Faculty and Staff Briefs: April 2021



Shonda Bernadin, Ph.D. (FAMU-FSU College of Engineering) received the 2020-2021 Research Excellence Award from Florida A&M University on April 23, 2021. 

Stephanie Kennedy, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) was honored as the College of Social Work Instructor of the Year. Student nominators noted her engaged and compassionate teaching style and her ability to translate complex research content into highly accessible lectures and activities. 


Inika Pierre Williams, Ph.D. (Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement) received a $10,000 grant from the College Board for her project, “Florida Partnership for Minority and Underrepresented Student Achievement.” This grant will support the efforts of the CARE pre-collegiate programs to improve college and career readiness opportunities for students attending Title I schools in Leon County. 

Neda Yaghoobian, Ph.D. (FAMU-FSU College of Engineering) was awarded the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, including a five-year $500,000 grant, to advance the prediction and mitigation of fire spread into wildfire-prone areas. Her findings may elevate the importance of fire science in the national landscape. 

Nasrin Alamdari, Ph.D. (FAMUFSU College of Engineering) is developing a new open-source tool to predict the effects of best management practice in stormwater management, and her research is funded by a four-year $266,473 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

Lingjiong Zhu, Ph.D. (Mathematics) and his collaborator Mert Gurbuzbalaban, Ph.D. (Rutgers University) received a National Science Foundation collaborative grant for their research project “Collaborative Research: Langevin Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods for Machine Learning.”

Elizabeth Slate, Ph.D. (Statistics) and Henry Zhang, Ph.D. (Statistics) have a new grant from NIH entitled “Multimodal Integrative Dimension Reduction and Statistical Modeling with Applications to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Morphometry and Biomechanics.”

Henry Zhang, Ph.D. (Statistics) received a new NSF grant entitled “Tensor and Subspace Learning Methods with Applications to Medical Imaging.”

Elizabeth Slate, Ph.D. (Statistics) received a new grant for her project “Integrating Craniofacial Morphology, Oral Function, Temporomandibular Biomechanics and Mechanobiology to Determine Sex-specific TMJ Pathophysiology in Humans” in collaboration with Hai Yao, Ph.D. (Clemson University).


Inika Pierre Williams, Ph.D. (Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement) published “Mobilizing University Capital to Foster Pathways of College Access for Underserved Youth” in the Florida Journal of Educational Research. She also had a chapter, “Secrets of the Diaspora,” published in the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now.” 

Carrie Pettus, Ph.D. and Stephanie Kennedy, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) co-published an article, “Incarcerated Individuals’ Experiences of COVID-19 in the United States” in the International Journal of Prisoner Health. 

Changhyun (Lyon) Nam, Ph.D. (Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship) published Pedagogical Guidance to Educators in Teaching Sneaker Design: The Effectiveness of Sketchbook Practice” in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education. 

Amy Ai, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) researched and published “Perceived Spiritual Support Counteracts the Traumatic Impact of Extreme Disasters: Exploration of Moderators,” which will appear in the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 

William Oates, Ph.D. and Guanglei Xu (FAMUFSU College of Engineering) found a way to automatically infer parameters used in an important quantum Boltzmann machine algorithm for machine learning applications and had their findings published in Scientific Reports. This will enhance quantum machine learning algorithms. 

Amy Ai, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) and Arthur Raney, Ph.D. (College of Communication and Information) co-published “Positive Emotion and Coping Related to Depression in the Aftermath of Category 5 Hurricanes” in Traumatology: An International Journal. They also published “Perceived Spiritual Support (short-form) Counteracts the Traumatic Impact of Extreme Disasters: Exploration of Moderators” in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 

Katrinell Davis, Ph.D. (Department of Sociology) published the book “Tainted Tap: Flint’s Journey from Crisis to Recovery” (UNC Press) about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and the community action resulting from it. 

Geoffrey Brooks, Ph.D. (FAMU-FSU College of Engineering) authored “Bio-Inspired Sensory Systems: Using Natural Photo-, Mechano-, and Chemo-Sensory Systems for Design Inspiration,” an open access textbook published by Florida State Open Publishing. 

