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InsideFebruary 2015

Around Campus

Preston Haskell gives $5 million to MOCA

Preston Haskell addressing the crowd during a press conference at MOCA Jacksonville

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, announced last month that local art enthusiast and collector Preston Haskell is contributing $5 million to the museum's endowment.

The gift is one of the single largest contributions to a cultural organization from an individual contributor in the history of Jacksonville and is viewed as a critical step to ensuring a healthy endowment for the Museum’s future.

Haskell has a long history supporting MOCA Jacksonville, which not only showcases emerging contemporary artists and exhibitions but also fosters education, programming and awareness of contemporary visual art. The recent gift provides a huge investment in the museum and its programs. 

“We are honored and inspired by Mr. Haskell’s commitment to MOCA Jacksonville’s vision and to sustaining its indelible impact as a center of artistic and educational excellence,” said Marcelle Polednik, director and chief curator of MOCA Jacksonville. “This gift is both a significant measure of confidence in MOCA’s organizational capacity and maturity as well as a catalyst for the future growth of the Museum’s strides toward lasting sustainability.” 

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to support this institution, for which I have such admiration and affection, in the creation of a meaningful endowment fund,” Haskell said. “Such a fund will complement and nourish the Museum’s collections, exhibitions, and educational programs, all which have grown so successfully under Marcelle Polednik’s superb leadership of the past four years.” 
Haskell stated that his gift is aimed at launching a new phase for MOCA Jacksonville and hopes it will encourage additional support of the Museum and the endowment. 
“I hope that others will join me in this initiative, which is so important to MOCA Jacksonville’s continued growth and financial security,” he said.

Haskell is a former chair of the MOCA Jacksonville Board of Trustees and founder of the integrated design-build firm, The Haskell Company. He currently serves as trustee emeritus of MOCA, and his daughter Sally Singletary is a member of the Board of Trustees. 


MOCA Jacksonville’s current self-curated exhibition, WHITE, opened to the public on Jan. 24. The exhibit explores the pivotal role the color has played in contemporary art history and continues to reverberate through recent works.

Around Campus

Campus improvement projects scheduled throughout 2015

of students lined up to catch the shuttleThere’s no such thing as the status quo at the University of North Florida. The campus — much like the students who occupy it — is always growing, developing and improving for the future. 2015 is no different. The New Year brings with it an array of projects designed to improve life at UNF.


Revised shuttle stops for Hicks Hall, Flats at UNF

The University is exploring the option of changing the shuttle stop locations for Hicks Hall and the campus’ newest residence hall, The Flats at UNF, said Vince Smyth, assistant vice president for Administration and Finance. The proposed change would include moving the main Hicks Hall stop from the entrance of the building to Kernan Boulevard beside Hicks Hall. The shuttle route would then loop through The Flats for an additional stop and continue back toward the core of campus. The change is being analyzed due to the University’s recent acquisition of The Flats at UNF, previously known as The Flats at Kernan, a 480-bed luxury student apartment complex located across the street from Hicks Hall. Smyth said no final design decision has been made, but there is a high likelihood of the change being introduced this year.


Kernan Boulevard headed toward campusNo longer moving toward rerouting Kernan

For years, the University has discussed ways to reroute Kernan Boulevard over Technology Parkway, making it a seamless gateway to campus. However, after conferring with the city of Jacksonville and nearby landowners, the institutional decision was made to drop any pursuit of rerouting the roadway, said Shari Shuman, vice president of Administration and Finance. The administration felt that other measures could be taken to promote visible and accessible entrances to campus, such as the potential addition of new signage later this year, Shuman said.


New parking garage

The start of the 2015 spring semester brought with it the opening of a new parking garage for “Blue” and “Housing A” permit holders attached to the existing Fine Arts garage. The new parking facility contains more than 200 spaces. Additionally, 80 spaces leading from the first to the second floor in the Arena garage were reclassified from “Blue” to Faculty/Staff parking.the new Fine Arts Center garage


Library Commons

The Thomas G. Carpenter Library is undergoing a significant remodel to promote a collaborative academic environment conducive to strong student learning outcomes. You can read more about the project below.  


Campus Maintenance Facility and the UNF Annex

Physical Facilities recently completed its move from Building 6, now known as the UNF Annex, to the new 70,000-square-foot Campus Maintenance Facility building at 11820 Central Parkway. The building was acquired in late 2013 to serve as a new work and storage space for Physical Facilities and its array of equipment while freeing up space for academic programs in the core of campus.


the Campus Maintenance FacilityJohn Hale, director of Physical Facilities, said his department had simply outgrown their previous space in Building 6 and needed a facility with a more efficient shop layout and additional storage space.


“We just didn’t have the space prior to the move,” Hale said. “We had a lot of equipment being stored outside in the weather, which isn’t ideal. The new building gives us functional space to keep equipment indoors and space to work efficiently and effectively. We can move equipment in and out of there without having to reshuffle everything every time one cart comes in.”


The space previously occupied by Physical Facilities in Building 6, now the UNF Annex, is being used by UNF’s Art and Design program, as well as the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. The UNF Lock Shop, which was already located in the building, wasn’t affected by the move. The UNF sculpture program has crafted multiple large-scale projects that have been installed on and around campus, and this increased workspace has allowed students to expand beyond the smallish confines of the University sculpture lab behind the Fine Arts Center. You can read more about the Sculpture Lab’s move in a story below.the newly renamed Annex


Campus mailbox near UNF Hall

With the move of residential mail services to the newly constructed Osprey Clubhouse near the Osprey Village, the longstanding campus mailbox located close to Osprey Hall will be torn down this year, said Bob Boyle, director of Housing and Residence Life. The plan is to repurpose the existing roof and support structures, pull out the walls and mailboxes and create a covered gazebo area for students to congregate near Candy Cane Lake. The plan is to finish the work by summer 2015, with work to start during spring break. Boyle said his department has a few long-term beautification ideas for the surrounding land, but there’s no timeline in place for additions.


Field House and status of new University pool

the old Aquatic Center, soon to be the FieldhouseThe UNF Aquatic Center was closed in 2013, and the University has started to convert the facility, which will be known as the Field House, into recreational athletic courts. The project calls for the filling in of an existing pool, converting the space into several basketball, volleyball and inside soccer courts as well as bringing the entire building up to current building codes and accessibility standards, according to a report submitted by Zak Ovadia, director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction.


The choice to decommission the Aquatic Center was necessitated when it was discovered that the Andy Sears Pool, built in 1987, required costly repairs. Instead of sinking money into the older facility, the administration moved to build a new, open-air NCAA competition pool with bleacher and locker/shower rooms. It is currently in the design phase and will be located just north of the Student Wellness Complex.

Around Campus

Engineering and physical therapy students collaborate to customize toys for disabled children

students working on one of the adaptive toys (Photo by Jennifer Grissom)Ayshka Rodriguez was pleased to see the LED light on the top of her toy car light up as it approached the wall.  The light, rigged to an ultrasonic sensor, was the final touch on her team’s car that was modified for a child with depth perception issues. 


