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InsideJune 2020

Around Campus

UNF's First Vice President of Jobs

Karen Bowling talks with Tre Gregory

Karen Bowling was recently named the vice president of jobs, a first-ever role at UNF. She also will continue as the director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which she helped launch in February 2019. As the campus welcomes her to this new position, here are a few things you may want to know:

Where did Bowling work prior to joining UNF in 2018?
A UNF alumna, Bowling is an accomplished executive with more than 30 years of success in both the public and private sectors, having worked in healthcare, technology and local government. Before joining the Center, Bowling led THRIVE Consulting and also served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jacksonville and as the former CEO and co-founder of Solantic urgent care centers.

Why this VP of jobs position?

Bowling will tell you that she loves helping people find jobs. Perhaps she’s paying it forward. Her career began when her broadcasting professor at UNF helped her get an internship at a local Jacksonville TV station, which then led to her first job after graduation.

“If UNF didn’t have great relationships with the business community, I would never have had the opportunity to intern, which led to a position following the internship,” she said. “So this is something I’m passionate about and believe in, and I believe that it works.” As a result, Bowling said it’s critical to have someone at the University who has a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the community, a role that she feels is the right fit for her.

The timing is also important. With the leadership of President Szymanski and the UNF Board of Trustees, Bowling sees a campus on the move. “You see the momentum, you feel the momentum,” she said. “And I really appreciate the commitment to excellence. I don’t see any status quo here.”

What will this new role involve?
Though Bowling said that many people at the University will help shape the new role, she initially plans to focus on identifying opportunities within the business community, which would build on or expand internships, externships and experiential learning. She also will discuss programs and options with others within UNF and the business community in order to strengthen what she calls the “education-to-employment pipeline.”

Given the current job market, Bowling acknowledges that there will be barriers to overcome. When companies are laying off employees, for example, hiring paid interns may send the wrong message, so she is looking for other options. “Perhaps we could change the packaging and create work scholarships,” said Bowling, explaining that a tax deductible contribution may be more appealing to corporations. “That’s just one example of re-packaging we need to explore,” she said.

What about the added challenge of handling two first-ever positions?
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, operating in the renovated Barnett National Bank Building in downtown Jacksonville, has been working with a group of entrepreneurs for nearly a year. At this point, Bowling is reviewing what she’s learned and considering several options for next year. “So the Center is in a good place, which makes it easier to take on added responsibilities,” Bowling said. “Plus there are a lot of synergies between the two roles. Both are about creating jobs either through the Center or creating jobs for students. I am looking forward to the opportunity to help the University brand as the jobs university.”

And there’s more …
Referring to herself an army brat, Bowling said she was born in England, and attended her first four years of elementary school in Germany. Those were tough learning years, because many of the teachers taught in German, which she said she couldn’t speak. Back in the U.S., she has lived in many different cities, often relocating for job opportunities. Now, after living in Jacksonville for many years, she considers it home, and has enjoyed donating her time to many community boards, including Crime Stoppers and the Jacksonville Humane Society.

Around Campus

Faculty Art Enhances Downtown

Progression sculpture

At the corner of Adams and Ocean, the newest sculpture in Jacksonville — “Progression” by Lance Vickery — now graces the exterior of the Jessie Ball duPont Center. Constructed with 48 powder-coated pigeon-blue aluminum plates, the artwork stretches 22 feet and is six-and-a-half feet tall.

Vickery, assistant professor of sculpture at UNF, explained that his design begins with style elements on each end that match the mid-century modern architecture of the 1965-era duPont Center. As the sculpture progresses to the middle, it incorporates a more contemporary look. “It’s not only looking back, but it also projects into the future,” Vickery said. “I wanted the piece to have some connection to the building as well as a feeling of newness.”

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, owner of the Center, commissioned the sculpture to honor recently retired and longtime Fund president Sherry Magill and chose Vickery’s design over those submitted by three other local artists. Vickery produced the work as part of Havic Studios LLC, a collaborative studio practice he shares with Jenny Hager, professor of sculpture at UNF.

