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InsideMarch 2015


Conference champion Ospreys primed for postseason

UNF basketball players celebrate a commanding win against Stetson University Saturday, Jan. 28The Ospreys are playoff-bound after claiming the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship, and you can be a part of the action! The UNF men’s basketball team’s record-breaking season continues Tuesday, March 3, with a quarterfinal contest against Stetson University. The Ospreys clinched the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference Men’s Basketball Championship last month thanks to a run of stellar conference play, and the team hopes to leverage home court advantage surrounded by all of the Osprey faithful. That’s why they could use your support. Tickets are only $15.


This is a big moment in the history of UNF Athletics, so make plans now to swoop the Ospreys on to victory at UNF Arena as they play for the Atlantic Sun Championship - and a potential berth in the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The tournament is single elimination, but the Ospreys could play two more home games Thursday, March 5, and Sunday, March 8, if they continue their winning ways. 


The UNF Athletics website has more information about the Atlantic Sun Men’s Basketball Championship bracket system. You don’t want to miss this postseason showdown!

Around Campus

UNF a national leader in student study abroad opportunities

Kauser Gwaduri, wearing a hoodie that says -Study Abroad- standing near a globe statue on campusThere’s something to be said for seeing the world with your own eyes. Even the most detailed textbook can’t properly describe the beauty of the French countryside or outline the nuances of regional slang in a foreign language. Truly being there is part of the learning experience.


That’s a big part of what makes a University of North Florida education so special. UNF ranked No. 11 nationally on the list of “Leading Institutions by Duration and Institutional Type” for short-term study abroad programs and No. 27 nationwide on the list of “Leading Institutions by Institutional Type” (Carnegie classification of Master’s Institutions), according to the Institute of International Education’s 2014 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, which included 932 institutions across the country. The University was the only one of 12 institutions in the State University System listed in the Open Doors report.


It’s a testament to the focus UNF places on promoting a true international education, said Dr. Tim Robinson, director of the International Center on campus.


“It’s all part of internationalizing the campus,” Robinson said. “It’s recognition of the fact that we live in a global environment, and students are no longer learning on just a local/regional scale.”


Kauser Gwaduri, a senior psychology student, said she chose UNF specifically because of the University’s commitment to providing study abroad support for its scholars. Gwaduri grew up in a family that loved to travel, and she said her fondest childhood memories were of seeing new landmarks and immersing herself in new cultures. The moment she stepped foot on campus, she was already thinking about the new stamps she could add to her passport while receiving a world-class UNF education.


“I was so determined to study abroad that I was going to the International Center a month after I started school, asking them everything they could tell me about organizing my own trip,” she said.


After scouring the Center’s materials and researching opportunities and destinations, Gwaduri found herself drawn to the potential of studying abroad during her sophomore year in England at Leeds Beckett University. The deciding factor for her was that she could focus on her core coursework without having to add second language instruction. For the duration of the two semesters she spent abroad, she said she never felt lonely or homesick - she was too taken with experiencing the beauty of British culture and meeting people with different backgrounds.


“I stayed in a student dormitory with two girls from England, one girl from India, another from Belgium and another from Sri Lanka,” she said. “Every conversation was this incredible mixture of different cultures coming together. We ate meals together, went out together and came to this mutual respect, even though we all came from different places.”


Trevor Cheatham poses near a statue on campusEngland - and Europe as a whole - is a popular study abroad choice for students, but Robinson said new opportunities are being added every year. Previously, locations such as Morocco, Japan and China were exotic spots for students. Now, they’re staples in the study abroad catalogue. The length of each trip is also as varied as the educational needs of each student. Trips can vary from two to six weeks or stretch out across a semester. Many are scheduled around spring break to best utilize a student’s free time. However, Robinson said even the shorter programs have a very strong on-campus component in which students prepare for what they’ll see and do abroad.


Trevor Cheatham said there was no better way for him to satisfy his foreign culture credits than by spending a semester-long study abroad experience in Demark. The psychology major took classes at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and attended classes with a veritable United Nations of students. Danish students comprised the majority of his courses, but he interacted with classmates from France, Germany, China and scores of other locales. These different cultural backgrounds helped create a dynamic tapestry of in-class conversation and made Cheatham analyze his own ideas and belief structures.


“It’s fascinating to see what happens when the professor introduces an idea into an international classroom,” he said. “We all hear the same thing, but there are dozens of different interpretations of the same idea that are informed by our own cultural beliefs. The conversations that followed were amazing.”


Having these types of international experiences are desirable resume lines for many college students seeking internships or graduates vying for jobs, especially in the business disciplines, said Kate Mattingly Learch, associate director of the International Business Flagship Program. Most top-tier business schools now mandate that students undertake a study abroad trip or internationally focused internship - the Coggin College of Business included. After all, it’s very hard to find a company that operates in a vacuum and doesn’t interact in the international markets.


