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InsideOctober 2014

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Around Campus

UNF purchases The Flats at Kernan as student housing

 An image of the Flats at Kernan front entrance sign (photos by Jennifer Grissom)An upscale apartment complex located just off the core of campus has been added to the University of North Florida’s expansive residential housing portfolio. 


The University’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the purchase of The Flats at Kernan, now The Flats at UNF, in late September, adding 480 beds to the 3,000 beds already located within the campus’ six other residence hall options. UNF paid $30.5 million for the property, located across from Hicks Hall, even though it was appraised for $31.3 million by BBVA Compass, said Shari Shuman, vice president of Administration and Finance.


“This will pay for itself with rent,” Shuman said. “This is a prime piece of revenue-generating real estate very close to the core of campus.”


The Flats at Kernan is billed on its website as a luxury student apartment complex with a “resort-style pool area.” There is also a lighted basketball court on the premises. The facility was previously owned by Vestcor Communities, which manages several off-campus student-housing communities in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, along with a number of rental properties in and around Jacksonville.


A photo of the Flats property, including the pool at the main office.All current leases with The Flats will be honored, and the University will move forward with the goal of filling the apartments with UNF upper-class students by fall 2015, said Bob Boyle, director of Housing and Residence Life. The University will issue 11.5-month leases at The Flats, which is different than other campus residence halls, where students rent by the semester. Even though UNF Housing and Residence Life will manage the facility, residents will be treated with a little more flexibility considering that the complex will cater to upperclassmen.


“We’re looking at this as sort of a transitional living opportunity for students,” Boyle said. “It will be more like living off campus in terms of finances, along with a greater feeling of freedom and independence. Much like our other residence halls, we’re going to do the same things programmatically and promote social engagement among student tenants, but it’s more targeted for a mature UNF student who already has a solid routine.”


All Flats rooms are either two- or three-bedroom apartments with private bedrooms with bathrooms. Both furnished and unfurnished options are available. Each apartment has its own kitchen, living room and either a patio or porch. Washers and dryers are also included in each unit.


Boyle said his department is reviewing the infrastructure of the complex to determine any needed adjustments, such as changes to parking, wireless networks or cable. There will be a 24-hour Housing and Residence Life presence at the complex, and UPD will also patrol the grounds. 


With lease season approaching in January, Boyle said marketing will be steadily ramped up to introduce more students to the concept of living at The Flats. For now, Housing and Residence Life is inheriting the current tenants, including a number of non-UNF students. 


“There’s still some work to do to get The Flats to where we want it from a UNF perspective, but it has a great selection of amenities,” Boyle said. “It will be a big draw for UNF upperclassmen.”

Around Campus

UNF continues its positive forward trajectory

President John A. Delaney shakes hands with award recipient Oupa SeanePositive forward momentum was the overarching focus of last month’s State of the University of North Florida address delivered by President John A. Delaney.


He cited a number of stellar examples demonstrating that the University is heading in the right direction. UNF’s state funding increased by $10.4 million for the year thanks to a solid  performance by the University on a new set of 10 academic performance metrics designed by the Florida Board of Governors. Additionally, the University of North Florida Board of Trustees approved a 0 percent increase in tuition — a welcome development for students. Also, the financial picture is improving for faculty and staff. Following last year’s 2 percent raise, the University will soon initiate a 4 percent salary increase.


These progress markers are promising, but Delaney said that more hard work is necessary to continue growing this dynamic institution.


“We can truly be proud of the institution we have become, but we can’t rest on our laurels,” he said. “We have work to do this coming year if we are going to continue offering our students a quality education, building our national reputation and bringing home the money we need from Tallahassee.”


A shift in perception has occurred at the state level when it comes to how public universities are funded. Gone are the days of the institutions with the largest number of enrolled students gobbling up the majority of higher education funding. Now, a performance-based funding formula is being used, which has offered up a series of great opportunities for UNF in 2014-2015, Delaney said. Each State University System institution is graded on a performance scorecard with 10 different goals. If UNF leads the state or improves significantly over the previous year, the University can get up to five points for each of these metrics — points that translate into new dollars. However, the failure to satisfy these metrics could bring about cuts to that same budget.


A photo of the Convocation stageOne of those metrics includes graduating a higher percent of freshmen from UNF within six years. The goal is well within reach, given the fact that UNF grew the graduation rate by 5 percent last year, but Delaney called for continued progress through the academic revamping of courses where 75 percent of students received Ds or lower — what he called “turning gatekeeper courses into gateway courses.” Additionally, he supported the promotion of increased opportunities for students to be connected with faculty mentors and get engaged in research, internships and the campus community.


Another state metric includes securing graduates from STEM categories — science, technology engineering and math — as well as other key academics programs, such as healthcare, international studies and specialty areas of teaching. 


To get more performance funding, Delaney also said UNF needs even more alumni working in Florida within the first year after their graduation or enrolled in graduate school. And when these graduates get jobs, they need to be paid at the top of the first-year labor market rates. Two years ago, UNF sat at the top of the list on percent of students employed after graduation. This shifted slightly the past year, moving the University from 71 percent to 69 percent, putting us in second place. These numbers are encouraging, but Delaney implored the campus community to dig deep and help contribute to the continued success of our students and recent graduates.


“While we are doing well here, we can get better,” he said. “Accomplishing this means placing greater attention on student career-planning and development; involving students in active internships and supporting them as they apply to graduate programs at UNF or elsewhere.”


Delaney did take some time out to laud the campus community for its achievements, which were acknowledged for the fourth year in a row by The Princeton Review. UNF was ranked among the top 75 best value public universities in the U.S. And for the third year in a row, UNF won a similar title from Kiplinger’s. These recognitions come on the heels of UNF receiving several other national designations.


“These and other recognitions tell us we are making a national name for ourselves, based on the quality of our education and the educational opportunities we offer our students,” he said. “But knowing the incredible team I get to work with, I have no doubt we’re going to make 2014-15 a banner year for this institution.”


An image of Dr. Kris Webb delivering her Distinguished Professor speech (Photos by Fran Ruchalski)Delaney also recognized Dr. Kristine Webb during the 2014 Convocation ceremony as the 2014 Distinguished Professor of the Year.


Webb, a professor in the College of Education and Human Services’ Department of Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education, has served for years as the director of the on-campus Disability Resource Center. She is recognized well beyond the campus of UNF for her work in helping persons with disabilities transition into higher education and participate fully within the larger community. She stands as a national expert in this field and helped changed the face of the University in how it serves persons with disabilities.


In her speech, Webb discussed how a large part of her professional career has involved investigating and advocating for access, tolerance, civility and acceptance for persons with disabilities in higher education. Now, she said she’s focused on inclusion. That means maintaining consistent and high standards for all students, including those from diverse groups.


“Accommodations don’t change your expectations, but rather the way in which the student receives or gives information,” Webb said during her speech. “Never ask what the disability is, tell them they look ‘normal’ or draw attention to their accommodations … I believe a key component of our inclusion aims should be that we see every student as a valued participant.”


She summarized her speech with a personal call to action to continue to promote the success and well-being of every UNF student.


