Skip to Main Content

InsideSeptember 2010

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Venture Studies to jump-start first-year students’ critical thinking

Sept Venture StudiesA new program at UNF helps students get off to a great start. The Venture Studies initiative kicks off this fall with 15 First Year seminars, 31 English classes and 14 sections of traditional General Education classes.  


The First-Year Seminars, taught to groups of 20 to 30 students, fulfill general education requirements in the arts, English, humanities, natural science or social sciences. Professors use the course content to help students make a successful transition to college, understand the different stages of critical thinking and see the complexity of the subject because they have experienced it in a community setting.


Venture Studies seminars differ from traditional classes because the instructors use common assignments, language, features and policies. Active learning will help students to develop critical thinking skills, said Marnie Jones, associate dean of the College of Art and Sciences. Jones said that each class would introduce community-based transformational learning to students in unique ways.


Brenda Vose, assistant professor of criminal justice, hopes her course, “Media, Crime and Criminal Justice,” will demonstrate to students that in the world of criminal justice, not everything is as it appears on television, the movies or in music. 


“Instead of me talking about differences between how the criminal justice system is portrayed in the media versus how the system operates, students will have the opportunity to see some of the differences firsthand,” said Vose. “For example, students will be doing a ride-along with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, they will spend a day observing criminal court, and I am working on scheduling a visit to a correctional institution.”  


Most of these classes will start in a traditional classroom setting, but first-year residents in Osprey Crossings R will have the added advantage of having four classes taught in their residence hall as part of the Living and Learning Communities. Nutrition instructor Jackie Shank will teach these students about basic nutrition and how to evaluate their diets through hands-on cooking demonstrations, visits to on-campus dining facilities and a possible visit to Second Harvest Food Bank.


“On the surface, students fulfill a science requirement, but, more importantly, they will be learning how food decisions can affect lifelong health and well-being,” said Shank.


During the spring 2011 semester, courses will broaden students’ horizons with offerings that deepen the connection to the community, both locally and abroad. Six interconnected social science courses will focus on the challenges and opportunities of Jacksonville. Another course will provide a service learning opportunity in Guatemala.


Jones explains the Venture Studies’ goal is to help students break away from thinking of general education as a “check list of courses to get through” so that they make connections between different classes and understand how each discipline views, investigates, and analyzes central issues and problems. She also hopes in several years to demonstrate to faculty how common teaching strategies across academic disciplines can improve student preparedness for junior- and senior-level coursework, help enhance student success and assist the University in attracting and retaining students.


Jones said faculty teaching Venture Studies courses are experimenting with a major collaboration project, working from a common intellectual framework – reflective judgment. “We want to teach our students how to ask critical questions about evidence and confront the limits of disciplinary knowledge, so that they become skilled at making interpretive judgments based on the best information available.” Jones said. “This ability is especially important in a digital age where ‘information’ swamps knowledge and our news culture reduces every issue to two mutually exclusive positions.”

UNF’s General Education Task Force created the Venture Studies initiative so that introductory courses would function as a more coherent program with an overarching intellectual framework, Jones said.

At the same time, a 2008 Association of American College and Universities survey of employers provided added impetus. That report indicated that the majority of college graduates were well-prepared for succeeding in entry-level positions, but less so in skills needed for advancement. It also found that employers have the most confidence in assessments that demonstrate graduates’ ability to apply their college learning to complex, real-world challenges, as well as projects or tests that integrate problem-solving, writing, and analytical reasoning.

 “If we can jump start these critical thinking skills in the first year, our students will be more successful, get more out of their entire college experience, and be truly transformed by their experience at UNF,” she said.

Around Campus

Alum gift makes verb garden possible

Sept Verb GardenThe vision of a student and the resources of an alumnus are combining to write one of the newest chapters in the University’s ongoing green revolution.


The transformation is taking shape on a small parcel near the Parking Services Building along UNF Drive. Observant motorists may notice what has become known as the “verb garden,” but few probably realize it hosts more than 50 varieties of organically grown fruits and vegetables. Everything from tomatoes and watermelons to basil and bell peppers is thriving in the green oasis under the care of dedicated staff and volunteers.


The story begins more than a year ago when student Katrina Norbom, who was the volunteer coordinator at the UNF Wildlife Sanctuary, proposed establishing a verb (vegetables and herbs) garden as a way to foster environmental stewardship on campus by demonstrating organic gardening. She envisioned it becoming an interactive educational resource where students, faculty, staff and even members of the community could become involved in organic gardening at different levels. She created a garden plan with help from master gardeners at the Duval County Extension Office.


Other funding priorities prevented the idea from becoming an immediate reality until alumnus Bruce Ogier entered the picture. Ogier, who had been an original member of the Sawmill Slough Conservation Club, jumped at the opportunity to provide startup funds when approached by Kathleen Leone, director of development in the Division of Student Affairs.


Ogier has had a long involvement in gardening. Growing up in Jacksonville, he has fond memories of his grandfather Tate’s expansive vegetable garden off Ebersol Road. Ogier caught green-thumb fever at an early age. He recalls as a kid asking for a push plow, a shovel and a rake for Christmas. He played and worked in his own garden while growing up trying to emulate his grandfather’s success.


