Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to make a difference with my fellow Knights at the First Annual Mary Helen Callarman 5K. The Nu Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity hosted a 5K Run/Walk to benefit the American Cancer Society and SARC in honor of Dr. Mary Helen Callarman on November 17, 2013. Dr. Callarman lost the battle to cancer at the young age of 52, and will be forever remembered as a leader and mentor at UCF. She was the Founding Director of the SARC (Student Academic Resource Center), established in 1988. This center has provided tutoring and other academic services to over 150,000 students at UCF since 1988.
One of Callarman’s most notable actions on campus was when she took it upon herself to paint the door of the SARC portable. After numerous attempts at work orders with maintenance, Dr. Callarman’s initiative and desire to make SARC known on campus drove her to paint the door red! In 2001, SARC joined an initiative on campus called the Student Success Center, providing SARC with the exposure Dr. Callarman dreamed of that day. The “red door” still hangs today in Howard Phillips Hall, forever symbolizing Mary Helen Callarman’ s dedication and commitment to the success of students at the University of Central Florida.
In her remembrance, students and families came together to walk, run and dance for a cause. Mary Helen’s husband, Dr. William Callarman, announced the start of the race. He is known for creating Cornerstone, a required business course, and continues to teach, in addition to serving as the current faculty advisor for Nu Chi. Knightcast sponsored this event, and my team provided entertainment, volunteers and even runners. With this theme of “student success,” I encourage all Knights to “reach for the stars” and support Mary Helen Callarman’s inspiring legacy!