Faculty and Staff Briefs: October 2020 

Faculty Briefs OCTober 2020


Rick Burnette, Ph.D., Heather Epstein-DiazGaliya Tabulda, Ph.D., Caitlyn JesseeEugene HernandezZack StoffersPatrick MartinMev Verzaal, Samantha Nix, Ph.D., Joling Emerick, Andrew Brady, Matthew Earhart and James M. Hunt, Ph.D. (Office of Institutional Research) were awarded first place for Best Website, second place for Best Fact Book and third place for Best Interactive Report at the regional Southern Association for Institutional Research conference.

Amy L. Ai, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) was accepted as a fellow for the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Daniel P. Mears, Ph.D. (College of Criminology and Criminal Justice) received the 2020 Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Corrections and Sentencing, which recognizes an individual with a lasting scholarly career, particularly emphasizing an individual who has made a groundbreaking contribution to the field in the past five years.

Kevin M. Beaver, Ph.D., Daniel P. Mears, Ph.D. and Thomas G. Blomberg, Ph.D. (College of Criminology and Criminal Justice) were recently named among the top 15 most influential academics in the field of criminology by AcademicInfluence.com.

Graham J. McDougall, Jr., Ph.D. (College of Nursing) received the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Program Recognition Award for Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing. McDougall will be recognized for his expertise as an educator in Gerontological Nursing at the virtual NHCGNE Leadership Conference.


Michele Parker, Ph.D. (College of Human Sciences) and Michael Killian, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) received a grant for $16,000 from the Mental Research Institute for their project “Family Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Telehealth Response.”

Xin Yuan, Ph.D. (Department of Computer Science) has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation on “Understanding and Exploiting SDN in HPC environments,” which aims at developing techniques for using Software Defined Networking technology to compete with the high-end networking technology in current High-Performance Computing platforms.

Edmund G. Myers, Ph.D. (Department of Physics) was awarded a Precision Measurement Grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for the proposal “Towards a Test of CPT with the Antihydrogen Molecular Ion.” This grant was one of two awarded on a competitive basis from 18 proposals and funds $150,000 in increments of $50,000 each year.

Feng Bao, Ph.D. (Department of Mathematics) received a $135,471 grant from the Department of Energy’s FASTMath SciDAC Institute, which develops and deploys scalable mathematical algorithms and software tools for reliable simulation of complex physical phenomena.


Amy L. Ai, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) and Henry Carretta, Ph.D. (College of Medicine) co-authored the article “Optimism/hope Associated with Low Anxiety in Patients with Advanced Heart Disease Controlling for Standardized Cardiac Confounders,” published in the Journal of Health Psychology.

Crystal Taylor, Ph.D. (DeVoe Moore Center) co-authored a paper “Simulating Utility-Scale Solar Energy Profitability in Florida,” published in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Research. Taylor was also the lead author on an article on “Storytelling and Arts to Facilitate Community Capacity Building for Urban Planning and Social Work,” published in the journal Societies.

Mary Ziegler, J.D. (College of Law) authored an op-ed in The Boston Globe “With Roe v. Wade, Much More Than Abortion Is at Stake,” an op-ed NBC News “What Trump Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett Means for Roe v. Wade,” an op-ed for The Washington Post “Abortion Politics Polarized Before Roe. When It’s Gone, the Fighting Won’t Stop” and an op-ed for The Atlantic “The Secret Code of the Amy Coney Barrett Hearing.” She also co-authored an op-ed in The Boston Globe “The Sudden Resurgence of the Conservative Legal Movement.” Mary Ziegler was featured on Fox 5 New York’s “Good Day New York” segment “Closer look at Amy Coney Barrett,” a guest on “Bloomberg: Balance of Power,” talking about what to expect from Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing and featured on San Francisco’s KALW “Your Call” radio program.

Carrie Pettus-Davis, Ph.D. and Stephanie Kennedy, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) co-authored the chapter “Building on Reentry Research: A New Conceptual Framework and Approach to Reentry Services and Research” in the edited volume, Moving Corrections and Sentencing Forward: Building on the Record, issued by the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections & Sentencing and published by Routledge.

David Kirby, Ph.D. (Department of English) published his playlist of “30 Tunes That Are Better Than Coffee” for the online publication on The Bookends Review. Kirby’s list includes rock ‘n’ roll, classical, country, ska and old-school rap selections, among others.

