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InsideApril 2011

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Talk of the Times brings faculty, staff and students together for relevant discussions

A recent Talk of the Times discussion in the Student Union brought students, faculty and staff together to explore various viewpoints.

UNF’s residence halls aren’t just for sleeping, snacking and studying anymore. They’re also the ideal location for intellectual discussions between faculty, staff and students.


That’s the idea behind UNF’s Talk of the Times program, which brings the campus community together for thought-provoking discussions on such topics as the Gulf oil spill, plagiarism, relational violence, the legalization of marijuana, health care and the national economy. Talk of the Times is part of the New York Times’ American Democracy Project (ADP), a national multi-campus initiative to encourage civic engagement throughout the country.


“The whole idea is to take a topic that’s been covered in the New York Times — something pertinent and relevant — to guide a discussion in an informative way,” said Marcia Ladendorff, communication instructor and co-chair of UNF’s American Democracy Project Steering Committee. “We bring in a couple of professors and staff members from contrasting disciplines and ask them to make a brief statement explaining their own views on the topic before we open it up for discussion with the students. By presenting viewpoints from different disciplines, we’re hoping to encourage students to look at issues from many different perspectives.”


Ladendorff said prior to each discussion, the ADP committee meets to discuss topic ideas — some which come from articles published in the New York Times, some which are suggested by students, faculty and staff. They also print and distribute copies of relevant Times’ articles and ask students to read them prior to attending the event so they can come prepared to discuss the day’s topic.


UNF hosted three Talk of the Times discussions in the fall at the Osprey Crossings residence hall as part of a pilot program, and expanded the program to eight conversations in the spring, with one discussion per month hosted in the Student Union. Ladendorff said using the residence halls as the program’s main venue not only accomplishes the mission of the UNF chapter of the ADP; it also helps Residence Life accomplish their own mission and goals.


“Our mission speaks to the desire to host programs that enhance students’ academic and personal development by encouraging civic engagement,” said Dwayne Peterson, Housing and Residence Life coordinator, Venture Studies and Honors Living-Learning Communities adviser and ADP steering committee member. “The Talk of the Times program is a perfect connection to this objective. We believe that living in a residence hall is more than a place to sleep, but instead should be a vibrant place that reinforces the overall educational mission of the University.”


Peterson said this program is one of the many ways Housing and Residence Life staff attempt to connect students with faculty outside of the classroom, introduce topics to enhance their development and connect them with University resources to help them succeed in the University environment and beyond.


The program has been successful from the very beginning, according to both Ladendorff and Peterson. “The BP oil spill was one of my favorite conversations, as it raised a lot of critical thought about a very serious and current situation,” Peterson said. “Engineering Assistant Professor Paul Eason and Mental Health Counseling Assistant Professor Richmond Wynn facilitated the conversation. As you can imagine, each facilitator raised different questions that really asked students to explore the complexity of a situation that may on the surface seem simplistic.”


Martina Perry, ADP steering committee co-chair and coordinator of Undergraduate Initiatives, said that particular topic prompted a great deal of discussion among the students because it was timely and had generated so much national media attention in the weeks prior to the discussion. “A number of students in the audience shared personal stories of how the oil spill affected them and their hometowns,” Perry said. “When a topic hits home with the students, I believe it makes for great discussions.”           


Perry said she’s been impressed with the degree to which students have engaged in the conversations with thought-provoking comments and questions. “We had a crowd of 90 students at our Talk of the Times [discussion] on legalizing marijuana, which was excellent,” she said. “I’ve also been very appreciative of the responses we have had from faculty willing to participate in the program by either co-facilitating a discussion or encouraging their students to attend by incorporating it into their classes as extra credit.”


Melody Taylor, an executive secretary in Undergraduate Studies, spoke with several students after an October discussion about plagiarism to get their feedback. “One of the participating students who said in the beginning of the conversation that he believed plagiarism is morally wrong and along the same lines as cheating or stealing, by the end of the conversation said he wasn’t sure of his position due to the fuzzy definition of the term in question,” Taylor said.


That’s the kind of impact those involved in organizing and presenting the Talk of the Times discussions are hoping to have on students who attend. The program allows students to hear and consider others’ viewpoints while formulating their own opinions on various topics — and to have a platform for open discussion.


“We want students to have a place where they can exercise their voice. In a classroom, it’s appropriate for faculty to be the ones lecturing and giving their viewpoints, but we wanted to show students that there are really important, valuable and engaging opportunities for them to learn outside of the classroom on campus,” Ladendorff said. “We would like this to be a rich, regular and consistent program that meets or exceeds the intellectual needs of the campus community.”


