Category Archives: Faculty Excellence


Just a reminder that we have two ALANA-IA Workshops coming up. The links for both meetings are provided below.

1.Pre-Tenure Review Workshop: 1:00 – 2:30 PM this Friday, November 20, 2020

11/20 Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

2. FAR Workshop: 1:00 – 2:30 PM December 11, 2020

12/11 Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Stetson’s ALANA-IA chapter is an inclusive and voluntary community that consists of faculty members seeking to advance equity and inclusion.


The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, November 18th at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community! 

Blackboard Ultra  Link:

Dr. Melissa Gibbs – Professor of Biology and Director of Aquatic & Marine Biology

Department of Biology

Impacts of an Invasive Armored Catfish in Volusia Blue Spring

Most people assume that invasive species have their primary impact on native species through competition for food or space, predation, and ecosystem disturbance. Although scientists have long been interested in nutrient contributions by invasive species (via excreta (urine) and egesta (feces)), the scope of the impact does not seem to have been fully realized. We have been investigating the ecological impacts of the extensive fecal deposits made by an invasive armored catfish (Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus) in Volusia Blue Spring for over 10 years, and in 2016 published a study (Rubio et al.) that clearly demonstrated that the ecological impacts of these fecal deposits were likely much more significant than anyone might have thought; just imagine more than half a million cm3 of feces in the spring run at any one time! The feces were essentially little nutrient “bombs” containing digested algae (fertilizer), live undigested algae, sand (weighing it down), and encased in a thin mucous sheath. We documented these deposits as lasting in the spring run for over 2 weeks and leaching out measurable amounts of nitrates and phosphates into the surrounding water – in other words, creating nutrient hotspots. Although the amounts of nitrates and phosphates leaching from individual fecal strands are small, once scaled up to the volume of feces we have found in the entire spring run, it cannot be ignored as a likely significant contributor to the spring run, perhaps even comparable to anthropogenic contributions. Today I will provide an update to the 2016 study and talk about what we have found and what we are still investigating.

Melissa Gibbs has been interested in marine biology since watching a National Geographic special on deep-sea hydrothermal vents when she was 13. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were earned on the central California coast, where she focused on deep-sea fish sensory systems. She attended the University of Delaware for her PhD, where she studied the visual systems of goldfish, and followed that with a post-doc position studying the lateral line system in fish and amphibians at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Since arriving at Stetson, Gibbs has focused her research interests on spring fish ecology, particularly the biology and impacts of a non-native armored catfish.

Call for Proposals: Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellowships

Do you have a project, initiative or area of study that could use a “boost” from a teacher-scholar fellow?  Would you like to bring some special expertise to campus?

The Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence is once again pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for the 2022-2024 Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow!

To view proposal guidelines and submit a proposal, click here.


A few highlights …
  • Proposals are for two-year visiting assistant professorships
    (start date is Aug 2022 [Tentative to Academic Calendar]).
  • 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.  Check with your dean’s office for procedures.
  • Budgets must be approved prior to submission.
  • The Brown Center will host proposal development workshops by request.

Critical Dates

Nov-2020: Proposal Submissions open
Mar-2021: Proposal submission deadline
May-2021: Awards announced
Sep-2021: Search committee convened
Aug-2022: Contract start date (Tentative to Academic Calendar)

*The dates for recruitment and hiring may be adjusted to align with disciplinary and professional norms.

Program Timeline

Soundscape With Nathan Wolek

ACA Soundscape Field Station at Canaveral National Seashore is a partnership between Atlantic Center for the Arts and Canaveral National Seashore. It is the first of its kind in the United States dedicated to preservation of natural sound, following in the tradition of other types of successful U.S. National Park Service artist-in-residence programs located in more than 100 parks throughout the country. 

Dr. Nathan Wolek, Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson and formerly Interim Director of the Brown Center, is the artist-in-residence for this program in 2020. He explains, “As a sound artist, I have been using audio field recording since 2005. I am very excited for the opportunity to apply these methods while working at the Canaveral National Seashore. I was born and raised in Central Florida, so I have many fond memories of traveling to the beaches in Volusia and Brevard counties throughout my life. I know it will be a fertile location to document and explore via sound.”

The Stetson community is invited to following public events: 

November 14, 2020 – Outdoor Soundwalk with 2020 AIR, Dr. Nathan Wolek
11AM at Canaveral National Seashore Apollo Beach North District. Meet at Visitor’s Center.

December 5, 2020 – Opening Reception for sound art exhibition by 2020 AIR, Dr. Nathan Wolek

4PM to 7PM at ACA Harris House (214 S. Riverside Dr., New Smyrna Beach)
The exhibition will continue to be on display December 7-11, 2020 from 10AM-4PM 

CDC guidelines about face coverings and social distancing will be followed for all events.


The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, November 11th at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community! 