“When students are learning about these concepts in the classroom on campus, it’s still an abstract idea of what people from other backgrounds can be like,” she said. “These international experiences are more salient - they give students the background and framework to put the ideas they’re learning in context. It’s pretty clear that UNF places a lot of focus on the importance of students receiving an international experience.”


Did you know?


The University awarded credit to 506 students who studied abroad in the 2012-13 academic year.

UNF backs up its educational commitment to study abroad opportunities by providing financial support to students through a pair of scholarship programs: Transformational Learning Opportunities (TLOs), which provide funding for academic programs that significantly enhance student learning, and Student Affairs International Learning Scholarships (SAILS), which individual students can apply for to support semester or summer programs abroad. More information about student study-abroad opportunities is available by contacting UNF's International Center

Around Campus

Species inventory of UNF’s preserve available online

UNF student Hallie Leager uses a makeshift soda bottle trap to find live bark beetlesFinding live bark beetles in the makeshift soda bottle trap was pretty exciting for Hallie Leager, a student volunteer in the University of North Florida’s Environmental Center. Even more gratifying for the junior biology major was the fact that the beetles have never been documented at UNF.


Her work to identify species in the Sawmill Slough Preserve is part of the ongoing Campus Natural Assets Inventory (CNAI), which is now available online. Thanks to the diligence of students like Leager and the hard work of several dedicated UNF faculty and staff members, the University finally knows what’s out there.


The inventory is a key component of the Preserve’s management plan, which was authored by Chuck Hubbuch, assistant director of Physical Facilities, after the Preserve was officially designated in 2006 by President John A. Delaney and the Board of Trustees.  


Hubbuch, the curator of the Preserve, has a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a strong background in botany. He knew establishing a baseline of species was key to the effective management of the Preserve and began recording plants as he discovered them. In 2011, the Environmental Center sponsored two biology graduate students to assist with the inventory.


Justin Lemmons shows a pair of students a plant species unique to campusA couple of years later, the Center hired Justin Lemmons as the center’s ecologist. Lemmons has a master’s degree in biology and also serves as an adjunct biology professor. As the center’s ecologist, he has worked tirelessly taking photos of plants and animals, researching and inventorying species and teaching students how to verify and archive records.


“He (Lemmons) mentors us and shows us all the nuances for identifying species,” said Leager, who has researched a number of plants and animals during her time at the Center.


“There is such rich diversity in the Preserve,” said Lemmons, who mentioned that there are several threatened or endangered species on the list, including the wood stork, gopher tortoise and a couple of orchid varieties. 


“The archive is key to being able to effectively manage and maintain our native species on campus,” Lemmons said.  “It’s also important for restoration.”


The inventory is ongoing, but it includes 547 varieties of plants, 164 birds, 212 insects/invertebrates, 61 retiles/amphibians, 46 mammals, 15 fish and 14 lichens to date. The page for each species provides taxonomic information, links to other informative websites and photos.  It is important - and perhaps a bit comforting - to note that all the species are not necessarily residents of the Preserve but might be simply passing through.


Identified species include several bats, rats and mice, a couple of species of fox, a panther, black bear and the much-celebrated bobcat caught on a wildlife cam under Eco Road (The panther and bear are old sightings). There are hundreds of plants, lots of bugs, snakes and frogs and, of course, the American Alligator.


The inventory team is particularly proud of the fact that 36 species of plants identified in the Preserve have never before been documented in Duval County.


Living, working and going to school amid a 382-acre nature preserve definitely lends itself to some interesting experiences, but for students and faculty, the Preserve is a living lab providing endless possibilities for research and education.


Leager loves that fact that her school has a nature preserve on campus.


“I get to go out and see something new almost every day, and I see how each species interacts with its environment,” she said.  “I feel like I learn so much in the Preserve. We delve into a lot of areas.”


James Taylor, coordinator of the Environmental Center, said he knows the students appreciate what they have at UNF, and the Preserve serves as the backdrop for many interdisciplinary partnerships that the Center seeks to cultivate. 


The archive is just one case in point. From the chemistry professor, Dr. Stuart Chalk, who created the digital archive to history graduate students studying and documenting the Preserve’s past, interest in the Preserve and its significance is wide reaching.  


“We want to branch the disciplines,” Taylor said. “It’s what we’re all about. What exists right now in the Preserve is important from a biological standpoint, but there’s also a historical element. It is important to know the history of the land, as well as what may no longer be living here and why.”


Matt Groth, a biology student who also works in the Environmental Center and helps with the inventory, said the natural environment was a big reason he came to UNF. 


“It was one of the things that really set UNF apart from other schools,” he said.  


However, after being here for a while, Groth said it’s more than just the beauty of the campus that makes the difference. 


“It’s not just the fact that the Preserve is here, but that UNF actually takes steps to manage and protect it.”


Hubbuch believes providing access to the Preserve’s inventory of species is part of responsible management.


“It doesn’t do us or anyone else any good if we’re the only ones who see it,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for the public and our students to learn about the Preserve. It’s a great resource, and making it accessible may help us discover even more species that we haven’t identified yet.”


