Sharon López, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Leadership & Professional Studies
College of Arts, Sciences & Education

10 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

During her thirty-one-year career in the field of education, Sharon M. López, Ed.D. '06 served the community as teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Miami Dade County Public Schools. Under her leadership, she successfully raised the achievement level of students at Riverside Elementary Community School under the Florida A+ Plan leading her school from a low "C" to an "A" in four years and at Coconut Grove Elementary from a "B" to an "A" in one year. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in History, a Master's Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision and a Doctorate in Education from Florida International University in Curriculum and Instruction with a cognate in Instructional Leadership. She was nominated by her colleagues for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 Principal of the Year award for the Booker T. Washington feeder pattern in Miami Dade County Public Schools and was the recipient of the "Principal of the Year" Superintendent's Award presented by the Miami-Dade Coalition of Community Education at the 2008 Schoolhouse Annual Awards for after school academic programs and adult education programs. Dr. López was the recipient of the "9th Annual Torch Award" at Florida International University for the College of Education and is also an Adjunct Faculty member in the College of Education at FIU in the Department of Leadership and Professional Studies. She is a member of the advisory board for the FIU College of Education.
 

 
Alicia Mendoza, Ed.D.
Associate Professor, Elementary Education
Department of Teaching & Learning
College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Date of Announcement: December 5, 2016

42 1/2 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Alicia Mendoza taught pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in the New York City public schools prior to earning her master's degree. She obtained a federal fellowship in the administration of multi-cultural schools from the University of Miami and taught at Clarion State College in Pennsylvania for three years prior to joining the faculty of FIU in 1974. In 1984 she was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. Dr. Mendoza chaired the Elementary Education Department from 1989 to 1992. She was awarded the Excellence in Advising Award by FIU in 1992 and the Teaching Incentive Program Award in 1995. In 2005, she received the Distinguished Member Award from the Association of Teacher Educators. She co-chaired the Educational Research Center for Child Development and FIU from 1984 to 1987. Dr. Mendoza has numerous articles in refereed journals and has authored a text book for Issues in Elementary Education, a study guide for the FTCE in English education, chapters in other books, and presented at numerous national, regional, and state conferences. Her interests include controversial issues in education, teaching strategies, children's literature, and early education.
 

 
Gerardo Aladro, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Date of Announcement: December 1, 2016

31 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Gerardo Aladro earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Penn State in 1985. In Fall of the same year, he began as Assistant Professor at FIU. In 1991, he was promoted to Associate Professor, a post which he held until his retirement. From 1995 to 1996 he assumed responsibility as Freshman Math Coordinator. Dr. Aladro has published in numerous refereed journals such as the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, the Journal of Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, the Illinois Journal of Mathematics, and Utilitas Mathematica. He was principal investigator or co-investigator for multiple grants totaling over $1.2 million.
 

 
Michael Rosenthal, M.S.
Senior Instructor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Date of Announcement: November 29, 2016

32 1/2 years of dedicated teaching and service

Mr. Rosenthal earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in 1978 and a Master of Science degree in Mathematics in 1984 both from the University of Miami. He then was hired as instructor at FIU teaching multiple courses in mathematics, such as College Algebra, Precalculus, Trigonometry, Finite Math, Social Choice Math, Calculus for Business, Calculus I and II, or Discrete Math. Mr. Rosenthal served as the Freshman Mathematics Coordinator from 1996 to 2004. In 2006, he was honored with FIU's Excellence in Teaching Award at Faculty Convocation.
 

 
Joan L. Baker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of English
College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Date of Announcement: November 23, 2016

23 years of dedicated teaching, research, service and leadership

Dr. Joan Baker earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Arts degree from California Polytechnic University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She came to FIU in 1993 and taught classes such as Studies in Medieval Literature, Robert of Sicily, or Medieval Women Writers and taught courses with FIU's Honors College. Dr. Baker was also an active member of the United Faculty of Florida at FIU as a senator.
 

