Thankful for our Faculty on Thanksgiving

The time of year has come when Florida State University students travel home to spend time with their families, giving thanks for the opportunities that they are granted. The Florida State community has much to be thankful for this year: the safety of our Panama City Campus students and faculty; our recent jump in the College News Rankings to 26th best public university in the country; welcoming a brand new Football coach; the outstanding commitment to research and pedagogical excellence that Florida State faculty have exhibited during these past few months.

Here are a few of the many faculty members that the FSU community is thankful for.

Okwui Okpokwasili, a two-time choreographic fellow of Florida State University’s Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), was named a recipient of the 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, for her innovation in performance pieces highlighting the stories of African and African-American women. Born and raised in the Bronx, Okpokwasili’s highly experimental art is celebrated throughout the country. Thank you for sharing your expertise with our students during your fellowships at FSU.

Michael Holmes, FSU’s Jim Moran Associate Professor of Strategic Management, and Gang Wang, Assistant Professor of Management, conducted widely-celebrated research about the disadvantages that women face in the world of business. The findings were published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Dr. Wang and Dr. Holmes outline the issues that women battle in the workplace, and note that only 5.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies had female CEOs in 2017. Thank you for shining a light on the inequities that we face daily.

Heather Flynn, FSU College of Medicine professor and Vice Chair for Research, along with the FSU College of Medicine, partnered with the Florida Department of Health to receive a $3.25 million dollar grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to improve care for pregnant women battling depression and other pregnancy-related effects. Dr. Flynn focuses on developing sustainable screening and treatment models to protect maternal health. Thank you for your unwavering persistence in protecting women from hidden illnesses.

Tarek Abichou, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, dedicated his summer break to Tunisia-AID, a not-for-profit aiding an elementary school library in a small town in Southern Tunisia. Dr. Abichou’s dedication to education is expressed through his community service work in regions where children may have fewer opportunities for educational resources. Thank you for your commitment to aiding those in need.

Robert Spencer, an associate professor in EOAS, directed a study with a team of scientists from FSU’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science (EOAS) about why Wakulla Springs water is turning brown and the effect this change has on the surrounding community. The paper was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, along with the help of Former FSU postdoctoral researcher Francois Guillemette and current FSU postdoctoral researcher Anne Kellerman. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Thank you for your dedication to saving our natural resources.

We are thankful for the hard work, thoughtful questioning, and outstanding creativity that informs FSU faculty teaching and research. As leaders on and off campus, we appreciate your mentorship, and sharing your life’s work with us.

The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

-Zoe Zirlin

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