A University of North Florida public health professor is on the cutting edge of research that could change the medical community's perception about the spread of Lyme disease.
Dr. Kerry Clark and his colleagues have identified two different species of bacteria previously unknown to infect humans. Most scientific research up to this point had indicated that only one Lyme bacterial species, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, was prevalent in North America. However, two additional Lyme disease species, Borrelia americana and Borrelia andersonii, were found in symptomatic patients living in the southeastern United States. The disease is spread via ticks, and the common lone star tick, which was previously believed to be incapable of transmitting Lyme disease, was implicated as the carrier in some of these cases.
"My research has had one goal in mind, to find out what's really going on with Lyme disease," Clark said. "That goal has been fairly controversial because there are so many problems and bits of misinformation plaguing the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Common knowledge says there isn't supposed be much Lyme disease down here [Georgia and Florida], but we're proving that to not be true."
The International Journal of Medical Sciences published Clark's research in May. In it, Clark takes the existing Lyme disease testing methods to task. He said current antibody tests for the disease are only designed to detect just one species. This limited focus by the medical community has caused many patients with Lyme disease symptoms - fatigue, joint pain, central nervous system issues - to be falsely diagnosed with other ailments, such as multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The ongoing belief in the medical community that only black-legged deer ticks can transmit Lyme disease has been widely accepted for decades. Clark's new findings that the lone star tick is also a carrier significantly expand the geographic danger zone for Lyme disease.
"If only one percent of these ticks are able to transmit Lyme disease, it poses a tremendous threat to public health because lone star ticks are known to bite humans so frequently," said Liz Schmitz, president of the Georgia Lyme Disease Association (GALDA), which provided both technical assistance and funding in support of Clark's research.
After heading into the field and acquiring multiple test subjects, Clark and his team identified lone star ticks removed from humans who tested positive for Lyme bacteria, including the species of Borrelia burgdorferi, already known to cause the disease in North America. Some of the ticks removed from the patients tested positive, too.
Lone star ticks are the most commonly found species biting humans in the Southeastern U.S. These aggressive ticks are found almost halfway across the nation, from the deep South and as far north as Canada.
"What this research begins to do is break down some of this dogma that has built up over the years about the spread of Lyme disease and points out that we have a very flawed picture of the whole process," Clark said. "The belief structure that has prevailed for years is full of holes, and it's contributing to misdiagnoses across the country."
The next stage of Clark's research involves analyzing hundreds of cases of Lyme disease, many of which involved patients from the South. The working hypothesis is that different species of bacteria will be present in most of the subjects, and the carrier tick won't be limited to the oft-cited black-legged deer tick.
"I'm collaborating with another researcher from the Czech Republic, and we have a lot of work ahead of us," Clark said. "But we have a goal in mind - to make sure that people are aware that Lyme disease spread much easier than is commonly accepted and that it's a concern for people across the region."
The University of North Florida's Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL) is in the midst of a rebirth thanks to new leadership and a slew of projects and surveys from organizations across Northeast Florida.
Open since 2001, the Public Opinion Research Laboratory is a full-service survey research facility that provides tailored research for University clients or external businesses and groups.
Dr. Michael Binder, the faculty director for the Lab, said his team, which includes Lab Administrator Andrew Hopkins, Graduate Assistant Florence Bauchau and multiple student assistants, has worked diligently to build the lab back up after a downturn in activity that occurred a few years ago. The departure of the previous faculty director led to a brief slowdown in work, and Binder said the new crew has been striving to educate the campus community about the services offered by the Lab.
"It's really an all-in-one operation that includes consulting, questionnaire design, population sampling, data collection, analysis and detailed reports of our findings," he said. "And we're open to everyone, everything from campus departments to outside businesses."
Lab staff members are currently working with We Care Jacksonville, a nonprofit volunteer coalition of health care professionals, clerical personnel and local church groups that provide primary and specialty care to the uninsured, the homeless and the medically underserved people of Jacksonville, on a survey to determine the physical and mental health, functional status, quality of life and satisfaction with services of their client population. The project included surveys of a representative sample of 400 different clients started in July and continued into September. Other recent surveys included collecting data on Duval County residents' interest in the Riverside neighborhood's Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens. Binder said he's also been in talks with JAX Chamber for a potential survey on education in Duval County, pertaining to whether residents think it would be a good idea for all K-12 students to have access to laptops.
Bauchau, a public administration graduate student, said the Lab provided her with an infinite number of opportunities that have aided her on the journey to becoming a better public administrator. Working closely with UNF faculty, staff and students has given her the confidence to take a leadership role in instructing and supervising interviewers.
