Florida Southern announces publication of comprehensive book on Lake Hollingsworth
Collaborative effort involves FSC faculty, alumni, students and staff
LAKELAND, Fla. (Sept. 28, 2005) — The Center for Florida History at Florida Southern College will hold a book talk to introduce the recently published "Lake Hollingsworth: Reflections and Studies on a Florida Landmark," a collaborative study of the lake by FSC faculty, alumni, students and staff, and members of the community. The event will be held in the William M. Hollis Seminar Room on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend. A book signing will follow the presentation.
Editors Dr. John Haldeman of the biology department and Dr. Bernard Quetchenbach of the English department, along with several of the chapter contributors, will discuss their experiences researching their topics and working with others to prepare the book for publication. According to college president Dr. Anne B. Kerr, "Years of collaborative research between students and faculty have resulted in an important and compelling book, offering insights into areas of impact rarely considered in the past."
The book is dedicated to three pioneers, all with close ties to Florida Southern, who encouraged awareness of the lake environment: Dr. Ed Vetter, a 1967 FSC graduate; Dr. Larry Durrence, a 1966 graduate and former FSC professor; and Dr. Margaret Gilbert, a long-time biology professor at the college. Gilbert and Haldeman and their students produced a Lake Hollingsworth recreational survey that helped the city document the value of the lake to the community.
According to former Lakeland mayor Durrence, "When community leaders and scientists at Florida Southern College agreed to seek ways to reverse the damage to and neglect of Lake Hollingsworth that spanned nearly a century, it marked the beginning of a new era of stewardship toward lakes in general."
The idea for the book came from two courses, Haldeman's Field Methods in Biology class and Quetchenbach's Honors Colloquium. Students enrolled in these classes wrote papers that were presented at national and regional conferences and became the core of the book. From there, the editors expanded the book into a multidisciplinary effort including everything from a chemical analysis of lake water to landscape paintings to a survey of "Almost True Stories" by FSC psychology professor Dr. Richard Burnette. Contributors include current students, alumni, faculty and staff members. Seventy-one student researchers are credited in the index. “The result of all this effort is the most diverse and thorough collection of material about Lake Hollingsworth available,” said Haldeman.
The Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland provided a portion of the funding for research equipment and publication of the book.
As a 1989 FSC alumna and former Lakeland resident, Jennifer Haldeman Schriffert explains what led her to participate in the project. "Lake Hollingsworth has been a backdrop to most of my life. My purpose in writing my chapter was to explore the impact the community of Lakeland and Lake Hollingsworth have had on each other."
Working on the book provided invaluable experience and a rare publication opportunity for undergraduate students. According to current senior Brittany Melson, "My work with Dr. Quetchenbach and Dr Haldeman on an extended research project became the most interesting academic experience that I have had as an undergraduate student at Florida Southern College. When I combed through primary sources of information to compose an original history of lake restoration, I felt like a real historian. When I talked to experts in the community about the lake, I felt like my work had a real-world application. Finally, when my poem ‘The Angry Tree’ was set to music, I understood the power of interdisciplinary work. I believe that the book will be a shining example of interdisciplinary study and cooperative effort, and I, for one, can't wait to read it."
“Lake Hollingsworth: Reflections and Studies on a Florida Landmark” (The History Press, Charleston, S.C., John Haldeman and Bernard Quetchenbach, eds.) is available at the Florida Southern College bookstore, Brooke Pottery in Lakeland, local bookstores, and from The History Press at 18 Percy Street, Charleston, S.C. 29403, and through its website, www.historypress.net.
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