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InsideMarch 2014

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Around Campus

Russian Fulbright scholar spends semester at UNF


Dr. Kostin (right) works with a student in his office (Photos by Jennifer Grissom).The choices were pretty much endless — Stanford, Yale, maybe even Harvard.


Dr. Konstantin Kostin, a tourism and international relations professor at Saint Petersburg State University of Service and Economics in Russia, could basically write his own ticket to any American university after receiving a prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Only the best and brightest scholars across the globe are offered a Fulbright award. Kostin chose the University of North Florida as his destination with little hesitation.


“UNF has a preeminent professor — Dr. Adel I. El-Ansary — doing the same research — e-marketing — I’m doing,” Kostin said. “I didn’t have to overthink it. UNF is a great school for academics, it’s beautiful and it’s in Florida, where I wanted to visit. It was the right fit.”


Kostin spent the fall semester co-teaching two courses with El-Ansary while developing his own research in the field of e-marketing, which deals with online advertising and marketing strategies. In addition to teaching, Kostin generated, with the assistance of the UNF Coggin College of Business faculty, four different papers for potential publication in various academic journals. Although he’s back in Russia, Kostin said he’ll return to UNF periodically for conferences and presentation opportunities. He said he truly enjoyed teaching in the U.S. and learning about how the American higher education system operates from the perspective of an instructor.


Dr. Kostin in front of the Coggin College of Business. “There are a few similarities I noticed between UNF and Russia — the students are bright and eager to learn,” he said. “But in the United States, the books are great and the resources are exceptional. From a large library to database accessibility, everything is there for you. I also like the balance between the course load and the ability to do research. In Russia, we teach more. In the U.S., we teach two to three classes and then have time to do research, making us more competent and up-to-date.”



Dr. Earle Traynham, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said having a Fulbright scholar from Russia on campus shows that UNF’s accomplishments have been broadcast to the global academic community.


“He picked UNF for a reason,” Traynham said. “Our strengths in e-marketing stood out to him. That means something. That means we’re in the picture on a global scale, which is exactly where we want to be.”


Traynham said hosting a Fulbright visiting scholar gives the University more access to the Fulbright Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. By hosting different scholars, UNF faculty who apply for their own Fulbright grants stand out during the application process. The professional relationships forged during the visiting scholar process can help eliminate geographic boundaries between academics, leading to other useful partnerships.


For instance, Traynham detailed how a chance meeting about 20 years ago during a conference between a UNF professor and a Fulbright scholar from Beijing who was studying at Michigan State University led to a fantastic study-abroad opportunity for UNF students. The UNF professor’s description of the quality of UNF’s academic offerings and the natural beauty of the campus inspired the foreign scholar to transfer to UNF for the duration of his Fulbright studies. He left with a high esteem for the University and a desire to reconnect with UNF at a later date. His Fulbright experience allowed him to ascend the higher education ladder quickly at Beijing International Studies University, and he soon became dean of the business school. This title granted him the authority to establish an exchange agreement between the Beijing university and UNF, a strong academic partnership that has lasted for almost 20 years.


”Our name is out there, and that can only help our faculty down the road,” Traynham said. “There is a direct benefit to a Fulbright scholar on our campus through their instruction and work with our students. But there are less obvious, long-term benefits that can also pay dividends later down the road.”


Around Campus

‘Opera in a box’ wows local elementary schoolers

Love Grove Elementary students watched as UNF's Orchestra and vocal performance students took them on a musical journey (Photos by Jennifer Grissom).It’s not easy to maintain the rapt attention of dozens of elementary-age children at 9 a.m. The University of North Florida Opera Ensemble, however, did just that during a live performance of the celebrated fairly tale “Little Red Riding Hood.”


The UNF Opera Ensemble students who performed “Little Red Riding Hood” in February to a packed house of Love Grove Elementary schoolers couldn’t have asked for a better audience. Every joke was met with a chorus of laughs. Oohhs and aahhs passed through the children every time the story got tense. And the students delighted in all of the wolf’s maudlin howls.


UNF’s Opera Ensemble was established in 2007 and has completed 13 different productions, as well as a study abroad trip and performance in the Czech Republic. For their most recent performance cycle, Dr. Krzysztof Biernacki, associate professor in UNF’s Flagship Music Program and director of the Ensemble, said he wanted to do something nontraditional and expose a new audience to the joys of a live opera production.


The Love Grove Elementary production was a part of the Ensemble’s “opera in a box” presentation of “Little Red Riding Hood.” It’s meticulously designed, from the versatile, interconnected wood panels that comprise the different stage backdrops to the colorful, hand-sewn costumes. The entire production can be packed into two large crates — the box — and takes about 20-25 minutes to set up. All of the key locales from the play — grandma’s house, Little Red Riding Hood’s house and the forest — have been painted on canvas on wheeled panels, allowing stage hands the freedom to shift the stage into different configurations depending on the scene. The student performers come in full costume, and the orchestra only needs a few minutes to tune. The production crew even has its own lights. All told, about 40 UNF students, including the Orchestra as conducted by Dr. Simon Shiao, contribute to the performance.


