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InsideApril 2014

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Broadcasting from a campus near you — Spinnaker Radio

DJ Skye Kade on the air (Photos by Jennifer Grissom).A long time coming doesn’t even come close to describing Spinnaker Radio’s steady march toward a presence on the radio dial.

Twenty years of blood, sweat and tears from scores of dedicated University of North Florida students and staff culminated recently with the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of a construction permit to build a low-power FM transmitter on campus. Armed with the 95.5 FM dial position and the WSKR call letters, Spinnaker Radio plans to invade Jacksonville airwaves later this year. The low-power station will broadcast out about 3.5 miles from the heart of campus and fill a major market niche for Jacksonville radio.

“This is a big step for us,” said Spinnaker Media Adviser John Timpe. “The goal of our program is not commercial. It’s about the mission — educating students and serving the audience. With a physical presence on Jacksonville radios, that audience is going to grow, and our students will be the major beneficiaries.”

Spinnaker Radio, which was formed in 1993 as Osprey Radio, has been streaming online since 2001. Numerous cohorts of Student Government and radio students have advocated for the station’s ascension to full-blown broadcast status over the years, but a spot on terrestrial radio has consistently eluded the station.

That changed in the fall, when the FCC opened up a small window in which broadcast permits applications would be accepted. Timpe and his students seized that opportunity and submitted an application a week before the deadline. The FCC approved Spinnaker Radio’s initial application, which was filed under the heading of the UNF Board of Trustees. A construction permit was issued shortly after in February. Spinnaker Radio now has 18 months to finish the installation of an antenna on the tower near the UNF Arena and complete equipment and programming tests. Between recurring costs, construction outlays and equipment, Timpe estimated that process would cost about $35,000 to $40,000, which would be split between Student Government and Spinnaker Media fundraising efforts.

DJ Haidy Andrada works on the station's sound. Station Manager Scott Young said 95.5 is an ideal location for a new station looking to attract new viewers. It’s right in the middle of the dial — between the Top 40-oriented WAPE-FM 95.1 and the adult contemporary of WEJZ-FM 96.1. Both established stations are major draws for different demographics, and Young said Spinnaker Radio will benefit from the intersection of both of those markets.

“We play the music that other stations haven’t gotten to yet,” said Young, a post-baccalaureate student who joined Spinnaker Radio in December. “We break the new stuff. Before Black Keys was on the radio, we were playing them. Same with Lorde. College radio sets the tone for a lot of other stations, and Jacksonville needs that student voice on the air.”

As for the call letters, WSKR was one of the few options available to the station, Young said. WOSP, the station’s informal nom de plume from years past, wasn’t available, nor was WUNF. WSKR was about as close as they could get to the Spinnaker name, and the staff approved.

Changes have been coming rapidly for Spinnaker Radio in the past 12 months. In July 2013, both Osprey TV and Osprey Radio assumed the Spinnaker name to promote synergy across all levels of UNF student media. Now, with call letters, dial positioning and a construction permit in tow, Young said he and his staff are brainstorming ideas for fresh programming. He said he plans to bolster the station’s already strong assortment of talk, jazz and news programming, along with adding a few weekly segments promoting local and undiscovered bands that listeners won’t be able to hear anywhere else in Jacksonville.

“Once we get on the air, we’ll gain exposure to a whole other audience that will finally get a chance to experience what a group of insiders already knows about,” Young said. “We’re taking UNF culture off campus and into the greater Jacksonville market.”

Anyone interested in contributing to Spinnaker Radio’s efforts to build an antenna and broadcast over terrestrial radio can contact for more information.

Around Campus

RecycleMania encourages students to think green

A group of UNF students took a look at how Jacksonville recycles (Photos submitted by James Taylor).For an environmentally beautiful campus like the University of North Florida, recycling and sustainability measures are etched into the core of the University’s being.

This year’s RecycleMania events supported UNF’s green initiatives by informing students on different ways to protect the natural charm of their campus community. RecycleMania is a 10-week environmental advocacy competition between national institutions where each school reports on their waste and recycling practices.

