Meet the Faculty

The Barb Schmidt Fellowship is a collaborative effort from multiple departments of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the wider University, and our community partners at Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life. Students learn from a variety of professors and practitioners each week who specialize in the topics being discussed.


Karen LeaderKaren Leader, Faculty Director

Dr. Karen J. Leader is an Associate Professor of Art History, and Faculty Associate in the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Florida Atlantic University. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her MA and Ph.D. at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her areas of interest include art and popular culture in the 19th-21th centuries, feminist theory and practice, and the history and future of the discipline of art history, the humanities, and higher education. Her current projects include “Art History That! Initiatives for the Future of a Discipline,” “#actually: A guidebook for ally-guys about sexual harassment,” and “Alice Neel: Anarchic Humanist.” You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @proftinkerbell.  

1Dr. Marquese McFerguson, Curriculum Coordinator 

Dr. Marquese McFerguson is an Assistant Professor of Intercultural Communication within the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University. His scholarship and teaching examine how individuals in society communicate, perform and (re)imagine identity across a diverse number of cultural intersections including race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. His research agenda is centered on building bridges of understanding across cultures by examining how racialized identities are produced/portrayed by media makers and interpreted/ performed by media audiences. His research about representation and media-created scripts is guided by feminist, aesthetic, and narrative sensibilities and situated within the interdisciplinary fields of Communication Studies and African American Studies. Dr. McFerguson is also an award-winning slam poet and teaching artist who has performed at academic institutions and performance venues throughout the United States and United Kingdom.

Nicole MorseNicole Morse 

Dr. Nicole Erin Morse is a Director of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. an Assistant Professor of Multimedia Studies in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University. They are an organizer with the LGBTQ prison abolitionist collective Black and Pink and co-chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Socialists of America. Dr. Morse has published work in Jump Cut, Feminist Media Studies, Porn Studies, and Transgender Studies Quarterly and they also work in participatory documentary, experimental film, and videographic criticism.



Angela NicholsAngela Nichols

Dr. Angela D. Nichols is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Nichols earned her Ph.D. in Political Science with subfields in International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of North Texas.  She also holds a B.A. in International Relations from The Pennsylvania State University. Professor Nichols’ research broadly focuses on issues related to human rights and conflict. Her forthcoming book Impact, Legitimacy, and Limitations of Truth Commissions examines how truth commissions may contribute to positive outcomes following periods of conflict or mass abuse. She has articles published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Perspectives, Cooperation and Conflict, and Civil Wars. Her newest work examines the causes and consequences of women’s engagement in rebel groups. For more information please visit her website: 


1Marek Muller

Dr. S. Marek Muller is an Assistant Professor of Rhetorical Studies in FAU’s School of Communication & Multimedia Studies. She primarily studies the argumentative strategies and tactics of the international animal rights movements and how nonhuman justice discourse intersects with broader discourses of social justice. She recently published her first book, Impersonating Animals, which uses a vegan ecofeminist lens to assess competing arguments about how the law can and should function in the fight for cross-species rights and justice.




William Trapani, Associate Professor School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, Founding Faculty

Joseph Velasquez, Assistant Professor Visual Arts and Art History, Founding Faculty

Guest Speakers and Practitioners

Our guest speakers to date have included: