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Bino CampaniniThank you to all who shared thoughts and insights on our first edition. We appreciate your comments and encourage all our readers to get involved. Send us your news and comments. We asked for a name for the newsletter, and I am pleased to announce that we received loads of emails from you. Panther’s Tale was the name that came out on top. Congratulations to Fabrizio Barasti ’89 for the suggestion. A new Panther Football T-shirt is on its way!

Florida Tech is flourishing and our faculty and alumni continue to make their mark on our world. The latest issue of Florida Tech Today featured alumnus Tom Folliard Jr. who is the CEO of Carmax Inc., and Dr. Michael Grace was part of Nat Geo Wild’s Animal Superpowers-Extreme Hunter television show. Tom and Professor Grace are just two examples of Florida Tech’s finest. We know that there are alumni making an impact all over the world, and we want to hear from you and share your story.

Go Panthers!

Bino Campanini
Executive Director Alumni Association
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Vic Ross to Chair Gleason Name-A-Seat Campaign

Vic Ross
Victor Ross III ’90 Oceanography, Florida Tech Alumni Association Board Member

FTAA board member and thespian Vic Ross III will chair the campaign to replace the 500 seats in Gleason Auditorium, or Gleason Performing Arts Center as it is now known. Vic has a special affinity for Gleason as he was a key member of the College Players during his time at FIT, and it is this connection that led to his enthusiastic acceptance of leading the charge for seeing that all 500 auditorium seats are replaced. Vic told Panther’s Tale, “Nearly all of us (alumni) have been in the Gleason Performing Arts Center at one time or another—whether for plays, lectures, talent shows, meetings, to enjoy outside performers or nervously getting lined up prior to our commencement. This is a great opportunity for alumni to be part of the ongoing improvements on campus. We might not be able to afford to have our name on a building, but we can have our name on a seat!”

The replacing of the 500 seats in Gleason remains the number one priority of the FTAA. Over the next month, Florida Tech alumni will receive an informational piece about the Gleason Name-A-Seat Campaign in the mail from the FTAA. We encourage you to take the couple of minutes it takes to read the information so that you can be fully informed about the campaign and the goals of your alumni association. We hope that you too will be part of the 500.

The Mighty Mighty BossToneS to rock Homecoming

Vic Ross

Homecoming 2012 (Nov. 1–3) promises to be bigger and better than ever before with highlights including a concert by The Mighty Mighty BossToneS. The FTAA and SGA have worked closely over the summer with Melbourne Mainstreet to create an event during homecoming that will be attractive to both students and alumni. Homecoming Fest will take place in downtown Melbourne the evening of Nov. 2 and will feature music, food and entertainment. The highlight will be a concert by national act The Mighty Mighty BossToneS. Since their inception in 1984, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS have been one of rock music’s most prolific touring and recording bands. During their 27-year career, they have played thousands of shows all over the world and released a slew of groundbreaking albums. They became part of the musical mainstream with their platinum-selling 1997 album “Let’s Face It,” and its hit single “The Impression That I Get.” Click for video

In addition to Friday’s festivities, large crowds are expected for an inter-squad football scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at Palm Bay High School’s football stadium and for the Homecoming Awards Gala scheduled for Saturday evening on campus. Last year the awards gala was a sell-out with 420 alumni, faculty, staff and guests filling the Clemente Center.

FTAA Adds New Board Members

The FTAA board of directors approved the addition of seven new members to serve on the FTAA board for a 3-year term.

Kim Bozik, B.S. ’87 Electrical Engineering:
Kim was active on the Campus Activities Board when he attended the university from 1983–87. Kim works as a senior marketing and program manager at Intel Corporation and lives in Arizona. He is an electrical and systems engineering professional with strategic business experience, specializing in program execution and risk management. In the past, he has received formal recognition at Honeywell and Intel for his individual and team efforts. “As a leader at Intel, I'd like to bring my industry skill in program and people management to drive those improvements the Alumni Association needs.” He will serve on the Student Relations Committee.

Jim Carleton, B.S. ’75 Mechanical Engineering:
Jim is the CEO for Chematics of South General Contractors LLC, located in Merritt Island, Fla. He is a decorated, retired marine and former employee of United Space Alliance. He is skilled in program and project management and an expert in government contracts. Jim is associated with numerous organizations relating to the field of aerospace engineering and defense. This is his first term with the Florida Tech Alumni Association and as such he has decided to serve on the board’s University Relations Committee.

