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Interdisciplinary Studies: Student Profiles

In light of the diverse areas students in the Interdisciplinary Studies program choose, there is great variability in their careers and future aspirations. Graduates from the Master’s program have worked in the non-profit, government, education, and for-profit sectors in a variety of institutions. Current positions of alumni range from lawyers, non-profit foundation CEOs, faculty, and consultants in the business and environmental arenas.  Read the spotlights below on some of our outstanding alumni and current students.

Matthew Ocksrider
Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appellate Division of the Office of the Attorney General

Matthew Oksrider

Matthew Ocksrider completed his Interdisciplinary Studies MS degree with a concentration in computer forensics in 2006, along the way earning a graduate certificate in Computer Forensics. Previously, he had earned a bachelor’s degree at UCF in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. For Ocksrider, having the flexibility to explore multiple disciplines was the main selling point of the IDS program.

After leaving UCF, Ocksrider went on to obtain his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and is now Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appellate Division of the Office of the Attorney General in West Palm Beach, Florida. “Although my career does not directly relate to the IDS degree, it has absolutely been useful. Aside from having a good foundation in computer forensics, which led to gaining experience after law school in electronic discovery and computer forensics in the practice setting, the elective coursework very much prepared me for my career.  The IDS coursework challenged me to read, think, and write critically as well as draw from a number of sources prior to formulating a topic. This was a great foundation for law school and my job now, which involves me almost exclusively presenting arguments through writing. I regularly use these skills when researching and writing a brief.”

Barbara Verchot
Founder, Wings of Peace International

Barbara Verchot Square Image

Barbara Verchot has always considered herself to be a ‘non-traditional student,’ so the flexibility to cross discipline lines offered in the IDS program was extremely appealing to her. Her experiences conducting humanitarian work for the hill tribes of Thailand, both independently and with Wings of Peace International (WOPI), led her to a concentration in Anthropology and Political Science. “I saw a region mapped into territories by outsiders who had no idea how that act would impact the people there. It changed the status of tribal groups in the area and it changed the way these groups of people were thought of by others and how they thought of themselves.”

During her time in the IDS program, Verchot appreciated having the ability to choose the best course of study for her interests. Her thesis,Creating Marginality and Reconfiguring Narrative: Reconfiguring Karen Social and Geo-Political Alignment, contains elements of political science, Asian culture, and narrative studies embedded in the overall anthropological theme. She also enjoyed working with highly accomplished, accessible professors who are interested in their students’ success. 

Verchot has presented her research at the American Anthropological Association's (AAA) annual meetings (2008-2009). She has also received the Global Woman’s Humanitarian Award for outstanding contributions to humankind (2006), the Women’s Caucus for Art’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Leadership (2005), and has been recognized by the Thai government for her work which directly impacted more than 250,000 people in Maehongson Province. 

Kaye-Elese Green
Current Interdisciplinary Studies MA Student

Kaye Alese Green

Kaye Alese Green has been a member of the UCF community since 2010, first earning her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and now as a master’s student in the IDS program. Her concentrations are in urban education and public health. Green enjoys the flexibility of the program which allows her to gain a better understanding of the variables that impact pediatric health through her public health concentration while simultaneously exploring factors influencing pediatric mental health in her education courses. She explains, “School is where children spend most of their time and thus my ability to be the best practitioner possible revolves around my ability to understand the lives of my patients.”

During her time at UCF, Green has been a member of the Honors College, the LEAD Scholars Program, and the President's Leadership Council, as well as the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Team. She was named Scholar Athlete of the Year by the National Council of Negro Women and in 2014, she received the Order of Pegasus award. She is now working on her Capstone project: a Critical Analysis of the Interdisciplinary Theory Expansion for the understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

Green’s career goal is to become a pediatric psychiatrist. After completing her degree, she plans to take a year off to travel abroad before returning to UCF to pursue a medical doctorate and a doctorate in sociology to continue her medical sociology research. 


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