Eric Smaw, Ph.D., President

A much-loved, award-winning teacher, whose innovative courses have been featured in regional and national media, Dr. Smaw has ceaselessly sought opportunities to foster rigorous, critical thinking among his students and empower them within and beyond his classroom. His crucial contribution to the development of critical-race-theory courses at Rollins College is one example. Another is the Rollins College Debate Team that he founded, and whose members he mentored to first place finishes at national and international competitions.

Dr. Smaw’s commitment extends beyond his students and the young debaters to the broader communities of health care professionals and scholars in his roles as medical ethicist and philosopher-practitioner, and further to national forums of public discourse and the international partnerships he has fostered between Rollins College and universities abroad.

He is an inspiring example of the public intellectual who is deeply engaged in what Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay “The American Scholar,” called “the resounding tumult” of the world that lies around us and who, again in the words of Emerson, “raises himself from private considerations, and breathes and lives on public and illustrious thoughts.”

Through his public service as a national member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union and President of the Board of the ACLU of Florida, in his scholarship and writings, and in his numerous articles, talks and interviews in regional and national media, he has contributed significantly to informing public dialogue on important civil liberties issues.

The spectrum of topics that Dr. Smaw addresses in his articles and essays reflects his broad intellectual repertoire in both his academic and public scholarship. He has written on issues ranging from the ethics of pediatric heart transplants and African philosophical traditions to restorative justice and critical race theory. Dr. Smaw earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law and Human Rights from the University of Kentucky, where he received the University of Kentucky Outstanding Research Award.  Afterward, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in International Human Rights at the University of Massachusetts. He also holds a M.A. in History of Philosophy and a second master’s degree in the Philosophy of Science and African Philosophy from the University of Ohio.  In the spring of 2023, he was awarded an Honoris Causa Doctorate from the Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece for his humanitarian work.

Currently, Dr. Smaw is a Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow at Rollins College where he will be working in the office of the Provost overseeing the implementation of the DEIB strategic plan.

Tiffany Hilton, Esq., Interim Secretary
Tiffany Hilton is an Assistant Public Defender in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. She has dedicated her education and career to social and criminal justice through the representation of indigent criminal defendants. In the past year, Ms. Hilton tried 13 cases to a jury verdict. She graduated from Stetson University College of Law in May of 2022 Magna Cum Laude, in the top 4% of her class. While in law school, Ms. Hilton represented an incarcerated transgender woman pro bono in the Northern District of Florida in a Section 1983 lawsuit for violation of the incarcerated woman's Eighth Amendment Rights to a favorable settlement. Ms. Hilton authored an article concerning racial biases in the Federal Rules of Evidence that was published in the Stetson Law Review in 2022.

Michael Meyers, JD, Treasurer
Michael Meyers, trained as a lawyer, is an active board member for and trusted advisor to a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In 2016 Mr. Meyers retired after 23 years at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, an international law firm where he practiced corporate and finance law, mostly in the energy sector.

In the non-profit arena, he currently serves as a board member of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, The Bolles School, and the Peter Michael Foundation (a 501(c)(3) focused on prostate cancer research and treatment).

Mr. Meyers rejoined the board of the ACLU of Florida in 2023, after having previously served on the board from 2015 – 2018.

In the for-profit sector, Mr. Meyers serves as a director of the Peter Michael Winery, a premium California winery, and as a Managing Member of ML Venture Investments, a family company.

Lynda Balint, MD
Lynda Balint, MD, is a highly experienced, board-certified OB-GYN physician. She received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She specializes in menopausal health, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, high-risk pregnancies, pediatric gynecology, and vulvar disorders. Dr. Balint’s expertise has earned her the American Registry Patients’ Choice Award three years in a row, the American Registry Compassionate Doctor Recognition Award and the American Registry On-Time Physician Award.

She is focused on patient safety, views being a doctor as an honor and a privilege and takes her oath very seriously, believes her patient’s time is as valuable as her own so does not overbook and runs on time.

