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InsideNovember 2012

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Around Campus

UNF building dedication honors community leaders

Ann and David Hicks unveil the honorary plaque that will adorn Hicks Hall as Bruce Taylor and President John Delaney look on (Photo by Dennis Ho).Civic and community leaders Ann and David Hicks were honored by the University of North Florida last month when UNF Hall was dedicated to them and its named changed to Hicks Hall.

“Both David and Ann have a long history of dynamic leadership and unselfish support to Northeast Florida, the state and the nation,” said UNF President John A. Delaney. “It’s an honor to have a building at UNF named after two such outstanding philanthropists.”

David Hicks, a Jacksonville business executive, joined mortgage banker Stockton, Whatley, Davin & Company (SWD) in Jacksonville. Recognizing the opportunity of the mortgage software industry, he became a partner at C & S Services, an affiliate of SWD, in 1967. He raised initial capital of $18,000 and incorporated the firm as Computer Power, Inc. two years later. David served as chairman, CEO and president for the next 25 years. Over the years, he grew the firm to become the leading supplier of software and services to the mortgage industry, processing $1.3 trillion in mortgages — 43 percent of all U.S. mortgages at the time. In 1992, the firm was sold to publicly traded ALLTEL Corporation, and he retired from the company in 1995. Following the sale, David chaired several other highly successful start-up enterprises, including Alliance Mortgage Company (now EverBank), Enterprise National Bank and a U.K.-based self-storage business.

While enjoying a successful career building and growing companies, David and his wife, Ann, are also deeply involved in leading and supporting local community organizAnn Hicks delivers a speech while husband, David, looks on (Photo by Dennis Ho).ations. David is credited with turning around the Jacksonville Housing Authority (JHA), where he served as chairman for seven years after his retirement from CPI. He used his entrepreneurial instincts to have the JHA partner with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, both of which he chaired. His vision for a public-private partnership in Jacksonville to eliminate substandard housing and foster home ownership has resulted in the construction of more than 1,400 new Habitat homes since 1994. As a result, HabiJax is the largest and most successful Habitat affiliate in the United States.

David also serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity International and The United Way. Throughout the years, he has supported and served in leadership capacities on the board of many other organizations, including The Smithsonian Natural History Museum, The Deette Holden Cummer Museum Foundation, the UNF Foundation, the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., the Jacksonville Symphony and the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Additionally, David and Ann originated the idea of the Pathways to Success Scholarship program. This innovative program, which he and Ann generously funded, provides a way for students in HabiJax and public housing to attend UNF. The program’s initial goal was a $10 million endowment to fund scholarships. With David’s leadership, it succeeded in securing more than $15 million in donations from over 30 donors in Florida.

Ann, a 1994 graduate of UNF, has made significant leadership contributions to UNF as a member of the University’s first Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board. She is also greatly involved in providing scholarship assistance. Ann established the Gray Scholarship Program in honor of Rev. Neil Gray, an Episcopal priest and UNF adjunct instructor who made a deep impression on her while studying for her second bachelor’s degree. She also has been active in the community, serving on boards of the Jacksonville Public Library, HabiJax, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and The Bolles School.

At the dedication ceremony Ann and David expressed their gratitude. “This is the most amazing, most surprising and most humbling thing that has ever happened to us,” Ann Hicks told the assembled guests. “David and I are so proud to be identified with this University and it is particularly significant to us that every prospective UNF student will walk through the doors of this hall. For us, our children and our grandchildren, we thank you for honoring us. You have created a legacy for our entire family.”


Hicks Hall was once a call center for AOL, but the company shed the facility shortly after it was finished due to the bubble bursting. President Delaney quickly saw the opportunity for expansion and UNF purchased the property. The
135,000 square-foot facility soon became the gateway for students arriving on campus. It now houses Admissions, Financial Aid and the One-Stop Student Services.

As thousands of new UNF students enter Hicks Hall in the coming years, they will see a display explaining the role of these two outstanding civic leaders. The final sentences contained on the dedication plaque on the building will allow them to gain appreciation for two donors who carved out a path to academic success for scores of students:

Their outstanding leadership and generous philanthropic support have made UNF a better university while transforming the lives of students and alumni for generations to come. 

Around Campus

UNF rolls out new brand promise

UNF's Student UnionAny university is only as good as the promises it keeps. The University of North Florida student experience should live up to the one depicted in its viewbook, the one discussed during a campus tour and the one depicted on Facebook and Twitter. Today’s prospective students and their parents are savvy. They expect to see the same things on campus as they have in all the promotional pieces and online.


The promises a college or university makes are not limited to the ones stated during the recruiting process. The promises made are evident in every conversation, every meeting and every written document. Every interaction that a current or future student, family member, faculty, staff, alumni, donor or stakeholder has with UNF is a promise made and an opportunity to keep it.


The University of North Florida is no different. That is why when it engaged Stamats Communications, Inc., a higher education market research firm, to conduct an opinion survey on its behalf in October 2011, University leadership was eager to learn what the public thought UNF was getting right. The results of that survey, which were generally very positive, led to another set of questions.


