Faculty Affinity Groups

“To Promote Diversity and Inclusion, not Exclusion.”

Here at Florida State University, we are dedicated to celebrating the varying backgrounds of our esteemed faculty. Our professors and researchers come from around the world, speak different languages, and represent a multitude of cultural traditions. Our six Faculty Affinity groups on campus are the Latin@ Faculty Advocacy and Resource Group, Black Faculty and Staff Organization, LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff Network, the Veterans, Families and Friends Group, South Asian Noles Association, and the Association of Chinese Professors at Florida State University. Each group represents faculty within FSU who share similar interests and come together to promote diversity and inclusion. Amongst a host of challenges that face collegiate faculty today, underrepresentation of minority groups poses a serious problem to the university as a whole. This is where affinity groups come into play. A small, core number of faculty spearhead each Affinity program, and mentorship plays a huge part in the bonding and strengthening of members. FSU Affinity groups also serve to highlight the achievements of their affiliated faculty. Activities of Affinity groups include lunches with the Provost, peer mentoring across departments, speakers series, networking and recruitment opportunities, and fellowship.

For faculty looking to start new Affinity groups that align with your interests and community, you may begin to ask questions such as:

What are the core values of the group?

How is the group different from other groups at the University?

What steps need to be taken to achieve the group’s mission?

What are the group’s goals?

Can an existing group accomplish these goals?

Is there sufficient interest among current faculty and staff to support the new group?

Is this a viable short-term and/or long-term organization?

Does this organization offer value to the faculty and staff?


If you have any questions about FSU’s Affinity groups, please contact:


Latin@ Faculty Advocacy and Resource Group


John Ribo


Lara Perez-Felkner


Black Faculty and Staff Network (BFSN)

Human Resources staff headshots.

Michelle Douglass


LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff Network


Karin Brewster


Association of Chinese Professors at Florida State University (ASP-FSU)


Xufeng Niu


South Asian Noles Association(SANA)

Som Chatterjee


Veterans Friends and Family Group (VF2G)

William Lamb



As always, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for faculty updates!


Meet the Interns

The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement would like to welcome our faculty back to Florida State University! This semester, we have welcomed two new undergraduate interns to our office, seniors Fabiana Ferrante and Emily Campana, accompanied by our returning intern, junior Zoe Zirlin. Their goal for this year is simple: use multimedia platforms to inform, update and unite Florida State Faculty! Because FSU is an expansive research university that employs hundreds of influential leaders in the academic world, we believe that it is imperative for professors to have Faculty Development and Advancement updates at their fingertips, (more specifically, in their twitter feeds!) Those employed by Florida State can find information regarding faculty luncheons, writing workshops, research opportunities, award deadlines, and achievement recognition… all in one scroll. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Hi! My name is Zoe Zirlin, and I am a junior pursuing a double major in Advertising and Editing, Writing and Media. I am thrilled to return to the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement this semester. Last year14344358_1044290792344972_2755587022038926738_n.jpg, I enjoyed shaping our office’s media platforms into a more engaging, influential and informative stream of information. We also created videos highlighting faculty achievement, published a weekly blog about award and research opportunities, and interviewed staff from varying colleges about their pedagogical methodologies and published works. By collecting and analyzing data about our platform reach from the start of the year to the end, we found the best ways to connect with faculty utilizing a multimedia approach. Working in this office has taught me more than just the differences between assistant and associate professor; I learned how to work in a team, meet professional deadlines, and I developed a deeper love for my campus. This year, Emily, Fabiana and I are excited to embark on new projects, connect with a larger amount of faculty, and learn more about how our professors make Florida State the welcoming (and 26th best public!) university it is today.

Hello! My name is Emily Campana and I am a senior here at Florida State University majoring in Editing, Writing and Media. I was born and raised in Palm Beach County and graduated from Florida Atlantic University High School. I found my love of working with social media while interning for YouTube and Vine star Cody Johns. I’ve always loved 5D776C47-75E2-4EED-8604-B31D9F97AF3B.jpgsocial media and the platform it provides, and working for a specific client was a whole new experience. I learned how to manage multiple social media platforms with hundreds of thousands of followers based on Cody’s needs by promoting different applications he was working with and keeping his followers updated on what was happening. I also write for HerCampus, an online magazine aimed at college women, and participate in PeaceJam Southeast as a mentor.

