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InsideDecember 2013 - January 2014

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

UNF students going global with prestigious internships

Ian Duff was feeling exceptionally confident after leaving his meeting with a panel of high-ranking Pentagon officials. The University of North Florida student and his classmates had travelled to Washington, D.C. during the last spring semester to deliver a series of presentations as part of their class with Nancy Soderberg, a Visiting Distinguished Scholar and former United States Ambassador.

The jitters were nearly overwhelming at first. After all, it’s not every day that he was evaluated by a group of prominent public administrators. But the nerves dissipated quickly once Duff dove into his presentation.

“As soon as we walked out of that meeting, Ian turned to me and said, ‘I want that guy’s job,’ meaning one of the guys who just evaluated his presentation,” Soderberg said. “I told him, ‘if you want it, ask for an internship and see what happens.’ Now, Ian is an international affairs intern at the Pentagon. And I wouldn’t put it past him to have that guy’s job later on down the road.”

Ambassador Nancy Soderberg (Photo by Jennifer Grissom).Dozens of UNF students from the Public Service Leadership and International Studies programs — led by Soderberg and Dr. Pamela Zeiser, respectively — have snagged prestigious internship placements at federal agencies or foreign state departments during the past few years. The list includes Congress, the State Department, the Pentagon, the World Food Programme and an assortment of non-governmental organizations, such as Human Rights Watch. The programs have benefitted both UNF and the student body — boosting the University’s national reputation and granting students the opportunity to gain the skills, experience, and contacts needed for a career in public policy at either the domestic or international levels.

“These internships have fundamentally transformed the expectations of the careers these students can have,” Soderberg said. “They have the confidence in their classroom and hands-on learning experiences to go head-to-head with students from some of the best schools in the country. UNF isn’t the traditional feeder school for these internship programs — that goes to Yale, Princeton and other internationally known institutions. With that said, UNF has gained a national reputation for students who usually work harder and are hungrier — it sets them apart and sets them on a career path they didn’t even know was possible.”

Public Service Leadership Program

Soderberg founded UNF’s Public Service Leadership Program in 2006. She used her extensive contacts in government — from her time in the U.S. Senate, White House and United Nations — to build a network of opportunities for UNF students to gain vital first-hand experiences. There are three elements to the program — internships, a Model UN program and the aforementioned Washington trip. Duff said that Washington trip was an invaluable experience for a student who wanted to make his mark on the nation’s capital.

“Once I saw the very first meeting we were taking was in the Pentagon, I volunteered to lead it off,” he said. “My dad is a career defense contractor, and I felt like I had the experience necessary to do the job well. The prospect of talking to these high-ranking officials was kind of daunting — I’ll admit I was petrified at first. But once I got through it and realized I wasn’t torn apart in the briefing, I was good to go.”

Duff took Soderberg’s advice to follow up with the administrators from the meeting and was offered an internship post lasting through the spring 2014 semester. His supervisor happens to be one of the officials from that briefing in April.

“Soderberg told me there’s no way to get on the map if you sit in Northeast Florida and hope,” Duff said. “I took her advice to heart, sent the e-mail and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Brenna Bagrow (right) and a colleague in front of a government building in Bulgaria (Photo submitted).International Studies

When it comes to getting on the map, UNF’s International Studies Program has placed students in internships across the globe. Locally, students have interned with organizations that have a decidedly international focus, such as the World Affairs Council, GlobalJax and Lutheran Social Services. For those students who are able to work and live abroad, scores of them have found internship placements with United Nations organizations, the U.S. Department of State and varied non-governmental organizations.

Zeiser said International Studies majors have been interning with the State Department for more than a decade, but the placement rates have grown exponentially in recent years. There are five students working abroad in 2013-2014 in Bulgaria, Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Macedonia. She said their work has helped to solidify UNF’s reputation as a solid feeder school and will open yet more doors for students looking for prestigious internationally focused internships.

“Students studying at international organizations or government agencies have opportunities to see how course concepts and theories apply in the day-to-day operations of the World Food Programme or a United States embassy,” Zeiser said. “Additionally, those who intern abroad are likely to develop, practice and demonstrate additional skills, including adaptability, cultural sensitivity, the ability to live and learn in different cultural settings, understanding how citizens of other countries perceive the U.S. or global issues and developing a new perspective on our own country and its views of the world.”

UNF International Studies senior Brenna Bagrow spent almost three months during the summer with the Regional Security Office in the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. She’s previously lived overseas and traveled extensively, so she wanted to intern in a foreign country that she had never visited. Some of her job responsibilities included creating reports on political violence perpetrated against government officials, minority religious and ethnic groups throughout the region. Protests were raging when she started her internship, and the streets were filled with people calling for the ouster of the Socialist-led government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski. She tracked that political unrest and logged daily updates about where the protests were becoming the most heated. Her ultimate career goal is to work for the State Department or Bureau of Diplomatic Security, so she considered her protest-filled summer to be a fantastic primer for future work.

“This internship confirmed my long-term career goals,” Bagrow said. “It was either going to confirm what I wanted to do or could have possibly changed my mind. But I absolutely loved working in the Embassy. It was an awesome opportunity and experience that I would not trade for anything.”

Around Campus

Best-selling author joins UNF’s pre-law lecture series

  Scott Turow during an interview before his UNF lecture. Attorney and best-selling author Scott Turow traveled to the University of North Florida to speak to students and the community during two different College of Arts and Sciences Pre-Law Lecture Series presentations. Considered by many to be the father of the modern legal thriller, Turow is the author of seven best-selling novels, including “Ordinary Heroes,” “Reversible Errors,” “Personal Injuries,” “The Laws of Our Fathers,” “Pleading Guilty,” “The Burden of Proof” and “Presumed Innocent.” During an interview before his lectures, Turow discussed his writing process, his creative inspirations and what it’s like to see one’s writing translated to the big screen.


What inspires the characters in your novels? Do you draw them from real life?


I hope they resemble real life. There’s not a one-to-one correspondence between people in real life and my characters. One or two minor characters along the way have borne a noticeable resemblance, but for the most part, it’s an enormous constraint to have to refer to reality for characters. It inhibits that process that novelists always talk about where the characters take on a life of their own.


Innocence is a strong theme in many of your novels. What makes that such an interesting theme for a work of legal fiction?


Innocence seems compelling to everybody — the question of “who dunnit” or “if I did it.” Maybe there’s a good novel about a defense attorney trying to get a guilty guy off, but I doubt you’d be able to maintain the same level of suspense. Generally speaking, Americans and others around the world don’t like seeing the innocent convicted, so that’s a good theme. So is the theme of trying to determine if the purported accused is guilty.


It must be a lot to manage, juggling your work as an attorney and author. Describe your writing process and how you find the time to focus on your novels.  


I’ve become really good at writing in the available time. I wrote on the plane on the way here. I actually find airplanes to be really good writing time because there’s no telephone. When I’m at home, I get up at 7 a.m., read three newspapers over coffee and want to be at my desk by 8 or 8:30 a.m. How long I stay there is a product of the stage I’m at in the book. The beginning is hard. There’s a lot of wandering around, but I make myself sit down every time. I’ve never written more than 45 minutes out of every hour, but now, the time I would spend wandering around my house sticking my head in the refrigerator is replaced by checking e-mail.


You’ve had a number of your novels translated to TV or film. Describe what it’s like for a novelist in Hollywood.


I never envisioned it happening. It’s been a real bonus round in my life. I treat the film industry like a vacation. It’s a really pleasant place to visit but not necessarily somewhere I’d want to live. With that attitude, I sort of roll with the waves. I’ve met a lot of incredibly talented people in the film industry, but I’m a novelist. I can’t possibly handicap what’s going to happen in Hollywood. The people who buy books influence movie producers in that they’re trying to guess what the public is going to want next. Intuition changes from minute to minute, and they’re trying to ape the success of something else. If the “Hunger Games” is a great success, than you’ll have books and movies trying to go down the same path.


Is it jarring for a writer to see their work translated to the big screen?


I’ve been really lucky. “Presumed Innocent” [Turow’s first novel] was bought as part of this big, crazy process where I was offered sums of money that eclipsed everything I’d earned in eight years as a lawyer up to that point. It was all sort of comical to me. Finally, Sydney Pollack ended up buying the rights to “Presumed Innocent.” He flew to New York with his partner, Mark Rosenberg, to meet me. It was in the days of high Hollywood excess. Sydney and Mark took a limo in from O’Hare, and they had rented a suite at the Ritz. They rolled in a buffet that truly could’ve fed 20 for our supposed lunch. We sat there and talked, but Sydney said something then that I’ve always thought was the right guidance. “It’s your book, and it’s my movie.” That meant he wasn’t going to interfere in the writing of the book because it had been bought before it was published — it was still being edited. And I wasn’t going to interfere in their movie-making. I really try to adhere to that distinction. If I make suggestions, I do so only when I’m asked and in trying to think in my limited way about what will make it a better film — not what will make it truer to my vision.


What interests you about speaking at colleges and addressing students on the topics of law and literature?


I made a commitment to myself a long time ago that when I was invited to a university campus, I would go. I go for lots of reasons, but one is that students tend to be curious and impressionable, and I’d like to teach them and introduce myself to them. For the last 12 years, I’ve been a college trustee and learned more about higher education [Turow is an elected member of the Board of Trustees at Amherst College, his alma mater]. All of my previous excursions to colleges have been very educational, and I enjoy speaking with the students.


Does your current writing career resemble what you hoped it would be when you were younger?


If you’d have asked me when I was 19 what I wanted to be, I would’ve said the next James Joyce. But if you had told me you’re not going to be the next James Joyce, you’re going to be a respected literary figure and a best-selling novelist, I’d have said “you’ve got to be kidding me.” First of all, I grew up at a time when the divisions between high and low culture were so pronounced that it was virtually inconceivable that somebody could have books that would win prizes and be reviewed on the front page of The New York Times Book Review and also be at the top of the best-seller list. That seemed impossible. I’ve been very, very fortunate. As I said, I wanted to be a novelist, and when I was 11, I wanted to write a book that was as exciting as “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Generally speaking, that seems to have happened to me. I don't know if “Presumed Innocent” or any of the other books will live as long as the “The Count of Monte Cristo,” but we’ll all have to find out.


Around Campus

Basketball hopes for slam-dunk season


The mens's basketball team.The men’s and women’s basketball seasons are off to an enthusiastic start.


Coaches, players, boosters and fans came together in early November to learn more about what the teams were facing for the 2013-14 season and what the Osprey faithful might expect.


