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InsideFebruary 2011

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Faculty, staff and students give back to community

Housing and Residence Life staff members (front row, left to right) Dennis Holler, Sonia Moyeno, Francine Green, Bonnie Lagasse, Billy Duke, (back row, left to right) Mark Samon, Billy Moses and Joshua Harwell show their support of the 26.2 with Donna - National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. University of North Florida faculty, staff and students are no strangers to helping one another out. In fact, several groups on campus work hard to ensure that they give back as much as they get.


The UNF Housing and Residence Life Department raised $570 in support of The 26.2 with Donna – National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. The Donna Run, as it is known around Jacksonville, was founded by WTLV First Coast News Anchor Donna Deegan. A three-time breast cancer survivor, Deegan began the Donna Foundation to help other breast cancer victims make ends meet while battling the disease. Also an avid marathoner, Deegan brought her two passions together and created the only marathon in the United States that is dedicated to exclusively raising funds for breast cancer research and care. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic and to women living with breast cancer through The Donna Foundation.


Dennis Holler, a maintenance mechanic in Housing and Residence Life, is also an avid marathoner and thought the Donna Run would be a great way to get his co-workers involved. After getting both permission and support for the effort, Holler was instrumental in creating the “Let’s Get Casual” campaign to raised much-needed funds. Employees who donated to the cause were able to wear jeans on specially designated Fridays during the fall semester.


“Two years ago, I got involved with The Donna Foundation and the 26.2 with Donna,” Holler said from his office on campus. “I love running and wanted to find a way to bring this Jacksonville effort back to campus and the office. After talking to our director, we decided to fund-raise not only for the 26.2 for The Donna Foundation itself.”


They were successful. Staff members created a buzz about it and would chat throughout the week about what jeans they were going to wear and how the donations were going to make a difference right here in the Jacksonville community.


Holler said, “It started off as something really simple and turned out to be a great way to show people outside in the community what is going on at UNF and what matters to us. As a university, it is important that we are not only touching the lives of our students, but that we are involved in the community as part of Jacksonville. Many universities are associated closely with the towns in which they are established with a great deal of mutual name recognition – and we have that here. UNF is associated directly with Jacksonville and we have a responsibility to give back to the community.”


Holler graduated from UNF in 2000 and said that the town-grown connection has always been a part of his life on campus. He said it was important to him then and remains important to him now as a staff member to see the University grow. He wants today’s students to see faculty and staff very visibly doing things in and for the community. As a New York City transplant, Holler said he has adopted Jacksonville and finds this annual run a great way to do his part.


“This is my passion,” Holler said. “I joke with everyone that my wife enjoys running so I enjoy it by proxy and it always gets a laugh, but it is true. She loves running and I have come to love it, too. I jumped at this chance and when I suggested it in the office, they jumped all over it, as well. People were talking about it for days. Next year, we want to open it up to the whole campus community. When I presented the idea, I had aspirations of maybe raising a couple of hundred dollars. But to raise nearly $600 blew me away. I can’t wait to see what we can do next year.”


And it is not just faculty and staff who are jumping at the chance to get involved in philanthropic efforts on and around campus. Students involved with the third annual Dance Marathon jumped, jived and jigged their way to raise more than $28,000 for Children's Miracle Network of Northeast Florida/Southeast

Georgia. The Network is dedicated to improving the health and welfare of all children by raising funds and awareness for the pediatric program at Shands Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The funds raised stay in the community to improve health care for local children.


Levi Porter, co-chair of the event, said more than 250 students participated in the event last semester and made the commitment to raise not only much-needed funding but to stay on their feet for the entire 17 hours and three minutes of the event. The length of the event is significant because the 17 represents the 17 million children served at Children’s Miracle hospitals each year and three represents the number of years the event has taken place on the UNF campus.


“Most of us have been in a situation when we have needed the benefit of the good will or services of others,” Porter said. “But unlike us, some of these children do not get the opportunity to live a full life and we want to help in any way we can by raising money for to make to specialized training available to medical personnel or to purchase much-needed equipment.”


“Children’s Miracle Network is thrilled to see that Dance Marathon at UNF has grown to a phenomenal new level this year,” said Kelly Novak, community development coordinator for Children's Miracle Network of Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia. “The funds raised by these students will directly benefit the pediatric programs at Shands Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.”


Funds raised by Dance Marathon are used to purchase critically needed medical equipment, child life resources and educational materials for these hospitals. Since the inception of Dance Marathon at the University of North Florida, the students have successfully raised more than $61,000 for the cause. This year’s event saw a $10,000 increase in funds raised over the previous year.


“We have a pretty strong climate of giving on campus,” Porter said. “Our students, faculty and staff have a desire to do good – especially in things that are going to benefit the whole of our community.”

Around Campus

Calling all flagship program proposals

President John Delaney addresses the crowd gathered to celebrate the announcement of UNF's first flagship program. Proprosals for the fifth academic flagship are now being accepted.For the first time in five years, UNF President John Delaney and Provost Mark Workman are inviting individual faculty members, faculty teams and directors to submit academic flagship program proposals. Through this presidential initiative designed to strengthen UNF’s core competencies and advance its aspiration to become a regional institution of national quality, the duo is looking for the next program to grant the prestigious flagship designation.


Delaney, Workman and a six-member Flagship Committee are hoping to see an influx of varied proposals submitted by the Feb. 14 application deadline. They’re looking for graduate or undergraduate programs that excel in the “scholarly accomplishments of their faculty and demonstrate potential of those faculty to sustain a trajectory toward scholarly distinction, [have] potential to produce particularly compelling or exceptional educational outcomes for students [and] power to link the quality of education at UNF to a range of civic needs in the region,” according to the Flagship Program Overview listed on the Academic Affairs website.


“We’re looking for programs that are already distinctive in terms of the focus and quality of research carried out within them; we’re looking at the potential of those programs to really advance student learning and educational opportunities; and we’re looking at the potential of those programs to make a difference regionally,” Workman said. “There are so many possible varieties across those three criteria that programs could take any number of forms and still meet those criteria.”


Programs that make the grade and are selected as flagships receive significant budgetary support from the University for at least five years to allow for growth, whether it means hiring new faculty, bringing in national experts as directors or making significant program enhancements. That’s all spelled out in the programs’ initial proposals. When the University launched the first call for flagship proposals in 2005, the idea was that flagship programs would also receive enough external funding to become self-sustaining within the first five years, although Workman said that expectation has been somewhat tempered over the years.


