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InsideSeptember 2011

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Campus comes alive with sights of heavy metal

UNF art students and faculty inaugurated the Sculpture on Campus program by installing four large, steel sculptures. Heavy metal has come to the University of North Florida campus.


UNF art students and faculty this month inaugurated the Sculpture on Campus program by installing four large, steel sculptures across campus. The project was spearheaded by Jenny Hager-Vickery, a local artist and assistant professor of sculpture.


The art installations have been in the works since 2009. That’s when Hager-Vickery received an initiatives grant from the University of North Florida Foundation Board Initiatives to support the program and the installation of large-scale, public art across campus. The Foundation Board Initiatives are a significant source of funding for faculty projects and this year, a total of $75,000 will be awarded, three times the amount awarded last year. There will be an informational open house for faculty from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 16 in the Student Union. To request funding, faculty members can submit a letter of interest to the committee in November giving a brief summary of their project. For more information, contact Ann McCullen at


The grant funded new equipment for the sculpture program, as well as the materials needed to install the pieces on four concrete sculpture pads on campus, Hager-Vickery said.


Students learned hands-on the step-by-step the process of creating large-scale public-work pieces, a time-intensive journey that involves drafting budgets and presenting proposals before the building and installation even starts.


“I’m really proud of our students and all their hard work,” Hager-Vickery said.


The transformational learning opportunity provided upper-level sculpture students the chance to present four-minute proposals and maquettes (small models) to a selection committee, who chose four varied pieces. The process is very much like what happens in the community when a professional artist presents his or her work.


UNF junior Amanda Campbell created “Gentle Breeze,” a 10-foot-tall bonsai tree, which is now located in front of the parking garage across from the UNF Arena. Recent UNF graduate Philip Kager’s “Untitled” is a large curvilinear piece anchored in the roundabout on the north side of campus. UNF senior Scott Mihalik’s “Repetitive Graduation” piece is a series of stacked triangular forms — alternating black and white — positioned in front of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library. UNF senior Joshua Raines’ work, “Untitled,” resembles a forest made of steel, situated by the retention pond in front of the College of Education and Human Services.


They’re all wildly different aesthetically, but they share one commonality.


They’re heavy. Really heavy.


Several thousand pounds of steel were used in the fabrication of the pieces, and vehicle maintenance crew members from Physical Facilities were needed to help move the sculptures to their locations. The maintenance crew also broke out the backhoe to aid students in the placement of the sculptures.


Cal Schumacher, a senior mechanic for Physical Facilities, said assisting with the statue installation was an interesting change of pace from his typical workday.


"It was enjoyable because we got to get away for a bit from our normal rounds," said Schumacher, who assisted on each of the installation along with his colleague, mechanic Ben Bryan. "It's not every day that we get to use the backhoe for artistic purposes."

Hager-Vickery said there will be a public sculpture walk in the fall semester to celebrate the students’ efforts and commemorate the new artistic additions to campus.

Around Campus

New Osprey’s internship ignites career trajectory

UNF students Chelsea Partridge spent her summer vacation working on the space shuttle. Forget lazy summer days lounging on the beach. 


University of North Florida student Chelsea Partridge spent her post-high-school-graduation vacation working with space shuttle parts during a summer internship with the John F. Kennedy Space Center.


The Robert E. Lee High School graduate and Jacksonville resident said she’s always been interested in space and all the work that NASA does. That long-simmering passion was what led to her becoming involved in engineering and design work. And it just so happened that NASA was looking for some hard-working interns to help staff the Kennedy Space Center’s Prototype Development Lab as part of the NASA INSPIRE Program, a year-round, internship program for high school students.


This was actually her second summer getting her hands dirty in the Prototype Development Lab.


And her primary responsibilities didn’t involve fetching coffee or collating copies. The high flying Osprey used industry-standard software such as ProEngineer and MathCad to help with calculations and design projects.


Her work helped in the creation of a tool that can rotate alignment pins in the space shuttle program’s helicopters, and she even wrote an analysis report on a flange that failed on Discovery.


Certain work experiences, however, stuck out to her.


“The highlight of my work was making drawings, being signed as the draftsman, designing and building a tool to fix desiccant tubes for the space shuttle,” she said.


It’s heady work for an experienced aerospace professional, much less an 18-year-old high school graduate on summer break. But Partridge said she was never intimidated by her surroundings.


She even found time for a little fun.


“My favorite part was going inside Endeavour,” she said. “It was something I dreamed about ever since I was a small child, and it was really a dream come true. The best part was climbing into the tiny flight deck, where I got to sit in the pilot’s seat and hold the joystick that flies the shuttle.”


Even though she’s only 18 years old, Partridge started her UNF career as a junior because of prior coursework at Florida State College at Jacksonville. On top of that, she is the recipient of the UNF Presidential and Jacksonville Commitment scholarships.


She’s debating between majoring in mechanical engineering or physics, but she said her internship has prepared her for anything.


“I’m ready for the workload I am going to have, as well as working with others to accomplish tasks,” she said. “The internship has made me really excited about engineering school.”


Wind Symphony rocks the house at Lincoln Center

The UNF Wind Symphony played the famed Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in April. It is not every day that University of North Florida students get to play at the famed Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. It is not even every year that they get to do it, but this spring they did it — and to much acclaim.

The UNF Wind Symphony performed April 9 at the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center.

Alice Tully Hall has been the setting for thousands of events including world premieres and star-studded galas. Superstars from nearly every category of the performing arts have graced its stage including Leonard Bernstein, Spike Lee, Harold Pinter, David Byrne, Yo-Yo Ma, Rosie O’Donnell, Beverly Sills and Clint Eastwood.

