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InsideApril 2015

Around Campus

Ozzie the Osprey comes alive in the pages of Eco Adventure children’s book

An illustration by Vernon Payne of Ozzie from the book

An animated Ozzie the Osprey can be seen swooping across the pages of a children's book published by members of the University of North Florida's Eco Adventure program. The text - "A Home for Ozzie" - is designed to promote environmental education for schools and families across Northeast Florida and guide elementary students through UNF's Sawmill Slough Nature Preserve.

Amy Costa, Eco Adventure assistant director, said a print run of hundreds of soft-cover books was finished in late March. The books are available now. An additional print run of hard-cover texts will follow, and those will be available to the public in the summer.

Eco Adventure's publishing journey started last year during the One Spark Crowdfunding Festival, a now-annual event in Jacksonville in which creators vie for award money with other inventors and entrepreneurs. Costa and Jake FitzRoy, environmental education coordinator, were creators in the festival and presented a project highlighting the idea of a children's book using UNF's natural beauty as the backdrop for an educational text.


Costa's goal was to raise enough money so students from lower-income schools who visit UNF on a field trip could get their own book at no cost. The students from those schools would be able to learn about the campus' natural history and its status as a protected habitat for scores of unique plants and animals.


The illustrated drawings, all done by Vernon Payne, a graphic designer at UNF, are based on animals and places found along the trails. Costa said more than 5,000 area students attended their K-8 field trips at the preserve last year. The book program will become the sixth type of field trip offered by Eco Adventure and is suitable for kindergarten through second grades.


"Payne's illustrations are so beautifully detailed that this book will become a keepsake for anyone who appreciates the natural beauty found here at UNF," she said.


The book seeks to inform children about the habitats at UNF by giving them a story that teaches them about the animals they may see.


"We used Ozzie as the main character," she said. "He's left his home as an adolescent and is looking for a new place to live. He flies to UNF's nature preserve, meets Rascal the raccoon, Gus the gopher tortoise, Becky the bobcat and other animals who call UNF home before settling down."


A group of students holds up their copies of the bookFitzRoy said the book gained some positive attention during last year's One Spark in the #EdSpark venue for education-focused projects. Soon after the festival, they received a $3,000 grant from Duval County Schools to print books and fund field trips for 450 students from lower income schools. The team is going back to One Spark's #EdSpark venue this month to promote the printed copies of the book and hopefully gain additional supporters. They will be found in the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts.


Additionally, all of the revenue from the book will be going to the UNF Nature Trails Foundation. The book is dedicated to former Chief Ranger John Golden and Dr. Robert Loftin. They were the pioneers of the preserve and helped protect and manage it in its early years.


Costa said the ultimate goal of the book is twofold: to raise awareness about the educational offerings available at Eco Adventure and provide an additional revenue stream to help repair the trails, some of which have boardwalks close to 30 years old. She said residents from across the region come to UNF to commune with nature in the peaceful alcoves of the Robert Loftin Nature Trails and learn about the area's natural history in the John M. Golden Environmental Education Pavilion.


"All of Jacksonville loves our trails," she said. "It's one of the closest green spaces from the city. All day long, the public is out here - birdwatchers, walkers, runners and families. We hope this book will be popular with our guests and give them a way to help support us going forward."


Around Campus

UNF program helps students with ASD THRIVE

A THRIVE student and mentor chat about their dayBuddy Delegal is a pretty impressive guy.


He's scheduled to graduate in May with a double major in international studies and Spanish, has earned a 4.0 GPA his last three semesters at UNF and studied abroad last summer in Santander, Spain. He currently serves on a student leadership committee and is working on a presentation he'll be delivering at another university about living in college with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).


Delegal is one of about 40 students at UNF involved in Project THRIVE, a program aimed to enhance and enrich the college experience of students with ASD. A charter member of the program, which began in 2012, Delegal is also among the first students in the program to graduate.


THRIVE stands for Transition to Health, Resources, Independence, Viable Careers and Education. With no dedicated funding, the program utilizes existing resources like Career Services, the Counseling Center, Health Promotion and the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and is run primarily by graduate students and higher-level undergrads who serve as mentors and coaches.


The program began in 2012 after Tara Rowe, program coordinator for THRIVE and a doctoral student in the College of Education and Human Services, and two other grad students, Joanna Ale and Michelle Castanos, recognized that students with ASD on campus needed some different types of support.


After approaching Dr. Kristine Webb, a professor in the College of Education and Human Services, who was also the director of the Disability Resource Center at the time, Project THRIVE was born. Webb, who currently serves as the faculty mentor of Project THRIVE, taught high school before coming to UNF and knew well the challenges that students with ASD faced as they approached adulthood and the transition to higher education.