Hi! My name is Fabiana Ferrante, I’m 22 years old and I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. I completed my freshman year of college back in Venezuela where I studied Social Communication at the Monteávila University. However, because of the crisis that the country was and still is going through, I decided to move to the Republic of PanUnknown.jpegama. I then continued my studies at Florida State University Republic of Panama campus with a major in Media/Communication Studies. Now, as a senior, I have moved (once again!) to Tallahassee, Florida to complete my undergraduate studies here in the United States. For the past 4 years, I have not only moved from one to place to another, but I have also had the chance to grow as a professional by working in an American worldwide consumer products company such as Colgate-Palmolive, non-profit organizations like the Panamanian Red Cross and RET International, among other institutions. Nowadays, as this new adventure of being one of the Social Media interns in the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement begins, I plan to introduce more visual elements into the office by developing video interviews and general videos, as well as more photography that show the great work that FSU faculty members do every day.


Six Things We Learned from FSU Faculty

This semester, we had the pleasure of working as Media Interns with the FSU Office of Faculty Development and Advancement. One of our projects in this role was to create a blog composed of faculty member interviews to highlight their efforts and spread the word of positive work throughout our university. Nearing the end of our term with this great office, we decided to compile 6 things that we have learned while taking classes and meeting with FSU faculty from all different disciplines!


1. Understanding different perspectives opens your mind.

Jennifer Enoch- Department of English- Doctoral Student

In Professor Jennifer Enoch’s course Rhetoric (ENC3021) she lectures on varying groups of rhetoricians, from Ancient Greek to Contemporary American. By including contrasting narratives in the journey of the course and legitimizing differing opinions in class, Ms. Enoch shows her students how to use diverging ideas to deepen their understanding of the topic. From the beginnings of the study of Rhetoric to the modern-day, rhetoricians have gone to war over ideas, and Ms. Enoch is able to wield these arguments for deep in-class discussions, intellectually stimulating written exams, and a welcoming class environment where all opinions are valued. Ms. Enoch’s lighthearted and thoughtful approach to teaching encourages her students to put forth original work that furthers the in-class discussions of Rhetorical theory.


 2. Introspection is the key to embracing yourself.

Dr.  Tomi Gomory- Associate Professor of Social Work

The Human Sexuality class (SOW4152) taught in London by Dr. Tomi Gomory, Associate Professor of Social Work and former Fulbright Scholar, encourages students to use the information that they collect at exhibits, cafes and bookstores in the nearby Soho neighborhood to learn more about their own definition of sexuality, the importance of loving those around you, and how to lift up and support your community. Through activities dedicated to introspective writing, students learn how to embrace theirselves in a holistic and intellectual manner. Sex is a topic that is both over-discussed and misunderstood by college students, but Dr. Gomory’s course takes steps towards enlightening young people about the beauty, power, connection, and power of human sexuality.


3. Your community is your classroom.

Dr. John Reynolds- Professor and Department Chair, Sociology Department

In his London Campus class Social Problems (SYG2010,) Dr. John Reynolds, Department Chair and Professor of Sociology, wields the city of London as his classroom, leading his students on adventures all over the city. He guides his students through local markets, famous British landmarks, museums, parks and small cafes so that they are able to experience the city firsthand, while taking a closer look at the social problems that Londoners struggle with. By finishing the semester with a project dedicated to a problem that students found personally intriguing, Dr. Reynolds allows his students to become sociologists themselves. By taking his class, I learned that the community is my classroom, my neighbors are my teachers, and my textbooks are museum stubs.


4. The people you work with are just as important as where you work.

Dr. Ashby Plant – Professor of Social Psychology

This piece of wisdom actually came from every professor I spoke with. When asked, “What is your favorite part of working at FSU?” all of them included in their answer “the people.” Their excitement when talking about working with colleagues who respect, challenge, and encourage them in their professional lives is contagious. Dr. Ashby Plant mentioned in our interview that the people she works with create a fun, supportive, collaborative program that makes it a pleasure to work together. Taking this wisdom, it is easy to see that the people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your career, so it is crucial to like them!


