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Florida Tech Blog

The Florida Tech blog is a place to share news, insights, photos and videos of things affecting the entire Florida Tech community. This is a place to share different perspectives, connect with individuals, and discover how dynamic the Florida Tech community is. If you have something to share, we want to hear from you!

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Meet Florida Tech's First Football Coach, Steve Englehart


via Florida Tech Sports

After months of planning and a careful national search, Steve R. Englehart II is the man who will helm the Panthers’ new football program.

“I’m very excited to have this opportunity,” said Englehart, the former head football coach at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. “It’s a rare privilege to be invited to literally build a program from the ground up. The Panthers have a proud athletic tradition, and fielding football is the next logical step—working together, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish.”

What people are saying about Florida Tech inaugural head football coach Steve Englehart

“He’s the best. In my four years at Rose-Hulman, he was like a brother to me. He was younger, so he could relate to an 18-22 year-old in a way that some coaches can’t. He’s a first-class person, he’s a family man. First and foremost, I respect the way he lives his life and goes about things. You can’t say enough about his character.”

Derek Eitel - Former Quarterback, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

“I think he’s definitely a player’s coach, but he will be firm with his players. He will make his players respect him and he will have discipline. Although he is still a young man, he will make them do the things that they need to do to be successful in the classroom and on the football field.

Jeff Jenkins - Athletic Director, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

“He is one of the best coaches I’ve been around. He’s very detail and goal orientated. He’s very organized. He listens to his coworkers. I saw him take an offense that was the worst in school history at Indiana State and turn it around in one season to the point that we scored the most points in school history, 351. I think that kind of sums up the one year I had a chance to coach with him, and his ability as a football coach. He’s a great fit for the Florida Tech football program.”

Mike Simmonds - Offensive Line Coach, University of North Texas

Please join us in welcoming Coach Englehart to the Florida Tech family!

Florida Tech or FIT?


by T.D. McCay, Ph.D.

F.I.T, Florida Tech, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida Tech

Couple of interesting encounters lately made us rethink what we are called.  Nearly everyone knows our real name is Florida Institute of Technology but that is a long name so usually we just say Florida Tech.  Outside of the campus (and often on campus) people say FIT.  So what should it be?  On a golf course recently someone asked for what the FT on Bill Jurgens’ ball cap stood.  When we said Florida Tech he said he never heard of it, where is it.  We said over in Melbourne.  He then said, “Oh you mean FIT.”  We said yeah.  Then listening to the FIT, FIT, FIT chant as the crew team was cheered on to a close second place at the Dad Vail Regatta, FIT seemed to have a really nice ring.  So I guess we are both Florida Tech and FIT.  It would be simpler to have just one “brand” but life is never simple.

Biological Science Assoc Professor Furthers Alzheimer's Research


Assoc Professor Shaohua Xu

An award from the Community Foundation of Brevard continues the foundation's generous support for the work of Shaohua Xu, associate professor of biological sciences. The gift was made possible by the Kenneth R. Finken and Dorothy Hallam Finken Endowment Fund for Research into the Cause and Cure of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Xu is using atomic force microscopy to test his unique theory of the origins of Alzheimer's disease. Despite many years of investments and research, there is no effective treatment for Alzheimer's because no one really understands its cause.

By examining the interactions of individual molecules, Xu has discovered the biochemical process that appears to drive the disease; something unsuspected by other researchers in the field. Xu's observations show that normal protein molecules can assemble by without any direction into spherical clumps that then join to form chains. These become the tangled treads that choke brain cells in Alzheimer's.

Working with Xu are Sam Durrance, a former astronaut and Florida Tech professor of physics; several Florida Tech graduate students; and Dr. Daniel Woodard, a physician from Kennedy Space Center,

“Everyone is in a rush for a cure. But without knowing what really causes the disease, we are just shooting in the dark. That's why Dr. Xu's ingenious new theory is so important,” said Woodard.


Clinical Psychologists Utilizing Employment Tests, a New Frontier.

by T.D. McCay, Ph.D.


I have a personal interest in Psychology since I have a daughter with both bachelors and masters degrees in the field. Her first job was designing psychological tests for potential new employees. Her tests were designed to determine whether a person would fit the company agenda, whether they could get along with others, and if there were any deep seated issues which might cause the employer difficulties in the future; i.e., would they stay the course when the going is not so easy. 

