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TORCH The Magazine of Florida State University Panama City

FA L L 2 0 1 5

Edwards CAROL

First female dean wears many hats


ONLINE PHOTO GALLERY: FSU Panama City honored its newest graduates at the May 3 commencement ceremony at the Marina Civic Center. More than 350 students graduated during the 2014-2015 academic year. See photos from graduation at




THE DEAN’S MESSAGE Carol Edwards presents welcome message to the campus, community


NOTABLE ‘NOLE: Aaron Rich, ’03


NOTABLE ‘NOLE: Angie Sexton, ’05


NOTABLE ‘NOLE: Kristina Williams, ’08




Dean Edwards: First female dean wears many hats


FSU ranks in Top 10 for veteran-friendliness


Bee Safe Hive Monitoring System preventing the death of the western honey bees


Seminole legacies


New programs at FSU Panama City: Nurse Anesthesia and Crime Scene Investigation


Learn. Play. Grow with ECAP


The (not so) secret lives of faculty


Alumni champion education in Bay District Schools


Joining the conversation on diversity and inclusion


Communication student becomes a living organ donor


FSU PANAMA CITY HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR: Student Sabrina McAlister donated her kidney to lifelong friend Jimmy Ross. p. 53

2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT 24

Message from President Thrasher



Message from the Panama City Development Board President

Scholarship Highlight: Rachel Granger


Endowed Scholarship Awards


Cumulative Giving


Signature Event: 2015 Golf Tournament


Scholarship Highlight: Rebekah Noser


Key Indicators


Scholarship Highlight: Michael Adams


Signature Event: 2014 Annual Dinner


Contracts & Grants


Brick Program






FACULTY BLOG: Communication professor Mike Wallace chronicles his summer teaching experience in Valencia, Spain.

FACULTY PROFILE: Electrical Engineering faculty spans generations STUDENT PROFILE: Jessica Haley, business major and robot programmer inspires girls OUR STORY: #FSUPC Discover the FSU that fits you. Photos, tweets and updates with #fsupc DONOR PROFILE: Scholarships help students reach academic goals NURSE ANESTHESIA ANNOUNCEMENT: Honoring the first cohort of nurse anesthesia students ON THE COVER: Photo by Andrew Wardlow Photography

CREDITS FSU PANAMA CITY DEAN: Carol Edwards, Ph.D. OFFICE OF ADVANCEMENT: Becky Kelly, director of advancement Mary Beth Lovingood, director of

development Erin Chaffin (‘13), marketing &

publications coordinator Erica Howard, marketing & special

events coordinator

Casey Lathem, student activities

coordinator The TORCH Magazine is published

Helen Johnson, web manager


Latasha Jones, program assistant




Jacqueline Bostick, intern

by at






University Panama City. It is sent to alumni, donors, staff, faculty and


friends of the campus.

Erin Chaffin

Send address changes or


cancellation requests to:

Andrew Wardlow Photography,

The Office of Advancement

Office of Advancement Staff

Florida State University Panama City 4750 Collegiate Drive






Panama City, FL 32405 PC.FSU.EDU | 5



Greetings! It is an honor to serve as dean of FSU Panama City and Florida State’s College of Applied Studies, and I am thrilled to be writing my first dean’s message for the Torch. There is excitement on the campus celebrating the accomplishments of the past and embracing renewed energy for possibilities of the future. New programs such as the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia focus on patient care before, during and after surgical procedures, and emphasize analysis, evaluation and decision‐making rather than memorization. Graduates become certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) who provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other healthcare professionals. Another new program this fall is crime scene investigation, which is a specialization of the public safety and security bachelor’s program. Students learn to the collect, identify, classify and analyze physical evidence to help solve and prosecute criminal activity. This intensive program provides the scientific knowledge needed for a variety of forensic disciplines. Our Early Childhood Autism Program (ECAP) is getting a new look through much needed expansion and renovations. Since its inception in 2001, ECAP has been at the forefront of efforts to grow and improve autism services in the Bay County area. Included in this edition of the Torch is an infographic on an exciting community-based project, the Bee Safe Hive Monitoring System. Our engineering students applied theoretical principles to real-world academic and technical challenges to develop a beehive monitoring system to help prevent the world-wide epidemic of colony collapse disorder. Participating in our annual engineering day, students are provided the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skill development across engineering disciplines. You will also find our annual Foundation report that includes information about FSU’s $1 billion “Raise the Torch” campaign. FSU Panama City has reached 60 percent of our campaign goal. Thank you to all who have helped us with this progress. As we continue our commitment to excellence, I encourage you to visit our website at and become a supporter of our campus. Be a part of our journey into the future!

Carol Edwards, Dean, FSU Panama City The College of Applied Studies PC.FSU.EDU | 7

ONLINE: Read the full Q&A session with the dean at


Edward Dean



As dean of FSU Panama City, Carol Edwards, Ph.D., is a problem solver, solution adviser, empowerment coach and consensus builder. Edwards, who taught at FSU Panama City while earning her Ph.D. at Florida State in the early ‘90s, became the first female dean of FSU Panama City and Florida State’s College of Applied Studies on Aug. 10. She previously served as dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and professor of art education at Texas Tech University since 2007. “I have an alumna’s love for FSU, but equally important, I have a passion and commitment to providing quality educational experiences for students,” she said.


A lifelong educator, Edwards developed her leadership skills in the classroom while facilitating learning for students and empowering others to become leaders who contribute to the greater good. “One of the most important things that I have learned about leadership is that no one person achieves very much alone; striving to reach a vision includes each person being invested in the process,” she said. Prior to her tenure at Texas Tech, Edwards served as a professor of art and dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts at Western Washington University from 2004 to 2007. She succeeds Ken Shaw, Ed.D., who served as dean of FSU Panama City from 2009 until his departure in June 2014 to become president of Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas. “We are very pleased that Dr. Carol Edwards, with her outstanding record of success in university administration and community leadership, joins us as the new dean of FSU Panama City,” said Sally McRorie, interim provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at FSU. “She is an accomplished builder of programs and an exceptional fundraiser, and she will build upon

the great work already underway on this beautiful campus.” Ed Wright, Ph.D., who served as dean of FSU Panama City from 2000 to 2005, said the position includes two major challenges: understanding the campus’s role within the community and renewing the university’s mission to fulfill that role. “Talented new leaders bring about a commitment to a shared vision,” Wright said. “Given her experience and demonstrated inter-personal skills, I’m confident Dean Edwards will excel in both of these efforts.” “Dr. Edwards arrived on our campus as a Seminole,” said Steve Leach, Ph.D., who served as interim dean of FSU Panama City from July 2014 to August 2015. “She is a great match for our campus and the community and has jumped in with both feet and is ready to do great things.” THE LIFE OF A DEAN There is no typical day for a dean, but one task is constant: responding to email. “The typical day unfolds between morning and evening emails,” Edwards joked. Edwards starts each morning reading the online version of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Armed with a synopsis of trends and issues in academia, she hits the ground running on campus, bouncing between meetings with faculty, staff, students and community members. In her first few months as dean, Edwards said she has been overwhelmed by the warm welcome she has received. More than 100 people attended the Passing the Torch reception just 10 days into Edwards’ new position, and she has heard countless testimonials from community members who have connections with the campus.

“THERE IS ELECTRICITY IN THE AIR ON THIS CAMPUS, A RENEWED ENERGY OF NEW IDEAS, NEW THOUGHTS, NEW POSSIBILITIES AND NEW REALITIES. IT IS AN EXCITING TIME TO BE A ‘NOLE.” FSU Panama City is a jewel, she said, with quality programs, a sophisticated faculty, a caring staff and a supportive community. The unique pairing of new freshmen and life-long learners is an asset to the campus, creating a family-like community learning from each other’s different backgrounds, experiences and skills, she noted. Edwards said she hopes to continue the campus’s forward momentum as administrators develop plans for a residence 10 | TORCH

hall and explore new degree programs that will prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. “There is electricity in the air on this campus, a renewed energy of new ideas, new thoughts, new possibilities and new realities,” she said. “It is an exciting time to be a ‘Nole.” HOME AND FAMILY The move from “independent, stubborn” Texas to “sunny, optimistic” Florida is an ongoing three-stage process. First, Edwards and her husband, Joe, sold their West Texas home and moved all of their belongings into their Alabama lake house. Then, they moved into a fully furnished condo in Panama City Beach. Next will come personalizing Edwards’ on-campus office with books and curricular materials, which she hopes to have done by the end of the year. Edwards credits her husband, Joe, who is retired from a corporate career in materials management and inventory control, as her biggest supporter. “He is a true partner, without whom I could not have flourished as an educator,” she said. Now living closer to “home,” the couple are able to travel more often to visit family. Edwards’ mother, daughter and three grandchildren live in Mississippi. Her daughter, Angela, followed Edwards’ footsteps in the field of education. “I was proud that she embraced the rewards and challenges of being a teacher, of having a commitment and a passion to impact and change lives,” Edwards said. “Angela is a passionate, caring, talented educator, and I am an extremely proud mother.” In her free time, Edwards said she hopes to make more time for improving her skills at watercolor painting and golfing. She also loves to cook, which she calls “the essence of sharing love.” Embracing the beach life, Edwards looks forward to taking daily walks along the Gulf, spotting herons and other wildlife to remind her she’s no longer in Texas. “Although the saying is that everything is bigger in Texas, Panama City can certainly say everything is better in Florida,” she said.

