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InsideMay 2014

Inside this Issue

Around Campus

Students PAWS with pups during finals’ week

Ania Cajuste and Banjo get to know each other (Photo by Matt Coleman). There’s nothing quite like a friendly, furry face to take the stress out of finals’ week.

The University of North Florida hosted the first on-campus PAWS Your Stress events in the Student Union Game Room April 21 and April 22. Close to 800 students — and a few staff members — stopped in to spend time with 16 cuddly pups from Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit that assists the disabled community by providing highly trained assistance dogs.

Like many of the other students who participated, sophomore Ania Cajuste left the Game Room feeling relaxed and stress-free after sitting and petting Banjo, a docile golden retriever.

“It was good to get away from studying for awhile and not have to think about finals for a minute,” she said. “Any time I get a chance to pet a dog, I’m happy.”


These brief respites from the academic deadlines and hours of studying can have positive mental and physical outcomes for students who are nearing their stress thresholds, said Deborah Baker, assistant director of UNF's Counseling Center. She said holding or petting an animal can lower one's blood pressure and slow one's heart rate — both good signs that stress levels are trending down. 

"There's nothing quite like dogs, especially trained ones, as sources of unconditional love and kindness," Baker said. "This program gives students a 10-minute vacation from all the hassles and concerns and lets them spend some time with an animal that's going to be there for them."

CCI breeds Labrador retriever and golden retrievers to assist adults or children with disabilities. Any newborn puppy in the CCI program receives 13 to 18 months of obedience and socialization training provided by volunteers, followed by an additional six to nine months of professional instruction at one of five Canine Companions regional training centers.

Student lined up to get a chance to spend some time with the CCI dogs (photo by Jennifer Grissom).Lee Hoyt, a CCI volunteer who helped organize the event, said the group brings their dogs to about 30 different events a year, but this was the first time the local chapter had catered to a college crowd.

“It’s all about bringing a few smiles to peoples’ faces, whether that’s on a college campus or at the Special Olympics or any of the other places we go,” Hoyt said. “There’s nothing better than seeing the looks on their faces when they get some time with one of our dogs.”

Patrice Kapcio, executive secretary for the Graduate School and a volunteer member of CCI herself, coordinated the campus canine takeover. Kapcio has trained a number of CCI dogs, going so far as to bring them in to the office regularly.

“I have toys and crate in my office to keep them comfortable,” she said. “To be good assistance dogs, they need to have a lot of training and learn from an early age that they’re not the center of attention. That’s why bringing them out in public is a necessary step. The staff has been really understanding and accepting about that.”

Based on the ear-to-ear smiles plastered on the faces of the students and staff members who left the Game Room, the event was wildly successful. It might have even inspired some higher test scores.

“Let’s get back to studying,” junior Roni Roberson told a pair of friends as they left the fur-filled Student Union Game Room. “We can’t let the puppies down!”

Around Campus

UNF player in Barnett building innovation center

A UNF archive photo of the former Barnett Bank Building. The University of North Florida will have a key presence in the innovative renovation of a historic downtown Jacksonville landmark.


The former Barnett Bank building on West Adams Street has remained derelict for more than 20 years, but a motivated group of investors and developers view the property as a potential entrepreneurial hub for the city. A proposed adaptive reuse for the 18-floor structure will include classroom, office, residential and retail space. Construction will be completed in summer 2015, and UNF instructors from the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, the Division of Continuing Education and the Small Business Development Center will offer a variety of non-degree courses from the facility’s flexible classroom spaces.


The arrangement is more of a partnership than a business deal, said Robert Wood, dean of the Division of Continuing Education. He emphasized that UNF won’t be renting any space in the building. Instead, use of the flexible classroom spaces on the ninth floor will be offered free-of-charge on a periodic basis to UNF instructors. Wood estimated that close to 1,000 people could receive training through UNF’s urban core location in its first year alone.