The building housing The Juilliard School and Alice Tully Hall, designed by architect Pietro Belluschi, was completed in 1969. It was named for its principal benefactor, arts patron Alice Tully, and was the first major concert venue in New York City designed specifically for chamber music. It was also the last building of the original Lincoln Center complex to be completed.

Alice Tully Hall currently houses presentations by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Great Performers, American Songbook, Mostly Mozart and hundreds of outside licensees annually.

That is where UNF comes in.

It was during one of these outside performances that nearly 50 UNF Wind Symphony students took center stage. After riveting audiences at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference in 2007 and Carnegie Hall in 2008, 45 of UNF’s most accomplished woodwind, brass and percussion players touched new highs in traditional wind literature at the famed New York venue.

With Dr. Gordon R. Brock, chair of the Department of Music, conducting the UNF Wind Symphony, the ensemble received critical acclaim. The Music Program was recently named one of UNF’s six Flagship Programs because of its ability to bring national attention to UNF and its students. Flagship Programs are selected because of their excellence in the scholarly accomplishments of their faculty and the demonstrable potential of those faculty to sustain a trajectory toward scholarly distinction; their potential to produce particularly compelling or exceptional educational outcomes for students; and their power to link the quality of education at UNF to a range of civic needs in the region.

And with this performance at the renowned Lincoln Center, the Wind Symphony did just that. It performed an original composition by Dr. Clarence Hines, professor of music, called “The Quest.” Jazz Studies Director Bunky Green joined on saxophone.

“This performance is further reinforcement and affirmation of the tremendous progress we have made in the Wind and Percussion program and department as a whole,” Brock said. “Having applied and been selected to perform in Carnegie Hall and most recently Lincoln Center, two of the most venerable performance venues in the country, is a testament to the focused efforts of our students and the leadership of our distinguished faculty. We couldn't have asked for a better transformational performance opportunity and experience.”


UNF nursing professor delves into the dark past of medical research at German concentration camp

Just one of the monuments dedicated to remembering those who were incarcerated at Ravensbruck concentration camp. A University of North Florida instructor’s research on health policy in the early 20th century was highlighted this month at an academic conference at the memorial site of a WWII concentration camp in Germany.  

Dr. Bonnie Pope, a UNF nursing instructor, was chosen to present at the seventh European Summer School Ravensbrück, which kicked off late last month at the Ravensbrück Memorial Site in Germany.

Ravensbrück was a women's WWII concentration camp in northern Germany that was the sight of untold horrors.

Researchers this year have been tasked with analyzing racial and gender policies in the 20th century, especially in the world of health care.

Pope, a UNF instructor since 2006, said a major focus of her academic research has been identifying disparities in medical care for women and children, including infant mortality rates among vulnerable populations.

That research includes the study of eugenics, also known as the scientific desire to improve the human race through science. It was an often brutal field that was twisted by Nazi researchers and used on unwilling test subjects during WWII at Ravensbrück.

Pope said she presented some of her research last September at a eugenics conference in England. That’s where she met fellow academic Dr. Anja Peters, a German language lecturer at the Royal Holloway University of London. She encouraged Pope to sign up for the Ravensbrück conference to further her study of a dark period in scientific history.

“Knowledge is power — the power to influence either positively or negatively — and unless we are informed, how can we work toward safeguarding the rights of others?” Pope said.

The staff at Ravensbrück perpetrated numerous atrocities on thousands of prisoners while it was an active concentration camp, including forced death marches and massive perversions of the Hippocratic Oath. Doctors performed wicked experiments on unwilling patients that left dozens of patients crippled and many more dead. That history is a startling reminder of why the research conference is so important, Pope said.

“Nursing is more than a task,” she said. “Nursing has a responsibility to the community — to be present and to support the rights of others. That’s why there’s a lot to learn from the example of the German people's determination to examine their past and learn from such a dark time in their history.”

Pope’s presentation, “Eugenics and health policy during the 1900s-1935 and the influence of eugenics on the Social Security Act of 1935,” focuses primarily on how political and ideological forces have shaped the current face of health care in America and across the globe. It’s a dense body of work that she said she’s been compiling for years in addition to her other public health research here on the First Coast.

She has worked extensively with the Duval County Health Department and Jacksonville’s Healthy Start Coalition to help understand the barriers preventing some Northeast Florida residents from receiving adequate medical care.

Dr. Li Loriz, director of UNF's School of Nursing, said conferences like the one at Ravensbrück are important in informing a researcher’s worldview and helping to shape a more well-rounded catalog of work for UNF professors.

“The importance of it is that if you're getting to see first-hand that not all research is grounded in a positive nature,” Loriz said. “There’s this history that needs to be studied so there are those who can make sure that it doesn’t repeat itself. Being able to go out and see what transcribed in different cultures is important because that impacts how we as a society are developing today. It’ll be a great research experience for her to bring back to campus.”

Around Campus

MOTH flits into its fall season

"Biutiful," starring Javier Bardem, was the first movie in this fall's MOTH series. Movies on the House (MOTH) is pleased to announce its new season of free movies.

This fall, the movies will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursdays in the Robinson Theater and are sponsored by the President’s Office and Academic Affairs. All movies are free to UNF students, faculty, staff and guests.


 Dr. Jason Mauro, an English professor, runs the free movie program and says he is very excited about the fall season. “We have some great films lined up that really showcase the purpose of Movies on the House,” he said. “We don’t show movies that have achieved commercial success, though we might show movies that have been released commercially. Generally, we look at films that truly showcase the art of filmmaking. We want to open people’s minds to movies that are not particularly mainstream, but have a beautiful story to tell.”


Mauro said this season has a bit of everything in it — from art films to those that tell the story of manipulation and deceit. They are films to make one think and have been chosen for exactly that reason.


