The Graduate School

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Florida State University, distinguished as a pre-eminent university in the state of Florida, is identified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as engaged in very high research activity, the highest status accorded to a doctoral-granting university. The wide-ranging scholarship of FSU faculty and graduate students is nationally and internationally recognized for its contributions to science, business, government, culture, and society. FSU faculty members are also recognized for their exceptional level of instruction.

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Dr. Mark Riley, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, Named Interim Dean of the Graduate School 

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Dr. Mark Riley, a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, is the Interim Dean of The Graduate School at the Florida State University. His responsibilities include oversight of the education of approximately 8,000 graduate and professional students. Riley earned a Bachelor of Science with Honors in physics and a doctorate in nuclear physics, both from the University of Liverpool in England.  He worked as a research associate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and then as a research associate at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the Florida State faculty as an assistant professor in 1991 he served as an Advanced Fellow at the University of Liverpool.  Riley was named the Raymond K. Sheline Professor of Physics in 2001, selected for an FSU Distinguished Research Professor Award in 2008 and became a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor in 2014. He has won two university teaching awards. He served the Department of Physics as chair from 2007 to 2013. His research involves the detection of gamma-ray emission signals from excited atomic nuclei under extreme conditions. High-resolution gamma-ray detection plays an ubiquitous role in nuclear science and he has been deeply involved in the development and use of the world’s most powerful gamma-ray detector systems, such as, Gammasphere and GRETINA-GRETA. He has served on Users Executive Committees at the national laboratories of Oak Ridge, Argonne and Michigan State University. Other national level committee participation has included the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee to the DOE and NSF, and Program Advisory Committees of national laboratories at Berkeley, Argonne and iTHEMBA LABS in South Africa. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is a past chair of the APS’s Publication Oversight Committee.  Riley’s publication record includes ~200 research articles and he has delivered ~100 invited talks.

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2017 New Graduate Student Orientation

Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Ruby Diamond Auditorium and Classroom Building (HCB)

Overview: This event will begin in the Ruby Diamond Auditorium with a general orientation session followed by a panel discussion on topics of interest to new graduate students in the Classroom Building. Sessions will be scheduled in HCB on the following subjects: “Nuts & Bolts of FSU Student Systems: Waivers, Finances, Taxes, and Subsidies” and “Funding Your Graduate Education.” There will be an Informational Fair in the HCB Breezeway representing campus and community organizations. We will offer tours of the FSU Campus and Strozier Library’s Scholars Commons. All new graduate students will receive an email invitation to register in July. More information is available online here.

2017 Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching Conference/TA Orientation

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Classroom Building (HCB 101)

Overview: This two day PIE conference/orientation introduces attendees to FSU teaching resources, policies, and best practices for grading, communicating with students, encouraging critical thinking in the classroom, and technology usage. It is open to all graduate students, post docs, and faculty/staff. The PIE TA Orientation satisfies the required graduate student TA policy training according to the University-wide TA Standards. For more information, please visit the PIE Website here. The agenda and registration link will be posted on the PIE website by July 1st.

Profiles in Leadership: Nancy Marcus Reflects on 30 Years of Research, Students and Service


When Nancy Marcus arrived at Florida State University in 1987, she didn’t have plans to stay very long.

Thirty years later, the oceanographer-turned-administrator has left an indelible mark at FSU — as a pioneer in her field, as a role model for women in STEM and as the dean of the Graduate School for the past 12 years.

“I love Florida State. I think I’ve contributed to it, but certainly Florida State has provided me with some wonderful opportunities,” Marcus said.

A native of the Northeast, Marcus pursued her undergraduate degree at Goucher College in Baltimore, Md. She studied biology and spent time in the marine field with stints at the Duke Marine Lab and the Bermuda Biological Station for Research.

“At the time, back in the late 1960s, the most likely path for women was to teach in the public schools,” Marcus said. “But when I went to visit one of my college friends who was doing that, I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

Marcus returned to school, heading to Yale University where she would earn both her master’s and doctoral degrees. She then completed post-doctoral work at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Mass., eventually joining the facility’s scientific staff for the next 11 years until the opportunity arose to come to FSU.

“Florida seemed like a ways away from what I’d been familiar with,” Marcus said. “But I said, ‘Hey, I’ll give it five years and go somewhere else,’ and here I am, 30 years later.”

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Graduate Student Wins First Place in the Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition

Please extend your congratulations to Dyan Neary, who just won first place in the Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition in the magazine feature category. Hers was one of over 5000 submissions. She will receive $1000 (plus $100 for books from their shop) and publication in the 86th Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition Collection in November. Her winning piece appeared in an earlier form in New York magazine. Here’s a link to that earlier version