Blackboard Ultra  Link:

Dr. Melinda Hall – Associate Professor of Philosophy & Dept. Chair

Department of Philosophy

Risking Ourselves: The Politics and Persons of Risk

Risk presents a special set of urgent bioethical issues. I offer a portrait of risk by which risk mitigation can be brought under novel moral evaluation. Risk management discourses, I argue, tend to marginalize those affected and, paradoxically, increase the harms to which some are subject. This is partly because responsibility for risk is substantially assigned to, and therefore borne by, individuals. I use tools derived from Foucault to analyze examples demonstrating these features of risk discourses. I argue that responsibility for risk, especially health risks, should be collectively shared. To open possibilities for collective responsibility for risk, risk must be read politically, and the language of risk must be interrupted. Finally, I make recommendations as to how we might risk ourselves, together, through collective responsibility.

Melinda C. Hall (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is an Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Stetson University. An active scholar, she specializes in bioethics, Continental philosophy, and the philosophy of disability. Hall is also the co-director of the Community Education Project, Stetson’s higher education in prison program, and the Director of the Gender Studies program.

2020 FRN National Symposium

The National symposium for the Faculty Resource Network is taking place in November. It is free to all Stetson faculty and staff as we are a member of the Network. Details are below:


Curriculum Innovation for Transformative Learning

When: Thursday, November 19, 2020 (Welcome and Symposium Kick-off)
              Friday, November 20, 2020 (panels, presentations, and posters)

*Where: EVERYWHERE! The symposium will be delivered remotely.

Faculty Spotlight #2 and #3 WEBINAR Videos

The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. View some of the past spotlights and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community! 


Dr. Rajni Shankar-Brown Presentation Topic: Examining Turnover and Supporting the Wellbeing of PreK-12 Educators in High-Poverty Public Schools


Dr. Kenneth McCoy Presentation Topic: Becoming Cherokee: A Play by Ken McCoy,
Hunter Murphy Presentation Topic: Business-based Information Literacy: Undergraduate Perceptions of Concepts and Practice in Library Instruction Sessions


The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Wednesday, November 4th at 12:00 PM on Blackboard Ultra. The spotlight series is a showcase of research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly engagement of the campus community. Stop by and learn about the research of our talented Stetson community!  

Blackboard Ultra Link:

Dr. Kenneth McCoy – Professor of Theatre Arts 

Department of Creative Arts 

Becoming Cherokee: A Play by Ken McCoy 

This presentation is focused on the process and results of my Fall 2019 sabbatical, “Liminality, Diaspora, and Performance of Identity in Native America,” the purpose of which was to conduct academic and field research on these aspects of Native American identity and utilize the results to author a dramatic work. Research was focused on the Cherokee Nation, of which I am an enrolled citizen. The resulting full-length play Becoming Cherokee covers key elements in the performance of identity and culture among the Cherokee, especially those who no longer reside within the “homeland” of northeast Oklahoma. These issues include those common in Native America: history, relocation, food, traditional stories and folklore, ancestry, land, and indigeneity in the modern world.  

Hunter Murphy – Engagement and Learning Librarian 

duPont-Ball Library 

Business-based Information Literacy: Undergraduate Perceptions of Concepts and Practice in Library Instruction Sessions 

In this grant-funded research, I collaborated with business faculty, created lesson plans to maximize library instruction, and administered surveys to assess current undergraduate perceptions and self-assessments of library instruction. The results of my study served as the basis for greater collaboration between professors in the business school and library. Moreover, the study illuminated student perceptions of the most effective portions of library instruction as well as what portions need to be enhanced in order to develop the information literacy component and prepare students for rewarding academic experiences as well careers in the business field. Attendees will review the research guide I created for the business students as well as the data collected on the guide’s usage and students’ perception of the guide.  

Ken McCoy is in his twenty-seventh year as a member of the Stetson Theatre Arts faculty. A theatrical actor and director since 1978, he earned degrees in Theatre from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (BA 1982), Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (MFA 1984), and Bowling Green State University, Ohio (PhD 1994). His primary area of creative activity is as a director of over 50 productions for the stage and actor in nearly as many roles for stage, film, and television. Capable in Spanish, he is a long-term member of Stetson’s Latin American and Latino Studies and Undergraduate Research Committees. He also serves on the Board of the NGO Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR), which addresses issues of health and sustainable agriculture among the indigenous peoples of rural Guatemala. 

Hunter Murphy is the Engagement and Learning Librarian at Stetson’s duPont-Ball Library. He teaches information literacy skills and research strategies to various library constituencies and works with faculty to develop course-specific instruction sessions. He also assists with the library’s promotional efforts. 


The Stetson Teacher-Scholar, published by the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence, is a monthly electronic newsletter that contains important updates about programming and other professional development opportunities for members of the Stetson teaching community.