"Getting involved with the PORL is perfect for the grad student who aspires to be involved in public opinion and who is interested in everything from politics to the arts," she said. "Public opinion is relevant to every field of research, and my time working at the Lab has enriched me and opened my eyes to many different perspectives."
That kind of hands-on learning isn't reserved just for graduate students. Binder said the Lab provides a multitude of ways for undergraduate involvement, including internship opportunities and training in survey research and fieldwork. Binder is even teaching a survey research class in the spring that will focus on polling and public opinion in the American political system. Students will actively participate in all aspects of a survey research project, from question formation to data analysis and presentation.
Services offered by UNF's Public Opinion Research Laboratory:
• Consulting, questionnaire design, population sampling, data collection, data analysis and creation of full, detailed reports of charted and weighted results, as well as written descriptions of findings.
• Several modes of data collection including telephone surveys, mail surveys, internet surveys and focus groups. Staff can also recommend the best approach or combination of approaches that meet a client's research, marketing and/or assessment requirements.
• The Lab possesses 27 interviewing stations and uses Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) software. Surveys can be conducted in English, Spanish and French.
Get to Know
Do you follow UNF on Twitter? If not, the University is going to give you something to Tweet about. The Department of Public Relations is kicking off the fall semester with the "Why Do You Love UNF?" contest for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
The week-long contest is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9, through Friday, Sept. 13, with prizes to be given away to a few lucky winners each day, leading up to the grand prizes to be drawn the last day of the contest. To enter the contest, first you need to follow the University on Twitter @UNFfans, tweet why you love UNF, in words or with a photo, and include the hashtag #loveUNF.
You will then be entered into a random drawing for several daily prizes, including gift cards from TigerDirect, VISA (donated by Community First Credit Union - UNF Branch), CVS and the UNF Bookstore. Two lucky people will win the grand prizes - a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Tablet and an Asus Memo Pad HD 7, provided by TigerDirect.
All contest winners will be announced via the University's Official Twitter page @UNFfans. Full contest rules are available online.
Department: Division of Student Affairs
Job title: Director of Development
What do you do?
I am responsible for all major gift fundraising, corporate sponsorship support and fundraising events for the many departments within Student Affairs. I'm also the liaison for the Student Affairs Community Council, and I run the Osprey Plaza Paver Program. Shameless plug - www.unf.edu/pavers - order now! Faculty and staff can pay through payroll deduction.
Years at UNF: 7 and a half.
Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? I have many … I guess my favorite would be the singing flash mob at the First Generation Scholarship Luncheon. The speaker/scholarship recipient began singing and was joined, one by one, by other singers who were sitting with the audience, until they formed a singing group on stage. It still gives me goose bumps!
What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?
The positive energy that engulfs this place, which I know is because of the people who work here and students who study here. People say Disney is the happiest place on earth, but really, I think UNF is. I know I'm being 'goofy.' Sorry, couldn't help it!
If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing?
Working at a non-profit organization of some kind.
If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why?
I would be a physical or occupational therapist with a Hippotherapy Clinical Specialty (HPCS) Certification. This practice combines PT and/or OT with equine-assisted therapy to help people with disabilities. I love horses and they bring me a sense of peace whenever I'm around them, so being able to help people with disabilities and work with horses would be heaven for me.
Tell us about your family.
I have three teenagers under one roof at the same time, and I'm still sane. In all seriousness, they are wonderful children. My two sons are 17 and 15, and my daughter is 13. Among them, I have scholars, athletes, artists, singers, surfers, AP and honors students and kind and caring people. My husband John and I have been married for 18 years. He is an amazing chef and he can build you a house and even design the inside. He's a pretty talented guy! He's also a great dad and a wonderful husband. We also have two dogs and a cat. Does anyone want a cat?
What would you like to do when you retire?
Travel and learn to surf. Hopefully I can do both before I retire!
What is the best thing you ever won?
A television in my senior year of high school.
What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life?
Who is your favorite fictional character? What makes them your favorite?
Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird." He has an innate sense of justice and a calm manner, but only to a certain point. He can get intense when he needs to.
If you won the lottery, what would do with the money?
I would make my family very happy. A house on the beach for everyone! I'd also create my own foundation to help with a variety of societal issues.
What is your favorite way to blow an hour?
Sit still and read.
What was the best money you ever spent?
Renting a house in the Keys for two weeks. My family was able to completely decompress and reconnect with each other.
Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn't live without?
What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? When my kids were born. When my kids hug and kiss me in public. When they bring their friends to my house. When people tell me what wonderful people they are, it kind of all adds up to keep me in a constant state of proud and happy.
Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you:
I dislike public speaking more than I dislike going to the dentist, and I really hate going to the dentist!
What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended?
First - Journey. Most recent - Van Halen for the second time. They were better in the '80s.
What person had the greatest impact on your life?