Heather Gosselin watched the test and was happy with the results. 

Health care professionals and engineers may think a little differently, but that can be a good thing — especially for some very special kids. The melding of minds has clearly worked for an interdisciplinary partnership between engineering and physical therapy students at the University of North Florida that is already yielding real results.


The Adaptive Toy Project, which modifies toys for young children with disabilities, began as a collaboration between Dr. Mary Lundy, assistant professor in the doctor of physical therapy program, and Dr. Juan Aceros, an assistant professor of electrical engineering.

Lundy said it all started with input from physical therapy graduate students. Through their pediatric work, students recognized that children 3 and under with disabilities needed more opportunities for play and greater access to adaptive toys.


“0 - 3 is a crucial time for learning during brain development,” Lundy said. “Play is critical. Cognitive, fine and gross-motor skills are all part of development resulting from play.”


Adapted toys are expensive and hard to find. After talking through the problem with Aceros, the two applied for and were awarded a Transformational Learning Opportunity grant, and a course for engineering students on neurodevelopmental systems was developed for fall 2014. TLO grant funds paid for motorized toys and “paper profiles” — case studies featuring typical profiles of disabled children — were used by the students as guides to tailor their projects. Though the profiles were fictitious, the toys were created to be easily used by real patients when the class ended. The class included lectures focused on pediatric disabilities, rehabilitation and development, and even included a presentation on adapting sports and play equipment from Brooks Rehabilitation.

students at a gathering discussing their projects (photo by Gabriel Mattern)Students were divided into teams and assigned a toy to customize during the second half of the semester. Modifications were different for each child and included everything from alternate controls to stabilization features. One student even created a mobile app for parents to control and stop the vehicle if necessary. 


Ryan Campiz, an electrical engineering major who designed special controls for driving and steering, recognized the potential impact his efforts could have on a child, and said the students felt a real responsibility for the success or failure of their projects.


“The task at hand had potential to truly help someone out in their life,” he said.

Though the physical therapy students were not officially enrolled in the class, they reviewed the profiles provided by therapists and visited labs on more than one occasion to answer questions and observe.


“It was a great opportunity to work a little bit with the engineering students,” said Gosselin, a physical therapy graduate student.


Like other physical therapy students, she primarily works with other healthcare professionals.


“It’s nice to get outside perspective from somebody who may not understand all the impairments and their implications,” she said.

Both professors found it interesting how the two disciplines approached the project so differently. The physical therapy students started with the child and his or her specific needs in mind. The engineering students focused first on the toy and what modifications would need to be made, then they looked at how it would actually work for the child. 

It was clear to the professors, however, that both groups shared a common goal.


“They wanted to use their skills and knowledge to do something that made a difference,” Lundy said. “They all wanted to make an impact.” 


Rodriguez, an engineering student in her junior year, said the project gave her real-world experience, which solidified her desire to utilize her engineering degree to help people.


“Most people would never associate toy cars and disabled children with engineering,” Rodriguez said. “I was happy to work on a project that encompassed my skills as an engineer and my passion for helping others.”

The engineering students also benefitted from working with each other. Aceros said the electrical and mechanical majors gained a greater understanding of each discipline.


“It was great to hear one engineering student say that they trusted another in their group to make modifications,” Aceros said. 

In addition to serving a community need, Aceros said the experience will be valuable after graduation.


“Potential employers see that students are building things, not just doing something on paper,” he said. “They are addressing a real problem and making a difference.”

The professors are working to get the toys out to local children and hope to expand the program by providing a lending library where therapists can check out toys for patients — particularly those 3 and under.


“Once children get in schools, they may be exposed to more resources,” Lundy said. “Before then, it can be difficult for families with a disabled child. There may not be funds for extras.”


Lundy believes providing adaptive toys could have long-term effects in socialization and development and could mean huge cost savings if children don’t need as much remediation once they get to school. The class is slated again for fall 2015, and both professors hope to include physical therapy students in a more official role. For more information or to donate to the program, visit Therapists can also refer a child for consideration.

Around Campus

Ospreys on ESPN: Student broadcasters produce live UNF basketball games for ESPN3

UNF students working in the new studioThe Worldwide Leader in Sports will now be broadcasting live, straight from the University of North Florida campus.


Starting this season, every jump ball, free throw and rim-rattling dunk from the Osprey men's and women's basketball home games will be televised live on ESPN3 from a state-of-the-art broadcast studio in UNF Arena. A group of student volunteers will serve as the production crew, and Dr. David Deeley, a UNF communication professor with a deep background in sports anchoring and reporting, will serve as production director.


“We’ll be capable of broadcasting live coverage along the same lines as any big game on ESPN,” Deeley said.


About 13 to 15 UNF students will staff the four-camera, high-definition studio for every game. The inaugural production was Jan. 14 when men's basketball defeated Florida Gulf Coast University, popularly known as “Dunk City” for the team’s explosive showing in the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The Atlantic Sun Conference is calling this broadcast push the E3 On-Campus Initiative, and all conference teams are rolling out similar broadcast operations tailored to the unique needs of each campus.

"We are very excited about the opportunity this partnership provides for our basketball teams and our department as a whole," said UNF Director of Athletics Lee Moon. "The ability to have our home games broadcast on ESPN3 gives our fans, alumni and prospective student-athletes the chance to watch us play no matter where they live. This allows us to spread the name and brand of both UNF Athletics and the University of North Florida.”


A total of 14 home games will be streamed live on and the WatchESPN app, which is available for iOS and Android smart phones and tablets, as well as digital media players such as Apple TV, Roku, Google Chrome and others. Additionally, nearly every Atlantic Sun Conference road basketball game will be carried on ESPN3 as part of the A-Sun's E3 Initiative. UNF will make 28 appearances on the ESPN3 during league play — 14 each for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The UNF men’s home game broadcasts feature local television anchor Brent Martineau on play-by-play duty, and former UNF assistant basketball coach Lee Moon, Jr. serves as color analyst. Jacksonville radio personality Jessica Blaylock is color analyst for the women's games.

"We are thrilled with the broadcast team we have assembled," Moon said. "We feel like we have a talented, knowledgeable, energetic group of broadcasters covering our games. They all have familiarity with our program and the area and will do a tremendous job broadcasting our games."

Back in the production booth, the UNF student volunteers will be coordinating the logistics to ensure the show runs smoothly. Deeley said he amassed a group of about 30 interested students from across campus to comprise the first ESPN3 crew. Not all are from the communication department. Deeley said he chose anyone with the competiveness, passion and drive required to thrive in the high-pressure world of live sports broadcasting. Each of the students will contribute to every stage of the broadcast, from equipment prep to the final frame of live T.V. As an experienced sportscaster himself, he said he’s communicated the rigors of the job to the students. The key to success, Deeley said, is intense preparation. Every angle needs to be covered in advance to ensure the right graphics are queued up and the correct player information is on deck.