“Essentially, all we need is a plug for the lights and a flat surface and we can perform anywhere,” Biernacki said.


The cast received a great round of applause from the appreciative students.Anna Mans, a freshman vocal performance major who stepped into the spotlight as Little Red Riding Hood during the Love Grove Elementary performance, said she was ecstatic to take the lead during the performance. She said she never expected to be in the lead role of a full-fledged opera so early in her academic career.


“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Mans said. “Performing in front of an audience is so much different than just practicing and practicing until I improve. It’s almost unheard of for a freshman to be able to be the lead in an opera production, but here at UNF, it’s definitely possible. Freshmen have as much opportunity out there as seniors.”


The performance schedule was organized by Project Listen, a free educational outreach program sponsored by the Riverside Fine Arts Association that offers performances by visiting musicians and area musicians to Jacksonville youth and the greater community. The Ensemble booked eight shows at seven different elementary schools through February and March, and Biernacki said they could increase that performance schedule in the future. 


“We could keep this going for a number of years,” Biernacki said. “We send multiple casts to different schools, the orchestra rights for the music were purchased using the TLO grant and the entire production was designed and manufactured so that it can be used repeatedly. The goal is to make this as accessible to as many children as possible.” 



Professor reconnects with student from first class after nearly 30 years

Russell Connell and Dr. Gigi Morales David catch up after nearly 30 years (Photo by Jessica Scott).Dr. Gigi Morales David remembers the rambunctious and curious first-grader who livened up her very first first-grade classroom. Russell Connell couldn’t forget the first-grade instructor who was a highlight of his elementary school days and helped instill in him a lifelong love of learning.


Those long-held memories were shared during a chance reunion between the two at the University of North Florida late last year.


David, a professor in UNF’s Department of Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL, started her teaching career at San Jose Episcopal Day School in 1985 as a first-grade teacher. Her first first-grade class included Russell Connell, who is now a post-baccalaureate education major at UNF.


He said his memories of that class are hazy because it is going on 29 years since he was a bright-eyed first grader. But a few key things — like the handprint collage he made with his classmates and the last name of his teacher — stood out. That’s why he stopped short when he saw the name placard on the door of a professor’s office in the Department of Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL.


“It caught my eye,” Connell said. “At first, I thought ‘maybe that’s her.’ But that was almost too much of a coincidence. Then I did a little asking around and realized it really was her. How crazy is that?”


David, who spent 15 years at San Jose Episcopal Day School, continued her career at UNF after receiving a master’s in educational leadership from the University, as well as a doctorate from the University of Florida. Connell worked in the private sector for a few years before he realized his passion revolved around instilling the same love of learning that he received so many years ago from his first-grade teacher. Neither figured their paths would cross again at UNF.


Dr. David holds the handprint canvas for her first first-grade class. Connell is directly to her right (Photo submitted by Dr. David).“You couldn’t make something like that up,” David said. “When he came in to my office, I remembered him as that first-grader with all that youthful energy. I pointed out that I still had that handprint canvas from my first class in my office, and he placed his hand over his first-grade handprint. He couldn’t believe I still had it.”


Connell called the experience surreal. He said he stood speechless for a moment, staring at the canvas — a distant slice of history he never expected to reemerge. They reminisced while David dug through her files, searching for the group picture from that first-grade class. And there it was — with David looking just a little bit younger and Connell a lot shorter.


 Leveraging the interconnectedness of social media, Connell posted a picture of the handprint canvas on Facebook and tagged a few of his former classmates in the image. Soon enough, he had out-of-touch former friends looking to reconnect with himself and the teacher who brought them together. David, Connell and a few of those classmates actually arranged a mini-reunion at a downtown Jacksonville venue that was highlighted by a live performance from a travelling musician, a Nashville artist who also happened to be a classmate of Connell’s from first grade. 


“When I heard he was coming into town, I figured that’d be the perfect opportunity to get everyone together,” he said.


The experience was validating for David, who said she took comfort in the amazing work her former pupils are doing.


“As a first-grade teacher, you’re planting seeds and trying to impart the joy of learning to students,” she said. “And since reconnecting with some of them from that first class, I’ve found that so many of those students seem to be so productive and doing important work. It’s really validating and comes back to what I always tell people as an educator — it’s that grades are important, but a love of learning is really what I hope those students remember.” 


Connell still finds himself baffled by how a chance stroll through UNF ‘s Tom and Betty Petway Hall could lead to him reestablishing a connection with one of the teachers who inspired his career renaissance. Since that initial meeting, he’s enrolled in two classes with David and has greatly enjoyed reconnecting after nearly three decades.


“I want to be a teacher and help students the way Dr. David helped me when I was younger,” Connell said. “I couldn’t think of a better person to learn from. Yet again.” 

Around Campus

UNF named a national ‘Best Value College’ yet again

 Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder leads her class (photo by Jennifer Grissom).For the fourth consecutive year, the University of North Florida is among the nation’s Top 75 “Best Value Colleges,” according to The Princeton Review, one of America’s best-known education services companies. 