James Taylor, a coordinator from the UNF Environmental Center, said this is the fourth year the University has been involved with RecycleMania. This year’s festivities were a bit different than before. Instead of focusing on chasing recycling numbers and refuse totals, Taylor said more of an emphasis was placed on building awareness about recycling habits on campus through education and informational outreach. From mid-January to early March, students were offered a series of events, movie screenings and educational opportunities demonstrating the beneficial aspects of going green. Additionally, Environmental Center staffers spent the 10-weeks of RecycleMania roaming campus for examples of students, faculty and staff exhibiting green tendencies so they could be “Caught Green-Handed.” Anyone who was caught recycling or using a refillable bottle at one of the on-campus hydration stations received a T-shirt or other piece of Environmental Center swag.

Environmental Center staffers were on the lookout for students being green-conscious so they could be "Caught Green Handed."The highlight of the RecycleMania event schedule was a guided tour Feb. 28 of Jacksonville's largest recycling facility. Operated by Republic Services, the LEED-certified city recycling facility is the first-of-its-kind in Florida and boasts more than 70,000 square-feet of space. About a dozen students were guided through the facility and witnessed how Duval County recycling is separated and handled.

“We’re changing students’ perceptions by showing them exactly how the process works,” Taylor said. “When you realize the effort that goes into separating all of the recycling at the plant, you start to realize that it’s not that difficult for you to toss the correct items in your recycling bins every week.”

This year’s RecycleMania festivities built on last year’s wildly successful edition of Garbage on the Green, a yearly campus survey of recycling habits that features dozens of students sorting through thousands of pounds of garbage. Taylor said more than 130 student volunteers contributed to last year’s Garbage on the Green, a record level of participation for the waste audit. The seventh annual event has helped the University move toward reaching the state’s goal to reach a 75 percent recycling diversion rate by 2020. Right now, the campus rate floats around the 25 percent mark. With recycling bins being issued recently to residence halls by UNF Housing and Residence Life, that percentage is likely to rise.

UNF’s institutional commitment to preserving its gorgeous natural habitat has been awarded nationally by 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.

Around Campus

UNF hires new VP for Development and Alumni Affairs

Joshua MerchantAfter a national search, the University of North Florida has hired Joshua Merchant as the new vice president for Development and Alumni Affairs and executive director of the UNF Foundation. He begins his new position Monday, April 7.

“I am confident that with Merchant’s experience and leadership in development, alumni engagement and marketing in higher education, he will advance the University to the next level,” said UNF President John A. Delaney.

Merchant will be responsible for providing vision and leadership to assist the deans and other University leadership in the planning, organizing and implementing of fundraising initiatives, including planned giving, annual giving, alumni engagement, capital and major campaigns, endowments, prospect research, scholarships and development funds. He will also serve as executive director of the Foundation and will be responsible for supervision of approved Foundation activities.

He comes to UNF with more than 15 years of development, alumni engagement and marketing experience in higher education. Currently, he is finishing a doctoral sabbatical from his position as vice president for Institutional Advancement at Albion College in Michigan, where he oversaw alumni engagement, external marketing and communications, advancement services as well as capital and annual fundraising.

During the past five years, Merchant has significantly increased fundraising activity, redefined alumni engagement in practice and theory, added a marketing division to the advancement team and successfully launched a new branding campaign for the college. He also served as interim vice president for enrollment management during the 2011-12 academic year, where he oversaw admissions and enrollment marketing.

Prior to serving at Albion College, he was assistant vice president of advancement at Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan. Earlier in his career, Merchant served as senior director of development at Central Michigan University’s College of Business Administration and as director of major gifts at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

An alumnus of Albion College, Merchant was a member of the Albion College Alumni Association Board of Directors for five years, serving as president from 2006 to 2008. He holds a master’s degree in extension education from Michigan State University and will receive his Ph.D. in education leadership from Western Michigan University in April.

He has presented at several national conferences on advancement-related topics and has also participated as a consultant for the Great Lakes College Association Global Liberal Arts Alliance Program at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, and as a mentor for American University in Bulgaria. An active member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Merchant serves as a member of the Commission on Alumni Engagement.