Check out the new Digital Preserve  or visit the Environmental Center’s webpage  for more information regarding Sawmill Slough Preserve and other environmental activities on campus.

Around Campus

Biology professor dives into coral research

Kevin Olsen in scuba gear poses for a picture while underwaterYou won’t find Dr. Cliff Ross sporting a white lab coat hunched over a microscope. Much of his research happens in the field after he straps on a scuba tank and flippers and dives into Florida’s coastal waters.  


Ross, a University of North Florida biology professor, is at the vanguard of research into the declining health of coral reefs due to the combined effects of land-based sources of pollution and climate change. Working with scientists from Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory and UNF students, he’s been diving deep into how sea-surface temperatures, pesticides and other environmental issues are negatively impacting scores of coral, viewed by many biologists as an important, foundational species.

Ross and his colleagues - Kevin Olsen, Michael Henry and Dr. Richard Pierce - recently published their research in Ecotoxicology, an international journal. They analyzed coral larvae of the Porites astreoides to identify what environmental factors played the biggest role in the creature’s life cycles by collecting adult corals during scuba diving excursions in the Florida Keys and isolating their larvae in the lab. These larvae were then exposed to different concentrations of pesticide ingredients and elevated water temperatures. The research has helped establish a baseline for what combinations of environmental factors pose the biggest health problems to marine life. One big issue in the Florida Keys and many other coastal environments, Ross said, is the use of mosquito-control pesticides.


“The significance of this work is that coral reefs across the globe are declining at an alarming rate due to climate change (warming ocean temperatures) and pollution,” he said. “If baby corals don’t survive exposure to these stressors, then you won’t have adults, which are needed to reproduce and maintain the populations.”


Cliff Ross HeadshotRoss has been working in this field since 2005 and has expanded his research to include assistance from UNF undergraduate and graduate students. The students are trained to dive, collect coral samples, set up research experiments and log data - valuable skills for prospective biologists or academic researchers. He said these types of hands-on learning experiences are invaluable to students.


“Coming on to a study like this, they learn about field work and are given ownership of a certain part of the project,” he said. “It’s really more efficient for them to do it themselves in the field than to learn it in the classroom. They become far more engaged with the coursework by seeing it up close.”


Kevin Olsen is one of Ross’ longest-serving student researchers. The biology student was eager to learn the ropes and first started assisting Ross during his junior year at UNF, working in the field and jointly authoring academic papers. In total, Olsen published five papers - including the coral reef article - in collaboration with Ross during his six-year stint at UNF, which culminated with a master’s degree in biology. These research opportunities helped put him on his current path as a doctoral student in ecology and evolution at Florida State University and inspired his passion for academia.


“UNF was great for me in that I was in a 30-student classroom with Dr. Ross, and I could speak with him after lectures and learn more,” Olsen said. “He was very welcoming of undergrads helping with research, and I started right away working in his lab. This definitely led me to where I am now.”


Ross said his research trips south to the Keys will continue, and he’ll invite more students along for the ride. He said he’s only just scratched the surface of the environmental factors impacting corals and plans to study new species and different variables on successive trips.


“We’re getting closer, but there’s still a ways to go,” he said. “That’s why having a dedicated group of students there to help is so important. They get the experience, and I’m able to work more efficiently. It’s a perfect partnership.”

Faculty Forum

Li Loriz

Li Loriz HeadshotWhat brought you to UNF?

At the time, the size of the University and the very caring faculty I came across from the School of Nursing.


What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had with a student in one of your classes?

Of course, seeing the students go from indecisive, young students to seeing them “get it” in class and then graduate. An even more rewarding experience is when I see them practicing as nurses. It makes me very proud to walk down the hall of a hospital and see a former student, now a UNF alum working in the field.


What’s your inspiration for teaching?

I have a passion for nursing. It is not just a career. Rather, it is who I am. I would like to think that I made a difference in the lives of many of my patients along the years. So I just want my students to also be able to change lives and make a difference. This can be during hard times or during the positive experiences, either inside or outside of the hospital setting.


What do you enjoy most about being a professor?

The interaction with the students ­- seeing them capture those difficult concepts and helping them get over obstacles.


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

I would be practicing as a nurse, improving the lives of the elderly.


Do you have a favorite spot on campus? If so, where is it? What do you like about it?

The Healing Place. That is the water feature in front of J. Brooks Brown Hall with the sculpture that has places for students/guests to sit. I like the water contrasting the green landscape. It is beautiful and very soothing.


What’s your stance on extra credit?

I don’t believe in extra credit. If you determine how to meet the objectives for the course and have the proper assignments to determine if this is achieved, extra credit is not needed.


What’s one thing in your field of study that people might not know?

Nursing is a privilege.  There are positives and negatives to any profession. Nursing is more than a profession, it is a way of life. We are fortunate to be able to share special moments with our patients, both good and bad ones.


What’s your favorite class that you teach? Why?

It would have to be my HIV lecture. I am able to present this material from a lived perspective. Having worked with so many HIV patients and having worked in clinical trials for the approval of protease inhibitors (the drugs that changed the course of the disease), I am able to provide an in-depth perspective that is not available in textbooks.