“We’ll be able to capture a different market by being downtown,” Wood said. “More companies are locating downtown, more young professionals are moving downtown and we want them to have better access to the kinds of programs UNF can offer.”

The UNF instructors will also work with the dynamic entrepreneurs who will take up residence in the innovation center. The KYN business accelerator program and CoWork Jax will be housed in the building on different floors. Additionally, One Spark will be moving its headquarters to the Barnett.


April’s One Spark crowdfunding festival, which was spearheaded by a group of UNF graduates, served as a reintroduction of sorts for the Barnett. The interior of the building, which had been stripped years before, saw its first signs of life in decades with creator displays and diagrams of the finished innovation center plastered on poster boards. Around 260,000 people attended the five-day event, and many of them passed through the Barnett’s formerly distinguished doors.  


The renovation process is being led by SouthEast Holdings, which purchased the building and the nearby Laura Street Trio last year with a $3 million loan from Stache Investments Corp., an investment group led by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan. The 18-floor structure will cost approximately $30 million to restore, according to a Florida Times-Union report.


This is yet another move by the University to strengthen its downtown Jacksonville presence. A 2009 partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University, helped UNF establish its first outpost in the urban core since the closing of the UNF Downtown Center in 1987. While MOCA allowed for the expansion of UNF’s cultural footprint in the city’s epicenter, the Barnett location will install a strong academic and training presence for the University, Wood said.


“The time is right for UNF to be involved downtown again.” 


Around Campus

New library dean plans to take Tommy G. to the next level

Dr. Elizabeth Curry in the UNF Library (Photo by Jennifer Grissom). It’s fair to say that Dr. Elizabeth Curry knows her way around a library. From card catalogues to digital learning commons, she’s done it all, patrolling the stacks at a variety of different Florida libraries for decades.

Curry, who was most recently the dean of learning resources at the College of Central Florida’s Ocala campus, assumed leadership of the University of North Florida’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library earlier this year. She said the Library is at a key point in its maturation, with the implementation of new tech and the development of a revamped strategic plan at the top of the list of priorities for the upcoming scholastic year.

“One thing that struck me about UNF when I was considering the position was that the Library had such a strong foundation in place,” Curry said. “The previous dean [Dr. Shirley Hallblade] did a tremendous job building the Library into the successful operation that it is now. And we’re poised to move even further forward. A huge part of that initiative comes down to technology.”

The Library recently received funding to renovate the first and second floors and create more collaborative learning spaces, Curry said. The staff is moving away from single, cubicle-style seating for students and plans to embrace a more open floorplan conducive to collaborative projects.

“We’re opening it up,” Curr said. “That means more multi-use furniture, a tech upgrade that comes along with smart boards and other items and a renewed focus on the Library’s Learning Commons [an online repository of information that fosters student learning and engagement through a suite of services, technologies and study spaces] and the Digital Commons [a digital catalogue of research, scholarly output and historical information about the University and the region].”

The Library technology and furniture revamp will be completed by the end of the fall semester. Around the same time, Curry said an ITS help desk location will be moving to the Library to assist students and staff with the use of the Learning Commons. With 352 public work stations and an average total of 4,000 visitors every day, the Library has a massive technological footprint, and Curry said having ITS on the premises will assist with any user issues.

Additionally, Curry and her staff are working on the Library’s new strategic plan. She said she envisions the document as a roadmap that will plot out the initiatives and ideas that the Library will need to implement to stay ahead of the technological and academic curve. For instance, one idea that sprang from the strategic planning process was to reach out to Interim Provost Earle Traynham and develop a metric for studying how student usage of the Library impacts student testing. That’s just a small look inside the planning process, but Curry said she’s encouraging her staff to keep the ideas flowing.

“One thing I’ve learned is that solid strategic plan is a vital tool for keeping a library on track,” Curry said. “But I believe that strategic planning never stops, and we’re going to encourage the staff to keep strategic planning in the forefront of their minds and make it an ongoing and organic process for sharing ideas. Thanks to strong leadership from the administration, this Library is thriving, and I’m excited to help chart its course for the next phase of its life cycle.”

