The Florida State University Alumni Association has granted six outstanding individuals its highest honor for young alumni, naming them as the 2016 recipients of the Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award. The award recipients were honored during a ceremony on Saturday, November 12 at the Alumni Center Grand Ballroom.
These extraordinary Florida State alumni have proven the value of an FSU education through their achievements in medicine, scientific research, risk management and more. We are proud to spotlight our best and brightest alumni, continuing Governor Reubin Askew’s legacy of outstanding accomplishments built on a solid FSU education.
Scott Atwell, FSU Alumni Association President and CEO
Cardiologist, Mount Sinai Medical Center
Dr. Ashby is an attending vascular cardiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He received his M.D. from Cornell University, and went on to complete his residency at Columbia University, where he was later appointed assistant professor while he pursued as master’s degree in public policy from Princeton. He also completed a cardiology fellowship at George Washington University, where he was elected chief fellow, and a vascular medicine post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. He is from Miami, Florida.
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies, Michigan State University
Charles is an associate professor of jazz studies at Michigan State University, and at age 33 is the youngest tenured professor in the department. Charles released a highly-acclaimed album in 2013 titled “Creole Soul” which spent three weeks at No. 1 in the Jazz Week charts, reached No. 25 in the Billboard rankings and was named No. 3 Jazz Album of the Year by Jazz Week magazine. He is from Glencoe, Trinidad and Tobago.
Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Gierach is a research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where she leads a physical oceanography center investigating the condition of a large portion of the world’s coral reefs. Gierach has received both national and international recognition for her work, including NASA’s Early Career Achievement Medal. She is from Lake Mary, Florida.
Commercial Insurance Consultant, Risk Management Insurance
Haney was a junior at FSU when his father unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind a restaurant business buried in over $1 million of debt. Haney took time off from FSU to take over the business, and over a two-year period led a 36 percent increase in sales which eventually landed the eventual sale of the business and the retirement of the debt. Haney is now a broker and partner with Risk Management Insurance of Fort Myers, Florida. He has also served as president of the Southwest Florida Seminole Club, where he led volunteers in raising $25,000 for a scholarship endowment. He is from Fort Myers, Florida.
Deputy Chief of Diplomatic Missions, United States Air Force
After graduating from Florida State, Sobeck was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force through ROTC. In just over a year, his diplomatic and organization skills elevated him to his current role as deputy chief of diplomatic missions, through which he has led arrival and departure procedures for more than 50 foreign heads of state. He is from Rocklin, California.
Chief, Colorectal and Robotic Surgery, Keesler AFB, United States Air Force
Dr. Tyler is chief of colon and rectal surgery at Keesler Medical Center in Mississippi, where he led the acquisition of a $5 million state-of-the-art robotic surgery platform. Because Tyler is the only colorectal surgeon in the lower half of Mississippi, he has received approval from the U.S. Air Force to care for the local civilian population, volunteering 30-40 hours in some weeks, free of charge to the medically underserved. He is from Knoxville, Tennessee.
About the Reubin O'D. Askew Young Alumni Award
Up to six honorees may be chosen to also receive the Reubin O'D. Askew Young Alumni Award by members of the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors' Awards Committee. The Askew Award, presented for the first time in the spring of 2012, is the highest honor bestowed upon young alumni by the FSU Alumni Association.