Undergraduate Studies Newsletter

Spring 2012


Students, Faculty, and Staff to Display Scholarly and Creative Work at SOARS Showcase

The Office of Undergraduate Research will host the 11th Annual Showcase of Osprey Advancements in Research and Scholarship (formerly known as STARS) on Friday, April 13th from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the Student Union Ballrooms (58W/3703). UNF’s annual university wide conference gives undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a safe and supportive environment, and perhaps prepare to present their findings at professional conferences. The symposium also offers faculty the opportunity to spotlight their successes in mentoring and research. Students, colleagues, and administrators are given the opportunity to learn about the diverse types of scholarship underway at UNF. Students, faculty, and staff may apply to present qualitative or quantitative studies or scholarly projects completed in any field.  Projects may be presented in one of two mediums: 1) poster presentations or 2) oral presentations (e.g., PowerPoint). Deadline for applications is Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 5:00pm. For more information, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Research website


Annual Writing Contest Winners Announced quill

The Annual Writing Contest, organized by the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) gives students the opportunity to display and receive recognition for their writing skills and creativity. Students are invited to submit entries in the following categories: Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction. This year, in connection with the UNF Reads! book selection, Outcasts United, students who submitted entries in the Creative Non-Fiction category were asked to write from the perspective of their personal experiences and  relate to the types of social change and desire for community depicted in Outcasts United.


The Annual Writing Contest winners for 2011-2012 are:


Poetry: First Place; Michael Ward, "Harlem Nocturne" and Second Place; Myra Fisher, "When I Go"


Fiction: First Place; Bradley Beall, "Downward Rise" and Second Place; Chelsea Lynn Jernigan, "The Same Thing"


Creative Non-Fiction: First Place; Travis Wildes, "Sidewalks" and Second Place; April Hutchinson, "We Were A Picture"


Winners will receive awards at the Academic Affairs Convocation at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in Building 14A, Robinson Theater.  For more information about the Annual Writing Contest, please visit http://www.unf.edu/ace/writing_contest.aspx


Congratulations to the 2012-2013 TLO Grant Recipients

The Office of Undergraduate Studies received 60 applications requesting a total of over $800,000 for creative and worthy projects proposed for the seventh round of the TLO program. Overall 28 undergraduate applications and 8 graduate applications were funded. In this round, several of the International TLOs were funded by the Student Life and Services Fee. To read more about the funded undergraduate projects, visit the TLO website.  To view a list of the graduate award recipients and projects, please visit the Graduate School website.   


 Items of Interest   

biology researchNew Undergraduate Research Learning Community Gets Students Engaged Early

Psychology and Biology majors have a unique opportunity to engage in research through a new undergraduate research learning community offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research beginning in Fall 2012. This learning community, designed for students with no more than 30 credit hours, will give students the opportunity to become engaged in research early in their academic careers. This two-semester program will include one credit hour of Supervised Research in the Fall, weekly workshops on library skills, preparing graduate school applications, faculty presentations on research, and a plethora of other topics. Additionally, in the Fall students will be able to shadow a senior research assistant.  


Then in Spring 2013, students will register for two credit hours of Supervised Research, attend seminars on research design and analysis, interview skill, and mentor-protégé relationship development. Students will also works as an apprentice with a senior research assistant collecting data. Ultimately, the students will interview three potential mentors and will be granted a lab assignment for the next academic year. 


Through this learning community, students will understand that learning extends beyond the classroom. For example, they will have the opportunity to create a professional poster and present research findings at a professional or regional conference.  Experiences like this will improve the quality of education for these students and integrate their social and academic lives through beneficial interactions with peers, faculty, and staff.  


For more information about the undergraduate research learning community, please contact LouAnne Hawkins in the Office of Undergraduate Research at lhawkins@unf.edu or (904) 620-2649.


Outcasts United2Outcasts United Makes Encore Appearance as UNF Reads! Book Selection   

For a second year, UNF freshmen will be spending their summer reading about soccer and refugees The Undergraduate Studies Council has once again selected  Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John as the common book for the 5th annual UNF Reads! program.  

Outcasts United is the story of a soccer team made up of refugee boys who are coached by a remarkable woman in a small southern town.  They are faced with numerous challenges but together they learn what is possible when values and teamwork are put into play.  

By using the same book two years in a row, the Council hopes to build on the momentum and success of the program from last year, as well as give instructors the benefit of incorporating a book into their classes for two years in a row. Like last year, students will have a number of opportunities to engage in activities on campus that center on the themes from the book. Book discussions, film series, refugee panel discussion, and so much more is already being planned for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Incoming freshman students will be encouraged to participate by purchasing and reading the book during the summer. Discounted copies will be available at all summer orientation programs from the UNF Bookstore.  For more information about the UNF Reads! program, please visit http://www.unf.edu/unfreads/.