5. Collaboration is the key to ingenuity and success.

Stacey Makhanova- Department Social Psychology, graduate student, doctoral candidate

“Two heads are better than one” is something we have all heard before. When it comes to your professional career however, it can be easy to remain in your personal bubble with your individual struggles, goals, and deadlines. Stacey Makhanova, teacher of social psychology at FSU, exemplifies the endless possibilities that open up when you make the effort to collaborate with others. Stacey works in multiple psychology labs on campus researching different but related topics. By doing this, she is able to take the expertise and knowledge of one mentor and researcher and apply it to her work in other areas. For her, this has only increased her understanding and success in her work.


6. Start now.

Kevin Curry- Assistant Teaching Professor- Department of Art

While shadowing his class, Kevin Curry told his students, “the biggest enemy of creation is hesitation. Start now.” This advice seems simple, but considering the time we spend procrastinating, this is really something to take to heart. I found it thought-provoking that he phrased it as hesitation is the enemy of creation. Creativity is something we would like to harness and use at our convenience, but that is not how it works. Often, when you have to start a project or task, you may not start right away for fear that the work will not be good enough. What Curry points out here is that if you don’t start now, you could prevent yourself from freely working through the struggle of mistakes and challenges that ultimately lead to your best work.

Let’s Have a Bigger Conversation- with Kevin Curry

kevin curry_headshot(1)
Kevin Curry

When you look at a computer screen, you likely do not see the potential for endless creation, interpretation, and art education. That is exactly what Assistant Teaching Professor Kevin Curry envisions as he leads his Digital Foundations courses at Florida State University. Embracing the technological capabilities of the 21st century, Curry constructs a unique learning environment for his art students where he mixes education, computers, and art.

With an extensive professional background in graphic design and advertising, Mr. Curry has since left the ruthless advertising industry to embrace newfound passions in art research, art residencies, and teaching. He didn’t always want to teach, but after earning his master’s degree he reflects that he gained an appreciation for what a good professor can do, the difference they can make, as well as the challenges that come with the job. “For a while that’s why I really didn’t want to teach; it’s a lot of work. Now, it’s a challenge I like struggling with.”

Now that Mr. Curry is teaching, he does so with gusto, innovation, and compassion. Shadowing his Digital Foundations course, I witnessed how he interacted personally with each student, making sure everyone had the support and instruction they needed. It was apparent from observation and speaking with him that Curry truly sees each student as an individual with a unique perspective and something worth saying. At the start of the second project of the semester, he told his students, “the biggest enemy of creation is hesitation. Start now.” This advice is valuable to students, professionals, and creators alike.


The prompts that Mr. Curry presents to his classes for projects are open-ended and thought-provoking and he makes clear that there is no correct answer or result he intends for his students to accomplish. Many student artists go on to create work that taps into the deeper questions of humanity and contribute to this greater commentary, but often they do it unintentionally. By prompting students to be introspective and reflect on personal moments, Curry allows them to naturally tap into these relatable and revealing ideas in their work and become aware of them. He explains that once the work is finished and they review it together they often realize what the piece is saying and what it can represent in relation to current issues and the human condition.


Curry explains that often working as an artist and teacher can be isolating if one does not make an effort to reach out to others collaborate. He sees the value in collaboration after having positive personal experiences with it so he makes a steadfast effort to continue to create new opportunities and platforms where collaboration can happen. One of these efforts is his work with the FSU FAR program. “Through  my role as a Faculty in Residence at FSU’s Facility for Arts Research (FAR), I am establishing an initiative called COLLAB, which will provide an opportunity to examine the ebb and flow of ideas, aesthetics and language through collaborations with and between individuals in all fields of research. COLLAB, would be a scalable, intra-university pilot program of curated dialogues with faculty from other departments and disciplines here at FSU, based on the model of a working artist’s studio in regards to exploration, experimentation and investigation.”

Kevin Curry is not just a teacher. He is, among other things, an artist, a husband, a father, a researcher, a traveler, and an inspiration and mentor to his students. How did he get to this point? As B.J. Neblett said, “we are the sum total of our experiences.” Curry’s formative experiences began as a child when he moved around a lot. Constantly changing countries and learning new cultures while still holding on to memories of previous homes embedded in him a curiosity  about memories and how we attempt to retain our fleeting experiences. This interest can be seen through his work done during his 2016 artist-in-residency hiking from Alaska to British Columbia. During this residency, Curry photographed then later 3D printed the busts of the various people he met along the trail. This was his way of remembering and reflecting on his experience.

trailheads (1).jpg
3D printed heads from the Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency.

