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InsideAugust 2010

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

New home for the DRC

Disabilities Resource Center Staff

Taped to the wall near the front door of the Disability Resource Center is a floor plan for the future 6,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility the center will occupy in an addition to the Education Building. The new facility, which will include multiple testing and study carrels, a resource library, lab, reception room and offices for faculty and staff, will replace the DRC’s current space in Honors Hall that the center has outgrown.


Dr. Kristine Webb, director of the DRC since January 2006 and professor in the Department of Exceptional Student and Deaf Education, said growth over the years in the number of students the center serves and accommodations provided to students has been overwhelming.


“There were 236 students registered with the DRC when I started, and we now have just under 800,” she said. “We continue to offer increasing numbers of services to increasing numbers of students who need accommodations in order to level the playing field.”


Webb describes the DRC’s current facility as piecemeal, with furniture scavenged from various campus locations and extra offices added on here and there when they become available — although she’s quick to point out that she and her staff are very appreciative for all they have, including extraordinary support from Student Affairs.


“Really, it’s been because of the willingness of the staff that we’ve been able to make it work for the students,” she said. “The University has been wonderful in giving us additional rooms and additional facilities and equipment. The support from the UNF community has just been amazing. But the bottom line is that our facility has just been a makeshift one until we could arrive at our ultimate goal of building a state-of-the-art facility that students deserve.”


Webb eagerly anticipates the construction and completion of the new facility, after having been one of many involved in its design.


“Probably the biggest advantage of the new DRC is the inclusion of small testing rooms that will be accessible to all of our students. These rooms will have a monitor system whereby we can electronically monitor every single testing room. It will be incredible,” Webb said. “We received considerable input from students when we were designing. They were the ones who suggested features like curved walls around corners so students who are wheelchair or walker users won’t have to maneuver around sharp corners. We’ll also have accessible hallways and bathrooms big enough for a care assistant if needed.”


Webb said another feature of the new facility, which will be on the ground floor of the two-story addition, is a large reception area to accommodate faculty and students at the same time. “And each one of our offices will be accessible and big enough for even the most complex and sophisticated wheelchair,” she added.


The DRC serves students with physical, medical, hearing, vision or speech disabilities, as well as those diagnosed with learning disabilities, autism, ADD/ADHD and psychological or emotional disabilities. The center aims to ensure that all students with disabilities have equal access to educational opportunities at UNF and to partner with other units on campus to provide these students the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.


The new center, with its custom-designed amenities, will help DRC staff provide services to meet the needs of students with disabilities. This includes providing specialized technology and tools and working with students and faculty to set up specific accommodations to help students successfully complete course requirements.


“The range of accommodations is as far-reaching as the numbers of students we have here on campus, because we try to fit a set of accommodations to match with the students’ needs,” Webb said.


According to Shari Shuman, vice president for Administration and Finance, construction of the new facility will be funded from an allocation to UNF approved this year by the state Legislature and Governor Crist from the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) Trust Fund, as well as private donations to the University. “In addition to funding for the new DRC facility on the first floor, funding has also been approved for construction of new facilities for the On-Campus Transition Program and the Military and Veterans Resource Center on the second floor,” Shuman said. “That works out well because there’s synergy between all three of these programs.”


The location of the new center will also provide collaborative opportunities between the staff and students in the DRC and faculty, staff and students in the College of Education and Human Services.


 “The advancement of the DRC has been a project of love for many people—from hiring Dr. Kris Webb as director of the DRC to advocating for the appropriate funds to construct the DRC building,” said Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez, vice president of Student and International Affairs. “The location of the DRC is worth noting and is critical in that it will be attached to the newly built College of Education and Human Services, creating a symbolic relationship between the college and the DRC.”


But before the DRC can open and move into its new facility, more than a few details have to be determined. The original design called for a facility to house just the DRC and now the design calls for adding a second floor to house the OCT Program and Military and Veterans Resource Center. Director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction Zak Ovadia said his office is still working on the project details. Those details include an estimated construction start date, completion date and total project cost.


Webb, who says the anticipated construction cost for the DRC facility was originally estimated at around $5 million, naturally hopes the project will move forward quickly — and she looks forward to being housed in the Education Building with so many additional resources nearby.

Around Campus

‘WOW’ starts traditions for incoming students

Week of Welcome

Now in its sixth year, WOW officially begins Aug. 20, when students start moving into residence halls, with a variety of activities, including a luau in Osprey Plaza, comedy, games and other entertainment and a showcase of student and faculty organizations.


“We’re introducing a new student convocation and pinning ceremony this year to provide students with a more formal and structured welcome event than we’ve done previously,” said Dr. Lucy Croft, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. “Commencement is a formal exit from UNF, so this is the other book-end to their academic career.”


