Heavy metal has come to the University of North Florida campus.
UNF art students and faculty this month inaugurated the Sculpture on Campus program by installing four large, steel sculptures across campus. The project was spearheaded by Jenny Hager-Vickery, a local artist and assistant professor of sculpture.
The art installations have been in the works since 2009. That’s when Hager-Vickery received an initiatives grant from the University of North Florida Foundation Board Initiatives to support the program and the installation of large-scale, public art across campus. The Foundation Board Initiatives are a significant source of funding for faculty projects and this year, a total of $75,000 will be awarded, three times the amount awarded last year. There will be an informational open house for faculty from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 16 in the Student Union. To request funding, faculty members can submit a letter of interest to the committee in November giving a brief summary of their project. For more information, contact Ann McCullen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The grant funded new equipment for the sculpture program, as well as the materials needed to install the pieces on four concrete sculpture pads on campus, Hager-Vickery said.
Students learned hands-on the step-by-step the process of creating large-scale public-work pieces, a time-intensive journey that involves drafting budgets and presenting proposals before the building and installation even starts.
“I’m really proud of our students and all their hard work,” Hager-Vickery said.
The transformational learning opportunity provided upper-level sculpture students the chance to present four-minute proposals and maquettes (small models) to a selection committee, who chose four varied pieces. The process is very much like what happens in the community when a professional artist presents his or her work.
UNF junior Amanda Campbell created “Gentle Breeze,” a 10-foot-tall bonsai tree, which is now located in front of the parking garage across from the UNF Arena. Recent UNF graduate Philip Kager’s “Untitled” is a large curvilinear piece anchored in the roundabout on the north side of campus. UNF senior Scott Mihalik’s “Repetitive Graduation” piece is a series of stacked triangular forms — alternating black and white — positioned in front of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library. UNF senior Joshua Raines’ work, “Untitled,” resembles a forest made of steel, situated by the retention pond in front of the College of Education and Human Services.
They’re all wildly different aesthetically, but they share one commonality.
They’re heavy. Really heavy.
Several thousand pounds of steel were used in the fabrication of the pieces, and vehicle maintenance crew members from Physical Facilities were needed to help move the sculptures to their locations. The maintenance crew also broke out the backhoe to aid students in the placement of the sculptures.
Cal Schumacher, a senior mechanic for Physical Facilities, said assisting with the statue installation was an interesting change of pace from his typical workday.
"It was enjoyable because we got to get away for a bit from our normal rounds," said Schumacher, who assisted on each of the installation along with his colleague, mechanic Ben Bryan. "It's not every day that we get to use the backhoe for artistic purposes."
Hager-Vickery said there will be a public sculpture walk in the fall semester to celebrate the students’ efforts and commemorate the new artistic additions to campus.
Forget lazy summer days lounging on the beach.
University of North Florida student Chelsea Partridge spent her post-high-school-graduation vacation working with space shuttle parts during a summer internship with the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
The Robert E. Lee High School graduate and Jacksonville resident said she’s always been interested in space and all the work that NASA does. That long-simmering passion was what led to her becoming involved in engineering and design work. And it just so happened that NASA was looking for some hard-working interns to help staff the Kennedy Space Center’s Prototype Development Lab as part of the NASA INSPIRE Program, a year-round, internship program for high school students.
This was actually her second summer getting her hands dirty in the Prototype Development Lab.
And her primary responsibilities didn’t involve fetching coffee or collating copies. The high flying Osprey used industry-standard software such as ProEngineer and MathCad to help with calculations and design projects.
Her work helped in the creation of a tool that can rotate alignment pins in the space shuttle program’s helicopters, and she even wrote an analysis report on a flange that failed on Discovery.
Certain work experiences, however, stuck out to her.
“The highlight of my work was making drawings, being signed as the draftsman, designing and building a tool to fix desiccant tubes for the space shuttle,” she said.
It’s heady work for an experienced aerospace professional, much less an 18-year-old high school graduate on summer break. But Partridge said she was never intimidated by her surroundings.
