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Education Partnerships

The Alliance's "Education Partnerships" 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 and the dates they were recognized:

October 17, 2019 - In 2019, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance was proud to recognize two great winners for its 2019 Educational Excellence Builds Business Award:

Apprenticeships are at the core of the partnership between technical education colleges and industry. The South Florida Manufacturers Association (SFMA) and Atlantic Technical College had the foresight to get ahead of the curve and address a labor shortage issue ten years ago by partnering and creating the South Florida Machinist Apprenticeship program. SFMA’s state certified and nationally recognized apprenticeship program provides graduates with higher earnings due to greater responsibilities based on the efforts and learned skills in their training. Without the South Florida Machinist Apprenticeship Program, many of the manufacturers who have sponsored apprentices would still be struggling to fill skilled machinist openings. The program has enabled these companies to “grow their own”, ensuring a pipeline of workers and keeping talent in Broward County. Over 30 apprentices each year receive hands-on training where they obtain workplace-relevant knowledge and progressively advancing skills. Instructors also work with local companies who are invited to come and tour the Machining facility and speak with students concerning the employment opportunities their business can provide. While onsite, a company representative interviews interested students with the best candidate(s) securing employment. The program has been very successful in placing all the students that are interested in working in the Machining industry.

The Terry Stiles School of Real Estate Development at Nova Southeastern University was founded by the late Terry Stiles, former Chairman and CEO of Stiles Corporation. Graduates of the program are awarded a master’s degree and are prepared for mid and senior level responsibility at development, management, investment and sales and marketing firms. Students who participate in the M.S. in Real Estate Development Program learn core knowledge and advanced application skills to locate and analyze property, determine the physical, market, legal and political parameters and create viable financial, development and management structures. The program knits a close relationship between students and industry leaders at regional and national levels through executive mentorships, participation in professional programs and networking. Terry was instrumental in developing the curriculum for this program as well as providing ongoing guidance and financial support. After Terry’s passing, his son Ken stepped in to take a similar leadership role and is now serving on the school’s MSRED Advisory Board. A capital campaign led by longtime friend and business partner Steve Halmos, raised $2 million to ensure that the academic program and master’s degree in real estate development would forever bear Terry’s name.

May 8, 2019 - Dr. Evangelos Kaisar, Associate Professor & Director of FMRI, MITSL, and the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatics Engineering at Florida Atlantic Univeristy. Dr. Evangelos I. Kaisar is an internationally recognized and highly regarded faculty member in transportation and logistics engineering at Florida Atlantic University. He leads their Freight Mobility Research Institute (FMRI), which promotes strategies that lead to connecting people with living-wage jobs, supporting neighborhood business growth, and growing vibrant commercial areas. Such strategies can produce a measurable rise in household incomes and a reduction in poverty rates in regions with low income neighborhoods, as well as grow revenues for neighborhood businesses, resulting in an increase of new business formation in neighborhood commercial districts. In addition, Dr. Kaisar’s research in modeling and simulation has aided the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts in improving preparedness and catastrophic events management. He has conducted research regarding emergency evacuation and security operations, where he has developed methodologies and solutions. Dr. Kaisar has also provided mentorships not only to students, but also to industry practitioners through the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines to deepen their knowledge to improve supply chain management and help adjust to an ever-changing industry landscape. Many graduate and undergraduate students he supervised have worked not only on pure research, but also on planning, executing, and strategically maximizing efficiencies within their roles. Dr. Kaisar pursued his Bachelor, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland of College Park, Maryland. He has been with FAU since 2006 and is originally from Athens, Greece. He received the FAU Teacher of the Year Award in 2017.

