Wednesday, April 25, 2012

StetsonU is a Tree Campus USA

StetsonU junior Kayla Superville studies on the shady
 walk in front of Carson-Hollis halls.

The Arbor Day Foundation has named Stetson University a 2011 Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management. This is the first year of recognition for Stetson University.

Stetson achieved the designation by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

The honor will be presented at Stetson’s Arbor Day Celebration at3 p.m.Friday, April 27, on the steps of the Carlton Union Building, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand. The public is invited to the Arbor Day Celebration, which will include the planting of a tree on campus. Tree Campus USA representative Elizabeth Harkey, urban forester with the City of Sanford, will be a guest speaker, and Stetson President Wendy B. Libby will also make remarks.

“A healthy, mature tree canopy is a prominent feature of the landscape on the Stetson campus, as well as within the city of DeLand, which has been designated a Tree City USA for 23 years,” said Dr. Cynthia Bennington, Stetson associate professor of biology and co-coordinator of the effort along with representatives from Stetson’s Streets and Grounds Department and the Gillespie Museum.

“Stetson has a long history of a commitment to having a tree canopy, and we were already meeting the requirements for the Tree Campus USA designation,” Bennington said. “So it was a natural fit.”

Stetson has had a native tree policy since 2002 and has about 65-percent canopy coverage. The university’s students and surrounding community have been involved in campus tree-planting efforts for more than 15 years. In 2011, about 600 trees were planted on campus.

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Tree Campus USA is supported by a generous grant from Toyota.

“Students throughout the country are passionate about sustainability and community improvement, which makes the emphasis on well-maintained and healthy trees so important,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Achieving Tree Campus USA recognition sets an example for other colleges and universities and allows students a chance to give back to both their campus community and the community at-large.”

During 2011, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota helped campuses throughout the country plant 30,000 trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities have invested more than $22 million in campus forest management. More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at

3 promoted in CLASS Division

Chris Kandus-Fisher and Rosalie Carpenter work closely with students in their administrative positions in the CLASS Division.
Christopher Kandus-Fisher has been promoted to vice president for Student Affairs at Stetson University, while retaining his role as Stetson’s dean of students.

Kandus-Fisher’s promotion is part of an administrative reorganization in Stetson’s Campus Life and Student Success division, which follows Vice President Rina Tovar’s move to a new role in Stetson’s University Relations division. Other changes in Campus Life and Student Success include promotions for Rosalie Carpenter, former director of First Year and Transition Programs, who is now serving as assistant dean of students; and Ben Falter, who is now executive director of Housing and Residential Life and has taken on an expanded role overseeing Stetson’s Office of Student Judicial Affairs.

“In the year-and-a-half that Chris has been with Stetson, he has shown himself to be a great strategic thinker and leader,” said President Wendy B. Libby.

Kandus-Fisher now serves on the President’s Cabinet and will continue to have a leadership role in Stetson’s year-long update of its core values and to be a key communicator in the progress of the university’s new strategic plan. He will coordinate with Assistant Provost for Student Success Lua Hancock on Stetson’s comprehensive student success model. Kandus-Fisher will also work directly with the College of Law on students services at Stetson’s campuses in Gulfport/St. Petersburg and Tampa.

A higher education administrator for 12 years, Kandus-Fisher came to Stetson in 2010 from Babson College in Massachusetts, where he was assistant dean of Campus Life. As vice president and dean at Stetson, Kandus-Fisher provides leadership and vision to the Division of Campus Life and Student Success, which includes departments such as Housing and Residential Life, Student Involvement, Health Services and Counseling Services.

Kandus-Fisher earned his bachelor’s degree at Ashland University and master’s degrees from the University of Akron and is a doctoral candidate at Nova Southeastern University, pursuing a degree in Higher Education Leadership.

Carpenter, a Stetson alumna, has worked for Stetson for eight years. In her new role as assistant dean of students, she will provide strategic leadership to the Student Development and Engagement Team, while providing a vision that not only supports a vibrant campus, but connects student engagement to success and retention. The Student Development and Engagement team encompasses New Student Orientation, Transition Programs, Student Clubs and Organizations, Student Leadership initiatives, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Campus Vibrancy and Traditions, and Religious and Spiritual Life.

Carpenter also earned master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina in Higher Education Administration and from Case Western Reserve University in Positive Organizational Development.

“Rosalie has a tremendous reputation with the student body and we are confident that she will be able to continue to serve as a true student advocate,” Kandus-Fisher said. “We are both looking forward to working with the students and helping them make the best of their Stetson experience.”

Hatter Saturday welcomes new students

Biology Professor Mike King conducts
session at Hatter Saturday '11.
Stetson University will welcome more than 500 accepted students and their families to the historic DeLand campus on “Hatter Saturday,” April 28. The day-long event will be filled with fun and learning for students accepted at Stetson for fall term 2012.

In addition to attending information sessions with Stetson leaders and learning more about Stetson University, students will engage in an internationally recognized community service activity through Feeding Children Everywhere. Beginning at 9 a.m. in the Edmunds Center, students and their families will hear from Stetson President Wendy B. Libby, Vice President for Enrollment Management Joel Bauman and Admission Director Bob Stewart.

While parents attend the “Benefits of Liberal Learning” session, the students will participate in a community engagement activity – packing 25,000 nutritious meal boxes for hungry children in Honduras and Central Florida in cooperation with the Feeding Children Everywhere nonprofit organization.

Feeding Children Everywhere is a social non-profit that empowers and mobilizes people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children all over the world. Food packages and donations go to orphanages and public schools in over four continents. Students, faculty and staff at the Stetson Center at Celebration in Osceola County previously partnered with the organization to pack more than 5,000 balanced meals for hungry children in Guatemala.
Accepted student Dara Thompson 
“I can’t wait to finally be a Hatter!” said admitted student Dara Thompson, who will be attending Hatter Saturday. “I get excited when I get to come on campus. I don’t think there could be a better school for me. You guys do a great job of making me feel at home, and I haven’t even started there yet.”

For more information about Hatter Saturday visit or call Stetson’s Office of Admission at (386) 822-7100 .

Friday, April 20, 2012

Stetson University Events Watch

Children’s Literature Conference April 30

Stetson University’s Department of Teacher Education is hosting the 7th Biennial M. Jean Greenlaw Children’s Literature Conference on Monday, April 30. The conference, which offers numerous informative and entertaining workshops throughout the day, is open to the public. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Stetson Room, second floor of the Carlton Union Building, 421 N. Woodland Blvd. on Stetson’s DeLand campus.

Helen Ketteman, well-known author of 20 picture books, will be this year’s featured speaker. An expert on writing picture books, Ketteman has authored books specifically for children, ages preschool through fourth- and fifth-graders. She has taught at the elementary and high school levels, and has also taught a continuing education class in writing picture books at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She has appeared at young author conferences and on radio and television talk shows as an expert on writing picture books. Some familiar titles include Aunt Hilarity’s Bustle, The Year of No More Corn, Not Yet, Yvette, Luck with Potatoes, Grandma’s Cat, Bubba the Cowboy Prince: A Fractured Texas Tale, I Remember Papa and Armadillo Tattletale. She earned her A. A. degree fromYoung Harris College in Young Harris, Ga., and her B.A. in English from Georgia State University in Atlanta. The author will participate in a book-signing during the lunch break. Participants may bring your own books or purchase them at the conference.

Founder of this conference at Stetson University, children’s literature expert M. Jean Greenlaw earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stetson, and her doctorate at MichiganState. She taught in public schools and at the University of North Texas from 1978 until her retirement in 2005. Greenlaw was recognized by UNT as Professor Emeritus of Teacher Education and Administration, and upon her retirement, UNT created the M. Jean Greenlaw Award in Literacy Education, making her the first recipient. The International Reading Association chose Greenlaw as the Arbuthnot Award winner in 1992, honoring her as an outstanding university teacher of children’s and young adults’ literature. In 2006, Stetson’s duPont-Ball Library acquired the M. Jean Greenlaw Collection of approximately 1,500 children’s books. They are housed in Special Collections in the Johnson Room on the ground floor of the Library. Many of the books are first editions and almost all are signed by the author and/or illustrator. In addition to writing children’s books, Greenlaw has also written several books describing life in Texas, including Ranch Dressing: The Story of Western Wear (1993), and Welcome to the Stock Show (1997).

