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Florida State University, distinguished as a pre-eminent university in the state of Florida, is identified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as engaged in very high research activity, the highest status accorded to a doctoral-granting university. The wide-ranging scholarship of FSU faculty and graduate students is nationally and internationally recognized for its contributions to science, business, government, culture, and society. FSU faculty members are also recognized for their exceptional level of instruction.


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FSU Presented National Award for Campus Internationalization

President John Thrasher (second from right) represents FSU in a panel discussion with presidents from 2017 Simon Award-winning institutions Nov. 14 in Washington, D.C.
President John Thrasher (second from right) represents FSU in a panel discussion with presidents from
2017 Simon Award-winning institutions Nov. 14 in Washington, D.C.

Florida State University’s President John Thrasher accepted the 2017 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, which is given annually by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, at a reception to celebrate International Education Week Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

In April, Florida State was one of only four institutions to be selected for the 2017 Simon Award, which recognizes excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of the university. Santa Monica College, the University of Iowa and the University of Pittsburgh were also honored.

“FSU has a rich history of supporting internationalization and cultural diversity,” said President John Thrasher. “Ensuring that our students have the skills, competencies and global awareness needed for success in the 21st century has long been one of our top priorities. We are honored to be recognized with such a prestigious award.”

Thrasher also participated in a panel discussion on how to expand access to the global learning opportunities that graduates need in order to succeed in the world economy. He was joined by presidents and chancellors from other 2017 Simon Award and Simon Spotlight Award-winning institutions.

Named for the late Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois, the award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that are making significant progress toward comprehensive internationalization, especially those using innovative and creative approaches.

The Simon Award recognizes overall excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced in mission, strategies, programs and results.

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Education Doctoral Students Wins Three Minute Thesis Competition

An education doctoral student took home the first-place prize for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition at Florida State University, Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Shannon Gooden, a doctoral student in FSU’s School of Teacher Education, won the $1,000 prize and the opportunity to represent Florida State at a regional competition in February.

“It’s so humbling,” Gooden said. “There were so many amazing talks and pieces of research. This is the first time the College of Education or the School of Teacher Education has had a winner to my knowledge, so it’s not only humbling to be representing them, but to represent the university as well. I can’t take that for granted.”

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition, which began at the University of Queensland in Australia in 2008, charges graduate students to explain their thesis work in a compelling three-minute speech. The goal is for participants to effectively explain their research, which at times can be very complex, in plain language to a nonspecialist audience.

“This is the fifth time we’ve had the competition and the presentations were exceptional,” said Mark Riley, interim dean of The Graduate School. “It makes me incredibly proud to see the amazing caliber of students we have at FSU.”

Gooden’s prize-winning presentation, “Understanding the culture of science through a research experience for teachers program,” highlighted the takeaways of 10 K-12 teachers who recently participated in the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program. In the program, teachers work side by side with scientists at the Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

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Retired Dean Nancy Marcus, Receives Stellar Send Off

It was a standing-room-only crowd at the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House Wednesday, Sept. 6, as students, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the retirement of Nancy Marcus.

Marcus is stepping down after 30 years at Florida State University, including the past 12 as dean of the Graduate School. She previously served as chair of the Department of Oceanography, as it was previously called, as well as director of the Marine Laboratory and the FSU Women in Math, Science and Engineering program.

She was named the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor in 2001. The distinction is the highest honor FSU faculty can bestow upon a colleague.

Friends and colleagues of the retired dean offered congratulatory remarks, including President John Thrasher.

“Nancy, I will miss you,” Thrasher said. “You have served our students and this university well. FSU is a better place because of your teaching, research and service. Thank you for everything you have done.”

The surprise of the evening had to be the presence and remarks from Marcus’ brother, Teddy, who traveled from New York to celebrate with his sister.

He talked about how he felt he grew up in his sister’s shadow. He told attendees about her love for magic, and even the fact that Marcus is an accomplished ventriloquist. He closed by sharing sentiments from their 94-year-old mother who could not make the event.

“These words come with my love for a job well done … I’m proud of her accomplishments and vain enough to say so,” he read.

Marcus was given a host of gifts celebrating her service to the university, including a commemorative brick on the Westcott Plaza. The brick was Marcus’ only parting request, but her colleagues took it a step further. They also arranged for a commemorative bench to be placed near the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House — a building she was instrumental in creating.

“It’s really been a great privilege to be a faculty member at Florida State University and be the dean of the Graduate School,” Marcus said. “Seeing the pictures flash on the screen reminds me of all the things I was involved with over the years through the great breadth of this university.”

Continue Reading and View Pictures of the Event Here! 


Dr. Mark Riley, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, Named Interim Dean of the Graduate School 

M. Riley Staff Photo.jpg

Dr. Mark Riley, a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, is the Interim Dean of The Graduate School at the Florida State University. His responsibilities include oversight of the education of approximately 8,000 graduate and professional students. Riley earned a Bachelor of Science with Honors in physics and a doctorate in nuclear physics, both from the University of Liverpool in England.  He worked as a research associate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and then as a research associate at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the Florida State faculty as an assistant professor in 1991 he served as an Advanced Fellow at the University of Liverpool.  Riley was named the Raymond K. Sheline Professor of Physics in 2001, selected for an FSU Distinguished Research Professor Award in 2008 and became a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor in 2014. He has won two university teaching awards. He served the Department of Physics as chair from 2007 to 2013. His research involves the detection of gamma-ray emission signals from excited atomic nuclei under extreme conditions. High-resolution gamma-ray detection plays an ubiquitous role in nuclear science and he has been deeply involved in the development and use of the world’s most powerful gamma-ray detector systems, such as, Gammasphere and GRETINA-GRETA. He has served on Users Executive Committees at the national laboratories of Oak Ridge, Argonne and Michigan State University. Other national level committee participation has included the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee to the DOE and NSF, and Program Advisory Committees of national laboratories at Berkeley, Argonne and iTHEMBA LABS in South Africa. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is a past chair of the APS’s Publication Oversight Committee.  Riley’s publication record includes ~200 research articles and he has delivered ~100 invited talks.



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