Florida Atlantic University Alumni Magazine 2009

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FALL 20 09


legacy A Magazine for Alumni and Friends


IN THIS ISSUE Alumni Entrepreneurs Share Their Inspirational Stories FAU’s 5th President, Frank T. Brogan ’81, Bids Goodbye Coach Schnellenberger: 50 Years and Counting

A Time of Transition,

A Time of Transformation



Janette Robbins

As the 2009-10 academic year got under way, President Frank T. Brogan – a proud FAU alumnus and the most dynamic president the University has ever had – left to become chancellor of Florida’s State University System. As provost, I had the privilege of working very closely with him during most of his six-year presidency, and when he announced his intention to leave FAU I was honored to be named interim president by the Board of Trustees. Over the past three years, FAU’s state funding has been cut by more than $50 million, necessitating reductions in degree programs and personnel. This is a time of transition and transformation, as we work to redefine the ways in which the University will pursue its multifaceted mission to offer top quality higher education opportunities, carry out cutting-edge 21st century research and render meaningful service to the many com munities in its very large service area. Despite the challenges that we’ve faced and continue to face, our University stands on the threshold of a future that is overflowing with promise. That is why I ask you to get involved today and give back to FAU by becoming part of our TRUE BLUE campaign. Some of the ways you can show your support for your University are listed on page four of this magazine. This fall FAU opened its doors to a record-high 28,000 students seeking degrees in a broad spectrum of disciplines, from the arts and humanities to engineering, science and nursing. We take tremendous pride in the success of our faculty, students and alumni. The entrepreneurs featured in this issue are all visionaries who were able to see opportunity and create their own success under a wide variety of circumstances. They did not wait for the “perfect time” to pursue their dreams. By taking life as they found it and summoning the wisdom and energy they needed to overcome obstacles, they reached their goals, and that is exactly the philosophy we are adopting to take FAU into the future. Help us continue to move our great University forward. Working together, we can and will bring FAU into the dawn of a whole new day. I am TRUE BLUE to FAU … are you?


Linda Holtz


Patricia DeBona, Louise Hinton, Doug McInnis, Marcus Nelson


Jennifer Tyson


Marlene Smith


JKG Group


Randy Talbot Executive Vice President, University Advancement Executive Director, FAU Foundation, Inc.

The editorial staff invites you to send comments, letters and editorial contributions relating to Florida Atlantic University or the content of the magazine. Submissions will be reviewed and may be modified according to editorial standards. The editorial staff is not responsible for loss of or damage to any material received.

All correspondence should be sent to:

legacy FAU Division of University Advancement 777 Glades Road

Boca Raton, FL 33431 legacy @fau.edu or 561.297.2890 (fax)

legacy is published by the Division of University Advancement of Florida Atlantic University and the FAU Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the editorial team and contributors and do not necessarily


reflect the official position of the University or Foundation.

Be TRUE BLUE to FAU by making a gift online at http://fauf.fau.edu/giveagift. Call 561.297.3010

John F. Pritchett P R E S I DE N T (INTERIM)

or e-mail trueblue @ fau.edu for more information.



A Magazine for Alumni and Friends


FA L L 2 0 0 9

Are you TRUE BLUE ? Learn 5 ways to be TRUE BLUE to FAU


2 A Fond Farewell Former FAU President Frank T. Brogan ’81 bids goodbye


6 Coach Schnellenberger After 50 legendary years, the playbook is still being written 8 Creating Their Own Success Alumni entrepreneurs share their inspirational stories 16 Faces of FAU Professor Neil Santaniello — a breath of fresh air


18 Weathering the Economic Storm How to strengthen your financial future 20 Owl Notes Outstanding Owl, alumni profiles, owls in print and in memoriam 29 Philanthropy Spotlight Peter and Kerry LoBello help dreams take flight

Florida Atlantic University 1

A Fond Farewell


F O R M E R FA U P R E S I D E N T F R A N K T. B R O G A N ’81 TA K E S N E X T ST E P I N R E M A R K A B L E C A R E E R

University degrees often enhance the lives of those who earn them. Former FAU President Frank T. Brogan, who earned his master’s degree from FAU in 1981, has spent the past six years helping to lift his alma mater to new heights in academics, hightechnology research and sports. He has left FAU to become chancellor of the State University System of Florida. “When I attended FAU as a master’s the time out of your schedule to mentor Research Institute. Brogan also oversaw the creation of a four-year medical eddegree student in the College of Educa- me was truly priceless.” tion in the 1980s, I could not imagine I A message from Sheila Yungk, an FAU ucation program in conjunction with the would be so blessed as to return to its program assistant, says, “When I first University of Miami’s Miller School of halls as its president,” said Brogan.“I was found out that you were considering this Medicine. During his tenure, the state of the only member of my family to Florida awarded FAU $10 million attend college, and much of the “ I H AV E N O D O U B T T H AT to create the Center of Excellence success I have had in my profesFA U W I L L C O N T I N U E T O in Biomedical and Marine Techsional life I owe to what I learned E L E VAT E I T S E L F T H R O U G H at this wonderful university.” nology.The Center’s researchers are THE RANKS OF HIGHER Brogan’s appointment to the scouring Florida’s coastal waters for E D U C AT I O N, B E C O M I N G O N E statewide chancellorship marks the naturally occurring substances that OF THE TOP UNIVERSITIES next step in a remarkable career that could be turned into pharmaceubegan in 1978, when he arrived in tical agents to treat cancer, heart I N T H E C O U N T RY.” Florida to teach at Port Salerno Eldisease and other illnesses. In addiFrank T. Brogan ’81 ementary School on Florida’s Treastion, Brogan played a key role in W FAU PRESIDENT 2003-2009 W ure Coast. He subsequently served securing $80 million to bring the as a middle school dean of students, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Ina high school principal and superintend- position, I was upset…. I didn’t want you stitute under the FAU umbrella. ent of Martin County Schools. to leave…. You will be greatly missed.” FAU is also the home of the Center for The youngest person to be elected FlorBrogan presided over the biggest build- Ocean Energy Technology, which has garida’s Education Commissioner, Brogan ing boom in the University’s history, as nered more than $15 million in state and also served as the state’s lieutenant gover- $250 million was poured into the trans- federal funding to support researchers’ efnor, alongside then-Gov. Jeb Bush. He was formation of its multi-campus network. forts to harness the power of Florida’s named FAU’s fifth president in 2003. Brogan also put particular emphasis on strong offshore currents to generate enLetters directed to a University website making FAU a nationally recognized cen- ergy. This critically important initiative praise his performance at FAU and ex- ter for biomedical research.This was ac- got under way during the Brogan years. press sadness that he’s leaving an institu- complished with lightning speed through On Brogan’s watch the University’s tion he’s done so much to build. Former partnerships with leading research or- football team moved from Division IFAU Student Government President Ancel ganizations, including the Scripps Re- AA, where it was nationally ranked, to Pratt III writes, “You are a big part of why search Institute, the Torrey Pines Institute Division I-A. In short order, Head Coach I am the leader I am today. Your positive for Molecular Studies, the Max Planck Howard Schnellenberger led the Owls to encouragement and willingness to take Society and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer a Sun Belt Championship and a 2007 2 legacy fall 2009


F R O M T O P L E F T: President Brogan at his office on the Boca Raton campus. President Brogan and his wife Courtney pose with students during the activities

leading up to the 2008 Republican presidential primary debate held at FAU. The 2006 Society of Automotive Engineers student racing team pose with President Brogan in the car they built before the big race at the Michigan International Speedway. FAU’s first family has some fun at Fall Family Fest.

acquire critical equipment to keep FAU’s research initiatives on track. “We want to make certain that we give our faculty the tools they need to take this University to the next level,” Brogan said. Other lease proceeds are being put into building a University endowment and providing additional compensation for faculty and staff. In his farewell letter to the University community, Brogan wrote, “I have no doubt that FAU will continue to elevate itself through the ranks of higher education, becoming one of the top universities in the country.” He added, “For the past six years I have had the enormous privilege of waking each morning knowing that I was going to a job I loved, and though I am confident I will enjoy

my tenure as chancellor, there’s no place like home — I consider FAU my home and the home of my wife and our son.”


victory in the New Orleans Bowl, followed by a 2008 win in the Motor City Bowl, making FAU the only university in Florida to win back-to-back bowl games during those years. By 2008, the University had been hit by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression; multi-million dollar budget cuts soon followed. But Brogan rallied FAU in his 2008 State of the University address. “We’ll make certain that we plot a course for the future of this University that will not allow difficult economic circumstances to pull us down and pull us backwards. You see, failure is not an option here because our students rely on us to navigate these difficult times, with them as our highest priority.” In the midst of crisis, Brogan saw opportunities to advance the University using “outside-the-box” thinking. For example, he oversaw an agreement that leased unused University broadband capacity to a private company for $170 million, to be paid over 30 years. Part of the funding is being used to

Florida Atlantic University 3


… ARE YOU? “I am TRUE BLUE because FAU gave me the tools to launch my own career and now I am fortunate that I can give back to others.” S C O T T A D A M S ’87 Entrepreneur, Founder of FAU’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and FAU Trustee

Alumni, students and friends of FAU everywhere are coming together to tell us why they’re proud to be true to FAU. Now we’re inviting you to join us by showing your pride and appreciation for all that FAU does for our students and the community. JUNG MIN WOO

Piano Performance Major, School of the Arts, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters


Check out our new TRUE BLUE campaign website at www.fautrueblue.com and tell us why you’re proud to be true to FAU.

Associate Dean for Academic Programs and the Helen K. Persson Eminent Scholar, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing

Be TRUE BLUE by doing any or all of the following: · MAKE A FINANCIAL GIFT TRUE BLUE introduces new giving societies that recognize you for your financial contributions to FAU’s greatest priorities, scholarships or the University programs of your choice. DR. KEITH BREW

Schmidt Senior Fellow and Distinguished Professor and Chair of Basic Science, Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science

· J O I N T H E FA U N AT I O N A L A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N Members enjoy the camaraderie of fellow FAU alumni and friends, and receive special discount benefits. Everyone can join!

· P U R C H A S E A N FA U O R H A R B O R B R A N C H O C E A N O G R A P H I C I N S T I T U T E L I C E N S E P L AT E Take your FAU pride on the road.



Chief of Police, West Palm Beach, Fla.

You can learn, watch, cheer and enjoy with students and faculty who offer you hundreds of cultural, academic, social, athletic, community and networking events throughout the year.

· U P D AT E Y O U R R E C O R D S Don’t miss invitations, VIP announcements, news and feature stories that will be e-mailed regularly to TRUE BLUE members.

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Vice President of Business Development, Marketing and Human Resources, James A. Cummings, Inc.

Go to www.fautrueblue.com to find out more and join the TRUE BLUE family by making a gift today!

