Thursday, January 12, 2012

Center for Interdisciplinary Writing and Research launches online publication

Some of Florida’s top academics, writers and artists are featured in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Florida Studies, a peer-reviewed publication launched by Daytona State College’s Center for Interdisciplinary Writing and Research.
Dr. Casey Blanton
The online journal is dedicated to the study and appreciation of Florida, and features an eclectic mix of research articles, poetry, fiction, photography and other digital arts – all reflecting on some facet of the Sunshine State’s past, present and future.
The journal’s editor-in-chief, Dr. Casey Blanton, said the publication also is intended to raise awareness of Daytona State as a site of academic research and writing. “We hope both scholars and students will take notice of our school and consider it in their applications for work and study,” she said.
The journal is an outgrowth of a symposium called Uniquely Florida: Conversations about the Sunshine State, which was offered last year by the college’s library in collaboration with CIWR. That symposium focused on generating dialogue about Florida’s rich history and diverse culture. “From that symposium, (Daytona State photography professor) Gary Monroe came up with the idea of creating a publication that ultimately resulted in our journal,” said Dr. Michael Flota, the periodical’s managing editor.
Dr. Michael Flota
Blanton and Flota said they were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding response they received when they invited some of the state’s leading scholars to contribute to the journal. Contributing writers for the first issue include Harold Kroto, a chemistry professor at Florida State University and winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; University of Florida and Santa Fe College historians Steven Noll, Robert H. Zieger and David Tegeder; UF economists Stanley K. Smith and Chris McCarty; environmental writer Bill Belleville; poets David Kirby and William Logan; and more.
While it is a peer-reviewed journal, Flota emphasized that the goal is for the publication to appeal to more than just an academic audience. “Everyone, from the average educated lay reader to the specialist, can get something out of this publication,” he said.
The editors anticipate publishing two or more issues next year as the journal becomes more widely known in the academic community.
Blanton also noted that the journal soon will offer student internships that will provide them exposure to the process of research and online publishing. “In the next two years, we also plan to host conferences on Florida themes here at Daytona State,” she said. “Our hope is that the Journal of Florida Studies becomes a kind of synergistic organization that brings all parts of the college together for a discussion about the idea and place that is Florida.”
The editors will host an open house in the new journal office located in the Bergengren Bldg. (#110), rm. 208, on the Daytona Beach Campus this Friday, Jan. 13, from 3 – 5 p.m.
For more information, please contact Blanton at, or Flota at

Daytona State Fulbright Scholar in Residence arranges Sister Cities match

Carlos Robles
Volusia County and the city of Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil, have officially become sister cities thanks to the efforts of a Brazilian Fulbright Scholar in Residence at Daytona State College who spearheaded the initiative.
The Sister Cities Association of Volusia County voted unanimously Wednesday evening to approve the agreement. The designation opens the door for the county and its municipalities to establish new mutually beneficial business, professional and educational partnerships with Diamantina, particularly in the areas of tourism, conventions and academic exchange programs, according to Carlos Robles, the Fulbright Scholar in Residence who arrived at Daytona State last fall for a year of teaching in the college’s School of Modern Languages.
“This is an important step in starting cultural, academic and business activities between Volusia County and Diamantina,” he said. “Brazil has become a major business partner with Florida, and the hope is that this sister cities relationship will help bring some of those opportunities and jobs to the county.”
Robles also pointed to the cultural benefits of the sister cities partnership and how it has the potential to bolster each locale as a tourism destination.
“We are very pleased to add Diamantina, Brazil, as a sister city,” said Dixie Blake, president of the association. “Currently, Campeche, Mexico, and Bayonne, France, are sister cities and provide many opportunities for exchange, be it cultural, business or academic. We look forward to the same opportunities with Diamantina and the development of new global friendships as our mission states.”

Diamantina has a population of about 50,000 and is located approximately 180 miles north of the state capital, Belo Horizonte, in a mountainous area that is bordered by the Jequitinhonha River. The city was built during the colonial era in the early 18th century and was a center for diamond mining for nearly 200 years. With its well-preserved Baroque buildings and architectural landmarks, the city is designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It has a rich musical heritage and also is an important academic research center led by the Federal University of the Valleys of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri. Diamantina is situated along Brazil’s Estrada Real, a centuries-old route built by Brazil’s Portuguese colonists to transport gold and minerals from the country’s interior to the coast for transport to Lisbon. The mostly unpaved road today leads tourists through the cradle of Brazilian culture.
Robles is organizing a weeklong symposium on Brazil scheduled in March to be hosted by Daytona State. County Council Chairman Frank Bruno and the mayors of Diamantina and Volusia’s municipalities, as well as the governor of Minas Gerais, are being invited to attend the symposium to formally sign the sister cities agreement. Representatives from 10 Florida colleges and universities, as well as Brazilian cultural and business leaders, also will participate in the activities, which will feature sessions on educational exchanges, Brazilian dance and culture, modern landscaping, Portuguese language, and various business opportunities.
For more information contact Robles at

