How a smaller liberal arts university does research
AMERICAN PAINTING AND THE FLORIDA SCHOOL OF ART SELECTIONS FROM PRIVATE COLLECTIONS May 13-July 2 - Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center at Stetson University This exhibition illustrates many of the mature and developing forms of painting in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries when a distinct form of painting developed in Florida. Many of the artists who worked in Florida studied at American and European universities and academies, and worked with a number of American master artists whose distilled influence can be seen in paintings by artists who helped to create The Florida School of Art. Using 40 examples of paintings gathered from private collections throughout Florida, this exhibition explores many of the crosscurrents within and directions of Florida School artists. These artists are becoming increasingly appreciated through the recent publication of award-winning academic and general studies on the subject, and the opening of a museum dedicated to the history and development of Florida art: the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. Guest curator for this exhibition is Gary R. Libby, Director Emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Sciences and former assistant professor of art history at Stetson University. Libby is considered one of the preeminent specialists in the art of the South and the art of Florida. He is the author of a number of award-winning publications, articles and catalogs on Florida art, including two books on the Brown Collection. Hand Art Center 139 E. Michigan Ave., DeLand 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Wed., Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday 12-4 p.m. Saturday
Exhibition guest curator Gary R. Libby stands next to â€œLandscape South of Englewood, Florida,â€? a painting by Lois Bartlett Tracy (1901-2008).
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Research & Scholarship If we knew what it was we were doing it would not be called research, would it? —Albert Einstein It cannot be denied that some of the world’s most important discoveries have been made through research at universities. From the invention of the telegraph to advances in modern medicine, the nation’s institutions of higher learning are hubs of scholarship and discovery. While Stetson is not a major research university, there is plenty of exciting research and scholarship happening within these walls and out in the field. Stetson faculty and students are conducting research (and creating ideas for more research) that in the future will likely have an impact on you, your community, the nation and even the world. At Stetson, students are an integral part of the research, to the benefit of both faculty and students (page 34). In many cases, they are benefiting the global community as well. Facilitating the important connection between student learning through research and our social and environmental challenges
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Finding Meaning I am responding to the letter you printed from Jerry Shaw concerning his criticism of the article “The Meaning of Life.” I did not see this article as a religious essay, as it did not use biblical references or references from Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish texts, Gnostic gospels or other religious works. The fact that Mr. Shaw seldom reads the Stetson magazine is telling. “The Meaning of Life” article was absolutely terrific and should not offend any open-minded Christian. —Walter Kilcullen ’68 STETSON UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE welcomes letters to the editor. However, we ask that you focus your letter on a topic or article in the magazine. Send signed letters by 2
are Stetson’s engaged and caring faculty (page 24). Through their efforts students learn to become significant, to go beyond the success of the research results and apply it to the real world (page 40). While major research universities struggle with the tension between research and teaching, in these pages you will find more about Stetson’s work to balance the two, even combining them into synergistic activities (page 28) leading to a love of lifelong learning for students and faculty (page 16). This issue explores how Stetson University does research and why it’s important for faculty, students, alumni and our communities. As Leonard Susskind once said, “A lot of my research time is spent daydreaming — telling an imaginary, admiring audience of laymen how to understand some difficult, scientific idea.” I hope this issue reveals to readers and dreamers more about the wonderful ideas and inspirations at Stetson University. —Janie Graziani Interim Editor of Stetson University Magazine
The CAMPAIGN: A Stairway to Significance
President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. Vice President of University Marketing Bruce Chong Interim Editors Michael Candelaria, Janie Graziani Design Michelle Martin Editorial Assistant Donna Nassick Art and Photography Joel Jones, Nick Leibee, Brittany Strozzo Contributing Staff David Baker, Veronica Faison, Nicole Melchionda, Brandi Palmer, Mary Anne Rogers, Kimberly Wiggins Writers Wendy Anderson, Cris Belvin, Andy Butcher, Roslyn Crowder, Christopher Ferguson, Melinda Hall, Ricky Hazel, Sonja James-Gaitor, Bill Noblitt, Rosalie Richards, Jack Roth, Caroline Skinner, Betsy Stange, Trish Wieland Class Notes Editor Cathy Foster
email to firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail to Stetson Magazine, Office of University Marketing, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., Unit 8319, DeLand, FL 32723. Because of space limitations, we may edit some letters, so please try to keep them under 200 words. You also can call the editor at 386-822-8861.
STETSON UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE is published three times a year by Stetson University, DeLand, FL 32723, and is distributed to its alumni, families, friends, faculty and staff. The magazine is printed on FSC-certified paper. The College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration and School of Music are at the historic main campus in DeLand. The College of Law is in Gulfport/St. Petersburg. The university also has two satellite centers: the Tampa Law Center and the Stetson University Center at Celebration near Orlando.
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16 Creating a Dynamic Environment for Research There is nothing soft about the quest for a significant life.
24 How We Do Research Four faculty members describe research from their perspectives.
4 Beginnings News about Stetson
28 Balancing Research and Teaching Is it possible for faculty to excel in both?
Reactions to the Last Issue
14 First Person Showcase 44 Athletics 48 Impact Changes at Carlton Union Building 51 Alumni 58 The Classes 64 Endings Why We Stress Research 65 Parting Shot Leading the Cheers
34 Mysterious & Exciting Students explore the plant kingdom looking for cures to cancer. 36 Raising the Bar on Research Innovative legal research is opening eyes and broadening horizons. 40 Listening to the Universe Earth receives a billion-year-old message. 42 Inspiring Greatness A passion for the brain and critical thinking leads to a presidential request. STETSON
g i n Sparking the Conversation
Sarah Caudill as an undergraduate at Stetson
Caudill ’06, Research Team Make ‘Discovery of the Century’ The global scientific community is buzzing with excitement about the long-awaited direct detection of gravitational waves from two colliding black holes, announced by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) collaboration at the National Press Club this winter. Stetson University physics graduate Sarah Caudill, Ph.D., ’06, was a co-author on the Physical Review Letters article where the technical details of the discovery were published. (See related article on page 40.) LIGO was developed and is operated jointly by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 4
Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity published in 1915. This discovery now opens a whole new window on the universe and could revolutionize understanding of black holes, neutron stars and other astrophysical objects. While at Stetson, Caudill spent a summer at Caltech working on the LIGO project as a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) intern in 2005. During her senior year, she presented her LIGO work on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., at the prestigious Posters on the Hill event sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). “In the morning, Sarah and I got a chance to lobby Congress, including Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-Florida) office, in regard to undergraduate research in
general and the LIGO project in particular,” said Kevin Riggs, Ph.D., professor of physics and senior research mentor to Caudill. “In the afternoon, she presented the work she did for the Caltech LIGO internship. This work was also the basis for her senior research project at Stetson.” After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Stetson, Caudill completed a Ph.D. in gravitational wave physics at Louisiana State University in 2012 under the direction of Gaby Gonzalez, Ph.D. Gonzalez serves as the official spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Currently, Caudill is a postdoctoral researcher with the Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is an ongoing member of the LIGO collaboration.
More than 250 local government officials, concerned citizens, academicians, journalists, students and environmental advocates packed Allen Hall to hear and be part of the significant conversation on protecting the environment by better understanding climate change and rising sea levels. “As far as I know, this is the first public meeting of its kind in Volusia County to start a local conversation about the effects of climate change,” said Clay Henderson, executive director for Stetson’s new Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience. Stetson’s visiting Woodrow Wilson Fellow Joseph Treaster led this “open dialogue” event regarding the recent Paris Climate Change Accords (COP21). Treaster is a prize-winning reporter and University of Miami professor with a passionate expertise for protecting water sources. Members of the expert panel included: Sister Pat Siemen, attorney and director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law; Jason Evans, Ph.D., assistant professor of Environmental Science and Studies, and publicpolicy expert on climate change issues in Florida; Chad Truxall, executive director of the Marine Discovery Center and Florida Master Naturalist instructor; and Dinah Voyles Pulver, award-winning environmental journalist with The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
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VITA student volunteers and faculty members celebrate a $1 million milestone achievement in Lynn Business Center with Dean Neal Mero, Ph.D. (far left).
Siemen attended the COP21 and felt the publicity and awareness raised were good but that it would be slow-moving to make meaningful action in governments across the globe. “It was huge to get all 195 countries to agree (at the COP21) that climate change is real. They agreed to have a plan in place to reduce greenhouse gases in the next five years. But we need something more urgent and we can’t wait another five years,” Siemen noted. “Our current environmental protection laws are not good enough. The environment has rights, too.” “It’s a slow goal. But we can’t give up,” said Treaster, whose participation was made possible through Stetson’s Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. “We have to have conversations just like this. We know the science dictates us to see the sea-level rise.” “The warming of the oceans globally means more flooding will occur in streets; septic tanks then pull that wastewater back out. Our drinking wells have intrusion from saltwater contaminants as the sea level rise emerges more inland,” explained Evans. But this problem is not just a coastal issue, noted Pulver. “The increasing salt content will exacer-
bate problems for river life. The more the sea level rises, the more salt you’ll have in the rivers.” “We have to be willing to change our lifestyle more. Eat local, organic,” added Siemen. “We also need to include measures to conserve water in our legislation.” Truxall agreed that prudent action is needed urgently. “We need action now. We treat water as if it’s something we want to get rid of, so we need a new way of thinking about the value of water,” Truxall suggested. “People need to feel empowered when it comes to addressing climate change. We’re going to keep seeing these issues until the political scene changes.” Evans proposed that, unlike some public-supported institutions that may restrict the dialogue, Stetson is the perfect place to launch the conversation. “We have to talk about the science,” said Evans. “Stetson University is a very good place for this dialogue because, as a private university, we can steer the conversation locally and nationally. I’ve found that once local government officials see the problem, they will believe. We just have to keep getting the facts and information out there.” —Trish Wieland
Student Volunteers Celebrate $1 Million in Tax Refunds Stetson’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has returned more than $1 million in tax refunds to local community members since its inception in 2011. The major milestone was reached in March, just 4 1/2 weeks into the 10-week tax-filing season. “Since its beginning, Stetson’s VITA program has filed 914 returns with total refunds of $1,002,436,” said Bonnie Holloway, visiting lecturer in accounting and VITA site coordinator. But in this year alone, “Stetson’s VITA students have filed 169 returns and generated refunds of $194,700.” Each year, approximately 30 students volunteer as tax preparers in the program. This year, there are 38 volunteers, and accounting seniors Yulia Denisyuk and Geoff Gose plus accounting sophomore Sonia Chang took on strong leadership roles as assistant site coordinators for VITA. Both Denisyuk and Chang are also members of the Stetson University Bonner Program. Students must have completed specialized training and passed
certifying exams in order to prepare tax returns for the program, which assists those with a household income of $54,000 or less. “I’m extremely happy to see more students getting involved in VITA this year,” said Chang. “Getting to $1 million was challenging, but we are already working hard to get the next million to benefit families and the economy here in west Volusia County.” “This is a great way for students to apply the concepts they have learned in class to the real world,” said Holloway. “This program serves a need for both the community and the students. Local, qualifying families are receiving free tax preparation, and Stetson students gain experience applying accounting concepts to real life while learning professionalism, courtesy, customer service and communication skills.” Returns are generally filed electronically, and refunds are usually received within approximately 21 days. VITA volunteers do not prepare returns involving rental properties or income earned abroad. VITA is sponsored by United Way Volusia-Flagler Counties, Stetson’s Center for Community Engagement and the Accounting Department in the School of Business Administration. VITA also is a service project of Beta Alpha Psi, the honorary association for accounting, finance and information-systems students. —Janie Graziani STETSON
n i n g s Stetson VCEE students (seated, l-r): Noel Morobito, Brittanie Hamilton, Charlotte Grace, Taylor Hamrick, Nicole Clendenin. Standing is Heidi Kochis, coordinator with Volusia County Schools.
Alicia Queally Selected for NCAA Pathway Program Alicia Queally, senior associate director of athletics/senior women’s administrator, has been selected to participate in the 2016 NCAA Pathway Program. A 1999 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Queally is in her fourth year as a member of the Stetson Athletics staff. She oversees internal operations including game management, budgets and Title IX compliance, in addition to direct oversight of several sport programs and multiple other duties. She was one of 23 senior-level administrators from across the country to be selected for the Pathway Program, which provides an unprecedented opportunity to gain insight into every facet of an athletics department, preparing participants to become wellrounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletics director needs. Each program participant is mentored by a current NCAA athletics director and a current university chancellor or president who have committed to helping the Pathway participants grow during the program and after completing it. “I am honored to be selected for the 2016 NCAA Pathway Program,” Queally said. “It will provide me with immeasurable opportunities and experiences that will allow me to further enhance my qualifications as a 6
senior-level athletics administrator. I look forward to meeting and working with each of the selected participants and program leaders, and I would like to thank the NCAA for providing me with this tremendous leadership opportunity.” The in-person sessions will include opportunities to engage with university presidents, who will shed light on the role of athletics directors, reinforce the value of athletics on campus and provide candid answers to participants’ questions. Along with NCAA Convention programming and governance meetings, program participants will engage in a simulation of their first staff meeting as a director of athletics, receive advice on beginning their first 90 days in an athletics-director chair, participate in case studies on campus-relevant topics and learn best practices from current and former athletics directors. “The Pathway Program is an unmatched opportunity, exposing highly qualified athletics administrators to the latest information and robust experiences, delivered by practiced experts in the field,” Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and chief inclusion officer, said. “Administrators who complete the program not only gain technical knowledge but graduate with confidence and quality decision-making skills.” Since its inception in 1997, the program (formerly known as the NCAA Fellows Leadership Development Program) has produced more than 100 alumni. Nearly 25 percent of participants have gone on to become directors of athletics, while more than 60
percent have received promotions in their careers. In addition to Queally’s selection to the Pathway Program, Stetson University Director of Athletics Jeff Altier promoted her to senior associate director of Athletics. “The NCAA Pathway Program is designed to educate and mentor the next generation of athletic directors,” Altier said. “It is an honor, one that Alicia richly deserves, to be selected to participate.” Her selection goes hand in hand with her promotion, which, simply put, is another way of recognizing her leadership and accomplishment. “As a leader, Alicia has taken command of the department budget, led our Title IX efforts, and proved to be a great partner in helping mentor and direct programs and staff under her supervision to significance within the university,” said Altier. “I look forward to working with Alicia to carry Stetson Athletics to even greater heights.” —Ricky Hazel
VCEE: Preparing Teachers of the Year In December 2014, Stetson University was awarded a $1.1 million grant from Florida’s Department of Education for the Volusia Center of Excellence in Education (VCEE) project. Over a period of three years, Stetson will use those funds to revolutionize the standard for education not only within the university, but across the local community. Headed by Christopher Colwell, Ed.D., associate professor and chair of the Education Department, and VCEE principal investigator, the VCEE project has gained momentum since its first full year, organizing a multifaceted community collaboration with BethuneCookman University, Volusia County Schools and the New Teacher Center. “We are not preparing teachers,” said Colwell. “We are preparing teachers of the year.” Before students can become educators, they must pass a state
licensing exam that assesses knowledge of core subject matter such as reading, math, science and social studies. However, a legislative effort to demand higher standards for educators led to Florida’s Department of Education increasing the rigor and difficulty level of the exam. “The content of the exam has become more intense,” said Rajni Shankar-Brown, associate professor of education, director of Education Graduate Programs, the Jessie Ball duPont Chair of Social Justice Education, and VCEE co-principal investigator. “Teaching is not a light or easy profession. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being an educator.” The VCEE initiative has designed 12 content-area modules using experts from BethuneCookman for literature and social science, and experts from Stetson for mathematics and science. The Blackboard modules provide in-depth information on core subject matter. “Most colleges of education do an outstanding job of peda-
gogical preparation — in other words, how to teach,” Colwell said. “This program is less about pedagogy and more about making sure each and every graduate has a deep understanding of the subjects they teach.” More than test preparation, the VCEE project initiative enables unique and mutually beneficial interdependence. “We have this opportunity to align with Volusia County Schools,” said Shankar-Brown. “Volusia County is very committed to having high-quality teachers in the classroom.” Highquality teachers like Stetson graduates. “Through this grant, our students are able to get a contract with the Volusia County school district in their junior year of college,” said Shankar-Brown. “We found that those students’ performance levels increased as their anxiety over job security went down. They were able to concentrate on the true impact of teaching. That benefits Stetson students as well as the children in their classrooms.”
A dynamic feature of the VCEE program includes Demonstration Classes. Using a video system called TORCH to record high-performing educators in the classroom enables those recordings to be used to instruct future teachers and as material for current educators to incorporate into their own lesson plans. “This feature provides examples of what effective teaching looks like,” said Shankar-Brown. “And, when something goes wrong, to illustrate how an effective teacher overcomes and deals with challenges in the classroom. Having this archived for other educators to see and use is such a gift.” Over the past year, with such a collaborative project, many valuable lessons have been learned — lessons beyond those in the modules. The modules have undergone change in how they are implemented into the program. Instead of using modules to supplement undergraduate courses, they are assigned and incorporated into the classes. “We’re also going back in the modules and making them more articulate, more interactive and fun,” said Shankar-Brown. “Going into next year, we’re taking feedback from our students and from Volusia County.” This initiative is designed for lasting impact in Volusia County; however, it also has the ability to shape future projects. “At the end of this project we will be releasing all the modules to the public so this project can be replicated by other universities in Florida and around the nation,” said Shankar-Brown. These innovative program initiatives all strive to ensure that Stetson education majors and VCEE participating institutions
build greater understanding of what it means to be a teacher. “Educators and children are priceless resources,” said Shankar-Brown. “We must collectively commit to investing in education.” —Veronica Faison
Law Team Makes Impressive Showing in Austria Stetson University College of Law’s Vis International Commercial Arbitration team won multiple awards at the 23rd Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria, March 18-24. Stetson received two Honorable Mention Awards — one for the Respondent’s Memorandum and one for the Best Oralist. Only six of 49 U.S. teams advanced to the top 32 teams, which included Stetson. There were a total of 311 teams competing from 47 countries. Stetson argued a case dealing with international commercial arbitration, attorney’s fees and the right to discovery. The team included Sadiya Hashem, Leon Innerkofler, Taylor Ryan, Brien Squires, Kaelyn Steinkraus and student coach Jonathan Diamond. Ryan was in the top 50 out of nearly 2000 oralists. Last year in Vienna, Stetson won an Honorable Mention Best Oralist Award. In 2005 at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Stetson was named World Champion and won several Honorable Mention Best Oralist awards. —Brandi Palmer
n i n g s Derick Newton led the Hatters with 22 points, but Stetson fell in overtime 80-78 at FGCU.
