Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters  |  Newsletter  |  January 2014 Issue  
Upcoming Events
Film: "Hate Crimes in the Heartland," Tuesday, Feb. 11, 5 p.m., College of Business, Sean Stein Pavilion. Free. Information
William Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen From Verona,"
Feb. 14-23, Studio OneTheatre.Tickets...

"The Winds of Romance Valentines Day Concert," with the Florida Wind Symphony, Friday, Feb. 14, 7 pm, University Theatre. Tickets...
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein: Inside the White House from Nixon to Obama,  Wednesday, Feb. 19, 3:30 pm, Kaye Auditorium. Tickets... 
southXeast: Contemporary Southeastern Art, through March 27, Schmidt and Ritter Galleries. 
Gimelstob Symposium in Judaic Studies: Jewish Origins-New Insight and Scholarship, Sunday, Feb. 23-Monday, Feb. 24, Live Oak Pavilion.


For information about Giving, contact:

Laurie Carney, 561-297-3606,



Dean's Message  

This issue of our newsletter highlights one of the strengths of our College - our partnerships with the community.  From working for social justice through raising awareness of genocide and sex trafficking, to enlightening the mind through nationally recognized speakers, to celebrating life through madrigals and football, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters is proud of the connections it makes between students and communities.  Such engagements work on multiple levels, enhancing the world around us through the talents of our students while bringing the world around them right into their classrooms. Everybody wins.


We hope to enhance these partnerships.  One of the primary goals of our five-year strategic plan focuses on the College and the community, with specific plans to increase student and faculty engagement and to promote partnerships with community and industry.


To that end, this month the College will be sponsoring a showing of the documentary Hate Crimes in the Heartland for Black History Month; hosting Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for the Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency; and welcoming nationally recognized scholars for the Gimelstob Symposium in Judaic Studies. I hope to see you at some of these events and I invite you to enrich our community with your talents.

New Appointments  

With the new year comes new appointments. Barclay Barrios, Associate Professor of English, has been appointed Assistant Dean for the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters and will coordinate interdisciplinary programs (including the College's two interdisciplinary majors and 10 certificate program) and will work on assessment and credentialing; Richard Gamble, Professor of Theatre and Dance, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance; and Elena Machado, Associate Professor of English, has been appointed Director of the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.  

Alex Kinsey
Hoot/Wisdom Recording Artist Alex Kinsey Wins X Factor
Alex Kinsey of Alex and Sierra, recent winners of the national television competition "The X Factor," made his first recording on Compowlation 2, a CD created at FAU's Hoot/Wisdom Recordings. Kinsey was discovered by Hoot/Wisdom student president Matt Smith when Alex was a student at FAU. Matt heard him singing in the dorm and asked Alex to submit a demo to Hoot. This resulted in the track "I Like It" which can be heard on Compowlation 2 at this link The CD was produced in 2012 and was overseen by Professor Alejandro Sanchez-Samper, instructor of Commercial Music at FAU.


André De Shields at FAU
Andre De Shields with Theatre students
Actor, director, choreographer and educator André De Shields visited FAU as the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in Arts during the week of Jan. 20. He worked with students and faculty from the Department of Theatre and Dance and gave a public performance titled "FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" to commemorate Black History Month.


Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies' Sex-Trafficking Event
Florida Senator Maria Sachs

The Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies held an event on human trafficking.  Sen. Maria Sachs was a guest speaker and pointed out that the Attorney General's Office ranks Florida as third in the nation for the number of human trafficking cases. Graduate students in "Feminization of Poverty," a class in FAU's Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (CWGSS), and history students in the "Women and Slavery" seminar, then participated in a panel presentation on the role of legislation, courts, and NGOs in eliminating this type of crime. 

Jay and Marilyn Weinberg
Traveling Exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum at FAU Through Feb. 15

The University Galleries recently held an opening reception for "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race," a traveling exhibition produced by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The traveling exhibition, which was generously underwritten at FAU by Marilyn and Jay Weinberg, will be on display in the Schmidt Center Gallery through Saturday, Feb. 15.The exhibition is free and open to the public, and more information can be found at There will be a public symposium titled "Eugenics: Race, Public Health and the Science of Nationalism" on Monday, Feb. 10. More information can be found at

Third Annual Madrigal Dinners a Big Success

The Department of Music's annual Madrigal Dinners were a big success. The dinners, which were modeled after the feasts of the Renaissance, were sponsored by Madelyn Savarick and all proceeds will benefit FAU's Choral and Vocal Studies Program. Stay tuned for information on next year's event.