“At this point in my career, I will invest in inclusion on our campus because it will improve our University’s climate, advance more students to post-college success and heighten access, awareness, civility, tolerance and acceptance,” Webb said. “More importantly, boundless numbers of students will be included members of our community.”

Around Campus

IPTM lands $4 million in state funding

A photo of Cammy Pucci, director of the Institute of Police Technology and ManagementThe Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) at the University of North Florida has secured a series of seven grants totaling more than $4 million from the state to fund training, new programming and the purchase of new equipment.

IPTM Director Cammy Pucci said the program’s online training offerings will be the major beneficiaries of the additional revenue stream provided by the state grants. The Institute recently built an in-house greenroom for online and interactive computer training programs, and this additional funding will help purchase necessary electronics to best utilize the new tech. Pucci said she expects to see a 10 percent increase in online enrollment thanks to the more robust assortment of programs that will be offered by the Institute in the coming year.

IPTM is a division of UNF’s Training and Service Institute. It’s located on campus but acts as a self-supporting, not-for-profit organization. IPTM was established in 1980 to provide cost-effective, cutting-edge training to the regional criminal justice community. Since its inception, IPTM has grown into the largest and most varied national law enforcement training institute in the country, offering more than 400 courses to approximately 10,000 law enforcement professionals from across the globe each year.

The funding for IPTM does come with some conditions — the Florida Department of Transportation will require the Institute to spearhead a number of initiatives built around a few of the agency’s core enforcement campaigns, such as Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Here’s a breakdown of the grants received by IPTM:

Florida Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Program — $1,200,000

The LEL Program coordinates the State’s highway safety efforts with Florida’s 400 law enforcement agencies. The program coordinates statewide enforcement campaigns. It also facilitates some of the biggest agency rewards programs in the eastern United State. IPTM will acquire the program’s nine employees and its associated events, campaigns and rewards activities.

The Florida Law Enforcement Challenge Program —$1,100,000

The biggest of the LEL Program’s recognition activities, the Florida Law Enforcement Challenge recognizes and rewards the best overall traffic safety programs in Florida. The program is designed to facilitate a focus on highway safety and maintain consistent high-visibility enforcement coupled with education surrounding Florida’s traffic laws. The Challenge focuses on occupant protection, drinking and driving, speeding and other areas of traffic safety.

Florida DUI Challenge Program — $1,000,000

The Florida DUI Challenge is an annual incentive and rewards initiative spearheaded by the LEL Program. The grant will fund promotional items to market the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over impaired driving enforcement crackdown. It will also fund reward items to agencies for their enthusiastic education and enforcement efforts conducted in support of the campaign.

Florida Click It or Ticket Challenge Program — $450,000

The Florida Click It or Ticket Challenge is an annual incentive and rewards initiative spearheaded by the LEL Program. This grant will fund promotional items to market the annual safety belt enforcement mobilization. It will also fund reward items to agencies for their enthusiastic education and enforcement efforts conducted in support of the campaign.

Click It or Ticket Comprehensive Evaluation — $324,000

This grant project will fund evaluation activities surrounding the annual Click It or Ticket Memorial Day Mobilization. Observational safety belt surveys will be conducted to establish Florida’s official safety belt usage rate for 2015. In addition, public opinion surveys will be conducted to determine the market penetration of the Click It or Ticket paid and earned media efforts.

Florida Motor Unit Challenge Program —$300,000

Spearheaded by the LEL program, the Florida Motor Unit Challenge rewards law enforcement motorcycle units for their effective efforts to improve traffic safety in their communities. The Challenge provides public recognition of exemplary motor unit education and enforcement programs with a documented record of success in creating safer roadways.

Florida 2015 Impaired Driving Assessment — $55,000

At the request of the Florida Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office, IPTM will facilitate a comprehensive evaluation of Florida’s impaired driving countermeasures program. The assessment will conduct an in-depth analysis of the current status of the program and provide meaningful recommendations to improve its quality and effectiveness.

Around Campus

Resource Center celebrates LGBT History Month

The LGBT Center staff and supporters pose together wearing matching "Gay? Fine by me." T-shirts (photo by Jennifer Grissom).The University of North Florida’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center is hosting a series of events this month to educate the campus community about the Center’s commitment to promoting advocacy, equality, respect and support at UNF and to showcase LGBT History Month. The Center is also celebrating the recent award of an $18,000 grant from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. The gift was part of a new $100,000 LGBT Community Fund to support other area groups dedicated to promoting the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population.



‘From Seneca to Selma to Stonewall’


The journey starts Wednesday, Oct. 1, with “From Seneca to Selma to Stonewall,” a self-guided campus tour designed to highlight breakthrough events in civil rights history. Grab a friend and complete a walking tour of the Center’s special diversity exhibit, curated by the Stonewall National Museum and Archives and hosted in celebration of LGBT History Month. The exhibit images focus on President Barack Obama’s acknowledgement of Seneca Falls, N.Y.,  Selma, Ala. and Stonewall, N.Y. as three historical sites for civil rights and equality. Images are hosted by different organizations on campus to represent the diversity of UNF students, faculty and staff across the disciplines. Each site will have a map and checklist of locations. Return the completed map to the Resource Center during October for a special treat. This self-guided campus tour will culminate in a conversation with Emery Conrad, the curator of the exhibition at noon, Friday, Oct. 3.



‘Faith in America:’ A community conversation on sexual orientation and religion


Join the Center 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Robinson Theater to hear from Jane Clementi, a Christian mother who lost her son to suicide in 2010. She will serve as guest speaker for this community dialogue on a new religious perspective for sexual orientation. Sponsored by Faith In America and the Tyler Clementi Foundation, this speech will bring awareness and understanding to the unique harm caused to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals — especially youth and families — when religious teaching is used to justify and promote stigma and hostility.



Ian Harvie comedy show and meet-and-greet


Rising young comedian, Ian Harvie, Margaret Cho’s most recent opening act, will share stories about his life as a groundbreaking trans comedian who is unafraid to joke about subjects no other comedian has ever touched. The comedy show starts at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4, in the Student Union Auditorium.

Around Campus

New registration system gives students options

A screen shot of UNF's new and improved student scheduling toolStudents at the University of North Florida have a new way to register for classes and, at the same time, help the University meet some of the critical metrics established by the Board of Governors.

Osprey Course Scheduler, a new system of registering for classes accessible through MyWings, allows students to see multiple class schedule options and choose the one that best fits their criteria. And it does it all in about 10 minutes.

“I thought the new schedule planner was very helpful,” said Eugene Sadsarin, a junior computing and information science major. “I thought this new avenue of scheduling classes would enable students to better their chances of obtaining classes that best suit their weekly schedule. I really liked the option of choosing a designated break time.”

Students simply select on which campus they would like their classes to take place (main, MOCA Jacksonville, one of the local health care centers for an internship, etc.), choose the courses they need to add, and then the sample schedules appear from which the student may select. Students even have the option to add breaks, which the scheduler will accommodate.
The student does not have to select an entire course schedule unless one of them works perfectly. If a student likes a particular course, he or she can simply add it to his or her cart and it is locked in. Then, the student can go back to all of the sample schedules and select more until his or her schedule is ideal.

