GradSchool Highlights

November 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

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Graduate Program Director's Workshop Brings Big Turnout

The Graduate School hosted the Fall 2018 Graduate Program Director's (GPD) Workshop on November 7, 2018 in the Nancy H. Marcus Great Hall in the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House. The agenda consisted of a variety of presentations and policy updates from several units on campus, including the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the University Counseling Center, the College of Social Work's Student Resilience Project, the Center for Intensive English Studies, the Graduate School's Enrollment Team, the Career Center, the Student Veterans Center and the Registrar's Office. 


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DIRECTO's Inaugural Book Club

 DIRECTO’s Inaugural Book Club, which was created to continue the conversations started at the Diversity & Inclusion in Research & Teaching Symposium, was a success. Thanks to the support of the FSU President’s Diversity & Inclusion Mini‐Grant Program, complimentary copies of the book were provided to all of the graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty and staff from various departments across campus who joined together over the span of four weeks to discuss The Art of Effective Facilitation: Reflections From Social Justice Educators, by Lisa M. Landreman (Editor). Discussion, which was led each week by an FSU faculty member or graduate student who has a background in social justice, focused on how particular topics in diversity and inclusion (race, gender, disability/ability, etc.) can and should best be approached when we teach and present our research. To learn more about the book club and other upcoming events hosted by DIRECTO, including a spring conversation series, please see our webpage by clicking here.


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Second Annual Halloween with the Dean

For the second year, Dean of the Graduate school, Dr. Mark Riley, dressed up and greeted FSU Graduate students at a special meet and great to celebrate “Halloween with the Dean” on October 31st. in the Nancy H. Marcus Great Hall in the Honors, Scholars & Fellows House. A special, spine-chilling menu of treats included items such as “bubbling cauldron cheese dip with bat wing dippers, black widows brew, and slime punch.” Dean Riley, who took on the persona of Albert Einstein, treated attendees to a learning session on his theories in physics. The event culminated in a costume contest, with attendees voting on the best costume for 2018.


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Celebrating International Education Week at the Office of Graduate Fellowships & Awards (OGFA)​​​​​​​

The Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards celebrated International Education Week on the Facebook page by highlighting the research of several of our international graduate students. Their research, teaching and service to the university and  their field of study broadly impacts the communities where we live and work and the world around us. What has been pretty amazing is the reach and engagements of these profiles. To share a story with us, please visit #FSUGradLife! Look for more highlights soon by clicking here.

October 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

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A Modern Elevator Speech- The Five Minute Research (5MR) Competition!

 The FSU Postdoctoral Association (PDA) and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPDA) teamed up to host the inaugural 5MR competition as part of an ongoing afternoon of research exchange and professional development on September 21st. The event was part of our 6th Annual Fall Postdoctoral Symposium. The week is internationally recognized as "Postdoctoral Awareness Week" and institutions celebrated with a variety of activities in support of their local postdoctoral researchers. Want to learn about robots on Mars? What happens to nuclear waste? How to measure tropical rain forest growth? Do you know how snake venoms are interrelated? Is the orange juice industry in Florida in jeopardy? Check out the 5MR talks by clicking here.


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DIRECTO: Inaugural Symposium on Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Teaching

Approximately 100 FSU students, faculty, and staff attended DIRECTO's Inaugural University-Wide Symposium on Diversity & Inclusion in Research & Teaching on Friday, October 5th, 2018 in the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House. The event consisted of a series of morning keynote speakers and afternoon breakout sessions, where speakers and participants from across campus were invited to discuss concerns related to issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility in teaching and research. Members of the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) and the Fellows Society joined together to create DIRECTO, the Diversity & Inclusion in Research and Teaching Organization to organize the event, and also the Inaugural Book Club to “continue the Conversation.” Click here to learn more.


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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards

  The Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) by highlighting the success of FSU grad students of Hispanic heritage. A number of student profiles including short biographies, photos, and 6 word statements capturing what students think about the importance of pursuing a graduate degree, (Stefania’s Say It In 6 is “Obtaining knowledge, Developing skills, Personal growth”) were posted via OGFA’s Facebook page. Using hashtags #InnovateContributeSharePreserve, #HispanicHeritageMonth, and #GradImpact, OGFA has used social media to reach thousands in its celebration of Hispanic grad student success at FSU. Click here to visit the OGFA Facebook site.



September 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

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The Graduate School Welcomes New Grad Students at Fall Orientation

Ruby Diamond Auditorium became the stage for over 600 graduate students eager to begin their educations at FSU. The Orientation featured a resource fair, valuable information sessions on navigating their graduate studies, and a presentation by Dr. Mark Riley, Dean of the Graduate School. For an exclusive look at this year's orientation, click here.

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Fellows Induction Ceremony

Friday, August 24th, 2018, marked the twelfth induction ceremony for new members of Florida State University's Fellows Society. The ceremony featured Dr. Dan Mears as the keynote speaker, as well as a panel of returning members of the Fellows Society who spoke about their experiences connecting research with policy. The event concluded with a brainstorming session for ideas for the 2019 Fellows Forum.


