Stephen, a native Floridian from Miami, is the Director for the Office of Student Transition and Retention (STAR) for the UF College of Engineering. As Director, his primary role includes oversight and coordination of first-year bridge programs, as well as, other student service retention focused programs. Stephen is a graduate of Miami Dade Junior College, (A.A), Florida State University (B.S. Interpersonal Communications, with a minor in Black & Minority Studies) and Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (M.Ed. Counseling Education and Minority Mental Health).
Dr. Fazil T. Najafi
Dr. Najafi has worked in government, industry, and education for many years. He received his BS, MS and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His experience in the industry includes work as a highway, structural, mechanical, and consultant engineer and construction manager for US government and private companies. He taught in the Civil Engineering Department at Villanova University, Pennsylvania, a visiting professor at George Mason University, and the University of Florida, Department of Civil Engineering and Coastal Engineering. He has published and presented more than 300 refereed publications. He has received numerous awards including a Senior Fulbright scholarship award, teaching awards, best paper awards, community service awards, and admis¬sion as an Eminent Engineer into Tau Beta Pi. His research on passive radon-resistant new residential building construction adapted in HB1647 building code of Florida Legislature. Najafi is a member of numerous professional societies and has served on many committees and programs, and continuously attends and presents refereed papers at international, national, and local professional meetings and conferences. Lastly, Najafi attends courses, seminars, and workshops, and has developed courses, videos and software packages during his career. His areas of specialization include transportation planning, Engineering and management, legal aspects, construction contract administration, Renewable Energy and public works.
Dr. Curtis R. Taylor, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida (UF). Dr. Taylor leads and manages all undergraduate student service activities including academic, professional, and extra-curricular activities in the College. Dr. Taylor directs the soft matter manufacturing and nanomechanics research lab at UF. The application of this research seeks to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities and new technologies that utilize the unique properties of nanomaterials (i.e., lightweight, durable nano coatings, multifunctional nanocomposites, etc.) and soft materials for healthcare. Before joining Florida, he was an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia. He received his B.S. degree (1998) in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, and his M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2005) in electrical engineering and physics from the University of Arkansas. Before coming to Arkansas in 2000, he worked for one year as a software development project manager at Capital One Financial Corporation in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Taylor has also held internship and research appointments with the U.S. Air Force, United Technologies Corporation, and the National Center for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Professor Taylor uses his expertise, knowledge, and talents to serve the University and the larger community. He strives to inspire and motivate students of all ages to pursue careers in science and technology.
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