Around Campus

Student engineering team reaches for the stars

NASAA University of North Florida student team is among a select group of universities from across the country chosen by NASA to fly their experiments aboard the agency’s G Force One aircraft this spring.

“This is just another example of the extremely high quality of the University’s engineering programs,” said Dr. Mark Tumeo, dean of the School of Computing, Construction and Engineering. “NASA received proposals from across the country from the top engineering schools in the nation. UNF students and programs compete well with the best.”

The NASA experience includes scientific research, experimental design, test operations and outreach activities. It supports NASA’s strategic goal of sharing the agency’s missions and programs with the public, educators and students to provide opportunities to participate in its mission and foster innovation.

Chelsea Partridge, a UNF junior majoring in mechanical engineering and Jacksonville Commitment scholar, is leading one of 18 undergraduate student teams from universities around the U.S. selected to test science experiments under microgravity conditions as part of the 2014 Reduced Gravity Student Flight Chelsea Partridge previously worked with NASA during a summer internship in 2011, picture here (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Partridge). Opportunities Program. Five teams will fly their experiments aboard the aircraft Friday, April 4 through Saturday, April 12, and 13 teams will fly their experiments Friday, May 30, through Saturday, June 7. The UNF team will fly in late May.

“Our diverse backgrounds definitely give us an advantage. We all have varying education, experience and expertise that allow each of us to contribute and make us a stronger team,” said Partridge.

The teams are designing and building the experiments at their home campuses and will transport them to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for tests aboard an aircraft modified to mimic a reduced-gravity environment. The UNF team is no exception. It will develop and test a first-generation experiment system in the short-duration, zero-gravity environment to emulate blood flow in the human body.

Such a system could then be further developed in the next generation for use in long-term space biomedical experiments. The aircraft will fly approximately 30 parabolas with roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to produce periods of weightlessness and hyper gravity ranging from zero to two g’s.


2013-2014 Faculty Award Winners

The following faculty members are the recipients of the 2013-2014 Faculty Awards. Nominations came from students, faculty colleagues, staff, administrators and alumni. All recipients receive a cash award and will be honored with a commemorative plaque at the 2014 Fall Convocation. The awards are funded through unrestricted gifts from the UNF Foundation, Inc. and Academic Affairs.march fountain


Distinguished Professor Award


Winner — Kristine W. Webb (College of Education and Human Services — Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education)

Runner-Up — Jeffrey E. Michelman (Coggin College of Business — Accounting and Finance)


Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Awards


Matthew R. Gilg (College of Arts and Sciences — Biology)

Michael W. Lufaso (College of Arts and Sciences — Chemistry)

Theo C. Prousis (College of Arts and Sciences History)


Outstanding Faculty Service Awards


Daniel C. Moon (College of Arts and Sciences — Biology)

Jennifer K. Wesely (College of Arts and Sciences — Criminology and Criminal Justice)


Outstanding Faculty Community Engaged Scholarship Award


Rebecca A. Marcon (College of Arts and Sciences — Psychology)


Outstanding Graduate Teaching Awards


Tammie M. Johnson (Brooks College of Health — Public Health)

John P. McDonough (Brooks College of Health — School of Nursing)


Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards


Lian An (Coggin College of Business — Economics and Geography)

Elissa M. Barr (Brooks College of Health — Public Health)

Ching-Hua Chuan (College of Computing, Engineering and Construction — School of Computing)

Paul D. Eason (College of Computing, Engineering and Construction — School of Engineering — Mechanical Engineering)

Caroline A. Guardino (College of Education and Human Services — Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education)

Alan Harris (College of Computing, Engineering and Construction — School of Engineering — Electrical Engineering)

Amy L. Lane (College of Arts and Sciences — Chemistry)

Christopher T. Leone (College of Arts and Sciences — Psychology)

Ping Sa (College of Arts and Sciences — Mathematics and Statistics)

Madalina F. Tanase (College of Education and Human Services — Foundations and Secondary Education)

Get to Know

Tarah Trueblood

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 staffBrooks College of Health  


Public Health: Drs. Julie Merten, Sue Higgins, Michele Moore and Elissa Barr presented a poster “Sun safety, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among beach-going adolescents” at the 14th annual American Academy of Health Behavior in Charleston, S.C. in March.