The 2014 list names 150 colleges — 75 public and 75 private — the education services company identifies as “Best Values” based on surveys of 2,000 undergraduate institutions in 2012-13 concerning academics, cost and financial aid rewards. 

“We take great pride in being nationally recognized by some very elite organizations for delivering an exceptional education at an exceptional value,” said UNF President John Delaney. 

While The Princeton Review doesn’t rank its 150 “Best Value” colleges overall, it reports the top 10 schools in each group — public and private. UNF was the only Northeast Florida institution of higher learning to make the list and is among six Florida public universities in the state to be featured on the annual list, including the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, New College of Florida and University of South Florida.

In addition to academics, cost of attendance and financial aid, The Princeton Review also reviewed data from its surveys of enrolled students during the past three academic years that reported satisfaction with their financial aid awards and opinions of academic experiences at their schools. Academic factors included the quality of students the schools attract as measured by admissions credentials, as well as survey data on how students attending the schools rated their academic experiences. Cost of attendance factors included tuition, room and board as well as required fees. Cost of attendance data came from school-reported figures for 2013-14.

This latest recognition comes on the heels of UNF receiving several other national designations, including Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2014, U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Online Programs, Top Colleges in Florida: Shaping the Next Generation by College Database, Best Regional University by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review’s Best in the Southeast and Top Florida College for Return on Investment by The College Database.


A detailed list of national awards received by the University is available online

Around Campus

MOCA celebrates its 90th anniversary with a classic twist

Melanie Pullen's "Ferris Wheel" is one of the works being auctioned during this year's MOCA Classic (Submitted by MOCA).Ninety years ago, the founders of what became the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, might not have envisioned such a grand space that features 19 exhibitions and dozens of programs a year.


But after a few location — and name-changes, that’s what MOCA has become — with the help of its supporters.


Now, many of those patrons will celebrate MOCA’s 90th anniversary in style with an evening of food, entertainment and an auction of museum-quality artworks March 15.


Proceeds will support MOCA’s future exhibitions and programs. MOCA’s education initiatives serve more than 15,000 visitors a year. “Rainbow Artists: Art and Autism across the Spectrum” helps children with Autism Spectrum Disorders by using art-making activities to foster new means of self-expression and communication. “Voice of the People” provides fourth grade students an opportunity to create audio guides that describe and interpret works of art from MOCA’s Permanent Collection, fostering critical thinking, writing and oral communication skills. ArtFusion is a Sunday afternoon program that provides hands-on projects related to the Permanent Collection and exhibitions for families, led by professional art educators.


MOCA hosts kindergarten, second and fourth grade students from Duval County’s Title I schools for tours of the exhibitions and art activities — many visiting the museum for the first time. Research shows that these kinds of arts education programs have academic, psychological and social benefits.


During the monthly Wednesday Art Walk, MOCA’s free admission attracts more than 25,000 visitors a year. MOCA also plays a pivotal role in revitalizing downtown Jacksonville by bringing visitors to the urban core.


Under Director Marcelle Polednik, MOCA has instituted an ambitious exhibition schedule planned three to five years in advance, most of which are self-curated.


“It’s been in response to the community that the museum has finally achieved the definition that it has today,” Polednik said. “We have aspirations to grow the exhibition program. But we can’t do that without the support of the community at large.”


Finding those resources requires work — and imagination. MOCA Classic co-chairs Gwen Gallagher-Howard and Carolyn Hawthorne have invested months of planning to create a meticulously orchestrated affair with many options to support MOCA’s mission to promote the art, artists and ideas of our time.


Gallagher-Howard said she has come to know and love MOCA through her husband, G. Alan Howard, who is chairman of the Board of Trustees.


“Every year I am more and more impressed with MOCA and the quality of its personnel and exhibitions,” Gallagher-Howard said. “Marcelle Polednik has taken the museum to a new level, and I believe that she has only begun to expand and develop MOCA’s reputation on a local and national scale. When Alan and I travel, we often visit museums of contemporary art in other cities. I am frequently amazed to discover that our museum is better than those in cities much bigger than Jacksonville.”


Hawthorne, whose husband, Rick Hawthorne, is on the Board, said MOCA has assembled the staff, volunteers, trustees and others to help the museum flourish.


“I think what we have is a perfect storm of talent and creativity for the museum at this moment,” Hawthorne said.


Honorary chairs Elli and Charles Zimmerman have provided seed money in matching funds for those who support and attend the MOCA Classic. Elli Zimmerman serves as secretary on the Board.


Ingrid Calame: Her dramatic wall painting, “Tarred over Cracks,” has consumed the Haskell Atrium Gallery and is on display through March 9. The artwork combines tracings from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery parking lot in Buffalo, N.Y., with Calame’s focused use of color. Born in 1965 in the Bronx, N.Y., the Los Angeles artist’s work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Heather Cox: For her Project Atrium installation, “Crush” (July-October 2013), Cox created 75 white sculptures that crisscrossed the expansive space, each one appearing to have gone through an egg slicer before being reassembled in crushed human form. Born in Hammond, Ind. in 1966, Cox now lives and works in New York City. After training in book arts and photography at Mills College, she studied sculpture at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Sarah Emerson: After graduating from the Atlanta College of Art in 1997, Emerson completed her master’s degree at Goldsmiths College in London in 2000. She has exhibited her paintings in galleries throughout the United States and Europe and teaches painting and drawing at Emory University. Her “Project Atrium” mural installation (March-July 2013) continued the “Underland” series based on her imaginary interpretation of Japan’s suicide forest Aokigahara.


