In the News
Although newlyweds may not be completely aware of it, they may know whether their march down the aisle will result in wedded bliss or an unhappy marriage, according to new study led by a Florida State University researcher.
Two Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences faculty members — science-education advocate Ellen Granger and chemist Albert E. Stiegman — each have received one of the top honors in the scientific world: elevation to the rank of fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
A scientist in Florida State University’s College of Arts and Sciences has uncovered what may be the first recognized example of ancient Martian crust.
One of Florida State University’s most distinguished researchers has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining 164 other fellows and foreign honorary members in the Class of 2013.
Florida State University and Clemson University may compete on the athletic field, but researchers from the two institutions are working together off the field to diagnose and prevent widespread joint disorders.
Florida State University’s Department of Mathematics conducted a highly successful outreach event on Oct. 12 that drew hundreds of K-12 students and their parents from the Tallahassee area
Florida State University researchers had a special reason to celebrate on Oct. 8 when the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics to theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert to recognize their work developing the theory of what is now known as the Higgs field, which gives elementary particles mass.
The left and right hemispheres of Albert Einstein's brain were unusually well connected to each other and may have contributed to his brilliance, according to a new study conducted in part by Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk.
A professor in Florida State's Department of English is part of an international team that has won a prestigious academic grant to study how texts were translated from other languages and printed in England during the Renaissance.
Daniel Ruiz sees the beauty in words and in life. The Florida State University creative writing major studies the implications and uses of words in everything from classic poetry to modern rap music.
Florida State University’s computer science department can now award more than $3.2 million in scholarships to students studying computer science, computer criminology, computational biology, information security, and computer and network system administration.
Florida State University senior Kristin Engebretsen has always had an appreciation for the intricacy and beauty of nature. From veterinary clinics and animal sanctuaries to a lab in Tallahassee and even the plains of South Africa, she strives to preserve the species of this planet for future generations to enjoy.
Scientists studying the impact of oil in the Gulf of Mexico perform experiments on everything from sand to water to sea life. Recently, one group of researchers extended their experimental spirit to that old university standby, the internship.
Soil chemist Lynn Dudley, former chair of FSU's Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, dies
Dudley was the first department chair of the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science at Florida State. His leadership was critical in the successful joining of the three former departments of Geology, Meteorology and Oceanography, resulting in the creation of one of the College of Arts and Sciences' premier undergraduate and graduate programs.
When it comes to conducting undergraduate research, physics student Kelly Pawlak has shown herself to be ready for the most intellectual of challenges.
A Florida State University research ship has returned from its first extended voyage, collecting more than 400 fishes in the northeastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marine life.
Mike Kaschak, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, has been elected a fellow of the Association of Psychological Science, the largest international organization for researchers in the field of psychological research. He also has received an Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Psychonomic Society, a major organization devoted to experimental cognitive psychology.
Florida State University has recruited three leading energy-focused researchers to push innovation in solar cell-related technology while helping to build on the university's recent designation as a pre-eminent university.
With 'Stalin's Curse,' Gellately documents the fanaticism and patience of Marxism-Leninism's truest believer
Sixty years after his death, a thoroughly researched new book on Josef Stalin and the Cold War era is causing historians and others to rethink old ideas about one of the 20th century’s most powerful and feared leaders.
Ten distinguished students from Florida State University, including seven who are pursuing degrees in the university's College of Arts and Sciences, will travel the world for the 2013-2014 academic year after earning prestigious grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Florida State University Spanish language student Estrella Rodriguez, president of the university's chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society, received the society's prestigious Gabriela Mistral Award for her academic achievements in Spanish and her noteworthy leadership and initiative in the chapter.
Anthropology emeritus professor among three awarded NEH grant to explore 'origins of the Mesoamerican city'
Two Florida State University researchers, including an emeritus professor from FSU's College of Arts and Sciences, are part of a group that has received a highly competitive $280,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant to study the first cities of Mesoamerica along the Gulf coast of Mexico.