Registration for the literature conference is $12, and includes lunch. Professional development credits for the conference are available. For more information, conference updates, and registration please visit:

Success from one generation to the next

Marie Carmen Lence of Leche Rio S.L., Burlingame, Calif.,
listens to Leslie Leavens-Crowe, Leavens Ranches, Santa Paula, Calif.,
standing to address the group during
the Transitions West Conference last fall.

The Family Enterprise Center of Stetson University’s School of Business Administration and Family Business Magazine are partnering to offer Transitions East 2012, a conference focusing on the challenges and opportunities of taking family-owned business enterprises from one generation to the next.

The conference, April 25-27 in Orlando, Fla., is sold out, with 160 family business representatives, speakers, sponsors and Stetson students planning to attend. Participating businesses range from small to large, with many having a global presence. Some are multi-generational, going back 200 years or more.

“The Transitions Conference is an intimate conference where successful family businesses can talk about innovative ways to address the challenges they face with their peers and top-notch advisors,” said Dr. Greg McCann, director and founder of Stetson’s award-winning Family Enterprise Center, with the nation’s first undergraduate major in family business.

“The conference focuses on families from family-owned companies sharing their experiences, in panel discussions, workshops and through keynote speakers,” added Peter Begalla, instructor and outreach program manager for Stetson’s Family Enterprise Center. “It gives families the opportunity to come together to talk about governance, next-generation development, succession planning, and maintaining a strong family and a strong enterprise.”

Since 2010, Stetson’s Family Enterprise Center and Family Business Magazine have put on three Transitions conferences in Florida and California. Two are planned for 2012, with the second planned for fall in Marina del Rey, Calif.

“This exposes Stetson students to some of the leading family businesses in the world, who are engaging in the best family business practices,” Begalla said. “Participants and speakers at the conference often result in world-class speakers coming to campus, mentor and internship opportunities, and research projects.”

Stetson family enterprise majors attending Transitions East 2012 include Olivia Stevens, Daniela Cadavieco and Torri Hawley. Hawley will serve as a panelist, along with her grandfather, who is president and CEO of Windway Capital Corp., for a discussion on “Next Generation Engagement.” The students’ conference registrations were funded by Fred and Patricia Lane, members of the Family Enterprise Center Board of Advisors, and Stetson Trustee Geoff Jollay, who also is a member of the center’s Board of Advisors.

Student-directed plays at Stover

Stetson University closes its 106th season with a showcase of student-directed one-act plays April 19-22 at Stover Theatre. This performance is comprised of four one-act plays that are funny, moving, occasionally weird, but very entertaining. The four shows include Success by Arthur Kopit, directed by Caitlyn Foster; Reverse Transcription by Tony Kushner, directed Caleb Canlon; Words, Words, Words by David Ives, directed by Shane Klingensmith; and Medea by Christopher Durang, directed by Kristi Collins.

Success is about a famous writer that speaks at a woman’s book club about his latest bestseller. But success isn’t all it is cracked up to be as Krum, the author, struggles to communicate to the crowd about his latest work with disastrous results. Reverse Transcription takes place in Abel’s Hill cemetery around midnight. Six playwrights have gathered to illegally bury their dead friend. Hesitant to proceed with the burial, they each begin to drink and to share a little too much. Words, Words, Words is a short comedy about three monkeys who endeavor to recreate Shakespeare’s classic work, Hamlet… Completely by chance. The conversation that ensues is just as ridiculous as the work they create. InMedea, an award-winning stage actress decides to reclaim a much maligned female character. Her attempt to do so yields hilarious results.

The ensemble cast for this showcase includes the following performers:

Success: Nick Pollitt, Corley Groves, Cassie Kris, Juliette Wheeler, Lindsey Guenther, Suzanne Reffel, Caron Davis, Jorge Lanza, Michaela Kearney, Brenna Burgess and Marcia Myers.

Reverse Transcription: Ellen Smittle, Zantrell Williams, Orion Meades, Davon Porter, Thomas Ecker, and Jacob Manos.

Words, Words, Words: Caitlyn Foster, Jarrod Beck, and Gladys Valle.

Medea: Katie Jared, Olivia Moeschet, Rachel Markunas, Amanda Roy, Brianna Lancaster, Erin Carney, Jarrod Beck, Elise Holt and Jessica Ryan.

This festival of student-directed one-acts will be presented Thursday through Saturday, April 19 – 21, at 8 p.m. The final performance will be a matinee on Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m.

Admission for each performance is $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and non-Stetson students. Stetson students, faculty, and staff presenting valid I.D. will be admitted free of charge. Stover Theatre is located at535 N. Florida Avenue. Parking is free. Tickets will be available at the door, and can be purchased by either cash or check.

For information or reservations, call the Stover Theatre box office at (386) 822-8700 . Reserved tickets must be picked up 30 minutes prior to the start of each show.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Learning by giving

Business majors Brad Brubaker, Scarlett McCoy and Trey Moore
 volunteer to help low-income people file IRS tax returns in the 
Lynn Business Center.

Spring is the season when some of the people passing through the busy lobby of the Lynn Business Center aren’t professors or students headed to class. These visitors to campus don’t wear backpacks, don’t carry laptops or books.

They’re looking for help – not an education.

In fact, they’re looking for business student Scarlett McCoy or one of her seven colleagues who are in the business of changing lives and making the world a better place – one tax return at a time.

That may sound a little pretentious or overly dramatic, but on a community level, on a very personal level, it’s true. Just ask those business students who, as trained United Way volunteers, use their business skills without fee to file income tax returns for low- to moderate-income families and seniors under the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

“Throughout my three years at Stetson, I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing programs, community partners and service sites,” said McCoy, a junior Management major from Melrose, Fla. “But nothing I’ve been a part of, to me, has the biggest direct impact on individual lives.

“On most days, I feel like Santa Claus!”

She’s not exaggerating.

“The first return I ever completed was the most meaningful and impactful for me,” she recalls. The young parents of a 2-year-old-son and newborn girl had been laid off work. They sold their only car to pay the utility bill and were deeply worried about living expenses.

McCoy completed their return and saw that the prior year’s preparer mistakenly ignored a credit for which the couple qualified. She filed an amended return and when the work was done, told the couple they would receive a refund of more than $8,000.

“The father started to cry because now he was going to be able to pay for his newborn’s shots and diapers, buy his son shoes and pay the electric bill,” she recalled.

Senior Brad Brubaker helps a client with her tax return.
Senior Brad Brubaker, another VITA volunteer, knows exactly what McCoy is talking about, but he sees other benefits, too.

“I find the work immensely rewarding. Exhilarating, sometimes,” said Brubaker, a senior Accounting major from Brevard County, Fla. “It’s a practical way of using my accounting skills to tangibly benefit the local community.

“But I’ve also gained many technical insights into the tax profession as a whole. Exposure to real world accounting principles is a strong reminder of how careful I must be in any accounting profession,” he said.

The work has even changed the way he sees people.

“I’ve gained insight into the complexities of various individuals in a given community, and how each person has a unique background that will not fit within a pre-made ‘cookie-cutter’ solution,” he said.

That’s one of the reasons the university is involved in this program, said Stetson’s Dr. Gregory Sapp, an associate professor of Religious Studies who serves on the steering committee of Campaign for Working Families.

“Beyond the monetary value of the work these students are doing, they can now put a face on poverty and have a better understanding of the lives led by the poor and the difficulties they face in trying to escape poverty,” said Sapp.

Many of those who work in the VITA program teach clients to open bank accounts, avoid predatory lenders and put their money to good use, even help them out of substandard housing and into a decent home.

The VITA site was established at Stetson three years ago and operates out of the Lynn Business Center, said Tim Sylvia of the Volusia/Flagler United Way.

“The value of the program is in keeping more money in the pockets of low income families,” said Sylvia. It not only helps clients avoid paying for tax preparation, but assures them they will receive quality service and not be exploited.

