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InsideOctober 2018

Around Campus

Fall freshman class boasts highest GPA in UNF history

two students on campus

It’s a new semester at the University of North Florida, where fall classes are underway for nearly 17,000 students, including 2,500 incoming freshman. And it's a record-breaking year. UNF has admitted the smartest and largest fall incoming freshman class in the University’s history with an estimated high school grade point average of 4.31.

“This academic year, we received another phenomenal freshman class,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “Our beautiful campus was the first school of choice for these high-achieving, focused students who are eager to learn.”

This fall's freshman class is nearly 7 percent larger than last year. UNF also set new record highs in full-time equivalent students and in the number of credit hours attempted — both are up approximately 4 percent from last fall.

UNF increased efforts working with students in underserved populations as well. More than 5,200 students have been awarded Pell Grants, a substantial 26 percent increase over last fall. About half of UNF students receive financial aid — approximately $114 million is awarded annually.

Here are more interesting facts about UNF's fall freshman class:
·  includes students from 56 Florida counties, 23 states or U.S. territories
· after Florida, most popular home states of freshmen are Georgia, North and South Carolina, New York and  Puerto Rico
· includes 19 international students, with a majority coming from Brazil and Venezuela
· 58 percent female and 42 percent male
· approximately 21 percent of this year’s incoming freshmen are first generation college students

Around Campus

Demystifying the Metrics

There are metrics to measure just about anything and everything, but for employees of institutions in Florida’s State University System, “The Metrics” means one thing and one thing only — the state’s Performance-Based Funding Metrics.

graduate at commencement with flags in backgroundSo, what exactly what are “The Metrics,” and why are they so important? We all know the simple answer to the latter question: money. But these methods of measurement are also deemed critical by state officials for institutions to effectively analyze their efficiency, performance and progress as we all seek the ultimate goals of successfully educating our students and preparing them for employment.

Each year, the state of Florida evaluates 11 SUS schools (Florida Polytechnic University is exempt) on 10 metrics. Seven metrics apply to each institution, the eighth is the same for all with a variation for New College of Florida, No. 9 is specific to each university and determined by the Board of Governors based on a review of the University’s work plan, and No. 10 is determined by each University’s Board of Trustees.

The 10 metrics applicable to UNF are:

  1. Percent of Bachelor Grads Enrolled or Employed Earning $25,000+ One Year After Graduation
  2. Median Wages of Bachelor’s Grads Employed Full-Time One Year After Graduation
  3. Net Tuition and Fees Per 120 Hours
  4. Four-Year Graduation Rate
  5. Academic Progress Rate (Retention to Second Fall)
  6. Percent of Bachelor’s Degrees in Areas of Strategic Emphasis
  7. University Access Rate (Percent of Undergraduates with a Pell Grant)
  8. Percent of Graduate Degrees in Areas of Strategic Emphasis
  9. Percent of Bachelor’s Degrees without Excess Hours
  10. Percent of Undergraduate Full-Time Equivalent Students in Online Courses

“We do well on some of these, such as employment post-graduation, although we’re working to get even better," said Associate Provost Jay Coleman. “But for UNF, our greatest metrics challenge largely distills into a need to improve student flow-through as measured by retention rates, graduation rates and average time to degree.” Coleman stated that student progression directly impacts metrics Nos. 3, 4 and 5, the three metrics UNF hopes to increase the most.

Learn more about the 10 metrics above, and stay tuned to future issues of Inside as we take a closer look at different aspects of the metrics. For more information about Florida’s Performance-Based Funding model, visit the SUS webpage.

Around Campus

President Szymanski addresses campus community at 47th Convocation

president szymanski speaking

In his first formal address before faculty and staff since taking office in June, President David Szymanski reiterated his commitment to working with the campus community to create a culture of success at UNF.

Citing existing innovative projects and efforts, Szymanski said he wants to create a phenomenal experience for students that distinguishes UNF from other institutions across the nation. "We are doing this already — the foundation is there. We just want to build on it," Szymanski said.

