Awards & Recognition

2012 Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients  

College of Arts and Sciences

Honorable Dawn K. Hudson
Bachelor of Arts, 1995


Judge Hudson was born in Jacksonville and received her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Florida in 1995.  She obtained her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1999.


Prior to taking the bench, Judge Hudson was as an Assistant State Attorney working in the Fourth Judicial Circuit under the leadership of Harry Shorstein.  During her career she handled cases ranging from misdemeanors to homicides in Duval and Clay counties.  In 2004 she tried more jury trials than any other prosecutor in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Duval, Clay and Nassau counties.  Judge Hudson concluded her career at the State Attorney's Office as the Senior Trial Attorney in the Repeat Offender Division where she prosecuted cases against habitual offenders and supervised other lawyers. 


She was elected to the Duval County Court bench in November, 2006.  She now serves in Duval County Court, Division Q and handles criminal and civil caseloads which include pre-trial hearings, evidentiary hearings and both jury and non-jury trials.  She will begin her second term in January 2013 as she was un-opposed for re-election.


Judge Hudson is a member of the Pre-Law Advisory Board and routinely is a guest speaker for the Mock Trial Course.  Her contributions to the College and the community at large are commendable and we are honored to name her as our Outstanding Alum. 


Coggin College of Business

Nathaniel R. Herring
Bachelor of Business Administration, 1993


A Jacksonville native, Nathaniel began his professional career with Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo). Over the next 15 years he served in a variety of positions from branch manager and financial consultant to business banking director and senior vice president for the Tampa Bay market and later senior vice president and retail banking director for Wachovia's Eastern Georgia region.  In 2008 he and his family returned to his hometown when he was named city president for Fifth Third Bank's Jacksonville market where he leads their overall market strategy.


In addition to his undergraduate degree from UNF, Nathaniel also received his MBA from Wake Forest University.


Nathaniel is committed to developing, mentoring, and promoting his team at Fifth Third Bank. He demonstrates those same qualities of service and leadership in his involvement in the Jacksonville community.  He is a trustee of Baptist Beaches Hospital, assistant treasurer of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and a member of the Coggin College Business Advisory Council.  He also served as chairman of the 2011 Review Committee of the Jacksonville Race Relations Progress Report.  Earlier this year he was a guest professor in Coggin College's Professor of the Day.  Nathaniel is sought after by our students for his advice and counsel in helping them develop their careers.


Nathaniel has also been honored by the following organizations:  Jacksonville Business Journal 40 under 40 - 2010, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Outstanding Humanitarian Award, Jacksonville Alumni Chapter - 2011-2012.  We are honored to recognize Nathaniel as an Outstanding Alumnus of the Coggin College of Business.


College of Education and Human Services

Timothy W. Kenney

Bachelor of Arts in Education, 2002

Master of Education, 2007


Timothy Kenney is passionate about mathematics and serving elementary children.  He is a double alumnus (B. A. and M. Ed. in Elementary Education), has been an educator for 11 years and has spent the last several years teaching fifth grade mathematics at Mandarin Oaks Elementary in Duval County.  He also serves as adjunct faculty at UNF.


Tim's passion for students reaches to the community. Tim initiated content trainings for parents in mathematics that are now used in several schools throughout Duval County.  He has received competitive grants that have allowed him to provide students with math toolkits for homework and technology to enhance learning.

Tim is also a leader among his peers.  He helped to establish and has served as President of the Duval Elementary Mathematics Council, a district-wide professional development organization that promotes collegial dialogue among teachers.  Tim has also served as a member of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) Content Advisory Committee and the State Mathematics Board.  This past year he was asked to serve as a member of a national committee, The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.


In 2010, Tim was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, an honor bestowed on only 85 teachers nationwide that year.  Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, an inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.


Tim and his wife, Heather, also a COEHS alumnus, are proud parents of two children, Riley and William.


Brooks College of Health

Ann D. Sabbag 
Master of Science in Health, 2003


Ann Sabbag received her Bachelor's degree in Health Education from Florida State University and her Master's degree from the University of North Florida in Health Administration. She is certified as an Intrinsic Coach and has completed extended studies in nutrition and behavior change.  Ann is truly an expert in public health. This expertise, coupled with her incredible drive and passion, has led Ann to exceptional professional achievement.  She is the CEO and Founder of Health Designs (HD), a leader in worksite wellness specializing in employee health assessments, biometric screenings and face‐to‐face health coaching. With the motto "Healthier Employees, Healthier Result," her company sincerely cares about health and wellness of employees.  This genuine concern not only benefits the individual companies she serves, but also the communities in which they reside.  Over the past 15 years, HD has partnered with diverse employers in every major industry helping to create wellness programs that enhance employee health, improve productivity and build a culture of health at their organizations. Ann's long-time clients include Fidelity, PGA Tour, JEA, Suddath, Coach, St. Vincent's and BCBS of Florida.  Just in the last year, HD reached more than 50,000 employees at 250 different companies nationwide. Participation rates in health screenings are some of the highest in the industry and many of her clients have received Well Workplace Awards from the Wellness Councils of America.


