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Presidential highlights March 2020

Providing the Tools for Success

Osprey Racing Team

A group of engineering students involved in Osprey Racing received a big boost in March from President David Szymanski. To replace tools the students needed to build a race car for the upcoming national competition in May, the president contributed a personal check for $1,200.


Osprey Racing, a student-run club and nonprofit chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers, is also an integral part of UNF’s School of Engineering.


The club is the ultimate example of hands-on learning, an academic strategy important to the president. Tasked with designing and developing a small race car for competition, the students delve into all aspects of engineering and business — including research, design, development, testing, manufacturing, marketing, management and finance.



ELP Students Enjoy a Special Visit

President Szymanski and First Lady Maria visited the English Language Program (ELP)

Learning English as a second language can have its challenges. To offer words of encouragement and welcome, President David Szymanski and wife, Maria, met in March with international students involved in the University’s English Language Program. The social visit provided students with a relaxed atmosphere to practice their English and the chance to share experiences. First Lady Maria shared her personal story of learning English as a young child when her family immigrated from Greece.

The University’s English Language Program, created in 1997, has served thousands of students from more than 70 countries. The program seeks to immerse students in a compassionate and supportive environment while offering dedicated instruction to ease the learning curve and build confidence and success.



Celebrating Women in STEM

Speaker speaking at UNF's Women Leaders in STEM Conference

Leaders from the Jacksonville STEM community gathered in early March at UNF’s Women Leaders in STEM Conference to offer inspiration and to celebrate women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. President David Szymanski welcomed community partners, faculty and students and shared the University’s goal to increase recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM fields.


The annual event showcases opportunities available in STEM and provides a forum for networking. It was co-hosted by UNF’s Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering and the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction.