The University of North Florida was honored in May as one of Jacksonville’s healthiest places to work. UNF was awarded a Platinum award, the highest level for companies or organizations, by the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council and the Mayor’s Council on Fitness and Well-Being.The awards, which are chosen by the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council, recognize the achievements of businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to their employees' health and well-being. That includes implementing comprehensive worksite health promotion strategies and including targeted strategies from the Healthy People 2020 goals. Awards are handed out based on certain benchmarks, such as how much a company spends on wellness activities. This is the first year the platinum award level has been offered. Shelly Purser, the director of the Department of Health Promotion, received the award during the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council’s Fifth Annual Conference and Luncheon in May.
More information about the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council is available online.
Lee Moon understands that the University of North Florida's quest to ascend the ladder of Division I NCAA competition is a work-in-progress.
Moon, UNF's athletics director, was hired in 2009 with the understanding that he would help smooth out the University's transition from Division II to Division I collegiate competition. There have been some tremendous successes since - namely men's basketball appearing in the championship game of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Tournament. But victories for a burgeoning athletics program are measured incrementally. Progress is tracked in decades, not years. That message is especially clear to Moon this year, which marks UNF's 20th anniversary as an NCAA program.
Nearly every team on campus has progressed tremendously since the jump to DI. In 2012, women's golf and sand volleyball debuted at North Florida, with sand volleyball claiming the inaugural 2012 A-Sun Sand Volleyball Team Championship by posting a perfect 4-0 record in the two-day team competition. In April, men's golf claimed the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and went on to finish 12th at the 2012 NCAA Golf Championship. The championship was the second for men's golf in the last five seasons. The women's tennis team won the 2012 Atlantic Sun Women's Tennis Regular Season and Tournament Championships. The women's tennis team also claimed the 2010 A-Sun Tournament Championship, while the men's tennis team earned the 2011 A-Sun regular season title. The women's cross country team claimed the 2010 A-Sun Conference Championship, while both the men's and women's basketball teams have advanced to their respective conference championship games. In addition to the on-field/court successes, UNF was able to host the 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Track and Field Championships at its state-of-the-art track at Hodges Stadium.
"I believed when I came here, and I still do, that UNF is truly a diamond in the rough when it comes to athletics," Moon said. "The progress we've made compared to the program's early days is just remarkable, and we have a lot of momentum pushing us forward. Attendance figures are increasing, we're doing better when it comes to recruiting and, in general, community awareness about our teams is at the highest level it's ever been. We're looking good."
Moon's sentiment becomes especially clear when one takes a look at the early days of UNF Athletics.
The Ospreys started small, much like the school itself, in the modestly sized National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. But the University's administration had bigger things in mind. In the mid-'90s, then President Adam Herbert began to lay the groundwork that would begin the transition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. UNF joined the NCAA ranks in 1994 at the DII level in the Sunshine State and Peach Belt conferences. The Ospreys steadily ascended the ranks of the DII hierarchy, leading to scores of regional and conference championships.
It was during this time that UNF established a standard for excellence on and off the playing field. The University's corps of dedicated coaches and administrators has never lost sight of one guiding principle - all student-athletes will have access to an exemplary educational environment.
After years of success at the DII level, it was decided that UNF would take the plunge into the DI world. Probationary membership began in 2004 when the UNF Board of Trustees unanimously approved the move, and UNF submitted an official application in December of that year. Official competition would start in 2009, and Moon was hired as the new athletics director that year in February due to his aptitude for building smaller schools into national competitors. While at the University of Wyoming, Moon was responsible for a $15 million budget and helped secure the largest financial donation - $4.3 million for the naming rights of the student-athletic center - in the history of the institution. He also helped secure a $2 million donation at Marshall University for naming rights to a similar facility. While at Marshall, Moon was responsible for the hiring of basketball coach Billy Donovan, who later went on to win two national championships at the University of Florida, and Dana Altman, who led the Creighton Blue Jays to the NCAA Tournament seven times.