"As a professor of 31 years, every day I wake up thinking about that: how can we create a better experience for our students."

Szymanski sees the University of North Florida achieving excellence by building on existing strengths — and by being uniquely UNF. "It’s not about being like some another institution," he said. "We’re going to figure out what we do best, and what people aren’t doing, and what people aren’t willing to do."

UNF faculty and staff at ConvocationThe President lauded community engagement efforts like the Florida Data Science for Social Good initiative where students analyze data to assist nonprofits. "That what is the future of education looks like," he said. "It's students integrated with the community, and the community integrated with our students … and so the classroom is everywhere." Szymanski cited the "seamless classroom" concept as an area where UNF leads, and one that he wants to continue to build upon.

Szymanski stressed the importance of creating opportunities for others and of the entire campus community embracing their role as difference makers – faculty, staff and students. "Think about getting up every morning and finishing the day with the question, 'Did I make a difference today?'" Szymanski said. "Think about the individual and collective impact of everyone answering 'yes' to that question. The world would be a pretty great place if everyone was making a difference every day."

Calling UNF the next "breakout University" in Florida, Szymanski encouraged the audience to aim high, and work together in a spirit of innovation and mutual respect to make phenomenal things happen. "I look forward to leading with you to make a difference at UNF."

View President Szymanski’s entire address

Around Campus

Dr. Adel ElSafty continues to seek excellence

Dr. Adel ElSafty headshot

The third time’s a charm for civil engineering professor, Adel ElSafty.

Being named the University’s Distinguished Professor is the ultimate honor for a UNF faculty member, but for Dr. ElSafty, it was especially rewarding since he was a two-time runner-up — a tremendous honor in and of itself. 

"That’s typical to almost everything I try to accomplish in my life; persistent trials with much struggle to achieve a goal, several setbacks, many failures, then maybe a success," said ElSafty said during his address at Convocation last month. ElSafty said he learned persistence from his parents who always encouraged their children to pursue their dreams no matter how hard or how long it may take.

Not only has ElSafty persevered, but he has excelled in just about anything he has worked toward throughout his life. Having extensive experience as a structural engineer at a bridge design firm and having taught for the past 30 years, there is no doubt that ElSafty is a respected expert in his field — particularly in the area of prestressed concrete. He has served on boards, committees and won excellence awards from the Precast Concrete Institute and is a reviewer for several structural engineering journals. His awards are numerous and reflect not only his expertise, but excellence in teaching, research and leadership. ElSafty has led teams of students to win regional and national competitions and led student groups on study abroad and service projects across the globe.

ElSafty recognized the tremendous work of his UNF colleagues in every college. "We challenge our students, embrace their failures, support and inspire them to pursue success," he said encouraging a renewed focus to acknowledge and face challenges together. His optimism has been a driving force throughout his career and continues to inspire students and colleagues on every level.

"We will work collaboratively to provide a healthy environment and an enjoyable freshman experience, attract remarkable students, retain and motivate them, support and help them persist, graduate and place them in successful careers," ElSafty said. "We not only can but we will transform challenges into success and, with that, we will realize our full potential."


Learn more about ElSafty and past honorees and view a list of the 2017-18 award winners


A transcript of ElSafty's speech is also available online.


Communication students share stories of Jacksonville's past

Uncovering Jax logoFour UNF Department of Communication faculty members and their classes of students have been hard at work for the past few months creating several short documentary films, short video segments and articles exploring untold stories about Jacksonville's diverse cultural history. The students worked under the guidance of The Florida Times-Union Editorial Board and local partners such as the Ritz Theatre and the Museum of Science and History. 


The project, “Uncovering Jax,” was inspired by a vision to recognize, understand, respect and celebrate the diverse voices that make up Jacksonville’s past and our collective identity. The premiere screening of the student documentaries will take place 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, in the John A. Delaney Student Union, Building 58W, Auditorium, Room 2704. Everyone with an interest in learning about Jacksonville’s past is invited to this free, public event. Visit the website for more information, and view one of the "readable videos" about Jacksonville's historic LaVilla neighborhood.

