Skip to Main Content
Marketing and Communications
oneColumn handbook

Inside UNF — January 24, 2023

New buses cruising on campus

With safety and service in mind, the University of North Florida and partner ECHO AFC Transportation recently introduced eight new shuttles on campus, wrapped boldly with UNF Athletics branding. Designed and built in the USA, the new custom-built shuttles feature 33 passenger perimeter seating, free wifi, double-door entry, destination signs, stop annunciator and passenger counters. The floorplan options also include ADA compliant wheelchair ramps at the front doors for superior paratransit flexibility. Each bus was installed with eight security cameras to ensure the security of riders and drivers. Students can continue to view shuttle routes using the DoubleMap App, allowing them to predict the arrival of buses at specific locations. 
Osprey Connector is one of three shuttle services at UNF. Osprey Transit is dedicated to transport students, faculty and staff with mobility needs beyond the capability of standard shuttles and stops on campus. The St. Johns Town Center shuttle is also available, providing access to shops, dining and more. 
Information provided by UNF Parking Services
Ozzie sitting inside of a shuttle bus Ozzie standing next to a shuttle bus

Meals on Wings celebrates a key milestone

By Byron E. Jones
The University of North Florida’s Meals on Wings program recently celebrated the delivery of more than 100,000 meals. Coinciding with this milestone, the program's chef advisor and assistant director of the UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security, Meghan Niemczyk, was recognized as a 2022 TIAA Bank Community Champion during a Jacksonville Jaguars game earlier this month.
The program is made possible by a dedicated group of student, staff and faculty volunteers who collect unused food from local hospitals and repackage it into healthy meals for homebound seniors.
Meals on Wings first launched in summer 2018 by Dr. Lauri Wright, director of the UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security, after she learned of the staggering number of seniors who were on the waitlist for Meals on Wheels. With the help of Dr. Jen Ross, director of the undergraduate nutrition program and co-director of Meals on Wings, and a small group of volunteers, the program initially served 25-30 seniors twice a week. Today, Meals on Wings volunteers deliver meals three days each week — reaching approximately 250 older adults. The need for such a program in Northeast Florida is evident considering its designation as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic — when the program amped up its production.
Dr. Wright shares that food quality is a key focus of the program. “We never want to give leftover food,” Wright said. To that point, Niemczyk has been instrumental incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into the meals by partnering with a local produce wholesaler. Niemczyk shares that while food security remains a top priority, nutrient security is just as important to ensure the food given to seniors has nutritious value and meets their dietary needs. Research conducted by Wright and Ross has shown that various markers such as seniors’ food security level, calorie and protein intake and overall well-being have improved considerably as a result of the program.
Both Wright and Niemczyk believe the student volunteers are the heart and soul of the program and the reason it continues to thrive. “These students work so hard, and they put a lot of time and energy into this,” said Niemczyk. They have witnessed how the program has benefitted the students as well. The students gain valuable team building, interpersonal and leadership skills through their interactions with each other and the seniors.

“It’s more than a meal. It’s the difference this is making in the lives of older adults and the impact that this has on the students,” said Wright. “They are different from having this experience. I know that they are better people and better practitioners as a result.”

