Journeys in Research
Happy Accidents: Asperger, Einstein, and the Great Apes

Happy Accidents: Asperger, Einstein, and the Great Apes

March 14, 2022

In this episode, Hale G. Smith Professor of Anthropology Dr. Dean Falk shares her passion for the advancement of evolutionary anthropology. Whether she’s learning how to craft from the great apes, fighting battles in academic cancel-culture, or mapping Einstein's brain, Falk's insights from happy accidents embody the true nature of her work: the celebration of ever-evolving human life.

For show notes and additional resources, visit our Homepage.

Meta-disciplines and Invisible Work

Meta-disciplines and Invisible Work

July 22, 2021

Episode Nine

Special Guest: Paul Marty 

Interdisciplinary research is often invisible. In this episode, Paul Marty discusses the pros and cons of interdisciplinary research and the importance of taking credit for your accomplishments.

Paul Marty is a professor in the School of Information, Florida's iSchool, and Associate Dean for Innovation in the College of Communication and Information at FSU. Marty has a background in ancient history and computer science engineering, and his PhD is from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Before arriving at FSU, he was Director of Information Technology at the Spurlock Museum.

Collaborating Generously

Collaborating Generously

June 21, 2021

John Corrigan is the Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion, Professor of History, and Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University. His research focuses on religion and emotion, religious intolerance, and the spatial humanities. In this episode, John talks about the right time to take risks, interdisciplinary collaboration as an act of generosity, and how his background in math and chemical engineering makes him a humanities researcher who sometimes thinks like a scientist.

For show notes and additional resources, visit our Home Page.

Forming Alliances in an Ever Evolving Field

Forming Alliances in an Ever Evolving Field

May 18, 2021

Episode Seven

Special Guest: Jorge Piekarewicz

Jorge Piekarewicz is fascinated by death, specifically, the death of stars. In this episode, Jorge Piekarewicz talks about neutron stars, NASA rockets, carbon, collaboration, and mentorship.

Jorge Piekarewicz is a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Physics at FSU. He received his Bachelor of Science in physics from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico in 1981, and his Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. Afterward, carried out postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology and Indiana University. In 1990, he joined FSU, becoming a full professor in 2005 and a Distinguished Research Professor in 2016. While at FSU, he has received four University Teaching Awards and the 2017 Graduate Faculty Mentor Award. He was also named fellow for the American Physical Society in 2005. He has written over 155 publications, and his research has been continuously funded by the Department of Energy since 1992. He currently serves as the Director of the FRIB Theory Alliance.

For show notes and additional resources, visit our Home Page.

From Sabbatical to Service: Discovering Your Next Research Project

From Sabbatical to Service: Discovering Your Next Research Project

April 6, 2021

Episode Six

Special Guest: Alysia Roehrig

In Episode Six, Alysia Roehrig shares the benefits of sabbaticals and how she helped bring Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® to Leon County.

Alysia Roehrig, Professor of Educational Psychology, joined the faculty at Florida State University in 2003 and serves as the Learning and Cognition Program Coordinator. She earned both her Ph.D. and M.A. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Roehrig’s research interests focus on issues related to effective teaching, particularly exploring the successes of students labeled at risk for school failure. She has published several articles, co-authored the book, No more sharpening pencils during work time and other time wasters, with her former doctoral student Beth Brinkerhoff, and helped update the 7th edition of the widely adopted textbook Educational Psychology by Santrock for McGraw Hill. Roehrig is the Principal Investigator and Director of PURPOSE: Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, PURPOSE is dedicated to increasing diversity in the doctorate of education.

For Show Notes and further resources, visit our Home Page.

Research in Movement: Running, Directing, and Funding a World-Class Dance Company

Research in Movement: Running, Directing, and Funding a World-Class Dance Company

February 25, 2021

Episode Five

Special Guest: Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is in the profession of creating. Inspired by jazz from an early age, she embraces a methodology based on collaboration, strength, and finding the shared genius in the room. In Episode Five, Jawole shares how she has navigated the administrative side of running a performance company and persevered in her pursuit of arts funding, all while remaining true to her artistic vision.

Zollar is the Nancy Smith Fichter Professor of Dance at Florida State University, and in 2011 she received FSU's prestigious Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award. She earned her B.A in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and later her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. After moving to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre from Sounds in Motion, Zollar founded Urban Bush Women in 1984. The UBW was founded as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. Along with creating 34 works for UBW, Jawole has also directed pieces for several dance companies including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, and University Maryland. UBW is among only 20 companies to be honored by the Ford Foundation as one of America's Cultural Treasures.

Teaming Up for the Long Haul: How to Build a Strong Research Team that Lasts

Teaming Up for the Long Haul: How to Build a Strong Research Team that Lasts

February 4, 2021

Episode Four

Special Guest: Neil Charness

What makes a strong research team? And what makes it last? 

Dr. Neil Charness joined the CREATE research team in 1999, and that team has been continuously funded for 20 years and counting. 

In Episode Four, Neil shares his perspective on team formation and team longevity. He also shares how games and happy accidents led him to the field of gerontechnology and to interdisciplinary research.