Dr. Gregory Sapp, steering committee member
 of Campaign for Working Families.

Stetson is one of numerous VITA local sites operated by the United Way’s Campaign for Working Families, where trained volunteers will help file more than 2,000 tax returns for low to moderate income families. More than 75 returns are expected to be filed at Stetson this year, said Sylvia.

Most clients who come to Stetson, said McCoy, who manages the program at Stetson, are single parent families with two or three children or senior citizens on a fixed income.

Feeling like Santa and helping members of this community aren’t the only reasons McCoy “loves” the VITA program. Too many people, she said, have the idea that business students, and those in business, care more about money and the bottom line than they do their community.

“I feel like I get the chance to break that stereotype through my work with VITA because business knowledge and education are the best ways to break things like the poverty cycle,” she said.

Alumna chairs the Chamber

New chair Suzanne Forbes at the Daytona Regional
 Chamber’s annual dinner with outgoing chair Tom Leek.

Suzanne Forbes grew up with pet lobsters, barracudas and angelfish in her back yard of the endless turquoise waters of the Florida Keys. With her friends and siblings, she swam, snorkeled, boated, weathered storms and used bridges for high dives.

But the girl from Big Pine Key, population about 2,000 at the time, was more than a curious child who loved the marine environment. She also excelled in school and as an 11th-grader enrolled in community college. She had aspirations beyond her sunrise/sunset island horizon.

“I set my goal to be a CPA in 9th grade,” the Stetson alumna said. “I liked math and was pretty good at it, but I knew if I wanted to get ahead, I would need to work hard and get off the ‘rock,’ the island I grew up on.”

Tom Leek passes the gavel to Suzanne Forbes. Reprinted with 
permission of the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

She left the island after high school, but it has always stayed with her.

Forbes became an Accounting major at Stetson and, under the tutelage of the renowned Professor Joe Master, graduated in 1987 with her Master of Accountancy. Master also steered her to a job with James Moore & Co., one of the largest CPA firms in this area and the firm where he was a partner at the time.

Today, 25 years later, Forbes is a firm partner and oversees its real estate service division. She’s a trusted advisor to investors, private companies, business owners and real estate holding groups.

Forbes was sworn in earlier this year as the new chairwoman of the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, which represents and influences not only the metro area’s diverse economic base of business and industry, but forges partnerships far beyond the Halifax Area.

Her years with the chamber, and decades in area business, give her broad-based insight, but don’t make her an economic wizard. Generally, she thinks the economy will continue to show slow growth and businesses should position themselves with stronger recruitment and other advantageous moves so that when the credit crisis is resolved and the economy surges, they will be ready.

Suzanne Forbes, partner in James Moore & Co.

However, I tell everyone my crystal ball broke a while back,” she said. “I started using a Magic 8 Ball, but it just doesn’t give the best answers!”

Forbes developed her work ethic early, she said, by watching her father who had many jobs on the island. Her first job was at 11, selling ice cream, and in high school she landed her first accounting job with a CPA firm.

At Stetson’s Business School, she met Master. The lessons he taught Forbes, she said, are the “most significant” she learned at the university.

“Not only did he teach the technical aspects of accounting, but the professionalism that goes with it,” she said.

Forbes also loves being creative.

“Although most people probably think that isn’t what most CPA’s would like,” she said. “It gives me my greatest satisfaction in business. At home, it’s doing things with my husband and kids.”

Watching her son and daughter learn and grow and pursue their interests is unequaled, she said. She doesn’t remember when she first met her husband, Bret, because she has known him since she they were both children on Big Pine Key. He became her high school sweetheart. They were married her final year at Stetson.

In a way, she never left Stetson. She lives and works nearby and stays involved in the school that helped shape her life. Until she assumed leadership of the chamber, she served for many years on the Accounting Board of Advisors and continues to serve on the Business School Foundation.

“Stetson was so instrumental in my success as a professional,” she said. “My way of giving back to the university is through board involvement.”

Enjoying simple pleasures with family is a high priority for
 Suzanne Forbes, seen here in the Florida Keys with her
 husband, Bret, and two children, son Collin, 13, 
and daughter Cayman, 10.

Forbes’ work and public service takes an exceptional amount of her days and nights, but she makes family time count.

Family vacations are often spent on the water, enjoying the simple pleasures and natural beauty of the Florida Keys as she did when she was a child.

“It is still about the water, the boat, the marine life, fishing, diving, lobstering, or just walking on the beach,” she says. “Of course, the real thrill is if we catch a nice fish, bring back lobster or see pods of dolphins or even a waterspout. I love the unexpected.”

One of the simpler pleasures she enjoys includes sharing a bottle of wine and good food in a special restaurant, especially with family or friends.

“‘Work hard, play hard’ has been my life’s motto,” said Forbes. “It is important for the kids to know when they need me I will be there. There are certain family things that I won’t miss – birthdays, anniversaries, recitals, teacher meetings, etc. I believe having a happy personal life makes me a better professional.”

Marketing the legal profession

Lara Tibbals, Tampa attorney, discusses legal and marketing issues with Courtney Krueger, AMA vice president, and Dr. Scott Jones, associate professor of Marketing, while two other students (backs to camera) listen. They are Brittney McDaniel and Amanda Meyer, both of whom are AMA vice presidents.

Marketing for lawyers may not be the first thing Marketing majors consider when thinking about a career, but it’s big business – really big business in a new and changing field.

That’s what a Tampa attorney told American Marketing Association members during a recent discussion at the Lynn Business Center.

Despite strict controls and limitations, some Central Florida law firms have high-profile advertising campaigns that saturate various media. Millions of dollars are spent to get their name out there, said Lara Tibbals, a lawyer for Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa.

“It’s a field that didn’t exist before 1977 because lawyers couldn’t advertise,” said Tibbals, a shareholder in the Litigation Group of Hill, Ward and Henderson, a Tampa firm with 86 members. In the late 1970s, a series of court rulings opened the door to the controversial and lucrative field of marketing.

Before that, Tibbals said, all attorneys’ business came largely from word of mouth. But those court rulings changed the way people look for lawyers, especially personal injury practices, and how lawyers look for clients, too, she said.

“Legal advertising is certainly a much bigger field than I realized,” said senior Business Management major Courtney Krueger of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. “I came out of the meeting much more knowledgeable about legal advertising.”

The event was organized by the student chapter of the American Marketing Association. The AMA brings professionals with expertise in the field to meet with students and sponsors other events to broaden members’ knowledge of marketing. All during the informal presentation, Tibbals answered students’ questions about referrals, misleading ads, disciplinary actions involving advertising and other legal marketing issues.

Attorney Lara Tibbals answers a question for 
sophomore business student Katie DiGirolama,
 a Sport Management major from Bradenton.

“One of the things that has always fascinated me is the marketing aspect of the legal profession,” said Tibbals. “And as you might guess, they don’t teach marketing in law school.”

Marketing firms who have law firms for clients must be well versed in a complex set of laws, rules and guidelines that govern all forms of legal advertising, Tibbals said.

“The Florida Bar is one of the strictest state bar associations in terms of regulating attorney advertising,” she told students. It has the power to reprimand, suspend and even prohibit attorneys from practicing law in the state.

“I had no idea there were so many limitations on law firm advertising as well as the challenge firms face as to whether or not to market themselves with a method other than word of mouth,” said senior Marketing major Amanda Meyer of Madison, Conn.

“Except for personal injury attorneys, word of mouth is still the basic marketing tool” for attorneys who specialize in a myriad of other fields, Tibbals told the students.

One of her personal marketing strategies is to be an active member and become known in national attorney organizations. She’s a member of the Litigation Council of America, the Federal Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

It might seem odd that you would market yourself to people who do what you do, she said, but that is one way to gain clients. She wants attorneys in other states to call her when their clients need help in Florida.

Tibbals, who practices business litigation in state and federal courts, is also well known in Florida. She is active in the bar associations of Hillsborough County and Florida, and has been honored for her service. Gov. Rick Scott named her to the Judicial Nominating Commission of the Second District Court of Appeal.