According to Webb, many of the students served by THRIVE come to the University with high IQs, GPAs and SAT/ACT scores. They just may struggle with some of the skills needed in college to live independently.


"These are incredibly intelligent students," Webb said. "However, they need support in communication and socialization, as well as career guidance to help them find a good job match."


Other assistance provided to students in THRIVE includes basic help in planning and prioritization - skills that benefit any student on campus.


Delegal says this kind of help from his mentor was particularly important and played a key role in his academic success.


"We have discussed various academically based skills including time management and organization," he said. "My discussions with her have helped me greatly improve my abilities in those areas."


THRIVE also helps students develop problem-solving techniques by utilizing a chart to help strategically develop solutions to problems and reflect on possible consequences to different actions. With backgrounds in special education, mental health and psychology, the mentors are extremely focused on the needs of the student. And since they are also students, they can easily relate to the typical challenges of college life.


Rowe said the program is important because it addresses everything from social skills and independent living to career development while ensuring the focus remains on the students through the inclusion of the Student Leadership Committee.


"The program is vital as it allows students a voice in what we do and how we run the program," she said.


At first, Rowe said many students on the SLC didn't want to participate in the events. Now they're planning them.


The student committee facilitates weekly wind downs on Fridays where THRIVE participants and mentors hang out and talk about their week. It's not only a time to socialize but also to work through any challenges they may have recently encountered.


Greek organizations on campus have gotten involved as well. They host an Osprey Social Hour once a month for the Greek community and members of project THRIVE, thanks to program founder, junior Matthew Silberstein. These gatherings give THRIVE students the opportunity to visit with their peers and other UNF students in a fun social setting.


"I definitely have a more active social life compared to freshman year because my mentor helped me find an appropriate balance between school and my social life," Delegal said.


He is now working with younger students as a peer mentor to help them get adjusted to college life. He catches up with these underclassmen when he sees them around campus and gives them valuable advice on how to manage various aspects of their lives, such as keeping up with classes, maintaining their social lives and handling the workload.


After graduation, Webb believes many of the THRIVE students are ready to live as independent adults, and she can't wait to see what the future holds for them.


"The mentors have always seen the magnificence of these students and their incredible potential. It's amazing to see how far they've come and where they are going now."


Around Campus

Experience a year of MOCA Jacksonville in just 6 days of One Spark

A tour group explores MOCA



What does that mean?


MOCA stands for the Museum of Contemporary Art. MOCA promotes the art, artists and ideas of our time. That means NOW.


During One Spark this month, MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, unleashes a year's worth of programming from Tuesday, April 7, to Sunday, April 12, with dozens of innovative mini-programs that will help visitors discover and appreciate contemporary art. It's all free, and there are even opportunities to win prizes.


Visitors can sample bite-sized versions of popular Museum programs. There is always something happening NOW at MOCA. Here are a few examples:



Al Letson, host of "State of the Re:Union" and other public radio programs, as well as a member of the MOCA Jacksonville Board of Trustees, performs an energetic spoken word piece that defines what MOCA means. Look for the video on MOCA Jacksonville's website, Facebook page and in the theater.


Tiny Tours:

MOCA Jacksonville curators and educators lead 10-minute tours of specific works throughout the Museum. Learn some amazing facts to impress your friends. Those who attend Tiny Tours receive a special gift.


Teeny Talks:

MOCA Jacksonville curators and educators lead 10-minute talks about exhibitions. Those who attend Teeny Talks receive a special gift.



MOCA guests watch a video featuring Al Letson

One Spark Film Projects:

MOCA Jacksonville hosts five film creators whose works will screen in the theater three or four times a day throughout One Spark. Films include: "Can Art Define A City?," "The Fort Mosé Story," "The Grey Area," "The John Marcus Project" and "Ocean Pond."



Pop-up Gallery:

The term "pop up" describes the process of transforming the space, where new works "pop up" and appear like magic for all to experience. Throughout the festival, one gallery features new works each day. This not only offers an element of surprise - now you see it, now you don't! - but it also presents the breadth and depth of MOCA Jacksonville's Permanent Collection and exhibition program. Tiny Tours of the Pop-up Gallery occur daily throughout One Spark.


Rooftop Launch:

See what falls from the sky at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 11. Don't miss your opportunity to catch a piece of "WHITE," a MOCA Jacksonville Featured Exhibition. The Museum partnered with downtown business Forge 3D Printing Studio to create an innovative surprise.


Hide and Seek:

Each day during One Spark, MOCA Jacksonville will hide a small white sculpture, inspired by the "WHITE" exhibition, somewhere in the 20-block festival footprint. The Museum partnered with Forge 3D Printing Studio to create the sculpture. Look for clues on MOCA Jacksonville's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds under #MOCAisNOW. Whoever finds the object can take it to MOCA Jacksonville to receive a free dual or family membership.


