For Terence Farrell, Ph.D., a recent sabbatical provided an opportunity to finish some research projects and begin other new ones. The common theme: snakes. More specifically: rattlesnake predation on giant centipedes, the evolution of rattlesnake venom and the hormonal control of snake reproductive behaviors.
Another theme for the professor of biology and Brown Faculty Fellow: collaboration with Stetson students and faculty.
“I keep an active research program, so I needed to get a lot of stuff done,” Farrell said of his sabbatical, which began in August 2017. “I mostly stayed on campus because a lot of the research was lab-based, but I also spent time at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge [DeLeon Springs, Florida] in the field.
“I worked with students to observe snake behaviors, so I needed to learn how to analyze and edit videos. I also started a YouTube channel and put videos on Facebook to gain a broader audience for the research.”
The National Geographic Society, for example, picked up some of the YouTube uploads.
Sabbaticals are offered to Stetson faculty once every seven years. The request for a sabbatical is reviewed by a committee, and professors have the option of either taking one semester or a full year working on their research projects. Farrell took the full year, and he also used the time to learn new skills that will help him in his research moving forward.
“Stetson stands out when it comes to encouraging faculty members and their research projects,” Farrell commented. “Research, including the amount and quality of research that occurs during sabbaticals, keeps faculty current in their fields and students engaged in the type of research that will serve them well moving forward in their careers.”
Since 1994, Farrell has published 23 journal peer-reviewed journal articles, five book chapters, two book reviews and five articles in the popular press. Many of Farrell’s papers have had multiple co-authors, and in 13 of them the lead author was an undergraduate or graduate student with little or no experience in scientific publishing.
Farrell seeks to always work closely with his students to guide them through every step of the complex task of getting a manuscript written, revised and published.
“Collaboration with students is what Stetson is all about,” he said. “Work both in the lab and in the field is critical to their development, and especially for seniors working on their research projects; it gives them something really cool to work on.”
Among the students this summer was Sam McPherson ’19, who majors in aquatic and marine biology.
“The research was multifaceted, so we were working on several questions at once, all using pygmy rattlesnakes as a model system for ecophysiology and behavioral ecology,” McPherson said. “Part of the work included my senior research project, in which I am determining the metabolic cost of pregnancy in pygmy rattlesnakes. This involved extensive time out in the field, and our main study site was Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. Field work included setting up enclosures for housing snakes — we call our site Pygmyopolis — spotting and capturing 27 pregnant female snakes as well as several nonreproductive females, comparing their metabolic rates in the lab using flow-through respirometry, and monitoring the field enclosures every day until the snakes gave birth. So, we could measure the mass of the neonates and the postpartum mass of the moms.”
Farrell has mentored approximately 100 students during their senior research projects. Fifteen of them were co-authors on published papers, and dozens of others have made poster or oral presentations at scientific meetings.
Notably, in other papers, co-authors are experts with special skills or equipment who exchange their services for authorship. Farrell is often the last listed co-author on papers, keeping with a tradition in the natural sciences of having the leader of a research lab appear at the end in the list of authors.
This deep engagement in research provided the students with a thorough understanding of the scientific process. In addition, dozens of other students not doing their senior research on snakes have made multiple trips to Lake Woodruff and other local natural areas to assist in the effort. More notable numbers: Eight of the students who completed their senior research project with Farrell continued to be deeply engaged in research after leaving Stetson and obtained doctorate degrees.
Stetson University invites applications from highly-motivated and energetic emerging leaders for the Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Public History. The fellow will support and help develop a vibrant Public History concentration through engaged, innovative teaching and collaboration with a diverse constituency of community partners. This position is funded by the Cici and Hyatt Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellows Program for one year with an option for a second-year appointment after satisfactory performance.
Brown Teacher-Scholar Kirk Roberson knows a way for Stetson students majoring in Health Sciences to easily get hands-on, practical experience right on campus.