Drs. Cindy Battie and Tes Tuason, along with Dr. Irma Ancheta from Nursing, published “The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes increases with a body mass index of ≥ 23 KG/M2 in Filipino American women” in Ethnicity and Disease.


College of Arts and Sciences


Art and Design: Nofa Dixon’s exhibition, “Reinventing NOFA, A One Person Exhibition,” has been displayed at the Kent Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville since March.


Dr. Debra Murphy read her paper, “Raphael’s Galatea: Fugitiva Imago in Conception and Meaning,” at the annual meetings of the Renaissance Society of America in New York City in March.


Biology: Drs. Matt Gilg and Cliff Ross co-hosted the 43rd annual Benthic Ecology National Meeting at UNF.


Dr. Jim Gelsleichter and his students gave the following presentations at the 43rd annual Benthic Ecology Meeting at UNF: (i) with A. Leary and D. Grubbs, “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in Deep Sea Sharks in the Years Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill”; (ii) with M. Gonzalez De Acevedo, B. Anderson, B. Frazier and C. Belcher, “ Reproduction of the Bonnethead Shark (Sphyrna tiburo) from the Southeastern U.S. Atlantic Coast”; (iii) with M. Collazos  and A. Leary, the poster “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in the Golden Tilefish After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.”


Additionally, Gelsleichter, with C. J. Walker and his colleagues D. H. Adams and C. A. Manire, published “Evaluation of the Use of Metallothionein as a Biomarker for Detecting Physiological Responses to Mercury Exposure in the Bonnethead, Sphyrna Tiburo” in the journal Fish Physiology and Biochemistry.


Dr. Quincy Gibson and her students gave the following presentations at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium in Wilmington, NC: (i) with J. Ermak, “When are two heads better than one? Using eco-demographic variables predict alliance formation in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)”; (ii) with K. Karle, “Seasonal changes in group composition and behavior of female bottlenose dolphins”; (iii) with S. Nekolny and E. Johnson, “Mark-recapture abundance estimates of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the St. Johns River, FL”; (iv) with S. Revels, “Prevalence and type of skin lesions in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the St. Johns River, Florida,” which was awarded the Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation at the meeting.


Dr. Matt Gilg, with his students Ryan Howard, Ryan Turner, Mike Middlebrook, Mazen Abdulnour, Elvis Lukaj and Y. Peter Sheng gave a presentation, “Estimating the dispersal capacity of the introduced green mussel, Perna viridis, from field collections and oceanographic modeling,” at the 43rd annual Benthic Ecology Meeting at UNF.


Dr. Courtney Hackney and his students, Asher Williams and Nathan T. Lauer,published the paper, “Soil phosphorous dynamics and saltwater intrusion in a Florida estuary,” in the journal Wetlands.


Dr. Eric Johnson (i) presented Assessing the potential of spatial management strategies for protecting migratory mature female blue crabs Callinectes sapidus” at the 106th annual meeting of the National Shellfisheries Association in Jacksonville; (ii) presented A novel application of bio-geochemical fingerprinting to evaluate the nursery potential of Chesapeake Bay subestuaries for blue crabs” at the 43rd Benthic Ecology Meeting at UNF; (iii) with graduate student Mary Kate Swenarton presented  Preliminary investigations of life history of Pterois volitans in the coastal waters of Northeast Florida,” also at the 43rd Benthic Ecology Meeting; (iv) with students Corey Corrick and MaryKate Swenarton, presented the poster, Derbies as an effective means for sample collection and analysis of invasive lionfish in Northeast Florida” at the 43rd Benthic Ecology Meeting; (v) with colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution received a grant, “Nursery habitat contributions to the Chesapeake blue crab spawning stock” from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program for $328,904, with a subcontract to UNF for $40,000.


