Everglades University

Notable Alumni

Leonardo Garcia graduated from Everglades University is 2008 with his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology. He continued his education earning his Master in Aviation & Aerospace Operations and Human Factors in 2011 from ERAU. Leonardo also holds certifications in multiple areas including: Commercial Pilot with 4,000+ hours of commercial flying time, Flight Engineer, Aircraft Dispatcher, Advance Ground Instructor, Remote Pilot (107), Federal Police Officer (FLETC Graduated 2012) and Armed Security Officer (ASO) TSA/DHS Federal Air Marshal Service.  He has traveled speaking at various Education Summits such as the Arizona UAS Summit 2016 and the 10th Anniversary Homeland Defense & Security Education Summit 2017. He is a retired United States Capitol Police Officer who worked in airspace security, flight operations and the command center. He has participated in VIP events such as the United States Presidential inauguration 2012, the State of the Union 2012-2016, the visit by Pope Francis to Congress 2016 and many more. Recently, he has been working on various projects with the Boeing Aerospace Division and has been involved with the small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) since 2012 in different projects for law enforcement and commercial agencies including training, development, applications, detection and interdiction.


John Craparo: Everglades University Graduate John Craparo graduated in 2011 with a Masters in Aviation Science. His recent accomplishments include setting three World Records and one National record with their recent flight from Dallas, TX to Los Angeles, CA, then from Los Angeles, CA to New York City, and finally back to Dallas, TX. He flew in a two place open cockpit aircraft Magni M16 Gyroplane. Two place cockpit aircraft: Magni M16 Gyroplane built in 2014 with dual controls driven by Rotax 914 turbocharged 115hp engine. Attached are a few files. Today, Dayton Dabbs and I, my partner on the record breaking flights received special recognition from the Governor of Texas. This was an unexpected surprise. In addition, at the end of July I flew the record breaking gyroplane to Airventure 2016. The largest general aviation airshow in the world held each year at Oshkosh, WI. Over 550,000 visitors attend during the last week of July. In addition, 10,000 airplanes flock to the event. A highlight of the convention each year is the awarding of the Lindbergh Trophy known at the Lindy. It is awarded to aircraft builders for craftsmanship and quality. I built my gyroplane in Italy, just outside Milan, during November 2014. After flying 1,000 miles to the event, I was fortunate to be one of a dozen aircraft awarded the Grand Champion Lindy (Gold). It is a great honor and considered the Oscar of aviation. In addition, two more honors from the Texas State Government. The Governor made me a member of his Texas Navy by naming me an honorary Admiral and the Texas Senate proclaimed me a Texas Treasure.


Dawn Burnett: Graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. She has been very busy since then. She is the founder of A New Dawn Natural Solutions, Inc., a published author, co-writer and recording artist of a song requested by HTV, and a video producer for use in children’s hospitals. Dawn has also appeared on television shows such as NBC’s Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Fox, and TBN. Now, she has the media’s attention, with the help of her publicist Mouth PR who represented Heidi Klum. Dawn also made a Hollywood appearance on the red carpet with Jack Canfield in joining him for Co-Author on The Road To Success vol. 2 and hosting her own radio show. She just landed a publishing contract with Jack’s original Chicken Soup For The Soul publisher, HCI in Deerfield Beach Florida thanks to a Super Soul Sunday episode with Oprah. This inspired her new book “Connect, How To Know If He’s Really Your Man”. Dawn held a book launch party in February 2017 at the Barnes and Noble store in Orlando which involved the media, an award winning film crew, photo op and give-a-ways.


Sierra Hawksley: Graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. She is the Owner of Unbridled Botanicals- I am an herbalist; I do consultations for humans and animals and hand make healing products. Everglades University contributed to my knowledge of nutrition and body systems. I am currently in medical school working towards my doctorate as a Naturopath.


Trevor Tieche: CEO of Bodi N Balance, LLC – Graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine.  He manages over 3,000 customer accounts, develops group fitness schedules, oversees over 50 personal fitness instruction sessions a week, manages all food service and nutritional supplement orders, manages employee payroll and maintains his own personal training for clients and group fitness classes.


Dorraine Cooper-Rooney: Graduated in 2013 with a Master in Entrepreneurship. She is the CEO of Girly Pirate. She owns six companies and runs a charity. Dorraine says, “I am able to accomplish this because of my education.”


Ivonne Whitaker: Graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. She works as a Dr. Sears Health and Wellness Coach & doTerra Wellness Advocate. Ivonne participates in the community as a valuable key through natural and alternative approaches, such as nutrition, essential oils and a healthy lifestyle. Ivonne says, “Even though I am currently continuing my education none of this would be possible without Everglades University’s very comprehensive and competitive education. Everglades opened my eyes to a world of possibilities in the field of natural/integrative medicine. Thanks to Everglades University I am able to love every single second of the things I do.” She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Chiropractic medicine majoring in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. “Everglades University is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my personal and professional life.”


Laurianne Macdonald: Graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. She is continuing her education with Everglades University with an anticipated graduation date early 2017. She is Comptroller, Signature Artist and Literary Chair and Senior Executive Accountant – “Among the other positions I hold, the things I have learned in the Master’s in Public Health degree program have made it possible for me to take on a leading role in a non-profit with the Father of Modern Animal Rights, Alex Pacheco, while expanding and developing ideas for my own non-profit program and starting my own business as a Health and Wellness Consultant.”


Christian McGowan: Graduated in 2012 with his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management. He initially worked as an Avionics Systems Technician while in the Army. A career in Aviation was a lifelong dream and after eight years in the Army he discovered Everglades University’s Sarasota Campus and our Aviation Management degree program. Christian earned Dean’s List honor eight times and before he graduated he began working with the Federal Aviation Administration as a management and program analyst. Christian was recognized in 2012 as one of six outstanding grads by Biz (941).


Derrick Buchholz: Graduated in 2013 with his Master in Aviation Science. In 2012 Derrick received the GREAT Award, which stands for Graduate Recognition for Excellence, Achievement and Talent. Those considered for this award have excelled academically and overcome great odds to achieve their educational dreams.


Jim Williams: Graduated in 2006 with his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology. In 2011 Jim received the GREAT Award, which stands for Graduate Recognition for Excellence, Achievement and Talent. Jim has many areas of experience such as a law enforcement officer, a helicopter pilot, the president of Bear Defense Services, training fellow police officers in surveillance camera technology and volunteering for the Tampa PD.


Jeffrey Trimble: Graduated in 2012 and is currently working for JetBlue Airways, Inc. as their Base Manager, Inflight Service Boston. He manages the daily operation and performance of the Boston Inflight crew base while overseeing a team of 20 supervisors and 1200+ crewmembers. “Everglades University helped me to become organized and increased my ability to effectively communicate.”

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