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Department of Visual Arts, Humanities and Theatre

Faculty/Staff Directory  Faculty/Staff Directory
Phone  (850) 599-3831
Fax  (850) 599-8417

Department of Visual Arts, Humanities and Theatre
515 Orr Drive
208 Tucker Hall
Tallahassee, Florida 32307

Visual Arts, Humanites & Theatre Faculty & Staff

Humanities Faculty
Philosophy & Religion Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty

Humanities Faculty

Dr. Janet L. DeCosmo
Professor of Humanities

Born in Apalachicola and educated at Florida State University, Dr. DeCosmo has done research and published articles on Bahamian Junkanoo, Rastafari in Bahia, Caribbean Carnival, New Orleans' Black Indians, and the Creole Cultures of Lousiana.

 She has traveled to many of the islands of the Caribbean, as well as to countries in Central and South America. She takes students on trips abroad, and formed two community groups, Friends of the Caribbean and the Tallahassee Zydeco & Cajun Association.

 She teaches Caribbean Religion and Culture, and African Humanities.

Dr. Derek Williams

Photo of Dr. Liping Zhang

Dr. Liping Zhang
Associate Professor of Humanities
205 Foster Tanner Fine Arts Center (W)
Florida A & M University
(850) 599-8760

Dr. Liping Zhang received her MA (English Literature) and Specialist in Higher Education from Pittsburg State University, and her PhD (Humanities) from Florida State University. She has been teaching at FAMU since 1993 with a major concentration in Western Humanities, especially from the Renaissance to the Modern Period.  She also developed the Asian Humanities Program at FAMU in 1997. She has attended many national and international conferences and published multiple papers which focus on comparing Eastern and Western cultures and philosophies.   Currently, she is teaching Western (Historical Survey I and II) as well as Asian Humanities.


Philosophy & Religion Faculty

Dr.  Stephen Faison
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
212A Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 599-3786

Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere
Professor of Philosophy
203 Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 561-2839


Originally from Maine, Michael LaBossiere went to college in Ohio. He received his doctorate from Ohio State University in 1993 and started teaching at Florida A&M University that same year. His major areas of interest in philosophy include metaphysics, ethics and political & social philosophy. He teaches classes in aesthetics, critical thinking, ethics, epistemology and modern philosophy. He writes for three philosophy blogs and has numerous professional publications including his book What Don’t You Know? In addition to his academic pursuits, LaBossiere is an avid runner and competes in distances ranging from the mile to the marathon. He is also known for his work in the gaming field, having written professional for various companies such as Chaosium, GDW, RTG, TSR and Freeverse. He has a husky named Isis.

Dr. Darryl Scriven
Department Chair
Associate Professor of Philosophy
213A Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307

Dr. Darryl Scriven is a graduate of both Florida A&M University and Purdue University with degrees in Mathematics and Philosophy.  He was a Fulbright Scholar to Morocco and Tunisia, and has taught at Wilberforce University, Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was Professor of Philosophy & Associate Director of Education at the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care.  Dr. Scriven is a novelist, documentarian, co-founder of the African American Family Enrichment Institute, and has recently joined the Philosophy faculty at his alma mater, Florida A&M University.

Dr. Allezo N. Owens
Assistant Professor of Religion
204 Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 412-5560

Theatre Faculty

Ruben Arana
117 Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
(850) 412.5534

Edith Carnley
104 Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 561-284

Kimberly Harding
111 Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 561-2840

Kimberly K Harding received her formal undergraduate education in drama at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA., and earned her MFA degree in the area of Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College.  For several years she toured professionally as a stage manager and has two Off-Broadway credits to date.  Currently, Harding is employed at Florida A&M University where she is an Associate Professor of Theatre.  In addition to her teaching load she serves the theatre program as the Ticket Sales & Services Manager, Educational ArtReach Coordinator, and the Director of Marketing.  Harding has two published articles to her credit on the lives and works of theatre artists Micki Grant and Vinnette Caroll, both which appear in African American Playwrights: A Sourcebook (2004).  In 2008 she was the project manager and an editor for the National Black Arts Festival’s 20th Anniversary commemorative book, a festival for which she had worked with since its inception.

