April 2009, Volume 13, Number 4

Alumni News

Leaders of the pack

When Dr. Elsa A. Murano took office as the 23rd president of Texas A&M University in 2008, she became the first woman and first Hispanic-American to lead one of the oldest public institutions of higher learning in Texas.

MDC is honoring Murano this month along with 23 of the College’s most successful alumni by inducting them into its Alumni Hall of Fame.

The seventh annual awards ceremony will take place on April 16 at Jungle Island’s Treetop Ballroom. Honorees excel in all sectors, including medicine, law, business, government and the arts. Proceeds from the event are placed in a permanent endowment for student scholarships, enabling future students to attend the College.

An esteemed association

Previous inductees to the MDC Alumni Hall of Fame include former MLB player Bucky Dent, former NFL player Nat Moore, music mogul Emilio Estefan and real estate developer Jorge Pérez. Murano will join this prestigious association.

Widely published for her research and expertise, Murano has been director of the Center for Food Safety at Texas A&M; under secretary for food safety for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M.

Joining her in the 2009 induction class is William Brown, who began his career by founding Brown + Brown Architects with his wife, Maida. The firm merged with the largest Hispanic-owned architectural and engineering firm in the U.S., CSA Group. Brown is the vice president of the group’s North America division.

Some of his projects include custom residential jobs, places of worship like the Archdiocese of Miami’s pastoral center and the “burn building” at MDC’s state-certified fire academy.

Dedicated to public service

Alumna Lin Arison is a novelist, former columnist and champion of the arts. Along with her late husband, Ted, Arison founded what is now youngARTS, a nonprofit organization that supports young artists as they pursue their dreams. In nearly 30 years, the organization has made more than $65 million in scholarships available to students throughout the country. In addition, the Arisons founded the distinguished New World Symphony alongside conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. The New World Symphony is dedicated to the artistic, personal and professional development of outstanding instrumentalists.

Arison credits MDC’s Life Lab as the place where she “found her voice” as a writer. She has authored two books including Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists: Discovering the Connections, which received a special recognition from the French government. She is working on a third novel.

Honoree Smith Joseph spent his youth in his impoverished homeland of Haiti dreaming of one day becoming a doctor. He is being honored for his perseverance, having achieved his goal.

As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, Joseph is active in giving back to the community, offering free medical care to those in his native country and to underprivileged U.S. residents.

Joseph is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Disability Analysts, the American Medical Association and the past president of the South Florida Chapter of Haitian Physicians Abroad.

For a complete list of honorees, please visit www.mdc.edu/alumni.

— Elizabeth Tracy

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