October 18, 2018 - In 2018, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance was proud to recognize two great winners for its 2018 Educational Excellence Builds Business Award:

Bank of America has been a sponsor and supporter of Jack & Jill Children’s Center for over 20 years, where they have been investing in the dreams of Fort Lauderdale’s highest need families. Over the years, they have ensured that over 1,870 children have received a quality early childhood and were school-ready by Kindergarten. Not only has Bank of America provided funds for things like an early childhood center and the Family Strengthening Program, they also send sixty volunteers to the Center annually to support teachers in the classrooms, provide one-on-one tutoring sessions, participate in annual events, and, most importantly, lead financial literacy education for the parents of the Center’s children every year. Bank of America’s partnership with the Jack & Jill Children’s Center makes education a front-and-center priority for the families served.

The Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is committed to helping educate students in Broward County by leading efforts that bridge industry needs gaps and expand innovative educational opportunities. To advance projects, strengthen partnerships in education, and support the students who benefit from them, the Broward MPO proactively identifies innovative and mutually beneficial ways to address challenges and foster opportunities in Broward and the region. Some of their projects include the Think Like a Planner pilot program with LEEO, where students from area schools participate in a series of classroom instruction on transportation planning. The program now reached approximately 75 students annually. The Broward MPO also provides teacher training with TRAC (Transportation and Civil Engineering), a hands-on educational outreach program from AASHTO, and participates in varied programming such as STEM Day at the BB&T Center, the Claim Your Future Showcase, Construction Career Days, and Walk to School Day.

May 17, 2018 - Dr. Manhar Dhanak, Department Chair, Professor and Director of SeaTech, Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University. Manhar R. Danhak, Ph.D, is a not only a leader in the fields of hydrodynamics, autonomous maritime systems, and ocean energy research, but he is a leader in preparing the next generation of researchers to take ocean and mechanical engineering beyond what we know today. Florida Atlantic University has been the perfect partner to help him accomplish this work. Dr. Dhanak is a graduate of the University of London. Before joining FAU, he served as a Research Fellow at the Imperial College, London; as a Research Scientist at Topexpress, Cambridge, UK; and as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge. As a professor at FAU, Dr. Dhanak has been involved as a Principal Investigator in several significant federal and state funded research projects in conjunction with the Navy, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Homeland Security. He also was a Co-PI in a $5 million State of Florida award for establishing a Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technologies at FAU. Overall, he has been a recipient as PI and Co-Pi of over $22 million in sponsored research during his tenure at FAU,
including a new award of $1.25 million from the Office of Naval Research in developing multi-domain maritime autonomy. Dr. Dhanak has authored/co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed publications including seminal papers on vortex dynamics, and the use of autonomous underwater vehicles as mobile platforms for oceanographic observations. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, co-Editor of the Springer Handbook of Ocean Engineering and co-Editor of the Springer Series on Ocean Engineering and Oceanography. Dr. Dhanak serves on the Editorial Boards of Advanced Shipping and Ocean Engineering Journal and Nature Science Reports. He has consulted on development of several outfalls off the US east coast and water intake systems for power plants in Mexico and the Philippines. He also and provided expert witness testimonies for an air crash in the Bahamas and for wave-induced coastal damage in Baja, California.

October 19, 2017 - The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance was proud to recognize Memorial Healthcare System as winner of the 2017 Educational Excellence Builds Business Partnership Award. As one of the largest employers in Broward County and one of the largest public healthcare systems in the nation, Memorial Healthcare System works closely with Broward College and other local education providers to ensure a constant supply of skilled staff members. All six of Memorial’s hospitals serve as clinical sites for students from eleven different Broward College programs. They also provide 60 nursing scholarships annually through the Broward College Foundation. These scholarships help students near the point of completion who are facing financial constraints so they can finish their studies. Other initiatives include Broward College Health Science Continuing Education Specialty Classes, the Operating Room Nurse Partnership, and Broward College’s Simulation Laboratory. Memorial staff also serve as guest lecturers and offer clinical support to students in their final year. In addition to their partnership with Broward College, Memorial has worked extensively with the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. Programs include Family Strengthening, Healthy Youth Transitions, Kinship Initiatives for Support Services, Maximizing Out of School Time, and Healthy Families. Through finding from Healthy Start, Memorial provided effective parenting classes to 5,000 pregnant and parenting women in 2016.

