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InsideJune 2015

Around Campus

Protein impacts studied in lab rats

Dr. Alireza Jahan-mihan holding a rat test subject Soy or whey? That is the question.


With the help of 48 rats housed in a campus lab, Shawna Jenkins, a research assistant in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, and several other recent nutrition graduates may soon have an answer.


The research, funded through a grant within the Brooks College of Health, seeks to determine the impact of two different types of proteins on physiological and metabolic functions. The practical purpose of the research is twofold: to determine if the effects of an obesogenic diet which promotes obesity and its comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia and some types of cancer can be reversed through a protein-based diet mixed with exercise and, if so, to find out which protein - soy protein (plant-based) or whey protein (animal-based) - has a more profound effect on correcting metabolic dysfunctions.


The research group works with Dr. Alireza Jahan-mihan, a Nutrition and Dietetics assistant professor with an extensive background in both clinical and animal studies. Though different proteins may share certain characteristics, Jahan-mihan says the compositions may vary and could yield different effects and benefits.


“We are saying that the role of the protein is beyond the traditional role as only a source of essential amino acids and energy,” Jahan-mihan said.


The holding containers for the test subjectsThe researchers believe that because of their complexity, different proteins could affect physiological and metabolic functions differently. Pregnant Wistar rats, called dams, were purchased in January for the research, and the offspring of those rats have served as study subjects. For 12 weeks, the rats’ obesogenic diets mirrored that of a typical American diet - high in fat and loaded with sugar.


The rats were divided into 4 groups for the second portion of the experiment. Two groups will receive a soy-based diet - one with exercise and one without. The remaining two are on a whey-based diet - again, one group with exercise and one without. As for the type of exercise - the rats are running daily on a mini-treadmill.


While most would theorize that the exercising rats will likely have improved weight, blood pressure and glucose levels, the real uncertainty lies in the effects of the different proteins.


“The interactive effect of the source of protein and exercise is still unclear and needs further research,” Jenkins said. 


She said the group chose soy and whey because they are among the most common sources of proteins consumed in a western diet.


“The results of this study will help us formulate an optimal combination of dietary proteins and exercise to improve body weight, body composition and glucose metabolism,” Jenkins said.


In addition to Jenkins, who will begin her graduate work at UNF in the spring, the research group includes two other soon-to-be UNF graduate students, Valeria Palamidy and Lindsay Pappas, as well as Diana Maier, who is currently a dietetic intern at Mayo Rochester. Though all the researchers have received their bachelor’s degrees since the project began, finishing the study is a priority. Those who are in town still share the daily responsibilities of tending to the rats and taking measurements. And there’s a lot of tending.


In addition to cleaning cages, the rodents’ body weight and food intake are recorded, as well as fasting blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Oral glucose tolerance (OGT) and insulin tolerance tests are also taken to test the efficiency in which the body metabolizes glucose.


Three interns from the University of Poitiers in France are also involved in this study and assisting with many of the daily tasks.


The research methods used were submitted and approved by UNF’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, a group that reviews research protocols and evaluates the institution’s animal care and use in research.


Dr. Jahan-mihan currently is working on three research studies, including two animal studies and a clinical study involving more than 25 undergraduate and graduate students. One of his studies focuses on how a mother’s diet during pregnancy and lactation affects her offspring, both in the short- and long-term.


“My current study is examining the role of characteristics of proteins fed during pregnancy and lactation on the risk of development of obesity and chronic diseases in offspring,” he said.


Researchers hope the studies will provide critical insight into the effects of certain proteins -information that is relevant to humans.  It is the first animal research ever conducted in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at UNF.

Around Campus

New CIO offers fresh focus for ITS

Brinson working with his new staff during a recent meetingA core focal point for the University of North Florida’s new Chief Information Officer is on connecting the dots.


Reggie Brinson, the University's new associate vice president and CIO, came on in April to replace Lance Taylor, who dedicated more than 40 years of his professional career to the UNF community. Brinson said during an interview in May that Taylor built a strong framework for the Information Technology Services department. Widespread changes aren’t needed, he said. The goal is to offer up a new vantage point and a pair of fresh eyes to help identify areas for technological collaboration and increased efficiency between units.


