Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters  |  Newsletter  |  April 2014 Issue  
Upcoming Events
MFA Graduate Exhibition, "Confluence," 
through May 22, Schmidt Center GalleryInformation...
BFA Graduate Exhibition, "Praxis," through May 2, Ritter Gallery. Information
Symposium: "Why the United States is not a Democracy, and Shouldn't Be: From the Bill of Rights to Kelo," keynote speaker Mike Munger, Duke University, Friday, April 25, 1-4 p.m., College of Engineering Building,
Dances We Dance Recital, Friday, April 25 - Saturday, April 26, University Theatre,
TedXBoca Raton, Friday, May 9, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. University Theatre 
Lecture and book signing with Barbara Schmidt and her new book, "The Practice," Tuesday, May 13, 7 p.m., Nursing Auditorium.
FAU's Summer Festival Repertory Theatre will feature "August: Osage County," "Bonnie and Clyde," "Piano Gala Extravaganza," and two Big Band Concerts. Tickets on sale May 1 at


For information about Giving, contact:

Laurie Carney, 561-297-3606,



Dean's Message 
I'm so excited by the many awards our faculty, students, and alumni have won, reflecting our excellence in research, mentoring, service, and engagement. I'm especially grateful to our Advisory Board, who made many of these awards possible, and I look forward to celebrating even more honorees at the upcoming Honors Convocation. I'm just as thrilled by the superb quality of our recent events, from the stunning "southXeast" exhibition, to the moving Repertory Dance Theatre Ensemble, to the exciting appearance of world-renowned journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.


Of course, the greatest awards we give in the spring are diplomas. As we move towards the end of another semester I can't wait to congratulate our many graduates as they step up onto the stage as students and walk off as alumni.

Woodward and Bernstein visit FAU
The Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency recently presented "Inside the White House From Nixon to Obama: A Conversation with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein," moderated by Timothy Naftali, former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. More than 2,500 people attended to hear the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell stories about Watergate and comment on the current political situation. The Larkin Symposium was established in 2005 by Charna Larkin and her family in memory of her late husband, Alan B. Larkin. In February 2015, the Symposium will host author David McCullough. 
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, Timothy Naftali.
Peace, Justice and Human Rights Initiative
The college is playing a leadership role in FAU's Peace, Justice and Human Rights (PJHR) Initiative. The goal of this interdisciplinary effort is to expand the reach and influence of FAU's PJHR programs by creating an even more robust center of collaboration, engagement, training, mentorship, scholarship and research. The steering committee for the center includes Heather Coltman, Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters; Renat Shaykhutdinov, director, Peace Studies; Michael Harris, chair, Departments of Anthropology and Philosophy; Laurie Carney, senior director of development; Rose Gatens, director,
FAU Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education; and
Gail Burnaford, professor, College of Education. Initial activities are being funded through the Lalita and Walter Janke PJHR Initiative Fund. These activities include a Collaborative Faculty Research Grant that has been awarded to four faculty to fund their proposal "Digital Humanities and Social Justice" and research for an annual Human Rights Report Card, among others.
University Galleries 'southXeast' Exhibition   

More than 1,000 people visited the "southXeast: contemporary southeastern art" exhibition, which featured 14 contemporary and underrepresented artists. This exhibition has been presented every third year since 2005 and is the only curated exhibition in Florida to present artists of the southeast region. The exhibition was co-curated by Rod Faulds, University Galleries director, and guest curator Sybille Canthal Welter.

Anthropology Graduate Student Continues Study of Lesula Monkey
In the latest updates to the discovery of the Lesula Monkey by a team of researchers that included FAU's Kate Detwiler, assistant professor of anthropology, FAU graduate student Steven McPhee recently returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he studied the Lesula. A review of his research, including photos of the newly discovered primate, are catalogued in  conservationist and researcher Terese Hart's web page. McPhee's blog is the second story here. 