“It was interesting to learn that more than 85 percent of the people in the five-county area really like UNF,” said UNF Vice President and Chief of Staff Tom Serwatka. “But they could not tell say why. That provided the perfect opportunity to determine what it is we wanted to be known for in our own community and beyond.”


The survey turned up many interesting statistics. Sixty-one percent named UNF as a top-of-mind college or university. UNF also rated quite well in terms of quality of campus buildings and environment, academic variety and reputation and for providing programs relevant to the community. And those survey respondents who were familiar with UNF rated its commitment to the Northeast Florida region as very high. Sixty-four percent who were considering attending a college were considering UNF. And if they were not considering attending — or had already attended a college — 65 percent would recommend UNF to someone else. So UNF knew there were many positives from which it could draw to help define itself for its various constituencies.


UNF administrators decided a brand promise would help it stand out from other colleges and universities. Four brand promises were created and tested via a web-based survey among 30,000 current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and stakeholders.


The initial results came back pretty evenly split between two of the brand promises, with different groups identifying heavily with separate parts of the promises. The best of both were combined and determined that the following brand promise was something with which everyone could not only readily identify, but could use to inspire and guide day-to-day interactions with one another, the faculty, staff and students.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education. 


“This is a statement that students, faculty and staff can live up to each day,” said UNF Vice President and Chief of Staff Tom Serwatka. “We already are. The proof points are many, and in the coming weeks, we will be identifying brand ambassadors from the University community who will help us communicate the promise through words and actions.”


The University is now taking this opportunity to make its communities aware of the brand promise and to use it as a filter for its significant decisions, publications and conversations about UNF.


“It is a way for us to establish this University as one of the preeminent destination institutions in the southeast by delivering on what we promise,” said John Yancey, UNF’s director of Admissions. “At UNF, we give our students a world-class education by providing hands-on transformational learning opportunities with professors who actually teach — the brand promise is a way to get that message out in the community through our actions and words.”

Around Campus

False crime reports can be cry for help

UPD Chief John DeanThe recent false report of a sexual assault at the new Student Wellness Complex left many students, faculty, staff and community members worrying about campus safety at the University of North Florida.


The reality of the situation, however, is that UNF has experienced double-digit drops in crime percentages during the past three years, making it consistently one of the safest universities in Florida. A false report of a serious crime should be viewed as an aberration that hardly reflects UNF’s high level of campus safety, said University Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Richardson.


Campus safer than ever 


The steady crime percentage drop-off over the past three years can be attributed in part to UPD’s increased focus on intelligence-led policing, which involves the department working in concert with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Richardson said. The Sheriff’s Office’s has shown UPD crime data analysis techniques that officers use to target potential areas of concern and effectively manage resources.


For instance, the UPD is in the midst of cracking down on skateboard theft — one of the more prevalent campus crimes. Richardson didn’t want to elaborate on how UPD is targeting skateboard thieves, but he said their intelligence-led policing efforts have given officers insight into what locations to cover.


Another key focus has been placed on stopping parking decal theft. After spotting a trend in the theft of parking passes, Chief John Dean and the rest of UPD pushed hard for a move to stick-on parking decals that are harder to steal. And while it might seem elementary, UPD officers have been working diligently to stress the importance of locking car doors and keeping an eye on personal belongings to students.


“Most of the crimes on campus that we’ve encountered have been crimes of opportunity — someone leaves their car door unlocked, another person sees something valuable inside and takes it without having to break in to the car,” Richardson said. “These are avoidable instances, and we’ve been trying to educate the entire campus community about the need to be aware of their surroundings and not leave their items unattended.”


Richardson said keeping the campus safe all comes down to a few core principles advocated by Chief Dean and demonstrated by UPD — visibility, prevention and enforcement.


Services for students in need 


Not all students, however, have emergencies or issues that can be solved through conscientious and dedicated law enforcement.  


There are multiple free, confidential and on-campus services for students who are feeling distressed or overwhelmed. These services are repercussion-free, unlike filing a false crime report, which includes a criminal charge.


The University Counseling Center and the Women’s Center both offer free appointments with trained professionals skilled at communicating with students struggling with the rigors of academic or personal life.


Sheila Spivey, director of the Women's Center, said students can receive emotional support and intervention services 24-hours a day without even giving a name by calling in to the campus crisis line at (904) 620-1010. Operators are trained to explain victim rights, the process of meeting with law-enforcement officers and suggest health-care services if needed.


“We always make sure to let our students know that crisis doesn't occur on schedule,” Spivey said.


Dr. Rene Monteagudo, director of the Counseling Center, said the center is available to all students, at any time, free-of-charge. Students can request appointments with trained mental health specialists and participate in group programs that offer emotional support for those in need. Accessibility is of the utmost importance, and Monteagudo said the center is there to help students navigate any of the difficulties that crop up in a university setting.