Once a month the Talk of the Times discussions are presented on campus outside of residence halls to encourage participation by the entire campus community. The next discussion, slated for April 13 in the Osprey Fountains Multipurpose Room, will be on “Going Green: PR vs. Behavior” and will be facilitated by Dr. Paula Horvath-Neimeyer, instructor of communications, and April Moore, program manager of the Environmental Center.


ADP committee members are in the process of preparing for the fall 2011 Talk of the Times series. Perry said discussion topics under consideration include: texting and driving; post-college employment and the recession; risky student behaviors; the role of Facebook and social media in world events; pornography and relational violence; cyber bullying and hate crimes; the legal drinking age and student alcohol consumption; green jobs; the future of higher education in Florida; and student activism.


“We would like to recruit discussion facilitators for the fall series before the end of the spring semester, so anyone interested should contact me at their earliest convenience,” Perry said. “We seek not only faculty, but staff as well, to serve as co-facilitators.


Faculty or staff members interested in facilitating future discussions or suggesting topics are encouraged to contact Perry at or (904) 620-2607.

Around Campus

UNF Bookstore eliminates use of plastic bags


The UNF Bookstore is officially going green.


In an effort to eliminate waste and make a bold move toward reducing the University’s carbon footprint, the UNF Bookstore is replacing its plastic bags with reusable fabric bags beginning this spring.


“Once we have the new bags, customers will have the choice of purchasing one for $1.29 or going without a bag,” said Steve Moreau, who manages the UNF Bookstore. “We’re also going to have a bin set up by the front door where people who end up having extra reusable bags they don’t want anymore can place them for other people to pick up and use free of charge.”


Students, faculty and staff can also choose to bring their own bags when they know they’ll be shopping at the bookstore.


Moreau said the bookstore has ordered 30,000 reusable fabric bags, which are washable and durable and will totally replace plastic bags in the store.


“We should have the bags in my mid-May, right before new student orientation starts,” he said. “We’ll also be giving away 3,000 bags to new, incoming students during orientation.”


The idea to eliminate plastic bags spawned from another suggestion to host a “Plastic Bagless Week” proposed by Dr. Tony Rossi, an associate professor of biology and member of the UNF Sustainability Committee. Rossi and four other committee members (Justin Camputaro, director of the Student Union; Colleen Herms, project assistant for the Environmental Center; April Moore, director of the Environmental Center; and Vince Smyth, director of Auxiliary Services) volunteered to form a subcommittee to investigate options, formulate an action plan and complete necessary tasks to accomplish the goal of going green in the bookstore.


“San Francisco was one of the first cities to ban plastic bags and we thought, why couldn't we do that here on a smaller scale, and be a role model to others, especially because we’re in a part of the country where recycling and environmentalism is often on the back burner,” Rossi said. “To be honest, when I proposed it, I thought it would take years, like it did in getting approval for our 300-acre preserve. I was actually really stunned that it went through the committee and everybody was on board with it that fast.”


Both Rossi and Moore said the initiative wouldn't have been possible without the help and support of the Follett Higher Education Group, which manages and offers support to more than 800 campus bookstores in the country, including the UNF Bookstore.


“I think it’s one of the easiest initiatives to implement because as long as Follett is on board, we’re not really taking away a necessity for the students,” said Moore, chair of the Sustainability Committee. “It’s not going to make our lives completely uncomfortable or really change lifestyles all that much. It’s just a small change in behavior and habits and accepting that this is the way things are going to be on campus.”


As director of the Student Union, Camputaro is looking forward to the change – and the opportunity to serve as an example to others on campus to reduce, reuse and recycle.


“The fact that the UNF Bookstore is doing this really shows a commitment to the University. It’s exciting from my standpoint because we are the community center and we serve as the sustainability hub, for visibility at least, because that’s where the students are,” Camputaro said. “If you want to be visible, you need to make your message known at the Student Union. This is a pretty bold statement by the University. It’s grown much further than we expected and it’s a very positive thing.”


Rossi said there are many important reasons for making the change to eliminate plastic on campus include protecting wildlife and the environment and saving money.


“We live in a coastal area and plastic bags are a real problem for animals like sea turtles that eat jellyfish and mistake the bags for food,” he said. “Also, plastic bags are made out of petroleum products, so with fuel approaching $5 a gallon, imagine the cost savings when you’re not using petroleum-based products. I’m sure the plastic bag company isn't happy that we’re canceling the contract with them, but everybody else probably will be.”


Moore said this initiative is “just another representation of the momentum and the power in the collection of the people and their ideas and pulling together to accomplish and make UNF known for these types of sustainable practices. Using plastic bags creates so much waste and there’s just so much environmental degradation of plastic bags, so this initiative is just a win-win.”