Graduating from UNF with a bachelor’s degree in 1974, Ogier pursued a financial career and is currently president of Capital Analysts of Jacksonville, Florida Inc. Through his involvement with the Student Affairs Community Council, Ogier has remained in close contact with UNF. Leone, knowing Ogier’s fascination with gardening, thought it might be a perfect fit for a gift as part of The Power of Transformation campaign.


Ogier and his brother, Frederick Jr., who lives in Dallas, donated the startup funding in memory of their parents, Frederick C. and Ophelia Tate Ogier.


Chuck Hubbuch, assistant director of physical facilities, who oversees campus landscaping, approved the plan. He enthusiastically agreed to convert the parcel to a garden, thereby relieving his staff of some maintenance responsibilities.


The responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the verb garden has fallen to AyoLane Halusky, chief ranger of the Wildlife Sanctuary, and Jonathan Felts, who eventually succeeded Norbom as volunteer coordinator.


Halusky emphasizes that the verb garden is an ongoing experiment with many ideas continuing to be considered. Under the current operations, anyone who volunteers at the sanctuary is entitled to share in the garden’s bounty.


Eventually, Halusky hopes to be able to make the garden’s produce available at the farmers’ market (Market Days) at the Student Union, with money raised devoted to continuation of the project.  “Our students have frequently indicated an interest in access to healthy foods on campus. The garden is one way of illustrating that green is not a fad but a change in lifestyle.”

What is especially rewarding to Halusky is the multi-generational appeal of the garden. “It was very cool to see an early alumnus of UNF join with today’s students to move this project forward,” he said.


The project is much more than merely growing organic fruits and vegetables. Felts is offering a series of gardening workshops this fall primarily for students, which cover everything from the introduction to organic gardening to composting.  He knows his subject well. When not working at UNF in a part-time capacity, Felts helps manage the non-profit Beaches Local Food Network. The organization’s two main projects are the Beaches Green Market, a farmers’ market held in Jarboe Park in Neptune Beach every Saturday and the Beaches Organic Community Garden.  This garden contains 24 plots that are leased by community members for personal use.


Halusky sees many future applications for the garden. Members of the community may be invited to volunteer and help raise crops side by side with students. Even educational signage is being considered which would help spread the word about the benefits of organic gardening among the hundreds of community visitors to the nature trails each week. The garden has already been incorporated into educational programs given by UNF Sanctuary staff to thousands of school children each year.


Around Campus

Students sharpen leadership skills through innovative program

Sept Institute ValuesIn today’s competitive job market, anything UNF students can do to set themselves apart from their peers will help them get noticed by potential employers or graduate schools, come graduation time. One way students are getting that extra edge at UNF is by obtaining a Leadership Certificate through the Institute for Values, Community and Leadership, which was established a year ago.


In the year since Dr. Annabel Brooks signed on as the program’s director, she has worked to transform the existing the Leadership Certificate into the core of a much broader goal to encourage, promote and reward civic and community engagement among UNF students. Through leadership development courses and experiential learning activities, students learn about leadership theory and constructs while developing their own talents and skills in real-life settings. The six core institutional values of the University are also integrated into the classes, as well as organizational and skill development workshops, lectures and conferences offered by the Division of Student Affairs.


Along with the Introduction to Leadership course, students have course options available from all five colleges that both fit into their degree programs and meet the requirements to obtain the Leadership Certificate. Students must complete an internal leadership experience by attending the Student Leadership Summit or getting involved in UNF clubs or organizations, and they must complete an external leadership experience by taking part in community-based transformational learning or study-abroad opportunities. At the end of the program, students participate in the Capstone experience — the final class, where students reflect on their insights and experiences from the study of leadership — and finalize what is called the Experiential Learning Transcript (ELT).


The ELT augments the academic transcript as an official record of a student’s experiential learning. It provides students with documentation of the intentional study and practice of leadership, self-development, and research and community engagement that occurs outside of the classroom. The ELT serves to enhance applications for scholarships, leadership and service awards, and can also be an important document for students as they seek admission to graduate programs or seek employment in pursuit of their career goals. 


According to Brooks, the results are noticeable. “The students really are different when they have come through the institute,” she said. “They are able to articulate their value in the leadership arena. They are perfectly comfortable talking about their strengths and proclivities. Graduate schools and employers love that.”


In the first year, the institute has expanded to offer twice the number of classes that are approved for the Leadership Development designation, and the number of Introduction to Leadership classes has quadrupled. In addition, a new leadership minor was developed to compliment the Leadership Certificate. The institute also collaborated with several programs on campus to establish a stronger emphasis on community-based transformational learning. Currently, there are about 200 students who are at some point in the process of obtaining the Leadership Certificate.


Brooks says all of this growth is providing a new challenge: cultivating more faculty members to teach the Introduction to Leadership class. “I am loving the progress. It has been exciting to see so many faculty members embrace the notion of high energy engagement.”


This October, the Student Summit 2010 will offer a series of workshops and sessions. Guest Speaker John Gordon, an entrepreneur and international bestselling author, will speak about the launch of his newest book, “Soup,” which is about how organizational culture enhances the community. Gordon is also a member of a leadership committee established under the Student Affairs Community Council. He is one of four community leaders who serve as part of an advisory team to the institute about the ever-changing needs of the community. 


One of the institute’s goals in the coming year is to develop a broader network of organizations and individuals like Gordon, to serve as community partners to facilitate the placement of students into external leadership learning opportunities as well as collaborate on related efforts with the Center for Community-Based Learning.


