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NSU students Autumn Bishard and Thomas Strasser are both pursuing careers in fields that help other people. Bishard plans to work at a non-profit organization, and possibly as an advocate for the disabled. Strasser wants to become an orthopedic surgeon.


Autumn Bishard and Thomas Strasser

These civic-minded millennials are achieving their goals with help from the Berkowitz and Potamkin Family Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship fund was established in 2011 after Jeffrey Berkowitz and his partners, Alan and Robert Potamkin, agreed to fund an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students at NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Berkowitz had discussed the scholarship with Randolph Pohlman, Ph.D., former dean at the college.

“I hope to inspire others to follow their passions and dreams,” said Bishard, a sophomore majoring in marketing and political science. “Disability advocacy work is a cause close to my heart, as I have cerebral palsy. This scholarship makes a significant difference in my education because it gives me the opportunity to pursue all of the incredible knowledge and experience that NSU has to offer.

“I am originally from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and I lived there my whole life,” Bishard said. “I chose NSU because it stood out to me from the moment I stepped on campus as a place with endless opportunities. It just seemed special. I hope to promote and give back to NSU as much as I can as a thank you for everything I’ve been able to achieve thus far.”

When Thomas Strasser enrolled at NSU, he was just three weeks past his 17th birthday.

“Because I graduated early [at age 16] from high school, I started college at the same time as my older sister and my older brother,” said Strasser, who grew up in South Florida and was homeschooled during middle school and high school.

With a double major in business administration and biology, Strasser plans to attend medical school–like his grandfather–and build a career as a surgeon. “Upon graduating from medical school and finishing my residency, I plan to start a private practice of my own.” He knows there is a long road ahead of him.

“This scholarship will make a big difference…and I am ever grateful for it. I hope the Berkowitz and Potamkin Family Endowed Scholarship will continue to help NSU students and their families for years to come,” Strasser said.

Jeffrey Berkowitz is chairman and founder of Berkowitz Development Group, a pre-eminent retail developer in Miami-Dade County. In addition to longstanding ties to NSU, he chairs the Miami Children’s Museum and actively supports several charitable organizations. Philanthropists Alan and Robert Potamkin led Potamkin Automotive, the Miami-based automotive group founded by their father, Victor.

NSU alumnus Jake Wurzak (J.D., ’11) is an entrepreneurial leader in the South Florida community and a valued member of the NSU Fellows Society. He serves as president of Wurzak Hotel Group and is a founder and managing member of the real estate investment firm, Dovehill Holdings, LLC.

Jake Wurzak


Along with being a visionary hotelier, Wurzak also appreciates the value of art and culture and its ability to add to the quality of life and enhancement of the community. He is an avid supporter of the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and was recently named to its Board of Governors. He considers the museum, which is located in the heart of the downtown district, one of the most important and exciting destinations in Fort Lauderdale and he believes it is helping to change Fort Lauderdale’s international perception.

“Fort Lauderdale is not just about the beach anymore…it’s a sophisticated hub of leisure, culture and technology,” Wurzak said.

“The downtown is booming. It is where people, particularly millennials, want to live, work and play.” His company’s newest venture, The Dalmar Hotel in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, will open in the fall of 2018 and and will be a destination unlike anything else in Fort Lauderdale. Leveraging the natural synergy between The Museum and The Dalmar, the hotel property will be a haven for visiting artists and curators.

“This is a very exciting venture for me personally, because I live in Fort Lauderdale and this is what I love to do…we will deliver something spectacular here that will help to elevate the positioning of Fort Lauderdale on the world stage for life, business and travel.”

Imagine leaving your home of more than 30 years and moving your family to a place you’ve never been before. That’s what Lacey Craddock and her husband did when they decided to pursue new experiences in South Florida. The Craddocks are from a small town in Oklahoma— the kind where everyone knows each other.

Lacey Craddock

“We had the house in the cul-de-sac, the minivan, the puppy, and the two kids. We had it all. We could’ve just stayed within our safety net forever, which is what a lot of people do, but we wanted to show our kids there’s so much more.”

Five years later, the Craddocks feel they made a good decision. But it wasn’t just their children whose eyes were opened.

Shortly after the move, Lacey found a job at NSU’s College of Pharmacy. After working in the department of Student Services for two years, she took on an executive assistant role in Translational Research and Economic Development (TRED). Her position has exposed her to life-changing research.

“There’s so much happening at NSU, especially in research, and I’m a part of it, which is amazing! I’m not a scientist and I don’t work on meaningful scientific discoveries, but I’ve had a small part in almost everything having to do with establishing and supporting NSU’s research institutes housed in the Center for Collaborative Research (CCR).” As an extension of her job, Lacey supports NSU researchers and research institutes to ensure that they have everything they need and serves as the primary liaison for TRED with NSU’s central Development Department.

It’s Lacey’s direct involvement with research at NSU that drives her passion to support the university. She directs her giving to NSU’s Sarcoma Research Fund, stating that the tumor samples being investigated in the CCR come from pediatric cancer patients in the Miami area. “I know what they’re doing will eventually save a child from chemotherapy and ultimately my generosity is helping to find less cytotoxic treatments for all cancer patients.”

Lacey likens the family’s move to what “Realizing Potential” means to her:

“It means you take chances and opportunities. You don’t let fear drive your decisions. If you do, you’re going to miss out on so many things in your life. I had fear, but I didn’t let it control me. Once you’re bigger than your fears, you’re able to take opportunities that are given to you and you’re able to claim your own success.”

Marc Crocquet, M.B.A., was 11 when his family moved to the U.S. It was the early 1980s and his father had left his CEO position in France to escape a socialist government and seek a brighter future for his family. In America, they had to start from scratch. Crocquet’s parents opened a new business and made sacrifices to ensure their two children would get the education they deserved.
Marc J. and Catherine J. Crocquet
“Times are tough when you start a business, but [my sister and I] never felt that,” said Crocquet, vice president of NSU’s Business Services. “They would tell us to continue with school—that they’d manage and figure it out. We didn’t have to worry about how to pay for our undergrad and my sister Patricia and I eventually both received graduate degrees.”

In memory of his parents, Crocquet created the Marc J. and Catherine J. Crocquet Endowed STEM Scholarships Fund, which supports veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who are enrolled in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) major. Crocquet chose a STEM focus because he said his father had a strong engineering mind. Additionally, Crocquet’s two young children are also STEM-oriented.

“My daughter loves science. It’s her best subject, and she’s super strong in math. My son is also at the top of the charts in math. I figured that creating this fund would create another connection between my kids and my parents,” said Crocquet.

In addition to creating a scholarship fund, Crocquet has donated to the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography and to the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center. Both are a nod to his parents’ personal interests.

Regarding his proudest moments at NSU, Crocquet said, “I think it would have to be graduation, because everything comes full circle. I like to think of their struggle and their story, and see how many touch points or interactions [the graduates] had with something I have a role in. How many meals did they have? How many events did they attend at the arena? Even the internet they used—we bought the routers.”

Crocquet said that no one at NSU ever pushed him to donate. His colleagues told him that eventually he’d find his own reason to do so. He said, “At some point, it’s going to click for you and you’re going to do it because something is really going to drive you. It’s going to be meaningful and personal to you.”

If you ever find yourself in an office decorated with pictures of galaxies, ocean life, and a signed Jane Goodall print, you might just be in the office of Melissa L. Dore, Ed.D., at the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. Self-described as the “quintessential science nerd,” Dore believes she is a rarity among her peers. 
Melissa Dore
“I’m a scientist who writes. I feel that, even now, one of my biggest strengths is the ability to translate ‘science-ese’ into ‘human-ese.’ That’s why I do a lot of outreach speaking and student education—from preschool to senior citizens.”

Dore came to NSU in 1992, to pursue a master’s degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management. She worked as a graduate research assistant in various laboratories until she was hired as an administrative assistant by Richard E. Dodge, Ph.D. in 1997. While she still works with Dodge, she now serves as the director of academic support and administration for the Halmos College.

In more than 25 years at NSU, Dore has racked up an impressive amount of experiences. Among her favorites are the time she met Bob Ballard (the man who found the Titanic), and when an alumnus took her on a private tour of the USS Iwo Jima. She’s also had unforgettable moments as a member of NSU’s community chorus, the Nova Singers. Her latest moment was performing in Carnegie Hall.

“There have been so many opportunities. I keep thinking that if I had stayed in New England, I would never have had the opportunities to do the things that I’ve done at NSU,” said Dore. 

As a faculty and staff giving champion, Dore believes in giving back—both in money and time. One of her favorite ways to give is through education, especially when it concerns the environment and marine sciences. A mummified shark head serves as one of her most popular educational tools, Dore said. 

“I think most of the time when you learn, especially when you’re young, is by having someone bring something in that makes you go, ‘gee, gosh, wow!’”

This past year, Dore was involved with the promotion of medallions for students and faculty of the college. The medallion was offered to donors who made a gift of $20.18 or more, and could be worn during graduation. These gifts supported college scholarships, such as the HCNSO-DoBS Student Fund, and the Dean’s Excellence Fund. 

Candice Leaty spent her junior and senior years of high school writing one scholarship essay after another. Her mother worked three jobs to maintain their family. While Leaty qualified for financial aid, it was not enough to cover the full cost of the school she dreamed of attending – Nova Southeastern University.

Candice Leaty

Rather than settling for another university or taking on a loan, she applied for every scholarship for which she was eligible. “I got every random scholarship and it added up. It somehow made it so that I was able to afford [NSU],” said Leaty.

Her interest in family law led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. Unfortunately, three years into her program, a death in the family caused her to put a hold on her education.

Years later, Leaty came back to NSU. However, this time as an Accounting Specialist in Facilities Management. The benefits provided to her by the university allowed her to go back and finish her studies. Today, she is both a proud NSU graduate and employee who works hard to champion for student scholarships.

“I know, personally, that scholarships helped me and that any scholarship helps out,” said Leaty. “That’s why this means so much to me.”

Leaty has been involved in a number of different events aimed at encouraging employee giving. Among the most impactful of these events, she added, are those where scholarship recipients are invited to attend and share their stories. That’s when she and her coworkers get to learn, first-hand, how their giving helps bring students’ dreams to fruition.

Additionally, Leaty has made a legacy gift to the university and is a member of NSU’s 1964 Society.

“People told me not to go to NSU because I couldn’t afford it. But I got the scholarships and I did it.” Although she accomplished her initial educational goals, Leaty isn’t ready to leave NSU anytime soon. Her plan is to pursue a graduate degree while continuing to work in the department that has become “my family,” she said.

When Jessica Rodriguez, M.P.A., first came to NSU, she had no idea she would be staying for a while. Back in 2000, her goal was to earn a bachelor’s degree from the university, so she could go on to pursue a career in sports administration. However, life took her on a different path. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, she realized she wanted to keep going.

NSU's Jessica Rodriguez

"I knew I wanted to come back and get my master's and I knew about [NSU's] tuition reimbursement program, so I took a job as an administrative assistant at the graduate school of computer information sciences [now the College of Engineering and Computing]," said Rodriguez.

Since then, she not only finished her graduate program, but she has worked her way up the ranks as a NSU employee. Today, she is the director of Communications and Alumni Affairs at the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. Regarding her experiences, she said, "Overall, I think NSU is a great place to work. It offers great benefits and I like the culture here."

Rodriguez also speaks highly of Kimberly Durham, Psy.D., the interim dean of the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. "Dr. Durham really lets me use this creative mind that I have. I kind of have these crazy ideas and she’s like, 'yes, let’s do it! Let’s work with it!' She does a really good job of making everyone feel welcome and part of the Fischler family." With Durham’s encouragement, Rodriguez has contributed some fun ideas to help increase employee giving, including a "pie in the face" challenge and a "balloon pop" game.

In addition to being a NSU alumna and employee, Rodriguez is also mother to two young girls, one of whom currently attends NSU University School’s Lower School. Rodriguez has seen a notable difference in her daughter’s education since switching her over from public school. "It's a very forward-thinking school. They've opened my daughter's eyes to things she probably would've never been exposed to before." Rodriguez supports the school’s innovative efforts by donating funds through payroll deductions.

NSU’s Office of Innovation and Information Technology (OIIT) has something to boast about. In the last fiscal year, the department nearly doubled their staff giving from the previous year. In fact, they were close to 50 percent participation, a statistic that Jaime Gentile, B.A., director of employee services.

NSU's Jaime Gentile

"Our giving hovered around 8 to 10 percent before the 2016 announcement of NSU’s campaign. Once Realizing Potential launched, we realized we wanted to give more. Last year, department giving went up to 21%. Now, we're at 46%. It's amazing. And you've got to remember, we have about 240 full-time employees, so that makes it a lot more challenging," said Gentile.

To motivate employees, Gentile and her colleagues created a tiered incentive program. They announced the program via email to all employees. The email outlined the rewards that employees would receive at different percentages of participation. For example, once the department reached 15 percent of staff giving, they were allowed to wear jeans for one month. At 25 percent, they could wear jeans for two months.

Gentile said that excitement grew with the percentages, especially as the department got closer to the 50 percent participation level. If they reached that level, they would be rewarded with the opportunity to throw pies at Thomas West, vice president of information technology and chief information officer. Unfortunately, the department didn’t reach that goal, but Gentile has high hopes for next year.

"We're thinking of creative ways for next year. We're definitely going to have to roll out a whole new plan. Our goal is to get to 50 percent. And we're hoping that [employees] will see how close we got this year, and really try to get there next year."

Gentile joined NSU after working for the School Board of Broward County for 10 years. It was her love of education and the university's reputation that brought her here. Regarding her role in OIIT she said, "This is the best department I have ever worked for. I am surrounded by truly amazing leaders and an amazing team."

Marcia Tippenhauer, B.S., is a self-described "Shark person." She actively participates in many of NSU’s campus and community events and encourages others to do so, too. When NSU introduced vanity license plates, she was among the first to get one. As an employee, alumna, and mother of one NSU students, she can recount many experiences at the university. Her stories are captivating—her enthusiasm for NSU infectious.

NSU's Marcia Tippenhauer

"I am in my 12th year and I still love my job," said Tippenhauer, who serves as the administrative support lead for employee relations in NSU's Human Resources department. She added, "I try to sell [NSU] every single opportunity I have because I believe in NSU and what we represent—the core values and everything."

To illustrate the point that NSU is home to amazing people doing amazing things, Tippenhauer likes to share a story about how NSU helped her save a friend's life. Tippenhauer's friend suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a disease with varied symptoms, including incapacitating fatigue. Nancy Klimas, M.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers of CFS—she also happens to be the director of the Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine at NSU.

Tippenhauer said she wasn't aware of Dr. Klimas' work until her friend reached out to her, pleading for help. "Sometimes we don't really take the time to see everything that's going on [at NSU]," she said. Once she learned about Klimas, she knew she had to make an effort to get her friend an appointment. Tippenhauer went as far as to meet with Klimas' lead assistant face-to-face.

"Her assistant was so sympathetic to [my friend's] story, she got her the appointment. There was a six -month wait, but within three months they called her to come in. Dr. Klimas has saved her life. You can never fully recover, but you do see improvement," said Tippenhauer. In gratitude, Tippenhauer and her friend attend all of Klimas' conferences and events, whenever they have the opportunity.

Over the years, Tippenhauer has given back to the university in as many ways as she can. She has donated to the NSU Art Museum, NSU AutoNation Cancer Institute, Psychology Dean’s Excellence Fund, and the Schemel Fund for Translational Research. By renewing her NSU vanity plate each year, she contributes to a scholarship fund for NSU students.

"It's not difficult to give and everything counts. Nothing is too small." 

South Florida philanthropists Martin and Gail Press share a lifelong love of reading and libraries. On Monday, May 14, they perpetuated these passions among Nova Southeastern University students by naming the Martin and Gail Press Health Professions Division (HPD) Library in a special ceremony at the Terry Building on the University’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus.

Trustee Martin Press and his wife Gail Press, philanthropists who named NSU's Health Professions Division Library
The couple met in college at Hofstra University where the library played an important role in their blossoming relationship. Mrs. Gail Press spent her career as a reading specialist. She started at Carol City High School motivating some of the toughest students to enjoy reading, before becoming a full-time professor at Miami-Dade College for over thirty years. She has dedicated her life to education.

Mr. Martin Press is an attorney with the law firm of Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms. He was the first board certified tax attorney in the State of Florida and has had a long, successful legal career focused on international tax law, federal and state tax controversies and estate planning. Mr. Press is often invited to speak on tax matters at some of the most recognized industry organizations and appears frequently in national media as a tax expert. He has been one of the leading tax litigators in the United States, appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court and receiving an honorable mention as Tax Person of the Year in the United States, as named by Tax Analysts, a non-profit tax publisher in 2014.

Over the past decade, he has been involved with NSU, dedicating much of his time and energy to the University's Board of Trustees. For more than 15 years, Mr. Press served as both chairman and vice-chairman of the NSU Shepard Broad College of Law’s Board of Governors.

The Presses were recently on campus on a Saturday night, stopping by the HPD library. “We were so impressed with what an active and vibrant place it was,” explained Mr. Press. “We saw students who were studying to be nurses, physical therapists, physician assistants, doctors of osteopathic medicine and so many other health specialties. Gail and I knew immediately that our support would impact these students, as well as people throughout Florida.”

“Gail and Martin's commitment to the HPD library will enable even more students to have the resources they need as they embark on critical careers in health care,” said NSU President Dr. George L. Hanbury. “There isn’t a better legacy than helping students learn so they can heal others.”

Twenty-four. That’s the age of Raphael Walters, M.Ed., the youngest member of NSU’s 1964 Society. In order to become a member of the society, Walters made a legacy gift that will provide future support for the university. When asked what prompted him to give, he kept his answer short, “If you’re able to make an impact, you should do so.” 
NSU staff member and student Raphael Walters
Deciding to give to NSU was easy for Walters. From a young age, he was taught to value education above all else. Walters credits his mother for reminding him, repeatedly, that education is the only thing that can never be taken away from a person. For this reason, he has lived his life in pursuit of education, earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Valdosta State University, before joining NSU. Today, he is both an employee and a student at the university. 

In addition to his legacy gift, Walters gives through weekly payroll deductions. His gifts support the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education, where he has just begun his doctoral degree, and the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. To friends and colleagues who are on the fence about donating, Walters said, “I let them know their gift can go wherever they want it to go—there’s no limit. You can give to a college, a department, a program, a research initiative…you name it.” 

As NSU’s assistant director of the Annual Fund, one of Walters’ principal job duties is to help promote staff and faculty giving at the university. He is always working on new ideas and helping others understand the impact of their gifts. “Thirty percent is the faculty and staff goal. Of course, I want to exceed that. Last year, we ended at 33 percent, so this year I want to get us to 36 percent.” 

The future looks bright for this twenty-four year old, who aspires to be a university president someday. In the meantime, he plans to stay in higher education. “It’s my calling and my passion. I want to work more with students and become more involved with them.”

When talking to Jon Garon, J.D., dean of NSU’s Shepard Broad College of Law, a listener will quickly learn how changes in technology, trade, and demographic trends are impacting access to legal services and economic opportunities. “Technology has the power to unleash people’s potential, but it also has the danger of making old problems more severe,” explains Garon. To address these changes, legal education is changing as well. 

NSU's Shepard Broad College of Law Dean Jon Garon, J.D.
At NSU, Garon highlights the work students are doing to help underserved communities have access both to legal services for their personal needs and for their entrepreneurial dreams. Among other things, they are building economic opportunities through entrepreneur clinics and outreach. “Our students find new ways to make a difference and have a high impact with the people they serve.” 

Garon and his wife, Stacy, established the Alec “Sasha” Garon Changing Lives Law Scholarship. “We created [the scholarship] because it’s part of our commitment to make law school more accessible for students. We try and take the financial cost out of the equation for them.” The couple are long-time philanthropists who have donated their time and money to numerous non-profits and charities. 

“Philanthropy is an essential part of society,” Garon said. He believes that no person is truly self-made and that success stems from opportunity. “Every one of us is successful because of the people and institutions who gave us opportunities. Philanthropy creates opportunity.” He stresses the importance of scholarships and donations in creating opportunities for students. 

“NSU is a great place for philanthropy because we’re really efficient with it. Here, the gifts really matter and you can see an immediate impact. And because we have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, we’re creative in the way that funds are used. We make sure that new visions are explored and realized.”

Kimberly Durham, Psy.D., considers herself blessed to be part of the NSU family. In the span of 32 years, she has gone from an undergraduate student at the university to the interim dean at NSU’s Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. In addition, she serves as chair and professor at the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences’ Department of Justice and Human Services.

NSU's Fischler College of Education Dean Kimberly Durham helps student veterans in addition to students in the colleges for which she serves.

Durham has helped develop new programs and curricula, led research initiatives, served on committees, and fostered vital community partnerships. She also funds a Changing Lives Scholarship for students in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Additionally, Durham is actively involved in supporting student veterans. 

In 2015, she worked with veteran, Kelsey DeSantis B.A. ’15, to help establish the Veterans Resource Center. “I’ve always had an affinity for those individuals who had a choice in life and opted to make that sacrifice,” she said. “There’s just something about their character that I’m attracted to. It moves me very much.” Today, the Veterans Resource Center provides a host of services to approximately 1,000 student veterans, including academic, career, clinical, and child care services. 

With the Veterans Resource Center in place, Durham decided she wanted to do more. Durham made a donation so that Tom Vitucci, director of recreation and wellness, could support veteran wellness. “I saw so many veterans coming through that really needed that outlet of working out and going to the gym, so I wanted to do something for them,” said Durham. Part of her donation has already been used to purchase new gym equipment and hire instructors for specialized fitness classes. 

Durham is looking forward to seeing NSU’s veteran services grow, and she believes that by getting the word out, they will. In the meantime, she continues to make monthly donations to NSU and do her part in inspiring others at alumni functions. She is also considering making a legacy gift. 

“NSU is making such strides. If you take a step back—it’s just amazing.”

Tamara Baker, M.A. is one of more than 40 million Americans with student loan debt. As a college student, she was denied financial aid because of her father’s middle class income. However, with six other children to care for, her family could not afford to pay her tuition. Instead of letting her dreams go by the wayside, Baker sought scholarships and took on student loans to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree from St. Thomas University. Today, in a position she’s worked hard to earn at Nova Southeastern University, she’s doing what she can to lessen the financial strain for others.

NSU's Tamara Baker

“I don’t want anybody to be in the situation that I’m in. I don’t have any regrets because these loans got me to where I am, but that’s why it’s easy for me to give back and encourage others to do the same. I just tell them my story.” 

Baker, who works in NSU’s Financial Operations office, is a member of the advisory committee that created the Financial Operations Changing Lives Scholarship. While she believes that giving back is rewarding in itself, she also values the teamwork involved in fostering the scholarship. “When you can get a group of people with the same mindset to come together and give—well, that’s great.” She said that her team makes it easy to love working at NSU, crediting their commitment and hard work. 

While Baker doesn’t deal with students directly, she indirectly serves them in her role as associate manager in Contract and Grant Accounting, seeking out “free money” that may be available to them. It is important to her that students do their best in school and pursue scholarships. “We have to take care of the students by encouraging them and motivating them. We can’t forget about the purpose of a university—it’s where students come to receive an education. We’re here because of the students. We help them, they help us.”

A dose of competition can foster participation, as NSU’s Financial Operations office can attest. Three years ago, when Alyson Silva was looking for ways to raise her team’s participation in the annual staff giving campaign, an idea was born. Silva, vice president of finance and chief financial officer, divided her staff into teams and assigned captains. Then, she charged those captains with the challenge of educating and encouraging their co-workers to give back.

NSU Vice President of Finance and CFO Alyson Silva

To Silva’s delight, the plan worked—84 percent of the team members participated in the campaign.

“It’s very exciting for me to see the group pull together for the staff giving campaign. The team captains put forth a lot of effort to motivate their colleagues. They helped them understand where their contributions go and how they can help support students.”

Silva and her team created the NSU Financial Operations Changing Lives Scholarship to provide support in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. “We want to focus our giving in an area where we are uniquely aligned,” she said. 
The scholarship already has a few beneficiaries, and the thank you letters they have sent to the department have had a positive effect. “I share them with my group at the staff meetings and it really makes us feel like our gifts are impacting these students’ lives. It’s not just a name, it’s reality, and their letters help us see that,” Silva said.

While Silva understands that not everyone can afford to give a lot, she believes that “if everybody gave a little, they’d be surprised at how big an impact they can make together.”

For some people, education is one thing. For others, education is everything. Wayne Brown, Ph.D., is in the latter group. For nearly 20 years, Brown has worked in higher education at schools in San Francisco, Kansas, and New York. He is also the founder of the Center for Higher Education Chief Information Officer Studies, Inc., a non-profit organization designed to contribute to the education and development of the chief information officer position in higher education.

NSU's College of Engineering and Computing 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Wayne Brown, Ph.D. names scholarship in honor of his professor and dissertation advisor at NSU.

“Education changed my life. It not only created opportunity, it opened a world to me that otherwise would have been closed,” Brown said. Before entering civilian life, Brown was a member of the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Medical Service Corps, Education and Training, and Security Forces.

Brown’s passion and commitment to education has not gone unnoticed. In November 2017, he was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of NSU’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC). His professor and dissertation advisor at NSU, Gertrude (Trudy) Abramson, Ed.D., fondly remembers Brown’s first day.

“That was the beginning of a long, mutually beneficial academic friendship,” Abramson said. “Wayne’s commitment to his work as a doctoral candidate was exemplary. He is a role model for NSU alumni and for the entire higher education community.” 
In 2010, Brown and his wife, Teresa, established the Professor Trudy Abramson Endowed Scholarship to honor his professor. The fund awards a scholarship to students in the computing technology in education doctoral program. Earlier this year, the Brown’s pledged a second donation that will also go toward that fund.

“There is no other feeling like knowing you have helped someone achieve a significant goal that is a crossroad in his or her life. It is a major reason why I loved working in higher education -- to help others achieve their goals. I'm grateful that we can give to others so that they might experience greater opportunities and, perhaps, change their lives”, Brown said.

To honor the couple’s commitment to the college, NSU is naming one of the computer labs in the Carl DeSantis building, Dr. Wayne and Teresa Brown Secure Lab.

Students of the arts, humanities, and social sciences are often troubled by the talk of those who don’t understand the value of their degrees and the career opportunities they open up. Andrea Shaw Nevins, Ph.D., who chairs the Department of History and Political Science at NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, wants to change that. She and her colleagues are helping students “see the world differently” by offering them new experiences outside of the classroom. 

Andrea Shaw Nevins, Ph.D., Department of History and Political Science chair at NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

The Department of History and Political Science Student Scholar Fund will provide financial support to undergraduate and graduate students in the department for professional conference presentations, academic publications, research, and other scholarly student initiatives. “We believe that our undergraduate and graduate students can really benefit by becoming acquainted with the larger academic arena related to their discipline,” said Nevins. The fund has already sent freshman David Rocha to Washington, D.C., to present a paper at the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society National Student Research Conference. 

“We want students to walk away with new, meaningful and insightful perceptions of themselves and the world around them. This fund is helping to make that happen.”
For Nevins, who grew up in Jamaica, there’s a real joy in being able to teach students about the Caribbean and African Diaspora. “Helping them understand the history of the region through literature and sometimes film– often for the first time in an academic context– is really meaningful.” 

The fund has existed since 2016. Nevins hopes that it will grow enough to provide 10 to 20 awards per year. In order to meet this goal, she’s working with her colleagues to come up with ideas that will help encourage giving.

When visionary real estate developer and Broward County business leader Terry Stiles passed away on September 11, 2017, friends and colleagues sought a way to honor his legacy. They developed a campaign with a goal to raise $2 million to ensure that the master’s degree in real estate development would forever bear his name. In just three months, they surpassed their goal.

South Florida real estate developer Terry Stiles

Gifts toward naming the Terry Stiles School of Real Estate Development came from more than 100 donors, their donations ranging from $20 to $250,000. Longtime friend and business partner Steven J. Halmos, C.E.O. of Halmos Holdings, Inc., and NSU Trustee, was not surprised. “The fact that more than 2,000 people attended Terry’s memorial service evidences the respect and affection people from all walks of life have for Terry.

“He wasn't simply a good guy. He was also an icon. His fingerprints are all over our community. Little wonder that, in just three months, more than $2 million poured in from the family members, friends, and colleagues whose lives Terry touched. Terry would probably be surprised by all the fuss being made over him, but I think he's probably looking down and smiling,” Halmos said.

Stiles was passionate about creating a first-class real estate Master's program at NSU, added Harry Posin, president of Label & Company Developments, Inc. and an advisory board member for NSU's real estate development school. 

"The program simply would not exist without Terry's determination and generosity," Posin said. "It provides the next generation of real estate professionals the education, relationships and resources to be the future leaders in our industry. I believe the most appropriate way to honor his career is The Terry Stiles School of Real Estate Development along with the endowment fund that will create scholarships for worthy students."

When Kelly Henson-Evertz, D.N.P., first became a nursing student an instructor told her that she would need to quit her job if she wanted to succeed in the program. Although her initial reaction was panic, Henson-Evertz persisted; she continued working and going to school. The reality was, she had no other option. Her family could not afford to help, and she wasn't willing to give up her education and her dream of becoming a nurse.

NSU's Kelly Henson-Evertz, D.N.P. achieved her dream of becoming a nurse and now helps others do the same.

Now, an assistant professor at NSU’s Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing, Henson-Evertz wants to make sure students don’t face the same financial struggles she did in order to earn their degree. “It would have been great to receive scholarships along the way. I always ask my students, ‘Have you been on a scholarship site? Have you looked?’ I tell them they need to be writing letters and applying for these scholarships. It’s free money!”

Henson-Evertz created the Vincenzo Joseph Henson-LoIacono Memorial Changing Lives Scholarship in memory of her adopted brother Vinny, who suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. She credits him as the reason she became a nurse. “I would do anything for my brother. In taking care of him, I realized that I wanted to help people be the best they could be.” The scholarship provides support for entry level nursing students.

Since establishing the scholarship, Henson-Evertz has met with some of its recipients and shared her brother’s story with them. This interaction has been impactful for her and the students.

“I believe in teaching people how to fish—not fishing for them. If you give people opportunities, they will rise to the occasion. They will succeed and become independent. Education gives you a better quality of life.” Her positive beliefs come from her parents, whom she describes as “stellar models of what it means to be a good human being.” Both were firm believers in education and giving back to the community.

Additionally, her mother established the Edward P. and Juanita J. Henson Changing Lives Scholarship, named for herself and her late husband.

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and the Patel Family Foundation broke ground Wednesday, March 7 on the new 325,000-square-foot Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater, Fla. When construction is complete, it will replace NSU’s existing Tampa Campus and its programs, and will include a new site for the university’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine. Located at 3400 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater, it is one of NSU’s eight regional campuses.

NSU's Robert Preziosi, D.P.A.

In January, the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) approved a class of 150 students to begin studying at the Clearwater site in the summer of 2019, when the new facility is slated to open. NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine site in Fort Lauderdale will continue to enroll a class of 230 students annually. With a total of 380 students enrolled each year between the two sites, NSU will have an even greater impact on the future of health care statewide, nationally and globally.

The expansion of NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and the construction of the new Tampa Bay Regional Campus are being realized through a commitment from the Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel, announced in September 2017. It is comprised of a $50 million gift and an additional $150 million investment in real estate and facilities, which includes a medical education complex. In addition, undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs will continue to be offered in numerous medical and non-medical fields at the Tampa Bay Regional Campus.

“Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Kiran C. Patel and Dr. Pallavi Patel and their dedication to life sciences, we are pleased for NSU to be moving forward with construction of this beautiful Tampa Bay Regional Campus,” said NSU President Dr. George L. Hanbury. “This is a monumental opportunity for the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine to expand, bridging the gap in demand for top quality medical care. At the same time, NSU will be providing a world-class graduate and professional education opportunities in a state-of-the-art facility for our current and future students ranging from health care and business to education and psychology.”

“I feel it is more important than ever to advance the current state of health care,” said Dr. Kiran C. Patel. “It is rare for someone to have the opportunity to impact the world in this way, and, as an immigrant, I am honored to make a difference in people’s lives around the world.”

“I believe that NSU is the future of multi-disciplinary medical education,” Dr. Patel continued. “Together, we will be able to capitalize on an opportunity that will be beneficial to millions of human lives–many right here in Florida and so many others around the globe.”

NSU has established agreements with HCA West Florida Division and the Florida Hospital System for both clinical rotations and residency opportunities in the Tampa area, according to Elaine Wallace, D.O. dean of NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine.

NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine is part of the university’s Health Professions Division, which also includes the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, as well as the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (M.D.) and the Colleges of Pharmacy, Dental Medicine, Optometry, Nursing and Medical Sciences.

“Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife, Pallavi, have always believed that education is important and that access to health care should be provided,” said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos. “We are honored that they have chosen to bring this beautiful new campus to Clearwater where it will impact thousands of students, future doctors, and patients now and for many years to come.”

To learn more about Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel’s Impact at Nova Southeastern University and to find photos for media use, click HERE.

Interviews with Dr. Kiran Patel, NSU President Dr. George Hanbury and Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos will be available prior to the official groundbreaking event onsite at 9:30 a.m. Contact Marla Oxenhandler at (954) 770-9204 or by email at to arrange an interview.

Sample media coverage:

The path for Andrea Darlow, M.B.A., to encourage philanthropy began with her father, a Miami-based attorney, whose practice was focused on estate and tax planning. Darlow remembers that many of his clients became his lifelong friends and confidantes. A philanthropic man himself, he instilled those values in his daughter and, most likely, in his clients.

NSU's Senior Director for Legacy Giving Andrea Darlow

Her career path led to the wealth management area of the banking industry as a trust officer. “I would work with wealthy families, their foundations, individuals, and when we discussed their estate plans, insurance, and things of that nature, I would ask them what their philanthropic goals were,” she said. “These were people who could make a difference in the world.”

She eventually became the director for Funds & Foundations for the Greater Miami Jewish Foundation, where she worked with donors on creating customized, planned giving opportunities. As the director of development for the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education, she developed its first endowment program and a designated giving program.

Other positions followed, including executive director of the National Council of Jewish Women, Miami section, and the first chapter director of the South Florida Office of the Israel Cancer Research Fund. What each position had in common was creating and maintaining relationships with donors.

While she’s dealt in many facets of philanthropy and giving, as NSU’s senior director of development for Legacy Gifts Darlow has found the perfect fit. “Every single person can leave a legacy, whether you’re 25, 35, or 105,” she said.

Darlow has earmarked a legacy gift to NSU “to set an example,” she said. She wants her legacy to benefit NSU University School students who take advantage of enrichment activities at the AutoNation Center for the Arts.

“My job as director of development of Legacy Gifts is simple. I help people realize their philanthropic goals and dreams,” Darlow said.

When it comes to business, Robert Preziosi, D.P.A., isn’t one to follow the line. In fact, he doesn’t encourage anyone else to do so, either. He believes that the secret to success lies in unlocking creativity. And for nearly 40 years, that’s exactly what he’s been helping students do at Nova Southeastern University. 

NSU's Robert Preziosi, D.P.A.

“’That’s the way it’s always been done’ is not a worthwhile explanation– not by any stretch of the imagination,” Preziosi said. His innovative ideas have helped shape courses and programs at NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, including its undergraduate and graduate leadership programs.

“I’ve defined leadership as any action anybody takes that helps somebody accomplish something. It’s more than organizational charts and square boxes that put you at the top. If you help somebody get something done, you’re a leader.” By his own definition, Preziosi is a leader, having helped thousands of students obtain the necessary skills to achieve their career dreams. 

Although he has spent most of his years at NSU teaching graduate students, Preziosi created the Preziosi Family Changing Lives Scholarship for undergraduate business students, stating that he believes their “bright, cheery, and optimistic attitudes” should be rewarded. “We should show them how valuable that is, and reinforce it by offering them scholarship money.” 

Preziosi looks forward to the annual luncheon for benefactors and recipients of Changing Lives Scholarships. “I’ve met a few students who’ve received the scholarship and they’ve shared how valuable and meaningful it was for them. It gave them the opportunity to be successful. These scholarships may not always offer a whole lot of money, but they help. And I really believe in helping other people become successful.” 

While Preziosi’s plan is to retire from teaching, he hopes to continue to work with alumni, encouraging them to form connections to, have pride in, and give back to the college.

