Rebecca Kopelman will always be a freshman to me. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say that. She is the first student to graduate from the UF College of Journalism and Communications as an active member of the UF Weather Team since her freshman year. Rebecca walked in to Studio 1 of Weimer Hall with zero experience in broadcast and very little knowledge of meteorology. But don’t let that fool you. She recently accepted a full-time position as weather anchor for KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Rebecca has proven to be someone a mid-size television market wants in today’s digital focused world. She is the prototype of how weather stories should be told each and every day through multiple platforms on a local level.
It is with mixed feelings that we say good-bye to Rebecca. I have never worked alongside someone more dedicated to the success of a team, helpful to others, passionate about her own work, and just an all-around joy to be around. For these reasons, she will be greatly missed by our entire team on a personal level. Her professional skills will leave a big hole as well. Rebecca could do all of her own forecasting and producing, turned countless reports and live shots, and even got stranded in flood waters to cover a breaking story on a Sunday (her only day off). She has been awarded a Certificate in Climatology of Meteorology and will graduate with a degree in Telecommunication from UF on Saturday.
Rebecca begins her work at KGAN-TV the first week of January and hopes to see her first flake of snow EVER when she arrives. We hope she stays warm and stays in touch. We know she will make us all proud to be a Gator.