Michael Clark, B.S. ’78 Ocean Engineering:
Clark, as he prefers to be called, has held many positions in the engineering field with major corporations as well as in the areas of academia and civilian government work. He has taught at Brevard Community College and Carnegie Mellon University. He is both an author and keynote speaker. Currently, he works in educational research technology with a focus on mobile tele-presences. He coordinates with personnel at different universities to fine tune and expand his work in robotic distance learning. He is also interested in the possible use and effects of his robots with autistic children. He is “very interested in continuing his relationship with academia and FIT.” He has chosen to work on the Alumni Relations Committee.

Ameen Sarkees, B.S. ’89 Applied Science:
Ameen received his degree on the main campus and now works for Lockheed Martin as a senior staff engineer at Kennedy Space Center. He enjoys fond memories of his time on campus and wants to be more involved to help the university. He serves the university as an admissions volunteer, aiding in the recruitment of the best and brightest students for Florida Tech. “I want to help and to give back to FIT and her family and to help evolve and to grow my friendships with my fraternal brothers and sisters and to friends (old and new).”

Bob Washam, B.S. ’78 Environmental Technology:
After a voluntary leave of several years, Bob begins his third term of service. While officially graduating from Melbourne, Bob attended the Jensen Beach Campus for most of his academic tenure. His desire to rejoin the board shows his interest in the university and the alumni association. Bob is employed as an environmental administrator with the Florida Department of Health. He belongs to the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Environmental Section of the same organization. He is also a member of the National Association of County and City Health Officers. Bob will be working on the Finance Committee.

Michael Young, B.S. ’76 Management Science:
Michael is the managing director at Katalyst Team in the greater Atlanta area. The Katalyst Team is a focused independent consulting service working to help meet the needs of companies to be cost-effective, safe and highly qualified to serve customers. Mike is an expert in logistics and operational needs and further specializes in the areas of distribution, warehousing and supply chains. He belongs to numerous networking organizations including the Atlanta Round Table, The Atlanta Supply Chain Professionals (ASCP) and ExecNet Atlanta. Michael has chosen to serve on the board’s Finance Committee and brings his management skills to this post.

Palma Young, B.S. ’76 Management Science:
Palma holds an Executive Juris Doctor Degree in Health Law, a Master of Public Affairs degree in Health Service Administration in addition to her bachelor’s degree from Florida Tech. She is currently a legal nurse consultant and medical analyst in Atlanta working for The Weathington Firm, P.C. Palma is a registered nurse, certified in infection control and a member of the Certified Professionals in Healthcare Risk Management. She is a Fellow in Patient Safety Leadership and the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (FASHRM) and affiliated with the Georgia Society for Healthcare Risk Management. She works with expert witnesses and supports legal proceedings within the realm of the healthcare industry. Palma has chosen to work on both the Student and Alumni Relations Committees. Palma is also hoping to initiate an Atlanta Area Alumni Chapter this fall.

GEICO to Remain Corporate Partner

GeicoGEICO has agreed to continue its corporate support of the FTAA for an additional five years. GEICO will continue to offer special rates for Florida Tech alumni (click her for rates) as well as provide increased financial support to the FTAA. “I am very happy that GEICO will continue to be one of our corporate partners and the increased financial support to the FTAA is an indication of their confidence in our alumni and our association,” said Bino Campanini, FTAA Executive Director.

Last Call for Nominations

JPK Distinguished Alumni Award
JPK Distinguished Alumni Award winner, Dale Dettmer ’71, holding the “Jerry” at the 2011 Homecoming Awards Gala

The FTAA is accepting nominations until Aug. 31 for the Jerome P. Keuper (JPK) Distinguished Alumni Award and the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) award. The awards will be presented along with the Outstanding Alumni Award from each college at the Homecoming Awards Gala on Nov. 3. The award criteria and nomination forms can be found here.