Artist Lance Vickery installs sculptureWith a full teaching schedule, research and other Havic Studios’ projects to complete, Vickery said the sculpture took about one year to finish. After creating his vision using CAD software, Vickery said the project involved decisions on materials, planning for installation and constructing two small models, at one-tenth and then one-quarter the full size. Along the way, Vickery said he worked in cooperation with duPont Fund architects, its engineering firm and landscape architects, as well as local fabrication shops.

“It’s a long process and bringing the sculpture to reality is always part art and part science,” Vickery said. “There are a lot of little decisions along the way that can affect the outcome, and I’m always nervous until the day it’s actually installed.”

For this project, Vickery said he discovered an unexpected feature when he walked around the piece to shoot a video after installation. It was then he noticed that the powder coating was so reflective that it acted as a mirrored surface, making the passing cars appear and disappear in an almost hypnotic way.

“I hadn’t even considered that as a possibility, and although it was a positive, it shows that you don’t really know how the whole thing is going to work out until you get to the end,” Vickery said. “That’s part of the joy and also the consternation.”


See the complete sculpture in a video taken by the artist.

Around Campus

UNF Scholar Wins Prestigious Awards

Dr. J. Mitch Miller headshotDr. J. Mitch Miller, a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, was recently honored with two prestigious awards. Most recently, the University of North Florida selected him for the John A. Delaney Presidential Professorship in recognition of his research accomplishments and scholarship. Miller is UNF’s 10th recipient and will receive a $7,500 stipend and one course release each academic year. His professorship, which begins in July, will have a full-term of three years.


UNF Provost Simon Rhodes praised Miller for his achievements. “Dr. Miller is an outstanding scholar with an international reputation, and he is very deserving of this prestigious award,” Rhodes said. 


Miller expressed his appreciation for the confidence the administration has shown in his research agenda. "It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by UNF through the John A. Delaney Presidential Professorship," he said. "I look forward to establishing new partnerships between the University and local criminal justice agencies to increase substance abuse and mental health treatment services during these volatile times."


In addition, Miller received the Founder’s Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Science for his record of service to the criminal justice discipline, record of scholarship, and vast service and time invested in mentoring students. He previously received the Academy’s Fellow and 2019 Bruce Smith Sr. awards, making Miller one of only six scholars to receive all three of the Academy’s major awards.

Miller joined UNF in fall 2014, with previous faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and the University of South Carolina. He specializes in qualitative research methods, drugs and crime, justice program evaluation and criminology theory and has been recognized for productivity in grants acquisition as well as publications. He also served as the past president of the Southern Criminal Justice Association and former editor of the Journal of Crime & Justice and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. 

Around Campus

Save the Date for Upcoming Online Events

Gallery concerts, summer camps and art lectures may not be happening in person these days, but all are available in the virtual world. Tune in to what's happening online over the next month:


Dr. Scott Brown, associate professor, medieval art history, is collaborating with the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens to provide three online lectures in June and July on Thursdays from 7 - 8 p.m. via Zoom. Here are the topics:


Medieval knight in armorJune 4: “From Marcus Aurelius to the American Cowboy: Frederic Remington’s Bronco Buster and the Ancient Bronze Equestrian Statue” 

June 18: “From Giorgione to Bob Thompson: Renaissance Old Masters and Jazz Rebirth” 

July 2: “Painting the American President: Gilbert Stuart’s Portrait of Washington and the History of the Presidential Portrait”

MOCA gallery concertMOCA Jacksonville has partnered with the Bold City Contemporary Ensemble for a series of micro concerts in the galleries. You can catch a concert every Saturday in June. 


Details will be posted soon on Facebook @MOCAJacksonville, and on MOCA's smART Online Museum at Home platform

Child drawing self portraitMOCA Jacksonville’s virtual summer camp is now open for registration, and UNF staff receive a 15% discount. 


The camp will include live interactions with MOCA educators, virtual visits to museum galleries and daily lessons in a variety of mediums. Find more camp details online




OneJax LogoOneJax, an Institute of the University of North Florida, has several vodcasts and podcasts as well as Theology Thursdays that you can access from the organization's homepage

Around Campus

Summer Reads: From Your UNF Library Staff

Woman holding a bookWhether you’re planning on social distancing at the beach, or staying closer to home, these summer reading recommendations from the faculty and staff at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library are sure to supply a much-needed literary escape!