“What I liked most about Osprey Scheduler was that it took the time it would take to make the perfect, or close to perfect schedule, and created it for you in less than half the time,” said Morsai Osmani, a junior biology major.

Megan Kuehner, UNF registrar, said while the system has not even officially been rolled out yet, it has met with success. “We only beta-tested it with a small sample group of about 15 students and just through word-of-mouth, almost 4,000 students have used the system. The sample group said that they found it intuitive, easy to use and much more comprehensive than what we had in the past.”

Likened by many to travel websites that give travelers options based on very specific criteria, Osprey Course Scheduler does much the same thing for students and their classes but goes several steps further by eliminating filler classes and keeping students on their chosen path to graduation.

“We know that the software helps eliminate the need for filler classes because it is so effective at helping students search for degree applicable classes,” Kuehner said. “It also helps with retention, because students are much more likely to enroll if they are in classes that move them toward graduation and are relevant to their career goals. This is a tool that is truly beneficial to students. It gives us real data on course demand and student preferences. With this information, we can make prudent scheduling decisions moving forward.”

Dr. Jeffrey Coker, dean of undergraduate studies said he could not be more thrilled with the software and its implications on the metrics set by the Board of Governors. Last year, the Board set 10 metrics by which all state universities will be judged and upon which funding will be based. This new scheduler addresses three of them: eliminating excess credit hours in student schedules, student retention and the improving the six-year graduation rate. If UNF does well on these and the other metrics, funding to the University will increase.

“At UNF, we are working in myriad ways to address the 10 metrics set by the Board of Governors both in and out of the classroom,” Coker said. “This kind of out-of-the-box thinking to address the very real need of making sure every student, every semester has a concise, precise academic schedule that helps him or her move one semester closer to graduation is exactly on point with how every single member of the University community is a part of the solution. Megan and her staff saw the need and found an excellent solution to help us move the needle on several metrics.”

Kuehner and her staff are long-time advocates of the scheduling software, working for more than two years to bring it to UNF students. “We knew it would not only help the registration process by decreasing student frustration and increasing their overall satisfaction, but also help the advising process,” she said. “Time that advisers were spending with students just searching available courses can now be made much more valuable by working with students’ true academic and career advising needs.”

And it is working. Students and the administration are pleased with the results.

“It was easy to use and much faster than looking up one class at a time,” said John Carragher, a junior computer and information science major. “The program worked flawlessly and I was impressed with the speed in which it worked. I look forward to using this scheduler in the future.”

Around Campus

Students ‘Get Real’ experience at MOCA Jacksonville

Students from Scott Brown's art class take a walk through MOCA Jacksonville (photo by Denise Reagan)Ten University of North Florida art history majors are getting the opportunity to work with a professional museum exhibition and publish essays worthy of a scholarly catalogue.


The students in P. Scott Brown’s junior methods seminar in UNF’s Department of Art and Design are spending the fall semester studying the artists and artwork in “Get Real: New American Painting,” now open at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF. The exhibition, which features Haley Hasler, Jason John, Andrea Kowch, Bryan LeBoeuf, Jenny Morgan, Kevin Muente, Frank Oriti and Kevin Peterson, provides a snapshot of the current landscape of realist painting in the United States.


The seminar is a required course for art history majors and focuses on developing advanced research and writing skills to prepare for future graduate or workforce careers.


Before the semester began, Brown sent the students a checklist of all the pieces in the exhibition so that they could hit the ground running on the first day of class. They started by discussing larger questions of why the exhibition exists, why the pieces are important and what story it’s trying to tell. The students also read a variety of classic texts in art history that expose them to important questions of method.


“One of the biggest problems that young students have is choosing what to study and what questions to ask,” Brown said. “Almost every topic is a good topic as long as you’re asking the right questions.”


Each student chooses a piece in the exhibition to research and develop a 1,000- to 1,500-word, tightly written contextual essay worthy of publication in a catalogue or undergraduate research journal and suitable for presentation at a conference.


“The exhibition format works very well,” he said. “Everyone can work on a common theme, but everyone has a unique piece of the puzzle.”


The class meets weekly to compare notes, share progress and work through ideas.


“This allows us to create more polished work, from the idea stage to a finished, publishable stage,” he said.


Last year, the class studied works in “The Art of Empathy: The Cummer Mother of Sorrows in Context” at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. The students’ work complemented the museum’s official catalogue and also appeared on a Wordpress site.


Brown said this real-world experience of collaborating with professionals gives students tangible skills for the workforce.


“They were as excited as I’ve ever seen my students,” he said. “They want to produce high-quality materials because it’s not just their professor who’s going to read it.”


Born and raised in Macon, Ga., Brown received his bachelor’s degree from Bard College in upstate New York and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Yale University — all in art history. His father is a college professor in philosophy, and his uncle is an art historian at the University of California, Los Angeles, making higher education, essentially, the family business.


He said an art history degree prepares students for just about any career because of the intense focus on writing, research and critical thinking. Although he planned to major in philosophy, Brown attended an early medieval art course with a professor who took an interest in him and supported his budding passion for art history.


“I keep that in mind as a professor myself — the impact that mentors can have,” he said.


He said each of the artists in “Get Real” holds a charm and an appeal for him—intellectually and artistically. Many allude to the past in their subject matter, their compositions or their technique. Oriti’s impressive portraits have an incredibly narrative focus on the body. Kowch’s mysterious and weird scenes draw on ancient themes of animal signifiers. Peterson’s paintings of innocent children share the stage with tour de force, graffiti-covered backgrounds of sensual accuracy. Morgan’s portraits hold a mystical quality unlike any other work in the exhibition. She employs iconography steeped in deep meaning, including the body as a saintly relic. Muente’s carefully staged narrative landscapes pay as much attention to the blades of grass, broken sticks and scrubby trees as they do to the figures.


Another painter included in the exhibition, Jason John, hails from UNF. He sometimes pays direct homage to the masters, such as basing the composition of his “Birdboy” on Flemish Baroque artist Anthony Van Dyck’s “Self-portrait with a Sunflower.” But he adds contemporary, abstract elements, such as breaking down the surface of the paint.


Brown said “Get Real” will appeal to visitors because it is really accessible work.


“Everyone loves stories, whether they’re oral, written down or painted,” he said. “Even if you know nothing about the history of art, you get a sense that these paintings are part of a long history of storytelling.”


UNF receives Insight Into Diversity 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award

Two African-American students pose together during a recent Wednesday Market on campus (photo by Jennifer Grissom)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.


INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected UNF’s based on the University’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on our campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and well as all other. The University boats a vibrant array of programs, departments and organizations focused on promoting the welfare of every student, including the Military and Veterans Resource Center, the Women’s Center, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, the InterFaith Center, the Intercultural Center for PEACE and the African American Student Union, to name a few.


“We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.


