“My UCF degree is like an investment in Apple or Amazon,” says Tandreia Bellamy ’98MS, “because it just gets more valuable as time goes on.”
As a member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board, Bellamy gets an up-close look at the future. “Everything that is cutting edge — the cybersecurity lab, the virtual reality lab, artificial intelligence — is on that campus,” she says. “When you talk about students being prepared to enter the world today, UCF has it all.”
But more than cutting-edge programs, what Bellamy says really comes through loud and clear is the sense of care and commitment the faculty have for their students. “The professors seem to have a vested interest in the success of students,” she says. “And that makes the education at UCF so much more personal and so much more valuable.” That engagement helps students to thrive. “When you look at the number of programs [at UCF] in engineering like GEMS (Girls EXCELling in Math and Science) or WISE Mentoring, the message is clear: We want you here, and we want you to succeed in STEM fields.”
An industrial engineer who recently retired from a successful 34-year career at one of the largest global shipping and logistics companies worldwide, Bellamy has a wealth of knowledge that she shares with many student groups at the university and mentors an industrial engineering student. The connection and outreach are a win-win for all. “I feel like I am valued by the university, so I want to invest in it.”
Along with her investment of time, Bellamy recently established an endowed scholarship benefitting women in STEM, to help balance a playing field where women have always been underrepresented. “We’ve got to crack the code — we have got to take that thought process away that girls cannot excel in math and science.” The scholarship will assist undergrads studying in STEM fields and, because it is endowed, will benefit students for generations to come.
Bellamy knows the impact the scholarship will have because she was fortunate to receive scholarship assistance as an undergrad at Stanford University. “I came out of Stanford with very little student debt, and it would not have been possible without scholarships.” She plans to stay engaged with her alma mater so she can see the impact of her giving firsthand and because she’s excited about what’s to come for the university.
“UCF cares about all things Knight, and it is really refreshing,” she says. “I’m proud to be involved.”
This feature appears in IMPACT: The Magazine of the UCF Foundation – Spring 2022 issue.