“Connecting the dots is what technology is all about,” Brinson said. “That’s why I invite faculty, staff and students to discuss their ideas for campus technology with me any time. I’ve already spoken to something in the neighborhood of about 20-25 campus leaders and probably 100 different staff members. I enjoy sitting back, listening to their thoughts and hopefully noticing when another unit is working on a solution to someone’s tech problem and linking those two together.”


Brinson brings a wealth of IT experience gained from a more than 20-year career spent working in New Jersey, Boston and Atlanta. He also has deep roots in Jacksonville. A Sandalwood High School graduate, Brinson attended UNF as a post-baccalaureate student in the music department and studied under Dr. William Brown, a distinguished professor of voice and founding faculty member. He even met his wife on campus while she was studying for her master’s degree in English literature.


“UNF is like home to me,” he said. “It’s a place that I’ve watched grow, and I wanted to help add to that legacy of growth.”


His plans to take ITS forward involve a review of the University’s Project Management Office and instituting a program to help promote a renewed focus on academic technology. He said he’s worked with Dr. Gordon Rakita, the director of Academic Technology, on a grant program for professors to purchase high-level software for the classroom. Students come to class with an average of 2.7 electronic devices, so he said he wants to help leverage available tech to establish deeper student connections with classroom learning.   


Brinson said his predecessor, Taylor, has been a tremendous resource in helping him transition into the new position. He credits him as being a mentor and said he feel like he’s established a deep friendship with Taylor in just a few short weeks. With that foundation, and a calendar loaded with meetings with different campus stakeholders, Brinson said he’s ready to offer up his fresh set of eyes to determine different ways in which the campus can improve the services delivered by ITS.

Around Campus

Continuing Education cutting course costs in half for UNF staff, faculty, students

Students in a photo class taking picturesThe lazy days of summer are the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or develop your skills in an area of interest. The University of North Florida’s Division of Continuing Education is making that easy for faculty, staff and students by cutting the regular registration fee for most classes, workshops and courses in half - starting now.


The division’s courses take place both in the office - screenwriting, social media training, professional development - and in the great outdoors - gardening, nature photography, kayaking. That’s just a taste of what Continuing Education offers. The only limit is nearly one’s imagination, said Director Tim Giles. The cost reduction move was undertaken to ensure UNF staff, faculty and students have access to all of these mind-expanding seminars.


“Traditionally, so much of our focus has been advertising outwardly into the community, and over time, we’ve discussed strategies of how to more effectively promote the programs internally,” Giles said. “The programs are developed, the work is done and we feel strongly about their high quality. Why would we not want to make them as accessible as possible to the internal UNF community?”


From Continuing Education’s standpoint, Giles said there is a real benefit to having more people in the program, especially UNF-affiliated participants. They might become advocates for the division, spreading the word about Continuing Education’s dynamic suite of educational seminars.


“If they bring more family and friends on campus, that helps in increasing the net of exposure,” he said.


Campus units can also utilize the division’s assortment of soft skill, management, and supervisory courses to help employees who want to flesh out their career portfolios. This opens the door for something of a symbiotic relationship between UNF’s Center for Professional Development and Training and Continuing Education, Giles said.


As for students, Giles said they are the demographic market that hasn’t been a big part of Continuing Education over the years. He said he hopes the cost-reduction move will help change that fact. 


“We consider ourselves to be a lifelong learning provider, and we’d like there to be a lifetime of engagement with our students, Giles said. “Having them become acclimated to CE while they’re still students and opening their eyes to what we offer, that’s the first step on the path to helping them become lifelong customers.”


There are a few exclusions to the discount deal. That includes online programs, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) courses and exam prep workshops. A full list of available courses is on the Continuing Education website.

Around Campus

UNF Top 10: Learn more about the new Library Commons

If you haven’t visited the Thomas G. Carpenter Library lately, you might not be able to recognize it. The Library’s first and second floors have been renovated to create a vibrant and flexible academic environment and promote positive student learning outcomes. Dubbed the Library Commons initiative, the makeover started last year and was completed recently. There are more collaborative learning spaces and an upgraded wi-fi and electrical infrastructure.   Students working together in one of the Librarys new areas for collaboration


Lisandra Carmichael, the Library’s director of public services and Library Commons project manager, and Maria Atilano, marketing and outreach librarian, walked us through the changes and highlighted 10 of the coolest new features.