Following in their Footprints …

Margaret Berger
Margaret Berger with her son Joe,
Class of 2016

The FTAA will hold its Legacy Student breakfast on Aug. 15 on the Melbourne campus. One attendee will be Margaret Berger ’89. She will be attending with her son Joe who is part of the incoming Class of 2016. As Margaret told Panther’s Tale:

"I firmly believe in higher education. The decision I made to attend FIT has made a major impact on my life. The biggest thing I gained from my undergraduate studies was the belief in myself and the knowledge that I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to. Professionally, this led me to enjoy a successful military career, a corporate career and success as a small business owner. Personally, I have continued the education journey receiving a master’s in marketing, an MBA and a strategic business certificate. When my oldest son made the decision to also attend FIT, I couldn’t have been more excited for him. Standing at the beginning of his adult life with so many opportunities in front of him, I know choosing FIT will bring him his unique opportunities and life experiences. 

There have been deliberate decisions that I have made in my life that I knew would allow me to have success in my future. Attending FIT was one of those. I am thrilled that Joe too, has made this same decision."

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 http://alumni.fit.edu/pantherconnect.


TEDx Event held in Gleason


A crowd of around 500—leaders from the space industry, participants of the International Space University program, or ISU, personnel from Florida Tech, NASA and other local space companies, as well as the general public—gathered this summer at the Gleason Performing Arts Center on campus at Florida Tech. The audience came to hear from speakers at the first TEDx event resulting from collaboration between the ISU, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Florida Institute of Technology.

TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design. During TEDxISU, leaders from the space community aimed to address how the power of ideas and sharing of ideas in Technology, Entertainment and Design influences and inspires their work in space. Innovation and sharing of ideas and information were reoccurring concepts in the talks.

A key presentation was a group of tiny, musical flying robots, seen in this video

Associate Dean featured on NatGeo TV show

Michael Grace
Michael Grace, Ph.D.

Professor and Associate Dean of Florida Tech’s College of Science, Michael Grace appeared on National Geographic in June, highlighting his research on the night vision of the yellow ratsnake.

His work was to demonstrate that the yellow ratsnake has a strong sense of night vision and can and will hunt prey during the dark hours of the night by using this special vision. Experiments were conducted near the St. Johns River and on the main campus in Melbourne. Thermal cameras helped to reveal that snakes can see in complete darkness.

View a video clip of his experiments

Dr. George Maul – Professor and Philanthropist

“I graduated college without debt, and I’d like to help other students do the same,” Dr. Maul

Play Video

WFIT Prepares for New Home


WFIT’s new building construction is well under way and the projected completion date is this fall. The new facility is located adjacent to Gleason Performing Arts Center and encompasses over 5,000 square feet. WFIT’s production space will go from two and a half broadcast studios to six studios including a performance studio. The new facility offers many new opportunities to improve WFIT’s service to Florida Tech, the community and beyond. WFIT’s new building brings with it equipment needs and WFIT general manager Terri Wright informs us that there are Building and Studio Naming Opportunities available. If you would like more information on the new building and how you can get involved, visit the WFIT website at www.wfit.org or call (321) 674-8950 for a brochure.


The Greater Boston Area Chapter Auctions Signed Wakefield Cap

Wakefield Cap

GBA Chapter President Bernie Fuchs presents Douglas Schuler with his signed Wakefield baseball cap

The Boston Chapter of the FTAA auctioned an autographed FIT baseball cap signed by Boston Red Sox legend Tim Wakefield. Wakefield was not able to attend the alumni gathering as it was “Tim Wakefield Day” at Fenway Park. Douglas Schuler ’72, ’91 was the successful bidder with all proceeds going into the chapter’s fund to further the outreach to alumni in the local area and throughout New England. For more information about chapter activities, visit the GBA Chapter Facebook page.

Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Launches Facebook Page and Hosts Get Together

DC Alumni

DC alumni share a good time at Buffalo Billiards

The D.C. chapter is thankful to Chris Fernando ’02 for setting up a Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Alumni Chapter Facebook page. This should bring in additional alumni and help to make their communications easier and quicker. Chris organized an alumni get-together through the new page and a group of alumni gathered at Buffalo Billiards on Dupont Circle to share news and start reviving chapter activities. For more information about chapter activities, visit their Facebook page.

