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InsideMay 2015

Around Campus

Collaborative study seeks to help student veterans monitor, manage stress levels

Dr. Lori Lange headshotA small blue and white case holds the secret to managing the stresses associated with the tense, fast-paced world of academia for military and student veterans.


University of North Florida psychology professor Lori Lange, in collaboration with the Military and Veterans Resource Center on campus, has been applying her expertise in physiology and biofeedback research to help student veterans monitor their own stress levels and ultimately improve their University experience. Biofeedback entails monitoring bodily processes, such as heart rate variability, using wired machines.


The idea to utilize veteran students as the main test group for the project came from Rich Carey, the MVRC’s transition coach, in late 2013. After working with scores of veterans and visiting different organizations like Wounded Warrior that deal with issues specific to the military community, Carey said he noticed there was a gap in treatment options for veterans who don’t experience full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder. Many have trouble reintegrating into civilian life after years of responding to clear marching orders and firmly established expectations. They needed assistance learning to monitor and manage their stress levels.


“Something like a professor changing around an assignment or a group project going a different direction can be a trigger for a student veteran,” Carey said. “Dealing with change like that is tough for them, and biofeedback was a good fit to show how they react to these scenarios and how they can improve those reactions.”


The MVRC funded the project, and Lange has worked with nearly 40 UNF student veterans. The goal of the ongoing project is to teach these subjects to truly modify their physiology by understanding their own unique reactions to different stressors. Over time, our bodies become out of sync as the "fight or flight" tendencies of the sympathetic nervous system take over, lowering the body’s overall ability to cope and recover from stress. By training veteran students, especially those who are having some trouble acclimating to the less structured environs of academia when compared to the more rigid, military setting, Lange said they can determine how to bring their bodies back into balance by increasing the "rest and digest" response of the parasympathetic nervous system. The devices employed feature a computerized feedback display that allows the participants to view the metrics associated with their own bodies and track the impact of stress in their daily lives.


UNF graduate and undergraduate psychology students supervised by Lange have helped train the test groups to use the equipment and to identify their optimal breathing rates. One of those student researchers, graduate student John Copeland, said he became interested in Lange’s research shortly before coming to UNF to complete his master’s degree in psychology. He worked as a research assistant on the project last summer before he even started grad school courses, and he moved on to managing the project for Lange in the fall.


He said he was intrigued by the cutting-edge nature of the research. There isn't a precedent or blueprint to follow for Lange and her student researchers, so they’ve all been tasked with brainstorming and coming up with inventive solutions to various challenges on the fly.


“My experience has been phenomenal,” Copeland said. “In the beginning, I was just happy to have the practice. But I've learned so much more than I thought was possible. I've learned from Dr. Lange that it's possible to conduct research in a way that doesn't just simply collect data, but simultaneously aims to provide a service to others. This research can share knowledge that can be used to improve the quality of life of the participants involved.”

Around Campus

Nutrition book by UNF faculty provides tips in easy-to-follow format

Dr. Judy Rodriguez headshotDr. Judy Rodriguez is constantly asked for tips on how to eat better. 


It is not surprising considering she’s been a nutrition professor at the University of North Florida for more than 25 years, currently serves as the chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a former President of the American Dietetic Association (now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.)


Still, when a publisher whom Rodriguez had previously worked with approached her to write another nutrition book, she was eager to do it. She did have some stipulations.


“The one thing I didn’t want to do was create was another diet book,” said Rodriguez, who accepted the challenge with the help of her fellow nutrition faculty. “We know that different things work for different people, and depending on the situation that you’re in, different things will work for you.”


“200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel Better” was released at the end of 2014 and is currently available in bookstores and online through numerous retailers like Amazon.


It is full of inviting food photos that almost entice you to eat better before you ever read a single word. The pages are laid out with simple lists, incredible photographs and clever graphics that create an easy-to-read nutrition reference guide.


One online review on Amazon describes the guide as the “Best book ever!” and encourages shoppers to “Buy this!”


“What we wanted to do was basically create a series of tips so people can pick and choose what they would like to try,” Rodriguez said.


Jenna Braddock, a UNF nutrition instructor and contributing writer, said one unique aspect of the book is that it is written by a team of registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) instead of just one writer.


“We all have our own areas of specialty and expertise that we wrote about,” she said. “Instead of just one expert giving you advice, you have 13.”


The faculty who worked on the book wanted to create a go-to guide to help readers through lots of typical situations, such as shopping or eating out in a restaurant.


“We tried to make it a consumer-friendly,” Rodriguez said. 


The staff also sought to provide lots of options for readers who are trying to make changes so they didn’t feel like they had to eat the same things all the time. 


“I had a lot of my clients tell me they wish I could just live with them and tell them what to eat every day,” Braddock said. “I think this book is the best solution for that desire.”


In addition to simple recipes, the book provides “Do this, not this” elements and offers pros and cons of common diets.


“It is all encompassing and leaves no stone unturned as far as the kinds of questions and concerns most people have about healthy eating,” Braddock said.


There are sections on serious health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. But the book also highlights a variety of topics, from how food affects mood to the nutritional requirements of fueling an athlete.


There is something for everyone in the book, but when asked for a nutrition tip that may apply to all, Rodriguez gave a simple suggestion.


“Start with small changes,” she said. It’s much harder to make a big change. It took a lifetime to develop the habits you have, so you can’t really change them overnight. You can always add more, but start small.”


She also cautions that people should never totally give up the things they like. 


“Try to figure out ways to have them in different amounts, or less frequently,” she said. “Use different techniques, but don’t give them up because then you will feel like you’re really depriving yourself.”


The book’s publisher, Quarto, paid Rodriguez and the faculty a flat fee for the book, which was divvied among the writers, with remaining funds going to the UNF Nutrition Foundation account. 