  1. A total of 33 wireless access points make it easier for students to use their mobile devices.
  2. 1438 new electrical outlets and data ports were added.
  3. New collaboration stations allow users to connect their laptops or devices to large, widescreen monitors for better group work experiences.
  4. Sound masking systems were installed to allow groups to study in close proximity to one another with little disturbance.
  5. Installing carpets composed of recycled fishing nets from around the world saved 71 tons of greenhouse gases.
  6. Seating capacity in the Library was increased by 34 percent with the addition of new chairs, booths and benches.
  7. Six large freestanding, first-come, first-served study rooms were added in addition to the 36 group study rooms that can be reserved online.
  8. The ITS Help Desk and Call Center are now located on the first floor of the Library, giving UNF students a one-stop shop for all research and technology needs.
  9. An additional 29 iMac computers are available on the first floor as part of moving the general-purpose lab to the Library.

A student writing on one of the whiteboards

Around Campus

UNF’s graduate physical therapy program ranks No. 1 nationally among students

A PT professor works with two students during a class exerciseRachel Butterfield is eager to begin her new position as an outpatient pediatric physical therapist. The recent graduate of the University of North Florida Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program said she feels well equipped to begin this new chapter in her life thanks to the skills she developed on campus.


“I think the UNF program has prepared me for the professional world in many ways,” Butterfield said.


Many others share that sentiment, according to a recent online survey of students. UNF’s physical therapy graduate program ranked No. 1 in the nation in the survey conducted by Rankings were based on data compiled from online review submissions from more than 70,000 students in more than 1,600 programs throughout the United States from Sept. 1, 2012 through the end of March this year.


In scoring the programs, data was compiled in fifteen categories, including academic competiveness, career support, quality of network and more. UNF’s highest rankings were in graduate program value and education quality.


Donni Welch-Rawls, director of clinical education at UNF, said with practicum experience and four internships woven into the curriculum, graduate students obtain real-world clinical experience in physical therapy settings such as acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, school systems, pediatric facilities and rehabilitation hospitals.


“Not only are they [students] able to perform examinations and interventions with actual patients, they also improve their ability to develop a plan of care, to refer as needed to other providers and to make discharge recommendations,” Welch-Rawls said.


She said that students get valuable experience working in a health care team environment and have many opportunities to build leadership and communication skills.


The goal of the program is to develop graduate students into capable, experienced physical therapists ready for the next step in their professional evolution.


“The faculty really cared about our successes and helped in any way possible during our failures,” Butterfield said.


“They encouraged us to pursue our specific interests, whether through involvement in our professional organization, community volunteering or research.”


The Doctor of Physical Therapy is a professional clinical doctorate that prepares the graduate to practice physical therapy. The three-year program at UNF gives students in-depth knowledge of basic and clinical sciences relevant to physical therapy while preparing students to effectively apply their knowledge in practice.


Butterfield is confident in both her abilities and what she’s learned in UNF’s program.


“It taught me not only the knowledge required to be a good physical therapist but also instilled in me the intrinsic qualities that make someone an excellent PT.” 

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

Welcome to the Swoop Summary. Every issue of Inside, we’ll be bringing you a recap of all the UNF Athletics accomplishments you need to know from the past month. Read on for more Osprey Athletics news:


Donnie Dewees rounding the basesOsprey men’s closes out historic season run - The Osprey men’s baseball team finished out one of its best seasons in program history by playing for the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship against Lipscomb University. The Ospreys excelled during the tournament despite coming up just short with a 8-7 loss in the final game. Four players were named to the All-Tournament team: Kyle Brooks, Donnie Dewees, Evan Incinelli and Ryan Roberson. Dewees, a UNF outfielder, was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Dick Howser Trophy, which is given out to the top player in collegiate baseball. The finalists will be announced on Wednesday, June 10. Dewees, a four-time Atlantic Sun Player of the Week this season, owns single season program records in hits (99), runs (80), total bases (173) and triples (7). This year’s team also set a D-1 era record for wins in a season. 


