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InsideSeptember 2016

Around Campus

President envisions new chapter for UNF

President John Delaney delivers his 2016 Convocation ceremony address Convocation addressAccording to UNF President John A. Delaney, it's time to write the University's next chapter.

Billed as a “state of the university” address, the President's talk at this year's Fall Convocation focused on creating a stronger University of North Florida by promoting current success and ensuring that all students have the guidance and resources they need to thrive at UNF.

Standing before faculty and staff gathered in the Lazzara Performance Hall, Delaney outlined his vision for the next chapter, saying it should be written with a commitment to students, community, faculty and staff. Just as the University has worked to transform the aesthetics of the campus, Delaney wants UNF to add strategies to continue to bolster academic success for all students.

“To flourish in the next UNF chapter, when we bring our students onto campus, we must provide each of them with individual guidance and the resources to prosper,” Delaney said. “And these will vary from student to student. This means making some cultural changes in UNF's next chapter - in particular, changes in the way our staff, advisors and faculty work together as a team.”

Delaney described UNF's story to date as one filled with academic accolades and impressive national rankings, all achieved despite financial hurdles. He encouraged staff to be the University's ambassadors, sharing the school's long list of achievements, which includes Kiplinger and College Factual rankings for quality and affordability and the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report ratings that label UNF among the best institutions in the Southeast.

He believes the university community should take pride in the strength of its Disability Resource Center, its military-friendly campus and the steady increase in the diversity of the student body.

Referencing an information card distributed at the event, Delaney said, “You can get those facts out to the community. You can help greater Jacksonville understand who we are.”

The President believes UNF's success is even more compelling due to the fact that its budget over the past 11 years has increased less than one percent each year, while losing a significant portion of the budget to inflation. “Yes, we'd love to see faculty and staff get some more pay raises, but it's been essentially 11 years of budget reductions,” he said, calling the situation a “managed administrative nightmare.”

Moving forward, the University's focus is to keep people working and the institution functioning and improving. And since funding received from the state is tied to rankings in certain metrics, a big part of that is increasing retention and graduation rates.

Critical to those specific goals is first-year student success. Delaney outlined several strategies: continuing to have senior faculty teach lower-division courses; asking academic advisors to collaborate with all UNF resources in order to create plans that will move students around the roadblocks they are experiencing; encouraging 15-hour schedules, which have proven more successful than 12-hour schedules; and, if needed, greater attention from all levels, even if that means some handholding.

Delaney urged follow-up for students who don't come in for advising as requested, for students asked to participate in support programs and for those whose choice of major is showing early warning signs of problems.

For the school's high-achieving students, Delaney asked for new ways to provide additional challenge and a rigorous academic life so these students remain at and graduate from UNF, rather than transferring to another university.

The President hopes the future includes state dollars to boost the salaries of faculty and staff, something UNF has not yet received in many years.

“That too has to be part of our new chapter,” Delaney said. “We have a myriad of reasons to be proud of where we are, and we have a number of opportunities to make UNF even better. Where we are today is in large part due to your past contributions. As we grow even stronger, that growth will be because of your dedication and a wise use of our current and future resources.”

Around Campus

Dr. Dominik Güss honored as 2016 Distinguished Professor

Distinguished professor Dominik Güss speaks at podium before Convocation ceremony audienceBeginning with an engaging slideshow chronicling his upbringing and career, Dr. C. Dominik Güss graciously accepted the 2016 Distinguished Professor award at this year's convocation and shared with the audience his thoughts on the profession, as well as his personal experiences and hopes for the future.


Acknowledging the positive influence professors can have on students, Güss said he would be on a different path today without Professor Dietrich Doerner, a mentor who inspired him to pursue psychology. "We faculty build relationships that go beyond the classroom and these relationships can stimulate the students to reach their full potential,” Güss said. “If we can bring out the best in our students, then we have fulfilled part of our vocation.”


Dr. Vanessa Teixeira, a UNF graduate who introduced Güss, said that her former professor did just that. Teixeira praised him as a teacher, mentor and role model and credited him with paving the way for her success. Now a clinical counselor, Teixeira described working with the distinguished professor as life changing. “And I was just one of his students,” she said. “Multiply my experience by dozens, even hundreds, and only then can you understand the impact that Dr. Güss has had on students on this campus.”


Güss, a native of Augsburg, Germany, joined UNF in 2003. A professor of psychology who researches cultural influences on cognition, Güss has received numerous honors during his tenure including the UNF Outstanding International Service Award in 2006, the Scholarship Award at UNF in 2011 and the Distinguished Professor Runner-Up Award in 2015.


His professional accomplishments are many. Güss has published more than 60 scientific articles and book chapters, many in the top journals of his field. Frequently invited to present at national and international conferences, he speaks four languages and also serves as associate editor of three scientific journals.


The professor acknowledged the encouragement of his parents; inspiration of his wife, Tes Tuason, who also teaches at UNF; wisdom of his mentor; support from his UNF colleagues; and the many opportunities and academic freedom offered to him by UNF.


He described faculty and students as key strengths of the University of North Florida. Güss thanked the administration for its resolve in avoiding layoffs during the recession, but also took the opportunity to later make a plea for higher salaries, merit pay and additional resources for research.


“It is my hope that a little bit of Mahatma Ghandi and Dr. King continue to live in us, that we can all find passion and courage to speak up and act - that is how we will be able to make UNF and the world we are in, a healthier, better place,” he said.


As the 2016 Distinguished Professor, Güss received a $6,000 honorarium made possible through unrestricted gifts to the UNF Foundation Inc.





Around Campus

New programs in place to meet growing interest in study abroad

Students participating in China in ContextSarah Holt was thrilled to learn about a dual-study program being planned for next summer by Dr. Christian Winterbottom, assistant professor in Childhood Education Literacy. Holt, a junior in pre-K primary education, has been looking for a study abroad program that will allow her to travel to Europe and, at the same time, provide an educational opportunity in her field.