“It’s a basketball game, so we generally know what to expect. They’re not going to break out hockey sticks,” Deeley said. “The job for these students is to get a feel for the process from start to finish, understand the flow of the game and work collaboratively to produce a polished production in a real-world, deadline-driven environment.”


While the student volunteers won’t receive course credit for their work, Deeley said they’ll earn an even more useful reward.


“They might not get As, but they’ll all receive the ESPN letters on their resumes,” he said. “That’s a pretty good letter grade.”

The UNF Athletics Department contributed to this report.

Around Campus

Library Commons promotes collaborative, learning environment for students, staff, faculty

the new, modular seating arrangements at the library (photos by Jennifer Grissom) The idea of the traditional university library evokes images of thick stacks of academic tomes and rows of silent students hunched over wooden desks. And while some of this is still so on the third and fourth "quiet" floors of the Library, the new face of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library is anything but traditional. The first and second floors are being renovated to create a vibrant and flexible academic environment and promote positive student learning outcomes. Dubbed the Library Commons initiative, the Library makeover was jumpstarted last year and will be completed this semester. 


The renovation adds more collaborative learning spaces and a presentation practice area, integrates the Information Technology Services Help Desk and Call Center into the building and unveils an upgraded wi-fi and electrical infrastructure using about $1.9 million in performance funding from the state.


Although construction started while classes were in session, the Library has remained open.


Student demand was the main driver for the renovations, said Dr. Elizabeth Curry, dean of the Library. Library faculty hosted a number of meetings and visioning sessions with students to determine their expectations of their Library, and some of the common requests from those conversations included increasing flexible furniture arrangements, electrical plugs, adaptable spaces and connectivity.


“This is years of planning coming together, with multiple levels of staff, faculty and administrative involvement,” Curry said.  “It’s the culmination of what students have been asking for. Even though most of the construction efforts have been focused on the first and second floors, it will enhance every floor of the Library. The work maximizes space, allows for a more open feel with better light and makes the building architecturally more conducive to working together.”


Lisandra Carmichael, the Library’s director of public services and Library Commons project manager, said the new layout for the Library’s first and second floors includes 14 group study rooms and a new presentation practice room with two podiums, seating for 12 and a Mondo pad. All of the rooms are able to be reserved using LibCal by Springshare, a calendar software that allows students to secure study spaces from their phones, tablets or computers. Additionally, six new "first-come, first-served" group study rooms are being built featuring numerous electrical outlets, a mobile monitor that allows students to share their computer screens with others, walls that can be written on and mobile white boards. New computers as well as scores of electrical plugs and charging stations are scattered throughout the Library Commons.


UNF students using the new Library Commons work spacesThis type of collaborative setting is where most university libraries are heading, said Dee Baldwin, associate dean. She said the idea to shift the Library’s services toward a more flexible model was first introduced in 2010, but it has gradually expanded over time to encompass the ITS move, new carpets, the installation of new data ports and a host of other updates. Paired with the introduction of 24-hour service Sundays through Thursdays this semester, Tommy G is equipped to provide a more responsive, accommodating library experience to UNF students.  


“We view the Library as a recruitment tool that can help students choose UNF,” Curry said. “This investment will ensure students can find an academic headquarters for themselves here on campus. The Library Commons is the product of input from dozens of students and staff members from across the University, and it should fit the needs and learning styles of any Osprey at UNF.”

Around Campus

Former Physical Facilities building a perfect fit for student sculptors

a sculpture student at work in the new space (photos by Jennifer Grissom)Just a few weeks into the semester, Alycia Bren is beginning work on a sculpture of giant paperclips that will serve as a University of North Florida campus bike rack.


Apart from the fact that she was chosen to create it, what also makes it special is that she can work on it inside — with plenty of room — and she won’t need to stash it in a corner or move it constantly. That’s because sculpture students now have a new place to call their own — the UNF Annex, formerly occupied by Physical Facilities and referred to as Building 6.


“Having this new space will give me more room to weld it together and not worry so much about navigating it around a small area,” Bren said. “Plus, I won’t have to worry about it being in another student’s way.”


While the Sculpture Program’s space needs were dire, the benefits of the new facility go far beyond square footage.  


“The building is a perfect fit,” said Jennifer Hager-Vickery, associate professor of sculpture. “How we are using the building is very similar to how Physical Facilities used it. We actually have very similar needs.”


An overview of the new sculpture studioThere are sinks in every classroom, as well as air lines throughout the building for the sculptors’ pneumatic tools — die grinders, stone carving tools and air chisels. Metal work will take place in an area where Physical Facilities previously worked on vehicles. There are even storage bays, including one for hazardous materials — perfect for flammables, paints and resins. Hager-Vickery says the loading dock, equipped with a lift, is ideal for large deliveries and moving sculptures and large pieces.


John Hale, director of Physical Facilities, agrees that the move, which is consistent with the Campus Master Plan, is a win-win for all involved.


“The sculpture studio did not have the sufficient space behind the Fine Arts Center,” Hale said. “As a result, it limited the scale and quantity of projects they could undertake.” 


The program’s prior space was one main room — about 1,000 square feet — that served as a classroom, lab, storage facility and more. Hager-Vickery said everything was constantly being moved because of the different uses. Students had to cart projects back and forth to class due to the limited space. There were many art pieces left outdoors, and much of the metal supplies had to be stored in the elements. 


Now, with about 14,000 square feet of space, those issues no longer exist. There are classrooms, office spaces and storage, as well as large warehouse spaces that serve as a metal arts lab and a woodshop. There’s a critique space for students to display artwork in a neutral environment, and even a small room for the Sculpture Guild to sell supplies such as specialized waxes.


“Studio space in the sculptural world is a necessity,” said sculpture student Mike Quatromoni, who was selected to build a sculptural bench this semester. “It allows for specific processes to be executed correctly.”


Hager-Vickery is particularly excited about a tiny room hidden in the interior of the building that is not much bigger than a broom closet. The room is a perfect “installation space,” according to the professor who teaches installation art in her Enlivened Spaces course. The small room lends itself perfectly to the art form that focuses on the transformation of a space. Hager-Vickery hopes that each student in her spring class will have a week to utilize the room for their own exhibit.


While most of the space in the Annex is dedicated for the Sculpture Program, certain areas, such as the wood shop, will be used regularly by all art and design students for frame making, stretching canvases and building molds.


Sculpture students couldn’t wait to move in, and spent two days following fall exams moving equipment, furniture and supplies. Now, with classes in session and work under way, it is a profound change for those who have experienced both locations.


“I am already feeling the benefits of the new sculpture facilities,” said Mary Ratcliff, a sculpture student who is also building a bike rack, as well as a sculpture for the library. “You were always working on top of each other, and sometimes it was a struggle to simply walk through the classroom.” 


