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InsideNovember 2014

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Around Campus

Taiwanese exchange student making beautiful music at UNF

Angel performs in the Lazzara Theater with Dr. Simon Shiao (photos by Jennifer Grissom)There's no performance space in her home city that can compare to the University of North Florida's Lazzara Performance Hall. The size of the theater and the scope of its performances trump any concert hall Chih (Angel) Cheng had ever had the pleasure of performing in when she was living in Taipei. That's saying something for a city of more than 8 million people.


"I like it very much at UNF," Angel said. "There are many places to perform. My school did not have much space for students. I have more fun here."


Angel is spending her senior year in the tutelage of Dr. Simon Shiao as part of an informal exchange program between UNF and Shih-Chien University in Taipei, Taiwan. The cross-cultural relationship was forged last fall when Drs. OuYang HuiKang and Haw Chang from the Shih-Chien University music department visited UNF and taught a master class to UNF students. The visiting faulty met with Dr. Randy Tinnin, chair of UNF's Music Flagship Program, Dr. Timothy Robinson from the International Center and other music faculty to discuss a collaborative exchange programs between the two universities.


"This is an exciting opportunity to establish a lasting relationship between us and a fine overseas institution," Shiao said. "The enthusiasm for their students to come here is apparent, and our students are excited at the prospect of travelling to Taiwan."


Shaio strengthened the framework for this exchange program in December when he visited Shih-Chien University for three days as a visiting professor. While he was there, he worked with all the string players in applied lessons, chamber music coaching, master classes and conducted the Shih-Chien University Orchestra. This sharing of faculty resources helped pave the way for the first student from Taiwan, Angel, to make the long journey to Jacksonville.


Angel and Dr. Simon Shiao in the Lazzara Theater (photos by Jennifer Grissom)A violin student closing out her senior year, she's fulfilling her academic requirements at UNF by taking world music, presenting a senior recital and attending an assortment of other music courses at UNF - all of which are being taught in English.


"It's tough because some people talk very fast," she said. "I understand, but I have to ask them to slow down."


She said she's acclimated well to the UNF campus. Her days are spent in awe that she is able to practice and perform in the University's beautiful assortment of performance spaces - the Lazzara Performance Hall, Recital Hall and the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Theater. Angel said music facilities in Taipei are much smaller - a reality of having millions of people packed into the city's urban epicenter. And the crowds in America are much more lively.


"Audiences are more quiet in Taiwan," Angel said, mimicking a quiet golf clap. "Here, they cheer and clap. I like it!"


Shiao said he hopes Angel is the first of many students from Shih-Chien University to spend time in Jacksonville. The pathway for UNF students to study at Shih-Chien University starts in June. He is setting up a study abroad opportunity for a hand-selected group of UNF music students to visit Taiwan. The trip will include three weeks of intensive music courses taught by Shih-Chien University faculty. The UNF students will join the school's ensembles and fully immerse themselves in Chinese culture.


"Clearly, this is a wonderful chance for our students to experience something that they don't often get to do," Shiao said. "And it's a unique one since all they have to do is sign up for a three credit hour summer course. They'll be paying the tuition at UNF prices all while travelling abroad, learning new styles and music and absorbing different cultural ideas. It's quite a deal."

Around Campus

Sea turtles might stink, but teach valuable lessons

Students look on as instructors detail the steps of a necropsy (photos by Jennifer Grissom)Necropsies aren't pretty. In fact, they stink.


"Sea turtle necropsies," said David Jones, biologist for the Florida Wildlife Commission, "can be quite odorous."


Jones, a 2010 University of North Florida biology graduate, explained that sea turtles are extremely elusive in the wild, which makes them difficult to study for several reasons. They're also powerfully smelly. That's why when his supervisor asked him to recruit a few volunteers to help study the creatures in the First Coast region, Jones knew where he would find kindred spirits - those who share a love of biology and conservation and possess strong stomachs.

He reached out to his old professors and was put in contact with Dr. Daniel Moon, chair of the UNF Department of Biology. In September, two months after that initial conversation, Jones and his FWC colleague, Dr. Allen Foley, found themselves in the specialized necropsy lab in UNF's Biological Science Building with Dr. Joseph Butler and a dozen biology undergraduates from his class.


Moon said that having a full-scale necropsy lab on campus offers unique opportunities to students and faculty alike. Before UNF's lab opened, the only locations that could support this kind of necropsy work were Fort Pierce to the south, Wilmington, N.C. to the east and St. Petersburg, Fla. on the Gulf Coast.


"What's neat about this is that students who are currently studying herpetology [amphibians] or anatomy or physiology are able to learn from experts in the field," Moon said.


Students look on as instructors detail the steps of a necropsy (photos by Jennifer Grissom)Currently, the FWC staff based in Northeast Florida performs sea turtle necropsies on site at the beach, or they store frozen specimens and transport them to St. Petersburg every six months for examination. This method does not offer optimal conditions for data collection, researchers said.


Moon and Jones are hopeful the success of this first series of necropsies will lead to future partnerships, adding to the list of state agencies and researchers partnered with the University.

"We use the lab for all kinds of animals - sharks, dolphins, small whales," Moon said. "Having the chance to examine and learn about animals we as a scientific community don't get to see very often is exciting for faculty and students."


Jones is equally as thrilled to have found a group of eager volunteers.


"I've had several students contact me and ask about volunteering," he said. "They'll get the chance to work with living turtles, taking them to rehabilitation centers, studying nests and more - things I would have loved to do as a student."


