The Florida Tech Alumni Association recognizes distinguished alumni through the prestigious Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award. Alumni nominate candidates for this award which is presented at the Homecoming Gala each year. In addition, each college selects graduates who have made outstanding professional achievements in their chosen fields of endeavor to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award. These awards are also presented at the annual Homecoming Gala.
Rear Adm. Johnathan White earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanographic Technology from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1981 and holds a master's degree in Meteorology and Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
After working at sea as a civilian oceanographer on board a seismic survey vessel, he was commissioned through Navy Officer Candidate School in 1983, and assigned as a surface warfare officer to USS John L. Hall (FFG 32) in Mayport, Florida.
White joined the oceanography community in 1987. Since then, he has had operational shore assignments at Jacksonville, Florida.; Guam; Monterey, California; and Stuttgart, Germany, where his joint duty included Special Operations Command Europe, and strike plans officer for U.S. European Command during Operation Allied Force in Kosovo and Serbia. White commanded Naval Training Meteorology and Oceanography Facility, Pensacola, Florida, and was the 50th superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory.
White's sea tours as a naval oceanographer include commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 12 where he completed deployments on board USS Saratoga (CV 60) and USS Wasp (LHD 1).
White was selected as a flag officer and honorary chief petty officer in 2009 and served as commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. He was promoted to the rank of rear admiral (upper half) in August 2012 as he assumed his duties as director, Task Force Climate Change, and Navy deputy to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Duane holds a B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of Rhode Island (1976) and M.S. (1982) & Ph.D. (1988) degrees in Marine Biology from Florida Institute of Technology.
Duane was instrumental in helping to secure U.S. EPA National Estuary Program designation for the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) in 1990. In September 2015, his career came full circle when he was named Executive Director of a new special district of the state of Florida (Indian River Lagoon Council) that will serve as the host of a reorganized IRL National Estuary Program. In this new role, Duane is working with federal, state and local government agencies, scientific research organizations, academic institutions, elected officials, industry and the general public. The goal is to develop a restoration strategy for one of the nation's most threatened estuarine ecosystems.
De Freese served as the first program director for the acclaimed Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (1991-1998). In that capacity, Duane spearheaded efforts to secure over $20 million in matching funds to acquire properties in the Indian River Lagoon Blueway, Atlantic Coastal Ridge Scrub and southern barrier island Maritime Hammock initiatives. From 1998-2008, Duane served as the first Vice President of Florida Research for Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. In 2008-2009, Dr. De Freese served a 1-year appointment with the Dean of the College of Sciences at University of Central Florida. He provided leadership at UCF to create a long-range vision and plan for an expanded UCF coastal & sea turtle research center to be located within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in partnership with USFWS. That vision is being implemented today. His most recent appointment was as Senior Vice President of Science & Business Development at AquaFiber Technologies Corporation. As an AquaFiber senior executive, Duane provided leadership and oversight for all scientific and intellectual property activities associated with the company.
Duane currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Ocean Alliance (Vice-Chair) and was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the CareerSource Florida Inc. Board of Directors. Duane just completed a two-year term as the President of the Florida Tech Alumni Association Board.
Dr. Mazurek holds a B.S. degree in ocean engineering and an M.S. degree in civil engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Connecticut. He was employed by General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division, where he provided submarine construction support, conducted engineering design and analysis associated with pressure hulls and other structures, and completed structural noise and vibration transmission reduction studies. He also taught for one year at Lafayette College just prior to joining the Coast Guard Academy's civil engineering faculty, where he has served for the past 24 years.
Dr. Mazurek's main area of research is in bridge engineering, having authored numerous papers on the subject. He has most recently collaborated with the Federal Railroad Administration to study improved methods for stress measurements of steel bridges. He has also studied vibration-based methods for detecting damage in bridges, ships, and towers. He has conducted structural forensics, investigating the collapses of several Coast Guard navigation and communication towers, as well as superstructure failures of submarines. He has studied risk assessment and building security issues, developing the rather unique undergraduate course entitled Structural Design for Extreme Events, which has blast-resistant design as the main emphasis. In 2005 he joined the Beer & Johnston engineering mechanics textbook team, and has since co-authored four editions of Engineering Mechanics: Statics, the first edition of Statics and Mechanics of Materials, and three editions of Mechanics of Materials.