Around Campus

Osprey Profile: Audrey Carpenter

Student athlete Audrey CarpenterWhat is your major and why did you choose it? I am triple majoring in political science, Spanish and communication with a concentration in journalism. I initially chose political science and communication with the intent on becoming a journalist and working in Washington, D.C. When I discovered I was going to graduate early, I added Spanish, which is a skill I felt would be very useful, and I will still graduate within four years. 

Why did you decide to attend the University of North Florida? I chose UNF because I fell in love with the campus, and it offered me more opportunities than the bigger state school or even a private school. The cross country and track coach was also a big reason why I chose UNF.

Where are you from? Ocala, Florida

What do you like most about UNF? I love the campus size and the close-knit community that I have felt in all my disciplines. At UNF, I’m not a number; I’m an individual who people have invested in.

What has been your coolest UNF experience so far? Being an athlete for the university is an amazing experience every day. However, my favorite school experience was when my Global Issues class went to Washington D.C. and presented our policy memo to politicians and federal employees.

Who is your favorite professor? Do you have a favorite class?  I would have to say my favorite from political science would be Professor Nancy Soderberg. From communication, it would be a tie between Professor David Deeley and Professor Nicholas Tatro. Finally, from Spanish, I simply cannot choose because they are all so good. My top three would be Professor Gregory Helmick, Professor Nuria Ibañez and Professor Renee Scott.

What does being an Osprey mean to you? Being an Osprey is about supporting others. As an athlete and a student, there have been numerous occasions where the University has supported me, and I think it’s only fair that I give back through doing the same for the people in my community.

What’s your favorite UNF tradition? Market Day on Wednesdays is my favorite UNF tradition because it’s a great opportunity to engage the community, promote a club and just feel connected to what’s going on.

When you’re looking to de-stress and relax a bit, where do you go on campus? Why do you like that spot? Honestly, I go to Starbucks to relax on campus. I love being able to get coffee, sit at the bar by the window and people watch or study the Bible.

If you could meet one historical figure for coffee, who would it be and why? I would love to meet Jane Austen because she is one of my favorite authors and wrote during a time where female novelists were few and far between.

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? I would like to witness V-Day in 1945 in the United States after World War II because, while war is a terrible thing, I believe being able to witness the kind of patriotism people felt afterwards would be a beautiful thing.

What three traits define you? Determination, perseverance and purposefulness.

Do you have any advice for high school students? My advice for high school students would be to practice commitment. I’ve noticed that people who fail generally fail because they lack commitment or the ability to follow things through to the end. In any task and in any relationship, commitment is necessary for success. There will be hardships and times of joy, but if you don’t have commitment, you won’t make it to the joyful part.

When will you graduate? What do you want to do after graduation? I will graduate in the spring of 2019, and I plan on staying in Jacksonville. I want to work in the nonprofit sector or in communication.

Faculty Forum

Meet Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy

Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy in his office Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy is an associate professor in information systems for the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction's School of Computing.

What courses do you teach? I teach web application development as well as systems analysis and design courses. One course that I am proud of is the Senior Project course. In this, I work with nonprofit organizations to find web application development projects for students. I work with software development companies to get mentors to guide students in solving technical problems, so that students can complete the nonprofit projects. Creating public sector-industry-academic partnerships are critical for developing cost-free solutions for nonprofits while developing a stronger computing workforce pipeline, and it helps me to stay current with industry best practices.


What do you like most about Jacksonville? Where else have you lived? I was born in India and lived there until my undergraduate days. In the U.S., before Jacksonville, I lived in Pennsylvania. I like that Jacksonville is a big city with a small-town feel to it.

What research are you doing? My research spans the entire spectrum of the web. The focus includes investigating standards that form the backbone of the web, designing complex software applications using the technical standards and studying the user experience aspects of designed artifacts.

What is your personal philosophy? Start small, but work towards making it big. I always start things on a smaller scale and do it periodically to accomplish bigger things.

