COS Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2015: Ybeth Bruzual

Ybeth BruzualYbeth Bruzual, ’05, graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Since then, Bruzual has demonstrated an exceptional multi-media journalism career and dedication to her alma mater. Due to her accomplishments, Bruzual was nominated and honored as the 2015 Political Science Outstanding AlumKnight awardee at the inaugural ceremony this year.

You will most likely recognize Bruzual waking up viewers on Bright House Networks, anchoring the morning show on News 13, the only 24-hour local news channel in Central Florida.

Bruzual has covered many high profile stories such as the 2012 Democratic and Republican National conventions, the George Zimmerman and Casey Anthony trials, and conducted exclusive interviews with the who’s who in politics; Florida Governor Rick Scott, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Charlie Crist, Governor Bob Graham, U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, and the list goes on and on.

In addition, Bruzual works tirelessly to give back to the community through mentorships. She volunteers as a mentor at local schools and was recognized with the naming of the Ybeth Bruzual Media Center at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Orlando. Most recently, she volunteered as a mentor in the UCF Nicholson School of Communication Alumni Chapter’s Knights & Squires program.

She has been a board member for both the Shepherd’s Hope Clinic and Central Florida Chapter Board for Lighthouse of Central Florida and is past-president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists – Central Florida Chapter.

Ybeth credits her UCF Political Science degree in helping her throughout her career. She feels having great access to professors helped her better understand how a political issue on the other side of the world can affect us here in Central Florida. She also frequently invites many of her former professors to be on her show to discuss local politics and the hot topics of the moment.

Her advice to current students and UCF Alumni is, “Never, ever stop learning and always say you studied at UCF in the first sentence of any public speaking engagement and on your social media profile. UCF is outstanding for its academic standards, athletic accomplishments and is leading the way in medical studies and technological advances. I bleed black and gold!”

Clearly, it’s easy to see that Ybeth is an Outstanding Knight. Her passion and leadership embodies what UCF stands for and her commitment to service is an example for us all.

Ybeth answered some more questions about her UCF experience and career.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

I chose to attend UCF because its vicinity. I grew up in East Orange County, in Union Park and it was nice to have it so close to home.

How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?

My UCF degree has helped me in my career as a journalist by exposing me to the best minds in politics, among them Dr. Houman Sadri and others at UCF.

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

I have stayed involved with UCF since my graduation in 2005 in various ways. I am a rabid basketball fan and have had my season tickets for quite a few years now and attend lots of games. I have also mentored some students in the radio-television program, most recently this past semester with the Knights & Squires Program.

What is your best UCF memory?

My best UCF memory was being there for the inaugural UCF football season at Bright House Networks Stadium.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is the free gourmet coffee and seeing John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan on any given day in the hallway, his office is upstairs.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

My most memorable experience while on the job has been covering the Republican Convention in Tampa in 2012 and the Democratic Convention in Charlotte that same year. Some people work their entire career as journalists and never get this assignment. I got to cover both the same year!

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

ALWAYS remember your UCF roots; your professors, your mentors, and give back with your time and if you can with money. Every donation counts.

Bruzual answered some more questions in our “get-to-know-you” portion of the spotlight.

Do you have any special/hidden talents?

I can balance a ream of paper on my head (in the old days, a phone book).

What do you do for fun?

For fun I surf at Cocoa Beach and most recently I’ve started to restore and repurpose furniture.

What is the most generous or thoughtful gift you have ever received?

From viewers; a handmade lamp shade from a viewer, a baby album from a viewer and a handmade kitchen towel.

What is your favorite place to visit?

Anywhere in the south! South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee.

What traditions does your family have?

We are HUGE on birthdays! No matter the age, we get the cake, candles, balloons, gifts. It’s a big production.


Story written by Julia Anderson.

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