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InsideFebruary 2020

Around Campus

A Cosmic Thank You for UNF Professor

Barry Albright drawing his asteroid on a dry erase board


Over the years, scientists have been discovering asteroids and naming them in all sorts of interesting ways. There are many notable examples: Cleopatra, Beethoven, Michelangelo, Pocahontas and Mark Twain; even Tom Hanks has an asteroid named for him.

Now, in the midst of such famous company, there’s one of our own: UNF Paleontologist Dr. Barry Albright. How did he become immortalized in our solar system? The short answer is that a young man wanted to deliver a heartfelt thank you to express his gratitude to his mentor and friend. Looking to the stars, he chose a cosmic approach.

Here’s how it all began. Back in 2000, Albright worked at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff as curator of geology and paleontology. He met David Rankin, a 14-year-old, who was fascinated with exploring for fossils near his home in southern Utah on federal lands set aside for scientific research, known as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area.

Naming a new species. Albright, who completed numerous digs in the area, became a mentor to Rankin, who would call the museum to alert Albright whenever he found something of interest. Albright and his colleagues, along with Rankin, spent many hours together unearthing treasures. Then Rankin made an extraordinary find. Albright identified the discovery as a new species and genus of a 93-million-year-old plesiosaur, or large marine reptile, that swam in a seaway that crossed North America during that time period. Albright and his team named the new species Eopolycotylus rankini in honor of Rankin.

Naming an asteroid. Fast forward 20 years, and Rankin is now a scientist in his own right, married with children and working in the Department of Planetary Sciences at University of Arizona in Tucson. After delving into fossils, he said he took a “deep dive into astronomy” and found his new “addiction,” which led to his current job: searching the night sky for hazardous asteroids in a NASA-funded program called the Catalina Sky Survey.

projection of the asteroid and its pathAlong with potentially dangerous asteroids, the survey also finds what Rankin calls “typical” asteroids that pose no threat to the earth yet provide naming rights for the asteroid hunters. At last, Rankin had found a way to thank his mentor. “Having the new species of plesiosaur named after me was one of the highlights of my life,” Rankin said. “That’s a gift that doesn’t have a price tag on it. I never imagined I would be able to return the favor.”

Asteroid (311957) Barryalbright = 2007 DQ42. The asteroid Barryalbright was officially named by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center on Nov. 8, 2019. Rankin said it is more than a kilometer (about .62 miles) across and completes its orbit around the sun every 4.36 years. It lies within the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and has probably existed since the formation of the solar system, some 4.5 billion years ago, Rankin said.

A thank you delivered. For Albright, the news came by phone. “David called and said he wanted to name an asteroid after me,” said Albright, explaining how much he truly appreciated the gesture and describing Rankin as a brilliant, creative young man who loves to learn. Yet, for Albright, the idea took some time to make an impact.

“At first, I thought ‘That’s kind of cool.’ But, to be honest, I really didn’t give it too much more thought,” Albright said. “So, I guess now that I’ve had time to consider the implications of having a piece of the very earliest vestiges of our solar system named after me, something that will survive just as it is right now for another several billion years, I’ve gained a new appreciation for what David has done, and for what he is doing, and am actually quite honored and touched by this.”

Around Campus

'A Conversation with Madeleine Albright'

Madeleine Albright headshot UNF's Presidential Lecture

Attend "A Conversation with Madeleine Albright,"  Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. in the UNF Arena. Madeleine K. Albright was the first female Secretary of State and, at the time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. She is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including her latest book “Fascism: A Warning.” Dr. Albright’s upcoming book, “Hell and Other Destinations,” will be published in April 2020. She is chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. This lecture is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. Read more about Madeleine Albright and reserve your free seat online.  


Join us for a special reception

UNF Fearless Woman is hosting a free reception before the lecture, which is open to all UNF students, faculty and staff. After the reception, Fearless Woman guests will receive special entrance to and VIP seating for the lecture. The reception will begin at 5 p.m. at the Student Union Ballrooms. Register for the reception online.

Around Campus

Top Money Moves for 2020 from UNF’s Financial Planning

close up of pennies

The new year is a great time to review your financial plan and make adjustments. Just like dieting or working out, the hardest part is getting started. With personal finance, however, it shouldn't cause you any discomfort, and the results make more "cents."


Here are a few ways to improve your financial well-being in 2020:

  1. 1. Allocate a few dollars per week toward bolstering a dedicated emergency fund

    Check your emergency fund - Cars break down, hurricanes threaten, family emergencies occur. Do you have three to six months of nondiscretionary expenses - such as rent, gasoline, food and other necessities - saved in cash, savings, short-term CDs or other equivalents to be quickly accessed in a crisis situation? If not, begin with a few dollars each week to build a dedicated emergency fund.


  2. 2. Increase your retirement contributions by 1% at the start of the new year

    Review retirement contributions - A common technique for improving retirement savings rate is to increase contributions by 1% every January. While this may not be feasible for every situation, if invested appropriately, the increased contributions will grow over time - providing a larger retirement nest egg. You will also benefit from paying less income tax now, though your retirement distributions will be taxed in retirement. The benefit is disciplined savings and investment returns compounding in a tax-deferred account over the span of your working career.