Robert Speth, Ph.D., is a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at NSU who is internationally recognized for his work as biomedical researcher. He and his wife, Janet, are supporters of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) research. Their son, Tim, who was diagnosed with DMD at 18 months, passed away from the disease at the age of 20. 

NSU professor of pharmaceutical sciences Robert Speth, Ph.D. and his wife Janet

While Speth’s current research focuses on how the brain regulates the cardiovascular system to gain knowledge that can help prevent cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of Americans, he is working with a researcher in Iowa studying Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, for whom his expertise on the brain angiotensin system may provide important clues into the mechanisms of this disease. Speth’s research team is also pursuing novel mechanisms of the angiotensin system including its association with lung, colorectal and breast cancer. Speth is also investigating neurodegenerative diseases, with a special interest in prion diseases, of which “Mad Cow Disease” is the most notorious representative.

Creating research opportunities for NSU students is of the utmost importance to Speth. “As much as I do science because I want to contribute new knowledge, the greatest rewards I have received as a researcher have been to witness the successes of the students that I have mentored,’’ Speth said. “The pleasure of knowing that I helped provide an additional perspective on life by learning what it’s like to work in a research lab never grows old. I hope to continue to provide students this training opportunity.”

Janet Speth has hopes, too. “In helping students with their careers, we’re also supporting research that may help find a cure for muscular dystrophy and other diseases. “Those are personal issues for us,” she pointed out.

Speth’s favorite country song is Clay Walker’s The Chain of Love. The lyrics are his motivation. “You don’t owe me a thing; I’ve been there too. Someone once helped me out just the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here’s what you do. Don’t let the chain of love end with you.”

Speth said the song underscores what he learned from his mentor Henry I. (Hank) Yamamura, Ph.D., when Speth was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Pharmacology at University of Arizona, Tucson.

 “I credit 95 percent of my success as a biomedical researcher to him. He made a lifelong commitment to me, and his spirit continues to be my greatest inspiration. What matters is keeping alive what Hank showed me, and I instill that in my students to continue the chain of love,” Speth said.

Jamie Mayersohn and her husband, Joel Mayersohn are longtime supporters and legacy donors to the NSU Mailman Segal Center for Human Development (MSC). Helping children, especially those most vulnerable, has always been at the core of their charitable work. 

NSU's Jamie Mayersohn, director of operations, Mailman Segal Center for Human Development

Upon moving to Florida 20 years ago, Joel Mayersohn served on the board of the MSC Baudhuin School, a preschool for children with autism spectrum disorders. Although she never intended to work there when volunteering and being hired as a consultant by Dean Roni Leiderman, Jamie Mayersohn has been with MSC full time for the past 10 years.

“Our kids have been very fortunate,” said Joel Mayersohn. “They haven’t been impacted with issues such as autism, and we’ve been able to give them a lot of things that other children don’t have. We see the ability in our lives to help others, especially children.” Added Jamie Mayersohn, “MSC recognizes that it’s not just that child or even that family, but us as a society. We all benefit when our weakest or most vulnerable are helped.”

“MSC embodies all of the core values of the university and the things that we care about—direct service programs to children, research, community outreach, and respect for diversity.”

The couple said they learned the importance of charity and community building from their parents and have proudly passed that legacy on to their children. 

“We’ve been very fortunate to have the ability to make some difference in people’s lives and some impact on the community,” said Joel Mayersohn. “We were both raised with an understanding that it’s just what you do, in whatever capacity you have. It is the very core of who we are, who we surround ourselves with, how we would like our children to be, and how they are now that they are adults.”

When Nick Fisher was growing into adulthood, it wasn’t certain if he would someday find a job. While being employed is a fact of life for most people, those on the autism spectrum recognize it as a rare opportunity. Fortunately for Fisher, he was given a chance at Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (NSU CARD) housed within the Department of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP). Fisher now works three days a week, assisting with general office duties and always bringing his A-game to everything he does. 

NSU's Wren Newman, Ph.D. helps ensure the memory and work of Dr. Robin Parker lives on

According to Wren Newman, Chair of the SLP Department, this would not have been possible without Dr. Robin Parker, who worked with Nick in the SLP clinic beginning when Nick was just two years old. Parker lost her life to pancreatic cancer in 2014.

“The thing I saw Robin do best was give families hope,” said Newman. “But it wasn't just hope. It was also a lot of hard work, dedication, and confidence that change could be made. I truly believe that her manner of involvement with the children and their families helped the children move forward.” 

To honor Parker’s memory and continue her work, Robin’s family, former patients and their families, along with students, colleagues, and friends came together to form the Robin Shari Parker HAPPI (Helping Autistic and Pancreatic Patients Internationally) Foundation. The goal of the foundation is twofold: to support education and research for those affected by autism and to assist individuals and their families impacted by pancreatic cancer.

One of HAPPI’s top funding priorities is the Robin Shari Parker Endowed Speech-Language Pathology Fund, which awards scholarships to graduate students in the Speech-Language Pathology program at NSU. The first scholarship was awarded to Lauren Lagunovich, NSU SLP graduate student. Lauren will graduate in August and will continue her work in the area of autism. 

“Robin just exemplified what all speech pathologists should [set] as a goal,” Newman said. “Within our faculty, we keep her memory close whenever we teach our students or counsel and treat families.”

A few years ago, Aarika Camp, Ph.D., was on a mission to find the perfect Christmas gift for her brother. She knew that it needed to be something special. After all, at 24, this man had sacrificed so much to raise her after their mother died when Camp was only 16.

NSU's Aarika Camp honors her brother and her mother through her Changing Lives Scholarship at NSU

When the idea struck her, it became obvious. What better gift for someone who had changed her life than one that would help change the lives of others, too?

To honor her brother and the memory of her mother, Camp created the Geraldine & Cecil Stodghill Changing Lives Scholarship. The scholarship supports undergraduate students at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Camp said she chose the college because of her personal connections–she is a professor at the college’s M.S. in College Student Affairs program, and her undergraduate degree in women’s literature also falls within the scope of the college.

As associate dean of student services at NSU, Camp interacts with students on a daily basis. “What I love about working with NSU students is that I get to help them forge their own identities. I try my best to keep them motivated and focused on graduating and engaging with the university.” She stresses the importance of a support system to help students have positive college experiences.

Camp believes it’s more than just students who benefit from being a part of the NSU community. “For me, creating a scholarship helped me realize how much pride I have in this institution. Although I’ve never attended NSU as a student, I still look at it as one of my alma maters. This is a great institution, and hopefully, I can inspire other faculty members to feel as proud of NSU as I do.”

Deborah Ann Mulligan, M.D., remembers a time when she and her three sisters shared all of their belongings to help her save money to pay for medical school. Her father, a disabled war veteran and son of Irish/German immigrants, had set clear educational expectations for his family. With her mother, a child of Italian immigrants, he worked and helped raise five children while still making time to attend school in the evenings. If he could do it, so could they.

NSU's Deborah Mulligan uses changing lives scholarship to change lives one dream at a time.

Mulligan’s story is relatable to many – a family travels to America to live the American Dream. Her tale includes a supportive cast of family members who worked together to make their dreams come true. Now she, and her four siblings (including a brother), all have advanced degrees. Among them are a doctor, a lawyer, a pediatric nurse practitioner, a major motion film editor, and a farm owner.

"Being a first-generation college graduate, I understand and appreciate the positive impact that earning a college degree can have on your life and the lives of your family members,” Mulligan said. That’s why she has created a Changing Lives Scholarship in the names of two of her daughters, both NSU graduates.

As a professor of pediatrics at Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mulligan finds joy in the dynamic exchanges that take place in her classroom. She also believes that it is important to support programs that create professional leaders.

“Being a donor is a way to give back to higher education with what I have so generously received, with the goal of sharing the benefits with others. The sustainability of our institution and the success of our students cannot be left to the determinants of external influences. Being part of a collective gift-giving effort makes it possible to reach even more people with the resources and experiences that will make a difference in their lives.”

A donor can name a Changing Lives Scholarship with a gift of $1,000 each year for five years. Please contact to find out more.

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is one step closer to fulfilling its vision to be the South Florida destination for health care education thanks to two new gifts. One will support NSU’s College of Allopathic Medicine, the other will support NSU’s College of Nursing. Combined, these gifts help the university achieve the $250 million goal for its Realizing Potential campaign three years ahead of schedule. Dr. Kiran C. Patel and Dr. Pallavi Patel Make Transformational Gift to Nova Southeastern University

The first gift – $25 million from the Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel Family Foundation, Inc. – will rename the NSU College of Allopathic Medicine to the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (M.D.) Their latest gift comes on the heels of their previous financial commitment of $200 million, comprised of a $50 million gift to rename NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and its College of Health Care Sciences, plus an additional $150 million in real estate investment to develop a new site for NSU’s Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater, Florida, which will provide an additional location for NSU’s osteopathic medicine program for that area.

“The cumulative generosity of the Patels’ contributions and all the other philanthropic gifts we have received since 2016 brought us very close to our $250 million goal,” said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury. “Then the Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Ronald Assaf, and his wife, Kathy, stepped up with their own gift and that put our Realizing Potential campaign over the top three years ahead of our 2020 target date.”

NSU Board of Trustees Chairman Ronald G. Assaf and his wife Kathy AssafThe Assaf’s gift will rename the NSU College of Nursing to the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing. The Realizing Potential campaign goal of $250 million is the first philanthropic campaign in the university’s 54-year history. It is also, by far, the largest philanthropic campaign of any sort in Broward County.

The Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (M.D.) and the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing are two of eight distinctive colleges in NSU’s Health Professions Division. The others are: NSU’s College of Dental Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, College of Optometry, College of Pharmacy, the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences. These colleges, many producing the state’s largest number of graduates in their specialty each year, offer more than 60 degrees and provide a myriad of opportunities for inter-professional interaction at the university.

“The Patels, the Assafs and many of our other supporters share our vision and core values to transform the way we educate our future leaders while simultaneously providing a variety of health care and other services to the community at large,” said Dr. Hanbury. “These generous gifts provide additional resources necessary to build an integrated university-driven health system here in Florida that has worldwide reach.

“NSU currently has an economic impact throughout Florida of $3.5 billion,” Dr. Hanbury said. “And with funded projects currently in the pipeline at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus and the Tampa Bay/Clearwater campus, it is expected that by 2020 our economic impact throughout Florida will exceed $5 billion.”



Realizing Potential Philanthropic Campaign

Celebration video played at NSU's Celebration of Excellence, including names of our Realizing Potential transformational donors.

The rousing success and early completion of NSU’s $250 million philanthropic campaign reflect high donor confidence in NSU’s ability to turn aspirations into reality. Thanks to strong donor support, NSU has been able to attract and empower renowned researchers and collaborators, as well as bright students who not only imagine a better world, but are motivated to work and make a difference.

The Realizing Potential campaign was the first ever undertaken in the history of NSU and the largest in Broward County. Of the $250 million for the Realizing Potential campaign, one third ($81 million) of the total gifts and pledges received were directed to the university’s endowment (with $45.5 million coming from the Patel Foundation’s gifts alone.)

The campaign generated more than $140.8 million for scholarships and other investments to benefit NSU’s students throughout its nine campuses and online community. Another $50.5 million is earmarked for faculty and research, and $61.2 million to 21st century initiatives.

In the past two years, NSU celebrated the grand openings of a Center for Collaborative Research, the NSU AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research, a new regional campus in Puerto Rico, the Noel P. Brown Sports Center expansion at NSU University School (a JK-Grade 12 college preparatory school and the naming of the Rick Case Arena in the Don Taft University Center. In addition to introducing the new Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine, the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences and a new site in the Tampa/Clearwater Florida area, NSU also created programs to stimulate entrepreneurship, engineering, and experiential learning. The campaign also included the naming of the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center building on NSU’s ocean campus and the naming of the Huizenga Sales Institute, located within the Carl DeSantis Building on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus.

Early hallmarks of the campaign’s start in 2008 included adding NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale to NSU’s expanded creative campus and providing a home for Special Olympics Broward County.

Patel Gift News Page | NSU MD | NSU Nursing

Patel Gift News Page | NSU announces a new $25 miDr. Kiran C. Patel and Dr. Pallavi Patel Make Transformational Gift to Nova Southeastern Universityllion gift from the Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel Family Foundation, Inc. that renames the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine and provides scholarships for medical students needing financial support to attend medical school.

Upon receiving preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in October 2017, the college began recruiting students for what is now the eighth M.D. program in Florida and one of only 149 in the United States. The college’s charter class of 50 M.D. candidates will matriculate in August 2018.

“This gift will help attract the best and brightest medical students who have the potential to develop as physician leaders and will elevate NSU’s reputation as a top-tier research university,” said Johannes W. Vieweg, M.D., FACS, founding dean of the college. “Our medical school is built on a partnership model and we are pleased to join forces with the Patels to transform the delivery of health care in our community and beyond. This will further our mission of advancing human health through innovation in medical education, research, patient care and community engagement.

The Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (M.D.) will serve as an integral part of a 200 bed teaching and research hospital currently being constructed by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) East Florida. The plan includes specialized medical facilities and hospitality services in close proximity to the university’s classrooms and its $100 million, 215,000-square-foot Center for Collaborative Research – all within one complex on the university’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus.

The new college’s educational program will be taught in an interdisciplinary fashion in conjunction with the other colleges in NSU’s Health Professions Division, using existing renovated space to accommodate the new M.D. student class and the college’s hybrid case- and problem-based learning curriculum. To meet demands in all of its medical, health care and life science programs as well as the new M.D. program, NSU is planning to build a 250,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art integrated medical education building to complement its health professions facilities and health care centers.

For additional information on NSUMD, please visit

Additional information on the Patel Family Foundation’s $225 million commitment to NSU, including FAQs, photos and biographical information can be found online at

Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel first met while studying medicine in Ahmedabad, India. After completing their studies and practicing medicine in Zambia for five years, the Patels moved to New York and earned their advanced specializations from Columbia University—he in cardiology, and she in pediatrics. In 1982, the couple relocated to Tampa with their three young children. Patients affectionately referred to them as Dr. K and Dr. P. Dr. K. went on to cofound a company that became the largest Medicaid provider in the state of Florida. Sought for his expertise in managed care, he also turned a fledgling HMO into a billion-dollar company, providing services to more than 450,000 members. In 2003, Dr. K sold the majority of his interest in that endeavor.

Dr. K. currently serves as the chairman of Visionary Medical Systems and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He also is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and American Association of Physicians from South East Asia. Dr. P. continues to practice medicine and operates five pediatric offices with the couple’s two daughters. Their son is a businessman.

The Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel Family Foundation focuses on bettering the world through health, education, and culture. The impact of their extraordinary generosity is evident across the globe, particularly in Florida, India, and Africa. While actively initiating projects, the Drs. Patel also respond in times of need. When a major earthquake devastated villages throughout Gujarat, India, killing thousands, collapsing buildings and homes, and leaving masses of crippled people and orphaned children, Dr. K took action. He united the Tampa Bay community and the American Association of hysicians of Indian Origin (which he was a member of) and led an effort that rehabilitated villagers’ homes, constructed an orphanage and model school, and created four modern hospitals. More recently, the Patels helped NSU to deliver emergency supplies to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. This occurred soon after the public announcement of the Patel’s $50-million gift and $150-million real estate and facility investment to the university.

We proudly honor Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel with the President’s Award for Excellence in Community Service.

In recognition of long-time donors, NSU will rename the nursing college to the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing. Mr. Assaf is chairman of NSU’s Board of Trustees and he and Kathy have donated more than $5 million to NSU.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel and Dr. Pallavi Patel Make Transformational Gift to Nova Southeastern University

Their latest gift has also enabled NSU to surpass its Realizing Potential campaign goal of $250 million that was originally set for completion at the end of 2020.

“We were motivated to support a program that will impact so many people throughout Florida and improve their well-being,” said Mr. Assaf. “Kathy and I have been involved with NSU for many years and appreciate the value this university brings to our communities. We hope our commitment inspires others to join us in supporting NSU.”

The Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing offers B.S.N., M.S.N. and doctoral programs at NSU campuses in Fort Lauderdale/Davie, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Myers or Tampa. The unique clinical training provided in each of these programs gives NSU nursing graduates a definite advantage in the clinical workplace.

“As the largest educator of B.S.N. nurses in Florida, this commitment will enable the NSU Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing to continue addressing the growing need for nurses in all health care settings,” said Marcella Rutherford, Ph.D., M.S.N., R.N., dean of the college. “At all levels, we are preparing our nursing graduates to function effectively in the changing health system and to deliver high-quality, cost effective and patient-focused care.”

For more information on the college, please visit

Speech Delivered January 27, 2018

My name is Alex Lopez and I am a senior, studying Marketing Management in the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

NSU SGA President Alex Lopez at Celebration of Excellence

Just three short years ago, I remember touring NSU and seeing this huge tent on the university lawn with no idea of what it was.

I never could have imagined that one day, I would be given the opportunity to speak at an event like this, and finally get to say that I was inside THE white tent.

Being the youngest of four children, each of my siblings had vastly different collegiate experiences, so I could never envision what my time at NSU would look like.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect as I began my journey as a Shark three years ago.

Looking back at my journey here at NSU, I have truly been given amazing opportunities like no other.

When talking about NSU, I often talk about the “type” of student that attends this institution.

This university does a phenomenal job at recruiting hardworking, go-getter students, who not only care about helping others, but also seek to better one another’s collegiate experience. 

This university instills grit in its students from the first day they walk on campus.

Grit is defined as firmness of the mind or spirit, an unyielding courage in the face of hardship or adversity.

My fellow peers are some of the most determined people that I know.

From their faculty-mentored research to the community service they partake in and their athletic endeavors, each student in this institution has a passion for what they do, inside and outside of the classroom.

It seems as if the passion and unyielding dedication to bettering the university atmosphere rubs off on you.

I believe this drive is deeply rooted within our core value of community.

At NSU, students, faculty, staff, and alumni share a common identity and purpose through their engagement with the outside community. 

Something that I have discovered when reflecting on my time at NSU has been my own personal engagement.

Early on in my freshman year, I became involved with the Undergraduate Student Government Association as a Freshman Senator.

This allowed me the opportunity to make impactful changes that tangibly bettered the collegiate experience of those around me.

By joining the undergraduate SGA, I truly found that although I can do things for NSU, NSU can do much, much more for me.

Learning this opened Pandora’s box, because this institution has truly given me more than I’ve ever asked for from it, which has been capped off with my role as the Undergraduate Student Government President.

I came into this university with a mindset to get involved and make a difference.

I had no idea what that difference would be or how I would make it, but my grit and my passion grew stronger every day as a shark.

I began diversifying my involvements.

I became a Student Site Leader, I applied to be a Resident Assistant, I decided to compete in business case competitions hosted by the Office of Career Development, and I set out to become a member of President’s 64.

All of these diverse opportunities that NSU gave me stuck true to its core value of being student-centered.

The University prides itself on the fact that students are the focus of institutional priorities, resource decisions and planning.

Advocating for student academic success and professional development are the main goals of NSU, which has been incredibly apparent to me during my time here. 

My favorite quote is, by Milton Berle, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” 

During my time at NSU, I have not had to build a door, rather the university has provided me with an abundance of opportunities, allowing me to grow as an individual.

NSU has given me the chance to lead three service trips throughout my time as a Student Site Leader.

I have never felt prouder to be a shark than when I was hand-mixing cement to help better primary school infrastructures during my time in Negril, Jamaica.

NSU SGA President Alex Lopez at Celebration of Excellence

During my time in Asheville, North Carolina, distributing fresh produce in 30-degree weather to families who do not have access to healthy food options, I have never felt more humbled.

Presenting a marketing plan to the Regional Manager of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and winning a scholarship for doing so, made me realize how transferable the lessons learned in the classroom can be to my future career goals.

Frankly, I am always #blessed to be a shark. 

Without your incredible generosity, my fellow students of today and tomorrow would not have the plethora of resources and opportunities that are available to us today.

From the cutting-edge research taking place on our campus, to the amazing learning opportunities that will continue to be provided with the construction of the teaching hospital, the academic merits that this campus encompasses are countless.

Outside of the classroom, students are provided with an enriched learning experience like no other.

The leadership development, civic engagement opportunities, and collegiate atmosphere at NSU have allowed me to flourish into the person I am today; moreover, the person I will become tomorrow.

The impact your benevolence has had on my life and my peers’ is infinite, and for that I thank you.

2018 Celebration of Excellence attendees lauded six donors whose cumulative giving to Nova Southeastern University exceeds $1 million. In recognition of their generosity, NSU President Dr. George Hanbury together with NSU Trustee and Realizing Potential Campaign Leadership Cabinet Chair Kenny Tate presented the new Shark Circle members with a limited edition maquette replica of the specially commissioned Kent Ullberg mako shark statue located in front of the Don Taft University Center on NSU's Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus.

New Shark Circle Members

Mr. and Mrs. Walter (NSU Trustee) Banks, Sr.

NSU Trustee Mr. Walker Banks, Sr.

The Sansom Foundation, Mr. Frank M. Buscaglia

Mr. Frank M. Buscaglia of the Sansom Foundation

Mr. Michael Dezer (Not in attendance)

Dr. Kiran C. Patel

Dr. Kiran C. Patel receiving his NSU Shark Circle statue

Dr. Pallavi Patel
Dr. Pallavi Patel coming to stage for NSU's Shark Circle presentation

Dr. Pallavi Patel receiving her NSU Shark Circle statue

Mr. Martin R. (NSU Trustee) and Mrs. Gail S. Press 

NSU Trustee Mr. Martin R. and Mrs. Gail Press receiving their NSU Shark Circle statue

When the Realizing Potential campaign launched four months after Humberto Franquiz joined NSU, he found it easy to give through the Changing Lives Scholarship program.

NSU's Humberto Franquiz with the dean and students of NSU's College of Optometry, the designee for his Changing Lives Scholarship

“To me, it’s a privilege working here,” said Franquiz, director of finance for NSU’s Office of Facilities Management. “Giving back means helping the university that gave you an opportunity and helping a student earn their degree.”

Franquiz—shown above in center, with David Loshin, dean, and students of the College of Optometry— designated his Changing Lives Scholarship to that college because his daughter works in and loves the field. But if he didn’t give to optometry, Franquiz said, he would easily find another NSU area of interest to support. The amount is not the point, he added, but “you can give up a lot of things if you think about it. In my case, I like to bring my lunch.”

Sacrificing in order to give is not new to Franquiz. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 17 years old.

From the beginning of his service, he donated to the United Services Organizations. “My paycheck was $400 a month,” Franquiz said. “But we still gave.”

Numerous career paths are represented in his office, which is responsible for all NSU construction, maintenance, and safety. In addition to experience, student interns get a behind-the-scenes look “at what we do to support them,” Franquiz said. “And a number of safety officers are students.”

When Liza Sumulong, M.B.A., was searching for a university at which to obtain her master’s degree, she did due diligence, visiting at least three schools. But there was something that stood out about Nova Southeastern University.

NSU's Liza Sumulong M.B.A., director of enrollment services, H. Wayne Huizenga college of Business and Entrepreneurship

“I wanted to be at a place where I felt like I was at home,” said Sumulong. “When I arrived here, that was it. I knew immediately this was where I wanted to be.”

Soon after she enrolled at the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Sumulong began working with the college in the marketing department. She finished her degree and was hired full time as an assistant in the recruitment and marketing office, then as a recruiter.

“I loved talking to students about the school, and telling them about my experience,” said Sumulong, who was “out in the field” as a recruiter for the college for seven years. In 2008, she became associate director of corporate development. Then, in 2011, Sumulong became director of enrollment services.

“Every day, I feel like I’m helping students change their lives, helping them find a program and find their way, personally and professionally, just like the school helped me,” she said.

It was an invitation to a Legacy Donors luncheon that made her aware of a way she could make an even larger contribution to a college that had become such an important part of her life. “I have worked here for 21 years, and this treasure of a university has taken care of me for so long. I need to help take care of it,” Sumulong said.

What initially attracted her to NSU hasn’t changed. “It’s just gotten better,” she said. “[NSU] offers the big business school education, but it has a small business school feel. My contribution, both as an employee and now with my planned gift, will assist in making sure that legacy is maintained.”

Steven Harvey, M.B.A., began his relationship with NSU when he was recruited to play baseball for the university. “I had so much fun as an undergraduate, there was no question I would continue my education here,” he said. 

NSU's Steven Harvey, M.B.A., assistant dean of operations and administration, H. Wayne Huizenga college of Business and Entrepreneurship

“While my intention was to get my graduate degree, leave the university, and take that education out into the corporate world, it was such a dynamic time for the business college, I decided to stay,” Harvey said. His career began in the college’s marketing department, while pursuing his M.B.A.

To say it was the best decision he ever made is an understatement, according to Harvey. “As the business school grew, I was given a chance to grow along with it. I look at the past 25 years, and I don’t know where the time has gone,” he said. Today, Harvey serves as assistant dean of Operations and Administration at the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. He’s said that, if he has the choice, he’ll never leave. 

While Harvey always contributed financially to his alma mater, a luncheon hosted at the college opened his eyes to doing more. He recalled two graduates, one from the Huizenga College of Business and the other from the Shepard Broad College of Law, telling their reasons for giving to NSU.

“I thought to myself, ‘I’m a graduate, too, but I’ve received so much more—mentorships, a livelihood, and colleagues who are like family to me.’ It wasn’t until that day that I had this ‘aha’ moment,” he pointed out.

The idea of a legacy gift hit home. “There is no better place for me to begin my philanthropy than NSU, to show gratitude for embracing me from the very beginning, and for helping me create memories I’ll never forget. In this exchange, I am the fortunate one,” Harvey declared.

To NSU Athletics Director Mike Mominey, helping student-athletes realize their potential means providing opportunities for success–in sports and in life.

NSU Athletic Director Mike Mominey

“In athletics, it’s almost the perfect analogy because that’s what we do,” Mominey said. “As a coach, you’re always looking to get the most of your student-athletes. The wins and losses are a product of the process. The process is getting the kids to be the best they can be. Then everything else falls into place.”
Mominey, and his wife Denise, have created a NSU legacy gift to benefit student-athletic scholarships, and they want to provide opportunities to students who might not otherwise attend college.

“NSU has provided my family and me a good life and an opportunity that I didn’t even know could be there when I arrived,” said Mominey, who has led NSU’s athletics program for 15 years and coached its first championship baseball team for 10 seasons, starting in August 2001. Mominey was named NSU’s Director of Athletics in January 2002, a role he served while continuing to coach the baseball team through the 2010 season.

“The opportunity at NSU helped me find my way,” he said. “It helped me expand my horizons of what I wanted to do. Someone in this institution saw something in me that helped me realize my dream and pursue my passion of working with student-athletes. NSU has given a lot to me, so I want to give back.” 

Mominey has seen many student-athletes become the first members of their families to graduate from college. “If not for that scholarship, there may not have been an opportunity to pursue that college education. The impact of that scholarship and the impact of what we do on a daily basis is a forever thing,” he said. 
“To me, the basis for any program starts and ends with scholarships because that is your investment in people. Those are the kids who are going to be performing for you–whether it’s in the pool, on the field, or on the basketball court. The sustainability of those scholarships is going to be the bloodline to any program.” 

Under Mominey’s leadership, the athletics program has grown from 11 to 18 sports and from 150 to more than 370 student-athletes. The university has added seven intercollegiate athletic teams, including men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s cross country, women’s tennis, and women’s rowing. NSU teams have won eight NCAA National Championships and produced 16 individual NCAA national champions. Additionally, NSU athletic teams have also won 29 Sunshine State Conference titles under Mominey’s leadership.

Mominey played a role in starting the NSU Athletic Hall of Fame and the development of the Athletic Advisory Council, Student-Athlete Alumni Association, and the Shark Booster Club. The annual Scholarship Golf Classic has raised more than $6.5 million for an endowment fund to support athletic scholarships and other academic needs. 

“We need to stay focused on fulfilling the potential of these young men and women in all facets of their lives,” he said. “Hopefully, in the end, we can make a positive impact…one that sets them on their way to a good life.”

Mominey grew up in “blue-collar” northeast Ohio, outside Cleveland. His mother worked in the high school cafeteria and his father was a firefighter at a chemical plant. His parents “found a way” to pay for parochial school for him and his brother, and they set an example for their children by volunteering at church and fundraising events. 

“Philanthropy has always been a big part of my life. I think my parents taught me that at an early age,” said Mominey, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and a Master of Science degree in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University in Miami.

Video Link Adrienne enjoyed the benefits of the flexible M.B.A. program. As a working mother pursuing her graduate degree, she found NSU to be the perfect fit to allow her to balance it all. Watch her story to learn how she leveraged NSU’s corporate partnership with Ultimate Software.

At Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, we shape our graduates for professions in business, consulting, leadership, and many more. Students in the College of Business have more than 100 corporate partnerships with local businesses to provide internships, on-site corporate visits, and unparalleled networking opportunities. This resource, along with others, keep the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship among the top in the country. Give today to continue supporting the College of Business and their future of educating the future leaders of tomorrow!

Ralph V. Rogers, Ph.D., is provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Nova Southeastern University. He and Maggie have been married since 2004. The journey of his career and life, he said, is like a lyric from a Grateful Dead song, What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been. Quote: “Life is never dull.”

NSU's Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph V. Rogers, Ph.D.

He didn’t start out with an eye on an academic career. Rogers admits that he didn’t even have a “planned trajectory.” He began his career as an engineer working for the Navy at its test and evaluation center on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. 

While working long hours, Rogers decided he’d had enough. “One day, I quit my job, got in a van and headed to the Florida Keys,” he said. When he decided to get back to civilization, he returned to the institution where he received his undergraduate degree, Ohio University, to take courses that were “as far away from engineering as possible—English lit, philosophy,” he said. Rogers worked in the school’s engineering lab and wrote proposals for the Federal Aviation Administration. 

A nearby community college was looking for an electronics instructor. That became Rogers’ introduction to the academic world.

Ralph Rogers said his decision to come to NSU in 2013 was the closest thing to a plan he has ever had. “I knew I had one move left. I was looking for a place that wasn’t afraid to take things on. What I wanted to be part of was a university that was willing to do things differently,’’ he said. “At this stage in my life, I was purposefully looking for a special kind of place, and I think I’ve found it here.”

His commitment to the universities where he has worked, however, goes beyond the academic walls. “What a university brings to a community is more than just education,’’ he said. “The university contributes to the total quality of life of the place in which it exists. What it means to us to give to NSU is, in essence, giving to the community.”

As dean of NSU’s Farquhar Honors College, Don Rosenblum, Ph.D. empowers high-achieving, talented, and motivated students who enroll in unique honors courses, participate in substantive research, and engage in an array of faculty-led workshops and other opportunities. The Farquhar Honors College was established by NSU in 2015 to elevate the honors program to a multidisciplinary college.

NSU's Farquhar Honors College Dean Don Rosenblum

“The Honors College is a reflection of the vision of the university and its leadership,” Rosenblum said. “It draws the best and brightest students to NSU, and creates a community among creative and focused students and faculty members.”

Part of the mission of the Honors College is to foster an inclusive, multidisciplinary environment focusing on academic and cultural enrichment. In keeping with that, Rosenblum has made a personal pledge to help students by providing scholarships and opportunities for travel and exploration. “I am inviting donors to join me in a commitment to fund supplemental experiences for students who may need financial support,” Rosenblum said. 

This support would help students cover the costs of attending scholarly meetings and present research. In addition, “we have many honors students who have never been out of this country,” Rosenblum said. “For these students and future leaders, it is important to experience diverse cultures and viewpoints through travel study, which is often hosted by NSU faculty members. The more these young adults go out into the world, the smaller the world becomes.”

Even a small award can help, Rosenblum said. “A few hundred dollars can make a big difference. The ultimate goal is for these experiences to enrich the students so that they can return and make a difference in their community."

J. Preston Jones, D.B.A., has been a part of the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University for 25 years. He believes it has been an honorable distinction to be part of the growth of something remarkable, and feels a responsibility to ensure its success.

NSU's H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship Dean J. Preston Jones

After serving as interim dean since March 2012, Jones was appointed dean of the college in 2013. He had previously held positions as executive associate dean, associate dean for academic affairs, executive director of master’s degree programs, assistant professor of management, director of M.B.A. programs, faculty coordinator for graduate programs, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, and recruiter.

An entrepreneur and businessman before devoting his career to academia, Jones had served in various engineering and management positions for Johnson & Johnson for 16 years. In 1987, he came to South Florida to complete his M.B.A. at what was then called Nova University. While venturing out on his own as an entrepreneur in electrical distribution, he taught as an adjunct faculty member at Nova.

“I closed my business in 1992 and decided I wasn’t going back into manufacturing, so what did I want to do with the rest of my life?” he said. “Well, I loved teaching, I loved writing and consulting, and I loved Florida.”

He was hired as a recruiter for the school, which provided him with the chance to pursue his doctorate. Jones said his heartfelt dedication to the college is a testament to leaders who opened doors for him at NSU.

With strategies culled from his own experience and the time he has spent at NSU, he has a vision for the future of the business college. “I have been entrusted to take our college to the next level, and make sure that it continues to provide opportunity.

Speech Delivered November 14, 2017

It is an honor to be here this evening to address such a distinguished group of
champions for NSU.

NSU SGA President Alex Lopez at Celebration of Excellence

I received my doctorate in clinical medicine (immunology) at Oxford in a novel partnership between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Oxford and the Rhodes Trust in 2011. The following year, I earned a place in a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology and global health at UCSF in San Francisco which I completed in 2015.
I have been affiliated with NSU since October 2016, when I arrived to start a position as a postdoctoral associate at the new Cell Therapy Institute at the Center for Collaborative Research in the laboratory of Dr. Shannon Murray.

I first met Dr. Murray at the NIH, while she was postdoctoral associate and I was a graduate student at the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH. We worked in the same laboratory however on different projects and maintained a connection after we eventually left the NIH. I taught at a liberal arts college and mentoring program while revising my dissertation while Dr. Murray headed to France and then Florida for a position as a scientist. When Dr. Murray told me that she was starting her own laboratory at NSU, I was excited to apply for a role as a postdoctoral associate at NSU.

For those unfamiliar with what a postdoctoral associate, or as I’ll now refer to as ‘postdoc’ does, here’s a brief description.

A postdoc is a period of training after graduate study that is an apprenticeship to a faculty member. A postdoc completes research, publishes papers, and assists in grant writing and supervision of students and research assistants. A postdoc provides training invaluable for aspiring faculty members.
My postdoc at NSU provides me with the unique opportunity to participate in the building of a brand-new research institute. The CCR’s proximity to HPD allows me to interact in a meaningful way with health professionals who may be future collaborators. Moreover, collaborations between CTI faculty and researchers at Karolinska create unique ecosystem for training postdocs, so far five of us at different stages in our careers.

My most memorable experience so far was my trip to Stockholm, Sweden last month to learn techniques for use in studies on cancer immunotherapy in Dr. Andreas Lundvist’s laboratory at the Karolinska Institute. While I was there, I attended a symposium on cancer in the very same room where the Nobel Prizes in Medicine are announced!

My motivations for entering the field of science go beyond the bench. I am driven by a desire to bring the benefits of research to underserved communities. I am convinced that one way to achieve this mission is to mentor and inspire a new generation of researchers from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

For this reason, I am an proud mentor and patron of STEM and STEAM (A- for inclusion of the visual and written arts) initiatives in science education (for the biomedical sciences careers program at Harvard University and the inaugural Dr. Julia James STEM Scholars Program at Hobart and William Smith
Colleges. I plan to pursue a career in research, teaching and leadership in undergraduate STEM education.

I am grateful for my postdoc training at NSU and for the commitment to
providing invaluable research experience to students at every level. So, on behalf of the postdoc community at NSU – thank you for your dedication and support of our work at the CCR and the broader NSU community.

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Kiran C. Patel, NSU has been able to deliver over 2,500 lbs. of goods directly to the university's campus in Puerto Rico. Items provided via the transport of Dr. Patel’s plane included: water, batteries, tarps, flashlights, power packs, toiletries, t-shirts, crackers, canned goods, and paper towels. More than 100 cases of water were tracked down by
NSU Facilities Management officials who found them stuck at a warehouse unable to be delivered to the island.

Once onsite, NSU officials made contact with local companies and laborers to expedite  repairs and moisture extraction to NSU's facility. These face-to-face contacts will prove instrumental in expediting the opening of the building.