Lawrence A. Sanders Writer in Residence

Tayari Jones, novelist and creative writing professor, visited FAU  as the 2014 FAU Sanders Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English in March. She taught an intensive 5-day workshop for  12 creative writing graduate students with the theme of revision to help with "dead" stories, which Tayari doesn't believe in. She introduced challenging exercises that ranged from writing monologues in minor characters' perspectives to contemplating what happened before and after the story to help to revive the floundering narratives. The culmination of the week was a public reading held in the Majestic Palm Room. Jones presented from her most recent novel "Silver Sparrow." The residency and public lecture were made possible through an endowment gift from the Lawrence A. Sanders Foundation.

Repertory Dance Theatre Ensemble
The Department of Theatre and Dance presented its sixth annual Repertory Dance Theatre Ensemble in February. Yichun Yang was a featured soloist performing traditional Chinese dance and Crystal Patient reprised her multi-award winning solo "During Hours," and her newest creation for three dancers, "Blue Print." There were also solo performances by Clarence Brooks, associate professor of dance at FAU, and several group performances.

Concert Band Festival

The University Bands hosted the 8th annual FAU Concert Band Festival in February. Fourteen different high school bands, with over 800 participating student musicians, performed 30 minute concerts on the University Theatre stage throughout the day, while FAU music professors Kyle Prescott, Sean Murray, and Amy Spears, and guest clinician Mary Schneider from Eastern Michigan University provided recorded comments. This event has become a focal point for band music in South Florida, and since its inception has included over 5,000 students from dozens of different high schools and middle schools in five counties to the FAU Boca Raton campus. 

Faculty News

Collaborative Research Grants.The College recently announced two Collaborative Research Grants. The first, to be funded through the Lalita and Walter Janke Peace, Justice and Human Rights Initiative Fund, is titled "Digital Humanities and Social Justice." This grant will enable a year-long series of workshops and associated events on the ethics of incarceration, immigration reform, environmental practice, freedom of speech, labor laws, gender politics and legislation, human rights, racial profiling, and the historic complexities of discrimination. The initiative will be administered by Kristen Block (History), Wendy Hinshaw (English), Mirya Holman (Political Science), and Lisa Swanstrom (English).


The second initiative, to be funded by the College's Advisory Board, is titled "Surviving Slavery: Sex Trafficking in South Florida." This collaborative faculty research initiative will focus on the problem of sex trafficking and more specifically the gap in outreach efforts to victims by organizations and government agencies. This initiative will be administered by Elena Machado (English, and Director, FAU's Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies), Josephine Beoku-Betts (Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies), Jane Caputi (Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies), Mark Harvey (Sociology), Bernadette Lange (Nursing), and Sika Dagbovie-Mullins (English).


Clevis Headley, philosophy, has been appointed to the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics.The Ethics Commission was created by the County Commission for county government in 2009.
Marshall De Rosa, political science,was recently awarded the Liberty Engagement Forum Grant from the Apgar Foundation. This $25,000 grant will involve a special topics political science course titled "Economic Liberty"; guest speakers; a moot court; through which students would argue/litigate a pending SCOTUS case focused on economic liberty; and online engagement opportunities for students.
Fred Fejes, School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, was interviewed for the PBS documentary "The Day it Snowed in Miami." It is a documentary about the history of LGBTQ rights in South Florida with a particular focus on Miami. The film aired on Miami's WPBT in March and will be aired nationally in the future. Part of the documentary is based on Fejes' book "Gay Rights and Moral Panic: The Origins of America's Debate on Homosexuality." 


Chris Scodari, School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, recently received the Carl Bode Award for Outstanding Article published in the "Journal of American Culture in 2013." The article is titled "Roots, Representation, and Resistance: Family History Media and Culture through a Critical Lens."


Eric Berlatsky, English, was nominated for "Best Online Comics Criticism" for the second year running for his piece in the Comics Forum titled "Between Supermen: Homosociality, Misogyny, and Triangular Desire in the Earliest Superman Stories."


Carol S. Gould, philosophy, co-edited the anthology: "Ethics, Art and Representations of the Holocaust" and has articles in "Schlink's Der Vorleser: Literature, Cruelty, and Narrative (un)Reliability"and "New Essays in Japanese Aesthetics: Philosophy, Culture, Literature, and the Visual Arts."