UNF to Launch Freshman Year Experience in Fall 2012


 UNF freshmen will be getting a whole new experience starting in Fall 2012. The Freshman Year Experience (FYE) will provide students FYE logowith a plethora of opportunities to get involved on campus and help them make the most out of their college career. Not only will freshmen be required to live on campus, but they will have the opportunity to participate in a number of curricular and co-curricular programs and initiatives designed to help ease their transition into college.


The Office of Undergraduate Studies is currently working with academic departments to develop courses that address the specific needs of first year students. These courses will introduce students to particular majors, enhance students’ academic skills, and provide enrichment opportunities that will help to forge student connections with the university.


The Freshman Year Experience also consists of Living-Learning communities (LLCs) that will be launched in the Fall including a Pre-Med LLC, the Coggin LLC, the Healthy Osprey LLC, and the Honors LLC. Living-Learning Communities are a great way for students with similar academic interests to take classes together and live on the same floor in the residence hall, while creating meaningful relationships with faculty, staff and other LLC students.


In addition to these initiatives, the UNF Reads! Program will continue to be a part of the Freshman Year Experience. This program helps to create community among the freshmen class by creating a common intellectual experience for all first year students. Students are invited to read the selected book over the summer, and then in the Fall there are several events that are planned around the themes of the book that students are encouraged to participate in. 


For more information about the Freshman Experience Program, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Studies at 620-2261.


ACE by the Numbers


Most at UNF know that the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) conducts academic advising for freshman and sophomore students. However, what many may not realize is that ACE does much more than just advising. From study skills workshops to individual tutoring sessions, and all the paperwork in between, ACE supports students' academic success by providing comprehensive academic support services for all students regardless of classification.


Just to get a sense of what ACE does, here are some figures from Fall 2011:    


 ACE Services Rendered


For more information about the Academic Center for Excellence, please visit their website at http://www.unf.edu/ace/.


TLO Spotlights

Students Design Promotional Materials for Non-Profits in Brazil

Scaff TLO In Summer 2011 Claudia Scaff, Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design, provided students with the opportunity to travel to Brazil to take part in a 2-week study abroad program focused on the arts, design, history and social sustainability. Through visits to sights of cultural significance students developed global perspectives and increased understanding of cultural differences and the socioeconomic extremes of this rapidly developing country.
While in Brazil the students visited non-profit organizations in need of support for their community outreach activities.  Students gained hands-on experience through the design and development of programs and promotions for the selected non-profit organizations. Students worked under the guidance of Brazilian designers, and advertising agencies while engaging in a range of professional development activities to enhance their professional skills.
In groups the students were required to develop one promotional piece for the non-profit of their choice. One group chose to develop the layout for a new website, another developed a flash presentation featuring what the organization does, its mission, and services. Additionally, one of the groups developed graphics and signage, while another developed an informational direct mail piece. The students' work was so impressive in their creativity and professionalism that one of the non-profits offered internships to any student who would be willing to come back to Brazil and execute the projects.
According to Barbara Georges, a student who attended the trip, "Working with the design community in the emerging country of Brazil has shed a new light on the international art culture and the global design movement...Working with international contacts and designers has helped me obtain both valuable international skills in addition to further my knowledge in the business of graphic design."


Elementary Education Major Presents on Literacy TLO Program at National Conference 

Dr. Lunetta Williams, Dr. Gigi David, Buca Forrester, Dr. Katrina HallOne transformational learning opportunity led to another for Elementary Education major, Buca Forrester. In November 2011, he made a presentation at the annual conference of the National Association of Education of Young Children on the TLO that he had participated in during the Spring of 2011. That TLO, titled “ABC Literacy- Arts, Books, Community: Enhancing the home learning environment of underserved children to promote literacy and school success,” was led by a team of faculty from the Department of Childhood Education (DCE): Dr. Gigi David, Dr. Katrina Hall, and Dr. Lunetta Williams.  DCE houses the PreK Primary CBTL engaged department grant, so this project was a natural extension.


This TLO gave UNF students the opportunity to work with kindergarten children, adult caregivers and siblings of underserved populations. There were six weekly family gatherings at Woodland Acres Elementary School wherein UNF students shared a meal with the caregivers of the kindergarten, worked with caregivers on dialogic reading accompanied by an arts-based literacy activity, and read aloud to small groups of children using a dialogic reading style. Then, the children were able to rotate through arts-based literacy centers.  


At the conference, Forrester was able to reflect on his TLO experience and offer his perspectives on implanting such a program at other institutions. “Receiving the scholarship and getting the opportunity to not only attend, but present at the NAEYC conference was one of the top experiences of my college career, “ Forrester said. “I love telling people about this workshop and the amazing interactions we had there so when I ran across the opportunity to do just that to other professionals at the NAEYC conference in Orlando I took full advantage it.  The presentation went very well and we provided the audience with a lot of great information in regards to doing workshops similar to ours.”