Roberson, Ph.D., will join the faculty for Fall Semester 2018 as a Brown Visiting Teacher-Scholar Fellow in a new interdisciplinary program between the Department of Health Sciences and Stetson’s Wellness and Recreation department.
Pairing the two departments is “a perfect match” for students in Health Sciences, who, in addition to seeking careers as physicians, physical and occupational therapists, and other medical professionals, could expand their career options to such things as exercise physiology and sports management, he said.
“As far as the Health Sciences Department being paired with the Wellness and Recreation Center, this is the first time that they’ve had this position in this capacity,” said Roberson, who earned his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Miami in May and was named its “Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year” for 2018.
“The Wellness and Recreation Center has many opportunities for students to start working with either community citizens or in some cases even patients who are referred to start an exercise program. … It gives them an opportunity to start getting real-world experience that they otherwise wouldn’t get without a good interdisciplinary relationship between the two departments,” he said.
Roberson will be working with the Wellness and Recreation Center to develop a new community-based fitness assessment program. This program will provide students with the opportunity to interact directly with members of the community, and have a positive impact on the overall health and wellness of local citizens.
Roberson is among the 17 new faculty members who will start work at Stetson University for the 2018-19 academic year. He will join Brown Teacher-Scholar, Sarah Cramer, who will help launch a new interdisciplinary program offering a Minor in Sustainable Food Systems in the Department of Environmental Science and Studies.
New Stetson faculty for the 2018-19 academic year joined Julia Metzker, executive director for the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence, lower left, for a photo outside Sampson Hall this week.
Cramer, who earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri in May, will teach Introduction to Food Studies and a Junior Seminar called Seeds of Equity that examines the inequities in America’s food system — from food insecurity to migrant labor — based on race, class and gender.
Julia Metzker, Ph.D., executive director for the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence, said the Brown Center “invests in the intellectual capital of the institution” by funding four endowed fellows who work as visiting assistant professors for up to two academic years. One of these fellowships is dedicated to STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The fellowships are funded through a generous endowment from longtime Stetson Trustees Cici and Hyatt Brown and support a “niche area of expertise” that brings a cross-disciplinary approach to the university, according to the Brown Center website.
“This is the first time we’ve had a program between an academic department and a nonacademic program,” Metzker said, referring to Roberson’s position within the Department of Health Sciences and the Wellness and Recreation Center. “We’d like to encourage more of that.”
Every year, academic departments submit proposals between November and March, and these go to a committee for competitive review. Awards are announced in May, followed by a yearlong search process that culminates with the fellows starting the next academic year.
Fellows teach three or four classes a year, and reduce the teaching load for their colleagues in the academic department. They also get to experience teaching at a liberal arts college and can participate in the Brown Innovation Fellows Program, the center’s signature development opportunity for Stetson faculty that immerses them in a yearlong journey of hands-on experiences and meaningful discussions about teaching and learning.
The job description for the Brown Teacher-Scholar position was very appealing, said Roberson, the new visiting assistant professor in Health Sciences.
“They had an approach, or a philosophy, of maintaining not only the research end of your profession but also the teaching aspect and the aspect of working with the community, via the Wellness Center,” said Roberson, adding that his father-in-law and brother-in-law are alumni of Stetson College of Law.
“It was really the only position and the only university that I saw that had a position as a postdoctoral fellow that encompassed all of those things. Definitely, it was my number one choice and the number one reason that I wanted to come here,” he said.
“The fellow in public history will position Stetson to support a burgeoning field of study that provides career opportunities for students where they can investigate the past in inclusive and meaningful ways” said Rosalie Richards, associate provost for faculty development “Stetson University stands in an important moment of creating new and exciting futures. As a signature program of the university, the Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellows highlight innovative and distinctive programs on our campus.”