Party Projects:

Participate in collaborative art projects inspired by the "WHITE" exhibition on the sidewalk in front of MOCA Jacksonville.


Photo Booth:

A free photo booth features themes from MOCA Jacksonville exhibitions and programs. Share your pictures on social media!


"First Coast Connect":

Melissa Ross hosts WJCT's popular radio program from the MOCA Jacksonville theater. Grab a seat in the audience to watch the show recorded at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, through Thursday, April 9, to air the following mornings.


"Electro Lounge":

WJCT's David Luckin plays relaxing, laid-back sounds of downtempo, nu jazz, reggae and dub in the MOCA Jacksonville theater at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, through Thursday, April 9.


WJXT Studio:

Channel 4 sets up a studio in the MOCA Shop to broadcast live for its morning, noon and evening programs throughout One Spark. Watch the reporters and anchors in action!


Throwback Thursday:

During One Spark 2014, thousands of visitors streamed into MOCA Jacksonville to view "Project Atrium: Shaun Thurston," a monumental mural of colorful crystals that symbolized the growth of the arts in Jacksonville. He went on to win the One Spark juried art prize and donated half of his winnings to MOCA Jacksonville to sponsor "Project Atrium: Angela Glajcar," on display during One Spark 2015. On Thursday, April 9, look for several #TBT celebrations of Thurston and his work, including pieces in the Pop-up Gallery, a Teeny Talk and a Photo Booth background.


Café Nola Specials and Craft Cocktails:

Escape the chaos of the festival and have a seat in this upscale bistro with a relaxed setting where the South meets the Mediterranean. Café Nola features lunch and dinner specials throughout One Spark. Or grab a specially crafted cocktail at the lobby bar.


Curators + Cocktails:

Grab a drink at the bar, then join a curator in the lobby to answer your questions about art, exhibitions and MOCA Jacksonville.


Art Fusion:

Take part in a fun and informative art-making program for families led by a professional art educator each day during One Spark. Enrich your creative mind through hands-on projects related to the Permanent Collection or the current Featured Exhibition.


Adult Art:

These demonstrations help grown-ups learn a few tips on drawing portraits and throwing clay.


Shop Sightings:

Local artists demonstrate their work that is available to purchase in the MOCA Shop.



Celebrate "WHITE" and One Spark in style! On Tuesday, April 7, and Wednesday, April 8, MOCA Jacksonville members dressed all in white to commemorate the Featured Exhibition receive a complimentary beer or glass of wine.



Visitors are encouraged to share what they're doing NOW at MOCA Jacksonville by posting on social media with this hashtag.


Don't miss what's happening NOW at MOCA! Visit for details.


Around Campus

Swoop Summary

basketball game


Welcome to our newest feature, the Swoop Summary. Every issue of Inside, we'll be bringing you a recap of UNF Athletics accomplishments from the past month. Read on for more Osprey Athletics news:


Best season ever: Men's basketball closes historic season with NCAA Tournament appearance - UNF's men's basketball team made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in Dayton during the first round of March Madness. The Osprey Nation was there in force throughout this tournament journey to support the team as UNF clinched an Atlantic Sun Conference championship. UNF history was made this year, and every Osprey who watched a game, caught our segment on ESPN or stormed the court will remember this postseason run as the beginning of something special for the University of North Florida!


Ospreys in the spotlight - UNF basked in the national limelight during its time in the NCAA Tournament. Both Coach Matthew Driscoll and UNF guard Beau Beech trended nationally on Twitter during the Ospreys' first round game in Dayton. Additionally, from Thursday, Feb. 26, through Friday, March 20, there were 133,297 post clicks/likes on UNF men's basketball related posts on the main UNF Facebook page. From Thursday, Feb. 26, through Friday, March 20, there were 1,423,573 unique engagements (likes/comments/shares) on UNF men's basketball related posts. At the same time, UNF band member Stephen Putnam, our #UNFBandGuy, was featured on ESPN, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, People Magazine online and Inside Edition, to name a few.


Osprey baseball takes season finale from Gulf Coast in dramatic fashion - UNF picked up its first Atlantic Sun Conference win Sunday, March 29, with a 6-5, come-from-behind victory over Florida Gulf Coast University at Harmon Stadium. The Ospreys offense came alive in their final two turns at the plate and scored the game's final five runs.


