A Pu b l i ca t i o n of t h e F l o r i d a S ta te Un i ve rs i ty A l u m n i Asso c i a t i o n Fa l l / Wi n te r 201 8 Vo l u m e 10, I ss u e 2
Europe by Storm The Tori Sparks Show
Defender of Stiltsville Miami Attorney Bill Tuttle
Peace Corps Confidential Tough Jobs They Really Loved
ADVENTURES IN CULTURE
The Moment Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 8:29 p.m. THANKS A BILLION: Florida State University celebrates the successful conclusion of Raise the Torch: The Campaign for Florida State, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the institutionâ€™s history. From July 2010 to June 2018, alumni and friends gave or pledged $1,158,665,865 to the university, which will help FSU continue to distinguish itself as a preeminent university and bolster its national profile. To cap off the nightâ€™s festivities, hundreds of guests socialize under tents covering Westcott Plaza after enjoying a special program in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Photo by Steve Chase
PARDON OUR DUST: Demolition of the “old” Oglesby Union has been under way since May to make room for a new fourstory facility with updated versions of the food court, Club Downunder, Crenshaw Lanes and the Art Center. In this view looking east from the top deck of the Woodward Avenue parking garage, Moore Auditorium is clearly visible because the buildings that used to house Crenshaw Lanes, the Art Center and the offices of various student organizations are gone. Beyond the row of treetops to the right are the Bellamy Building and the yet-tobe-officially-named Hayward Classroom Building (HCB), which students have dubbed “huge classroom building.” Photo by FSU Photography Services/Bruce Palmer
Cover: International travel expert Sheree Mitchell, owner of Immersa Global, at the Quinta da Bacalhôa, an estate in the village of Azeitão on the Setúbal Peninsula of Portugal. The estate, with its mansion, gardens, vineyards and museum, is typical of the cultural gems awaiting Mitchell’s clients. To read about her journey pioneering new frontiers in tourism, see “The World to Share” on Page 38. Photo by Paulo Petronilho
A Pu b l i ca t i o n of t h e F l o r i d a S ta te Un i ve rs i ty A l u m n i Asso c i a t i o n Fa l l / Wi n te r 201 8 Vo l u m e 10, I ss u e 2
Europe by Storm The Tori Sparks Show
Defender of Stiltsville Miami Attorney Bill Tuttle
Peace Corps Confidential Tough Jobs They Really Loved
ADVENTURES IN CULTURE
VIRES is the first torch in the university seal and represents strength of all kinds: physical, mental and moral.
Catching Up With University News Ten Questions Association News Seminoles Forever Class Notes In Memoriam Parting Shot
7 8 22 47 56 58 68 72
How attorney Bill Tuttle led the charge to save Biscayne
Bayâ€™s fabulous Stiltsville
Star Light, Star Bright
With nonstop appearances and a new album on the way,
Tori Sparks delights European audiences
Peace Corps Journeys
Despite rough living and inconveniences, FSU alumni
fondly remember their life-changing service
The World to Share
Sheree Mitchell offers adventures into the food, wine and
culture of Portugal, Israel and Costa Rica
THE FSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION IS PLEASED TO INTRODUCE THE NEWEST DIRECTORS OF ITS NATIONAL BOARD:
THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
KEVIN ADAMS (B.S. ’94)
LES AKERS (B.S. ’73)
FSU College of Business • West Orange, New Jersey Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank
FSU College of Business • Tallahassee, Florida Principal and President, Legacy Toyota
Edward E. Burr, Chair Mark Hillis, Vice Chair Todd Adams Maximo Alvarez Kathryn Ballard William Buzzett Emily Fleming Duda Jorge Gonzalez Jim W. Henderson Craig Mateer Stacey Pierre Bob Sasser Brent W. Sembler
THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS MELINDA BENTON (B.S. ’77, M.S. ’78)
STACI CROSS (B.S. ’04)
FSU College of Education • Whitefish, Montana President and CEO, Vyne Corporation
FSU College of Arts and Sciences Fort Lauderdale, Florida • Vice President of Activation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
JEANNE CURTIN (B.S. ’92, M.B.A. ’99, J.D. ’01)
ALTONY LEE III (B.S. ’02)
FSU colleges of Social Sciences and Public Policy; Business; and Law • Tallahassee, Florida • Deputy General Counsel, Florida Department of Elder Affairs
FSU College of Social Sciences and Public Policy Bonita Springs, Florida • Director of Major Gifts, Florida Gulf Coast University
JEANNE MILLER (J.D. ’95)
CHAREE L. WILLIAMS (B.S. ’06)
FSU College of Law • Jacksonville, Florida President and CEO, Jacksonville Civic Council
FSU College of Business • Orlando, Florida President, FSU Black Alumni
We encourage letters from readers. They must be signed and may be edited for length, clarity and civility. Due to space limitations, submission does not guarantee inclusion. Write to Jeffery Seay, editor-in-chief, at email@example.com or the FSU Alumni Association, 1030 W. Tennessee St., Tallahassee, FL 32304-7719. To view past issues, visit issuu.com and search for “VIRES.”
Executive Committee Max Oligario, Chair Craig T. Lynch, Immediate Past Chair Samuel S. Ambrose, Chair-Elect B. Dan Berger, Vice Chair Michael G. Griffith, Treasurer Michael J. Sweeney, Secretary Tom Jennings, Vice President for University Advancement and Foundation President Julie Cheney, Association President and CEO Kyle R. Doney, Board of Trustees Chair Designee Jennifer Guy-Hudson, At-Large Allison Yu, At-Large Jean C. Accius Kevin Adams Les Akers Melinda Benton Nicole Blonsick Christopher Bosler Jeff Boykins Stephen T. Brown Staci Cross John Crossman Jeanne Curtin Mark Ellis Ritesh A. Gupta Thomas C. Haney Maura Hayes Zach Heng Ronald H. Hobbs Clay Ingram Samantha G. Klaff Altony Lee III Dazi Lenoir Bruce W. McNeilage Jeanne Miller Eric Muñoz Rose M. Naff Laura C. Russell Joshua Tyler Scott Wiegand Charee L. Williams
A PUBLICATION OF THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 1030 West Tennessee Street Tallahassee, FL 32304 850.644.2761 | alumni.fsu.edu
PUBLISHER Julie Cheney EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeffery Seay
FROM THE PUBLISHER “Welcome to the family!” Do you remember the feeling of being welcomed into the Florida State University family? Can you recall the instant you knew FSU was where you were meant to be? I will never forget these moments as they have happened to me over the last month and a half. From my initial campus tour to my first experience in the state-of-the-art Ruby Diamond Concert Hall to my first game in Doak – each step revealed this new FSU family of mine. Thank you for the warm welcome. Let’s get started! This is indeed a dynamic time to be a part of Florida State University. Hopefully you have heard that your alma mater is ranked as the No. 26 public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and we have the best four-year graduation rate of any university in the state of Florida. Our university is on the rise in all ways. As of Nov. 1, the Office of Admissions has received more than 45,000 applications from students hoping to start their post-secondary career as a member of the FSU family. The best minds desire to come here, inquire and learn, and then depart our campus as critical thinkers passionate about contributing to the world around them.
DESIGNER Jessica Rosenthal COPY EDITOR Ron Hartung EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Marquis Washington CONTRIBUTORS University Communications ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Louise Bradshaw Julie Cheney Valerie Colvin Keith Cottrell Anna Cruz Meaghan Eckerle Beth Edwards Scott Gerber Dawn Cannon Jennings Adam Kabuka Chance King Cristian Gonzalez Mendez Torri Miller David Overstreet Sergio Pinon Whitney Powers Juliet Reilly Jessica Rosenthal Jeffery Seay Angie Standley Jennifer Tobias Marquis Washington Aimee Wirth Michael Wynn
Your involvement is essential to the continued upward trajectory of Florida State. As our alumni team evolves in 2019, we invite you to reconnect not only locally but also on campus. When you stay involved through your Alumni Association, you are ensuring strong scholarship support, strengthening alumni programming, supporting student leadership development and more. Family takes many forms; it allows us to individually look back to assess our growth and look forward to dream our own potential. It is a safe place to land as well as a launching pad for the greatness in all of us. Stay in touch! Go Noles,
Julie Cheney President & CEO FSU Alumni Association THANK YOU TO OUR CORPORATE PARTNERS
VIRES is a registered trademark of the Florida State University Alumni Association. All rights reserved. © 2018
Own the state. Get the plate! Scholarships from the FSU Tag help young scholars to develop into leaders who create a lasting impact. For more info please visit mytag.fsu.edu. All proceeds go to student scholarships!
CHARLIE WARD (B.S. ’93) Florida High boys basketball head coach Charlie Ward is not the typical high school basketball coach. For starters, Ward is among the most beloved and respected athletes in FSU’s pantheon of legends. His celebrity warranted the release of a biography earlier this year, “The Athlete: Greatness, Grace and the Unprecedented Life of Charlie Ward.” And with experience playing for the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs as well as playing and coaching for the Houston Rockets, the retired NBA star will bring massive insight to his new job at FSU’s laboratory high school. While building a solid game plan is essential, Ward’s ultimate goal for the kids he coaches involves equipping them with the tools they need to become productive men. “Reaching our goals involves making good choices and having great character, being authentic. Learning humility is part of the growing process. Another part is accountability and work ethic. All of these transcend basketball. They help us become great husbands and fathers, and be in the workforce.” He imparts these same coaching skills and life lessons through the Charlie Ward Family Foundation, which supports youth development programs and organizations.
Photo by AJ Studios Photography
As a student at FSU, Ward put these tools into practice, becoming the most decorated player in the history of college football. He famously quarterbacked the Seminoles to the 1993 National Championship, winning the Heisman Trophy and every other national award he was eligible for that year. On the court in the Tucker Center, he started on FSU’s Sweet 16 team in 1992 and helped bring FSU to the brink of the 1993 Final Four. He still holds Seminole basketball records for career steals (236) and ranks sixth all-time in assists (396). Ward hopes to help his players understand that struggle and sacrifice pave the road to success. “Sometimes, people see the outcome without realizing everything I had to endure to receive the accolades. There were things I did right to better myself, but there were a lot of failures that I learned from as well. There were setbacks and periods of waiting, being patient. Learning to persevere through tough times allowed me to reach my goals.” Florida High’s basketball season began Nov. 27. Vires 7
FSU AT A GLANCE Highlights
FSU: No. 26
Florida State University successfully concluded Raise the Torch: The Campaign for Florida State, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the institution’s history. Over eight years, alumni and friends gave or pledged $1,158,665,865 to the university. The campaign’s top three areas of support were Athletics ($371.8 million), the College of Business ($183.1 million) and the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art ($96.3 million).
Fine Arts dean
Damon P. Andrew (Ph.D. ’04) has been serving as dean of the FSU College of Education since August. Before returning to FSU, Andrew had served as the first permanent dean of Louisiana State University’s College of Human Sciences and Education since 2013. He earned a doctorate in sport administration from FSU.
James Frazier (B.S. ’91, M.F.A. ’94) was named dean of the College of Fine Arts in November. Promoted to full professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012, Frazier served as interim dean of VCU’s School of Arts over the 2016-2017 academic year.
FSU vaulted seven spots to No. 26 among national public universities in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2019” guidebook — the biggest single-year improvement in university history. FSU has soared 17 spots among public universities since 2016.
Best four-year grad rate FSU’s four-year graduation rate is 68.4 percent, the highest in the history of the State University System.
$4.2M NSF grant
Damon P. Andrew
The National Science Foundation awarded $4.2 million to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to launch a research and development effort for the next generation of high-field superconducting magnets.
University Libraries dean Gale S. Etschmaier has been serving as dean of University Libraries since September. Most recently dean of library and information access at San Diego State University, Etschmaier now oversees FSU’s over 3 million volumes, a website offering access to nearly 900 databases, 86,500 e-journals and more than a million e-books.
Diversity success The FSU College of Medicine received the 2018 Mark RileyProfessions Higher Education Excellence Health
Top Colleges for Diversity
in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The award recognizes a variety of American health-related schools demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Stay updated: fsu.edu, news.fsu.edu
Left: The Innovation Lab provides technology in bright, open spaces for intellectual exploration. Photo by Ryan Gamma Photography Above: Students Doris Chang and Raghav Rathi at work. Photo by FSU Photography Services
The Innovation Hub includes:
On an ordinary fall day in FSU’s new Innovation Hub, students Doris Chang and Raghav Rathi were doing extraordinary work. The computer science graduate research assistants were working to enhance a Raspberry Pi, a small singleboard computer that promotes the teaching of basic computer science.
Chang and Rathi are like many FSU students – about 1,000 per day – who now can test the limits of their creativity and imagination using the technologies at the Innovation Hub. The facility, which opened this summer and covers the entire first floor of the Louis Shores Building, is a $2.5 million partnership between the Office of the Provost and numerous colleges, schools and academic centers and institutes. “This facility symbolizes FSU’s ‘all-in’ commitment to student achievement with design, innovation and new technologies,” says Ken Baldauf, Innovation Hub director.
“We want to make our device part of the Internet of Things system,” says Rathi, 23, referring to the foundational system used in residential smart devices such as the Amazon Alexa and the Google Home Mini. “Since these devices can store information about the ways they are used, we are trying to create an environment for digital forensic investigators to be able to use as potential sources of digital evidence,” says Chang, 22.
Besides individual students, the Hub also hosts between five and eight classes per day that teach design, innovation, new technologies and entrepreneurship. “We teach topics that interest students and are valued by the businesses that will hire them,” Baldauf says. “There are lots of opportunities to get involved: classes, workshops, meetups, weekend hackathons or just hanging out in this engaging environment.”
Helping students succeed A day in the life of the Innovation Hub
• A Fabrication Lab (“Fab Lab”), with about 30 3D printers, a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, 3D scanners, soldering station and Arduino and Raspberry Pi circuit boards. • A Virtual Reality Lab (VR Lab), with three HTC Vive VR workstations, three Oculus Rift VR workstations, a Microsoft Windows Mixed Media headset and a Microsoft Hololens headset. • A huddle room, with a massive “Think Outside the Box” graphic covering two walls and a pingpong-sized conference table – net, balls and paddles included. • A pitch room for entrepreneurial students to share their ideas with fellow students, faculty and potential angel investors. The creation of the Innovation Hub is an example of how FSU is implementing its strategic plan for 2017-2022. The plan’s No. 1 goal is to deepen the university’s distinctive commitment to continuous innovation and entrepreneurship. Read more: strategicplan.fsu.edu.
UNIVERSITY NEWS Vires 9
RESEARCH Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science
food. Crowded waters caused increased competition among individual turtles for scarce resources. The researchers suggest that reducing the density of harvesters could allow turtles the room to migrate between better-suited habitats without being disrupted. In addition, recording turtle sightings on GPS or smartphones could help boaters avoid areas with higher turtle activity.
rate – with major consequences for how much carbon dioxide the forest can remove from the atmosphere. In addition, for tropical species that evolved to survive within a narrow range of equatorial temperatures, such as ant species that are extremely sensitive to bark temperatures, this kind of dramatic increase could cause considerable harm. The study was published in the journal Ecosphere.
Read more: gonol.es/seaturtles
Read more: gonol.es/treetops
Study lead author Natalie Wildermann with a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.
Warming treetops remove less carbon dioxide
Investigating history: Mission San Luis
In a study of temperature thresholds in the tropical forest canopies of Panama’s Barro Colorado Island, Assistant Professor Stephanie Pau found temperatures in the canopies exceeded maximum air temperatures by as much as 7 degrees Celsius. The results suggest that as air temperatures continue to climb with climate change, canopy temperatures could increase at a 40 percent higher
During the first archaeological dig in more than 10 years at Mission San Luis – a 17thcentury Spanish mission in Tallahassee that was shared by Spanish priests and Apalachee Native Americans – a group of students taking a field course supervised by Associate Professor Tanya Peres (B.A. ’95, M.A. ’97) excavated a plot where a Spanish house and possibly an Apalachee structure once stood. The dig, which
Scalloping threatens skittish sea turtles As thousands of amateur scallopers anchor their boats each summer in Florida’s largest recreational bay scallop fishery, in the coastal waters near Crystal River, they drive away Kemp’s ridley and loggerhead sea turtles that live and forage there. In a study published in the journal Oryx, Assistant Professor Mariana Fuentes and postdoctoral researcher Natalie Wildermann found that when boats appeared, the turtles turned tail away from the best areas for foraging, expending greater effort in finding
Changing temperatures in forest canopies such as Panama’s Barro Colorado Island could lessen the amount of carbon dioxide that forests remove from the atmosphere.
unearthed beads, ceramics, seeds, bones, architectural remains and carbonized food, helped Peres better understand how people in the 17th century lived in the region and allowed students to learn proper surveying, water-screening, digging and artifact-processing techniques. The dig also helped several graduate students develop ideas for their master’s theses. Read more: gonol.es/MissionSanLuis
cells called macrophages, warriors of the immune system that engulf any type of foreign substance. Using Zika- and dengue-infected macrophages in tests to measure their mobility, researchers found that dengue macrophages were essentially immobilized as they stayed in one spot to fight the infection. The ones infected with Zika, however, maintained their ability to migrate on glass slides – or float through the bloodstream. Researchers also found that Zika actively suppressed the macrophage’s ability to carry out its typical duties in fighting disease.
Graduate student Yan Zhou and postdoctoral researcher Sahan Salpage use light to separate metal ions.
Read more: gonol.es/Zika
Assistant Professor Kenneth Hanson. Photos by FSU
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Researchers separate metal ions with photons
Anthropology students excavating at Mission San Luis.
An FSU research team is using light – a simple, readily available energy source – to separate metal ions in a process that could help purify water or recycle nuclear waste. Assistant Professor Kenneth Hanson and postdoctoral researcher
Biological Science Zika suppresses virus-fighting cells The Zika virus is highly effective at penetrating natural barriers against infection, allowing it to be ferried throughout the body when most viruses would be stopped, according to a study by Professor Hengli Tang and postdoctoral researcher Jianshe Lang published in the journal Stem Cell Reports. The human body fights off viruses with immune
Hengli Tang, professor of biological science. Photo by FSU Photography Services
Sahan Salpage began looking at ways light could play a role in separating ions, which include elements such as mercury, chromium and iron. They also include the heavier, radioactive elements such as americium and curium. Separating these elements can be difficult and expensive, but is an important step in processing and recycling radioactive materials or purifying water that has heavy metal contaminants such as lead. The team is confident that light can make this separation process easier, greener and cheaper. The research is published in the journal Chemical Communications. Read more: gonol.es/light
UNIVERSITY NEWS Vires 11
UNIVERSITY NEWS Solving real-world problems through research The opioid epidemic: FSU’s focus on families, and prevention By Becky Ham Children and infants have always been a focus of Samantha Goldfarb’s work, but when she and her husband had a friend who became addicted to prescription opioid medication and later died of a heroin overdose in 2016, she began thinking about how families were faring in the face of the American opioid crisis.
Goldfarb is not alone among researchers at FSU who work to solve different aspects of the opioid crisis. Others seeking ways to inform policymakers or accelerate the development of nonaddictive pain treatments include Ellen Piekalkiewicz, director of the FSU Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families and Children in the College of Social Work, and sociology Associate Professor Amy Burdette. Beyond FSU, researchers, policymakers and communities are struggling to keep up with the urgent need to understand and remedy what has become a tidal wave of addiction in the United States. People seeking help at treatment centers for abuse of prescription opioids quadrupled between 2002 and 2012, and according to the National Center for Health Statistics,
the death rate associated with opioid painkillers soared by nearly 400 percent between 2000 and 2014. “It kind of changed the trajectory of my career,” says Goldfarb, an assistant professor in the FSU College of Medicine, “in the sense that I wanted to know more about how this epidemic was affecting mothers and babies. “I spent hours and hours researching about what we know but more importantly what we don’t know. I had so many questions and there were no answers.”
There are also more women misusing opioids during pregnancy and giving birth to infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a condition marked by babies’ withdrawal from narcotic drugs they were exposed to in the womb. There were 1.5 cases of NAS per 1,000 hospital births in 1999. By 2012, the number rose to six cases per 1,000 births – with a $1.5 billion increase in related hospital charges, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Critical Window Goldfarb is interested in how public policy may be shaping the care pregnant women seek for their addiction. “You have a critical window here in pregnancy. It’s actually an ideal time for intervention and motivation and willingness to change behavior,” she says. “But are we using that to our full advantage?” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends doctors ask all pregnant women about substance abuse, including prescription drug abuse, at the time of their first prenatal visit. But Goldfarb says universal screening could be having some unintended consequences.
An August 2018 report by the Guttmacher Institute, a policy organization dedicated to reproductive health research, found that substance abuse by pregnant women is considered child abuse in 23 states and the District of Columbia, while only 19 states have created or funded drug treatment programs specifically for pregnant women. Florida fits into both categories. “We really need these women to come in for prenatal care, but if they are afraid of testing positive and being referred to the criminal justice system … you know, we’ve heard stories of moms having babies on the side of the road,” says Goldfarb.
Goldfarb has submitted a grant application to the National Institute on Drug Abuse to fund a study looking at the impact that criminalization policies might have on hospital births of NAS infants, to determine whether these policies might be keeping new mothers from seeking care for addiction. Emphasizing Prevention Goldfarb was the keynote speaker at a May 2018 FSU event on opioid prevention research, held with Allies Against Opioid Abuse. The coalition contacted Piekalkiewicz to organize the event. It was familiar with her previous work on substance abuse and mental health in the nonprofit sector.
“The event allowed us to spotlight our research in this area and make it available to the community,” says Piekalkiewicz, who also wrote an op-ed for the Tallahassee Democrat and participated in a WFSU forum about the local opioid crisis. Prevention efforts for opioid abuse can be complicated, she explains, because “many people get these medications through their doctor, and even when they take them as prescribed, they don’t realize that they can become addicted.”
“There isn’t the perception that these are as addictive as an illegal drug like heroin, even though it’s the same drug,” Piekalkiewicz adds. This perception may explain why people may offer their “leftover” prescribed opioid drugs to others. A 2017 study found that about 40 percent of adults who misused opioids received their last dose for free from friends and family. One unusual type of prevention that may work for illegal drugs but not prescription opioids is the protective effect of religion, according to Burdette.
In a study published in June 2018, Burdette and her colleagues found that although church involvement could affect a parent’s decision to use illegal drugs, it had no impact on the misuse of prescription drugs, including prescription opioids. A church may have “specific religious doctrines and specific moral directives” against illegal drug use but not prescription drugs, which could explain why church involvement doesn’t have a protective effect against opioids, Burdette says.