For now, no additional sea turtle necropsies are scheduled. However, Moon said more are in the works. Wearing a mask is optional.

Biology students interested in volunteering with the Florida Wildlife Commission can contact David Jones via e-mail at .

Around Campus

Race and ethnicity survey offers insight into campus climate

Two students work on a group project inside the Starbucks at the LibraryThe University of North Florida is a diverse and inclusive campus environment for staff members, according to results from the recently administered Climate Survey on Race and Ethnicity that was distributed to UNF employees.


Spearheaded by Dr. Edythe Abudllah, special adviser to UNF President John A. Delaney, the survey's executive summary illustrates a strong level of job satisfaction within different demographic subgroups on campus. The summary also included a few suggestions on which the University might consider taking additional action. The goal of the survey, which was distributed via e-mail to all faculty and staff, was to gather data and determine what steps are necessary to create the optimal teaching and learning environment on campus for all community members from a diversity perspective. The survey focused specifically on race and ethnicity, given the fact that other surveys pertaining to LBGT issues and the responsiveness of campus services have already been issued. The analysis also included a section for written comments, which were used to give a qualitative voice to quantitative survey results. Despite the voluntary nature of the e-mail inquiry, Abdullah said there was a 42 percent response rate, an extremely high figure when compared to prior University-wide surveys.


"It was encouraging to see so many people willing to share their perceptions with us," Abdullah said. "With the changes evident in our global society, a wider array of demographics are present in the workplace. These are things we need to pay more attention to so our faculty and staff can better prepare our students for the workforce."


A diverse task force of 12 UNF employees from varied backgrounds - faculty, university support personnel, administrative and professional staff and student representatives - met from December to April to draft the survey questions, ensuring all perspectives were considered. Once those questions were drafted, Abdullah said the task force compared the proposed UNF survey to other institutional reviews by comparable universities to make sure they didn't miss anything. They also ran the questions through a consultant and a few community focus groups.


"We left no stone unturned," Abdullah said.


With the results in hand, the next phase of the campus climate analysis includes packaging the results for the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, reviewing the potential areas for improvement and compiling a suggestions list to University leadership in the hopes of further enhancing the campus climate for race and ethnicity. Dr. Judy Rodriguez, chair and professor for the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program will also review the survey with other faculty members to determine if there are any curriculum issues that should be considered. The results from the faculty and staff survey will be compared to those from the student survey, which was distributed in early October to the entire student population.


"This survey process has been a wonderful journey, and the President and campus community have been very supportive along the way," she said. "From a broad point-of-view, the University community is committed and believes in the value of diversity in terms of the ability to fulfill its mission - providing a high-level academic experience to all students."


Did You Know?

The University of North Florida recently received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award - a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion - UNF will be featured along with 82 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine's November 2014 issue. The award application process was led by Cheryl Gonzalez, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion, and EOI staff members.

Around Campus

UNF student sculpts her art career

An image of one of Mendoza's sculpture displaysWhen Erica Mendoza was four years old, she told her mother she wanted to be an artist.


Now, she's taking an important step toward that goal as the first to receive the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville's student residency for University of North Florida art seniors. Mendoza, a sculpture student in the Art and Design Department, is working in a studio space on the fifth floor of the museum to complete a new body of work for her senior portfolio and an exhibition that opens Dec. 14 at MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF. She's the first to win this highly competitive opportunity that awards access to a MOCA Jacksonville studio and exhibition space to complete a new body of work during the course of a final semester.


"There aren't other opportunities like this where I get to feel like not just a student artist, but an artist," Mendoza said.


MOCA Jacksonville visitors can observe Mendoza as she completes about 10 pieces in less than 13 weeks. Guests may also ask about her work and creative process, giving Mendoza crucial experience working and presenting in front of crowds. She'll perform demos and give talks, sometimes in front of large crowds during Downtown Art Walk on the first Wednesday of the month.


"This whole experience is more than just a résumé line," she said. "It's learning how to work in front of groups of people and learning all the different parts of a museum."


In addition to sharpening her art and presentation skills, she'll learn about marketing her work beyond just leaving fliers at local businesses. Mendoza's exhibition will be promoted through MOCA Jacksonville's e-mail newsletters, invitations, social media and other public relations tools. It doesn't hurt that the museum is a popular Jacksonville destination.


"Everyone loves coming here," she said. "That fact that I get to be a part of this is incredible."


Mendoza was born in Jacksonville, but lived in Japan, Hawaii and San Diego before her father retired from the Navy and returned with his family to the First Coast nine years ago. She attended Duncan U. Fletcher and First Coast high schools before applying to UNF. A high school ceramics class confirmed her desire to pursue art.


"I found out I really love making things," she said. "I have this incessant need to make things."


Her parents tried to steer her toward perhaps more lucrative applications of her talent, such as architecture or graphic design. But once she took a three-dimensional design course with Jenny K. Hager-Vickery, a UNF associate professor of sculpture, Mendoza was hooked.


"In that class, I realized that you can make anything out of anything," she said.


Mendoza's previous work has explored heavy themes such as loss and healing - her own reactions to the past. That's changing for this portfolio. She's now creating pieces that explore themes of feeling content and finding new love. She's collecting them under the social media hashtag #VisualLoveLetters.


She utilizes a number of heavy materials in her art, including steel, aluminum, bronze, iron, leather, fabrics, fiberglass and cast resins. These challenging materials and the bulky equipment needed to shape them make it hard to be self-sufficient, so Mendoza said she often turns to fellow students in the campus studio for advice on proper technique and help with the heavy lifting. The close quarters and shared equipment require cooperation.