Four students from FSU's College of Arts and Sciences are bringing more sunshine to the university during hurricane season after winning prestigious Ernest F. Hollings Scholarships, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
With Humboldt fellowship, religion professor will soon be off to Germany in search of ancient giants
Religion professor Matthew Goff is writing a book analyzing 2,000-year-old passages contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls that differ significantly from the biblical book of Genesis and its account of the cataclysmic Flood.
A professor of Russian and Slavic studies has received a major fellowship that will enable her to complete her latest book at Harvard University.
English professor, acclaimed author Robert Olen Butler wins prestigious F. Scott Fitzgerald literary award
Just as the new movie “The Great Gatsby” was about to have its world premiere, acclaimed author and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler was receiving a related award — this one honoring his entire career of literary excellence.
Alan G. Marshall, one of Florida State University’s most distinguished researchers, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining 197 other fellows and foreign honorary members in the Class of 2013.
Florida State University’s Department of English is widely recognized as one of the best in the nation. That golden reputation was burnished recently when Adam Johnson won one of the most coveted of all literature prizes.
A Florida State University scholar in Asian religious traditions, Bryan J. Cuevas learned early in 2013 that he would be the recipient of a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowship. This month, his fortunes have doubled after he was awarded a highly competitive John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship.
A new, state-of-the-art sail buoy has been launched from the R/V Apalachee, the new research vessel of Florida State University's Coastal and Marine Laboratory, part of the College of Arts and Sciences.
FSU-Teach, a teacher development program co-administered by Florida State University’s College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education, is the recipient of a $1 million endowment from the National Math and Science Initiative.
Medical students aren’t the only ones who excel in the Florida State University College of Medicine. There are graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, even undergraduates — such as chemistry major Elizabeth Ogunrinde, who has earned national recognition.
Two Florida State University physics professors — Susan Blessing and Paul Cottle — have been appointed to chair committees that make policy decisions for the American Physical Society, the national organization of physicists.
Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill acted as a catalyst for plankton and other surface materials to clump together and fall to the sea floor in a massive sedimentation event that researchers are calling a “dirty blizzard.”
Bryan J. Cuevas will translate from Tibetan into English the biography of one of Tibet’s most controversial Buddhist saints, Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak (often referred to simply as Ralo).
Three Florida State emeritus professors of mathematics — John L. Bryant, Robert Gilmer and De Witt Sumners — have been elected to the inaugural class of fellows of the American Mathematical Society.
The American Psychological Association has awarded Jon Maner the prestigious Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of social psychology.
Few people in academia have the honor of being named a Fulbright scholar. However, Suzanne Sinke has now doubled that honor, receiving her second faculty Fulbright award in 14 years.
Florida State and the MagLab together tied for second most in the nation for the number of APS fellows elected for 2012.
Researchers find that heat given off by cities can lead to continental-scale winter warming.
Laura Reina is known for her work with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to assist in the detection of the elusive Higgs boson particle.
Florida State University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Garnett S. Stokes has announced the appointment of Sam Huckaba as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, effective immediately. Huckaba, former senior associate dean of the college and a professor of mathematics, was selected after a national search for dean. To read the full news release, click here.
It takes scholarly pluck to claim joint authorship of a play with William Shakespeare. But that is exactly what FSU professor and world-renowned Shakespeare scholar Gary Taylor is doing with The History of Cardenio, commonly considered one of the Bard’s lost plays.
Associate Professor Svetla Slaveva-Griffin of the Department of Classics has received a 2013-2014 Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, a prestigious fellowship from the government of Germany.
FSU mathematics Ph.D. alumna Mariel Vazquez is one of 96 scholars to win the U.S. government’s highest honor for researchers in the early stages of their careers. The award, known as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), was announced by the White House. Vazquez was a doctoral student of De Witt Sumners, the now-retired Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and former chair of the department.
Florida State University Professor Emeritus De Witt Sumners has been named to the first-ever class of fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for his lifetime of pioneering work on the mathematical principles behind knots and for applying knot theory to DNA structure and function.