Track and field hosts Spring Break Invite - The North Florida track and field teams opened up the outdoor portion of their 2015 schedule by hosting the UNF Spring Break Invitational at Hodges Stadium. The Ospreys are coming off a strong indoor season performance that saw the squad record program bests at the Atlantic Sun Conference championships. The Spring Break Invite marks the first of five home meets for the team this season, as UNF will also host a pair of single day events on Apr. 10 and May 8 along with the Atlantic Sun Championship meet on May 15-16 and the NCAA East Preliminary on May 28-30.


Coaching change announced for Osprey women's basketball - The North Florida women's basketball program will have a new head coach in 2015-16, UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon announced last month. Current coach Mary Tappmeyer has been the only women's basketball coach in the 23-year history of the program. Learn more about UNF's newest basketball coach.


UNF men's golf finished 8th at Schenkel - Playing 36 holes on the final day of competition, the No. 26-ranked North Florida golf team posted rounds of 282 (-6) and 286 (-2) en route to collecting an eighth place finish in the Schenkel Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club. Read more about the UNF men's golf placement in the Schenkel Invitational.


Eight shot improvement moves Osprey women's golf up leaderboard - The North Florida women's golf team moved into a tie for ninth after carding a second round 299 in the Ocala Spring Invitational at Juliette Falls Golf Resort. Find out more about the UNF women's golf movement up the leaderboard.


Sand volleyball wraps up play at Tiger Sand Invite - The North Florida sand volleyball team closed out the last day of the Tiger Sand Tournament with a single elimination pair bracket at Mango's Beach Volleyball Club. Several of the Osprey pairs earned wins in the competition, highlighted by UNF's tandem of Carinne Turner/Shannon McPherson reaching the semifinals of the Purple Bracket. Learn more about the sand volleyball team's success.


These are just a few highlights of the past month in UNF Athletics. For a full breakdown, head to UNF Athletics for all the latest Osprey news, stats and info.


Around Campus

New Transfer Student Services Office bridges the gap

 Soon-to-be transfer student Sydney Hood visits with Sherry Hays, transfer services coordinatorSydney Hood worked in the Atlanta Airport and constantly heard about the University of North Florida.


“Whether they were an alum or parents of students, I was told what a great school it was — academics, extracurricular and the campus itself,” she said.


Looking for a change of scenery, the junior linguistics major reached out to UNF and, with the help of the new Transfer Student Services office, will officially start classes as an Osprey in August. 


While she applied once before, Hood says her most recent experience with the new Transfer Student Services office and its staff has been incredible.

“Before I was even accepted, I received e-mails that were very encouraging and helpful for a transfer student,” she said. “This is super important and has made my transition very easy.”


While UNF has always provided some resources for transfer students, efforts were stepped up significantly this year with the creation of the new office. Unlike Hood, who is a seasoned college student coming from an out-of-state university, many transfer students have very different needs.


For those who may not meet admission requirements coming out of high school or may not be ready for a larger school just yet, the office provides outreach and support to prospective students well before they are admitted to UNF.


“We’re connecting with students long before they get here,” said Ouida Powe, director of Transfer Student Services. “We are finding out who they are, where they are and where they want to be.”


According to Powe, TSS exists to shepherd students through the process. For students who don’t qualify right away, Powe says the TSS is sending them a very important message.


“We’re not saying ‘No’ — just ‘Not yet,’” she said. “We want to make sure they know what they need to do to get here.”


That includes not only working with the student to get a plan in place, but also with staff from the state or community college they may choose to attend in the interim.


“We want to create the short, strong bridge that gets them where they want to be,” she said.


Powe took on the role of TSS director this year and continues to serve as director of The Jacksonville Commitment scholarship program, a position she’s occupied since the program’s inception in 2007. Having served at another institution for many years as an admissions recruiter, advisor, and ultimately the director of admissions, advising and welcome center, she sees the big picture and knows well the challenges that many students face taking the next academic step after high school.


A transfer student holds up a shirtWhile transfer applicants come from all walks of life with a variety of academic and economic backgrounds, many are first-generation college students whose families have no experience going through the admission and enrollment process. The need to walk some students through the process is particularly important, Powe said, since many have no idea where to find information. Their parents or guardians might not know either.


The TSS gets recruits students who have expressed an interest during recruitment visits to state colleges, from the admissions office of students who don’t meet freshman admissions requirements as well as students involved in The Jacksonville Commitment. The staff reaches out to these students and maintains contact with those who express an interest in coming to UNF. Powe cautions that the TSS office is not there to take on the student’s responsibility but rather be there to help them shoulder the responsibility.


Staff may begin working with a student in high school and remain in contact throughout their stint at community or state college. And, once students get to UNF, the TSS plans to stay in touch. 


“My goal is to help transfer students transition smoothly to UNF,” said Sherry Hays, transfer services coordinator. “After admission, I can help them find the resources they need on campus and help connect them to clubs and organizations that match both their interests and professional goals. I believe providing support and direction for transfer students means they will acclimate faster to the University.”


