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InsideJune 2014

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Osprey Clubhouse set to open this month

A view of the pool from the back of the Clubhouse (Photos by Jennifer Grissom).All UNF students — not just those in the residence halls — will have a new place to swim, catch a meal and just hang out with friends at the new Osprey Clubhouse.

The $6 million, 15,000-square-foot student life epicenter opened last month. The facility boasts a 3,000-square-foot swimming pool, convenience store, game room and laundry facility, with a Pita Pit restaurant location scheduled to open inside the Clubhouse in late June. The structure is adjacent to Osprey Cove and Osprey Village — just off UNF Drive — and will be open 24 hours a day, every day.

“A growing campus needs a multi-use space like this for its students,” said Bob Boyle, director of Housing and Residence Life. “Every student — not just residential students — will have access to the amenities offered at the Clubhouse. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll be a popular spot for students.”

The new facility replaces or updates a number of residential amenities for students living in the Villages, Landing and Cove. A lighted mail center will replace the older residential postal area. About 2,000 students will have mailboxes at the Clubhouse, and there are 1,000 additional boxes ready to accommodate the campus’ future residential growth. A top-of-the-line laundry facility will also take the place of the older laundry building that was located near the Villages.

Students using the new mail facility at the Clubhouse (Photos by Jennifer Grissom)There are a number of smaller, yet highly intuitive, features installed around the Clubhouse that will impress visitors. A bicycle repair station with free access to tools and a bicycle filling station will be located near the bike and skateboard racks at the front of the building. Phone and tablet charging stations are located throughout the building to give students a boost. And the game room will be filled with video games and digital entertainment, along with more traditional pastimes, such as billiards, ping pong and air hockey.

Boyle said the building’s main lobby building will also feature a monitor tracking to-the-minute campus sustainability statistics from the different residence halls across campus. The display will grant students some insight into the electricity usage, recycling habits and other green tendencies of their neighbors and fellow campus residents.

The concept for the Clubhouse started to develop in the fall of 2011, a few years after the opening of the campus’ newest residence hall, Osprey Fountains. Boyle said the Fountains residential complex, which boasts a fitness area, a pool with a lazy river and interior food vendors, provided residents with a truly inclusive environment, and University leadership wanted to offer a comparable level of amenities to all UNF students.

Construction on the Clubhouse finished slightly ahead of schedule. Zak Ovadia, director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction said the building’s sloping metal roofs and brick façade was chosen to blend in with the overall residential feel of the nearby Villages and Landing buildings.

Around Campus

Bobcat calls UNF campus home

Lemmons got this hot of the bobcat while he was working in the Preserve (Photos by Justin Lemmons).There’s a whole lot more than geese roaming the University of North Florida campus.


With 1,381 environmentally beautiful acres, including the nearly 400-acre Sawmill Slough Preserve, there’s a diverse ecosystem of animals, plants and insects hidden just beyond view of the core of campus. Justin Lemmons, ecologist for the University’s Environmental Center, spends most of his workday exploring these wilder regions of campus, identifying the different creatures that call UNF home. On a recent trip, Lemmons came face to face with one of the most elusive predators to pass through the Preserve — a bobcat.


He first spotted the bobcat on a wildlife camera installed last year near the culverts along Eco Road in February. Lemmons pulls the footage from the camera every month and filters through it, looking for any interesting animals that use the wildlife culvert to help document campus wildlife populations. He immediately stopped when he caught a glimpse of the bobcat. A bit larger than a domesticated house cat and sporting a distinctive spotted coat, he knew straight away what he was looking at. Since then, the bobcat has popped up on film multiple times, leading Lemmons to think that it might have a migratory den on campus. He even had an up-close meeting with it recently.


Surveillance footage of the bobcat using one of the culverts.“I saw it in the wild in April near the north end of the Sawmill Slough,” he said. “It didn’t spook — it was just standing there for 20 to 30 minutes. I could see those beautiful, bright yellow eyes and the black-tipped ears with tufts of black hair coming out of the top.”


Bobcats are native to the region, but they’re notoriously elusive due to their nocturnal predatory habits. They require densely forested areas supported by an abundance of smaller animals to hunt, namely rabbits, rodents and birds. They pose no threat to humans unless antagonized. The Preserve checks all those boxes and more, offering a perfect ecosystem for a top-level predator to thrive. Lemmons and Chuck Hubbuch, curator of the Sawmill Slough Preserve and assistant director of Physical Facilities specializing in landscape and grounds, have curated extensive lists of the assorted plants, small mammals, insects and fish that call UNF home, documenting the Sawmill Slough’s vibrant tapestry of wildlife.


