YOU AND THE BLUE: Newsletter for Friends of Broward College and Broward College Alumni

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You & the Blue


JULY 2019


The National Business Aviation Association’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation has identified Broward College Distinguished Alumnus Captain Barrington Irving as one of this year’s Business Aviation Top 40 under 40.


Nominated by Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, Captain Irving was recognized in the “Innovation & Technology” category.


Captain Irving set two Guinness World Records when he became both the youngest and the first black pilot to fly solo around the world in a single-engine airplane he assembled himself. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and brought up in inner-city Miami, he was surrounded by crime, poverty and failing schools, but he beat the odds to make his historic flight at the age of 23.


He was inspired to pursue aviation at age 15 when a Jamaican airline pilot offered to mentor him. He rejected college football scholarships to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and never looked back. He began taking courses at Broward College in 2002, working toward an Associate of Science degree in the Professional Pilot program. He graduated magna cum laude from Florida Memorial University’s aeronautical science program.


He was the recipient of a Congressional Resolution acknowledging his pioneering work in aviation education.


He has traveled to 50 countries, conducted STEM expeditions, and successfully challenged middle school students to build a car faster than a Ferrari 430 and then high schoolers to build a plane he flew on its test flight.


He created the nonprofit Experience Aviation, which offers hands-on, STEM-based programs and career guidance to middle and high school students in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. He developed the innovative Flying Classroom curriculum as a way for students to learn STEM. By following his global expeditions, students engage in problem-solving activities that enable them to overcome new challenges.


He has maintained close ties to his alma mater, Broward College, serving as keynote speaker at its Spring 2010 graduation ceremony and at its inaugural American Dream Summit in April 2017 and again in 2018. He was inducted into the Broward College Hall of Distinction on November 14, 2017. He is currently serving his second term as a member of the Broward College Foundation Board of Directors. Most importantly, to benefit deserving students, he established the Captain Barrington Irving American Dream Scholarship.



On July 10, there was a strategic roundtable with 10 Broward College alumni to discuss engagement opportunities. We learned a lot about how and why our alumni love us, and the attendees shared a bit about their journeys.


Moises Acosta III, Alumni Relations Officer Jill Horowitz, Isabel Perez, Patricia O. Urquiaga, Jacqueline Mosely, Jennifer Espaillat, Jose Esposito, Shela Jones, Ivana Mercado, Associate Vice President for Development Scott Rivinius, Tariq “Sonny” Azam, and Juvair Andrew

Over the next few months, we will be hosting focus groups, inviting alumni who are successful in their fields, give back to the community, and want to help the college and its students. If you or someone you know attended the Junior College of Broward County, Broward Junior College, Broward Community College or — as it's been known since 2008 — Broward College, we'd like to engage you in our program. Please email your Alumni Engagement Officer, Jill Horowitz. In the meantime, we're happy to share a few alumni success stories.


Ivana Mercado attended Broward College to pursue an Associate of Science in Nursing degree when she was more than 40 years old with four children. She currently works as an oncology nurse at Memorial Regional Hospital and will graduate from Florida Atlantic University with her bachelor’s degree in nursing next month. She’s just been accepted to Nova Southeastern University’s master’s program for family nurse practitioners. Ivana is passionate about giving back to students interested in nursing, encouraging them, and letting them know they can achieve success no matter how old they are and no matter how many obstacles they face as long as they remain determined.


Patricia Urquiaga is a "new" entrepreneur. After more than nine years working for a major public relations company, she decided to launch her own consulting firm, Urquiaga & Company. She graduated from Broward College with an Associate of Arts degree in Architecture & Design. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Florida International University, and her MBA with a double concentration in Business Analytics and Entrepreneurship from Syracuse University.


Juviar Andrew, an alumnus of the College Academy and Broward College, is the author of The Conditions of Existence: A Collection of Nonsensical Yet Insightful Anecdotes & Poems. Juvair’s book takes the reader on a journey of self-perception and was created to make coping with the battles with oneself and with the world a little easier. He is the Chief Design Officer, working on flyers, graphics and clothing design, at Invest-A-Nole at Florida State University, where he is a student majoring in Digital Media Production with a minor in Film Studies.


