Spectrum Magazine
The Alumni Magazine of Florida State University's College of Arts and Sciences


Alumna Elise Chávez conducts high-energy experimental physics using the world’s most powerful collider

While we’re often encouraged to look at the big picture, Elise Chávez thinks small. Chávez, a Florida State Department of Physics alumna, is a particle physicist, working at the nano level to examine and experiment with subatomic particles — electrons, protons, neutrons — the smallest building blocks of the universe.

Winter 2022 | Alumni | Physics
Alumnus and researcher John Wilcox works to improve lives of diabetes patients

Training for a marathon is already a brutal, months long endeavor, but for John Wilcox, logging 40 to 60 miles per week in his preparation for the 2021 Boston Marathon posed an additional challenge.

Winter 2022 | Alumni | Biological Science
As the state’s top military leader, alumna Tracy Norris guides the Texas Guard to meet today’s missions

Being a leader is nothing new for Tracy Norris. In her long military career, the Army Major General has served in combat zones and worked her way through the ranks, earning increasing positions of responsibility.

Winter 2022 | Alumni | Anthropology, Army ROTC
Alumna Angel Purganan highlights how humanistic skills support data analysis, tech success

Saying Angel Purganan has a broad range of interests is a bit of an understatement. When the Tampa, Fla., native graduated from Florida State University this spring, it was with dual degrees in philosophy and political science and minors in Middle Eastern studies and history.

Winter 2022 | Alumni | Philosophy, History, Modern Languages and Linguistics
Alumna Sarah Patterson uses research expertise to help identify missing World War II personnel

The past has always been part of Sarah Patterson’s future. “I think there are several motivations that drive me to focus on history,” said the two-time Florida State history alumna. “In part, I’m very curious. Doing historical research allows me to ask questions and then go look for answers. It’s an unending process of learning.”

Winter 2022 | Alumni | History
Alumna Jasmin Graham is a shark-saving superhero bringing new perspectives to marine science

For many, “shark” conjures images of fearsome predators. In reality, sharks are a large, complex group of elasmobranch fish essential to the vitality of Earth’s oceans. There are more than 1,000 known species of sharks and rays, from behemoths like the whale shark to the palm-sized dwarf lanternshark.

Summer 2021 | Alumni | Biological Science
Alumnus Ryan Benk helps create one of America’s most popular morning news programs

Ryan Benk came to Florida State University because he wanted to learn how to tell stories. He did and has since found tremendous career success, just not in the medium he would have guessed before his time in Tallahassee.

Summer 2021 | Alumni | English
Attorney and Grad Made Good Neil St. John Rambana guides immigrants on the path to citizenship

When the time came for Neil St. John Rambana to choose where he would attend college, he wasn’t just seeking a good education. He was also looking for a lifestyle change.

Summer 2021 | Alumni | English
FSU alumna Jessica Hensley uses statistical skills to help Olympic athletes excel

As the eyes of the world turn to Tokyo for the Olympic Games this summer, the hard work of Florida State University alumna Jessica Hensley will take center stage. The former collegiate athlete is not competing in the games, but conducting key statistical analysis for Team USA in her role as a data analyst for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Summer 2021 | Alumni | Statistics
FSU alumnus brings decades of experience to new role at alma mater

Joel Trexler vividly remembers a family trip to the pet store that would ultimately set his future career into motion. At age 12, he was already an enthusiast of dinosaurs and snakes, but was awestruck when he came across an aquarium filled with a colorful collection of tropical fish.

Winter 2021 | Alumni | College News
Florida State University alumnus Kerry Gilmore finds his calling with chemistry

As an undergraduate at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, Kerry Gilmore saw himself becoming a marine biologist. The Massachusetts native had a passion for science and longed for a career that would make a difference in the world. As graduation neared, he enrolled in a class that would unlock a new fascination.

Winter 2021 | Alumni | Chemistry and Biochemistry
Jim Jones taught three generations of FSU students to love American history and became a legend in the process

One day, when James P. “Jim” Jones, was still teaching at Florida State University, he wasn’t feeling particularly well: He passed out in class and bumped his head on a wall. Everything turned out fine but Jones insisted on memorializing the event, using a marker to draw a black circle where he hit his head and joking, “This will be the mark I leave on the university.”

Winter 2021 | Alumni | History