Category Archives: Faculty Excellence

Faculty Spotlight #3 October 24th

The Brown Center invites you to our Faculty Spotlight on Thursday, October 24th at 4:00 PM in the Carlton Union Building’s Stetson Room. The spotlights series is a bimonthly 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!

Details about the time and place can be found on Stetson’s Event Calendar

We have changed the format this year and will be having two sessions for thirty minutes each.

The two professors participating in our third spotlight are:

Dr. Rachel Core – Assistant Professor of Sociology

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Institutional Change and Tuberculosis Control in Shanghai

In a world where population growth, migration, travel and trade allow for greater interconnectedness and opportunities for disease transmission, Asian cities are crucially important to global health. This presentation will highlight the importance of medical and public health systems for controlling China’s most widespread and deadly infectious disease, tuberculosis (TB). The presentation will provide a brief overview to a comparative-historical book manuscript on a century of TB control in Shanghai, and it will introduce interesting findings from my research in the Shanghai Municipal Archives this summer.

Rachel Core is a medical sociologist with research and teaching interests in health inequalities, particularly in Asia. She speaks, reads and writes Mandarin and has spent seven years in China, including 18 months conducting research for her dissertation, “The Fall and Rise of Tuberculosis: How institutional change affected health outcomes in Shanghai, 1927-2013,” which was supported by a Fulbright Fellowship. She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation. Before coming to Stetson, Core held a post-doctoral fellowship in medical humanities at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In addition to Sociology and Anthropology programs, Dr. Core’s scholarship and teaching contribute to the Asian Studies and Public Health programs at Stetson University. Dr. Core aims to take students to Asia as often as possible, including to Shanghai over Spring Break 2020.

Petros Xanthopoulos

Dr. Petros XanthopoulosAssistant Professor of Decision and Information Sciences

Department of Decision and Information Sciences

Consensus of Algorithms: Towards More Robust Unsupervised Learning Methods

Clustering or unsupervised learning consists of all methods that try to group data into smaller subsets with similar characteristics. This problem is very important in various areas such as business, engineering, social media analytics and bioinformatics.  In this presentation we will demonstrate a methodology for building more robust such algorithms through consensus learning.

Dr. Xanthopoulos received his Ph.D. and MSc from Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Florida and a Diploma of Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece. His teaching and scholar interests include the areas of big data analytics, data mining, optimization and operations management. He has served as assistant professor and Lockheed Martin faculty fellow at the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Xanthopoulos’s research has appeared in journals like Omega, Annals of Operations Research, Expert Systems with applications and IEEE Transaction of Information Technology in Biomedicine. His research has been funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Office of Naval Research. He is associate editor of Optimization Letter (Springer) and he has served as a reviewer for more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and conferences. He is a member of INFORMS and IEEE.

Faculty Advisor Snack and Chat

Diane Everett, the Provost Faculty Fellow for Academic Advising, invites ALL faculty members to a session sponsored by Academic Success and Student Counseling Services to discuss the topics of student crises, issuing alerts on SSC, and supporting students’ mental health. They will also be providing a trail mix bar, so faculty and staff can make themselves an afternoon snack while having this discussion. The goal is to help faculty and staff aid students in their struggles with academic and personal lives that may hinder their success. This event will take place Wednesday, October 9th from 3:00-4:00 pm in the LBC Boardroom (213).

Please RSVP to by Monday, October 7th

Faculty Spotlight #2 October 10th

The Brown Center invites you to our first Faculty Spotlight on Thursday, October 10th at 1:00 PM in the Carlton Union Building’s Stetson Room. The spotlights series is a bimonthly 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! Please use the following button to RSVP and receive a complimentary meal voucher:

Details about the time and place can be found on Stetson’s Event Calendar

We have changed the format this year and will be having two sessions for thirty minutes each.

