CAM-tastic Stories highlights the journeys of our CAM students in a brief narrative fashion.

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet new people. It’s harder than it sounds but you could miss out on great friendships.” Olivia McDaniel offers this suggestion for incoming students at Southeastern University. Olivia is a senior at SEU and is majoring in public relations. Graduating in April, she looks back at her time at SEU with positivity. “I think Southeastern University has helped me learn how to stay organized and create good habits for myself. I see myself working in an office helping with events and social media content after I graduate, but the end goal is to work at a wedding venue in an event manager’s position.” While Olivia has made the most of her time in the classroom, she is also actively involved on campus in a leadership position as the resident Assistant for the Esperanza dorms. “My favorite part of my time at Southeastern has been being involved in leadership and living with best friends.”
– story by Emilia Pombo

“It is truly amazing to work with people who are so passionate about music,” says Brandon Pasquence, a junior at Southeastern University, who has been elected as Parliamentarian in the Florida Chapter of the National Association of Music Education. “This position has helped me realize that the process is just as important as the product.” Brandon is one of three SEU students who have been elected to serve NAfME. “My responsibilities are to become an expert on interpreting and applying Robert’s Rules of Order to all of our meetings as well as to give advice regarding parliamentary procedure.” Brandon attributes his success to what he learned at SEU. “The concept of servant leadership has changed my mindset on being a leader by shifting my focus towards serving and lifting others to a higher level.” Brandon offers this advice for students who are considering elected positions: “Know your stuff and have a thirst for knowledge.”
– story by Emilia Pombo

Composer and conductor, Joseph S. DeBeasi, will be giving a free workshop on storytelling through music at Harrison School for the Arts in Lakeland, Florida on Friday, November 9 from 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.

This workshop, entitled, “Music as Storytelling: The Scoring of ‘A Thousand Faces,’” will be about the creative process, as specific to music composition, but will primarily reference his creative process for compositing the piece, “A Thousand Faces.” This piece will be performed – for the first time – by the Southeastern University Orchestra and Choirs on Sunday, November 11, 2:30 p.m., at the Polk Theatre in downtown Lakeland.

“A Thousand Faces” is inspired by interviews conducted with the families of Central Florida veterans – giving voice to the often-overlooked perspective of the families of our service-members.  

“‘A Thousand Faces’ is a story of community, companionship, and survival. It is for each of us who have wrestled with grief, despair, and darkness and have persevered.  With the help of those around us, we are able to endure,” says DeBeasi. 

Joseph DeBeasi is the composer for Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated “American Sniper,” “Eleven Eleven,” and most recently released “Alpha.” In addition to these compositions, DeBeasi has worked on more than 60 feature films, including “The Revenant,” “Prisoners,” “The Book of Eli,” “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Dirty Dancing,” and “Maid in Manhattan.”

Music as Storytelling: The Scoring of ‘A Thousand Faces’” is a part of “Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community,” which takes place on Veteran’s Day at 2:30 p.m. at the Polk Theatre. “Sinfonia” is a memorable concert designed to tell the stories of Central Florida veterans and their families in the pursuit of service to our nation — from the decision to serve, to deployment, and beyond — through the original compositions of Joseph DeBeasi, performed by the Southeastern University Orchestra and the Southeastern University Choir.

For more information pertaining to Sinfonia, click here.

The College of Arts & Media is pleased to announce the addition of a new study abroad opportunity for Southeastern University students. During the summer of 2019, students will have the ability to participate in the Iceland Cultural Intensive. This comprehensive, inner-departmental excursion –two years in the making – was birthed out of a desire for a cross-departmental trip, from which our Humanities, Communication, and Visual Arts departments could all benefit.

The Iceland Cultural Intensive builds off of the Narrative Journalism, Photojournalism, and Photography classes, as well as the Intro to Humanities course. The addition of the Intro to Humanities option makes this trip available to all students regardless of departmental affiliation, as it fulfills part of the Humanities Foundational Core, which is a general education requirement for every major!

Dubbed “The Photographer’s Paradise,” Iceland has earned its stunning reputation as a Land of Fire and Ice, full of beauty, mystery, and tradition. While taking part in the Iceland Cultural Intensive, students will gain valuable life experience, surrounded by Icelandic culture. In addition to completing course work tailored to one of the four courses which make use of this opportunity, students will traverse Iceland visiting the LAVA Centre in Hvalsvöllur; Dettifoss, Seljalandsfoss, Goðafoss, and Gullfoss–five of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls; Vik í Mýrdal, a remote seafront village located in the shadow of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier; the Reynisfjara black sand beach in Þingvellir national park; and the Great Geysir, a hot spring located in the geothermal area of the Haukadalur Valley.

For more information on the Iceland Cultural intensive, contact the College of Arts & Media at 863-667-5657.

Colonel Gary Clark is pictured on the left.


Colonel Gary Clark retired from the United States Air Force (USAF) after 26 years of active duty. Colonel Clark began his career of service during the Vietnam War in the 56th Special Operations Wing and Headquarters 7th Air Force, after commissioning through the Kansas State University ROTC. Col. Clark then served as special assistant to the Air Force Chief of Staff focusing on force readiness policy in the wake of the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the Afghanistan invasion by the Soviet Union. After this role, he served as the Director of Air Force Personnel Plans and Programs at the Air Force Military Personnel Center and, later, as Director of Personnel for Air Training Command.

Following these assignments, he was Combat Support Group Commander of the 487th Tactical Missile Wing in Italy under NATO control, during the design and implementation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with the then Soviet Union. His final role in his career of service in the USAF was during Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the 1990’s. Colonel Clark served as the United States Central Command J-1 Director responsible for force deployment, accountability, and POW repatriation.

After retiring from the Air Force, he served for 14 years as the Civil Service and Retirement System Director for the City of Lakeland and is currently a financial advisor with CPS Investment Advisors financial firm.

Colonel Gary Clark holds a master’s degree in operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Kansas State University.  He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College of Defense University.

He served on the National Board of Directors of the Military Officers Association of America, is Vice Chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation, Chairs the Polk County Veterans Council, is President of the Imperial Polk Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, is Chairman of Flight to Honor Polk, is Chairman of the Sun ‘n Fun Veterans Plaza, serves on the James A Haley VA hospital advisory board and the Summerlin Academy advisory board in addition to other boards and organizations.

In addition to his incredible acts of service and personal achievements, Colonel Clark has been invaluable to the College of Arts & Media in our mission to better the Central Florida region through faith-based liberal arts education. Colonel Clark has also been a link between the College of Arts & Media and Central Florida veterans and their families for Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community, an event purposed to encourage and assist in the cultivation of a more unified community through the powerful medium of music.

For more information on partnering with the College of Arts & Media, click here.

For more information on Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community, click here.