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Photo May 2010 February 20, 2014

UNF Nest Notes

An electronic newsletter for UNF alumni designed to provide you with up-to-date information on upcoming happenings at the University of North Florida and to promote activities of the UNF Alumni Association. Prepared by the UNF Office of Alumni Services.




                         Upcoming Alumni Events and Information

Josh Merchant UNF Announces New Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs


After a national search, the University of North Florida has hired Joshua Merchant as the new vice president for Development and Alumni Affairs and executive director of the UNF Foundation. He begins his new position Monday, April 7.

Merchant will be responsible for providing vision and leadership to assist the deans and other University leadership in the planning, organizing and implementing of fundraising initiatives, including planned giving, annual giving, alumni engagement, capital and major campaigns, endowments, prospect research, scholarships and development funds. He will also serve as executive director of the Foundation and will be responsible for supervision of approved Foundation activities.

Click here for the University press release. 
Senior Service Award Nominations Senior Service Award Nominations
The UNF Alumni Association is accepting nominations for its Senior Service Award. The Senior Service Award is given at each commencement ceremony to a graduating senior who has made significant contributions to the University or the community through volunteerism while maintaining an outstanding academic record. In addition to the commemorative award, the winner receives a check for $500. A graduating senior may be nominated for the award by meeting the following criteria:
  • A minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Significant volunteer service to the University, as well as participation in community service activities on and off campus
  • Scheduled to graduate on Friday, April 25
Candidate applications are reviewed by the Alumni Association Student Programming Committee and, if necessary, interviews are conducted. The award will be presented on stage during the commencement ceremony Friday, April 25. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 28.

To nominate a deserving senior, click here. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or by e-mailing


Third Thursday UNF Alumni Third Thursday at the Boathouse


Date: Thursday, Feb. 20

Time: 5:30-8 p.m.

Location: UNF Boathouse, located in the Student Union, Building 58W

Cost: Free appetizers


Join us for a special homecoming edition of Third Thursday at the Boathouse scheduled in conjunction with the UNF Traditions CelebrationIn addition to it being an evening of fun and networking with fellow alumni and friends, it will be a day that will go down in the history books at UNF. At the event, a very special announcement that will impact the University and the community for years to come will be made.


Come out to network, hear the announcement and be a part of history being made. Parking will be free in Garage 38, located across from the UNF arena.


For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or by e-mailing Don't forget to bring your frequent "fly"er card! If you don't have one, make sure you ask for one.


Ozzie Contest Homecoming Basketball Tailgate hosted by UNF Athletics


Date: Saturday, Feb. 22

Time: 3-6:30 p.m. 

Location: Lot 18

Cost: Free


Come show your Osprey spirit at the homecoming tailgate hosted by UNF Athletics. Join the Alumni Association prior to the UNF vs. East Tennessee State University men’s basketball homecoming game for music, corn hole, face painting, chances to win prizes and more! In addition, free homecoming T-shirts will be given out — while supplies last — to UNF students and alumni who visit the Alumni Association's tailgate tent. This is a great event for the whole family to enjoy! 


Coolers are permitted in Lot 18. For more information or questions, contact the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or by e-mailing


Men's Basketball Team UNF vs. ETSU Men’s Basketball Homecoming Game


Date: Saturday, Feb. 22

Time: 7 p.m. 

Location: UNF Arena

Cost: Free for alumni* 


Come out and support your Osprey men’s basketball team as they take on an Atlantic Sun conference rival, the ETSU Buccaneers, for homecoming. All UNF alumni who R.S.V.P. for the game will receive up to four FREE tickets and food vouchers good for one free hot dog or popcorn and a soda!*


Last chance to reserve your tickets! Contact the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or by e-mailing by Thursday, Feb. 20.


*Limit up to four free tickets and food vouchers per alum.