Stetson Grads Find Success After College A college education is one of the most important investments a student can make. New data show a Stetson University education could be an even wiser move. After surveying 542 graduates, Stetson University found 91 percent of the 2015 graduating class is employed or continuing their education. “We are incredibly proud that Hatters have turned a strong liberal arts education into tangible skills that employers are actively seeking,” said Tim Stiles, executive director of Career and Professional Development at Stetson. “We are equally proud of our faculty, who worked hard to ensure a Stetson degree means success long after students finish their last exams here.” The figures from the recently released 2015 cohort of undergraduate degree recipients found that 58 percent of Stetson graduates landed full- or parttime employment, and another third are continuing their education. The positive, growing job market in Florida contributed to the substantial gains. Of the 58 percent who chose the job market, 81 percent remained in the Sunshine State, accepting employment in Florida. Of respondents who are working after graduation, 87 percent indicated their primary post-graduation occupation to be very related or somewhat related to their career goals. More than half of graduates indicated they had completed an internship while working on their Stetson degree, and nearly a third of 8
those were offered full-time employment as a result of their internships. Graduates accepted offers in various career paths including teacher for Volusia County Schools, software engineering specialist for General Electric and second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. “These figures reveal Stetson’s value to the community as not just a place to learn, but also as a place that prepares today’s students for lives of significance beyond the classroom,” said Stiles. The economy also figured positively on the increased percentage of recent graduates who perceived they could afford to continue their education. For respondents going on to graduate school, 18 percent are pursuing education related to the legal profession, 11 percent related to psychology, 10 percent related to the health professions, and 8 percent in each of three areas: education, business and biological sciences. The survey also noted an evolving view of success. This group of talented youth offered several anecdotes, equating success with narratives such as “achieving my goals while maintaining my integrity and happiness,” and “doing something you are passionate about and that makes you happy.” The 2015 cohort includes individuals who received bachelor’s degrees in July 2014, December 2014 and May 2015. The new Stetson Outcomes Survey (formerly the Stetson First Destination Survey), administered for the first time to the 2015 cohort, is a more comprehensive, scientific and lengthy survey than in previous years. —Kimberly Wiggins
Hatters’ Historic Run Ends in A-Sun Championship Game The Stetson Hatters’ magical, historic run through the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament was extended for an extra five minutes March 6, but Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) eventually squeaked out an 80-78 overtime victory to capture the 2016 A-Sun title and the league’s NCAA Tournament berth. After earning two decisive road victories to make their first appearance in the Atlantic Sun Championship game in 22 years, the Hatters finished their season with a record of 12-22. Freshman Derick Newton led five Hatters in double figures with 22 points. Divine Myles and Grant Lozoya scored 11 points apiece, while Angel Rivera and Luke Doyle each chipped in 10. Doyle broke the school single-season record for most 3-point field goals with his 71st trifecta in the first half. For 45 minutes, the two teams battled back-and-forth in a dramafilled championship contest. The game featured 16 ties and eight lead changes overall, with both teams having a chance to win at the end of regulation. The Hatters had to rally late in the second half just to force overtime. FGCU (20-13) led by 5, 65-60, when Lozoya drained a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:16 to play.
The Eagles went back up by 4, but Leo Goodman buried a 3 of his own to cut the deficit to 67-66 with 1:52 on the clock. On the next possession, Newton hit two free throws to put Stetson ahead 68-67. Antravious Simmons gave FGCU a 1-point lead with a basket at the 1:23 mark. Newton hit another free throw with 25 seconds left in the game to tie it up, 69-69. Neither team got a shot off in their final possession of regulation, sending the game to overtime. In the extra period, Stetson trailed by 3, 79-76, with less than 16 seconds to play when Myles drove to the basket for a layup to cut the lead to 1. Zach Johnson was quickly fouled and hit just one of two free throws for the Eagles, but his block on the defensive end in the closing seconds prevented Stetson from tying the game one last time. Stetson’s historic championship run began on March 1 at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where the 7th-seeded Hatters knocked off the 2ndseeded Highlanders 82-67 in the quarterfinal round. On March 3 in Nashville, Tenn., Stetson walloped Lipscomb 96-75 to move on to the A-Sun finals for the first time since 1994. Brian Pegg and Newton were named to the all-tournament team. With no seniors on the roster, the Hatters will return their entire squad in 2016-17. —Cris Belvin
Faculty, Staff Tackle Change in Brown Center Workshop If adaptability in today’s world is the name of the game, then Robert Kegan, Ph.D., holds the tools to the rules. “Dr. Kegan’s expertise is with adult learners,” explained Resche Hines, Ph.D., assistant vice president of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Stetson University. “He has helped hundreds of institutions deal with change. And his personality is one of modeling in a very non-threatening way.” Kegan is the William and Miriam Meehan Professor in Adult Learning and Professional Development, educational chair at the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at Harvard University. He was chosen to be the facilitator for this year’s Faculty Learning Community Day at Stetson, thanks to the university’s new Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. This event has taken place for the past four years on the Friday before the spring semester begins as a way of reflecting and discussing big issues that impact the university’s mission and learning community. Beth Paul, Ph.D., executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Stetson, started the event, “because she wanted to give the faculty time to enjoy thinking together — across the whole university,” said President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. “We invite thought leaders to come and think with us.” Paul said she felt personally honored to have Kegan, a transformational learning specialist, on campus for this learner-cen-
tered discussion and workshop, since she has known and respected his work for decades. “Today we learned a new way to ask ourselves, ‘How do we help our students grow? What is eating away at their time unnecessarily to prevent them from reaching their goals and potential?’” said Paul. “We also look at the continuing growth of Stetson as an organization. We’ve undergone lots of changes in recent years. And I think today’s workshop is a fabulous way to make us realize how special this place really is.” Through group exercises facilitated by Kegan, the Stetson faculty, staff and administrators could ask themselves if their systems of self-protection are enough to support and achieve goals. Later he spoke about selfdeception, which could also impact the ability to learn. “Self-deception is a very powerful force,” noted Kegan. “We need to ask ourselves if we examine that enough. We need to look below the surface of the water as well as above it.” “There are a lot of pressures on higher education that force us to dance as fast as we can to sustain our level of teaching here. This workshop is timely in light of recent events to find and grab the future we want in a positive manner,” explained Paul. “Today was a journey in which we spent time with one another and indulged ourselves in a reflective manner.” Matthew Schrager, Ph.D., associate professor of integrative health science, said that attending the workshop was an opportunity to reflect on the important issues that have been difficult to resolve. “Dr. Kegan taught me how to examine major assumptions that are not serving me well as a way
(L-r) Students Kasey Feltner, Sterling Lovelady and Adriana Foreman
to address long-standing problems,” he noted. Lua Hancock, Ed.D., assistant provost for Student Success, said she thought Kegan’s research about why humans desire new behaviors in their lives, but struggle to make the changes needed, was fascinating. “I was able to really dig into one of my goals and think deeply about what is the true root behind why I don’t achieve it,” she added. “The workshop was great for my personal development and also helped me think about how we best empower students to manage change so that they can graduate ready to solve complex problems in the world.” “On a collective scale, I hope that everyone who participated today now feels empowered to ‘break the mold’ and that a ‘we-can-do-this’ mentality comes forward,” said Kegan. “I hope that they made a number of discoveries, but mostly for the professors to discover for themselves that they can surprise themselves, that they are still growing and developing themselves, and that they still have ‘unwritten’ chapters.” Feedback on the workshop revealed that 82 percent of participants felt it was an “excellent” to “good” experience, according to Rosalie Richards, Ph.D., associate provost for Faculty Development and professor of education and chemistry. “The session challenged us to think about how we can trans-
form individually and consequently, as an institution, to develop timely responses to change we are already experiencing and as we prepare for the future,” said Richards. —Trish Wieland
Moot Court Team Wins Best Oralist at National Event Stetson University College of Law’s moot court team won a best-oralist award at the Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship in Houston. The win in February was the third best-oralist award that Stetson’s advocacy teams had produced in three months. Team members Kasey Feltner, Adriana Foreman and Sterling Lovelady argued an issue related to terrorism before assistant U.S. attorneys, state and federal judges, and prominent attorneys from around the country. Sixteen teams competed in this invitation-only challenge. Feltner tied for best oralist. Foreman Biodiversity Fellow Erin Okuno coached the team with Professor Brooke Bowman, associate director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy and moot court adviser at Stetson. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stetson’s trial advocacy program first in the nation. —Brandi Palmer STETSON
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Stetson Advances to ABA National Finals, Wins Best Oralist A Stetson Law moot court team advanced to the National Finals of the American Bar Association (ABA) National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Chicago on April 7-9 — and made a strong showing against many other top universities. The Stetson team of Darnesha Carter, Evan Dix and Jessica Ford finished as semifinalists, and Carter placed among the top 10 in the Best Advocate category. The team’s success marks the third time in the past five years that Stetson has advanced to the National Finals. Associate Dean Michael Allen and alumnus Jason Stearns, J.D. ’08, coached the team. The National Appellate Advocacy Competition emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The competition involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of the mock court. In another competition, for the first time in school history a Stetson advocate, Lauren Eliopoulos, won the Best Oralist Award at the South Regional of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in New Orleans. Eliopoulos and teammates Anna Kirkpatrick, Nicole Santamaria, Chloe Wells and Julius Matusewicz advanced to the semifinals. “Advocacy competitions require strong educational 10
(L-r) Stetson moot court team of Darnesha Carter, Evan Dix and Jessica Ford competed in the ABA National Finals.
backgrounds, extensive preparation, professionalism and the ability to perform under pressure,” commented Brooke Bowman, professor of legal skills, associate director of Stetson’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy and moot court advisor. “These skills are required in the legal profession on a daily basis and, once again, our students have demonstrated these skills on a national platform.” —Brandi Palmer
Students Glimpse Fast-Paced World of TV Journalism There is a special glamour to broadcast news: the poise of the anchors, the polish of the script and the unceasing drama. Whether or not we like what we hear from our televisions, united we watch — transfixed by the magic of media. However, when Stetson University students attended a special guest lecture by an accomplished broadcast journalist and producer, they quickly learned
that the behind-the-scenes work of television is less magic and more madness. Stetson’s Department of Communication and Media Studies coordinated the lecture. “It’s like cramming for final exams every day,” said Alexis Weed, on-air reporter and currently producer at CNN. “Doesn’t that sound fun?” Every Monday through Friday, Weed and her team produce two consecutive hours of live news each day from 9 to 11 a.m., hosted by Carol Costello. Since most teams are responsible for just one hour, the workload is heavy and begins early. “I have the luxury of coming in to work at 5 a.m.,” said Weed. The work is rapid, unrelenting and important. “It means you must read your emails constantly,” she said. After all, as former Time editor Thomas Griffith noted, journalism is in fact history on the run. But how is good journalism produced? Moreover, who decides what is newsworthy? At CNN, these vital questions are answered through meetings known as the editorial process.
“It’s a bit of a tug of war,” said Weed. “Everyone has their own opinions of what they think Americans should hear.” These editorial meetings balance individual perspectives with management expectations, working through clashes to create national headlines. “We all have our individual battles about what’s the most newsworthy,” said Weed. “It’s good that we don’t all think the same way. The more diverse a news organization can be, the better the result.” Providing information through broadcasting news is a public service. Reporters are not television entertainers; they are investigators. “Any reporter worth his or her salt cares very deeply about getting a story right,” said Weed. “You want to be your own devil’s advocate.” Weed works with some of the most talented and resourceful correspondents in the nation. However, in the midst of immediate crises when there are no reporters on the ground, social media becomes an important means of breaking news. “When I want to know what’s going on, I don’t go to my colleagues,” said Weed. “I go to Twitter.” Weed has not owned a television in seven years. Although she is surrounded by television every day, TV broadcasts are no longer the primary source of information. “News is constantly changing,” said Weed. Working with CNN for eight years — seven as a legal producer and reporter for HLN — Weed does not fear change. In fact, her career path is rooted in it. Experienced and talented, Weed has covered stories such as
the Baltimore riots, the pope’s visit to the United States, the Sandy Hook shooting and other national headline news stories. It is difficult to imagine her working anywhere else but in the media. However, when Weed graduated from Michigan State University as a political science major, she intended to become a lawyer, and, upon graduating from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, she spent five years as an attorney in products litigation. “It was interesting work,” said Weed. “But I learned more about gaskets and steam generators than I ever wanted to know.” The work became routine, and Weed decided it was time for a change, which brought her to Northwestern for her master’s in journalism and eventually to CNN. Still, shifting her entire career path was not a seamless transition. “I felt that it would be irresponsible for me to do this,” said Weed. “I’d be giving up certainty. I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to keep a roof over my head or pay my student loans.” It was her mother, a pioneer for women’s professional skiing, who encouraged Weed to take the risk. “She always gave me a lot of belief in myself that it would all be OK if I just dug in and worked hard.” No matter our individual career pursuits, Weed reminded us that we should never compromise our ambitions for complacency. “I urge you to keep digging, keep searching for answers,” said Weed. And, if you’re watching CNN, she advised, “Do not turn off your television.” For CNN news updates and information, follow @alexiskweed on Twitter. —Veronica Faison
Law student Starcee Brown with son Brynson
The Journey: Theory to Practice Preparing students to become teachers results in a journey leading the students into classrooms throughout Central Florida, where they apply the teaching theories they learn at Stetson University. For many, the journey validates their aspirations for a career in education. Stetson’s Department of Education has prepared students by providing ongoing field experience or internships working in real elementary schools in Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties. Helping them along on the journey are the teachers of the classes to which they are assigned. These teachers serve as mentors for the interns, providing them with the necessary skills for working with diverse populations. After completing the internship and earning a degree, most of the education graduates will receive a certification to teach in Florida, approved by the state Department of Education. “I think this internship really gets them prepared for having a classroom of their own,” said Mercedes Tichenor, Ed.D., professor of education. “In fact, some of the graduating seniors already have jobs that started in January. The internship really does support that.” Stetson’s Department of Education enjoys an excellent reputation among school leaders in Florida and throughout the Southeast. Stetson education graduates are consistently among the teachers and administrators recognized as outstanding members of the profession. “It was really amazing,” said
Trial Team Member Receives Multiple Scholarships
senior Kristyn Stetson, who interned in a fourth-grade class at DeBary Elementary School. “I learned so much being in the classroom. In class, you learn a lot about the techniques to use. But when you’re in a classroom, you put that in action. You learn not only how to teach, but also the little everyday things that teachers do.” Senior Ashley Osborne, who interned in a similar position at Citrus Grove Elementary School in DeLand, said, “It was an awesome experience. I had a fourth-grade class, and I learned as much from them as they did from me.” Originally from the Cayman Islands, Osborne hopes to take her experience from the internship and apply it teaching back home. “We have a strong group of interns and a strong group of cooperating teachers,” said Tichenor. “I think it went very well for them. The teachers served as strong mentors and the students were dedicated and hardworking. We had a good group.” —David Baker
Starcee Brown, law student and member of the Stetson trial team, received the Bar Study Scholarship from the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association. The association awards scholarships to deserving, third-year African-American students preparing to sit for the Florida Bar exam. The Bradenton native and single parent also received the Richard R. Garland Diversity Scholarship from the Sarasota County Bar Association last year. She worked with Legal Aid of Manasota in Sarasota during the summer as the Sarasota County Bar Association’s diversity intern. Brown received an essay-based scholarship from the law firm of Katz & Phillips, P.A., in 2015 as well. That scholarship benefits high-achieving single parents who plan to attend or are currently attending law school. She is a member of the executive boards of the Black Law Students Association and Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society, and serves as vice president of the Stetson Law Parents. Brown plans to practice as a criminal defense attorney and a family law attorney after graduating from Stetson College of Law this year. She recently learned that she has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in criminology at the University of South Florida. —Brandi Palmer STETSON
n i n g s
“Let There Be Color!” by student Natasha Radovicz Schaidt
One Man’s Trash: Art Students Create ‘Disorderly Construct’ It was another picturesque day at Stetson. The leaves were falling, and the fountain shimmered underneath the Florida sun. But as you cast your eyes on the endless greenery, something was amiss. There, between the palm trees, stood multiple columns of garbage. The beautiful flowers near the library were not flowers at all, but construction paper creations. There were colored fishnets within the trees, crumpled up money embedded in the grass, seeds and moss lying outside Elizabeth Hall, a giant bird’s nest on the ground, hanging plastic pieces and destroyed baby cribs propped up where the hammocks should hang — all for the sake of art. Beautiful, temporary art. Brittany Metz, an acclaimed art professor in her first year at Stetson, proposed the idea for her studio art sculpture and mixed-media classes. In collaboration, the students planned to display their large-scale pieces right in the center of campus, rightly naming the Palm Court exhibition “Disorderly Construct.” 12
“We chose that name because that area is very pristine and manicured. Our art would interrupt that, but still complement the aesthetic,” said Metz. She offered a vital piece of instruction: “Make something people notice.” Before the students set out to build, Metz worked with Facilities Management to shut off the sprinklers and, more importantly, alerted the media. “This is not only something the students would be able to put on their resumes as professional experience,” said Metz, “it’s their opportunity to say something to the community.” For their project proposal, students had to include a sketch of the piece, its location on the quad, where they drew inspiration from, what materials were being used — and how they were going to remove it. Art has an innate duplicity, seemingly effortless; however, for many students, this project claimed blood, sweat and tears. Natasha Radovicz Schaidt, senior studio art major, created the piece “Let There Be Color!” by individually hand-rolling 1,000 flowers. “I did about 200 to 300 flowers a day,” said Schaidt. “That’s what I did over Thanksgiving break.” Inspired by the rebellious spirit of wildflowers, Schaidt created a sensory experience by blasting the cam-
pus with vibrancy through beautiful chaos. Needless to say, the removal process was bittersweet. “Flowers wilt,” said Schaidt. Gisela Alvarez, senior art and art history major, and Dillan Hoekzema, junior digital-arts major, were at the center of a social-media controversy for their piece, “The Rest Was Left Behind,” colloquially known as the “garbage sculpture.” Although left open for interpretation, given nothing but the title, the minimalist sculpture was inspired from Alvarez’s own story. “Right before I came to Stetson, I had to leave an abusive relationship, a marriage of nine years,” said Alvarez. “I didn’t have time to pack everything. I only had time to fill three garbage bags.” She had to leave behind years of collected sentimentalities such as books, clothes, pictures and a box of art supplies. “It was hard to let go,” said Alvarez. “Essentially I had to think of them as trash.” Shifting away from decorative art, this project enabled Alvarez to do her most minimal piece: “It asks a lot from the viewer, but there’s a lot of concept behind it.” The crux of the project was to provoke thought. “It should be more than just a pretty thing,” said Metz. Despite the resounding message and praise from art professors, some students believed the piece marred the campus. “All over Yik Yak it was trashed,” said Alvarez. “No pun intended.” Reading comments such as “any idiot could put together garbage bags,” Alvarez chose to take it in stride, commenting on the feedback herself: “I’m the
artist. Ask me anything.” “As an artist, you have to absorb negative criticism,” said Alvarez. “If art isn’t pissing somebody off, you’re doing it wrong.” Every piece of featured art took hours of grueling work and dedication to complete. However, this campus disruption soon gave way to normalcy as Palm Court has eventually reverted back to its natural order, as if these pieces were never there. Although many students were reserved about the removal process, many did see a benefit of the display’s fleeting nature. “Everything in life is temporary,” said Jozefin Logu, senior psychology major. Zachary Prather, junior Spanish major, observed that removing the pieces increased their impact. “When something is at some place for a long time, we get accustomed to it and don’t notice it anymore,” said Prather. “This way it has more of a lasting effect.” Paula Villagomez, senior international business major and art minor, presented a similar sentiment. “Something that stays there forever eventually declines,” said Villagomez. “When it’s temporary, art remains as good as it was when you first placed it there.” Though the paper flowers have been plucked, and the garbage pillars have long been knocked down, “Disorderly Construct” will not die out. Metz will ensure that. “I plan on doing it again next semester,” she said. For more information on the pieces that were on display and the artists who created them, visit disorderlyconstructblog. wordpress.com. —Veronica Faison
Concert Choir Spring Tour Schedule Sunday, May 8
Friday, May 13
7 p.m. Concert Palms Presbyterian Church 3410 3rd Street South Jacksonville Beach, Fla. 32250
7:30 p.m. Concert St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 228 South Pitt Street Alexandria, Va. 22314
Monday, May 9
Sunday, May 15
7:30 p.m. Concert The Parish Church of St. Helena 505 Church Street Beaufort, S.C. 29902
Tuesday, May 10 7:30 p.m. Concert Trinity Baptist Church 504 South Oak Street Seneca, S.C. 29678
Wednesday, May 11
11 a.m. Holy Service Post Service Performance Cathedral of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Avenue New York, N.Y. 10025
Concert Choir Launches Spring Tour in Jacksonville Beach Stetson’s 52-voice Concert Choir will take to the road again this year for its annual Spring Tour May 8-16. The choir’s first stop will be Palms Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville Beach. This year’s schedule includes seven performances in five states: Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and New York. All performances are complimentary admission, and all are open to the public. Timothy Peter, D.M.A., conducts the Stetson Concert Choir, which is the university’s touring SATB ensemble (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) made up of select upper-class singers. They are undergraduate music majors and singers who are pursuing an array of degrees. For more information on the Concert Choir, visit Stetson University School of Music online at Stetson.edu/music.
