The Undergraduate Studies Newsletter
Transformational Learning Opportunity Grant Applications Due October 20th
Full-time non-visiting faculty and staff are invited to apply for funds to support transformational learning opportunities that will take place between July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013. The undergraduate and graduate applications, as well as an application guide can be accessed on the TLO website at http://www.unf.edu/tlo/Application.aspx.
Free New York Times Subscription for Faculty
In preparation for the Spring 2011 semester, the Office of Undergraduate Studies invites faculty to use the New York Times in their Spring classes. Faculty who incorporate the New York Times into their syllabus can receive a complimentary copy of the New York Times delivered to their home or office. They also will receive free access to the New York Times online. In order to participate, faculty must simply include the New York Times as a reading assignment or extra credit opportunity in your syllabus and submit it to the Office of Undergraduate Studies by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Items of Interest
New Group Convened to Enhance the First-Year Experience
Faculty and staff members representing a variety of departments and units on campus have gathered to develop programming centered on the first year experience (FYE). This FYE Working Group has been convened by Dr. Jeff Coker, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, to explore ways to enhance the first year experience for students via academic, student life, and residential means. The mission of the UNF First Year Experience will be to assist first year students in making a successful transition to college and to prepare them to make the most of their college experience.
There are several first year initiatives already in place at UNF including the Venture Studies First-Year Seminars, the UNF Reads! Common Reading Program, living-learning communities and themed housing options, freshmen advising and academic support services, and Week of Welcome.
The working group will augment the existing programming for first year students and its goal is to implement new programs that will begin in Fall 2011.
Celebrating the Constitution by Discussing Democracy
The Constitution Celebration for 2011 was held Tuesday, Sept. 13 in honor of Constitution Day, which is Sept. 17 annually. The celebration began with a Constitution Breakfast sponsored by Student Government. In addition to coffee and donuts, students received pocket-sized copies of the Constitution.
Later that afternoon, approximately 75 students attended the Talk of the Times discussion “What is Democracy?”. This discussion was facilitated by Dr. David Jaffee, professor of Sociology, and centered around “When Democracy Weakens,” a February 2011 opinion piece written by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. During the discussion, Dr. Jaffee encouraged the students to identify what they thought were necessary components of a democracy, and to explore the question of whether or not the United States is a true democracy. This topic garnered much discussion among the audience, which included faculty and staff in addition to the students.
Upcoming Talk of the Times discussions:
The Role of Facebook in World Events
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Osprey Fountains Multipurpose Room
New Grad, No Job
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Student Union 58W/3703 A&B
For more information about the American Democracy Project, please visit the ADP website at www.unf.edu/adp.
New Name, Same Guide: My Osprey Map
The My Osprey Map, formerly known as the Academic Roadmap, is a course sequence guide providing term-by-term sample schedules for UNF undergraduate academic programs. The name of the sequencing tool was changed in the Fall 2011 semester due to trademark concerns, however its purpose and functionality remain the same. Students were first introduced to this tool in Fall 2009. Following the sample schedule, and completing the mile marker courses as outlined, will help students graduate in four years.
“My Osprey Maps were designed with the student in mind, and are linked to the primary advising Degree Evaluation tool," said Rachel Broderick, director of the Osprey Maps initiative. “Used together and in consultation with an academic advisor these tools provide both much needed sequencing information and identify all graduation requirements for the undergraduate student.”
Communication to students about their My Osprey Map is accomplished at university and individual college orientation programs.
Students can access their individualized map via their myWings account, and they can view general maps for each major by visiting the My Osprey Map page at www.unf.edu/myospreymap/.
UNF Reads! Makes Connections Through a Range of Events
This summer freshmen students read the 2011-2013 UNF Reads! text, “Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference” by Warren St. John. During Week of Welcome they were able to participate in book discussions and various events with the author, including a question and answer session and a book signing. Author Warren St. John also gave the keynote address at the Aug. 21 New Student Convocation.
A number if events have been planned during the Fall Semester to make further connections with what students have read. On Sept. 6, the Honors Program hosted a Refugee Panel consisting of representatives from local refugee-serving organizations as well as several local refugees. A currently state-less man in Iraq was able to share his experiences with the students as well via Skype.