Croft said the inaugural student convocation Sunday, Aug. 22, will be modeled after commencement ceremonies. Incoming students and their parents will receive welcome messages from President John Delaney, Provost Mark Workman, Vice President for Student and International Affairs Mauricio Gonzalez, Student Government President Sitou Byll-Cataria and other key administrators. Students will receive a UNF lapel pin that symbolizes the UNF values, Student Government will present awards and the class of 2014 Values Banners will be unveiled.


“Students really want that feeling of having long-standing traditions they can be proud of,” said Croft. “It‘s a great first step toward transforming them into engaged and involved alumni.” 


Croft said the idea for the student-focused convocation originated a few years ago as a suggestion from Chris Arsenault, then an undergraduate political science major, who thought a formal ceremony might foster more school spirit among the incoming freshman classes.


“It is an opportunity to hear the creed, UNF’s rich history and wonderful motivational speeches,” said Arsenault, who now works as an administrative assistant at the UNF Institute for Values, Community and Leadership. “It is about building Osprey pride and building a feeling during that first week away from Mom and Dad that we are now becoming responsible adults.”


That first week in college can be daunting, Croft said, so this year about 100 WOW leaders - upperclassmen who have volunteered and been trained to be mentors and “real world” guides - will help to ease freshmen into their new campus life. Each WOW leader will shepherd about 20 incoming students to Week of Welcome activities, familiarize them with key campus locations and services and help them make new friends.


Selected by the Division of Student Affairs in April, WOW leaders received training similar to the Swoop Squad so they’d be up to par on campus living, UNF history, academic programs, student services and other activities. Incoming students started corresponding with WOW leaders in July to get firsthand perspectives on what to expect and ask any last minute questions. Hopefully, the connection with WOW leaders has helped maintain the incoming students’ excitement for attending UNF.


One session involving WOW leaders will highlight and illustrate themes from this year’s UNF Reads! selection, Len Fisher’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life.”  As the students play the classic childhood game, they will explore the critical thinking process of how they and the other player made their choices. The book and exercise expands this simple game into a larger exploration of game theory, which illuminates social behaviors such as the decision-making process people use when confronted with competitive situations - especially when they have limited information about the other players' choices - and how social norms and a sense of fair play can produce cooperative solutions rather than competitive ones.


To integrate these learned theories into practice and emphasize the UNF core value of service, about 10 WOW leaders and 60 new students will participate in a series of one-day transformational learning experiences during the fall semester, Croft said.  It will involve a mix of simulation exercises, field analysis, hands-on learning, speakers and group discussions.


Both groups will receive training from Hands On Jacksonville and the United Way on how to engage and involve low-income communities. One exercise will have the students navigate the daily routine of a family living below the poverty level, encouraging them to think about such things as how they might get to work if they don’t own a car or what they can buy with just food stamps. This community-based transformational learning exercise was designed to help students better understand others’ perspectives. Then, the students will work with community service organizations in Jacksonville’s impoverished areas in October and November.


“Extending WOW into the community is going to help our students develop a greater sense of belonging and responsibility as members of a larger community,” Croft said. “What better tradition could UNF impart to its students?”

Around Campus

Foundation initiatives illustrate campaign theme


The history of The Power of Transformation campaign will undoubtedly be written with stories about major donors and significant gifts. However, the UNF Foundation Board is playing a sometimes overlooked role in transforming students and the community.


For several years, the Foundation has funded a series of board initiatives designed to support faculty in smaller projects and to help students experience a transformation in some element of their education.


The most recent initiatives cover such varied projects as aiding diabetics to be better managers of their disease, improving literacy among struggling first graders and fostering a campus beautification program with student-created sculpture.


Diabetes Nutrition Project

Rachael McCandless prepares healthy seafood gumbo at the Beaches Community Health Care Clinic.With Type 2 diabetes reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, low-income Jacksonville residents are particularly affected because they may not have regular access to health care. At the Beaches Community Health Care Clinic operated by the Sulzbacher Center, an estimated 60 percent of its clients have Type 2 diabetes.


Dr. Lauri Wright in the Brooks College of Health Department of Nutrition and Dietetics came up with a proposal to offer an education program at the clinic, which does not offer any nutrition services.


“Often clients are making choices between food, housing or paying for their medication,” Wright said. “Nutrition education is an effective way of managing their diabetes and perhaps eliminating or reducing the need for medication.”


The program consists of an initial individual evaluation, three weekly group education classes followed by two weekly support groups and a follow-up individual evaluation. 


UNF graduate nutrition student Rachael McCandless implemented the program. She used a “social entrepreneurial” model in which the project was considered its own business. She developed marketing materials; spread the word to Beaches area pharmacies, grocery stores, retirement communities, restaurants and social service agencies; and recruited program participants.


Each week, while Wright handles the educational part of the program, McCandless prepares a diabetic healthy meal. While participants are eating, she sits down with them and answers questions about menu selection, food ingredients and meal preparation. The Foundation provided $8,000 for the program.


“This has been an important experience for me because it allows me to practice what I’ve learned in the classroom. It allows me to use all my skills from designing a health program and marketing it to delivering it to a low-income community in a holistic way. It’s allowed me to make the connections between my various classes,” she said.


