Finals Week: Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

This finals week, FSU Libraries are diving into the theme of Survivor! Drawing inspiration from the enduring social strategy game with over 40 seasons, our upcoming events and resources are designed to help students tackle their academic challenges with resilience and determination.

“Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast” is a famous Survivor tagline often quoted by host Jeff Probst. It helps players organize the most effective strategies for winning the game (Holmes, 2015). In Season 34 of Survivor: Game Changers, Jeff Probst explains “Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast” to the jury at the Final Tribal Council, highlighting how each aspect is crucial to beating the other castaways and becoming the Sole Survivor (Probst et al., 2017, 1:17:42). 

In the blog post below, we’ve outlined strategies to help you outwit, outplay, and outlast your final exams and finish the semester on top! Discover these resources and more online at


The first aspect of Survivor, outwit, refers to the “social part of the game,” including “your alliances” and “relationships” (Probst et al., 2017, 1:18:06). 

Don’t be blindsided by your finals this semester. Form alliances with the Libraries and utilize our services when you need extra support. Stop by Strozier Library for ACE Tutoring in Chemistry, Math, and Physics, plus receive help from the Reading Writing Center. Visit Dirac for more Chemistry Tutoring, and be sure to contact your subject librarian with any research questions! 


Outplay is the second essential element of winning Survivor and completing your final projects. This concerns how you “respond to the hand you’re dealt” (Probst et al., 2017, 1:18:24). 

When there are unexpected twists and challenges this finals week, you can use library resources for an extra advantage. Double-check our library hours & book a study room online on the main library website. Also, cut the confusion out of citing sources with the help of this research guide:


Finally, “the most critical,” outlast your finals by taking a well-deserved break from outwitting and outplaying (Probst et al., 2017, 1:18:28). Visit Dirac or Strozier Library for our end-of-semester events to de-stress and fuel up!

Dirac Library Events

Monday, 12/4, 2-4 pm: Survivor Challenges

Monday, 12/11, 5:00-6:30 pm: Finals Fuel

Strozier Library Events

Wednesday, 12/6, 2-4 pm: Survivor Challenges

Wednesday, 12/13, 5:00-6:30 pm: Finals Fuel

Secure the biggest comeback in finals week history and end the Fall semester strong with FSU Libraries! Survivors ready? Go! 


Holmes, M. (2015, June 3). The Ultimate Survivor Glossary. Inside Survivor.

Probst, J., Burnett, M., & Parsons, C. (Executive Producers). (2017, May 24). No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Season 34, Episode 12) [TV series episode]. Survivor: Game Changers — Mamanuca Islands. CBS Studios.

This post was written by Alaina Faulkner, Student Engagement Associate at FSU Libraries.

Library Resources for Student Veterans

Annually on November 11th, the United States observes Veterans Day. It’s a time set aside to pay tribute and express gratitude for the dedication of all military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Initially recognized as Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I, the holiday has transformed to honor veterans of all conflicts (Source). Presently, it is marked by national events, ceremonies, and various gestures of appreciation.

FSU Libraries are part of the Veterans Alliance at Florida State University. The FSU Veterans Alliance represents the university’s campus-wide commitment to veteran support and success (Source). We are proud to be a part of this effort in supporting veterans. 

The FSU Veterans Alliance Arrowhead is located next to the Starbucks Cafe inside Strozier Library on the 1st floor.

In recognition of Veterans Day, this blog post compiles the library services and resources that offer support to FSU’s student veterans, celebrating their resilience and dedication to their education. We encourage our student veterans to visit the FSU Student Veterans Center for other resources, including tuition assistance, academic support, off-campus resources, and more:

Thank you, veterans, for your service and sacrifice.

Study Spaces

Did you know? FSU Libraries have 3 individual study rooms reserved for veterans! 

Strozier Library has two rooms on the 2nd floor in the Annex, and Dirac Science Library has one room on the 1st floor (basement).

All rooms are available on a first come, first served basis for four hours at a time. To access the rooms, just ask for the Veterans Room key at the Scholar Support Desk at Strozier or Dirac.

Academic Assistance


There are several opportunities available for tutoring at both Strozier and Dirac Science Library.

Tutoring at Strozier takes place on the first floor across from the Pop Lit section.

At Strozier, walk-in tutoring is available in chemistry, math, and physics every Sunday through Thursday, 7pm-11pm. Tutoring is provided by ACE.

The Reading-Writing Center also provides assistance at Strozier every Monday through Thursday from 5pm-11pm. To ensure you get the help you need, we encourage you to make an appointment.

At Dirac, chemistry tutoring is provided by Alpha Chi Omega Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm-8pm on the main floor near Starbucks. 

View all the library tutoring opportunities at!