“It’s also possible that the social networks that people have that are connected to illegal drug use could be really different from the social networks connected to prescription drug use,” she says, adding that attending church regularly may therefore not shield a person from a network where prescription opioids are used. @FSUResearch
UNIVERSITY NEWS Vires 13
Bill Tuttle and Stiltsville How a landmark memorandum of understanding allowed Biscayne Bay’s coolest feature to transcend its deliciously illegitimate beginnings and become a national treasure By Zac Howard (B.A. ’14) Among the many distinct neighborhoods that make up Miami’s rich cultural heritage, from Little Havana and Liberty City to Coral Way and Coconut Grove, one stands alone – both figuratively and literally. There are no homeowners, mailboxes, cul-de-sacs or backyards. No one lives there and no one ever will. 14 Vires
A mile and a half offshore just south of Key Biscayne sit seven houses, built on wood and concrete pilings driven deep into submerged lands and sunken barges in the bay. From a distance, adorned in pastel paint and seagull droppings on weathered wood, they might be mistaken for boats. Together they constitute the unique neighborhood known as Stiltsville. Nearly a century has passed since “Crawfish” Eddie Walker first set up shop on an abandoned barge on the flats in Biscayne Bay, selling bait and
chowder to local fishermen in the 1920s. Just a few decades after Miami officially became a city, times were different. The government was smaller and Prohibition ruled the day. Bootleggers soon mimicked Walker’s ingenuity, building houses on the water, which were naturally secluded and thus undisturbed by law enforcement. Word spread about the rogue getaways hiding in plain sight, and fun weekend excursions begot illegitimate social clubs with a scandalous milieu.
Above: Stiltsville’s Jimmy Ellenburg House at sunrise, with the Miami skyline in the distance. Inset: Miami attorney Bill Tuttle, ardent defender and supporter of the iconic settlement in Biscayne Bay. Photos by Daniel Varela
last leases containing an expiration date of July 1, 1999. No new structures have been built since. In 1985, the de facto homeowners association changed leadership from the state to the federal government when a mostly underwater, alreadyexisting national preserve was expanded to form Biscayne National Park, with its northern boundary barely including the submerged lands upon which Stiltsville was built. With a budget insufficient for maintaining the structures, the U.S. Department of the Interior determined the demise of Stiltsville upon the conclusion of the leases in July 1999.
Above: Touting its fabulous location and exclusive nature, this Life magazine story helped to introduce Stiltsville to the nation in 1941. Above right: A row of Stiltsville houses as they appeared in March 1976. Photo by John Pineda/Miami Herald
A Life magazine feature on the popular Quarterdeck Club catapulted Stiltsville into national prominence in 1941. Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins frequented one house incognito during his tenure in the 1950s, and rumor has it that U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy celebrated his bachelor party there as well. Stiltsvilleâ€™s reputation grew as the number of structures increased, reaching a peak of nearly 40 in the 1960s.
The Stiltsville community resisted, waging a political and legal battle that lasted seven years, concluding with a Memorandum of Understanding in 2005 that decreed the houses could stay with the condition that they be shared with the public and preserved through private means. The author of that memorandum was Miami lawyer Bill Tuttle (B.A. â€™80), a native who has lived in the area his whole life, besides the four years he spent in Tallahassee at Florida State.
After the devastating Hurricane Betsy in 1965, the state began regulating the stilt structures and banned the repair of structures that suffered more than 50 percent damage. Leases were administered to the existing structures starting in 1976, with the
While the endeavor included scores of supporters across the country, spearheaded by those with a vested interest in the homes, Tuttle utilized his legal pedigree to battle park officials and politicians en route to a victorious compromise.
“No one person gets credit for saving these houses,” Tuttle says. “Everybody gets credit because it was a collaborative effort of thousands of people.” “It took a desire by all the caretakers to muster resources and connections to demonstrate the importance of Stiltsville,” says Kevin Mase, current chairman of the Stiltsville Trust, the official network of house caretakers and former stakeholders. “Bill’s been the guy that has principally done what is needed and charted our course forward, helping us navigate dealing with the government and other outside organizations to preserve Stiltsville.” The once exclusive outposts now open their doors to all those wishing to experience the mystical history firsthand. “Sharing these homes with other people in Miami is what this agreement is all about,” says Eliott Rodriguez, a longtime news anchor for CBS4 in Miami who considers Tuttle a friend. “I can’t think of anybody who has done more to save these homes, and I can’t think of anybody who’s done more to share these homes. Bill is constantly taking groups out there.” Tuttle is an articulate storyteller with a sharp memory, modest disposition and conspicuous passion. His task of taking on Goliath was accomplished pro bono, which is hardly shocking given the laborious and expensive duty of maintaining a wooden house in Biscayne Bay that no longer carries any real-estate value. “I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have a passion for preserving what I think is one of Florida’s greatest treasures,” he says.
Tuttle was 5 years old the first time he visited Stiltsville. His parents had friends who invited the family to accompany them on a group outing at one of the stilt homes. His affinity for the houses took root that day and grew with each subsequent trip. In junior high and high school, Tuttle and his friends would boat over to Stiltsville after school and go fishing off the docks when no one was home. Sometimes, the owners would put them to work on maintenance tasks, which helped the youths earn their keep. That led to overnight campouts, and eventually the invitations became indefinite.
Over the years Tuttle has enjoyed countless common activities turned extraordinary by the setting, ranging from romantic evenings and guys nights to stargazing and book reading. Alone time on the water brings unparalleled peace of mind, but sharing the experience with others is equally rewarding.
Above: Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins, left, and Jimmy Ellenburg enjoy a sunny day in 1950s Stiltsville. Though the community began with an air of illegitimacy because of bootlegging, it gained a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous.
“You know what inspires me to stay involved over all these years?” he says. “Ever since I’ve been a stakeholder, we’ve always had these groups of kids go out there. Every now and then, I’ll bump into these kids that are now taller than I am, and they remember me. They say, ‘When I was 6 years old, you took us out to your Stiltsville house. Do you still have that house?’ I go, ‘Yeah, I do!’” Tuttle compares it to seeing Mount Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty for the first time. “They remember, like I do, their first experience,” he says. “It’s just something you never forget.” When it came time to choose a college, Tuttle was torn between the University of Florida, his parents’ alma mater, and Florida State. Initially he chose the Gators, but in the end the outdoorsman changed course, yielding to the allure of the Panhandle’s access to fishing in the Gulf and hunting in Georgia. He fell in love with Tallahassee’s rolling hills and the enchanting red brick architecture of FSU’s campus. Tuttle recalls fond memories of working at Nic’s Toggery downtown, playing golf, taking trips to the FSU Reservation, attending First Baptist and making lifelong friends during his two years in Lambda Chi Alpha. Vires 17
Opposite left: Bill Tuttle, right, hosts a planning and strategy session in February 2000 at the Ellenburg House to prepare the “Save Old Stiltsville” legal defense. Also pictured are U.S. Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Duff Matson and Mary Doyle, acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for water and science. Opposite right: Tuttle, sitting far right, and U.S. Rep. James V. Hansen of Utah, sitting next to Tuttle, discuss Stiltsville’s future during a work group session at the Ellenburg House. Hansen served as chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Opposite bottom: A 1999 edition of People magazine chronicles the struggle of Stiltsville owners against the National Park Service, which was preparing to demolish the houses after the owners’ 25-year leases that were signed with the state of Florida came to an end in July of that year.
Earning a dual degree in business and restaurant management, he intended to enter the banking industry upon graduation, considering multiple job offers he received in sales and insurance. Maybe one day he would open up his own restaurant. Then one Wednesday night he was preparing for an eventful evening at the Silver Dollar – later known as the Phyrst – when his mother called.
Ironically, the destruction may have helped the longevity of Stiltsville, as caretakers of the surviving houses learned important adjustments necessary to strengthen the houses to withstand future storms. “Darwin, all over again,” Tuttle says. “Natural selection, the survival of the fittest. The seven houses that remained are all much more structurally sound.”
She urged him to attend an LSAT exam offering the next morning. “I know you’re not signed up, but if you get there really early, you can get on their wait list and walk in,” she says.
Jimmy Ellenburg, an old man known as the mayor of Stiltsville, identified Tuttle as a good heir to his iconic house, referred to simply as “The Ellenburg House.” Once Tuttle and company completed the repairs, Ellenburg transferred his interest in the house. Tuttle remains the primary caretaker to this day.
“Mom, it’s nickel beer night!” he told her. Tuttle credits his career to his mother’s benevolent pressure. “So, I go to nickel beer night and I’m halfhearted into that because I feel guilty,” he says. “I wake up without setting an alarm clock at 6 in the morning and I make my way over there in shorts and a T-shirt. I was No. 6 on the list. They took seven walk-ins.” Tuttle aced the test on the first try and ended up going to law school. He has practiced general civil law for the past 35 years.
Despite fierce winds and torrential downpours, hurricanes were not the greatest threat facing Stiltsville heading into the new millennium. The federal government was. Since the boundaries of Biscayne National Park were extended in 1985, the houses were now resting in an area protected by the U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the lease agreements signed with the state of Florida were still intact, so Stiltsville maintained legal standing. As the looming 1999 expiration date approached, the writing was on the wall for Stiltsville. National Park Service officials decided structural upkeep was too expensive and private access to the homes was unreasonable.
It was law school that brought Tuttle back home in 1980, and he picked up where he left off with his hobbies at Stiltsville. In 1985, he got his big break to buy into one of the stilt houses that was owned by five of his friends – one of whom was moving to North Carolina. Tuttle jumped at the opportunity to buy the one-fifth share. With the hearty consent of the other four owners, the sale was approved and Tuttle became a card-carrying member of his favorite community for a cost under five figures. Unlimited access was now his to be enjoyed. Then Andrew hit. Amid the catastrophic damage across the state, Stiltsville was devastated. Of the 19 existing structures, only seven survived the 1992 hurricane. Tuttle’s house was not one of them. “It could not have hit Stiltsville any harder,” he says. Based on tidal surge estimations, Tuttle believes some of the houses were completely underwater. 18 Vires
The Stiltsville leadership went to the drawing board, drafting solutions while galvanizing support. They made an invaluable political ally in U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who guided them through endless political gymnastics. A petition to preserve the houses began, ultimately accumulating nearly 75,000 signatures. Tuttle flew to Washington, D.C., to make his appeal, seeking to educate the bureaucrats on Stiltsville’s cultural and historical significance to the local community. A bill to redraw the park boundaries failed, as did a campaign to add Stiltsville to the National Register of Historic Places. Despite the public resistance, in 1998 the National Park Service ordered demolition of the houses upon conclusion of the existing state leases. Tuttle reluctantly played his final card, filing a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior. “I did so regrettably, but we were at Defcon 5,” Tuttle says. Just days before eviction, a federal
No one person gets credit for saving these houses,” Tuttle says. “Everybody gets credit because it was a collaborative effort of thousands of people.
judge blocked the demolition and both sides returned to the war room. National and local news outlets covered the back-and-forth, increasing both tension and publicity. Eventually, the park superintendent called Tuttle and asked to speak to him in person, alone. “I get behind closed doors with this guy and he says, ‘Listen to me. I have a great big place in my heart for Stiltsville,’” Tuttle says. “His bosses were putting pressure on him and they called the shots. I say, ‘I understand the bureaucracy. I fully appreciate the argument: How is it that one small group of people can hold the keys to locks on structures inside of a national park? I get all that. But Stiltsville is different, and we have to find the right answer.’”
After signing the official papers in 2005, Tuttle says, he received letters, calls and emails from roughly 200 lawyers across the country asking to review the documents. Now commonplace, a park representative told him this groundbreaking partnership of private funds utilized in a national park was unprecedented at the time. “They used this sort of like a cookie cutter around the country,” he says.
During the extended negotiations, the light bulb finally went off. Since the park could not offer official leases, nor afford to provide requisite maintenance for the structures, Tuttle suggested a change in phrasing. Instead of leases, the department entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the new Stiltsville Trust Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Essentially, the compromise was this: The houses would not be demolished, unless damaged more than 50 percent, with the cost and responsibility for upkeep or repairs falling on the private means of the seven individual caretakers assigned by the Stiltsville Trust. Additionally, the houses would now be open to the public through special permission from the Stiltsville Trust and on occasion of the park. Functioning practically like a lease, the Memorandum of Understanding was legally unique. Vires 19
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Once in an embittered relationship, Stiltsville and the National Park Service now share a mutual appreciation. The houses provide additional tourism and intrigue to the park, functioning as a microcosm of a developmental epoch in Miami’s history and epitomizing the spirit of resolve that marks its residents. “I think Stiltsville is a part of Miami’s history, just like the Orange Bowl, Marine Stadium and the Freedom Tower,” Rodriguez says. “Sadly, we lost the Orange Bowl, but we don’t want to lose other iconic locations.” While hurricane season brings annual concern, the Stiltsville Trust chairman is optimistic. “I believe
in my lifetime there will always be a structure there, at least for the next 20 to 30 years or so,” Mase says. “Stiltsville’s presence in Miami is somewhat folklore. It’s part of the skyline, of all things. Even with it gone, there would be enough history to tell the story and have it part of the memories of this community.” Tuttle says he gets around 300 calls after every hurricane, from people wanting to check on the state of the houses. He knows they cannot last forever, so he continues to spread the word and share the experience with all who inquire. “I always say there’s nothing more ‘Florida’ than Stiltsville,” he says. “You don’t have to own a stilt house, you don’t have to ever get an invite or set foot on one to enjoy them, and to appreciate how beautiful they are.”
In addition to Tuttle’s Jimmy Ellenburg House, some of the other structures in Stiltsville include, clockwise from top, the A-Frame House, the Leshaw House and the Baldwin, Sessions House. Photos by Denise Ratajczak/National Park Service
Julie Cheney with Osceola and Renegade at the FSU vs. Wake Forest football game Oct. 20. Photos by FSU Photography Services/Bruce Palmer 22 Vires
TEN QUESTIONS J
Julie Cheney has not missed a beat since starting Nov. 1 as president and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association. Building upon her 19 years of experience as an alumni relations strategist at the universities of Georgia and North Carolina and, most recently, Coastal Carolina University, she’s been working to get to know Florida State and its people. With her new adventure at FSU under way, we sat down to ask Julie about what’s in store. When did you realize that working in alumni relations would be a career and not just a job? Early on I knew that alumni relations was a great fit for me due to the dynamic nature of the work and the breadth of the outreach. Specifically, while working with the Student Alumni Association, I was able to see the impact of this work on our Student Alumni Council while they selflessly shaped a culture of philanthropy through student alumni programs. I found that time period in my career extremely rewarding. At the end of the day, everything comes back to our students. Depending on the schools they serve, all alumni associations are different. What do the successful ones have in common? A successful alumni association at a large public university will see itself as a keeper of history and traditions as well as a partner in advancing the university. I believe successful alumni associations have moved from being singularly the “friend-raisers” to a key collaborator in everything from admissions to athletics. Alumni care passionately about widely varying issues on campus, and the alumni association should endeavor to connect all constituents – graduates, friends, parents, students and community. What is the key to your own success? Undoubtedly, the key to my professional success has been amazing mentors. I am here today because several people cared to guide me, give me feedback, share their experiences and include me. Subsequently, I believe it is incumbent upon me to reach back and do the same. Personally, I would be absolutely nothing without my family, and that includes my chosen family. When you found out that you had been selected to lead the FSU Alumni Association, how did you react? It was a feeling I have never felt before, I can tell you that much! “Elated” and “thankful” are two words that come to mind. Elated in that I felt all of my experience aligned to actualize my potential; thankful for the opportunity to serve Florida State during this unique and special time in the history of this institution. What’s your favorite thing about Tallahassee so far? Immediately, I felt at home when I came to Tallahassee. I love being in the capital city while also getting a college town feel. The community is diverse, kind and vibrant. From the tree canopy-lined streets to the beauty of campus buildings, I couldn’t ask for a better place to be.
Now that you’ve experienced your first FSU Homecoming, what stands out most? The faces of proud alumni sharing their alma mater with children, beloved students creating their own memories through the many Homecoming traditions and energetic community members beaming with pride. Everything was new to me and these “firsts” won’t be forgotten. What do you envision for the future of the FSU Alumni Association? Your alumni team will work to articulate and enhance the value proposition of the Alumni Association both internally and externally. You’ll see existing programs growing and new ones emerge as we work to include all areas of campus with the goal of advancing the university, engaging our graduates and upholding the FSU brand and legacy. There are exciting days ahead to build on an already exceptional foundation. How can our members help to implement your vision? First, if you are a member of the Alumni Association, thank you! Our active, dues-paying members support scholarships, strengthen alumni programming, enhance student leadership development and more. Research shows, too, that if you’re a member of the alumni association, you’re more likely to be a donor and involved with your school or college specifically. Simply put, membership matters. Our members and graduates can help by keeping their address and email updated, promoting and advocating for FSU, visiting campus, hiring Florida State graduates and serving as a volunteer. With so many opportunities for alumni to attend events on campus and with local clubs, alumni associations and fun often go hand-in-hand. What part of the job is most fun for you? The most fun is connecting with people. Getting to see important connections being made or old friends reacquaint – it’s special. Also, I get to hear some pretty great stories, and I treasure learning about the experiences alumni want to share with me. In alumni relations, we get to serve people who are, for the most part, very happy to be connecting with you. They care deeply for their university and, when we are good stewards of that sentiment, it’s a blast. Leading an alumni association is a prominent position that comes with a bullhorn. What would you say to the world about Florida State University? The future is garnet and gold. This is an institution on the rise in every area. The success that your alma mater has realized in the 21st century not only increases the value of your degree but also impacts the state, region, country and world. Our graduates are global influencers, change makers, risk takers and more. The future is bright for FSU. Join us!
With a nonstop tour schedule and a new album on the way, Tori Sparks leaves European audiences clamoring for more. By Marina Brown qua•sar /'kw zär/: An extremely remote celestial object, emitting exceptionally large amounts of energy, ' and typically having a star-like image in a telescope. What better way to describe Tori Sparks (B.A. ’04)? Like an astronomical quasar, the international singer/songwriter is filled with powerful energy. She is celestially talented, remote only because, at present, she is based in Barcelona, Spain, and without a doubt, she is the possessor of star quality. The Florida State University alumna is one of the chosen few, gifted with intellect, musical talent and personal creativity. Perhaps even more rare, Tori Sparks has a drive that, like a quasar’s, has taken her luminous talent over great distances. From her early days in Sarasota to Tallahassee and FSU, on to the Memphis country scene, and now to Barcelona and the European stage, Sparks is a one-woman energy source, attracting others with a certain ephemeral magnetism. Living and working in Europe since 2011, Sparks is a singer/songwriter unlike most performing today. Able to imbue a ballad with heart-wrenching loss or go full-country, Sparks is now the vocal heart of Calamento, a fusion trio melding rock and flamenco. With a blend of gritty guitar riffs and rhythmically complicated flamenco palos, Sparks has brought together the two worlds with her soulful understanding of each. Sparks plays between 150 and 200 acoustic or full-band shows across as many as nine European countries in a single year. The size of the venue varies, as does the number of days spent on the road annually. “Our average full-band shows are in clubs for a couple hundred people,” she says. 24 Vires
“When I’m in production for an album, there are fewer days on the road, but we play quite a few shows in and around Barcelona.” The 34-year-old chanteuse, with her long, blond mane, aristocratic profile and a vocal range that may pound out something resembling rock followed by an intimate vision into her soul, is thrilled with the reception this amalgam of styles has received. In January 2018, she was voted “One of the Top Five Female Artists of the Year,” and the group “One of the 20 Top Albums of the Year,” by Popular1, one of Europe’s oldest music magazines. In addition, she has been written about in Spain’s Rolling Stone magazine. But even celestial bodies follow a trajectory. Sparks was born in Chicago and moved to Sarasota with her mother and sister. Her musical gifts began to surface early in the quiet Gulf-side town. “I began playing the piano. Then the cello, with its beautiful voice. As I grew into my teens, the guitar came into my life … and kind of took over.” Sparks says that she feels her mother, Debi George – “one of my favorite people” – is responsible for setting the example of what it means to be strong
and to accomplish your goals. “She is so creative and so hard-working. With no background, she became one of the only female general contractors in the state and the founder of a successful architectural steel-roofing business. She never quits. I love that.” Perhaps learning by osmosis what it means to persevere, Sparks was exhilarated by the feeling she got from succeeding, from achieving through determination and hard work. And her interests were wide – beginning in elementary school. “I went to a magnet school where I learned to speak French,” she recalls. After a summer abroad in high school, she says, “I thought that one day I would go to live in Paris.” She became proficient in guitar, became active in theater productions – though oddly never musicals – and soared academically. “I was a driven student,” she says. “It was always for myself, which made it fun, actually.” So much fun that Sparks decided to take a double load her last year of high school in order to “get on with life.” A future as a lawyer seemed like it might fit the bill. But there was music too. Sparks by now was writing her own songs and establishing a style that would develop into the powerful, noholds-barred renderings that have come to set her apart from less passionate artists.
Florida State University saw the potential. Receiving a full academic and music scholarship, Sparks moved north to Tallahassee and launched herself not only into pre-law studies, but also onto the city’s bustling music scene.