Roy Baumeister, the Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, has received a 2013 William James Fellow Award, a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the basic science of psychology. “It is the highest honor given by the Association for Psychological Science across all fields of psychology,” the FSU psychology department website says.
Three assistant professors in the College of Arts and Sciences have received 2012 National Science Foundation CAREER awards, a highly competitive research grant given to the nation’s most outstanding young researchers. They are Kenneth L. Knappenberger Jr. of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; M. Elizabeth Stroupe of the Department of Biological Science; and Zhenghao Zhang of the Department of Computer Science.
Florida State University chemistry major Dan Stribling has won a 2012-2013 Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most coveted awards in the nation for science, math, and engineering undergraduates.
Renaissance scholar Gary Taylor of the FSU English department has won the Elizabeth Dietz Memorial Award for the best book published in “early modern” studies. The award recognizes Taylor’s editorial work on Thomas Middleton: Collected Works and its companion volume, Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture. The work was selected for the prize from 200 eligible publications.
Mariel Vazquez, who earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from FSU in Fall 2000, has been awarded a CAREER Award by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award recognizes her research applying pure math to the study of how DNA tangles as it packs into living cells.
Professor Emeritus DeWitt Sumners, former chair of FSU’s Department of Mathematics, has been awarded the Microsoft Distinguished Visiting Fellowship to spend a month at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Sumners has been selected for the Topological Dynamics in the Physical and Biological Sciences program, to be held in late 2012.
A consortium led by Florida State University is receiving $20 million over three years for research in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The lead researcher on the grant is Eric Chassignet, a professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) and director of FSU’s Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS).
Professor Michael Mascagni has been named a 2011 distinguished scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery.
As an undergraduate chemistry major at Florida State College for Women (FSCW) in the early 1940s, Louise Cason worked in the dining hall and as a laboratory assistant in the Department of Physics to pay her tuition. Now, several decades later, following a highly successful career in pediatric medicine and wise financial investments, Cason has made a gift to her alma mater for half a million dollars.
Educational software creator and FSU psychology alum Bill Jenkins has honored his Ph.D. adviser by creating the R. Bruce Masterton Endowed Professorship. Masterton was a psychology professor at FSU from 1967 until his sudden death in 1996. The first recipient of the endowed chair is neuroscientist Rick Hyson.
Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology Roy Baumeister grabbed national attention in the latter part of 2011 by placing a new book at the top of The New York Times's best-seller list. It was also selected as one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2011. The book, titled, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, received positive reviews from The Times’s Sunday Book Review as well as National Public Radio and the website The Daily Beast.
Hedi Mattoussi, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at FSU, was selected in Fall 2011 as a fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS). He was one of only 213 scientists in the world to receive the honor in 2011.
In the first half of 2012, physics Professor Jorge Piekarewicz received recognition from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the American Physical Society (APS). Piekarewicz has been invited to serve a three-year term on the joint DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), and separately, has been named an “outstanding referee” by the APS.
Professor Kun Yang, a condensed matter physicist, has been named a 2011 fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). APS fellowship “is limited to no more than one-half of 1 percent of the society’s membership and is a significant recognition by a scientist’s peers of his or her outstanding contributions to physics,” according to the website of the FSU Department of Physics.
Allan Clarke, the Adrian E. Gill Professor of Oceanography and a Distinguished Research Professor at FSU, has won the 2012 Sverdrup Gold Medal Award from the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Clarke, a theoretician originally from Australia, was recognized in particular “for fundamental contributions to the dynamics of ocean currents and air-sea interaction with particular emphasis on the El Niño–Southern Oscillation.”
Assistant Professor Michael Shatruk of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, whose research involves designing novel magnetic materials, has received the 2012 ExxonMobil Solid State Chemistry Faculty Fellowship.
Psychology Professor Richard Wagner says the Florida Learning Disabilities Research Center has been awarded $8.5 million from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The focus of the grant, which began on Jan. 1, 2012, is to better understand dyslexia as well as other problems in reading and writing.