San Diego Chapter Enjoys Day at Ballpark—NY
Tri-State to Follow

Petco Park Game

The recently formed San Diego Chapter held its second event in April when alumni headed out to Petco Park for a ballgame. Everyone had a great time as they watched the Padres win with a score of 6 to 1. The next chapter gathering will be lunch at Stone Brewing Bistro, one of San Diego's best-kept culinary secrets on Sunday, Aug. 5. If you are interested in getting involved or have ideas for a fun gathering, write Miguel.adao@hp.com.

The NY Tri-State Chapter will gather for an evening at the ballpark on Sunday, Aug. 26 as the Lakewood Blueclaws take on the Kannapolis Intimidators in Lakewood, N.J.

College of Aeronautics Alumni gather at 2012 Florida Airports Council Annual Conference

Aero Alumni

Dean of Aeronautics Ken Stackpoole with aero alumni


Receptions in Raleigh, Philadelphia, New York and Boston Highlight Busy Spring Schedule

NY Alumni

Alumni gathered at the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station, NYC

President Catanese and FTAA Executive Director Bino Campanini had a busy spring visiting alumni in Raleigh, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. All four alumni receptions were well attended with the largest crowd gathering at the historic Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station. Alumni in both NYC and Boston had the opportunity to meet new Panther’s Head Football Coach Steve Englehart and hear about his plans for the Florida Tech football program. FTAA President John Valente attended the Raleigh reception and has initiated plans to start a Raleigh alumni chapter. If you live in the area and would like to learn more about how to get involved, contact President Valente at john.valente@ge.com. For extended coverage of alumni receptions, check out the fall issue of Florida Tech Today.


Joseph Sinkiewicz ’08 Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for His Valor and Heroism

Distinguished Flying Cross

Col. Pedro G. Almeida, left, commander of Task Force Falcon, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, congratulate Capt. Joseph A. Sinkiewicz and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Aaron N. Simbro, AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots with B Company, 1-10 Aviation Regiment, TF Six Shooters, who each received the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroic actions May 25 in Afghanistan. Sinkiewicz and Simbro provided lethal fire to support ground forces maneuver away from a heavy enemy attack and take key terrain above the district center of Do-Ab in Nuristan Province.

At a ceremony at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield, Maj. Gen. Mark A Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, presented Joseph Sinkiewicz, Class of '08, ROTC commission May '08, the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Distinguished Flying Cross was established by Congress on July 2, 1926, to be awarded to any person who distinguishes himself or herself through heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. To learn more about Capt. Sinkiewicz’s valor and extraordinary service click on the link http://www.army.mil/article/74810/


Alumni gathered at the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station, NYC

Capt. Sinkiewicz is currently based out of Fort Drum, NY. He recently finished up a yearlong tour in Afghanistan with other FIT graduates: Randall Renneison (Blackhawk Pilot, Class of '08), Jeff Shadwick (Kiowa Pilot, Class of '08) and Ben Jackson (Chinook Pilot, Class of '04). The Florida Tech Alumni Association is extremely proud of the service of these alumni.

Carl Derrick ’83 Honored with the Republic of El Salvador’s Highest Honor

Carl Derrick’s 25-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service was capped in June when he was awarded the Grand Officer of the Order of Jose Matias Delgardo—the Republic of El Salvador’s highest award.

“It was very humbling,” he told Florida Today newspaper. “It’s a deep honor. It was very touching.”

Derrick, who received his MBA from Florida Tech, was presented the award by El Salvador’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Hugo Martniez in a ceremony attended by representatives of the U.S. Embassy, the government of El Salvador and members of Derrick’s family.

Alumna to command International Space Station (ISS)

International Space Station

Florida Tech grad, Sunita Williams ‘95, arrived at the International Space Station in July for a four month stay. She rode up on the Soyuz space capsule and will take over as commander of the ISS in September!

Travis Proctor – Florida Tech’s Man in Black


Travis Proctor ’96 was recently featured on the cover of spacecoast Business magazine. Proctor, who is the CEO of the Melbourne-based computer services company ndtArtemis, donned a Men in Black look for the cover shoot. The cover story focused on the merger of his company Artemis IT with NetDirective Technologies. Actively involved with his alma mater, he is a former FTAA board member and recently joined the university’s board of trustees. He has served as the chair of the Sporting Affair fundraiser for several years helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for FIT athletics.

