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“The Atlantic Sun Conference member institutions are widely recognized for their commitment to quality and for challenging their student athletes to perform at the highest levels in the classroom and in the playing arena. We at FGCU share this mission of excellence for our athletics program and our student athletes, and we are honored to join the Atlantic Sun Conference.”
— FGCU President William C. Merwin, in announcing that the University
would join the Atlantic Sun Conference


Thanks to a campaign by University Advancement, it was announced in January that the Florida Gulf Coast University license plate was saved from extinction when sales exceeded the required 1,000 mark as of Dec. 31, 2005. Just a year and a half earlier, sales numbered fewer than 400 tags, but a marketing push that included direct mail, contests, a highway billboard and television and print ads saved the plate, a portion of proceeds from which go toward University scholarships.

Duane L. Dobbert, associate professor and coordinator of criminal forensic studies, earned a career-long distinction when he was appointed forensic psychology series editor at Praeger Publishers, the top publisher of social sciences and humanities books internationally since 1949.

Accreditation reaffirmation came Jan. 5 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), with President William C. Merwin proudly noting it was “exceptional” that the commission accepted FGCU’s quality-enhancement plan without any recommendations for improvement.

In February, Linda L. Buettner, health science professor and director of the FGCU Center for Positive Aging, was named to the national Alzheimer’s Association Early Stage Professional Task Force for her work in memory loss and therapeutic programming for older adults. That same month, the FGCU Sailing Club reached a milestone when it was accepted into the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association. Also, plans were announced for FGCU Collegiate High School, an early admissions program for high-achieving students who want to pursue careers in math, science or education. The sailing club’s first regatta would be at the University of South Florida in August, the same month the collegiate prep school would begin classes on campus.

Bill Roschek in March became recipient of FGCU’s first post-doctoral fellowship thanks to a $50,000 gift from PPG Industries in Pittsburgh dedicated to development of a non-toxic marine coating for ships and structures. Meanwhile, Dr. Pamella Seay, associate professor of law, was invited to participate in the prestigious Oxford Round Table at the University of Oxford to discuss criminal law and justice, with her presentation focusing on utilizing the U.S. Patriot Act in the war on terrorism. She had previously presented research at international programs in Italy, Switzerland, Brazil and China. And Dr. Clifford Renk, microbiology professor, was named by the American Society for Microbiology as one of just 16 participants in the year-long 2006-07 Scholars-in-Residence Program, which began in Washington, D.C., with a workshop that featured mentoring from six Carnegie Scholars.

A late March articulation agreement with the University of South Florida enabled FGCU to begin offering an accelerated medical-degree program in the fall that would enable students to earn both Bachelor of Science and medical doctorate degrees in as few as seven years. Two grants totaling $137,000 were awarded to the Weapons and Equipment Institute at FGCU in March to study the effects of lethal weaponry.

Senior Friendship Centers of Lee County applauded a group of FGCU graduate students studying gerontology for a comprehensive report they did for the agency that assessed elder-nutrition, healthy-aging and supportive-aging services. In resounding a theme that has been a hallmark of The FGCU Effect since the University’s existence, SFC Regional Director Nancy Green-Irwin said, “FGCU students can really make a difference in the community to organizations like ours that struggle with the demands for services versus the available resources.”

Dr. Stuart Van Auken, eminent scholar and Alico Corp. chair in marketing at FGCU, was named Marketing Educators Association Educator of the Year for 2006 during the April MEA conference in San Francisco.

In May, FGCU Athletics found a home when it was announced the University would join the NCAA Division I Atlantic Sun Conference beginning in 2007-08, bringing that league’s membership to 11 schools. The University would also become one of just 20 schools selected to participate in the exclusive Economicology consortium, a forum for sharing information about ecological and environmental issues backed by the Wege Foundation, founded by Naples winter resident Peter M. Wege.  Also, FGCU hired its first vice president for Student Affairs when J. Michael Rollo, associate vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Florida, was tapped for the position.

After FGCU signed a cooperative business-program agreement in December 2005 with Nankai University in Tianjin, China, the University hosted Southwest Florida politicians and business leaders in June as they welcomed a delegation from Yantai in Shandong Province, China, to sign a sister-city partnership.

Justin Stiver made FGCU Athletics history in early June when the junior right-handed baseball pitcher became the first Eagle drafted by a major professional sports team, getting selected in the 17th round by the defending National League champion Houston Astros.

In the summer, exemplary work in designing an online humanities course resulted in FGCU earning the inaugural IMPACT Award from ANGEL Learning, one of only 12 such awards given nationally. And FGCU’s College of Education was one of just 20 schools in the U.S. to earn a $2 million federal grant to fund its Teacher Immersion Program, which helps recruit, train and retain new teachers.