Apart from helping new students through the transition, the TSS also wants to make sure the new Ospreys love UNF once they get here. Hays said a new organization, the Student Transfer Engagement Program (STEP), was created last month to provide social events, volunteer opportunities and other activities to help incoming transfer students create a strong connection to their new Osprey family. While UNF hosts a welcome reception for transfer students each year, STEP will provide even greater opportunities for them to socialize as well as work through common challenges and help each other. 


“STEP is just getting started, but there has already been great interest,” says Hays. “Transfer students are excited about having a voice on campus through the organization and having a way to connect to peers who are sharing the same experiences.”  


The TSS, as it’s constructed, is one part logistics operation, one part welcoming committee. It’s also an important part of the admissions process for students who dream of being Ospreys but need just a bit of support to make it happen. 


UPD officers revive student in library

UNF police officers in front of the UPD buildingLike most emergency responders, University of North Florida police officers are heavily trained in numerous life-saving techniques and carry specialized equipment, such as defibrillators, in their cars. While it ensures that they are ready for any given situation, many emergency responders will tell you that some go their entire careers without actually using all of the skills they’ve learned over the years.


In early February, that training and preparation paid off when UPD officers Joseph Dzamko and David Zinkgraf were called to an emergency at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library. When they arrived, two students were assisting a man in distress — one providing CPR and the other keeping the area clear. The officers, along with the student, worked as a team to continue resuscitation efforts and used their UPD defibrillator to revive the man.


Both Dzamko and Zinkgraf say they were just doing their jobs, but to the 45-year old UNF student who went into cardiac arrest, “just doing their jobs” meant saving his life.


Dzamko, who administered the shock, is an EMT. It just happened to be his second day on the day shift when this call came in.


“Things always seem to happen for a reason,” he said.


The UPD officers credit the student who started the initial resuscitation efforts with playing a huge role in saving the victim.


“If the student who provided CPR hadn’t responded quickly and stopped to help him, there could have been a very different outcome,” Zinkgraf said.


“It’s amazing to know that together, all of our interventions prevented a family from losing their loved one,” Dzamko said.


He said connecting with the victim once he recovered was particularly moving.


“It was especially rewarding to receive a phone call from the patient, to hear him say thank you and to know that we saved him.”


Wilder Honored as a Women of Influence

Dr. Wilder working with studentsDr. JeffriAnne Wilder, associate professor of sociology, was recognized in March as one of Jacksonville’s Top 30 Women of Influence by Southeast Small Business Magazine. 


The list focuses on women who have reached senior level positions in their profession, are leading entrepreneurs in their industry, have proven history-making feats or have attained the ability to influence large public bodies politically and in government.


Wilder regularly speaks on race, gender and diversity issues, and is passionate about connecting sociology to current events. Her expertise has been sought during high-profile cases such as the Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis murder trials and featured in numerous media outlets, including “Nightline,” “20/20,” The New York Times, Black Enterprise, National Public Radio and more.


“I am humbled and excited to be selected for this honor,” said Wilder. “The dynamic group of women on this list are doing amazing things in the Jacksonville community, and I am happy to represent UNF in this way.”


Wilder is the also the author of “Color Stories: Black Women and Colorism in the 21st Century,” and has written many other works for a wide array of academic journals and publications.

Around Campus

Osprey Profile: Abigail Camacho

Read more about Abigail's UNF experience.

Abigail Camacho headshotWhere are you from?

I went to high school in Jacksonville, but I was born in Whittier, Calif.


What is your major?

Communication, with a focus in public relations.


When will you graduate?

Hopefully with the class of 2017!


What attracted you to UNF?

The intimacy – despite being such a small campus compared to others, it has a one-of-a-kind beauty.


How/Why did you decide to attend the University?

UNF’s Tommy G. [Thomas G. Carpenter Library] gave my academics a helping hand before I even reached the collegiate level because I had to do research for the International Baccalaureate Program while I attended Paxon. UNF was already home.


Why did you pick UNF over other schools?

UNF provides many opportunities to prosper, especially if you go out of your way to look for them. Not only are their scholarships helpful, but advisors are always looking to help guide you where your friends and families cannot.


What do you do for fun on campus?

If I’m not at the library, I’m either running around campus (it’s so convenient that campus is just a big circle!) or at the Intercultural Center for PEACE (ICP), hanging out with friends and fellow members of UNF’s Asian Students in Alliance (UNF ASIA).


What’s your favorite UNF tradition?

Swooping anywhere at anytime.


