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.
Spectrum Winter 2021
On the Cover
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every facet of life and forced adjustment in the ways we work and live. As a university known for its strong sense of community, this period of isolation has challenged us to maintain those bonds despite our distance. This edition’s cover reminds us of the traditions that bind us to FSU and to each other and the Tallahassee campus that feels like home.
Photo illustration by Tom Morgan. Original photo by FSU Photography Services.
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.
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.”
2020, the year that saw COVID-19 become a global pandemic has officially drawn to a close. Although we’re not sure what 2021 will hold, a new chapter is certainly a welcome one. Despite difficult circumstances, the Florida State University community rose to 2020’s biggest challenges.
Triplet Alexis Kidd was learning Spanish in high school when she noticed a big difference in how easy learning a new language was for her and how challenging the experience of learning that same language was for her brother.
Nearly 15 years ago, Florida State University senior Tetiana Panina and her family emigrated from Ukraine to the U.S. to pursue a better life.
When Florida State’s Presidential Scholars program admitted its first class in Fall 2014, just 25 students were selected from the 800 promising scholars who applied. Known thereafter as the Scholars Class of 2018, this elite group was the vanguard of a recruitment strategy to attract pre-eminent scholars to FSU — a strategy in which the College of Arts and Sciences continues to be a formidable presence.
Tara Skipton was already engaged in studying past civilizations when she arrived at Florida State University in 2019.
Researchers in Florida State University’s Cognitive Psychology Program would add the word “deliberate” to that punchline and tell you the role deliberate practice plays in developing world-class expertise is no laughing matter.
As citizens across the U.S. took to the streets this summer, marching for social justice, equality, and police reform, students, faculty and staff from Florida State University joined the movement and grappled with how to address systemic racism not just in the nation, but also within the institutions of academia.
Sea urchins are like a canary in a coal mine. They give scientists an early warning for the future impact of rapid and extreme warming events, and their reactions to events like El Niño and to climate change are immediate and dramatic.