McCandless, who hopes to graduate in December with a master’s in nutrition, would like to work in similar programs in schools or at clinics. “I’ve really enjoyed building this program from scratch and helping people in the process.”


Literacy Project


The literacy program is the brainchild of two faculty members in the College of Education and Human Services. Drs. Susan Syverud and Katerina Hall have investigated the impact their UNF students have on struggling first-grade readers at Woodland Acres Elementary, an Urban Professional Development Schools with Duval County. Results indicated that only one hour of intensive one-on-one or small group instruction a week made a significant difference in reading for the children.


Beginning this fall, Syverud said the program goes beyond the classroom. The UNF Foundation project will also allow literacy training to be extended to parents, teachers and business partners in the community. This will provide opportunities for about 20 UNF students to assume leadership roles as they assist in the trainings.


The $8,000 project is expected to result in about 150 more parents, teachers, business partners and community volunteers becoming more knowledgeable and skilled in providing individual instruction to young struggling readers and to engage in research-based reading aloud practices with any child in our community schools.


“Our UNF students have provided a safety net for these early readers at Woodland Acres Elementary and will now have an opportunity to expand their skills by training others to help young struggling readers in our community. The need is very great,” she said.


Sculpture Project


With attractive new buildings and an emphasis on enhanced landscaping, the UNF campus has become more aesthetically pleasing in recent years. That emphasis will continue with a campus sculpture project.


Jenny Hager, an instructor in the Department of Art & Design, is coordinating a competition among her students this fall to produce two sculptures to be located in high visibility areas on campus.


The Foundation approved $9,000 for this project. The money has allowed site preparation and the purchase of equipment that students will use in the sculpture project. The sculptures will then be installed for two years. Hager hopes the project will be continued so eventually the campus would support a series of new sculptures which would be replaced every two years. “In this model, the UNF campus could become a citywide destination, as local community members would visit the campus for walking tours of the student work. We could provide walking tour maps at the Student Union as well as other prime locations throughout the community,” she said.


One of the students who will be competing is Scott Mihalik, a junior from Jacksonville who has participated in other public art projects on campus. “I’m very interested in getting the experience and going through the process of having my work reviewed and getting feedback. It will be a very important learning experience for me especially if I’m interested in competing in other competitions for art in public places.”

Around Campus

Be square and be there: MOCA exhibit puts spotlight on local artists

Hand-painted boxes on display at Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

“Imagination Squared: The Creative Response Experiment,” a project showcasing the enormous talent of local professional and amateur artists on hundreds of tiny canvases, will debut Sept. 1 and be on display for two months at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF.


MOCA curator Ben Thompson describes the installation that will be located in the museum’s atrium as a “wonderful snapshot of Jacksonville’s imagination” and a natural extension of other museum initiatives that engage local artists, such as its annual Studio Tour and rotating MOCA Store LAB Gallery exhibits.


“Imagination Squared” had humble beginnings in the Riverside art studio of Jacksonville-based sculptor Dolf James. He and local painter Christina Foard have met monthly for quite some time to critique each other's work, talk about the current art scene and chat. During one of their conversations, James said that Foard began to “paint interesting designs on one of the leftovers,”  5-inch-by-5-inch wooden boxes covered in a special chalk-like primer – scattered around his studio.


The pair wondered what might happen if they encouraged other visitors to James’ studio to paint a box and then display them in a constantly expanding grid. As they grew more excited about the idea, they wondered what it might be like if they built and distributed hundreds of the boxes.


James said he began to build more boxes in early April, and he and Foard initially handed them out to their friends. Word spread throughout the visual arts community via the Riverside Arts Market, the artists’ websites, Facebook and Art Walk, a free art showcase held at various locations downtown on the first Wednesday of each month.


Before long, James had built almost 2,000 boxes and his studio and home were brimming with hundreds of contributions. Foard and James wanted the project to include everyone from Jacksonville, no matter what their skill level.”


“For the purpose of this experiment our definition of an ‘artist’ is anyone who has the imagination to do a square and the courage to have it hung with hundreds of others in a public place,” he said. “We’ve had people as old as 92 and as young as 3 do something.”


Art and Design faculty members Jenny Hager, Lance Vickery, Jim Draper, Nofa Dixon and Paul Ladnier are among the participating contributors from UNF.


“I love collaborative works and the spirit of the project is great,” Hager said. “I love bringing together local artists to create a piece that is about both the individual and the group.”


She said that her piece, a cast iron bird on a small tree branch with several elements of a nest, was challenging because she is not accustomed to working on such a small scale.


“It’s an interesting visual problem to solve because the format has a certain number of defined criteria,” she said. “It's up to each individual to create a unique two dimensional composition given these guidelines. Conceptually, each artist will try to fill the prescribed space with a work that represents his/her individual style.”