Students on AMA’s executive board are Brittany McDaniel, Amanda Meyer, Ryan Carter, Lexie Oliver and Courtney Krueger. Dr. Scott Jones, associate professor of Marketing, is the AMA faculty advisor and also Tibbals’ brother

Bobby Adams celebrates 25 years at Stetson

Bobby Adams celebrates 25 years leading Stetson band
Celebrating 25 years at Stetson, and a total of 50 years teaching music at high schools in Florida and Indiana, Music Education Professor, Coordinator of Instrumental Music and Director of Bands, Dr. Bobby Adams, will be honored by Stetson’s School of Music at the Symphonic Band concert, 7:30 p.m., April 21. The concert, which will include the participation of several Invitational Honor Bands, led by two of Adams’ former students, will be held in Lee Chapel, inside Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand. The featured honor bands include the Rock Lake Middle School Band, conducted by Kerry Couch, and the New World School of the Arts Wind Ensemble fromMiami, conducted by Brent Mounger.

“Dr. Adams is largely responsible for the increase of the band presence in Stetson’s School of Music from 19 percent to nearly 50 percent of the music student population,” said the Dean of Stetson’s School of Music, Dr. Jean O. West. “By making connections with individuals—whether colleagues, students, parents, alumni or audience members—and by serving his profession as an arts advocate of the highest order, Dr. Bobby Adams is a marvelous blend of education, professional expectation and fabulous music making. We in the School of Music count him as one of the legacy builders of our program’s excellence and distinction.”

This concert will also feature several premier performances of works transcribed by Joseph Kreines, and by Stetson oboe professor, Ann Adams, Adam’s wife, who will also perform. A Divertimento for Symphonic Band, written to honor Adams by Stetson’s Almand Chair of Composition Sydney Hodkinson, will also be performed.

A member of the Stetson University faculty since 1987, Adams conducts the University Symphonic Band and teaches advanced instrumental conducting and courses in music education. Prior to his appointment at Stetson, he taught at two high schools in Indiana: Clearspring High School and Ligonier High School. In Florida, Adams taught six years at North Ft.Myers High School, five years at Bayshore High School in Bradenton, and eight years at Leon High School in Tallahassee. Adams is the recipient of the Leadership Award for Music Education presented to him in 1996 by the Florida Music Educators Association, and Stetson University’s Hand Award for Excellence in Research in 1998. He is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu National Honor Fraternity, the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, the Florida Music Educators Association Hall of Fame, the Florida Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame (high school directors) and Roll of Distinction (college/university directors). In the summer of 2006 he was awarded the Signature Sinfonian Award, a new national award presented by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at their national convention in Cleveland. In addition Dr. Adams conducts all-state/honor bands and orchestras throughout the United States.

To honor Adams’ 25th anniversary at Stetson University, the Bobby L. Adams Scholarship was established this spring to support Stetson students studying music education. To help honor Bobby Adams’ legacy, please contact Stetson University’s Office of Development at (386) 822-7455 , or

For more information about the anniversary celebration, email General admission to the concert: $10; $8 senior citizens; $5 area students. More information: Stetson’s School of Music (386) 822-8950 ; Concert Line (386) 822-8947 ;

Spotlight is on students in week ahead

With less than a month ‘til Commencement 2012, campus activities are abundant as students showcase their academic achievements and prepare for the future! This week’s calendar offers a wide range of student-focused events – from the senior art show and student-directed one-act plays to concerts and Stetson Showcase. Click on the provided link to find some highlights.

SU Events Watch

Enjoy watching this weeks episode of Stetson University Events Watch :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stetson partners with Museum in Theatre Arts

Stetson University’s theatre arts program will enter a new era this summer when the program’s classes and performances move into the theater space of the Museum of Florida Art adjacent to the DeLand campus.

Stetson and the Museum of Florida Art have reached a five-year, renewable lease for Stetson’s use of the 8,700-square-foot main theatre, box office, back stage/scene shop, green room, makeup room, and the upstairs areas. The second-floor, north side of the building, will be used for teaching and storage areas, including the access corridor to control booths; and the third-floor, north side of the building, will be for teaching and storage areas.

The partnership will officially begin May 1, after which the university will install new performance lighting and sound systems and smart classroom teaching technology and make other improvements to the leased space, such as paint and carpet. Theatre arts’ space at the Museum of Florida Art will open in time for fall 2012 classes.

“How exciting to advance Stetson’s vibrant Theatre Arts program by partnering with the Museum of Florida Art,” said Stetson Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth “Beth” Paul. “Our partnership provides a unique combination of arts that is distinctive to DeLand, and reflective of the cutting-edge work in progress at Stetson to realize the exciting intersections among the creative arts disciplines. Together, we strengthen our burgeoning arts community by taking aspirational risks and daring to be significant.”

“The Museum of Florida Art was delighted, for the good of the cultural community, to partner with Stetson University by making available the Museum’s theater space to accommodate the university’s drama department and to provide it with a highly visible venue for its public performances,” said George Bolge, chief executive officer of the Museum. “This collaboration will afford the Museum the opportunity to showcase its educational philosophy of presenting fine art exhibitions within the context of an interdisciplinary environment. The convenience of participating in and supporting two premier Volusia County arts resources in one location should result in audience enhancement for both educational programs.”

Of more than 1,000 plays produced by Stetson’s theatre program and other groups since 1905, over 800 were produced at Stover Theatre after its construction in 1930, said Ken McCoy, Stetson theatre professor, who created the university’s theatre arts digital archive.

In 2010, Stetson adopted a new DeLand Campus Plan to guide future construction. Although university leaders determined then that the 2010-11 academic year would be the last year for use of Stover Theatre because of the poor condition of the building, future plans for the facility have not yet been determined.

Leasing the north side of the Museum of Florida Art, located at 600 N. Woodland Blvd., will give Stetson the space it needs for practical, hands-on instruction and the top-notch productions it’s known for in the community, said Julia Schmitt, chair of Theatre Arts and Communication Studies at Stetson.

“While it will be difficult to leave Stover Theatre, a building with tremendous historical significance both to Stetson and to the DeLand community, we’re all very excited to have the lease in place, and anxious to move in to our new space,” Schmitt said. “Recently, we were able to take several students on a tour of our new facilities, and they became truly excited at the possibilities for production. The presence of a scene shop and the upgrades that we are planning to make to classroom spaces within the museum are really going to enhance our program.”

Stetson’s final theatre production this academic year will be a festival of student-directed one-act plays April 19-22 at Stover.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

SU Student Profile: Christine

SU Student Profile: Daniela

Another full week of activities planned: some highlights:

Stetson discusses Trayvon Martin

DeLand, Fla. - Stetson University’s Diversity Council will host a panel discussion to address the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin and the implications this incident might have on our understanding of what has been called a post-racial, or a color-blind America.

This panel discussion, which is open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Rinker Auditorium, inside the Lynn Business Center, located at 345 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand.

Panelists include Stetson seniorErythel Saint Marc, president of Stetson’s student organization STAND; Earnest DeLoach, a corporate, business and commercial attorney in Orlando; Dr. Becky Watts, assistant professor of communication studies and theatre arts; Dr. Patrick Coggins, professor of teacher education; Dr.Paul Croce, professor of history and American studies; and Dr. Bob Batey, professor of law at theStetson UniversityCollege of Law, who will join the panel via Skype. The panel will be moderated by the two co-chairs of the university’s Diversity Council, Dr.Kimberly Flint-Hamilton, associate professor of anthropology, and Dr. Jamil Khader, professor of English.

Fresh perspective, from Cuba

Students returning from international field studies invariably find they have acquired an invisible keepsake of great power – perspective.

Fresh perspective is something mentioned by nearly every student describing their Business School class trip to Communist Cuba in early March where they gained new and broader understanding of life on the island nation.

Those insights are denied most Americans because of many things, students say, including travel restrictions, propaganda, stereotypical thinking and indifference.

“It’s one thing to read about issues in the world, but to experience them first-hand allowed me to dissolve preconceptions of issues in Cuba,” said Jimmie Lopez, a junior Finance major from Boston. “Now that I’ve been there and have a real perspective, I question what I’ve been told and now shape my notions on facts and my experience.”

