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Press Release for Monday, December 4, 2017

UNF Honoring Student’s Exceptional Service During Fall Commencement

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

The University of North Florida will honor a student with an outstanding record of volunteerism, when it hands out over 1,000 degrees Friday, Dec. 8, during fall commencement at the UNF Arena, Building 34, on campus.

UNF senior Nikki Adams, who is graduating this week with a bachelor’s degree in biology, will be recognized as the recipient of the Senior Service Award, which is presented to a graduating senior for outstanding volunteer service to the University or community by the UNF Alumni Association. She will be honored during the 10 a.m. ceremony.

Adams, a Jacksonville native who grew up in Riverside, realized she could spark change and awareness through volunteerism and found she could accomplish this through the University's Environmental Center, where she became deeply involved with the Center’s student-led organization, the Environmental Center Student Coalition. Adams served as club president last fall and facilitated open discussions with students about environmental problems and ways in which they could enact change.

Through the UNF Environmental Center, Adams began to participate in activities that also helped improve the Northeast Florida community by volunteering at clean-up events organized by the St. Johns Riverkeeper, North Florida Land Trust and Groundwork Jax. By “getting down in the dirt” with a team of impassioned individuals, she was able to work as part of a team committed to making a positive, visual change.

Additionally, Adams has interned with the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve as well as the National Park Service and volunteered with the North Florida Land Trust’s Team Terrapin, where she contributed to a database that served to quantify the amount of diamondback terrapins present in the marshes on Big Talbot Island. She’s also volunteered with The Girls Gone Green, the U.S. Green Building Council, Dreams Come True and Rising Tides Young Professionals group.

The ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction will take place at 10 a.m., while the ceremony for the Brooks College of Health, Coggin College of Business and the
College of Education and Human Services will start at 2 p.m.

The University expects to award a total of 1,022 bachelor’s degrees, 165 master’s degrees and 38 doctorates this term. Including the fall 2017 graduates, UNF has issued a total of 73,956 bachelor’s degrees, 18,591 master’s degrees and 531 doctorates since first opening its doors in 1972.

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.