Political Science Alumna Credits UCF Diversity

revelloDiversity is what brought Susan Revello, ’83, to UCF and after 27 years in the public relations sector, she still credits her success to the diverse opportunities her political science degree provided her.

Revello is the president and owner of FORWARD Florida media, a digital media company covering economic development that also produces an award-winning magazine. FORWARD Florida focuses on progress, charting the evolution of business via a unique focus on the most creative individuals, companies and community leaders sparking change in the marketplace.

By uncovering best and “next” practices, Revello and her magazine, in conjunction with an interactive website, help a new breed of leaders work smarter and more effectively while empowering innovators to challenge convention and build the future of business for the Sunshine State.

Originally from Staten Island, N.Y., Revello categorizes herself as a “type A” person, a go getter; “…high school valedictorian and senior class president, most likely to succeed. You name an activity and I was involved!” states Revello. She credits her transfer to UCF, from the University of Florida, for letting her personality continue to shine.

Revello thanks UCF and the political science department for her continued success as an editor; from the different experiences and the friendships she has made with students from around the world, to her improved public speaking skills and new found confidence. She looks back at her UCF experience with fondness and appreciation.

Susan shares more about her time at UCF, her career, and advice to students and alumni in the spotlight responses below.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

I began my college career at the University of Florida. However, I had some eye problems and dropped out for a semester as a freshman, went to UCF initially for a few temporary classes till I got back to Gainesville. Well, bottom line is I fell in love with UCF. I loved everything about it, my professors, the students, the diversity of the student body, the campus. I really felt at home there.

How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?

Although I majored in international relations, I minored in business administration and philosophy. Those degrees and the information I learned especially helped me in my previous jobs such as Director of Corporate Communications for Hong Kong-based Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, Senior Account Executive at the former RY&P agency and Todd Persons Communications, Advertising Account Executive at the Orlando Business Journal, a Consultant for Phelps Dodge, Creative Gaming, 3M and more.

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at UCF?

I participated in various events through the political science department. One time, I drove with a bunch of fellow students to a mock Organization of American States (OAS) in DC. I was not supposed to be an official delegate but at the last minute the designated student could not do it. So at the nth hour I agreed to be the dictator Efraín Ríos Montt of Guatemala. I had to address the general assembly in the beautiful OAS building.

What was tricky is I did not know parliamentary procedure, so I winged it! Because Efraín Ríos Montt was responsible for genocide I got singled out quite a bit by the other countries. But it was a memorable experience and it gave me confidence that I could think on my feet and handle stressful situations! And it reinforced my love of public speaking. 

What is your best UCF memory?

For my sophomore communications class we were tasked with writing a letter to the editor of the Orlando Sentinel. I wrote a brief one about how the neighborhood I lived in initially with my parents in Longwood was not a particularly friendly one. So my letter was that I was perplexed about the concept of Southern Hospitality. I thought to myself this will never get published. I was WRONG.

Someone pointed out to me that my small letter had run and I had responses that dominated the entire opinion page. In bold letters: IS SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY A MYTH? There were lots of comments!  Most were not very nice. But it was another interesting experience. At that moment, I learned the power of the written word.

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

Take advantage of all opportunities. Whether to meet people, to go places or to try something new. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

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