 Lemmons said he plans to keep analyzing the footage from the wildlife camera and delving into the Preserve to thoroughly document the array of plants and animals native to the campus. This living catalogue will allow the Environmental Center and Physical Facilities to establish a historical benchmark for the University, further establishing how the natural environment evolves and changes as the campus grows.


“This is a unique university with a great amount of biodiversity,” Lemmons said. “Having a documented bobcat is a great addition to the animals we’ve seen, and we hope to add even more interesting animals to the catalogue as we do additional field work.”

Around Campus

Archaeology team uses drones to discover ancient New Mexico village

The drone in the sky, surveying the landscape (Photos submitted by Dr. John Kantner) Looking beneath the surface is paramount in any investigation. In archaeology, that includes digging up the remains of entire civilizations, intrusive excavation and extensive man-hours. That is, until now.


Using thermal imagery, researchers can now see what rests hidden beneath the dusty desertscape. A team of researchers from the University of North Florida and the University of Arkansas successfully used drones to unearth a 1,000-year-old village in northwestern New Mexico in the summer of 2013, revealing undiscovered structures and granting unique insights into the people who lived there and their culture. The research was published in the May issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.


Dr.John Kantner, a UNF associate professor of anthropology, associate vice president of research and dean of the Graduate School, collaborated with Dr. Jesse Casana, an archaeologist at the University of Arkansas, to test the drones in a remote area of northwestern New Mexico south of Chaco Canyon. They used an advanced customized drone, programmed to fly defined GPS-guided path, with the thermal camera systematically photographing the ground surface. Images captured by the airborne camera were processed using specialized software that stitches together hundreds of individual images into an accurate “heat map” of the ground — a Pic Stitch, of sorts, for archeology.


“The drone with its thermal camera was able to not only pinpoint buried masonry architecture that I didn't know about, but it also identified a number of circular ‘cool’ signals that are the perfect shape and size to be kivas, ceremonial structures where people would meet for worship and decision-making,” said Kantner, who noted that as one of the most interesting discoveries.


“I was really pleased with the results,” said Casana. “This work illustrates the very important role that drones have for scientific research.”


Kantner has studied the landscape south of Chaco Canyon for decades. He said he always knew there were homes from Pueblo ancestors in the area now called Blue J, but the ruins have been obscured by vegetation and buried in eroded sandstone.


“As an archaeologist, I’m most interested in answering the questions,” he explained. “Asking the questions is fun. But, finding the answers is the best.”


Once the drone spotted the location, student researchers helped survey the land for items of interest.Kantner is particularly interested in how the powerful religious phenomenon he and Casana mapped impacted local social and political dynamics.


“To determine this from ancient remains requires that I know exactly where houses and religious buildings were located and what they looked like, and this is where the challenge lies, because many of them are buried below the surface,” Kantner said. “It’s all but impossible to find ruins covered with dirt and vegetation unless you systematically and painstakingly excavate test pits to find them, and this takes forever.”


Using aerial images of thermal infrared wavelengths of light is not a new concept in the field. Archeologists have known they could be powerful tools for the identification of cultural remains on the ground, but the technology at that point just wasn’t feasible. Planes and helicopters flew too high to capture high-quality images at the correct resolution and focus. Unmanned drones, however, provide a way to capture images at the correct height, resolution and speed, with an added element of control.


Without the drones, excavating the ruins last summer would have been cumbersome at best. The unmanned units completed the same amount of work it would have taken a team of researchers years to complete in just a matter of hours.


“Really just a few days’ work allowed us to do something that would have taken a decade of work,” said Kantner. “So, this is great for quickly and pretty cheaply being able to find sites.”


The team is working to refine its methods for use in other parts of the world, with the goal of making aerial thermography a routinely used method for uncovering the human past.

Around Campus

Student Wellness Complex honored by green organization

 The Student Wellness Complex at sunset (Photo by Jennifer Grissom)The University of North Florida’s shining Student Wellness Center has received the Building Design and Construction Award of Merit by the North Florida chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and has achieved a USGBC Green Gold rating, the highest sustainability award offered by the environmental advocacy group.


“It is a pleasure to be able to add to the string of successful ‘green buildings’ recently introduced to the campus,” said Zak Ovadia, the University’s director of Campus Planning.


The $19.5 million dollar, state-of-the-art wellness, fitness and sports learning facility was designed in harmony with the Student Union located just across the street. The metal panels and brick harmonize with the existing campus fabric, while the large expanses of glass showcase the activities in the building, Ovadia said. In response to the often-sizzling Florida climate, a metal sunscreen was added to the façade, adding a distinctive and eye-catching element in the design. The structure was built in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, making it a leading candidate for the USGBC award. This is the third gold-rated LEED building on campus, with two other silver structures and two other LEED-certified buildings.