Another goal of the institute is to expand the Introduction to Leadership class, the Student Leadership Summit and the Experiential Learning Transcript to incorporate the idea of social change. The intentional study of leadership should lead to a sense of responsibility to enact change in the broader arena, or the world. The institute is designed to foster that feeling of responsibility in a safe and fun environment that includes both real-world experiences and intellectual pursuit in the classroom.

Around Campus

First International Student Takes Office as SG President

Sitou Byll-CatariaIncoming Student Government President Sitou Byll-Cataria is UNF’s first international student elected to that organization’s highest office. However, his personal story and attitudes reflect values UNF wants its students to embody: tolerance, diversity, community involvement and the transformational power of education.


A senior majoring in information technology who desires to be a computer security consultant, Byll-Cataria was born in 1985 in the small West African nation of Togo. The fifth of eight children, he grew up in the nation’s capital, Lome. Although he considers himself a city kid who wasn’t raised with the indigenous beliefs of his Ewe heritage, Byll-Cataria grew up appreciating his nation’s rich and diverse culture.


Togo is comprised of 6.6 million people from 40 different ethnic groups living together in an area roughly the size of West Virginia, so tolerance for different points of view and a strong sense of community were important lessons there. “Even though everyone came from different tribal backgrounds, we were all the same. We were all Togolese,” he said.


His family encouraged him to be active in the community at an early age, and he became the nation’s first president of LEO Club International, a youth volunteerism and leadership group. He organized food and clothing drives, as well as service projects cleaning area beaches.


Byll-Cataria was an excellent student in grammar school, particularly in math, even though his schools lacked computers or calculators. “Those schools really taught me how to solve problems for myself, how to calculate in my head, how to learn to reason with logic,” he said.


At 18, he moved with his father to Burkina Faso to receive a better education. His father was also responsible for getting Byll-Cataria his first computer, sparking a lifelong passion for technology. His new home was predominantly Muslim, which was culturally very different from Togo, but he admired how tolerant and respectful people from a different religion were, that they could live together peacefully, and still work toward the common good of the nation. He started his high school’s first student newspaper and ran it for two years.


After graduating high school, he took time off to explore going to college in London, but instead chose UNF for the caliber of its IT program and because two of his sisters had attended previously. Fluent in French, Spanish and Mina, he initially struggled in America because he spoke limited English. But, with the help of friends and family, he soon overcame the language barrier. He said he values the ingenuity, sense of personal responsibility, work ethic and individual creativity of his fellow UNF classmates.


His older sister, Lauriane, was active in Student Government at UNF, serving as director of its Volunteer Center. She urged him to get involved in campus life. He followed her advice and has been very busy since. Byll-Cataria is an active member of the community; he served as the president of the International Student Association for 2008-2009. As Student Government president, Byll-Cataria has been appointed to the Board of Trustees until April 2011. He is a member of the International Business Society, Green Osprey, IEEE Computer Society, Osprey South Asian Association and Association of Fundraising Professionals. He was awarded the LIONS Club International Leadership Award and the International Student Service Award.


With the campaign behind him, Byll-Cataria wants to focus his year in office on improving campuswide communication and finding collaborative ways students and administrators can solve campus problems while providing learning opportunities. To improve communication, he and his staff are helping to organize bi-weekly forums between students and SG representatives, creating an online issues discussion board for students and developing an on-campus awareness campaign about UNF’s student programs and services.


“I don’t want to fulfill short-term, single-year promises, rather build a lasting foundation for long-term improvements,” he said. “Much like the countries I come from, we are a very diverse campus with many different voices and interests. But, we are all Ospreys who want to work together to make UNF the best University possible.”

Around Campus

New TV studio equipped for professional development opportunity

Sept CommunicationsIf the television studio in the Department of Communication looks like a professional set, it should, because it was. The news desk came from WJXT Channel 4, and the news set background and second news desk came from Action News, the CBS/Fox affiliate combo.


While the news set is recycled, the studio in the Robinson Center, Building 14D, is state-of-the-art, complete with three floor video-cameras capable of producing high-definition programming that can be broadcast on TV. It represents a $500,000 investment in the future of the electronic media program in the Department of Communication.


In addition to moving into new space and getting new equipment, the department purchased Electronic News Production System (ENPS) software from the Associated Press that is used in nearly 800 newsrooms in 60 countries to organize, edit, time and run news broadcasts. Communication students began working on the new system this semester.


“We wanted to make sure we had the tools and resources for doing television news in a highly professional manner,” said David Goff, chair of the Department of Communication.


Since the inception several years ago of the news magazine show “Inside Jacksonville,” students who produced it in collaboration with WCWJ Channel 17 had to go to the station to complete their work. Now, Goff said they would be able to produce it at UNF and provide Channel 17 with a finished product.


This fall, the department plans to start “North Florida Weekly,” a newscast that will be produced once a week during the fall and spring semesters. It will include a sports segment that eventually will spin off into its own sports show. The newscast will be produced entirely by students; senior Jennifer Reams is the executive producer. Goff said he also would like the department to have the capability to produce documentaries and other programs.


“All of this is going to give our students a professional development opportunity that they didn’t have before, that a lot of small programs like ours don’t have. When a student goes to, say, an internship at a TV station working in the news department or later on the job, the student will already have a good working knowledge of the ENPS system,” Goff said.