Moon took the helm during a brief transitional period, and the Ospreys began DI competition in July 2009. Moon said that transition was important in building up the program's operating budget and ensuring campus athletic facilities were up to the DI level.
"My charge was to grow all facets of the program to that of a functioning DI program," Moon said. "I won't lie - it was a long road, and there are still areas that we're addressing now. We were behind the curve on some levels, considering we were accustomed to DII instead of DI. Our amenities and facilities were top-of-our-class for DII, but we were around average for DI. It's an overall process to change the perception of what we in the athletics program view as acceptable. We don't want to be content with just good enough - we want to be great."
Records are improving, attendance is increasing and scholarship offers are attracting more and more elite student-athletes to Northeast Florida. Additionally, Moon said the establishment of a partnership with Nike has been a huge factor in boosting Osprey merchandizing sales. Blue and gray Osprey logos adorn T-shirts, hoodies and hats in a number of local and regional retail establishments, allowing the community to wear their Osprey pride.
Another measure of success that Moon is particularly fond of is the attendance figures from the yearly UNF/Jacksonville University basketball game on campus.
"Since I've been here, every crowd for the JU game has beat the previous year's crowd," Moon said. "The growth is there for crowd attendance for all sports, but this game is a big one for us. It's on ESPN and gets us a lot of attention. Seeing that Arena packed to the rafters is a sign that we're on the right path. The impact of winning at the DI level plays a huge role in the development of a program. And we're making strides every year. Everyone is going to know about the Ospreys soon."
Amy Costa, the University of North Florida's new assistant director for the Eco Adventure program, has spent more time on the Robert W. Loftin Nature Trails than just about anyone.
However, she was usually moving too fast to take in all the natural beauty.
"Now that I work here, I get to really appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us on campus," Costa said. "Before that, I didn't take much time to stop."
Costa, who started at UNF in November, is an ultramathon runner who has competed in multiple 100-plus-mile races. She's training regularly on campus and around Jacksonville for her most challenging race yet this July - The Badwater Ultramarathon, dubbed "the world's toughest foot race."
It truly lives up to its billing. It's 135 miles long. It starts in Death Valley at the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere - 282 feet below sea level. It traverses three mountain ranges and ends at an elevation of 8,360 feet. It takes place in July, and temperatures regularly hit 120.
"I've had people tell me I'm crazy for doing it," Costa said. "I've run a lot of races, and this one might be the toughest. But I haven't stopped yet, and I don't plan to."
Visitors to UNF's nature trails the past few years might have been able to catch a glimpse of her speeding down her favorite paths on one of her 20-mile training runs. She's been running those trails for years, diligently pushing herself to prepare for dozens of other long-distance races. What started as an urge to stay fit after a collegiate tennis career blossomed into a primary hobby that's kept her moving for decades. She started her race career slowly, building up from half-marathons to marathons, until her fellow runners goaded her into joining the ultramarathon community.
"I'd run a lot of smaller races, and there were always people who'd suggest that I try out an ultra some time," she said. "From a time standpoint, I started thinking that it would be a good idea because it was just one big race, not a bunch of little ones. It gives me more time with my family, even when I'm training for months in advance of a race."
Costa's relationship with UNF was forged during those training runs, and she said she's greatly enjoying serving as a campus advocate for the University's natural environment with her new post at Eco Adventure. Her day-to-day responsibilities include supervising the new Osprey Challenge Course located off the Interstate 295 entrance and programming campus events on the trails. These duties allow her to commune in the natural landscape that first drew her to campus.
"It's inspiring being able to work in nature," Costa said. "It's what drew me here initially to run, and it's what kept me coming back. I'm lucky to be able to present UNF's natural beauty to the campus community."
Her future plans include boosting Eco Adventure's programming and educational offerings for students, faculty, staff and Northeast Florida residents.