May 15, 2017 —Dr. Robert Speth, Department of Pharmaceutical Services, College of Pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University. Bob Speth, Ph. D, is not only a leader in the fields of hypertension and radioactive brain receptor research, but he is a leader in preparing the next generation of researchers to take science beyond what we know today. And Nova Southeastern University has been the perfect partner to help him accomplish both goals. Dr. Speth has been a professor, researcher, mentor and innovator since he joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University in 1984, teaching pharmacology and responsible research conduct as well as doing research on angiotensins and the brain. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2003 he became Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Mississippi. Following his retirement from the University, he joined NSU to continue his research and teaching. Dr. Speth's research involves the use of radioactive materials as tracers to identify drug receptors, and he was an invited panelist at several forums where he discussed the use of nuclear power following the Fukishima disaster. In addition, Dr. Speth has also been an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology at Georgetown University since 2013 where he has a laboratory directing the Peptide Radioiodination Shared Resource. The lab enables him to honor his commitment to provide affordable radioligands to researchers and to prepare radioligands for his NIH-supported research. He is also a research associate of the Institute for Ethnomedicine in Jackson, Wyoming. Dr. Speth's research projects have received more than $1 million in grant funding by organizations including the NIH, American Heart Association, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has published more than 200 scholarly works during his more than 40-year career in academia. Dr. Speth's research in areas such as hypertension (high blood pressure) has the ability to impact the thousands of South Floridians and millions of people around the world who are battling this disorder, which can lead to heart attacks and other illnesses.

October 20, 2016— In 2016, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance was proud to recognize two great winners for its 2016 Educational Excellence Builds Business Award: 

The Broward County Debate Initiative sponsored by GUNSTER and Broward County Public Schools, is a partnership between local businesses and school debate programs within Broward County. Started in the 2012-13 school year with 15 schools, it now includes more than 90 schools - every public high school, three technical colleges, 12 elementary schools and three alternative schools – and almost 10,000 students. This effort is grounded in research showing the positive impact debate participation has on student achievement. Students involved with debate programs increase their literacy scores by 25% and their GPA’s by 10%. Nearly all students who participate in debate (98%) graduate from high school and 95% go on to attend a four-year college. Almost all of GUNSTER’s Fort Lauderdale office (approximately 60 people) and many from around the state are involved under the direction of the leadership team of Senator George LeMieux, GUNSTER, Laurie Rich Levinson, Broward County School Board member, past president of the Florida Bar Association Eugene Pettis, Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm and Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz.

In 2011, the City of Sunrise embarked on a collaborative campaign to promote the benefits of chess in the classroom and in the community with the goal of helping further develop critical thinking skills. This modest municipal effort, started by Mayor Mike Ryan for each of the 11 public schools in Sunrise, has now grown into a robust countywide program enriching the academic and social lives of thousands of students in Broward County.  Key components include free weekly, open-play chess sessions, a rotating countywide Mayors’ Chess Challenge series, mentor training sessions and a Sunrise-funded pilot program that led to the addition of chess education to the academic curriculum for more than 30,000 second and third-grade students in Broward County Public Schools. Over 1,800 second and third-grade classrooms in more than 100 public schools now participate. In 2015, Sunrise was named Chess City of the Year by the United States Chess Federation followed by its selection as one of the “Most Livable” Cities in America on the strength of its scholastic chess programs and Mayor Ryan’s support of community-based chess. He is joined in his efforts by the Sunrise City Commission, dozens of employees in the City Manager’s Office, Police Department and Leisure Services Department.

