Around the College

Book Beat

Angels and Wild Things: The Archetypal Poetics of Maurice Sendak (The Pennsylvania State University Press) by John Cech (English). (review taken from book jacket)

Over the course of more than eighty books that he has written and illustrated in a career that has spanned four decades, Sendak has become the most influential and, at times, the most controversial creator of works for children. Angels and Wild Things examines the unique contributions of Maurice Sendak to the literature of childhood. It is the first comprehensive reading of Sendak's key works that considers the symbolic child who has appeared and developed in Sendak's books and remains at the center of his vision.

By fusing biographical, historical, cultural, and literary materials with the insights of depth psychology and archetypal theory, this study traces the evolution of Sendak's work - from its first, bold steps in the 1950s, to its liberating breakthroughs of the 1960s and early 1970s, to the rich complexity of his most recent books.

(Excerpt) "I don't believe, in a way, that the kid I was grew up into me. He still exists somewhere, in the most graphic, plastic, physical way. It's as if he had moved somewhere. I have a tremendous concern for him and interest in him. I communicate with him - or try to - all the time. One of my worst fears is losing contact with him...I don't want this to sound coy or schizophrenic, but at least once a day I feel I have to make contact... The pleasures I get as an adult are heightened by the fact that I experience them as a child at the same time."

Baseball in Florida (Pineapple Press, Inc.) by Kevin McCarthy (English). (review taken from book jacket)

This is the story of baseball: how it evolved slowly but steadily in the Sunshine State, how it took off when northern teams chose the warm Marches of St. Petersburg and Vero Beach for spring training, how 20 of 28 major league teams have spring training in Florida's Grapefruit League; how colleges and universities developed into baseball powerhouses able to attract high school talent from around the country, and how the lure of the major league attracted more and more of Florida youth - with varying degrees of success.

(Excerpt) "One of the big draws in attracting visitors to spring training games was Babe Ruth, who played in exhibition games in several Florida sites, including Miami, Palatka, Palm Beach, and Sarasota. On April 4, 1919, when Ruth was in Tampa for spring training for the Boston Red Sox, in a pre-season game against the New York Giants he hit what many consider his longest home run: 587 feet. The feat is commemorated on a plaque at Tampa's Plant Field on the campus of the University of Tampa."

Edisto Revisited (Henry Holt and Company) by Padgett Powell (Creative Writing). (review taken from book jacket)

Powell's fourth work of fiction picks up several years after his first left off, on a strip of coast in the low country of South Carolina, sometime home to Simons Manigault. Simons is now out of college and trying to forestall the career expected by his ebulliently conventional father. His mother, the hard-drinking literary doctor, favors otherwise and quietly engineers the opening of other avenues to her son. One of these is scandalous.

(Excerpt) "How I wish that I were a historian of The South. What not give for the opportunity to sit before documentary cameras in my cozy, Memphis study and relate lugubrious apocrypha about Rebel valor, with modest little tears in my wide delta face. There were twenty or so Union soldiers who had captured this one Southern boy, and they said, Why are you fighting us? He was not the sort, they could surmise, to be concerned with money or slavery. Because y'all are down heah, he says to them. Which I think is a pretty good reason. "Custer, a cap'n at the tiyeum," rode out into the Pickaninny River and "sat his horse and tunned and said, 'This is how deep it is, Gen'el.'" What not give?"

Faculty in the News

CLAS faculty are recognized as experts in their fields of research in academia and the private sector. Following is a list of UF researchers whose comments have appeared recently in the media.

Student Discovers Asteroid Aimed for Earth

Tim Spahr, a UF graduate student in astronomy, was mentioned in a TIME magazine article about the asteroid he discovered which was aimed for Earth.

'Get Tough' Policy Doesn't Work

U.S. News and World Report quoted sociology Professor Charles Frazier in a story about juvenile criminals tried as adults. Frazier was also quoted in the St. Petersburg Times.

Alert Boaters Better for Coastlines

USA Today cited a study by geography Professor Gustavo Antonini on boater awareness of coastal ecosystems.

On the Road to the White House

U.S. News and World Report quoted Professor of political science Richard Scher in a story regarding the presidential campaign. Scher was also quoted by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the Washington Post and a Reuters News Service release.

Beware: Gator's Bite is Worse Than His Bark

UF zoologist Kent Vliet appeared in a CBS special, "The World's Most Dangerous Animals Part II," as an expert on alligators.

Men Today Less Fertile Than Their Fathers

NBC Nightly News included the research of zoology Professor Louis Guillette in a report on the decreasing fertility levels in American men.

CLAS Departments, Centers Receive Money for Research

UF/FSU Magnet Lab Receives $600,000 to Build High-Powered Magnet

The W.M. Keck Foundation awarded $600,000 to Florida State University and the University of Florida for a state-of-the-art, high-field, resistive magnet system that will be designed, built, tested and used at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee. The grant was authored by a scientific team led by Alan G. Marshall with FSU and Neil Sullivan, chair of the UF department of physics.

"The Keck magnet will be a first in magnet design," Sullivan said. "It will be the first high homogeneity magnet above 20 tesla that can be used by chemists and biologists for structured studies of very large molecules, proteins, DNA, etc."

The magnet system will be equipped with new specialized instruments for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), electronic magnetic resonance (EMR) and ion cyclotron resonance (ICR). These technologies are fundamental to understanding complex chemical structures such as crude oil and molecular structures such as proteins.