Four Florida State University professors—all members of the faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences—have been named fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). They are biologist P. Bryant Chase, physicist Laura Reina, and psychologists Alan Spector and Zuoxin Wang.
Professor Elizabeth Spiller of the English department and Professor Randolph Clarke of philosophy have each won $50,400 fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
In honor of Earth Day 2012, the Florida State University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosted a public lecture by noted environmental chemist Joseph J. Bozell on Friday, April 13, in the new Chemical Sciences Laboratory, with a reception that followed. It was the first annual Katherine B. Hoffman Endowed Lecture in Environmental Chemistry.
When he was an FSU undergraduate working toward a career in actuarial science, Courtney White spent at least $1,000 on textbooks and other materials to help prepare for a series of exams to be certified in his field. Now, nearly two decades later and well established as an actuary, he has decided to help defray some of those costs for current FSU students. To honor one of his former professors, White and his wife, Shari, have made a gift of $25,000 to establish the Bettye Anne Case Scholarship in Actuarial Science.
Senior Associate Dean Sam Huckaba of the College of Arts and Sciences has been appointed interim dean of the college.
World-renowned researcher and inventor Alan Marshall is set to receive two significant awards for his landmark achievements in chemistry: the 2012 William H. Nichols Medal from the New York Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the 2012 Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award from the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh. Sixteen previous winners of the Nichols medal have also won the Nobel Prize.
Professor Elaine Treharne of the Department of English has been elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a scholarly organization chartered by Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1868.
Professor Roy Baumeister has received a lifetime career achievement award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
Joseph Travis, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida State University, has won the 2011 E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award. Given by the American Society of Naturalists, the award notes Travis's "landmark empirical research on natural systems."
Meaghan Brown, a Ph.D. student in FSU’s interdisciplinary History of Text Technologies (HoTT) program, is one of just 15 students nationwide to win a $25,000 Mellon Dissertation Fellowship for Research in Original Sources.
Professor Alec Hargreaves has been invited to speak alongside three former French prime ministers at a colloquium in Paris marking the 30th anniversary of the 1981 elections that brought the left to power in France for the first time since the 1950s. Hargreaves is one of just six academics – and the only one from outside France – invited to debate with former premiers Pierre Mauroy, Michel Rocard, and Lionel Jospin at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, France’s foremost political science school.
Shannon Dunn, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Religion, has been awarded a highly selective $25,000 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for 2011-2012. She was also awarded a dissertation completion fellowship from the American Association of University Women.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award to FSU Assistant Professor Feifei Li of the Department of Computer Science.
Edward A. “Eddie” Selby, who is pursuing his Ph.D. from Florida State’s Department of Psychology, has received a national award for his groundbreaking research. It is the 2011 award for “Distinguished Student Research in Clinical Psychology” from the American Psychological Association (APA).
Three Arts & Sciences students have won the highly competitive 2011 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State, enabling each of them to study abroad at an intensive summer language institute. The winners and their chosen languages are Kate Layton (Arabic), Cornelius “C.J.” Canton (Urdu), and Denise Correll (Mandarin Chinese).
Florida State alumnus Alan Sealls, chief meteorologist at WKRG-TV in Mobile, Ala., has won his second regional TV news Emmy.
Assistant Professor Irene Zanini-Cordi, who studies Italian women writers of the 18th and 19th centuries, has received a $50,400 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Robert W. (Bill) Maxwell Jr., a petroleum geologist, has been honored as the 2010 Graduate of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences. Maxwell, who serves on the college’s Leadership Council, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from Florida State University, the first in 1969 and the second in 1973.
Computer Science receives $1.85 million for scholarships for M.S. students who want to safeguard U.S. cyberinfrastructure
The Department of Computer Science has received a $1.85 million federal grant to provide scholarships for about 30 master’s students who want to help protect the nation’s cyberinfrastructure. Cyberinfrastructure includes such critical computer systems as the nation’s power grid, transportation networks, secure government databases, and military networks. The first two graduate students to receive the scholarships are Shay Ellison and Sereyvathana Ty.
