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InsideMay 2020

Around Campus

Campus Finds Creative Online Solutions

From creating videos to physics projects done at home to Zoom sessions with well-known musicians and politicians, faculty across campus found creative ways to help students stay "tuned in" to online learning.

Department of Languages, Literatures and Culture
Dr. Johana Barrero headshotDr. Johana Barrero added creative fun to help her remote UNF learners stay “tuned in.” The Spanish professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Culture, with the help of her young daughters, created “Word of the Day” videos for her students in Beginning Spanish I and II.

The videos, each about three minutes, were a big hit. Barrero tried to film and post the videos by 9 a.m. each day. If she missed that timeframe, she received messages: What is the word of the day today? Are we having an expression of the day?

“So, yes, I did get good feedback, and the funny thing was they were done in the middle of my messy living room and the girls were in pajamas, but the students watched them all. So, I continued to use them as tools in my classes.”

The idea came from her 7-year-old daughter, who had seen a similar type of presentation on Sesame Street. She suggested that she and her 4-year-old sister, who speak Spanish and English, could help teach her mother’s students a word each day.

Barrero agreed and decided to use an informal approach and focus on Spanish expressions that she normally doesn’t have time to teach, because there is so much material to cover. “Every day was different," Barrero said. “Usually I taught the students sayings that don’t have an equivalent in English that you can compare it to. It was fun and the students seemed to enjoy it.”

Here is one of the popular videos the mother-daughters team produced.

Department of Physics
How do you give students hands-on lab experience when the coronavirus has made everything hands-off? The Department of Physics has found a creative solution. Dr. Gregory Wurtz, associate professor and department chair, said the summer’s lab offerings will use an inquiry-based approach that fosters student engagement. “A particular focus will be on making sure students still benefit from hands-on activities,” Wurtz said. “In physics, for example, students will be tasked to design and implement experiments using household utensils, which, in addition to being fun, should help make the subject more relatable.”

Wurtz said the faculty are committed to providing students with the best possible online training experience. As a result, they have created new laboratories in Discovering Earth Science, Discovering Astronomy, as well as in Physics. It’s all about ensuring student success. “Hands-on training, such as laboratories, are essential learning tools in shaping students’ understanding of complex concepts and provide students with a unique setting to adopt generic practical learning skills for a lifetime of professional development,” Wurtz said. As a bonus, the online format also will provide students with a drop in the lab cost, making the summer classes as affordable as possible.

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Group of listeners on ZoomMandates to stay at home put the 23rd Annual Northeast Florida Student Philosophy Conference in jeopardy. Many students from numerous Florida universities had already submitted their philosophy projects for consideration to UNF’s Philosophy Department. Dr. Aaron Creller, assistant professor, who ran the conference last year, decided to transition the conference to a virtual platform rather than canceling, so that students at least had an opportunity to participate. Creller said the department received about 20 submissions and selected 11.

“These are usually final papers that students have written typically for philosophy classes,” Creller said. “As an example, one project discussed arguments about whether or not doctors should always tell the full truth to patients, even if that might cause the patient stress. This was one, but there were many different types of topics discussed.”

UNF’s Dr. Andrew Buchwalter, Presidential Professor, was one of the keynote speakers for the event, as well as UNF alum and philosophy major Kyle Hodge, who was invited to speak about his research.

Though no one knows what next year will bring, Creller said they at least know that a Zoom option can be successful, won’t affect the amount of participation and will save time and expense on travel. Yet personal interaction has its benefits as well. “In a face-to-face conference you have the opportunity to chat with people during breaks and over lunch, which is missed during an online format,” Creller said.

School of Music
Students in the School of Music continue to benefit from the personal connections faculty members have with leading musicians around the country as well as those with the Jacksonville Symphony, a national recognized orchestra. Dr. Simon Shiao, associate professor of violin, serves as director of Orchestral Studies at UNF and also performs as a violinist with the Jacksonville Symphony.

To add interest to his students’ online learning, Shiao arranged two different virtual interviews: one with Billy Hunter, principal trumpet with the Metropolitan Opera in New York; and one with Courtney Lewis, music director for the Jacksonville Symphony.

Courtney Lewis on Zoom meetingCourtney Lewis explained his job to the students, saying that a conductor has to have a clear sense of the composer’s style and the overall sound he wants from the symphony. He also shared his method for planning the music for each season, from budgeting to trying to find balance in the type of music performed. He shared some of his favorite pieces and discussed the details of the music. When Shiao asked Lewis for “words of wisdom” for the graduating students, he discussed the difficulties of being a professional musician and the determination that it requires. “Make sure you really want to do it, and if you do, give it 100% and don’t give up — ever.”

Dr. Shiao also interviewed musician Billy Hunter along with Dr. Randall Tinnin, professor of trumpet and director of the UNF School of Music. Hunter told the students that he auditioned 28 times before winning his current position with the Metropolitan Opera. He also treated the students to a Zoom trumpet performance, demonstrating different styles and audition strategies.

Tinnin believes these Zoom sessions have brought students together who share an interest in learning music. “I am very proud of Dr. Shiao and the rest of the music faculty for maintaining relationships with top professionals that benefit our students,” Tinnin said.

Brooks College of Health Advising

The sudden switch from on-campus learning to online classes hasn’t been an easy adjustment for everyone in the campus community. The Brooks College of Health advising team decided to find a way to ease the transition and help students who were no longer able to visit campus and walk into the office to ask for help.

