"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."
Dr. Ali Zilouchian
Professor, Computer and Electrical Engineering
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."
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."
Dr. Francisco Presuel-Moreno
To Dr. Presuel-Moreno, Associate Professor of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, "being an Owl means being more than just being someone who teaches a class. It means being someone who students can relate to. It means being a resource for them."
Dr. Presuel-Moreno, who is a two time recipient of the Researcher of the Year award, teaches engineering courses at FAU’s SeaTech campus, which is located right on the coast of Dania Beach. SeaTech’s stunning beachfront location is a major benefit for the research that he and his colleagues conduct because it provides invaluable accessibility to the ocean. Faculty and students utilizing the University’s research boats are able to reach the open ocean in under ten minutes.
In addition to the University’s location, Dr. Presuel-Moreno feels that FAU provides extensive resources to assist in furthering his knowledge and academic prestige. Some of these resources include benefits that the University offers, such as its healthcare and retirement plans, which make it easier for faculty like Dr. Presuel-Moreno to focus on their students and research.
Another facet of the University that Dr. Presuel-Moreno values is its strong diversity. The ocean engineering program attracts people from all over the nation, so it results in, as he says, "a great collage of people." And he finds it very rewarding to see the growth of those students throughout the program. "You see the progression from the first day to when they graduate. You see how they mature, and you get a chance to see how they have grown during their time here at FAU."