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Educational Excellence Builds Business
The "Educational Excellence Builds Business" campaign showcases the high quality of Greater Fort Lauderdale's pre-K–20 education system and the outstanding quality of the local workforce. Additionally, the campaign presents information about South Florida's "world-class" faculty and recognizes educators who are nationally or internationally known in their fields, and companies who have contributed to improving education in Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County. Following are the world class faculty members and companies who have been recognized by the Alliance (as of the date of their award) and the dates they were recognized:
October 4, 2012 - AT&T is the worthy recipient of the Alliance 2012 Education Excellence Builds Business award. The company gave Broward County Public Schools $400,000 over four years to increase graduation rates by teaching academic resiliency skills to the middle school students that feed into two low performing high schools. The work is being provided by Scholar Centric through a great program called Success Highways. At the end of 2011, AT&T had exposed over 3,600 high risk transitioning high school students to the program. The program builds the students’ sense of the importance of school, academic confidence, allows them to create connections to teachers, and provides intrinsic motivation and a sense of well-being. They have shown that the resulting confidence decreases participants academic anxiety. They closely monitor the students who complete the program and are, as a whole, on track. Even more impressive, these students are doing better academically then their peers who were not exposed to Success Highways. Currently AT&T is taking steps to tie into the work the Community Foundation with their “School Is Cool” initiative.
May 3, 2012 - Dr. Pierre-Philippe Jean Beaujean is a tenured associate professor at Florida Atlantic University in the Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering. He received both his Ph.D. and Master’s in Ocean Engineering at Florida Atlantic University and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Université de Technologie de Compiègne in France. He is also an active member of IEEE, ASA and MTS and is affiliated with the Center for Acoustics and Vibrations, where he is in charge of the SeaTech Underwater Acoustics Laboratory. The main focus of Dr. Beaujean’s research is in underwater acoustic telemetry (communications and positioning using sonar technology), networked operations of underwater robots, mine counter-measures, unexploded ordnance detection and classification using acoustic and optical devices. The applications are targeted toward homeland security and defense application, with an emphasis on emerging technology and manufacturing in the marine industry. This research has led to some extensive work with such companies as Lockheed, EdgeTech and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dania Beach. His work has a local, national and international impact. At a local level, he works with South Florida industries to transition technology into commercial products, while providing opportunities of sponsored research to local students pursuing a Master’s or a Ph.D in his laboratory. The sonar technology developed in his lab is helping to make the Florida coastline a more secure place. The machine-monitoring technology helps future renewable energy producing devices operate more reliably and efficiently. At a national level, Dr. Beaujean and his team travel to naval bases all over the country where they regularly conduct field tests with the U.S. Navy and in particular with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal group, famed for its critical work in finding and neutralizing subsea mines and improvised explosive devices. At an international level, his laboratory pursues extensive work with the NATO Undersea Research Centre in Italy and other international research laboratories like the Institut Supérieur d’Electronique National in France.
October 13, 2011 - The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance is pleased to recognize Sun Sentinel Company for the 2011 Educational Excellence Builds Business Partnership Award. The Sun Sentinel “News in Education” (NIE) program provides newspapers, lessons, online activities and various resources for South Florida classrooms and parents. Throughout the school year, NIE creates and delivers printed copies of themed curricula to our schools, which focus on subject areas such as literacy, reading, nutrition, the environment, science, history, civics, anti-bullying, financial literacy and more. For 30 years the Sun Sentinel NIE program has provided sets of newspapers for the classroom and themed curricula to our Tri-County schools. NIE fundraises over $400,000 annually to provide all papers and programs free of charge to schools. Last year alone, NIE provided over 3 million newspapers and curriculum guides to schools. The Sun Sentinel “Kids of Character” (KOC) program relates directly to the character education programs developed by the Broward County School District. Now in its 12th year, “Kids of Character” spotlights students who demonstrate strong moral character by exhibiting specific character traits. Those named as a “Kid of Character” have their stories featured in the newspaper, on SunSentinel.com and on WSFL-TV, the CW. Nearly all of the 230 schools in Broward County, and area charter schools, practice “Kids of Character.” The program reaches most of the District’s 257,000 students. In addition, twenty years ago the Sun Sentinel Children’s Fund was formed to support the needs of South Florida children and families. The Children’s Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, provides grants to local nonprofit organizations for programs that support education and literacy, among other things. The McCormick Foundation matches all donations at fifty cents on the dollar and all administrative costs are covered by Sun Sentinel and McCormick. This means that 100% of the donations, plus the match, go directly to these invaluable community programs and services. Since its inception in 1991, the Children’s Fund has provided 397 education-related grants to Broward County non-profit organizations totaling $9,398,644.