“It’s just the right thing to do,” Rossi said.


Other environmental initiatives already completed or under way at UNF include establishing a 300-acre permanent preserve to maintain a natural ecosystem with trees that benefit the atmosphere; Garbage on the Green; a volunteer litter-control program; an Adopt-A-Lake program; RecycleMania; Recycle Karma; and ensuring that all new buildings on campus meet or exceed LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards, per LEED Green Building Rating System’s specifications.


Another current project being tackled by the Environmental Center is surveying students, faculty and staff about campus-wide transportation and commuting. The purpose of the study is to understand the preferences and behavior of campus community members in commuting to and from campus and to design more effective and possibly more environmentally friendly transportation services.


“If you received a UNF campus commuting survey in your e-mail box, please answer it,” said Dr. Radha Pyati, associate professor of chemistry and member of the UNF Sustainability Committee. “We’ve actually had a really good response rate so far. Within the first hour of it being e-mailed to the campus we had 212 responses. We’re trying to get a representative picture, so I urge everyone on campus to take a few minutes to participate in the survey if they haven’t already done so.”


To complete the UNF Campus Commuting Survey, go to .

Around Campus

MOCA Jacksonville hosts ‘visionary’ Howard Finster exhibition

The MuseA representative sample of the exhibition at MOCA Jacksonville featurin Howard Finster. um of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, will present “Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster.” A self-proclaimed Man of Visions, Finster was one of America’s most widely known and prolific self-taught artists, producing more than 46,000 pieces of art before his death in 2001. The exhibition opens April 22, 2011 and runs through August 28, 2011.


Born in rural Alabama in 1916, Finster became a preacher, tent revivalist and “master of 22 different trades” before building his roadside tribute to inventors, the Plant Farm Museum. Later dubbed Paradise Garden by Esquire magazine, this rock- and junk-encrusted wonderland was the focus of Finster’s life work. In 1976, however, his focus shifted slightly. As he was using his hands to apply paint to a refurbished bicycle, Finster noticed that the paint smudge on his finger had created a perfect human face. A voice spoke to him saying, “paint sacred art.”


“Like many of the grand masters of the Renaissance, Reverend Howard Finster communicated his passionate and deeply spiritual message through familiar iconography,” said Marcelle Polednik, director of MOCA. “So, instead of using traditional representations of Christ, angels or demons, he often referenced popular culture, such as Elvis Daniel Boone and UFOs, to capture his audience into reading his prophetic visions.” 


In response, Finster churned out thousands of sermon-laden artworks with subjects ranging from historical characters and popular culture icons to evangelistic fantasy landscapes and futuristic cities. Most works are meticulously covered in Finster’s own hand-lettered words and biblical verse, recording visionary prophesies and providing glimpses of a celestial outer space world that Finster believed God had revealed to him.


Finster’s preaching experience and showman-like personality helped shape his public persona and ever-increasing celebrity. To spread his vision beyond Paradise Garden, Finster designed record album covers for rock groups such as R.E.M. and Talking Heads. Interviews, films, and his famous appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson further advanced his evangelical message.


The industry of promotion and production that surrounded Finster’s name ended up defining his final years. Though he continued to create many fine works, some critics felt that the quality of his work suffered. However, Finster's intentions remained true to his inner voice — to make sacred art. Well-known and misunderstood, his position remains polarized, suspended somewhere between awe for his tireless, faith driven creativity and reluctance by the art community to accept his place in the pantheon of contemporary art.


This exhibition provides an in-depth survey of Finster's career, covering the variety of themes inherent in his work, much of it relating to his visionary experiences, including: “Visions of Other Worlds,” “Sermons in Paint, Historical and Cultural Heroes” and “The Plant Farm Museum [Paradise Garden].” “Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster” is curated by Glen C. Davies and is organized by Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


The exhibition is free to UNF faculty, staff and students.


MOCA Jacksonville is located at 333 N. Laura St., in downtown Jacksonville, next to the main library. For more information, visit or call (904) 366-6911. 

Around Campus

UNF Foundation honors donors with permanent display


Anyone who walks into the lobby of Alumni Hall undoubtedly will see a recent addition — a gleaming donor honor wall. A review of the names appearing on that wall reveals the identity of 64 donors who have forever changed both the face and footprint of UNF.


Their donations are not only symbolically immortalized on the marble wall, but are also tangible around campus. The new Student Union was built on land donated by the Skinner family, who once owned hundreds of acres but decided some of it was better off being used for a new university.


The Coggin College of Business and Brooks College of Health symbolize the impact of donors Blanche B. and Luther W. Coggin and the Brooks Health System and Foundation.