Johnston Foster: His work will be on display as part of the “Material Transformations” exhibition Jan. 26-April 6. An American artist who lives and works in Canada, Foster repurposes discarded objects into brightly colored, playful works with a serious layer of commentary on the insatiable consumption of modern civilization. Born in 1978, Foster uses carpentry skills to reverse-engineer found items into larger-than-life realistic tableaux.


David Hilliard: Born in Lowell, Mass., in 1964, Hilliard describes his art as partly autobiographical, capturing images inspired by his daily life and the immediate world around him. His work is also fictional, as most of his photographs are carefully staged and dramatic, many of which explore the trials of adolescence and masculinity. MOCA recently added Hilliard’s “Boy’s Tethered” to its Permanent Collection.


Mark Licari: Licari’s drawings intertwine the ordinary and the imaginary. He holds a BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MFA from the University of Southern California. The Los Angeles artist’s work is held in collections at Gemeente Museum in The Hague, Netherlands, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His “Project Atrium” mural, “Waterworks” (March-July 2012), engaged MOCA visitors from four distinct vertical vantage points, imbuing the destruction of a water tower with levity.


Chris McCaw: With home-built, large-format cameras and high-powered antique military aerial surveillance lenses, McCaw tracks the movement of the sun across the sky. He uses black-and-white print paper instead of traditional negative film in his cameras and extremely long exposure times — two to eight hours. Several of his works appeared in “Slow: Marking Time in Photography and Film” (January-April 2013).


Melanie Pullen: For her “Project Atrium” exhibition, “High Fashion Crime Scenes” (July-November 2011), Pullen photographically recreated grizzly murder scenes from the 20th century. Born in New York City in 1975, her photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and her work has been featured in numerous publications like The New York Times Magazine and Rolling Stone and broadcasts like National Public Radio and CBS News.



Alison Foshee: Her work is on display as part of the “Material Transformations” exhibition through April 6. Born in 1969, Foshee has a B.A. from Occidental College in Los Angeles and an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. To create her playful works of art, Foshee turns to objects encountered everyday by masses of people. Using standard office products, such as staples and paper adhesive labels, Foshee recreates on paper various leaf patterns and the distinctive feathers of assorted birds.


Out of respect for the artists, the organizers created a fairly unique model among fundraising auctions: MOCA is sharing the proceeds from the sale of the artwork with the artists.


The theme is ‘It’s All About the Art,’ and it truly is. It’s also about supporting artists’ careers,” Polednik said. “These artists feel so strongly about their collaboration with MOCA that they’re willing to share the proceeds from the auction with the museum.” 


Anonymous donor treats UNF grounds crew to lunch

A student enjoys some study time outside on UNF's environmentally beautiful campus (photo by Jennifer Grissom).The environmentally beautiful University of North Florida campus is a testament to the work of its dedicated grounds crew.

Every acre of sculpted shrubbery and thoughtfully planted foliage reflects their commitment to making UNF one of the most gorgeous college campuses in the country. Their tremendous work was acknowledged recently with an anonymous thank-you note and a gift card for lunch from a grateful member of the campus community.

Chuck Hubbuch, assistant director of Physical Facilities, said the grounds crew received the mystery letter in December before the holiday break. In it, the writer thanked all of UNF’s groundskeepers and landscapers for keeping UNF beautifully maintained and specifically highlighted the bamboo garden and butterfly bush near the Physical Facilities building.

“I have worked here for years now, and campus just keeps getting more and more wonderful,” the letter said.

Hubbuch said he showed the note to his staff and let them know that their work is greatly appreciated. Physical Facilities also augmented the anonymous donor’s $50 gift card to Pizza Hut so the grounds crew could be treated to a full-scale pizza party in February.

“It feels great to receive this kind of praise,” Hubbuch said. “The note made for a particularly great opportunity to share those words with the staff, and at the same time give them a reward for their hard work. They’re the ones who get out there and make it happen, and it’s great to realize that people appreciate the effort they put in.”

Get to Know

Amanda Rutherford

Amanda Rutherford at the UNF Pool (Photo by Jennifer Grissom).Department: Athletics 

Job title: Assistant Swim Coach 

Years at UNF: I earned my undergraduate degree here at UNF and have been working as the assistant swim coach for about five months.

If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why? I would say a marine biologist at Sea World. I have always had a fascination with ocean and marine life. 

What would you like to do when you retire? That is quite a while off, but as of now, I would have to say travel. 

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? The female athletes who I have the honor of coaching. 

What is the best thing you ever won? I won a fish at the county fair. 

Who is your favorite fictional character?  What makes them your favorite? Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit.” He is not inherently courageous but finds the courage that he needs to help others. 

If you won the lottery, what would do with the money? I would first take care of family and friends and then donate the money that was needed to build a state of the art pool for my alma mater to not only benefit the student athletes but also also help the local swimming community attract large, national meets. 

If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing? I would be coaching elsewhere. It is my passion. 

What is your favorite way to blow an hour? A good, long workout. 

If you were asked to paint a picture about anything you wanted, what would you paint? I do not paint, but if I had to, I would probably throw some paint on a canvas, thus making it abstract. 

What was the best money you ever spent? When I bought my pet ferret, Professor X. 

Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn’t live without? No, not at all. I would love to toss it all and have some alone time. 

What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? When I became an aunt. My nephew and niece are both blessings. 



What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? The first concert that I ever attended was Warped Tour, and the most recent was the Queens of the Stone Age at the Florida Theatre. 

What person had the greatest impact on your life? My first thought was my father, but after thinking about it, I would say my sister has been the greatest influence in my life. I remember when she was born my father gave me the “you are a big sister now” speech. When I was younger, I always felt obligated to watch out for her and defend her no matter what, which taught me loyalty and dedication. Now that we are older, I realize that she is special and will always have my back. I think that there is nothing greater in this world than family. 

What are you most passionate about? I would say my family and friends. What is life without them? 

Who is the most famous person you ever met? Matt Grevers 

Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know: I am an open book. My friends know it all. 

What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet? I would like to be a head coach and take a swimmer to the Olympics. 

Last book read: “The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley

Faculty and Staff

august faculty staffCollege of Arts and Sciences  



Art and Design: Emily Arthur had an exhibition, “Hidden Room in the House: Printmaking and the Art of Sublimination,” featured at UNF’s Thomas Carpenter of Special Collections. 


Alex Diaz is exhibiting at “Onward Compe 14: International Photography Competition,” in the Project Basho Gallery in Philadelphia, Penn.


Nofa Dixon has an exhibition, “One Person Exhibition,” featured at Florida State College’s Kent Campus.


Raymond Gaddy has a solo exhibition, “These Things You Will Not Remember,” at the Harriet Meyerhoff Gallery in Savannah, Ga. Gaddy’s work was also included in the exhibition, “Walnut Invitational,” at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts in Gadsden, Ala. In addition, his work was included in the invitation exhibition, “Southern Discomfort,” in association with the Flannery O’Connor childhood Museum, in Savannah, Ga.


Jenny Hager was the invited artist at the International Sculpture Conference, “Makers and Shapers Symposium,” in Miami, at which she conducted a workshop. She also exhibited at the Kissimmee Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in Kissimmee.


Paul Karabinis had works selected for the following exhibitions: “Lenzless,” Plates to Pixels Gallery, Portland, Ore.; “The Alternative Approach,” Kiernan Gallery, Lexington, Va.; and “Without Glass,” Kiernan Gallery, Lexington, Va. In addition, he was visiting lecturer/guest artist at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., where he lectured on and was included in the “Shared Vision” exhibition, which he co-curated for MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF.


Biology: Dr. Quincy Gibson and her students gave the following presentations at the 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Dunedin, New Zealand: with J. Ermak, “Preliminary analysis of social structure indicates Northeast Florida bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) form multi-level alliances” with A. Stickel; “The influence of site fidelity on spatial and social segregation in estuarine bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)” with S. Nekolny and J. Ermak; along with her colleague Dr. Julie Richmond, “Don’t bite your mother: seasonality and sex differences in dolphin tooth rake marks.”


Dr. Jim Gelsleichter and his student, Arianne Leary, presented a poster on her thesis research, “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon biomarkers suggest continued exposure in sharks after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America meeting in November in Nashville, Tenn. They also presented the poster, “PAH Biomarkers in deepwater sharks after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” at the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science conference in Mobile, Ala. At the 2014 meeting of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society in Charleston, S.C., Gelsleichter presented “Hermaphroditism and Other Aspects of Reproduction in the Endangered Smalltooth Sawfish, Pristis pectinata” with his former graduate student, Mike McCallister; “Characterizing a scalloped hammerhead nursery in NE Florida; with graduate student Amanda Brown, he presented “The Reproductive Biology of the Finetooth Shark, Carcharhinus Isodon, in the Northwest Atlantic” and with graduate student Melissa Gonzalez De Acevedo he presented “Reproduction of the Bonnethead Shark (Sphyrna tiburo) from the Southeastern US Atlantic Coast.”


Dr. Kelly Smith, with colleague J. David Lambert, and student Marc H. Hankem published “Utilization of a multicriteria least cost path model in an aquatic environment” in The International Journal of Geographical Information Science.


