– Three Florida Tech faculty earned 2003 Faculty Excellence Awards for outstanding performance. They are Dr. Ralph Turingan, associate professor of
biological sciences, who earned the Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching; Dr. Joseph Dwyer, associate professor of physics and space
sciences, who earned the Award for Excellence in Research and Maria Pozo de Fernandez, assistant professor of chemical engineering, who earned the Andrew
W. Revay Jr. Award for Excellence in Service.
Turingan has a fully funded research program with a national reputation. His efforts have been cited for producing major improvements in the marine biology
Dr. Gary Wells, head of the Department of Biological Sciences, wrote: “As a teacher, Ralph is a real star! . . . His strengths involve a combination of a
very charismatic personality, an energetic and excited teaching style and deep commitment to teaching his students.”
Dwyer currently researches under grants totaling over $1.2 million. Among these is a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award for $411,000,
funds his work on runaway breakdown of air during thunderstorms. He and his team were the first to prove that lightning emits X-rays. Their research was
covered in the prestigious journal, Science.
Dwyer’s Florida Tech team includes faculty members, Dr. Hamid Rassoul and Lee Caraway; graduate student Maher Al-Dayeh; and graduates Vincent Corbin and
Pozo de Fernandez is faculty advisor to three student organizations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Society of Hispanic Engineers and
Society of Women Engineers. She helped the AIChE student chapter organize the 2003 Southern Regional Conference of student chapters, which was attended on
campus by more than 400 people. In 2002, Pozo de Fernandez also led the creation of a new summer program for middle school students, GETSMART (Gateway to
Engineering Technology, Science, Math and Resources for Tomorrow). The program will be repeated this summer, on campus, June 16-20.