For more information about the 2014 HEED award, visit


Master of Accountancy program ranks in national top 30

An instructor assists a student with her accounting homework (photo by Jennifer Grissom)The Master of Accountancy Program in the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business was named among the Top 30 Affordable Master’s in Accounting Programs by Master’s in Accounting Degrees, an online guide to master’s degrees in accounting. The ranking was based on both affordability and program quality.

The Master of Accountancy Program at UNF ranks No. 12 for affordability and No. 28 for the quality of the program. UNF is the only Florida university listed in the ranking and is ranked with other esteemed institutions such as Vanderbilt University, Purdue University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, among others. 

“It’s a matter of great pride that our Master of Accountancy program is ranked among the finest in the country on grounds of academic quality as well as affordability,” said Dr. Ajay Samant, the previous dean of the UNF Coggin College of Business. 

To determine the highest quality schools, Master’s in Accounting Degrees started with a list of more than 200 affordable, accredited Master of Accountancy programs in the country and ranked them according to six factors, including student-to-faculty ratio, average undergrad GPA, number of major-related student organizations and percentage of students employed by graduation. 

Schools were also assessed based on Princeton Review’s academic experience and career ratings, which take into consideration factors like average GMAT score, average starting salary and survey responses related to the confidence students have in their school’s ability to help them realize their academic and professional goals. For seven consecutive years, Coggin College has been named a “Best Business School” by Princeton Review.

The AACSB-accredited Master of Accountancy Program at UNF provides the advanced professional study necessary for students to sit for the CPA exam and then land careers as either certified public accountants, controllers or executives in industry and government. The program emphasizes how theory can be applied to current problems, as well as how effective communication can improve relationships with the users of accounting data.


U.S. News & World Report Names UNF ‘Best Regional’ university

A UNF biology class on a research vessel working on projects dealing with the St. Johns River (photo by Jennifer Grissom)For the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. News & World Report has named the University of North Florida a “Best Regional” university in its 2015 edition of “Best Colleges,” which includes rankings and data of nearly 1,800 schools nationwide. UNF was also named one of the 2015 “Best Colleges for Veterans” in its Web-exclusive rankings.


UNF ranked No. 51, in front of local private college, Jacksonville University, which ranked No. 73. UNF also ranked in front of other state institutions such as Florida Gulf Coast University, which came in at No. 87, and University of South Florida at St. Petersburg, which was ranked No. 92. In its exclusive Web rankings, U.S. News also listed UNF as No. 17 for being among the region’s “Best Colleges for Veterans.” JU ranked No. 32.


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


“I take great pride in being able to lead a university that is of the caliber of the University of North Florida,” said UNF President John A. Delaney. “The University is showing up in nearly every national college ranking , putting UNF at the top of some very impressive lists.”


The institutions selected as a U.S. News & World Report “Best Regional” university provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs and offer various doctoral programs. The universities in this category aren’t ranked nationally but rather against their peer group in one of four geographic regions — North, South, Midwest and West.


“Our goal for the past 30 years has been to provide families with the most comprehensive information on colleges to help them make one of life’s most important decisions,” said Brian Kelly, U.S. News & World Report editor and chief content officer.


The 2015 “Best Colleges” rankings feature the established rankings of the Best National Universities and Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, while also including the Best Regional Universities, Best Value Schools, Up-and-Coming Schools, among many others. The college ranking categories are based upon the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications. The Carnegie classification system has been used by U.S. News since the first Best Colleges rankings in 1983 because they are accepted as the basis for classifying schools by most higher education researchers.


 U.S. News gathers data from each college on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence. Outcome-related measures, such as graduation and retention rates, account for 30 percent of the rankings and are the most heavily weighted factors in the methodology . Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects the organization’s judgment about how much a measure matters. Finally, the colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score. For more information about Best Colleges, visit


Nominations open for 2014-2015 Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Awards

A photo of UNF's iconic osprey fountain near the ArenaIt’s time for the 2014-2015 Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Awards nominations. Nominations will start Wednesday, Oct. 1, and run through Friday, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m. Guidelines for the awards are located on the UNF Faculty Association Web site. Nominations can either be printed from the site and delivered to the Faculty Association Office in the Ospreys Commons, Building 16, room 3100, or sent via-email to

A total of 10 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards are given in the spring in recognition of excellence in teaching achieved during the previous two academic years. Any full-time member of the UNF regular teaching faculty, who has maintained a regular faculty appointment at the rank of laboratory lecturer with "instructor-of-record" status, senior instructor, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor or professor for the previous two academic years and has taught at least four undergraduate courses during that time is eligible to be nominated.

The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award is given annually in recognition of excellence in graduate teaching during the previous two academic years. Any full-time member of the UNF teaching faculty who has maintained an in-rank faculty appointment and has been designated as graduate faculty for the previous two academic years at UNF and has taught at least three graduate courses during that time is eligible for nominations. A list of last year's winners is available online.


UNF ‘Best in the Southeast College’ for 6th year

A UNF student directs a group of visitors on a campus tour (photo by Jennifer Grissom)For the sixth consecutive year, the University of North Florida is one of the best colleges in the Southeast, according to The Princeton Review. 

The nationally known education services company recommends UNF as one of 139 institutions in 12 Southeastern states it names to its “Best in the Southeast” list for 2015. The list is part of the company’s website feature, “2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” 

“I am delighted that UNF is being recognized as an all-around outstanding academic institution within the Southeast by The Princeton Review,” said UNF President John Delaney. “This prestigious recognition affirms the tremendous on-going effort UNF has put forth to build one of the finest universities in the state.”

The Princeton Review editors narrowed their choices based on institutional data the company collected directly from several hundred colleges in each region, staff visits to schools over the years and the opinions of college counselors and advisers whose recommendations the company invites. 

“We’re pleased to recommend the University of North Florida to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree. We chose UNF and the other institutions we name as ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher.

For this project, The Princeton Review asked students attending the schools to rate their own schools on several issues — from the accessibility of their professors to the quality of their science lab facilities — and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and their campus life. Students said, “There is no typical student at UNF.” Filled with “friendly” people, UNF students “get an excellent education, for a terrifically low tuition, by knowledgeable and caring instructors.” Professors were praised for their accessibility, with students reporting that they have “never had a situation where a professor was unavailable.” 

Click here for a list of other awards UNF has received recently.

Faculty Forum

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder works with a group of students in a classWelcome to the Faculty Forum, a new section in UNF Inside that gives readers a glimpse into the lives of our distinguished faculty members. If you're a faculty member interested in being a Faculty Forum subject in the future, please contact Matt Coleman at Please read on for more information about this month's Faculty Forum with Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder. 


What brought you to UNF?

I came to UNF in 2008, just after receiving my doctorate in sociology from the University of Florida.


What is the most rewarding academic experience you have had out of the classroom?

During the past five years, the Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work Department has hosted an undergraduate student symposium. I’ve had the pleasure of chairing this event many times, and it has honestly been the highlight of my out-of-the-classroom academic experience. Working with students to hone their research and presentation skills is incredibly rewarding, and it is always so much fun to watch the students grow in a matter of a few short weeks.


A photo of Dr. Wilder on campus (photos by Jennifer Grissom) What do you enjoy most about being a professor?