The Department of Communication has nearly 1,200 students. In addition to the new studio, the department this fall has a multi-media lab equipped with 20 new Mac computers, a newsroom lab with 13 Macs, new field gear, three Panasonic high-definition, pro-grade HD field cameras and other cameras for students to use.

Around Campus

MOCA kicks off fall exhibit season

Sept MOCAThe Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF, begins its fall exhibition season Sept. 17 with a timely, affectionate and, at times, irreverent look at how modern-day Chinese artists are influenced by Western nations, as well as the annual UNF Art & Design Faculty Showcase.

“East/West: Visually Speaking” highlights 11 contemporary Chinese artists who were selected for their references to Western stylistic history. Much of the imagery and objects on view bring to mind an eclectic yet meaningful method by which Chinese artists often appropriate material from Western culture to create new forms, structures and meanings in their work. The exhibition shows how Chinese artists have adapted Western ideas and art forms to create new styles of art.


“During the 35 years since Mao Tse-tung’s death and the end of the Cultural Revolution, China has experienced unprecedented effects of globalization and increased information flow,” said Deborah Broder, MOCA Jacksonville’s director. “That nation is such a financial and cultural powerhouse today whose influence is now being felt on a global scale.”


While in some works the reference to Western culture seems adoring, in other works it appears to parody the West, its cultural symbols and values. Each participating artist presents a multifaceted view of contemporary China as it defines itself – post-cultural revolution and its new place on the world stage. Additional works by emerging Chinese artists from one of New York’s premier galleries, the Eli Klein Gallery, will augment the featured exhibition.


Making its second consecutive appearance at MOCA, the annual UNF Art & Design Faculty Showcase will run simultaneously as the “East/West” exhibit until Nov. 14. The tremendous diversity of disciplines practiced by these artists/educators will be reflected in works of sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing, photography and printmaking. Styles range from the classically inspired to the most cutting-edge approaches characterizing contemporary art. In addition, faculty members will be giving a wide variety of lectures and workshops, which are open to the University community and the public.


“This is another opportunity for our faculty to really shine as artists,” said Debra Murphy, chair of the Department of Art & Design. “We wanted viewers to have a more intimate experience with each work, so the scale of this year’s showcase is smaller than what was done last fall.”


The “East/West” exhibition, which runs from Sept. 17 to Jan. 2, originates from the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UAM) and was curated by Dr. Lee A. Gray.


For more information about MOCA, including programs, hours and ticket pricing, visit www. or call (904) 366-6911, ext. 202.

Around Campus

Intercultural Center for PEACE hosts Haiti Relief concert

Sept Haiti Relief NorrisNine months after a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake left Haiti in dire straits, UNF’s Intercultural Center for PEACE (Promotion, Education and Advancement of Cultures and Ethnicities) is hosting a free communitywide relief concert as a reminder of how much still needs to be done for the beleaguered Caribbean island.


The concert, featuring UNF employee and Jacksonville recording artist Joanna Norris and the Seven-14 Band, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Theater. Donations will be accepted at the door and proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.


A massive earthquake struck Haiti Jan. 12, about 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the country's capital. Considered to be the worst quake in the region in more than 200 years, it killed an estimated 250,000 people and left the country in shambles, without electricity or phone service. The Inter-American Development Bank estimated the total cost of the disaster was between $7.2 billion to $13.2 billion.


Governments and private groups from around the world pledged assistance, including fund-raising efforts by UNF employees and students coordinated through the Division of Student Affairs.


“Like the rest of the world, the UNF community was incredibly generous in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, but I think we still can provide further assistance,” said Oupa Seane, director of ICP. “The number of people in relief camps made of tents and tarps remains at more than one million, and almost no transitional housing has been built. Most of the camps have no electricity, running water or sewage disposal, and the tents are beginning to fall apart and crime in the camps is widespread.”     


Norris, associate director of public relations for UNF, had been to Haiti on two mission trips with her church prior to the earthquake and witnessed its poverty and living conditions firsthand. She and two band members worked with about 30 orphans at the Cabaret Baptist Children’s Home in the village of Bercy. She said they were amazed by the people’s resiliency and warmth.


Singing since she was 7 years old, Norris has had eight years of vocal performance training, has played at venues across Northeast Florida, sang the national anthem for the Jacksonville Suns, had a lead role in a Theater Jacksonville musical and has a solo CD titled “Walkin’ on Water.”  Norris will donate all proceeds from CD sales on the night of the concert to the Cabaret Baptist Children’s Home.


“As a parent, it broke my heart to see how these children lived and how little they had but amazed at the great love they expressed, especially to a total stranger from another country,” Norris said. “ I am truly honored to be using my God-given talents to help raise funds that will assist in bringing help and hope to a country that is in desperate need. We are blessed with so much here in America and it’s our duty to help those who are less fortunate.”


She is proud to be taking the stage with band member and drummer Matt Palowski, an incoming UNF freshman majoring in computer science and minoring in music. “This is a great demonstration of the Osprey spirit — UNF employees and students working together for something greater than ourselves,” he said.


For more information about this fund-raising concert, contact Christine Bender, Intercultural Center for PEACE at UNF, at (904) 620-2842 or by e-mail at E-tickets are available by clicking here.