Innovative artist shines as MOCA Student Artist-in-Residence

By Byron E. Jones
Transdisciplinary artist Brennan Wojtyla discovered his artistic talents at a young age. “I was really young when I figured out this is what I wanted to do,” said Wojtyla. “I don’t see myself doing anything else.”
Brennan WojtylaThe Jacksonville native was MOCA's Student Artist-in-Residence during the fall semester. His work went on display Friday, Jan. 20 and will remain up until May 21. Wojtyla will be on hand at an opening reception Wednesday, Feb. 1 during Art Walk. This serves as his first solo exhibition.
Wojtyla, a Jacksonville native who graduated in December with a UNF degree in graphic design, first became aware of the Artist-in-Residence opportunity while taking a sculpture class. Using his graphic design expertise, he prepared a digital portfolio and submitted it for consideration. “Now I have funding and space to do bigger pieces,” he said.
Like many artists, Wojtyla says that his work is heavily influenced by his surroundings. He prefers to utilize industrial processes instead of traditional artistic techniques. His work incorporates materials and objects you may find on the side of the road such as pieces of wood, a slab of concrete or a toilet. He decontextualizes these industrial forms and recontextualizes them into fine art pieces using spray paint and other techniques. He prefers to create in this manner because he prefers his artistic expressions to be more work-based instead of artistic-based.
His MOCA exhibition represents a self-based practice known as “Cathedral of Labor.” The goal is to draw people’s attention to traditional forms and practices of everyday life that go unnoticed by giving them a different appearance. Wojtyla says that he is grateful for the assistance he’s received from the MOCA staff and the wealth of knowledge gained during his residency.
While expressing his excitement to have a dedicated space at MOCA for his work, Wojtyla also shared that he’s is eager to do more residencies in the future. Wojtyla hopes his art will help others see the beauty around them. “In a perfect world, I want someone to look at my work and hopefully realize that they can find beauty and inspiration in everyday occurrences and forms.”

Save the Date for President Limayem's Inauguration

President Limayem and OzzieJoin the campus community on Friday, April 14 for President Moez Limayem's Inauguration.

A processional through campus will begin at 10 a.m. at the UNF Field House (Bldg. 26) and continue to the Lazzara Performance Hall for the Investiture Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. More details to come!

Watch the Inauguration announcement and mark your calendars now! We hope to see you there as our community joins together to celebrate UNF's seventh president!

Prepare for Homecoming 2023

UNF 2023 Homecoming promotion text of Jan 29- Feb 4, 2023Get ready, Ospreys!

Homecoming 2023 is right around the corner with lots of activities for everyone to enjoy. This year's Homecoming Week begins Sunday, Jan. 29 and concludes Saturday, Feb. 4 with the annual Homecoming Village and men's basketball Homecoming game againt the JU Dolphins in the annual River City Rumble.

Learn more about what is planned for Homecoming Week!

Campus internet service gets an upgrade

Ladies in the library working on laptopsUNF’s Division of Information Technology Services (ITS) recently announced the completion of a major upgrade of UNF’s connection to the Internet. The work upgrades internet network speeds from 10Gbps to 100Gbps! Benefits to the UNF community include:

  • A tenfold increase in speed to access resources via the Internet, including:
    • Internet2: The United States' largest and fastest globally connected research and education network
    • Florida LambdaRail: Florida’s independent statewide research and education network that is connected to 39 Florida Universities and Colleges as well as dozens of K-12, government, healthcare, community and research institutions
  • Increased capacity and support for:
    • high-performance, data-intensive research and collaboration projects
    • advanced studies and experiential learning
    • data intensive applications like live video streaming (e.g. Commencement and Osprey Athletic events)
    • cloud services
    • remote learning and remote workers

This upgrade maintains the University of North Florida’s position among the best-connected institutions in the world and positions its internet access for future growth and demands.

Seaside Sculpture Auction underway

Get your own original work of art made by a talented UNF student while supporting the University's sculpture program. The Seaside Sculpture Auction began Friday, Jan. 20 and continues through Friday, Feb. 3. The auction includes student sculptures that were created and displayed in the Seaside Sculpture Park in Jacksonville Beach. Learn more about each sculpture by clicking the images below. Place your bids online today.

Active Pyramids Sculpture"Active Pyramids" Lucid Doodles Sculpture"Lucid Doodles" Water Tribe Sculpture"Water Tribe" All Knowing Sculpture"All Knowing" Naiad Sculpture"Naiad"

UNF Athletics records impressive department GPA

UNF's remarkable student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom earning a 3.528 department-wide GPA for the fall 2022 semester, which serves as the highest average since spring 2020.
UNF Athletics GPA banner text of 3.528 Department GPA Fall 2022This achievement also marks the 23rd consecutive semester that North Florida Athletics has posted over a 3.0 department GPA.
"The academic achievements of our student-athletes are incredible and I am proud to be associated with such impressive individuals," said North Florida Athletic Director Nick Morrow. "Being committed academically often translates to doing the right thing in training and as a teammate. All UNF supporters should be proud of the academic accomplishments of our nearly 300 student-athletes."
Morrow adds that academic success is always stressed within the department and credits the staff and coaches for creating an environment where student-athletes can reach their peak performance in the classroom and in competition.

