The Torch - FSU College of Education Magazine, Fall 2021

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FALL 2021


FROM THE DEAN Greetings from the FSU College of Education!


As many of you know, I’m not just the dean of the FSU College of Education, but a proud alumnus as well. FSU holds a special place in my heart, as I know it does for many of you. It is a place of new ideas, world-class professors and beloved traditions; a place where many of us found our calling or made lifelong friendships. Every day, I am thankful to be back on campus, which seems like such an indelible part of the Tallahassee landscape.

Damon P. S. Andrew

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennie Kroeger

CONTRIBUTORS Kevin Derryberry Josh Duke

PHOTOGRAPHY Ken Higgins Jennie Kroeger

LAYOUT & DESIGN University Communications Creative Services

FSU has changed a great deal over the decades, and perhaps no change was greater than in the early 1900s, when the state legislature designated what was then called Florida State College an all-female institution of higher education. From 1905 to 1947, the Florida State College for Women became one of the most important and successful all-female colleges in the nation, and the hundreds of women that passed through campus helped establish a tradition of academic excellence that continues to this day. While a great deal has changed since the days of the Florida State College for Women, some things remain the same. Back then, women had fewer opportunities for their career paths and were often excluded from certain industries. Women were expected to be nurses and not doctors, assistants and not scientists, and teachers but not professors. The world is undoubtedly a better place with women holding all manner of titles; for instance, where would we be without scientists like Professor Sarah Gilbert, who was one of the key figures at Oxford in developing the COVID-19 vaccine? Yet there is still a disparity in hiring practices and opportunities for women. Stereotypes linger about the role women should play in society, and like so many social issues, problems are not solved quickly and the fight for equality is a long and arduous one. As a dean, I know the important work that our faculty, students and alumni do, regardless of gender, but this issue of The TORCH is dedicated to the women in our community. We’re fortunate to have some truly amazing women who call the FSU College of Education home, and their work and accomplishments make an indisputable case that anything “the guys” can do, they can do just as well, if not better. I hope you enjoy the issue and catching up on your classmates’ latest news. As always, we would love to hear from you. You can send us your good news and accomplishments at Best wishes for a successful year, and Go Noles!


Damon P. S. Andrew, PhD, FNAK, FNAKHE Dean and Professor College of Education Florida State University














The Female Tradition A History of FSU and the Florida State College for Women By Josh Duke


lorida State University is steeped in rich history and tradition, bringing together generations of students throughout the years. Whether it’s wearing garnet and gold colors, singing the school song, attending a football game or jumping into Legacy Fountain, everyone has a favorite tradition that recalls memories of FSU and defines at least to some degree what it means to be a part of the university. But the history of FSU extends back much further than some people realize. What is now recognized as one of the best universities in the country traces its history back to the 19th century, when the state legislature designated two sites of learning to be located to the west and east of the Suwannee River. Over the next few years, the school would undergo a number of changes, eventually becoming the Florida Military and Collegiate Institute, and then Florida State College following the Civil War. 1905 would mark a major turning point for the entire Florida educational system. Of the six state institutions of higher education that had popped up around Florida, the state legislature pared that number down to two: an all-male university which would be located in Gainesville and an all-female institution in Tallahassee. The latter became known as the Florida State College for Women (FSCW), and it was this institution that truly set the groundwork for modern-day FSU. WHO RUNS THE WORLD? For the next 42 years, the Florida State College for Women flourished, becoming the third-largest women’s institute in the United States at its height. During this time, many symbols and traditions emerged that still define FSU. For example, a version of the university seal appeared with the words “Vires, Artes, Mores” around the torches, but it also included the words “Femina Perfecta.” At FSCW, the “complete woman” was expected to embody the traits of vires (strength), artes (skill) and mores (character) represented by the torches in that seal. The Florida State College for Women seal


The legacy of FSCW even extends to the physical orientation and construction of campus. While FSU has undergone a number of renovations over the years, visitors to campus can still spot buildings that feature covered archways. These were originally intended to provide women cover from the weather as they went to the dining halls for meals. The Odds and Evens event also can trace its start to FSCW. What was one of the most exciting events of the school year, the Thanksgiving basketball game saw the “Odds”—post-graduates, juniors, and freshmen—compete against the “Evens”—seniors, sophomores, and “sub-freshmen.” The latter group created a team banner of green and gold with “SSS” emblazoned on it, while the Odds used red, white and purple. From these colors, FSU eventually got its garnet and gold school colors—garnet from a combination of red and purple from the Odds and gold from the Evens. The competition between the Odds and Evens was one of the biggest social activities of the year, but as much as the women enjoyed athletic competition, they also paid plenty of attention to their education. The Florida State College for Women focused on a true liberal arts education, which bucked the norm of women’s colleges in the South. While other all-female institutions largely focused on vocational training (by and large, teaching women to be teachers), FSCW offered women a well-rounded education, all for free tuition if they were state residents. HISTORY OF FEMALE EDUCATION The history of education for women in America is uneven at best. Robert Schwartz, professor of higher education at FSU, studies the history of higher education as well as issues concerning women and minorities in higher education. “Prior to the 1860s, more or less, women didn’t have access to college, to higher education,” he said. “At best, they would attend maybe finishing schools or institutions that taught them some specific skill set. The need for women to learn anything beyond elementary or maybe postsecondary education was not seen as significant.” After the Civil War, more opportunities arose, fueled in part by private entrepreneurs and religious groups. For instance, Matthew Vassar, who Schwartz likens to modern-day billionaires, used part of his fortunes from a successful brewing business to start Vassar College. “He believed that women should get an education, because they’re capable,” said Schwartz. “The question then became what were [women] going to do with this education, which was another issue down the road, but at least access to higher education in some form was available to some women.”

Eppes Hall, formerly known as the Education Building

As the country moved from an agrarian society to industrial products, demand increased for more skilled workers, but women by and large were still confined to traditional occupations, like nursing and teaching. “It wasn’t until much later in the 20th century that we really see women’s push for acceptance in other areas,” said Schwartz. As women began working other jobs, demand for women’s college increased. At the height, there were nearly 300 women’s colleges in the U.S. Today, there is a fraction of women’s colleges left. The decline started after World War II, when soldiers returning from Europe and the Pacific took advantage of the G.I. Bill, which offered college education to meet the increasing demands of skilled labor after the war. The 70s and 80s marked an even faster decline in women’s colleges, as more and more students decided they didn’t want to go to a single sex institution.

have for their students. “Their students meet or exceed those expectations, and I think part of it is that they place the focus on being there to succeed.” Historically speaking, opportunities typically come last to women, particularly women of minority groups. All-female institutions of higher education ensure that women can get the education they need by removing some of the bias towards male—and particularly white male—students. Case in point: despite the love for sport established at the Florida State College for Women, when the institution became coeducational after World War II, women were largely relegated to being cheerleaders rather than being players on the field. Even today, a greater emphasis is placed on men’s sports, despite FSU having more nationally ranked women’s teams, Schwartz points out.

LEGACY OF WOMEN’S COLLEGES Schwartz, who has a daughter that attended a women’s college, points out that a number of successful female role models are graduates of all-women institutions, including important activists like Gloria Steinem, Gloria Johnson-Powell; writers like Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood; and politicians like Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Elaine Chao, to name a few.

Schwartz also notes that the core liberal arts education that helped the Florida State College for Women also became sidelined after World War II, when the focus moved away from subjects like English, theater and teaching and towards science and mathematics. “The men came back [from World War II], and FSU hired a group of new male teachers,” which greatly skewed the gender disparity of faculty at FSU. “The whole culture of the institution changed dramatically.”

While coeducational institutions are the norm and are successful, Schwartz believes that women’s colleges are still as important as ever. Institutions like Spelman College, which Schwartz visits with his students, focus on providing education not only to women, but to African American women, and “their graduation rates are phenomenal,” Schwartz says. He believes that is in part because of the opportunities available there and the high expectations they

It’s been the better part of a century since men returned to Florida State University, and the future of FSU will undoubtedly see exceptional students, regardless of gender, uphold the values of vires, artes, and mores. While the years to come look bright for the university, it is important to remember the legacy and the importance of the Florida State College for Women. Without the success of the FSCW, Florida State might look like an incredibly different place. n


Kindling the Spark By Josh Duke

Lara Perez-Felkner has had a busy year.


n March, she became a member of the National Science Foundation’s Quantitative, Computational and Mixed Methods (QCM) Cohort. The prestigious cohort brings in experts from across the nation to help increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups like women and minorities in STEM and data science. Then, just two months later, she was named a Student Experience Research Network (SERN) 2021–2022 midcareer fellow. SERN began in 2015 to provide resources, education and more to enhance the student experience, as well as to identify and promote education policies that improve equity, opening up new opportunities for students. Both honors recognize the exceptional nature of Perez-Felkner’s career, but both mean she will be even busier in the months to come. “It has not been a quiet summer by any means,” she laughs. On top of her planned research projects, she now finds herself meeting with national colleagues each week in trainings, meetings and professional courses that teach her innovative methodologies in quantitative and mixed methods research. Such professional development will undoubtedly help her with her research going forward, but it also means that the summer will hardly be any respite from her busy school year. Yet speaking to Perez-Felkner, you wouldn’t get the sense that she’s tired. If anything, these accolades renew her energy in a career that already excites her. “Even though I’m human and I make mistakes, and there are always times that you can teach better and do more and be a better mentor, I remember there being a spark very early on,” she says. “I still have [that spark] with me on a daily basis. I want to be in a place where things happen—where you can be inspired by students and try to inspire them as well—and be in this place where ideas are a currency and are what’s energizing people for the possibility of making social


Lara Perez-Felkner

change, innovation and transformative ideas. I think being a part of a university, even if it was in a very idealized way when I was younger, is kind of magical and a really tremendously fulfilling job.” DESTINED TO BE A DOCTOR Perez-Felkner is an associate professor in FSU’s higher education program and has served as a co-chair of the Latinx Faculty and Staff Collective at FSU. She is also a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) iChange ASPIRE Alliance Team and a member of the President’s Taskforce for Diversity and Inclusion at FSU. Her research focuses on career and college outcomes for young people, particularly the various social contexts that shape their early professional lives. “There are tons of reasons why folks’ opportunity structures and the stability they have in adulthood—and the possibility to pass on stability and wealth and opportunity to their children—is there for people who go to and complete college. It just isn’t in the same way for people who don’t,” she says. “Once I realized I wanted to study education and the social sciences, I wanted to understand what

facilitates opportunity for students to be able to go to college, and a college that they’re likely to be able to graduate from and be successful in, and to be welcomed and successful in places where they traditionally have not been seen.” When she started her own college career, she thought she wanted to be a different type of doctor, and she began studying to be a medical doctor or a medical researcher. Partway through her college experience, she realized that the questions and research that excited her pulled her away from medicine and into the world of higher education. “There are a lot of places where you can have an impact on people’s lives,” she said. She discovered that researching access to college and the opportunities students have available to them was something that could make a huge difference, particularly as she watched the concept of the “traditional” college experience evolve. THE IMPORTANCE OF STEM A good portion of Perez-Felkner’s research relates to STEM, whether it’s access to careers or the experience studying STEM subjects in college. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of her education, she acts as a bridge between social sciences and hard sciences. “I feel like I do a lot of code switching in my life and have gotten comfortable with it, but I’m also comfortable and happy to be in that space and understand the kind of language differences between folks who are in the lab-based sciences and the way that they think about research and innovation and the ways that we think about that in other spaces, like higher education research.” Because of her passion for both STEM and social sciences, she takes great care to ensure that information does not get lost in translation, which is a frequent challenge of interdisciplinary work. “I make life fun by being interdisciplinary,” she says. She also studies STEM careers and education because she recognizes that these career paths can change lives, but also have unique roadblocks that have hindered certain populations. “Those are spaces that are very high-earning and really transformative for individuals and their families, but they’ve also been exclusionary in a lot of ways by race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status in particular, and sometimes the intersections of those identities.” She points out that opportunities in math and science can be difficult because “the kinds of opportunities or lack thereof compound over time. The STEM fields in some ways are a microcosm of all the challenges of all the things that happen in education, not just specifically in these fields.” For instance, some students have access to a particular type of math class during their K-12 experience or opportunities to learn programming, while other students might only gain access to these opportunities much later in life—if at all. She sees her work as possibly helping creating interventions “that can allow people get back on an on-ramp. More people exit than enter, but there are opportunities and interventions that allow people to enter these fields, so it doesn’t have to be a hard stop of ‘you didn’t take this algebra class in eighth grade so that opportunity is forever closed to you.’”

THE BIG PICTURE With the interdisciplinary nature of her work, Perez-Felkner has a unique vantage point to see how various factors influence one another. For example, as she is researching access to opportunities in STEM, she is also looking at basic needs and security among college students as part of her work with the Southern Scholarship Foundation. The fact that she is bridging these two research areas and running these two projects at the same time has allowed her to draw connections, sometimes even on an individual level. She mentions working with some students, “who are economically disadvantaged, who are low income and have a need for housing scholarships. Many of them are pursuing STEM careers because of high motivation to have more stable incomes for their families and to have a good return on their educational investment of time and family resources. They have very different schedules and needs, and sometimes hidden costs associated with labs.” For these students, even something like having a part-time job can be challenging, as the dynamic nature of part-time employment conflicts with the fixed schedule of research labs. But just as she can more easily spot challenges, she also identifies positive change in her areas of research. She has noticed that “there has been more of a centering of attention and investment on equity. Sometimes it’s happening at the department level, sometimes it’s happening in mentoring relationships.” After the disruption and stress caused by the pandemic and the renewed focus placed on equity and dismantling systemic racism, Perez-Felkner says that she’s been “energized by the kinds of conversations that have been highlighting and focusing on some things that have been bubbling up for a while.” More and more, she is hearing important dialogues on “ways to bring people up instead of just continuing the status quo.” Many of the problems she studies are institutional or deeply rooted in society and do not have easy solutions. Addressing these issues is a slow and difficult process, but she hopes that the topics and important conversations taking place—on opportunity, equity, racism—continue as we move forward. “I think there’s momentum that I hope we hold on to as we try to come back to normal, or the new normal,” she said. “There’s a lot that needed to happen in our reflections this past year, and it’s going to take continued work. My hope is that we keep engaging in that work because it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes continued investment.” If there is one thing for certain, it’s that Perez-Felkner is not afraid to do the important work—to offer a unique perspective, to create new ideas, to help bridge the gap between STEM and social sciences. While asking the big questions and diving into complicated matters is far from easy, doing so seems to invigorate her and strengthen her resolve that her research can really make a difference. After all, for people like Perez-Felkner who have found their spark, part of the joy in life is the labor of turning that spark into a flame. n THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE | 7

An Educational Identity The Intersection of Gender, Class and Islam By Josh Duke


hat is the purpose of education? It’s a question that has many answers depending on who you ask. In the United States and several other Western countries, we typically view education as a way to gain skills that will help with our future careers. Curricula in primary schools also help students become better citizens by teaching them about history, culture and government. Some countries even take their school system a step further; for example, in Germany, students attend what Americans would consider primary school until fourth grade, at which point they can go on to one of four different schools depending on their interests and academic performance. Some students pursue vocational training while some engage in rigorous coursework in preparation for higher education. But different cultures approach education from different perspectives. In fact, the whole concept of “being educated” looks very different depending on what part of the world you live in. It’s something that Ayesha Khurshid, associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, has spent much of her career examining. “I really want to understand how culture—these practices, norms—really shape our understanding of what being educated means, what value it holds, what it does or doesn’t do for us.” A DIFFERENT CLASSROOM During the course of her career, Khurshid has traveled the globe, investigating what children learn in different countries, and in particular looking at the way that gender and cultural norms shape students. Her own educational journey started in her native Pakistan. There, she earned her bachelor’s from Punjab University in economics and mathematics before earning her master’s in economics from Quaid-i-Azam University. Upon graduating, she went to a research institute where her supervisor conducted ethnographic research in Islamabad, Pakistan. “Most of my educational experience was more theoretical, because that’s how the education system is in Pakistan,”


Ayesha Khurshid

Khurshid explains. “But [my experience at the research institute] was the first time for me where I actually was part of a project where they developed the research design, actually collected data, and then we would analyze it. It just seemed so fascinating to me to go deeper into people’s experiences and learn about not only what is happening in their lives, but how they make sense of it.” At the research institute, Khurshid and the team observed a religious and caste minority community in Pakistan, and she became captivated with the idea of conducting ethnographic research. She became interested in “how the world can be seen from so many different perspectives, and those perspectives are very powerful in shaping who we are and what we think is possible for us and opportunities that we can access or not.” LEARNING AND IDENTITY With her background in economics, it is no surprise that Khurshid frequently explores interdisciplinary topics, but her primary focus is on the way that international

education affects citizenship in different settings. More often than not, she travels to rural areas to observe how gender, class and Islam intersect to form identities for female teachers and students. Her most recent project has her and doctoral candidate Melba Marin-Velasquez examining a small Mayan community in Chiapas, Mexico that has converted to Islam. One of the women she interviewed sent her two daughters, aged 15 and 16, to Turkey to receive Islamic education. It’s this multilayered, multicultural intersection that fascinates Khurshid the most; here is a community, which traces its roots to pre-colonial times and the original indigenous population of Mexico, that has now converted to a new religion and works with a country half the world away to provide education for some of their children. “I’m interested in looking at how their cultural norms, indigenous heritage and this kind of new system of belief, which is Islam—how they combine them to make sense of who they are,” Khurshid says. Education shapes the identities of these students, but students also seek education for different reasons, Khurshid discovered. In a previous research project, she interviewed women in rural Pakistan. While many of the women were interested in better jobs and employment outcomes, “they articulated very eloquently that the reason that they want to get an education is to build their character, to become better people.” “It’s so interesting that these are the women who really need these jobs, who really need the wages that they’re receiving from these jobs; in some cases, it is an issue of survival,” Khurshid continues. “Still, when I spoke to them and asked them, ‘What does being educated mean to you?’ they would say, ‘Well, it means that I can be a better person. I can be a better Muslim. I can understand how to build good relationships with my family, with my children, with my in-laws, with my community.’” This might seem somewhat unusual to American readers. As Khurshid points out, American school systems place a large emphasis on economic outcomes. “Even when we are thinking of issues of social justice and equity, it is about making it equal in terms of economic resources and job applications,” she says. Students in Pakistan also think about education differently because of the history of their country. For decades, the British Empire ruled over Pakistan, the effects of which can be felt to this day. “English has a particular status in Pakistan,” Khurshid explains. “It

reflects certain social status and certain cultural knowledge.” Because of this, education focused as much on teaching English as it did on content knowledge or critical thinking skills. Khurshid has observed a shift in some classrooms away from this mindset, where they treated English as simply a language. This helps increase accessibility to quality education, while at the same time works towards dismantling the hierarchical system of education in Pakistan which privileged English-based instruction. EDUCATION TRANSFORMATION Whether going to school to gain access to better jobs or to become better people, the role of education around the world is undeniably transformational, and as more and more women become educated, new doors open— sometimes literally. Being able to read and write means that women gain more independence, and women in Khurshid’s study reported about how exciting it was to be able to travel to the city on their own, thanks to understanding things like public transportation schedules. Being able to read and write gives them “the sense of confidence that they are able to negotiate, make their way and do what they want to do.” Receiving an education can even change the way that people look, at least according to Khurshid’s participants. One of her favorite memories involved interviewing some of the students in Pakistan who were elaborating on how wonderful educated people were. When she asked them what they meant—how they could even tell who was educated and who wasn’t—they said, “educated people look different. And they kept repeating it. I would ask them how they look different, and they would say that they dress up differently, speak differently.” It was at that moment that Khurshid really understood that “education was a way of being rather than the ability to get a job. It was something that reflected in people’s mannerisms and their opinion in the way they spoke, in the way they dressed up. Education was a mark of distinction, and that distinction was something that they carried in their day-to-day lives.” Education does not solve all problems. Khurshid points out that despite gaining an education, many of these women still have to go home and perform the same domestic responsibilities that non-educated women do. But for many of these women, education is inextricably linked to their identity and is more than just a means to economic freedom; education is the reward in itself. n



amara Bertrand Jones (higher education M.S. ’00, program evaluation ’06) has been interested in the experiences of underrepresented populations—particularly Black women—in academia since her days as a graduate student at Florida State. “My experience as a graduate student, particularly as a doctoral student, was very meaningful,” said Bertrand Jones. “I was a part of a great supportive network of other black women who were pursuing graduate education, and they were my role models.” This group of women encouraged Bertrand Jones to pursue doctoral studies, and out of their relationships grew Sisters of the Academy (SOTA), of which Bertrand Jones is a founding member. SOTA is an educational network of Black women in higher education that fosters success in teaching, scholarly inquiry and service to the community. They also facilitate professional development and collaborative scholarship among Black women in higher education. “[SOTA] was definitely a core part of the motivation for my research, but it was also our relationships, the support that we were able to provide for each other,” said Bertrand Jones. “We were able to not just support each other emotionally, but also academically in terms of being able to be critical partners of our ideas and research.” This idea of “critical partners” was demonstrated when Bertrand Jones was preparing for her doctoral proposal and shared what she had written with two of her sister scholars. “They read it, and they said, ‘No, this is not good enough.’ It was a couple of weeks before my proposal presentation, and they tore it up!

Photo by Cheryl Skinner Rischer

Our Lived Experiences Black Women in Academia By Jennie Kroeger


“They really challenged me. I had to rewrite my proposal in a week, because I needed to submit it to the committee. It was one of the most stressful things that I’ve ever done, but it was so impactful because it was my friends who were challenging me, who were supporting me and who were very clear about what the standard was and how they could help me meet that standard.” This experience became the foundation for how Bertrand Jones thinks about peer relationships, mentoring and the development of scholarly identity. The relationship with her network, the formation of SOTA, and her own experiences being a Black woman in the academy led Bertrand Jones to study this area in a more systematic way. “I realized some things were happening that were not just my experience. I think sometimes as women, we have that feeling of, ‘Is this just me?’ And then you talk to other women and find

out it’s not just you,” she said. “That validation has been very impactful because it’s not just a personal individual experience. It’s this collective experience that signals to others that there’s something deeper here. There’s something systematic that might be happening that we need to examine.” Bertrand Jones returned to Florida State in 2010 to further pursue this line of research as an associate professor of higher education, but the road to this research didn’t start smoothly. “When I was a new scholar, someone told me that my research on Black women was kind of navel gazing. He was downplaying the need to study myself, that it’s not important in the academy. So I thought, ‘Maybe I should focus on all women or women of color more broadly, and so I shouldn’t do this work.’ I tried to, but it didn’t feel genuine to me, because that’s really not what I was interested in.” A conversation with Carolyn Herrington, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, became a pivotal moment in Bertrand Jones’ career. They set up a meeting to talk through feedback and what Bertrand Jones should be doing to prepare for tenure and promotion. “[Herrington] read my statement that I had submitted to the tenure and promotion committee and said, ‘Your work is about Black women, right?’ I said, yes, and she said, ‘Well, that’s not what you said in this statement. You talked about your work being about all students, and that’s not who you are. That’s not what your work does. Own your work, because that’s the contribution that you’re making. Your perspective on this work is needed, and I need you to feel comfortable and confident in it.’” From that point on, Bertrand Jones took that to heart. “She affirmed me. My work is about underrepresentation; it’s about equity and diversity and inclusion, and I have a particular focus on Black women. That doesn’t mean that I cannot speak to different types of underrepresentation or oppression, but this is my focus. And so, doing that was very freeing. I’m grateful to her for having that conversation with me to help me to be okay with doing the work that I wanted to do.” For Bertrand Jones, that experience has not only contributed to her own development as a scholar but has also led her to encourage her students to do the same. “I want them to be able to articulate why they have an interest in these topics and their personal experiences,” she said. “That’s what research is; it’s about how we view our world around us that generates these questions that we then go to explore and being unapologetic in that.” Bertrand Jones often talks to her students about debunking the myth of unbiased research. “All of our research comes from our personal experiences, whether it’s questions that we’ve had from observations that we made of our environments or