"It builds camaraderie between the sculpture students," Mendoza said. "We need each other."


She gave the UNF Art and Design program high marks, saying the curriculum creates well-rounded artists, and the faculty provides crucial support. Hager-Vickery said Mendoza has been an exemplary student and a real leader in the sculpture program at UNF who has successfully completed many large projects outside of the classroom.


"I think Erica will continue to seek out opportunities as an artist and I know she is destined for great things," Hager-Vickery said.


Mendoza has been an active member of the Art and Design Department since she started at UNF. She worked with four other students on Sgt. Quackers, a 10-foot-tall fiberglass and Styrofoam duck sculpture that was exhibited at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, UNF's library pond and in a Hemming Plaza fountain as part of One Spark 2013. She also received a $1,000 Sculpture on Campus grant to create a giant, bright yellow, origami-esque bird called Grounded 3, which was installed Sept. 22 in a pocket park between the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Building and the John E. Mathews Jr. Computer Science Building on campus.


For the past two summers, she has been a work-study artist at Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum in Solsberry, Ind., where she assisted visitors in creating poured cast iron pieces. She also created a set of pillar candles that will be installed in an outdoor gallery as part of the museum's permanent collection.


Mendoza is currently researching graduate schools that offer teaching assistantships. She said she would like to return to Jacksonville and teach while she continues as a working artist.


"I can't imagine myself doing anything else in the world," she said. "I also told my mom I'm going to be famous one day. That kind of has to happen. I'm not going to lie to my mom."


Student Residency at MOCA Jacksonville

In addition to working in the MOCA Jacksonville studio on Mondays when the museum is closed, Mendoza will be available for visitors to see her work 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays or 3-9 p.m. during Downtown Art Walk the first Wednesday of each month. She will also work in the studio occasionally Fridays before 3 p.m. Her exhibition opens Sunday, Dec. 14 and runs through Sunday, March 29, 2015.

Around Campus

Variety show planned for Celebration of Women in the Arts

An image of a dance group from last year's eventThe audience watched spellbound as a woman performed graceful acrobatic movements while hanging upside down from a rope 15 feet in the air. She was joined by two more artists, and together they performed an aerial dance that captivated the crowd in the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Theater. At the end of their performance, the aerial acrobats from Bittersweet Studios Relavé Aerial Dance were showered in applause and cheers from the audience.


Last year marked the 26th Celebration of Women in the Arts event hosted by the University of North Florida Women's Center, and this year's performance Friday, Nov. 21, boasts the return of the Bittersweet Studios crew that dazzled last year's audience.


With each of these annual events, the Women's Center has sought to impart a message and showcase women's outstanding talents and contributions to the arts and entertainment field. The 27th Celebration of Women in the Arts schedule includes several well-known groups, including the San Francisco Dance Brigade, but many local talents are also highlighted.


"The intention of the program is to expose the campus community to women in various art forms," said Sheila Spivey, Women's Center director. "The last few years we have showcased local talents and included the opportunity for students to share their talents and abilities with the campus community. This year we are bringing back - by popular demand - Bittersweet Studios. They have a new performance they are going to share with us, and we‘re very excited about that. It is going to be a completely different show."


Last year's show was amazing, said senior math major Reginald Williams. "It was very informative about the different arts that women participate in," he said. "It is important to nurture and cultivate individual's respective talents."


Last year's program also had a painter, step dancers, Asian dancers, a vocalist and a band. It presented students with a broad overview of what women are capable of in the arts, said Sheddlyne Gedeon, a junior health administration major who worked at the Women's Center.


"We were able to appreciate all the acts these women performed," she said. "It showed they are capable of doing anything they set their minds to."


Annabel Brooks, director of the UNF Taylor Leadership Institute, was the Women's Center event coordinator from 2003 to 2007. Many of the events in previous years were stunning successes, she said. One was "Tres Vidas," a narrative and musical presentation in 2002 of the lives of three women that featured popular Latin music, folk music and a piano, cello and percussion trio.


"There was something about the performance that just stripped away preconceived notions of what feminism is," Brooks said. "I wept all the way home. It was such a powerful ensemble - the art just cracked your heart open."


This year's Celebration of Women in the Arts also is lining up to be a stunning success. In addition to the Bittersweet Studios' aerial arts performance, there will be music from the Hard to Handle Band, dancers and spoken word artists.


"The arts have such a powerful way of getting us to understand symbolism and nuances, and women are such remarkably nuanced human beings," Brooks said. "We have to depict [women] as artists, musicians and writers."

Women, Rhythm & Motion: A Celebration of Women In the Arts

Date: Friday, Nov. 21
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Theater.
Cost: Free


Coggin College named ‘Best Business School' 8 years running

Students at work in the state of the art Osprey Financial Group lab (photo by Jennifer Grissom)The Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida is one of the nation's most outstanding business schools, according to The Princeton Review. The company features UNF's Coggin College in the new 2015 edition of its annual guidebook, "The Best 296 Business Schools." This is the eighth consecutive year Coggin College has earned this recognition.


"We are very pleased to see that the Princeton Review has once again included the UNF Coggin College of Business in its list of ‘Best Business Schools," said Dr. Earle Traynham, interim provost. "This recognition is a testament to the outstanding faculty in Coggin and the excellent undergraduate and graduate programs for our students."


This latest recognition comes on the heels of UNF receiving several other national designations, including Best Regional University, Best Online Programs and Best Online Graduate Education Program, all by U.S. News & World Report, Best in the Southeast and Best Value College, both by Princeton Review, Best College by College Factual and Top Florida College for Return on Investment by The College Database, to name a few.