Monday, May 16 11 a.m. High School Performance Glen Cove High School 150 Dosoris Lane Glen Cove, N.Y. 11542
7:30 p.m. Concert First Presbyterian Church 500 West Main Street Danville, Ky. 40422
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A Former Student Reflects on Her Research Experience B
lose your eyes.
Now imagine that you are standing in the front of a classroom or small auditorium. People are filing into the space, selecting seats and waiting patiently — and staring at you. Family, friends, classmates, professors and even individuals you have never seen before. You immediately try to look away and back to the notes in your sweaty palms. You begin to give yourself the pep talk of your life. Then your presentation’s judge comes over and introduces himself or herself. The judge gives you the guidelines and the time limit for you to give your presentation, and all of a sudden, you are panicking again. After months of late nights and early mornings writing, scrapping and rewriting, the moment has finally come. It is time for you to present your undergraduate research project at Showcase.
At least this was my experience. But I was ready, and I knew it. I had spent the past summer and fall researching and writing on a topic I was truly passionate about, and I wanted to share that knowledge with others. I was nervous but excited at the same time. Writing had always been my passion, and educating others about a topic important to me gave me a feeling of empowerment and purpose. But I wasn’t always ready to give such an impactful presentation. In fact, when I transferred to Stetson University fall 2011, I found out I wasn’t that great a writer. My first attempt at writing a research paper on this campus earned me a meeting with Dr. T. Wayne Bailey, professor of political science. Suffice to say, I cried when I got home. But Dr. Bailey worked with me, pointed me to the research librarians in the duPont-Ball Library and provided helpful critiques of assign-
ments. Before the end of the semester, I was writing research papers like a pro! As the semester moved along, I heard about this event called SURCAS (Stetson Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium — now named Showcase). I saw a few fliers on the bulletin boards around campus that talked about undergraduate research and, to attract students to attend, cultural credit availability. However, it was a day that classes were canceled and I decided, like many of my classmates, it would be a day for me to catch up on housework, classwork and, most importantly, sleep. Post-event, though, I realized that every April, Stetson cancels classes for a day to allow undergraduate research presentations, and, sadly, I really should have taken the time to attend this event. Showcase essentially turned the entire campus into a classroom as
With students involved in so many research opportunities at Stetson, Showcase provides the perfect opportunity for them to share their work with the campus and the outside community.
hundreds of students shared the projects they had developed during the academic year. Students, faculty, staff, parents and community members visited the campus that day and listened to presentations, viewed art exhibits, asked questions about research posters, and explored the work of undergraduate students in every discipline Stetson has to offer. Any classroom project/paper, summer internship result, senior project, recital performance, artwork, short story, poetry or other academic topic is eligible for presentation. Not only do students get to educate the campus and surrounding community on what inspires them, but also they are judged. To reflect the liberal arts environment of Stetson and the many areas of student research study, the judging panel comprises a diverse group of individuals who are experts in their fields and can appreciate the work completed in this environment. Judges ask insightful questions about each diverse project and interact with the student presenter to learn more about the subject area and allow the student to show expertise. My undergraduate research focused on juvenile justice. My passion for the topic was fed at the Daytona Beach Juvenile Justice
Detention Center, where I volunteered a few hours a week through the AmeriCorps VISTA program run through the Center for Community Engagement. The work I did there, the people I spoke with and the youth I interacted with provided an outlet for a passion for reform and change that I still carry today. I took every opportunity to do research, speak about or write a paper on juvenile justice in Florida and beyond. This passion put me in front of the Showcase judges in 2014. I received a Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) grant, was able to work side by side with Leonard Nance, Ph.D., now professor emeritus of sociology, on my research project, visit libraries and juvenile justice institutions across the state of Florida, and spend endless hours with the research librarians in the duPont-Ball Library on campus. SURE grant recipients are given a monetary award that provides them the ability to purchase items essential to their research, whether that be books, test tubes, specimen samples or travel. SURE recipients also are obligated to present their research at Showcase. And so there I was, in front of family and
friends, professors and staff, presenting everything I had learned on juvenile justice in Central Florida. It was amazing. The day ended with a banquet for presenters and judges, complete with a keynote speaker for the evening. Prizes were awarded and, to my surprise, I received honorable mention for my research presentation. Now as an alumna, I understand that for many disciplines, undergraduate research is an essential component of the university educational experience. Nothing more effectively demonstrates the value of undergraduate research than the student participants themselves, discussing their art, stories and passions. With students involved in so many research opportunities at Stetson, Showcase provides the perfect opportunity for them to share their work with the campus and the outside community. If you havenâ€™t made your way on campus to see the amazing research Stetson students are doing, I highly recommend that you do! To learn more about Showcase, visit Stetson.edu/ showcase.
Creating a Dynamic Environment for
Research “There is nothing soft about the quest for a significant life.”
— Leon Wieseltier, The Atlantic
B y B i l l N o b l i t t erry Farrell, Ph.D., professor of biology at Stetson University, noticed something unusual at a science conference in South Carolina. John Massey, a Stetson sophomore, presented his research there. But that’s not the unusual part. After the student’s presentation, Farrell saw Massey talking with a professor from another university. “That professor was asking for John’s advice about the best software package to use for his own data analysis,” Farrell recalls. “You are a great research mentor when your sophomore students are advising Ph.D.s.”
Emily Mieras, Ph.D., associate professor of history and American studies and chair of the history department, shares insight with students in her office.
Noel Painter, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Music and associate professor of music, meets with student Marcus Jones.
Massey is a student of Alicia Slater, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at Stetson. Slater has an interesting approach to involving her first-year students in her research, an uncommon practice at any university. She paired her first-year students with more experienced ones in her lab. In this way, they learn early on what it means to be a research scientist. They take advantage of this time of wonder. Like many other Stetson professors, Slater shows her students how a research scientist approaches problems and develops solutions. Incidents like these are common at Stetson. They take place across the curriculum and across the university in a multitude of ways. Teacher-scholars at Stetson create a dynamic learning environment for all. By keeping sharp in their areas of expertise and collaborating with students to do so, they inspire and mentor their students into the future. As they combine the enormous responsibilities of being a great teacher while at the same time being exceptional at research and creative activity, Stetson teacher-scholars contribute mightily to the advancement of our society. How Stetson does this is a model for small liberal arts universities, which have come under fire for not offering a practical education for careers. But because of the skills they learn through scholarly activity and research collaboration with faculty, Stetson graduates hit the ground running in whatever profession they choose. What follows are some of the ways this happens. AN INFUSION OF IDEAS Christopher Bell, Ph.D., assistant professor of religious studies, apologizes for taking so long to respond to an email. “I’m in Tanzania at the moment, and the Internet is a bit unstable,” he explains. Like Bell, Stetson professors are all over the world improving their scholarship and research. Bell teaches courses in Asian religions, with a specialization in Tibetan Buddhism. His courses expand the range of human understanding of other cultures and religions for his students. Bell is also one of 60 newly hired professors who infuse new ideas into the fabric of the university. He’s been awarded a Fulbright Institute of International Education Graduate Fellowship for International Study and
Because Stetson is a great laboratory for inter- and multidisciplinary work, I benefit tremendously from my interactions with colleagues and students across the campus. — Daniil Zavlunov, Ph.D. completed extensive multi-country field research in the Chinese cities of Xining, Chengdu and Lhasa, Tibet, as well as in Dharamsala, India. Since his field is so new, Bell is on the cusp of what he investigates, “so there’s a lot of legroom to conduct novel research,” he stresses. “There are innumerable Tibetan texts on fierce protector deities or capricious mountain spirits that haven’t even been examined, let alone translated, so it gives me a thrill to look over manuscripts that almost no one outside of the Tibetan community has explored.” Bell already breaks new analytical ground on Tibetan demonology, but his priority is to “infect my students with an enthusiasm and curiosity not just for the study of religions but with learning overall.” Like others at Stetson, he believes, “It’s important to pull the curtain back and show students just what scholars do and how research results in new knowledge.” Pulling back that curtain also means helping students adapt to a changing economy. The new postindustrial society, according to James H. Johnson Jr., Ph.D., a University of North Carolina professor and demographer, will require a freelance economy. Knowing this, and through his own research into new business models, Gary Oliphant, Ph.D., a Stetson associate professor of business, is teaching students across the university how to be entrepreneurs in their own fields.
“We are developing courses within the schools of Business, Arts and Sciences, and Music that encourage entrepreneurship and creative processes that will help our students navigate this world of change,” he explains. Stetson encourages cross-disciplinary research among faculty in many other ways as well. “Because Stetson is a great laboratory for inter- and multidisciplinary work, I benefit tremendously from my interactions with colleagues and students across the campus,” says Daniil Zavlunov, Ph.D., assistant professor of music, in a joint appointment in Stetson’s School of Music and College of Arts and Sciences. “I am constantly exposed to — and humbled by — the extraordinary variety of artistic and intellectual pursuits in not only the School of Music but also Stetson’s Creative Arts Department and the university’s program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies,” he adds. “My research and teaching both intersect with and complement what my colleagues do.” Zavlunov’s research focuses on Russian composers and Russian music, particularly opera. In fact, Zavlunov is currently writing a book titled Opera in Russia During the Reign of Nicholas I (1825-55). “In my course that covers the entirety of Western art music, I help students develop the skills to think about music historically,” Zavlunov explains. “Although my research is primarily historical in nature, it also frequently crosses into the realm of music theory and analysis. “As a teenager, I wanted to know how music is put together, why it sounds the way it does and what forces shaped it. But once I started to search for answers, I ended up with more questions,” Zavlunov remembers. RESEARCH THAT CHALLENGES The poor video-gaming industry. It’s being blamed for our children’s attention deficit and, most recently, for teenage violence and aggression. In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA), for instance, issued a policy statement called Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media. This statement agreed with broad societal assumptions and charged that exposure to violent media STETSON
Biology Professor Kirsten Work, Ph.D., conducts research with students at Blue Spring, exploring the reproduction and development of catfish.
appears to increase feelings of hostility, thoughts about aggression and suspicions about the motives of others. However, Christopher Ferguson, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Psychology Department at Stetson, and 228 of his colleagues disagree with that statement. “We sent a letter to the APA asking them to refrain from making certain declarative policy statements that are likely to do more 20
damage to the field and mislead the public than be helpful,” Ferguson says. “Research shows there is not consistent evidence to support the APA’s policy statement.” In fact, Ferguson’s own research, enriched by numerous student collaborators, shows that for “some teens with pre-existing mentalhealth issues, playing violent video games seemed to be associated with less bullying.” He and his colleagues published that research
in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Ferguson and Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D., an expert on using media to change behavior, tested 377 children. The results revealed no increase in aggressive or bullying behavior among those who played violent video games. “The impression that a link exists is a classic illusory correlation in which society takes note of the cases that fit a model and ignores those that don’t,” Ferguson adds.
AN ENVIRONMENTAL PRIORITY Two heads bob in the water. What are they up to? It’s easy. They’re looking for invasive catfish that have taken over Blue Spring and are troubling the manatees, those lumbering creatures that look something like a walrus without the tusks. The manatees have returned to Blue Spring since primordial times seeking a peaceful slumber until spring. But there’s no rest with catfish nipping at them. That’s where biology Professors Melissa Gibbs, Ph.D., and Kirsten Work, Ph.D., and their students come in. Through their research, Gibbs and Work actually watched the invasion of the armored catfish occur. Their students get excited about the research, too. “I enjoy watching their ‘aha’ moments,” Gibbs says. “I see them translate science internships into jobs and see them present their graduate thesis work at national meetings.” For example, biology and environmental sciences double major Keneil Codner has worked with Gibbs and Work to research the invasive armored catfish. Every month, Gibbs, Work, Codner and other students snorkel up the spring run and remove as many catfish as they can find. Then they bring them back to the lab, where they explore several questions about the catfish’s reproduction and development. Moreover, Gibbs believes that being an excellent teacher and scholar go hand in hand. “I don’t think you can be an excellent teacher without also being a scholar,” she asserts. “We are trying to teach our students how to be scientists, so we need to be up to date in our field.” “I can’t imagine being a professor without also maintaining a research program,” Gibbs adds. “I love research and love teaching, but I don’t want to just do one without the other. For me, they complement one another.” Gibbs notes that another benefit is that she and other faculty build strong relationships with their students. Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beth Paul, Ph.D., agrees. “Teacher-scholar synergy is heightened at Stetson, given our emphasis on close studentfaculty alliances and collaborative learning approaches,” says Paul. Student closeness with their faculty mentors “provides them with a powerful apprenticeship that helps them learn in transformative ways.”
I love research and love teaching, but I don’t want to just do one without the other. For me, they complement one another. — Melissa Gibbs, Ph.D.
Gibbs also points out why Stetson has begun a major commitment to water studies, a centerpiece of its environmental studies program. “You look at a map of Florida, and there is water all over the place,” she says. “When you look at institutions that study water, it is usually marine-related. We need fresh water for the health of the wildlife and the environment, so having a healthy ecosystem is not only important for a biologist, it is important for everyone.” Research on armored catfish, then, is only one of many Stetson water initiatives. The university recently hired Wendy Anderson, professor and chair of Environmental Science and Studies, who is also helping lead the launch of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience. She knows that unless Florida takes significant steps to conserve, reuse and look for alternative sources, the state’s freshwater supplies will not meet the needs of its ever-growing population. Anderson also knows that every drop of fresh water taken out of the Floridan Aquifer only draws more salt water into it. “Stetson is in a perfect position geographically to provide leadership on Central Florida’s freshwater issues and other pressing local, regional and global environmental matters,” Anderson explains. “Stetson is uniquely situated in DeLand, a city along the middle stretch of the St. Johns River. The university’s faculty and students can easily
access dozens of relevant sites to investigate research questions.” Moreover, the university is developing a Water Resources Education Center at Lake Beresford that will be a site for faculty and student research, a place where K-12 students learn about fresh water and wetlands, and a spot for the general public to learn about Florida’s freshwater systems. Besides freshwater issues, many faculty also are studying climate change, especially as it relates to greenhouse gases. For example, Jason Evans, Ph.D., assistant professor, is working with communities in Tybee Island, Ga., and in Islamorada and Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys to provide fine-grain models of how rising sea levels will change the coastline and impact low-lying communities. Stetson’s efforts come at a time when the world’s waters are at heightened risk, according to a recent New York Times article titled “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction.” The article reports that “a team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.” But through Stetson’s and other scientific efforts, “There is still time to avert catastrophe,” according to the story. GREAT EXPLORATIONS Sometimes students pose the most interesting research questions and then they take off on the investigation trail. For example, Farrell remembers how one of his students, Jolie Sciturro ’99, wanted to begin her own great exploration. She believed research could determine if rattlesnakes will actively defend their young against predators. Farrell was skeptical, but “she was enthusiastic, determined, correct and had a good experimental design.” Farrell and Sciturro later published a journal article based on her senior research project, something all Stetson students must complete before graduation. “Stetson students share their amazement with me,” says Farrell. “They bring fresh eyes, ears and ideas to topics I once thought I understood.” Other questions come up in many other Stetson classes. What would happen if soon-to-be-released prisoners took an entreSTETSON
preneurship class? Would starting their own businesses help them stay out of prison? These are the questions posed by Ranjini L. Thaver, Ph.D., professor of economics and a specialist in the areas of poverty, microcredit and international trade. “My Poverty and Prisoner Rehabilitation class was an attempt to help rehabilitate soon-to-be-released prisoners through education,” explains Thaver. The class ran an entrepreneurship workshop at the Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach. Stetson students personally worked with one to three clients to do further research and help them flesh out business plans and skill sets. The prisoner clients came up with ideas for businesses, based on skills and talents they already possessed — everything from starting a restaurant to opening a dog-training facility. “They were really excited about their ideas,” says Emily Lang ’14, an economics major. “They felt they really had something to start out with. “In Florida, one out of every three released offenders will return to prison within three years,” adds Lang. “The hope is that re-entry programs like this one will help lower that statistic.” Another Stetson professor’s research activity also deals with social justice, one of the university’s key values. She knows something about the topic. “My parents were homeless when they immigrated to the United States, although my father had a scholarship to Howard University,” says Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., associate professor of education. “By educating teachers and educational leaders,” says Shankar-Brown, “I have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children.” She is an internationally recognized education scholar and is frequently invited to share her research at international and national conferences, as well as with members of the U.S. Congress to help establish federal education policy. Specifically, her scholarship centers on improving education for children living in poverty and experiencing homelessness. “As a social justice educator, my scholarship is often the foundation for my teaching,” she stresses. 22
Stetson students share their amazement with me. They bring fresh eyes, ears and ideas to topics I once thought I understood. — Terry Farrell, Ph.D.
