Alumni Award Winners

Since 1998, Seminole State College has presented an alumnus with its Distinguished Alumni Award, which honors graduates who have demonstrated service to the College and/or community, achieved success in their chosen field and are considered a role model for Seminole State students. This award expanded into the Alumni Legacy Awards in 2016 with the addition of the Outstanding Graduate Award.  In 2019, the Honors Alumni Award and Alumni Excellence Honorees were introduced.

Learn more about our winners below.

Sally Moore Photo

Sally Moore '02

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

Moore attended Seminole Junior College starting in 1974. During her time as a student, she worked in the Audio Visual Department as well as the Library. In 1976, she took time away from classes to work full time and focus on building her family, dedicating her time to the PTA and Booster Club. With her family, she attended the first Dream Auction that was held in 1984 and has remained a supporter of that event to this day. She returned to then Seminole Community College in 2000 and completed an Associate in Arts degree in December 2002. A true friend to the College and other community efforts, Moore has established her legacy and that of her family through impactful philanthropy and top-notch service to others including through service on the Foundation for Seminole State College Board of Directors and the Dream Gala Committee. She worked to partner with the College and Be The Match to hold bone marrow drives on campus and has been a Women’s Golf enthusiast for many years. The Moore’s continue to support the efforts of the Foundation for Seminole State College through scholarship and event support. 

Joel Figueroa Photo

Joel Figueroa '21

2021 Outstanding Graduate Award Winner

A Central Florida native, with Puerto Rican roots, Joel Figueroa graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology with the Cyber Security Specialization in August 2021. During his time at The Florida Department of Children and Families, he was able to turn the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid and TANF policy into tangible help for thousands of Floridians. He has had the honor of aiding Florida by traveling to remote parts of the state where food was in dire need after natural disasters. His work in social services also pushed him to further his education and led to his pursuit of education in information technology. The Association of Latino Professionals For America has not only awarded him with scholarships but also aided in securing a full-time cybersecurity position at Deloitte upon graduation. Figueroa has been accepted into the University of South Florida's master's in cybersecurity information assurance program where he hopes to bring more representation to the industry. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Impulse Group Orlando which promotes HIV/AIDS advocacy and awareness of mental health, substance abuse and social justice. In his nomination, Yariel Lopez shared that they’ve had the opportunity to see Figueroa “continue to grow and inspire others” while also advocating for them to “be proactive in their career goals while providing mentorship.”

Derek Demeter Photo

Derek Demeter ’05

2021 Honors Alumni Award Winner

Demeter has received the Honors Alumni Award that recognizes an Honors Institute graduate whose professional successes, contributions to society and contributions to Seminole State embody the mission of the Grindle Honors Institute. As the Director of the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College, Demeter in known nationally as an expert in the field of astronomy and serves as a board member for the Central Florida Astronomical Society. His commitment to sharing a love for all things “out of this world” is clear through his work with school field trips, public offerings, and features on both news and radio. He also has been expanding his expertise into local history, including a viral mammoth bone find in Spring 2021.

Collin Edouard Photo

Collin Edouard ‘10

2021 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Collin Edouard (he/him) is a first-year ethnomusicology student at Yale University, focusing on music from the Caribbean Islands. Edouard is a choir director and music teacher with extensive experience in primary/secondary education. He has also participated in the theoretical and practical study of choral conducting at the University of Cambridge, music and music education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and vocal performance from The City College of New York and Seminole State College of Florida. Edouard served as an adjunct professor of music at Seminole State during the 2020-21 academic year. He encourages his students to rediscover their identity and implement that important perspective while interpreting music. Edouard often travels to countries such as Turkey and Uganda in the hope of expanding access to music education and, in particular, with music less frequently circulated in the Western Canon. In her nomination, Dean of Arts and Communications Michele Cuomo wrote, “I have the highest regard for Collin Edouard. I believe he will make a great impact in the way music is studied and taught. He has the potential to be an important thought leader for truly equitable education in this country.”


Katie George Photo

Katie George ’09

2021 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Katie George received her Associate in Arts degree, graduating Cum Laude from Seminole Community College in December 2009. She went on to graduate from West Liberty University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and Business Administration in 2012. Katie was hired into a marketing role at CFE Federal Credit Union (now Addition Financial) in 2013 and remains with that credit union today. She works as a senior relationship manager in the Community Engagement & Partnerships Department where she facilitates partnership activation with Seminole County partners such as Seminole State College and Seminole County Public Schools. George is also active with Leadership Seminole (Class 27) on the Executive Council as the alumni chair. She serves as a Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools board member, chairing the Governance Committee. George enjoys her role as a Take Stock in Children Mentor – where Seminole County students receive a two-year scholarship to a state or community college upon completion of the program. She is active with the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce and Seminole State College's Alumni Leadership Team. You can also find her helping plan large events benefiting student scholarships through The Foundation for Seminole State College on the Host Committee. Katie George was nominated for the Alumni Excellence Award by The Foundation for Seminole State’s Assistant Director Laura Schumacher. Schumacher states, “Katie makes such a major impact on the community through her service on multiple boards. It’s extremely clear that she cares for this community and is definitely a leader in supporting education efforts.”