Soccer alumni support Potter’s PGA Dream

Florida Tech soccer alumni are joined by Matt Kilcullen and Father Doug Bailey to support Zach Potter (middle)

Former golf All-American, Zach Potter, was recently featured in a full-page spread in Florida Today. Potter who is aiming to someday play on the PGA Tour recently hosted a golf tournament titled “Supporting the Dream” that was attended by several soccer alumni. “We wanted to show Zach that as fellow athletic alumni we supported his efforts to get to the pinnacle of his sport,” said Eddie Enders a member of FIT’s 1991 NCAA championship soccer team.

Proceeds from the golf outing went to help pay for the 24-year-old Potter to play in tournaments across the country as he tries to secure a place on the Nationwide Tour. Potter believes that the Nationwide Tour is the place to improve his game and get the experience needed to be able to make it to the PGA Tour and join such golfing greats as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.


Menard Feeds His Passion for FIT

Kevin Menard and Family

Florida Tech soccer alumni are joined by Matt Kilcullen and Father Doug Bailey to support Zach Potter (middle)

Kevin Menard ’02 Marine Biology has long been an avid supporter of his alma mater. As an owner of The Broken Barrel Tavern, he has been giving back to FIT, quite literally, by providing food services for a variety of athletic events. The Broken Barrel Tavern catered a crew alumni luncheon during the 2011 Homecoming celebration as well as the Tim Wakefield dedication at the first Florida Tech baseball game of the season. He also donates food for the hospitality room during the men’s and women’s basketball games and has entertained the idea of sponsoring even larger events. He offers faculty, staff and Alumni Association Board Members a discount off the menu and gives our incoming freshmen a complimentary appetizer.

“Kevin’s involvement with Panther Athletics has enabled us to host more alumni events and reach out to more alumni. We really appreciate his passion for FIT and his generosity,” said Assistant VP for Athletic Fundraising Matt Kilcullen.

A PIKE during his student years, he has continued to stay involved with his fraternity and now serves that organization as a volunteer on the Housing Board. He was recently appointed to the Florida Tech Alumni Association board of directors and is active on the 2012 Homecoming task force.

He and wife Rebecca, of the Undergraduate Admissions Office, have one son, Porter who is two years old.


Strong Alumni Support at 2012 Dad Vail Regatta

Dad Vail Crowd

A large crowd of enthusiastic Panther alumni gathered on a glorious Saturday afternoon at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill River to cheer on the men’s varsity 8 in the grand finale. It was an opportunity for the Panthers to exact revenge for the close defeat they suffered last year at the hands of University of Michigan. In what turned out to be one of the most exciting races in Dad Vail history, defending champion Michigan won in a photo finish by 34-hundreths of a second to leave the Panther fans disappointed for a second year.

Head Coach Jim Granger was philosophical about the excruciating close loss. “You can re-run the final 10 times, and we’d win five and Michigan would win five. We’re getting closer. Hopefully next year we can do it. We put together a good piece to end the year on.”

Dad Vail Team

Taking home the silver medal is bow Alec Bertossa, Frank Campione, John Martin, Plamen Ivanov, Ernestas Zarskis, Troy Toggweiler, Mindaugas Beliauskas, stroke Jonas Karalius and coxswain Jessica Mellinger.

Florida Tech Capture SSC Mayor’s Cup

Florida Tech was at the end of the 2011/2012 season announced the winner of the Sunshine State Conference Mayors’ Cup for the men’s division. This is the second Mayor’s Cup Florida Tech has won and the first since the 1991–92 season.

The 2011–12 season was a remarkable one for Florida Tech Athletics, as three men’s teams and four women’s teams competed in the NCAA Championships. The men’s basketball team won its first outright SSC championship, while the soccer boys finished second and the golf team third in the SSC. “It is a credit to the university’s commitment to athletics, dedicated coaches and hardworking student-athletes,” says athletic director Bill Jurgens.

Points were awarded for final conference standings in cross country, soccer, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis and baseball. Florida Tech’s men’s teams received 34.5 points and tied the Florida Southern Moccasins, while the women totaled 27 points and finished eighth in the standings.