  3. 3. Rebalance and reallocate some of 2019's gains into other investments

    Review retirement account investments - 2019 was an outstanding year for stocks. Your stock-related investments may have grown at a disproportionate rate in relation to some of your other selections in your retirement account. Now may be a good time to rebalance and reallocate some of 2019's gains into other investments. If you are not sure what to do, seek professional help from a financial advisor.


  4. 4. Consider how this year's tax law changes may affect you

    2020 brings some changes to the tax laws. The standard deduction for those who don't itemize rose to $12,400 for individual filers, $24,800 for married couples. Employer plan contribution limits for 401(k), 403(b), and 457 increased to $19,500 with an extra "catch-up" provision of an additional $6,500 for those over age 50. Health Savings Account or HSA contribution limits increased to $3,550 for single filers and $7,100 for family plans. If you are unsure of how much you are contributing - contact Human Resources or log in to your benefit plan. Remember, every dollar contributed to a qualified plan or HSA reduces your income tax bill and may be eligible for matching contributions from your employer.


  5. 5. Check your credit report

    Everyone is entitled to one free annual credit report from one of the "Big Three" credit reporting agencies - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website to order your credit report. Check for any irregularities: There may be old or incorrect information, forgotten unused credit cards or outstanding unpaid bills, or worse - evidence of fraudulent activity. The credit report will give you all of the relevant information to settle up with creditors, challenge any incorrect entries or refute any irregularities. If you have had problems with identity theft, consider placing a freeze on your credit profile with each of the credit reporting agencies to slow down anyone trying to exploit your information.


  6. 6. Change your smoke detector batteries and dig out your insurance policies

    Whether you rent or own, you should examine your policy declaration page to ensure you are adequately covered. Has the value of your home increased? Have you acquired more personal property? The same is true for your auto policy. If you have questions, speak to your agent. An uninsured loss can erase a lifetime of savings in an instant.


    These are just a few good ideas to consider - new year or not! If you need help getting started, speak with your HR benefits coordinator, your financial advisor or seek the assistance of a financial planner.

Ron Heymann, CFP®

Visiting Instructor

Director - Bachelor of Business Administration Financial Planning Program

Coggin College of Business

Around Campus

Five Free Things to Do at UNF in February

collage of the 5 Free things to do at UNF in FebruaryDarwin Day Lecture with Dr. Frans de Waal
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., Adam W. Herbert University Center
Dr. Frans de Waal, a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist, is widely recognized for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His latest books are “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” and “Mama’s Last Hug.” This lecture is co-presented by the UNF College of Arts and Sciences and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
Free, but e-ticket required

Movies on the House (MOTH)
Four films will be available in February. At the UNF Robinson Theater, movie goers can watch “The Lighthouse” on Feb. 12 and “Woman at War” on Feb. 26. At MOCA Jacksonville, featured films will include “The Queen” on Feb. 6 and “Call Me By Your Name” on Feb. 27. 

See the full schedule online

All-Beethoven Program with Aurica Duca, violin; Nick Curry, cello; and Michael Mastronicola, piano. Monday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Center.
Free admission, but registration requested. 

Lufrano Intercultural Gallery Exhibition: Habitus: Contemplative Manifesto, Lufrano Intercultural Gallery, John A. Delaney Student Union, on exhibit now through March 12.
Find more information on the UNF website

UNF Gallery of the Museum of Contemporary Art Exhibition: Virginia Derryberry: Private Domain, UNF Gallery of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), on exhibit now through March 22.
Find more information on the MOCA website.

Around Campus

Celebrate Homecoming 2020

shot of a marching band with the text UNF homecoming Feb 15-22, 2020 on it

Homecoming 2020 is a weeklong celebration, Feb. 15 – 22, with something for everyone. Faculty and staff are invited to participate. Here are a few of the week’s many events:

Swoop the Loop 5K and Fun Run, Saturday, Feb. 15
Get a running start and kick-off Homecoming week with Swoop the Loop 5K. The race is a great Swoop the Loop is a great way to see more of the beautiful campus and the 1-mile Fun Run offers a chance for Ospreys of all ages — even the littlest ones — to get a taste of the action. All participants will receive T-shirts and medals (while supplies last) and post race snacks. Live entertainment and a pre-workout warm-up will get you pumped for the big race! The theme of this year's Swoop the Loop is "Flower Power." Costumes are welcome and highly encouraged. Read more about the race events and register online.

Blue and Gray Bash, Friday, Feb. 21
The Blue and Gray Bash is the perfect place to enjoy tastings from restaurants all over town alongside friends and classmates. Take a turn on the dance floor, bid on hidden treasures in the live and silent auctions — all while supporting UNF student scholarships. You won't want to miss another unforgettable Friday night at the Blue and Gray Bash. General admission tickets are $50 per person, a portion of which is a gift to UNF. You may register and purchase your tickets online through Feb. 18, or call the Alumni Association at (800) UNF-GRAD. After Feb. 18, tickets may be purchased at the door. Read more about the Blue and Gray Bash and purchase tickets online.