The local presence, made possible by Dr. Patel, also reduced original remediation start time estimates from three weeks to immediately. And it paved the way for NSU’s IT Department internet connection restoration.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel and Dr. Pallavi Patel Aid NSU in Puerto Rico Relief Efforts

“I can say with certainty that the impact of Dr. Patel’s kindness has been felt by hundreds on the island and will be felt by hundreds more by the end of the week,” said Jessica Brumley, NSU’s Vice President for Facilities Management, who went on the relief trips. “The support and love our Puerto Rican NSU community has felt from these missions is without measure. I, personally, am forever grateful for Dr. Patel’s generosity and humbled to have been part of these missions.”

Having just made a significant commitment to NSU via the Patel Family Foundation, resulting in the university naming two colleges in their honor – the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Healthcare Sciences, he was eager to help.

“Seeing what is happening in Puerto Rico, and knowing that NSU has a regional campus on the island, I knew I had to do something to help,” said Dr. Kiran C. Patel. “I’m part of the NSU family and they are hurting; as a physician, a husband, a father – as a person – how could I not help?”

As Drs. Hanbury and Patel talked they came up with the idea of flying much-needed supplies to the island to be distributed to NSU’s students, faculty and staff who are in desperate need. One of NSU’s regional campuses is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In roughly 36 hours, NSU officials worked to determine what essentials were needed, and then made arrangements for Dr. Patel to have his private jet fly to Fort Lauderdale so it could be loaded with those items and taken to the island. A second flight occurred on Sat. Sept. 30.

NSU employees load water and other relief items onto a plane graciously supplied by Dr. Kiran C. PatelSome of the supplies that made it to Puerto Rico thanks to the generosity of Dr. Kiran C. Patel to Nova Southeastern University (NSU)

Video Link | Dr. Kiran C. Patel says the "stars were aligned" when it comes to how quickly he decided to join forces with NSU President & CEO Dr. George Hanbury to advance healthcare and medical education in Florida, and far beyond. In a pre-announcement interview with NSU, Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel both share insight into their transformational gift of $50 million and $150 million real estate and facilities investment.

Patel Gift News Page | NSU announces the largest philanthropic gift in its history -- $50 Million Gift plus $150 Million Investment from Dr. Kiran C. Patel and Dr. Pallavi Patel Make Transformational Gift to Nova Southeastern UniversityTampa-area cardiologist Dr. Kiran C. Patel and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Pallavi Patel. The commitment will significantly expand NSU's programs in osteopathic medicine and health care sciences, and be used to develop a new 27-acre campus for NSU in Clearwater, Fla. The Patels are renowned in Florida for their philanthropy, community service and entrepreneurship.

The commitment from the Patel Family Foundation includes a $50 million gift and an additional $150 million real estate and facility investment in a future 325,000 square-foot medical education complex that will be part of NSU’s new Tampa Bay Regional Campus, in Clearwater. The campus will house a new site for NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as its existing programs in the Tampa area.

NSU's Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine at NSU's new Tampa Bay campus in Clearwater, FloridaTheir transformational commitment will advance health care in Florida and internationally, with a particular focus on multicultural and underserved communities. The goal is to put patients first and integrate medical and health care expertise.

“This gift and additional investment will enrich NSU’s ability to educate highly-qualified physicians and health care professionals who understand how the medical disciplines can and must work together. These future leaders will represent the cultural diversity of our region, our nation and our world so that they can better serve their patients and communities,” said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury.

Their $50 million gift, one of the seven-largest to any Florida university in history, catapults NSU to more than 84% of its goal to raise $250 million by 2020 for its Realizing Potential philanthropic campaign.

This commitment will support the university in several ways, including:

  • The naming of NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, including support for equipment and the hiring of additional faculty and staff in the Tampa Bay area, as well as an endowment to sustain the operation of the college’s new location in perpetuity. The new osteopathic medicine site will increase the number of NSU’s graduating D.O. physicians from 230 to approximately 380 per year.
  • The naming of NSU’s Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, including an endowed scholarship fund for students.
  • The former site of Clearwater Christian College has been acquired by the Patel Family Foundation and will be developed into a 27-acre, NSU Tampa Bay Regional Campus that will host a new osteopathic medicine site, as well as the existing programs offered by NSU in Tampa. Occupancy of all programs is expected to be complete in 2019. NSU’s current Tampa Campus includes several program offerings from the newly named Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and anesthesiologist assistant.

“This $200-million-commitment will make NSU the premiere leader in healthcare education on both the east and west coasts of Florida,” said Dr. Hanbury.

“I feel that it is more important than ever to advance the current state of health care,” said Dr. Kiran C. Patel. “It is rare for someone to have the opportunity to impact the world in this way, and, as an immigrant to the United States, I am particularly honored to be able to make a difference in people’s lives around the world. I believe that NSU is the future of multi-disciplinary medical education. Together, we will be able to capitalize on an opportunity that will be beneficial to millions of human lives, many right here in Florida and many others across the globe.”

“This partnership will benefit thousands of patients, students and doctors,” added Dr. Pallavi Patel. “Over the next 20 years, NSU will train thousands of new doctors and other health care professionals who will directly touch millions of lives, making a real difference.”

NSU is already the top provider of medical doctors and physician assistants in the state with 40% of its D.O. graduates electing to practice in Florida. Sixty percent of these Florida-based physicians practice and treat patients in medically underserved areas. This was a key factor in the Patels’ decision to support NSU’s osteopathic medicine and health care sciences colleges. Their goal is to be involved in the training and education of generations of physicians and other health care providers who will serve in areas with the greatest need across the country and worldwide.

As a result of the Patel Family Foundation’s generous commitment, beginning in fall of 2019, NSU has applied for a class of 150 osteopathic medicine (D.O.) students to be taught on Florida’s west coast at the new NSU Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater, while approximately 230 new osteopathic medicine students will continue to begin their studies each year at NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. This will significantly grow the number of qualified physicians entering the workforce each year from NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine.

NSU’s newly named Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences graduates more than 1,200 health care professionals each year, helping to fill a critical need in local communities nationwide.  The college offers 29 different programs such as physician assistant, anesthesiologist assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, speech-language pathology and audiology.

“This gift and financial commitment from our innovative and visionary donor-couple will allow NSU to help fill the growing need for physicians and health care professionals, particularly in underserved, multicultural and international communities,” said NSU Chancellor of the Health Professions Division and Interim Chief Operating Officer, Fred Lippman, R.Ph., Ed.D. “It will also help us continue to take a multi-disciplinary approach to advancing health care by enhancing integration of medical and health care education, research, practice and community leadership. That’s how NSU keeps ‘patients first’ and delivers better outcomes for families and communities.”

NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences are both part of the university’s Health Professions Division, comprised of seven health-related professional degree-granting colleges. NSU operates its Health Professions Division from its Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus as well as from several regional campuses located across Florida and in Puerto Rico. Currently, NSU is seeking accreditation for a new M.D. college and is planning the development of a teaching hospital and major medical center in partnership with HCA East Florida at its Fort Lauderdale/Davie location.

“We are honored to welcome Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel into our NSU family of philanthropists, partners and leaders who are passionate about the future of NSU, and are dedicated to fostering the health and wellness of communities here and worldwide,” said Dr. Hanbury.

The prestigious Batchelor Foundation awarded the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography $50,000 in matching funds to support scholarships for graduate students studying marine science. Any donation received to marine science would be matched dollar for dollar, doubling the benefit to our students!

Give today to help Nova Southeastern University continue being a leader in education, research and service to our communities. Giving has never been easier, simply text NSU to 41444 to make your gift from your mobile device, or visit


What is the connection between a stable of horses, an organic garden, and a jet engine? Donor ingenuity and NSU.

NSU Donor Connection - May 2017

The Massachusetts-based Quell Foundation CEO traveled to Florida to meet an NSU professor and her doctoral interns. After learning the benefits of NSU’s equine-assisted therapy, his foundation pledged $50,000 to fund scholarships. Why? To help fill the mental health field with graduates trained in innovative therapy techniques. Ms. Mary Short is keeping her friend’s memory alive through the laughter and curiosity of children. The Mary Jane Harlow Charitable Trust Playground and Organic Garden will bloom at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development. FNZ Funding Associates is fueling interest for students in three NSU initiatives. Demonstrations using the jet engine they donated benefit students in NSU’s Administration/Aviation classes, Aviation Summer Camp for high school students, and STEM programs.

Our Realizing Potential section spotlights these great gifts and more. Reading the myriad ways people are pursuing positive change through NSU is inspiring.

We also feature Divya Puri who recently spoke at NSU’s 1964 Society Luncheon. Her leadership and research experiences at NSU helped her land a pediatric dentistry residency in Connecticut. Kevin Dibert shares how childhood vacations helped shape his career and avid volunteerism. This NSU University School math teacher honors his parents through his work, service, and legacy giving.

Finally, learn about the campaign to support NSU’s student-veterans. Donors receive a very cool red, white, and blue Shark pin. The stars on this pin remind me how grateful we are for all the bright lights you represent in the pursuit of our mission and the lives of our students.

Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.

Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations

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NSU University School Kevin Dibert

Some of Kevin Dibert’s family trips started as typical vacations. A trip to Florida included spending a day at the beach, for example. But family members slept in disaster relief volunteer bunkers. And teen outings included stripping wet carpet from hurricane-damaged homes. The following year, the family returned to help rebuild.

"As a family, we would do all the fun tours. Other days, we worked with Habitat for Humanity, or at a soup kitchen,” Dibert said. “My parents wanted to show us different states and expose us to all the great things our country has to offer.” Doing so helped us realize that every destination offers chances to contribute, he added.

Dibert’s Florida trips inspired him to seek a position with NSU University School. He could earn a master’s degree in education at NSU. He could teach high school mathematics. And he could mentor members of service clubs like the STEM Club and WIND – World In Distress.

Dibert succeeded in teaching formulas and coaching math and service teams. Graduates say they find themselves tutoring college calculus classmates. They also express appreciation for learning ways to serve their community as teens.

Dibert rattles off student’s service ideas that span, in some cases, a decade. First and last names spring forth. He credits one alumnus for an annual Earth Day celebration.  Each year, students plant 200 Moringa seeds to supply trees for Haiti. He lauds two female students for using photo shoot proceeds to aid a school in the Philippines. A year-end locker cleanup two brothers started provides school essentials to children in Haiti and Jamaica. He displays pride for NSU promoting community service.  He revels in NSU University School’s commitment to help students propose, plan, and lead projects. But he is most grateful when alumni tell him they are still out there volunteering.

Math teacher and mentor Kevin Dibert when he was younger and volunteering alongside his Dad for Habitat for HumanityDibert shies from discussing his own efforts and achievements.  (He is a recipient of the NSU President’s Excellence in Community Engagement Award.) But his most recent gift honors his parents, too.

“Both of my parents passed away in the past few years,” Dibert explains. “A lot of their estate went to different charities. Habitat for Humanity, and the camp I attended were two. All the places where they volunteered received a part of their life savings. It’s important to see that while they were alive, they gave their time and commitment. Even though they’re now gone, they continue to support the ministries that they were passionate about.”

Dibert’s parents inspired him to craft legacy gifts of his own. One legacy gift benefits NSU University School.

Dibert says his gift is “unrestricted.” But he hopes it provides access to “life-changing experiences.”  Meaningful “extras” require funding by parents, alumni, and outside donors, he added. Examples include academic and arts-related competition teams.

“I’d love for every student to grow and realize their potential to improve the world,” Dibert said. “The neatest thing is that when I can no longer give in person, those options can persist.”

My name is Divya Puri, and I am graduating with a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree from NSU. The last leg of my academic journey is a pediatric dental residency. I doubt my parents ever thought their daughter would one day be able to say those words. My parents worked their entire lives, emigrated from India to Denmark and started a family in a foreign Scandinavian country. They raised my brother and me, and ensured that their children received the best education possible. At age 17, I graduated high school and moved from Denmark to the United States with dreams of becoming a dentist. After three years of college, I received a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and gained acceptance into NSU's College of Dental Medicine Program.

Divya Puri on research and leadership opportunities at NSU - Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine

NSU was my first-choice. I wanted a dental program that promoted extraordinary thinking, that prioritized student learning, and that would help me transform into the professional I aspired to become. Looking back over the past four years at all opportunities I’ve been afforded by this institution, I can honestly say that NSUs dental program was everything I had dreamed it would be and more. And while it would be impossible for me to convey in such a short time all of the ways in which NSU is creating a lasting legacy, I would like to take just a few moments to share some of the ways NSU has impacted my life for years to come.

NSU provides students with the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. There is something for every student here at NSU. Opportunities in leadership, community service, and research. For me, the opportunity to serve as Co-Director for Give Kids A Smile and to become President of the Pediatric Dental Club helped me solidify my career choice to specialize in pediatrics. It also helped build leadership skills applicable to whatever job I may find myself in.

The impact that programs like Give Kids A Smile has on this community is breathtaking. The event provides free dental care to all children. I will never forget waking up on those mornings to the excitement of over 500 bright faces waiting with their parents to be seen. In addition, to Give Kids a Smile, I was able to volunteer with the Colgate Van Screenings for Children, provide oral hygiene instructions at A Day For Children, and give free fluoride and sealants to the underserved here in Broward County.

Yet, NSU’s impact extends far beyond Broward and the borders of Florida. As a sophomore, I traveled to rural Jamaica and served hundreds of people every day, some of whom had never received dental care in their entire lives. With a keen interest in research, I connected with leaders in dental research and embarked on a yearlong research project exploring cutting-edge work in bone regeneration. Just a few months ago, I was able to present the results of my research on periodontal stem cells at a conference in San Francisco, traveling with my research mentor and networking with the research dental community around the country.

Give Kids a Smile, Pediatric Dental Club, Colgate Van Screenings for Children, Jamaica, and research – all of these are things I can easily relate to you, things I can point to as evidence for how NSU imprints its legacy upon the community and its students. But it is the things rarely anyone sees that ultimately make up the heart and soul of NSU. The numerous professors and teachers nurturing us, challenging us, and celebrating our success and our failures, inviting us into their homes and into their lives. The phone call I made to NSU when I didn’t have the full funds to cover my research trip, and the two seconds it took for them to say they had my back no matter what. It is the love and kindness and unwavering support that NSU provides to its students that ultimately goes above and beyond all other institutions.

This is how NSU creates its truest legacy. It inspires its students. Helps them give back to their community. Gives them the skills to succeed, and the passion to one day create a legacy of their own. Thank you to NSU and all the people that support this institution. You have written your legacy in my life and the lives of other students.

Video Link | Nova Southeastern University’s Abraham Fischler College of Education prepares graduates for positions in academics, consulting, education leadership and many more. You are one of over 57,000 alumni educators across the globe. Continue making a difference in the lives of future academic professionals and make your gift today!


While pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware, Bryan Deptula, M.B.A., Ph.D., was faced with a familiar obstacle that many students know all too well—financial adversity. Yet his willingness to learn made him determined to prove himself to faculty and staff. He met with his financial advisor and outlined his short-term goals. Clearly impressed, his advisor agreed to support his education for one semester, providing him with Pell grants and scholarships. Six months later, Deptula returned to meet with him to present his academic achievements and involvement in extracurricular activities. Deptula received a full-tuition-paid scholarship, and, a few years later, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

NSU's Bryan Deptula, M.B.A., Ph.D., professor at H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship

“That experience is what motivated me to give back. Someone invested in me, so I wanted to invest in others. While I’m here on this earth, I will give my time and my effort. When I pass on, I want to leave financial instruments to help other people achieve their life goals.”

Upon arriving at NSU, Deptula became a member of NSU's 1964 Society. His legacy gift provides support for students in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. As an assistant professor of the college and co-founder of the leader development firm BKD Leaders, Deptula is excited about the opportunity to support others with similar ambitions. 

Deptula’s passion and dedication to NSU is unwavering. “I knew when I got to NSU that I wanted to stay here for life. If you ask anyone who made the most profound difference in their lives they will most likely say: the person that saw in them, what they couldn’t see in themselves. This university helps students realize their potential every day and it feels amazing to be a part of that.”

One great way to link generations is through a legacy of philanthropy. Building upon three generations of support, NSU Trustee Douglas Donn and his wife, Alice, recently made a $1 million bequest to endow a new scholarship fund. Inspired by NSU’s interdisciplinary approach to teaching and core value of community, another trustee, Mitchell Berger and his wife funded the Sharon and Mitchell W. Berger Entrepreneur Law Clinic at NSU’s Shepard Broad College of Law to provide direct legal services to nonprofit organizations, innovators, and NSU students and researchers to help ensure the future vitality of business in South Florida.

NSU Donor Connection - March 2017
The strengths of our links are reinforced by strong corporate partners. Businesses like Dentsply provide monetary and in-kind gifts that promote hands-on learning experiences. GRYCON, LLC supports NSU’s signature events, and now, scholarships at NSU University School.
Other community partners leverage outside events to provide support. The Florida Panthers Foundation presented a $25,000 check to support student veterans during an NSU Alumni Night at a Panthers game. AutoNation’s sponsorship of the Cocktails and Champions event during the Beach Majors volleyball tournament netted another $25,000 for the NSU AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research. In addition, GolfRank recently hosted a tournament at NSU's Grande Oaks Golf Club to support NSU’s Athletics Department, and Skip Zimbalist, CEO of Show Management, arranged for half the proceeds from a block of Palm Beach Boat Show tickets to benefit Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. We appreciate the thoughtfulness and thoroughness for realizing potential through every means available!
In April, South Florida business leaders Jorge M. Pérez, Mark Templeton and Per-Olof Lööf will become prominently linked to NSU as this year’s inductees into the prestigious H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
At NSU, strong links can be forged even during the briefest of encounters. Edward Franco, assistant director at NSU’s Fort Myers campus, made a legacy gift to memorialize the potential he saw in a promising NSU nursing student. I encourage you to read the touching story that led Edward to create the Wade Jones Memorial Scholarship.
With stories like these I see the bonds of our links strengthening and galvanizing our collective efforts. Thank you for being one of our strong links!

Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.

Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations

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Good afternoon NSU friends, faculty, staff and fellow students. My name is Yana Vorontsova and I am a Doctor of Pharmacy and M.B.A. student. Some of you are probably guessing now where my accent is from. Those of you who are thinking Russia are correct. To be more precise – I was born in Siberia, in a very small rural village in the south of Siberia.

Yana Yorontsova speaks about why she chose to pursue her Pharm.D. and M.B.A. at NSU

I was growing up in a post-Soviet Russia; it was a very difficult time. Our family, just like many others, survived off what was growing in the backyard, preserved for the winter, and kept in the barn. My mom and grandma, sewed and knitted sweaters, socks, and what’s not, for the family.

I dreamed of a different, a better life. So, when I was 15, I went to the boarding high school in the city which was over 200 miles from home.

After graduating the high school, I was admitted to the University majoring in English and Education. At the university, we were encouraged to travel, as this was the only true way to learn and practice a foreign language and to experience a foreign culture. Although the notion was very scary at the time, today, I am happy that I overcame my fears because I live in a free country full of opportunities. Not a day passed by without me realizing how blessed I am to be a U.S. citizen.

Since I was little, I loved biology and medicine. While, I was not free to pursue that career in Russia, here I could. So, while in Chicago I started working on the prerequisites for a pharmacy school. After fulfilling these, I was accepted to every pharmacy school I applied to. But only two schools met my own requirements: University of Illinois in Chicago (which was my goal all along) and Nova Southeastern University. My friends and acquaintances said “how can you even think? Of course, University of Illinois. It’s the 2nd oldest pharmacy school and one of the top-rated in the country!” But after visiting the school and interviewing there, it didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel the same as NSU. Here we received so much support and encouragement from the admission counselors and the current students, it felt like they were a family. And I wanted to be a part of that family. All our questions were answered. Admission counselors spoke with every prospective student individually. And the campus felt so safe. So, I chose NSU and moved to Fort Lauderdale.

During my first year I started working with Dr. Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji as a research assistant on epinephrine sublingual tablets. These innovative tablets serve as an alternative for the EpiPen® – an auto-injector treatment for people with life-threatening allergic reactions. Utilizing nanotechnology to create medicine was something I wanted to be involved in before I even started the pharmacy school. But it wasn’t the only interest I wanted to pursue. After I finished the first year of pharmacy school I took on MBA with the concentration in business analytics. Although I knew this concentration would not be easy for me, I chose it because it will allow me to apply data-driven decisions to healthcare which helps to save money, improve patient care, and identify the best treatments.

My second year at Nova I was on a team with other three students who presented at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Annual Meeting in Hollywood, Florida.

Later, I also had the chance to present at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in Denver due to our work on the epinephrine sublingual tablets. This is one of the biggest pharmaceutical conferences in the world, and the majority of the attendees are Ph.D.s, Ph.D. students and representatives from biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Although I felt a little shy in such company, I also felt extremely proud to be a second-year Pharm.D. student there to represent NSU.

As a member of the Strategic Forum Student Group in the Business School, I also went to a conference at the Harvard Business School. I cannot express enough how valuable these experiences are for students, and I was so proud to give my NSU business card and say that I am a PharmD and MBA student from Nova Southeastern University.

I also belong to the Public Health Student Association which is probably the only inter-disciplinary club at the moment that includes students from medical, pharmacy, nursing and other NSU healthcare schools. We participate in community health fairs and many other volunteering events.

A colleague and I are also currently working on starting a pharmaceutical industry student club.

Since my MBA concentration is through the College of Engineering and Computing, I belong to three colleges. It gives me an abundance of opportunities to collaborate, share and combine knowledge that hopefully will one day turn into something exceptional.

I want to contribute to make NSU known across the country for its excellence in education, for the research, and all the opportunities it gives to the students.

In closing, I want to say that the challenge for NSU students is not finding the drive to succeed, but rather the resources that allow us to stay focused on studying. As an immigrant with no Florida prepaid plan, being here on my own, all I can count on are student loans and scholarships. And because I am a graduate student, loans are the main resource. 

Luckily, we can have covered one conference per year, but the rest is out of pocket.  I also worry about my old car breaking and things like that are when the scholarship is not just an extra, it is a necessity. But most importantly, a scholarship offers recognition for our efforts. It is hugely motivating because a scholarship award lets us know that our hard work and involvement is noticed and appreciated.

On behalf of all NSU students, I want to thank you for donating to scholarships. Every little bit helps, not just to offset tuition, but to buy extra books and study material, replace an old laptop, and to lessen some of our worries. And for those of you who choose to provide scholarships or research assistantships to graduate students, I must add a special note of appreciation as these are very rare gifts that mean the world to us.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.

Announcement Video | News Video | Plan Your Visit | Thanks to a partnership between NSU and Broward County Parks and Recreation, the Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC) was born. The facility is located on the historic grounds of the Carpenter House on Hollywood Beach. The venture builds upon a partnership spanning more than 25 years.  

NSU alumnus and City of Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy was among the guest speakers at the center's opening ceremony.

Although education will be the focus at this new center, a very large draw will be the center’s ability to care for a rehabilitated sea turtle. Captain, a green sea turtle, was hit by a boat in 2010 and entered rehabilitation in Georgia. Unfortunately, after years in rehab, veterinarians decided that because of a floating issue and partial paralysis to her rear flippers, Captain would never be able to survive in the wild (that’s why she has those attachments at the bottom of her shell – helps with her buoyancy.) Thankfully, the creation of this new center gives one of the many non-releasable sea turtles a “forever home” and a chance to teach younger generations about the importance of caring for the environment.

The Carpenter House was originally built in 1941 by Lieutenant Commander Henry Carpenter Jr., who, along with his wife June, were known for their environmentalism and community service. The Carpenters wanted to sell the property to Broward County for preservation and environmental education. In 2010, renovations of the historic house and accompanying saltwater pool began. Following detailed restorations to the house and the addition of a state-of-the-art filtration system to the swimming pool, the MEEC was set to open at the Carpenter House. The facility will provide outstanding marine education, interactive learning, and research with a focus on endangered sea turtles. This mission will carry on the traditions of the Carpenters and engage the community to learn about their local environment.

For nearly three decades, NSU has also operated the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program patrolling 24 miles of coastline to help protect the nesting areas of three specific species: the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (threatened); the Green Sea Turtle (endangered); and the largest of the three, the Leatherback Sea Turtle (critically endangered). Divided into squads, the NSU team goes to the beach at dawn, from Hillsboro to Hallandale, following the tracks to mark the nests. In successive weeks they monitor progress until the hatchlings have safely found their way back to the sea.

The team also records valuable research data to share with Broward County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other agencies. If they make it to maturity (~30 years), female sea turtles return year after year to the nesting grounds where they were born. More than two-thirds of U.S. sea turtle nesting occurs in Florida. But sea turtles are now endangered from myriad stressors and causes. Sadly, the Sea Turtle Conservancy reports that only one in 1,000 to 10,000 are expected to make it to adulthood.

The MEEC marks a big step forward in conserving our endangered species through ongoing education. In addition to the beach patrolling, NSU students, faculty and staff can now welcome visitors to learn about our environment and sea turtles on a year-round basis.

You can help save sea turtles by keeping beaches clean, avoiding unnecessary lighting at night, reporting sick or injured sea turtles by calling 954-328-0580, and by supporting our programs. If you are interested in marine biology or conservation education, please visit to learn more about undergraduate, masters and doctoral degree programs at NSU.

#saveturtles #seaturtles #seekthemeec #meec #carpenterhouse #broward #endangeredspecies

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) announced that the Sharon and Mitchell W. Berger Entrepreneur Law Clinic is being established at its Shepard Broad College of Law. The clinic is made possible thanks to funds donated by NSU Trustee Mitchell Berger and his wife Sharon.

Mitchell Berger and Sharon Berger establish Entrepreneur Law Clinic at NSU -- Nova Southeastern University

According to NSU College of Law dean Jon M. Garon, the clinic will enable NSU to provide direct legal service to nonprofit organizations, NSU students, and researchers associated with the new NSU Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), as well as innovators in technology, life sciences, and in the creative communities.

The gift was donated as part of Realizing Potential, NSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. This is the largest philanthropic campaign in the university’s history, which aims to raise $250 million for students, faculty and 21st century education.

Dean Garon said South Florida lacks an existing transactional pro bono and lo bono legal representation program that specifically targets the needs of nonprofit organizations, low to medium income inventors and innovators in those technology, life sciences and creative communities.

“The lack of transactional legal services, conflict counseling, and risk mitigation for these entrepreneurs creates artificial roadblocks to the acquisition of capital, employment, contractual services and other essential services for an economically viable business,” Garon said. “Establishing this clinic can go a long way in helping these individuals realize their full potential.”

He said the need is particularly acute among traditional under-served migrant and minority communities.

Mitchell Berger shared the motivation for the gift. “The Future of South Florida business will be in life science and technology development and the commercialization of those ideas.  The legal profession will need to train its professionals to be counselors to the business community as it transforms itself to take on new 21st century challenges.  Sharon and I hope this new clinic will assist the training of home grown lawyers to represent our next generation of South Florida entrepreneurs.

A member of the NSU Board of Trustees, Berger is the founder and Co-Chairman of Berger Singerman, a full-service commercial law firm established in 1985 with more than 80 lawyers and offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tallahassee and Boca Raton. Berger has practiced law for 30 years and represented several Fortune 500 companies in commercial disputes. Among many accolades, he was named one of the “Top 10 Lawyers of the Decade” by The South Florida Legal Guide.  Sharon Berger is a white collar criminal defense attorney. She serves on the Board of Governors of the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and on the Board of Governors of the NSU Shepard Broad College of Law.

Garon said an initial gift from Mitchell and Sharon Berger to the university will fund the clinic annually, to support the work of an attorney specialist with the title “Berger Family Fellow,” who will administer the clinic and coordinate community outreach.  The clinic will be located on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus in the Leo Goodwin Sr. Law Building, which houses all the NSU College of Law clinics.

In addition to the direct legal services, the clinic, in partnership with other NSU colleges, will serve to extend science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields for NSU students who are inventing and innovating as well as STEM education for law students working in fields such as intellectual property, data security and technology. The new clinic will also facilitate workshops, outreach and community training to educate and encourage entrepreneurship and creative business development, playing an especially important role in underserved and economically disadvantage communities.

Edward Franco Creates Legacy Gift in Memorium of NSU Nursing Student Wade JonesIt was the short life of Wade Jones and the pursuit of his dream to become a nurse that inspired Edward Franco to create a memorial scholarship in Jones’ name–and leave a NSU legacy gift to help future nursing students.

Jones–a promising NSU nursing student in Fort Myers who “found a way” to go to college despite the obstacles against him–was murdered outside his family’s home in Miami-Dade County in March 2013.

Franco, M.B.A., assistant director at NSU’s Fort Myers campus, met Jones in 2012 when he enrolled in the nursing program in Fort Myers (there were no openings at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus). Jones, who lived in Miami-Dade County, had come to Franco for help with financial aid.

“Wade moved across the state to go to school here,” Franco said. “He knew no one apparently. He was sleeping on couches in the beginning because he had no housing. But he found a way to do it. Wade made an impression on me. He inspired me. I told him, ‘I’ll do everything in my power to help you.’”

With the help of student loans and a Florida Resident Access Grant, Jones was able to start classes at NSU in fall 2012. (He had an associate degree in nursing from Miami-Dade College). He was hired as a certified nursing assistant at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers and was scheduled to start work in March 2013.

“He had everything going for him. He had made it,” said Franco, who met with Jones three days before his death. “I was the last staff member to speak to him and it affected me so much.”

Wade Jones, former NSU Nursing StudentOn March 3, 2013, Jones, 23, was stabbed to death outside the family’s home in Miami-Dade County. His mother, Jeneth Jones, who helped by securing a college loan, also was killed and two family members were injured.

“This campus was devastated,” said Franco, who helped create the Wade Jones Memorial Scholarship to benefit nursing students at the Fort Myers campus. “We decided that we needed to do something in memory of Wade Jones. I donated money and we got students to provide money. But it was a little frustrating to me that it was not getting funded. I said, ‘I want to do something.’”

Franco decided to leave a NSU legacy gift designated to the Wade Jones Memorial Scholarship through a life insurance policy.

“To me, Realizing Potential means having students be successful at our institution and be able to fulfill their dream of having a career that they’re passionate about,” he said. “It means being able to fulfill their dream because NSU gave them the tools and they went on to do better things.”

Franco, who volunteers at campus and community programs and coaches youth baseball, joined NSU in 2009 working in student financial services in Fort Myers. He became assistant director at the campus in May 2015. Prior to joining NSU, he was spent eight years as a medic in the U.S. Army/Florida National Guard and worked at a hospital for nine years.

Franco is the first employee at a NSU regional campus to leave a legacy gift.

“I love coming to work here,” he said. “When I see students, when I see the struggles they have to go through, I see Wade. I want to make that dream come true for students. I want to give them an opportunity to excel at life with the degree they’re going to get at NSU…That’s my legacy gift, because of Wade.”
William H. Marquardt, M.A., P.A., DFAAPA, associate dean and chair in the Physician Assistant Department at NSU’s Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care SciencesWilliam H. Marquardt, M.A., P.A., DFAAPA, had a 24-year military career with the United States Air Force. He served as an Air Force pharmacy technician for eight years prior to being accepted for physician assistant training. When he retired from the military, he sought other career options. “There were so many more opportunities I needed to explore,” he said.

Today, Marquardt serves as associate dean and chair in the Physician Assistant Department at NSU’s Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences. The number of board positions, committees, and offices he has held with national physician assistant organizations attests to Marquardt’s position as a well-respected and well-regarded national advocate in the formal recognition of PAs as patient-centered, primary medical care providers.

“I’ve had all kinds of opportunities to beat the drum for the cause, and I still do,” he said. To help students at NSU, he most recently developed the Physician Assistant CHCS (Community Health, Collaborative Service) Initiative.

“The ideal initiative award recipient will be a successful student nearing the completion of training who has coupled academic success with evidence of a commitment to community health care, hopefully in a primary care setting,” Marquardt said.

As a professor and dean, his goal is not just to train medical professionals, but to prepare community leaders. Another area where he continues to focus his efforts is in recognition of the NSU physician assistant alumni who provide opportunities for students to work within their practices in on-site, hands-on, clinical experiences.

“Since the inception of our professions, this apprenticeship model has been fundamental. You don’t learn in a classroom what you learn in a health care setting,’’ he said.

Marquardt believes that recognizing these professionals supporting the university in a substantial way is vital to NSU’s ongoing success. “What they offer is invaluable,” he said. “Learning comes from people who are doing; these are medical leaders that are giving back.’’

NSU Donor Connection - February 2017Franklin Roosevelt said “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

NSU, like Roosevelt, reflects relentless pursuit of a vision and exemplifies perpetual motion. The driving force is a cooperative enterprise dedicated to equipping students for the future and, as NSU President Dr. George Hanbury says, “making the world a better place for people to live, and for society, in general, to be better off than they were before those individuals participated.”

Our new year began by celebrating NSU Trustee Rick Case and his wife Rita, and members of NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale Board of Governors, Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman. Both couples are improving our world through numerous philanthropic endeavors that include this university. We unveiled the Rick Case Arena at Don Taft University Center. During the Celebration of Excellence, we presented the Goodmans with the 2017 President’s Award of Excellence in Community Service, and we welcomed 12 donors into NSU’s prestigious Shark Circle to express gratitude for their contributions of more than one million dollars each.

We also celebrated NSU’s inclusion in the list for U.S. News and World Report’s "2017 Best Colleges, National Universities Ranking" and many more gifts and achievements as highlighted below.
Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.

Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations

Full eNewsletter

12 donors welcomed into NSU's prestigious Shark Circle at 2017 Celebration of ExcellenceThis year, at NSU's 19th annual Celebration of Excellence, President George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. recognized 12 donors whose cumulative giving to NSU reached $1 million or more. Each of these benefactors is welcomed into the NSU Fellows Society “Shark Circle” and receives a limited edition maquette replica of the Kent Ullberg specially commissioned mako shark statue located in front of the Don Taft University Center.

New Shark Circle members recognized at the signature event included:

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Mr. Mitchell and Mrs. Sharon Berger
  • Mrs. Rita and Mr. Rick Case
  • R. Douglas and Alice Donn
  • Mr. Arthur J. and Mrs. Marcy Falcone
  • The Florida Bar Foundation
  • Carol Harrison Kalagher
  • Mrs. Susie and Mr. Alan B. Levan
  • Save Our Seas Foundation
  • Triangle Community Foundation, Dr. Johannes and LaDonna Vieweg
  • Zimmer Biomet

Video Link | NSU has surpassed the $150 million benchmark of the largest philanthropic campaign in the history of the university and Broward County. NSU also has surpassed the halfway point for each of its three campaign priorities -- $125 million for our students, $75 million for our faculty and $50 million for 21st century education. Research is integral in all three. 

Faculty and Students Highlight NSU's Areas of Research

The faculty and student researchers showcased in NSU's latest Realizing Potential video highlight areas of university research and the current and potential impact both locally and globally. 

NSU Honors Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman with 2017 President's Award of Excellence in Community ServiceVideo Link | Each year Dr. George Hanbury presents the President's Award of Excellence in Community Service to an individual, group, or family whose good works are making the world a better place for people to live. The 2017 honorees are Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman.

"Dr. and Mrs. Goodman have been instrumental leaders in the community, not just giving back with their time, talent, and treasures, but in broadening our museum's world class, permanent art collection and encouraging individuals to engage in the research and study of art and culture," said Dr. George, L. Hanbury, NSU President.

Retired cardiologist Stanley Goodman, M.D., spends his mornings in a Fort Lauderdale warehouse space creating steel sculptures. Pearl Goodman, an educator with a panache for studying language and art, who taught sixth grade in New York City's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, continues to work managing real estate.

They share a passion for family, community service, and Latin American art.

Stanley and Pearl Goodman began their collection of Latin American art when they purchased a small watercolor by Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros in Miami in 1990, before the glorious days of Basel, according to Pearl Goodman.

It grew from there. Pearl Goodman had an interest in Mexico, studying languages while in college and visiting relatives in Mexico City. She was intrigued with the mural art in the city and its marvelous museums. Stanley Goodman, with his own interest in art, shared her passion.

Even today, come each May and November, Stanley and Pearl Goodman are off to New York for the art auctions. It's where they continue to augment their extensive modern and contemporary Latin American art collection, building upon a passion they've shared for 25 years and counting.

NSU Honors Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman with 2017 President's Award of Excellence in Community Service at NSU's signature annual event -- Celebration of ExcellenceThe couple's passions are also reflected in their philanthropy and volunteer leadership. StanleyGoodman serves as secretary for NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and as a board member for the Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward. Pearl Goodman serves on the board of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation and is a founding member of Funding Arts Broward. Both are also major donors to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and many other community organizations.