“The biggest insight I gained,” said junior Betty Gonzalez, “is the power of perspective and how easy it is for the same thing to be called different things by different people, and in this case, different countries.

“What we call a dictatorship, Cuba calls a democracy with a single socialist party,” said Gonzalez, an International Business major from Port Orange. “What we call nation-building, Cuba calls imperialism. What we call an economic embargo, Cuba calls an economic blockade.”

There is a real and obvious disconnect between the citizens and governments of the two countries because of Cold War bias, lack of open communications and flow of commerce and information, students said. The United States imposed an embargo on Cuba in 1960 and broke diplomatic relations in 1961.
Students described seeing cities of unpainted, crumbling buildings, unreliable and obsolete transportation, sparse merchandise and basic products, no potable water, spotty or absent electricity, and citizens who live in a subsistence economy. They encountered many aggressive “hunger-driven” panhandlers and street sellers hustling to make a deal during their week in Havana and the Cienfuegos/Trinidad area.

Some of the most personally emotional moments of the trip were experienced by Jose Velez, a junior majoring in Integrative Health Science, who is half-Cuban/half-Puerto Rican. The trip provided an opportunity for Velez to meet relatives and see where his grandparents once lived and worked – it was the first time anyone in his family had returned to Cuba in 50 years.

“The opportunity to converse, as well as record, a great deal of the conversations regarding my family history, as well as the opportunity to bring back messages to our family outside of the country was beyond anything I could have imagined,” said Velez, whose full story of the experience will be chronicled in an upcoming edition of SU Magazine.

The trip was preceded by several months of comprehensive study of Cuba in a class taught by Professor William Andrews, who accompanied students on the trip, his third to the island nation. In Cuba, the group met with pro- and anti-regime representatives. One purpose of the trip was to get students past the passionate political arguments and propaganda to allow development of their independent opinions.

“I’ve never seen a more polemicized society as Cuba,” said Andrews, who chairs the Management and International Business Department. “There is so much vitriol.” The highlight of the trip, and the entire course, was “the growth in the students’ capacity to think independently and factually about an important issue that has passionate advocates on both sides.”

The field study group pauses near the Plaza Vieja in Havana. From left are Betty Gonzalez, William Andrews, Kursten Lizarraga, Jimmie Lopez, Jose Velez, Jarian Martinez, Chris Tobler, Michaela Kearney, Michael Lyons, Marjorie Fischer and Alisa Ring.

The disconnect of attitudes and understanding is changing, said Gonzalez, partly because new generations with less bias and because, despite difficult government relations, exchange of travel and information is increasing. Current government policies, said Lopez, are not only outdated, but harm innocent people.

“Cuba will become a very important trading partner for Florida in the not-too-distant future,” said Andrews, who hopes to continue field studies and expand established relationships “in an effort to support their movement toward a more market-oriented economy.”

StetsonU wins big in both stocks and bonds

Finance majors Stephen Swofford and Marla Yuan 
represented StetsonU at R.I.S.E. 
Stetson University’s Roland George Investments Program achieved the near-impossible in the financial world this week – winning major national competitions in both the stock and bond categories.

The student-run George Program bond portfolio won first-place in the Fixed-Income Category in the world’s largest student investment competition, the R.I.S.E. Forum at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

In New York City, the program’s stock portfolio won first-place in the Core Equity Category at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum.

“This really is a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment to win big in both stocks and bonds,” said Finance Professor K.C. Ma, director of the program. “These are two separate classes, operating independently. No money managers, not even Warren Buffett, can rank top in both stock and bond asset classes simultaneously.”

“Added to that is the George Program’s consistency in winning national competitions, year after year,” Ma said. “To win for 12 straight years is beyond luck. The George Program follows a successful and proven business model. We are especially proud of the George students’ portfolio performance this year.”

Students in the Roland George Investments Program make all of their own investment decisions, investing $2.75 million in real money in bonds and stocks. About 20-25 students participate in the program, which is part of Stetson’s School of Business Administration, each academic year.

Stetson was a pioneer in student-managed investment programs which are now a growing trend in finance education with more than 300 programs nationwide and 400 in the world that allow students to make investment decisions with real capital. The George Program began in 1980; it is consistently mentioned as one of the reasons Stetson ranks among America’s best colleges by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review.

Stetson has had “amazing consistency” in the R.I.S.E. competition, Ma said, with nine first-place wins and three second-place wins since the annual competition began 12 years ago. The George Program has won in every category of the R.I.S.E. competition.

This year, as the economy continues a slow recovery, the George Program’s 2011 bond portfolio produced an annual return of 7.4 percent. The students chose to invest only in investment-grade corporate bonds. The bond portfolio’s year-end value was $1.13 million.

Seniors, from left, Marla Yuan, Shaun Tracey, Stephen Swofford and Michael Taylor celebrate the remarkable wins in the trading room at Stetson's Lynn Business Center.

Stetson competed against colleges and universities nationwide at R.I.S.E. Seniors Stephen Swofford, finance major from Winnetka, Ill., and Marla Yuan, finance major from Chongquing, China, represented Stetson at the conference, which featured about 25 investment professional speakers.

“It was an honor to represent RGIP at the 2012 R.I.S.E. portfolio performance competition,” said Swofford, fall-semester student portfolio manager. “Bringing home the program’s ninth first-place award really shows the strength in our program here at Stetson. Thanks to Dr. Ma for sharing his wisdom with all of us.”

It was the second win in a row for Stetson at the comparatively young G.A.M.E. competition, now in its second year. Competing against other schools’ portfolios, the George Program placed first in the Core Equity Category.

The George Team invested in a variety of stocks, with Apple being its top performer. The stock portfolio’s year-end value was $1.37 million. So far in 2012, the equity portfolio has had outstanding performance, with a 16.4 percent gain from Jan. 1 to April 2.

“This year, we felt the economy was improving, so we wanted to get into large-cap growth stock,” said Taylor, one of two students who represented Stetson at the G.A.M.E. conference.

“To beat the market and outperform these schools is a huge feat. It was very enjoyable to be in New York and be a part of it,” said Taylor, a senior from Daytona Beach who’s majoring in both finance and management. “It was an honor to be invited.”

After the win was announced, the George Team got loads of attention from other students and younger students looking at colleges, said spring-semester student portfolio manager Shaun Tracey, a Deltona senior majoring in finance, management and management information systems.

“We were very excited,” said Tracey, who also attended G.A.M.E. “It was a chance to show what Stetson University’s investment program does, and it gave us a chance to see how our competition is doing, as well.”

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Impromptu drum show on Stetson campus!

Stetson Fans check out the 2012 Stetson Crew Video!

Stetson Softball vs. Savannah State Highlights

Hatter softball highlights vs. Savannah State plus team public service announcement for strikeout cancer day

Bringing the Law to Life

Luz Nagle - an inspirational Professor of the Stetson University Law School

Stetson University Events Watch

Students Model the U.S. Senate

StetsonU students, from left, Chloe Hill, Jeremy Rill and Spence Purnell portray U.S. senators as they participate in the 41st annual Floyd M. Riddick United States Model Senate. (Photos by Sam Pineas '13, Stetson University Marketing social media intern)

Business suits, briefcases, bills and legislative rules were the order of the day as 100 students from Stetson University and eight other colleges and universities from across the country convened at Stetson as the Floyd M. Riddick United States Model Senate from March 15-17.

The 41st annual Model Senate sessions were filled with students voting and responding in accordance with the thoughts and views of their respected senators they portrayed during Model Senate. Model Senate is a completely student-led event on Stetson campus. In addition to Stetson, participating students were from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., Bridgewater (Mass.) State University, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Goucher College in Baltimore, Md., and Valdosta (Ga.) State University.

Founded in 1971 by Stetson Political Science Professor T. Wayne Bailey and then-political science student John Fraser, Stetson’s Model U.S. Senate is the nation’s oldest collegiate level Model Senate.

The experience allowed the students “to take an active role in the American legislative process, rather than learn through the traditional classroom model,” said Stetson Associate Professor of Political Science David Hill.