Homecoming Village, Saturday, Feb. 22

End Homecoming Week with a bang at Homecoming Village! Alumni, students, faculty, staff and Ospreys of all ages are invited to attend this exciting event between the Homecoming double header against Lipscomb University. Come out to the UNF Arena Plaza for this free family-friendly event which will include food and refreshments, music, a photo booth, face painting, inflatable games and more! Learn more about the Homecoming Village online.

Visit the website for a full schedule of Homecoming events and registration information.

Around Campus

UNF Strategic Plan Approved by Board of Governors

Osprey FountainUNF has a new Strategic Plan. President David Szymanski presented the plan to the Florida Board of Governors last week, and it was approved unanimously by the Strategic Planning Committee and the full board. 

Led by co-chairs Paul Eason, interim associate dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, and Curt Lox, dean of the Brooks College of Health, the UNF Strategic Planning Committee conducted surveys and listening sessions across multiple constituent groups while also diving deep into current and historical data. The ambitious plan reflects UNF's commitment to excellence and student success. BOG Chair Syd Kitson commented last week that UNF "had really embraced the System's goals" and was doing "fantastic." Kudos to the entire campus community for taking part in the process!


View the UNF Strategic Plan here.

Get to Know

Meet Loraine Morgan

Loraine Morgan headshotLoraine Morgan is the office manager and the sole administrative support person for more than 20 faculty in the Department of Physics. In that busy role, she handles everyday clerical tasks, generates many types of reports for faculty and students, handles a variety of software application tasks and much more. She also serves as the liaison for search committees and helps with events sponsored by the department. For example, she recently assisted Professor Jason Haraldsen in organizing and hosting a weeklong international physics conference. In addition, Morgan serves as the secretary to the Jacksonville Joe Berg Seminar Series, an academic seminar series that UNF offers to select area students from middle school through high school.

What do you enjoy about working here? I am a “social butterfly,” therefore, I enjoy meeting and interacting with people from all over the world here at UNF. I enjoy helping people and making a positive impact on their lives. The UNF campus is beautiful and relaxing. The students, faculty and staff are a pleasure to work with daily. My job is fulfilling for me in that I am challenged by my various responsibilities. Each day feels different, and the students and faculty often express their appreciation. The faculty in the Physics Department, as well as the staff in the COAS Dean’s Office, have been exceptionally kind and generous to me. 

How long have you lived in Jacksonville? I was born and raised in Jacksonville. We moved from Hilliard, Florida, (just past Callahan) to Jacksonville when I was four or five. I moved to Atlanta many years ago, but I moved back home after only three months. There’s literally no place like home. 

What one memory do you most treasure? I was employed with the Duval County School Board during my senior year in high school through the Business Cooperative Education program. My department gave me a surprise party in honor of me graduating high school, which marked the end of my BCE program participation. I cried, because I had always wanted a surprise party. I felt very appreciated and loved. 

If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, from the past or present, who would be on your guest list? 1. Ms. Velma Colvin. She was my English teacher in middle school (which was my favorite course of study). She took me under her wing and treated me like a daughter. 2. My BFF, Lisa Barton. She and I have been friends since first grade. Our birthdays are one day apart. We call each other “Virgo Soulmates.” We have kindred spirits. 3 and 4. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would invite my mother, Mary Doles, who passed suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 59 in 2005; and my precious daughter, Freshanda “MsFresh” Callahan, who passed away unexpectedly during a surgical procedure on Oct. 3, 2012, at the tender age of 25, due to medical complications caused by Lupus. These four people profoundly affect the person I am today.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? I would be a television journalist because I love writing, I love people and I love talking/sharing stories. Being on television would allow me to reach the masses and hopefully leave a positive/memorable impression long term.

What superpower would you like to have? How would you use it? Healing Power, which I would use to heal the sick from diseases and incapacitation.

If you ruled the world, what would you change on Day 1? I would change the healthcare system to a universal system. For me, it’s incomprehensible for any human being to not receive the same quality medical services ... regardless of their ability to pay and regardless of their ethnicity or religion.

What would be the title for the movie version of your life? “Surviving Life.” It’s a story of a woman who has survived situations in life that many people have not, and who is still optimistic, loving, compassionate, hopeful, ambitious and charitable. I have a saying that “I’m blessed ... ANYWAY!”; happy every day. There is no other option. (I am writing my first book, for which I plan to use this title.)

What’s at the top of your bucket list? I really don’t have a bucket list. I try to live my best life every day. I feel there’s no reason to be somewhere and not have a good time. I do everything I enjoy doing, so there’s nothing that I really want to do. I’m not fond of flying, so traveling to faraway places is not something I can imagine myself doing. I’m afraid of heights, so I won’t be bungee jumping or parachuting. I feel content and fulfilled in life. 

What one food do you wish had zero calories? Milk chocolate

Tell us something that might surprise us about you. I’m shy when it comes to public speaking (stage fright). I articulate very well, I’m confident, I’m sociable, and I have a great sense of humor, and I’m very outgoing. Because of those characteristics, people are always very surprised when I tell them I feel very nervous about public speaking.

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation? Fiji — The huts above the tropical waters I’ve seen many times on television or in the movies remind of what paradise must look and feel like (beautiful and serene).