Previous page: FSU Panama City Dean Carol Edwards signs the campus’s 2015 banner during Seminole Sensation on Aug. 24. Top: Former Panama City Mayor Scott Clemons, EDA President Becca Hardin and Edwards speak before the Passing the Torch reception on Aug. 20. Center: Edwards films a scene for an upcoming FSU Panama City commercial. Bottom: Edwards speaks with Student Government Council President Ken Ayers and Council Member Crystal Figlinski during New Student Convocation on Aug. 24. PC.FSU.EDU | 11

FSU ranks in Top 10 for veteran-friendliness BY JACQUELINE BOSTICK When duty calls, student and Army reservist Phillip Toole responds without stressing over his academic career. “My professors have been very cooperative with my training schedule,” said Toole, 25, a senior in the public safety and security program. “They have been very supportive in my military career.” Florida State University recently was named No. 8 of the nation’s best four-year institutions for veterans by national military magazine Military Times. Of FSU’s 890 student veterans, 72 are FSU Panama City students. “We want FSU to be the middle ground between the military and civilian life,” said Trina Jackson, associate director at FSU Panama City’s Office of Student Affairs. “It’s all about creating opportunity for them.” FSU earned 3½ stars out of four for staff support and four stars for academic support, according to the Military Times ranking.  The university has a 75 percent graduation rate for student veterans. 

Army reservist Phillip Toole said the public safety and security major builds upon his military experience.


Veterans who are using VA Education Benefits can also apply for Pell Grants. Veterans and their dependents may qualify for several scholarships. FSU grants at least some academic credits for military training, as recommended by the American Council on Education. FSU implemented a policy that allows student veterans and veterans’ dependents to defer charges for housing, health insurance, books and meal plans during the time their VA benefits are being processed.

This information was compiled by the FSUPC Veterans Affairs Cffice and based on the rankings criteria by Military Times.

12 | TORCH

Florida State classifies active-duty, separated, retired or reserve military members and family members receiving military benefits as student veterans. “We want them to have a positive experience while they are here and to make them successful in their civilian life once they graduate from FSU,” Jackson said. Student veterans at FSU Panama City have access to counseling for individuals and their families, a student-led Veterans of America Club and the James Skinner and Cameron Skinner Study Room for Veterans. FSU’s Student Veterans Center also recently provided $2,391 to expand the study room into a veterans hall with military flags. For Toole, who is preparing for his second deployment, an accommodating campus helps him honor his fallen comrades through his own success. “When you lose someone you’re close to like that, it hits you in a different way — in a way only someone in the military could understand,” Toole said. “As vets, we’re taught to strive to excel in everything we do … and to put the mission first. Now, my mission is to go to school, get my education and a sustaining career.”




“Aaron Rich has built a business that enjoys a strong, positive reputation and has developed clientele worthy of distinction. That in itself is a notable accomplishment. Coupled with his passion for all things FSU, Aaron Rich is clearly worthy of the title of Notable ‘Nole.” — Bryan Taylor, president of United Way of Northwest Florida

ONLINE: Aaron shows his integrity and talent as a local businessman. Read his story at





A beehive monitoring system allows the beekeeper to monitor the hive weight, noise level, temperature, humidity and bee death rate from a safe distance. The weight accounts for the amount of honey and a general indication of where the bees are located in the hive. The temperature and humidity are utilized to detect anomalies within the hive and to provide early detection to issues such as brood development, thus allowing the opportunity for corrective action. Noise indicates if the hive is agitated, presenting possible threats. The beekeeper can use the data obtained to decide whether to personally inspect the hive. This keeps the beekeeper safe from harm and reduces the frequency of disturbing the hive. The data collected will also be invaluable for researching colony collapse disorder (CCD), an emerging trend among bee hives.

Outer cover

Shallow super The hive body houses individual frames where bees make honeycombs

Deep super A microphone records the sound and rate of wing movement

Four weight sensors collect and send data A funnel collects and counts dead bees 14 | TORCH

Humidity sensor located in each box

Bee Safe Hive Monitoring System Team Members: Trey Christmas Kyle Harper, Project Manager Tim Nehring John Ratliff Richard Williams

Special thanks to Rick Hurst, Hive Technologies and the Bay County Beekeeping Association






10% 20%

Average normal winter colony loss:



40% 50%

*Based on National Agricultural Statistics Service Honey Report 2014 figures

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER CCD may be caused by different factors, working in combination or synergistically, including an interaction between pathogens and other stress factors. POOR NUTRITION







combination of stresses


Beginning in late 2006, United States beekeepers began to report sharp declines in their honey bee colonies. Because of the severity and the unusual circumstances of these colony declines, scientists named this phenomenon CCD. CCD occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind the queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and queen.

EFFECT ON U.S. HONEY BEES Annual losses from the winters of 2006-2011 averaged about 33 percent each year, with a third of these losses attributed to CCD by beekeepers.



WHY IT MATTERS: BEES POLLINATE DIFFERENT CROPS Honey bees are the most economically valuable pollinators of agricultural crops and are the only bee species kept commercially in the United States.




almonds blueberries








Bee pollination is responsible for more than $15 billion in increased crop value each year. 1/3 of our food supply or 100+ crops are linked to pollination.


The total number of managed honey bee colonies has decreased from 5 million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today.


Florida experienced a 54.8 percent loss of honey bees in 2014-2015, according to the Bee Informed Partnership’s annual loss survey. PC.FSU.EDU | 15


Almost 8,000 people have earned a degree from FSU Panama City since 1982. Now, with the campus admitting more freshmen and sophomores, the second generation of Panama City Seminoles is making its mark on the campus. Here are some of their stories: THE FLOWERS FAMILY When Carson Flowers (psychology, ’18) chose FSU Panama City, it created a new bond between the college junior and her parents. Thomas (social science, ’97) and Sherry (elementary education, ’91) Flowers also had chosen the branch campus because of the home-like feel and waterfront view. Carson, who transferred to FSU Panama City after earning her Associate of Arts degree from Chipola College, said she is happy to share the college experience with her family. A lifelong Florida State football fan, she said the smaller campus near her Blounstown, Fla., home made her dream of becoming a Seminole more obtainable.

After graduation, Carson hopes to continue her education through a doctoral degree. THE HALL FAMILY When Frank Hall (business management, ’89) decided to follow his sister Lesley Hall Miller (accounting, ’86) to attend FSU Panama City, he started a family legacy. Now his daughter, Alexandria Hall (elementary education, ’16) also is enjoying the benefits of smaller classes with the comforts of home.

“The fact that I am going to the same school my parents went to is really special,” she said. “I have always wanted to go to FSU.”

Alexandria said she always hoped to attend FSU Panama City, and the prestige of the education program and the energy at orientation reinforced her decision. “I wanted to come here and carry on the tradition,” she told the audience at New Student Convocation.

Her parents said they would have supported any college decision Carson made, but they are proud for her to carry on the tradition.

“[FSU Panama City] affords her the opportunity to not have any student debt whatsoever and get a class-A education,” Frank said.

“I did hope that my daughter would attend the same campus so that she would experience the spirit and wonderful education that FSU has to offer,” said Thomas, CEO of the Calhoun Liberty Employees Credit Union. “It gives me pride that my daughter followed in my footsteps.”

During her first year as a student, Alexandria immersed herself in campus life, joining Student Government Council and chairing its scholarship & awards committee. This year, she is chairing the council’s programming committee, which plans and supports student activities throughout the year.

Although the campus has grown since her parents’ days as students, Carson still is able to enjoy studying with the same waterfront view her mother remembers so fondly. Sherry, who teaches third grade at W.R. Tolar School in Liberty County, said one of her favorite college memories was having occasional classes on the dock overlooking North Bay. “It was certainly a one-of-a-kind experience,” she said. 16 | TORCH

Her father, who also served on student government as a student, said campus involvement and the teacher-student ratio helped fuel his success. “It was a great opportunity for me. Looking back, the friends I made and the bonds I formed with the people I went to school with is priceless,” he said. Because of their commitment to higher education and FSU Panama City, the Halls continue to give back to the campus.