An influential part of Kevin Curry’s life was his work in graphic design and advertising. After a successful career, he left advertising as the industry became saturated and negative in nature. Now fully engulfed in his artwork, Curry embraces his past through a project reconstituting old abandoned signage. He notes the project’s connection to his past in how the signs, “at one point had this language that served a function of informing people, or swaying them to do or buy something, or pointing them in a direction. That’s basically what I did while I was in advertising.”

Life experiences translated into artistic expressions are what create meaning in an artist’s work. Each person lives a unique life, but throughout it, we all experience similar ups and downs, joys and struggles. These connecting events are what makes an artist’s work relatable and meaningful to viewers.

One piece of Mr. Curry’s work literally connects people. The piece is a floor based sign titled “Conjunction” which has the word “and” in the middle. When two people stand on each side, it triggers the neon “and” in the middle to light up. As these two people stand on the artwork, they are now connected to one another for the few moments they are there. Naturally, families and couples often try it, but Curry’s favorite moments are when two strangers use it. One stranger approaches the other and asks them to stand on the piece with them in hopes they will interact with the art and make the sign light up. This piece is a statement of connection as it joins each person who interacts with it to Curry, the creator, while also linking the two people standing on it through physical interaction as well as language.

Kevin Curry with his wife, Holly Parker Curry, and their daughter, Dawson.

Kevin Curry has led a life of discovery, introspection, adventure, experience, and expression. He now passes all these things on to his students. Sasha Azevedo said “we can teach from our experience, but we cannot teach experience.” Curry embodies this ideology as he takes his accumulation of knowledge and experiences and uses them in prompting his students to reflect on their own lives in order to create art with deeper meaning from within themselves. He says, “I consider my classrooms to be fluid environments. There are tasks to be done and assignments to be solved, but I’m less interested in producing a syllabus that is so task driven that students lose sight of why they are here in the first place. It shouldn’t be just to crank out assignments and get the degree. What makes you different?” It is this philosophy of teaching that makes Kevin Curry an exemplary teacher that Florida State University is proud to have.

Curry continues to be an asset to Florida State University and the Art Department as he is continually learning and improving his work, research, and teaching. The future for Mr. Curry is not written in stone or strategically planned. Instead, it is a process that will continue to be shaped by a growing family, a rotation of students, professional colleagues, and every life experience.

– Alison Amann

Faculty Teaching Abroad


Florida State University’s International Programs are consistently ranked among the top in the country, due to the International Program staff and faculty who are dedicated to enriching the experiences of students who choose to study abroad. Unlike other universities in the U.S, Florida State owns and operates four campuses abroad: Florence, Italy; Valencia, Spain; London, England; and Panama City, Panama.

Only one percent of American students study abroad, and those who go are searching for adventures outside, and inside, the classroom. Florida State professors who teach abroad employ their host city as a teaching tool. Professors of Art History can lead their class in the Egyptology wing of the British Museum, and Biology Professors can hop on the tram in Valencia and explore the Spanish Mediterranean coast with their students. Archaeology classes have a wealth of experiences to pursue in Florence, and Mathematics professors can lecture on architectural advances. Opportunities to bring class out of the classroom are endless, and additionally, professors are welcome to explore their host countries on their own and with International Programs organized trips.

FSU professors may teach abroad in the fall, spring, summer, or spring break semesters. Spring break and summer programs can vary from Nepalese Disaster Management Immersion, to Indonesian Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Immersion. Faculty members who teach abroad bring a passion for their subject, and infuse it into a curriculum that is dependent on the host city. Professors have the opportunity to craft a course that teaches students subject area knowledge and how that knowledge lives in the new culture. For example, professors of Italian Language equip their students with the tools to correctly order a gelato in the native language and converse with the store employees. Professors of Feminist Literature can teach FSU students how to ride the tube in London, while on their way to the Women’s Library in the London Metropolitan University.

If you would like to create relationships with international experts in your field, lead students on life-changing adventures, and enjoy time abroad with your fellow FSU community, consider teaching abroad in next year’s term!
The Faculty Application for Spring Break 2020 – Spring 2021 will open in November 2018. Please contact with any questions.