Recently, the two designed a bequest that will make NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale home to their collection of—at last count—90 paintings, as well as a research and study center for Mexican and Latin American Art.

The collection includes works by such notable artists as Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Joaquín Torres García, José Clemente Orozco, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Gunther Gerzso, Wolfgang Paalen, Wilfredo Lam, and Siqueiros, among others. The artists are represented at different periods in their careers, which is what adds to the value of the collection and makes it an important teaching model.

Nova Southeastern University proudly honors one of our community’s most vibrantly warm and engaging couples at this year’s Celebration of Excellence.

Gallery Link | NSU officially named its arena in honor of community leader and automobile dealer, Rick Case at a special ceremony on January 19, 2017. The arena is located at the Don Taft University Center, an active multipurpose facility focused on student programs and services, located in the heart of NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus.

NSU Names Arena After Rick Case

“For more than 15 years, NSU has benefited from the organizational and entrepreneurial skills of Rita and Rick Case,” said President Hanbury. “It is only fitting that a university started by South Florida entrepreneurs continues to flourish thanks to the time, talent and treasure of such a successful businessman and businesswoman. The Rick Case Arena at Don Taft University Center reflects NSU’s core values of community and student-centered activities by hosting local events that will support and entertain the South Florida area for years to come.”

Local dignitaries joined Rita and Rick Case and NSU President Dr. George Hanbury to celebrate the official unveiling of the “Rick Case Arena” name. Remarks were made by esteemed guests including Robert W. Runcie, superintendent, Broward County Public Schools; Scott Israel, sheriff of Broward County; and Judy Paul, mayor of the Town of Davie.

Rita and Rick Case’s latest gift to NSU established a scholarship endowment to attract outstanding undergraduate students as part of Realizing Potential, NSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. This is the largest philanthropic campaign in the university’s history which aims to raise $250 million for students, faculty, and 21st century education. The naming of the arena is in honor of the Cases’ gift and ongoing support of NSU. 

The arena, opened in 2006 and is a 300,000-square-foot facility that can seat up to 4,570. In 2016, approximately 150,000 people attended more than 200 events at the venue. The arena is home of the NSU Sharks Athletics teams, including intercollegiate men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. Comprised of three full-size courts and three concession stands, the facility offers flexible staging and live concert layout options. The venue has hosted a wide variety of events, ranging from college fairs and community gatherings to large-scale entertainers and legendary icons, including Bob Dylan, Kevin Hart and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Rick Case Arena at Don Taft University Center also hosts NSU and local public and private high school graduations – more than any other facility in Broward County. The Miami Dolphins use the arena for several annual events including their cheerleading audition finals. The arena is further available for special events such as charity galas, corporate banquets and private parties. The in-house gourmet kitchen serves up to 1,000 guests for a seated dinner.

Rick Case, CEO and founder of Rick Case Automotive Group, one of the nation’s most recognized automotive groups, joined NSU’s Board of Trustees in November 2002 and has served on the Building and Grounds Committee that has orchestrated more than $100 million and over a million-square-feet of development for the university during the last 15 years. The Case family hopes to raise awareness about the university by promoting the arena and encouraging many different groups and organizations to have their meetings and events there.  

“It is our hope that the Rick Case Arena will bring more attention to all of the great attributes NSU has to offer and help improve the community as a whole,” said Rick Case.

With a community-driven mindset and a commitment to philanthropy, life and business partners, Rita and Rick Case have dedicated their lives toward supporting and improving their community by developing and leading fundraising and awareness efforts that raised more than $50 million.

This year, Rita and Rick celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Rick Case Automotive Group dealerships which includes 16 Rick Case dealerships in South Florida, Cleveland and Atlanta. The Rick Case brands include Maserati, Acura, Audi, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Kia, Mazda, FIAT, Alfa Romeo and Honda Automobiles & Motorcycles, including the World’s Largest Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen dealerships located in Broward County. Recognized as a top performing dealer group in the U.S., they continue to receive industry awards for their outstanding performance and achievements such as being featured in Automotive News as the only 2013 National All-Star Dealer for the Privately Held Dealer category out of 17,000 in the country.

Friday, January 6, 2017 turned tragic when a lone gunman shot at innocent people at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, leaving several people dead or wounded. The incident displaced thousands of people, many of whom were separated from their belongings in a foreign city.

NSU Employee is Good Samaritan After Tragic Airport Incident - Wren Newman of NSU's College of Health Care Sciences

Wren Newman, SLP.D., CCC-SLP, chair of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology in Nova Southeastern University’s College of Health Care Sciences, followed the news and wanted to help. While driving near her home, the Fort Lauderdale-resident encountered countless people waiting in lines to get inside the Broward County Convention Center for temporary shelter. She rolled down her window and asked a woman and her daughter if they needed anything. Cabs, buses and ride sharing services were all tied up transporting others and the mother, Nancy Reis, and her 11-year-old daughter, Gabby Lugo, took Newman up on a ride to meet a family member about 20 minutes away.

Upon arrival, the grateful family thanked Newman and parted ways. But there was only one problem. Gaby left her backpack filled with Christmas presents in Newman’s vehicle. What’s more, Newman had no way to reach the family. She turned to Facebook and was able to track them down three hours later. The next day, Newman was able to return the backpack to the young girl, who thanked her with flowers and a big hug.

NSU commends Dr. Wren Newman for her kindness in the wake of tragedy.

The story was featured in several media outlets. Click below to learn more.

ABC News

Good Morning America

WPLG Local 10

NSU recently celebrated the grand opening and dedication ceremony of the newly expanded Noël P. Brown Sports Center.

NSU celebrates grand opening and dedication of the Noel P. Brown Sports Center expansion at NSU University School

Located next to the Aquatics Complex on NSU's Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus, the anticipated Gold LEED certified building addition spans 59,000-square-feet and includes state-of-the-art training and fitness rooms for student-athletes participating in 15 different sports; a gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, and other activities; a general purpose activity room for use by students as young as junior kindergarten; offices for athletic department staff; and locker room facilities for aquatics and visiting athletes; and an office suite for Special Olympics Broward County.  To complement the project, the original sports center received refurbishments to enhance classroom and programming areas. With these new resources, NSU University School together with NSU is creating a sense of community while also addressing a need for quality space for students.

The naming of the Noël P. Brown Sports Center is in appreciation of NSU Board of Trustee Keith Brown and his family’s recent gift to the university, which supports scholarships for undergraduate studies. Three of Mr. Brown’s children were NSU University School students, and he chose to name the sports center in honor of their mother.

“The Noël P. Brown Sports Center is a reflection of the value NSU places on student wellness as an essential component of student success,” said Dr. George L. Hanbury, President and CEO of Nova Southeastern University. “We are also honored to provide a home for Special Olympics of Broward County as a reflection of our core values of diversity and community and the belief that everyone can model the character of a champion and strive to realize tremendous potential.”

NSU is the only private university in the country with a local Special Olympics chapter on its campus, now being housed permanently in the NSU University School sports center.  This partnership was made possible by the late Don Taft, who was committed to supporting special-needs children and young adults. A generous gift from the Taft Foundation contributed to the expansion of the facility.

Most recently, David and Cindi Samson named the Samson Family Fitness Center, which will help students learn and experience the benefits of aerobic and strength training.  Mr. Samson is the President of the Miami Marlins.  Two of Samson’s children graduated from NSU University School, and a third child currently attends. Wife, Cindi Samson is a member of the Head of School’s Board of Advisors, and a very active leader in the parent community.

“The expansion of the Nöel P. Brown Sports Center provides our students with remarkable opportunities to enhance their physical well-being and foster camaraderie,” said Head of School William Kopas. “I am incredibly thankful to Dr. Hanbury, the late Don Taft, The Taft Foundation, the Brown family, the Samson family, and all our donors and friends in our community who have helped complete this project for our NSU University School students.”

Additional donors to the project, as of this date, include Lauren and Steven Geduld, The Sam Berman Charitable Foundation, the Kopas family, the Steiner family, and the Avellanet family.

Financial gifts for the Noël P. Brown Sports Center advance Realizing Potential, NSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. This is the largest philanthropic campaign in its history which aims to raise $250 million for student, faculty, and 21st century education initiatives.

Yong X. Tao, Ph.D., has been recognized as a leader in international collaborations in academic and research initiatives in student and faculty exchange, joint workshops, research forums, and mutual delegation visits to countries around the world.

NSU College of Engineering and Computing Dean Yong X. Tao talks about his bequest as a founding member of NSU's 1964 Society

As former Chair of the Mechanical and Energy Engineering (MEE) Department at the University of North Texas, he led the impressive growth of MEE programs – climbing enrollment fourfold to approximately 750 undergraduate students and 80 M.S. and Ph.D. students in just five years. He is a well-known researcher in thermal engineering with more than $15M external research funding.

After returning to his home of South Florida to become the new Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) this year, Tao wanted to make a lasting impact for future generations of students and faculty. Within just a few months at the university, he became a founding member of NSU’s 1964 Society and left a legacy gift. 

“I want our students to have the best teachers. Training seminars for faculty development on the ever-changing trends in technology are so important. We need to keep NSU on the leading edge.”

He hopes that by expanding the student body and taking advantage of the innovative resources and technology at NSU, he can bring the College of Engineering and Computing to the next level by streamlining programs, achieving accreditation, and building research infrastructure.

“The potential at NSU is tremendous. As a private, not-for-profit university with exceptional research capabilities, our framework is already established. By building upon our strengths, there are no limits we can’t achieve.”

From the beginning of her career, Linda C. Niessen, D.M.D., M.P.H., saw dentistry as a way to serve the public as a health care professional, combining artistic skills and scientific knowledge to improve patients’ health.

NSU College of Dental Medicine Linda Niessen talks about her bequest as a founding member of NSU's 1964 Society

“Every dental school must educate excellent clinicians first and foremost,” said Niessen, who arrived at Nova Southeastern University as dean and professor of the College of Dental Medicine (CDM) in October 2013. “Realizing potential for NSU dental students means that they are expected to become leaders in the profession, and that leadership will help ensure that every patient has access to needed oral health care,” she said.

Upon her arrival at NSU, Niessen immediately began to get involved in the dental student life on campus by attending student government meetings and listening to their needs and concerns. She wanted to help the students she served achieve the goals that brought them to NSU.

“When you are the dean of a college, you’re in the career development business. Developing leaders for the future. It’s our job to provide not only professional tools for our students, but financial ones as well,” Niessen said. “Every day I’m helping students realize their potential. And that makes each day a gift.”

She and husband, John J. Lonergan, M.D., who is a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at NSU's Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine, made a legacy gift and created the Niessen-Lonergan Family Endowed Scholarship Fund for students at CDM.

“We want to make it easier for students wishing to pursue a career in dentistry, particularly those students who are in the first generation in their family to attend professional school,” said Niessen.

“Both of our children went to professional school, and we were able to support their professional education,” added Lonergan. “Both graduated with no debt, which is practically unheard of. We’ve taken care of our children’s education, and now, we continue to be in a position to help. We aren’t stopping our support just because our children have completed their education.”

Jennifer Ramos grew up in an athletic family.  As the eighth child in a family of nine, she became involved in sports at a young age and knew athletics would always be an important part of her life.

Former NSU student-athlete establishes scholarship and bequest as a 1964 Society Founding Member

Jennifer was recruited to Nova Southeastern University (NSU) with a full paid athletic scholarship in 1993 and received her B.S. in Psychology in 1995. She was on the volleyball team for her junior and senior years.  

While working towards her master’s degree, Jennifer began a work study program in NSU’s financial aid department. After earning her M.S. in Elementary in Education, Jennifer was named the assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team as well as head coach for NSU University School.  She then worked in the NSU Admissions and Advancements departments before Dr. George Hanbury, NSU President and CEO, asked her to join his executive team. Now the Director, Presidential and Trustee Relations and Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees, 2017 will mark Jennifer’s 22nd year as an NSU.

“I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for NSU,” said Jennifer. “I grew up here and found my purpose. This is my second family.”

Spending nearly half her life at NSU inspired Jennifer to become a member of NSU's 1964 Society. Named for the university’s founding year, the 1964 Society connects legacy gift donors and their families with the university to establish a meaningful and lasting relationship.  Jennifer’s gift will help NSU student-athletes pursue their undergraduate degrees.

“I want others to have the same opportunity I did. Getting an education while playing a sport gives you critical life management skills.  Every young person should be given a chance to have that experience,” says Jennifer.

The opportunity to become a founding member of NSU’s 1964 Society ends December 31, 2016, but there is no expiration date for leaving a legacy for the university. For more information, contact Andrea Darlow, director of development for legacy gifts, at (954) 262-2135 or

Photo: Jennifer and her mom, a fan of Jennifer's commitment to pay it forward.

How would you complete the following sentence? Always believe ____________. To me, this prompt is infinitely full of promise, even as a statement unto itself. Novelist Anatole France once expressed, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe."

NSU Donor Connection Message for November 2016

In this issue of Donor Connection, scholarship recipient Karena Washington inspires us with a beautiful tribute to those who acted to ease her transition from high school to college and help her realize her leadership potential. Faculty member Dr. Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji presents a breakthrough alternative to the Epi-Pen. And Paula Twitty Bushman shares a moving patient testimonial that demonstrates how effectively NSU researchers can translate scientific investigation into clinical care.

These story links and additional highlights presented below lend credence to our desire to dream, plan, act, and believe. I would finish the sentence, Always believe we have the power to realize tremendous potential.



Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson
Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations

Video Link | In honoring our veterans on November 11, it is appropriate to remember the long-lasting health effects soldiers experience not only from bullets or bombs, but from exposure to unexplained pesticides, radiation or other toxins during their time in the service.

At least a quarter of the 700,000 soldiers who fought in the 1991 Gulf War suffer from a debilitating disease called Gulf War illness (GWI).

GWI is a medical condition that affects both men and women and is associated with symptoms including fatigue, chronic headaches, memory problems, muscle and joint pain, gastrointestinal issues, neurological problems, respiratory symptoms, hormonal imbalance and immune dysfunction.

Researchers at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) are conducting multiple studies to learn more about and ultimately help veterans facing GWI. Two NSU research teams recently received grants from the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity totaling $1,830,389 to fund three studies.

Click here to read more about NSU's groundbreaking studies and research teams.

Click here to view a moving testimonial by a veteran marine who also has found relief through NSU Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine for her service-related health effects.

When 32-year-old Natalia Ochoa began working at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) back in 2010, she knew she was going to accomplish great things. She had always been driven by her passions and focused on her goals; after all—perseverance and ambition runs in her family.  Her father is an engineer and former politician. One sister is an occupational therapist and a captain in the U.S. Army. Her other sister served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, Africa and is now in medical school. She was raised in a family where hard work and determination were the norm. These same values she now passes on to her 12 year old son, Daniel.

One of NSU's 1964 Society youngest founding members, Natalia Ochoa

Natalia has been a graphic designer at NSU’s Office of Publications for the past seven years and has worked on numerous university-wide projects including the Realizing Potential campaign, NSU Research (TRED) and Alumni design materials, and collateral for NSU’s 1964 Society.

She’s also a current undergraduate student at the College of Engineering and Computing with a major in General Engineering and minor in Computer Information Systems. Natalia’s career aspiration is Biomedical Engineering, specifically designing and engineering prosthetics and other inventions that can help enhance people’s quality of life. With all that ahead of her, you would think, like many other millennials, she is content with being a go-getter and incredible over-achiever with a bright future ahead of her – except there’s more.

What distinguishes Natalia is that she wants to give back.  And by giving back, she means leaving a legacy for future generations of students to have some of the same opportunities she has today. So she chose to become a founding member of the 1964 Society—and to leave a gift for NSU — the place that changed her life and made her feel at home.  Named for the university’s founding year, the 1964 Society connects legacy gift donors and their families with the university to establish a meaningful and lasting relationship.    

“For me, it’s really just about helping people. People know what they want to achieve in life but feel there are barriers that stop them from getting there,” she said.   “NSU made me feel comfortable as a staff member and a student. I’m a proud Shark. The university has given me so much, so I want to give back.”

Natalia is one of the youngest founding members of NSU’s 1964 Society. By adding NSU as a beneficiary in her life insurance policy, she joins a select group of trustees, university leaders, faculty and staff members, and long-time friends of NSU who are helping the institution meet the challenges of tomorrow by creating a legacy gift today.
Natalia would eventually like to become more involved with NSU’s engineering program and help it grow. Her son, Daniel, is already following in her footsteps, attending advanced classes at Apollo middle school in Hollywood, which include an intensive STEM program.

As if all this doesn’t keep her busy enough, Natalia still makes time for one of her favorite hobbies—painting and creating artwork for kid’s books. She has been painting since she was 11 years old, and this year, hopes to showcase 15 pieces of her work at a gallery in Wynwood during the international art fair, Art Basel, in Miami.
Natalia’s story demonstrates how NSU inspires students to realize their potential. “This university can help you figure out how to become the person that you aspire to be. Thank you NSU for everything you’ve done for me.”

The opportunity to become a founding member of NSU’s 1964 Society ends December 31, 2016, but there is no expiration date for when people can create a legacy gift to the university.

Excerpts from Karena's 2016 Fellows Society Celebration

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences sophomore Karena Washington

Good Evening to you all!

I am Karena Washington. I am from Watkinsville, Georgia, and I am a student at Nova Southeastern University studying music. I am currently a member of The Riff Tides, NSU’s only a cappella group; the Mako Band and NSU Pep Band; NSU MAKO Rangers; and NSU’s American Association of University Women; also known as AAUW. I also am the campus ambassador for The Recording Academy’s program, GrammyU, an Admissions Ambassador, and a member of President’s 64. Most importantly, I am a member of the Razor’s Edge Zeta Class and serve on the Razor’s Edge Leadership Council.

Although it is only my second year at Nova Southeastern University, I have learned several valuable lessons and have built some of my most treasured friendships through my organizational involvements. I have discovered what I am truly passionate about, developed relationships with staff that do all that they can to help me succeed, and figured out just how difficult, but rewarding great time management skills can truly be.

The transition from high school to college was anything but easy for me. I dreaded the thought of leaving home despite all of my teenage outbursts of 'I can’t wait to leave home' and 'I’ll be so excited when I can leave this place' during my senior year. I was simply terrified of living somewhere else without my family, and I feared the entire process of growing up. Throughout my freshman year, I suffered from anxiety and depression. It was easily one of the hardest years for me to make it through. I was faced with fighting the mental illness, deciding on a change in my major, and battling homesickness and questioning my faith. However, I was able to fight this insanely tough battle with the help of NSU faculty, services, organizations, and students. Fantastic opportunities such as free counseling for students at the Henderson Counseling Center, having the ability to make an appointment and meet with an academic advisor and career advisor, being offered the chance to join any of NSU’s 100+ student organizations, and something as simple as the rooming arrangements are all offered to help any student succeed and overcome any hardships.

The three most valuable qualities of NSU to me are the availability and helpfulness of our faculty, the close knit community amongst students, and the fact that students can make a change easily on campus. As I mentioned earlier, I switched majors last year. I originally came to NSU as a marine biology major; however I discovered that I have a passion for music and teaching. I was able to meet with a career advisor, faculty members of the Razor’s Edge program, and my academic advisor to strategically make a drastic change in my education. They were very cooperative and supportive during my decision, and I was able to make a smooth transition between majors. The faculty had access to excellent resources such as career assessments, the Student Success Office’s strategies, and information for each major and curricula offered. I am very thankful for the valuable resources that we are given access to at Nova Southeastern University. Because of this, I am able to pursue a career that I am passionate about and have no need to worry about my education.

Nova Southeastern University offers all resources and opportunities that are necessary for a student to succeed and flourish while going through the demanding and eventful years of college. I am forever thankful for all that NSU has provided. I do believe that Nova Southeastern University’s faculty, resources, and services have saved my life and are providing me with the best education possible.

Video Link | Nova Southeastern University’s College of Optometry is improving the lives of patients through clinical expertise. Students are equipped with the tools and resources needed to study effectively in all optometric specialties. The College of Optometry provides a multidisciplinary environment which encourages scholarly activity, networking, service, and lifelong learning. Give today to continue our greatest needs of the College and fulfill those needs with generous philanthropic support.

A caterpillar’s chrysalis activates imaginal cells stowed away in the creature’s skin. As these cells develop, the chrysalis conceals a monumental transformation, making the emergence of a butterfly appear all the more magical.

NSU Donor Connection Message for September 2016

This month, NSU underwent its own transformation, being named one of the "Top 20 Global Universities that Could Challenge the Elite by 2030," as published by Times Higher Education. A week later, NSU celebrated the opening of its Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), Florida’s newest hub for scientific and biomedical advancement.

None of this would be possible without you, our own special “imaginal cells of humans” who dream of solving key issues facing humanity. A few “cells” near to my heart include Indianapolis 500® Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, AutoNation, and Mike and Alice Jackson who have teamed with NSU to help drive the cure for cancer through research forward, faster.  Ryan is supporting a lab within the newly named AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research. The Jacksons are Shark Circle donors, and AutoNation’s giving to NSU now exceeds $10 million!

Below is message from President and CEO Dr. Hanbury, a link to view our CCR Grand Opening “movie trailer,” and additional exciting and heart-warming highlights demonstrating some of the ways NSU is spreading its wings and taking flight thanks to your support.




By NSU President and CEO George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.
As published by Sun-Sentinel |

Nova Southeastern University, a knowledge-based industry with a $3.2 billion economic impact on the state of Florida, officially opened its Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), this week.

Movie Trailer for NSU's Center for Collaborative Research -- Florida's new hub for scientific and biomedical advancement

The CCR is one of the largest and most advanced research facilities in Florida. From cancer to cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue syndrome, this new facility will help us tackle diseases head on—through collaboration—as the name implies.

The CCR reflects an investment of nearly $100 million in Broward County. This facility is about more than NSU. It is an economic driver for our community. The general contractors are based in Broward County. We hire many people based in Broward County. And we are here to serve the people of Broward County and beyond.

Just as the CCR is about more than NSU, it is more than just a building. It’s about the people inside and the groundbreaking research they are conducting to help us find better ways to address the challenges we, as a global population, are facing.

The CCR is purposely designed for researchers and industry to come together, share resources and develop effective and innovative solutions in health care, bioinformatics, technology, cybersecurity and business.

Located on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus, the 215,000-square-foot, six-story, sustainably-built CCR is equipped with wet and dry labs; state-of-the-art research equipment, including access to a high-performance computing environment; and other resources, such as Florida LambdaRail, a high-speed broadband service delivery network with connectivity to other research institutions throughout the nation.

With more than 200 research projects already underway, NSU is classified as a national doctoral research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This new facility will enable us to achieve even more in the name of discovery.

Through the years, NSU has provided opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in research studies and be a part of research in all aspects, including health care, psychology, law and business. This new facility allows us to greatly expand these opportunities to benefit our students.

The Center for Collaborative Research will now be an integral part of achieving a larger vision to further integrate these fields.

Working with the new HCA hospital that will soon be within walking distance from the CCR and NSU’s Health Professions Division complex, we will further integrate research and clinical trials from bench to bedside.

We cannot pursue this endeavor alone.

Just as NSU invested in Broward County to build the CCR, we rely on the generosity and vision of the businesses and residents of our community to invest in NSU’s work.

As part of the grand opening, we will unveil NSU’s newAutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research, located inside the CCR. The Institute is focused on developing and advancing improved methods of prevention and treatment to ultimately eradicate cancer.

The gift, which is part of NSU’s Realizing Potential philanthropic campaign, from Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation brings the company’s cumulative giving to NSU to more than $10 million.

In addition to this new institute, NSU has established several other research institutes and centers using a multidisciplinary, interprofessional approach. The CCRis the hub for this research, conducted at locations throughout the university and its regional campuses located throughout Florida and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

These include the NSU Cell Therapy Institute (a partnership with researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden); NSU’s Institute for Natural and Ocean Sciences Research; NSU’s Institute for Neuro-ImmuneMedicine; NSU’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research; and NSU’s Emil Buehler Research Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

With the help and support of organizations like AutoNation, we will be able to foster the next discoveries, spark the next tech start-ups, and, most importantly, leave our world in a better place than when we started.

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Nova Southeastern University.

NSU has officially opened its Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), one of the largest and most advanced research facilities in Florida.

“NSU is a knowledge-based industry with a $3.2 billion economic impact in the state of Florida,” said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury. “The CCR is purposely designed for researchers, students and industry to come together, pool resources and develop effective and innovative solutions in health care, bioinformatics, technology, cybersecurity and business. This is a key part of achieving a larger vision to further integrate higher education research, business and health care for the benefit of the residents of Broward County, South Florida and beyond.”

In May 2016, HCA East Florida received state approval to build a hospital on NSU’s campus. Design of the hospital is underway. Once completed, the new hospital will be within walking distance from the CCR and NSU’s Health Professions Division complex, providing opportunities to even further integrate research and clinical trials.

“With access to HCA’s vast resources for clinical trials and opportunities to partner with private ventures, our university is poised to become a national and international hub for startups and established technology companies, resulting in high paying jobs and innovative discoveries,” said H. Thomas Temple, M.D., NSU’s senior vice president for translational research and economic development.

In order to efficiently address key issues facing humanity, NSU has established several research institutes and centers using a multidisciplinary, interprofessional approach. The CCR is the hub for this research, conducted at locations throughout the university and its regional campuses.

The established institutes include:
•    NSU’s AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research
•    NSU Cell Therapy Institute (a partnership with researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden)
•    NSU’s Institute for Natural and Ocean Sciences Research
•    NSU’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine
•    NSU’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research
•    NSU’s Emil Buehler Research Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

In addition, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) occupies the entire first floor of the CCR. The USGS and NSU partner on research involving greater Everglades restoration efforts, hydrology and water resources, and more.

All occupants of the CCR benefit from its core facilities including:
•    Genomics Core Facility for sequencing human genes associated with disease
•    Flow Cytometry Core Facility for isolating special cell types such as immune and stem cells
•    Cell Therapy Core Facility for developing immunotherapies and regenerative medicines
•    Imaging Core Facility with advanced digital microscopy capabilities

NSU is classified as a national doctoral research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. More than 200 research projects are currently underway at NSU, including studies on cardiovascular disease, anti-cancer therapies, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, coral reef restoration, stem cells, disorders that cause blindness, wildlife DNA forensics, and more.

NSU’s research programs are funded by the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Defense, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and other prestigious organizations and private supporters.
NSU is actively ramping up its fundraising for research with the goal of raising $300 million in sponsored research, service, and training projects by the end of 2020. The university is also in the public phase of the largest philanthropic campaign in its history, Realizing Potential, which aims to raise $250 million for student, faculty and 21st century education initiatives, with research integral to all three priorities.

The CCR was constructed by ANF Group and designed by ACAI Associates, both of which are headquartered in Broward County.

VIDEO LINK | NSU has officially opened its Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), one of the largest and most advanced research facilities in Florida.

As part of the ceremony on September 21, NSU announced a gift from AutoNation to name NSU’s AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research, located within the CCR. The Institute is focused on developing and advancing improved methods of prevention and treatment to ultimately eradicate cancer. The gift to name NSU’s AutoNation Institute brings the company’s cumulative giving to NSU to more than $10 million.

“We are extremely privileged to have the world-class AutoNation Institute right here in our backyard,” said Mike Jackson, chairman, CEO and president of Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, the country’s largest automotive retailer. “We’ve made a commitment to direct our charitable resources to help drive out cancer and initiatives like “Drive Pink” have resonated profoundly with our customers and associates from coast to coast. It’s through innovative research facilities like the AutoNation Institute that our greatest progress is sure to be made.”

Indianapolis 500® Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay joined the festivities to unveil the new AutoNation/Hunter-Reay Research Lab, which is located within NSU’s AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research. Hunter-Reay is helping support cancer research at NSU through his non-profit, Racing for Cancer, Inc.

Located adjacent to the university’s Health Professions Division complex on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus, the 215,000-sq.-ft., six-story Center for Collaborative Research (CCR) is equipped with wet and dry labs; state-of-the-art research equipment, including access to a high-performance computing environment; and other resources, such as Florida LambdaRail, a high-speed broadband service delivery network with connectivity throughout the nation. The CCR building has been submitted to the United States Green Building Council for review with the intent of receiving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.

Link to Sun-Sentinel coverage

Link to Miami Herald Coverage

Link to Channel 7 News Miami

Excerpts from Miami Herald story by Cresonia Hsieh |

When Ryan Hunter-Reay’s mother received her cancer diagnosis, the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner said they didn’t know what to do, where to go or who could help.

Indianapolis 500 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay Supports Research Lab within NSU's AutoNation Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research

“We basically found ourselves in a black hole — no road map,” he said. His mother died of colon cancer in 2010.

At a ceremony held September 21, he and others welcomed South Florida’s newest weapon against cancer and other diseases: NSU’s Center for Collaborative Research.

Link to Full Story

Times Higher Education ranked NSU as one of 20 universities in the world and one of only nine universities in the U.S. that “could challenge the elite” universities and become globally renowned by the year 2030.

NSU Ranked Among Top 20 Global Universities That Could “Challenge the Elite” by 2030

Firetail, a higher education strategy consulting firm, identified these 20 institutions out of 346 originally considered that have an opportunity to become a new generation of “challenger” universities that will be quick to rise in rankings globally during the next 10 to 20 years. The rise will be partly due to the institutions’ long-term visions and short term execution strategies as well as an understanding of the changing world and their role in it. Among other factors, the study found these universities also have a clear view of the people and cultures that are needed to be successful and are focused on innovation.

At age 93, Conni Gordon shows no signs of slowing down or retiring.  Her love of art is contagious and she has no qualms about giving art lessons on the spot.  

Conni Gordon Supports Education Series at NSU Art Museum

Conni’s most recent venture will create through a bequest the Conni Gordon Education Series at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.  Conni’s legacy gift to NSU will help realize her philanthropic goal of educating people within the South Florida community through the NSU Art Museum.   Conni says her vision of teaching art and creative thinking through her “TILS” Technique (Think-it, Ink-it, Link-it and Synch-it) and NSU’s vision of realizing potential go “hand in hand.”

Her career in entertainment began early when she was in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.  During this time, she taught over 50,000 Marines in each class to create art in minutes.  This experience produced the now patented Conni Gordon 4 Step Art Method.

Her art education was completed at Columbia University and Ecole des Beaux-Arts in France. She has published several books on art and creative thinking with her 4 Step “TILS” Technique, and many of them are used in classrooms and for training CEOs.  Further, the Guinness Book of World Records has recognized Conni as “the World’s Most Prolific Art Creative Motivator,” having taught over 17 million people in person in 80 countries.  Conni has said, time and time again, “Anyone can be an artist.  You just have to think creatively.”  She has even taught famous individuals how to paint, including Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Bonnie Hunt.

Susie and Alan B. Levan, longtime supporters of NSU, have established the “Susie and Alan B. Levan Endowed Scholarship Fund” to help students in NSU’s Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship pursue a master’s degree in real estate development or a bachelor’s degree in finance. This financial gift from Susie and Alan B. Levan advances Realizing Potential, NSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The philanthropic campaign goal is $250 million, with $125 million of that total to be directed towards students, $75 million for faculty and $50 million designated for 21st century education initiatives.

Susie and Alan B. Levan Create Endowed Scholarship for NSU’s Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship

This new gift now brings the Levans’ total financial giving to NSU to more than $1 million.

“Helping today’s students achieve their educational dreams is something Susie and I believe in strongly, and how better to help them than by supporting our hometown university NSU,” said Mr. Levan. “We believe in what NSU is doing and the direction it is heading in, and we are fortunate enough that we can provide support for deserving students.”

It’s not just financial support that the Levans have given NSU over the years. In fact, they are the co-founders of NSU’s Fellows Society and co-founders and co-chairs of NSU’s Ambassadors Board. The NSU Fellows Society is the university’s recognition society for donors who have given $50,000 or more to NSU; the NSU Ambassadors Board was created to enlist widespread and active support for the university’s development efforts, promote NSU programs, and be the NSU’s “ambassadors” to communities and constituencies. In recognition of the scholarship gift, the NSU Ambassadors Board has been renamed the “Susie and Alan B. Levan NSU Ambassadors Board.”

Alan Levan has been serving on NSU’s Board of Trustees for the past 18 years.  In 2002, he was inducted into NSU’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame which is part of the university’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

“The Levans have been tremendous supporters of NSU and truly believe in what we stand for and what we’re doing for our students,” said Dr. George Hanbury, President and CEO of NSU. “Their latest gift will allow students to continue their educational dreams for many years to come – and what better lasting legacy is there than that?”

Robert A. Uchin, D.D.S. may have retired as dean of NSU’s College of Dental Medicine in 2013, but he still believes in challenging students to be “intellectually curious as to what is next for dentistry,” through his commitment to faculty and leadership.

NSU Faculty Member and Former Dean Robert A. Uchin, D.D.S. Dedicates Gift to Fellow Faculty

Uchin and his wife, Marlene, are ardent philanthropic supporters of the college. In 2017, they established the Dr. Robert and Marlene Uchin Faculty Development Fund to support dental faculty development. The fund serves to enhance educational leadership experience and expertise presented in the United States (mainland) and Canada.

“While the university supports continuing education to some degree for every faculty member, we decided to set up a support fund to allow faculty members, at the discretion of the dean, to attend educational programs, supporting some of the costs that are involved with that.”

Uchin believes that it is the faculty who is charged with motivating students to explore and create. “Each of us in our lives have had someone—a parent, a friend, a teacher—as a mentor in life that’s stimulated us to become who we are, and a university, as a mecca of learning, has a responsibility to provide those types of people to students.”

The Uchin Faculty Development Fund is also a way for the former dean to contribute to the future of Nova Southeastern University and Broward County. “My wife and I came here in 1960, and my career has been centered in Fort Lauderdale. We feel that our professional responsibility is to make our home a better place for the next person. For a long period of time, we have seen what the university is giving to the community. We like what we see, and we like what we’ve experienced.”

Zara Khan was still in high school when she started volunteering at events directed toward raising money for cancer research. Just a few years later, Khan is conducting research experiments herself at NSU’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research (RGICR).

NSU Farquhar Honors College students participate in collaborative research at NSU's Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research

Khan, a senior biology major, is one of seven students in the Undergraduate Honors Program participating in research at the RGICR, which began offering undergraduate opportunities in 2008 under the leadership of executive director Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., associate dean at NSU’s College of Pharmacy.

“Now that I’m here, directly in the lab and doing experiments, it’s nice to see the other side of research and how it can directly affect patients’ lives,” said Khan, who is now attending NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. “It has been a very rewarding experience.

“If we are successful, what we are doing at the institute may lead to a new treatment or therapy down the line. Being part of this investigative process really means a lot to me. We see that this is one important step in the process toward really making a difference.”

Working in teams of two or three, the Honors students gain hands-on research training and experience working under the guidance and supervision of senior scientists, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

Students engage in training that includes lab skills, techniques, and an understanding of the research process, including how to read and interpret literature published in previous studies. Each team is assigned to work on a project that is closely monitored by scientists who meet with students to discuss their progress.

In addition to Khan, Honors students and biology majors Sam Batko, Syed Hussain, Keerthi Thallapureddy, Shona Joseph, Lekha Mutyala, and Venkata Manda were part of the student research teams during the 2015-2016 academic year.

“With NSU being a premier university in Florida, we provide this unique opportunity for our undergraduate students to do research, expand their knowledge base, and become well-rounded graduates,” said Rathinavelu, who meets with each student beforehand to assess “their understanding of what it takes to do research, how it can be applied, and how this experience can benefit them in the future.”

“All of their work is in the lab,” Rathinavelu said. “They work as teams so they can help each other and reinforce their knowledge. Instead of one person struggling to find a solution to a problem, they work together. The focus is drug discovery, finding new therapeutics, new diagnostic methods.”

Sam Batko, a sophomore whose team is testing the effects of drug compounds on ovarian cancer cell lines, likes “being very hands-on and working with other people to solve a problem. We collaborate with each other. Everyone is very supportive. In the lab, we are learning new techniques, and that builds a basic foundation to improve our skill level.

“It’s definitely a great opportunity,” Batko said. “This is cancer research. If we are successful with our experimental findings, we could actually make a difference. That’s what drives me.”

Students have an opportunity to present and publish their work, an advantage if they later apply to residency and fellowship programs, Rathinavelu said. Several Honors students presented at NSU’s 2016 Undergraduate Student Symposium. Khan also presented her work at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in New Orleans.