Frank, the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Summit Bank, served on FSU Panama City’s development board from 2002 to 2013. In 2012, the Hall family created the Walter B. Hall Sr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship in honor of Frank’s father. Military dependents and spouses who are full-time students pursuing a business degree are eligible for the yearly scholarship. Frank also is a long-time member of the Seminole Boosters, and the family attends every home football game. “I’m honored to be a Panama City ‘Nole,” Frank said. “It’s great to live in a community such as Panama City with a tierone university in our backyard.” After earning her bachelor’s degree, Alexandria said she hopes to continue to a master’s degree and become an elementary school teacher. THE SPRADLEY FAMILY Debra Spradley (elementary education, ’90; education leadership, ’94) and her son already shared a love of math; now they will share an alma mater. Matthew Spradley (computer science, ’19) started taking classes this fall as a freshman at FSU Panama City.

Thomas (’97), Sherry (’91) and Carson Flowers (’18).

“I’m very, very proud and honored that he followed in my footsteps,” Debra said. “It is so special that he is a Seminole.” Just a few months into his college experience, Matthew has become president of the Association of Computing Machinery and a member of the Veterans of America Club, Project Runway and Girls Who Code. He also is working with the food pantry at Living Word Church for required liberal arts course Research, Genre and Context: A Service Approach (ENC 2135). “I wanted to branch out and learn new faces and names,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunities that are going to open up and add to my skill set.”

Frank (’89) and Alexandria Hall (’16).

“He’s stepped out and stepped up in his first year of college,” Debra said. “He is a part of all these extracurricular activities while learning college life, and that’s huge.” Debra earned her master’s degree in education leadership while teaching third grade at Lucille Moore Elementary School. She then went on to become an administrator at Lynn Haven Elementary School, where she now serves as principal. After graduation, Matthew said he hopes to work for a government contractor or pursue a career “wherever the typing takes me.”

Debra (’94) and Matthew Spradley (’19). PC.FSU.EDU | 17


NURSE ANESTHESIA The Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program welcomed its first cohort of students after a two-year journey through a thorough accreditation and approval process. The rigorous 28-month program is designed to develop critical-care nurses into top-tier clinical practitioners who provide patient care before, during and after surgical procedures, and emphasize analysis, evaluation and decision‐ making rather than memorization. After passing the national certification exam, graduates can become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who practice the science and art of anesthesia in any location or environment, either independently or as part of a highly specialized clinical team. *2012 median pay



Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in nursing or a health-related science, such as biology, chemistry or physics

Work as a registered nurse for at least one year in an acute care environment

Submit references from a physician, a supervisor and a CRNA familiar with the applicant’s desire to become a nurse anesthetist

per year or $70.95 per hour * Job outlook: employment projected to grow


from 2012 to 2022 * Most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook


Where our students are from: Alabama: 4 Arizona: 1 Florida: 36 Georgia: 5 Texas: 1 Wash., DC: 1

Asian 7% Black 7%

female male 48% 52%


Hispanic 4% Multiracial 2%

White 80%


41-49 12%

31-40 40%

26-30 48%


“The immense help and dedication of the FSU Panama City faculty and support staff cannot be overstated. We would have had a much more difficult time in the startup of the new program if it were not for the terrific support we have received from the university, both locally and in Tallahassee. We are so delighted to be in our new home, surrounded by supportive staff and beautiful scenery.” — Scarlet Hinson-Kradel, DNP, program director



Nurse anesthetists are registered nurses with specialized graduate education who provide anesthesia services ordered by a surgeon, physician or dentist.

Nurse anesthetists are also referred to as Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNAs).

CRNAs provide more than one-half of anesthetics delivered in the United States each year, operating in a costeffective manner while maintaining high-quality patient care.

Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart Health System, Panama City, Fla. Flowers Hospital, Dothan, Ala. Gulf Coast Regional Medical, Panama City, Fla. Jackson Hospital, Marianna, Fla. NWFL Surgery Center, Panama City, Fla. Panama City Surgery Center, Panama City, Fla. Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Pensacola, Fla. Surgical Center for Excellence, Panama City, Fla.

CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America,

enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management and trauma stabilization services. In some states, CRNAs are the sole providers in almost all rural hospitals. •

Nurse anesthetists were the first healthcare providers dedicated to the specialty of anesthesia.

Nurses first gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War in the 1800s. Today they are the main provider of anesthesia to men and women serving in the armed forces.



CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) is a specialty within the public safety & security bachelor’s program that focuses on the documentation and preservation of a crime scene, the proper collection of evidence and the analysis of evidence collected. Unlike law enforcement operations or intelligence, which are other program specialties, CSI focuses on the space where a crime takes place instead of the criminal(s) who committed the crime. Program administrators collaborated with various law enforcement agencies to design coursework. For online students, an accelerated summer semester is available to complete required face-to-face lab work during a 40-hour week. PROGRAM TOPICS OF INTEREST: Fingerprints, forensic anthropology, biometricsm, ballistics, blood spatter, trace evidence, crime scene reconstruction CSI CAREER FIELDS: Crime scene investigator, crime scene analyst, forensic science technician, crime laboratory assistant, death investigator or assistant to a medical examiner, property and evidence personnel, investigator, criminalist


Where our students are from: Bay County: 9 Gilchrist County: 1 Leon County: 1 Walton County: 2

26-30 10% 31-43 10% 44+ 10%

Hispanic 15%

*2012 median pay


19-21 70%

female 31% male 69%

per year or $25.41 per hour



Black 23% White 62%


* Job outlook: employment projected to grow


percent from 2012 to 2022 * Most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook Since there is no shortage of crime, job security is consistent for CSI. Due to backlogs in state crime labs, private labs are being contracted to process evidence, which provides additional employment opportunities.

20 | TORCH

UNIVERSITY ON THE SCENE: The university owns the only regional FARO Focus 3D imaging system, which captures an exact record of an entire crime scene including line of sight, blood spatter and bullet trajectories. University staff, at the request of local law enforcement, perform scans of major crime scenes, process the scans and prepare them for presentation in court at no charge.

“The Crime Scene Investigation degree at FSU Panama City provides students with the scientific knowledge that is the basis for proper collection and preservation of evidence. Understanding what needs to be done at the scene to prevent contamination and what testes are performed at the lab and how to do the analysis allows students to recognize why proper handling is essential. In a field that has undergone public scrutiny, our curriculum will yield students with an appreciation for objective, solid science. People lie, scientific evidence doesn’t.” — Charla Perdue, program coordinator





“She has become a viable part of the community through her various volunteer efforts — all in the name of FSU and Seminole pride. It never ceases to amaze me how much of her personal time she dedicates to making the local area a better place to live and work.” — Trina Jackson, associate director of the Office of Student Affairs, FSU Panama City

ONLINE: Angie demonstrates what it means to be a Notable ’Nole. Read her story at

22 | TORCH





24 | 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT The Panama City campus is important to the mission of Florida State University, and it has a unique and genuine connection to the local community. FSU Panama City has come a long way since the university began operating it in 1982. The campus has impressive facilities, terrific faculty and staff, and students who are excited about pursuing their education and advancing their careers. I’m thrilled that Dr. Carol Edwards is on board as the new dean of the campus. Dean Edwards is an FSU alumna who has a love for this university and a passion for providing quality educational experiences to students. At Texas Tech she developed an outstanding record of success in university administration and community leadership. I’m confident that Dean Edwards will be able to use her skills to further the educational mission of this campus. FSU Panama City is part of Florida State University’s efforts to forge a path that is determined and ambitious. FSU has established a goal to be recognized among the Top 25 public universities in the country. Our students and our faculty are a big reason why Florida State is poised to rise in the national rankings. This is an exciting time for Florida State University. We are on the threshold of a new era, with some challenges and incredible opportunities. Our “Raise the Torch” fundraising campaign will help us to reach our goals. Private giving will allow us to implement bold ideas that will continue to distinguish Florida State as a preeminent university. It will allow us to strengthen our most successful programs and lift other areas to higher prominence. Alumni participation in fundraising — whether the amount of the gift is $20 or $20,000 — shows a connection and commitment to FSU. That’s why the number of alumni who give back to the university is one measure used in determining national rankings. Thank you for all you already do for Florida State University. Our friends and alumni in the Panama City area are among our most loyal and devoted supporters. I could not be more proud of our university or more excited about its future. I welcome each of you to join us in this journey forward.