Evelyn Tyler, MFA
112 Tucker Hall
Assistant Professor of Theatre
Theatre Program

College of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities
Visual Arts, Humanities, and Theatre

Office: 850-599-8064
Email: evelyn.tyler@famu.edu

Evelyn D. Tyler is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) where she serves as a generalist working in various roles from prop master to event planner. Tyler is slated to direct the Essential Theatre's upcoming workshop production of Sing On Ms. Griot by Beth Turner, which will feature in November. She is also a presenter at the Florida Theatre Conference in Gainesville, Fl and the Southeastern Theatre Conference, where she lectures and demonstrates how to hand build cost effective properties for the stage.  Tyler has written for Black Masks magazine on the recent 2017 National Black Theatre Festival, Winston Salem, NC, where she was also featured in a stage reading opposite Vanessa Bell Calloway.  To date, Tyler is the 2017 Florida Theatre Conference Career Achievement in Volunteerism Award recipient, which she will receive in November of this year.  In Tyler’s spare time, she enjoys baking, painting, designing and making jewelry.

Luther Wells
Theatre Professor
208A Tucker Hall
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 599-3831

Visual Arts Faculty


Courtnay Micots
`Assistant Professor of Art History
Department of Visual Arts, Humanities and Theatre
Florida A&M University
Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center, West, Room 104
1630 Pinder Street
Tallahassee, FL 32307
(850) 561-2844 office


Courtnay Micots did her graduate work in African Art History at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on resistance arts within African architecture, carnival and textiles. She teaches Art Appreciation, global art history surveys, African Art, African-American Art, American Art and seminars in Modern art and Carnival in Africa and the Diaspora. Micots won the 2017 Faculty Travel Award for her summer research in Ghana and conference presentation at ACASA’s 17th Triennial Symposium in Accra in August.

Over the last decade, Micots has conducted fieldwork in Ghana, and have also traveled to Burkina Faso, Togo, the Republic of Benin, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Publications examine African colonial architecture; Carnival arts in Johannesburg, South Africa; and Fante asafo flags and Fancy Dress masquerade in Ghana. Micots is currently authoring a book on Fancy Dress.

Previously she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Wits Art Museum, University of the Witwatersrand. She has taught at Florida Southern College, the University of Florida, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, the University of South Florida, Elon University, and for the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana in Legon. In her teaching she applies creative, experimental approaches to engage students. As her research projects and publications focus upon cross-cultural issues and visual studies within global Africa and the Diaspora, she brings a unique perspective to courses on African, American, Diaspora and European art.

Micots also curated the exhibition “Fancy Dress Masquerade” at Gallery 1957 in Accra which opened August 10, 2017. She is co-curating with Aja Roache the upcoming exhibition, featuring works from a recent donation of African art from the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida. The exhibition opens October 10, 2017, and will be held in the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery. Her students in African Art History this semester will be assisting with the exhibition. Micots has more than 12 years of experience working in museums, from intern to curator, at such institutions as the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution; Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University; Albany Museum of Art (Georgia); Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida; and Wits Art Museum, University of the Witwatersrand. She assists with the Visual Arts permanent collection of African and Diaspora Art.



Professor, Drawing, Painting & Art Education
Recruitment, Visual Arts

Liu, Nan began to study Chinese brush painting and calligraphy at a very young age in Tianjin, China. At the age of 16, Nan has named the winner of the prestigious title, “Young Artist of Tianjin” by the Cultural Committee of Tianjin City. In 1992, he was admitted to the Oriental Art Department of Nan Kai University and began to study Chinese brush painting. Among his many teachers, he was most influenced by the renowned contemporary Chinese painter Fan Zeng, especially by his use of simple and vigorous brush strokes and dynamic delineation of form. In 1996, Nan continued his graduate study in Art Education at Capital Normal University in Beijing. In 1999, Nan came to the United Stated and studied Art Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in pursuit of his Master of Arts degree.


In 2002, Nan began his pursuit of a dual degree that included both a Master of Fine Art degree in painting and a Ph.D in art education at Florida State University. As a young emerging artist, Nan has explored various art forms in recent years, including drawing, watercolor, tempera and oil painting. The subjects range from still life, figures, and landscape. Nan’s artworks promote natural and simple artistic expression and nature has consistently served as the main theme in his works in recent years. In Nan’s recent paintings, he attempts to create a series of life-sized figurative oil paintings of his FAMU students.