Tampa Last Chance to R.S.V.P. for the Alumni Reception in Tampa


Date: Thursday, Feb. 27

Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Location: Brio Tuscan Grille in the International Plaza

Cost: Free*


The UNF Alumni Association invites all alumni in the Tampa area to join us Thursday, Feb. 27, for an evening reception at Brio Tuscan Grille in the International Plaza. This will be a great opportunity for you to network with fellow alums, catch up with old friends and meet Ospreys that live in your area. Hor d'oeuvres will be served, and your first drink is on us!*


R.S.V.P. to the Office of Alumni Services no later than Friday, Feb. 21, by calling (904) 620-4723 or (800) UNF-GRAD (863-4723) or by e-mailing   


Check out the new Facebook page that has been created for Tampa-area alumni to help keep you up-to-date on upcoming events and regional activities.   


*Limit one free drink per alum.


Book Club - Feb: Finding Florida UNF Alumni Book Club


Date: Wednesday, March 12

Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Location: UNF Alumni Hall
Cost: Free


For March, the UNF Alumni Book Club will be reading parts five and six of "Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State" by T. D. Allman.


Over the centuries, Florida has been many things: an unconquered realm protected by geography, a wilderness that ruined Spanish conquistadors, “god’s waiting room” and a place to start over. The site of vicious racial violence, including massacres, slavery and the roll-back of Reconstruction, Florida is now one of our most diverse states, a dynamic multicultural place with an essential role in 21st-century America. In "Finding Florida," journalist T.D. Allman reclaims the remarkable history of Florida from the state’s mythologizers, apologists and boosters. 


This meeting of the book club will be Wednesday, March 12. The Alumni Book Club meets the second Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. in the Office of Alumni Services located at Alumni Hall. Beverages and snacks will be provided. To join us or for more information, please contact the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or by e-mailing


Charlotte Charlotte Alumni Reception


 Date: Thursday, March 13

 Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

 Location: Charlotte City Club

 Cost: Free


The UNF Alumni Association invites all alumni in the Charlotte area to join us Thursday, March 13, for an evening reception at the Charlotte City Club.


This brief reception will provide you an opportunity to learn more about UNF’s impressive national rankings, its remarkable campus growth, stellar student body and nationally ranked faculty. This reception will also allow you to reconnect and network with fellow alumni in your area.


Hors d’oeuvres and refreshing beverages will complement the occasion. R.S.V.P. by March 8 to the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or (800) UNF-GRAD (863-4723) or by e-mailing


Check out the new Facebook page that has been created for Charlotte-area alumni to help keep you up-to-date on upcoming events and regional activities. 


Wine Tasting Alumni Wine Tasting


Date: Friday, March 14 
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: UNF Adam W. Herbert University Center
Cost: A suggested donation of $20 per person will be accepted at the door.


The UNF Alumni Association invites you to attend our annual Wine Tasting. This is a seated event featuring a sampling of unique wines from around the world. Paired appetizers will be served with each wine course. Come and see, swirl, sniff, sip and savor a night of wine appreciation and fun. 

A suggested donation of $20 per person will be accepted at the door. Please R.S.V.P. by Friday, March 7, to the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or by emailing The program will begin promptly at 7 p.m.


The Alumni Association encourages you to drink responsibly and has partnered up with Uber, a high-tech, upscale transportation service, to help you do so. Uber is offering a free ride for UNF alumni who attend the wine tasting event.* Ask for your special Uber promo code upon R.S.V.P. 


*Valid for up to $20 off for first-time Uber users. 


Golf Tournament Register Today for the Play a Round fore Scholarships Golf Tournament


Date: Monday, April 28

Time: 10 a.m. Registration, Noon Shotgun Start

Location:Marsh Landing Country Club

Cost: $150 Individual Player; $600 Foursome; Sponsorship Opportunities Available


The UNF Alumni Association's eighth annual Play a Round fore Scholarships Golf Tournament has been scheduled for Monday, April 28, at Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach. The format is Captain’s Choice with a shotgun start. Players will enjoy 18 holes of golf (including cart), lunch, door prizes, goodie bags, skill contests and an awards dinner.  

The tournament is a fundraiser for the First Generation Scholarship fund, which provides need-based scholarships for students who are the first in their families to attend college. 