So, they created a virtual session that they keep open specifically for “walk-in” students. Miwa Nguyen, director of advising for Brooks, and staff, would greet the students and then schedule an individual advising session for them and forward a Zoom link. In this way, students continued to have the flexibility to “walk-in” and ask for advising help, all day, Monday through Friday.

“During this unexpected and stressful time, students needed support and consistency,” Nguyen said, “Using a virtual system allowed the Brooks College of Health Advising Office to offer walk-in academic advising sessions to students at the same level as before the pandemic.”

College of Education and Human Services
Doctoral student presenting on ZoomThough the Coronavirus crisis canceled many things during the spring semester, Dr. David Hoppey, associate professor and director of the Doctorate of Educational Leadership program, didn’t want the pandemic to interfere with doctoral candidates achieving their goals.

So, he and faculty members spent three weeks after the lockdown holding Zoom meetings for candidates to defend their dissertations. As a result, Hoppey said that eight students earned their doctorate: Jessica Hamelin, Cheryl Seals Mobley-Gonzalez, Heather Bundshuh, Terrance Souder, Catherine Wade, Dawn Washington, Dax Weaver and Dione Thomas Webber. Two other candidates earned their doctoral degrees, but defended their dissertaions prior to the remote mandates: Monica Bolanos Boudreau and Pam Evors.

“Faculty shoutouts go to Drs. Anne Swanson, Chris Janson and Linda Skrla for chairing these candidates dissertations and ensuring that these students achieved their dream during these turbulent times,” Hoppey said. “None of which could have been possible without the flexibility and support of LSCSM staff Thomas Higginbotham.”


MOCA Jacksonville
Virtual Tour at MOCATen days after the pandemic forced the closing of MOCA Jacksonville, the museum launched MOCA Jax smART Online — a virtual platform to bring art, artists and ideas directly to your home.

In keeping with its mission to raise awareness about the artists and art of today, MOCA is using its virtual museum platform to offer free art classes for adults and activities for kids inspired by contemporary art. In addition, MOCA offers virtual video studio visits with artists, giving them a platform to share their experience. In the absence of UNF Movies on the House, the museum is celebrating independent filmmakers with MOCA Movie Night on Saturday nights through Netflix Party and promoting local musicians that play at the museum on Thursday nights through its blog, according to Nan Kavanaugh, MOCA’s director of marketing and communications.

“Soon, we will kick off a concert series in the galleries too,” Kavanaugh said. “UNF students who work through our ambassadors program are helping to create and shape content in collaboration with MOCA staff. We are always looking for ideas on how to best serve Ospreys, so please send ideas our way on what you would like from a Museum at Home experience.”

Learn more about virtual offerings through MOCA JAX smART Online.


Political Science and Public Administration
Dr. Nancy Soderberg didn't let the cancellation of the Real Policy World class trip to Washington, D.C., stand in the way of providing a meaningful experience for students. To replace the meetings with policy experts and UNF alums the class would have attended in Washington, Soderberg organized a series of Zoom calls. Students heard from and spoke to experts on human trafficking working not only in Washington, but in places like Kenya and the United Kingdom, which wouldn't have been possible under normal circumstances. Students found it to be the perfect way to make the most of the situation.

Around Campus

Five Things to Know About CCEC's New Dean

Dr. Chip Klostermeyer headshot

The campus community congratulates Chip Klostermeyer, who was named the dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction in April, after serving as interim dean since October 2018.

Here are some questions the new dean answered for us: 

You joined UNF in 2000 as a professor of computer science. What has changed most at CCEC since then? “It’s been an evolution that you almost don’t notice as it happens. The college has grown so much and so many new faculty members have come to UNF that is really is a different place than it was 20 years ago. But CCEC’s physical space and new, quality labs are probably the most visible change one would notice.”

You have served as the interim dean of CCEC since October 2018. During that time, what has your team accomplished that you find most notable? “Obviously, the reduction in credit hours to 120 in all our programs, without sacrificing quality, was a huge accomplishment that required a real team effort by CCEC faculty.”

As you look ahead, what do you want CCEC to accomplish? What do you believe will be the greatest challenges? “We want to continue our growth in students, faculty, programs and research while maintaining and enhancing quality. For example, we are starting new programs in data science and advanced manufacturing this year, as well as a master’s degree program in construction management. We hope to grow those into strong programs. On the research side, the college faculty have received three NSF research awards this year, which is an amazing accomplishment, and we hope to be able to continue in that direction. How the current COVID-19 situation affects us moving forward will certainly be a challenge.”

Where did you grow up? How did you get interested in computer science? I grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, in the 1970s. It was a great time and place to grow up. Charleston was a science/engineering hub then with DuPont, Union Carbide, FMC Corporation and others as large employers. My dad was an electrical engineer for Carbide for many years. I was always interested in math and numbers — grew up reading the World Almanac and Baseball Encyclopedia ― and so when the PC revolution happened it was a natural thing for me explore.

What might people not know about you? Here are two: When I was 8 years old, I won $100 in a football picking contest in my city’s newspaper. I picked 16 out of 16 games correctly, and the newspaper headline was “City Man Wins.” Also, Jesse Stone, musician, songwriter and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was a friend and played at my wedding. 

A few more things:

  • Prior to joining UNF, Klostermeyer served on the faculty and was a tenured associate professor at West Virginia University. Klostermeyer received both his doctoral and master's degrees in computer science from the University of Florida.