Becky Purser, UNF's director of Recreation, said Costa was a perfect fit for the Eco Adventure post due to her past history with the campus and her prior work experience with the North Carolina Outward Bound School.
"Amy has a great skill set and a passion for nature that made her a fantastic candidate," Purser said. "Her enthusiasm for the outdoors is contagious. She's a ball of energy, and we're happy to have her at UNF."
The University of North Florida's newest laboratory is a truly lively place to experience the benefits of a hands-on approach to learning. The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens have developed into a fertile ground for student health and wellness education, housed on UNF's environmentally beautiful campus. Thanks to a generous gift from a motivated donor, the gardens have grown in size since they were planted in 2009.
"This 'seed money' is more than just a gift to fund a garden," said Assistant Vice President for Development Brandon McCray during a dedication ceremony for the gardens in April. "It serves as a way for interested students to gain some knowledge and life skills that will have a life-long impact."
The first generation of the gardens was started in 2009 on a small strip of campus near the Parking Services Building along UNF Drive. The current iteration — a sprawling half-acre operation located next to the UNF Skate Park — is exponentially larger and includes even more room to grow.
What started out as a student-driven initiative has blossomed thanks to the generous support of Bruce Ogier. Ogier was a member of the Sawmill Slough Conservation Club, a group for passionate environmental advocates, when he was a UNF student in the '70s. The Sawmill group rekindled his passion for nature that he'd nurtured since his early years puttering around his grandmother's garden off Ebersol Road on Jacksonville's Southside.
"I always found it put me at peace to be in the garden," Ogier said. "There's something about the calm and quiet of being in nature that is nourishing to a person."
Ogier, who currently serves as president of Capital Analysts of Jacksonville, Florida, and his brother, Frederick Jr., who lives in Dallas, donated the startup funding in memory of their parents, Frederick C. and Ophelia Tate Ogier, as part of the University's recently concluded Power of Transformation campaign. Ogier provided a follow-up gift that granted UNF the opportunity to expand the gardens to a full-functioning, half-acre operation.
Carmen Franz, the gardens' coordinator, Mike Kennedy, the assistant director of Health Promotion, and their student volunteers have steadily built up the garden's amenities, adding strips of pavement and composite lumber beds to hold a wide array of plants. They've boosted the total number of beds from six to 15, allowing for a wider diversity of plants. Up next is a bed dedicated to plants that produce natural fibers and dyes from which students can make and color papers and cloths. On the edible side of the spectrum, the garden maintains more than 50 varieties of organically grown fruits and vegetables.
Franz said the student response has been overwhelming. Dozens of volunteers have become regulars during weekly open-garden sessions, tending to different beds and individual plants. UNF faculty and staff are also invited to volunteer.
The garden staff has worked hard to incorporate hands-on and experiential learning opportunities for interested students, including gardening and composting workshops. Some of the produce cultivated during the week is used in the Osprey Café and available for sale to students, faculty and staff during UNF's Market Day at the Student Union every Wednesday.
Franz said the garden also offers cooking workshops using food plucked from the garden. In March, she took a particularly strong yield of fruit from the calamondin tree and made 60 jars of a marmalade consisting of calamondins, jalapenos, habaneros and sugar. The calamondin fruit is closest in flavor to an orange. Every volunteer who worked that day took home a jar.
"We want to give them a true, physical experience of what it means to get your hands dirty and work in the garden," Franz said. "But it goes deeper than that. We want to put them more in touch with their food source and give them a broader understanding of our natural world. We have more than enough space now to make that happen."
A group of students from the University of North Florida's Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program produced an academic study for Second Harvest North Florida that suggested a series of improvements to streamline the food services provider's supply chain.
The study, which was commissioned during the fall 2012 semester by the non-profit food bank, was a semester-long project for four logistics students, said Scott Lane, a UNF adjunct professor who oversaw the study. The students used CAST Software for Supply Chain Modeling, a state-of-the-art computer system that is viewed as an industry standard by many in the logistics community, to determine that Second Harvest needed to double the size and capacity of its logistics facilities in St. Augustine and Jacksonville by 2015 to meet projected demand.