The architectural world has taken notice of the structure since it opened in 2012. The Complex was named Florida’s Building of the Week by, an international network of architects and designers. A review of the structure compliments its distinctive design.


The Complex boasts a 32-foot tall climbing wall, three dedicated indoor group fitness rooms, one outdoor multi-use balcony group fitness space, the 27,000 square-foot Dottie Dorion Fitness Center and an indoor track on the third level, offering breathtaking views of the campus’ natural beauty.



UNF is no stranger to receiving awards for its commitment to environmental sustainability. The Sierra Club, America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, named UNF as one of it’s top 100 “cool green schools” for the University’s commitment to the environment and its preservation even during expansion. Additionally, UNF was named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The University was included for two straight years on Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges.”

Around Campus

iContracts makes approval process easier

 june 2014 icontractsA new system for routing contracts at the University of North Florida has been rolled out for select departments, with the program expected to go campus-wide by the end of the calendar year.


The University purchased the iContracts Universal Contract Management platform in late 2013 for $25,500, with recurring users fees of $17,000 annually, according to Kathy Ritter, director of Purchasing. The decision was made to purchase the contract routing, approval and management system after ITS  determined that it would be more cost efficient to outsource the work instead of using internal resources to enhance the original UNF contract routing system. The Purchasing Department reviewed contract systems from several software firms before choosing on the iContracts service. 


“We realized we needed to have more than a routing and approval process, which is what we had with the in-house ITS system,” Ritter said. “We needed to be able to set reminders and manage the contracts. This new system is easier to use and easier to view the status of contracts, which is exactly what people need from this type of platform.”


The Division of Administration and Finance served as the pilot department for iContracts implementation in August 2013, followed soon after by Student Affairs. Additional enhancements, however, were required to make the original iContracts system more efficient for University-wide use. That overhaul included the modification of some drop down menus and a few other tweaks to the operating system. More than eight weeks of work and training led to Student Affairs fully implementing iContracts. The Division of Academic Affairs Is now in the planning and implementage stages to be followed by the President’s Office and Development and Alumni Affairs. Ritter fully expects the system to be up and running University-wide by the end of the calendar year. 


“Once we get everything fully operational, all contracts will be electronically filed and located in one place,” Ritter said. “Staff will be able to follow contracts from one stage to the next, unlike the paper process we had before. This will streamline the whole process for the University.”


Criminology professor receives Legends, Pioneers and Trailblazers Award

Dr. Michael Hallett accepting his award (Photo courtesy of Michael Hallett)Dr. Michael Hallett, professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida, recently received a Legends, Pioneers and Trailblazers award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Florida Chapter for the invaluable service and scholarly research he has provided in the areas of criminal justice in Jacksonville.

Hallett received the award in April at the SCLC’s inaugural Legends, Pioneers and Trailblazers Memorial MLK Jr. Gala. He accepted the award for his work on behalf of civil rights and social justice in establishing a connection between poverty and crime in Jacksonville.

“We can’t solve the problems associated with race, violence and crime until we get the facts, and Dr. Hallett has consistently provided the facts,” said SCLC Florida Chapter President Opio Sokoni, a UNF alumni himself. “His ground-breaking book, ‘Private Prisons in America: A Critical Race Perspective,’ is greatly needed and is essential to finding solutions within the criminal justice system.”

The memorial gala commemorates the legacy and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by providing a forum to recognize inspirational citizens for their dedication, sacrifice and influence in the community and the world.

Several of Hallett’s projects have been focused on the connection between Jacksonville poverty and crime, most notably former Mayor John Peyton’s Jacksonville Journey program. He designed the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Pre-trial Services Unit and has completed extensive work with local organizations, including Operation New Hope, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, Hubbard House, the City of Jacksonville, WJCT Public Radio, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. and more.

Hallett was founding chairman of UNF’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, serving two terms from 2004 to 2013. His areas of focus in teaching and research are corrections and social inequality, critical theory and history and philosophy of punishment. Hallett’s current research is focused on faith-based corrections programs, including a current project at Louisiana State Penitentiary.


Follow UNF on Instagram

Follow UNF on InstagramWant to know the latest about the University of North Florida? You can now check it out on Instagram — the incredibly popular photo and video sharing social media app. Just follow uofnorthflorida and share your favorite campus sights by tagging the official UNF account in your University-related images or by using the hashtags #SWOOPLife, #SWOOP and #UNF!  


