CAL Currents: The Newsletter of the College of Arts and Letters
Vol 5 | Issue 3 | May 2022
A Message from the Dean

The end of the semester is always an especially exciting time. The final performances, recitals, screenings, lectures and ceremonies are just some of the markers that signal the end of another academic year.

And this was a great year! From the grand opening of the Ferman Center for the Arts to the dedication of a new virtual production studio, the arts and humanities at UT are on the rise. In this issue of CAL Currents, you'll read about just some of the accomplishments of our students and faculty.

The hundreds of students graduating from the College of Arts and Letters on May 7th have had a strange four years. They dealt with a global health pandemic, a campus that looks radically different from the one they stepped onto four years ago, and many more challenges that they faced with strength and style.

Congratulations to everyone who will receive their degree this weekend and to everyone else who made their journey possible.

Graduates - please stay in touch. The faculty and staff throughout the College have been partners in your education, and when you achieve excellence, we share in your accomplishment. 

David Gudelunas, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Letters
CAL Happenings
New Virtual Production Studio Comes with $750,000 Gift
The Cass Building Black Box got a major upgrade this semester thanks to a $750,000 donation in the form of a large LED volume from Vū Technologies. The cutting edge technology will allow hands on experience with the next generation of filmmaking for students in Film, Animation and New Media as well as the graduate program in Social and Emerging Media. Prof. Gregg Perkins, Associate Professor in FMX, has been working with the team from Vū for several years and spearheaded the launch of the new Virtual Production studio.

The launch event in April was widely covered by local media including Fox 13, The Tampa Bay Business Journal, Axios, TV Technology and others.
New YouTube Channel Showcases Ferman Center Talent
Missed a concert? Wish you could hear a lecture again? Couldn't make it to the recital because you're far from campus?

Thanks to fixed cameras and high quality audio capabilities, many events taking place inside the Charlene A. Gordon Theater in the Ferman Center for the Arts can be found on a new YouTube channel curated by Music Technology coordinator Troy Cusson. Visit the page here and see some wonderful events and performances from this past semester.
Outstanding Graduates Honored
After a year online and a year in socially distant mode, the annual College of Arts and Letters Student Awards finally returned to in-person and in a new home - the Charlene A. Gordon Theater in the Ferman Center for the Arts. The award presentation was also broadcast live for the first time for families unable to be in Tampa for the ceremony. You can watch the ceremony here.

Pictured above with Charlene Gordon, UT Trustee, are the seven students selected by faculty in their area for awards Gordon sponsors annually that all come with a $1500 prize. This years Gordon awardees (pictured above, left to right) were:

Christopher Young, Media
Anna Gottidiener, Art+Design
Steven Nye, Film
Mrs. Charlene Gordon
Corbett Ballard, Theater
Emily Curry, Dance
Tiffany Eady, Music
Amanda Cohen, Voice
Scene Around CAL
The launch party for the latest issue of Studies in the Fantastic, a peer-reviewed journal edited by Dr. Sarah Juliet Lauro and published by The University of Tampa Press.
The second annual Arts Continuum that merges dance, spoken word, theater, music, film and other modes of expression. Faculty from the dance program coordinate the popular new event.
CAL-A-PALOOZA - the annual student research showcase, returned this year in the Ferman Center. The Communication, Media and Culture program (table pictured above) was one of many different programs and initiatives around CAL that participated in a day long event that included screenings, virtual reality demonstrations, poster sessions and performances.
CAL Student Excellence
Students throughout the college find success in academic, artistic, and professional endeavors
Spartan Story Slam Takes Center Stage
The Communication and Speech Studies program hosted their second Annual Spartan Story Slam based on the theme "LOVE HURTS." There were three storyteller winners: Toni-Lee Brown, Cady Nessralla, and the first prize winner Kait Bishop. The event was organized by Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Stephen Kromka.
CAL faculty and students collaborate on research
Dr. Lina Gomez-Vasquez, Assistant Professor of Communication, and Isabella Catelan Miragaia Dias, UT alumna (Both pictured above), presented their research at the 25th International Public Relations Research Conference in Orlando, Florida, March 3-5, 2022. Their study examined how fitness/health TikTok creators combine authenticity and PR strategies to connect with publics.