The Princeton Review tallied its lists based on its surveys of 21,600 students attending the business schools profiled in the book. The 80-question survey asked students to rate their schools on several topics and report on their experiences at them. Some ranking list tallies also factored in school-reported data.


"The Best 296 Business Schools: 2015 Edition" has two-page profiles of the schools with write-ups on academics, student life and admissions. In the profile on UNF, the Princeton Review describes UNF as "the best school in Jacksonville," and M.B.A. students laud the "small classes" at Coggin College. The profile also says that Coggin has an "amazing logistics program."


In May 2006, Coggin College had two of its programs-Transportation and Logistics and International Business-selected as UNF flagship programs. Both business programs were selected because they are of the highest caliber and each has the potential to draw talented students from around the world, tackle cutting-edge research projects and help solve problems facing today's businesses. This recognition of excellence allows these business programs to grow and expand.


UNF named Military Friendly School for sixth consecutive year

A photo of a military student in a logistics classroom (photo by Jennifer Grissom)For the sixth consecutive year, the University of North Florida has been named one of the most military friendly schools in the United States by Victory Media, which publishes G.I. Jobs magazine and other publications for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.


The 2015 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. The approximately 1,600 colleges, universities and trade schools on the 2015 list prioritize the recruitment of students with military experience. These schools are recognized for offering scholarships, discounts, veterans clubs, full-time staff, military credit and other services dedicated to their military veterans populations.


"The Military and Veterans Resource Center is extremely proud of our sixth consecutive year of receiving a military-friendly school designation - among the top in the nation," said Ray Wikstrom, UNF MVRC director. "It's a culmination of many dedicated staff hours to ensure Osprey veterans receive the very best services, resources and special programming to assist them in their transition from combat to the classroom to meaningful employment."


UNF's veteran population using the Post-9/11 GI Bill has grown at an average of 9 percent per year for the last four years and now numbers more than 1,200 student veterans - with 1 one of every 15 students at the University being a veteran.


In 2009, UNF established a Task Force and received a grant for more than $200,000 from the Florida BrAIve Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, which allowed the University to establish the MVRC on campus. With renovated spaces, the Center opened its doors in August 2010. Additionally, UNF started offering the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corp, an educational program of leadership and military skills training, on campus in 2009. The UNF program, called "The Fighting Osprey Company," gives students a chance to get Army training while in college.


The MVRC's mission is to provide a broad range of student services and resources focused on the unique needs of today's military veterans, service members and their families in order to enhance their smooth transition from the military environment to campus life, leading to academic success, graduation and employment opportunities.


The Military Friendly Schools designation process includes extensive research and a data-driven survey of schools nationwide approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. The school survey, methodology, criteria and weightings are developed with the assistance of an independent Academic Advisory Board comprised of educators from schools across the country and are independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP, based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media.


The Military Friendly Schools website, found at, features the entire list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.


UNF ADA Compliance Director honored as Hispanic Community Leader

A photo of Rocelia Gonzalez in her office (photo by Jennifer Grissom)Rocelia Gonzalez, University of North Florida director of Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance, was recognized by the Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Board as a 2014 Hispanic Leadership Award recipient in an October ceremony at City Hall.


"We are so proud of Rocelia's accomplishments," said Lance Taylor, UNF associate vice president and chief information officer. "Her recognition is well-deserved, and her representation of UNF is second to none."


Gonzalez began her career at UNF in 2003 as assistant director of Equal Opportunity Programs. In her time at the University, she has instrumental toward increasing diversity awareness on campus. Her initiatives have included increasing women and minorities in under-represented roles and removing barriers in Web accessibility.


She played a major role in the Children 1-2-3: The Early Learning for Future Success, documenting the needs of infant children to enhance intellectual development for babies and participation in the Race Relations Report, which reflected indicators for education and statistics representing the Hispanic community.


Gonzalez will add her newest recognition to a long list of awards, including the Women of Color, Hispanic Women of Influence, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, Commander's Award from the U.S. Army and the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Loyola University.


The Mayor's Hispanic Leadership Awards began in 2013 and is an annual event sponsored by Mayor Alvin Brown and members of the City of Jacksonville Mayor's Hispanic American Advisory Board to honor local community leaders in recognition of "Es Mi Vida" (It's My Life) Hispanic Heritage Month in October.


The event is designed to honor individuals, nominated by their peers, who have significantly served the Jacksonville community. Up to nine categories may be awarded, including government, education, cultural, faith-based, health, lifetime, non-profit, business and visionary.


UNF Counseling Center maintains international accreditation

A photo of the Counseling Center staff (photo by Jennifer Grissom)The University of North Florida Counseling Center has been reaccredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS), Inc., a Virginia-based organization of the United States, Canadian and Australian counseling agencies.

The UNF Counseling Center was evaluated by IACS against high standards of counseling practice and was found to offer competent and reliable professional services to its clientele. Approval by IACS is also dependent upon evidence of continuing professional development, as well as demonstration of excellence of counseling performance.

"IACS accreditation is the standard which all university counseling centers measure themselves by and highlights the importance of good mental health to the whole community," said Dr. Andrew King, UNF Counseling Center director.

First accredited in 1981, the UNF Counseling Center provides mental health services to the University community, including assessment and referral, individual, group counseling and crisis intervention to currently enrolled students, as well as consultation and outreach services to faculty, staff, parents and students.

IACS was established in 1972 to encourage and aid counseling agencies to meet high professional standards through peer evaluation and to inform the public about counseling services that are competent and reliable.