“For first-year students, moving on campus and, navigating all that independence, it puts serious demands on their schedules and activates a lot of stressors,” he said. “Being away from home and parents, making decisions for themselves — if they had problems before they could become exacerbated. For instance, these false reports we’ve had recently could be products of someone feeling cornered or desperate. It’s a desperate solution that doesn’t involve thinking through the ramifications. My message would be to come to the Counseling Center if you're feeling distressed instead of making a hasty decision. We’re here for anyone and everyone.”

Around Campus

Students get dirty for a good cause with Garbage on the Green

Environmental Center coordinator James Taylor shows the percentage of trash disposed of on campus for the past five years (Photo by Dennis Ho).Around the same time every year, the University of North Florida gets a little bit dirty.

Hundreds of pounds of garbage are liberated from the campus waste system and rifled through by dozens of students.

The trashy work is for a good cause. The annual Garbage on the Green trash and recycling audit sheds some light on the garbage the University community throws away.

This year’s event took place toward the end of October and included 108 UNF student volunteers who sorted, weighed and even waded into campus refuse to determine how the University can better handle its trash. In addition, about 15 students from Atlantic Coast High School took the time out from their school days to volunteer.

James Taylor, a coordinator from the University’s Environmental Center, said the event is an eye-opening exercise for students, faculty and staff alike because it educates the campus about ways to improve recycling habits and reduce trash and litter.

And the preservation of the natural habitat surrounding the campus is a major priority for an institution that has become nationally recognized for its abundance of trails, wetlands and beautiful natural vistas. This strong commitment to the environment has been awarded and acknowledged by multiple national college ranking agencies, such as the Princeton Review, which featured UNF in its 2012 Guide to 322 Green Colleges. Additionally, UNF was ranked in the top 100 “Coolest Schools” by the Sierra magazine, the award-winning magazine of the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, for its “green” endeavors on campus.

Sudent volunteers properly dispose of recycling that was previously headed to a landfill (Photo by Dennis Ho).Taylor said the Garbage on the Green event serves as a wake-up call for University community members who might have grown complacent about their disposal habits. From 2007 to 2011, almost 3,500 pounds of waste from campus trash and recycling containers has been sorted, measured and catalogued by volunteers. Of that total, about 820 pounds came from recycling containers, which indicates a 24 percent diversion rate for the campus. The diversion rate is the amount of waste diverted from landfills and other traditional disposal methods by recycling, reuse or composting. The State of Florida currently has a goal to reach a 75 percent diversion rate by 2020, and UNF is striving to reach that total as well.

This year’s event kicked off with an early morning cleanup of litter on campus followed by the waste audit, a systematic study of the trash that is tossed. This analysis will be used to help determine best practices to improve waste reduction programs and recover resources that would normally go to the landfill. Volunteers also handed out about 450 t-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles.

Despite the alliterative name, the sixth annual Garbage on the Green actually took place just off the Student Union Osprey Plaza. The location was moved a few years back from the Green to siphon off some of the strong student foot traffic near the Student Union.

Taylor said the event is coordinated by the Environmental Center with support from Physical Facilities and Southland Waste, which is the event’s contracted waste hauler. The company also provides additional funding for the event.

Around Campus

Shands and UNF partner to promote hands-only bystander CPR

UNF students practice their hands-only CPR technique (Photo by Dennis Ho).About 1,000 First Coast residents every year suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. If immediate medical intervention, such as bystander CPR, isn’t provided quickly, the survival rate hovers around a 5 percent.


UF & Shands Jacksonville and the University of North Florida are looking to increase those odds.


A group of almost 50 pre-internship class students from the Brooks College of Health, led by UNF professor Julie Merten, went through a training program in mid-October designed to introduce them to hands-only bystander CPR, which focuses solely on the compression aspect of traditional CPR.


Merten said the recent training class is the start of a collaborative initiative between the UF & Shands Jacksonville Bystander CPR Committee and UNF. The goal is to train at least 8,000 UNF students, faculty and staff in hands-only bystander CPR.


Dr. Joseph Sabato, an emergency physician at UF & Shands and chair of the Bystander CPR Committee, said that the training for hands-only bystander CPR is simple and quick to learn, but the benefits are extensive and wide reaching. He said that the mouth-to-mouth part of CPR doesn’t boost survival rates and fewer than 50 percent of bystanders are willing to even do mouth-to-mouth. Following that logic, compression-only CPR is being touted as an easy and effective way to boost the survival for sudden cardiac arrest patients. Communities that are actively implementing this initiative have dramatically higher survival rates — almost two to four times better.


“Time is of the essence when it comes to intervening in sudden cardiac arrest cases,” he said. “If there is a person around who knows hands-only bystander CPR, that can easily mean the difference between life and death. Based on our estimates, we can save 100 lives in Northeast Florida in the coming year through the knowledge offered by these programs. We’ve been working to spread this knowledge to different groups in the community, and this UNF class is the largest community outreach that we’ve done so far.”

UF & Shands Jacksonville staff, including Sabato, trained Professor Merten’s pre-Internship Community Health class using life-like mannequins and a brief instructional guideline. 