The RGICR accepts an average of 12 undergraduate students each year; most work there for two to four semesters as part of internships or independent study programs. Since 2008, about 70 students have participated in the undergraduate research program at the cancer research institute. Of those, about 60 to 70 percent have moved into professional degree programs such as medical, pharmacy, or dental schools. Others enter graduate or doctoral programs.

“Undergraduate students help in projects that are conducted to understand—for example—how cancers grow and what causes them to become more aggressive? What kind of treatments will be more effective? Drug resistance is seen in some types of cancer cell lines. How can we work on that resistance?  A lot of them work with natural plant-derived products, which are tested for therapeutic potential,” Rathinavelu said.

“These are the kind of projects they do. These are small pieces that make up the big picture. Whatever knowledge they help us gain will help us eventually in finding new cures for cancer,” he said.

Keerthi Thallapureddy, a student in the Dual Admission Program for Osteopathic Medicine, is excited to be working on a team looking at potential treatments for ovarian cancer. “The work is a collaborative effort,” Thallapureddy said. “We work together as a team to complete a project.”

“I have gained experience and confidence in my abilities to learn and apply lab techniques,” said Syed Hussain, a senior. “I am no longer scared of failure or making mistakes, and I learn from each mistake I make.”

Lekha Mutyala, a junior who worked at the institute in the 2015 winter and fall semesters, said the experience “fast-forwarded me to what I would be doing in professional school.

“Having done this research in my undergraduate years prepared me for what lies ahead,” Mutyala said. “Reading literature pieces, analyzing them, writing, and researching also served as critical steps of the research process. I learned how to work with a partner by dividing certain tasks and writing sections of the literature paper we were asked to submit. And being critiqued at meetings by the staff members was an eye-opener about presentation skills and handling intensive questions on the spot.”

Rathinavelu hopes to expand the program now that the institute has moved into NSU’s new Center for Collaborative Research facility at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus.

“There are many opportunities to attract a greater number of students in the new facility,” Rathinavelu said. “When I took over in 2007, there were only three other people apart from me. We are at the stage where we are ready for growth. Here, the students have greater opportunities for doing many different things.”

Said Khan: “It’s a great feeling when things go as planned. When things don’t go as expected, it’s even more interesting to use your problem-solving and investigative skills and modify the experiment, or go back to the literature, and figure out the root of the problem.”

Pictured L-R: Venkata Sai Manda; Shona Joseph; Zara Khan; Lekha Mutyala (standing); Keerthi Thallapureddy; and Sam Batko. Not pictured: Syed Hussain

NSU’s new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room, made possible by a generous donation by Craig and Barbara Weiner, is set to hold its official grand opening and dedication ceremony on Sunday, October 16 at 10:30 a.m. Judy Paul, the mayor of Davie, is expected to be in attendance as well as several Holocaust survivors along with other local dignitaries. The room is located on the second floor of NSU’s Alvin Sherman Library. This new facility is the first of its kind on any university campus in South Florida. 

NSU's Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room to Open Thanks to Craig and Barbara Weiner

The room will offer NSU students and the general public a place to learn about, and to contemplate the horrendous acts that result from intolerance and hate.  One of the two rooms will house a number of computers with headphones for NSU students, members of the faculty, staff, and the public at large to research and watch thousands of survivor testimonies, utilize a Holocaust encyclopedia, and research images, films and topics of interest linked to research museums and memorials around the world including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., Yad Vashem in Israel, the Museums at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau the USC Shoah Foundation and the Imperial War Museum in London. There will also be some 30 or more subject films available for viewing. The room will further highlight hundreds of wall mounted images including research maps depicting the location of the major labor and extermination camps. 

In addition, an endowed fund has been established to provide resource materials, maintenance of the room, and support related special events.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Craig and Barbara Weiner. The Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room at the Alvin Sherman Library will house essential educational resources for the NSU community and the residents of Broward County and provide education about this extremely important period in world history. ” said Lydia Acosta, M.A., NSU vice president of information services and university librarian. 

The larger room will house a large flat screen which will play continuous video from the Holocaust period, most of which are actual archival films made with home movie cameras.  This room will contain comfortable seating for participants to review a number of historical newspapers from the 1930’s and 1940’s; propaganda material used by the Nazis; bookcases filled with Holocaust research books, as well as display cases containing original artifacts. 

“It’s important that we do not forget the lessons from the past,” said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury. “With so few survivors of the Holocaust remaining, resources like this one are vital to help tomorrow’s generation avoid the atrocities of past generations. We’re pleased to receive this gift and proud that this new educational resource will be available to NSU students, members of the faculty and staff and to the community at large.”

For Craig and Barbara Weiner, their dream of creating a space in South Florida dedicated to these goals led them to the NSU Alvin Sherman Library. Their relationship with NSU began in the 1980s when Barbara earned her B.S. in Elementary Education at NSU, and their children attended NSU University School. Their son later graduated from NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Weiners have been generous donors to NSU ever since, and Craig is also a member of NSU’s Ambassadors Board.

“We have always felt that the best way for our current and future generations to learn the importance of having greater respect for one another, and greater tolerance for our fellow humankind, is through Holocaust education. This room will provide unique and critical information about the Holocaust that will serve as an educational tool that can impact young people and the general public for years to come,” said Craig Weiner, President of the Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc.

Barbara and Craig co-founded the nonprofit Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc. (HLEF) in 2013 to encourage the expansion of Holocaust education in the United States. Beginning in 2014, HLEF partnered with NSU to host the annual Holocaust Reflection Contest, a statewide initiative enhancing Holocaust education for middle and high school students.

The financial gift for the Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room from Craig and Barbara Weiner advances Realizing Potential, NSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. This is the largest philanthropic campaign in its history which aims to raise $250 million for student, faculty, and 21st century education initiatives.

To see a Sun-Sentinel interview with Craig and Barbara Weiner and to get a glimpse at some of the artifacts that will be included in the Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room, click HERE.

The first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize, Gwendolyn Brooks, once said: “We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”

Donor Connection Message for July 2016

This wise observation lives at NSU through our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors. And it is my privilege to see this observation come to life every day.

In our labs, our conference rooms, our classrooms, and campuses, we are constantly reminded that it is the culmination of everyone’s unique perspectives, experiences, investigations, and contributions that allow knowledge and people to grow, and ideas to spring forth and thrive.

In this issue we feature a link to Dr. Hanbury’s Fiscal Year End Report, which highlights exciting announcements and advancements by NSU faculty, staff, and students. We also provide new story briefs that demonstrate how we are working with donors and other external funding partners to realize tremendous potential.

Thank you for the part you play in helping us plant and tend great seeds of hope.



The latest gift by a long-time NSU supporter will help fund an endowed scholarship for H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship undergraduate students with financial need.

NSU Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship recieves anonymous donation for undergrad scholarships

One of this scholarship fund’s recipients recently wrote:

I want to take the time to thank you for awarding me again such a generous scholarship. This is a major contribution to my education that will help me tremendously. As a student, paying for tuition is not an easy task, and to be given this scholarship is not only a help for my costs, but an honor as well. This is my final year as an NSU student, and this brings me closer to completing my degree and graduating.
As a soon-to-be senior, I am excited to graduate with my degree in finance and a minor in marketing. I chose Nova Southeastern University because of the opportunities this university has offered me. NSU has given me a quality education that will prepare me for my career, helping me do best and what I enjoy.
I aspire to continue my education for a masters in marketing as well. Though I leave my options broad, every step of the way I continue to refine myself, moving closer and becoming more specific to a career best suited for my talents. My main goal is to become an industry leader, build something up, or propel a company forward; in other words, a career that will challenge me. I want to work to push myself, not simply for monetary reasons. So I am extremely grateful for anything that helps me continue my path, and I plan myself to help future students achieve their educational goals as well when I become an alumnus.
Thank you again for your contribution. This scholarship helps my education, my career, my future. I will not disappoint, and I will honor the scholarship by continuing to work hard and provide the best grade reports I can earn.

A $100,000 donation by Florida Blue will help NSU College of Dental Medicine faculty and student researchers advance discoveries to repair cleft palates by regenerating bone in the hard palate region with stem cells. 

FloridaBlue donation for bone regeneration research
Florida Blue has supported scholarships in the past, but added the research initiative to go beyond helping people today by building a stronger future in the community.
“The research that is being done creates better outcomes and protects quality of life,” explained Penny Shaffer, Florida Blue marketing president for South Florida. “These are the hallmarks of the things that we find important, valuable, and absolutely mission critical for the health industry.”
Florida Blue operates in all 67 counties of Florida under the mission to build healthier communities, Shaffer added.
“We are indebted to Florida Blue for their support of our research program, and furthering our mission in finding novel treatment options,” said NSU College of Dental Medicine Associate Dean of Research Ana Karina Mascarenhas, B.D.S., M.P.H., Dr.P.H.

Solara, Inc., a Miami-based narmaceutical manufacturer and research company, recently made a $50,000 gift to support the Dean’s Excellence Fund at NSU College of Pharmacy (NSU-COP). The company president and CEO is Jose “Pepe” G. Rocca, R.Ph., Ph.D., who has also served as a faculty member of the college since the days of Southeastern University. Today, Dr. Rocca serves as a professor of pharmaceutics, where he has helped develop and establish a focused drug delivery research group, as well as provide advice for the formation of a graduate research program.

Solaralabs donates to NSU College of Pharmacy

Solara, Inc. specializes in the development of innovative nutraceutical products to help improve people’s health. Solara, Inc. and NSU-COP share a common vision to advance research in and understanding of nutrition and supplementation therapy, noted Rocca.

Solara, Inc.'s contribution will support NSU-COP priority areas for NSU’s Realizing Potential campaign, including research. The partnership also provides an opportunity for students to learn more about supplementation therapy and integrative pharmacy, an evolving area of pharmacy practice.

“The partnership between Solara, Inc. and NSU-COP will go far advance research and provide students with innovative opportunities for personal and professional development,” said NSU-COP Dean Lisa Deziel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., BCPS, FASHP. “A fond hope is that this contribution will pave the way for additional nutritional science funding.”

Through his 44 years in the practice of law, Gordon James III has mentored younger lawyers and held an interest in education and what it can do for people. Now, through a bequest, he has decided to support future students and endeavors at NSU Shepard Broad College of Law (SBCOL), NSU Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship (HCBE), and Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography (HCNSO). 

Gordon James helps three colleges at NSU Realize Potential

James first became aware of NSU while serving in an early leadership role with the Florida Defense Lawyers. He and Michael Richmond, a professor of law at NSU Shepard Broad College of Law (SBCOL), collaborated on a project, and James participated in NSU mock trials and classes at Richmond’s invitation.  James involvement deepened as a member of the college’s Board of Governors, a member of the search committee that recommended Jon Garon, J.D. as dean, and as an employer (James is a partner with Brinkley Morgan Attorneys at Law) who has hired NSU law alumni. He also joined NSU Ambassadors Board and serves on the executive committee. 

In addition, James has family ties to university. His stepson, Brent, attended SBCOL. His son Danny, a major in the Marines, fostered his entrepreneurial interests by earning his M.B.A. through the weekend program at Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Son in law Dr. Matt Ferenc, Assistant Director of Imperial Point Emergency room and member of NSU Ambassador’s Board is currently studying for his MPH at NSU.

NSU also matched with another one of James’ interests. Living in Florida, his love for nature extends to scuba diving, fishing, and an appreciation for our coral reefs. He attended a seminar at NSU Oceanographic Center and joined its advisory board soon thereafter. Rounding out this passion includes volunteering to help with the Carpenter House Marine Environmental Education Center, operated by NSU through a partnership with Broward County. The Center is expected to open to the public next year.

James credits his wife, Loni, with first suggesting that he give to NSU because she was grateful and so impressed with the professors and the legal education Brent was receiving there, which enabled him to excel and become editor and chief of The Law Review. He said they both also appreciate everything that NSU does, and they recognize that the university has to compete with larger schools that have existed longer.

“Life currently is about our community, our young people, and trying to create the best we can. The best place to give back is where there is a need for growth. There is so much being done at NSU to enhance medical care, business, law, society, everything,” James said. “Recognizing that, it is time to make decisions about how to give back and set up an estate plan, [I am also] recognizing that the primary interest is what I’m most involved in. It’s a great thing to be partners with NSU.”

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is a dynamic community resource that marks the center point of the South Florida art coast from Miami to the Palm Beaches. The ability to maximize its potential, however, depends upon philanthropic support of general operating as well as programming expenses.

NSU Entrepreneur Hall of Famer Steve Hudson answers Horvitz Matching Gift call
To provide an incentive for supporting the “Art at the Core” priority, the David and Francie Horvitz Foundation made a $1 million challenge grant that matches all new gifts to the museum of $10,000 - $50,000 for the next three years.
Recent Huizenga College Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductee, Steven W. Hudson, answered the call.
“The Hudson Family Foundation is honored to join Fran and David in supporting the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale,” said Holly Bodenweber, president of the Hudson Family Foundation and Steve’s sister. “The $1 Million Challenge Grant from the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation demonstrates their deep commitment to the arts in our community. Our family foundation has been a longtime supporter of the arts in Broward County, specifically NSU Art Museum, and this challenge fits perfectly with our focus on arts and education. We are extremely excited to be a part of this challenge and look forward to the continued success of our local, world-class museum.”

When do a child’s eating patterns need special attention? WPLG (ABC 10) shared the story of Ricardo, a five-year-old boy, who came to the Unicorn Feeding Clinic at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center for some much needed help.

Click HERE to read his story.


Segment on Unicorn Clinics at NSU's Mailman Segal Center

As you reflect, rest, and recharge this summer, consider NSU's mantra for students:  When you play to your strengths, you only get stronger.  

NSU's Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson May 2016

The subject of our first spotlight this month is Richard Ashworth, Pharm.D. ('99), president of retail and pharmacy operations for Walgreens. Richard represents the combined strength of NSU alumni, donors, volunteer advisers, and corporate and community leaders to power an unprecedented campaign for our university's present and future endeavors. NSU President Dr. George Hanbury’s vision is possible thanks to Richard, NSU faculty and staff members, and community-minded people like you.

Four months into the public launch of Realizing Potential, NSU is proud to announce that both of our external funding pursuits have achieved more than 50% of goal. That’s $250 million through philanthropy, and $300 million through sponsored research, service, and training projects for a total of $550 million to advance NSU’s Vision 2020.

The subject of our second spotlight was recently named Overall Student of the Year by her peers — H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship M.B.A. student Bridget Guerrero. Bridget embodies hallmark strengths that propel bright talents to realize their full potential through NSU. These include entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, tenacity, curiosity, and compassion.

As we all continue to work hard for our students, faculty and research, and 21st century education initiatives, I submit that realizing our full potential this summer involves two fun challenges.

Fun challenge #1 is to remember that the brain rebuilds and renews during rest. As Huffington Post reports, “it’s not a machine. It is a living, wondrously inventive, rapidly renewing organ. To get your brain to work better, here’s rule number one: rest for success.”

Fun challenge #2 is to literally “play” to your strengths in delightful, new ways. Explore, discover, exercise, eat healthy, tackle home projects, find creative ways to spend time with loved ones, and enjoy time in the sun (with sunscreen on).

I look forward to hearing the great results of your summer recharge.



Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations

(954) 262-2019

Peers from across the university recently honored Bridget Guerrero with the 2016 Student Life Achievement Award (STUEY) for Overall Student of the Year. In June, she will recieve her second degree from NSU. The first was a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from NSU's College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Her second is a master's degree in Marketing from H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. But for Guerrero, the connection with NSU will continue long after she crosses the stage and recieves her new diploma.

NSU alumnus and STUEY Overall Student of the Year Bridget Guerremo

In her words:

“I’m helping create a business incubator/accelerator for the Huizenga College of Business that will give students the opportunity to be innovative and entrepreneurial. If they have an idea that they want to pursue, they can take that concept from the ideation stage to the go-to-market stage and have our professors mentor them through the process, as well as connect them to the entire university – one NSU.”


“After I graduated from J.P. Taravella [High School] in 2007, I knew I wanted to change the world. I had joined the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training program in high school, and I saw that I was able to protect people and serve the country.  I studied criminal justice for my bachelor’s degree here at NSU because I thought I wanted to be an FBI agent. I went all the way to getting a baton as an armed security guard, but then I realized that I needed to make a change.

“I started looking more at my natural talents and what I could teach myself that would not only protect others, but also empower them to transform their lives. It’s one thing to be proactive and it’s another to be reactive. Security measures are more reactive. But when you’re proactive, you can touch people in such a way that they understand they have these skills and they can be and have whatever they want through hard work.”


“As an undergraduate student I started working for a nonprofit organization within the Fischler College of Education called the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation. I become the director of marketing, and created student scholarships that consisted of a time, accuracy or a quiz mechanism. This idea led to the first NSU IQ Scholarship.

“After that, I worked for start-up companies and saw first-hand the struggle for people to get companies off the ground. I learned that it matters who their mentors are and how they take the next steps so they’re not going around in circles.

“My breakthrough point came when I interned at Jarden Consumer Solutions in the Transformational Innovation department. There, we were tasked with creating a pod-based system for smoothies that requires no chopping and no mess. I did a lot of research on companies that sell juices to better understand the potential market. I also met my mentor at Jarden – he is an adjunct professor in innovation at NSU, as well as an NSU alumnus. He helped me think through the process of starting an incubator.”


“I put myself on a mission that when I graduate – I walk this June – I will leave a legacy behind that benefits students. When I chose to come to NSU, I saw this school as such a young school ready to grow. And I knew that I was going to factor into that. I want students to receive not only a higher education, but the ability to become empowered and profitable. The idea is not to simply graduate with honors and a degree. The idea is for students to say, ‘I have a degree and that degree is working for me.’

“It’s been really exciting, especially because I’ve been able to present in front of President Dr. Hanbury, Dean Preston Jones, the Provost, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Governors. I also was part of PanSGA, which supported me throughout. After I surveyed students and highlighted the demand for entrepreneurial opportunities, SGA allocated funds toward the development of a business accelerator/incubator. We are now actively working on the incubator with Huizenga College of Business Dean Preston Jones.

“As one next step, we hope to apply the allocated funds to remodel one room in the college. We want white boards everywhere, just very collaborative so you can see innovation happening. The second part of this is mentoring because people learn more when they teach others. Our hope is that when students finish their M.B.A., they can help other students with a class, passing along all those secrets we had to find out by ourselves.

“Mentors who are managers or business owners benefit as well because looking for talent is hard. By mentoring and working with students one-on-one, they can see students have certain potential and skills that they need.”


“In the meantime, I’m looking forward to serving on a new [Huizenga College of Business] alumni advisory council.

“Being nominated for the Student Life Achievement Award (STUEY) Student of the Year and Student Leadership Awards… all those things make me feel like my hard work was worth it. I am so proud that I can represent Huizenga College of Business, and I want to inspire everyone to find their own way to empower themselves and leave a legacy for others.”

"When I started pharmacy school, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) was Southeastern College of Pharmacy.  They merged with Nova and we moved from the old campus in Miami Beach up to Ft. Lauderdale to a larger campus as NSU. From the start though, there was something special about the faculty, the environment and the curriculum that made me feel that this was the perfect fit for me. NSU has always presented itself as a very progressive place. They didn’t follow the rules all the time, especially for pharmacy school. They went beyond the typical ‘this is the way things are historically done’ and ‘this is how things have always been done.’ They were challenging the status quo.

NSU alumnus, donor and volunteer Richard Ashworth, President Pharmacy and Retail Operations for Walgreens

"NSU was agile and actually kind of hip. It was a learning environment that was ever-changing, and that was exactly what prepared you for an ever-changing business environment. And healthcare has been changing dramatically ever since my days in pharmacy school, and change most certainly continues now.

"Another thing I loved about Nova Southeastern University when we finally moved up to the new campus, was the proximity to allied health professions – Occupational Therapy, Dentistry, D.O. school [Osteopathic Medicine]. There was good interaction between the classes. So you [developed] respect and understanding of other allied professions. I came away from pharmacy school truly understanding and respecting the unique contributions and importance of each of the allied health professions. That made me a better clinician and a better health care partner for other health care professionals, which means better care.

"[At NSU College of Pharmacy,] We’ve got someone [Dean Lisa Deziel] who is passionate about the profession, and who also is thinking about tomorrow. As an advisory member and alumni, and as a donor and a corporate leader, you are pushing NSU to keep pushing the envelope, keep being progressive, keep driving for change because that is what is happening out in the real world. The business world is changing. The competitive world is changing. And consumers and patients are changing. So therefore the education and training of our leaders have to change as well.

"[At Walgreens] we are definitely trying to become customer and patient-obsessed in everything we do. And I think the root of that comes from being patient-focused as a clinician. As a pharmacist, you are focused on the needs of your patients. You’re watching them, you’re listening to them, and you’re looking for what they are not saying. You are trying to understand the totality of the person in front of you. The person in front of you is not just taking medication. The person in front of you has relationships, challenges, ups and downs, emotional states, and mental health states that are important in their overall well-being.  At Walgreens, we like to help champion the rights of everyone to be happy and healthy. That’s what we give and that’s what we focus on, and pharmacy sits right at the center of that. It’s really easy for me as a Walgreens leader to connect back and forth between what NSU is able to do and the job that I have every day."


"Corporately, [philanthropy] is more challenging. First of all corporations have a lot more to give than most people can give on a personal level.   We want to be good stewards of our customers’ money. We want to be true to the brand. We’re also a community resource, and we invest a lot in therapy, in groups like the American Red Cross and in initiatives like Red Nose Day, where all the money goes to help children move out of poverty. We’ve sold 15 million red noses in the U.S. and we’ve raised over $20 million for these charities.

"Walgreens also has the Vitamin Angel project. Every time you buy a vitamin at Walgreens, we donate a life-saving liquid vitamin for a child in a third-world country who doesn’t have access to nutrition. Similarly, we have “Get a Shot, Give a Shot,” where every time you receive an immunization, we provide immunization in a third world country, usually for malaria or some other very serious disease prevention."


"We are investing in our future. I look at our organization and think about leading 240,000 employees. The legacy and the infrastructure that our forefathers gave to put into our hands to make sure we create a company that continues to support families. I feel we have a moral obligation to our employees to ensure that we’ve got a clean, physically and environmentally safe environment so they can live in and take care of their families. At some point, I’m going to have to hand that off to someone else, and that somebody else could be sitting in an NSU classroom right this second.

"I think a lot about investing in our future in terms of new leaders. I also believe that NSU does an unbelievable job clinically preparing a well-balanced pharmacist. It’s about a broad, balanced person who can run a business, who has a business understanding, who understands the political and legal environments, but also has very sound clinical training – you need all those things together to really be able to be successful. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that NSU is one of the progressive leading institutions that is preparing balanced leaders for tomorrow."


"I find that leaders often prioritize experience over potential. For instance, at Walgreens for many years, the only way you could get “job b” is if you had “job a.” And the only way you could get “job c” was if you have “job b.” But what happens in that environment is that you get great groupthink mentality of your business. You get people who know it, and who get to the next level and bring their knowledge of the last one into the next situation. What you don’t always get is rising stars. What you don’t always get is rock stars. What you don’t get is people whose clay and constitution enables them to go from A to F. They never get to “f” because they have to go through all these other steps.

"Realizing potential means taking risks. As an individual employee you need to take a risk sometimes. Maybe it’s a role you weren’t thinking about or excited about. Maybe it’s a class or trade that you didn’t prepare for. You went to pharmacy school thinking you were going to work retail and then you got out and now you are in a nuclear pharmacy or you’re in home infusion, or you’re in the hospital. Taking a risk is one way to realize potential. Realizing potential is faith in yourself and faith in whatever organization you are working for, and faith in the training you received."


"To understand the totality of what NSU does would be a challenge, but I would ask people to spend a little time and really understand what this organization does. And if anything in there resonates with your personal beliefs or your personal focus areas, don’t hesitate to get involved. There’s a willingness by NSU to embrace the alumni community. Actually, it’s a strong desire.

"I strongly believe that you have a responsibility to invest back in the institution that helped you get to where you are. For a long time, I didn’t think of it that way. It wasn’t until I saw students coming out of a different institution, a different school that I saw we really were not getting what we need. I can sit here as a leader and be frustrated by that, or I can get off my chair and help. By investing in just a small thing like being an advisory board member, I have been allowed to help shape the future leaders coming out of NSU. I think that that’s rewarding, yes, but it almost feels like an obligation to me at this point.

"Everyone will say that they don’t have the time, but you do. You can make the time. I will tell you that this job is fulfilling, but very demanding. With 8,200 locations, I fly everywhere all of the time. But even with a hectic schedule I have been able to make time – so it can be done."

The Developmental Assessment Clinic at the Unicorn Children’s Foundation Clinics at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center is expanding to provide comprehensive assessment and intervention services. Prevalence rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at an epidemic level, with current CDC estimates identifying 1 out of 68 children (1 out of 42 boys; 1 out of 189 girls) with ASD.

Taft Foundation named for NSU lead donor Don Taft

Children with ASD struggle with social communication and repetitive and restrictive behaviors leading to strained relationships with peers and family members in addition to decreased independent functioning throughout school and adulthood. Across the United States, a diagnosis is not received, on average, until he child is over 4 years old, even though diagnosis can reliably be obtained as early as 18 months of age. The average age of diagnosis is even older for children in high-need communities experiencing barriers to services. This delay in diagnosis delays crucial early intervention services and much needed support for families which highlights the critical need for expanded access to high quality assessment and interventions in our community.

“The TAFT Foundation’s gift to the NSU’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development has made a positive and lasting impact on our community.  Through their generosity, families with children with autism or other developmental challenges can access quality clinical and educational services, find important resources, obtain diagnoses, find appropriate programming and gain much-needed support,” said Roni Cohen Leiderman, Ph.D., dean of the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development.

From innovative, direct-service programs to academic coursework and research—responding to the needs of those affected by autism is a major focus for the university. NSU treats children on the autism spectrum in medical, dental, and behavioral health settings, and we conduct groundbreaking research in nutrition, brain development, behavior, diagnosis, and other areas affecting those with ASD.

Many of NSU’s innovative initiatives are national and international models, and would not be possible with-out donors committed to Realizing Potential: The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University. The Taft Foundation serves as a prime example.

Taft, together with H. Wayne Huizenga served as the two lead donors for what become NSU’s first comprehensive fundraising effort. Realizing Potential – The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University aims to raise $250 million through philanthropy. Another $300 million in external funding will be raised from sponsored research, service and training projects.

Prior to his passing in February, 2011, Don Taft was a business leader, philanthropist and a strong supporter of the South Florida community. In 2009, he combined his passion for athletics, helping special needs youth and NSU when he made a generous gift to the university and the Don Taft University Center was named in his honor, becoming the permanent home of the Special Olympics Broward County.

You can follow Taft’s lead in engaging and empowering people with disabilities. How? Simply ask Siri “How do I start a conversation with a person who has a disability?” Siri will answer “It is easy. Just say Hi!”

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook was quoted as saying “Inclusion inspires innovation and communication is the key. Start with Hi and take time to learn more. #JustSayHi”

According to the World Bank, about 15% of the world’s population, or approximately 1 billion people, live with some form of disability.

Walgreens recently named three $100,000 endowed scholarship funds supplemented by a spendable gift so that students can immediately benefit. 

Walgreens provides pharmacy scholarships at NSU

Walgreens Richard Ashworth Endowed Community Scholarship Fund
Walgreens Roy Ripak and Georgia Lehoczky Endowed Community Scholarship Fund
Walgreens Nivia Santiago and Georgia Lehoczky Endowed Community Scholarship Fund

News of the decision was delivered by Richard Ashworth, Pharm.D., Walgreens President, Pharmacy and Retail Operations and proud alumnus from the doctoral class of 1999.

“Our goal at Walgreens is to help support worthy students who plan to pursue a career in community pharmacy practice by providing individual scholarships to one or more students who meet the criteria,” said Ashworth. “Walgreens is pleased to support your organization in the endeavor and values our relationship with the College of Pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University.”

In addition to providing scholarships, Walgreens provides volunteers. Walgreens pharmacists working at South Florida stores serve as preceptors for NSU students participating in practice experiences. Ashworth serves on the dean’s advisory board for COP. Georgia Lehoczky, South Florida regional healthcare director and Mario Hernandez, sales executive, have served on the admissions committee and supported career day and other COP special events. They have also spoken to student groups and provided support for continuing education efforts as well as invited NSU representatives to discuss the future of the profession with visiting leaders from Walgreens. Lehoczky has further ensured that pharmacy techs from the university were trained to screen community members living with diabetes, providing a valuable service for not only the community, but the students as well.

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale announced it has received a $1 million challenge grant from the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation. This donation will support exhibitions, programming and operations. It will match gifts of $10,000 to $50,000 per donor, per year (three-year maximum per donor of $150,000) to NSU Art Museum from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019.

NSU Campaign Leadership Cabinet member David Horvitz and his wife Francie Bishop Good

The Horvitz Family Foundation is a leading benefactor of NSU Art Museum. This latest gift follows NSU Art Museum’s successful fulfillment of the foundation’s $1.5 million challenge grant announced in 2013 that coincided with Bonnie Clearwater’s arrival as the museum’s new director and chief curator. The initial challenge was matched with an additional $1.5 million in gifts to the museum by many first-time donors or increased support from existing patrons.

“Fran and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to support NSU Art Museum, which has become one of South Florida’s premier cultural institutions,” said David Horvitz. “Our family is deeply committed to expanding arts and cultural opportunities for those who live in and visit our community, and this challenge grant allows us to enlist our peers to help us achieve this vision.”

“David Horvitz and artist Francie Bishop Good have long recognized the transformative power of the arts in building community and the meaningful role that a museum can play in enriching lives,” said Bonnie Clearwater. “We are deeply grateful to David and Francie for their inspiring enthusiasm, commitment and generosity.”

The Horvitz challenge grant and matched donations will be part of Realizing Potential: The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University, the largest philanthropic campaign in the university’s 52-year history and in the history of Broward County. $250 million will be raised through this campaign. Another $300 million will come from sponsored research, service, and training programs.

David and Francie Horvitz are leading collectors and advocates of the arts and have been members of NSU Art Museum’s Board of Governors since 2007. David Horvitz is currently serving in his sixth year as Chairman of NSU Art Museum’s Board of Governors. In 2006, the couple established the Fort Lauderdale, Florida alternative arts space, Girls’ Club, which presents contemporary art exhibitions and programming focused on the work of women artists.

James and Cathy Donnelly surprised attendees at NSU’s 2016 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction with news of a $250,000 gift to Realizing Potential—The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University. James Donnelly, a 2014 Hall of Fame honoree and founder and chief executive officer of Castle Group, closed the event by announcing the gift will establish a new minor in property management as well as provide scholarships for undergraduates enrolling in the program at H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

NSU Campaign Leadership Cabinet members James and Cathy Donnelly

With their more than 40 years of combined experience running Castle Group (Cathy serves as director of community relations), the Donnellys say they came to recognize a shortage of talent entering the property management industry. They chose NSU to develop and deliver a specialized curriculum to help graduates excel in this field and to attract top talent to the industry.

“The addition of this new minor will set us apart from other business schools,” said J. Preston Jones, D.B.A., dean of NSU’s Huizenga College of Business. “We also expect it to help keep students in South Florida because there’s such a demand for employees with property management skills.”

Leveraging James Donnelly’s expert advice, Fred Forgey, director of the Huizenga College’s Real Estate Development Program, is designing the new minor. The program is anticipated to include a three-credit Property Management Internship and separate courses in residential and commercial property management. 

“James and I both believe that NSU can help many local youth realize their potential to excel in the field of property management and provide quality service to thousands of South Florida residents and business owners,” said Cathy Donnelly.

The Donnellys serve together on NSU’s Campaign Leadership Cabinet. The cabinet is comprised of community leaders who have committed their time, energy and personal generosity to champion NSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The philanthropic campaign goal is $250 million with $125 million of that total to be directed towards students, $75 million for faculty and $50 million designated for 21st century education.

As decades pass since the Holocaust, it is critical that we, as humanity, maintain the historical record of the largest genocide in world history and to honor those who perished, while preserving the memories of those who lived through it. “We must strive to provide opportunities for our current generation and those of tomorrow to reflect on the horrific events of the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from it,” said Craig Weiner, president of the Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc.

Craig and Barbara Weiner with Kenny Tate, Lydia Acosta, Dr. Jacqueline Travisano and Dr. Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson
For Craig and Barbara Weiner, their dream of creating a space in South Florida dedicated to these goals led them to the NSU Alvin Sherman Library. Craig and Barbara have lived in Weston since the early 1990s. Craig founded his real estate management and development company, Craig R. Weiner Associates, Inc., in Hollywood, Florida, and subsequently moved their offices to Weston. Their relationship with NSU began in the late 1980s when Barbara earned her B.S. in Elementary Education at NSU, and their children attended NSU University School. Their son later graduated from the NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Weiners have been generous donors to NSU ever since, and Craig is also a member of NSU’s Ambassadors Board.
Barbara and Craig co-founded the nonprofit Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc. (HLEF) in 2013 to encourage the expansion of Holocaust education in the United States. The organization’s website states that “students must be encouraged to have the bravery and the courage to follow their moral conscience in STANDING UP when they witness injustice and see things happening that they absolutely know are wrong, including, but not limited to, bullying […] which is often a result of racism, anti-Semitism, or bigotry. […] We strive to show our nation’s youth what history has proven happens from these ‘cancers’ that continue to permeate our society, and in this regard we teach young people how critically important it is for them to learn the lessons of the Holocaust, and to understand how relevant these lessons are in making their daily life choices.”
Beginning in 2014, HLEF partnered with NSU to host the annual Holocaust Reflection Contest, a statewide initiative enhancing Holocaust education for middle and high school students. Participating students study the testimonials of Holocaust survivors; reflect on what they’ve learned; then submit original writing, art, and film projects expressing how those lessons apply to their own lives. HLEF awarded the contest’s 2014 and 2015 winning students, their teachers, and one parent per student an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and meet with national and international dignitaries. 

At the library’s annual Circle of Friends Gala on May 14, NSU was pleased to announce that the couple has contributed a significant gift to the university to establish the Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room on the library’s second floor. Set to open in the coming academic year, the room will offer NSU students and the general public a place to learn about, and to contemplate the atrocities that result from intolerance and hate. 

“Barbara and I could not be happier, nor more honored than to be a partner with this outstanding university,” said Craig. “NSU has shown unhesitating and unrivaled leadership in extending itself for the betterment of our community. NSU is a true leader in education. The growth at this university in so many ways is simply incredible, and the Alvin Sherman Library will be a major focal point of the university and will be here for the very long term. With that in mind, we could not have found a better partner to create this amazing project with. The Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room will be a wonderful resource for our students and the community to enjoy and learn from for many, many years.”

Retired from Eastern Airlines, Jo Ann Cremata knows how to turn connections into meaningful destinations. Her journey with NSU began when a long-time friend brought her to tour NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus in 2011. Cremata then extended her exploration to include an Alvin Sherman Library Circle of Friends author luncheon, a Women in Power luncheon at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and later a tour of the NSU Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center.

NSU Fellows Society Donor Jo Ann Cremata

The combination of preserving natural resources and expanding marine science education proved to be the perfect landing point for Cremata’s philanthropy. Cremata made her first gift a legacy gift to benefit the Oceanographic Center first, and then the Alvin Sherman Library, which also made her a founding member of NSU’s 1964 Society. A new gift establishes the Jo Ann Cremata Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarships beginning fall 2016 through a supplemental gift.  The scholarships are open to undergraduate students in the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography who have a cumulative NSU GPA of at least 3.0.
“Jo Ann’s generosity in establishing the Jo Ann Cremata Endowed Scholarship Fund will enable undergraduate students at the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography to further their education in the sciences and work toward building the next generation of doctors, oceanographers and researchers,” said Richard E. Dodge, Ph.D., dean of Halmos College.

Traveling full circle, Cremata has also begun arranging tours of NSU’s Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center for her friends.

NSU’s Shepard Broad College of Law received a $1 million grant from The Taft Foundation to establish an innovative clinical program to address the legal needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (AIDD) and their families.

Don Taft Foundation Gift to Shepard Broad College of Law

The NSU AIDD Law Clinic will be launched in the fall of 2016 and will begin enrolling third-year students to staff it by January 2017.

“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a myriad of legal issues that can impede their independence and infringe on their individual rights,”

said Jon Garon, J.D., dean of NSU’s Shepard Broad College of Law. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to serve this vastly underserved population by partnering with The Taft Foundation to provide pro bono legal services.”

