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InsideNovember 2011

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Freshman experience adds to living and learning at UNF

UNF's new Freshman Year Experience will plug new students into the vibrant campus community. It’s an exciting time at the University of North Florida as we prepare to launch the new Freshman Year Experience (FYE).

The FYE will ensure that students get plugged into a more vibrant campus life, forge relationships with a diverse group of peers and build a strong academic foundation. As part of the FYE, all UNF first-time-in-college (FTIC) students starting in summer 2012 will be required to live on campus in one of our dynamic residence life complexes.

“Students who live and learn together are better connected and achieve more success both in and out of the classroom,” said Jeff Coker, dean of Undergraduate Studies. “We have seen it time and time again and know that students that live on campus and take advantage of the campus at their doorstep getter better grades, graduate and move on to successful careers and lives. We want every student at UNF to have that opportunity. And the Freshman Year Experience gives it to them.”

National research confirms that students living on campus their freshman year have a better overall experience than their commuting peers. Some of these benefits include a higher retention rate, higher grade point average, a quicker adjustment to college life and greater involvement in the campus community.

“Students who live in a university residence hall during their first semester were 7 to 8 percentage points more likely to graduate than were students who live off campus — a result we [the authors of the national study] obtained after controlling for differences in entering credentials and background characteristics, including family income. We interpret [these] findings as suggestive evidence that the individual students benefit from living on campus and that all students benefit from attending an institutions where more students live on campus,” according to W.G. Bowen, M.M. Chingos and M.S. McPherson, in 2009’s Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities.

Along similar lines, the American Council on Education reported that students who live on campus have a 10 to 15 percent better chance of doing well in college than students living off campus. A study by de Araujo and Murray indicates that the GPAs of first-year students who lived on campus were on average, somewhere between a half and whole point higher than their peers who did not reside on campus. In addition, de Araujo and Murray found the academic benefits of living on campus to be permanent. That is, students who lived on campus at any time during their collegiate years did better on their cumulative GPAs than student who had never lived on campus.

“Internally, our data mirrored these national findings,” said Paul Riel, UNF’s director of Housing. “Once we determined the positive outcomes from living on campus, the decision was simple and obvious — first-year students should live on campus.”

And many students agree with the national and UNF findings. They find once they learn all there is to know about living on campus, the choice is very easy.

“At first, I was going to commute from my home in Fleming Island,” said David Brangaccio, a UNF junior. “But Swoopapalooza, the new student orientation, changed all that. I decided living on campus was too good an experience to pass up.”

Committed to ensuring the academic and personal success of our students, one of the best steps UNF can take to ensure that success is to require all students transitioning from high school to the rigors of higher education to reap the benefits from living on campus. Even students who are from the greater Jacksonville area will find living on campus to be wholly different from life in their own neighborhood. Living on campus is not like living in Southside or Riverside or any of Jacksonville’s myriad communities. Instead, students, faculty and staff join together to make their own community based on shared academic and social pursuits.

“I chose to live on campus for a second year because of how well the halls helped me adjust to college my first year,” Brangaccio said. “Living on campus helped me so much with classes and making friends that after a summer of being away, I could not wait to get back to campus.”

Students can choose to live and learn together in freshman interest groups that center around topics of interest. In other instances students enrolled in the same program will be given the option to live together. For instance, Honors students will be given the opportunity to live with peers in the Honors program. To meet the varied needs of UNF students, there are several residence halls from which they can choose. The majority of floor plans are a modified suite-style room with a private bathroom. Amenities include high-speed wireless Internet, digital satellite TV, lounge space and laundry rooms, not to mention special programming to enhance co- and extra-curricular life.

First-time-in-college (FTIC) students are also required to purchase a meal plan beginning in summer 2012, which coincides with the opening of the brand new Osprey Café, our newest and largest dining facility. Students will be able to eat at several other locations on campus and be able to choose from a wide variety of healthy, well-balanced options.

While on-campus housing is mandatory for first-year students, there are a number of circumstances under which the University will approve an exemption from this requirement. Students who are married, age 21 and older or who have a dependent child may be exempted from this requirement. The University will also consider requests for exemptions based on medical circumstances. Students who are enrolled in only one course in a summer term, if this is their first term on campus or who are enrolled in two or fewer courses for the fall or spring terms, may also request an exemption for that specific term. The University will also consider requests under extraordinary or special circumstances which would create a significant personal hardship and which cannot be remedied by other means. The exemption form can be found here (link). Students must complete the form and provide all appropriate supporting documentation.

Students who are unable to purchase a first-year meal plan because of religious or health reasons may complete the appropriate section of the online mandatory housing exemption form. Documentation will also be required.