Research Help

Need help with research? Research Guides are a great place to find sources that relate to the specific subject you’re researching. For example, if you’re interested in researching veterans, check out this guide on locating data related to Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies, created by our Social Sciences Librarian Mohamed Berray. 

The Ask Us chat is a convenient way to get answers quickly to your questions. For more personalized research assistance, reach out to your Subject Librarian!

Library Collections

FSU Libraries’ collections consist of thousands of fiction and nonfiction books (plus eBooks!), along with articles, journals, and more. Below are three memoirs written by veterans from our collections, which you can find via OneSearch on

We also have archival collections and materials available online and in person. Many of our collections share the history of veterans from our community.

The Thomas LeRoy Collins Papers Collection, for instance, compiles materials from the former Governor of Florida and Veteran of World War II, Thomas LeRoy Collins. Included are campaign materials, personal memorabilia, correspondence, speeches, organization files, photographs, sound and video recordings (Source). Click through the slides below to see a few digitized excerpts from the LeRoy Collins Papers collection, available through the FSU Digital Library.

To learn more about these unique resources, visit!

This post was written by Alaina Faulkner, Student Engagement Associate at FSU Libraries.

13 Books to Read for Body Acceptance Week 2023

October 23 – 27, 2023 is Body Acceptance Week. We are partnering with CHAW to raise awareness about this important week, and to suggest some thought-provoking books related to this theme for your reading list!

Body Acceptance week is a new initiative from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the goal is to promote body acceptance while also providing resources, education, and support for those who are experiencing body dissatisfaction.

When we think of body acceptance, the first thing that might come to mind is body positivity. While this can be a part of body acceptance practice for some, feeling positively toward our bodies is certainly not a requirement. Body acceptance can also include the practice of body neutrality, which gives us space to feel positively, negatively, or even neutral about our bodies while also striving to respect and take care of them.

An essential aspect of body acceptance is body liberation. While we may strive individually toward our personal meanings of body acceptance, we can collectively work toward body liberation. This means co-creating a world where all bodies are free from oppression, including weight stigma and size discrimination, and working toward creating safety for everyone.

Check out the reading list below for CHAW’s top picks that explore a variety of perspectives related to body acceptance. From graphic novels to young adult fiction to memoirs, there is a read for everyone. All books are available through FSU Libraries!

Additionally, join FSU Libraries and CHAW Wednesday, October 25th on the main floor of Strozier Library from 1-3pm for our Postcards to My Future Self event! Grab a snack to fuel your studies and write your future self an encouraging or kind message on a postcard. Your message will be mailed to you before the semester ends. Taking time to do kind things for yourself is an important way to practice body respect and acceptance. We hope to see you there!

Be sure to follow @fsuchaw to learn how else you can engage with the FSU community during Body Acceptance Week.

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach

by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

When it was first published, Intuitive Eating was revolutionary in its anti-dieting approach. The authors, both prominent health professionals in the field of nutrition and eating disorders, urge readers to embrace the goal of developing body positivity and reconnecting with one’s internal wisdom about eating—to unlearn everything they were taught about calorie-counting and other aspects of diet culture and to learn about the harm of weight stigma. Today, their message is more relevant and pressing than ever.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description provided by Barned and Noble.

The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce

edited by Angie Manfredi

Chubby. Curvy. Fluffy. Plus-size. Thick. Fat.

The time has come for fat people to tell their own stories. Editor Angie Manfredi’s The (Other) F Word combines the voices of Renée Watson, Julie Murphy, Jes Baker, Samantha Irby, Bruce Sturgell, and more in a relatable and gift-worthy guide about body image and fat acceptance. This dazzling collection of art, poetry, essays, and fashion tips is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty.

Image and description courtesy of Abrams Books.

Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

by Sabrina Strings

There is an obesity epidemic in this country and poor Black women are particularly stigmatized as “diseased” and a burden on the public health care system. This is only the most recent incarnation of the fear of fat Black women, which Sabrina Strings shows took root more than two hundred years ago. An important and original work, Fearing the Black Body argues convincingly that fat phobia isn’t about health at all, but rather a means of using the body to validate race, class, and gender prejudice.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description provided by NYU Press.

Disability Visibility

edited by Alice Wong

Disability rights activist Alice Wong brings tough conversations to the forefront of society with this anthology. It sheds light on the experience of life as an individual with disabilities, as told by none other than authors with these life experiences. It’s an eye-opening collection that readers will revisit time and time again.

Image courtesy of Penguin Books. Description provided by the Chicago Tribune.

Fat Angie

by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

Angie is broken—by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Having failed to kill herself—in front of a gym full of kids—Angie’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, a girl who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. With an offbeat sensibility and mean girls to rival a horror classic, this darkly comic anti-romantic romance will appeal to anyone who likes entertaining and meaningful fiction.