Stephany Hall, a senior Community Health student who works as a nurse for Brooks Health, said the hands-only bystander CPR training was a useful skill to add to her professional toolbox. The experience, however, was applicable to all of the students in the class.


“This is a skill that anyone would want to possess,” Hall said. “It’s easy to learn and easy to use, and you can help save someone’s life. To be able to be among the first groups to try it means UNF will be ahead of the curve when it comes to the health and safety of the people on campus.”


 Merten said the students were divided into groups toward the end of the demonstration. These teams of students will be responsible for training an additional 500 to 750 UNF students and faculty in hands-only bystander CPR before the end of this semester. UF & Shands will be providing training mannequins for each of the groups and hands-only bystander CPR instruction pocket cards for all those trained by the students.   


The ultimate goal of the UF & Shands Bystander CPR Initiative is to train 80,000 First Coast residents in this life-saving method. wThe participation of UNF will be a vital part of that total, as Merten said she wants to educate as many people on the UNF campus as possible about the life-saving benefits of hands-only bystander CPR.


“This is an experience to talk about and to share with anyone and everyone on campus,” Merten said. “The benefits of this are huge, and the students in my class are learning valuable skills they can put on a resume at the same time. This level of community engagement and opportunity for hands-on learning and training is what UNF is all about, so it makes sense to pair up with a group that feels the same way about getting the community involved.”

Around Campus

‘Project Atrium: Ian Bogost’ To Debut ‘Button Pushing’ Videogame

Ian Bogost will bring his work to Moca's Project Atrium.

 Noted videogame developer and academic, Dr. Ian Bogost, debuts his next thought-provoking and irreverent interactive experience in November as part of his eponymous Project Atrium exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida.


Bogost’s latest work, “Simony,” will explore the question of buying versus earning achievement and will be unveiled Nov. 17. How important is winning — and being seen as the winner — to the player? Named after the practice, now usually regarded as a sin, of buying or selling spiritual or Church benefits like pardons or relics, the game requires players to ascend a dais and earn — or purchase — their way to the top of a leaderboard projected on the wall. A round in the game consists of the device lighting up one or more buttons in a random order, after which the player must press the buttons to reproduce that same order. The raised platform, the illuminated manuscript style of the game, and the auditory experience of the lutes and chants while being played enhance the cathedral-like atmosphere of the Haskell Atrium Gallery. Bogost’s allusion to museum context as a basilica and the use of the iPad as an interface further highlight similarities to how society worships religion, art and technology.


He’ll be on-site at the museum installing the work during the first two weeks of November, accompanied by a free lecture about his work and career at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17.


“Ian Bogost is one of the foremost scholars and designers of games and game theory,” said MOCA Director Marcelle Polednik. “His analysis and the games he designs frequently push buttons. On the surface, his games appear deceivingly simple, but through their disarming simplicity they address very complex and relevant social and political issues, frequently in satirical ways. Ian is harnessing these approaches to both reflect on and deploy the new media of today to highlight timely topics and issues to a wider audience.”


As a game designer, he makes games for political, social, educational, and artistic uses, and his previous videogames have covered topics as varied as airport security, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, and tort reform. In “Fatworld,” players are charged with managing a diet-and-exercise regimen on a limited budget. “Bacteria Salad” requires the player to grow and sell tomatoes and spinach as quickly as possible while containing E. coli outbreaks, and the game ends when too many people begin to defecate violently. In one of Bogost’s sentimental favorites, “Disaffected!,” surly Kinko’s employees struggle to fill orders for angry customers.


His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited or collected at venues across the globe. When he isn’t writing, crafting videogames, or being a guest on “The Colbert Report,” Bogost is the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and founding partner at Persuasive Games, LLC.


Intercultural Center for PEACE hosts Native American celebration

november native americanThe Intercultural Center for PEACE at the University of North Florida will host a Native American celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, on the campus Green, the grassy area in front of the Fine Arts Center.

The event will feature craft and food vendors, storytellers, flute players, living history demonstrations and dancers in regalia, as well as a tribute to military veterans and their families.

Herb Shepherd, the “Buffalo Dancer,” will be leading a Native America dance. He is a traditional dancer of Blackfoot ancestry.

Shepherd, a Daytona Beach resident, will be joined by Bobbi Blair, a fancy shawl dancer of Northeast Woodlands ancestry. She will be dancing in women’s traditional Buckskin regalia. Blair, a Gainesville resident, is dual-enrolled at Santa Fe Community College and Santa Fe High School. She has been participating in powwows since she was 2 years old.

The Spirit Turtle Drum, a Southern style drum from Georgia, will be used during the Native American dance. The drum is made from a hollow cypress log, giving it a very deep resonance. The instrument is known as the “Heartbeat of Mother Earth” and leads the dancers in their prayers.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Chris Bender, Intercultural Center for PEACE program assistant, at (904) 620-2475 or

Get to Know

Cathy Cole

 november cathyName: Cathy Cole                 


Department: Public Relations  


Job title: Director, Marketing and Publications              


What do you do? I wear several hats at UNF. First and foremost, I work with all campus departments to help market the University of North Florida and its programs, faculty, staff and students to the rest of the world. I am also the editor of Inside, the faculty and staff eCommunication (the publication you are reading right now), the alumni Journal and I am one of the trained crisis communications officers for the University. I also teach a section of a writing class for the Communication department at UNF, which has proven to be challenging and really inspiring all at the same time.     