These donors, all of whom have contributed $10 million or more to UNF, are included on the Donor Honor Wall, which was unveiled during a special ceremony in February at the University Center.


The event also featured an announcement by Jacksonville business executive David A. Stein, a longtime supporter of UNF, that he had placed the University in his estate for $1 million. The bequest established the David A. Stein Graduate Fellowship Endowment Fund. Preference will be given to recipients of the Stein undergraduate scholarships who desire to continue their education at UNF by seeking a graduate degree.


Stein and other donors were presented with special tiles to install on the Donor Honor Wall. 


The event represented roughly the mid-point of The Power of Transformation campaign. The public phase of the $110 million campaign was launched in October 2009. About $77.5 million has been raised toward that goal.


The following donors were recognized for their significant cumulative levels of giving over the last 38 years.


$10 million and above 


Blanche B. and Luther W. Coggin

Brooks Health System and Foundation

The Skinner Family


$5 million and above

Ann C. and David M. Hicks

Kathryn M. and Richard de Raimes Kip


$1 million and above 



Bank of America

Baptist Health System

Estate of John R. Barrett

Berg Family Charitable Foundation

Eleanor and Leonard Blanchart

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Inc.

Ida Broward and Crowther M. Boyd

Helen L. and J. Brooks Brown

CSX Transportation

Cadence Design Systems Inc.

Comcast Corporation

Toni and Andy Crawford

Gerri K. and John T. Hayt

Kernan and George Hodges

Delores M. Kesler

Nancy T. and Ira M. Koger

Irene and Gasper Lazzara

The Radford Lovett Family

National Paper Trade Association

Katherine S. and Russell B. Newton III

The Bernard Osher Foundation

The PGA Tour Inc.

Pajcic & Pajcic

Betty and Tom Petway

Miyuki and Herb Scheidel

The Schultz Foundation Inc.

Jody and Layton F. Smith

David A. Stein

The Family of Martin E. Stein Sr.

June and Bruce Taylor

Mary Virginia and C. Herman Terry

Maureen and Ronald Townsend


Delores Barr and J. Wayne Weaver

World Affairs Council of Jacksonville Inc.

Vulcan Materials Company Foundation 


$500,000 and above 


The Cascone Family Foundation

John B. Coxwell

Cheryl and Carl Doughty

EverBank Financial Corporation

Fidelity National Financial/Fidelity Information Systems

Jennifer and Chuck Ged

Debbie and Mel Gottlieb


Diane and Steve Halverson

JM Family Enterprises

Mayo Clinic

Memorial Hospital Jacksonville Auxiliary Inc.

Stephanie and Gerald Mitchell

Charles M. Neviaser Charitable Foundation

PSS World Medical

River Branch Foundation

J. Quinton Rumph

The St. Joe Company

St. Vincent’s HealthCare

Wells Fargo

Winn-Dixie Stores


Around Campus

Relay for Life raises cash, awareness and hope for a cure

The Relay for Life is a day-long event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. It is not too late to sign up to join the Relay for Life effort at UNF.


The annual 24-hour Relay for Life event is not only a celebration of life, but a much-needed fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. The funds raised by individuals and teams are used to help fight cancer and to create a world with more birthdays and where cancer cannot claim another year of anyone’s life.


This year, the event will take place April 8 and 9 at the J.B. Coxwell Ampitheater at the UNF Student Union. The UNF faculty and staff have their own team and new members are still welcome.


“The Relay for Life is a chance for UNF faculty and staff to show our students and community that there is more to our school than classes and sports,” said Carl Holman, the captain of this year’s team, marketing/publicity chair for the event, assistant director for Marketing and Communications for Public Relations in Institutional Advancement and a 36-year survivor of kidney cancer. “By giving back through the Relay for Life, we are able to impact our community in a positive, meaningful way. Giving an hour of your time to walk really equates many miles in the fight against cancer.”


If you would like to join the UNF team and make a difference in battling this disease, simply visit and follow the instructions for joining an established team. It is that simple to help fight back.

Faculty and Staff

  Brooks College of Health

Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences: Dr. Shana Harrington, associate professor of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy, recently published a peer-reviewed journal article “Comparison of Shoulder Flexibility, Strength, and Function between Breast Cancer Survivors and Healthy Participants” in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. Her co-authors were D.A. Padua, C. Battaglini, L.A. Michener, C. Guiliani, J. Myers, and D. Groff.


Public Health: Dr. Teresa Tuason, associate professor of Public Health, received the 2011 Susan B. Anthony Award from the University of North Florida Women’s Center. 