questions that have come up from something that we’ve read in our personal experiences. It’s all biased in that way; it comes from individual people who’ve come up with these questions and so they’ve designed these pathways to understand them.” The next research pathway Bertrand Jones plans to head down is related to mindfulness and contemplative practices. As work and home are starting to blur even more with the COVID-19 pandemic, she believes it’s even more important now for individuals to ensure they are developing themselves as a complete person—physically, mentally and spiritually. The idea for this research was sparked by the work of a former doctoral student of hers, Estée Hernandez (higher education Ph.D. ‘19). Hernandez was doing research on women and their scholarly identity development, and she came across the story of Coyolxauhqui, the goddess of the moon who was dismembered by her brother according to Aztec mythology. This idea of the female being in parts and pieces resonated with Bertrand Jones. “[Before the pandemic] it was very easy to separate ‘home Tamara’ and ‘work Tamara,’ and never the two shall meet. And especially as a woman and a Black woman, that’s largely how I’ve lived my life. Many women in academia feel that we’re in these parts and pieces and not fully whole. I can’t be all ‘home Tamara’ in this space. I don’t want to fully show up here because that might be too much or offensive or someone may not like it. So, we put up these boundaries and we create these separations, these parts and pieces of ourselves.” The mindfulness research has helped Bertrand Jones think about how women can bring their full selves to the academy rather than split themselves into these parts and pieces. “I’ve learned that it’s not just the individual work that we need to do, but the systemic and the institutional work to address the notion that we have to separate these parts of ourselves.” This summer, Bertrand Jones was able to incorporate some mindfulness activities during the virtual SOTA research boot camps with daily affirmations and meditation as well as physical movement each day. “The women acknowledged the fact that this professional development was holistic and spoke to all of the parts of themselves that typical professional development doesn’t,” she said. Bertrand Jones is excited about the direction her work is heading. “I want to talk about how women can be fully embodied, how they can bring their full selves to these spaces and not be bound by sexism, racism, ableism or any other types of oppression that we experience on a daily basis. I want to know how we can transform the systems that we are working within as fully embodied women so that other women who are coming behind us don’t feel that they have to be disembodied in order to engage in this work. That, to me, is femina perfecta.” n



The Legacies of Janet Wells and Billie Jones By Kevin Derryberry


n early 2021, the Florida State University community lost two legendary figures in FSU athletics and physical education within a month of one another. Billie Jones passed at 93 in early February, followed by Jan Wells in early March at the age of 99. Both women left legacies at FSU measured in the students they taught, the friendships they forged and the institutions that they helped to build. In the College of Education, the Janet Wells & Billie Jones Endowed Scholarship Fund in Pedagogy was established in 1999 by Wells, Jones and many of those whose lives they touched at Florida State University to support young women in their educational careers to become teachers and coaches. Twenty-four College of Education students have received this scholarship to date and continue to honor Wells and Jones’ tradition of excellence in teaching and coaching.

Dr. L. Janet Wells Celebration of Life

First established in the physical education program, the scholarship was opened to students in the School of Teacher Education and the FSU COACH program in 2019 when Wells and Jones agreed to provide scholarship access to young people who wish to pursue careers in women’s athletic coaching. To better appreciate the legacy that both Wells and Jones left at FSU, we invite all to watch the memorial programs created by their friends and former colleagues:


Dr. Billie Jo Jones Memorial Service

Dr. L. Janet Wells

JANET WELLS In the history of Florida State University, there have been a handful of key figures who have helped to shape the culture and community of our great university. Those faculty and administrators whose personality and charisma played as vital a role in building the FSU family as the coursework they covered. Such is the reputation of Wells, one of the great matriarchs of the FSU community. Her former student and friend, Rev. Barbara Harris, shares a quote that hung in Wells and Jones’ home: “Everyone needs family, whether it is the one you are born into or the one you create.” Through her personality and leadership, Wells created a family of former students, colleagues, friends and fans of Florida State University who would influence the way we think about who we are. Wells was a leader from the start. In Flastacowo, her 1942 Florida State College for Women (FSCW) yearbook, Wells was described as the “dark girl with the jet black hair and know-it-all look who was confident, sober and conscientious.” Alicia Crew (physical education B.S. ’69), former FSU campus recreation director, recounts the story of a young Wells maintaining order on FSCW’s campus as a hurricane approached during her senior year. “The campus gates were closed, classes were canceled, and Jan assumed the responsibility of ensuring the evacuation of campus,” she said. “They were to maintain a campus lockdown, but a car pulled up to the gate that night in the rain, so Jan went out to meet the vehicle. She said, ‘I’m sorry sir, campus is closed, thank you for coming and goodbye.’ It turns out the occupant of the vehicle arriving on campus was none other than the newly appointed president of FSCW, Doak Campbell, but Jan did her duty and sent him away.

Wells never backed down when she knew what she was doing was right. After graduation, she enlisted in the Navy WAVES where she served for two years during World War II. She returned to Florida and earned her M.S. at the University of Florida and her Ph.D. at Michigan State University before returning home to FSU to join the faculty. Gilles Neron (physical education M.S. ’72) described her as a tough person, “a strong leader and a demanding and exacting teacher, but she was also fair and just and wanted you to succeed in your studies. She never held back a good laugh [and] cared about others, and you could always count on her availability and her support.” Over the next 30 years, many more physical education graduate students like Neron would become lifelong friends and colleagues. Sandra Schultz, who worked for Wells as a graduate assistant, describes her as “the Mount Everest of integrity. Always thoughtful and wise, she could be relied upon to give students good and appropriate advice. [She] was the main reason my choice of Florida state was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” But Wells was not just a reliable professor, she was also a champion of women’s athletics at FSU. Barbara Palmer, women’s athletic director from 1977 to 1985, recalls that Wells served on the committee that hired her, and that her first question was, “How are you going to raise the money?” Wells understood that in order to give women’s athletics an opportunity to succeed, they were going to need champions. “Jan and Billie would call constantly to share that the press was not covering women’s games,” said Palmer. Wells and Jones worked with Palmer and Seminole Boosters to raise funds to support women’s athletics. Palmer remembers Wells’ encouragement: “No matter what you do in life, autograph your work with excellence.”


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Wells retired from the College of Education as chair of the Department of Physical Education, but that did not slow her down. In retirement, she continued to lead as not only a mentor and active member of the Emeritus Alumni Association and Retired Faculty Committee, but also as a philanthropist and supporter of education and women’s athletics at FSU.

her teams made appearances in the AIWA National Championship Tournament from 1973-1975.


Working with Wells and the Seminole Boosters, Jones helped create the “Femina Perfecta” recognition for women athletes in each women’s sport to recognize individual excellence in life skills and athletics.

In the memorial of her life, Harris remarked of Jones that, “The reach of her love was wide from the institutional to the personal.” At FSU, Jones forged hundreds of personal relationships with athletes, students, fellow coaches and friends in the community, but the evidence of her love for Florida State University cannot be understated. “[Jones] was the architect behind the vision for FSU women’s athletics,” said Vanessa Fuchs, senior associate athletics director at FSU. “She was here in the earliest days advocating that our women’s athletics programs received equitable treatment and resources.” Jones first came to FSU as a doctoral student in physical education and began coaching the women’s volleyball and softball teams while working as a graduate assistant. After earning her Ph.D. in 1972, Jones joined the College of Education faculty. Jones served as head coach of FSU’s Women’s Varsity Softball team from 1971 – 1974 and the Women’s Varsity Volleyball team from 1972 – 1976. In those days, there was an absence of resources available in women’s athletics. “Our softball team would have to tape numbers to their shirts,” said Fuchs. But despite the limited resources, Jones would lead her 1971 softball team to win the state championship. She also posted an impressive 107-22 record in volleyball where


Seminole Booster Vice President Joel Padgett remembers working with Jones. “Billie had worked tirelessly for decades to provide resources for women’s athletics at Florida State,” he said. “She understood that women’s athletics was going to need private gifts.”

In 2005 as a response to the “Femina Perfecta” award, the Jones and Wells Legacy celebration weekend brought over 100 former student athletes and friends back to campus to honor them. They raised $350,000 to endow a new athletic scholarship named “Femina Perfecta” and signaled a change in giving in support of women’s athletics. In the memorial of her life, Jones’ niece, Pat, shares Jones’ own words from a letter she had written to her: “I have a small chamber in my heart where I share what life means to me. Although I do not store everything I do, I store the love, the laughter, the family and the friends. I don’t store any grudges, hates, bitter happenings or what could have been . . . when we lose one of our loved ones it is like a bottomless pit that can never be filled, but one that can be visited on occasion.” With the passing of Jones and Wells, FSU has lost two of our most distinguished alumnae, emerita faculty members, supporters and champions for women in both in athletics and who wish to pursue careers teaching and coaching women athletes. Though their physical presence is gone, their legacies live on in the hearts of their friends, family and Florida State. n

Student Spotlight:

JESSIE COBBLE Program Sport Management M.S. Sport Management B.S. ‘20 Hometown Destin, Florida

Jessie Cobble is a master’s student in FSU’s sport management program. She currently works as an administrative assistant intern for FSU Football. Throughout her time at FSU, Cobble has had a chance to experience the sport industry firsthand. As a sport management student, she’s interned both at Florida State and at various sporting events around the country, including the past three Super Bowls and the 2020 national championship game. These experiences have provided invaluable learning opportunities, a chance to network and a taste of what the industry is like. As an undergraduate, Cobble served as the executive board president of the Sport Management Student Association (SMSA). She organized numerous networking trips in which SMSA students toured venues and met with executives from multiple professional sport organizations. She also organized community service projects for SMSA, including volunteering for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer and recruiting Special Olympics Unified partners. When did you first discover your passion for sports? Sports were a huge part of my life growing up. I was raised watching sports every night with my dad. He was my soccer coach from ages 4 – 12 and taught me how sports can contribute to your success in life both physically and mentally. My passion for sports and the desire to work in this field grew when I attended a Kansas basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse my senior year of high school. I grew up a Kansas Jayhawks fan because my dad, uncles and cousin all played football for them. The game was a Christmas present for me since KU basketball tickets are hard

to come by. I still remember the exhilarating atmosphere and the noise of the crowd. During the game, I realized I wanted to be behind the scenes and be a part of creating that excitement. During the next seven months leading to my arrival at FSU, every sporting event I watched on TV, I thought of what it would be like to be a part of the process and help make these events take place. I not only love playing and watching sports, but I am devoted to a profession that brings a smile and a feeling of camaraderie and excitement to so many every day. From athlete recruitment, to ticket sales, to event management, you’ve had lots of experience in the sport industry. What has been your favorite experience thus far? I’ve had so many memorable experiences, thanks to FSU. One that stands out was the opportunity to work at the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans. The Department of Sport Management selected eight students to intern for five days with Etzel Agency. We worked at the Championship Tailgate where we did everything from putting banners (also called “scrim”) on every piece of fencing and barricade and created activations for sponsoring companies such as Capital One, Dos Equis and Taco Bell. We also broke down the entire event following its closure at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the National Championship. This event gave me a real behind-the-scenes look at just how important even the small details were in order for the event run smoothly. The Championship Tailgate reported over 20,000 visitors coming to participate in the activities from many tailgate sponsors, such as Dr. Pepper, who gave guests a new product to taste. This event changed my perspective on the magnitude of tasks involved,


and I participated in an integral role in the management of the event. The knowledge I gained from the hands-on work and behind-the-scenes tasks was invaluable. The five days working at the National Championship was an unforgettable experience and has changed my perspective of the work and team involvement needed to produce a successful event! Tell us about your volunteer experience. What impact has volunteering had on you? During my five years at FSU, I wanted to volunteer as much I could so that I could see different aspects of the industry and learn from professionals. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to have many different experiences and try new things in the field. Volunteering has given me an expanded network, increased my knowledge in the sport field and improved my performance skills. Thankfully, I joined the Sport Management Student Association (SMSA) my first week of freshman year. SMSA has provided me with numerous opportunities to meet professionals in the field as well as other students in the program. Through SMSA, I have had the incredible opportunity of volunteering at the past three Super Bowls! I owe a lot to volunteering because it is through these experiences that I learned what I want to do as a career. There were many different responsibilities I was given while volunteering, which helped me determine that I want to work within event management and operations.