FIT Rowers feature at World Rowing U-23 Championships—Gomez-Feria Instrumental in Spain’s Silver-Medal Finish

U23 Championship

Jose Gomez-Feria (bottom row, second from left) at the medal ceremony Sunday. Photo provided by WorldRowing.com

Florida Tech newcomer Jose Gomez-Feria helped Spain’s lightweight men’s four without coxswain win the silver medal in the A Final at the U23 World Rowing Championships Sunday on Lake Galve, Lithuania.

Italy led the entire race and secured the event’s gold medal at 6:15.48. Spain pushed its counterpart the entire duration, finishing at 6:18.04. France, Poland, Germany and Australia rounded out the field.

Due to an injury involving a rower in Lithuania’s men’s eight, Ernestas Zarskis was named the replacement for the B Final. For the first time at this year’s world championships, he would race with FIT teammates and fellow countrymen Mindaugas Beliauskas and Jonas Karalius. Up against Belarus, Romania and Russia, Lithuania came in fourth at 6:06.55. Belarus proved to be the fastest boat with a time of 5:57.82.

Watson Finishes 13th in Hammer Throw at NCAA Championship

Hammer Throw

Head coach Pete Mazzone with Ja’Mar Watson

Florida Tech graduate student Ja’Mar Watson finished 13th in the hammer throw event at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championship meet in Colorado Springs in May. He recorded a throw of 59.07 meters on his third throw to secure his 13th spot at the DeRose ThunderBowl. Watson is the track & field program’s first national qualifier. He stood out for the Panthers the entire season by winning seven events, including three in his FIT debut, and three second places. His best hammer throw was recorded at 61.0 meters at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational.

“I am very proud of him, and I know Florida Tech is very proud of him. It’s a big deal to send a guy to national especially considering this is truly the first year of our program,” says head coach Pete Mazzone.

Watson was recently named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Track & Field Team.

Surf Team Star victim of Shark Attack

Justin Ellimgham

Justin Ellingham at Sebastian Inlet; a break in close proximity to the location where a shark recently attacked his hand. Photo: Ryan Gamma

Justin Ellingham, winner of the NSSA college men’s surfing title for Florida Tech in April, had a much-feared encounter in the water in May. Ellingham was ending his surf session and had paddled out about 50 yards to catch a last set of waves before sunset approached when he noticed a sand-colored shark’s head emerge from the water. His left hand was suddenly bitten and his whole arm was being jerked under the board. Ellingham instinctively yanked his hand back from the shark’s jaws and looked to see if everything was there. “Everything was there, thank God—but it was really chewed up,” Ellingham himself said, explaining that he could see about a half-inch of his pinkie bone. He believes that the shark that attacked him, most likely a spinner shark, mistook his fingers for being mullets. After undergoing surgery to reattach severed tendons and nerves, Ellingham now faces a time-period of physical training.

Only a week before the shark attack, Ellingham won the NSSA East Coast College Championship at New Smyrna Beach with the Florida Tech Surf Team. He is a full-time ocean engineering major at Florida Tech.

Legendary football coach Howard Schnellenberger speaks at founder’s club banquet


Howard Schnellenberger

Legendary football coach Howard Schnellenberger was the keynote speaker at the “Inside the Huddle” football banquet held to introduce and honor members of the Panthers Football Founders Club. “These outstanding individuals have demonstrated their support not only for football, but also for Florida Tech and for our community,” President Catanese said. “We are honored by their contributions and grateful for their leadership.” The dozen donors collectively committed $1.2 million to help launch the new football program, which begins competitive play as a member of the Gulf South Conference in Fall 2013.

Schnellenberger won two Super Bowls and four national championships in five decades as an NFL and NCAA coach. He coached under Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama, served as the offensive coordinator during the Miami Dolphins’ 17-0 season, led the University of Miami to its first national title and built Florida Atlantic University’s football program when Catanese was FAU president.

Football Banquet

Head Coach Steve Englehart and President Catanese present Founders Club member Scott Sorenson with a Panther helmet.

Also at the banquet, Head Football Coach Steve Englehart gave an overview of the program’s development as the Panthers approach 2013, and informed that season tickets were available for the first time.

For more information about the Football Founder’s Club and a complete list of the 12 members, visit here

Facilities Upgrades for the Olin Athletic Complex Under Way

Football Field

Head Football Coach Steve Englehart on the new practice football field

Construction on a new training facility for athletics, a new turf football practice field, and new concession stand to serve soccer, baseball, and softball is almost complete. The new facilities will enhance the athletic experience at Florida Tech.