Thompson said “Imagination Squared” has been one of his most interesting, challenging and exciting curatorial opportunities. “Displaying so many paintings with such diverse subject matter, art styles and media has to balance how the viewer will be able to appreciate both the totality of the work and the specific details of each painting.”


Excitement about this showcase continues to grow, and both James and Thompson anticipate the exhibit’s first major exposure at Art Walk Sept. 8 will be one of Jacksonville’s largest art functions.


For more information about “Imagination Squared,” contact MOCA at (904) 366-6911.

Around Campus

Regulation, awareness campaign to keep bikers, skaters safe

Stroll it. Don't roll it.

A new public safety campaign starting in mid-August, “Stroll It, Don’t Roll It,” will remind students and other users of non-motorized vehicles, such as skateboards, bikes, skates, in-line skates and push scooters, that UPD can fine them $30 per instance for not dismounting before they cross UNF Drive, Alumni Drive, Betty Holzendorf Drive or the North-South Road.


In June, UNF’s Board of Trustees approved the measure to fine violators of the new regulation as a preventive action to make campus safer for pedestrians and motorists. UPD Chief John Dean noted that a UNF student riding a skateboard near the crosswalk connecting Osprey Fountains with the core of campus was injured when a truck struck him in January.


“The campus has had a 50 percent increase in the number of near misses over the past few years,” Dean said. ”It only takes a split second for a near miss to become something much more serious.”


Dean said students will be notified by Student Update, informational flyers around campus and residence halls, ads in the Spinnaker, signage, Student Union video screens and strategically placed sidewalk graphics. He will even assign officers at crosswalks to distribute flyers to passersby.


Dean asked that employees who see students violating the new regulation politely remind them about “Stroll It, Don’t Roll It” and to report any problem areas on campus to UPD.

Faculty and Staff

August Faculty Staff Brooks College of Health

Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences: Dr. Shana Harrington traveled to Athens, Greece, for the Greek Open Nationals Paralympics swim meet. Harrington was promoted to the Level 2 medical classifier rank for Paralympics swimming and is theonly one in the United States to hold this rank. There are 12 who hold this rank internationally.


Drs. Russell A. Smith and Allen Moore presented a three-hour educational program, “Podcasting as an Instructional Multimedia Tool to Enhance Problem-Based Learning” at the American Physical Therapy Association Annual Meeting in June in Boston. Dr. Ann Noonan also presented a three-hour educational program, “Moving Forward for the DPT Clinical Education,” along with Gina Musolino from the University of South Florida. Noonan also co-presented two poster presentations: “The Virtual Clinical Education Office” with a colleague from physical therapy, Mary Lundy, and “Practice what you Preach” with Moore.


Coggin College of Business

Accounting & Finance: Drs. Jeffrey Michelman and Jeffrey Steagall (Economics & Geography), along with Václav Řeřicha of Palacky University, recently published “The Accidental Entrepreneur” in the International Journal of Case Research and Application. Michelman also received a leadership award from the World Association of Case Research and Application.


Marketing & Logistics: Dr. Ronald Adams published an article titled “Prescription Drug Labeling and ‘Over-Warning’: The Disturbing Case of Diana Levine and Wyeth Pharmaceutical” in Business and Society Review, Vol. 115, No. 2 (Summer 2010).

College of Arts and Sciences


English: Dr. Mark Ari published “Looking Back on Louis” in Prick of the Spindle, Vol. 4, No. 2.


Dr. Tiffany Beechy had a book titled “The Poetics of Old English” published by Ashgate in June.


Dr. Nicholas de Villiers presented a paper, “‘Chinese Cheers’: Hou Hsiao-hsien and Transnational Homage,” at the inaugural Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities in Osaka, Japan. His article, “Documentary and the Anamnesis of Queer Space: The Polymath, or, the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman,” was reprinted in the program of Contraband Cinema at BAMcinématek June 30 to July 8.


Psychology: Dr. Juliana Leding presented the poster "Contrast Effects: Exposure to Attractive Avatars Affects Our Perceptions of People" at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Boston in May. The presentation was co-authored by UNF graduate Kaydee M. Sharpe.


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction

Construction Management: Dr. David Lambert, Dr. Patrick Welsh (Taylor Engineering Research Institute), Robert Richardson and Terry Smith (CCEC Dean's Office) and Mike Toth and Rachel Vasquez (electrical engineering graduate and undergraduate research assistants) participated in Florida's 2010 State-wide Hurricane Field Exercises June 3-4. UNF’s Hurricane Damage Assessment Rapid Response Team (HDARRT) was the only university invited to participate this year, and the group demonstrated personnel advanced reconnaissance, forensic, data analysis and visualization technologies developed by the team.


Dean’s Office: Dr. Jerry Merckel participated in the IEEE 2010 Vail Computer Elements International Workshop, June 27-30, and serves as the vice chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Technical Committee on Computer Elements.


