Link Foundation Fellowships Newsletter

Inside this Issue


Meet this Year's Fellowship Recipients

The Link Foundation

News of Interest and Updates


Marilyn C. Link Awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Medallion from Florida Atlantic University

Marilyn C. Link receives President’s Distinguished Service Medallion from Florida Atlantic University
Marilyn C. Link with FAU President Dr. Mary Jane Saunders

On August 7, 2012, Marilyn C. Link was awarded the prestigious President’s Distinguished Service Medallion from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) with many close friends and colleagues at her side including Eleanor Sexton, friend; Dr. Andrew Clark, Trustee, Link Foundation Board, FAU graduate, and 1979 Summer Intern at Harbor Branch; Doug Briggs, FAU graduate and first Link Foundation Summer Intern (1967); Cyndee Finkel, 2009 Link Fellow in Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation and FAU PhD candidate; Tim Haynes, 2011 Link Summer Intern and current FAU student; Chip Baumberger, former Link Foundation Summer Intern and former HBOI/FAU employee; Dr. Priscilla Winder, wife to Chip Baumberger, former Link Foundation Summer Intern, FAU graduate, and current HBOI/FAU employee; Dr. Dennis Hanisak, HBOI/FAU Summer Intern Program Administrator; Dr. Karl von Ellenrieder, FAU professor and Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Program Administrator.

The President’s Distinguished Service Medallion is awarded on a very selective basis to those who have rendered service of great value to FAU and to the community at large.  Marilyn has been a friend and supporter of Florida Atlantic University for many years, dating back to 1965 when the Link Foundation made a grant to FAU to support the creation of the country’s first undergraduate ocean engineering degree program.  In 1974, she became Trustee and Managing Director of the Harbor Branch Foundation, which was being developed by J. Seward Johnson, Sr. and her brother, Edwin A. Link.  She retired in 1982 and currently service as Director Emeritus of the Harbor Branch Foundation.

As a principal of the Link Foundation, she helped make Harbor Branch internships available to generations of students, giving them the priceless experience of working beside world-class ocean engineers and marine scientists. 

In true fashion, Marilyn credited her special guests, which she referred to as her “support team,” along with members of the Link Foundation Board of Trustees and Special Advisors for winning the medal for her.  You may view the FAU Commencement by visiting, click on the summer 2012 Commencement Ceremony, 1 PM link. Marilyn’s award and speech begin at time 44.52.

The Link Foundation Board is delighted to see Marilyn Link honored for her philanthropy and for her support of programs, through the Link Foundation and otherwise, that have literally opened an ocean of opportunity for many students.


Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University’s Summer Intern Program Attracts Ocean Science and Engineering Interns from Around the World

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University’s  Summer Intern Program
From l to r: Matthew Russell, Stacey Goldberg, Kaitlin Gallagher, Sarah VanOstrand, Ashley Sproles, Adam Greeley, Ana Gonzalez-Angel, Detelina Doncheva, Joseph Brooker, Agnieszka Sobieraj, Krysztof Latomski, Allison Jevitt, Christel Seegers, Erica Engelschall, Yichao Yu, Serena Parton, Wendy Arias, Stephanie Lear, Hollianne Eckerd. Not pictured, Alexia Downs.


This past summer, 20 interns from 13 post-secondary institutions in eight states and countries including Bulgaria, Colombia, Poland, Netherlands, and China, participated in the 2012 Summer Intern Program at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, where they had the opportunity to carry out research projects in ocean engineering and optics, the health of the Indian River Lagoon and coral, aquaculture and drug discovery.  During the 10-week internship, the interns worked with a Harbor Branch faculty mentor on projects probing issues such as improving the quality of undersea laser imaging, assessing the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the Indian River Lagoon, and determining which marine natural products might help fight diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis.   At the end of this highly competitive internship, each intern produced a written report and gave an oral presentation on their project to an audience including Harbor Branch faculty and staff, friends of Harbor Branch, program sponsors, and family.