I applied to two universities: FSU and the University of Kansas (KU). Growing up a KU fan, I thought all my life that I would follow in my family’s footsteps. Around 2010, my dad began to adopt FSU football as our home state team and we went to a few games. I loved the beautiful campus and knew it was my school when I learned FSU has the no. 1 sport management program in the nation!

want to be treated.” This is my family’s golden rule and I follow it every day. The way someone treats you is a reflection of how they feel about themselves. This is an important piece of advice to follow, especially when volunteering or working with thousands of individuals in a day at events like the Super Bowl, because you never know what someone could be going through. I am known to always have a big smile on my face and treat everyone with genuine kindness. This rule truly follows me everywhere and applies to everyday life with friends, family and in the workplace.

What’s been your favorite class so far and why?

What are your plans for after graduation?

My favorite class was Global Sport Management. I took this class in London during a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study abroad in the summer of 2018. Our two professors, Katie Flanagan and Joshua Newman, had an engaging teaching style that allowed us to learn while traveling around the city. This study abroad experience examined the relationship between local sport cultures and the globalizing forces shaping our contemporary sporting existence.

I am fortunate to be receiving two prestigious degrees from FSU in sport management. I am focused on both event management and operations within a sport organization, and I’m currently applying for these positions with a goal to have a job secured prior to graduation. I also plan to pursue more leadership roles to assist in the advancement of my field. I’m ready and excited for the next chapter in my life and to join the sport workforce team!

As well as experiencing the sport and history and culture of London, we were able to travel to other nearby countries. The biggest benefit of studying abroad was the chance to become immersed in totally different environments. I loved learning about global sport and being able to attend events such as Wimbledon and The Open in Scotland, after our lecture on these events the previous day. My study abroad month in London was one of the best experiences of my life; it gave me a new perspective on sports in the United States and globally.

Anything else you’d like to add?

What made you choose FSU for your degrees?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I have ever received is to “treat others how you


My time at FSU has been more than I dreamed it could be. My professors, classes, internships, intramural sports, sorority life, SMSA and the people I have met along the way have contributed to an enriching experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have created lifelong friendships and learned so much in a field that is not work to me, but a path to create the excitement and worthiness of sports to every generation, just like my dad did for me. I would advise everyone to get involved on campus and try numerous activities. Florida State is an exceptional university with so much to offer their students and I am grateful that FSU will always be a part of my life. n

Student Spotlight:

KATE COHEN Program Sport Psychology Ph.D. Hometown Jackson, New Jersey

Kate Cohen, a doctoral student in FSU’s sport psychology program, is also a nationally ranked powerlifter. Currently ranked 14th in the nation in the 47kg weight class, she held an American record for deadlift, squat and bench as a junior and collegiate lifter. She also holds New Jersey and Virginia state records for powerlifting. Cohen is currently a teaching assistant in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems where she teaches the undergraduate Introduction to Sport Psychology class. She earned two bachelor’s degrees (exercise science and health and physical education) and a master’s degree in health promotion from the University of Delaware. How did you get into powerlifting? I played sports growing up and was a competitive soccer player. During a game, I tore my ACL and had to begin physical therapy. During this time, my physical therapist took me under his wing. The first time I ever touched a barbell and learned how to squat, bench and deadlift was with him, towards the end of my knee rehab. After nine months of physical therapy (and learning all about powerlifting), I was cleared to go back to playing soccer. Two weeks later, I tore my other ACL. After another seven months of physical therapy and continuing to work on “The Big Three” lifts, I realized at 15 years old, “Hey, I’m good at this!” and have stuck with it ever since. I’ve been competing in powerlifting for the past 12 years. It’s my therapy to be in the gym and lifting weights. My fiancé is a gym owner and a coach. Over the past four years, he has helped me to become an even more knowledgeable and stronger lifter. I enjoy leading this active and healthy lifestyle, and I love competing. And truthfully, it is all I have ever known. Our bodies and minds are adaptation machines, so why not test their limits a bit?

What got you interested in sport psychology? I have always been interested in all aspects of athletics—nutrition, the education side of it—but I had a growing interest in learning more about what makes one person drive themselves more than another person. That’s kind of what started the road to sport psychology. There’s a mental toughness component I really love, and I’ve always thrived in that area, just pushing myself. I wanted to conduct research in that area, so with my master’s thesis I focused on that. I was the only girl on the boys’ wrestling team and in my high school, and there was a lot of chatter about a girl being on the team. This only allowed me to focus and stick to what I wanted to do. I was determined to keep coming back every single day and to compete with these guys who were next to me. It was about proving to myself

Photo courtesy of Win Everything Media


well as far as personality, which is so important. I love the faculty, and they were doing research that was similar to what I was interested in. I also just felt comfortable. I came and visited from New Jersey; I flew out on a whim. Everyone just made me like feel right at home. I got along with all the master’s students, and the Ph.D. students were so welcoming. I just thought, “This is the place.” And of course, it’s sunny Florida! Florida State University has a great reputation and I think that’s what ultimately made me choose to come here. I was accepted to another institution at the same time, but Florida State University was really what I was leaning towards, with the people, program reputation and all they had to offer. Tell us about your research. I am very interested in athletes who retire from their sport and experience grief-like symptoms. If it’s a professional or elite-level athlete, it’s almost worse, because there’s so much invested into their sport. Once their sport is no longer there, they kind of have to cope with it; they have to find something outside of their sport that’s going to help them function and give them something to look forward to rather than being on the field.

Photo courtesy of 9for9 Media

that I could do it, too, and do just as well as the rest of them. I think that’s kind of what drew me more to it. It’s not just about the physical aspects, but the mental aspects, too. It’s such a big part of sport. You recently competed at the USA Powerlifting National Championships. Tell us about that experience. After prepping for that meet for about 20 weeks, I tweaked my rib during training the week before the competition. I’ve been to past nationals, but this was really the first time that I was on a consistent program and not working off intuition. The program was doing wonders for me, and my numbers were higher than they’d ever been. Despite the injury, I flew out to Daytona so I could at least say I gave it my all, rather than withdraw from the competition beforehand. I would have regretted doing that. For the competition, there’s three squat attempts, three bench attempts, then three deadlift attempts. During my second squat attempt, my rib was completely shot, but I somehow managed to secure the lift. After that, the pain was just excruciating. I tried the bench position, but that was it. It was at that moment I realized I had to withdraw from the competition. It was disappointing, but at the same time, coming from the field of sport psychology, I do realize there’s going to be setbacks, there’s going to be injuries; it comes with the territory. It was unfortunate timing, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t all lost. There were a lot of huge milestones that I was able to celebrate and a lot of exciting personal records I accomplished throughout my training. It is important to me that I live in the positives and embrace them. That is what helps me to keep pushing forward when the immediate outcome is a difficult one. Why did you choose FSU for your degree? I really liked the applied aspects of the program at FSU. I think I meshed 18 | THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE

We often see that they are experiencing grief-like symptoms, such as depression. They might deny that their sport is missing or something along those lines. We could prepare the athletes ahead of time through things like career exploration and finding other hobbies so that they don’t feel so lost when they retire. When they no longer have their sport, they may be losing their social network as well. For example, they may no longer have their teammates and coaches to confide in and lean on, so this can further contribute to the psychological difficulties that are experienced with their sport termination. Through my research, I want to see if I could compare these symptoms to something like Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I know that there are frameworks I can use to work with these athletes if they’re experiencing the loss of a loved one, for instance. So, if the data demonstrates similarities between losing a loved one and the termination of one’s sport, then professionals could help these athletes when they do retire from their sport by working through a comparable framework, essentially. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? One of them is from my mom who said, “Take it to the wall.” It’s a unique expression, but essentially it means if you’re going to be involved in something, give it your best. I heard that throughout my whole life from her and I take it to heart. Another is one I heard from a friend a long time ago and I never forgot it: success is not by accident. For people who are successful, sometimes opportunities are handed to them, but what you do with that opportunity is so important. You could have the whole entire world in your hand, but if you don’t make the most of it, then what good is that? What are your plans for after graduation? After graduation, I want to continue with my research and find a faculty position at a university. I love teaching and have always gravitated towards it; I was a full-time health and PE teacher for two years. I know I want to work with college students, and my first priority is to give back. I am lucky that I’ve had so many great mentors in my life, including my coaches, teachers, professors, and my family. My greatest hope is to be seen as this same type of mentor through my students’ eyes just as all these individuals have made their mark in my own life. n

Student Spotlight:

NICOLE GARCIA Program Elementary Education B.S./M.S. Hometown Naples, Florida

Nicole Garcia is a student in the combined B.S./M.S. pathway in elementary education. As an undergraduate, she was involved with Florida State’s Honors Program as well as the Catholic Student Union. She routinely volunteers with local elementary schools as a way to give back to the Tallahassee community and gain more experience in the classroom. She currently serves on the College of Education’s Student Leadership Council where members provide for the mutual exchange of ideas and open dialogue between undergraduate and graduate students and the college administration. This past year, she helped facilitate the annual school supply drive that benefits a local school. Rather than conducting it in its typical brick and mortar style, the council was able to adapt and send out an Amazon Wishlist so that members of the College of Education could purchase items that would ship directly to the school. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Garcia credits her parents for instilling in her the value of education and for encouraging her to follow her passion. What made you want to become a teacher? Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to become an elementary school teacher. Growing up, the classroom was always a place where I thrived. My teachers were always my biggest supporters and encouragers; they made me feel seen and known. In my future profession as a teacher, I desire

to create an environment in which my students can flourish just as I did. Another factor behind why I’d like to teach is that I believe education offers students the opportunity to pursue what they are passionate about so that they can rise above their circumstances. What made you choose FSU? Growing up in a tight-knit Cuban family, I always knew that I wanted to stay in state for college. However, I had no clue what school I wanted to attend. Senior year, I decided to apply to several Florida universities in hopes of finding the one that was the best fit. Specifically, when I applied to Florida State, I had no clue that I would end up attending school here. Nevertheless, once I received my acceptance, I figured that I might as well tour the school and learn a bit more about it. Prior to the tour, I remember researching the university and slowly becoming more and more intrigued by it. As soon as I stepped foot on Landis Green, I had a feeling inside that this would be the school that I would attend. Once I toured, not only did I learn more about the various opportunities for growth that the school would provide me with, but I also encountered an atmosphere that I loved. I also specifically remember being told that regardless of who I was, I would be able to find a home at Florida State. The rest is history. I have no doubt in my mind that this was the right school for me and am so grateful for the home that I have at Florida State.


