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Distinguished Alumni

Honoring recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Health Care Sciences.

Recipients of the award are selected based on an outstanding record of distinction and accomplishment in their lives, professions and communities. Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award recipients are presented with the award by the dean of their respective colleges at NSU's annual Celebration of Excellence. The College of Health Care Sciences commends these alumni for their honorable contributions to society.

Bernard Loeffke

1998 Award Winner

Carmen Queral Fox

1999 Award Winner

Robinette Amaker

2000 Award Winner

1999 PhD graduate Bobbi Amaker retired from a 28 year Occupational Therapy career in the Army in July 2012. She resides in San Antonio, Texas and is a certified triathlon and marathon coach.

Maryellen Antonetti

2002 Award Winner

I have been part of the NSU family since 1994 with graduation from the PA and MPH programs. The quality of my education was excellent! Since graduation I am fortunate to have experienced a family practice, opened a homeless clinic and community research company, and earned a pass faculty position as Clinical Director in the PA program for just short of 10 years; currently teaching online for the BHSc students.

My NSU education provided me the opportunity to be a member of the Editorial Board at Lippincott "5-Minute Consult" and chapter author. I was fortunate being chosen for the NSU President Faculty group research award twice, learning how to write grant proposals that resulted in a large grant to give PA students a chance to concentrate in primary care; those that would not have the chance to education without this scholarship.

My opportunity to serve on many NSU committees has greatly enriched my personal growth and helped me to "pay it forward" for my students. I still am in touch with many of my past NSU students, with pride as their contributions on the local, state and national level in healthcare is undeniable.

I feel very blessed for the education and opportunity afforded to me as a NSU graduate!

James Hancock

2003 Award Winner

Sherrilene Classen

2004 Award Winner

Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Director of the University of Florida's Institute for Mobility.

Thomas S. Zeller

2005 Award Winner

Founder of Advanced Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation with clinics in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, FL.  He is a charter class graduate of NOVA Southeastern University's physical therapy program in 1996, with an undergraduate degree from Florida State University.  Thomas graduated with honors receiving the physical therapy program's 'Excellence in Service' award and was honored with the 'Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award' in 2006.  Thomas lends his time to various local philanthropic groups and resides in Cape Coral, Florida with his wife and three children.


  • Recognized as Florida's 'Emerging Leader,' by the American Physical Therapy Association
  • Awarded FPTA's  'President's Service Award' for technology advancements
  • Active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)  and Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA)
  • Served on the FPTA board of directors representing Southwest Florida as a director
  • Chaired the Technology, Nominating and Reimbursement committees for FPTA
  • Assisted with transitioning FPTA to electronic online voting for members
  • Co-founder of the Florida Physical Therapists in Private Practice Association ( FLPTPP), serving on the executive board of directors representing physical therapists in private practice
  • Served as a National Delegate to the House of delegates of APTA, representing Florida physical therapists


  • Lectured at state conference, educating physical therapists on best practices for technology, computers and the internet
  • Lectures frequently at Florida Gulf Coast University to physical therapy students on leadership and advocacy opportunities at national and state associations
  • Certified clinical instructor
  • Lectures fellow therapists on compliance, coding, and on regulations

Frederick A. Rahe

2006 Award Winner

Wendy Stav

2007 Award Winner

Received a BS in occupational therapy from Quinnipiac University and a PhD in occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She also holds a specialty certification in driving and community mobility. Her work has focused on driving and community mobility during the past 15 years focused on program development, medical reporting policies, driver licensing guidelines for medically at-risk drivers, assessment predictability, and occupational therapy practice. Dr. Stav?s research and professional involvement includes activities at the national, state, and local levels including AOTA?s Older Driver Initiative, and co-authorship of AOTA?s official statement on driving and community mobility and Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines of Driving and Community Mobility for Older Adults. She has also contributed to projects such as the development of specialty certification in driving and community mobility, collaboration with the American Medical Association?s Older Driver Project, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrator?s Older Driver Working Group, and three separate based literature reviews on older drivers. On a local level Dr. Stav is involved as an event coordinator for the CarFit initiative which is aimed at reducing injuries among senior drivers through optimized driver-vehicle fit. Dr. Stav was named to the AOTA Roster of Fellows in 2009 for her contributions to the advancement of driving and community mobility practice and received the Maryland Occupational Therapy Association Award of Merit for similar contributions to driving rehabilitation practice. After accumulating experience in academia and building her skills in teaching, scholarship and service, Dr. Stav returned to Nova Southeastern University where she currently serves as the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department and continues her scholarship in the area of driving and community mobility.

Matt Dane Baker

2008 Award Winner

Professor and the Executive Dean of the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts at Philadelphia University. At the University he oversees 18 academic programs and was responsible for the initiation of new majors in Physician Assistant Studies, Health Sciences and Disaster Medicine and Management. He has 30 years of healthcare experience having held several positions in clinical, academic, administrative and research settings; and 24 years of military service with the Army and Air Force National Guard having retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard. He has lectured extensively at many universities, conferences and workshops. He has served on accreditation site visit teams for the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. His academic interests include pathophysiology, geriatrics, cardiology, psychiatry, biological and chemical terrorism and warfare, outcomes assessment, strategic planning and healthcare leadership.

Dr. Baker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with additional study in science, a Bachelor of Science and Certificate in Physician Assistant Studies, a Master of Science in Gerontology, and a Doctor of Health Science. He did additional graduate study in counseling psychology and exercise physiology. He has also completed several higher education professional development programs pertaining to leadership, financial management, development and assessment including the Institute for Management and Leadership in Higher Education from Harvard Institutes for Higher Education.

Elizabeth Werner

2009 Award Winner

George Fulk

2010 Award Winner

Teresa Murphy-Price

2011 Award Winner

Graduated from Nova Southeastern University in 1999 from the Physician Assistant program. She joined a church mission in hopes to use her Physician Assistant expertise where she was needed. Upon graduation, she was asked by the church mission to volunteer as a PA at a makeshift clinic in Haiti. More than ten years later, she is still there. She has been the constant healthcare provider, while others have come and gone, including a U.S. physician and a Haitian physician. Teresa has seen many ups and downs while working at the clinic. What started as a makeshift clinic in a tent has gradually grown, thanks to the funding she has received. At one point, the makeshift clinic served over 40,000 people. Teresa met her husband, another US healthcare professional, in Haiti and is mother of 2 children with a third child on the way.

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