Faculty and Staff

august faculty staff

Brooks College of Health


Nursing: Drs. Bonnie Holder and Nina Smith presented an invited presentation titled “Volunteers in Medicine: Free Health Care Clinic for the Working Uninsured” to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in Phoenix in July.


Nutrition and Dietetics: Dr. Judy Rodriguez provided oral testimony on the Proposed Dietary Guidelines in Washington, D.C., in July. She also presented “Restructuring, Reworking, Recognizing and Rewarding Volunteer Work” to the district presidents at the Florida Dietetic Association Annual Meeting in Orlando in July, and “Cultural Competency, Colegio De Dietistas de Puerto Rico Annual Meeting” in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in August. Rodriguez also published several articles: “Servant Leadership: Helping People Make Wise Choices” in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, Vol. 110, No. 6, June, 2010; “ADA Value: Integrity” in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 110, No. 7, July 2010; and “ADA Value: Customer Focus” in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, Vol. 110, No. 8, August 2010.


Public Health: Dr. Rob Haley presented “The Future of Healthcare: The Age of Reform” to the Martin Memorial Health System Foundation and to the Barstow-Reed Society in Stuart, Fla., in March. Haley also presented “Health Care Forum: Just What the Doctor Ordered” to the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Business Exposition in Jacksonville, in May. In addition, Haley, with Drs. JoAnn Nolin and Mei Zhao, published “Cultivating an International Academic Relationship: The China Experience” in the Journal of Health Administration Education, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2010.



Coggin College of Business


Marketing & Logistics: In July, Dr. Ronald Adams presented “Resale Price Maintenance and the Supreme Court: A Post-Leegin Assessment” at the 17th International Conference on Retailing and Consumer Services Science in Istanbul, Turkey.  


Dr. A.C. “Josh” Samli’s book, “International Consumer Behavior: Its Impact on Marketing Strategy Development,” was translated into Japanese in July.

Small Business Development Center: Kevin Monahan received the diversity award “Individual Mentor” from the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Cathy Hagan and Robert Myers both earned the designation of Certified Business Continuity Professional from the Disaster Recovery Institute. This certification is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and skill in the business continuity/disaster recovery industry. They are the first in the Florida SBDC Network to earn the designation and are among only a few in the national SBDC network.


College of Arts and Sciences


Math and Statistics: Dr. Beyza Aslan gave a talk titled “Charge Retrieval Analysis for Lightning Flashes in a Mountain Thunderstorm” at the annual Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics meeting in Pittsburgh, Penn.


Dr. Adel Boules attended the 2010 World Congress in Computer Science in Las Vegas, and gave a poster/discussion session titled “Stability Properties of a Finite Difference-extrapolation Scheme for the Numerical Solution of Initial Value Problems.”


Dr. Dan Dreibelbis attended the 11th International Workshop on Real & Complex Singularities in Sao Carlos, Brazil, and presented a talk titled “Bitengencies on Higher Dimensional Immersed Manifolds.”


Dr. Richard Patterson traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, to do invited research and present colloquiums.

Psychology: Dr. Susana Urbina convened the First International Symposium on Psychological Tests held in Lima, Peru, in June; she gave the keynote address on “The Development of Psychological Tests“ and presented two other symposium papers on “Intellectual Assessment” and “Ethical and Legal Aspects of Testing in the USA.” Urbina also was made honorary member of the College of Psychologists of Peru, and honorary professor of the Autonomous University of Peru. 



College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


School of Computing: Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy presented an abstract (co-authored by D. Mahmoud, C. DeMattos and R. Siam) titled “Molecular Characterization and Evolution of Influenza B Viruses in Egypt from 1999 to 2008” at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in July.


Dr. Charles Winton, chairman of the Board of Directors of the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics (KIPR), participated in the Global Conference on Educational Robotics held at Southern Illinois University in July. Winton also was an invited participant for the program development session for the 2011 Botball Educational Robotics Program and was chief judge for the KIPR Open Robotics Tournament.

School of Engineering: Dr. Chiu Choi’s paper,“A Linear Control Systems Course with Emphasis on Embedded Control,” was presented at the American Society of Electrical Engineering (ASEE) and published in the Proceedings of the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference, June 2010.


Dr. Murat Tiryakioglu received the 2010 John Campbell Medal for “sustained contribution to the science and understanding of metal casting.”



College of Education and Human Services


Childhood Education: Dr. Gigi Morales David has been invited for an author visit at Henry Kite Elementary to kick off their Million Word Campaign Sept. 9. She has also been invited again to participate as an author in the Florida Heritage Book Festival and will be making a book presentation in St. Johns County Sept. 24.    


In July, Dr. Nile Stanley attended the Call Me Mister leadership conference at Clemson University in South Carolina, serving as coordinator of the new UNF mentoring program for African-American men pursuing teaching careers in elementary education.


Exceptional Student & Deaf Education: This summer, Dr. Caroline Guardino presented “Serving Individuals with a Hearing Loss: Tips for Healthcare Professionals,” about deafness and communicating effectively with individuals with a hearing loss, to health-care professionals at multiple Baptist Hospital sites.

Leadership, Counseling & Instructional Technology: Dr. Marcia Lamkin had a research paper titled “The Use of Collaborative Writing Tools for Case Study Discussion” accepted for roundtable presentation at the 51st Southern Regional Council on Educational Administration Conference in Savannah, Ga., in October.  