As a teacher education student, you’ve had experience in real classrooms from your very first semester. Tell us about a particularly memorable experience you’ve had so far. When working with my students, I like to encourage them to be dreamers. I am usually very quick to ask students what they want to be when they grow up. I do this not with the intention of putting pressure on my students, but rather so that I can encourage my students and remind them that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. During my practicum experience in the spring of 2020, I remember asking a student about their hobbies and interests. Eventually, I asked them my go-to question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The student responded that they would likely just work on a farm when they were older because that is what their parents did. I responded by asking whether that was what they actually wanted to do. The student informed me that no, they would prefer a different career but that nobody in their family had ever attended college and that acquiring a college education was simply not in their cards. My heart broke in that moment. I found it so sad that this student thought they couldn’t pursue their dreams because they didn’t think college was within reach for them. I told that student about my background, about how my parents were Cuban immigrants. I then told them that just because my parents couldn’t pursue college educations didn’t mean that I couldn’t. My dream was to become a teacher and growing up, I worked hard in school to be able to attend college. I told that student that this was possible for them too. I let them know that they had what it took. I began to notice a change in that student; they started putting in an effort like no other into their schoolwork. I complemented them on this, and they responded to me that they were putting in the work necessary to pursue their dream of going to college one day. I hope that they are able to accomplish that and more! Moments like that make a career in education all the more worthwhile. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? By far, the best advice I have ever received is to be kind always. You never know what someone else might be going through. This is why I strive to lead with kindness and compassion. Treating people with kindness has the power to make a small, positive impact on others and might even turn their day around. I especially try to keep this advice in mind when I’m in the classroom and working with other teachers and my students. Cultivating a classroom environment in which kindness overflows allows for all to feel respected so that students can excel in school. What are your plans for after graduation? After graduation, I’d like to become an elementary school teacher and teach first grade. After a few years of teaching, I could see myself returning to graduate school to perhaps


study school psychology or educational leadership. However, after graduation, my main goal is simply to focus on establishing myself as a teacher and giving my all to my profession. I am so looking forward to teaching! What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a teacher? Teaching is a worthwhile and rewarding profession. If you’re considering becoming a teacher, be wary of who you go to for advice on the matter. The majority of people you encounter will tell you to steer clear of the profession. They might tell you about the negative aspects of teaching, discourage you from the profession, or even worse, tell you that you are capable of being something “better.” I have encountered this time and time again. If teaching is something you truly feel called to, don’t let anybody discourage you from it. We desperately need intelligent and passionate teachers. Listen to your own desires and spend time volunteering at schools to confirm whether teaching is something that you could really see yourself doing. n

Student Spotlight:

INIKA WILLIAMS Program Educational Leadership & Policy Ed.D. Career Counseling M.S./Ed.S. ’14 Hometown Brooklyn, New York

Inika Williams currently serves as the director of pre-collegiate programs and assistant director for the Center for Academic Retention & Enhancement (CARE) at Florida State University. Prior to her current role, she advocated for K-12 student success through positions as a school counselor, ESE district team leader, classroom teacher and a youth counselor for international programs in Germany and Japan. Williams graduated from Florida A&M University with a B.S. in education and earned an M.S. and Ed.S. in career counseling from Florida State University, where she worked as a career advisor and instructor. As a student in the educational leadership and policy doctoral program at Florida State, she researches social justice and democracy in education for marginalized students. Her goal is to improve educational opportunities for marginalized student populations to support entry and completion of higher education. What made you first decide to go into education? My calling for public service as an educator started when I was given an opportunity to intern with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Child Youth Services as an undergraduate student. I essentially was a camp counselor to military children living overseas; I spent 24 weeks over two years in Japan, Germany and Hawaii. I found Fridays to be bittersweet, because like my co-workers, I was excited to be traveling cross-country as a tourist, but at the same

time, I was looking forward to working with the children again come Monday morning. After this experience, I solidified my decision to continue with my pursuit in the field of education. To this day, my life continues to reflect the quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work another day in your life.” From K-12, to international, to postsecondary, you’ve had an incredible journey in the field of education so far. How have your previous positions prepared you for/led you to what you’re doing now? I’ve touched a little of everything in education—from teaching to career and college advising to working with students with disabilities and now higher education administration. While I’ve engaged with some of the most caring and skilled teachers, I have observed how systemic and structural barriers have and can impede on the success of students. I’m now in a position that empowers me to make decisions and leverage financial resources in school communities to combat socioeconomic issues. The students enrolled in our pre-college programs have a 100% graduation rate, and this past year, 100% of our graduating seniors will enroll in a college, university or trade school this fall. Describe a memorable moment you’ve had in your career. Despite the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve had an incredible year. I had my first research study published and


that focuses on the success of traditionally marginalized groups who are thriving and successful in secondary school and college. My dissertation will explore ways in which culturally relevant practices and critical mentoring in a pre-college program contribute to the success of first-generation college students. What are some of the biggest challenges facing marginalized students today? Students of color and their communities have traditionally been posed from a deficit model—meaning that in order for them to be successful, they would need to take on identities and values from the greater society. There is an ideological shift that’s happening in education that encourages educators to engage in practices that affirm and help sustain students’ culture and community. What made you choose FSU for your graduate degrees?

secured three major grants to provide early college access services for 250 local students. I was also presented with the Faculty & Staff Seminole Award by the FSU Division of Student Affairs for my service to FSU students. I often get asked how I manage it all along with a full-time course load this spring, but the work that I do excites me and keeps me going! Tell us about your research. I genuinely believe all students, regardless of their circumstance, possess the skills and tools to be successful in school from early education through graduate school. I witness this through the success of the students enrolled in the FSU’s Upward Bound and College Reach-Out Program, but also through the work of other pre-college (TRIO) programs across the nation. Thus, my work contributes to the growing body of asset-based research


I found community at Florida State University. From my interactions with faculty to my engagement with my colleagues across campus, I’ve always felt supported, valued and heard on campus. During my master’s program, my professors were invested in my personal and professional growth. As the first in my family to pursue a college education, these acts of care and mentoring had a positive impact on my career. Florida State University has become my second home, so it only made sense to continue my doctoral studies here. What are your plans for after graduation? I am inspired by studying and working to resolve social and economic issues that impact our communities and the youth. I hope to continue my journey of engaging in coalition building and innovation to implement large-scale social projects. It’s important that my contribution to society includes the facilitation of systemic changes that would ultimately improve the lives of others around me. What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps? One of my favorite writers, Bell Hooks, encourages the act of seeking work that we love, and in doing, it so helps us enhance our capacity to live purposefully. If the honor of working with young people is indeed your calling, lead from the heart and everything else will follow. n

Faculty Achievements DAMON ANDREW, dean and professor, was inducted into the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) Hall of Fame and was named a distinguished administrator during a virtual ceremony. COSMA specializes in accrediting, promoting and recognizing sport management programs. Of the three doctoral programs that COSMA has accredited, Andrew has played an administrative role at each institution. TIM BAGHURST, professor of education and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching (FSU COACH), published a number of articles, including: “Quality Sport Coaching in Action: The Application of the National Standards for Sport Coaches in the Interscholastic Sport Context” in the journal Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators; “A Comparison of the Emotional Intelligence and Psychological Skills of National and International Taekwondo Referees” in the Journal of Sport Pedagogy and Research; “Practical ways for coaches to reduce their stress and avoid burnout” and “A hot mess: basketball coaches’ perceptions of ability versus actual performances of their athletes“ in Auc Kinanthropologica; ”Current perceptions of strength and conditioning coaches use of sled tow training” in the International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching; and “Self-selected motivational music on the performance and perceived exertion of runners” in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. He was also interviewed for a news segment on WKYC in Cleveland, OH about the historic moment of the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympic Games and was featured in an article on WalletHub about the Tokyo Olympics. Additionally, he contributed to an article that appeared on WUSA9, a CBS affiliate based in Washington, D.C. that looks at the way that American Olympic athletes are compensated. CAMERON BEATTY, assistant professor of higher education, received the 2021 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award from NASPA Region III, an organization for student affairs administrators in higher education. The award recognizes a student affairs professional or faculty member who “has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion throughout their administrative or academic tenure.”

BETSY BECKER, Mode L. Stone Distinguished Professor of Educational Statistics in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, presented at the Texas A&M University’s College of Education & Human Development Spring Speaker Series. She gave a talk titled “Synthesizing effects from quasi-experiments in education: challenges and remaining questions.” MEGAN BUNING, teaching faculty I in the Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching (FSU COACH), was featured in a number of podcasts related to coaching and mental performance, including: Perpetual Pandemic Podcast; Mental Sweet Spot; A Coach for the Coach; and Dynamic Leaders Podcast. Buning also served as the research methodologist on a publication that appeared in Research on Education and Psychology titled, “Comparing Experiences of Counseling Mentor Award Winners with Professional Guidelines,” as well as one titled, “Lessons Learned: Aligning Voices from the Inside with Nine Essentials of Professional Development Schools.” Additionally, she published an article, “Eight Strategies for Coaches to Train the Mental Game” in Sport Coach America and co-wrote a book chapter titled, “Survey and Question Construction” with a former doctoral student in the book, Basic Elements of Survey Research in Education: Addressing the Problems Your Advisor Never Told You About. SONIA CABELL, associate professor of reading education/language arts in the School of Teacher Education and the Florida Center for Reading Research, published a number of articles, including: “Teaching Together: Pilot Study of a Tiered Language and Literacy Intervention with Head Start Teachers and Linguistically Diverse Families“ in Early Childhood Research Quarterly along with Yaacov Petscher (sport psychology M.S. ‘04, measurement and statistics M.S. ‘05); “Building Content Knowledge to Boost Comprehension in the Primary Grades” in the International Literacy Association’s Reading Research Quarterly; and “How the Science of Reading Informs 21st-Century Education,” which included co-authors Petscher, BETH PHILLIPS, LAURA M. STEACY, and NICOLE PATTON TERRY, in the International Literacy Association’s Reading Research Quarterly. She was also featured in two pieces in Ed-

Week: “Does Social Studies Build Stronger Readers? A New Study Suggests So” and “Popular ‘Wonders’ Curriculum Shows Gaps in Alignment to Reading Research” and appeared on the podcasts Filling the Pail and Don’t Tell Me How To Parent. Additionally, she received the Diane Lapp & James Flood Professional Collaborator Award from the International Literacy Association along with her collaborator, Tricia Zucker (Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston). The award is given to two or more people who engage in collaboration and regularly contribute to the field. EMILY PLUMMER CATENA, assistant professor of English education, co-authored a new article that appeared in the journal Qualitative Research titled “Reframing temporality in participatory visual research with timelapse video.” The article looks at the authors’ experimental method of using a timelapse technique to view the “emergence and contingency of activity across different timescales and in collaboration with participants.” KATHLEEN CLARK, professor of mathematics education and director of the School of Teacher Education, published an article in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics titled, “’You will remain unwavering in your determination to succeed no matter how long it takes’: A mathematico-emotional analysis of A Guide to Higher Learning.” The article was written with research conducted by undergraduate student Oksana Rubis as part of her WIMSE research experience. VANESSA DENNEN, professor of instructional systems and learning technologies (ISLT), published a new book, Reshaping International Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Universities in the Information Age. In addition to serving as one of the editors, she also contributed to a chapter titled, “Mediated identities, context collapse, and cultural elements of networked learning.” She also published a chapter in the Handbook of Research on K-12 Blended and Virtual Learning Through the i2Flex Classroom Model with ISLT Ph.D. student Yujin Park titled, “Preparing K-12 Teachers for Blended and Online Learning: The Role of PLNs in Preservice Learning and Professional Development.” Additionally, she contributed to an open-


source ebook titled, What Journal Editors Wish Authors Knew About Academic Publishing where she shares her insight as an editor for the journal The Internet and Higher Education. Dennen also received the outstanding paper award at the International Conference on Web Based Communities and Social Media, along with Daeun Jung (ISLT Ph.D. student) and UROP students Casey Cargill and Amber Hedquist. Their paper was titled, “Parents, social media, and online support: A systematic review of the literature.” Dennen and a team of ISLT students [Lauren Bagdy, Ömer Arslan, Hajeen Choi, and Zhichun Liu (Ph.D. ‘20)] also published an article in the Journal of Research on Technology in Education titled, “Supporting new online instructors and engaging remote learners during COVID-19: A distributed team teaching approach.” This publication is based on emergency remote teaching in spring 2020 due to COVID-19. MARCY DRISCOLL, dean emerita, published a new book, Psychology of learning for instruction, 4th edition. The book is co-authored with Kerry Burner (Office of Distance Learning faculty, ISLT Ph.D. ‘07) and is published by Pearson. JAMES DU, assistant professor in the Department of Sport Management, won a Sport Marketing Association (SMA) Research Grant Award. Du won the award for research titled, “Lingering Fog: Demystifying the Heterogeneity Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Active Leisure Participation in the U.S. Using Machine Learning.” Du also published a paper titled, “To be or not to be: negotiating leisure constraints with technology and data analytics amid the COVID-19 pandemic” in Leisure Studies and was featured in an article that appeared on WalletHub about Super Bowl LV.