“I've always wanted to go to England, and I'd like a chance to see another country's educational styles first-hand,” said Holt who is considering the study abroad program. “I think it would be a great advantage to me as a teacher to see student and teacher expectations outside the U.S.”

Holt is not alone. University of North Florida students are eagerly embracing the chance to get a closer look at the world and participate in transformational learning, a hallmark of a UNF education. In fact, UNF students travel abroad at twice the national average. The highest number of students to date - nearly 650 - studied abroad during the 2015-16 academic year.

Dr. Tim Robinson, UNF director of International Affairs, is not surprised that the numbers are increasing. “There are very few fields of study that don't have an international component in today's global marketplace,” Robinson said. “And many of our professors have studied internationally themselves, and are looking for ways to expand their programs.”

To provide more options for students, Robinson and others involved in international study have added 10 new agreements with partner schools around the world in China, South Korea, Argentina, Mexico, Italy, Wales, England and Australia.

Robinson said exchange agreements take time to arrange and require a balanced flow of students both ways. Sometimes universities contact Robinson, but many times UNF professors approach him with a personal connection they have made or with an idea they have that might fit a class need. “We also reach out to faculty every year,” Robinson said. “We are always happy to work with them to arrange an educational opportunity, whether it's a faculty-led trip or an independent program for students.”

That was certainly the case for Winterbottom, a native of Manchester, England, now in his second teaching year at UNF. Though the University does not have an exchange agreement with The University of Chester, Winterbottom's plan for a six-week Summer A course may be a first step. In this dual-study program, students would remain on the UNF campus for two weeks, then travel to the University of Chester in England for two weeks to work with children in British schools. They would then return with the university students for the final two weeks to visit Jacksonville-area schools.

“This is the first dual-study program at UNF,” Winterbottom said. “The College of Education and Human Services is also exploring several research programs, which are not new to UNF but new to our college.”

Dr. Andres Gallo, professor of economics and director of the International Business Flagship program, and Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez, vice president for Student and International Affairs, traveled to Mexico with Robinson last year to complete an agreement with the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla. The agreement opens the door for all UNF students, not just those studying business. And the university offers classes in English.

“Sometimes people don't have the right perception about studying abroad,” Gallo said. “It is really a chance to understand a different culture, understand what the world looks like. Many other skills you can learn on the job, but being able to live in another country for a period of time and take classes at another university creates a cultural awareness that is a very important skill to be able to offer a prospective employer.”

Around Campus

Gift brings valuable collection to MOCA Jacksonville

Maria Cox portrait courtesy of photographer Ben ThompsonMaria Cox has donated The Donald and Maria Cox Collection to the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural institute of the University of North Florida. Highlights include Joan Mitchell's 1986 painting “Chord III,” two paintings by Philip Guston, a bronze sculpture by Joel Shapiro and Keith Haring's “Two Dancing Figures” sculpture.

The gift by Cox, a MOCA trustee for 12 years, represents an acceleration of a planned bequest set in Cox donated abstract art called Pergusa Three by artist Frank Stellamotion with the Coxes' 2004 gift of 48 works, which are some of the most active and educationally valuable objects in MOCA Jacksonville's Permanent Collection. The current gift, valued at about $5.8 million, includes another 50 artworks that have even greater significance. The 98 objects in the entire Cox Collection include 16 paintings, 27 sculptures, 52 works on paper, one photograph and two pieces of ephemera. Cox has also created The Donald and Maria Cox Fund by pledging a gift to help support research, conservation, access and future growth of the Permanent Collection.

“Maria Cox's generous gift transforms MOCA's Permanent Collection,” said Ben Thompson, acting director. “These important works by top-tier artists bolster the strength of the Permanent Collection, dramatically increasing its significance, and will provide joy, education and scholarship for generations.”


Career liaisons now in colleges

Students seated in line as they practice interviewing skills at Career ServicesEnsuring that students graduate from UNF job-ready and employable is clearly a fundamental goal - for students and staff. Providing career skills training while connecting students with potential employers is essential as they progress toward graduation and ultimately, successful employment.

At UNF, those services - everything from conducting skills assessment tests to hosting job fairs on campus - in large part have been conducted through the Career Services office. In an effort to further increase efficiency and the reach of some of these services, a restructuring this semester has shifted the college career liaisons out of the Career Services core office into the colleges where they will report directly to the deans.

While most of the liaisons were already assigned to and working in a specific college, becoming a part of the college itself will further enhance services, said Dr. Earle Traynham, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

“This will strengthen our ability to reach students,” Traynham said. “We can do a better job working directly within the disciplines. We want to reach students early to keep them thinking about different options and what kind of job they may want after graduation.”

Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez, vice president for student and international affairs, agreed saying the model gives deans more direct access to services that directly impact their students. “This model will serve our campus and students better. It is more efficient, but it's not revolutionary,” he said referencing that the Coggin College of Business has used this model for years. Career services staff works with student at table

Shannon Italia, the current director of the Career Management Center in Coggin, moved from Career Services to develop the Center, which started serving students in 2007.

She said being part of the college makes a big difference in what the team is able to accomplish. “At the end of the day, it just comes down to the fact that we're closer to the students,” Italia said. “We're here embedded in the academics and more aligned with the areas of interest of our students. We're also part of the college leadership so the career perspective is always represented. It's easier to bring it all together.”

According to Rick Roberts, director of Career Services, though there have been some reassignments, most of the liaisons will continue to work in the same colleges they were previously serving. In addition, the central Career Services office will maintain most of the same services they have provided for years and will support the colleges including providing logistics assistance for most of the career fairs.