Fantastic Four! Ospreys claim 4 th  straight River City Rumble title - For the fourth consecutive season and sixth time in 10 years, the UNF Ospreys claimed the Old Wooden Barrel as the winners of the annual River City Rumble competition with crosstown rival Jacksonville University. The 2014-15 season concluded the first decade that the two rivals have competed against each other in an all-sport challenge that awards points each time the pair face each other in scheduled regular season competitions. For sports that don't have head-to-head meetings, such as golf or track and field, the sport point is awarded to the team with the higher finish at the Atlantic Sun Conference championship in that sport. North Florida captured the Barrel by a final score of 14-8, which is the second largest margin of victory in the competition's history. UNF's four-peat marks the longest stretch of success in the series with JU having claimed three straight barrels prior to UNF's current run. Osprey points this season were earned by men's cross country, women's cross country, men's soccer, indoor volleyball, men's basketball (two), sand volleyball, baseball (two), softball (three), men's golf and women's golf.


Osprey men’s golf team finishes 11th at NCAA Regional -The No. 23-ranked UNF men's golf team wrapped up the 2014-15 campaign with an 11th place finish at the NCAA Lubbock Regional. The Ospreys finished the 54-hole event with a total of 870. Junior Taylor Hancock was the squad's top performer at the event, finishing in a tie for 39th at 216 highlighted by his final round 1-under 70. "The week didn't go how we wanted but hopefully we can learn something from it," said head coach Scott Schroeder, who has guided the Ospreys to six straight NCAA Regionals and seven in his 10 year tenure. "We just never got comfortable putting and didn't do a good enough job adjusting to a different climate. Overall it was still a great season with the team winning four tournaments including the Atlantic Sun championship, it just didn't end the way we wanted."


UNF Surf Team has sights set on national championship

UNFs surf team holds up its trophiesThe University of North Florida Surf Team dominated the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) East Coast Championships in New Smyrna Beach in April, winning all three divisions and earning a first-place team finish. Next up is a bid for a national championship.


During UNF’s huge victory in April, Corey Howell won the men’s division, followed by Hunter Roland finishing in second place. Ospreys also placed high in the women’s division, with Emily Ruppert and Kayla Durden coming in first and second. Pat Nichols took home the win in the men’s longboard category, cementing the overall victory for the Ospreys and making history.


“Not only did we take our first East Coast Championship Title, but we are also the first school in history to sweep every division in competition,” said Adam Bartoshesky, surf team coach and adviser.


The Ospreys will enter the National Scholastic Surfing Association in California this month with a powerful wave of momentum behind them.


Given the fact that the group is a student organization, travel funds aren’t provided by UNF Athletics. The team created a GoFundMe account to help pay the way to the championship.


“This competition is a major deal,” Howell said.  “We all hold high expectations in our abilities to be the first East Coast College to bring home gold for Jacksonville and UNF!” recently interviewed three team members about the season.

Get to Know

Miguel Gabertan

Miguel Gabertan headshot Department: Controller’s Office 


Job title: Assistant Controller 


What do you do? I oversee the payroll and property operations of the University and have great staff support from these unique areas. 


Years at UNF: 11 years and 8 months 


Tell us about your family. I have an awesome family and am very proud to be a grandfather of six beautiful grandchildren ages 1 to 11 years old. 


If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why? I’d be a chef! I love to cook, especially for family and friends, for special occasions - or even just those lazy weekends. 


What would you like to do when you retire? Hopefully by then I’ll have decided where I would like to settle down. Right now, I think I’d like to travel - not for the places and scenery but to reacquaint myself with relatives and old friends who I have not seen in so many years. They live in many places here in the U.S. and in the Asia/Pacific region. 


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? Providing great customer service and working with the available technology at the University. It is a challenge that also creates opportunities to strive to do better. Also, I am amazed at how much the University has grown. Witnessing and being a part of it is a great experience. 


  What is the best thing you ever won? The most important is love from my family. At work, I appreciate the respect and credibility I’ve won from co-workers and peers. 


  What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life? The Eagles. They have their up and down beats, which I enjoy listening to. 


Who is your favorite fictional character? What makes them your favorite? Jack Tripper (“Three’s Company”), a goofball who has an utmost respect for women. The character’s job is also a chef - what a coincidence. 


If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Setup educational reserves for my grandchildren, pay off bills, travel and contribute to reputable charities 

If you were not working at UNF, what would you be doing? Perhaps working in the private sector for a financial company, working as a payroll service provider or running a small family business.   


Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? I remember after the first year of being on the Banner ERP system and producing our first W2 statements staying back late nights and weekends in the office to ensure that our W2s balance and were printed and stuffed properly in the envelopes. That was a lot of hard work, but it created a bond and respect within the payroll staff. 


Who is the most famous person you ever met? President Bill Clinton. I lived in Guam in the mid-‘90s. His return trip from Asia allowed him to make a short stopover on the island. He was there to meet with local leaders and deliver a short speech. I was able to get to the front of the stage and shake his hand. 


What is your favorite way to blow an hour? Play with my grandsons, catch up with the news online, watch sport highlights or simply take a nap 


If you were asked to paint a picture about anything you wanted, what would you paint? I would paint a picture of my father, mother, children and grandchildren having a picnic on Waikiki or North Shore Beaches of Oahu. 


What was the best money you ever spent? A vacation trip from Guam for the whole family to a cousin’s wedding in Pacific Palisades, Calif. After that, it was a reunion trip with my mother and two sisters and their families in Las Vegas. 


Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn’t live without? My smartphone. I recently came back from a conference, and at one of the breaks, I went to lunch not knowing my phone fell out of my pocket. Walking away and then discovering my phone was missing, my thoughts were of things that I will not be able to do, like check and respond to my e-mails. 


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? Any time I’m surrounded by my children and grandchildren, hanging out in the backyard or at the beach listening to them having fun and laughing 


Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you: I’m a grandfather, and I don’t look the part. Perhaps the gray hair fits. 

What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? The first was a Styx concert in Valdosta, Ga. in the early 2000s. The most recent was a Hootie and the Blowfish concert in Las Vegas several years ago.   


What person had the greatest impact on your life? My mother. After our father’s death in the mid-‘70s, she was there guiding us, making sure my two sisters and I had the best education available and ensuring we finished college. 


What do you hope to accomplish that you have not done yet? I’d like to visit every state. 


Last book read: Bobby Flay’s “Boy Meets Grill.”


Osprey Profile: Kelly Hunt

Kelly Hunt headshotWhere are you from?

Southern Orange County, California


What is your major?



When will you graduate?

August 2015


What attracted you to UNF?

The nursing program’s stellar reputation drew me to UNF. I heard from multiple sources that the nursing program was challenging and well-respected on a national level.


Why did you decide to attend the University?

I loved the fact that the nursing program was community-based. I had all of the requirements, so it seemed like a great fit.


What do you do for fun on campus?

My on-campus activities include yoga, swimming, going to basketball games and having lunch with my nursing friends at the Boathouse.


What’s your favorite UNF tradition?



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

The nursing faculty and staff are simply amazing. They genuinely care about each student’s success and well-being. Additionally, they challenge us so we can be the best nurses possible. They are excellent role models and incredible mentors.


Do you have a favorite professor(s)?

My favorite professors include: Dr. Loriz, Dr. Bloom, Dr. Connelly, Mr. Ahrens, Dr. Comeaux, Dr. Radjenovic, Dr. Roush, Dr. Pope, Dr. Foster, Dr. Sander - basically the entire nursing faculty! They are incredible people, and we are lucky to have them.


What has been your favorite class?

My favorite class so far has been perioperative (operating room) nursing. Being in the OR for the first time was an incredible experience I will never forget!


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 the nursing study abroad in Thailand last year with Dr. Roush and Dr. Loriz. It was a life-changing experience and really helped me gain a new perspective on health care on a global level.


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

This may be a tie between yoga at the gym and the Military and Veterans Resource Center. That all depends on what I have left for the day - yoga makes me sleepy! The MVRC is a fun and genuine environment. It’s always great to connect with others outside your circle.


What makes UNF unique?

The campus is gorgeous and not too big. Also, you can tell UNF truly cares about its students. There are always fun events going on and many resources to help you be successful.


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

Take advantage of the resources that UNF offers. The Student Wellness Complex is a great way to decompress, and the new Clubhouse looks amazing! Study hard, but find a healthy work/life balance. Ask for help when you need it - we’ve all been there before. Lastly, practice servant leadership and get involved in your school and community. 


What do you think of the campus’ natural environment?

I absolutely love it! It’s simply gorgeous.


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

The nursing program is very demanding. Sometimes I’ve struggled with finding work/life balance.


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

My amazing classmates, professors, my Osprey pride, and attending events on campus (Oktoberfest, Back to School party, etc).