Years at UNF: 2


Tell us about your family. I have been married to my husband, Jeff, for three years. He is from England, and when I married him, I gained three great stepsons, Levi, 22, Rylan, 20, and Dexter 18. My daughters are Kirstie, 20, and Madeline, 9. Kirstie lives and goes to school in the Nashville area, and Mads runs Palencia Elementary School — well, technically, she is just in the fourth grade there, but don’t tell her that. I also have a 14-year-old Rottweiller who is really my favorite. We are like the Brady Bunch — minus Jan. But that is OK because no one liked her anyway.


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

Hands down, I would be in guest services at Disney World. And if you have ever met me, you would know that is the perfect job for me.


What would you like to do when you retire? 

I work for the state. I am probably not ever going to be able to retire. But if I win the lottery one day, my husband and I have plans to buy a villa in Tuscany and annoy the natives with our horrible Italian.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? 

This one is easy. The people. They rock.


What is the best thing you ever won? 

I kid you not. I won a four-day, three-night all-expenses paid trip to Graceland. My then-husband made me trade it in for the cash. $300. Do you see why he is my ex-husband? It was GRACELAND.


What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life?  

Fat Elvis.


Who is your favorite fictional character? What makes them your favorite? 

Three-way tie, but all for the same reason. Hermione Granger, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham and CJ Cregg. Smart girls rock. 


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

Take care of everyone in my life. No one would want for anything ever again. Unless it was one of those scratch-off tickets and I only won like 10 bucks. Then you are on your own, people.


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

I would be working on a college campus somewhere. I love working with students.


Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? 

Using my CNN connections to finagle a meeting between my then eight-year-old daughter and Wolf Blitzer, her hero. She used to watch the Situation Room every day with my mom, and when my mom died, Mads could not watch Wolf any more. During the debate, I mentioned something to him about her, and he told me to bring her up. He could not have been more gracious in meeting her and making her feel special. He took what could have been a really emotional moment and made it into a tender memory for us all.


What is your favorite way to blow an hour? 

With my Kindle.


If you were asked to paint a picture about anything you wanted, what would you paint? 

My daughters’ hands when they were infants. All that potential. Before they stuck them in all sorts of places.


What was the best money you ever spent? 

My Kindle. I am on my fifth one, by the way.


Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn’t live without? 

My Kindle. Are you sensing a theme here?


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?

I should probably be politically correct and say the moment my kids were born … and that was important and I was proud and happy and nothing really does compare, but there was also something really special about the first time I saw one of my books listed on Amazon for sale. I have written two on “true” ghost stories and one on true crime. Of course, I was immediately crushed when I saw the sales rank was 2,314,567. So it all evens out. Eh, should have gone with the birth story.


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

I am actually incredibly shy.


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

First concert ever — Billy Squirer opened for Foreigner at Crisler Arena on the campus of the University of Michigan. The last concert I attended was — and this is embarrassing — Larry the Cable Guy at the Convocation Center on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. They were free tickets. 


What person had the greatest impact on your life?   

My dad. That would probably shock everyone who knew me growing up because he was a traveling management consultant who left home every Sunday and come back every Friday night or Saturday morning. He was never around. His territory was Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, 51 weeks a year, he was on the road, living out of a suitcase, doing what had to be done and setting an incredible example in the process. He called home every night and talked to my brother and me, keeping track of our classes and hockey games. He didn’t miss out, and he didn’t let up. At the time, I hated it. But now, I get it and I really appreciate the sacrifices he made by being away from us and the effort he made to still be an integral part of our family. He might not have been there, but he was always there.


What are you most passionate about?  

Being kind. I have a plaque in my office that says, “Because nice matters.” Because it does.


Who is the most famous person you ever met?  

Bill Clinton. He was the commencement speaker at Eastern Michigan University, and I was the director of Special Events — and I actually did not meet him so much as knocked him over. He was not where he was supposed to be. The U.S. Secret Service really don’t take kindly to that, by the way. I met his wife a few years later when I worked on her campaign in Nashville, Tenn. The most famous person I would like to have met was Princess Diana.


Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know: Unfortunately for them, there is nothing my friends don’t know about me. But they may not know that when I was 13 months old, I knocked out all my front teeth chasing after a clown in a mall. After that, my life is pretty much an open book. Come to think of it, my life would have been a whole lot easier had I stopped chasing after clowns when I was 13 months old. Would have saved me a couple of husbands.


What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet? Aside from figuring out the whole direction thing (North? South? East? West? I am clueless … never take directions from me), I would like people to say after meeting me, “She is a really kind person.” I am working on it.


Last book read: 

I’ll have to check my Kindle.

