Office of the Dean


MJHorswell Michael J. Horswell, PhD

is Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University. The College of Arts and Letters houses 16 academic programs which offer 22 bachelor's degrees, 17 minors, 12 certificate programs and 19 graduate degree including a PhD in Comparative Studies, with more than 4000 majors and 400 graduate students enrolled. The College features award winning authors, Guggenheim Fellows, Lannan Foundation Fellows, Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winners, O. Henry and Pushcart award receipts, Fulbright scholars, Royal Historical Society Fellows, Woodrow Wilson Society Fellows, Grammy award nominations, and critically acclaimed artists and performers.

Dr. Horswell earned his Ph.D. in Latin American literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also holds a MA in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont, and a BA in Spanish and Business Economics from Wofford College in his native South Carolina. Dr. Horswell specializes in the literature and culture of the colonial period as well as indigenous literatures of the Andes. In addition to pursuing graduate studies in Spain and Argentina, he studied Andean culture and the Quechua language for two summers at the Bartolomé de las Casas Research Center in Cuzco, Peru (1995-1996) and has spent seven summers doing limited fieldwork with native Quichua speakers in Ecuador (2001-  2007, 2010). Before becoming the Dean of the College, Dr. Horswell served as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (2012-2017) and Chair of the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature (2008-2012).  

His first book, Decolonizing the Sodomite: Queer Tropes of Sexuality in Colonial Andean Culture (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005), focused on indigenous gender and sexuality as tropes used in the representation of the conquest and colonization of the Americas. His interest in the confluence of sexuality and culture in the Hispanic world has led to two recent collections of essays co-edited with Dr. Nuria Godón, Sexualidades Periféricas. Consolidaciones literarias y fílmicas en la España de fin de siglo XIX y fin de milenio (Madrid: Fund amentos, 2016) and the special issue of the  Journal of Language and Sexuality on the theme of "Transnational Discourses of Peripheral Sexualities in the Hispanic World" (Vol. 5, no. 2: 2016).  Dr. Horswell has also published articles and book chapters on important literary figures such as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala and el Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Latin American cinema and the Baroque in the Americas, including two recent volumes, one co-edited with  Luis Duno-Gottberg, Sumergido-Submerged: Alternative Cuban Cinema (Houston: Literal Publishing, 2013) and Baroque Projections: Images and Texts in Dialogue with the Early Modern World , co-edited with Frederic Conrod. (Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta, 2016). His recent article in Romanic Review, "Negotiating Apostasy in Vilcabamba: Titu Cusi Yupanqui Writes from the Chaupi" (2012) is related to his new book project on Andean indigenous and mestizo writers from the colonial period tentatively titled, Desiring Pizarros and Incas: Comparative Andean Affects and the Writing of Conquest. 



lautarRebecca Lautar, MM

Rebecca Lautar, Professor of Music, is an Associate Dean for the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. She served as Music Department Chair from 2011-2020, and was appointed as Associate Dean of Faculty, Enrollment Management and Logistics in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters in 2020. She is an active concert violinist, and performed as a tenured member of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra from 2000-2020. She has also performed in numerous recitals at Florida Atlantic University, including as a member of the FAU Chamber Soloists, and has appeared as a soloist with the FAU University Symphony. She teaches string pedagogy and methods for music education majors. She received a Master of Music with Distinction from Indiana University, where her teachers included Mimi Zweig and Franco Gulli.


Barclay Barrios

Barclay Barrios, PhD

Dr. Barclay Barrios, Professor of English, is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Broward Campuses for the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. He received his PhD from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and his work focuses on queer theory, writing program administration, pedagogy, and computers and composition. He is the author of the freshman composition textbooks Emerging: Contemporary Readings for Writers, now in its fifth edition, and Intelligence. As Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, he touches every aspect of the undergraduate experience from recruitment and admission to orientation to advising and problem resolution to student success and degree completion.



Eric bEric Berlatsky, PhD

is Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Interim Chair of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature, and Professor of English.  Previous to his current positions, he was Chair of the Department of English for 6.5 years.  He is the author of The Real, The True, and The Told: Postmodern Historical Narrative and the Ethics of Representation (Ohio State UP, 2011), the editor of Alan Moore: Conversations (UP of Mississippi, 2012), and the co-editor, with Sika Dagbovie-Mullins, of Mixed Race Superheroes (Rutgers UP, 2021).  He has published articles on the fiction or comics of Charles Dickens, Joe Siegel and Jerry Shuster, Virginia Woolf, Milan Kundera, Paul Auster, Graham Swift, Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Hanif Kureishi, and Posy Simmonds.  He has co-published work on race and the superheroes Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Black Lightning, Moon Girl, and Spider-Man with Sika Dagbovie-Mullins.  


Kevin WagnerKevin Wagner, PhD

is the Associate Dean of Research and Creative Activities and Professor of Political Science. Previously, he served as the Chair of Political Science for 6 years. He was awarded the OLLI Distinguished Professorship in Current Affairs twice. His research area is technology and politics, both in the United States and abroad. He has co-authored three books and many research articles in this area. His work has been published in leading journals and law reviews including Political Behavior, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Journal of Information Technology and Politics and The Journal of Legislative Studies. He has worked on some of the leading research on the effects of technology on politics with studies ranging from American elections to the Arab Spring, Russia, and Asia. His latest book is “Directed Dissidence: How China Wins Online” from Oxford University Press (2023). He currently writes the weekly syndicated “Civics Project” column for Gannet Newspapers. 


Contact Us

Office of the Dean

Dr. Michael J. Horswell
Professor, Spanish and Latin American Literature
Boca Raton Campus, AH 217
Executive Assistant to the Dean 
Coordinator, Administrative Services
Holly Pereira
Boca Raton Campus, AH 217
Associate Dean
Rebecca Lautar, MM

Professor, Music
Boca Raton Campus, AH 214C

Associate Dean
Dr. Kevin Wagner
Professor, Political Science
Boca Raton Campus, AH 214D


Associate Dean
Dr. Barclay Barrios
Associate Professor, English
Boca Raton Campus, AH 214B
Associate Dean
Dr. Eric Berlatsky
Professor, English
Boca Raton Campus, AH 211A


Coordinator, Academic Support Services
Gabrielle Denier
Boca Raton Campus, AH 211B


Coordinator, Administrative Services
Grace Medina
Boca Raton Campus, AH 214
Coordinator, Administrative Services
Adrienne Gionta
Ft. Lauderdale Campus, HEC 1008B


Development Office

Senior Director of Development and Outreach  
Laurie Carney
Boca Raton Campus, AH 210


Development Coordinator
Daniela Andrade
Boca Raton Campus, AH 210



Business Office

Director, Business & Financial Operations
Kathleen DiMaggio
Boca Raton Campus, AH 215A


Budget Coordinator
Janice Cunningham
Boca Raton Campus, AH 215


Administrative Paraprofessional
Donna Bryan
Boca Raton Campus, AH 215D


Coordinator, Academic Support Services
Marilza Lopes
Boca Raton Campus, AH 215C


Communications Office

Director, University Relations & Public Affairs
Polly Burks
Boca Raton Campus, AH 108


Coordinator, Visual Communications
Nicole Jacobsen
Boca Raton Campus, AH 108


Coordinator, University Relations & Public Affairs
Mayra Villacrez
Boca Raton Campus, AH 108