You can also find special UNF content on the official University FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and YouTube social media accounts. The UNF YouTube account has undergone a transformation and may now be found here, with the username UofNorthFlorida. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe for the latest videos from the University, including special behind-the-scenes content from research and art projects, productions and more.


Additionally, LinkedIn has added a new recommendation function that allows alumni to review their alma maters. If you’d like to share more about your UNF experience, feel free to pen your own LinkedIn recommendation.

Get to Know

Dr. Tarah Trueblood

Dr. Tarah Trueblood (Photo by Jennifer Grissom). Department: UNF Interfaith Center 

Job title: Director 

What do you do? I direct the mission of the Center by engaging the UNF campus around religious pluralism and providing distinctive programs and services for students to voice their values, engage with other students, act together to affect positive change in our community and develop leadership skills. I like engaging with students around values and identity and providing them with the support and resources they will need to thrive in the 21st century given the extent of diversity in religious and non-religious ideological frameworks. 

Years at UNF:

What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? The two most important days of my life are the day I was born and the day I figured out why! 

Tell us about your family. I like to tell people that I have more than 16,000 children — all students at UNF. Better yet, I’m not responsible for paying their college tuition! This number is down from 30,000 children when I worked on the University of California, Berkeley campus. At UC Berkeley, a number of students referred to me as their “Berkeley Mom.” A UNF student recently referred to me as “Mystic Mom,” a moniker that I fully embrace. Over the years, I have been intimately involved in the lives of students who have graduated and gone on to become amazing social change makers — leaders who understand that “the way we make change is just as important as the change we make” — Valarie Kaur, interfaith activist and filmmaker. Outside of UNF, I have parents, a sister and a niece who just graduated with a degree in fine arts from Towson University. At home, I have two Jack Russell terriers named KC Lane (KC) and Jakob Abraham (Jake). These dogs are outrageously funny and extremely high maintenance — each in their own way. I have written several short stories in a series called “Adventures of KC and Jake.” I may publish them some day. 

What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life? I grew up in a very musical family. Both of my parents are professional, classically trained vocalists. My father is also a professional music director. I grew up listening to classical religious music, operas and operettas. The first movie I ever saw was the musical, “Mary Poppins.” I knew every word to every song on the soundtrack. Then the Beatles hit the world stage, and I became a rock-n-roll convert. These days, I try to stay current with pop music because I enjoy it and because it helps me relate to students and their culture. 

Who is your favorite fictional character? What makes them your favorite? Mary Poppins is my favorite fictional character! What a wise and playful woman. She provided me with a fantastic role model when I was a kid. She was bright and collaborative yet independent, strategic, creative and compassionate. Oh, and she could sing and drink tea on the ceiling, too! 

What would you like to do when you retire? I would like to continue working with students in some mutually rewarding capacity to affect positive social change. I hope to stay connected with the students I have met over the years through social media. Lastly, I’d like to sit on the front porch of my cabin in the Appalachian Mountains and smoke cigars, drink whiskey and swap stories with good friends. Well, maybe not all of that!

If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why?
 I have already had several careers — attorney at law, community organizer and ordained Christian minister. They have all led me to my current career in higher education. I wouldn’t change one thing about my journey or what I am doing with my life. 

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? The most rewarding aspect of my job at UNF is the access I have to our amazing students. They are so brilliant and so willing to be open, authentic, vulnerable and powerful. Also, there are so many staff and faculty members who know how to collaborate — to work together for the benefit of our students and for the advancement of the values and mission of UNF. 

What is the best thing you ever won? The most meaningful thing I’ve ever “won” is the 2013 Values Award from the Division of Student and International Affairs for promoting diversity at UNF. 

If you won the lottery, what would do with the money? I would endow a full UNF department for an undergraduate degree program in Interfaith Cooperation and then set up a foundation to fund research, student scholarships, student internships, registration fees, travel and lodging for students and staff to attend the annual Interfaith Leadership Institute. 

If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing? Hopefully, I’d be doing similar work on another college or university campus. Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? Recently, I served as a faculty/staff partner on one of the first Ospreys in Action alternative spring break trips. Our group went to Washington, D.C. to learn about homelessness, gain tools for community organizing, lobby congress and meet people in the D.C. area who are currently experiencing homelessness. There were 13 of us in the group. 

What is your favorite way to blow an hour? Sitting in a java bar with a good historical fiction featuring a powerful and complex heroine from a different culture. 