Maria Atilano, Student Outreach Librarian:
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett 

Jennifer Bibb, Library Services Coordinator in Special Collections & Archives: 

Mississippi Writings by Mark Twain 
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer 

Tom Caswell, Associate Dean:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 

Rebecca Durney, Research Services Librarian
After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Tia Esposito, Library Services Coordinator in Access Services:
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck 
The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller
Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas

Glenda Kelsey, Library Services Coordinator in Access Services:
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles 
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by David Allen Sibley 

Although the library building is closed, available print items may be requested online for pick up. Other library services also are available online.

Compiled and submitted by Maria Atilano, Student Outreach Librarian

Around Campus

Grilling Tips for Healthy Meals this Summer

Grilling with vegeatables

When the summer weather heats up, many of us enjoy taking the cooking outside to the grill. Here are some tips on how to keep your cookouts healthy.

  • Select nutritious protein options such as lean cuts of beef, pork, poultry or fish. For a meatless option, grill tofu, tempeh or a bean-based veggie burger.
  • Baste cut-up vegetables with olive oil and season with herbs. Some nutritious options are red peppers, corn on the cob, eggplant, summer squash, sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes.
  • Make tasty alternatives to mayonnaise-based salads such as caprese, fruit salad or avocado salad.
  • In addition to grilling your main dish, grill your dessert! Try grilling fruit kabobs, watermelon slices, or pineapple slices sprinkled with cinnamon.

Here are additional tips on how to grill your foods safely:

  • Do not mix raw foods with cooked foods. Keep separate dishes and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
  • Keep cooked meat and egg dishes outside the danger temperature zone. The danger zone is between 41 F and 135 F. Prepared foods should be kept below 41 F or at or above 135 F.
  • Poultry dishes should be cooked until the inside or center temperature registers 165 F.
  • Leftovers should be reheated to 165 F.

Submitted by Andrea Y. Arikawa, Associate Professor, Co-Director, Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition


Balloons with UNF logoMilestones
Congratulations to the following employees with a milestone anniversary in June:

30 Years
Michael Malec, Associate Director, University Counseling Center

20 Years
Dee Robertson-Lee, Library Services Specialist, Library

15 Years
Robert Boyle, Senior Director, University Housing
Nichelle Flannory, Assistant Director, Business and Finance, MOCA Jacksonville
Ruth Lopez, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs, Center For International Education
Gregory Spurgeon, Locksmith, Physical Facilities
Paul Yeoman, Assistant Director, Physical Facilities

5 Years
Marc Dawkins, Dean/Professor, Coggin College of Business
Kira Galang, Coordinator, Parking Transportation Services, Parking and Transportation Services
Vanitti Gilley, Human Resources Associate, Human Resources
D'Lynn Phelps, Office Manager, Communication

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

Ysabella Banta, IT Support Technician, User Services
Brandon Barfield, IT Support Technician, User Services
Ross Bell, Manager of Online Learning Systems, Enterprise Systems
Christina Chatman, Title IX Investigator, Equal Opportunity and Inclusion
Erica Anga Curran, Coordinator, Online Student Services, UNF Online
Erin Duggan, Admissions Coordinator, Admissions
Carter Farris, IT Software Engineer, Enterprise Systems
Gregory Grant, Coordinator, Research Program Services, Small Business Development Center
Nikki MacPhee, Administrative Assistant, Alumni Services
David Ochoa, IT Support Technician, User Services
Daniel Ross, Academic Advisor, COEHS Advising

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:

Karen Bowling, Vice President of Jobs, President's Office
Daniel Dinsmore, Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Services
Samanth Kight, Academic Advisor, COAS Advising
William Klostermeyer, Dean, College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Stephanie Paige, Student Affairs Coordinator, Student Affairs

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

Michael Burton, Groundskeeper, Housing
Mauricio Cadena, Custodial Worker, Housing
Evann Coad, Director, Annual Giving
Amanda Shows, Applications Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems
Mary Smith, Office Manager, Arts and Sciences 

Faculty and Staff

Osprey FountainBrooks College of Health

Dr. James Churilla, the Graduate Program director of the Exercise Science and Chronic Disease Program, had two of his graduate students, Michelle Stone and Bethany Rand, successfully defend their master's theses. Michelle Stone will be attending medical school, and Bethany Rand has accepted a fully funded Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.