What do you like most about UNF? The helpful mentality of the UNF community. All of us work with limited resources. Thus, we need to rely on each other to get things done. On so many occasions, people have gone out of their way to help out, even though they did not have resources to do so. Such examples of an act of kindness exist with students, staff, faculty and administrators.

Do you have a favorite spot on campus? What do you like about it? Walking along the side of the Green is my favorite spot on the campus. My undergraduate college in India also had a similar green field. When I was a student, it was always good to play a game to relieve from classwork stress or just relaxing to watch others play. I am always fascinated to see interesting activities our students conduct on the Green.

What’s the most rewarding academic experience you’ve had at UNF in or out of the classroom? In mother tongue (Tamil), we have a saying “siru thuli, peru vellam,” i.e., "small drops creates a flood." Forming and running the Florida Data Science for Social Good (FL-DSSG) program along with Dr. Dan Richard has made me realize the truth behind this proverb. For me, FL-DSSG has been a rewarding experience because we are creating opportunities for faculty, students and professionals alike to help nonprofits make data-driven decisions. Each of us doing small acts, but as a group, we are making a substantial impact on the public sector organizations.

If you weren’t teaching, what else would you be doing and why? I would have started a business. I am a process-oriented thinker. Being goal-oriented is important but being process-oriented is critical to reliably make good decisions. In most of the work I do, I am continually applying process-oriented thinking approaches while keeping goals to achieve in my mind.

If the world were silent for 20 seconds and all ears were turned to you, what would you say? I will remain silent so that we can all enjoy a few seconds of peace.

What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate? Congratulations! If you haven’t learned how to handle conflicts, do so. Most importantly, learn how to convert conflicts into opportunities.

What is your favorite memory from your undergraduate days? Going on field trips and performing social services along with my cohort friends.

Who is your favorite fictional character? The Hulk – just because of the catchphrase “You wouldn’t like me when I am angry.”

Where is the best place you’ve visited? Alaska, it is a world of its own. It is just a beautiful place from any angle you look at it.

How do you recharge? By taking a vacation for more than a week and preferably staying off the Internet.

What would you most regret not having done by the end of your life? Not visiting at least one country in each of the geographic subregions of the world.

Around Campus

Final call for teaching award nominations

This is the final week to submit nominations for the 2018-19 Outstanding Undergraduate, Graduate and Adjunct Teaching awards. The deadline is Thursday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m. All members of the University community — students, alumni, faculty, adjunct, staff and administrators — are invited to nominate a faculty and an adjunct member for an award.

The guidelines for the awards are located on the UNF Faculty Association homepage.

Submit nominations one of three ways: use the Online Forms link; send the nominations by email to; or deliver handwritten or typed nominations to the Faculty Association Office in the Osprey Commons, Building 16, Room 3100. For more information, contact FA Office Assistant, Wiyata Simpson at or FA President, Dr. David Fenner at or ext. 2580.



Balloons with UNF logoCongratulations to the following employees with a milestone anniversary:

30 Years
Marianne Roberts, Office Manager, History

25 Years
Vivian Senior, Associate Director, Career Development Services, COAS Career Success Center

20 Years
Lorna Bautista, Office Manager, Department of Diversity Initiatives/Intercultural Center
Brian Blakeslee, Associate Director, University Center

15 Years
John Bishop, Control Systems Tech, Physical Facilities
Jesse Chewning, Stores Rec Clerk, Physical Facilities
Deanne Crawford, Office Manager, Undergraduate Studies
Rocelia Gonzalez, Director, ADA Compliance
David Wilson, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services, Center for Instruction and Research Technology
David Zinkgraf, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department

10 Years
David Cutter, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Stephen Fagan, Assistant Director, Physical Facilities
Carrol Reilly, Coordinator, Budgets, Computing, Engineering and Construction

5 Years
Hope Gunn, Nurse Practitioner, Student Health Services
Lauren Hodge, Coordinator, International Student Affairs, Center for International Education
Jason Joseph, IT Security Analyst, Enterprise Systems
Colin McKinney, Records Registration Coordinator, Registrar’s Office
Diane Scott, Office Manager, Internal Auditing

