Outstanding Communication AlumKnight Represents UCF Worldwide

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UCF Nicholson School of Communication alumna, Marci Gonzalez, ’05, was honored as a 2016 College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnight award recipient in March at the college’s awards reception.

Gonzalez graduated with a double major in both Radio/Television (RTV) and Political Science. She began her first job as a reporter and weekend anchor at News 12 The Bronx while finishing her final UCF credits online.

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Radio-Television Area Coordinator, Stephanie Rice, and Marci Gonzalez at the 2016 College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnights awards reception.

In 2006, Gonzalez returned to Florida to report and anchor for WPTV in West Palm Beach. After five years she traveled back to New York and worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor for WABC.

Currently, she serves as a correspondent at ABC News, writing and presenting live news reports for weekend editions of World News and Good Morning America.  During the week, she reports for ABC’s affiliate news service, NewsOne.  Her reports air on more than 200 ABC affiliates and and client-networks world-wide. In addition, she serves as the fill-in anchor for World News Now and America This Morning.

Gonzalez has covered a diverse variety of both world and national events from the Paris terror attacks, Nelson Mandela’s final days of life, the Haiti earthquake, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Sandy Hook school massacre, and most recently the crash of EgyptAir flight 804. This, among her many other notable achievements, make Marci Gonzalez rightfully an ‘Outstanding AlumKnight.’

Marci Gonzalez and Dr. Tim Brown at the 2016 College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnights awards reception.

Marci Gonzalez and Dr. Tim Brown at the 2016 College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnights awards reception.

Gonzalez discussed her time at UCF, her career, and her advice to students in the spotlight responses below.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

I immediately fell in love with UCF during my first visit. The campus is so beautiful, and everyone I met was so friendly. The scholarship I was offered was a big motivator, but the hands-on-opportunities in the RTV program really sealed the deal.

How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?

The degree has been helpful, but the lessons I learned in my UCF classes have helped my career even more. On the job, I still regularly think back to what my professors taught me.

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at UCF?

I was involved in RTNDA (which is now RTDNA) and CKI (Circle K International), serving as president of both clubs.

Have you stayed involved with UCF since graduation? If so, how?

Yes, I’ve stayed involved with UCF thanks to the dedication of Dr. Tim Brown who makes sure I remain looped in and still a part of the UCF “family.” I’ve returned several times to talk to UCF classes.  I also mentor current and former students.

What is your best UCF memory?

My best UCF memories are from the long days in the edit rooms in the Nicholson School of Communication building working on stories for Knightly News with my classmates who became lifelong friends.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love that every day is different in my job. I get to travel, meet fascinating people, witness history and tell impactful stories.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

There have been too many to name just one. Some of the most memorable experiences include traveling to Haiti alone to cover the earthquake, spending a month in South Africa covering Nelson Mandela’s failing health and interviewing Barbara Walters.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

My advice is to not be afraid of failure. I have been turned down for jobs, gone blank during live shots, and made some decisions that have almost gotten me fired.  Those mistakes and let-downs have always led to valuable lessons that eventually helped propel my career as well as my personal growth. Failure can be a critical launching point for success.

What or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by aspiring young journalists. I love the passion and excitement they have for reporting.  It reminds me of how I felt when I started out, and how important it is to stay grounded in the mindset that I am beyond fortunate to work in this incredible business.

What do you do for fun?

I love traveling. Last year I hiked the Inca Trail with friends, and traveled solo to Thailand and Cambodia. 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I went shark diving in Cape Town. While I was underwater, a 10-12 foot great white slammed itself into the cage I was in. It was terrifying and exhilarating!




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