The funds help pay for student events, seminars or even assist with travel expenses for part-time staff attending conferences or educational workshops. Faculty who contributed to the book include Jenna Braddock, M.S.H., R.D.N, C.S.S.D., Kate Chang, M.S., R.D.N., Catherine Christie, Ph. D., R.D.N., Alireza Jahan-mihan, Pd.D., R.D.N., Shahla Khan,Ph.D. (no longer at UNF), Corinne Labyak, Ph.D.,  R.D.N., Jamisha Laster, M.S., R.D.N., Alexia Lewis, M.S., R.D.N. (no longer at UNF), Jen Ross, M.S.H., R.D.N., Claudia Sealey-Potts, Ph.D., R.D.N., Jackie Shank, M.S., R.D.N., and Zhiping Yu, Ph.D., R.D.N.


Around Campus

A new view of the South: Photographers focus on Southern landscapes at MOCA Jacksonville

a Southern homestead from the MOCA exhibitRichly detailed images come to mind when someone says “the American South” or “the Deep South.” Moss-draped oaks creating canopies over enormous columned mansions. Lazy rivers winding through verdant shores teeming with wildlife. Unchecked development encroaching on natural habitats.


“Southern Exposure: Portraits of a Changing Landscape” explores the territories that exist in our collective memory of the South — as it was and as it exists today. The self-curated exhibition is on display Saturday, May 16, through Sunday, Aug. 30 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida.


Often monumental in scale and sublimely beautiful, the photographs on view by renowned artists William Christenberry, Deborah Luster, Sally Mann, Jeanine Michna-Bales, Richard Misrach, Andrew Moore and Alec Soth present a timeless portrait of the Southern landscape. Exploring the multifaceted relationship between man and land across time — from what remains in Civil War battlefields to ecological degradation studies along the iconic Mississippi River — the resulting images address the complex histories, extraordinary spirit and unimaginable contradictions inherent in the American Southern landscape. Consisting of more than 70 photographs, the juxtaposition of these images attempts to reconcile the past and the present, a key to understanding the South.


Spirits of the past are depicted in acclaimed photographer Mann’s photographs of Civil War battlefields. The Southern native, who currently lives and works in Virginia, uses the medium of photography to intertwine the personal and the historical — a pictorial tribute to life, death and love in the South.


The Mississippi River, the largest rivers system in North America, also recurs throughout the photographs in the exhibition as a portrait of the land and surrounding communities. Some featured pictures celebrate the river in its heyday, while other images unpack the complex social, economic and environmental cultures flowing through it. In 1998, Misrach, who helped pioneer the renaissance of color photography, was commissioned to document a polluted section of Louisiana’s Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans known as “Cancer Alley,” where oil waste pits have been leaching toxic chemicals throughout Louisiana waterways since the 1980s. Mysterious and striking, the large-scale color photographs present a ravaged landscape of petrochemical-logged rivers and ponds, cemeteries, basketball courts, and buildings.


Minnesota-based photographer Soth’s visualization of river landscapes and communities in the series “Sleeping by the Mississippi” of 2004 offers an alternate view of life surrounding the river. Equipped with his large-format 8 x 10 camera, he shot five years’ worth of landscapes and portraits from Winona, Minn., to Baton Rouge, La., drawing on the iconic river as a metaphor for wandering and freedom. While his lush, large-scale color prints portray the habits and habitats of people along the Mississippi, Soth’s photographs also strangely romanticize the socio-economic disparity of a once-prosperous thoroughfare.


“Southern Exposure” also presents an opportunity to display more recent photographs of the South. Moore’s work offers a regional exploration of the American South — New Orleans, Tunica and the Mississippi Delta and Atlanta — an area that has fascinated him since he first began to take pictures. From gin factories to decaying bridges and abandoned amusement parks, Moore’s Southern renaissance is a way of marking time, allowing the artist to reflect on changes to the landscape, as well as in his own life.


Throughout the exhibition is a collection of histories, memories and predictions that define the South and offer a visually compelling portrait of the changing land.


Charles and Marilyn Gilman are exhibition sponsors of “Southern Exposure.” Support for exhibition public programs is generously provided by Julie and Michael McKenny. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is a supporting sponsor. Contributing sponsors include Agility Press; the city of Jacksonville; the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville; Jennifer U. Johnson; the state of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and WJCT Public Broadcasting.





A preview reception for “Southern Exposure: Portraits of a Changing Landscape” is 6-7 p.m. Friday, May 15 for patrons and 7-9 p.m. for MOCA Jacksonville members. The exhibition opens to the general public on Saturday, May 16.



Pups help relax students during exam week

A student poses with a dogJordan Fuqua said he’s heard in the past that petting a dog can relieve stress, but after spending some time at the Paws Your Stress event in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library in late April, he’s convinced. 


“It works,” said the University of North Florida sophomore, who enjoyed his time with a puppy so much that he got back in line for another visit. “This is the greatest thing. I’m completely stress-free.”


UNF partnered with Canine Companions again for the third exam week event to provide students an opportunity to hang out and pet a dog, even if it was just for a few minutes.


Students quickly learned that dogs can not only improve your mood, but man’s best friend has an immediate and profound impact on your stress level.


Tianna Johnson, a self-proclaimed animal lover who visited the library with her friend Katie Fosburgh, said her stress was melting away as she stood in line waiting for her turn to pet the dogs.


“I’m so happy that UNF does this,” she said.


Fosburgh agreed and said the energetic dogs make you forget about everything else that’s going on. 


Most of the dogs were Labrador or golden retrievers, and all are in training to become companions.


Many students living on campus come to the event thinking about their family pet they may have left behind when they came to college. Jordan Bebout, a sophomore from West Palm, said she misses her dogs at home and came out to the bi-annual event even though she had already finished her last exam.