Image and description courtesy of Amazon.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

by Roxane Gay

New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description via

Wow, No Thank You

by Samantha Irby

Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with “tv executives slash amateur astrologers” while being a “cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person,” “with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees,” who still hides past due bills under her pillow.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description provided by Penguin Random House.

Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes From a Trap Feminist

by Sesali Bowen

Bad Fat Black Girl offers a new, inclusive feminism for the modern world. Weaving together searing personal essay and cultural commentary, Bowen interrogates sexism, fatphobia, and capitalism all within the context of race and hip-hop. In the process, she continues a Black feminist legacy of unmatched sheer determination and creative resilience.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description provided by Harper Collins.

Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness

by Da’Shaun L. Harrison

To live in a body both fat and Black is to exist at the margins of a society that creates the conditions for anti-fatness as anti-Blackness. Hyper-policed by state and society, passed over for housing and jobs, and derided and misdiagnosed by medical professionals, fat Black people in the United States are subject to sociopolitically sanctioned discrimination, abuse, condescension, and trauma.

Da’Shaun Harrison–a fat, Black, disabled, and nonbinary trans writer–offers an incisive, fresh, and precise exploration of anti-fatness as anti-Blackness. They offer strategies for dismantling denial, unlearning the cultural programming that tells us “fat is bad,” and destroying the world as we know it, so the Black fat can inhabit a place not built on their subjugation.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description provided by Penguin Random House.

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine

by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) team up to bring you the premiere volume of Bitch Planet, a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation.

In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?

Image and description courtesy of Amazon.

Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself

by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Healthy boundaries. We all know we should have them–in order to achieve work/life balance, cope with toxic people, and enjoy rewarding relationships with partners, friends, and family. But what do “healthy boundaries” really mean–and how can we successfully express our needs, say “no,” and be assertive without offending others? In a relatable and inclusive tone, Set Boundaries, Find Peace presents simple-yet-powerful ways to establish healthy boundaries in all aspects of life.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description provided by Penguin Random House.

Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman

by Lindy West

With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy West boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.

Image and description courtesy of Amazon.

I’ll Be the One

by Lyla Lee

The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity–perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

Image courtesy of Amazon. Description provided by Harper Collins Publishers.

This post was written by Samantha Thoms, Registered Dietitian for CHAW.

Libraries Abroad: A Visit to FSU London

Lindsey at the Painted Hall

I hadn’t visited FSU London or any of our FSU Libraries international study centers since the pandemic. I anticipated changes, similar to those we experienced on our campus in Tallahassee. I arrived in the city after a sleepless red-eye. It was a beautiful, cool Sunday morning, and London didn’t seem much changed at all, to my great relief. The study center sits on picturesque Great Russell Street in the heart of the Bloomsbury district, a row of interconnected buildings that comprise the student flats, classrooms, offices, community spaces, and library that make up FSU London. Built in the 17th century, it’s impossible to overlook the history within the space, especially as I carried my overpacked suitcase up the four flights of steep wooden stairs to my flat. I spent my first day visiting the National Gallery, enjoying the sights of the South Bank, and preparing for my week to come, enchanted already by my admittedly favorite city. 

Monday morning began with a happy reunion with FSU London Director, Kathleen Paul; Senior Associate Director, Lisa Bowers-Isaacson; the London Library team, Eddie Cheung & Chiedu Osedumme; as well as the FSU Florence Librarian, Kate Dowling. The focus of our initial meeting was setting goals for the week and how we could best use our time in London to promote library services and resources to the students, faculty, and staff while identifying opportunities for library support and creating connections that come from spending time in-person, embedded in the study abroad experience. The London study body is primarily First Year Abroad & First Semester Abroad students in the broad curriculum program. There is also a significant population of Theater Academy London students, providing an in-depth and vibrant experience for theater students. The study center also serves many other universities and academic institutions, serving as home for the study abroad experience for diverse students. 

FSU London Study Center

On Monday and Tuesday, we held faculty lunch meetings where I opened with a presentation on library support for teaching, learning, and research and Kate followed-up with a discussion on AI and its effects on higher education. It was great to provide updates on the work we’ve been doing in the libraries, from our redesigned website to our new OpenAthens authentication process to our growing collections and research support services. I’ve worked with many of these faculty for years, and being able to find ways to support their goals in developing robust learning experiences utilizing both the city of London as well as library resources to provide context and background is incredibly rewarding as a librarian. 

It was easy for me to feel like part of the team in London, where a small, dedicated group of people work together to craft a truly unique educational experience. I attended the all staff weekly meeting where they discussed upcoming cultural excursions, group dinners, and programming for the students. I spent one morning with the student affairs team, whose span of work and care of the students really solidifies all the other working pieces. As we enjoyed tea and pastries or chatted over dinner, I was struck by what a special group of people have made this program such a success for our university.

