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

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.

Alumnus Tony Ruscella demonstrates the value of a computer science education

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.

Computer Science | Summer 2019
Garrett Johnson makes his mark on the startup world

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.

English | Summer 2019
Alumna Hélène Dubois-Nicholson combines her two passions

"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.”

Modern Languages and Linguistics, English | Summer 2019
Gabriel Gomes forges a new frontier in chemical research

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.

Chemistry and Biochemistry | Summer 2019
Ashley Dawdy takes a deep dive into marine-life studies

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.

Biological Science | Summer 2019
Abigail Centers brings home honors for herself — and for FSU

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.

Computer Science | Summer 2019
FSU’s ROTC programs develop a new generation of leaders

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.

Army ROTC, Air Force ROTC | Summer 2019
Juan Carlos Galeano brings Amazonian cosmovisions to the world

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.

Modern Languages and Linguistics | Summer 2019
Alisha Gaines helps students view literature and society through a wider lens

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.

English | Summer 2019
Young researchers change the face of the Earth sciences

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.

Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science | Summer 2019
Nathan Crock shines spotlight on scientific computing

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.

Scientific Computing | Summer 2019
Big Data is a big deal as FSU statistics turns 60

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.

Statistics | Summer 2019