“I have never been around a more competitive team,” said Coach Matt Driscoll, who is in his fifth season with the Ospreys. “They are competitive, and they want to win.”


They are going to have to be because their schedule includes games versus Florida at Florida, Middle Tennessee at Middle Tennessee, Ohio State at Ohio State, Alabama at Alabama, Indiana at Indiana and Michigan State at Michigan State. 


“We have some big names on our schedule this year,” Driscoll said. “Big names. But those big names bring in big money for the University. And that money means extra tutors for the program, extra summer school — it means we can stay up with the Joneses. It means we can compete. It also brings exposure for the University. We will be on TV 11 times this season. We are going to be on TV all over this year, and there is a great value to that.”


The women's basketball teamThere is great value to the program for the University, as well. Having men’s and women’s programs that compete at the Division I level in the NCAA means many things for a university like UNF.


“Having UNF on TV so many times this year is just another opportunity for people all over the country to see what we have to offer,” said Director of Athletics Lee Moon. “They not only get to see our athletes on the court, but they get to learn about our academics and see our campus during the commercial breaks. It is a win-win for us.”


The University produced a 30-second spot to air during all games that promotes the environmentally beautiful campus, small class sizes and hands-on learning opportunities with professors who teach — all hallmarks of a UNF education.


Those will air when the team is away and playing some of the biggest names on the hardwood. But there will be plenty of opportunities to see the men and the women at home this season.


“We have 14 home games this year,” Driscoll said. “That is the most we have ever had. And we need people at every game. We need fans in the stands. We need everyone to come out. We need your support. We have talent on the team. Our talent is actually at an all-time high. Everybody on the team can shoot. All our guys can handle. All our guys have a great I.Q. We’ve got this. It is going to be a great year.”

Mary Tappmeyer, the women’s head coach, has been at the helm of the Ospreys since the start and guided the team to 396 wins.


“I am super excited about this year’s program,” Tappmeyer said. “We have a lot of chemistry on this team, and it is the hardest working team I have ever coached. You are going to see a lot of great things out of this team.”


For the first time, Tappmeyer signed three international players: Flo Ward from Salisbury, United Kingdom; Taru Madekivi from Turku, Finland; and Paulina Zavickaite from Talsai, Lithuania. She even signed a freshman — Janea William from Pinehurst, N.C. — who can dunk. It is going to be a huge year for Tappmeyer and her team. 



Taylor Research Director wins international award

Resio (middle) and a few coastal engineering students at work during a transformational-learning opportunity at the beach (Photo by Jennifer Grissom). Dr. Don Resio, director of the Taylor Engineering Research Institute at the University of North Florida, received the 2013 International Coastal Engineering Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The award was presented during the International Wave Hindcasting Conference in Banff, Canada and included a $1,500 cash award. The International Coastal Engineering Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of coastal engineering in the form of engineering design, teaching, professional leadership, research or planning.

“Dr. Resio is a world leader in coastal engineering and science, and this prestigious award is another in a long list of outstanding accomplishments,” said Dr. Mark Tumeo, dean of the UNF College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. “We are extremely proud that he is leading our efforts to establish a coastal and port engineering focus here at the University, and his success is indicative of the caliber of faculty we are so lucky to have in the College.”

In 2011, Resio joined the UNF faculty as a professor of ocean engineering and as the director of the Taylor Engineering Research Institute. Prior to coming to UNF, he served as the senior technologist for coastal research within the Army Corps of Engineers for 17 years. For more than three decades, Resio has been a recognized leader in meteorological and oceanographic research, contributing significantly to improving the predictive state of the art for winds, waves, currents, surges and coastal evolution. His work has also produced more accurate methods for quantifying coastal hazards and risks.

Resio has ongoing/funded research with numerous agencies including: the Department of Homeland Security on an intercomparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the three major methods of quantifying risk in coastal areas; the Office of Naval Research on developing new source terms for wind-wave prediction models; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on specifying design wave and water levels for post-Fukoshima analyses of all existing nuclear power plants and for any new construction of such plants in the future; and with FEMA, through the Taylor Engineering Research Institute, for specifying statistical methods used in determining flood levels for FEMA insurance rates along the East Coast of Florida, to name a few.

In addition to conducting research, Resio also teaches an undergraduate Honors course at UNF titled “Disasters: Causes, Consequences — Lessons Learned and Lost.”

He has earned numerous awards, including the 2013 Professor of the Year by the Florida Engineer Society’s Northeast Chapter, Engineering Research and Development Center Researcher of the Year, Army Corps of Engineers Researcher of the Year Award and Silver Order of the De Fleury Medal from the Army Engineer Association. Resio is a member of the National Research Council Committee on Coastal Risk Reduction and serves as co-chair of the UN-WMO Coastal Inundation Forecast Demonstration Project.

UNF’s Taylor Engineering Research Institute promotes collaboration among engineers and students in coastal and water resource engineering and draws upon the College’s environmental computer modeling research. The Institute was created through a $1 million gift from Taylor Engineering, Inc. The Institute is critical in a state where 77 percent of the population lives in coastal counties.

Around Campus

Nominations to be accepted for 2013-2014 UNF Faculty Awards

  march bio buildingNominations will be accepted beginning Monday, Jan. 6 for the Distinguished Professor Award, Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Awards, Outstanding Faculty Service and the new Outstanding Faculty Community Engaged Scholarship Award.  Guidelines for the awards are listed on the Faculty Association Web site — just look under the Faculty Awards section. 


