FGCU adds two new professors, artifacts from NASA
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 00:10
FGCU recently acquired several artifacts from NASA that are almost otherworldly. The artifacts, now on display in Whitaker Hall, are rare items that may help in the advancement of the young museum studies program.
The program, which was approved in fall 2011, offers anthropology and history majors the chance to minor in museum studies.
The College of Arts and Sciences held a media-only event at Whitaker Hall on Friday to celebrate its new additions and showcase the pieces FGCU had to compete to obtain from NASA. The new staff members are Derek Buzasi, astrophysicist and now Whitaker Eminent Scholar at FGCU, and Paul Bartrop, history professor and director of the new Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Human Rights Studies.
Buzasi, who has worked on equipment for the Hubble Space Telescope and the Wide-Field Infrared Satellite Explorer (WISE), spoke at length about what the artifacts and his new position at FGCU meant to him.
“I’m very excited to be a part of such a young university and to hopefully establish new traditions,” Buzasi said. “These artifacts are special for me because I actually worked on some of the shuttles (in the photographs).”
The artifacts include a tile array used to protect its space shuttle from 3000+ degree heat and equipment used to connect the shuttle to central command. Also on display were photographs taken from a high-resolution camera used in conjunction with FGCU’s Ritchey-Chretien reflective telescope.
Bartrop is recognized as one of the world’s leading scholars of the Holocaust and genocide and comes to FGCU from Australia. He spoke glowingly about his new opportunity at FGCU.
“The Center for which I have been given…responsibility of directing is one that will seek to increase knowledge and understanding about the Holocaust and other genocides,” Bartrop said. “I want to achieve these aims through providing educational opportunities within the university, the community, and in partnership with other organizations throughout the world.”
Bartrop’s vision for the newly created Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Human Rights Studies at FGCU was ambitious.
“I would like to think this Center can (eventually)…be one of historical remembrance, not of contemporary recording; when we are more morally aware because we know of the existence of radical evil in every human society; and when we recognize the duty we each have to look out for the interests of all.”
The artifacts and photographs will remain on display in Whitaker Hall’s Robert L. and Marie Telford Gallery.