The two professors participating in our second spotlight are:

Image retrieved from faculty profiles (Link is here)

Dr. Eric Kurlander – William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History

Department of History

Strange Haven: Shanghai as East Asian “Solution” to the Nazi “Jewish Question”

The goal of my 2019 summer research was to examine the circumstances facing regional authorities, European states, and local and international Jewish organizations in facilitating an “East Asian” solution to the Nazi “Jewish Question.” This meant exploring diplomatic and local policy discussions involving Chinese, Japanese, British, French, German and Jewish officials located in the files at the Shanghai Municipal Archives and in printed periodicals located at the Shanghai City Library. For the purposes of my talk, I would like to highlight a few of the sources that I found this summer and explain how they might fit into my next book project, Before the ‘Final Solution’. A Global History of the Nazi ‘Jewish Question’, 1919-1945, as well as a chapter I am currently writing, “Strange Havens. Shanghai and Manchuria as Territorial ‘Solutions’ to the Nazi ‘Jewish Question’ in East Asia”, intended for an edited volume titled, Shelter from the Storm? German Jews and Asians in the Shadow of the Holocaust, 1930-1950

Dr. Eric Kurlander is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History at Stetson University. He studied at Bowdoin College (BA) and Harvard University (MA, PhD), teaching three years at Harvard before arriving at Stetson in 2001. He offers a wide range of courses on Modern German, European, and World History. His recent monograph, Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich (Yale, 2017; paperback 2018), provides the first comprehensive study of the supernatural in Nazi Germany, illustrating how the Third Reich drew on a variety of occult practices, border sciences, and pagan religious ideas to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire. Hitler’s Monsters has been translated into Italian, Polish, Croatian, Czech, and Estonian. Kurlander’s second monograph, Living With Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich (Yale, 2009), illuminates the ways in which German liberals negotiated, resisted, and in some ways accommodated the Third Reich. His first book, The Price of Exclusion: Ethnicity, National Identity, and the Decline of German Liberalism, 1898-1933, appeared in 2006. Kurlander’s other books include two edited volumes,Revisiting the ‘Nazi Occult’: Histories, Realities, Legacies, co-edited with Monica Black (Camden House, 2015) andTranscultural Encounters between Germany and India: Kindred Spirits in the 19th and 20th Centuries, co-edited with Joanne Miyang Cho and Douglas McGetchin (Routledge, 2014). He has published articles in many journals and edited volumes, including Central European HistoryGerman History, and The Journal of Contemporary History, and held research and writing fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the German Historical Institute; the German Academic Exchange Service; the Krupp Foundation; and Harvard University’s Program for the Study of Germany and Europe. At Stetson Kurlander has received the William Hugh McInery Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Hand Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, while contributing to the university in a number of substantive leadership roles. His current projects include two textbooks, Modern Germany: A Global History and The West in Question: Continuity and Change (both under contract with Oxford University Press) and a monograph, Before the Final Solution: A Global History of the Nazi “Jewish Question”.

Stephanie Mullins for The Studio Creative Group

Dr. Chadley Ballantyne – Assistant Professor of Music – Voice

School of Music

“What’s the Buzz? Auditory roughness and vibrotactile awareness.”

We can experience mechanical vibrations as sound and as a tactile sensation. The buzzy quality of high number harmonics can add an element of auditory roughness to singing that impacts timbre and perceived style. Harmonics in the range of human speech can felt as mechanical vibrations. What can we learn about our shared vocal experiences from the body of research on mechanoreceptors located in the skin and in the vocal instrument? How does auditory roughness impact our perception of a sound? This presentation will explore how we “feel” our voices, and how high-frequency energy can influence our perception of singing.

Bass-baritone Chadley Ballantyne has performed with Opera Fort Collins, Fresco Opera Theatre, Union Avenue Opera Theatre, Light Opera Works, Opera for the Young, Utah Festival Opera Company, Main Street Opera, American Chamber Opera and Theo Ubique. Ballantyne is a frequent guest speaker on the topic of applying vocal acoustic pedagogy for both classical and CCM techniques. He has presented at Chicago Chapter NATS, the 2017 and 2018 Pan-American Vocology Association Symposiums, the 2017 West Central and Central Region NATS Conferences, and at the 55th NATS National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was a co-instructor at the 2018 Acoustic Vocal Pedagogy Workshop at the New England Conservatory of Music and is a contributing author to The Evolving Singing Voice: Changes Across the Lifespan. 