Tell us a few of your favorite things.
Board game: Pokeno
Color: Purple
Movie: “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000)
Quote: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
(Maya Angelou)
TV show as a kid: “The Electric Company”

Around Campus

Osprey Profile: Meet Grace Lewis

Grace Lewis  sitting on grass and readingGrace Katheryn Lewis is a self-proclaimed lover of music. She is majoring in piano pedagogy and performance and sees her future in music education, where she can help piano students succeed. She also is pursuing a certificate in music technology in order to teach the next generation how to create their own music using technology.

In the medium of film, Lewis recently won “Excellence in Artistry” honors from the Avalonia Festival of Short Films IV. She created the short film, “Grace Redeems,” about the power of negative words, after learning that one of her youngest sisters was being teased in school. Lewis wondered if you could see the negative words you believe about yourself on your clothes, what would a day like that look like? She said the film, created with her siblings, is meant to inspire people that it is possible to change the world by choosing words of “grace” rather than negative words. Scroll down to watch the film on the Avonlea Festival website

Why did you decide to attend the University of North Florida? I chose UNF because of its amazing School of Music. The professors and students are so incredibly gifted. Many people had encouraged me to audition, and I am so glad I did! My audition into the school was very special. The professors were so encouraging, and the audition was an amazing experience. I was immediately accepted, and the professors helped me register for classes and brought into the piano family. The UNF music school has really become my family.

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, so I guess you can say I am a native.

What do you like most about UNF? I love the people at UNF. I love the students, and I love the professors. Together, we make UNF a place that is full of knowledge, mentorship and bright futures.

What has been your coolest UNF experience so far? My coolest UNF experience was winning the 2019 Piano Playoff. The recital theme was women composers. I was challenged by my amazing professor Dr. Bennett to give a speech on a woman composer and to play a piece from that composer. I picked the composer Florence Price, and I discovered so much about her life. I learned that both Florence Price and I share common history. Both of our families were from Little Rock, Arkansas, and through the music of Florence Price I was able to remember the lives that greatly impacted mine. I also had an excellent performance of her piece titled Tropical Noon. It was incredible to celebrate her life and to receive the honor of winning the event.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Gary Smart – He was the professor that changed my career path. I was super discouraged in music. I thought I did not have a chance at getting into the piano program, but one day I met Dr. Smart. He encouraged me and said I should audition. He told me I would do great, and that I should not be afraid to show off my talent. I listened to his words, and I am so glad I did; if I hadn’t, I would not be where I am today.

Do you have a favorite class? My favorite class was called Audio for Media. It was so much fun. The professor would give me 30 minutes to score music for a film. It was the most stressful but rewarding experience ever! I was amazed at the music I was able to produce within 30 minutes. By the end of the class, I felt like a film composer.

What does being an Osprey mean to you? To me, being an Osprey is more than just being a student at UNF; it is the opportunity to learn how to become a lifelong student. All of life is a classroom, and we as individuals have the ability to change our world through our pursuit of knowledge. Being an Osprey is about humility; we will never learn if we do not realize how little we know. Being an Osprey is about discipline; we must persevere because knowledge does not come without sacrifice. Being an Osprey is about leaving humanity better than we found it. My mom always used to tell me to leave a place better than I found it. I take that same approach to my existence on Earth. I believe it is my responsibility to do my part in leaving this planet better than I found it.

What’s your favorite UNF tradition? Not sure if this is a UNF tradition, but I love student graduation recitals. It is always an exciting time of celebrating the achievement of my fellow classmates. I love being able to watch my friends perform and celebrate their success.

When you’re looking to de-stress and relax a bit, where do you go on campus? The green is definitely my go-to spot. I love the green because it is so restful to lay out on the grass and look up at the sky. It takes my mind off of the world when I look up at heaven.

If you could meet one historical figure for coffee, who would it be? I would absolutely love to meet Johann Sebastian Bach. He was a brilliant composer and his life revolutionized Western music. He wrote more music than any human being on earth! What an achievement! I wonder what his secret was. I believe it was founded upon his faith. To quote, “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? I would choose to witness the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This man changed the face of the entire planet. His life continues to impact thousands upon thousands of lives each day, including my life. I would love for my faith to become my eyes. One day it will.

What three traits define you? Faith, grace and inspiration.

Do you have any advice for high school students? How do you want to serve people? That is the question I wish I had asked myself before I started college. It really is not about picking a job that makes the most money. It is about picking a job that will allow you to serve people with joy.

When will you graduate? What do you want to do after graduation?
I will graduate in 2022. After I graduate, I would love to pursue a master’s in piano. I would also love to focus on building up my piano teaching business, Amazing Grace Studio.

Around Campus

UNF Screens Peace Corps Documentary

poster for the Peace Corp movieDocumentary Screening
Attend a special screening of the new documentary “A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps” on March 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Andrew A. Robinson Theater, Building 14D. The event is co-hosted by the University of North Florida and First Coast Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (FCRPCV). Doors open at 1 p.m. Directed by Alana DeJoseph and narrated by actress Annette Bening, the documentary aims to preserve the legacy of the Peace Corps while providing a catalyst for dialogue about what it means to be an American, both in the U.S. and as part of a broader global community.