For more information, to register to play or to sponsor the tournament, click here or contact the Office of Alumni Services by calling (904) 620-4723 or by e-mailing  


Social Media (1) Get Connected with Fellow Alumni


There are several ways to get connected with your fellow Osprey alums. Join the University of North Florida Alumni LinkedIn group to network, like our Facebook page to learn about upcoming events, alumni activity, see alumni event photos and more, or follow @alumnisvcs on Twitter to stay up-to-the-moment on UNF news.




Upcoming University Events and Information


Parade Homecoming Parade


Date: Friday, Feb. 21

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: See description for parade route.

Cost: Free


The 2014 homecoming parade will be bigger and better than our campus has ever seen. The parade will feature student groups ranging from Greek Life to student clubs and members of our Jacksonville community. The parade will start at Lot 14 at 5 p.m., heading South on Eco Road toward the intersection of UNF Drive and Eco Road. The parade will turn left onto UNF Drive toward the Thomas G. Carpenter Library where it will carry on past the Student Union and turn left on Varsity Lane. The parade will end in Lot 18. Be sure to the follow the last float to the bonfire and pep rally happening in the practice softball fields across from Harmon Baseball Stadium immediately following the parade.


Pep Rally Homecoming Bonfire and Pep Rally


Date: Friday, Feb. 21

Time: Immediately following the homecoming parade

Location: Lot 18

Cost: Free


For the first time in decades, UNF will host a bonfire similar to that of our collegiate peers at the University of Texas, University of Alabama and Florida Atlantic University. Show your support for our men’s basketball team prior to the showdown with the ETSU Buckaneers. The bonfire and pep rally will begin immediately following the parade.  Mr. and Ms. UNF will be announced during the event.


Baseball UNF vs. Fairfield University Baseball Game


Date: Friday, Feb. 21

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Harmon Baseball Stadium

Cost: $3 for Alumni*


Come out and support your UNF baseball team as they take on Fairfield University, Friday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m., following the homecoming parade. Call (904) 620-BIRD (2473) to purchase your tickets today!


*UNF alumni will receive special ticket pricing of $3 per ticket when using the phrase "proud UNF alum" when placing order.


MOCA - Material Transformations MOCA Jacksonville — Material Transformations


The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, presents Material TransformationsThe artists of "Material Transformations" — Angela Ellsworth, Alison Foshee, Johnston Foster, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Rune Olsen, Lucrecia Troncoso, and Paul Villinski — all uncover symbolism in the very unconventional substances they use to construct their works of art. They find inspiration in the stuff of life — items we frequently encounter, use, and discard with rarely a second thought, such as aluminum cans, cleaning sponges, construction debris, corsage pins, masking tape, office supplies and wrapping paper.


The "Material Transformations" exhibit, which was organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, will be on display until April 6. For more information about this exhibit or upcoming exhibits and events, click here


TLS Executive Spotlight 2014 UNF Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program Executive Spotlight: “Sea Star Line – Leading the Charge in the Natural Gas Revolution”


Date: Wednesday, March 12

Time: 6-7:15 p.m.

Location: Adam W. Herbert University Center

Cost: Free, open to the public


UNF's Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program will host an Executive Spotlight, “Sea Star Line – Leading the Charge in the Natural Gas Revolution,” 6-7:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 12, at the Adam W. Herbert University Center. A networking reception begins at 5 p.m., and the program will begin at 6 p.m. 


Jim Wagstaff, Sea Star Line Vice President of Operations, will discuss the production and distribution of natural gas from the ground up, strategic plans behind the decision to invest in liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered vessels, transforming maritime shipping through lower cost, cleaner fuel alternatives, and seizing LNG momentum to create economic benefit for the region. The event is being sponsored by the UNF Division of Continuing Education.