Dr. Charness is the William G. Chase Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Institute for Successful Longevity at Florida State University. He received his BA from McGill University followed by his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Psychology. Dr. Charness also serves as the Associate Director for the University Transportation Center (ASAP) and the Associate of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. His current research focus is on aging and technology use from a Human Factors Perspective, Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety, and Aging and Exert Performance.

“Dusty Hills” by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Try, Try Again: Lessons Learned as an NSF Panelist

Try, Try Again: Lessons Learned as an NSF Panelist

December 18, 2020

Episode Three

Special Guest: David Whalley

In Episode Three, Computer Science professor David Whalley shares the lessons he learned on his journey to obtain funding from the National Science Foundation, and how he persevered through rejection and made every proposal count.

Before becoming a professor at Florida State University, David Whalley earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. He has received various awards since, including the E.P. Miles professorship for the Computer Science Department, ACM Distinguished Membership, the Florida State University Distinguished Research Professor award, and most recently a fellowship with IEEE. Dr Whalley’s current research interests include optimizing compilers, compilation tools, embedded systems, computer architecture, performance evaluation, WCET Prediction, and energy-efficient processors. Dr. Whalley’s current research is supported by the National Science Foundation. 

Data and Discoveries: Becoming a Maverick in Your Research

Data and Discoveries: Becoming a Maverick in Your Research

December 11, 2020

Episode Two

Special Guest: Sharon E. Nicholson

Episode Two follows Dr. Sharon E. Nicholson to the West African Sahel. To the desert. Nicholson started her journey as a curious young researcher, unafraid to question her superiors and became an internationally-recognized research powerhouse, who successfully turned a paradigm on its head and changed how climatologists think about the desert.

The 2020 - 21 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, Dr. Sharon E. Nicholson is a world-renowned climatologist and professor of Meteorology for the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science at Florida State University. She has garnered several awards, including the Humboldt Research Award, which she received for her work on the effects of climate on dry environments in Africa. Her research has had a major impact not only her area of expertise, but on the fields of hydrology, physical geography, remote sensing, arid land studies, and paleoclimatology.


How to Refocus Your Research After COVID-19

How to Refocus Your Research After COVID-19

December 1, 2020

Episode One

Special Guest: Anne Coldiron


One of FSU's eleven Krafft Professors, Anne Coldiron earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Virginia; her undergraduate degrees are in French from Wake Forest University and the University of Paris. She was The Berry Chair in English Literature at St Andrews in Scotland in 2017-18.

Coldiron is the author of three major books, one edited collection of essays, and more than eighty published essays. She has won, as of July 1, 2020, over one million dollars in research funding over the course of her academic career. But she is proudest of the accomplishments of her students: every dissertation she has directed has resulted in at least one major national grant or fellowship for the student, as well as numerous publications by them. Her former mentees now work in institutions as varied as small liberal arts colleges, research universities, the NEH, Cambridge University.



Segment 1: How to Refocus Your Research After COVID-19 

Assess what has been lost or damaged within the research. Focus on changing the objects of study, methodology, and anything that can contribute to the research topic that was not planned before. 

Ask yourself: How can I meet the larger goal of contributing to human knowledge and improving human life through my the research?  



Segment 2: How to re-establishing research and publisher connections after Covid-19 

Come up with a series of long-term and short-term backup plans. Reach out to supporters and editors and explain what's going on. They are more understanding than you might expect. Speak to them about a backup plan to show the work is not being abandoned, just readjusted.  

Since the pandemic, there is a new flexibility from editors, presses, and grant organizations. For instance, The American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship program has turned their focus to untenured faculty. 



Segment 3: How to communicate with existing collaborators and find new opportunities to collaborate after COVID-19 

Establish relationships with as many people as you can. Ask for help when you need it. Do not be afraid to speak with someone to discuss your work. More likely than not, they will be honest with you. After the pandemic, researchers have a renewed opportunity to reach out to press editors and begin to form relationships with them.  

Communication is key, especially when working with collaborators. Contact collaborators to brainstorm ideas, plans, and solutions. Find out more about them; get to know their interests and their restraints.   

When presenting your research at your first conference, reach out to other members who have attended. Discover their interests and ask for their email regardless of whether your interests intersect. Research is always evolving. In the future, you may come across a research topic that needs collaborators.  


29:23- 37:-01

Segment 4: Advice for today’s research faculty  

Find your own reason for doing the research you are doing, use your strengths to the fullest, and strengthen your weaknesses. Strengthen your weaknesses by exploring other fields of study. Always be ready to learn and learn more

Find research you can be passionate about. Refine what you know, make it better, then share it with others in hopes that it will help them in the future. 


Journeys in Research is a production of the Office of Research Development at Florida State University.   

We’d love to hear from you! Please send questions or suggestions for episodes to with the word “Podcast” in the title.  

Special thanks to everyone who helped make our first episode possible: Beth Hodges, Cece Pierre, Mike Mitchell, Grace Adkison, Rachel Goff-Albritton, Walter Lee, and Neil Coker. 

Hosted by Evangeline Coker. 

Music for this episode by Ketsa. “Dusty Hills” by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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