School of Engineering: Drs. Chris Brown and Alan Harris recently published two papers: “The Proposed University of North Florida Environmental Hydrology Living Laboratory – An Ideal Framework for Active Learning” in Review of Higher Education and Self-Learning, Vol. 3, No. 5; and “Providing a Dependable Peak Supply and Green Energy for Small Water Systems Using Aquifer, Storage and Recovery (ASR) Wells” in the Proceedings from the Annual Conference, American Water Works Association, May 22-25. Harris also served as the faculty adviser for the electrical engineering student team (Pedro Duarte, Ganna Kudrey Lewis, Rasem Mourad, Anna Nguyen and Pedro Sierra) that won first place in the static competition at the 7th Annual ION autonomous lawnmower competition in Beavercreek, Ohio. In the static competition, a lawnmower had to autonomously navigate and mow a rectangular area of grass while avoiding a static object. Other universities participating in the static competition were California State University (Fullerton), University of Cincinnati, Georgia Southern University, University of Florida, University of Michigan (Dearborn) and University of New Haven. The team received a $2,000 prize for winning the competition. Kevin Anderson served as an alumni adviser for the team.


Dr. Adel ElSafty presented and published his paper titled “Designing & Testing of Prestressed Concrete at UNF" at the 2010 Federation for Structural Concrete Congress, Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Convention and Bridge Conference, May 29 - June 2. Four UNF student posters were also displayed at the PCI exhibition. Other activities by Dr. ElSafty include ABET accreditation training, student tours of construction sites and bridges and student practice on communication skills with help from McVeigh & Mangum Inc.  


Dr. Dean Krusienski recently co-authored and published “A Novel P300-based Brain-computer Interface Stimulus Presentation Paradigm: Moving Beyond Rows and Columns” (with G. Townsend, B.K. LaPallo, C.B. Boulay, G.E. Frye, C.K. Hauser, N.E. Schwartz, T.M. Vaughan, J.P. Wolpaw and E.W. Sellers) in Neurophysiology, Vol. 12, No. 7, July 2010. He also presented an abstract titled “Control of the P300 Speller using Electrocorticographic Signals” (with J. Shih); “It Takes a Village: Developing and Deploying EEG-based BCIs for Long-Term Independent Home Use by People with Severe Disabilities” (with McFarland, D. Zeitlin, Sellers, T. Heiman-Patterson, S. Feldman, L. Tenteromano, J. Mak, P. Tsui, S. Winden, Townsend, W. Sarnacki, J. King, N. Tokas, E. Emore, P. Brunner, G. Schalk and Wolpaw) and presented an invited lecture titled “An Introduction to BCI Feature Extraction and Translation, NSF BCI Colloquium” at the Fourth International Brain-Computer Interface meeting in Monterey, Calif. Krusienski also served on the organizing committee, was a judge for the student poster competition and was the workshop leader for “BCI Feature Extraction and Translation: Field Potentials” at the same meeting.


Dr. Pat Welsh served as the faculty mentor for the UNF Blue Ray Team (Keith Stilson, Shane Kennett and Nick Waytowich) in the 2010 MATE International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition June 14-27. In spite of tough competition from 34 teams from around the world, including Russia, China and Canada, they took home fourth place. They also won the award for Design Elegance. 


School of Computing: Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy was awarded a U.S. patent, “Method and Computer Program Product for Converting Ontologies into Concept Semantic Networks.”


College of Education and Human Services


Childhood Education: Dr. Katie Monnin presented on the pop-top graphic novel stage at the Annual American Library Association Conference June 28. Her topic was resources for teaching graphic novels.  

Drs. Mike Smith and Jacque Batey traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, along with a representative from the Cummer Museum of Art to attend the Third International Conference on the Inclusive Museum in June. Their presentation, “A Special Collaboration Within the Galleries: A Successful Partnership Between an Art Museum and a University College of Education,” was well received by the international audience.

Leadership, Counseling and Instructional Technology: At the June International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Denver, Dr. Terry Cavanaugh made multiple presentations, including “Word Clouds” and “Take this Book and Map It” with co-author Jerome Burg. His presentation was about their upcoming book on using digital mapping resources with literature. Terry Cavanaugh was also the lead presenter at the SITSEG group session on electronic text.

Drs. Warren Hodge and La’Tara Osborne-Lampkin presented the findings of their study, “An Evaluative Study of Bradford Middle School Uniform Policy: Merit, Worth, and Impact,” to the Bradford County School Board in June. The researchers investigated the impact of Bradford Middle School’s uniform policy on student discipline, attendance and achievement.

Get to Know

Michael Townsend

Michael Townsend Department: UNF Police Department

Job title: Detective Sergeant
Years at UNF: 18


What do you do at UNF? Describe your job duties.

I currently supervise the detective and traffic units on campus and investigate criminal and non-criminal cases [as an] internal affairs investigator and police applicant background investigator.


Tell us about your family.

I am a single parent with a 19-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.


Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you.

I think I am a really good cook. My most favorite food to cook is spaghetti. I can eat it all day, every day.


Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know.

I volunteer with the Salvation Army to give them a hand.