Open Doors and Open Minds


Diversity of Thinking – a conversation with Dr. Iain Quinn

The nationally distinguished Florida State University College of Music is a hub of activity, probably because of the more than 1,000 students who have made their musical homes in the hallways and classrooms of the college, honing their skills with peers and studying an array of musical styles that range from jazz to opera. Dr. Iain Quinn, Assistant Professor of Organ, Coordinator of Sacred Music and former Fulbright Scholar, has performed in many of the major musical venues around the world. The door to his office is thin and sound seeps in from outside as students tune their instruments and rehearse choral works nearby. The first question I ask Dr. Quinn, who is originally from the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, is if he has enjoyed living in Tallahassee.

“I like it very much. It has proved to be a wonderful city for children. We have three small children in our house and one has to balance everything for a healthy work and home life. The College of Music is also particularly collegial and I’m fortunate to work with tremendous people on a daily basis.”

Before receiving his PhD in musicology in 2012 from the University of Durham, located in north-east England, Dr. Quinn studied at The Juilliard School, The Hartt School, the University of Hartford, (BM, summa cum laude), and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University (MM). He has also been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and a Visiting Composer in Chapel at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. As an organist, musicologist and composer, Dr. Quinn presents his students with the opportunity to understand the role of music in worship through a nuanced, worldly and expressive lens. He believes that his love for music grew out of his childhood experiences in the local cathedral choir.

“I grew up singing in a cathedral choir, so I was immersed in high quality music very early on and absolutely loved that. I wanted to take up the organ, but the route to that was always via piano study in the first instance. I began with the piano around age seven and then added trumpet lessons before starting organ lessons at thirteen.

One of the BBC orchestras is based in Cardiff, my hometown. It was possible for us to hear a major orchestra perform significant repertoire all the time. You saw people that were your parents age or older engaged in this glorious pursuit as a living profession yet with an extraordinary reach into history.

A thread that keeps coming up when I teach non-music majors – especially during the summer as part of an International Programs course in London – is the role of living composers that are writing new works, because many people assume that everything is a part of the museum culture and somehow antique. That’s simply not the case. There are tremendous opportunities for people to experience new music and our own campus has an especially strong commitment to new music.”

Sacred polyphony, Gregorian chants and hymns in Christian liturgy have a wealth of history, and Dr. Quinn structures his courses around the historical context of different pieces. Many Americans recognize hymns as they attend a Sunday Mass, but may not know the intricate details that go into the creation and performance of sacred music.

“We have a sacred music undergraduate degree, that includes courses that I teach, not the least of which is Hymnology. We have two tracks, organ and voice, and part of the coursework is undertaken at the Department of Religion. We also have a practicum, which studies the contemporary aspects of working in the church from an academic perspective and how this work evolves from one generation to another and historically. Critically, students see how the role of music in the larger Western canon has developed in relation to sacred music and vice versa.”

Sacred music is such a narrow branch of musicology, so what differentiates religious music from secular classical music? What makes sacred music specifically sacred?

“Firstly, because it is intended for use in worship. But, beyond that, there are various prescripts and protocols that composers have to abide by. In terms of musical style, composers continually test how far the envelope can be pushed in terms of artistic ideas and yet still be fitting within the context of a liturgy. The music should not draw attention to itself; it should fit as part of the whole, as much as the stained glass does, as much as the altar frontal does. You want it to be all as one. There are composers who, throughout history, have had a certain gift that could both elevate the experience of a worshipping environment while also contributing to the larger musical art form. Of course there are also many composers that have only written for the church and done so extremely well. It is a particular gift to be able to do both because the demands are extremely different.”

As a top producer of Fulbright recipients, Florida State University professors have seen their fair share of the world, and for the well-traveled Assistant Professor Dr. Quinn, his time in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2017 was filled with performing, lecturing and learning about local life.

“I was a Fulbright scholar in Russia last Spring, and it is slightly eerie now because my Facebook photos are coming up with the one year anniversary, and here I am in the Florida heat! I taught at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, which is one of the leading conservatories in the country and indeed the world. I was teaching organ students in lessons and lectures, and also playing some recitals. I chose Russia in part because I had been twice before, but also because it was a completely different culture. I spent a lot of time in advance of the trip reading Russian literature, both nineteenth and twentieth century fiction, to see whether there really was a connection between the way people were discussed and the people I would then encounter, and found that it was incredibly close in many instances. Several Russians commented on this while I was there often noting the impressive accuracy of one author over another who managed to capture the spirit of the people or a moment in history. I also wanted to be somewhere where it wasn’t simply a different language amidst different architecture and music, but where clearly there was a different way of seeing the world. None of us have any choice where we are born, and there are fortunes and misfortunes that come with that. In the grand landscape, Russia is still one of the affluent countries by comparison to most of the rest of the world. However, Russian thinking is completely different in terms of the professions, how artists are viewed, the balance of what is expected of politicians, and many other areas. Experiencing even a small part of this culture for four months inevitably broadens one’s thinking and like all educational experiences challenges the individual to open their eyes still further.”

