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InsideOctober 2020

Around Campus

On-Campus COVID Testing Offers 'Win-Win'

On-campus COVID testingNursing student Shannon Kelley said she learns something new every day when she assists with on-campus COVID-19 testing. She and nearly 70 other students are taking the Chronic and Rehabilitation Nursing Practice course in the Brooks College of Health and helping with campus testing to gain needed clinical experience.

“It’s super cool to have this experience,” Kelley said. “COVID has limited the amount of time we can go into the hospital for clinical, so this is giving me the opportunity to work with our staff, teachers and the students as well.” In addition to collecting specimens, Kelley said she is leaning how to deal with patients. “Some are nervous, so we have to be really thorough about explaining things,” she said. “So we’re gaining communication skills as well as getting to learn things ourselves.”

Testing is free for all UNF students, faculty and staff. Walk-in testing is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Osprey Landing, Building W, Room 100. Drive-through testing is available as requested on scheduled Tuesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. in parking lot 9 and 10, behind Osprey Landing, Building W. Only those who test positive will receive a phone call as soon as the results are in, typically within 48 hours.

The nursing students are working under the direction of Dr. Linda Connelly, associate clinical professor, who is teaching the nursing practice class, and Dr. Doreen Perez, COVID Health Coordinator, and adjunct professor. Perez called it a “win-win” for the University and the students. “We really couldn’t do this without the nursing students,” Perez said. “The Health Department doesn’t have the staff. So UNF is getting the healthcare professionals they need, and the nursing students are getting the clinical experience they need.”

The student workers rotate the schedule so that four to seven are available each day. Each week, they are testing about 400 to 600 people. Perez emphasized that the test is not invasive and enters only mid-way in the nose. Some people have watery eyes after the test, but few experience other issues.

Safety is a top priority, and nursing students are required to wear gowns, n-95 face masks, face shields and gloves. “They have every possible personal protective equipment and they have to wear it,” Perez said. Students also handle some clerical work, such as labeling and reports, and then gather at the end of the clinic to share what they did in the clinic and what they learned. “They are learning how to care for people in a community during a pandemic, something you can’t read about in a book,” Perez said. “This is really hands-on information.”

Perez and Connelly are working together to oversee the nurses in training and fill in whenever needed. Connelly said she was concerned about the fall semester, because she anticipated not being able to take her class to clinics they would typically visit in the community. The testing, then, definitely has been a plus. “They are learning critical thinking skills. And they are talking to peers, which I think is pretty special. This is really students helping students. I tell them that we are living history. For all of us, this is the first time we have lived through a pandemic, so we are making history as we live.”

Around Campus

New Role for Dr. Karen Patterson

Dr. Karen Patterson

Dr. Karen Patterson steps into her new role as interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs today.

Deeply embedded in the University, Patterson first came to UNF in 1999 as an adjunct instructor in the College of Education and Human Services. Since then, she progressed through the academic ranks to full professor and served in numerous administrative roles including program director, department chair, dean and associate vice president.

Born and raised on the island of Jamaica, West Indies, Patterson was a first-generation college student. She recalls simple but profound words that her father spoke often as she was growing up. “He would tell me ‘study yuh book,’” Patterson said. The words followed her through various levels of schooling and into her career. She recognized it not only as a message about the importance of education, but of staying focused.

And Patterson has remained focused. Her impact at UNF has been significant, particularly during her time as dean of Undergraduate Studies and associate vice president for Faculty Resources. During her leadership, UNF also saw historic gains in multiple student success metrics, including increases in second-year retention and four-year and six-year graduation rates. The time was particularly rewarding for Patterson as she had an opportunity to interact daily with many areas of the University and countless faculty and staff dedicated to student success. “It was an amazing experience,” Patterson said. “So many people worked together to make sure our students were succeeding – the entire staff in Undergraduate Studies, faculty, Academic Affairs, advisors, Institutional Research, Financial Aid, the Registrar’s office and many others,” Patterson said. “We were able to collaborate daily and use data to make informed decisions that made a difference.”

Patterson looks forward to the days ahead in her new role and the challenges. She is eager to continue to work with faculty and staff to build, as she recently put it, “an even more vibrant community of scholars.”

Around Campus

OneJax is 50 Years Strong

Kyle Reese

Kyle Reese is optimistic about the future of OneJax and the community. As the newly appointed executive director of the nonprofit, Reese spoke before about 400 viewers on a virtual platform Sept. 10 to celebrate the organization’s 50th Humanitarian Awards Dinner and 50 years of providing programs that embrace diversity and promote respect for all people.

