Women Inspiring Success & Excellence Awards

Women Inspiring Success and Excellence - WISE - Logo

Save the Date! 2024 WISE Awards Luncheon - March 1

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Florida Tech Alumni Association celebrates four individuals (a student, an alumna, a staff member, and a faculty member) who embody the spirit of promoting women’s participation and development within the Florida Tech community.

View the 2023 awardees here!


Please join us in recognizing the 2024 honorees while enjoying a luncheon on the Florida Tech campus, giving you the opportunity to network and be inspired!

Date:   Friday, March 1, 2024

Time:   11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Florida Tech campus, John & Martha Hartley Room (2nd Floor of the Denius Student Center) View the Campus Map

Cost:   $20 per person

Table Sponsor:   $500

Interested in sponsoring a table? Contact Gina Yates: gyates@fit.edu or 321-674-8428

Registration Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for more details on the 2024 Women Inspiring Success & Excellence Awards Luncheon.

2023 WISE Awardees

Alumna Legacy Award

Sheila Jordan is Honeywell’s Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Technology Officer. In this role, she is responsible for all digital transformation efforts across the company, including transformation platform construction and adoption, and delivering value across Enterprise Data activities. Sheila holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology. 

Before Honeywell, Sheila was Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Symantec, where she was responsible for Symantec’s IT strategy and operations. Prior to that, she served as Senior Vice President of Communication & Collaboration IT at Cisco Systems. Sheila also worked for Walt Disney World, where she was the Senior Vice President of Destination Disney. Sheila is the recipient of multiple industry awards and recognitions, including being named one of the 2022 Top 100 Women in Technology by Technology Magazine and a 2019 Women of Influence by Silicon Valley Business Journal. Sheila was also recognized as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity in 2019 by The Software Report.



Student Catalyst Award

Nashaita Patrawalla is a Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering, and research and teaching assistant in the BME department, as well as the First Year Experience instructor for the Women in STEM section. She has designed and executed various activities to empower her students, including a Women in STEM panel and various engineering workshops. She is also a prolific researcher and published author, who is currently involved in different projects related to women's health, including her long-standing research on 3D bioprinting of grafts for ACL reconstruction, and developing bone and brain tissue models for space-based applications. Additionally, she is a mentor for multiple female graduate students in the Kishore Lab at Florida Tech.

She is the Chief Biomedical Engineer of EarlyByrd, an early-stage biotech venture that is designing and building a medical imaging device for the early detection and dynamic monitoring of breast cancer. She has been involved with the project since 2020 and has quickly risen the ranks to guide the entire team with her expertise in biomedical engineering. As a member, she has helped the team win the Medtronic BMES 2021 Design Challenge, win the ERAU Launch your Venture Competition, and acquire a Top 10 ranking in the International Impact Ventures Entrepreneurial Competition. Her tenure at EarlyByrd has seen her help raise nearly $15K in non-dilutive funding, along with business coaching and legal support.

In addition to her academic pursuits, Nashaita is also a volunteer in training at the Women’s Center of Brevard, a member of weVenture and the Society of Women Engineers, and is assisting female students in India seeking education abroad. Nashaita truly embodies Panther excellence and is making a positive impact in the lives of many people through her various endeavors.


Faculty Excellence Award

Deborah Carstens, Ph.D., PMP, joined the Florida Institute of Technology in 2003. She is a Professor of Aviation Human Factors and the College of Aeronautics Graduate Program Chair. She also holds a joint appointment in the College of Engineering & Science.

Dr. Carstens received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2000 and an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology. Previously, she worked as an engineer and project manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Kennedy Space Center (KSC) from 1992 through 2003.

In her career both at Florida Tech and NASA KSC, she has worked on funded research grants from the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Research Board, Small Business Administration, Florida Department of Education, Department of Health & Human Services, NASA, DARPA, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and other locally funded studies in aviation, task analysis, human error, safety, usability, learning effectiveness, and government accountability. She has over eighty peer-reviewed publications, including three books on human factors engineering, technology, and project management. 