IACS is a voluntary evaluative process involving a written self study and the adherence to established standards of practice. These standards are articulated by the IACSBoard of Accreditation, the members of which are directors of counseling services located throughout the United States and internationally. IACS is the only accreditation association that accredits counseling services on university and college campuses.


UNF faculty member to deliver opening remarks at 7th annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference

A logo for the FBNEthics committees, healthcare practitioners and public policy experts are consistently faced with difficult ethical challenges.


That's why Wolfson Children's Hospital, in partnership with the University of North Florida and the Florida Bioethics Network, presents the seventh annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference. With talks on pressing issues by experts in the field, the conference will serve as fertile ground for the development and elucidation of best practices in pediatric bioethics. This conference will include sessions on topics such as "Sibling Perspectives on the End of Life," "Resource Allocation in the Clinical Setting," and "Ethical Issues in Nursing Administration." Dr. Alissa Hurwitz Swota, a UNF faculty member, will deliver the opening remarks. The conference will provide education surrounding such challenges, and an opportunity to engage peers from across the region to learn what others are doing to cope with the ethical issues that arise in pediatric health care.


Event Info


Date: Friday, Nov. 7

Time: 7:30-8:25 a.m. - registration and continental breakfast, 8:25 a.m. - opening remarks

Location: Jacksonville Marriott, 4670 Salisbury Road

Cost: Pre-registration: $55, Door price: $95 (cash or check only) Event registration

Get to Know

Jeanette Toohey

A photo of Jeanette Toohey on campus (photo by Jennifer Grissom)Department: Division of Continuing Education


Job title: Director of UNF's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute


What do you do? I lead a vibrant member-centered, member-led and member-staffed learning in retirement program that serves students aged 50 and better in greater metropolitan Jacksonville


Years at UNF: 4.5


What is the best thing you ever won?

Significant praise from the late abstract expressionist painter Grace Hartigan. She compared me favorably to Dorothy Miller, the legendary curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art.


If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why?

It would be difficult to choose between marine biologist and professional tour guide. Both would require me to take advantage of our employee tuition waiver program. I'd need to attain an advanced degree from Courtney Hackney's coastal biology program or work with Professor Jim Mittelstadt to learn to be a storyteller. Working for Ken Burns' Florentine Films is also of interest.


Who is your favorite fictional character? What makes them your favorite?

Mike or Sulley from "Monsters, Inc." They are so funny, sweet, caring and earnest. They make good things happen even when they make mistakes.


Tell us about your family.

I'm the oldest of five children in a large, fun and loving Irish-Italian family. My parents were the first in their families to be born in the U.S. and the first to go to college.


What would you like to do when you retire?

I will not retire. When I transition from working full time, I will continue in my current career and make time to teach, travel and read. Becoming a master naturalist has always appealed to me.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? Everything. The people, the work and our beautiful campus.


What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life?

Yo Yo Ma or any talented musician performing traditional Celtic music.


If you won the lottery, what would do with the money?

Meet with a wealth manager, pay off my mortgage and any school debt incurred by family, plan to fund a lifestyle that included lots of travel, buy a custom-designed, LEED-certified, recycled shipping container as a vacation home and the oceanfront land in New England where would stand. My charitable contributions at UNF will support OLLI and a fund benefitting students pursuing degrees in public history named in honor of the late UNF Professor Carolyn Williams. My alma maters, the University of Rhode Island and Northwestern University, would receive financial support.


If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing?

I would be doing meaningful work elsewhere in the OLLI network.


Describe your favorite UNF-related memory?

Every story I hear about what our program means to those who participate - every enrollment period, every term's start and every classroom that vibrates with discussion and laughter.


What is your favorite way to blow an hour?

That decision is dictated by the season and the weather. If it's hot, a swim. If it's nice, ride my bike. And if it's not, a good book with a strong pot of tea.


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

An abstract along the line of Charles Seliger's "Lagoon," painted in 2004.


What was the best money you ever spent?

Every penny I ever spent on my education, including travel.


Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn't live without?

I have a bit of a commute, so it would have to be my trusty Honda Civic.


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? The day I started my second career as UNF's OLLI director.


Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you: Once upon a time, I was once good at fencing. En garde!


What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended?

My first was the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" or a J. Giles Band concert. My most recent was the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.


What person had the greatest impact on your life?

My mother.


What are you most passionate about?

Creating collaborative processes that lead to meaningful outcomes for people I serve.


Who is the most famous person you ever met?

Who is more famous Andrew Wyeth, David McCullough or Jimmy Buffet? I've been fortunate to have met all three.


Tell us something about you that even your friends don't know: As a teenager, I became a member of a meat packers union so I could work as a grocery store cashier.


What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet?

I didn't have a bucket list until I learned about the present-day Camino de Santiago from a new OLLI instructor. I would like to take an extended period to walk and bike the entire medieval route.


Last book read: Joan DeJean's "How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City"

Faculty and Staff

An image of UNF's graduation regaliaBrooks College of Health


Public Health: Dr. Natalie Arce Indelicato presented an educational session along with Drs. Richmond Wynn and Whitney George titled "Putting theory into practice: Integration of counseling skills and theories courses" at the meeting of the Florida Counseling Association in Tampa in October. Shealso presented a poster session along with graduate students titled "Mitigating the effects of compassion fatigue in counselors" at the same meeting.


Dean's Office: Dr. Pamela S. Chally gave a presentation titled "The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Preparation of Health Care Professionals" at the Sigma Theta Tau International Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. in September.


