Stetson University in the News, May 31-June 6, 2019

portrait in baseball uniform
Mitchell Senger

Top News:

• Two Hatter pitchers were selected in the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday, June 5. Mitchell Senger was taken by the New York Mets in the 26th round with the 778th overall selection. The 6-foot-7 lefty struck out 152 in 130 innings over three seasons at Stetson, the Palm Beach Post reported in the story, “MLB Draft: Several Palm Beach County baseball players selected on Day 3.”

portrait in baseball uniform
Robbie Peto

• Stetson pitcher Robbie Peto was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 26th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft with the 788th overall pick on June 5, reported in “Tampa Bay selects former Monroe ace Robbie Peto in MLB Draft.” Peto, a 6-foot-4 right-hander, just completed his redshirt sophomore season for the Hatters.

• Incoming Dean of the Stetson College of Law Michèle Alexandre was featured June 5 in a Q&A with the Tampa Bay Times entitled, “The new dean of Stetson Law comes to Gulfport by way of Haiti, Harvard and Ole ‘Miss.”

portrait outside
Michèle Alexandre, J.D.

• News of Elizabeth Skomp, Ph.D., being selected as the next dean of Stetson’s College of Arts and Sciences was carried by numerous media outlets across the country, including the Arizona Republic Online, Oklahoman Online, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Online, Fox 34 News and WRDQ-TV Channel 27 in Orlando.

• Jason Evans, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental science and studies, was quoted in The Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun on June 1 in the story, “Florida septic tanks in crisis,” about contaminants flowing from septic systems throughout the state and polluting groundwater aquifers, springs and waterways. Evans said he is convinced septic tanks are causing the high levels of bacteria in Gemini Springs in DeBary, which has been closed for 19 years. Along the coast, older septic tanks are inundated with the tide and also release pollutants, he said.

portrait outside
Elizabeth Skomp, Ph.D.

• Clay Henderson, director of Stetson’s Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, was interviewed for WMFE’s Morning Edition (90.7 FM) on June 4 in a story entitled “State Funding to Flow for Florida Springs.” Henderson said the state budget provides $50 million a year, under the Legacy Florida Act, but $50 million was not spent in last year’s budget. “We’ve really been in a holding pattern for the past year. The Legislature approved this money, but it didn’t get approved by all the points along the way. But the Legislature fixed that, and so in the next year it appears we’re going to have $100 million for springs restoration, and that’s a good thing,” he said.

• Professor Jason Evans was interviewed by the Daytona Beach News-Journal for the June 4 story, “Coastal Contamination: Buried beneath quaint Ormond-by-the-Sea lie hundreds of polluting septic tanks.” Evans said as sea levels continue to rise, groundwater likely will infiltrate even more septic tank drain fields, releasing pollutants into groundwater.

portrait outside
Jason Evans, Ph.D.

• Clay Henderson, director of Stetson’s Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, was quoted in The Daytona Beach News-Journal on June 5 in the story, “Solving the septic tank dilemma will be a complex and costly challenge.” Henderson said, “The tanks were a cheap way to develop without regard to the long-term costs. That’s the same way we always deal with water as an abundant resource: We’ll deal with the problems down the road. Now we’re down the road and it’s time to deal with it.”

• Stetson was featured on Education Dive for the article, EDsmart’s 2019 Best Online College in Florida. “The EDsmart 2019 ranking for the Best Online Colleges in Florida ranks Stetson University #1 as the best online college in Florida,” the story said. This achievement was based upon factors, such as student retention rate, graduation rates and affordability.

Clay Henderson, Stetson University
Clay Henderson, J.D.

• Stetson University was mentioned in a story June 5 in The Wall Street Journal entitled, “More Universities Shut Down Traditional M.B.A. Programs as Popularity Wanes.” The story notes applications to full-time M.B.A. programs have been falling in the strong job market, leading business schools to shift resources online.

• Stetson Law alumnus R. Anthony Salem was one of five judges appointed this week by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as reported June 5 in Florida Politics. Salem, who has been an Assistant General for the City of Jacksonville, was appointed to the Duval County Court.

K.C. Ma, Ph.D.