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

The best thing about UNF’s faculty and staff is that almost everyone is willing to help or even just lend an ear. Once, a landscape worker went out of his way just to tell me to smile when it was obviously not one of my best days!


What has been your favorite class?

My favorite class would either have to be French Listening and Speaking or History and Appreciation of Rock and Roll. I loved getting to speak in French, even though I got nervous whenever the professor called on me. It was like learning to get over public speaking all over again. I loved Rock because who wouldn’t like to listen to good music in class for a whole semester?


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

If I’m looking to de-stress on my own, I’ll sit outside of the Library and look down at the pond while playing music from my phone. My best friend named the two soft-shell turtles, so I always look for them. If I’m looking for company, I can always rely on the people sitting in the Intercultural Center for PEACE!


What makes UNF unique?

You can find many beautiful campuses around Florida and even around the country. But where else other than UNF can you find a campus whose beauty doesn’t rely solely on its architecture? UNF has beautiful buildings and amenities. But it also offers serenity in the nature trails, the ponds and wildlife that surrounds and connects students. It helps us to be mindful of our actions and how they may affect the habitats around us!


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

It’s 110 percent OK to sit alone and eat lunch and contemplate life by the Green or the Library or anywhere else on campus. If you want to compliment someone, even if you don’t know them, do it! It couldn’t hurt anyone — it’ll only help.


What do you think of the campus’ natural environment?

Absolutely gorgeous. 10/10. Would recommend. Never change it!


What do you like most about Jacksonville?

What I love about Jacksonville is that even though it’s the biggest city land-wise, many areas are concentrated with a variety of places to go. There’s Riverside, with the beautiful and fun yet historic scenery; the beach area, which is laid-back and serene; and the Avenues and the St. Johns Town Center, which can more than satiate any itch in your wallet and/or stomach. My favorite place would have to be the beach. The beach is perfect whether you’re with company or on your own. A perfect day would be to go to the beach, lay out, do yoga, paddleboard, eat at Poe’s Tavern and start all over again.


How do you take your Starbucks?

Java chip frappe, extra chips and no whip!


What is your favorite thing to do on the Green?

Layout with my best friend! We talk and people watch, all while taking turns playing our favorite songs on our phones. Right now, 99 percent of the songs will probably be 5 Seconds of Summer.


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

Such a scenario is a rarity! If it’s a Monday at 6 p.m., I’m at the Student Wellness Complex doing multi-level yoga taught by Theresa! Otherwise, I’d be sitting with friends by the Green, in a study room with friends watching a movie with the lights off, or talking to friends in the Intercultural Center for PEACE.


What are your tips for finding time to study?

One doesn’t find time to study; one makes time to study. Finding time insinuates that you go along with your daily processes and if there’s room to study, you squeeze it in. Making time is difficult, but sometimes you have to sacrifice some of your free time in order to have adequate time for your studies.


Do you have any tips you want to share for working with professors outside of class?

Remember that they are taking time to help you. If they can only meet you Thursday at 9 a.m., be at their office Thursday at 9 a.m., even if that was supposed to be the Netflix portion of your morning ritual.


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

To get good grades, don’t let a bad grade discourage you. Just because you flunked the first exam doesn’t mean the other exams of that course share the same fate! See where you went wrong in your studies, remember what kinds of points your professor likes to focus on and adjust.

Faculty and Staff

UNF regaliaCoggin College of Business

Marketing: Dr. Reham Eltantawy had her paper “Towards Sustainable Supply Management: Requisite Governance and Resilience Capabilities” accepted in the Journal of Strategic Marketing for publication.

College of Arts and Sciences

Art and Design: Jenny Hager exhibited at the Down East Sculpture Exhibition in Greenville, N.C. 


Kyle Keith will have three unveilings of portraits at Dartmouth College, Christ Church in Petersburg, Va., and at the United States Federal Court, Eastern District, in Long Island, N.Y.

English: Mark Ari published “The Process Never Stops” in the Spring 2015 issue of Classical Guitar Magazine. 


Fred Dale published “Self-Portrait Above the Urinal” in Juked in January and “The Oak Tree” and “Sleeping by Firelight” in Glassworks Magazine in February. 

Dr. Kadesh Lauridsen presented “‘The Duty of Woman by Woman’: Women’s Friendship, Watchfulness, and the Male Gaze in Jane Austen and Frances Burney,” at the Southeastern American Association for 18th Century Studies annual conference in Gainesville in February.

Dr. Laura Heffernan lectured on “New Disciplinary History” at Columbia University, Fordham University and Swarthmore College in February.

Dr. Clark Lunberry published “Reinventing Language, Vowel by Colorful Vowel” in Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art.

Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Dr. Yongan Wu published “The Other From the East: Chinese Classic Poetry on 20th Century American Poetics.”

Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. Pamela Zeiser, with Dr. Berrin Beasley from UNF’s Department of Communication, published the chapter, “For Better or For Worse: Social Media’s Influence on Individual Well-Being” in Social Media and Living Well.

Dr. Josh Gellers presented “Indoor Environmental Quality, Human Rights, and Green Buildings,” at the 16th Northeast Florida Environmental Summit at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville in February. He also presented “Crowdsourcing Sustainable Development Goals from Global Civil Society: A Content Analysis” at the International Studies Association annual convention in New Orleans in February. He was also elected to the Sprout Award Committee of the Environmental Studies Section of the International Studies Association.

Psychology: Dr. Elizabeth Brown, D.B. Thoman, A.Z. Mason, A.G. Harmsen, and J.L. Smith published “The Role of Altruistic Values in Motivating Underrepresented Minority Students for Biomedicine” in Bioscience in February. She and J.L. Smith and D.B. Thoman gave an invited poster presentation, “Catching the Culture of Science: How Faculty Beliefs About Science Affect Student Beliefs and Interest,” at the 16th annual meeting for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Long Beach, Calif. At the same meeting, she and J.M. Allen, J.L. Smith and D.B. Thoman gave an invited poster presentation, “The Ties that Bind: Residential Immobility as a Barrier to First Generation College Students’ Science Graduate Training.”

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work: Dr. Jenny Stuber discussed modern dating rituals and gender scripts on the local television program, “The Chat” (NBC 12, WTLV). She also discussed the contemporary, historical, and cross-cultural marriage and family relationships on the local radio program, “The Conversation” (104.5, WOKV).

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction

Computing: Dr. Sandeep Reddivari had his paper “Ethnographic Field Work in Requirements Engineering” accepted for publication in the Enterprise Iformation Systems (EIS) journal. Dr. Reddivari was also selected as program committee member for a workshop titled “Just In Time RE” at the IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference in Ottawa, Canada.

Keith Garrett, S. Raghu Talluri and Dr. Swapnoneel Roy had their paper titled “On Vulnerability Analysis of Several Password Authentication Protocols” accepted for publication in the Innovations in Systems and Software Engineering Journal. The fourth Jacksonville Startup Weekend was hosted at UNF in March. The event was attended by more than 60 people.

Dr. Karthik Umapathy coached contestants on business plan development and technology related matters. Winners received prizes worth more than $20,000 of in-kind services and access to venture capitalists.

Engineering: Multiple teams of engineering seniors are working with Drs. Paul Eason and Alan Harris to construct robot toys for the Jacksonville Zoo animals.

College of Education and Human Services

Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Kim Cheek, along with co-authors L.A. Lukes, N.D. LaDue, K. Ryker and K. St. John, had an article published in the Journal of Geoscience Education titled “Creating a community of practice around geoscience education research: NAGT-GER.”

Drs. Ronghua Ouyang and Nile Stanley presented a paper titled “Utilizing Technology to Enhance the Effectiveness of Instruction and Learning in an ESOL Endorsed Course” at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) international conference in Las Vegas, Nev. Additionally, Dr. Stanley had a paper published in Language Magazine titled “Stories Bring it Home: Research on Resilience in Language Learners and its Relationship to Storytelling.”

Drs. Ronghua Ouyang and Wen Wang, directors of the Confucius Institute at the University of North Florida, presented at the 10th Florida Statewide Chinese Competition at Bolles School in Jacksonville in February. Nearly 500 students and teachers from 25 middle and high schools participated from across the State. Furthermore, Dr. Ouyang, joined by directors of Confucius Institutes from Miami Dade College, the University of South Florida, the University of West Florida and the Universidade de Pernambuco in Brazil, presented a panel discussion on the “Best Practice in Chinese Language and Culture Education” at the second Miami International Symposium on Chinese Cinema and Its Application in Chinese Language and Culture Education at Miami Dade College in March.

Foundations and Secondary Education: Dr. Hope Wilson recently presented at the Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition Conference at the University of South Florida Campus. She presented with her students, Tyler Toomey and Haiden Baier, on how to facilitate safe and healthy discussions in college classrooms. Dr. Hope is the faculty advisor for the UNF Pride Club.

Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: Dr. Terence Cavanaugh's latest book, "Using your Textbook with your Kindle: Strategies, Methods and Resources to be More Effective with your Digital Textbook" was published. He also attended the international conference for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), where he presented two papers, “Using a Thematic Design Approach with Prezi” and — with Drs. Nicholas Eastham and Yanling Liao — “Exploration of Daily Digital Textbook Delivery in Preservice Teacher Education.”

