When Carole Boston Weatherford joined Fayetteville State University's faculty in 2002 as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of English, she was a seasoned publicist and the author of 15 books. The daughter of educators, she came to the University with a wealth of real-world wisdom. Now a full professor, Weatherford has 40 books that have garnered 13 national and seven statewide honors, including the Caldecott Honor Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. Such titles as Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, Becoming Billie Holiday, and Birmingham, 1963 mine the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles and span the genres of poetry, nonfiction, biography, and historical fiction.
Weatherford's teaching and literary careers intertwine to benefit her students, distinguish the University, and serve the community and the profession. Just as her award-winning books reach millions in K-12 classrooms and her presentations at schools, libraries, and conferences inspire students and teachers alike, her courses in children's and adolescent literature impact not only her students-mostly education majors-but their future students as well. Thus, her influence as a teaching writer is beyond measure.
Weatherford's teaching philosophy stresses interactive learning and that writers must be readers. She believes that every student's story is valid and that it is more important to know the right questions than all the answers. With a focus on transliteracy, she prods students to edit, revise, and adapt their writing for new and traditional media platforms.
Her accomplishments as a teacher rival her literary laurels. In the Department of English, she pioneered online course development, helped conceive and now coordinates the undergraduate and graduate writing certificate programs, and created such new courses as Issues in Professional Writing, Writing for Children, and most recently the Junior Seminar-Hip Hop: Poetry, Politics and Pop Culture. She has piloted several innovations in the Children's Literature course. For example, upon finding that online students at military outposts or from rural areas could not access quality children's literature, she provided links to more than 60 acclaimed children's titles that are available online. Her face-to-face children's literature class often incorporates a school visit-a service learning project where students present books and activities in K-5 classrooms. In Spring 2011, her class staged a multimedia readers theatre of her book Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins. The performance brought more than 600 elementary school students to FSU's campus and was presented in partnership with the School of Education and the FSU Office of Community and Government Affairs. Weatherford has also collaborated with the Department of Performing and Fine Arts to on several programs marrying poetry and music.
Weatherford earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a Master of Arts in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore. She completed her undergraduate students at the American University.
Alison Van Nyhuis (MA and PhD, University of Florida) is the recipient of the 2012-2013 College of Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award at FSU, where she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English. Professor Van Nyhuis has earned multiple awards since joining the FSU faculty in 2008, including the Department of English Service Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, and FSU's Research Fellowship Award. Her teaching and research interests include American studies, Caribbean studies, and postcolonial theory. Professor Van Nyhuis teaches face-to-face and online courses at FSU, including undergraduate world literature courses and a graduate course on contemporary Caribbean literature, and her articles have appeared in various journals, including The Journal of the Association for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Arts, The Journal of West Indian Literature, Ometeca, Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, and Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and Culture.
Kimberly K. Tran, Ph.D., HSP-P, is an assistant professor in the department of psychology. Dr. Tran has been the recipient of the 2012-2013 CAS Outstanding Teacher of the Year award as well as the Excellence in Teaching Award in the Department of Psychology for the both the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years. Her research is focused on racial/ethnic minority mental health, depression and suicide and she has authored several publications in this area. Dr. Tran is also a licensed psychologist and provides psychotherapy to veterans, military members and their families as a member of the Collaborative Institute for Interprofessional Education and Practice (CI-PEP). The CI-PEP is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)grant supported partnership between the departments of Nursing, Social Work and Psychology.
Zhenlu Cui, an associate professor of mathematics, is the CAS Academician of the Year 2012-2013. His research interests include multiscale modeling with applications in complex fluids, soft matters and biophysical fluid, and perturbation methods. He earned his Ph. D in Applied Mathematics from Florida State University in 2005 and then worked as a postdoc at the Department of Mathematics of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) for two years. He joined the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Fayetteville State University (FSU) in 2007. He has published research articles in top physics and applied mathematics journals such as Physical Review E and Multiscale Modeling and Simulation. He was invited to give lectures at international conferences and universities. Since he joined FSU, he has won some awards including a Mathematics Research Fellowship at The Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research at Beijing University in summer 2011, Early Career Travel Award from Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in 2010, FSU Research Fellow for 2012-2013 and Department Researcher for 2011-2012. Currently, he serves on Editorial Board of Far East Journal of Mathematical Sciences.