Chemistry: Dr. Kenneth Laali published five articles: with G.C. Nandi and Benjamin Rathman, “Mild Conversion of Propargylic Alcohols to alphabeta-unsaturated Enones in Ionic Liquids (ILs); A New “Metal Free” Life for the Rupe Rearrangement” in Tetrahedron Letters; with G.C. Nandi, G.L. Borosky, and G.N. Kumar, “Electrophilic Addition of Propargylic Cations to Allenes: Formation of Crowded Chloro- (Azido) Enynes by Trapping of the Resulting Allylic cations with TMSX ( X = Cl, N3); A Synthetic and Computational Study” in the European Journal of Organic Chemistry; with Gabriela Borosky, “alpha-Sulfur or alpha-Fluorine – which is more, stabilizing for a carbocation? A Computational Study of Electrophilic Addition to HFC = CH(SMe) and FC(R1) = CR2(SMe) and Related Model Systems” in the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry; with Rok Prebil and S. Stavber, “Metal and H2O2 Free Aerobic Oxidative Aromatic Halogenation with [RNH3]+ [NO3]-/HX and [BMIM(SO3H)][(NO3)x(X)y] (X = Br, Cl) as Multifunctional Ionic Liquids” in Organic Letters; and with G.C. Nandi, “Schmidt Reaction in Ionic Liquids; Highly Efficient and Selective Conversion of Aromatic and Heteroaromatic Aldehydes to Nitriles with [BMIM(SO3H][OTf] as Catalyst and [BMIM][PF6] as Solvent,” in Tetrahedron Letters.


Dr. José A. Jiménez presented, “Preparation and Spectroscopic Assessment of Copper Nanocomposite Glasses Obtained via CuO and SnO Co-doping” at the 38th International Conference and Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites. At the same conference, he and Logan Haney presented, “Investigation of the Influence of CuO and SnO Doping on the Luminescence of Dy3+ Ions in Phosphate Glass.”


Dr. Christos Lampropoulos published three articles: “A MnII6MnIII6 Single-Strand Molecular Wheel with a Reuleaux Triangular Topology: Synthesis, Structure, Magnetism, and DFT Studies” in the journal Inorganic Chemistry; “Taking Single-Molecule Magnets to New Directions: From Molecules to Hybrid Materials and to Devices” in the Abstracts for the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in Indianapolis; and with Anna Javed, “Synthesis, Magnetic and Spectroscopic Characterization of a New Fe7 Cluster with a Six-pointed Star Topology,”] in the journal Polyhedron. He also presented the invited talk, “Interlacing STEM Disciplines in the Search for New Molecular Magnetic Materials,” at Indiana University Chemistry Department, Bloomington, Indiana. Finally, he and John M. Cain presented a poster, “Molecular Magnetic Materials: From Synthesis to Characterization” at the Florida Inorganic and Materials Symposium (FIMS), Gainesville; Mr. Cain won the Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation Award for the poster, which is on display at the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville.


Dr. Michael Lufaso and co-authors published three articles: “Order-Disorder Transition Involving the A-site Cations in Ln3+Mn3V4O12 Perovskites” in the journal Inorganic Chemistry; “Ionic Conductivity of Directionally Solidified Zirconia-Mullite Eutectics” in the journal Solid State Ionics; and “Spin-Phonon Coupling in Gd(Co1/2Mn1/2)O3 Perovskite” in Journal of Applied Physic.

Dr. Thomas J. Mullen presented an invited lecture, “Extending Nanoshaving and Nanografting Through Self- and Directed Assembly Strategies” to the Department of Chemistry at the Florida Institute of Technology.


Communication: Dr. Christine Holland published “Classroom Intercultural Competence in Teacher Education Students, Interns and Alumni” in UNF Theses and Dissertation.


Dr. John Parmelee published “Political Journalists and Twitter: Influences on Norms and Practices” in Journal of Media Practice. He also published “Framing and Priming in Presidential Campaign Ads” in Casing Persuasive Communication.


History: The South Carolina Historical Magazine awarded Dr. Denise I. Bossy its Malcolm C. Clark Award for best article of 2013 for “Godin & Co.: Charleston Merchants and the Indian Trade, 1674–1715.”


Dr. James Broomall presented “At the Edge of War and Peace: The Emotional Language of Defeat” at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting.


Dr. Alison J. Bruey published “Shantytown Protest: Interviews with Pobladores” in The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics.


Dr. Theophilus C. Prousis chaired a panel on 19thCentury Constantinople at the Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Boston, Mass. He also published an essay, “Recent Scholarship on the Greek Revolution and on Russia and the Mediterranean,” in Modern Greek Studies Yearbook.


Dr. N. Harry Rothschild published “Rhetoric of the Loom: Discursive Weaving Women in Chinese and Greek Traditions,” in Sino-Platonic Papers.


Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Dr. Yongan Wu received from the Chinese Language Teachers Association the 2012 Peking University Press Publication award for his paper, “Using External Text Vocalization to Enhance Reading Development Among Beginning Level Chinese Learner ”


Music: Dr. Danny Gottlieb performed at Paramount Studies in Los Angeles with Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, as part of the “Hollywood Salutes Heroes,” sponsored by American Airlines, the Gary Sinise Foundation and Paramount. He also performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City with five-time Grammy Award winner, Steven Curtis Chapman. In addition, he conducted a master class and demonstration for 150 middle school and high school students at the Long Island Day of Percussion in Sayville N.Y.


Dr. Randy Tinnin presented his paper, “Dauverné’s Dilemma,” at the Third International Romantic Bras Symposium at the Bern University of the Arts in Switzerland.