“In the perpetual cinematic fight between art and industry, Movies on the House wants to get in a few punches on the side of art,” Mauro said. 


The fall season kicked off with a showing Aug. 25 of “Biutiful,” a drama film directed by Alejandro Inarritu and starring Javier Bardem. It is the story of Uxbal — a single father who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amid the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona — all before terminal cancer ends his life.


The rest of the season includes: Thursday, Sept. 8, "Howl"; Thursday, Sept. 22, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"; Thursday, Oct. 6, "Beyond the Gates"; Thursday, Oct. 20, "Meek’s Cutoff"; Thursday, Nov. 3, "The Tillman Story"; Thursday, Nov. 17, "Stone"; and Thursday, Dec. 1, "Four Lion."

Around Campus

Hubbuch shares lifelong gardening experience on website

Chuck HubbochThe lead sentence in his website bio says it all.

“These are the observations of an obsessed gardener.”

Chuck Hubbuch embraces that label fully. Every good horticulturist — amateur or otherwise — requires a certain level of obsession with the craft to make his or her own garden the best it can be.

And with 1,381 acres in his care on campus, Hubbuch is bound to be a little engrossed in his occupation.

“The work I do here at the University of North Florida never stops,” he said. “It’s always growing, always changing. On a campus like this, with all the native plants, I’m constantly learning more.”

Hubbuch, an assistant director of Physical Facilities who worked at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and the Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami before coming to UNF, has been cataloging foliage data for decades in stacks of notebooks and dozens of computer files.

Now he’s migrating that data online.

Hubbuch has just launched his own website — Southeast Garden ( — that documents his green-thumbed experiences in Northeast Florida.

It’s been a passion project for him for some time because he said there’s a dearth of quality gardening information in the region.

“When I first moved here from Miami nine years ago, I found very few references about what would grow here,” he said. “There were no books and no notes on the best type of plants to grow in the region. I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I’ll write a book one day.’”

He diligently documented his on-campus gardening notes on his computer in the hopes of one day compiling them for a book, but a series of hard drive crashes motivated him to move that information to a website.

He even made the website his New Year’s resolution.

“I knew I wouldn’t ever get around to it if I didn’t set a goal,” Hubbuch said. “So, I made the resolution and have been building toward getting the site up since January.”

The site, which went live earlier this year, has been averaging about 1,300 page views a day. Those website visitors have been drawn to the site due to the wealth of content for fledgling and experienced gardeners alike. Hubbuch has detailed many different types of foliage that thrive in Northeast Florida and identified pest plants that can wreak havoc on a garden. He even relayed his experiences on the UNF grounds and at his Jacksonville home garden, which encompasses about two acres.

“There’s quite a bit of overlap on the website with my work at UNF,” Hubbuch said. “I use photos from the plants at UNF and run trials at home to help me determine what I want to do here.”

That spirit of experimentation has inspired many of his UNF colleagues, including Dr. David Fenner, an amateur gardener and assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Fenner said he’s been coming to Hubbuch for years for tips to improve his home garden.

“There’s nobody in the Southeast who knows more about plants, especially those in this region,” Fenner said. “He’s an incredible resource, and his work is remarkable. You can see it in every part of the campus. And now you can see it on his website.”

Now everyone can benefit from Hubbuch’s years of experience and study — thanks to the World Wide Web.


Foundation funding helps take 'sting' out of research costs

UNF biology student works with the stingrays in the new exhibit at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. A visit to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will be getting a bit more educational this year as the result of an innovative outreach program being undertaken by the University of North Florida’s Coastal Biology program.


Later this year when visitors enter the refurbished Stingray Bay exhibit, they will encounter not only a school of 30 stingrays but a group of UNF student interns who will enhance their education experience.


The program is the brainchild of biology professor Dr. James Gelsleichter and is a perfect example of the type of university-community partnerships that are thriving through funding from the UNF Foundation Board and The Power of Transformation campaign. Funding was provided through UNF Foundation Board Initiatives, a program that assists faculty in a variety of innovative projects.


The University of North Florida Foundation Board Initiatives are a significant source of funding for faculty projects and this year, a total of $75,000 will be awarded, three times the amount awarded last year. There will be an informational open house for faculty from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 16 in the Student Union. To request funding, faculty members can submit a letter of interest to the committee in November giving a brief summary of their project. For more information, contact Ann McCullen at

The Foundation is providing about $13,000 to fund Gelsleichter’s pilot public-outreach initiative, which is designed to benefit the community, the zoo and UNF students.


The Coastal Biology program is one of the University’s six elite flagship programs. Flagships programs are chosen for their excellence in the scholarly accomplishments of their faculty and the demonstrable potential of those faculty to sustain a trajectory toward scholarly distinction; their potential to produce particularly compelling or exceptional educational outcomes for students; and their power to link the quality of education at UNF to a range of civic needs in the region. For this reason, Flagship Programs are selected to receive significant budgetary support for a period of five years at which point they are expected to become self-sustaining or to have generated external funding support. Coastal Biology was one of the first Flagship Programs to be selected and provides excellent hands-on and transformational learning opportunities for its students and allows for ample community involvement. The stingray exhibit is a perfect example of how and why it all works.  

After undergoing training, UNF student interns will present informal science education lessons on ray biology to visitors at the zoo’s 17,000-gallon saltwater Stingray Bay exhibit. Although the exhibit was initially opened under the management of a San Diego-based wildlife exhibit company, the contract has since expired. The zoo agreed to allow the UNF interns the opportunity to manage the educational portion of the exhibit.


However, a new group of stingrays are being “recruited” for the exhibit before it will be reopened.