One of the most gratifying aspects of my trip was my time with the library employees who work abroad, as it was the first time I was able to work with Eddie, Chiedu, and Kate throughout the week to discuss integrating the library into the program, managing their library spaces and collections, and providing research and reference support. The library space is bright and efficient with quiet study spaces. It houses a program-and location-specific collection of books and media items with additional circulating items of technology and course reserves. Both Eddie and Chiedu manage not only the library space and collection, but also coordinate the IT services for the study center. One of the goals for my time at the study center was offering support and guidance, working through problems and questions, and solidifying our joint efforts to provide a fulfilling library experience. 

Lindsey & Kate Present “Research Ready” to FYA/FSA Students

Engaging with the London students was another highlight of my trip. Kate and I collaborated on presentations and instruction sessions to introduce the students to our online library services and resources as vast electronic collections of eBooks, articles, databases, streaming video, and more that are available anytime, anywhere through our library website. We infused our sessions with tenets of critical thinking, information literacy, and valuable applications for evaluating sources. These sessions are crucial in helping students navigate the library website, knowing how to get help, and thinking about research and information critically and contextually. I was also able to spend time with the students during a cultural excursion to Greenwich, one of many planned trips as part of the study abroad experience. I straddled the Prime Meridian Line and visited the exquisite Painted Hall while chatting with students on the tube about their classes and research . 

Eddie organized a lunch with the library student workers where we discussed our libraries, librarianship, and their goals in the program. It was a great way to learn more about the student worker experience, as I cannot emphasize enough how vital these staff members are to all of our libraries. We couldn’t do any of this without them. 

Themes from our time in London included artificial intelligence and the opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning; standardizing the library experience for all students studying abroad and how we can provide the relevant information at the right time; how the library can support course materials as well as open educational resource efforts; and the ongoing importance of communication and collaboration to achieve our aligned goals. So many people are to thank for this experience but I would be remiss not to mention the amazing Dr. Kathleen Paul, Dr. Lisa Bowers-Isaacson and her wonderful history lessons, Eddie Cheung for all his work in planning our itinerary, Chiedu Osedumme, and my partner in all this work, Kate Dowling. Another special thank you to my leadership at the Libraries and my partners at International Programs. The visits to our international campuses are special to me for many reasons, but what stands out is seeing how our work in the Libraries extends beyond our borders and bolsters learning experiences in exciting and meaningful ways. 

By: Lindsey Wharton, Extended Campus & Distance Services Librarian

FSU Libraries Celebrate Banned Books Week 2023

Banned Books Week is October 1-7, 2023! This is an annual event celebrated for more than 40 years by libraries, schools, and other institutions across the United States that promotes the freedom to read and highlights censorship attempts around the country. Banned Books Week provides an opportunity to exercise our freedoms and engage with perspectives different from our own.

What do you think of when you hear the term “banned books”? Maybe classics like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which have been historically banned and restricted in schools, come to mind. Or perhaps book banning is something you’ve heard about in the news more recently. While banning or challenging books1 in the U.S. may seem like an idea of the past, censorship attempts continue to occur frequently in libraries and schools across the nation today. 

According to the American Libraries Association (ALA), there have been 1,915 attempts to censor library books in 2023, which is more than ALA has ever recorded since it began collecting information about censorship in libraries 20 years ago. Most of the books that were targeted include stories written “by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, people of color.” Considering the rise in censorship attempts, it’s more important than ever for libraries to champion intellectual freedom and the freedom of expression for all individuals, especially for those who are most vulnerable. 

Despite the rising number of book challenges and bans, Banned Books Week celebrates that in the U.S., books still remain widely available. Below are several opportunities to learn more about censorship and engage with books that have been banned around the country. Whether you’re on FSU’s Tallahassee campus or online this week, join FSU Libraries in celebrating intellectual freedom! 

  1. ALA defines a book challenge as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based on the objections of a person or group.” Similarly, book “banning is the removal of those materials.” ↩︎

Celebrate with us in-person

Celebrate Banned Books Week with us in person at Strozier Library!

  • Visit our Banned Books display in Pop Lit: Discover books available through FSU Libraries that have been banned or challenged in the U.S. Displayed in the Pop Lit section next to the inside Starbucks café, the selections range from historically banned books to the most controversial titles of today. The display will be up for the whole month of October.
  • Grab a Banned Books bookmark & pin: On your way in and out of Strozier this week, be sure to look for bookmarks featuring titles that have been frequently restricted around the U.S. Also pick up an “I Read Banned Books” pin to show your support for the freedom to read!

Get involved online 

Get involved with Banned Books Week online! There are numerous opportunities on ALA’s website to learn about book banning in greater detail.

