UCF Sociology Alumna Pursues Social Change in Central Florida

Kristine Savoury

Kristine Savoury, ’06, ’08, thanks her UCF sociology degree for establishing a strong foundation that prepared her for the pursuit of her master’s degree in social work at UCF.

Savoury is a community outreach specialist at Magellan Complete Care. Because it’s a Medicaid plan for individuals with severe mental illness, the position requires a licensed clinical social worker such as Savoury. Savoury covers Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties, attending community meetings and meeting with community organizations, seeking to work together to serve the severe mental illness population. Savoury’s goal is to break down the stigma attached to mental illness.

“I get to be a voice for those that feel they don’t have a voice at times. I am able to educate and take part in my community. I am around like-minded individuals who are working towards social change; to stop stigma on mental illness while increasing conversations and awareness of mental illness. It’s pretty amazing to feel you may actually be playing a very small role in a very serious matter, with hope that in the long run you can change just even one person’s life. That is the ultimate goal,” Savoury said.

Savoury expressed her gratitude to UCF for the amazing education and experience her undergraduate and graduate degrees provided her. She encourages students to seek internships and to value every contact met along the way.

Savoury reflects more on her time at UCF, her current position and offers advice to students and alumni.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

Being from Brevard County, Florida, it was an excellent option for me to stay close to home and attend a state University with an awesome sociology program for my undergraduate degree and an amazing social work program for my master’s degree.

How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?

Towards the end of pursuing my sociology degree, I knew I had a great foundation. I learned so much and I wanted to take what I had learned and apply it to something I knew would do some honest good in this world. The strong foundation I gained from my UCF sociology degree, and the experience from my internship with Children’s Home Society prepared me to pursue my master’s degree in social work at UCF.
Have you stayed involved with UCF since graduation? If so, how?

I have stayed involved with UCF by keeping in touch with my peers on Facebook and Instagram. I love to see how they are all doing; their babies and their lives. It’s all so interesting how we all turned out and the different paths we all took. I love it. I guess this is the sociology lover in me.

What is your best UCF memory?

My favorite memories at UCF include the amazing individuals I met while attending! It was so exciting to be surrounded by a group of individuals and professors that felt as passionately about a topic as myself.

What is you most memorable experience on the job?

My most memorable experience is being recognized by my peers as “The Rock Star of the Month.” It may not sound like much, and it didn’t come with a big bonus, but it did come with the deep appreciation of knowing that others, my own peers, recognized my hard work and dedication. There’s really nothing better than that because it means I am doing a good job to help positively affect our members’ lives. That’s what it’s all about.

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

Do internships. My internship was the best decision I ever made. I went into graduate school with some experience in the field. It truly helped me make the decision to go to graduate school and determine what I wanted to do with my life and career. Also, when I got a job they counted all of my internships as experience, which raised my pay.

For students and alumni, I would add that every job I’ve had led me to my next. Every person you meet along the way is an important contact. You never know how your life may change or what opportunities your colleagues may bring you. Pretend it’s a job interview with everyone you meet. Always be the best you can be and you may be surprised where it can take you.

Savoury answered some more questions in our 30-second get-to-know-you round of the interview.

What do you do for fun?

I love to spend time with my husband and son. Family is so important to me and being a working mom and wife, I cherish every moment. I also enjoy working out and going to the movies when I have time.

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

A few things come to mind. My husband bought me a new lap top because mine was so broken down and overused after graduate school. He knew I needed and would truly appreciate a new one. He was right, it was a wonderful surprise.

Also, my parents gave me a ring at my high school graduation. It was my mother’s original wedding band. She had lost the diamond years before but had my birth stone, an emerald, reset in the band. I still have it and wear it on special occasions.

And of course, I have to add my wedding ring. My most cherished and meaningful piece of jewelry for obvious reasons.

If you were stranded on a desert island, besides the necessities, what three items would you want with you?

Water, food and a satellite phone to call someone to come get me!

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