Dr. Ballantyne is Assistant Professor of Music, Voice at Stetson University. He holds a bachelor of music degree from Drake University, and a master of music degree and doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Illinois.

Artist Talk with Luca Molnar

Photo by Ciara Ocasio

Luca Molnar, Assistant Professor of Studio Art, and a member of the 2019-2020 new faculty cohort will do a talk on her Faculty Focus exhibition, discussing her artistic inspirations and technical development. She will speak to critical approaches of painting through her own processes.

This session occurs Thursday, October 3rd, 6-7pm in Room 102 of the Hand Art Center.

If you have any questions you may contact Laura Glander at (386) 822-7266 or

Link to the event on Stetson’s calendar-

Faculty Spotlight September 26th

The Brown Center invites you to our first Faculty Spotlight on Thursday, September 26th at 4:00 PM in the Carlton Union Building’s Stetson Room. The spotlights series is a bimonthly 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!

Details about the time and place can be found on Stetson’s Event Calendar.

We have changed the format this year and will be having two sessions thirty minutes each. Who will go first? We’re not sure yet, and may even decide through the flip of a coin for added drama!

The two professors participating in our first spotlight are:

Dr. Joshua Eckroth – Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science,

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Artificial Intelligence: What, How, When, Who, Why, Where?

Dr. Nathan Wolek – Professor of Digital Arts, 

Interim Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation & Excellence,

Department of Creative Arts

DeLeon Springs: Listening at the intersection of geophony, biophony, and anthrophony

Teaching and Learning Conference

The fourth annual Sunshine State Teaching and Learning Conference is approaching and proposals are now being accepted! This conference, hosted by the University of South Florida and University of Central Florida, is being held January 29th-January 31st 2020 at The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores, FL. The conference will bring together higher-education scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers to share research, to discuss critical issues, and to promote opportunities for collaboration and features a variety of session formats in order to encourage interaction and engagement.

Call for Papers:

Participants of the T&L Conference are encouraged to submit proposals for presentations of any kind related to contemporary challenges in college teaching. 

Potential Topics:
  • the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)
  • course redesign
  • active-learning strategies
  • technologies to support student learning
  • big data in higher education
  • inclusive education
  • engaging students in online environments
  • high-impact learning experiences
  • ensuring accessibility for all students
  • designing and assessing learning spaces
  • reflection and mindfulness
  • teaching in politically and socially complicated moments
  • exploring the role/s of faculty in promoting and assessing student success
  • new frontiers in teaching and learning

This conference features a variety of sessions including:

  1.    15-minute research presentations
  2.    30-minute application/sharing sessions
  3. 60-minute workshops
  4. Poster Sessions

Deadline for proposal submission is 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 1st 2019. Acceptance notices should be expected by late October

Plenary: Christy Price, Professor, Dalton State College

Winner of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council of Advancement and Support of Education

Why Don’t My Students Think I’m Groovy? The New “R”s for Engaging Modern Learners

What factors influence student motivation and desire to learn?  Obviously, there are some influences beyond the professor’s control, but research in educational psychology suggests one thing we can do to increase student engagement is to create learning environments that are in some ways linked to, and supportive of, the current student culture.  During this session, we will briefly review the literature regarding the culture of students of today and apply the findings of the presenter’s research regarding modern learners (both our traditional age 18-24 and non-traditional learners age 25 and older).  We will specifically discuss the characteristics of ideal learning environments for modern learners, their preferences regarding assessments, their perceptions regarding the characteristics of the ideal professor, and their ideal institutional practices. Throughout the session, participants will engage in activities that will require them to reflect on their own teaching methods and/or institutional practices.  Open-ended questionnaires, check-lists, and video clips of faculty and students will be utilized in order to create personal action plans regarding practical steps we can take to meet the needs of modern learners.

Conference Details:

While the finalized agenda will be ready in early December, 2019, below is a rough outline.