• K.C. Ma, Ph.D., C.F.A., the Roland and Sarah George Chair of Applied Investments for the Roland George Investments Program (RGIP), was quoted in U.S. News & World Report and Yahoo Singapore in the June 4 story, “Is Investing in Rideshares a Good Idea?” Ma said, “Uber and Lyft have been the most anticipated IPOs there were. Over last few years, their private investors’ decisions to delay the public capital’s ‘risk sharing’ of their potential profit proved to come with significant cost. The longer the public waits, the more information about company’s consistently losing significant money became public.”

Other News:

• Math Professor and Executive Chef Hari Pulapaka, Ph.D., wrote an opinion piece May 31 for, entitled “Climate solutions: Now served in restaurants everywhere.” “Chefs are at the frontlines of incentivizing new product development and identifying eco-friendly efficiencies in the food industry,” he wrote.

Hala ElAarag
Hala ElAarag, Ph.D.

• Computer Science Professor Hala ElAarag, Ph.D., was quoted in Techopedia on June 3 in the story, “3 VR Myths That Are Unreal.” She said, “The merging of artificial intelligence and VR will revolutionize both fields and will be very important for [the] entertainment industry.”

• Sarah Cramer, Ph.D., a fellow in sustainable food systems in the Department of Environmental Science and Studies, was quoted in Realtor Magazine on May 30 in “Agrihoods Feed Buyer Interest With Hip Amenities.” The story says food-minded homebuyers are choosing to live in agrihoods built around a farm that provides fresh produce. Cramer says having a skilled farmer onsite helps. “Farming is hard work and expensive,” she said.

portrait outside
Sarah Cramer, Ph.D.

• Stetson was mentioned in the Therapy Toronto News on June 4 in the story, “Study suggests dietary supplement boosts cognitive function in vegetarians.” The article said vegetarians who take the dietary supplement creatine may enjoy improved brain function, according to a new study by Stetson researchers.

• Psychology Professor Chris Ferguson, Ph.D., was mentioned on KOMO-AM Radio’s Newsline Overnight and Newsline AM with John Carlson on June 6 in regards to the World Health Organization recognizing gaming disorder as a mental illness like an addiction. Ferguson said he advises parents to watch out for their children’s grades dropping, and if they’re not getting enough sleep or exercise – which can all be signs of underlying issues like depression and anxiety.

• Law Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy wrote the June 5 Brennan Center for Justice article, “The Supreme Court Nixes Corporate Contributions for the 2020 Campaign.”

• Law Professor Louis J. Virelli III wrote the May 31 opinion piece, “Recusal Rules for Administrative Adjudicators,” for The Regulatory Review. This piece was republished on June 4 in Administrative Fix, a blog hosted by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS).

• Law Professor Rebecca C. Morgan wrote the May 31 Elder Law Prof Blog post, “Check out the 2018 Profile of Older Americans.” Professor Morgan wrote the June 3 Elder Law Prof Blog post, “Caregivers and the Impact on Their Financial Security.” Professor Morgan wrote the June 4 Elder Law Prof Blog post, “Stan Lee-Another Victim of Elder Abuse?”

SRQ Media mentioned June 6 that Stetson student and Sarasota native Brooke Elsbree is their Marketing Intern for the summer.

Alumni News

A cup of black coffee sits beside a newspaper on a table.

• Stetson alumnus and former Hatter goalie, Robin Dieterich, was featured May 30 in the Nashville Tennessean and the Daily News Journal Online article, “Robin Dieterich, Builder of Father Ryan Soccer, to be Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award,” which showcases his rise through soccer and his path to achieving the award.

• Stetson alumnus Rodney Lastinger was featured May 31 in the Chronicle Journal Online, Globe News Wire and other media outlets, “Conn’s, Inc Solidifies Leadership Team to Support Growth,” detailing his rise to Conn’s President of Retail on June 3. He received his M.B.A. in Management from Stetson.

• Stetson University alumna Blair Parke wrote an article on May 30 on titled, “How Should Christians View IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization),” detailing the experience, what it can do for couples, and how to go about deciding if it’s the best option.

• Stetson Law alumnus Chase Florin is featured in a June 3 Florin Roebig article, “Chase Florin Becomes Youngest Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer in State of Florida.” Less than 1 percent of lawyers in Florida have earned this distinction, which signifies an attorney’s distinguished level of competence and experience in Civil Trial Law.