“I look forward to this each semester,” she said.


The dogs used for Paws Your Stress are in training and raised by volunteers through Canine Companions, a nonprofit organization that provides trained dogs to assist those with disabilities or special needs.


Among the dogs at the event were two frequently seen on UNF’s campus — India, raised by Kelly Gates in Public Relations, who organized the event, and Adele, raised by Patrice Kapcio from Academic Technology and Innovation. More than 350 students attended this year’s Paws Your Stress event.


UNF’s online nursing school a national leader

A student nurse preps a needleThe University of North Florida is the only Florida state university to make the Affordable Colleges Foundation’s ranking of 2015’s Best Online Nursing Schools.


UNF came in No. 3 in the nation in the Affordable Colleges Foundation poll. The organization is a leading resource for online learning and college affordability information. More than 2,000 not-for-profit institutions across the country were analyzed to develop a proprietary database of nursing schools featuring the best mix of curriculum options, student support services and affordability. 

“The schools on our list offer aspiring nursing majors the flexibility to balance work, school and personal commitments,” said Dan Schuessler, Affordable Colleges Foundation CEO and founder. “They give students increased opportunity to move their careers forward without delay, a challenge when only campus options existed.”

Nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers in healthcare. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average growth for nursing occupations from 2012 to 2022, fueled by an aging population and the expansion of healthcare to a larger segment of the country. Currently, UNF offers eight degree and certificate programs through distance learning.

“The goal of our online program is to help nurses accomplish a higher level of education in order to provide safer, more effective care to patients,” said Dr. Li Loriz, director of UNF’s School of Nursing. “When we embarked on the online RN-BSN program, we wanted to make sure we maintained the same quality as our program on campus. We’re able to accomplish this by providing a comprehensive program that can be completed in 12 months, while maintaining the costs at a reasonable rate.”


Swoop Summary

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


Darrick Gibbs Named Head Women's Basketball Coach –University of North Florida Director of Athletics Lee Moon announced the hiring of Darrick Gibbs as the new head coach for the UNF Women's Basketball program. Gibbs, a coaching veteran with 17 years of experience in the collegiate ranks, takes over the Ospreys after a 10-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Miami. Read more about coach Darrick Gibbs.


Findel-Hawkins Selected to Play in the NCAA Men's Singles Championship – University of North Florida men's tennis' Jack Findel-Hawkins was among the 15 automatic singles qualifiers for the upcoming NCAA Singles Championship that takes place May 20-25 at the Hurd Tennis Center at Baylor University in Waco, Tex. Findel-Hawkins is the first Osprey to qualify for the NCAA Division I Men's Singles Championship. Read more about Findel-Hawkins


Osprey Women’s Tennis Faces No. 15 Miami in NCAA Tournament First Round – Making their third NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, the 2015 Atlantic Sun Champion UNF women's tennis team will travel to No. 15-seed Miami for the NCAA Tournament May 8. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m., with the winner of the UNF-Miami match advancing to face the winner of Mississippi/Denver on May 9. Read more about women's tennis


Alpe and Dawson Earn All-Atlantic Sun Honors – UNF juniors Emelie Alpe and Mary Dawson were both named second-team All-Atlantic Sun performers in women's golf as voted on by the league's head coaches and announced by the conference office. Alpe and Dawson become only the second and third golfers in the program's three-year history to garner postseason recognition from the league. Tess Huber was voted a second-team selection last season for the Ospreys. UNF finished this year with four top three finishes, including a runner-up showing at the Atlantic Sun Championship.


Osprey Men’s Golf Grinds Out Team and Medalist Titles at A-Sun Golf Championship – No. 26-ranked North Florida survived a marathon competition at the 2015 Atlantic Sun Men's Golf Championship to take home the program's fourth conference title and third in the last four years. UNF junior Austin Padova birdied No. 18 to capture the medalist honors at three-under par, 207, one stroke ahead of Kennesaw State's Jimmy Beck and Lipscomb's Dawson Armstrong. Taylor Hancock joined Padova in the top-five to earn All-Tournament honors as the junior from Clearwater, Fla. fired rounds of 70-68 in the final 36 holes to earn fourth place. As a team, North Florida finished the 54-hole event at the Legends Course of Chateau Elan with a total of 849 including registering a final round 277 to set the program's A-Sun Championship 18-hole record.


National Recognition for Skinner; Dewees Wins Third A-Sun Weekly Award – North Florida catcher Keith Skinner was recognized by Collegiate Baseball as one of three Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week award winners, while outfielder Donnie Dewees collected his third Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week Award of the season. Skinner put together one of the best single game performances in school history on Sunday when he drove in a school-record, nine runs. He was 4-for-4 with two home runs (including a grand slam) in the series finale against Jacksonville. He played in just two games this week and added a hit and an RBI in Friday night's loss. Dewees picked up his third Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week honor after winning back-to-back awards in early March. He is the first North Florida, non-pitcher to win three weekly awards in one season.


UNF Softball Completes Sweep of River City Rumble Series –  The North Florida softball team won their ninth straight contest over Jacksonville 4-2 Sunday in the annual River City Rumble series at the UNF Softball Complex. The Ospreys (29-23, 11-8 A-Sun) improve their overall record in the River City Rumble series to 17-6 over the Dolphins (23-25, 5-10 A-Sun) while also clinching at least a five-seed in the Atlantic Sun Postseason Tournament.


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


Faculty award winners named

Dr. Julie Merten works with a group of studentsCongratulations to the 2014-2015 University of North Florida Faculty Award winners. All recipients receive a cash award and commemorative plaque at the 2015 fall convocation. Nominations come from students, faculty, colleagues, staff, administrators and alumni. The awards are funded through unrestricted gifts from the UNF Foundation, Inc. and Academic Affairs. 