Physicist Oskar Vafek has won a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation for research on graphene, a material that is very hot these days. Vafek, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and a member of the condensed matter physics research group at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, will receive $84,000 per year for five years to study graphene and similar materials.
Sachin Shanbhag has won a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. An assistant professor in the Department of Scientific Computing, Shanbhag will receive $82,000 per year for five years to study synthetic polymers derived from petroleum.
A book by Professor Kristie Fleckenstein has been named the most outstanding book in composition theory by the Journal of Advanced Composition (JAC).
Biologists Yoichiro Tamori and Wu-Min Deng, along with colleagues in Britain, have identified a gene that is critical in fighting cancer cells, publishing their findings in PLoS Biology, a leading science journal.
Assistant Professor Steve Lenhert of the Department of Biological Science is the lead author on a paper in Nature Nanotechnology.
Computer science Professors David Whalley and Gary Tyson have received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to design a processor that would enable cell phones and other mobile devices to stay charged longer. In addition, they have received a $500,000 NSFgrant to support their research to fight malware and other security threats.
Microsoft Research has announced a $100,000 gift to Florida State University to help a Nobel laureate bring science into classrooms around the world by using the Internet. The Nobel laureate is Sir Harold Kroto, Florida State’s Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry. “The gift is a great indicator that Microsoft aims to encourage the development of new approaches to education in the 21st century,” Kroto said.
As oil seeps into the sands of the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a race against the clock to keep oil and other chemicals from getting into the groundwater. And it’s a race against the clock for Florida State University scientists to figure out what happens to that oil once it starts seeping into the sand. With the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation, oceanographers Joel Kostka and Markus Huettel have been busy studying samples from beaches from Louisiana to Florida.
Tests show that far too many children still have trouble understanding what they read, and the U.S. Department of Education has turned to the College of Arts and Sciences and the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) to help figure out why. Professor Christopher Lonigan and Associate Professor Carol Connor of the Department of Psychology and FCRR have received a $20 million, five-year grant as part of a nationwide initiative called “Reading for Understanding.”
Molecular biologist and geneticist Karen M. McGinnis has won a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. McGinnis, who joined the Department of Biological Science in 2008 as part of the university’s Pathways of Excellence initiative, will receive $1,056,978 over the next five years.
Barbara Hamby, writer-in-residence in the Department of English, has won a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship for her poetry.
World-renowned scholar Gary Taylor has been named lead editor of The New Oxford Shakespeare and plans to ensure that the new edition is far more than a traditional book. “I will be actively pushing for a multipronged digital presence,” said Taylor, director of Florida State's History of Text Technologies program.
John Kelsay, an international expert on Christian and Muslim ethics, especially in relation to war, has been named inaugural president of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics (SSME). According to the society’s website, the association, which was formed in August 2009, is “dedicated to advancing intellectual inquiry in Muslim ethics, including the relation of Muslim ethics to other ethical traditions and to social, political, and economic problems.”
Psychology Professor K. Anders Ericsson, a native of Sweden, has been elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. “It is by far the most prestigious honor that I have received in my life,” he said. Ericsson's research regarding the development of expertise through extended deliberate practice has been featured widely in the popular press, including the 2008 book Outliers: the Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell, and the writings of Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.
Researchers Felicia Coleman and Christopher Koenig of the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory have shown that red grouper play a critical role in creating a protective habitat for many sea creatures. “We suspected that the groupers created the habitat,” Coleman said. “We found through a series of experiments that they not only dug the holes but also maintained them by carrying mouthfuls of sediment from the center of the pit to the periphery and expelling them through their gills and mouths, then brushing off the rocks with their tail fins.”
Naresh Dalal has won the 2010 Silver Medal for Physics/Materials Science from the International Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Society for “three decades of pioneering research." Dalal, the second recipient of the award in the past seven years, has published 390 journal articles that have been cited 6,000 times.
Lei Zhu, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will lead a $1.3 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to find a way to measure zinc in the body. Zinc is more important than most of us realize, he says. This research could have implications for treatment of mental illnesses that include depression, autism, and schizophrenia.
