Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters  |  Newsletter  |  November 2013 Issue  
Dean's Message
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters e-newsletter. Let me start by saying I am deeply honored by the request to continue to serve as the Dean of the College, and to continue working with the award-winning and acclaimed faculty, the outstanding students, and the dedicated staff that make this College so dynamic and vital. In my two and a half years as Interim Dean, we've faced several challenges but celebrated many more successes because of a culture of excellence and outstanding academic achievements. I am confident that by continuing to work together collaboratively, the future of the College is as bright as it has ever been. It is a remarkably exciting and humbling assignment to be leading the College into that future, and I draw strength from knowing that our faculty, students, staff, alumni, advisory board and the countless friends of the College will be there to help assist and guide my decision-making, just as you have always been. I am deeply grateful for that assistance and support.

Upcoming Events
John O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture:  Jeffrey Morton with the Role of Diplomacy in 20th Century American Foreign Policy  Thursday, Nov. 14, 3:30 pm, University Theatre. Tickets... 

NY Times 
Bestselling Author Gabrielle Bernstein with "May Cause Miracles"
Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:30 pm, University Theatre. SOLD OUT

Oscar Wilde's Comedy "The Importance of Being Earnest,"
Nov. 15- 24, Studio OneTheatre.

Visual Arts Open House, Saturday, Nov. 16, 1-4 p.m., with tours of the visual arts studios and the Biennial exhibition in the Schmidt, children's activities, and the Commercial Music Ensembles Festival. 
Band-O-Rama featuring the music of Broadway, the Swing Era and more. Sunday, Nov. 17,
3 pm, Kaye Auditorium.
$10 donation at the door.
Crowning Achievements of the Romantic and Modern Eras. Thursday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m. The University Symphony Orchestra presents musical masterworks featuring guest artist Dave Brubeck, playing bass trombone performing Thomas Sleeper's "Six Hemingway Songs," Shostakovich's "Festive Overture" and more. Tickets...


For information about Giving, contact:

Laurie Carney, 561-297-3606,



Heather Coltman Appointed Dean 

Florida Atlantic University Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer Gary W. Perry recently announced that Heather Coltman has been appointed to serve a three-year term as Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. Dr. Coltman served as Interim Dean for two and a half years. She has been with the university for 20 years in the Department of Music and most recently as chair of the department for nine years. "Dr. Coltman is an accomplished concert pianist and recording artist who has collaborated with her colleagues across the disciplines, and who has proven herself to be an excellent leader, not only as former chair and professor of music, but especially during her time as Interim Dean," said Dr. Perry.
Linda Johnson and Michael Horswell have accepted positions to serve as Associate Deans. Each will serve a 3-year term.
Hoot/Wisdom Recordings Releases Compowlation, Vol. 3 CD

FAU's own student-run/faculty supervised record label released the third installment to its Compowlation album series in October. The two-disc set features 20 of South Florida's most talented bands, rappers and singer-songwriters that are all either current FAU students or alumni. The CD is available to order at All proceeds go towards student scholarships. Hoot/Wisdom in the news

Constitution Day Panel and Sculpture Dedication

The College celebrated Constitution Day 2013 with the inaugural Robert J. Bailyn Symposium on the First Amendment and the unveiling of the "Five Pillars of Freedom," a sculpture inspired by the First Amendment. Robert Bailyn, former newspaper editor and current FAU distinguished visiting professor of journalism, funded both the symposium and the sculpture. Bailyn worked at the Palm Beach Post from 1979-81 after 40 years of working at newspapers along the east coast from Boston to South Florida. Panelists in the First Amendment symposium included Kevin Wagner, FAU professor of political science; Randy Shultz, editorial page editor of the Palm Beach Post; Craig Agranoff, national social engagement consultant and CBS contributor on social media and politics; and Katy Sorenson, president and CEO of The Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami. The panel was moderated by Susan Reilly. Pictured below are Bill Trapani, Craig Agranoff, Katy Sorenson, Ryon Rich, Dennis Crudele, Bob Bailyn, Randy Schultz, Susan Reilly, Kevin Wagner. 




Angela Griffin Graduate Endowed Scholarship


The estate of Alice Griffin recently donated $100,000 to establish the "Angela Griffin Graduate Endowed Scholarship" that will provide an annual scholarship to a graduate student in the Department of English. Dr. Griffin was an English professor and director of graduate studies in English at the Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York and she authored 10 books on theatre. Dr. Griffin passed away in December 2012, but her charitable legacy at FAU will continue to help students, in her name, forever. Alice's gift through her will is just one example of the many ways you can create a meaningful charitable legacy for the students who follow.   