Giray Okten, Ph.D. (Department of Mathematics) published the textbook, “Probability and Simulation,” part of the Springer Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics and Technology book series.

Amber Ward, Ph.D. (Department of Art Education) published a video essay “Embodiment and social distancing: Practices” in the Journal of Embodied Research, the first peer-reviewed, open-access, academic journal to focus specifically on the innovation and dissemination of embodied knowledge through the medium of video.

Dave Gussak, Ph.D. (Art Therapy) co-authored the article “A Strength-Based Art Therapy Approach with Those who have Sexually Offended,” published in Art Therapy: The Journal of the American Art Therapy Association.

Enrique Alvarez, Ph.D. (Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics) will guest-edit a special-focus section on “Bodies, Transnationalism and Affect in Recent Hispanic Poetry” in an upcoming publication of Studies in Twenty and Twenty-First Century Literature.

Rob Romanchuk, Ph.D. (Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics) and Matthew Goff, Ph.D. (Department of Religion) co-authored the review article “Two New Editions of the ‘Literature of the Judaizers,’ a Fifteenth-Century Jewish Humanist Corpus in Ruthenian,” published in Harvard Ukrainian Studies.

Bruce A. Thyer, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) was lead editor for “Research on Social Work Practice,” published in the Sage Journal. He also co-edited the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work and the Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal.

Koji Ueno, Ph.D. (Department of Sociology) published a paper in the journal Social Currents, examining how LGBTQ workers derive a sense of acceptance when receiving mixed messages from colleagues. Ueno also will conduct comparative work on the topic in Japan, funded by an Abe Fellowship.

Antonio C. Cuyler, Ph.D. (Department of Art Education) co-authored an article “Steadfastly White, Female, Hetero and Able-Bodied: An International Survey on the Motivations and Experiences of Arts Management Graduates,” published in the International Journal of Arts Management.


Carrie Ann Baade, MFA (Department of Art) will have paintings featured in the book, “The Art of the Occult: A Visual Sourcebook for the Modern Mystic,” published by White Lion Publishing/The Quarto Group.

Cosmo Whyte, MFA (Department of Art) has artwork, “Partus,” featured in the exhibit This is America/Art USA Today at the gallery Kunsthal KAdE, based in Amersfoort, Netherlands, through March 1.

Don Latham, Ph.D. (College of Communication and Information) presented at the 2020 ALISE Conference on “Information Literacy in Transition: Self-Perceptions of Community College Students,” which features interviews conducted with community college students in Florida and New York to determine self-perceptions of information literacy needs.

Yolanda Rankin, Ph.D. (College of Communication and Information) presented two papers at the 23rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. She also received honorable mention for Best Paper award for “A Seat at the Table: Black Feminist Thought as a Critical Framework for Inclusive Game Design.”

Kristie Escobar (College of Communication and Information) presented a poster as part of the 2020 ALISE Jean Tague Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Research Poster Competition on “What Do Youth Service Librarians Need? Reassessing Goals and Curricula in the Context of Changing Information Needs and Behaviors of Youth.”

Melissa Gross, Ph.D. (College of Communication and Information) presented a paper at the 2020 ALISE Conference, “In the Shadow of the ACROL Framework: Current Instructional Practices of Community College Librarians,” which featured results of a survey conducted among instructional librarians in Florida and New York who work at community colleges.

Alicia Craig-Rodriguez, DNP, (College of Nursing) presented at the virtual Mental Health Issues Facing Military and Veterans in Florida Conference, hosted by the College of Nursing on “Lifestyle Interventions and the Role of Gut Microbiome in Mental Health.” Judy Hefren, Ph.D., LCSW, also presented at the conference on “Venturing Into “No Man’s Land.”

Lucinda J. Graven, Ph.D. (College of Nursing) presented on “Research Challenges and Needs in Rural/Frontier Settings” at the virtual Heart Failure Society of America 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Marcy Stonikas, M.M. and Valerie M. Trujillo, M.M. (College of Music) were featured in an online vocal recital highlighting a collaboration between the college and Seattle Opera and filmed in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

Silvia Valisa, Ph.D. (Modern Languages and Linguistics) co-founded the Interdisciplinary Network for Nineteenth-Century Italian Studies which organized its first International Symposium devoted to the 19th century in Italy. It gathered scholars from three continents to start a global conversation on the 19th century in Italian culture. Valisa and Jessica Beasley, an FSU alumna, also presented the first-ever translation in English of the work of Italian poet Ludovica Ripa di Meana. They read samples of her new poetry book, “Voi non sapete che io non ho paura,” published with Garzanti in their prestigious Poetry Series in 2020, in the Bilingual Reading Series at ALTA 2020.