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

I love how close the beaches are. Some of my favorite places around town are: Taco Lu, Sweet by Holly and all of St. Augustine.


What are your plans for the future?

I plan to complete my master’s degree and obtain my doctorate as a family nurse practitioner.


What does being an Osprey mean to you?

It means having pride, being involved in my community, being there for other students and having the experience of attending an innovative and student-focused university.


What is your favorite item at the Boathouse?

The pulled-pork sandwich.


How do you take your Starbucks?

Grande, half-caff, cinnamon dolce latte, substitute two pumps of white mocha and two pumps of cinnamon dolce, non-fat, light whip.


What is your favorite thing to do on the Green?

Study and people watch.


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

This rarely happens, but if it did, I’d probably take a nap.


What are your tips for finding time to study?

I create a study schedule and stick with it. Sometimes that means having a date with my medical surgery book on a Friday night.


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

Be professional, be on time, be respectful and be genuine.


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

Find out which study methods work for you. I like to stay ahead, make flash cards and visual aids, participate in study groups and do practice problems. I also ask my professors for help if I’m struggling with something. They truly do care and want you to be successful.

Faculty and Staff

UNF regaliaBrooks College of Health


Nursing: Drs. Michele Bednarzyk, Kathy Bloom, Judy Comeaux, John McDonough and Jonathan Pabalate presented an international nursing symposium on advanced practice nursing and patient safety at the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria in May.


Coggin College of Business  


Marketing: Dr. Gregory T. Gundlach’s work “Resale Price Maintenance after Leegin: Marketing Literatures for Future Research” will soon be published in the “Handbook of Research on Distribution Channels.”


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


Chemistry: Dr. Stuart Chalk was awarded a $15,045 grant by the Springer-Verlag GmbH for his proposal “PDF Extraction of Chemical Property Data from the Landolt-Börnstein Database.” He also presented four talks: (i) “Towards Big Data in the Chemical Sciences” at the UNF Interdisciplinary Program for Big-data Analytics meeting; (ii) “Building a Framework for Chemical Analysis Standards: The Chemical Analysis Metadata Platform (ChAMP) Project”; (iii) an online report on the “Data Standards for Representation and Annotation of Analysis Information” grant funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry; and (v) with Justin Lemmons “The UNF Preserve Digital Archive” at the State of the Preserve meeting.


Dr. Christos Lampropoulos presented an invited seminar, “Molecule-Based Magnetic Materials: Molecular Magnets, Magnetic Polymers, Magnetic Oligomers,” at Florida State University. He was also awarded a travel fellowship from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, to attend a summer school in Berlin, Germany. Finally, with his student, Sergio Corrales, he published “Mercury (II) Coordination Complexes Bearing Schiff Base Ligands: What Affects Their Nuclearity and/or Dimensionality” in Polyhedron.


Dr. Amy L. Lane, with her students Elle James and Dana Bis, and her colleague Dr. Rajesh Viswanathan, published “Synergism between Genome Sequencing, Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Bio-Inspired Synthesis Reveals Insights into Nocardioazine B Biogenesis” in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry. She also presented the seminar “Diving for drugs:  Novel Molecules and Unique Biosynthetic Pathways from Marine Microorganisms” at Florida State College Jacksonville. 


Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. G.G. Candler and John Randle presented “Market Failure as Ignored Determinant of the Choice Between Public and Business Administration: A Preliminary Statement” at the V Colloquio Internacional de Epistemologia e Sociologia da Ciência da Administração in Florianopolis, Brazil in March. At the same colloquium, Candler was a discussant on the panel “Alternativas ao produtivismo na carreira do pesquisador: perspectivas internacionais,” He also gave the invited talk, “Estudoes e pesquisas nos Estados Unidos,” at the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis, Brazil.

Dr. Josh Gellers presented “Crowdsourcing Sustainable Development Goals from Global Civil Society: A Content Analysis” at the UF CAIRES Social Media and Sustainability Conference in Gainesville in April. He was also named book review editor of the Journal on Human Rights and the Environment. Finally, he discussed Nepal’s political situation in light of the recent earthquake on Action News Jax.