While the particular fields of representation will vary depending on client needs, the most likely focus areas will be public benefits, housing, and educational rights. NSU’s College of Law will be working closely with the Brooklyn Law School which introduced a similar clinic last spring, also funded by a grant from The Taft Foundation.

In addition, the AIDD clinic will provide community outreach through workshops, events, and community training to educate and encourage these adults, their families, service providers, and the general public regarding issues facing the affected population.

Prior to his passing in February, 2011, Don Taft was a business leader, philanthropist and a strong supporter of the South Florida community. In 2009, he combined his passion for athletics, helping special needs youth and NSU when he made a generous gift to the university and the Don Taft University Center was named in his honor, becoming the permanent home of the Special Olympics Broward County.

“This $1 million grant will enable NSU, through the Shepard Broad College of Law, to continue reaching out to South Florida’s special needs community to improve their day-to-day adult lives,” said NSU President Dr. George L. Hanbury. “Since serving the community is one NSU’s core values, we welcome this opportunity to further strengthen our commitment to this key group of deserving people.”

The $1 million grant will be distributed in $250,000 increments over four years.

Garon added, “The clinic will offer our students the opportunity to realize their potential by exposing them to a wide range of skills, including litigation, planning and drafting, and mediation. It’s an unparalleled laboratory for them to develop their professional identities. We hope it will inspire many students to work on behalf of clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their legal careers.”

The AIDD clinic expands the clinical legal education provided to NSU Law students and service to the Broward County underprivileged community. NSU Law also offers ten additional in-house and field-placement based clinical programs. In addition to opportunities for law students, the NSU Law clinic recently added a Legal Incubator program which partners with newly admitted lawyers to expand their professional training while expanding pro bono legal services to the community.

On May 20, 2016, Crislus Paulino celebrated her triumph over a brain tumor by graduating from NSU’s College of Pharmacy.

In February 2012, only one year into her doctoral program, Paulino was having trouble concentrating and was experiencing regular headaches. She went to a neurologist who recommended an MRI. When the results came in, the news was dismal. Paulino was diagnosed with stage-2 glioblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor.

Paulino started to have seizures and had to withdraw from classes at NSU that spring. Her doctors said the tumor was too small to operate at the time. They continued to monitor Paulino and cleared her to go back to school later that year. Once the tumor was large enough to safely operate, she underwent successful brain surgery in June 2014 and returned to school that fall.

She was not alone on her journey back. One of Paulino’s professors, Jaime Weiner Riskin, PharmD., also survived a brain tumor.

“We have a scar in the same place, and her hair had grown back a lot more than mine, and I always think of her when I do my hair,” Riskin told a Channel 7 News reporter. “I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s growing back like Crislus.’”

Five years after beginning pharmacy school, Paulino graduated surrounded by her husband, Elliott Anico, along with her family and classmates. Upon completing her board exams and becoming a licensed pharmacist, she plans to move to Parkland and pursue a career at Publix.

The move from Toronto, Canada to South Florida to attend NSU has proven to be “the best decision,” says Marie Ang, an M.B.A. student at the NSU H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. One factor that helped pave the way for her transition from a city known for multiculturalism was NSU’s diversity.

“I can feel right at home at NSU,” said Ang, who adds that South Florida’s outdoor life helps her enter the classroom feeling reenergized.

“I really love NSU. I really love the energy. I love the people,” adds Ang. “NSU has helped give me a renewed sense of who I am and what I am meant to do. I started this journey when I realized that I wanted to do more in life; I wanted to be more involved. NSU has shown me that being a leader is not only about what I do but what I can do for other people.”

Racing champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will suit up for his ninth Indy 500 on Sunday, May 29, but he’s got more riding on this race than ever before.

Ryan Hunter-Reay Indy car on display at NSU

Alongside AutoNation, the country’s largest automotive retailer, Hunter-Reay is pledging to spread awareness about the importance of raising funds to accelerate the race to find a cure for cancer. Since 2013, AutoNation and Hunter-Reay, through his non-profit Racing for Cancer, Inc., have generated more than $6 million to fund cancer research. And now, just in time for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, NSU, AutoNation, and Hunter-Reay will mark the event in a unique way.

“As I drive the iconic track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, my focus will not only be on the biggest prize in sports racing, but on the even bigger prize of finding a cure for a disease that has impacted me and so many people in such a dramatic way,” said Hunter-Reay, who lost his mother to colon cancer in 2010.

To raise awareness of the importance of funding cancer research, Racing for Cancer unveiled a display of Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 DHL Honda Indy Car at NSU’s Don Taft University Center on May 23, 2016. The display will remain indefinitely.

Middle school students from the NSU University School were on hand to learn about the importance of cancer research. Representatives from AutoNation will join to celebrate the unveiling and help spread the word on the importance of finding better methods of prevention, treatments, and cures.

“NSU is heavily focused on cancer research and is making strident efforts to bring experts from a variety of fields together to tackle different forms of this terrible disease,” said George Hanbury, Ph.D., NSU president. “We are proud to work with Mr. Hunter-Reay, Racing for Cancer, and AutoNation to drive out cancer.”

NSU is also working to advance cancer research with the September 2016 opening of the NSU Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), one of the largest and most advanced research facilities in Florida, with state-of-the-art laboratories. The CCR will be home to NSU’s Institute for Breast and Solid Tumor Cancer Research, NSU’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research, NSU’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, and the NSU Cell Therapy Institute (a partnership with researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet), all of which will collaborate on cancer research. Additionally, researchers from NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography are collaborating with the labs to develop natural sea-derived drug products.

PHOTO:  (At Top) AutoNation Chief Marketing Officer Marc Cannon with NSU University School Head of School William Kopas, M.Ed.; NSU EVP/COO Jacqueline A. Travisano, Ed.D.; Razor, VP for Advancement and Community Relations Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.; and NSU College of Pharmacy Associate Professor Jean Latimer, Ph.D. (At Bottom) VP Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D. and middle school students from NSU University School. (NSU leadership and researchers in attendance, but not pictured) VP for Facilities Jessica Brumley and NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Associate Professor Stephen Grant, Ph.D.

Founded in 1997, NSU’s College of Dental Medicine has the distinction of being the first private dental college established in the state of Florida, and the first College of Dental Medicine established in partnership with a College of Osteopathic Medicine in the United States. The high level of training provided depends upon the philanthropy of companies like Nobel Biocare, a pioneer in the field of implant-based dental restorations. Nobel Biocare recently provided $150,000 in addition to in-kind support, bringing their lifetime giving to NSU to nearly $1.5 million.

NSU welcomes Nobel Biocare to Sharks Circle donor society

“The NSU College of Dental Medicine appreciates the long standing partnership with Nobel Biocare,” said NSU College of Dental Medicine Dean Linda C. Niessen, D.M.D., M.P.H. “This partnership has enhanced the pre-doctoral educational program, enabling dental students to increase their experience in providing dental implants for patients.”

The College of Dental Medicine Patient Care Center, located in Nova Southeastern University's College of Dental Medicine building, offers patients comprehensive dental care within a university setting. Dental care has also been expanded to our satellite dental clinic located in North Miami Beach. Pediatric dental care is provided at the KID dental clinic in Wilton Manors and the Joe DiMaggio Medical building.

Patients can choose from treatment options  that include general dentistry as well as specialty care, such as, orthodontics (braces), pediatric dentistry (children's dentistry), endodontics (root canal therapy), periodontics (gum surgery, implants), oral surgery (extractions, jaw surgery, implants) and prosthetics (complete and removable partial dentures, crowns, bridges).

Legendary Miami Dolphins Defensive End Jason Taylor, established the Jason Taylor Foundation to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need. The foundation focuses on improved health care, education, and quality of life. 

Jason Taylor Foundation Supports Young Author's Workshops and Louder Than a Bomb Poetry Festival
Most recently Taylor joined the Campaign Leadership Cabinet for Realizing Potential – The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University.  His foundation’s latest gift, together with support by Erwin and Barbara Mautner Charitable Foundation, supports the Young Authors Summer Series at NSU’s Alvin Sherman Library. The series invites young authors ages 13-18 to expand their literary talents and polish writing skills through fun and creativity-stretching writing workshops. In addition, for the past three years, Taylor’s foundation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Louder Than a Bomb Florida Poetry Festival, hosted in partnership with NSU.
Regarding the poetry festival, Taylor has said, “We believe very strongly in not only educating the young people we serve, but also in empowering them to develop their voice.”
Just as the poetry festival aims to amplify young people’s voices through the art of the spoken word, NSU’s Young Author’s workshops aim to empower young people to express themselves through the art of the written word.

With art, writing, and theatre crew in the forefront, swimming and cheer coaching as pastimes, and architecture as a passion, 11th grader Sierra Callwood is a well-rounded, all-star student at NSU University School (USchool). But it’s her growing interest in robotics that has recently garnered national attention. 

NSU University School junior Sierra Callwood

When Sierra was in sixth grade, she began experimenting with gears, robots, and the like on her own. Once she entered USchool’s Upper School, she joined the Robotics Program and advanced her skills. She quickly mastered simple task projects and programming, and eventually built competition robots for the school’s Robotics Team. Fascinated with the problem-solving component of building a robot, Sierra then joined the Advanced Robotics class, which strengthened her abilities in creative thinking and strategy development.

“I enjoy building robots the most. There’s a challenge in taking apart and putting back together competition robots,” said Sierra. “But it’s also freeing to know that you can use whatever you want to build the robot.” 

Last year, Sierra’s dedication to the field of robotics paid off when she received a World Championship Robotics award. This year, she won first place in an international online robotics competition with more than 1,000 student participants from around the world. This first-place win qualified Sierra’s Robotics Team to compete in the Vex World Championship, and she received a $750 gift certificate to Vex Robotics.

Because this field combines architecture and spatial reasoning, Sierra’s love of robotics has helped develop her dream to pursue a career in architecture. She is excited about her future and the prospect of attending a college where she can study this subject while continuing her interest in robotics.

“NSU University School creates great opportunities and resources for its students,” she said. “My teachers have pushed me to do my best and learn my strengths.”

We are four months into the public launch of Realizing Potential – The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University!  Below is a brief quarterly report. We have had some nice successes already, and with your assistance, I know that we can look forward to many more.

NSU Campaign Leadership Cabinet Report

Three things that you, as Campaign Leadership Cabinet members, can do to help us realize tremendous potential are 1) facilitate an introductory meeting with a new lead, 2) suggest a person you can bring along for a campus tour or to an NSU event, and 3) provide a date(s) when you would be willing to host a small gathering in your home, a local restaurant, or on campus.

So far, intimate events like the one hosted by fellow cabinet member Patricia Du Mont for Fischler College of Education Dean Lynne Schrum, and another hosted by NSU Trustee Carol Harrison in her home have been a terrific hit. Harrison showcased NSU medical research, the opening of the Center for Collaborative Research, the Karolinska Institutet partnership, and the approved HCA hospital. NSU’s development team can help you do the same.

I also want to give a quick shout-out to fellow cabinet members James and Cathy Donnelly and their company Castle Group. James closed the recent Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Induction ceremony by announcing a significant gift to support the new Property Management minor in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Thank you to James and Cathy!

Please take a few moments to read through this briefing, and call or email the team today using the contact information at the end of the report.

Best regards,


J. Kenneth Tate
NSU Trustee and Chair, Campaign Leadership Cabinet

Philanthropic Fundraising (as of 4/16/16)

$21 million FY 16 Goal: $19,421,864 (92%)

$250 million 2020 Goal: $140,428,255 (56%)

Top Gifts for FY 16 (7/1/15 - 3/31/16)

AutoNation * Bien Air USA * James and Cathy Donnelly * Stanley and Pearl Goodman * George Hanbury, Ph.D. * The Estate of Dr. Paul Hersey * Mike and Alice Jackson * Albert and Beatriz Miniaci * Racing for Cancer, Inc. * The Taft Foundation * Kenny and Sandy Tate * Craig and Barbara Weiner *

News Highlights

New Hospital: HCA East Florida received state approval for a new hospital to be built on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. The 200-bed community hospital will serve South Florida, and will eventually become a teaching and research facility integrated with NSU’s clinics, research centers, and clinical trials. This milestone addition, coupled with this year’s opening of NSU’s Center for Collaborative Research, will provide students and faculty members expanded opportunities for research and training.

Founding Dean: Johannes W. Vieweg, M.D., FACS, is the founding dean of NSU’s College of Allopathic Medicine. Vieweg joins NSU from the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, where he served as the Wayne and Marti Huizenga Endowed Research Scholar’s Chair, director of the UF Prostate Disease Center, and chairman of the Florida Prostate Cancer Advisory Council. NSU will be the only university in the Southeastern United States to house both an osteopathic (D.O.) medical school and an allopathic (M.D.) medical school. The first class of M.D. candidates could be welcomed in 2018, subject to achieving preliminary accreditation.
“Dr. Vieweg has a stellar reputation as a physician leader and researcher, and with his guidance, NSU’s College of Allopathic Medicine will be home to a strong M.D. program that complements NSU’s existing D.O. program in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and helps meet the growing need for physicians in our community and on a regional and national level,” said President George Hanbury, Ph.D.

New Dean: Yong X. Tao, Ph.D. is the new dean of College of Engineering and Computing. Tao joins NSU from the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, where he served as founding chair of the Mechanical and Energy Engineering (MEE) Department. There, he led the impressive growth of MEE programs – the enrollment climbed to approximately 750 undergraduate students and 80 M.S. and Ph.D. students in just five years. In addition, Dr. Tao was instrumental in securing accreditation for the MEE undergraduate program and establishing the new Ph.D. program.

“Dr. Tao is an internationally renowned researcher in fundamentals of thermal sciences and engineering as well as renewable energy applications,” said President George Hanbury, Ph.D. “With his more than 27 years of academic research and teaching experience, he will take NSU’s College of Engineering and Computing to the next level.”

Legacy Giving: At 37 years of age, NSU alumnus William Scott Parker Jr. of The Parker-Harrigan Group decided to show his support of Realizing Potential by making an annual gift, a matching corporate gift, and a legacy gift.  Since the public launch of our campaign at the end of January, NSU has received nine new legacy gifts – (2) Trustees, (2) professors, (3) staff members, (4) alumni (two are staff, and one is a Trustee) and (1) friend of NSU. All are now founding members of NSU’s 1964 Society, named for the university’s founding year. All donors who make legacy gifts prior to December 31, 2016 will be considered founding members.

"I look at where I am in my career, and to be honest I wouldn't have my current job if I didn't get my M.B.A. from NSU,” said Parker, a 2006 graduate of the Huizenga College of Business. “We plan on giving to NSU well beyond my company match for the Veterans Resource Center, and the planned gift that my wife and I recently undertook. We committed to the planned gift, because it’s the most impactful way that we can support the Realizing Potential campaign at this point in time.”
“Building great facilities, attracting top professors and educating talented students at NSU only enhances the business community and the living environment in South Florida,” he added. “My commitment is to lead by example in upping my philanthropic ante as I realize further financial success in life. Hopefully my actions will prove inspiring.”

NSU is #2 in State for Bar Pass Rate: NSU's Shepard Broad College of Law (SBCL) graduates came in second in the state for the February 2016 Florida Bar. NSU’s first-time pass rate was 75 percent, placing the college just behind Florida International University and far ahead of the 58.4 percent state average for the exam. More than 40 SBCL students who passed the Florida Bar exam—both first time and second time testers—participated in a swearing-in ceremony at the NSU Panza Maurer Law Library at Leo Goodwin Hall on campus.

NSU Philanthropic Campaign Team Contacts

Dr. Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, V.P. for Advancement and Community Relations

A campaign requires vision and direction as well as priorities that spark conversation so together, we can formulate plans to realize tremendous potential. Our campaign is also university-wide. That is why every NSU college and center has a case for support specific to its needs. But cumulatively, all priorities roll up into one of three main priorities:  Our Students, Our Faculty, and 21st Century Education.

NSU Overall Case Statement

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Technology Center

College of Allopathic Medicine (M.D.) - Coming Soon

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

College of Dental Medicine

College of Engineering and Computing

College of Health Care Sciences

College of Medical Sciences (Covered by donations to HPD Foundation)

College of Nursing

College of Optometry

College of Osteopathic Medicine

College of Pharmacy

College of Psychology

Farquhar Honors College

H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship

Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography

Shepard Broad College of Law

Mailman Segal Center for Human Development

NSU Art Museum

NSU University S

YOU helped publicly launch the largest fundraising effort in the history of NSU and Broward County!

NSU's Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson March 2016

On January 31st at NSU's Celebration of Excellence, Dr. Hanbury announced that we surpassed the midpoint of our goal to raise $250 million through philanthropy by 2020! This is part of Dr. Hanbury's Vision 2020 goal of raising more than half a billion dollars in external support for NSU–$250 million in philanthropy and $300 million in sponsored research, service, and training projects.

We also honored the Miniaci Family (Rose, Dominick and Meike, and Albert and Beatriz) for excellence in community service and recognized seven Shark Circle donors whose lifetime giving to NSU exceeds $1 million: The Alters Family, Bonnie Laitman Eletz and the William & Mildred Lasdon Foundation, Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman, Suzanne and the late Dr. Paul Hersey, Mike and Alice Jackson, Albert and Beatriz Miniaci, and Kenny and Sandy Tate and family.

Their support and yours advances the mission of the only doctoral research institution based in Broward County and connecting with scholars regionally across Florida, in Puerto Rico, and online globally.

In this issue, we introduce three NSU Sharks who never stop moving forward. Scott Parker, Jr., a young alumnus, made an annual gift, a legacy gift, and a matching gift to support Realizing Potential – The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University. Brielle Rassler is a psychology doctoral student who is continuing to “customize” her education at NSU. And alumna Nilda Banchs, Pharm.D., is a pharmacy owner in Puerto Rico who dedicates time and treasure to develop, through NSU, the next generation of industry leaders for her island. Their stories make me proud and excited to be involved in this momentous collaboration.

If you have an idea(s) for realizing potential through NSU, please share your thoughts with me via email, or the next time we see each other. I welcome the chance to talk with you."


Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations

(954) 262-2019

"I look at where I am in my career, and to be honest I wouldn't have my current job if I didn't get my M.B.A. from NSU. I’m an alumnus and my family resides in Fort Lauderdale. We plan on giving to NSU well beyond my company match for the Veterans Resource Center, and the planned gift that my wife and I recently undertook. We committed to the planned gift that will support The NSU Fund, because it’s the most impactful way that we can support the Realizing Potential campaign at this point in time. As our careers progress, we're hopeful it will allow us to continue supporting NSU well into the future. Building great facilities, attracting top professors and educating talented students at NSU only enhances the business community and the living environment in South Florida. Talented alumni will remain in our communities well beyond graduation, they will join local companies, create entrepreneurial businesses and raise their families; it's a cyclical, almost a self-fulfilling prophesy making South Florida a more thriving environment. 

William Scott Parker, Jr.

“There are many elite universities across the country, most driven by strong endowments that've been built and supported by alumni over multiple generations. We have a premier university here in Broward County that has been championed by the generosity of local philanthropists over the years. There are so many impactful names throughout our community that are associated with NSU; whether it is Huizenga, Halmos or Horowitz. I think that’s wonderful, however we need Alumni to begin stepping up if the university's long-term goals are to be met. For graduates that attended NSU and received an education that's pivotal to their success, I believe it falls on our shoulders to secure the sustainability of this university for future students and the betterment of our community. 

“I think as a relatively younger alumnus -- I'm 37 years old – my commitment is to lead by example in upping my philanthropic ante as I realize further financial success in life. Hopefully my actions will prove inspiring, or at least cause other graduates to take pause and think about if now is an appropriate time to begin giving back to the university. There are so many highly successful people in in South Florida that are NSU graduates working in multiple professional disciplines; I interact with them on a daily basis.

“[My wife] Sarah is a Florida native born and raised in Miami and West Palm Beach, and I think she sees the impact that NSU is having on South Florida from multiple angles. NSU is one of the largest employers in Broward County; the jobs the university creates and professionals it graduates are impactful.  As the university continues to grow and thrive the byproduct will result in South Florida being a better place to live, work and raise families. 

We started off supporting the Ambassadors Board by the sponsoring the annual golf tournament.  I always tell people that the Ambassadors Board is positive for business, positive for Broward County, and most importantly positive for NSU.

“Our family committed to the planned gift because we wanted to do something meaningful for NSU after I recently heard Dr. Temple speak at an Ambassadors Board breakfast meeting. Very exciting things are transpiring at NSU from a medical perspective. Research will soon be underway that could one day save the life of people we know. Also watching the Oceanographic Center go up and seeing what a marvelous facility has been produced upon its completion; I’m passionate about fishing, and the future health of our oceans for generations to come. My wife and I are not at levels in our careers currently where we can stroke personal checks of $25,000 or $50,000. However, the ability to make a planned gift to NSU allows our family to make an influential difference for future NSU students; the fact that our gift will be counted for NSU's current Realizing Potential campaign only makes our donation that much more satisfying. For Sarah and me to have the ability to make a $10,000 gift that will produce $100,000 of benefit to the university in the distant future is very exciting. I can only imagine the university's potential if NSU continues on its current trajectory, and is successful in getting alumni more philanthropically involved.

“My parents, Sarah’s family, my business partners and many friends all live and work here in Broward County and throughout South Florida. That makes giving to NSU something we view as tangible and beneficial on multiple levels, Sarah and I have bought-in to promoting the university with our time and finances. We’re involved in terms of going to events and in spreading the word regarding the potential of this institution. We believe that financially supporting NSU will allow the university to continue building premiere facilities, attracting top professors and educating talented students. Sarah and I have witnessed firsthand that many successful NSU graduates remain in South Florida, making Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas better places to live, work and raise our family.”

“I started my own pharmacy with a friend in 1990. Now the pharmacy is 28 years old. And it has been 25 years since I graduated from NSU. People told me I did not need a Pharm.D. degree, but to have [a pharmacy school] so near to my house and my work, I said I should give myself the opportunity. It’s a very nice history because it was a great adventure.

Brielle Rassler

“Around 1995 we heard about the new Pharm.D. that was going to be integrated into a school in Puerto Rico. We got together with other pharmacists around the area and invited Dr. Andres Malave and Dr. Hanbury to the second conversation. They fell in love with Ponce, and that’s why NSU started in Ponce.

“I always say that it was an adventure because everything was so new. And when I started my rotations in Miami, I had more adventures, and it was wonderful to have that in my life.

“It is important to know that in the history of Puerto Rico, when it was colonized by the Spaniards, the pharmacists came before the physician. So people here believe in pharmacy and they were more confident with a pharmacist than a physician. And the profession is still emerging. Medicare needs to be more in touch with patients. They need the pharmacists to be involved with different conditions and to help prevent hospitalizations and admissions to the emergency room. In general, the pharmacy is going to be one of the strongest pillars in the health professions in Puerto Rico.

“Pharmacy is not a common career, and it’s not easy. But a lot of friends have been trying to motivate their sons and daughters to study pharmacy. I belong to the baby boomers generation and we are almost near retirement. So we are looking for young people and trying to discover that spirit of entrepreneurship so they advance further into clinical pharmacy and nto being community pharmacists.

“What the program needs is more preceptors and more practice centers. Even though my pharmacy is small, we have helped train 60 students combined with another pharmacy close by.  My Farmacia el Tuque is located in an isolated part of Ponce, but it is a very state-of-the-art facility. We have robots, good technology, and students have their own consulting area. From the first day of our month-long program, the students know what they are going to do, how many patients they are going to see, how many patients they are going to interview, or call. So they have to go out and give self-care information, test blood pressure, provide glucose monitoring, and other services.

“You have to be a humanitarian, especially in my position here because we are a poor community with a big population. So we urge students to get involved with people. And we go to activities during the year and serve as judges for the poster sessions so students can see us at the institution in addition to seeing us as preceptors in our pharmacies.

“In the end, students are prepared enough for the community pharmacists, which is much more than being a pharmacist dispenser. You are clinically trained, and you know how to help diversified people.

“Now that NSU is in the metro area, people recognize the institution with other eyes. We always wear the silver or gold shark, and I have a white coat with the embroidered [NSU College of Pharmacy insignia]. Once students finish, they love what they do and live it in heart, body, and mind. And they give back to the institution a little, too. I try and do what I can. I know how important it is for the students, and the faculty.”

A recipient of the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Endowment Scholarship, NSU Bright Futures Scholarship, and a NSU PVA Grant Scholarship addresses community leaders at NSU’s 2016 Celebration of Excellence.

Brielle Rassler

“Good evening. I am excited and honored to be able to speak to you all tonight about my experience as an NSU student, the opportunities I have had as a result of your generous contributions, and what I plan to do with my multiple degrees from NSU after I graduate.  

“I have been an NSU student on and off for 24 years. Please, allow me to explain. My first experience in the world of academia was as a six-month-old in a Mommy and Me class over at the Mailman Segal Center.  

“My next experience with NSU was as a middle schooler, when I was invited to sing at the NSU Dollars for Scholars fundraising events. Growing up as a classical singer, I loved the opportunity to shift gears and rock out to Pat Benetar’s "Heart Breaker" and "Promises in the Dark." 

“The summer before entering High School, I was a Lovewell student and performed our original musical, Carry On: A Musical Departure, on the beautiful Miniaci stage for the first of many times. I would go on to perform there numerous times, including as a guest at the University’s Professional Cabaret series with Broadway Stars David Burnham, Kurt Peterson, and Victoria Mallory, at the Fellows Society Induction Ceremony, as a member of the Jubilee Apprentice Dance Company, and as a member of NSU’s own Dance and Music Departments.

“I enrolled at NSU in the fall of 2010 and have been a student here ever since. My favorite part of my undergraduate experience at NSU was the freedom I had to customize my degree and my learning experience. I was a transfer student from a musical theatre conservatory and wasn’t exactly sure how to translate all of my passions and interests into a degree. I switched majors many times and ended up graduating in December 2013 with a dance major and a double minor in psychology and substance abuse studies. I don’t think there is any other university in the world that would accommodate such diverse areas of interest. I also took advantage of the university’s amazing on-line class offerings, allowing me to work and pursue many interests while maintaining a fulltime course load. And thanks to your generosity and commitment to the success of NSU and its students, I was able to receive a 100 percent academic scholarship for my undergraduate tuition. I also auditioned and was awarded yearly scholarships through the Division of Performing and Visual Arts.

“As I approached graduation, I knew that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in psychology. Many suggested I go on to get a Masters in Dance Therapy, which would have made sense, but I wanted more than to be boxed in to only being a dance therapist. I wanted to be Dr. Brielle!

“NSU’s PsyD program in Clinical Psychology seemed to be the perfect fit, and in fact, it was the only program I applied to.
“I am now in my second year of the PsyD program. My favorite experience thus far has been participating in a two week trip to deliver psychological and other services to people in severely impoverished villages in Swaziland, a small country in South Africa. I am also an employee at NSU, serving as a Graduate Assistant in the President’s Office. I love my job and my program, and I couldn’t be happier or more fulfilled... Or so I thought.  

“A few months ago, I again found myself in the Miniaci Performing Arts Center, this time as a member of Temple Adath Or, celebrating Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur. As I sat at my desk that day, I felt a nudge that said “google rabbinical school” Thus began my new journey, passion, and academic and professional endeavor. I soon found the ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal, a distance-learning seminary that allows students to attend live Skype classes, leading to an ordination as a Rabbi. I am very proud to say that I am currently studying at ALEPH and am on my way to becoming Dr. rabbi Brielle.  

“ I have always had a passion and desire to work with those suffering from eating disorders. There are many food-related rituals and experiences built into the religion and culture of Judaism. Unfortunately, Jewish women are over-represented in the eating disorder community, and many find that they have to compromise their religion to accommodate their recovery or vice versa. What often happens is the patient distances themselves from both their religion and their recovery, leaving them isolated and in relapse. My mission is to create the first residential eating disorder treatment center that specifically caters to the needs of Jewish women. I also plan to visit treatment centers around the state to facilitate Shabbat and holiday services for their patients.  

“In closing, I want to tell you about a wonderful experience I had recently with our distinguished honorees this evening. I was the recipient of a scholarship from the Miniaci family last year and as a result was invited to a photoshoot that would appear in the Sun Sentinel. Each member of the family made a point to engage in meaningful conversation. I showed Dominic the x-ray of my cervical disc implant from a recent surgery I had and I spoke with Beatriz about our mutual interest Judaica and her work with Jewish Family Services. When it was time to say goodbye I walked over to Rose and she held my hand, looked me in the eye, and wished me love and luck in all my endeavors. I felt in my heart she really meant it. Students hear about these families and wesee their names on buildings and it’s easy to feel separated from them. But on that day all of that changed. I spoke with these beautiful people and discovered that while undoubtedly special, they are human, just as I am

“I look out and I see so many successful, and generous people from all walks of life sitting together and celebrating the excellence that is each one of you. I want you to know that you inspire me every day to do the best I can so that one day I will be sitting in your seat as a philanthropic contributor to this great university, listening to the next generation of Sharks talking about their plans for their futures. I want you to understand the impact that you have on the lives of NSU students. The education that I am receiving in the College of Psychology costs just over $1 each minute we spend in class. That means that each dollar you contribute is one minute that we get to spend focusing on the world-class education we are receiving, and not on mounting interest on our student loans. As someone who has personally benefitted from those minutes you have donated, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for believing in this university- in its students- and in me.”

The Miniaci family story began in the 1940s when two Italian immigrants met and fell in love in the Bronx, New York. Rose and Alfred were married and had two sons, Dominick and Albert. Together, they started with little, but never shied from helping others in their community. From simply offering a meal to a hungry neighbor, their generosity grew as hard work and dedication led to success. After selling one of their businesses in 1969, the couple started the Alfred and Rose Miniaci Foundation to provide assistance to individuals, medical facilities, and philanthropic institutions. In addition, the Miniacis established a Boys Town in Rose and Alfred’s native Italy.

Rose, Dominick and Meike, and Albert and Beatriz Miniaci

Upon Alfred’s passing, Rose was determined to continue their shared dream of helping others, particularly through her passion for supporting the arts, education, and children. The foundation she began with her husband now contributes to nonprofit cultural groups, hospitals, religious organizations, scientific research, and educational institutions. The foundation also awards scholarships to assist deserving students in reaching their potential. Gifts to NSU have contributed to the funding of the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center as well as the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center.

Through their own contributions to the community, Dominick, a lawyer, and Albert, a businessman, along with their wives Meike and Beatriz, have continued the legacy started by their mother and father years ago. In addition to supporting their mother’s endeavors, the family has provided leadership and resources to numerous organizations, including the Ann Storck Center, St. Thomas University, Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and Miami City Ballet. Albert also serves on the board of trustees for NSU and together with Beatriz, helps to fund the Razor’s Edge scholarships to attract some of the best and brightest undergraduate students to the university.

“The entire family deserves to be recognized,” says NSU President and CEO George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. “They have been instrumental leaders in the community, not just giving back with their time, their talent, and their treasures, but in helping to redevelop Fort Lauderdale's downtown and beach areas and in encouraging individuals to graduate from the public school system and seek education beyond high school. Any city would love to have individuals with that type of conviction, influence, and leadership.

“Because of the lessons that were taught by their parents - and continue to be taught by the family matriarch - the Miniacis continue to give back and be examples for all of us. I bet you Alfred is looking down from above with a huge smile saying, ‘they’re my family’.”

2016 Celebration of Excellence Shark Circle Honorees

NSU recognizes donors whose cumulative giving to the university exceeds $1 million each year at the university's signature event, Celebration of Excellence. In recognition of their generosity, President and CEO George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. presents new Shark Circle members with a limited edition, Marquette replica of the specially commissioned Kent Ulberg mako shark statue located in front of the Don Taft University Center on NSU's Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus.

NSU's Shark Circle is the highest level of our Fellows Society.

2016 honorees:

The Alters Family

Bonnie Laitman Eletz and the William & Mildred Lasdon Foundation

Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman

Suzanne and the late Dr. Paul Hersey

Mike and Alice Jackson

Albert and Beatriz Miniaci

Kenny and Sandy Tate and family

NSU Fischler College of Education alumna Bonnie Tryon, Ed.D. earned her Doctor of Education degree in 2012. She became a member of the NSU 1964 Society and NSU Fellows Society in December by making a planned gift to support scholarships for graduate students in the Fischler doctoral program.  

Bonnie Tyrone, Ed.D.

Dr. Tryon, who has been an educator in New York for many years, and has held positions including school principal and a district administrator for instructional support, decided to apply to NSU when one of her two grown sons started working on his M.B.A. at SUNY IT Utica.  She and her husband have already endowed a scholarship in his name at SUNY Cobleskill, where he recently retired as a professor.  Their philanthropic philosophy is “paying it forward” whether it is through time, talent, or treasure.  They also love traveling and cattle farming.

“I credit NSU for preparing me well for the work I’m currently doing in the online environment,” Tyron said.

NSU Art Museum’s Museum on the Move program supplements the arts education offered in Broward County Schools with engaging and stimulating tours of the museum’s exhibitions and collections, and hands-on art activities based on principles of STEAM and 21st Century learning skills.

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderale

Major funding for Museum on the Move is provided by the Amaturo Family Foundation, Lillian S. Wells Foundation, Inc., Jerry Taylor & Nancy Bryant Foundation, Community Foundation of Broward, Charles F. and Esther M. Frye Foundation, and PNC Foundation.

Recognition for those supporting this valuable initiative include:
Name recognition on signage displayed in museum lobby “Museum on the Move is powered by the generous support of DONOR(S) NAME”

  • Name recognition on collateral including invitations to Broward County Schools, take-home worksheet handed out to all children during the Museum tour
  • A comprehensive report on visiting schools for the 2016/2017 school year with photos and hand written comments from our guest book from visiting students, teachers and school administrators
  • For donors at the $5,000 level and above:
  • Name recognition on the Museum Donor Wall in the main lobby
  • Name recognition on the Museum website (

What began many years ago as a relationship between Lynn Lafferty, Pharm.D., a faculty member in the NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Department of Integrative Health and Wellness, and Charles DuBois, owner of the Wisconsin-based corporation Standard Process, has grown into a very robust partnership between NSU and the company known for selling whole food nutrient solutions through health care professionals. 

NSU and Standard Process Work on Wellness

Following their generous gift of $50,000 for wellness programming, a wellness initiative, and curriculum development, several executives from Standard Process spent two days with NSU faculty at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus in conjunction with their national sales meeting in Miami Beach in January. 

They are enthusiastic about partnering with pharmacy and medical colleges to add credence to the whole food nutrition and herbal therapy industry and engage pharma- and medically-trained students and faculty for the purposes of product development, curriculum integration, and clinical research.

According to NSU College of Pharmacy Dean Lisa Deziel, Pharm.D., there is increasing interest on the part of Pharm.D. and Ph.D. students in the area of nutraceuticals and integrative medicine. Dr. Deziel says the feedback from students and practicing pharmacists alike is that more patients are asking about over-the-counter, naturopathic remedies.

“Pharmacists are now, more than ever, the first line of healthcare practice," Deziel said. 

Deziel predicts an increasing interest in ‘nutraceutical therapy consultants’ as the focus of healthcare begins moving toward preventative medicine versus reactive treatment.

Standard Process executives also met with faculty members at NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine and discussed NSU’s progress on the Standard Process-supported wellness and nutrition educational outreach, development of the NSU-COM certificate program in nutrition, and the research being conducted at NSU's Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine.

To encourage graduating students to be active alumni and donate back to NSU, NSU’s Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations hosted FINlantrhopy from March 8 to 10 on the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. The event aims to push seniors to become active alumni.

NSU FINlanthropy Week

“We want seniors to be encouraged to go to some of the alumni events, which are really well done,” said Laura Garrido, assistant director of the Office of Annual Fund. “They have anywhere from professional development events to networking events.”

During the three-day event, each day represents a particular mission of the week: to educate, to engage, and to ask.

To emphasize “educate,” shark fins were placed on the Alvin Sherman Library Quad to represent donors who have contributed to the Annual Fund campaign. There are approximately 3,000 donors, including faculty, alumni, and students.

Students, faculty, staff and community members could also purchase a fin to be placed on the lawn. Although any amount was accepted, graduating seniors were encouraged to donate $20.16, representing their graduation year. Graduating seniors who donated that amount received a yellow shark fin pin that they can wear on their regalia at graduation.
Garrido said that through these events, NSU encourages student philanthropy and giving back and that emphasizing their importance is something new and exciting.

