President De Freese Charts New Course
|President Catanese stopped by to visit with board members and took the opportunity to speak about the launch of the Create the Future Campaign for Florida Tech
Newly elected President of the FTAA, Dr. Duane De Freese '82 M.S., '88 Ph.D., headed his first FTAA board meeting on campus in March. The focus of March FTAA Board meeting was the future….both of the FTAA and the university. Dr. De Freese presented a work plan to the Board that was unanimously approved. The plan focused on 3 broad initiatives:
1. Reach Out & Connect
2. Lead by Example & Give Back
3. Communicate & Share Stories.
According to Duane:
"The FTAA Board made a strategic decision to become more closely aligned to the FL Tech motto: "high tech with a human touch". To implement the initiatives, FTAA board members will be personally reaching out to our alumni and the community."
To achieve the $100 million campaign goal is going to require the support of our worldwide alumni as well as friends, corporations, and foundations. The board expressed its support of the Create the Future Campaign and the important role alumni will play in its success. FTAA President, Duane De Freese, presented Dr. Catanese with a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Florida Tech Alumni Association with the hope that our alumni will be inspired to get personally involved and support the campaign.
Alumni House Project
|Artist rendering of proposed multi-purpose meeting space
A major goal outlined at the board meeting is for the FTAA to raise $150,000 to support renovation/upgrades of the Alumni House. As Dr. De Freese outlined "by providing an enhanced environment that welcomes alumni and students, expanded meeting space, and an outside garden area for impromptu or formal gatherings, the proposed renovations will create an environment that truly serves the growing needs of our university community. We are asking all FIT alumni to consider making a donation for the Alumni House renovation." For more information and how you can get involved visit CreateTheFuture.fit.edu
New Board Members
The FTAA welcomed 5 new board members at its March meeting. Joining the board to serve for a three-year term:
Marian Dionne, '76 B.S. management science, '90 M.S. computer science
Kevin Ellis, '02 B.S. mechanical engineering
Henry Gibbs, '88 B.S. business administration
Rhodie Humbert, '82 MBA
Chris Fernando, '02 B.S. aviation management
Inaugural Panther4Life Grad Bash
The FTAA hosted the first ever Panther4Life Grad Bash for graduating students, their family members and friends on May 2, the eve of FIT’s spring commencement ceremonies. The event featured food, drinks and live music, by local band Simone and the Supercats, and was held on Crawford Green. The event is a way to honor the class of 2014 and serves as a welcome into Florida Tech’s Alumni Association.
"This is a way for the Alumni Association to engage with our graduating students in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere," said Bino Campanini, vice president of alumni affairs. "Our hope is that this celebration will be an annual success similar to our FIT Homecoming Fest."
The Grad Bash is supported by both the Campus Activities Board and Greek Life.
Federal Judge Makes a Visit
|Federal Judge, Catherina Haynes, at the alumni house
We are proud of all our alumni around the globe who are enhancing the reputation of our university and we encourage all of you to come back and visit us. Recently, we were honored that Federal Court Judge, Catharina Haynes, stopped by the Alumni House for a visit. Judge Haynes was visiting from Dallas where she serves as a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Haynes enrolled at FIT as a 16 year old and graduated in 3 years in 1983. She is a great example of our alumni making a difference!
MLK Day and Women's History Month Celebrations
|Dr Richard Blake and Thomas Cole with Bino Campanini
Community leaders Dr. Richard Moore and Thomas Cole were recognized by the FTAA for their contributions and leadership at the annual Martin Luther King community reception. Dr. Blake was presented with the Julius Montgomery Pioneer Award in honor of FIT's first African-American student, Julius Montgomery. Mr. Cole received the Harvey Riley Bridge Builder Award. The highlight of the evening was a rendition of Dr. King’s "I have a Dream" speech by Mr. Leonard Ross which can be viewed here.
The Martin Luther King community reception is sponsored by the FTAA and is part of Florida Tech’s celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
|Dr Monica Baloga, Mary Dyer, and Tara Dumm
The 2014 Joan Bixby Awards were presented during the Florida Tech Women’s History Month Luncheon. The recipients of the awards, named for the late Joan Bixby '75, were Monica Baloga (faculty award), Mary Dyer (staff award) and Tara Drumm (student award).