Be TRUE BLUE by Joining the

FAU National Alumni Association There has never been a better time to become a member of the FAU National Alumni Association (FAUNAA). With prestigious academic programs and partnerships, the excitement of athletic prominence and an exceptional student body, it’s easy to see why everyone is joining and showing their TRUE BLUE pride in FAU ! As a member you will receive special invitations and free or discounted admission to FAUNAA-hosted events. Plus, simply show your membership card at participating restaurants and retailers and get exciting benefits and discounts including 25 percent off at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant in Boca Raton, membership to the new FAU Recreation & Fitness Center at the alumni rate, 10 percent off all FAU-related merchandise at FAU Bookstores and so much more! Check out all the membership benefits at www.faualumni.org/benefits. Whether you’re a student, graduate, family member, friend or just a fan of FAU, everyone is invited to join! BeTRUE BLUE to FAU and become a member of FAUNAA today at www.faualumni.org ! For more information about FAUNAA, contact the FAU Office of Alumni Relations at 1-888-FAU-ALUM (328-2586) or alumni.affairs@fau.edu. A L L FA U N A A M E M B E R S G E T A D I S C O U N T E D R AT E !

Book Your Next Event or Meeting at the

Marleen & Harold Forkas Alumni Center


Superbly located adjacent to the future site of FAU’s stadium and Innovation Village residential and retail area, the Marleen & Harold Forkas Alumni Center has been expertly planned to include classroom space and several venues for conferences, cultural activities, universitywide celebrations and special events. The 14,000-square-foot multi-purpose structure is comprised of a great hall, two boardrooms, three classrooms, a library, two large reception areas, a mentoring and professional center and a fully-equipped catering kitchen. W A N T T O L E A R N M O R E ? Visit www.faualumni.org/alumnicenter to get price information and choose your space by viewing the interactive floor plan guide, then call 561-297- 6162 to book your event today!

Florida Atlantic University 5



SC H N E LLE N B E RG E R After 50 Legendary Years the Playbook is Still Being Written


hen Howard Schnellenberger reported to work for his first coaching job 50 years ago, he didn’t know entirely what to expect. The year was 1959 and Schnellenberger was joining the staff of Blanton Collier at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky. “I didn’t have any idea what I was getting into,” said Schnellenberger. “When I played football, I saw only the work the coaches did with the team, not the work that was going on behind the scenes.” PHOTOS COURTESY OF FAU ATHLETICS

BELOW: Schnellenberger gives his FAU players a pep talk before a game at Lockhart Stadium.

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Schnellenberger’s first coaching job, with its long hours and arduous tasks, was tough but he loved every minute. “It was all on-the-job training and it was the best training you can get,” said Schnellenberger. “I spent a lot of time sitting and listening to the other coaches who were there before me. Once I had been at it a few years, I started thinking about what I could add to my pot of knowledge.” Some 700 games later, including coaching stints at Alabama, Miami and Louisville, he is still excited to report to work each day, often arriving to his office at the Tom Oxley Athletic Center before the sun comes up. “The young men coming through this program today inspire me to keep coaching,” said Schnellenberger. “They are more prepared for college school work, more mature and have made more right choices than ever before.” Schnellenberger has been coaching FAU players since he signed on in 1998 under thenPresident Anthony J. Catanese. “Catanese had the foresight to bring football here. He protected us from the naysayers and the doubters,” said Schnellenberger. Schnellenberger has won a national championship at Miami, was an assistant coach for the Dolphins’ perfect season and has put more than 100 players into the National Football League, but he says it’s what he is doing at FAU that may be his most important job yet. “I take great pride in these kids’ accomplish-

ments and the success of this young football program,” said Schnellenberger. “Being able to sprint past more seasoned teams in such a short amount of time is remarkable.” From FAU’s inaugural football game in 2001, he has led the program into the I-A ranks. The Owls have won consecutive bowl games and are competing for a Sun Belt Conference championship this season. There is still one hurdle left to clear as Schnellenberger aims to have the Owls play in an on-campus stadium by 2011 as part of the Innovation Village project. “It gives my players a real shot in the arm to know their efforts will help the For the most up-to-date FAU stadium come to fruition,” said football scores and schedule, Schnellenberger.

visit www.fausports.com.

BELOW: FAU defensive lineman Jervonte Jackson shows off the 2008 Motor City Bowl trophy. RIGHT: While coaching at the University of Louisville, Schnellenberger gets a visit from then-President George H.W. Bush. LOWER RIGHT: Schnellenberger celebrates the Owl’s victory over the Memphis Tigers at the 2007 New Orleans Bowl.


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True individualists capture our attention. We revel in their determination and uniqueness. Standing above the crowd, individualists are willing to express their beliefs, even when those beliefs do not always conform to convention. At FAU, a young public university with a convergence of students and faculty from many backgrounds, individualism has always been nurtured. Programs throughout the university’s 10 colleges have been designed to provide those creative “out-of-the-box” thinkers with a solid academic structure, a sounding board and a supportive network of faculty and peers. An ideal and forward-thinking environment, FAU welcomes those students who dare to turn dreams into reality. We are spotlighting just a few of the many talented alumni who were unafraid to reach beyond the norm and venture into the world of business ownership. While today all are successful entrepreneurs, their areas of interest span many different fields. Each started with a single concept or vision. Immersed in the idea, each identified a niche and carefully nurtured and tweaked the idea until, at just the right moment, it was launched and then soared with possibility. These are difficult times. Yet, despite the global economic downturn, our featured entrepreneurs, prepared well by FAU’s rich academic program, teach us how hopefulness outweighs the fear of failure. They inspire us by their example and rouse us to confront our own challenges. It is not a career path for everybody, but for those who choose to veer from the main road, the thrill of the journey can be especially rewarding.

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Not wanting to show his client, Joe “Big Daddy” Flanigan, hesitation or doubt, John Connelly ’71 didn’t miss a beat when he accepted the proposal on behalf of his fledgling company, Nautical Furnishings, Inc. It was the company’s first client and Connelly knew he had to appear confident, even though the prospect of redesigning Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill in Atlanta was somewhat daunting. A quick call to his business partner signaled an immediate charge to action. Within a few days they had creatively transformed the restaurant’s interior décor using a generous supply of authentic fishing net, anchors and vintage ship lanterns to create a rustic, beach distressed look that would appeal to both seafarers and landlubbers alike. Flanigan was so pleased with the ambiance they had created he hired Nautical Furnishings to bring this same touch to his entire chain of restaurants. clients request a naturalistic wharf-side look, while others want more staging. My customers expect fresh, new ideas and we do not disappoint.” Connelly’s touch can also be seen in the nautical props at Walt Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Six Flags Premier Parks and Universal Studios. Visit the Jaws® ride at Universal and you will see a 28-foot great white shark replica, created by Nautical Furnishings, hanging near the ride entrance. In addition, the company leases items to movies and builds sets. “Start with a good concept, attract the best staff, treat your clients right and follow through on what you have proposed,” Connelly advises to future entrepreneurs. “I am thankful to FAU for giving me the freedom to develop ideas and the encouragement to be creative.”


In the more than 30 years since landing its first account, Nautical Furnishings has become nationally and internationally recognized as the foremost company of its kind. As company president, Connelly has effectively cornered the market in a very specialized field. Growing up on the New Jersey shore, the son of a maritime history enthusiast father, Connelly developed a love for everything nautical. It is not surprising that FAU, an up-and-coming university near the ocean, sparked his attention. After earning his undergraduate degree in business on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, Connelly did a six-month tour with the Naval Reserves. Returning to his home state of New Jersey, Connelly worked in a family-owned business until a new venture inspired by his affinity for the sea, brought him and a business partner back to South Florida. Naming their company Nautical Furnishings, the partners remained optimistic that their company would take off. By securing Joe Flanigan as their first major client, Nautical Furnishings gained a tacit endorsement throughout the restaurant industry. The partners barely had to promote their company, as Connelly states, “the product sold itself.” When the partnership dissolved in 1977, Connelly remained at the helm. Today Nautical Furnishings’ vast inventory, housed in a 55,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, is the headquarters for what is said to be the world’s largest sales and leasing source for authentic marine artifacts and nautical décor. It contains original items acquired from salvage wrecks and old ships as well as recast and fabricated items, most of which are built in one of the two on-premises wood shops. The company also has a wide offering of vintage and faux antique maritime lighting for the public to choose from. What gives Nautical Furnishings the added edge is its dedication to concept development. “We come up with a concept and carry it out by developing interior plans, often using architectural blueprints as a guide,” says Connolly, who has a client list that includes such powerhouse restaurant chains as Red Lobster, Outback Steak House, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones and the Ale House. “Some


J U A N B O R G E S ’73 B I O M E D I C A L I N T E R N AT I O N A L C O R P O R AT I O N

Enveloped in darkness, 16-year-old Juan Borges watched Cuba’s Guanabo Beach shoreline slowly disappear. It was 1966 and Borges and his brother were among the youngest of the 30 fleeing passengers in the boat bound for sanctuary in Miami. An outspoken young man, Borges was determined to escape from Havana, despite the uncertain odds of survival. Yet, as the little 32-foot boat made its way into Atlantic waters, Borges felt his heart race in panic. He suddenly realized that his decision to leave his parents and his country was irreversible. The young brothers’ eventual arrival in the United States signaled the end of a long exodus and the beginning of a fight to survive, without family and friends, on the streets of Miami. Eventually a church-run outreach program placed the two in a stable living situation with support from a child welfare program. By 1972, Borges had earned a high school diploma and was enrolled in FAU. For three semesters, he took classes on what was then a satellite campus in Miami Beach. Continuing his studies on the Boca Raton campus, Borges, who was majoring in psychology at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, faced financial struggles. “I was as poor as they came — working days as a lumber salesman, doing odd jobs and going to school full time,” he says. “Because of my work schedule I studied all night. At the time I wanted to become a clinical psychologist but couldn’t afford graduate school. After graduation I got married and made the decision to pursue a career in business.” His first serious post-college job was with Baxter International, a medical products specialty company best known for its work with dialysis devices. He began as a medical sales representative in South Florida, advanced to the position of international marketing specialist for Latin America and later, at the age of 28, became sales manager and president of Baxter Travenol Laboratories in Venezuela. When Borges left the company he was the general manager of Baxter Travenol Export Corporation. Returning to Miami from Venezuela in 1981, Borges decided it was time to launch his own business. “I was willing to take a risk because I knew if I failed, I was young enough, at age 34, to recoup my losses,” says Borges. “The year of networking I did before I got my company up and running was a difficult period — many of my professional contacts disappointed me, but I survived and am grateful because the experience taught me some business realities.” In 1982, Borges launched Biomedical International Corporation with a mission to sell and service hospital and laboratory equipment and supplies. Understanding the competitive nature of the medical industry, Borges knew his company needed an extra edge — a niche market. He identified that niche in the pool of under-represented clients from the Dutch and English Caribbean markets.Today, under Borges’ expert leadership, the busi-

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ness is thriving. With hospital and physician clients in markets throughout North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean islands, Biomedical International is the exclusive provider of such products as monitors, ventilators, sterilizers, operating room equipment and anesthesia machines. The company carries furniture for hospitals, clinics, waiting areas and emergency rooms, as well as a full line of turn-key products to set up entire facilities such as clinics, operating theatres, intensive care units, radiology suites and laboratories. “How lucky I am to love what I do. I look forward to coming to work every morning, and can’t ever see myself retiring,” says Borges. “My early escape to this country had a profound impact on my life. I learned to stand alone despite the odds, to push myself to the limits and to never give up. I am proud of what I have accomplished, but always remind myself to be humble and simple at all times.”