The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions recently:
Lindsay Allen, Clinical Instructor, College of Education and Human Services
Collin Bardakjy, IT Support Specialist, Student Government Business and Accounting Office
Nancy Brickell, Registered Nurse, Student Health Services
Leslie Cunningham, Senior Procurement Associate, Procurement Services
Angeline Cloud, Admissions Coordinator, Transfer Student Services
Tanem Coskun, Academic Support Tech, DL-Telepresence
Lily Hinz, Assistant Director of Communications, College of Education and Human Services
Omari Kemp, Admissions Coordinator, Admissions
Joseph Langat, Lecturer, Chemistry
Jordan Leikel, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Trainer
Matthew Leon, Assistant Professor, Management
Cheryl Lulli, Administrative Secretary, Electrical Engineering
Daniel Mainwaring, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services
Michael Maltese, Office Manager, Taylor Leadership Institute
Emily Michael, Instructor, English
Julia Montgomery, Assistant Director, Research Program Services, Small Business Development Center
Holly Nelson, Instructor, Exceptional Deaf and Interpreter Education
Matthew Patterson, Assistant Director, Educational Services, MOCA Jacksonville
Morton Perry, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Lauren Pray, Assistant Athletic Coach, Men’s Cross Country and Track
Valerie Redmond, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Shannon Reynolds, Office Manager, John A. Delaney Student Union
Isabela Almeida Rich, Accounting Associate, Advancement Services
Deandria Robinson, IT Support Specialist, User Services
Hugo Rossignol, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department
Julia Seaton, Web Services Specialist, Public Relations
Mary Swalby, Procurement Associate, Procurement Services
Devki Talwar, Instructor, Physics

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:
Elizabeth Peter, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services, Hicks Honors College
Jennifer Joyce, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services, Admissions
Mae Parlette, Assistant Director, DL Course Development, Center for Instruction and Reseach Technology
Melissa Tucker, Senior Academic Advisor, Hicks Honors College

Heartfelt wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees who left UNF recently:
Kayla Aliemenious, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services, Enrollment Services
Brian Becker, Benefits Retirement Coordinator, Human Resources
Emily Bowls, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Judy Chacinski, Office Manager, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
Michelle Chamberlain, Laboratory Tech, Chemistry
Adam Cooke, Assistant Athletic Coach, Men's Cross Country and Track
Mark Crisp, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities
Ean Gomez, Admissions Coordinator, Admissions
Brody Haar, Academic Support Services, Coordinator, One-Stop Center 

Caleb Hilliard, Police Communications Operations, University Police Department
Tamika Mohr, Office Manager, Management
Robin Jones, Office Manager, Criminology and Criminal Justice Department
Lisa O'Malley, Web Specialist, Florida Institute of Education
Cathryn Ryan, Coordinator Student Financial Aid, Financial Aid Office
Nicholas Ryan, Academic Advisor, Advising
Benjamin Taylor, Coordinator Outreach and Recruitment, Military and Veterans Resource Center
Wendy Vann, Accounting Associate, Advancement Services

Faculty and Staff

 Regalia for UNF faculty and staff accomplishmentsBrooks College of Health

Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences
Dr. James Churilla , professor of exercise science and chronic disease, with colleagues T. Kanagasabai, C. Ardern, and K. Alkhalaqi, published “Association between Metabolic Syndrome and Serum Concentrations of Micronutrients, Inflammation and Oxidative Stress” in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, October/November, 2018. 

Dr. Debra Wagner was awarded “Best Poster” at the Nursing World Conference in Rome, Italy on September 17, 2018. The poster was the dissemination of her research entitled “Effects of Skin-to-Skin Contact in the OR on Maternal Medication Use.” 

