For nearly a decade, Tony Ruscella has served at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to battle opioid addiction. His entry into the field coincided with the second wave of this epidemic, as early efforts to decrease opioid prescriptions made the drugs harder to get and users turned to illicit suppliers. But his journey to this point doesn’t begin where you’d expect.
Spectrum Summer 2019
On the Cover
The James D. Westcott Memorial Building, constructed in 1910 as the Administration Building for the Florida State College of Women, serves as the architectural centerpiece of the Florida State University campus, and is the oldest site of continuous higher education in Florida. This fresh take on the traditional view of the Westcott Building and was conceived and executed by FSU’s Bayard Stern and Hailey Walsh.
As a student majoring in English and political science at Florida State University, Garrett Johnson was a standout, to say the least. Thirteen years after graduating magna cum laude, he still is.
"Pirouetting over pink lakes and baobab forests, soaking in the dry sun of New Mexico. It’s a long meditation and contemplation about the incredible beauty of this planet. Flying provides an escape, a reset from the daily chaos that we sometimes encounter when living too close to the ground.”
Gabriel Gomes joined an elite cadre of like-minded researchers in January with a goal that sounds almost audacious. “We want to revolutionize how chemical research is done,” Gomes, freshly armed with a doctorate in organic chemistry from Florida State University, said almost matter-of-factly.
Ashley Dawdy’s fascination with marine life began when she volunteered at the Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager exhibit during her high school years in Atlanta. While the display has more than 50 species of fish, Dawdy focused on one: the massive whale shark.
Abigail Centers’ family knows how to keep a secret. The rising senior knew she had been nominated for the 2019 Tony DiBenedetto Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year Award, one of about 100 Florida State University students so recognized.
Some want a chance to be part of something larger than themselves. Some come for the financial aid benefits. Others allude to something more personal in their motivation.
A little piece of home hangs in the office of poet, folklorist and filmmaker Juan Carlos Galeano: a llanchama painting, made from tree bark typically used as clothing or canvas by indigenous groups in the forests and rivers of Amazonia.
When Alisha Gaines was a little girl in Ohio, she would sit her siblings down during summer vacation and make them play school, giving them assignments, grades and all.
Tropical cyclone formation. Paleoclimatology. Ecology and biology of deep-sea organisms. Conservation. Geochemistry. Microbial ecology. Faculty in Florida State’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science are conducting world-class research on these subjects and more, and expanding knowledge of the Earth, air, water and the life that inhabits them.
Some call it machine learning. It is, in short, a new frontier. “Machine learning is like the new electricity. It’s revolutionizing how things are done in business, government and industry,” said scientific computing graduate student Nathan Crock.
Every day, unprecedented quantities of data are collected across nearly every facet of modern life. Those who can extract valuable information from the trove in this era of Big Data are in high demand.