Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Vantage Points: CASSH Blog | University of West Florida
Skip to main content

Scott honored for a 22-year career

August 4, 2021 | Brandy Gottlieb, CASSH Communications |

A student presents a faculty member an award.
Scott was awarded the UWF Distinguished Teaching award, by UWF SGA, in 2019.

“I can’t believe it has been 22 years since I taught my first class at UWF!  It has been an amazing career.  I have been fortunate to have such wonderful leadership, especially during my time as department chair,” says Rick Scott, UWF Department of Communication chair and lecturer. 

After a 22-year career with the University of West Florida, Scott is retiring. 

In addition to his tenure at UWF, Scott has had an influential career in public relations. Under the Clinton administration, he was a spokesperson for the Department of Defense and director of public affairs planning for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Scott worked as strategic planner for foreign policy and served in a variety of command and staff assignments in the U.S. Army. His credentials include being Accredited in Public Relations and a Certified Public Relations Counselor. 

Scott began his career with UWF in 1999 as an adjunct instructor and has since served in many positions with the University. Some of these roles have included Emerald Coast Campus program coordinator, academic advisor, lecturer, and most recently, chair of the UWF Department of Communication. 

“Professor Rick Scott was truly one of a kind."- Whitney Vaughan Fike, ‘07 Alumn

Whitney Vaughan Fike, ‘07 alumn and UWF Alumni board of directors vice president, reflected on Scott’s impact on her time at UWF. “Professor Rick Scott was truly one of a kind. He is a subject matter expert who shared his knowledge with his students in the most engaging ways. I vividly remember his lectures and how he included us to be active participants. There are skills he shared that I still use to this day. I am so thankful to have been taught by one of the best and so grateful that he took real world experiences and turned them into lessons. Thank you Professor Scott for all you have done for the University of West Florida and the numerous lives you have changed for the better, including mine.”

Joyce Southard, advisor for the Department of Communication, has worked with Scott for 20 years, beginning with his role as faculty advisor. She said she has witnessed Scott’s calm, clear and direct approaches in the classroom and noted that he brought that approach to his leadership role in the department. “I’ve always appreciated his measured, steady demeanor in all of our interactions through the years,” said Southard.  

Scott’s academic career has been marked by numerous accolades. In 2019, Scott was inducted into the UWF Teaching Hall of Fame. He is a three-time recipient of UWF’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Scott has also received several awards on behalf of his work with the Florida Public Relations Association, to include the prestigious Doris Fleischman “Unsung Hero” Award in 2011. 

“Rick was a shining example of what department members should aspire to." - John Bloodworth, Communication Lecturer 

John Bloodworth, communication lecturer, commended Rick’s leadership style. “Rick was a shining example of what department members should aspire to. In addition, his thoughtful counseling to his colleagues on both personal and professional matters was unmatched.”

Dr. Kurt Wise, professor of communication and former department chair, shared his gratitude for Scott's expertise as a faculty member."It is rare when a department is fortunate enough to have a person of Rick's experience as a member of the faculty. His career in the Army as a communication professional allowed him to impart a great deal of unique insights to his students.He earned teaching awards during his time at UWF, which is no surprise given the comments offered by students in their evaluations. He will be greatly missed." 

"He is an inspiring instructor, a warm and affable colleague, and a two-time chair who has steered us through some tough times with a calm, clear head." - Dr. Kelly Carr, Incoming Department Chair

Dr. Kelly Carr, associate professor of communication and the department’s incoming chair, also honored Scott’s legacy to the department. She said, “Professor Rick Scott has long been a steady presence in the Department of Communication. He is an inspiring instructor, a warm and affable colleague, and a two-time chair who has steered us through some tough times with a calm, clear head. No one deserves a great retirement as much as Rick, and I'm as thrilled for him as I am sad that he's leaving! As I move into the role of department chair, I'm grateful that I have such a fine model of leadership to guide me.”

Scott extends his many thanks to Dr. Martha Saunders, UWF president; Dr. George Ellenberg, UWF provost;  Dr. Steve Brown, dean of the UWF College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities; and the  respective staffs for their guidance, support and friendship. He gives special “props” to Lori Glaze and Michelle Doyle who, he said, “kept me out of jail and fixed all the things I broke.”

In addition, Scott said he thanks his friends and colleagues, past and present, in the department. He said, “I appreciate what you do each day. This job has allowed me to interact with hundreds of students who have come through our program. Many of them have left a lasting impact, and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with them.”

Of retirement, Scott said he is excited to start his new chapter. It will include lots of travel plans and restarting his favorite hobby of judging state championship barbeque cook-offs. Scott and members of his family are certified master barbeque judges.