Florida State University

A MESSAGE FROM JOHN THRASHER

•  APRIL 29, 2020 •

Dear Faculty,

When the spring semester began in January, no one could have imagined it would end this way. These certainly are unusual times. 

What’s not unusual is how you have risen to the challenge of teaching remotely and continued to provide our students a world-class education.  

I’d like to thank Provost Sally McRorie and the Academic Affairs team for their sound leadership as we moved more than 10,000 classes from face-to-face instruction to online delivery. The Information Technology Services team also deserves special recognition for spearheading the herculean effort of ensuring we could all connect virtually. 

The magnitude of what we’ve accomplished together in a short period of time is truly remarkable. I applaud each one of you for doing your part, whether it was learning new technology, participating in faculty workgroups or offering assistance to colleagues who were teaching remotely for the first time.  

Most importantly, I’m grateful for how you’ve stayed connected with your students and modeled resiliency during this time. 

I’m also proud of the contributions many of you have made in the battle against COVID-19. From assisting in the public health response to evaluating materials in virus test kits to producing face shields to protect our health care workers to donating personal protective equipment, so many of you have gone above and beyond to help your fellow citizens.  

While so much of our attention has been focused on the global pandemic, our faculty has had quite a bit of good news to share in recent weeks. 

You made an excellent choice when you selected Sharon Nicholson, a meteorologist with the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, as the 2020-2021 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor.  She has an impressive record as a researcher and teacher, and her mentorship has been invaluable to many students.  

Associate Professor of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences Michael Ormsbee has received the Distinguished Teacher Award, the university’s most prestigious honor for teaching, for his efforts to inspire and engage his students with real-world examples.  

It will be my honor to celebrate Drs. Nicholson and Ormsbee and so many deserving faculty  during the Faculty Awards virtual recognition ceremony Wednesday.  

Congratulations to Hadi Mohammadigoushki and Kourosh Shoeles from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and Miranda Waggoner from the College of Social Science and Public Policy on receiving the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER award for researchers in the early stages of their careers. What an extraordinary honor!! 

Earlier this month, Eminent Scholar and the Winthrop-King Professor of French and Francophone Studies Martin Munro won a coveted fellowship from the National Humanities Center. The fellowship will allow Dr. Munro to spend the 2020-2021 academic year at the NHC’s campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to complete his book. 

And just last week, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation announced Assistant Professor of Sociology Shantel Buggs as the winner of a 2020 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty. The fellowship is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will provide Dr. Buggs with a six-month grant to further her research pursuits. 

I’d also like to extend best wishes to College of Music Dean Patricia Flowers, who will step down as dean June 30. Dean Flowers did a wonderful job leading the college for the past seven years, and we are fortunate she will remain a part of our music education faculty. 

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to celebrate spring commencement.  While an in-person celebration will have to wait, we've put together a virtual  ceremony featuring several traditional elements of commencement. I invite you to watch at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at commencement.fsu.edu, as we honor nearly 7,000 graduates.  

Thank you for your patience, your flexibility, your innovation and your compassion during this unprecedented era of our history.  

Stay well. 

Sincerely, 

FSU Faculty in the News

Florida State University

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