Career Services will continue to serve students who have not decided on a major, as well as upperclassmen who are changing majors. “We will continue to provide direction to students as they explore majors and careers,” said Roberts, explaining that skills assessments, personality tests and other existing offerings will remain in place.

The move supports the University's ongoing efforts to boost student retention and graduation rates, while also ensuring graduates are getting good-paying jobs in their fields after graduation.


Ozzie's Closet has a new home and expanded needs

Student worker shows off clothing now available at Ozzies ClosetIf you have clothes hanging in your closet that are no longer used, consider a donation to Ozzie's Closet.

Formerly housed in Career Services, Ozzie's Closet primarily provides business clothing for job interviews. Now as part of the Lend-A-Wing Pantry in Ann and David Hicks Hall, donations of casual clothing are also being accepted, according to Dawn Dragone, the Pantry's assistant director.

“This summer, Lend-A-Wing acquired Ozzie's Closet and expanded it to include casual clothing in order to better meet the needs of students,” Dragone said. “Now we accept clean, gently used clothing donations as well as nonperishable food items.” All sizes and styles of clothing are welcome, though inventory is especially low for women's size 4 – 8 dresses, shirts, pants and suits.

Staffed by students, the Pantry provides clothing and food anonymously and at no cost.

In addition to clothing, Dragone also asked that UNF employees consider making food donations, as the Pantry is always in need of nonperishable food items such as peanut butter, breakfast cereal, oatmeal, canned fruit, beans, canned chicken and tuna, snacks and more.

Visit the website for a complete list of needed items, the locations of 30 campus donation boxes or to make a monetary donation online.

Faculty Forum

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson portrait for Faculty Forum featureDr. Chris Johnson, is the associate dean and an associate professor of economics in the Coggin College of Business. While his current position as associate dean keeps him busy with administrative duties, Johnson has taught many courses for the college including business and economic statistics, intermediate microeconomics, urban economics, race and gender in the American economy, and the economics of poverty. At the graduate level, he has taught introduction to economic analysis and making decisions with data.

Much of his research focuses on the analysis of poverty, its measurement, its relationship to macroeconomic changes, and its impact on various demographic subgroups. He is currently finishing research that extends earlier work on the relationship between economic growth and poverty. This extension examines more closely the relationship at the county and metropolitan levels and uses spatial econometric techniques that account for the spillover effects that economic growth/decline in certain counties/metropolitan areas have on surrounding areas.

What do you like most about UNF?
The people: students, faculty and staff. I have the opportunity to work with some incredible people each day, and I cherish the interactions with them, the collegial spirit that exists and the friendships that have developed.

Describe your teaching style. Do you like to integrate tech, or are you more comfortable with a lecture-style classroom?
While I utilize a lecture-style approach, I believe the classroom should be interactive and engaging. Therefore, I am intentional in assigning prelecture readings and reflection questions to facilitate conversation during class. I also like to promote peer-to-peer learning by assigning problems for students to work on in small groups during class, followed by a discussion of the class as a whole.

Do you have a favorite spot on campus?
I really like the bamboo forest/garden between Buildings 1 and 39. I love the beauty of nature and this particular spot is very serene. I usually take a daily walk through and often times will go there to sit and reflect.

What's the most rewarding academic experience you've had at UNF in or out of the classroom?
For several years, I had the opportunity to work with a team of students on a Transformational Learning Opportunity (TLO), where we created an organic garden at Clara White Mission, to complement their Culinary Training Program. That garden was a gateway of sorts for the Clara White Mission to develop its White Harvest Farm initiative that now brings fresh produce to an underserved area of town. The project also allowed me a special mentoring opportunity with a student, Derrick Robinson, who was at the time an undergraduate in the economics program. Derrick has since earned his doctorate in economics, was a visiting professor here at UNF during the 2015-2016 academic year and is now a program director in the state of California university system. Knowing that I had an impact in helping to shape his career path is most rewarding.

If you weren't teaching, what else would you be doing and why?
I would probably go to culinary school and become a chef or baker. I like to cook and bake, and I would love to enhance that skill and perhaps open up a coffee shop and bakery one day.

What is your personal philosophy?
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Who has been the biggest role model in your life?
Without question, my mother, Clara Johnson, has been my greatest role model. My father passed away when I was 5 months old, leaving my mother a widow with seven children to raise. I grew up in a very economically challenged environment but my mother, a very intelligent, wise and industrious woman, always persevered. From her, I learned how to be resourceful, how to maximize my opportunities, how to be grateful, how to treat others with respect and dignity and how to have an unshakeable faith. She provided me with a solid foundation to which many others have added, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for her.

If the world were silent for 20 seconds and all ears were turned to you, what would you say?
I would offer the following words from theologian John Wesley, the founder of Methodism: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate?
Finding a job is good, but finding your calling is more rewarding.

If you could witness any historical event, what would it be and why?
The crucifixion of Jesus. Although it would be a very painful thing to witness, it is a defining element of my faith.

What is your favorite memory from your undergraduate days?
I attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, a place where it rarely snows. However, the first semester of my freshman year a huge snowstorm came through Tuscaloosa and shut down the campus. I had just begun dating a young lady named Jacquelyn Ricks. Foolishly, I thought it was a good idea to go out in the middle of the snowstorm to find a movie for us to watch that night. This was the day of the VCR (a foreign concept to today's students). The rental store that had the movie I was looking for was in an unfamiliar part of town. So here I am with my new girlfriend, lost in the middle of a snowstorm and praying that I made it back to campus. Needless to say, she was quickly losing confidence in my decision-making and regretting the decision to accompany me. Fortunately, though, after about two hours we made it back safely and had a great weekend enjoying the snow with our friends. Even better, despite my poor decision-making, Jacquelyn still decided to marry me a few years later.