I truly enjoy watching students evolve as individuals in my courses. As a sociologist who teaches coursework on many contemporary social issues (race, education, poverty, family, etc.), it is always such a pleasure to see students take what they learn inside the classroom and apply it in their daily lives and in their communities. That is the sign of true learning.


If you weren’t teaching, what else would you doing?

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love football —especially college football. So hands down, I would be an ESPN analyst. Specifically, I would be commentating and passing out helmet stickers right alongside Rece Davis, Lou Holtz and Mark May on College Football Final. 



What's the strangest excuse a student has given you for not submitting an assignment?

Not too long ago, I had a student tell me that they would not be in class to submit an assignment because it was raining outside. I understand that this is the Sunshine State, but I did not accept that reasoning — or the assignment.


What’s your stance on extra credit?

I think that extra credit provides a way for some students to have a bit of a “cushion” on their grade, especially if they underperformed on a particular assignment or exam. So, my policy is to offer a small amount (no more than 10 points per semester) of extra credit as a way to provide students another opportunity or a second chance to improve their standing in the course.



What is the biggest change that you’ve encountered in higher education since you entered the field?

Technology — how (and where) students learn is constantly evolving. There are so many resources available to provide an outstanding teaching and learning environment for students today, and it can be hard to stay on top of the many updates and changes.


Describe your teaching style. Do you like to integrate tech, or are you more comfortable with a lecture-style classroom?

I am organized, yet laid back in the classroom. I like to use humor as much as I can in the classroom and provide a learning environment that is comfortable for my students.

What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate?

Don’t panic. You don’t need to have your entire life mapped out the moment you walk across the stage. Allow your passion to lead your pathway in life.


How do you take your Starbucks?

Tall café mocha — no whipped cream.


Mac or PC?



When do you work best? Are you a night owl or an early riser?

I do my best work very early in the morning — between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.


What is your favorite item on the Boathouse menu?

The French fries!


Do you ever hold class outside?

Occasionally, in the spring when the weather isn’t too warm and the humidity is low.


Are there any places around Jacksonville that you frequent?

I have a pre-school aged daughter, and we love going to the parks here in Jacksonville.


What was the best topic for a paper submitted by a student you ever read?

Over the years, there have been quite a few interesting papers, but recently I had a student apply sociologist Erving Goffman’s theory of dramaturgical analysis (individuals go about their life and social interaction with other constantly “on” and performing a “front”) to the popular MTV reality show, Catfish. It was a prime example that sociology can be applied to understand just about anything!


What is your favorite memory from your undergrad days?

Not surprisingly, some of my fondest memories from undergrad at Allegheny College were in the classroom. I truly loved learning, and it explains why I am a professor today.

Get to Know

Dr. Edythe Abdullah

A photo of Dr. Edythe Abudllah on the UNF Nature TrailsDepartment: President’s Office 


Job title: Special adviser to the President 

What do you do? Research, develop and implement special assignments from the President and Chief of Staff 


Years at UNF: One 


Tell us about your family. I am the mother of four adult children — three boys and one daughter — and “G’ma” to three grandchildren. Shahid is in Jacksonville, Naim is in San Diego Calif., Hamin is in San Juan Puerto Rico (with his wife, Angela and kids) and Ayesha is in State College, Pa. 


If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why? Executive director of a nonprofit organization that has a goal to empower low-income kids 


What would you like to do when you retire? Learn to play the guitar, travel and volunteer as a mentor. 


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? Having the opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of young adults. 


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? Being sworn in as a member of the bar 19 years after graduating from law school. I didn’t take the bar exam until 18 years after graduating due to kids and work. It was empowering to do what so many struggle to do right after law school — 19 years later. 


A photo of Dr. Abdullah in a kayak on Lake Oneida (photos by Jennifer Grissom) What is the best thing you ever won? I won a gift basket for a home movie night from church. One of my favorite movies was in the gift basket — “The Best Man.” What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life? The Tedeschi Trucks Band and Marvin Sapp 


Who is your favorite fictional character? What makes them your favorite? Janie Mae Crawford in “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neal Hurston. The character travels through life’s journey to find her true essence (spirit) and realize her relationship to God. 

If you won the lottery, what would do with the money? Pay off all bills, establish a trust for my kids and grandkids, tithe, set up a scholarship in my grandparents’ name, travel and volunteer

If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing? Advancing higher education goals at a higher education institution or higher ed support entity 

Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? The numerous commencement exercises that I participated in celebrating the success of our students. 

What is your favorite way to blow an hour? Kayaking

If you were asked to paint a picture about anything you wanted, what would you paint? I’d paint a picture of me with all my children/grandchildren and their spouses celebrating family on a Caribbean beach 

What was the best money you ever spent? Educating my children 

Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn’t live without? Smart phone 

Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you: I sang in a girls’ band in high school 

What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? James Brown in the Ritz Theater when I was a kid. Earth, Wind and Fire last year. 

What person had the greatest impact on your life? My grandmother, Edith Hunter 

What are you most passionate about? Finding ways to give kids with socioeconomic barriers tools and experience that allow them to achieve their innate purpose. 

Who is the most famous person you ever met? President Barack Obama 

Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know: I was a jazz DJ in college

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

Last book read: ”Still Foolin’ Them,” an autobiography of Billy Crystal

Faculty and Staff

A photo of UNF graduation regaliaBrooks College of Health


Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences: Dr. James Churilla had a manuscript accepted titled “Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome and Individual Criterion in U.S. Adolescents: 2001-2010 NHANES” in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.


Public Health: Drs. M. Tes Tuason, Irma B. Ancheta and Cindy A. Battie published “What impacts the psychological health of Filipino American women?” in the Asian American Journal of Psychology.


Drs. Guss and Tuason published “The importance of cultural variables for explaining suicide terrorism” in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.


Ancheta, Battie, Tuason and Borja-Hart 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


Biology: Dr. Julie Avery, W. Hood and A. Sirman presented “Maternal diet, metabolism and reproductive effort in the house mouse” at the Comparative Nutrition Society Proceedings in Flat Rock, N.C.


Doria F. Bowers and her student, Jason Saredy, presented “Expression of TaV tagged Sindbis virus (TR339) in Aedes albopictus cell lines and adult mosquitoes” at the  Microscopy and Microanalysis Annual Scientific Meeting, in Hartford, Conn.  


Dr. Joe Butler gave an invited talk, “Diamondback Terrapins: Conservation Problems and Solutions,” at the Texas Diamondback Terrapin Research Workshop at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Tex. He and his student Kolluri, L. presented “Survey of Diamondback Terrapins in Four Counties in Northeast Florida” at the 12th annual symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, Orlando.


Dr. Dale Casamatta published “A novel genus Ammassolinea gen. nov. (Cyanobacteria) isolated from sub-tropical epipelic habitats” in the journal Fottea.


Dr. Nikki Dix and students J. Lanoue, and P. Marcum gave a poster presentation entitled “Differences in population structure of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, on harvested and non-harvested reefs” at the University of North Florida Research Experiences for Undergraduates Poster Session.