Dr. Teresa Tuason, associate professor of Public Health, recently published with a student, M. Wakely, “Tasks of Acceptance: Mothers of Lesbian Daughters” in the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, Vol. 23, No. 1.


Dr. Michele Moore, associate professor of Public Health, recently published a peer-reviewed journal article “Brief Integrative Multiple Behavior Intervention Effects and Mediators for Adolescents” in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine,Vol. 34, No. 1. Her co-authors were S.C. Ames, H. Bian, J. Carlson, C.C. DiClemente, I. Huang, S.B. Pokorny, D. Thombs, R.M. Weiler, C.E. Werch.


Coggin College of Business


Marketing and Logistics: Dr. Adel I. El-Ansary published Shelby D. Hunt’s Contributions to Scholarship in Marketing Channels” in Legends in Marketing: Shelby D. Hunt, Vol. 4, Channels of Distribution, edited by James R. Brown. In this volume of the serial publication, El-Ansary discusses the contributions Shelby Hunt developed with his mentors at Ohio State in the late 1960s. The Legends in Marketing series features three marketing faculty at UNF: El-Ansary and Dr. Gregory Gundlach on Shelby Hunt, and Dr. A.C. “Josh” Samli in a forthcoming volume on Phillip Kotler. Samli also made two presentations at the 11th International Research Conference in February. His topics were “Sustainability and Quality of Life Through Innovation” and “Innovation and Sustainability: A Cross Cultural Analysis.”


College of Arts & Sciences 


Chemistry: Dr. Kenneth K. Laali presented a paper with Sarah N. Waters titled “Synthesis of Imidazolium, Pyridinium, and Pyrazolium Ionic Liquids (ILs) Bearing Electron Withdrawing Substituents (NO2, CF3, F) and Low Nucleophilicity Counter ions [N(OTf)2, OTf]; Application as DesignerSolvents/Catalysts in Organic Synthesis” at the  Joint 66th Southwest and 62nd Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans in December 2010.


Physics: Dr. Lev Gasparov published “Polaronic Conductivity in the Photoinduced Phase of 1T-TaS2” with H. Berger, A. Cavalleri, N. Dean, D. Fausti, L.V. Gasparov, S. Kaiser, J. C. Petersen and R. I. Tobey in Physics Review Letters, Vol. 106.


Psychology: Dr. Christopher Leone published a paper (with Joshua Clarkson and Zakary Tormala) titled “A Self-validation Perspective on the Mere Thought Effect” in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,Vol. 47, pages 449-454. Leone also made three presentations at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology: “Self-generated Attitude Change and Intergroup Relations: Some Effects of Thought and Cross-categorization” (with Matt Valente); “Sex Stereotypes and Child Sexual Abuse: Perceived Power and Victimization” (with LouAnne Hawkins and Iqra Javed); and “Self-monitoring and Self-selection to Employment Opportunities” (with Rachel Smith and Michael Harari).


Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. George Candler published, with co-authors Ariston Azevêdo and Renata Ovenhausen Albernaz, “Toward Global Scholarship in Public Administration,” in Public Administration (London), Vol. 88, No. 3. He gave an invited presentation on “Responsibilidade Cívica e Governance Moderna,” at the Seminário Internacional de Governança Pública, École Nationale d’Administration Brasil, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil in November 2010 and presented “An Integrated, International Approach to Paradigms of Public Administration,” at the Southeast Conference on Public Administration in Wilmington, N.C., in October.


Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Jenny M. Stuber published “Integrated, Marginal, Resilient: Race, Class, and the Diverse Experience of White First-Generation College Students” in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Vol. 24, pages 117-136.


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction 


School of Engineering: Dr. Chris Brown worked with students at Lee, Orange Park, Creekside and Englewood high schools in the model concrete canoe competition sponsored by the UNF/ Society of American Military Engineers. Brown also served as a judge at the Engineers’ Week High School Challenge at the U.S. Corps of Engineers.  


Dr. Adel El Safty organized a guest presentation by Dr. Sami Rizkalla, North Carolina State University Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering on “Innovative Use of Fiber Reinforced Polymers for Precast Concrete.” El Safty also participated in the Engineering Merit Badge Clinic held at UNF for more than 120 Boy Scouts. apr_boyscouts 


Dr. James Fletcher received a $2.7 million research grant from the U.S. Department of the Army for the continued development of a “Militarized Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) Laptop Power Supply.”