If you were asked to paint a picture about anything you wanted, what would you paint? As a painter, I often paint with acrylic on canvas. I approach painting as a form of meditation. Therefore, what ends up on the canvas is usually some form of abstraction — usually in bright colors. I approach meditation as a way to reconnect with “all that is” and to bring mindfulness, presence and intentionality to being and doing. 

What was the best money you ever spent? Traveling! I love to travel internationally. I have taken several groups of students to sub-Saharan Africa to participate in relationship building across differences of religious/non-religious identities and to contribute to the efforts of a local community group to bring about positive social change in that community. Each day of those trips, I facilitate reflections on the day’s experiences to help students harvest their learning and process their emotions. 

Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you: Before entering seminary and becoming involved in interfaith work, I practiced corporate finance and securities law in Sacramento, Calif. for almost 10 years. 

What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? This question will incriminate me (smile)! My first rock concert was Peter Frampton, who is best known for his hit album “Frampton Comes Alive!” My favorite song on the album was “Baby I Love Your Way.” The most recent concert I attended was a benefit concert for young musicians by Strunz & Farah in San Francisco, Calif. Strunz & Farah is a guitar duo with an eclectic sound that is often described as a cross between world fusion and flamenco. 

What person had the greatest impact on your life? My grandmother had the greatest impact on my life because she knew how to be completely present to me and to focus her intelligence on helping me to reach my greatest human potential. I miss her. 

What are you most passionate about? I am most passionate about empowering students to make meaningful change in meaningful ways. 

Who is the most famous person you ever met? I am thrilled to say that the most famous person I have ever met is my greatest heroine, Dr. Diana L. Eck, a religious studies professor at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Pluralism Project. In fact, she came to UNF a few weeks ago and met with students at an Interfaith Center event called “Coffee and Conversation.” It was my pleasure and privilege to drive Dr. Eck to the airport to catch her return flight to Boston. 

Last book read: 
The last book I read was Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose.”

Faculty and Staff

august faculty staffCollege of Arts and Sciences


Biology: Brian Coughlin and Dr. Greg Ahearn and their students, Scott Rettig and Jake Tenewitz, presented their poster, “Sucralose causes a concentration dependent metabolic inhibition of the gut flora Bacteroides, B. fragilis and B. uniformis not observed in the Firmicutes, E. faecalis and C. sordellii” at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego, Calif. At the same meeting, Ahearn and his student, Maria Peterson, presented a poster entitled: “Effect of calcium on amino acid and dipeptide transport by intestines of American lobster (Homarus americanus) and Atlantic white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus).” Ahearn, with his student, Rasheda Likely, also presented a poster entitled: “Functional characterization of a putative disaccharide membrane transporter in crustacean intestine.”


Dr. Nikki Dix gave a presentation, “How does eutrophication affect oyster population structure in a highly flushed, subtropical estuary?” at the National Shellfisheries Association (NSA) meeting in April in Jacksonville.


Drs. Matt Gilg and Cliff Ross received a grant of $9,600 from the Protect Our Reefs Grants Program for their project “Identification of thermally resilient coral genotypes for use in adaptive breeding programs.”


Dr. Courtney Hackney received $400,000 in funding from the St. Johns River Water Management District for his project “St. Johns River Economic Impact Study — Ecosystem Services Valuation.”


Dr. Eric Johnson presented a seminar entitled “A stronger role for ecology in fisheries management: Lessons from the Chesapeake blue crab” in the Research Seminar Series of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. He and his and students MaryKate Swenarton, Corey Corrick and Mickhale Green presented a poster entitled “Population biology of invasive lionfish in Northeast Florida” at the 2014 Scholars Transforming Academic Research Symposium hosted by UNF. In addition, his research program, the UNF Coastal Fisheries Ecology Program, was featured on Action News.



Chemistry: Dr. Bryan Knuckley and his students, Christine Majak and Elias Daboul, presented the poster, “Deciphering the Code of Protein Arginine Methyltransferases” at the fifth annual Southeast Enzyme Conference in April.


Dr. Kenneth Laali was awarded the UNF Presidential Professorship for 2014. He published “4-(Pentafluorosulfanyl) benzenediazonium Tetrafluoroborate: A Versatile Launch Pad for the Synthesis of Novel Aromatic SF5 Compounds via Cross Coupling, Azo-Coupling, Homocoupling, Dediazoniation, and Click Chemistry” in the European Journal of Organic Chemistry in March. He also published “Selectfluor-Mediated Mild Oxidative Halogenation and Thiocyanation of 1-Aryl-allenes with TMSX (X = Cl, Br, I, NCS) and NH4SCN in MeCN and in Ionic Liquids” in Tetrahedron. He also presented “4-(Pentafluorosulfanyl) benzenediazonium Tetrafluoroborate: A Versatile Launch Pad for the Synthesis of Novel Aromatic SF5 Compounds via Cross Coupling, Azo-Coupling, Homocoupling, Dediazoniation, and Click Chemistry” at the 247th National ACS Meeting in March.