Dr. Jim Gelsleichter gave the following research presentations with students and collaborators at the 30th annual meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society, Chattanooga, Tenn.: (i) with A.E. Leary and R.D. Grubbs, “Oil-related biomarkers in Centrophorus and Squalus species in the years following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill”; (ii) with A. Brown and B. Frazier, “The reproductive biology of the finetooth shark Carcharhinus isodon, in the northwest Atlantic Ocean”; (iii) with B. Anderson, G.R. Poulakis, J. Carlson, S. Gulak and R.D. Grubbs, “Hermaphroditism and Other Aspects of Reproduction in the Endangered Smalltooth Sawfish, Pristis pectinata”; (iv) with M. Gonzalez De Acevedo, B. Anderson, B. Frazier and C. Belcher, “Characterization of reproduction in bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) from the Southeastern US Atlantic coast”; (v) with A. Brown, “Reproductive endocrinology of the finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon”: (vi) with M. Gonzalez De Acevedo, “Hormone regulation of sperm storage in female bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo)”; (vii) with A.E. Leary and R.D. Grubbs, “The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill impacts on deep sea Gulf fishes”; (viii) with Dr. Greg Ahearn and their student H. Hart, “Transport of di- and tri-peptides in the intestine of Sphyrna tiburo.” 


Dr. Matt Gilg, with students R. Howard,R. Turner, M. Middlebrook, M. Abdulnour, E. Lukaj, Y. Peter Sheng, T, Liu and B. Tutak, published “Estimating the dispersal capacity of the introduced green mussel, Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758), from field collections and oceanographic modeling” in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.


Dr. John Hatle, his students D.R. Tokar, K.A. Veleta and J. Canzano, along with collaborator D.A. Hahn, published “Vitellogenin RNAi halts ovarian growth and diverts reproductive proteins and lipids in young grasshoppers” in the journal Integrative and Comparative Biology. With

students Mirna Pehlivanovic, Matthew Heck, and Jennifer Purcell, and collaborator Daniel Hahn, he also presented “Allocation of ingested nitrogen is not altered upon life-extending dietary restriction in grasshoppers” at the biannual meeting of the Comparative Nutrition Society. Mirna won the best poster competition at the meeting,


Dr. Eric Johnson (i) received a grant (one of 11 grants nationwide for projects to protect and improve coastal marine resources) for “Population biology of the invasive lionfish in coastal Florida,” from the West Marine Blue Future — Marine Conservation Grant Program; (ii) with colleagues at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, he published “Temporal and spatial variation in sperm stores in mature female blue crabs Callinectes sapidus and potential effects on brood production in Chesapeake Bay” in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series; (iii) with UNF graduate student MaryKate Swenarton, and Dr. Jim Gelsleichter, he presented “Lionfish (Pterois spp.) Size at Maturity from Eastern Florida Waters” at the 2014 Joint Meeting of Ichthylogists and Herpetologists in Chattanooga, Tenn.; (iv) with his graduate student MaryKate Swenarton, presented “One if by land, two if by sea: The biology of invasive lionfish in northeast Florida” to the Jacksonville Reef Research Team in Neptune Beach; they also gave this presentation to a group of local fishermen at the 2nd annual Northeast Florida Lionfish Rodeo in Jacksonville Beach; (v) NSF-REU student Jacob Calvitti, he presented a poster entitled “Mercury concentrations in blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) from Northeast Florida” at the UNF REU poster symposium in Jacksonville; (vi) was reappointed to the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council for a third term; (vii) was invited to serve on the International Scientific Committee for the 5th international symposium on Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching scheduled in Sydney, Australia in 2015; and (viii) served as a member of the organizing committee for a regional shrimp management workshop hosted by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council in Charleston, S.C. 


Dr. Mike Lentz published “Isolating Wild Yeast” in Zymurgy magazine.


Dr. Cliff Ross, with student Olsen K and collaborators R. Ritson-Williams and V.J. Paul, published “Combined effects of macroalgal presence and elevated temperature on the early life-history stages of a common Caribbean coral” in Marine Ecology Progress Series.


Chemistry: Dr. Stuart Chalk presented six papers at the 248th American Chemical Society Annual Meeting in August 2014: (i) “Faculty Profiling and Searching in the Eureka Research Workbench using VIVO and ScientistsDB”; (ii) “Integrating Jmol/JSpecView into the Eureka Research Workbench”; (iii) “<chemicalInformaticsProject> <inspires> <chemistryMajors>”; (iv) “Toward Extracting Analytical Science Metrics from the RSC Archives”; (v) “Enabling International Collaboration using the Eureka Research Workbench”; and (vi) “A REST API for the IUPAC Solubility Data Series — A ‘Skunkworks’ Project.”


Dr. Christos Lampropoulos (i) along with co-PI’s in our Chemistry and Physics Departments, received an award of more than $400,000 from the Major Research Instrumentation program of the National Science Foundation for the purchase of a single-crystal x-ray diffractometer; (ii) received the Cottrell College Science Award sponsored by the Research Corporation for $45,000 during the course of two years for his project “Target Synthesis of Hybrid Nanomaterials from Single-Molecule Magnets”; (iii) with his co-PI received an award of $18,000 for a proposal to the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions, sponsored by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation; (iv) with his student J. M. Cain published an invited review article, “Transition Metal Clusters: A Unique Stem Playground” at the Austin Journal of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology; (v) published “Manganese/Cerium Clusters Spanning a Range of Oxidation Levels and CeMn8, Ce2Mn4, and Ce6Mn4 Nuclearities: Structural, Magnetic, and EPR Properties” in  Inorganic Chememistry; (vi) with his students J. M. Cain and N. Mhesn, presented a poster titled: “Transition Metal Clusters: From Molecules to Supramolecular Aggregates” at the Florida American Chemical Society Meeting and Exposition (FAME), Tampa; and (vii) presented an invited talk “Synthesis and Characterization of Molecular Materials” to the Chemistry Department of the University of Athens, Greece in July.


At the American Chemical Society Fall National Meeting in August, Dr. Thomas J. Mullen presented: (i) “Atomic Force Microscopy and Lithography of Mecaptoalkanoic Acid Molecular Ruler Multilayers” and (ii) “Applying Active Learning Strategies to Molecular Geometry and Bonding Theories.” (iii) He also facilitated a two-day workshop on “Postdoc to Faculty Transition” at the same meeting.


Music: Dr. Nick Curry published his dissertation, “Comparing Sport and String Performance” with Scholars Press; he was also the guest master class clinician at the Franklin Pond Summer Music Festival, which is run by members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.


Dr. Randy Tinnin performed and gave master classes at Haus Marteau Brass Institute and Festival in Lichtenberg, Germany in August. The UNF Student Brass Quintet, featuring Diane Reyes, Trevor Lundquist, Dorothy Lalas, Michael Nunez and Gina Benalcazar was the ensemble in residence.


Philosophy and Religion: Dr. Jonathan Matheson co-edited with Rico Vitz the collection The Ethics of Belief: Individual and Social (Oxford University Press), to which he contributed, also with Vitz, the “Introduction” and the chapter “Disagreement: Idealized and Everyday.” He also published “Is there a well-founded solution to the generality problem?” in Philosophical Studies in August and “Skeptical Theism and Phenomenal Conservatism” in Skeptical Theism.