Nominations can be submitted one of three ways: online, via e-mail to or printed out and delivered to the Faculty Association office on the third floor of the Osprey Commons.


The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17. For more information, contact either Cindy Chin at or (904) 620-287 or Dr. Gordon Rakita at or (904) 620-1658.



Holiday Happenings

december holiday‘Tis the season to be jolly — and there are plenty of festive events happening at UNF (or nearby) to remind us that the holiday season is in full swing. Here are a few you might want to consider as you plan your holiday schedule:


 UNF Alumni Association’s 22nd Annual Holiday Party


This is the one holiday party this season you don’t want to miss. The UNF Alumni Association’s 22nd Annual Holiday Party will feature great food, music, dancing, door prizes and more.


For more information, please contact the Office of Alumni Services at (904) 620-4723 or



Date:  Thursday, Dec. 5

Time: 7-10 p.m. 

Location:  The Casa Marina Hotel

Cost: Suggested donation of $20 per person




Big Orange Chorus presents "Sounds of the Season" Christmas Concert


The Big Orange Chorus is pleased to announce their annual Christmas Show, “Sounds Of The Season.” Joining the nine-time state-champion chorus will be Max Q, a 2007 International Gold medalist quartet. The show will also feature additional guest talent. More information is available online and on Facebook.



Date:  Sunday, Dec. 15

Time: 3-5 p.m. 

Location:  Lazzara Performance Hall

Cost:  Tickets will be available for $25, with groups of six or more receiving a special rate of $18 per ticket.



UNF women’s basketball hosts Holiday Classic


The University of North Florida women’s basketball team will host its annual Hampton Inn Oceanfront Holiday Classic at UNF Arena. Participating teams include Georgia Southern University, Eastern Illinois University and Air Force. GSU will play EIU at 1 p.m., and the Ospreys will take on Air Force at 3:30 p.m.


Date:   Friday, Dec. 20

Time:  1-5:30 p.m. 

Location:  UNF Arena 

Cost: Adults: $6, Youth/Senior/Military/UNF Staff: $4, UNF Students and children 2 years old and under: Free with Osprey 1Card; UNF Student Guest: $3


* The University will be closed for holiday break from Tuesday, Dec. 24 through Thursday, Jan. 2 

Get to Know

Colleen O’Connell

december colleenDepartment: Athletics 


Job title: Assistant Athletics Communications Director 


What do you do? I help handle the media responsibilities within UNF’s Athletics Department, specifically with the volleyball, women’s basketball and softball teams. Athletics Communications handles all the stats for our teams, coordinates nominations for Atlantic Sun and national awards, writes press releases pertaining to our teams and the various events, designs collateral pieces (online guides, game programs, flipcards, posters, etc.) and coordinates the media operations at all of our home events. 


Years at UNF:


What is the best thing you ever won? That would probably have to be several kickball championships. I’ve won one with my team in Atlanta and then four more in Jacksonville. 


Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you: I learned how to drive on a 1989 Corvette. Also, since my 25th birthday, I’ve made it a tradition to watch the sunrise on the beach on my actual birthday, or about as close as I can get to the actual birthday since I’ve had trips with our women’s basketball team that had me away from the beach. I’ve only missed one year, and that was when I was living in Atlanta at the time. 


Who is the most famous person you ever met? Being in athletics and the media, you meet various folks. The interaction that perhaps stands out the most though was Evander Holyfield. I was volunteering at the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and I was working the photographer check-in table in the depths of the Georgia Dome. Each photographer had to turn in their credential in order to get a bright yellow photographer’s band that could wrap around a person’s leg or a large lens. This allowed security to know who was supposed to be close to the sideline and who was not. Part of the process with getting the band was that I had to inspect the photo equipment to make sure it was legit (i.e. no point-and-shoot cameras). Some of the photographers would drop off their camera equipment in the workroom area before getting their band, so they had to go back and retrieve their equipment before I gave them a band. Additionally, some of the bigger media members had All-Access passes due to the type of footage they were getting. After checking in one photographer, Evander Holyfield stepped up to the table and said he needed to get to the field. Just doing my job, I asked if he had his camera equipment with him because I had to inspect it first. He had an All-Access pass and looked at me and restated that he had to get to the field. I was about to explain to him that I couldn’t let him onto the field without seeing his camera first, when one of the two super nice security guys jumped in immediately. The security guy directed Mr. Holyfield to the field and when he came back, I asked him if that really was Evander Holyfield. The security guy just smiled and said yes and we got a huge laugh out of it. 


Tell us about your family: I’m single, but I’m the youngest of three daughters to a really awesome set of parents. 


If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why? To be honest, I love what I do, and after realizing I’m meant to work in college athletics, it’d be tough to switch careers. But if I ever did, I’d probably work at a vineyard in California or be one of those people that designs the challenges and tasks you see people do on Real World/Road Rules Challenge or The Amazing Race. 


What would you like to do when you retire? Travel and continue to enjoy life. 


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? I work with some of the most amazing co-workers and students anyone could ask for. They make coming into work fun and enjoyable. 


What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life? My life has been an adventure. I don’t think one particular genre could ever fit the definition that it’s been, thus far. 


