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MEDIA CONTACT: Janette Robbins

FAU Honors Outstanding Leaders at 2009 Talon Awards Ceremony

             BOCA RATON
, FL (December 11, 2009) – Florida Atlantic University recently held its 14th Talon Awards ceremony as part of Homecoming 2009. Since 1997, the Talon Awards ceremony has recognized outstanding leaders from the community, alumni constituency, faculty and student body. 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 the Boca Raton campus. Honored that evening were David Gury, Thomas Workman ’71, Dr. Nannetta Durnell-Uwechue and Megan Schroeder.

           “Over the years, the Talon Awards have become a University tradition” said John F. Pritchett, FAU Interim President. “This annual event provides a unique opportunity to bring together students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University in celebration of those who have rendered outstanding leadership and service to FAU.”      

           The recipient of the 2009 President’s Talon Award was David Gury. Providing outstanding service to the FAU University community, Gury has served on several boards and on the governor’s review panel of the centers of excellence grants that resulted in the $10 million grant to FAU to establish the Center of Excellence in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology in 2003. The FAU Board of Trustees recognized his many contributions to the University by presenting him with their service award in 2008. Gury’s relationship with FAU has spanned more than 20 years. His wife, Karen, is an alumna.

           “I am very proud to stand among past recipients of the President’s Talon Award,” said Gury. “My own involvement with FAU has been very personally fulfilling through service on the dean’s advisory council of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the College of Business dean’s executive council and the FAU Foundation, which I had the privilege of chairing. I am grateful for this recognition from a University which means so much to me and which has an immeasurable impact upon our South Florida community and beyond.”   

           This year’s recipient of the Alumni Talon Award was Thomas Workman ’71. Acknowledging leadership, achievement, community involvement and loyalty to FAU and the FAUNAA, the Alumni Talon Award is presented annually to a member of the alumni body. Workman, who was selected from a strong field of contenders, is president of Thomas Workman & Associates, Certified Public Accountants.  He has served in leadership capacities with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and on the boards of several banks and various non-profit organizations. Workman’s affinity for FAU is evidenced by the numerous leadership roles he has accepted at the University. He is a former president of the FAUNAA, has served as treasurer, finance committee chair and executive committee member of the FAU Foundation Board, and currently is an FAU Board of Trustees member. Workman is a major benefactor of the Marleen & Harold Forkas Alumni Center; a member of the Parliament of OWLS (the alumni honor society), the Owl Club and the University Club; and was recognized as the 2008 Outstanding Alumnus by the School of Accounting in FAU’s College of Business.  
            “What a thrill to be honored by my alumni peers,” said Workman. “It is a privilege to be a part of the excitement, growth and development that characterize Florida Atlantic University. My service to FAU is motivated by commitment and loyalty to my alma mater. I am proud to be an Owl.”

           Accepting the 2009 Faculty Talon Award was Dr. Nannetta Durnell-Uwechue. Chosen from a field of worthy candidates, Dr. Durnell-Uwechue typifies excellence in teaching. An associate professor in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, she views teaching as a collaboration, an interactive event in which authority and influence are shared. Durnell-Uwechue empowers her students, equipping them with the skills they will need to realize their full potential.

           “I am most appreciative for having had the opportunity to teach such a myriad of students at FAU during the past 17 years,” said Durnell-Uwechue. “I have learned from them, and I hope that they have learned from me. This award gives me hope that my students are all the better for having enrolled in my classes and that the world will be better served by them.”

           The recipient of the 2009 Student Talon Award was Megan Schroeder. Honored for her excellent leadership skills and meaningful service to the University and the community at large, Schroeder is currently a senior in FAU’s College of Education. An elementary education major, she is already teaching full time through FAU’s accelerated induction into teaching program. Schroeder’s commitment to helping others and making a difference are demonstrated by her involvement in such diverse areas as FAU Student Government (currently, FAU’s Treasure Coast governor); community organizations which provide support to various groups, such as the homeless, U.S. military personnel and children in need; and the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast.  

           Prior to the Talon Awards presentation, 16 FAU graduates were inducted into the Parliament of OWLS (Older, Wiser LeaderS). The University’s alumni honor society, the Parliament of OWLS recognizes and reunites outstanding alumni who are former student leaders, past presidents of the FAUNAA, distinguished alumni of the colleges and Alumni Hall of Fame members.

           The FAUNAA is a non-profit alumni organization that represents the more than 110,000 FAU alumni. For more information about the FAUNAA, contact alumni relations at 1-888-FAU-ALUM (328-2586).

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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