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Lillian Guerra of the Department of History has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship for 2014-15

Lillian Guerra

Her book project, "Making Revolutionary Cuba", addresses a gap in scholarly and public understandings of the origins of Cuban social and political radicalism by exploring the pivotal period between 1946 and 1959 when a consensus on the need for anti-imperialist revolution reached its peak. She analyzes the social policies of the state before and during the Batista dictatorship as well as the role of messianic discourse in shaping public support for a radical program of dramatic socio-economic change. Based on previously unknown archival collections and oral history, this book reveals that the civilian-led struggle was far more responsible for Batista's fall than Fidel Castro's guerrillas; the opposition movement's success hinged more on morally defeating Batista in the public's mind than on defeating the state militarily.


UF Grad Wins National Nikon Film Competition

Short Film Bests More than 400 EntriesJosh McLawhorn

University of Florida graduate Josh McLawhorn this week won first place in Nikon's nationwide Everyday Cinema Contest for a short film titled, "Almost Ready." The contest invited entrants to create a 120 to 180-second movie that "transforms an everyday moment into an extraordinary cinematic story."

McLawhorn, a photographer and video producer for Impact Visual Media, worked as a professional video producer for just over a year before besting more than 400 entrants to win nearly $18,000 of Nikon's top photography equipment.

The short film depicts a young man waiting for his girlfriend to get ready for a date. While the man wonders what is taking her so long, the film reveals the girl's heroic quest to get ready, including bathing in a crystal clear spring, letting the wind "blow dry" her hair, searching a stream for river rocks to wear as earrings, crushing berries for lipstick and fleeing a menacing animal.

McLawhorn attended the University of Florida Honors Program and served as the photographer for the Student Honors Organization. He graduated from UF in 2012 with a degree in biochemistry. A graduate of the Leon High School Class of 2008, McLawhorn was a National Merit Scholar and a member of Youth Leadership Tallahassee, Class III.

The film features McLawhorn's girlfriend, Gabriela Rodeiro, who also graduated from the University of Florida in 2012 with a degree in biochemistry.

McLawhorn's interest in photography was piqued on two cross-country bicycle trips he completed over the summers of 2009 and 2012 for Bike and Build, an organization that recruits young riders to perform housing builds and give talks about affordable housing as they complete coast-to-coast bike trips.

In addition to his professional video work, McLawhorn teaches a movie making class to home schooled middle and high school students.

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