If you won the lottery, what would do with the money? Depends on how much we’re talking, but most likely pay off student loans and then take a nice vacation. 


If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing? Probably be at another university or trying to get one of the previously mentioned careers started. 


Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? There are way too many to list, but here are a few: seeing our coaches and student-athletes meet their goals; seeing my student-workers and student-athletes improve every step of the way; the various trips I’ve been fortunate enough to take with our teams; trivia nights with co-workers (and even winning!); intramural softball; and seeing everyone in the athletic department come together when there’s a huge event to make it a success. If I had to pick a most recent memory though, it would have to be Halloween. There were a lot of us in the department who dressed up, and it was just fun laughing at what different people came up with for costumes. We had Duck Dynasty, the ghost of the last Chicago Cubs’ World Series, Ace Ventura, Doc from Back to the Future, a peanut seller from Fenway Park, cowboys, hippies, a solider, etc. I did something a little out of the box and was Ms. Virginia (I’m originally from Virginia). I never dress up fancy, so I had a ball gown with a sash and heels and did my make-up and hair. 


What is your favorite way to blow an hour? Reading, watching “Chopped” or playing Candy Crush — that game is addicting! 


If you were asked to paint a picture about anything you wanted, what would you paint? Probably something beachy or some fun flower sketches. Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn’t live without? A functioning computer during a volleyball match! 


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? There have been a lot of proud and happy moments in my life. Winning a kickball championship is definitely a happy time. But I think the proudest moments are when I see the students push themselves to do the best they can do. You can always see the potential in the students and when they realize it, that’s the best thing that could ever happen. 


What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? First concert was a Peter, Paul and Mary concert. I can’t remember the last one I went to. 


What person had the greatest impact on your life? Without a doubt, my parents. They’ve always been supportive of the choices that I make and are my biggest cheerleaders. If I need advice, they are the first people I go to. They’re always willing to help, even if that means making the 10-hour trip to Jacksonville from Richmond, Va. They’ve showed me how to enjoy life and make the best of what happens to you. I couldn’t ask for anything more from them. What are you most passionate about? Living life to the fullest and doing what makes me happy. 


What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet? Get a stamp in my passport! As much as I travel, it’s all domestic. The only time I’ve gone out of the country was to Canada on a family vacation when I was 19. I’ve had my passport since 2007 and have yet to use it. 


Last book read: “Murphy Park” by Mary Whitehead, a former co-worker’s mom.

Faculty and Staff

august faculty staffBrooks College of Health  


Nutrition and Dietetics: Dr. Corrine A. Labyak was published as lead author in ICAN: Infant, Child and Adolescent Nutrition for the article “Anthropometrics to Identify Overweight Children at Most Risk for the Development of Cardiometabolic Disease.” 


College of Arts and Sciences


Art and Design: Alexander Diaz exhibited work at the third National Photography and Digital Imagery Exhibition Gallery at Eissey Campus in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. in October. Diaz was awarded third place.


Nofa Dixon exhibited artwork at the 2013 SECAC conference in Greensboro, N.C. 


Stephen Heywood exhibited work at three locations: the Sixth Annual Cup Show, Form and Function, a national juried exhibition at the Tapper Center Gallery in Panama City, Fla.; the national juried exhibition, Artifacts from the Inferno: Contemporary Wood-Fired Ceramics, in Baltimore, Md.; and and the national invitational exhibition, Constructed Environments, at the Clay-Pool Young Gallery of Art in Morehead, Ky.


Dr. Debra Murphy presented “Reconsidering the Meaning and Placement of the Fictive Bronzes in the Scipio Frieze of the Palazzo dei Conservatori” at the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference in Puerto Rico.


Chris Trice exhibited two pieces of artwork in the Mobile Magic III exhibition at the LightBox Gallery in Astoria, Ore.


Biology: Dr. Greg Ahearn and his student, Rania Abdel-Malak, published “Regulation of Transmural Transport of Amino Acid/metal Conjugates by Dietary Calcium in Crustacean Intestine” in the Journal of Experimental Zoology.


Dr. Dale Casamatta gave an invited presentation, “Cyanobacterial Reproduction: Implications for Systematics and Reproduction,” at Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic.


Dr. Courtney Hackney presented “Tips for Growing Great Orchids” to the St Augustine Orchid Society and “Classic Cattleya Lineages” to the Tallahassee Orchid Society.


Drs. Judith D. Ochrietor and Daniel C. Moon presented “Using Community Partnerships to Accommodate Students’ Research Interests” at the sixth annual Florida Statewide Symposium on “Engagement in Undergraduate Research” in Orlando.


Dr. Ochrietor was an invited speaker at “The Neuroplastin Cell Adhesion Molecules: Key Regulators of Neuronal Plasticity and Synaptic Function," an international workshop in Ballenstedt, Germany in October.  She also presented “Sense-Sational Basigin: Different Architectural Roles for Different Sensory Systems.”


Dr. Julie Richmond gave an invited presentation, “Comparative Growth Physiology on yhe Land and in the Sea: Animal Science to Marine Mammal Biology,” at the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science Joint Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Ind.. The abstract was published in the Journal of Animal Science.


Drs. Cliff Ross and Tony Rossi, with their students S.M Trevathan-Tackett, N.T Lauer, and K Loucks, published “Assessing The Relationship Between Seagrass Health and Habitat Quality with Wasting Disease Prevalence in the Florida Keys” in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.