Some of her awards and recognitions are Patient choice award- 2008- 2018; Compassionate Doctor Award- 2009-2015, 2017, 2018; On-Time Doctor Award- 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018; Top 10 Doctor Award 2014

Michael Berman, MD
Dr. Berman graduated from the The Robert Larner Md College of Medicine At The University of Vermont in 1980. He works in Key West, FL and specializes in Dermatology and Allergy & Immunology. Dr. Berman is affiliated with Lower Keys Medical Center. 

Mark S. Chaet, MD
Mark Steven Chaet, M.D. serves as the Orlando Regional Campus Dean. In this role, he oversees all campus functions including supervising clerkship directors, student education and performance, and student counseling. The regional campus dean's role at the FSU College of Medicine is unique as he plays an expanded role with students, including direct contact, comprehensive mentoring, and one-on-one interaction when needed. Additionally, fundraising is an increasingly important role of the campus dean in efforts to fund local operations and scholarships for students.

Dr. Chaet, a pediatric surgeon on staff at both Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Advent Health Children’s Hospital, has been practicing in the Orlando area since 1997. Serving as an FSU Orlando community faculty member since 2003, Dr. Chaet has shown a commitment to education throughout his career. He has served on the teaching faculty for general surgery residents at both Orlando Health and Advent Health, been a preceptor for physician assistant and nurse practitioner candidates from Nova Southeastern University, the University of South Florida, and the University of South Alabama, and continues to serve as faculty for the Surgical Intern Program at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Chaet has shown great community involvement over the years, both on a local and national level, serving on various committees in the Orlando area and working as consultant for opioid reduction. As a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army and Reserve from 1991-2007, Dr. Chaet trained as a field trauma surgeon and supported medical deployments during both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. Dr. Chaet has been involved in a number of research efforts over the years focusing on pediatric surgery and gastroenterology and continues to display a commitment to leadership and ongoing professional development.

Charlton Copeland
Charlton Copeland joined the faculty in 2007. He teaches Civil Procedure I and II, Federal Courts, Administrative Law, and the Regulatory State. In addition, he has served as the Faculty Coordinator of the Florida Supreme Court Internship Program, and the Law School’s Washington, DC Externship Program, where he teaches Federal Policy Making: Legislation, Regulation and Litigation. He is a 2015 recipient of the Richard Hausler Golden Apple Award for the faculty member contributing the most to the student body both academically and through his or her extracurricular activities. 

His scholarship has focused primarily on the ways in which federalism as a constitutional and political structure is mediated in: the relationship between federal and state courts, the jurisprudence of remedies for state violations of federal law, and the relationship between state and federal implementation of federal policy.  In addition, he has written about the intersection between law and theology as they relate to religion’s role in American democracy and the framing of liberationist critiques of same sex marriage.  He is a recipient of the 2013 Dukeminier Award and the Michael Cunningham Prize, from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, for the best law review articles published on sexual orientation and gender identity law issues in the previous year.  His current scholarly interests explore the relationship between race and American political institutions and structures, particularly how attention to race and American political institutions informs federal courts jurisprudence, and the implications of federalism’s survival of the demise of formal racial apartheid in America.  He is also interested in the ways in which federalism shape the development of American public policy, particularly health policy. 

In addition to his academic commitments, Professor Copeland has served the larger Miami-Dade community as a member of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, an independent county agency with advisory and quasi-judicial authority, from 2010-2014.  He served as Chair of the Commission from 2012-2013.  He has also served as Chair of the Law and Humanities Section of the American Association of Law Schools. 

Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Professor Copeland served as a visiting assistant professor of law at Northwestern University Law School.  He was an associate at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) in Washington, DC, where he focused on litigation (appellate and insurance) and regulatory (communications) matters.  In addition, he served as a law clerk to Justices Richard J. Goldstone and Catherine O’Regan of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and as a clerk to Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Professor Copeland is a graduate of Amherst College, Yale Divinity School, and Yale Law School.

Ahmad Mayes
A passionate arts leader, Ahmad Mayes has delivered over 16 years of high impact service to the music field, focusing on strategic planning, organizational development, education, DE&I, and community engagement. 

With a background that is equal parts administrator, educator, and programmer, and a lengthy track record of collaborating effectively with top-level artists he has built a reputation for consistently delivering best in class programming when it comes to growing relevance and value for classical music. 