Calem Hoffman, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the physics department at Florida State University, has written the nation’s best dissertation in nuclear physics. Hoffman accepted the 2010 Dissertation in Nuclear Physics Award on Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C. at a meeting of the American Physics Society. “I simply had fun every day doing nuclear physics research at Florida State,” Hoffman said.
Anne Coldiron, an associate professor in the Department of English, has won a $50,400 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities that she will use to write her third book. “We [humanities researchers] don’t need labs or much equipment," Coldiron says, "but we must have extended, uninterrupted time with books for the slow, deep thinking and the exploration of objects in their full historical and social contexts that makes the best humanities research.”
New research done Joseph Travis and colleagues proves that not only does environment shape fish biology but those fish, in turn, shape the environment they live in. In a paper published in the Feb. 1, 2010 online edition of the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), the researchers discussed their studies of two distinct guppy populations in Trinidad.
Professor Alfred Mele has been awarded a four-year, $4.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to lead a study of free will, especially as it relates to recent developments in science.
Geared toward meeting the world’s demands for producing students in emerging technologies, the College of Arts and Sciences is offering several new bachelor’s degree programs. The new options include a B.S. in computational science; a B.A. in computer science; a B.S. in environmental science; a B.A. in environmental science and policy; and a B.A. in English with a concentration editing, writing, and media (EWM). The EWM track began in fall of 2009 and the B.A. degree in computer science in spring of 2010, while the other degree programs will begin accepting students in fall of 2010.
Professors Stephen von Molnar and Peng Xiong of the Department of Physics have been awarded a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for basic research in a field known as spintronics. As most people know, the electron carries an electrical charge; but what many people do not realize is that the electron has a second property called spin, which has to do with magnetism. Spintronics, or spin transport electronics, may eventually have applications in computer data processing.
Biophysical chemist Rafael Bruschweiler is the recipient of two recent grants totaling more than $1.66 million for research into the dynamics of proteins. Bruschweiler uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology and sophisticated computational tools in his research on proteins at the atomic level. “It is a dynamic protein world out there, and we’re seeking to answer some fundamental questions." Bruschweiler is the George Matthew Edgar Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at FSU and associate director for biophysics at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Florida State University is one of five Florida schools to share in a $600,000 grant aimed at recruiting, mentoring, and promoting more women faculty members in chemistry and engineering departments. Leading the $123,406 portion of the grant for FSU are Professor Penny Gilmer of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Professor Rufina Alamo of the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. According to the latest available NSF statistics (2006), women are still vastly underrepresented in the tenured ranks at U.S. universities. For example, only 5% of full professors in engineering are women, while 8.3% of full professors in the physical sciences (which includes chemistry) are women.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named David Whalley a Distinguished Member. Whalley, the E.P. Miles Professor of Computer Science and chair of the department, is the only person from a Florida university to win the designation this year and one of only 84 ACM winners across the globe.
Biology graduate student Erin Simmons advanced to the final round of interviews for the 2010 Rhodes Scholarship before being eliminated. Simmons, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the Department of Biological Science in 2008 after just two years, expects to graduate with a master’s degree by Summer 2010. During her time at FSU, she has also been a member of the women’s track and field team, has volunteered with the Saturday at the Sea program, and has earned a Certificate in Marine Biology. “Among the reasons I chose to attend Florida State was its certificate program in marine biology, which enabled me to specialize in marine science while getting a bachelor’s degree in biology."
Kenneth Knappenberger Jr. and Piyush Kumar have been named winners of awards given by the 2010 Air Force Office of Research Young Investigator Program. Knappenberger is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, while Kumar is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. Among just 38 winners across the United States, the two men are the only winners in Florida in 2010.
Michael Shatruk, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has won a coveted Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. For Shatruk, the award marks his second major successful grant since September 2009. "Although they are drastically different projects," Shatruk said, "magnetism is the unifying theme."
Professor Elizabeth Spiller's article "Shakespeare and the Making of Early Modern Science: Resituating Prospero's Art," which was published in the Winter/Spring 2009 issue of the South Central Review, has won the 2009 Kirby Award for best article in the journal's 2009 issues.