“Some of the programs have indeed leveraged University support and flagship designation to solicit substantial external support, but we know now it probably is unrealistic of us to think that they could get so much support as to sustain their activity at the same level they can achieve with full University funding,” Workman said. “And our shift in expectations is in part a function of the fact that after we funded these programs, the country went into a recession so the availability of external dollars is not abundant.”


The School of Nursing in the Brooks College of Health was the first program to receive flagship status in 2005 — to further refine its nationally distinctive community-based and population-focused undergraduate nursing curriculum, which it has successfully accomplished with the additional flagship funding. The next year, four other programs were selected as flagship programs: International Business and Transportation & Logistics, both in the Coggin College of Business, and Coastal Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Dr. Li Loriz, director of the School of Nursing and a member of the Flagship Committee that will be reviewing proposals, said the biggest benefit of becoming a flagship program is resources.


“[Having access to extra resources] is particularly important now, when economic resources are so tight,” Loriz said. “There is also a sense of pride that comes with the flagship designation. You feel you are finally validated and supported for all the good work the program has done and proposes to do in the future.”


Funding is undoubtedly the most tangible benefit to programs designated as flagships, but perhaps equally important is “the prestige that comes along with having a formal designation as a program that’s been recognized by the University as distinctive and as having the potential to rise to an even higher level of quality with adequate resources,” Workman said. “And I think each of the programs that has received such funding and such designation has used the resources and the badge of honor to that end. So I think it’s been effective.”


Workman said ultimately the president started this initiative by way of raising the visibility and reputation of UNF — and the University’s flagship programs definitely have contributed to that end.


In some cases, the visibility and reputation of the University’s flagship programs draw in regional or national experts to become a part of those programs.


“We had a collection of faculty with interest and talent in Coastal Biology, but it wasn’t until we hired an external director that that program really took on coherence,” Workman said. “[Dr.] Courtney [Hackney] brought with him such knowledge of the discipline, as a coastal biologist himself, and such a broad range of acquaintances across the discipline that his presence really helped galvanize our resources into a concerted effort.”


Loriz encourages faculty and program directors to take the time to carefully craft and submit proposals because this is an important opportunity to “think outside the box” and make important program changes.


“This is the time to think about the future and how the program can be enhanced,” she said. “Through this recognition and support, you can help UNF to continue to make a mark in higher education.”


Workman is eager to receive and review the various forthcoming flagship program proposals, although he says so far they’re “in the dark” about which programs will be submitting applications.


“The committee this time wrote a call for proposals that was deliberately less prescriptive than the former calls, to encourage and allow for a diversity of proposals. So I think we all stand to be surprised and delighted by what comes forward,” he said.


Once the Feb. 14 deadline has been reached, members of the Flagship Committee will review the proposals, identify their strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations to Workman and Delaney, who will make the final selection together.


“The Flagship Committee by March 4 recommends to me, I’ll consult with the president and the president will make the announcement before the end of the term,” Workman said.


The Request for Flagship Program Proposals, including proposal guidelines and requirements, is available online at

Around Campus

Juan Williams to speak at MLK Scholarship Luncheon

Juan WilliamsJuan Williams, a journalist, author and political commentator, will be the keynote speaker at the 30th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Luncheon presented by the University of North Florida’s Intercultural Center for PEACE. The program will begin at noon Thursday, Feb. 24, in the University Center Banquet Hall.


“This was personal for me,” said Oupa Seane, the director of the Intercultural Center for PEACE.  “Many years ago when I first came to the United States, I was very much interested in black authors and the first book I read was Mr. Williams’ ‘Thurgood Marshall: An American Revolutionary.’ I thought the book was fantastically written.”


 Seane said not only is he a huge fan of Juan Williams and his body of work, so is UNF Provost Mark Workman, who has a personal connection to the author. Workman and Williams attended the same university as undergraduates. “The provost had been talking to me for the past two years about bringing Williams to campus and this was the year I was able to do it. We have had many wonderful speakers on campus but I am so excited about having Juan deliver this address in particular,” Seane said.


 Workman said, “I recommended him to Oupa because Mr. Williams is a prominent and articulate public intellectual who has produced informed and compelling studies of the civil rights movement.  I believe that Mr. Williams’ stature makes him a worthy speaker for our MLK Luncheon, an event that I regard as among the most important on the annual UNF calendar.”

Seane said Williams is one of the rare journalists; one who looks at issues from all sides and finds it necessary to have a polite conversation with others whose opinion differs from his. The topic for the MLK Luncheon speech is “Eye on the Prize: America and the Dream.” Williams’ remarks will look at Civil Rights then and now, the historical foundations of the movement and the contemporary realities.


 “I do hope he touches on the recent tragedy in Arizona,” Seane said. “I think he can deliver a message of reconciliation, a message of unity, a message of civil discourse, a message of understanding.”


 Williams’ career reflects his ability to discuss hot topics with tempered emotion through intellect and insight. He spent more than 20 years at The Washington Post, as an award-winning editorial writer, op-ed columnist and White House correspondent.  He has also written for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and has been published in magazines including The Atlantic Monthly and Time.  Williams also wrote six highly regarded books on the state of the U.S., including “Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America – And What We Can Do About It.”  He also wrote the “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965” and the aforementioned tome on Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Williams was a senior news analyst for National Public Radio (NPR) from 1999 until October 2010.  


 Williams’ contract with NPR was infamously terminated when he made on-air remarks about Muslims. A guest on the Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Williams said he got nervous on airplanes if any of his fellow passengers were wearing Muslim garb. Following a public outcry, NPR ended its relationship with the longtime journalist who had won several awards for fairness in reporting.            


 “I am going to ask him to touch on his experience with NPR,” Seane said. “Many of my own friends and colleagues were very upset when he was let go and I think that people are very interested in what really happened.”

Individual tickets and corporate tables may be purchased online at or at the UNF Ticket Box Office in the Arts and Science Building, Building 8, Room 1100, or by calling (904) 620-2878. For more information about the luncheon itself, call the Intercultural Center for PEACE at (904) 620-2475.