Dr. Mazurek has served on several national technical committees, most notably being the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association's Committee for Steel Structures, for which he has been an active member since 1991 and is currently Chair of its Subcommittee for Coatings & Special Construction. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a member of the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, and a founding member of Florida Tech's chapter of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He was elected into the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering in 2013, and was the 2014 recipient of both the Coast Guard Academy's Distinguished Faculty Award and its Center for Advanced Studies Excellence in Scholarship Award. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Tracey Bailey is the state director for Virginia Professional Educators (VPE), a nonprofit, professional association that serves Virginia's 100,000 teachers by working to improve public education through accountability and higher student achievement, and provides educators with professional support in the classroom.
Mr. Bailey began as a physics and space sciences major at Florida Tech, and in his junior year was offered a teacher scholarship from the State of Florida. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at Florida Tech in science education with an emphasis on instructional technology. As a teacher at Satellite High School, Mr. Bailey won national recognition for his highly innovative science education programs. He developed Satellite High's first advanced placement (AP) program and introduced science research including molecular biology and DNA fingerprinting into the classroom. Within three years, the school's science research program was among the best in Florida, winning many national and international awards. Mr. Bailey was also a developer and author of Florida's state curriculum for instructional technology.
In part because of these successes, Mr. Bailey was named the 1993 National Teacher of the Year, among some 2.7 million teachers nationwide. He then served as the first director of the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space Center, later became the state coordinator for education reform programs in the Florida Department of Education, and then served as national director for the Association of American Educators (AAE). He is a member of the Florida Educators' Hall of Fame.
Throughout his career, Mr. Bailey has worked with education leaders nationwide to promote substantive education reform and an increased professionalism among teachers. Mr. Bailey has spoken to Congress on several occasions, and he is often invited to the White House to represent teachers on education reform issues.
Dr. Alavie received the BS, MS and PhD degrees from Florida Tech in electrical engineering with his PhD awarded in 1992. He then became a post-doc at the University of Toronto continuing the work on fiber-optic sensors that he started at Florida Tech.
Dr. Alavie has founded several companies related to fiber optic sensing and the medical field and is now the Executive Chairman of NOVX Systems Inc. and CEO of Qvella Corp. Tino Alavie is a repeat entrepreneur who has been directly or indirectly responsible for creating, managing, and growing seven technology startups in North America and Europe from start to financial exit. Dr. Alavie recently co-founded TimeWyse Corporation. TimeWyse is a new consumer facing App development company. The company’s first product kidQ helps parents with answers to their parenting questions from social to educational to health and time management. kidQ has already been launched on Apple’s App Store and has a 10,000 strong following after only a short period of time. TimeWyse will be adding more features to kidQ and will leverage its intellectual property.
Jonathan Zung, Ph.D. is Vice President and head of Global Development Operations (GDO) at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ. Global Development Operations integrates all key functions involved in setting up and managing the conduct of clinical trials, site monitoring, data management and review across all therapeutic areas from phase II through registration. The organization consists of 1300+ staff at 19 centers and operates in over 45 countries. Jonathan joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in December 2001 as Executive Director, Project Management. Since joining BMS he has held positions of increasing responsibility, including head of Global Project Management. He was responsible for and led the integration of the $2.1 Billion Medarex acquisition in 2009.
Prior to Bristol-Myers Squibb, Jonathan was with Pfizer Global Research and Development in Groton, CT from 1991 through 2001. At Pfizer he held various positions, with increasing responsibility in the Analytical Research and Development (AR&D) Department and in the Global Project Management organization. While in AR&D he led a group of scientists that supported the development and registration of GeodonIM, along with new and novel dosage forms for the line of extension of approved Pfizer products (Zithromax, Zoloftand Zyrtec).
Jonathan received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia and his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida. He was named a member of The Florida Institute of Technology Board of Trustees in 2010. Jonathan is also chair of the Operations Committee for TransCelerate BioPharma.
Travis Proctor is the CEO of ndtArtemis. He founded Artemis IT, in 1995 while a sophomore at Florida Tech, and recently merged his company with netDirective Technology. Mr. Proctor graduated top of his class with a degree in computer science information systems. ndtArtemis currently employs 52 people and provides IT management and consulting services to clients throughout the Central Florida region from its offices in Melbourne.
Travis has always been interested in entrepreneurial activities and co-founded his first company, also providing computer support, while a junior in high school in his home community of Montrose, Colorado. In addition to his responsibilities with ndtArtemis, he has founded and manages two real estate investment companies that currently own and operate a variety of residential and commercial rental properties located in Florida and Colorado.