That recruitment job fell to graduate assistant Brenda Anderson, who has been helping Gelsleichter prepare the project. The native of Chesapeake, Va., received her undergraduate training at Old Dominion University, and was attracted to UNF by its Coastal Biology program. She said she never anticipated part of her responsibilities as a graduate assistant would be collecting stingrays.


Anderson selected Nassau Sound, just north of Little Talbot State Park, as the location to collect some of the rays for the zoo exhibit.  She used a fishing net and collected several rays, which had to be quarantined for 30 days before they were allowed in to make sure they were free of parasites. They also needed to be gradually acclimated to captivity by becoming accustomed to new feeding habits and being handled by humans. Additional rays were acquired from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tenn. They were maintained at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine until the zoo was ready to accept them into the exhibit.


Once approximately 30 rays are obtained for the exhibit, the next step will be training interns to work at the exhibit. About a half-dozen students enrolled in the applied biology internship will be trained to engage exhibit visitors. Gelsleichter said the goal is to produce guides who don’t simply recite facts about stingrays.

“The focus is an attempt to teach visitors in an informal setting so they can learn it for themselves,” he said. The interns will be encouraged to ask visitors questions and actively engage them in thinking about stingrays, he explained.


Foundation funding will be used to purchase various materials used in the educational activities, such as a stingray spine and jawbone. “The key is to have more give-and-take with visitors,” he said.


Gelsleichter hopes the UNF Foundation project will serve as a pilot project to generate funding from other educational foundations for future projects.  The scope of the program could eventually be expanded beyond the stingray exhibit to include snakes or mammals at the zoo.  

“We have a great deal of expertise in UNF’s biology program,” Gelsleichter said. “We have also been exploring cooperative ventures with MOSH [Museum of Science and History].”

Gelsleichter said he wants the experience to create a greater awareness about the need for public outreach in scientific education among the students participating in the project. He’s hoping some student interns might even be influenced to enter the teaching profession.

“This will contribute significantly to our efforts to strengthen the country’s awareness of the importance of the oceans and create an ocean-science-literate society.”

Around Campus

MOCA Jacksonville exhibitions explore iconic, controversial photography

MOCA Jacksonville's latest exhibit features photography from a private collection. From shaping history to launching status updates on social media outlets, photography is the most pervasive visual language today.

That’s why the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville celebrates this versatile medium in its many guises.

Selections from one of the world’s best private photography collections will be on display this fall at MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida. Organized by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Dr. Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF, “Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography,” opens Saturday, Sept. 17.

Curated from the collection of Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, “Shared Vision” features 200 iconic images that reflect the rich and diverse nature of the past 100 years of photography. Street scenes, the human form and environment, unique viewpoints, children and spectacular landscapes represent just a portion of the amazing holdings amassed by two individuals that ARTnews ranks among the world’s top 10 photo collectors. The exhibition features prominent photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans, Eugene Atget, Doug and Mike Starn, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sally Mann, Loretta Lux and Ansel Adams.

“Few passions in the history of collecting have persisted as long and have yielded equally unparalleled results as Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s self-admitted love affair with photography,” said Dr. Marcelle Polednik, director of MOCA Jacksonville. “Over the course of more than four decades, the couple’s steadfast devotion to the medium has guided the gradual growth of their collection.”

Karabinis says Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s collaboration hinges on a few underlying principles — to acquire works of major importance by leading photographers of their generation and focus on vintage prints.

Each of the collectors brings a different point of view to the photography —Gonzalez-Falla analyzes color and form, while Gilman responds to images on a more visceral level.

These distinct approaches merge into a single, shared vision and emanate from the same goal — to collect photographs that move and inspire them.

“The “Shared Vision” exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by MOCA and produced by the prestigious Aperture Foundation. This catalog features selected photographs from the exhibition with historical context about each image and its photographer, remarks by co-curators and co-authors Thompson and Karabinis and an exclusive interview with the collectors. The exhibit is generously sponsored by Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla; Folio Weekly; The Haskell Company; Marilyn and Charles Gilman, III; Joan and Preston Haskell; and Sunshine Frames, Inc.

“This is a tremendous exhibition in itself, but it is also an important moment in the partnership between the museum and UNF,” Karabinis said. “We are getting to see vintage photographs made at the time or near the time of their origination by the most important photographers of the 20th century and today. Jacksonville is tremendously fortunate to peer into photos that have been only seen in Sondra and Celso’s home.”

MOCA will also showcase two new satellite photography exhibitions alongside this important survey. Starting Sept. 7, the UNF Gallery at MOCA will feature a selection of contemporary landscape photographs called “No Place In Particular: Images of the American Landscape,” which was curated by Alexander Diaz, assistant professor of photography. The exhibition investigates the visual, societal, and ecological consequences of development and urbanization after World War II.

“While the phenomenon has given many people the opportunity to own homes and escape from the problems they face in cities, conversely, developing suburbanization has homogenized the landscape, fragmented vast amounts of natural habitat, and exacerbated dependency on the automobile,” said Dr. Alexander Diaz, assistant professor of photography at UNF. “The photographers of this exhibition reveal the ordinary in a unique and thoughtful manner that encourages contemplation about modern land-use practices and the particulars of place.”

The museum will also display a landmark in documentary photography — Larry Clark’s provocative “Tulsa Series.” Made in 1971, this harrowing photo book chronicles the aimless drug use, violence and sexual activities of Clark’s circle of friends in their hometown. Never previously exhibited at MOCA in its entirety, the series is an important milestone in the history of the medium, as well as one of the key works in the museum’s permanent collection, Polednik said.

“When it first appeared in 1971, Larry Clark's groundbreaking book Tulsa sparked immediate controversy across the nation,” said Dr. Christopher Trice, an assistant professor of photography who will discuss the work’s historical context and artistic merit at a MOCA lecture at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29 at MOCA. “The series’ graphic depictions of sex, violence, and drug abuse in the youth culture of Oklahoma were acclaimed by critics for stripping bare the myth that Middle America had been immune to the social convulsions that epitomized the culture of the 1960s.”