College of Arts and Sciences


Biology: Dr. Greg Ahearn, with his student, Maria Peterson, and colleague, Amy Lane, published the paper "Analysis of Glycylsarcosine Transport by Lobster Intestine Using Gas Chromatrophy" in The Journal of Comparative Physiology B.


Dr. Dale Casamatta, with his colleagues P. Dvorak, P. Hasler, and A. Poulikova, published "Synechococcus genomics: 3 Billion years of global dominance" in Molecular Ecology.


Dr. Courtney Hackney presented "Resilience of Coastal Communities along the South Atlantic Coast" and participated in a panel discussion, "Designing Coastal Communities in the Face of Rising Sea Level," at the governor's South Atlantic Alliance. In addition, he gave two presentations on the "Implications of Sea Level Rise on Tidal Wetlands" for the Department of Fisheries at the University of Florida.

Dr. Mike Lentz, with his students, Chad Harris, Tyler Gorman, Travis Putzke, Rick Hessler, and colleague, Eric Luman, presented a lab poster, "Genetic and Physiological Characterization of Yeast Strains Isolated from Ripe Fruit and Analysis of Their Fermentation and Brewing Potential," at the Southeast American Society for Microbiology Summit conference. Lentz also chaired a session at this meeting.


Chemistry: Dr. José A. Jiménez published two papers in September: "Emission properties of Sn2+ and Sm3+ Co-Doped Barium Phosphate Glass" in the Journal of Electronic Materials and "Sn Centers-Mediated Enhancement of 1.53 µm Emission of Er3+ Ions in Phosphate Glass" in Materials Letters.


Dr. Amy L. Lane and her collaborators published "Characterization of an Orphan Diterpenoid Biosynthetic Operon from Salinispora arenicola" in the Journal of Natural Products in September. Lane, along with several student collaborators and Elle James, also presented the poster "Cyclodipeptide Synthases From a Marine Actinomycete Yield Diketopiperazine Natural Products" at the American Society of Microbiology Southeastern Branch Conference in September.


Dr. Michael W. Lufaso and coauthors published "Electron Diffraction Study of the Sillenites Bi12SiO20, Bi25FeO39 and Bi25InO39: Evidence of Disorder in the Trivalent Sillenites" in AIP Advances in August.


Criminology and Criminal Justice: Dr. Christine E. Rasche published "The ASC Division on Women and Crime From 30 Years Out" in Feminist Criminology.


Music: Professor Danny Gottlieb performed in New York City with Pete Levin and the Gil Evans Tribute band, along with guest trombonist Tom Malone from the David Letterman show band and saxophonist Alex Foster from the Saturday Night Live band, at the Cutting Room. He also performed with Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band in Charleston, S.C. as part of the Independence Fund charity event. He also performed at Camp LeJune, N.C. for a concert for the USO. Finally, he conducted a workshop at five-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Victor Wooten's music camp in Nashville.


Dr. Tim Groulx presented "A History of the Bands in the Segregated High Schools of Hillsborough County, Florida" at the St. Augustine Symposium on the History of Music Education in June.


Physics: Dr. Daniel Santavicca published "A plasmonic antenna-coupled superconducting near-IR photon detector" in Optics Express in September.


Barry Albright was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Big Water Dinosaur Festival in Page, Ariz., where he gave the talk "15 Years of Paleontology in the Grand Staircase-Glen Canyon Region of Southern Utah: Old Discoveries, New Discoveries, and What We've Learned."


Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. Josh Gellers presented "The Great Indoors: Integrating the Built Environment into Environmental Rights" at the UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy. He also delivered an invited guest lecture, "Sustainability and the Law: Foundations, Manifestations, and the Challenges of Collaboration," at the University of Florida in the Facets of Sustainability course.


Psychology: Dr. Jody Nicholson and M. McDermott, Q. Huang, Q., H. Zhang, and V.L. Tyc, published "Smoking ban adoption after a randomized controlled trial targeting second-hand smoke exposure reduction" in nicotine and tobacco Research. With K. Weed, she also published "Differential Social Evaluation of Pregnant Teens, Teen Mothers and Teen Fathers by University Students." in the International Journal of Adolescence and Youth. Finally, with A.M. Hum, M. McDermott, J.L. Klosky, and V.L. Tyc, Dr. Nicholson published "Tobacco use and exposure among youth undergoing cancer treatment " in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.


Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. P. G. Clark Smith, with colleagues M. C. Toussaint and D. S. Brethwaite, presented "Tools for Couples: A Four Week Series" at the Association of Oncology Social Work conference, Baltimore, Md. in May.


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Sanjay Ahuja and Naveen Mupparaju had their paper titled "Performance Evaluation and Comparison of Distributed Messaging Using Message Oriented Middleware" published in the Journal of Computer and Information Science.


Dr. Swapnoneel Roy and Jici Huang had their paper tited "On Sorting Under Special Transpositions" accepted for presentation and publication in the IEEE 14th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering.


College of Education and Human Services


Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education: Dr. Caroline Guardino and colleague, Dr. Joanna Cannon from the University of British Columbia, were selected to be co-editors of two special issues of a tier-1 journal in Deaf Education, The American Annals of the Deaf.


One of EDIE's undergraduate interpreting student's, Josephine Sondossi, had an article posted by the National Interpreter Education Center at Northeastern University's Journal of Undergraduate Interpreting Studies.



Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Drs. Jason Lee and Terry Cavanaugh presented "The Infographic Self: A Visual Résumé" as a spotlight session at the 2014 Academic Technology Innovation Symposium in October. Drs. Cavanaugh and Nick Eastham are presenting a poster on "Digital Textbook Delivery: Options and Effectiveness." In addition, at the Florida Association of Teacher Educators (FATE) Conference in Boca Raton Terence, Cavanaugh presented "Motivating Online Graduate Students by Integrating Tradebooks as Textbooks." Additionally, Drs. Cavanaugh, Eastham and Yaling Liao presented "Opening Up Digital Textbooks in Introduction to Technology for Teachers." Drs. Brian Zoellner and Cavanaugh also presented "Etextbook Empowerment In Preservice Science Methods Courses." Finally, at the Florida Reading Association Conference in Orlando, Cavanaugh presented "Digital Textbooks: Different Kind of Book - Different Strategies."



Childhood Educaiton, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Christine Weber and colleague Cheryll Adams presented a session in October at the Florida Association for the Gifted in Tampa titled "Tear Free Tiered Assignments." Weber is currently the secretary for the association. Additionally, Weber's latest book prospectus "Implementing Differentiated Instruction for Gifted and Advanced Learners: A Case Studies Approach" has been accepted as a co-publication in 2016 by Prufrock Press and the National Association for Gifted Children.


LGBT Resource Center


Kaitlin Legg, assistant director, will be participating in two panel presentations at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico this month. She'll present on "Feminists Queering the Campus: Approaches to LGBTQIA Equity, Inclusion, and Change " and "Transitioning from a Moment to a Movement: How Academic & Co-curricular Programs are Engaging Students in Feminism and Social Justice."


An image of UNF-branded balloonsMilestone anniversaries

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


30 years

Mary McConville, Executive Assistant, Student Affairs


20 years

Linda Sciarratta, Budget Coordinator, College of Education and Human Services


15 years

Jean Glasgow, Senior Property Assets Representative, Controller

Angela Simmons, Financial Systems Analyst, Controller

Judy Smith, Administrative Secretary, Philosophy and Religious Studies

Elizabeth Willis, Director of Research Program Services, Exception, Deaf and Interpreter Education


10 years

Devany Groves, Associate Director of University, Budgets, Budget Office

Dwayne Howard, Law Enforcement Lieutenant, University Police Department

Jean Loos, Teaching Laboratory Specialist, Civil Engineering

Kelly Reeder, Enrollment Services Specialist, Enrollment Services Processing Office


Five years

Margaret Cirillo, Research Program Services Coordinator, Small Business Development Center

Billy Duke, Maintenance Supervisor, Physical Facilities

Philip Mihalik, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Gerald Platz, Receiving Clerk, University Housing

Stephanie Price, Senior Accountant, Controller

Jesse Whittaker, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing



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


Elizabeth Arflin, Career Development Services Coordinator, Career Services

Anila Aslam, Assistant Child Development Teacher, Child Development Center

Mikhail Bogomaz, Mental Health Counselor, Counseling Center

Marisa Byles, Mental Health Counselor, Counseling Center

Dylan Charles, Office Assistant, Academic Center for Excellence

Rebecca Clancy, Senior Accountant, Controller

Jackie Cook, Administrative Secretary, Counseling Center

Julie Dann, Administrative Secretary, Student Affairs

Corey Larkam, Facilities Operations Assistant, Facilities and Grounds

Raquel McCullers, Program Assistant, Continuing Education

Jennifer Miranda, Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator, Fraternity and Sorority Life

Jake Moore, LGBT Office Coordinator, LGBT Resource Center

Jennifer Nutt, Associate Director, Student Union

Blair Romain, Executive Secretary, Academic Affairs

Andrew Salem, Program Assistant, Administration and Finance

Jeanette Schofield, Financial Aid Specialist, Financial Aid Office

Emily Schroder, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Student Services

Haylie Snipes, Web Specialist, Public Relations

Sher Thapa, Custodial Worker, Student Union

Leung Yeung Kam, Postdoctoral Associate, Psychology

Jiang Yu, Admissions Coordinator, One-Stop Student Services


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:

Mark Milton, University Police Department Law Enforcement Sergeant




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


Jeremy Duckworth, Help Desk Manager, User Services

Sophia Estrada-Lucey, Assistant Director of Development, College of Arts and Sciences

Bruce Hatcher, Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities

Linda Hubbart-Williams, Senior Buyer, Purchasing

April Jefferson, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Kirstina Leigh Barriga, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Student Services

Colin McKinney, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing

Paula Michael Dass, Career Development Services Coordinator, Career Services

Jeffrey Rodgers, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing

Terry Smith, Director of Academic Support Services, Computing

Around Campus

Osprey Profile: Roudeina (Rudy) Khoury

A photo of Rudy Khoury paddle boarding in Lake Oneida (photo by Jennifer Grissom)Welcome to this month's Osprey Profile, a regular section in UNF Inside that gives readers a look into the lives of our dynamic students and how they spend their time on campus. If you know of a student who is successful in the classroom, active in the community and would make a good Osprey Profile, please contact Matt Coleman at .


Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Nazareth, Israel


What is your major? Biology, focusing on biomedical sciences


Why did you want to major in that? I'm majoring in biology in the Pre-Med Program becauseI'm passionate about going on to medical school when I graduate and becoming a pediatrician. It's been a passion for me since I met the pediatric surgeon who helped my nephew recover when he was six months old and very sick. Her compassion and skill inspired me to pursue a similar career. I want to help people and their families and do the kind of work that surgeon did for my nephew.


When will you graduate?

Spring 2016


What attracted you to UNF?

The beautiful campus and a great biology program attracted me to UNF.