Upcoming Graduate School Events

The professional development workshops list can be found by clicking here

June 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

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Graduate Student Receives Prestigious Boren Award

Current musicology doctoral student Christopher Orr has been awarded a Boren Fellowship to study in Algeria during the 2018-19 academic year. Boren Awards provide college students in the U.S. with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. Mr. Orr will use this opportunity to study North African music, culture, and language. For the full story on all of this year's Boren Award winners at FSU, click here.

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Dr. Electro-Mag Teaches Young Minds the Importance of Science

Graduate School Dean Dr. Mark Riley (aka Dr. Electro-Mag) made a guest appearance at the Leon County Public Library to teach elementary students the wonders of science. The students were treated to a lineup of exciting experiments, from freezing fruits with liquid nitrogen to making objects float in midair. Through this experience, Dr. Electro-Mag taught the students the importance of experimentation, lab safety, and, most of all, asking questions.


Graduate School Enrollment Team Developing Comprehensive Recruitment Fair Plan

The Graduate School, in conjunction with the Graduate Enrollment Management Committee (GEMC), is researching and developing a plan for graduate programs to be able to maximize and increase their reach in regards to attending graduate recruitment fairs and events. At the June 8th GEMC meeting, the Graduate School presented the results of a survey to graduate units to map the fairs we are all attending and developed a crosswalk to ensure that 16 different populations of potential applicants are being reached. For more information about the development of the plan, please contact Brian Barton at

June 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

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Diversifying Research - Special Event Hosted by Postdoctoral Association

The Postdoctoral Association (PDA) and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPDA) sponsored the Spring Event "Diversifying Research - Is There Permanent Job Placement for Me?" on Friday, May 11th. Students and faculty had the opportunity to engage with keynote speakers Dr. Jabbar Bennett (Northwestern University) and Jessica Lee (founder of The Pregnant Scholar). There was a Diversifying Panel to engage trainees and faculty concerning members of our community that are first-generation scholars, returning to training, underrepresented individuals, veterans, two-career couples, and engaged with disability. Please enjoy our Facebook Live Stream of the presentations and discussions! Powerpoint slides are also available at our OPDA Slide Archive.


FSU Psychology Student Receives Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

FSU graduate student Keanan Joyner was selected to receive a 2019 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. As one of only 70 students to receive this award nationwide, Mr. Joyner will receive a $24,00 stipend as he continues his education and research within the Psychology program at Florida State. Click here for the full story.

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GradSchool Enrollment Team Increasing Enrollment

The Graduate School's new Enrollment Team is hard at work increasing enrollment in the University. As of May 16th, 2018, a total of 153,571 marketing messages have been sent to our graduate applicants.

May 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

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Research Fellowship Recipient Connects Students Through Music

One of this year's Graduate School-funded International Dissertation Semester Research Fellowship recipients, Alexandria Carrico, spent the past school year conducting fieldwork in Ireland toward her dissertation. Her work focused on using traditional Irish music, a community-based and participatory genre, to build a community of neurodiverse musicians and to challenge misconceptions about disability. This project was the first of its kind, and Alexandria has laid the groundwork to ensure that it will continue to impact students and musicians in Ireland long after she returns to the United States.


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FSU Hosts Spring 2018 Doctoral Reception

On May 3rd, 2018, the FSU Graduate School hosted the Spring Doctoral Reception. Speakers included University President John Thrasher and the Graduate School Dean Dr. Mark Riley, who bid a fond farewell to this Spring's graduating doctoral students.

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Winner of James S. Brooks Symposium Breaking New Ground in Materials Science and Engineering

Graduate research assistant Christie Thompson won the 2nd Annual James S. Brooks Graduate Student Award in Materials Science and Engineering for her groundbreaking research in magnetic structures. Her and her team stabilized an entirely new structure of a magnetic material, leading them to new discoveries in the material's magnetic ordering. Though she never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Brooks during his lifetime, Christie believes he would have enjoyed her research, and was honored to have won the award dedicated to his memory.



FSU Fellows Society Explores Careers Outside of Academia with Guest Speaker Dr. J. Robert McClure

The Fellows Society welcomed students to the inaugural "Careers Outside of Academia" discussion and luncheon series titled: “Your Journey to Your Current Position” with Dr. J. Robert McClure, President and CEO of The James Madison Institute. Dr. McClure’s talk covered:

  • Reasons he chose a path outside academia
  • Finding/creating a position
  • Day-to-day work
  • Advice for pursuing careers outside of academia

The event was attended by over 50 members of the Fellows Society and other graduate students. JMI is a nonpartisan, public policy research organization based in Florida. Dr. McClure is a graduate of Furman University, received a master’s degree from Florida State University, and completed his Ph.D. in policy at the University of Florida.




Director of OGFA Receives University Undergraduate Advising Award and Faculty Leadership Seminole Award

The FSU Graduate School is proud to announce that its own Adrienne Stephenson is this year's recipient of the University Undergraduate Advising Award, which recognizes expert and outstanding advising service within the University, and the Faculty Leadership Seminole Award, which recognizes faculty that have epitomized the definition of leadership by their exemplary contributions to the University. The Leadership Awards Night is an annual recognition of students, faculty, and staff, and this year multiple students submitted nominations for Dr. Stephenson to receive this awards. When asked about her achievement, Adrienne answered, "I am humbled that my students nominated me to receive these awards and even more excited that the work being done is impacting the lives of young people at Florida State University."

