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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

Dr. Li-Ping Zhang

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 a monthly online philosophy column 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
Assistant 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

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

Visual Arts Faculty

Visiting Assistant Professor, Printmaking & Art Appreciation

Professor Bowens-Saffo is a native of Miami, Florida, where she was a Silver Knight recipient in art sponsored by the Miami Herald Newspaper and currently Bowens work is in several Miami Public Art Collections: ARTBANK, Miami Dade Community College and the Miami Dade Public Main Library. Bowens-Saffo undergraduate studies were a scholarship award and BFA Degree from Howard University in Washington, DC. The art program was a progressive leadership under the late Dr. Jeff Donaldson, founder of the historic Afro-Cobra movement. Her graduate studies in Printmaking started at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York working with Walter Roglaski, a colleague of Gabor Peterdi. During this time Bowens also worked in New York City with Robert Blackburn, Founder of the Printmaking Workshop. Bowens-Saffo received her MFA degree is from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia. Her MFA graduate studies were one year in Rome, Italy. During the one year study aboard Bowens-Saffo had a solo exhibition of prints at the French Academy in Rome, Italy.


Bowens-Saffo has received Artist Fellowship Awards from the NEA Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Ford Foundation and New York Percent for Arts Commission. She has exhibited her work nationally and international. Bowens select exhibition venues have been at the Tallahassee Mary Brogan Museum, Polk Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Florida State University Museum, Virginia Tech University, Howard University Museum and the New York Schomberg Institute for Historical Black Research. Bowens commission for the year 2011-2012 was the CD-Cover Design for Jazz composer Geri Allen’s Christmas Music, Published by Motema Music, New York, NY. The Fall of 2012-2013 Bowens is commissioned to complete a series of prints commemorative of Dr. Margaret Burroughs (civil rights activist) for a traveling exhibition opening at the DeSable Museum.


Adjunct Professor, Ceramics

Mark Fletcher had already built his own kick wheel and two wood-fired kilns in his backyard by the end of high school, but it was during his apprenticeship with a ceramic artist in Japan that he really developed his art through the medium of clay. From 1993 to 1996, Mark lived in Japan and studied sculpture, ceramic design and ink painting. Turtle Hill Studio is named for a small town in Kyoto, Japan where Mark and his wife, Sara, lived.


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 is the new Assistant Professor of Art History at Florida A & M University. Most recently she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Wits Art Museum, University of the Witwatersrand, where she was responsible for engagement projects between the tertiary population and the museum’s collection of over 10,000 African artworks. She received her Ph.D. in African Art History from the University of Florida in 2010, and 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.

Dr. Micots is drawn to visual evidence of cross-cultural interactions, particularly those born during the colonial period and concern issues of resistance. The 500-year commercial history of coastal Ghana and its connections to the Diaspora make it an ideal location for her research. Recent publications include “Status and Mimicry: African Colonial Period Architecture in Coastal Ghana” in the March 2015 issue of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and “Carnival in Ghana: Fancy Dress Street Parades and Competition” in the spring 2014 issue of African Arts.

She is expecting her article, "Age of Elegance: An Italianate Sobrado on the Gold Coast" to be published in the December issue of the African Studies Quarterly. Two articles are currently in progress: "Theatre as Carnival: Inner City Street Parades of Johannesburg" and "Blood and Glory: Three Fante Flags in the Wits Art Museum" (co-authoring with Doran H. Ross).

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

Dr. 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 juried exhibitions and shows both in Arkansas and in Florida during his tenure as a student in both cities. In 2005, Nan was awarded the Mario Plescia Award for painting by Florida State University. 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, and their two children.

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.

Assistant 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.