CAHSS Dance Major Stephanie Rivera’s Choreography Chosen for the Gala Concert at the American College Dance Association Southeastern Regional Conference

NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) is pleased to announce the successful participation of dance students at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) Southeastern Regional Conference, held at Kennesaw State University. During the four-day conference, the dance students presented three original pieces of choreography, performed, attended dance classes, and viewed numerous dance performances.  Senior Dance major Stephanie Rivera’s choreography, “Put Together”, was selected for the Gala Concert, for its “exemplary artist quality,” by a panel of nationally recognized adjudicators, including Ori Floman (International Choreographer, NYU Faculty), Debra Knapp, Ed.D. (Director of Dance, New Mexico State University), and Christina Johnson (Principal Dancer at Dance Theatre of Harlem).

Nine out of the approximately 50 faculty selected works performed at the conference were selected for the Gala. The panel of adjudicators described Rivera’s choreography as a “breath of fresh air” and “serious comedy,” and it was selected to close the show.  Please join CAHSS and the Department of Performing and Visual Arts in celebrating this success.

NSU Graduate Students and Faculty Present at the 2019 Pop Culture Association National Conference

Pictured left to right: Veronica Diaz, Melissa Bianchi, Ph.D., Darius Cureton, M.A., and Nichole Chavannes

Students and faculty from NSU’s Department of Writing and Communication (DWC) at the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) presented on four panels at the 2019 Pop Culture Association / American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) National Conference, hosted by the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., Apr. 17-20. This group included:

  • two assistant professors from the DWC
  • two students from the CAHSS DWC M.A. in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media (CRDM) program, who also serve as graduate assistant coordinators in the Write from the Start Writing and Communication Center (WCC)

About the Panels

Title: “Ocean Ecologies and Dinosaur Zoos: How Games Make Arguments about Nature”

Presenter: Melissa Bianchi, Ph.D., DWC Assistant Professor

Summary: In this presentation, “ecoplay” was proposed as a concept for understanding how video games simulate nature in ways that are distinctly rhetorical, using ABZÛ and Jurassic World Evolution as examples. Video games often attempt to capture the operation of real-world processes and systems, influencing how players engage with these processes, systems, and their governing ideologies through play. These games are well-suited for applying a theory of ecoplay because of their engagement with environmental topics and their apparent connections to other environmentally focused media and rhetorics.

Title: “The Korvac Saga: The Avengers Teach Writing, Defeat the Supervillains, and Save the Universe and the University (A Live Comic Book Performance)!”

Presenter: Darius Cureton, M.A., DWC Visiting Assistant Professor; with colleagues from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and East Stroudsburg University

Summary: In this session, the presenters brought to life a comic book story of superhero teachers struggling valiantly to help their students learn to write by employing the use of comic books and graphic novels in their composition classrooms. In the world of comic books, when a publisher wants to increase sales, they reboot the title by giving the superhero a new costume or changing the members of the super team. The presenters proposed the need to reboot composition, English studies, and the academy.

Title: “The Unforgivable Curse of Consumerism: How ‘Official’ Fan Spaces in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Exploit Fandom”

Presenter: Nicole Chavannes, CRDM student and WCC graduate assistant

Summary: Since The Sorcerer’s Stone was released in 1997, the Harry Potter series has spawned seven books, eight film adaptations, a play, and a second film franchise, along with a handful of secondary texts. However, the franchise has expanded beyond offering content for passive consumption; participatory fan spaces exist both online and in-person. This presentation explored how Rowling’s wizarding world exemplifies both transmedia storytelling and transmedia world-building through “official” fan spaces, and how those spaces are inextricably linked with consumerism.

Title: “The Beguiled: Blurring the Line Between ‘Gothic Misogyny’ and Contemporary Female Rage”

Presenter: Veronica Diaz, CRDM student and WCC graduate assistant

Summary: Adaptations offer authors and audiences the ability to reinterpret controversial themes in a different context, contributing to the additive comprehension surrounding a particular text or genre. This presentation explored the affective and effective elements at play in all three iterations of The Beguiled – the original 1966 novel by Thomas P. Cullinan, the 1971 film by Don Siegel, and the 2017 film by Sofia Coppola – that offer audiences transmedia via multiplicity, with drastically different retellings of the same story.


NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Alumnus is Investigative Analyst in Criminal Investigations Division at BSO

Ryan Johnston, M.S.

Ryan Johnston, M.S. 2018 graduate of NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS), is an investigative analyst for the Criminal Investigations Division at the Broward Sheriff’s Office. He started work a few months after completing the M.S. in National Security Affairs and International Relations. Johnston reports that he is excited to take on this new challenge. “I will be able to put skills that I acquired from my time as a graduate student to good use. The NSAIR program was instrumental in my getting this job because it gave me an opportunity to get professional work experience through networking and internship opportunities.”

As a graduate student, Johnston completed an internship for credit with the Broward Sheriff’s Office. He also was able to tap in to the program’s facilitation of networking with current and former students working in the field of national security. Johnston distinguished himself during his time at NSU by founding the graduate student led Department of History and Political Science Leadership Council. He also served as the DHPS representative on the CAHSS Graduate Student Government Association.

College of Education and School of Criminal Justice Graduate Authors Book on Christianity

David P. Diaz, Ed.D., graduate of NSU’s Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of

Criminal Justice (FCE&SCJ), recently authored the book, “The Genesis Labyrinth: Investigating Alternatives in the First Eleven Chapters of Genesis.” The book is a thought-provoking account that contains teachings taken from the book of Genesis that define its essence upon the Christian faith.

Diaz is an author and retired college professor. His writings have spanned the gamut between peer-reviewed technical articles to his memoir, “The White Tortilla”, which won the 2006 American Book Award. He holds B.S. and M.S. from California Polytechnic State University and earned his doctoral degree from FCE&SCJ in 2000.

To learn more about the The Genesis Labyrinth please visit:

NSU CAHSS Assistant Professor and Writing & Communication Center Faculty Coordinator Named SWCA Vice President

Janine Morris, Ph.D., CAHSS Department of Writing & Communication Assistant Professor and NSU Write from the Start Writing and Communication Center (WCC) Faculty Coordinator, was elected 2019-2020 Vice President of the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA). The SWCA’s mission is to “advance literacy; to further the theoretical, practical, and political concerns of writing center professionals; and to serve as a forum for the writing concerns of students, faculty, staff, and writing professionals from both academic and nonacademic communities in the southeastern region of the United States.” In 2020, Morris will become SWCA President.

At NSU, Morris is one of three faculty coordinators in the WCC and oversees many graduate student initiatives, including a professional development and writing workshop series and weekly writing group for graduate and professional students. Morris has worked specifically with graduate and professional students for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; College of Pharmacy; College of Medical Sciences, Fischler College of Education; College of Osteopathic Medicine; and the College of Psychology. Along with supporting graduate and professional students, she is also the faculty advisor for the WCC’s social media (@nsuwcc).

Morris is currently working with WCC faculty coordinator, Kelly Concannon, Ph.D., on an edited collection on affect and emotion in writing centers. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Dr. Morris to demonstrate leadership to NSU and to the larger writing and communication center community,” said Kevin Dvorak, Ph.D., executive director of the WCC.

Outside of the WCC, Morris is the Alumni Relations Manager for the Department of Writing and Communication and is the co-PI on a 2018 College of Composition and Communication research initiative grant to study how online first-year writing students’ backgrounds and expectations inform their experiences in first-year composition classes.

Halmos Undergraduate Wins Outstanding Chemistry Graduating Senior Award

This April, Halmos College Chemistry student Sabrina Vázquez Brenzini received the award for Outstanding Chemistry Graduating Senior at the South Florida American Chemical Society (So-FLACS) Awards Ceremony and Banquet. Held at Florida International University, the award recognizes graduating undergraduate students who have demonstrated the highest level of academic excellence in the field of chemistry.