Psychology: Dr. Elizabeth R. Brown, with her colleagues Jessi L. Smith, Dustin B. Thoman, Jill M. Allen and Gregg Muragishi, published “From Bench to Bedside: A Communal Utility Value Intervention to Enhance Students’ Biomedical Science Motivation” in the Journal of Educational Psychology in April. With Jessi L. Smith, Dustin B. Thoman, and Eric Deemer, she also published “Losing its Expected Value: How Stereotype Threat Undermines Women’s Identity as Research Scientists” in the Social Psychology of Education in April.


Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work: Dr. Rosa De Jorio presented “Controversies around Mortuary Practices and Grave Sites in Post-Conflict Mali” at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion in San Diego in April.


Dr. Gordon F.M. Rakita, with his colleague Rafael Cruz Antillon, published “Organization of Production at Paquimé” in the edited volume Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World. He also published a review of the book “Tracing Childhood: Bioarchaeological Investigations of Early Lives in Antiquity” in “The Journal of Anthropological Research.” In addition, he gave two presentations at the Society for American Archaeology meeting: one with Michele Pierson, “Plainware Ceramics from the Surface of the 76 Draw Site, Luna County, New Mexico,” and one with Kyle Waller, “New Perspectives on Casas Grandes Mortuary Practices.”  Rakita was also a discussant for the forum “Building Archaeological Research Communities with Cyberinfrastructure.”


Dr. Suzanne Simon was selected to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “Development Ethics and Global Justice: Gender, Economics and the Environment.” 


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Kenneth Martin has been appointed by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET as a team chair.


Engineering: Dr. Daniel Cox and alumna Chelsea Partridge presented the paper “Robotics and Automation Hands-on Implementation Club Projects” at the 2015 Florida Conference on Recent Advances in Robotics on the Florida Institute of Technology campus in Melbourne, Fla. in May. Alum Eric Rutherford also contributed to the paper.


College of Education and Human Services  


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: 

Dr. Rebecca Schumacher was nominated as a finalist in the 2015 Times-Union EVE Awards. The EVE Award luncheon is scheduled this month.


UNF-branded balloonsMilestone anniversaries

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


35 years

Dennis Mason, Maintenance Support Worker, Physical Facilities


25 years

Michael Malec, Associate Director, Counseling Center


15 years

Noreen Eberhardt, Senior Applications Programmer, Enterprise Systems

Dee Robertson-Lee, Library Services Specialist, Library 

10 years  

Robert Boyle, Director of Housing and Residence Life, University Housing 

Nichelle Flannory, Assistant Director of Business and Finance/Auxiliary Services, MOCA

Joan Lehmann, University Budgets Coordinator, Budget Office 

Ruth Lopez, Associate Director, Center For International Education 

Joanna Norris, Director, Public Relations 

Jamie Spruell, Interim Coordinator of Academic Support Services, Office of Academic Testing

Gregory Spurgeon, Locksmith, Physical Facilities 

Paul Yeoman, Assistant Director, Physical Facilities 


Five years

Deiderie Allard, Associate Director of Residence Life, University Housing 

John Frank, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Taylor Leadership Institute 

Ernest Fulton, IT Support Coordinator, User Services 

Raymond “Smoke” Laval, Head Athletic Coach, Baseball

James Reid, Auto Equipment Mechanic, Physical Facilities

Ajay Samant, Professor, Coggin College of Business 

John Simms, Director, Student Union 



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


Laurel Cline, Groundskeeper, Grounds 

Christopher Danielek, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management

Lindsay DiAngelo, Coordinator, Student Affairs 

Ryan Duzon, Admissions Processing Coordinator, Enrollment Services Processing Office

Nastacha Farley, Senior Accountant, Training and Services Institute 

Amy Fistler, Director of Development, MOCA

Alexander Gillis, Accounts Payable Receiving Associate, The Flats 

Angela Johnson, Executive Secretary, Facilities Planning

David Lowery, Assistant Athletic Coach, Women's Basketball

Robert Parnell, Accounts Payable Receivable Assistant, Controller 

Jennifer Perkins, Associate Director, Alumni Services 

MaryLynne Schaefer, Assistant Athletic Coach, Women's Basketball

Great job

The following employee was promoted recently:


Robert Mailey, Assistant Maintenance Support, Physical Facilities



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


Amie Berry, Mental Health Counselor, Counseling Center 

Maritza Choisser, Office Manager, Child Development Center 

Rebecca Clancy, Senior Accountant, Controller

Glenda Edwards, Senior Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Services 