Listen to Coach Englehart talk about the new training facility

Your News: You Send … We Publish

Melissa and MikeFormer FIT varsity athletes Melissa and Mike met at Florida Tech in 2006. Mike was a starting baseball pitcher while Melissa was performing on the Florida Tech volleyball team. Piazza was voted Florida Tech’s Male Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2008/09 and signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2009 to continue his career. On Jan. 14, 2012, Melissa and Mike got married in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Fillingham Family

Pete the Panther made a trip to visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA with Michelle Boehmke Fillingim (’97) and Matthew Fillingim (’95 and ’97) and children Kiara (age 8) and Drake (age 5)

90'2 Baseball

Baseball players circa early 90s … Lance Fields, Mike Hannon, Brian Crane and Dave Campbell

FIT friends Nelson Cambata, Clarke Fowler, and Deborah Heystek attend the 24 Hours of LeMans. They were there supporting Jordan Taylor - driving the Corvette #73 car (GTE Pro class).


(Top right) Nelson with Wayne Taylor (Wayne Taylor Racing), and his son Jordan Taylor. (Middle)Deb Heystek stands in front of the Audi Tower in the Le Mans village . (Bottom right) Clarke Fowler.

Don QuixoteEthel Maxam Crews '70 has released a novel "The Don Quixote Girls," written with Karlene Conroy under her pen name Mia Crews. The novel is now available in paperback. The book is also available as an e-Book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Learn about the book at www.donquixotegirls.com. Besides being a proud FIT graduate, Ethel is mom to FIT graduate Tiffany Crews Loris (class of '93) and sister to FIT graduate Elinor Madigan, Ph.D. ('91). Ethel's writing partner, Karlene, is also a proud FIT mom to Brian O'Hagan (class of '95). Ethel and Karlene serve as co-leaders of the Florida Writers Association Melbourne Group.

Gregory WalkerProfessor Gregory K. Walker ’06 of the Defense Acquisition University has completed 23 years of federal service. Professor Walker was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on May 18, 1996, and completed his service commitment on Aug. 8, 1999. He has served as an Area Manager for amazon.com, a Contract Specialist for the U.S. Army, a Lead Logistician for the U.S. Army, and currently serves a Professor of Logistics with a Demonstrated Master Logistician credential. Walker received his degree from FIT’s Huntsville campus. He is married to Major Rosalind Y. Walker (U.S. Army) and has four children, Senior Airman Gregory L. Walker (U.S. Air Force), Corporal Martin J. Walker (U.S. Army), Maya E. Walker, and 18 month old Luke Sky Walker.

Michael Doherty ’82 – After medical school in Houston and residency in Boston, Doherty performed cardiac anesthesia for 10 years in Manchester, NH. He is married to Lucy and after the birth of his twin daughters, Hailey and Hannah, they moved to the town of Dublin to raise their children and enjoy life. Lucy tells us that recently Mike has performed volunteer work in Colombia repairing cleft lips and palates for poor children. For the Doherty’s, life is good.

Dean T. Kent is set to retire on Oct. 1, 2012, from Emerson Electric Company in St. Louis, Mo., after a 29-year career. Kent was recruited to Emerson after completing his MBA in 1983, the first Executive MBA program at FIT. He is also a retired Army Reserve officer having spent 22 years in the active and reserve armed forces. Kent can be reached at dean.kent@emerson.com

A message from alumnus John Gontkof ’95, ‘01

John GontkofHello Friends, 

In August, my family and I are heading overseas for a mini "Amazing Race" type adventure. Over two and a half weeks we will be visiting a number of cities including Paris, Helsinki, Dusseldorf, Dubai, Amsterdam, and most importantly—Calcutta, India. When I spent a month in Calcutta in September 2010 on a service project for IBM, I promised the organization I worked with that I would return. We didn't say "goodbye," but instead, "see you later." I am looking forward to returning along with my wife and stepdaughter so they too can experience what I did during my IBM assignment. We will be working with two nonprofit organizations—Iswar Sankalpa (http://www.isankalpa.org), which provides help to the mentally ill homeless on the streets of Calcutta, and Calcutta Social Project (http://web.calcuttasocialproject.net), which provides schools for children in slum areas. During our time in Calcutta, we will work with these groups alongside the women and children they are helping. Because both of these organizations are operated by small but dedicated teams with very little funds, I was hoping to raise some money to bring with us to personally give them. The cost of the trip is completely paid for and all money donated will go directly to each organization. Here is a link that provides all the detail along with other links to my blog from September 2010 and photos from that time. Even if you can't donate right now, please help me spread the word by clicking the share link on the right side (middle) of the page. Also, email or call with any questions! Thanks in advance!

