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Faculty Readings and Book Signings

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In 2013, FSU launched its first ever Faculty Reading and book signing. It all started on October 4 with Dr. Dennis Moore, Associate Professor from the FSU English Department, and his book “Letters From an American Farmer and Other Essays.” The “American Farmer” of the title is Crèvecoeur’s fictional persona Farmer James, a bumpkin from rural Pennsylvania. In his Introduction to this edition, Moore places this self-effacing pose in perspective and charts Crèvecoeur’s enterprising approach to self-promotion, which involved repackaging and adapting his writings for French and English audiences. Letters from an American Farmer was published in London in 1782, just as the idea of an “American” was becoming a reality. Dennis D. Moore’s convenient, up-to-date reader’s edition situates those twelve pieces from the 1782 Letters in the context of thirteen other essays representative of Crèvecoeur’s writings in English.

Since that year, every Parents Weekend (celebrated in the fall semester) and once each spring semester Florida State has done a Faculty Reading and book signing. Faculty members from different colleges such as the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Music, College of Social Science and Public Policy and the College of Fine Arts, have the opportunity to share their own work. Faculty from across campus and friends from the community have the chance to learn more about their peers’ writings and research as well as explore different topics and themes.

This Fall semester, on its 11th session during Parents Weekend (September 21st), Jen Atkins, Associate Professor of Dance, shared with us her new book New Orleans Carnival Balls. This book discusses how Mardi Gras festivities don’t end after the parades roll through the streets; rather, a large part of the celebration continues unseen by the general public. On her reading, those present had the opportunity to travel back in time to 1870, where we got to explore New Orleans and the Mardi Gras tradition (and its secrets!) from a whole new perspective.

These Faculty Readings have been and continue to be possible thanks to the ad hoc committee that stages them. The members of this committee are: Dr. Margaret Wright-Cleveland (Director of Faculty Development), Dr. Denise Von Glahn (Professor of Musicology), Dr. Lisa Liseno (Assistant Dean of the Graduate School), Dr. John Mayo (Retired Dean of College of Social Sciences), Bob Howard (Retired Director of the Askew Student Life Center), Abby Cazel (Student in FSU School of Law, former leader of the Student Organization within Ukirk), and Dr. Dennis Moore (Chair).

Those who organize these readings were intentionally selected to represent very diverse people from different fields. Each presentation is for a non-specialized audience including people attending Parent’s Weekend, faculty colleagues, undergraduates and graduate students, and people from the community and the series is crafted to present different disciplines, perspectives, and topics. All these elements make these readings a learning and sharing space open for everyone, so stay tuned for the 12th session on February 12, 2019, where Tanya Peres, Associate Professor of Anthropology, will share her book “Baking, Bourbon, and Black Drink.” If we are lucky, a bourbon tasting may follow.

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Let’s Talk Emergency Managment With Professor Robert McDaniel

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Robert “Rob” McDaniel

The first thing you notice about the Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) department is that it’s secluded. On the sixth floor of Bellamy, you have to walk past the Social Sciences department into a narrow, U-shaped hallway to come across the offices of EMHS professors and faculty. But that doesn’t stop them from making you feel right at home. All the office doors are open and laughter echoes down the hall as faculty chat with students in their offices. I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the founders of the EMHS program Professor Robert
“Rob” McDaniel, a veteran of the Cold and Gulf Wars turned Emergency Manager, to hear about his journey into the department.

“I had to retire from the Air Force. I had gotten hurt after the first Gulf War. So I was looking for what’s next and I came across an advertisement for what sounded like a military command post and it turned out to be a job at the state Emergency Operations Center. I looked at the job posting and it sounded similar to what we would call a battle staff in the military. I thought, well, I’ve done that and I could do that job but I really had no idea what Emergency Management was. I had no clue. It ended up being a really good fit for me. I was very lucky. A lot of military guys don’t get to take everything that comes out of their military career and almost directly apply it to the next part of their life and I was very fortunate to do that.”

Now an Associate Teaching Professor in the EMHS Program and Senior Fellow at the Center for Disaster Risk Policy (CDRP) at Florida State University, Professor McDaniel is a graduate of FSU’s prestigious Askew School of Public Administration, so coming back to FSU seemed like a good fit for him.

“A colleague of mine, her name is Dr. Janet Dilling, and I worked together at the Florida Division of Emergency Management many, many years ago. Janet had the opportunity to leave state government and come work directly for FSU. Because she had enough work, she said ‘hey, wanna come over?’ I grew up here in Tallahassee so I’ve always bled garnet and gold so the idea of my working at FSU was a no-brainer.

Our work with FSU’s Research Center for Disaster Response focused back on doing work for federal, state, and local governments that had difficult Emergency Management problems to solve. They would very often hire our center to come and help them do better, creative, and innovative things. And while we were doing that, Janet, Dr. Audrey Casserleigh and I thought, you know, we’re here so why don’t we teach a class? And that class became two and eventually grew into what you know now as the EMHS program.”

The EMHS program offers thirty-one different classes, all ranging from the history of Mega Disasters to learning about Mayhem Media. The program is made up of all different kinds of students, taking in both the more traditional graduate and undergraduate degree-seeking students as well as non-degree seeking students. There are three different certificates under the EMHS program: Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Application of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and U.S. Intelligence. Each certificate has different requirements, classes, and student population based on their interest and school level and the program is ever growing.