History: Dr. Alan Bliss spoke on the history of Jacksonville’s seaport development at the Jacksonville Historical Society and on Jacksonville’s seaport history at a meeting of the West Jacksonville Rotary Club. Dr. Bliss was also featured on Florida Frontiers, the weekly radio broadcast of the Florida Historical Society, discussing his research on Jacksonville’s history of city planning.


Dr. Denise I. Bossy published “Godin & Co.: Charleston Merchants and the Indian Trade, 1674-1716” in South Carolina Historical Magazine.


Dr. David Courtwright’s review-essay on Jeffrey Frank’s “Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage” appeared in The Hedgehog Review.


Dr. Lela Kerley presented “Selling Seduction in the Modern Bourgeois Home: Advertisements of Bathroom Appliance Manufacturers, 1890-1910” at the Western Society for French History’s annual conference in October. 


Dr. N. Harry Rothschild presented “Beyond Venom and Malediction: Lawful and Constructive Shamanism Under Female Sovereign Wu Zhao,” at the 11th conference of the International Society of Shamanistic Research with a Special Forum on World Anthropologies of Rituals, at Guizhou Normal University in September. He was also the keynote speaker and presented his paper, “Western Language Materials on Wu Zetian” at the 11th Wu Zetian Research Association Conference in Guangyuan, Sichuan.


Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Dr. Shira Schwam-Baird received the annual Research Award from the Southeastern Medieval Association.


Dr. Gregory Helmick published “El apócrifo Menéndez de Avilés y la transculturación de lo español en El Mar de las Lentejas de Antonio Benítez Rojo” in the journal Revista Literaria Baquiana.


Music: Drs. Gary Smart, Simon Shiao, and Nick Curry (Trio Florida) were selected to perform at the College Music Society National Conference in Bosto. in October. They performed works by Jason Hoogerhyde, Ethan Wickman and the trio’s own Gary Smart.


Charlotte Mabrey and performance art partner Robert Arleigh White were invited guests in Jacksonville’s first TED Talks.


Philosophy and Religion Study: Dr. Paul Carelli presented “Psychic Representation in the Plato’s Phaedrus” at the 31st annual meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at Fordham University in October.


Dr. Bert Koegler published “Globalization, Agency, and the Cosmopolitan Public Sphere” in Education and Society.


Dr. Jonathan Matheson made three presentations: “A Defense of the Principle of Inferential Justification” at the Central States Philosophical Association; “A Defense of the Principle of Inferential Justification” at the Alabama Philosophical Society; and “Defending Deference to the Experts” at the Southeastern Epistemology Conference at the University of Georgia.


Physics: Dr. Barry Albright published the chapter, “Fossil Vertebrates From the Tropic Shale (Upper Cretaceous), Southern Utah” in “At the Top of the Grand Staircase, the Lake Cretaceous of Southern Utah.”


Political Science and Public Administration: b Georgette Dumont published “Nonprofit Virtual Accountability: An Index and Its Application” in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly in October. 


Dr. Michael Binder, published “Mobilizing Latino Voters: The Impact of Language and Co-Ethnic Policy Leadership” in American Politics Research in September.


Sociology and Anthropology: David Jaffee presented “Good Jobs and Bad Jobs in the Logistics Sector of Global Value Chains” at the annual meetings of the Mid-South Sociological Association in Atlanta. 


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction


Computing: Dr. Charles Winton chaired the fall meeting of the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics Board of Directors in Norman, Okla. The meeting discussed the new Botball region in China and the 2014 Global Conference on Educational Robotics, to be hosted by USC in July 2014.


Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy had his paper, “Digging into Human Rights Violations: Data Modeling Collective Memory,” published in the proceedings of the IEEE Big Data: Workshop on Big Humanities in Santa Clara, Calif.


Construction Management: Dr. Roberto Soares had his paper, “Giving More to the Poor, a Successful Brazilian Housing Program Analysis” published in the International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology.


Dr. Raphael Crowley spoke at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Pipe Advisory Group (PAG) meeting. The PAG was established in 1999 to provide feedback to FDOT from industry experts and researchers on issues related to specifications, manuals and policies on pipe culverts. These meetings are FDOT’s exclusive venue for receiving cross-industry comments and rebuttal. Dr. Crowley was also invited to present results from his FDOT-sponsored research. The project involves determining guidelines for allowing for short-term inspection of flexible culvert pipe.


Engineering: Dr. Peter Bacopoulos had his Paper, “State Estimation of Tidal Hydrodynamics Using Ensemble Kalman Filter” officially accepted for publication in Advances in Water Resources.


Dr. Peter Bacopoulos delivered a presentation, “Field and Model Study to Define Baseline Conditions of Beached Oil Tar Balls on Florida’s First Coast Beaches” in November during the International Conference on Estuarine and Coastal Modeling.


College of Education and Human Services


Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Ronghua Ouyang attended and co-presented two papers with Dr. Nile Stanley at the 25th International Council for Open and Distance Education World Conference in Tianjin, China in October.  The first paper was titled “Theories and Research in Educational Technology and Distance Learning Instruction through Blackboard.” The second paper was titled “Using Digital Storytelling, Filmmaking and Cross Cultural Collaboration to Improve Online Distance Learning.”  Dr. Ouyang also attended and presented a paper at the 19th Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences in the United States International Conference at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.  The paper was titled “A Comparative Study: Advantages and Disadvantages of Higher Education Admission Requirements in China and in the United States.”  In addition, Dr. Ouyang was selected to serve as Executive Vice President of the Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences in the United States.


