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Office of the Provost

Provost Communication

All Faculty

March 1, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some academic and student engagement activities from the Spring term and invite you to participate where and when you find interest and time.

As a result of a collaboration between Faculty Enhancement (OFE), the Center for Research and Instruction Technology (CIRT), and the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, the Teaching Innovations Exemplars website was created to document and share imaginative teaching innovations developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This novel website will continue to evolve to showcase faculty stories that we hope will inspire those who visit. We invite you to share your innovations, and challenge others among us to create their own stories.

The remainder of the Spring semester, we have much to look forward to with seminars, workshops and events planned by the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL), the Carpenter Library, UNF Diversity and Inclusion, the Biomedical Sciences Program, and, as always, by CIRT and the OFE, which is offering forums not only pertinent to teaching but also to research and to promotion and tenure.

UNF's annual and successful Research Week is also fast approaching: April 2-9, 2021. This year, the Scholars Transforming Academic Research Symposium - STARS - is back, planned as a robust online display of faculty research posters followed by a reception and awards, so please be sure to plan your participation! And preparations for the Showcase of Osprey Advancements in Research and Scholarship - SOARS - is also well underway. Faculty research mentors, please remind your student researchers that the SOARS Abstract and Submission portal is open until March 24, and that the nomination period for both Undergraduate Researcher of the Year and Undergraduate Faculty Mentor of the Year is open until March 15. Each of those prestigious student and faculty award winners will receive a prize of $1,000 from the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). All the details you need about SOARS are available on the OUR SOARS 2021 webpage.

In the fulfillment of its mission, Student Government (SG) has maintained a singular focus on student health and safety during this challenging time. Several student support services and engagement initiatives have been established this semester. SG recently launched SKYS - "Students Keeping You Safe." SKYS is a new SG Executive Agency that shuttles students to different parts of the UNF main campus during the evening. In its first two weeks, SKYS served over 100 students. In addition, the Lend-a-Wing Pantry moved to its new location in the Student Union and, in February, saw its highest amount of student visitors since the pandemic. As you check in with your students, I encourage you to let them know of these services, as well as the variety of virtual and in-person campus life opportunities hosted by Osprey Life & Productions, RecWell, Department of Diversity Initiatives, and the SG Student Involvement Center, just to name a few.

Looking beyond Spring and Summer terms, UNF administration is planning optimistically, with thoughtful deliberation and all due caution, for a return to campus this Fall and a regular schedule of in-person and distant learning classes. Your safety and the safety of our students and staff is, as always, my first concern and President Szymanski's. We hold fast to this focus and our ongoing commitment to the UNF family. Knowing that all of us are united both in common cautions and goals, and guided by the data and advisories of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), let's continue our Fall planning, in each department, college, office, center, institute, and division, toward this return together.


dr. patterson signatureKaren