“I loved living on campus,” said Christine Kegel, a graphic design major from Tampa. “I met a lot of people, was close to everything and really felt much more connected to campus in just a short time. I can’t think of a reason why anyone wouldn’t want to live on campus.”

Around Campus

UNF undergrads published in national journal

Multiple UNF undergraduate history students have been published in some prominent peer-reviewed journals.At the University of North Florida, graduate students aren’t the only scholars getting their research published nationally.

Multiple UNF undergraduate history students have recently seen their names splashed across the pages of some prominent peer-reviewed journals.

The students worked on three different papers for two of Dr. Harry Rothschild’s upper-level history classes — Contemporary China and Traditional China.

Rothschild, a professor who specializes in Asian history, said these three essays mark the first time in his eight years at UNF that he’s had undergraduates publish their work in peer-reviewed journals.

“It is rare,” he said. “There are more of these opportunities than there were a few years ago, but it is still an impressive achievement.”

Hayden Drewery wrote “West Meets East: KFC and Its Success in China.”

Kyle Bridge submitted “The Spider and Its Web: Internet Control in China.”

And Ben Giaimo, coauthored “The Eastern Kingdom of Women in Tang China: A Translation from the Old Tang History” with Zhao Jingjing and Yang Xueyi, two Chinese exchange students who spent some time on campus. The paper was developed from a final project in Rothschild’s Traditional China class.

All their work was published in the Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History.

While their academic feats were rare, Rothschild said he wasn’t shocked by their journal inclusions.

“I recognized that each of these projects represented an exceptional effort on the part of the student(s) involved,” he said.

The students receiving national credit for their work are just another example of how the UNF campus is in touch with an interconnected, global community. More and more students have had the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning projects that put them in the thick of their community. Others are experiencing transformational learning opportunities across the country.

Rothschild said he believes strongly in helping his students “break outside of a parochial and regional mindset.”

In 2005, with the help of a UNF Summer Travel Grant, he helped organize an exchange program at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi'an, China. Another Transformational Learning Opportunities Grant in 2006 allowed him to bring 14 UNF students to Xi'an in 2006. Since then, a full-fledged exchange program has developed between UNF and Shaanxi Normal.

The students who were published utilized that study-abroad experience to help inform their research.

Drewery even lived at Shaanxi Normal and studied Mandarin before he took Rothschild’s Contemporary China class.

He said living in China and being immersed in the culture helped inspire him to start researching the American fast food in China.

Bridge, who wrote about the repressive Chinese government’s grip on Internet user, said his hands-on learning at UNF instilled in him the ability and the desire to research and present such a lengthy project.

“One professor half-jokingly pointed out to my class, ‘If you don't enjoy spending days pouring over pages, you may be in the wrong field,’” Bridge said. “Each faculty member I’ve had the pleasure to work with can convey the broad ideas and still take care to accent the details. I would like to especially thank Dr. Rothschild, who originally suggested this whole idea to me and invested his effort to advance it.”

Giaimo spent more than a year based at Shaanxi Normal before returning to UNF for his senior year. His research partners, Jingjing and Xueyi, are both Shaanxi Normal students who came to UNF through the exchange program.

Rothschild said that accurately sums up what the University is all about. “Not only does UNF look outward to see the world, the world comes to UNF.”

Both Bridge and Drewery’s articles can be viewed online at the Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History homepage.

Around Campus

UPD approved for reaccreditation

UPD was recently awarded reaccreditation after passing a lengthy and extremely stringent law-enforcement review process.The University of North Florida Police Department was recently awarded reaccreditation after passing a lengthy and extremely stringent review process by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.

Receiving reaccreditation is no easy feat. It involves meeting more than 260 separate law-enforcement standards, including some that are time sensitive. The end result is that UPD will remain an accredited law enforcement agency for the next three years.

The last review process, which involved a detailed look at the department’s management, operations and administration, occurred in 2008.

This year’s review involved three assessors from other law enforcement agencies who conducted a thorough assessment of the department over a three-day period. The assessors reviewed standard files, observed UNF’s facility and equipment and interviewed personnel. The assessors then presented a final report to the Commission of Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation approving the school for reaccreditation.

Agencies that don’t meet CFA reaccreditation standards within the mandated three-year window could face non-compliance issues.

Kathleen Halstead, a UPD officer and the department’s accreditation manger, said the reaccreditation recommendation is an acknowledgement of continued professionalism.

“It ensures the agency has clearly defined lines of authority, consistency in operational procedures, provides a quality work environment and increases employee morale through statewide recognition,” she said.

Another major factor of the reaccreditation designation is that it gives students, faculty and staff continued peace of mind while on campus.

“Would you rather attend an accredited university or a non-accredited university?” Halstead asked. “Would you trust an accredited hospital more than a non-accredited one? Our community can trust the fact that we are accredited, and that their police department is dedicated to providing quality law enforcement services.”

