MELBOURNE, FLA.—Edmund Skellings, Florida’s Poet Laureate, has joined the Florida Institute of Technology faculty as a professor of humanities in the College of Psychology and Liberal Arts. Reporting to Provost T. Dwayne McCay, he will develop programs in humanities and computer science, and will begin Jan. 7, at the start of the 2008 spring semester.
“We are honored that Dr. Skellings accepted our offer and are very pleased to bring this state treasure to our campus,” said McCay. “His addition truly exemplifies our Florida Tech slogan, ‘High Tech with a Human Touch.’”
Skellings was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. He was selected from among more than 400 other Florida poets to earn the title of Poet Laureate in 1980. Appointed to the lifetime honor by former Gov. Robert Graham, he is the author of seven books of poems. His most recent is Collected Poems 1958-1998, published by the University Press of Florida. He presented a humanities lecture on the Florida Tech campus last fall.
In 1973 Skellings joined the faculty of Florida International University as director of the International Institute of Creative Communication. His work there brought poetry programs to more than 100,000 South Florida children and publication of subsequent anthologies of their writing. In 1982 the institute founded ARTNET, the first arts and humanities microcomputer network in the United States.
In 1990 Skellings was appointed founding director of the Florida Center for Electronic Communication at Florida Atlantic University on the Fort Lauderdale campus. Under his direction, the center established a supercomputer multimedia studio laboratory to research and demonstrate state-of-the-art educational technologies.
He is the recipient of numerous state, national and international awards. Among them are the 25th Anniversary Award for Video Art, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2004, for “Senior Citizen;” the Crystal Award of Excellence, Videographer Award, 2002, for “Word Songs;” a National Video Festival Award, 1994, for “SuperPoems;” and a Joey Award of Excellence, 1995, for “Nearing the Millennium.”
Skellings makes his new home in West Melbourne with wife, Louise, a retired professor.