Les Lusk Photo

Les Lusk ’03

2021 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Les Lusk has been developing web properties for the past 23 years. He began his web development career as a contract employee at Seminole State College, developing websites for the Career Programs Division as well as spearheading the development of the first online courses at the College. He completed an Associate in Arts degree in 1981 and returned to get an Associate in Science degree in Internet Technologies from the College in 2003. He went on to graduate from Western Governors University with a bachelor's degree in information technology. He is the associate director of web development at Seminole State where he oversees the Web properties and custom Web applications at the College. He also runs his own web consulting firm. Lusk has 18 years of experience teaching college-level courses, both online and in the classroom. He received the 2012 Pathfinder Award from Seminole State. He graduated with the 10th Leadership Academy Class and now serves on the advisory board for this program. Lusk enjoys electronic music, basketball, Legos, working on his photography website (, and hanging out with his wife and two sons.

Headshot of Daniel Gebon, in an office, wearing a light blue shirt.
Daniel Gebon '15

Daniel Gebon '15

2020 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Daniel Gebon was nominated for the Alumni Excellence Award by his direct supervisor at AlphaGraphics Lake Mary, Josh Field. Daniel received multiple credentials from Seminole State, culminating in a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology and IT Client Specialist Certificate in 2015. Josh, in his nomination, credits Daniel’s dual degrees in Design and IT for providing a unique skill set and perspective along with a combination of creativity and analytical thinking. Daniel is active with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and Seminole State College's Alumni Leadership Team. He enjoys working with and mentoring young design students, acting as a strong advocate for internship opportunities for qualified Seminole State students.

Patricia PJ Anderson, wearing a gray and black striped sweater is holding a clear lucite award.
Patricia "PJ" Anderson '12

Patricia "PJ" Anderson '12

2020 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Patricia “PJ” Anderson was nominated for the Alumni Excellence Award by her mother and member of Seminole State’s Community Chorus, Caroline Anderson. PJ received her Associate in Arts degree from Seminole State in 2012 and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UCF. She has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2017. PJ is a member of the Lake Mary Women’s Club, the Sallie Harrison Chapter of The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Seminole County Chamber, Willow Creek Church, and a board member of the J. Douglas Williams YMCA. PJ is an advocate for Seminole State in the community and encourages attendance when talking with those struggling with the decision about higher education.

Robin Parker, wearing a black and red striped jacket, is holding her award and standing beside a Christmas tree.
Robin Parker '76

Robin Parker '76

2020 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Robin Parker was nominated for the Alumni Excellence Award by Belda Stack, who has worked with Robin through the Community Choir. Robin served Seminole State for 45 years and retired at the end of 2020 as the music program coordinator and accompanist. She received her Associate in Arts from Seminole Community College in 1976 and attended UCF for her bachelor’s degree in history. In late 2019, the Robin Lee Parker Endowed Scholarship in Music was established through Robin’s efforts in conjunction with the Foundation for Seminole State and the encouragement of the Community Choir. Robin received the Career Service Excellence Award from Seminole State College in 2008 and the Florida American Choral Directors Association Wayne Hugoboom Distinguished Service Award in 2014. Robin is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International and is a recipient of the Rotary Club of Seminole County South Vocational Service Award. In her nomination, Belda shared that in the two or three years she has known Robin, the positive influence she has on both students and faculty is clear, and that her commitment and hard work are strong examples of her devotion to both Seminole State and the arts program.

Diane Crews in front of stairs in white blazer
Diane Crews '94

Diane Crews '94

2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

Crews graduated with her Associate in Arts degree in 1994 and served as the president and CEO of Orlando Sanford International Airport from 2015 through 2019. Crews served the City of Sanford for 11 years prior to accepting a vice president position at the airport in 2001. Crews was born and raised in Sanford and has served on numerous boards and committees in the community and at the College. In addition to her associate degree from Seminole State, Crews earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and a Master of Public Administration degree from University of Central Florida.

Haley Furman standing outside in front of brick wall in a flowered print dress
Haley Furman '18

Hayley Furman '18

2019 Outstanding Graduate Award Winner

Furman graduated in Fall 2018 with her Associate in Arts with an Environmental Engineering pathway. She was awarded a 2019 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. She attends Stetson University pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy and Economics. Furman participated in many ways at Seminole State College, serving as the president of the Environmental Initiative Club, a member of the Honors Advisory Council and as an Honors Ambassador. She lead a project to install composters on campus to improve sustainable practices and has presented at conferences sharing the great work in progress at Seminole State.