Tori Sparks and the band Calamento record her live album, “Wait No More,” Sept. 14 in Barcelona, Spain. It will be released April 20. Photo by Quim Cabeza
“I remember well her playing here,” says an employee of the Black Dog Café on Lake Ella. “She had a powerful voice, wrote beautiful ballads, and had quite a following. I believe we might still have a couple of her CDs here.” She adds, “She booked really well.” Meaning: Tori Sparks, even then, was a woman who realized the necessity of getting oneself seen, heard and marketed. The endless energy that was allowing her to study French, anthropology, business, international affairs and classical guitar at FSU – law having fallen by the wayside – was also propelling her onstage as a performer and driving her backstage to initiate gigs all over the city. Gary Anton, owner of the Bradfordville Blues Club, says, “She was hard to forget.” Sparks opened in 2002 and 2004 for several important acts at the BBC. “She was brought over by Charles Atkins and his FSU Music Lab group and possessed this personal style – a strong yet soothing voice. It Vires 25
Above right: An image of Sparks’ album, “La Huerta,” released in 2017. Her other albums – written, recorded and released amid her packed tour schedule – are “El Mar” (2014), “Until Morning/Come Out of the Dark” (2011), “The Scorpion in the Story” (2009), “Under This Yellow Sun” (2007), and “Rivers + Roads” (2004).
was clear she would have a bright future. At about 20 years old, she just needed seasoning,” he says. Anton thought enough of that possibility that Sparks became the first “star sticker” that he had made and stuck on the Blues Club door. It is still there today. But Sparks was still a schoolgirl then, and she was busy absorbing everything she could from her university. “For me, the best part of FSU was the surprise of the experience … how it expanded me. I had been assigned to one honors dorm, but got it changed to one that was more ethnically diverse. It felt more creative there.” And she took a world music course with Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Margaret Jackson that both affirmed Sparks’ own instincts and helped them evolve. “I think that allowed me to envision a ‘world career’ rather than something only local,” she says. Jackson, who herself performed vocally across Europe and has a deep interest in everything from German lieder to hip-hop to minstrels, says she met Sparks as an eager 18-year-old student when they “bonded over Tom Waits.” She was impressed with Sparks’ ability to set her own course and take the steps necessary to succeed. “She improved her
instrumental abilities by taking flamenco guitar classes, she studied voice with me privately, and early on, she understood the necessity of marketing one’s talent. I was impressed.” My advice to her was, “If you’re interested in living abroad and making a career there … do it! It’s not impossible.” And then one night at FSU, in the wee hours of a long study session, Sparks received an email. “It was 2 a.m. and a Nashville record label said they’d heard a CD I’d made here in Tallahassee. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in signing with them. I deleted it,” she laughs. It would take the Nashville country music producers multiple emails before Sparks understood they were serious. Again, hearing opportunity’s call, she doubled her academic load, graduated from FSU early, and just before she turned 21, moved to Nashville. Yet not all that glittered in the country music capital turned out to be gold. “I learned a great deal in Nashville,” says Sparks. But her relationship with the record label quickly soured. “While some people may Netflix-binge when they get mad, I get creative,” she laughs. Sparks decided to book her own tour – 34 concerts in 35 days. Driving from gig to gig in her own car, she managed the sound
system, the press kits, the interviews and haggled with venue owners while polishing the artistry needed to pull the whole thing off. Subsequent tours followed and continued for much of the next seven years. They would arm her with the business and promotional skills she would parlay toward a much wider audience. One venture, the establishment of her own record label, Glass Mountain, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. More “mountains” to climb were to come. “I had already booked several tours in England and played in France, and I wanted to spend more time there. When I left, it seemed like the right time to make a change.” With an exhausting European tour of eight countries over four weeks winding up, Sparks had thought she would now put down new roots in a favorite city, Paris, when she was called to audition for a new show on Broadway. The apartment hunt was put on hold. And while she didn’t go to Broadway, the interruption somehow realigned her plans. “Yes, I do make decisions instinctively,” she says. And her instinct told her that Barcelona was calling. “I didn’t speak Spanish, and perhaps Berlin or London would have made more sense.” But Barcelona it would be. And Sparks hasn’t looked back. Since 2011, she has toured the continent extensively, learned to speak Spanish and Catalan, obtained a dual Italian-U.S. citizenship, recorded seven award-winning albums, studied flamenco guitar in Granada, bought a house, and established a unique relationship with the flamenco-infused Calamento. Her newest album with the group, “Wait No More,” recorded live on Sept. 14 in Luz de Gas, will be released April 20. Watching one of her many videos or in person, it feels like an invitation to enter Sparks’ personal space. With her half-closed lids and hair that cascades in blond arcs to her shoulders, she resembles a hybrid of a young Streisand and the Lady Gaga of the Tony Bennett duets. But that impression may not last. Soon, with heel stamps and the percussion of the cajón, Sparks changes the subject and the rhythm to a synthesis of her own influences – Spanish, Latino, Greek, Arabic and African musical styles. “My music probably wouldn’t be called ‘happy music,’ something you would play at a barbecue,” she quips. “The songs that interest me tell a story. And in any good story there is conflict and resolution. I write more about the conflict than the day when everything is perfect.”
Sparks is well aware that in the world things really are far from perfect. From the music industry itself to human and women’s rights, her eyes are wide open and her energies and intellect stirred to do something about it. She plays many benefits promoting freedom of speech and women’s advocacy causes. She participates in panels and writes opinion pieces for magazines. From concerts for cancer research to assistance for the persecuted, she is proud of her activism. “These are things to really lose sleep over, and I would like to do even more to help,” she says. “Occasionally I wonder about law school again.” Old friend and mentor Margaret Jackson thinks she would make a wonderful teacher or artists’ manager. But for now, Sparks says it’s hard to imagine herself doing anything different from following the muse that has guided her thus far.
Top: Sparks during a 2010 performance. In the years since, Sparks has kept a touring schedule that reflects her popularity – 150 to 200 acoustic or full-band shows across several European countries each year.
And for the public, so enamored of the passionate tales she tells with her music and the exposure of her soul, it is hoped Tori Sparks will continue to follow the instincts that have brought us the joy of her innovation and the beauty of her voice. Vires 27
S P R O C PEACE S Y E N R U JO
r c e s o f b e in g fa n ie n e v n o c in e d th e g c o n d it io n s an in v li h g -c h an g in g se rv ic u fe ro li e ir it e th r e D e sp b m me al u m n i fo n d ly re U S F e, m o h m fr o By Bill Edmonds
(M.A. ’96, Ph.D.
to be g n i o g e r a o you wh f o in y n s a y m a d w r o u H o y d " n o spe t g n i l l i w e r many w o h , s r e doctors, a e n i g or en s n a i c i n h eign c r e o T F e h t n Ghana? i k to wor g n i nd l u l o i r a w g e n r i a l e u v o a y of ves tr i l r u o y d n e p at, h t o d o t s s Service anItdwasslate, 2 o’clockurin thewmorning e llonianngn Kennedy, of course, won the i election, and o y n rs O a e ? y d l o r o w October day in 1960, and John F. Kennedy was r establishing the Peace Corps became an early t r o the w a e y e the crowd priority. Within months of hisstakingtoffice, e onbut tired after a day ofr campaigning, v e s o his o t s y e l n e g r n e i m l at the University of Michigan was thousands administration was enlisting young Americans. l t i o n your wEach recruit received quick training n o t u strong, waiting to hear from the young senator – at hurried b y, , r e c n i u v o r c e s s i e h h t t o running for president. So Kennedy climbedife tour tthrough the language of their destination in l r u o y f o up some steps and gave brief remarks before country, some basics on the nativea culture, a course t r a p to bed. In those few words, he r e h t e h w r on safety and first aid – and with hearty pats on e contributeheading w ans the back and plane tickets in hand, they e h t d n e p e launched an idea and a challenge that would were d ! Anoffd n a illa defining part of his presidency. I totadventure c t i k n i h I think wbecome and to do good. te. e p m o c n a te. c u b y i t r e t i n c o o c s o e t e r g at FSU and other colleges and f “How many of you who are going to bew doctors,” llinStudents ispend e r a s n a c i we by Kennedy asked the students, “are willing to universities across the t country were r n captivated medays in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, howr gthisrheady a h r e t a e I think Ayour offer to explore a foreign land, meet fa btheeForeign t s u m t r o many of you are willing to work in interesting people and share American knowf f e But the Service and spend yournlives ttraveling . t s around the how. Many at FSU considered the possibility of a p e h i e d a m world? On your willingness to do that, not merely volunteering, some actually took the bold have everto serve one year or two years in the service, but step, and theyand did so in no small numbers. Since on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think, will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.” The students cheered, Kennedy smiled, and so was born the idea of a Peace Corps. College students and Americans of all ages have been answering Kennedy’s call to service ever since, and alumni of Florida State University have been many among them.
the start of the Peace Corps in 1961, 858 FSU alumni have served. Listening to FSU alumni tell their stories of Peace Corps service, what sound like deprivations and danger – riding Italian motorcycles in the blistering desert heat, fetching water with a bucket, witnessing a coup d’état, keeping an eye out for cobras, fighting dengue fever, catching the sideeye from CIA-wary locals, trying to get warm in mountain cold – are but colorful details of some of the greatest times of their lives.
ROY DOUTHITT, LIBYA ROY DOUTHITT, LIBYA Roy Douthitt (Ph.D. ’80) was one who heard the call. He was in high school when JFK, as Kennedy was called in the acronym-rich 1960s, got the Peace Corps established in one of the first acts of his short administration. “I remember Kennedy’s speech,” he said in a Skype conversation from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), where he works for Singapore International Schools. “I graduated high school in ’64, and I started following the Peace Corps very early.” Douthitt watched the evocative Peace Corps public-service ads on TV, with the well-scrubbed men and women in khakis and T-shirts sinking wells for drinking water in dusty villages or teaching English and mathematics in dirt-floor classrooms, and he read the articles about these young goodwill ambassadors in Life, Look and other magazines. While a student of international relations at Oklahoma State University he made the commitment, and in July of 1968 Douthitt found himself heading first to Tripoli, then to an isolated hamlet to teach English at two schools in the Libyan desert.
Roy Douthitt 30 Vires
For Douthitt and many other volunteers, Peace Corps service was a form of escape. “I had an adventuresome spirit,” he said, “and I wasn’t interested in staying in Oklahoma.” For some young men of his time – Douthitt signed up in 1968 – Peace Corps service was attractive for other reasons. “When I joined the Vietnam War was going on, and probably half the guys joined for a large extent to avoid the war,” he said, adding, “I would have joined regardless, war or no war.”
Each day in Libya, Douthitt gave a lesson to fifth-graders who before his arrival had heard not a word of English, and each day the students and the desert opened his eyes to life outside the American comfort zone. “Some of those kids rode a donkey three miles to school every morning, and back home…,” he recalled. “They were real Bedouins, living in tents, all of them.” To reach the students, Douthitt bumped along on a motorcycle – “we were riding 125 Moto Guzzis with a dirt-bike setup” – taking care not to lose his way on the sandy path. Once at school, he was a figure from another world. “In the first school, I had two or three kids who had seen foreigners and interacted with foreigners,” he said. “When I walked into that second school, the one off the road, none of my students had ever seen a foreigner, and none of my students had ever heard the English language.” Life was unlike anything back in Oklahoma. There was no electricity, he pulled drinking water from a cistern, and there was just not a lot for a young man to do. “Take a walk around, read a book, you know,” he said. Watching movies, shooting pool, drinking beer, like the guys back home? “Zero.” Did he meet any girls? “Oh, no,” he said. “I never spoke to a woman. Women were very much behind the veil. If they saw you coming they would avoid you; they didn’t know what to do and, of course, no one spoke English. Even if you went to Tripoli, the capital city, I don’t recall ever talking to a Libyan female.” Nightlife meant going to bed early or visiting one of the few businesses. “We’d go down and sit in one of the very small shops and talk to the shopkeeper, with very, very basic communication skills. But he enjoyed talking to us, even though our Arabic was terrible, and he spoke no English. By the end of the year our language skills were beginning to improve, but of the three guys I was living with, none of us was born to be a linguist.” Douthitt’s work was part of an effort by an education reformer in Libya to teach English earlier and more effectively. “It was a good plan,” Douthitt said. “The only problem was [Muammar] Qaddafi came along and ended everything.”
“I was in Tripoli when it occurred,” Douthitt said of Qaddafi’s bloodless coup against King Idris in September of 1969. “I had just gotten back from a summer holiday in Europe and hadn’t gone back to the village. There were about six or seven of us hanging out at an apartment in Tripoli, on the third floor, and we could look out the window and see everything going on. ‘The king was gone, we are going to be able to drink beer, there will be movie theaters’ – this is the talk of the young people – ‘finally Libya is going to open up, become a real country.’ They had no idea what was coming.” Once in power, Qaddafi accused the young volunteers of being agents of the CIA and sent the Peace Corps packing. Douthitt returned to the United States and finished his two-year volunteer commitment with Teacher Corps, a now defunct program that placed educators in low-income areas. He taught in Appalachia.
Though his Peace Corps service was cut short, it made a big impression. “If it hadn’t been for the Peace Corps I wouldn’t have gone into education,” said Douthitt, who studied education at Western Carolina University and at American University in Cairo before earning his doctorate in international-intercultural development education at FSU. He has worked in education here and abroad ever since. “Definitely, it changed my life.” In his view, his service also changed the people he met in the desert. “In Libya, for people who only listened to Radio Cairo, who never heard the English language, here was this Martian, this moon-man, suddenly dropped down in their village, and they had to stop and think, ‘Huh, this is a bigger world than what I’ve been living in.’ That kind of thinking leads to other kinds of thinking ... and that kind of cognitive turnover moves mountains.”
Above: A Time magazine cover from July 5, 1963, heralds the work of the Peace Corps. A 1969 headline from The Guardian describes Muammar Qaddafi’s ousting of Libya’s King Idris. Vires 31
DEBORAH THOMAS, THAILAND DEBORAH THOMAS, THAILAND Deborah Thomas (B.A. ’76) heard the Peace Corps call earlier than most. Clearly decisive as a young girl growing up in West Palm Beach, she chose FSU as her higher-education option at an early age. “When I was in, I don’t know, maybe third or fourth grade, we drove through Tallahassee. I just fell in love with the city,” she said from her home in Washington, D.C., where she retired after a career with the Peace Corps administration. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and Florida State had a good reputation for the education program, so I just decided that’s where I was going to go. I didn’t even apply to the University of Florida, I just applied to Florida State.”
Deborah Thomas 32 Vires
She was set on the Peace Corps, though, long before she strolled across Landis Green. “It’s kind of hard to explain, because I think I was probably unusual as a child, as I knew I wanted to be a teacher and I knew I wanted to do Peace Corps,” she said. “When I was in elementary school, I had already decided that was something I was going to do. And when I was in eighth grade, I called to Peace Corps Washington, and said, ‘I want to join Peace Corps, and where are you placing most of your education volunteers and what language skills do I need?’ I’m sure they were laughing at the other end of the phone, saying, ‘Who is this crazy child?’ They said most of their teaching positions were in Francophone Africa.” So she studied French and was scheduled to go to Morocco, but a mix-up in her medical records delayed her departure too long. She was offered a position in Asia instead. “I really didn’t know much about Thailand, but I said, ‘OK.’ And I loved it.”
Being a cultural outsider was not the only shock. “There were cobras,” she said. “The men would go out every afternoon to shoot the cobras.” And one time, the cobras got personal. “I had a water jar that collected rainwater – that was my water supply – and you always had to keep it covered, because snakes would often get in there because it was cool and dark. One time I went to dip out a bucket of water to take upstairs for cooking and I guess I hadn’t put the lid back on well, because there was a cobra inside. That was pretty terrifying.”
Thailand was nothing like Tallahassee. “It was just rice fields, as far as you could see,” she said. “My house was on stilts, it looked out over rice fields, so you could see water buffalo in the afternoon and the morning, and the monks would come and ask for rice for food…. Certainly as a young woman it was very exotic, very different from anything I had ever experienced.” Though well versed in French, Thomas knew little of the Thai language, so right away she had to adjust and to learn. “The language was so different,” she said. “It doesn’t use the Roman alphabet, there are 44 characters, and it is a tonal language…. That was difficult, because I’m speaking like a kindergarten kid in this new language, and trying to get by, trying to be understood.” Thomas always was aware that she stood out, and that was something new. “One of the most valuable lessons I learned was what it was like to be a minority,” she said. “I was in a very welcoming situation, where people were very kind to me and very nice. But I would also encounter, particularly drunk men, those who because of the Vietnam War thought I was a spy, and they hated Americans. It was really interesting realizing how much I stood out because of my appearance, and that I represented a whole country. That was an eye-opening experience, to be able to empathize with what it was like for immigrants coming to our country…. It was a shock.”
Thomas took the cobra threat seriously, and she took steps to avoid other dangers, too, though not always successfully. Once, after returning from a trip to northern Thailand, she began to feel ill. She had dengue fever. “I got so weak and I was delirious, I couldn't really move, and everything ached,” she said. “I realized I was in trouble. If I heard any noise I would get all of my strength to try and call out. At some point, somebody heard me…. I don’t really know the details, because I was so out of it at that point, but they went and they found somebody with a car, and this person drove me to Bangkok, which was many hours away, and got me into a hospital. It saved my life. I don't even know who this was.” Cultural adjustments, cobras, dengue fever. Her service in Thailand doesn’t sound like a good time, but Thomas says she thrived there and enjoyed the experience, enough to sign up for a third year, and more. Upon returning to the States, she taught briefly, at Orlando’s Maynard Evans High School, before moving to Washington and starting a career with the Peace Corps administration. And like other volunteers, Thomas said the Peace Corps shaped her for life. “It honed an independent streak I’ve always had,” she said. “I really felt that I could handle most situations…. It made me stronger…. Anyone who is open to new experiences, who is willing to take risks, would enjoy it.” During the years since Thomas’ Thai adventure, the Peace Corps has lost its grip on the American imagination, and no longer is it seen as the pure expression of America’s role in the world. Today, many Americans have forgotten about the program, if they ever knew of it at all. The Peace Corps, though, continues to send volunteers around the globe, and FSU graduates are still taking part.
Opposite top left: Deborah Thomas teaching in her classroom in a Thailand school. Opposite top right: The home she lived in during her stay in that country. Top left: In many Thai towns, elephants often share the road with cars, trucks and motorcycles, such as here in Surin. Above left: A Thai “spirit house,” on display atop a single pedestal overlooking the Nan River, accompanies any new house construction to appease the spirits of the previous inhabitants of the land by building them a house and leaving offerings of food and flowers in exchange for displacing them. Vires 33
MERON DELDEBO, ARMENIA MERON DELDEBO, ARMENIA “I was really blessed with a wonderful site, with people very welcoming and very hospitable,” said recently returned Peace Corps volunteer Meron Deldebo (B.S. ’13) of her experience in Armenia. “I really hit the jackpot. It was an amazing experience.” For Deldebo, who returned last November from two years of teaching English in the small nation between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, the Peace Corps remains an enduring part of her life. “Even now,” she said, “I talk to my host mom and to my counterparts at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes at a time.” While serving as a volunteer, she became fluent in the Armenian language. In August she started a job with the Peace Corps in Washington. Of course, her time in the Peace Corps was not without challenges, such as her sometimes falling under suspicion. “Armenia and Russia have a very close relationship,” she said, “so a lot of Armenians would see Americans and would assume the volunteers were spies.” And the weather. “It was very cold.”
Meron Deldebo 34 Vires
Nevertheless, the benefits were undeniable. As with other volunteers, she enjoyed the pleasure of living in a new country. “Armenia is a very peculiar country, because it is so small but there is so much diversity, so much you can experience in one area…. It is very beautiful. There is a lot of nature, a lot of mountains, a lot of hiking to be done.”
FSU’S PEACE CORPS PREP AND COVERDELL FELLOWS PROGRAMS Deldebo is not alone among new FSU alumni with an interest in the Peace Corps. Currently, there are 38 alumni serving abroad, and FSU is taking steps to keep that pipeline flowing. This summer, the College of Education and FSU’s Learning Systems Institute announced a new Peace Corps Prep program designed to help students prepare for service, with targeted courses, hands-on experiences and assistance with applications. “FSU is among the top 25 universities in the United States supplying volunteers to the Peace Corps, and this program will help to expand that number,” said Helen Boyle, associate professor of education and program coordinator of the Peace Corps Prep and herself a returned Peace Corps volunteer (she served in Morocco in 1987-1990). “This program is designed to prepare students for service in the
And there is, she said, the great satisfaction of making a difference. “The Peace Corps does a lot of good in Armenia, and all over the world…,” she said. “After seeing firsthand the impact that you really can have, the kind of impact the Peace Corps had on communities, on the people, on students, seeing life changing right in front of you, makes you realize, ‘Huh, maybe there is something to this.’”
Opposite top: Meron Deldebo celebrates her birthday with her Peace Corps host family in Lanjaghbyur, Armenia. Top left: A picture of Deldebo’s students cleaning and painting old buckets that they collected from around town. The students later placed the refreshed buckets around town to be used as trash cans. Above left: Deldebo, on the left, takes a selfie with members of her host family and some volunteer friends. Vires 35
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education sector in Peace Corps, but students who wish to travel and work internationally in a variety of fields will benefit as well.” In addition, earlier this year the College of Social Work, in partnership with the Peace Corps, launched the Florida Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program to provide financial assistance to returned volunteers pursuing a master’s degree in social work at FSU.
FSU’s work with the Peace Corps is worthwhile, said Jeffrey Ayala Milligan, professor of education and director of the Learning Systems Institute, because graduates can gain much from their service. “One of the best decisions I ever made,” Milligan said of his own Peace Corps service in the Philippines (1985-1986). “It was really a turning point. Everything that I value today I can trace back to that experience. I didn’t know that, didn’t plan for that at the beginning, I was just going off on another adventure, but for me it was extremely important.”
Above: Jared Tirone, FSU’s Peace Corps recruiter, volunteering in Mali from 2009 to 2011. Left: Karina Amalbert at a church in Peru, where she did volunteer work similar to that of the Peace Corps.
Among FSU’s potential future volunteers is sophomore Karina Amalbert, who is planning to join the Peace Corps once she graduates with her degree in, well, she’s not yet decided (she’s eyeing anthropology). She’s already in contact with FSU’s Peace Corps recruiter, Jared Tirone (a volunteer in Mali, 2009-2011, and currently pursuing a master’s in international and multicultural education), and she’s also done Peace Corps-like volunteer work in Peru. Amalbert was not aware of the Peace Corps until she heard volunteers in a discussion at The Globe on FSU’s campus. “They were just talking about their experience, and how they went abroad, how they worked, and it was like, ‘The world has just spun perfectly,’ as it’s everything I wanted to do…,” Amalbert said. “You want to ship me off for two years to do what I want to do as a living anyways, and then come back and possibly pay for my master’s? Sign me up!” Karina Amalbert
Portrait illustrations and page 29 illustration by Arielle Trenk. Vires 37
WORLD SHARE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL EXPERT SHEREE MITCHELL OFFERS METICULOUSLY RESEARCHED JOURNEYS INTO AUTHENTIC LOCAL CULTURES – AND NO TACKY GIFT SHOPS By Steve Dollar Everyone, if lucky or brave enough, has that decisive moment. It may seem reckless or foolhardy or a little bit crazy at the time, but an inspired act of cutting loose from the deadening 9-to-5, of leaping before you look, casting fate to the four winds, could lead to a radical new vision of life. Ask Sheree Mitchell (B.A. ’01, M.A. ’04). It was only four years ago that the Miami-based professional left a successful management career in the medical industry to embark on a grand adventure. “I decided IT WAS TIME to live out my lifelong dream of literally QUITTING MY JOB, giving up my apartment, giving up my car, putting my things in storage and TRAVELING AROUND THE WORLD FOR A YEAR,” she says. “And I DID THAT.”