Dr. Dennis Hanisak, Harbor Branch research professor and coordinator of the program, describes the internship as “a hands-on opportunity for students to work and learn alongside experienced professionals and ‘test drive’ the career for which they are preparing themselves in college.”  This internship can help shape the course of a life, as shown by the many alumni who have gone on to successful careers in marine science and technology.

The Internship Program, now in its 39th year, is funded primarily by the Link Foundation, with additional support from the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation.  This year, the Barrows Family Charitable Fund and Florida State University joined the Link Foundation and the Skelly Foundation with funding for this program.  

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University’s  Summer Intern Program

Marilyn Link (left), Special Advisor to the Link Foundation, and Link Foundation Trustees Dr. Andy Clark (white coat) and Jimmie Anne Haisley (right) with the 2012 Link Foundation and Barrows Family Charitable Fund Summer Interns. 
In the background is the Perry Link Deep Diver submersible which was the first lock-out submersible developed by Ed Link.  The Perry Link Diver was retired with Ed’s development of the Johnson-Sea-Link which was launched in 1970.


The Link Foundation is pleased to present the 2012 Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Interns (shown above) supported by the Link Foundation:             

Wendy Arias, Florida Atlantic University
Joseph Brooker, University of South Florida
Kaitlin Gallagher, Florida Atlantic University
Ana Gonzalez-Angel, Nova Southeastern University
Krzysztof Latomski, Silesian University of Technology
Stephanie Lear, Montclair State University
Serena Parton, Florida Atlantic University
Matthew Russell, Florida Atlantic University
Christel Seegers, Wegeningen University
Agnieszka Sobieraj, Silesian University of Technology
Ashley Sproles, Florida Institute of Technology
Sarah Van Ostrand, Florida Atlantic University

We are proud to note that Link Foundation Trustee, Dr. Andrew M. Clark, was a Harbor Branch Summer Intern in 1979.  You may read more about Dr. Clark on our web link, “Board of Trustees and Special Advisors.”


History of the Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Intern Program
Authored by Dr. M. Dennis Hanisak, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University

In 1974, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, then called Harbor Branch Foundation and only three years old at the time, began a summer internship program for college students, launched with funding from the Link Foundation.  At the time, Ed Link, the inventor who had recently designed and built Harbor Branch's Johnson-Sea-Link manned submersibles, was Vice President of Harbor Branch, and Marilyn Link, Ed's sister, was Harbor Branch's first Managing Director.  The idea of the intern program was to provide college students an opportunity to further their education and training, outside the traditional classroom setting, in a real-world situation.  Working with a mentor on the Harbor Branch staff, each intern developed a project that could be completed in a few weeks and then reported the results to the Harbor Branch community.  During that first summer, ten students spent ten weeks working with mentors in the Marine Science and Engineering Divisions.  Back in 1974, there were very few such intern opportunities for students interested in marine science or ocean engineering, and the summer intern program quickly became recognized as a successful one. 

Over the next thirty-nine years this education program, Harbor Branch's oldest, has continued and prospered and has become a special one to our scientists and engineers who are invigorated by the young talent of the interns each year.  From 1974 to 2012, there have been 520 summer interns at Harbor Branch/FAU.  These interns have come from over 150 universities and colleges from 35 states and 11 foreign countries.  They have benefitted from over 100 mentors, all Harbor Branch/FAU staff members.  The Link Foundation has supported about 63% of the interns.  Another 11% have been funded by the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation, which has been providing major support for interns in marine biomedical research since 1996.  Most Harbor Branch/FAU interns go on to professional careers, with nearly half receiving an MS degree and about 1/6 earning a PhD. 

For more information on the Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Intern programs, including application material, see:


Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Awards at Indian River State College

The Link Foundation has had a significant impact at Indian River State College (IRSC) by providing Distinguished Scholar Awards, totaling over $220,000, to over 74 highly qualified IRSC graduates since 1999.  These transfer scholarships enable highly qualified Associate in Arts (AA) graduates of IRSC each year to continue their education in the fields of marine science, engineering, oceanography, physics, mathematics, energy research, or simulation training. These prestigious scholarships are presented annually to students who attained a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average at Indian River State College, and are admitted to an accredited upper-division program. 