He also joined the editorial board of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, the American Psychological Association Division 47 journal and published an article in the journal Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology titled, “Too Tired to Switch Off? How Post-Training Physical Fatigue Impairs Mental Recovery Through Increased Worry.” ROBERT EKLUND, Mode L. Stone Distinguished Professor of Sport Psychology and associate dean for faculty development and advancement, was featured on an episode of the podcast The Growth Project. In the episode, he discusses the concept of burnout with sport psychology alumnus Cory Shaffer (Ph.D. ‘14) and gives tips for how to prevent it. VERONICA FLEURY, associate professor of special education, served as a guest panel speaker during a Council for Exceptional Children Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) professional community series. She spoke on the topic of “Navigating the Academic Job Market.” MICHAEL GIARDINA, professor in the Department of Sport Management, edited a new book published by Routledge titled, Collaborative Futures in Qualitative Inquiry: Research in a Pandemic. The book was co-edited by Norman K. Denzin and looks at the role of research in the face of the global pandemic and what academics can do during such crises. Giardina was also featured in an article that appeared on WalletHub addressing the challenges facing professional football, including economic issues of having a football team in a city, the impact of events like the Super Bowl and more.

DEBORAH EBENER, professor and director of clinical training in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, and Maritza Miller (counseling psychology and school psychology doctoral candidate) were interviewed by WTXL ABC 27 on the way that the Human Services Center has expanded its services due to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide mental health services to individuals living in Florida.

KATHY GUTHRIE, associate professor of higher education, was awarded the 2021 Pillars of the Profession Award by the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Foundation. She also received NASPA’s 2021 Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member, which recognizes a full-time, tenured faculty member who has inspired students, served on doctoral dissertation committees, published distinguished scholarly work, and made significant contributions to the field of higher education and related professional organizations and associations.

DAVID ECCLES, professor of sport psychology, appeared on two podcasts, including The Path Distilled and The Sport Psych Show, and was also featured on an episode of BBC World Service’s CrowdScience.

Guthrie also authored a chapter in the Handbook of Teaching with Technology in Management, Leadership, and Business titled, “Using Twitter as a technology tool to teach leadership,” as well as an article in the Journal of


Contemporary Education Theory & Research titled, “The adaptive leadership of social media influencers related to COVID-19.” ERIK HINES, associate professor of school counseling, received the Al Dye Award from the Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW). The Al Dye Award recognizes an article in the Journal for Specialists in Group Work that “best advances the practice of group work.” In 2020, Hines edited three of the four issues of the journal as well as co-authored the article chosen for the Al Dye Award. Hines also served as a guest editor on a special issue of Teaching and Supervision in Counseling on anti-racist counselor education and published an article entitled, “‘You Are Going to School’: Exploring the Precollege Experiences of First-Year Black Males in Higher Education” in the journal Professional School Counseling along with Renae D. Mayes (University of Arizona) and MIA HINES (advisor for B.S./M.S. teacher education pathways at FSU) and others. PHIL HIVER, assistant professor of foreign and second language education, received the 2020 Early Career Scholar Award from the International Association for the Psychology of Language Learning (IAPLL). The IAPLL is “an interdisciplinary association of scholars with an interest in exploring the psychological dimensions of language learning and teaching” that promotes research, publications and cooperation between scholars in the fields, and promotes the psychology of language learning throughout the world. Hiver also won the 2020 IRIS Replication Award for his article “Re-examining the role of vision in second language motivation: A preregistered conceptual replication of You, Dörnyei, and Csizér (2016).” The award recognizes open- and meta-science research in language education. PATRICE IATAROLA, associate professor of education policy and evaluation, delivered the keynote speech for the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) virtual conference. Iatarola currently serves as the president of the AEFP. The speech was livestreamed through AEFP’s website and included recognizing award winners, delivering the presidential address, and a panel discussion titled “The Gary B. Right to Literacy Case and the role of Impact Litigation in Education Policy and Advocacy.” AMAL IBOURK, assistant professor of science education, published an article titled, “Storied Identities and Teacher Candidates’ Developing Practices” in the journal Cultural

Studies of Science Education. She also co-authored an article titled, “The role of collective sensemaking and science curriculum development within a research–practice partnership” in the journal Science Education. LAMA JABER, associate professor of science education, received the 2021 Early Career Research Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). NARST is recognized around the world for its role to improve science teaching and promoting research in the field. The early career award recognizes an individual’s contribution to the field of science education and science teaching. She was also chosen as one of the Best Reviewers of 2020 by the Journal of the Learning Sciences. The JLS awards this distinction based on the reviewer’s efforts to go above and beyond. As one of these reviewers, Jaber provided expert feedback on manuscripts and helped advance the field of learning sciences. JEFFREY JAMES, Mode L. Stone Distinguished Professor of Sport Management and chair, was named a 2020 Sport Marketing Association (SMA) research fellow. The SMA research fellow “recognizes individual scholars who have shown excellence in the area of sport marketing research, honoring the work that they have disseminated through SMA conferences and its official journal, Sport Marketing Quarterly.” To be named a fellow, nominees must publish at least seven times in the journal as well as conduct ten refereed presentations at the annual conference. TAMARA BERTRAND JONES, associate professor of higher education, was awarded the 2020 Presidential Medal from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). ASHE awards only one presidential medal each year, which is given to a mentor, researcher, colleague, collaborator or someone in higher education whom the president of ASHE deems deserving of recognition. FENGFENG KE, professor of instructional systems and learning technologies, will serve as the principal investigator on a new project which received a grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “Teaching Practices with Multiplayer Mixed Reality Simulations and Virtual Students.” Anne & John Daves Professor of Science Education, Sherry Southerland is a co-principal investigator on the project. S. KATHLEEN KRACH, associate professor of school psychology, presented at five different conferences on how testing psychol-

ogists can conduct valid diagnostic assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on these recommendations, Krach then published two journal articles in collaboration with graduate students and faculty at FSU and other institutions. The articles are titled, “Meeting the COVID-19 Deadlines: Choosing Assessments to Determine Eligibility” and “Testing Our Children When the World Shuts Down: Analyzing Recommendations for Adapted Tele-Assessment during COVID-19,” both of which were published in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessments.

three states in particular have responded to the policy.

SHAOFENG LI, associate professor of foreign and second language education, will serve as editor-in-chief for a new journal to be published by Elsevier called Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, which is the first and only journal on research methods in the field of applied linguistics—an interdisciplinary area that investigates language-related issues.

Perez-Felkner, Miguel Hernández (higher education Ed.D. ’20) and Associate Professor of History and FSU Latinx Faculty/Staff Network Co-Chair Robinson Herrera presented on a panel at Florida A&M University for Latinx Heritage Month and the Latinx community in Tallahassee.

LAURA REID MARKS, assistant professor in the combined counseling and school psychology doctoral program, published an article titled, “The Role of Racial Microaggressions and Bicultural Self-efficacy on Work Volition in Racially Diverse Adults” in the Journal of Career Development. She also received a McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowship, which promotes excellence in teaching and research by underrepresented minorities and women and allows fellows to receive a one-year sabbatical to engage in research and training projects related to securing tenure and promotion. JOSHUA NEWMAN, professor of sport management and director of the Center for Sport, Health, and Equitable Development, edited a book titled, Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body, which won a 2020 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award. JASON PAPPAS, teaching faculty in the Department of Sport Management, published a new book with Vratik Sharma (sport management M.S. ‘15) titled Masters of the Game, which features “celebrated sports executives from the industry, chronicling their awe-inspiring stories with an emphasis on some of the most profound business and life lessons learned along the way.” LARA PEREZ-FELKNER, associate professor of higher education and sociology, published an article in Perspective: Policy and Practice in Higher Education titled, “Affirmative action challenges keep on keeping on: responding to shifting federal and state policy.” The article looks at the history of affirmative action in the United States and how

She was also chosen as a member of the National Science Foundation Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methods (QCM) Cohort. She joins scholars from around the country using data science methodologies. The CQM Cohort hopes to “dismantle structural barriers to enable human flourishing for underrepresented communities, professionals, and young people” through the use of such methodologies.

Additionally, she was chosen as a Student Experience Research Network (SERN) 20212022 midcareer fellow. The Student Experience Research Network, which began in 2015 as the Mindset Scholars Network, was started to provide resources, education, and more to enhance student experience. BETH PHILLIPS, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems and the Florida Center for Reading Research, and Yaacov Petscher (sport psychology M.S. ‘04, measurement and statistics M.S. ‘05) were a part of a team that received the Jacobs Foundation Award for the project “COVID-19 Education Challenge: Mitigating the Global Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures on Early English and French Reading Skills Through At-Home, Caregiver-Child Literacy Activities.” The award is given for research and practice in the fields of child and youth development. ROBERT REISER, associate dean for research and professor of instructional systems and learning technologies, gave a talk at the Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics on the topic of “Effective Teaching: How to Plan and Present It.” The online presentation was designed to help academics improve how they teach and the means they use to deliver information. RYAN RODENBERG, associate professor of sport management, published an 82-page article in the UNLV Gaming Law Journal titled, “Regulating Sports Gaming Data.” The article is a treatise on sports betting and how to define it. ALYSIA ROEHRIG, professor of educational psychology, was quoted in an article titled,


“Why a kid’s relationship with teachers is more important than ever,” that appeared in National Geographic. The article looks at the relationship between students and teachers as the majority of classrooms adjust to an online environment.

She also presented at a virtual conference hosted by The Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder at Old Westbury (RCASD Old Westbury). Her talk was entitled, “Making Mathematics Meaningful for Students with Autism and Intellectual Disability.”

JENNY ROOT, associate professor of special education, published a number of articles, including: “Contextualizing Mathematical Problem-Solving Instruction for Secondary Students with Extensive Support Needs: A Systematic Replication” in Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities with special education alumnae Sarah Cox (Ph.D. ‘19), Kat Davis (B.S./M.S. ‘20) and Nanette Hammons (Ph.D. ‘20); “Using a Virtual-Representational-Abstract Integrated Framework to Teach Multiplicative Problem Solving to Middle School Students with Developmental Disabilities” in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders with Cox and special education Ph.D. students Deidre Gilley and Taryn Wade; “Let’s see that again: Using instructional videos to support asynchronous mathematical problem solving instruction for students with autism spectrum disorder” with Gilley and Cox based on research conducted through her Autism Science Foundation and AERA Division K COVID-19 grants; “Development of Mathematical Practices through Word Problem Solving Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder” with Cox in the journal Exceptional Children; “Modified Schema-based Instruction to Encourage Mathematical Practice Use for a Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder” in the journal Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities with Cox and two former Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) students, Kiersten Goetz and Kaley Taylor; and “Using Task Analysis to Support Inclusion and Assessment in the Classroom” in the journal TEACHING Exceptional Children with special education doctoral students Wade and Addie McConomy.

STACEY RUTLEDGE, associate professor of educational leadership and policy, along with Marisa Cannata, Stephanie Brown (international and multicultural education Ph.D. ‘17), and Daniel Traeger, published a book entitled, Steps to Schoolwide Success. The book is based on a multiyear research project in Broward County Schools that focuses on the relationship between social-emotional learning and academics in terms of student success.

Root also received a Covid-19 Pivot Grant from the Autism Science Foundation titled “Virtual video-based math instruction.” The funding will allow Root and students in her General Curriculum Access lab to develop and evaluate a caregiver-assisted intervention to support mathematics skills of secondary students with autism through asynchronous video-based modules. Additionally, Root co-edited a book titled, Mathematics Education and Students with Autism, Intellectual Disability, and Other Developmental Disabilities with Emily Bouck of Michigan State University and Bree Jimenez of University of Texas at Arlington.