Where is the best place you've visited and why?
I have visited a number of really nice places, but I am very fond of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. I like the nature scenes there, and I have shared some special times with my wife and family in that area.

Get to Know

Ruth Lopez

Ruth Lopez headshotJob title and department: Director, International Center

What do you do at UNF? I oversee the development and promotion of study abroad activities and programs, the Student Affairs International Learning Scholarship (SAILS), provide support services to our international students such as immigration, admissions, and programming and develop activities and programs to internationalize the campus.

What do you enjoy about working here? The folks at UNF. I enjoy working with the staff, students and faculty. We have such a great sense of community here at UNF, and it makes it so wonderful to come to work every day.

How long have you lived in Jacksonville? More than 15 years. I grew up Miami, but I've also lived in La Belle and Homestead, Florida.

What one memory do you most treasure? The first time my mom and I returned to Cuba in the summer of 1999 to visit our family. We hadn't seen my grandparents and relatives since 1980.

If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, from the past or present, who would be on your guest list? I want to have a hilarious dinner party, so I would invite comedians Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes and John Oliver. My fourth guest would be fashion critic Nina Garcia, so she can keep everyone on their toes and say cool things like garments and caviar.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? Food critic, well … more like a food taster for San Pellegrino's top 50 best restaurants. I want to be flown in a private jet to the anticipated No. 1 best restaurant in the world and be served a 20-course meal.

What superpower would you like to have? My superpower would be to be fluent in every spoken and sign language on earth. Imagine how awesome it would be to be able to travel anywhere in world and communicate with people. I always wish I could speak to all my international students in their native language.

If you ruled the world, what would you change on Day 1? Any country that has a travel ban or restriction would be lifted.

What would be the title for the movie version of your life? My Lifetime TV movie would be titled “Hello World,” and I would want to be played by Sandra Bullock.

What's at the top of your bucket list? Taking my mom to Spain. My grandparents were born there, and this has been on the top of her bucket list for years.

What one food do you wish had zero calories? Pasta! All of them - pappardelle, linguine, lasagna, ziti, spaghetti …

Tell us something that might surprise us about you. I'm a pretty good badminton player. In high school, I went to the state championships every year.

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation? To Italy. I've never been to the home of my favorite foods.

Tell us a few of your favorite things.
Book: “The Alchemist”
Ice cream flavor: Sea salt caramel gelato. It's fancy!
Season: Fall. October and November are my favorite months. The temperature starts to get cooler, and you're reminded that the holidays are coming.
Sport to watch: Soccer. When the World Cup is on, my productivity level drops by 5 percent; when the U.S. is playing, add another 5 percent. Don't tell my boss ☺
TV show as a kid: ¿Qué pasa, U.S.A.? I learned all my Cuban-American cultural customs from this show.


UNF student Mary Ratcliff selected as MOCA student-in-residence

Mary Ratcliff headshotMary Ratcliff wants her art to bring people together - literally. She is planning an installation of crocheted yarn chains and nets created with the help of the community.

Ratcliff has been chosen as the third student-in-residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural institute of the University of North Florida. She is located in a studio on the fifth floor of MOCA Jacksonville, where she will work throughout the fall in preparation for her exhibition, which opens with a reception on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Ratcliff will construct an installation of yarn, various fibers, wood, and casted elements that symbolizes community and collaboration. She invites MOCA visitors to her studio to participate by crocheting links in an ongoing yarn chain.

Throughout her residency, Ratcliff will hold regular studio hours when visitors are welcome to participate in her project: noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 5-9 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month during Downtown Art Walk. Ratcliff is asking visitors for donations of leftover yarn to help create her project, which kicks off with her studio opening on Sept. 7 during Downtown Art Walk.

“The idea is abstractly linking one another through the physical joining of fibers,” Ratcliff said. “It stands for a rejection of the divisiveness I see on the rise in our society. My vision is to construct an experience that will exude beauty and strength through collaboration.”

“We are delighted to offer this residency to Mary, who is a forward-thinking young woman and talented artist,” said MOCA Curator Jaime DeSimone. “Her idea perfectly coalesces with MOCA's role as a catalyst for downtown community engagement and revitalization.”

“Mary Ratcliff is one of the best students I've had the privilege of teaching,” said Jenny K. Hager-Vickery, UNF associate professor of sculpture. “She is passionate about her work, has a love of process and materials. Mary is also one of the most ambitious students I have ever worked with. She has created six large scale works as an undergrad, which is virtually unheard of.”

Ratcliff is a senior at the University of North Florida working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in sculpture and a minor in professional education. She has created several large-scale public outdoor artworks, including two works outside the Thomas G. Carpenter Library and a bike rack outside the Fine Arts Center. In June, her solar-powered sculpture, “Symbiosis," was chosen for the UNF Seaside Sculpture Park in Jacksonville Beach.

The UNF student-in-residence is a highly competitive opportunity that awards access to a MOCA Jacksonville studio and exhibition space to complete a new body of work and hone skills over the course of a final semester.

The exhibition opens on Dec. 10 and runs through April 2, 2017. Ratcliff also leads a Third Thursday Tour of her exhibition Dec. 15 from 7-8 p.m.


‘Why Do You #LoveUNF?' contest returns with daily prizes

Why do You love UNF poster to announce social media contestStart preparing an answer now because the Department of Public Relations is getting ready to ask, “Why Do You #loveUNF?” during its fourth annual social media contest for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

The contest will take place Monday, Sept. 19, through Thursday, Sept. 22, with prizes given away to several winners each day and grand prizes awarded the last two days. To enter the contest, follow the University on Twitter and/or Instagram @UofNorthFlorida, tweet/post why you love UNF and include the hashtag #loveUNF.