May 5, 2011 - Dr. Ann-Margaret Esnard is a Professor and Director of the Visual Planning Technology Lab (VPT Lab) at Florida Atlantic University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning based in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Prior to joining FAU in 2005, Dr. Esnard was a tenured faculty member at Cornell University. Dr. Esnard has been the Principal Investigator for several projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the United States Geological Survey on topics related to catastrophic disasters, population vulnerability and community quality of life. She is also the author of more than thirty journal articles, book chapters, and books on topics that include vulnerability assessments of coastal and flood hazards, population displacement vulnerability, quality of life and holistic disaster recovery, environmental justice, spatial analysis, GIS education, and public participation GIS. Dr. Esnard has also served on a number of national and state committees including: National Research Council’s Committee on Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience; the Steering Committee for Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program; the Disasters Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences; and the State of Florida Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning initiative. She is also regularly tapped to serve on grant review panels for various agencies and foundations. At the university level, she has served as the Chair of the University Research Committee and on various search committees including the current search for the new Provost. Dr. Esnard holds degrees in Agricultural Engineering (B. Sc.), Agronomy and Soils (M.S.), and Regional Planning (Ph.D.).
October 14, 2010 – FP&L received an award for its conservation program at the Alliance’s Annual Meeting on October 14, 2010. The program, “Energy Tools for Schools,” was developed to help the District achieve its environmental strategic goal. By involving all stakeholders, FP&L believed the District could realize substantial reductions in electrical consumption and promote the importance of energy conservation and the environment. Each school and center selected a staff member to be the Energy Coordinator. Energy Coordinators then selected a team of other staff members and students to work with the District’s Energy Conservation and Utility Management department to develop and implement a plan to save energy. In the first year, 92% of schools and centers reduced electrical consumption when compared to the two previous years of data. The team approach helped the District to reduce electrical usage by 42,216,361-kilowatt hours, saving the District $4,500,000 in electrical costs. Examples of the team approach could be seen across the District. Programs like “How Low Can We Go” at Driftwood Middle tracked electrical usage on a bulletin board while the “Power Rangers” at South Plantation High made sure classrooms were appropriately shut down before leaving for winter break. Student environmental groups used electrical usage data to see how much they reduced their “carbon footprint.” The “Energy Tools for Schools” partnership with FP&L continues to be a huge success for the District.
June 10, 2010—Due to his extensive research and expertise, Dr. Nan-Yao Su, professor of Entomology at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, received the “Educational Excellence Builds Business World Class Faculty Award” at the Alliance’s Mid-Year Meeting on June 10, 2010. Dr. Su is recognized internationally as an authority on termites and is known for his innovative approach for the management of their population. He authored and co-authored over 180 peer-reviewed articles on termite biology and control and is acknowledged for his research results which led to the development of a monitoring-baiting system for population control of subterranean termites. Commercialized as the Sentricon system and commended for its safety features, it has been marketed in 18 countries since 1995 to protect over two million homes and has been used widely in historic monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, San Cristobal and El Morro, Puerto Rico, and Ft. Christiansvaern, U.S. Virgin Islands. Dr. Su has served as a consultant for the Hong Kong government to draft control guidelines for termite control, as an advisory member for the Termite Forum of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, New Zealand, and is currently the chief technical advisor for the Chinese Environmental Protection Agency in their efforts to eliminate POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) for termite control in China. He has received many awards, such as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Honor Award for Individual Achievement in Research, for his achievements.
October 7, 2009—Broward College (BC) and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) received the Alliance's fourth "Educational Excellence Builds Business Partnership Award" at the Alliance's annual meeting on October 7, 2009. BC established and cultivated an effective private partnership with MIASF under the leadership of Mr. Frank Herhold. BC is addressing the workforce demands for the $13 billion marine industry that provides thousands of jobs. Fort Lauderdale is the yachting capital of the world with over 220,000 marine professionals and over 1 million registered vessels. To address this huge demand for qualified technicians to work on sophisticated engines and systems aboard boats, yachts and mega-yachts, BC established the Marine Engineering Management program in 2007. Today, approximately 75 local students are enrolled in the program and will be graduating with an Associate's of Science degree. The program has also been adopted by community colleges in several other states including Virginia, Washington, Rhode Island and Maine. MIASF assisted the college in identifying industry professionals to assist with the development of the learning outcomes for the program. As a result, the college was able to develop a program and curriculum that led to the endorsement by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and the development of the Marine League of Schools.
November 13, 2008—Dr. Frederick "Rick" Driscoll, Associate Professor in the department of ocean engineering at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Director of Technology for the Center of Excellence for Ocean Energy Technology at FAU, and also a Commissioner on the Florida Energy Commission. Dr. Driscoll's research areas include ocean energy, finite-element modeling, numerical algorithms, mooring technology, data fusion and processing techniques for ocean sensors, physical oceanography, and control of ocean systems. Dr. Driscoll is very active in energy and national defense research and has acquired nearly $19 million in research funding, including a $5 million grant through the Florida State University System's centers of excellence program, and $8.75 million also from the state of Florida to develop ocean energy technologies. He is actively involved in several Navy research programs and is leading a major research effort to develop a new generation of Navy support vessels. Dr. Driscoll has been active in ocean energy research since 1999, and in 2006, he established the Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology at FAU. Under his leadership, the Center has grown into the world's pre-eminent research and development center for ocean current and thermal energy technology.
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