Madelyn Savarick and Maestro Brooks-Bruzzese

with students



Gabrielle Bernstein and

Barbara Schmidt

Gabrielle Bernstein at FAU


New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein recently visited FAU with the lecture "May Cause Miracles." A crowd of more than 500 people heard Bernstein's messages about techniques for coping with the stresses of everyday life and the importance of achieving an inner peace to create a better world. Bernstein has been featured on Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday" program as a next generation thought leader and YouTube named her one of 16 "Next Video Bloggers." Bernstein's visit marked the beginning of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's 2013-2014 season, presented with FAU's Peace Studies Program in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters and sponsored by the Schmidt Family Foundation.


Faculty News
Joey Bargsten, associate professor in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, was one of 49 winners of the 2013 Miami Knight Arts Challenge. The winners  were chosen out of more than 1,400 applicants. The Knight Arts Challenge, which was established in 2008, is a community-wide contest for ideas from local artists. Projects must be about the arts and take place in or benefit South Florida.Bargsten's proposal was for a multimedia opera titled MELANCHOLALALAND™, which integrates traditional elements of opera with past works into a futuristic spectacle that showcases the fusion of live performance, interactive video and animation.
Carol Prusa recently received the 2013 Southeastern College Art Conference Artist's Fellowship Award. Prusa was selected from 86 applicants. This is the second time that Prusa has received this award, having also received it in 2004. The 2013 award will facilitate the execution of a new body of work for Prusa, moving from her current works of spherical forms to complex sculptural forms.


"Tweeting to Power," a new book coauthored by Kevin Wagner, associate professor of political science, and Jason Gainous of the University of Louisville, was recently released by Oxford University Press. Wagner and Gainous provide an analysis of the effect of online social media on how people come to learn, understand and engage in politics. "This is the first book to measure the impact of online social media on the political process," according to Oxford University Press.


Michael Zager, Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Arts and Director of FAU's Commercial Music Program, was recently filmed for a documentary/concert film about Whitney Houston's life and career. The film was commissioned by Whitney Houston and is now being completed by The Whitney Houston Estate, with plans for release in theaters in 2014. 


Julieann Ulin, assistant professor of English, had her first monograph, "Medieval Invasions in Modern Irish Literature," published by Palgrave Macmillan.


Sabbatical awards for 2014-15 include Chris Robe, Communications, for the whole year; Mark Scroggins, English, for Spring 2015; Marina Banchetti, Philosophy, for Spring 2015; Taylor Hagood, English, for Fall 2014; and Derrick White, History, for Fall 2014.

Student News

Visual Arts and Art History MFA graduate students Stephen Futej and Raheleh Tavakolnia Filsoofi, have had papers accepted to the NCECA ceramics conference for Spring 2014. Filsoofi has also been invited to be a keynote speaker at one conference and a speaker at another international conference after she graduates this Spring.
FAU Interim President Dennis Crudele; Marta and Jim Batmasian; College of Arts and Letters Dean Heather Coltman
News from our Benefactors

The College held a reception in January to present actor and educator André De Shields with the Making Waves Award for his work in promoting the arts. Though De Shields was delayed in New York by snow, he was named the  award recipient during the reception. Also, Dean Coltman announced the newly established Marta and Jim Batmasian Educational and Artistic Excellence Fund. Marta then announced a new initiative titled the Ambassador for the Arts Program. Members of the community are being asked to join in supporting student and faculty excellence in the arts at FAU. For more information call Laurie Carney

at 561-297-3606. 

Hoot Wisdom's Compowlation CD, Vol. 3, which was released in 2013, was officially dedicated to Hank Stern in November. The dedication reads: "In Loving Memory of Hank Stern. The Hank and Ellie Stern computer Music Lab will always symbolize the beginning and continuing growth of the Commercial Music program at FAU." Hank Stern passed away in 2013.
Ellie Stern, center, surrounded by Alejandro Sanchez-Samper, Michael Zager and students


The Cosmos & Chronos Foundation recently established the "Lynn E. Rose Academic Achievement Award in Art History," a new scholarship to be awarded annually over the next five years to an outstanding senior Art History student.  Professor Lewis M. Greenberg of the Department of Visual Arts and Arts History, and executive director of the foundation, presented an initial gift of $3,000 to be awarded this year. The scholarship was created in memory of philosopher and Cosmos & Chronos colleague, Dr. Lynn E. Rose.


Bea Knopf, College Advisory Board member, and Owlsley





Members of the College Advisory Board attended a November football game, and showed their FAU Owl spirit.

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