Coggin College of Business

Dr. David Swanson and Dr. Dawn Russell recently coauthored an important study accepted September 2018 by International Journal of Logistics Management, a leading logistics journal. The study is titled “Transforming Information into Supply Chain Agility: An Agility Adaptation Typology.” In today’s Mach speed business environment, managers often install new technology and expect an agile supply chain when they press <enter>. This study reveals the naivety of such an approach. It provides academic and managerial relevant contributions by identifying mediators that occupy the gap between information processing theory and supply chain agility.

College of Arts and Sciences


Art and Design

Jim Draper has an exhibition, Flash Reading, Social Grounds Coffee Company, September-October 2018. Draper also compiled by Arbus Staff. “25 Years in the Making of Arbus Magazine.” Arbus Magazine, September/October 2018. Draper also compiled Stuart, Sarah Clark. “Galleries in Jacksonville.” Arbus Magazine, September/October 2018. 

Sheila Goloborotko’s site-specific installation Sistema was selected by the Baptist/MD Anderson Cancer Center Art advisory Committee to become part of their permanent collection. This work is installed in the sixth-floor elevator lobby, at the new hospital at 1301 Palm Ave. in Jacksonville, and it is open to the public for visitation.

Jenny Hager has two exhibitions, Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Art in Public Places, in Valdosta and “Rise,” in Jacksonville.

Stephen Heywood, professor of ceramics, was featured in the September issue of Ceramics Monthly.


Dr. James Beasley published the book “Rhetoric at the University of Chicago” (August 2018).

Emily Michael published the essay “Sacred Positions: A Personal History of Blindness and Singing” in Disability Studies Quarterly 38.3 (August 2018).

Dr. Michael Wiley published the short story “Winner” in the “Florida Happens” anthology (August 2018).

Steve Lambert, adjunct instructor, published the short story “A Song for Enid Pound” in the 50th Anniversary issue of Broad River Review (the literary review of Gardner-Webb University). The story was a final selection in the Rash Award for Fiction contest, judged by the fiction writer Taylor Brown. His short story “Love in Sahwoklee” appeared in Emrys Journal's most recent issue, and his short story “Tightrope Walkers” appeared in BULL Men's Fiction, a print and online literary journal of high regard. 

Philosophy/Religion Studies
Dr. Aaron B. Creller presented the paper “Better Living Through Science? Coloniality, Objectivity, and Provisionality” at the 24th World Congress of Philosophy in Beijing, China, August 17, 2018. He also presented the paper “Comparative Epistemology Must Be More Than K=JTB” at the Beijing-Leiden Philosophy Conference, Beijing, China in August.

Dr. John Hewitt co-authored the article “VERITAS and Fermi-LAT observations of new HAWC sources”, which was accepted for publication in the August Astrophysical Journal. 

Dr. John Anderson and Dr. Jack Hewitt presented the inaugural Science on Tap – Jax event at the Intuition Ale Works in August.  View his Science on Tap talk

Dr. Daniel Santavicca published a paper titled “A distributed electrical model for superconducting nanowire single photon detectors” with UNF undergraduate Physics major Brian Noble, and collaborators from MIT, in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Dr. Devki N. Talwar co-authored “Optical and structural characteristics of Bridgeman grown cubic Zn1-xMnxTe alloys,” which was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry and Physics.

Political Science and Public Administration
Dr. Brian Amos, with co-authors Michael P. McDonald and Ekampreet Singh Kalsy, presented “A Machine Learning Method to Fabricate Precinct Boundaries” at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in August.


Last week, Dr. Josh Gellers, associate professor of political science and public administration, participated as an invited guest in a conference on democratic constitutional design at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík, Iceland. The purpose of the conference was to take stock of Iceland's recent (but failed) effort to draft a new constitution and discuss how the country might use technology to enhance public participation in democratic processes. While in Iceland, Dr. Gellers saw the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir speak, provided commentary based on his research on constitutions and crowdsourcing and spoke with elected officials in the Icelandic Parliament.

Dr. Lindsay Mahovetz, with colleague W.D. Hopkins, presented a poster titled “Tool Use in Bonobos (Pan paniscus) and Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)” at the 27th International Primatological Society Congress, August 2018. With colleagues C. Krachun, R. Lurz, and W.D. Hopkins, Dr. Mahovetz presented a poster titled “Associations Between Self-Awareneess and Theory of Mind in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)” at the 27th International Primatological Society Congress, August 2018.

