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Stetson University in the News, Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2018

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Stetson University, along with five other universities, won EC-Council’s Academic Circle of Excellence award, as reported by multiple news outlets. The award recognizes excellence in cybersecurity education, with the criteria being the commitment to educate and make a difference in the cybersecurity workforce, student feedback on EC-Council courses and faculty, evaluation reports post class, student engagement, ratio of students who move on to test out on EC-Council certifications, volume of students educated in cybersecurity, and continuous program development.

  • Valrie Chambers, CPA, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting, edited the article, Filing ‘optional’ partnership return costly,” in The Tax Advisor. The article began: “Married couples that jointly own a business often by default choose to treat the business as a partnership, which requires the business to file a partnership return. However, in many cases, treating the business as a partnership and filing partnership returns is optional. A recent Tax Court case highlights how a married couple’s choice to treat a co-owned business as a partnership can work to their detriment.”

Jason Evans, Ph.D.

  • Jason Evans, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental science and studies at Stetson, was quoted in the Daytona Beach News-Journal article, Did a warming climate make Florence worse? Maybe, scientists say.” Evans was posed the question, “Can Florence’s impacts — especially the up to three feet of rain over three days — be directly linked to a warming climate and rising seas? His response: “There’s an active debate. Of course, everyone wants to know the answer. There are scientists who say you can do the attribution and scientists who say you can’t.”
  • The article’s conclusion: “Practitioners must use their professional judgment when presented with a new business operation that is owned by a married couple. A careful weighing of the potential risks and rewards when advising whether to prepare a separate partnership tax return is important.”

Other News:

  • Law Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is quoted in the Huffington Post article, “Corporations Are Striking Back On Ballot Initiatives.” Torres-Spelliscy pointed out that petition-gatherers are not under oath, so charging them with lying would be nearly impossible. Plus, she added, in 2014 the Supreme Court affirmed the right of political campaigns to lie, arguing that government bodies cannot be tasked with separating fact from fiction — with the court indicating that public debate is a better way to inform voters than regulation.
  • New York Times reported that five Stetson Law professors signed the letter, “The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh,” which was to be presented to the Senate on Oct. 4. The opinion letter was headlined “The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh.”


  • New York Mets pitcher and former Hatter standout Jacob deGrom finished the season with the lowest Earned Run Average(ERA) in Major League Baseball. He is a leading candidate for the National League’s Cy Young Award, emblematic of “best pitcher.” His success has been widely reported internationally.
  • Stetson alumnus Stacey Morris published an article in Seeking Alpha about escalating ethane prices. Headline of the article was “Escalating Ethane Prices And The Implications For MLPs And Midstream.” Morris is director of Energy Research at Alerian, which equips investors to make informed decisions about Master Limited Partnerships and energy infrastructure.
  • Kelly Dawson was appointed to senior vice president of Human Resources of Border States, an electric-utility company. In that role, Dawson leads the department and generally provides vision, direction and leadership for the employee-owned company’s talent strategy.
  • The Imperial Valley News  reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed law alumna Shadee M. Star, an immigration judge, to begin hearing cases in October 2018.
  • Gray-Robinsonreports that law alumnus Stephen K. Tilbrook was named chair-elect designate of Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
  • Amnesty International reports that law alumna Becky Farrar has been elected chair of Amnesty International USA board of directors.
  • Law alumnus Will Robinson is quoted in the Herald-Tribune article, “Florida State Rep. District 71: Q&A with Will Robinson.”
  • Law alumnus Ben Braun is quoted in the Herald-News article, “Candidate Questionnaire: Ben Braun.”
  • Daily Record reports that law alumna Cheryl L. Worman is a board-certified construction lawyer and serves on the firm’s board of directors.
  • Herald-Tribune reports that law alumnus Steven Brownlee has joined the community board of Florida State University College of Medicine, Sarasota campus.
  • Orlando Sentinel reports that law alumnus Roy Stevenson is running for the seat 3 on the Tavares City Council.