Cameron Beatty, Ph.D., Kathy Guthrie, Ph.D. and Erica Wiborg, Ph.D. (College of Education) co-authored a new book for undergraduate leadership studies, “Engaging in the Leadership Process: Identity, Capacity, and Efficacy for College Students.” The authors intend the book for college student leaders and individuals who work with student leaders on college campuses. 

Laurie AbbottPh.D., RN, PHNA-BC and Lucinda GravenPh.D., APRN, FAHA (College of Nursing) co-published “Fatalism, Social Support, and Perceptions of Self-Care among Rural African Americans Living with Diabetes and Pre-diabetes” in Nursing Reports. 

Vanessa Dennen, Ph.D. (College of Education) published a new book, “Reshaping International Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Universities in the Information Age.” In addition to serving as one of the editors, she also contributed to a chapter, “Mediated Identities, Context Collapse, and Cultural Elements of Networked Learning.” She also published in a handbook with Ph.D. student Yujin Park, “Preparing K-12 Teachers for Blended and Online Learning: The Role of PLNs in Preservice Learning and Professional Development,” which appears in the Handbook of Research on K-12 Blended and Virtual Learning Through the i2Flex Classroom Model. Dennen contributed to an open-source eBook, What Journal Editors Wish Authors Knew About Academic Publishing,” which shares her insight as an editor for the journal The Internet and Higher Education. 

Marcy Driscoll, Ph.D. (College of Education) and Kerry Burner, Ph.D. (Office of Distance Learning) co-published a new book, “Psychology of Learning for Instruction, 4th edition,” published by Pearson. 

Ravi Howard, Ph.D. (English) published “Watchnight” in the Summer/Fall 2021 issue of “Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts.”


Mark Zeigler, MS (College of Communication and Information) conducted a communication workshop for the ABB LEAD program, which is an international engineering and technology firm based in Switzerland. He also conducted a session for Gamma Phi Beta Wellness Week and a communication session for the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Tisha Holmes, Ph.D., April Jackson, Ph.D. and Will Butler, Ph.D. (Department of Urban & Regional Planning) spoke at the University of Illinois’ Planning for Climate Justice lecture series on “Climate Gentrification in Florida.” Their presentation considered the relationship between rising sea levels, displacement and climate gentrification in Florida’s coastal communities. 

Mackenzie Alston, Ph.D. (Department of Economics) presented “Does Black and Blue Matter: An Experimental Investigation of Race and Perceptions of Police Bias” at the University of Michigan School of Information’s seminar series on social, behavioral and experimental economics. 

Christina Owens, Ph.D. (University Honors Program) gave an invited virtual lecture at Connecticut College on “Transpacific White Masculinities and Interdisciplinary Analysis.” 

Camille Thomas, SLIS and Lindsey Wharton, MLIS (University Libraries) presented at the “OER as Equitable” roundtable at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) virtual conference. 

Preethi Gorecki, MLIS (University Libraries) presented “Lift Up Your Residency Program: How to Move Your Institution Forward” at the Association of College and Research Libraries virtual conference. 

Jessica Bahorski, Ph.D. (College of Nursing) presented “Infant Temperament is Associated with Potentially Obesogenic Maternal Feeding Behaviors in Early Infancy” at the 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions, Society of Behavioral Medicine at a virtual conference. 

Beth Boatright, MLS (University Libraries) presented “Ascending the Ranks – Or Not: Are Our Employee Evaluation Practices Equitable?” at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) virtual conference. 

Liz Dunne, MLIS, Lisa Play, MLIS, and Lindsey Wharton, MLIS (University Libraries) presented “Supporting Campus Communities through Improved Virtual Reference Services #reopeningthechatwindow” at the Association of College and Research Libraries virtual conference. 

Bridgett Birmingham, MLIS and Leah ShermanMA, MS (University Libraries) presented “Every Expedition Begins with a Team: Cultivating and Nurturing a Peer Mentoring Network” at the Association of College and Research Libraries virtual conference. 

Matt HunterMA, MLISLaura Miller, MLIS and Leah ShermanMA, MS (University Libraries) presented “Access Art History: Building Library Publishing Partnerships in the Humanities” at the Association of College and Research Libraries virtual conference. 