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Dr. Anne E. Pfister, with her colleagues Cecilia Vindrola-Padros and Ginger A. Johnson, edited the collection, Healthcare in Motion: (Im)mobilities in Health Service Delivery and Access (Berghahn Books), to which she contributed the “Introduction” and the chapter, “Fluid and Mobile Identities: Travel, Imaginaries, and Caregiving Practices among Families of Deaf Children in Mexico City.”


College of Education and Human Services


Leadership, School Counseling and Sports Management

Dr. Amanda Blakewood-Pascale published her article “Co-Existing Lives: Understanding and Facilitating Graduate Student Sense of Belonging” in the NASPA Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.

Dr. Christopher Janson of the COEHS Center for Urban Education and Policy successfully advertised, planned and enabled the success of two performances of the inspiring Ballet Nepantla’s 'Sin Fronteras' on Sept. 23 and 24. 

Dr. Elizabeth Gregg, chair of the Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management department, presented a paper titled “How do I look? Gender presentation in Intercollegiate Athletics” at the European Sport Management Association Conference in Malmo, Sweden, on behalf of Dr. Jason Lee and her colleague Dr. Emily Fairchild from New College.

Department of Childhood Education, Literacy and TESOL
Dr. Nile Stanley, associate professor of Literacy and Chairman of the Board, Hope at Hand, Inc. received Aetna's insurance company's Voices of Health award from Steve D. Ducos, Manager of Multicultural Innovation. This award and national competition recognize agencies that are working in their communities to provide racial and ethnic equality in healthcare. Hope at Hand provides poetry and art programming to under-served youth at 23 Jacksonville agencies.

Hicks Honors College

Dr. Leslie Kaplan, associate director of the Hicks Honors College, published the chapter “Innovative Discussion-Based Pedagogy” in Breaking Barriers in Teaching and Learning, edited by John Zubizarreta and James Ford.

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

Here's a recap of UNF Athletics accomplishments you need to know from the last month. Learn more at


Women's Golf Posts Top Five Finish at Jacksonville Classic

For the second consecutive tournament, the North Florida women's golf team earned a fifth-place finish after carding a final round 300 in the BUBBA burger Jacksonville Classic at Marsh Landing Country Club. Junior Sydney Shrader (T13) and sophomore Mindy Herrick (T16) both claimed Top 20 showings. Learn more about the women's golf team

UNF Soccer PlayersMen's Soccer Scores Three Unanswered to Upend Liberty 3-2

The Ospreys did something that they haven't done since knocking off No. 11/17 FGCU on the road Oct. 18, 2016. UNF erased a 2-0 deficit Saturday night at Osborne Field in Lynchburg, scoring three unanswered to defeat the Liberty Flames in the ASUN Opener, 3-2. Learn more about men's soccer.  


Swimming Downs Gardner-Webb To Open Season

North Florida swimming dominated Gardner-Webb, 162-99, to pick up a win against the Bulldogs for the first time in program history at Bolles School's Uible Pool. Learn more about North Florida swimming.

 Men's Cross Country Tops Florida, Wins Home Meet

The North Florida men's cross country team defeated Florida for the second consecutive season to win the UNF XC Invitational by a margin of 23 points. The Ospreys placed four runners in the top-10, led by Nick Morken with a second-place finish and a time of 15:24.23. Learn more about men's cross country.

The Goods

Versatile and Nutritious Pork

Pork chops on the grillThere are many old myths regarding pork. Today’s pork is versatile and tasty, and there are many options available and different cuts suitable for a wide range of dishes. Dr. Judith Rodriguez, professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses myths and facts about pork, as well as its nutritional value and how to safely handle and cook pork. 

