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UNF celebrates Spring 2023 Commencement

UNF grad hugging another UNF gradMore than 1,700 students walked across the stage during the University of North Florida’s Spring 2023 Commencement ceremony today at the UNF Arena. 

In addition, two seniors were honored with the Senior Service Award and Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award for their exceptional records of volunteerism and caring.

Graduates from the following colleges will move directly into careers with notable companies including:

  • Brooks College of Health: Trinity Health, Baptist Medical, Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, Pediatric Associates of Jacksonville, Mayo Clinic
  • Coggin College of Business: Fidelity Investments, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Yusen Logistics, Macquarie, Department of Defense, Cause Inspired Media, Deloitte, NextEra Energy, Magellan Transport Logistics, The Joint Chiropractic, Black Knight
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Brooks Rehab, Mayo Clinic, Pediatrix Medical Group, Daniel Kids, Citi, S.A.F.E. Management, Metropolitan Public Defender, Ackerman Cancer Center, Norfolk Southern, Fidelity Investments, Advantage Design Group, The Connect Agency, Flagler Hospital
  • College of Computing, Engineering and Construction: NASA, Raytheon Technologies, Moore Electrical Contractors, Northrop Grumman, Jacobs Engineering Group, Ci-Mech Engineering, Green Mechanical Corp, Texas Instruments, Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division, Miller Electric, Haskell, US Patent & Trademark Office
  • College of Education and Human Services: Jacksonville Jaguars, First Coast YMCA, St. Johns County School District, Duval County Public Schools, The Bolles School, School District of Volusia County, SportsMedia Technology Corp, Clay County District Schools

Among graduates are 109 military-affiliated Ospreys with highlights that include: one interned with NASA and was hired full-time, one electrical engineering graduate was accepted into the Engineer and Scientist Development Program and will be working for Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, one of the Watkins Scholarship recipients has been hired as a Project Engineer for HD Supply and is receiving an officer’s commission in the U.S. Navy Reserves, and three students were commissioned into the Navy and Marine Corps.

The Senior Service Award is presented by the UNF Alumni Association to one graduating senior each semester for their outstanding service to the University and community through volunteerism. This year’s recipient is Amra Kaidic.

Kajdic graduated from the Hicks Honors College and the College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a focus in molecular biology and biotechnology, and a minor in leadership. Kajdic is a first-generation college student whose family came to the United States seeking refuge from war. She volunteered as a mentor for the YMCA and the MASS Clinic, a free-healthcare clinic. Kajdic founded the first MEDLIFE UNF chapter, served as president for three years, led a number of local and international projects and raised over $7,000 to provide food and medical supplies to under-resourced communities in Peru. She expects to begin a new research project in July with the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. She hopes to attend medical school and become a physician, with long-term career aspirations to eventually open a free clinic to serve the immigrant and refugee population.

The Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award seeks to recognize a UNF student who embodies the spirit of caring, volunteerism and humanitarianism. This year’s recipient is Alicia Scott.

Scott graduated from the Brooks College of Health with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and a minor in food systems and sustainability. Her passion for serving others was filled by volunteering with UNF’s Meals on Wings program, an on-campus organization that recovers, packages and delivers food to senior citizens in the community who are food insecure. Scott quickly became an integral part of the Meals on Wings team as a coordinator working tirelessly to recover food from local hospitals and reduce local food waste. Scott trained countless volunteers on food recovery, packaging, preparation and advocated for the organization throughout the community. Prior to attending UNF, she volunteered with Feeding South Florida and Morning Day Community Solutions. She aspires to attain a graduate degree in nutrition and dietetics, with a particular interest in working in oncology and studying how diet affects cancer treatments.

Three students in The Arc Jacksonville On-Campus Transition Program at UNF were also recognized at graduation. This innovative program provides young adults with intellectual differences a transformational college experience as an integral part of their transition to independence.

UNF plans to award over 2,100 total degrees this semester. The new graduates will join the Osprey alumni nation’s current 106,784-member total. As of fall 2022, UNF has issued a total of 92,394 bachelor’s degrees, 22,644 master’s degrees and 1,408 doctorates since first opening its doors in 1972.