Other public programs will include a portfolio review on Sept. 17, a lecture on Oct. 20 by Karabinis about his experiences curating “Shared Vision,” and a film about the 1990 Mapplethorpe exhibition,  and a Q&A session with Polednik about controversy and broader issues facing photography on Oct. 20, and a special curator-led tour of the museum on Dec. 10.

For more information about “Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography” and its related activities, visit or call MOCA at (904) 366-6911.

Get to Know

Assistant Director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences welcomes her new daughter, Lora Leigh Helen Palmer, to the Osprey family.Name: Jill Jackson

Department: Institutional Advancement
and the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction

Job title: Director of Development for the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


What do you do? Build support for the computing, engineering and construction management programs at UNF

Years at UNF: 3.5


What is the best thing you ever won? 

I won $200 on an airplane when I was flying to Mexico on a vacation. All of the passengers wrote their seat number on their bills and gave them to the flight attendant. My seat number was selected, and I won the pot! There’s bad news, though. I developed a serious migraine on the flight and I had to get a doctor when we landed. The bill was $175. 

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

First reaction — a Broadway singer or tambourine player in a band. More realistic — an author of humorous novels or children’s books


What would you like to do when you retire? 

Retire? Yeah, right. If that happens, I would like to travel somewhere exciting, such as Australia. Not Palatka or Baldwin. I can see myself volunteering at a hospital as the greeter or visiting patients. I will definitely NOT work in the yard. I don’t have a green thumb. I can’t remember to water anything. I would still like to cook healthy foods and continue exercising every day. I can also see myself entering a fitness competition at 65 or older. There are so few competitors at that age I think I would easily win!


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?  

I enjoy the college atmosphere and living vicariously through the students. I have wonderful colleagues and enjoy all the collaboration we have in finding ways to raise money for the University. I especially like to introduce students to donors and hear their stories of gratitude for receiving scholarships.


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

Travel to places I have always wanted to go, such as San Francisco. I would have to take my mom and sister since we have always wanted to go there together. I would also establish a scholarship — at UNF, of course — to help students who, like myself, needed the help of others to go to college. 


Who is the most famous person you ever met? 

When I was a senior in high school, I posed in a picture with Rob Lowe for a “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign that was on a billboard on Interstate 95 near St. Augustine. 


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

With this economy, I would probably be seeking employment to no avail.


What is your favorite way to blow an hour? 

Exercising or playing Words With Friends on my iPhone.


What was the best money you ever spent? 

Front-load washer and dryer and my Keurig coffee maker. I would trade my first-born child for them.


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?

Proudest moment: Graduating from college. My family struggled financially, and we had to find creative financing solutions for me to go to college.

Happiest moment: Making the last payment on my college loan. It took me 10 years to pay it off.


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

I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school. I studied classical piano for more than 10 years.


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

First concert — Donny and Marie Osmond when I turned 10. My parents took me to the concert, much to their dismay, and I was so tired I fell asleep halfway into the concert. I woke up at the end. My dad was so mad! Most recent concert was Train and Maroon 5. 


What person had the greatest impact on your life? 

My mom has had the greatest impact on my life. She is my role model for overcoming obstacles and staying positive and joyful despite your circumstances.


Tell us about your family. 

Daughter, Jillian – 14

Son, Tanner – 12


What are you most passionate about? 

My kids. And my two chihuahuas. In that order, I guess.


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

I had a motorcycle when I was five. My dad owned a motorcycle shop in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I used to go with him to work on the weekends and jump platforms and ride trails.

My first job was as a “drink girl” at Burger King. I was 14, and as a punishment that summer, my parents made me work at Burger King because they knew I would not like the uniform or smelling like fries. They were right.


Last book read: 

The Help


Guarding against cyber bullies

Cyber bullying is a growing concern for parents and students alike. Cyber bullying is the use of computers, cell phones or other electronic devices with the intent of harassing, intimidating, threatening, humiliating or otherwise causing harm to others. Dr. Betty Bennett, a University of North Florida education professor and director of the Florida Department of Education’s Educator Preparation Institution, talks about what is being done locally and in the state to stop cyber bullies.

What are some methods used by cyber bullies?
Some of the most common communication methods for cyber bullying include texts, e-mails, chat rooms and social media websites such as Facebook. Facebook seems to be the most common of the high-volume, far-reaching social media, but chat rooms such as those that exist in online, “live” video games are quickly gaining pace.

What does the current anti-bullying law in Florida say about cyber bullying?
Bullying has been around for a very long time. But, technology has added a possibly anonymous way to bully. The Florida anti-bullying law includes language to assist schools in controlling the issues brought about by our rapidly advancing technology. However, technology often progresses far more quickly than we can address.

Language in the Florida law directly relating to cyber bullying indicates that any harassment that falls within the responsibility of school personnel must involve district school system computer usage. With this in mind, issues occurring on home computers wouldn’t fall within the school’s responsibility. Many principals who’ve had issues say they’ve mostly been with social media websites, and have worked with parents to assist with the situation in many cases.

What are local principals seeing in schools?    
Most principals have said they didn’t have problems in their schools this past year. For those who have seen problems, the majority were with Facebook. Some cases involved children talking to parents and parents speaking to principals. With collaboration between principals, students and parents, most situations were easily remedied.

It seems that cyber bullying isn’t limited to students. Teachers can use social websites for less- than- professional activities as well. I’ve always advised new teachers to avoid the teachers’ lounge in schools as it’s the place for gossip. Facebook is like a virtual teachers’ lounge.