Other UNF Reads! events that have been planned for the Fall semester include :
Making a Difference: Turning Your Passion into Action at the Student Leadership Summit
October 28, 2011 10:45 a.m.-12:00 noon Student Union Ballrooms (58W/ 3rd floor)
The Institute for Values, Community, and Leadership will host the 3rd annual Student Leadership Summit, which will feature this breakout session with Joan Hecht, founder and president of the Alliance for The Lost Boys of Sudan, along with several "Lost Boys." Joan Hecht’s compassion and dedication to bettering lives is one that will literally lift you off your seat and keep you captivated with anticipation. After witnessing the need for change, Ms. Hecht turned her values into action when she assisted many young Sudanese men to start a new life in America and established a Foundation to support education for the Lost Boys as well as several economic development projects in Sudan. You will be enthralled as this gripping breakout session changes the way you look at everyday life with tales of courage, faith, family and her resolve to assure the survival and future of The Lost Boys of Sudan. Students are invited to this free event, but you must register online at http://www.unf.edu/taylor-leadership/student_leadership_summit/registration.aspx.
The World in Our Backyard: Locating Jacksonville's Refugee Communities
November 15, 2011 6:00pm-7:30pm Building 14A, Andrew A Robinson Jr. Theater
Using GIS mapping technology, Honors students will create a map of public markers of immigrant communities (i.e. churches, stores, and restaurants) to gain knowledge about how and where immigrants settle in Jacksonville. On November 15th the students will present the results of their GIS mapping project. All are welcome to come hear their findings!
Benefit Soccer Tournament
November 19, 2011 10:00am South Recreation Field near The Crossings
This soccer tournament will be held in the Fall semester to benefit local refugee populations. Local refugee children, coached by UNF Honors students, will compete at the tournament.The tournament is a partnership between Honors students and students in the Sport Management Program. Throughout the Fall semester, students from the Sports Management Program will host a table at Market Wednesdays to generate support for needed equipment (i.e. shin guards and cleats). Visit the table each Wednesday in the Student Union Plaza from 10am-4pm. For more information contact Dr. Danielle Mincey-White (email@example.com) or Dr. Leslie Kaplan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Biology Students Clarify Career Goals at GTMNERR
In Spring 2011 10 biology students participated in a field experience at the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR), where they learned about human impacts on water quality and resulting effects on the ecology of coastal organisms. All class meetings were held at the Education Center at the GTMNERR.
This northeast Florida TLO gave students the opportunity to get directly involved in a research relating to management of a public area. After several trips where students learned about the coastal ecosystem, and basic monitoring procedures, the 10 students formed four research groups, and each research group conducted a project based on their interests. Each group monitored various aspects of the coastal ecology in GTMNERR for a one month period, analyzed their results, and produced a poster and a research paper on the project. Ultimately, the students presented their research posters at a workshop held at the GTMNERR on April 15, 2011. In addition, students have been invited back to the GTMNERR for the “State of the Reserve” Meeting to be held on December 2, 2011, where they will again discuss their research.
During the TLO project the students met weekly with the GTMNERR staff and local environmental scientists. As a result, they were able to gain valuable knowledge about potential careers in the field of coastal and environmental management. In response to a post-TLO survey one of Dr. Smith’s students said, “The TLO experience has inspired me to pursue a career similar to the field work from this course. I would like to one day apply for a job at the GTMNERR and this class gave me a foot in the door to do so. I believe I have learned more in this class than regular lecture classes because I applied my knowledge to real world situations.”
French Language Program in Strasbourg: Many Trips, Many Transformations
For the past thirteen years Dr. Shira Schwam-Baird has afforded students the opportunity to immerse themselves in French language and culture through her French study abroad program. The program, which has been awarded TLO grants for the past five years, consists of a five-week study trip to Strasbourg, France. Dr. Schwam-Baird most recently took a group of 10 UNF students to study in France in Summer, 2011.
During the program the students are taught French language classes by native speakers who instruct the students entirely in French. They also take a French culture class taught by Dr. Schwam-Baird, and have opportunities to explore the city and region surrounding Strasbourg and spend a long weekend in Paris. The students are responsible for independently getting to their classes and around town throughout the trip, which helps them develop confidence in navigating in a linguistically and culturally unfamiliar environment.
One of the most transformational aspects of the program is the immersion experience that students gain as a result of their homestays with French families. The students eat two meals a day with their host families throughout the trip, and are able to gain knowledge of French culture and language that cannot be learned from a textbook. In a reflective journal one of Dr. Schwam-Baird’s students commented, “I … learned a lot about the French culture during dinner conversations with my host family. I think that this was one of my favorite parts, just comparing and contrasting different aspects of daily life between France and the U.S.”
In Summer 2012, Dr. Schwam-Baird will lead the TLO to Strasbourg once again with another group of students, who will, like their predecessors, have the opportunity to be transformed.