Merchant succeeds Ann McCullen, who was appointed as interim vice president of Development and Alumni Affairs and interim executive director of the UNF Foundation last year. McCullen was tasked with filling the position after the previous vice president, Pierre Allaire, stepped down. McCullen has been a UNF employee for more than 10 years. Her most recent post before taking the interim role was as assistant vice president of Development and Alumni Affairs and as campaign director, in which she managed the Campaign Steering Committee and worked closely with campaign co-chairs during the successful Power of Transformation capital campaign.

Around Campus

Project Atrium: One Spark comes to MOCA

An example of Thurston's crystal murals from around downtown Jacksonville (Photos courtesy of MOCA).Shaun Thurston, the artist who has been transforming walls all over Jacksonville, has taken over the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Haskell Atrium Gallery for his latest work, Project Atrium: One Spark.

For several weeks, MOCA, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, has hinted at the identity of the “Mystery Artist” who has entered his work in the One Spark crowdfunding festival April 9-13. Thurston officially started painting in the Haskell Atrium Gallery March 19. Unlike other Project Atrium exhibitions, Thurston is working behind a giant curtain to keep the artwork cloaked in secrecy until its big reveal at 7:45 p.m. April 9.

For the inaugural One Spark in 2013, Thurston entered a project called 20 Murals in a Year, pledging to those who voted for him that he would use the crowdfunding money to cover the city in art. He placed fourth overall and earned about $4,100, which helped pay for materials. Project Atrium: One Spark is the culmination of that project.
As a way of continuing to pay it forward, Thurston is donating half of any One Spark crowdfunding money for Project Atrium back to MOCA to give future artists the same opportunity he received.

Another downtown Jacksonville mural by Thurston.In the year around the first One Spark, Thurston completed murals in Five Points, Riverside, Jacksonville Beach, the Northside, the Southside and downtown. He completed four satellite murals at different points downtown as studies leading up to Project Atrium — 937 Main St., 1100 Main St., 632 W. Forsyth St. and 801 W. Forsyth St. The walls popped up around downtown as a link between Thurston’s street aesthetic and the formal museum space, a connection between the community and MOCA, as well as an invitation to come inside. He said the approach, material, and environment dictated the style of each satellite as well as the atrium mural.

Thurston also completed four large panels that will be exhibited in MOCA. Although he will work behind a curtain to create an element of surprise, he said he’s keenly aware of the pressure — from the public, other artists and himself — of exhibiting in MOCA.

“I feel the weight of their expectations,” Thurston said before starting the project. “I want to do the art community proud with what I’m going to do.”

His murals have become Northeast Florida landmarks, from the floating islands above Chamblin’s Uptown in downtown Jacksonville to the 150-foot-wide fig tree gracing the outside of The Blind Fig in Riverside. Born in 1979 in Jacksonville, Thurston attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville and Florida School of the Arts in Palatka. He moved to Atlanta for a stint in 2007 and left his mark — three walls in The Argosy gastropub in East Atlanta Village, as well as a fox and dragon wall outside of The Argosy, a giant cobra in Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School’s gym, an Oakhurst Community Garden mural for the first Living Walls conference and a few street spots he scribbled on that haven’t been discovered.

Thurston participated in the Co11ective show in the Wynwood Design District during Miami’s Art Basel in 2011. He and 10 other artists installed works in the Kohn Compound at 215 Northwest 24th Street. He completed four eight-by-four-foot paintings exploring “spirit animals” — crow, bear, wolf and alligator — using subtle colors that set his work apart from the bright hues that saturate the work of other graffiti artists. Thurston was one of 34 Northeast Florida artists to contribute to the Our Shared Past exhibition, based on old 8mm home movies of Jefree Shalev’s family, on view at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens December 2013 through May 2014.

Thurston said the current climate is advantageous for art in Jacksonville.

“Right now the city is ripe for the expression of art.”

Get to Know

Jennifer Spaulding-Givens

Jennifer Spaulding-Givens (Photo by Jennifer Grissom).Department: Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work 


Job title: Assistant professor and Bachelor of Social Work program director 


What do you do? As an assistant professor, I teach courses in social welfare policy and social work practice. I am also the director of UNF’s new Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program. 


Years at UNF: I joined the UNF faculty in 2006. 


Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? One of my favorite UNF memories is of welcoming the inaugural cohort of BSW students to campus for their new student orientation. In that moment, the BSW program became a reality. Looking at those bright shiny faces was incredibly rewarding! 


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? My students! 


If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why? If I could choose any other career, I would be an editor for a publishing company or a librarian. I love books! 


Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you: As a teenager, I danced with a ballet company.


Tell us about your family. My husband, Brad, and I have been married for nearly 14 years. We have one daughter, Abigail, who is in first grade. 


What person had the greatest impact on your life? My daughter continues to have the greatest impact on my life. 


What are you most passionate about? I am most passionate about being a good mom. 


What would you like to do when you retire? I would like to spend my days beachcombing for shells and reading novels. 


What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life? Harry Connick, Jr. 


If you won the lottery, what would do with the money? I would buy a little beach cottage and invest the rest for my daughter.


If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing? I would be working as a social worker in the community mental health system. 


What is your favorite way to blow an hour? My favorite way to blow an hour is curling up in a comfy chair with a novel. 


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


What was the best money you ever spent? Any money spent traveling is money well spent. 


Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn’t live without? No, but I am rather fond of my iPhone. 


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? The happiest moment of my life was the birth of my daughter. 


What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? The first concert I ever attended was Aerosmith. Most recently, my husband and I took my daughter to see Selena Gomez. How life has changed! 


Who is the most famous person you ever met? Thomas Szasz 


What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet? Earn tenure! Last book read: “The Book Thief”

Faculty and Staff


august faculty staffBrooks College of Health


Public Health: Elissa Barr presented “Authentic Assessment Aligned with FoSE’s National Sexuality Education Standards” at the fifth annual International Conference on the Health Risks of Youth in Nassau, Bahamas in January.


Nursing: Dr. W. Patrick Monaghan had three articles recently published: “Medical Laboratory Scientist Extraordinaire” in Laboratory Medicine; “The contamination of intravenous fluids by writing on the infusion bag: Fact or Fiction?” in the International Journal of Advanced Nursing Studies; and “Sticky Situation: Best Practice to Secure Endotracheal Tubes in the Operation,” also in the International Journal of Advanced Nursing Studies.

College of Arts and Sciences


Biology: Dr. Jim Gelsleichter and his graduate student, Arianne Leary, presented a poster on her thesis research, “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in Gulf of Mexico Sharks and Fishes in the Years Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” at the 17th annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Dr. Joe Butler gave a talk at the recent GTMNERR State of the Reserve Program entitled “Survey of the Carolina diamondback terrapin distribution in the GTM NERR.” 


Dr. Nikki Dix presented “Intertidal Marsh Vegetation Monitoring in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve” at the Southeastern Estuarine Research Society meeting in Savannah, Ga.


Dr. Cliff Ross received a grant of $67,000 from the Florida Department of Agriculture for his study, “Non-target effects of mosquito control pesticides on the sub-lethal stress response of reef-building corals.”


Chemistry: Dr. Robert Vergenz, Henry F. Schaefer from the University of Georgia and post-baccalaureate colleagues Kevin Moore and Angela Migues published “Streptococcal Hyaluronate Lyase Reveals the Presence of a Structurally Significant C--H⋅⋅⋅O Hydrogen Bond” in Chemistry, A European Journal in February.


Music: Dr. Nick Curry was guest faculty at the Tennessee Cello Workshop in Knoxville, Tenn., where he performed, gave four master classes and judged two competitions. He also gave a master class and lecture at Western Kentucky University. Finally, his interview with world-renowned cellist Clive Greensmith, a former cellist for Tokyo String Quartet and cello faculty at Colburn School of Music, was published by String Visions.


Dr. Clarence Hines presented his composition “Boogaloo” at the University of Tennessee during the Joint Conference of the College Music Society Southern Chapter, College Music Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction in February. 


Physics: Dr. Barry Albright had two chapters published in At the Top of the Grand Staircase: The Late Cretaceous of Southern Utah: “Fossil vertebrates from the Tropic Shale (Upper Cretaceous), Southern Utah” and “Geologic Overview.”


Dr. Andrew Douglas published “The Generalized DMPK Equation Revisited: Towards a Systematic Derivation” in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical in February.



Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Suzie Weng and J. Robinson published the chapter “Intergenerational Dynamics Related to Aging and Eldercare in Asian American Families: Promoting Access to Services” in Collective Spirit of Aging Across Cultures.



College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: The School of Computing is hosting the 2014 Florida Region Botball Robotics Competition. The competition is on March 22 in the UNF Student Union Ballroom and features 11 teams from area middle and high schools.  Multiple College personnel volunteered their time.


Dr. Ventzeslav Valev was appointed as a program committee member to the sixth FTRA International Symposium on Advances in Computing, Communications, Security, and Applications in Busan, Korea, the International Symposium on Information and Communication Technology (ICT 2014) in Zhangjiajie, China, and the International Conference of Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Systems in London.


Engineering: Drs. Peter Bacopoulos, J. David Lambert, Mary Hertz, Luis Montoya, and Terry had their paper titled “Field and Model Study to Define Baseline Conditions of Beached Oil Tar Balls along Florida’s First Coast” published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering.


Construction Management: Dr. R. Crowley had a paper titled “ The Adhesive Strength Test (AST): a Newly Developed Test for Measuring Sealant Adhesive Strength Between Joints of Concrete Pavement” published in the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. Crowley also had the paper titled “Computer Modeling of Bed Material Shear Stresses in Piston-type Erosion Rate Testing Devices” published in the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering.


Dr. Mag Malek and Chase Mantev had their paper titled “The Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits Derived From the Redevelopment of Brownfields” published in the Journal of Management Science and Engineering of the Canadian Research and Development Center of Science and Cultures.


College of Education and Human Services


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Dr. Jerry Johnson presented the following webinar and papers at the Appalachian Studies Association Annual Conference in Huntington, W.V. in March: Webinar, “What is student engagement and how do we measure it?”; Papers — “Considering different facets of research generalization when determining how empirical findings might inform practice in Appalachian schools,” “An aura of truth?: Art as a mechanism for the validation of Appalachian stereotypes,” and “An overview of the U.S. Department of Education’s Regional Education Laboratory: Research and technical assistance agendas.”  Additionally, Johnson was awarded the U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences subcontract for $60,611 to conduct research and provide technical assistance on REL-Appalachia research projects in Kentucky and West Virginia from January to December 2014 as the Primary Investigator.


In February, a large number of faculty and graduate students from the College of Education and Human Services presented at the Eastern Educational Research Association Annual Conference in Jacksonville. The presentations were: “A Faculty Self-Study on Digital Self-Publishing” by Terence Cavanaugh and Elinor Scheirer; “Title IX: Roster Management or Roster Manipulation?” by Kristi Sweeney, Luke Cornelius, and Elizabeth Gregg; “A Model for Information Fluency in the University: A Case Study” by Susan B. Slavicz and Elinor A. Scheirer; “The Library Commons and Digital Publishing: Lessons Learned” by Luke Cornelius, Terence Cavanaugh, Nicholas Michaud and Jeff Bowen; “Baseline Results of Student Digital Textbook Reading” by Terence Cavanaugh and Nicholas Eastham; “Effective Programs for Mentoring and Induction of P-12 Teachers: A Review of the Literature” by Larry G. Daniel and Kelly C. Turner; “Heuristics for Understanding and Interpreting Multivariate Statistical Methods” by Larry G. Daniel, Heather Monroe-Ossi, Ronnie Williams, Andrea Hart and Wendy Dickinson; “Q-Methodology and Q-Factor Analysis in Educational Research: Useful but Underutilized” by Larry G. Daniel, Yvonne Spinner, Jacqueline Jones, Philip J. Mobley  and Isadore Newman; “Examining Perceptions of Teacher Mentoring and Induction Programs Using the LIMS” by Daniel Dinsmore and Wanda Lastrapes;  and “Relations Between Elementary and Middle School Students’ Epistemic Stances and Higher-Order Thinking” by Meghan Parkinson, Daniel Dinsmore and Mary Monk.