John Thrasher, Florida State University president


EXECUTIVE COMMIT TEE Tony Bennett, president HealthSouth Emerald Coast Rehabilitation Hospital Michelle Ginn, vice president ERA Neubauer Real Estate, Inc. Jason Crowe, secretary/treasurer Community Bank Jorge Gonzalez, past president The St. Joe Company Ray Dubuque Board Member Designee Retired AT&T Robert Carroll Board Member At-Large McNeil Carroll Engineering, Inc. DEVELOPMENT BOARD Nicole Barefield Washington County News Bill Cappleman TSYS Merchant Solutions Debbi Dial Tyndall Federal Credit Union Richard Dodd ReliantSouth Construction Group Leah Dunn Dunn Properties Griff Griffitts Sugar Sands Randal Hamilton Select Specialty Hospital Trey Hutt Hutt Insurance Agency John Ed McDanal Gulf Power Company Glen McDonald Applied Research Associates, Inc. Dawn Moliterno Introspect Associates Rebecca Pierson Bay Health Foundation Heather Russell Carr Riggs & Ingram, LLC David Southall Innovations Federal Credit Union Dustin Stokesbary Centennial Bank Joe Tannehill, Sr. Merrick Industries

MESSAGE FROM THE DEVELOPMENT BOARD PRESIDENT FSU Panama City has become part of the educational fabric of Bay County, preparing students since the 1980s to meet the needs of an ever growing, diversified workforce and community. Since 2008, it has been my honor to serve on the FSU Panama City Development Board and, this year, to serve as the 2015 president. An extension of the FSU Foundation, the development board enhances the mission of the campus, the College of Applied Studies and programs through advocacy and leadership. Partnering with university administration, the board informs and facilitates fundraising opportunities. With Florida State’s recent designation as one of Florida’s preeminent universities, along with impressive national standings among top-tier public universities, it is truly a blessing to have this campus in the community. A strong commitment and financial support from the community have significantly contributed to the growth of the campus this year. The bachelor’s degree in crime scene investigation and the master’s degree in nurse anesthesia are two new programs that premiered this fall. In addition, the Early Childhood Autism Program renovated and expanded its clinic to meet the increasing need for services. The development board has embraced the $1 billion “Raise the Torch: The Campaign for Florida State,” which will help the university improve the student experience, while serving as an economic engine for Florida. FSU Panama City’s portion of this effort includes the “Campaign for Our Community’s University,” which began in 2012. So far, the Panama City development board has helped raise 60 percent of the campus’s $5 million goal. If you are a past, present or future student, or a supporter of Florida State University Panama City, I strongly encourage you to become involved. Let’s roll up our sleeves and work together to continue the great tradition of Seminole excellence here in Bay County. Sincerely,

Brittany Trumbull Preble-Rish, Inc. Elizabeth Walters Burke, Blue, Hutchison, Walters & Smith, P.A. Victoria Williams VBA Designs, Inc. Paul Wohlford The Resort Collection

26 | 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT

Tony Bennett, CEO HealthSouth

scholarship HIGHLIGHT

FALL ‘15


Major: Undecided Class Year: Freshman High School: A. Crawford Mosley High School Fall 15 Alfred I. duPont Scholarship: Freshman Scholarship “Thanks to your generosity, I am able to follow in my father’s footsteps and one day become an FSU alumni.” PC.FSU.EDU | 27


3% Washington County

Following two strong years in the capital markets, the Foundation’s return for fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, was -1.2 percent. While U.S. markets provided single digit positive returns, the global markets provided negative returns. This combination led to a total negative return for the Foundation. The portfolio continues to outperform the primary benchmarks on a long-term basis for the trailing one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods. During the past five years, the portfolio has grown 9.3 percent on a compound annual basis resulting in a nearly $125 million gain.

3% Jackson County

3% Walton County

36% Outside the FSU Panama City service district



Bay Okaloosa County County


Gulf County

7,981 TOTAL ALUMNI SINCE 1983* *Those who have completed at least 24 credit hours at FSU Panama City



60% women


41+ 11% 17-22 36%


26-40 30%


23-25 23%




2013 2014 2015 0




28 | 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT









FOUNDATION INDICATORS Endowed Funds Non-Endowed Funds

2013-2014 $5,928,295 $553,392

2014-2015 $5,552,612 $644,776

Named Endowed Scholarships Number of Scholarships Awarded Amount of Scholarships Awarded

85 220 $252,350

85 252 $269,400

VA BENEFITS Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill — Active Duty) Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation) Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill)

FALL ‘13 3 13 51

FALL ‘14 3 12 49

Chapter 35 (Dependents Educational Assistance — DEA) Chapter 1606 (Reserve GI Bill)

5 0

7 1




Student FTE (Full Time Equivalent)

FALL ‘13 912

FALL ‘14 856

Undergraduate Degrees Awarded Graduate Degrees Awarded VA Students Served

327 46 72

293* 77* 72

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid Students with Disabilities Served

76.5 79

75 67

Academic Allocation Summer Allocation Finance and Administration Contracts and Grants

2013-2014 $6,725,744 $165,708 $1,733,678 $227,701

2014-2015 $6,915,685 $149,137 $1,738,258 $233,134





*Undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded for fall 2014, spring 2015 and summer 2015.



scholarship HIGHLIGHT

FALL ‘15


Major: Class Year: Transfer: Fall 15 Scholarship:

Elementary Education Junior Gulf Coast State College Panhandle Educators Federal Credit Union Endowed Scholarship

“This scholarship will help me reach my goals and I am very thankful to everyone who has helped me so far. I will do my best.” 30 | 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT

CONTRACTS AND GRANTS The Office of Contracts and Grants supports FSU Panama City researchers through proposal submission, award negotiation, account set-up and account close-out, ensuring that grants and contracts are consistent with university standards for academic freedom, research ethics and fiscal responsibility. Although FSU Panama City is predominately focused on excellence in teaching and student success, it has also been successful in acquiring almost $5 million in contracts and grants during the past decade.






Bay County Board of County Commissioners Bay County Artificial Reef Monitoring Project

Mike Zinszer, Ed.S.



Pyrolysis Tech, LLC Pyrolysis and Activation Tests of Hardwoods

Hafiz Ahmad, Ph.D.



FSURF — FSU Research Foundation RF02449 Salary — Pyrolysis Tech

Hafiz Ahmad, Ph.D.



Naval Service Warfare Center Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Ginger Littleton, M.S.



Florida State University Principle Investigator Research Support

Ginger Littleton, M.S.



National Oceanic and Atmosphere NOAA Dive Training Support

Mike Zinszer, Ed.S.



Naval Service Warfare Center Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

John Smith, Ph.D.


TOTAL $233,134


scholarship HIGHLIGHT

FALL ‘15


Major: Class Year:

Business Administration Senior

High School: A. Crawford Mosley High School Transfer: Fall 15: Scholarship

Gulf Coast State College License to Learn Scholarship

“Panama City is my hometown, and I’m so grateful I have the opportunity to go to such a great school right in my backyard.”

32 | 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT

SUPPORTING SCHOLARSHIPS Endowed scholarships at Florida State University Panama City recognize and encourage superior academic accomplishment, outstanding leadership and exemplary character among student recipients. FSU Panama City is extremely grateful to the donors who have stepped forward to support our campus and the students we serve.

FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS FOR FALL 2014 AND SPRING 2015 AAF Panama City Adrienne Deanna Davis Adam P. Arias ABA Autism Mary-Margrete Hope Somers Alfred I. duPont Foundation Hilary Wallace Mary Phelan Brandon Sheffield Holly Trisch Alexandria Hall Savannah Sharron Stephanie Milliser Taylor Rae Smith Angel David Endowed Memorial Jennifer Lea Cosson Anita Darlene Freeman Scott W. Nelson Atkins Jacob Sumrall AT&T Employees Emily Hennessy Bay County Teacher of the Year Scholarship Chelsea Rutherford Berg Steel Pipe Corporation Christopher Pinkerton Bob Barth Underwater Research Laura Marley Colonel William W. Wood Memorial Jessica Johannes Community Services Foundation of Bay County Kaitlyn Harris Rachel Peeples Callie Sharp Michael Stephens CW Roberts Contracting Kevin Dexter David and Trish Warriner Michael Russell Death By Chocolate/Emerald Coast Business Women’s Association Angela Hearns Dempsey Barron Memorial Michelle Anita Myers David Skinner Memorial Colin Fortner Hulon and Dinah Crayton Ana Cortez

Kenneth L. Shaw and Ann Shaw Endowed Scholarship Cana Sylvester Robert L. Young / First Union Bank Timothy Prather Edward Mayer Memorial Heather Chester Edward N. and June G. Wright Paige Pieretti Estelle Cawthon Starling Memorial Anita Kiep Frank Brown Memorial/Optimist Club of the Beaches Kinsey Naud Fredericka Berger Benton Memorial Courtney Hill FSU Panama City Student Government Council Angela Evans Vy Nguyen Cana Sylvester

John Hutt, Sr. Memorial Megan Knap Junior League of Panama City Karina Sizemore Karen Hanes Tracey Howland Kassi Blakeley Eudaley Daniel Dunfee Kelly L. Ayers and Kenneth L. Ayers III Joseph Caleb Robison Larson M. & Beverly J. Bland Jared M Scott License to Learn Scholarship Nicholas Alexander Elisa Liegel Tina Lambert Cady Mercer Elizabeth Rios Alex Teas Linda Arnold Christoff Memorial Lauri Tyeryar