Daniel Leon-Davis standing in front of blue screen wearing a black jean jacket and black hat
Daniel Leon-Davis '11

Daniel Leon-Davis '11

2019 Honors Alumni Award Winner

A Dreamer who went on to earn a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, Leon-Davis continued his education at American University in Washington, D.C., working with distinguished members of the federal government to help reform policies regarding immigrants and undocumented citizens. He is a proud co-founder and former partner at The Soze Agency, a trailblazing social impact agency dedicated to creating innovative campaigns for causes they deeply believe in including Immigrant Heritage Month, Sons and Brothers and #IAmAnImmigrant. He resides in Brooklyn with his husband, Dom, and is the proud father of two Mini Schnauzer puppies named Raj and Rowan.

Harry Ellis III wearing a blue suit and tie, standing outside in front of a tree
Harry Ellis III '01

Harry Ellis III ‘01

2019 Alumni Excellence Honoree

The founding chair of the Seminole State College Alumni Association, Ellis earned associate degrees from Seminole State in Microsoft computer engineering and Cisco engineering. He went on to get his bachelor’s in information systems technology and master’s in computer forensics from University of Central Florida. Ellis is the CIO and president of Next Horizon and was recognized as CEO of the Year in IT by i4 Magazine.

Juanita Martin wearing a black suit, standing in front of a white inside wall
Juanita Martin '14

Juanita Martin ‘14

2019 Alumni Excellence Honoree

A 2014 Seminole State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business and information management, Martin is the owner and administrator at R.E. Martin Plumbing, Inc. She is the Orlando Chapter Director for HOPE worldwide - Orlando Chapter and sits on the National Chapter Advisory Board for HOPE worldwide, a global organization that changes lives by delivering sustainable, high-impact, community-based services to the poor and needy.

Josh Murdock wearing a blue tartan plaid sportcoat and blue hat, standing outside in front of palm fronds
Josh Murdock '99

Josh Murdock ‘99

2019 Alumni Excellence Honoree

A 1999 Seminole State graduate, Murdock has served on the Alumni Leadership Team since its inception in 2015. Murdock went on to earn a bachelor’s in criminal justice, a master’s in educational leadership, and a master’s in instructional technology from University of Central Florida. Murdock is the department head of the Technology & Education Center at the Orange County Library System (FL). He serves on the Valencia Foundation Board of Directors and was recognized by Orlando Business Journal as a 40 under 40 award winner.

Flavio Umeda Pacheco wearing a white dress shirt with blue tie, standing outside in front of brick building
Flavio Umeda Pacheco '16

Flavio Umeda Pacheco ‘16

2019 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Flavio Umeda Pacheco graduated from Seminole State College in 2016. Pacheco participated on campus as a member of the Seminole State Student Government Association and the Grindle Honors Institute. He was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in molecular cellular biology with a minor in law and society from Cornell University. He completed internships with Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Pfizer. Pacheco works as a legal investigations associate with Google in Silicon Valley.

Kristin Ramirez wearing a black blouse with flowered scarf, standing outside in front of a tree
Kristin Ramirez '99

Kristin Ramirez ‘99

2019 Alumni Excellence Honoree

Kristin Ramirez served as the vice president of membership strategies for Girl Scouts of Citrus Council. While her professional career took a turn toward customer care and management, she was able to draw on her time from Seminole State and apply the teachings to motivate teams. Kristin has proven herself to be a strong, capable and creative thinker. She has committed to supporting the students at Seminole State College through volunteer service, and is building upon her dreams in entrepreneurship.

Patty Sheehan wearing a blue tartan plaid blazer with white dress shirt standing in front of a blue background
Patty Sheehan '86

Patty Sheehan ‘86

2017 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

Sheehan earned an Associate in Arts degree at Seminole State College in 1986. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from University of Central Florida. Since then, she has pursued a life of public service and continues to lead the Central Florida community, serving as City Commissioner for the City of Orlando, District 4. She served nationally as president of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Local Officials (GLBLO) constituency group at the National League of Cities and has championed non-discrimination ordinances and the domestic partner registry. Sheehan was a first responder during the Pulse Nightclub tragedy and represented the “face of Orlando” in the weeks and months that followed. She has consistently been voted one of Orlando’s Best Elected Officials in polls conducted by Orlando Magazine, The Watermark and Orlando Weekly. She was named one of Orlando Life Magazine’s Top 25 Influential Women and was awarded the Diversity Champion Award by the Asian American Chamber of Commerce. Sheehan enjoys many outdoor activities, including, gardening, paddle boarding and Dragon Boat racing and she regularly paints and exhibits her artwork in local restaurants, clubs and shops. Sheehan always shows her appreciation for Seminole State College and fond memories of her time here.  

Don Eslinger wearing a gray suite with blue striped tie, standing in front of an American flag
Don Eslinger '79

Don Eslinger ‘79

2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

Eslinger, a 1979 graduate of the College’s Law Enforcement Academy, served the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office for over 38 years and was Sheriff from 1991 to 2017. From Seminole State College, Eslinger continued his education by earning a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral sciences from National Louis University. He also is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. During his career, Eslinger championed community policing, advocated for mental health and youth programs and was integral in founding Kids House of Seminole. He serves at the executive director of the Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund. Eslinger has served on numerous board and achieved numerous honors and awards, including serving as past president and board member of the Florida Sheriffs Association.