Dr. Luke M. Cornelius presented a paper, co-authored with UNF Vice President Janet Owen, titled “The Florida State University System as a Laboratory for Reform and Accountability in Higher Education” at the Oxford Symposium on Education Finance, at the famous Oxford Union. The presentation this past December involved experts from around the world including the U.K., U.S., Canada, Israel, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Dr. Cornelius also served as one of the event facilitators.

Center for Instruction and Research Technology: Kevin Hulen, Justin Lerman, Rick L'Ecuyer and Julie Fuller presented an information session titled "A Systematic Approach to Converting an Entire Degree Program to Fully Online" at the Online Learning Consortium's eighth annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium in April.


Balloons featuring UNF logos

Milestone anniversaries 

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


15 years

James Lambert, Associate Professor, Construction Management


10 years

Mary Stumph, Legal Secretary, General Counsel


Five years

Sunshine Isbell, Program Assistant, Physical Facilities

Paul Newton, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing 

Leigh Palmer, Director of Development, Arts and Sciences  

Reginal Smith, Recycle Refuse Worker, Physical Facilities  



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


Vashti Arjune, Administrative Secretary, Coggin College of Business 

Scott Musin, Athletic Academic Advisor, Athletic Academic Support 

Stephanie Race, Associate University Librarian, Library 

Kawanza Spivey, Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Services

Tina Stanton, Program Assistant, Distance Learning Fee 

Geniesha Thomas, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Courtney King, Assistant Director, Student Affairs

Jennifer Muller, Associate Director of Admissions, Enrollment Services Processing Office 

Ross Bell, Assistant Director, Distance Learning Fee



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


Linda Burks, Program Assistant, Enrollment Services Processing Office

William Carle, Senior Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems

Christal Hoskins, Instructional Design Coordinator, Center for Instruction and Research

Tyaisha Perry, Admissions Processing Coordinator, Enrollment Services Processing Office

Kaleema Webb, Refuse Recycle Moving Supervisor, Physical Facilities

The Goods

Green Tea

Green tea leavesTea — from the plant Camellia sinensis — is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide. Among all teas, green tea is the most widely studied and appreciated tea type for its significant health effects. Dr. Zhiping Yu, assistant professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, shares more about this popular beverage. In order to include green tea in your diet, a recipe is included.


Myth: Green tea is a fermented tea.


Facts: Thereare three major categories of tea: black, green and oolong tea. To produce green tea, freshly harvested tea leaves are immediately steamed to prevent fermentation. This steaming process destroys the enzymes responsible for breaking down the color pigments in the leaves and allows the tea to maintain its green color. Thus, green tea is an unfermented tea, while black tea is a fully fermented tea and oolong is partially fermented.


Myth: Green tea has little nutritional benefit.


Fact: Green tea components possess antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiarthritic, neuroprotective and cholesterol-lowering effect. Research from animal and human studies found that green tea consumption is linked to reduced risk of many health problems, including several cancers — skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, pancreas, kidney and bladder —hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.


Myth: Green tea contains mysterious compounds that promote health.


Fact: The health-promoting effects of green tea are mainly attributed to its polyphenolic compounds, such as catechins. Green tea contains the greatest percentage of catechins (30 to 42 percent) compared to other types of teas.


Myth: Green tea has stronger flavor and better health benefits when stored longer.


Fact: Phytochemical compounds in green tea that contribute to its flavor and health benefits decrease over time from harvest. For example, catechin levels are reduced significantly within six months of production, so, it’s best to drink green tea as fresh as possible to enjoy the flavor and obtain potential health benefits. Storing tea in sealed packaging in cool, dark conditions helps maintain the quality of green tea and increase shelf life.


Myth: The only way to enjoy green tea is hot.


Fact: Drinking it freshly brewed is the traditional way and also the best way to get the catechins and other flavonoids in green tea. Other tea preparations, like decaffeinated, bottled, ready-to-drink tea and instant teas have less biochemical compounds. However, green tea can be consumed in hot or cold drinks or added to foods and desserts as ingredients.



Matcha Green Tea Smoothie



1 peeled, frozen banana (preferably a very ripe banana)
½ cup low fat milk or other dairy alternatives

½ tsp good quality matcha powder

(Optional) ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

(Optional) sweeteners to taste



Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and even, stopping to stir if necessary.

*Note: You may find that it’s easier to blend if you add the matcha powder before the milk or dairy alternative.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

Yield: One serving


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 questions about green tea? Contact Dr. Zhiping Yu at .

Bright Birds Know

Ozzie the Osprey at a basketball gameOzzie the Osprey was selected by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 12 Mascots of the NCAA Tournament. His signature belly shake was on full display during the men’s basketball team’s first-round game in Dayton. Ozzie was #10 on the list.


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 .