Faculty and Staff

July-regaliaBrooks College of Health 


Dr. James Churilla and two of his graduate students, Ryan Richardson and William Boyer, from Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences, along with Dr. Tammie Johnson from Public Health, presented findings from two of their research projects at the 10th annual World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease in Los Angeles Nov. 1. The project titles are “Associations between High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein and Self-Reported Screen Time in U.S. Adults and Association of Muscle Strengthening Activity with Glycosylated Hemoglobin.”


Coggin College of Business 


Marketing and Logistics: Dr. Ronald J. Adams presented “A Brief Assessment of the U. S. Supreme Court’s 2011 Ruling Denying Class Certification in Dukes v. Wal-Mart” at the 19th International Conference on Recent Advances in Retailing and Services Science Vienna, Austria in July.


Dr. A.C. “Josh” Samli had an article titled, “Generating a Culture of Innovation: The Necessary Ingredient for Economic Progress” published in the summer 2012 edition of The Marketing Review. 



College of Arts & Sciences 


Art and Design: Dr. Maria Elena Versari presented “A Tangible achievement: On the posthumous fortune of Futurist sculpture” at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He also presented “Materia: From Futurist Materiality to Dadaist Contamination” at the Third Biannual conference on Material Meanings of the European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies at the University of Kent.


Biology: Dr. Eric Johnson presented a seminar, “Science supporting sustainability: A stronger fole for ecology in coastal fishery management,” to the Department of Biology and Environmental Fellows Program at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana. 


Dr. Doria Bowers and her student, Zoe L. Lyski, presented a poster, “Vertical blood feeding and arbovirus persistence in mosquitoes,” at the 44th Annual Society for Vector Ecology Conference in St. Augustine.


Dr. Cliff Ross and co-authors R. Ritson-Williams, K. Olsen, K and V.J. Paul, published their paper, “Short-term and latent post-settlement effects associated with elevated temperature and oxidative stress on larvae from the coral Porites astreoides” in the journal, Coral Reefs.


Dr. Joe Butler, with co-authors G. L. Heinrich and M. L. Mitchell, published “Diet of the Carolina diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin centrata) in northeastern Florida” in Chelonian Conservation and Biology. With co-authors E. C. Munscher, E. H. Kuhns and C. A. Cox, he published “Decreased nest mortality for the Carolina diamondback terrapin following removal of raccoons from a nesting beach” in Herpetological Conservation and Biology.


Dr. Kelly Smith, with co-authors A. Shyn, J. Chalk, N. L. Charnock  and G. K. Bielmyer, published “Zinc distribution in the organs of adult Fundulus heteroclitus after waterborne zinc exposure in freshwater and saltwater” in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.


Chemistry: Dr. José A. Jiménez with Dr. Mariana Sendova of New College, published “Plasmonic coupling in silver nanocomposite glasses” in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. He also published “Kinetics of Ag nanoparticle growth in thick SiO2 films: An in situ optical assessment of Ostwald ripening” in Materials Chemistry and Physics. Additionally, he published “In situ isothermal monitoring of the enhancement and quenching of Sm3+ photoluminescence in Ag co-doped glass” in Solid State Communications. 


Communication: Dr. Christa Arnold published “Revisiting patient communication training: An updated needs assessment and the AGENDA model” in Patient Education and Counseling. She also published “Is social media, texting and other such technology hurting our interpersonal communication?” in Mass Communication and Journalism. 


Criminology and Criminal Justice: Dr. Jennifer K. Wesely received a Research Enhancement Plan award from the UNF College of Arts and Sciences.


Dr. Jeremy G. Carter co-presented, with Dr. Michael Binder, “Impacts of concealed carry licenses on crime: A new decade and approach” at the Southwestern Criminal Justice Association annual conference in Atlantic Beach.


English: Mark Ari edited and produced “EAT POEMS #3: EAT JUSTISS,” an audio anthology of the works Jacksonville poet, Alan Justiss, as read and interpreted by Jacksonville writers and artists.


Dr. Nicholas de Villiers wrote an article, “That's the Surprise: Tom Rubnitz’s Sexy, Wiggy, Desserty World,” for the publication accompanying the Dirty Looks NYC exhibition of videos by Tom Rubnitz and Dynasty Handbag at the White Columns gallery in New York.


Dr. Clark Lunberry presented “In One Ear & Out the Other — On Not Hearing John Cage,” at the conference, “Transatlantic Cage: John Cage's Centennial in Paris,” at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris. He also completed a commissioned “Writing on Air” installation on the windows of the Paris conference site of the Galerie Colbert. Additionally, he served on the keynote panel at the conference “Convergence on Poetics,” at the University of Washington-Bothell and presented “Language onto Landscape — Floating Form Less” at the same conference. Finally, he completed his permanent installation, “Suspended Sentence,” at the UNF Thomas G. Carpenter Library


Dr. James Beasley delivered an invited lecture, “From Normal to Valpo: The Importance of Mantie E. Baldwin, 1875-1914,” at Valparaiso University, Indiana.