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

Education works at a different pace than industry. So needed changes can sometimes take a while to implement or take place. The budget is also an area that is different from industry as it is not a direct relationship between productivity/outcomes and your budget.


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

I guess I am low-tech. I prefer a problem-solving type of approach. I use case studies as a learning tool and encourage students to challenge their peers’ responses. I also integrate live examples.

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?

The people I work with. The faculty, staff and students in the School of Nursing are just phenomenal!


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

Make sure to remember what motivated you to want to go into your profession. Keep that clear in your mind. Challenge the status quo in your job, as there is always room for improvement or new processes.


How do you take your Starbucks? Skinny vanilla latte, usually grande


Mac or PC? Either, but mostly PC


Other than books related to your academic areas of interest, what literary genres do you prefer? Why?

Murder mysteries - something far from what I do.


When do you work best? Are you a night owl or an early riser? Probably an early riser - after my coffee.


Are there any places around Jacksonville that you frequent?

I live at the beach but spend much time out of town in Live Oak or High Springs. For fun, I like to go cave diving.


University police awarded new life-saving devices from Firehouse Subs foundation

UPD officer standing near patrol carUniversity of North Florida police officers will soon have new state-of-the-art automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in their cars thanks to a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

The 12 devices and supporting equipment awarded to the University Police Department are worth more than $16,000 and will replace the existing defibrillators carried by the officers. Also included is an AED for the Command Center.

According to Patty Knight, special operations lieutenant, the new advanced models are equipped to provide emergency aid to children in addition to adults. “This is important because from time to time we have numerous children on our campus for events, camp and at the Child Development Center,” said Knight.

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was created in 2005 and provides assistance to first responders and public safety organizations in several ways: life-saving equipment, prevention education, scholarships and continued education, support for members of the military, as well as disaster preparedness and disaster relief.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide this life-saving equipment to the University of North Florida Police Department and help improve campus safety, said Robin Peters, executive director of the Foundation.

Police Chief Frank Mackesy applauded the Foundation for its ongoing commitment to public safety. “Firehouse Subs has been tremendously supportive of local law enforcement,” he said. “The enhanced technology will help our UPD officers do their jobs even more effectively in the event this life-saving support is needed.”


UNF honored at international home builder’s trade show

The UNF construction students and faculty honored during the eventUniversity of North Florida construction management faculty and students received high honors at the National Association of Home Builders 2015 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas last month.  


Named an Outstanding Student Chapter by the NAHB Student Chapters Program, UNF received the second-place award recognizing its outstanding achievements in chapter activities, green programs, diversity and activities with local builders associations.


The chapter’s industry adviser, David Hacker, was named the Industry Advisory Board Member of the Year. Hacker is an adjunct instructor at UNF in the Department of Construction Management. The award honors a NAHB member who serves on a college construction management industry advisory board for outstanding service and volunteerism.


“Congratulations to the University of North Florida and David,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB. “This student chapter demonstrates excellence in campus and community involvement, and David demonstrates a dedication to the field of teaching and helping students achieve their very best.”


In addition to the accolades, the chapter returned to campus with a check for $1,250.


“This national recognition reflects the dedication and focus Construction Management faculty have on personalized hands-on education at UNF,” said Mark Tumeo, College of Computing, Engineering and Construction dean. “We are very proud of our students and deeply grateful for the support of the industry, exemplified by Mr. Hacker.” 


The students have remodeled three homes, built a Habijax house and provided “service-learning” tasks for Builder’s Care, a nonprofit construction contractor that provides affordable to no-cost construction services to the elderly, disabled and others in need.


Student chapter members Aubrey Ballard, Michael Godoy, Andrew Kittrell, John Vega, Adam Ross and Connor Duhon accepted the award on behalf of the chapter along with Hacker.


Last year, the UNF chapter placed second in the Residential Construction Management Competition for four-year college programs.                                                 


Get to Know

Kellie Cosner headshotName: Kellie Cosner

Department: Fine Arts Center

Job title: Events Coordinator


What do you do? I facilitate the event planning process for internal and external clients who rent our facilities for a variety of events. We do everything from lectures, music concerts and dance recitals in the Lazzara Performance Hall and Robinson Theater and banquets and meetings in the Osprey Commons Talon Room.  

Years at UNF: Two and a half years


Tell us about your family.

I have three family members who graduated from UNF - my father, brother and an aunt. My brother, sister-in-law and I have all worked for UNF during the last nine years  - but never at the same time. I am the third generation in my family to own a home in Riverside.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?

My Fine Arts Center colleagues. They help keep me sane in the insane world of event planning.


Tell us about your previous job?