Dr. Mike Lentz and his students Travis Putzke, Rick Hessler, Chad Harris, Lewjain Sakr and Tyler Gorman presented a poster, “Genetic and Physiological Characterization of Yeast Isolated from Fruit, and Analysis of Fermentation Potential” at the Southeast Regional Yeast Meeting at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.


Dr. Judy Ochrietor gave the following poster presentations with her students at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana: (i) with J. M. Brown, “Characterization of the interaction between Basigin and L1cam”; (ii) with J. D. Fong, “Photoreceptor-specific Basigin protein may stimulate expression of interleukin 6 via the ubiquitously-expressed Basigin protein”; (iii) with K Russell, “Photoreceptor-specific Basigin protein stimulates expression of interleukin 6 via the MAP kinase pathway”; and (iv) with H. Zahir, and J. Gelsleichter, “Characterization of Basigin and Monocarboxylate transporter gene expression in the mouse tongue.”


Dr. Cliff Ross gave the following poster presentations with his students at the 43rd annual Benthic Ecology Meeting at UNF: (i) with Amanda Andersen, Kevin Olsen, Chelsea Metzgar, and Richard Pierce, “Non-target effects of mosquito control pesticides on the sub-lethal stress and survival of coral larvae”; (ii) with Nichole Bishop, “The Host-Pathogen Interaction of Wasting Disease among Seagrasses under Abiotic Stressors.” Ross also published the paper, “Nitric oxide and heat shock protein 90 co-regulate temperature-induced bleaching in the soft coral Eunicea fusca,” in the journal Coral Reefs.


Communication: Dr. Christa Arnold published three articles in Medical Encounter: (i) “Are Physicians and Patients Really Trained Listeners? Demonstrating and Discussing Listening Skills Training for Medical Encounters”; (ii) “Examining Patient Communication Behaviors in the Medical Interview: Towards Creating Enhanced Patient Medical Communication Skills Training”; and (iii) “Revisiting Patient Communication Training: Introducing the AGENDA Model and Curriculum.”


Criminology and Criminal Justice: Dr. Jennifer Wesely received the 2014 Susan B. Anthony Award for advocacy, leadership and service to improve the status of women at UNF. She also published “Women’s Homelessness and the Role of Violence: Not Just a Personal Problem” in the edited book “Understanding Diversity: Celebrating Difference, Challenging Inequality.”


English: Dr. Clark Lunberry published a review of Herbert Blau’s “Reality Principles: From the Absurd to the Virtual in The Drama Review.” He also delivered a paper, “Reinventing Language, Vowel by Colorful Vowel,” at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in February.


History: Dr. Alan Bliss (i) delivered a lecture on U.S. Civil Rights history at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Headquarters on the occasion of Black History Month; and ectured on Jacksonville’s historic connections with the Civil Rights Movement at the Durkeeville Historical Society.


Dr. James Broomall gave an invited presentation at the Southern Roundtable’s Annual Conference in Athens, Ga.


Dr. David Courtwright gave a talk on informal economies and illicit trade at the Stanford Association for International Development’s annual conference.


Dr. Chau Kelly was part of a roundtable “Graduate Student Writing Workshop” at the American Society of Environmental History Annual meeting in San Francisco.


Music: The Lynne Arriale Quintet, featuring pianist Lynne Arrialeperformed the program, “You Know How I Feel,” a tribute to Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln and Joni Mitchell, at the following venues in Europe: (i) Kulturforum Villach, Villach, Austria, (ii) Theater Steubchen, Kassel Germany, (iii) Vienna, Austria and (iv) CRC Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey. 