Dr. Michael Wiley’s book “A Bad Night’s Sleep” took top honors in the Shamus Award ceremony. In the past, the Best Hardcover Award has gone to some of the best and most broadly admired mystery/detective fiction writers.


History: Dr. Alison J. Bruey published “Limitless land and the redefinition of rights: Popular mobilisation and the limits of neoliberalism in Chile, 1973-1985” in Journal of Latin American Studies.


Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Dr. Shira Schwam-Baird delivered an invited paper, La Longue Vie de Valentin et Orson” at the colloquium “Pour un nouveau répertoire des ‘mises en prose’ : Romans, chansons de geste, autre genres, ” in Gargnano, Italy.


Dr. Constanza López presented “Testimonio y re-escritura del conflicto colombiano en Escrito para no morir de María Eugenia Vásquez Perdomo” at the Latin American Studies Association in San Francisco and gave the invited annual alumni lecture, “Trauma, memoria y teoría: El relato autobiográfico de María Eugenia Vásquez Perdomo,” at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York.


Dr. Clayton McCarl led the formation of a new Colonial section within the Latin American Studies Organization and, with Yongan Wu, published “Using External Text Vocalization to Enhance Reading Development Among Beginning Level Chinese Learners” in the Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association. Additionally, he published “Notes of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language” in Studies of Education and Teaching.


Music: Dr. Randy Tinnin, with Dr. Amanda Pepping and New Trinity Baroque, performed Italian concerti for two trumpets at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta.


Drs. Randy Tinnin and Erin Bennett performed with Serafini Brillanti at the Académie de Pramenoux in Lyon, France.


Philosophy Department: Dr. Andrew Buchwalter presented “The Dialectic of Human Rights and Democracy under Conditions of Globality” at the Conference on Interpretive Policy Analysis, University of Tilburg, Netherlands. He also presented “Human Rights, Political Membership, and Historicity: Hegel and the ‘Right to Have Rights’” at the World Congress of the International Political Science Association in Madrid, Spain.


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction 


Computing: Dr. Sanjay P. Ahuja, Sindhu Mani and Jesus Zambranopublished their paper, “A Survey of the State of Cloud Computing in Healthcare” in the Network and Communication Technologies Journal, available online here.


Counseling Center 

Rose Turner, psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Counseling Center, had an article published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. 


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

15 years 

Lola Argalas, Assistant Director of University Housing Operations, University Housing

Louanne Hawkins, Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Honors Program


10 years   

Hans Priepke, Applications System Analyst, Enterprise Systems


Five years 

Cynthia Harper, Executive Secretary, Counseling Center
Kate Learch, Coordinator, Academic Support Services
Marie Michel, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Barbara Ruby, Executive Secretary, Major Gifts

Fen Yu, Assistant Director, Institutional Research

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

Cynthia Akin, Office Manager, Military and Veterans Resource Center

Marlan Borden, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management

Mary Brown, Senior Registered Nurse, Student Health Services

Darren Carr, Maintenance Mechanic, Osprey Fountains

Anthony Colon, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Kellie Cosner, Coordinator, Events Planning, Fine Arts Center

Scott Curry, Recruiting Assistant, Career Management Center

Frank Goodin, Admissions Coordinator, Admissions

Trey Gowdy, Events Planning Coordinator, Institute for Values, Community and Leadership

Mitchell Haley, Admissions Coordinator, Admissions

Ashley Hamilton, Senior IT Support Technician, User Services, Information Technology Services

Artis Hartley, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Carrianne Kinney, Executive Secretary, Student Affairs

Kelly Maki, Education Training Coordinator, Florida Institute of Education

John Mark, Coordinator, One-Stop Student Services

Mala McGill, Administrative Secretary, Nursing

Amanda McPherson, Assistant Director, English Language Program

Michelle Mickem, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Alibina Mikhaylova, Coordinator, Research Development ORSP

Tyler Mitlyng, Enrollment Services Coordinator, Enrollment Services Processing Office

Rachael Trinklein, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Honors Program

Terence Tripp, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Deanna Crawford, Office Assistant, Urban Internship


Great job  
The following employees were promoted from mid-September to early October.


Hether Celetti, Events and Reservations Coordinator, Student Union

Alison Cruess, Assistant Director, Information Technology Services

Jennifer Garrow, IT Support Coordinator, User Services

Christina Levine, Director of Development, Thomas G. Carpenter Library

Natalie Nguyen, LGBT Coordinator, LGBT Office



Heartfelt well wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees, who left UNF in September: 


David Jones, Enrollment Services Specialist, One-Stop Student Services 

Tyran Lance, Administrative Assistant, Arts & Sciences

Lisa Laporte, Career Coordinator, Career Management Center

Margaret Meadows, Development Director, Major Gifts

M artha Rengifo, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services



The Goods


november chayote largeFrom salads to stews, this exotic fruit is very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Chayote squash, or its scientific name of Sechium edule, is a tropical fruit and member of the squash family. The chayote squash is used in many cultures and has adopted many common names, including Madeira marrow, vegetable pear, mirliton, gayota, huisquil, papa del aire, chocho, christophine and pimpinella. Dr. Claudia Sealey-Potts, registered dietitian, dietetic internship director and faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses chayote squash, a nutrient filled, low-calorie food that is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. To help you add chayote to your diet, a recipe is provided.