Panel Discussion
Wilfredo Gonzalez, UNF Trustee and former Peace Corps Country Director for Ghana, will join Nina Frank, president of the FCRPCV and other returned Peace Corps volunteers for a panel discussion following the screening. The event will conclude by 5 p.m. Register to attend the screening here.

UNF is an active partner of the Peace Corps offering a Peace Corps Prep Program that integrates coursework with hands-on experience and professional development. Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate from the Peace Corps and have a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service.


Balloons with UNF logoMilestones
Congratulations to the following employees with a milestone anniversary in February:
30 Years
Franscine Green, Custodial Worker, University Housing

15 Years
Ana Guzman, Coordinator, Accounting, Controller
Stephanie Howell, Legal Assistant Paralegal, General Counsel

10 Years
April Johnson, Assistant Director, Enterprise Systems
Michael McGuire, Financial Analyst, Office of Planning and Budget
Charles Pelton, Groundskeeper, University Housing
Diane Wyckoff, Coordinator, Career Management Center

5 Years
Isabel Pease, Assistant Vice President, Marketing 
Stephanie Race, University Librarian, Thomas G. Carpenter Library
Melanie Simmons, Custodial Worker, Osprey Fountains
Tina Stanton, Program Assistant, UNF Online
Ashlie Waiwaiole, Coordinator, Admissions Processing, Enrollment Services 

The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions recently:
Sasha Bates, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Travis Bishop, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Jamey Burns, Faculty Administrator, COEHS Urban Operating
Hudson Carly, Staff Interpreter, Disability Resource Center
Mosley Ceteria, Office Assistant, Maintenance and Energy Management
Greshawn Collier, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Kathryn Commissaris, Coordinator Training, Distance Learning Fee
Susan Daniels, Instructor, School of Computing
Jaylin Daniels, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Eva Rhonda Espique-Bueno, Specialist, ORSP
Benjamin Firth, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Ann Fishman, Administrative Assistant, President's Office
Michael Harris, Coordinator, Residence Life, University Housing
Ahmed Jalal, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Azya Johnson, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Carolyn Jolly, IPTM Program Specialist, IPTM 
Hyder Joseph, Coordinator, Research Programs, Public Opinion Research Lab
Eliza Kiss, Administrative Assistant, University Development and Alumni Engagement
Thies Lorin, Assistant Director, Development, Academic Affairs
Beaver Michael, Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems
De'Laij, Napier, Coordinator Residence Life, University Housing
Brendan Perkinson, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Wendy Poag, Coordinator, Training Accessibility, Center for Instruction and Research Technology
Sayani Roy, Academic Advisor, CCEC Advising
Brooke Sanford, Instructor, Computing Engineering and Construction
Elizabeth Swerdloff, Executive Secretary, Counseling Center
Judy Turnbull, Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems
Julia Velezon, Academic Advisor, CCEC Advising
Vittoria Wakefield, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Charles Williams, Instructor, Clinical and Applied Movement Science
Pamela Williamson, Professor, Exceptional Deaf and Interpreter Education

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:
Maria Carter, Academic Advisor, First Year Advising
Laurel Cline, Landscape Grounds Supervisor, Grounds
Kara Dentzau, Assistant Director, Admissions
Diane Engelhardt, Administrative Assistant, Student Affairs
Emily Gebbia, Coordinator Budgets, Advancement Services
DeAnna Irvin, Associate Director, Transfer Student Services
Darlene Jones, Senior Custodial Worker, Student Union Custodial
Alexandra Kuntsevich, Accounting Associate, SG Business and Accounting Office
Blair Litwiller, Academic Support Services Coordinator TL, One Stop Center
Kate McMillan, Assistant Director, Donor Engagement and Stewardship
Patrick Moore, Manager Applications Systems, Enterprise Systems
Ashley Parnell, Coordinator, Accounting, Controller
Mark Perez, Coordinator, IT Support, User Services
DLynn Phelps, Office Manager, Communication
Margaret Saunders, Administrative Assistant, President's Office
Katherine Shalov, Assistant Director, Annual Giving
Wiyata Simpson, Executive Secretary, Faculty Association
David Stout, Assistant Dean of Student, Office of the Dean of Students
James Taylor, Assistant Director, Environmental Center
Mark Ward, Maintenance Mechanic, Physical Facilities
Stephanie Worley, Coordinator, Academic Support Services, International Business Curriculum

Heartfelt wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees who left UNF recently:
Thomas Arsenault, Law Enforcement Liaison, IPTM 
Katharine Brown, Assistant Director, UNF Online
Theresa Chesney, Director, One-Stop Student Services
Ralph Cosentino, Instructor, Clinical and Applied Movement Science
Stephanie Cruz, Graphic Designer, MOCA Jacksonville
Brian Eisenhauer, Program Assistant, University Center
Craig Hargis, Assistant Professor, Construction Management
Michael Johnson, Assistant Director, Development, Intercollegiate Athletics
Fong Chuen Lai-Chin, Executive Secretary, Faculty Association
Keith Martin, Associate Director, Academic Support Services, Arts and Sciences
Hannah Martin, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
James Mauch, Manager, Maintenance Utilities, Physical Facilities
Mary McConville, Executive Assistant, Student Affairs
Mary Mory, Coordinator, Facilities Planning
Donna Onofrey, Office Manager, Communication
Matthew Phillips, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing
William Radulovich, Instructor, Mathematics and Statistics
Garrett Rix, Groundskeeper, Grounds
Richard Roberts, Director, Career Development Services, Career Services
Angela Robinet, Assistant Athletic Coach, Strength and Conditioning
Renee Scott, Professor, Languages Literatures and Cultures
Debra Wagner, Associate Professor, Nursing
Xiao Dan Zeng, Psychologist, Counseling Center