The students see great things ahead for sculpture at UNF.


“Keep an eye out,” said Quatromoni, who predicts “some amazing work” from the program in the near future.


Ratcliff agrees.


“I feel this is not simply just a larger space,” she said, “but a true expansion of the Sculpture Program – more classes, more students, more possibilities!”


The sculptural bench and bike racks are produced under the leadership of Lance Vickery, an adjunct professor of sculpture. Hager-Vickery assists with the project as well. More information about campus art and previous work by the Enlivened Spaces students is available online


UNF’s online bachelor’s program ranks among nation’s best

a student working on an assignment for an online class

U.S. News & World Report listed the University of North Florida prominently on its 2015 rankings of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in the country.


UNF, ranked No. 55, is the only Northeast Florida higher education institution listed among the rankings in this category. Four other Florida public state universities are included on the list: the University of Florida at 13; University of Central Florida at 50; Florida International University at 98; and Florida State University at 161. UNF also landed on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Online Education Programs” graduate rankings.


The rankings are based on institutional data from more than 1,200 distance-education degree programs nationwide. U.S. News assessed schools based on four general categories: student engagement, including participation in courses that allow students opportunities to readily interact with instructors and fellow classmates, faculty credentials and training, including doctoral and tenure-track faculty and formal training for faculty in distance education, student services and technology, including diverse online learning technologies, career guidance and financial aid resources and peer reputation, including industry opinions that account for intangible factors on program quality that is not captured by statistics.


“UNF continues to support academic programs and departments as they develop online courses to meet the needs of students,” said Dr. Len Roberson, UNF associate vice president for Academic Technology and Innovation. “Our desire is to offer online courses that are not only high-quality but that provide students with greater access to the University’s excellent programs.”


The University has been offering online bachelor's degree programs since 2013-14, and UNF’s RN-BSN program is already nationally recognized. UNF is also leading the way in distance learning for interpreter education with distance students from around the United States and Europe. Within the College of Education and Human Services, the University’s ASL/English Interpreting graduate program offers a master’s degree in Interpreting Pedagogy, which combines fully online courses with intensive face-to-face learning in the summer. This program is one of only two master’s degrees in interpreter pedagogy in the country. A full list of the University’s online education programs is available online.  A breakdown of the varied awards received by the University is also available online.



UNF partners with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to promote STEM

President John A. Delaney shaking hands with Col. Alan Dodd of the U.S Army Corps of EngineersUNF students will have greater opportunities for real-world experience thanks to a new educational partnership program between the University and the Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 


The partnership, announced in November by UNF President John A. Delaney and USACE Jacksonville District Commander Col. Alan Dodd, aims to give UNF’s future scientists and engineers even greater exposure to projects that further support the STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering and math.


“Our students and faculty work on real-world problems of importance to the region, state and nation,” said Dr. Mark Tumeo, dean of UNF’s College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. “This educational partnership is one more important part of that mission.”


While UNF’s School of Engineering expects to gain from heightened opportunities for research collaboration, student jobs and internships, the Jacksonville district of the USACE will likely benefit from a more seasoned pool of students entering the workforce after graduation.


“The educational partnership is very important to the further economic development of the region since it will help the University produce more ready-to-work scientists and engineers plus cement an existing university-federal agency cooperative relationship,” said Dr. Chris Brown, UNF assistant professor of civil engineering and the main architect of the USACE agreement.


“Learning is a lifelong process, and one of the most effective ways to learn is to assist in developing others,” said Col. Dodd.  “We’re committed to teaming with others to strengthen STEM-related programs that inspire current and future generations of young people to pursue careers in STEM fields.”


The Jacksonville District, which encompasses Florida and the Caribbean, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ second largest civil works district. 


UNF lands spot on higher education honor roll

Higher Ed Honor Roll logoThe University of North Florida has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning and civic engagement.


This is the third consecutive year UNF has received this honor and the fourth national award the University has received for its community engagement efforts. In 2010, UNF received the prestigious Community Engaged University designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which runs through 2020.


“It’s exciting to see so many students and faculty working on projects and issues of importance to the greater Jacksonville community,” said Mark Falbo, director of UNF’s Center for Community-Based Learning. “Whether it’s through outreach or research, our students not only learn how to apply their knowledge in real-world situations, but they learn that with the privilege of a university degree also comes the responsibility to make a difference in our community.”


The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education recently honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, as well as students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning. More than 700 schools were named to the Honor Roll.


UNF has adopted community-based transformational learning as the focus of the University’s quality improvement efforts. As a result, numerous departments have revised their curricula, and more than 100 full-time faculty members have redesigned courses to include forms of community-based learning. UNF students also benefit because they are learning in real, authentic situations that meet the needs of Jacksonville’s schools, businesses and neighborhoods.


CNCS oversees the Honor Roll, in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

Get to Know

Nancy Broner

Nancy Broner headshotDepartment: OneJax

Job title: Executive Director

What do you do? I am the director of OneJax, an interfaith organization dedicated to building an inclusive community in Jacksonville, promoting respect and understanding that will overcome bias, bigotry and oppression.

Years at UNF: One

Tell us about your family. I’ve been married for 41 years to Dr. Tom Broner, a local podiatrist. We have three children and three grandchildren.

What’d you do before coming to UNF? I taught high school a long time ago at Fletcher High School. It was there that I noticed the weather had a direct effect on attendance. When the weather was good and the surf was up, my classes later in the day had far fewer students. I went on to teach English at JU and have worked in education consulting. I’ve been on the faculty of the Center for Reform of School Systems where I travelled a lot to large school districts across the country and helped on matters of governance and policy. It’s really rewarding work because it positively affects so many children.

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? I enjoy collaborating with the great people at UNF and being around the students. 


Travel is an important part of your life. Tell us about some of the places you like to visit: We frequently go to Winter Park, Colo. We have a condo up there, and it’s our place to go enjoy the Rocky Mountains, hike and cross-country ski. It’s really peaceful and beautiful at such a high altitude. I also have a sister who has lived her whole life in Tuscany, Italy. We love to go see her. She has olive trees, so we help sometimes with the olive harvest in late October. The whole country is engaged in the olive harvest at that time. It’s a unique experience to pick them, take them to market and watch them be squeezed into incredible oils. It’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted.


What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet? Travel to every national park in the U.S. 


Who is the most famous person you ever met? President Lyndon Johnson. I was in the sixth grade, and my family was visiting Philadelphia. President Johnson was there. We were just a part of the crowd, but he shook my hand.

What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life? Eric Clapton is my favorite musician, so I’d ask him to perform it.

If you won the lottery, what would do with the money? Help my family and establish a foundation to support nonprofit work

If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why? I would probably choose to work in hospital administration, as I enjoy working in systems that enhance our quality of life. 

Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? My daughter’s graduation from UNF in 2000

What is your favorite way to blow an hour? Taking a nature walk

What was the best money you ever spent? The best money I ever spent was on an RV that we traveled in for about 10 years. Really fun.

What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? The happiest moments of my life were when my children and grandchildren were born.

Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you. I’m a football fanatic.

What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? One of the first concerts I can remember attending was Yes. The most recent concert I had tickets for was Joe Bonamassa, but I ended up missing the concert because I had to have knee surgery.

What are you most passionate about? Social justice


Osprey Profile: Yousra Hebeishy

Yousra Hebeishy in the SG Chambers (photo by Dennis Ho).Where are you from?

I’m originally from Casablanca, Morocco, but I have lived in Jacksonville since I was 6 years old.


What is your major?

I’m double majoring in international studies and political science.


When will you graduate?

I am due to graduate in Spring 2015.  


Are you in the honors program? If so, elaborate a bit on your honors experience here at UNF.

I was not a part of the traditional Honors Program. However, I did take advantage of their Honors in the Major program, which requires completion of an eight-credit program culminating in an undergraduate research thesis.



Why did you pick UNF over other schools?

I grew up in Jacksonville, and UNF is my neighborhood school. I didn’t want to come to school here initially because, much like everyone else at 18, I wanted to get as far away from home as possible. However, once I visited the campus, realized how much better it would be to stay near my little brother and was awarded a four-year college scholarship through the Jacksonville Commitment, all other schools couldn’t compare to UNF.


What do you do for fun on campus?

When I started at UNF, I participated in Student Government. I obtained many leadership positions and served on University-wide committees. In addition to Student Government, I am a member of the Presidential Envoys, the Muslim Student Association and the Pre-Law Student Society. I also worked on campus as the assistant business manager at the Center for Student Media and the Market Days coordinator for the Student Union Administration.


What’s your favorite UNF tradition?

My favorite UNF tradition would have to be “Date Night with Tommy G.” I’ve spent my share of stressful hours and endless nights in the library, but they have all culminated in an amazing academic experience.


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

My favorite part about the faculty and staff at UNF is the level of dedication they show toward their school and students. It’s been a pleasure being a student at a school where I’m not just another statistic. Every semester, I can tell my professors and advisers genuinely care about my progress and experience.


Do you have a favorite professor(s)?

I have had numerous professors that I’ve enjoyed taking classes with. My favorite professors have been the ones in the political science department — specifically Michael Binder, Nancy Soderberg, Mary Borg, Nicholas Seabrook, Georgette Dumont and Pamela Zeiser. All of these professors have in some way challenged me and pushed me to be the person I am today. I can honestly say that my education at UNF would be drastically different if it wasn’t for the aforementioned individuals.


What has been your favorite class?

My favorite class has been my real world policy course with Nancy Soderberg. In this class, we presented a policy paper on the Mali crisis to high-ranking officials at the State Department, Pentagon, White House, various embassies and Senate members. This class opened my eyes to the endless possibilities at my fingertips. It was also what pushed me to apply for an internship at the State Department in Paris.


Have you gotten the chance to work on any hands-on learning projects, internships or Transformational Learning Opportunities during your time at UNF?

I participated in an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. This was by far the highlight of my UNF experience. I cannot express in words how much knowledge and expertise I gained through this internship. I worked in the Ambassador’s office and got a chance to meet people from all over the world including President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry and the interim foreign minister of Ukraine.


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

My place to de-stress is the Student Wellness Complex. There is no other place on campus that allows me to sweat out all my stress and helps me feel refreshed in the process. It’s a great place to go to take classes, run or lift weights.


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

Yes, I learned to never judge a book by its cover. It is very easy, especially as a malleable freshman, to focus on superficial aspects of schools — having a football team, huge student population, Greek housing, etc. — when deciding where to go to college. I don't know of many freshmen who look up specific programs of study to find the school that fits their academic interests. I have gotten more support — personal, financial and otherwise — from the faculty and staff at UNF than I would have at any other school in the state. This is largely due to the low student-teacher ratio at UNF. What could initially be considered as a deterrent for picking a school could ultimately be your biggest blessing.


What do you think of the campus’ natural environment?

I love UNF’s natural environment. I think we have a beautiful campus, and it’s our responsibility to take care of it. Some of my fondest memories and most relaxing times involve walking through the nature trails or kayaking on Lake Oneida.


What's been your biggest challenge so far as a UNF student?

My biggest challenge thus far has been letting go. I think this is true for many people my age, but I’ve been put in positions where I’ve had to let go of friends, jobs, activities, etc. simply because I outgrew them. More specifically at UNF, letting go of Student Government was one of the hardest things I’ve ever encountered. I had given three years of my time to that organization and making the decision to resign was very tough. Ultimately, I believe that everyone is put in positions where they can make a contribution, improve what they can and move on to other things. No one will live forever or be a part of an organization forever — the goal is to create something that will outlive your stay.


What are your plans for the future?

Currently, my plans for the future include graduating from UNF, potentially working for the State Department or on Capitol Hill. I also plan on attending graduate school or law school. Long term, I would like to either become an ambassador or Secretary of State.


What does being an Osprey mean to you?

Being an Osprey to me means being exquisite. It means being the underdog that blows everyone out of the water when they soar and fly high. And, most importantly, it means being able to soar across the world, but never forgetting the foundations that got you where you are today.


What is your favorite item at the Boathouse?

Buffalo chicken sandwich with a side of fries and lemonade! I feel as though I have ordered this meal a million times.


What is your favorite thing to do on the Green?

As weird as it may sound, I love to just lie there and absorb the sunlight and fresh air.


What are your tips for finding time to study?

Schedule! I am the type of person that has to schedule everything I do. Otherwise, I will forget about it. Scheduling your tasks forces you to be more organized.


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

Professors are the most valuable resource UNF has. If any student has an opportunity to get to know their professors outside of the classroom, they should definitely take it. Many of the professors at UNF have lived exciting lives and done research on just about any topic one can think of. Building a positive relationship with professors, both in and out of the classroom, opens students up to a whole new network for their career. Professors are also tremendously insightful when it comes to career planning. They can lead you in the right direction.


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

I think the most important thing to remember is to not procrastinate. While I am well aware this is easier said than done, it is still an integral part of student success. One would be surprised at how much time we waste putting assignments off until the last minute. Life is a lot less stressful when you take full advantage of the time at hand. Another tip I would give is to not consider your classes as another chore. We’re here to learn and develop — physically, emotionally, spiritually, and most importantly, mentally. 

Faculty and Staff

graduation regaliaCoggin College of Business


Marketing and Logistics: Dr. Reham Eltantawy published the paper "The Role of Supply Management Resilience in Attaining Ambidexterity: A Dynamic Capabilities Approach” in the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. Another paper, “Towards Supply Chain Coordination and Productivity in a Three Echelon Supply Chain: Action Research Study” was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Operations and Production Management. The paper was co-authored with Professors Antony Paulraj, Larry Giunipero and Dag Naslund. 