UNF named among best online accelerated RN-to-BSN Programs

UNF nursing students in simulation labThe University of North Florida Brooks College of Health School of Nursing was awarded “Most Innovative Curriculum” according to's Best Online Accelerated RN-to-BSN Programs in 2023 ranking. The School of Nursing also ranked No. 4 as a Bachelor's Degree Center and No. 7 in Best Colleges., a trusted resource for program rankings and higher education planning, implemented a unique methodology that ranks each institution on a scale of 0 to 100 across six categories: tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, reputation and the student resources provided for online students.

OneJax announces 2023 Humanitarian Award Honorees

By Amanda Ennis
Media Relations Manager
OneJax, an institute of the University of North Florida, recently announced the recipients of its 2023 Humanitarian Awards. The honorees will be recognized at the Humanitarian Awards event scheduled for Thursday, May 4 at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts.
OneJax logoThe OneJax Humanitarian Awards honor those who have demonstrated the highest level of personal and professional integrity, have given generously and extensively to the community and have been dedicated to the improvement of human relations among diverse groups in the community.
“The 2023 OneJax Humanitarians are a group of deserving people who have had a long-lasting impact on our community. These are community trustees who are genuinely passionate about making Jacksonville the best place it can possibly be,” said Kyle Reese, OneJax executive director. “These honorees represent a growing list of people laying the foundation to help take Northeast Florida into the future. Their impact is immeasurable.”
The 2023 OneJax Humanitarian Awards honorees are as follows:
Gold Medallion for Lifetime Achievement:
  • Nina Waters, President & CEO, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Silver Medallions:
  • Lad Daniels, Former president, First Coast Manufacturer’s Association
  • Cynthia (Cindy) Smith-Funkhouser, MSW, President and CEO, Sulzbacher
  • Stacey Goldring, Founder and Executive Director, Searching for Identity
Fernando Acosta-Rua Young Professionals Award:
  • Kimberly Allen, Ph.D., CEO, 904WARD

Get To Know: Gabriela Vargas Uribe

headshot of Gabriela Vargas UribeGabriela Vargas Uribe is the associate director of the UNF Welcome Center. Prior to her current role, she served as assistant director of Academic Support Services. She is passionate about showing prospective students and their families all that UNF has to offer. A UNF alumna, Vargas Uribe earned a master's degree in higher education administration with a concentration in international programs from UNF and a bachelor's degree in marketing with a concentration in international business from the University of South Alabama.  

What does your job involve?
My position involves serving prospective students with the best possible first-hand experience when touring the institution. I work hand-in-hand with the best group of student ambassadors and campus tour guides known as "Swoopers." I have the privilege of meeting, mentoring and learning from each individual on their different career and college experience paths. I love the opportunities that I am granted through my role to also meet potential future students as they make one of the most important decisions of their young adult life.
How long have you worked at UNF?
Five and a half years
What do you enjoy most about working here?
I love the students workers. They provide me with the most satisfaction on a daily basis. I love being able to help families during such an exciting and often times confusing time (for first-generation students, first-time college-bound parents, etc.). I love coming into an invigorating workplace surrounded by young adults that are excited about their future, their goals and interested in learning and working. I have a magical opportunity to see first-hand the evolvement of a student from their first year as one of my employees in intensive training to their final tour days before walking across the stage to graduate. I have formed several life bonds with my students, and I love hearing about their successes after graduation.
How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t working?
I love to spend my free time with my family. I have a beautiful active one-year-old daughter that lights up my world. She is always crossing new milestones and teaching my husband and I something along the way. We love to go swimming, take trips to the Zoo, visit Disney World or simply spend time playing and dancing.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Colombia, South America and migrated to Alabama when I was five years old. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where I spent my childhood.
Where did you go to school?
I attended Spain Park High School in Birmingham before moving on to the University of South Alabama for my undergraduate degree. I attended the University of North Florida for my master's degree.
What’s the greatest bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
You can always learn something from every situation, person or place that you come from!
Who inspires you and why?
My daughter, Penelope. It is mesmerizing seeing the world again through the eyes of a child. It is so simple to take everyday life for granted, but she constantly causes me to slow down and enjoy the simple moments of happiness and simplicity. My life is full of schedules and routines so having a reminder every day to enjoy the little moments is great.
What is a fun fact about you many people may not know?
My oldest sister is 22 years older than me and my middle sister is 18 years older than me. We have the same parents, and I was a surprise after a large gap.