What are principals doing?  
Much work is being put into preventive measures. One school’s media specialist gives weekly lessons on cyber bullying to a rotating set of classes. A principal I spoke with gives training to parents through his newsletter. In one sample in which he delivered a lesson on keeping our kids safe online, he warned about Facebook and how no students at his elementary school should have an account. The required minimum age is 13. I got the general feeling that principals want to work with parents to combat the problem of bullying. It’s often difficult to get victims to report bullying. The adults closest to the victims can make all the difference. Parent and school partnerships can help prevent bullying and harassment of our students.

“Ask UNF” is a monthly column that runs in The Florida Times-Union, promoting the expertise of UNF faculty and staff. If you have questions about this topic, contact Dr. Betty Bennett at

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff news for September 2011.

 Brooks College of Health

Dr. Cynthia Cummings spoke at the Sigma Theta Tau International conference in Cancun, Mexico in July and delivered her presentation on “Incorporating Simulation into the Baccalaureate Nursing Curriculum.” Dr. Bonnie Holder also took part in the presentation.

Public Health: Dr. Lynne Carroll presented her paper “Mothers, Madness and Meaning: Using Autoethnography and Intersectionality to Explore Lesbian Identities” at Reporting from the Front Line: A Transdisciplinary Conference on Gender at the University of West England in Bristol, England in June.

Coggin College of Business

Accounting and Finance:
Drs. Jeff Michelman and John MacArthur, along with alumnae Christie Shea, recently completed “Business Risk and Internal Control: The Growing Challenges of Corruption in China,” for the Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance. This represents continuing research by both Michelman and MacArthur in China and is timely given the discussion of China’s corruption resulting in the recent major train crash.

Management: Dr. Steve Paulson’s paper “Jason Poole: E-Business Entrepreneur of Kingston Jamaica” appeared in the August issue of the Online Journal of International Case Analysis.

Marketing and Logistics: Drs. Robert Frankel, Yemisi Bolumole, Reham Eltantawy, Antony Paulraj and Greg Gundlach’s article, “The Domain and Scope of SCM’s Foundational Disciplines: Insights and Issues to Advance Research” has been recognized as one of the “2008 Top 10 Articles published in IJLRA, IJPDLM, JBL and SCM.” The journals are some of the most prestigious publications in the academic field.

College of Arts and Sciences

History: Dr. David Courtwright presented a paper, “The Internet and/as Addiction,” at the biennial meeting of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society. He also published an essay, “Is ‘Right Turn’ the Wrong Frame for American History After the 1960s?,” which appeared in John Hopkins University Press’  June 2011 issue of Historically Speaking.

Music: Dr. Michael Mastronicola, an adjunct in the Music Department, directed the inaugural Emerging Artist Chamber Music Festival at Jacksonville's Friday Musicale. Twenty advanced high school and college-aged musicians — including UNF students Hannah Meloy and Britney Maroney — participated in two weeks of intensive chamber music rehearsals from July 25 to Aug. 7. Rehearsals culminated in two public performances that included several well-known works by Mozart and Bach.  

Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Jenny Stuber’s book, “Inside the College Gates: How Class and Culture Matter in Higher Education,” was published by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 

College of Computing, Construction and Engineering
Construction Management:
Dr. Maged Malek presented “The Vision of UNF Construction Management” at the annual meeting of American Council for Construction Education. He is a member of the ACCE Board of Trustees.
Dr. Carol Woodson successfully passed the recertification requirements as a Certified Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Outreach Trainer by the U.S. Department of Labor. Outreach trainers must recertify every four years.

School of Engineering: Dr. Adel El-Safty gave two presentations at the American University in Cairo (AUC) —  “Leadership, Soft Skills and Management Skills in Construction” and “FRP Application and Design in Structural Engineering.”

Drs. Susan Vasana, Fan Xiong and Murat Tanik published their paper, “A Digital Circuit Model Exploration of Cardiovascular System Based on ECG (Electrocardiogram) and ABP (Arterial Blood Pressure) Signals Using Evolvable Hardware Design.”

School of Computing: Dr. Asai Asaithambi presented his paper, “An Efficient Method for Parallel Global Optimization Using Interval Analysis,” at the 2011 International Conference on High Performance Computing and Simulation Bahcesehir University in Istanbul in July.

Dr. Robert F. Roggio presented and published his paper, "The Merging of Diverse Perspectives: Management, Customer and Developer in an Iterative Development Planning Process,” at the Software Engineering Research and Practice Conference in July. 


College of Education and Human Services

Department of Foundations and Secondary Education:
Dr. Jeffrey W. Cornett published an article in Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies. The article ran in a recent theme issue on the essential role of social studies. His article, “The People Unite: Learning Meaningful Civics Online” highlights recent developments in online communication about public policy and student activism through the Center for Civic Education’s Project Citizen project among middle school students and teachers in Florida, Hungary and Romania. Cornett has served as a researcher, evaluator, delegate and adviser for this international civic education exchange since 1996.

Childhood Education: Dr. Katie Monnin has a monthly TV segment on the morning TV show for the local Fox affiliate, Action News. The segment started Aug. 31. Action News calls the monthly segment “Katie's Korner,” which covers reading and literacy topics.

Around Campus

New departmental chairs in place to start semester

Dr. Judy Rodriguez is one of the newest academic chairs at UNF. As we begin the fall semester at the University of North Florida, several faculty members have assumed new leadership positions in their departments and colleges.

Brooks College of Health
Dr. Li Loriz, Acting Chair, Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences. She will also continue as director of the School of Nursing.
Dr. Judy Rodriguez, Chair, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Dr. Pam Chally, Interim Chair, Public Health. She will also continue as dean of the Brooks College of Health.