The late afternoon sun casts a dark shadow on the concrete and plywood structure, a future fourstory luxury, beach-front condominium. A salty breeze from the east welcomes architectural engineers Michael Lansing and Ursula Iafrate to the construction site. They put on their hard hats and begin to unroll their blueprints. Lansing and Iafrate, principals of FAE Consulting, are skilled at conceptualizing beyond the two-dimensional floor plans. Integral to the design phase of any construction project, architectural engineers are in charge of the infrastructure within the walls — the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems — the MEP.

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“The architect designs the shell of the building. As engineers, we take that shell, with its artistic features and distinctive style, and give it life and functionality,” says Lansing. “Our work, for the most part, goes unseen by the public. We design the lighting, distribute the power and install the sprinkler, fire alarm, air conditioning and heating systems.” Both Lansing and Iafrate are alumni of the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s program in electrical engineering. As university colleagues, the two took classes together, never thinking that in a few short years they would become entrepreneurial (business) partners. While still a student at Boca Raton High School, Lansing took a part-time job as a draftsman with the MEP firm of Formica and Associates. When Lansing entered FAU he was working full time at Formica. Robert Formica, company president, encouraged Lansing, an architecture major, to consider a career in engineering instead. Listening to his mentor’s advice, Lansing changed majors. He graduated from FAU with a degree in engineering. That same year Lansing also accepted a partnership in Formica. As partner, Lansing helped grow the company from a staff of 6 to 28, with two offices. Lansing recruited Iafrate, then a senior at FAU, to the company and in 2002 she began an internship at Formica. Born in Peru, Iafrate grew up in Fort Lauderdale. She entered FAU, knowing from the beginning that she wanted to study engineering. Previous internships took her to the Gillette Company in Boston and to Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. “Within two months I was sold on a career in architectural engineering,” says Iafrate. “I enjoy both the structural and architectural aspects of my work. I am a

detail-oriented person. When I draft a plan I can assure you it will be compliant with codes and 100 percent accurate on paper — nothing can be missed.” In February 2008, eager to branch out, Lansing and Iafrate launched their own MEP business, FAE Consulting. Currently they have 40 to 50 clients, and that list keeps growing. The company’s inaugural year yielded 250 projects. With each working at least 60 hours a week, they hope to top that number of projects this year.

“ To be in this fast-paced business you need to be very sure of yourself. You must be driven, confident and decisive. FAU trained me to be a problem-solver and taught me to think like an engineer. All that thinking outside the box will sharpen your mind!” MICHAEL LANSING

For Lansing and Iafrate this work is more than a job, it is a passion. “To be in this fast-paced business you need to be very sure of yourself,” says Lansing. “You must be driven, confident and decisive. FAU trained me to be a problem-solver and taught me to think like an engineer. All that thinking outside the box will sharpen your mind!” Iafrate, the 2000 Student Talon Award recipient, remains deeply connected to her alma mater. She serves on the FAUNAA board and supports many FAU events. “I think FAE Consulting and FAU have a kinship. Both are young and growing and share limitless possibilities for the future,” Iafrate says. Florida Atlantic University 11


B A R B A R A P O L E O ’9 3 A N D R O D N E Y D I L L O N ’ 7 8 PA S T P E R F E C T F L O R I DA H I S TO R Y, I N C .

The Deerfield Beach warehouse, home to Past Perfect Florida History, Inc., is almost overflowing with rare, antique, used and out-of-print books and maps. Managing to carve out a small space for themselves amidst the inventory, Past Perfect owners Barbara Poleo and Rodney Dillon ’78 view the clutter as a sign of their success. Together these two former history majors from FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters have built a business based on their shared fascination for Florida’s past. While working together at the Broward County Historical Commission, Poleo and Dillon forged a special bond that over the course of nine years led to their entrepreneurial partnership. Poleo began at the Commission as an FAU intern, working for Dillon. She eventually became special projects coordinator in charge of public outreach, exhibits and the organization’s newsletter. Dillon, who also holds a master’s degree in history from University of Florida, began his career at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. Currently he is an adjunct professor at Palm Beach Community College. As historians, each had a penchant and knack for book collecting. Poleo, who had always dreamed of owning her own bookstore, naturally transitioned from special projects coordinator to book dealer. Dillon wanted to prove that, as a history major, he could do the unexpected. Starting carefully, the two officially established Past Perfect Florida History and began buying and selling Florida history books on the Internet and at book fairs and antique shows. They soon branched out to include books by and about Florida au-

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thors, artists, sports figures, architecture, archaeology, nature, gardening and cooking. By frequenting estate sales, auctions and through word of mouth, Poleo and Dillon have amassed an amazing collection. Their acquisition efforts yielded some unexpected treasures, such as a John Lee Williams first edition from the 1820s that they sold for $1,000. The company has a long list of regular customers; some are collectors, others represent libraries. Their flyers and announcements reach a mailing list of between 8,000 to 12,000 people nationwide. In 2001, without abandoning their online customers, Poleo and Dillon expanded their audience by opening a store in Boynton Beach. It didn’t take too long before the Boynton Beach store proved too small. The company relocated to its current site one year ago. The added space has afforded Poleo and Dillon the opportunity to offer American history books that go beyond the borders of the Sunshine State. Upon moving to Deerfield Beach, they renamed their retail facility The Book Cellar. They distribute new books by Florida authors under the name Past Perfect Florida History. Ultimately the partners will retain their warehouse location as a book distribution site and relocate sales operations to Orlando where they will expand The Book Cellar to include a café. The willingness to start small and bend their company in different directions just may be the key to their success. The business now distributes history books for 15 authors and the list of authors seeking distribution services is growing. In addition, both Poleo and Dillon are hired to edit history publications and consult as historical researchers. Their clients include law firms, construction companies in search of land use information and genealogists. They have also created custom historical tours for corporate groups. “As long as it has to do with history, Barbara and I enjoy it,” says Dillon. “Our passion for the past has opened the door for our future in countless ways. We are proof of what can be done with a history degree.” You can visit Past Perfect Florida History online at www.past-perfect-florida-history-books.com.


D R . H E L E N G I L M O R E ’ 66 , ’ 70



It is almost impossible to count the number of students Dr. Helen Gilmore has helped throughout her career as a teacher and as founder and president of the Helen Gilmore Learning Center. With no interest in retiring, that number keeps growing. Born in Lake Worth, Fla., Gilmore draws inspiration from the life of her great grandfather James Park Moore, a teacher in Central Florida during the 1880s. She imagines that his experiences bringing education to this untouched rural area were both challenging and satisfying. As a teacher in modern-day Palm Beach County, Gilmore hardly considers herself the pioneer her great grandfather was, but she is proud of her own accomplishments as an educator in both the public and private sectors. Married just out of high school, Gilmore did not enroll in college until after her children were born. Juggling motherhood and classes was not always easy. Finally the years of studying late into the night were behind her. Helen had earned a degree in elementary education from FAU, and now it was time to teach. With new sense of pride and a certain amount of trepidation, Gilmore took a deep breath and entered the classroom, ready to do her best. In what would become a 20-year tenure with the Palm Beach County School District, Gilmore taught kindergarten through sixth grade. She returned to FAU, where she earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She went on to obtain a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University. During this time,

Gilmore became a program specialist and worked specifically with public school students who were designated as gifted. She served as president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers’ Association and vice president of the Florida Education Association, formerly the Florida Teaching Profession - NEA. A desire to strike out on her own as both an entrepreneur and a teacher fueled Gilmore in her decision to establish the Helen Gilmore Learning Center. “I wanted to do what I truly loved doing and wanted to do it my way,” says Gilmore. Providing a full array of educational services including enrichment and remedial one-on-one tutoring for children and adults, educational testing and consulting, the center has been in operation for 20 years. “I employ a small team of certified teachers and together we teach our students how to develop lifelong learning skills,” says Gilmore. “When students come to us for help with the SAT, GED and even professional licensing exams, we show them how to study and set goals.” Gilmore has been an adjunct faculty member at FAU and is currently working in that capacity at Nova Southeastern. In her spare time Gilmore likes to fly and recently served as co-president of her local chapter of the Florida Aero Club. She has formed the Young Astronauts Club for kids interested in space travel. “I feel very fulfilled in my life. My business brings me great joy each day,” says Gilmore “Teaching is my purpose, I am rewarded by what I see in my students’ faces. In this business you must love kids and must be able to impart knowledge in a fun and creative way.” Florida Atlantic University 13


M A R K H I C K I N B OT H A M ’82 S AW C R O S S I N C.

· P R OV I D E N C E B I O F U E L S

After graduation Hickinbotham accepted a job in the power generation division of the General Electric Company, first in the Schenectady, N.Y., office and later in the Jacksonville, Fla., branch. In this position he was responsible for overhauling steam and gas turbines. After working for an additional year under a design engineer, Hickinbotham passed the state of Florida professional engineer (PE) licensing exam and found a position with an industrial contractor. In 1992 Hickinbotham founded Sawcross Inc., a specialty company that designs and builds water plants, wastewater plants, pump stations, industrial ventilation systems and fuel delivery systems. As president, he has successfully turned Sawcross into one of the leading industrial engineering and construction companies in the states of Florida and Georgia — no easy feat in today’s hard-hit construction industry. The company has grown into a 50-employee operation with annual revenues of $12 million. Three years ago, after being awarded a patent on a grease-removal unit that he and another engineer co-developed, Hickinbotham launched a second company, Providence Biofuels. This company, dedicated to protecting the environment through the responsible management of industrial grease, is unique because the patented grease-removal unit is mobile. When the unit is dispatched to a specific location where a grease trap or interceptor needs to be cleaned, it collects and separates fats, oils and grease (FOG) from water within minutes. This brown grease can later be converted and compressed to create a natural gas called bio-gas. Originating from organic material, bio-gas is an inexpensive and renewable fuel that can be used for heat. In its compressed state biogas can be used as vehicle fuel. Currently Hickinbotham is in the process of signing a licensing agreement with a company that will manufacture mobile units. The unit will consist of a truck with three tanks mounted on the chassis for removing and separating grease. Each will be sold for $250,000. “It’s a great feeling to know that with my FAU education I have made a difference in the world,” says Hickinbotham.

14 legacy fall 2009


Grateful to the tough-yet-caring team of professors who helped shape him as an engineer, Mark Hickinbotham ’82 is the product of a solid FAU education. He recalls the camaraderie that developed among the students within the unusually small department. “I studied alongside some very sharp minds,” Hickinbotham says. “We were a close-knit group of only nine graduating students — each of us eager to learn. FAU was an ideal academic environment. The values I have today as a professional were formed during my FAU years.”



