MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech will honor an advocate, a humanitarian and several achievers at the 2007 Homecoming Banquet on Oct. 20. Six people will be
recognized for their success and university contributions.
The Advocate Award will go to Hamid Rassoul, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Science and founding director of the university’s Geospace Physics
Laboratory. He managed LASER Day 2007, which brought 350 high school students to campus, and led the College of Science Annual Student Showcase. He is in
charge of the new Science Café program, which is co-sponsored by Florida Tech and the Brevard Zoo. Rassoul also is adviser to the Saudi Arabian students on
Amanda Goodson, D.Min., will receive the Humanitarian Award. A 1992 graduate with a master’s degree in management, she is a senior manager, Mission
Assurance, Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz., responsible for ensuring success on a Missile Defense Agency Exo-Atmospheric program. Goodson
received a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary and founded Never the Same Ministries. She speaks tirelessly in support of women’s
issues, serves on many boards and panels, and has been featured in Black Engineer of the Year magazine and The Cause magazine.
Four will be honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award. They are Duane De Freese, who earned a master’s degree in biological sciences in 1982 and a
doctoral degree in that field in ’88; Wassin Haddad, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1983, master’s degree in 1984 and doctoral degree in 1987, all in
mechanical engineering; Sanviv S. Pillai, who earned a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1990; and June Viviano, who earned a bachelor’s degree in
1975 in air commerce.
De Freese is vice president of Florida Research for Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. He is well known throughout Florida for his active role in marine
science research, education and conservation. From 1990-1998 he served as first program director for Brevard County’s $55 million Environmentally
Endangered Lands Program.
Haddad, a former assistant and associate professor in Florida Tech’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is, today, a professor of aerospace
engineering at Georgia Tech. He has published more than 240 conference papers and technical reports, more than 200 journal papers and book chapters, and
four monographs and textbooks.
Pillai started a successful independent environmental consulting and engineering practice in 1997 and, in 1999, formed SI Group with Klaus Voss to provide
consulting services on a nationwide basis. The company grew. In January 2001 the wastewater and drinking water services work the firm performed was spun
off into the SI Utility Group. The two entitities were acquired by Apex Companies LLC in 2006 when collective company revenues had grown to $17 million and
the SI Companies had offices in eight cities. Pillai is currently involved in a new start-up company.
Viviano, in the world of aviation for 34 years, is a captain flying for FedEX. Eight years ago she began an informal mentoring program at the company,
which has now become a formal, structured part of the FedEx network. Senior female pilots mentor new female pilots, helping them to adjust to a career
flying for FedEX.
Banquet tickets are $35 each. For more information about Homecoming 2007 events call (321) 674-7198 after Oct. 4.