 
Joyce Elam, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Provost, Office of Analysis & Information Management
Dean Emerita, College of Business
Professor, Department of Information Systems & Business Analytics
Date of Announcement: November 3, 2016

26 years of dedicated leadership, teaching, research and service

Dr. Elam most recently served as Interim Vice Provost, Office of Analysis and Information Management from September 2015 until November 2016. Her previous leadership positions included Dean of University College and Dean of the College of Business where she had been named the James L. Knight Eminent Scholar in Management Information Systems. Before coming to FIU Dr. Elam was an associate professor at the University of Texas and an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Dr. Elam was a Marvin Bower Fellow at the Harvard Business School during the 1987-88 academic year. She earned both her PhD in operations research (1977) and her BA in mathematics (1970) from the University of Texas. Dr. Elam is known for her work in helping to develop women leaders. She developed the Women Leaders Program offered by the FIU Center for Leadership. She taught leadership in the Executive MBA program and was a frequent speaker on this topic. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2012 Coral Gables Community Foundation Education Award, AXA Advisors 2008 International Business Woman of the Year by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, the 2007 Academy of International Business Fellows' International Dean of the Year, and the 2007 Athena Award given by the Coral Gables Community Foundation.
 

 
Joan Remington, J.D.
Professor, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Date of Announcement: September 7, 2016

26 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Remington's business career began with Parker Hannifin Corporation in Cleveland, where she held positions in human resources, aviation sales and marketing and international corporate offices. For nearly ten years she was an executive with the Sheraton Corporation of the Pacific in Honolulu, involved in sales and marketing of the Princess Kaiulani Hotel, and directing advertising and media development for over ten Sheraton resorts. Dr. Remington's academic career began at Chemeketa Community College, in the field of Hospitality. At the same time she was an industry consultant for U.S. hotels, tour companies and destination resorts, and was elected Commissioner to the East Salem, Oregon Water Board. In 1990 she joined Florida International University's prestigious School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. She is also a published writer, lecturer, and consultant to the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.
 

 
Karl "Galen" Kroeck, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Management & International Business
Date of Announcement: August 30, 2016

34 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Galen Kroeck, an industrial/organizational psychologist, was a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Management & International Business. He taught a wide range of courses in human resources, management and organizational behavior at the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, and the doctoral level. Dr. Kroeck held a number of academic positions including Director of Doctoral Studies for the College of Business Administration and Chairman of the FIU Research Council. He has worked in a consulting capacity with public and private organizations in the United States as well as numerous international companies, primarily in the areas of human resources, leadership and corporate organization. Dr. Kroeck has served as a federal court expert witness in numerous discrimination cases and has published diverse articles in books, magazines and journals such as the Journal of Management, the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Business Ethics, Leadership Quarterly and the Journal of International Business Studies. He has authored or co-authored three human resource management textbooks.
 

 
Meri-Jane Rochelson, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of English
Date of Announcement: July 26, 2016

32 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Meri-Jane Rochelson was Professor, Associate Chair and Director of the Literature program in the Department of English. Affiliated with FIU's programs in Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies, Rochelson was the author of A Jew in the Public Arena: The Career of Israel Zangwill, editor of Zangwill's 1892 novel Children of the Ghetto, and co-editor, with Nikki Lee Manos, of Transforming Genres: New Approaches to British Fiction of the 1890s. A past president of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, she has published numerous articles and presented many papers on Victorian and Anglo-Jewish literature and culture. Among other projects, she is currently at work on a Broadview Edition of Israel Zangwill's The Melting Pot; and the manuscript of her book about the life of her father, Dr. Eli G. Rochelson, is currently under review at a university press.
 

 
Brian Peterson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of History
Date of Announcement: April 13, 2016

44 years of dedicated teaching, research and service (Founding Faculty)

Brian Peterson came to FIU the year it opened, joining the faculty in January 1973. His areas of historical research include working-class and farm voting in Germany from 1918 to 1933 on which he published two articles, as well as bibliographic review articles on working-class communism and the workers' council movement in Germany in 1919-1920. More recently, he studied post-theist thought and artistic expression in mainstream European high culture (philosophy, literature, art and music) which has essentially religious concerns. Carriers of this new religious sensibility include Diderot, Goethe, Hegel, Marx, George Eliot, Verdi, Wagner, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault and Derrida. Their ideas are usually compatible with science and reason, but they also seek an emotional, value-oriented commitment in life. As a teacher, he sought maximum involvement of the students in their own learning through hands-on projects and collaborative activities both inside and outside class. Dr. Peterson was also involved in reforming education, both K-12 and college level. His interest was in improving levels of student academic achievement, graduation rates and creating more democratic conditions within schools and classrooms.
 