Jean Fryman, community outreach coordinator, participated in several outreach activities during the month of March. She helped host incoming freshmen at the School of Engineering’s annual Spring Open House, Feb. 19. She also organized a visit of more than 150 elementary, middle and high school girls to the Society of Women’s Engineers 5th Annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Feb. 24. She also worked with the Schools of Engineering and Computing and the departments of Biology, Physics and Chemistry to partner with community organizations to sponsor “Expanding Your Horizons North Florida.” The national conference encourages young women in grades 6, 7 and 8 to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The event was took place Feb. 26 in the UNF University Center.


Drs. Pat Welsh and Dave Lambert participated in the National Weather Service sponsored Weather Fest at UNF Feb. 26. They demonstrated UNF-developed technology projects associated with the Hurricane Disaster Assessment Rapid Response Team (HDARRT). These projects are designed to use geospatial and HD-video camera technologies to document tornado damage embedded within hurricane wind field debris. Graduate student Mike Toth and staff members Robert Richardson and Terry Smith all contributed substantially to the development of the Rapid Assessment Team Video Vehicle (RATV2) on display for the event.


College of Education & Human Services 

Childhood Education: Dr. Katie Monnin was interviewed on Action News about Florida Writes: Camp Composition that she ran with Dr. Christine Weber in January and February. The camp focused on building students' lifelong and FCAT writing skills and was a tremendous success. Monnin was also a guest author at the Jacksonville library’s annual Much Ado About Books event.
Drs. Elizabeth Fullerton, Gigi David and Katrina Hall and Pam Bell (Child Development & Research Center) presented their Prek-Park Engaged Department Grant work to Dr. Mark Falbo, Heather Burk and Melissa Tiberio of the Center for Community-Based Learning in December. Theresa Levy, director of Early Education for the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA), provided information to Hall’s Teaching Beginning Reading and Writing students in preparation for work in the preschool classrooms. The collaboration with JCA allows UNF students the opportunity to develop positive relationships and gain experience with diverse preschools in the community.

Dr. Nile Stanley has recently published two articles. The first article, authored with Brett Dillingham is titled “Making Learners Click with Digital Storytelling” and was published in the February issue of Language Magazine. The second article, authored with Brooke Langston-Demott, is titled “Using Storytelling to Teach Science and Social Studies” and was published in the Winter 2010/2011 issue of the Florida Reading Journal.
Foundations and Secondary Education: As part of a six-credit-hour independent study with then-graduate student Katie Black, Dr. John White developed a plan for a school-wide curriculum centered around a school production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”With the play in the early production stages, they created the idea to center lessons on Jewish culture and anti-Semitism. Black then further developed, disseminated and carried out the curriculum across content areas and grades at Episcopal High School. Actors in the play included middle and high school students, teachers, administrators, staff, coaches, football players and local community members. The experience was chronicled in a paper that was accepted for published at the Eastern Educational Research Association. The paper was subsequently accepted for publication in Teaching Theater.

Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Dr. E. Newton Jackson Jr. received the 2011 Southern District Association of American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Honor Award. This is the highest award bestowed to professionals in the Southern District AAHPERD (which comprises the 13 southeastern/southern U.S. states). The recipients of this award have made significant contributions over an extended period of time. It was presented Feb. 19 at the Southern District Association Conference in Greensboro, N.C.

Get to Know

Dr. Adel El Safty

 Dr. Adel El Satfy (photo by Jennifer Grissom)Department: School of Engineering - Civil

Job: Associate Professor
Years at UNF: Five 
What do you do at UNF? Describe your job duties. 

I teach all the structural engineering courses and perform research with FDOT and the PCI.

Tell us about your family. 

My wife is a computer engineer and we have three children. Mariam is in 7th grade, Summer is in 3rd grade and Adam is 3 years old.

What is the best thing you ever won?  

Prestressed Concrete Institute Foundation grant to establish the first engineering design studio in the U.S.

What person had the greatest impact on your life? 

My mother and my father

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

Donate half of it to cancer research and children’s hospitals and research/treatment programs, then travel around the world with my wife and kids


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

A physician. I would like to be able to treat patients and contribute to the community’s health.

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?  

Great people, beautiful campus, great faculty and staff, wonderful group of students


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

Working at another academic institution

What is your favorite way to blow an hour?  

Play chess

What was the best money you ever spent?  

Buying gifts for my friends in my travels to Italy, England and Egypt

What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?  

Every moment that I feel I contributed something valuable is the happiest moment.


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

The first concert was in Cairo more than 30 years ago and the most recent was at UNF.
What are you most passionate about?  


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

Accomplish great research that competes with the top-tier schools


What would you like to do when you retire?  

I would like to do engineering consultations and mentor young engineers.

Good Question

apr_goodquest_milk Q:  From Charlene Davis, academic adviser, Academic Center for Excellence — I just popped over to Outtakes for a carton of milk and much to my shock and dismay, I was charged sales tax. Can you tell me why milk would be taxed? 


