Stetson University in the News, Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 2020

Person in Front of Laptop next to Stetson University Mug.
portrait on a bench in Palm Court
Hala ElAarag, PhD

Top Stories:

• Professor of Computer Science Hala ElAarag, PhD, received the Outstanding Engineering Educator Award from the Florida Council Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, as reported by Engineered Systems in the Dec. 1 article, “Stetson University Professor Receives Outstanding Engineering Educator Award.”

Maureen Breakiron-Evans

• Maureen Breakiron-Evans ’76, Chair of the Stetson Board of Trustees and Cubic Corporation Independent Director, was named a recipient of the 2020 Director of the Year award for Corporate Governance by Corporate Directors Forum, according to Business Wire.

• Law Professor Royal Gardner received the Society of Wetland Scientists’ 40th Anniversary Award on Dec. 1 for exemplary work in wetland science and continued contributions to SWS. 

portrait outside
Judy Burnett, PhD

• Associate Professor of Counselor Education Judith A. Burnett, PhD, and alumna Joey Lynn Jachec were featured in the Daytona Beach News-Journal article, “Stetson professor, student work with Kenyan orphans affected by AIDS,” on Nov. 30. Burnett was also featured in a Dec. 1 Spectrum News 13 segment on her work with Kenyan orphans.

• Associate Professor of Accounting Valrie Chambers, PhD, was mentioned in the Accounting Today article, “People & firms on the move: RubinBrown adds tax partner,” on Nov. 25 for being appointed to the Diversity + Inclusion Advisory Task Force of the Florida Institute of CPAs. Chambers was also quoted in the article, “Stetson University professor Valrie Chambers appointed to FICPA Diversity + Inclusion Advisory Task Force,” on Nov. 26.

portrait in a chef's coat
Hari Pulapaka, PhD

• Associate Professor of Mathematics Hari Pulapaka, PhD, was featured in Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide on Nov. 27. The article, titled, “Pulapaka releases new book dedicated to vegetarian cuisine,” highlights Pulapaka’s most recent cookbook, memoir and philosophical guide-in-one: “Dreaming In Spice: A Sinfully Vegetarian Odyssey”.

• Eric Kurlander, PhD , the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History, was quoted in the Nov. 26 Mysterious Universe article, “The Bonkers Astrology Battle of World War II.”

• The Hometown News mentioned Stetson in the Dec. 3 article, “Surge in new cases continues in Volusia,” which noted Stetson had 18 cases at the time.

• Professor Emeritus of Political Science T. Wayne Bailey, PhD, co-authored a Guest Commentary titled, “8 reasons to celebrate the county charter,” on Dec. 1 for the West Volusia Beacon.

• Rajni Shankar-Brown, PhD, Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education, was quoted in the TV news segment, “Families make up 40% of homeless population,” on WMAR-TV, an ABC affiliate in Maryland. The segment also mentioned the Hatters University Scholars.

Melissa Parks
Melissa Parks, PhD

• Assistant Professor of Education Melissa Parks, PhD, was quoted Nov. 23 in the National Geographic article, “Science experiments that will feed your kids’ brains.”

• Stetson was mentioned in an article in the Pensacola News Journal, entitled “Let Florida colleges, universities decide how to keep students safe from coronavirus.” The story noted Stetson’s commitment to student safety.

Other News:

• Sophomore Emily Derrenbacker wrote a guest column for, entitled “Florida’s politicians need to address the threat of rising seas.”

• Stetson Law 3L George Thurlow wrote a Nov. 29 column for the Palm Beach Post called, “Point of View: Socialism is not the answer, or the future for Democrats.” 

• Visiting Law Professor Robyn Powell was interviewed on Good Day Orlando on Dec. 1 to discuss the possibility of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in schools and businesses.  

Elizabeth Berenguer

• Law Professor Elizabeth Berenguer was interviewed for the Ipse Dixit podcast on Nov. 27 to discuss Critical Legal Rhetoric.  

• Law Professor Andrew Appleby’s article, “Designing The Tax Supermajority Requirement,” in the Syracuse Law Review was mentioned by the TaxProf Blog

• Law Professor Peter F. Lake was quoted in the Columbia Daily Spectator in a Dec. 4 article called, “How could higher education change under the Biden Administration?” 

• Law Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy was quoted in a Dec. 4 NBCLX article called, “Trump’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping Bill: On the House.” 

• Law Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy was quoted in a Nov. 26 article for Elite Daily called, “Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving 2020 Tweet Celebrated A Controversial Supreme Court Ruling.” 

Andrew Appleby

• Law Professor Andrew Appleby’s article with Walter Hellerstein called, “State Estate Taxes and the Due Process Clause” was published in the Nov. 23 edition of Tax Notes State from Tax Analyst.  

• Law Professor Elizabeth Berenguer’s article, “Gut Renovations: Using Critical and Comparative Rhetoric to Remodel How the Law Addresses Privilege and Power” with Lucy Jewel and Terri A. McMurtry-Chubb, was published in the Harvard Latinx Law Review.  

• Law Professor Rebecca C. Morgan wrote the following blogs for the Elder Law Prof Blog: Nov. 25, “Medicare’s Care Compare;” Nov. 27, “Health & Income Security Gaps For Older Americans of Color;” Nov. 30, “Taking Grandma Home; But What Happens When Grandma Goes Back to the SNF?;” Dec. 2, “Register Now-SNT Webinar January 6, 2021;” Dec. 2, “How SSA Hold Harmless Works;” Dec. 3, “The Business Side of SNFs;” and Dec. 4, “The COVID Crisis in One Florida LTC Facility.”

• Stetson Law was mentioned on NonProfitPRO for a Nov. 27 article called, “Stories of How Nonprofits Are Engaging With Donors and Volunteers.” 

• The article, “Stetson Athletics End of the Year Awards,” appeared Nov. 29 in the Sanford Herald.

• Former Stetson Law faculty member John B. “Jack” Roe, 78, of Holmes Beach and Grand Detour, Illinois, died Nov. 27 from a rare untreatable form of cancer known as myelofibrosis, according to The Islander newspaper.  

Alumni News:

• Alumna Blair Parke published the article, “Why Do Some People Claim That Christmas Is a Pagan Holiday?,” at on Dec. 2.

• The Florida Bar board certified Jacksonville Assistant General Counsel Sonya Harrell in city, county and local government law, according to the Jacksonville Daily Record. A 1994 graduate of Stetson University College of Law, Harrell practices in the tort litigation department. 

• Alumnus Dean Trantalis was re-elected mayor of Fort Lauderdale, according to the Sun-Sentinel.