Music faculty members Irena Kofman and Alejandro Sanchez-Samper recently took part in the FAU "Stand Among Friends"  Walk/Run event to benefit people with disabilities.


Irena Kofman along with Alejandro Sanchez- Samper and his son.



Appraisal Day

The College recently hosted "On the Road: Sotheby's Appraisal Day at FAU" and raised more than $13,000 for student scholarships and fellowships. International art experts from Sotheby's New York, Kodner Galleries in Dania Beach and Palm Beach Modern Auctions in West Palm Beach gave verbal appraisals for items ranging from paintings to antique muskets to fur coats. Verbal appraisals were $45 each. The event was organized by David Miller, a local appraiser and member of the Advisory Board in FAU's College of Arts and Letters as a fundraising event to benefit students and to raise awareness in the community of the College's important role. 


Student volunteers at Appraisal Day.
David Miller (left) at Antiques Appraisal Day.


Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Fundraiser 

Lisa Armbrust, Paul O'Brien, Sandra Shipley, Edith Stein, Martin Stein, Skeets Friedkin.

The Advisory Council for the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (CWGSS) recently hosted a fundraising event at the Arts Garage in Delray Beach. The event, which was underwritten by Edith and Martin Stein, included dinner, the play "Fighting Over Beverley," and a conversation with the actors. More than 60 people attended, and all proceeds will go to student scholarships and support in the CWGSS.

Rory O'Connor
Alumni News
Rory O'Connor, Jr., B.A. communication, '95, has been selected to receive the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. 

O'Connor is a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments in St. Petersburg, Fla. His 30-year career includes work as vice president of JP Morgan and a U.S. Navy SEAL. He is an active philanthropist, volunteering his time for a variety of organizations. Currently, he is ambassador and vice director of the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim for the Navy SEAL Foundation, which aides active duty Naval Special Warfare personnel and their families. The event, which is co-managed by O'Connor, has raised more than $700,000 over four years. It is used as a model for a nationwide series of swims/fundraisers for the Navy SEAL Foundation. His civic work also includes Semper Fi Injured Marine Foundation, Rotary Club of Safety Harbor and Boy Scouts of America. O'Connor is an active member of the Tampa Bay Open Water and master's swim community, and a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He and his wife Mary live in Oldsmar, Fla. They have two adult children, Caitlin and Thomas.


William Hicks, M.A., political science, '09, has just successfully defended his dissertation at the University of Florida. He has also accepted a tenure track position at Appalachian State University. 


Student News
The Lawrence A. Sanders Fellowships in Creative Writing are awarded to first and second year MFA students in the Department of English. This year's recipients are (from left to right) Monique McIntosh, Kim Grabenhorst, Dan Brede (trustee, Lawrence A. Sanders Foundation), Ian Rice, Jamie White.


Jamie White (far right above) was recently recognized by the "Intro Journals Project" of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) for his poem, "Measuring an Arc By Every Other Degree." Jamie's poem will be published in the Colorado Review.


Two visual arts and art history students attended Arts Advocacy Day in Tallahassee on March 18. Mariela Acuna and Michelle Johnson met with two state representatives and several aids to advocate for the continuation of funding for the arts. 


The FAU Marching Band performed in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Ft. Lauderdale. 



FAU students Jonathan O'Neill, Marianna De Tollis (Ph.D. students) Zachary Scalzo, Alessia Martini (MA graduate students) and Nicole Abbott (undergraduate major), all Italian Studies students, were guests of Carmen Paterniti, Il Circolo Board member at a recent Il Circolo dinner at The Breakers Hotel Palm Beach.



CompOWLation, Vol. 3, the latest album created by Hoot Wisdom Recordings, has been nominated for the Independent Music Awards. Winners will be announced this summer.



The following students recently received the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters Advisory Board Graduate Award: Andrea Cudworth, Benjamin Parham, Stephanie Anderson, Kandy Lopez and Raheleh Tavakolnia. The following students received an Undergraduate Research Grant: Juan Garay, Jeannine Wilman Lopez.   


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