While guests mingled with other professionals from a multitude of diverse fields, Dean Paul Jarley (business), Dean Michael Georgiopoulos (engineering) and Dean Michael Johnson (sciences) each addressed the group of Knights, speaking on the importance of networking, mentorship and advancement.
It was a great Networking Knight to kick off 2016!
Charles Gray, founding director of GrayRobinson, played an instrumental role in the history of the University of Central Florida. Gray was honored by the UCF Alumni Association in October with the 2015 Champions Award for his continuous support and advocacy for the university.
Christopher Iaciofoli, ’03 | Director of Operations, Red Lobster Seafood Co.
The UCF Alumni Association and Rosen College of Hospitality Management presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Chris Iaciofoli at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Since March 2014, Chris has been director of operations at the Red Lobster Seafood Company.
After working as a restaurant manager, general manager and operations director for the company, Red Lobster created a position in 2007 just for him — as director of operations excellence for all 689 restaurants.
Both he and his wife, Joanna Marra Iaciofoli, ’03, graduated from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, and both were Harris Rosen Endowed Fund scholarship recipients.
In 2008, Chris received the college’s Rising Star Award.
James Rosengren, ’81 | Founder/Chairman/CEO, Heritage Health Solutions Inc.
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Sciences presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to James Rosengren at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in biology from UCF, Jim went on to earn his master’s degree in healthcare administration at Baylor University in 1991.
Before becoming the chairman and CEO of Heritage Health Solutions Inc., he was the vice president of political and government relations for Health Net Federal Services Inc. He also served in the U.S. Army, earning multiple medals, the Legion of Merit Award and Congressional Veteran Commendation.
Jim is a fellow at the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a member of several veterans and military organizations.
Frank J. Effenberger, ’95, Ph.D. | VP, Access Lab, Futurewei Technologies
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Optics and Photonics presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Frank Effenberger at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Frank is considered a world expert in the field of fiber access networks and passive optical networks.
In 2008, he became the chairman of International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies. In 2011, he was named as Huawei Fellow, and, in 2015, he was named as a fellow of both the OSA and the IEEE. He holds 60 U.S. patents.
Before joining his current company in 2006, Frank was a systems engineer at Motorola. Prior to that, he served at Quantum Bridge Communications, where he managed the system engineering group. He also held other positions in the fiber optics industry, with Science Application International Corporation, Bell Communications and Discovery Semiconductors.
He earned his undergraduate in engineering and engineering physics in 1988 at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and a master’s degree in optics from the University of Rochester in 1989, ranking first in his class.
Thomas Weichart, ’04, ’14 | Clinical Nursing Director, ONI Medical Associates
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Nursing presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Tom Weichart at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Prior to his current career ventures, Tom held various nursing positions, including the role of presidential executive nurse with the White House Medical Unit. He also served in the U.S. Army, with stints at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C.; 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq; and 240th Forward Surgical Team in Macedonia and Kosovo.
His education in the health-care field began in 1993 and continues to this day. He earned a BS in nursing from the University of Florida in 1995; an MS in health services administration from Central Michigan University in 1999; an MS in critical care nursing from UCF in 2004; a post-graduate health profession education certificate in 2004; an MA in theology/theological studies from Liberty University in 2010; post-graduate certificate as a family nurse practitioner from UCF in 2014; and is currently attending UCF for a nurse practitioner doctorate, scheduled to graduate next year.
Dr. Michael Makowski, ’80 | Eye Physician/Surgeon, Tomoka Eye Associates
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Medicine presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Michael Makowski at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology/microbiology from UCF, then went on to earn his medical degree from the University of South Florida in 1984. He did his internship at Greenville Hospital System in South Carolina, and his residency at the Medical College of Georgia.
He is an ophthalmologist and partner with Tomoka Eye Associates, Daytona’s largest and most popular ophthalmology group, with multiple subspecialists and the latest diagnostic technology. His focus is on cataract surgery, glaucoma, oculoplastics and corneal transplant. He’s a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, Volusia County Medical Society and Flagler County Medical Society.