Even though the department was successfully accredited for three more years, Halstead said accreditation is a never-ending process. From updating law-enforcement tactics in the event of an active shooter or keeping students safe and secure while walking to and from class, the agency remains in a perpetual state of self-review and improvement. 

Around Campus

Football at North Florida? Not in the near future

Football won't be coming to UNF anytime soon.On many college campuses at this time of year, the air is filled with the sounds of football.

The crack of pads, the thud of footfalls on the turf, the rally cries of fans and the roar of the crowd after a touchdown — the sounds can be heard far and wide.

But not at the University of North Florida. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Football is an expensive sport that costs far more than just dollars and cents. A great deal of time and energy must be expended to have a football team compete at the NCAA Division I level. There is an increased work load not just on Athletics, but also on Financial Aid staff who administer athletic grant-in-aid programs, food service personnel who have to provide food and beverages for fans, police officers who have to work with the crowds and traffic control, parking staff who have to figure out how and where to park everyone safely, event staff who have to make sure it all comes off flawlessly.

The list goes on and on — and so do the costs.
“Every place I go, I get that question,” said President John A. Delaney at one of his many question-and-answer sessions at each college, division and major department during the past year. “I don’t think we are going to see football at the University of North Florida in my presidency. It is just too expensive — it would cost too much money and too much in terms of personnel, recruiting and management. Plus, look at where we are located.”

And he’s right. Within a three-hour drive, there are several competitive football programs at both the collegiate and professional level. There are just too many venues for fans to spend their time and show their loyalty. And while it would be great to have football Saturdays on the UNF campus, it is just not practical right now. The NCAA has stringent attendance rules that require all Division I teams to average 15,000 fans at each game — butts in seats, not just ticket sales. That can be challenging when the Gators, Seminoles and Jaguars are playing in the same weekend.

And the startup costs would be huge. In 2010, the average cost to begin a football program was between $21 and $45 million dollars, according to the NCAA. After that, the annual operational, athletic aid and personnel costs are substantial and vary from school to school based on the quality of the facilities, equipment and staffing.

There is no question that a winning football team would add to school spirit and bring alumni and friends to campus much more regularly. But building a program that would actually be a draw and not a drain takes time, a great deal of capital and more effort than it would be worth to expend at this time.

“I have thought about it and discussed it many times,” Delaney said. “I just can’t see a way to bring football to campus in a timely and cost-effective way.”

Around Campus

Greek study-abroad trip a historic success for UNF

Two UNF professors took a group of students on a transofrmational study-abroad trip to Greece.

“The Syrtaki pretty much sums up our experience here. It starts out slow, stately and orderly. Everyone does his or her own thing, but somehow the group comes together. Then the tempo picks up, faster and faster, until you are dancing in an ecstatic frenzy, lost in the moment, trying to suck every last drop of exhilaration out of the experience. Then all of a sudden it is over, and you are ready to collapse. We are in those last frenzied steps now.”

- Philip Kaplan, July 19, 2011

The movement of the Syrtaki, a popular Greek dance, is a fitting way to sum up the recent experiences of Drs. Leslie and Philip Kaplan, a married couple who teach at the University of North Florida. They took 11 students on a whirlwind, study-abroad program in Greece this summer. It was such a success with the students that the academically driven couple is planning their next jaunt back to one of the most historically and culturally significant countries in the world.

The reason for the trip’s success is tied to the University’s focus on transformational learning opportunities and promoting hands-on, academic experiences. In the Kaplans’ opinions, the best way for UNF students to learn about the larger, global community is to immerse themselves in the culture they’re studying.

Leslie, coordinator of the University’s Honors and Scholars program, and Philip, a history professor, hope to make the study-abroad trip a permanent fixture in the Honors and history departments.

Based on the blog they kept while in Greece, their first successful trip is a permanent fixture in their memories.

“This is not my first adjustment back to the US, but it is one that is surprisingly with a lot more sadness than relief.”

- Leslie Kaplan, Aug 1, 2011

Philip said the study-abroad program was established last year when his wife made an arrangement with the American College of Greece, an American-style private college in a picturesque suburb of Athens. American College jumped at the chance to establish an ongoing relationship with UNF, and the program got started last summer with 11 UNF Honors students heading to Athens for a five-week summer semester.

The course fulfilled the College of Arts and Sciences Foreign Culture requirement and builds on what students have learned in their cultural diversity classes by requiring them to recognize other cultural logics than the one they find familiar and “natural,” Philip said.

The course is focused in Athens, but their day-trips into the nearby countryside and a couple of islands gave the students a sense of Greek culture outside the metropolis.

“The entire course is one big hands-on learning opportunity,” Leslie said.