We are pleased to share recent notes from some of the Link Foundation Distinguished Scholars:

Ever since I was a young child, one of my goals in life was to attend college.  I always saw myself as becoming a successful individual, living a comfortable lifestyle.  Now that I am older, I realize the importance of a college education.  College allows a person to experience more opportunities while allowing them to a have a wider perspective of the world around them.  The knowledge gained from college will mature and prepare an individual for many responsibilities.  Along with financial stability and a better life, a college education is one of the best paths to choose.  The financial stability that comes with a college education allows the individual to enjoy the richness in life.  Before being able to enjoy all the fruits that come with a college education, a student must first find a way to pay for that education.  Currently I have no other means of assistance for college, except for assistance through the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship program.  Thanks to the Link Foundation’s generous support, the burden of paying for college will be less heavy.  Again, I would like to thank the Link Foundation for their generous support in the investment that they are making in my future. -Caleb Kasprzyk

Thanks to the Link Foundation for naming me a recipient of their prestigious award.  I am so proud and honored to become a Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar.  Studying has become a full-time job for me, so your financial support has been amazing because it allows me to continue my academics without being forced to work full-time.  The financial burdens can be excessive during the college years and you have relieved a portion of that stress.  Being a mechanical engineer is a dream of mine and you have given me the opportunity to achieve this goal.  The Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award has really been a blessing in my life!  Thank you, again, for the financial backing as I work on my bachelor’s degree.  God bless you all as you continue to make a difference for me and other students at Indian River State College. -Brandon Russakis

I want to thank the Link Foundation for their generous transfer scholarship support that has helped pay my educational expenses.  Entering the University of Central Florida as a transfer student, I did not have the full financial support I needed to complete my last two years as an undergraduate student.  I was thrilled after hearing that the Link Foundation chose me as one of the recipients for their transfer scholarship.  This made it financially possible for me to pursue my engineering degree.  Now, with two more semesters to go, I can say that I have the support I need to finish what I have started, aspiring one day to become a certified structural engineer.  Again, I appreciate the award and hope one day to help others as the Link Foundation has helped me when I needed their financial support. -Manuel Tomas

Our son, Morgan Flinchum, received a Distinguished Scholar Transfer Award when he transferred from IRSC to the University of Florida to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree.  Since Morgan is the oldest of four children, and we have three of them in college currently, your scholarship has allowed him to do some study abroad that may not have otherwise been possible.  Morgan spent two semesters studying in Spain to become fluent in Spanish.  He was able to secure an engineering internship the second semester through one of his teachers there.  Morgan is interested in alternative and renewable energy and is currently in Portugal where he has an internship with a large power company that uses alternative energy.  He will be back at the University of Florida in August to continue his studies and complete his degree.
Your generous scholarship has allowed Morgan to pursue his interests in engineering globally and for that we sincerely thank you. -Russell and Abby Flinchum

I am extremely happy that the IRSC Link Scholars Scholarship Board chose me as a recipient of the Transfer Scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year.  It will allow me to pay for a portion of the tuition at Florida Institute of Technology, thus allowing me to concentrate more on my studies in Electrical Engineering and not have to worry about the heavy burden of tuition.  I will perform to the best of my abilities to continue the wonderful education I started at Indian River State College. - John Merritt

I was awarded the Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award when I graduated with my AA degree from IRSC in 2010.  I transferred to the University of Florida to study mechanical engineering.  The scholarship allowed me to focus my attention on my studies without having to worry about taking loans out to pay for my tuition.  I am thankful for the support that the scholarship gave me.  I will be graduating in the fall of 2012 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. The Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award is a wonderful scholarship that anyone majoring in a STEM field should consider applying for. -Christopher Neal


Link Summer Science Explorations Camp at Kopernik Observatory

Link Summer Science Explorations Camp at Kopernik Observatory

The Link Foundation has been supporting the Link Summer Science Exploration Camp held at Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, Vestal, NY, for 18 years.  This week-long camp offers hands-on, high-tech adventures in science, technology, engineering, and math in a fun and nurturing environment.  The Link Summer Science day camp, for student in first through sixth grade, serves approximately 150-200 students each year and the middle and high school program, for students in seventh through twelfth grade, serves approximately 40-50 students each year.