Myth: Chayote is unknown in United States. 


Fact: Although chayote is native to Central America and was an important part of the Maya and Aztec diets, it’s still a common ingredient in indigenous and other ethnic groups’ recipes in the United States. Previously exotic fruits and vegetables are becoming household staples on dinner tables quite far from their countries of origin. The proposed health benefits and adaptable flavor of chayote have also broadened its appeal in the U.S. It’s sold most of the year in many grocery stores.


Myth: Chayote has very little food applications. 


Fact: The chayote’s taste is mild, similar to a zucchini, and the texture is firm. Its flesh, stems and leaves can be consumed. The fruit, which is the most widely seen and used in the United States, can be peeled and incorporated into soups, casseroles and stews or used for children’s dishes, including porridges, mock-apple sauce, jams and dried for snacks. Chayote can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruit can be grilled or slow-roasted and served as an accompaniment to main courses featuring pork, poultry and shrimp. Chayote also compliments other ingredients, such as legumes, chilies, hard and soft cheeses, garlic, cumin, summer melons, pistachios and almonds. In addition, the fruit is often shredded and used in salads along with cilantro, greens and citrus juices. The fruit, shoots and flowers can be stuffed, fried and/or baked, while its seeds can be dried, toasted and used for crunchy snacks.


Myth: Chayote isn’t nutritious. 


Fact: According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one half cup of chayote squash has 17 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin C and 2 percent of the daily iron and calcium in a 2,000-calorie diet. Chayote truly delivers beneficial fiber in the diet. Raw, shredded chayote squash contains 47 percent soluble fiber per one-half cup serving. One whole chayote provides 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. Chayote is a low-calorie food that provides 39 calories per seven-ounce serving, more than 94 percent of its raw content is water and it’s low in carbohydrates. Chayote is also a very low-sodium food and provides two to four milligrams of sodium per squash. Other nutrients provided by this exotic fruit include folic acid, potassium and flavonoids (antioxidants). Additionally, its seeds are a rich source of several amino acids.


Myth: There is no evidence of the medicinal uses of chayote. 


Fact: Historically, chayote has been used for medicinal uses in ethnic populations. The chayote leaves have been infused and used in treatments to dissolve kidney stones and assist with arteriosclerosis, hypertension and genitourinary problems; however, no human research exists to verify the beneficial use of chayote in any of those health conditions. More research is needed before chayote can be recommended for use as an alternate medicine for disease conditions.



Chayote Squash Salad


See recipe:  


Servings: 4

Total Prep Time: 15 minutes        



3 chayotes

1 Serrano chili pepper

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 small lemon, juiced and strained

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Salt to taste

Fresh ground black pepper

Garnish with cilantro



1. Combine chayote, chili, cilantro, lemon juice, oil and vinegar in a large bowl

2. Toss to thoroughly coat

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper

4. Garnish with cilantro


Nutrition Facts: 

Calories: 192.2              

Calories from fat: 163

Total Fat: 18.2 g            

Sat. Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol:  0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 7.7 g      

Fiber: 2.8 g       

Protein: 1.3 g

Calcium: 29 mg              

Folate: 143 mcg 

Magnesium: 20 mg

Potassium; 216 mg               

Iron: 1 mg


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 chayote? Contact Dr. Sealey-Potts at .


Healthy Osprey: Dressing for cold weather activities

november cold tempsIf you are traveling to colder climates through the holiday season or just out exercising in the early morning colder temperatures here in Florida, remember to dress appropriately.


Being prepared is critical when dealing with colder temperatures. A little planning and dressing right for colder than usual temperatures can get you ready for enjoying outdoor activities despite the elements — even here in Florida, but especially if you are traveling north of the Mason-Dixon line.


Dressing in layers will help keep you dry and regulate your temperature. Match your layers to the climate conditions you are in, your activity level and whether you tend to get too hot or too cold.


Outer layers should protect from wind, rain and snow. Jackets and pants made of Gore-Tex are an ideal outer layer. Middle layers hold in your body heat. Materials include fleece, polyester, down, wool or synthetic and natural-blended materials. Inner layers are the first layer of clothing closest to your body. This base layer should fit snugly and keep moisture away from the body to prevent becoming chilled by wet clothing. Materials are usually polyester, polypropylene, silk or a mix of synthetic and natural insulating fibers. Peel off layers as you need to, in order to regulate your comfort level when you’re active. Better to have too many layers to take off than to be left exposed to the elements. You’ll be more comfortable outdoors if you are properly dressed.



“A grown up is a child with layers on.” - Woody Harrelson 


Healthy Osprey is designed to provide solid advice on how to become more healthy at work and at home. Shelly Purser, director of Health Promotion, and Mike Kennedy, assistant director of Health Promotion, 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, contact Shelly Purser at