The students lived in an American College dormitory and took courses that were offered in English but had Greek teachers and classmates. At the same time, Leslie taught a course called “It’s All Greek to Me”, which introduced students to the culture and history of Greece.

That involved walking tours of Athens — sightseeing at the Acropolis, jaunts through the flea market, strolls through museums and walks up the city’s ancient hills. On weekends, the Kaplans led excursions to prominent places in Greek history — Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplion, Delphi, Mykonos and Delos, Sounion and Aegina. The students also had time during the week to explore their new neighborhood on their own, buying food from local vendors and cooking for themselves. They even got to know their Greek colleagues better through a host of social activities, including basic language practice, Greek dancing, and potluck dinners.

The Kaplans said they had a strong urge to get back on their plane and fly back to Greece shortly after touching back down on American soil. Philip said the memorable time they spent with their Honors students has also made them better instructors by boosting their first-hand knowledge of the Greek culture.

While the Kaplan’s wanderlust has been simmering since coming home, they’ve been working on the logistics for next summer’s trip, which will include two separate classes. Leslie will lead her Honors class, which will continue to focus on aspects of modern Greece, and Philip will bring a group of students enrolled in a history class on Ancient Greece. They expect to have even more students this time, but the groups will live in the same dormitory and go on excursions together.

The trip can’t come soon enough — for the Kaplans and for the students.

"Typically when I am home from a trip, I am ready to move on in my reading. But not this time. Which is a good thing, because it is almost time to think about recruiting for next year..."

- Leslie Kaplan, Aug 1, 2011


UNF faculty and staff in the news

UNF is a regular fixture in local media.The University of North Florida is in the news an average of 21 times a day, and the University has partnerships with several local media outlets. It’s through these partnerships that University faculty and staff share their expertise with the greater community.

For instance, you can turn into Action News (WAWS FOX 30/CBS 47) every Wednesday to watch a different UNF faculty or staff member discuss a new topic.

Dr. Katie Monnin, an assistant professor of Literacy, has a segment the last Wednesday of each month called “Katie’s Korner,” which also appears on Action News and features new books and literary trends for kids and adults.

Dr. Paul Fadil, an organizational management professor, also has a monthly segment on this TV station called “Office Chat.” He shares practical advice on succeeding at work every second Monday of each month. All segments air in the 7:30 a.m. broadcast.

It’s not just local TV news stations that have turned to UNF faculty members for expert analysis.

Faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program have a regular print column, “The Goods,” which features different healthy foods and recipes every third Thursday of the month in the “Taste” section of The Florida Times-Union, the city’s largest daily newspaper. Faculty in this department will also be starting a new monthly nutrition segment on First Coast News’ magazine show, “First Coast Living,” which airs at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday on WJXX-ABC. Nutrition segments will be featured monthly, which started last month.

These segments are all testaments to the fact that UNF faculty are viewed as experts in their fields by all the major news outlets in Northeast Florida and beyond.

Around Campus

UNF bestows Presidential Medallions on civic leaders

Luther Coggin (right) has been a major UNf benefactor for years.Three civic leaders who have devoted countless hours to help the University of North Florida grow and prosper were recognized recently with Presidential Medallions.

This year’s recipients are Luther Coggin, Steve Halverson and Joannie Newton. The three were recognized at the annual Founders Day event, which marks the day in 1972 when UNF opened its doors to students for the first time.

Luther Coggin, a retired Jacksonville business executive, has served UNF in a variety of volunteer capacities. He served on the UNF Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2010 and on the steering committee for the successful Access to Excellence Campaign from 1997 to 2003. No where is his influence seen more clearly than in the college named in honor of him and his wife, Blanche. He has provided scholarships, fellowships and professorships in the Coggin College of Business.

Business executive Steve Halverson was recognized with a Presidential Medallion for his focus on supporting excellence and high academic standards while serving on the Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2006. He continues his service to UNF as chair of the Sanctuary Committee, a dual University/community group charged with raising money for a non-denominational facility on campus.

Joannie Newton also served on the Board of Trustees from 2002 until 2003 when she was appointed to the Florida Board of Governors. She returned to the Board of Trustees for a term from 2006 to 2011 and was reappointed for a second term ending in 2016. She has also supported UNF through the Partnership Initiative in the Coggin College of Business where her late husband, Martin E. Stein, Sr., helped established the Business Advisory Council. She has also established two endowed professorships in the name of UNF President John A. Delaney.

Around Campus

New project designed to attract more students to math and science

The Power of Transformation campaign is working to attract more millennials to math and science through interactive engineering projects.Engineering faculty member Chris Brown believes reaching the Millennial Generation requires a different approach to teaching. The UNF Foundation Board and The Power of Transformation campaign are helping him with a project designed to attract more millennials to math and science.