College of Business

Imagine that you are an FAU student. Creative, independent and adventurous by nature, you gravitate toward the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE) in the College of Business. Here you can take individual courses or enroll in one of several programs designed for the next generation of entrepreneurs. ACE offers a bachelor’s degree program in small business entrepreneurship and a master’s degree program in innovation entrepreneurship. Undergraduates majoring in management may also take classes at ACE to enrich their courses of study with the benefit of an entrepreneurial focus. Not everyone at the Adams Center is a business major; committed to diversity, ACE’s Innovation Entrepreneurship Certificate program is inclusive of a cross section of promising college graduates from varying disciplines. An experiential, project-based approach is the hallmark of ACE. Case studies in class make theory come alive and provide students with opportunities for strategizing and problem-solving. Working together in faculty-facilitated teams, students examine the marketplace of today and learn how to turn an idea into a business, non-profit organization or product. ACE also offers real-world extracurricular programs such as the FAU Business Plan Competition — a hands-on training opportunity for students, faculty members and those from the business community who wish to learn how to seek venture creation funding. The goal of this annual spring event is to seed FAU teams as “best in show” new companies of south Florida. The Executive Leadership Program, a cornerstone of the center, matches students with mentors. These mentors, seasoned professionals from the business community, share their own personal stories of success and failure. “Through the courses and programs offered at ACE, students get the traction they need because we show them what is really happening in the business world,” says Kim Gramm, ACE’s executive director. “Our students learn by example. Take Scott Adams, ACE’s lead and named donor. There is no better

The 2008 FAU Business Plan competition winners in the limited investment category, Student Housing Off Campus (first place) and Bicycle Transit System (2nd place), celebrate their win. For information about this year’s competition, visit www.fauadamscenter.org/bpc.

role model of ingenuity and the entrepreneurial spirit than Scott.” Adams ’87, a pioneer in the web-hosting industry and key influence in establishing South Florida as an Internet “hot spot,” is the force behind the center. He and his wife Shelagh Adams ’88 generously gave an initial gift in 2000. A subsequent matching gift from the state of Florida helped create ACE. Initially conceived as a research center, ACE, although still a hub for scholarly activity, has become best known for its exciting undergraduate, graduate and certificate courses, tracks and programs. As ACE continues to assert its presence as a leading scout for entrepreneurial talent, its programs grow. Internal partnerships between FAU’s colleges and ACE is on the rise. This results in the creation of an even greater number of cross-disciplinary courses of study. Private-public collaborations strengthen and yield exciting opportunities and internships for FAU students and faculty. Despite the economic downturn, ACE retains its strong grip on success.


Professor Neil Santaniello A BREATH OF FRESH AIR When Neil Santaniello speaks about the environmental landscape of South Florida — its inherent beauty and pressing challenges — there are equal parts awe, anger and protectiveness resonating in his words. This seasoned environmental journalist turned professor teaches in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies at FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. He has helped pioneer an innovative multimedia practicum that gives journalism seniors the opportunity to produce print, video and audio content for the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. The multimedia practicum, a required, four-credit course was created in 2007 by Santaniello and Mike Canan, an editor with Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. Alternating between the class room and newsroom, students transition from inexperienced writers to bylined reporters with portfolios of real-world experience. “We created a team-teaching situation, with an FAU instructor and Scripps editor guiding student writing one-on-one while tapping into a variety of guest speakers from the newsroom,” says Santaniello. Forty-one students have completed the practicum since it began in January 2008. Students in last spring’s class saw 70 percent of their 56 assigned stories 16 legacy fall 2009

published in print or online, earning 40 bylined clips. Three of those received front-page play. Santaniello also works with professional journalists as director of the fouryear-old Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment. Dr. Susan Reilly, director of the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, brought this continuing education program to FAU Jupiter by securing a $50,000-a-year fellowship grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation. The weeklong institute, focused on environmental studies, has educated 87 print and electronic media writers, editors and producers from throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. The jam-packed schedule includes lectures by environmental

experts and outdoor excursions to the Everglades National Park, the Loxahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee. “It’s rewarding to see journalists from the interior U.S. watch their first endangered sea turtle laying eggs on a moonlit Florida beach,” Santaniello says. Santaniello earned undergraduate degrees in English and philosophy from Boston College and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School in 1982. He was a reporter at the Sun-Sentinel, where he began his career covering police and government news. For 10 years he was the paper’s bylined environmental reporter. “Environmental journalists expose physical destruction, potentially damaging policies and issues affecting public health,



wildlife, food supplies and ecosystems. They interview scientists and researchers, activists, attorneys and environmental regulators. It is fascinating and rewarding work,” Santaniello says. While he sometimes misses the fastpaced newspaper business, he calls FAU “a breath of fresh air.” His hybrid position allows Santaniello to straddle two worlds. “I get to teach student reporters and help with the continuing education of practicing journalists.” Santaniello is a resident of Delray Beach, where he lives with his wife, Tari, and children Zachary, 14, and Cassandra, 11. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and recently helped judge the environmental report-

ing category of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s National Journalism Awards. He finds it highly rewarding to be able to review some of the nation’s top environmental reporting while sorting through contest entries. “It is a bit of a downer reading one story after the other warning about the latest ecological or human threat. Still I come away quite impressed by the intelligence, depth and energy of the reporting done on this news beat.” To learn more about the Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment, visit www.ces.fau.edu/scripps. For information about the Multimedia Practicum for FAU students, contact Neil Santaniello at nsantane @ fau.edu.

For Lindsey De Joseph ’09, a graduate of the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, the multimedia practicum offered an “intense, no-holds-barred sense of the world of journalism.” As part of the required course, De Joseph wrote stories for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. Her stories, with subjects ranging from bail bondsmen to tree farmers, were published in The Fort Pierce Tribune, Stuart News and tcpalm.com with a story about Latin masses running as a front-page centerpiece. De Joseph also shot web videos and audio to accompany her stories. “Students have completed every multimedia journalism course prior to the practicum and are expected to hit the ground running,” says De Joseph, a full-time marketing professional for the past 11 years. Other than a stint with her high school newspaper, DeJoseph had never written for the media and initially found the task daunting. “Mr. Santaniello was always available to help me structure a story, develop its color and tone and make it newsworthy,” she says. Despite the challenge of juggling her work schedule to accommodate the daytime practicum and writing assignments, De Joseph found the experience invaluable.“The practicum takes a lot of work, but at the end of the day you have a portfolio of published pieces and you are much better prepared to enter the workforce. And hopefully, you get an A,” she says. For the record, De Joseph did. V I E W L I N D S E Y D E J O S E P H ’S S T O R I E S O N L I N E AT

WWW.TCPALM . COM : http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/oct /27/ latin-mass-brings-an-element-of-mystery-for/ http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/jan/ 03/200901022058-03ttrees/ http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/oct /23/ economy-hits-bail-bondsmen-in-the-pocketbook/ http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/dec/ 22/refugee-raft-highlights-student-plannedexhibit /?feedback=1 Florida Atlantic University 17

how to weather the




et’s face it: times are tough. Indeed, even the experts agree that the next few years will be especially challenging as investors try to balance shortand long-term investment decisions in the face of downturns on the global

financial and employment fronts. This was the consensus of the speakers at the first annual Executive Roundtable hosted by FAU’s College of Business School of Finance, Insurance and Economics earlier this year. The program, which addressed important issues affecting the financial and economic vitality of business and individuals, brought together some of the world’s most experienced economists and financial services industry executives. “Despite the gloomy forecast, the program was extremely successful and well received,” says Cecelia Kempler, who is director of the School of Finance, Insurance & Economics and the roundtable organizer. “Our speakers were among the most respected authorities on the international financial stage. Their respective views on our economic future stimulated outstanding interaction with the audience well beyond the planned conclusion of the session.” The participants included Stuart Schweitzer, Managing Director and Global Market Strategist for J.P. Morgan Private Bank and J.P. Morgan Asset Management; John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund — the highest level U.S. IMF representative; Donald Shepard, Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Francis Goodhue III, Senior Vice President-Investments, UBS Financial Services. As a former practice leader in a global law firm representing leading insurance and reinsurance companies and investment banks, Kempler offers students a practical understanding of how the global insurance industry functions and its fundamental importance in supporting global economic prosperity. She also has a few practical suggestions to offer those struggling with money issues. At the top of her list is the creation of a realistic budget that covers the entire year. “By realistic, I mean evaluate your assets, budget and actual spending, with the assumption that the economy is not going to 18 legacy fall 2009

turn around any time soon,” she explains. “This means to plan for no salary increases, or even for the loss of your job. By budgeting to spend less and to save more, you’ll be better prepared to get through any unforeseen downturns.” Hand-in-hand with over-spending and under-saving is what Kempler calls America’s collective “instant gratification mentality.” “This concept of having every worldly good on an instantaneous basis has run its course, and the country is better off for it. Americans must permanently alter their thinking about how inappropriate it is to approach life with the view that ‘I deserve what I want today.’ This sense of entitlement shows an inability to deal with adversity,” she warns. For those caught in a temporary bind and in need of “relief” money for unplanned expenses or just to pay bills, Kempler suggests turning to the possibility of utilizing their life insurance policies. “If you have life insurance that has cash value and you need money, you can borrow against the cash value of the policy, while still maintaining your insurance,” she explains. “Even more important is to remember that this is not the time to let your life insurance lapse in order to save money by not paying premiums. Life insurance is an important source of protection for dependents, and its value is exponentially greater during times of financial stress.” On the bright side, Kempler sees the current financial crisis as a

“ It ’s very dif ficult to ask people for money when they are so uncertain about their own futures. Ironically, it’s times like these that non-profit institutions need assistance from donors more than ever.” CECELIA KEMPLER D I R E C TO R O F T H E S C H O O L O F F I N A N C E , I N S U R A N C E & E CO N O M I C S

great opportunity for people to reassess their goals, prepare for a better future and/or change priorities altogether. “Perhaps it’s a good time to go back to school to update your skills, or to get an advanced degree,” she suggests. She is speaking from experience as she returned to school at a non-traditional age to earn her law degree at New York Law School, graduating cum laude. It’s a decision that changed the course of her life and led to a rewarding career with a prestigious New York law firm specializing in insurance industry matters. Kempler retired to Florida four years ago and joined the FAU faculty two years later. Her infectious enthusiasm for the University and her new teaching career is contagious. Students are particularly responsive to her positive attitude, high energy and strength of character — the same qualities she says will help anyone not only survive but succeed, even in a gloomy financial climate. A big believer in giving back to the community, Kempler volunteers her time and talents to numerous charitable and professional causes. She particularly worries about the current economic crisis and its effects on philanthropy. “It’s very difficult to ask people for money when they are so uncertain about their own futures,” she says. “Ironically, it’s times like these that non-profit institutions need assistance from donors more than ever.” For those who are thinking about cutting back on their donations, she suggests they rethink the amount of their donation. “Above all, please don’t feel embarrassed about giving less than before — every bit is appreciated. The University is very grateful for anything you can do to help us weather the economic storm.” Florida Atlantic University 19


Kathy Molinet,

BHS ’95, MS ’04

OUTSTANDING OWL O C C U PAT I O N Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner-Family Nurse Practitioner for private medical practice; Adjunct faculty member at FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing FA U D E G R E E Bachelor of Health Services, 1995; Master of Science in Nursing, 2004 BACKGROUND Kathy Molinet’s career as a registered nurse began on the medical/surgical floors of Broward General Medical Center. Leaving hospital nursing, Molinet worked alongside her husband in his internal medicine practice for close to 30 years, until he retired. During this time Molinet juggled a nursing career with her home life as the mother of two and a rigorous course load at FAU. Although Molinet works aggressively to promote such issues as health care access, the quality of health care delivery and patients’ rights, she is most proud of the caring approach she has embraced as a professional in the field of nursing. Currently a nurse practitioner in private practice, Molinet diagnoses and treats patients, incorporating a holistic approach to those in her care. She has been able to parlay her experience as a nurse into her new career as an adjunct professor at FAU.

