Press Release for Thursday, February 1, 2007

UNF Alumni Association Recognizes Exceptional Alums

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida Alumni Association will recognize several exceptional alums for their exemplary service and contributions to UNF during the 12th Annual Alumni Recognition Dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, at the University Center on campus. Cost for the event is $35.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award will be presented to Melanie Jennings Husk, who received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University in 1977. The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is the highest award given to a UNF graduate by the Alumni Association and recognizes alumni who have made a significant contribution to his or her profession, community and/or society, having consistently maintained the pursuit of excellence as a representative and graduate of the University.

Husk is vice president of marketing and communications for Baptist Health. She was co-founder, president and executive creative director of Husk Jennings Galloway, an advertising and public relations agency which she and her husband founded in 1983. Husk Jennings Galloway at one time ranked as the No. 1 female-owned minority business in Jacksonville. In 2005, Husk became the first woman to receive the coveted Silver Medalist Award from the Advertising Federation of America and in 1998, she was selected to become a member of the International Women's Forum, an organization of pre-eminent women leaders in multiple disciplines around the world. She serves on UNF’s Foundation Board and was named a UNF Outstanding Alumna in 1999.

The 2006 Honorary Almuni Awards will also be presented during the recognition dinner. Recipients include Dr. Arthur “Buster” Browning, Donald Ditzenberger, Barbara Fletcher, Ambassador Marilyn McAfee and Gerry Nichols.

Buster Browning is an active supporter of UNF and intercollegiate athletics. He has served as a three-time president of the Osprey Club. In 2004, the University dedicated the 3,000 square foot Dr. Arthur Browning Athletic Rehabilitation Training and Education Center within the stadium, which provides physical therapy and athletic training classes offered by the Brooks College of Health. Browning serves as physician for the PGA Tour in Jacksonville, the President’s Cup and consults for other tournaments throughout the nation, including the Tour Championship.

Donald Ditzenberger is a licensed professional engineer and a longtime advocate for engineering education at UNF. Since 1999, he has been an active member of the Engineering Advisory Council, a body of industry and government agency professionals offering counsel and guidance to the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. The School of Engineering has prospered largely due to the support of practicing engineers on the First Coast who consider Ditzenberger one of their most distinguished colleagues. His numerous professional honors include Florida Engineering Society’s Engineer of the Year and Outstanding Service to the Engineering Profession.

Barbara Fletcher is a clinical associate professor of nursing in the Brooks College of Health. She spearheaded an initiative in 2001 to establish the Patricia H. Foster Graduate Nurse Fellowship Endowment, which awards grants annually for students conducting research. She also encouraged students to compete for the prestigious Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award. In 2006, a UNF graduate nurse was among only seven award winners in the nation. Equally committed to the community, Fletcher was instrumental in founding the Brooks College Us, Women and Girl’s Health Initiative, created to educate and engage individuals in the delivery of excellent health care for women and girls.

Marilyn McAfee was a career foreign service officer for 30 years, primarily in Latin America. As a member of the UNF Foundation Board of Directors, she works tirelessly to develop resources and attract the talent that will sustain and strengthen UNF. McAfee was instrumental in forming a strategic partnership between UNF and the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, enhancing the cultural and intellectual life of the campus and community through programs such as the Distinguished Voices Lecture Series. Appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush, she serves as the secretary of the board of directors for the Jacksonville Seaport Authority.

Gerry Nichols has worked tirelessly behind the scenes in Tallahassee on behalf of UNF and higher education. He is committed to the mission of the University and is actively engaged as a dedicated volunteer and generous donor.
He served on the UNF Foundation board for six years, concluding his two terms in 2001. Nichols and his wife Jackie are also advocates for the performing arts at UNF. They have made generous contributions towards the Fine Arts Center construction project and the UNF music program.

Additional awards to be presented are the Dorothy G. Johnson Medallion and Outstanding Alumni Awards. Debbie and Jay Johnson will be presented the Dorothy G. Johnson Medallion for outstanding service to the Alumni Association and the University, while five alums will receive the Outstanding Alumni Awards. The following recipients are as follows:

Coggin College of Business: Theodore “Sylvester” John and Elaine Johnson
College of Computing, Engineering and Construction: Brian S. Malek
College of Education and Human Services: Linda Carlson Gunn and
Dr. Deidra L. McDowell-Sutton
Brooks College of Health: Tammy L. Carroll and Kerry E. Dunlavey
College of Arts & Sciences: Karen E. Bowling