Sheree Mitchell, founder and president of Immersa Global, inside the atrium of Lisbonâ€™s Santo Amaro Chapel with its signature late-mannerist glazed tiles. Vires 39
Above: Sheree Mitchell enjoying a sunny day at the Port of Setúbal and exploring more of Santo Amaro Chapel, taking pictures in front of its three 18th-century wrought iron portals and inside the atrium. Photos by Paulo Petronilho. Bottom right: A view of the main entrance of the Gare do Oriente Station at night. The train, bus and metro station is one of Portugal’s main intermodal transport hubs. Photo by Martín Gómez Tagle
Mitchell traveled from Latin America to Asia to the Middle East, to Europe to Africa and back and forth to some of her favorite places before winding up in Portugal, the one single place that she couldn’t quite get away from for very long. “I fell in love with Portugal,” she recalls, “and decided I wanted to do something there.” As Mitchell revisited that moment during a recent conversation, her voice became more emphatic, buzzing with passion. “That trip around the world was the most empowering experience I’ve ever had in my life,” she says. “I felt invincible. I knew if I was going to take a chance anytime in my life, that was the time, to take advantage of that energy that I cultivated through that trip. Whatever the risks, they had to be taken at that time. “ And so a new life was born.
she explains, or the Caribbean cruises where tourists spend more time in tacky gift shops than discovering any real color or flavor. Rather, these are meticulously researched and orchestrated small-group excursions, with a strong emphasis on food, wine and culture, that take clients off the beaten path and give them time, space and some insider tips to make their own adventures. And Portugal felt ripe, the perfect spot at the perfect moment to try something completely different. “You could feel the buzz,” Mitchell says of Lisbon, the nation’s capital and one of the world’s oldest cities, with origins reaching back to 800 B.C. “The younger generation, the level of innovation with technology was very visible. This is coming from someone who lived in Spain. I was married to a Spaniard, so I thought I knew the Iberian Peninsula very well. Portugal surprised me.”
Mitchell’s internal conversation with herself went like this: “I became accustomed to moving around and having a blast every day, so there’s no way I can go back to an office. So I will try to find something that’s going to allow me to stay on the road in this way.”
Mitchell was caught in an early wave of the nation’s tourism boom, which began to boost its economy right when Portugal was coming out of the bleakest moments of its financial crisis. Much as Mitchell did, people were finding a lot to love there.
She reinvented herself as an entrepreneur, pioneering new frontiers in the tourism industry. Mitchell founded Immersa Global, a company that specializes in “experiential travel.” The concept is very different from “old-school travel packages where you’re flipping through a catalog,”
“Portugal has long been an amazing under-theradar destination for food, wine and culture,” says Lana Bortolot, a New York-based wine journalist with 15 years of travel experience in Portugal. “Its popularity now, I think, is due to its affordability, authenticity and accessibility.
In the large cities like Lisbon and Porto, most people speak English. The food and wine are unlike anything else in Europe: There are really no cliches when it comes to the gastronomy. And for culture fiends, the entire country is a visible mosaic of historic buildings, exotic architecture, music and craftsmanship.” Beyond the romance of its Old World charm – its castles and cathedrals – and the modern dazzle of its public works projects – such as the stunning Vasco da Gama Bridge, and Santiago Calatrava’s neo-Gothic Gare do Oriente – Lisbon and the rest of Portugal offered major bonuses for a globetrotter like Mitchell. Prices were a good 35 percent cheaper than elsewhere in Western Europe, and the streets were safe. “It may be in the top six of the safest countries,” she says. “As a sole female traveler making her way around the world, I could tell.” Public transit was on point. And, well, everything is just so damn beautiful. “Lisbon is a gorgeous city. It’s on the water. It’s colorful. I did not speak Portuguese at the time, so I was getting by on my Spanish and English, but everyone was so accommodating.” The country’s unique cultural mix, richly infused by the presence of immigrants from Portugal’s former African and New World colonies, has made it a kind of crossroads of three different continents. “It’s Old World meets Africa meets Brazil,” says Mitchell, who, as a woman of color,
was very responsive to Portuguese inclusive attitudes around race. “Jumble them all up, and you have Portugal.” Owning her own business had been a lifelong dream. Mitchell gave herself a year and a half to make things work. Despite hitting an initial strategic speed bump, “things moved so quickly, in a way I couldn’t have planned for.” The job was a relatively novel one for anyone not keyed into the travel industry. “I curate travel,” says Mitchell, who also lends her expertise to international tourism boards and ministries to shape appealing travel products for the North American market. “I’m not a tour guide and I’m not a travel agency,” she explains, although she includes high-end travel agencies among her clients. Her closest competition is an enterprise like Times Journeys, operated by The New York Times, which lines up participants with Times journalists or other experts for trips inspired by articles in the paper’s travel section. Mitchell is likewise dedicated to creating what she calls “exclusive product” for sophisticated travelers who may already have a passport crowded with visa stamps. “They’re looking for something different than what they can find on their own, or with normal travel agencies. They want exclusivity and unique experiences.”
Top left: Mitchell with José Peixoto, master sommelier of Grupo Porto Santa Maria, a local restaurant group. Bottom left: Mitchell with David Bento, events manager at Bacalhôa Winery, who is explaining the art displayed in the Palacio da Bacalhôa. Above: Mitchell in the vineyards of Quinta da Bacalhôa, an estate in the village of Azeitão on the Setúbal Peninsula of Portugal. Photos by Paulo Petronilho.
“It was a way,” she says, “to share information with people.”
In fact, though, this intrepid traveler, who commands four languages and has visited some 40 countries, had gone back to a kind of first love. “It has a direct connection to FSU,” says Mitchell, who as an undergraduate majored in Spanish language and Latin American studies, and as a grad student majored in Spanish literature. During her first year as a grad student, she was asked by the International Students Organization to put together a two-week impact trip for students to go to Costa Rica. Although she had never tackled this sort of assignment, she was on familiar turf.
Above: While still in school, college students often take their first steps into what will become their life’s work. As a graduate student at FSU, Mitchell organized a two-week trip to Costa Rica for the university’s International Students Organization. Under her leadership, the group of 12 toured San José, Turrialba, Puerto Limón and the Arenal Volcano. During their stay, they cleaned, painted and did some landscaping at a school in Turrialba and served as guest speakers in its English classes. Volunteer host students taught them traditional Costa Rican dances and games. The group stayed with local families, eating meals together and participating in other daily activities. Mitchell says both the host families and the members of her group got to know each other so well that some of them stayed in touch well after the tour ended. 42 Vires
“There weren’t many bilingual people in Suwannee County, where I grew up in the ’90s,” Mitchell says. “You were either native English speakers or newly arrived immigrant families, mainly from Latin America. Since I had a really good grasp of Spanish, my teachers and family often asked me to translate and interpret for these families in order to help them get the proper services they needed in the community. I loved serving in that way and decided to major in Spanish in undergrad. In my late teens, I spent my summers in Costa Rica living with local families and studying at language academies, so Spanish has always been a big part of my life.” The Costa Rica project gave Mitchell her own immersive experience in travel curating. She loved it, and kept it going even after she graduated, and began teaching Spanish at a private school in South Florida, where she also designed travel programs abroad. She eventually left teaching, but found that she missed it. Now she could, in a way, get back to the basics, introducing inquisitive minds to new cultural sensations.
Teaching also had prepared her for her new role in other ways. “Once you’re a teacher in the classroom, responsible for 75 kids in a semester with different personalities and work ethics, you are the master organizer and you can take on anything,” she insists. “I was able to transfer a lot of those skills to what I’m doing now.” Even the office environment in her Miami workspace could pass for a classroom, “with a teacher’s planner and sticky notes everywhere. All my phones and computers are in sync!” What Mitchell calls “bespoke travel” is a trend that has become popular only relatively recently in North America. As she elaborates, it’s not only about the most obvious experiences, like “taking people to restaurants for amazing meals and then walking away.” Instead, if you take part in one of the programs that Mitchell has designed, you would find yourself doing an intensive workshop with the chef of that fancy restaurant – one adorned with Michelin stars, no doubt – whose calendar wouldn’t be free for just any interested party. This desire to embrace the real as opposed to the prefabricated ties in with a shift in what Americans want out of life, Mitchell observes. “We have seen a rising demand for wanting to have connection with people and have authentic experiences with people.” She points to the locavore movement in food. “We are going back to, for those of us who can afford it, buying our food directly from the producers. Farmers markets and things of that nature have become increasingly more important in our society. I see this kind of travel as an extension of whatever is driving that need to connect to the root of the product or service you’re experiencing.”
Some of that enthusiasm could be related to the influence of cable television travel gurus like Rick Steves and the late Anthony Bourdain, whose popularity commands fan bases to rival any rock star’s. “They have skillfully been able to bring realworld experiences into our living rooms,” Mitchell says. “They’ve broken down so many barriers. If you want to experience the best escargot, then this is how you find it.” To manifest all this for her clients, Mitchell has to turn herself into a combination of pilgrim, historian, epicurean, goodwill ambassador and gumshoe. When she arrives in Portugal, her part-time home, for a periodic excursion to find new sips, sights, tastes and scenes, her compact support team there already has a lot of new and intriguing possibilities lined up. “It could be something like this really cool winery, where they store the wine in the sea for 12 months,”
she says. She might devote a couple of months to traversing a region, like the wine country of Alentejo, south of Lisbon and above the Algarve, working the terrain in a manner not unlike, say, a candidate for public office, going one-to-one. “I sit down at their tables with their families,” she says. Before she got to know the wineries and their owners, Mitchell says, they weren’t on the tour map. So she created the first route for North American travelers to discover them. And then, she adds, “I got lots of invitations to visit different wineries!” Often, invites come from regional folk festivals that want Mitchell as “one of the starred guests, the sardine person or the hazelnut person.” Wherever she roams, there’s usually a photographer, even a videographer, along to document some “mini-Bourdain content” for Mitchell to share later at travel shows.
Above left: Mitchell at the 2017 Philadelphia Travel & Adventure Show with her mentor, CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg. The two met in 2016 at the New York Times Travel Show, hitting it off while telling each other about their individual projects in Portugal. Since then, Greenberg has introduced Mitchell to some highly accomplished people in the global travel industry, and he has served as a sounding board for her as she designs new projects. Mitchell says that Greenberg is known as the Master Traveler, a walking encyclopedia and Rolodex for the global travel industry. He has written award-winning travel books, and he manages petergreenberg.com. Above right: Mitchell shares her wisdom and experiences as a guest speaker at the 2018 New York Times Travel Show. Vires 43
It also helps to have really cool allies. In addition to having Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal’s secretary of state for tourism, in her local network, Mitchell has also made grand connections with some of the country’s leading tastemakers, like the Earl of Rocamor (André Meunier da Silva), aristocrat and bon vivant, who moves between the worlds of contemporary art, gastronomy and tourism, and journalist Paulo Salvador, a prestigious presenter and gastronome whose TV show “Mesa Nacional” hikes off in search of “the most obscure restaurants/recipes/stories in the country.” Salvador also runs the MUST Fermenting Ideas Wine Summit, one of the world’s top think tanks on matters of the grape. Mitchell also is well-acquainted with stellar chefs, such as Pedro Mendes, whom she has described as a “motorcycle-riding, headstrong badass who’s unapologetically disrupting the fine cuisine experience in conservative Portugal.” Mendes, a pioneer in sustainability for high-end restaurants, has also created new ways to appreciate common food sources, like the humble acorn, transforming them into elegant cuisine. When she describes what she was up to between May and July, for instance, it’s easy to imagine Mitchell’s job becoming too much of a good thing. There are a lot of trips simply to check out wineries, hotels and restaurants, digging deep into Portugal’s distinct regions. It takes time, and it takes focus. Not to mention a certain stamina at the dining table observing Iberian social custom. “They want to show you everything they have to offer,” she offers about her multifarious hosts. “You don’t just go for a minute and get out. That would be considered rude. You have to spend a little time. Lunch starts at 1 p.m. You block out until 3:30, and that is a lunch ending somewhat on time, because people want to get back to work. But if it’s one of those wine lunches where they’re pairing Michelin-starred food or other creations, you probably won’t leave until 5 or 5:30. You might as well block out your calendar for the rest of the day and then go home and sleep because you won’t be able to do anything else!” Some days, though, it’s all about checking out a newly reopened palace and catching a sunset with the Vasco da Gama Bridge silhouetted against the sky. Lisbon has palaces – really, a fancier name for an ornate mansion – like American suburbia has 7-Elevens. An ode, Mitchell says, to the nation’s golden age of nautical domination, a symbol of once-great wealth. Centuries later, the historic sites
are becoming boutique hotels and event locations. “We’re not accustomed to having palaces every other block,” she says. “I’ve noticed Americans really, really appreciate visiting these properties. They’re taken care of when they’re here.” Back home in Miami, life is more relaxed if noticeably less entrancing. Mitchell locks into TCB mode – taking care of business – as she oversees not only her Portugal enterprise, but similar programs in Costa Rica and a more recent, burgeoning endeavor in Israel. “Most days, it’s content creation and tweaking the experiences, and reaching out to clients, touching base,” she says. The typical work routine rarely lasts long, however, before Mitchell is on her way back to the airport. Indeed, having only just gotten back from Portugal when we first spoke, Mitchell was soon to return. “Since my first trips here, Portugal has always had an interesting effect on me,” she says. “And even now, I sometimes still ask myself, ‘Why do I like this place so much? What attracts me to a country that is much less glamorous than my own?’ A place where you walk around and you easily see the Old World elegance of Portugal’s richer days buried under hundreds of years of poverty and multiple decades of dictatorship.”
Opposite top left: During a unique global citizenship program that Mitchell co-hosted with former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Portugal Allan J. Katz in June, Mitchell, third from right and Katz, second from right, attend a cocktail party at Torrel Palace with, from left, Paulo G. Salvador, a national food journalist; Filomena Marques; Dom André de Quiroga, the Earl of Rocamor; and Paula Bilé. Opposite top right: Mitchell with the Earl of Rocamor. Opposite middle left: Mitchell and Salvador enjoy a light-hearted moment taking photographs near Torrel Palace. Opposite middle right: Mitchell visits with Ana Manuel Mendes Godinho, Portugal’s secretary of state for tourism. Opposite bottom left: Mitchell with chef Pedro Mendes. Opposite bottom right: Mitchell sits down for brunch and conversation with tourism innovator Ana Nogueira Viegas at the Pestana Palace Hotel in Lisbon. Below: Mitchell at the 25th of April Bridge, one of Lisbon’s iconic landmarks. Photos by Paulo Petronilho.
When she’s sipping a glass of wine at sunset with friends and colleagues from a splendid palatial patio, taking in one of Lisbon’s signature views, it’s not only the grapes that intoxicate. “I look out over the 25th of April Bridge toward the Cristo Rei statue, and I’m reminded of how magical this place is, how thankful I am to have found it, and how much I enjoy sharing it with others,” she says. “I’ve never felt like a foreigner in Portugal, but yet a friend from a different land.” Vires 45
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teran at era and that ve the GI Bill of th h ug ro al th on s ati ee gr uc en to coed ed college de College for Wom II veterans pursu ate ar St W a ! id ld ty or or rsi Fl W e ive of th mbers to convert nguished un In 1947, large nu ding of our disti orida legislature ental to the foun prompted the Fl d um an str m in de re al we on s educati r words, veteran e Florida State iversity. In othe ans by joining th ter ve Florida State Un to t en itm e member and ongoing comm come an Allianc an heritage and be ter ve lly d ca ou ati pr m ’s to th, you’ll au Florida State $19.47 per mon You can sustain donation of just a ith W es e. iti nc tiv lia Veterans Al ws, events and ac tes including ne da up lar gu re receive body. a State’s student r changed Florid ve re fo at th ar ye ty’s salutes the vate the universi an amount that programs, and at programs, and ele t or pp at su s n m ra ea n college dr ’s student-vete rsuing their ow nce Florida State ture veterans pu fu itment will adva d m an m t co en rr ng ui Cu in s. Your cont of veteran succes ns to come. a national beacon and for generatio y, sit ro prominence as ne ge ur yo by d ation, cte pa im ll be For more inform Florida State wi 8536. 822 ) 50 (8 tion.fsu.edu or da un fo @ ki rs ski at cpodgo Colette Podgor edu or contact u. .fs ns ra te ve please visit
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The FSU Alumni Association serves the university’s more than 350,000 alumni, including our 24,000 members. Our annual events and recognition programs do more than bring alumni together to share memories and good times. They strengthen our traditions and deepen our sense of family and the Seminole spirit that resides in every graduate of Florida State University.
WE’VE BEEN UP TO NOLE GOOD, THANKS TO YOU! Your membership: • Supported 95 Seminole Clubs® and Chapters throughout the nation and world. These clubs have awarded 101 Seminole Club Scholarships. Over the past year, they hosted more than 115,000 people at local events and recorded 2,150 hours of volunteer service. • Funded $110,600 in Legacy Scholarships and programs designed to enhance alumni engagement. • Recognized and honored 532 outstanding alumni through the Notable Noles Award and the Reubin O’D Askew Young Alumni Award, the Bernard F. Sliger Award, the Grads Made Good awards, the Inspire Award and the Circle of Gold. • Supported 10 Alumni Networks that hosted more than 32 events over the past year. Their efforts keep our alumni connected and engaged through unique programs that celebrate diversity and inclusion. (To learn more, see Page 48.) • Secures our future. Over the past year, our Student Alumni Association hosted more than 5,900 students at their many events.
To renew your membership, visit alumni.fsu.edu. To encourage other alumni to join, ask them to visit alumni.fsu.edu.
“ADVANCING our university’s GREATNESS while ENRICHING the LIVES of the Seminole family.” FSU Alumni Association Mission Statement
Alumni Networks Networks strengthen alumni bonds, offer opportunities to give back By Brian Hudgins An alumni association at a major to university might sometimes seem serves be an intimidating monolith that e, the needs of only the most hard-cor ensure To s. uate grad school-color-bleeding a ains rem that Florida State University FSU welcoming place for all alumni, the ed rter cha 11 has tion Alumni Associa groups an Alumni Networks that give niche life and the additional point of entry into activities of the university.
icine Since the first FSU College of Med an beg and 5 students graduated in 200 farr their individual residencies, thei ge flung locations presented a challen . FSU to ted nec con to keeping them s “Sixty-five to 70 percent of our grad says ,” cies leave Florida to do their residen irs Doug Carlson, director of public affa ege Coll the for ions and communicat ni of Medicine. “The FSU Medical Alum n sicia regularly share news about phy rmation searches and distribute that info specialty. to alumni based on their practice also but , them s We not only hope it help tate of-s outhope it may bring some of the alumni back to practice in Florida.”
blished At FSU, the oldest and most esta ni, Alum k of these networks are the Blac fs Chie g the Emeritus Alumni, the Marchin Alumni and the Circus Alumni. local For FSU Black Alumni, a series of chance brunches recently gave friends a and to talk about their careers, families . “In ents stud FSU as memorable moments e sam the on 12 cities, we hosted brunches ni Alum day in conjunction with the Young . ’06), (B.S s iam Will ree Cha Council,” says had “We ni. Alum k Blac president of the FSU bers mem our 600 people. The majority of on the are in the Southeast, Northeast and West Coast.” how Such gatherings are an example of nities for Alumni Networks provide opportu of miles their members who live hundreds r othe with t nec from Tallahassee to con ted nec con local FSU graduates and stay that to the university. “For those groups but also are not only far from Tallahassee ork netw they , ntry spread all over the cou (B.S. er Mill i Torr by doing local events,” says ator rdin ’06), the Alumni Association’s coo ni had of Alumni Networks. “Black Alum s, which tion loca ral their brunches in seve .” cess was strategic and a huge suc
t for Considering that student loan deb ls six tota n medical school graduates ofte rams figures, developing scholarship prog has been a goal for the FSU Medical ship Alumni. “We have awarded a scholar lsea Che and will continue to do so,” says ager for Shackelford, alumni relations man the College of Medicine.
Social The first steps to getting College of involved p Work alumni connected to the grou letters and a lot of social media, in addition to n us other phone calls. “Social media has give to a tion rma info avenues to disseminate student ap, broader base,” says Meredith Mills for the and alumni engagement coordinator College of Social Work. made, Now that initial contact has been G David L. Albright, chair of the SWA bers mem rd boa r othe and Executive Board, e mor ting crea have become drivers for p’s opportunities to increase the grou ni locally visibility. “We are connecting alum creating and nationally and also working on ni alum een betw s mentoring opportunitie and students,” Albright says.
to share The FSU Medical Alumni are eager acity their experiences in an advisory cap students. with current College of Medicine orking etw ed-n spe MED Connect, a virtual ni alum tate series, is one way for out-of-s ent curr to connect with and give back to want they w kno ents stud students. “Our says. lson Car ns,” to be practicing physicia cy den resi a “They have to match up with Our m. program and pass the licensing exa the alumni have been through that, so we can g thin any ate students really appreci do to get them together.” Social The newest Alumni Network is the h was whic G, SWA Work Alumni Group, or tion ocia Ass approved by the FSU Alumni The il. National Board of Directors in Apr and ter’s mas r’s, helo bac ts group represen , ners titio prac with g doctoral alumni, alon ed mitt com are clinicians and advocates who rs. othe of to making a difference in the lives
as the For newer Alumni Networks, such TQ+ LGB the and Asian American Alumni lishing omp acc Alumni, gaining visibility and effort by early goals is the result of a team ociation. the group and the FSU Alumni Ass affiliated For the Alumni Networks that are Alumni FSU with an individual college, the e working Association has developed a clos from those relationship with staff members of Social colleges. “Whether it’s the college gnize reco all Work, Medicine or Nursing, we age eng d that keeping alumni involved and tion and benefits both the Alumni Associa . says er Mill ,” the individual college tiple Many alumni are eligible to join mul is not to networks. For Williams, the push ourage enc to but focus on one network, ociation Ass ni people to join the FSU Alum us meet and expand from there. “Many of FSU,” our spouses or our best friends at gs that thin of y orit Williams says. “The maj We want . FSU at are important to us started of the you to have a sense of ownership hassee. development in and around Talla ea mad and here t You put your footprin mark here.” Read more: gonol.es/Networks
Ready to connect with one of our Alumni Networks? Visit alumni.fsu.edu/community/ alumni-networks for links to each network's web and social media pages, or sign up to receive email communication.
ASSOCIATION NEWS ALUMNI NETWORKS The FSU Alumni Association charters affiliated Alumni Networks to serve Florida State University alumni. These volunteer-led groups are an avenue for FSU alumni to connect with fellow graduates who share similar interests or affiliations. Members of the FSU Alumni Associationâ€™s Alumni Networks enjoy the events and activities of the 1. Emeritus Alumni Society, 2. Veterans Alumni, 3. Medical Alumni, 4. and 5. FSU Black Alumni and 6. and 7. Asian American Alumni.
Asian American Alumni Black Alumni Circus Alumni Emeritus Alumni Hospitality Alumni LGBTQ+ Marching Chiefs Alumni Medical Alumni Nursing Alumni Social Work Alumni Group Veterans Alumni Want to start your own network? Contact Torri Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850.644.2765.