 This is the 30th anniversary of the luncheon and it is going to be very special,” Seane said. “We are going to have a great speaker, some lively entertainment and we are going to be celebrating our students. In its history, the luncheon has raised and distributed more than $77,000 in scholarships. We have educated many students – students who have gone on to careers in government, in outstanding companies, in education. We are very proud of what the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon has done. Dr. King would have been very, very pleased.”

Around Campus

New grant will help keep campus safer

UNF Police Chief John Dean In the event of an emergency, the University of North Florida campus just got a little safer, thanks to a $120,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security.


If and when a disaster strikes campus, the Crisis Management Team (CMT) kicks into high gear to keep the students, faculty and staff out of harm’s way. The CMT is charged with ensuring the safety of the campus and making sure every member of the UNF community is as informed as they possibly can be – and that is where the grant money comes in.


“The communication equipment in the department is ancient,” said University Police Chief John Dean. “This grant will allow us to move into the 21st century in terms of communication.”


The money actually is from a federal Justice Assistant Grant (JAG) through the Department of Homeland Security. The much-needed funds will go to outfit the Mobile Command Unit with a plug-and-play mobile communication console that will allow the University Police to be in constant contact with one another and other law enforcement agencies in the area.


The Mobile Command Unit is used whenever and wherever it is needed, can be set up just about anywhere on campus and is totally self-supporting for about to 48 hours. If a disaster strikes, the UPD will be ready to respond to anyone on campus who needs help.


“If anything occurs on campus, we can be there and fully functioning within a short amount of time and for as long as necessary,” Dean said. “We can virtually run the show from the middle of a parking lot. And, if need be, we can communicate with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the three beach police departments and the Emergency Operations Center. That allows us to tap into a whole host of resources for our campus community.”


Lieutenant Crystal Serrano, manager of police communication, wrote the grant for the department. She worked with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to determine what equipment would be compatible with the system already in place and then began gathering quotes for the exact equipment necessary. A great deal of research and investigation went into the grant proposal, with Serrano doing most of the work herself.


“I worked up the quote and then wrote the application and the grant itself,” Serrano said. “We heard back from them in about a month and a half.”


“That was pretty quick,” Dean said. “Most grants take anywhere from six months to a year-plus. We were very pleased with the outcome and the timeline.”


Dean said the grant came at just the right time. “Without this grant money, we simply would not have been able to upgrade our communication system.”


 In the past year, the University has invested nearly half a million dollars into upgrades that barely scratched the surface in terms of disaster preparedness.


 “It is all part of a multi-phased plan to get us where we need to be,” Dean said. The University allocated about $300,000 for new portable radios recently that allowed the 29 sworn officers and 19 staff members to communicate in real time and all across the 1,381-acre campus. Another $80,000 was used to purchase a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system to allow specially trained police officers to get first responders on the scene as quickly as possible.


 “We want to make sure we are not caught short and we have what we need to do our job and keep this campus and students safe,” Dean said.

Around Campus

New MOCA exhibit showcases American chair design

A House of Representatives Chamber arm chair from 1857 is one of the featured pieces in MOCA's "The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design" exhibit.Most chairs encountered throughout the day define themselves fairly simply – a place at the family table, a comfortable spot with a great view of the river, a seat of corporate power. But when looking at the 40-plus chairs selected for “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design,” there is so much more. These works of art have compelling stories to tell about our national history, the evolution of American design and incredible artistry and craftsmanship. 


“The Art of Seating,” an exhibition which opened Jan. 21, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, provides the region with a unique opportunity to see chair types previously only seen in major Northeast museums or withheld from public display in private homes. The American Chair Collection, the center of this exhibition, is an amazing and comprehensive private collection of iconic and historic chairs from the early 1800s through today’s studio movement. 


The exhibition also offers a glimpse into the dedication and passion of a private collector who worked with scholars, conservators, photographers and MOCA’s curatorial staff to bring this show together. “The exhibition provides us with an opportunity to see readily recognizable pieces mixed with some gems rarely seen by the public,” said Thomas Serwatka, UNF chief of staff and interim director of MOCA.  


A free educational symposium from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, in the University Center provides the public with a chance to learn from the collector, chair designers and international artists. Among the featured speakers are renowned antiques expert Judith Miller, author of more than 100 books and a BBC television personality; Benjamin Pardo, director of design for Knoll, a leading chair manufacturing firm; and artists Vivian Beer, Jon Brooks and Jacksonville-based Dolf James (who’s large-scale sculpture will adorn the museum’s atrium during the run of the exhibition). 


The creation of the chair collection began with the purchase of an Egyptian Revival side chair and has since blossomed throughout the past eight years to the more than 40 works on display in this exhibition. The American Chair Collection started as a way to provide further context to the Thomas H. and Diane D. Jacobsen Collection of American paintings, sculpture, silver and furniture, acquired during the early 1990s. In November 2005, Jacobsen brought some of the best works in the collection to the Cummer Museum for an exhibition that honored her late husband’s life and memory. 


"The Art of Seating” takes the viewer into the design studio through patent drawings, documented upholstery, artist renderings and multimedia presentations. Selections from the Jacobsen Collection of American Art offer a stylistic journey in furniture with showstoppers by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, the Herter Brothers, the Stickley Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Gehry and others still waiting to be discovered.  The exhibition will also feature contemporary and historic designs by some of the biggest furniture manufacturers such as Knoll, Herman Miller and Steelcase. Specially created pedestals and interior spaces designed by Designmind’s Larry Wilson will add dramatic presentation elements.


Perhaps the most illustrious piece of history in this collection is that of the House of Representatives Chamber arm chair from 1857. Designed by Thomas U. Walter, architect of the Capitol from 1851 to 1865, the House of Representatives chairs were created to be used in the halls of Congress and were showcased in portraits of political leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.


In conjunction with “The Art of Seating,” the museum is providing several other educational and celebratory activities, including MOCA’s annual gala Saturday, March 12, and a series of public lectures and films. For more information about “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design” and its related activities, visit or call MOCA at (904) 366-6911.


This exhibition is generously sponsored by MOCA’s Partners in Excellence.