 
Joyce Shaw Peterson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of History
Date of Announcement: April 13, 2016

42 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Peterson started out as a labor historian, exploring the ways that the developing technology and industrial organization of the automobile industry interacted with workers lives both on and off the job in the pre-union era. Her book American Automobile Workers explored these interconnections through the lens of social and economic history drawing upon oral histories, company records, urban social surveys, and memoirs. Labor history brought her to gender history through the career of Industrial Workers of the World organizer and journalist, Matilda Robbins. Robbins' experience with motherhood as a single woman in the 1920s brought her to an interest in the historical meaning of motherhood in the United States, especially as it presented a conundrum for the women's rights and feminist movements. Most recently, Dr. Peterson has been working on a history of the Baby M case. She is examining public opinion, popular representations, legal issues, and feminist responses to the case in an attempt to use it to explore changing attitudes towards motherhood and family formation through reproductive technology.
 

 
Adriana McEachern, Ph.D., NCC, NCRC, LMHC
Associate Professor, Department of Leadership & Professional Studies
Date of Announcement: February 18, 2016

21 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. McEachern joined FIU in 1995. She is a nationally certified counselor, a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor, and a licensed mental health counselor in Florida. She is the past chair of the American Counseling Association Southern Region, past president of the Florida Counseling Association, the Florida Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Dade Counseling Association. She is the founder and faculty advisor of the FIU Delta Iota chapter of the counseling honor society, Chi Sigma Iota International. Dr. McEachern has published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Counseling and Development and the Professional School Counseling Journal on child abuse and emotional maltreatment, exceptional student education, learning disabilities, and other mental health topics.
 

 
José D. Mitrani, P.E., C.P.C.
Professor Emeritus, OHL School of Construction
Date of Announcement: December 22, 2015

26 1/2 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

José D. Mitrani, P.E. is Professor Emeritus and past Chairman of the Department of Construction Management in the College of Engineering and Computing, a position he held from August 1989 to December 2000. For part of that period he also served as Associate Director for Physical Mitigation of the Florida State University System's International Hurricane Center, located on FIU's campus. Professor Mitrani was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States in 1961. He was educated at Hialeah High School and at the University of Florida. His professional life spans more than 25 years, during which time he has been an engineering consultant, a contractor, and a professor on the faculties of Miami-Dade Community College, the University of Miami, the University of Florida, and Florida International University. As chair of the Department of Construction Management at FIU he led its construction management program to a position of national prominence in construction education and research. Professor Mitrani has authored or co-authored numerous articles and research reports on a variety of construction related subjects.
 

 
Nancy Del Risco, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Date of Announcement: December 21, 2015

17 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Nancy Del Risco earned a B.A. and M.A. in Tourism from San Antonio Abad/Peru in 1974 and 1975, respectively. She also earned an M.A. in Travel and Tourism Administration from George Washington University in 1976, as well as her Ph.D. in Tourism from a Paris-based institution in 1990 writing about Tourism in the Peruvian Economy. At FIU, Dr. Del Risco taught courses such as Sustainable Tourism Practices, International Travel and Tourism, Tourism Destination Marketing, and Environmental Management Systems for Tourism. An International Tourism Consultant and Academician, Dr. Del Risco has worked for many international organizations, governments and enterprises providing technical assistance and education in tourism planning, marketing and sustainable tourism issues. For many years she acted as Director of the Peruvian Tourist Office in Paris, France. In the field of education her experience abroad includes: Academic Director of the Tourism Master's Program at the University of Las Palmas, Spain as well as Director of other International Tourism Programs in Universities in Mexico and Peru.
 

 
David Twigg, Ph.D.
Director, Jack D. Gordon Institute of Public Policy and Citizenship Studies Date of Announcement: December 17, 2015

11 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. David Twigg earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Florida Southern College and a Master of Science in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from FIU. Dr. Twigg was one of the first Master degree recipients from FIU in 1973 and had first been employed at FIU in 1974 as an Academic Advisor and Administrative Assistant at the Department of Public Administration. He was also an Adjunct Instructor for that same department from 1978 to 1981, as well as for the Department of Political Science since 2004. Dr. Twigg published a book entitled The Politics of Disaster: Tracking the Impact of Hurricane Andrew with the University Press of Florida in 2012. Dr. Twigg retired in his appointment as Director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute of Public Policy and Citizenship Studies.
 