Dr. Gregory Gundlach served as guest editor for a special issue of the Antitrust Bulletin entitled "Antitrust as a Multidisciplinary Field." The special issue was based on an American Antitrust Institute symposium in June 2014 in Washington, D.C. Gundlach wrote the introduction to the issue as well as an article "Network Organization and Competition:  A Marketing Primer". Gundlach was also named treasurer of the American Antitrust Institute.  



College of Arts and Sciences


Chemistry: Dr. José A. Jiménez published three research articles: (1) “Luminescent properties of Cu+/Sn2+-activated aluminophosphate glass” in Optical Materials; (ii) “UV-stimulated near-IR emission of Pr3+ in phosphate glass via twofold-coordinated Sn centers” in Infrared Physics & Technology; and (iii) “Enhanced Photoluminescence Properties of Sm3+ ions in Cu+ and Sn2+ Co-doped P2O5:BaO Glass” in the Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids. 


Dr. Amy L. Lane, with her students Paige Mandelare and Yang Ban, published the chapter “New Developments in NMR Methodologies with Special Roles in Drug Discovery” in the book ”Structure-Activity Relationship Studies in Drug Development by NMR Spectroscopy” in October.


Dr. Kenneth K. Laali published the following articles: (i) with several collaborators, “Experimental NMR and DFT Studies of Persistent Carbocations Derived from Hetero-Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Containing Oxygen Atom: Dibenzo[b,d]furan, Benzo[b]naphtho[1,2-d]furan, Benzo[b]naphtho[2,3-d]furan, Benzo[b]naphtho[2,1-d]furan, and Dinaphtho[2,1-b:1',2'-d]furan” in the Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan; (ii) with A. Jamalian, and C. Zhou, “Reaction of Selectfluor (F-TEDA-BF4) with Chloromethylated-DABCO Monocation Salts (X = BF4, NTf2) and Other Nitrogen Bases (Et3N; piperidine; basic ionic liquid): Unexpected Formation of Symmetrical [N-H-N]+ Trication Salts” in Tetrahedron Letters; (iii) with R. J. Wehmschulte, G. L. Borosky, and D. R. Powell, “Synthesis and Structure of the First Bridgehead Silylium Ion” in the journal Organometallics; (iv) with several collaborators, “Novel Quinoline-Imidazolium Adducts via the Reaction of 2-Oxoquinoline-3-Carbaldehyde and Quinoline-3-Carbaldehydes with 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride [BMIM][Cl]” in Tetrahedron Letters; with T. Okazaki and A. S. Reddy, “The 2,4-Dimethyl-7-Pentafluorosulfanyl-5(trifluoromethyl)dibenzo[b,d]Thiophenium Trifluoromethanesulfonate; The SF5-Analog of Umemoto Salt” in the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry; (v) with T. Okazaki, “Mono- and Dinitration of Pentafluorosulfanylbenzenes with [NO2][BF4], and Substrate Selectivity (PhSF5 vs PhCF3 and PhSF5 vs PhNO2) in competitive Nitration” in the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry; and (vi) with A. Jamalian, B. Rathman, and G. A. Borosky, “Catalytic, Regioselective, and Green Methods for Rearrangement of 1,2-Diaryl Epoxides to Carbonyl Compounds Employing Metallic Triflates, Brønsted-Acidic Ionic Liquids (ILs), and IL/Microwave; Experimental and Computational Substituent Effect Study on Aryl versus Hydrogen Migration” in Applied Catalysis A: General.


Dr. Christos Lampropoulos, with his studentJ.M. Cain, published “Coordination Complexes and Polymers from the Initial Application of Phenyl-2-pyridyl Ketone Azine in Mercury Chemistry” in Polyhedron. He also gave an oral presentation, “Aggregation of Single-Molecule Magnets via Targeted Structural Modifications” at the Florida Inorganic and Materials Symposium with his research student, S. Corrales. Lampropoulos and his students N. Mhesn, T. Jenkins, and S. Corrales also presented the poster “The Syntheses of One-Dimensional SMM-Based Chains” at the 2014 UNF Biology, Chemistry, Physics Poster Session in October and again at the Florida Inorganic and Materials Symposium. Finally, he and his students, S. Corrales, N. Mhesn and T. Jenkins, presented the poster “Novel Aggregates of Mn12 Single-Molecule Magnets: Syntheses, X-ray Crystallography, Magnetic Properties, Thermal Stability Studies, and High-Field EPR” at the 2014 UNF Biology, Chemistry, Physics Poster Session.


Dr. Michael Lufaso and co-authors published “Light-Induced Changes in Magnetism in a Coordination Polymer Heterostructure, Rb0.24Co[Fe(CN)6]0.74@K0.10Co[Cr(CN)6]0.70·nH2O and the Role of the Shell Thickness on the Properties of Both Core and Shell” in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


Communication: Diane Matuschka and her colleague Cheryl Pawlowski presented “The Impact of Juvenile-Targeted Television Programming on the Early Sexualization of Girls” at the International Organization of Social Science and Behavioral Research Fall 2014 conference. Their work was honored as the best paper during the session.


English: Dr. Laura Heffernan published “Abstraction and the Amateur: De-disciplining T.E. Hulme” in Modernism/Modernity in January. 


Marcus Pactor published “A Good Dog Would Forget” in theNewerYork.


Dr. Nicholas de Villiers gave an invited talk, “I see language: Grey Sex,” at The Sexuality of Words symposium and Art=Text=Art: Private Languages/Public Systems exhibition at the University of Buffalo in New York in November.


Dr. Michael Wiley published his novel “Blue Avenue” with Severn House. He also published the chapter, “‘No Place on Earth /Can Ever Be a Solitude’: Lyrical Ballads, Hartleianism, and a World of Places,” in the collection “Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760-1820.”


Dr. James Beasley presented “Looking for Logic: Rhetoric and Literature at the University of Chicago” at the annual Western States Literacy Conference in Reno, Nev. in November.


History: Dr. Alison J. Bruey presented “‘I don’t like to ask names, and I never remember anything’: Narratives of Violence, Resistance, and Justice in Poblaciones of Gran Santiago, 1973-2013” at the 129th annual meeting of the American Historical Association and The Conference on Latin American History Annual Meeting in New York, N.Y. in January. She also was a commentator on the panel “Politics and Place in the Latin American City” at the seventh biennial Conference of The Urban History Association in Philadelphia, Penn. in October.


Dr. Charles Closmann presented “Recycling and the German Way of War” at the Southeast German Studies Association annual workshop in Davidson, N.C. in March. He also presented “Blood and Soil:  National Socialist Germany and the Policy of Sewage Farming” at the annual Conference of the American Society for Environmental History in San Francisco, Calif. 