Free Things to Do

Art + Politics: Grounding Dialogue
Exhibition on view now through Feb. 5; MOCA Jacksonville
Free admission for UNF employees and one guest.
MOCA Jacksonville will display student artwork from the fall 2022 Blocktoberfest. The event, in partnership with FSCJ, allows students to develop large-scale woodblocks using a steamroller to print. Prints will be on view at MOCA. the student artwork was created under the guidance of Sheila Gologorotko, associate professor in printmaking, with special thanks to FSCJ Professor Patrick Miko. Learn more about Art + Politics exhibition.

© Milagros, Installation view, 2021. Young at Art Museum, Davie, FL.Project Atrium: Milagros
Exhibition on view now through April 9; MOCA Jacksonville
Free admission for UNF employees and one guest.
Florida artists Felici Asteinza (b. San Pedro Sula, Honduras) and Joey Fillastre (b. Lakeland, Florida) founded the MILAGROS Collective in 2008. Their public artwork energizes public spaces with effervescent patterns and colors, music and light, that obliterate the seams between structures and will highlight the unique attributes of the MOCA Atrium (© Milagros, Installation view, 2021. Young at Art Museum, Davie, FL). Learn more about the Project Atrium exhibition.

"Don't Blame it on ZEN: The Way of John Cage and Friends"
Exhibition on view now through May 7; MOCA Jacksonville
Free admission for UNF employees and one guest.
This interactive and multidisciplinary exhibition explores the enduring legacy of John Cage through works by Cage himself as well as artists that worked with him. A leading voice of postwar avant-garde, Cage was perhaps both the most provocative and influential American composter of the 20th century. Learn more about the Don't Blame it on ZEN exhibition.

TRACES, Voices of the Second Generation
Saturday, Jan. 28, 6:30 p.m., Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts (FSCJ South Campus)
Join OneJax Institute in supporting Searching for Identity for the premiere of this insightful documentary film. In the film, children of Holocaust survivors share their parents' remarkable survival stories. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required. Learn more about this event and RSVP today to reserve your spot!

Homecoming attendeesHomecoming Village
Saturday, Feb. 4, 1 - 4 p.m., Osprey Plaza
Join the Osprey Family for fun before the Homecoming basketball games! This annual family-friendly pep rally will consist of fair games, bounce houses, tents hosted by various campus groups, and lunch in the plaza. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required. RSVP today for HomecomingView a full list of Homecoming events!

UNF Faculty Recital
Monday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Center
Featuring Dr. Erin Bennett, piano. Suggested Donation: $10

35th Annual Great American Jazz Series
Thursday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m., Lazzara Performance Hall
Featuring Trumpeter and Composer Michael Phillip Mossman and Bassist Joe Martin. Suggested Donation: $10