Myth: Pork is an unhealthy food.
Fact: In addition to providing high-quality protein, pork is an excellent source of the B vitamins thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B-6, the mineral phosphorus and a good source of zinc and potassium. It also contains other nutrients, like vitamin B-12, magnesium and iron. Lean cuts of pork meet the guidelines of less than 10 g fat, 4.5 g sat fat and 95 mg cholesterol. The popular pork tenderloin is a cut that meets the guidelines for “extra lean” or less than 5 g fat, 2 grams of sat fat and 95 mg cholesterol, making this and some other cuts as lean as skinless chicken. There are new designations for cuts of pork and they’re similar to beef, which makes it easier for the consumer to identify and select cuts.

Myth: Pork meat is tough.

Fact: Pork meat is tender, so the key is to prepare it at the proper temperature. Today’s pork is leaner than that of years past, so it’s important not to overcook it or cook it at very high temperatures. This can cause the proteins to quickly shrink and tighten, making the pork tough. Cook pork to 145°F, then let it stand for about 3 minutes, so the juices distribute throughout. Yes, you may see a tinge of slightly pink juices, but at 145°F it’s tender, juicy and safe to eat.

Myth: Pork is an unsafe food.
Fact: Modern feeding practices produce a pork that is safe to eat. Trichinosis, an infection caused by the roundworm, is very rare. Trichinosis is destroyed at a temperature of 137°F, below the recommended cooking temperature. Also, practice safe handling techniques, such as defrosting pork in the refrigerator in its wrapping and not thawing it (or other meat or poultry) on the counter. Remember that temperatures between 40°F and 140°F are a “danger zone.” Wrap leftovers tightly and place them in the refrigerator within one to two hours of preparation or serving.

Myth: Pork farmers give hogs growth hormones.
Fact: There are laws concerning the growing conditions for pigs and other animals. American pork farmers don’t and can’t use hormones or steroids to raise hogs. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A) regulations and labeling terms for meat and poultry, “Hormones aren’t allowed in raising hogs or poultry.” Therefore, the claim “no hormones added” can’t be used on pork or poultry labels, unless it’s followed by a statement that says, “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”

Have a question? Contact Dr. Judith Rodriguez at at the University of North Florida’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, a Flagship Program.

Easy Asian Pork Chops

¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon five spice powder (or just garlic and pepper)
2 – 5 oz. each center cut pork chops (also called New York Pork Chops)
Cooking spray 

  1. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and seasonings. Marinate the pork chops in this mixture for 20 minutes to an hour.
  2. Place pork chops in large skillet sprayed with the cooking spray. Cook the pork chops on both sides until cooked through (at an internal cooked temperature of 145° F). This may take anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness; allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

Servings: 2 servings, ~205 calories/serving


Native Sun provides discounts and more to UNF

Jar and stack of money for employee perksNative Sun is proud to now support UNF's campus wellness programs for faculty, staff and students.

The local natural food market has developed a special loyalty rewards program that provides cardholder-only promotions as well as an additional 5% savings on entire purchases exclusively for UNF faculty and staff. The local company is also launching its student discount program. Simply showing a valid UNF ID provides students with 15% off its Field Day brand of products, a value-priced line of more than 150 organic or non-GMO products, for the entire school year.

Native Sun is involved with campus community directly by:

  • providing for the UNF’s wellness dietitians with organic fruits during special events and seminars
  • collaborating with Osprey Productions on a series of on-campus educational events for students
  • and soon partnering with Lend-A-Wing Pantry to contribute both food and non-food items to help support some of the basic needs of students at the University of North Florida

Native Sun is located in Jacksonville Beach, Baymeadows and Mandarin. For more information about Native Sun, visit their website.



Learn about other employee perks and benefits on the UNF Human Resource webpage.

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Student union view from across the lake

U.S. News & World Report recently named the University of North Florida a "Best Regional" University in its 2019 edition of "Best Colleges" which include data from more than 1,800 colleges and universities. 


UNF ranked No. 42, up six spots from last year, among universities in the South region and No. 14 as a "Top Public School" in the region. UNF also ranked No. 29 regionally among "Best Colleges for Veterans" and No. 58 as a "Best Value" school.


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