Like Us on Facebook
If your email is current with the alumni office you will have received several notices about a prize giveaway the FTAA launched in order to attract more alumni to the alumni association Facebook page. If you have not Liked our Facebook page yet then please do, so we can keep you up to date with current news and announcements such as who will be the headline act at the 2014 FIT Homecoming Fest!
|FIT soccer alumni gather after the alumni soccer game
As most of you know, I was part of Florida Tech’s 1988 NCAA II National Championship soccer team and I still lace up the cleats for the annual alumni game. This year the alumni were beaten on the field by the younger (and clearly fitter) Panther squad. However, it was good to see that after the game the former players were able to hold their own when it came time to celebrate being part of a great Panther tradition.
FIT Homecoming Fest Video
|Taking Back Sunday performing at Homecoming Fest
If you were not able to attend Homecoming this year but have heard about FIT Homecoming Fest check out the video to see footage of Taking Back Sunday as they rock downtown Melbourne.
Sign up to Stay Informed and Connected
We are asking all alumni to stay involved and connected to the Florida Tech Alumni Association. In order for your alumni association to be able to share news with you and keep you up to date with everything that is FIT, it is essential that we have accurate contact information. The best way to do this and to stay connected with other alumni is to register on Panther Connect at alumni.fit.edu/panther-connect.
The Florida Tech Alumni Korea (FTAK) chapter had its annual reception at the Air Force Club (Seoul) on March 14, 2014. The FTAK chapter was established on the second Friday of March (2013) when Dr. Fred Ham visited Seoul and helped establish the chapter. To commemorate Dr. Ham’s contributions, and that of its alumni, the FTAK determined to hold an Annual Alumni Reunion on the second Friday of March every year. Currently the FTAK Chair is Dr. Sinmo Sung who was Dr. Ham's first Ph.D. student.
The DC Area Chapter met on April 13 for a social at the Blue Jacket Brewery. FTAA Board member and Chapter leader, Chris Fernando, helped coordinate the social with support from the alumni office. The Chapter will hold another have another social in a couple of months and is planning a summer event. For more information about the DC chapter, contact Chris Fernando email@example.com.
At the same time that the DC Area Chapter was enjoying its social at a local DC brewery the Orlando Chapter gathered at the Quatum Leap Winery. The social was organized by Leslie Hielema Vice President, The Orlando Center with support from local FTAA board member Rebecca Lambert. For more information about upcoming socials in the Orlando area, contact Leslie Hielema firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Reception - Trenton, NJ
Florida Tech Alumni will have the chance to watch the award winning Trenton Thunder when the alumni association hosts "A Night at the Ballpark" on August 5, 2014 at Arm and Hammer Park in Trenton, NJ. President Anthony Catanese and FTAA Executive Director Bino Campanini will attend the game which will include a private reception for alumni. MiLB.com, the official website of Minor League Baseball, has named the Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, "Team of the Year" following a three week online voting period this month. The honor is part of the annual "MiLBY" Awards which are presented by MiLB.com each fall. The Thunder, who are part owned by alumnus Joe Caruso ’73, '75 M.S., were the champions of the Eastern League after earning the East Division Wild Card during the regular season. The title is the franchise's third in its 20 seasons in Trenton. For more information about the alumni event contact Steve Pursell email@example.com.
Huntsville Alumni Chapter Donates to Local Elementary School
The FIT Alumni Huntsville Chapter donated school supplies to Louis J. Morris Elementary School. The group collected an assortment of pens, pencils, paper, and binders for the young students. Principal Patty Boyd said she was "very glad to see someone in the academic community cared."
Next year, the Huntsville Chapter plans to exceed the amount of supplies donated this year by 50%. James Bussey, President of Huntsville Alumni Chapter said, "the key behind our endeavors is to bring awareness of our university to the surrounding community. Based on our investigation of the community, only 1 out of 1000 knows that our university even exists." Their next outreach direction is to government and corporate entities in the surrounding area.
Homecoming 2013 hosted several reunions. There were the 45th anniversaries of Pi Kappa Alpha
and Delta Delta Tau, an electrical engineering class reunion (1971-1975), and Delta Sigma Phi joined together to tailgate a support Panther football.
Pikes take to the field at halftime for group shot
President Catanese visits the Pike tailgate tent
DDT's welcome President Catanese during their tailgate
President Catanese and Bino Campanini visit the Delta Sig alumni
Florida Tech Alumna, WBC IGNITE 360 Graduate Receives Regional SBA Award
Florida Tech alumna and Women’s Business Center IGNITE 360TM Mentoring Program Graduate Sherry Acanfora-Ruohomaki was named the 2014 Woman Owned Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) of South Florida. Acanfora-Ruohomaki holds the following degrees: '93 B.S. computer engineering, '00 B.S. electrical engineering, '05 M.S. industrial/organizational psychology.