 
Michele Ciccazzo, Ph.D., R.D.
Dean Emerita, Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
Date of Announcement: October 27, 2015

43 years of dedicated leadership, teaching, research and service (Founding Faculty)

Dr. Michele Ciccazzo is Dean Emerita for the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. Dr. Ciccazzo was one of the founding faculty members in the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition when FIU admitted its first students in 1972. She served as Dean of the College from 2012 through December 2014. Before being named Dean of the College, Dr. Ciccazzo served as Interim Dean from 2010-2012 and also from 2006-2008. She served as Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at FIU between 2009-2010.

Dr. Ciccazzo has more than 35 years of experience in higher education, and over 15 years in administrative assignments at FIU where she has also served as Department Chair of Dietetics & Nutrition and Associate Dean of two colleges. Prior to these positions, Dr. Ciccazzo was employed as a Family and Consumer Science County Agent with the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, and as a community health nutritionist in both Florida and Indiana. She holds a Ph.D. in Nutrition from Florida State University and a M.S. in Public Health Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

During her tenure as Dean, Dr. Ciccazzo oversaw some of the important milestones in the history of the College. Importantly, she guided the college through various accreditations. During her leadership, the College achieved a rank of 23 in National Institutes of Health funding among schools of public health in addition to establishing itself as a leader in educating minority public health students.

Dr. Cicazzo also oversaw the groundbreaking for the 67,000-square-foot building that now houses the College, a new facility that through her vision, was designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration between social work, dietetics & nutrition and the FIU Stempel College's five core public health departments.

Dr. Ciccazzo is an academic role model who has motivated as well as educated, and who balances the wisdom of her years with a youthful and giving spirit. For these accomplishments and more, Dr. Ciccazzo was awarded the 10-Year Anniversary Robert Stempel Award during the 2016 Path Awards.
 

 
Constance Bates, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Management and International Business
Date of Announcement: July 31, 2015

32 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Constance Bates earned a B.A. in Art History from Oakland University in 1970, an MBA from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1975, an M.A. in Art History from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1975, and a DBA with a concentration in International Business from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1979. She came to FIU as Assistant Professor in 1983, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1985.

Dr. Bates' research has been published in journals such as Research in International Business and International Relations, The Journal of Language for International Business, and International Marketing Review. At FIU she taught courses in international management, innovation management, and intuition in management. In 1995 and 1999, she received the FIU Teaching Improvement Program Award. Her areas of expertise include innovation, sustainability, international management, and international business.
 

 
Robert "Bob" Wolff, Ph.D.
Professor, Recreation and Sport Management, Department of Leadership and Professional Studies
Date of Announcement: July 29, 2015

29 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Robert Wolff earned a BSBA from the University of Akron in 1972, an MBA from Ohio State University in 1975, and an MA in Outdoor Education/Recreation from Ohio State University in 1976, as well as his Ph.D. in Recreation Management from Ohio State in 1978. He joined FIU in 1986 and has since been an Associate Professor and Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Management and Sports Management Curriculums. Dr. Wolff was Chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation from 1994 to 2003, and Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Marketing at the College of Education from 2003 to 2007.

Dr. Wolff taught courses such as Sociology of Sport, Psychological and Social Basis of Parks and Recreation, or Programming for Special Populations. He has published in such journals as Parks and Recreation.
 

 
Leonard "Len" B. Bliss, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Leadership and Professional Studies
Date of Announcement: July 28, 2015

17 years of dedicated leadership, teaching, research and service

Dr. Leonard Bliss earned bachelor's and master's degrees in science education and was beginning work on a Ph.D. in science education when he took a course in Population Genetics and fell in love with the use of statistics to analyze information about human beings and switched his program to a degree in educational research and data analysis. He earned the Ph.D. in this area and has worked with graduate students in this area as a full time graduate faculty member at five universities from Maine to Florida and in the Caribbean. He has served as a consultant and/or visiting professor at universities in four continents and on islands in the Caribbean. He is the senior author of the Study Behavior Inventory, an instrument designed to observe the study habits of students in higher education that is currently used in over 400 colleges and universities in the English speaking world and is the author of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters. Dr. Bliss authored a text for beginning statistics courses under contract to Guilford Publications. He briefly served as chair of the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies at FIU's College of Education. He and his doctoral students researched the nature of studying and self-regulated academic behaviors. He was much involved in faculty governance through his membership in the Faculty Senate and in Labor-Management relationships through his work with the United Faculty of Florida.
 