Season Sponsors : Mrs. Donald M. Cox; GrayRobinson, P.A.; Haskell; Parker Vision; Perdue Office Interiors; and WJCT Public Broadcasting


Contributing Sponsors: Agility Press; AT&T Advertising Solutions; BlueCross/BlueShield of Florida; Brunet-García Advertising & P.R.; Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville; Emeco; Florida Financial Group; Ken Klein; Knoll; The Lazzara Foundation; PRI Productions Inc.; The State of Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs; and Larry Wilson, ASID, IIDA, of Designmind


Around Campus

Sudler backs his belief with donation

Fred Sudler, director of Enterprise Systems in Information Technology Services, believes in giving back to the University through the annual Faculty Staff Drive.Fred Sudler doesn’t like talking about himself. He is quick to credit others for his success – whether it is his parents for instilling his work ethic or his staff who change requests into reality for Enterprise Systems in Information Technology Services at UNF.


He overcame his natural reluctance to talk about himself because of the importance he places on the First Generation Scholarship Program. He has supported this program for several years through the annual Faculty Staff Drive.


“I believe in giving back and as a UNF employee I want to set an example. If you don’t invest in UNF, why should the next guy (employee or community neighbor),” he said, explaining his decision to support the University and The Power of Transformation capital campaign.


But mention the First Generation Program and a spark lights in Sudler’s eyes as he recounts the transformative impact education has had in his life.


Born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Sudler recalls a high school diploma as generally being considered the end of educational achievement when he was growing up. But that wasn’t good enough for Sudler or his two younger brothers, all of whom joined the Navy to get out of small-town America and expand their horizons.


In six years of service, Sudler traveled the world and was ultimately stationed in Mayport near the end of his enlistment. He stayed in Jacksonville, earned his associate’s degree at the community college and began working as the “computer guy” at an area law firm. That eventually led to a position at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he spent eight years and became a technology manager for the Jacksonville office.


But it was at UNF where Sudler first witnessed the real power of education to transform lives. He earned both a bachelor’s degree and an M.B.A at UNF after landing a job as a technology coordinator at the Coggin College of Business and eventually becoming the assistant dean for Information Technology. His education became a springboard for him personally and professionally. He met his wife here – Dr. Yemisi Bolumole, director of the Transportation & Logistics Flagship Program – and then landed his current job as director of Enterprise Systems in Information Technology Services in spring 2004.


“A college education basically changed my family tree in one generation,” he said. His two brothers also went on to get college degrees.  “My dad was a carpenter and my mother worked in factories. We went from a family of laborers to a family of white-collar workers in one generation.” His mother later earned a college degree after raising her children.


Having experienced the power of education in his life, Sudler was naturally attracted to the First Generation Scholarship Program. As the name implies, the program is designed to make college possible for first-generation college students of Florida families. For every private dollar contributed to the scholarship, the state will match the donation with an equal amount. More than $2.5 million in First Generation scholarships has been awarded at UNF since 2006, when the program started. While more than 750 have been aided by the scholarships, more than 250 students have earned degrees at UNF through the program.


For Sudler, the decision was a simple one. He said he remembers the time when the bridge separating the Eastern Shore of Maryland from the metropolis of Baltimore/Washington was more than a physical bridge. “The bridge symbolized a link to a different world even though it was only 20 minutes away.”


Sudler said that recognizing and being thankful to God for his blessings has helped him realize he has a responsibility to build a bridge so others can follow.


The Faculty Staff Drive is a perfect way for UNF employees to participate not only in the First Generation Program, but in any of 184 different projects on campus. Last year’s Faculty Staff Drive raised more than $100,000, the first year it exceeded the five-figure threshold. This year, organizers hope to achieve 50 percent participation. To date, more than $48,000 has been raised and the drive continues through June.


Sudler’s plan is to go beyond the Faculty Staff Drive in supporting the First Generation Scholarship Program. “It is a cause in which I believe strongly.  I hope one day to have my own Sudler Scholar at UNF.”

Get to Know

David Crabtree

David CrabtreeDepartment: Student Union

Job title: Associate Director

Years at UNF: 25


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

I am in charge of daily operations for the new Student Union and Amphitheater. That entails making sure the various systems within the building work. There is an extensive audiovisual and technical component that requires a lot of attention. Additionally, through my direct reports I manage the Game Room and Student Union marketing team. For the first 20 years I was the combination of technical director and manager for the Robinson Theatre as well as the Robinson Student Life Center.


Tell us about your family.

My wife, Dr. Ann Marie Byrd, is an educator and author. She is currently working on a narrative history about women who volunteered for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in World War II. She has had several pieces published in magazines and online publications. My son, Michael, is currently working on his political science degree at UNF. He has traveled extensively in Europe and led an international volunteer group during an eight-week work experience in Potsdam, Germany. 


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

I decided that when I grew up I wanted to be a theatrician. You have to understand that was sometime in my mid to late 20s. I was one of the founders of a theatrical group — it was quite good. I earned both a BFA and an MFA in theatre. I love the challenge of making a character come to life. The act of creating another living, breathing, thinking personality out of your own psyche and talent is very fulfilling. I enjoy directing plays as well. My favorite was probably, “I’m Not Rappaport.” However, “Chapter Two,” where I first cast and met my wife, ranks right along side it.


What would you like to do when you retire?

I don’t think you ever retire. The work changes and the pleasures you derive change with what you do. Working at UNF has been the constant cycle of watching and helping the growth of students whom I’ve impacted over the years. This is the informal learning that occurs outside the classroom. I know I have learned a lot about myself from them and hope that I’ve made some small impact on their lives.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?

It was a privilege to have formed working relationships with many of the founding faculty and administrators.


What is the best thing you ever won?

Irene Ryan acting nominations all three years in grad school


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

I remember just before the Berlin Wall came down the lottery was at an obscene amount of money and I thought if I won I’d use the bulk of the money to dismantle that atrocity. Realistically, I’d want my immediate and extended family to be financially secure. In that vein I’d like to be able to make a difference in lives: establish scholarships, endow a chair to help students benefit from a thoroughly classic liberal arts education.


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

Teaching acting and directing — practicing my art and my craft


What is your favorite way to blow an hour?

Read a very good book or watch a foreign film


What was the best money you ever spent?

My marriage license and later, the delivery room charges for my son


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?

 It is impossible to stop the camera shutter and pick one. I can’t think of one that doesn’t involve either my wife and and/or my son. Professionally, it has to be my involvement in planning and building the Student Union. It was the culmination of years of talking about, imagining and planning. My work home is a very distinctive piece of architecture.