The annual exercise in politics and governance opened with a reception featuring Hill, Stetson alumna Betsey Palmer and Stetson Provost Beth Paul. An analyst with the Congressional Research Service, Palmer has served for seven years as Model Senate’s official parliamentarian. She shared Riddick’s Rules of Procedure, the parliamentary procedure including rules, ethics and customs followed by the U.S. Senate. Stetson student John Kahle, who portrayed Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, said Palmer’s overview was helpful because the rules are different than the Robert’s Rules of Order style normally used by Stetson’s Student Government Association.

Kahle noted that senators should say “I yield my time” after addressing Madame President on the floor. Madame President was portrayed by Stetson student Jill Brownfield, who portrayed U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, D-Del. Stetson student Dudley Joseph, who portrayed Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, said the presentation “provided a different perspective and snapshot of an actual senate session” and showed the “real-world procedures and history of Senate.”

Congressional commentator and alumnus Craig Crawford addresses the Model Senate.
Stetson alumnus and current president of the Florida Senate Mike Haridopolos was one of two guest speakers for Model Senate. Haridopolos entered politics in 2000 and was elected to Florida Senate in 2003.

“He was very personable and humble toward us,” said Stetson student Ady Goss, who portrayed Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota. “One thing he said that I really liked was to not run for office for the title, but to run for government because you care.”

Alumnus Craig Crawford was the other guest speaker, on March 15. Crawford is a congressional expert and analyst who has written several books on political issues. His most recent, The Politics of Life, is about Machiavellian outlooks on current political issues. “His talk addressed some of the media’s responsibilities and actions in the political sphere,” said Brownfield.

On March 16, the student-senators gathered in the Stetson Room for a day-long journey in transforming into their chosen senators and political parties. The morning news and briefing began what became a day of intense debate over bill mock-ups the senators voted up or down. Bills included the highly controversial topics in the Senate of oil and immigration.

After morning Party Caucus and party decisions on the various bills, the senators reconvened in the Stetson Room to begin the debate. Information was provided in colored binders distributed by each party’s executive assistant on the floor. Minority Leader Beth Lukas, who portrayed Mitch Connell, R-Kent., and the Assistant Minority Leader, Robbie Jones, who portrayed Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., would address Madame President and vice versa when talking about the bills. Both parties have a leader and an assistant leader. The language used carefully followed Riddick’s Rules of Procedure and was very professional and traditional.

“I would like to thank Dr. Bailey, Dr. Hill, and Dr. (Anne) Hallum for providing a rare experience to take what we learn in a classroom and apply it in an education simulation such as Model Senate,” said Lukas, who said she enjoyed having two roles as director of Model Senate and also participating as a senator. She hopes next year that Jones, her successor, will be able to get a sitting or recent senator to speak and will carry on this student-led tradition at Stetson.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Past meets future at Athletics ceremony

Guests sign a football helmet, soccer ball and lacrosse stick to signify the joint use of the new athletics complex. From left are President Wendy Libby, Women’s Soccer Coach Julie Orlowski, student-athlete Carolyn Boyd, mascot John B. (in back), Board Chair Butch Paul and Football Coach Roger Hughes (front right).

A dozen Stetson University football players from the 1940s and ’50s and a young recruit for next year’s return of Hatter Football were special guests at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Athletics Complex being built on the northeast side of campus.

Under beautiful blue skies with the backdrop of a partly-constructed Athletics Field House and four fields, the future of sports at Stetson – and even the university itself – were celebrated Friday afternoon, March 23, before a crowd of student-athletes, coaches, Athletics and other university staff, faculty, trustees, advisory board members, Hatter alumni and company representatives involved with the project.

“Our Strategic Map says that our central focus is to focus innovation to drive Stetson from success to significance. This is one in a series of choices that enables us to grow and prosper and that makes us a successful and significant university,” President Wendy Libby said in her remarks. “This is a real treat to see our dream come true!”

Other speakers included Director of Athletics Jeff Altier, softball player and Student Athlete Advisory Committee President Carolyn Boyd, Head Women’s Soccer Coach Julie Orlowski, Head Football Coach Roger Hughes, DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Harlan “Butch” Paul.

Since construction is already well under way, and to signify the joint use of the new complex by Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Football and Women’s Lacrosse, attendees were invited to sign a lacrosse stick, a football helmet and a soccer ball that will be displayed in the new Field House.
The most touching moments of the occasion involved recognizing the former football players in attendance and taking a photo of the group with new coaches Hughes and Brian Young and a recruit. Hughes shared stories from the old-timers and said recruiting for the first group of football players has far exceeded initial expectations – with 82 players committed so far, with an average GPA of 3.5.

The $6.7 million athletics complex, to include two practice fields for football, a game-day field and separate practice field for soccer and lacrosse, and a Field House with a strength-and-conditioning center to be used by all Stetson athletes, is being built as Stetson brings back football and adds Women’s Lacrosse and Sand Volleyball as intercollegiate sports. The new facilities, along with the relocation of the Intramural Sports playing fields to the Rinker Field in the center of campus, will benefit all student-athletes, Altier said. The complex will open in August.

“This expansion initiative from the start was planned to be and continues to be a ‘win-win’ for the current and future campus community,” Altier said.

Alumni football players from the 1940s and ‘50s pose with football coaches Brian Young and Roger Hughes, kneeling, from left, and mascot John B. The former players standing from left to right are Ed Mason, Tom Allerton, Jim Dreggors, Keith Shamrock, Vic Muzii, Coach Bill Peck, Pete Brainard, Bill Orr, Bob Peck, Bobby Marks and Nick Triantafellu Jr.

The addition of the three sports is key to increasing vibrancy and boosting school spirit as Stetson increases undergraduate enrollment over the next few years. Orlowski thanked Libby and the Board of Trustees for making the vision a reality and said “Women’s sports at this institution are going to get a lot better.”

Representing the students, Boyd said, “We’re excited for the entire Athletic Department to grow. We hope this will bring more school spirit.”

Mayor Apgar commented on the additional staff Stetson will hire to support the programs and the partnership between the city of DeLand and the university to play football games at Spec Martin Stadium. Home games will attract alumni and other people to DeLand. “It’s a huge economic addition to our community,” he said.

“The excitement here on campus is nice to see. But it’s not just on campus – it’s in the community and with our alumni,” added Board Chairman Paul.

The ceremonial groundbreaking brought some light moments, too. President Libby noted that it will be nice to have real bathrooms – rather than portable ones – for soccer games now. And Paul reminded the audience of last fall’s various “Tailgating 101” classes at alumni events across the country. He attended one in Miami.

“We are prepared to tailgate,” Paul said. “We’ve learned how to do it, and we’re looking forward to doing it here in DeLand!”

The Climb: Copeland sets incredible goal

Stetson Business Professor Rick Copeland and
his daughter, Dr. Beth Ann Sastre '96,
on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Enduring subzero temperatures, rain and heavy winds, relentless fatigue and decreasing oxygen levels, Business Professor Rick Copeland and his daughter reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro as dawn broke on New Year’s morning.

“The sunrise was gorgeous. You could see the roof of Africa and the curvature of the Earth,” recalled Copeland. “I was so tired, but relieved and euphoric.”

“To watch that sun come up on a new year and realize what I had done, I realized I could do anything,” said Copeland’s daughter, Dr. Beth Ann Sastre, a 1996 Stetson alumna who is now a general internist and professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

A year before their amazing journey, Copeland, 64, thought it was too late to fulfill his lifelong dream of climbing Kilimanjaro. He’d had three knee operations and a heart stent procedure. For Christmas 2010, his daughter gave him a book about a man who climbed the famed mountain at age 70. He read it cover to cover that day. Shortly after, he said to his daughter, “We’re going.”

Copeland started training Feb. 1, 2010, after getting the all-clear from his doctors. He jogged the stairs of the six-story Lynn Business Center 28 times, up and down, several times a week – the equivalent of 140 flights of stairs or nearly double the Empire State Building. And he climbed a mountain near his second home in southwest Virginia. Sastre also got into great physical shape – stair-climbing, strength-training and biking.