I personally don't understand how one asseses that but apparently it is doable. So this screening really reduces the difficulties for the employer and saves a huge amount of money that would be wasted otherwise.

Florida Tech trains/educates about 25 new clinical psychologists per year. Most of them don't design test; they do treat patients, however, and hence work the other end, i.e., trying to deal with problems once they are uncovered. It's a challenging world out there, maybe we should see if we can graduate a few more than 25. 

Oceanography Degree Lands Grad Position at NSF


Cheryl Lynn Fossani Coastal Zone ManagementCheryl Lynn Fossani graduated from Florida Tech with her bachelors degree and her master's in Oceanography in 2006.  Cheryl is currently an Oceanographer/Science Assistant for the National Science Foundation.  The National Science Foundation is tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in areas from astronomy to geology to zoology.  The NSF is also responsible for 20% of college research funding so Cheryl is instrumental in helping identify transforming scientific research to better society.

"I am currently working as a 'science assistant' for chemical and physical oceanography programs for the National Science Foundation (NSF).  My position is working in science administration in the process that NSF follows to grant funding to scientists through peer panel reviews.  Part of my job is to help organize these panel reviews. I get to meet the top scientists in the chemical and physical oceanographic fields."

To learn more about Florida Tech's Oceanography degree program, click here

If you or someone you know is an awesome Florida Tech alumni, we want to hear your story.

Inside Chemical Warefare Research


Professor Andy Knight

Andy Knight, associate professor of chemistry, was awarded a five-year, $963,777 contract from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, D.C. With collaborators at the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at NRL, Knight and his Florida Tech research group are studying the cooperative effects of organic and inorganic coordination complexes on the catalytic degradation of organophosphorus compounds. These compounds are of interest because of their similarities to a number of phosphorus-containing chemical warfare agents such as Sarin and VX.

Knight's approach is to use gold nanoparticles as a platform for controlling the spatial positioning of molecules around catalytic metal centers. It is much like nature's version of catalytic systems, a three-dimensional arrangement of molecules around a metal within enzymes. 

Knight's group, funded by DTRA since 2006, has been working in the broad area of antiviral and antibacterial therapeutics based on metal complexes.


Flight Training School


by T.D. McCay, Ph.D.


Funny how word gets out around the world—sometimes better than at “home.”  Florida Tech prides itself on the education it provides its flight students as well as the flight training.  Our graduates in aeronautics are suited for much more than being airline and charter pilots.  They have the background to provide leadership in several areas including airline management, airport management, airport design, meteorology and many others.  We now have significant programs underway or in planning with several major airlines.  Some of the interesting ones are COPA (Panama), TAL (Turkey), Airlingus (Ireland), Qatari (Qatar) and China Air (China).  Pretty much covers the globe, so maybe we really are better known outside the U.S. than inside.

Environmental Studies Grad Making Sustainability Attainable


Krystal Forgenie Environmental Resource Management

Krystal Forgenie graduated from Florida Tech in 2007 with a Master of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management. Krystal currently works as a GIS Specialist/Environmental Scientist for CDM. CDM is an employee-owned consulting, engineering, construction and operation firm headquartered in Cambridge, MA with 120 offices worldwide. CDM is committed to providing sustainable solutions for their clients, check out one of their podcasts to learn more about what they are doing to decrease our environmental impact.

"Some of the unique benefits of an environmental major are the wide range of industries you can work in.  Additionally the combination of business gives you the platform you need if you desire to move into a project management role."

To learn more about Florida Tech's Environmental Resource Management program, click here.

If you or someone you know is an awesome Florida Tech alumni, we want to hear your story.

Human-Centered Design in the College of Engineering


Professor Guy Boy

How best do humans interact with machines? That’s the concern of human centered design and human factors.

The person to ask at Florida Tech is University Professor Guy Boy, director of the Center for Interaction Design in the College of Engineering. Much of Boy’s work there is on a project funded by more than $1 million over four years from AREVA, an international energy company that offers solutions for nuclear power generation. Now there’s an area where the absence of human error is most welcome.