  • Did you know? CCEC has more than 2,000 students and over 60 faculty positions in the School of Computing, School of Engineering, Department of Construction Management, Materials Science and Engineering Research Facility, Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering and the Taylor Engineering Research Institute.

Around Campus

UNF Celebrates Spring Class of 2020 Virtually

Graduation cap and tassel

On May 1, our Osprey Family planned to join together in the UNF Arena to celebrate Commencement and our spring 2020 graduates. Though that was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University still celebrated its graduates — virtually! UNF plans to welcome the spring graduates back to campus for a future live ceremony, but recognized that May 1 was still a special date for them and for their families. On Friday, a celebratory website was launched with videos, messages from leadership, listings of graduates, greetings from alumni, a virtual rendition of the alma mater performed by School of Music students and faculty, as well as links to other graduation-related department activities and recognitions. Social media was active throughout the week leading up to May 1 with postings from students and lots of well wishes from family and friends. If you missed it, be sure to check out the website and UNF’s official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Around Campus

Research and Creative Projects Continue

As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” When classes moved to online learning, UNF professors had to find workarounds that fit with the new social distancing requirements yet allowed the research and creative activities to continue. Here are a few examples that required a dose of ingenuity:

Department of Psychology
Remote control of labWhat do you do when your students cannot physically be in the lab to conclude their experiments? Dr. Gregory Kohn, assistant professor of comparative psychology, faced that issue. 

During the semester, Kohn had about 30 students in two class sections working in groups with laboratory rats and investigating learning abilities in different scenarios. The experiment used a Skinner Box, a laboratory apparatus developed by B.F. Skinner in the 1930s to study animal behavior. With the stay-at-home restrictions, however, the in-lab work came to a halt.

“Some of the students were disappointed that they were going to have to stop working with their rat, so I set up this system that allowed them to work with the animal remotely if they wanted,” Kohn said. His system, which allowed students to observe the experiment and control the computer, used google remote desktop that students could install on chrome browser. Kohn would travel to the lab and move the rat to the Skinner Box, so students could control the experiment as if they were in the classroom. As an alternative, he also filmed the experiment as he operated the Skinner Box, so students not able to connect could watch the results.

“The point of this research is to allow students to have hands-on experiences with animal learning, to show how controlling the contingencies and structure of the environment can modify and create novel behaviors,” Kohn said. This type of hands-on undergraduate work in comparative psychology is not available at many universities, according to Kohn, who started with the University last semester.

Department of Biology
Biology home labOne undergraduate student researcher has taken the expression “bringing work home” to a whole new level. When Dr. Frank Smith, assistant professor of biology, temporarily closed his research lab, junior Mandy Game not only took her paperwork home — she also took home the eight-legged segmented animals the team is studying.

Not to worry. They are water-dwelling micro-animals called Tardigrades, that won’t be roaming the house. Also known as water bears, they remain quite self-contained in their watery world. Smith and two undergraduate biology students are continuing the important research that was funded by a $323,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Over the next three years of the grant, Smith will be able to add additional students to the team.

“Mandy is babysitting the water bears,” Smith said. “She along with my student Raul Chavarria are helping with the research during the pandemic. Of course, they can’t do experiments at home, but they are busy helping me analyze data and preparing annotated bibliographies, which is a very important part of the research.”

The team is studying Tardigrade development. These tiny creatures are found everywhere on Earth and are among the most resilient animals known, with individual species able to survive extreme conditions that would quickly kill most other known forms of life, according to Smith. They are ancient in origin and thought to predate creatures that science can examine in fossils. However, recent advances in development biology and genomics techniques provide the team with new methods to reconstruct evolutionary steps for the miniature creatures.

Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Arenales magazine coverWork on the first issue of a digital literary magazine in Spanish began in the classroom during the spring semester. Students in a literature survey course, Studies in Contemporary Latin American Literature, created their own submissions and compiled those of other contributors, according to Dr. Gregory Helmick, associate professor of Spanish.

When in-class studies ended, the students worked remotely to put the finishing touches on a new magazine titled Arenales — a word meaning sandbar or sandy terrains — that will be available online in May, Helmick said. “The first issue will feature the work of UNF students as well as that of outside contributors, including original poetry submitted by the noted Colombian writer Marta Quiñónez,” Helmick said. “This is kind of great because Quiñónez is one of the writers that we studied, and she is now contributing to our students’ own creative enterprise.”

The cover art is part of a three-part piece (titled “Earthly Perspectives and Beyond”) contributed to the magazine by Sana Sherif, a graduate of the American University in Cairo, who met the magazine’s co-editor Amarilys Sánchez while studying abroad in Greece. In addition to Sánchez, students Georgina Wilson, Hannah Meiners and Rachel Meiners served as the first editorial board of the literary magazine, which is expected to be published twice a year, in January and May.

Around Campus

Adding COVID-19 to Course Instruction

With the global public health crisis in the news and on everyone’s mind, some professors at UNF — across a variety of fields — have incorporated lessons from the real-life pandemic into their courses.

School of Nursing
Healthcare workerPat Richards teaches Family Nurse Practitioner courses. For a module on infectious disease for an acute care course, Richards typically asks students to do comparisons of communicable diseases. When the module came up in April, she had students compare several health problems, including several current diseases: measles, Chick-V, Ebola, Zika, Dengue (with a current outbreak now happening in Puerto Rico) and COVID-19.

Richards said her students examined several issues: causative organisms and mode of transmission; an answer that has been found that may lead to prevention; a question about the disease that is yet unanswered, a solution to the problem; and an important fact to remember about the disease that you might encounter in clinical practice.