Participants will then be entered into daily random drawings for prizes, including gift cards to Moe's Southwest Grill, Applebee's at the Town Center, Chartwells Dining Services, The Loop Pizza Grill, VISA (donated by Community First Credit Union - UNF Branch) and Sweet by Holly, as well as UNF Athletics swag bags that include a collectable Ozzie the Osprey bobblehead. Two lucky people will win the grand prizes - a pair of Beats Solo 2 headphones and a Fitbit Charge HR, both provided by the UNF Bookstore!

Contest winners will be announced on the University's Twitter and Instagram pages @UofNorthFlorida. Click here for the official contest rules.


Math adjunct is Olympic mom

 Swimmer Ryan Murphy stands with mother Katy and family at OlympicsAs the world watched Jacksonville swimming sensation Ryan Murphy win triple gold in Rio, the University of North Florida community was especially excited for Katy Murphy, Ryan's mother and mathematics adjunct at UNF.Katy and family watched proudly as son Ryan, a former Bolles swimmer and now senior at the University of California, emerged from the 2016 Summer Olympics as the world's top backstroker, winning three gold medals and setting an Olympic record in the 100-meter backstroke and a world record in the 4x100 medley relay.

Katy has worked as an adjunct instructor in UNF's Department of Mathematics and Statistics for the past 16 years. She told the Spinnaker that two days after Ryan's final event, she was on a plane back to Jacksonville to greet 35 new students in her 10 a.m. pre-calculus class. 


Katy said her family was so grateful for all the support and cheerful messages they received from the Jacksonville community - particularly from her friends on campus. "So many students and faculty at UNF remember when our family spent hours a week at the campus aquatic center," said Katy referencing the many hours Ryan practiced on campus.


As the mother of a gold medalist and a successful instructor, Katy offers some simple advice that easily translates from athletics to the classroom and beyond:  "Work hard and follow your dreams!"


Swoop Summary

Mariana Cobra Named Head Women's Tennis Coach UNFs new head tennis coach Mariana Cobra pictured in portrait photo

University of North Florida Director of Athletics Lee Moon announced the hiring of Mariana Cobra as the head coach for the UNF women's tennis program. Most recently the head coach at Idaho, Cobra comes to the Ospreys after two championship seasons with the Vandals. She led her team to back-to-back Big Sky Championships and the squad's third straight NCAA appearance. Learn more about UNF's new head coach for women's tennis.UNF baseball player Daniel Moritz throwing a pitch from the mound

Moritz Signs Contract with Toronto Blue Jays

Left-handed pitcher Daniel Moritz signed a professional contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. He becomes the third Osprey from the 2016 roster to ink a deal with a MLB franchise this summer. Learn more about Moritz and his MLB opportunity. 

Fall Features 27 Home Contests on ASUNTV/ESPN3 Platforms

The North Florida Athletic Department will air a total of 27 of its home contests this fall on either the ASUNTV or ESPN3 streaming platforms. Every home men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball match will be available on either platform. Learn more about the fall streaming schedule. 

UNF golfer Philip Knowles stands with Coach Scott Schroeder who served as his caddie for the eventPhilip Knowles Plays in US Amateur
North Florida sophomore golfer Philip Knowles played in the 2016 U.S. Amateur at historic Oakland Hills Country Club. Knowles, an ASUN All-Freshman honoree last year, made his third consecutive appearance at the prestigious event. Learn more about Knowles and the men's golf team.

Men's Golf Alum Felipe Aguilar Tees Off in Olympic Golf
Former North Florida men's golfer Felipe Aguilar represented his home country of Chile in opening round play of Olympic Golf at the Olympic Golf Course.  Get more details on the former UNF golfer and Olympic Golf.


Men's Soccer Ties UNCG to Win Mike Gibbs Tournament

North Florida (1-0-1) played UNC Greensboro (1-0-1) to a 2-2 tie and clinched its third Mike Gibbs Tournament Championship in the last four years. Learn more about the tie between UNF and UNCG.

Faculty and Staff

Regalia for UNF faculty and staff accomplishmentsBrooks College of Health

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
A. Jahan-mihan, P. Magyari, S. Pinkstaff, V. Palamidy, K. Drake and C. Quinn published the abstract “The Effect of Intensity of Exercise on Appetite and Food Intake in Post-Exercise Period,” FASEB Journal, 2016, and presented the poster of the abstract at the Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego.

A. Jahan-mihan published the abstract “The role of dietary proteins in maternal diet in risk of development of glucose intolerance and diabetes mellitus in offspring” in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism, 2016, and presented the abstract at the 2016 Diabetologists Annual Meeting in Dallas. Jahan-mihan also had the abstract “The Effect of Devazepide (CCK-1 Receptor Blocker) on Food Intake Suppression Induced by Whey Protein Isolate and Glycomacropeptide (GMP)” accepted by the Obesity Journal and will present a poster of the abstract at The Obesity Society 2016 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

A. Jahan-mihan, P. Magyari, S. Jenkins, V. Palamidy and I. Pappas had two abstracts accepted by the Obesity Journal: “The Effect of Exercise and Source of Protein on Body Weight, Body Composition and Food Intake in Obese Female Wistar Rats” and “The Effect of Exercise and Protein Source on Characteristics of Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Female Wistar Rats.” They will give a poster presentation of the first abstract and an oral presentation of the second abstract at The Obesity Society Annual meeting in New Orleans.

Department of Public Health
T. Tuason, with graduate students F. Mosal and I. Sughayer, published “Prevention” in “The Sage Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology,” Sage Publishers. Tuason also presented “Creativity and Cultural Environments” at the Cultural Diversity, Migration, and Education Conference in Potsdam, Germany.

L. Carroll, T. Tuason and D. Krusemark presented “Meeting the needs of LGBT individuals across the lifespan” at the 124th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Denver.

Coggin College of Business

Melinda Santos, coordinator Career Management Center, hosted a webinar for the Southeastern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE) in July. More than 50 professionals within higher education attended the webinar on Executing Professional Development Programs for Students.