  • Dive deeper into book bans and challenges: The Banned Book FAQ page provides answers for some of the biggest questions related to censorship: what is a book challenge, why are books challenged, who challenges books, and more. Access the page here:
  • Discover the most challenged books of 2022: Check out the 13 titles that were among the most challenged in 2022, including Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer: Search online for these titles at to access eBooks or reserve a book for pickup.
  • Look at censorship by the numbers: Curious about the data on book challenges? Take a look at ALA’s website for a breakdown of censorship activities by the numbers:

This Banned Books Week, celebrate your freedom to read by learning more about book restrictions in the United States and discovering the resources available to you at FSU Libraries!

This post was written by Alaina Faulkner, Student Engagement Associate at FSU Libraries.

Featured image created by Laura Pellini, Graphic Design Specialist.

Experience the Wide World of FSU

You have probably heard it several times already in the last few weeks but allow me to say, “Welcome, ‘Noles!”

One of our goals at FSU Libraries is to be the physical and virtual heart of the university, serving as a center of the intellectual community. In our mission to support and enhance learning, teaching, research, and service at FSU, we value critical thinking and healthy discussion, innovation, trust, diversity, collegiality, and inclusion.[i] We provide physical space for you to collaborate, and we can assist you to find and evaluate quality information.  We’re here to help, so please bring us your questions.

There is an awe-inspiring variety of people at FSU. First-year students this Fall semester come from 46 countries, all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. [ii]  In Fall 2022, FSU students came from a total of 129 countries in addition to every one of the United States.[iii]  We are thousands of students, faculty, staff, and administrators from diverse cultures and different communities. Each of us is a complex mix of intersecting backgrounds, circumstances, and narratives.  We each have perspectives and beliefs that are informed by these life experiences: pleasant and unpleasant, inherited or chosen.  Each of us has a different story to tell, but together we are the FSU community.

So as the semester gets into full-swing, I invite you to consider the opportunities that such diversity offers you here at FSU. Listen to someone else’s story or take into account a different perspective; and always remember to treat each other with dignity, because each of us belongs here.  We are all FSU Seminoles.




Art in the Library: 10 questions with Companion

Anonymous artist Companion is a queer artist living with Bipolar I disorder who focuses on illustrating the fragility of the human mind and the importance of mental health treatment. Through bizarre scenes and eerie imagery, Companion depicts their disturbing memories as experienced in psychosis. Each painting presented in this exhibition acts as a physical expression of the delusions, paranoia, pain and fear experienced by the artist. 

“For me, there is power in anonymity; power which takes focus off of the ego and onto the piece. When you look at my paintings, you look at thousands of decisions that my mind has made; you are looking into my mind. Hopefully as you get up close and notice the imperfections that I have left behind in each piece, you are able to feel the vulnerability I have given up to share my work with you.” -Companion
You can see Companion’s work Hallucinations; A View into the Psychotic Mind in the Dirac Science Library all of Fall 2023.

  • Tell us about this show – give our readers a brief introduction to the work you are exhibiting with us this semester?
    • This show consists of a collection of paintings that I have worked on with the intent to relay the feelings of paranoia, pain, fear and delusion as I experienced them during a psychotic break. I want to give a glimpse into insanity, and as an artist, I have been gifted with the outlet and opportunity to express this dark period of my life.
  • What is your favorite work in this show? Tell us a little more about the story behind it.
    • My favorite work in the exhibition is the piece titled “Man and Two Voices.” This painting acts as an attempt to visually express the sensation of auditory command hallucinations. The painting depicts a man wrapped in a blanket in a psychiatric facility; the two distinct voices he is hearing are represented through the face and shadow figure on the left side. 
  • Are there themes that pervade your work in general, not limited to the works included in this current exhibition?
    • Fear will pervade my artwork for the rest of my life. I have been creating art my entire life but have always felt seemingly directionless in terms of my style and subject matter. I am drawn towards artworks which are bizarre or unsettling (some of my favorite artists and sources of inspiration include Francis Bacon, Rene Magritte, Francisco Goya, Mark Rothko and Zdzisław Beksiński). Because of this, I create art that attracts similar intrigue. Psychosis, while undoubtedly the worst thing I will ever experience, has gifted me with an endless pool of emotion to pull from.
  • What does your artwork represent about you? What message do you want to send out into the world through your art?
    • My artwork represents the part of my mind that has been forever altered by the experience of psychosis. I plan on continuing this journey of emotional expression. I want to show the world what it is like to forget your own name; to not recognize the person looking back at you in the mirror. 
  • How does your work comment on current social or political issues?
    • Through my art, I hope to bring awareness to and de-stigmatize mental illness, especially severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I also intend to create art that comments on mental health treatment in the United States. A lot of the infrastructure we have in place regarding mental health treatment is severely flawed, and hopefully my works can make an impact on this matter.
  • Do you have any long term goals related to making your artwork?
    • In terms of exposure, long term, I hope to see my artwork being displayed somewhere of great importance. I want to remain anonymous; but I want my art to behave as its own entity, presented for mass consumption. In regard to the actual art making process, I hope that one day I feel that I am closer to expressing what I experienced during psychosis. The paintings on display for this exhibition are only the beginnings of my journey in achieving this goal.
  • How does being a student impact your creative process?
    • I would say that being a student sometimes impedes my creative processes. It can be difficult for me to consistently create artwork and simultaneously be a student living with a disability.
  • Is research part of your art making process? If so, could you give us an idea of what that process is like? Where do you do research before you start making? Are there any specific kinds of information that are critical to your work?
    • I often look for inspiration by looking through works created by my favorite artists which I mentioned earlier. 
  • Do you have a preferred medium to work in?
    • Currently, I have a preference for painting in oils, but I often draw in charcoal, graphite, colored pencil and pen. All of the works in this exhibition are oil paintings, and I expect to continue to work a lot in this medium moving forward.
  • Do you have any social media accounts where people can find you?
    • Not at this time but I want to have something for my work soon! Check back in in a few weeks.

