Legacy Alumna Credits UCF Opportunities for Success
Angie Lander grew up in a University of Central Florida family. Her father went to UCF and passed along his school spirit to her. When the time came for Lander to go to college, her choice was an easy one.
“I toured the campus and felt at home,” Lander said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to study as a freshman, so I was evaluating the school on a more intuitive level. ‘Can I see myself succeeding here, will I feel part of the community?’ The answer was yes.”
Lander graduated from UCF with her bachelor’s degree in political science in 2004 and with her master’s degree in political science in 2009. During her undergraduate career she was also a part of The Burnett Honors College and volunteered on its alumni chapter while attending graduate school. She now works as the manager of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. ASCE advances civil engineering technical specialties through nine dynamic Institutes (including COPRI) and leads with its many professional- and public-focused programs.
Lander’s time at UCF has helped her advance in her career in many ways. The amount of reading and writing that she was required to do prepared her for her job duties. She also stressed the importance of critical thinking skills in her field and thanked UCF for reinforcing hers.
“We had to read, analyze and digest complex information, and learn how to break complicated problems down into smaller, easier to understand pieces,” Lander said. “Along the way I also learned a lot about myself, my world view, how I process information, what my biases are, and most importantly, how to take a step back and be objective. That’s helped me solve a lot of complicated problems at work, and taught me to be flexible and open myself to other ideas and different ways of thinking.”
As the manager of COPRI she works directly with the director and active volunteers on projects such as workshops, technical publications, technical specialty conferences, and committee meetings. She also manages the Institute’s daily operational needs, advertises COPRI products and services, and communicates and builds relationships with members through the website, newsletter, and social media.
Lander’s favorite aspect of her job are the volunteers that she gets to work with. She loves to learn from them and from the work that they do. Her most memorable experience while at work was a rewarding one. She fondly remembers a special student session at a conference COPRI held.
“It was a great experience bringing the students and our leadership together, and interesting to listen to their questions for experienced engineers,” Lander said. “I’ve kept in touch with some of the students, who are now successful young professionals, and I’m glad to have been a small part of their journey.”
Networking is so important to Lander and she recommends it for every current UCF student.
“If you want to grow and learn, you have to be willing to ask questions and talk to people. You never know where they will lead you,” Lander said.
Beginning January 10, Lander will be the manager of Global Programs, supporting the director as the staff contact for the International ASCE sections, branches, and groups. She will also manage the Region 10 website, ASCE Global Link newsletter, and be responsible for managing the Agreements of Cooperation between ASCE and other societies.