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

 Barry Levinson’s Baltimore trilogy [three loosely connected movies set in Levinson’s hometown: “Diner,” “Tin Men” and “Avalon”] resonates for me. One of his characters in the movie “Avalon” says, “If I had known things were going to change I would have tried to remember harder.”  As W.C. Fields said, “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”


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

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez was one of the first. I was stoked because they had separated but came back together for that concert. I think the first was Elton John. I used to go see the Second Coming, which morphed into the Allman Brothers. I think the last concert I went to was the Tito Puente concert in the Robinson Theatre.


What person had the greatest impact on your life?  

Politically, John F. and Robert Kennedy; FDR has to be near the top.


It depends on the phases. Arthur Carnes, a director trained in Great Britain, taught me that theatre was supposed to be fun while involved in the process of making. My wife, Ann Marie, became not only my best friend but a helpmate in navigating life. Dr. Douglas Covey, who was both mentor and friend, is now vice president of Student Affairs at Georgia State in Atlanta.


What are you most passionate about?

Politics, justice and the importance of the arts and creativity in education


Who is the most famous person you ever met?

Buddy Ibsen, who played Daniel Boone’s sidekick Georgie Russle and Jed Clampett in “The Beverly Hillbillies” 


Seriously, it would be Tito Puente. I had the privilege of meeting and talking to some of best jazz musicians playing in the modern era. Rich Matteson and the UNF Jazz Program furnished me with an education in jazz. Leonard Bowie brought in some very fine blues players as well. Dick Bizot’s Irish music brought both Irish musicians and writers of note. Somewhere, I have an autographed poster from The G. Gordon Liddy/Timothy Leary debate. I think that covers the famous and the infamous.


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

I seriously considered archaeology as a profession, without the influence of Indiana Jones prompting me to look for lost treasures.


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

Travel abroad, the grand tour as it was meant to be done; spending time in a place rather than on the American plan of five days four nights and an itinerary that would exhaust a Clydesdale. I’d like to get to know people, go to out of the way places.


What’s the last book you read?

“City of Shadows” by Ariana Franklin, a mystery set in Berlin between the world wars. I recommend it highly.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and StaffBrooks College of Health


Nursing: Dr. Carol Ledbetter was one of 400 national health-care leaders selected to attend the National Summit on Advancing Health through Nursing in Washington, D.C. The summit was convened to officially kick off the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing’s Campaign for Action and mobilize participants to implement recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.”


Public Health: Dr. M. Tes Tuason published “The Poor in the Philippines: Some Insights from Psychological Research” in Psychology and Developing Societies, Vol. 22, No. 2, pages 299-330.



Coggin College of Business


Accounting & Finance: A paper authored by Drs. Pieter de Jong and Antony Paulraj (Management) titled “The Effect of ISO 14001 Certification Announcements on Stock Performance” was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Operations and Production Management.


Management: Dr. Dong-Young Kim recently had two articles accepted for publication: “E-government Maturity Model Using the Capability Maturity Model Integration” (with Gerald Grant), published in the Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 12, No. 3, pages 230-244; and “Performance Assessment Framework for Supply Chain Partnerships” (with Vinod and Uma Kumar), published in Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 15, No. 3, pages 187-195.


Marketing & Logistics: Dr. Adel I. El-Ansary has two articles in the newly published “Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing,” which is one of the premier marketing reference resources available worldwide. The articles are titled “Multichannel Marketing” and “E-Commerce and Internet Marketing,” and both appear in Vol. 1 (Marketing Strategy) of the six-volume encyclopedia set.


An article was published in the December issue of Marketing News about Dr. A. Coskun “Josh” Samli titled “Longtime AMA Member Looks Back at 50 Years of Marketing.” Samli has been a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) since 1958.


College of Arts & Sciences


Art & Design: Vanessa Cruz had a paper titled “Teaching Design Online: The System, The Style, and The Reason It’s Important” accepted to the European Academy of Design Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.


Nofa Dixon had her work displayed in two exhibitions: Concurrency Northeast Florida Sculpture Exhibition at the AT&T Lower Tower in Jacksonville; and 20th Anniversary Celebration Exhibition Art Ventures at the Cummer Gallery in Jacksonville. Dixon also juried the Best of Friends Exhibition at the Amelia Arts Association in Georgia.


Stephen Heywood exhibited at the 16th Annual Nellie Allen Smith Commemorative, National Juried Pottery Competition in Fayetteville, N.C., and won a third place function award. Heywood also exhibited in Gulf Coast Community College’s Third Annual National Juried Cup Show: Form & Function: Four Person Group Exhibition; The FIRM at the University of Arkansas at Monticello; and Worchester Center for Crafts, The Joy of Bowls, National Juried and Invitational Exhibition, in Worcester, Mass., and Concurrency, a regional juried exhibition in Jacksonville.


Dominick Martorelli exhibited in a show called “The Figurative Nude” at the Wilson Center at Florida State College at Jacksonville.


Christopher Trice had an image and essay included in a book titled “Photos for the Gulf,” published by Composing with Images Press. Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit oil spill relief efforts.


Biology: Dr. Clifford Ross and Amanda Kahn contributed to two graduate student presentations: Nathan Lauer’s “The Effects of Short-term Salinity Exposure on the Sublethal Stress Response of Vallisneria americana Michx. (Hydrocharitaceae)” (also with M. Yeager and D.R. Dobberfuhl); and Stacy Trevathan’s “Seagrass Physiology and the Causative Agent of Wasting Disease, Labyrinthula sp.” Both were presented to the Southeastern Estuarine Research Society in November.


Dr. Daniel Moon was featured in The Times-Union letter to the editor: “Potential ecological problems remain as result of BP oil spill” published in November ( Moon and Jaime Moon published “Effects of Environmental Stress Cascade up Through Four Trophic Levels in a Salt Marsh Study System” in Ecological Entomology, Vol. 35, No. 6, pages 721–726; and (with Amy Keagy) “Direct and Indirect Interactions” in Nature Education Knowledge, Vol. 1, No. 11, page 9. Moon also contributed to two presentations by graduate students: Diana M. Silva’s “The Effects of Salinity and Predation Pressure from Odonates on a Salt Marsh Arthropod Community”; and Asher Williams’ “Porewater Phosphate Dynamics Along a Salinity Gradient in the Lower St. Johns River, Florida,” also with contributions from Dr. Courtney Hackney. Both presentations were given at the Southeastern Estuarine Research Society meeting in St. Augustine in November. Hackney also served as a panelist to the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored workshop at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C., in October. The title of the conference was “Shifting Shorelines: Combining Insights from Biological, Physical and Social Sciences.”


