Outstanding Anthropology AlumKnight

Keith EdwardsFrom president of MedSTAR Medical to wine connoisseur, anthropology alumnus Keith Edwards, ’10, ’11, uses his degrees every day in his diverse vocations.

“I remain indebted to UCF for its learning environment, and the Anthropology Department for equipping me with the tools and sense of curiosity which I draw upon each and every day in both my medical and wine publishing ventures,” said Edwards.

Edwards was drawn to UCF’s Anthropology Department by the work of Dr. Arlen Chase and Dr. Diane Chase at the Mayan archaeological site in Caracol. It piqued his interest significantly and after taking two courses in anthropology, he loved it and was committed to UCF. He graduated from UCF with a master’s degree in anthropology and a certificate in Maya studies. He says his time spent at UCF has fueled the fire for continuing self-improvement.

Edwards is president of MedSTAR Medical, a Tampa, Florida-based single-source provider of solutions to assist caregivers in meeting specific needs of their residents and patients. As president, he oversees the operational, financial, human resources, customer relations, and strategic aspects of the business. He sets both the long- and short-term goals of the organization and then develop budgets and plans to drive goal attainment.

Edwards is also the founder and sole contributor to his blog which focuses squarely on the practices and cultures of grape growing, wine production, and wine consumption. He says this blog represents his continuing quest for knowledge and understanding of all things wine and a commitment to sharing those learnings once he becomes comfortable with them. It also reflects his focus on placing things in order and providing frameworks within which that order can be imposed, analyzed, and disseminated.

Edwards was recently nominated for the UCF College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnights award by the UCF Anthropology Department based on his continued support of UCF and his professional accomplishments, service and success. He was honored at the inaugural Outstanding AlumKnight award reception in February 2015 at the Orlando Science Center.

Edwards talks more on his time at UCF, his job, and offers valuable advice to UCF students and alumni.

 Why did you choose to attend UCF?

I have always had an interest and history with UCF. I was looking for a high quality history-related program that was relatively local as well as meeting my academic and lifestyle needs.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I set both the long and short-term goals of the organization and then develop budgets and plans to drive goal attainment.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

The day my company launched its own web-based operational software system. When I first came on board, all of the company’s systems were manual. This made billing, equipment distribution, and inventory management long and tedious affairs. Shortly after coming onboard, I mapped out most of the internal processes and took it to a friend asking if he could code a web-based system to conduct these processes. This system became the backbone of the business. This made me very happy. 

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

Both the New York Times and Wine Enthusiast Magazine recently lauded Orlando as a place of note, not only as compared to US cities, but in the case of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, as compared to worldwide wine tourism destinations. This is a reflection of the contribution that UCF is making to the community in terms of producing the type of people that can create this go-getter community. And more specifically, in the case of Rosen College of Hospitality Management, creating a service backbone that can help carry the message, “Orlando is not just for kids anymore.” Be proud of the role that your institution is playing in this makeover of Orlando and help in whatever way you can to move the ball forward.

 Edwards answered some questions in our 30 second lighting round.

 What do you do for fun?

Travel to wine regions and to great restaurants around the world to satisfy my passion for the products of both.

What do you miss most about being a kid?

Being a kid.

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