Distinguished Professor Award 

Winner – Carolyn B. Stone (College of Education and Human Services, Leadership, School Counseling and Sports Management) 

Runner-Up – C. Dominik Güss (College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology) 


Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Awards 

Brian J. Fisak (College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology) 

Stephen Heywood (College of Arts and Sciences, Art and Design) 

Cliff Ross (College of Arts and Sciences, Biology) 


Outstanding Faculty Service Awards 

Matthew T. Corrigan (College of Arts and Sciences, Political Science and Public Administration) 

Susan M. Perez (College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology) 


Outstanding Faculty Community Engaged Scholarship Award 

Jeffry A. Will (College of Arts and Sciences, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work) 


Outstanding Graduate Teaching Awards 

Eric G. Johnson (College of Arts and Sciences, Biology)

Lori J. Lange (College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology) 


Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards 

Carolyne Ali-Khan (College of Education and Human Services, Foundations and Secondary Education) 

Tracy P. Alloway (College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology) 

Peter S. Brown (College of Arts and Sciences, Arts and Design) 

Pieter J. de Jong (Coggin College of Business, Accounting and Finance) 

Leslie G. Kaplan (Honors and Scholars Program) 

Christos Lampropoulos (College of Arts and Sciences, Chemistry) 

Chung-Ping Loh (Coggin College of Business, Economics and Geography) 

Julie W. Merten (Brooks College of Health, Public Health) 

Aaron Spaulding (Brooks College of Health, Public Health) 

Dong-Yuan Wang (College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology)


UNF offers a variety of summer camps

Summer camps at the University of North Florida have grown in popularity, and even with more than a month left of the K–12 school year, they’re booking up fast.


Camps scheduled on campus address a wide variety of interests, from arts and music to outdoor activities and athletics.


Campus Recreation hosts two of the University’s most popular summer programs: Eco Camp and the Youth Sports and Fitness Camps. According to Jake FitzRoy, coordinator of environmental education programs, the 2015 Eco Camp filled up in record time this year with only limited spots left in the youngest age groups.


Both recreation camps provide a full day of activities and include weekly field trips to popular spots like the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and the Jacksonville Zoo.


The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF, will host a number of summer camps for all ages at the museum downtown as well as camps on campus for children ages 6-9. UNF employees get a 25 percent discount.


There are athletic camps in just about every sport, and there’s even a music camp for high school musicians.


UNF faculty and staff are provided discounts for some of the camps. For a complete listing and camp details, visit

Faculty Forum

Tracy Alloway

Tracy Alloway headshotWhat brought you to UNF? I love UNF’s focus on community-based learning. In my research, I work a lot with different not-for-profit organizations that support individuals with learning needs, such as dyslexia, ADHD and autism. When I was looking into UNF, I was really encouraged to know that they value this type of community engagement.


What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had with a student in one of your classes? In my class on Psychological Testing, a major project is for them to create a psychological test of their own. I was so thrilled when one student project went from being a class project to a complete research project that was published in a journal and featured in Science Daily, PsychCentral and The Florida Times-Union.


What is the most rewarding academic experience you have had out of the classroom? It was when a team of 35 academics and educators came from Japan to learn more about my research on working memory. They spent three days here this spring, and it was both humbling to see their interest and inspiring to see their commitment to bringing new ideas back to their teaching practice.


What do you enjoy most about being a professor?

The collaborative aspect — both with my students and with colleagues. With my masters students, I love the process of creating and developing a project that they also feel passionate about. It is an opportunity for them to go full circle from designing a study, to collecting data and analyzing the results to publishing in a peer-reviewed paper. With colleagues, we are so fortunate to have such exciting projects that UNF is involved in, and I love being a part of that. I am currently involved in projects with colleagues in the College of Education and Human Services and in the Brooks College of Health.


If you weren’t teaching, what else would you doing? Talking about working memory to anyone who would listen! I talk about working memory all the time — to taxi drivers, cashiers at grocery stores, even the midwife when I was in the hospital for the birth of my son! Read more about working memory in the UNF Journal. 


Do you have a favorite spot on campus? If so, where is it? What do you like about it? The nature trail — I love running barefoot there! It is so amazing to have access to the outdoors right on campus.


What's the strangest excuse a student has given you for not submitting an assignment? Thankfully, I haven’t encountered too many excuses — most of them are invested in their own learning process, and it is really a joy to teach here.


What’s your stance on extra credit? To be used sparingly! Their grade should be based on what they achieved as part of the course.


What’s one thing in your field of study that people might not know? That working memory — our ability to work with information — is related to so many areas in life; from our success in the classroom, to our decision-making, to our mental health. It is a fundamental skill that we use from childhood to our old age.


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

Psychological Testing — students can learn how important psychological tests are to everyday life. For example, New Jersey recently signed into law a dyslexia bill where school districts will screen children for dyslexia and other reading disabilities at an early age if they show signs of having a reading disability. How did this occur? All because a child was diagnosed with dyslexia through psychological testing. Psychological tests that are reliable and valid have the potential to change lives.


How are UNF students different from students at other institutions? I love how engaged UNF students are in the learning process — in my very first semester, several students came up to ask to work in my research lab. The students that I have encountered demonstrate a real openness to learning — they are constantly seeking ways to improve and seek out research opportunities. I am also constantly amazed at their commitment to learning. So many of them have full-time jobs or care for their families, and yet they are fully present in the classroom.


What is the biggest change that you’ve encountered in higher education since you entered the field? Probably the accessibility to knowledge — with a growing number of science websites like Science Daily, PsycCentral and Psychology Today, researchers can share their published findings to a lay audience. It is no longer sequestered in journals that are accessible to only a few. This means that research can reach people beyond an academic setting and have a real-world impact.