Giving students practical experience is part of that scholarly foundation. For example, K.C. Ma, Ph.D., Roland George Chair of Applied Investments and director of the national award-winning George Investments Institute, shows his students the world of high finance with more than $4 million in real money. “It’s my job to simulate as closely as possible real-world situations in the classroom,” Ma explains. “We’re here to make money.” Every analyst in the program is legally liable for that money. When he began the program, student Nathan Cox ’13 exclaimed: “Whoa! We’d better get our act together!” “Applying theory to practical application is what the George Program is all about,” says Charlie Cook ’12, who now works as an asset management analyst in Pennsylvania. At Stetson, theory and practice come together to enrich a student’s educational experience that goes beyond the classroom. Here’s another example: Brown Visiting Teacher-Scholar John Freedman thought that teaching his fish ecology course needed more than a boxed-in classroom. With what one professor calls his “boundless enthusiasm for all things fishy,” Freedman suggested taking Stetson students to a marine lab in the Florida Keys over Spring Break. Each day, they spent 12 hours on the beach and in the water. Each night, they examined books and websites to learn about the mea-
sureless biodiversity they encountered. “A student remarked that he was surprised that a large sea slug he found released a load of ink when disturbed,” Farrell remembers of the trip now. “His observation and ideas about why this might occur set off a frenzy of activity, research and discussion.” The Brown Teacher-Scholar Program, part of the new Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence, brought Freedman, an emerging educator, to Stetson to learn how to be an excellent teacherscholar. Along with the Bruce R. Jacob Fellowship in Stetson’s College of Law, the Brown Teacher-Scholar Program celebrates Stetson’s strong educational model by sharing it with new talent and launching them into successful academic careers around the nation. Everyone gains something: Faculty enjoy new colleagues, students enjoy new mentors and higher education enjoys vibrant new teacher-scholars. A DIFFERENT KIND OF LAB Former Army Maj. Stacey-Rae Simcox and her husband, Mark Matthews, had a difficult time with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) once they left active duty. Both were Judge Advocates General (JAGs), the officers concerned with military justice. “We really messed up filing his claim for benefits with the VA,” explains Simcox, an associate professor of law and now director of the Veterans Advocacy Clinic at the College of Law. “It really exemplifies how difficult and convoluted the VA is. If two JAG attorneys can’t figure out this system, then how is the average Joe going to be able to? And what if that soldier or Marine has post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury as well? That would make it impossible.” At the Veterans Advocacy Clinic, law students learn practical lawyering skills while representing disabled veterans seeking the benefits they earned from the VA. In this way, the clinic functions as a different kind of lab, where there are no beakers, test tubes and scalpels, but where measured analysis still takes place. Furthermore, Stetson’s Veterans Clinic is the first in the nation to partner with a medical school to do interdisciplinary training to help veterans. This partnership allows law
K.C. Ma, Ph.D., Roland George Chair of Applied Investments and director of the George Investments Institute, teaches students using real money — more than $4 million.
students to work closely with medical students at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine to seek diagnoses, evaluation and medical advice on extremely difficult medical issues involving veterans. “Interdisciplinary experiences like this are rare,” Simcox says. The clinic couldn’t be in a better place. Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation, and issues in the VA
have hit the state hard. “Watching students sitting across from a veteran client doing an interview or presenting a theory is amazing,” Simcox says. “You can actually see the student fit the pieces of the puzzle together and really be someone’s lawyer.” The moments spent in research and creative activity at Stetson, then, are truly times of wonder. But the struggle to under-
stand, question and wrestle with ideas is not an easy task since it requires hard work, diligence and a commitment to truth. These ideas, moreover, can sometimes make us uncomfortable, but in that wondrous moment they rattle us to consciousness and we experience deeper learning. As contributing editor for The Atlantic Leon Wieseltier has written: “There is nothing soft about the quest for a significant life.” STETSON
H ow W e D o R esearch
No Bird Is an Island By Wendy Anderson, Ph.D.
My students and I kayak out to near-shore islands, where we collect data and materials to address specific questions about how plants and animals live on the islands.
he literature searches, fieldwork and publishing involved in the research process are important for keeping me up-to-date in my field and thus able to keep my courses fresh and cutting edge. But the most fun part of doing research is the one-on-one time with students in the field and in the preparation for fieldwork, and the data analysis and writing that follow. That active engagement in doing science is the absolutely best way to teach and learn science! When I was a graduate student 25 years ago, I made a commitment to myself to always work in beautiful places. Iâ€™ve kept that commitment! Because I am an ecologist and environmental scientist, my research revolves around conservation of plants and animals on small islands in the San Juan archipelago of Washington state and in the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida. In both of these research settings, my students and I kayak out to near-shore islands, where we collect data and materials to address specific questions about how plants and animals live on the islands. Small islands (less than 5 acres) are particu-
larly interesting because they are heavily influenced by the aquatic system that surrounds them. They often have â€œblurryâ€? physical boundaries because plants and animals may live right along the edges, making it unclear just where the land stops and the water starts. Also, materials and organisms constantly move back and forth across those boundaries, bringing essential resources and colonizers to the plant and animal communities on the islands, and possibly even generating disturbances. For example, in the San Juan Islands, Canada geese eat algae in the water around the islands then return to the islands to rest and nest. The goose feces, nest materials and eggs provide resources for island plants, insects, lizards and rodents, but the trampling and plant plucking by the geese also negatively impact plants. The goose feces also run off during frequent rains into the intertidal zone at the base of the island. These nutrients stimulate more algal growth and subsequently the growth of the populations of animals that eat the algae (e.g., barnacles, snails, limpets) and other animals higher up the food chain (e.g., starfish, sea urchins).
Similarly, on spoil islands along the Intracoastal Waterway, mangroves fringe the intertidal edge of the island, catching sediments and nutrients with their semi-flooded root systems. The mangroves also provide the above-water architecture for spider webs that catch flying insects, and for nests of songbirds, seabirds and waterfowl. Some of these birds feed directly on or nearby the island, and others feed farther afield and return to the island just to rest and nest (and deposit their guano). Understanding the complex ecological structures and processes of these small islands is essential for preserving current biodiversity and ensuring safe habitats and refuges for important species as coastal systems undergo future changes such as sea-level rise or development pressures. Wendy Anderson, Ph.D., studies various physical and biological movements of materials across ecosystem boundaries, particularly land-water interfaces. Since 1995, she has focused her research questions on marine impacts on terrestrial soils, plants and animals on islands.
Providing Opportunity for Faculty and Students Christopher J. Ferguson, Ph.D. by
ike many universities nationwide,
Stetson is placing increased value on research and involving undergraduates in research mentorship opportunities. But this can place new demands on faculty members. Teaching loads aren’t reduced. Our technological infrastructure may be less than big research universities. And rebooting our focus on research may necessitate cultural changes in priorities across faculty and administration. But it can be done, and Stetson is becoming a model for how to do it well. In the psychology department, we take great pride in the opportunities for students to be involved in research. Indeed, we believe that it is one of the things that sets our department apart from comparably sized universities. Dozens of our students have attended professional conferences to present their work in recent years. Increasingly, students are also co-authoring in peer-reviewed journals. Several have even first authored student-led research in professional journals. These research experiences present students with critical experience that will translate to marketability when seeking a job and, of course, give them a leg up during graduate-school applications. The close working relationship between Stetson faculty and students presents a unique opportunity for students to work in faculty labs. Certainly there are opportunities at big research universities as well, but such opportunities are destined for very few. At a university like Stetson, we have countless opportunities to bring a greater proportion of our students into our labs and work with them directly.
Faculty/student collaborations are a natural means of increasing overall productivity by gearing talented students toward working on publishable research.
At a liberal arts university, we also have freedom to pursue topics that will be valuable and of interest to our students. This may differ from faculty at large research universities, who may need to focus their research on the interests of grant-giving agencies. Ultimately, the greatest piece of advice I can give for research success: Be involved in a topic that is intrinsically exciting. Finding a connection with a worthwhile topic will naturally propel faculty productivity and draw students into that funnel of success as well. Faculty/student collaborations are a natural means of increasing overall productivity by gearing talented students toward working on publishable research. Such activities can have far-reaching impact. For example, last year Stetson’s psychotechnology lab, part of the Psychology Department, organized a Consortium of Scholars letter to the American Psychological Association (APA). Signed by 238 media scholars, criminologists and psychologists around the world, this letter asked the APA to retire its outdated policy statements on video games and other media. The Consortium letter received international media attention this year in outlets such as Newsweek, CNN and the BBC, drawing attention to controversies in video game research.
The greatest challenge, of course, is time. Mentoring students in research requires time. Supervising more students inevitably translates into more work, competing with the myriad other responsibilities of a faculty member. Seeing students through successful research projects requires a commitment and prioritization of research. Time must be set aside — and protected — for faculty/student collaborations in research, and commitment must be made at both the individual and institutional levels to prioritize this research. For me, my proudest moments are seeing my students succeed in their research endeavors. This past year, one of my students, Amanda Roy, worked supremely hard at her senior research examining the impact of competitive versus cooperative video game play on stress reduction. Once it was completed, she presented her work at the APA conference, where she met some of the leading scholars in the field. Her work was subsequently accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Computers in Human Behavior. It is moments such as this of which we can be most proud. Christopher J. Ferguson, Ph.D., is associate professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Stetson. His major research focus is on violence in media/video gaming. STETSON
H ow W e D o R esearch
Ethics From the Ground Up By Melinda C. Hall, Ph.D.
I re-engage the material through my students’ eyes, without whom my work would stagnate. In this way, too, my research begins from the ground up, from the classroom to publication.
y research in bioethics pays
special attention to issues affecting women and people with disabilities. My work typically involves resolving potential conflicts or collisions between these two groups. I reread these as opportunities for collaboration. I have published on the conflict between feminism and disability rights activism with regard to selective abortion after prenatal testing. Some feminists believe concerns from disability activists over selective abortion threaten freedom and autonomy for women in reproductive choice. But disability activists see selective abortion as an injustice. I show that prenatal testing and selective abortion can hurt women and people with disabilities in equal measure. When women are given misleading information, it interrupts choice and can lead to the refusal to bring a disabled person into the world. Successful activism against harm for women and people with disabilities requires collaboration. Along these lines, it is helpful to untangle
how risk and disability are illicitly linked together, and uncover that women are asked to be “managers” of both. This is a double-sided oppression that requires a double-pronged analysis of risk and how humans deal with it. Lately, my research regarding risk has expanded. I am interested in reproductive decisions in the face of catastrophes like climate change, Ebola and Zika. I notice that, in response to these and similar disasters, bioethicists and public health officials make policy proposals that exploit fears of disability and racial bias and would create new inequality. For instance, women in Central America were recently asked to refrain from having children for fear of microcephaly, which is believed to be linked to the Zika virus. But this link is far from proven. Further, microcephaly is an under-defined condition that has a variety of effects (ranging in severity), and women asked to wait to reproduce are often the same women for whom contraception is an impossibility.
I engage applied ethics using a bottom-up, historical and contextualized approach. This means tracking emerging technologies and the changing material world. I deliberately avoid the top-down application of rational choice models and pure concepts like autonomy. Instead, I borrow experiential concepts like normalization, “undecidability” and historicity from French philosophers Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. These philosophers and their concepts also are taught in my classroom. I re-engage the material through my students’ eyes, without whom my work would stagnate. In this way, too, my research begins from the ground up, from the classroom to publication. Melinda C. Hall, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of philosophy at Stetson University. Her research interests include the intersection of contemporary bioethics and disability studies, the ethics of human enhancement and the social and cultural construction of disability.
Plants: 6, Cancer: 0 B y R o s ly n C row d e r , P h . D .
Currently my lab studies lung cancer and leukemia responses to the plant-based substances, but we hope to expand to other cancer types in the future like colon and breast cancer.
started my tenure-track position at Stetson in fall 2013 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn State Cancer Institute. My postdoctoral research entailed examining the molecular differences between human malignant cells and noncancerous normal cells to attempt to exploit these changes to cause selective cell death in cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. My research specialties are cell signaling and cell death pathways, so when my first senior research student, Princess Megwa-Poe, expressed interest in studying whether human lung-cancer cells died after being treated with an extract isolated from the Psoralea corylifolia plant commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine, it was a natural fit. The data Princess obtained from her senior research project suggests the plant extract causes regulated lung-cancer cell death in a dose-dependent aftertreatment. These exciting results are currently being prepared
in a manuscript that will be submitted for peer review. Students who joined the lab after Princess continued the research emphasis of examining anti-cancer properties of naturally occurring plant-based substances. Current students in the lab study cell cycle arrest, cell death and other anti-cancer properties caused by plant-based substances found in soybeans, green tea and flaxseed. Students perform all of their experiments using modern laboratory equipment to measure regulated cell death, cell growth, enzymatic activity and intracellular protein expression. All plant-based substances tested so far are able to induce cell death in human cancer cells. My students are currently defining the mechanisms connected with the observed cell death. Students are also testing whether the plant-based substances are toxic to human normal cells to investigate if the plant-based substances cause selective cancer cell death. Currently my lab studies lung cancer and leukemia responses to the plant-based
substances, but we hope to expand to other cancer types in the future like colon and breast cancer. To date, I have mentored 10 senior research students and several underclassmen. My research students have presented their findings at local, regional and national conferences, including the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC), the Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meetings. Additionally, I teach an upper-level cancer biology course every other academic year. In this course, students design their own lab research projects to investigate experimental therapeutic treatment doses and treatment conditions previously uncharacterized. Roslyn Crowder, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of biology and a molecular cell biologist with expertise in death receptor-mediated cell death. STETSON
Is it possible for faculty to excel in both?
here may not be greasepaint or wild animals, but sometimes university faculty may wonder whether they have mistakenly chosen life under the Big Top: juggling while trying to keep their balance on a high wire. That’s a little bit how it feels to try to meet the twin demands of the study and the classroom, research and teaching. And increasingly there is a third element to add to the apparently conflicting mix: service. Is it really possible to do it all, to excel in each sphere? Can you keep all the balls in the air? Or does something simply have to give?
The question is “spot on,” according to one Stetson professor asked about the workplace tension — who illustratively went on to decline an interview request because, the professor explained, the workload meant there was no spare time to talk for several weeks. For Doug McKee, Ph.D., associate chair and senior economics lecturer at Yale University, the answer is clear. “It’s almost impossible for a junior professor to be a great teacher and a great researcher,” wrote McKee in a blog post noting the importance of publishing in hiring, promotion and tenure. “One has to give, and that’s teaching.” In a follow-up email to Stetson University Magazine, McKee observed “most faculty understand that teaching matters little in the hiring and promotion process at pretty much any research-focused university.” He may have been unusually candid about things, but McKee’s is by no means a minority opinion. “Many faculty members at research universities report that they have a tough time getting higher-ups’ attention for anything but research and securing grant money, making teaching a decidedly lower priority,” Inside Higher Ed noted in an August 2015 article. Historically, this “publish or perish” pressure, as it is widely known, has been greater at major research universities. But times are changing. “For more and more faculty, there is a creeping increase towards more and more
scholarship and publication, because that is where competition is settled,” said Craig Vasey, Ph.D., chair of the committee on teaching, research and publication for the American Association of University Professors. “The people who publish more do get rewarded for that. The people who teach better don’t generally get rewarded for that because that’s part of your job, to teach and to teach well.”
a lot of reward for great research but not as much for great teaching” at the nation’s top-tier research universities. His assertion: “Our teaching should be better.” His comments were made in a video at the organization’s website that highlighted how the research-teaching conflict doesn’t just affect faculty but students: It noted that 90 percent of students who switched out of science fields
This philosophy, bringing research and teaching together as complementary rather than competing activities, is part of the AAU effort and one of the central ways in which Stetson seeks to minimize that research-teaching tension. The research-teaching tension is not a new topic of conversation — nearly 20 years have passed since publication of the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University’s influential Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities, which advocated a major overhaul of existing practices to improve teaching standards affected by the lean toward research. More recently, Association of American Universities (AAU) President Hunter R. Rawlings acknowledged that “there has been
cited poor teaching as a major concern. The video introduces the association’s 2011 STEM initiative, encouraging creative new teaching methods and approaches in STEM classes. The pilot projects at eight universities across the country don’t just focus on ways individual faculty can improve their teaching, but how to encourage institutions to raise the level of commitment to teaching overall. Part of that encompasses studying how involving undergraduate students in research benefits students and faculty alike. STETSON
Biology Professor Terry Farrell, Ph.D.
