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FAU Honors Outstanding Leaders at 2011 Talon Awards Ceremony

BOCA RATON, FL (November 23, 2011) –  Florida Atlantic University recently held its annual Talon Awards ceremony as part of Homecoming 2011. Since 1997, the Talon Awards ceremony has recognized outstanding leaders from the community, alumni, faculty and student body constituencies. Co-sponsored by the FAU National Alumni Association (FAUNAA) and FAU Student Government, this year’s event and reception were held at the Marleen & Harold Forkas Alumni Center on FAU’s Boca Raton campus. Honored that evening were Dr. Michael Friedland, dean and vice president for Medical Programs at FAU; Manuel D. Medina, chairman and CEO of Medina Capital Partners; Eric Chiang, Ph.D., associate professor of economics in the College of Business; and Megan Allore, a senior in the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College.

“The Talon Awards are a wonderful University tradition,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “We are proud to recognize those who have provided outstanding service to FAU. It is a pleasure to join together with students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University to celebrate the accomplishments of our Talon Award recipients.”

The recipient of the 2011 President’s Talon Award was Dr. Michael Friedland. Friedland joined the staff of FAU in 2004 as professor and senior associate dean for biomedical science, tasked with leading the partnership between FAU and the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in establishing a two-year medical program. That program eventually became a four-year program, and this year, under Friedland’s leadership, FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine received preliminary accreditation and welcomed its inaugural class of 64 medical students in August.

This year’s Alumni Talon Award recipient was Manuel Medina ’74. The Alumni Talon Award is presented annually to a member of the alumni body to acknowledge leadership, achievement and community involvement. Medina is chairman and CEO of Medina Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on funding technology companies. Previously, he served as chairman and CEO of Terremark Worldwide, Inc., which he founded in 1980 and grew from a commercial real estate company to a global technology leader. In April 2011, Verizon Communications acquired the company for $2 billion.

Accepting the 2011 Faculty Talon Award was Eric Chiang, Ph.D. Chiang typifies dedication and commitment to the students of FAU. Since arriving at FAU in 2003, he has directed at least one international study tour each year and currently serves as the faculty advisor for the FAU Surf Club, Skimboard Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club and Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Club. Chiang also serves as the graduate director and advisor for the master’s program in economics and as the current master teacher for the College of Business, which involves the development of strategies within the College to improve the quality of teaching. In 2009, he was selected by students as the FAU Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

The recipient of the 2011 Student Talon Award was Megan Allore. Honored for her academic excellence and commitment to the university and community, Allore is a senior in the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College and will receive a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science degree with a concentration in history in May 2012. She currently serves as director of the Council of Student Organizations (COSO) and campus ambassador for the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, and was vice chair of the 2011 Jupiter campus Homecoming committee and an orientation week leader. Allore is the recipient of the prestigious Henry Morrison Flagler Scholarship, and has spoken at numerous events promoting the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College and the Jupiter campus.

Prior to the Talon Awards presentation, 21 FAU graduates were inducted into the Parliament of OWLs (Older, Wiser Leaders). The University’s alumni honor society, the Parliament of OWLs recognizes outstanding alumni who are former student leaders, past presidents of the FAUNAA, distinguished alumni of the colleges and Alumni Hall of Fame members. Inductees included Mustafa Al-Bassam ’08; Michaele Antoine ’11; Garrett Astler ’11; Stephanie Bishop ’11; Juan C. Bolivar ’05, ’08; Meghan Formel ’11; Danielle Amy Gittlin ’11; Alexandra Johnsen ’10; Cody J. Kalina ’11; Alysha Klein ’11; E. Henry Kraft ’99; Sameko Munroe ’05; Angelica Nevin ’11; Daniel A. Partouche ’04, ’06; Rochelle Popp ’05; Alicia Benazir Portal ’10; Adam Powell ’09; Basiyr Desmond Rodney ’00, ’06; Eric Salzman ’03; Austin Shaw ’07; and Hayden Trepeck ’11.

For more information about the FAU National Alumni Association, call 1-888-FAU-ALUM (328-2586) or visit



Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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