Dr. Gordon R. Brock conducted the UNF Wind Symphony at the 2014 Southern Division College Band Directors National Association and National Band Association conference.

Dr. Cara Tasher served as chorus master and coordinated the final concert of the Regional Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, with internationally renowned Simon Halsey conducting the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and a vocal ensemble comprised of the University of North Florida Chorale, Georgia State University Singers and Tennessee Tech Chorale. This was the first performance by the JSO of William Walton's Belshazzar’s Feast.


Philosophy and Religion: Dr. Bert Koegler published: “The Crisis of a Hermeneutic Ethic” in Philosophy Today.


Dr. Jonathan Matheson published “A Puzzle about Disagreement and Rationality” in The Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (March). He also presented “Moral Caution and Disagreement: An Epistemic Principle for Applied Ethics” at the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics in March.


Physics: Dr. Daniel Santavicca gave an invited talk, “Kinetic Inductance in Superconducting Nanowires,” at the Florida Chapter of the American Vacuum Society and Florida Society for Microscopy Annual Symposium at the University of Central Florida in March.  


Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. George Candler was an invited speaker on “Possiveis contribuições da reflexão epistemologica para o avanço do conhecimento na administração pública” at the IV Colóquio Internacional de Epistemologia e Sociologia da Ciência da Administração in Florianopolis, Brazil.


Dr. Pamela Zeiser presented “The UN Security Council Meets Global Pandemic: The Position of Pakistan” at the annual conference of the International Studies Association in March.



Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Jennifer Spaulding-Givens gave a presentation, “Using Reflective Activities to Enhance and Assess Student Outcomes in Community-Based Learning,” and displayed a poster, “In the Trenches: Utilizing Community-Based Learning to Teach Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities,” at the Gulf-South Summit in Auburn, Ala. in March.



College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Robert Roggio’s paper titled “Taxonomy of Common Software Testing Terminology: Framework for Key Software Engineering Testing Concepts” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Information Systems Applied Research.


Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan gave an invited talk on “Intelligent Systems for Music Recommendations” for the Joe Berg Seminar in April at the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville. Additionally, Chuan presented her project on “Giving Voice to Sign Language: 3D Gesture Recognition and Speech Synthesis” at Scholars Transforming Academic Research Symposium in April.


S. Raghu Talluri and Dr. Swapnoneel Roy’s paper titled "Cryptanalysis and Security Enhancement of Two Advanced Authentication Protocols," has been accepted at ICACNI 2014. Roy was also invited to deliver a talk on "Energy efficiency and data security" at the conference


Dr. Ventzeslav Valev’s paper titled “From binary features to non-reducible descriptors in supervised pattern recognition problems” has been published in the Journal of Pattern Recognition Letters. Valev also co-authored two papers — “Binary feature selection using non-reducible descriptors” and “Pre-ictal phase detection with SVMs” — that were accepted at the fifth international Workshop on Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition and Applications in Bologna, Italy, in July.


Engineering: Dr. Bill Dally was an invited keynote speaker at the eighth international Multipurpose Reef and Surf Science Symposium held in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

College of Education and Human Services


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Dr. Terence Cavanaugh presented three papers with other faculty at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education conference: “The New University Press — the Library: Lessons Learned” with Dr. Luke Cornelius, Nick Michaud, and J. Bowen; “Student Trends with Digital Textbook Options in Preservice Education” with Dr. Nick Eastham; and “A Case Study of Digital Dissertation Self-Publishing” with Dr. Elinor Scheirer. Furthermore, in April, Drs. Cavanaugh and Jason Lee presented “Premium blend: The benefits of hybrid/blended instruction” for an online colloquium hosted by Troy University.