Describe your teaching style. Do you like to integrate tech, or are you more comfortable with a lecture-style classroom? It’s a mix really. Each class is divided into three parts. We start of with a lecture-style lesson. Then I introduce a psychological test, anything from a personality questionnaire, a dyslexia screening test to a depression scale. The students discuss and evaluate them. (Is the test measuring what it should? Are the items capturing the construct? What items would they revise if they were the test authors?) And finally, I bring in real-world data from my research archive and we get to answer these questions statistically by looking at the data.

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF?
The students!


What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate?  Think of your end-goal — graduation is not the end goal, it is just a bridge to get you where you would like to be. Think of what you want to do after you graduate and make your experiences count towards that.


How do you take your Starbucks? COLD!


Mac or PC? Mac — how could you choose anything else!



Other than books related to your academic areas of interest, what literary genres do you prefer? Why? Historical fiction. I got my Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, and I also did my post-doctoral research in the UK. I love the history of places — the idea that these great kings and queens touched these castle walls and walked these cobbled paths, and now we can walk along those paths too. It fascinates me!


When do you work best? Are you a night owl or an early riser? Definitely an early riser. I love the still and quiet of the morning. I also love the feeling of having accomplished something before the day has officially begun.


What is your favorite item on the Boathouse menu?

Hmm, I don’t think I have ever eaten anything there, but I loved watching the World Cup there this summer. It was a great atmosphere for the U.S. games.


Do you ever hold class outside? I have spent all my time thinking about how to make this work! I would love to hold class outside, but we typically use computers (and statistical programs) in each class, so it doesn’t appear to be a possibility.


Are there any places around Jacksonville that you frequent? The beach! I got a long board this summer, and it has been so much fun learning how to surf.


What was the best topic for a paper submitted by a student you ever read? Wow! I don’t think I can choose. I have had topics range from narcissism in relationships to self-esteem in Instagram use, to self-efficacy in learning. One of the fun things of having students create a psychological test in my course is that they can base it on any topic that interests them.



Get to Know

Michael Fritts

Michael Fritts headshotDepartment: Human Resources

Years at UNF: 20

Job title: Classification compensation specialist

What do you do? I do my best for the University family. I review and make recommendations for reclassifications, special pay increases and any salary requests.

If you could choose any other career, what would it be and why? I would find some sort of career dedicated to the welfare of animals and preservation of all life.

What would you like to do when you retire? I’d devote more time in helping stray and abandoned animals.

What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? The people, students and staff

Describe your favorite UNF-related memory? Listening to the many dedications of campus buildings and the stories of success and determination that were shared

What is the best thing you ever won? The hearts of the people who love me

What band(s)/musician(s) would perform the soundtrack to your life? The Moody Blues. That kinda dates me, too.

Who is your favorite fictional character? What makes them your favorite? Rick Grimes from “The Walking Dead.” He is surviving the zombie apocalypse, after all.

If you won the lottery, what would do with the money? I’d donate to my church, save animals, buy an Audi A8, a house in the mountains in Colorado and a villa in Como, Italy. I’d also revisit Europe.

Tell us about your family. I’m married with three children and five grandchildren.

If you were asked to paint a picture about anything you wanted, what would you paint? A scene of the Garden of Eden and the way life was meant to be

What was the best money you ever spent? I bought a leather jacket that is 30 years old and still looks good.

Is there a piece of technology that you just couldn’t live without? I could live without them all. I once did.

My first memory of a phone was on the wall, and we had five families on a party line. Remember those?

What is the proudest/happiest moment of your life? The many memories I have with my children, and now grandchildren.

Tell us something that would surprise people to know about you: I grow orchids.

What was the first concert you ever attended, and what was the most recent concert you attended? Led Zeppelin was the first, Edgar Winter Band was the most recent. No, I’m not 80. ;)

What person had the greatest impact on your life? My dad, who died when I was very young. I still have vivid memories of a man far better than me.

What are you most passionate about? Animal welfare and MY country that I served for 20 years.

Tell us something about you that even your friends don’t know: That is a hard question as I am easy to know and an open book. But I am moving toward becoming a vegetarian and then possibly vegan. They don’t know that!

Faculty and Staff

UNF regaliaBrooks College of Health


Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences: Dr. Chitra Balasubramanian had a series of manuscripts and abstracts accepted, and she presented her research at conferences in Charleston, S.C., Singapore and Lisbon, Portugal.



Coggin College of Business


Marketing and Logistics: Dr. Gregory T. Gundlach published “Brands and Brand Management: Insights from Marketing for Antitrust,” in “Brands, Competition Law, and IP Law.” 


Dr. Zhiping Yu presented a poster at a national conference in April about disordered eating behaviors among college students.



College of Arts and Sciences


Biology: Dr. Julie Avery gave an invited seminar,  “Nature, Nutrition, and the Environment: The Ecophysiology of Differential Growth Strategies Among Phocids,” at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Aquatic Animal Health Program (ii) With her student, R.T. Krotz, and colleagues, M.R. Shero, D.P. Costa, and J.M. Burns, she also published “Overwinter Changes in Weddell Seal Body Condition and Hormone Profiles: Implications for Pregnancy?” in Functional Ecology. She also gave three poster presentations with her students at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic marine Mammal Symposium in Virginia Beach.


Dr. Jim Gelsleichter and members of his research program, the UNF Shark Biology Program, gave the following presentations at the 2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in Houston: (i) with Arianne Leary and R. Dean Grubbs, “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in Deep Sea Fishes and Sharks in Association with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Occurrence”; (ii) with Arianne Leary, R. Dean Grubbs, M. Heithaus, J. Marcus Drymon, D. Kerstetter, and R.E. Hueter, “Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Gulf Fish Populations: What Have We Learned?”; (iii) with Clara Robison, Arianne Leary, and Brenda Anderson, “Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Alabama Coastal Fish Populations: Observations from a Recreational Fishing Tournament”; and (iv) with John Whalen and R.D. Grubbs, “Using DNA Ddducts to Examine Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Exposure in Sharks and Bony Fish Populations Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.”


