Brave New World

October 3, 2015
Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts
South Campus
10 am - 3 pm


Talks from the Event

Sara Childers has over ten years of small animal, large animal, exotic animal, and marine mammal husbandry experience, which she started acquiring at nine years old. She aspires to start at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016 to obtain her doctorate of veterinary medicine degree and certificate in aquatic animal health, pending her acceptance into the program. Sara is a pre-veterinarian student at the Florida State College at Jacksonville with a concentration in biology.

Sara is on the autism spectrum, an advocate for fellow people with autism, and the founding president of the Spectrum of Success, Florida State College at Jacksonville’s first club devoted to helping those on the autism spectrum excel in college, learn the skills they need for life, and jobs, and be comfortable on campus. 


Dianne Fair considers herself to be “mostly native” of Jacksonville, FL though she was born in Norwood, MA.  She is currently a Professor of Natural Sciences at the Florida State College at Jacksonville’s South Campus, arriving there fresh out of graduate school in 1997.  Since 1986, Dianne has taught Biology and Chemistry in its various forms from elementary school to middle school, high school to college.

She received her B.A. in Biology and B.S. in Chemistry from Jacksonville University, and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences/Microbiology from The Florida State University.

Her main academic interests stem from a dissertation on soil microbial ecology though plants, animals, gardening, chocolate, beer, wine, cheese, Hawaiian volcanoes, “Star Trek” and martial arts also play their parts in her wonderful life.  She is an avid karate point fighter and kick boxer as well as a life-long Boston Red Sox fan.

With her son, Jimmy and partner, Doug, Dianne shares her home with numerous amphibians, arachnids, birds, mammals, reptiles and sunflowers.  Lots and lots of sunflowers.


Nicolas Michaud is an adjunct instructor at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He teaches philosophy, humanities, and English. Nicolas has two Master’s degrees, one in philosophy and another in English. As a philosopher, he is particularly interested in philosophy of education and is currently completing his doctorate in educational leadership. His research areas also include disabilities studies, feminist theory, race and gender, and ethics. Nicolas his published academic work on Samuel Beckett, on the importance of philosophy in educational leadership, and on the ethical issues pertaining to the Digital Commons. His recent dissertation addresses the question of post-secondary faculty roles and the tensions and ethical issues that arise between teaching and research.

As a philosopher, Nicolas is sometimes a bit lonely as others can find his constant questioning of the universe a bit… tiresome. In fact, it is difficult for him to even go to see an action film without asking questions like “Was that ethical?” “Wait, does that mean time is actually circular?” and “What if we are just dreaming that we are watching a movie?”  This constant questioning of even popular media, however, has led to a productive career in book publication. Nicolas often writes for books that address questions of philosophy and popular culture. It’s a lonely life, but at least he has cats.


Servant to the poor. Butler to the great. Counselor. Philosopher. Life-long mate. 

Michael T. Smith is a High School dropout (and later GED recipient) that has devoted his life to advancing the cause of Justice in his generation and beyond. He has received multiple awards and citations for his work in addressing systemic racism, generational poverty, and violence.

Michael is senior pastor at The Church of Jacksonville. Michael and his wife, Connie, have two children; Michael has been voted “#1 Dad” for 10 consecutive years by the “Bug” and the “Deuce,” an honor he holds most dear.


Jonathon Fletcher is a proponent of self-reliance and a believer that everyone should be concerned with how and where we derive our energy from. When his family takes a hot shower they love knowing that their hot water was heated from everlasting power of the sun.  Currently Jonathon works for Mirasol Solar as their NE Florida Director. Under Mirasol Jonathon wrote several proposals and received two awards for 500 kw solar farms which are to be built this upcoming year and next here in Jacksonville FL. Jonathon has also founded Florida Community Solar and is in the initial stages of bringing community solar to Jacksonville FL. Jonathon is an advocate of growing healthy food and together with his business associate Paul Nicholson designed and built the Apod which is an off grid sustainable agriculture project and which debuted at the first ever One Spark festival. On a personal note, Jonathon loves gardening, kayaking and spending time with his human family as well as his dog family and considers them all as one.


After graduating from the University of North Florida, Professor Martino accepted a position as a staff member with the Office of Congressman Ander Crenshaw.  His responsibilities included constituent meetings, legislative work and media communication.  As an undergraduate student Professor Martino earned 78 state, regional and national awards in platform speaking and multiple debate formats.  With this background in speech and debate, Professor Martino accepted the position of Assistant Director of the forensics program at Florida State College at Jacksonville.  During his time with the college he traveled across the country with student teams that participated in public speaking and debate events.  The College’s program quickly gained state, regional and national recognition by winning more than 200 individual and team awards in informative, persuasive, impromptu, extemporaneous speaking and parliamentary, cross-examination and Lincoln-Douglas debate events.  His time with the program culminated with the program being awarded with a bronze medal at the Phi Rho Pi National Competition over 100 other participating colleges from across the nation.

Professor Martino attended Florida Coastal School of Law and was a member of the Moot Court Honor Board.  As a law student he won the Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition, and received the Best Advocate award in the final round determined by members of the Florida Supreme Court.  He also was a finalist in the Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition, semi-finalist in the National Sports Law Competition, as well as receiving a best advocate award for the competition.  After receiving his Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law Professor Martino’s practice concentrated in the area of criminal law on the trial and appellate level.  Professor Martino also received his LL.M. in Trial Advocacy with Honors from Temple University - Beasley School of Law.  At the forefront of teaching advocacy, Temple Law has consistently been ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top two in trial advocacy.  Professor Martino was the Assistant Director of Moot Court at Florida Coastal School of Law and taught Appellate Advocacy as well as Public Speaking for Lawyers. During his time as Assistant Director the Moot Court program consistently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News and World Report, culminating in two first place rankings. In 2013, Professor Martino was voted as “Best Professor” by Folio Weekly Magazine.

Professor Martino still stays active in the practice of law focusing on constitutional, criminal, and appellate law.


Alisha Lockley is no stranger to ministry nor the artistic community.  Family members noticed her peculiar gift for expression early on.  The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate (performance theatre major) began writing poetry in elementary school, became the vice president of Morning Dove Center for Teen Girls at the age of 12, and started performing spoken word poetry professionally at the age of 17.  She has also been published in two anthologies of poetic works.  With the sharing of her gift for expression, she hopes to uplift, incite conviction, and to exude a presence of grace that is timeless. On May 7th 2015 Alisha graduated from Florida State College at Jacksonville. In August she will be a student at the University of North Florida, majoring in Business Management/ minoring in Performance Theatre.


Dr. Jeff Hess holds a Master of Arts in speech communication from Eastern Illinois University and a doctorate of educational leadership from UNF and is currently serving as the dean of communications and social sciences at the FSCJ South Campus. Dr. Hess has been teaching communication courses for 24 years. As the director of forensics for FSCJ, Dr. Hess coached the forensics team to win over 500 state, regional, and national awards. In 2013, Dr. Hess was inducted into the Florida College System Activities Association Forensics Hall of Fame. Dr. Hess regularly teaches speech communication for business and the professions at FSCJ’s South Campus.