Panhandle Educator’s Federal Credit Union Jonathan Andrews Patronis Brothers Foundation April Holzman Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarships Gerald Gladney Preble-Rish, Inc. Harry Davis Regions Bank Samatha Gipson Richard “Dick” Locher Memorial Joan-Ann Dedge Society of American Military Engineers - Panama City Post Gavin Taylor Stantec Harry Davis St. Joe Community Foundation John W. Christmas, III Chase Phillip Hambright Mona Morsi Elizabeth Sponseller Michael Wojcik

GAC Contractors Jacob Sumrall

Mabelle Williams Benton Memorial Jennifer Franklin

Gary and Hollis Bliss Rowena Curnin

Mary Ola Reynolds Miller Erika Puckett

George G. Tapper Memorial Josie Doll

Sussex-Bay Foundation McDonald Family Endowed Scholarship Stephen Whitfield Daniel J White

Gulf Power Foundation, Inc. Jonah Cleveland

McNeil Carroll Engineering, Inc. Robin Besczezynski

HDR, Inc. Kevin Dexter

Miracle Strip Chapter FICPA Joseph Scott

Hubert Green Derrick Bacon

Optimist Club of the Beaches Joseph Gibson

Jacqueline Isler Memorial Katherine Mapp

Optimist Club of the Beaches Law Enforcement Ashley Mueller

Jean Cockrell Scholarship Gulf Coast Women’s Club Adrienne Deanna Davis Jeff Berberich Family Kayla Whitehead Jerry J. Rosborough STEM Andrew Christmas Joanne Crawford Scholarship Gulf Coast Women’s Club Stephanie Decker John A. Centrone Memorial Daniel Bryce Vickers

Panama City Area Seminole Club Colton M Bond Panama City Beach Chamber Education Fund Stephanie Decker Panama City Downtown Rotary Club Justin Malloy

Thomas G. and Donna P. McCoy Optimist Club Justice Wobser Transfer Scholarships (2012-2014) Caleb Hendry Jesed Ilelaty Kolton Sellers Transfer Scholarships (2013-2015) Lauren Bachuss Katherine Baker Shinayde Bourque Douglas Brown Christopher Pinkerton jennifer White John Whittington Virginia Dolder Breanna Kelley Phair

Panama City Housing Authority Terri Werning

Wally Jenkins Memorial Optimist Club of the Beaches Kuter Al-nada Al-Kadah

Panama City Junior Women’s Club Sonya Lowery

Walter B. Hall, Sr. Memorial Cady Mercer


FSU PANAMA CITY CUMULATIVE GIFTS AND PLEDGES Recognizing cumulative gifts and pledges through Oct. 2, 2015. Bold type indicates new gift/pledge between July 1, 2014, and Oct. 2, 2015. LEGACY SOCIETY DEFERRED & PLANNED GIFTS Anonymous Earldine T. Ankiewicz Jim L. Smallwood HERITAGE SOCIETY ($500,000 AND ABOVE) Russell C. Holley* St. Joe Community Foundation LEADERSHIP COUNCIL ($100,000–$499,999) Anonymous Alfred I. duPont Foundation, Inc. AT&T Florida Community Services Foundation of Bay County, Inc. George A. Butchikas Foundation for Autism Gulf Power Foundation, Inc./ Gulf Power Company Thomas G. and Donna P. McCoy Betty Wood McNabb The News Herald/Washington County News/Holmes County Advertiser/ Port St. Joe Star Floyd D. and Gloria D. Skinner/ Skinner Tax Consulting Tyndall Federal Credit Union LOYALTY CIRCLE ($50,000–$99,999) Anonymous Comcast Cablevision of Panama City Willard and Linda Coram

34 | 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT

William C. and Carolyn A. Cramer, Jr. Earl* and Karen Durden/ The Durden Foundation Emerald Coast Business Women’s Association George G. & Amelia G. Tapper Foundation Hubert M. Green John B. Hutt, Jr. / Insurance Agency, Inc. Innovations Federal Credit Union Marion G. and Barbara W. Nelson Private Foundation Elizabeth W. McNabb* Panama City Housing Authority John S. and Gail W. Robbins/Jason S and Carol J. Robbins Peter Micheal Bardach* / Sussex-Bay Foundation CORNERSTONE CIRCLE ($25,000–$49,999) Advocates for Children, Inc. Athritus & Infusion Center Atkins, Inc. Kenneth L. Ayers Dempsey J. Barron* Bay Health Foundaiton Berg Steel Pipe Corporation Gary D. and Hollis H. Bliss C. W. Roberts Contracting, Inc. Centennial Bank Dr. James T. and Jana L. Cook Donald R. and Tyrene Crisp Thomas E. David Ray E. and Sharon G. Dubque Facility Leasing, Inc. GAC Contractors

Gulf Coast Medical Center Frank A. and Chrisanthi C. Hall HDR Engineering, Inc. Wayne G. and Gail Lindsey Nan G. Locher Glen R. and Katrina R. McDonald/ Gerald G. McDonald McNeil Carroll Engineering, Inc. Mary Ola Reynolds Miller* Panama City Area Seminole Club Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce Panama City Junior Service League Panhandle Educators Federal Credit Union Panhandle Engineering, Inc. Patronis Brothers, Inc. Jimmy T. and Helen C. Patronis, Sr. Preble-Rish, Inc. Pyrolysis Tech, LLC Regions Bank Resort Collection George A. Roberts RockTenn Company Society of American Military Engineers Panama City Post Jerry F. and Mary S. Sowell, Jr. Summit Bank Walsingham Investments WilsonMiller Inc. James L. and Frances M. Wood PRESIDENT’S CLUB ($10,000–$24,999) Adam Arias Memorial Golf Tournament Margit A. Arias

Bay County Chamber of Commerce/ Junior Leadership Bay Bense Family Foundation John J. Benton John A. Centrone Memorial Scholarship Century 21 Bay Brokers Council Charles W. Clary, III Lorenzo N. and Nancy N. Dantzler Ecological Resource Consultants, Inc. FICPA Miracle Strip Chapter Fraternal Order of Police #130 GFWC Gulf Coast Womans Club, Inc. Ruth S. Glenn Patrick D. Greany Hancock Bank Isaac W. Byrd Family Foundation, Inc. ITT Excelis JR Foods, Inc. Terri Jo Kennedy, Esq. Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. L-3 Communications Marine Maintenance of Bay County, Inc. Panama City Junior Woman’s Club Gregory E. and Janna Pape Jimmy T. and Katie L. Patronis, Jr. Register’s Enterprises of Bay County, LLC Reynolds Smith and Hills, Inc. James R. Robbins* Kenneth L. and Ann K. Shaw Jerry F. and Mary S. Sowell John G. Starling TECO Peoples Gas Company Elizabeth J. Walters, Esq. Leon L. and Glenda J. Walters Wells Fargo David P. and Caroline R. Windham

JRA Architects Michael S. Kennedy CHARTER CLUB Key Electrical Supply, Inc. ($5,000–$9,999) Charles D. Kimbrel AAF Panama City Lamar Advertising Applied Research Associates, Inc. Wayne G. and Gail G. Lindsey ARINC Thomas O. and Margarita I. Myers John A. Arnold Mike and Jenny Nichols/Nichols & Nicole P. Barefield Associates of Bay County, Inc. Robert F. and Patricia Barnard Office Max Barron & Redding Oppenheimer Funds Legacy Program Bay County Correction Facility - CCA Erma W. Palmer* Bay County Land and Abstract Company Panama City Beach Convention & Bay County Sheriff Department Visitors Bureau, Inc. Bay Walk-In Clinic, Inc. Panama City Toyota Scion Larson M.* and Beverly J. Bland Pilot Club of Panama City John L. Bozarth Michael W. Reed, M.D. Burke, Blue, Hutchison, Walters & Smith, P.A. Harriet B. Rosborough Captain Anderson’s Restaurant William Blades Robinson II R. Gordon and Melissa A. Carlton Jim L. and Nadia Smallwood Consumer Credit Counseling Service Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q Barbara A. Deemer Southeast Bank, N.A. George N. DePuy and Kathleen SouthTrust Bank of Northwest Florida L. Valentine Spartacus Marketing Consultants, Inc. Dr. Neal P. and Leah Dunn Sun Harbor Marina Emerald Coast Business Women Inc. Sunshine Piping, Inc. Farrell Realty & Insurance Agency SunTrust Bank First American Title Insurance Company Trustmark National Bank Charley A. and JoAn Gramling, III Marvin A. Urquhart, Jr. Granite Construction Company William B. Robinson Gulf Coast State College Foundation WJHG-TV HealthSouth Emerald Coast Rehabilitation Hospital Hutchison Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. Charles S. Isler, III *Deceased Edward N. and June G. Wright