Communication: Dr. Peter Casella presented his first-place paper, “Rethinking Failure: A New Perspective on the Ten O'Clock News Reported by Carol Marin,” at the annual convention of the Broadcast Education Association in April in Las Vegas, Nev.


Dr. John Parmelee published “The agenda-building function of political tweets” in the spring 2014 issue of New Media & Society.


Dr. Brian Thornton published “The ‘Dangerous’ Chicago Defender: A Study of the Newspaper’s Editorials and Letters to the Editor, 1968,” in Journalism History in April.


English: Dr. Nicholas de Villiers presented “Intimately Shared Queer and Sex Worker Histories, Spaces, and Activism” at the seventh annual DC Queer Studies Symposium at the University of Maryland, College Park. fHe also published “Ruvisionary History” at in conjunction with Linda Simpson’s “The Drag Explosion—Expanded!” in April.


Dr. Clark Lunberry, published “Suspicious Silence: Walking Out on John Cage” in Current Musicology in March.


History: Dr. David Courtwright presented “Gender Imbalances, Violence and Social Disorder” at the Origins of Violence Workshop sponsored by Arizona State University. He also gave a paper, “Four U.S. Drug Policy Reform Traditions,” at the New York Academy of Medicine.


Dr. Chau Kelly gave an invited presentation, “From Sisal Plantation to Port City: Urban Development and Crisis in Mtwara, 1950-1954,” as part of the Baraza Talks at the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida.


Philosophy and Religion: Paul Carelli gave a lecture, “Socrates on the Pious and the Just,” the First Coast Free-Thought Society in April.


Physics: Dr. Nirmal Patel and his student team were awarded $5,875 by the NASA-National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) for their “Project CLERTH: Cis-Lunar Exploration for Realizing Transit Habitat.” The joint team from the University of North Florida and Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, has been selected for the final round of 2014 RASC-AL (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage) competition.


Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. David Jaffee served as organizer and presider for Sociologists and Regional Economic Development I and II: Applied and Public Sociology and presented “Race to the Bottom . . . of the River: Critically Analyzing the Expansion of the Port Economy in a Southern City” at the annual meetings of the Southern Sociological Society, Charlotte, N.C. in April.


Dr. Gordon Rakita presented the poster, “Scratching the Surface: Surface Sampling of the 76 Draw Site, Luna County, New Mexico,” at the Society for American Archaeology meetings in April. He also presented discussant comments at the “Current Research within the Casas Grandes World” symposium.

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Swapnoneel Roy and Priyanka Harish had their paper titled “Energy Oriented Vulnerability Analysis on Authentication Protocols for CPS” accepted at the International Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems Security during the 10th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems.


Dr. Swapnoneel Roy and Raghu Talluri had their paper titled “Towards Designing a Greener Advanced Encryption Standard” accepted at the 2014 International Conference on Security and Management.


Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan was the keynote speaker at the Duke Tip state ceremony event at UNF in May. More information about Duke Tip can be found at


Dr. Robert Roggio, Jaime Gordon and James Comer had their paper titled “A Taxonomy of Common Software Testing Terminology:  Framework for Key Software Engineering Testing Concepts,” published in the Journal of Information Systems Applied Research.


Dr. Robert Roggio and Jaime Gordon had their paper titled “A Comparison of Software Testing Using the Object- Oriented Paradigm and Traditional Testing,” published in the Journal of Information Systems Applied Research.


Dr. V. Valev had his paper titled “From Binary Features to Non-reducible Descriptors in Supervised Pattern Recognition Problems,” published in the Pattern Recognition Letters journal.


Engineering: Dr. Brian Kopp made a presentation titled “Packet Communications Message Optimization Research and the NOAA DCS” to the 118th National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Data Collection System Technical Working Group meeting in Austin, Tex. Kopp’s presentation covered efficient satellite communication protocols and their potential beneficial impact on the future of the NOAA GOES DCS program.



Construction Management: Dr. Raphael Crowley was awarded a research grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. The project involves the development of a geotechnical probe to improve In-Situ permeability testing. The total award value is $75,000.  