Copeland training inside
 Lynn Business Center stairwell
The pair had hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail together every summer, and both had climbed smaller mountains. They called on every bit of that training and experience for their ascent and descent of the 19,000-plus-foot Kilimanjaro.

“You can do more than you think you can,” Copeland said, “but in anything you do in life you’ve got to decide if you’re committed.”

Traveling with a group of nine other climbers and six guides, they embarked Dec. 27.

“For the first three days, it rained on us steadily,” said Copeland, the oldest in the group by 24 years. “The higher we climbed, it got colder and harder as you experienced the lack of oxygen. Then, there was the relentless wind and fatigue — it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

“And I hope it will always be the hardest thing I ever have to do,” added Sastre, 37, who majored in Biology and Spanish as a Stetson undergraduate. Most in the group were dizzy and nauseated, and some were vomiting from altitude sickness as they climbed the final six-hour leg. “Every step was a mental decision,” Sastre said. She and her dad stuck together for the last 20 feet. When they reached the top, “it was spectacular,” she said. “To be able to watch him accomplish this lifelong dream – it was just really inspiring.”

At Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro’s highest point, Copeland stands wearing a T-shirt for Stetson student Jared Penney, who has been paralyzed since 2010 from a spinal cord injury.
There were many other payoffs for the hard climb, as well. Copeland continued beyond the first summit to the highest summit, named Uhuru Peak. He was inspired to press on for Stetson student Jared Penney, who has been paralyzed since 2010 due to transverse myelitis (a spinal cord injury) and is still recovering, but is back in school this semester. A photo was snapped of Copeland wearing a T-shirt with Penney’s name at Uhuru.

Also on the climb up, the group walked past lava fields and massive boulders where Kili had once blown its top – which Copeland likened to walking on the face of the moon. And on New Year’s Eve in the dark, he was awestruck by the view. “All the stars in the sky were knockout explosive bright. And then from one end of the horizon to the other, you saw the Milky Way. There were thousands of stars,” he said. “It was just unbelievable.”

God was with him every step of the journey, Copeland said. “I spent a lot of that last day in prayer. I believe I got part way up the mountain, but God got me all the way up the mountain.” Now back to campus following sabbatical in the fall and then the trip, Copeland said he has many lessons to pass along to his students and colleagues. An attorney and professor, he’s in his 36th year teaching business law and tax at Stetson University.

“You can do more than you think you can,” Copeland said. “But in anything you do in life you’ve got to decide if you’re committed. If I had not done every bit of preparation I did – every bit – I would not have made it to the top… When you set a goal, and you believe in it, and you put your heart and soul into it and you accomplish it – or do as much as you could – nobody can take that away from you.”

Sunrise at Gilman's Point
Penney, the student who inspired Copeland’s push to make it to the highest summit of Kilimanjaro, was “caught completely off-guard” when he received a letter and matching T-shirt from his former professor at Christmas. Adjusting to paralysis has been a daily struggle, Penney said, but he’s happy to be back at school in pursuit of his own professional and personal goals and is looking forward to seeing his former professor in the Lynn Business Center. “It’s very cool,” he said of Copeland’s climb. “I guess I inspired him some, and he in turn reciprocated that with his success.”

Copeland in front of glaciers at Uhuru Peak
Another Copeland student, senior Matt Gold, was excited to hear his professor’s story in class at the start of the semester. “The training was mind-blowing,” said Gold, a Business Management major and Business Law minor from Boca Raton. “I’m young, and I can’t imagine it. He said he was 64 years old and that the next oldest climber was 40. I think that’s amazing. It also teaches us a lesson. When he commits to something, he goes at it 110 percent. My grandfather is 89 and still works. It’s great to know there are certain people who won’t allow anything to get in the way and slow them down.”

Civil Rights Travel Course-Summer 2012

Interested in a Civil Rights Travel Course over the summer? 

For students and staff: Interested in traveling to cities such as Nashville, Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Selma? Interested in visiting civil rights museums and speaking with Movement leaders?

Come to the information session on Thursday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in Allen Hall 103.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Greg Sapp

Mayan week, April 3rd to the 5th

With so much focus on the Mayan calendar and 2012 this year, Stetson University’s Latin American studies program and Artists and Lecturers Committee have planned a Mayan Week, April 3 through 5, featuring a lecture by a Maya cultural activist, a demonstration by a Maya weaver and showing of a film. All programs are free and open to the public.

Details of Mayan Week include:
Tuesday, April 3, 7 p.m. – “The Mayan World at the Close of the 13th B’ak’tun,” a presentation by “Kaxhin” Gaspar González, in the Rinker Auditorium of the Lynn Business Center, 345 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand. Guatemalan Maya (Q’anjob’al language) cultural activist Gaspar González is the most prolific of all contemporary Maya writers and is widely considered to be the first Maya novelist. “Kaxhin” is his Guatemalan name. In addition to his published scholarly works, poetry and painting, González has written the only book about the year 2012 by a Maya author: 13 Bak’tun: Mayan Visions of 2012 and Beyond. The book was published in 2011 and was translated into English by Stetson Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures Dr. Robert Sitler.
Wednesday, April 4, 7 p.m. – A showing of the film “What do the Maya say about 2012?” in the duPont-Ball Library, lower level, Room 25, accessed from the Nemec Courtyard on the north side of the library, 134 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand.
Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m. – “A Mayan Life: An Evening with Nicolasa Jerónimo” (Maya weaver) in the duPont-Ball Library, lower level, Room 25, accessed from the Nemec Courtyard on the north side of the library, 134 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand.

Jerónimo is a master weaver from the Mam-speaking Mayan community of Todos Santos Cucumatan. This will be an intimate evening to listen to her life story while she demonstrates the fine art of textile creation.

Maya weaver Nicolasa Jeronimo will share her life story while she demonstrates the fine art of textile creation at StetsonU Thursday, April 5.
Sitler, director of Stetson’s Latin American studies program and author of The Living Maya: Ancient Wisdom in the Era of 2012, is an expert on the Maya and 2012. After earning his Ph.D. at The University of Texas atAustin, where he studied under the famous Mayanist Linda Schele, Sitler has spent the past 35 years experiencing life with the people of Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. He has spent time in 13 language groups of the 30 Maya languages.
Sitler is perhaps the only scholar who’s interviewed the Maya people about 2012 and the cultural misperceptions over the Maya and the 2012 calendar. He is part of a global movement to educate people about the truth related to the Maya and 2012: that the calendar will not end (a large cycle will come to an end, but a new cycle starts the next day); that the Maya have never said the world is going to end; and that the Maya people are still alive and well. His website, Maya Perspectives on 2012, can be found at:

For more information about Mayan Week at Stetson, contact Robert Sitler at (386) 822-7281 or

IMPACT Conference starts tomorrow

Stetson University will host the 28th annual IMPACT Conference, a national conference focusing on service, civic engagement and advocacy, Thursday, March 29, through Sunday, April 1. About 600 college students, faculty and staff members from all over theUnited States are planning to attend, including 150 Stetson students.

Registration is still open; information: The cost is $190 for students; $200 non-students.

Participants attend workshops on a wide variety of subjects, seeking common ground across issues, ideology, geography and philosophy of social change for the annual conference. Conservative, moderate and liberal students attend, addressing issues such as hunger and homelessness, climate change, community economic development, health and global topics.

“Stetson has had representatives at the Impact Conference for at least six years, and our participation has strengthened our commitment to the community, the natural environment, diversity and efforts toward social justice,” said Savannah-Jane Griffin, associate director of Community Engagement at Stetson. “We’re looking forward to welcoming others who share our values and want to learn how to make an impact on the world.”

The conference will feature internationally known speakers and 80 workshops. Speakers include master teacher and enthusiastic communicator Dr. Adolph Brown, aka “The World’s Greatest Edu-tainer,” recognized as one ofAmerica’s leading authorities on Educational Excellence and Leadership Development and a panel of speakers focusing on immigration and farm workers’ rights.