What do you remember most about your experience at FAU? My FAU undergraduate degree prepared me for a career as a hospital administrator, however, I changed my focus and began graduate school at FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. I feel very fortunate that FAU was able to meet my academic needs with two very different, yet excellent, degree programs in two separate FAU colleges.

Who inspired you at FAU? Dr. Anne Boykin, dean of and professor at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing inspired and encouraged me to enter the graduate program within the college of nursing. Anne’s commitment to the caring philosophy, now a signature of the college, touched a cord and opened a new door for me.

How did FAU impact your career? My degrees from FAU prepared me for the challenges I face

today in private practice. My professors and advisors stand as my role models, particularly when I teach. A F F I L I AT I O N S • Past president of the Florida Medical Association Alliance • Member and past president of the Broward County Medical Association Alliance • Current president of the South Florida Council of Advanced Practice Nurses • Member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners • Member of the American Nurses Association and Florida Nurses Association • Member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society of Nursing • Member of the Florida Atlantic University National Alumni Association Board • Member of the executive board of the Broward Seaside Shindig, formerly the Broward Alumni Roundtable • Member of the advisory board of the American Lung Association • Board member of the Royal Dames of Cancer Research • Sustainer in the Junior League of Fort Lauderdale • Elder and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale • Member of the Ambassador’s Council of the Pantry of Broward AWA R D S • 2008 FAU “Pearl of Broward Award” • 2007 Florida Medical Association “Jill Edison Legislative Award” • 2005 Florida Medical Association Alliance “Pride in Partnership Award” • 2003 March of Dimes “Woman of Distinction Award” • 2002 “Healthy Mothers /Healthy Babies Mother of the Year Award” • 1999 Caducean Society “Wilbur F. Helmus, M.D. Medical Humanitarian of the Year Award” • 1993 “American Cancer Society “Woman of the Year Award” • 1992 Symphony of the Americas “Women of Style and Substance Award”




1960s Eduardo Padron ’66 of Miami, FL, president of Miami Dade College, was recognized by the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center with its annual Honoree Award. Recently he was elected as chairman of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.


Armand Grossman ’67, ’70, ’77 of Boca Raton, FL, was the recipient of the 2008 Alumni Talon Award. Presented annually to a member of the FAU alumni body by the FAU National Alumni Association.


1970s H. Loy Anderson, Jr. ’70 of Riviera Beach, FL, was named relationship manager at Lydian Bank & Trust located in Palm Beach. The bank provides wealth management services to its clients as well as wealth advisory, private banking and fiduciary services. Mason Jackson ’70, ’71 of Pompano Beach, FL, was named Executive Di-


rector of the Year by the National Workforce Association. Dale Miller ’70 of Davie, FL, was appointed to the senior executive team as senior vice president of Vadium Technology, Inc. Vadium Technology, Inc. is the leading provider of easy-to-use, unbreakable date encryption solutions. Richard Schmidt ’70 of Boca Raton, FL, received the 2008 “Tiffany Biggest Heart Award” from the Florence Fuller Child Development Centers. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees of Boca Raton Community Hospital.

John F. White ’74 of Miramar, FL, has served as pastor to the Mount Hermon AME Church in Fort Lauderdale since October 2001. Rev. White was recently ordained as the church’s 130th bishop and heads the Office of Ecumenical and Urban Affairs.

Wilson Bradshaw ’71, ’73 of Fort Myers, FL, is president of Florida Gulf Coast University. Previously he was president of Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN. Kenneth Hammons ’71 of Panama City, FL, is the new city manager of Panama City. Eric Williams ’71 of Henderson, NC, is the new town manager of Smithfield.

Randall J. Konigsburg ’76 of Hollywood, FL, was selected as the new rabbi for Temple Emeth in Delray Beach. Luis Alberto Moreno ’76 of Washington, DC, is the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB is a source of multilateral financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. He previously served for seven years as Colombian ambassador to Washington.


Carol Hunstein ’72 of Decatur, GA, is Georgia’s new Supreme Court chief justice. Frank Andrews ’72 of Key Biscayne, FL, is the area sales manager for the Central and South American headquarters of Sundyne Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of engineered pumps and compressors serving process industries worldwide.


Alberto Dosal ’73 of Coral Gables, FL, was named chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Committee.


’74 ’75 ’76

Scott Hackmyer ’75 of Ocala, FL, retired from Fessenden Elementary School in Ocala after a 33-year career in education.

John Lagana ’77 of New Rochelle, NY, was named publisher and CEO of Pai sano Publications, LLC. He has over 20 years experience in senior management positions at well-known magazines including Forbes, Rolling Stone, and Maxim. Steven May ’77 of Delray Beach, FL, was named vice president of Fleet Operations at Southeast Toyota Distributors, a subsidiary of diversified automotive company of JM Family Enterprises, Inc. Judith OrtizCofer ’77 of Louisville, GA, is the Regents’ and Franklin


TRUE BLUE Horizon Members

THANK YOU to all of our TRUE

BLUE Horizon Members

Harriet C. Boettcher Nancy Botero Dr. Frank Brand Phil Brodt Marjorie C. Buglione Iain and Jane B. Calder Nicholas A. Cassas Charlotte Chickering Bernard and Joan Chodorkoff Carla L. and Thomas W. Coleman Francis J. and Miriam A. Dadah Fred and Myrna DeMyer Victor D. Di Elmo Mary Sue Donohue Lisa N. Earle Scott Ellington Doris D. Emmett William Fabricant Grace Wald Fait Robert M. & Nadine A. Fitzgerald Marshall E. and Lynn Fleury Lawrence P. Fraiberg Henry Gans Hilda Getter Hazel M. and Robert Gray Elyse M. Greene $OLFH *ULIÀQ Jack & Margaret Guistwhite Robert N. and Norma W. Heit Herb Group Donald E. and Jennifer T. Herst Ernest and Thea Kahn Michelle Kirsch David L. Klein Floyd F. Koch Maryann Kruger (OOHQ 0 .U\VWRÀN Bjorn N. Lamborn Angelos C. Langadas Shaun L. Leary Marilyn C. Link Harris McGirt Catherine Meschievitz Ray Miller Glendola Moye Nathan and Laura Neuer Irving and Rosalind Nyman Helen M. O’Leary Gustavus L. and Sharon A. Pearthree Rudy Reis Hugh Ripley Leonard L. and Betty Ann Rivkin Kathleen P. Ryan Charlotte L. Schaub Eric H. Shaw James P. Slowiak Virginia Smith Eugene Snyder Theodor Sokolowski Peter B. and Susan A. Stein Robert J. Steinberg Elaine S. Sturla Roxanna Jonsson and William C. Trinka Richard Charles Valentino Winifred S. Wambach Evelyn Weinberger Louis and Alice Winokur Barbara B. Wymer

Florida Atlantic University 21


Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia in Athens. Marsha Levy ’77, ’83 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, was named to the Broward Community College Foundation board of directors. Lou Larkin ’78, ’85 of West Palm Beach, FL, is chief technologist at Lockheed Martin’s Riviera Beach facility. He was named Lockheed Martin Fellow, a rare distinction that recognizes individuals who make significant contributions to sustaining Lockheed Martin’s leadership in advanced technologies.


Christine Crandell ’79, ’82 of Miami, FL, was named executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Egenera, a virtualization technology company serving 350 customers worldwide. John Valentino ’79 of West Palm Beach, FL, was hired by AEG, one of the country’s largest music promoters, to head its Florida operations.


1980s Kevin McAllister ’80 of Spotsylvania, VA, earned a second master of science degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, DC. He was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate, an honor given only to the top 10 percent of the graduating class.


Vickie Allender ’81 of Bokeelia, FL, health and physical education teacher at Trafalgar Middle School, retired after 30 years of service in the Lee County School District. Clarence Anthony ’81, ’82 of West Palm Beach, FL, is chief marketing officer and presiding director of the board of directors for global consulting firm, PBS&J, and former Mayor of South Bay, was recognized by the Orange Bowl Committee for his contributions to the South Florida community. Oscar Fumagali ’81 of Boca Raton, FL, is the chief financial officer for Brightstar Corporation. He won the CFO of the Year Award from the South Florida Business Journal. Antonios Loudaros ’81 of Jupiter, FL, is a teacher at Elbridge Gale Elementary School. Loudaros has carried the torch for the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.


Susan Ruby ’82 of Delray Beach, FL, will be retiring as Delray Beach city attorney. She was the city’s first female and longest-serving attorney.

’82 ’83

Barbara “Kim” Beaumont ’83 of Ocean Ridge, FL, was appointed to the board of the Old School Square Cultural Arts Center. Donald Dufresne ’83 of Wellington, FL, is an attorney with the law firm Greenspoon Marder, P.A. Kevin Ann Huckshorn ’83 of Alexandria, VA, is the director of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. She was named 2008 Psychiatric Nurse of the Year by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Sharon Swendner ’83 of Orlando, FL, president of marketing for Orlandobased about. com, was recently elected to the board of directors for doterati, the first professional organization in Flori da focused on interactive marketing, media and technology. Emile Decuba ’84 of Fort Peirce, FL, a professional tennis player was honored as the United States Tennis Professionals Association Pro of the Year.


22 legacy fall 2009

Anthony Hughes ’96 Sixteen years ago Anthony Hughes ’96 was at a crossroads in his life and never imagined the adventure that awaited him. The Pennsylvania native, then in his 30s and newly recovered from a debilitating eye disease that sidelined him for years, was watching his father battle brain cancer. “Despite the illness, my parents enjoyed every day,” says Hughes who, at his dad’s urging, returned to college. “I enrolled at FAU as a mathematics major and was struck by the personalities Anthony Hughes accepts the Aegis Balistic Missile Defense (BMD) Excellence Award from Navy Rear of my talented professors. Dr. Lee Klingler and Adm. and Aegis BMD Program Director Alan B. Hicks. Dr. Stephen Locke offered life-changing advice about career possibilities. They encouraged me at a time when I really needed it.” After graduating from FAU in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Hughes taught algebra at Palm Beach Community College before relocating to Bedford, MA. He was hired as a software engineer for Raytheon’s Electronic Systems division where he found himself applying familiar math concepts to an unfamiliar topic — radar technology. Hughes grasped the subject quickly. “Math teaches you to think logically,” he says. When Raytheon relocated its Missile Systems division to Arizona in 1999, Hughes welcomed the challenge, accepting a systems engineer position for the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, a land-based ballistic missile interceptor. He was later promoted as a lead senior systems engineer for the sea-based Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Six-Degrees-OfFreedom simulation, responsible for software development and analysis. In January 2008, Hughes received a “drop everything” order when the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense approached Raytheon with a highly classified mission request. Hughes and a small band of engineers were asked to reconfigure the SM-3 to intercept a potentially dangerous, non-functioning spy satellite that had lost communication with ground control after its 2006 launch. The timeline was tight and the challenge daunting. The satellite was predicted to reenter the earth’s atmosphere in less than 30 days and the SM-3 was designed to hit ballistic missiles — not satellites. Sequestered in a lab round-the-clock, Hughes spent countless hours crunching numbers and running simulated flight tests to hit the target — the spacecraft’s 1,000-lb tank filled with hydrazine fuel. Traveling 17,000 mph, the satellite was the size of a school bus; the tank the size of a bus seat. When at last the SM-3 was launched from a Navy cruiser, the USS Lake Erie, it obliterated the spacecraft 153 miles over the Pacific Ocean into small debris that burned safely in the atmosphere. With his first top-secret assignment behind him, Hughes continues his own personal mission. “I tutor kids in math and science to pass on what my parents, my faith, teachers and FAU professors passed on to me,” he says. Hughes is a Raytheon representative in Math Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA), a mentoring program for middle and high school students. He judges MESA’s science competitions and is thrilled that many of his former students are now engineers. “I always thought I’d be a teacher and then life brought me down a different path. Now I have the best of both worlds,” he says. Hughes was awarded the University of Arizona’s Dr. Alfonso Ortega Engineer of the Year Award for his work with MESA and was named Senior Engineer with Honors by Raytheon last year. To see a video clip of the SM-3 mission,visit:www.raytheon.com/newsroom/technology/ rtn08_intercept/.


