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3rd Quarter 2021


Christopher Joyce - Director Advancement Services & Operations

University Advancement 

Core Value: Innovation

As a leader, Chris is always looking to innovate the way Advancement Services handles day-to-day business. He found a different way to handle something and brought the whole team into the fold.

While presenting the idea which would involve major innovation on all of our parts Chris had his entire team go over what would work, what problems we might come across, and always kept an open mind.

Whether or not we implement this idea, knowing that Chris is looking for ways to improve our job function makes me happy to work for him.

Devra Cohen

Devra Cohen - Program Manager

Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine

Core Value: Scholarship/Research

Devra steps up instead of away during high-pressure times. The program manager for the CDC Long COVID study, COVID-UPP, she has worked efficiently and above and beyond to get this critical study off the ground. Despite changes in study leadership, unexpected requirements needing immediate responses with protocol revisions, and nearly impossible hurdles to master, Devra calmly and diligently organizes the team and gets the work done. When we submitted this protocol last summer, Devra and the writing team pulled this application together in less than 2 weeks, submitting an outstanding application that was rapidly funded. Twice since then, barriers that should have derailed the study have occurred, but Devra's problem-solving saved the day.

Research is all about precision, planning, logistics, implementation, and quality control. To take this large study through to a final data set needs a steady hand, team building, and an attitude of "can do" that serves to inspire the team. Devra is a "can do" person, with the ability to keep the many working parts of a project of this size working well.

Because of Devra's actions and leadership, NSU was awarded a 4.4 million dollar grant, the first federally funded study in the country to study the sequelae of acute COVID infection. This is a critically important study that has needed a tremendous about of attention to implement. Without Devra's professionalism, skillset and leadership this would not have happened. We are all grateful for the work ethic and dedication she has shown to see this project off the ground.

Toral Joshi Waghray - Library Assistant-Cataloging

Innovation and Information Technology

Core Value: Integrity

After the pandemic started, Technical Services and Collection Development department at the Alvin Sherman Library has experienced a challenge, a shortage of staff and student workers. During this difficult time, Toral made herself accountable, accepted any additional responsibilities, and diligently handled a heavy workload.

In addition to her expanded cataloging tasks, Toral stepped forward to help with the processing of library materials after student workers left due to the pandemic. She actively participated in various other projects which needed her help in the department. Toral also played an important role in training other staff to speed up the process of multiple projects. Toral always looks out for staff who need help and acts as a lifesaver.

Toral’s exceptionally cooperative efforts made every project shine, helped the team accomplish its goals successfully, and promoted effective teamwork of staff in the department. Toral’s excellent commitment demonstrated great support for NSU Core Values and further benefited the library, NSU, and community.


William Barrera, Maintenance Technician III

Facilities Management

Core Value: Innovation; Community

Our department had a big project of moving graduation composite frames. Will came promptly, suggested better ways to do the work, and find solutions to issues that appear when the work started. Also, during his work, he had an emergency situation with some plugs and he was able to fix it right away.

Will is committed to excellence which is demonstrated by the quality of his work. He is very detail-oriented and the repairs he has done in our College are quick and efficient. In this specific situation, William faced some challenges and quickly found solutions to ensure the frames were hung the best way. He is always happy, helpful, and makes sure that our needs are fulfilled. All with a smile on his face and treating everyone with respect.

William works to make sure his job is done with utmost efficiency. We trust his work and suggestions to improve our work environment. His innovative ideas to see different ways to do old things are proof he knows what he is doing. He not only considers how comfortable we will be, but offers ways to save costs.

2nd Quarter 2021


Lorraine Breffni, Director

Mailman Segal Center for Human Development

Core Values: Academic Excellence; Student Centered; Integrity

Last year, due to the pandemic, the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development was folded into University School. This was a huge leadership challenge.

Dr. Breffni has led her team with excellence, professionalism, and integrity. Despite the loss of staff, and the many challenges her team has endured this year, she has inspired and guided them to continue to serve the families at the new University Preschool well in a student-centered way.

Families were very concerned about how the change would affect their students and employees were concerned about what their new role would look like. She has created an excellent environment for both stakeholders and smoothly transitioned her team and families into the new system. Additionally, she has maintained the great reputation she has built for NSU in the community.


Lorraine Shim, Director of Development

Advancement and Community Relations

Core Values: Opportunity; Diversity; Community

For the last few months, Lorraine has taken on the task of putting together and facilitating a Diversity and Inclusion committee within University Advancement. This committee has brought a wide variety of important topics to the forefront of our department including our hiring of employees, our board diversity, training, and how we better represent NSU in the community. She recently found a 7-week training certificate which about 10 employees are now in the middle of completing.