Dr. Jason Lee gave two presentations at the Sport and Recreation Law Association’s 27th annual conference on Sport, Physical Activity, Recreation and Law in Orlando: “‘Boston Strong’ but Not Trademark Strong” presented along with Dr. Susan Westcott Alessandri from Suffolk University and “The Super Bowl of Criminal Jocks: Investigating Criminal Incidents in the NFL” was presented along with Dr. Kristi Sweeney.



Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Gigi Morales David will be presenting “School Museum Exhibitions: A Collaboration Between Museums, University Education Students, and Elementary School Children” at the Gulf South Summit hosted at Auburn University this month.


Office of the Dean: The College of Education and Human Services hosted its second “Strengthening Future Teachers’ Ability to be Effective and Supportive Teachers of Students from Military Families Workshop” in February. Presenters, facilitators, and assistants included Drs. Cathy O’Farrell and Nicholas Eastham, Cassandra M. Santiago, Ray Wikstrom and Richard Carey.


Center for Urban Education and Policy: Drs. Sophie Maxis, Mary Rose, along with Ouida Powe and Phillip Simmons, received a research grant from the UNF Commission on Diversity and Inclusion to study supports for first generation college students at UNF.


Mike Townsend presented the results of his work with DCPS school board member Jason Fischer to the school board finance committee in January. His research on school finance and school consolidation was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Jerry Johnson.


Drs. Larry Daniel, Mary Rose, Chris Janson and Judy Poppell, along with Mercedes Trapp, participated in the “ONE By ONE Convention: Moving Public Education Forward” in January at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Trapp was a panelist discussing how her role as a featured student in the “One in Three: Let’s Solve our Dropout Crisis” exhibit has impacted her life. Dr. Rose served on the steering committee for the sixth annual Urban Education Symposium: Reclaiming Young Black Males for Jacksonville’s Future in February at the Jacksonville Public Library. Rose, Dr. PeDro Cohen (CUEP Advisory Board member) and Phillip Simmons also participated in the UES Youth Forum in January at WJCT.



august datelineMilestone anniversaries  

Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in February:


25 years

Pamela Bush, Events Planning Coordinator, University Center


15 years

Bonnie LaGasse, Senior Accounts Payable Receiving Representative, University Housing

10 years

Tully Burnett, Director, Business Services

Edward Doyle, Program Manager, Training and Services Institute

Neal Fisher, Assistant Director of Parking Transportation Services, Parking

Tracy Geake, Divisional Budget Coordinator, Administration and Finance

 Renee DelConte, Director, One-Stop Student Services


Five years

Anthony Ballard, Senior Store/Receiving Clerk, Purchasing 

Matthew Driscoll, Head Athletic Coach, Basketball 

Robert Kennen, Associate Athletic Coach, Basketball 

Sonia Moyeno, Senior Custodial Worker, University Housing



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


Brandi Wynne, Coordinator, Admissions 

Donald Cloninger, Custodial Worker, Shared Cost

Ada Urbizu, Data Processing Associate, Graduate School Laura Reid, Office Manager, School of Computing 

Herman Sanderson, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management

Elizabeth Curry, Dean, Library

Donald Frazier, Groundskeeper, Grounds

Clare Dreyer, Research Program Services Coordinator, Small Business Development Center

Kayleigh Harrison, Program Assistant, Student Government Business and Accounting Office


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Andrew Taylor, Landscape Specialist, Grounds 

Melanie Speaks, Budgets Coordinator, Physical Facilities 

Megan Saltmarsh, Admissions Coordinator, Graduate School




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


Anthony Garrett, Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Services

Lilith Reigger, Academic Support Services Director, Graduate School 

Gloria Beachem, Academic Adviser, Academic Center for Excellence 


The Goods

Myths and Facts about Acai Berries


 april acaiAcai (pronounced ah-sah-e) berries are a fruit that is touted as a superfood. This South American palm tree berry is sold as a supplement due to its long list of healthy claims. Alexia Lewis, wellness dietitian in the Department of Health Promotion at the University of North Florida, shares more about this popular berry. In order to include Acai berries into your diet, a recipe has been provided.


Myth: Acai berries are a superfood.

Fact: Acai berries were first called a superfood on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004. MonaVie, a multi-level marketing company, also ran a successful marketing program for drinks made with acai berries. Acai berries could be considered a superfood. However, for optimal health, focus on enjoying a variety of whole foods in their natural form instead of focusing on any one superfood.