Lane said Second Harvest had the students run meetings on a weekly basis and make presentations to the non-profit's board of directors.
"They truly engaged in the process," said Lane, who is also chief information officer for Beaver Street Fishery. "They led the charge, from doing the research to presenting the facts as to where Second Harvest needed to improve and modify its supply chain."
The UNF study was completed in the fall, and Second Harvest recently began raising money to meet the requirements of the facility as proposed by the students.
A recent $85,000 challenge grant from an anonymous foundation will enable Second Harvest to move into and renovate a larger food distribution hub near St. Augustine next to I-95 and State Road 16. The planned facility will substantially increase Second Harvest's ability to meet a rapidly growing demand for its services in Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties, while freeing up space in its Jacksonville warehouse to move more food into Duval and neighboring counties.
The new location illustrates how Second Harvest can use sophisticated logistics modeling techniques to stretch thin resources, said Bruce Ganger, executive director of Second Harvest.
"Second Harvest spends $4 million each year in getting food from nearly 300 retail suppliers and distributing it to more than 400 community food distributors," Ganger said. "This new research will help us improve transportation planning so that our depots can serve agencies better and feed more hungry people across our service area."
The UNF research is evidence of how Second Harvest can plan food transportation based on distance rather than on traditional county boundaries. It also recommends new online ordering techniques to improve efficiencies and lower costs. These improvements will be crucial as Second Harvest works to meet the demand that is projected to increase from 22 million pounds of food this year to 40 million by 2015.
The four students involved in the project were undergraduate students at the time of their research. The team included Claire Kasik, who is employed at Stein Mart Logistics Group; Ryan Thiel, who is employed at CH Robinson, a third-party logistics company; Steven Bigio, who is also employed at CH Robinson; and Scott Barrett, who graduated during the spring semester.
Lane said the level of access offered to the students by Second Harvest allowed them to hone their professional skills in a real-world work environment.
"All the strategies and skills they learned in the classroom are great, but this experience made everything clearer to them," he said. "They worked day-to-day with contemporaries who are already in the industry - dispatchers and data collectors - and that forced them to really get into the thick of the job. Second Harvest raved about their performance, and now they're planning to keep other logistics students coming through each semester, allowing them to get real-world logistics experiences. It's a win-win for the Flagship and for Second Harvest."
Coggin College of Business
Economics and Geography: Dr. Wayne Coleman was awarded a plaque from UNF for his participation in the On Campus Transition program. The award is in recognition of his outstanding commitment to, and ongoing inclusion and support of the On Campus Transition Program students. Coleman has been working on this program for the last six years, allowing physically and mentally challenged students to participate in his classes as regular members of the UNF student body.
College of Arts and Sciences
Communication: Dr. Robert Bohle presented "Making Ads Work" to the New York Press Association in April.
English: Dr. James P. Beasley presented "Investigation, Demonstration and Assessment: A Historical Perspective" at Connections: A Critical Thinking Conference in Statesboro, Ga. He also presented "Emerson, Thoreau and the Rhetorical Nature of Edward Channing" at the annual conference of the College English Association Savannah, Ga.
Dr. Nicholas de Villiers presented "Writing Toward a Book on/in Proust: Late Roland Barthes and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick" at the Renaissance of Roland Barthes conference at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
History: Dr. Alan Bliss appeared before Jacksonville's Historic Preservation Commission to advocate Landmark status for the city's three historic but deteriorating shotgun houses in LaVilla.
Dr. James Broomall published "Personal Reconstructions: Southern Men as Soldiers and Citizens in the Post-Civil War South" in Creating Citizenship in the 19th Century South. He also gave the keynote address, "'We are a Band of Brothers': Manhood and Community in the Confederate Army and Beyond, 1861-1868," at the Graduate Association Conference at the University of Florida in April.