5 Vires 49
THE INSPIRE AWARD The Inspire Award, now in its third year, recognizes alumnae who have distinguished themselves as leaders within their industries and whose hard work and determination serve as an inspiration to young alumni and current students. The 2018 Inspire Awards, sponsored by the FSU Alumni Association, The Women for FSU and the Atlanta Seminole Club, were presented during a June ceremony at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. After receiving their awards, the recipients participated in a panel discussion. • Dr. Loretta Jackson Brown (B.S.N. ’87), senior health communication specialist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Emergency Operations. She contributes to the agency’s global health security agenda by providing emergency risk communication training for various international countries and has responded to numerous public health emergencies.
• Julie Dunn Eichenberg (B.S. ’94), vice president of brand distribution for Turner Content Distribution. She spent the past 21 years with Turner in a variety of roles within the distribution division. Previously employed by Convergys, her career started as a leadership consultant for Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority. • Joy Lynn Fields (B.S. ’86), owner of Joy Lynn Inc., a qualitative marketing research company. Early in her career, she joined Pyramid, a brand strategy consulting firm, starting a research division that after only four years accounted for nearly half of the company’s revenues. In early 1993, she became Pyramid’s first vice president and, in 1994, a senior vice president. 1. Dr. Loretta Jackson Brown, Julie Dunn Eichenberg and Joy Lynn Fields moments after receiving their Inspire Awards. 2. Brown, Eichenberg and Fields participate in a panel discussion moderated by Sara Saxner (B.S. ’14, M.P.A. ’15), a member of the FSU Young Alumni Council. Read more: gonol.es/InspireAwards View more: gonol.es/InspirePics2018
CIRCLE OF GOLD The FSU Alumni Association’s Circle of Gold recognizes worthy individuals who, through their service and achievements, personify the university’s tradition of excellence. A maximum of 12 awards are presented each year. The association welcomed its five latest honorees during an induction ceremony in the Alumni Center Grand Ballroom. • Ed Burr (B.S. ’79) is president and chief executive officer of GreenPointe Holdings LLC, a diversified holding company he founded in 2008. He studied accounting in the College of Business. In addition, he serves as chair of the FSU Board of Trustees. • Janice Finney (B.S. ’75), who retired as FSU’s director of admissions in 2015, now serves as program director for special programs in admissions. She studied political science in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. • Eric Friall (B.A. ’90) serves as principal of Aeson Group, a business consulting firm that assists companies with growth strategies specifically in the fields of sales, marketing and human resources. He studied international affairs in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. In addition, he is a former director of the FSU Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors and immediate past president of the FSU Black Alumni Network. • John Rivers (B.S. ’89) is the owner of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, a Texas-style, Florida-based barbecue chain that came in No. 33 on the 2018 Seminole 100, the fastest-growing, FSU- alumni-owned businesses in the country. He studied marketing in the College of Business. • Don Weidner is dean emeritus and Alumni Centennial Professor at the College of Law. A recognized authority on partnerships, fiduciary duties, and real estate finance, he is co-author of “The Revised Uniform Partnership Act” (2016). In 2011, he was named one of the Nine Transformative Law Deans of the Last Decade.
1. Circle of Gold honorees Ed Burr, Eric Friall, Janice Finney, Don Weidner and John Rivers. 2. Past Circle of Gold recipients Dr. Raymond Cottrell (B.S. ’69) and Stella Cottrell (B.A. ’71) enjoy the reception before the ceremony. Read more: gonol.es/CircleofGold View more: gonol.es/COGfall2018
EMERITUS ALUMNI SOCIETY REUNION The Emeritus Alumni Society – one of 11 alumni networks within the FSU Alumni Association – hosts a reunion every year during Homecoming. The program includes a Friday afternoon welcome luncheon for members to catch up and a Sunday morning award presentation and a ceremony to induct new members – alumni celebrating the anniversary of their graduation 50 years ago. University of South Florida Distinguished Professor Emerita Susan MacManus (B.A. ’68, Ph.D. ’75) – the “most quoted political analyst in Florida” – delivered remarks during the welcome luncheon at the University Center Club atop Doak Campbell Stadium.
In addition to the induction of Class of ’68 alumni, special awards were presented. Three emeritus alumni received EAS Commitment to Excellence awards: Mark Hillis (B.S. ’64), a member of the FSU Board of Trustees; former FSU men’s golf head coach Ernie Langford (B.S. ’60), who later served as internship coordinator, director of player development and associate in hospitality for the FSU Dedman School of Hospitality; and Beverly Burnsed Spencer (B.A. ’62), who served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1976 to 1988 and as FSU’s vice president for University Relations in the 1990s. In addition, American opera composer Carlisle Floyd received the EAS Dean Eyman Distinguished Service Award. Floyd, who spent 30 years on the music faculty at FSU, wrote the opera “Susannah,” which was first performed at FSU in 1955. 1. Members of the Emeritus Alumni Society at the welcome luncheon on the sixth-floor terrace of the University Center Club at Doak Campbell Stadium. 2. Susan MacManus, left, with pal Virginia Fettes (B.S. ’68, M.S. ’69). 3. Beverly Spencer makes remarks during the awards presentation. Max Oligario (B.S. ’99), chair of the Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors, presents Emeritus Alumni Society awards to 4. Mark Hillis, a member of the FSU Board of Trustees, and 5. Carlisle Floyd.
Read more: gonol.es/EAS View more: gonol.es/EASfall2018
ASSOCIATION NEWS 1
YOUNG ALUMNI AWARDS During the annual Young Alumni Awards Dinner on Nov. 16, the Alumni Association recognized a group of alumni 35 or younger as Notable Noles. This year’s 22 honorees were chosen because of significant contributions made to their professions, communities or the university, and because they exemplify outstanding professional and personal development. In addition, three of these received the Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award, the association’s highest honor for recent graduates. The Askew Award recipients were Joseph Albano (B.S. ’06), executive vice president, program execution, Ardent Eagles Solutions; Jenna McHenry (B.S. ’07, M.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’13), assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, Duke University; and Daniel Smith (B.M.E. ’05), instructional specialist II, Florida State University.
The other members of the Notable Noles Class of 2018 were: Cynthia Carter (B.S. ’07), lead
1. Donna Lou Askew (B.S. ’55), widow of Reubin O’D Askew (B.S. ’51), makes remarks during the ceremony. 2. Joseph Albano and Daniel Smith. 3. Tiffanie Williams and 4. Eric Emery receive Notable Noles awards from FSU President John Thrasher (B.S. ’65, J.D. ’72). Read more: gonol.es/Young18 View more: gonol.es/Dinner18
clinician, UT Physicians PATH Program; Sarah EcclesBrown (B.S. ’04), board-certified ophthalmologist, Elmquist Eye Group; Eric Emery (B.S. ’06, M.S. ’07), second circuit supervising attorney, Guardian ad Litem Program of Tallahassee; Andrew Fay (B.S. ’06, J.D. ’10), public service commissioner, Florida Public Service Commission; Bethany Gilot (B.S. ’09, M.S. ’10), statewide human trafficking prevention director, Florida Department of Children and Families; Alain Goindoo (B.A. ’06), director of bands, Pahokee Middle School; Sharon Graham (M.M. ’11), founder and director, Tampa Bay Institute for Music Therapy; Jamie Jackson (B.S. ’06), operations specialist, FBI Counterterrorism Division; Mark Johnson (B.S. ’04), full teaching professor, Wake Forest University; Sabrina Kinslow (B.S. ’07), girls program coordinator, Junior Achievement of Jacksonville; Valerie Laboy (B.S. ’04), foreign service officer, U.S. Department of State; Xinya Liang (Ph.D ’14), assistant professor of educational statistics and research methods, University of Arkansas; Divam Mehta (B.S. ’05) president, Mehta Financial Group; Colette Miller (B.S. ’07), biologist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Justin Moniz (D.M. ’17), coordinator of vocal studies and assistant professor of voice, Millikin University, and executive director, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival; LaKeitha Poole (B.S. ’09), director of sport psychology and counseling, Louisiana State University Athletics Department, and owner, Small Talk Counseling and Consulting; Janel Robinson (B.S. ’14), program coordinator, Center for Interpersonal Violence Intervention and Prevention, Florida A&M University; Brittany Sinitch (B.S. ’17), teacher, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; and Tiffanie Williams (B.S. ’04, M.S.W. ’08), owner, MasterPeace Counseling Services.
HOMECOMING AWARDS BREAKFAST Seven members of the FSU family who push boundaries and redefine standards within their respective fields were honored during the FSU Alumni Association’s annual Homecoming Awards Breakfast at the Alumni Center Grand Ballroom.
Mart Pierson Hill (B.S. ’42), a member of the Alumni Association’s Circle of Gold, was honored with the Bernard F. Sliger Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Association. Diane Roberts (B.A. ’79, M.A. ’80), a professor of English at FSU, received the University Libraries and Friends of the Libraries Alumni Award for Distinguished Writing. A columnist, essayist and radio commentator, Roberts also is the author of three books, including “Dream State” (2004). In addition, the Alumni Association and Omicron Delta Kappa recognized four Grads Made Good. •Sandra Barker (M.S. ’76, Ph.D. ’78), director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine. •JoAnne Graf (B.S. ’75, Ph.D. ’92), retired FSU softball head coach. A six-time ACC Coach of the Year and member of the National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Graf also is a member of the Alumni Association’s Circle of Gold. •Nancy McKay (B.A. ’78), CEO of Nest Fragrances, one of America’s most recognized brands for luxury home fragrances. •Gene Stearns (B.A. ’66, J.D. ’72), a prominent trial lawyer who co-founded Stearns, Weaver and Miller, a powerhouse Florida law firm serving clients around the world.
1. Diane Roberts addresses the breakfast. 2. Grads Made Good honorees Sandra Barker, JoAnne Graf, Nancy McKay and Gene Stearns. 3. FSU Homecoming Princess Taylor Knight presents the Garnet and Gold Key Honorary Society’s Ross Oglesby Award to Miguel Hernandez, associate director of the FSU Center for Leadership and Social Change. 4. Alumni Association President Julie Cheney and Alumni Association National Board of Directors Chair Max Oligario (B.S. ’99) present the Bernard F. Sliger Award to Mart Pierson Hill. View more: gonol.es/HABpics2018
HOMECOMING PARADE Led by parade grand marshal 1. Charlie Ward (B.S. ’93), Osceola and Renegade and the Marching Chiefs, the annual FSU Homecoming Parade – hosted by the Student Alumni Association – was a Seminole spirit-filled spectacle of sights and sounds. Members of the Alumni Association’s Emeritus Alumni Society watched the parade as honored guests from a special viewing area beneath the Westcott Plaza archway at the intersection of Copeland Street and College Avenue. Along the crowded parade route, returning alumni joined students and university staff and Tallahassee locals to view this year’s garnet and gold VIPs, including the Omicron Delta Kappa Grads Made Good (see facing page) and the 2018 Homecoming chief and princess, Ki-Mani Ward and Taylor Knight. Among the 85 entries were 16 floats sponsored by FSU fraternities, sororities and various student organizations. View more: gonol.es/Parade2018
FSU s The Marching Chief Parade. s 60 19 a in rm perfo
Florida State Traditions The theme for the 2019 FSU Alumni Calendar is Traditions. We polled our social media followers on their favorite Florida State traditions.
like, comment FSU Alumni Association
Seminoles, vote for your favorite Florida State University icons! 868 likes
week, vote fsualumni In honor of rivalry Seminoles for your favorite Florida State an emoji t men Com ! ition trad e pre-gam . to cast your vote – Spirit Drum – Unconquered statue Load more comments
Osceola and Renegade
FSU Marching Chiefs
View more comments Bob L. Can’t have one without the other! Like • Reply Alan S. Marching Chiefs! Like • Reply Andy L. MCATDT!!!! Like • Reply John C. I love them both! Like • Reply Virginia G. This is impossible! Like • Reply
floridastateuniversity FSU Traditions = All momburk55
1.1K votes 37 Shares
bruynj valinjax nolegirltara Why not both? fsueducation waking the band The _lee vix_toria the fight dorms up in the union playing
song momburk55 bruynj valinjax to go to tah09f I actually got a chance statue…. the lighting ceremony for the e is one A lot of people don’t know ther e gam a re befo t nigh ay Frid on sc_seminole nolan_05 ladynole5 cjhoughtalin
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Thank You to Our New Life Members The following alumni and friends recently* became Life Members of the FSU Alumni Association. Their support creates opportunities for our students, alumni and members who are and will always be #SeminolesForever. Find out more about alumni membership: alumni.fsu.edu/join. Alan M. Ashe (B.S. ’88) and Diane Ashe Brian C. Baber (B.S. ’97, M.B.A. ’99) Mark T. Bacchus (B.S. ’98) and Jennifer P. Bacchus M. Drew Blake (B.S. ’70) Frederick Carroll III (M.Acc. ’76) and Mary S. Carroll (J.D. ’77) Michelle Coca (B.A. ’14, M.S. ’15) Harold S. Cohn (B.A. ’76) Stacey L. Copeland (B.S. ’96) Lynda M. Crouse (B.A. ’91) Raymond Ealy (B.A. ’81) and L. Charmayne Ealy Samuel S. Flint (M.S.W. ’75) and Rebecca D. Flint (M.S.W. ’75) Vanessa Fuchs (B.S. ’01) and Christina A. Barber (B.S. ’14) Dennis R. Gates II (M.S. ’06) Pamela P. Gonzalez (B.S. ’88) Patrick J. Goodwin (B.S. ’11) Freddie L. Groomes-McLendon (Ph.D. ’72) Thomas L. Hagar (B.S. ’61) and Margaret B. Hagar (B.S. ’61) Felix F. Harris (B.S. ’92, M.S.W. ’93) and Latonia M. Harris (B.S. ’93) Patricia L. Hazlehurst (B.S. ’90) and David M. Hazlehurst III Myrna P. Hoover (B.S. ’83, M.S. ’84) and Justin T. Unger (B.S. ’12) John K. Humphress (B.S. ’72) Kierystan L. Johnson (B.S. ’13) Ellen A. Jones (B.S. ’00, M.S. ’02) Robert J. Leonard (B.S. ’85) and Donna M. Leonard
Terry E. Lewis (B.A. ’65, M.A. ’66, J.D. ’78) and Georgann P. Lewis (B.S. ’69) Michael K. Lindsay II (B.M. ’11, B.A. ’11, M.S. ’13, M.A. ’15) and Mark A. Partridge (M.S. ’10, Ph.D. ’13) Stephanie A. Linthicum (B.S. ’89) and John M. Linthicum Jonathan D. Marina (B.S. ’94) Brian R. Marshall (B.S. ’90) and Carole C. Marshall Richard J. Martorano (B.M. ’63, M.M. ’76) and Ann E. Martorano Katrina R. McDonald (B.S. ’90) Andrea P. Medvid (B.S. ’91) and Steven Medvid Bruce L. Morrison (B.S. ’70, M.S. ’70) and Deborah J. Billings-Morrison Kyle A. Mowitz (B.S. ’03) Tiffany B. Nelz (B.S. ’16) Wendy M. Nettles (B.A. ’93, M.A. ’96) Jennifer Oister (B.S. ’04) and William P. Oister III Martha D. Paradeis (B.S. ’75, B.S.N. ’92) Dennis H. Passe (Ph.D. ’77) Anjan Patel (M.D. ’08) and Trusha Patel Eunice E. Priester (B.S. ’66, M.S. ’74) Jan D. Pudlow (B.A. ’76) and J. Mark Pudlow Felicia A. Rawlin (B.S. ’94) and Brian D. Rawlin
John J. Slavic (B.S. ’75) Elijah Smiley (B.S. ’81, J.D. ’85, B.S. ’99) John W. Smith (B.S. ’88) and Elise B. Pichard Smith (B.S. ’88) Shannon C. Smith Libbert (B.S. ’93, M.P.A. ’97) W. Michael Stange Jr. (B.S. ’73) and Deidra Stange Gary A. Stilwell (M.A. ’96, Ph.D. ’00) and Barbara A. Stilwell James P. Sweeney (B.S. ’99) Carlotta V.C. Thacker (B.S. ’97) Rachel M. Toomey (B.A. ’05, M.A. ’06) and Sarah A. Smiley (B.S. ’04) Theron L. Trimble Jr. (B.S. ’65, M.S. ’68) and Laurine L. Trimble James A. Vendetti Jr. (B.S. ’06) and Hannah Vendetti Joshua A. Walker (B.S. ’08) Barbara H. Wasik (B.S. ’65, Ph.D. ’67) Cornelia M. Waters (B.A. ’50) Corinne S. Watkins (B.M. ’15, M.M. ’17) and Curtis E. Watkins (M.P.A. ’92) Dierdre M. Watkins (M.S. ’95) Cheng-Shou Wang (J.D. ’90) Janet P. Worthington (M.S. ’85) and Bruce L. Worthington *This list includes individuals who joined the FSU Alumni Association as Life Members between April 1 and Sept. 30.
CLASS NOTES Indicates FSU Alumni Association Life membership Indicates FSU Alumni Association membership
1968-69 James B. Tollerton (B.S. ’68), a 1964 graduate of Sarasota High School, received the inaugural Alumnus of Distinction award from the Educational Foundation of Sarasota County. Tollerton is president of Professional Benefits Inc., an insurance and benefits firm in Sarasota, and was the founding chair of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.
EMERITUS ▼ Wayne Maynard
Jacqueline L. Dupont (B.S. ’55, Ph.D. ’62) co-edited a book, “History of Human Nutrition Research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service: People, Events and Accomplishments.” It is the first book on the history of human nutrition research at the USDA and covers groundbreaking work in the late 19th century, the “home economics” era and more recent expansion of scientific inquiry into the relationship of foods, nutrition and health among all age groups. Jim C. Daddio (B.S. ’64) wrote a novel, “Hooked.” The psychological thriller follows a homicide detective who is drawn into the seedy world of strip clubs as he tracks a serial killer. Daddio has written five other mystery/thrillers, a contemporary romance novel and a young adult short story. Mark Hillis (B.S. ’64) was elected vice chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees. Hillis, who will continue to chair the board’s Academic Affairs Committee, has served on the board since 2010. Dayton Sherrouse (B.S. ’66, M.S. ’68), executive director at the Augusta Canal Authority, was named a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
▲ Mark Ellis
▲ James B. Tollerton
1970s Susan A. Gore (B.A. ’71) was selected to receive the 2019 Oliva Espin Award for Social Justice Concerns in Feminist Psychology from the Association for Women in Psychology. The award recognizes work on the intersection of religion and sexual orientation.
MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE: Barry R. Anderson (B.S. ’73) shows off his Seminole spirit at a Himalayan lodge in Ghantdruk, elevation 8,500 feet, with Annapurna I in the background. Anderson spent 16 days this past March in Nepal hiking the Himalayas. During the trip, he trekked more than 42 miles – sometimes straight up or straight down – covering the equivalent of 236 floors in a single day. In addition, he had close encounters with local wildlife, including rhinoceroses, monkeys and crocodiles, and he visited centuries-old historical sites and was introduced to local customs.
Wayne Maynard (B.S. ’72), an investment adviser, broker and certified financial planner with Merrill Lynch, raised $85,000 for Angel Flight – a charity that provides free air transportation for people in need of medical treatment far from home – by flying solo from Dallas to the North Pole and back in July. The trip took 43 hours flying a Columbia 350, the same aircraft he has used to fly more than 50 missions in eight years as a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight South Central in Texas. He spent more than $20,000 of his own money for fuel and travel expenses so the entire amount of donations could go back to Angel Flight, assisting 850 patients.
Margit P. Smith (B.A. ’74) wrote “The Medieval Girdle Book,” the first in-depth treatment with history of the books and information about the owners, writers and contents of all known and documented girdle books still in libraries, museums and private collections. Dan Hendrix (B.S. ’77), the retired president and CEO of Interface Inc., a $1 billion global manufacturer of modular commercial and residential carpet, was inducted into the 2018 class of the FSU College of Business Hall of Fame. During his tenure, Hendrix led Interface in a series of acquisitions ranging from $2 million to $150 million, including the acquisition of Holland-based Heuga, which at the time was the largest carpet tile manufacturer in the world. Peter Jones (B.S. ’77), the former president of Franklin Templeton Distributors Inc. and former chairman of Franklin Templeton Institutional Inc., was inducted into the 2018 class of the FSU College of Business Hall of Fame. When Franklin and Templeton merged in 1992, assets under management were approximately $66 billion, but they grew to nearly $900 billion by the time Jones retired in 2015.
ELENA REYES (B.A. ’78, M.S. ’83, PH.D. ’86) As many migrant farming families struggle to find stability and educational opportunity in the U.S., Elena Reyes does not have to search deep in her memory to recall her own challenges as a young immigrant. “My parents came over to the U.S. from Cuba in 1957,” says Reyes, director of the FSU College of Medicine’s Center for Child Stress and Health. “So, we were already residents here, but spent Christmas and New Year’s in Cuba in 1958. When the revolution broke out, we got the heck out of there really quickly.” Reyes was enrolled at a junior college in Miami when she decided to branch out to study psychology at a university. Even though she was accepted by the University of Miami and FSU, she chose FSU because of its cheaper tuition. She stayed through graduate school because of FSU’s national standing in psychology and the offer of a fellowship.
Now as a member of FSU’s faculty, one of Reyes’ recent successes involved overseeing the effort to secure a $3 million, five-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The goal is to study the effects of severe childhood trauma for kids in migrant families. “Migrant farmworkers with kids in rural areas often have chronic stressors related to a financial situation or a lack of education,” Reyes says. “It is significant to have FSU bring in a grant to help a population not too many people know about.” Reyes sees how the work being done at FSU addresses some issues she witnessed as a child. “A lot of these resources were not available when I grew up,” she says. “I often served as a translator for my grandmother when she went to the hospital in Miami. We are training an interprofessional team to understand the needs of the underserved. As part of that national network, we are able to provide resources.”
David Yon (B.S. ’77, J.D. ’80), a shareholder in the Radey Law Firm in Tallahassee, was recognized as a 2018 Florida Super Lawyer in the area of insurance coverage by Super Lawyers, a publication of Thomson Reuters. In addition, Yon was acknowledged in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: A Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers. for his good reputation and significant experience in handling an array of insurance regulatory compliance issues.
Chip Vucelich (B.S. ’80) won an Emmy in the “Outstanding Limited Series” category for his work as co-executive producer/producer on the FX Network series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (2018) at the Television Academy’s 70th Emmy Awards. The award is Vucelich’s second Emmy win – his first was as a producer for “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (2016).