Myth: Since acai berries have few calories, they have little nutritional benefits.

Fact: The reddish-purple color of the acai berry indicates it contains anthocyanins, a pigment that acts as an antioxidant. They also contain flavonoids, which can reduce inflammation and fiber. Flavonoids have benefits related to preventing heart disease and diabetes, as well as increasing feelings of fullness. They also contain vitamins A, B1, C and E, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.


Myth: Acai berries can aid with weight loss, reduce arthritis, improve libido, reverse aging, fight cancer, lower cholesterol and act as a toxin cleanse.

Fact: There isn’t currently enough scientific evidence to support weight-loss claims or many other claims made about acai berries. The research in animals and petri dishes (in vitro) does indicate that the berry may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may be protective against heart disease.


Myth: Acai berries are natural, so products made from acai berries are safe.

Fact: Acai berries are found as a juice, frozen, freeze-dried and in pill form. There have been no reported side effects from the acai berry or its juice, but products made with acai berries may have ingredients that may be unsafe for certain people. Examples include different forms of caffeine, which can increase heart rate or ingredients that may pose a risk if a large amount of juice is consumed — potassium may interfere with medications and sugar may affect blood-glucose levels. The consumer should also be aware that the Federal Trade Commission has shut down multiple websites for deceptive practices related to acai berry products.  


Acai Ice


Makes 2 servings, approximately 1 cup each




7 ounces frozen acai

1 cup frozen fruit chunks (strawberry, blueberry, pineapple or mango)

1 banana, sliced

Water or ice, optional



Break up frozen acai and fruit while still in package. Remove fruits from packaging and add to food processor with banana. Blend until smooth. If too thick, add water or if too thin, add ice. Continue to adjust and blend to desired consistency. Serve immediately.


Adapted from Yummy Mummy Kitchen.


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 acai berries? Contact Alexia Lewis at  



Healthy Osprey: Tips for dealing with arthritis, low-cholesterol diets

april healthy ospreyInspire to Move: A prescription for arthritis  


Gone are the days that you must sit and suffer from arthritis. When joints are stiff and painful, the thought of exercise may seem overwhelming. Walking around the block or swimming a few laps may be just what the doctor ordered to reduce the symptoms of arthritis.


But how can exercise relieve arthritis pain? Exercise strengthens the muscles around your joints and helps you maintain bone strength. Lack of exercise can actually make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is vital to maintaining support for your bones to relieve pain. By not exercising, those supporting muscles weaken, creating more stress on your joints.


Check with your doctor about what type of exercises are best for you based on your type of arthritis and which joints are affected. Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend range-of-motion exercises, such as shoulder rolls, strengthening exercises with weights or low-impact aerobics, such as walking, swimming or riding a bike. Keep yourself active in a variety of ways, trust your instincts and don’t exert more energy than you think your joints can handle.


Nourishing You: Dash for Lower Cholesterol


The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan created by the National Institutes of Health to help those with hypertension or pre-hypertension. Studies have found that following this eating plan can produce many more benefits, including lowering cholesterol. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are akin to each other. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when too much force is pushing on the artery walls, making your heart work harder to do its job efficiently. High cholesterol can be one of the causes of hypertension by increasing the build-up of plaque on the artery walls. So, control cholesterol and you’ll have hypertension in the bag, too. Here are the DASH recommendations:


• 4-6 daily servings of fruits and vegetables

• 6-12 daily servings of whole grains

• 2-4 daily servings of low- to non-fat dairy

• 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 daily servings of lean meat, fish or poultry

• 3-6 servings per week of nuts, seeds and legumes.


The servings vary depending on your weight and recommendations by your doctor. You’ll find that this diet is high in fiber, low in fat and salt, rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium. The CDC also recommends reducing your intake of saturated fat to less than 7 percent and limiting consumption of cholesterol to 200 mg a day to lower cholesterol. As a bonus, these dietary changes combined with regular exercise can help you shed those unwanted pounds, which will in turn decrease blood cholesterol. More details about the DASH diet can be found on



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 .