Each summer, Edwin A. Link is presented to the students as a role model and someone who had a passion for discovery and invention and made a mark on the world.  As part of the curriculum, the students visit the permanent Link exhibit at Roberson Museum and Science Center, Binghamton, NY, where they take a guided tour and learn more about Edwin A. Link and the “Blue Box.”  Throughout the Link Summer Science Exploration program, students are encouraged to make a mark on their world, like Edwin A. Link.

We are pleased to share some testimonials from former camp attendees:

Colin Murchie, Director of Governmental Affairs for SolarCity stated:  “My experience at Kopernik allowed me to really “soak in” to a culture of scientific inquiry and, just as important, to learn how to teach, present, and instruct on complex topics.   

There weren’t many places to get hands-on with science in Vestal, much less to do so in-depth for more than an hour or two at a time.    I’m confident that my experiences there were a big part of what allowed me to succeed at Cornell, where I studied Natural Resources Policy, Management and Human Dimensions.   Now I work for the nation’s leading solar energy developer as their Director of State Government Affairs.”

Peter Heuer stated:  "When I first attended Link 1 in the summer of 2006, I found myself surrounded by driven and curious students in an environment that nurtured scientific exploration.  During one of the many amazing spontaneous scientific conversations that occurred throughout those two weeks, several of the other students and I hatched a plan to build one of the most powerful particle accelerators ever built by amateurs.  Six years, several successful grant proposals for federal funding, and three full summers of work at a DOE laboratory alongside professional scientists and engineers, the five-ton machine is close to turning on for the first time and my life has been forever changed.  The finished accelerator will benefit students at a near-by university (Old Dominion University) for years to come.  This project would never have even been dreamed of, let alone pursued, if it hadn't been for the amazing environment provided by Kopernik.

I am currently a junior in the Physics Department at the University of Rochester (a school I was inspired to visit in 2006 by one of my fellow Link 1 campers). When I graduate, I plan on pursuing a PhD in physics or engineering and eventually doing research.” 

Heidi Baumgartner stated:  “In the fall I'm starting my third year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Kopernik was where my interest in science really took off.  Most of all, Kopernik was the first place where I met other kids interested in the same things as me, and that was completely invaluable. Peter Heuer and I continued on to design and build a cyclotron together, a project which we documented here:  We couldn't have done it without Kopernik, which is where we met. 

I am currently doing an internship at DESY, at a particle accelerator lab in Hamburg, Germany. I'm going to be working on laser plasma acceleration, an advanced way of accelerating particles that would achieve extremely high energy particles in a small space.”

Deborah J. Miller stated:  “Aside from attending Link Summer programs from third grade through my senior year of high school, I also participated in a several other stand-alone classes, such as a photography class, along with meteor expedition weekends.  I volunteered at the Observatory for over three years in high school, was a TA for the Link Summer program last summer, and continue to help out whenever I can for events such as Rocketfest and Astrofest.

I just graduated from University of Rochester with a BS in Molecular Genetics, and I'm headed to the University of Buffalo where I have a research position exploring the potential uses of nanophotonics in gene therapy for cancer.  I'm planning on pursuing a PhD in Human Genetics, and hope to someday teach at the college level.

Being involved in such a community of people who value and encourage scientific curiosity has absolutely helped shape me into the budding scientist I am today.”


The Edwin A. Link and Marion C. Link Scholarship Fund

The Link family, the Link Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Stuart McCarty (Mr. McCarty was a former Link Foundation Trustee and Special Advisor), have established the endowed Edwin A. and Marion C. Link Scholarship Fund in 2007.  This fund is administered by The Community Foundation for South Central New York, Inc. 