“A lot of people have the idea that you have to be a millionaire to give back to the university,” she said. “But this is a way to encourage a small donation that students are comfortable with. It could be anywhere from $1 to $20.16.”

To emphasize “engage,” the organizations hosted Thank a Giver (TAG) Day, when students, faculty, and staff learned about the importance of philanthropy at marked locations around campus. Tags that said, “This would not be here without generous donors,” were placed at locations that were created thanks to donations. Locations included hallways, auditoriums, the Alvin Sherman Library, benches and study rooms.

“It’s just another way for our students who are on campus to know that there are things here on campus that probably would not be here without generous donors,” Garrido said.

To emphasize “ask,” annual giving booths were set up in the Don Taft University Center and the Terry Administration Building. This event, known as #SharksGive, was a 24-hour fundraising event to promote philanthropy at the university.

Garrido said that there are more than 200 gift designations that people can donate money to, including a pediatric dentistry fund and a fund for international students who are studying conflict resolution.

“A lot of people give to a cause they care about, and this is a way to bring that cause back to NSU,” Garrido said. “A lot of people don’t know that there are ways that the donor can choose where they want their money to go.”

Many of the giving programs also emphasize community service, which has proven to be a strong value of the NSU community.

“We do have a strong spirit of community service; it’s one of our core values,” Garrido said. “We want a more engaged alumni community who comes back to mentor students. If we get one donation, it’s a success. We just want to encourage the message.”

The office hopes that once students see the importance of donations for creating scholarships for their peers, as approximately 80 percent of students depend on financial aid, they will be inspired to take control of the event. Eventually, the office hopes FINlanthropy will be completely student-run.

“We think the peer-to-peer aspect is more powerful than it coming from the Office of Annual Giving,” she said.

Garrido said that many schools have student philanthropy programs, and this would be the opportune time to start one at NSU since the launch of Realizing Potential -- The Campaign for Nova Southeastern University.

*Adapted from article in The Current

Cultivating her passion for marine biology, Marlee Lewin, a sophomore at NSU University School, has elevated her learning through the Independent Research Study (IRS).

NSU University School student mentored by reknowed scientist

This unique program gives students the opportunity to work one-on-one with university professors and conduct extensive, graduate-level research. Marlee is currently being mentored by world-renowned marine scientist, Dr. Alexander Soloviev, who is faculty at NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.

As a self-assured, fearless freshman, Marlee dove into accumulating as many science and biology courses at NSU University School, until seizing the opportunity to have a distinguished mentorship in the field of marine biology.

Marlee’s passion for marine biology evolved during her early childhood years, while on fishing trips with her father. Swimming with dolphins and seeing the intricacies of their lives uprooted a curiosity in marine conservation that would blossom into a desire to learn the communication patterns and processes of underwater mammals.

Through her mentorship with Dr. Soloviev, one particular area of research that has captured her interest is the ability to target whale stress patterns and analyze the sonar evaluations with whale oil. Amid research, oil is collected and tested to identify the species releasing the oils. The oil is further assessed in order to establish processes that can be implemented to rid the stress of whales.

Marlee’s ability to learn primarily through hands-on experience and observation has been significant in her growth, high school success, and aspirations for her future.

“I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge from my mentorship with Dr. Soloviev. His commitment, leadership, expertise, and inspiration has assured my passion and career trajectory as a marine biologist.

The sacrifice he makes as a professor, with compassion for the future of today’s youth, is exemplary,” said Marlee.

The ASPIRE program, Independent Research Study (IRS), and the mentorship with Dr. Soloviev have propelled Marlee to excel. She will continue working with Dr. Soloviev through the remainder of high school and anticipates participation in grant writing, in depth research and publication, and the opportunity to present her research in the near future.

Marlee’s aspirations do not end there; She continues to encourage USchool students to find their passion.

“If you want to do something and truly have a passion for it, take the step. There may be a tiny spark of interest within you—don’t ignore it. See if it’s really what you want to do because in the end, it will be 100% worth it,” said Marlee.

Beyond her current studies, Marlee plans to apply to Boston University, Duke University, University of Hawaii, and University of California, Santa Barbara, to study Marine Biology. She would love to start a rescue and rehabilitation center, focusing on beached whales, dolphins, and marine animals. In this environment, she would study and research injured marine animals, nurture them back to health, and then release them into the wild.

*NSU University School article by Danae Jarrett

OVERVIEW: NSU OC coral nursery is fostering re-growth and increased abundance of the threatened staghorn coral species, Acropora cervicornis, which is likely to be soon listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The nursery project offers hope for species recovery and for coral reef restoration.

NSU Coral Nursery Initiative

OPPORTUNITY: The Coral Nursery Initiative provides a tool for recovery. Coral reefs represent an extremely valuable resource for Broward County. An economic study has shown that the various uses of coral reefs contributes more than $2 billion to the County’s annual economy and creates more than 36,000 jobs! The coral reefs provide shelter for many juvenile fish species and invertebrates, including recreational and commercially important species such as grouper, snapper, and lobster. They provide aesthetic pleasure and recreation for local and tourist divers and boaters. The presence of reefs helps prevent erosion to our shores and beaches.

CHALLENGE: Staghorn corals are vitally important foundation species on our reefs. However, in many places throughout Florida and the Caribbean they have been vastly reduced in abundance by environmental stressors. Currently the NSU Coral Nursery Initiative has an annual operations budget of over $100,000. The Initiative supports graduate research assistant students to help manage the operation, collect specimens, maintain the nursery, and transplant colonies back to natural reefs. In addition, supplies are needed including diving gear, transplant materials, and boat time.

RESEARCH: NSU’s scientists and students research to gain understanding of the species ecology, improving coral conservation methods, and promoting coral reef restoration and species recovery. Staghorn coral colonies are being successfully grown while nurtured in a safe setting and next outplanted to the natural reef. Using small fragments removed from the nursery-reared colonies as they grow increases the number of staghorn colonies able to be transplanted to the natural environment. By locating more colonies in close proximity on the reef, the likelihood of sexual reproduction is increased. In addition, the nurseries generate specimens for scientific research, eliminating the need to otherwise collect from the wild.


We can grow 75 coral fragments from suspended underwater lines offshore for $5,000/year.

We can grow coral fragments on land in large aquaria for $4,000/year.

We can grow 40 coral fragments offshore on cement platforms for $3,000/year.

We can grow 10 staghorn coral fragments in our offshore nursery for $1,000/year.

NSU students, faculty and staff members participated in the global art project — Inside Out. Designed to offer the world a platform to express themselves, and as part of the Broward 100 celebration, an open call was made to have black and white photographs taken. The resulting portraits were pasted on public spaces throughout campus, and across Broward County, Florida. Here is a sample of NSU portraits.

Sample of Inside Out art project portraits taken of NSU students, faculty and staff members

NSU’s College of Dental Medicine provides diagnostic, preventive, education, and treatment services to underserved and uninsured children in elementary, middle, and high schools primarily in the North Miami Beach Clinic’s catchment area through its Oral Health Service Program.

Miami Foundation Helps Underserved Children Through NSU College of Dental Medicine

Those efforts received a recent boost thanks to a $25,000 gift made through The Miami Foundation.

NSU’s Division of Clinical Operations oversees the administration and oversight of the university's 20 different health care centers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. NSU’s centers offer health care services to the community (some not available elsewhere), as well as community outreach programs in the form of free health care education and assessments for vision, medical, speech, and behavior health, physical and occupational therapy, and dental services. The services are coordinated by nationally recognized faculty within NSU’s 10 health care colleges and programs.

Last year, NSU centers recorded over 250,000 patient visits.

Armed with a $25,000 grant from The Veterans Trust, NSU established a Veterans Resource Center earlier this year that offers a place to gather as well as a “one stop shop” where student veterans can access myriad services and resources. The center is located at NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus in the Rosenthal Building in Room 218. The room is now open from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Veterans Trust Creates Veterans Resource Center at NSU

“We want to be able to provide a place where our student veterans feel comfortable and can get help during their time at NSU,” said Kimberly Durham, Ph.D., Chair of NSU’s Department of Justice and Human Services. “Our vision is to provide our student veterans with information from available academic resources to help with their classwork, to information on the depth and breadth of clinical services at NSU, to career preparation – truly a place where they can turn to with any questions they may have.”

In addition to debuting the center, NSU hosted a special orientation ceremony for incoming veteran students. As part of the event, students received a special edition red, white and blue NSU Shark pin, presented by NSU’s Executive Vice President and COO Jacqueline A. Travisano, M.B.A., CPA.

This month’s student focus includes insight from the president of NSU’s Student Veterans Association, Timothy Chamberlain, one of the key proponents of a special orientation for student veterans.

View Resource Center Opening Album

A new endowment to award scholarships will honor the memory of Jeanne Pohlman,the beloved wife of Dr. Randy Pohlman, former dean of the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

Armaturo Family Establishes Pohlman Scholarship Award at NSU

In creating “The Jeanne Pohlman Award,” Joseph Amaturo wrote: “With Jeanne always at his side, Randy helped to establish this school and make it a truly outstanding part of NSU. We also are aware that Jeanne worked at NSU and undoubtedly did well by her students.”

Jeanne taught for many years at NSU University School. She also was a committed volunteer, an accomplished golfer, and a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother.

Almost two years after the death of her husband, Suzanne Hersey continues to add to the legacy of Paul “Doc” Hersey, Ph.D., through support to NSU. Her latest gift to NSU’s Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship will be known as the Hersey/McCartney Endowed Faculty Support Fund.


Doc Hersey, as he was affectionately called, was internationally recognized as a leading authority on training and development in leadership and management.

He founded The Center for Leadership Studies. The Situational Leadership® Model he developed has been used to train more than 14 million managers in thousands of companies across the globe, and the model is deployed in 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Doc Hersey frequently taught his leadership model to students, faculty, and staff at NSU, where he was a distinguished professor of leadership studies.

Hersey authored or coauthored numerous papers, articles and books, including the best-selling management text Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources along with “Organizational Change Through Effective Leadership” and “Selling: A Behavioral Science Approach,” “The Situational Leader,” “Situational Selling,” “Situational Service: Customer Care for the Practitioner” and “Situational Parenting.” In May 2012, Hersey introduced a book titled “Leadership Blueprint: Why We Better Lead and Lead Better.”

Hersey is remembered as a man with an incredibly generous spirit who adored his wife Suzie, his six children, 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

“I credit my Latin roots, culture, and values for my morals and work ethic," said Halmos College of Natural Science and Oceanography senior Bairon A. Madrigal-Mieles, who is majoring in biology and marine biology.

“My father is from Colombia, and my mother is from Ecuador, so I feel that I was raised very deeply in Latin culture. When I walked outside of our family house, I was in America. But when I came home, I was in South America.

“I was always taught to work very hard and diligently. We come from humble beginnings, and my parents have shown me through their lives what they had to go through in South America. You have to work from basically nothing to get somewhere. But my parents gave me a platform to build upon.

“My mother attended college later in life. She didn’t have the opportunity to go in her late teens or early 20s like I am. I am a second-generation college graduate, but the first in my family to do so this young. It is a lot of positive pressure and motivation.

“You do whatever you have to do for the purpose of family, not materialistic needs, or luxury needs. To me, simple is better. The Latin culture—our music, our food, everything—is basic and simple, and that’s the kind of life I want to live. That’s where NSU, my education, and my career path are going to take me.”


“I had the opportunity to go to a technical high school center. During the first two years, I completed all of my high school credits. So, my junior and senior years allowed me to concentrate on obtaining the technical license or certification of my choice. I chose the certification to work as a pharmacy technician, nursing assistant, and coordinator—to give me some exposure and experience working in hospitals, nursing homes, and all medical fields.


“At NSU, one of the opportunities is research, which is not limited to science students. There are independent study courses for psychology students and even law students.

“Today’s expectations for entering graduate programs and jobs are high, and undergraduate research is something people are almost requiring. Having a high GPA and staying involved in clubs is not enough. You have to enrich your application, enrich your knowledge, and enrich your education.

“Research is an experience-builder. Research can also help you focus on the type of career you want. I’m doing research on marine mammals by studying their teeth and bone collagen. Based on different carbon and nitrogen levels, I can assess the environmental changes that are impacting the whole ecosystem. We can actually figure out what impact humans are having on the ecosystem, or the impact of weather patterns. I want to go to veterinary school, so now I have a bit of background on marine mammals.

“Whatever research NSU students conduct, they will find that it is an eye-opener. It can help them clarify their path and mold what they want to do.”


“NSU is such a personalized school that everyone has a bigger chance to make waves. That’s why I love it.

"Professor Amy Hirons, Ph.D. deserves credit for prompting me to chase my dreams in animal care. For my leadership growth and social development, I credit the two and a half years that I’ve been in the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at NSU.

“I joined a fraternity, although it wasn’t something I ever looked forward to even trying. I was shy when I first came to college, but the fraternity gave me confidence.

“When I joined, we were called a ‘colony.’ Fraternities are not guaranteed a spot on campus right away. They have to meet a certain set of requirements before they are allowed to charter and establish themselves as an actual fraternity chapter on the campus. At that time, we had been a colony for about a year. The fraternity’s headquarters and the university told us we had one year to meet all the requirements needed to establish ourselves.

“I was elected as president the next semester, which I never foresaw. But, the brothers in the fraternity believed in me and helped me take that position.

“All of us worked really hard. We got the charter—not within a year—but within one semester. It was a very gratifying and enriching experience for all of us to go through. It gave us a type of confidence that allows you to focus yourself in the right way so you can achieve something when the odds are against you.

“It was a very quick, maturing experience. Before, we were scattered, unorganized, and focused on doing all the fun things rather than the leadership element and the other important benefits of being in Greek life. Today, we are all considered founding fathers. We gained a lot of insight about managing groups or an organization and being leaders. It taught us how to take initiative and how to hold each other and yourself accountable.

“After my presidency in the fraternity, I was faced with the question: 'Should I take my leadership experience and put it toward the same type of outlet in the Greek community, but in a different way?’ I decided to expand my role. I ran for, and was elected, president of NSU’s inter-fraternity council.

“We have three fraternities on campus as of now, and the council makes sure that the relationship between those three fraternities is smooth. We try to make the fraternity members’ lives easier when it comes to events, recruitment, working with the university, and working with each other. We also ensure that everyone is held accountable because we have standards for all NSU organizations.

“Maybe being in a fraternity or sorority isn’t for everyone, but you can apply the same principle in other ways. In my academic career, I picked up a double major through meeting professors and taking the extra marine biology class that I didn’t really need at the time. Now I am pursuing a dream that I feel much happier about.

“If you don’t step out of your comfort zone, you’re never going to really grow, and you may miss an opportunity that can change your life for the better. And if you never try for the risk of failing, then you’re never going to succeed.”


“I started my freshman year as a biology major with the idea to eventually go to pharmacy school. My mother went to NSU for pharmacy school. (I basically have always been a Shark at heart!) And I grew up in a small family pharmacy. The thought of being able to help people all day fueled my desire to work in the medical field.

“In my freshman year, I took an Introduction to Marine Biology course for non-marine biology majors. I’ve always liked animals, but going to veterinary school seemed like an unobtainable goal. The instructor was really enthusiastic, and his enthusiasm rubbed off on me. It was one of the first courses I felt passionate about.

"As I began to take a few more courses required for my biology major, I was exposed to NSU’s chair of marine biology, professor Amy Hirons, Ph.D. She taught a Biology II course with a marine biology-twist. If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have pursued veterinary school.

“Because of my Latin culture and values, I wanted to stay close to my family, which is why I commute. Attending veterinary school would require me to leave home. But NSU and the passion of the professors gave me the courage to say, ‘If I’m passionate about it, I need to just do it. I can make it happen’.”


“A lot of things don’t come naturally to me. I happen to be one of those students who has to put in extra time to study and understand concepts in order to do well.

“Dr. Hirons has always been someone to challenge me a little further than what I felt comfortable challenging myself to do. It made me exit my comfort zone and, in turn, my comfort zone has grown. She says, ‘If this is what you love, this is what you’re going to do’.

"She didn’t give me a choice, rather she changed my opinion.  I can’t even quantify the amount of gratitude I have for that.”


“If I can give you one reason as to why countries are second or third-world compared to America and other leading developed countries with lower poverty rates—it is education. I have seen education change lives within my own family. Most of my family in Latin America are first-time high school graduates. Just by graduating high school, their income increases two or three times. You can only imagine the difference graduating college can make. The same principle applies in this country.

“When you are generous enough to believe in and invest in other people’s education—you’re not only investing in their personal life, but in whatever they become. You’re investing in someone who is going to become a biologist, a doctor, a lawyer, a student advisor.

"By investing in education, you’re investing in your community and in society as a whole.”


“It was an incredible honor [to speak recently at the Halmos College dedication]. What surprised me the most was how humble Steve Halmos and his family are. While the college bears their name, their generosity wasn’t about gaining glorification. It was about the investment they were making. It was one of those things that gives you a little more hope in humanity.

“He and his family had their own struggles, but they made it. Now they are paying it forward. Their gift says ‘we are part of this community, we see how prominent NSU is, and we want to help make other people’s dreams a reality.

“NSU relies on donations, so I would like to thank all of the donors. As a student whose future has been made possible by people I’ve never met, I know that if I am ever able to pay that forward, I definitely will.

"Donors are starting a cycle of philanthropy. Years from now, thousands of people are going to have benefited from your gift. And even if your gift does not go directly to a scholarship fund, your donations to improve our facilities at NSU, support research, or host events all play into our future.”


“I’m graduating—fingers crossed—in May 2016. Eventually I want to get into veterinary medicine and specialize in marine mammals or large animals. Dr. Hirons wants to take me on as a graduate student to continue conducting research. At the same time, I want to explore volunteering or get a job at a veterinary clinic.

“I made a self-promise that I’m not going to give up, or settle for less. If it’s something that I want to do, I’m going to make sure that I get it done.”

Jesus Gil is president of Gil Pharmaceutical Corporation. His son, Armando, is an NSU Shark who shares his father’s love of science and dreams of designing and producing proprietary medical products like his dad. Only a year after Armando started the pharmacy doctoral program at NSU Palm Beach, the Gil family has become dedicated supporters, active recruiters, and endowment donors.

Why is the president of Puerto Rico’s top pharmaceutical company, Jesus Gil, taking time out of his busy schedule to encourage families to send their children to NSU? And why has he established an endowed scholarship fund for students enrolled in NSU’s Pharmacy program at the Palm Beach campus when his son is just starting his second year of study?

According to Gil, “It’s really not me that you have to thank, it’s the people that you have here at NSU.”

When Armando was first accepted to NSU’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, he was presented with the option of attending school in Puerto Rico or Palm Beach Gardens. Armando was set on remaining in Puerto Rico until his father took him to tour NSU’s Palm Beach Campus and to meet assistant dean Nile Khanfar, M.B.A., Ph.D.

“Nile had me at hello,” Gil said. “He treated us like family, and after just two hours Armando started talking about going to Palm Beach. The rest is history.”

The feeling of “family” extends far beyond warm welcomes, Gil added. When his daughter began questioning whether she should change her study focus from business back to pharmacy, he took her to see Fulbright Scholar and executive director of NSU’s Puerto Rico campus, Andres Malavé, M.S., Ph.D., so she could discuss her options with someone other than her dad.

“I want you to tell me if she is really ready for pharmacy,” Gil asked of Malavé, “because it is for her. It is not for me.”

Their three-hour conversation proved “a turning point for her,” Gil added. Now she is back studying biology and minoring in business with plans to pursue a doctoral degree at NSU.

Meanwhile, Armando experienced a tough semester during which Khanfar ensured he had all the help he needed in order to succeed.

“That is something you don’t pay for with money,” Gil said. “[Dr. Khanfar] treated my son like his son, and he does that with every single student.

“My son has an advantage in being able to pursue an excellent career, but I know a lot of good young people like my son who would like the same opportunity. That’s why it’s important to provide scholarships.

“[Dr. Khanfar] is always thinking about NSU, thinking about President Hanbury’s vision, and thinking about the students,” Gil added. “Those are the people who make us believe in NSU. That is why, you can always count on me.”

NSU Palm Beach Campus

Located in the town of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, this campus has been offering education opportunities to the residents of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties for more than 25 years. (Now it is also attracting students like Armando Gil.)

The campus has approximately 75,000 square feet of space that includes numerous administrative/academic program offices, classrooms, study rooms, computer labs, a student lounge area, and a fitness center.  

NSU Puerto Rico Campus

NSU has a nearly 40-year history with Puerto Rico, serving student residents of Puerto Rico on the university's main campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and also offering instructional opportunities on the island. The campus is located at the Professional Offices Park IV in San Juan and currently serves approximately 350 students.

“I remember I was in high school getting ready for classes and 9/11 hit. Within that next week, I was in the recruiter’s office talking to him, ‘How can I get in and serve my country? Tell me the steps'," said Halmos College biology major Timothy M. Chamberlain about enlisting in the United States Army.

Timothy Chamberlain

My grandfather was in WWII in the marines and my uncle was also in the air force for 20+ years, but [what drew me in] was really 9/11. I remember I was in high school getting ready for classes and 9/11 hit. Within that next week, I was in the recruiter’s office.

I was 17 so my mom and dad still had to sign off that they were ok with it. It was only going to be for four years. Here I am 14 years later, and I’m still in.

I don’t take summer classes because [I'm still active]. My army positions require 110% of my attention and there’s no way that I can split my efforts, which is really convenient about the type of unit and the position I am with now. In 2014, I was accepted into Special Operations Command - Africa as their all-source intelligence technician. We cover the entire continent. I usually spend anywhere from 45-60 days [stationed out of Stuttgard, Germany] depending upon the needs of the army. Since this new unit allows me to do everything during the summer, when I’m out, I can focus 100% on school.

The thing that I really enjoy about my role now is that I am responsible for training, mentoring, and guiding the junior soldiers. I enjoy being able to take my experience and my training back to them, what I’ve learned over the course my career–things that work well, things that don’t–so there is collective understanding. We all depend on each other for overall success. 

I have been very lucky to have had some of the best senior leaders that I could ever imagine finding. I am still in touch with many of them. Even though I’ve been in as long as I have, I still reach back to them, 'I’ve got this issue, I’ve got this situation, what are your thoughts on this?'


Listen. Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you can neglect your subordinates. Some of the people that I’ve been in charge of have had some of the best ideas. So just because you are in charge of something doesn’t mean you need to think that everything you say is golden. Listen to everybody. Don’t make hasty decisions or judgements without understanding everything.

In my field, when I make a decision, and when I give an assessment that affects my commander’s decision, I have to know exactly what’s going on. The assessments we make affect decisions that can put lives at risk. So I don’t take those things lightly at all.

My goal is to go into veterinary school, so I’ve learned to take that [lesson] and apply it. Whenever we look to do something medically, I always think, 'Ok, well if we do this, what are the second and third order possible effects that we could be looking at?'


On the professor side, that’s the one thing that I’ve really learned throughout my career in the army: You really need to take the people that have done this for a while, and listen to what they have to say because they’ve been there; they’ve done that. They’ve hit the roadblocks that anybody starting off fresh in a field is going to hit; it’s inevitable. So learning from their mistakes, their trials and tribulations will help make you more successful.

So I do what I can to try to listen to my professors – whether it is on how to do research, how to write a research paper, or how to get things ready for a publication.


[Veterinary school] was always one of those dreams that was a dream. To me it was never attainable. I never thought of myself as being smart enough, or patient enough. I am glad I waited and that the army called to me first, and that I have experience as a police officer as well.

It’s funny because everything kept bringing me back to animals. On my last deployment, even though I was working in my field, in the army, I was still volunteering and working with our local veterinarian whenever I could. I went into surgeries with him to help in sterilization clinics in Kosovo. So, everything kept bringing me back to animal care and veterinary medicine.

If I do get into veterinary school, I will transition out of the intelligence field that I’m in and convert over as an army veterinarian.

As an army veterinarian, you are responsible for the health and welfare of all military working police dogs. You are also the local veterinarian for the military housing community at each installation, basically a small animal practice.

I worked with military working and police dogs on the force, and those animals are some of the most loyal, dedicated creatures. They would give their life to protect their handler.

So that’s really what I want to do. That’s how I want to give back to them and thank them for their service. We can pin medals on the dogs all day, but that doesn’t make an impact on them. Quality of care and quality of life is really how we can thank them.


I had a few different school options. NSU’s focus on the health sciences is highly regarded for preparing students to get into the medical field and it really was my deciding factor over going to FIU, FAU, Barry, or UM.

I also chose to go to NSU because the small class sizes are ideal. When I was in California, the university I attended had 150+ students in my biology class. You’re just a number. The professors don’t know who you are, so when you go to them for advice, you have to remind them what class you’re in.

At NSU, the professors know you. They know how to work with you. They learn how each student learns things better, and they are able to tailor that. It’s not a cookie-cutter class. That’s why I chose NSU.


The biggest thing that veterans, in my opinion, miss when they leave the service is the brotherhood you have with your unit. The brotherhood through the military and then carried over into the veterans community is something that, as a military member, I aspire to find everywhere I go. I miss it.  So one of my goals is to bring together all of the veterans in NSU’s community  – graduate students and undergraduate, staff and faculty.

Another goal was to have a home for veterans when they come in. Now the veterans resource center is completely revamped. (Opening event photos)

I see the Veterans Resource Center as the start of a major culture change, and all of us are beyond excited to see it grow. Veteran culture is a way of life. But we also want to share it.

Having an accelerated orientation for incoming freshmen is also ideal. And [the administration] made that happen this year. That is perfect.  Most of us work, have families, so time is valuable. Now veterans get their feet in the door. 'Here’s NSU. Here are the services that NSU can offer you. If you are a veteran, please fall in line here and we will tell you everything specific to veterans that doesn’t pertain to other students.'

Most undergraduate students are straight out of high school in their late teens and very early 20s. Your student veterans, while they might be freshmen, are older. They are experienced at life in general. They have been to war.  I don’t want special treatment by any means, but just the understanding that when you are dealing with a student veteran, we understand things a little differently than your typical 18, 19, or 20-year-old college freshman or sophomore.

Another goal of mine before I leave is to have a big brother/big sister type of mentorship program so any veteran coming in gets linked up with another veteran within their same field of study. 

I also would eventually like to see a scholarship program established for veterans. It doesn’t need to be anything big and fancy, but help provide extra incentive to infuse the community with the brotherhood bond again. [Perhaps award one] for the most community volunteer hours. Whether it’s just enough to buy a book or two, every little bit helps.

Overall, our goal over the next year is to really get the veteran’s voice loud and heard in every corner of NSU’s campus.

“If students find science boring it is because you are not letting them be owners of their knowledge,” said NSU University School Science Department Chair Carlos Montero.

Montero is an AP chemistry teach, an executive board member of the American Modeling Teachers Association, and most recently a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. And his chemistry class is noisy. Small groups of students huddle around white boards. They take nothing at face value. A model explaining how rust forms is sketched. Different scenarios are tested. They observe. They debate. They ask each other questions. Montero circles the groups asking more questions. Each group makes a decision. Then the small circles break to form one giant circle. And they present, defend, discuss, and reach consensus as a whole.

Montero is passionate about students learning science by doing science. That’s why he seeks to broaden the use of Modeling Instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching practices at NSU, and beyond:

With $1 million, NSU University School could offer modeling workshops in chemistry, physics, and middle school science each summer, for five years, to 100 teachers in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, transforming the learning experience for approximately 10,000 students (to start).

With $5 million, we could create an institute that would put NSU on the leading edge of modeling pedagogy training. We could conduct research on the effectiveness of modeling, develop new materials, involve student teachers year-round, and engage underprivileged children during the summer. We could also develop programming for STEM Teachers of South Florida, a newly created group which aims to support the growth of teachers locally during the school year.

With $10 million… the mind boggles at what could be accomplished. But I am too embarrassed to ask for that much.


Students need to feel that their curiosity and reasoning ability are being stimulated. One way to do that is to challenge them to explain some of the wonderous things that nature has to offer – color changes, explosions, lights, the art around us. It makes learning fun.

They also love it when they can understand how something works. I have had parents send me emails or they call and ask: ‘What you have done? We spent our whole dinner talking about how a straw works.’

That’s one of the things we do in our year one chemistry class; we challenge students to explain how a drinking straw works. Very few students, or adults for that matter, have any actual idea. Once students form an idea, they create a model that makes sense based on their observation and thinking.  Then they can take their model and apply it to other things. For example, how hydraulics works. 

I also really encourage the kids to talk to one another. When students first come to my class their expectation is to remain passive or to address me only, but in the scientific world advances occur through communication. I tell them, ‘you don’t have to convince me, you have to convince them. See them. Listen to each other.’ 


Students amaze me. When they are given the chance to come up with a hypothesis or theory, sometimes they will come up with exactly the same correct hypothesis that a scientist is renowned for. Granted, they have guidance, I am putting them in the right context. But they still have to come up with an answer. So sometimes they really develop Dalton’s theory; they come up with Avogadro’s theory. They don’t know it, however, until I say, ‘You’re brilliant! You’re not going to be famous because somebody already did it in the 1800s, but you just came up with the same conclusion on your own, based on all your observations and intelligence.’

Another thing that amazes me are students who always felt that they are not good at science. They tend to come in with a bad attitude. But I encourage and encourage them, and they try. They start giving it a chance. You see them changing. And then they feel really proud about themselves. They know ‘I can do this!’

In my AP class, we love the AP exam because it serves as validation of our work and our understanding. I think the AP exam is a well-designed test. And by the way, it was redesigned to assess true student understanding, and application of science practices, the same objectives that Modeling Instruction has.

It was wonderful to see [the AP exam writers] finally catching up, because nationwide, people are starting to understand more and more that the way it’s been for the last 60 years is not effective.  Everything is different now. The kids are different. Putting them in the same package as the 40s and 50s is not going to work.


When education is reduced to getting the right answer so students can get a good grade, they tend to focus on just trying to give the teacher what they want so they can get a number instead of actually understanding, learning, or being scientists.

We try to keep the stress of the grades down. Students should feel comfortable enough that they don’t feel they have to show off, or be perfect. I tell them to ‘try something; don’t be afraid.’ And when they ask “but what if it’s wrong?” I tell them ‘99% of scientists are always wrong every time they try something new.’

People around my age and maybe even younger; we all learned a certain way. We passively sat in front of a teacher telling us what he or she knows. We then regurgitated this during a test to get a grade. That has many problems.

The main characteristic is student passivity. The student feels that he or she is always dependent upon a higher authority, instead of starting to believe in themselves scientifically. Students need to base answers on evidence, on their own ideas. ‘Why accept something is fact without a hint of skepticism? How do you know that the earth is moving around the sun, and not the other way around? You tell me that water is H2O, but how do I know?’

On a personal level, I want everyone to be as passionate about science as I am. It fascinates me so much that I just want to share that. On a more practical level, being able to think scientifically is really important long-term.

There’s a lot of competition with China and other countries who are actively trying to become better. Our kids need to learn how to become producers and innovators. So that’s another reason why I do this.


Modeling has a very good structure for letting students build their own knowledge. You [as a teacher] set the stage for that. You put them in the right place and let them think. There may be some instructions, but presenting them is never going to take more than five minutes. Because for the majority of time, they have to go out there and experience the world somehow. And then talk to each other and come up with their own models – hence the name “modeling.” Students explain how it works, basically telling a story, by using multiple representations such as drawings, mathematical functions, chemical equations, or just words.

We try to emphasize science practices. Evaluating data. Forming arguments. Things you can actually use in any professional field, not just science.

Students also have to stand up and talk to other students, as well as effectively communicate verbally and in writing. They have to present lab reports, summaries of what happened where I demand from them to be concise and clear.

At NSU University School the parents of many of our students are successful professionals. Some of them may be doctors and scientists, but very few are necessarily applying the concepts that their science teacher wanted them to memorize so they could get an ‘A’.  As a result, they often look back at their experience as a waste of time. But then when they see what the kids are doing now at NSU University School, they see how it is useful, and how it could apply to the scientific as well as to the business world.


The education initiatives and the collegiality between teachers here at NSU University School are exciting. The main reason I started working here was the school’s commitment to innovative and effective teaching.

As chair of the science department, I welcome the challenge of transforming the way that science is taught at the upper, middle and lower school. The principles and practices of effective science pedagogy must be aligned through all levels. We are also committed to train teachers at other schools, because ultimately we care about science education in our country as a whole.

I think NSU and NSU University School can show themselves as leaders in the educational world by using the type of pedagogy that is really leading edge, and open up training to teachers throughout South Florida to start. What we have begun to do with modeling is one example.
For a teacher to be trained in Modeling Instruction it is vital to have at least three weeks of full immersion workshops from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. Establishing these workshops is crucial for the change we wish to effect locally.

We also started a group called STEM Teachers South Florida to try to keep teachers motivated and collaborating throughout the year. STEM Teachers SoFl is an association of teachers, for teachers, about teaching which aims to eliminate the teacher isolation problem. Furthermore, through teacher interaction and collaboration we can all help each other improve our craft and become more effective.

To date, we have offered chemistry workshops twice, and introduced 40 chemistry teachers to modeling on a shoestring budget. A well-funded workshop including two experienced leaders and 20 participating teachers costs around $45,000. This includes a small stipend for the teachers participating.

I worked closely with Miami-Dade public schools and Broward County public schools to offer an incentive for the teachers, and this year, the county offered a stipend for the teachers to come. I applaud them for that. In 2006 I saw that FIU was going to pay $100 a day to attend a summer modeling workshop. I was a young teacher so I went. It changed my career. I was very lucky.

FIU’s grant has since expired, so the workshops are no longer being offered. The only physics modeling workshop for Florida right now is offered in Orlando.  NSU University School could easily host chemistry, physics, and the new middle school science workshops.

It is also vital that we supply some basic materials since a lot of the teachers who come and learn don’t have resources for their classes. When I went to my first workshop, I took a set of white boards home; they had a set for everybody. Little things like that make a big difference. We had “make and take” sessions where we would all get together and build something cheaply, but the workshop hosts provided all the raw materials and taught us how to do it. It kept us motivated. We all talked together, and we built something we could use in the classroom. I still have some of the same props I built nine years ago; I still use them.


STEM Teachers South Florida aims to support the growth of teachers during the school year.

The goal is to offer opportunities for teachers to interact and support each other. Through monthly meetings and workshops, we can continue to improve our craft. Regardless of how much experience you have, other people can have great ideas from which our students will ultimately benefit.

As I was training to be a Modeling Workshop leader, I was lucky to work with Larry Dukerich at Teachers College in Columbia University. Larry is a retired teacher who wrote the chemistry Modeling curriculum. During my training session, I was introduced to STEM Teachers of New York City, a wonderful organization with more than 400 members. STEM Teachers SoFL aims to replicate that model and I am certain that it will be a great start to transform science education locally. Having someone coordinate the STEM Teachers of Florida Association would be an immense help to this effort because as a full time teacher, time for administrative tasks is scant.

In addition to engaging each other, local science teachers will greatly benefit from the opportunity to collaborate on research with the NSU faculty as well as with professors from other universities. This partnership will help strengthen the content knowledge of high school teachers as well as giving faculty members a glimpse of the new science pedagogy implemented in the high schools. Ultimately, it is our students who will benefit the most from this partnership as they enhance their science literacy and become future productive members of society.

Presidential Award

Three Letters Supporting Monteros Succesful Submission

"Three years ago I walked into Mr. Montero's class a shy 10th grade Haitian girl, still grasping a love for science, and now I will graduate this year top of my class and attending California Institute of Technology, proudly pursuing chemical aspirations. ...The passion to wonder that Mr. Montero was able to affirm in me will never be forgotten and will carry me well into my professional career."
- Excerpts from a letter by a former student

"The most powerful kind of person in the world is the one who can inspire others to succeed and be self-aware. ... [Mr. Montero] was a tremendous driving force behind my continual improvement as a person. His influence propelled me to the United States Presidential Scholar award, my acceptance into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and ultimately, my incessant perseverance in my studies."
- Excerpts from a letter by a former student

"[After the Science Olympiads competition] it was like their team had just scored the winning touchdown or made the winning basket -- for an academic event -- they are chemistry athletes! Additionally, our science department chair stated, 'I have never seen students so enthusiastic about taking a test than I did this morning while I was administering it.' Students excited about taking a test? Now that is passion ignited!"
- Excerpts from a letter by Superintendent of Schools, Miami-Dade County

H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship alumna Loretta Neff earned her undergraduate degree and M.B.A. while flying around the country helping companies install and maintain some of the nation's first computer systems for accounting and banking.  Attending college would not have been possible, she said, had it not been for NSU's night and weekend program.

