Lifelong Scholar Society

Lifelong Scholar Society

Florida Tech’s Lifelong Scholar Society is a community of curious minds who are passionate about sharing knowledge. Throughout the year, the society hosts a series of lectures. Due to COVID-19, lectures will be virtual until it is safe for social gatherings. Topics range from historical writers and contemporary art to the Florida habitat, space exploration, and more. Join us and become part of a world of exciting people!

Upcoming Lectures:

Thursday, June 24, 6 PM EDT

Title: The New Independent Scientist: A Case Study for Cultivating a Path Outside of Academia

Description of Lecture: The talk will be about how they got started as independent scientists and what led them to Puerto Rico, how they found their niche and built their company. The talk will also introduce some of the current projects and research that they have underway. This talk was previously given to undergraduate students to help showcase a new angle for a career after graduate school that was not in the traditional academic, government, or non-profit sector.

Presented by: Dr. Chelsea Harms-Tuohy and Captain Evan Tuohy

About the Presenters: Dr. Chelsea Harms-Tuohy and Captain Evan Tuohy are the co-founders of Isla Mar Research Expeditions, a marine science education and research company in Puerto Rico. While still in graduate school, they started their business and have since grown into an independent scientific company with offerings that include field course hosting, scientific diving and training, technical diving, and chartering of their dive vessel for scientific research.


Thursday, July 15, 6 PM EDT

Title: What you don’t know CAN hurt you: Cybersecurity of Everyday Devices

About the Presenters: Dr. Meredith Carroll is a Professor of Aviation Human Factors at Florida Institute of Technology’s College of Aeronautics. She has nearly 20 years of experience studying human/team performance and training in complex systems. Her research focuses on cognition and learning, decision making in complex systems, human-machine teaming, human factors in cybersecurity, training system design and evaluation, performance assessment, and adaptive training. She received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia, her M.S. in Aviation Science from Florida Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Applied Experimental Psychology and Human Factors from the University of Central Florida.

Dr. O’Connor’s research has centered on computer security with an emphasis on information security education, wireless security, software-defined networking, internet-of-things security, and machine learning approaches for security. He has authored a book in the area and published his research in several academic conferences. Dr. O’Connor served 20 years as a U.S. Army Officer, retiring in 2019 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His service included an academic appointment to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the U.S. Military Academy and four assignments supporting the Special Forces from the tactical level in Afghanistan and culminated as the Chief Information Officer for the 1st Special Forces Command Headquarters. Dr. O’Connor is active in cybersecurity competitions and is the current coach for the FITSec Cybersecurity Team.

Description of Lecture: This lecture will shed light on cybersecurity issues that plague our “everyday devices” such as Alexa, Nest thermostat, Ring Doorbell, and smartphone applications. The talk will present information regarding cybersecurity threats and findings that indicate that most people don’t understand how these devices access and share their personal information or how to protect themselves.


Thursday, September 30, 6 PM EDT (previously scheduled for June 10)

Title: Business Impact, Response, and Agility during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Description of Lecture: This lecture will present current research by Dr. Reed on strategic agility and its leverage by businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation will include data just collected from a nationwide study, looking at how businesses were impacted and responded, both operationally and strategically, to COVID-19 and the result on their performance. Lessons learned should be widely applicable to other forms of economic and environmental turbulence.

Presented by: Dr. Jonathan Reed

About the Presenter: Dr. Jonathan Reed is a management consultant, educator, and former corporate executive. He is President of Strategy First, a local consulting firm that helps organizations with strategic planning and management processes. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida Tech’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business. And previously, he was Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Harris Corporation. Dr. Reed’s research interests are in the areas of strategic agility and strategic fit, two topics very relevant and timely in the COVID-19 pandemic era.