Dr. Stacy K. Boote presented a 90-minute gallery workshop, “Making Our Base-Ten Number System Concrete and Comprehensible,” at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics regional conference in Las Vegas, Nev. in October. 


Lena Shaqareq, presented “Diverse Bridge to Success” at the Child Development Education Alliance Conference in Jacksonville in October.  She also presented “I Am Not Strapped To Bombs!” at the National Association of Multicultural Education Conference in Oakland, Calif. in November. 


Dr. Kim Cheek gave a presentation about the Urban Professional Development School Partnership with West Jacksonville Elementary School in October at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver.  The presentation was titled, "Co-Collaborators: A Model for an Elementary School-University Partnership to Support the Next Generation Science Standards."


Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education: Dr. Kristine Webb was awarded the Spirit of the ADA: 2013 Jack Gillrup Award for her leadership within the disability community of Northeast Florida.  The award is sponsored by the Independent Living Resource Center of Northeast Florida and the City of Jacksonville’s Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services Department. 


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Drs. Sophie Maxis and Chris Janson participated in the 16th Community Learning Exchange in Northeast North Carolina in N.C.  The event theme was “Looking Back to Move Forward: Leading for Racial Healing in Schools, Families, and Communities.”


Dr. Terry Cavanaugh presented at the Florida Reading Association conference in Orlando on “How to be Effective with a Digital Textbook.” Later, working with the Mississippi Department of Education, he gave a workshop to their master teacher program on “Blended Learning.”


Drs. Elizabeth Gregg and Jason Lee presented "An Ace Up Their Sleeve: Rebranding the University of Evansville Athletics" at the Sport Marketing Association Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.



Office of the Dean: Dr. Marsha Lupi and Kelly Turner, graduate research assistant in the Dean’s Office, recently presented at the 60th annual meeting of the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators in Sarasota, Fla. Their first presentation titled “Beyond Graduation: The Sustainability of New Pedagogy and Other Lessons Learned During a Short-Term Student Teaching Abroad” focused on the longitudinal impact of the Plymouth, England student teaching internship for alumni who are now up to their fifth year of teaching. Their second presentation, titled “Strengthening Future Teachers’ Ability to be Effective and Supportive Teachers of Students from Military Families,” discussed the Working with Military Children and Families Workshop. This work was followed by an Oct. 18 professional development day for the current student interns that provided them with information and experiences to help them understand the unique needs when working with military children.



august datelineMilestone anniversaries  

Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in December or January:


December anniversaries


20 years

Daniel Endicott, Director, Environmental Health and Safety


15 years

Betty Bennett, Research Program Services Coordinator, Education and Human Services

Kerry Clark, Associate Professor, Public Health

Shawn Faulkner, Law Enforcement Sergeant, University Police Department


10 years

John Dean, Police Safety Training Officer, Student Affairs

Scott Peden, Applications Systems Manager, Enterprise Systems


Five years

Jaclyn Behrens, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences

Timothy Bell, Professor, Accounting and Finance

Christopher Brown, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

Ellen Gayton, Budgets Coordinator, Physical Facilities

Justin Glennon, Irrigation Supervisor, Physical Facilities

John Timpe, Director, Center for Student Media


January anniversaries

25 years

John Touchton, Library Services Coordinator, Library


20 years

Linda Wilson, Senior Applications Programmer, Enterprise Systems


15 years

Donald Barker, Instructional Specialist, Training and Services Institute

Cheresa Hamilton, Director of Sponsored Research, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

 Joseph Lynch, IT Support Coordinator, User Services

Pamela Niemczyk, Administrative Assistant, Brooks College of Health

Kevin Roop, Marketing and Publications Coordinator, Training and Services Institute


10 years

Sharon Ashton, Vice President, Public Relations

Frank Brown, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities Olivia Daniels, Custodial Supervisor, Physical Facilities

Kempton Jackson, Senior Recycling Refuse Worker, Physical Facilities


Five years

Gerard Hogan, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Rumyana Kalaydzhieva, Student Financial Aid Coordinator, Financial Aid Office

Heather Kenney, Director, Academic Support Services, Brooks College of Health

Judith Kraft, Executive Secretary, Brooks College of Health



The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions recently:


Marc Berkovits, Coordinator, Admissions

Vanessa Cox, Marketing Publications Coordinator, Admissions

Gerald Davis, Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Services


Germaine Fernandes, Senior Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Daniel Kraus, Teaching Laboratory Specialist, Art and Design

Sobrina Martin, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Khoi Nguyen, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Fantei Norman, Administrative Secretary, Residence Life Programming

Eric Royster, Maintenance Mechanic, Student Union

Diane Scott, Executive Secretary, Internal Auditing

Robert Tyson, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department

Devon Zook, Accounting Associate, Student Government Business and Accounting Office


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Dmitriy Bond, Director of Enterprise Systems, ITS

Mildred Rhodes, Senior Custodial Worker, Custodial Services




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


Shoumen Datta, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Wally Gonzalez Andujar, Maintenance Mechanic, Student Union