Dr. David Swanson, assistant professor of marketing, along with Jin, Yao, M.A. Waller and J. Ozment had the article "To Survive and Thrive under Hypercompetition: An Exploratory Analysis of the Influence of Strategic Purity on Truckload Motor Carrier Financial Performance" accepted for publication in the forthcoming Transportation Journal. Swanson along with Kristoffer Francisco and Jiyun Huang had the article “Click ‘Next' to Print Your Supply Chain” accepted for publication in the Supply Chain Quarterly, Q1 2017. This article has been written in conjunction with graduate students.

College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Harry Rothschild published an article in Chinese, “Wu Zetian and Shamanism” [武则天与巫文化 in the journal Qianling wenhua yanjiu 乾陵文化研究.

Dr. Gary Smart released his sixth CD, "Bright Eyed Fancy - The Chamber Music of Gary Smart," on Albany Records. The 60-minute album consists of five works, all performed by UNF music faculty including Dr. Michael Bovenzi, Dr. Nick Curry, Dr. Simon Shiao, Michael Taylor, Dr. Guy Yehuda and Dr. Smart.

Dr. Jason Haraldsen presented his research at the Triennial Review for the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he also had a user proposal accepted.

Dr. Barry Albright was recently awarded a grant from the Bureau of Land Management in the amount of $30,000 over the next five years for his continued magnetostratigraphic work in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah.

Dr. Daniel Santavicca had two scholarly publications including “Microwave dynamics of high aspect ratio superconducting nanowires studied using self-resonance,” which was published with colleagues from MIT in the Journal of Applied Physics in June, and “Terahertz spectroscopy of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes as a probe of Luttinger liquid physics,” published with colleagues from Yale University in the journal Nano Letters in July.

Dr. Jane MacGibbon published two co-authored papers in July: “Investigation of Primordial Black Hole Bursts using Interplanetary Network Gamma-ray Bursts” in Astrophysical Journal and “Primordial Black Hole: Observational Characteristics of the Final Evaporation” in the journal Astroparticle Physics.

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Dr. Scott Landes, with colleague Dr. Andrew London, published “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and adult mortality” in Preventive Medicine, July.

Dr. Rosa De Jorio published the book “Cultural Heritage in Mali in the Neoliberal Era,” University of Illinois Press.

Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull gave two scholarly presentations in July: “Understanding IAIN/UIN as a force for Democratication” at THE Asia Foundation – Indonesia in Jakarta and “Indonesian Islam, Education, and Pluralism” at the Nusantara Foundation in New York.

David Jaffee published the article “Kink in the Intermodal Supply Chain: Interorganizational Relations in the Port Economy” in Transportation Planning and Technology in July.

College of Education and Human Services

Department of Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
Dr. Terence Cavanaugh received a grant as a foreign specialist by Yunnan Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and worked over the summer with Professor Laio at the Yunnan Normal University, in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. This was part of a grant from China's Key Laboratory of Educational Informatization for Nationalities work concerning the digitalization of ethnic culture learning via multimedia resources, development of digital educational resources, transmitting and sharing methods of ethnic heritage. There he was teaching graduate students on digital technologies with the focus on Digitalization of Ethnic Culture (such as Ethnic Culture Learning via Multimedia Resources, Development of Digital Education Resources Based on Ethnic Culture, Transmitting and Sharing Methods of Ethnic Cultural Heritage). In addition to his work with the university, Cavanaugh also presented at the Educational Information and Big Data Conference in Kunming, China, on the topic of Integrating Books and Technology Integration in Distance Learning.

Department of Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education
Dr. Jennifer Renée Kilpatrick presented her research at the 43rd International Systemic Functional Congress, held at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia in Bandung, Indonesia, in July. Her presentation, given with co-authors Dr. Kimberly Wolbers (University of Tennessee) and Hannah Dostal (University of Connecticut), was titled "Using Experiential Metafunction Analysis: The Development a Written Language Assessment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students.” While in Indonesia, she also visited Bengkala, a village well known for their high incidence of deafness throughout the last seven generations. In Bengkala, the majority of villagers (hearing and deaf) are able to communicate in Kata Kolok, the signed language indigenous to the village. As a result, deaf children are able to attend school in a bilingual setting, fully included with hearing peers, and the school in the village is designated as an “inclusion school” by the government.

Drs. Sophie Maxis, Karen Patterson, Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore and Chris Janson were initiated into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society during Spring 2016. Also initiated were graduate students in Exceptional Education, Judith Ramsden and Abeer Ali. Dr. Kristine Webb, PKP member, congratulates her colleagues on their membership.

Hicks Honors College
Dr. Jeff Michelman, Director of Hicks Honors College and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, was elected regional vice president of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Student Affairs
Jen Miranda, coordinator for fraternity and sorority life, served as a facilitator for the 56th General Assembly and Stead Leadership Seminar for Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity in National Doral Resort in August. She led the curriculum around risk management and leadership development.

Victoria Shore, student government advisor, earned her Master of Education in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education administration in fall 2015.

Kacie Smith, fitness coordinator at the Student Wellness Complex, received her Master of Education in educational leadership with a concentration in athletic administration in fall 2015.

Karen Kutta, event coordinator for Campus Life, received her Master of Education in educational leadership in spring 2016.

Lindsay DiAngelo, Student Affairs coordinator, received her Master of Education in educational leadership in spring 2016.

Alison Noonan, coordinator for the Taylor Leadership Institute, received her Master of Education in educational leadership in summer 2016. She also received the Osprey Community Engagement medallion from the Center for Community-Based Learning.

Courtney King, assistant director of Campus Life, received her Master of Education in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education administration in summer 2016.

Lea Fernandes, International Center coordinator, received her Master of Education in educational leadership in summer 2016.