A:  From Dave Jordan, resident district manager, Chartwells — Outtakes Quick Cuisine is considered a restaurant and not a convenience store. When food products are sold for immediate consumption on or off the premises, they are not exempt from sales tax. Premises are broadly construed to mean any location with seating or adjacent seating such as a courtyard.

 Q: From Linda Burks, program assistant, Admissions — Are there any plans to expand or change the employee work out area in Building 53? 


A: From Shari Shuman, vice president, Administration and Finance — There are no plans to expand the fitness center in Building 53. From time to time, we do make changes to the equipment. 


Q:  From Kate Mattingly Learch, study abroad adviser, International Business Flagship Program — I’ve heard rumors that the police on campus do not generally ticket drivers for speeding because UNF wants to be viewed as a “friendly” campus. If this is the case, then what measures are taken to ensure that speed limits are observed and the UNF community is kept safe? 


A:  From John Dean, chi ef of police, University Police Department — That rumor would be incorrect. There has been no change in our traffic law enforcement.


Q:  From Cindy Chin, executive secretary, Faculty Association Office — Several glass doors were reinstalled around the UNF Campus for the purpose of the campus security system. Do we have to update our Intellikeys ? What other features we have to be aware for the new system of the doors? Can we have more information about this new facility for the Campus? 


A: From Wallace Harris, associate director, Physical Facilities — The new doors are being installed for two reasons. Reason one is to facilitate the installation of new electronic hardware that will allow exterior doors to be locked remotely per a computerized schedule. The second reason for the mass change out of the doors is that in most cases the doors have reached the end of their functional life. In order to allow for a smooth transition, once the new system is installed and prior to activation, Physical Facilities will meet with departments housed in the buildings to ascertain the optimal schedule to electronically lock and unlock a building. Once the schedule has been implemented, all building occupants with existing Intellikey access within the facility will be automatically added to the newly installed locks at the exterior of the buildings. The primary reason for the locks on the exterior of the building is to allow faculty and staff members to be able to access a facility after hours if a need should ever arise without having to unlock the entire building.    


 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 Cathy Cole at 


august dateline Milestone Anniversaries 

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


10 Years: 

James Lambert, Associate Professor, Building Construction Management

Cristina Yadao, Associate Director, Foundation Accounting, Training and Services Institute


Five Years: 

Mary Stumph, Legal Secretary, General Counsel



The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions from mid-February to mid-March:


Mauricio Cadena, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Davis Friedman, Coordinator, Student Financial Services, Enrollment Services Processing Office

Jay Fuller, Academic Adviser, College of Arts and Sciences

Christina Levine, Assistant Director of Development, Brooks College of Health

Cherisse Sumner, Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources

Judith Vaesa, Office Manager, Child Development Research Center 

Kellie Vaughn, Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities



Marie Mobley, a program assistant in Urban Internship,volunteered at the annual 26.2 With Donna National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer Feb. 13. It marked her fourth year as a volunteer, in support of her friend Michelle Ragans, a four-year breast cancer survivor. Mobley medaled the winner of the race, Kennedy Kemei from Kenya, who won the race in an unofficial time of 2 hours 20 minutes. Marie was thrilled at the opportunity and intends to run the half marathon of 13.1 miles next year.

Lauren Tallier, a coordinator of Student Financial Aid in the Enrollment Services Processing Office, received her master’s of education degree from UNF at the December commencement.


Deborah Williams-Watson, an academic adviser in the College of Arts and Sciences, recently received her doctorate of philosophy degree in clinical Christian psychology from the Jacksonville Theological Seminary. The Jacksonville native has a bachelor of science degree in psychology from UNF and a master’s from Florida International University.


Jeff Steagall, a longtime UNF Economics and Geography faculty member, announced he has taken a position as the dean of the Goddard School of Business and Economics at Weber State University in Utah. His appointment begins this May.


Expert weighs in on choosing a sport for children

Dr. Jennifer KaneChoosing the right sport for your child can be the most important thing you can do for a young athlete. The differences among desired abilities in sports can be vast. Here’s what Dr. Jennifer J. Kane, UNF sport management professor, has to say about selecting the right sport for your child.


What should be considered when choosing a sport for your child? 

First, parents need to be sure that the sport is developmentally appropriate and safe for their child. Young children have a short attention span and are not able to engage in sports that require strategy; therefore, the sport should address those considerations. Sports such as gymnastics, cycling, dance, karate, modified soccer and t-ball are good choices for kids under the age of 7 years old. Children over the age of 7 may be ready for activities that require more complex rules and strategy like basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, flag football and volleyball.