Acanfora-Ruohomaki is president of K9 Kampus in Melbourne, a dog daycare and boarding services business that also offers training and grooming.
Alumna Elected To TEA Board of Directors
Oksana Wall '93, ’95 M.S. civil engineering, has been elected to serve a three-year term with the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) on their Eastern North America Division Board of Directors. With her extensive background in managing theme parks and resort projects, Ms. Wall brings valuable insight and experience to this position.
Wall is a Project Executive and Director for Themed Entertainment for Acomb, Ostendorf & Associates. Her portfolio includes work on projects at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, Universal Singapore, and numerous Disney theme parks.
Airport director joins BCVB Board of Directors
Rebecca Hupp ’92 B.S. aviation management and director of the Boise Airport, has joined the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau’s board of directors. She has more than 20 years of experience in the airline industry and previously was a board member for the Maine Tourism Commission.
Hupp began her position as airport director at the Boise Airport in April 2012. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation and long-term planning and development of the airport. She previously was the director at Bangor International Airport in Maine and airport manager of the Aberdeen Regional Airport in South Dakota.
Engineering Alumnus Makes Donation
Sungjin Park, a 2003 Ph.D. graduate in electrical engineering and the 2010 College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award recipient, has donated $10,000 for electrical and computer engineering (ECE) seminars to be hosted in the name of his former advisor, Fredric Ham. Ham is past dean of the College of Engineering and is the Harris Professor of Electrical Engineering.
This seminar series will be known as "The Fredric M. Ham Electrical and Computer Engineering Distinguished Seminar Series" and will feature prominent researchers in the field.
Sungjin Park serves as President and CEO of The Vine Corp, visit thevinecorp.com.
Alumnus Takes on Global Position
GaN Systems Inc, a leading developer of gallium nitride power switching semiconductors, announced the appointment of Charles Bailley '82 MBA, as Senior Director Technical Marketing, Asia. Bailley is a well-respected and experienced figure in the power semiconductor industry, with over eighteen years’ engineering and management experience in semiconductors and platforms at companies including Intel, Intersil, and CHiL Semiconductor.
Alumna Appointed as New Executive Director
The boards of directors of the WateReuse Assn. and the WateReuse Research Foundation announced in March that Melissa L. Meeker, M.S. Environmental Resource Management, was appointed executive director. Meeker will lead the strategic growth of the two organizations, as well as operational programs, staff and execution of their missions. Immediately prior to joining WateReuse, Meeker served as vice president of business line management for CSA Ocean Services Inc., a marine environmental consulting firm.
In 2010, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Meeker deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with responsibility for overseeing statewide water and environmental restoration policy. While serving at the Florida DEP, Meeker was appointed executive director of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).
Aviation Alumnus takes Position at Kansas City International Airport
Following a nationwide search, the Kansas City Aviation Department has announced that Justin Meyer ’99 B.S. aviation management, will become the new Deputy Director of Marketing and Air Service Development for the Kansas City International Airport (MCI) and the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC). He will begin his new position on April 10, 2014. Meyer is an airport executive with 15 years of experience in the aviation industry; six of those years serving as the Manager of Air Service Development with the Kansas City Aviation Department.
Graduate's Music Hits the Silver Screen in Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz Movie
Hector De Marchena ‘00, licensed the track "The Theory of Fudu (Diego Iglesias Remix)" by producer John Axiom for usage in Ridley Scott’s 2013 hit thriller "The Counselor", starring Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz. "The Theory of Fudu" is distributed and co-owned by one of De Marchena’s independent electronic music label Liquid Grooves.
"The track was part of a three-release collaboration between Liquid Grooves and David Granha and John Axiom’s Aegyptia brand," says De Marchena, who also runs Liquid Media, a company that he founded in 2008 with multiple creative divisions.
De Marchena is a native of Aruba. After relocating to Florida he earned a degree in Business Administration and Management from Florida. Moving back to Aruba, he began organizing underground electronic music events, and eventually decided that he wanted to build a career in the creative media arts and music industry. He then made an official return to Florida in 2008, settling in Miami.