Brandi Winfrey, coordinator for the Women's Center, received her Master of Education in educational leadership in summer 2016.

Kaitlin Legg, director of the LGBT Resource Center, received her Master of Education in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education administration and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management in summer 2016.


Milestone anniversariesDateline balloons to celebrate our faculty and staff
Congratulations to the following employees who will celebrate a milestone anniversary at UNF in September:

40 years

Ken Durrant, Office Assistant, Procurement Services (April)

30 years
Simone Wilson, Data Processing Associate, Registrar's Office

15 years
Dennis Holler, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing
Marianne Jaffee, Executive Assistant and Director of Planning, Academic Affairs
Richard James, Coordinator, Training Programs, Training and Services Institute

10 years
Deborah Baker, Assistant Director, Counseling Center
Johnny Jones, Maintenance Support Worker, Physical Facilities
Howaida Mousa, Senior Grants Specialist, Florida Institute of Education
Katie Newton, Assistant Director, University Center
Liza Provenzano, Mental Health Counselor, Counseling Center

5 years
Andrea Adams-Manning, Assistant Dean of Students, Office of the Dean of Students
Tracy Alloway, Associate Professor, Psychology
Logan Arke, Senior Groundskeeper, Physical Facilities
Adianez Garcia Campos, Coordinator, Student Affairs, Center for International Education
Leah Carpenter, Coordinator, Records Registration, Registrar's Office
Frederick Dunaway, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department
William Taylor, Senior Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Catherine Trask, Coordinator, Academic Support, Academic Affairs
Ray Wikstrom, Director, Military and Veterans Resource Center

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

Kayla Aliemenious, Coordinator, Enrollment Services, Communication Systems
Allison Archer, Instructional Designer, Distance Learning Fee
Emanuel Bacon, Recycle Refuse Worker, Recycling
Krista Bracewell, Instructional Designer, Distance Learning Fee
Maria Brien, Technical Support Specialist, Financial Aid Office
Eric Cardenas, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Mariana Cobra, Head Coach, Women's Tennis
James Couch, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Andre Davis, Recycle Refuse Worker, Recycling
Chelsea Dawkins, Child Development Teacher, UNF Preschool
Jeffrey Dennis, Assistant Coach, Golf
Bianca DePass, Accounts Payable/Receivable Associate, Controller
Nina Der-Heard, Program Assistant, Enrollment Services
Claire Doherty, Assistant Coach, Women's Swimming
Sarah Hande, Associate Director of Development, MOCA Jacksonville
Adam Harpstrite, Stores Rec Supervisor, TSI - IPTM and PSI Employees
Lisa Jaspe, Child Development Teacher, UNF Preschool
Skylar Lopas, Assistant Coach, Volleyball
Brittni Lowery, Coordinator, Admissions
Courtney Manns, Office Manager, Parking and Transportation Services
Ashley Mayfield, Coordinator, Residence Life, Osprey Fountains
Rachel McFarlane, Assistant Coach, Men's Cross Country/Track
Chloe Mims, Program Assistant, Continuing Education
Jessica Murray, Coordinator, Continuing Education
Jessica Pavliska, Coordinator, Student Financial Services, Controller
Christopher Petrello, Director, Information Technology Service Management, User Services
Patrick Proctor, Coordinator, Residence Life, Apartments
Erik Rettig, Coordinator, Data Management, Advancement Services
Sean Robb, Assistant Athletic Trainer
Robert Stewart, Assistant Director, Information Technology Security
Jennifer Wessel, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Andrea Wylie, Program Assistant, Continuing Education

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:
Lynne Arriale, Professor, Music
Beyza Aslan, Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Keri Barnhart, Coordinator Membership Engagement, MOCA Administration
Michael Binder, Associate Professor, Political Science and Public Administration
Stacy Boote, Associate Professor, Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL
Paul Carelli, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Corey Causey, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Kim Cheek, Associate Professor, Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL
Natasha Christie, Associate Professor, Political Science and Public Administration
Ching-Hua Chuan, Associate Professor, School of Computing
Wayland Coppedge, Associate Instructor, Economics
Jaime DeSimone, Curator, MOCA Administration
Trevor Dunn, Associate Professor, Art and Design
Terri Ellis, Associate Professor, Biology
Michael Fritts, Coordinator, Class and Compensation, Human Resources
Elizabeth Gregg, Associate Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
James Hall, Associate Professor, Music
Laura Heffernan, Associate Professor, English
Gregory Helmick, Associate Professor, Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Stephen Heywood, Professor, Art and Design
Kenneth Hill, Senior Academic Advisor, Education and Human Services
Paula Horvath, Associate Instructor, Communication
Jason John, Associate Professor, Art and Design
Marnie Jones, Director/Professor, Center for Community-Based Learning
Christos Lampropoulos, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Amy Lane, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Jason Lee, Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
Kathleen LeGros, Coordinator, Budgets, Education and Human Services
Constanza Lopez, Associate Professor, Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Peter Lowe, Interim Director, Institutional Research
Sarah Mattice, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Ognjen Milatovic, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Miwa Nguyen, Director, Academic Advising Services, Brooks College of Health
Jacqueline Pruett, Office Manager, Career Management Center
Dawn Russell, Associate Professor, Marketing and Logistics
Jennifer Schmidt, Coordinator Student Financial Aid, Financial Aid Office
Nicholas Seabrook, Associate Professor, Political Science and Public Administration
Janice Swenson, Associate Instructor, Biology
Diana Tanner, Associate Instructor, Accounting and Finance
Christopher Trice, Associate Professor, Art and Design
David Waddell, Associate Professor, Biology
Hope Wilson, Associate Professor, Foundations and Secondary Education