My cousins, Maryellen and Philip. Entering my junior year of college, I thought it might be a good idea to stop going and get a job. They sat with me and talked me through what my life could be like if I finished college, and what it may be like if I didn't. I credit them for changing my trajectory.
What are you most passionate about?
Social justice, educational equality, equal opportunity for all people in all aspects of life.
Who is the most famous person you ever met?
I used to be a publicist so that's a tough one. I would have to say it's a tie between Adam Sandler and Heidi Klum.
Tell us something about you that even your friends don't know:
I was an extremely shy kid. I've changed.
What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet?
Finish my master's degree! I'm currently working on it.
Last book read: "Gone Girl"
Faculty & Staff
Brooks College of Health
Nursing: School of Nursing Faculty, with Education and Public Health colleagues, presented a symposium on the Community Nursing Flagship Program at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Research Congress in Prague in July. Drs. Barbara Olinzock, Barbara Kruger and Cynthia Roush were featured.
Clinical and Applied Movement Services: Dr. Shana Harrington has had two manuscripts accepted for publication in July, "Patient-Reported Upper Extremity Outcome Measures Utilized in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review." It was published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The other work, "A Cross Sectional Study Examining Shoulder Pain and Disability in Division I Female Swimmers," was published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. Harrington will also present research at the International Society of Lymphology Conference this month in Rome, Italy.
College of Arts and Sciences
Art and Design: Trevor Dunn presented a multi-day firing workshop, "Wood Firing," at Truro Center for the Arts in Truro, Mass. Dunn also presented a slide lecture, "Beyond Origination," at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts during the Atmospheric Perspectives Invitational Residency in New Castle, Maine.
English: Marcus Pactor published "Mannish" in Crack the Spine and "Concerning the Big Toe" in The River Oak Review.
Dr. Clark Lunberry presented his paper, "Seeing In Plain Sight - Installations in Flight," at the Performance Studies International conference at Stanford University in June. In addition to his paper presentation, Lunberry also completed a commissioned "writing on air" art installation on the windows of the conference setting. Photographs of this installation can be seen on his website.
Dr. Michael Wiley presented the paper "Not in Utopia: The French Revolution, Pantisocracy and Romantic Utopian Heterogeneity" at the Annual Convention of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism.
History: Dr. James Broomall was a guest presenter/speaker for the "Civil War Workshop" for state teachers sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council.
Music: Dr. Nick Curry taught at both the Tennessee Valley Music Festival and the Birmingham STEP workshop and performed in the St. Augustine Music Festival. He gave a guest master class at the Franklin Pond chamber music camp in Atlanta, Ga., and served as visiting faculty at the Meadowmount School of Music. Meadowmount has the reputation as being one of the elite string music festivals in the country and counts Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell among its alumni.
Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Ronald Kephart published his essay "Illustrating Science Through Language" in the American Anthropological Association's online version of Anthropology News. The essay outlines a lesson plan for demonstrating that the scientific method can be used in the qualitative study of a cultural artifact.
College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Computing: Dr. Kenneth Martin has been selected by ABET to be the team chair for a Computing Accreditation Commission accreditation visit for an undergraduate computer science program.
Construction Management: Dr. Mag Malek took a group of UNF students to Malaga, Spain, through a TLO for the Maritime Construction focus. Students obtained more than six weeks of practical experience in a Spanish boat-building shipyard.
Malekand Mr. James Sorce took a group of UNF students to a study abroad TLO in Italy and England where students were exposed to the international construction procedures. Students were lectured by the developers and project managers of the "Shard" project, the tallest tower built in Western Europe.
Malek also published and presented a paper titled "On the Management of Green Technology - Recycled Rubberized Concrete for Pavement Construction," in the 22nd International Conference on Management of Technology in Brazil. Malek also chaired a conference session and served as a panelist.
Engineering: Dr. Don Resio was appointed as a member to the Committee on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Science, Engineering and Planning: Coastal Risk Reduction.
College of Education and Human Services
Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Ronghua Ouyang's chapter "A Journey across the Nations to Make a Life" was recently published in "Seeking the Common Dreams between the Worlds: Stories of Chinese Immigrant Faculty in North American Higher Education" by Yan Wang and Yali Zhao.
Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in September:
Candice Leek, Assistant Director, Institute of Police Technology and Management
Mark Workman, Professor, Academic Affairs
Linda Walton, Associate Director, Human Resources
Nancy Miller, Assistant Athletic Coach, Basketball
Mary Oleszek, Accounts Payable Receiving Associate, Training and Services Institute
George Androuin, Director, Business and Parking Services
Debra LeGros, Coordinator, Administration & Finance
Mark Power, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Intercollegiate Athletics
Chad Learch, Interim Director, Admissions
Pete Dunmyer, Maintenance Supervisor, Physical Facilities
Harry Duncan, Senior Custodial Worker, Student Union
Joseph Martin, Coordinator, Music
Charlene Davis, Academic Adviser, Academic Center for Excellence Wendy Zongker, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services, One Stop Student Services
The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions from mid-July to early-August:
Mark Finnegan, Head Athletic Coach, Men's Tennis
Ennio Garcia, Maintenance Support Worker, Custodial Services
Stacy McKeon, Senior Library Services Associate, Library
Laura Berger, Executive Secretary, Student Affairs
Jenni Kowsh, Admissions Evaluator, Enrollment Services Processing Office
Maha Mian, Assistant Child Development Teacher, Child Development Center
Jerome Novak, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Lacy Rueschenberg, Senior Library Services Associate, Library
Mario Hernandez, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Marielle Veve, Associate University Librarian, Library
Francis Godwyll, Associate Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
Amy Derringer, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Center for Community-Based Learning
Russell Dubberly, Director, Disability Resource Center
Sarah Provost, Assistant Professor, Music
The following employees were promoted in July:
Felicia Bernard, Executive Secretary, Coggin College of Business
Israel Hurst, Senior IT Support Tech, User Services
Adam Margulies, SFS Coordinator, Controller
Jeanne Middleton, Director, Student Affairs
Valerie Reynolds, Budgets Coordinator, President's Office
David Wilson, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services, Center For Instruction and Research
Heartfelt well wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees, who left UNF from mid-July to early-August:
Olga Gedroit, Data Architect, Enterprise Systems
Susan Gregg, Coordinator, Disability Resource Center
Diane Joyce, Nurse Practitioner, Student Health Services
Daniel Simon, Senior IT Network Engineer, Office of the CIO
Scott Torres, Academic Adviser, Academic Center for Excellence Heather Varian, Director, Annual Giving
Shirley Hallblade, Dean, Library
Bobby Waldrup, Professor, Academic Affairs
John Hannaford, Law Enforcement Sergeant, University Police Department
Deborah Green, Executive Secretary, Coggin College of Business
Onions are a wonderful addition to almost any meal and contain a compound with possible antioxidant properties. Corinne Labyak, professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses myths and facts about the vegetable that contains nutrients that are healthy and flavorful. To help you use it in your diet, a recipe is provided.
Myth: Onions don't contain many vitamins and minerals.
Fact: Onions contain important nutrients. Published nutritional analyses of onions show that onions contain dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folic acid. One cup of onions provides 11 percent of the daily value of dietary fiber, 20 percent vitamin C, 10 percent vitamin B6 and 8 percent folate.
Myth: Cooking onions will decrease the availability of these nutrients found in onions.
Fact: Whether you like your onions cooked or raw, onions retain the same nutritive value.
Myth: You can't cut onions without crying.
Fact: When the skin of an onion is peeled off, the sulfur compounds found within the onion are changed to ally sulfate, which makes individuals cry. You can take a few steps to minimize irritation to the eyes, which include cutting the onion while running it under water, wearing glasses to protect the eyes, cooling the onion for 30 minutes to an hour and using a sharp knife and keeping your distance while cutting. Cut the top portion of the onion first. Don't cut the root end because it contains most of the tear-producing compounds.
Myth: Onions haven't been shown to have any medicinal usages.
Fact: Onions contain quercetin, a phytochemical with antioxidant properties, that is found in tea and apples. Onions have been evaluated in various diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers, stomach ulcers and even osteoporosis.
Myth: Onion breath lingers and can't be stopped.
Fact: Onion breath can be freshened by chewing on parsley, mint leaf or a few coffee grains.
Pizza Del Giorno
5 cups halved, sliced yellow or red onions (about 1 to 1/2 pounds)
8 ounces spicy fully-cooked smoked sausage, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Italian bread pizza shell (12 inch)
1/4 cup broken walnuts, toasted
8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper or pimento strips
Sauté onions with sausage in olive oil in large skillet for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Add a little oil if needed. Add vinegar and mix. Turn onion-sausage mixture over onto pizza shell. Top with walnuts, cheese, chopped herbs and bell pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot through. Makes 1 12-inch pizza or six servings.
Nutritional information per serving
Carbohydrates: 36 grams
Cholesterol: 47 milligrams
Total Fat: 24 grams
Percentage of calories from fat: 32 percent
Protein: 23 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 grams
Sodium: 993 milligrams
Recipe and nutritional analysis used with permission by the National Onion Association
The Goods is a monthly column about food myths and facts by faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program and runs monthly in The Florida Times-Union's "Taste" section.Have a question about onions? Contact Labyak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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