Florida Polytechnic University employees honored with inaugural faculty and staff awards

Apr 20, 2018
Florida Polytechnic University employees honored with inaugural faculty and staff awards
Florida Poly recognized several employees at its first Ablaze awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

Nearly a dozen Florida Polytechnic University employees are being recognized for their commitment and dedication in a variety of areas including teaching, research, and service to others.

Ablaze, as the awards program is known, was launched this year to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of the university’s 300 faculties and staff in making Florida Poly a world-class leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

The award winners were announced at the university’s first employee awards ceremony on April 18 at the Magnolia Building in Lakeland, Florida. About 90 employees were nominated for an award.

The winners are:

  • The Phoenix Award was presented to Julie Mattison, bursar, for her commitment and genuine interest in others and for being a continual source of encouragement in a positive and inclusive manner to co-workers and students. Mattison joined Florida Poly in 2015.
  • The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was presented to Justin Heacock, entrepreneurship center coordinator, for his spirit of entrepreneurship which uses creativity and innovation to benefit the university community, along with his strong work ethic, ability to overcome challenges and exceptional leadership skills. Heacock joined Florida Poly in 2016.
  • The Exemplary Service to Others Award was presented to both Bethellen Reinert, administrative assistant, and the University Police Department. The award recognizes the consistent, significant and positive impact on the recipients’ department, the university as a whole, students, and external stakeholders. They are a universally recognized resource providing the highest quality of service to the Florida Poly community. Reinert joined Florida Poly in 2013.
  • The Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Dr. Karim Elish, assistant professor of computer science, for his excellence in teaching practices reflecting the highest standards in pedagogy; a record of outstanding teaching effectiveness inside and outside the classroom; the ability to inspire, promote, and sustain the intellectual development of students; course and program development; and for fostering critical thinking and independent inquiry of students. Elish joined Florida Poly in 2016.
  • The Award for Excellence in Research was presented to Dr. Arman Sargolzaei, assistant professor of electrical engineering, for his excellence in academic research, creative activity, scholarship, and contributions to expanding knowledge or its application in his field. Sargolzaei joined Florida Poly in 2016.
  • The Pinnacle Award, which is the highest honor a Florida Poly employee can receive, was presented to Dr. Kathryn Miller, vice provost for academic support services, in recognition of her significant impact on Florida Poly through demonstration of competence, dedication, outstanding performance, problem-solving, customer service and ingenuity; for her demonstrated commitment to the university’s core purpose and The Florida Poly Formula; and for her exceptional ability to foster collaboration, communication, and cooperation among colleagues and university constituents. Miller joined Florida Poly in 2013.


2018 Florida Poly Ablaze Award Recipients

Phoenix Award
Julie Mattison

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Justin Heacock
Entrepreneurship Center Coordinator

Exemplary Service to Others Award
Bethellen Reinert
Administrative Assistant III

Exemplary Service to Others Award
University Police Department

Award for Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Karim Elish
Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Award for Excellence in Research
Dr. Arman Sargolzaei
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

Pinnacle Award
Dr. Kathryn Miller
Vice Provost for Academic Support Services

Lydia Guzman
Assistant Director of Communications