Early in my career, I was a public relations coordinator on the core gaming team for computer video game publisher, Sierra Online. As a coordinator, I was responsible for scouring the web for media hits on recently released games and logging those along with print clips. But the best part about my job was planning launch parties and other media events. In a way, I have been an event coordinator in one way or another for my entire career. While we were located in Bellevue, Wash. (on the outskirts of Seattle), many of these events were in San Francisco and Los Angeles where the majority of the media outlets were located. I planned events for game franchises like Tribes, S.W.A.T., Homeworld and Half-Life and assisted in our booth at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, more widely known as E3. A couple years later, I worked at Valve, the developers of Half-Life, as they got ready to launch their long-awaited sequel. As support staff for Valve’s chief marketer, I acted as host to journalists invited to the studio for interviews and a hands-on review of the game before it was published. I was again given the opportunity to assist with E3 coordination, as well as organize press and retail events in New York.


What was one of the most memorable events you helped coordinate?

One event I helped with provided me with the opportunity to return to Florida. We flew the development team and a group of journalist out for the Daytona 500 to launch the latest version of our NASCAR Racing title. I was working on the third annual Half-Life Mod Expo when I was involved in an accident. The event was scheduled for just five days later in San Francisco, and all of the mod developers signed a promotional poster to hang in my ICU room. The nurses and therapist referred to me as Gordon (the main character of Half-Life).


What was it like working in the video game industry?

Working in games was fun and flashy! It comes with a huge community - both on the professional and consumer sides. I truly consider myself to be fortunate to be a part of that world for a little while.  


What is the best thing you ever won?

I won a “So You Think You Can Dance” prize pack, which included a backpack, water bottle, zip-up fleece, iPod shuffle & $100 in iTunes gift cards.


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

I don’t know, but I would ask Zach Braff to create the compilation.


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

Tris from “Divergent” because I find her fearlessness in the face of adversity inspiring.


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

Been there, done that. I won $100 and went out to dinner.


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

I would probably still be at my previous job as event coordinator for the FSCJ Artist Series.


Describe your favorite UNF-related memory?

I have so many fun and funny memories that my colleagues wouldn’t appreciate me sharing here. But there is that one time when we coaxed our new (at the time) office assistant on stage for Rocky Horror Picture Show. That provided a memory that keeps on giving.


What is your favorite way to blow an hour?

Probably playing a mindless video game on my iPad or exploring Instagram.


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

The beach, more specifically, one of Jacksonville’s beaches. They will forever be my happy place.


What was the best money you ever spent?

While living in Seattle, I enjoyed an amazing farm to table dinner at the Herb Farm. There were 12 of us in a private room. The food was amazing with a wine pairing for each of the seven courses.


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

My phone because it keeps me connected to those who are most important to me, whether they’re in town, in state or across the country.  


Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you:

In 2001, I survived a multi-trauma car accident when I wasn’t expected to live. I was hospitalized for six months and spent a year in out-patient therapy. This experience gave me a new perspective on life and helped me to constantly look on the bright side of situations. I hope that when people meet me they see this positivity and respect for life.


What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life?
Learning to walk again was extremely challenging. Stepping up to that challenge and to now have the ability to walk without assistive devices was pretty gratifying. 


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

The first concert I attended was Amy Grant’s Unguarded Tour in 1985 or 1986. I most recently got to see a great band out of Portland that I have been following since 2002, Pink Martini, at the Florida Theatre. They brought the Von Trapp Family Singers on tour with them, and it was an amazing show!

Tooth Fairy advertisementWhat person had the greatest impact on your life?  

It is really difficult to choose just one person. I have a very close-knit extended family, and I feel that all of them have contributed to the person that I am today.  


Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know:

When I was 5 years old, I got to blow the whistle to start the Shriners Circus and modeled with the Tooth Fairy for Sally Corporation in an advertisement to dentist offices.


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

I would like to be able to say that I have visited every state. This summer, I will hit the halfway mark when I travel to Alaska.

Faculty and Staff

UNF academic regaliaBrooks College of Health


Nutrition and Dietetics:

The department created a NutriNews publication in January. The publication is available online.  


Public Health: Elissa Barr presented "Authentic Assessment Aligned with FoSE’s National Sexuality Education Standards" at the fifth annual International Conference on the Health Risks of Youth in Nassau, Bahamas in January.  


Dr. Natalie Indelicato will present a session titled "Using Creative Approaches to Energize Work and Life” at the regional Arc conference March 16. 



Coggin College of Business

Economics: Dr.  Russell Triplett  presented the paper “An empirical model of South Africa’s trade with China” at the 52nd annual meeting of the Academy of Economics and Finance in Jacksonville in February.


International Business: Coggin study abroad advisors Caitlin Jaeger and Shelby Huber presented “Glocalization of Student Programming: A Case Study,” focusing on the development of the Coggin Delegation buddy program, at the Florida Association of International Educators (FAIE) 2015 annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale in February.



College of Arts and Sciences


Art and Design: Alex Diaz exhibited at the ninth Photographic Image Biennial Exhibition at the Wellington B. Gray Gallery in, Greenville, N.C. He also has a solo exhibition, “Florida’s Mountains,” in the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery at UNF.


Nofa Dixon has an exhibition at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She also judged at the North Florida Scholastic Art Awards and Northeast Florida Art Senior Art Exhibition in Jacksonville.