Ahmad has served as Executive Director of the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach since September 2021. In this role, he led the organization to record revenue and philanthropic contributions in a strong return to live in-person concerts for the 21/22 season. Previously, over 10 years with the Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, Ahmad guided a wide range of award-winning programs including Concerts for Young People, school and community partnerships, musician training, and nation-wide DE&I collaborations. 

Ahmad has contributed to the field through additional leadership roles including as Co-Chair of the Education and Community Engagement Leadership Committee of the League of American Orchestras, leadership team member for the National Instrumentalist Mentorship and Advancement Network (NIMAN), advisor to the Atlanta Music Project, and adjudicator and advisor for the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards. As a vocal advocate for music education, community engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion he has become a regular contributor, convener, and organizer around these topics at national industry gatherings such as the League of American Orchestras, SphinxConnect, and ICSOM annual conferences. Ahmad has also been a frequent arts grant panelist for projects of the National Endowment of the Arts, the Mellon, Ford, and Angell Foundations, and the New Jersey State Council for the Arts.

Teresa Ponte
Teresa Ponte is currently an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media, Florida International University, where she was previously department chair for 14 years. Her academic specialties include First Amendment Law, Broadcast Journalism, and visual storytelling. For more than a decade she spearheaded her department’s internship program and developed industry partnerships that gave students excellent opportunities and hands-on training.

She is an award-winning journalist who joined FIU in 1999 after a journalism career that included work in print, broadcast, and online. During her years working for television networks, she specialized in covering Latin America and the Caribbean as well as, the southeastern United States. She was editor-in-Chief of, field producer for CBS News, NBC News and Senior Producer at Telemundo Network.

Ponte earned a bachelor’s in journalism from New York University, a master’s in international relations, and a J.D. from Rutgers University.

Trelvis Randolph, JD
Trelvis D. Randolph is a partner in the Miami office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. He focuses his practice on all matters relating to general liability litigation, including cases involving claims of personal injury from automobile accidents, slips and falls, negligent security, wrongful death, product liability, medical malpractice, nursing home and assisted living facilities malpractice, insurance coverage issues, and retail, restaurant and hospitality industry defense. Mr. Randolph's first-party property representations include residential and commercial property coverage for actions involving losses due to theft, water, wind, sinkhole, fire, and other property damage claims.  He has extensive litigation experience regarding fact witnesses, corporate representatives, general physicians, and specialized health care providers. 

Mr. Randolph commenced his legal career as an assistant public defender representing clients charged with misdemeanor crimes and felony offenses at the Miami-Dade County Public Defender's Office.  Prior to joining QPWB, he was a partner with a large insurance defense law firm providing legal representation and strategic guidance in all of his areas of practice.  He was also an associate representing insurers and self-insureds in actions involving personal injury, automobile negligence, wrongful death claims, and defense of schools and religious institutions.  Mr. Randolph's experience also includes representing emergency room physicians, general practitioners and health care providers in medical malpractice and wrongful death claims.   

Leading with the experience of dozens of jury trials and years of litigation history, Mr. Randolph has served as general counsel and litigation consultant to various civil rights and non-profit community empowerment organizations. 

Mr. Randolph received his Juris Doctor from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Memphis State University.  While in law school, he interned with the Memphis Area Legal Services handling an array of civil litigation matters.  He developed community forums and conducted classes on civil litigation issues led by various legal groups. 

Mr. Randolph is a United States Army veteran.  He served his country as an infantry soldier and in his home state as a reserve with the Tennessee Army National Guard. 

He is licensed to practice law in Florida.

Rosemary O’Hara
Rosemary Goudreau O’Hara retired three years ago as editorial page editor of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a position she’d held since 2012. Previously, she was the editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune. Influence Magazine twice named her one of the most influential people in Florida politics. She was a key member of the Sun Sentinel team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She is a member of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications’ Hall of Fame. And on the occasion of her retirement, the Broward County Commission named March 9, 2021, as “Rosemary O’Hara Appreciation Day in Broward County” — something that just doesn’t happen to journalists.

