2010 Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award Winners


2010 Outstanding Alumni Awards

Clara Bennett

College of Aeronautics - Skurla Award
Outstanding Alumni Award

Clara Bennett is the manager of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport directing the day to day operations of one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country, which is home to over 700 aircraft and nearly 200 aviation-related businesses.

Ms. Bennett was named the 2004 General Aviation Airport Manager of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Southern Region Airports Division and received the National Air Transportation Association Airport Executive Partnership Award in 2006.

Ms. Bennett is a native of the Dominican Republic and a mother of two. She has a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Florida Tech and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University.


David O. Brock

Nathan M. Bisk College of Business
Outstanding Alumni Award

David Brock was born in Knoxville, Tenn. After serving six years as a Second Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, he graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Business Administration. He later received a master's in business administration with high honors from Florida Institute of Technology. He also holds a Certified Credit Union Executive designation through the Credit Union National Association and a Certified Chief Executive designation from the Credit Union Executive Society.

Mr. Brock served as the executive vice president of Space Coast Credit Union until 1992, when he became president and CEO of Community Credit Union. He serves on boards of a number of local nonprofit organizations and civic groups, as well as national credit union industry organizations. Mr. Brock, his wife and his youngest son currently reside in Indian Harbour Beach.


Sungjin Park, Ph.D.

College of Engineering
Outstanding Alumni Award

Dr. Sungjin Park is the president and CEO of The Vine Corporation, offering software solutions that improve the audio clarity of cell phones and other electronic devices. Each year approximately 10 million copies of Vine's clarity software are embedded in products manufactured by most of the mobile phone companies. His company is actively involved in philanthropic activities too.

Prior to establishing Vine, he worked 10 years in the LG and Lotte electronics industry. He directed or co-directed major R&D projects in Israel, India, Russia, Switzerland, USA and elsewhere. He also taught at Florida Tech as a visiting assistant professor. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Florida Tech.


Svafa Grönfeldt, Ph.D.

College of Psychology and Liberal Arts
Outstanding Alumni Award

Svafa Grönfeldt earned her master's degree in technical and professional communication from Florida Tech in 1990. She then attended the London School of Economics where she earned her Ph.D.

Her accomplishments since earning her degrees have been stellar. She was one of the founders and managing directors of Gallup and Deloitte Consulting in Iceland and then Deputy CEO of Activis Group, one of the world's largest generic pharmaceutical companies. Most recently she was president of Reykjavik University.

Since her resignation from the university earlier this year, she has co-founded another generic pharmaceutical company, clearly demonstrating her exceptional entrepreneurial spirit.


Alexis Loo

College of Science
Outstanding Alumni Award

Award Alexis Loo received her bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1975. She retired from the U.S. Navy after 26 years of distinguished service as a Special Duty Cryptologist. She currently holds a position at a federal government agency and is co-owner and CEO of Blue Goose Charters since 1985.

Alexis has been a very strong supporter of Florida Tech throughout the years. She is a recruiter for her current employer and has significantly increased the number of Florida Tech graduates at her firm. She is the secretary of the alumni association's board of directors and is a long-standing member of the nominations/membership committee. She works closely with the university's career management services office and is regularly invited to speak to students in classes, information sessions and career fairs and to assist with résumé critiques and interview preparation. She also interfaces closely with the admissions volunteer coordinator for undergraduate admissions and represents Florida Tech at college fairs in her community and strongly endorses the alumni endorsement grants and visits grants.


Milton Garces, Ph.D.

Florida Tech Alumni Association
Outstanding Achievement Award

Dr. Milton Garces is a significant scientist, whose roots are at Florida Tech where he received his bachelor's degree in physics in 1989. Dr. Garces finished his Ph.D. in oceanography in 1995 at the University of California–San Diego. He is a world-renowned researcher of infrasound phenomena associated with both man-made and natural events. He is one of only a few researchers who manages the operation of a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty infrasound sensor array.

He has several infrasound arrays that allow him to collect important signals associated with natural hazards such as volcano eruptions, earthquakes and bolides, to name a few. Dr. Garces is the recipient of the University of Hawaii 2006 Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research and has published numerous technical articles that are cited by other renowned researchers in the field of acoustics. He has appeared in several magazine articles that describe his work in acoustic for natural and man-made hazards.


Gordon Patterson, Ph.D.

Florida Tech Alumni Association
University Advocate Award

Dr. Gordon Patterson has been an incredibly active and vocal advocate for Florida Institute of Technology for more than three decades. He has long labored to get the Florida Tech story of achievement and excellence out to potential students, their families and the general public. Patterson's talk "Letting Go" has helped generations of parents deal with the emotions of sending their children to college.

His talks at numerous Freshman Convocations have challenged and inspired whole Florida Tech classes to strive to be their best. For 25 years he managed and hosted the Florida Tech Humanities Lecture Series, which brought quality programs to the university and the great Space Coast community. Lastly, Dr. Patterson's well-received pictorial history of Florida Tech has reached many and educated all about our proud institution.


William "Randy" Muns

Outstanding Achievement Award

Randy Muns received his undergraduate degree from the College of Business in 1978, and in 1979 he received his master's in business administration from Florida Tech. He is a Chi Phi fraternity member. As a businessman, Randy has participated in over 20 acquisitions and sales of technology companies in both public and private transactions. His performance has lead to an increase in market value for his companies of 200% percent over the past 20 years. His business interests stretch all the way to Africa where he has made significant contributions to support local organizations and charities.

Randy has a deep affection for Florida Tech, one that would see his daughter Amanda attend, play basketball and graduate in 2007. A four-year letterman himself in baseball, it is his baseball affiliation that has continued to connect him to his alma mater. Randy's love for the baseball program was evidenced by his generous support for the new baseball field (Andy Seminick–Les Hall Field) and his lead gift that helped the university reach its fundraising goal to light the baseball field.