College of Education and Human Services


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Dr. Luke M. Cornelius presented two sessions on creating and growing new programs at this year’s Professional Development Forum and Presidential Awards Luncheon at UNF’s University Center. Cornelius co-presented with Dr. Jeffrey Harrison of the Brooks College of Health. In addition, Cornelius announced the publication of his latest text, “The Costs of Education.” The book is the first to approach school finance from a cost basis. It is also the first finance text in decades to address the funding and costs of private schools, as well as charter and public schools. Furthermore, Cornelius participated in the seventh annual Citizenship Day event in April at Florida Coastal School of Law.



Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education: Drs. Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore and Kristine Webb, along with COEHS graduate students Tara Rowe and Monica Bolanos, presented at the Florida Transition Institute and Visions Conference in Weston, Fla. in from April 30 to May 2. The group presented information about the ACCESS Academy, a program that offers learning strategies to UNF students with disabilities. Webb and Matthew Silberstein, a business major, also presented about the Osprey Social Hour, a project that connects UNF Greek organizations with THRIVE, a program for UNF students with autism.


dateline_anniversary Milestone anniversaries

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


15 years

Alison Cruess, Assistant Director of Communication and Training, Administration and Finance


10 years

Robin Hill, Business Manager, Small Business Development Center

Gerard Giordano, Professor, Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education

Renee DelConte, Director, One-Stop Student Services


Five years

Kristi Sweeney, Assistant Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management

Alicia Crystalus, Office Manager, Psychology

Ronald Covengton, Maintenance Supervisor, Maintenance and Energy Management

 James Gwynes, Lieutenant, University Police Department

Khiem Ma, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 

LeAnn Anderson, Academic Adviser, Advising

Celeste Watkins, Coordinator, Student Government Business and Accounting Office

Keith Lynn, Life Safety System Specialist, Physical Facilities

Julia Brumfield, Administrative Secretary, Counseling Center

Judith Miller, Faculty Administrator, Academic Affairs



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


Diane Engelhardt, Executive Secretary, Counseling Center

Tyaisha Perry, Coordinator, Enrollment Services Processing Office

Emily Batt, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center

Okey Workman, Database Administrator, Florida Institute of Education

Christopher Dann, IT Support Coordinator, User Services

Raymond Ross, Officer, University Police Department

Michael McConville, Program Assistant Investigator, University Police Department

Ty Hak, Instructional Support Coordinator, Academic Center for Excellence


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:

Mahreen Mian, Assistant Director, Child Development Center



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


Cynthia Harper, Executive Secretary, Counseling Center

Heather Moore, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Office of Academic Testing

Erica White, Assistant Athletic Coach, Women’s Basketball

Krista Nordby, Assistant Athletic Coach, Strength and Conditioning

Andrea Fors-Sullivan, Coordinator, Student Affairs English Language Program

Vlad Boehm, Maintenance Specialist, Physical Facilities

Laura Worrell, Assistant Director, Greek Life Fraternity and Sorority Life

John Dean, Police Safety Training Officer, Student Affairs

Janet Withers, Administrative Secretary Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management

Synne-Clair Twiggs-Jones, Senior Academic Adviser, Academic Center for Excellence

Ashley Noncent, Administrative Secretary, Nursing

Kathy Hughes, Director of Academic Technology, ITS 

Patricia Fontana, Assistant Child Development Teacher, Child Development Center

David Crabtree, Director, Student Union

Jason Chavez, Coordinator, Student Affairs

Nicholas Burns, Accounting Associate, Advancement Services

The Goods


june 2014 prunesPrunes are made from dried plums and can be a part of a nutritious diet. Dr. Judy Perkin, a professor in the University of North Florida’s Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, tells us more about this fruit and its primary health benefits. In order to incorporate prunes into your diet, a recipe has been provided.

Myth: All plum varieties can be dried and made into high-quality prunes.

Fact: While some sources note that any plum may be used to make prunes, the California Dried Plum Board notes that special high-sugar plum varieties are optimal in terms of the qualities needed to produce a good prune. The University of California, Davis states that commercial prunes are made from types of plums of the European variety or Prunus domestica.

Myth: Prunes are a food that only older individuals enjoy.

Fact: Prunes can be a good food choice and dietary favorite of both children and adults of all ages. Prunes can be eaten as a simple dried fruit snack or used in a variety of recipes, including salads, entrees, jams and desserts. Stewed prunes and prune juice are also popular. There are also many types of prune bread recipes available. According to the website Fruit and Veggie: More Matters®, prunes are good sources of beta-carotene (pre-vitamin A) and fiber with the added benefit of being free of fats and sodium. The California Dried Plum Board also notes that prunes contain antioxidants, which are important for health.

Myth: Prunes are native to North America.