Dr. Quincy Gibson gave two oral presentations with her students at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium in Virginia Beach: (i) With K. Karle, M. Mazzoil, and E. Titcomb, “Social Structure of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida”; and (ii) with C. King, “Seasonality in Female Bottlenose Dolphin Association Patterns and the Early Social Environment of Calves.”


Dr. Courtney Hackney, with G.B. Avery, published “Tidal Wetland Community Response to Varying Levels of Flooding by Saline Water” in the journal Wetlands. He also gave presentations on the economic value of the St. Johns River to the St. Johns River Caucus in the Florida Senate Chambers and at Florida A&M University.


Dr. Kelly Smith and her student, Shannon Dunnigan, gave an oral presentation, “Role of Habitat on Nekton Communities in a Northeast Florida Estuary” at the GTMNERR 2015 State of the Reserve meeting.


Chemistry: Dr. José A. Jiménez published “Optical Spectroscopy of Cu+/Sm3+-activated Aluminophosphate Glasses: Effect of Cu2+ Impurities on the Sm3+ Photoluminescence Enhancement” in Journal of Alloys and Compounds in February.


Drs. Corey Causey and Bryan Knuckley, with students Mikhail Marchenko and Andrew Thomson, published “Development of a Clickable Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP) Probe for Agmatine Deiminases” in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry in March.


Dr. Stuart Chalk attended PITTCON-2015 in New Orleans where he presented (i) with Tony Williams and Valery Tkachenko, “The Chemical Analysis Metadata Platform (ChAMP)”; (ii) with students Matthew Morse and Israel Hurst, “The Eureka Research Workbench: Laboratory Integration and Data Management.” (iii) He was also the session facilitator for “Conference Networking Session on The Chemical Analysis Metadata Platform,” and (iv) he chaired the workshop “Workshop – The Analytical Information Markup Language.” (v) He presented “The Chemical Analysis Metadata Platform (ChAMP)” at the National Library of Medicine (NIH) in Bethesda. (vi) He also presented “A REST API for The IUPAC Solubility Data Series” at a seminar at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg. (vii) At the 249th ACS Meeting in Denver, he presented (viii)“Overview of the Analytical Information Markup Language”; (ix) with colleagues Neil Ostlund, Mirek Sopek, and Bing Wang, “A Standard Data Format for Computational Chemistry: CSX”; and (x) with Tony Williams and Valery Tkachenko, “Building a Standard for Standards: The ChAMP Project.”


Dr. Amy Lane and her students published “Characterization of the Nocardiopsin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster Reveals Similarities to and Differences From the Rapamycin and FK-506 Pathways” in ChemBioChem, a European journal of chemistry and biochemistry in March. In addition, she presented two invited seminars: “Probing the Effects of Marine Natural Products on Microbial Biofilms” at the AVS Florida Chapter and Florida Society for Microscopy Joint Symposium in March; and “Diving into Chemistry from the Sea” at the Georgia Regents University STEMinar Series in March.  


English: Mark Ari published “Cities,” in Postcard Poems and Prose in March.


Dr. James P. Beasley presented “Disciplining the Community: English Graduate Education and Contextual Fluidity” at the International Conference of the College English Association in Indianapolis, Ind. in March. He also published “The Spectator, the Spectacle, and the Spectral at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, Ponte Vedra, Florida.”


Fred Dale published “Nameless Child” in Wild Violet Magazine in March and “Distance” in Family! in March.


Dr. Nicholas de Villiers presented “The Photographic Message of Incidents (2010): Barthes and Orientalism,” at the University of Cardiff conference “Barthes at 100.”


History: Dr. Chau Kelly presented “Commodifying Water: Poverty, Social Relations, and Natural Resources in Mikindani, Tanzania, 1926-1937,” at the American Society of Environmental History in Washington, D.C. in March.


Mathematics and Statistics: Dr. Denis Bell published “The Malliavin Calculus and Hypoelliptic Differential Operators” in Infinite Dimensional Analysis, Quantun Probability and Related Topics in March.


Music: Dr. Timothy J. Groulx (i) published “Perceptions of Course Value and Issues of Specialization in Undergraduate Music Teacher Education Curricula” in the Journal of Music Teacher Education in December and (ii) “Influences of Segregation and Integration on the Bands at Historically Black High Schools of Hillsborough County, Florida” in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. (iii) He also presented “The History of the Historically Black High School Bands in Northeast Florida” at the Research in Music Education conference in Exeter, United Kingdom in April.


Philosophy and Religious Studies: Dr. Paul Carelli published online “The Courage of Conviction: Andreia as a Pre-condition for Philosophical Investigation in Plato's Protagoras and Republic” in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy in March.


Dr. Hans-Herbert Koegler, with Dustin Garlitz, published “Frankfurt School: Institute for Social Research,” in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Oxford: Elsevier in March. 


Dr. Jonathan Matheson published his book, “The Epistemic Significance of Disagreement.” He also published “Are Conciliatory Views of Disagreement Self-Defeating?” in Social Epistemology in March and presented “Evaluating Some Consequences of Religious Disagreement” at the Society of Christian Philosophers Midwest Regional Meeting. 


Physics: Dr. Chris Kelso published “Charged mediators in dark matter scattering with nuclei and the strangeness content of nucleons” in the journal Physical Review D in March.