Under the grant, Boy and his graduate students are exploring the ergonomics and human factors in the design and development of nuclear power plant control and management. They are proposing human factors approaches and techniques for the safer, and more reliable and accountable control of modern nuclear power plants.

Boy came to the university in 2009 to develop a doctoral program focused on human-centered design in life-critical systems. He is author of four major books, is a permanent member of the Air and Space Academy and in 2010 was appointed chief scientist for Human-Centered Design at NASA-Kennedy Space Center.


Florida Tech Football is Taking Shape....


by Florida Tech Sports

Florida Tech Football

Florida Tech just announced the 42 recruits who are signing on and ready to be part of the Panther's first football team.

“Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program. We are excited that these players are not only an incredible group of gifted athletes but also young men of high character who are strong academically,” said Director of Football Operations John Thomas.
The recruits are as follows:

Florida Tech 2011 Recruiting Class

LB John Armellini Merritt Island High School Merritt Island, Fla.

 OL Michael Peavler Wellington High School Wellington, Fla.

 LB Shaun Searcy Gulf Shores High School Gulf Shores, Ala.

 RB Jace Browne Osceola High School Seminole, Fla.

 FB Ian Spek Apopka High School Apopka, Fla.

 DE William Hastings Harmony High School Kissimmee, Fla.

 QB Sean O'Neal Auburndale Senior High School Auburndale, Fla.

 OL Sky Lermusiaux Monarch High School Margate, Fla.

 OL Constantine Giannopoulos Holy Spirit Preparatory School Atlanta, Ga.

 DB Jomo Daniels Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School Cocoa, Fla.

 WR Aaron Couture Villages High School Ocklawaha, Fla.

 LB Mitchel Herrador Moanalua High School Honolulu, Hawaii

 WR Peter Zappala Fort Hamilton High School Brooklyn, N.Y.

 TE Craig Hinkley Saint Joseph Central High School Pittsfield, Mass.

 LB Jonathan Rabenold Lehighton Area High School Lehighton, Pa.

 DB Carson Stewart South Broward High School Hollywood, Fla.

 LB Ivan Camara Mater Dei Catholic High School San Ysidro, Calif.

 FB Darrien Walker Lyman High School Apopka, Fla.

 WR Ryan Sparks West Islip High School West Islip, N.Y.

 LB Rasheed Oliver Middleburg High School Middleburg, Fla.

 OL Chris Dumas Victor Central High School Farmington, N.Y.

 OL Michael Williams Middleburg High School Middleburg, Fla.

 DB Joshua Kempton Fleming Island High School Fleming Island, Fla.

 DT Kiley Shouse Eaton High School Eaton, Col.

 DB Anthony Lockett Moanalua High School Honolulu, Hawaii

 WR Zachery Martinez Deane Bozeman School Southport, Fla.

 LB Zachary Morris Sebring High School Sebring, Fla.

 WR Gregory Parmer Auburndale Senior High School Auburndale, Fla.

 OL Clayton Rushing Twin Falls High School Twin Falls, Idaho

 LB Nicholas Kerkorian Warren Township High School Waukegan, Ill.

 DB Tyler Graham Jensen Beach High School Jensen Beach, Fla.

 LB Benjamin Blach Merritt Island Christian High School Cocoa, Fla.

 DB Shane Dembinski Saint Clair High School Saint Clair, Mich.

 OL Allen Conrad Bishop Mclaughlin Catholic Hs Tampa, Fla.

 DB David Cicco Saint Edwards School Vero Beach, Fla.

 TE Doug Heath Titusville Astronaut High School Titusville, Fla.

 LB Josh Rice Vero Beach Senior High School Fort Pierce, Fla.

 DT Davantae Williams Jensen Beach High School Stuart, Fla.

 WR Zachary Henderson Sunlake High School Land O Lakes, Fla.

 DE Devin Lucky, South Fork High School Hobe Sound, Fla.

 DT Mike Lanford Florida Air Academy Melbourne, Fla.

 ATH Kenrick Walters, Pine Ridge High School, Deltona, Fla.

Now the question is, are you ready for some football?

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Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Florida Institute of Technology. Florida Institute of Technology does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, Vietnam-era veterans status or any other discrimination prohibited by law in the admission of students, administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, employment policies, and athletic or other university sponsored programs or activities.