When Isabel Perez moved from Venezuela to the United States, Broward College was a bridge for learning, adaptation and knowledge. She found the online courses were an excellent opportunity to expand her curiosity. She took writing classes and then digital photography, which helped her build her portfolio. She is an award-winning artist and has exhibited in prominent venues both nationally and internationally. She has been commissioned by Louis Vuitton for special projects and currently does hand painted bags and shoes for ALEPEL and De Vesi. She is also pursuing larger scale public art projects. She is an art teacher at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, and she volunteers with the Meet the Masters Art Program in Broward County’s public schools, because “It’s a grateful way to be part of and give back to our community.”


"Hands" - a work of art by Isabel Perez

When Shela Laquerre Jones received a letter in the mail stating “you have been admitted” to Broward College, she found it to be a mind-boggling moment because she never believed she had a chance of getting in. Once she stepped on South Campus, she found herself part of a learning environment full of friendly and encouraging staff and peers, who willingly helped her achieve her degree within two years. She made the Dean’s List during her first year and was an active member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter of Alpha Delta Rho. After earning her Associate of Arts degree from Broward College (with a 3.71 grade point average), she continued her education at Florida Atlantic University and earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Last fall she started working on her master’s degree in Higher Education at Florida International University.


Jose Esposito is the first in his family to graduate from college. He was born and raised in South Florida. Growing up with a passion for technology, he decided to pursue a career in Computer Infrastructure Management. He got his first chance to work in technology at Broward College's Judson A. Samuels South Campus under the mentorship of a longtime staff member Jimmy Chu. Jose excelled very fast, moving up ranks in the college due to his ambition and ability to learn quickly. During this time, he took classes on Broward College’s North Campus and earned his bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Today he gives back to his community by organizing technology-focused groups, mentoring and assisting other technology professionals, and maintaining large and complex computer systems for some of the largest companies in South Florida.



During the June 25 Broward College District Board of Trustees meeting, Cachet Daley, a Broward College alumna, was acknowledged for establishing the Robert & Cachet Daley Scholarship. She made her gift in honor of her father, who was incarcerated when she was a child. The experience led to her desire to help the overwhelming number of children subject to parental incarceration throughout Florida.


Nancy O'Donnell-Wilson, Broward College Vice President for Advancement and Executive Directors of the Broward College Foundation; Cachet Daley; Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile; and Broward College District Board of Trustees Chair Gloria M. Fernandez

Cachet is a first-generation-in-college student. After earning her associate degree with us, she earned a bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University. Soon after graduation, she began a meaningful career in child and family welfare, where she served as Child Advocate Manager for the Guardian ad Litem Program and as Director of Leadership Programs for Silent Victims of Crime, a nonprofit specifically serving children of incarcerated parents in Dade and Broward Counties. She is currently enrolled in a Master's of Family Therapy program at Nova Southeastern University.



On June 27, the Broward College Foundation honored its Heritage Society members at a luncheon on the stage of the Ralph R. Bailey Concert Hall at the Broward College A. Hugh Adams Central Campus. College leaders celebrated the Heritage Society’s planned gift donors for their forward-thinking commitment to Broward College.


Front Row L-R: Franklin Schmidt, Nancy O'Donnell-Wilson, John Pryor, May Jean Wolff, Mario Cartaya, Mary and Alex Wells. Middle Row L-R: Denica Campbell, Suzette Jean-Louis, Isabel Gonzalez, Sunem Beaton-Garcia, Toni-Ann Barrett, Daryl Miller, Liannette Marques, Bev Yanowitch, and Meghan Phillip Back Row L-R: Jorge Guerra, Liz Kenealys, Rolando Garcia, Scott Rivinius, Eventz Paul, Brandon Arguello, and Christine and Art Lambertus

“Membership in the Heritage Society is an investment in the future of our community and our college,” said Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, Esq. “I appreciate the foresight of these generous donors.”


Haile noted that four students attending the event were the beneficiaries of scholarships made possible by legacy gifts: Brandon Arguello, Berthola Rasmussen Scholarship; Toni-Ann Barrett, Lawrence & Elsie Davie Memorial Scholarship; Denica Campbell, J. Paul and Beulah Peek Memorial Scholarship and Harriet Steinman Endowed Nursing Scholarship; and Meghan Phillip, Lawrence & Elsie Davie Memorial Scholarship. Haile then let the students tell their stories, all of which were unique but had in common a theme – though they were not able to personally thank their benefactors, they were grateful to have the opportunity to thank the donors at the luncheon, whose generosity would one day benefit another generation of students.