Thank you to our sponsors TOURNAMENT SPONSORS AT&T Centennial Bank GOLF BALL DROP SPONSOR Tyndall FCU CELEBRITY GOLFER SPONSORS Granite Plus Gulf Construction Services Irene & Company TOURNAMENT SOCIAL SPONSOR G. Foley’s BREAKFAST SPONSOR The Bagel Maker LUNCH SPONSOR Sonny’s BBQ HOLE-IN-ONE SPONSORS Panhandle Engineering Summit Bank HOLE SPONSORS Community Bank Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort Gulf Power Company Harrison Sale McCloy HealthSouth Sugar Sands Select Specialty Hospital The St. Joe Company GARNET & GOLD SPONSORS Burleson Wealth Management Charles Voorhis Nichols & Associates Pinnacle at Hammock Place Pinnacle at Hammock Square Skinner Tax Consulting Trustmark Bank 36 | 2014-2015 ANNUAL REPORT



ANNUAL DINNER Thank you to our sponsors ENTERTAINMENT SPONSORS Dr. and Mrs. James T. Cook, III GOLD SPONSORS Rashda Albibi, M.D. Community Bank GAC Contractors Gulf Coast State College Foundation Gulf Power Company Innovations Federal Credit Union Reliant South RockTenn The St. Joe Company Summit Bank/Neal and Leah Dunn Sunshine Piping, Inc. Tyndall Federal Credit Union Walsingham Management Elizabeth J. Walters, Leon L. Walters, Dr. Glenda Walters GARNET SPONSORS Advisors Financial Services, Inc. Applied Research Associates Bay Solutions Berg Steel Pipe Centennial Bank Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort Hancock Bank HealthSouth Emerald Coast Rehabilitation Hospital Hutchison Family Charitable Trust McNeil Carroll Engineering, Inc./ Sugar Sands Inn and Suites The News Herald, Port St. Joe Star, Holmes County Times- Advertiser & Washington County News Panama City Living Magazine Panhandle Educators Federal Credit Union Skinner Tax Consulting Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q

Photos by Katie Desantis | Panama City Living PC.FSU.EDU | 37

FSU PANAMA CITY BRICK PROGRAM TAKE YOUR PLACE IN FLORIDA STATE HISTORY Alumni, friends and family members, celebrate your Seminole pride by including your name in the first commemorative bricks at FSU Panama City. Join in the pre-sale through spring 2016. •

Perfect for graduation or celebrating your alumni status, bricks cost $200 and all proceeds benefit campus enrichment. Personalized bricks will be incorporated into a legacy courtyard in front of the Holley Academic Center. Your brick purchase is 100 percent tax deductible and is maintained and covered by a lifetime warranty.

Order today:




“She is always willing to lend a helping hand and share her expertise. When she decides to get involved with a new project or organization, she does not simply do so just to add another item to her resume; it’s to help make a difference.” — Curtis Williams, commercial loan officer at MidSouth Bank

ONLINE: Kristina is dedicated to service and higher education. Read her story at



Photography by Andrew Wardlow 40 | TORCH

Since 2001, the FSU Early Childhood Autism Program (ECAP) has helped about 100 children learn countless language, social, cognitive and academic skills. Through the years, the program has grown from in-home and in-school therapy to include an on-campus clinic and a parent resource center. The clinic also serves as a learning tool for FSU Panama City’s applied behavior analysis master’s students.

LEARN: ECAP currently serves about 40 clients aged 2 to 20 who have been diagnosed with developmental delays and disabilities, including autism. Using positive reinforcement and individualized behavioral treatment plans, therapists help students develop academic, social, language, cognitive, daily living and motor skills. Parents take part in the process by watching therapy in the clinic via live video feeds or participating in parent trainings offered by ECAP. PC.FSU.EDU | 41

PLAY: ECAP’s applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy consists of one-on-one teaching conducted by a behavior therapist under the supervision of a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). During sessions, a therapist combines structured work with relaxed play in order to complete each child’s learning activities. These methods are used to hold the child’s attention and help motivate him or her to learn. Some children have formed friendships during their time at the clinic. Building on these relationships, ECAP hosts a weekly social group for clients to learn and practice social skills together. Every activity is a learning opportunity where new skills are taught daily. 42 | TORCH

GROW: ECAP’s staff of BCBA supervisors oversees sessions and work diligently with therapists to tailor treatment to accommodate every child’s individual needs. All ECAP supervisors meet multiple times per week to discuss clinical case management, client/staff schedules, treatment plan development, data analysis and other clinic updates. Because of ECAP’s success, its on-campus facilities have expanded this year to include a second, super-hero themed therapy room for some of the older clients in the program. Younger clients continue to work in the Camille Butchikas ECAP Clinic, which has more childlike decorations and toys. The ECAP expansion plans also include the addition of an indoor playground and a Parent Resource Center, both opening in fall 2015.


S THANKS: ECAP, the only non-profit ABA therapy provider in Bay County, has been able to make huge differences in local families thanks to community support. About one-third of the program’s clients are able to receive free therapy through ECAP’s Butchikas Scholarship Program, which is funded by annual donations from the George A. Butchikas Foundation for Autism. The Foundation has given $450,000 since 2001, and ECAP’s annual Auction for Autism Awareness has raised almost $30,000 for scholarships since 2011. In 2012, the Butchikas Foundation provided a separate $15,000 donation for ECAP to establish an on-campus clinic, the Camille Butchikas ECAP Clinic at FSU Panama City. The clinic provides options for therapy with state-of-the-art technology and a quiet, controlled environment for learning. This year, expansion efforts have continued with a new on-campus Parent Resource Center funded by a $30,000 grant from the Bay Health Foundation. The center will offer information and support on topics including autism warning signs, medical resources and special-needs programs at local schools. A separate $7,000 grant from the Community Services Foundation of Bay County allows for the addition of an indoor playground for play-based fun and learning. ECAP hopes to offer more individualized therapy rooms to increase clinical space, focused learning centers to enhance specific skills training (e.g., social skills), and enhanced technology for the new clinic room. To support ECAP expansion efforts or for more information about the program’s services, visit or call 850-770-2241. 44 | TORCH


( N OT S O)

SECRET LIVES OF FACULTY It’s not all homework and grade books for some instructors. The interests of FSU Panama City faculty create a balance between work and home.



CHRIS LACHER: the VOLUNTEER Three years ago, when computer science professor Chris Lacher, Ph.D., had trouble navigating his car though the narrow streets of Tallahassee to deliver Meals on Wheels to home-bound elderly, he had the idea to start delivering via bicycle. Meals on 2 Wheels was born. A partnership between Capital City Cyclists and Elder Care Services of Tallahassee, eight volunteers deliver more than 80 meals to home-bound residents. “The stop and go of delivering the meals drove me crazy,” Lacher said in a Tallahassee Democrat article. “The process is a lot more efficient by bike. And the seniors — many of whom lack much social contact — seem to love the extra entertainment of bike riders.” A platoon, consisting of one cyclist with a trailer, “the trucker,” and an accompanying cyclist, “the runner,” ride a designated route. The trucker hauls the meals and the running takes the meals to each recipient.

46 | TORCH


JOHN SMITH: the DIRTBIKE ENTHUSIAST For entomologist John Smith, Ph.D., it’s not all homework and grade books. On most Saturdays Smith can be found with his friends who share a passion for motocross. Smith and his son Adam began dirt biking 16 years ago to spend more time together. Though Adam eventually switched interests to skateboarding, Smith was hooked. Smith and the other dads continued with the sport long after their sons lost interest. The average age for motocross competitors is 18-21, Smith and his friends are in their 50s. “I like knowing that I am still able to do this, while most men my age are sitting on the couch or too afraid to take the risk,” Smith said. Smith believes it is important to have a hobby to balance work life. “Dirt biking takes my mind off of everything completely. When I am on the track, there is absolutely no worries, no stress, just fun!”



TOM KELLEY: the MUSICIAN What began as a teenage hobby has developed into a lifelong passion for public safety and security professor Tom Kelley, Ph.D. Since the age of 14, Kelley has played guitar in various bands including three garage bands in high school that played at dances and events that didn’t require an I.D. to enter. As an undergraduate at Florida State, he used his guitar and vocal talents to “sing for his supper” by playing at sororities. When not teaching, Kelley can be found at Leitz Music recording a ‘60s rock ‘n’ rock album. Kelley and local musician Greg Miller, who studied at Juilliard, have been collaborating for the past three years. Their album is set to release in December. “The field of public safety and security can be physically and mentally demanding,” Kelley said. “A hobby helps relieve stress from the job.” “Music is absolutely the best thing,” he said. “It takes you out of one reality and into another.”

48 | TORCH


KELLEY KLINE: the NOVELIST Psychology professor Kelley Kline, Ph.D., uses writing as a therapeutic outlet. Her first novel, “Ascent of the Immortal,” is a psychological paranormal thriller written under the pen name Ann Marie Knapp. The book’s main character, Dr. Guenevere Ryan parallels Kline’s life as a psychology professor living in North Florida. “You should write what you know,” Kline said. She also pairs her research on the perceptions of attractiveness with the classic vampire story to create a world of secrecy, intrigue and the supernatural. Because she fell in love with the characters she created, she is currently writing a sequel. “Ascent of the Immortal” is available at and locally at Books-A-Million.