Dr. David Courtwright, with Andrew Kolodny and others, published “The Prescription Opioid and Heroin Crisis: A Public Health Approach to an Epidemic of Addiction,” in the 2015 edition of Annual Reviews in Public Health, which was released online in December. 


Dr. Greg Domber published “Empowering Revolution: America, Poland, and the End of the Cold War” with UNC Press in October. He gave a public talk about the book at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the American History Association’s Washington History seminar series in October. He also participated in the roundtable “Human Rights and Humanitarianism in U.S. Foreign Relations” at the 26th annual Southeastern World History Association Conference in Boca Raton in October. Finally, he presented “Supporting Solidarność: The National Endowment for Democracy and the Polish Émigrés that Kept Solidarność Alive” at the 46th annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in San Antonio, Tex. in November.


Dr. Theo Prousis chaired a panel and delivered a paper, “Reporting from the City: Images and Vignettes from Constantinople during the Eastern Crisis of the 1820s,” at the 46th annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, San Antonio, Tex. in November. He also published “Strangford's Busy Fortnight at the Porte” in the journal Archivum Ottomanicum.


Dr. Norman Harry Rothschild presented “‘Why is it necessary for naked savages to drum and dance?’: Early Tang Imperial Responses to Sogdian New Year’s Rites,” at the Tang Epitaphs Conference, Forest of Steles Museum in Xi’an, China in July. He also presented “Muzhiming as Manuscript: “Shangguan Wan’er Unearthed: Re-evaluating the Political Career of the Lady of Luminous Deportment” at the International Conference on East Asian Buddhist Manuscripts, Emeishan in Sichuan, China in December.


Dr.Daniel J. Watkins, with Professors David Brakke and Tina Sessa, taped “The People’s Pope and the Changing Face of Catholicism,” an episode of the public history podcast History Talk in December. 


Music: Dr. Erin K. Bennett gave an invited piano master class at the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Piano Pedagogy Symposium in January. In addition, she took six UNF piano students to the symposium, which took place at Southern Methodist University, where they presented “Know Your Body: How to Practice Smarter and Enjoy It More.”


Philosophy and Religious Studies:  Dr. Andrew Buchwalter published “Hegel and Marx,” in Michael Baur (ed.), Hegel: Key Concepts (Routledge) and “Hegel, Arendt, und‚ ‘das Recht, Rechte zu haben,’”Hegel-Jahrbuch (November). He presented “Human Rights, Interculturality, and the Idea of a Transnational Public Sphere,” Association of Political Theory and “A Critique of Non-Metaphysical Readings of Hegel’s Practical Philosophy,” at the 23rd biennial meeting of the Hegel Society of America at Northwestern University.


Dr. Paul Carelli published "Psychic Representation in Plato's Phaedrus" in Apeiron in November.


Dr. Hans-Herbert Koegler published “Dialogue and community: the ethical claim of tradition,” in the Journal of the Philosophy of History in November and “Ethics and Community” in Routledge Companion to Hermeneutics in December.


Dr. Sarah Mattice presented “Confucianism, Transcendence, and Secular Categorization” at the American Academy of Religion Conference in November.


Physics: Dr. Chris Kelso, with Keita Fukushima, Jason Kumar, Pearl Sandick and Takahiro Yamamoto, published  “MSSM dark matter and a light slepton sector: The incredible bulk” in Physical Review D in November. Additionally, with his colleagues H.N. Long, R. Martinez, and Farinaldo S. Queiroz, Kelso published a second article in Physical D Review D, “Connection of g−2μ, electroweak, dark matter, and collider constraints on 331 models in December.”


Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. Natasha Christie published “Understanding the Role of Cross-Sector Collaborations on the Success of Florida’s Drug Courts” in Criminal Justice Policy Review in November.


Psychology: Dr. Chris Leone gave four invited symposia presentations: (i) “Mere thought and attitude polarization,” at the University of Florida; (ii) “Mere Thought and Attitude Polarization: New Directions in Self-Generated Attitude Change,” (iii) “Mere thought and attitude polarization: Belief consistency, cognitive schemas, and moderator variables,” and (iv) with R.V. Hassey, J. J. Clarkson, and S. Moreria, “Revisiting social identity in self-persuasion: The effect of conflicting attitudinal norms on mere thought,” all three at the annual meeting, which he co-chaired, of the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists in Athens, Ga.


Drs. Michael Toglia, Chris Leone, and K. Ryndak gave an invited symposium presentation, “Alibi witnesses: willingness to provide false alibis,” at the annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Long Beach, Calif.


Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work: Dr. Rosa De Jorio gave an invited talk, “Reconstructing/Preserving Islamic Cultural Heritage Sites in Mali after the Crisis,” to the Islam in Africa Working Group at the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida in December. She also presented “The Patrimonialization of the Sufi Heritage in Timbuktu: Controversies around Past Traces and Current Practices” at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association in Indianapolis in November.


Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull presented “The Smiling Face of Islam in the Pesantren Tradition” at the seminar “Still the Smiling Face of Islam?: Continuity and Change” hosted by the Institute of Southeast Asian Islamic Studies at the State Islamic University of Pekanbaru in Sumatra in December. He was awarded a research grant for his project “When a Muslim Militia Became Pluralist” from the American Institute for Indonesian Studies in December.


Dr. Jennifer Spaulding-Givens, with her colleague Dr. Jeffrey Lacasse, published “Self-Directed Care: Participants’ Service Utilization and Outcomes” in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal in December.


Dr. Suzie Weng, with her colleague F. E. Netting, published “Culturally Responsive Strategies used to Deliver Ethnic-Specific Services to Asian-Americans” in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services in December. She presented two papers at the 43rd Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action Conference in Denver, Colo. in November: (i) “Informal Support Network Development in an Asian-American Community: A Grounded Theory”; and (ii) “Leadership in an Asian-American Community in the South: The Development of an Informal Support Network to Increase Access to Services”. Finally, with her colleague J. Lee, she presented a poster “Giving Back: Lessons Learned from Refugees and Immigrants” at the same conference.



College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Swapnoneel Roy and N.S. Narayanaswamy had their paper titled “Block Sorting is APX-Hard” accepted for presentation and inclusion in the proceedings of the ninth International Conference on Algorithms and Complexity (CIAC). The conference is scheduled for May in Paris.


Justin Wilson, Christian Herreros and Karthik Sundaresan, members of the IEEE Computer Society student’s club, represented UNF in the IEEEXtreme 24-hour Global Programming Competition in October.


Engineering: Dr. Patrick Kreidl co-organized and co-chaired, with Dr. Ann Cox from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a special session titled "Adversary-Aware Cyber Decision Systems" at the 53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in Los Angeles in December.


Patrick Caldwell and Dr. Patrick Kreidl had their paper titled “On the use of feedback in an introduction-based reputation protocol” published and presented at the 53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in Los Angeles in December.