She even found time for a little fun.
“My favorite part was going inside Endeavour,” she said. “It was something I dreamed about ever since I was a small child, and it was really a dream come true. The best part was climbing into the tiny flight deck, where I got to sit in the pilot’s seat and hold the joystick that flies the shuttle.”
Even though she’s only 18 years old, Partridge started her UNF career as a junior because of prior coursework at Florida State College at Jacksonville. On top of that, she is the recipient of the UNF Presidential and Jacksonville Commitment scholarships.
She’s debating between majoring in mechanical engineering or physics, but she said her internship has prepared her for anything.
“I’m ready for the workload I am going to have, as well as working with others to accomplish tasks,” she said. “The internship has made me really excited about engineering school.”
Movies on the House (MOTH) is pleased to announce its new season of free movies.
This fall, the movies will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursdays in the Robinson Theater and are sponsored by the President’s Office and Academic Affairs. All movies are free to UNF students, faculty, staff and guests.
Dr. Jason Mauro, an English professor, runs the free movie program and says he is very excited about the fall season. “We have some great films lined up that really showcase the purpose of Movies on the House,” he said. “We don’t show movies that have achieved commercial success, though we might show movies that have been released commercially. Generally, we look at films that truly showcase the art of filmmaking. We want to open people’s minds to movies that are not particularly mainstream, but have a beautiful story to tell.”
Mauro said this season has a bit of everything in it — from art films to those that tell the story of manipulation and deceit. They are films to make one think and have been chosen for exactly that reason.
“In the perpetual cinematic fight between art and industry, Movies on the House wants to get in a few punches on the side of art,” Mauro said.
The fall season kicked off with a showing Aug. 25 of “Biutiful,” a drama film directed by Alejandro Inarritu and starring Javier Bardem. It is the story of Uxbal — a single father who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amid the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona — all before terminal cancer ends his life.
The rest of the season includes: Thursday, Sept. 8, "Howl"; Thursday, Sept. 22, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"; Thursday, Oct. 6, "Beyond the Gates"; Thursday, Oct. 20, "Meek’s Cutoff"; Thursday, Nov. 3, "The Tillman Story"; Thursday, Nov. 17, "Stone"; and Thursday, Dec. 1, "Four Lion."
A visit to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will be getting a bit more educational this year as the result of an innovative outreach program being undertaken by the University of North Florida’s Coastal Biology program.
Later this year when visitors enter the refurbished Stingray Bay exhibit, they will encounter not only a school of 30 stingrays but a group of UNF student interns who will enhance their education experience.
The program is the brainchild of biology professor Dr. James Gelsleichter and is a perfect example of the type of university-community partnerships that are thriving through funding from the UNF Foundation Board and The Power of Transformation campaign. Funding was provided through UNF Foundation Board Initiatives, a program that assists faculty in a variety of innovative projects.
The University of North Florida Foundation Board Initiatives are a significant source of funding for faculty projects and this year, a total of $75,000 will be awarded, three times the amount awarded last year. There will be an informational open house for faculty from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 16 in the Student Union. To request funding, faculty members can submit a letter of interest to the committee in November giving a brief summary of their project. For more information, contact Ann McCullen at email@example.com.
The Foundation is providing about $13,000 to fund Gelsleichter’s pilot public-outreach initiative, which is designed to benefit the community, the zoo and UNF students.
The Coastal Biology program is one of the University’s six elite flagship programs. Flagships programs are chosen for their excellence in the scholarly accomplishments of their faculty and the demonstrable potential of those faculty to sustain a trajectory toward scholarly distinction; their potential to produce particularly compelling or exceptional educational outcomes for students; and their power to link the quality of education at UNF to a range of civic needs in the region. For this reason, Flagship Programs are selected to receive significant budgetary support for a period of five years at which point they are expected to become self-sustaining or to have generated external funding support. Coastal Biology was one of the first Flagship Programs to be selected and provides excellent hands-on and transformational learning opportunities for its students and allows for ample community involvement. The stingray exhibit is a perfect example of how and why it all works.