Zach Fitchner was the featured artist for 365 Artists in 365 Days, a Frank Juarez Gallery and Greymatter Gallery project. He also founded Printerviews, a series of printmaking interviews similar to Art21.


Jenny Hager has an exhibition, “Flight Lab,” at the Dresden Contemporary Art Tour in Dresden, Germany.


Chris Trice exhibited at “Of Memory, Bone and Myth” at the Myers Art Gallery at the University of North Dakota.


Biology: Dr. Julie Avery gave a presentation, “Overwinter changes in Weddell seal body condition and hormone profiles: Implications for pregnancy?” at the American Physiological Society Conference in San Diego, Calif. She also gave four presentations at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach: (i) with colleagues K.Q. Emery, K.J. O’Connell, A.R. Kompelli and J.L. Dearolf, “Morphology of a neonatal guinea pig accessory ventilatory muscle”; (ii) with colleagues W.B. Mills, M.R. Butler and J.L. Dearolf, Morphology of the neonatal guinea pig scalenus muscle”; (iii) with colleagues K.J. O’Connell, K.A. McGrail, J.N. LaVergne, L.A. Riley, R.A. Walker and J.L. Dearolf, “Citrate synthase activity and fatigue resistance of the neonatal guinea pig diaphragm”; and (iv) with colleagues A.E. Sirman and W.R Hood, “The effects of the developmental environment on reproductive effort and insulin-like growth factor 1 in the house mouse (Mus musculus).” 


Dr. Doria Bowers published “Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan: An Arbovirus Attachment Factor Integral to Mosquito Salivary Gland Ducts” in the journal Viruses.


Dr. Jim Gelsleichter gave three presentations at the spring meeting of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society in Savannah, GA: (i) “Pollutant Exposure and Effects in St. Johns River Fish”; (ii) with his student S. Ehnert, the poster presentation, “Mercury Accumulation and Effects in the Brain of Atlantic Sharpnose Sharks”; and (iii) with his student J. Whalen and colleague R.D. Grubbs, the poster presentation, “Using DNA Adducts to Examine Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Exposure in Shark Populations Impacted By the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.” 


Dr. Quincy Gibson gave three presentations at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, FL: (i) with graduate student J. Ermak,  “Social structure analyses indicate Northeast Florida bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) form multi-level alliances”; (ii) with graduate student K. Karle, “Seasonal changes in group composition and behavior of female bottlenose dolphins”; and (iii) with graduate student S. Nekolny and colleagues Denny, M., Biedenbach, G., Howells, E.M., Mazzoil, M.M., Durden, W.N., Moreland and L., Lambert, J.D., “Effects of study area size on home range estimates of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).”


Dr. Eric Johnson and his graduate student MaryKate Swenarton presented (i) Regional comparisons of lionfish (Pterois spp.) population demographics from the east coast of Florida” at the 67th Annual Conference of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Christchurch, Barbados, and (ii) Population biology differences in lionfish (Pterois volitans / P. miles) from northeastern and southeastern Florida” at the Society of Integrative Biology Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach (iii) with Dr. Nicole Dix, Johnson and seven colleagues presented a poster, Teaching Research: a UNF/GTMNERR Collaboration in Marine Ecology,” at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Ponte Vedra.


Dr. Cliff Ross published two articles: (i) with his colleagues K. Olsen, M. Henry, and R. Pierce, “Mosquito control pesticides and sea surface temperatures have differential effects on the survival and oxidative stress response of coral larvae” in the journal Ecotoxicology; and (ii) with his colleagues S. Trevathan-Tackett, A.L. Lane and N. Bishop, “Metabolites derived from the tropical sea grass Thalassia testudinum are bioactive against pathogenic Labyrinthula sp.” in the journal Aquatic Botany.


Chemistry: Dr. José A. Jiménez published (i) “Origin of Light Emission and Enhanced Eu3+ Photoluminescence in Tin-Containing Glass” in the Journal of Rare Earths in January; (ii) “Real-Time Analysis of the ‘Plasmonic Diluent’ Effect: Probing Ag Nanoparticle Growth Rate via Dy3+ Photoluminescence Quenching” in the Journal of Luminescence in January; and (iii) “Kinetics of Copper Nanoparticle Precipitation in Phosphate Glass: An Isothermal Plasmonic Approach” in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Volume 17 in January.


Dr. Christos Lampropoulos presented the invited seminar, “Molecule-Based Magnetic Materials: Molecular Magnets, Magnetic Polymers, Magnetic Oligomers,” at the University of South Florida in Tampa in January.

Dr. Thomas J. Mullen  published “1-Adamantanethiol as a Versatile Nanografting Tool” in the journal Scanning in January.


Criminology and Criminal Justice: Theodore Wallman completed a book review for Routledge on a pending publication, “Pornography and Violence on Women.” 

English: Fred Dale published “The Sold Porch” in mojo in December and “Caroline” and “Earning a Black Belt at Seventy-Two” in Stickman Review in January. 