Brown has some experience with millennials since he and his wife Laura Hansen-Brown have done research to find better ways of reaching these students. Millennials are also sometimes referred to as echo boomers because they are children of baby boomers.


 “What we basically found is that millennials are more technologically advanced, have a deep sense of community and are interested in social issues,” Brown said.


 But perhaps the biggest key to reaching this generation, he said, was the discovery that they liked to work in teams.


“Millennials prefer active and engaging activities such as simulations and group work, not learning by lecture or the teacher-centered approaches.”


From that research, Brown developed Osprey Engineering Consulting, a project designed to benefit UNF students, high school students and the community. By establishing an engineering consulting simulator, Brown is asking senior civil engineering students to work on real community projects and become ambassadors by “adopting” an area high school and working with students to build model concrete canoes that will be tested on campus as part of a regional competition. For UNF students, participation is a transformational learning opportunity, which Brown hopes will also pay dividends in the community.


Seasoned professionals in the community, both engineers and non-engineers, are being recruited to work with the teams. They will provide design review and project suggestions to all teams during certain periods, thus building bridges to the community.


Building concrete canoes is nothing new for UNF engineering students. For the past 10 years, the annual American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) concrete canoe competition has been a capstone experience. Now UNF students are sharing it on the high-school level.


It also isn’t new ground for Brown, who earlier this year engineered a pilot project through the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME). The pilot project involved five area high schools. The canoes built were tested at UNF in April. Creekside High School in St. Johns County was named the winner.


Learning from the pilot project, Brown obtained a $12,000 grant from the UNF Foundation to expand the program to 10 or 12 high schools this fall. The grant will pay for materials, engineering instrumentation and design software. By targeting high schools in minority areas, Brown is also expecting to increase minority recruitment. Special emphasis will also be placed on recruiting female students onto the teams.


If the results of the Foundation project are similar to the pilot project, Brown anticipates an influx of students into UNF’s engineering program. With the Foundation project expected to reach at least 250 students this year alone, Brown is convinced more students will be deciding to enter math and science fields in college.


“We are already seeing top-notch students coming into our program,” he said. “Some of them have told me they were not really considering UNF until the canoe project.”


The challenge for high school students can be daunting.


“This is a hard competition for college students and high school students will struggle,” Brown said.  “Not everyone will be successful, but it’s the teamwork that’s important. Millennials like to touch and build things. That’s what gets them excited.”


The key will be to recruit the necessary high school teachers to participate in the project.


“It does involve some extra hours for high school teachers and a commitment on their part,” Brown said.


Beyond the UNF and high school students, the project also has benefits in the community by engaging more partners in UNF’s School of Engineering.


“This project benefits the entire North Florida community by working on civic-minded projects in a collaborative way,” Brown said.


With the success of the Foundation project, Brown said he is hoping to apply for grant funding from the National Science Foundation to specifically target millennials.

“If we can show success with the Foundation funds,” he said. “It greatly improves our chances of doing some fantastic things in the future.”


Folio Weekly names UNF "Best College" in 2011 awards issue

nov_folio_insideIn the past few years, the University of North Florida has received a lot of praise from local and national media and higher education rating groups. Just this year, the University was deemed a "cool" college, a great financial deal and one of the best schools in the region.

And Jacksonville's venerable alternative-weekly newspaper, Folio Weekly, acknowledged all those accolades in its Best of Jax 2011 issue by naming the University “Best College” in the region. The awards are based on reader votes. We'll let Folio do the horn tooting for us.

"The University of North receives all kind of accolades. The Princeton Review named it one of the best colleges in the Southeast. The Carnegie Foundation awarded the college its 2010 Community Engagement award. Just last month, the Sierra Club dubbed it one of the '100 coolest schools in America.' But for students, the best things about UNF these days are the many amenities, including the new LEED-certified student union, student housing that features a 'lazy river,' and classrooms like those in the new $40-million Biological Sciences building, which features a rooftop greenhouse for plants, living corals and marine life. And since UNF is located on 500 acres of natural habitat, with 12 miles of nature trails and an 18-acre freshwater lake, students can check out tents, canoes, kayaks, sleeping bags, stoves, backpacks and coolers and go on camping trips. In the region's battle for "best college" cred, UNF is the big man on campus."

Get to Know

nov_lowe_inside Name: Peter Bryce Lowe
Department: Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
Job title: Coordinator of Institutional Research


What do you do?  

I complete the external student related surveys such as U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review, Business Week, NCAA GSR Report as well as many others. I also submit many of the student-related Board of Governors data files, develop the annual UNF Pocket Fact book, and update Institutional Research-related information on the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website.
Years at UNF:  

11 years as A&P, but I first worked in the Financial Aid Office as a work-study student in 1996.


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

I once worked at Chuck E. Cheese and regularly performed in the costume.


Who is the most famous person you ever met? 