College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Mike Aspinwall, assistant professor of biology, and his colleagues published the following articles: “Plant biomass, not plant economics traits, determines responses of soil CO2 efflux to precipitation in the C4 grass Panicum virgatum” in the March issue of Journal of Ecology; and “Leaf trait variation is similar among genotypes of Eucalyptus camaldulensis from differing climates and arises as plastic response to season rather than water availability” in the April issue of New Phytologist.

Dr. Quincy Gibson, associate professor of biology, and colleagues published the article “Spatiotemporal Movements of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus) in Northeast Florida, U.S.” in the May issue of the Aquatic Mammals journal.

Criminology and Social Justice

Dr. J. Mitch Miller, a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, was recently selected for UNF's John A. Delaney Presidential Professorship in recognition of his research accomplishments and scholarship. Miller is UNF’s 10th recipient and will receive a $7,500 stipend and one course release each academic year. His professorship, which begins in July, will have full-term of three years. In addition, Miller received the Founder’s Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Science for his record of service to the criminal justice discipline, record of scholarship, and vast service and time invested in mentoring students. He previously received the Academy’s Fellow and 2019 Bruce Smith Sr. awards, making Miller one of only six scholars to receive all three of the Academy’s major awards. Learn more about Miller's presidential professorship.


Dr. Laura Heffernan, associate professor of English, published the article “Poetry Explication: The Making of a Method” in the edited collection, Modernism and Close Reading, ed. David James (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

Dr. Alison J. Bruey, professor of history, was awarded special mention by the Historia Reciente y Memoria Section of the Latin American Studies Association for her book “Bread, Justice, and Liberty: Grassroots Activism and Human Rights in Pinochet's Chile.”

Dr. Chau Kelly, associate professor of history and graduate program coordinator, gave an interview about the history of pandemics with Steven Ponson for Jax Journal on WOKV-FM station. The interview aired May 9.

Mathematics and Statistics
Dr. Raluca Dumitru, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Jose Franco, associate professor of mathematics, published the article "Some geometric properties of matrix means with respect to different metrics" in the April issue of Positivity, an international mathematics journal devoted to theory and applications of positivity.

Dr. Fei Heng, assistant professor of statistics, and co-authors published the article "Analysis of the time-varying Cox model for the cause-specific hazard functions with missing causes" in the April issue of the Lifetime Data Analysis journal.

Nick Curry, associate professor of cello and area coordinator, was selected to be an instructor at the Virtual Cello Academy. He will join faculty from institutions such as The Cleveland Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Eastman School of Music. 

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Dr. Andrew Buchwalter, professor of philosophy, published "Hegels Institutionenlehre: Politik, Sittlichkeit und die Philosophie des Geistes," in Michael Städtler (ed.), Die Wirklichkeit der konkreten Freiheit: G.W.F. Hegels Lehre vom Staat als ausgeführter Idee der Sittlichkeit (Franz Steiner Verlag), 181-202.


Dr. Jonathan Matheson, associate professor of philosophy, has been awarded $234,000 three-year research grant from the John Templeton Foundation for collaborative research to study the philosophy and psychology of epistemic autonomy and its relation to intellectual humility. The project will be the first of its kind within the science of character and virtue. Matheson will work in collaboration with Dr. James Beebe, a University at Buffalo philosophy professor. Learn more details about the project.

Political Science and Public Administration
Dr. Natasha V. Christie and her co-author published an article titled, "Transcending the Veil: Barack Obama's Rhetoric and Strategic Racial Representation" in the April issue of The National Review of Black Politics.

More than 1,000 other papers have cited “One Hundred Years of Social Psychology Quantitatively Describer,” an article published by Dr. Dan Richard, associate professor of psychology and director of the Center for Community-Based Learning, and co-authors. The article was published in December 2003 issue of Review of General Psychology.

Sociology/Anthropology and Social Work
Dr. Mandi N. Barringer, assistant professor of sociology, with her colleagues J.E. Sumerau and David A. Gay, published “Generational Variation in Young Adults’ Attitudes toward Legal Abortion: Contextualizing the Role of Religion” in the February issue of Social Currents.