Lorraine continues to turn "big ideas" into reality and is constantly making NSU a better place to work. Lorraine is also very involved in the community and constantly keeps NSU at the forefront of her conversations with community leaders. Lorraine cares deeply for her colleagues and for her community and it shows, by bringing forth training, holding timely (but sometimes difficult) conversations, and promoting the growth of our department, she is always exhibiting the core values of NSU.


Jeffrey Jurkas, Director

Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences

Core Values: Student Centered

As we prepare to bring new students to campus in the midst of a pandemic, Jeff has been diligent about creating opportunities for students to learn about NSU systems, meet other students, get their questions answered and learn about financial aid requirements and options. He is committed to making sure that their transition is easy and seamless.

Jeff has offered multiple pre-orientation sessions for students walking them through the processes and providing answers to their questions. I expect his student-centeredness and commitment has promoted retention and is helping students feel that the university cares about them. I'm grateful for his dedication and, according to the student evaluations, the students are, as well.


Tobin Silver, Professor

Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences

Core Values: Academic Excellence; Innovation


Dr. Silver presented a "best practices in online instruction" lecture to our entire EXSC faculty. This included best practices, engagement, tools and tricks, polls, breakout rooms, organization, and many additional tools/tips to better help the faculty instruct via Canvas.

Dr. Silver was demonstrative of both innovative techniques and academic excellence in both his instruction to his students and presented to his peers.

This behavior will impact all faculty members by raising the bar for academic excellence and innovation of instruction within the classroom. This will directly impact the quality of lectures for the learner.

1st Quarter 2021

Nils Lau

Nils Lau, Network Engineer, Innovation and Information Technology 

Core Value: Innovation

Dr. Nils, Has put in tedious hours sacrificing his time and efforts in order to Architect a new Wireless infrastructure that will support our entire NSU environment inclusive of all our remote campuses as well as our main campus here in Fort Lauderdale. The new wireless core infrastructure in which he both designed, and deployed sets a new standard of excellence that surpasses our current infrastructure's serviceability, and prepares our user community well into the future as technology requirements continue to evolve.

Dr. Nils' commitment to what many would consider an overwhelming task put his heart and soul into this project sacrificing time and spending countless hours to ensure our University would be ready to take on the future of technology today. Well done Sir!


Marcia Young-Tippenhauer, Administrative Support Lead III, HR Employee Relations

Core Value: Integrity; Community

Throughout the entire Conflict of Interest update process, Marcia has been a tremendous support, diligently following up with individuals and helping see the project to completion. Her dedication and relentless patience while providing excellent service to the member of the NSU community is admirable.


pradeep vanguri

Pradeep Vanguri, PhD, LAT, ATC, Associate Professor/Athletic Training Program Director, Department of Health and Human Performance

Core Value: Academic Excellence; Opportunity; Community 

Dr. Vanguri has demonstrated leadership and reinvestment in the NSU Community through supporting the Emerging Leadership Development program, serving as an alumni mentor to current program participants. His contributions and additions to the program are an excellent example of applying the leadership concepts taught in the program itself.

Thanks to Dr. Vanguri's contribution and participation as a cofacilitator of the program, future Emerging Leaders will be encouraged to participate in a similar fashion, helping to create a virtuous cycle of internal leadership development.


Beth Welmaker, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities Management

Core Value: Student Centered; Integrity; Academic Excellence; Scholarship/Research; Community 

Throughout the pandemic, all of NSU has been so fortunate to have Beth Welmaker dedicate her time to ensure our safety against COVID-19.

Beth holds weekly meetings to help educate and provide updates to all of the COVID coordinators. Beth communicates with the NSU community and makes sure that all of our employee's and student's questions are addressed. Beth has spent countless hours making sure our campus is safe and worked really hard on getting the vaccination site up and running for our staff and students.

Beth really helped to ensure that all the COVID Coordinators were kept up to date on the latest information on COVID-19, which made our jobs so much easier since we had the knowledge on how to help our employees. Because of her leadership, NSU followed the CDC guidelines and we could all rest assured that we were doing everything we could possibly do to ensure the safety and well-being of our faculty, students, and staff.

Naziba Nuha, Content Tutor, Farquhar Honors College

Core Value: Student Centered

Naziba is a fellow honors advocate and is always heavily involved during our meetings. She acts in a very professional way, presenting academic excellence and integrity.

She is a heavily involved student in the honors college as well as outside of it. The specific instance where she presented these core values is with her involvement with the undergraduate student symposium as well as an honors advocate.

As a freshman Honors Advocate at NSU, it is inspiring to see an older student like Naziba working so hard. She has unknowingly helped me feel motivated to work hard through her actions. She has also helped me find out about many opportunities that I would like to get involved in. Overall, she is a very hard working individual that acts as an inspiration to those around her.

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