How/Why did you decide to attend the University?

After I visited UNF, I loved how it was all about nature. I was also attracted to the campus life.


Why did you pick UNF over other schools?

UNF has all my requirements - it was near home, it has a great biology program and a beautiful natural environment. It just felt right to be here.


What do you do for fun on campus?

I play intramural sports. I also paddle board and kayak at Lake Oneida. When basketball season begins, I attend most games.


What's your favorite UNF tradition?

Swooping at random times


What is the best thing about UNF's faculty and staff?

UNF's faculty and staff are very helpful. All professors have office hours to help students with their studies. Students are also able to meet with their advisers on a regular basis to ensure their progress.


Do you have a favorite professor(s)? What makes them so great?

Professors Nirmalkumar Patel and Linda Howell are my favorite. They are both equally great because they made an impact on my studies and assisted me a great deal without hesitance.


What has been your favorite class? Why do you like it so much?

I like all classes because I get to learn new information. My favorite subjects are math and science. I like math the most because only one answer is gathered for any one question.


When you're looking to de-stress and relax a bit, where do you go on campus? Why?

Depending on the weather, I have two desired spots. The first spot is the lake next to the cafeteria. I enjoy the natural view in the morning - it's lovely. My other stress reliever is the gym at the Student Wellness Complex. After an intense workout, I feel refreshed.


What makes UNF unique?

The students and the scenery make UNF a special place. After all, "No One Like You, No Place Like This."


Is there anything you've learned about UNF during your time on campus that you think incoming freshmen should know?

Most freshmen are thrilled to experience the college life and try to do everything at once. Unfortunately, that causes the students to lack study time. There needs to be a balance between having fun and studying. College teaches you to manage your time appropriately.


When you look back at your UNF experience years down the road, what do you think you'll most remember?

My amazing campus life and the late night studies at Thomas G. Carpenter Library will never escape my memory.


What do you like most about Jacksonville? Any favorite places around town?

I love Jacksonville's beaches and The St. Johns Town Center. The city has much to offer.


What are your plans for the future?

I plan to attend medical school at a Florida university to become a pediatrician.


What does being an Osprey mean to you?

Being an Osprey is a pride I will carry for the rest of my life. It taught me to respect people and to emphasize the value of life.


What is your favorite item at the Boathouse?

My favorite item at the boathouse is the grilled chicken sandwich.


How do you take your Starbucks?

Iced caramel macchiato


What is your favorite thing to do on the Green?

Play Frisbee, read a book and lay down to relax.


All your studying is done. Your homework assignments are turned in and you have an hour free. What do you do?

Play racquetball, tennis or sand volleyball, rock climb, kayak or work out at the gym are the typical activities I like to enjoy in my free time.


What are your tips for finding time to study?

Studying is my priority, so everything else comes after. I surround myself with studious friends to motivate me and help me study as much as needed.


Do you have any tips you want to share for getting good grades?

Studying should be everyone's priority. Thinking about how successful I want to be in the future and the importance of my career motivates me to study and achieve my best.

The Goods

Get the buzz on honey

An image of honey being poured in a jarGet the buzz on honey


Honey isn't just sugar. This naturally sweet healthy substance is produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants or from the secretions of living parts of plants. Shahla Khan, instructor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses myths and offers up the truth about honey.


Myth: When honey crystallizes, it spoils.

Fact: Honey never spoils, although a shelf life of two years is recommended. The crystals are made by sugars combining. Crystallized honey is actually good because it tells you that the honey hasn't been processed. Honey can be frozen - if not used regularly - and this will prevent the crystallization.


Myth: Honey's color means nothing.

Fact: The color of honey is an indicator of its nectar source. Generally, the darker the color, the more intense the taste of the honey. Light-colored honey comes from canola or basswood, while orange honey's bees are fed on dandelions. It's believed that the darker the honey, the higher it's mineral content.


Myth: Honey never spoils, even when it's stored in an open container.


Fact: Honey absorbs moisture from the air when left opened, and this leads to fermentation and lowers the quality of the honey.


Myth: Honey is just sugar and contains no other nutrients.

Fact: Honey is a healthier choice than artificial sugar. It contains natural sugar, mostly fructose and glucose. Due to its high level of fructose, honey is sweeter than table sugar. It also contains approximately 18 percent water, 2 percent minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein. The vitamins present in honey are B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and certain amino acids. The minerals found in honey include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.

Myth: Honey contains bacteria.

Fact: Honey is a miracle food. It never goes bad or spoils. Bacteria can't grow in honey because of its unique chemical composition. The low water content in honey and the relatively high acidic level in honey create a low pH environment, which makes it very unfavorable for bacteria or other micro-organisms to grow.


Honey chicken salad


4 cups chopped cooked chicken

3 celery ribs, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/3 cup orange-blossom honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Garnish with chopped toasted pecans, if desired.



Stir together first four ingredients. Then, whisk together mayonnaise and next three ingredients. Add to chicken mixture, stirring gently until combined. Garnish, if desired. Makes four servings.


The Goods is a monthly column about food myths and facts by faculty members in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program and runs monthly in The Florida Times-Union's "Taste" section. Have a question about honey? Contact Shahla Khan at .

Bright Birds Know

A photo of President John A. Delaney (left) standing with founding UNF President Thomas G. CarpenterUNF's first president was Thomas G. Carpenter, the namesake of the library on campus. Carpenter helped establish many of the University traditions that live on today. It's only fitting that he has an official tradition named after him - Date Night with Tommy G. - shorthand for students pulling all-nighters in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library.


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