Alumnotes: Fall 2020

Alumni highlights originally featured in the fall 2020 edition of Florida Tech Magazine.

1970s

CHRISTOPHER CARLSON ’73, ’75 M.S., former roommate DALE PIERCE ’76  and scion PATRICK CARLSON ’08  indulged in all things snowy and black diamond the last two weeks of February at Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They said thanks to the Alumni House for providing stickers to show that Panthers can make it into the snow.

BRIAN BENICEWICZ ’76 was appointed head of science at HyPoint, a company developing zero-carbon-emission hydrogen fuel cell systems for air transportation and urban air mobility. He holds almost 50 issued U.S. patents.

CHARLES DAVIS ’76, who earned his B.S. in management science, has spent 40 years programming computers. He is enjoying traveling in his retirement, pictured with his wife, Pat, at Gornergrat, Switzerland, near the Matterhorn.

1980s

DOUGLAS HELTON ’80 A.S., ’82, was appointed business development director of transportation systems for the federal civilian solutions mission area at Noblis. Noblis is a leading provider of science, technology and strategy services to the federal government. Helton has over two decades of experience in the aviation and unmanned aircraft systems industries. He earned his B.S. in air commerce/flight technology.

STAN CLAY ’83 has retired after 50 years in aviation. Stan was hired by Eastern Airlines in Miami after graduation, then held managerial roles at Airborne Express and PSA Airlines and headed several special projects with Airbus, American Airlines and BAE Systems. Though retired, he has many projects of his own lined up to keep him busy.

CHRISTINE BREDENKAMP ’85 has been nurturing western North Carolina agriculture since 1996. In April, she was named director of the Macon County Cooperative Extension, where she is responsible for administration, community development and public education in commercial and urban horticulture.

ROBERT CHIPLOCK ’84 A.S., ’85, is doing double duty as a 767 international captain with UPS. He also owns and operates Lamai Ban Thai Kitchen restaurant with his wife in Greensboro, Georgia.

PETER KOSSIS ’88 joined U.S. Minerals as president in April 2020. Kossis has extensive experience managing national and inter- national enterprises, having most recently served as plant manager for the cement slag operations in Chicago for LafargeHocim, the largest building materials supplier in the world. He earned his M.S. in chemical engineering.

 

1990s

THOMAS J. HOWLEY ’90 M.S., who earned his master’s degree in management, had his new historical fiction novel, Wolf of Clontarf, published by Moonshine Cove LLC. Howley’s book tells the story leading up to the 15 years of the first millennium when the Irish finally succeeded in throwing out the Vikings invading their country.

MARK CRAIG ’90, ’92 M.S., has further improved his CPU design that was originally done for a homework assignment at Florida Tech 33 years ago. This endeavor has resulted in his design success- fully running in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), whereby the FPGA becomes the CPU. Although now improved, the 33-year-old original version could also be put in an FPGA, proving something old can still be valid and useful today.

SCOTT CAHALL ’91, ’93 M.S., is founder of the optical design and engineering firm Moondog Optics, which provides product development support for companies creating augmented reality, life science and mobile devices. He is also co-founder and CTO of Moondog Labs, which develops gear for filmmakers all over the world. Their products were recently used by director Steven Soderbergh to shoot the 2019 feature film “High Flying Bird.”

Gen. GUSTAVE PERNA ’92 M.S., who earned his degree in logistics management, was named chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership dedicated to fighting COVID-19. As the four-star general in charge of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, General Perna oversees the global supply chain and installation and materiel readiness for the U.S. Army, including more than 190,000 military, civilian and contract employees.

ANGELLE LABORDE ’93 M.S. was named as president and CEO of the Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center board of directors. A nation- ally recognized Certified Chamber Executive (CCE), LaBorde has provided more than a decade of dedicated service and leadership to the Greenwood, South Carolina, business community and has a quarter-century of experience in the chamber of commerce industry and the nonprofit sector.

SYED KAZMI ’93 M.S. holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering, specializing in water supply and sewerage. As executive engineer with Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Kazmi has extensive experience in project management, financial administration and UNICEF–Pakistan.

MUSTAFA ADIYAMAN ’97 M.S. was recently appointed production manager for solid forms in the Luleburgaz site of Sanofi Pharmaceuticals. In this role, he will be responsible for pharmaceutical dosage forms, manufacturing operations comprising powders, granules, tablets and capsules. Mustafa earned his Ph.D. in chemistry.

2000s

GAIL M. CARTER ’00, author of The Making of a Successful Business Woman, was named a No. 1 Amazon bestseller. Carter’s book features 20 entrepreneurs who share stories of their journey to becoming business owners. Carter is the founder and CEO of LightShift360. She earned her B.S. in civil engineering at Florida Tech. 

AKSHAY KASHYAP ’01, who founded Gurugram-based auto- ancillary company Green Fuel Energy Solutions, has been build- ing sustainable kits for the auto- mobile industry since 2006. His company solves the problem of providing extremely reliable, zero-defect, safe components used for sustainable mobility for gas- fueled vehicles and now electric vehicles. Akshay earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering.