Charlene Bender ’85 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, is the vice president of private wealth with SunTrust Bank and serves on the board of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. Irwin F. Edenzon ’85 of Mobile, AL, is the sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding – Gulf Coast. Mary Locke ’85, ’92, ’02, ’05 of Fort Peirce, FL, vice president/provost of instructional services at Indian River State College, was recently recognized with the national 2009 Administrator Award of Distinction from the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society.


Tom Devito ’86 of Yardley, PA, is currently the vice president and general manager of AT&T wireless division in New York and New Jersey. Kenneth Elder ’86 of Boca Raton, FL, was corporate marketing director of the 2009 Super Bowl and will serve as the vice president of the 2010 South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee. Annette Orangio ’86, ’04 of Pensacola, FL, has been named the new simulation specialist of the Mary Ekdahl Smart Center for Patient Simulation Training & Research. Paul Pagnato ’86 of Vienna, VA, is a specially trained and accredited advisor in the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch. He was recently recognized as one of the top advisors in D.C. by Barron’s Winner’s Circle.


David Langley ’87 of Greenacres, FL, a sculptor, is currently working on a project for the Art in Public Places program in St. Lucie County.

’87 ’88

Kathy Aguirre ’88 of Boca Raton, FL, is the director of economic development and government affairs for the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce. David Brennen ’88 of Lexington, KY, was named dean of the University of Kentucky College of Law. Along with more than 15 years of experience in the classroom, he is regarded as an innovator in the field of nonprofit law. Scott Davidson ’88 of Newport Coast, CA, was named chief financial officer at Quest Software, Inc. Olga Hernandez-Longan ’88 of Phoenix, AZ, is chief financial officer at Nutrastar, Inc. Previously she served as vice president and controller of Wal-Mart International from 2004 until 2006. Mark Kudisch ’88 of New York, NY, can be seen in his new leading roll in “9 to 5” now playing on Broadway. Michael Tillett ’88 of West Palm Beach, FL, is a certified public accountant and professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Tillett is the recipient of the university’s 2008 Outstanding Teacher Award. Marlene Figueroa Ross ’89, ’94 of Boynton Beach, FL, director of community affairs for WXEL TV/FM, was selected as the 2008 Hispanic Woman of Distinction by Latina Style magazine. Michelle Lemnah-Fowler ’89 of West Palm Beach, FL, joined Planned Parenthood as the new vice president of human resources.


1990s Cynthia Harris ’90 of Powhatan, VA, was name Powhatan County School Division Teacher of the Year for 2008-09. The eleventh grade English teacher is also the junior varsity basketball coach. John L. Heller ’90, ’91 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a principal accountant in the advisory services division of Rachlin LLP, in Fort Lauderdale. Christopher Palumbo ’90 of Fairfield, CT, is the co-owner of the new business, Fairfield Cheese Company. Haroon Sulaiman ’90 of Lake Worth, FL, is president of the Muslim Community of Palm Beach County.


Jackie Fulford ’91 of Tallahassee, FL, was appointed to the Second Judicial Circuit Court of Tallahassee by Gov. Charlie Crist.

’91 ’92

William Bingham ’92 of Boynton Beach, FL, is the fire rescue chief at the City of Boynton Beach Fire Department. He is also president of the Palm Beach County Fire Chiefs’ Association. Fritz LaPorte ’93 of Boca Raton, FL, is the senior vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer and treasurer of MAKO Surgical Corp in Fort Lauderdale. MAKO is an innovative orthopedic medical



Dr. Gay Voss ’72, ’77 After 51 years, first as a teacher and then as a principal in the public schools of Florida, Dr. Gay Voss ’72, ’77 officially retired last year. Today the former principal of Rolling Green Elementary School in Boynton Beach remains passionate and deeply committed to her profession. To mark her retirement in a special way, Voss created the Rolling Green Elementary School Scholarship Fund at Florida Atlantic University for deserving staff and faculty members of Rolling Green who wish to enroll in FAU’s College of Education. The impact of such a gift is immeasurable, particularly during a time when highly skilled teachers are so desperately needed. “Everything starts with a dream,” says Voss. “My dream was to help my peers in the teaching profession. By turning my work benefits into a scholarship fund, I was able to ensure that deserving members of the Rolling Green faculty and staff would be able to further their edu-

cation at the College of Education. The many accumulated hours of my unused sick and vacation time were converted into dollars, and those dollars allowed me to establish the scholarship.” Working tirelessly as Rolling Green’s principal for more than 24 years,Voss championed the underserved student. Many of her students came from homes where parents work two or three jobs at a time just to make ends meet. Although the school was ranked poorly at the beginning of Voss’s tenure, Voss and her staff transformed Rolling Green into one of Palm Beach County’s “A” rated school in 2006. Married to the Dr. Stephen Voss, an FAU founding faculty member and former university marshall, Gay is part of a dynamic team approach to giving. Stephen established the Elementary Education Scholarship Fund in the College of Education. This gift was created with money withdrawn regularly from Stephen’s pay-

checks over a period of 40 years. “If you believe in kids, surround them with books and teach them well, they will do well,” Voss says. “My husband Stephen and I are not wealthy. We are just ordinary people trying to do our best. When you do what is right, things have a way of working out.”

Florida Atlantic University 23


owls in print Edwina Raffa ’68 of Fort Myers Beach, FL, is the co-author of Kidnapped in Key West (Pineapple Press, Inc. 2008). Co-written with Annelle Rigsby, this novel is for children ages 9-12. Set in 1912, Kidnapped in Key West tells the story of 12-yearold Eddie Malone, the son of one of Henry Flagler’s Over-Sea Railroad workers. When his father is accused of stealing money from Flagler, Eddie goes on a courageous quest to prove his father’s innocence. This book has been endorsed by the Florida Reading Association and the Flagler Museum. The writing pair also collaborated on another work of historical fiction, Escape to the Everglades (Pineapple Press, Inc., 2006).

Gerard Webster ’71 of Jacksonville, FL, is the author of In-Sight (Outskirts Press, 2008), a Christian novel in which family values triumph over impossible odds. Webster is a former Peace Corps volunteer, soldier, businessman and addictions counselor.

Dr. Mary Custureri ’69, ’72, ’85, ’89 of Port Orange, FL, is the author of several teaching and learning strategy books including the latest one, geared toward college and high school students, titled Help Yourself Learn in Ten Easy Steps (Highpoint Publishing, Inc., 2008). She has also written the Happy Anderson series of children’s books. This series helps students gain confidence in the classroom by learning to read independently. The most recent title in the series is Happy Anderson and Dimmy Dolphin (Highpoint Publishing, Inc. 2008). Custureri is a lecturer at EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Former journalist and present-day mystery writer Deborah Sharp

Deborah Sharp ’78

’78 is a Fort Lauderdale native whose family has lived in South Florida for generations. Sharp graduated from FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science with a degree in psychology. After earning a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Georgia, Sharp transitioned into the field of journalism. Her reporting career began at the News-Press in Fort Myers where she covered every subject from manatees to crop freezes. It was at the News-Press where she met her future husband, television reporter Kerry Sanders. A move to Tampa, in 1986, landed Sharp a features writer position with Gannett News Service. She continued writing for the GanDeborah Sharp ’78, shown here nett-owned USA TODAY after a move back with former FAU President Frank home to Fort Lauderdale in 1991. At age T. Brogan, was inducted into the FAU National Alumni Associ- 50, Sharp left journalism and began a caation Hall of Fame in 2008. reer as a mystery writer. “I wanted to create a world where I could punish the bad and reward the good … I chose to write light, funny mysteries, which basically means very little blood and nobody gets autopsied,” said Sharp. Her “Mace Bauer Mysteries” are traditional-style mysteries set in Florida.

24 legacy fall 2009

Elizabeth Karram Mitchell ’80 of Boca Raton, FL, is the author of Journey for the Heart (Doghouse Digital Media, Inc., 2009). This inspirational book tells the true story of Mitchell and her family’s experiences in grappling with their son’s congenital heart disease. It has been written to offer hope to others who must face their own struggles and challenges. Jennifer Ford Berry ’98 of Attica, NY, is the author of Organize Now!:A Week by Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life (F&W Media, Incorporated, 2008). This spiral-bound “how to” book provides readers with a step-by-step approach to the art of organizing. Berry is a consultant, speaker and professional organizer. She is founder and owner of a company called Organize This! Her company provides its clients with organizing services.

Are you an “Owl In Print” … or do you know of an FAU graduate who is? Please send a message to legacy @ fau.edu or legacy, FAU Office of Alumni Relations, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431.


device company that develops advanced solutions for keyhole orthopedic surgery. Lauren Hahn ’94 of Boca Raton, FL, joined Planned Parenthood as chief financial officer. Kenneth Kanter ’94 of Hobe Sound, FL, received the Technician of the Year Award from his company, American Leak Detection. Eric Klein ’94 of Marina Del Rey, CA, is a former actor and model. Klein, who was a contestant on the television show “Oprah’s Big Give,” is the founder of CanDo, a nonprofit organization that enables people who make charitable donations to actually see how their money is being spent. Linda Socolow ’94 of Boca Raton, FL, is an attorney at Shutts & Bowen, LLP in Fort Lauderdale. Socolow is also a member of the Land Use Practice Group.

Dennis Shannon ’76


Jennifer Benson ’95 of Lunenburg, MA, was elected to represent the Massachusetts 37th Middlesex District. Marcus Bodet ’95 of Miramar, FL, an attorney, has joined Abadin Cook as it newest partner. Bodet’s practice is primarily focused on negotiating and drafting a wide range of information technology agreements. Elizabeth Ferrer ’95 of Jacksonville, FL, is Florida state president of Bank of America. Donald Kiselewski ’95 of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, was named a member of the President’s Circle by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce. He is Florida Power & Light’s area manager for northern and western Palm Beach County. Tammy Knight ’95 of Dania Beach, FL, an attorney who practices in the areas of corporate, securities and franchise law, was named partner for Holland & Knight, LLC. Johnny McDaniel ’95, ’05 of Cleveland, TN, is the director of schools for Bradley County. Venetia Tiberi ’95 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, was appointed director of mall marketing at the Town Center at Boca Raton. Gregg Weiss ’95 of Plantation, FL, is the founder of meetup.com an online networking group for individuals who want to assist various charities.