Adam Duncan, Kyle Hintze, Eldin Ikanovic, Paul Lelis, Alejandro Lepervanche, Vasiq Viqas and Elizabeth Voelkel, UNF electrical engineering students, passed the Federal Communications Commission Amateur Radio Exam. Passing the exam was an extra credit for the communications systems class taught by Dr. Brian Kopp.



College of Education and Human Services


Foundations and Secondary Education: Dr. Luciana C. Braga, along with coauthors J.F. Tracy and A.R. Taliaferro, recently had an article published in the Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance titled “Physical activity programs in higher education: Modifying net/wall games to include individuals with disabilities.”


Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education: Dr. Caroline Guardino and Brenda Dale, a visiting professor in deaf education, presented at the Florida Educators of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Individuals conference in Lake Mary, Fla. They presented on the highlights of UNF’s upcoming bachelor’s in deaf education program, expected to launch in 2016. The presentation garnered interest from conference attendees on how to improve their teaching practices, as well as how to potentially have future UNF interns in their districts. In addition, funding from the College of Education and Human Services allowed 15 deaf education undergraduates and graduates to attend and participate in the conference.


Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL:

 Dr. Christine Weber was elected as the representative assembly for CEC-TAG (Council for Exceptional Children - The Association for the Gifted) for a two-year term.


Drs. Ronghua Ouyang, Mauricio Gonzalez and Timothy Robinson attended the ninth Global Confucius Institute Conference in Xiamen, China from Dec. 7-8. Dr. Ouyang made a presentation of the “A Training Model for Developing Chinese Language Teachers on the Local Site” at the conference.


Dr. Nile Stanley published an educational psychology and counseling research article in Cogent Education titled “Resilience in language learners and the relationship to storytelling” in collaboration with Shaanxi Normal, University in China.  


Center for Instruction and Research Technology


Kevin Hulen, assistant director of Distance Learning Course Development, published the paper "Actual Representation of the Planned Curriculum (ARPC)" in the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Effective Practices collection in July. The OLC site houses peer-reviewed techniques, strategies and practices in online education. Find more information online. 


Deb Miller, director, and Justin Lerman, coordinator of Distance Learning Training, presented an information session titled  "Developing Faculty Experts in Distance Learning: Unanticipated Benefits" at the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014 in October in Orlando. Find more information online.



UNF-branded balloonsMilestone anniversaries

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


30 years

LaVonne Frison, Office Manager, Human Resources


25 years

Franscine Green, Custodial Worker, University Housing


10 years

Ana Guzman, Accounting Coordinator, Controller 

Stephanie Howell, Legal Assistant – Paralegal, General Counsel


Five years

April Johnson, Applications Systems, Analyst Enterprise Systems 

Michael McGuire, Director, Student Government 

Julianne Neumann, Financial Aid Specialist, Financial Aid Office

Charles Pelton, Groundskeeper, University Housing

Birkha Sunuwar, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 

Allison Turner, Coordinator of Academic Services, Arts and Sciences 

Diane Wyckoff, Career Development Coordinator, Career Services



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


Elizabeth Brown, Assistant Professor, Psychology


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Christopher Johnson, Chair/Associate Professor, Economics

Paul Mason, Acting Dean/Professor, Economics 



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


Daniel Arenas, Assistant Professor, Physics 

Tracy Gale, Parking Attendant, Parking and Transportation Services 

Thomas Mason, Senior Telecommunication Technician, Telephone Services 

Frederick Pragasam, Professor, Management

Maisha Tolliver, Accounting Associate, Physical Facilities

Sandra Wirth, Grant and Contract Administration Coordinator, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs



Job well done to Jenny Johnson from the Office of Internal Auditing. She passed all four parts of the Certified Fraud Examiners test in her first sitting. This exam covers all aspects of fraud, such as fraud prevention and deterrence, financial transactions and fraud schemes, law and investigation. Johnson has an undergraduate and graduate degree from UNF and has been a dedicated employee for more than sixteen years. 

The Goods


garlic closeupGarlic or “Allium sativu” is a species in the onion family. Garlic has been used in many cultures and religions as a seasoning or condiment for thousands of years. With its strong sulfuric odor, it may seem uninviting. However, its extraordinary health benefits coupled with its distinct flavor make it a valuable ingredient in various recipes. Garlic is known for numerous positive health impacts, including lowering blood pressure as well as its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-cancer effects. Alireza Jahan-Mihan, assistant professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program at the University of North Florida, shares more about the health benefits of garlic. In order to include garlic in your diet, a recipe is included.


Myth: Garlic has magic compounds that can prevent and cure some diseases.

Fact: The health benefits of garlic are mainly attributed to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, alliin and ajoene. The pungent odor of garlic is also mainly due to these components. In addition to sulfur-containing compounds, garlic is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C and also a good source of selenium.


Myth: Garlic can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fact: A great number of animal and clinical studies suggest possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic by reducing accumulation of cholesterol in the vessels. Moreover, garlic compounds can help reduce blood pressure through its vasodilative effect. Garlic can also lower blood homocysteine levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease.


Myth: Garlic has beneficial effects for diabetics by improving blood glucose control.

Fact: The beneficial effect of garlic on the regulation of blood glucose is also reported. When therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts are used routinely, it prevents some complications of diabetes mellitus.


Myth: Garlic fights against bacteria and viruses.

Fact: Garlic has bacteriostatic properties and can be used to treat infection, digestive disorders and fungal infections. Moreover, garlic is traditionally known for its role in preventing and helping fight against the common cold. However, the supporting evidence is poor and controversial.


Myth: Garlic is a good source of vitamin C and also can increase absorption of other vitamins.

Fact: Garlic is a good source of vitamin C, so, it’s effective to prevent scurvy. Garlic can also improve absorption of thiamin (vitamin B1) and decrease the risk of diseases related to thiamin deficiency, including beriberi. In addition, diallyl sulfides in garlic can increase production of ferroportin, a protein in the blood that regulates iron metabolism.


Myth: Garlic can help sexual functions in men.

Fact: Garlic supplementation boosted testosterone levels in rats fed a high protein diet, but the results in humans aren’t conclusive. 

Chicken Breasts with Garlic

Ingredients (4 servings)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper to taste

¾ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 bay leaf


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute the chicken until it is nicely browned on one side (about 3 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic. Turn the chicken breasts and scatter the mushrooms over them. Continue frying, shaking the skillet and stirring the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, and then add the vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover tightly and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Set aside. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 7 minutes. Swirl in the butter or margarine and discard the bay leaf. Pour the mushroom sauce mixture over the chicken and serve.


The Goods is a monthly column about food myths and facts by faculty members in the University of North Florida’s Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program. Have a question about garlic? Contact Alireza Jahan-Mihan  at .   

Bright Birds Know

UNF averages about 19 media hits a day from local, national and even international news agencies, covering all the dynamic activities happening on or around campus.  


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 .