Joan Bixby Staff Impact Award

Kathryn Rudloff holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from The Ohio State University and a Master's in Political Management from George Washington University. She is currently working toward a Doctorate degree in Business Administration at Florida Tech.

She has worked in strategic messaging, communications, and fundraising for political committees and campaigns in Washington DC, California, and Florida. As Florida Director of Field Operations, she has worked on campaigns at every level – local, state, federal, and even a 2007 presidential campaign. She served two years as District Director for Congressman from FL-08 and 4 years as Executive Director of a local pro-business non-partisan advocacy organization – Business Voice Political Committee.

Kathryn joined weVENTURE Women’s Business Center in the Bisk College of Business at Florida Tech in January 2020.  weVENTURE WBC is the leading voice and resource for female entrepreneurs on the Space and Treasure Coasts.  As Executive Director of weVENTURE WBC, Kathryn serves as a community advocate for female business owners and oversees the center’s low and no-cost business education programming. 

Kathryn has been active in the community, known for her efforts on behalf of the Junior League of South Brevard, MOPS ministry, The Haven for Children, and Family Promise of Brevard.  As an advocate for women and children and for her work in the political arena, she was recognized in 2017 as one of Brevard’s “4 under 40” leaders by LEAD Brevard.  She and her husband, Alex Rudloff, have three young children and enjoy travel and all things Disney.

Keynote Speaker - Misty Marot

Misty Marot is the sole owner and CEO of Novel Engineering, Inc., Medical Resource Solutions, LLC, and Construction Resource Solutions, LLC. Misty is additionally co-owner of Medworx, Inc. and recently launched its first product, worx360, an app that focuses on thorough matchmaking for medical facilities and clinicians. She oversees strategy, operations, culture, HR, finance, and policy. Misty believes in a #peoplefirst for a #culturefirst approach to owning and operating a business.  These values are woven into every aspect of her approach to leadership and business foundation. She finds great purpose in supporting her customers with the right, qualified individuals because they trust her to handle the most important aspect of a company, building the best team.

Misty has her sights set on impactfully supporting this community that has always supported her and her entrepreneurialism. Viewing her company as a trusted partner by her customers is the ultimate measurement of success, according to Misty. Genuine interaction and clear, candid communication, the secret sauce to growing and maintaining customer relationships, enable customer-tailored experiences that are critical to mutual success.

Marot is an alum of Florida Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and an MBA. She serves on the Florida Tech College of Science and Engineering Advisory Board, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey’s Small Business Advisory Board, Florida Tech Board of Fellows, the United Way Space Coast Board, Economic Development Commission, and the Rotary Eau Gallie.

Among her numerous honors are recognition for business and leadership, including:

  • GrowFL - Florida Companies to Watch
  • NASA Cube Quest Challenge GT1
  • Business Leader of the Year Honoree – Space Coast Business Magazine
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Women Who Rock Awards – WeVenture and Florida Institute of Technology
  • Innovation Company of the Year – Space Coast Economic Development Commission
  • Technology Executive of the Year – Bill Posey Certificate of Congressional Recognition

Buffet Lunch Menu

Tossed Salad

Fruit Salad

Chicken Piccata

Salmon Puttanesca

Vegan Portabella and Spinach Quinoa

Roasted New Potatoes


Dessert ~ Chocolate Torte Cake

Iced Tea, Water, and Coffee

Event Parking Map

Please park in one of the parking lots off of Country Club Road on campus, the closest one being the lot across from the John E. Miller Building. Walk across the street following the road between the Miller Building and the Keuper Building until you reach the Denius Student Center. Enter through the front doors and take the stairs to the 2nd floor. The Hartley Room is on the left. The elevator is located outside of the Denius Student Center and that will also take you to the 2nd floor.