Coggin College of Business
Dr. David Jaeger, Chair, Department of Accounting and Finance
Dr. Andres Gallo, Chair, Department of Economics and Geography

College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. J. Michael Francis, Chair, Department of History
Dr. Krista Paulsen, Chair, Sociology and Anthropology

College of Education and Human Services
Dr. Jennifer Kane, Chair, Leadership, Counseling and Instructional Technology

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Dr. Asai Asaithambi, Director, School of Computing


Milestone anniversaries
Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in September:

30 years
Louise Freshman Brown
, Professor, Art and Design
Warren Hodge, Associate Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sports Management

25 years
Faiz Al-Rubaee
, Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Roger Eggen, Professor, School of Computing
Bruce Fortado, Professor, Management
Cheryl Frohlich, Associate Professor, Accounting and Finance
Iver Iversen, Professor, Psychology
Christopher Leone, Professor, Psychology
Robert Thunen, Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

20 years
Patricia Geesey
, Associate Professor, Language, Literatures and Culture
Robert Roggio, Professor, School of Computing
Sidney Rosenberg, Associate Professor, Accounting and Finance
Ping Sa, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

15 years
Stuart Chalk
, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Louanne Harris, Financial Aid Specialist, Enrollment Services Processing Office
M.C. Hough, Associate Professor, Nursing
James Scott, Associate Professor, Music

10 years
Gregory Ahearn
, Professor, Biology
Daniel Cox, Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Sharon Crutchfield, Adjunct, Urban Internship
Nofa Dixon, Associate Professor, Art and Design
Julie Ingersoll, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Nathaniel Jackson, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Reinhold Lamb, Professor, Accounting and Finance
Lori Lange, Associate Professor, Accounting and Finance
James McCague, Instructor, Accounting and Finance
John Parmelee, Associate Professor, Communication
Barbara Roberts, Instructor, English
Claudia Scaff, Associate Professor, Art and Design
Gayle Stillson, Office Manager, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Russell Turney, Instructor, English
Gabriel Ybarra, Associate Professor, Psychology

Five years
Julie Baker-Townsend
, Instructor, Nursing
Elena Buzaianu, Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
John Chapman, Instructor, English
Hong Chen, Assistant Professor, Physics
Alexander Diaz, Instructor, Art and Design
Paul Eason, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Brian Fisak, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Saurabh Gupta, Assistant Professor, Management
Sungho Kim, Research Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering
Marcia Lamkin, Assistant Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sports Management
Michael Lufaso, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Aleksandra Milicevic, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Bonnie Pope, Instructor, Community Nursing
Jenny Stuber, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Cara Tasher, Associate Professor, Music
Kening Wang, Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Guy Yehuda, Assistant Professor, Music


The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions from mid-July to mid-August:
Priya Arjune, Accountant, Controller’s Office
Melissa Baxendine, Director, University Compliance
Amanda Blakewood, Associate Director, Admissions
Shawn Broderick, Administrative Secretary, School of Computing
Betty Chitty, Administrative Secretary, Mathematics and Statistics
Lauren Church, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach, Intercollegiate Athletics
Justin Clark, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, One-Stop Student Services
Matt Coleman, Assistant Director, Marketing and Publications
Kristen Cotner, College Adviser, Enrollment Services
Melissa Davenport, Academic Adviser, Coggin College of Business
Daniel Dinsmore, Assistant Professor, Foundations and Secondary Education
Charles Dobson, Office Manager, Student Government
Joshua Dunn, Assistant Coach, Men’s Soccer
Linda Durham, Office Manager, Student Government
Ricardo Garcia, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities
Carole Giannone, Associate Director, Florida Institute of Education
Bryan Gometz, Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities
Ashley Iveson, Assistant Coach, Softball
O. Patrick Kreidl, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
James Lanier, Recycle Refuse Worker, Physical Facilities
Joshua Marshall, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department
Joyce Matthews, Administrative Secretary, Clinical and Applied Movement Science
Sophie Maxis, Assistant Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sports Management
Mamie Morrow, Coordinator of Research Programs and Services, Florida Institute of Education
Tru Nguyen, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Pamela Quimby, Accounting Associate, Student Government
Don Resio, Professor, Taylor Engineering Research Institute
Ann Marie Sindt, Coordinator, Student Union
Robert Smith, Instruction of Physical Education, Foundation and Secondary Education
Judy Sulieman, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Cody Urmanec, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Meghan Vercellone, Accounts Payable and Receivable Associate, University Housing
Dona Yazbec, Executive Secretary, Brooks College of Health

Great job
The following employees were promoted from mid-July to mid-August:
James Brasseal, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Intercollegiate Athletics
Renee Goldstein, Associate Director, One-Stop Student Services
Karna Gurung, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
James Gwynes, Law Enforcement Lieutenant, University Police Department
Edgar Jackson, Associate Provost for Faculty Development, Academic Affairs
Jennifer Kane, Chair, Leadership, School Counseling and Sports Management
Tyran Lance, Administrative Assistant, College of Arts and Sciences
Jerry Letterman, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Dung Ronemous, Senior Custodial Supervisor, Physical Facilities
Michael Sams, Law Enforcement Sergeant, University Police Department
Bobby Waldrup, Associate Provost for Academic Programs, Academic Affairs