Stetson will present seven of the workshops, including a modern-day slavery panel discussion featuring students, faculty, and human services organizations; Politics 101: How to elect the change you want; “Education Under Fire” addressing the right to education in Iran; and “Heroes are Made: The Motivation Within” focusing on building leadership skills and motivation in difficult situations.

An Opportunities Fair will give national nonprofit organizations a chance to promote internships, job and volunteer opportunities.

As a kick-off to the conference, a group of conference attendees will take a trip to Lake Woodruff and Deleon Springs to participate in a service project where they will learn about the invasive species that are affecting our local ecosystem.

“The different programs offer ways to get more involved in specific issues and to make an impact on your community and explain how to get other students involved and how to mobilize,”Griffin said. “It’s also a great networking opportunity for students because they’re around people who are passionate about the same things they are.”

Stetson has a strong commitment to service-learning and civic engagement through its academic courses, and many student organizations provide service to the community through extracurricular activities. The university has hosted a number of conferences, including the 2011 IMPACT Conference and the Bonner Summer Leadership Institute in 2009. Through a partnership with the philanthropic Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J., Stetson supports an active Bonner Scholars program that involves undergraduates in service learning, community engagement and leadership training. Stetson is the only Bonner school in Florida.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Accepted Student Day 2010: Stetson University

Zoologist Peter May shares passion

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) at coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) in May's backyard. “My motivations come from an inborn exuberance at encountering the novel and the neat in nature. A childlike wonder, if you will.” - Excerpt from Emeralda Mornings – A Year in the Wetlands, 2000, by Dr. Peter May

It was a cool spring morning in northern Virginia and 9-year-old Peter was absorbing the early sun as he meandered down the country road near his home in historic Manassas. He peeled and poked his stick into the new spring ground, curious to what the cold winter had left behind. Raised in a military family, Peter Gregory May was taught to appreciate the smallest of things that living free offered him. Continuing his stroll, he looked up at the tiny buds on the apple trees that lined the road. The attractive pink blossoms weren’t the only things that pleased his young wide-eyed glance; there was a delightful yellow he hadn’t before seen.

Hundreds of warblers had blanketed the trees. Young Peter had encountered a large bright gold migration wave feeding on the blossoms after their long northern flight home. It would be a cherished memory that would influence him on a lifelong journey to discover more of nature’s charming creatures. That memory from Prince William County, Va., along with others collected in North Carolina and Hawaii – places where Peter’s Marine father would move his family while answering to the call of duty – would be as strong today as the impression it made almost 45 years ago.

“I really never considered myself a ‘science nerd’ growing up,” said May, “but I did like school, and like most kids, loved the outdoors and fishing with my dad. I was also fascinated with butterflies and flowers. I think I was about 14 when I first held a set of binoculars. They were a neighbor’s. Seeing the detail of birds and other animals changed things for me.” Not realizing it at the time, May always tried to find an excuse to be outside. Studying ecology was just a means to the end. “It wasn’t like I intentionally set out to go into this field. It just happened. It wasn’t until grad school, and having opportunities like taking a class with Archie Carr (the extraordinary father of sea turtle conservation), when I actually knew this was what I wanted to do for a living. I was fortunate to go on several field trips with Dr. Carr in his later years and witnessed him jumping onto a rather long, Coachwhip snake while much younger students and assistants looked on.” May described Carr as humble, down-to-earth and very sharp, similar qualities May himself shares.

A Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) taken at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge.
After completing his freshman and sophomore years at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C., May graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., with a Bachelor’s in Biology (1977) and a Master’s in Biology (1979). His thesis was on the “Secondary succession and breeding bird community structure in the eastern deciduous forest formation.” He then earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in ’85 in Zoology. His dissertation was “Foraging selectivity in adult butterflies: Morphological, physiological, and ecological factors affecting flower choice.”

Professor May has conducted field research and published, or co-authored, numerous papers on herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles), ornithology (the study of birds) and entomology (the study of insects). Over the years, he has also appeared in popular publications such as Reptile and Amphibian Magazine with Dr. Terry Farrell and on the National Geographic Channel. This is because May spends many days in the field with his students, or his camera, indulging in the wildlife at any one of a dozen favorite spots he frequents. (In addition to locations stated in the photo captions, May and his students frequent Lake Woodruff, Lake Monroe Park, Beresford County Park, Paisley Road, Lake Dias and any of the springs and wetland areas of the St. Johns River Water Management District.) And when he’s not busy with classes or research, he may just be holding, in place of his D7000 Nikon, a copy of anything written by one of his preferred writers: Jim Harrison, Cormac McCarthy, Joyce Carol Oates or William Styron.

May’s love for photography runs deep and is a natural counterpart to Biology research and teaching, which started for May at UF in 1979 where he taught evolution, vertebrate anatomy, general biology, pollination ecology, cells and organisms, and genetics. “It’s difficult to pinpoint what my favorite subject is to photograph,” said May, “but birds are pretty much near the top because, aesthetically, they are unsurpassed by any other life form.” May reported that even with a 500 mm lens at a shutter speed set at 1/500 – 1/1000 and an ISO set at 1600, one can rarely capture a perfect shot in natural light of the impressive fast-twitch movers. And his favorite bird species? Corvus brachyrhynchos, the American Crow. “Despite being viewed by most people as a pest species,” said May, “their behaviors are so complex. Crows are extremely aware, highly social, and their vocalization is quite varied with caws and rattles. I’ve heard sounds I didn’t know crows were capable of making. They never cease to amaze me.”


Naturalist Peter May views slides of his favorite subject.
Stetson University was supposed to be a one-year appointment for May. He was hired in ’88 to temporarily fill the position of Dr. Keith Hansen ’49 following his retirement. Twenty-four years later, May leads lectures and laboratory instruction that have impacted Stetson’s Biology program and the many students who have been fortunate to take one of his classes or have him as an advisor.

“Dr. May taught me how to think critically, write scientifically, research independently and reject mediocrity,” said Biology graduate John Rand ’07. “He was my faculty advisor, and has continued to be an invaluable source of information, and friend, as I complete my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from UF this May. I appreciate good professors very much and can’t adequately articulate how thankful I am for Dr. May’s guidance, not only in Biology, but in all things.” Rand, who admits using May’s photography to assist in identifying species of orphaned and injured local wildlife in a clinical setting, and for his desktop wallpaper, plans to return to DeLand following graduation to work at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital.

“Professor May instills an appreciation for experiencing the great outdoors,” said Biology and Religious Studies double major Rachel Burnett ’12, for whom Dr. May served as academic advisor and senior research advisor to her wading-bird and hydrology study. “Both in the classroom and in the field, Dr. May has an unparalleled enthusiasm for his work and the natural world. As I continue my studies in plant and forest biology at graduate school, I take with me a better understanding of the various interactions between plants, birds and natural resources.”

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) captured at George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Virginia. “I waited for over 30 years to get decent photo ops with this beautiful canopy species.The best part of the experience was that my father was with me when I finally got my shots.”
“Dr. May helped me out when I ran into problems,” said Biology and Environmental Science graduate Sam Rabin ’09, “but he knew and trusted me enough as my primary mentor for my senior thesis project to let me handle most everything on my own. This independence really boosted my confidence as a researcher, and prepared me for my current position.” Rabin is in his second year of his Ph.D. in Princeton’s department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (studying global fire modeling). Rabin added, “Dr. May’s expertise and enthusiasm in Ornithology pushed me to consider myself a ‘birder.’ I continue the hobby today in a great birding location, and interact with professional avian ecologists.”

Nature is May’s church. “I have magnificent feelings of awe when I’m outdoors,” said May, “and I just love introducing students and others to the environment and its abundant species.” May explains his love for soaking up nature’s beauty as one of life’s inexhaustible pleasures in his 300-page manuscript titled Emeralda Mornings that was completed on a nature sabbatical in 2002.

Not many things in life are certain; however, for this Stetson professor, whether he is enjoying the elegance of the Ruby- crowned Kinglet or Golden Phoebis butterflies from his own backyard in DeLand or hearing the singing of a Bobolink flock at a distance buried in thick vegetation completely obscured from sight at Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area in Eustis, Fla., what is certain for Peter May, he is never bored with nature and forever impressed.