Physics: Dr. Daniel Santavicca presented “Kinetic Inductance in Superconducting Nanowires: A Building Block for Quantum Electronics” at the Applied Superconductivity Conference in Charlotte, N.C.


Sociology and Anthropology: Dr. Scott Landes presented “The influence of SES on the mortality differential between adults with and without intellectual disability” at the annual American Sociological Association Meeting in August.


Dr. David Jaffee presented “Draying and Picking: Precarious Labor in the Logistics Supply Chain” at the meetings of the American Sociological Association in August. He also published the piece “Street-Level Sociology in Hong Kong” in Reading Hong Kong, Reading Ourselves.


Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull presented the keynote address “Pesantren in Transition: A Short Sketch about the Struggle of Pesantren in Recent Debates About Educational Ideology” at the International Seminar on Philosophy of Education. He also presented “Jihad for Democracy, Pluralism, and Peace” at the International Conference commerating the 20th anniversary of the Journal Studia Islamika in August.


Dr. Krista Paulsen co-organized and presided over the session “Home and Belonging” at the American Sociological Association's 109th annual meeting in San Francisco, Calif. 


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Charles Winton attended the Global Conference on Educational Robotics at USC July 29 to Aug. 3 where he co-presented a workshop with Dr. Dave Miller of the University of Oklahoma on the best ways to use the ASUS Xtion depth sensor. He also served as a chief judge for the International Botball Robotics competition and the KIPR Open Autonomous Robotics Challenge.

Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan had her paper titled "The KUSC Classical Music Dataset for Audio Key Finding" accepted for publication in International Journal of Multimedia and Its Applications.

Dr. Sandeep Reddivari was selected to become member of IEEE SMCS (Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society) Technical Committee on Soft Computing. Dr. Reddivari, Shirin Rad, Tanmay Bhowmik, Nisreen Cain and Nan Niu had their paper “Visual requirements analytics: a framework and case study” published in the Requirements Engineering Journal.


Engineering: Dr. Don Resio et al. had their paper titled “Soliton Turbulence in Shallow Water Ocean Surface Waves” published in the journal of Physical Review Letters. The paper was also featured as “Editors’ Suggestion.” This designation is given to only about 1/6th of the published papers and is given to those papers judged to be “particularly important, interesting and well-written.”

Dr. Peter Bacopoulos and Gerry Pinto took part in co-authoring the St. Johns River Report, section 2 (Water Quality), sub-section 2.8 (Salinity). The report has recently been released to the public here.


Construction Management: Drs. Mag Malek and Mark Tumeo, along with Jeanette Saliba, had their paper titled “Fuzzy Logic Approach to Risk Assessment Associated with Concrete Deterioration” accepted for publication in the ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering.


Dr. Roberto Soares attended a five-day DBIA Educators seminar at Colorado to become a certified design-build educator. With this achievement, Dr. Soares will be able to provide a design build education for UNF students and professionals in order to prepare them to be a certified design-build professional.  


Dr. Raphael Crowley gave a presentation titled “Hurricane Waves Striking Bridge Decks,“ at the National Hydraulic Engineering Conference at the University of Iowa Aug 19.



College of Education and Human Services


Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Nile Stanley has been invited to serve on the editorial board of Horizon Research Publishing, an open-access publisher with 55 peer-reviewed international journals.


Dr. Christine Weber was invited to present three sessions at the Hormel Symposium in Austin, Minn.: “Using case studies to explore critical issues in educating gifted learners,” “Planning tiered lessons for depth and complexity” and “Designing performance tasks that assess student work.”  Weber and her former graduate assistants, Amanda Laukitis and Sarah Mitchell, also published an article in the Florida English Journal on "Supporting students’ writing through Camp Composition."


Dr. Katie Monnin attended San Diego Comic Con and presented a panel about “Getting Comics into Schools and Getting Schools into Comics!”  


Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education: Dr. Kristine Webb, along with Dr. Paul Kohler from the University of Western Michigan and Dr. Jim Martin from the University of Oklahoma, presented a two-day workshop for high school personnel at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The workshop focused on successful transition to postsecondary education and employment for students with disabilities, self-determination skills and student involvement in planning. This effort was sponsored by the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center and funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.



Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Dr. Terence W. Cavanaugh had a book published in September called “eBooks for Elementary School.” This combination reference, tutorial and strategy guide will help all teachers and school librarians effectively use the reading applications described, regardless of the classroom computing platform.  eBooks offer students, as well as teachers, school and public librarians and parents tremendous possibilities. This book explains how to expand and enhance the reading experience through the use of technology. Cavanaugh also had contributions for the book by Drs. Gigi David, Lunetta Williams, Andrea Thoermer, Katrina Hall and Jin-Suk Byun.


An image of balloons with UNF logos on themMilestone anniversaries  

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


25 years

Marianne Roberts, Office Manager, History


15 years

Lorna Bautista, Office Manager, Intercultural Center 

Brian Blakeslee, Associate Director, University Center 


10 years

Elaine Baker, Office Manager, Computing, Engineering and Construction 

John Bishop, Control Systems Technician, Physical Facilities 

Jesse Chewning, Store Receiving Clerk, Physical Facilities

Rocelia Gonzalez, Director, ADA Compliance 

David Wilson, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services, Center For Instruction and Research

David Zinkgraf, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department


Five years

Stephen Fagan, Assistant Director, Physical Facilities 

David Cutter, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 

Carrol Reilly, Budgets Coordinator, Computing, Engineering and Construction



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


Natalie Arce, Assistant Professor, Public Health

Andrea Arikawa, Assistant Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics

Deanne Ashton , Program Assistant, Office of Academic Testing      

Larry Baker, Recycle Refuse Worker, Recycling

Maurisha Bishop, Victim Advocate Coordinator, Women's Center 

Stephen Boka, Instructor, English

Elizabeth Brown, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Luciana Carvalhal Braga, Assistant Professor, Foundations and Secondary Education

Ujjwal Chakraborty, Lab Lecturer, Chemistry

Michael Cherbonneau, Assistant Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Matthew Childers, Assistant Professor, Political Science and Public Administration

Paul Clark, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

Robyn Cortello, Coordinator, Admissions 

Raphael Crowley, Assistant Professor, Construction Management

James Draper, Administrative Services Coordinator, Art and Design 

Russell Emmett Triplett, Assistant Professor, Economics and Geography

Christopher Flynn , Assistant Professor, Management  

Gustav Fredrikson, Student Affairs Coordinator, Recreation

Paul Fuglestad, Assistant Professor, Psychology 

Joshua Gellers, Assistant Professor, Political Science and Public Administration   

Timothy Groulx, Assistant Professor, Music

Hanadi Hamadi, Assistant Professor, Public Health

Corderrol Harris, Academic Support Coordinator, Honors Program

Aisha Johnson, Associate University Librarian, Library

Christopher Kelso, Assistant Professor, Physics

Junga Kim, Assistant Professor, Communication 

Dawn Knipe, Student Government Business Manager, Student Government Business and Accounting Office 