In Memoriam
Thomas L. Barton, Ph.D., age 70, passed away Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. Thomas spent over 36 years as a professor of Accounting and Finance at the University of North Florida and served as Faculty Advisor for UNF's Accounting Club-Alpha Sigma Pi. He was deeply passionate about his students and their future success. Barton was a CPA, a recognized international pioneer in Enterprise Risk Management Research and a prolific author with over 50 professional publications, five books, and one audiobook. He also taught professional development seminars and performed consulting work in both the public and private sectors. Read his obituary.

Faculty and Staff

Brooks College of Health
Drs. Mei Zhao
, Hanadi Hamadi, Rob Haley, Jasper Xu, Cynthia White-Williams and Sinyoung Park,have in press, “Telehealth: Advances in Alternative Payment Models” in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health.

Katryne Lukens Bull and Lori Bilello, with W.C. Livingood, C. Smotherman and U. Choe, published “Implementation Research as Applied Science: Bridging the Research to Practice Gap” in Health Promotion Practice, 21(1), 49–57, 2020. 


Marilyn Rodriguez, DNP student, and Dr. Helene Vossos, authored “Addressing the Nursing Faculty Shortage” in the American Nurse Association Blog, Dec. 20, 2019.


pink Balloons with UNF logoCoggin College of Business
Dr. Courtney Azzari, assistant professor of marketing, had a recent publication acceptance of her co-authored article titled “When Does the Social Service Ecosystem Meet Consumption Needs?: A Power-Justice-Access Model (PJAM) of Holistic Well-being from Recipients’ Perspectives” in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. The article explores the conditions under which social service programs enhance or detract from holistic well-being, from recipients’ perspectives. This is an impressive accomplishment since, based on SSRN data, JPPM has been described by the American Marketing Association to be the leading public policy journal in business. 

Dr. Russell Triplett, assistant professor of economics, presented a paper titled “The Dynamics of U.S. Business Investment in Information Processing and Software” to the 2nd International Seminar on the Modernization of Government Affairs, Service and Management hosted by Guangzhou University in China, Nov. 23. While at the university, he also gave a guest lecture to a class of undergraduates.

College of Arts and Sciences
Art & Design
Jenny Hager, professor in the Department of Art and Design, is exhibiting at the 5th Biennial Ocala Sculpture Exhibition in Ocala.

Stephen Heywood, professor in the Department of Art and Design, had three exhibitions: 2019 International Juried Ceramics Exhibition – International Juried Exhibition, at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Bedminster, New Jersey; Twelfth Annual Cup Show, Form and Function – National Juried Exhibition, at the Tapper Center Gallery, Panama City; and The Cup Show – National Invitational Exhibition, at the Krikorian Gallery, Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Mark Ari, English instructor, presented “Not In My Country; Not In Mine,” a multi-media installation at Westbeth Gallery, New York City, November 2019.

Dr. Keith Cartwright, professor of English, had three publications in December 2019: “Notes from the Field—Yum Cháak (Sacred Rain) and ‘The Little Droplet of Water,’” with Dolores Flores-Silva in Native South; “Yucatec Maya Poetry Selections” with Dolores Flores-Silva in Native South; and “Fabula,” with Dolores-Flores Silva in New Literary History.

Fred Dale, associate Instructor, was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize (poetry) for “She Who Carries the Water, Carries the Fish” glassworks magazine, 2019. Dale also published “One House Back from One House Down: Locating Home in the Poetry of Gianna Russo,” Aquifer: The Florida Review (online), November 2019.

Dr. Nicholas de Villiers, professor of English and Film, published a book chapter, "The Videomaker and the Rent Boy: Gay-for-Pay Confessional in '101 Rent Boys' and 'Broke Straight Boys TV'," in "I Confess! Constructing the Sexual Self in the Internet Age,” November 2019.

Dr. Laura Heffernan, associate professor of English, published “Victorianists and Their Reading” in the “Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature,” November 2019.

Dr. Clark Lunberry, professor of English, published “‘An Aquatic Reverie’ | Mallarmé’s Writing on Water and the Naming of Waves,” in Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures, December 2019.

Ms. Maureen McCluskey, English Instructor, served as the Associate Stage Director, Choreographer and Technical Director for Handel's “Messiah in Motion,” November 2019; and directed “A Midsummer Night's Dream” Shakespeare in the Park at locations in Ponte Vedra and at the University of North Florida, November 2019.

Emily K. Michael, English instructor, published "Neoteny: Poems" with Finishing Line Press, November 2019; and was nominated for The Pushcart Prize for the poem “A Phenomenology of Blindness,” November 2019.

Marcus Pactor, creative writing instructor, published "Review of Lydia Davis's Essays One" in Heavy Feather Review, December 2019.