"My boss was in Atlanta,” she said. “I remember a lot of times, I would leave the meeting at 2:30 p.m., go to the Atlanta airport, arrive in Fort Lauderdale by 6 p.m., and go to class."

Neff thrived in the high-pressure technology environment of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, but recognizes that time and travel demands made it difficult for more women to enter the field. Today, she feels the time is right for women to use careers in technology to change their future outlook.

"It's the place to be," Neff said. "Whether it's medical, banking, or all of these different businesses, technology is still the place to be."

Neff added that technology careers often boast an equal pay range for women and can offer opportunities to get involved with start-ups or to become inventors.

"People coming up today have the opportunity to change the world," Neff said. "I'd like to see NSU students move into management positions and perhaps develop products or inventions that would help people with medical situations."

To encourage future students, Neff most recently arranged for an endowed technology scholarship fund to be established through an estate bequest. The legacy gift made her a founding member of NSU's 1964 Society. She also continues to make annual fund gifts and is an active member of NSU's Fellows Society.

"I feel really good about [giving to NSU]," Neff said. "I was surprised that I have been rewarded in so many ways."

Neff explained that she has learned so much more about NSU by attending the special events donors are invited to.

"I had no idea there were so many ways to be involved," Neff said.

Timothy Arcaro, J.D., professor and associate dean for AAMPLE® and Online Programs in law, shared that the American Bar Association just approved NSU's plan to develop a new series of online Master of Science degrees in Law and Policy.The expansion follows 12 years of success in pioneering online law education and 200% enrollment growth during the last three years.

By studying how law intersects with their professions, students are able to reach new career heights in the fields of health care, human relations, and education. Now, NSU plans to do the same for people in fields that face data security regulation, and much more.

Another area of success that allows donors to be innovative is NSU's ability to offer real world experiences through scholar programs and NSU’s law clinics, Arcaro shares:

With $1 Million, you can provide up to 250 vulnerable foster care children with legal representation. Children in Florida’s foster care system are not entitled to representation, so the need is great. Funding five to six lawyers to provide representation can ensure that a child is placed in a home that meets his or her particular needs.

With $5 Million, you can provide fellowships to enable alumni, in their first year following graduation, to represent clients while receiving advanced training from a senior lawyer. Students could also benefit from the expanded opportunity to assist with cases.

With $10 Million, you can provide comprehensive advocacy to hundreds of children. For most children, the need is not purely legal. A comprehensive representation platform could provide care across the continuum of the child's unique needs, including psychological, educational, and medical services. All the pieces are here and available at NSU, but we need resources to pull it all together.


Professionals seek out NSU’s online law programs because learning about the law creates opportunities for further professional advancement. While we provide insight and explanation as to how the law intersects with their diverse fields, these professionals bring a wealth of varied professional and academic experience.

For example, an anesthesiologist in one of our programs greatly contributes to course discussions about health care regulations and oversight for the purposes of administrative law, providing the perspective of someone who has lived it for 30 years.  I can tell students where to find rulemaking, and he can share how rulemaking affects the profession.

In addition to learning from each other, our online students appreciate the fact that our mediation course is led by a Ph.D. and all of our other courses are taught by lawyers. We have one adjunct professor who represents a hospital and probably bills his time at $1,500 per hour.  The professionals who are willing to step forward and teach our programs do so because they want to give back to the community and share their knowledge. That’s why students give us high marks in value both early on in the program, and post-graduation.

Our vision [for online programming] is to continue expanding. The American Bar Association just approved a master of science in law and policy that will allow us to build out a variety of concentrations.

Examples include data security law, family law, immigration law, etc.

There are a lot of professionals out there who are interested in accessing information about the law without committing to law school or leaving their jobs, their careers. We think we’ll be able to make that connection for a whole variety of individuals who are expected to comply with regulations in their fields.


Student research assistants have the opportunity to help professors prepare different aspects of a case for trial through NSU’s law clinics. Students can conduct research to find out whether or not we can order records from Broward Sherriff’s Office under a discovery request when the state is saying those are privileged documents. They can put together the argument, package it, and observe the court proceedings. Certified students enrolled in the clinic can even participate by practicing law in their third year of law school before they graduate.

Students applying to the Florida Bar in their second year of law school can be cleared to practice law in a not-for-profit the following year. That means a third year law student in a certified clinic placement can practice law as a Certified Legal Intern (CLI). They can go to court, call witnesses, and take testimony with the supervision of a lawyer – something that a real lawyer working for a law firm most likely won’t do for another two-or-three years.

Shepard Broad College of Law operates clinics for children’s family, veterans, and more. We also arrange field placements for students in environmental law, civil law, criminal justice, even private investigation. The combination provides tremendous opportunities for students to get real-world experience before they graduate.


Not everyone is going to do well on the LSAT or SAT, but that does not mean that they can’t do the work. And there are lots of examples of success with NSU’s Alternative Application Model Program in Legal Education (AAMPLE®).

The last four or five chiefs of Law Review have all been AAMPLE® students. The number one student a couple of years ago came out of AAMPLE®. These were all students who did not get direct admits either because of a low GPA, a lower LSAT, or some combination thereof.

There are many reasons why people may not have the statistical criteria for direct admit. Consider, for example, the undergraduate student whose poor performance coincides with his father being sick, or a lost job. Given the opportunity to perform, some students demonstrate excellence and go on to become great lawyers.

I feel NSU’s AAMPLE® is a source of pride for most people. Some people might propose that NSU would look like a different institution and move up in rankings if we did not have below median LSAT scores to report. The issue comes down to which constituent you consider in that value position. I don’t necessarily think that you have to get rid of AAMPLE® in order to change your rankings.

I am always pleased when students come through AAMPLE® and succeed in law school because it really is ‘I told you so; the presumptions about me were wrong.’ It is great to see people find success when others suggest people seeking a law degree cannot or should not.

A sophomore at NSU's Huizenga College of Business, Robert Willis is also a member of President's 64, and a recipient of the Super Sharks Scholarship. While pursuing a double major in business and finance, not to mention a minor in economics, Willis took the time to address NSU Ambassadors Board members and their annual recognition dinner.

Robert Willis, III

"It’s so inspiring to know that I go to a school where I feel that I am valued, not just in the classroom but standing here in front of some of the most influential people at NSU and in the community."

“All of the [growth and change] is very exciting from a student’s perspective because in just two short years – I'm a sophomore, this is my second year – I have seen this university grow tremendously. And this just keeps me incredibly excited to see what’s next, and how much further we can reach.

“NSU is such a young school, and it has such an incredible amount of energy. Not everyone might see that right now, but when I look at campus and I see the hospital emergency room being built, I see the M.D. program being created and expansion of our IT program, it’s huge. It’s so incredible to see the vision. And it makes me really happy to be a part of that.

“It also is comforting to know that in the future, my degree is going to hold a lot more value than I can even imagine right now. It’s just developing at such a fast rate. So I am excited for the next 50 years.”


“Everybody helps -- not only with developing the campus, but developing me as well. I have found since coming here that my true passions are in business and finance… and a minor economics, because I felt like I really wasn’t busy enough.

“I’m able to have a conversation with my professor. The professor knows who I am, understands my ambitions and where I want to go, and does what she can, not only with me, but all the other students in the classroom as well.

“I had the opportunity to go to UCF, FIU, but I decided on NSU because it’s almost like establishing roots, a home. People say where ‘are you from?’ and I say ‘NSU’.”

“It’s so inspiring to know that I go to a school where I feel that I am valued, not just in the classroom, but standing here in front of some of the most influential people at NSU and in the community. It’s really the culture. It’s just an incredibly amazing experience, and I’m just really honored to be speaking in front of you all here today. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for you.

“So I thank you with my deepest gratitude. I am excited to see where our development will go. And with tremendous commitment, hopefully one day I will be seated where you guys are today on the Ambassador’s Board and hopefully on the board of trustees because I certainly believe that what we’re doing here at NSU is going to make a difference.”

Randall K. Williams was named NSU's 2015 Alumni of the Year by his peers at the 2015 Student Lifetime Achievement Awards, just one year after graduating from the master's in public administration program at Huizenga College of Business. 

"Once upon a time there were four of us trying to make it in a one-bedroom apartment. When I told my mom I had actually been accepted for a White House internship, she was in tears.  When they called my name [for Student Life Alumnus of the Year] there was this huge gasp, and I realized it was me," said Williams.


“My mom is a very generous, giving person so I think I inherently developed some [of my passion for public service] from her. I grew up in a single parent home; my mom raised the three of us. I was the only boy so sometimes I had this “man complex,” a feeling that I had to take care of my sisters, I had to take care of my mom. I think my ambition came out of being in that environment.

“I call myself a trailblazer. The things I've done in my life and I've been able to achieve have been firsts for myself and firsts for my family, so it's kind of uncharted territory. But the one thing that I feel is my duty, my purpose in life, is to chart new territories. But [in doing so] to make sure that it's not just for me, but in essence to pave a way or provide opportunities for the people that are coming up behind me – be it family members, mentees that I have, or just people in general, people my age, friends. When I succeed, you succeed.”


“My journey began in a neighborhood where people aren't really expected to do the things I have. My “Moms” was excited about me getting to the second stage of [the White House internship process]. But when I told her I had actually been accepted and was going in, she was in tears. Because in her mind, and as she has said, ‘I was a struggling mother just trying to make it, and just hoping and praying that I would do the best that I could raising my son.  Once upon a time it was the four of us trying to make it and here we are now -- from a one-bedroom apartment to the white house.’ That’s her thing.

“Cathy O'Brian and Dr. Brad Williams wrote incredible letters of recommendation. They said, ‘You have the skill set to do it. We believe in you, we support you.”

“I worked on the affordable care act, and that changed my attitude in terms of developing ideas and reaching out to others and letting them know what we were doing.

“Then we had the opportunity to submit an introduction for the First Lady. At first, I tried to write what I thought was going to be really great, powerful, and I was making it hard. Then I said I'm going ‘speak from an honest place. I took the poem ‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou – and wrote an introduction from the heart.

“The intern coordinator selected it, and sent it to the First Lady's office. Her office loved it; she loved it. So I got to introduce the First Lady and spend a few moments with her. I was extremely nervous, but she was encouraging and said ‘just continue to do what you're doing.’ And it turned out great.

“Not only was I able to represent NSU as an intern, but I was able to do meet the First Lady, and serve as a member of special committees and task forces.”


“As an undergraduate, I started getting involved and being a part of a lot of organizations. But one of the things I always wanted to do was get heavily involved in student government. So when I started my master's program at NSU, Mission #1 was to get on student government, because I know that ultimately I want to have a seat at the table with people who are advocating for certain causes.

“My first week I met with Cathy O'Brian, assistant director for Student Affairs. I sent her an email and we met and talked. She said ‘I'm excited to have you. I will invite you to a meeting so you can get a feel for what we're doing here.’ I went to a meeting and started off as a senator for the business program at the Jacksonville campus. About a semester later, the opportunity to run for our division came. By this time I had done some work with other SGA members and Cathy O'Brien so I thought maybe I'd run for a different position. I decided to run for vice president. I talked to one SGA member about it and she thought I should do it. I was super nervous, but I went for it.

“I was able to manage the position of vice president and work at the same time, and I did a good job. When the next election came, I said I would run for VP again, but our president told me, ‘I really think you should run for president.’

“I remembered that one of the goals I had written down of what I wanted to accomplish while at NSU, was ‘run for president.’ And I had written a little blurb: ‘the title is not what's important, what is really important is having the opportunity to impact people, connect with people, get the work done, and to be representative.’ So I worked on the application, submitted it and they voted for me to be president.

“It was something that I was extremely proud of and serving in that role put me in a space to do all those things I dreamed of doing when I was an undergraduate.

“I know those opportunities are what enabled me to be where I am, and prepared me for this transition to the Washington, DC area, and for my current role as an auditor for the U.S. Department Of Defense.

“This is why I chose this university to get my master's degree. Who would have thought that in a master's program I would get the type of nurturing that some people get when they are an undergraduate. Some people never have an opportunity to receive this kind of encouragement at all. So I'm extremely appreciative.

“NSU is a place where dreams are nurtured, and upon completion, dreams really do come true from there.”


“NSU Jacksonville is a family, it really is. Our advisor, Cathy O’Brian, has this energy about her which sets the tone. A lot of our students work full-time. She has a family herself so a lot of our student activities are family-oriented. Even if we are just hosting study sessions for finals, we are considerate. If you need to bring your family along with you, you can.

“We have a text message thread for everybody that served on the SGA during my time. We were texting the other day asking for updates and baby pictures and when we're all going to go out to grab dinner. That kind of family atmosphere, that family vibe, really makes the campus great.

“I like connecting with other people, groups, and campuses at NSU so we get to know each other.

“I don't think it is overbearing, but there is an opportunity there. If you want somebody to study with you, I'm here. If you want somebody to hold you accountable, I'm here for you. And I think that type of vibe, and that type of love and nurturing, is what promotes success on our campus, what has made people say, ‘hey, I want to come back and be a part of this feeling.’

“When I came down for the award for alumnus of the year event, Cathy O'Brian picked me up from the airport, and took me back to campus where we talked and hung out.

“We really have built something that is long lasting and deeper than getting an education. The focus of the staff is really ‘what can we do to improve our students?’ And I think that just comes out. I speak for myself, and for other people I know as well, when I say that people’s lives are changed throughout that experience.

“It's not about our own success; it's about all of our success.”


"Looking at the list [of nominees], of people making great contributions to society, I feel that I am just beginning on the path. I was excited just to be nominated, and grateful. But to actually win… My advisor has a video [from the ceremony]. When they called my name [for Student Life Alumnus of the Year] there was this huge gasp, and I realized it was me."

“It is surreal for me. I feel like there are so many things I want to do. I'm thankful to be recognized, and I'm thankful to be the representation of what NSU has to offer.

“You don't just come to NSU to get a degree and get a job. You're going to earn a degree, but people are going to support you in a way that once you're done, you literally are a bird. And you can spread your wings and soar because the sky is the limit. I am proud to represent that."


Mentors - I always think it’s important to also have what I call “mentors from afar,” that I don't know directly, but their life’s work inspires me to be better, to work harder.
Also, speak with your professors, and NSU staff.

Student Leadership - As a student leader, I wanted other student government students to understand the bigger picture, to see how we could place all of these pieces into a bigger picture for everyone. After meetings I would have a kind of pow-wow where I would go around and ask everybody for feedback. ‘What should I do to be a better president? What can I do to be there for you?’

That was pretty exciting. It really added to who I am.

Purpose Over Title - The president of our White House intern class said, ‘in life, never chase a title, because you'll get so wrapped up in the politics and all the stresses that come with a title, you'll just get in that role. You won't know what to do. Chase a purpose.’

I truly believe my purpose is representing, serving people, being an advocate for those people who don't have voice, being the representative for them, and being the person to say ‘hey, we're all here together.’

So I believe that I'll start with local politics, then perhaps national politics. Being an advocate and using my voice will always be a part of my journey.

Directed by Judith McKay, J.D., Ph.D., NSU's Community Resolution Services (CRS) provides services to NSU and local communities including workshops and training; VOICES family programs; and conflict coaching. CRS also coordinates Peace Place for the Broward County Library system. McKay also provides training and interactive exercises for local law enforcement, and she has been trained as a facilitator by the Community Relations Service of the U.S. Department of Justice.

More personally, McKay donates to every school she has ever attended, starting with high school and including NSU and three other universities. (She only handwrites checks she sends to NSU, however, because those gifts are “extra special.”) 

When she considers how donors can help transform more lives through NSU, McKay first considers how she would proceed:

With $1 million, I would increase student scholarships so that money is not a barrier to attending NSU or finishing a degree. It is personally important to me to donate money that can help students finish their program.

With $5 million, I would make it possible for faculty members to do more research and community-based projects. I would also fund undergraduate and graduate students so they can work 10-20 hours a week on projects with us. A real passion of mine is violence prevention and intervention, so I would love to provide a “wrap-around” program that goes beyond hosting a few training workshops.

With $10 million, I would look to fund projects across the university. I might also recreate a program we once performed with young people aged 18-23. We helped them with conflict resolution, resume writing, and role playing for job interviews, and invited them to tour NSU. I remember several saying ‘I've never been on a college campus before. I can now picture going to college.’ To me it is all about opening up possibilities. 

McKay On NSU's Vertical Realignment

NSU's new academic structure is designed to maximize and leverage NSU's graduate and profressional degree programs to attract even more best and brightest undergraduates to the university.


One of the things that I'm excited about is that in the Fall term the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will have undergraduates, which will make collaboration much easier.

I'm an alumna of the university so I am very connected to NSU on multiple levels. When I look at the whole integration and the way the university is changing, I see it from an alumni level, and from a faculty viewpoint. My first question is how is this going to benefit our students? Then, how is it going to situate our university?

NSU is one of my academic homes, and I care about its future. How our university is seen is very important to me. As the university gains prestige, degrees go up in value.

I don't think people know as much about our university as I wish they would. NSU is an amazing place. That is why I donate to the university.


I think for undergraduate students, the vertical realignment will be exciting because they will have the opportunity to come on board with what we are doing. Some students may be interested in the specific programs we do with the community. Some students may be interested in a research project.

For example, I am going to be presenting in Orlando towards the end of July at the Dispute Resolution Center's annual conference, and I have already opened it up to some of the students in Community Resolution Services. If they do some of the research with me, then they will be able to co-present. Undergraduates would be welcome to work with me as well.

Undergraduates will have more opportunities to really get to know us and for us to get to know them, because it's not easy as an undergraduate student to get to know graduate faculty.


Opportunities like research and community outreach are not only about working on projects, they also are important to the whole socialization process of students.

In Community Resolution Services, we meet nearly every week during the term. It’s not always easy for students to find the time and the space to sit and talk amongst themselves, let alone among faculty members. But part of my job is to talk with students about their goals. When we start chatting, I find out that in three years, one student is going to be working on a dissertation, in two semesters another is planning to be out there as a practitioner. We talk about what that looks like, and then they ask if I have tips, and I get to share with them what I wish I had known at that point.

We have wonderful resources here at the university in terms of the Office of Career Development and so many things, but not everybody uses these resources the way that they could. So I always also tell students to take advantage of those resources, and take advantage of being a student. I think too frequently, we all are so busy focusing on the future that we don't necessarily focus on the now, too.


People come in thinking in one direction, then suddenly the blinders open and they are exposed to all of these different courses and ideas. You see it in graduate school as well. Suddenly they realize that what they were interested in is bigger than they thought. So they take a class, and find their true passion.

NSU has the most unique master's program in the country for college student affairs (CSA) because we include conflict resolution so students learn to mediate, facilitate, and better communicate. It also is a much different career path than it was years ago. There are so many different areas to look at. Look at the collaboration universities are having with universities in other countries. You may be sent to work with a collaborating partner in another country. That's a whole different thing that years ago in CSA, you would not have thought about.

We have our national security affairs program. At what other time in the world have we not needed more national security affairs professionals? And when we designed our program, we designed it talking to the people who are in the field. We asked: What is it that you would like to see these students learn in a master's program, FBI? What would you like to see, Homeland Security?

Then of course, we have our masters of arts cross-disciplinary studies program, “MACS”, which enables students to co-create their program. Students take core classes, but then they can take classes from our other colleges. They can take some oceanography classes in coastal zone management, connect that to health with a few classes over in HPD, add a couple of classes in criminal justice, and combine that with a little bit of conflict resolution and maybe a little bit of family therapy because they determine a need to have a broader understanding. So that’s really exciting.

The cliché that education is the greatest gift you can give yourself is really true. Education helps open your mind to different things, and it helps you form not only who am I and who have I been, but who do I want to be?


I think the vertical realignment is a wonderful opportunity for graduate faculty and graduate students to also be able to mentor undergraduate students.

For undergraduate students it is going to open up additional possibilities. The president has been talking about providing undergraduates with more internships and practicums, and the university is working to make that happen. Most of our programs at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences already include this as part of the curriculum. So we are excited to see how that will play out, too.

It also will be nice for faculty members to cross-pollinate as well. It will be nice to hear more about the work they are doing, and for them to hear more about who we are.

Associate Professor
Chair, NSU's Department of Multidisciplinary Studies
Director, NSU's Community Resolution Services

As a College of Health Care Sciences freshman, Kenneth Persaud spoke to NSU donors at the 2015 annual Big Thank You luncheon. Kenneth is majoring in athletic training and is a recipient of a Hand Up Scholarship, President's Scholarship, and Dean's Scholarship. Here is his speech:

"Good afternoon everyone! Thank you, Dr. Anderson, for inviting me to share my story.

"My name is Ken Persaud, and I would like to begin by thanking all the donors here today. I especially want  to thank Mr. Keith Brown for giving me the Hand Up Scholarship, and truly giving me a hand up, helping to get me closer to my  aspirations. Although all you may not realize it, all of you donors out there are giving a hand up to all the students who have received scholarships. Not only are you helping them financially; you are also giving them fuel to pursue their goals. And that feeling of knowing that someone is fueling our dreams is indescribable.

"Personally, when  my mom and I opened the letter from the financial aid office and read that I received the Hand Up Scholarship, we were beyond words, because it meant that  I now have someone else in my corner helping me fulfill my dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

"That has been my dream ever since I had my first sports-related injury when I played basketball in high school. I still remember feeling that pop as I rolled my ankle coming down from a rebound and then seeing the swelling that ensued right after and not being able to walk. Then the thought that I would be out for a couple of weeks and I wouldn't get to play with my team was the worst part. So when I finally went to see the doctor, although the news wasn't the best, I was astonished that he simply palpated or felt around my ankle, did a simple test and asked what happened, and confidently said that I tore three ligaments in my ankle.

"As a stubborn athlete, I didn't want to hear that so I asked “are you sure?” and proceeded to lie to him, saying that I was  feeling better. So he recommended that I get an MRI just to be safe. And when the results came back, they showed that I had grade 3 sprains to all three of the lateral ligaments on my ankle. Now I couldn't argue! But I still was shocked at the fact that he knew that from taking a history, palpating, and performing a special test. So while I was out for six weeks, I began looking into exactly what an orthopedic surgeon was and I was impressed.

"The aspect of this profession that truly amazes me is that an orthopedic surgeon can physically fix someone through surgery, whether it’s repairing an ACL or putting in metal plates around a bone.  I found it fascinating.  At that point I decided that I want to become an orthopedic surgeon.

"Now came the hard part: figuring out the path I needed to take. The first step was for me to figure out where I wanted to spend my first four years as an undergrad. I strenuously debated whether to go to FSU or even Kansas State where my uncles live, but then NSU poked its head into the picture. Growing up less than 15 minutes away from here and volunteering at the Alvin Sherman library while in high school, I saw how nice the campus was.  After a bit of research, I learned how highly it was ranked as a school.  I knew that ultimately NSU would give me a better chance of achieving my goal.

"Once I enrolled in NSU, a couple things struck me which made me love this school even more. The first was that all my classes had fewer than 30 students in them, which allowed us to have a more personal relationship with our professors. Then I learned that NSU offered a dual admission program, which – once accepted – guarantees me a seat in the College of Osteopathic Medicine as long as I maintain a 3.3 GPA. This was the cherry on top for me.

"The last step was deciding my major.  At first I was dead set on being a biology major and going down the classic med school path, but then I discovered that NSU offered athletic training as a major. I remembered how cool my high school athletic trainer was and decided to take an athletic training course just to see what athletic training was all about. And when I met Dr. Elizabeth Swann, she opened my eyes to the true scope of athletic training.

"I learned that my high school athletic trainer wasn't unique; all athletic trainers have the same knowledge as orthopedic surgeons when it comes to evaluation and rehabilitation. But what sets athletic trainers apart is their power to prevent injuries. Through Dr. Swann's class I got the opportunity to shadow a local athletic trainer and saw firsthand how he was able to help prevent an athlete from rolling her ankle, or from tearing his Achilles tendon, and the list goes on.  I knew I would be missing out if I just was a biology major, so I became an athletic training major.  Through this program, I will have over 700 rotation hours, filled with hands-on work.  So when I start medical school, I will already have four years of patient care under my belt, as well as being a certified athletic trainer.

"The path I have decided to take is all possible because of the scholarships I have received.

"All my life, it has just been me and my mom. My mom came from Guyana, and started a new life here. She had a huge financial burden on her shoulders and she worked two jobs just to make ends meet.  Paying for college was a terrifying prospect.  In addition to worrying about the financial cost, the transition from high school to college has been hard because we didn't really know much about the process, or the best approach to writing essays and things like that.

"Thanks to my mom’s determination, and my great grades, getting accepted to NSU marks a new chapter in our family’s history. I am the first generation to go to college.  But being able to actually attend, that is where all of you, and specifically, Mr. Brown, come in.

"So once again I want to say THANK YOU. One day, I hope to follow in your footsteps and give a young student a hand up so that he too can fulfill his dream. 

“Even though I considered myself rather poor, I considered myself fortunate,” says the NSU College of Engineering and Computing alumnus who used a grant, work study, and later tuition reimbursement opportunities to earn three degrees free of debt. Harold Henke, Ph.D. admits, however, that today’s student would have to find eight times the amount of financial sources he had to procure. That is one reason he funds scholarships, including an endowed scholarship named in honor of one of his NSU professors.

Henke established the Dr. Laurie Dringus Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor his professor and dissertation chair, Dr. Laurie Dringus.  The first recipient of the scholarship was awarded in the 2016-2017 academic year.

The idea to name an endowed scholarship came when he read about the opportunity in NSU’s Horizons magazine.

“I saw the blurb about how you can endow a scholarship and name it for professors that you admired.  I thought about the great dissertation committee I had, and said ‘Wow!’ I had access to really top-notch people, and they're still very successful.”

Henke decided to specifically honor his advisor, Dr. Dringus, who was “always very thorough and made me think about where I could find sources of info outside the simplest path.”  She didn't immediately agree to serve as his advisor; she made him finesse his proposal several times first.

According to Henke, the extra effort was work it because Dringus provided valuable guidance in pursuing a topic that many people were skeptical about.  At the time, eBooks was an idea that had been tried, but failed.  In the late 1990s there was a push again to try to make eBooks an industry standard, and Henke’s research supported that (enhanced effort).   “Dr. Dringus was willing to work with me on my dissertation about a budding industry that had already failed once but was gaining new momentum.”

Henke’s dissertation, “A Study in the Use of Paper Book Metaphors in the Design of Electronic Books,” was published at the dawn of the modern eBook. Since then, Henke has published several other books on the industry.

“The reality is that I benefited greatly from my NSU education and I think it’s fair that I help others get that same opportunity.  And the process of establishing the scholarship was so easy!”    

 “I have a foster daughter, and I am always telling her that education is as much about the process as it is learning outcomes. The process is what prepares you for the world,” Henke added.

Henke has been in the information technology industry working for companies such as Brocade, IBM, and Oracle for over 30 years, specializing in information design and reuse. He is currently the principal consultant and owner of Flatirons Technical Communications, LLC, which was launched in 2004. Flatirons Technical Communications specializes in helping customers create structured, reusable information for technical documentation and training based on the DITA standard.

What do you do when a child is traumatized by nightly gunfire? Or a parent punishes a child by telling him that the scar on his abdomen is where snakes can come out of his body? If you are NSU's Jan Faust, Ph.D., or one of her students, you address a person's primary need to feel safe first, within each situation's parameters.

Faust describes what this means. "You have to work with what those families need," Faust said. "You try to help them get out of the traumatic situation, but there is no guarantee because there are no financial resources. And there are limited options of where they can go and who they can live with."

In the first case mentioned above,  she explained, there was no "post-traumatic disorder" because nightly gun fire in the neighborhood was a common occurrence.  “So, what we did in that particular case was try to enhance the sense of security and safety. Everybody in the family agreed to come home before dark. The children were allowed to get a dog. You have to meet their needs."

Faust directs two of 16 specialized programs at NSU's College of Psychology, where her students receive as much devotion as do her traumatized patients. She includes students on research publications and enjoys seeing students excited about the change they affect. Faust also takes pride in the fact that attorneys who see students working forensic evaluations regularly comment that NSU psychology students understand how to best approach situations in family court.

"We have 14 faculty that run the university's specialty programs," Faust said. "So people are getting treatment by student therapists working directly under really cutting-edge professors. They are very well trained and supervised."

Faust, like numerous NSU faculty, teaches and researches while continuing to work in her field.

"I do think I am a better professor because I am in the trenches and have a small practice," Faust said. "I also think I am a better clinician because I am a professor. We have to stay on top of research, and always ask questions."

Faust and her students come up with projects and find subjects, Faust adds. "Because they're involved in all phases, it teaches them confidence. It gives them a scholarly track record that makes them more marketable, too."

After a year of coursework, students are matched by interest and given a case load of 5-9 patients, depending upon where they are in the program. Through the Socratic method, students learn how to conceptualize patient problems and determine individualized intervention.

"We're a team," Faust said. Together, the team tackles parent reunification, conducts forensic evaluations and guides treatment for children who have been abused or traumatized.

Still, Faust knows NSU is well-positioned to impact far more lives:

With $1 million, we could shorten our waiting list and allow more children and families to receive no-cost therapy. We could also fund a line of training for more interns, special graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in this area.

With $5 million, we could endow a chair and professorship, which could triple the number of cases we can handle at NSU's Psychological Services Center. The need in South Florida is just that great.

With 10 million, we could explore opening one or more satellite clinics in places where NSU already has bricks and mortar -- Miami, Palm Beach, and Jacksonville, for example. We need a licensed person in each location to perform Baker Act assessments and supervise students, but this could greatly extend our outreach.


Dr. Jan Faust began her academic journey at the University of Florida on a journalism scholarship, but went on to receive her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia. Along the way, she completed an internship in Pediatric Psychology at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and later pursued a post-doctoral fellowship atStanford University School of Medicine.

Upon completion of her fellowship, she joined the Center for Psychological Studies faculty ofNova Southeastern University and was subsequently promoted to full professor. While at NSU, Dr. Faust developed two specialty programs in the Psychology Department's Community Mental Health Center. 

One of her programs, Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress Program, serves children exposed to traumatic or potentially traumatic stressors including all forms of child maltreatment, witnessing parent murder and domestic violence, exposure to natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes) and accidental injury death. The program also serves as a training and research framework for NSU graduate students.

Dr. Faust developed a family forensic psychology component to enhance her trauma program, wherein her doctoral students conduct forensic evaluations, parenting coordination, reunification therapy, therapeutic supervised visitation, and individual therapy for children and their families who are under the jurisdiction of family court. 

Dr. Faust has published her scholarly essays in peer reviewed journals and books on child, adolescent and family psychology, and has published and presented research on childhood stress and traumas, including interpersonal and medical traumas. She has presented papers in a variety of professional settings, including International Society of Traumatic Stress; Program Evaluation and Family Violence Research International Conference; American Psychological Association; Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy; American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy; American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children; and the Florida Bar Association. 

In addition, she has co-edited a book on child psychopathology and intervention published by Elsevier Science, as well as a book entitled Trauma Practice in the Wake of 911 published by Haworth Press. 

Currently, she is conducting research under the auspices of the Broward County Family Court to determine those variables which contribute to successful conflict resolution and its impact on children and parents. 

Finally, Dr. Faust engages in part-time independent practice where she offers post-divorce counseling and family coordination, as well as treats children, adolescents, and adults who have been exposed to maltreatment and other traumas. She has served as an academic expert witness, and has often been engaged as a second opinion reviewer. She is also a certified family mediator, as designated by the Florida Supreme Court. 


Excerpts from the interview with Jan FaustPh.D.

“Prevention is huge," said NSU Center for Psychological Studies Professor Jan Faust, Ph.D.  That is why her "one wish and desire" is to include a half hour parenting class, every day starting in pre-school.

"Parenting class is not just about how you treat kids, but why. And it includes effective methods of discipline and safety," Faust said. "We need to be teaching our own kids about their own backyard, their own home. Just like we teach them English, reading and math."


If you suspect child abuse, you are mandated by law to report it.

To Report Abuse, call 800.96ABUSE (22873) • TDD 800.453.5145 •  

PDF: Reporting Abuse Of Children and Vulnerable Adults

Chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes (F.S.) mandates that any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, neglected, or abandoned by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child's welfare shall immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline of the Department of Children and Families.

In 2012, House Bill 1355 was passed into law and shall be refer red to as "Protection of Vulnerable Persons" Ch. 2012‐155 of the Laws of Florida.  The bill adds to the current reporting requirements of 39.201, F.S removing the limitation that only "caregiver" abuse be reported to the hotline by requiring any person to report known or reasonably suspected physical or emotional abuse of a child by any adult person. The bill also requires any person to report known or reasonably suspected sexual abuse of a child by any person.  

The bill requires the central abuse hotline to accept any call reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect by someone other than a caregiver and to forward the concern to the appropriate sheriff’s office for further investigation.   The bill also states that theknowledge and willful failure of a person, who is required to report known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect is elevated from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.

As a result, the potential prison sentence is raised from 1 year to 5 years, and the potential fine is raised from a maximum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000.  In addition, the bill creates subsections 39.205(3) and (4), F.S., which provide penalties for Florida educational institutions whose personnel fail to report certain child abuse taking place on the campus of the institution or during an event or function sponsored by the institution. The bill subjects the institution to a $1 million fine for each failure to report child abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

Excerpts: Trauma Practice in the Wake of September 11th, 2001

Editors: Stephen N. Gold and Jan Faust


The attacks of September 11, 2001 were unprecedented in several respects. They were the first attacks on U.S. soil by a foreign power in several generations, were witnessed live on television throughout the U.S. and the world, and shattered widely held assumptions about security in the U.S. and, by implication, elsewhere. Some questions and challenges evoked by the events of September 11th of particular relevance to trauma practitioners are discussed. The contents of Trauma Practice in the Wake of September 11, 2001, are summarized and framed as representing a preliminary attempt to respond to some of these questions. Finally, some of the opportunities created by the September 11th attacks – increasing public awareness of trauma and its impact, fostering compassion for victims of various types of trauma and its impact, and strengthening international collaboration among traumatologists and advocates of world-peace are considered.

… In stark contrast to the fate of many survivors of domestic violence and abuse, who have been abandoned and even denigrated by the larger society, the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11th have enjoyed the heartfelt support of their families, their communities, the country as a whole, and, indeed the world. Undoubtedly they have benefited from the social support that empirical research has repeatedly demonstrated mitigates the adverse effects of traumatic events. No one dared to suggest, or even to consider, that the pain of the victims of the September 11th attacks was imagined or exaggerated. We all felt vulnerable, and we therefore all experienced some of the horror and dread aroused by the threat of terrorism.

One of the opportunities presented by the horrific events of September 11th is the possibility that it may help raise public consciousness about the reality of and psychological cost extracted by traumatic events. We can only hope that this depth and breadth of this experience throughout our society will foster greater sensitivity for the plight of those subjected to trauma in more private, less visible circumstances. In order to fully discharge our responsibility to the survivors we serve, trauma practitioners carry the obligation to do what we can to make this possibility an actuality.

In addition, this event may serve to increase our nation’s sense of compassion for other nations that have not previously been as fortunate to escape terrorism on homeland soil as has the United States. The notion that one of the world’s leading powers is not invulnerable only further heightens fear of susceptibility to terrorist attacks, regardless from which country one hails. This together with Americans’ increased empathy for those from other countries exposed to terrorism can serve to foster unity across nations, ideally promulgating the concept of world peace.

Another prospect created by the terrorist attacks of September 11th is to create stronger ties among traumatologists from different cultures, with divergent political affiliations, and from diverse regions of the world. In compiling this volume we have been privileged to witness what we hope comprise the beginnings of an ongoing process toward the end. One of the more salient examples of this trend are the statements from traumatologists from various countries about the impact of the September 11th attacks in their own lands.

Another is the empathic bond formed between Frances Waters and Ofra Ayalon during their interview on the impact of terrorism on children, adults, and families. Although they had never met before, during their interview, conducted via an intercontinental long distance telephone call, they rapidly developed a sense of solidarity in their shared concern for the welfare of traumatized children and their families. We fervently hope that the events of September 11th will promote the formation of connections such as these among the international community of traumatologists. Setting an example for this type of communication and collaboration may ultimately be one of the most powerful steps we can take toward ending the cycle of violence, whether on an international scale or within the intimate circle of the family.

Book: Trauma Practice in the Wake of September 11, 2001

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