 
Margaret "Peggy" Maisel, Ph.D.
Professor, College of Law
Date of Announcement: June 30, 2015

13 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Margaret Maisel earned a B.A. in Government from Pomona College in 1971, an M.A. in Urban Studies from Occidental College in 1972, a J.D. in Law from Boston University School of Law in 1975, and an M.A.T. in Clinical Legal Education from the Antioch School of Law in 1978. Ms. Maisel first joined FIU in August 2003 as an Associate Professor at the Law School. She earned tenure in 2008, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2012. In 2008, Ms. Maisel received the FIU Kaufmann Professor Award for Entrepreneurship. She also helped initiate the Clinical Program at FIU Law School and functioned as its Founding Director during her time here. She left FIU to continue her career at her Alma Mater, the Boston University School of Law, as Associate Dean for Experiential Education and a Clinical Professor of Law.
 

 
Christine E. Gudorf, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Date of Announcement: June 29, 2015

22 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Christine Gudorf earned a B.S. from Indiana University, and M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Religion from Columbia University in 1976, 1977, and 1979, respectively. During her time at FIU, Dr. Gudorf also pursued a Ph.D. in Comparative Sociology from FIU. She first joined FIU in 1993 as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 1995. She also served as Chair of the Religious Studies department at FIU, as well as the Vice President of the Council of Chairs of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005 to 2006. Dr. Gudorf authored, co-authored or co-edited seven books and numerous journal articles.
 

 
Barbara S. Weitz, M.S.
Instructor & Director, Film Studies Program, Department of English
Date of Announcement: June 24, 2015

33 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Barbara S. Weitz joined the English Department at FIU in 1982 and a year later transitioned to an instructor line. She served as Assistant Director of what has become the FIU English Language Institute as well as what has become the FIU Center for Excellence in Writing. She has been taking students to the Czech Republic to live and learn for 4 weeks for a time span of 23 years. Included in this program has been participation in the prestigious, A-list Karlovy Vary International Film Festival held every summer. She was a member of the FIU European Studies Faculty and the Women's Studies Faculty and taught for 3 years in the inaugural years of the FIU Honors Program (today Honors College). In addition, she was a member of the three-member campus committee for the Fulbright program for US students until her retirement.

Ms. Weitz' interest in using cinema as a text for critical analysis led her first to incorporate film studies in her composition classes and later, since there was such a demand among students, for her to develop and teach film studies courses as part of the English Department course offerings. She was Director of the FIU Film Studies Certificate Program, the largest certificate program at the university with over 100 participants, since 1990. She is also a selection committee screener, heads the Education Advisory Committee, and has been a Jury member for the Miami International Film Festival for many years. She was also a member of the Program Committee for the new Coral Gables Art Cinema. When she retired to Asheville, she immediately became coordinator of volunteers and filmmakers at the Asheville Cinema Festival.
 

 
Joan T. Wynne, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Leadership and Professional Studies
Date of Announcement: June 4, 2015

12 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Joan T. Wynne was Director of Community Relations in the College of Education and a Visiting Associate Professor in Urban Education in the Leadership & Professional Studies Department at FIU. Dr. Wynne taught for over 10 years at Morehouse College, where she designed and directed the Mays Teacher Scholars Program. At Georgia State University, she was the Associate Director of the Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence, co-designed and directed an Urban Leadership Master's Program and co-designed two research grants awarded by the Annenberg Foundation and the Spencer Foundation. At FIU, she has continued her research in school reform, supported by grants from the Urban Education Corps and the National Science Foundation. Her research and writing include teacher leadership; school reform, and the impact of racism in schools and communities. She received "The MLK Torch of Peace Award for the Promotion of Racial Harmony" in 2001. Dr. Wynne's main research interests include Urban Education, Global Learning, Teacher Leadership, Unlearning Racism, and School Reform.
 

 
Linda P. Blanton, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
Dean Emerita, College of Education
Date of Announcement: June 3, 2015

16 years of dedicated leadership, teaching, research and service (7 years as dean of the college)

Dr. Linda Blanton has been actively involved in education for over forty years and has served in numerous leadership and administrative roles in universities in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, to include as dean of FIU's college of education, director of a school of education, chair of a department of special education, director of a Center on Excellence in Teacher Education, and director of an interdisciplinary doctoral program.