Brian Kopp, Assistant Professor, Engineering  

Scott Landes, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work 

Nicholas LaRosa, Instructor, Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences

Mark Leininger, Instructor, Accounting and Finance

James Littleton, Instructor, Computing

Kally Malcom, Assistant Professor, Art and Design

Ehsan Maleki, Instructor, Mechanical Engineering 

Ta Maleki, Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems 

Angela Mann, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Elise Marshall, Advisor/Instructor, Computing

David McKinnon, Instructor, English

Joshua Melko, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Holly Miller, Associate Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice

James Miller, Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice 

Patrick Moore, IT Support Technician, User Services

Eileen Pesantes-Tavares, Advisor/Instructor, Engineering

Raymond Perry, Recycle Refuse Worker, Recycling

Curtis Phills, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Megan Possinger, Assessment Research Director, Education and Human Services

Sandeep Reddivari, Assistant Professor, School of Computing 

Michael Richardson, Instructor, Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences 

Andrew Salem, Document Scanning Associate, Administration and Finance 

Zachary Schaad, Parking Services Technician, Parking 

Michelle Shepard, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department 

Deirdre Shoemaker, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Catherine Silvers, Research Librarian, Library

Melissa Simmons, Assistant Professor, Music 

Stephen Stagon, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering 

Jaime Stewart, Instructor, Math and Statistics

Sher Thapa, Custodial Worker, Student Union-Custodial 

Drew Thoeni, Visiting Assistant Professor, Marketing and Logistics

Tulika Varma, Assistant Professor, Communication 

Maitri Warusawithana, Assistant Professor, Physics   

Daniel Watkins , Assistant Professor, History

Tamera Weatherholt, Resource Librarian, Library

Jennifer Williams, Lab Lecturer, Chemistry

Cynthia White-Williams, Assistant Professor, Public Health

Jennifer Wolff, Assistant Professor, Psychology 


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Ashley Ballard, Assistant Director of Health Education, Health Promotions 

Tammy Desmarais, Senior Police Communications Operator, University Police Department  

Daniel Pitts, Facilities Management Coordinator, Facilities and Grounds

Jennifer Wells, Administrative Services Coordinator, General Counsel 

Jeffrey Gouge, IT Security Analyst, IT Security 




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


Ashley Allen, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Bryan Bannon, Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies 

Erica Brooks, Applications Systems Analyst, Florida Institute of Education 

Ha Dam, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 

Wrenettia Devoe, Benefits Coordinator, Human Resources 

John Dryden, Assistant Professor, Construction Management 

Damian Everhart, Assistant Professor, Public Health 

Abdul Fauq, Assistant Professor, Chemistry 

Allison Galloway, Associate Director, MOCA

Jerry Johnson, Assistant Professor, Leadership School Counseling and Sport Management

Dianne Maros, Administrative Assistant, Brooks College of Health 

Brandon McCray, Assistant VP of Development, Major Gifts 

Jerome Novak, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

India Powell, Coordinator, Women’s Center 

Casey Rowe, Residence Life Coordinator, University Housing 

Noreen Santisteban, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One Stop Center 

Margarita Williams, Admin Services Coordinator, General Counsel

The Goods

Collard Greens

An image of collard greensCollard greens are a favorite in Southern cooking and are grown in our local gardens and farms. Collards can be part of a nutrient-rich diet and eaten frequently by most people. Judy Perkin, professor in the University of North Florida Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses myths about collards and provides tips for including them in a healthy diet.


Myth: Collard greens are only a Southern food.


Fact: Although we enjoy collards seasoned with pork as part of our Southern cuisine, collards are a popular vegetable in other types of regional cookery as well. Collards can be paired with pasta for Italian food, and one of the traditional Spanish/Portuguese soups is made with collards. African cuisine uses collards, and some Mexican food recipes combine collards with peppers and cream. Additionally, collards have even been put in Chinese food recipes in place of cabbage.


Myth: Collard greens can only be eaten as a vegetable side dish.


Fact: Collard greens make a wonderful side dish, but collards can also be used in dips, smoothies, soups, entrees and other dishes as well. A wealth of collard green recipes can be found on the Internet and in cookbooks.


Myth: Collards are native to the United States.


Fact: Food historians tell us that collards originated in Asia or the Mediterranean region and were used by both the Greeks and Romans. They’re believed to have been introduced into Europe and later into the United States in the early 17th century. Collard greens have become popular in American cuisine with collard green cook-offs and festivals featuring the vegetable. Collard greens have also been honored by being named the state vegetable of South Carolina.


Myth: Collard greens are only nutritionally valuable for their Vitamin C content.


Fact: Collard greens are members of the same family as cabbage and kale. Collards are a very good source of Vitamin C but are also a good source of beta-carotene (the body converts to Vitamin A), calcium, folic acid, magnesium, fiber and B-vitamins. Collard greens are also a good source of phytochemicals and may help prevent cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Some persons may be advised to restrict or avoid collards related to kidney stones or use of blood-thinning medications.


Myth: Collard greens can’t be frozen.


Fact: It’s nice to know that collards can be frozen for later use. The National Center for Home Food Preservation says that collards need to be blanched for about three minutes before draining and freezing. Fresh collards, of course, can be cooked, and canned collards are another option.



Beans and Greens Soup



1 lb. pinto beans, sorted, washed and soaked in water for 12 hours or overnight

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 ½ tsp. cumin seed

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring

4 cups finely chopped frozen collards, cooked (frozen kale or mustard greens may be used)

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1-1 1/2 Tbs. cider vinegar

Black pepper, to taste

2 cups diced fresh tomato

½ cup of low-fat yogurt


Drain the soaked beans and place in a heavy, deep non-aluminum pan. Add garlic, cumin seed, red pepper flakes and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer and cook, covered, about one hour to 90 minutes. Add more water as needed. Stir often and cook until beans are tender. Using about half of the bean mixture, carefully puree in blender. Return to pot with other beans. Add cilantro and smoke flavoring. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, covered. If necessary, add water or low-sodium chicken broth to thin soup. Cook collards or other greens as directed on the package. Toss greens with olive oil and stir into soup with salt and vinegar to taste. To serve, season with ground pepper. Spoon hot soup into bowls and top with ½ cup chopped tomatoes and a tablespoon of yogurt. Serves 8.


Nutritional information per serving:


258 calories

Total fat 4.9 grams

Cholesterol 1 milligram

Dietary fiber 11 grams

Sodium 325 milligrams

Protein 15 grams


Recipe and nutritional analysis used with permission of the Produce for A Better Health Foundation from the Fruit and Veggies: More Matters! ® website.



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  collards? Contact Judy Perkin at   

Bright Birds Know

An aerial photo of the UNF campus taken in 2012A site selection committee tasked with finding a suitable location for UNF in the mid-’60s nearly settled on a few plots of land near downtown Jacksonville before choosing its current location on the city’s Southside. The other potential locations included the hospital complex in Springfield and the area surrounding McCoy’s Creek.


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 .