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The florida state university

The grad connection

t h e gradua t e schoo l n e w s l e t t e r

Message from the dean

Greetings, Fall 2010 has been an exciting time for the Graduate School. More than nine hundred students attended New Graduate Student Orientation in mid-August. This year in addition to the usual welcomes and panel presentations, students were treated to a “Picnic on the Green” provided by Seminole Dining and t-shirts proclaiming The Graduate School provide by President Eric Barron. Following on the heels of this event we welcomed students holding university-wide fellowships administered by the Graduate School into the Fellows Society. The Fellows Society is designed to promote leadership development and interdisciplinary interactions among graduate and professional students. And in early October we greeted graduate students and their families at the first “Carnival at the Rez”. The carnival featured a variety of entertainment with music by the band “Eclectic Acoustic” which includes Professor Steve McDowell from the School of Communication, juggling and acrobatics by students from the FSU Flying High Circus, and magic by Arbacia the Great. All of these activities provided opportunities for graduate students to meet peers from programs across the campus leading to improved intercultural understanding. In addition, this Fall and throughout the year the Graduate School hosts numerous workshops for graduate students to enhance their professional development. The schedule for these workshops is posted on the Graduate School website: A few weeks ago the long awaited National Research Council’s Data-Based Assessment of Research Doctoral programs report was released. The report provides data on twenty variables that are important in assessing a doctoral program from different perspectives e.g., publications and citations of faculty, as well as percentage of graduate students with support, and the time to degree for graduate students. The report did not provide a singular ranking of programs and it will take some time to digest all of the information. While there are many shortcomings of the report as noted in the press, I do expect that the findings will nevertheless help us gain insight into the standing of our programs nationally and provide direction in how we can improve certain aspects of our programs to ensure a quality experience for all of our graduate students. Sincerely, Nancy Marcus Page 1 of 5

The Grad Connection First Annual Carnival at the Rez By Dr. Judith Devine Tuesday, October 5, 2010, the Graduate School hosted its first Carnival @ the Rez for graduate students and their families. Hundreds of parents, children, couples and singles joined Graduate School staff at the FSU Reservation for a late afternoon of hot dogs, sodas, ice cream, popcorn, snow cones, face painting by members of Theta Nu Xi Sorority, games with FSU basketball and track team members, jugglers and the Quartet Adagio from the FSU Flying High Circus, live music by the band Eclectic Acoustics, and magic performed by Graduate Dean Nancy Marcus. In beautiful weather, families canoed, kayaked and even swam in Lake Bradford. The Congress of Graduate Students (COGS) generously provided the funding for the Carnival, while the FSU Center for Global Engagement, FSU Alumni FSU Flying High Circus’ QuarCenter, FSU Alumni Village, and the School tet Adagio performs for graduof Communication also provided assistance. ate students and their families. The opportunity to experience the Rez, spend time with their families and meet other graduate students and the Graduate School staff made the Carnival a great success. One of the athletes wrote the next morning to say, “The event was really well run and I was very impressed with all of the activities and food. Thanks for inviting us and giving us an opportunity to give back to the community that supDr. Steve McDowell (right) ports us in so many ways. It was nice to meet you!” A graduate student wrote “I performs with the band wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that my wife and I really enjoyed Eclectic Acoustic. the Carnival. It was a wonderful idea and a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the weather. Thank you for the time and effort that the graduate school put into pulling the event off. I hope that this (or something like it) continues going forward!” The Graduate School plans to make the “Carnival at the Rez” an annual event, to encourage the development of support networks among graduate students and their families. The FSU Reservation is located just minutes from campus on Lake Bradford. Entry is free for all FSU students. For more information on the Rez, see their website: or FSU graduate students enjoy the beautiful October call 850-644-6892.

weather under the mossy oaks of the FSU Reservation.

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The Grad Connection Fsu Alumna Receives Prestigious Award From President Obama By Daniel Parry 202-767-2326 September 30, 2010 Washington, DC

This year, President Barack Obama conferred upon Dr. Ruth Preller, Superintendent of the Naval Research Laboratory Oceanography Division, the award of Meritorious Executive, an award bestowed only among the top five percent of career Senior Executive Sevice members in the nation. Appointed to Senior Executive Service September, 2004, Preller has the distinction of being the first female senior executive at NRL, managing a research program that provides today’s warfighter with reliable predictions (nowcasts and forecasts) of ocean currents, temperature, salinity, optics, tides, waves, hurricane surge, and surf Dr. Preller received a Ph.D. in zone conditions. Meterology from FSU “Naval operations require precise knowledge of how the environment will impact operations in order to exploit that knowledge for tactical advantage against adversaries who are intimately familiar with their home environments,” said Dr. Edward Franchi, Associate Director of Research, Ocean and Atmospheric Science and Technology. “Dr. Preller’s team performs basic and applied research in ocean sciences providing real-time ocean analysis and predictions valuable to the Navy warfighter and Department of Defense operations around the globe.” Ocean models must provide Naval forces accurate predictions for open-ocean, shallow water, near-shore, and riverine environments. Therefore, predictions of ocean conditions on global, regional, and local scales are required. Accurate ocean forecasts are essential to optimize mission planning, execution, and safety of Naval and Joint Forces. The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO) runs 10 to 12 operational ocean analysis and prediction systems daily, disseminating ocean environment products to the Fleet. “Dr. Preller demonstrates extraordinary leadership, maintaining sound scientific quality and productivity with a focus on meeting the customer’s research needs,” added Franchi. “Every one of these products is based on the research and technology developed by Preller’s Division.” In her four years as superintendent of the NRL Oceanography Division, Preller has expanded the division’s business base, grown and diversified the workforce, and established the division as a vibrant, attractive place to work. Faced with management changes, retirements, and personnel losses after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she led a division reorganization to achieve better leadership for future directions and to improve communications and mentoring. She initiated an aggressive recruitment effort, emphasizing the recruitment of females and minorities and has increased permanent additions to the scientific staff by nearly 20 percent. Her strategic replenishment of the workforce has been noted as ‘well balanced’ among areas of expertise and represents a healthy spectrum of experience levels from recent Post Doctoral Fellows to tenure-track faculty members. Reflecting the President’s Management Agenda for fiscal responsibility, Preller successfully increased her division’s level of income in the face of reduced Navy funding through aggressive marketing of NRL science and technology to other sponsors, including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Transportation (DoT), and National Geospatial Information Agency (NGA). Preller received her master’s and doctorate in meteorology from Florida State University under the direction of Dr. James O’Brien. Page 3 of 5