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, Santa Catarina, Brazil, in March. At the same colloquium, Dr. Candler was a discussant on the panel “Alternativas ao produtivismo na carreira do pesquisador: perspectivas internacionais.” Finally, he gave an invited talk, “Estudoes e pesquisas nos Estados Unidos,” at the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis, Brazil in March.


Dr. Natasha V. Christie presented “Felon-Welfare Ban Policies: The Hybridization of Race, Welfare, and Crime Policies in the Fifty States” at the National Conference of Black Political Scientists in Atlanta, Ga. in March. 


Dr. Georgette Dumont published “Making the Connections: Social Media, Strategy, Arts and Gardens” in “Cases on Strategic Social Media Utilization in the Nonprofit Sector” and presented “Requesting Service: Contacting Cities Through the 311 System” at the American Society for Public Administration annual conference in Chicago, Ill.


Dr. Josh Gellers published (i) “Greening Critical Discourse Analysis: Applications to the Study of Environmental Law” in Critical Discourse Studies and (ii) “Explaining the Emergence of Constitutional Environmental Rights: A Global Quantitative Analysis” in Journal of Human Rights and the Environment (March). (iii) He also delivered a talk, “Environmental Rights, Environmental Justice, and Democracy,” as part of the Environmental Law Distinguished Speaker Series at Widener School of Law, where he was a Visiting scholar-in-residence in Global Environmental Constitutionalism.


Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work: Dr. Krista Paulsen and student Hayley Tuller presented “Crafting Place: Craft Beer and Authenticity in Jacksonville, Florida,” at the 78th annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans, La. in March. She and Dr. Jenny Stuber presented “Requiring Qualitative Research Methods: Contextual and Curricular Challenges” at that same meeting.


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction


Computing: Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan and her student, Aleksey Charapko, published a paper titled "Indexing Musical Sequences in Large Datasets Using Relational Databases" in the International Journal of Multimedia Data Engineering and Management.


Dr. Sandeep Reddivari and his research assistant, Mahesh Kotapalli, were accepted to present their project, “Landmarks in Code Navigation,” in a statewide graduate research symposium at the University of Central Florida in April. Their project was selected by the UNF Graduate School as a top research project.



Engineering: Dr. Brian Kopp presented his research titled “DCS Two-Way Study” at the NOAA National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in Greenbelt, Md. in April. In his talk, Dr. Kopp reported on the best ways to support new two-way communications through the GOES spacecraft for the 25,000 meteorological stations in the western hemisphere that use the NOAA Data Collection System.


Dr. Adel ElSafty was awarded $1,500 from the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) to sponsor and support his research and teaching activities with students on Concrete repair.  The award was given to Dr. ElSafty in April. Drs. ElSafty and James Fletcher, in collaboration with North Carolina State University and the University of Sherbrooke, were awarded a $397,000 grant by the Florida Department of Transportation for their proposal titled “Degradation mechanisms and service life estimation of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) concrete reinforcements”.


Construction Management: Drs. Raphael Crowley, Chris Brown and Adel ElSafty, were awarded an $85,000 grant by the Florida Department of Transportation for their proposal titled “Analysis, Comparison, and Contrast of Two Primary Maintenance Contracting Techniques used by the Florida Department of Transportation.”



College of Education and Human Services


Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL: Dr. Katie Monnin delivered a keynote address in April at the University of Nebraska on enhancing classroom education with comic books and graphic novels. “Teaching New Literacies in Elementary English Language Arts,” Dr. Monnin's eighth book, will be released during this upcoming summer. Dr. Monnin also delivered a guest lecture in March at FSCJ entitled "Why Every Educator Should Care About Comic Books and Graphic Novels." The Will Eisner Foundation also enlisted Dr. Monnin to be a Will Eisner Week Committee Member.  


Foundations and Secondary Education: Dr. Daniel Dinsmore recently published, "A Multidimensional Investigation of Deep-level and Surface-level Processing," with Patricia Alexander in The Journal of Experimental Education and, "The Effects of Persuasive and Expository Text on Metacognitive Monitoring and Control," with Sandra Loughlin, Meghan Parkinson and Patricia Alexander in Learning and Individual Differences.


 UNF balloonsMilestone anniversaries  

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


35 years

Beverly Evans, Director of Direct Support Organizations, Training and Services Institute


30 years

Jeffery Ross, Stores Receiving Supervisor, Physical Facilities


25 years

Diana Bednarik, Graphic Designer, Training and Services Institute


15 years

Tamra Conner, Office Manager, Art and Design

Waheeda Rahman, Office Manager, Political Science and Public Administration

Evelyn Serrano, Office Manager, Controller’s Office


10 years

Dana McCoy, Program Assistant, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


Five years

Greshka German-Stuart, Academic Advisor Advising

Jason Jones, Data Architect, Enterprise Systems 

Jerry Letterman, Custodial Supervisor, Physical Facilities

Justin Lovins, Records Registration Coordinator, Registrar's Office

Donald Simmons, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 

Melanie Speaks, Laboratory Manager, Chemistry 

LeAnne Thomas, Accounts Payable Manager, Controller



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


Sharon Bove, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Admissions 

Reginald Brinson, Associate Vice President, Office of the CIO 

Pasquale Caiazzo, Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems 

Trevor Cheatham, Office Manager, Physics 

Justin Crandall, Instructional Specialist, English Language Program 

Erin Davis, Senior Accountant, Training and Services Institute 

George Eggers, Auto Equipment Mechanic, Vehicle Maintenance 

Nastacha Farley, Senior Accountant, Training and Services Institute 

Isaias Garcia, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Darrick Gibbs, Head Athletic Coach, Women's Basketball 

Kelly Anne Gomes, Program Assistant, Enrollment Services Processing Office 

Olga Igolnikov, Director of Advancement Services, University Development/Alumni Engagement 