MARRYING TWIN DEMANDS “Some faculty think they move their scholarship ahead more with undergraduate co-researchers because they often bring different and diverse insights into the problem they are focused on or trying to resolve,” said Beth Ambos, Ph.D., executive officer at the Council on Undergraduate Research. This philosophy, bringing research and teaching together as complementary rather than competing activities, is part of the AAU effort and one of the central ways in which Stetson seeks to minimize that researchteaching tension. “We have to understand how to marry those two important components of our role, in order for what appears to be a tension to disappear,” commented Rosalie Richards, Ph.D., associate provost for Faculty Development and professor of chemistry and education. Richards also oversees Stetson’s Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. Bringing research, teaching and even service together is “almost like taking a thread from wool and weaving these things together in ways that reduce the tension of having 30
these three strands that are running parallel to each other, and trying to steal from Mary to pay Paul,” Richards said. Such has been the case for Terry Farrell, Ph.D., professor of biology, who has twice been honored for outstanding teaching at Stetson. By embracing the teacher-scholar identity championed at the school, “you are saying someone is both, simultaneously,” he commented. “I think a lot of us really want to look at it that way, that our scholarship is not distinct from our teaching, and it is all kind of wrapped into one,” Farrell said. “When you generate situations in which the research endeavor and the teaching are combined, all of a sudden you don’t have the tension between the two; they are actually kind of synergistic activities. Each furthers the other.” That is not necessarily easy, though. Involving students in research may be easier in some areas and disciplines than others, Farrell recognized. For instance, the study may require “high levels of mathematical skills or other deeply specialized knowledge, language skills that a typical undergraduate couldn’t have.” Michael Denner, Ph.D., underscored that
reality. “I don’t know any undergraduate in the United States who could do what I do and have to do for my research,” said the professor and director of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, who is also director of the University Honors Program and editor of the Tolstoy Studies Journal. Combing through old archives in search of relevant articles and references requires language and history skills “no student could possibly be expected to have.” For his part, Denner feels the expectation that students take part in research is “often naive.” Denner also observed that, though they may be good teachers, many faculty enter academia primarily to do research. “We didn’t get into the game to teach. We like to, many of us are very good teachers, but that’s not why I got in,” he commented. “I wanted to solve big problems. I love to talk with other people about things that nobody else cares about. That’s what I wanted to do and that’s what I was trained to do and that’s what I continue to do, but it is vastly removed from what I do in the classroom.” The emphasis on research over teaching may be true at Yale and similar schools, observed Kirsten Work, Ph.D., Stetson professor of biology, “but if anything we probably have the opposite problem: that our research suffers because we spend a lot of time teaching.” In part, she went on, that’s just the nature of a liberal arts school: “If somebody doesn’t really like being in the classroom, they are probably not going to come to (one).” CHANGING TIMES For some who spoke with Stetson University Magazine about the issue, only having to deal with the twin demands of teaching and research would be almost a breeze. But, as Vasey underscored, there have been creeping demands for more service that further squeezes faculty time. They come on top of cultural and technological changes that have also added to the workload. Time was when faculty “were only available by telephone calls and by walking into their offices,” noted Vasey, professor of
philosophy and chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. “Now it is quite different. You go home and still get emails all night long. In some ways, the workload for faculty has actually increased because they don’t get away from their jobs anymore like they used to when they left campus.” And it’s not just about student access, added Richards, but about their needs. “The diversity of our student body has changed,” she said, adding another level to what is “much more demand on our time.” “It can be really hard to get everything done, to do a good job,” said Work. Being tugged “in a million different directions” can make it difficult to find the focused time needed to do research. “You need blocks of time; you can’t just sit down for five minutes and get much done,” she said. “You might need two or three hours, and it can be really hard to find that during the semester. Even if you set it aside, you might get stopped three times in that hour by students coming to see you.” Preparing for publication can require “long blocks of time, hours or days, where we can just kind of hole up, close the door and just crank through this stuff,” agreed Wendy Anderson, Ph.D., professor and chair of Environmental Science and Studies. “Sometimes the way our days are broken up with going to class and going to meetings and holding office hours or advising students and all those other very important and fun parts
When you generate situations in which the research endeavor and the teaching are combined, all of a sudden you don’t have the tension between the two; they are actually kind of synergistic activities. Each furthers the other. — Terry Farrell, Ph.D.
We have to understand how to marry those two important components of our role [research and teaching], in order for what appears to be a tension to disappear. — Rosalie Richards, Ph.D.
of our job, it is hard to actually carve out a big chunk of time.” For Richards time is the core issue, but not just in terms of better time management. It’s not simply a question of better organizing one’s day, but reframing the way you approach it, with that teacher-scholar mindset. As part of fostering that sort of culture among faculty, Stetson’s professional development committee has been working on “a model for what we consider ourselves” over the couple of years, Richards explained, looking at “how do we define ourselves in fostering lifelong learning by us and by our students. It’s a very different model to what you would expect at a research-intense institution. We see the integration of teaching and research as very important to the work that we do.” Those discussions help illustrate that just as the conversation about research-teaching tensions is not new nationally, it is not new at Stetson. More evidence is to be found in the 2012 CUR report Faculty Support and Undergraduate Research: Innovations in Faculty Role Definition, Workload, and Reward, jointly edited by Stetson’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beth Paul, Ph.D., and Nancy H. Hensel, Ph.D. The report is aimed at helping schools integrate undergraduate student research and teaching. Anderson has embraced that approach at Stetson. “I always have students either leading the projects or fully engaged in really integral parts of the project, and so that becomes teaching,” she said. “It might be research, and maybe it’s leading to publication or presentation at conferences, but I am developing as a scholar, they are developing as scholars and we are all moving forward even though it isn’t like traditional classroom teaching with an audience,” she added. “I find that kind of blurry line between teaching and research very helpful.”
Professor Michael Denner, Ph.D., director of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and director of the University Honors Program.
It’s not necessarily an easy fix, however. In-field research that involves students in different places takes more time to manage, naturally. One answer is to get students to work together on projects, but “this gets a little tricky,” Work acknowledged, “because you don’t want your students doing the same project so they each do half of it. If they can do complementary projects, it streamlines things a little bit so they are collecting data together but asking different questions in that data.” “Most people who are good researchers are just really excited about what they are doing research on,” said Farrell, who sometimes adjusts the nature of his research to be able to better involve students. “It’s that passion and excitement for the subject that helps make them such a good researcher, and to a large degree that’s exactly what makes a good teacher.” Work said she and other faculty are at Stetson because they value the emphasis put on teaching. “We don’t just want to have graduate students teaching all of our classes.” But, she admitted, “I am probably not as productive as I would have been had I been at a big state school where I did have graduate students teaching my labs, and I did have graduate students to whom I could say, ‘Just go do this.’” Prior to coming to Stetson, Anderson had experience at schools that put an emphasis on the student research experience. “The difference at Stetson is that they are so serious about this as a key component to student learning that they actually give us the time and the resources to work with students and have that one-on-one or small-group engagement with them that helps them build their skills as a scientist,” she said. Despite the best efforts to harmonize the twin demands of teaching and research, Work believes there will always be some measure of inherent tension between the two. “To some degree, it is something you have got to live with,” she said. “It is always going to be an issue, and people resolve it in different ways; (they) make their peace with it in different ways. One way is to just streamline and be more efficient. I have advocated that to new folks,” she paused to chuckle, “even though I can’t.”
We didn’t get into the game to teach. We like to, many of us are very good teachers, but that’s not why I got in. I wanted to solve big problems. — Michael Denner, Ph.D. STETSON
Bitter melon is among the plants brightening the prospects of plant-based cancer cures.
Mysterious & Exciting
Students explore the plant kingdom looking for cures to cancer. B 34
he compelling mystery is the hook. Can plant-based products be a natural, selective way to kill cancer cells while leaving the normal cells alone? Would these substances be viable alternatives to today’s chemotherapy and radiation, which, if responsive, kill all cells? Different cultures around the world have long used various foods, plants and their extracts to try to cure disease. But to find supportive evidence that food, plants and their extracts have anti-cancer properties is something new that researchers have just begun to study. Enter Roslyn Crowder, Ph.D., Stetson University assistant professor of biology. She inspires her undergraduate students to become scientists by involving them in her cancer research. Crowder is using crowdfunding to raise money for the students’ research. Her crowdfunding effort took less than a day to reach a minimum funding goal of $1,250. But research costs will far exceed $1,250, so Crowder asks prospective donors to donate as generously as possible to support this exciting research. The research project began at Stetson after student Princess Megwa-Poe approached Crowder about investigating whether components of Chinese herbal medicines might kill lung-cancer cells. Crowder said she welcomed Megwa-Poe’s idea because it expanded upon an interest she acquired earlier as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn State Cancer Institute.
Today, Crowder has five students in the lab, all of whom are working on different plantbased compounds that might fight cancer. “What is exciting is that all of my current students have found some type of cancer cell death with the substances they are investigating,” Crowder says. But that’s only half the investigation. Another crucial step is to perform experiments with those same natural substances, at the same doses, on nonmalignant human cells to see if they negatively affect or kill the cells. And with any scientific investigation, other questions pop up. • How much would someone need to ingest for the substance to kill certain cancer cells? • Would people be able to get this much of the plant-based product with their normal diet? • What other side effects may arise with the treatment?
According to Crowder, if the substance amount people need to ingest for cancer treatment far exceeds the quantity they can realistically add to their diets, then it would be difficult to use that plant-based substance as a successful cancer treatment. Jordan Cockfield, a senior, is examining how natural chemicals derived from flaxseeds might fight lung-cancer cells. She read the scientific literature about cancer, of course, but the hands-on element sparked her imagination. “I’ve learned a clear distinction from reading about the scientific method and actually executing an experiment,” Cockfield notes. “From working in Dr. Crowder’s lab, I have learned that a scientist must have dedication and patience, along with passion and a sense of humor. I have learned to be a scientist.” Cockfield wants to be a cancer research scientist, and with Crowder’s mentorship has learned how scientists use well-designed experiments and statistical analysis to answer important scientific questions. In addition, she has learned this type of work takes long hours that may not produce favorable results. It’s all just part of the scientific method. Currently in the Crowder laboratory at Stetson, three students (Princess Megwa-Poe, Jordan Cockfield and Kate Ellis) work on lung-cancer research while three students (Lauryn Mohler, Sheree Carter and Ernest Phillips) work on leukemia research. So it’s back to the lab for Crowder and her students. Another mystery, another hook. Find more about Crowder’s work with students on this research on page 27. STETSON
Raising the Bar
Stetson law student Alexander Howell (center), originally from Jamaica, balances his law studies and related research with a family life at home that includes wife Teiharhah and toddler Nathan.
hen people think of university research projects, they tend to
envision physics or biology professors in lab coats working with test tubes, Petri dishes and Bunsen burners. The reality, however, suggests a broader scope of research of which most casual observers are not aware. At Stetson University College of Law dedicated professors, distinguished scholars and willing collaborators are conducting groundbreaking and insightful legal research.
on Research Innovative legal research is opening eyes and broadening horizons. B
Eyes Reveal Keys to Persuasive Writing Catherine Cameron, professor of legal skills, who co-wrote the book The Science Behind the Art of Legal Writing, is currently heading up a research project in which she is using state-of-the-art eye tracking software to detect if there are any differences in how law students read legal opinions over the course of their education. Her goal is to collect enough data to determine whether becoming more legal-savvy leads to a better understanding of what parts of legal documents are more critical than others. The eye-tracking software identifies where a student’s eyes move as he or she reads through a legal opinion. “By gathering this information, we hope to better understand how successful readers of law actually do it,” explains Cameron. “If we can discover trends in reading law documents, we can learn what to present and how to present it in order to become more persuasive legal writers.” “Being able to frame thoughts successfully in legal documents represents an important skill set for an attorney,” says third-year Stetson law student and research assistant Giovanni Giarratana. “I believe Professor Cameron’s research will establish this area of study as worthwhile of further inquiry. She’s combining empirical research and the law, which makes this both unique and exciting.” “By engaging in these research projects, it benefits both students and professors,” says Cameron. “Anytime you increase your understanding of how something works, whether it’s the legal process as a whole or how the mind processes legal documents and language, you automatically become better at your craft.”
Phillip Kasaija, Ph.D., Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, and Professor Ann Piccard discuss their research at the College of Law.
Human Rights Expertise From Afar Students like Giarratana are not only benefiting from this research, but in the case of Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Phillip Kasaija, Ph.D., they are also being exposed to a worldrenowned expert on conflicts in Africa and international human rights law who brings with him years of experience. Kasaija is an associate professor of political science at Makerere University in Uganda and came to Stetson as part of a collaboration with the University of South Florida and the Florida Holocaust Museum. His expertise on genocide and post-genocide reconstruction and reparations has proved invaluable to the Stetson law community. “Experts on conflicts in Africa and international human rights law are hard to find,” says Ann Piccard, J.D., professor of legal skills at Stetson, who has been working with Kasaija since he arrived in January. “Having an expert of his stature here, teaching and lecturing our students, represents both a great honor and a coup for us.” During his residence at Stetson, Kasaija is researching and writing about the international law implications of the use of drones by U.N. peacekeeping forces. He also is sharing his experiences and expertise through his teaching and guest lectures. “Dr. Kasaija was personally involved in overseeing due process in the post-genocide reconstruction in Rwanda,” says Piccard. “This provides a priceless opportunity for our students to hear firsthand accounts from an African academic whose research is personal as well as professional.” STETSON
e’re creating more knowledgeable graduates by raising the bar when it comes to research. It makes all of us better, and that’s why we’re here. — Professor Ann Piccard, J.D.
Meeting the Need for Forensic Science
Professor Jason Palmer, coordinator of legal research and writing at Stetson University College of Law, discusses the qualities of good legal writing.
Writing to Win One empirical study that continues to advance the legal profession focuses on how defensive language shapes U.S. Supreme Court opinions. Professors Lance Long (Stetson) and William Christensen (Brigham Young University) have shown that Supreme Court justices write in a more argumentative and defensive language when they are writing dissenting opinions. These professors’ unique theory of “argumentative threat” was validated by their statistical analysis and further validated by a follow-up study described in a forthcoming Washington University Law Review article. “The impetus for this research was a previous study I had done showing that attorneys writing ‘losing’ briefs (briefs in an appeal where they ultimately lost the appeal) wrote in a different style than ‘winning’ briefs,” says Long, professor of law at Stetson. “I wanted to see if this pattern held in an opinion where judges or justices knew they would lose, which is when they are writing a dissenting opinion.” Students were invaluable in this process, as research assistants gathered and analyzed hundreds of Supreme Court opinions to provide the raw data for the study. They also researched all other similar studies that had been previously performed and researched a significant amount of background information for the article. “This type of research is important for students because it involves the painstaking detail that’s required in most complex litigation and in all scholarly writing,” adds Long. “It’s a great accomplishment to list on a resumé. We listed and thanked the student research assistants by name in the article, which also gives them great exposure.” 38
Professor Carol Henderson recently returned from the European Academy of Forensic Science meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, where she presented on the topic of legal and judicial education in forensic science. As a result of her research efforts, the College of Law was recently awarded a $400,000 grant to improve the quality and effectiveness of representation in death-penalty cases through training both prosecutors and defense counsel in forensic science. Henderson directs the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law (NCSTL) as the only online resource in the world that concentrates on the nexus of those topics. The database provides citation information and full text links to documents, literature and websites of more than 32 subjects related to forensic sciences and expert testimony. Since 2005, more than 1.2 million users have reaped the benefits of information contained in the articles, books, cases, legislation and other relevant documents and multimedia assembled by NCSTL researchers. “Today, forensic science plays a critical role in the courtroom, especially in death-penalty cases where lives are on the line,” says Henderson. “It’s imperative that prosecutors and defense counsel meet their forensic-science information needs when developing their strategy.” The type of information that can be garnered through a resource like NCSTL is invaluable to students as well, according to Henderson. “This is about education and training at all levels,” she concludes. “If students understand the need to be educated in forensic science, they will be prepared when scientific evidence plays a role in their cases. Hopefully, this research will enlighten law professionals and give them the impetus to learn more about forensic science, which plays a crucial role in litigation today.”
Law student Cherilyn Hansen (center) talks with Professor Judith Scully, co-director of Stetson’s Social Justice Advocacy Concentration program. Hansen recently received an Equal Justice Works fellowship to provide free legal services after she graduates to military veterans.
Using Tradition to Interpret the Constitution Professor Louis Virelli’s research argues that the legislative recusal standards for U.S. Supreme Court justices are unconstitutional because they improperly interfere with the justices’ constitutional power to decide cases. Virelli also plans to use his research to ask how the Supreme Court uses the concept of tradition to interpret various provisions of the Constitution. His research is designed to help better understand how the Supreme Court engages in constitutional interpretation, its most fundamental function. “I became interested in the issue at a conference and started researching the history and rationale of these standards for the justices,” explains Virelli. “It’s basically a legal argument relying on principles of constitutional law to cast new light on how we view the recusal practices of the Supreme Court.” Virelli credits three research assistants with providing invaluable assistance with editing his articles and subsequent book manuscript. “This research offers an introduction into complicated questions about the structure of government and the separation of powers in a context (ethics and recusal) that is relatively straightforward and intuitive for them,” says Virelli, who believes crafting legal arguments such as these enhances the learning experience for Stetson law students.