What is the best thing you ever won?

$1,000. I won the money in a raffle I paid $5 for while on vacation in New York. I used the money to assist in purchasing a truck. It came at a good time.

What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended?

My first real concert was in Norfolk, Va., and the performer was Prince. It’s been a long time since I attended a concert, but the last one I remember was with Frankie Beverly and Maze here in Jacksonville.


Who is the most famous person you ever met?

Danny Glover, Rudy Giuliani, Blair Underwood.

If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why?

I would have remained in the military (Navy) because it was indeed an adventure for me.


What person had the greatest impact on your life?

My dad. My dad has been retired for about 10 years now. He worked for a bus company in New York and retired on disability. Anytime I need someone to talk to I can just pick up the phone and call him.  He was always there for me and he continues to be there today.

What would you like to do when you retire?

Get a part-time job, fish and do more traveling.


What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about children and their safety.

What is your favorite way to blow an hour? Sleeping/dreaming about getting more sleep.


What was the best money you ever spent?

The best money I’ve ever spent is taking vacations. Some of my favorite places to vacation are Memphis, Houston, Kissimmee and Jamaica.

What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?

The proudest moment in my life was when I witnessed the birth of both of my children.

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?

My most favorite thing about UNF is the people who work here.


What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet?

Retire. I have seven more years until I can retire.


If you won the lottery, what would do with the money?

Invest most of it in my children’s future, help my family and use some for myself.


What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read was “The Seven Pillars of Health.”


August Dateline Milestone Anniversaries

Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in August.


30 Years:

Raymond Drayton, Assistant Landscaping Grounds Support, Physical Facilities


25 Years:

Robert Bohle, Professor, Communication

Signe Evans, Library Services Specialist, Carpenter Library

Patricia Holley, Training Specialist, Training & Services Institute

Marnie Jones, Professor, Arts & Sciences

Lawrence Mao, Instructional Lab Specialist, Physics

Paul Mason, Chair/Professor, Economics

David Schwam-Baird, Associate Professor, Political Science & Public Administration

George Smith, Professor, Foundations & Secondary Education

Henry Thomas, Associate Professor, Political Science & Public Administration


10 Years:

Andrew Beall, Senior Lecturer, Biology

Berrin Beasley, Associate Professor, Communication

Gordon Brock, Chair/Professor, Music

Terence Cavanaugh, Assistant Professor, Leadership  & Counseling

Donald Haley, Assistant Professor, Public Health

Michael Hallett, Chair/Professor, Criminology & Criminal Justice

Cynthia Jordan, Associate University Librarian, Carpenter Library

Ronald Libby, Professor, Political Science & Public Administration

Luminita Razaila, Instructor, Mathematics & Statistics

Phillip Riner, Professor, Foundations & Secondary Education

A. Russell Smith, Chair/Associate Professor, Clinical & Applied Movement Science

Amy Wainwright, Senior Instructor, English

Christine Weber, Associate Professor, Childhood Education


Five years:

Andrea Altice, Adjunct, Brooks College of Health

Jacqueline Batey, Assistant Professor, Childhood Education

Blake Coglianese, Assistant Professor, Art & Design

Nancy Correa-Matos, Assistant Professor, Nutrition & Dietetics

Vanessa Cruz, Assistant Professor, Art & Design

Reham Eltantawy, Assistant Professor, Marketing & Logistics

Daniel Gottlieb, Associate Professor, Music

Sami Hamid, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics

Mitchell Haney, Assistant Professor, Philosophy & Religious Studies

Charles Hubbuch, Assistant Director, Physical Facilities

Shannon Italia, Manager of the Career Management Center, Career Services

Kareem Jordan, Assistant Professor, Criminology & Criminal Justice

Marsha Lupi, Associate Dean, Education & Human Services

Natalie Mack, Document Scanning Associate, Enrollment Services Processing

Kimberly Matthews, Athletic Business Manager, Intercollegiate Athletics

Amara McMann, Adjunct, Art & Design

Julie Merten, Instructor, Public Health

Jamie Moon, Lecturer, Biology

Antony Paulraj, Associate Professor, Management

Tiffiny Poole, Senior Payroll Representative, Controller’s Office

William Romanchick, Lecturer, Chemistry

Paul Schreier, Academic Adviser, Coggin College of Business

Toazmin Siddiqui, Laboratory Lecturer, Physics

Randall Tinnin, Associate Professor, Music



The following employees were either hired by UNF or accepted new positions at UNF from mid-June to mid-July:


Deiderie Allard, Associate Director of Residence Life, University Housing

Chad Autry, Adjunct, Marketing & Logistics

Tommy Barnes, Assistant Athletic Coach, Intercollegiate Athletics

Amy Brown, Senior Financial Systems Analyst, Financial Systems Department

George Crisp, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Steven Davis, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

John Frank, Coordinator of Marketing Publications, Student Affairs

Ernest Fulton, IT Support Coordinator, Student Government

Davey Heard, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Raymond Laval, Head Athletic Coach, Baseball