Betsy Becker, Ph.D. (College of Education) presented “Synthesizing Effects from Quasi-experiments in Education: Challenges and Remaining Questions” at the Texas A&M University’s College of Education & Human Development Spring Speaker Series. 

Kerensa Lockwood, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) joined local service providers for a virtual reentry symposium to identify strategies for overcoming the many challenges faced by people leaving incarceration and returning home. Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil gave the keynote address; Dale White of the Institute for Justice Research and Development’s Community Advisory Board was also a panelist. Olivia Hitchcock, College of Social Work Master’s student and IJRD study employee moderated the symposium. 

Stephen Tripodi, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) presented a paper, “Trauma Informed Care Groups with Incarcerated Women: An Alternative Treatment Design Comparing Seeking Safety and STAIR” at the Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health held by the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health. 

Jessica Bahorski, Ph.D., APRN, PPCNP-BC, WHNP-BC (College of Nursing) co-presented “Infant Temperament Is Associated with Potentially Obesogenic Maternal Feeding Behaviors in Early Infancy” at the 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s virtual conference. She also presented “Insulin Resistance Moderates the Association Between BMI and Metabolic Syndrome Severity in Women 4-10 Years After Pregnancy, Independent of Gestational Diabetes Status” at the ENDO 2021 Endocrine Society virtual conference. 

Carrie Ann Baade, MFA and Holly Hanessian, MFA (Department of Art) competed in ArtFields 2021 competition and exhibition. Their artwork will be on display throughout the community of Lake City, South Carolina, from April 23-May 1, 2021. 

Kristen Dowell, Ph.D. (Department of Art History) participated in the virtual Building an Engaged Art History symposium hosted by Case Western Reserve and Indiana University. Dowell was among 40 scholars involved in the conference, covering public scholarship, civic engagement, and community-based practices in the study and teaching of art history and visual culture. 

Robert Romanchuk Ph.D. (Modern Languages) gave a talk entitled “Oral Tradition as Rhetorical Resource in the Old Slavic Translation of Digenis Akritis” for the Kosmos Society/Harvard Center for Hellenistic Studies.

Enrique Álvarez Ph.D. (Modern Languages) delivered a plenary lecture entitled “Spatiality, Gender, and Nation: The Gay Elegy in the War Poetry of Emilio Prados” at the Third International Conference “Género y sexualidad en las culturas hispánicas : Memorias, espacios y disidencias” at University of Lleida, Spain, April 12-16.

David Kirby, Ph.D. (English) joined The Georgia Poetry Circuit and Georgia Southern University’s Department of Writing and Linguistics for a Q&A session and reading on April 8.

Barbara Hamby, M.A. (English), Diane Roberts, Ph.D. (English), and Elizabeth Stuckey-French, M.F.A. (English) gave readings during Tallahassee’s Word of South Festival, April 10-11.


Patrice Iatarola, Ph.D. (College of Education) presided over the Association for Education Finance and Policy annual conference, which was held virtually this year due to the pandemic. Additionally, she delivered the presidential address. 

Stephen Tripodi, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) was named a Consulting Editor for the journal Social Work Research. 


Lt. Greg Washington (Florida State University Police Department) was presented with the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life Fraternal Partner of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to the Greek community. 

Robert Schoen, Ph.D. (College of Education) and Sharon Koon, Ph.D. (Florida Center for Reading Research) co-conducted a randomized controlled trial of the Supporting Teacher Enactment of the Probability and Statistics Standards (STEPSS) program. The STEPSS program improved statistics instruction and student understanding of statistics.

Carrie Pettus, Ph.D. (College of Social Work) convened Secretaries and Directors of the Departments of Corrections in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Texas — the first four 5-Key Model states. The convenings highlighted preliminary 5-Key Model results on the association between increasing well-being among individuals releasing from prison and decreased rates of reincarceration. 

Geneva Scott-King, DNP, FNP-C (College of Nursing) and her Vulnerable Populations clinical students manned the COVID-19 immunization stations at Archbold Medical Center. 

Mark Messersmith, MFA (Department of Art) received the honorary title of Professor Emeritus. Following retirement, Messersmith continues to be featured in successful exhibitions both nationally and internationally and continues to shape student learning through the Susan and Mark Messersmith Art Scholarship established in 2017.