Practicing Self-Care with CHAW

This September is Self-Care Awareness Month at FSU Libraries! We’re partnering with the Center for Health Advocacy & Wellness (CHAW) to discuss self-care and offer some tips for how you can get started.

What is self-care and why does it matter?

Self-care means prioritizing the things that support your overall wellness. Caring for yourself is essential to thrive and survive both in calm moments and challenging ones.

Here at FSU, we focus on creating a culture of care by celebrating the contributions of individuals and groups in our campus community. We are all responsible for creating this culture of care. To do that we must take care of ourselves and others. And we cannot take care of others without first taking care of ourselves. 

How to practice self-care

Step one: learn about the nine dimensions of holistic wellness. The nine dimensions are:

  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Creative
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Occupational

To learn more about FSU’s holistic wellness campaign and each of these dimensions of wellness, visit DSA’s website.

Step two: Do a bit of self-evaluation to see where you might have unmet needs related to these areas. For example, in the area of physical wellness, are you meeting your needs? You might ask yourself a few questions to check in on this such as: am I taking breaks when I can to eat? Am I staying hydrated? Am I getting enough rest, both at night and overall? 

Next: come up with a plan to meet your needs. For example: pack snacks to munch on between classes. Carry a water bottle. Set boundaries to allow for adequate rest. Put your phone on do not disturb after a certain hour. Practice saying no (a complete sentence BTW) to commitments that would require more energy and time than you can invest. 

Finally, learn which resources are available to you to support your self-care. These resources can include your personal strengths and social networks and campus resources. 

CHAW can help you practice self-care

One campus resource that can help you on your self-care journey is the Center for Health Advocacy & Wellness (CHAW). CHAW encourages students to make healthy lifestyle decisions that facilitate academic success and lead to life-long health and wellness. CHAW provides a wide range of presentations and outreach events on health topics related to:

  • general wellness
  • alcohol tobacco and other drugs
  • collegiate recovery
  • nutrition, body image and eating disorder prevention
  • interpersonal violence prevention
  • sexual health 

How you can practice self-care with CHAW

  1. Visit CHAW’s website to learn more about their services. 
  2. Follow CHAW (@fsuchaw) to stay up to date on current events and for plenty of quick tips to optimize your overall wellness. Look for #LiveWellFSU for content that is related to holistic wellness. 
  3. To support your physical wellness, call (850) 644 – 4567 to schedule an appointment for nutrition counseling or HIV testing. Visit CHAW’s office on the 4th floor of UHS to get free condoms, lube, and/or menstrual products. 
  4. For overall and academic wellness, call (850) 644 – 4567 to schedule a wellness coaching appointment.
  5. For social wellness, get involved as a student through CHAW’s Healthy Noles peer education program or the kNOw More Student Advisory Board
  6. For occupational wellness, work for CHAW through internships and federal work study positions. 
  7. For intellectual wellness, request a presentation related to any of the above topic areas for your classroom or RSO. 

Happy Self-Care Awareness Month! Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. This month, practice filling that cup up by prioritizing your overall wellness and let CHAW help you get there. Also, be sure to stop by Strozier Library this month to visit the self-care shelf and discover your next read!

This post was written by Samantha Thoms, Registered Dietitian for CHAW.