Michelle Bumatay, Ph.D. (Modern Languages and Linguistics) was invited as a guest speaker by the France-Florida Research Institute at the University of Florida as a part of its Fall 2020 Francophone Artists, Bandes Dessinées and Diasporic Graphics, Virtual Guest Speakers Series.

David Detweiler, D.M.A. (College of Music) recently released a new album “Celebrating Bird: A Tribute to Charlie Parker” on Next Level Records.

Carrie Pettus-Davis, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) presented a talk on “Institute for Justice Research and Development: IJRD: Real-World Research and Impact” at the FSU Alumni Association Luncheon. She was also a panelist for “Advancing Smart Decarceration: Research and Action Toward Criminal Justice Reform,” which was presented at the Arizona State University State of Incarceration Virtual Summit.

Alexandra Cockerham, Ph.D. (Political Science) presented at an interdisciplinary conference “Federalism on Trial: Lessons from COVID-19” with the Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University.

Sara Scott Shields, Ph.D. (Department of Art Education) was selected to participate in the Unity Flag Project where she created a flag to represent bipartisan awareness and foster understanding between people with different political views.

Meredith Lynn, MFA (Museum of Fine Arts) was selected to participate in the Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary exhibition which addresses the deep vernacular traditions at work in the art of the Southeast since 1985.


John J. Garcia, Ph.D. (Department of English) was one of seven panelists who participated in The Rare Book School Virtual Symposium on “Race and the Boundaries of the Book.” He also contributed a video trailer for the symposium, “Runaways: African American Papermakers During the American Revolution.”

Carrie Pettus-Davis, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) was on a panel “Addressing Social Justice Issues Impacting Workforce Needs,” held at the Home Builders Institute Industry Convening.

Margaret Zimmerman (College of Communication and Information) participated as a panelist at the 2020 ALISE Conference.

John Ribó, Ph.D. (Department of English) joined a virtual roundtable discussion on Black Latinx and Anti-Blackness in Latinx Communities. Ribó and other FSU faculty participants talked about how Black Latinx encounter intense racism and anti-Blackness in Latinx communities. The panel discussed how the present historical moment gives greater urgency to dismantling the historically rooted and systemic discriminatory systems that marginalize Black Latinx within Latinx communities and the wider society.

Lauren Kendall, DNP (College of Nursing) spearheaded the inaugural community event at Project Annie, Inc., where College of Nursing students and members of the Living Learning Community helped the clothing closet, prepared food and delivered health promotions related to hypertension, diabetes, COVID-19, flu and hand hygiene to community members.


Lamar Wilson, Ph.D. (Department of English) recently spoke to Indy Week about the life and legacy of the late award-winning author Randall Kenan.

Elwood Carlson, Ph.D. (Department of Sociology, Center for Demography) was featured on WNYC public radio’s “On the Media” program on the “Lucky Few Generation,” Joe Biden and the broader concept of generations.

Aimee Reist (College of Communication and Information) was appointed managing director at FSU School of Information (iSchool) for the start of the Fall 2020 semester and works with the school’s director, Kathleen Burnett, to lead iSchool operations.

Tiffany Rhynard, MFA (School of Dance) co-produced the film “Black Stains,” which was accepted into the Portland Dance Film Festival, Charlotte Film Festival and Mexico City Videodance Festival.

Kris Salata (School of Theatre) was recently appointed Chair of the School of Theatre.

Jessica Ingram (Department of Art) was shortlisted for this year’s Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award for her book, “Road through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial.”

Shuyuan Mary Ho (College of Communication and Information) led the team that developed an app for Android devices, “CV19 SelfDefense,” which encourages healthy and safe practices to help stop the transmission of the Coronavirus.

Michael T. Morley, J.D. (College of Law) was interviewed for the NBC 6 South Florida segment “An FSU Law Professor Explains What Happens When a President is Unable to Serve.” He was also quoted in election-related articles for Reuters, The Boston Globe, the Patriot Ledger, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Bloomberg and Roll Call.