Benefiting Veterans Through Partnership Stacey-Rae Simcox, professor of law at Stetson, is collaborating with Isis Marrero, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine, in a unique partnership to train law and medical students in an interdisciplinary environment, while helping disabled military veterans receive earned benefits. The study has allowed several veterans to be seen by different medical professionals in departments across USF to receive evaluation and diagnosis of disabling conditions. Law students then piece together the medical evidence and legal arguments necessary to establish a veteran’s eligibility for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “The psychiatrists and neurologists at USF surveyed the research available from the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and private institutions on brain trauma, both in general and in military members, including a manifestation of symptomatology and its potential co-morbidity with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” explains Simcox. “I surveyed the Department of Defense’s response to traumatic brain injury on the battlefield and its evolution since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, and the legal issues and concerns that face military members suffering from mild traumatic brain injury that is left undiagnosed and untreated.” As a result of the study, Simcox, Marrero and USF Assistant Professor Michelle Mattingly have published an article in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review concerning the causes and symptoms of traumatic brain injury in veterans on the battlefield and the potential legal and medical effects of this condition if left undiagnosed and untreated. “This type of research helps students understand the importance of explaining to policymakers the issues that face veterans of these current conflicts who are suffering from traumatic brain injury,” says Simcox, who recognized the valuable contributions students made with engaging and researching veterans’ legal issues for this study. “It also helps them understand how physical injury can impact a client’s judgment and understanding, and it helps both law and medical students learn that treating their clients’ legal issues and their patients’ medical issues cannot happen in a silo.” As a leader in legal research, the College of Law’s goal for students and faculty is to put the data gathered to good use. In the end, the use of empirical research to further the understanding of legal issues and practices benefits everyone, from students to professors to practicing law professionals. “We’re creating more knowledgeable graduates by raising the bar when it comes to research,” says Piccard. “It makes all of us better, and that’s why we’re here.” STETSON
Listening to the Universe B
September, Earth received a billion-year-old message from the universe, and Sarah Caudill, Ph.D., ’06 was there to receive it. A native of Volusia County, Caudill was a science geek at a very early age. “I was a pretty studious little kid,” she remembered. “I loved to go to the library to check out science books and National Geographic documentaries.” Her love of science led her to take “as many advancedplacement science classes as I could” at New Smyrna Beach High School. Caudill’s studious nature earned her a scholarship to Stetson, “a great place to get started on a research path,” she said. “Right away I got individualized attention,” said Caudill, “especially from Dr. Kevin Riggs in the physics department, who used to spend hours and hours helping me prepare for the physics GRE test to get into graduate school, and from Dr. Tandy Grubbs, who set me up with a research project early on.” Caudill was attending Stetson when she first became involved with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). She had the opportunity to do research with LIGO early on through Stetson’s summer undergraduate research fellowship. In 2005, Caudill went to California Institute of Technology (Caltech), ast
Sarah Caudill standing next to the computer cluster she uses to do data analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The collision of two black holes — a tremendously powerful event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO — is seen in this still from a computer simulation.
one of the labs that runs LIGO, and then continued her research at Stetson through her senior year. “Now, I’m working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee,” said Caudill, “analyzing data on the front lines of LIGO research and waiting for the universe to send us gravitational wave signals.” For those of us not completely up to speed on what gravitational waves are, Caudill is happy to explain. “Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of the universe, which we call spacetime,” Caudill said. “Much like when you throw a pebble into a pond it causes ripples to spread out on the surface of the water, an explosion or collision in our universe will cause ripples in space-time. In fact, any motion that is not perfectly symmetrical will cause these ripples, so we could generate them just by flailing our arms. But the amplitude of the gravitational waves we could make is much too low to detect. It takes very violent collisions of very massive objects moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light to cause large enough ripples to detect.” Which brings us back to Sept. 14, 2015. LIGO had been trying to detect gravitational waves for a long time, but it wasn’t until more sensitive detectors came online in September that the observatory had the technology it needed. “It was almost right away, within a few days of the advanced detectors turning on,” said Caudill. “It came from the collision of two Photo
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Previously, we only used light to observe things in the universe, but a lot of things don’t emit light, like black holes, but they do emit gravitational waves, so when we detect these waves we can see previously unseen things in the universe. — Sarah Caudill, Ph.D. black holes, one about 29 times the mass of our sun and the other about 36 times the mass of our sun. And it took about 1.3 billion years for that signal to travel across the universe and reach us here on Earth.” According to Caudill, this was the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the strong confirmation of Albert Einstein’s final prediction from his theory of general relativity. “But more importantly, it marks a new era in physics, astronomy and astrophysics,” Caudill explained. “LIGO will make many, many more detections opening up a new way to observe, as Kip Thorne said, the ‘warped’ side of the universe. Previously, we only used light to observe things in the universe, but a lot of things don’t emit light, like black holes, but they do emit gravitational waves, so when we detect these waves we can see previously unseen things in the universe.” “It adds greatly to our understanding of the nature of space and time,” Caudill continued. “It allows us to look at objects
SXS ( S i m u l a t i n g e X t r e m e S pac e t i m e s ) P ro j e c t
that we couldn’t see with light. A lot of people like to make the analogy that previously, with light, we used our eyes to observe the universe, but gravitational waves are more like sound, so in a way we are opening up our ears to hear what the universe has to tell us.” Now that a signal has been received, what are the next steps for LIGO and Caudill? “We are currently adding enhancements to the LIGO detectors and updating the code used to analyze the data,” said Caudill. “In late summer, the detectors will begin collecting data again and, hopefully, we will have more gravitational wave detections of many different types of astrophysical events such as the collisions of neutron stars and black holes, the explosions of stars and perhaps the gravitational-wave signature from the Big Bang. I will be looking to expand my research and potentially move on to start my own research group at a university.” And for all of us here on Earth, that is truly significant. STETSON
Inspiring Greatness B
For William Newsome, Ph.D., Stetson was the place that taught him to think critically and sparked his interest in brain study.
William Newsome, Ph.D., first started his career at Stetson, he never guessed that the president of the United States would ask him to lead a major medical-research project. But that’s exactly what happened when President Barack Obama tapped him to become the co-chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Before Newsome ’74 dared to be significant he did not have a lot of confidence in himself. Newsome explained that once he began interacting with Stetson’s faculty and students, he was inspired to achieve greatness. “I came from a small high school in a small Florida town, and I had no particular reason to believe that I could compete successfully with the best students at Stetson, much less at the great research universities of the world,” Newsome said. “At Stetson, I learned how to think critically, how to express 42
my thinking in quantitative terms and in writing, and I became convinced that I had enough on the ball to at least advance to the next level, a major Ph.D. program, to see how I stacked up there.” When Newsome was recognized for his capabilities to contribute to the BRAIN Initiative, he was teaching neurobiology at Stanford. Now he still balances being a professor there and a leading neurobiological researcher for the president. Newsome credits his passion for the brain to his liberal arts education at Stetson. “My interest in the brain developed during my years at Stetson,” he says. “I developed the conviction that all of our mental and emotional lives — from doing science, to composing music, to making moral and political judgments — derive from the activity of a single organ, the brain. To really understand human behavior in all of its complexity requires understanding the brain and how it accomplishes diverse tasks. Neurobiology thus emerged for me as the most important and
fun thing I could study for the rest of my life!” The BRAIN Initiative is perhaps the most prestigious project U.S. scientists have engaged in to date. If successful, the research that Newsome is doing will yield a new dynamic picture of the brain that will revolutionize how we treat, cure and even prevent various brain disorders by exploring how the brain processes, stores and retrieves information. “The BRAIN Initiative is an attempt to catalyze major advances in brain research by investing a relatively modest amount of federal money in strategic new technologies and conceptual approaches to understanding the brain,” Newsome said. “New technologies invented in the past 10 years are permitting us to do experiments and make new measurements that previous generations could only dream about.” “Exploiting the new opportunities requires collaboration among researchers from many disciplines — from physics, chemistry and engineering, to molecular biology, neuroscience and psychology. It is an ‘all hands on deck’ effort,” he elaborated. “Tool-makers must work in close collaboration with toolusers, and theorists must work in close collaboration with experimentalists. Together, a large-scale interdisciplinary effort of this sort can completely remake our understanding of the brain over the next couple of decades, thereby creating fundamentally new opportunities for advances in artificial intelligence and in treating devastating neurological and psychiatric diseases. The BRAIN Initiative, if funded generously by Congress, will enable these goals to be achieved.” Newsome explained that he and his colleagues have several high-priority research tasks necessary to complete this arduous mission. First, the brain’s network must be understood, so Newsome and his team are working to map the structure and components of the brain’s circuits. With this map,
they will be able to better understand what the brain is composed of at the molecular, cellular and structural levels and see how these properties change as we age or develop brain disorders. Next, the team will record neuron activity across time and space. Newsome said that understanding the electrical and chemical activity of neurons is crucial to the BRAIN Initiative. This task presents several challenges because the brain has roughly 100 billion neurons operating on different spatial and temporal scales. By studying how neurons behave in different sections of the brain — like the hippocampus, which controls memory — and how these neurons interact with one another, Newsome and his colleagues hope to learn how to remedy the behavioral or cognitive mechanisms for those who suffer from brain disorders. Then, in order to remedy the behavioral or cognitive mechanisms, Newsome and his fellow researchers must learn how to manipulate the circuit activity. Healthy brains have patterns that those with disorders do not follow. Neuroscientists are learning how to stimulate neurons so that these patterns can mimic the brain’s natural activity. The rest of Newsome’s research will rely on theory, modeling and statistics for the experiments he and his team will conduct. By using the newest technology and scientific techniques paired with the researchers’ unique approach toward the data they collect, Newsome is confident they will be able to complete their map of the brain and share this knowledge with scientists worldwide so that brain disorders can become ailments of the past. Newsome believes that Stetson not only prepared him to take on such an ambitious project, but also to approach life with an open but always critical mind. “The best thing about Stetson for me was
A large-scale interdisciplinary effort of this sort can completely remake our understanding of the brain over the next couple decades, thereby creating fundamentally new opportunities for advances in artificial intelligence and in treating devastating neurological and psychiatric diseases. — William Newsome, Ph.D. that I could move easily between different departments and areas of study,” he said. “Stetson’s small size, combined with the diverse interests of its faculty, enabled me to break out of traditional disciplinary silos and acquire a ‘big picture’ look at some of the major problems we are facing as a society. “I was a physics major, but I took many courses in chemistry, biology, philosophy and religious studies,” Newsome continued. “I learned to see specific problems from different points of view and different research methodologies. This ability to appreciate and blend different disciplinary perspectives was critical in my co-leadership of the BRAIN Initiative planning process.” Newsome offered straightforward advice to current students that he wishes he had heard when he was younger: “Learn more mathematics!” “The time to learn math is when you are young, and quantitative analysis is increasingly important in nearly all fields of research,” he said. “I took a non-trivial amount of math as a physics major at Stetson, but I should have dug deeper into differential equations, linear algebra, probability theory and statistics, and signal processing. “Every undergraduate interested in advanced research should learn to write good
code!” Newsome said. “If I followed my own advice, I do wonder what I would have given up in breadth — my interests in philosophy and religious studies, for example. I wouldn’t want to give that up. In retrospect, I would probably have tried to work harder and do both!” Newsome still remembers many Stetson professors who made an impact on his life and made his research for the BRAIN Initiative possible. “There were several professors who encouraged me time after time to think for myself, put in the hard work, and place no limits on what I might be able to achieve and contribute in the long run,” he said. “I think of physics professors like George Jenkins, Tom Lick and Tony Jusick; chemistry professors like Ted Beiler, Jim DeLap and Ken Everett. David Stock was particularly influential from the biology side. Lewis Myers, Rollin Armour and Lafayette Walker enlarged my worldview and enabled me to think critically from the points of view of philosophy and religious studies,” Newsome said. While reflecting on his time at Stetson, Newsome stated, “These professors and others gave generously of their time and their minds to shape my own emerging mind. I am forever grateful to them.” STETSON
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Brian Pegg, a 6-foot-7 junior from Brandon, Fla., earned high marks on the court and in the classroom.
Rebounding Machine Brian Pegg enjoyed a historically significant season for the Hatters in 2015-16. Pegg became the first Hatter to lead the Atlantic Sun Conference in total rebounds since 2001. He also was the first A-Sun player with 300 rebounds in a season since 2010. Early in the season, he became the 26th Hatter to reach 500 career rebounds, ranking 17th in school history. Pegg had 18 games of 10 or more rebounds while also scoring in double figures 20 times. A repeat selection on the A-Sun AllAcademic team, Pegg, who is a junior athletically, is a finance major graduating in May. He will begin pursuing a graduate degree in the fall while completing his final season of basketball eligibility in 2016-17. forward
Get Your Tickets! Support Stetson Athletics by purchasing season tickets throughout the year and by attending as many events as possible. For information on tickets to any Hatters Athletics event, contact the Stetson Athletics Ticket Office at 386-738-HATS (4287), email email@example.com or visit the ticket office in the Edmunds Center.
2016 Green- White Spring Football Game The Hatters capped 15 spring practice sessions with a full scrimmage April 16 at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium. Coach Roger Hughes is on the hunt to identify a new quarterback for the 2016 season and looking to bolster a squad that returns 16 starters from 2015. Among the standout players who will be back in 2016 is All-American Donald Payne. He will be joined by running back
Cole Mazza; receivers Darian Wright, Chris Crawford and Ja’Vonta Swinton; defensive end Davion Belk; linebackers Dylan Wydronkowski and David Lazear; and defensive backs Ryan Powers, Glenn Adesoji and Eric Martin. The Hatters open the 2016 season with three consecutive home games at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium: Sacred Heart (Sept. 3), Warner (Sept. 10) and Jacksonville (Sept. 24). Stetson also will host Valparaiso (Oct. 15), Marist (Nov. 5) and Drake (Nov. 19) during the year. The game against Marist will be Homecoming.
Running back Cole Mazza
All-American defensive back Donald Payne
Women’s basketball head coach Lynn Bria (center) poses with team members, who helped earn that 300th win.
Bria Notches 300th Win Women’s basketball coach Lynn Bria earned her 300th career victory on Feb. 15 in a 74-56 victory at New Jersey Institute of Technology. “It means a lot,” Bria said of her milestone victory. “It is hard to think about because I have had a lot of good players. Winning is hard. We have won a lot of games at Stetson, and I hope we win a lot more. I am just proud of all the great players and coaches we have had. I am just blessed. You don’t do it all by yourself. It takes everybody to win games.”
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Baseball Season Heats Up Stetson fans have certainly had plenty to cheer about over the past two summers as former Hatters Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom have made their marks on Major League Baseball. The fireballing duo won major individual awards in 2014, and then deGrom helped the Mets to the 2015 World Series during an All-Star season. While Kluber and his Cleveland Indians have already made their only trip to Florida for the year, deGrom and the Mets will be in the state for series in Miami June 3-5, July 22-24 and Sept. 26-28. An added bonus for those Mets games against Miami is that another former Hatter, Chris Johnson, is now a member of the Marlins. Photos
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Big Points in a Small Package Junior Brianti Saunders has always played bigger than her 5-foot-4-inch stature. That was certainly the case on Dec. 20, 2015, when Saunders was honored for becoming the 22nd player in Stetson women’s basketball history with more than 1,000 career points. She further etched her name in the Hatters record book that day by scoring a school-record 40 points in a victory over Georgia Southern. Saunders blew past her previous career high of 33 points in setting the new record. Her final two points came on free throws in the last two minutes of play, besting the previous record
of 39 points, which was set by Dieidre Hillery on Jan. 17, 1987. Saunders went 12-for-16 from the field, 4-for-6 from three-point range and 12-for-13 from the free-throw line to surpass the previous mark, which had stood for 842 games. “It was one of the best performances I have ever seen in women’s college basketball,” Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. “It was absolutely outstanding. Some of the moves she had in the first half were incredible. Then she had eight rebounds on top of that. I am really proud of her.” Saunders added a 35-point game at Lipscomb on Jan. 25 and averaged 17.8 points per game, second in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Hatters in the Pros
While all Stetson University fans and alumni are proud of the accomplishments of Kluber, deGrom and Johnson in Major League Baseball, hundreds of other former Stetson student-athletes have gone on to enjoy tremendous success as professionals in other fields. Jeff Kistler came to Stetson from Naperville, Ill., in 1991 to play baseball and lettered as a first baseman for four seasons, batting .295 as a senior and blasting 12 home runs in his career. Immediately after graduating from Stetson, he went to work for the Rust-Oleum Corp. in the Chicago area, where he has risen through the ranks to his current position, vice president of marketing. Amanda Ross was a member of the Stetson rowing program
during her time as an undergraduate student, earning a degree in political science in 1999. A native of Bonita Springs, Ross went on to attend the University of Miami School of Law, graduating cum laude with her Juris Doctorate in 2002. She began working in insurance litigation in 2003 and in 2008 was named a Florida Trend Legal Elite Best Up and Coming Attorney. She joined the firm of Foreman Friedman, P.A., in 2014 and became a partner in December 2015, focusing primarily on Admiralty and Maritime law. Both Kistler and Ross got their starts at Stetson as studentathletes. It is through the generosity of all Stetson alumni that future generations of Hatters will have an opportunity to get an amazing education, setting them
on a path toward lifelong success. The mission of the Hatter Athletic Fund is to provide student-athletes the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, in the community, on the field of play and after graduation through private support. The Hatter Athletic Fund aims to connect alumni and supporters with teams and student-athletes. Contributors to the fund are encouraged to invest in the ways most meaningful to them, and HAF commits to being excellent stewards of those investments. For more information, visit GoHatters.com, call 386-7386707 or email HAF@stetson. edu. Donâ€™t forget to follow @HatterFund on Twitter.
Spring Sports Off and Running Springtime on the Stetson campus is busy with sporting events. Baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse, golf, rowing and beach volleyball are all in season during the spring months, while menâ€™s and womenâ€™s soccer teams, football and court volleyball all have spring practice and games, and the cross-country squads compete in track events. Alumni, students, faculty, staff and fans should make it a point to attend as many events as possible in support of these outstanding student-athletes. Remember to follow all of the Hatters teams on GoHatters.com and by signing up for Hat Check, the free text information service provided by Stetson Athletics. STETSON
Looking Forward CUB’s new look will add updated infrastructure for students, faculty, staff.
1957, the Carlton Union Building (affectionately known as the CUB) has served Stetson students well. For many generations, it has been a gathering place: a space for students to relax and meet their friends for a meal, to study or just to hang out. Yet, behind its lovely façade is a functionally outdated building in need of extensive renovation. The CUB’s infrastructure, technological and student demands necessitate a significant renovation — including a 40-percent expansion — that will take it well into the future. Work already has begun, and once completed in December 2018, the CUB will be ince
that much-needed, vibrant student center that underscores just what it means to be part of the Stetson community. When students need options — for socializing, relaxing, being loud or collaborating in small groups — they will gravitate toward the CUB. While the majority of the renovation is being funded via a university bond issue, private donations can support the exciting activity that occurs within the CUB. Want to see your name on the student lounge? Want to honor a favorite professor with a contribution toward a great faculty gathering space? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-822-7457.
One of the magical things about Stetson is the ability to gather outside, study, put up a hammock or play Frisbee on the lawn nearly any day of the year. Floor-toceiling windows establish a transparent indoor space that blends into its natural surroundings and creates a seamless transition to the outdoors. Parking already has been expanded across Bert Fish Drive to create a welcoming green expanse suitable for outdoor dinners, concerts and other events.
Gone is the outside staircase, soon to be replaced by a dynamic entryway providing easy access on the first floor to the bookstore, convenience store, mailroom and Dining Commons. An open staircase will lead up to student spaces on the second floor.
The north balcony leads to a state-of-the-art student radio station, student lounge, SGA offices and dedicated space for student organizations. In addition, a large, flexible multipurpose space will accommodate whatever students dream up. A new walkway, running the length of the Stetson Room, will connect the north and south sides of the CUB. This functional bridge offers a view of the Dining Commons below while students sit and study or socialize.
Entering through the existing west-side colonnades, students and visitors will be greeted immediately by the “HUB in the CUB” information desk. From there, venture into the Dining Commons, Coffee Shop or Faculty Lounge. It’s all about connection. Throughout the CUB (aka the community “living room of campus”) are a multitude of small seating areas that encourage everything from quick conversations to hours of collaboration. This is where hungry minds gather to eat and connect! The Commons will undergo a complete renovation with expanded seating that creates a great place for community members to meet up with friends and colleagues and make new connections.