Dr. Chris Gabbard presented two papers, “The Deadbeat Scholar” and “'Have Qrafter Ready’: What Literature Students Can Learn from Digital Deformance,” at the MLA annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia in January.


Marcus Pactor published “Cake” in Heavy Feather Review in February.


History: Dr. David Courtwright lectured on the history of “The 100-Year Drug War” at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in January.


Mathematics and Statistics: Dr. M. Rahman presented a paper, “Simulation of Stochastic Differential Equations arises in mathematical neurosciences,” at the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Joint Meetings in San Antonio, Tex. in January. 


Philosophy and Religious Studies: Dr. Mitch Haney co-edited, with Dr. Berrin Beasley from the UNF Department of Communication, “Social Media and Living Well,” to which he contributed “The Community of Sanity in the Age of the Meme” and co-authored with Alan Albarran “Serving the Market or the Marketplace?: The Business and Ethics of Social Media.”


Political Science and Public Administration: Dr. Matt Corrigan presented “Jeb Bush versus the Tea Party” at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in New Orleans, La. in January. Research from his book, “Conservative Hurricane: How Jeb Bush Remade Florida” also appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC and CNN.


Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work: Dr. Suzie Weng published “Leadership in an Asian-American community in the South: The development of an informal support network to increase access to services” in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 


Dr. Jennifer Spaulding-Givens presented a poster, “A case for self-directed care: Florida SDC participants’ self-identified recovery goals and resources and barriers impacting goal achievement,” at the Society for Social Work Research Annual Conference in January.


Dr. Paul Clark and Dr. Sage Bolte published their book chapter, “Living with Cancer: A Sense-making Approach” in The Handbook of Oncology Social Work: Psychosocial Care for People with Cancer.


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Drs. Swapnoneel Roy and Ezhil Kalaimannan) were awarded $25,000 to complete a project titled “Exploring Security Attacks in Cache-enabled Tactical Hybrid Networks​.” The project is funded by the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2) Collaborative Seed Grant program. Dr. Roy and Anand Seetharam​ had their paper titled “An FPTAS for Managing Playout Stalls for Multiple Video Streams In Cellular Networks” accepted for presentation and inclusion in the proceedings of the Design of Reliable Communication Networks (DRCN) conference scheduled in Kansas City, Mo. this month. 


Dr. Zornitza Prodanoff and Dr. Edward Jones were awarded a total of $95 000 to complete a project titled “Secure Web Access to RFID and NFC Data in Healthcare Inventory Control and Patient Tracking Applications”​ funded by the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC²) Collaborative Seed Grant program, UNF and FAMU.


Engineering: Dr. Patrick Kreidl, in collaboration with Dr. Shigang Chen at the University of Florida, received funding in the amount of $50,000 for a one-year seedling project titled “New Technologies for Network Defense Analysis based on Malware Behavior” from the Florida Center for Cybersecurity.


Dr. William Dally attended the National Conference on Beach Preservation Technology in February in Clearwater Beach and made a presentation entitled “Analysis of a 10-Year Nearshore Wave Data Base and its Implications to Littoral Processes.” He also presented a brief,  “Introduction to the Coastal Engineering Program at the University of North Florida.”


Jorge Rodriguez-Baz, a civil engineering student, was selected for the Jose A. Vila Scholarship award given by the Cuban American Association of Civil Engineers. He was one of only two students selected for the scholarship this year. 



College of Education and Human Services


Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management: 

Drs. Terence Cavanaugh and Jennifer Kane presented a paper entitled  "SmartPhones: End the Fighting and Start Integrating" at the Florida Educational Technology Conference in Orlando.


The book “Policy and Governance in Sport: Issues, Organizations, and Practical Application,” edited by Dr. Jason Lee, was published by Carolina Academic Press.


At the 11th annual Southern States Association Sport Management Conference at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., Dr. E. Newton Jackson, Maurice Graham, Clifford Harrell and Dr. Jennifer Kane presented research on "Internship Advisement: Strategies for Student and Program Success."


Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education: Drs. John Kemppainen and Susan Syverud presented at the Consortium for Belize Education Cooperation (COBEC) 2015 Winter Conference in Corozal, Belize. The title of the presentation was “The University of North Florida and University of Belize Professional Development School Partnership.”


UNF branded-balloonsMilestone anniversaries  

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


20 years

Cathryn Hagan, Associate Director, Small Business Development Center


15 years

Jacqueline Huff, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities


10 years

Linda Howell, Senior Instructor, English 

Becky Raines, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 

Janice Strickland, Administrative Secretary, The International Center

Deborah Williams, Custodial Worker, University Housing


Five years

Alberto Cubillas Capote, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

Jesus Garcia, Groundskeeper, University Housing

Alex Lane, Groundskeeper, University Housing

Susan Massey, University Librarian, Library 

Carl Schumacher, Auto Equipment Mechanic Supervisor, Physical Facilities 

Jeanette Toohey, Assistant Director, Continuing Education



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

Lamont Banks, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

Daniel Byrd, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One Stop Student Services