Dr. Philip Kaplan presented "Autochthony, Environmental Determinism and the Discourse of Displacement in Greek Geographical and Ethnic Thought" at the Classical Association of the Midwest and South Annual Meeting in Iowa City, Iowa in April.
Philosophy/Religion: Dr. Andrew Buchwalter published "Hegel, Human Rights and Political Membership" in the Hegel Bulletin in April.
Dr. Paul Carelli presented a public lecture on "Socratic Dialogue" at the Mandarin branch of the Jacksonville Public Library in March.
Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. Matthew Corrigan presented "Governor Jeb Bush and K-12 Education Policy in Florida: A Model for the Nation" at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago in April. He also presented "Jeb Bush as Florida's Governor: A Cultural Warrior" at the annual meeting of the Florida Political Science Association in Miami in March.
Sociology and Anthropology:
Dr. Suzanne Simon published "Friction in a Warming World: The Challenges of Green Energy in Rural Oaxaca, Mexico" in Peace, Conflict and Development.
Dr. Gordon F.M. Rakita published "Life in Print: the Publication Record of Jane E. Buikstra" in the edited volume, "The Dead Tell Tales: Essays in Honor of Jane E. Buikstra." In that same book, he co-authored the chapter, "Andean Life Transitions and Gender Perceptions in the Past: A Bioarchaeological Approach among the Pre-Inca Chiribaya of Southern Peru." In addition, he served as program chair for the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Honolulu, Hawaii in April, at which he also served as a discussant for the symposium "Bodies of Evidence: Integrating Mortuary and Osteological Analyses."
College of Computing, Engineering & Construction
Construction Management: Dr. David Lambert was appointed to serve on the USGBC North Florida Chapter Board of Directors. Dr. Lambert has been actively involved with the Chapter since its creation a decade ago.
Dr. Maged Malek presented and published his paper, "On the Management of Green Technology," at the 22nd annual conference of the International Association for Management of Technology in April. Malek also chaired the session "Managing Energy Technology" and participated in a panel discussion on "A Case Study on Project Management."
Engineering: Drs. Adel El Safty, Patrick Kreidl and Gerald Merckel, along with Ahmed Gamal, published their paper, "Structural Health Monitoring: Alarming System," in the Journal of Wireless Sensor Networks in May.
Dr.El Safty received a $175,000 research award from the Florida Department of Transportation, "Empirical Deck for Phased Construction and Widening." He also received the UNF Outstanding Faculty Scholarship award.
Drs. El Safty and Michael Jackson presented "Sustainable Concrete Repairs - Organofunctional Silane Corrosion Inhibitors," at the April meeting of the International Concrete Repair Institute.
Dr. Don Resio has been selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers' Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) Board of Governors to receive the 2013 International Coastal Engineering Award. The award citation is "For outstanding contributions to coastal engineering research, design, education and leadership that have led to practical and effective solutions to some of the field's most difficult problems." In selecting Resio for this award, the committee particularly noted his important research efforts in a variety of significant coastal engineering topics.
College of Education and Human Services
Center for Urban Education and Policy: Dr. Mary Rose presented a poster at the Society for Public Health Education annual meeting in Orlando. Her poster was called "Addressing Co-Occurring Adolescent Problem Behaviors in South Africa." Rose's poster was one of three featured as part of the Poster Promenade on "Global Health."
Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Drs. Kristi Sweeney, Elizabeth Gregg andJennifer Kane presented at the National Convention for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in Charlotte, N.C. The title of the presentation was "Finding Work-Life Balance in Academia."
Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education: Tara Rowe and Joanna Ale, COEHS graduate students, along with UNF alumna Michelle Castanos and Dr. Kris Webb, were invited to present at the Florida Association for Higher Education and Disabilities. They presented information and data from THRIVE, a support program UNF developed for UNF college students with autism spectrum disorders who were supported by graduate student mentors from the COEHS and the Brooks College of Health. THRIVE is a joint project with the UNF Disability Resource Center and the Department of Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education. Additionally, Webb was an invited speaker and panelist for Disability Matters, a national conference in April for business leaders who are leading employers of individuals with disabilities. The conference was hosted by Florida Blue in Jacksonville.
Drs. Caroline Guardino and Katie Monnin will conduct the first-ever iREAD Graphic Novels Camp for children who are deaf or hard of hearing this summer, July 8-12. The professors are merging their expertise in deafness and literacy to create a camp that brings literature to life for children who historically struggle to read beyond a 4th grade reading level. UNF undergrads and graduate students from both respective departments will work as camp counselors to help strengthen their teaching and communication in American Sign Language skills. More information about the camp can be found online.
Foundations and Secondary Education:
The department hosted the FATE CROWN 2013 Preservice Teacher Showcase in April. Drs. Madalina Tanase, Wanda Lastrapes andOtilia Salmon co-sponsored the annual Preservice Teacher Showcase with Florida Association of Teacher Educator's CROWN Regional Director Dr. Crystal Timmons. Approximately 60 pre-service teachers were in attendance for the Opening General Session titled, "The Essential Six: Guidelines to Help You Survive Your First Year in a High-Poverty School. This session was followed by four breakout sessions and a poster session highlighting the exemplary work of pre-service teachers from UNF, Flagler College and UF in the areas of culturally responsive pedagogy, cultural diversity, ESOL and classroom management.
Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Stacy K. Boote presented a 75-minute Gallery Workshop, "Making Our Base-Ten System Concrete and Comprehensible," in April at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Annual Meeting and Exposition in Denver, Colo.
Center for Instruction and Research Technology: Erin Pabalate, lead instructional designer, has been selected as a winner of a 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Staff Development. This award honors the achievement of a select group of eLearning professionals, system administrators and institution staff from around the world whose participation has been recognized as a significant and exemplary contribution to the Blackboard Community. She will present a case study of UNF's Catalyst Award-winning innovations at the BbWorld 2013 Poster Session and Welcome Reception in July in Las Vegas, Nev.
Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in June:
Tammy Oliver, Law Enforcement Lieutenant, University Police Department
Donald Hicks, Landscape Grounds Support, Physical Facilities
Keith Hufford, Associate Director, Enterprise Systems
Vicki Gipe, Office Manager, Economics
Lester Jones, Custodial Worker, University Housing
Maisha Tolliver, Office Assistant, Physical Facilities
Sherry Swisher, Office Assistant, Parking
Koren Borges, Instructor, Management
Stacy Jarvis-Mejia, Academic Coordinator, Academic Center for Excellence
Robb Waltner, University Librarian, Library
Sherry Sands, Executive Assistant, President's Office
Juan Loja, Coordinator, Student Affairs
Murtic Zemrija, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities
James Rowley, Control Systems Technician, Physical Facilities
Gregory Swisher, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities
Paul Arrington, Assistant Director of Research Program Services, Small Business Development Center
William Bigham, Locksmith Supervisor, Physical Facilities
The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions from early-April to early-May:
Justin Lerman, Distance Learning Coordinator, Distance Learning Fee
Alice Boyd, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Erin Campbell, Accounting Associate, Student Government Business and Accounting Office
Jaime Harsell-Chavez, Administrative Secretary, Education and Human Services
Zachary Neaves, Senior University Union Program Specialist, Student Government
Margaret Szerba, Student Affairs Coordinator, Student Government
Noreen Santisteban, Office Assistant, One-Stop Center
Edward McCree, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Dominic McKnight, Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities
Angela Rivera, Student Government Business Manager, Student Government Business and Accounting Office
Shane Smith, Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities
Darren Thomas, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Geoffrey Whittaker, IT Security Analyst, IT Security
Earle Traynham, Interim Provost, Academic Affairs
The following employees were promoted from mid-March to late-April:
Maria Atilano, Assistant University Librarian, Library
April Grayson, Student Financial Services Coordinator, Controller Kristopher Hatcher, Assistant Director, Enrollment Services Processing Office
Albina Mikhaylova, Assistant Director of Research Program Services, ORSP
Heartfelt well wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees, who left UNF from mid- to late-March:
Christopher Crabtree, Assistant Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
Drew Dyr, IT Support Coordinator, User Services
Julie Fagan, Director, Continuing Education
Betty Garris, Director, Student Government
Trey Gowdy, Events Planning Coordinator, Taylor Leadership Institute
Carl Holman, Assistant Director of Marketing Publication, Public Relations
, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Rebecca Hall, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Robert Hughes, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities
Dale Johnsen, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing
Brandie Thomas, Senior Library Services Associate, Library
Brussels sprouts can be cooked in many delicious ways and are a very healthy vegetable choice in your diet. Dr. Judy Perkin, professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, shares more about this food, which deserves more popularity in the U.S. diet. A recipe has been provided to help you add Brussels sprouts to your diet.