“It was a fairly straightforward process. In the beginning, we focused almost exclusively on Emergency Management because it is at least half of what has to be done in a national security situation like a terrorist attack. It became a question of why is this just an emergency management program? We have significant expertise in Homeland Security too, so why aren’t we teaching that? Audrey is a perfect example of this. She’s a nationally renowned expert in terrorism and teaches the program’s terrorism classes now. So it was a natural progression from that. We use our practitioner sensibilities to determine what we think students need to understand and know to be in public safety or Homeland Security. I would be lying to you if the practical experience we have doesn’t influence that a lot. There are a lot of National Security higher education programs out there but many don’t have practitioners running them. We like to think that not only because we did it but because we still have our hands in it that we bring a unique perspective with our classes and what we decide needs to be a part of the curriculum.

Interestingly, our intelligence certificate that we started around two years ago was one of those things that seemed like a really good fit to have. It started off as just an entry-level class on what National Intelligence is, but then we started looking at it and realized that I have a former military background and we have a faculty member, retired Colonel Robert Duggleby, who has extensive Global Security credentials. Colonel Duggleby, one of our graduate assistants Abby Kinch, and I realized that this needed to be a bigger thing. When we started talking to the National Intelligence Community about what we were doing and wanting to expand, it became obvious that there is a market for young people who have that sensibility, who want to become an intelligence analyst. They’re literally hiring hundreds every year and so it just seemed to be a good progression.”

With such a large market for graduates with a background knowledge in EMHS, I found it very interesting that the certificate also hosts non-degree seeking students. In Professor McDaniel’s Monday night Leadership and Communication in Emergency Management course, roughly half of the students are non-degree seeking. Some work in government in Tallahassee and their departments are looking to have someone certified in EMHS; some are retired veterans like Professor McDaniel; some want to go into government and are looking to expand their knowledge of emergency management in general.

“It used to be a lot more common than it is now. Only recently has the profession of Emergency Management progressed to the point where if you want to get an entry-level job, you’re going to need a degree or background knowledge of some kind. The interesting thing is we don’t see that there’s any benefit having very specialized knowledge in Emergency Management because systems across the nation are all slightly different. Florida does things slightly different than Georgia, Alabama, California, or even Texas for that matter. So a very specialized knowledge of Emergency Management is probably not going to benefit in entry-level jobs that our graduates are looking for. But what we have found is that a diversity of people, backgrounds, degrees, and knowledge are a real benefit to the profession of Emergency Management.

Someday, hopefully, we will end up being a degree program here, but right now it’s working out to where it’s okay to have a degree in economics and our certificate as a background in emergency management. Once students get into the business they’re going to learn the way things are done where they’re at so it works out pretty well. I’m very proud to say that the graduates from our certificate get their fair share of jobs in the field.”

The field, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, covers a broad array of jobs with an even more vast array of responsibilities. At FSU’s Tallahassee campus, these responsibilities include being available when called on by state and local government as well as working with Florida State University Police Department (FSUPD) to help keep our campus and students safe.

“We have some real-world responsibilities that the State of Florida has asked us to step up and do for them. Our program director David Merrick is a nationally renowned expert in the use of social media and data mining, which helps us understand what’s going on out there during disasters. Because of that whenever the State of Florida activates for a hurricane or some other disaster or even significant special events like if one of the major political parties has a convention here, the state will actually ask us to set up a team to monitor social media.

We have also started a program of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), small drones. We have gained some expertise and recognition to the point where the state has now asked us to lead the State Emergency Response Team, the team that manages all of the different teams from state agencies that get together and manage disasters for the State of Florida. We have deployed into the field during disasters and in some cases, we’ve taken students with us, and that’s been a real learning process for us and them. I was really proud of the efforts of some of our students during Hurricane Irma this last season. When the state of Florida’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) needed extra hands and extra people they asked if some students could help out, and we had a couple of dozen young people volunteering in the state EOC doing some real-world things and really helping out.

We did participate most recently in a search for a missing student and I’m happy to say that along with our partner company that has scent discriminant dogs, tracking dogs, we found the young man. I don’t want to minimize the fact that there were literally hundreds of people out there looking for him along with Chief Perry and the FSUPD. It just so happens that we had the right tool at the right time and we found him. We have deployed to other things like that. The reason that FSUPD knew to call us and knew to call our partner at Scent Evidence K9, Paul Coley, was because we’ve worked and trained together before.

I have also conducted two different exercises here at FSU in past years. One was training for a terrorist type event here on campus and the other was a hurricane scenario.”

We ended on a fun note for the both of us, talking about Professor McDaniel’s favorite part about working here at FSU, given that he’s now back in his hometown of Tallahassee.

“If you ever talk to anybody who served in the military you will, almost to a person,  hear them talk about the reason that they serve and a lot of that has to do with the person right next to you. I had the great privilege of working with five other guys in a crew when I was flying in B-52s and I’m very close to all of them, to the point where I trusted my life with them. I can truly say that I have the same feeling with the people that I work with here at FSU. It also it’s great for me because I did grow up here, I remember when FSU wasn’t even a quarter of what you see now. I can remember football before Bobby Bowden, and it was horrible. I can remember when the stadium was like high school bleachers and the crowd because we were always losing, was so bored they would sway and the whole structure would sway too. They would have to condemn the stadium after every ball game until somebody came in and certified that it was okay for people to come back. I can I remember things about FSU back to the early sixties and to see what it’s become now is very gratifying.”

To learn more about Professor McDaniel as well as the entire Emergency Management and Homeland Security program, click here.

 

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

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John Ribo
jribo@fsu.edu

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Lara Perez-Felkner
lperezfelkner@fsu.edu

 

Black Faculty and Staff Network (BFSN)

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Michelle Douglass
mdouglass@admin.fsu.edu

 

LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff Network

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Karin Brewster
brewster@admin.fsu.edu

 

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

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Xufeng Niu
xfniu01@gmail.com

 

South Asian Noles Association(SANA)

Som Chatterjee

somnath@admin.fsu.edu

 

Veterans Friends and Family Group (VF2G)

William Lamb

BLamb@admin.fsu.edu

 

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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