April 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

Photos taken by Bill Lax and Bruce Palmer from University Communications

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FAMU & FSU Graduate Schools Host the Florida Graduate Deans Conference

On April 19th and 20th, the Graduate School hosted over 100 attendees for the 2018 Conference of Graduate Schools with FAMU. The conference brought together Deans and Administrators from across the state of Florida, as well as over 60 graduate students who had the opportunity to present their research in a poster competition and 3MT competition to the attendees.



Dr. Mark Riley Named Dean of the FSU Graduate School

We are thrilled to announce that on May 7th, 2018, Dr. Mark Riley will become the next Dean of the Graduate School. During his 27 years at Florida State University, Dr. Riley has served as a Professor of Physics, a chair of the physics department, and the Interim Dean of the Graduate School. With this new position, Dr. Riley hopes to lead FSU's graduate students and graduate programs toward a bright and exciting future. For the full story, click here.


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Graduate Student Honored at the Fourth Annual Student Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony

Graduate assistant Kelly Borges received this year's Graduate Students Employee of the Year Award. A Strength & Conditioning Coach with FSU Athletics, Kelly programs and implements the conditioning sessions for athletes on the softball, soccer, and diving teams to improve their athletic performance. She loves her job and looks to continue making a positive impact on the FSU community. For more on the Awards Ceremony, click here.


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Master's Thesis Exhibition Taps Into the Rich History of Tallahassee

This past month, FSU graduate student Lydia Nabors curated a new exhibition on Clifton Van Brunt Lewis. A major advocate for civil rights in the 50's and 60's, Clifton Van Brunt Lewis had a lasting impact on her native Tallahassee, founding local institutions of art, education, and environmental advocacy. Lydia curated this exhibition because of the incredible impact which Clifton's life and story has had on her personally, and was honored to present this exhibit for the FSU-Tallahassee community.

March 2018 Highlights from the Graduate School

Photos taken by Bill Lax and Bruce Palmer from University Communications

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GPD Workshop Offers a First-Look at the Future of The Graduate School

On March 28th, 2018, The Graduate School hosted the Graduate Program Directors' Workshop in the Nancy Marcus Great Hall to discuss its current and future endeavors to further graduate education at Florida State. Topics included the exciting new GradWorld website, where students will be able to upload videos about their research at the university, the new enrollment team, which is fully staffed and ready to assist our graduate programs in their enrollment and recruitment processes, and the new Manuscript Clearance online portal.



FSU hosts its 2nd edition of HiGSA Talks

On March 30th, 2018, the Hispanic Graduate Student Association hosted its second edition of HiGSA Talks, an event designed for FSU students to share their research, ideas, and unique experiences in an inclusive and interdisciplinary environment. Speakers included Dr. Maria Morales, MS Leonardo Echt, and Dr. Abby Cordova, who covered a range of topics including immigration, crime and violence in Latin America, and the importance of shaping research in ways that can benefit the community. The over 100 students in attendance left with a broader understanding of Latin American culture, politics, and economic and social situations, as well as full bellies from the authentic Mexican cuisine provided at the reception following the event. The HiGSA team was thrilled with this year’s success and hopes to bring in even more speakers for next year's event.


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2018 Art in STEM Exhibition

The 4th Art in STEM Exhibition took place on March 29th, 2018, in Dirac Library. This year, the FSU Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) received a total of 36 pieces of artwork submitted by both graduate and undergraduate students across all STEM fields (11 departments). Two winners were selected based on judges’ scores in the areas of Scientific and Artistic value, and attendees’ votes determined a People’s Choice award. Winners will each receive a $25 check from the Graduate School. This year’s winners are EOAS graduate student Megan Behnke (Best Scientific Impact), Chemistry graduate student Pamela Knoll (Best Artistic Value), and Physics graduate student Tianhan Liu (People’s Choice). Additionally, three finalists were Chemistry undergraduate student Lourdes Guerro, Chemistry graduate student Jamie Wang, and Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering graduate student Madhuparna Roy. Congratulations to all the winners! All 36 art pieces will be on display in Dirac Library until Spring 2019.

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The Devoted Musician

Vivianne Asturizaga is a Master's student in Ethnomusicology. She previously earned an MM in Flute Performance and an MA in Arts Administration & Spanish from FSU. Vivianne is from Bolivia and came to the U.S. to expand her skills and creativity. She was recently chosen to play on the concert stage of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Berlin Philharmonie, among the world's most eminent orchestras. She is one of 92 amateur musicians selected out of 1,000 applications the BE PHIL Orchestra education program received. She is also a 2018 recipient of The Graduate School's Graduate Student Leadership Award. Vivianne is a founding member of the Tallahassee Flute Club and the National Bolivian Flute Association, where she currently serves as president.

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