The Grad Connection Graduate Student Awarded International Fellowship Meaghan Brown, doctoral student in the History of Text Technologies program, was recently awarded a research fellowship from the Bibliographical Society of America, which funded a summer of archival research, including time at the British Library. She competed with scholars at all ranks from all over the world to win this stipend for her project, entitled “Publishing the Spanish Armada: Printing the Authorized Version”. Her project is a study of the pamphlets, letters, papers, and books printed about a major event of 1588, the attack of the Spanish Armada. Ms Brown calls this “a multimedia, international publishing event” filled with propaganda, intrigue, and disinformation, made possible by translation and printing. The Armada project developed here at Florida State, following her research assistantship on a CRC-funded Planning Grant. Her ongoing research on the Armada documents is part of her dissertation project, tentatively titled, “‘Good Meaghan Brown, doctoral Report of England’: Composing Communities in Early Modern Print.”

student in the History of Text Ms. Brown holds an MSIS with a focus on rare books and special collections and Technology (HOTT)

her article on William Caxton, England’s first printer, will be published in the Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature (Oxford: Blackwell, forthcoming).

More information of the History of Text Technologies program can be found online:

Fellows Develop their Networking Skills At two separate events this Fall, members of the Fellows Society had the opportunity to learn about and develop their professional networking skills. On August 20, Dr. Laura Osteen, Director of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, led a workshop, “Making the Connection: Relationships as Knowledge,” where fellows had the opportunity to learn more about professional networking. These skill were put into practice on September 23 at reception for Fellows and special guests from the University and community held at the FSU Museum of Fine `Arts. The series of events was developed by University Fellow, Sunny Spillane, as a way to encourage interdisciplinary connections between fellows from different departments. Each year, the Graduate School supports an interdisciplinary colloquium, symposium, workshop or other event designed by members of the FSU Fellows Society. This year, the reception was co-sponsored by the FSU Alumni Association. Learn more out the Fellows Society: Page 4 of 5

The Grad Connection The Graduate School Announces New Legacy Fellowship The Graduate School is delighted to announce the newly-designed 2011-2012 Graduate School Legacy Fellowship competition that will provide multi-year commitments to all Fellows, along with changes to the current fellowship structure. The new Legacy Fellowship has been designed to provide support for incoming Doctoral and qualifying MFA students for the majority of their time at FSU through degree completion. It provides a $50,000 fellowship for doctoral students and $30,000 for qualifying MFA students over the course of the award period. To fund this program we are reallocating funds currently designated for the Presidential, University, and College Teaching Fellowships for the 2011-2012 academic year. Current Presidential Fellowship commitments will continue to be honored, but no new applications will be accepted in 2011-2012. Current University Fellows will be allowed to apply to the new Legacy Fellowship program, with funding not to exceed three years from the Graduate School. For more information, please visit our website at or contact Brian Barton at

Staff in the Spotlight: Becky Culp Becky Culp joined The Graduate School in June of this year as a Program Associate. She is a long-time employee of FSU, having held accounting and management positions over her past fourteen years with the university. Becky manages several fellowships and award processes for The Graduate School including the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, Wilson-Auzenne Assistantship, International Dissertation Semester Research Fellowship, Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, and the Graduate Faculty Mentor Award. She is also the budget manager over The Graduate School’s accounts and is the point of contact for time extensions, exceptions, and dual enrollments. With Becky’s longevity and experience with the university, she brings to the office a great deal of experience in university processes and procedures with respect to overall administrative operations. Becky is a proud parent of her daughter Amy and is very active in her school activities. She also enjoys reading, the arts, and time spent in activities outdoors.

Fall 2010 Volume 6 Issue 1

Nancy Marcus, Ph.D. Dean of The Graduate School

The Graduate School

408 Westcott Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410 The GradConnection is available online The-Grad-Connection Page 5 of 5

Jennifer Feltman Editor

The Grad Connection - Fall 2010  
The Grad Connection - Fall 2010  

The mission of this newsletter is to highlight the accomplishments of The Florida State University’s graduate and professional students, and...