Center for Instruction & Research Technology

David W. Wilson
presented the poster “Using Adobe Photoshop as a Visual Analysis Tool in Research” at the annual New Media Consortium Summer Conference in Anaheim in June.

In July, Erin Soles presented the posters “Deploying Video Podcasts without Putting Yourself in a Body Cast: Lessons for Educators and Institutions” (with Dr. Jonathan Pabalate from the Brooks College of Health’s School of Nursing) and “How We Survived the Upgrade to Blackboard Learn, Release 9” at the Blackboard World Conference in Orlando.

Get to Know

Betteanne Visnovsky

Sept Get to Know

Department:  Student Health Services

Job title:  Staff nurse
Years at UNF:  6-1/2


What do you do at UNF?

I am a part-time staff nurse at SHS. We provide primary health care for the UNF student population and all that it entails. I am a combo of RN, mom and Dr. Phil.


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

An astronaut. What an amazing view!


What was the best money you ever spent?

Bob and I were in Berlin when the wall came down. I had East German DM currency that had to be spent in three days. I shopped as if I had Monopoly money in East Berlin, and still had money left for an amazing dinner at the Hotel Berlin.


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

I worked (now retired) for American Airlines for 32 years as an international flight attendant.


What is your favorite way to blow an hour?

Talking, laughing and Sudoku


Tell us about your family.

Bob is my husband of 30 years; he served in the Army for 20 years, and now works for the Department of Justice. We have three children: Matt, 25 (a captain in the Army and presently on his second tour in Iraq); Emily, 22 (recent college graduate with a B.A. in art history and minor in anthropology); and Sarah, 18 (UNF class of 2014).

What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?

Graduating from Columbia University with a BSN, our wedding and my children’s milestones.

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

I was born in Manhattan.


What would you like to do when you retire?

Continue working on my computer skills and travel.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?

My co-workers and our students


What is the best thing you ever won?

A carnival came into our town when I was in elementary school and I won a large lamp at one of the booths. 

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

I would put half in a foundation to donate to causes of my choosing. The other half I would attempt to invest and ideally live off the interest.


If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing?



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

I’d like to change that to “musical.” As a child I saw the “Sound of Music” with Mary Martin on Broadway, and “Mame” starring Angela Lansbury. Three years ago I saw “Mamma Mia” in London.


What person had the greatest impact on your life?  

“Nana,” my grandmother

What are you most passionate about?

Supporting our military service members


Who is the most famous person you ever met?

That is a very difficult question; I have met many famous people as a flight attendant: athletes, actors, musicians, newscasters, politicians, etc. Last fall, I attended Gen. Petraeus’s CENTCOM change of command and reception.


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

Become fluent in more languages


What’s the last book you read?

“We Are Eternal” by Robert Brown

Good Question

Sept Good Question

Q: From Lynn Brown, associate director, Transportation & Logistics -- I always see work being done on the sprinkler system on campus. It must be a never-ending process. How many sprinkler heads are in use at UNF and where does the water come from?

A: From Chuck Hubbuch, assistant director, Physical Facilities -- It is true. Irrigation system work is never-ending. For the four-person irrigation crew, routine work includes checking, readjusting and repairing damaged heads and monitoring the computerized irrigation management system. Additional responsibilities include repairing broken lines, making upgrades, adding or modifying zones for new plantings and working with contractors who are excavating or building. This crew is responsible also for reporting water use and any unexpected issues that arise to the St. Johns River Water Management District. We think and operate in terms of irrigation zones and the number of heads can vary greatly from one zone to the next. We estimate the total number of irrigation heads to be around 3,000. UNF’s primary sources for irrigation water are reclaimed water from JEA and UNF’s larger lakes. The irrigation crew and the horticulturist are working together to increase water conservation in the campus landscape.



Q:  From Jay Huebner, Professor Emeritus and visiting research professor, Physics -- How many UNF alumni are living and working in the metropolitan area of Jacksonville versus alumni of other local universities?


A: From Faith Hall, director, Alumni Services -- UNF has 25,858 grads in Duval County, 36,213 in the five-county area; Florida State has 10,865 grads in Duval County, 16,780 in the five-county area; University of Florida has 13,000 in Duval county, 20,560 in the five-county area; and Jacksonville University has 1, 841 in Duval County, 2,466 in the five-county area. So UNF has more alumni in Jacksonville than all the other schools combined!


Q: From Peter Casella, assistant professor, Communication -- Does UNF have a “garage sale-type” listserv or a website where students, faculty and staff can buy, sell, barter, trade or give away unneeded [personal, as opposed to UNF-owned] merchandise?


A: From Jamie Spruell, web specialist, Public Relations - No, UNF doesn’t have a website for this purpose. At this time there is no plan to create anything of this nature. If you’re looking to purchase miscellaneous items, UPD does have a lost-and-found auction twice a year for items that have been collected from around campus. 