Wednesday, January 29

  • 11:00 – Registration opens
  • 12:00 – Opening buffet lunch
  • 1:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 5:00 – Adjourn
  • Dinner on your own

Thursday, January 30

  • 8:00 – Buffet breakfast
  • 9:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 12:00 – Buffet lunch
  • 1:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 6:30 – Buffet Dinner

Friday, January 31

  • 8:00 – Buffet breakfast
  • 9:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 12:00 – Adjourn
Conference Registration: 

Attendees and presenters are required to pay the full conference registration. This goes to support the cost of the meeting rooms and catering for the event. Registration will be open in November. 

                               Early Bird fee: $325

                               Full Registration: $375

Conference Hotel: 

The Teaching and Learning Conference offers discounted rates of $139/night (parking is included, but there is also a $20/day resort fee). This rate applies for the conference nights of 1/29 and 1/30, and may also be applied for three days prior to the conference, or three days after the conference–a great weekend bargain!


Check out archived conference details (including past agendas) here or email any direct questions to

Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow Completes First Practicum in Sustainable Food Systems

Experiential learning was at the core of the new course, “Beginning practicum for sustainable food production,” offered for the first time this spring as part of the minor in sustainable food systems. April 23rd was a particularly special class day, during which students learned how to make and can jam! Before class, students were assigned to read the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and listen to an NPR story on the rising interest in home food preservation among younger generations. On the 23rd we held class in the Allen Hall kitchen, and in two and a half hours of semi-organized chaos (with no burns!) we prepared and canned 36 jars of jam. Students reflected afterward on the value of practical life skill development, something they find to be lacking in education overall, and shared how much they appreciated the integration of hands-on learning with “book learning” in the practicum course.

Dr. Sarah Cramer, Brown Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Sustainable Food Systems

Grading Open House Featuring Chair Massages for Faculty!!

Grading got you down? Looking for some company ?

The Brown Center is hosting a grading open house on Wednesday, May 8th. We will have plenty of coffee on hand, some snacks.

AND Bodhi+Sol is offering free chair massages from 10:00-2:00pm in honor of teacher appreciation week!!

Space is limited, so please help us plan by letting us know when you plan to come, by completing this simple RSVP.

Stetson Spotlight Series Presents: Dengke Chen

The 2018-19 Stetson Spotlight Series continues on April 26 with a presentation by Dr. Dengke Chen, Assistant Professor of Digital Arts, who will speak on “A Comparative Study and Virtual Representation of Construction Technique and Traditional Carpentry of Dong and Han’s wooden Architecture.

Date: Friday, April 26
Time: 1:30 pm- 2:30 pm
Location: Lynn Business Center 124
Snacks will be available. All are welcome!

Please encourage your students to attend.

Click here for a complete schedule of Stetson’s Spotlight Series.

A Comparative Study and Virtual Representation of Construction Technique and Traditional Carpentry of Dong and Han’s wooden Architecture

As one of the minority groups primarily located in the mountains of southern China, Dong people are famous for their unique carpentry skills and traditional construction techniques. By the impact of urbanization and lacks of succession to the young generation, these skills are endangered. My project attempts the preservation of the rare cultural heritage by analyzing and virtual representing Dong’s carpentry skills and construction techniques through interdisciplinary design.

Dengke Chen holds an M.F.A. in new media from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.F.A. in animation from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He comes to Stetson from the Pennsylvania State University, where he taught as an adjunct professor and an instructor.

Chen specializes in 3D animation and digital video. As a graduate research assistant, he created animations to describe a balanced approach to integrating environmental, economic, sociological and aesthetic dimensions of landscape through strategic research and design. He has worked on numerous commercial projects and also as an art director for a popular children’s TV show for China Central Television. With a strong art background and professional experience, he explores the magical world of storytelling in his work, which can be new media, 2D or 3D animation, digital painting and comic art.

Stetson Spotlight Series

The Stetson 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.

Click here for a complete schedule of the Stetson Spotlight Series.

Stetson Researcher Discovers Plethora of Parasites Infecting Pygmy Rattlesnakes – Stetson Today

[This story was reprinted in its entirety from Stetson Today]

The Burmese python is one of the largest snakes in the world and a native of southeast Asia. For more than 15 years, the gigantic snake has decimated species and become the ruling reptile in the Florida Everglades.