Rachel Kozikowski, class of 2020, who received the SURF grant to present in the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, and Lingüística in Havana, Cuba was recently published in the Coastal Review with co-author Dr. Andrew DeMil, Associate Professor of Languages and Linguistics.
Public Relations Major named "Emerging Professional"
Kristina Woodward, senior ADPR major, was named an "Emerging Professional" by the Public Relations Society of America - Tampa Bay chapter.

Woodward (pictured above, left) was presented the award by chapter President Kaley Infield (above, right) who serves as the Marketing Manager for The Bank of Tampa.
CAL Faculty Achievements
The College of Arts and Letters is home to a dynamic community of scholars and creatives
Dr. Christopher Boulton, chair of the Department of Communication, was awarded the Best Short Documentary prize at the Sunscreen Film Festival for his film "Progress."
CAL Faculty are productive teacher scholars. Here is a small sample of the recent faculty scholarly activity:

  • Dr. Marcus Arvan, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair has several recent publications including with Corey Maley (University of Kansas) titled "Panpsychism and A.I. Consciousness" which is forthcoming in Synthese. He has another forthcoming publication with Liam Kofi Bright (London School of Economics), and Remco Heesen (University of Western Australia) titled "Jury Theorems for Peer-Review" in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and a solo-authored article "Trans Women, Cis Women, Alien Women, and Robot Women Are Women: They Are All (Simply) Adults Gendered Female" in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. You can also read a popular press piece from Arvan about common sense and Philosophy here.

  • Dr. Peter Westmoreland, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy published "Descartes, the Savage, and the Barbarian: On Race and Epistemic Inferiority in Philosophy Today.

  • Dr. Caroline Hovanec, Associate Teaching Professor of English and Writing published “‘Animal/Fool/Clown’: Stevie Smith’s Frivolity” in the Journal of Modern Literature. Along with Dr. Sarah Juliet Lauro, Associate Professor of English and Writing, she also published “Speaking Animals: Fables of Resistance in Get OutSorry to Bother You, and Atlanta” inBlack Camera.

  • Dr. Sucheta Kanjilal, Assistant Teaching Professor of English and Writing, published “From Excluded to Exceptional: Caste in Contemporary Mahābhāratas.” In Many Mahābhāratas, edited by Nell Shapiro Hawley and Sohini Sarah Pillai from SUNY Press.

  • Dr. Curtis LeVan, Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Writing, published “Ida Lupino and Acting: Situating Performance in Cinematic Context(s)” in Ida Lupnio, Filmmaker, edited by Phillip Sipiora from Bloomsbury Academic.
Dr. Devon Johnson, Assistant Teaching Professor of Philosophy, has been receiving a lot of attention for his recent book Black Nihilism & Antiblack Racism from Rowman and Littlefield . He delivered lectures on “How to Philosophize Black Nihilism” at the University of Connecticut, and “Black Nihilism: Beyond Pessimism and Nihilism” at the University of New York –New Paltz, for their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. 
Don Morrill Says Farewell
In his 35 year career at UT, Dr. Donald Morrill has worn many hats. He has also held many positions.

Morrill is a Dana Professor of English and Writing and Founding Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies. He previously served as Chair of the Department of English and Writing, founding Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Interim Director of the MFA in Creative Writing - a program he was instrumental in launching at UT.

Morrill has taught more than 20 different courses in his career at UT and is a well-known author with four non-fiction books, four poetry collections, a novel and more than 50 other publications in journals, anthologies and collections. He is the recipient of many awards, fellowships and the University's highest faculty honor: the 2005 Louise Loy Hunter Outstanding Faculty member award.

His wit and carefully chosen words will be missed on campus.

Morrill will assume the role of Dana Professor Emeritus after his retirement this month.
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