You won’t see any discarded copies of the Central Florida Future newspaper scattered on the ground on the University of Central Florida campus—not if Marianne “Annie” Howe can help it.
An environmental advocate, 21-year-old Howe created Recycle UCF on campus in 2003. Last year, the organization stepped up its efforts and, with Howe at the helm, lobbied to get a newspaper recycling program on campus. So far, Recycle UCF has ensured that about 25,000 pounds of newspaper will be reused. “We’ve spent countless hours informing students of the recycling program already available on campus and implementing new recycling options,” Howe says.
The group will to continue to explore new ways to make the campus greener. Next up: looking into ways Golden Knights can recycle plastic materials. “We’ll pretty much work on one area until we get it done,” Howe says. “We’re taking it one step at a time.” Recycle UCF also hosts programs on environmental issues such as “Don’t Get Delluded,” which educated students on how they can encourage leading technology companies to recycle their computers. “Annie has had a huge impact at UCF and beyond,” says William Faulkner, director of student leadership programs at UCF.
But working with Recycle UCF isn’t the only thing that keeps the Wisconsin native active on campus. As a member of the Leadership, Enrichment, and Academic Development (LEAD) Scholars Program, Howe’s working to revamp it. “The LEAD Scholars Program provided me with opportunities to make friends and hold leadership positions, but more notably to make a difference,” she says. She created a public relations position on the LEAD board and restructured its Alumni Council, which tripled its membership. “We now have the capabilities to maintain contact with many of our successful student alumni members instead of losing touch with them when they graduate,” Howe says.
Through the LEAD Scholars Program, Howe worked as a mentor for 10 first-year students. “I acted as a teaching assistant in their leadership class, as an advisor, and as a friend,” she says. Howe left such an impression on the freshmen that LEAD scholar Amanda Guelzow wrote a note to Howe to thank her for all the work she did. “You’re truly an example of a servant leader,” Guelzow wrote. “You wake up early every Friday to come to mentor class and even helped teach the class when Micki wasn’t there! But most of all, you’ve been a friend to me and are one of the most caring people I know.”
In fact, Howe was officially recognized as an outstanding LEAD mentor. “She received the LEAD Scholar of the Month award twice and was named LEAD Scholar’s Mentor of the Year for 2003,” says John C. Hitt, UCF president.
Howe’s mentoring work doesn’t end with the LEAD Scholars Program—she’s devoted to helping children, too. The UCF leader works to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network through Dance Marathon. She serves as assistant director for the 2005 event. “I spearheaded the first mini-marathon that UCF has ever run for local high school students,” Howe says. “We heralded record attendance and were able to mold the event to be more like the full marathon to promote our event to future UCF students.”
Howe volunteers for numerous organizations in the Orlando Area. She has worked with the Boggy Creek Gang Camp, MS Walk, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Sight and Sole Walk, and the Give the Kids the World program. “I’ve taken everything on that I was passionate about,” Howe says. The business management major is the ultimate role model for other college students, says Ana Petkov, UCF assistant director and event coordinator for the Office of Constituent Relations. “Annie is the definition of a student leader in everything she does, inside and outside of the campus environment,” Petkov says. “She’s a solid example of the promise of our future leaders, and I’m honored to know her.”
Howe was honored with the Order of the Pegasus—the highest award at her university. “She was among the 11 total undergraduates who received this prestigious award,” Faulkner says.
As if that weren’t enough, Howe also serves as an ambassador for UCF through the President’s Leadership Council. “We escort VIP tours for university donors, work high-profile campus events, and serve as a sounding board for the administration when they need student input,” Howe says. Always looking for ways to improve the organizations she’s involved in, Howe helped create a philanthropy chair for the council. “This position is helping our council to think toward the future and to the successes we’ll have, including the time and money we need to be giving back to our university and our community,” she says.
If anyone knows about giving back to the university, it’s Howe. “I’m so grateful for what UCF has given to me that I want to give something of myself back,” she says. Throughout her college experience, however, Howe has learned that she can’t give all of herself all of the time, and she’s learning how to delegate tasks to her co-workers. “You can’t be in charge of everything,” she says. “I’ve been working on trusting those under me.”
Howe is self-sufficient when it comes to funding her education. “This young woman recognizes her need for financial self-reliance,” says Thomas Huddleston, Jr., vice president of student development and enrollment services at UCF. “She came to UCF from Wisconsin and has had to manage the very expensive out-of-state tuition she faces each semester.” Howe pays for about 65 percent of her expenses through scholarships, grants, and student loans. The remainder is covered by her two part-time jobs.–LD
Contact Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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