After 44 years, she was ready to retire. I leave the game knowing I left it all on the field,” she said at the time.

A native of Upper Michigan, Rosemary grew up in Tampa and is a 1976 graduate of the University of Florida. She started her career at the Tampa Tribune during the era of Woodward and Bernstein, working alongside a reporter who would critique her phone interviews and make her call people back if she failed to ask all the right questions. With that reporter, she co-wrote an investigative series on political patronage and corruption at Hillsborough Community College that led to seven administrators losing their jobs. Another project on medical malpractice led to her becoming the paper’s medical writer, a position she would later hold at the Orlando Sentinel and the Miami Herald.

As a medical reporter, Rosemary helped tell the stories of Barney Clark’s artificial heart, Baby Fae’s baboon heart and the first child in Florida to receive a heart transplant. She also had a front-row seat to the AIDS epidemic, and came to well know many of the victims, the scientists, the activists and the people who believed you could catch the disease from a mosquito bite. A good source in the state health department used to leave this message with the newsroom’s clerk: Tell Rosemary to call Strep Throat.” 

In 1990, after a year-long fellowship at Stanford University and 14 years as an award-winning reporter, Rosemary became an assistant city editor in the Miami Herald’s Broward Bureau. It was an era whose headlines included Lorena Bobbitt cutting off her husband’s penis, William Kennedy Smith facing rape charges in Palm Beach, and Kathy Willets running a prostitution ring from her Tamarac bedroom as her sheriffs-deputy husband hid in the closet, peeking.

Two years later, as Bill Clinton began his run for president, Rosemary joined the Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau as an editor. It was an era when newspapers were trying to cover elections as job interviews, not horse races. Rosemary remembers trying to squeeze Gennifer Flowers onto the issues grid.”

From Washington, Rosemary made editing stops in Norfolk, St. Louis and Cincinnati, where she was the managing editor of a 205-person newsroom and twice named a Gannett Supervisor of the Year.”

In 2001, after rioting rocked Cincinnati following the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Rosemary created a newspaper-citizen initiative called Neighbor to Neighbor designed to get people talking about — and maybe doing something about — racial tensions in the region. The effort led to 145 facilitator-led conversations convened in living rooms, school cafeterias and church basements. It spurred pulpit swaps, potluck exchanges, police ride-alongs and people running for office. It made a real difference in some people’s lives. For her efforts, Rosemary received a prestigious community-leadership award. To her, the effort proved the power of a newspaper to connect and empower citizens to make a difference in their community. Sadly, that power is greatly diminished today.

In 2002, Rosemary returned home as editorial page editor of the Tampa Tribune, where she reinvigorated the opinion pages and significantly increased readership. But six years later, during the Great Recession, she got laid off. Over the next couple of years, she served as the press secretary on the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Sen. Paula Dockery, taught opinion writing at the University of Florida and launched a website called Florida Voices that syndicated opinion content to 34 newspaper customers.

Rosemary’s journey of reinvention kept her in the game and eventually led her back to newspapers. When the opportunity to lead the Sun Sentinel’s opinion team opened in 2012, she jumped. There, she elevated the newspaper’s voice by presenting a daily collection of fair and informed commentary. She also was a regular guest on television and radio shows. She is particularly proud of the team she assembled; the weekly South Florida 100 feature she created; the informative endorsements her team offered during elections; the op-eds she solicited from disparate voices; and the forceful editorials she and her team wrote on local, state, and national issues.

Rosemary is also proud of the Invading Sea collaborative she spearheaded with her counterparts at the Palm Beach Post and Miami Herald, which grew to include almost every editorial board in the state. It was an unprecedented collaboration meant to raise awareness about the threat facing Florida from sea-level rise and climate change. Never before had opinion pages of competing newspapers shared and published the same editorial on the same day. The effort had an impact. As one example, it inspired a similar collaborative among South Florida business groups, whose voices are more embraced in Tallahassee.

Rosemary has served on a number of state and national boards, including the First Amendment Foundation, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, the Associated Press Managing Editors and the Association of Opinion Journalists.