JENS ITZENHÄUSER ’03 M.S. recently took over a new role to support the further development of D-Fine’s finance expertise. He was appointed partner at D-Fine in 2016, a European consultancy focusing on analytical, quantita- tive and technical questions.

ADITYA KAKRANIA ’03 was recently appointed managing director in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions with Security Innovation. Kakrania started as a junior engineer with Security Innovation upon graduating with a B.S. in computer science/software development.

STEVE T. MAY ’03 M.S. was appointed to the board of Ascend Federal Credit Union. May, a veteran operations and logistics professional, is director of market- ing operations at Lynchburg Homeplace—Jack Daniel’s Distillery. He earned a master’s degree in management/manage- ment information science.

PETER COHEN ’07, ’11 M.S., ’13 Ph.D., is director of research at Blue Biofuels, recently listed on the OCMX. His work with Blue Biofuels involves the patent-pend- ing cellulose-to-sugar process that converts cellulose into biofuels and biodegradable bioplastics. Cohen has developed nine analyt- ical methodologies, discovered anti-cancer compounds and has worked on trade secrets for major organizations, including NASA, Intel and the USDA. He earned his B.S. in biology, his M.S. in organic chemistry and his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry.

CHRIS PAONE ’08 M.S. was named brigade commander of the 10th Support Group, U.S. Army, in Okinawa, Japan, responsible for executing operational and contin- gency support to facilitate areas of operations in Japan and the Pacific area. He earned his M.S. in logistics management.

2010s

CAMERON HOWARD ’10 was appointed the new manager of the Pierre Regional Airport in South Dakota. Howard most recently served as the administration manager at the Owensboro- Daviess County Regional Airport in Owensboro, Kentucky. Howard previously worked for Mid-America Jet and has a commercial pilot’s license.

SULTAN NASSER ’10 was recently promoted to western region corporate manager and AVP for Marsh & McLennan Companies located in Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Sultan earned his B.S. in business administration at Florida Tech.

Lt. Col. AYO OLADIPOFANIYI ’10 M.S. assumed command of the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution in Anniston, Alabama, in a virtual change-of- command ceremony. He is a 2002 Distinguished Military Graduate from the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was commissioned into the Army as a 2nd Lt. in the Air Defense Artillery. Lt. Col. Oladipofaniyi earned his M.S. in management from Florida Tech.

TABITHA BYRD’s ’11 A.A., ’13, ’16 MBA grandsons are proudly sporting their Panther Gear! (View photos in magazine).

STEVE DOTSON ’11 M.S. has been named chief information security officer for Acoustic, an innovator in marketing technologies. Dotson brings 20 years of experience in information security and risk, including public and private companies, government contractors and start-ups to create Acoustic’s security program.

BRIAN BOMSER ’12, ’16 MBA, and AMANDA BOMSER ’10, ’11 M.S., welcomed their daughter Halley Celeste in December 2019. She is now future-Panther-ready in her Florida Tech onesie!

MATTHEW DARTEZ ’14 M.S. was recently hired as director of dev-ops engineering for Kyriba Software. An engineer and technical leader of over 15 years, Dartez is focusing on new orchestration and container-based solutions for infrastructure engineering at the company. Dartez also teaches engineering part time at CalTech as a program advisor for their dev-ops and cloud programs.

KAMAL ALJOHANI ’15 recently became a facility engineer for Amazon in Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Kamal credits studying mechanical engineering at Florida Tech with both professional and personal knowledge that led to his career growth.

YANA EDWARDS ’15 M.S., who earned her master’s degree in logistics management, was recognized as an MVP in the nonstandard missile systems program branch of the Army. She is a team lead for the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command’s Security Assistance Management Directorate.

CHRIS TOEPFER ’16 M.S. holds a new position as deputy operations officer for the U.S. Army, involved in the management of all Department of Defense cargo-transiting seaports in Northern Europe. Toepfer credits his master’s degree in project management from Florida Tech as providing many of the tools required to succeed in this position.

BENVENUTO AROKIASAMY ’17 M.S., who earned his master’s degree in computer engineering, recently joined Qualcomm as a hardware engineer.

VERNELL HALL ’17 M.S. presented his recent research paper, “Examining an Information System Used to Process Employees Award: A Qualitative Study,” at the 2020 Americans Conference on Information Systems in August. Hall has served in the U. S. Armed Forces for more than 20 years.

ROXANNE DARIEN ’20 was recently named as one of the Air Force Outstanding Airmen of the Year. The Air Force selects 12 enlisted airmen from various career fields based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements. She is a community health technician and graduated in July with a master’s in management acquisition and contracting.

JONATHAN PUGH ’20 is part of a team making deep-diving history. The Triton Submarines dive team sent astronaut/oceanographer Kathy Sullivan more than 35,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Sullivan, who was the first American woman to walk in space in 1984 is now the first woman to reach the deepest depth in the ocean.


This piece was featured in the fall 2020 edition of Florida Tech Magazine. Read the full issue here.

Cover of Florida Tech Magazine's fall ’20 issue featuring Furaha Merritt, an information systems senior and president of the Black Student Union
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