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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

News Releases Archive


Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796


SharkBytes Archives


Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954

NSU to Honor Ron and Kathy Assaf with President’s Community Award at its Celebration of Excellence

Alumni of Distinction will also be recognized at annual event on Jan. 19

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – Nova Southeastern University (NSU) will award the university’s highest honor, the President’s Community Award, to philanthropists and business leaders Ron and Kathy Assaf.

“Through their professional achievements and dedication to numerous civic causes, Ron and Kathy Assaf, together and individually, have made a profound impact on the South Florida community,” said NSU President and CEO George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.  “Ron and Kathy are inspirations to this community. Through their leadership and philanthropic gifts, they have enriched the lives of thousands by assisting them in fulfilling their aspirations and dreams.  They truly exemplify the core values of Nova Southeastern University.”

The award will be presented at NSU’s annual Celebration of Excellence banquet at Signature Grand in Davie on January 19.  Since 1997, the annual awards banquet has brought together students, alumni, community leaders and industry pioneers who have made significant contributions to their studies, professions and our community.

Ron Assaf’s storied business career began in 1955 as a management trainee for Kroger Company, an Ohio retail food chain.  In 1966, he co-founded Sensormatic Electronics Corporation, moving the company to South Florida in 1971.  His vision resulted in a company that would develop a theft protection product that has become indispensable in the retail world. Today, Sensormatic is the leading security electronics firm serving more than 80 percent of the 100 leading retailers in the world. In 1996, after 30 years with the company, Assaf retired as Chief Executive Officer of Sensormatic, and in 2001, retired as Chairman of the Board. Although retired from business, he remains active in numerous civic organizations.

Kathy Assaf started her career as an auditor with Arthur Young & Co.  In 1974, she began working as a manager in the finance department at Sensormatic, where she worked until 1984.  She was a member of the Board of Directors of Boca Bank from 1984 until 1995 and was Chairman of the Board from 1993 through 1995.  She then served as a director of  Intercontinental Bank for two years.  She has also dedicated her time to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Palm Beach County.

The Assafs have been leaders in philanthropic and civic causes in the South Florida community for more than three decades.  Ron Assaf has served as a Trustee of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital for 18 years and was Chairman of the Board for four years.  Their endowment of the Ronald and Kathleen Assaf Center for Nursing Excellence at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital has helped to recruit, train and retain critically needed nurses. They are supporters of St. Andrew’s School, where Kathy Assaf served on the Board of Trustees from 1994 until 2004, was Chairman of the Board from 1999 through 2003, and was named a Trustee Emerata. They are members of the St. Andrew’s Founder’s Society, which recognizes lifetime contributions to the school of $1,000,000 or more. The Assafs are involved in many other charitable organizations in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and they were founding members of and active parishioners at St. Jude Catholic Church in Boca Raton. Ron Assaf was elected a member of the NSU Board of Trustees on July 1, 1994, and since that time, he has served as Chairman of the Executive and Finance Committees and as a member of numerous other university committees.  He has served as Chairman of the Board since his election to that office on May 20, 2005.

At NSU, the Assafs serve on the Ambassadors Board, whose mission it is to enlist widespread active support for the university’s development efforts, promote NSU programs, and be the “ambassadors” to the university’s communities and constituencies. The Assafs are also members of the NSU Sharks Society, which consists of philanthropists who have given $1,000,000 or more to the university since its founding in 1964.  They support higher education not only at NSU, but with endowments at Lynn University, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Akron.

Individual seats for the Celebration event may be reserved for $75 each by calling 954.262.2116 or email kl698@nova.edu or at http://www.nova.edu/alumni/events/index.html

During the Celebration of Excellence banquet, outstanding students will be recognized and the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented to graduates of the university’s schools, colleges and centers.   Honorees are:

College of Health Care SciencesTeresa Murphy-Price, M.M.S. ’99,– Physician Assistant to Haiti Health Ministries Clinic.

Institute for the Study of Human Service, Health, and JusticeDennis Plaska, M.S. ’10, Crime Scene Detective, Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

Center for Psychological StudiesBenjamin Toll, Ph.D. ’02, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Program Director, Smoking Cessation Service at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven

Graduate School of Computer and Information SciencesDaniel Hatton, Ph.D., ’91, Self-employed business and IT consultant; and an NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Adjunct Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics.  Highly decorated veteran attaining the rank of Colonel.

Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences – Chad Bobik, B.S. ’99, Physician Account Manager for Conficare Home Health Solutions in Hobe Sound, FL.

Abraham S. Fischler School of EducationCathy Areu, M.S. ’95, founder owner and publisher of CATALINA, the largest Hispanic women’s magazine targeting U.S. Latinas.  Areu, located in NYC, makes frequent appearances as an expert on entertainment, pop culture, politics, and women’s issues on national cable news programs including HLN, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.

College of Dental MedicineMichael Roseff, D.M.D. ’04, Dentist and owner of Roseff Pediatric Dentistry.  Provides dental care for infants, children, adolescents and those with special health care needs.

College of Optometry –  Briana Shelton, O.D. ’01, owner, president and optometrist of Briana Shelton, O.D., P.A., Professional Vision Center in Marion, North Carolina.

College of Osteopathic Medicine – Ronald Renuart, D.O. ’90, practices internal medicine in the Jacksonville Beaches area.  In June 2010 he retired after 20 years of decorated service as a Colonel in the Florida Army National Guard.  Renuart has served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2008.

College of Pharmacy – Venessa Price, Pharm.D, ’98, Director of Pharmacy Services, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami.

Shepard Broad Law Center-Yale Galanter, J.D. ’83, attorney and nationally recognized authority in the field of criminal litigation.

MOA|FL AutoNation Academy of Art and Design- Kristopher Keimel – Lead Teacher’s Assistant at the museum. He is a junior at Florida Atlantic University.

Mailman Segal Center for Human Development – Casey Stewart, front-end clerk at Publix grocery store and appointed in 2006 by Gov. Bush as a Florida Developmental Disabilities Council member.  Casey is also a Best Buddies Ambassador for Broward County.

Oceanographic Center- Clay Beauregard, M.S. ’97, Principal Scientist at Alcon Laboratories in Fort Worth, Texas. His research has led to new drug discoveries and treatments in ocular allergic and inflammatory diseases.

H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship – Audrey Marks, M.B.A. ’91, Jamaica’s 10th Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States.  Founder of Paymaster, Limited.

Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Cherise James, M.S. ‘09, Residence Life Coordinator – South Campus at Wake Forest University.

University School ’93 – Keith Poliakoff, J.D., practicing attorney with Becker & Poliakoff’s Government Law Group.

About Nova Southeastern University: Located in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited Florida University dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 29,000 students and is the eighth largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The University awards associate’s, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, specialist, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences.  Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU was also awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification in 2010 for the University’s significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement.   For more information about NSU visit www.nova.edu.

For additional information contact:
Julie Spechler, NSU Office of Public Affairs
954-262-5348(office), 954-591-3361 (cell), julies@nova.edu