 2003-04. Now the managing editor at Turnstile Media Group's Community Media Division in Orlando.
Former senior staff writer, online editor and digital producer in 2014. I now work at the Tallahassee Democrat as a digital producer.
Former reporter, copy editor and chief copy editor from 2002-05. I am now at Facebook.
Former sports editor in 2011. Now I'm the senior sports editor for Orange Observer, overseeing sports for the West Orange Times & Observer, Windermere Observer and Observer Preps.
Former news editor from 2010-11 and editor-in-chief from 2011-12. Following graduation, I took a job as a crime and breaking news reporter at the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Former staff photographer and photo editor in 2013. Contributor for my entire college career from 2011-15. Now a digital editor for Yachting Magazine at Bonnier.
Former staff writer from 2012-13. Currently the community editor for the Ormond Beach Observer and an editorial fellow for YourTango.
"So sad to see this paper go. It really fueled my love for journalism, and I wouldn't be where I am today without it."
Former variety Editor and senior staff writer from 2011-12. Today I'm an associate editor with Turnstile Media Group in Orlando.
"I can't thank the Future enough for giving me newsroom experience and making me a better journalist."
I joined the Future as a writer in February 2003, jumped into the news editor's job in May and by the end of that summer found myself replacing graduating Managing Editor Krista Zilizi. When I graduated in May 2004, then-owners of Knight Newspapers Brian Linden and Heissam Jebailey offered me an ambitious project — to build a community weekly newspaper from scratch. That became the Seminole Chronicle. I managed that paper for three years, the last of which (2007) I also served as the adviser to the Future staff. I left shortly after Gannett purchased the company to rehab a trio of nearby newspapers, including the Winter Park-Maitland Observer and Seminole Voice. After being laid off in 2009, I joined the U.S. Army. I'm now in Sanford, formally removed from the profession.
Former slot editor for spring semesters in 2009 and 2010 and news editor in summer 2009. Currently a digital producer (project manager) for website application design/development and support at Onepath (1path.com).
Former copy editor, sports editor and editor-in-chief from 2005-11. Now works for a sports website based in South Florida.
"A professor once said I put out the worst issue of the Future ever."
Former senior sports writer in 2013 covering UCF football during the greatest season in UCF history. Just accepted an offer to be the web editor at Boca Raton Magazine.
Former co-owner of the from 2001 to 2007. Today, I own I'm in. Events., which hosts the Largest Black and White Weekend for Charity in the World for BASE Camp Children's Cancer Foundation, among other networking events and real estate investments.
Former sports writer, columnist and opinion writer from 1992-98. Now in my second stint as a reporter for the Osceola News-Gazette in Kissimmee.
"CFF was my springboard. When I got a job as an agate clerk at the Sentinel, my Future clips proved to them I could write, and they tossed me crumb stories. Those clips made it possible to get a full time job at the ONG."
Former photo editor and editor-in-chief in 2009. Currently a digital producer at Florida Today and USA Today's Florida network.
"I can safely say some of the best people I've worked with walked through those doors at 11825 High Tech Ave. Beyond sad to see it go."
Former senior staff writer in summer 2013. Now a breaking news and sports reporter at Florida Today.
Former copy editor, news editor and editor-in-chief from 2012-13. Now a digital editor at Flying Magazine with Bonnier Corp.
Former copy editor, variety editor and news editor. Now managing editor of Scuba Magazine with Bonnier Corp.
Former opinions editor, variety editor and managing news editor from 2013 to 2015. Full-time content manager in 2016. I'll move on as the watchdog education reporter at Florida Today.
And this is just a fraction of the folks who have come through the Future.