Congressman Patrick Murphy at FAU

The Jack Miller Forum recently brought Congressman Patrick Murphy to campus to talk with students. About 80 students and members of the public attended the event where Murphy talked about his efforts to work towards bipartisanship in Congress. The visit was organized by Kevin Wagner as part of The Jack Miller Forum for Civics Education.
Each year, 
the Jack Miller Forum hosts a speakers series that is open to all FAU faculty, staff and students
as well as the South Florida public. Past speakers 
have included former Congressman Allen West, 
Congressman Ted Deutsch, and academic 
speakers from across the country.

Faculty News

Jeffrey Morton, professor of political science, has been named a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. The Foreign Policy Association (FPA) was founded in 1918 to promote a broad public understanding of American foreign policy through scholarship and teaching. In 2012, Dr. Morton was the recipient of the Foreign Policy Association Medal at the World Leadership Forum Dinner in New York City.


Taylor Hagood, professor of American Literature in the Department of English, has been selected to serve as a research ambassador for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for 2013-14. DAAD is the German national agency for the support of international academic cooperation. This year, the research ambassador program is honoring 23 individuals who have conducted a long-term research project in Germany at the doctoral level or above. The ambassadors will serve as liaisons for DAAD in the United States and Canada to promote research opportunities in Germany among their colleagues, peers and students.


Mehmet Gurses, associate professor of political science, recently moderated a panel at a conference on the "Kurdish Role in the New Middle East" convened at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together academics, journalists, public opinion leaders, and policy makers from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the United States to discuss changing dynamics in the Middle East. Founded in 1908, the National Press Club has hosted every American president along with foreign monarchs, prime ministers, diplomats and scholars.


Richard Gamble, associate professor of theatre and dance, has been awarded the 2013 Outstanding Theatre Arts Educator by the Florida Association for Theatre Education (FATE). Gamble has been at FAU for more than 20 years, serving as chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance for five years. Prior to coming to FAU, he taught at several institutions across the country. Gamble's award is one of four annual awards made by FATE to recognize people that are furthering their goals of assuring that every Florida student have access to an education that includes theatre and dramatic arts taught by qualified theatre arts instructors.


Myriam Ruthenberg, associate professor of Languages, Linguistics & Comparative Literature, was awarded the 2013 FAU Faculty Talon Leadership Award. Ruthenberg received the award for her exceptional record of leadership, commitment, and service to students through activities both in and out of the classroom. She is pictured here (left) with FAU President Dennis Crudele (center) and Marcella Munson, chair of the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature.




Susan Love Brown, professor of anthropology, was awarded the "Distinguished Scholar" award at the Communal Studies Association Conference in Pennsylvania. This award honors those persons who have contributed greatly to the scholarly study of communal societies, both past and present, concentrating on those in the United States.


Nancy Poulson, professor of languages, linguistics and comparative literature, was elected Vice Chair to the Florida Humanities Council. The mission of the council is to help preserve Florida's rich cultural heritage, promote civic engagement, and foster connections among humanities scholars, cultural organizations, and community groups.


Student News

Eileen Sarra, senior in the School of Communications and Multimedia Studies, won the first place Competitive Undergraduate Paper Award at the Florida Communication Association Conference in Orlando in October for the paper: "Lilly Ledbetter Teaches Us a Lesson: 2012 DNC Speech Gives Way to Public Moral Argument." She also received the Florida Communication Association Student Scholarship.
Her research paper is published in the peer-reviewed research Florida Communication Journal. Sarra also received a student scholarship from the Argumentation and Advocacy Association, affiliated with the National Communication Association in August 
2013. She was inducted in the FAU Parliament of OWLs Alumni
Leadership Society and she is the President of the American
Democracy Project Student Club.


Congratulations to the following Arts and Letters students who have successfully completed 

the requirements for the University Honors Program. They were recently recognized at the University Honors Ceremony.

  • Phillip R. Harrinarine- Political Science
  • Sarah E. Huang-Art: Studio
  • Brianna A. Musielak-Spanish
  • James F. Turner-History


 Arts and Letters in the Community

Northern Trust held a dean's reception at their Boca Raton headquarters for special College benefactors and advisory board/council members and to showcase the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters to the community. Music students performed and visual arts students displayed works in painting, photography and sculpture. Choral Studies Professor Patricia Fleitas brought several Georgina Dieter Dennis scholarship students (pictured here).
Bea Knopf, Marny Glasser, Alan Berger, Heather Coltman, Mildred Levine, Ruth Weinberger, Skeets Friedkin.

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