Diane Arrieta ’96 of Tequesta, FL, is an artist whose work has been displayed at the Boca Raton Art Museum and the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Jeffrey Fessler ’96 of West Palm Beach, FL, a teacher at U. B. Kinsey Elementary School, was a 2008 Dwyer Award winner. The award honors outstanding educators from public and private schools in Palm Beach County. Cheryl Grumbach ’96 of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, is a registered nurse. She was appointed nurse practitioner for Stuart Cardiology Group. Dr. Jayendra Ramesan ’96 of Phila -


We want to hear from you! Visit www.fautrueblue.com and tell us your True Blue story or go to www.faualumni.org and submit your owl notes.

A 30-year veteran of CBS News, Dennis Shannon ’76 has covered it all. He worked on the CBS Evening News as a technical director. His time on the Evening News spanned a 15year period that saw both Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather as news anchors. He worked weekends for CBS Sports covering NFL and NBA games. As a cameraman, Shannon has traveled the world shooting disasters and triumphs. He has covered every president beginning with Richard Nixon and has been at every national political convention since 1988. He can proudly give a first hand account of 15 hurricanes that he covered for the news, including Andrew (his first) and Katrina (his last). In Lima, Peru, Shannon was an eyewitness to a commando raid that rescued 75 hostages. Shannon, who lives in Falls Church, VA, currently works for CBS Newspath, an affiliate news component, as a field cameraman and satellite truck operator. He attributes FAU, in particular Dr. Voncille Smith, for “jumpstarting” his career in news. He still feels that the greatest job ever is as his son’s Little League coach, his daughters’ soccer team fan and being best friend to his wife, Sarah.

delphia, PA, was appointed head of analytics at Dexterity KPO Services, a knowledge process outsourcing services firm. Amy Simko ’96 of West Palm Beach, FL, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, has accepted a position at the David Lawrence Center in the newly expanded Children’s Outpatient Services Center. Zachary Bery ’97 of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, is the director of operations at American Commerical Realty. Alice Everett ’97 of Miami, FL, a certified public accountant was named director of Internal Compliance at Imperial Finance and Trading, LLC in Boca Raton. Cheryl Meeks Garnett ’97 of Lake Wales, FL, was named enrollment services and outreach coordinator of Polk Community College. Darcy Gordon ’97 of Lake Worth, FL, is the owner of Gateway Stables in Lake Worth. Nicole Greggs ’97 of Coral Springs, FL, is a teacher at Plantation Park Elementary School. She was named the 2008 Broward County Arts Teacher of the Year. Nicole Hessen ’97 of Lake Worth, FL, is an attorney with Rosenthal, Levy & Simon, P.A., in West Palm Beach. Jackie Lambert ’97 of West Palm Beach, FL, is the program coordinator for Club Managers Association of America Therapeutic Recreation Complex in Lake Worth, a recreation facility for people with disabilities. Erica Pacey ’97 of Miami, FL, is co-owner of Nugaard Designs in Miami, a company that designs and sells jewelry. Phillip “Flip” Schultz ’97 of Los Angeles, CA, is a successful comedian. He has performed as part of more than five improv troupes, including the Hollywood Improv and has appeared on television’s “Last Comic Standing” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”


Kirk Brown ’98 of Opa Locka, FL, was awarded the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. James D. Green ’98 of Louisville, CO, is the art director and co-owner of Darkstar Industries, a company that develops video games. Jeremy Murphy ’98 of New York City, NY, is vice president of com munications at CBS. He is also the editor-in-chief of watch! magazine, a publication he helped launch. Stacey Quinones ’98 of Boca Raton, FL, was named principal for Binks Forest Elementary School in Well ington.


Christopher Kariher ’99 of Gulf Breeze, FL, is an architect at SMB Architecture, a full-service design firm specializing in high-quality facilities and land planning. Sonal Murthy ’99 of Assonet, MA, is a pharmacist at Pharmahealth Pharmacies, with locations in Dartmouth and New Bedford. Coleen Scott ’99 of Hollywood, FL, is a registered nurse at Memorial Regional Hospital.


2000s Stephen Anand ’00 of West Palm Beach, FL, is a teacher at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Jeffrey Backman ’00 of Pembroke Pines, FL, was promoted to partner in the Fort Lauderdale international law office of Adorno & Yoss. Matthew Badiali ’00 of Fernandina Beach, FL, is the editor of the S&A Resource Report, a monthly investment advisory that focuses on natural



Florida Atlantic University 25



Astronaut Steve Swanson in the Quest Airlock of the International Space Station.

Steve Swanson ’86 NASA astronaut and mission specialist Steven Swanson ’86 was a member of the space shuttle Discovery’s STS-119 mission team. The crew of seven blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on March 11, 2009, on a 14-day mission to the International Space Station. Swanson brought an FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science flag aboard the shuttle. The crew was responsible for delivering and installing the space station’s final set of solar

26 legacy fall 2009

arrays, part of a solar panel system that will bring electricity to the station’s team of six. Swanson, while walking in space, helped mount a truss to the right side of the station. He joined NASA in 1987 as a systems engineer in the Aircraft Operations Division of the Johnson Space Cen ter. In June 2007 Swanson made his first journey to space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. On that mission he logged 336 hours in space, including almost 14 spacewalk hours. He is the

recip ient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Johnson Space Center Certificate of Accommodation and the Flight Simulation Engineering Award. He received a bachelor’s of science degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado, a master of applied science in computer systems from FAU and earned a doctorate in computer science from Texas A&M University. He was named the Fall 2007 FAUNAA Hall of Fame recipient.


resource investments. Bettee Collister ’00 of Loxahatchee, FL, is an adjunct professor at Palm Beach Community College, teaching in the paralegal program. She is on the board of directors of Take Stock in Children, Inc. and a founding member of Women in Philanthropy of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Marisa DeMato ’00 of Boca Raton, FL, was a contestant in season six of Donald Trump’s TV show The Apprentice. She is currently an associate in the firm of Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP. Nikki Dixon ’00, ’03 of Boca Raton, FL, is a marketing consultant and public relations professional. In 2008 Dixon was featured in Ocala Magazine as one of Ocala’s 40 Under Forty, the magazine’s annual hot list of young professionals. She was also named one of the United Way’s Men and Women of Marion County of 2008. Justin Flippen ’00 of Wilton Manors, FL, was named president of Broward’s Dolphin Democrats, the state’s largest gay and lesbian democratic club. Consuelo Robinson ’00 of Boynton Beach, FL, is the founder of math1on1.com, an online math tutoring company for children. Alica Rucekova ’00 of Englewood, NJ, is a physician with Guthrie Health. She is a member of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Julie Scuderi ’00 of Boca Raton, FL, is a math teacher at Morikami Park Elementary in Delray Beach. Lisa Barrera ’01 of Miramar, FL, and her husband Michael are owners of Florida’s only Extreme Pizza, a franchise based in San Francisco. Leticia Forster ’01 of Lynchburg, VA, is the human resources analyst for Central Virginia Community College. Sandra Fleming ’01 of West Palm Beach, FL, is president of Florida Wilmington Trust FSB. Dennis McCarthy ’01 of Deerfield Beach, FL, is the new assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida. Ramon Sotolongo-Veras ’01 of Aurora, IL, is a certified physician assistant employed in the otolaryngology-head and neck surgery department at Dreyer Medical Clinic in Aurora. Willie Frank Washington Jr. ’01 of Coral Springs, FL, is the assistant minister at Golden Heights Church of Christ in Lauderdale Lakes. He is a former police officer and public school teacher.


Antoinette ‘Toni’ Backhus ’02 of Lake Worth, FL, was named an associate at Holland & Knight law firm in West Palm Beach. Tamara Matejka ’02 of Asheville, NC, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, has joined Asheville Anesthesia Associates and will provide services at Haywood Regional Medical Center. Dana Silbersweig ’02 of Boynton Beach, FL, is a teacher at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Boynton Beach.


in June. Charmain Johnson ’05 of West Palm Beach, FL, is the writer, producer and director of Lovers and Friends, a popular lesbian web series. Elissa Rudolph ’05 of Delray Beach, FL, has been elected as chairman of American Mensa, Ltd. He is a delegate to the International Board of Directors and sits on the Executive Committee for Mensa International. Steven Scott ’05 of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and his wife welcomed into the world their first child in 2008, Jeffrey Christopher. Scott, a professional golfer who has played against Tiger Woods, is a PGA of America assistant professional at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township. Roy Leavitt ’06 of Boca Raton, FL, runs an operates Evolux Transportation, an online private aircraft charter marketplace. Amy Madill ’06 of Ocoee, FL, a Miami Dolphins cheerleader, was selected to be part of the Armed Forces Entertainment Tour. The cheerleaders entertained troops in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Djibouti. David Vazquez ’06 of Hollywood, FL, was promoted to assistant parks and athletics manager for the City of Hollywood.


Pamela Brown ’07 of Annapolis, MD, was appointed executive director of the Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. Elizabeth Cifelli ’07 of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, is a teacher at Seminole Trails Elementary School in West Palm Beach. She is the recipient of one of Palm Beach County’s Beginning Teacher of the Year awards. Joshua Hurley ’07 of Cooper City, FL, who drives the No. 171 APR Motorsport APR/BBS Volkswagen GTI with Ian Baas, recently won the Legacy Credit Union 200 in Round 8 of the 2009 Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge. He was the 2008 SCCA Jetta TDI Cup champion. Bob Javid ’07 of Plantation, FL, was named staff accountant for Jewett, Schwartz, Wolfe & Associates, a full-service accounting and tax advisory firm, based in Hollywood. Sara Kroeger ’07 of Plantation, FL, is a Radio City Rockette. Latoya Richardson ’07 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a caseworker at ChildNet, a private company that manages foster care children on a state contract.


Brandon Kloess ’08 of Boca Raton, FL, was signed by the Chicago White Sox. Jessica Manna ’08 of Lauderdale Lakes, FL, is the vice president and chief marketing officer of Residential Finance Corporation. Alan M. Pena ’08 of Tampa, FL, graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning in Columbus, GA, and was commissioned as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.


IN MEMORIAM Amy Dean ’03 of North Palm Beach, FL, was promoted to vice president of Palm Healthcare Foundation, a leading healthcare foundation in Palm Beach. Theresa Frankel ’03 of Boca Raton, FL, is an assistant director who has worked on countless music videos and films, as well as the television series Miami Ink.


Ioannis “John” Angelopoulos ’04 of Palm Beach, FL, along with his father, is the owner of Gyro Plus a new Greek restaurant in Sebring. Phillip Primato ’04 of Raleigh, NC, is sales and marketing manager at General Sports Venue, LLC.