Department of Public Health
Dr. Amber Barnes, assistant professor, has been updating materials to include information about the ongoing pandemic for her Environmental Health and Global Health course. For each module she presents, Barnes has added relevant information and important updates from the scientific and medical communities. She has also changed some assignments since spring break to incorporate a COVID-19 focus. For example, students in the environmental health class were to select a journal article that incorporated themes from the module on Health in Your Environment/Built Environments and record a video presentation critique of the article. Barnes encouraged them to find articles that discussed how to practice hygiene measures at home to prevent illness, studies done on how long viruses can live on surfaces, and healthcare provider personal protective equipment and hospital design.

School of Communication
Video cameraStudents in Frank Goodin’s digital video production program have produced multiple short videos about how COVID-19 has directly affected them, members of their family, and close friends, all produced through their smartphones. Aisling Glock produced a video about how the pandemic has changed her student experience.

Students in Ken Thomas’ RTV 3220C-TV Production/Visual Arts TV have produced TV shows based largely on the pandemic issues. The shows have been uploaded to the School’s YouTube channel. Student Caitlyn McManus produced an Inside Swoop to let viewers know about new movies making digital premieres.


Public relations students in Bobbi Doggett’s PUR 4400-Crisis Communication prepared a Coronavirus reflection paper. One of the questions they had to answer was: “As you think of what you’ve learned in this crisis communications class, what do you feel was done correctly or what should have been done differently in response to the COVID-19 crisis? And why is this important to crisis communication and/or you?”

Journalism students in Nick Tatro’s JOU 3109-Multimedia Reporting completed an assignment based on an Associated Press multimedia project, titled “The Fight For New York,” which included interviews with people engaged in the struggle against the coronavirus. After reading the AP stories, students wrote their own local stories that included interviews with those who have been impacted, such as those who have fallen ill, lost their jobs, or had to cancel plans. The stories explored how their lives have changed and the outlook on what is possible now compared to what they thought before the crisis.


Department of Biology
VirusesAs they say, timing is everything. For Dr. Terri Ellis, associate professor of biology, COVID-19 and the move to online learning happened just as she and her students in microbial biology were about to start a unit on viruses. Because the course is primarily for biology majors and therefore includes many students with aspirations of being doctors and pharmacists, Ellis expanded the unit to include what we know about COVID-19, and to compare this new virus to Influenza and HIV, which are viruses that have caused pandemics in the recent past.

The class discussed details of how diagnostic tests work, what we know about how the virus replicates inside of our cells, and possible drug targets based on that understanding — always with an emphasis on finding reliable sources with unbiased scientific information. Ellis also presented relative timelines of the rate of discovery about this virus as compared to other pandemic viral outbreaks. “The rate of discovery has given me whiplash, as we went from initial discovery to genome sequenced, to vaccine trials in a matter of weeks!” Ellis said. “In comparison, when HIV was first discovered it took several years for an accurate diagnostic to be developed.”

Dr. Doria Bowers, professor, has been teaching Virology at UNF since 1998. She said that the popular course took an abrupt 180-degree turn when coronavirus was identified first in Wuhan, China, and then in the U.S. With a real-life virus to learn from, she chose to assign the following topics to students: 1) The prediction of a pandemic — Dr. Larry Brilliant, "My wish: Help me stop pandemics" TED talk 2006; 2) “Vaccines work, whether or not you believe in them,” This week in Virology, 2018 (TWIV-496); and 3) “Discovering all the viruses in the world” ASM, 2017 and “Just how contagious is COVID-19? This chart puts it in perspective,” 2020. Bowers said that the assignments have generated many interesting comments from students.


Department of History
History and booksYou might be surprised to learn that historians are engaged with current political and medical developments around COVID-19. Dr. Chau Kelly, associate professor and graduate program director, taught the course Plato to NATO in Science and Medicine in the spring semester. Course reading included multiple books on how scientific and medical discourses engage with questions about dangerous and sometimes infectious agents.

With the arrival of social distancing, Kelly created an alternative graduate project to allow students to reflect upon how the current pandemic was affecting their lives and to consider how historians of the future will examine our experience. “The movement of coronavirus around the world was a source of weekly discussions and one that I noted was a unique opportunity for students to track and observe as it was discussed in policy and medical circles,” Kelly said. Her alternative assignment asked the students to write about the pandemic and life during the experience, while linking to articles and reports about the virus. Kelly also shared information about disease outbreaks via remote instruction from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In the fall, the historian plans to include the COVID-19 pandemic along with other historical disease outbreaks in her course History of Medicine and Disease. When she opens the class with a discussion of quarantine and infectious disease, rather than the SARS outbreak from 2003, Kelly plans to include new material with current events that are now making history. 

Around Campus

First Lady Creates Virtual Storytime for Children

First Lady Maria Szymanski reading to children

UNF’s First Lady Maria Szymanski is a popular visitor at the UNF Preschool, as well as area children's hospitals and local public schools. A former elementary school teacher, the First Lady loves interacting with the children and doing everything she can to help them develop a lifelong love of learning.

With young children and their families at home, Maria Szymanski wanted to provide a way to continue that interaction while giving them something to do during this unusual time of social distancing. So, the First Lady started a virtual storytime, sharing spirited readings of classic stories, engaging lessons and fun activities for children to do at home.

“The storytimes and activities are awesome,” said Mahreen Mian, director of the UNF Preschool. “She is such a great teacher, and the children love her,” said Mian. “I know they miss her, but are so happy to see her face online.”