Capital Improvement Funding Sources
Where does the money come from?
In this chart are the three sources of funding for capital improvements on campus. Renewal and Replacement funds (R&R) come from the current budget supporting the ongoing wear and tear on the facilities (roofs, plumbing, HVAC, etc.). Gifts come from donors and friends who want to help make a project become a reality. Debt is used to make major improvements for the future, such as the CUB and large deferred-maintenance projects. In May 2015, the Board of Trustees approved more than $35
Total: $28,673,000 $16,329,000
Total: $23,851,000 $12,931,000
million in capital improvements, with most of the funding earmarked for projects on the DeLand campus. Work is well underway and will continue into 2018. From a financial perspective,
Bonds: Payments on bonds come from future operations R&R: Renewal and Replacement is funded through annual contribution from the operating budget
Bob Huth, executive vice president for business and chief financial officer, calls the timing for the construction activity both fortuitous and well-planned. Private donations from a continuing
comprehensive campaign and the opportunistic refinancing of bonds are chief reasons the university can comfortably pay for the projects. Essentially, Stetson was able to leverage a sound financial position.
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Diedrichs Named Volusia County Teacher of the Year By Mary Anne Rogers
Diedrichs ’92, M.Ed. ’00 has been named Volusia County Teacher of the Year for 2017. She is the third Stetson alumnus to earn that distinction in the past four years. Sharing her passion for reading is the gift that Diedrichs gives to each of her fourth-grade students every day at Blue Lake Elementary School. Diedrichs is known for handing out books to children during the annual DeLand Christmas Parade. Throughout the year, she gathers literature from book fairs through the DaVinci Club, the obin
after-school program she created. She also shares her teaching through an online blog. Diedrichs earned her undergraduate degree in education from Stetson in 1992 and started her teaching career at Blue Lake Elementary School that same year. After earning her graduate degree in education from Stetson in 2000, she taught school in Missouri and as an adjunct professor at Stetson. Diedrichs returned to Blue Lake Elementary in 2010. Diedrichs joins an impressive group of Stetson education
majors who have won this award, which is co-sponsored by Volusia County and the FUTURES Foundation. Over the past four years, a total of 34 nominees for the award have been graduates of Stetson including these winners: • 2017 — Robin Marie Diedrichs ’92, M.Ed. ’00, Blue Lake Elementary, fourth grade; • 2015 — Grace Kellermeier ’03, New Smyrna Beach High, French/AP French; • 2014 — Emily Edwards ’09, Starke Elementary, fourth grade.
Alumnae Anderson, McEwen Honored by Florida Bar B
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Anderson J.D. ’02 received a Florida Bar Pro Bono Award for her work on behalf of poor and indigent clients during a ceremony at the Florida Supreme Court. United States Bankruptcy Judge Catherine Peek McEwen ’82 also was honored as the first recipient of the Chief Justice’s Distinguished Federal Judicial Service Award. Anderson, who was recognized in the 7th Judicial Circuit, is an attorney with AndersonGlenn LLP in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., representing children who have been abused ennifer
or neglected. Anderson dedicated hundreds of hours to the case of a child who was abused by her father. Today, with Anderson’s help, that child has grown into a talented musician at a school for the arts in Jacksonville. The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards were established in 1981 to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the poor by recognizing lawyers who make public-service commitments. The awards recognize pro bono service in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits as well as service by a
Florida Bar member practicing outside the state. The Florida Supreme Court ceremony also recognized the winners of the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, as well as awards in the categories of Distinguished Judicial Service, Distinguished Federal Judicial Service, Law Firm Commendation, Voluntary Bar Association and Young Lawyers Division. According to the Florida Bar, Florida lawyers dedicated more than 1.7 million hours of pro bono service to people in need over a 12-month period.
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Hatters Here, There and Everywhere! Stetson Hatters may graduate and move on, but no matter where they go, a part of their heart will always be at Stetson. Find out what Hatters are up to all over the country on these pages. If you would like to share photos of your Hatter gathering with us, please send them to email@example.com. Be sure to identify everyone in the photo (even if they’re not Hatters) along with the graduation year for alumni. We will only use photos that are high resolution (1MB or larger) and because of space limitations cannot guarantee use of all photos. Hatters and their friends: (l-r) John ’73 and Charlotte Fraser, Ray and Jean Cullifer, John Sheller (father of Walker Sheller ’17), Deb Vizcaino (behind), Rebecca Sheller (mother of Walker Sheller ’17), Toni and Bill Chariot.
Hatters in Colorado at A-Basin Ski Resort.
Tri-Deltas who came back for Homecoming include (l-r): Lori Dement Daly ’83, Martha Teal Ficquette ’83, Kathy Murphy Robey ’82, Linda Yoder Dodson ’83, Catherine Calvin Ellixson ’83, Heather Owens Turgeon ’83 and Lynne Spraker ’82.
Celebrating the Hatters at the football game vs. Jacksonville University are (l-r): Arianna Celano ’19, Gabby St. Angelo ’17 and Taylor Scribner ’16.
Hatters gather in Coral Gables, Fla., for Stetson baseball vs. the University of Miami. Pictured (l-r): Gerry Cruz, Eric Diaz ’08, Lucia H. Diaz, Jeremy Cruz ’09 and Luisana Suegart.
Having fun in Miami’s South Beach (l-r): Chris A. Guirre ’14, Taylor Kennedy ’15, Jennifer Doheny Quinon ’85, Tyler Johansson ’10 and Hatter dad Dave Noble (father of Rachel Noble ’19). At the Krewe of Amalee Ball in DeLand, Fla. (l-r): Patty Lanford O’Cain and Kristi Baetzman Tyrrell ’84. Owners of the Golden Lion Café in Flagler Beach, Fla., stopped in at the Alumni House to drop off some of their famous Key Lime Tartar Sauce. Pictured (l-r): Anthony Marlow, Chris Marlow ’12 and Jeremy Adams ’01.
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Matt Wilson ’93, Dave Ballesteros ’92 and Doug Pringle ’91 celebrate at the football game vs. Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. At Homecoming the Greenfeather Committee presented a $10,000 check to Duvall Homes for its charity work.
Having fun in DeLand before the football game are (l-r): Steven Alexander ’85, Lee Gafford Alexander, Kevin Kelly, Christopher Kelly ’17 and Cheryl Kelly. (L-r) Alexandra Aldrich ’10, Shanika Yvette Hillocks ’12 and Rina Arroyo enjoy the Big Apple during an alumni and parent event. Members of the Stetson University Alumni Board gather in Gulfport at the College of Law.
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Betsy Aldrich Stange ’85 and Josie Tulka Cyffka ’84 recently spent a week together as part of a medical mission trip to Leogane, Haiti. Josie is now a registered nurse living and working in Madison, Wis. Betsy is a lieutenant colonel (retired) in the U.S. Army and lives in Ormond Beach, Fla.
Hatters Reunite in Haiti B
Stetson roommate (Josie Tulka Cyffka ’84) and I were back sharing a dorm room for a week — this time in Haiti working for a medical mission team (an extension of Notre Dame University). We are helping in the fight against lymphatic filariasis, more commonly referred to as elephantiasis due to massive swelling of the legs. This was my fourth trip to Haiti in about 15 months. I’ve gone each time with a urologist from Daytona Beach, Dr. Marty Dineen, who is part of a program with a goal of eradicating lymphatic filariasis by 2020 (https:// haiti.nd.edu). Men are uniquely affected by the disease, and through this program Marty and others have already operated on nearly 1,200 men, helping to bring dignity back to their lives. Marty is a longtime friend, and I promised him that once I retired from the Army Reserves I would go down with him on one y
of his trips. I spent a week helping out and playing gopher as he and his colleagues performed surgery. (Remember, I have a finance degree and was a transportation/logistics officer in the Army.) I said I would go back if I could go when the clinic team was also there so that I could play “embedded photographer” and go out among the folks. It was an amazing experience. A few months later, I went again when both the surgical team and clinic teams were there. To me, the neatest thing was figuring out how to share my passion for photography. A simple photo — something that we think nothing of — is a treasure for most of the Haitians we have encountered. I sorted out how to take a photo and in a few minutes physically share that photo with the Haitians by creating my “mobile print lab.” Being able to share with them my time and talent was truly a treasure for me!
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About five years ago, Josie returned to school to become a registered nurse (RN). Coincidentally, she did her microbiology paper on lymphatic filariasis, and so she was even more aware of the struggles of the Haitian people. Josie flew down from Madison, Wis., spent a day with her mom in West Palm Beach,
and joined our group en route to the Miami airport, so we could fly together with the team to Leogane, Haiti. What began in the early 1980s as two complete strangers paired together in DeLand as freshmen at Stetson is now yet another example of Hatters being “forever connected!”
A Haitian boy shows off his photo.
The Messersmith family in 1961 (l-r): Robert; Jeff, standing in front of his father, Fred; Harry, seated on the artist’s bench; Linda; Patti, seated on her mother’s lap; and Jane, who is pregnant with Mary.
Family Legacy Started with Short Visit By Caroline Skinner For the Messersmith family Stetson University’s Homecoming 2015 was more than a traditional gathering: It was a multi-generational family reunion comprising a beautiful canvas of Stetson students and alumni. The impact of this family on Stetson — and the university’s impact on the family — began in the late 1950s with Fred Messersmith, the patriarch of the family and of Stetson’s art program. Messersmith, who hailed from West Virginia and later Wesleyan University, visited Stetson in 1958 with the “invitean-artist-to-campus” program. Afterward, he applied for a faculty position at Stetson. “Fred came home and announced to our family, ‘We’re moving to DeLand!’” said Jane Messersmith ’81. “Pregnant with our fourth child at the time, we packed up the children, and off we went.” From the late 1950s through the mid-1970s, Stetson became a renowned art hub in the Southeast, and Messersmith was a key component in that venture. He served as chair of the Art Department for 30 years and, after retiring, he was commissioned by then-President H. Douglas Lee to serve as artist-inresidence. During that time, Messersmith made his indelible mark on Stetson by painting pictures of buildings on campus. Many of those framed paintings are still hanging in Stetson buildings today. Jane is a former Mrs. West Virginia 1957 and fourth runnerup Mrs. America 1957, whose entry to the pageant was submit-
ted by her biggest fan, her husband. After giving back to the community and nurturing six children of their own, she continues to work locally with the preschoolers at Trinity United Methodist Church. Jane was recently presented the Dorothy Johnson Award for Service by the Museum of Art — DeLand. “We grew up running around this beautiful campus,” said Patti Messersmith Turken ’82, fifth of the six siblings, all of whom attended Stetson. Patti, a professional artist in upstate New York, is grateful to Stetson, with high praise for President Wendy Libby’s commitment to inclusion and innovation. “Don’t take anything for granted; fully engage yourself here on campus in every aspect,” Patti said, offering advice for young Hatters. “Take advantage of every opportunity and use your time here to network future possibilities.” Linda Messersmith ’76, M. Ed.’86, met her husband, Bill Armour ’70, M.B.A. ’76, at Stetson. Armour had served in the Student Government Association and ROTC and then served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1974. He earned his graduate degree the same year he and Linda married. For more than 21 years, Linda has given back to DeLand as a counselor and counselor supervisor in the Volusia County school system. Jane earned her Master of Arts the same day her son Harry received his undergraduate degree in art. Harry lives his life under his father’s influence and Stetson’s significance in action, having held several director and executive director of art positions.
The Messersmith family in 2015 (l-r): Harry, Patti and her son James Turken, Jane, Linda and husband Bill Armour.
“I had the unique opportunity of being an art student of my father’s,” said Harry in a 2009 Orlando Sentinel article about Messersmith’s death. “I became attracted to it by his example and drawn to it by his talent.” Harry has indeed paid it forward by giving abundantly of his time, talent and resources to Stetson and to the DeLand community, including the inception and design of the annual DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts. Ever supportive of each other, the siblings spoke fondly of their sister Mary ’84, a veterinarian practicing in California, and spoke with pride of their brother Robert, who attended Stetson 1972-73 and works for AT&T in Gainesville, Fla. Previously,
Robert helped build Trident submarines in Rhode Island. Oldest brother Jeff ’71, M.A. ’80, taught for many years at Seminole Community College (now Seminole State College). A new generation of Messersmiths is being added to the Stetson tapestry. James Turken, Patti’s son, is in the class of 2019. “What drew me to Stetson was my Uncle Harry’s influence, our mutual love for all things cars, Stetson’s small class size, the weather and, of course, my grandfather’s Stetson legacy,” said Turken, with gratitude and honor. “From here, you really can go anywhere in the world,” said Jane about the university that has had such a tremendous impact on her family. “Stetson is your oyster.” STETSON
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Send Us Your Class Note STETSON UNIVERSITY is proud of its alumni and their accomplishments. We would love to hear about your achievements. If you are a graduate from the DeLand or Celebration campuses, please send your class note to Stetson University, Office of Alumni Engagement, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., Unit 8257, DeLand, FL 32723, or email your news to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a graduate of the College of Law, send your class note to Stetson University College of Law, Office of Development and Alumni Engagement, 1401 61st St. South, Gulfport, FL 33707, or email your class note to email@example.com. College of Law graduates also can fill out the online form at Stetson.edu/ lawalumninews. We will only use photos that are high resolution, and because of space limitations, we cannot guarantee use of all photographs.
1950s Charles F. Winn ’57, San Antonio, Texas, has been serving as substitute organist for various churches in San Antonio since his retirement, including First Baptist Church of San Antonio. Winn is serving as executive director for the citywide observance of Celebrate America 2016, a celebration of America’s musical heritage. He served in the same capacity for Celebrate America 2014.
Administrative Hearings, Florida State Circuit Courts and Federal Courts. Harmon is a member of The Florida Bar’s Education Law Committee, the Florida School Board Attorneys Association and the Education Law Association. Lisa Bradford Hewitt ’81, Ocoee, a music teacher at Westbrooke Elementary School, has been selected as the Florida Music Educators Association Elementary Music Educator of the Year. The FMEA Music Educator of the Year award recognizes outstanding merit in music teaching or music administration and is awarded annually to the music educator who has served his/ her students, community and profession in an exemplary manner.
Judge Robert E. Beach, JD ’58, St. Petersburg, was featured in the Florida Bar News article “The old men and the sea.”
1970s Gary Simon, JD ’74, Miami, won the coveted Allan Stolman Ultimate Networker Award for 2015. Bobbie Rowe Baugh ’76, MA ’79, DeLand, will be among a group of 39 artists giving voice through textile artwork to stories of Diaspora. “Immigration Stories — Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora” is an internationally juried exhibit opening in April 2016 at the National Textile Museum at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., a project the museum sponsored jointly with Studio Art Quilt Associates. The works will display through September 2016.
Judge Catherine Peek McEwen, JD ’82, Tampa, was honored by the Florida Supreme Court as the first recipient of the Chief Justice’s Distinguished Federal Judicial Service Award. Judge McEwen is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award in recognition of his efforts resulting in the enactment of more than 100 local civil rights laws and policies throughout Florida. Marcos R. Marchena, JD ’85, Orlando, was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the University of Central Florida. Marchena is a senior partner of Marchena and Graham Law Firm.
Sherrille Bailey Akin ’86, JD ’89, has returned to her roots in DeLand to open her own law firm, Akin Law P.A. She spent the past 23 years in Ohio practicing estate planning and guardianship law. Her experience helping individuals and businesses includes tax-minimization strategies, asset-protection planning, business-transition planning, unique planning for impaired beneficiaries and a wide range of other estate-law knowledge.
1980s Terry J. Harmon, JD ’80, Tallahassee, was named a shareholder with Sniffen & Spellman, P.A. Harmon now leads the firm’s education law practice. He has represented educational institutions before the Florida Department of Education, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, the Florida Division of
Judge Rand Hoch, JD ’85, West Palm Beach, was honored by Palm Beach State College President Ava L. Parker with the school’s Dr.
Benjamin P. Butterfield, JD ’86, Orlando, joined the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, Orlando office as an of counsel in the Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Butterfield focuses his
practice on the areas of mergers and acquisitions, compliance matters, governance, general corporate law and complex commercial agreements.
Peter J. Krotec, JD ’87, Sarasota, a partner with the law firm Syprett Meshad, has been recognized by the American Institute of Legal Counsel as a 2015 “10 Best” attorney in Florida in the practice of family law. He has been practicing marital and family law in Sarasota since 1989, and is licensed and admitted to practice before all Florida state courts as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Stephen Parascandola, JD ’88, Cary, N.C., was named a 2016 North Carolina Super Lawyer. His practice involves many areas of environmental, OSHA and land use law, as well as water quality, landfill, storm water and wetlands issues. Parascandola has represented clients before regulatory agencies and has handled a broad range of complex transactions for the purchase, sale, leasing, construction and development of commercial, industrial, and public utility properties. Rachel W. Sokoloski, JD ’88, Brentwood, Tenn., was appointed as an Administrative Judge with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. Michael E. Boutzoukas, JD ’89, Clearwater, a shareholder with Becker & Poliakoff Law Firm, Tampa, was selected as president of the Bay Area Real Estate Council by its boards of directors.
1990s Amy Fanzlaw ’92, JD ’95, Delray Beach, of Osborne & Osborne, P.A., in Boca Raton, presented on specialneeds planning to attorneys and parents of special-needs children in conjunction with SunTrust Bank. She is board-certified by the Florida Bar in both elder law and in wills, trusts and estates.
Dawn Redmon Waters ’93, DeBary, has been promoted to Broker Associate at McBride Realty Group, LLC. She also published the book Switching Teams: What Coming Out Later in Life Taught Me About Love, Conquering Fear and Accepting Change in early 2016 with Dog Ear Publishing. William A. Kerns ’96, St. Louis, is assistant professor of English education at Harris-Stowe State University, a historically black university in St. Louis. Previously, he worked as a researcher in the M.A.T. Program of Clemson University in South Carolina, where he earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in May 2014.
Christopher E. Doran, JD ’97, Riverview, a partner in the Tampa law office of ROIG Lawyers, presented a seminar titled “Truck Accident Litigation From A to Z” for the National Business Institute (NBI). The seminar covered “Regulations and Safety Standards to Support Your Case” and the “Authentication and Admissibility of Truck Accident Evidence.”
Melanie A. Marsh, JD ’97, Sanford, was appointed county attorney for Lake County. Frank W. McDermott, JD ’98, St. Petersburg, became board certified in criminal trial law in 2011. He served as president of the Pinellas County Trial Lawyers Association in 2015.