After undergoing training, UNF student interns will present informal science education lessons on ray biology to visitors at the zoo’s 17,000-gallon saltwater Stingray Bay exhibit. Although the exhibit was initially opened under the management of a San Diego-based wildlife exhibit company, the contract has since expired. The zoo agreed to allow the UNF interns the opportunity to manage the educational portion of the exhibit.
However, a new group of stingrays are being “recruited” for the exhibit before it will be reopened.
That recruitment job fell to graduate assistant Brenda Anderson, who has been helping Gelsleichter prepare the project. The native of Chesapeake, Va., received her undergraduate training at Old Dominion University, and was attracted to UNF by its Coastal Biology program. She said she never anticipated part of her responsibilities as a graduate assistant would be collecting stingrays.
Anderson selected Nassau Sound, just north of Little Talbot State Park, as the location to collect some of the rays for the zoo exhibit. She used a fishing net and collected several rays, which had to be quarantined for 30 days before they were allowed in to make sure they were free of parasites. They also needed to be gradually acclimated to captivity by becoming accustomed to new feeding habits and being handled by humans. Additional rays were acquired from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tenn. They were maintained at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine until the zoo was ready to accept them into the exhibit.
Once approximately 30 rays are obtained for the exhibit, the next step will be training interns to work at the exhibit. About a half-dozen students enrolled in the applied biology internship will be trained to engage exhibit visitors. Gelsleichter said the goal is to produce guides who don’t simply recite facts about stingrays.
“The focus is an attempt to teach visitors in an informal setting so they can learn it for themselves,” he said. The interns will be encouraged to ask visitors questions and actively engage them in thinking about stingrays, he explained.
Foundation funding will be used to purchase various materials used in the educational activities, such as a stingray spine and jawbone. “The key is to have more give-and-take with visitors,” he said.
Gelsleichter hopes the UNF Foundation project will serve as a pilot project to generate funding from other educational foundations for future projects. The scope of the program could eventually be expanded beyond the stingray exhibit to include snakes or mammals at the zoo.
“We have a great deal of expertise in UNF’s biology program,” Gelsleichter said. “We have also been exploring cooperative ventures with MOSH [Museum of Science and History].”
Gelsleichter said he wants the experience to create a greater awareness about the need for public outreach in scientific education among the students participating in the project. He’s hoping some student interns might even be influenced to enter the teaching profession.
“This will contribute significantly to our efforts to strengthen the country’s awareness of the importance of the oceans and create an ocean-science-literate society.”
Name: Jill Jackson
Department: Institutional Advancement
and the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Job title: Director of Development for the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
What do you do? Build support for the computing, engineering and construction management programs at UNF
Years at UNF: 3.5
What is the best thing you ever won?
I won $200 on an airplane when I was flying to Mexico on a vacation. All of the passengers wrote their seat number on their bills and gave them to the flight attendant. My seat number was selected, and I won the pot! There’s bad news, though. I developed a serious migraine on the flight and I had to get a doctor when we landed. The bill was $175.
If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why?
First reaction — a Broadway singer or tambourine player in a band. More realistic — an author of humorous novels or children’s books
What would you like to do when you retire?
Retire? Yeah, right. If that happens, I would like to travel somewhere exciting, such as Australia. Not Palatka or Baldwin. I can see myself volunteering at a hospital as the greeter or visiting patients. I will definitely NOT work in the yard. I don’t have a green thumb. I can’t remember to water anything. I would still like to cook healthy foods and continue exercising every day. I can also see myself entering a fitness competition at 65 or older. There are so few competitors at that age I think I would easily win!
What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?
I enjoy the college atmosphere and living vicariously through the students. I have wonderful colleagues and enjoy all the collaboration we have in finding ways to raise money for the University. I especially like to introduce students to donors and hear their stories of gratitude for receiving scholarships.
If you won the lottery, what would do with the money?
