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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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Retired Dean Nancy Marcus, Receives Stellar Send Off

It was a standing-room-only crowd at the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House Wednesday, Sept. 6, as students, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the retirement of Nancy Marcus.

Marcus is stepping down after 30 years at Florida State University, including the past 12 as dean of the Graduate School. She previously served as chair of the Department of Oceanography, as it was previously called, as well as director of the Marine Laboratory and the FSU Women in Math, Science and Engineering program.

She was named the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor in 2001. The distinction is the highest honor FSU faculty can bestow upon a colleague.

Friends and colleagues of the retired dean offered congratulatory remarks, including President John Thrasher.

“Nancy, I will miss you,” Thrasher said. “You have served our students and this university well. FSU is a better place because of your teaching, research and service. Thank you for everything you have done.”

The surprise of the evening had to be the presence and remarks from Marcus’ brother, Teddy, who traveled from New York to celebrate with his sister.

He talked about how he felt he grew up in his sister’s shadow. He told attendees about her love for magic, and even the fact that Marcus is an accomplished ventriloquist. He closed by sharing sentiments from their 94-year-old mother who could not make the event.

“These words come with my love for a job well done … I’m proud of her accomplishments and vain enough to say so,” he read.

Marcus was given a host of gifts celebrating her service to the university, including a commemorative brick on the Westcott Plaza. The brick was Marcus’ only parting request, but her colleagues took it a step further. They also arranged for a commemorative bench to be placed near the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House — a building she was instrumental in creating.

“It’s really been a great privilege to be a faculty member at Florida State University and be the dean of the Graduate School,” Marcus said. “Seeing the pictures flash on the screen reminds me of all the things I was involved with over the years through the great breadth of this university.”

Continue Reading and View Pictures of the Event Here! 


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.


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

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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.”

Continue Reading Here! 


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