Heartfelt well wishes in their endeavors for the following employees, who left UNF recently:
William Ahrens, Professor, Nursing
Peter Bacopoulos, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering
Joshua Baker, Coordinator, Sports Media Relations, Athletics
Deborah Berard, Financial System Analyst, Controller
Abigail Blumenfeld, Program Assistant, ADA Compliance
Luciana Carvalhal Braga, Assistant Professor, Foundations and Secondary Education
James Brasseal, Strength Conditioning Coach, Athletics
Deborah Bundy, Manager Retirement, Human Resources
Charles Calhoun, Professor, Accounting and Finance
Lynne Carroll, Professor, Psychology
Georgina David, Assistant Professor, Education and Human Services
Stacy Derleth, Senior Library Services Associate
Joseph Dzamko, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department
Ashley Earles-Bennett, Coordinator, School of Music
Glenda Edwards, Senior Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Services
Martin Edwards, Associate Professor, Political Science and Public Administration
Jaclyn Gallagher, Coordinator, Tour Camp Programs, MOCA Administration
Claire Marie Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, Education and Human Services
Lauren Harris, Academic Advisor, Academic Center for Excellence
Stephen Heggem, Coordinator, Residence Life, Residence Life Programming
Shayna Hilliard, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Miralem Isakovic, Coordinator, Student Finance Services, Controller
Ashley Iveson, Assistant Coach, Softball
Sabrina Jones, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Frederick Langrehr, Instructor, Marketing and Logistics
Laura Langton, Instructor, Education and Human Services
Jiang Lau, Coordinator, Financial Aid Office
Paul Mason, Professor, Economics
Ashley Nelson, Assistant Child Development Teacher, UNF Preschool
Kelly Perkins, Program Assistant, University Housing
Ashley Michelle Petit-Bois, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Allison Preslar, Instructor, Communication
Derrick Robinson, Assistant Professor, Economics
Lisa Ross, Instructor, Education and Human Services
Ajay Samant, Professor, Accounting and Finance
Elinor Scheirer, Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
Linda Sciarratta, Coordinator Budgets, Education and Human Services
Robert Shepherd, University Conduct Officer, Office of the Dean of Students
Tammy Shistle, Accounting Associate, Music
Aaron Spaulding, Assistant Professor, Public Health
Lauryn Stark, Coordinator, Events Planning, Taylor Leadership Institute
Alissa Swota, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Andrew Thoeni, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Logistics
Matthew Urbano, Assistant Coach, Women's Soccer
John Venn, Chair/ Professor, Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL
Drew Von Maluski, Instructor, Physics
David Webb, Laboratory Lecturer, Biology
Starlet Wilder, Instructor, Education and Human Services
Jennifer Williams, Lecturer, Chemistry
Marilyn Williams, Administrative Secretary, Arts and Sciences
Fen Yu, Interim Director, Institutional Research

The Goods


Avocado sliced to reveal large pit and green colorIn the past, the avocado - also known as alligator pear - was referred to as a butter pear, probably because of its shape and smooth texture. It's easy to use and can be purchased green (unripe) and allowed to ripen at room temperature. Dr. Judith Rodriguez, director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, shares more about the avocado and a recipe.

Myth: The avocado is a vegetable.
Fact: Botanically, the avocado is a tree-ripened fruit that contains a seed; however, culturally, individuals often use it as an accompaniment to vegetable-based dishes or with main dishes much the same as one might do with a vegetable. For example, avocados are often put in salads or used as cubes for topping on soups or stews.

Myth: Avocados are bad because they're high in fat.
Fact: Almost all the fat in avocados is heart-healthy unsaturated, especially monounsaturated, fat, and very little of it is saturated fat. Also, because avocados are a plant food, they don't contain cholesterol. Recent research shows that consuming avocados with dark leafy greens or deep orange vegetables, such as carrots, helps individuals absorb the carotenoid nutrients in these other vegetables.

Myth: Avocados don't contain fiber.
Fact: It's easy to assume that an avocado doesn't contain fiber because of its smooth and creamy texture. But avocados are actually high in fiber and low in other carbohydrates. As a result, they're what is known as a low-glycemic food, which may help some people manage personal blood sugars.

Myth: In the U.S., most avocado sales occur during Super Bowl Sunday.
Fact: Although guacamole is a Super Bowl favorite, avocados are popular throughout the year, and Cinco de Mayo is an even more popular sale date for avocados. Luckily, we can enjoy the avocado not only in guacamole, but sliced in sandwiches, cubed in salads, mashed and used as a sandwich spread and as a topping on soups and casseroles. Some cultural groups even make an ice cream-like frozen dessert or milkshakes with avocado. The Hass avocado is the variety most commonly purchased in the U.S.

Avocado Berry Breakfast Smoothie

¼ ripe fresh Hass avocado, seeded and peeled
¼ (10-oz.) package frozen raspberries, fruit only, no added sugar
5 Tbsp. orange juice
4 Tbsp. ice cubes
1. Place avocado, raspberries, orange juice and ice in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.
2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Servings: 1 Calories: 140 Total fat: 7 grams

Recipe website 

The Goods is a monthly column about food myths and facts by faculty members in the University of North Florida's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program. Have a question about avocados? Contact Judith Rodriguez at

Bright Birds Know

State university tuition in Florida is a national bargain

Money in rolled bills to show savings in tuition at UNFFlorida residents who attend a school within the state university system are spending far less than they would in other areas of the country. The 2015-16 Trends in College Pricing report, compiled from the College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges, revealed that the state's tuition is one of the lowest, ranking 48th in the U.S in undergraduate in-state tuition and fees.

In the comparison of in-state expenses at public four-year schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia, the $6,360 annual tuition and fees to attend a school in the State University System of Florida ranked far below the national average of $9,280. In addition, Florida's tuition and fees increased 0.2 percent as compared to a national average increase of 3.1 percent.