Travel to places I have always wanted to go, such as San Francisco. I would have to take my mom and sister since we have always wanted to go there together. I would also establish a scholarship — at UNF, of course — to help students who, like myself, needed the help of others to go to college.
Who is the most famous person you ever met?
When I was a senior in high school, I posed in a picture with Rob Lowe for a “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign that was on a billboard on Interstate 95 near St. Augustine.
If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing?
With this economy, I would probably be seeking employment to no avail.
What is your favorite way to blow an hour?
Exercising or playing Words With Friends on my iPhone.
What was the best money you ever spent?
Front-load washer and dryer and my Keurig coffee maker. I would trade my first-born child for them.
What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?
Proudest moment: Graduating from college. My family struggled financially, and we had to find creative financing solutions for me to go to college.
Happiest moment: Making the last payment on my college loan. It took me 10 years to pay it off.
Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you:
I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school. I studied classical piano for more than 10 years.
What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended?
First concert — Donny and Marie Osmond when I turned 10. My parents took me to the concert, much to their dismay, and I was so tired I fell asleep halfway into the concert. I woke up at the end. My dad was so mad! Most recent concert was Train and Maroon 5.
What person had the greatest impact on your life?
My mom has had the greatest impact on my life. She is my role model for overcoming obstacles and staying positive and joyful despite your circumstances.
Tell us about your family.
Daughter, Jillian – 14
Son, Tanner – 12
What are you most passionate about?
My kids. And my two chihuahuas. In that order, I guess.
Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know:
I had a motorcycle when I was five. My dad owned a motorcycle shop in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I used to go with him to work on the weekends and jump platforms and ride trails.
My first job was as a “drink girl” at Burger King. I was 14, and as a punishment that summer, my parents made me work at Burger King because they knew I would not like the uniform or smelling like fries. They were right.
Last book read:
Brooks College of HealthNursing: Dr. Cynthia Cummings spoke at the Sigma Theta Tau International conference in Cancun, Mexico in July and delivered her presentation on “Incorporating Simulation into the Baccalaureate Nursing Curriculum.” Dr. Bonnie Holder also took part in the presentation. Public Health: Dr. Lynne Carroll presented her paper “Mothers, Madness and Meaning: Using Autoethnography and Intersectionality to Explore Lesbian Identities” at Reporting from the Front Line: A Transdisciplinary Conference on Gender at the University of West England in Bristol, England in June.Coggin College of BusinessAccounting and Finance: Drs. Jeff Michelman and John MacArthur, along with alumnae Christie Shea, recently completed “Business Risk and Internal Control: The Growing Challenges of Corruption in China,” for the Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance. This represents continuing research by both Michelman and MacArthur in China and is timely given the discussion of China’s corruption resulting in the recent major train crash.Management: Dr. Steve Paulson’s paper “Jason Poole: E-Business Entrepreneur of Kingston Jamaica” appeared in the August issue of the Online Journal of International Case Analysis.Marketing and Logistics: Drs. Robert Frankel, Yemisi Bolumole, Reham Eltantawy, Antony Paulraj and Greg Gundlach’s article, “The Domain and Scope of SCM’s Foundational Disciplines: Insights and Issues to Advance Research” has been recognized as one of the “2008 Top 10 Articles published in IJLRA, IJPDLM, JBL and SCM.” The journals are some of the most prestigious publications in the academic field. College of Arts and SciencesHistory: Dr. David Courtwright presented a paper, “The Internet and/as Addiction,” at the biennial meeting of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society. He also published an essay, “Is ‘Right Turn’ the Wrong Frame for American History After the 1960s?,” which appeared in John Hopkins University Press’ June 2011 issue of Historically Speaking.Music: Dr. Michael Mastronicola, an adjunct in the Music Department, directed the inaugural Emerging Artist Chamber Music Festival at Jacksonville's Friday Musicale. Twenty advanced high school and college-aged musicians — including UNF students Hannah Meloy and Britney Maroney — participated in two weeks of intensive chamber music rehearsals from July 25 to Aug. 7. Rehearsals culminated in two public performances that included several well-known works by Mozart and Bach. Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Jenny Stuber’s book, “Inside the College Gates: How Class and Culture Matter in Higher Education,” was published by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. College of Computing, Construction and Engineering Construction Management: Dr. Maged Malek presented “The Vision of UNF Construction Management” at the annual meeting of American Council for Construction Education. He is a member of the ACCE Board of Trustees. Dr. Carol Woodson successfully passed the recertification requirements as a Certified Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Outreach Trainer by the U.S. Department of Labor. Outreach trainers must recertify every four years. School of Engineering: Dr. Adel El-Safty gave two presentations at the American University in Cairo (AUC) — “Leadership, Soft Skills and Management Skills in Construction” and “FRP Application and Design in Structural Engineering.”Drs. Susan Vasana, Fan Xiong and Murat Tanik published their paper, “A Digital Circuit Model Exploration of Cardiovascular System Based on ECG (Electrocardiogram) and ABP (Arterial Blood Pressure) Signals Using Evolvable Hardware Design.”School of Computing: Dr. Asai Asaithambi presented his paper, “An Efficient Method for Parallel Global Optimization Using Interval Analysis,” at the 2011 International Conference on High Performance Computing and Simulation Bahcesehir University in Istanbul in July. Dr. Robert F. Roggio presented and published his paper, "The Merging of Diverse Perspectives: Management, Customer and Developer in an Iterative Development Planning Process,” at the Software Engineering Research and Practice Conference in July.
College of Education and Human ServicesDepartment of Foundations and Secondary Education: Dr. Jeffrey W. Cornett published an article in Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies. The article ran in a recent theme issue on the essential role of social studies. His article, “The People Unite: Learning Meaningful Civics Online” highlights recent developments in online communication about public policy and student activism through the Center for Civic Education’s Project Citizen project among middle school students and teachers in Florida, Hungary and Romania. Cornett has served as a researcher, evaluator, delegate and adviser for this international civic education exchange since 1996. Childhood Education: Dr. Katie Monnin has a monthly TV segment on the morning TV show for the local Fox affiliate, Action News. The segment started Aug. 31. Action News calls the monthly segment “Katie's Korner,” which covers reading and literacy topics.
Q: From Melissa Blankenship, assistant director, Admissions — As a former UNF student who attended before the creation of the Osprey Connector, I am very appreciative to have it available. However, has UNF considered an express shuttle that would run weekdays during the fall and spring terms, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and only stop at UNF Hall and the Library? Many employees at UNF Hall still need to visit main campus for a variety of reasons. Most of us have purchased a Discount parking permit. For those of us with a Premium Permit, we do not have time to hunt for a parking space at peak times. To ride the current South shuttle route, it can take almost 20 minutes to get from UNF Hall to the Library (and vice versa), making an hour-long meeting take almost two hours when shuttle time is also calculated. An express shuttle might make it easier for us to stay connected to main campus.
A: From Vince Smyth, director, Auxiliary Services — The Osprey Connector shuttle service is 100 percent paid for by the students through a transportation access fee. While others are welcome to use it, all programming decisions have to relate to student needs and desires. That said, the recently approved Master Plan does provide for some interesting ideas for decreasing the travel time from outer lots to the core of campus and we are actively pursuing some of these ideas.Q: From Kristin Quinn, administrative secretary, University Housing and Dining — Does UNF have influence on adding a traffic light at the turn from Kernan Boulevard to Butler Boulevard, or is that not considered part of the University’s property?A: From Zak Ovadia, director, Campus Planning, Design and Construction — Traffic control devices outside the campus proper are in the jurisdiction of the City of Jacksonville and the Department of Transportation. UNF has no influence on that process.
Employees who have UNF-related questions they would like to have answered in the next issue of Inside are encouraged to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submitted questions will be considered for publication in the "Good Question" column, which is designed to help inform the campus community about relevant issues. When submitting questions, please include your name, department and job title, which will be included if your question is selected. The submission deadline is the 15th of each month. For more information, contact Cathy Cole at email@example.com.
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