The proposal for a Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Public History was spearheaded by chair of the history department, Dr. Emily Mieras in collaboration with her colleagues, Dr. Mayhill Fowler and Dr. Kimberly Reiter. This proposal supports a growing curricular innovation in the Department of History with the goal of developing additional community-based public history research projects and meeting key curricular needs. The fellow, who will join the Stetson faculty in 2019, will collaborate with faculty to meet these goals.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring an expert in Public History to campus to share their knowledge with our students and with us. This concentration has already had wide appeal, and the fellow’s expertise will help us develop new courses and applied research projects, not only for our majors, but for any students interested in how history emerges in public spaces and cultural conversations, ” Mieras said.
The Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellowship prepares Teacher-Scholars who aspire to excellence in undergraduate learning, teaching, and research at liberal arts universities. During their two-year tenure at Stetson, fellows have engaged the Stetson and local community in their scholarly and creative work through talks, gallery exhibits, workshops and community events. Bios for current and past fellows are available here.
The way Sarah Cramer sees it, everybody eats three times a day and makes choices that impact the globe.
“You get to make a decision about what kind of world you want to live in through the food that you grow and the food that you buy, so I feel like that is a place where people actually can make a change,” she said.
Sarah Cramer, left, will become a Brown Teacher-Scholar this fall at Stetson and teach two courses in Sustainable Food Systems. She taught in a school garden in Missouri, above.
Cramer will earn her Ph.D. this spring in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri and then join Stetson’s Department of Environmental Science and Studies as a Brown Teacher-Scholar. She and the department are supporting the launch of a new interdisciplinary program that will offer a Minor in Sustainable Food Systems.
For the fall 2018 semester, Cramer will teach Introduction to Food Studies and a proposed Junior Seminar called Seeds of Equity, which will examine food production, access and distribution through a lens of race, class and gender, showing the inequities that permeate America’s food system — from food insecurity to migrant labor. She currently teaches the Seeds of Equity class at the University of Missouri as a graduate assistant.
Wendy Anderson, Ph.D.
Stetson’s new Sustainable Food Systems minor eventually may be expanded into a major, said Wendy Anderson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies.
“We wanted to launch with a minor to see the level of interest among students,” Anderson said. “If it seems that there’s a really strong interest, then we can easily justify expanding out to a major within a year or two.”
The new minor was approved this month by Provost Noel Painter, Ph.D., and awaits approval from the accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Anderson said. That approval is expected, so the new program will be added to the course catalog for the fall. The new minor can be paired with any undergraduate degree, and requires five courses and 20 credit hours.
Sustainable Food Systems is an emerging field of study and popular with college students today, with a growing number of universities from Temple to the University of Michigan adding programs. Stetson’s program will be interdisciplinary, with courses taught by professors of public health, chemistry and other environmental sciences, as well as media and communication.
Sarah Cramer is an avid beekeeper.
“I think the combination of the food systems minor with just about any major is a recipe for success for people who are interested in food,” Anderson said. “Food is the second largest sector in the global economy after energy. … Food is everything. There are so many jobs in food, whether that’s production and all the innovation going into production, or food delivery, food service, everything about food.”
Cramer will serve as a Brown Teacher-Scholar for two years and will bring experience as an educator with a non-profit school garden, including one year as an AmeriCorps member. Research has shown that school gardens help students learn about everything from math and science to healthy eating.
“Many subjects that students are supposed to be learning under state core curriculum standards, they can learn in the garden,” explained Anderson. “We know gardens have a positive effect on kids. Sarah has refined assessment tools to actually document that and also to document the impact on teachers who use gardens for their classes.
“When teachers see that they have better learning and teachers see behavioral changes are improved when students get time out in the garden, it really changes their attitude about garden education as a pedagogical strategy,” Anderson said.
Cramer’s teaching will tie in with Stetson’s Department of Education and help train education majors in the benefits of school gardens. And she will work with Stetson’s Hatter Harvest, which maintains an organic vegetable garden on campus, and promotes healthy eating and sustainable practices in agriculture, such as composting and water conservation.
