Faculty and Staff Briefs: June 2017


Dawn Carr, Ph.D. (Sociology), Miles Taylor, Ph.D. (Sociology) and Walter Boot, Ph.D. (Psychology) have been elected as fellows of the Gerontological Society of America, the world’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging. Fellowship is an acknowledgement of outstanding and continuing work in the field of gerontology.

Rick McCullough (Fine Arts) was recognized for his years of service to Florida State University during this year’s Days of Dance performances hosted by FSU’s School of Dance. McCullough, who is retiring this year, joined the faculty at the School of Dance in 2004. During his tenure at FSU, he has choreographed many works and has given his time and talent in support of his students.

Pam Graham MacDill (Social Work) was presented with the Partners with a Purpose Award by the Division of Student Affairs (DSA) for her contributions to the Unconquered Scholars program run by the Center for Advancement, Retention and Enhancement. The Partners with a Purpose Award recognizes an organization or individual at Florida State outside of the DSA who contributes to its mission and plays a vital role working with students.


Valerie Shute, Ph.D. (Education) was awarded a total of $4 million by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences to study the design, development and evaluation of immersive games to support physics competencies over the next four years. Shute’s research will measure students’ current cognitive skills, real-time affective states and how to use the data to provide meaningful supports. The knowledge gained from this study will contribute to the design of next-generation learning games that promote both STEM competency development and interest.

Angelina Sutin, Ph.D. (Medicine) received a $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the genesis of specific personality traits that tend to have identifiable and direct impacts on longevity. During her five-year study, Sutin and her team of researchers will work to isolate prenatal and childhood risk factors contributing to the development of personality traits most consequential for healthy aging.

James Olcese, Ph.D. (Medicine) has received a $15,000 grant for KynderMed, his sleep mask technology designed to prevent pre-term labor, from the Leon County Research and Development Authority. The light-emitting sleep mask reduces pregnant women’s levels of melatonin, a hormone that causes overnight contractions and may lead to premature birth.


Marshall Kapp, J.D. (Medicine) published “Defensive Medicine: No Wonder Policymakers are Confused” in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine.

Joedrecka S. Brown-Speights, Ph.D. (Medicine), George Rust, Ph.D. (Medicine), Leslie Beitsch, M.D., J.D. (Medicine), Samantha Goldfarb, Ph.D. (Medicine) and Brittny Wells, Dr.P.H. (Medicine) co-authored the study “State-Level Progress in Reducing the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap, United States, 1999-2013,” which was published in the American Journal of Public Health. The FSU researchers found that 18 states are on track to eliminate racial disparities in infant mortality by 2050, sooner if current remedial trends are accelerated.

Toby Park, Ph.D. (Education) co-authored the paper “Labor Market Returns for Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” published in the journal Research in Higher Education.


Denise Bookwalter (Fine Arts) and collaborator Lee Running have released a catalogue from “Sheathing: Cloth as Shelter.” Sheathing is a collaborative installation developed with residencies at Penland School of Crafts, Small Craft Advisory Press and Constellation Studios exploring the materials of textiles, handwork and embellishment. Using the 60×80-inch size of a queen bed as a measure, Bookwalter and Running created a series of large format woodblock prints on handmade paper and built a bedroom sized printed canvas and dyed silk tent. Viewers were invited to wear bed jackets and move through images printed, dyed and stitched onto multiple materials into increasingly intimate spaces.

Jeff Beekman (Fine Arts) is presenting his “Battlefield Series” project at The Friends of East Atlanta Library through July 22, the anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta. The photography presented at the library shot mostly on the battlefields at Gettysburg at night and then combined through projections with other historical images discovered by Beekman during his research.

Lilian Garcia-Roig (Fine Arts) will be featured in “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA,” an exhibition which offers thematically linked works and programs during a four-month-long, region-wide exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Garcia-Roig will present her work as part of the “Landscape Ecologies” exhibit, which considers the Caribbean as a region of shared ecosystems and habitats.

Rob Duarte (Fine Arts) served as the 2016-2017 Artist in Residence at the Media Archaeology Lab in Boulder, Colo. During his residency, he presented a talk on the work that he is doing in the REBOOT Laboratory at the FSU Facility for Arts Research, and he presented a short workshop based on hacking e-waste to create unconventional human-computer interfaces. The Media Archaeology Lab provides an archive of important artifacts from the history of computing and digital literature.

Ben Schneer, Ph.D. (Political Science) presented at the highly competitive Congress and History Conference hosted by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress June 15-16. He also participated in the panel, “Petitions and Legislative Committee Formation: Theory and Evidence from Revolutionary Virginia and the Early U.S. House.”

Gershon Tenenbaum, Ph.D. (Education) presented at the Neurocognition and Action in Sport – Individualized Diagnostics and Coaching Symposium hosted by the University of Bielefeld May 4-6, in Bielefeld, Germany.

Katie Flanagan, Ph.D. (Education) presented her project, “Making Service Learning a High Impact Practice in College Curriculum” at the Athens Institute for Education and Research Conference in Athens, Greece.

Kathy Guthrie, Ph.D. (Education) was a featured guest May 3 on web series Student Affairs Live hosted by Higher Ed Live.


Suzanne Baker (Medicine) has been appointed assistant dean for graduate programs and medical student research. Baker has been the Department of Geriatric’s research program director since 2011.

Briefs are compiled and posted monthly. Faculty, staff and communicators are welcome to submit blurbs for Faculty and Staff Briefs at news-office@unicomm.fsu.edu by the 10th day of each month.