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FAU Inducts FEMA Administrator into Alumni Hall of Fame

Eight Distinguished Alumni Honored

            BOCA RATON, FL (June 6, 2007) – On May 3, as part of the afternoon commencement exercises, the Florida Atlantic University National Alumni Association (FAUNAA) inducted R. David Paulison , ’70, into FAUNAA’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Since 1985, the FAUNAA’s Hall of Fame has served as a platform for recognizing alumni excellence.    

Appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2006 as administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Paulison reports directly to the secretary of Homeland Security.  At the President’s discretion , Paulison may be called to serve as a member of the Cabinet in the event of natural disasters or acts of terrorism. With more than 35 years experience in emergency management, Paulison started his career of public service as a firefighter and paramedic.  He was fire chief in Miami-Dade and in 1993 was named “Fire Chief of the Year” by his colleagues from around the state of Florida. 

            Addressing new graduates from the commencement podium, Paulison commended FAU for providing students with access to higher education.  “As an English major in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, I came in contact with many wonderful professors and students,” Paulison said.  “The experience enriched my mind and helped me discover my career path.  I am so proud to be affiliated with this growing university and look forward to being a part of its future.”

            Distinguished alumni from eight of FAU’s nine colleges were honored as well for their career accomplishments at a reception held at the Eleanor R. Baldwin House.  Hosted by FAU President Frank T. Brogan ’81 and Mrs. Courtney Brogan, the event drew close to 250 guests to the Boca Raton campus.  These distinguished alumni include: 

  • Dr. Patricia J. Anderson ’97, College of Education, provost of Palm Beach Community College’s Palm Beach Gardens campus.   She previously served as dean of student services at PBCC and as admissions counselor at Florida Keys Community College.   An adjunct professor in FAU’s Educational Leadership Program, Anderson is a member of the FAU MacArthur Campus Community Advisory Board.

  • Anya Canache ‘03, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, former Peace Corps volunteer.   Her   two-year-assignment took her to an isolated and rural area of Kenya where she worked in health education and as a negotiator for land disputes between the government and villagers.   Canache moved to New Orleans to assist with post-Katrina recovery.  

  • Mark Hickinbotham ’82, College of Engineering and Computer Science, president of Sawcross Inc.   A mechanical engineer, Hickinbotham founded Sawcross, an engineering and contracting company specializing in water treatment, in 1992.   He was recently granted a U.S. patent for a mobile grease removal unit.   

  • Dr. Julie Hilsenbeck ’06, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for the Boca Raton Community Hospital.   In her current position, Hilsenbeck is responsible for the overall development of patient care initiatives and the delivery and quality of patient care.

  • Harry J. Mertz ’74, College of Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs, former city manager of Parkland, Florida. His lifetime of public service has taken him to positions in Florida and Pennsylvania.   Mertz was the FAUNAA’s president from 1999 through 2000 and has been an adjunct professor on FAU’s faculty.

  • Dean E. Peterson ’05,   Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, operatic soloist.   One of opera’s most versatile and charismatic performers, Peterson has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and on stages of opera houses both in the United States and in Europe. He has sung with such greats as Mariella Devia, Renee Fleming and Jon Pons.

  • Dr. Marc J. Philippon ’87, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, orthopaedic surgeon. A partner of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado, since 2005, Philippon specializes in hip disorders and golf medicine.   A surgical consultant for the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB, Philippon has treated such sports legends as Greg Norman, Lynn Swann, Tara Lipinski and Mario Lemieux.

  • Jordan Siegel ’91, ’99, Barry Kaye College of Business, senior vice president of finance, chief financial officer and treasurer of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals.   Siegel has nearly 20 years experience in domestic and international finance, treasury and accounting.   He joined Nabi from IVAC Corporation, where he was responsible for all financial and accounting activities.

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


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts nine colleges:  the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Barry Kaye College of Business and the Colleges of   Education, Engineering & Computer Science, and Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs.

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