Philosophy and Religion Study: Dr. Erinn Gilson published “The Ethics of Vulnerability: a feminist analysis of social life and practice.”  


Physics: With D. D. Gillette and A.L. Titus, Dr. Barry Albright published “Fossil vertebrates from the Tropic Shale (Upper Cretaceous), Southern Utah” in “At the Top of the Grand Staircase: The Late Cretaceous of Southern Utah.” In the same collection he and two co-authors published “Geologic Overview.”


Psychology: Dr. Michael Toglia edited the collection, “What is Adaptive About Adaptive Memory?,” to which he and his graduate students contributed the chapter “Cognitive and Social Factors in the Study of Survival Memory.” 


Political Science and Public Administration:

Dr. Pamela Zeiser, with D. Fuchs and S. Engelkamp, published “Discussions Across Borders: A German-American Partnership” on-line in the Journal of Political Science Education. 


Dr. David Schwam-Baird presented “Beyond the Two-State Solution: The Time Bomb in America’s New Middle East Policy” at the Association of Third World Studies’ 31st annual meeting in Chennai, India.


Dr. Georgette Dumont published “Transparency or Accountability? The Purpose of Online Technologies for Nonprofits” in the International Review of Public Administration in December. 


Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull published his book, “Islamic Higher Education in Indonesia: Continuity and Conflict,” as well as the article, “Experiencing Islamic Education in Indonesia.”


Dr. Suzie Weng published “Founding of ethnic programs and agencies for Asian Americans: An exploration of strategies and challenges” in Administration in Social Work; presented “Informal support network in an Asian American community: A grounded theory” at the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education in Dallas, Tex.; and presented the poster, “Social support systems for doctoral students of non-dominant racial and cultural backgrounds in social work education” at the same meeting.


Dr. Jennifer Spaulding-Givens, with Dr. Jeffrey Lacasse, presented the poster, “Florida Self-Directed Care: A Descriptive Study of Participants’ Service Utilization and Outcomes,” at the Society for Social Work Research’s annual conference.



 College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Charles Winton conducted the Florida Region Botball Educators Workshop in January and the Northern California Region workshop February. 


Dr. Swapnoneel Roy gave a presentation titled “On Data Security and Energy Efficiency,” to the Greater Florida/Alabama Chapter of 7x24 Exchange.


Engineering: Dr. Chiu Choi received a UNF Academic Affairs Teaching Grant titled “Development of Modern Microcontroller Lab Experiments and Projects.” Dr. Choi, along with Lilin Guo, Luis Galarza and Jeffrey Fan had their paper titled “High Accuracy Three-Dimensional Radar Sensor Design based on Fuzzy Logic Control Approach” published in the proceedings of the 45th IEEE Southeastern Symposium on System Theory late last year. Additionally, Dr. Choi, Xiaokun Yang, Xinwei Niu and Jeffrey Fan had their paper titled “Mixed-Signal System-on-a-Chip (SoC) Verification Based on System Verilog Model” published in the same symposium.  


College of Education and Human Services


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: UNF’s School Counseling Program was well represented at the Florida School Counselor Association’s annual Convention in November in St. Petersburg. Dr. Rebecca A. Schumacher, president of FSCA, presided over the convention. Graduate students Laura Ache and Lindsey Taylor participated in a panel session titled, “Graduate Students: Strategies for Job Searching and Beginning New Positions.” The panel was comprised of school counselors, district level administrators and department heads from across the state.


Dr. Terry Cavanaugh worked with the Duval County Reading Council and provided a presentation to them on “Ebooks: think And, not OR.” Cavanaugh also presented at the American Association of School Librarians in Hartford, Conn. on the topic of “Bookmapping: Melding Literature, Reading and Interactive Maps.” Also, Dr. Luke Cornelius and Cavanaugh, together published an opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Distance Learning, Distant Courtrooms" on the possible impact of jurisdictional issues with lawsuits about distance learning classes.


Dr. Jason Lee had an article published in the December issue of the International Journal of Sport Communication titled “Industry Interviews: Interview With Dan Edwards, Senior Vice President, Communications, Jacksonville Jaguars.”



Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Catherine McMurria recently presented a Total Physical Response TPR workshop at the Future Florida Educators of America Conference in Orlando in January. She focused on teaching future educators how to incorporate physical movements into the learning process, specifically focusing on English as a Second Language.