This month’s newsletter is the last of the fall semester and features updates about programming related to:
• Faculty Spotlight
• Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort
• Grants, Sponsored Research and Strategic Initiatives
• Reminders
• Upcoming programming

Click on the link below to access the Newsletter:

2020 Brown Innovation Fellows Cohort Applications

The Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence is seeking applications to the 2020 Brown Innovation Fellows Cohort.  

Program focus
Diversity, Equity and Multiculturalism in the Curriculum 

Today’s society faces numerous complex issues that require years of work, collaboration among individuals from different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds, and innovative, creative thinking to solve. Inclusion is a key to learning. Those who feel excluded struggle to learn compared to those who feel represented. How do we help Stetson’s students realize their full potential as informed citizens of local communities and the world with the capacity and desire to address societal issues? How can we design courses that prepare students to meet the challenges presented by a world that grows ever more complex, create more equitable opportunities for students from marginalized groups to more fully participate in higher education, and promote learning outcomes that employers and society seek (e.g., complex thinking skills, an ability to work across difference, a preparedness to engage in civic participation, reduced bias, and appreciation of intersectionality)? 

To create an inclusive learning environment throughout the curriculum across all fields, all community members actively teaching need to consider how they are incorporating diversity into their courses and how they can be more inclusive in their teaching. Incorporating diversity, equity and multiculturalism into one’s teaching takes time and commitment. As Stetson’s student body becomes more diverse, it is imperative that faculty be enabled to design courses designed around a more equitable pedagogy centered on diversity, equity and multiculturalism. 

The 2020 Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort program will provide participants the tools to design or redesign a course using a more equitable pedagogy, so that Stetson students can be better positioned to realize their full potential as informed citizens of local communities and the world with the capacity and desire to address societal issues.  

Learning Goals 

Upon successful completion of the program, participants will: 

  • have undertaken a reflective assessment of their social and disciplinary identities influence their teaching 
  • have expanded appreciation for diversity, inclusion, cultural competency and intersectionality 
  • incorporate a variety of perspectives into their teaching and offer students new ways of looking at their discipline 
  • have a heightened awareness of diversity through the lens of intersectionality 
  • be better able to create a more inclusive learning environment 
  • use multiple methods to convey course content and provide students with a variety of opportunities to share what they know, recognizing students learn in different ways 
  • Share their experiences with the campus community via a workshop at the annual Teaching and Learning Colloquium in April 2021 

Award Eligibility 

Any Stetson University faculty or staff person is eligible for this program if they meet the following criteria: 

  • Are currently employed full-time by Stetson University 
  • Are able to attend bimonthly face-to-face meetings on the Stetson DeLand campus or remotely during Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters. (Visiting faculty are only required to commit to attending Spring 2021 meetings.) 
  • Will be teaching at least one course in either Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 semesters 
  • Commits to attending the Brown Innovation Summer Institute, May 2021 
  • Has received approval from their chair or direct supervisor to participate in the cohort 

Benefits to Participants 

The Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort will build knowledge together as a cohort and engage in diverse experiences to expand skill sets for designing courses that enhance student learning over the course of a year. Successful applicants will design (or redesign) a course through participation in a year-long cohort program. Programming will engage participants in diverse experiences to expand skill sets that foster an enhanced awareness of the importance of diversity, equity and multiculturalism in the classroom. Each Fellow will receive a stipend of $1,000 (Subject to change) to be issued upon completion of the two-day Brown Innovation Institute (May 2021) and submission of a reflective report and draft syllabus (before June 30, 2021). Additionally, each Fellow will receive a stipend of $1,000 to be issued upon completion of the Brown Innovation Institute and submission of a reflective report on their experience. 

As a cohort, Brown Innovation Faculty demonstrate cutting edge innovation across diverse aspects of the teacher-scholar role to foster lifelong excellence in learning. The cohort participates in a series of hands-on experiences over the course of a calendar year designed to help innovate or refine teaching techniques and learning activities.  Successful applicants participate in a multi-day course building institute in May. 

Application Process 

All full-time faculty or staff who teach at Stetson University are encouraged to apply. Applications are available at Brown Innovation Faculty Cohort. Please note that a copy of your application will be sent to your chair or direct supervisor to confirm their support for your participation in the program. 

Program Timeline 

  • Application Opens: Oct. 9, 2020 
  • Application Deadline: Dec. 11, 2020 
  • Award Notification: Dec. 21, 2020 
  • Monthly Cohort Meetings: January – May 2021 
  • Presentation at Colloquium on Teaching and Learning: April 2021 
  • Brown Innovation Summer Institute: May 2021 
  • Monthly Cohort Meetings: September – December 2021 
  • Presentation at Colloquium on Teaching and Learning: April 2022 

If you have any questions you may contact us at the Brown Center email