Travis is an active member of the community and serves on several community and company boards. He was the 2008 Chairman of the Melbourne Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce representing over 30,000 employees in the Brevard Community. He is past chair of the entrepreneurial support organization, Founders Forum. In addition, Travis serves as a board member of Florida Tech, the Brevard Heart Foundation, the Brevard Achievement Center, the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, the Salvation Army, Junior Achievement, and MyRegion.org.
ndtArtemis has won numerous awards in its field for outstanding service and community support, and Travis has been selected as one of the top 4 leaders under 40 in Brevard County. He is active in his community and serves on several boards of charitable and educational organizations.
Mr. Mutchler has been working on the Hubble Space Telescope for over 22 years -- its entire mission. He was hired just two weeks before the launch of Hubble in 1990, and just a few months before completing his M.S. degree in space sciences at Florida Tech. Thanks to the proximity of FIT to the Kennedy Space Center, he was able to witness the launch of Hubble - and his own career - from the VIP site at Banana Creek.
He is a research and instrument scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He manages a group of 35 analysts and scientists, and he continues to make a range of contributions to the Hubble mission.
Mr. Mutchler is an expert on Hubble's cameras. He is a member of the Hubble Heritage team, which has produced many of the iconic images that Hubble is famous for. He also specializes in observations of Solar System objects, often in support of planetary missions such as New Horizons (en route to Pluto) and Dawn (currently exploring the Asteroid Belt). He is a member of a team that discovered several new moons of Pluto, including one last July. Asteroid "6815 Mutchler" was named in honor of his role in these discoveries. This work was featured as the cover story for the August 2006 edition of Florida Tech Today.
He is also involved in a range of educational outreach activities, which has recently included citizen science, tactile images with Braille captions, and the first-ever astronomical star party on the South Lawn of the White House.
Prof. Bagtzoglou earned his Diploma at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1985, his Master's of Science at Florida Tech in 1987, and his PhD at the University of California at Irvine, in 1990, all in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Water Resources. After his Ph.D., he worked for five years at the Southwest Research Institute funded by the US NRC. His academic career spans the University of Texas at San Antonio, Columbus University and, for the last nine-plus years, the University of Connecticut. At the UConn department of civil and environmental engineering, he has served as ENVE director, associate head of the department and department head. He has authored over 100 referred publications, directed numerous research projects, totaling over $6 million, and served as editor or associate editor for 10 journals. His extraordinary career accomplishments have been recognized through m ny prestigious appointments, honors and awards.
Mike Sole is vice president for state governmental affairs with Florida Power and Light. Prior to his joining FPL, Mike served as secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. During his tenure as secretary, he led Florida's initiative on climate change; helped lead the state's efforts in coordinating, preparing and protecting Florida from the largest man-made environmental disaster caused by the Deepwater Horizon Incident.
During his 19 years as an environmental manager, he has undertaken responsibilities ranging from marine turtle protection, beach preservation, wetland protection, petroleum cleanup and waste management.
Mr. Sole was a captain in the United States Marine Corps, serving our nation during the Gulf War. He received his Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Florida Institute of Technology.
Dr. Sungjin Park is the president and CEO of The Vine Corporation, offering software solutions that improve the audio clarity of cell phones and other electronic devices. Each year approximately 10 million copies of Vine's clarity software are embedded in products manufactured by most of the mobile phone companies. His company is actively involved in philanthropic activities too.
Prior to establishing Vine, he worked 10 years in the LG and Lotte electronics industry. He directed or co-directed major R&D projects in Israel, India, Russia, Switzerland, USA and elsewhere. He also taught at Florida Tech as a visiting assistant professor. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Florida Tech.
Award Alexis Loo received her bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1975. She retired from the U.S. Navy after 26 years of distinguished service as a Special Duty Cryptologist. She currently holds a position at a federal government agency and is co-owner and CEO of Blue Goose Charters since 1985.
Alexis has been a very strong supporter of Florida Tech throughout the years. She is a recruiter for her current employer and has significantly increased the number of Florida Tech graduates at her firm. She is the secretary of the alumni association's board of directors and is a long-standing member of the nominations/membership committee. She works closely with the university's career management services office and is regularly invited to speak to students in classes, information sessions and career fairs and to assist with résumé critiques and interview preparation. She also interfaces closely with the admissions volunteer coordinator for undergraduate admissions and represents Florida Tech at college fairs in her community and strongly endorses the alumni endorsement grants and visits grants.