Dr. Nile Stanley has published a paper, “Perceptions about Storytelling in Teaching Chinese as a Second/Foreign Language: Opportunities and Challenges” in the proceedings of the seventh international Conference on Education Reform in Vietnam. The paper will be presented by co-author and doctoral candidate, Nguyen Thi Hien of Shaanxi Normal University, China, which has a scholar exchange program with UNF.  In addition, Stanley presented assembly programs of poems, stories and songs from his books, “Creating Readers with Poetry” and “Performance Literacy through Storytelling,” which were adopted as professional development texts by teachers for Jacksonville Beach and Seabreeze elementary schools.  



dateline_anniversaryMilestone anniversaries  

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


20 years

Elizabeth Jones, Coordinator, Facilities Planning


15 years

William Davis, Director of Academic Support Services, Coggin College of Business 

Judy Schneider, Office Manager, Training and Services Institute

10 years

Lynn Brown, Associate Director of Academic Support Services, Transportation and Logistics 

Belinda Griffin, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities


Five years

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



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


Robin Allerding, Executive Secretary, Major Gifts

Arnolfo Bada, Custodial Worker, Student Union

Terrance Brown, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services Scott Fitzgerald, Coordinator, Athletic Communications

Alexi Gonzalez, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Enrollment Services

Diane Leake, Document Scanning Associate, Enrollment Services Communication Systems

Sonal Patel, Payroll Accountant, Controller’s Office

Antoya Shuler, College Adviser, Jacksonville Commitment

Catherine Serico, Coordinator, Institutional Research 

Synthia Robinson-Pack, Accounting Associate, Advancement Services


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Elaine Baker, Office Manager, Computing, Engineering and Construction

Jessica Barber, Public Relations Specialist, Public Relations

Lal Liana, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management

Ruth Lopez, Associate Director, Student Affairs Center For International Education

Joanna Norris, Director, Public Relations

Anthony Parise, Systems Development Manager, Enterprise Systems

Hans Priepke, Applications Systems Manager, Enterprise Systems

John Simms, Student Union Director, Student Government




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


Sharon Harris, Database Administrator, Florida Institute of Education

Timothy Parenton, Assistant Athletic Coach, Baseball

Claribel Torres-Lugo, Director of Assessment Research, Education and Human Services

Thomas White, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department

Kasey Linsberg, Production Specialist, Fine Arts Center 

Sharon Newell, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department

Jacinta Robin, Data Processing Associate, Graduate School Matthew Stumph, Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities

Kobi Vaughan, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 


The Goods


 march lentilsLentils are the world’s oldest cultivated legume and are packed with nutrition. Jen Ross, registered dietitian and instructor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses the legume that is a good source of protein and fiber, very low in fat and cholesterol-free. In order to add lentils to your diet, a recipe has been included.


Myth: Lentils require an overnight soak before cooking.

Fact: Unlike some other members of the legume family, lentils don’t need to be soaked prior to cooking. Simply pick through them and remove any dirt or debris, and then rinse several times in cold water. Your lentils are now ready to cook.

Myth: Lentils take a long time to cook.

Fact: Compared to other legumes, lentils have a relatively short cook time. Simply bring 1½ cups of water or broth to a boil for each cup of dried lentils. Then add the lentils, return to a boil, reduce to a simmer and leave partially covered until tender. The cooking times can range from 10 minutes to one hour depending on the variety and the recipe. If you’re really in a time crunch, canned lentils are also available.

Myth: Lentils are a poor source of protein.

Fact: On the contrary, lentils are an excellent source of protein, providing about 18 grams per cup. Although they are missing two amino acids and considered an incomplete protein, this is not an issue as long as a variety of foods are eaten throughout the day. Even with a plant-based diet, you can obtain all of the needed protein with a varied diet.

Myth: Lentils are only for soup.

Fact: Yes, lentils can be directly added to soups and stews, but there are so many other uses as well. Lentils can be mashed into burgers, sprouted and used in breads, salads or paired with rice for a complete meal.

Myth: Lentils are exotic and not suited to American tastes.

Fact: Some of the top producers of lentils include Turkey, India, Canada and the United States. While traditional lentil dishes, such as Indian masoor dal and Mujaddara are quite popular, lentils can be prepared and flavored for just about any taste. Dried lentils are inexpensive and commonly found in the grocery store with the other legumes or in the bulk bin section.


Basic lentils with tomatoes



2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 carrots, chopped

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1cup red lentils, rinsed

1cup low-sodium vegetable broth

3 cups water

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon curry powder

¼ teaspoon dry basil

2 dashes of paprika




In a large saucepan, sauté the olive oil with the carrots, onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Then add the lentils, broth and water. Place on medium-high heat and stir, and then add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with rice for a complete meal.


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 lentils? Contact Jen Ross at  



Healthy Osprey: Yoga

march yoga 3Yoga generally conjures up images of calmness and health so it’s no surprise that yoga helps to reduce stress while giving you the benefits of exercise. But how?


Shifting your focus to breathing and posing is an important part of yoga. Not only does it distract you from other thoughts, it calms your body and mind. Steady breathing works in conjunction with the poses you are required to make during a yoga session. These complex movements draw your attention away from deadlines, family issues

and other stressors in your daily life. Yoga poses change blood flow and body positioning. Many yoga poses are created solely to alleviate stress. This is one of the reasons people practice yoga. They want to be happier, more peaceful, have more energy and they want to feel better.


Yoga increases balance, flexibility, strength and range of motion. Yoga does much more than calm you down and make you flexible. Yoga is a valid exercise choice offering health benefits such as improving strength, lowering risk

of heart disease and weight control. Numerous studies show that yoga is as effective or even better than aerobic exercise at improving a variety of health-related measures.


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 .