Daniel Webster Starts New Term in the Congress

220px-Daniel_Webster,_Official_Portrait,_112th_CongressFrater Daniel A. “Dan” Webster of Winter Garden, Florida, has started another term in Congress as the representative for the 10th congressional district in central Florida.  After getting out of Georgia Tech with an electrical engineering degree, Webster went to work in his family’s air conditioning and heating business, which he now owns and operates.

Webster has a long political career.  He was elected to the Florida House in 1980 and concluded his service there as Speaker (the first Republican Speaker of the Florida House in 122 years) before standing down in 1998 due to term limits.  He then ran unopposed for the seat of the 12th and 9th Florida Senate districts and eventually became majority leader and chair of the Judiciary Committee.  He retired from the Florida Senate in 2008 due to term limits, having become the longest serving legislator in Florida history.

He was elected to the U.S. House of representatives in 2010 and was reelected in 2012. He currently serves on the House Committee on Rules.

Webster also serves on the board of trustees of the University of Central Florida.  He is married and has six children and five grandchildren.

Information from The Wikipedia and other sources.


Michael St. John Recognized for Community Service

MSJ_headshotFrater Michael St. John of Mt. Pleasant, SC has been selected from among SAIC’s 20,000 employees for its ASPIRE award in recognition of his work with Wando High School.

Michael has served on the board for Wando High School’s Math Science and Engineering Program, one of several “majors” students in the school may pursue, and has guest lectured for classes there.

Michael has also sponsored a FIRST Robotic’s team. FIRST is a program started by Dean Kamen (a prolific inventor best known for the Segway) to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology by getting them involved with mentors and robotics programs.

“It is very rewarding and rejuvenating to work with the kids,” Michael commented.

Last year Michael was named one of SAIC’s Technical Fellows. (No surprise to those who have known him for long.)



Frater George Kirkman makes TV Debut in Robot Combat League

steel_cycloneFrater George Kirkman is making his TV debut on the SyFy Channel’s upcoming show “Robot Combat League” as a member of team “Steel Cyclone”.

George grew up in Greenlawn, “Lon-GIsland”. He got out of Tech with the BEE and earned the PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. After a successful career in R&D, George created and runs Rolling Robots, an interactive robot building experience that aims to get kids excited about technology through building their own robots and battling them in a robot arena. He currently lives in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

George lives by the motto “Never panic” no matter what the situation is.”

Those of us who grew up with George in the Teke House in the early 1980s will wonder what kind of “monstah” he’ll come up with and whether his robots will seek to distract their opponents by poking them and saying “Hey, guy!” while preparing the hammer blow with another arm and throwing them into the “black hole”.  Here’s a link to a picture of one of his fearsome recent creations.

Check out team “Steel Cyclone” on SyFy starting Tuesday 26 Feb 2013 at 1000pm EST. Click on the following image to view the show’s site.




Frater Eric Broadwell Changes Cycling Focus in Reponse to Diagnosis

EBroadwell“It is hard to write this update on my heart situation.  I have been diagnosed with a rare potentially genetic heart disorder called ARVC.  This past Monday I visited a national research center for the condition at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.  The condition is an enlarged and thinned right side of the heart (the part that pumps to the lungs).  When the right side thins it also scars causing electrical issues that cause fast heart rates in the range of 250 to 300.  This is how we began the investigation.  The research center confirmed the diagnosis. This is the part when you wish your cardiologist wasn’t so good!

“The current underfunded research shows that when you exercise you increase the pressure in the right side of the heart by 3 times.  For a rare few this pressure stretches  the heart wall and this stretching results in the formation of the problematic scars and the heart doesn’t return to normal size and prolonged exercise with this condition makes it worse.  The current registry follows 1500 families of which I am now one.  The study has shown that those that chose to continue to train at a vigorous level continue to worsen the condition resulting in more life threatening fast heart rate events and those that stopped exercising halted the deterioration of the heart muscle and lived a long healthy life.  So I had a choice to stop exercising/training and live longer (to bug you more) or continue riding next to you with what I have grown to know as my extended family and shorten that time.

“As you can imagine taking a person’s passion away is a hard emotional decision.  But as I look at where I have been and how I got here I owe all of you a thank you.  I plan to continue to coach, lead and support all of the cycling community.  This won’t stop me from riding in communities to help evaluate commuting experiences and I can hike, walk, etc. It is the long periods of stretching at a higher heart rate that I must avoid like spin class and century rides.

“You noticed that I said under funded research.  Because the condition isn’t a career money maker (like bypass surgery is) it doesn’t get the financial support to develop the understanding of the disorder.  Another point to understand is that there is a real known genetic aspect of this condition and it is one of the leading causes in sudden heart death in young athletes.  So yes you can expect a century charity ride to support this research in the near future organized by yours truly.

“If you know anyone that is interested in a Specialized Tarmac size 56 that weighs in at 15.2 lbs let me know. I am keeping my cross bike with beach tires on it though.

See you at the start and at the finish, but not on the ride.”


Death of Frater Thomas C. Hankey of El Paso, IL

Thomas C. Hankey died on Monday, January 14, 2013. He attended Tech in the early 1970s, majoring in mathematics with an emphasis on numeric analysis. He started a career in insurance with Moore Group in 1973 and then moved to MCI and later Leader Systems, where he developed automated systems for the insurance industry. After a brief stint as an independent contractor , he worked during the 1990’s with Windsor Group and Atlanta Casualty as Systems Manager and Manager of Data Administration. He developed projects with Travelers , USF&G , Alexander & Alexander , American Financial Group , ACORD , and took part in the formation of IVANS.

Tom lived in Atlanta for forty years and was a member at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He is survived by his life partner, Patricia Blancher, and by numerous siblings, nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held last Thursday at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Inurnment will occur at the St. Mary’s Cemetery in his hometown of El Paso, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Atlanta Humane Society. Online condolences may be made at