Douglas Rillstone (B.S. ’79), a partner with Broad and Cassel, received a Band One ranking, the highest awarded by Chambers USA. Rillstone was recognized for his environmental practice, including his experience with development or redevelopment projects and his strengths with wildlife protection.
Yvonne Busse Salfinger (B.S. ’81), a retired microbiologist and bureau chief with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bureau of Food Laboratories, received AOAC International’s 2017 Technical Service of the Year Award for achievements and service to the association. In addition, Salfinger is a consultant for the Association of Public Health Laboratories and the Association of Food and Drug Officials.
1980s Gerald Ensley (B.A. ’80), who died in February 2018, wrote many stories showcasing Tallahassee’s quirks and customs, heroes and villains, and struggles and triumphs over his 36-year career as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat. Some of these stories have been compiled into a 144-page book, “‘We Found Paradise’: Gerald Ensley on the History and Eccentricities of His Beloved City,” available at pediment.com. The proceeds from the book will go to the Gerald Ensley Emerging Journalist Award. Chris Knopik (B.S. ’80), the chief legal officer and general counsel of the Laser Spine Institute, was recognized in the 2018 edition of Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite. The distinction is awarded to fewer than 1.2 percent of active members of the Florida Bar. Knopik has been a member of the Legal Elite Hall of Fame since 2014.
J. Stephen McDonald (J.D. ’84), a partner with Shuffield Lowman, was named a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. The distinction recognizes McDonald’s practice in the areas of commercial and civil litigation, construction law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, fiduciary litigation, labor and employment and securities law. Jeanette R. “Jet” Widick (B.S. ’84) wrote “White Wild Indigo,” a collection of poems and illustrations appropriate for all ages. The poems, which focus on promoting self-love and the power of a healthy life, are about everyday experiences and taking delight in the moment. After being diagnosed with celiac disease some years ago, Widick became a passionate advocate for healthy physical, spiritual and emotional living, earning the nickname Jet from her children. Judy Schmeling
Judy Schmeling (B.S. ’82), a member of the board of directors of Constellation Brands Inc., was inducted into the 2018 class of the FSU College of Business Hall of Fame. Schmeling recently served retailing giant HSN Inc. as president of Cornerstone Brands and chief operating officer of HSN Inc. During her 23-year career with the company, she played a pivotal role in growing sales to $4 billion for HSN’s direct-to-consumer retail portfolio and taking the company public. Schmeling, who received a 2017 Inspire Award from the FSU Alumni Association, was profiled in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of VIRES magazine (Page 25). Read more: gonol.es/ JudySchmeling Vires 59
CLASS NOTES A FRIEND OF DANCE: Cricket Mannheimer (B.F.A. ’81, M.S. ’94), a ballet instructor at the Tallahassee Dance Academy, received the inaugural Nancy Smith Fichter Award from the FSU Friends of Dance in recognition of her years of service to the university’s dance community. Mannheimer not only founded Friends of Dance but served as president, establishing many on-going programs and leading fundraising efforts for student scholarships, the Full House Project, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and the Young Dancer Workshops. A life member of the FSU Alumni Association, Mannheimer is pictured with Professor Emerita Nancy Smith Fichter (B.A. ’52, M.A. ’54), who served as the chair of the FSU School of Dance for 33 years.
Gail M. Skofronick-Jackson (B.S. ’86) was promoted to NASA program manager at the space agency’s headquarters. The new position will allow her to broaden her strategic role in enabling weather and atmospheric science, especially through precipitation measurement missions. Tom Bakkedahl (B.S. ’88, J.D. ’91), chief assistant state attorney for Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit, received the Eugene Barry Award from the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association. The award, which recognizes the outstanding prosecutor of the year, is the highest honor a Florida assistant state attorney can receive. Alexander S. Douglas II (J.D. ’89), a partner with Shuffield Lowman, was named a 2018 Florida Super Lawyer. Super Lawyers, a publication of Thomson Reuters, recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their practices. In addition, Douglas was selected as a 2018 Legal Elite attorney by Florida Trend. Douglas was recognized for his work in wills, trusts and estates litigation. Brian A. Ford Jr. (B.S. ’89), chief operating officer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was named 2018 Alumnus of the Year by the FSU Dedman School of Hospitality. Ford began his career with the Buccaneers in 2006. During his tenure, he has guided a $160 million renovation of Raymond James Stadium and the construction of a 100,000-square-foot indoor practice facility. Ford was profiled in “Catching Up With” in the Fall/ Winter 2015 issue of VIRES magazine (Page 7). Read more: gonol.es/BrianFord
Robert N. Yonover (M.S. ’84) co-wrote a book, “Caregiver’s Survival Guide: Caring for Yourself While Caring for a Loved One,” about his personal experiences over 20 years as the primary caregiver to his wife, Cindy Yonover (B.S. ’82, M.S.W. ’83), who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996. The couple met at FSU in 1978. Patrick D. Sargent (B.S. ’85), a major general in the U.S. Army, was appointed to lead the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, Health Readiness Center of Excellence. Bradley M. Saxton (B.S. ’85), an attorney with Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman, was named a 2018 Florida Super Lawyer. Super Lawyers, a publication of Thomson Reuters, recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their practices. 60 Vires
Steven Leifman (J.D. ’86), an associate administrative judge in Miami-Dade County, was awarded the 2018 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Leifman, who has been at the forefront of a public policy movement to reduce the number of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system, was honored for developing innovative approaches that offer treatment, support recovery and enhance public safety.
▲ Brian A. Ford Jr. John T. Rivers (B.S. ’89), health care executive turned barbecue master, founded 4Rivers Smokehouse in 2009. The popular chain of 14 barbecue restaurants throughout Florida was named America’s No. 1 Barbecue Chain for 2018 by MSN.
CLASS NOTES 1990s Jason Altmire (B.S. ’90), a former U.S. House member from Pennsylvania, wrote a book, “Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America and What We Can Do About It.” Respected as a political moderate while in office, Altmire was recognized as having the most centrist voting record in the entire House of Representatives.
Scott Wiegand (B.M. ’90) joined Brownstein Hyatt, a Denver-based law firm, to work on new sports-betting opportunities in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year to strike down the federal ban on sports betting. Wiegand is a director of the FSU Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors. ▲ Scott Wiegand
Travis Miller (B.S. ’91, J.D. ’94), a shareholder and president of the Radey Law Firm in Tallahassee, was acknowledged in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA for his considerable strength in handling a broad range of regulatory and transactional issues for insurance market clients as well as his additional expertise in administrative law matters. In addition, Miller was chosen by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for 2019 in the practice area of insurance law. ▼ Robin Buck
Scott Warmack (B.S. ’90) co-owns Trans Am Depot, an internationally recognized, Tallahasseebased automotive conversion company that designs and creates retro-styled muscle cars for customers around the world. Warmack, along with business partners Tod Warmack and Jim Dowling, has exclusive rights to the Trans Am brand.
Robin Buck (B.S. ’92) took a trip around the world with her husband, Rob Buck, and father-inlaw, John Buck. Departing from Fort Lauderdale, the trio visited Dubai, UAE; Hyderabad, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong; and Dallas, before returning home. At each stop along the way, Robin showed her Seminole pride by posing with her FSU Alumni Association Spirit Flag.
DAN JACOBSON (B.S. ’88) A team from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory led by computational systems biologist Dan Jacobson developed a genomics algorithm that has achieved record-breaking computational speeds. On the Summit supercomputer, the team’s Combinational Metrics (CoMet) application achieved a top speed of 2.36 exaops – or 2.36 x 1018 (2.36 billion billion) calculations per second. It is the fastest science application ever reported. For that effort, Jacobson’s team has been named a finalist for the Gordon Bell Prize, the highest award for supercomputing. As the chief scientist for computational systems biology at the laboratory, Jacobson works to compare genetic variations within a population to uncover hidden networks of genes that contribute to complex traits. His career in science might never have happened but for a throat infection during his days at FSU that caused him to switch majors. “I initially enrolled at FSU as a music major. Halfway through my
freshman year, this infection made me lose my voice for several months, and I wound up making a small transition to biochemistry,” he says with a chuckle.
Dan Jacobson and the Summit supercomputer that achieved recordbreaking computational speeds with his genomics algorithm. Photo by Jason Richards,
Although biology makes up a large component of Jacobson’s duties, he must also have a firm grasp of mathematics, statistics and complex supercomputing. “We train people to think across multiple disciplines,” Jacobson says.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Jacobson is collaborating with researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to find people who have used opioids, whether or not they developed an addiction. Trying to discover the complex genetic architecture responsible for human addiction requires poring over many possible genomic molecular variations in cells. Jacobson’s research efforts regarding sustainable biofuels call on him to routinely team up with research partners at 15 other institutions in the U.S. “A lot of the collaborative efforts are also with labs overseas,” he says. Vires 61
CLASS NOTES Marlon Hill (B.S. ’92, J.D. ’95), partner with HM&B Attorneys at Law, was appointed to the board of directors of BMe Community, a national network of black men working to build more caring and prosperous communities inspired by the stories of black men from throughout the nation. Greg Meier (B.S. ’92), a partner with Shuffield Lowman, was selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for 2019. Meier practices in the areas of trusts and estates. The Best Lawyers in America list is widely regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.
Bert Combs (B.S. ’93 J.D. ’96), a shareholder of the Radey Law Firm in Tallahassee, was selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for 2019. Combs practices in the area of insurance law. Jason L. Steinman (B.S. ’93) joined the Assouline & Berlowe law firm in Fort Lauderdale, practicing in the areas of trusts and estates, probate and guardianship matters, and probate and business litigation.
Jeff Alagood (B.S. ’94) was named president of AgileThought, a national provider of custom software solutions and development consulting to Fortune 1000 clients. Alagood will lead AgileThought’s market outreach and drive business growth strategies by engaging directly with clients at the highest levels
John M. Crossman (B.S. ’93), CEO of Crossman & Co., a commercial real estate firm, was named CEO of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal. The award recognizes Crossman for leading his company to prominence and having a positive effect on the community and local economy. Crossman is a director of the FSU Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors. Sara Blakely (B.S. ’93), founder of Spanx, was inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, one of seven members of its Class of 2018. She is the first inductee to work in the fashion industry. Blakely invested $5,000 to start what became Spanx, an Atlanta-based shapewear company now worth more than $1 billion, according to Inc. magazine. She is No. 2,124 on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires and No. 16 on its list of richest self-made women.
Marcia Warfel (B.A. ’93), deputy director of emergency management for Volunteer Florida, was chosen by the Knight Creative Communities Institute to serve as a community catalyst to help implement a communitywide project that supports economic mobility in Tallahassee. Warfel is a past honoree of the Tallahassee Democrat’s 25 Women You Need to Know.
Stephen Beaumont (M.F.A. ’94) produced and directed EWTN’s “The Case for Jesus” (2018), a five-part series that aired in September featuring EWTN theology adviser Noah Lett and Notre Dame Seminary Professor Brant Pitre.
Kurt Varricchio (B.S. ’93), a professional baseball agent, wrote an autobiography, “Behind in the Count: My Journey From Juvenile Delinquent to Baseball Agent.” Only 22 months old when his father died, Varricchio describes how growing up without enough parental guidance allowed him to become an 8-year-old car and house burglar. After numerous arrests, he entered foster care at 11 with foster parents who turned his life around.
Lana Olson (B.S. ’94), a partner with Lightfoot, Franklin & White, was named to Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation for 2018. It is Olson’s second consecutive year to make the list. Heather Provost (B.A. ’94) produced and codirected “Racing Colt” (2018), a movie about a personal assistant who struggles to get an aging, has-been movie star through the tumultuous shoot of a highly anticipated film. As a salute to her alma mater, the film contains numerous references to FSU.
TWANNA HARRIS (B.S. ’93)
Twanna Harris 62 Vires
With a mission of uniting communities from all over the world, Twanna Harris is the voice behind the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile transit corridor designed to function as a transformational urban redevelopment piece in Georgia’s capital and beyond.
to access job centers, but also provide safety for children. “We have kids who have to cross active railways to get home,” Harris says. “The BeltLine will give a lot of students either limited interaction or no interaction with traffic during their travels to and from school.”
The Atlanta BeltLine is an ongoing revitalization project designed to connect 45 distinctly unique Atlanta neighborhoods thanks to a loop of multiuse trails, streetcars and parks. “Many of these communities have been severely marginalized,” Harris says. “This project was designed to connect these neighborhoods in a way that fosters connectivity, inclusivity and economic prosperity.”
The project has enabled Harris, a Live Oak native, to discuss best practices with many peers in other cities. “Sometimes, it’s about getting on the phone or going to a conference and asking questions,” Harris says. “It could be talking with someone in the Northeast or Silicon Valley.”
Harris is the vice president of brand content and strategic initiatives for the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. Keeping the multilayered project on track relies on the efforts of many stakeholders throughout the city. In addition to serving as a global model for physical revitalization, the new trails and walking paths not only provide safe and efficient options for people
Harris earned her bachelor’s degree in criminology with a minor in social work. A first-generation African-American college student, Harris experienced both an acclimation process during her first year at FSU and eye-opening experiences while at the university. “FSU not only shaped my perspectives on dealing with adversity, but also piqued my interest to explore the rest of the world.”
CLASS NOTES BUILDING BETTER COMMUNITIES: Five FSU alumnae are serving as officers or board members with the Junior League of Tampa, a civic club that works to break the cycle of poverty for the most disadvantaged children and families. With more than 2,000 members, the Tampa organization is one of the 10 largest Junior League chapters in the world. Pictured at a recent JLT luncheon are, from left, Beth Garcia (’86), sustainer board member, Laurel Moynihan (B.S. ’06), membership manager, Leslie Jennewein (B.S. ’94), sustainer president, Isabel Dewey (B.S. ’98), JLT president, and Tracie Domino (B.S. ’02), sustainer chair and a former director of the FSU Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors. Joshua Christensen (B.S. ’95) was promoted to chief operating officer of Suffolk, a national construction management firm. Christensen, a civil engineer, will be responsible for the company’s Gulf Coast operations. Faith Eidse (M.A. ’95, Ph.D. ’99) wrote a novel, “Healing Falls,” about a young woman who is incarcerated. Through the story of survival and redemption, Eidse offers a vision of prison reform. Jesus “Zeus” Hernandez (B.S. ’96), founder and executive chairman of Total Home Health, was the subject of a March 2018 podcast, “Keepin’ It A Hundo,” available on iTunes. In the program, Hernandez discusses emigrating from Cuba as part of the Mariel boatlift, his years at FSU playing football for the Seminoles, and building Total Home Health from a small local agency to a leader in the home health care industry in Florida and Texas.
▼ Carey Williams Carey Williams (B.A. ’97, M.F.A. ’00) was selected as one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Williams directed and co-wrote a short film, “Cherry Waves” (2012), which won the HBO Short Film Competition at the American Black Film Festival the year it was released. ▼ Autumn Beck Blackledge
Niles M. Reddick (Ph.D. ’96) wrote his fourth book, “Reading the Coffee Grounds and Other Stories,” a collection of short stories. Reddick is vice provost of the University of Memphis-Lambuth.
Aran Hissam (B.S. ’99) and Patrick Hissam (B.S. ’99) established the Brianna Marie Foundation, a Melbourne, Floridabased nonprofit that helps physicians and families learn about the benefits of fetal therapies and the life-saving surgeries that can be performed prior to a child's birth. In October 2017, the foundation collaborated with Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital to develop new imaging techniques and better diagnosing capabilities.
Holly Iglesias (Ph.D. ’99) wrote a book of poetry, “Sleeping Things.” Steeped in St. Louis and Miami history, the poems explore Catholic school culture during the Cold War and ideas of home and belonging, loss and restoration. It is Iglesias’ third book of poetry.
Oualid Mouaness (M.F.A. ’97) was named a 2018 IFP Narrative Lab Fellow by the Independent Filmmaker Project for “1982” (2019). The film, which Mouaness wrote and directed, is about an 11-year-old boy who finds the courage to tell a girl in his class that he loves her when their school gets evacuated because of an air invasion of Beirut. Andy Neal (B.M. ’97, B.S. ’97), branch chief of actuarial and catastrophic modeling for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was named a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. Neal was recognized for persuading private reinsurers – for the first time – to assume some flood damage liability, saving the National Flood Insurance Program $1 billion in claims in 2017. The medal, which pays tribute to the nation’s federal workforce, is presented by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring new generations to serve.
Autumn Beck Blackledge (B.S. ’98, J.D. ’01), an attorney who practices family law, wrote “Skinny Ninnie’s Kitchen: Recipes and Humor From Four Generations of Southern Mouths,” a cookbook featuring Southern comfort breads, breakfasts, beverages, soups, salads, sandwiches, sauces, marinades, starters, sides, main dishes and desserts. Vires 63
CLASS NOTES Catherine Keen (B.A. ’99, M.S. ’05), national service programs director for Volunteer Florida, was elected vice president of Club 25, a nonprofit that empowers women and works to make Tallahassee a better place to live. Keen is a past honoree of the Tallahassee Democrat’s 25 Women You Need to Know.
Audra Peoples (B.S. ’99) joined Volunteer Florida as director of external affairs, responsible for the communications department and legislative affairs.
Brien Schmauch (B.S. ’00) launched an influencermarketing firm, Privy Public Relations & Marketing, the first of its kind in North Florida. As president, Schmauch will assist companies seeking to leverage the valuable relationship between active social influencers and their dedicated community of followers to promote their products and services.
No copyright infringement is intended
Nancy Rosenbaum (B.S. ’01, M.S. ’03), a fifth-grade STEM teacher at the Florida State University Schools (FSU’s K-12 laboratory school), received the 2018 June Scobee Rodgers Innovative Educator Award from the Challenger Center. The award recognizes an outstanding educator who understands the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education and demonstrates enthusiasm and passion in teaching STEM subjects. ▼ Randall Vitale
Wendy Mericle (M.F.A. ’99), who served as executive producer/co-showrunner of the CW’s “Arrow” for the past three years, has signed a multiyear deal with ABC Studios to develop new projects for broadcast, cable and streaming services. Mericle got her start at ABC while serving as executive story editor and co-producer of the 2011-2012 season of “Desperate Housewives.”
▲ Nancy Rosenbaum
Randall Vitale (B.S. ’99) was named president of Hoffman’s Chocolates, a South Florida chocolatier known for its officially licensed Oreo cookies decorated with college mascots and symbols, including the Florida State Seminole.
2000s Brett Jacobsen (B.S. ’00, M.F.A. ’03) served as an editor on the four-part CNN Original Series “1968.” He edited the first episode, “Winter,” and did additional editing on the “Spring” and “Summer” episodes.
JAY MELLETTE (B.S. ’95) In Jay Mellette’s own estimation, he had an amazing job – with a circus. The opportunity to cultivate a culture from the beginning was the calling card that compelled him to make a career move – into the ranks of professional hockey. Mellette was the director of performance medicine for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group when another Las Vegas-based group presented an intriguing proposal. “It was a two-fold trigger,” Mellette says. “George McPhee and Murray Craven … I heard them and I believed we would do something special here.” McPhee and Craven are the general manager and senior vice president of the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights. That special effort resulted in the Knights’ reaching the Stanley Cup final in their first year of existence. Mellette is the director of sports performance and athletic trainer for the team. He went from an environment of 20 teams and 1,300 athletes at Cirque du Soleil to a refined and scaled-down process for the Knights.
For Mellette, a Daytona Beach native, the opportunity with the Knights provided both a clean slate and a quick education. “There was not a hockey presence in my youth,” Mellette says. “I didn’t know the biomechanics of hockey. There was a big learning curve. I spent a lot of time understanding the demands of the (player) movement on ice. How do I prepare them to be ready for that through their off-ice work?” Mellette answered that question through his own planning and thanks to the daily preparation done by players. “When you are working with a player, he is coming with his past experiences and beliefs, not only about his health, but his performance,” Mellette says. “You also have to be ferociously curious. How do you manage risk, performance and wellness of your athletes? Respecting that and integrating it for the athletes is a subtle but important skill set.” Jay Mellette watching a Golden Knights team practice during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images
CLASS NOTES Josh Baxley (B.S. ’02), a site and civil engineering expert, joined the Tallahassee office of Dewberry, a professional services firm. Baxley will support the company’s utility infrastructure and land development projects.
Jeremy Ruccio (B.S. ’04), a wealth management adviser and senior vice president of the Ruccio Wealth Management Group in Miami, was recognized on Forbes’ America’s Top NextGeneration Wealth Advisors list.
Dustin R. Feddon (B.A. ’02, M.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’13) was named pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Chipley, Florida.
Jennifer Marcus (B.S. ’05, M.S. ’07), a former Marching Chief and world champion baton twirler, is performing in the Cirque du Soleil show “Volta.”
Chris Smith (B.S. ’02), author of “The Conversion Code,” co-founded Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company that helps businesses grow faster. Based on 2016 revenues of $6.6 billion, the company was ranked No. 303 on the Inc. 5000 for 2017. It ranked No. 9 among companies in both Boston, its headquarters, and Massachusetts. David Robert Mitchell (M.F.A. ’03) wrote and directed “Under the Silver Lake” (2018), a movie about a man, played by Andrew Garfield (“The Amazing Spider-Man,” 2012), who becomes obsessed with the strange circumstances of a billionaire’s murder and the kidnapping of a girl. Alex Enriquez (B.S. ’04) is serving as vice president and executive director of City Year Dallas. Each year, the organization places 50 AmeriCorps volunteers in five Dallas schools for one year of fulltime service. While there, they support teachers and school administrators by serving as mentors and intervening when students have attendance, behavior or class performance issues.
Patrick Alexander (M.F.A. ’07) is directing a feature film, “Homewrecker,” in Sarasota. In addition, he taught screenwriting at the Ringling College of Art and Design during the fall 2018 semester.
Blake Taylor (B.F.A. ’07) has written 14 episodes of the CBS series “Salvation” over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Carlos Trujillo (J.D. ’07), who served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 until earlier this year, was confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in March. Jeff Denson (M.S. ’05), a noted jazz artist and professor at the California Jazz Conservatory, released his 12th album, “Outside My Window,” which showcases his talent as a bassist, composer and vocalist. The album was released in May on Ridgeway Records. Denson launched the label as part of Ridgeway Arts, his West Coast nonprofit devoted to supporting the creative endeavors of musicians, with an emphasis placed on music inspired by the jazz tradition.
Stephen Andrews (B.S. ’08, M.S. ’09) was promoted to director of the tax services department in the Tallahassee office of Thomas Howell Ferguson, a professional accounting, assurance and tax services firm. Ray Chenez (M.S. ’08, D.M. ’11), an internationally known opera singer who received the 2014 George London Award for promising young opera performers, has released an album, “BroadRay,” a salute to Broadway.
