Dorothy Russell’s journey with FAU began long before she became Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Financial Affairs for the University.
Dorothy first saw FAU’s campus as a freshman visiting from the University of Michigan. This visit had a visceral effect on Dorothy that stayed with her throughout her career. Not only was she impressed with FAU as a university, but she also found Florida’s sunshine to be a refreshing change. Years later, when she saw there was an opening in her area of expertise at FAU, she remembered her visit, and she knew she was ready to pursue the next chapter of her career in the sunshine state. Leaving Michigan for Florida in the middle of January made the choice even easier for Dorothy.
In the ten years that Dorothy has been at FAU she has seen more than job advancement. She has witnessed FAU’s growth first-hand and has influenced major changes at the University. "We have built buildings, overcome challenges, and we are thinking outside of the box." As FAU continues to grow and change, one thing remains constant for her: the culture. "Usually when you get bigger, and you get better, sometimes the culture changes. And I haven’t seen that yet. We’re all still in it together to make this work."
FAU’s diverse community of faculty, staff, and students is part of what makes FAU special and unique for Dorothy. "When I came here, one of the first things I noticed, was its diversity." From the first moment Dorothy set foot at FAU she heard an array of different languages and witnessed many of the cultures that represent the 50 states and more than 180 different countries that make up FAU’s student body. For her, FAU is a place where ideas count and where people and diversity are valued. Being able to build genuine relationships, have fun, and come together as a team to find solutions is what makes Dorothy so proud to be an Owl. "It’s really a very collaborative, very inclusive environment."
Dorothy has a short and sweet philosophy about working in higher education: "We’re here for the students and the faculty. That’s what we do." By building upon this philosophy and President Kelly’s vision, Dorothy is confident FAU will become the top destination for students and research. The future of FAU is only beginning.
Dr. Ali Zilouchian
Associate Dean & Professor
Dr. Ali Zilouchian, Associate Dean and Professor, decided to make his mark on the engineering world with a career at FAU because of its location and its potential to be a great University that is innovative and research driven. Thirty years later, FAU has only exceeded his expectations.
FAU’s student population has grown to almost five times the size it was when Dr. Zilouchian started his career in 1986. Even with the University’s growth, student success remains at the core of what Dr. Zilouchian strives for when he teaches courses in the College of Engineering. "We are here to change and improve the lives of the students. That’s the number one reward and satisfaction that we get out of the job. As soon as they graduate they go and have the next phase of their life, and if we can have a small piece in their success, that gives us satisfaction."
Throughout his time at FAU, Dr. Zilouchian feels that South Florida is still one of the best places to be. He also continues to be inspired by colleagues who are just as devoted to the University’s success as he is, and he sees only greater potential for FAU. "The way I look at FAU is: It’s going to be a very bright future."
Captain Larry Ervin
Law Enforcement Captain
"It’s a beautiful day! Why not sing?"
For Captain Larry Ervin, bringing a smile to the faces of those he encounters at FAU is just as important as making sure they are safe and comfortable on campus. He is known for breaking out in song throughout the day, and his voice brightens up every building, office, and walkway he steps into. "We’re interactive in our community. That’s what we’re about."
To Captain Ervin, the FAU community is his family. "People are always telling me, ‘It’s 50,000 people here,’ but I still think it’s 50,000 family members." As the FAU family continues to grow, Captain Ervin feels that his greatest accomplishment has been creating a safe environment where students can feel comfortable any time they are on campus.
He also greatly admires the diversity within FAU’s community as it provides an opportunity for Owls to learn more about the world and embrace other cultures. "When you’re walking down that breezeway, and you look up and down, you see there are different types of cultures, and that is great."
Dr. Corey King
Vice President of Student Affairs
"I love it. I get up ready to come to work. Before I go to bed I have my clothes all ready. I’m ready." Each morning Dr. Corey King wakes up ready to see what new things the day will bring and excited to carry out his mission of student advocacy as FAU’s Vice President of Student Affairs.
He feels honored to support student success inside and outside the classroom. "I realize that I’m learning from students as well. It’s a two way street. And that feels even better." Dr. King values the connections he makes, as it helps him relate to the student body and discover what they find important on all levels. One of the many ways Dr. King stays connected with students is through social media. He developed #drkingstagram, which has become a direct line to the student body.
One of the best parts of working here for Dr. King is being able to make a difference. "Being in a university environment is ever-changing, and I like the fact that we’re change agents." He channels the collaborative spirit of FAU by working with the University community to make sure that its students reach their greatest potential. "To me, the biggest accomplishment is every student that crossed my path, crossed the graduation stage, and got a job. I’ve done what I’ve cut out to do because that’s my ultimate goal."
Dr. King represents the heart of FAU’s mission: the students. "I’ve had laughter, I’ve had joy, I’ve had tears, all across the gamut. But for me it’s that moment of when they invite me in, and I’m able to share it with them. Everybody has their own life experiences, and for whatever moment that they allow me to come into their world to participate, I’m blessed."
"I'm very proud to be an Owl. I'm brave, I'm curious, and my mind is always open to learn something new. I am excited to see what the next day has to offer me here."
Karen Field has been living her dream of molding young minds for over 15 years as a Lead Teacher at Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development, which is FAU's on-campus childcare facility. She spends her typical day at the school enhancing children's lives by expanding their knowledge and setting them up for success.