Julie Chabrian, Laboratory Technician, Art and Design

Leslie Doan, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Center for Community-Based Learning 

Ashlie Hudnall, Admissions Evaluator, Enrollment Services Processing Office

Brett MacLaughlin, Senior IT Support Technician, User Services 

Isabel Pease, Director, Publications and Communication 

Jennifer Schmidt, Financial Aid Specialist, Financial Aid Office

Melanie Simmons, Custodial Worker, Osprey Fountains

Alvin Williams, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:

Kathy Westberry, Academic Advisor, Coggin College of Business



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


Dale Baker, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities 

Padre Beachem, Senior Recycle Refuse Worker, Physical Facilities 

Christopher Brannen, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management

Artie Brown, Faculty Administrator, Florida Institute of Education 

DeeAnne Crookham, Coordinator, Student Affairs

Gerald Garner, Assistant Recycle Refuse Support, Physical Facilities 

Patricia Hanford, Director of Development, Education and Human Services 

Zirsangzela Hlawnchhing, Custodial Worker Custodial Services

Ashley Iselborn, Office Manager, Biology 

Lori Lovelace, Office Assistant, Quality Control and Work Management 

Kelly McCuin, Records Registration Coordinator, Registrar's Office 

Tyaisha Perry, Admissions Processing Coordinator, Enrollment Services Processing Office 

Chiquita Scott-Cambridge, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

Ellen Shrader, Administrative Secretary, Coggin College of Business 

Betteanne Visnovsky, Senior Registered Nurse, Student Health Services 

Joshua Wethington, Technical Support Specialist, Enrollment Services 

The Goods

Turmeric closeupThe Goods: Turmeric


Turmeric is a culinary spice related to the ginger family that is used in many cultures for flavoring and its medicinal properties. Turmeric’s main ingredient is known as curcumin, which gives the spice its yellow coloring and health benefits. While turmeric is most widely known in Indian dishes, it’s also the same ingredient that gives American yellow mustard its bright yellow color.


Turmeric has been said to treat anything from inflammation to depression. Jill McCann Snyder, instructor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, shares more about the health benefits of this old Indian spice. In order to incorporate turmeric in your diet, a recipe is included. 


Myth: Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory substance.


Fact: Recent studies have shown that curcumin, found in turmeric, is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level. We know that chronic low-level inflammation plays a role in chronic disease, so anything we can do to help reduce chronic inflammation will help us prevent disease. While some studies have shown the spice to work as well as pharmaceutical drugs, you should consult your doctor for your individual needs.


Myth: Turmeric can prevent cancer.


Fact: This is a hot topic now as many people are looking for alternative ways to treat and prevent cancer. Research has shown that there are lower rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people consume large amounts of curcumin on a daily basis over a long period of time. Some small studies have shown promising results preventing precancerous changes over time. Breast, bowel, stomach and skin cancers have shown a decrease in cell growth while using Turmeric.


Myth: Turmeric can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.


Fact: Some research has shown that turmeric extract contains natural chemicals that block the formation of plaque in the brain, which can slowly obstruct cerebral function. While we know that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, more conclusive research needs to be done.


Myth: Turmeric can prevent heart disease.


Fact: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It’s thought that curcumin helps to improve the function of the lining of the blood vessels, which helps to control blood pressure and blood clotting. Research has proven that chronic inflammation is a key factor in developing heart disease. Therefore, turmeric may help to prevent the leading cause of death.




Turmeric Tea


  1. Bring four cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey/lemon to taste.


* Some people add a teaspoon of ginger along with turmeric for taste. Adapted recipe from Dr. Weil.


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 questions about turmeric? Contact Jill McCann Snyder at .


Connect with UNF

Bree Fagins headshotThere are many ways to follow UNF on social media. You probably know all about the University's presence on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. But we even have a YouTube page where you can check out video interviews with faculty, staff and students. Also, the Follow UNF page has a detailed breakdown of the different social media accounts associated with all of the University's dynamic departments, units and programs. Take a look, and connect with UNF!

Bright Birds Know

Lewis Black headshotThe UNF Fine Arts Center is presenting comedian Lewis Black Thursday, March 12th at 7:30 p.m. in Lazzara Performance Hall. This is the first FAC-sponsored performance since 2010 when its annual performance series went on hiatus due to state budget cuts. Black’s performance will be the only Jacksonville stop on his 2015 “The Rant Is Due: Part Deux” national tour. This will be his second time performing at UNF. He performed at Osprey Production’s annual Homecoming comedy show at the Arena in February 2002. Tickets are on sale at the UNF Ticket Box Office. Prices range from $85 to $58, and faculty and staff receive a 10 percent discount with their Osprey 1Card.


The first faculty or staff member to submit an email regarding this entry will win a pair of tickets to the show! Just send an e-mail with the subject “Bright Birds Know” to be included in the running. The winner will be notified via e-mail by 6 p.m.


Bright Birds Know is a monthly feature highlighting interesting facts, figures and stories about the University of North Florida.