Mike received the Patients’ Choice Award in 2008, 2011 and 2014, and Compassionate Doctor Recognition in 2011 and 2014.
He’s married to fellow Knight Sandi (Wing), ’80, with whom he has two adult sons.
Bernard Rousseau, ’98, ’00, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow | Associate Vice Chair for Research/Chancellor Faculty Fellow/Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Hearing and Speech Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Health and Public Affairs presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Bernard Rousseau at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Bernard received his Ph.D. in communicative disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. He’s a recipient of the certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. His scholarly interests include the study of voice and voice disorders.
In addition, he is the editor of Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. His work has been published in many leading journals in the fields of otolaryngology, hearing and speech sciences, and medical speech-language pathology.
Bernard came to UCF as a Direct Connect student and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in communication sciences and disorders. In addition to being honored at the 2015 Black & Gold Gala, he will be featured as a guest speaker for a student lecture and at a reception hosted at the home of UCF Professor Dr. Martine Vanryckeghem.
Benjamin J. Patz, ’85 | Managing Director, The FAN Fund
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Education and Human Performance presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Ben Patz at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Ben co-founded Coleman Technologies Inc., which provided IT and systems engineering services to public and private organizations. In 2010, the company merged with and into Presidio Inc., a professional and managed services firm delivering advanced IT infrastructure solutions.
Prior to founding CTI, he had 15 years of experience in system analysis, design and testing for the Naval Research Laboratory, Lockheed Martin and Coleman Research Corporation.
Most recently, he established the FAN Fund in which to invest professionally managed angel capital in growth-oriented companies in the technology and life sciences sectors in Florida.
The Patz family has strong ties to UCF, including Ben’s father, Dr. Benjamin W. Patz, who was a research scientist and UCF engineering professor, and his siblings and their families:
Dr. Mark D. Patz, ’83, ’87, ’97
(wife) Donna Curley Patz, ’86
(daughter) Lindsey Patz, ’14
(son) Tyler Patz — current UCF student
Susan Patz Pringle, ’86 — College of Education (UCF Athletics Hall of Fame 2000 inductee)
(husband) Bruce Pringle, ’84
Amy Patz Lewellyn, ’89
(husband) Mark Lewellyn, ’87, ’89
Dr. Eric M. Patz, ’15
Ben went to UCF early, doing dual enrollment, receiving his bachelor’s degree in mathematics by the time he finished high school, and entered the graduate mathematics program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the undergraduate engineering program. He returned to UCF and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1985.
He’s served on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Engineering and Computer Science since 2009.
Gonzalo S. La Cava, ’97, ’01, ’09, Ph.D. | Area Superintendent,
Central Learning Community, Fulton County Schools
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Education and Human Performance presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Gonzalo La Cava at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Prior to his current role as area superintendent for Fulton County Schools’ Central Learning Community, which is made up of more than 18,000 students attending 23 schools, he served Fulton County Schools as assistant superintendent of student support services, and executive director of services for exceptional children.
In 2014, Gonzalo was honored at the White House as one of several “Champions of Change,” individuals doing extraordinary work to educate the next generation of Americans by devoting their time and energy to creating opportunities for young people to succeed, particularly in low-income communities.
He holds his doctoral and master’s degrees in educational leadership, as well as a bachelor’s degree in exceptional education, all from UCF.
Terry D. McNew, ’86 | President/CEO, MasterCraft Boat Company LLC
The UCF Alumni Association and College of Business Administration presented their 2015 Professional Achievement Award to Terry McNew at the annual Black & Gold Gala on Oct. 22.
Terry has more than 26 years of leadership experience within the performance water sports segment, having spent 24 years in the business with executive roles at both Brunswick and Correct Craft.
He graduated from UCF with a BSBA in economics. In 2014, he spoke at the College of Business Dean’s Leadership Class, and, this year, he participated as a judge for the college’s Joust semi-finals competition.