Prior research by Melissa Miller, Ph.D., interagency python management coordinator of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and her colleagues found that in addition to eating many birds and mammals, the Burmese python problem has reached a new level of worrisome concern because it carries a parasite that infects native snakes in south Florida.

(Left to right) Biology junior Jenna Palmisano, Ryan McCleary, Ph.D., Brown visiting teacher-scholar fellow in biology, and biology senior Maddy Wheeler conduct a lung flush to obtain a parasite egg sample from the lung of an anesthetized pygmy rattlesnake. The lung flush determines if the snakes have mature parasites in the lungs. Photos/Terence Farrell, Ph.D.

A new study, “Spillover of Pentastome Parasites from Invasive Burmese Pythons to Pygmy Rattlesnakes, Extending Parasite Range in Florida, USA,” is based on research by Terence Farrell, Ph.D., professor of biology at Stetson University; Joseph Agugliaro, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University; Heather Stockdale Walden, Ph.D., assistant professor of parasitology at the University of Florida; Jim Wellehan, Ph.D., associate professor of zoological medicine and microbiology at the University of Florida; April Childress, lab manager at the University of Florida; and Craig Lind, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Stockton University.

The research findings published in the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles’ journal Herpetological Review suggest that pentastome parasites or worms, are the likely culprit behind the deaths of three pygmy rattlesnakes at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLeon Springs, Florida. Pygmy rattlesnakes are venomous snakes native to the southeastern United States.

The research was funded by the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence at Stetson University and a research and professional development grant from Stockton University.

Last August, Farrell and Stetson’s former Brown visiting teacher-scholar fellow in biology Lind, found one of the pygmy rattlesnakes they were studying dead with parasitic worms crawling out of its mouth.

A dead pygmy rattlesnake is shown with parasitic worms crawling out of its mouth.

“Dr. Lind and I have been studying pygmy rattlesnakes for decades and found this occurrence pretty alarming,” said Farrell. “We conducted research and found that these types of parasites have never been found in pygmy rattlesnakes before.”

Stetson’s biology faculty and students conducted the preliminary testing, including examining and dissecting the three pygmy rattlesnakes, and found the parasites in the lung and trachea areas, and was consistent with past parasite research findings. These parasites typically reside in the lungs of reptiles that become infected after eating contaminated prey.

The Stetson team collaborated with professors and a lab manager at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida who administered a polymerase chain reaction test, which provides researchers with additional DNA and a better way to identify pentastome parasite species. The DNA sequences of the parasites found in the pygmy rattlesnakes were consistent with the parasite species from southeast Asia, which are normally found in Burmese pythons.

Farrell and his team of researchers have found the parasites in Central Florida, which is more than 100 miles away from where the Burmese pythons reside in the southern portion of the state.

“Our research shows that the parasites are moving north rapidly along the peninsula and appear to have some major health effects on pygmy rattlesnakes,” said Farrell, who was the paper’s senior research author.

Terence Farrell, Ph.D.,

Burmese pythons evolved in Asia with these parasites, but it’s a new problem for pygmy rattlesnakes and other Florida snakes.

“The parasites that were found in the pygmy rattlesnakes were larger than the ones found in Burmese pythons,” said Farrell. “It’s a nasty situation because the pygmy rattlesnakes haven’t evolved or developed defenses against the parasite.”

Stetson’s biology students are obtaining hands-on experience and conducting cutting-edge research about this new snake epidemic. The study will provide them with the tools they need for their science career.

“I have never worked with snakes before this project, so it has given me a greater understanding and appreciation,” said biology senior Maddy Wheeler. “In the future, I plan to get involved with conducting research on biological and environmental factors that may affect native species and ecosystems as a whole, so this study provided me with research that was geared towards conservation.”

The parasite phenomenon is a reason to worry.

“The research tells us that there’s a whole new concern about invasive species and the diseases and parasites that they bring with them,” said Farrell. “This parasite isn’t just a Florida problem. We have no idea how much of the U.S. this parasite will spread and move into, which may cause it to become a nationwide problem in a few years.”

-Sandra Carr

Source: Stetson Researcher Discovers Plethora of Parasites Infecting Pygmy Rattlesnakes – Stetson Today