MADELEINE GOODHAND (B.S. ’09) Madeleine Goodhand
Before she moved to the United States at age 12, Madeleine Goodhand’s intro to music covered multiple countries but contained a common theme. “I am from Helsinki, Finland, and I also lived in Beijing and Hong Kong for a period,” Goodhand says. “Living abroad put me more in touch with an international style of music. There were a lot of electronic influences around me. That is what created my musical tastes as I grew up and got more interested in electronic music.” That bond turned into the basis of a career. Goodhand and her husband, Glenn, are the cofounders of Imagine Music Festival, an electronic dance music and art festival in Atlanta that has grown into one of the nation’s most highly anticipated musical events each year. The 2018 edition on the massive grounds of the Atlanta Motor Speedway was the festival’s fifth anniversary. Bringing together the biggest acts in electronic dance music has included a learning
process. “We were very hands-on that first year,” Madeleine says. “We brought on a security director and a site operations director, and it was a lot for us to take on. You put so much blood, sweat and tears into it, but seeing the fans having fun is what really does it for us.” Considering Atlanta has the busiest airport in the country and plenty of freeway access, the location has provided numerous benefits for the couple as they dared to imagine what the full scale of the Imagine Festival could be. To make sure the show goes on, Madeleine stays busy communicating with vendors, security personnel and potential performers. “My communication degree from FSU has helped me communicate my vision,” she says. “A lot of class programs in advertising focused on pitches and presentations … a lot of this industry is marketing, promotions and attracting people to your event.” Vires 65
CLASS NOTES Lindsay Hinson-Knipple (M.D. ’08), former Wingate University volleyball star, was inducted into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame. As a student at Wingate, Hinson-Knipple received Academic All-America honors her junior and senior years, was named 2002 and 2003 SAC Volleyball ScholarAthlete of the Year and received the 2004 SAC President's Award, the conference’s highest honor. Shane Houghton (B.F.A. ’08) co-created “Big City Greens” (2018), an animated series about an adventurous country boy who moves with his family from their rural farm to a modern metropolis. The show, which airs on the Disney Channel, has a corresponding video game and has been renewed for a second season.
Jacob Webb (B.S. ’08), first vice president and wealth management adviser with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, was recognized on Forbes’ “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors” list. Webb joined Merrill Lynch in 2008 and holds the firm’s Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designations.
Ryan O'Connell (M.F.A. ’09) portrayed Charles Manson in a two-hour Fox docudrama, “Inside the Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes,” which aired in September. The show, narrated by Liev Schreiber, included new and archival interviews with former Manson cult members, as well as re-enacted scenes featuring O’Connell.
Eric Bader (M.F.A. ’09), who served as cinematographer on the Fall Out Boy music video “Champion,” was part of the production team nominated for best rock video by the MTV Video Music Awards. Ade Bajere (M.F.A. ’09) is serving as a producer for #BrandNewzNLife, an online news portal founded by Christopher Martin of ’90s hip-hop duo Kid ’n Play.
Ryan S. LaPete (B.S. ’08) founded Deep Brewing Co., a microbrewery named after his career as a professional diver and the minor he earned from FSU Panama City in underwater crime scene investigation.
Aaron Moorhead (B.F.A. ’09) co-directed “The Endless” (2017), a mind-bending thriller about two brothers who receive a cryptic video message that makes them decide to revisit a UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier. Moorhead also plays one of the brothers in the film.
Stuart Santos (B.S. ’09, M.S. ’10) and Jonathan R. Smith (B.S. ’09) co-wrote a children’s book, “Campus Explorers: The Search for Osceola and Renegade.” As readers search for the iconic pair, they are introduced to campus landmarks and traditions at FSU.
BEN TREICHEL (M.F.A. ’14) In the town of Webster, Wisconsin, Ben Treichel is teaching a lesson he learned at FSU: Individuals can achieve many goals through teamwork. Treichel is the expressive arts instructor at Northwest Passage, a residential care center for adolescent boys who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral disorders. Most are 13-17 years old. Treichel works with roughly a dozen residents in groups of four by taking them through introductory aspects of filmmaking. After graduating from the Film School at FSU, Treichel returned to Webster – his hometown – and asked the people at Northwest Passage if they would be interested in having a film program. The answer was yes, and Treichel started the program in fall 2014. While residents have the opportunity to learn about filmmaking individually, the kids with more film experience also get a chance to do some Ben Treichel answers a question about photography from one of his students at Northwest Passage. Photo by Ben Johnson
teaching. “That empowers them,” Treichel says. Part of his goal is to show them the value of a process that takes time and has multiple steps, as opposed to a pursuit of instant gratification. The end product for the kids is a film premiere night where they get to display their efforts. Five years ago, Northwest Passage also started an underwater photography program. Having access to lakes in rural Wisconsin gives both adults and kids the chance to have what Treichel terms “a cool experience.” Student-teacher collaboration and the value of receiving input from your peers are two things Treichel took from Tallahassee. “Film school at FSU was such a team-oriented collaboration,” Treichel says. “You get to learn every skill set. Then you can teach a kid film from inception to completion.” Kids also find out there is much more to filmmaking than the actors on camera. “It takes an army to make a movie,” Treichel says. “We barely scratch the surface. Some kids find out they are good at writing, editing or music.”
CLASS NOTES 2010s Alicia Adams (B.S. ’10) was installed as the 20182020 international vice president for finance of the Alpha Gamma Delta International Fraternity’s International Council. Adams is a member of the fraternity’s Gamma Beta Chapter at FSU. Jacob Ausderan (M.S. ’10, Ph.D. ’10), a noted expert on North Korea, joined Barry University as an assistant professor in the department of history and political science. Ausderan is a widely published scholar and lecturer specializing in international relations and statistical research methods, with specific research interests in conflict, foreign policy and Asian politics. Kate Emery (M.F.A. ’10) is creating concept art for “The Passage,” an apocalyptic sci-fi series about vampires; was the graphic designer on Season 3 of Sundance Channel’s “Hap and Leonard,” which premiered in March; was the concept artist on Tina Fey’s upcoming film, “Wine Country”; created key artwork – including stained glass windows, tapestries and a 24-by-36-inch painting around which much of the show’s mystery revolves – for ABC’s “Lodge 49,” about a fraternal order based in Medieval alchemy. Jeremy Mishali (B.S. ’10) joined the Kelley Kronenberg law firm’s Fort Lauderdale office as an attorney. He is practicing in the area of first-party insurance defense litigation. Will Sampson (B.F.A. ’10) served as director of photography for the Kane Brown music video “What Ifs,” featuring Lauren Alaina, which won the CMT Music Award for Collaborative Video of the Year and was nominated for Video of the Year. In addition, he served as director of photography for the Fifth Harmony music video “Don’t Say You Love Me.” ▲ Will Sampson
Gordon C. Murray Jr. (J.D. ’11), founder and president of the ICE Foundation, was named the Tallahassee Democrat’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year. Murray also received a Jefferson Award, the nation’s most prestigious public service award. Since founding ICE in 2014, Murray has provided thousands of hours of service to youth in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando.
Robert N. Clarke III (B.S. ’12) serves as a video editor with Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Washington Capitals. Clarke chronicled the Capitals’ 2017-2018 season through the NHL playoffs and the Stanley Cup championship by compiling and editing game video from the team’s videographers. Josh Crute (M.F.A. ’12) wrote “Oliver: The SecondLargest Living Thing on Earth,” a fanciful children’s picture book. Crute tells the story of Oliver, a young tree in Sequoia National Forest who must deal with the feeling of living in someone else’s shadow while he grows up.
Jose Bibiloni (B.A. ’11) joined the law firm Blank Rome as an associate in the finance, restructuring and bankruptcy group. Meg Scott Cain (B.A. ’11, M.F.A. ’15) joined Ratio Christi, a global college Christian apologetics ministry, as video projects producer.
Diandra Pendleton-Thompson (M.F.A. ’15) was hired as the writers’ room assistant for the upcoming CBS All Access series about the continuing adventures of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The yet-tobe-named series stars Patrick Stewart. Darrel Raymundo (B.F.A. ’15) digitally sculpted a statue of NBA star Steve Adams, which was displayed at San Diego’s Comic-Con 2018. The statue, 3-D printed in fiberglass, was part of a promotion for “Kiwi Legend,” a comic book about Adams, who is a native of New Zealand. Cheri Swan (B.S. ’16, M.S. ’17) was promoted to associate accountant with James Moore & Co. Swan will work in the firm’s auditing department, focusing on planning, fieldwork, data extraction testing and preparation of final audit reports. Aly Coleman (B.S. ’17) joined Volunteer Florida as coordinator of external affairs.
Dominique A. Meyer (B.S. ’12) joined the Blank Rome law firm’s Washington, D.C., office as an associate in the insurance recovery practice group.
John Ross Hawkins (M.F.A. ’17) was promoted to onset VFX data wrangler at COSA VFX and is working in Atlanta on the set of Season 2 of Fox’s “The Gifted.”
Lexa Payne (B.F.A. ’12) served as digital content producer for the Apple TV series “Carpool Karaoke,” which won an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series.
Parker McBain (B.F.A. ’18) joined Sony PlayStation as a cinematic animator.
Holly Pearson (B.F.A. ’12) served as associate director for Season 1 of the Fox game show “25 Words or Less” with Meredith Vieira. In addition, Pearson was accepted into the Directors Guild of America as an associate director. Nick Reinhard (B.F.A. ’12), a videographer, was part of the production team that won a Los Angeles Area Emmy in the category Outstanding Videographer Multicamera– Programming for its videography of the 2017 Dodgers World Series game.
Loren M. Vasquez (B.A. ’10) joined the Orlando office of the Shuffield Lowman law firm. He will practice in the areas of commercial, civil and fiduciary litigation.
Daniel Herrera (B.S. ’14), who leads venture investments at Miami Angels, received the 2018 Recent Alumni Achievement Award from the FSU College of Business. The award honors an undergraduate or graduate alumnus from the past 10 years who has had significant professional and personal achievements in the years since graduation.
Tatiana R. Bears (B.F.A. ’14) and Max P. Allman (B.F.A. ’14) were named 2018 IFP Documentary Lab Fellows by the Independent Filmmaker Project for “Socks on Fire: Uncle John and the Copper Headed Water Rattlers” (2017). The film, which Bears produced and Allman edited, is about a failed poet who takes up cinematic arms when he returns home to Hokes Bluff, Alabama, to discover that his aunt has locked his drag-queen uncle out of the family home.
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IN MEM O RIA M 1930s Ruth (née Richardson) Barkley (B.S. ’34) Cora E. (née Boyett) Evans (B.S. ’35) Mary E. (née Johnston) Newlan (L.I. ’36) Marion (née Ferrell) Buford (B.S. ’37, M.S. ’55) Lorey M. (née Bachand) House (L.I. ’37) Mary (née Dickenson) Seay (B.S. ’37) Betty (née Ingermann) Fleming (B.A. ’39) Ruth (née Barron) Kirkpatrick (B.A. ’39) Dilla (née Wakefield) Lyon (B.A. ’39)
1940s Georgene (née Dunn) Paige (B.S. ’40) Norma Rodriguez (B.S. ’40, M.S. ’61) Cornelia (née Watson) Gause (B.S. ’41) Carese (née Brown) Helmuth (B.A. ’41) Dorothy (née Guthrie) Richardson (B.S. ’42) Frances R. Rogers (B.A. ’42) Coleta (née Griffin) Tesch (B.S. ’42) Harriet (née Benson) Turner (B.A. ’42) Ruth I. (née Miller) Williamson (B.S. ’42) Gwendolyn (née Bradley) Gallaher (B.A. ’43) Mariana (née Boardman) Harkins (B.S. ’43) Miriam (née Smith) Hogg (B.S. ’43) Gloria (née Dulany) Smith (B.M. ’43) Harriett E. (née Ray) Berman (B.A. ’44) Mary M. Carroll (B.S. ’44) Marion (née Bowness) Hoppe (B.S. ’44) Connie (née Porter) Mack (B.S. ’44) Eleanor (née Ernst) Robinson (B.S. ’44) Betty B. Chazal (B.S. ’45) Alice (née Witt) Darby (B.S. ’45) Betty (née Obee) Jackson (B.A. ’45) Janet (née Young) Knapp (B.A. ’45) Bessie (née Mitchell) Milton (B.A. ’45) Maria D. (née Perez) Sanchez (B. ’45) Theo (née Brown) Sonderegger (B.S. ’46) Harriett (née Kirk) Crago (B.A. ’47) Betty J. (née Craig) Hooker (B.A. ’47) Amelia (née Pavese) Castenir (B.S. ’48)
JAMES H. OLIVER JR. (M.S. ’54)
James H. Oliver Jr., an international expert on Lyme disease and an FSU Grad Made Good, died July 18, 2018, at age 87. After earning a master’s degree in parasitology from FSU and a doctorate in entomology from the University of Kansas, Oliver had a distinguished career as a researcher. He served on the faculties of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Georgia. At Georgia Southern University’s Department of Biology, he served as a Callaway Professor and director of the Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology. He was instrumental in bringing the U.S. National Tick Collection to Georgia Southern. Through his research, Oliver was able to establish that Lyme disease is prevalent in the southeastern United States. In recognition of his internationally recognized expertise, the FSU Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa and the FSU Alumni Association honored Oliver as a Grad Made Good in 2010. James Oliver in his laboratory at Georgia Southern in 1982. 68 Vires
Katherine (née Browning) Green (B.S. ’48) Martha A. Hart (B.A. ’48, M.A. ’54) Dorothy (née Vincent) Hatmaker (B.S. ’48) Doris (née Dubois) Hawthorn (B.S. ’48) Dorothy E. (née Crowson) Schiffmacher (B.S. ’48, M.S. ’50) Drucilla K. (née Gnann) Seward (B.S. ’48) Evaline (née Gordon) Kirkland (B.S. ’49) Calvin B. Koesy (B.S. ’49, M.S. ’50) Betty S. (née McPhaul) Kurth (B.A. ’49) George H. Morgan (B.S. ’49) John M. Nichols (B.S. ’49) Betty (née Clark) Rowan (B.A. ’49) Leroy M. Strickland Jr. (B.S. ’49) Virginia (née Bennett) Strickland (B.S. ’49) Winifred (née Lane) Wentworth (B.A. ’49)
1950s James W. Aikin Sr. (B.S. ’50) Joy (née Long) Brown (B.S. ’50) Leila (née Lane) Ewing (B.A. ’50) Helen (née Rombokas) Fierro (M.S. ’50) Violet (née Puglisi) Giovenco (B.S. ’50) Margaret C. (née Fredenburg) Haynsworth (B.S. ’50) Catherine (née Sessions) Howell (B.S. ’50) Frances (née Browne) Humphreys (B.A. ’50) Jean (née Augur) Kilgore (B.S. ’50) Edith (née Clark) Lockett (B.S. ’50) Thomas R. Long (B.S. ’50, M.A. ’53) Joanne (née Summers) Lowe (B.A. ’50) Jacqueline (née Parish) Reynolds (B.S. ’50) Louise (née Harris) Runyon (B.S. ’50) Patricia (née Murray) Bales (B.A. ’51) Sarah (née Gibson) Pafford (B.A. ’51, M.S. ’61) Maida F. (née Badcock) Pou (B.S. ’51) Leslie J. Williams (B.S. ’51) Robert W. Albertson (B.S. ’52) Jane (née Godfrey) Becker (B.S. ’52) John D. Conner Jr. (B.S. ’52) Shirley (née Hurlbert) Emery (B.S. ’52)
Martha N. (née Crenshaw) Flewellen (B.S. ’52) Marian (née Lewis) Gordon (M.M. ’52) Robert E. Greene (B.S. ’52) Patricia (née Ledbetter) Jacobus (B.S. ’52) Howard Johnson Sr. (B.S. ’52), whose 36-and-ahalf-year career as an educator included service as superintendent of the Calhoun County (Florida) School District from 1969 to 1988, died April 12, 2018, at age 91. He is survived by a daughter, Debbie J. Van Lierop, a son, Howard Johnson Jr., and three grandchildren, including Lauren Pasqualone (B.S. ’05, M.S. ’06), editor of VIRES magazine, 2011 to 2012. Bertha (née Kersey) Kirby (B.S. ’52) Nancy (née Stevens) Knuckey (B. ’52) Edna (née Faber) Lavery (B.A. ’52) Marjorie (née Fogarty) Lee (B.A. ’52) Ray N. McCleskey (B.S. ’52, M.S. ’54) Mary (née Shaw) McMillan (B.A. ’52) Helen (née Sanders) Musselwhite (B.S. ’52) Binford H. Peeples (M.S. ’52) Sheila (née Fernandez) Rodriguez (M.A. ’52) Paul A. Skelton (M.S. ’52) Jane (née Willis) Tinney (B.S. ’52) Joan (née Grosser) Wheeler (B. ’52) Joline (née Belcher) Groot (B.A. ’53) Harris G. Harvey Jr. (B.A. ’53) Harvey L. Hatton Jr. (B.S. ’53, M.S. ’54) Jacquelyn (née Glass) Heyser (B.S. ’53) Ethel (née Griffin) McCormick (B.S. ’53) Patricia L. (née Thomson) McIntosh (B.S. ’53) John E. Shaeffer (B.S. ’53) Margaret (née Anderson) Sielski (B.S. ’53, M.S. ’64) Mary (née Speed) Steinhauer (B.S. ’53, M.S. ’54) Sarah (née Kennedy) Turner (B.S. ’53) Patricia (née McMurphy) Barrineau (M.S. ’54) James H. Bowen (B.S. ’54) Virginia (née Norris) Crews (B.S. ’54) Elizabeth (née Hill) Croft (B.S. ’54) Florine F. (née Ginn) Dowdle (B.S. ’54) Laura N. (née Rogers) Harrison (B.S. ’54) Ven (née Wang) Li (M.S. ’54) James H. Oliver Jr. (M.S. ’54) Barbara (née Schumacher) Vickers (B.S. ’54) Lee A. White Jr. (B.S. ’54) Frances L. Wise (B.S. ’54, M.S. ’58) Dorothy H. (née Belle) Woollen (B.S. ’54) Norma (née Bolton) Birch (B.S. ’55) Thomas C. Burst (B.S. ’55) Robert P. Foley (B.S. ’55) Robert E. Grenn (B.S. ’55) Douglas K. Lilly (M.S. ’55, Ph.D. ’59) Isobel (née Balfour) Mayfield (B.S. ’55) James A. Messinese (B.S. ’55) Helen A. Ray (B.A. ’55) Faye (née Norman) Salis (B.S. ’55) Judson C. Wood (B.S. ’55) Samuel R. Alderman (B.S. ’56, M.S. ’58) Muriel W. Fielding (B.M. ’56, M.S. ’58) Mary H. (née Brindle) Grove (B.S. ’56)
Ervin J. Hamme (M.M. ’56) Jane (née Walker) Hawkins (B.S. ’56) Barbara (née Vickers) Herlong (B.S. ’56) Richard A. Hollahan (B.S. ’56) Frank B. Jones Sr. (B.A. ’56) Caroline L. (née DeVore) Markett (B.S. ’56) Allan J. McCorkle (B.S. ’56) Walter K. McKenzie (B.S. ’56) Carolyn (née Clark) Wagner (B.S. ’56) Paul D. Allen (B.S. ’57) Frances P. (née Robinson) Anderson (B.S. ’57) Richard M. Bassett (B.S. ’57, M.S. ’71) Katherine L. (née Finney) Berckman (B.S. ’57) William T. Brown (B.A. ’57) Robert C. Camp (B.S. ’57) Lucea (née Griffin) Davis (B.S. ’57) Haskell R. Fulmer (B.S. ’57) Patricia (née Freeman) Howell (B.A. ’57) John U. Kiefer (M.S. ’57, Ed.D. ’61) Thomas G. MacKey Sr. (B.S. ’57) Dian (née Hoskins) Milligan (B.M. ’57) Ray K. Milligan (B.S. ’57) Constance (née Rodabaugh) Moore (B.M. ’57) Eva D. (née Sass) Nerenberg (B.S. ’57) Janice (née Grosser) Odom (B.S. ’57) Jack W. Rogero (B.S. ’57) Charles H. Scarbrough (B.S. ’57) Nancy (née Cubbon) Sheridan (B.A. ’57, M.S. ’67) Joseph G. Taylor (B.S. ’57, M.S. ’68) Gary B. Wold (B.A. ’57) Roy Dicks Jr. (M.S. ’58) Robert G. Garrigues (B.S. ’58, Ph.D. ’70) Joe B. Goodspeed (B.S. ’58) Berry R. Ray (B.S. ’58) Leon C. Seale Jr. (B.S. ’58) Byron A. Wambles (B.S. ’58) Betty (née McGowan) Wamsley (B.A. ’58) William A. Woolington Jr. (B.S. ’58) Robert E. Baker Jr. (B.S. ’59) Lenore A. Dupee (B.S. ’59) Sylvia (née Snell) Harden (B.M. ’59) Raymond L. Logue (M.S. ’59) Sarah (née Ligon) Logue (M.A. ’59) Mary (née Taylor) Olive (B.A. ’59) Ralph W. Ray (M.S. ’59) Gloria C. Runton (M.A. ’59) John R. Walker (B.S. ’59) R.L. Wood (B.S. ’59) Herbert J. Woodard (B.S. ’59)
1960s Margaret A. (née Sechrest) Abbott (B.S. ’60) Dwayne E. Atkins (B.S. ’60, M.A. ’62) Harvey Cohen (M.S. ’60) Nancy (née DeFore) Coulter (B.S. ’60) Ronald C. Davis (B.A. ’60) Paul F. Gocke Jr. (B.S. ’60) Floy D. (née Jones) Halbach (B.S. ’60) Margaret (née Marshall) Hamner (B.S. ’60) Charles J. Hohne (B.S. ’60, M.S. ’76) Frances (née Fisher) Kaplan (B.A. ’60) Frank A. May (B.S. ’60) James L. Peacock Jr. (B.A. ’60) James E. Perry (B.A. ’60, M.S. ’63) Alfredo Ruiz (B.S. ’60)
Linda (née Sherman) Russell (B.S. ’60, M.A. ’61) James E. Sheppard (B.S. ’60) Margaret (née Durack) Stuckemeyer (B.S. ’60) Donald W. Talmon (B.S. ’60) Daniel L. Thornton (B.S. ’60) Fred Vidzes (B.S. ’60) John M. Allman III (M.S. ’61) John R. Davis (B.S. ’61) Louise (née Schumacher) Koch (B.S. ’61) Allie S. (née Sanders) Morrow (B.M. ’61) William T. Smith (B.S. ’61) Chad L. Stewart Sr. (Ed.D. ’61) John W. Vassel Jr. (M.S. ’61) Jack C. Edwards (B.S. ’62) Leland S. Fox (Ph.D. ’62) Penelope (née Howell) Gregory (B.S. ’62) William W. Harris Sr. (B.S. ’62) Wesley Irvin (B.S. ’62) James N. Kates (B.S. ’62, M.S. ’67) Theodore E. Koper Jr. (B.S. ’62) Wade T. Macey (M.S. ’62, Ph.D. ’70) Gerald E. Mehlich (B.S. ’62) Linda (née Anson) Pate (B.S. ’62) Janet (née Hodges) Tucker (B.S. ’62) Owen D. Wolf Jr. (B.S. ’62) Mary (née Rogers) Brown (B.S. ’63, M.S. ’74) Ralph L. Duncan (M.A. ’63) William M. Fowler (B.S. ’63, M.A. ’65) Diana (née Rogers) Hauk (B.S. ’63) Laura (née Higginson) Jung (B.S. ’63, M.S. ’66) Keith J. Kinderman Sr. (B.S. ’63, J.D. ’69) Dona (née Levan) King (B.S. ’63) Ganus C. Scarborough Jr. (B.S. ’63, M.S. ’65) Christine (née Brodie) Sweet-Baggett (B.S. ’63) Daniel R. Wallace (B.S. ’63) Thompson W. Dillin (B.S. ’64) John H. Grose (B.S. ’64, M.A. ’65) Lonnie L. Ladson Jr. (M.S. ’64) Mary A. (née Clevenger) Neville (B.S. ’64) Frances (née Spear) White (B.S. ’64) Harold Yaffa (M.S. ’64) Albert J. Bell (B.S. ’65) Jennings R. Butcher (B.S. ’65) John C. D’lsepo (B.A. ’65) Robert F. Galer (M.S. ’65) Terry R. Garvin (B.S. ’65) Ned L. Hanson (B.S. ’65, M.S. ’70) Charles R. Hart Jr. (M.S. ’65) Helen F. Hubbard (M.S.W. ’65) Janetta (née Faires) Johnson (M.S.W. ’65) Donald G. Leonard (B.A. ’65) Mary A. Leonard (B.S. ’65) James W. Meeks (B.S. ’65) Henry W. Miller (B.S. ’65) Virginia (née Foote) Miller (B.S. ’65) Joseph R. Morin (M.S. ’65) Joseph W. Morris (B.A. ’65, M.S. ’66) William P. O’Halloran (B.S. ’65) Georgia A. (née Jennings) Pritchard (M.S. ’65) Alice (née Anderson) Sutton (B.M. ’65) Wallace R. Watson (B.S. ’65, M.S. ’68) Anthony L. Allou Jr. (M.S. ’66) Gary E. Aubry (B.S. ’66) Ireland L. Brock (B.S. ’66) Bobby J. Buchanan (B.S. ’66, M.S. ’70)
John W. Davis (B.A. ’66) Adele M. (née Whitaker) Deason (B.S. ’66) Charles W. Jaeger (B.S. ’66) Harold R. Maxwell Jr. (B.S. ’66) Dianna (née Phillips) McPherson (B.A. ’66, M.S. ’69) George C. Partin III (B.S. ’66) John D. Staron (B.S. ’66, M.S. ’68) Robert A. Toth (M.S. ’66, Ph.D. ’69) Kenneth G. Cerveny (B.A. ’67, M.A. ’68) Randall J. Dekker (M.S.W. ’67) Gerald C. Gibbons (B.S. ’67) Robert L. Gillette (B.A. ’67, M.S. ’68) Catherine (née McNamara) Grant (B.S. ’67) John B. Hamilton (M.S. ’67) Jerome C. Latimer (B.A. ’67) Don C. Rester (B.S. ’67) Hilda (née Cunningham) Alderman (M.S. ’68) George B. Atwell Jr. (B.S. ’68) Wayne E. Blackwelder (B.S. ’68) Lawrence E. Braisted (M.S. ’68, J.D. ’71) Walter M. Burkett Sr. (M.S. ’68) Stephen H. Carter (B.S. ’68) Sandra J. Croll (B.S. ’68) Richard A. Davis (B.S. ’68) Emma (née Cunningham) Doyle (Ph.D. ’68) Hugh B. Edmonds (B.S. ’68) Richard M. Farrell (B.S. ’68) Margaret E. (née Gall) Gredler (M.S. ’68, Ph.D. ’71) Hubert M. Green (B.S. ’68) John M. Griffin (B.S. ’68) Susan L. Hubbard (B.A. ’68) Patricia (née Orr) Jarett (B.S. ’68) John T. Middleton (Ph.D. ’68) Sandra (née Prothro) Richardson (B.S. ’68) Jack Lee Saunders Jr. (B.S. ’68) Richard L. Scoggins Jr. (B.S. ’68) Frank R. Searle (M.S. ’68, D.B.A. ’74) David B. Simpson (B.S. ’68, M.S.P. ’76) Paul J. Smith (Ph.D. ’68) Barbara (née Shelton) Snyder (B.S. ’68) Angus B. Taff Jr. (B.S. ’68, J.D. ’92) Jessica (née Jones) Weems (M.S. ’68) June I. Wooton (B.A. ’68, M.S. ’69) Henry G. Brady Jr. (Ph.D. ’69) Winslow N. Hall (B.S. ’69) Howard C. Higley (B.S. ’69) Allen R. Hill (M.S. ’69) Jenny L. Lynes (B.S. ’69) Mary (née Shanks) Shanklin (M.S. ’69) George H. Sheldon (B.A. ’69, J.D. ’78), a longtime children’s advocate and former state official, died Aug. 23, 2018, at age 71. Sheldon most recently led Our Kids, a child services nonprofit in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. He served as acting assistant secretary for the federal Administration for Children and Families in 20112013 and secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families in 2008-2011. Cheryl (née Bonner) Troup (B.A. ’69) Charles N. Walker Jr. (Ph.D. ’69) Edward W. Wheatley (Ph.D. ’69) Louis J. Zeller Jr. (B.A. ’69, J.D. ’72) Vires 69
Burt Reynolds enjoys football game festivities with FSU Cheerleaders.