ONLINE: Discover more of our faculty’s interests at


Alumni champion education in Bay District Schools BY JACQUELINE BOSTICK Florida State graduates uphold the garnet and gold, making their mark on Bay District Schools and generations of students. Almost 900 Bay District School educators have a degree from Florida State University, according to district officials. About 600 of these are FSU Panama City alumni, accounting for almost 20 percent of the district’s personnel. “FSU Panama City is a true champion for education in the 50 | TORCH

Northwest Florida region,” said Dorothy Imperial, Ph.D., the lead for math and science education at the campus. Elementary education, which has been a flagship program for FSU Panama City since the campus was established in 1983, uses research-based strategies to update and implement the most effective teaching techniques. Mentorships and required internships also give future teachers hands-on skills necessary to succeed in the classroom. Bay District Schools also has partnered with FSU Panama City to assist with elementary school students struggling

“Teachers really do change the world. Investing in our teachers equates to generations of impacted lives. FSU Panama City saw the need to support our education system decades past and will proudly continue to serve.”

- Dorothy Imperial, Ph.D., elementary education instructor

academically. Student teachers from FSU practicum and assessment classes have provided intensive research-based tutorial lessons at Cedar Grove Elementary School in spring 2015 and Lucille Moore Elementary School in fall 2015. “These projects benefit both students in local schools and the preservice teachers who are providing the instruction,” said University Academy Principal Elizabeth Crowe, who conducted reading research at FSU Panama City while earning her Ph.D. in 2009. “Such experiences make students relevant and attractive to schools as they look to hire high quality graduates.” Bay District Schools is the Panama City elementary education program’s No. 1 employer. Alumni also are represented in classrooms throughout Northwest Florida and across the U.S. “I think the support from the university, the school district and our wonderful education mentors are why our teachers are so successful and stay local,” Imperial said. Deniece Moss, assistant administrator at West Bay Elementary School, said the program’s quality was apparent through the success of alumni. “I had observed other teachers in [Bay District Schools] who had graduated from the program and was convinced that, with the level of education and instruction provided, I would be more than prepared for the classroom,” she said. Moss earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2001. “The programs were top-notch,” Superintendent at Bay District Schools Bill Husfelt agreed. Husfelt earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State’s Tallahassee campus in 1980 and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the Panama City campus in 1991. “Teachers really do change the world,” Imperial said. “Investing in our teachers equates to generations of impacted lives. FSU Panama City saw the need to support our education system decades past and will proudly continue to serve.”

Previous page: Student teacher Savannah Harper reads a book to students at Patronis Elementary School. Top: Patronis fifth-grade teacher Katie Hair graduated from FSU Panama City’s elementary education program in 2011. Bottom: The elementary education program requires students, such as Philip Doucet, to use research-based strategies to implement the most effective teaching techniques. PC.FSU.EDU | 51

Joining the conversation on diversity and inclusion BY BECKY KELLY FSU Panama City has joined in the conversation on diversity. Working with the FSU Office of Human Resources and the Center for Leadership and Social Change, 30 Panama City staff and faculty members are becoming certified in diversity and inclusion. “Diversity and inclusion are terms fast becoming better understood on the Panama City campus,” said Missy Conner, director of Admissions and Student Affairs. “This effort will enhance thinking about our interaction with all of those around us and enable us to engage each other with a greater level of understanding and sensitivity.” The certification course is a three-part series that requires three core sessions, three elective sessions and a capstone theory-toaction project. The three core sessions offered in July covered cultural competence within higher education, administration and management, and teaching and research. The program aims to train employees who actively value, celebrate and leverage the differences and similarities of students, faculty and staff to inspire an environment of innovation and passion, according to the Human Resources’ website. “Diversity informs and enhances our social and intellectual development and, along with inclusion, fosters empathy. Although we are a small campus, it is vital that we are aware of the diversity of our students and their need to be recognized and engaged,” Dean Carol Edwards agreed. Diversity became a hot topic at FSU Panama City upon the prompting of Natasha Allen, a business administration major serving as president of the Black Student Union. Disappointed with activities planned during Black History Month, Allen spoke with campus administrators and student leaders to showcase the different cultural backgrounds of the student population. “Diversity is very important because it defines the ways you can embrace the culture and background of others,” she said. “As a recent alumna of FSU, I am pleased with the results and proud of the campus for taking these steps.” Allen graduated in May 2015. 52 | TORCH

“Diversity is very important because it defines the ways you can embrace the culture and background of others. As a recent alumna of FSU, I am pleased with the results and proud of the campus for taking these steps.”

— Natasha Allen (business administration, ’15)

“The university has developed programs and put energy into a variety of areas to reflect and support its commitment to diversity,” said Trina Jackson, associate director of student affairs and advisor of the Black Student Union. “A commitment to diversity is key to attracting underrepresented students and creating a culturally rich learning environment, which benefits everyone. I am looking forward to seeing what can be done to reflect and influence diversity on this campus and in our community as well.”

‘AN INTENSE JOURNEY’ Communication student becomes a living organ donor to save friend’s life BY ERIN CHAFFIN Professional communication major Sabrina McAlister believes there are many ways to make a difference in someone’s life. You can donate time, money, experience. You can donate blood or be a volunteer. McAlister chose to become a living organ donor. It all started when Jimmy Ross, who McAlister had been friends with since kindergarten, sent an email saying he only had 23 percent kidney function. What started out as intense knee pain turned out to be a kidney disorder, IGA nephropathy. The disease was progressing quickly and time was limited.



“I read the email and instantly called Jimmy,” McAlister said. “I said, ‘Jimmy, there is a reason we were put in each other’s lives so young. Maybe this is it.’ But in my heart I knew. I knew at that moment, without having testing done yet, this was the reason our paths crossed at such a young age.” Despite Ross’ wishes, numerous friends, including McAlister, decided to explore the donation process. Ross was hesitant to have a living donor. The risk that his body would reject the donor kidney worried him and he didn’t want friends or family making such a huge sacrifice for nothing. After six months of testing, McAlister and Ross were determined to be a perfect match, something usually found only between family members. “This blew me away,” McAlister said. “It confirmed that God has a reason for everything we do and everyone he places in our lives.” “I don’t think there is a sacrifice more important than putting one’s life ahead of your own,” Ross said. “When Sabrina told me she was a match, I didn’t know whether to be excited or scared. I just prayed, and asked friends to pray, that this would all go smoothly for both of us.” “At the beginning of this journey, we tested to see if I was a 54 | TORCH

compatible donor and if I was healthy enough to donate. I thought about the purpose, the perplexity and the potential risks of donating an organ,” McAlister said. “But most of all I thought about life itself and how fragile and delicate it is. We often hear the statement to ‘not take things for granted’ and ‘to live everyday like it is your last,’ but when you are faced with a decision of this magnitude, those simple words truly come to life.” The surgery was set for Dec. 12, 2014, during winter break so McAlister could complete her first semester of classes and Ross could continue working as assistant principal at South Walton High School. Surgery would be at Emory Transplant Center in Atlanta, Ga., because of the hospital’s reputation for being one of the best facilities in the Southeast for an organ transplant. While preparing for surgery, McAlister and her husband Mick wanted to make sure their children Gracie, 10, and son Mickey, 7 knew the significance of the gift. She knew they understood when Mickey named her kidney “Sydney the Kidney.” “I wanted make sure my kids knew why I was doing this,” McAlister said. “At 7, Mickey didn’t quite get it. I thought, ‘Let’s make this fun; let’s give it a name’.”

“This has been one of the most intense journeys I have ever experienced, and I have had quite a few journeys along my walk through life to compare it to.” - Sabrina McAlister Though there was a brief scare that the kidney would be rejected, Ross’s body accepted the organ. “I woke up to the words ‘Your kidney is happy in his new home, and is already working’,” McAlister reflected. “That was a moment of pure joy that I will never forget!” For McAlister the greatest reward from this experience is knowing Ross has a chance for a long, healthy life. “Jimmy and his wife will now be able to start a family and live to testify about this amazing journey we have been on,” McAlister said. “As for me, I get the satisfaction of being able to watch his beautiful family grow and no longer see him struggle though daily tasks that we often take for granted. Now I have the opportunity to use my experience to show others that life’s purpose can be fulfilled by looking outside the immediate reflection that stares back at you in the mirror.” McAlister’s greatest wish for her friend to start a family would soon come true. In April, Ross and his wife Kristen, found out they were pregnant. Their daughter is expected this December. “We are so excited for our first child,” Ross said. “Without Sabrina and the faith we all share, we know we wouldn’t be in this position today. She was the first person we told; we couldn’t wait to tell her. She was so excited she was in tears!” Communication professor Sandra Halvorson, Ph.D., learned of McAlister’s journey and, moved by her sacrifice and dedication to her studies during the

donation process, nominated her for the Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award for the College of Applied Studies. The award recognizes students who exhibit tremendous commitment to service. “It’s important to note that Sabrina managed to keep up her grades and continue with her service projects while she went through the donation process,” Halvorson said. “After donating her kidney she became a spokesperson for organ donation.” In March, McAlister learned she had won the prestigious award for the College of Applied Studies. McAlister will graduate this December with a bachelor’s degree in professional communication and plans to begin her graduate studies at FSU Panama City in the spring. She is the president pro tempore for the Student Government Council, a member of the Garnet Key Society and is working to complete the qualification to be a Garnet & Gold Scholar Society scholar. “This has been one of the most intense journeys I have ever experienced, and I have had quite a few journeys along my walk through life to compare it to,” McAlister said of her experience.