Megan Mauney, Development Officer, Student Affairs

Brian Morgan, Director of Sports Media Relations, Intercollegiate Athletics

Amanda Mueller, Coordinator of Residence Life, University Housing

Marilyn Myers, Adjunct, Foundations & Secondary Education

Timothy Parenton, Assistant Athletic Coach, Baseball

John Powell, IT Support Tech, Information Technology Services

Theresa Rose, Adjunct, Nursing

Ajay Samant, Dean/Professor, Coggin College of Business

Laura Shellaberger, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Intercollegiate Athletics

Melissa Tiberio, Coordinator, Academic Affairs

Danielle Vitale, Coordinator of Residence Life, University Housing

Edward Walicki, Coordinator of Residence Life, University Housing

Christian Wells, Coordinator of Residence Life, University Housing



Kate Mattingly Learch (Coggin Study Abroad) and Chad Learch (Admissions) welcomed Lenora Marie. She was born June 29, weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 19 inches long. 



Jacob and Cole Tattersall Peggy Tattersall (Enrollment Services)and her husband, Eric, recently welcomed the birth of their identical twin sons Jacob Nathaniel (6 pounds, 9 ounces) and Cole Alexander (5 pounds, 12 ounces).  They were born May 15. 


Faculty or staff who have information they would like to share with the campus community in the Dateline section of the next issue of Inside are encouraged to send it to Julie Williams at Information that can be published includes employees' promotions, birth and wedding announcements, achievements, farewells, etc.  Photos also can be submitted. The submission deadline for Dateline is the 13th of each month.


Graphic novels make their way into the classroom

Dr. Katie Monnin

There was a time when students had to hide comic books in their backpacks to get them into classrooms, but today many schools across the nation have had an attitude change toward comics and graphic novels. Dr. Katie Monnin, a UNF literacy professor, discusses the use of graphic novels in the classroom.


Why should teachers, parents and students care about graphic novels?


Teachers, parents and students should care about graphic novels because modern graphic novels operate on a literary level. The modern graphic novel is comparable to traditional literature like Fitzgerald’s“The Great Gatsby” or Dickens’ “Great Expectations.” In fact, because graphic novels call on students to read two types of literacies simultaneously—print-text literacies and image literacies—many literacy scholars now argue that reading graphic novels activates two types of intelligences.


Where did the term “graphic novel” come from?


This question is a hot-button topic in the comic book and graphic novel world. The credit for the term usually goes to Will Eisner. Mainstream knowledge has it that Eisner coined the term when he wrote what is often considered the first graphic novel, “The Contract with God” in 1978. However, there are many comic book and graphic novel experts who give credit to others.

Are graphic novels considered “real literature?”


Yes, graphic novels are real literature. The criteria that is applied to traditional, canonical and print-text literature can be applied to graphic novels. For instance, the elements of story—plot, setting, character and so on—are also found in graphic novels.


Young adults are currently buying graphic novels in record numbers. How can parents and teachers help students to understand the literary value of graphic novels?


Teachers can start by acknowledging just how literary they are—just how smart and cutting-edge it is for modern students to be on top of this new literary format. When students read a graphic novel, teachers can also explain that students are using two types of intelligences. Pointing out the depth of development of the elements of story and the aesthetic reading potential found in graphic novels are key too.


Can you recommend some age-appropriate graphic novels? 


For early readers (kindergarten through second grade), I would recommend that teachers and parents consult Toon Books, which goes out of its way to offer high-quality comics for kids. You can find them online at:


For third through sixth graders, I would recommend that parents, teachers and librarians check out  Jeff Smith’s “Bone”series .. Originally published in comic book format, this epic story has made a notoriously engaging and kid-friendly transition into graphic novel format.


First Second Books does an excellent job reaching out to middle-school readers. They have published a number of top-notch graphic novels, including “Foiled” by Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro; “Resistance” by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis; “Booth”by C.C. Colbert and Tanitoc; and “The Unsinkable Walker Bean” by Aaron Renier. You can check out their website at


Some of the most recognizable and student-friendly graphic novels for high-school readers are “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi; “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel; “Maus I” and “Maus II” by Art Spiegelman; and one of my most recent favorites is “Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow” by Brian Fies. 

Every month, the column “Ask UNF” runs in Inside and The Florida Times-Union, promoting the expertise of UNF faculty and staff. If you have questions about this topic, contact Dr. Monnin at

The Goods

Summer’s treat: Watermelon

watermelonsWatermelon is often thought to be from the American South; however, the first watermelon harvest is believed to have occurred in Egypt about 5,000 years ago. Watermelons were placed in the burial tombs of Egyptian kings and eventually watermelon made its way to the United States by way of slave ships. Today, watermelons are grown around the world. Dr. Judith Rodriguez, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, discusses this cool, tasty summer treat.