Department of Mathematics alumni Carol Brennan and John Crowe have made separate major gifts to Florida State University, said Assistant Dean Nancy Smilowitz. Retired telecommunications executive Carol Brennan of Piscataway, N.J. has made a provision in her estate plans for $89,000 to fund an endowment for general uses within the interdisciplinary FSU-Teach program. John and Betty Crowe of Memphis, Tenn. have committed $100,000 to benefit academic and athletic programs at FSU. The academic portion of the gift ($50,000) will fund the DeWitt Sumners Endowment within the Department of Mathematics.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) has named Professor Gary Taylor’s 2,016-page Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works as the best scholarly book published in the world in the past two years. Taylor and John Lavagnino of King’s College London are the lead editors on that book, as well as its companion volume, Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture. Taylor, the George Matthew Edgar Professor of English, is founding director of Florida State's interdisciplinary History of Text Technology Program.
Professor Christopher Lonigan has won a $5 million grant to train doctoral students to do advanced research on the best ways of teaching reading, math, and science to schoolchildren.
Hong-Guo Yu of the Department of Biological Science publishes groundbreaking results about cell division
In a study that is groundbreaking for its results and methods, Assistant Professor Hong-Guo Yu and research technician Hui Jin of the Department of Biological Science have found that when the protein Pds5 is removed from the cell division process (meiosis), chromosomes do not pair up properly. And when chromosomes do not pair up properly, birth defects such as Down syndrome can result.
Florida State University alumni Stella and Dr. Raymond Cottrell have made a gift of $125,000 to establish an endowed professorship titled “The Stella and Raymond Cottrell Professorship Within the Department of Psychology,” said Assistant Dean Nancy Smilowitz. The recipient of this newly endowed professorship is Thomas Joiner, Distinguished Research Professor and the Bright-Burton Professor of Psychology.
In years when the flow is low in the Apalachicola River, there is not nearly as much phytoplankton available for young fish in the northern Gulf of Mexico, according to Steven Morey of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS).
Amy Koehlinger, an associate professor in the Department of Religion, has won the 2009 Eric Hoffer Prize in the Culture Category for her book The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s.
Professor Elaine Treharne of the Department of English has been elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (of London), one of the oldest and most prestigious Royal Societies in the world.
Thanks to the work of Kathleen Yancey of the Department of English and FSU alumna Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat representing Nevada, the nation celebrated its first “National Day on Writing” on October 20, 2009.
Associate Professor Gregory Erickson of Biological Science is the first author on a groundbreaking study showing that the ancient archaeopteryx is not as birdlike as scientists previously thought.
Andy Wang, an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department, has won a prestigious award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Known officially as the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, it is the NSF’s most prestigious award for “junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research.”
Chemist Alan Marshall has been named to the first group of fellows by the American Chemical Society (ACS) -- the only person in Florida to receive this distinction. The award was announced in July 2009.
Alexander Merkovic-Orenstein, who helped co-found the Global Peace Exchange, has been named a 2009 Truman Scholar, one of only 60 in the nation.
Alan Kuhnle, an undergraduate mathematics major, has won a 2009 Goldwater Scholarship, one of the nation’s top awards for students majoring in math, science, or engineering.
NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw was on campus in March 2009 to announce a personal gift of $100,000 to the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience. The gift establishes the Baumgarten Gibbons Endowed Fund and was specifically named for Dr. Harold Baumgarten, a retired physician who lives in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and The Honorable Sam Gibbons, a former U.S. congressman of Tampa, Fla.
Laurel Fulkerson, associate professor in the Department of Classics, has won the top award in the nation for the teaching of classics at the university level.
Both of the broadcast meteorology awards presented at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting earlier this year went to Florida State graduates.
Joseph Travis, dean of The Florida State University's College of Arts and Sciences and a distinguished researcher in the field of ecological genetics, has been named president-elect of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). The institute has a combined membership of more than 250,000 scientists nationwide.