Will Pewitt, English instructor, published the poem "Lid" in Internet Void, December 2019.

Dr. Alison J. Bruey, professor in the History Department, presented the papers "Mythmaking and Marginalization in Post¬dictatorship Chile" and "Taking the Country into the Future: Insurgent Youth in Popular Sector Santiago, Chile" at the Conference on Latin American History and American Historical Association annual meetings in New York City, January 3-6.

Dr. David Courtwright, Professor Emeritus in the History Department, gave a talk on his book, “The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business,” to the Harvard Club of New York City, Jan. 2.

Mathematics & Statistics
Dr. Michelle DeDeo, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, had a paper titled "A Graph Energy Upper Bound Using Spectral Moments" accepted to Congressus Numerantium.

Dr. Jae-Ho Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, published “Grassmann graphs, degenerate DAHA, and non-symmetric dual q-Hahn polynomials” in the Linear Algebra and its Applications journal, November 2019.

Dr. Erin Bodnar, assistant professor of music and director of bands, served as guest conductor for the Bowling Green State University Honor Band, November 2019.

Danny Gottlieb, jazz professor and drummer, performed in concert with actor and bassist Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan band at Disney World for “Snowball Express,” a special event for 1,700 children and their caregivers, who lost a parent in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, December 2019.

Philosophy and Religion Studies
Dr. Sarah LaChance Adams edited a new anthology released in January with Tanya Cassidy and Susan Hogan titled, "The Maternal Tug: Ambivalence, Identity and Agency." LaChance Adams is a Florida Blue Distinguished Professor and the director of UNF's Florida Blue Center for Ethics. 

Dr. Aaron B. Creller, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, was an author in a symposium article titled "Why Epistemic Decolonization?" in "Journal of World Philosophies" published Dec. 10, 2019.

Political Science and Public Administration
Dr. Josh Gellers, associate professor of Political Science and Public Administration, along with his co-author Chris Jeffords, published “Environmental Rights in the Asia Pacific Region: Taking Stock and Assessing Impacts,” in the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, November 2019.

Dr. Dominik Guess, professor of cognition, and Dr. Teresa Tuason, Department of Public Health, published the peer-reviewed article “Gun violence in the United States in 2017 and the role of mental illness” in Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, November 2019.

Dr. Joshua Smith, visiting professor, Developmental and Cognitive Processes, has been serving since October 201 as subject area expert for the Homeschool Science Squad, helping a student team to develop a STEAM booth for exhibit at the Jacksonville Science Festival on the health and behavior benefits of video game applications in learning and therapy/treatment settings.

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Dr. Brian Wingender and Dr. Albina Mikhaylova, with Brittni L. Miller, Hannah M. Dickinson and Hannah R. Malcolm, published “Characterizing the mechanosensitive response of Paraburkholderia graminis membranes, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes, Volume 1862, Issue 4, 2020, 183176, ISSN 0005-2736

Dr. Adel ElSafty, in Civil Engineering, was featured in the PCI Journal January/February 2020,
Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute journal. Elsafty also has a new FDOT project amendment: “Instrumentation and Monitoring of FRP bars in Bridge Deck Link-Slab for FPID: 435390-1-52-01” ($15,000). That new project amendment is an extension to the FDOT project: BDV34 986-02 (BRIDGE DECK WITH LINK-SLAB) ($20,000).

College of Education and Human Services
Dr. Mark Halley
, associate professor in the Department of Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education, opted to spend his holiday in Hong Kong to conduct field research at the Hong Kong protests. His research work focuses on signed language interpreting in contentious political settings, and his dissertation work was on the 1988 “Deaf President Now” student protests at Galludet University. Halley said he was struck by the extreme sacrifices and risks interpreters were willing to take in order to ensure access to the protests for the Hong Kong deaf community. During his visit to Hong Kong, Halley worked with Cat Hiu Man Fung, a guest lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong and a part-time lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The two will continue to collaborate in the coming years as they plan to co-author academic papers based on the data collected and publish an opinion/editorial piece on the role of interpreting in the Hong King protests. Halley and Fung’s research has the potential to benefit interpreters in Hong Kong, generations of interpreters, and interpreting researchers and educators.

Dr. Amanda Pascale and Dr. Matthew Ohlson will have their article, "Gendered meanings of leadership: Developing leadership through experiential community-based mentoring in college” published in a forthcoming volume of the Journal of Experiential Education.

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

two basketball players going for a dunkOspreys Overwhelm Owls 86-45
North Florida opened the second half of the ASUN basketball schedule Saturday night with a dominating wire-to-wire victory over Kennesaw State, 86-45, at UNF Arena. ASUN standings have the Ospreys tied for first place with Liberty University, who UNF beat in a nail-bitter at home on Jan. 23. The men's team now heads out of town for a pair of key ASUN road match-ups Thursday, Feb. 6 at NJIT and Saturday, Feb. 8 at FGCU. Read more about men's basketball's victory over Kennesaw.

Ospreys Defense Shines in Fourth Straight Win

North Florida women's basketball tied a Division I record for fewest points allowed as the Ospreys went 57-33 against Kennesaw State to move into second place in the ASUN standings. Read more about the women's basketball team's win over Kennesaw.