This scholarship is awarded annually to a Binghamton, NY,  High School senior who is a resident of Broome County, and has demonstrated a commitment to engineering, with special consideration to those students who have evidenced an interest in energy, simulation, marine science or aeronautical or ocean engineering.  The student must have at least a 3.0 GPA, or its equivalent, and have been active in community and/or extracurricular activities.  The $2,000 scholarship award is non-renewable and is to be applied to tuition expenses for the first and second semester of the awardees freshman year at a qualified accredited college or university.

The first endowed scholarship was presented to Marc Houlihan in 2009.  Marc is currently a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.  The second scholarship was presented to Steve Maniates in 2010.  Steve is a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.  The third scholarship was presented to Clara Scholtz in 2011.  Clara is a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

The 2012 scholarship was presented to Alex Palma who was in the top 10% of his Binghamton High School graduating class with an overall GPA of 101.45.  Mr. Palma is attending Drexel University to study Architectural Engineering.

Congratulations to these fine students who, with their academic and community credentials, have a promising future and exemplify the qualities celebrated by the Edwin A. and Marion C. Link Scholarship.


ARINC to present award in honor of Edwin A. Link on September 18, 2012

ARINC’s (Aeronautical Radio Inc.) Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference will take place at Omni Mandalay Hotel in Dallas, TX, September 17-20, 2012.  This annual conference attended by flight simulator experts from around the world, identifies technical solutions to engineering and maintenance issues resulting in immediate and long-term savings and increased efficiency for simulator users.  An annual award, sponsored by the Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference, will be presented in honor of Edwin A. Link at the opening session of this conference.

Over the past twelve years, ARINC has presented awards in honor of Edwin A. Link to an outstanding member of the simulation community in recognition of their contributions of ideas, leadership and innovation which will benefit the simulation industry.  The Edwin A. Link Award has become world-renowned as the simulation industry’s highest award for individual achievement.

Past recipients of this award are:
2011 –             Richard Holmes and Joe Mays, Electronic Image Systems, Inc./Barco Simulation
2010 –             Dr. David White, Thales Training and Simulation     
2009 –             Craig Phillips, Redifun Simulation Inc. (RSI)
2008 –             Andy Ramsden, Rockwell Collins
2007 –             Joe Biller, L-3 Communications - Link Simulation and Training Division
2005 –             Jim Guvernator, Southwest Airlines
2004 –             Stuart N. Willmott, CAE SimuFlite
2003 –             Dr. John Hunt, General Precision Corporation (formerly Link Aviation, Inc.)
2002 –             Kendall W. Neville, The Boeing Company
2001 –             Stuart Anderson, Evans & Sutherland
2000 –             Joe Depaola, American Airlines
1999 –             Wolf-Dieter Hass, Lufthansa Flight Training


The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Edwin A. Link Lectures

The Royal Aeronautical Society established the annual Edwin A. Link Lecture Series in 2007 to honor Ed, who is known as the distinguished pioneer of synthetic training.  Ed’s remarkable foresight led to the creation of the Link Trainer, or “Blue Box” as it came to be known, the precursor of today’s powerful synthetic training devices, most notably full flight simulators.  The first lecture was presented in London in 2007, the second and third lectures took place at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, in 2008 and 2009.   The fourth lecture took place in London on June 10, 2010 where Marion Broughton, Vice President Avionics from Thales Training and Simulation, UK, gave a talk entitled, “The Downturn Opportunity in the Flight Simulation Industry?”  The fifth lecture took place in London on June 8, 2011 where John Farley OBE, AFC, presented the Lecture entitled, “My 53 Years as a Flight Simulation User.”

The sixth lecture took place on May 30, 2012 at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in London where Richard “Dick” Eastman OBE, RAeS RAF (retired) presented the lecture entitled, “A Journey Through Flight Simulation.”

The RAeS Flight Simulation group believes the Link Trainer represented a milestone in the history of Flight Simulation.  Ed Link is generally recognized as the “father of simulation.”

It is expected that yearly lectures will continue to be held in London and Washington, DC.