Dr. Jerry Johnson recently had a book and an article published. The book was titled, “Dynamics of social class, race, and place in rural education” by Information Age Publishing and co-authored with C. Howley and A. Howley. The article was published in the International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation and co-authored with M. Hess and S. Reynolds, titled, “A developmental model for educational planning: Democratic rationalities and dispositions.” In April, Johnson presented a paper, along with J. Roush and J. Hitchcock, at the American Educational Research Association in Philadelphia, Pa., titled “Educational assets, resources, and barriers in a semi-isolated community of Appalachia: Implications of social capital.”


Foundations and Secondary Education:

Faculty recently discussed the development and growth of their collaborative partnership at the 2014 Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education at Auburn University in March. Their presentation, titled “Developing Mutual Capacity: Creating and Growing a School-Based/University Partnership,” highlighted key attributes that influence sustainability and address challenges in school-based teacher education contexts. Presenters included Drs. Brian Zoellner, Richard Chant and Wanda Lastrapes.



Department Of Exceptional, Deaf And Interpreter Education: Drs. Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore, Karen Patterson and Kristine Webb published an article in the Spring 2014 issue of the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation titled, “Career Development: Planning, Integration, and Collaboration.” 


The Urban Professional Development School Partnership  between UNF and Duval County Public Schools was well represented at the 2014 Professional Development School National Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. in March. Tpresented Drs. Debbie Reed and Susan Syverud, as well as Christie Stevenson and Maria Ramdas participated in a conversation titled “Let’s Talk: The University of North Florida’s Commitment to Reflective Practices.” Dr. Debbie Reed gave a presentation titled “Teacher Preparation in a PDS Context: Service Learning Pedagogy Aimed at Enhanced Civic Outcomes for Future Special Educators.” Reed co-presented with Ashleigh Stowers on “Perspectives on Nexus 7 Tablets and Communication of Students with Disabilities: The Convergence of Community Collaboration in a PDS Context.” Brett Veneziale and Dr. Susan Syverud shared “To UPDS Classrooms and Beyond: A Commitment to Making a Difference.” “The Evolving Role of a Resident Clinical Faculty Member: Impacting Teacher Training and Retention, Cultivating Meaningful Corporate Partnerships, and Increasing Student Achievement” was presented by Stevenson, Dana Klabacka and Syverud.



Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Kim Cheek presented a paper at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual international conference in March in Pittsburgh, Pa.  The session was titled, “Relative Magnitude Estimations for the Durations of Geoscience Processes by 11 to 13-yr.-old Indonesian Learners.” 



august datelineMilestone anniversaries  

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


30 years

Julia Behler, Senior Library Services Associate, Library


25 years

Melissa Purvis, Academic Support Specialist, Academic Affairs


15 years

Melba Rowe, Parking Attendant, Parking

10 years

Diane Denslow, Instructor, Management

Chris Wrenn, Senior Associate General Counsel, General Counsel

Stephanie Royal, Assistant Director, Small Business Development Center

Ryan Fairbrother, Library Services Specialist, Library

Mark Crisp, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities


Five years

Ha Dam, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Loi Pham, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Joseph Ertel, Events Planning Associate, Student Government

Tung Nguyen, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities



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


William Stevens, Groundskeeper, Student Union

Dianne Maros, Administrative Assistant, Brooks College of Health

Joshua Merchant, Vice President, Development and Alumni Affairs

Amanda Melady, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department

Takeisha Green, Financial Aid Specialist, Financial Aid Office

Erica Brooks, Applications Systems Analyst, Florida Institute of Education

Ashley Parnell, Accountant, Controller’s Office

Diane Pealor, Office Manager, Honors Program

John Lind, Project Manager, Facilities Planning

Margarita Erland, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Robert Ross, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Zirsangzela Hlawnchhing, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

LaShawna Harris, Academic Support Coordinator, Brooks College of Health


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Michael Kennedy, Associate Director of Events Planning, Admissions

Justin Loveland, Assistant Coach, Baseball

Fred Chambers, Network Analyst, Networking Services

Kate Onstead, Admissions Processing Coordinator, Enrollment Services Processing Office