Editor’s note: As noted in Campus Update recently, when it comes to transferring UNF property, there are procedures that must be followed. In keeping with the continuous improvement and accountability of inventory, the Property Department reminds the campus community that prior to the transfer of surplus property to other campus units, the transferring department should contact the Property Office. This is necessary since the majority of the items submitted for announcement are bar-coded and included on property records. This request will prevent any inventory reconciliation issues for the transferring and receiving department. Questions regarding this request should be directed to Jim Mousa at ext. 2779 or  


Employees who have UNF-related questions they would like to have answered in the next issue of Inside are encouraged to send them to Submitted questions will be considered for publication in the "Good Question" column, which is designed to help inform the campus community about relevant issues. When submitting questions, please include your name, department and job title, which will be included if your question is selected. The submission deadline is the 15th of each month. For more information, contact Julie Williams at


august dateline

Milestone Anniversaries

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


30 Years

Craig Harms, Associate Professor, Management


25 Years

Deborah Kaye, Associate Vice President, Enrollment Services


15 Years

Michael Fritts, Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources


10 Years

Thomas Bullock, Parking Attendant, University Parking

Mauricio Gonzalez, Vice President, Student and International Affairs

Matthew Taylor, Senior Police Communications Operator, Campus Police


Five Years

Steven Arnold, Law Enforcement Officer, Campus Police

Igal Buberman, Head Athletic Coach, Tennis

Maria Castro, Coordinator of Career Development Services, Career Services

Lucy Croft, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs, Fraternity and Sorority Life

Pamela DeLoach, Accounts Payable Receiving Associate, Controller’s Office

Richard Elmore, Project Manager, Campus Planning, Design and Construction

Andrea McLeod, Assistant Registrar, One-Stop Student Center

Jennifer Schmidt, Law Enforcement Officer, Campus Police




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


Michael Antal, Adjunct, School of Computing

Christa Arnold, Assistant Professor, Communication

Lisa Bates-Lester, Instructor, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Devrim Bilgili, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics

Jenna Braddock, Instructor, Nutrition & Dietetics

James Brasseal, Assistant Athletic Coach, Intercollegiate Athletics

Linda Brown, Assistant Professor, Nutrition & Dietetics

Mauricio Cadena, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Gaylord Candler, Associate Professor, Political Science & Public Administration

Corey Causey, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Ching-Hua Chuan, Assistant Professor, School of Computing

Morgan Church, Assistant Athletic Coach, Soccer

Kristen Ciano, Lecturer, Biology

Karen Coleman, Instructor, Public Health

Melissa Conway Hartman, Instructor, Clinical & Applied Movement Science

Vuokko Cornett, Instructor, College of Education & Human Services

Jessica Davis, Program Assistant, Student Government

Steven Davis, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Terri Ellis, Assistant Professor, Biology

Thomas Felton, Parking Services Tech, University Parking

Denice Fett, Assistant Professor, History

Cindy Firestein, Academic Adviser, Academic Center for Excellence

Oleg Fortun, Coordinator of IT Support, Information Technology Services

William Fryson, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Jennifer Gibson, Lecturer, College of Arts & Sciences

Erinn Gilson, Assistant Professor, Philosophy & Religious Studies

Cheryl Gonzalez, Director, Equal Opportunity Programs

Elliott Graham, Instructor, College of Education & Human Services

Oscar Grandio Moraguez, Instructor, History

Kent Grandy, Senior Groundskeeper, Stadium-Sports Complex

Christye Greene, Police Communications Operator, Campus Police

Debran Harmon, Instructor, Nursing

Kathleen Healy, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, One-Stop Student Services

Gregory Helmick, Assistant Professor, World Languages

Jennifer Herman, Athletic Academic Adviser, Intercollegiate Athletics

Robert Holtzman, Instructor, Communication

Laura Jackson, Instructor, Exceptional Student & Deaf Education

Jason John, Assistant Professor, Art & Design

Tammie Johnson, Assistant Professor, Public Health

Leslie Kaplan, Scholarship Coordinator, Honors Program

Stacy Keller, Assistant Professor, Childhood Education

Dong-Young Kim, Assistant Professor, Management

Amy Lane, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

James Lashley, Law Enforcement Officer, Campus Police

Jonathan Matheson, Assistant Professor, Philosophy & Religious Studies

Clayton McCarl, Assistant Professor, World Languages

Shellsea Oberski, Administrative Secretary, Foundations & Secondary Education

Michael Orlito, Coordinator of Research Program Services, Small Business Development Center

Rachel Pellum, Instructor, Nursing

Daniel Pitts, Groundskeeper, Intercollegiate Athletics

Jacqueline Pruett, Program Assistant, Career Services

Julie Richmond, Assistant Professor, Biology

James Robinson, Applications Systems Analyst, Information Technology Services

Jenifer Ross, Instructor, Nutrition & Dietetics

Dawn Russell, Assistant Professor, Marketing & Logistics

Janice Savage, Assistant Softball Coach, Softball

Nicholas Seabrook, Assistant Professor, Political Science & Public Administration

Kandie Smith, Assistant Professor, Music

Sarita Sunuwar, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Murat Tiryakioglu, Professor and Director, Mechanical Engineering

Christopher Trice, Assistant Professor, Art & Design

David Waddell, Assistant Professor, Biology

Courtney Whitaker, Child Development Teacher, Child Development and Research Center

James Wirth, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Katherine Wohlhuter, Director of Development, Major Gifts

Brian Zoellner, Assistant Professor, Foundations & Secondary Education



Betty Monk (Coggin College of Business Dean’s Office) graduated this summer with her B.S. in communication/public relations.