When informed of her win, Sabrina said, “I feel honored about receiving this award… [This award] motivates me to keep doing better, to always give my best…”

Also in attendance at the ceremony was faculty member Richard H. Perry, Ph.D. of the Halmos College Department of Chemistry and Physics.

So-FLACS is the south Florida branch of the American Chemical Society. Founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, the American Chemical Society is the world’s largest scientific society. Their mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.

For more information:

CAHSS Faculty Presents Lectures as Guest Artist at UNCG and Belmont University

While on sabbatical from NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Bill J. Adams, D.M.A., associate professor in the Department of Performing and Visual Arts, has presented lectures at the University of North Carolina Greensboro School of Theatre ( and at Belmont University School of Music in Nashville.

Adams is a certified instructor of the performance training method, Acting and Singing with Archetypes, which synthesizes the imagination, the voice, and the body as a starting point for character development in theatre. He has been invited, along with Christine Morris, MFA, associate professor in UNCG’s School of Theatre, to submit an article on Acting and Singing with Archetypes for the Vocal Traditions Series in the Voice and Speech Review, the journal of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.

Conflict Analysis and Resolution Alumnus is the COO of the Seattle Police Department

Mark Baird, Ph.D., graduate of the doctoral program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, was named the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Seattle Police Department. In this role, he oversees Professional Standards, Administrative Services, Budget and Finance, the 911 Communication Center and Information Technology.  

As COO, he works with various city entities and sits on several citywide committees and Mayoral subcabinets. He is responsible for the predominately-civilian support side of the organization. There is work in policy development, analysis, and implementation.

Baird indicated that, “My CR education has been very instrumental in my job and I use components of it each day.”

Prior to earning his doctorate degree from NSU, Baird earned his B.A. in Political Science from Central Washington University, and his M.P.A. from Florida Gulf Coast University. His extensive professional experience includes serving as the Executive Director of Budget and Finance, overseeing Budget, Facilities, Jail Coordination, and manages significant departmental projects. He served as a crime analyst and later the analytical supervisor and ComStat coordinator for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and had a similar role in the Portland Police Bureau. While in graduate school, Baird was a research fellow for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. He was the programs/operations analyst for the Snohomish County Department of Corrections and later became the Chief of Administration.  He has been an adjunct instructor at Clackamas Community College in Oregon and at Portland State University.

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Alumna Continues her Passion for Environmental Issues at FAU’s Florida Center for Environmental Studies

Kimberly Vardeman, M.A.

Kimberly Vardeman, M.A., graduate of the Master of Arts in Cross-disciplinary Studies (MACS) program in the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies (DCRS) in NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) is continuing to pursue her passion for environmental issues including environmental stewardship, humane education, animal protection, and human rights. Vardeman is a research assistant at the Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Florida Atlantic University. Among her responsibilities, she coordinates community engagement research and public outreach.

In addition to her MACS degree from NSU, Vardeman earned her bachelors’ degree from the University of Florida. While earning her MACS degree, Vardeman was able to co-create her degree plan to include courses from NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. She completed a thesis in MACS, focusing her research on environmental community education. For more information about MACS, please contact Claudette Brooks in DCRS at

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Faculty publish book, Utopia and Dystopia in the Age of Trump: Images from Literature and Visual Arts

Barbara Brodman, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the Department of History and Political Science (DHPS) and James Doan, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Literature and Modern Languages (DLML) in NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS), co-edited the book, Utopia and Dystopia in the Age of Trump: Images from Literature and Visual Arts. It treats literature, film, television series, and comic books dealing with utopian and dystopian worlds reflecting on or anticipating our current age. The book is co-published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, and Rowman and Littlefield.

In addition to chapters written by the co-editors, other CAHSS faculty contributors include Christine Jackson, Ph.D., Kate Waites, Ph.D., professors in DLML, and David McNaron, Ph.D., professor emeritus on DHPS.

For more information and to pre-order the book, please go to

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