WISE kicks off spring season

From politics and allergy remedies to crime stopping tips and an analysis of American public education, the Daytona State College Foundation’s Wisdom in Senior Education program will feature something to suit everyone’s interests when it kicks off its spring season beginning Jan. 24 at the News-Journal Center, 221 N. Beach St. in Daytona Beach, from 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Dr. Perry Ballard, a political science professor at Daytona State, will headline WISE’s first program of the semester with an examination of this year’s presidential election.  Ballard will place Republicans, Democrats, Independents and the entire political process under the microscope during a presentation that promises to be witty, entertaining and enlightening.
Other presenters scheduled this semester include Dr. Michael Kohen, an expert in the treatment of allergies, asthma, arthritis and lung conditions, who will speak on Feb. 14; Dr. Margaret Smith, Volusia County Schools superintendent, scheduled April 3; and Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson, scheduled to speak on April 24. A complete spring semester schedule, along with a WISE membership form, is available for download at
The Foundation created the WISE program to provide continuing education and cultural enrichment activities to senior members of the community. Since 2009, WISE’s membership has grown from its original three founding couples to an association of more than 250 patrons. WISE is open to anyone age 50 or older.
For more information, visit WISE on the Web at or contact Kent Ryan (386) 506-4425, email:

College partners with Microsoft to enhance student email

Daytona State College has partnered with Microsoft to bring students a new, more robust email interface, along with a suite of online services that can help them better organize their academic lives.
This month, the college switched its FalconMail system to a Microsoft-hosted system called Live@edu. It will be the primary means of electronic communication to students from non-academic college departments such as admissions, registration and financial aid.
“We expect that this transition to the new Live@edu system will provide a better college experience for our students,” said Roberto Lombardo, vice president of information technology.
In addition to sending and receiving FalconMail, with the new system, students can:
·         Create documents using free online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
·         Get 25 GB of password-protected online document storage free through Microsoft SkyDrive
·         Share documents for group assignments
·         Create and participate in online groups
·         Instant Message through Windows Messenger
·         Get customized news through the Microsoft Network.

Student email addresses will remain the same as those under the old FalconMail system; however, students will be required to login to the college’s student portal and retrieve a temporary password in order to activate the new accounts.
Detailed instructions on how to use the new email system’s many features also are being provided on a  FalconMail FAQ page, including instructions regarding how students can transfer/upload email and documents from their old FalconMail account to the new one.

Notables. . .

Dr. Benjamin Graydon, an assistant professor of English at Daytona State, and Cheryl Kohen, emerging technologies librarian, have co-authored an article related to the college’s e-text initiative which was recently published in Educause Quarterly. The article documented the findings of a grant awarded to the college in July 2009 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to study student preferences regarding textbooks and how to mitigate rising costs. The grant supported a comparative study of four textbook distribution models, including  print purchase, print rental, e-text rental and e-text rental with an e-reader device. Also co-authoring the article was Blake Urbach-Buholz, of Preferred Program Evaluations, Orlando, a consulting firm specializing in the evaluation of state and federally funded grants. Read about the study and its findings in the latest issue of Educause Quarterly.
Associate of Arts student Evan Sieg and Occupational Therapy Assistant student Fehmida Kermalli have been awarded Harris Wofford Global Service Fellowships to participate in short-term study abroad programs. Sieg will participate in a service learning project in Xi’in, China, while Kermalli is considering projects in either India or Thailand. The fellowships are awarded by Cross-Cultural Solutions through a partnership with Community Colleges for International Development. The organization partners with communities throughout the world to recruit college students for cultural exchanges, healthcare and basic childhood education volunteer services, and to promote international volunteer service and civic engagement. Fellowship recipients spend up to 12 weeks overseas with a volunteer organization. Fellowship recipients are awarded based on their commitment to service and a demonstrated passion and commitment to international issues.
Cristina Rose Sigal and Nikki Donovan were recent recipients of $500 scholarships awarded by the Daytona Beach Kiwanis Club through the Daytona State College Foundation. Sigal, a biology major, plans to continue her education at the university level upon earning her associate of arts degree from Daytona State. Donovan will earn her associate of arts degree this summer and plans to transfer to the University of Central Florida to pursue a degree in in journalism.
The Foundation also announced that Percy Ray Lassiter is the recipient of a $2,400 Hammock Dunes Club Scholarship. An employee of the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast who is enrolled in Daytona State’s Hospitality Management program, Lassiter is married and has five children. “This scholarship will allow me to provide for my family while focusing on my career goals without financial burden,” he said.
Brian Wemple, a 2009 Associate of Arts degree graduate of Daytona State who transferred to the University of Florida, was recently awarded the university’s Graduate School Scholarship for the 4/1 Program. He earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from UF this past fall and plans to pursue a master’s degree in civil engineering with a concentration in structure.
Wemple also received the UF Community College Transfer Scholarship. He maintained a 4.0 GPA as an undergraduate. In April last year, he passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, a national test administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
During his coursework, the Edgewater native has created and tested models for analyzing the capacities of roof sheathing in extreme weather. He also has interned with the Florida Department of Transportation State Materials Office since August 2010, where he has performed laboratory and field geotechnical tests.