Fact: Historical sources tell us that prunes originated in Western Asia and didn’t come to the United States until the 19th century. Today, California is cited as being the state responsible for the vast majority of U.S. prune production and a large percentage of prune production worldwide.

Myth: Plums used to make prunes are harvested in the winter.

Fact: Information from a California agriculture source says that winter is actually the dormant time for these plants and that the plums are harvested and dried to become prunes in late summer. According to this same source, it takes three pounds of fresh plums to make one pound of dried prunes.

Myth: Prunes are very high in calories.

Fact: One average size prune is reported to have only 20 calories. Many sources even recommend using prune puree in recipes to significantly decrease the calorie and fat content of baked goods. Additionally, prunes are cited as being a low glycemic-index food, meaning that blood sugar goes up slowly rather than rapidly after consumption.


Rise and Shine Cobbler


1 cup sliced peaches
1 cup pears, peeled and halved
½ cup pitted prunes
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 orange
1 cup low-fat granola

In a large microwaveable bowl, mix the peach, pears, prunes and vanilla. Grate the orange to obtain 1 tsp. of peel. Cut the orange in half and squeeze out ¼ cup of orange juice. Add the orange peel and juice to the fruit mixture and stir. Top with the low-fat granola. Microwave on high for 5 minutes and let stand for 2 minutes. Spoon into four bowls and serve warm.


Calories = 220

Carbohydrates = 48 g

Total Fat = 1.5 g

Cholesterol = 0 mg

Saturated Fat= 0.5 g

Protein= 4 g

Sodium= 30 mg.          


Recipe and nutritional analysis used with permission of the Produce for A Better Health Foundation from the Fruit and Veggies: More Matters!® website. The recipe was originally developed by the California Department of Health Services.


The Goods is a monthly column about food myths and facts by faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagsip Program and runs monthly in The Florida Times-Union’s “Taste” section. Have a question about prunes? Contact Judy Perkin at




Healthy Osprey: Biking for health and hobby

 may healthy ospreyInspire to move: Hitting it on two wheels  


Cities across the U.S. are adding new bicycle lanes. Along with saving the planet, riding a bike is an effective workout to roll you into shape. Have to take a trip to the store for one or two items? Why not save the gas and ride a bike instead of driving? You won’t get stuck in traffic and are guaranteed a front row parking space. Also, riding a bike is great for your health, in addition to being just plain fun.


A few of the major benefits include:


• It’s quite easy. You don’t need any special skills to operate a bike, and most mid- to large cities have bike lanes to take you to your destination.


• Biking improves muscle tone and strength. Cycling strengthens leg muscles and improves muscle tone in your legs, thighs, rear end and hips.


• Steady biking can burn approximately 300 calories per hour. If you cycle for a steady 30 minutes every day, you would burn 11 pounds of fat in a year.


• The cardiovascular benefits reduce the risk of heart disease.


• It’s not weight-bearing, so it’s easier on your joints than running, or even walking.


 Nourishing you: Eat to stress less


Food can be soothing, but fighting emotional or stress eating can be difficult. The good news is that you can relieve stress by eating certain foods and avoiding others. Stress can create cravings for sweet foods and carbs that may give a temporary sense of calm, but these foods are only temporary fixes. You may crave sugary snacks during moments of stress, but the more you eat them, the worse your mood will get.


Here are a few calming foods that can actually help regulate your system


• Cottage cheese and fruit — Cottage cheese is high in protein content but won’t cause a spike in blood sugar. Pair it with fruit that is high in vitamin C, such as oranges or blueberries. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals that get released when you are stressed.


• Asparagus — This vegetable is high in folic acid, which can help to stabilize your mood.


• Tuna — This is a great option for lunch that is high in stress-fighting vitamins B6 and B12.


• Whole grain carbohydrates — Oatmeal and other whole-grain carbs can stimulate the release of serotonin, your feel-good brain chemical.


• Dark chocolate — This treat can help reduce levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. Nibble only a little, as too much calorie-dense chocolate can pack on the pounds.


• Chamomile tea — Try at bedtime to create a wonderfully warm and calming feeling.


Bright Birds Know

june 2014 graduationDid you know that UNF's first commencement ceremony in 1973 had 35 graduates? The recent Spring 2014 ceremonies for our five colleges of distinctions graduated more than 1,700 Ospreys.


Bright Birds Know is a new monthly feature highlighting interesting facts, figures and stories about the University of North Florida. Do you have a thought-provoking entry that you want to share with the campus community? Get involved by submitting your own Bright Birds Know item to Matt Coleman at .