The stories and activities are not just for the Preschool students, but are used by children throughout Jacksonville and around the country. In less than a month, the First Lady has filmed numerous stories with related activities and lessons. View the First Lady’s storytimes online.

Around Campus

Five Ways to Support Your Health

Five Ways to Support Your HealthWhile there are no magic foods that will prevent illness, there are ways that good nutrition can help keep your immune system strong. In addition to practicing proper hand washing and food safety protocols, you can help support your immune system by adding in some key nutrients. 

Here are FIVE proven ways to help keep your immune system strong: 

  1. Focus on fruits and vegetables: Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that help support your immune system. Try adding in some carrots, broccoli or sweet potatoes for additional vitamin A, which is important in helping to protect against infections and support a strong immune system. Incorporate sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange), kiwi and berries for vitamin C, which helps to protect against immune system deficiencies. Challenge yourself to include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and see how many different colors you can incorporate - the more variety, the better. (Quick Tip: Add some leftover veggies from last night's dinner to your morning eggs or whip up a quick smoothie for breakfast.)


  2. Don't shy away from fat: Healthy, unsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids) can help to decrease inflammation in the body while foods high in saturated and trans fats can be inflammatory. This distinction between the different types of fat is important as chronic inflammation can lead to a host of health conditions. Salmon and sardines are rich sources of EPA and DHA, both of which are anti-inflammatory, omega-3 fats. Non-fish sources of omega-3's include walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds. In addition, oils such as almond and avocado contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant important for immune function. (Quick Tip: Add some chia or flaxseeds to your morning smoothie or if you eat fish, incorporate omega-3 rich fish into your meals 2-3 times a week.)


  3. Add some good bacteria: Defined as "live microorganisms," good bacteria, when eaten in adequate portions as part of food, provide a health benefit.," Probiotics are considered good bacteria, with anti-pathogenic properties important in strengthening the immune system. Probiotic-rich foods include kefir, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. Look for sauerkraut selections that specify "probiotic" or "raw" on the package as pasteurization can kill off the good bacteria naturally contained in fermented foods. (Quick Tip: Add some kefir to your morning smoothie, snack on some probiotic-rich yogurt or add some sauerkraut or kimchi as a condiment to your main meal.)


  4. Pump up the protein: Protein plays a vital role in healing and recovery. Protein can come from both animal and non-animal sources. Aim for a variety of protein sources including nuts, beans, eggs and lean meats. Incorporate some vegetarian sources of protein to change up your meals and add some variety. (Quick Tip: Add some shelled edamame to your salad for added texture and protein or swap out your meat for plant-based proteins such as tofu or tempeh.)


  5. Sleep: In addition to good nutrition, the importance of sleep can't be overlooked. Adequate amounts of sleep are necessary to help support a strong immune system. In fact, lack of sleep has been linked to a variety of mental and physical health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and weakened immune system. (Quick Tip: Try to establish a calming bedtime routine and keep a consistent sleep schedule to avoid disrupting your body's sleep-wake rhythm.)

Bonus Tip: Strive for Balance
Focus on striving for a balanced eating plan and remember that there is no right or wrong way of eating. A balanced diet includes all types of foods that nourish the body and soul. While it’s important to include nutrient-dense foods, it’s equally important to maintain pleasure and enjoyment in our eating, especially during these uncertain times.


Submitted by Jen Ross, DCN, RD, LDN, FAND
Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics

Around Campus

Lending a Helping Hand

One lesson we’ve learned from the current global pandemic is that we’re all in this together. That feeling of community has led many at UNF to reach out to assist area healthcare workers. Here are just a few of those stories:

Supplies for Area Hospitals
Dr. Mei Zhao headshotTwo UNF professors with the help of several community organizations donated much-needed protective equipment to Baptist Health and several other hospitals. Estimated at about $80,000, the donation included 23,000 N95 masks and 14,000 gloves, two necessities in short supply.

Dr. Mei Zhao, professor and chair, Department of Health Administration in Brooks College of Health, initiated the campaign, and the collection drive was organized by the Jacksonville Chinese Association in partnership with Artfully Green Inc., PAX Technology Inc. and American Hongbo Ag Co. Over roughly two weeks, the companies purchased supplies and received donations from around the world.

Dr. Lian An headshotDr. Lian An, professor of economics in the Coggin College of Business, also participated in the campaign. She serves as the current chairwoman of the board of the JCA. She and Zhao identified Baptist as the largest area facility with the most need. Donations were also made to UF Health Jacksonville and Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The two professors explained the reason for the drive. An said that we’re all in this together and keeping our medical people safe protects us all. “Being part of the Jacksonville community, Chinese Americans are grateful and love to support the community when it is in need,” she said.

Zhan also expressed her desire to help the community. When UNF needs help, our local healthcare organizations step up to help,” Zhao said. “I’m glad we can assist them when needed. United we stand and together we are unbeatable.”

Handmade Amanda-Masks
Amanda Lovins sewing masksAmanda Lovins is a three-time Osprey as well as an employee. The associate director of staff support and administration for the College of Arts and Sciences has a bachelor’s and master’s from UNF and is now working on her doctorate in education leadership. When she earned her Bachelor of Science in health in 2012, she also had a concentration in community health, and learned the importance of personal protective equipment.

Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, she heard about the shortage of masks to protect the area’s healthcare providers. When her mother, a nurse in the Memory Care Assisted Living Unit at Fleet Landing, said there were only about 2-3 weeks of supplies left for most healthcare units, she decided to start sewing.