Doris James, Custodial Worker, Student Union

Timothy Jenkins, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

Angela Johnson, Executive Secretary, Facilities Planning 

Megan Johnson, Senior Accountant, Training and Services Institute 

Randall Jones, Senior Telecomm Technician, Telephone Services 

Anthony Lee, Recycle Refuse Worker, Recycling

Karen Lucas, Director, Admissions 

Jasmine Peterson, Events Planning Coordinator, OneJax 

Kristin Quinn, Office Manager, Center for Community-Based Learning 

Viviana Rozo Rodriguez, Senior IT Support Technician, User Services 

Margaret Saunders, Administrative Assistant, Enrollment Services 

Maquetta Shavers, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

William Whittaker, IT Support Technician, User Services 

Pamela Wingard, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

Damien Wise, Assistant Customer Services Support, Custodial Services


Great job

The following employees were promoted recently:


Joel Cumbow, Landscape Grounds Supervisor, Grounds

Annie Gomez, Senior Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems 

John Hale, Assistant Vice President, Physical Facilities 

Casey Knowles, Senior Accounts Payable Receiving Representative, Continuing Education

Joy Lee, Assistant Director of the English Language Program, Student Affairs 

Jason Simpson, Senior Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

Vincent Smyth, Associate VP of Administration and Finance, Business Services



Heartfelt well wishes to the following employees who left UNF recently:


Sandra Bernreuter, Office Manager, Physics 

Justin Clark, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services, One Stop Center 

Beverly Colfry, Senior Accounts Payable Receiving Representative, Continuing Education

Amy Derringer, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Center for Community-Based Learning 

Thomas Felton, Parking Services Technician, Parking and Transportation Services 

Jaime Harsell, Administrative Secretary, Education and Human Services

Kristopher Hatcher, Assistant Director, Financial Aid Office

Kathryne Janeiro, Office Assistant, Parking and Transportation Services 

Stephanie Jurgens, Student Affairs Coordinator, English Language Program 

Willie McLaurin, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities 

Michelle Page, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

Donovan Parker, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities 

Teresa Sandrock, Director, Human Resources

Moses Scott, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Michelle Shepard, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department 

William Taylor, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services 

Elizabeth Velez, Administrative Secretary, Computing Engineering and Construction


The Goods


Cooked turkey on a plateTurkey is a major symbol of many American holiday celebration and symbolizes a spirit of giving. Dr. Judith Rodriguez, registered dietitian and chairperson of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, discusses myths and facts about turkey and provides tips for including it in a healthy diet.


Myth: Turkey is indigenous to the country, Turkey.


Fact: Of the two wild species of turkey, one is indigenous to the areas from Canada to Mexico, and the other is indigenous to the areas from the Yucatan to Guatemala. The Aztecs ate domesticated turkeys. Turkeys were found in the New World and taken back to Spain, from where it quickly spread throughout Europe and other regions. It was introduced to England in the 1500s, then the Pilgrims brought it back to North America in the 1620s on the Mayflower, not realizing that the destination of their voyage was actually the turkey’s point of origin.


Myth: Eating turkey makes you sleepy.


Fact: Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid supplement that promotes sleep when taken alone (on an empty stomach). However, turkey contains many other amino acids that probably blunt the impact of tryptophan. If you ingested a large meal, your sleepiness is more likely the result of blood being diverted from throughout the body, including the muscles and brain, to the stomach for digestion.


Myth: Turkey skin is all made up of the bad “saturated” fat.


Fact: Turkey skin contains both saturated fat and cholesterol (the “bad”) fats and also mono and polyunsaturated (the “good”) fats. So, if you are tempted to have some turkey skin, it’s important that you limit it to a small piece — indulge in a small amount, along with some lean turkey.


Myth: Turkey should be thawed by covering it with a hot towel.


Fact: Covering a frozen turkey with a hot towel or leaving it on the counter to thaw is dangerous because it creates a temperature favorable for growing germs over the warm part of the turkey. Instead, thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator or use the cold-water method. However, the cold-water method is labor intensive and wastes a valuable resource — water. A 10-pound turkey will take about two days and 12 hours to thaw in a refrigerator; a 20-pound turkey about five days. Plan in advance, so you can enjoy a safe and delicious meal.


Myth: The USDA inspection sticker indicates that the bird is fresh and top grade.


Fact: The USDA inspection checks for wholesomeness and proper handling. However, USDA also provides voluntary grading services. About 70 percent of inspected turkeys are also graded. The grades are U.S. Grade A, B and C.


Myth: Check a whole turkey for doneness by pricking the leg to check for bleeding.


Fact: Cook the whole turkey in an oven at 325 degrees. Turn the wings back, behind the neck to hold it in place to minimize burning of the legs. Insert an oven safe thermometer in the lower part of the thigh and be sure to avoid touching the bone. Or place a thermometer in the center of the stuffing. A temperature of 180 degrees in the thigh and 165 degrees in the breast or stuffing indicates doneness.


Turkey Salad


¾ lb. cooked turkey meat, cut into small cubes

¼ cup chopped walnuts

2 medium stalks celery, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon curry powder (optional, more if desired)

½ teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients. Serve on greens for a healthy salad or whole wheat bread for a sandwich.


Serves six; Approximately 313 calories per serving


The Goods is a monthly column about food myths and facts by faculty members in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program and runs monthly in The Florida Times-Union's "Taste" section. Have a question about turkey? Contact Judith Rodriguez at

Bright Birds Know

A dolphin jumping in the St. Johns River Dr. Quincy Gibson, a UNF Biology professor, found that male dolphins form lifelong “bromances” with other males to herd female dolphins and keep other rival males away. The dolphins serve as each other’s “wingman” and often form alliances that last for years. 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