“School gardens are becoming increasingly popular in schools around Florida and are a great tool to teach various academic subjects, as well as a love for the environment,” added Education Professor Mercedes Tichenor, Ed.D. “I’m excited about working with Sarah and using her expertise to increase our students’ garden-based learning opportunities.”
An avid beekeeper, Cramer said she loved the Stetson campus when she interviewed in January and looks forward to moving from her home state of Missouri to the sunny South. She has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Truman State University in Missouri.
“I got to see the hives on campus when I visited Stetson, and I’m really excited about that,” she said. “I’m excited to keep bees in a place where winter is not so harsh because our problem here in Missouri is that it gets so cold that bees starve over the winter, but in Florida it seems like there’s always something blooming, so that will be a fun learning curve for me.”
On Wednesday, March 21 The Spotlight Series continues with Madison Creech,Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow. She will be discussing her topic: Finding My Voice When Collaboration Is My Creative Practice
Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 Time: 12 pm – 1 pm (lunch served at 11:30 am) Location: Lynn Business Center Boardroom (LBC 213)
All are welcome!
Click here for a complete schedule of Spotlight Series.
Finding My Voice When Collaboration Is My Creative Practice
Collaboration gives me a window into another creative mind, into the usually private studio decisions, mistakes, and uncertain elements before they are erased. Collaborating is luxurious in that way; through observation, my years of art experience can be multiplied. In my practice, I’ve learned there are one of two results that will happen in collaboration. The first result produces art that favors one artist over the other. It becomes obvious which artist was dominant and took the lead on the project. The second result I reference Marina Abramovic and Ulay, in which a third artist is born out of the interactions of the two collaborating artists. In my opinion, neither result is better than the other; both results are valid and natural. I often find my voice quietly in arranging others’ images into patterns, into animations, or onto a malleable surface like fabric. In this presentation I will give you a peek inside my creative practice and the influence collaboration continues to make on my personal portfolio.
Madison Creech, Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow, holds an MFA in fibers from Arizona State University and a BFA and BS in textile, merchandising, and fashion design from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has served as faculty associate at Arizona State University, instructing surface design, and has held residencies at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Techshop, in Chandler, Arizona. Her work has been widely exhibited across the country, including the 31st Annual Materials Hard and Soft at Denton Arts, This Must Be the Place at the Robert Hillestad Textile Gallery and Future Fabrication: SDA International Exhibition In Print. For more information about Madison Creech, please visit, http://www.creechers.com/.
The Spotlight Series at Stetson University is a showcase of faculty research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement to the campus community. Presenters are primarily recipients of grant awards through the Stetson Summer Grant Program.
Proposals are for 2-year visiting assistant professorships
(start date is Aug 15, 2019)
Proposals from interdisciplinary or issue-focused
teams that span departments, colleges or schools are especially encouraged
Dean and chair letters of support are required for ALL proposals
Budgets must be approved prior to submission
The Brown Center will host proposal development workshops by request.
Nov 15, 2017: Call for proposals announced
Mar 15, 2018: Proposals deadline
Mar 15 – May 1, 2018 : Proposal review period
May 15, 2018: Awards announced
Aug, 2018: Search committee convenes*
Oct, 2018 – Mar, 2019: Candidate search*
Aug 15, 2019: Contract start date
Check with your Dean for internal deadlines
*The dates for recruitment and hiring may be adjusted to align with professional norms.
Stetson University invites applications from highly-motivated and energetic emerging leaders for the Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Health and Wellness.
This position consists of a primary appointment in the Department of Health Sciences and leadership within the department of Wellness and Recreation, part of Stetson’s division of Campus Life and Student Success. We invite applications from health scientists with expertise in the physiology of aging, biomechanics, and/or exercise physiology. Experience in advanced fitness assessment and/or program management is preferred. We strongly encourage applications from scientists demonstrating an interest in blending classroom and co-curricular experiences to develop student leaders in Wellness and Recreation. We seek a teacher-scholar who is committed to undergraduate education and mentoring undergraduate research.