Chemistry: Dr. Jennifer Bryant and colleagues published a journal article titled “Design and Evaluation of a Novel Hemispherical FAIMS Cell” in the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 298, pages 41-44.


Communication: Dr. Christa Arnold presented “Revisiting Patient Communication Skills Training: A New Intervention and Method” at the National Communication Conference in San Francisco in November.


Christine Holland presented a talk titled “The Impact of Overseas Student Teaching on Preservice Teachers’ Cross Cultural Competence” at the 39th annual conference of the Mid-South Educational Research Association in Mobile, Ala.


Languages, Literatures & Cultures: Clayton McCarl presented a paper titled “Phantom Journeys, Phantom Books: Francisco de Seyxas y Lovera’s Elusive Pirate Library” at The Republic of Letters and the Empire of the Two Worlds: Culture and Society in Baroque, Spain. This was an international conference sponsored jointly by the Instituto Cervantes, the Hispanic Society of America and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, in September.


María Ángeles Fernández published “Lope narrador: la figura de donaire como génesis de las Novelas a Marcia Leonarda” in the selected proceedings of the 400th anniversary of Lope de Vega´s "The New Art of Writing Plays" AISO (International Association of Spanish Golden Age Theater) 14th annual conference in July 2009. The proceedings were edited and published by Germán Vega García-Luengos at the University of Valladolid in Valladolid, Spain, 2010. Ángeles Fernández also presented “Amor se escribe con mayúscula: cartas de Lope a Sessa” at the International Association of Hispanists´s 17th annual conference in Rome, Italy, in July; and “La retórica de la experiencia: apuntes sobre enargeia en las Novelas a Marcia Leonarda de Lope” at the 2010 AHCT (Association for Hispanic Classical Theater) Symposium on Golden Age Theater in El Paso in March.


Music: Dr. Michael Bovenzi was featured as the guest artist at the Bellis Clarinet and Saxophone Festival at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Bovenzi performed a solo recital, gave clinics and was soloist with the UMSL Symphonic Band.


Dr. Nick Curry published “State Project Money Put to Good Use” in the November edition of American String Teacher. He also traveled to Boca Raton where he was an invited guest clinician for the 16th annual “Cellobration,” conducting and working with more than 75 high school cellists and performing a master class and concert. UNF students traveled with him and participated as well.


Political Science & Public Administration: Dr. Hyunsun Choi (with Drs. J. Kim, S. Han and Y. Tae) presented “Community Business Building Process in a Transitional Neighborhood: Assets, Participation, and Sustainability in Yang-Rim Dong, South Korea” at the 51st ACSP Annual Conference in Minneapolis in October. Also in October, Choi presented “Collaboration and Management in the Face of Climate Change: Regional Governance in the Implementation of California Senate Bill 375(SB375)” (coauthored by S. Choi) at the Korean Association for Public Administration 2010 International Conference in Seoul, Korea.


Dr. David Schwam-Baird presented “The Colombian Government, the U.S. and the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia: An Analysis of Policy Failure” at the 28th Annual Conference of the Association of Third World Studies in Savannah in October.


Psychology: Dr. Christopher Leone, along with LouAnne Hawkins and student protégés, gave five presentations at the annual meeting of the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists in Charleston, S.C.: “Tis Better to Have Loved and Lost? Thoughts of Self-Monitors at a Relationship’s End (with David Beane, Natalie Hofmann and James Kindelsperger); “Friends or Enemies?: Effects of Thought, Schemas, and Need for Structure of Attitude Polarization” (with Matt Valente and Christina Nicolaides); “Religion and Attitudes About Abortion: Closed-Minded Extremism or Internalized Values?” (with Heather Johnston and Andrew Wood); “Devil or Angel? Some Effects of Self-Monitoring and Relationship Length on Perceptions of Former Romantic Partners” (with Lee Gainey, Meghan Babcock and Dustin Thomas); and “Beyond a Doubt? Some Effects of Thought, Attitude Object, and Need for Structure on Attitude Polarization” (with Shawn Lewis, Omar Aleman, Richard Mottola, James Solari and Hawkins).


Dr. Michael Toglia, along with co-authors C. J. Brainerd, V. Reyna, R. Holliday and Y. Yang, published a journal article titled “Developmental Reversals in False Memory: Effects of Emotional Valence and Arousal” in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 107, pages 137-154. Toglia also, along with A. D. Leedy, C. M. Baker and A. Cheng, presented a paper titled “Veridical and False Memory for Survival and Nonsurvival DRM Lists” at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, in St. Louis in November. 


Sociology & Anthropology: Dr. Melissa D. Hargrove presented an invited paper, “The Evolutionary Fitness of White Racism,” at the 109th Annual American Anthropological Association meetings in New Orleans. She also served as a panel discussant, screened the film “Black Seminoles” and discussed the importance of recognizing “Black Indians” as part of the UNF Native American Month Lecture Series sponsored by the Intercultural Center for PEACE, and was an invited panelist for “Performance in Pedagogy/The Pedagogy of Performance: An Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion with UNF Faculty,” sponsored by the English Department.


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction


Construction Management: Drs. Patrick Welsh and J. David Lambert and graduate student Mike Toth presented and demonstrated the “UNF Low-cost Water Quality Buoy” at the SECOORA (Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association) Basic Operational Buoy workshop at Jacksonville University in December. The buoy is designed for sheltered waters and wirelessly transmits real-time water quality data via cell phone text messaging. Representatives of several Southeast universities and state agencies participated.