To date, Lovins has donated more than 150 handmade masks to Fleet Landing. In addition, she has made “some pretty stylish” UNF masks for people around campus who needed them. “I have a T-shirt press and vinyl cutter, so I had a little bit of extra fun with some of them!” Lovins said. “When word got out that I was making masks for healthcare workers, several people in COAS donated funds for supplies, fabric and other items – The COAS faculty and staff made it possible to keep sewing for those in need!”

Lovins continues to sew and has since sent out another 65 masks. “I am so glad that something so simple can help so many and it has been an honor to give back to the community with lessons learned at UNF,” Lovins said.

Dr. George Rainbolt, COAS dean, said he’s a recipient of Lovin’s generous donation of time and effort. “As a frequent wearer of an Amanda-mask, I can say that, in addition to being stylish, it is very comfortable,” Rainbolt said. “I wear mine whenever I go to the grocery store or the pharmacy.

College of Health donates pandemic supplies to Baptist Health
Brooks Health donating suppliesBrooks College of Health donated unused lab personal protective equipment to Baptist Health Hospital for their healthcare workers to use as protective gear during this pandemic.

The University was able to donate supplies consisting of gloves, surgical masks, gowns, paper tape, hand sanitizer and Caviwipes. Dr. Curt Lox, dean of Brooks College of Health, took the supplies to the downtown hospital.

Department of Biology
Dr. Adam Rosenblatt, UNF biology professor, collected some extra gloves, masks and safety glasses from the Department of Biology labs and donated a personal protective equipment care package to Baptist Health.


Balloons with UNF logo

Congratulations to the following employees with a milestone anniversary in May:


35 Years
Jeffery Ross, Stores Receivable Supervisor, Physical Facilities

30 Years
Diana Bednarik, Coordinator, Publishing and Product Development, IPTM

20 Years
Tamra Conner, Office Manager, Art, Art History, and Design
Waheeda Rahman, Senior IT Support Technician, User Services

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

10 Years
Jason Jones, Data Architect, Enterprise Systems
Jerry Letterman, Custodial Supervisor, Physical Facilities
Justin Lovins, Financial Systems Analyst, Controller
Donald Simmons, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
LeAnne Thomas, Manager, Accounts Payable Receivable, Controller

5 Years
Laurel Cline, Landscape Grounds Supervisor, Grounds
Ryan Duzon, Assistant Director, Academic Support Services, Enrollment Services Processing Office
Mae Parlette, Assistant Director, DL Course Development, Center for Instruction and Research Technology
Robert Parnell, Senior Accounts Payable Receivable Representative, Controller
Jennifer Perkins, Director, Alumni Engagement
Kristen Pickrell, Office Manager, English

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


Brett Butler, Director, One-Stop Student Services
Randall Crawford, Academic Advisor, COEHS Advising
Aronett Gebhard, IT Support Specialist, User Services
Alarie Gibbs, Coordinator, Academic Support Services, Center for Community-Based Learning
Anita Grant, Executive Secretary, Physical Facilities
Erica Guerrero, Student Financial Aid Coordinator, Financial Aid Office
Ray Hannah, Technical Support Technician, IPTM
Kylie Katers, Assistant Athletic Coach, Strength and Conditioning
Pierr Jean Louis, Senior Floor Care Worker, Custodial Services
Jordan Maiden, Coordinator Energy Management Utilities, Maintenance and Energy Management
Beran Mendez, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Michelle Pickett, Human Resources Associate, Human Resources
Mark Ratliff, Groundskeeper, Grounds
Shannon Stewart, Coordinator Scholarships, Stewardship and Donor Relations
Nichole Vanderpool, Media Relations Specialist, Marketing and Communications
David Zelenka, Director of Development, Brooks College of Health

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:

Shannon Cullen, Coordinator, Membership Engagement, MOCA Jacksonville
Lauren Hodge, Assistant Director, Communications, College of Education and Human Services
Anita Parks, Coordinator, Library Administrative Services 

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

Jamie Lang, IT Support Technician, User Services
Maria Mark, Coordinator, Academic Support Services, Environmental Center
Kayla McClellan, Specialist, Florida Institute of Education
Marie Michel, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities
Taquillia Robinson, Senior Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Amelia Rubino, Administrative Assistant, University Development and Alumni Engagement                
Iris Schwimmer, Accessible Technology Analyst, ADA Compliance
Trisha Sowers, Office Manager, University Housing 

Faculty and Staff

Regalia for UNF faculty and staff accomplishmentsBrooks College of Health


Dr. E. Jane McCarthy, professor of nursing, was recognized by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists for her service in Vietnam as part of their “Voices of Vietnam” tribute online. McCarthy was a First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, serving at the 95th Evacuation Hospital in Da Nang, Vietnam. You can read more details online about her service

Dr. Helene Vossos, director of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-DNP program, will serve as an abstract and presentation reviewer for The American Psychiatric Nurse Association's: “The Evidence for Your Expertise in The Magic of Psychiatric Mental-Health Nursing” at the APNA Annual Fall Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.

Coggin College of Business

Dr. Nathan Kunz
, assistant professor of management, with Ahmad Beltagui and Stefan Gold, recently published “The role of 3D printing and open design on adoption of socially sustainable supply chain innovation,” in the International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 221, March 2020.