Nicolette Vilmos ’98, JD ’00, Orlando, an attorney and partner in the Orlando office of Broad and Cassel, was invited to participate on the newly formed Business Court Commission. She was recently elected to serve as a board member for the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) Florida Network, the premier advocacy group for women in insolvency and restructuring professions.
Jennifer C. Anderson, JD ’02, Ponte Vedra Beach, received a Florida Bar Pro Bono Award for her work on behalf of poor and indigent clients. She also represents children who have been abused or neglected. She is an attorney with AndersonGlenn LLP. Michele Leo Hintson, JD ’02, Land O’Lakes, was appointed vice-chair of Pasco EDC’s Growth Task Force. Hintson is a litigation partner with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.
Katheryn Wright ’02, South Burlington, Vt., published The New Heroines: Female Embodiment and Technology in 21st Century Popular Culture. This book explores how the next generation of teen and youngadult heroines in popular culture are creating a new feminist ideal for the 21st century. Victoria Cruz-Garcia, JD ’03, Riverview, received the 2015 Luis Cabassa Award by the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association (THBA). Cruz-Garcia is a principal attorney at Givens, Givens, Sparks and was chosen for her commitment to law, professionalism and the community through the THBA.
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Matthew Dolman, JD ’03, St. Petersburg, has been selected as a 2016 Super Lawyer. State Rep. Albert T. Reeves (R-Marietta), JD ’05, Marietta, Ga., was named 2015 40 under 40 by Georgia Trend.
Jennifer R. Cowan, JD 06, Gulfport, was appointed city attorney of the City of Treasure Island. Cowan is an attorney in the Tampa Bay office of Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. Erin L. Malone, JD ’06, Tampa, an attorney at Phelps Dunbar LLP, was named a 2015 Florida Super Lawyer — Rising Star. She practices in the area of labor and employment.
Kristopher J. Verra, JD ’06, Tampa, joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon in its Tampa office. Verra is a member of the firm’s Global Product Liability group. He represents companies involved in individual and complex tort and product liability matters in industries including chemical manufacturing, construction, pharmaceutical and medical device, alarm services, and life safety and tobacco.
Daniel A. Alvarez, JD ’07, Seffner, received 2015 Hispanic Man of the Year Award from the Board of Directors of Tampa Hispanic Heritage. Megan Krinsky Fischer ’07, Palm City, a fifth-grade teacher at Bayshore Elementary School in Port St. Lucie, was named the school’s “Teacher of the Year.” As an elementary school teacher, she has had success advancing student learning with the belief that all students can be successful, no matter their life circumstances, and that teachers are the most important school-based factor in influencing that success.
J. Derek Kantaskas, JD ’07, Tampa, has been elected one of nine shareholders with Carlton Fields. Kantaskas is a member of the firm’s construction litigation practice group and construction industry group. He has experience resolving complex contract disputes, project delay claims, construction defects, lien and bond disputes, regulatory investigations, and copyright and trademark infringements. Melody B. Lynch, JD ’07, Orlando, has been named a shareholder with Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.
Alison Parker, JD ’07, Tallahassee, was promoted to prosecutor in the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Real Estate. Jennifer L. Terrana, JD ’07, St. Petersburg, opened Jennifer L. Terrana, P.A. The firm specializes in Elder Law. Brian A. Watson, JD ’07, Orlando, was one of 10 attorneys elected to partnership with Burr & Foreman LLP in its Orlando office. Watson serves in the firm’s corporate and tax, lending and real estate practice groups with a focus on public finance and assisting clients in matters such as formation of corporations, limited liability and partnerships, day-to-day operations and contract negotiation.
Ashley M. Elmore Drew, JD ’09, Tampa, has joined Burr & Forman’s financial services litigation practice in Tampa. Miguel R. Roura, JD ’09, St. Petersburg, was elected co-chair of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) Young Lawyers Committee for a two-year term. As an FDLA committee chair, Roura will provide committee activity updates to FDLA’s executive board. He will also be responsible for fostering various leadership roles within the organization. Anthony Velardi, JD ’09, St. Petersburg, wrote “Handling the sale of investment property,” in the Feb. 10 Lakeland Ledger.
2010s David A. Fernandez, JD ’10, Sarasota, recently opened the Fernandez Benjamin Firm. The firm’s area of practice is real estate and commercial litigation.
Jason P. Stearns, JD ’08, Riverview, was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. The Fellows is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars who have been elected by their peers. Membership is limited to 1 percent of lawyers admitted to practice in each jurisdiction of the U.S. and to a small percentage of international lawyers. Stearns is a complex commercial litigation attorney with Phelps Dunbar Law Firm in Tampa. Forrest J. Bass, JD ’09, Port Charlotte, an associate at the Farr Law Firm, has been selected by the Florida Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel to join the inaugural class of the Florida Fellows Institute.
Matthew T. Fitzgerald ’10, New York, was promoted to director of Digital Media and Operations at Mylan World Team Tennis. He has been with WTT since 2013 and now oversees content development and video production to enhance TV broadcasts, live streaming, website and social media. Matthew S. Kramer, JD ’10, St. Petersburg, joined Brinkley Morgan as an associate in the real estate practice. His experience includes civil
Save the Date! November 4-6, 2016 Anticipated Class Reunions
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litigation, consumer bankruptcy, residential and commercial foreclosure defense, loan modifications, and debt management. He is a member of the Young Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar and is licensed in all Florida state courts, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. Jamie Moore Marcario, JD ’10, St. Petersburg, was recently appointed to the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture & the Arts Board of Directors. Marcario is an associate with Greenberg Traurig and often performs with The Impromptu Players, a theatre group of business professionals in the Tampa Bay area, at Stageworks Theatre. Jason T. Reese ’11, New York, has been promoted to account executive at Acxiom. Timothy J. Tully ’11, New York, completed his Master of Library and Information Studies at Florida State University in 2015 and is now the business and career librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library in New York City.
Ryan Angel, JD ’12, Tampa, joined Hill Ward Henderson as an associate in the firm’s corporate and tax group. Angel’s practice focuses on general corporate advice as well as mergers and acquisitions. Nathan West, JD ’12, Charlotte, N.C., has been promoted to senior tax associate with FPMG, LLP. He is part of the international tax group at KPMG in Charlotte.
Kayla E. Richmond, JD ’13, Fort Myers, has been named president-elect of the Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. Richmond is with the law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Her practice focuses on divorce, marital and family law. She handles dissolution of marriage (divorce), custody, paternity, child support and domestic violence injunctions. Gerri Bauer ’14, DeLand, has a two-book contract with Franciscan Media for her Persimmon Hollow Legacy series of Catholic historical romance novels: At Home in Persimmon Hollow and Stitching a Life in Persimmon Hollow. Jesika Butler ’14, DeLand, is a history teacher at River Springs Middle School in Orange City and will begin her Master of Educational Leadership at Stetson in summer 2016. Hanna Lipsey ’14, Punta Gorda, is currently pursuing both a master’s in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction and a master’s in history at Florida Gulf Coast University. Patrick H. Cone ’15, Chattanooga, Tenn., is attending Reformed Theological Seminary pursuing a Master of Divinity. John Dieck ’15, Miami, is currently working for the City Year program in Miami. Stanton A. Fears, JD ’15, Knoxville, Tenn., joined Kramer Rayson LLP in the Knoxville office. Fears’ area of practice is litigation, and employment and labor. Jeremiah C. Fues ’15, St. Petersburg, is in his first year at Stetson University College of Law. Christian Gowan ’15, DeLand,
is pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the University of Oregon. David M. Kalteux, JD ’15, Tampa, has joined FordHarrison LLP in their Tampa office. Prior to that, he was a summer associate with the firm and has served as a law clerk at two other Tampa Bay area law firms, gaining extensive experience performing legal research, drafting memoranda, and preparing and editing motions.
Dylan D. Stearns ’15, Temple Terrace, is pursuing his master’s degree in historic preservation at the University of Georgia. Melaina Tryon, JD ’15, Tampa, joins the Global Product Liability group at Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Tampa office. During her time at Stetson, she was an assistant executive editor for the Stetson Law Review, a member of the Stetson Moot Court Board and a judicial intern to the Hon. James D. Whittemore. She was also named Best Oralist at the 2015 Andrews Kurth Moot Court National Championship. Tabea Wanninger ’15, is pursuing a master’s in European history and civilization though the Europaeum Programme, a joint program between Leiden UniversityParis Sorbonne — Oxford.
Yesica S. Liposky, JD ’15, Clearwater, joined the law firm of Broad and Cassel in the Tampa office. Her practice will be in commercial litigation. Daniel K. Miles, JD ’15, Tampa, has joined FordHarrison LLP in their Tampa office. Before joining FordHarrison, he served as a summer associate with the firm. Previously he served as a legal intern in the Office of the Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals division in Tampa and drafted appellate response briefs to be filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District.
Marriages and Unions
Nicole J. Poot, JD ’15, South Pasadena, joined Lewis, Longman & Walker P.A. as an associate in the Tampa office.
Areti Tsitsakis ’02, JD ’06, to Jacob Vogel ’00, MBA ’03, Nov. 21, 2015.
In Memoriam ’30s Helen Watson Uetz ’30 Guy Merry ’38 Katherine Martin Rehbaum ’38
Brittaney Mericle ’15 to Kyle Oliveira ’15, Jan. 2, 2016. Carrie Mitchell ’08 to Trevor Gordon ’09, Sept. 26, 2015.
Births Erica Woods, JD ’03, and husband, Matthew Woods, a son, Connor James, in October 2015.
Jennifer Hays-Hitchcock ’08, and husband, Robert Hitchcock ’09, a daughter, Leighton Matie, in October 2015. Ashley Roth ’11 to Erich Holland ’10, Oct. 24, 2015.
Hali Herbert Marsocci ’10, and husband, Blake Marsocci ’09, MBA ’11, a son, Maddux Blake, in December 2015.
Kaylee Ream ’12 to James Weston ’11, MAcc ’14, May 23, 2015. Ashley N. Donnell, JD ’12, New Port Richey, married Derek Hackl on May 2, 2015.
Robert Johnson ’78, a grandson, Leland Gould, in October 2015.
’40s Leonard G. Lawton ’41 Fontelle Moore Sutherland ’41 Martha Grimsley Mixon ’42 Arthur J. Estes ’43 Marion Kelley Lippucci ’44 Marjorie Kersey McLaughlin ’45 Nancy Brown ’47 Elizabeth Mulholland Collins ’47 Gladys Scott Hillhouse ’47 Louise Dearston Caldwell ’48 Roger D. Flynn, LLB ’48 Jack C. Inman ’47, JD ’49 Virginia Day Voyles ’49 ’50s Gerald A. Arnowitt, LLB ’50 John W. Burton, LLB ’50 Catherine Dozier Melancon ’50 Henry P. Duffett, JD ’50 Grace Tyler Rogers ’50 Martha Williams Wood ’50 John G. Everett ’51 James L. Stancil ’51 June Cossin Wiggins ’51 Malcolm L. Stephens, LLB ’52 Jerome Fine, LLB ’53 Victor C. Massey ’53 Paul R. Bleiler ’54 Bruno L. DiGiulian ’54 Richard P. Elworthy ’54 Joseph N. Folmar ’54 Jack B. Oksnee ’54 Robert E. Owens ’54 William L. Self ’54 David C. Clark, JD ’55 Herbert F. Dorsett ’55 Eileen Bronner Ferguson ’56 Ann Anderson Pierce ’56 F. Jefferson Stiles ’56 Dave E. Howard ’57 Christ G. Issaris ’57 Dean Kells ’57, MA ’59 Roy A. Layton ’57 Alene Holt Weed ’57 Margaret Taylor Cory-Deloy ’58 Clinton A. Curtis, LLB ’58 David A. Barthof, LLB ’59 Charles F. Hastings ’59 Paul D. Lack ’59 Connie J. McFadden ’59 Richard L. Smith ’59
’60s David J. Barnett ’61 Mildred Clark Beach ’61 Robert L. Davis ’61 Eva Newton Faucette ’61 Frank D. Teets ’61 Brenda Franks McWilliams ’61 Evalynn Lookabill Bowles ’62, MA ’67 Frank J. Drittler, LLB ’62 Harry A.S. Read ’62 Norma MacDonald Sweat ’62 Cynthia McGuffie Hancock ’63 Billy J. McDaniels, MA ’63 Karen Walker Waggoner ’63 Daniel N. Burton, JD ’64 Carol Butler ’64 Lewis E. Dinkins, LLB ’64 Richard S. Knapp ’64 John M. Schwartz ’65 Brenda Durham Seay ’66 Richard Wall ’66 Lawrence M. Romans ’67 ’70s Fred G. Church ’70 Michael McDonnell, JD ’70, LLM ’01 Talmadge H. Callahan, MEd ’71 Charles V. Moore, MBA ’71 Richard Padgett, JD ’72 T. Michael McKnight, JD ’73 Deborah Plemmons Piper ’73 Scott P. Springer ’74 Leslie Hannon McMasters ’77, MAT ’90 Craig P. Moore, JD ’77 ’80s Larry W. Cornillaud, MEd ’80 Joseph A. Monserrat, MEd ’85 Sondra Cook Smith ’87 Kristin Koch ’89 ’90s Stacey Smelser Webb ’91 Joseph F. Crowley ’92 ’00s Ralph E. Odom, JD ’00 Michael R. N. McDonnell, JD ’01 Carmen Afghani, MBA ’02 Justin S. Faires, JD ’05 Melissa Seagraves, JD ’06
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Why We Stress Research B
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1990 Landmark report Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, Ernest Boyer called our attention to the need for institutions of higher education to connect the work of the academy to the social and environmental challenges of our world. At Stetson University, we rise to this challenge through effective teaching. And, it is through our continuous engagement in scholarly and creative inquiry that we elevate our roles as teacher-scholars. In so doing, we stimulate a culture of lifelong learning that connects our work to our world. Lifelong learning comes naturally to us as we enjoy conducting research and creative work. For Thomas Farrell, Ph.D., professor and chair of English at Stetson, research is central to faculty professional training and identity. “We chose our careers because we loved that work,” said Farrell, “and that love means that it continues to matter to us.” Yet, the term “research” is fairly new to the vocabulary of American higher education. Introduced in 1906 by Daniel Gilman, “research” was coined to enlarge the definition of the university as not only a place of teaching, but also a place of learning. As a place of learning — to wonder, discover, create, invent, reinterpret, integrate and share — smaller colleges and universities that possess an integrative teacher-scholar mission offer unique opportunities for faculty to explore any — or a combination — of the four pillars of research and creative activity identified by Boyer. The first pillar, discovery, involves the creation and dissemination of novel ideas within an established field. During the scholarship of integration, research is summarized across disciplines. Application research involves serving one’s community and profession, while teaching research integrates learning theory and mentorship. Faculty at these schools can explore innovative ideas, pursue new territory, cross disciplinary boundaries and diverge from traditional scholarly boundaries. Stetson benefits from Boyer’s openness to a wide range of scholarly and creative inquiry. Unlike research-intensive universities, the rich diversity offered by each of the four pillars of research and creative work manifests in
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disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry that runs the gamut — from issues of social justice and advocacy to new musical compositions, from the scholarship of teaching and learning to stoneflies. In harnessing our collective expertise, Stetson has been able to respond in unique ways to complex global challenges. At the College of Law, for example, the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy conducts research at the intersection of education, research and service as related to issues of biodiversity. The Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center, home to the special collections of Oscar Bluemner, engages our campus and broader community in creative work using art as activism while raising Stetson’s liberal learning mission and values around timely issues. Stetson’s new Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience promotes interdisciplinary research to inform policy in the quest for solving challenging environmental issues. In our Roland George Investments Program, students use research and education to manage a real portfolio of investments. An evolving paradigm points to faculty research as a key measure of institutional attractiveness to new faculty and students. For example, we attract Brown Visiting TeacherScholar Fellows and Jacobs Fellows who celebrate Stetson’s teacher-scholar role. We attract individuals who are new to higher-education faculty — either recent Ph.D.-earners or accomplished professionals who are making a career shift to higher education. Fellows receive mentoring from long-serving Stetson faculty in the teacher-scholar role and Stetson’s mission-based approach to learning. They collaborate with Stetson faculty on teaching and scholarship, bringing new energy and insight to our doors. These roles follow a “post doc” model, limited to two successive one-year appointments, after which the Fellows pursue tenure-track faculty positions at other institutions. This distributes Stetson teacher-scholar excellence throughout academia. Faculty at learning-centered institutions like Stetson can include students in their scholarship and creative activity, thereby gaining the advantage of students’ fresh perspectives. Faculty can involve students in
their own professional development as teacher-scholars and experience the satisfaction of transformative learning students realize in the process. Therein lies the power of the hyphen in the term “teacher-scholar.” The hyphen uniquely integrates teachers’ facilitation of student learning and scholars’ continuous intellectual and creative inquiry. The hyphen makes the learning community come alive. “As a result, our research makes us better teachers of today’s students,” notes Farrell, who also is chair of Stetson’s Professional Development Committee. “And it does so not just in terms of content, but also in terms of pedagogy. Our various forms of ongoing professional activity make us sharper and more focused in the classroom, more ready to consider the ways those issues present themselves today.” And when Stetson faculty bring the messiness of research into the classroom, they model the real exhilarating and exasperating process of learning and inspire the next generation of courageous learners and leaders. This is confirmed by a considerable body of research, much of it cataloged by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), which shows that students who access research and creative opportunities in and outside of the classroom demonstrate improved confidence, clearer career pathways and advanced professional skills. Since 1883, Stetson’s vision has remained constant: graduate students who dare to be significant in a world faced with rapid change and as-yet-unimagined challenges and opportunities. We stress research and creative inquiry at Stetson because we know that when we give a person a fish, he or she can have a meal; but when we teach a person to fish, that person can eat for a lifetime. Rosalie Richards is associate provost for Faculty Development and professor of chemistry and education.
Brandi Best with (r-l) Taylor Silveira, Emma Mazzone and Lauren Oâ€™Toole
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Office of University Marketing 421 N. Woodland Blvd., 8319 DeLand, FL 32723
STETSON is printed on FSC-certified paper.
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13-July 2 American Painting and the Florida School of Art Hand Art Center 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays 12-4 p.m. Saturdays
14 Community School Young Singers Concert Amanda Sali, conductor Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall 7:30 p.m.
15 Community School Youth String Concert Jacqueline Byl, conductor Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall 3 p.m.
See more Stetson events at Stetson.edu/cultural-calendar. Learn more about Stetson arts events at Stetson.edu/creative-arts. For more on the School of Music, visit Stetson.edu/music.