Panthers in the Headlines: August 2020

Florida Tech is a one-of-a-kind community. Our faculty, staff, students and alumni continuously strive to achieve their goals, contribute to the greater good and relentlessly pursue greatness—so much so, they’re making headlines.

5 Panther-Proud Headlines this Month

1. Florida Tech Innovates with Orientation Drive-Thru Check-in Process

Student and parents remained in their cars during the innovative check-in process at Florida Tech in early August.
Incoming students pull up to the Clemente Center, where the orientation drive-thru check-in took place.

This month, we put our Florida Tech Safe: Return to Learn plan into action when we welcomed over 640 first-year students and their families to campus. To check in for orientation, students drove through a series of stations, where they received their student IDs, housing keys, parking passes and more—all from the comfort of their cars.

“From a social distancing standpoint, it allowed the students and our staff to still create an opportunity for a personal interaction while creating an environment that encouraged social distancing,” says assistant vice president of housing and campus services Greg Connell.  

Read the full story about the orientation drive-thru check-in process.

2. University Partners with the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and Steward Health Care

Students from Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine speak to Florida Tech assistant professor Kenia Nunes, a vascular biologist, during a recent tour of campus. Nine Burrell students are on the Space Coast to participate in clinical rotations at Steward Health Care facilities.
Students from Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine speak to Florida Tech assistant professor Kenia Nunes, a vascular biologist, during a recent tour of campus.

In a new partnership with the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and Steward Health Care, we’re expanding Burrell College’s clinical education reach to the Space Coast. Medical students from the college began working at local hospitals in August and moved into off-campus housing near Florida Tech, where they now have easy access to campus resources.

Learn more about Florida Tech’s partnership with Burrell College.

3. New Health Sciences Research Center to Feed Growing Demand for Physicians

A rendering of Florida Tech’s future $18 million Health Sciences Research Center set to break ground spring 2020.

With the addition of the Health Sciences Research Center on campus, we’ll soon double the size of our undergraduate biomedical engineering program, bringing the power of medical research to the Space Coast. 

“One of the plans for this building is, we’re going to be educating biomedical engineers that go directly into med school. We’re going to be serving medical research, and we’re going to be serving the needs of the population here in Florida through production of physicians,” university President T. Dwayne McCay says.

Read the full story about Florida Tech’s Health Sciences Research Center.

4. Florida Tech Highlighted for Pandemic Response

Florida Tech staff cleaning computer lab
Florida Tech staff members work hard to keep campus safe and healthy.

Space Coast Living magazine story highlighted Florida Tech’s preparedness for online learning and its return to campus, as other institutions work to increase their online learning options.

“We have offered fully online programs at our education centers around the country for many years, specifically geared towards this type of student population,” says Brian Ehrlich, vice president for enrollment management at Florida Tech. “It would be fair to say we have been preparing for this [sort of situation]since our very start.” 

Read the full feature on higher education’s pandemic response.

5. Meteorology Alumna and NOAA Hurricane Hunter Leads Crew into Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura moves into the USA, Gulf of Mexico. World map. Vector illustration. EPS 10
Hurricane Laura reached the U.S. coast Aug. 16.

Meteorology alumna Ashley Lundry ’06, a flight director with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters, led a crew through Hurricane Laura’s 150 mph winds five times as the storm approached the Louisiana and Texas coasts. 

Lundry was a student during the Space Coast’s historic 2004 hurricane season.

“As a meteorologist, it was an incredible learning experience to be watching the forecasts and to have our professors teach us what was going on,” she says.

Read the full story detailing Lundry’s work as an NOAA Hurricane Hunter.

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