Previous page: The McAlister and Ross families. Top: Sabrina McAlister and Jimmy Ross pose at the Humanitarian of the Year reception March 6 in Tallahassee, Fla. Center: McAlister and Ross see each other for the first time after surgery. Bottom: Mickey, Mick and Gracie visit with McAlister during recovery.


‘NOLE NOTES ALUMNI NEWS 1999 TRICIA PEARCE (B.S. Communication, MBA ‘03) became certified as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor in 2014. Pearce became certified as an Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor in 2013. 2010 DANIELLE ALEXANDER (B.S. Elementary Education) married Eric Crofut July 25, 2015. Danielle is a teacher at West Bay Elementary School. 2011 BRITTANY COLE (B.S. Communication) and her husband, Matthew, welcomed her first child, Charlotte, in January 2015. Cole is the vice president of communications for the Bay County Chamber of Commerce. SEAN REYNOLDS (B.S. Psychology) and HEATHER MAZZARA (B.S. Psychology) were married July 18, 2015. The couple live in Orlando, Fla. 2010 SHANNON SHEIBE (M.S. Combined Corporate and Public Communication) became marketing manager at Jelly Fish Health, Panama City, in September 2015. 2013 KRISTIN EVANS (M.S., Corporate and Public Communication, graduate certificate in event management) had a son, Jameson Evans, in February 2014. In June, Evans was promoted to vice president of marketing & communications for Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative. 2014 ALVIN T. BREED III. (B.S. Law 56 | TORCH

Enforcement) after graduation relocated with his wife and children to the Atlanta, Ga., area. He has obtained his private investigator company license and is currently working to build an investigation agency, Breed Safety and Security. He plans to return to FSU Panama City to pursue a master’s degree in the near future.

FACULTY NEWS ADLIER KOHAN, Ph.D and HAFIZ AHMAD, Ph.D., P.E., and D. Leszczynska presented “Electrokinetic migration of chromium and copper: a comparative behavior analysis during a quick remediation process” at the International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology June 9-13, 2014, in Houston, Texas. HAFIZ AHMAD, Ph.D., P.E., received a $43,988 research grant from Pyrolysis Tech LLC for the research project “Evaluation of hardwood and pine as feed-stocks for activated-carbon production” in 2014. Ahmad, J.W. Miller and R.D. George published “Minimizing Pond Size Using an Offsite Pond in a Closed Basin: A Storm Flow Mitigation Design and Evaluation” in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. Ahmad and J.W. Miller and R.D. George presented “Hydraulic simulation of reclaimed water transmission line: Analysis of a water reuse system design” at the ASCE EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress on May 17-21, 2015, in Austin, Texas. GARY BLISS, DBA, and BANYON PELHAM, M.S., attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in October 2014 in Orlando, Fla. GARY BLISS, DBA, TOM KELLEY, Ph.D., and BANYON PELHAM, M.S., attended the Florida Police Chiefs Annual Conference to debut

Kristin Evans (‘13) with son, Jameson, and husband, Chad.

Brittany Cole (‘11) with daughter, Charlotte.

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‘NOLE NOTES the Crime Scene Investigation program in 2015 in Orlando, Fla. CLAIRE CALOHAN, M.S.W., retired as a social work faculty in fall 2014 after 18 years of service. JOHN CROSSLEY, Ph.D, and Siu Lam, Carlos, published “Las Vegas Versus Macao as Diversified Tourism Destinations” in the Journal of Tourism Insights: Vol. 4; Iss. 2 Article 5 in 2014. DARREN DEDARIO, MARK FEULNER, JEROME FLEEMAN and MIKE ZINSZER, Ed.S., will travel to New York to train NYPD in underwater crime scene investigation in December 2015. MARIAN FESMIRE, Ed.D., retired as elementary education faculty in fall 2014 after 12 years of service. RUSTY GENTRY, DNAP, MSN, MSNA, CRNA, was hired as associate program administator for nurse anesthesia fall 2015. LYNN GIVENS, M.Ed., was hired as elementary education visiting professor in fall 2015. GERRI GOLDMAN, M.S.W., was hired as social work resident faculty in summer 2015. SCARLET HINSON, CRNA, DNP, MSN, was hired as program administrator for nurse anesthesia in fall 2015. TOM KELLEY, Ph.D., and BANYON PELHAM, M.S., attended the Florida Police Chief’s mid-Winter Conference to promote the Public Safety & Security program in January 2015 in Tampa, Fla. BANYON PELHAM, M.S., attended the Florida Police Chief’s Annual Conference and Metro-Dade PD to promote the Public Safety & Security program held July 2014 in Boca Raton, Fla. AMY POLICK, Ph.D., BCBA-D, contributed an invited book chapter “Applied Behavior Analysis: An exciting career for psychology students,” published March 2015. As the FSU Early Childhood Autism Program (ECAP) director, Polick was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Bay Health Foundation in February 2015 to establish a Parent Resource Center at ECAP’s on-campus clinic as well as a $7,000 grant from the Community Services Foundation of Bay County in May 2015 to create an indoor play area at ECAP. In June 2015, she spent six weeks teaching abroad for the FSU International Programs in Valencia, Spain where she taught two undergraduate psychology courses. Also for the 2014-2015 year, Polick served as the president of the Florida

PROVOST’S 90% LIST The Provost’s 90% list recognizes instructors who receive outstanding teaching evaluations at the end of each semester. Student evaluations of teaching are a measure of student satisfaction and confidence. Excellent student evaluations are indicative that students feel they are receiving a high-quality educational experience. FALL 2014: Korhan Adalier, Ph.D. Hafiz Ahmad, Ph.D. Jerome Barnes, Ph.D. Jon Bailey, Ph.D, BCBA-D Gary Bliss, DBA. Parmjeet Cobb, Ph.D. Erin Cotton, Ph.D. Elizabeth Crowe, Ph.D. Nikki Dickens, BCBA Robert Dinan, Ph.D. Kevin Elliot, M.S. Sandra Halvorson, Ph.D. Daniel Hinz, MBA Chris Lacher, Ph.D. Leslie Lipton, Ph.D. Stan Lindsay, Ph.D. Kelley Kline, Ph.D. Al Murphy, Ph.D. Jeff Paterson, Ph.D. John Phillips, Ph.D. Amy Polick, Ph.D., BCBA-D Arlene Shaheen, M.S.W. Milinda Stephenson, Ph.D. Donna Trafford, M.S. Michael Wallace, Ph.D.

SPRING 2015: Korhan Adalier, Ph.D. Hafiz Ahmad, Ph.D. Stephen Bailey, JD Jerome Barnes, Ph.D. Parmjeet Cobb, Ph.D. Elizabeth Crowe, Ph.D. Lynn Givens, M.Ed. Sandra Halvorson, Ph.D. Lucas Hopkins, Ph.D. Charles Jordan, DBA Kelley Kline, Ph.D. Leslie Lipton, Ph.D. Al Murphy, Ph.D. Amy Polick, Ph.D., BCBA-D Nicholas Quinton, Ph.D. Arlene Shaheen, M.S.W Gary Smith, Ph.D. Donna Trafford, M.S. Michael Wallace, Ph.D. William Woodyard, JD

Association for Behavior Analysis, a statewide organization of more than 1,000 behavior analysts. Rosemary Prince, M.S., CPRP, was appointed by the president of the International Special Events Society to serve on the Education Council. The International Special Events Society Education Council is charged with evaluating the education needs of the special events industry and developing and delivering programs and products. ARLENE SHAHEEN, M.S.W., retired as social work faculty in summer 2015 after 15 years of service. CARR J. SMITH, Ph.D., DABT, was hired as resident faculty for nurse anesthesia in fall 2015. MILINDA STEPHENSON, Ph.D., was hired as English resident faculty in 2015. PC.FSU.EDU | 57

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The Torch 2015  

The Torch is the official magazine of Florida State University Panama City. Online exclusives for the 2015 issue include a feature story abo...

The Torch 2015  

The Torch is the official magazine of Florida State University Panama City. Online exclusives for the 2015 issue include a feature story abo...