ROBERT SCHOEN, associate professor of mathematics education and associate director of the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCR-STEM), and Sharon Koon (REL - Southeast) conducted a randomized controlled trial of the Supporting Teacher Enactment of the Probability and Statistics Standards (STEPSS) program. The STEPSS program improved statistics instruction and student understanding of statistics. VALERIE SHUTE, Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner Endowed Professor of Education in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, appeared on an episode of the podcast Should This Exist? The episode, titled, “Could This Replace the SAT?” looks at alternative methods of testing other than traditional exams like the SAT and ACT. Additionally, Shute and Seyedahmad Rahimi (instructional systems and learning technologies Ph.D. ’20) appeared in an interview with Forbes about their research in stealth assessment. The article, “Science Needs a Better Way to Probe Creativity - Video Games Might Be the Answer, New Study,” gives an overview on how the research team uses video games to assess difficult to measure concepts like creativity in real time. Shute also published articles including: “The relationship among prior knowledge, accessing learning supports, learning outcomes, and game performance in educational games” in the journal Educational Technology Research and Development along with Rahimi and instructional systems and learning technologies Ph.D. students Xiaotong Yang, Ginny Smith, and Renata Kuba; and “The use and effects of incentive systems on learning and performance in educational games“ in the journal Computers & Education with Rahimi, Yang, Smith and Chih-Pu Dai (ISLT student).


LAURA STEACY, assistant professor of special education, co-authored an article titled, “Modeling and Visualizing the Codevelopment of Word and Nonword Reading in Children From First Through Fourth Grade: Informing Developmental Trajectories of Children With Dyslexia” in the journal Child Development. She also hosted an interactive workshop, The Language and Literacy Institute for Educators, which was designed for practitioners who want to learn more about the science of reading and how to incorporate that information into classrooms. MIRAY TEKKUMRU-KISA, associate professor of science education, published an article in the Journal of Research in Science Technology with Courtney Preston, Zahid Kisa (research faculty at the Learning Systems Institute), Elif Oz (education policy and evaluation Ph.D. ‘20), and Jennifer Morgan (science education Ph.D. student). The article is titled, “Assessing instructional quality in science in the era of ambitious reforms: A pilot study” and looks at the instructional reforms that have changed the focus from “discrete facts” to “a focus on a small number of disciplinary core ideas that can be explored in depth.” NICOLE PATTON TERRY, the Olive & Manuel Bordas Professor of Education in the School of Teacher Education, was named the director of the Florida Center for Reading Research. The research center looks at various aspects of reading and reading-related skills in both children and adults. As the new director of the center, Patton Terry will lead the research team in establishing new interdisciplinary research projects. She was also appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on the Future of Education Research and was elected vice president of the Society for Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR). The SSSR was started in 1993 and is focused on promoting and encouraging the study of reading, as well as disseminating reading-related information. She also published an article in The Reading Teacher entitled, “Delivering on the Promise of the Science of Reading for All Children.” The article discusses how reconciling the science of reading with the lived experiences of children who are vulnerable to poor academic achievement may be the key to ensure that every child can read and succeed in school. JEANNINE TURNER, associate professor of educational psychology, was awarded $1.5 million in grant funding from the Institute of

Educational Sciences (IES) to continue the PURPOSE training program for another five years. Turner serves as the primary investigator on the project, along with Tamara Bertrand Jones and Alysia Roehrig. EUNHUI YOON, assistant professor of school counseling, co-authored a book chapter titled, “Exploring how school counselors position low-income African American girls as mathematics and science learnings: Findings from year two data” in the book Girls and Women of Color in STEM: Navigating the Double Bind in K-12 Education. Yoon was also invited to lecture at the Korean College Counseling Association where she talked about counseling for sexual and gender-expansive students in higher education. Additionally, she was named an associate editor of the Korean Journal of Counseling, the flagship publication of the Korean Counseling Association. STEPHANIE SIMMONS ZUILKOWSKI, associate professor of international and multicultural education, launched her new USAID Zambia project, Transforming Teacher Education. FSU’s Learning Systems Institute will implement the five-year, $15 million project in partnership with School-to-School International and the UNZA School of Education. The project will include 12 Zambian universities and colleges of education around the country to improve the training of primary grade teachers in early grade literacy. CAMERON BEATTY, KATHY GUTHRIE, and Erica Wiborg (higher education Ph.D. ‘20) co-authored a new text for undergraduate leadership studies titled Engaging in the Leadership Process: Identity, Capacity, and Efficacy for College Students. Additionally, Beatty and Guthrie co-authored two manuscripts for the National Leadership Education Research agenda published in the Journal of Leadership Studies: “A Critical Look at Leadership Educator Preparation: Developing an Intentional and Diverse Approach To Leadership Learning and Development: Priority 4 of the National Leadership Education Research Agenda 2020–2025” and “A Call for Centering Social Identities: Priority 1 of the National Leadership Education Research Agenda 2020–2025.” CHRISTINE MOKHER, associate professor of higher education, and TOBY PARKGAGHAN, associate professor of educational leadership and policy, were quoted in an article titled, “Developmental Education Reform Improved Passing Rates,” which appeared in Inside Higher Ed. The article looks at the way that higher education has success-

fully increased “students taking and passing general education requirements in math and English.” A number of faculty members and alumni contributed to an article that appeared on the website Scientia. The article, titled “Enhancing Teacher Learning of Ambitious Instruction Through Collaborative Design,” was written by Jennifer Schellinger (science education Ph.D. ‘19), SHERRY SOUTHERLAND, MIRAY TEKKUMRU-KISA, as well as Todd Hinton Bevis (Office of STEM Teaching Activities, FSU), Patrick J. Enderle (science education Ph.D. ‘12), and Ellen M. Granger (Office of STEM Teaching Activities, FSU). The article looks at the recent efforts of science education reform and how teachers can support students’ development through instructional practices that encourage in discussion and evaluating new ideas. CHRISTINE MOKHER, TOBY PARKGAGHAN and SHOUPING HU, Louis W. & Elizabeth N. Bender Endowed Professor of Higher Education, published an article in the Journal of Higher Education. The article is titled “Shining the Spotlight on Those Outside Florida’s Reform Limelight: The Impact of Developmental Education Reform for Nonexempt Students” and looks at how developmental education affected the outcomes of nonexempt students. KATHERINE YAUN, senior editor in the Office of Research, ROBERT REISER, Russell Walker (education policy and evaluation Ed.D. ’19) and Michael Mesa (learning and cognition Ph.D. ’21) wrote an article that appeared in Research Management Review detailing services provided by the College of Education’s Office of Research. Research Management Review is the research journal of the National Council of University Research Administrators. TAMARA BERTRAND JONES and ALYSIA ROEHRIG served as co-editors of a special issue of the Florida Journal of Educational Research, along with Cheron Davis of Florida A&M University. A number of faculty members, graduate students and alumni in the department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies contributed to the issue: “Exploring the Outcomes of an Academic Leadership Program: Building a Bridge Between Learning Across Difference” [CAMERON BEATTY, Erica Wiborg (higher education Ph.D. ‘20), Brittany Brewster (higher education M.S. ‘13, Ph.D. student); “Mobilizing University Capital to Foster Pathways of College Access for Underserved Youth” [Inika Pierre-Williams (educational leadership/administration Ed.D. student)]; “The Potential Shortcomings

of the Proposed Sunshine Scholarship: Analysis of College Promise” [Riccardo Purita (higher education Ph.D. student); “Education Research for Equity and Social Justice in Florida” (Davis, Roehrig and Bertrand Jones). TAYLOR THOMPSON (counseling psychology/school psychology Ph.D. ‘16), clinical director for the FSU Adult Learning Evaluation Center (ALEC); LAURA REID MARKS, assistant professor; and DEBORAH EBENER, professor and director of clinical training and executive director of ALEC, were featured speakers at DIRECTO’s fourth Spring Conversation Series on Diversity & Inclusion in Research & Teaching. The series topic was Going Beyond the Diversity Statement: Actionable Guidelines for Fostering Multicultural Competence in Higher Education. MARY FRANCES HANLINE, professor of special education; KELLY WHALON, associate professor of special education and Elizabeth Jackson (special education Ph.D. ‘19) published an article titled “Adapting Shared Reading Interventions for Young Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder: RECALL,” that appeared in Young Exceptional Children. Jackson and Hanline also published an article titled, “Using a Concept Map with RECALL to Increase the Comprehension of Science Texts for Children with Autism,” in the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. JAMES DU and JASON PAPPAS, along with doctoral students Carter Floyd and Susmit Gulavani from the Department of Sport Management, received the Atlantic Coast Conference Center for Research in Intercollegiate Athletics (ACC-CRIA) Award for their research project, “A Tale of Two Cities: COVID-19 and Student-Athletes’ Psychological Well-Being,” which investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ACC student-athletes’ psychological well-being using social media and machine learning. Their manuscript was published by Frontiers in Sports and Active Living and was written by Gulvani, Du, Pappas, Floyd and AMY CHAN HYUNG KIM, associate professor of sport management. TIM BAGHURST and MEGAN BUNING contributed to an article for CNN about resilience and achieving goals. The article is titled “6 ways to develop endurance and achieve your goals” and looks at the way that everyone—from Olympic athletes to the average person—can better focus on achieving their goals.


Alumni Updates 1970s INEZ “LIZ” COHEN (elementary education B.S. ‘74) was honored during the inaugural Spring Alumni Awards as an FSU Grads Made Good recipient. The Grads Made Good program recognizes alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their field. Cohen spent her career as an educator serving various roles, including teacher, principal, department chair and national turnaround school consultant. For her accomplishments during her 40-year career, Cohen was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna by the College of Education in 2018. NEAL GOLDEN (mathematics education Ph.D. ‘77) published a new book, titled LSU Bowl Games: A Complete History. The book explores all 50 bowl game appearances between 1907 and 2019 and includes overviews of Louisiana State University’s football seasons as well as their opponents. The book also includes highlights of the actual bowl games, important stats and quotes from players and coaches. STEPHEN JOHN VIRGILIO (educational leadership & administration Ph.D. ‘79) served as the lead author on a document for the Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE America). The document is titled, “Active Start: A Statement of Physical Activity Guidelines for Children from Birth to Five Years.” The document serves as a guideline on what kind of physical activity a child should have for his or her first five years of life. These goals are designed to help promote lifelong habits of daily physical activity.

on Afro-futurist canon formation in the 20th and 21st centuries. Montgomery also served as chair of the 2020–2021 FSU Taskforce on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion, created by former President Thrasher. Additionally, Montgomery received one of only 13 2021 Collaborative Research Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Engaging Black Women’s Archives: Gloria Naylor and Twentieth-Century Literary History” is a three-year, multi-institutional project with colleagues at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The project culminates with a two-volume essay collection under advance contract with the University Press of Mississippi. ROBERT NICHOLS STEVENS (social science education Ph.D. ‘81) published a new book titled, School Behavioral Health. The book is published by Springer and describes the interconnected systems framework, which combines Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and School Mental Health (SMH).

1990s KIM BARBER (instructional systems and learning technologies M.S. ‘99, Ph.D. ‘13) won the 2020 Max Carraway Employee of the Year Award from FSU. Barber is the university registrar and has worked with the university since 1996. The annual employee of the year award recognizes an employee who exemplifies the values of FSU. CAROLYN DANIELS (elementary education B.S. ‘04) was named Florida State University Schools’ elementary school teacher of the year.