College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Cliff Ross, professor and chair of biology, and his colleagues P. Duffin, D. Martin and K. Pagenkopp-Lohan published the article “Integrating host immune status, Labyrinthula spp. load and environment stress in a seagrass pathosystem: Assessing immune markers and scope of a new qPCR primer set” in the journal PLoS ONE.

Dr. Doria Bowers, professor of biology, and her colleagues J. Saredy, F. Chim, Z. Lyski and Y. Ahearn, published the article “Confocal Analysis of the Distribution and Persistence of Sindbis Virus (TaV-GFP) Infection in Midguts of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes" in the journal Microscopy and Microanalysis.


Dr. Fatima Rehman, biology lecturer, published article, doi: 10.1155/2020/4824813, “Elevated Soluble Galectin-3 as a Marker of Chemotherapy Efficacy in Breast Cancer Patients: A prospective study.” in International Journal of Breast Cancer, March.

Dr. Quincy Gibson, associate professor of biology, and student Catherine Yeoman were scheduled to present the poster “Seasonal patterns of skin lesion prevalence and type in St. Johns River, Florida bottlenose dolphin calves” at the Southeast and MidAtlantic Marine Mammal Symposium in Miami in March. At the same conference, Gibson and graduate student Brittney DiVittore Goodrum were scheduled to give an oral presentation “Comparison of Skin Lesions Across Residency Groups of St. Johns River Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).”


Dr. Amy Lane, associate professor of chemistry, and students Garrett Deletti, Sajan Green, Kristen Patterson and Caleb Weber, presented a poster, “The nocardioazine B biosynthetic pathway features indole alkaloid diketopiperazine tailoring by a unique racemase and methyltransferase,” at the Gordon Research Conference for Marine Natural Products in Ventura, California, February. 


Dr. Margaret Stewart, associate professor, communications studies, presented at the 10th annual International Crisis & Risk Communication Conference in March, “Development of STREMII: Five Year Anniversary Review & Reflection of a Model for Crisis Communication and Social Media.”



Dr. Denise I. Bossy , associate professor of history, published a chapter in February: “Yamasee Mobility: Mississippian Roots, Seventeenth-Century Strategies,” in the book “Contact, Colonialism, and Native Communities in the Southeastern United States.”


Dr. Alison J Bruey, professor of history, presented the paper “The Devil Came Down to Chillán: Earthquakes and Popular Knowledge in Modern Chile” at the Florida Conference of Historians 60th Annual Meeting, February 2020. Also, Bruey’s book “Bread, Justice, and Liberty” has been awarded Special Mention by the Latin American Studies Association's Recent History and Memory Section.  

Dr. Charles Closmann, associate professor of history, presented a paper titled, “The Battle of Olustee: Environmental Turning Point of the Civil War in Florida,” at the Annual Meeting of the Florida Conference of Historians; Lake City, Florida; Feb. 28. Closmann also gave an invited presentation titled “The Battle of Olustee: Environmental Turning Point of the Civil War in Florida,” at Florida Gateway College, March 3. 


Dr. Yanek Mieczkowski, visiting eminent scholar at the Department of History, was interviewed by two middle school students, Valli Pendyala and Ria Saxena, in South Windsor, Connecticut, for their National History Day Project on the Soviet Sputnik satellite's impact on space history. In February, two students, Maeve Padien and Sadie Simon, at Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Massachusetts, also interviewed Mieczkowski for their National History Day project on the early space race.


Dr. N. Harry Rothschild, professor of history, wrote a blog for Women's History Month for his book “Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers.” The blog was featured on the Columbia University Press website from March 17-22.


Dr. David Sheffler , associate professor and chair of the Department of History, along with Dr. Felicia Bevel, Dr. Chris Baynard and Dr. Gordon Rakita, won a UNF Foundation Board Grant of $20,000 for their Red Hill Cemetery Project.


Language, Literature and Culture

Dana Deal, department support manager, M.A. in German, presented a talk titled: “Exclusivity and Inclusivity: How Rigid Tradition Impacts Students’ Success in and out of the Classroom in Germany” at the Southeast Conference on Foreign Languages, Literatures and Films in St. Petersburg, Florida, March 7.


School of Music

Lynne Arriale, professor of jazz studies, had her CD, "Chimes of Freedom" reach No. 8 on the National Jazzweek Radio Charts.


Dr. Nick Curry, associate professor of cello, presented research at the American String Teachers Association National Conference.


Mathematics and Statistics

Dr. Michelle DeDeo, associate professor of mathematics and statistics, presented a talk titled “Graph Energy in Interconnection Networks based on Cayley graphs of Permutation groups” at the Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory & Computing, Boca Raton, Florida, March.



Dr. Anita Fuglestad, instructor in psychology, co-authored a paper titled “Four-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of choline for neurodevelopment in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder” published in March in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.


Philosophy and Religious Studies

Dr. Andrew Buchwalter, professor of philosophy, published “Hegel and the Intercultural Conception of Universal Human Rights” in Hegel and Contemporary Practical Philosophy: Beyond Kantian Constructivism, eds. James Gledhill and Sebastian Stein (Routledge), 348-375. Buchwalter also was named to the College of Expert Reviewers of the European Science Foundation.



Dr. Devki N. Talwar, physics instructor, published a collaborative research paper titled “Microstructure and temperature-dependence of Raman scattering properties of β-(AlxGa1-x)2O3 crystals” in the April issue of the Journal of Superlattices and Microstructures, 140, (2020)106469.


