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Brooks College of Health

Discovering Brooks College of Health Leadership

Our Mission

To develop diverse healthcare professionals dedicated to enhancing the well-being of our local, national, and global communities.


Global leader in the generation of health knowledge, the provision of health care, and the preparation of health experts.


Integrity | Respect | Accountability | Innovation

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Mei Zhao

Interim Dean | Brooks College of Health

Dr. Mei Zhao is the interim dean for the Brooks College of Health. She has served as the Chair and Professor of the Department of Health Administration at UNF for 6 years. She received her Ph.D. in health services organization and research from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004. Her research area includes the impact of financial performance on healthcare quality and outcomes, telehealth and telemedicine, and global health. She was the winner of the UNF Outstanding International Leadership award and Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. She also obtained the Outstanding Leadership Education Award from Jacksonville, Florida and was also the recipient of the City of Jacksonville Mayor’s Asian American Association Board (MAAAB) Outstanding Community Service Award. In 2020, Dr. Zhao was named Osprey Hero at UNF due to her outstanding leadership in facilitating PPE donations to local hospitals. Dr. Zhao won the UNF’s Distinguished Professor Award in September 2021, the highest award for a faculty at UNF.

Dean's Office of Administration

The Dean's Office of Administration manages operational facets such as community engagement, budgeting, personnel matters, and policy implementation. Their collaboration spans all BCH departments, ensuring smooth operations and steadfast support for our academic goals.

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Michelle Boling

Associate Dean

Michelle C. Boling, PhD, LAT, ATC serves as the Associate Dean for the Brooks College Health. She joined the UNF faculty in 2008 after completing her doctoral degree in Human Movement Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to her current position, Dr. Boling was a Professor in the Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences and served as the Director of the Athletic Training Program. Dr. Boling’s research focuses on the prevention and long-term consequences of patellofemoral pain, including patellofemoral osteoarthritis.

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Julie Merten

Associate Dean, MedNexus

Julie William Merten, Ph.D. provides leadership and direction for the planning and operation of UNF MedNexus including programs at the Deerwood site, the Palm Coast initiative, expansion of nursing education in collaboration with the School of Nursing and other signature projects. Dr. Merten has been at UNF for 18 years serving in a variety of roles including professor in the Department of Public Health and most recently as director of the Office of Faculty Excellence.

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Michelle Drinks

Director of Development

Michelle Drinks serves as the Director of Development for the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida (UNF). She oversees Development efforts for the College, including alumni engagement and community partnerships. Michelle joined UNF over five years ago as the Brooks College of Health Assistant Director of Development (later promoted to Associate). Michelle is a Jacksonville native and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management from Florida State College at Jacksonville and is very active in the community. 

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Angela Eckton

Asst. Dir. of Development

Angela Eckton is the Assistant Director of Development for the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida (UNF). She oversees alum engagement and community partnerships, leveraging her passion for collaboration and positive nature to benefit UNF. With years of experience working with community agencies, Angela has significantly impacted fundraising and community initiatives. Angela's dedication is evident in her successful collaborations with the Fire Foundation and Saint John's County Schools, where she raised awareness and funds for children with disabilities. Her commitment to student inclusion and initiatives has been recognized with the prestigious Osprey Community Engagement Medallion (2023) from UNF, where she earned her bachelor's degree.

Administrative Staff

The Dean's Office Administrative Staff collectively ensures seamless operations. They manage daily tasks, oversee financial matters, handle budgeting and fiscal planning, ensure technological functionality, and manage the online presence, all contributing to administrative efficiency and effective communication within the college community.

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Julia Mitchell

Coordinator of Administrative Services

As the Coordinator of Administrative Services for the Brooks College of Health, Julia Mitchell assists in the design, development, and implementation of departmental processes and/or programs. She collaborates with university staff for the success of the college. Julia holds a Bachelor of Design, in Graphic Design, from the University of Florida.

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Angel Mays

Executive Secretary

Angel S. Mays, M. A. HSC joined the Brooks College of Health team Summer 2024 as Executive Secretary. Her 14 years of prior teaching experience has equipped her to be an asset to the Development and Dean’s Offices. Within her position, she coordinates details of events, executes the college’s scholarship application process, manages development files and records for the Dean’s Office, in addition to a host of other responsibilities that offer direct support for the above-named offices. In her down time, Angel enjoys being active with her family, reading, traveling, and writing.

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Pamela Niemczyk

Administrative Assistant

Pam Niemczyk began working in the Brooks College of Health Dean's Office in 1996. She served in many capacities throughout the years and has greatly enjoyed her time working with the deans. In her free time, Pam enjoys playing the piano, knitting, and reading.

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Nita Novak

Administrative Assistant

Nita Novak recently joined Brooks College of Health as an Administrative Assistant. One of her duties will be facilitating the affiliation agreements. In her free time, Nita enjoys spending time with her family, two dogs, watching movies, and reading.

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Terri Bennett

Business Operations Manager

Terri Bennett started working for the University of North Florida in 2003 and the BCH Dean's Office in 2012. As Business Operations Manager, Terri oversees the college's budgets and procedures. She has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from Florida State University. While she is away from UNF, Terri enjoys being a triathlete and a mother to two grown boys!

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Nikki Lukens

Budget Specialist

Nikki Lukens joined the Brooks College of Health as Budget Specialist in 2023. Prior to her move to The Sunshine State, Nikki earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is now pursuing a Master of Science in management as a UNF Osprey! In her free time, Nikki enjoys going to the beach with her dog, Shay, and watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. with her kitten, Greece.

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Miranda O'Brien

Web and Social Media Coordinator

Miranda O'Brien, CDMP, PCM, is the Web and Social Media Coordinator for the Brooks College of Health. Since 2016, she has played an integral role in UNF's digital media success. Public health social marketing, digital marketing, and graphic design are just a few of her areas of expertise. Miranda's previous experience includes serving as a Director of Communications for a variety of e-commerce businesses as well as managing a presidential-elect campaign. When she's not working, Miranda enjoys leading group fitness classes, spending quality time with her family, and getting lost in a good mystery novel.