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2017 Talon Awards Recognize Leadership, Service to FAU


2017 Talon Awards Recognize Leadership, Service to FAU

Last night, the FAU community gathered to honor faculty, student and alumni leadership at our annual Talon Awards. Sponsored by the FAU Alumni Association and the Homecoming Committee, the Talon Awards have been presented during Homecoming week since 1997.

Dr. Heather Thompson received the Faculty Talon Award. She is an assistant professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work where she also serves as director of the Child Welfare Institute. Her research expertise includes identifying protective factors for adolescents in long-term foster care and as best practices for child welfare professionals. Her efforts have resulted in a grant-funded collaboration with local agencies to develop an evidence-based curriculum for clinicians serving a child welfare population. Dr. Thompson received FAU’s 2017 Scholar of the Year award for her published research and was a finalist for the Distinguished Teacher of the Year award.

The Student Talon Award was presented to Ovini Rodrigo, a third year student in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. During her first two years in medical school, Ovini served as the vice president for the Pediatrics Interest Group, one of the most active student-run organizations in the College. She currently is a mentor to two undergraduate students in FAU’s MedDirect program, FAU’s Medical Student Delegate to the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Pediatric Trainees, and a student leader for the Palm Beach County School District’s Healthcare Careers Outreach Program.

I had the pleasure of presenting the Alumni Talon Award to the 2007 Football Team. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the team’s historic season, during which they became the first Sun Belt Conference team ever to defeat a Big Ten Conference opponent. They went on to win the Sun Belt Championship, and became the youngest NCAA team ever to receive an invitation to a bowl game. They made history again when they defeated the favored Memphis Tigers in the New Orleans Bowl, becoming the youngest team ever to win a bowl game.

Congratulations again to our 2017 Talon Award honorees!

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 Last Modified 10/20/17