The Keck grant will be split equally between the two universities and will be matched by more than $1.5 million from the NHMFL, FSU and UF. (This information is from a NHMFL press release.)

CWSGR & Int'l. Studies Receive $2.4 Million for Women Training Programs

The Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research and the Office of International Studies and Programs were awarded the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Women-in-Development (WID) Fellows program worth $2.4 million over a three-year period.

"This is a significant grant for the CWSGR not only because of its size but because it brings considerable national and international attention to issues surrounding women and development and UF's long history of work in these areas," said Sue Rosser, director of the CWSGR.

The fellows program will strengthen AID's capacity to incorporate WID and gender issues into its programming. Fellows will be Americans, mid-career professionals with technical expertise in areas most needed by AID, and who do not have any WID experience or expertise.

DOE Gives $140,000 to New Foreign Language Program

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Center for Latin American Studies received $140,000 from the Department of Education for their newly created Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) program.

One-credit foreign language components will be created and offered in conjunction with Latin American content courses. FLAC at FLA will significantly improve international education at UF and increase the international acumen and foreign language skills of UF's undergraduates.

"Combining the academic expertise of professors in Latin American Studies with the linguistic and pedagogical knowledge of faculty and graduate students in the department of romance languages and literatures, the FLAC at FLA initiative will change the way UF students think about Latin America and about foreign language study," said Geraldine Nichols, chair of the department.

Nichols is the project director and Terry McCoy, with the Center for Latin American Studies, and Michel Achard, with Romance Languages & Literatures, are both co-directors.

CLAS Alumnae Grooms Future Politicians, Business Leaders

The University of Florida Speech and Debate Team hosted the 1996 American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament April 6-8. This was AFA's largest tournament with more than 700 participants from 114 schools, and the first time UF hosted the event. Sophomore Josh Heller (c.) qualified for the semi-finals in persuasive speaking. Kellie Roberts (r.) is coach of the UF debate team and Molly Lovell (l.) is her graduate assistant.

Following is an interview with Kellie Roberts ('83, '85 Speech Communication) who has been coaching the debate team since 1987.

How long has the University of Florida had a speech and debate team?

The UF Speech and Debate Team began in the early 1930s. It started out by competing in parliamentary debate and extemporaneous speaking, then changed in the early 1940s to focus a little more towards debate only, specifically policy debate.

That continued until the early 1970s when another association formed out of the National Debate association (NDT), the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA), which was more value-oriented. Another change in the 70s was the addition of individual events, which include prepared oratory such as persuasion, informative, after-dinner speaking and communication analysis; unprepared or limited preparatory like impromptu and extemporaneous speaking; and interpretation of literature, drama and poetry. Since then, we've had two parts of the team: the 'debaters' and the 'IE'rs' (individual competitors).

Typically, what kind of students are involved with speech and debate?

I came here in 1987 and over the years, I've had students from every walk of life, from every major you can imagine. It's quite a divergent group of kids. A lot of them are very out-going, although there are a few who are very shy. Some come to me with lots of experience, after having done four years of high school debate and others come out of public speaking classes. They get a little taste of it and want to get more involved. Many of them are Florida Academic Scholars, National Merit Scholars and are enrolled in the honors program.

What do college students get out of being a part of the speech and debate team?

They're exposed to opportunities and experiences that will help them later in life. First and foremost, they're going to gain public speaking skills and research skills. Beyond that, they're also going to gain a skill that not everybody gets - the ability to adapt to different kinds of people. This is a skill they can use in the real world, i.e. having to adapt to their colleagues, their boss and/or their employees. We give these students a chance to travel and meet people from all over the country who are in forensics programs at other schools, from many walks of life. By learning to adapt, they may win a debate round, win a friend, win a job interview or even win a trial.

Who are some of your alumni?

Altogether we have a list of more than 300 alumni, many of whom have gone on to do wonders in politics including former Senator George Smathers, Senator Bob Graham, Stephen C. O'Connell, J. Wayne Reitz and Terrel Sessums, who was a candidate for the UF presidency. Former Senator Smathers has kept in touch with us for a number of years and is very active as a supporting alum. Years ago he gave us a huge silver punch bowl - a traveling trophy - that goes to the winner of our debate tournament that we host every year, the Gator Invitational Forensics Tournament. Smathers is probably one of many who will tell you right off the bat that speech and debate was one of the best activities he became involved with at UF because it gave him the speaking skills required to become a successful politician.

What keeps you coming back year after year?

Actually, a lot of people ask why I do this. It's because I love it. I don't want to do anything else. There's not a day that goes by - even if it's 2 a.m. and I'm getting out of bed to come to school to pick up the students so we can travel to an out-of-state tournament - that I don't love what I do. It's worth it because the students love it and they get something out of it.

CLAS Thanks Faculty Retirees for Their Contributions and Years of Service

Benjamin L. GormanSociology 1968-1996
David M. Green Psychology 1985-1996
William M. Jones Chemistry 1956-1996
David M. Locke English 1977-1996
Otto von Mering Anthropology 1971-1996
Carl Olsson Astronomy 1958-1996
Bernard Paris English 1981-1996
Adolfo Prieto Romance L & L 1981-1996
Samuel Proctor History 1946-1996
Darrett B. Rutman History 1984-1996
Daniel B. Ward Botany 1958-1996