(Metaphorically) In the Trenches with 3D Tech in Tuscany

This post, by FSU Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Librarian Matthew Hunter, is a repost from the Immersive Scholarship blog at For more information about the work the Immersive Scholarship team is performing, or to discuss project ideas, please visit their site. For more information about the Cosa project and other Classical archaeology projects, check out the FSU Classics Department site at

This past June, I traveled to Italy to contribute to the long-running archaeological excavations at the ancient Roman site of Cosa. Perched on a beautiful coastal promontory overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea about halfway between Rome and Florence, the ruins of the ancient colony are surrounded by the sleepy modern town of Ansedonia and provide hints at both Republican and Imperial urban planning and building techniques later deployed across the Roman world. The current, FSU-led excavations at Cosa have been focused on a bath complex located within the ancient town, and add to a program of study that has explored the site since the late 1940s. The current multi-institutional focus on the bath complex, directed by FSU Classics professor Dr. Andrea De Giorgi, is meant to illuminate a particular iteration of one of the hallmarks of a “proper” civilized Roman colony town, the bathhouse, which were hubs for social life in the Roman period. The baths at Cosa are particularly interesting as a case study in large part due to the lack of a natural water source at the site. As there were no wells, springs, lakes, rivers, or streams to provide potable water, all water used at the site would have been rainwater collected into large cisterns built around the site. Strategically doling out this rainwater for necessities such as cooking and drinking, and for leisurely comforts such as fountains and the baths, was the work of a sustainability-minded town.

A view of Cosa’s Arx, including the capitolium and basilica, with a modern installation art piece “Dal Giorno Alla Notte” by Felice Levini during the 2023 Hypermaremma art festival

The current FSU excavations at Cosa began in 2013 when Dr. De Giorgi and a team of FSU Classical Archaeology graduate students set out to add to a long-running series of excavations carried out under the behest of the American Academy at Rome. Prior excavations have outlined the general city plan, uncovered a forum and details of the village, explored the houses of the residents, investigated the religious locus of the town in detailing several temples on the “Arx (which is a Latin term for both the geographic summit of the site as well as its focal center), and investigated the long afterlife of the town’s settlement through the medieval period. The current exploration of the bath complex seeks to understand the extent of the town’s interaction with the larger Roman world as a center for maritime trade and commerce. Over the last decade, the FSU Cosa Excavations have produced a robust contribution to the understanding of Roman bath technology, Republican-era colonies, and more in various formats including edited volumes, articles, presentations, and dissertations – with the culmination of the project a slated entry into the series of major site reports under the University of Michigan Press imprint. 

Under the direction of the current FSU team, recent excavations at the bath are invested in performing not only vital archaeological excavations to better understand the built environment, but to also incorporate cutting-edge archaeological methods and modern technologies as part of their investigations. Among these are the use of drone-based aerial mapping, LIDAR topology scanning, and (most importantly to my work) photogrammetric and 3D scanned digital recreations of excavation trenches, artifacts, and site features. The production of these digital records is intended to help future researchers access the scholarly material of the excavations in a format that is most suitable and available to them, increasing the generation of knowledge about the site and of Roman history in general. By embracing these technologies and the more openly-accessible opportunities they present for sharing their research widely, the team hopes to invite new audiences into accessing their work and increase the impact of their scholarship beyond readership of the site reports and scholarly publications. 

As part of the university libraries’ partnership with the Cosa team, I have been assisting in these efforts by consulting on a digital database project and by working with the team to contribute to digitization efforts for the past several years. This has included, for the past two years, scanning artifacts with a high-resolution 3D scanner to create digital replicas for future study.  

FSU Libraries + Classics

Though I have a background in Classics, my contribution at the site is not intended to be as a subject-matter expert. There are far more competent Classicists and archaeologists on staff supervising the excavation, and a fantastic team of student archaeologists each summer contributing to the hard and sweaty work of excavation. My job, rather, is to create a digital record of select finds deemed important enough to capture for future analysis in highly accurate 3D models. This is important for the team’s broader efforts of analysis and communication, as the archaeological site itself is only open for excavation during the month of June each year. Thoroughly recording all aspects of the process along the way helps analysis during the other 11 months of the year, and the addition of accurate 3D models can provide an additional aspect of data that the standard documentation photographs may not. This results in a flurry of activity to document, photograph, identify, describe, and scan as many finds and features as quickly as possible. This past season, for example, I was able to scan 65 models in just two weeks, which will allow for further analysis throughout the year, and bring the total of objects scanned to 109. These scanned models are in addition to the documentary “photomodels” of each excavation trench generated by the team using photogrammetry.

The process of scanning first requires the discovery of materials in the field by teams of students working under the direction of a team of trench supervisors with years of experience and graduate training in Classical Archaeology. When a potential artifact is discovered, the trench supervisor documents its location in the trench and its general characteristics, then sends it to the team working in the magazzino where it is classified and further recorded (including things like measurements and weight). Once the artifact is classified by the magazzino team, they work quickly to attempt an initial identification (i.e. type of pottery, type of coin, description of general sculptural features). They will then document this information and capture identification photos. Then, if the artifact is of particular noteworthiness or uniqueness, the team will set it aside for scanning, where it makes its way to my queue.