“I believe that we are at a pivotal moment in history and that we will emerge stronger, smarter and more courageous than ever,” Reese said. “If nothing else, I hope for a kinder spirit to occupy our hearts and minds. We can do it. We can accomplish anything when we do it together.”

The interfaith organization was formed in 1970 as a local chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, or NCCJ. In 2005, the Jacksonville chapter ended its association with the national group and formed OneJax, which then became an Institute of the University of North Florida in 2012.

While OneJax works closely within the UNF community to support its initiatives, it also supports the broader Northeast Florida region with education, advocacy and community engagement programs, which include interfaith events, the Civil Discourse Project, Community Suppers, OneYouth, Cross-Cultural Educational Forums, Project Breakthrough and OneVoice.

After seven years at the helm, former director Nancy Broner retired in July and transitioned to emeritus status at OneJax. Reese, who joined OneJax as deputy director in 2019, credited Broner with creating exponential growth and helping the organization to secure more grant funding in the past seven years than it had in the previous 43. He also said she was responsible for reaching more people and organizations with programs and services than ever before and for greatly expanding youth programming.

With these programs now in place and others under development, Reese believes that OneJax will continue to be a resource for the community regarding issues of social justice and race. “Diversity, equity and inclusion were always at the heart of our youth programming, and that will continue to grow and expand,” Reese said. And despite today’s challenges, he sees positive things ahead. “I want to assure you that OneJax is in a strong and stable position to move into the future and its new normal, whatever that may turn out to be.”

Watch the award presentation. Register and view the event using the “Auditorium” tab. Memories from past years are available at the “Nostalgia Drive-In.”

Around Campus

Athletics Adds Role of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Ervin Lewis, Athletics

University of North Florida Director of Athletics Lee Moon announced the appointment of Senior Associate Athletic Director Ervin Lewis to the role of Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the Athletic Department.

"I am thrilled to have Ervin filling this very important and influential role for our department," said Moon. "I have asked him to create a committee made up of student-athletes, coaches and administrators that will help develop a platform for open dialogue as well as provide and create opportunities for expressions of concerns by our athletes and staff in regards to a variety of societal issues including racism and social injustice. Our goal is to be a leader for change among our Osprey Family and throughout our campus and the Jacksonville community."

Lewis, who has been a member of the UNF Athletic senior staff cabinet for more than a decade, will represent the department on campus in areas of diversity and inclusion while also chairing an athletic department committee on diversity and inclusion.

"I am truly humbled and honored to serve in the capacity of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Athletics," Lewis shared. "Simply the thought of being able to work with a group of amazing staff members and student-athletes on this committee in an effort to engage in conversations that will result in strategic plans of action in our search for a better tomorrow for us all is very exciting. I understand that this committee assignment and work is important for us all and it will require some tough and uncomfortable conversations. However, I feel that there is no better time than today to continue to educate and help others by standing and speaking on truth and transparency."

The University of North Florida Athletic Department Committee for Diversity and Inclusion will consist of coaches, student-athletes and administrators committed to being catalysts for change and empowerment regarding Diversity and Inclusion. We will stand committed to leading and developing a strategic action plan that will be the result of engaging, listening and educating each other in the areas of diversity, inclusion, racial and social injustice and gender equity. Our goal is to be a leader for change for the University of North Florida and the Jacksonville Community as well as the intercollegiate landscape. Our desire and mission are to become the example of Inclusive Excellence within collegiate athletics.


Submitted by Brian Morgan, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

Around Campus

New Entrepreneurs Emerge

Drew Messer, entrepreneur

Several years ago, Drew Messer and Justin Dennis had a casual conversation over brunch. Little did they know that discussion would kick off an entrepreneurial journey for them both. Today they are the co-founders of an emerging business that has already earned nearly $1 million in revenue and is laying the groundwork to expand beyond Florida into other U.S. states.

The company is Urban Software Development Kit, or Urban SDK, one of six promising businesses to emerge from the UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s first group of start-ups. Last month, one year after the entrepreneurs were accepted into the program, the Center held a graduation and five of the six participated in what’s called a Demo Day to pitch their businesses. Urban SDK was honored with the Mark Dawkins Spirit of Entrepreneurship award, presented to the Founder that most embodied the spirit of entrepreneurship.  

“UNF has been so helpful to us,” Messer said. “They gave us space and provided marketing support as well as interns to help us. We are so very appreciative of what they have done for us.” 

The UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, led by Director Karen Bowling, supports early stage companies with a variety of programs, including business plan development, co-working space, marketing assistance and networking opportunities. It’s six featured emerging companies include Anact, Adeleigh’s Treasure, Baby Boldly, Beem, Tauruseer and Urban SDK.