For more information click here or contact Lynn Brown by calling (904) 620-1961 or by e-mailing


Blue and Gray Payday UNF Athletics Blue and Gray Payday


UNF Athletics is hosting its inaugural Blue and Gray Payday, sponsored by Angie's Subs, in the form of a golf ball drop April 5. All proceeds benefit the Osprey Club, which funds scholarships, athletic facilities and sport specific operating funds. Purchase your ticket(s) today to support UNF Athletics and for your chance to win up to $20,000!    


Each ticket purchased will have a number that corresponds to the number on a golf ball. A helicopter will fly over the UNF practice fields at approximately 4 p.m., April 5, following the UNF vs. JU baseball game and release the golf balls over a drop zone. There will be a flag in the drop zone, and the ball closest to the flag wins up to $20,000, second closest wins up to $5,000 and the remaining closest 10 balls will win up to $1,000 each. View details and official rules here.


Tickets can be purchased online, by calling (904) 620-1891 or at the UNF Athletic Development Office located in the UNF Arena, Building 34, second floor, room 2003. There is no limit to the number of tickets purchased. You can go in with colleagues, friends and family to purchase tickets and do not have to be present to win. Deadline to purchase tickets is noon, Friday, April 4. For more information or questions, please contact Eric Nappy by calling (904) 620-5036 or by e-mailing


Child Development Resource Center Child Care Discount for Alumni


The UNF Child Development Research Center (CDRC) is now offering alumni the same discounted rate that UNF faculty and staff receive. 


The Center, which enrolls 85 children from 2.5 to 10 years old, is more than a day care or child care. It is a developmentally appropriate, nationally accredited, program directed toward formal education for preschool children. The center provides children with a warm and accepting environment filled with meaningful experiences which encourage them to value and respect themselves, others and their world. The CDRC program helps develop within each child feelings of self-worth, self-awareness, consideration for the welfare of others, sharing materials and ideas, and a love of learning while preparing them for their future academic endeavors.

To learn more about the CDRC visit its website or Facebook page. For questions or to enroll your child call (904) 620-2372.


Brooks College of Health UNF Bachelors of Health Administration Alumni Survey


The Bachelors of Health Administration (BHA) program at UNF is certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).  We need your thoughts and opinions about the career progression of BHA program alumni. 


This information is a vital component in maintaining the BHA program certification with AUPHA. Click here to access the survey. The required password is BHA2014. Any suggestions or feedback you may have to help with the improvement of the program is greatly appreciated.


UNF names new DAA vice president: The University has named Joshua Merchant as its new vice president for Development and Alumni Affairs. Merchant, who comes from Albion College in Michigan, will begin his new position April 7. Click here to read The Florida Times-Union blog and here for the University press release.


Dunn trial analysis: Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder, assistant professor of sociology and race expert, broke down the Michael Dunn trial on First Coast News. Click here to watch the interview.


Coastal Biology Flagship positively impacts First Coast: Dr. Courtney Hackney, Coastal Biology Flagship Program director, talked about the growth of the program and how it's leading the way in determining currents risks to our coastal systems on "UNF On The Record," a weekly radio show featuring campus life, as well as faculty and student research. Click here to listen to the interview.


Florida International Summit spotlights Haiti and Florida: UNF sponsored the 2014 Florida International Summit, which focused on the topic "Global Health and Medical Diplomacy: Haiti and Florida." Dr. Jeff Michelman, international business professor, discussed the summit on WJCT Public Radio's "First Coast Connect." Click here to listen to the interview.


Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship's Bod Pod Research: Students in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program are using a new piece of cutting-edge equipment called a Bod Pod, which measures the body mass of fellow students. Click here to watch the YouTube video produced by the Public Relations Department.


The problem of poverty: Dr. David Jaffee, sociology professor, shared his opinion about the problem of poverty with Folio Weekly. Click here to read more.


To read more about UNF faculty, staff and students "In the News," click here.


Contact: Joanna Norris at or (904) 620-2102.


Did You Know?


UNF has a strong, vibrant community of more than 90,000 alumni who live and breathe the Osprey spirit.


Mention this fun fact to an Alumni Services staff member at an upcoming alumni event and receive a prize! 



UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.



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