Myth: Brussels sprouts aren't grown in the United States.
Fact: History experts tell us that Brussels sprouts probably originated in Europe and were grown extensively in Belgium. Brussels sprouts are well liked in Europe and culinary works describe their particular popularity in Britain as a holiday side dish. Brussels sprouts, however, do grow in the U.S., with agriculture sources noting California and New York as the major sites of U.S. production.
Myth: Brussels sprouts always taste bitter and mushy.
Fact: Food encyclopedia information indicates that Brussels sprouts are a vegetable that must be cooked. Cooked Brussels sprouts can taste bitter and mushy but steps can be taken to avoid these negative stereotypical characteristics. Culinary experts tell us that carefully choosing fresh Brussels sprouts and selecting ones that are small and young can help reduce bitterness. Another tip from these experts is to cut the ends off and halve the fresh sprouts before cooking. Extension specialists advise that the mushiness is related to overcooking.
Myth: Brussels sprouts have relatively little nutritive value.
Fact: Brussels sprouts are very nutritious. According to published nutrition data, the Brussels sprout is an important dietary source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and fiber while being low in sodium and calories.
Myth: Brussels sprouts have no role in disease prevention.
Fact: Brussels sprouts have been cited by the American Institute of Cancer Research as a possible cancer-fighting food. Researchers have noted that the phytochemicals and nutrients found in Brussels sprouts may be potent anti-cancer agents. Scientists are also investigating whether the chemical profile of Brussels sprouts may also be protective in terms of cardiovascular diseases.
Myth: Brussels sprouts have no close vegetable relatives.
Fact: According to government information, Brussels sprouts are part of a large vegetable family in the Brassica genus, which also includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and turnips. Eating these relatives of Brussels sprouts can vary your diet and provide health benefits too.
Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Glaze
3 cups of Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
¾ cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper as needed*
Rinse the Brussels sprouts, drain and trim the stem ends by cutting away a thin slice with a paring knife. Cut a shallow X into each stem. Pull away any loose or yellowed leaves.
Bring a large pot of salted (optional) water to a rolling boil over high heat.
Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until the tip of a paring knife goes into the stem end of the largest Brussels sprout easily, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain in a colander and reserve. Return the pot to high heat.
Add the vegetable broth and the mustard, whisking until the mustard is evenly blended into the broth. Simmer until the mixture is lightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Return the Brussels sprouts to the pot; stir or toss until evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at once in a heated bowl or on heated plates.
Nutritional Information per Serving
Total Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Calories from Fat: 22%
*Nutrition analysis doesn't include optional salt and pepper
Recipe and nutritional analysis used with permission of the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) and Fruits & Veggies-More Matters®" Website: www.FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org. This recipe originated with the Culinary Institute of America.
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 Brussels sprouts? Contact Dr. Perkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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