May 19, 2016 —Dr. Nancy Klimas, is Professor and Chair, and Department of Clinical Immunology Director, NSU Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine at Nova Southeastern University.  Nancy Klimas, M.D., has achieved international recognition for research and clinical efforts in multi-system disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, Gulf War Illness, Parkinson’s disease and fibromyalgia. For patients facing a neuro-immune disorder, Dr. Klimas is often their last and best resort. Due to her international stature, she has a two-year waiting list of patients and receives inquiries from around the world.   Dr. Klimas led the establishment of NSU’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine in 2013 and currently serves as its director. She has recruited some of the brightest minds in research to Broward County ranging from immunologists and microbiologists to neurosurgeons and physicists, who collaborate in an effort to find better treatments and cures for diseases that often do not receive the attention they deserve.  Under Dr. Klimas’ leadership, the Institute has grown to more than 50 employees and secured more than $10 million in federal funding during its few short years in existence. An additional $8 million in funding was secured by the team for their work at the V.A.  Dr. Klimas is also professor emerita at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, director of clinical immunology research at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center and leads the Gateway Institute for Brain Research and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome clinical research programs at the Miami V.A., building on NSU’s strong relationship with the nation’s veterans.

October 22, 2015—The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance was proud to recognize the Broward Chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FLRA) as winner of the 2015 Educational Excellence Builds Business Partnership Award.  FRLA set the bar high for industry associations. Twenty two Broward high schools – over 6,500 students, more than 80 teachers and administrative staff – are enrolled in school-to-career training programs provided by FRLA. That is nearly 10% of all Broward public high school students.  FRLA provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to further these students’ hospitality education. In the last year they were able to award a dozen college scholarships, send students and teachers to hospitality training sessions throughout the state and provide much needed textbooks and commercial kitchen appliances to their 22 partner schools. Broward County hospitality students earned 253 industry certifications and for the first time, Broward will have students taking the Hotel & Lodging Front Desk Supervisory industry certification exam.  In 2014, more than 14.3 million people visited Greater Fort Lauderdale, spending $11.4 billion. Whether it is the fundraising programs or award ceremonies, their commitment is unrivaled.  

May 14, 2015—Dr. David Serrano, Biological Science / Environmental Science Bachelors Program at Broward College.  In 2014, Dr. Serrano was the driving force behind the planning, approval, and implementation of a new BS degree in Environmental Science & Biosecurity at Broward College. This degree started in the Fall of 2014 to serve the needs of local employers in a variety of areas related to Biosecurity, Biology, and Environmental Science.  His commitment to student development is evidenced in his real-world curricula which involves travel, discussion with key leaders in professional fields and internship placements.  His own USDA funded research led to the creation of an electronic identification key of citrus diseases that is used nationally by regulatory agencies and others in the field and at ports of entry.  Agricultural products from South and Central America are a major category of the cargo coming in to both Port Everglades and PortMiami, and that cargo requires agriculture inspections to protect the United States from animal and plant pests or diseases.  The Biosecurity component developed by Dr. Serrano addresses that need.  The degree also incorporates collaboration with outside institutions like the University of Florida Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  For five years, Dr. Serrano has arranged for two Broward College students each year to carry out an internship at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.  This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students from Broward County to work in a world-class facility. The success of that endeavor has led to the CDC developing an ongoing relationship with Broward College and students from Broward County.    

October 23, 2014—Advanced Roofing, Inc. was recognized with the 2014 Educational Excellence Builds Business Partnership Award.  Under the leadership of CEO Rob Kornahrens, Advanced Roofing is involved in public education at almost every level.   The company was one of the first to sign up for a pilot program with Innovations for Learning / TutorMate, Inc. where company employees commit to read to an assigned 1st grader for ½ hour each week, culminating in a joint end of the year field trip.  The students went from the 30th percentile in reading to the 70th.  At the middle and high school levels, Rob served as a mentor for the LEEO (Liking Education and Employment Outcomes) program, in its newest pilot program focused on the energy industry, where students become exposed to employment options within the industry while cultivating their soft skill development using real-life work cases.  Finally, Advanced Roofing was one of the initial sponsors of the South Plantation High School Solar Knights program.  It’s a relationship that started in 2007 and continues to this day. Each year the students build a solar car which is entered into national student solar and racing competitions.   

