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St. Thomas U. names data science institute for HEICO’s Mendelson

MIAMI GARDENS | St. Thomas University has established and named its Institute for Data Science and Analytics in honor of Lisa and Victor Mendelson, whose significant gift aims to help the university become a leading tech hub for Latin America and Europe.

The Mendelson Family gift will name the Institute for Data Science and Analytics; fund the building of two state-of-the art computer laboratories within the new Gus Machado School of Business Building; underwrite the salary of an assistant professor in data science; expand the university’s STEM community outreach; and provide student scholarships.

The gift will also buoy the expansion of market-relevant data science degrees; update the school’s technology platform; sponsor student internship opportunities and support the institute’s research agenda.

“The Lisa and Victor Mendelson Institute for Data Science and Analytics will establish partnerships and projects with companies and other entities beyond STU that will help our students work on real-world projects, and become leaders in the industry,” said David A. Armstrong, president of STU. “STU now has the opportunity to become a leader in an area that is shaping and reshaping our future, and the institute will provide resources and support to our faculty and students to further STU’s impact in this field.”

According to Dresner Advisory Services’ 2017 Big Data Analytics Market Study, data analytics is on the rise. Big data adoption reached 53 percent in 2017, up from 17 percent in 2015—a significant growth reflecting the growing use of big data across a number of industries.

“We’re proud to support this leading and high-quality STU program,” said Lisa and Victor Mendelson in a statement. “STU’s commitment to outstanding and practical educational outcomes for its students give us great excitement for this university’s excellent future.”

Since 1990, Victor Mendelson, his father Laurans, and his brother Eric, have overseen HEICO Corporation’s transformation from a $26 million market capitalization and annual sales business into a highly profitable global aerospace and electronics design and manufacturing company with a current market capitalization of approximately $11 billion and nearly $2 billion in annual sales.

Based in Hollywood, HEICO has operating facilities in 13 countries in North America, Asia, India, and the Middle East, including in 22 states in the USA, engaged in the design, manufacture, repair, overhaul, distribution, sales, and support of aircraft, satellites, defense and electronics products. Over the past decade, Forbes magazine has ranked HEICO as one of the 100 “World’s Most Innovative Growth Companies,” 100 “Best Small Companies,” 200 “Hot Shot Stocks,” and 100 “Most Trustworthy Companies in America.”

Mendelson has served as HEICO’s co-president since 2009 and is also the Founder, CEO and president of the company’s Electronic Technologies Group.  He is a member of STU’s Board of Trustees. Lisa Mendelson is equally committed to quality education, serving as chair of the United Way of Miami-Dade’s Center for Excellence in Early Education and a member of Teach for America’s Miami-Dade Advisory Board.

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