Orin Heidelberg, Office Manager, English

Elizabeth Jones, Coordinator, Facilities Planning

Stephanie Jurgens, Student Affairs Coordinator, English Language Program 

Dmitry Korolev, Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems 

Nancy Lee, Administrative Secretary, Communication 

Kathleen Lumpiesz, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department 

LaTasha McPherson, Instructional Design Coordinator, Distance Learning Fee 

Keunta Miles, Assistant Athletic Coach, Basketball 

Alicia Ramsdell, Marketing Publications Coordinator, Promotions, Athletics 

Joseph Schermann, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities 

Danielle Stedham, Program Assistant, Graduate School 

Magdeline Steinbrecher, Office Manager, Political Science and Public Administration

Latasha Washington, Assistant Coach, Women's Basketball

Dax Weaver, Coordinator, Florida Institute of Education 

Okey Workman,  Database Administrator, Florida Institute of Education

The Goods

Avocado Oil

An avocadoA newcomer to grocery store shelves, avocado oil offers a number of nutritional and culinary advantages compared to other oils. It’s also becoming easier to find and more affordable. Jenna Braddock, instructor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program at the University of North Florida, and Noor Ashouri, a UNF nutrition student, share why you should consider giving avocado oil a try. In order to include avocado oil in your diet, a recipe is included.


Myth: Avocado oil is made from the seeds of avocados. 


Fact: The avocado seed is actually only about 2 percent fat. Oil is extracted from the avocado flesh, which is about 3 percent fat, making it unique from many other oils.


Myth: Avocado oil is an unhealthy source of fats. 


Fact: Avocado oil has a similar profile to olive oil in that it’s high in monounsaturated fat (76 percent of the total fat), the kind labeled “heart healthy.” This beneficial type of fat contributes to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as to higher (good) HDL cholesterol levels. Avocado oil has a high concentration of phytosterols, a plant compound with a slew of health benefits, including antioxidant power and an inflammation reducer. Avocado oil also possesses lutein, a type of carotenoid, which is known for promoting eye health by reducing the risk of macular degeneration.


Myth: Avocado oil shouldn’t be heated to high temperatures.


Fact: Avocado oil has a high smoke point of 460 to 500 degrees, making it a great choice for sautéing, grilling and frying, as well as for dressings and marinades. Smoke point refers to the temperature at which oil starts to smoke and often changes color, producing an unpleasant odor and appearance. It degrades even the healthiest of oils, generating harmful free radicals and trans fats. 


Myth: If a little avocado oil is good for you, a lot must be better.


Fact: Like any other oil, avocado oil is a concentrated source of calories. At nine calories per gram, one tablespoon contains 120 calories, which can add up quickly.


Myth: Avocado oil is just for cooking.


Fact: Avocado oil has been an ingredient in beauty products for a long time. Though very little supportive research exists, you can find anecdotal stories among beauty experts claiming that avocado oil improves hair, face and skin health. While often listed as an ingredient in many natural products, avocado oil can be used directly on the skin as an all-natural hydrator.


White Wine Vinaigrette with Avocado Oil


Yields: Six 2-teaspoon servings



¼ cup avocado oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh, minced thyme

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon honey

Pinch of salt and pepper



In a jar with a lid, add all ingredients. Tightly seal and shake to combine. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad or vegetables.


Nutrition information per serving: 93 calories; 9 g fat (6.4 g monounsaturated; 1.2 g polyunsaturated; 1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 17 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate (0 g dietary fiber; 3 g sugar); 0 g protein


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 avocado oil? Contact Jenna Braddock at .

Bright Birds Know

A purple flower native to campusThe University of North Florida campus is a vibrant living tapestry of flora and fauna. More than 570 plant species call UNF’s campus home, along with 164 birds, 229 insects/invertebrates, 61 retiles/amphibians, 46 mammals, 16 fish and 15 lichens! With more than 1,300 acres and a nearly 400-acre Sawmill Slough Preserve, there’s a lot of room for them to grow. A full breakdown of the plants and animals that call UNF home is available online  through the ongoing Campus Natural Assets Inventory (CNAI), an initiative spearheaded by the Environmental Center. 


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 .