Rosemary currently lives in Dunedin with her husband, Tom O’Hara, a distinguished newspaper editor who in his retirement, served as editor of the Invading Sea collaborative. In 2023, the couple handed the effort off to Florida Atlantic University, proud to know the university wanted to keep it alive. Tom, a golfer, is now focused on his short game.

In retirement, Rosemary continues to make a difference. She serves as vice president of the Dunedin Newcomers Club and as membership chair of the Dunedin Boat Club, even though the couple doesn’t have a boat. This year, the City Commission also appointed her to its Public Relations Advisory Action Committee, where she now serves as secretary.

But she very much enjoys retirement. She takes classes in tai chi, line-dancing and Zumba Gold. She belongs to three book clubs. She loves traveling and taking long walks on the beach.  She believes in living life while you’ve got it.

Robert Osbourne
With over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Robert brings his expertise to his clients, the organizations whose boards he serves on, and the pro bono projects he assists with. He believes that civil society has a critical role to play in making the world a better place. 

Robert has served as the Director of Development for St. Aloysius School, Interfaith Neighbors and the Center for Constitutional Rights. He specializes in organizational management, including strategic planning and scaling fundraising programs. Robert is also known for his international work, working with clients and other NGOs on a diversity of projects in Europe and around the globe. 

A well-known international speaker and workshop leader, Robert works with all types of organizations and all sizes. He has conducted well-received workshops and/or keynote addresses for the International Fundraising Congress, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, the International Fundraising Festival, AFP Congress, the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, and many others. 

Robert serves on the board of the United Hospital Fund in New York, the international advisory board of the Czech Fundraising Center in Czech Republic, the international advisory board of the Impact Hub Belgrade in Serbia, and the advisory board of the Impact Hub Metropolitan in New York City.  Robert serves a mentor to a number social impact startups in the US and the Balkans. 

Jennifer Tomlinson
Jennifer Tomlinson is a product of the Pine Hills community in Orlando, Florida, but she also has roots in New York and Miami, and she is a proud descendant of Jamaican parents. 

When describing what she does, Jennifer would say, “She helps people find pathways to their aspirations through her strengths of communication and teaching.”  She fulfills her purpose as a higher education professional with nearly 15 years of community college experience.   

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of South Florida and a Master of Liberal Studies from Rollins College. 

Subsequently, she entered the world of academia as a professor dedicated to helping students gain cultural knowledge and self-awareness by teaching humanities and first-year experience courses.  Her specialties are African-American humanities, ancient and classical studies, and student life skills.  Jennifer finds fulfillment in mentoring and coaching students to higher levels of learning and success.   

Currently, Jennifer serves as the Dean of Learning Support for Valencia College.  As both a faculty and administrative leader, she has had the opportunity to lead projects and initiatives geared toward increasing educational access and student success in Orange and Osceola counties.   

She has been featured on various media outlets, including WUCFTV’s Central Florida Storytellers, the Colorblind: Race Across Generations podcast, and Carry on Friends: The Caribbean American Podcast.  Jennifer also hosts a podcast, entitled Black Woman Be Well, dedicated to the unique perspective of health and wellness of Black women.

Meredith Trim
Meredith Trim is President of Ventus Charitable Foundation.  Believing that education should be the engine of opportunity in our society, Ms. Trim created Ventus Charitable Foundation with an initial mission of supporting public education in Palm Beach County, focusing on high-needs schools.  Through her work on the board of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Ms. Trim founded Red Apple Supplies, the free resource store for teachers from high needs public schools in Palm Beach County.  The doors of the new store opened in early March 2016 and, in school year 23-24, Red Apple Supplies will serve teachers in 90 public schools in Palm Beach County, distributing more than $1.5M of supplies.

Ventus Charitable Foundation added civic engagement to its work with the 2020 Census and now supports Census 2030, public service, voter education and mobilization, civic infrastructure, and citizen advocacy.

Ms. Trim grew up in Texas and received her Bachelorof Arts degree in American History and Literature fromHarvard University and her JD from Harvard Law School.  She practiced law in Virginia, Washington DC, Connecticut, and Ohio before moving to Florida in 2002.