1980s MAXINE L. MONTGOMERY (English education B.S. ‘80) published a book-length monograph titled The Postapocalyptic Black Female Imagination. The monograph is published by Bloomsbury Academic (London) and is part of its African Diaspora Literature and Culture series. The book covers writers and performance artists including Octavia Butler, Edwidge Danticat, Beyoncé, Toni Morrison and more, and continues the scholarly conversation

VICTORIA GAITANIS (elementary education B.S. ‘96, visual disabilities M.S. ‘10) was named the bureau chief for the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services at the Florida Department of Education. Gaitanis previously held the position of program director of Dispute Resolution and Monitoring. ANGELA “AJ” GRUBE (sport management


Ph.D. ‘98) was named dean of the College of Business at Western Carolina University. Previously, Grube served a number of roles inside the college, including acting dean and interim associate dean, as well as professor of sport management. WILL GUZMÁN (social science education M.S. ‘99) was named a fellow at the National Humanities Center (NHC). Guzman is a professor of history at Prairie View A&M University. He will serve in residence at the NHC, located in North Carolina, alongside 35 other fellows from across the world. MICHAEL SANSEVIRO (higher education M.S. ‘91) was promoted to vice president for student engagement at Georgia State University in July 2021. Sanseviro had previously served as interim vice president for student engagement and programs and associate vice president for student engagement and dean of students. Prior his positions at Georgia State, he was the associate vice president and dean of students at Kennesaw State University. RUTH SAWH (multilingual and cultural education Ph.D. ‘94) published a book titled Woman Go Home. The satirical novella is a humorous look at academia, aging, retirement, sexism and more.

2000s SONJA ARDOIN (higher education M.S. ‘06) received the NASPA Early Career Faculty Award. NASPA is a professional organization for student affairs administrators in higher education, and each year it recognizes an exceptional full-time faculty member within their first six years of their career. Ardoin is currently a faculty member at the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University, where she serves as the program director and associate professor of student affairs administration. BRANDON BOWDEN (higher education M.S. ‘06, Ed.D. ‘14) received the 2020 Outstanding Service to Students award from NAS-

PA Florida. Bowden is currently the associate vice president of the FSU Division of Student Affairs. The award “recognizes the contributions of professionals who consistently give time and effort counseling, advising and supporting students.” CIHAN CAN (Mathematics Education Ph.D. ‘20; current postdoctoral scholar) and KATHLEEN M. CLARK, associate professor of mathematics education, published a paper (in October 2020) in the International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education titled “’Because You’re Exploring this Huge Abstract Jungle...’: One Student’s Evolving Conceptions of Axiomatic Structure in Mathematics.” The paper looks at one student’s journey studying the history and philosophy of mathematics and how the student’s competencies evolved. ANTHONY SHONG-YU CHOW (learning and cognition M.S. ‘98, instructional systems and learning technologies Ph.D. ‘08) was awarded a $1.4 million grant to address early children’s literacy in five tribal communities— the Crow Tribe of Montana, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Northern Cheyenne and Santo Domingo Pueblo—two national community organizations and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Chow also was hired as the new director of San Jose State University’s School of Information. The program is the largest library and information science program in the nation. JAME’L HODGES (higher education M.S. ‘02) was named the vice president for student success and engagement at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. JOHN HOLDEN (sport management M.S. ‘07, Ph.D. ‘16) wrote an article for Legal Sports Report on the future of the new gambling compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis to see what the impacts might be on sports betting. CHANDRA MYRICK (higher education M.S. ‘02, Ph.D. ‘21) was promoted to assistant vice chancellor for student life and executive director for University Housing at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. In her new position, she will provide oversight and management for the Office of Assessment & Strategic Initiatives. Myrick also received the Dissertation of the Year Award from the Association of College & University Housing Officers - Inter-

national (ACUHO-I). Her dissertation took a look at the experiences of Black women senior housing officers at predominantly white institutions (PWIs). AMY PARNELL (sport management B.S. ‘03, special education M.S. ‘06, educational leadership & administration Ed.S. ‘12) was named Teacher of the Month by WCTV and Envision Credit Union. Parnell is a teacher at Gretchen Everhart School in Tallahassee, Florida where she serves as an intensive behavior support teacher. DIAN SQUIRE (English education B.S. ‘04) was recognized as a part of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Foundation Diamond Class of 2021 for his commitment to higher education through student affairs and student development. He also received the 2021–2022 College of Education Teacher of the Year from Northern Arizona University where he was an assistant professor and faculty program coordinator for NAU’s counseling-student affairs program. Most recently, he was promoted to associate professor at the Loyola University Chicago School of Nursing and was named the first associate dean of inclusive excellence there. CHRISTOPHER STANLEY (sport psychology M.S. ‘04) was chosen as the USA Track & Field team’s sport psychologist during the Tokyo Olympics. Stanley is currently a research associate at the Florida Center for Reading Research, where he researches human development and performance. ALTHEA VALLE (multilingual and multicultural education M.S. ‘01) was named the 2020–2021 Leon County Schools Teacher of the Year. Valle is a teacher at Amos P. Godby High School and has been with the school for nine years out of her 19 years of teaching. She currently teaches English 1–4 through ESOL and developing language ESOL classes. You can watch superintendent Rocky Hanna and other staff members present Valle with the honor here.

2010s MARSHALL ANTHONY, JR. (higher education Ph.D. ‘19), a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress (CAP), appeared on SiriusXM’s Julie Mason Mornings program and discussed the impact that the new COVID-19 relief bill will have on higher

education institutions. He was also invited to testify before the Oversight Subcommittee of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee hearing on “Expanding Access to Higher Education and the Promise It Holds.” COLE ARMSTRONG (sport management Ph.D. ‘15) published a piece in Sport Management Review titled “No name, no logo, no problem?: Examining early fan connections to NHL Seattle.” The piece is the first part in a longitudinal study looking at the brand development of the Seattle Kraken professional hockey team. KYLE BUNDS (sport management Ph.D. ‘14) won the Early Career Research Award from the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS). The award recognizes the “significant scholarly contributions to the sociology of sport field.” In addition to the recognition, Bunds will receive financial support for his research. JOEY CANTENS (sport management M.S. ‘11) was named the new head coach for the Daytona State College men’s basketball team. Cantens previously served as assistant under Florida Gulf Coast University head coach Michael Fly, as well as the director of basketball operations at FGCU from 2011–14. Before that, he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs’ coaching staff in the Utah Summer League. His experience as a basketball coach extends internationally as well, having spent time coaching in the German Bundesliga and the Dominican Republic national basketball team. ELMER CASTILLO (sport psychology Ph.D. ‘18) and MATTHEW BIRD (sport psychology Ph.D. ‘18) published an article in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology titled, “Implementation and evaluation of a standardized performance profile intervention with collegiate athletes: A comparison of the original and revised techniques.” JOSÉ FIALLOS (English education M.S. ‘11, Ed.S. ‘15) was featured in an article that appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat after winning The Amazing Teacher Award, given by the paper in partnership with Envision Credit Union. Fiallos was named December’s Amazing Teacher of the month. The award came with a prize for both Fiallos and Rickards High School, where he teaches International Baccalaureate-level English.


NIU GAO (education policy and evaluation Ph.D. ‘12) was named a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), a think tank based in San Francisco. Additionally, she is the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant-funded project entitled “RAPID: A ResearcherPractitioner-Partnership to Assess the Impact of COVID-19 Recession on NGSS Implementation.” WILNIC GIDEON (mathematics education B.S. ‘10) was named the principal of Eisenhower Middle School, located in Everett, Washington. CIERRA L. GRIFFIN (social science B.S. ‘10, educational leadership & administration Ph.D. student) published a new book titled, The College Cheat Sheet: A Guide to College Enrollment for High School Students. The book serves as a guide for prospective students—particularly first-generation students—interested in being more competitive for college admissions. LEAH HOLLINGSWORTH (mathematics education Ph.D. ‘19) was featured in an FSU radio story related to the Thank a Professor program, where FSU students submit anonymous letters showing their appreciation for faculty. Hollingsworth is currently teaching faculty in the Department of Mathematics at FSU. ELIZABETH JACKSON (special education Ph.D. ‘19) published an article in the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities titled, “Using a Concept Map with RECALL to Increase the Comprehension of Science Texts for Children with Autism,” with Mary Frances Hanline, professor of special education in the School of Teacher Education. She also published an article in Young Exceptional Children titled, “Adapting Shared Reading Interventions for Young Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder: RECALL,” with Hanline and Kelly Whalon, associate professor of special education. LESLIE MILLE (higher education M.S. ‘15) was selected to serve as the professional development director on the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers (FloridaACE) Board of Directors. FloridaACE includes representatives from higher education institutions in Florida who recruit on Florida campuses and help build Florida’s workforce by promoting

innovative internships, cooperative education, and career opportunities through partnerships among career professionals in education, government, and industry. AMIRUL MUKMININ (international & multicultural education Ph.D. ‘12) became a member of the International Evaluators and Experts - The Higher Education Quality Council of Turkey (THEQC). He was also awarded a World Class Research Grant by the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia to conduct a study on factors that support using the Internet to learn English in Indonesia. Mukminin is a professor in educational policy at Universitas Jambi, Indonesia. BEN PEREIRA (sport management M.S. ‘18) moderated a HubSpot panel on trans inclusion in sports as part of HubSpot’s #GrowingWithPride initiative. The panel is titled “An Equal Playing Field: A Conversation with Journalists on Trans Inclusion in Sports.” SOPHIA RAHMING (higher education Ph.D. ‘19) served as the facilitator for the 2021 Aspire Summer Institute (ASI), sponsored by the National Science Foundation INCLUDES Aspire Alliance. The Summer Institute taught the Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty and participants considered topics like social and cultural identity, implicit bias and more. ALI RAZA (higher education M.S. ‘16) published a piece for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) website titled, “Taking a Moment.” The piece looks at the way that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed his routine and offers some advice particularly for individuals working from home. HYUN-KI SHIM (education policy and evaluation Ph.D. ‘19) received the 2021 Dissertation of the Year Award from AERA, Special Interest Group: Fiscal Issues, Policy, and Education Finance. His dissertation is entitled, “The Impact of Private School Choice Design – Program Type and Student Eligibility – on School District Enrollment and Expenditures.” TADARRAYL STARKE (higher education M.S. ‘10, Ed.D. ‘19) was a co-presenter with Terrell Williams (higher education M.S. ‘21, educational leadership & administration Ed.D. student) during the National Association of Student


Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Student Success in Higher Education Conference. The pair presented a session titled “Developing Holistic Recruitment & Enrollment Strategies for Underrepresented Students.”

2020s SHANNON AXTELL (English education M.S. ‘2020) was named Florida State University Schools’ high school teacher of the year. JESSE FORD (higher education Ph.D. ‘20) wrote an article that appeared in the Journal of Black Studies titled, “Expect the Best; Not the Worst: The Impact of Parental Expectation on Black Males’ Math Scores.” The article “examines parental expectations as a moderator in the association between student’s educational expectancy and their math scores.” JARAD LEWELLEN (sport psychology M.S. ’21) was chosen as one of just ten students for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology’s student abstract award. As such, Lewellen will be presenting at the upcoming AASP Annual Conference on the subject of “Collegiate Athletes’ Experiences and Perceptions of Using Virtual Reality for Sport Training.” MELVIN MIDDLETON, JR. (educational leadership/administration Ed.D. ‘21) was featured in a piece by Valencia College spotlighting his work at the college, his research and his teaching. At Valencia College, he serves as the evening and weekend campus manager and co-chairs the Black Male Initiative work group, which looks at Black male student success. Middleton also teaches part-time in Valencia’s Educator Preparation Institution program. NIKOLAS WEBSTER (sport management Ph.D. ‘21) accepted a tenure track position at Coastal Carolina University. He will join the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Recreation & Sport Management, located within the Gupta College of Science. BLAKE YODLOWSKI (sport management B.S. ‘20) was named a member of the first cohort of the new Liberty Sales Academy, launched by the New York Liberty WNBA team.

Socially Speaking

@fsueducation Nothing like a tropical storm to welcome someone to FL! Nevertheless, we’re so excited to have you here, @PresMcCullough! #Fred #FSU

@fsueducation We can’t wait to offer a three-year tuition waiver to this year’s Florida Teacher of the Year as part of Project #ElevatED #FLTOY2022

@fsueducation Thank you for your vision and leadership over the past 6+ years, @FSUPresThrasher! Best wishes to you and Jean in your retirement!



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