COS Welcomes New Alumni Representative


In May, the UCF College of Sciences welcomed its new Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement, Peter Dowling.

With an instilled passion for higher education, Dowling is hoping to bring the College of Sciences out as a leader in alumni engagement.

“We have the second largest alumni base in the university, and I think that while that may seem like a challenge on the surface, what it really means is that we have great opportunities,” said Dowling.

Filled with passion and a drive for creating meaningful connections with the UCF College of Sciences’ alumni, Dowling owes his confidence and optimism to his service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

On his 18th birthday, Dowling found himself on a bus to Parris Island, S.C. for Marine Corps recruit training. Assigned to its Third FAST Company, otherwise known as Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, Dowling helped protect high-value domestic infrastructure sites from potential terrorist attacks.

“When becoming a Marine, they really engrain it in you that you are the best,” Dowling explained. “Earning that title, you feel like superman — like you can do anything. I took that mentality with me to college and throughout my entire career, and I really feel like nothing is impossible if you work hard and surround yourself with capable, motivated people.”

The introduction to government and politics through the Marines peaked Dowling’s interest in the higher echelons of civil service. After finishing community college and earning his B.A. in International Affairs and History at Florida State University in 2009, Dowling found himself immersed in the political atmosphere, working as a researcher on Alex Sink’s political campaign for governor of Florida.

“I caught the political bug,” explained Dowling. “Working on a campaign satisfied a craving to really make a difference. Politics was also a little more cordial at the time.”

Dowling soon returned to academics by pursuing his master’s at FSU. After graduating with an M.A. in International Affairs in 2011, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked in the office of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and later for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“We worked to improve the process of bringing people in legally, and for me it was the most positive mission of Homeland Security,” explained Dowling. “From a communications perspective, it was the human impact of becoming an American citizen that I wanted everyone to see.”

Dowling carried his passion for engagement with him to Florida State University where he served as its Veteran Certifying Officer, monitoring and advising over 1,100 student veterans and veteran dependents each semester and ensuring that they received their benefits on time.

“I got to interact with students and alumni, and saw a whole different side of higher education,” said Dowling. “I felt an incredible gratification every day knowing that what I was doing — even though it was a small chunk in a big university — was making a difference in other people’s lives.”

Dowling hopes that his passion for higher education, paired with a drive for alumni engagement, will produce future opportunities for the UCF College of Sciences’ alumni, students, faculty and the Orlando community.


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