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

Summer 2020

On the Cover

The mosaic images in this cover artwork represent the remote nature of FSU’s spring and summer semesters and the virtual events that took the place of time-honored traditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together the images form an iconic piece of the university’s identity and demonstrate that however separate and at whatever distance, we are still FSU.

Photo illustration by Tom Morgan. Original photo courtesy FSU Photography Services/Bill Lax. Mosaic photos courtesy Florida State College of Arts and Sciences and other FSU sources.

Dena Sutphin uses social media to reveal history’s misremembered and unknown women

Dena Sutphin has 141,000 followers on Instagram — but she’s not your typical influencer. Sutphin, who graduated from Florida State this spring with a master’s degree in Middle Eastern history, runs the popular “Women of History” Instagram account, where she educates followers on women from the world’s history, many of whom are not well-known or whose impact is misconstrued.

Summer 2020 | Alumni | History
Creative writing Ph.D. Feroz Rather grounds his work in real-life experiences

Feroz Rather was just five years old in 1989 when Kashmir began its rebellion against the Indian state. In his youth, the author and creative writing Ph.D. witnessed countless acts of torture and police brutality against the Kashmiri people.

Summer 2020 | Alumni | English
Alumni faculty members deliver on FSU’s legacy of excellence

Florida State graduates know the adage, “Once a Nole, always a Nole,” but a group of academics are making that saying their life’s work. Alumni-turned-faculty members are found across the university, but many call the College of Arts and Sciences home.

Summer 2020 | Alumni | College News
History education forms the perfect backdrop for theatrical success

Nearly two decades ago, Florida State alumna Danielle Wirsansky sat in a darkened theater in London’s West End and watched Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Starlight Express” come to life on stage. The spectacle and excitement of that live performance captivated her imagination and spurred in her a life-long passion for the theater.

Summer 2020 | Alumni | English, History
Math, physics undergrad overcomes brain surgery to pursue dreams of engineering space travel

As John Wise kicked off his third year at Florida State, he had his sights set on the stars. With lofty aspirations to design and engineer rockets and spaceships, not even neurosurgery could slow him down.

Summer 2020 | Students | Mathematics, Physics
FSU students collaborate, combat citrus greening on a global stage

There’s no “I” in “team,” but for Florida State University’s International Genetically Engineered Machine team, known as “iGEM”… well, you see where this is going.

Summer 2020 | Students | Florida State News
Jessica Dixon advocates for students with disabilities while using her own to become a better researcher

Florida State neuroscience major Jessica Dixon’s fascination with the brain started on her 10th birthday. That day, her sister, Alex, had brain surgery to treat a severe neurological movement disorder and suffered a subdural brain hemorrhage.

Summer 2020 | Students | Psychology, Neuroscience
Florida State unveils new home for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science

A new edifice has overtaken Doak Campbell Stadium in providing the loftiest views on campus. The recently completed Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science building towers over Florida State University’s Woodward Avenue entrance, its brick exterior complemented by an enormous glass-and-metal window installation by the Master Craftsman Studio featuring the FSU torches.

Summer 2020 | Faculty | Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science
Assistant professors Rachel Yohay and Ted Kolberg are partners in research and life

On the border between France and Switzerland, nestled in a massive tunnel 300 feet underground, lies an astonishing piece of physics technology. Stretching more than 16 miles, the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

Summer 2020 | Faculty | Physics
Florida State's behavior analysis master's program serves generations coast to coast

Sometimes you just have to seize the moment. In the late 1990s, a movement in the field of psychology aimed to serve people with developmental disabilities and autism. Around the same time, Florida State University’s Department of Psychology ended its Panama City-based graduate program in applied psychology.

Summer 2020 | Faculty | Psychology
Longstanding collaboration drives duo's diabetes research

The islets of Langerhans sounds like an exotic destination — a South Sea archipelago with swaying palm trees, white sands and pristine waters. Though they have nothing to do with geography, the islets of Langerhans are indeed exotic and mysterious, scientifically speaking.

Summer 2020 | Faculty | Mathematics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, IMB
In the face of fear and uncertainty, Florida State rises to the challenge

When Florida State University President John Thrasher addressed the university family about the COVID-19 novel coronavirus Feb. 28, the disease already held a suffocating grip on portions of the globe, but still seemed a distant threat.

Summer 2020 | Faculty | Florida State News