College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Dr. Hemani Kaushal, Electrical Engineering, with Ha-Vu Tran, G. Kaddoum, H. Elgala and C. Abou-Rjeily, published “Lightwave Power Transfer for Federated Learning-based Wireless Networks” IEEE Communications Letters, 2020. (DOI: 10.1109/LCOMM.2020.2985698)

The Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering, directed by Dr. Alex Schonning, and the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, hosted the Women Leaders in STEM conference, March 3. Keynote speaker Yolande Piazza spoke about how computing is used in most industries and how women are needed in STEM. Community STEM leaders engaged the UNF and Jacksonville community in engaging discussions on how to advance women in STEM.

Dr. Pat Kreidl, electrical engineering; Dr. Ayan Dutta, computing; and Dr. Swaponeel Roy, computing, received an NSF AWARD: $364,721 for CPS: Small: Collaborative Research: RUI: Towards Efficient and Secure Agricultural Information Collection Using a Multi-Robot System.


College of Education and Human Services

Department of Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education
Christopher Collinsworth, instructor, had the students in his Curriculum and Instruction class successfully present their mock IEP meetings via Zoom with volunteers from our community. 

Department of Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management
Dr. Wanyong Choi, assistant professor, presented his research, “An Examination of the Relationship between Learning Types of Sport Rules and Future Consumption Behavior,” at the IAHPERDS Virtual Summit Conference, April 27.

Dr. E. Newton Jackson, professor, co-presented, “A Women’s Worth: Investigating the Effect of NIL Monetization on NCAA D-I Female College Athletes,” at the IAHPERDS Virtual Summit Conference, April 27.

Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum

Dr. Christine Weber, professor, and co-editor Angela Novak, have published their third volume in a series of service publications on professional learning titled “Best practices in professional learning and teacher preparation in gifted education: Professional development for teachers of the gifted in the content areas.” Within this volume, Weber and co-author Emily Mofield have a chapter titled “Engaging gifted teachers in professional learning about content curriculum.”

In addition, with Novak and Lewis, Weber has an upcoming article titled “Guiding principles in developing equity-driven professional learning for educators of gifted children” in Gifted Child Today.

Dr. Christian Winterbottom, associate professor, with J.S. Nicholson and F.D. Richard, edited the book chapter “Community-Based Transformational Learning through Study Abroad Experiences of Early Childhood Students Mentoring in the United Kingdom,” in “Community-Based Transformational Learning: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry into its Benefits and Challenges,” Bloomsbury Publishing: London, 2020.

Winterbottom, with D. Simpson, P. Mazzocco, S. Loughran, E. Lumsden and R. McDowall Clark, published “Parent-practitioner engagement in preschool education and the threat of negative thinking about the poor across England and the USA,” in Review in Education. In addition, Winterbottom, with E. Ethridge and J. Davis, published “Advocacy in Education: Research-Based Strategies for Teachers, Administrators, Parents, and the Community,” Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, 2020.

Winterbottom has received two funded grants totaling $150,000 from the Professional Development Task Force, Agency for Workforce Innovation, Office of Early Learning, State of Florida.

Taylor Leadership Institute

Dr. Matthew Ohlson, associate professor and director of the Taylor Leadership Institute, completed the Leadership Florida program.

In addition, Ohlson, with S. Shope and J. Johnson, published “The Rural RISE (Rural Inititaives Supporting Excellence) in The Rural Educator, 2020. The article details UNF CAMP Osprey work in rural Putnam County, Florida.

Leadership Practicum students partnered with Ronald McDonald House. See more online in a video about the activities. 

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

Congratulations to our senior student-athletes. Here are just a few highlights about the accomplishments and contributions of our seniors. See all the highlights on the UNF Athletics website

Coach Drsicoll talks about the graduating seniorsASUN Senior Spotlight for North Florida Men's Basketball
With the 2020 ASUN Conference Spring Seasons being cut short due to national health concerns, the league office is pairing up with league coaches to highlight the Class of 2020 and the contributions they made to their respective programs during their time on campus. Watch a video with Coach Matthew Driscoll as he talks about the graduating senior men's basketball players.

Honoring Our Seniors: Charley Castaing and Federico Nani
While the loss of the remainder of a season that started off 8-2 for the Ospreys was cut short due to COVID-19, you can't take away from the accomplishments and contributions made by UNF's seniors. Read more about the contributions of our seniors in men’s tennis.

ASUN Senior Spotlight - UNF Beach Volleyball

With the 2020 ASUN Conference Spring Seasons being cut short due to national health concerns, the league office is pairing up with league coaches to highlight the Class of 2020 and the contributions they made to their respective programs during their time on campus. Read more about our senior beach volleyball players.


Spread the Word

Student working onlineUNF nutrition master’s program ranked No. 1 in country

Looking for a top-rated online nutrition master's program? You don't have to look far. In April, Brooks College of Health's online nutrition master's degree was ranked No. 1 in the country in the 2020 Best Accredited Online Nutrition Master’s Degrees list by Guide to Online Schools.

UNF’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics non-internship degree program with concentrations in professional studies in dietetics, nutritional sciences, global health, and health informatics. The online delivery format allows students flexibility while earning their degree. The key factors in determining the online program rankings include low tuition rates and high average alumni salaries. UNF’s nutrition master’s program students earn a median salary of $127,200 after graduation.


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Inside UNF is a monthly publication produced by UNF Marketing & Communications
Marsha Blasco, Editor
May issue contributing writers: Jen Ross, Emily Simon, Bill Delaney and Isabel Pease.