She has served in state and national leadership roles, two examples of which are (a) President of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children and (b) Chairperson of the Consortium of Special Education Programs in North Carolina. Dr. Blanton served on the Board of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and worked with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) to develop standards for what all teachers need to know and be able to do when working with students with disabilities. Dr. Blanton has written and directed numerous federal grants, published articles/research on a variety of topics in special education, been as associate editor for several noted journals in special education (e.g., Exceptional Children), reviewed for journals outside her field of special education (e.g., American Educational Research Journal; Journal of Teacher Education), and presented extensively at national, state, and local conferences and meetings. In addition, she has served on many site visit teams for federal agencies and professional organizations, and has been a member of many panels, councils, and committees at national, state, and local levels. Dr. Blanton is co-editor of a published book, Teacher Education in Transition: Collaborative Programs to Prepare General and Special Educators, and co-author of a recently completed action guide, Collaborative Programs in General and Special Teacher Education: An Action Guide for Higher Education and State Policymakers. Dr. Blanton was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching and Teacher Education Award, a major award given in special education by Merrill Education, Prentice Hall and the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children.
 

 
Erskine S. Dottin, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Social Foundations of Education, Department of Leadership and Professional Studies
Date of Announcement: June 2, 2015

23 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Erskine Dottin has spent the majority of his professional career teaching in higher education institutions. To teach, for him, is to share oneself with others in different situations (academic, social, etc.) and circumstances (formal, informal, etc.) so that the interaction (the experience) enhances those persons who interact to know more about themselves and their world by (a) being who they are - being a subject and not an object, (b) acquiring personal meaning of life - learning from in-side out, (c) being what they want to be - being autonomous, (d) participating fully in decisions that affect their lives - being responsible, (e) caring - having a sense of connection with others, and (f) sharing - contributing to the further development of others. He has worked to apply the foregoing in his pedagogical endeavors in the classroom and with public school students and professional school faculty colleagues, with students and their families in an Upward Bound Project, with those under his tutelage in a Fulbright experience, and with professional colleagues in national and state accreditation activities. Dr. Dottin's research interests include humanistic education, the use of case methods and dispositions in teacher education.
 

 
Ana Roca, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Spanish and Linguistics, Department of Modern Languages
Date of Announcement: May 29, 2015

35 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Dr. Roca holds a D.A. in Spanish, with concentrations in Spanish and Spanish American literatures and cognate fields in Applied Linguistics and Sociolinguistics from the University of Miami. She also completed postdoctoral intensive work at the Linguistic Society of America 1989 Summer Institute in Linguistics, held in cooperation with the University of Arizona (Tucson).

Dr. Roca's research interests include Spanish in the United States, problems in language learning, language planning, Spanish-English bilingualism, sociolinguistics, and Spanish applied linguistics. Specifically, she is interested in sociolinguistic and pedagogical issues related to U.S. Spanish language and culture, the teaching of Spanish as a heritage language, and foreign language education policy issues. She was a faculty member of the Linguistics Program at FIU. For over ten years, she was coordinator of the Spanish language program.
 

 
Gisela Casines, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of English
Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Date of Announcement: May 29, 2015

35 years of dedicated leadership, teaching, research and service

Dr. Gisela Casines earned a B.A. degree in English from FIU in June 1973 and was part of the very first commencement ceremony at FIU back then. She went on to receive an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida. During her time as student at FIU from September 1972 to June 1973, she was also a Spanish Instructor, and so, one of our Founding Faculty. Even before the conferral of the doctoral degree from UF, she came back to FIU in 1981, first as Visiting Instructor, and then as Assistant Professor starting in 1982. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1990 and became Associate Dean for College Relations for the College of Arts and Sciences in November 1992, and held both positions until her retirement.
 

 
Nathan Katz, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Date of Announcement: April 29, 2015

21 years of dedicated teaching, research and service

Nathan Katz, Ph.D., is the founder and Director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality. The program focuses both on traditions of spirituality in the world's religions, and on the application of spirituality to the contemporary world in the arts, medicine, law, education, entrepreneurship, and international relations. He has studied, taught and conducted research in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Tibet, and Israel, and has won many awards for his research, including the FIU President's Award for Achievement.

Dr. Katz holds an A.B. degree in English, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion, all of which were earned from Temple University. He was also Bhagwan Mahavir Professor of Jain Studies, Distinguished Professor in the Green School of International and Public Affairs, and the Academic Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.