Dr. Ronald Kephart, associate professor of anthropology, published “English as a World Language” in The International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology, edited by James M. Stanlaw. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. Print and online versions late 2019/early 2020.

College of Education and Human Services
Dr. Laura Boilini, clinical assistant professor and program director, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management, published an article titled “The voices of our students: What we can learn from aspiring leaders,” in the Southeast Journal of Educational Administration, 19 (2), 105-128. The article was based on a study Boilini conducted that involved student narratives on assignments asking them to consider the 10 Florida Principal Leadership Standards and their own strengths, growth areas, and plans of action, professional development. She first presented the results at the Southern Regional Council of Educational Administration in fall 2019 in Fort Meyers, Florida.

Dr. Suzanne Ehrlich and Dr. Jen Kilpatrick presented, “Moving Beyond Panic-gogy When Future Instruction is Still Uncertain: Where does UDL Fit In?,” to the Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education Network. They shared findings from a study that examined faculty and student perceptions and understanding of UDL at UNF and facilitated a conversation about where UDL fits in to the current instruction in higher education.

Dr. Elizabeth Rozas
has been offered a book contract from Teachers College Press. The book is titled “Reading Ready: Preparing students for independent reading of informational text.”

Dr. Kristi Sweeney, assistant professor of sport management, spoke to Action News about the possibility of pro sports reopening in Florida.

The UNF Preschool will now be administered by the University’s College of Education and Human Services. By making this change, the COEHS hopes to leverage its expertise and resources to offer an advantage to the Preschool through curriculum and additional options for learning activities. During the 2020-21 academic year, Dr. Christian Winterbottom will serve as the Director of Research & Professional Development at the Preschool while Dr. Pam Williamson, Exceptional, Deaf & Interpreter Education Department chair in the COEHS, will serve as the liaison for the On Campus Transition Program and will work hand in hand with the ARC of Jacksonville and OCT Director Leigh Belmont.

Thomas G. Carpenter Library
Maria Atilano, student outreach librarian, participated in the Florida Library Association Library Career Development Webinar “Library Dream Jobs Webinar – Outreach Librarians” May 13 with presenters from UCF and the Orange County Library System.
Thomas Caswell, associate dean, was invited to participate in the national panel discussion “Affordable Course Materials: A Closer Look at Librarians and OER/AER” sponsored by Springer Nature Publishing, May 14.

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

Here are just a few highlights from UNF’s Athletics Department. Read all the news about our Division 1 teams on the UNF Athletics website.

Student-athlete Emily KestersonMen's Golf, Kesterson Recognized with ASUN End of Year Honors
With the 2020 ASUN Conference Spring Meetings being held virtually this year, the league announced a wide range of accomplishments via a YouTube awards show. Learn more about the student-athletes and teams honored.

Improved debuts
North Florida athletics announced the redesign of in partnership with SIDEARM Sports. will continue to be your home for game recaps and highlights, schedules, rosters and more for all Osprey athletic programs. Learn more about the redesign of the website.

Student-Athlete Teresa ConroyConroy Collects Third Consecutive CoSIDA Academic All-District Honor
Teresa Conroy, a graduate senior on the North Florida women's golf team, was named to the 2019-20 Academic All-District® Women's At-Large team, selected by CoSIDA. Learn more about the honor and how Conroy was selected.

Osprey Athletics Post Record Performance in Classroom
In a semester filled with COVID-19 changes and challenges, the North Florida Athletic Department achieved a new program record boasting a cumulative department GPA of 3.61. Learn more about our student-athletes’ academic achievements.


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The Brooks College of Health

The accolades keep adding up for the School of Nursing in the Brooks College of Health. UNF was recently ranked No. 2 among the 2020 Best Online RN to BSN Programs in Florida. 

The rankings, compiled by, assessed nursing programs on several factors that represent how well a program supports students during school, towards licensure and beyond.


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Inside UNF is a monthly publication produced by UNF Marketing & Communications
Marsha Blasco, Editor

June issue contributing writers: Andrea Y. Arikawa, Maria Atilano  and Emily Simon