Karen knows that teaching and impacting children's lives is what she is meant to do, and she loves that FAU is where she gets to make this difference. She sees her lasting impact on students when they visit her years after they've graduated from her classroom to share their life stories and accomplishments.
In addition to being able to do what she loves every day, Karen feels some of FAU's other great benefits include its diverse culture, generous leave accrual, and the ability to continue your education as an employee. "I think it's a complete package to be a successful working parent." FAU's benefits and opportunities allow her to develop her passion for teaching at a school like Slattery, which is ahead of the game in curriculum and education philosophy.
Karen's passion and excitement have only grown since her first day at FAU. "The first day was very exciting. Fifteen and a half years later, I still walk in this door every single day feeling the same way."
Chief Technology Officer
Mehran Basiratmand has the incredible experience of knowing what it’s like to be an Owl from three different perspectives - staff, faculty, and student.
Mehran is the Chief Technology Officer in the Office of Information Technology. In addition to his full-time position, he teaches classes in the College of Business, and he received his Ph.D. from FAU. These experiences have made his connection to the University even stronger. "I’ve felt great about being here because I was fulfilling three different services that the institution provides."
Whether he is working to improve students’ research and computing experience by building FAU’s data center, or mentoring a student from one of his classes, Mehran is always focused on the student experience. "One thing that we all have in common: We’re here to make a student’s life better. And that’s the single most rewarding experience of being in higher education. You’re making a difference in people’s lives."
In addition to having the opportunity to be a part of students’ journeys at FAU, Mehran feels that relationship building and the opportunity for growth are some of the greatest benefits of working at FAU. "You’re continuously being challenged in terms of your intellectual curiosity."
These experiences all contribute to what makes Mehran so proud to be an Owl. "I’m very proud to work here, I’m very proud to be here, and honestly I don’t want to be anywhere else."
Director of Marketing
"We are making our own place."
Starting as a student athlete, Ambassador, and student government employee, Diego Meeroff always saw FAU as a University on the rise. Now as Director of Marketing, he has a direct impact on its growth. "I have a personal attachment to it."
At FAU, Diego gets to do what he loves. Working in marketing and advertising is his passion, and every day presents new opportunities for him and his team to support the University from a marketing standpoint. FAU has "always had drive. It’s always moving forward, it’s always changing. That’s who we are." This continuous evolution makes Diego’s work even more exciting.
In addition to being a key stakeholder in the growth of the University, Diego feels that what makes FAU special is that our doors are always open for students. "You can help out so many different people directly as opposed to working with a company. It’s very personal."
Not only does Diego influence change with the University in his role, but he also takes pride in participating and volunteering at FAU events. When you join FAU as a student, employee or both, you join a family community that is focused on the success and growth of the University. "We’re all here for the same reason. We’re all here to make it better and everyone realizes that."
When Nick moved to South Florida from Ohio he fell for the sunshine state's "blue skies, palm trees, white clouds, and warmth," which meant he no longer had to shovel snow at seven in the morning to leave his driveway. After working as a Program Assistant in FAU's Campus Recreation department for the past two years, that tropical scenery is one of the many things that continues to make FAU such an exciting environment for him. "I still feel like I'm on vacation here."
Nick is proud to work at FAU because of the University's constant innovation and motivation to improve its curriculum, technology, facilities, and overall campus life. One experience he praises for providing him with the skills to contribute to FAU's innovation and growth is his service in the Navy. The organization, logic, and responsibility for deadlines he cultivated throughout his service have helped him achieve some of his greatest accomplishments at FAU, such as streamlining the student contract process within Campus Recreation.
He sees the direct impact his work has through his daily interactions with the student employees in Campus Recreation. Nick feels these students embody the best of FAU through their integrity, reliability, intelligence, and hard work. He gets to witness the students grow professionally through their work with Campus Rec, and he feels honored to play a part in helping the students become successful and progress. "It gives you a special feeling when you see them graduating and putting on the gown and know that they've succeeded."
Drawing on his experiences at FAU, Nick defines what it means to Be FAU as: "Be courageous. Be helpful to others. Be the best version of yourself. And try to laugh every day. GO OWLS!"
Human Resources Representative
"At FAU you are able to strive for great things. You have the opportunity to learn and become someone extraordinary."
Veronica Brokate feels she is exactly where she belongs at FAU. With a supportive work environment and the resources she needs to complete her degree at her fingertips, she’s thankful for the opportunities she has and looks forward to future advancements at FAU. "One of my biggest accomplishments is having the job that I have and being able to go to school and get my degree at the same time."
Veronica is a Human Resources Representative who is working to complete her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at FAU. She recognizes the challenges of pursuing a degree while working full time, but she feels the resources that FAU and her department have to offer, such as advising services and a flexible work schedule, are a major assistance in helping her achieve her goals. She also loves that whenever finals are approaching or work gets busy, she can work out at FAU’s gym on campus to relax and make the transition to focus on her school work. "FAU is an awesome place to work!"
As she pursues her degree, the knowledge she gains from her classes and her work often coincide in a way that constantly challenges her to exceed as both a student and an employee. With this knowledge and the support she receives from her co‐workers, she knows she is set up for success. "We’re more like a family. We know each other and we help each other out, so it’s fun to come to work."