What other considerations are there? 

Once the parent has determined which sports are developmentally appropriate and safe, the child should take the lead on which one(s) they are most interested in playing. Parents should expose their children to as many sports as possible, so that the child is able to make informed choices. The bottom line should be that, as long as it is safe and appropriate, the child should choose the sport activity that they enjoy and that provides them the opportunity to be active.



Should children participate in team sports or individual sports? 

Parents should take a look at their child’s personality and, with the child, decide which is best for them. Some children love competition and being a part of a team. Other children don’t like the pressure that can often be associated with that and prefer to participate in a sport activity that is less competitive and in which no one is depending on them for a victory.


Is it OK to let your child quit if they don’t like the activity they choose? 

It’s important to talk to your child prior to the start of the activity about the commitment that is required. It’s best to start new activities with short-term commitments. For example, many activities for young children can be done on a month-to-month basis, so that if the child decides he/she doesn’t like the activity, it can be stopped in a short period of time. In contrast, some seasons are as long as three to four months with frequent practices and games. This is a commitment that needs serious consideration from the entire family. Participation in sports is a family commitment and should be treated as such. If the parent feels that the environment is not safe or that it’s detrimental to the child, obviously it’s time to move on.


Are there some reliable resources available for parents? 

Yes, the National Alliance for Youth Sports — — is an excellent resource for parents and coaches. Parents can also call their local YMCA organization and speak with the sports director.


Every month, the column “Ask UNF” runs in Inside and The Florida Times-Union, promoting the expertise of UNF faculty and staff. 


The Goods

The Goods on eggplant

apr_eggplantEggplant is low in fat, cholesterol and sodium and contains many nutrients invaluable for good health. Shahla Khan, a senior adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida, discusses myths and facts about this fruit. To help you use it in your diet, a recipe is provided following this article.


Myth: Eggplant is a vegetable. 


Fact: While it’s generally thought of as a vegetable, eggplant is actually a fruit. The eggplant, aubergine, melongene, brinjal, or guinea squash is a plant of the family Solanaceae. Eggplant is grown for its usually egg-shaped fleshy fruit and is eaten as a cooked vegetable. Some even consider it to be a berry.


Myth: Consuming eggplant causes insanity and can be poisonous. 


Fact: Because eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, some people believe the purple bulb variety is associated with the mandrake plant and is poisonous, and if you eat it, you will go insane. Some people also think nightshade vegetables are harmful because they’re confusing them with “deadly nightshade,” an inedible weed that’s also part of the Solanaceae family. Historically, deadly nightshade has been associated with witchcraft. When ingested in large amounts, it’s believed to cause convulsions or even death. But that has nothing to do with eggplant. 


Myth: Eggplant always has to be salted before cooking to remove its bitter taste. 


Fact: The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste. Salting and then rinsing the sliced fruit (a process called “disgorging”) may soften and remove some of the bitterness. Some varieties of eggplant do not need this treatment as they are far less bitter.  The fruit is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and the salting process may reduce the amount of oil absorbed.


Myth: Eggplant contains some unhealthy compounds. 


Fact: The health benefits of this nightshade fruit far outweigh any risks. Eggplants contain many nutrients that are invaluable to health: potassium, manganese, copper, vitamins B1, B3 and B6, folate, magnesium and tryptophan, to mention just a few. In addition to those nutrients, eggplants are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol, and one cup of cooked eggplant has about 30 calories. Eggplants also contain health-enhancing phytochemicals.


Myth: When purchasing eggplant, the bigger the better. 


Fact: Smaller, immature eggplants are best. Their seeds will be softer, and they are less likely to be bitter. Eggplants are very perishable and get bitter with age. They should have firm, taut, smooth and shiny skins. Once the skin starts to wrinkle or you feel and see soft brown spots, the quality of the eggplant has lessened. Large, oversized eggplants may be tough, seedy and bitter.



Eggplant Casserole 


1 eggplant sliced in 1/4 inch slices


Cooking or olive oil

Tomato sauce

Shredded mozzarella cheese


Flour each slice of eggplant and fry in a little oil until brown on each side. Drain on paper towels, and then layer in a casserole dish. Between each layer, add a teaspoon of tomato sauce on each slice and add shredded mozzarella. One eggplant usually makes three layers in an 8-incy by 2-inch casserole dish. Top with mozzarella as the final topping. Then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese starts bubbling.


Have a question about eggplant? Contact Khan at “The Goods” monthly column runs every third Thursday in the Taste section of The Florida Times-Union, promoting UNF nutrition faculty and featuring myths and facts about various foods.