Tips for helping your child with homework

Sept Ask UNF WoodsHere’s what Dr. Janice Wood, Crawford Early Literacy Faculty Fellow at UNF, has to say about how parents can help their children develop good study habits, so they can become lifelong learners. 


Why does my child get homework assignments?

Homework reinforces skills taught in school and gives students time to practice the skills. Homework also prepares students for upcoming class work.

How much time should my child spend doing homework?

           Grades 1-3                         25 minutes

            Grades 4 and 5                  30 to 45 minutes

            Grades 6-8                         60 minutes

            Grades 9-12                       75 minutes


How can I help my child with homework?

  • Attend school events and teacher conferences to keep informed about your child’s school.
  • Stay in regular contact with your child’s teacher. Help clarify assignments by asking questions when you don’t understand an assignment or project.
  • Have a positive interest in your child’s education.
  • When your child asks for help, provide it. Help him/her get involved in study groups or after-school “help” programs if needed.


How can I help my child schedule homework time?

  • Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit, well-equipped space to do homework.
  • Make sure the materials your child needs are available. If special materials are needed, get them in advance.
  • Schedule a time each day for homework.
  • Make sure your child understands the assignments. Read the directions of the assignments together. Encourage your child to read and review his/her class notes.
  • Sept Ask UNF HomeworkLook over completed homework each day. Be sure the homework is taken to school.


How can I help my child prepare for tests?

  • Help your child study class notes and texts several nights before the test.
  • If your child doesn’t understand some of the material, schedule time to meet with the teacher or a tutor.
  • Remind your child to read the test directions carefully. If he/she has any questions, encourage your child to ask the teacher for clarification.
  • Encourage your child to look over the entire examination to see what type of questions are included. 
  • Encourage your child to begin with the easiest questions first. If he/she doesn’t know an answer, skip the question and go on to the next question. After completing the remaining items, go back to the unanswered questions.
  • Ensure that your child gets at least seven hours of sleep the night before the test.


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 a question on this topic, contact Wood at

The Goods


Sept The Goods Shank

Myth: Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in America.

Fact: They’re popular indeed, second only to America’s favorite, the potato. But botanically, tomatoes aren’t vegetables. They’re the fruit berries of the Lycopersicon esculentum bush, an herbaceous plant in the nightshade family that’s native to the West Coast of South America. Today, around 7,500 tomato varieties are cultivated.


Myth: When fully ripened, all tomatoes are red.

Fact: Although most tomatoes are red, nature provides a plethora of colors, including the varieties called Pink Girl, Lemon Boy and Cherokee Purple. Regardless of their color, most ripe tomatoes provide unusually high amounts of savory glutamic acid, as well as the sharp flavors of citric and malic acids, plus a tad of natural sugars.


Myth: Tomatoes are too watery to provide significant nutrition.

Fact: One large red tomato provides impressive nutrition along with a meager 33 calories. Notable nutrients include 23 milligrams of vitamin C (38 percent of the Daily Value), 431 milligrams of potassium (12 percent of the Daily Value), 2.2 grams of fiber, and 4,683 micrograms of lycopene, a disease-fighting red pigment that’s even more plentiful in canned tomato products such as tomato paste. 


Myth: It’s too rainy to grow tomatoes in Northeast Florida.

Fact: Tomatoes grow quite nicely in our area. They like a lot of sun and consistent, even watering. Beth Ireland, a UNF nutrition student and avid gardener, reports that her tomato varieties are currently thriving. She made sure the soil in her garden was well balanced before planting, and she continues to nourish it with ample compost throughout the season. To prevent bug infestations and avoid spraying, Ireland constantly stakes her vine-like varieties (also called indeterminates) to keep them off the ground. Contact your county agricultural extension agency for more growing information.


Myth: Store-bought tomatoes have no flavor.

Fact: Many things affect the flavor of a tomato. One significant factor is degree of ripeness. These days, it’s common for growers to pick green, firm, unripened tomatoes to lessen damage during transport. And yes, this practice does affect flavor, since vine-ripened tomatoes continue to accumulate acids, sugar and aroma compounds such as the caramel-like furaneol molecule. Regardless, you can still find flavorful tomatoes. At the store, look for vine-ripened varieties. Ask the produce manager if any of the tomatoes are from local farms. If farms are close to the stores, harvesting can be delayed, allowing the tomatoes to ripen on the vine. Shop at farmers’ markets to find perfectly ripened tomatoes that are bursting with summertime flavor. This website provides a list of Farmers’ Markets by county:



Tomato, Black Bean & Avocado Salsa

Makes about 7 servings, ½ cup each


This delicious salsa is a blend of simple, fresh ingredients. Serve with blue tortilla chips or stuff into a whole grain pita.


2   cups chopped seeded tomato

1   cup diced peeled avocado

½  cup chopped red onion

2   tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2   tablespoons fresh lime juice

1   tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper

⅛  teaspoon salt

1   (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently. Cover and chill 30 minutes before serving.


Nutrition Facts per serving: 86 calories, 4.6 grams total fat, 0.8 grams saturated fat, 4.4 grams fiber, 214 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.2 mg iron.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, May 2007.


If you have a question about tomatoes, contact Shank at The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at UNF has eight full-time faculty and several adjunct instructors. Areas of faculty nutrition research include obesity prevention and treatment, eating disorders, cultural food patterns, nutrition education in underserved populations, metabolic syndrome and HIV/AIDS.