Under Ann's leadership, the Jacksonville Business Journal has identified HD as one of the "Top Fastest Growing Companies in Northeast Florida" for three years.  Ann has received numerous awards including: (1) U.S. Small Business Administration 2012 Florida Small Business Person of Year, (2) Small Business Leader of the Year 2012 Jax Chamber, Health Council, and (3) 2011 Health Information Awards Winner.  She continues to generously serve as an internship preceptor for UNF students providing them with first-hand experience in the public health field.  This commitment involves guiding students through a semester-long project, providing support and meaningful feedback.  Additionally, Ann serves as an instrumental member of the Public Health Advisory Board.  Her professional insight is invaluable as she contributes to ensuring quality education for rising public health professionals.  When Ann isn't busy providing guidance to clients and employees at HD, she can be found mentoring, volunteering in the community and supporting other women-owned business endeavors.  Because of her outstanding dedication, Ann was named one of Northeast Florida's Women of Influence in 2009.

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction

Glenn R. Layton 
Bachelor of Technology, 1984


Glenn Layton has worked to build his community since graduating from UNF in1984. He not only has built some of the finest homes in Jacksonville but also gives back to the community in ways great and small.  As the Founder and Managing Partner of Glenn Layton Homes in Jacksonville and past president of the North East Florida Builders Association, Layton has embraced opportunities to help others while encouraging his children to do likewise.


Layton grew up in Sarasota where his father was a residential land developer. Layton attended the University of Florida for two years but said he was distracted from his studies by campus life. Despite not knowing a soul in Jacksonville, he visited UNF and said he was immediately attracted to the program because of all the hands-on training provided. "UNF prepared me well by giving me the management skills I needed to compete in the building community.  As UNF students, we received firsthand experience about what really goes on in the construction industry because we witnessed construction activities being performed in the field."


The degree propelled Layton to a building career starting as an estimator for a production builder.  In 2000, he became president of North Florida Builders Inc., and with the sale of the company to Woodside Homes, he became division president in 2004.  When Woodside Homes closed all east coast operations in 2010, Layton started Glenn Layton Homes.  Presently Glenn Layton Homes is building single family custom homes is some of Jacksonville's finest communities.


To give other aspiring builders similar kinds of opportunities, Layton maintains contact with UNF by acting as a liaison between students and the builders association. He is also Chair of the Construction Management Department External Advisory Board and enjoys speaking in student's classes giving real life examples of how our industry works.


That spirit of giving back to the community is part of the Layton family, Glenn's wife Lynn is the Executive Director of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children and both children, Clark and Mallory stay involved in church youth activities and Young Life of North St Johns County where they mentor younger students. For Layton his family's volunteer activities are merely another chapter in a continuing book of giving back to the community.


The Office of Student and International Affairs


Deborah A. Johnson 
Bachelor of Business Administration, 1985

Master of Business Administration, 1985


Debbie Johnson graduated from the UNF's Coggin College of Business with a BBA in Accounting in 1985, and received her MBA from Coggin in 1989. She joined UNF's Alumni Association board in 1986, and since then, has worked tirelessly with the Alumni Association, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including President.


Debbie's University involvement also includes her recent appointment to the Foundation Board, and membership on the Coggin College of Business Alumni Chapter board.  She is a current member and past chair of the Student Affairs Community Council, a member of the Sanctuary Committee, and a mentor through Coggin's Career Management Center's Mentoring Program.  She is a founding steering committee member of the University's On Campus Transition Program, a partnership with The Arc Jacksonville that provides a college experience for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 


During her career as a Certified Public Accountant, Debbie has worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for more than thirty years. Other community involvement includes her position as current chair of The Arc Jacksonville; current member and immediate past president of the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville Beaches; current member of the United Way of Northeast Florida Resource Management Cabinet; current chair of Switzerland Community Church's Missions Committee and past member of Leadership Jacksonville.  She also volunteers with Duval County Public Schools, counseling high school seniors.


For fifteen years, Debbie and her husband, Jay, have opened their home to all UNF alumni for The Johnson Social, an annual and well-loved event.


In 2007, Debbie and Jay were recipients of the Dorothy Johnson Medallion for Outstanding Service to the Alumni Association. They met in the fall of 1986 on the UNF campus, and married the next year. They renewed their vows in April 2012, at the site of the future campus Chapel.