’04 ’05

Jessica Carafiello ’05 of Coral Springs, FL, competed in her first U.S. Women’s Open after qualifying for her first major

Alumni Robert “Sandy” Bowser ’65, February 27, 2008, Puyallup, WA John M. “Jack” Benton ’66, March 1, 2009, Athens, GA Vera Doris Herbert-Reid ’66, ’68, June 12, 2009, Hendersonville, NC Ruth Corneil McInvale ’66, ’66, November 3, 2008, Southport, FL John Lee Rautio ’66, ’67, October 10, 2008, Boynton Beach, FL Samuel Weatherford ’66, ’67, April 17, 2009, Vero Beach, FL Leonore “Lee” Arbib ’67, June 2, 2008, Jacksonville, FL Patricia C. Ford ’67, September 26, 2008, Los Angeles, CA

Edith Bing Oden ’67, November 19, 2008, Miami, FL Sandra Cain Helseth ’68, November 19, 2008, Vero Beach, FL Charles “Jack” Putnam ’68, April 13, 2009, Port St. Lucie, FL Robert “Bob” Turk ’68, ’81, ’91, May 30, 2008, Hollywood, FL Leo S. Fox ’69, October 28, 2008, Palm Coast, FL Joan Merle Rabin-Levy ’69, ’74, January 30, 2009, Pompano Beach, FL Paulette “Polly” Wright ’69, January 10, 2009, West Palm Beach, FL Edward Joseph Kotchi ’70, November 5, 2008, Saint Leo, FL Ronald D. Brisbon ’71, November 5, 2008, Suquamish, WA Camille Dorman ’71, ’74, January 10, 2009, Dunnellon, FL Charles “Bert” Furbee ’71, February 18, 2009, Tallahassee, FL Francis T. O’Brien ’71, March 9, 2008, Vero Beach, FL Verdell Gallon Floyd ’72, ’77, February 24, 2009, Fort Pierce, FL James “Jimmy” Frederick Clark ’72, March 18, 2008, Palm City, FL Susan T. Sciuto ’72, February 9, 2009, Chesterfield, NH Susan Davis ’73, ’83, May 5, 2009, Punta Gorda, FL Randall Robert Ross ’73, April 6, 2008, New Smyrna Beach, FL Brett Bullard Wattles ’73, May 28, 2009, Crystal River, FL Monika Adams ’74, ’76, April 5, 2009, North Palm Beach, FL Joseph Clark ’74, June 2, 2009, Vero Beach, FL Mary Caroline Davis ’74, February 23, 2008, Vero Beach, FL Bettie Louise Horne Brown ’74, November 18, 2008, Lauderhill, FL John Clifton Schandelmayer ’74, February 7, 2009, Delray Beach, FL James C. Throop Jr. ’74, May 1, 2009, West Palm Beach, FL Richard “Rick” Wells ’74, March 21, 2008, Tallahassee, FL Regan G. Haupt ’75, April 12, 2008, Selinsgrove, PA Roy Ishman Mitchell ’75, ’77, July 28, 2008, Jacksonville, FL Priscilla Louise Bain-Smith ’76, March 21, 2009, Lenexa, KS Walter Dlugolecki ’76, June 1, 2009, Stuart, FL William R. McKibben ’76, September 27, 2008, Lighthouse Point, FL Douglas Pratt Reeder ’76, January 21, 2009, North Palm Beach, FL Gertrude May Smith Bagdon ’76, March 19, 2998, Pompano Beach, FL James A. TenEyck ’76, March 1, 2009, Port St. Lucie, FL Thomas Lloyd Sullivan ’78, September 19, 2008, Pompano Beach, FL John M. Mannin ’80, October 21, 2008, Greenacres, FL Randall Wayne Williamson ’80, March 21, 2008, Pompano Beach, FL Colonel John W. Roberts Jr. ’81, May 7, 2009, Watkinsville, GA S. Walter Sauls Sr. ’81, October 26, 2008, Atlanta, GA Meg Duntz ’82, May 31, 2008, Gulf Breeze, FL Mary Anne Foley ’82, October 18, 2008, Sunrise, FL Robin B. Parker ’83, ’94, February 25, 2009, Hobe Sound, FL Linda Jean Hartwell ’84, April 28, 2009, Greensboro, NC Charles Francis Mruz ’84, April 22, 2009, Jacksonville, FL Carole C. Noon ’87, May 6, 2009, Fort Pierce, FL Robert Councilman ’88, May 19, 2009, Stuart, FL

Florida Atlantic University 27


Eileen Harden ’89, October 1, 2008, West Palm Beach, FL Harvey C. Holland ’89, December 1, 2008, Port Saint Lucie, FL Timothy Allan Nash ’90, April 23, 2008, Lake Worth, FL Julie Reisinger Bassett ’92, January 29, 2009, Austin, TX Patricia Money Rollo Kane ’92, November 5, 2008, Madison, AL Christopher Benavides ’93, April 11, 2008, Boca Raton, FL David Paul McDeavitt ’93, May 1, 2008, Lake Worth, FL Carol A. Petersen ’93, May 21, 2009, Jupiter, FL Karla M. Leavenworth ’94, April 4, 2009, East Longmeadow, MA Jennifer R. “Jenny” Hattan ’96, January 26, 2009, Wichita, KS Kathleen Papes ’97, ’98, February 21, 2008, Boca Raton, FL Jean Ellen Sampson ’97, July 13, 2008, Lake Worth, FL Erin Kathleen Jennings ’98, February 24, 2009, Coral Springs, FL Jeremy W. Mullins ’98, June 13, 2009, Savannah, GA

Regina “Reggie” Maria Capparelli Dougherty ’05, April 22, 2009, Fort Lauderdale, FL Christopher Seiffert ’05, October 13, 2008, Delray Beach, FL

Faculty and Staff Bill Hardy, June 18, 2008, Communication Services Wayne Landowski, July 5, 2008, Boynton Beach, FL, Environmental Health and Safety, director Ely Meyerson, July 15, 2008, Boca Raton, FL, assistant provost and Lifelong Learning Society, director Robert Louis Muller, March 25, 2008, Melbourne, FL, Department of Purchasing, director Joseph Orr, November 1, 2008, Jupiter, FL, adjunct professor

Mary Ellen Phillips DeVane ’02, April 17, 2008, Hendersonville, NC, Lifelong Learning and Professional Development, assistant director Ann Prushansky, June 10, 2008, Boynton Beach, FL, Department of Purchasing, senior clerk Joyce Wiest, July 5, 2008, Student Health Services, program assistant

Special Friends Eric Alexander, May 24, 2008, Port St. Lucie, FL, established the Eric Alexander Engineering and Computer Science Endowed Scholarship in 2007 at FAU Sue Wilson Stroud, June 19, 2009, Henderson, KY, served as a president of FAU’s Volunteer League Owl Notes compiled by Marlene Smith.


Harold Forkas, Of Blessed Memory Harold Forkas, a retired business executive whose generosity to Florida Atlantic University led to construction of a long-awaited alumni center on the Boca Raton campus, died on April 20, 2009 at age 90. “In becoming the lead donors for our alumni center, Harold and his wife, Marleen, gave the University a gift of incalculable value that will forever link them to FAU,” said FAU President Frank T. Brogan. “The FAU community joins Marleen in mourning the passing of this great philanthropist and wonderful human being.” A native of Woodridge, New York, Harold began his career in 1935 working in the office supply business. He subsequently joined the sales staff of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company and soon advanced to a management position. After becoming a successful entrepreneur through the acquisition and operation of eight Midas Muffler franchises, Harold and his wife retired to Boca Raton in 1988. Their involvement with FAU included supporting the University’s football team by joining the Inner Circle of Football Founders. They regularly cheered for the Owls at both home and away games, and made a major gift to the future FAU football stadium. Their $1.1 million donation to the University, made in 2005, funded construction of the Marleen and Harold Forkas Alumni Center, a 14,000-square-foot facility on the Boca Raton campus that has become a “home away from home” for the more than 111,000 FAU alumni. They have also been significant benefactors of the B’nai Torah Congregation and major supporters of the Boca Ballet, Boca Raton Community Hospital, the American Heart Association and numerous other well-known charities in Boca Raton. 28 legacy fall 2009


helping dreams

TAKE FLIGHT gines into industrial engines. Accounting students, eager for real-life experience, also became part of Jet Turbine’s work force. Pete’s willingness to provide students with new opportunities and his own professional accomplishments in the field of aviation engineering landed him a seat on the College of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board. Shortly after relocating to Boca Raton, the LoBellos were introduced to their research park neighbor, coaching icon Howard Schnellenberg, who was beginning to design the blueprint for the FAU football program. Long-time sports fans, the LoBellos became the 13th members of FAU’s Inner Circle of Football Founders. A subsequent gift to athletics named the LoBello Family Quarterbacks Meeting Room at the Tom Oxley Athletic Center. “We loaned the team our red fire truck for parades and helped outfit the marching band in their uniforms,” Pete says. “We even donated a working antique cannon to the team for use on the field at home games.” Interested in other areas of the Univer-


Far-reaching generosity and warmth have earned Peter “Pete” and Kerry LoBello the unofficial title of “Goodwill Ambassadors of FAU.” Modest about their attributes, this engaging couple, whose giving history at FAU began in 1999, donate because they care about the University and its future in the academic world. Their commitment to FAU is as genuine as their belief in higher education. Brooklyn-born Pete enlisted in the U.S. Air Force when he was only 17. The service trained him how to repair B-52 jet engines. After serving in the Air Force, Pete found work as a mechanic with Western Airlines in Los Angeles. At the same time, with help from the G.I. Bill, he completed an associate’s degree program in business administration at Cerritos College. Moving up within Western, Pete became the executive assigned to running production in the engine shop. It was at Western where Pete and Kerry met. A native of San Diego, Kerry was no stranger to the world of aeronautics when she started to work for Western as a reservation agent. Her father played a key role in the early days of the space industry. Married in 1975, the couple moved to Dallas where Pete launched his own company Jet Turbine Service. Eventually he sold the company but by the time they migrated to South Florida in 1995, Pete had resurrected Jet Turbine Service, this time with a stronger focus on supplying converted industrial engines to power plants. The LoBellos’ relationship with the University began in 1998, when Pete moved his company to the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority — the Research Park at FAU on the Boca Raton campus. One of the park’s first tenants, Pete chose this location for its close proximity to the University, particularly the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Business. Pete turned Jet Turbine into a hub for aspiring engineers by asking students to help design the parts that were needed to turn jet en-

sity, the couple established the LoBello Innovation Leadership Endowed Scholarship Fund for engineering students, and have supported the commercial music program in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. After a brief retirement Pete started Solar Transportation Solutions (STS), a developer of solar-powered transportation and maintenance vehicles, headquartered in the Research Park’s Technology Business Incubator. He launched a student co-op program through STS in collaboration with FAU faculty and students. Together they are designing and manufacturing solar-powered golf carts and installing roof conversions. “Neither of us come from academic backgrounds, yet we have been adopted by our FAU family,” says Kerry. “We get great pleasure from helping the next generation of leaders.” If you would like more information on philanthropy opportunities at FAU, call 561.297.3010.

Florida Atlantic University 29

Are You


Visit www.FAUTrueBlue.com and make your gift today!

Jose Herrera ’05, ’09 Member of the FAU National Alumni Association Member of the TRUE BLUE Club

At FAU, we take great pride in the accomplishments of our students, alumni and faculty. Now we ask you to show your TRUE BLUE pride in FAU by getting involved and giving back. 561.297.3010


University Advancement 777 Glades Road Boca Raton, FL 33431- 0991




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