Press Release:



FAU Honors 2011 Hall of Fame Recipient and Distinguished Alumni


BOCA RATON,  FL (May 18, 2011) – The Florida Atlantic University National Alumni Association (FAUNAA) recently hosted a reception to honor distinguished FAU alumni. The reception drew nearly 200 guests to the Marleen & Harold Forkas Alumni Center on the Boca Raton campus. Distinguished alumni from eight of FAU's colleges were honored for their career accomplishments, and Kenneth Herman, BA '75, was introduced as the spring 2011 inductee into FAUNAA's Alumni Hall of Fame. Since 1985, FAUNAA's Hall of Fame has served as a platform for recognizing alumni excellence.

Herman is a columnist and editorial board member for the Austin American-Statesman, a newspaper serving Central Texas, where he writes about politics, legislative matters and occasionally, FAU football. He also served as a White House correspondent for Cox Newspapers, most notably during the 2000 presidential election, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1977 for a series of stories he co-authored about serious problems in Marine Corps recruiting and training practices.

"At a time when I needed it, FAU offered faculty members who cared about their students," said Herman. "Through these instructors, FAU opened my eyes to what was possible and allowed me to believe that a career in journalism was attainable."

Representing eight of FAU's colleges are the following distinguished alumni:

Dr. Morgan Cable, BA '05, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College – Cable is a postdoctoral fellow at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where she works to develop systems to detect organics on the surface of Mars and Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. She was valedictorian of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College in 2005 and earned a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from California Institute of Technology. Several of Cable's works have been published, including journal articles and conference proceedings.

Ursula Chavez-Iafrate, BSEE '03, College of Engineering and Computer Science – Chavez-Iafrate co-founded Boca Raton-based FAE Consulting, a mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering consulting firm, with fellow alumnus Michael Lansing. Her role involves managing the business aspects for the firm and overseeing the planning, design and implementation of the projects. In her 10 years of experience in the engineering field, Chavez-Iafrate has overseen more than 1,500 projects from design concept to completion.

Michael N. Lansing, BSEE '02, College of Engineering and Computer Science – Lansing is principal/co-owner of FAE Consulting with Chavez-Iafrate. He oversees the MEP design and coordination for projects from pre-construction through project completion, acts as a client liaison, and manages the day-to-day business operations, including project estimating, preparation of contracts and contract negotiations. In his 17 years of experience, Lansing has overseen more than 1,800 projects.

Paula Nasta, BARC '07, College for Design and Social Inquiry – Nasta is a project manager and LEED Accredited Professional at CPZ Architects, Inc. in Plantation, Florida, where she works on commercial and municipal projects. She also serves as chairperson of the associates committee and education coordinator for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Fort Lauderdale Chapter, acts as a liaison with FAU's American Institute of Architecture Students chapter and serves as director of the FAU School of Architecture Alumni Society.

Dr. Margarita Pinkos, BS ’75, MED ’87, EDS ’99, EDD ’02, College of Education – Pinkos serves as executive director of the multicultural education department for the Palm Beach County School District, the 11th largest public school system in the United States. She also served as director of the Office of English Language Acquisition in the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. for several years, a position she was appointed to by President George W. Bush.

Clarence Foster Stanback, MA '00, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters – Stanback is a managing partner at various domestic and international firms, including the Optimus Growth Fund and Global Express, S.A. He lives in Irvine, California and is actively involved in equity and commodity markets. Stanback also serves on the advisory board of the Union of Concerned Scientists and is a member of the chair's council of the Geological and Planetary Sciences Division at the California Institute of Technology.

Elizabeth Tsarnas, BSN '93, MSN '97, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing – Tsarnas is the clinical director at Martin Memorial Hospital's nonprofit Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) clinic in Stuart, Florida. She has saved millions in healthcare dollars by motivating local nurses and physicians to volunteer at the clinic and treat patients needing specialty care. Tsarnas received the American Red Cross' "Real Hero" award in 2005 and currently serves as president of the Treasure Coast Breast Health Coalition.

Michael Wollam, BS '66, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science – Wollam is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC). He enrolled at FAU in 1964 as one of the first students and was a member of the first class to complete the two-year bachelor's degree program in biology. Wollam's career includes work with the Florida Department of Natural Resources and the Crystal River Marine Science Station. He was a biology professor at for nearly 30 years at PHCC and retired in 2005.

Steve zum Tobel, BBA '89, MBA '91, College of Business – Zum Tobel is the founder and chairman of First American Capital & Trading Corporation, an institutional broker-dealer. He has more than 20 years of experience in the brokerage industry, including senior management, financial analysis and reporting, operations, public reporting and regulatory compliance. Zum Tobel holds a CPA license, as well as the Series 4, 7, 24, 27, 53, 55 and 63 licenses.

For more information about FAUNAA and upcoming events, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-888-FAU-ALUM or




About Florida Atlantic University:

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 28,000 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 & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & 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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