In August, the new Bachelor of Arts degree in music drew 27 students — twice as many as were expected — necessitating the hiring of six local professional musicians as adjuncts to assist three new, full-time faculty members.

September marked the announcement that retired U.S. Gen. Colin L. Powell, former U.S. secretary of state, would in March 2007 be the third speaker in FGCU’s distinguished University Lecture Series, following writer and poet Maya Angelou in 2005 and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev this year. That same month, Fort Myers benefactor Bernese B. Davis established the Bernese B. and Sidney R. Davis Chair for Environmental Design and Management to attract a renowned authority in landscape design and horticulture education and research to FGCU. And a team of computer-science students led by business professor Dr. Janusz Zalewski made the finals of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society 60th Anniversary History Competition for designing the website, “Polish Contributions to Computing.” They were among 12 teams worldwide picked for the finals.

The Student Government Association announced that international supermodel Petra Nemcova, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl and survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, would be the first speaker in its Talon Lecture Series. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream co-founder Jerry Greenfield would follow Nemcova in the Talon series in February 2007.

Sophomore music major Faith Lanctot won the Florida division of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Piano Competition in October in St. Petersburg under the guidance of her longtime mentor, FGCU associate professor Dr. Michael Baron. The next month, the new music department would celebrate another milestone when the wind and string orchestras and chamber singers all debuted at a joint concert.

A Southwest Florida tradition began this fall when the first Sanibel Island Writers Conference was staged. Conference director Tom DeMarchi, an instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences, coordinates the annual series of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by celebrated writers, teachers and performing artists.

The year ended with FGCU announcing a commitment for $3 million and 67 acres of land from Kitson & Partners to establish a Center for Environmental Research and Outreach at Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County. And the University’s environmental mission collected two more honors when Dr. Peter Blaze Corcoran, professor and director of the Center of Environmental and Sustainability Education, was named as the only U.S. representative to a UNESCO sustainability conference in Paris and also appointed to a new advisory position with the Earth Charter International Council.

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MIKHAIL FOLLOWS MAYA

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was the second speaker in FGCU’s distinguished University Lecture Series, following poet and writer Maya Angelou, the inaugural guest in 2005. Retired U.S. Gen. Colin L. Powell, former U.S. secretary of state, would in March 2007 be the third speaker.

HERE COMES THE SUN
HERE COMES THE SUN

With FGCU President William C. Merwin lauding its member institutions as “widely recognized for their commitment to quality and for challenging their student athletes to perform at the highest levels in the classroom and in the playing arena,” the University joined the NCAA Division I Atlantic Sun Conference.

TAG, YOU'RE IT!
TAG, YOU'RE IT!

Thanks to a campaign by University Advancement, the Florida Gulf Coast University license plate was saved from extinction when sales exceeded the required 1,000 mark as of Dec. 31, 2005. Just a year and a half earlier, sales numbered fewer than 400 tags, but a marketing push that included direct mail, contests, a highway billboard and television and print ads saved the plate, a portion of proceeds from which go toward University scholarships.

MUSIC TO OUR EARS
MUSIC TO OUR EARS

Sophomore music major Faith Lanctot won the Florida division of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Piano Competition in October in St. Petersburg under the guidance of her longtime mentor, FGCU associate professor Dr. Michael Baron. The next month, the new music department would celebrate another milestone when the wind and string orchestras and chamber singers all debuted at a joint concert.

BLAZE OF GLORY

Dr. Peter Blaze Corcoran, professor and director of the Center of Environmental and Sustainability Education, was named as the only U.S. representative to a UNESCO sustainability conference in Paris and also appointed to a new advisory position with the Earth Charter International Council.

CONSORTIUM COUP

FGCU was one of just 20 schools selected to participate in the exclusive Economicology consortium, a forum for sharing information about ecological and environmental issues backed by the Wege Foundation, founded by Naples winter resident Peter M. Wege.

THE MAN IN MARKETING EDUCATION

Dr. Stuart Van Auken, eminent scholar and Alico Corp. chair in marketing at FGCU, was named Marketing Educators Association Educator of the Year for 2006 during the April MEA conference in San Francisco.

MILESTONE MAKER IN MICROBIOLOGY

Dr. Clifford Renk, microbiology professor, was named by the American Society for Microbiology as one of just 16 participants in the year-long 2006-07 Scholars-in-Residence Program, which began in Washington, D.C., with a workshop that featured mentoring from six Carnegie Scholars.

 

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP A FIRST

Bill Roschek in March became recipient of FGCU’s first post-doctoral fellowship thanks to a $50,000 gift from PPG Industries in Pittsburgh dedicated to development of a non-toxic marine coating for ships and structures.

CLUB SAILS TO NEW ADVENTURES

The FGCU Sailing Club reached a milestone when it was accepted into the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association in February, with its first regatta at the University of South Florida in August.