Dr. Quinn noticed stark differences between students in Russia and those in the United Kingdom and United States in terms of the discussions around history and the extent of the role it plays in contemporary everyday lives.

“Everything is a matter of context and the context for Russians is quite simply different because it centers on a remembrance of the Second World War and in turn a very long view of history. You wouldn’t expect someone in your generation [a college student], in the course of meeting for coffee, to be discussing the last world war and yet this topic came up in numerous conversations with adults of all ages because as a Fulbright administrator put it to me during our Washington orientation “when you’ve lost more than twenty-five million people and had a city (St. Petersburg) under siege for almost nine hundred days you have a different view of life.

The current system was exactly as it had been explained during our orientation. It is understood that you do not criticize the Russian government, you never mention corruption and under no circumstances do you criticize the Russian president. If you follow the rules, it’s highly unlikely you’d have any issues at all and in St. Petersburg you’re experiencing one of the very great cities of the world. For me it would be second only to London. However, stories of researchers who showed up at one library without advance permission while failing to cancel the appointment at another and consequently found their visa revoked for five years are not unheard of.

It is understood that you are a foreigner and there’s an inherent respect for that because it’s expected in return. Although I’ve lived in the US almost continuously since 1994, I suppose I still sound very British and that has an amusing response in Russia. “So, we’ve both [the UK and Russia] seen better days!” was a common rejoinder and there is far more in common than one might at first think not least in a similar appreciation for dry humour.

Russians are very deep thinkers, and there is the expectation that you can ask as many questions as you like, but you will never really understand the soul of the country. You see that in the literature where there is layer upon layer upon layer of character development and yet it’s all important. Dostoevsky springs to mind but frankly the length of Tolstoy’s novels makes perfect sense on so many levels as does the bluntness of Vladimir Sorokin’s writing or the relative melancholy of Olga Grushin’s books on a quite different level. Each provides something of a glimpse into a different and elaborate world.

The character of much that I encountered was summed up in the last week of four months when an administrator said, ‘Well, it is because we don’t understand it [our country fully] ourselves. We don’t understand why certain things happen, we don’t understand why injustices happen, but we live with it, because we are a great country, and we have a rich history, and we’ve seen off far worse in the past.’ Despite a history that has never been easy for the average person, one is left with a sense that you’re amongst some of the kindest people around, well aware of where they stand, where their country stands, and what is going on elsewhere. Stephen Kotkin’s book Armageddon Averted is the perfect complement to the (semi-)fictional landscapes portrayed in the literature although frankly you also realize how close to the mark John le Carré is.”

Dr. Quinn believes that it is vital to encourage a wide range of discussion between students of different backgrounds in his classroom. With over 2,000 international students from over 130 countries, FSU supports a diversity of opinion and a culture of internationalism. This is reinforced by the work of International Programs which provides opportunities for FSU students to spend time studying abroad.

“Diversity, whether on campuses or in communities at large, encourages a continuing dialogue that when sustained allows people to understand the importance of subtlety and nuance in our conversations and actions. When I’ve spoken to diplomats, this view is reinforced over and over again. To cooperate with people in other countries you really must have a sense that subtle differences really do matter.

The more we can spend time thinking outside our own area of experience, the closer we are to making meaningful contributions to society. As President Kennedy remarked “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” We are fortunate to have a diverse campus that can channel multiple points of view, encourage stimulating intellectual debate and nurture students who are critical thinkers that constantly ask questions. When you have a classroom with someone from Alabama sitting next to someone from Brazil who is next to someone from Washington state next to somebody from Tallahassee you’re inevitably going to encourage a diversity of opinion and that must always be warmly welcomed because that’s the real world. With an often easily polarized media, the campus conversation and research culture has taken on an especially critical role because it is important that we all think about the world we are to some extent shaping for ourselves as well as future generations.”

Dr. Quinn is an Assistant Professor of Organ and the Coordinator of Sacred Music at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

To learn more about his work, please click here.

-Zoe Zirlin, FSU Class of 2020