At this point, I use the library’s Artec Space Spider 3D to begin the process of scanning the object. This scanner uses a combination of structured light technology and real-time photogrammetry processing to capture surface topology and real-color images. Structured light scanning is a process by which a regular shape (usually a grid) of uniform dimension is projected onto a surface, then captured by a camera. Powerful software then analyzes the image to determine how that grid is altered by the surface of the object. When put together with enough other photographs of the deformed grid, the software can begin to triangulate features by comparing how the grid changes across the photo series.

Interested in Photogrammetry & 3D Capture?

Join the FSU Libraries Immersive Scholarship team this fall as we present our Photogrammetry Institute. For more details, check out the event schedule and prior event topics on our event page.

In addition to the structured light method, the 3D scanner I use also employs a trio of high-resolution digital cameras set at particular angles to capture an instantly-triangulated view of any object it is pointed at. By knowing the exact angle the three camera lenses are offset, the software that reconstructs the scan data can quickly patch together the surface and color information of a model in real-time. Paired with the higher-resolution structured-light approach, scans of objects ranging from coins all the way to statues can be captured in minutes with astounding detail. 

Once each object is scanned, there are a few processing tasks I need to perform on the models to clean them up for presentation and eventual upload. The software paired with the Artec scanner automates most of this workflow, but still requires some decent processing power and time. This usually means that for every 10 minutes I spend scanning an object, I also have to spend 20 or so minutes performing hands-on cleaning and editing, with an additional 20-30 total minutes of hands-off processing time required for the computer to run through the various merging and texturing algorithms to produce the final model.

Timelapse of the scanning process from 2022

When things run smoothly, it usually takes anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour to finish the entire process of digitizing an artifact – from scanning to exporting a finished digital model. Not accounting for any errors in scanning or processing, the whole procedure is rather smooth and almost meditative. Where things get tricky are with objects on the extremes of size. One of the major limitations of the structured-light approach is the set size of the projected light-grid. While this allows for great accuracy when surface features deflect the grid, any features smaller than the grid are easily lost or left unrecorded. This is most commonly a factor on very thin objects (like coins) where the edge between two faces only deflects a small portion of the grid at any one time. This presents a problem in that the scanner can sometimes interpret this minor deflection as merely incorrect data capture – or “noise” – rather than actual surface information. And as good as the software usually is at tracking where the object benign scanned is at all times, thin edges like this are usually where the scanner begins to get confused, which often breaks the model.

 However, once the model is scanned and processed, I then gather a set of important data about the object in a spreadsheet for upload into the Cosa team’s working database. The full database captures all aspects of the excavation and is a massive undertaking to organize and update throughout the year. My small portion of the database pulls the archaeological context for each digitized find, and adds data specific to the 3D modeling process. Eventually, the finalized information from this working database will be consolidated and uploaded to the FSU institutional repository, DigiNole for preservation and presentation.

Left image shows the various aligned scanned data points as brightly-colored triangles; the right image is the finalized, processed model with color and texture information added.

But for the 3D objects I have scanned, however, the process of inclusion in DigiNole will happen much sooner. Thanks to the hard work of the Web Development team at the FSU Libraries, a new feature in DigiNole will allow for users to view and interact with 3D objects natively, much in the same way that the platform already supports PDF and audio/visual materials. This new feature will allow users the ability to engage with the 3D-scanned Cosa objects starting as early as this Fall, while research is actively ongoing. This is an exciting development for the project, as it allows for the fruits of FSU research endeavors to be held and cared for in an appropriate context within an academic environment. This is especially important, as for the past several years, the Cosa team has been uploading their 3D models of excavation trenches and objects to the public 3D repository Sketchfab. While Sketchfab allows for easy interaction with 3D models by the general public, not all of its content is scholarly (nor is all of it family-friendly, posing other problems). And though Sketchfab has done a great job supporting the work of cultural heritage institutions working to digitize and share their collections in 3D, their preservation and archiving obligations are very different than academic institutions’. We are proud to begin offering digital repository storage for 3D objects in the near future, and look forward to partnering with other researchers across campus to begin filling our repository with high-quality, high-impact 3D scholarship.

If you are interested in learning more about 3D scanning or photogrammetry techniques, be sure to check out our upcoming event series this fall, the Photogrammetry Institute, where we will focus on hands-on workshops with campus partners. Likewise, you can check out the recordings of the Spring 2023 events on our site here. For more information on services the FSU Libraries’ Immersive Scholarship team provides, feel free to explore our site at

3D scanning at Cosa with resident supervisor, “Amore” the cat.