Carl Muir, Pest Control Tech, Grounds




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


Richard Young, Maintenance Mechanic, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

Sheila Rodriguez, Office Manager, Electrical Engineering

Pamela Niemczyk, Administrative Assistant, Brooks College of Health


The Goods

Myths and Facts about kale

may kaleKale is becoming the go-to green, leafy vegetable for salads, soups and sides for lunches and dinners. It’s even appearing in omelets and quiches for breakfast or brunch. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it’s a member of the same family as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. It contains similar nutrients, and some have called it a super food because of its low-calorie count and high-nutrient levels. It’s filled with beta carotene, vitamin C, calcium and sulforaphane, a phytochemical compound that is beneficial for disease prevention and health promotion. Dr. Catherine Christie, associate dean and professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, shares more about this green, leafy powerhouse.


Myth: Kale is only grown in spring and summer.


Fact: Kale can be grown in winter and actually has more flavor after being exposed to a frost. It’s often used as an ornamental plant during the winter months here and in other southern states, along with other ornamental cabbage plants. Even when used in the yard for decoration, kale can be eaten after washing in salads, soups or other recipes. Some even use it to make smoothies for breakfast. Raw kale is also sometimes used in flower arrangements as it has a dark green color and stiff texture that holds up well.


Myth: Kale has no special nutritional value.


Fact: Kale is a great example of a nutrient-dense food. It’s very low in calories with approximately 18 calories per one-half cup. It’s high in fiber, has minimal fat and sugar, some protein, low sodium and is loaded with beta carotene (which boasts anti-cancer benefits), lutein, zeathanthin (associated with preserving eye health), vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. Some have called kale the “queen of greens.”


Myth: Kale is bitter tasting.


Fact: Kale has a strong flavor that is diminished by adding acidic ingredients, such as oils, lemon juice or vinegar in salad dressings. It’s delicious raw in salads and can even be baked with a little oil and made into chips. The traditional Irish dish, colcannon can be made with mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale.


Myth: Kale should be stored at room temperature.


Fact: Kale can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or more in a plastic bag. The freshest kale is firm with deeply colored leaves and hardy stems. Smaller leaves are tender and can be milder in flavor. Kale ranges from dark green to purple to deep red in color.


Myth: Kale needs to be boiled for long time periods to tenderize it.


Fact: Rinse kale and chop it into bite-sized pieces. It should be cooked quickly (steamed) with small amounts of water or added to soups, stews or stir fries. It’s great in casseroles that traditionally include spinach, such as Italian favorites lasagna and cannelloni. Other fast and easy ways to prepare kale include:


• Using it as a salad green alone or with other greens. Add dried cranberries, crumbled feta or blue cheese, nuts and an oil-and-vinegar dressing.


• Tossing whole grain or regular pasta with chopped kale, walnuts or pine nuts, shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese and a little good-quality olive oil.


• Making kale chips by slicing kale into bite-size pieces, drizzling with olive oil and a pinch of salt and baking for 10-to-15 minutes at 350 degrees.


• Adding to a soup recipe like this one:


Winter Bean Soup with Kale

4 cups finely chopped kale

1 T. olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bag shredded carrots

4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini or other beans, undrained

4 large tomatoes chopped or 1 container Pomi chopped tomatoes
Black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning or fresh basil, oregano and thyme

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese



Heat olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté briefly until soft and then add kale and carrots and sauté together until tender. Add broth, beans and all of the tomato, herbs and pepper. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Top with a pinch or two of grated cheese.

Serves 8.


Calories 192

Fiber 7 g

Sodium 250 mg

Carbohydrates 30 g

Protein 11 g

Fat 3 g


The original recipe was published by Jean Carper in 2004. I modified it by reducing the garlic, adding carrots and more tomatoes and cheese.


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 kale? Contact Catherine Christie at


Healthy Osprey: Bicycling for health and fun

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.