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Jenna Doerfler: SAAC President


Q: Where are you from? How old are you? What’s your major?
A: Local girl from Winter Park; 22 years old; majoring in Event Management with a minor in Hospitality

Q: What is your current involvement on campus?
A: I am a senior on the women’s tennis team and a leader within the athletics community. I am currently the president of SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Council). Any extra time that I have outside of tennis and academics, I am doing community service within the UCF community. A lot of my time goes into my tennis team, our practice and our workouts. Tennis is my number one priority as well as my team. I attend Board of Director meetings as the student-athlete representative for the school. I am involved in other various groups and organizations within the UCF Athletics Department. I also work for the Orlando Magic as a representative for the Ritz Carlton Chairman’s Suite.


Q: What have you previously been involved in?
A: I have been a member of SAAC since my freshman year. I saw it as a way to get involved and give back to the community outside of tennis and my classes, which are both obviously very important to me. I wanted to be a leader of SAAC, so I started as treasurer my sophomore year and progressed to vice president my junior year. I have been a member of the women’s tennis team since my freshman year.

Q: What made you want to become so involved?
A: I have been grateful enough to have the opportunity of receiving a full scholarship to play for a major Division I school. Being on full scholarship is one of the reasons why I like to give back to the community. It is my way of saying thank you and showing appreciation.

Q: What awards and achievements have you received?
A: As far as athletics goes, I have received the Coach’s Award from my tennis coaches and have received the Scholar Baller award each year for maintaining my grades with my success on the court. Through my classes, I have worked hard to make a strong GPA (3.67) and earn awards on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Dean’s List. Recently, I am excited to say, that I have been nominated for the Order of Pegasus, which is one of the most prestigious awards a student can get.

Q: What does being the president of SAAC entail?
A: One of the perks of being a student-athlete is that I get to be involved in these athletic organizations. As president, I oversee the group and the members on the executive board. I help organize and plan in committees such as: marketing; community service; fundraising; and the end of the year banquet for student-athletes, The Black and Gold Gala. I run all of the meetings, while helping to ensure that SAAC stays on track. 

There about 45 student-athletes from all the different sports on the committee. We work together to be representatives for all athletes. I attend meetings, such as the Board of Directors meeting, to give President Hitt, the faculty and the directors updates on what SAAC is doing. We serve as the voice of the student-athletes.

Q: How much of a time commitment is it being a student-athlete?
A: It is a HUGE time commitment. My day consists of early morning workouts, rushing all sweaty to classes; while attempting to put on a little makeup to not look as sweaty! Then, I go from my classes straight to practice for around two to three hours. My evenings consist of having another class, attending a SAAC meeting or a meeting for something else that I am involved in. There is always something that I have to get to in the evening, it seems like! While my days are completely packed and stressful at times, I wouldn’t trade it for any other day. At the end of the day, I feel very accomplished. I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to be busy with these activities.

Q: What kind of sacrifices do you have to make?
A: We have practice on the weekends, sometimes a tournament or match especially in the spring. So, our weekends are pretty much taken. Since we have to get up really early every day in the morning for workouts, it does not leave a lot of time to go out and do things at night. I have to be smart with what I eat, what time I am up until and what else I am doing. This is epically important in the spring when we play several matches each week. We get somewhat of a Christmas break, but we come back earlier that other students to train and get ready for our season. I have, sadly, yet to have a spring reak in my college career, since we have matches during that time. If we are lucky, we have a day or two off where we can go to the beach during the break. We don’t get many breaks off; tennis is a year-round sport.

Q: How has your tennis progressed since your time at UCF?
A: My game has progressed in both singles in doubles. My freshman year, I started at number 4 position in singles and I am now playing at the number 2 position for my senior year. I have put countless hours in to improve my fitness, which helps me feel more confident on the tennis court. I have really seen my game improve over the last four years. Challenges and situations that I face daily on the court have helped me grow as a person off the tennis court as well.

Q: What does your job entail with the Orlando Magic?
A: I am a representative for the Chairman’s Suite; it is one of the nicest suites at the Amway Center. A lot of the job is interacting with our guests through customer service. I have gotten to know our guests very well and familiarize myself with them. I like to meet new people and make their experience great.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: When I am not on the tennis court, in classes, or doing community service on weekends, I spend as much time with my family and friends that I can! I am very close with my family and am from just down the road in Winter Park, so I visit my parents at home often. I have a younger sister, Jillian, who plays tennis for Florida Southern. We usually try to spend weekends together whenever we can. I love my family and friends and enjoy spending time together as often as possible.

Q: What are your plans/goals for the future?
A: My goal is to have a great final season for tennis this coming spring and finish strong to graduate in May. I am currently applying for the DeVos Sport Business Management Masters Program that is here through UCF. I want to tie in my passion for sports with the event industry and am hoping to enroll in this program for the next two years. 

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