The co-founders explained that Urban SDK is focused on building software that it licenses to government agencies in order to help them make sense of the enormous amount of data these organizations collect. The software enables them to aggregate the data into meaning information, provide recurring reports and use historical data to make predictions. “We allow our customers to engage in predictive analysis to better understand what will happen over the next 15 minutes or the next 15 years,” Dennis said. In this way, Urban SDK is integrating technology so its clients can make informed decisions that better serve their constituents. “We take all the data and make it understandable so decision-makers have one source of truth they can use to make better decisions with taxpayer dollars, whether that’s an elected official or a city manager or an operations manager.” 

The company began in March 2018 and landed its first client in October of that year. Since then, Urban SDK’s product has been well received. Some of its current clients include the Florida Department of Transportation, North Florida TPO, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Highway Patrol. Urban SDK now has nine employees, including a UNF intern the entrepreneurs hired.

Both Messer and Dennis attribute their success to the fact that they were able to identify and fill a vital need in the marketplace. Assistance and support from UNF and a little good fortune also have been a plus. “In building a new business, things have to fall your way, and things have fallen our way,” Messer said. “We’ve got an incredible product now that customers love. We’re in a great position to succeed.”

Read more about the first graduating cohort from the UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Around Campus

Inside News Roundup

Physics Contest PhotoUNF physics department announces 2020 student photo contest
The University of North Florida’s Department of Physics is now accepting submissions for its 2020 Physics Photo Contest. This annual competition challenges students to take original photos that demonstrate, encompass, and/or involve a natural or contrived concept of physics.  Submissions will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 23. Read more detail about the  submission requirements online


Environmental Center Research Grant Applications
The Environmental Center is now accepting faculty applications for the 2021 Seed Grants. The Seed Grant program was established in order to stimulate the creation of interdisciplinary research projects related to the environment. One grant will be awarded in the amount of $8,000. The deadline for applications is at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25. Further guidelines and grant application are available on the Environmental Center website. Contact: James W. Taylor at or (904) 620-5804.

UNF names Dr. Tru Leverette as new director of Africana studies

UNF has named Dr. Tru Leverette as the director of Africana Studies, a new interdisciplinary major being created in the College of Arts and Science. As director, Leverette will work with a steering committee of faculty who teach in areas relevant to the emergent major to determine the details of this new program of study. Read more about Leverette’s new role.

Nemours Certficiate GraduatesUNF and Nemours celebrate first animal-assisted therapy program certification ceremony
The University of North Florida and Nemours Children’s Specialty Clinic recently honored six UNF graduate students who received their graduate certificate in Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling. The UNF students are health practitioners with the Nemours Children’s Specialty Clinic ADAPT program, a partnership between UNF and Nemours. Read more about the program and partnership

UNF Wind Symphony performance available on Spotify
In July of 2019, 42 students from the University of North Florida’s Wind Symphony ensemble traveled to Buñol, Spain, to perform at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference. One of only two American bands invited to perform at the conference, their performance was recorded and recently released on Spotify. Read more about the performance and access the spotify link

Around Campus

Free October Events

Mark your October calendar for these free events!


Cummer Beaches galleryCummer Beaches Presents an Art Lecture Series
Thursday, Oct. 1, 7-8 p.m.
The Anatomy of a Still Life: Virtual Art History Lecture with Dr. Scott Brown
Learn from home! Cummer Beaches presents a three-part virtual lecture series with P. Scott Brown, Ph.D., professor of art history, University of North Florida. Experience this series of talks highlighting a selection of works in the Cummer Museum’s permanent collection. Registration is free, but required. A Zoom link for access will be sent to all registrants the week of the lecture. Register online

UNF art faculty/students host ‘ArtWork(ers) United’ drive-in-movie experience
Friday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m. 11:59 p.m.
“ArtWork(ers) United,” a drive-in style, all-digital film projection event showcasing over 100 artists presenting visual art, music, poetry, spoken word, dance and video works, will be held on Friday, Oct. 2 from 8 p.m. to midnight at UNF, Lot 14. The film event can be safely experienced from inside an attendee’s parked car with sound transmitted by radio or at home over the live stream. The live-stream link will be posted on the Facebook event page prior to the event. 

Justice Sessions
A year-long virtual webinar and discussion series developed by an interdisciplinary group of UNF departments will feature speakers who will discuss Jacksonville’s history of racial and civil rights struggles.  