School of Computing: Lisa Jamba and Jean Fryman (School of Engineering) were selected as CCEC representatives on the planning committee for the first UNF Expanding Your Horizons conference to take place Feb. 26 in the University Center. The conference is designed for sixth- to eighth-grade girls to learn more about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics ( Fryman also coordinated a November field trip for students from Sally Mathis Elementary Science Academy, who visited the UNF School of Engineering and participated in “What is an Engineer Anyway?” and a hands-on load bearing exercise where winners were awarded “Future Engineer” T-shirts provided by the UNF School of Engineering Advisory Council.


Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy and Sandeep Purao had their paper “Systems Integration and Web Services” published in the magazine Computer, Vol. 43, No. 11, November 2010 (


School of Engineering: Dr. Chris Brown and UNF students spoke to high school students at Clay High School on engineering careers and the American Society of Civil Engineers concrete canoe contest. Brown also gave an invited presentation at Orange Park High School titled “Engineering Careers and the UNF-SAME (Society of American Military Engineers) Model Concrete Canoe Contest.” Brown, Dr. Alan Harris, and students Aaron Watkins and Justin Komma presented their paper, “Exposing High School Teachers to Wireless Sensor Network Research in the University of North Florida Environmental Hydrology Living Laboratory: A Study in Active Learning,” at the Intellectbase International Consortium Academic Conference in December.


Dr. Murat Tiryakioglu and Ralph T. Shuey published their paper, “Modeling Quench Sensitivity of Aluminum Alloys for Multiple Tempers and Properties: Application to AA2024,” in Metallurgy and Materials Transactions, Vol. 41A, November 2010.


Dr. Susan Vasana and Terry L. Smith had their paper titled “Whole-Mind Teaching and Learning: A Case Study in Engineering” published in World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2010.


College of Education & Human Services


Childhood Education: Dr. Christine Weber's manuscript titled “A Comprehensive Plan for Differentiating the Training of Teachers of the Gifted Online at the State, District and University Level in Florida, USA” has recently been accepted for publication in 2011 in the Journal for Gifted Education International. In November at the National Association for Gifted Children Annual Conference in Atlanta, Weber presented “Case Studies: Exploring Issues in Gifted Education" and “Navigating through the Maze of Standards: Looking for Appropriate Instruction for Gifted and Advanced Learners.”


Dr. Katie Monnin recently signed her third book contract for her book “Really Reading Graphic Novels,” which will be available in early 2012. 

Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management: Dr. Elinor Scheirer’s paper proposal submission titled “Accountability, High-Stakes Testing, and the Educational Rights of Children” has been accepted by NFPF/NERA (Nordisk Förening för Pedagogisk Forskning/Nordic Educational Research Association) for inclusion in its 2011 international conference in Finland in March. NFPF/NERA is the main association for educational researchers in the Nordic countries.


Milestone Anniversaries

Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in February:


30 Years:

Cheryl Fountain, Professor, Florida Institute of Education


10 Years:

Pamela Alexander, Accountant, Auxiliary Services

Margaret Armstrong, Assistant Director of ELP, Student Affairs

Epifanio Mallari, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Bruce Turner, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services, Academic Center for Excellence


Five Years:

Courtney Anderson, Coordinator of IT Support, Information Technology Services

Ashley Ballard, Coordinator of Health Education and Adjunct, Health Promotions

Regan Bartley, Administrative Secretary, Art & Design

Justin Bergstrom, Coordinator of Marketing Publications, Florida Institute of Education

Felicia Bernard, Administrative Secretary, Coggin College of Business

Gregory DiFranza, Program Specialist, Training & Services Institute

Spspe Gbelayan Payne, Senior Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Kathleen Leone, Director of Development, Student Affairs

Karen McSheffrey, Office Manager, Student Health Services

Heather Monroe-Ossi, Coordinator of Educational Training Programs, Florida Institute of Education

Nancy Viafora, Coordinator of Accounting, Controller’s Office

Stephanie Weiss, Assistant University Librarian, Carpenter Library



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


James Abdur-Rahman, Senior Custodial Supervisor, Physical Facilities

Tracie Abraham, Adjunct, College of Education & Human Services

Teresa Becsi, Instructor, Marketing & Logistics

Leonyd Calderon, Adjunct, Clinical & Applied Movement Science

Julie Carter, Coordinator of Instructional Design, Center for Instruction & Research Technology

Hether Celetti, Programming Assistant, Student Government

Randy Cox, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Nakul Datre, Coordinator of Research and Program Services, Civil Engineering

Michael Davenport, Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities

R. Charlene Davis, Academic Adviser, Academic Center for Excellence

Abigail Ellis, Adjunct, Criminology & Criminal Justice

Alice Eng, Assistant University Librarian, Carpenter Library

Jennifer Garrow, IT Support Technician, Information Technology Services

Quincy Gibson, Scientist, Biology

Jeriann Gonzales, Adjunct, Brooks College of Health

David Hacker, Adjunct, Building Construction Management

Andrew Hambidge, IT Support Coordinator, User Services

Christopher Hawk, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, One-Stop Center

Sarah Holdstein, Assistant Director of Development, Coggin College of Business

Jennifer Iovanovici, Financial Aid Specialist, Enrollment Services Processing

Albert Isaacs, Adjunct, Leadership & Counseling

Shikha Iyengar, Adjunct, Brooks College of Health

Patricia Kapcio, Executive Secretary, the Graduate School

Marilou Kelemen, Administrative Secretary, Psychology

Matthew Kimball, Assistant Professor, Biology

William Kintz, Adjunct, Sociology & Anthropology

Deborah Klim, Senior Payroll Representative, Controller

Robert Kreps, Applications System Analyst, Florida Institute of Education

Tyran Lance, Office Manager, College of Arts & Sciences

John Lumpkin, Adjunct, Music

Christy Manuel, Coordinator of Education & Training, Florida Institute of Education

Catherine McMurria, Adjunct, College of Education & Human Services

Paul Mettler, Associate Professor, Clinical & Applied Movement Science

M. G. Middlebrook, Data Processing Associate, The Graduate School

Anthony Morrison, Radiologist, Student Health Services

Jenny Neidhardt, Office Manager, Childhood Education

Shawn Ochrietor, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Jose Perez, Adjunct, College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Karl Pezdirtz, Adjunct, Physics

Gloria Rojas, Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Services

Claudia Sealey-Potts, Assistant Professor, Nutrition & Dietetics

Lena Shaqareq, Instructor, College of Education & Human Services

Victoria Shore, Office Manager, Student Government

Kathryn Strickland, Assistant Professor, Communication

Courtney Taylor, Adjunct, History

Delores Truesdell, Adjunct, Brooks College of Health

Chantell Waters, Coordinator, The Women's Center

Debra Wellmann, Administrative Secretary, Coggin College of Business

John Woodward, Adjunct, Sociology & Anthropology

Mary Wrenn, College Adviser, The Jacksonville Commitment



Dana McCoy (Program assistant, ADA Compliance Office) and her husband, Barry, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in September, with a trip to Alaska. The couple spent 10 days on Kodiak Island fishing and bear-watching.