BURT REYNOLDS (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters ’81) Burton Leon “Burt” Reynolds, the FSU football player who became a Hollywood icon and one of the most beloved members of FSU’s pantheon of legends, died Sept. 6, 2018, at age 82. Throughout his years of stardom, Reynolds hung FSU pennants on the sets of his movies and constantly sang the praises of the Seminoles. Among many gestures of goodwill, Reynolds donated football uniforms to the team in the early 1980s. The university reciprocated by naming its thennew football dormitory Burt Reynolds Hall. Over the years, his support extended beyond Seminole Boosters. He gave workshops to theater and film students and he established the Burt Reynolds Chair in Professional and Regional Theatre, his most substantial contribution by far. In addition, he made a substantial gift to the Asolo Educational Equipment Fund at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, home of the highly acclaimed FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. As a student at FSU, Reynolds was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and played football. During his freshman season in 1954, he gained 33 yards on a pass reception in his first action against Georgia. He gained 134 yards rushing on 16 carries over the first half of the season before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. He sat out the 1955 season and returned to FSU in ’57, but was once again sidelined by injury, ending his FSU career. Reynolds’ easygoing charm and rugged good looks made him one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the 1970s and 1980s. He was best known for his roles in “Deliverance” (1972), “The Longest Yard” (1974) and the “Smokey and the Bandit” movies (1977, 1980), and he was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in “Boogie Nights” (1997). On television, he starred in the CBS sitcom “Evening Shade” in the 1990s. In recognition of the tremendous influence he had on the world, FSU awarded Reynolds an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1981.
1970s Richard H. Cassidy (B.S. ’70, M.S. ’70, Ph.D. ’73) Daniel M. Cooksey (B.S. ’70) Stewart Crook Jr. (M.S. ’70) Jeffrey C. Donahue (M.S. ’70, Ph.D. ’72) Charles S. Fortner (B.S. ’70) Richard S. Friedland (B.S. ’70, J.D. ’73) 70 Vires
Peter W. Lewis (M.S.W. ’70, Ph.D. ’72) Laveta Ligon (Ph.D. ’70) Ronald A. Lindahl (B.M.E. ’70, M.S. ’75, Ph.D. ’78) James L. Long (B.A. ’70, M.S. ’71) Johnny A. McNeeley (B.S. ’70) Stephen C. McNerney (B.S. ’70) Patricia K. (née Galuska) Nelson (B.A. ’70) Joseph A. Reese (B.S. ’70) Maxin L. (née Munchick) Reiss (B.A. ’70, M.S. ’73, Ph.D. ’79) Haig Revitch (B.S. ’70) Susan D. (née Sagar) Waters (B.S. ’70, M.S. ’76) Sandra (née Montgomery) Wehrmeyer (B.S. ’70) Eugene G. Beatty (M.S. ’71) Emerson E. Blodgett (B.S. ’71, M.S. ’72, Ed.S. ’76) Ronald R. Bobay Sr. (M.S. ’71, Ph.D. ’73) Jack W. Drummond (M.B.A. ’71) Karen A. Duff (B.S. ’71, M.S. ’74) Barbara E. (née Phillips) Fernandez (B.A. ’71, M.A. ’74) Ruth (née Straus) Gifford (M.S.W. ’71) Forrest R. Hall (B.S. ’71) Kathleen (née Gowen) Henderson (B.S. ’71) William L. Luck (B.S. ’71) Burton S. Marshall (B.A. ’71) Mary H. (née Harden) Shewmake (B.S. ’71, M.S. ’73) Kristine E. Knab (B.A. ’72, J.D. ’78) William J. Lewis (Ed.D. ’72) Ronald D. Lolley (B.S.W. ’72) Albert G. Lowe III (M.S. ’72) Jeanette (née Standley) Maxwell (B.S. ’72) Joseph E. Montgomery (Ph.D. ’72) Nancy (née Hadlock) Moore (M.S. ’72) Philip B. Parker (B.A. ’72) Kenneth R. Perry (B.S. ’72) James A. Stidham Sr. (M.B.A. ’72) Ralph F. Valencic Jr. (B.A. ’72, M.S. ’98) Albert J. Bashaw (M.S. ’73) Virginia E. Clark (B.S.W. ’73) Barbara D. Hollingsworth (Ph.D. ’73) Kathy L. (née Barton) Long (M.A. ’73) Joseph T. O’Neil (M.S. ’73) Pauline (née Farley) Payne (M.S. ’73) Fred T. Ratchford Jr. (J.D. ’73) Joseph E. Sexton (M.S. ’73) Julian K. Shull Jr. (Ph.D. ’73) Mary F. Tate-Hammon (B.M.E. ’73, M.M.E. ’74) Laura (née Nottingham) Turnage (B.S. ’73) Dennis D. Weathers (B.A. ’73) General N. Whitmire (B.S. ’73) William L. Yates (B.S.W. ’73) Arthur S. Aubry III (B.A. ’74) Thomas A. Beenck (J.D. ’74) Lester A. Black (Ph.D. ’74) Clifford T. Gray (B.S. ’74, J.D. ’86) William V. Hughes (M.S. ’74) Charles R. Hunsucker Jr. (B.S. ’74) George R. Jung (M.S. ’74) Thomas F. Lang (J.D. ’74) Paul M. Munger (B.M.E. ’74) Candace (née Crowe) O’Neill (B.S. ’74) John C. Simmons (B.S. ’74) Thomas S. Tison (M.B.A. ’74) Robert A. Whitney (B.S. ’74)
Wendel H. Gatch (Ph.D. ’75) George E. Isley (M.S. ’75) Sally D. Kearney (M.F.A. ’75) Patrick J. Keating (B.A. ’75), who served as general manager of WFSU from 1995 to 2015, died Aug. 20, 2018, at age 66. Keating first joined WFSU-TV in video production when the station was housed in Dodd Hall. Later he served as general manager of Tallahassee’s Comcast Cable operation. As WFSU’s general manager, he led the launch of The Florida Channel in 1997 and WFSU-TV’s switch from analog to digital in 2009. Gail A. (née Bodiker) McCormick (B.S. ’75) Kelly M. Richards (B.S. ’75, M.S. ’76) James M. Adams (B.S. ’76) Steven D. Clayton (B.S. ’76) Steven R. Cross (J.D. ’76) Leslie A. Curry (B.S. ’76, M.S.N. ’08) Murray W. Grace Jr. (B.A. ’76) Paul R. Henderson (B.A. ’76) Mary A. (née Winter) Mostel (B.F.A. ’76) Victor H. Papa Jr. (B.S. ’76) Samuel L. Sayles II (B.F.A. ’76) JoAnn (née Ortega) Shepherd (B.A. ’76) James J. Sweeney Jr. (B.S. ’76) Barbara (née Kininessi) Barnes (Ed.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’83) Henry L. Cohens (B.S. ’77) Dennis M. Dayton (B.S. ’77) John K. Hall (B.S. ’77) Linda M. (née Henderson) Reed (M.M. ’77) Gail C. (née Goldsmith) Rose (B.S. ’77) Harold G. White Sr. (M.A. ’77) Joseph K. Bradshaw (B.S. ’78) Gregory J. Kimball (J.D. ’78) Carolyn R. (née Ricketts) McCoy (M.S.W. ’78) Joseph J. Panarelli (B.S. ’78) Howard M. Poole (Ph.D. ’78) Betty (née Martin) Baker (B.S. ’79) Anita (née Luise) Battiste (M.S. ’79) Kenneth R. Benoit (M.S. ’79) Elizabeth A. (née Grafton) Brown (B.S. ’79) Arthur D. Cleveland (B.S. ’79, M.S.W. ’82) Daniel D. Colberg (B.S. ’79) Ernest D. Fernandez (B.S. ’79) Phoebe (née Burns) Hollimon (M.S. ’79) Steven W. Johnson (J.D. ’79) Herbert L. Sutton (B.S. ’79)
1980s Denise E. (née Talbot) Arnold (B.M. ’80) Kathryn L. Burger (B.S. ’80) James M. Clarke (M.F.A. ’80) Moira A. Duncan (B.S. ’80) Michael P. Fortner (M.F.A. ’80) Cynthia (née McDaniel) Gingrich (B.S. ’80) William L. Weeks (B.A. ’80) Brian J. Bard (B.S. ’81) Edward S. Delzer (B.A. ’81) Stuart K. Houston (B.S. ’81) Howard O. Jones Sr. (B.S. ’81) Elizabeth A. Kirby (Ph.D. ’81) Albert C. Penson (J.D. ’81)
Juana M. Malave (Ph.D. ’95) Scott A. Rimmer (B.A. ’95) Shane A. Shepard (B.S. ’95) James E. Thornber (M.S. ’95, Ed.S. ’01) Susan E. Rodger (B.S. ’96) Michele J. Weiss (M.S. ’96, Ed.S. ’96) Tisharkie L. Allen (B.S. ’97) Julie A. Poff (B.S. ’97) Elizabeth L. (née Roberts) Sheffield (B.S. ’97) Damien M. Townsley (B.S. ’97) Carrie A. Heller (B.S. ’98) Robert S. Lamont Jr. (J.D. ’98) Maximilian Schneider (B.S. ’98) James P. Sweeney II (B.S. ’98)
Svetlana G. (née Chursina) Anderson (M.S. ’10) Adam A. Choby (B.S. ’10) Scott A. Currey (B.A. ’10) Joshua P. Douglas (B.S. ’10) Charles F. Rivenbark II (J.D. ’11) Shanique L. Baker (B.A. ’12, B.S. ’12, B.A. ’13) Jesse M. Dornan (M.F.A. ’13) Thomas C. Schilb Jr. (B.S. ’13) Taylor M. Overby (B.S. ’14) Ahmad Qureshi (B.S. ’17)
Kay (née Ford) Aloi (B.S.N. ’90, M.S.N. ’01) Charles A. Boye-Doe (B.S. ’90) Loriann (née Johns) Stamper (B.S. ’90) Douglas D. Underwood (J.D. ’90) John C. Aaron (B.S. ’91) Kevin V. Cahill (B.S. ’91) Sara L. (née Delesie) Mobley (B.S. ’91) Ronald A. Nieto (B.S. ’91) Willem A. Staalenburg (B.S. ’91) Gregory D. Venz (B.A. ’91, J.D. ’93) John E. White (J.D. ’91) Karen (née Cowger) Mettler (B.A. ’92) James S. Monroe (B.S. ’92) Lawanda A. O’Brian (B.S. ’92) Lorraine J. (née Dudek) Grady (B.S. ’93) Colette (née Guidry) Leistner (Ph.D. ’93) Jon B. Schmoyer (M.Acc. ’93) Toni L. (née Kimbrel) Craig (B.A. ’94, J.D. ’97) Thomas W. Dykhuizen (B.S. ’94) James G. Gould (B.S. ’94) Jamie D. (née Summers) Howard (B.S. ’94) Jerry T. Smart (B.S. ’94) Chester H. Chandler III (M.P.A. ’95)
2000s Mark C. Reid (J.D. ’00) Earnestine Reshard (B.S. ’00, M.P.A. ’04) Amy R. Blackwell (B.S. ’01) Jason A. Daniels (B.A. ’01) Robert D. Frierson (B.S. ’01) Stacy R. (née Culverwell) Knisely (B.S. ’01) Gloria (née Fennell) Curry-Foster (Ed.S. ’02) William S. Hentosz (B.S. ’02) Eric D. Myers (B.S. ’02) Frank J. Pirozzi Jr. (B.S. ’02) Michael O. Randolph (M.S. ’02) Bryan K. Vipperman (B.S. ’02) Rhett W. Shuler (B.S. ’03) Hunter R. Hughes (B.S. ’04) Richard T. Zimmer Jr. (B.S. ’04, J.D. ’09) Bobby B. Meeks (B.S. ’06) Thomas A. Ashby (M.B.A. ’07) Shelley L. (née Hagen) Kazimour (B.S. ’07) Jennifer R. (née Beraduce) Page (B.S. ’07) Marcellas L. Smith (B.A. ’07) Kevin J. Suggs (B.S. ’07) Gloria Martinez (M.Acc. ’08) Dannah M. (née Staier) McCormick (B.S.N. ’09)
Faculty/Staff Evelyn L. (née Holden) Allison Jessica (née Simmons) Aloi-Smith Louis W. Bender Marty W. Bertelli Franklin B. Brown Randall Brown David R. Bryant Thomas M. Carsey Les J. Conyers Barnett C. Cook Eileen (née Magie) Earhart
Patricia A. (née McNamara) Evans Vaunita M. (née Spencer) Glover Richard E. Ham Mary W. Hicks William P. Hucks Jimmie L. Ivery Jr. Jerry Jackson Juel E. Kamke Betty J. Kenon Marcy (née Nessel) Khan Nancy L. (née Layport) Laporte Valarie D. Love Douglas H. Merkle Martha B. (née Stewart) Overstreet Shannon L. (née Burkes) Pinette Margaret (née Messer) Poston Andrew B. Slater Sr. Elizabeth (née Kirkwood) Sliger Patrick A. Smith Johnnie L. (née Evans) Stane Rex Tasker Jack A. Taylor Lee W. Tryon Ernest A. Vause Photo by Scott Holstein - Tallahassee Magazine
Walter A. Poole (M.S. ’81) June K. Ramsey (Ph.D. ’81) Kenneth P. Ross II (B.S. ’81) Ira Silver (B.S. ’81) Gayle P. Speed-Ringo (B.S. ’81) Sidney J. White Jr. (J.D. ’81) Michael W. Woods (B.M.E. ’81) Charles C. Dykes (M.S. ’82) Michael G. Gunde (M.S. ’82) Tara Housman (B.A. ’82) Daisy L. (née McCarter) Peterson (B.S. ’82) Ellen (née Brown) Simons (B.S. ’82) Barbara (née Howard) Barton (B.S. ’83) Marijo J. Brown (B.A. ’83) Trudy A. Cass (B.S. ’83) Raymond C. Dick (B.S. ’83) William D. Lanier (B.A. ’83, B.S. ’87) Joy C. Lee (B.S. ’83) Roxane (née Freeman) McGinniss (M.F.A. ’83) Drew W. Richardson (B.S. ’83) Terry I. Widner (B.S. ’83) Keith H. Burroughs (B.S. ’84) Kevin D. Dunn (B.S. ’84) Trellis G. Green (Ph.D. ’84) Wayne A. McCabe (B.S. ’84) Charlotte (née Turley) Sandery (Ph.D. ’84) Mary C. Connell-Milo (B.S. ’85) Nancy J. Gilbert (B.S. ’85, M.S. ’86, Ph.D. ’97) Diane L. Hinck (B.M.E. ’85) Cheryl R. (née Benton) Reid (B.S. ’85) John C. Snyder (M.S.W. ’85) Robert A. Stinchcomb (M.S. ’86) George T. Swartz (B.S. ’86, B.S. ’97) Theresa E. (née Evans) Apple (M.A. ’87) Christopher E. Hines (B.S. ’87) Charles H. Lucas (M.S. ’87) Karen A. Lyerly (M.S. ’87) Kurt A. Younker (B.S. ’87) Michelle M. Allard (M.S. ’88) Mary (née Kidd) Singley (M.S. ’88)
Nancy Van Vessem
MAURA BINKLEY AND NANCY VAN VESSEM
Maura Elaine Binkley, 21, a Florida State University student, and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the FSU College of Medicine, died Nov. 2, 2018, when a gunman opened fire during a yoga class they happened to be taking together in Tallahassee. At FSU, Binkley was majoring in German and editing, writing and media. In addition, she served as vice president of chapter development for the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She was a graduate of Dunwoody High School in Georgia. She is survived by her parents, Jeffrey S. Binkley (M.S. ’82) and Margaret W. Binkley (A.A. ’80). Van Vessem, who served as chief medical officer of Capital Health Plan, was one of the first clerkship directors for internal medicine at the College of Medicine. In May, she joined the community board for the college’s Tallahassee Regional Campus. She made significant contributions to the college’s effort to produce exemplary physicians and was a strong advocate for the college’s mission, ensuring CHP support for outreach programs designed to increase the number of physicians choosing to practice in rural and other medically underserved areas. Vires 71
SEMINOLES STANDING STRONG Hurricane Michael, the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States, walloped Panama City Oct. 10 as a Category 4 and forced FSU Panama City to close for 19 days because of water damage to several buildings. The stormâ€™s unbelievably severe damage throughout the town personally affected every member of the campus community. Here, on Nov. 20, a group of FSU Panama City students gather to marvel at how far theyâ€™ve come in the 40 days since Michael and express gratitude that their campus is up and running and that their lives have begun to return to normal. However, needs remain. To help students, faculty and staff affected by Hurricane Michael, donate to the Seminole Emergency Relief Fund at gonol.es/PCrelief. (The address is case-sensitive.) Photo by FSU Photography Services/Bruce Palmer
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