Alumna wins The People's Choice Award at the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival
BETRAYAL SQUARE, written, directed edited & produced by alumna, and Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame member, Paulette King Morin ’94 B.S. business administration was selected as the People’s Choice Award winner at the Melbourne Independent Filmmaker’s Festival. Betrayal Square is a short film delving in the realm of unfaithful spouses with a dramatic twist. It was King Morin’s third successive win in the category. She picked up the award in 2011 for The Incredible Banana and in 2013 for Forgiveness Lessons of Life 101.
Florida Tech Earns EASA Authorization
Florida Tech is pioneering new partnerships aimed at enhancing its role as an international leader for flight training. The university’s flight training organization, FIT Aviation, has earned authorization from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to become the first Approved Training Organization (ATO) to achieve compliance under new European standards.
Florida Tech Accepts $24.1 Million Technology and Program Gift from PTC
University Announces Center for Lifecycle and Innovation Management
PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) announced a collaboration with the Florida Institute of Technology to offer students the same industry technology used by 27,000 PTC global manufacturing customers to design and develop sophisticated products.
The gift, which will also foster collaborative educational experiences between Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business and the College of Engineering, is valued by the university at $24.1 million. The gift is a significant contribution to Florida Tech’s Create the Future campaign which launched in January with a goal of raising $100 million to support the university’s future needs.
Florida Tech Honored as One of Top 200 Universities in the World
FloridaTech has risen to the top 200 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2013-2014. Only three universities in Florida made the list’s Top 200. The rankings, powered by Thomson Reuters, include the top 400 universities, worldwide.
These rankings are based on school scores in five categories: teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.
In the citations category, which Times Higher Education uses as its "research influence indicator," Florida Tech scored a 99 out of a possible 100—higher than such well-respected universities as Yale, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania.
The Crimson Receives Mark of Excellence for Reporting
The Crimson won a regional Mark of Excellence award for in-depth reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.
SPJ recognized reporters Kelsey McMullan and Allison McLellan for their story, "Cheater Cheater," an investigative piece published in November about academic dishonesty.
McMullan and McLellan’s story competed against entries from schools in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and elsewhere in Florida. Judges for the competition were professional journalists from outside of the competing states.
Women's Business Center Director Beth Gitlin Receives Statewide SBA Award
Beth Gitlin, director of the Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech, has been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State of Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year for Florida.
"The nominations were very competitive, and all the winners are highly deserving of their respective awards," said SBA Administration North Florida District Director Wilfredo J. Gonzalez.
In recognizing Gitlin, he added, "This award acknowledges your personal achievement and dedication in advocating for and advancing small business ownership and expansion opportunities. Through your work, you inspire other entrepreneurs to start and build businesses that will benefit our community. Job creation has a lasting impact on Florida’s economy and you are inspiring others through your work."
Panthers' 2014 Home Schedule Filled with Big Games
|Inaugural 2013 season ticket holders can renew their season tickets now through May 16 by calling 321-674-6228. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
After posting a 4-2 home record in its inaugural season, Florida Tech will host five games at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium this fall against teams that combined for an overall record of 35-18 in 2013.2014 Schedule
All but one of the home games will begin at 6 p.m. or later. The only game at Pirate Stadium scheduled for an afternoon kickoff is the Panthers’ Homecoming Game on Oct. 25 against future Gulf South Conference member Mississippi College. The start time for that game is 1 p.m.
Buy Panther Football apparel here!
Alumni Amongst Chopper Dropper Winners
There were a lot of numbers at Florida Tech’s 11th Annual Chopper Dropper on March 14, such as the $50,000 awarded to grand prize winner Michael Kenemuth (pictured) of Melbourne, or the 152 golfers who took thousands of swings in the Sporting Affair XXII Golf Tourney.
But the numbers that mattered most were these: 22 and 550 and 6. Those refer to the 22 Florida Tech sports programs and 550 student-athletes that will benefit from the university’s biggest annual athletics fundraiser. The 6 is the number of alumni who purchased a winning ticket.