Myth: The United States is the biggest producer of watermelon.
Fact: Today, China is the No. 1 producer of watermelons. Although the U.S. is one of the top producers, it’s not the biggest. More than 1,200 varieties of watermelon exist, including the popular round Sugar Baby and the elongated Charleston Gray.

Myth: The red meat of the watermelon constitutes its food.
Fact: All of the watermelon is edible and not just as a fruit. The rind may be pickled. Also, there is a smaller variety common in India that can be used as a cooked vegetable. Some people also like to eat watermelon seeds. In many countries, watermelon serves as an important beverage. Some populations dice it and mash or blend it and drink it.

Myth: Watermelon is high in iron.
Fact: While watermelon contains some iron, it’s not a major source of that nutrient. Of course, if you eat a lot of watermelon at one time, you will get some iron, but in general watermelon is a better source of potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin A than of iron. In addition to containing important antioxidants in Vitamins C and A, watermelon also contains the phytochemical lycopene, a red pigment that is a powerful antioxidant and has been associated with a lower risk of colon and prostate cancer.

Myth: Watermelon is needed for intestinal cleansing
Fact: Watermelon is more than 91 percent water, and therefore it’s a great food for hydration. The kidneys remove water and waste materials from the body and watermelon can help provide some of the water useful for that function, but watermelon per se doesn’t flush out waste materials. Watermelon is low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol, so it’s a great food for meeting your daily fruit intake and avoiding unhealthy fats.

Myth: A creamy or light yellow underside indicates a bad watermelon.
Fact: A creamy or light yellow underside doesn’t indicate a bad watermelon. To select a hardy watermelon, pick one that is heavy for its size, does have a creamy underside, is free of cuts, dents, bruises or soft spots and has a firm relatively smooth surface with rounded and filled out ends. Avoid watermelons with a lot of white streaks and a pale colored flesh, which may indicate immaturity.

Watermelon Juice Drink
2 cups diced seedless watermelon, chilled
Puree watermelon in a blender. Serve chilled. Top with a sprig of mint, if desired. Serves one 10 oz. glass

Nutrient Analysis (per serving):
Calories: 91
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Potassium 340 mg
Vitamin C 25 mg
Vitamin A 1730 I.U.

If you have a question about watermelon, contact Rodriguez at The Goods runs monthly in The Florida Times-Union Taste section. In each article a faculty member from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics discusses facts and myths about a particular food and includes a healthy recipe. The UNF Department of Nutrition and Dietetics is made up of eight full-time faculty and several adjunct instructors, with approximately 215 UNF undergraduate students and 30 graduate students. Areas of faculty research include obesity prevention and treatment, eating disorders, cultural food patterns, nutrition education in underserved populations, metabolic syndrome and HIV/AIDS.

Sponsored Research

Sponsored ResearchDr. Chris Brown (Engineering), “Independent External Peer Review: Alton to Gale Organized Levee Districts, Illinois and Missouri,”Battelle Memorial Institute / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $5,805


Dr. Cheryl Fountain (Florida Institute of Education), “School Readiness and Technical Assistance and Support Initiative,” Agency for Workforce Innovation / U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, $560,562; “School Readiness and Technical Assistance and Support Initiative (ARRA),” Agency for Workforce Innovation / U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, $394,170


Dr. James Gelsleichter (Biology), “Cooperative Atlantic States Shark Pupping and Nursery (COASTSPAN) Survey of North Florida Waters - Continuation,”National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $5,000


Dr. Paul Harwood (Public Opinion Research Laboratory), “National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism,” University of Maryland Center of Excellence: National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism / U.S. Department of Homeland Security, $22,438


Dr. John Hatle (Biology), “Testing Direct Effects of Reproduction on Stress and Mortality via Ovariectomy,”National Institutes of Health, $339,757


Dr. Lillia Loriz (Nursing), “Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships 2010-2011,”Health Resources and Services Administration, $24,927


Dr. Maged Malek (Building Construction Management), “Research Center for Construction / Engineering with [The American University] AUC,”UNF Foundation, $21,000


Dr. John McDonough (Nursing), “Advanced Education Nursing Program,”Health Resources and Services Administration, $476,680


Dr. Thobias Sando (Engineering), “Operational Analysis of Shared Lane Markings on Roadways with Speeds Greater than 35 Miles per Hour,”Florida Department of Transportation, $103,556


Dr. Behrooz Seyed-Abbassi (Computing), “BCBSFL / UNF Partnership for Educational Collaboration,” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, $80,000


Dr. Alissa Swota (Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Ethics, Public Policy, and the Professions), “Pilot Project: Clinical Ethicist for Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Year 4,”Wolfson Children’s Hospital, $31,117


Dr. Jeffry Will (Center for Community Initiatives), “Healthy Start / Magnolia Infant Mortality Reduction Project 2009-2010,” Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition Inc. / Health Resources and Services Administration, $92,370; “Western Nassau County Homeless Needs Assessment,” Coalition for the Homeless of Nassau County / U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, $2,500