UNF womens tennis player getting ready to serveWomen's Tennis Sweeps Florida A&M, Flagler on Opening Day
North Florida women's tennis picked up two wins in its season opener against Florida A&M and Flagler, sweeping the day with a pair of 7-0 wins. Read more about the winning season opener for the Ospreys.

Baseball Opens Practice
Ospreys baseball held its first official practice Friday, Jan. 24. All practices will be held at Harmon Stadium and are free to the public. The Ospreys open the season Feb. 14 with the first of a three-game series against VMI. The Ospreys will be at home 35 times this year with the schedule seeing 15 games against 2019 NCAA Championship participants. Read more about the upcoming baseball season.

Former Osprey Alex Morrell kicking the soccer ballFormer Osprey Morrell Makes Jump to Greenville Triumph
Greenville Triumph SC announced the addition of another offensive threat ahead of the 2020 season on Tuesday, announcing the signing of former South Georgia Tormenta FC player Alex Morrell to their roster, pending league and federation approval. Morrell has played in all three flights of professional soccer in the United States, beginning his career in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire in 2016 after a standout collegiate career at the University of North Florida. Read more about Alex Morrell

Anderson Bobo Honored with ASUN Winners for Life Laurel
Senior men's cross country and men's track and field runner Anderson Bobo was tabbed by the league office as the latest UNF representative on the ASUN Conference Winners for Life list for the 2019-20 campaign. Read more about the winners for life honor.

The Goods


close up of Kumquats

The kumquat originated in China and its name means “golden orange” in Chinese. This small, 1 to 2 inch-long fruit is full of sweet and tart citrus flavor. It has an oval shape and a vivid orange color when fully ripe. Kumquats are a cold-hardy variety of citrus, so they grow very well in Northeast Florida. They are a popular backyard or patio tree due to their small size, and they grow well in pots. Freshly picked kumquats can also be purchased in specialty and ethnic grocery stores when they are in season, generally November to March. Choose firm, bright orange kumquats and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Kumquats will keep at room temperature for up to three to four days, and they can easily last one to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Myth: You can’t eat the peel of a kumquat.
Fact: The peel of the kumquat is the most delicious part! To properly eat a kumquat, you bite into the whole fruit, peel and all. The balance between the sweet peel and the tart juice center is perfection! The peel of the kumquat contains very aromatic oils called terpenes, which are not found in the edible parts of other citrus fruit and are considered quite nutritious. The peel also contains healthy fiber that helps to regulate digestion. A single serving of kumquats has about 10 grams of fiber. 

Myth: Kumquats don’t taste good.
Fact: Kumquats can be an acquired taste given their intense flavor; however, they are a delicacy to many. They can be eaten whole or used in cooking to add flavor and acidity to dishes. The unique flavor is becoming trendy and is often used when making craft sodas and seltzers. A good way to develop your palate for this intense fruit is to add small slices of it to salads or use it in place of lemon slices in water. Before you know it, you will be popping whole kumquats into your mouth.

Myth: There is only one variety of kumquat.
Fact: There are several varieties of kumquats. The Nagami kumquat looks like an olive-sized oval orange and is quite common. The Marumi is more round than the Nagami, has both a sweet peel and a sweet center, and is juicier and less common than the Nagami. The Variegated kumquat, although it is quite tart, is becoming more common given its striking foliage. It is a prolific variety with much larger fruit, which are beautifully striped. 

Nutritionally, the tiny kumquat packs a mighty punch. On average, eight kumquats have about 100 calories. They provide a good source of fiber, and vitamins A and C. They are rich in potassium and contain beneficial citrus flavanones. Additionally, kumquats are low in sugar and contain traces of minerals like calcium and iron. Although the kumquat fruit is usually eaten whole, other popular uses for the fruit include adding slices of it to fruit salads, dessert recipes or to season fish dishes. Kumquats also are used to make jellies, jams and marmalades, and they can be preserved whole for future use. 

Arugula Kumquat Salad
Serves 4

5 kumquats
4 handfuls baby arugula
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
¼ cup roasted pecans
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.


  1. Slice the kumquats into thin rounds, discarding the seeds.
  2. Combine the arugula, parsley, dried cranberries and kumquats in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over the salad and toss. Top with blue cheese crumbles and roasted pecans.

By Melissa Baron, Instructor, Nutrition and Dietetics


Spread the Word

Carnegie Foundation logo - green circle with a vine. Elective. Community Engagement. Classification.UNF Again Honored with Carnegie Designation
UNF's strong commitment to community-based learning experiences has led to a reclassification honor by the Carnegie Foundation, an important award indicating the University's outstanding community engagement. The University was first awarded the classification in 2010. For the 2020 award, UNF is one of only 119 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. 


Here are a few facts about community engagement at UNF: 

  • Over 90% of all academic departments at UNF offer some form of community-based learning experiences every year through more than 800 courses
  • Each year, over 7,500 students participate in some form of community engagement
  • The resulting economic impact of student, faculty and staff serving the community is $22 million annually

Spread the Word! 

Inside UNF is a monthly publication produced by UNF Marketing & Communications

Marsha Blasco, Editor