Well, it’s not a person, but it is still well known. A good friend worked for Industrial Light & Magic and took me on a tour through the ILM warehouse in California. He showed me many models and props from Steven Spielberg’s’ movies — “Pearl Harbor,” “Indiana Jones,” “Star Wars,” etc. During the tour, he told me to touch the R2-D2 next to me. So I’d have to say it was R2-D2 from the original “Star Wars.”


Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know:  I have zero interest in Facebook or owning an Apple product.


Tell us about your family

My parents are from the United Kingdom, and my father is a retired ship’s captain. I have two older brothers — Simon served 23 years in the Air Force and Nigel is a sergeant with the Alachua County Sheriff’s K-9 division. 


What person had the greatest impact on your life?   

Without a doubt, it was my mother. My father was often at sea for months at a time, so Mum had to run the house and raise three boys on her own. She was a person of character and always had high expectations for us and whatever we did. The older I get, the more I realize how important the values she instilled in us are and how fortunate we really were. There’s nothing I’d change about my upbringing. 

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

There’s nothing else I’d rather do. I’m very fortunate to enjoy what I do and the people I work with.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?  

The people and campus environment. It’s very rewarding to work with people who are passionate about their work.

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

I’d be working in an information technology-related field at another university.


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

If the amount was large enough, I’d pay off my brothers’ mortgages and take my family and friends on a private cruise. I’d invest the rest and live off the interest. I’d also use some of it to do random acts of kindness to help people I encounter throughout my life. 


What would you like to do when you retire?  

I’d love to travel. I’m very fortunate to have traveled outside the United States many times while growing up, but I failed to fully appreciate many of the experiences. I hope to have the opportunity to revisit those countries and many others. 
What is your favorite way to blow an hour? 

I’ve recently completed a motorcycle endorsement course, so a group ride on a country road is a great way to spend an hour.


What was the best money you ever spent? 

The best money I’ve ever spent was on my college education. A week in Paris for the 2005 New Year was also pretty cool.

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

I believe it was The Romantics in 1983. The most recent was the Oct. 8 Gator Country concert.     

  What are you most passionate about?  

Family and doing my best in whatever I do. 


  What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet? Finish restoring my 1928 Bungalow.


Last book read:  


Faculty and Staff

august faculty staff

Brooks College of Health 

Nursing: Dr. Cynthia Cummings, made a presentation on compassion fatigue and moral distress in nurses at a stress management seminar given by St. Vincent’s Hospital.  Dr. Cummings also has an article coming out on Journal of Research in Nursing for December, “The Effects of Workplace Stress on Nursing Retention.”


Public Health: Drs. Tes Tuason and Lynne Carroll presented, “The disaster continues: A qualitative study on the experiences of Hurricane Katrina survivors” at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C., in August.


Dr. Tes Tuason also presented “Is it truly just about the money? The impact of overseas on family members” at the Second Annual Public Health Symposium at UNF in August.


Dr. Julie Merten received the Eta Sigma Gamma National Health Education Honorary 2011 Outstanding Faculty Sponsor of the Year Award. Mertenwas recognizedfor her extensive and professional contributions of service, exceptional leadership and commitment. She has been invited to receive this prestigious award at the ESG Annual Business Meeting and Awards ceremony which will take place in conjunction with the American School Health Association Conference in Louisville, Ky. in October.


Coggin College of Business 

Marketing and Logistics: Dr. Greg Gundlach had an article published in AMS Review titled “Resale price maintenance and free riding: Insights from multi-channel research.”


Accounting and Finance: In September, the Consultative Advisory Board of the International Accounting Standards Board of the International Federation of Accountants met at the Sawgrass Marriott. The meeting was the last chaired by Dr. Charles Calhoun, completing his second three-year term as chairman. Calhoun represents the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and they sponsored a celebration in his honor at the Sawgrass Country Club Beach Club. Calhoun has represented NASBA on IFAC education committees and boards since 1998. Calhoun recently stepped down as the Chairman of the Accounting and Finance Department for the last six years.


College of Arts and Sciences 

Languages, Literature and Cultures: Dr. Shane Agin has edited “Sex Education in Eighteenth-Century France,” published “Diderot, Rousseau, and the Historiography of Virtue” in the Sept. 2011 volume of Diderot Studies and translated myriad French texts in the past few months.


Dr. Nuria Ibáñez published “Feliz Nuevo Siglo Doctor Freud: Reivindicación escénica del padre del psicoanálisis" in Vol. 48 of the Revista de Literatura Mexicana.


Music: Dr. Nick Curry recently performed as a soloist live on WJCT public radio. In early May, he traveled as a faculty leader with the UNF Chorale on its trip to Italy. He also performed with members of the Jacksonville Symphony as a part of Music Paradigm with Roger Nierenberg.