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In Memoriam

Richard Michael Librizzi ’89 passed away on May 30th in Chantilly, Va., at the age of 49. Librizzi received a M.S. in Computer Science from FIT and was most recently employed by the software engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Tom Eschenberg ’86, ’87, who had served as the mayor of the Town of Malabar since 2004, died in June after a short bout of cancer. Eschenberg earned two master’s degrees from FIT and spent 39 years of his career working at Harris Corp.

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Keiran and Jamie Breslin (Pennsylvania)

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150 W. University Blvd. Melbourne, FL 32901
Phone: (321) 674-7190 | Fax: (321) 674-7210


Reward yourself this summer!

Panther CardReward yourself this summer with the Florida Institute of Technology Visa Signature® Card. Apply today and get a $100 Statement Credit with first purchase!1 Plus, you’ll earn one point for every net dollar spent everywhere Visa is accepted, whether you use your Florida Tech Visa Signature® for everyday purchases or that dream vacation you’ve been waiting to take. Redeem points for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more!
The Florida Tech Visa Signature® Card also provides great benefits, including:

  • 0% Intro APR2 on purchases and balance transfers for fifteen billing cycles, and after that a variable APR, currently 9.99% - 21.99%2
  • No annual fee2
  • No preset spending limit,3 and no limit to the number of points you can earn
  • 24-hour concierge service4
  • VIP access to special entertainment, dining and sporting events like the Super

   Bowl and the Olympic Games

  • Signature privileges, including merchant upgrades, offers and savings!
  • Zero Fraud Liability Protection,5 Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver and Travel

   Accident Insurance, Warranty Manager, Travel and Emergency Assistance6

Plus, with every Visa Signature Card purchase, U.S. Bank will make a contribution to the Florida Institute of Technology Alumni Association!

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Hurry, offer ends 09/30/2012.

1 Accounts must be open and in good standing (not past due) to earn statement credit.
2 The 0% introductory APR applies to purchases and balance transfers [made within 30 days of account opening] and is valid for the first fifteen billing cycles. The introductory rate does not apply to cash advances. Thereafter, the APR may vary and as of 6-01-12, the undiscounted variable APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers is 9.99% - 21.99% based on your creditworthiness. The variable APR for Cash Advances is 23.99%. Cash Advance fee: 4% of each advance amount, $10 minimum. Convenience Check fee: 3% of each check amount, $5 minimum. Cash Equivalent fee: 4% of each cash amount, $20 minimum. Balance Transfer fee: 3% of each transfer amount, $5 minimum. There is a $2 minimum finance charge where interest is due. The annual fee is $0. Foreign Transaction fee: 2% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in U.S. Dollars. 3% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in a Foreign Currency. We may change APRs, fees, and other Account terms in the future based on your experience with U.S. Bank National Association ND and its affiliates as provided under the Cardmember Agreement and applicable law. We apply your minimum payment to balances with lower APRs first. Amounts paid over the minimum payment will be applied in the order of highest to lowest APR balances.
3 No preset spending limit does not mean unlimited spending. Individual transactions are authorized by card issuer based on factors such as account history, credit record and payment resources. Card issuer will preset an upper limit for revolving balances and cash advances.
4 Cardmembers are responsible for the cost of any goods or services purchased by Visa Signature Concierge on cardmembers’ behalf.
5 U.S. Bank provides zero fraud liability for unauthorized transactions. Cardmember must notify U.S. Bank promptly of any unauthorized use. Certain conditions and limitations may apply.
6 Some limitations may apply. Details are provided to cardmembers.

The creditor and issuer of the Florida Institute of Technology Card is U.S. Bank National Association ND, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.


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