Nancy Denica Campbell, John Pryor and Eventz Paul

John Pryor, who established the Lessie G. Pryor RN to BSN Endowed Scholarship in memory of his wife, the first manager of Broward College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, spoke movingly about why he chose to remember Broward College as part of his estate plans. He mentioned how Lessie loved her students and shared a story of how students reciprocated. He was visiting her at the hospital and while he walked down the hallway a nurse saw his name badge. After realizing John was Lessie’s husband, the nurse hugged him all the while explaining how she would not have become a nurse without Lessie’s guidance and support. “I would have never graduated without Lessie’s help,” the nurse kept on repeating while holding John tightly. It was situations like these that convinced John that the scholarship was how Lessie would want to be remembered.


Daryl Miller, retired Broward College professor, Liannette Marquez, and Nancy O'Donnell-Wilson

Nancy O’Donnell-Wilson, Broward College’s Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the Broward College Foundation, shared stories of two donors whose planned gifts changed the face of the college and the lives of its students. The first, Ralph R. Bailey, provided the planned gift that launched Bailey Hall 40 years ago. The second, Dr. Floyd Koch, created an endowment through his planned gift to provide scholarships for future Dental Hygiene students in perpetuity.


Jorge Guerra, South Campus President Rolando Garcia,
Central Campus President Sunem Beaton-Garcia, and Mario Cartaya

“We believe that every person who desires to change their life through the pursuit of a college education should have that opportunity, because education is key to economic prosperity,” said O’Donnell-Wilson. “The members of our Heritage Society demonstrate their support of that belief.”


Broward College Foundation Honorary Director Christine Lambertus and her husband Art Lambertus


TicketsatWork is a complimentary Broward College Alumni perk that provides access to 20 – 70 percent off on movies, hotels, shows, concerts, sporting events and more. Kick off your summer, take advantage and save now with $10 off purchases of $100 or more with promo code: welcometen.


Sign up online with your student email or personal email, and you must enter the exclusive company code: BCALUMNI.



Grab your fascinator! Because last year's Excellence in Education Day at Gulfstream Park was such a rousing success, the Broward College Alumni & Friends Network is gauging interest in repeating the event this September.



If you are interested in joining the committee to help plan a day of racing and great food, please email your Alumni Engagement Officer, Jill Horowitz, by Friday, August 2.



Winn-Dixie store leadership has selected the Broward College Foundation as the benefiting non-profit to receive a donation through the Community Bag Program for the month of July. For every $2.50 reusable Community Bag sold in July at the Winn-Dixie store at 1625 Cordova Road in Fort Lauderdale, the foundation will receive a $1.00 donation.


Since the program began in February of this year, more than 13,000 non-profits have benefitted, and more than 16,000,000 paper or plastic bags have not been used because of Community Bag reuse. This is good news for charities and good news for the environment.



We used to have “alumnus” (male singular), “alumni” (male plural), “alumna” (female singular), and “alumnae” (female plural); but the latter two are now popular only among older female graduates, with the first two terms becoming unisex. However, it is still important to distinguish between one alumnus and a stadium full of alumni.


Never say, “I am an alumni,” if you don’t want to cast discredit on your school. (From Paul Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage.)



SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, April 16, 2020 at the Fort Lauderdale Country Club. Additional information is forthcoming.


The Broward College Foundation’s 2018 Annual Report is available online. Learn how philanthropic individuals in our community are seeing their funding go further and helping more and more students become Empowered by Broward.



Classical, international and jazz music, independent cinema, theatre, dance – there’s something for everyone! Go online and see what’s in store.


Consider reviewing the benefits listed on the Alumni & Friends Network site. One of those benefits is insurance through GEICO. If you identify yourself as an affiliate of the college when you review their offer, they’ll make a donation to the Broward College Foundation – even if you decide not to purchase!


Amazon Smile LogoDid you know you could save money, save time, and help students become Empowered by Broward all at once? When you buy your gifts, clothing, food, and other products through Amazon Smile, you can direct a percentage of your purchase to the Broward College Foundation and support the students at Broward College.


Prices on Amazon Smile are identical to those on the regular Amazon site. You’ll enjoy the same convenience and help make a student’s dream of higher education a reality.


Learn how easy it is to set up your Amazon Smile account.


When you include the Broward College Foundation in your financial and estate planning, you ensure your legacy of providing opportunity to students who are determined to change their lives through the pursuit of higher education. Help someone become Empowered by Broward!


For more information, email Scott Rivinius or call 954-201-7490.

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