Renate Falkner participated in Boston Baroque’s production of Rameau’s rarely-heard opera “Les Indes Galantes,” at NEC’s Jordan Hall, followed by a performance of Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 2 “The Resurrection” with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She also served as a member of the Bellingham Festival of Music (Wash.) and principal viola of the Quartz Mountain Music Festival in July and August.

Dr. Randy Tinnin, Dr. Erin Bennett and Rhonda Nus Tinnin performed with Serafini at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University in September. The program included the American premiere of South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Of Innocence and Experience.


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction 

Computing: Drs. Sanjay P. Ahuja and A. Patel published their paper,“Enterprise Service Bus: A Performance Evaluation,” in the Communications and Network Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3, August, 2011. Ahuja also attended the Enterprise Mobile Computing Workshop 2011 at the UNF Student Union Saturday, Sept. 17. The event was organized by the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce.


Dr. Bob Roggio nowserves as the International President of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), the international computing sciences honor society. In this role, Roggio recently traveled to South Dakota State University to install a new local student chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon. Fourteen students and faculty were inducted. 


Construction Management: The Department of Construction Management has partnered with the Association of Builders and Contractors (ABC) to found the UNF ABC Student Club with construction management student Jeff McFarland serving as club president. The construction management ABC student club kicked off the club formation with a “Meet and Greet” with construction industry professionals. There were 15 professionals and 40 construction management students participating. Dr. Jerry Merckel serves as the club’s adviser.


Engineering: Dr. Chris Brown received a research grant, “Water Quality Improvement in the Cedar River Basin,” from the City of Jacksonville and Camp, Dresser & McKee for $18,972.


Dr. Pat Welsh gave an invited presentation, “Hurricanes and You,” to personnel at the Keystone Heights City Hall Sept. 13.


College of Education and Human Services 

Childhood Education: Dr. Katie Monnin has been invited by Scholastic to attend New York City’s Comic Con from Oct. 13 to 15 and moderate the panel for Jeff Smith’s 20th anniversary of “Bone,” a graphic novel series. She also made an appearance in September on her Action News Jacksonville segment “Katie's Korner,” which focused on parents and kids reading the Star Wars saga together.


Dr. Gigi Morales David presented ABC Literacy: Art, Books, Community-building basic concept knowledge and literacy skills by empowering families to engage in interactive read-alouds and arts-infused activities with their kindergarten children at the Florida Reading Association conference in Orlando.


Drs. Elizabeth Fullerton, Gigi Morales David, Katrina Hall and Ms. Pam Bell will be presenting “Intentional Partnerships: Preparing the early childhood teacher to be a community leader” at the National Association for Education of Young Children conference in November.   


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Dr. Luke Cornelius wrote Chapter 6 on Legal Rights of Non-Academic Personnel in “Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Law” (2nd Ed.) by Richard Fossey, Kerry Brian Melear and Joseph C. Beckham, eds. 2011.   


august dateline

Milestone Anniversaries 

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


Five Years: 

Gary Prim, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Mary Mory, CADD Operator/Assistant Project Manager, Facilities Planning

Nancy Youngberg, Registered Nurse, Student Health Services



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

Andrea Adams-Manning, Coordinator of Student Conduct, Student Conduct

Eden Cox, Executive Secretary, Enrollment Services

Ray de Lugo, Jr., Associate Director, Purchasing

Frederick Dunaway, Officer, University Police Department

Susan Eisenberg, Coordinator of Admissions Processing, Enrollment Services

Jason Graham, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, Academic Affairs

Omar Grant, Laboratory Technician, Biology

Robert Hughes, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Linda Hubbart-Williams, Senior Buyer, Purchasing

Dervisa Hurem, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Cynthia Lewis, Coordinator of Student Affairs, Center for International Education

Stephanie McLarty, Administrative Secretary, Coggin College of Business

Chere’ Morella, Accounting Associate, Student Affairs

Colleen O’Connell, Coordinator of Sports Information, Intercollegiate Athletics

William Taylor, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Kenneth Tucker, Administrative Secretary, Psychology



Heartfelt well wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees, who left UNF from mid-September to mid-October:

Chiquita Bryant, Senior Financial Systems Analyst, Financial Systems

Earl Hewey, Senior Applications Programmer, Enterprise Systems

Jenay Sermon, Coordinator of Research Program Services, Florida Institute of Education

Rodney Jean-Bart, Senior Construction Project Specialist, Physical Facilities


The Goods

The Goods on Tofu


Tofu is a soy-based product originally common in Asian cuisine. It’s become popular in the United States among culinary adventurers and health-conscious consumers. Dr. Judith Rodriguez, chair and faculty in the University of North Florida’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses myths and facts about this versatile, protein-rich food. For those interested in trying tofu, a recipe is also provided.


