From the Executive Director's Desk: Farewell to FLATE’s STEM Educator Extraordinaire

……..So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good-bye! 

We at FLATE are bidding a bitter-sweet farewell, as Dr. Marie Boyette, FLATE Associate
Director since 2009 retired this month! Marie’s efforts to continuously improve not only our products but also our processes, lay in her efforts to increase and better define our impact. Her tenure with FLATE has been defined by her strong dedication to FLATE and we will surely miss her.

Marie was a STEM educator extraordinaire. She consistently reminded us to keep our eyes on girls and women as an important target of our recruiting and outreach efforts. To that end, she developed several hands-on learning experiences for both traditional age and adult students, college credit for certifications, transferability to B.S degrees and high skill, high wage jobs. 

Those were just a few of her favorite things (to do)…..

Marie’s foray with FLATE began in 2008 and early in 2009 when she reached out to me seeking to change gears in her career and work more with adult learners and community colleges. When an opportunity opened up in Fall 2009, we talked again, and she accepted the position to serve as FLATE’s Associate Director with the expectation that she would lead and transform our data collection strategies and develop good workplace processes. I can’t remember too many times when she said “we can’t do that!” She came in eager to learn the work of FLATE and the NSF ATE Centers to improve advanced technological education.

Dr. Boyette envisioned and led many innovative projects one of which was our highly sought after “summer teacher camp” which she hosted for seven years. She developed strong relationships with the Florida Department of Education which culminated in our frequently-requested, annual Engineering Technology Statewide Enrollment Report. Marie’s expertise in data collection strategies streamlined many of FLATE’s curriculum, professional development and outreach efforts. These were critical components in leveraging FLATE’s vision and mission and reflecting the Center’s impact on technician education throughout Florida and ultimately in showcasing the validity of these efforts to one of our key stakeholders, the National Science Foundation. She oversaw the collection and analysis of our Manufacturing Day in Florida student/industry tour surveys, authored/co-authored and published a number of articles in professional journals. Most importantly, she kept myself and the rest of the FLATE staff strongly focused in supporting our goal, all the while injecting her own version of humor to our team.

Marie is personable, professional, perceptive, persistent, polite, prompt, and progressive! (And,

we prevail on you all to provide more “P’s”!!). She will be deeply missed by all of us here at FLATE and at HCC, as well as by many colleagues and friends across the Florida Engineering Technology and the NSF ATE community. We wish her many years ahead filled with fun, good health, peacefulness and relaxation, as she delves into her bucket list of adventures that include, but not limited to lots of swimming with a 6-year old grandson, aspiring to wear the brown of a forest ranger at Pisgah National Forest (working in the woods she said, not in the gift shop), auditioning for Survivor, and perhaps at some point in the not-too-distant future throwing her hat in the ring of external evaluators for NSF projects. Above all, she hopes to cross paths in the future with many of those she’s come to know through her position with FLATE, and would like to keep in touch through LinkedIn.

Continuing on…..I invite you to read the rest of the stories in this special “Girls in STEM” themed edition of the FLATE Focus. As always send in your thoughts and comments to Connect with us socially on Facebook, LinkedIn, or tweet us @Made_InFlorida using the hastag of the month #GirlsLoveSTEM

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