May 22, 2014—Dr. Keith Van de Riet, is assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at Florida Atlantic University.  Dr. Van de Riet’s innovative research has direct benefits and implications for many important South Florida businesses including those involving the construction, marine and tourism industries. As important perhaps, his research has implications and possible solutions for our waterways as we face threats to our coastal communities from erosion and rising sea levels. His current funded research is a collaboration with biologists and engineers, creating architectural models with plant material to develop a structural landscape system integrating natural mangroves as bio-mechanical wave breaks. He is recognized as a leader in the development of innovative methods of coupling of ecosystem services with human development to improve the environment, increase biodiversity, and remediate urban and agricultural runoff.  He is working with international experts in engineering, ecology and forest biometrics to integrate design approaches and modeling to address problems facing vulnerable coastal urban environments. Dr. Van de Riet is a shining example of the broadening of architectural education and the application of design-thinking to comprehensively address complex issues. 

October 17, 2013—The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance was proud to recognize TD Bank with its 2013 Educational Excellence Builds Business Partnership Award.  TD Bank has been a longtime supporter of financial education, working closely with schools to encourage financial literacy programs. TD Bank has worked with schools across Broward County through their WOW! Zone program, a free financial literacy program designed to help children in grades K-12 develop strong financial skills. The online and in-school lessons are structured to meet National Standards for K-12 Personal Finance and are designed to make learning about money fun. Trained bank instructors visit classrooms to present teacher-written lessons on topics ranging from an introduction to savings to understanding the stock market. In addition to classroom activities, the WOW! Zone website provides all grade-specific lesson plans and other interactive learning tools available in English and Spanish.  Since 2010, the TD Bank WOW! Zone program has been introduced to nearly 400 classrooms across Broward County. Their efforts have helped more than 10,500 students prepare and advance their money management skills for the future. 

May 2, 2013—Dr. Nwadiuto Esiobu is a U.S. State Department Jefferson Science Fellow. She earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Louvain, Belgium and received post-doctoral training in molecular biology and biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the Director of the Microbial Biotechnology laboratory at the Davie campus of Florida Atlantic University where she has developed and taught many courses both in the classroom and in the lab. Her research spans the breadth of applied microbiology, including environmental quality and health risk assessment, sustainable agriculture with microbial inoculants, rapid detection of bacteria and the role of the environment in the emergence of antibiotic resistance. She served as the Chair of the International Advisory Board of the World Bank Step-B project. During her ten year tenure as a committee member of the Education Board and the International Education Committee of the American Society for Microbiology, she played active roles in curriculum and teaching resource development, strategic planning and performance assessment of the committees’ programs. Dr. Esiobu is a visionary leader and social entrepreneur. She was named ‘Faculty of Distinction 2011’ by the Florida Atlantic University President’s Council in Broward in honor of her outstanding academic and professional contributions to FAU, the state of Florida, the nation and the world.

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 was 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.

April 21, 2009—The Broward Center for the Performing Arts received the Alliance's third "Educational Excellence Builds Business Partnership Award" at the Alliance's spring quarterly meeting on April 21, 2009. The award was presented in honor of the Center's SEAS-Student Enrichment in the Arts program and its Future Scholarship program. The SEAS program is an award winning partnership between the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the School Board of Broward County. It provides students a visual style of learning by integrating arts such as music, dance, storybooks and drama into their life and education. The SEAS partnership affords Broward County Public School students the opportunity to attend professional performances, free of charge, by engaging in active learning through the arts. On April 23, 2008, the two-millionth student entered the Amaturo Theater to attend a SEAS performance. The Arts for the Future Scholarship program is the largest arts scholarship program in the state of Florida. Sixty-one graduating seniors received over $75,000 in scholarships to pursue the arts on the collegiate level. Since its inception, the Future Scholarship program has enabled more than 400 graduating high school students to continue their education and training in the visual, performing, musical and technical arts at colleges and universities.

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.