Kathleen Leone, Director of Development, Student Affairs Katrina Machorro, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Coggin College of Business

William McSherry, Director of Enterprise Systems, ITS

Betty Monk, Coordinator, Coggin College of Business

Michael Ray, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management

Hari Rizal, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Darren Thomas, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Christopher Whitehead, Sports Information Coordinator, Intercollegiate Athletics


The Goods



december pluotsThe pluot is a fruit that combines the plum and the apricot. The pluot is 60 percent plum and includes more than 20 varieties, each with a unique color and flavor. The pluot is a fruit in the prunus genus, which includes apricots, peaches, cherries and almonds. Alexia Lewis, wellness dietitian in the Department of Health Promotion, shares more about this refreshing fruit. In order to include pluot in your diet, a recipe has been provided.


Myth: Pluots are genetically modified.


Pluots are a cross of two species in the same genus, but they aren’t genetically modified. Floyd Zaiger, a farmer-geneticist, introduced pluots in the 1980s after crossbreeding plums and apricots by hand pollination, not genetic modification.


Myth: Pluots have too much sugar to be healthy.  


The pluot is an easy to carry, healthy snack. A pluot has 80 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein, no fat, 225 milligrams of potassium and 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. With 15 grams sugar, pluots have more sugar than plums, providing a sweet flavor. The sugar is the natural form of fruit sugar — fructose — and fiber slows down absorption, giving pluots a low glycemic index, keeping it a healthy option.


Fact: Pluots should be handled like any other fruit.


Select firm, unblemished fruits with vibrant color. The fruit is ripe when it softens and has a strong fragrant smell. To speed ripening, store in a closed bag at room temperature. Once ripe, store refrigerated for three days. Always wash before eating.


Myth: The only way to eat a pluot is fresh and by itself.


Pluots are delicious on their own and best at room temperature. Their season runs from May to October, when they are in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. This is not, however, the only way to enjoy pluots. Use pluots in pies, chop into salads or use in place of peaches, apricots or cherries. For a new twist on salsa, replace tomatoes with pluots and use as a dip or serve over cooked fish or chicken.


Pluot Salsa


Ingredients (recommended, adjust to your preference):

5 pluots, pit removed, chopped

1/4 large Vidalia onion, chopped

1 large jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 lime, juice only

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped


Directions: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for one hour to let flavors develop. Store refrigerated for three days.


Options: Add your preferred sugar or alternative sweetener, if salsa is too tart. Add your favorite hot sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.


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 monthly in The Florida Times-Union’s “Taste” section. Have a question about pluots? Contact Alexia Lewis at .  



Healthy Osprey

Students, faculty or staff looking to get fit should check out the state-of-the-art Student Wellness Complex.Inspire to Move: Getting Personal


If you think that personal trainers are only realistic for celebrities, the wealthy or reality TV contestants, think again. The number of personal fitness trainers has been on the rise, and they can offer a realistic and affordable possibility to help you meet your fitness goals.


One advantage of working out with a trainer includes avoiding injury. Your trainer can give instruction as well as watch your form so you won’t get hurt. They can also plan and design your workout to fine-tune your strengths and assess areas for improvement. A trainer will also push you further than you think you can go. Those last few reps are the ones that will help you see your goals met.


The first thing to look for is a trainer with an accredited certification. Credentials for certified trainers are issued through the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Council on Exercise. When choosing a trainer, the most common place to find one is at your local gym or fitness center. Take your time and find someone with whom you will feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you choose a person that you like and share a good rapport.


A trainer who you get along with and who is invested in you will motivate you with positive reinforcement and motivation. That will keep you in the gym and help you meet those fitness goals. 



Nourishing You: Addicting Foods


There are so many super-palatable foods containing sugar, salt and fat that are nearly impossible to resist. Why is it so difficult to stop eating processed foods? Food inventors and scientists spend a huge amount of time formulating processed foods that have the perfect amount of sugar, fat and salt to send products flying off the shelves. There is growing research stating that processed foods can be addictive.


Our bodies have not evolved to handle the over-stimulating combination of these three ingredients. For instance, a sugar rush releases a chemical in the brain called serotonin, which induces euphoria. Aside from increased weight gain, eating too much sugar is linked to an increased risk for Type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. Fat fills the role of that warm gooey mouth feeling that rushes to the same pleasure center of the brain while carrying twice as many calories. And the flavor burst of salt is nearly intoxicating, even thought its main purpose is as a preservative so foods can stay on shelves for months. Our lives don’t allow us to avoid processed foods altogether, but you can take control by deciding what to buy and how much to eat.


Myths about Holiday Eating


Every year, Americans approach the holidays with thoughts of food, whether it’s looking forward to favorite holiday treats or obsessing about how to weather enormous festive meals and avoid weight gain. This is the season for temptations, but it’s okay to indulge sensibly with these strategies.


Don’t eat everything — Discriminate and go for foods that are specific to the holidays and worth the indulgence.


Decide what you will eat before you fill your plate — Give the buffet a once-over before digging in.


Watch your portions — Eat a small amount that tastes good and walk away feeling satisfied.


Stay active — Physical activity will burn calories and help manage holiday stress.


If you do end up overindulging, remember that shame doesn’t motivate. If you recognize that you ate too much, be kind to yourself and remember that anything gained can be lost.


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