Bill and Paula Van Law were interested in doing something special to mark their 25th wedding anniversary. Rather than splurge on an expensive trip, a piece of jewelry or a lavish party, the couple commemorated their anniversary with a scholarship to the university from which they both graduated.
Nursing students from the Brooks College of Health annually participate in more than 40,000 hours of community-engaged learning, serving and benefiting Northeast Florida’s uninsured, underinsured and underserved communities.
This summer, as the world watched video of the largest crude oil spill in history, a handful of UNF mechanical engineering students were hard at work perfecting a miniature remote-controlled submarine to assist with groundbreaking research in waterways. The Blue Ray X-4 team received international recognition for their innovative design.
Paul Ladnier, a legendary UNF art professor who recently announced his retirement, has not only transformed the lives of around 5,000 students in 34 years, but has also reached out to the community in a way that demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between a city and a university.
John Paul Martinez, a 2007 UNF business graduate, spent two years in Los Ranchos, Peru, to help the village acquire, improve and practice good business organizational, technological and communication skills. He used his education, street smarts and resourcefulness to empower the community and himself – and had a ball doing it.
UNF’s 2009-10 athletic season signaled a new era and has the Ospreys looking forward to even greater success this season. With the conclusion of the four-year reclassification period, UNF’s transition into Division I competition allowed all its teams to compete for championships and to participate in postseason events.
A half-priced graduation cap and gown purchased eight years ago by UNF alum and employee Lynn Brown have been around the block a few times. So far, 15 people have worn Brown’s cap and gown, helping build a tradition that will live on as long as the threads hold up.
Whenever and wherever UNF alumni gather, there’s a good chance Dorothy Johnson will be among the participants. Johnson has been involved in the UNF Alumni Association for more than 30 years and has been active in the Osprey Club, the booster club for Athletics, for more than 25 years.
UNF alum Christina Lee was recently selected by REALTOR Magazine for its “30 Under 30” national award. Lee’s knowledge of building database systems and websites to manage her business and the CIS skills she honed at UNF enabled her to achieve tremendous success in the real estate market.
Tom and Betty Petway gave $1.65 million to UNF to fund the Jacksonville Early Literacy and Learning Initiative. They originally requested no publicity, but they have since relented to tell the story of how one gift can make a huge difference not only in Jacksonville but also across Florida.
For nearly 900 military veterans enrolled at UNF, the new Military & Veterans Resource Center is available to assist with the transition from a military environment to campus and a successful academic experience. For 25-year-old Mark Middlebrook, the center is a place to volunteer and talk with other vets.
Travis Pinckney and Dr. Chris Janson worked together to create the Grind 2 Shine Program, where students at Paxon Middle School write, record and perform positive-themed and messaged hip-hop music anchored in college and academic aspirations – and they’re currently developing culturally relevant curricula for students in urban schools.
While researching the impact tutoring has on children’s reading and learning, an ongoing collaboration blossomed between UNF student Kelsey Alderfer and professors Drs. Sue Syverud and Katrina Hall. The trio began working together assessing children’s skills, gathering and analyzing data and reviewing literature, becoming friends and colleagues along the way.
When Jennifer Ancelin began speaking to students in Dr. Karen Patterson’s Exceptional Student & Deaf Education courses, she was inspired to pursue a career in disability services. Patterson became Ancelin’s mentor, supported her as she transitioned to grad school, and the two have collaborated on scholarly research projects ever since.
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