Nan’s artworks have been exhibited across the United States among public institutes, museums, and galleries. Many of his paintings and drawings were collected by private patrons. Nan has won several regional and national juried exhibitions and shows. In 2005, Nan was awarded the Mario Plescia Award for painting by Florida State University. In 2012, Nan received Best in Show Award from 24th Art in Gadsden Exhibition, Most Thought Provoking Award from Alexandria Museum of Art’s 25th September Competition Exhibition in Louisiana, Founder’s Award from Sumi-e Society of America’s 49th Annual Juried Exhibition, and Jean Wagner Troemel Award from St. Augustine Art Association’s “3rd Nature & Wildlife Art Exhibition”. In 2013, Nan won 2nd Place in Valdosta National all media juried art competition at Fine Arts Gallery, Valdosta State University in Georgia, Best of Show Calligraphy and National Capital Area Chapter Award by Sumi-e Society of America’s 50th Annual Juried Exhibition, 1st Place in Ocala Art Group’s Juried Art Exhibition “A Toast to the Arts-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” at Appleton Museum of Art. In 2014, Nan received 2nd Place in St. Augustine Art Association’s Annual Honors Show, and 3rd Place at Art Center Sarasota’s 2nd Annual Florida Flavor Exhibition.


Nan has given presentations on the subject of Chinese Art, especially Chinese brush painting and calligraphy, across the country among universities, museums, public schools, conferences and symposiums. Nan had taught art classes for all age-level groups and has worked with young students from kindergarten to high school, college students, and senior citizens. Nan currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Haiqiong Deng, their young son, Ethan, and daughter, Isabel. Nan is currently the associate professor teaching drawing, painting and art education classes at Department of Visual Arts, Florida A&M University


Assistant Professor, Art Management & Art Appreciation
Coordinator, Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery

My professional experience includes teaching and facilitating art gallery management in the nonprofit sector. I have worked with various nonprofit art organizations over the years in different capacities, including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York City, Black Archives Research Center & Museum, The 621 Gallery and currently as the Gallery Coordinator at Florida A&M University's Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery in Tallahassee, Florida. My primary interets in art management are community enrichment initiatives and art museum education. This interest came about from my own fascination with art museums and their power to give life to objects by inspiring discussions, new ideas and the creation of more art. Performers and dancers have the stage, actors have the theatre and musicians have concert halls; the art gallery is a space where visual artists can share their creative energy with others. Ultimately, I want to create engaging learning environments and opportunities for both my students in the classroom as well as visitors in the gallery. Aja Roache is from Tallahassee, Florida. She has received her BA in Fine Arts from Florida A&M University and her MA from New York University in Interdisciplinary Studies, Humanities and Social Thought. Currently, Aja is pursuing her Ph.D. in Art Administration at Florida State University.

Associate Professor, Drawing & Animation
Recruitment, Visual Arts

In America's bicentennial year, 1976, the first grandson of internationally renowned bandleader and lyricist, Noble Sissle, was born in Tampa, Florida. While attending middle school, he joined the school band, having selected the trumpet as his instrument of choice. His music and artistic abilities were further developed in high school as he created exciting dance routines influenced by Michael Jackson, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Sammy Davis, Jr. In 1994, a music scholarship afforded him the opportunity to play in the famous Marching '100' Band and Orchestra at Florida A&M University. Throughout his formative years, he developed a passion for drawing animated characters and by his college sophomore year, he decided that fine arts would be his advocation with printmaking his specialty. After graduating from FAMU with honors, he then went on to receive his Master's Degree in Animation at the Savannah College of Art & Design.

ilitator, Visual Arts
Associate Professor, Printmaking, Design & Advanced Workshop
Director, Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery

“To address specific elements of black history or its community certainly is attainable but the position of my work is to provide a cultural and / or educational meaning”.

Wiltsher’s artistic endeavors span from being a Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) recipient, visiting artist, lecturer, independent curator, program administrator for the Florida Art in State Buildings Program and gallery director at his alma mater Florida A & M University. He defines his work as the documentation of personal experiences within the framework of African Diaspora and has exhibited throughout the eastern seaboard, including “ A Southern Perspective on Prints: 2005 New Orleans Triennial ”; New Orleans Museum of Art (New Orleans, LA), “African Influences – Contemporary Artists”; The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN ), “ In Print: The Language of Art”; FSU Museum of Fine Arts (Tallahassee, FL), “South Africa: A Better Life For All”; Saginaw Museum of Art (Saginaw, MI), “Inner Voicings: Printmaking & Sculpture”; Schacknow Museum of Fine Art (Coral Springs, FL), “A Sense of Place”; Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art (Augusta, GA), “Power of Prints”; Hostos University Art Gallery (Bronx, NY). In addition, his work is included in collections by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, Sande Webster Gallery Collection, Carver Federal Bank, Art Academy of Honolulu, and the Black Archives Research Center & Collection Reserve.

Updated 11/21/2016
Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere