Florida Tech Bestows Women’s History Month Awards

MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Florida Institute of Technology Alumni Association and the Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech celebrated women’s history with “Writing Women Back into History,” a panel discussion and awards luncheon on March 23.

Three from the university won the annual Joan Bixby Award. They were Semen Köksal, Department of Mathematical Sciences head and professor; MaryEllen Roy, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business director of marketing; and Bethany Vitaris, a student pursuing a master’s degree in engineering management. Vitaris also has a Florida Tech bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

The Joan Bixby Award recognizes a Florida Tech student, staff and faculty member who enhance the climate for women’s participation and development on campus. It is named in honor of Bixby, a Florida Tech alumna, former university administrator and Melbourne resident.

The Space Coast Women’s History Award was presented to Carol Craig, founder and CEO of Craig Technologies, a software engineering firm based in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The award honors “a woman in Brevard County who has shown leadership in sustaining the American spirit,” according to Marjorie Beckett, assistant director of alumni affairs. Other nominees for this award were Linda Brandt, Brooke Deratany Goldfarb, Eva S. Jenkins, Dana Kilborne, Nancy Simmons, Jacie Stivers and Lynda Weatherman.

Panelists for the discussion were Connie Chiles-Cooke, agent and president, State Farm Insurance Co.; Priscilla Griffith of the League of Women Voters; Rose Padrick, author of The Art of Grandparenting; Sue Kiley, director of programs for the South Brevard Women’s Center; and Lynne Wright, author of More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Florida Women.

Partners in the event are the Florida Tech Alumni Association, the Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech, Business and Professional Women, Brevard County Woman newspaper and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

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