Heartfelt well wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees, who left UNF from mid-July to mid-August:
Karrar Al Azzawi, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Kimberly Booth, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Jessica Brown, Office Manager, Honors Program
Evelyn Burton, Associate Director, Purchasing
Deanna Crawford, Senior Grants Specialist, College of Education and Human Services
Sarah D’Anna, Coordinator, Admissions
Christene Eastman, Coordinator of Construction Programs, Facilities Planning
David Friedman, Coordinator of Student Financials, Enrollment Services Processing Office
Richard Gropper, Director of Development Special Projects, Institutional Advancement
Robert Hawkins, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Devi Karki, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Marilou Keleman, Administrative Secretary, Psychology
James Lashley, Law Enforcement Officers, University Police Department
Ryan Miller, Coordinator, LGBT Office
Jennifer Morrison, Coordinator, Center for International Education
Sejal Parikh, Assistant Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
Robert Rihel, Maintenance Supervisor, University Housing
Mark Samon, Custodial Supervisor, University Housing
Adam Shapiro, Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Bulent Tolu, Systems Engineer, Information Technology Services

Assistant Director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences welcomes her new daughter, Lora Leigh Helen Palmer, to the Osprey family.Congratulations
Leigh Palmer, assistant director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences, and her husband, Trey, welcomed their first daughter, Lora Leigh Helen Palmer, July 22 at 5:05 p.m. She weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. The new family is doing well.

Good Question

 The UNF shuttle bus is paid for with student fees.

Q: From Melissa Blankenship, assistant director, Admissions — As a former UNF student who attended before the creation of the Osprey Connector, I am very appreciative to have it available. However, has UNF considered an express shuttle that would run weekdays during the fall and spring terms, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and only stop at UNF Hall and the Library? Many employees at UNF Hall still need to visit main campus for a variety of reasons. Most of us have purchased a Discount parking permit. For those of us with a Premium Permit, we do not have time to hunt for a parking space at peak times. To ride the current South shuttle route, it can take almost 20 minutes to get from UNF Hall to the Library (and vice versa), making an hour-long meeting take almost two hours when shuttle time is also calculated. An express shuttle might make it easier for us to stay connected to main campus.

A: From Vince Smyth, director, Auxiliary Services — The Osprey Connector shuttle service is 100 percent paid for by the students through a transportation access fee. While others are welcome to use it, all programming decisions have to relate to student needs and desires. That said, the recently approved Master Plan does provide for some interesting ideas for decreasing the travel time from outer lots to the core of campus and we are actively pursuing some of these ideas.

Q: From Kristin Quinn, administrative secretary, University Housing and Dining — Does UNF have influence on adding a traffic light at the turn from Kernan Boulevard to Butler Boulevard, or is that not considered part of the University’s property?

A: From Zak Ovadia, director, Campus Planning, Design and Construction — Traffic control devices outside the campus proper are in the jurisdiction of the City of Jacksonville and the Department of Transportation. UNF has no influence on that process.


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

The Goods

Black beans

Dr. Judith Shank talks about the health benefits of black beans. Black turtle beans or frijoles negros. Whatever you call them, black beans are good for you.

Black beans are known for their dense, meaty texture, and for being an anti-oxidant-rich mix of protein and fiber. Dr. Jackie Shank, undergraduate nutrition program director in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, one of the University of North Florida’s six flagship programs, discusses some myths and facts about this versatile legume.

Black beans are too much of a hassle to prepare.

Fact: It’s true that if black beans are purchased in their dry form, a longer preparation time is required to soften the extremely hard seed coat. But several things can speed up preparation and cooking time. For instance, soak one cup of beans in four cups of hot water overnight to reduce cooking time by 25 percent or more. Even quicker, boil the beans in water for two minutes, then soak for two hours. After soaking, the beans will cook in one to two hours. Cook in just enough water to cover the beans to avoid excessive nutrient loss, or bypass all of that by using canned beans.
Myth: Canned beans contain too much salt to regularly include in my diet.

Fact: A half-cup serving of black beans contains 480 milligrams of sodium, or about 20 percent of the suggested daily amount. Buy the reduced-sodium version to cut that amount to 240 milligrams. Before using, rinse the beans in cool water and drain, to decrease sodium by about a third.

Myth: I’ll have too much gas if I eat beans.

Fact: It’s logical to expect a little gas after eating beans due to the fibrous carbohydrates that we can’t fully digest. Bacteria in the colon can, and will produce by-products of carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas, along with an array of compounds that scientists say are very nourishing to our colon, but they also produce gas. The best remedy is to discard the soak water and thoroughly rinse the beans before cooking in fresh water. With canned beans, rinse completely in cool water and add a little fresh cooking water before heating.

Myth: Black beans aren’t as healthy as vegetables.  

Fact: Black beans are nutritional powerhouses. A half-cup serving has a meager 105 calories and no pesky saturated fat or cholesterol while still providing six grams of healthy fiber, a fifth of your daily target. Other notable nutrients include seven grams of protein, 480 milligrams of potassium and 15 percent of the daily value for iron.

Myth: Black beans contain a toxin called lectin and shouldn’t be eaten.

Fact: Many plants contain natural toxins. Lectins are protein-like substances found in beans and grains that help to protect the plant from prey in the natural environment. To render the lectins harmless, thoroughly cook beans until they are soft.  

Black Beans with Chipotle and Tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium onion, finely diced
1 28-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (found in the ethnic section of a grocery store)
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
4 cilantro sprigs
For garnish: grated cheese and chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a roomy skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for four to five minutes to soften. Add the beans, chile, tomatoes and cilantro; lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. If the beans become too dry, stir in 1/2 cup of water. Taste for salt, then turn the beans into a dish and garnish.

Pair with brown rice or quinoa.

Yield: Serves four to six
Nutrition facts per serving: 200 calories, 4 grams total fat (1 gram saturated fat), 10 grams fiber, 256 mgs sodium, 0 mgs cholesterol, 2.7 mgs iron

This delicious recipe, which is inexpensive and easy to prepare, is adapted from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison.

“The Goods” is a monthly column that runs in The Florida Times-Union’s Taste section about food myths and facts by faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. Have a question about black beans? Contact Dr. Jacqueline Shank at