September 4, 2008—South Florida Maroone, a part of AutoNation, was recognized for its support of the Broward College Maroone Automotive Training Center. In January, 2006, The Broward College Maroone Automotive Training Center opened through a generous donation from Mike Maroone. It was established so students at the center could receive automotive technical training and prepare for A-C-S-E certification. While attending school, students have an opportunity to receive paid internships at local dealerships, with approximately sixty percent of Broward College students interning at Maroone dealerships. This helps create an ongoing employment opportunity and ensures a good match for the dealerships who then hire well-trained, experienced technicians. In addition, Maroone provides service directors to serve on the Center's Advisory Committee, providing advice and direction on the development of curriculum. This is vital to ensuring that students are constantly taught up-to-date information. Maroone also provides approximately eight different types of scholarships annually to students attending the training Center, helping those who need help to have an appropriate education and a meaningful job.

April 10, 2008—Dr. Lewis Temares, Vice President of Information Technology/Chief Information Officer and Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Miami. Dr. Temares is responsible for central computing, applications development and telecommunications at the University. He is leading the effort to "webify" and enhance the legacy systems using products from Ariba, Vignette, MicroStrategy, IBM, and Computer Associates. Instead of installing a costly ERP system, UM today may have the only home-grown integrated database administrative system in higher education, and is likely to be the only one not to have spent any incremental dollars to be Y2K compliant. As Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Temares leads the College's 60+ faculty members. In 2004, Dr. Temares joined the Board of Directors of insurance conglomerate The Main Street America Group. Dr. Temares is a frequent keynote speaker, author and presenter at academic and information technology conferences; he also has consulted with governmental agencies, private companies and multinational organizations.

December 10, 2007—Citrix Systems, Inc. was recognized for its Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education initiative, which resulted from a first year grant of $250,000 when the company established the South Florida Community Leadership Foundation. The initiative was begun by the company with a vision of enriching the teaching and learning environment in South Florida schools by empowering school system leadership with cutting edge business management tools and techniques. Since 2003, the company has contributed a total of $1.25 million to the Foundation.

October 24, 2007—Dr. Mahmood Shivji, Director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Professor of Marine Biology and Genetics at Nova Southeastern University's Oceanographic Center and Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to overseeing NSU's Guy Harvey Research Institute, Dr. Shivji teaches Genetics in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences Biology Program, and operates a research lab and mentors graduate students at the NSU Oceanographic Center. Dr. Shivji's research, which is focused in the areas of marine conservation biology and biotechnology, has garnered worldwide attention for NSU and the Guy Harvey Research Institute. His work developing rapid DNA forensic methods to identify fish body parts is being used worldwide by U.S. and other national fisheries management agencies to reduce illegal fishing of threatened species.

March 30, 2007—Dr. Larry LemanskiFlorida Atlantic University's first Vice President for Research. A prolific researcher in the field of cellular, molecular and developmental biology, Dr. Lemanski has more than 280 research publications, book chapters and proceedings to his credit, as well as numerous presentations at national and international conferences. After coming to FAU in 2001, Dr. Lemanski established the university's division of research, incorporating the offices of the vice president, sponsored research (pre-award), contracts and grants (post-award), technology transfer and the Florida Atlantic University Research Corporation. Under his leadership, FAU doubled its level of research funding to $60 million per year and has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "Research University—High Research Activity" institution.

October 18, 2006—Dr. Franklin Garcia-GodoyAssociate Dean for Research, and Director of the Bioscience Research Center at Nova Southeastern University's College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Garcia-Godoy has been actively involved in leadership roles in BioFlorida and the Florida Research Consortium, among others. He has brought more than $2.5 million in research funding to Broward County and to NSU, including a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop new testing methods that might help to avoid or reduce animal experimentation. Franklin is a world-renowned pediatric dentist and has authored several widely-used text books on the topic. He is also editor of the American Journal of Dentistry.

March 29, 2006—Dr. Jon Volin is a professor, researcher and Director of Florida Atlantic University's Environmental Sciences Department. Dr. Volin's main field of research is in Plant Physiological Ecology. He and his research team are working on numerous projects addressing ecological questions in the Everglades ecosystem and as far away as the Mopane Woodlands in Southeastern Africa.