Myth: Tofu is only for vegetarians. 

Fact: Tofu has high-quality protein and can be used by vegetarians as a substitute for meat, poultry or fish. But tofu isn’t just for vegetarians. It can be a regular high-protein food on your plate.  


Myth: Tofu is a cheese. 

Fact: Tofu is sometimes called soy cheese because, like dairy cheeses, it’s made with the use of a coagulant, or curdling agent, soybeans and water, but it’s not a dairy-based cheese. The soybeans are soaked, ground, boiled, strained, pressed and dried. Tofu is also known as the cheese of Asia, and like cheeses, it’s available in various consistencies or levels of firmness, ranging from silken or soft tofu, to firm.


Myth: Tofu is naturally high in calcium. 

Fact: Tofu is naturally high in protein but not naturally high in calcium. However, because calcium-containing coagulants (calcium sulfate or calcium chloride) are generally used in making tofu, this increases the level of calcium in the product. Make sure you read the label to determine that you are getting a high-calcium tofu product.  


Myth: Tofu doesn’t contain fat. 

Fact: Tofu is a staple “vegetarian’s meat” because of its high-protein quality and versatility. It’s not fat-free, but it does contain the healthier fat. A grilled 3-ounce extra firm tofu burger will have about 9 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat (mostly polyunsaturated) and 86 calories. A regular broiled 3-ounce burger will have about 20 grams of protein, 18 grams of fat (mostly saturated) and 246 calories. So, for about 246 calories of tofu, you would be getting about 25 grams of protein and 11 grams of fat (mostly polyunsaturated). This is a lower amount and healthier fat but not a fat-free food.


Myth: Tofu should not be cooked. 

Fact: Tofu can be used in recipes that don’t require cooking. Some people use soft tofu as a base for dressings. Others prefer firm tofu as a meat substitute in cooked recipes. Tofu has excellent ability to absorb flavors, so it’s a great meat substitute for recipes that have spices and marinades.


Myth: Tofu is harmful to men. 

Fact: Tofu contains genistein and daidzein, two plant phytoestrogens that act similarly to estrogen. But some people erroneously think that tofu is harmful, especially to men. Although there was a case of some minor temporary issues by an individual drinking soy milk daily in extremely large amounts, tofu is safe and hasn’t been associated with harm.  


Tofu-based ginger dressing 


½ cup low-fat firm silken tofu

1/3 cup water

¼ cup shredded fresh ginger

¼ cup tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons white miso

1 tablespoon oil (preferably canola or safflower)

1 garlic clove, chopped


Blend all ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. Use on mixed tossed salad. Include a variety of Asian greens, such as bok choy, Chinese cabbage, snow peas, oriental cucumber, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, soy beans and chives. Or use your favorite veggies. (Start with this recipe and modify the amounts of ingredients based on your flavor preferences.)


The Goods is a monthly column about food myths and facts by faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program and runs in The Florida Times-Union’s “Taste” section. Have a question about tofu? Contact Rodriguez at . 

Around Campus

Healthy Osprey: You've got to move!

nov_healthy osprey_insideNo one really has enough time left over in a day to exercise, but if you don’t get regular physical activity to stay fit, you’ll run out of time entirely too soon. Busy people do it every day by fitting it into their daily routine and keeping the mindset that exercise is a priority.


Try some of these tips from busy people who stay fit.


Make it a group affair. Healthy families and friends make exercise a routine, whether it’s biking or walking together, or spending more time on games than in front of TV screens.


Get up 20 minutes earlier. Stretch, do some crunches, jumping jacks, or go walking before you shower.


Clip on a pedometer. If you’re aiming for 10,000 steps a day, your move-more mindset will keep you moving.


Take the stairs. In between meetings or classes, utilize the stairwells in the buildings.


Make use of your lunch break. Take a quick trip to the gym, walk or do some light hand weights.


Stretch at your desk. Reduce muscle tension and get your blood circulating.


Rake leaves. It’s October and it needs to be done. Combine that with other chores so you can burn more calories.


Break it up. You don’t have to do it all at once. Try several 10-minute activity boosts through the day.


Healthy Osprey is a new feature in Inside, designed to provide solid advice on how to become more healthy at work and at home. Shelly Purser, director of Health Promotions, and Mike Kennedy, assistant director of Health Promotions, will write a different article each month that will focus on some aspect of health and wellness. Healthy Osprey is a collaboration of students, faculty and staff working together to foster a University community that embraces the development of a healthy body, mind and spirit. The purpose of the Healthy Osprey initiative is to assess and respond to the needs of the UNF community to create and maintain a healthy environment, which will enhance the holistic student experience. For more information, or for any questions you might have, contact Shelly Purser at To read the entire newsletter, click here.