Dana Barry McCoy (left) and her husband, Barry (right) celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Alaska.

Sponsored Research

august sponsored researchThe Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announces the following grants and contracts:


John Dean (Campus Police), “University of North Florida Police Department UPD Project 25 Compliance,” City of Jacksonville/U.S. Department of Justice, $120,000


Dr. Janice Donaldson (Small Business Development Center), “Florida Small Business Development Center Network 2011,” University of West Florida/U.S. Small Business Administration, $1,707,104


Drs. Elizabeth Fullerton (Childhood Education) and Caroline Guardino (Exceptional Student and Deaf Education), “Collaborating with Teachers to Improve Student Outcomes,” NEA Foundation, $5,000


Dr. James Gelsleichter (Biology), “Assessment of Deepwater Fish Assemblages Associated with DeSoto Canyons and Continental Slope Waters in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico,” Florida State University/Florida Institute of Oceanography, $37,652


Dr. Courtney Hackney (Biology), “Florida Department of Environmental Protection Interchange of Personnel,” Florida Department of Environmental Protection/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $52,414


Dr. Tammie Johnson (Public Health), “Epidemiology, Data Analysis: Services for the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program,” Florida Department of Health, $15,000


Dr. Gerald Merckel (College of Computing, Engineering and Construction Dean’s Office) and Daniel Cox (Engineering), “Omnii Sense – Proposed High-Tech Company,” Florida Board of Governors, $40,000


Drs. Jeffrey Michelman and Robert Slater (Accounting & Finance) and Bobby Waldrup (Coggin College of Business Dean’s Office), “Data Security in the Public Utilities Industry,” JEA, $16,785


Dr. Karen Patterson (Exceptional Student & Deaf Education), “State Personnel Development Grant 2010-2011,” Florida Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education, $135,000


Dr. Len Roberson (Exceptional Student & Deaf Education), “Educational Interpreters Project 2010-2011,” Florida Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education, $229,829


Dr. Jeffrey Steagall (Economics & Geography), “Consortium for Small and Medium-size Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Education,” Clemson University/U.S. Department of Education, $1,848


Drs. Patrick Welsh (Engineering) and J. David Lambert (Construction Management), “Monitoring the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR) with the Advanced Basic Observational Buoy (ABOB) in Conjunction with the NERR System-wide Monitoring Program (SWAMP) with Real-time Display in the NERR Education Center,” Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, $16,855


Dr. Jeffry Will (Center for Community Initiatives), “Homeless Census and Survey Project Winter 2010,” Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, $23,671

The Goods

The Goods: Quinoa—the tiny grain that packs nutritional punch

Quinoa is a little grain that offers big nutritional benefits.Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown mainly for its edible seeds, and its flavor is similar to cream of wheat, but with a hint of nuttiness. Jackie Shank, undergraduate nutrition program director in the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, discusses some myths and facts about this tiny grain that packs a big nutritional punch.


Myth: Quinoa is weird.


Fact: Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is really cool, albeit unfamiliar to most Americans. Food scientist Harold McGee said Chenopodium quinoa is native to northern South America and was a staple food of the Incas. It was domesticated around 5,000 B.C. Today, most of the world’s quinoa is grown in Peru and Bolivia. It’s in the same family as beets and spinach, and although the fresh greens of the plant are edible, it’s the tiny round seeds that are typically eaten.


Myth: Quinoa isn’t widely available. 

Fact: You’ll find quinoa at any natural food market and at some traditional grocery stores as well. Save money by purchasing from a store that offers grains in self-service bulk bins. You can also purchase quinoa online from companies such as Bob’s Red Mill at


Myth: Quinoa isn’t as nutritious as other grains.



Fact: Quinoa’s a nutritional powerhouse. It’s high in protein compared to most other grains, and like soy, the protein is complete, containing all nine of the essential amino acids required by humans. A typical serving of three-fourths cup of cooked quinoa packs four grams of healthful fiber and more than two milligrams of iron. It contains respectable amounts of magnesium, folate and vitamin B6. Quinoa also receives accolades for what it doesn’t contain: pesky cholesterol and saturated or trans fat. The Agricultural Department’s MyPyramid Food Guide counts one-half cup of cooked quinoa as a serving of whole grain.


Myth: Quinoa is too bitter to be tasty.


Fact: It’s true thatmany varieties have a natural coating of bitter defensive compounds called saponins; however, saponins are easily removed by rinsing the quinoa under cool running water in a fine strainer. For convenience, most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed.  

Myth: Quinoa has limited uses and is complicated to prepare.


Fact: Not true.Quinoa is a versatile and delicious whole grain with a mild, slightly nutty flavor. It can be cooked in water like rice, by simmering for 15 to 20 minutes until the extra water is absorbed and the curly germ separates from the seed. Quinoa can be added to soups and stews, and ground into flour for use in bread products. It doesn’t contain the sometimes-troublesome gluten proteins, so it’s an allowed grain for people who need to avoid gluten.


Cream of Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained

½ teaspoon sea salt

Your choice of sweet and creamy condiments: honey, milk, yogurt, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, wheat germ, coconut or sunflower seeds


Bring 4 cups water and the quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in the salt. Serve hot with your favorite condiments.


Yield: 2 to 4 servings


Nutrition facts per serving (about three-fourths cup, without condiments): 185 calories, 3 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 mgs cholesterol, 4 grams fiber, 7 grams protein, 2.3 mgs iron


Source: “Three Bowls, Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery” by Seppo Ed Farrey, 2000


If you have questions about quinoa, contact Shank by e-mail at “The Goods” monthly column runs every third Thursday in the Taste section of The Florida Times-Union, promoting UNF Nutrition & Dietetics faculty and featuring myths and facts about various foods.