UNF Dateline balloonsMilestones
Congratulations to the following employees with a milestone anniversary in January:
25 Years
James Baur, Associate Director, Recreation
Len Roberson, Professor, Exceptional Deaf and Interpreter Education
20 Years
James Fletcher, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
15 Years
Trudy Cochrane, Administrative Specialist, Academic Affairs
Paige Lilley, Director, Graduate School, Graduate School
10 Years
Juan Aceros, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
Michelle Artiga, Office Manager, Leadership School Counseling and Sport Management
William Dally, Professor, Civil Engineering
Brooke Hammon, Assistant Director, Industry Engagement, Career Services
5 Years
Douglas Artiga, Events Planning Associate, Parking and Transportation Services
Preston Bennett, Associate Director, Institutional Research
Angela Collier, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Leshare Demps, Admissions Coordinator, UNF Online
Callie Funderburk, Manager, Marketing and Events, University Center
India Hamilton, Accessibility Services Specialist, Student Accessibility Services
Krista Markwardt, Associate Director, ES Planning and Operations
Daniel Miller, Instructor, Nurse Anesthesia
Audrey Murray, Media Developer, Distance Learning Fee
Miranda O'Brien, Coordinator, Web Social Media, Brooks College of Health
Kim Roberts, Office Manager, Faculty Development and Research
Rodney Smith, Custodial Worker, Student Union-Custodial
Angela Tlack, Assistant University Registrar, One Stop Center
Kristen Wright, Head Coach, Volleyball
The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions recently:
Kristiana Brown, UGS Administrative Specialist, Undergraduate Studies
Angela Burke, Office Manager, Career Services
Mason Cassady, Office Manager, Athletics
William Cavanaugh, Admissions Processing Specialist, Enrollment Services 
Gabrielle Dean-Rector, Director of Development, MOCA
Adrienne Jackson, Basketball Operations Director, Women's Basketball
Erica Kirk, Academic Advisor, First-Year Advising
Lizelle Klopper, HR Coordinator, Human Resources
Jennifer Muller, IT Project Manager, Project Management Office
Emily Pridgen, Coordinator, Events Planning, Career Services
Tia Smith, Coordinator Accounting, Training and Services Institute
Katerina Turner, Web Services Specialist, Marketing and Communications
Robert Weber, Assistant Director, Social Media, Marketing and Communications
Jaycie Wegner, Coordinator Athletic Development, Athletics
Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:
Julie Blaylock, Admissions Processing Specialist, Enrollment Services 
Misha Bogomaz, Director, Counseling Center
Lisa Brunson, SBDC Client Intake Program Manager, Small Business Development Center
Christie Ellis, Senior Coordinator Employment, Human Resources
Gregory Grant, Assistant Director SBDC, Small Business Development Center
Molly Molis, Administrative Assistant, Nursing
Kyle Musser, Associate Director of Development, College of Education and Human Services
Latonio Nichols, Assistant Director, Admissions
The following employees have left UNF recently:
Stephen Allsopp, ETL Developer, Enterprise Systems
Thomas Caswell, University Librarian, Library
Sierra Ejankowski, Academic Support Services Specialist, Political Science and Public Administration
James Gwynes, Law Enforcement Sergeant, University Police Department
Meredith Lucas, Communications Specialist, Marketing and Communications
Nikhil Reddy, Assistant Director Data Management, Advancement Services
Riley Sackett, Coordinator Prospect Research, Constituent Programs
Harrison Wall, IT Software Engineer, Enterprise Systems
Sheryl Webb, Program Assistant, Student Health Services
David Zelenka, Director of Development, UDAE

In Memoriam
The UNF community was saddened to learn of the death of Richard Knutelsky, senior custodial worker, who passed away Dec. 3. Read the obituary online.

Swoop Summary

UNF women's basketball premium seating advertisement more details on the leftWatch the UNF women's basketball team play from the new Bank of England Suite in the UNF Arena for only $25! Access includes a concession voucher for a hot dog, chips and a beverage. Soft drinks/water and snacks are provided. Purchase your premium seating tickets today for women's basketball!

Here's a couple upcoming events:

Women's Basketball vs. JU
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m.  |  UNF Arena  |  Free Admission
Men's Tennis vs. Wofford
Saturday, Feb. 4, noon  |  UNF Tennis Complex  |  Free Admission
Women's Basketball vs. FGCU (Homecoming)
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.  |  UNF Arena  |  Free Admission
Men's Basketball vs. JU (Homecoming)
Saturday, Feb. 4, 5 p.m.  |  UNF Arena  |  Purchase Tickets
Men's Tennis vs. South Carolina State
Sunday, Feb. 5, 2 p.m.  |  UNF Tennis Complex  |  Free Admission