Florida Tech Womens History Month Awards Honor Community Members Who Make a Difference

MELBOURNE, FLA.—At Florida Institute of Technology’s National Women’s History Month celebration, “Our History Is Our Strength,” Marilyn J. “Bunny” Finney received the 2011 Community Award and three members of the Florida Tech community received the Joan Bixby Award. The luncheon event took place on March 16 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Indian Harbour Beach.

Finney, a resident of Rockledge, is well-known in the county for her distinguished work in many agencies and organizations. Described as a critical thinker and visionary, she is a community leader who has been actively involved in civic endeavors for more than 30 years. She has been recognized for her accomplishments by Florida Today, United Way of Brevard County, Children’s Home Society, Brevard Public Schools, Space Coast Business Marketing, the National Association for Community Leadership, Junior League of Central and North Brevard and the March of Dimes. Just last February she was honored with LEAD Brevard’s Rodney S. Ketcham Leadership Award.

Presented by the Florida Tech Alumni Association, the Joan Bixby Award recognizes members of the Florida Tech community who enhance the climate for women’s participation and development on campus. The award is named in honor of a Florida Tech alumna, who is a former university administrator and Melbourne resident.

The award was presented to Deborah Carstens, associate professor of information systems and academic chair for the project management track of the online MBA program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, an M.B.A., and a doctoral degree in industrial engineering. She is an advocate for women in business on campus and has conducted grant research extensively with the Florida Tech Women’s Business Center.

Also receiving the award was John Reynolds. Florida Tech women’s basketball coach for more than 23 years, he has posted 20 winning seasons. Reynolds holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Brockport, State University of New York. His commitment to the advancement of female student athletes is evidenced by his three female assistant coaches. All were former players.

The third Bixby award recipient was Trisha J. Ross, a doctoral student in the School of Psychology, clinical psychology program. Her current research is titled, “Training in Women’s Issues: An Examination of Clinical Psychology Training Programs.”

Bixby, who earned a Florida Tech master’s degree in contract and procurement management in 1975, started her university career as development director in 1965. She left Florida Tech’s employ in 1975 for a career as a government contracting officer and today, in retirement, she remains an active member of the university community. She is a member of the alumni association’s board of directors and serves on the nominations/membership committee.

The event was presented by the Florida Tech Alumni Association and Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech.



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