This year’s alumni winners included:
10K Winner - Rakesh Shah '07 M.S. CIS
$1K Winner - Vicki Mayhew, Non-Grad Alumni
$1K Winner - Frank Bright '67 '69 M.S., COE and
Cathy Bright '85 MBA, COB
$1K Winner - Jared Nunes, '11 M.S., COE
$1K Winner - Randy Muns, '78 MBA, COB
This year’s Sporting Affair grossed over $560,000 from Chopper Dropper ticket sales, athletic partners, golf teams and hole sponsors, in-kind donations and more.
||YOUR NEWS: You Send… We Publish
Please find attached a photo of our full-blood panther cub, Orlando Ka'wai Andreini, born September 17, 2012 in Manila, Philippines. Parents are alumna Brooke Porter '01 B.S. marine biology, FIT; 2006 Master's in Education, Chaminade University; Ph.D. Candidate in Fisheries Livelihoods, Auckland University of Technology and alumnus Enrico Andreini '02 B.S. marine biology, FIT; '06 M.S. aquaculture, Stirling University.
We've been living in the Philippines since 2011 where I am pursing my research and Enrico is working on a sustainable fisheries project with livelihood components.
Kara Smolarek '02 and David Whittaker (currently enrolled in online BCBA classes) live in Fort Pierce and had a baby girl, Kailani Grace Whittaker on October 1st, 2013. Kara works for USDA Horticulture Lab as a Biological Lab Technician.
Stephanie Entice from International Admissions sent us some family news. "Here is my daughter and son in law Anthony Freude '12 who had twin boys Nov 8, 2013. Luke Symeon and Anthony Philip were preemies born at 36 weeks and doing very well". Above are twins in their Panther shirts. Date of this picture Feb. 8, 2014 (3 months old) Anthony Freude 10lb 4oz Luke Freude 12lb 7oz.
I wanted to share some exciting news. I have accepted a position as the new Assistant Director of Airports for Horry County, South Carolina. For those of you not familiar with Horry County, it is home to the Myrtle Beach International Airport and three general aviation airports. The past 9 years in Atlanta have been incredible and I will definitely miss the hustle and bustle of the world’s busiest airport, but I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career and for my family. My last day at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be Friday, April 25, 2014. I will start with Myrtle Beach on May 5.
-Jason Terreri '01 B.S. aviation management.
My name is Chad Easterling and I am a 2005 graduate from FIT. I received an M.S in CIS. I was recently promoted to Section Lead for Dynetics, Inc. in Huntsville, AL. I was also appointed to the Athens State University Board of Visitors. This board advises the various colleges within the university on the future path their programs will take. My wife and I also recently acquired the Nestle Toll House Café in Athens, AL. I am also an adjunct instructor in the CS department at Athens State University and past president of the Athens State University Alumni Board of Directors.
I was a panelist for the Film Expo 2014 at the Mega Convention (MEGATRON). MEGATRON is a large multi-genre convention that caters to the comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, and gaming communities, occurring between late February and early March at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.
-Paulette King Morin '94
I graduated from Florida Tech in July 2013 and was hired by Schlumberger Geosolutions in Houston as a Seismic Data Processing Engineer. I work as part of a team that creates high definition subsurface images of the earth using seismic data. I've spent the past several months learning how to process 3-D Marine and Land seismic data and I continue to learn on the job. I'm very happy about what I do and I hope to excel at it.
-Tazia Abdool ‘13
I am employed locally as a Medical Social Worker at CHS Wuesthoff Health System and specialize in Grief & Crisis counseling in The ER & ICU. I live on the ocean in Satellite Beach and enjoy exercising, golfing, tennis & traveling.
-Leta Meerman '01 M.S. management
Joe & Jennifer Trawinski, both class of 1990, posing with the Stanley Cup with children Jessica and Jake. The Trawinski’s will be visiting campus in June when Jake will attend Florida Tech football’s prospect camp.
MAJ Brandon Elliott '08 with daughter Brice Elliott, sporting a Panther Cub tee shirt, who will turn 1 year old on May 13, 2014. Major Elliott is a Supervisory Contract Specialist USARMY and is married to Ali Elliott.
Florida Tech's three Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award winners, Dale Dettmer, Rob Phebus and Tom Folliard, together on the Melbourne campus for Tom Folliard’s first meeting as a university Trustee.
FTAA President, Dr. Duane De Freese, celebrated his 60th birthday in April and enjoyed a gathering of family and friends at alumni owned eatery Long Doggers in Indialantic.
It is my sad choice to tell you that my husband, Kenneth W. Watson Sr., class of 1986, passed away October 3, 2013. He retired from Rockwell Collins in 2008 and we moved to Madisonville, TN. I received the latest "Florida Tech Today" and saw that you did acknowledge those who have passed away. He was always proud to be an Alumni of FIT and I gave his MBA ring to our oldest daughter Heather. Sincerely, Karen Watson
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