  • Baobab Black Arts/Creative Writers Forum; Wednesday, Oct. 7, Noon – 1 p.m. Yvette Angelique and Lizz Straight. Imagination alive ... Arts to help us cross the chasm. Register online.
  • Black Society in Spanish Florida and the Digital Archive;  Wednesday, Oct. 21, Noon – 1 p.m.; Jane Landers: A different pattern of race and relations in Florida and beyond. Register online.

Annual Art, Art History, and Design (AAHD) Faculty Exhibition
Oct. 8 through Nov. 12, 2020 

“How Soon is Now?” at the UNF Gallery of Art
Showcasing AAHD faculty artwork responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis. Gallery hours by appointment in order to comply with campus safety measures. Email to create an appointment.

UNF Wind Symphony onstageUNF Wind Symphony presents 'Our Response Will Be Music'

Part 1, Monday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Part 2, Tuesday, Oct. 13; 7:30 p.m.
Live streamed on the School of Music's YouTube page. Dr. Erin Bodnar conductor; Mr. Moses Evans, graduate conductor

Distinguished Voices Lecture Series
Tuesday, Oct. 20, noon, on Zoom
‘An Update from The Economist’ Henry Curr
Henry Curr is The Economist’s principal leader writer on economics and oversees economics coverage throughout the newspaper. He has written cover stories on fiscal and monetary policy, labor markets, trade, central banks, competition policy, the future of the business cycle, globalization, taxation, trade, housing markets, inequality and “millennial socialism.” In 2018 at the age of 28 he became the youngest economics editor in the history of The Economist. Read more about Henry Curr and the Distinguished Voices Lecture Series and get free e-tickets online.

33rd Annual Great American Jazz Series33rd Annual Great American Jazz Series
Tuesday, Oct. 20-22; Online Zoom Clinics; Noon to 2 p.m.

Trombonist Dave Steinmeyer: A Legend Salutes the Legends with Trombonist Vincent Gardner
Topics: Open Discussion with Dave Steinmeyer and UNF Alum Vincent Gardner; The Business of Music; and Jazz Improvisation and Arranging. J.B. Scott, artistic director. Live streamed on the School of Music's YouTube page.

COAS Scholars Lecture Series featuring Dr. Michael Binder

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 5 – 6 p.m., Online
The Art and Science of Polling in the 2020 Presidential Election
Dr. Michael Binder will provide an overview of how polling works, how to interpret polls, the pros, the cons and how this will play out in the 2020 election. He also will go over the science behind random sampling, the nuts and bolts of election poll sampling in Florida and discuss recent poll results for the upcoming election. Free, but registration required. Learn more and register online

UNF Percussion Ensemble presents ‘Torched and Wrecked’
Friday, October 23, 6:30 p.m.
Live streamed on the School of Music's YouTube page. Including works by Steve Reich, Gemma Peacocke, Quinn Mason, David Skidmore, Andy Akiho, and more. Dr. Andrea Venet, director.

Around Campus

Community First Reopens with New Look

Community First Credit Union of Florida's UNF campus branch

A large image of Ozzie as well as iconic views of UNF now greet customers entering the campus branch of Community First Credit Union of Florida. The new décor, floor plan design and furnishings are all part of a spring renovation undertaken to modernize the branch, which reopened when students returned for fall semester courses.

Participating in the project were students enrolled in a special Consumer Behavior class led by Leslie Gordon, adjunct professor in the Marketing and Logistics Department of the Coggin College of Business. Gordon designed the spring course around the branch renovation as a community-engagement project. The credit union tasked students with three challenges: finding ways to raise awareness, raising retention once students graduate and offering suggestions for the redesign.

When the pandemic made in-person meetings impossible, the students primarily focused on the marketing questions, rather than décor. Gordon said that her students worked virtually in teams in order to review consumer-attitude research, create marketing strategies and then present their final recommendations, which Gordon submitted to Community First. “They really took quite a few of the students’ marketing program ideas to put into practice,” Gordon said. From increasing engagement during campus events to expanding student perks to creating internship opportunities, Community First plans to incorporate student suggestions in about eight areas of operations.

The commitment to renovate was part of the credit union’s agreement last fall to renew its 10-year lease with the University for the current location in the John A. Delaney Student Union, which opened in 2009. Prior to that, the credit union served the campus from another location since the early 2000s. As a longtime corporate partner, Community First provides scholarships and supports numerous UNF initiatives, including the UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Student Emergency Relief Fund, the Alumni Association's Third Thursdays events, orientation programming and Market Days.

Around Campus

Osprey Profiles

Twins Hannah and Rachel Meiners are majoring in International Studies and Spanish with a minor in TESOL. Both will graduate in December and move into the accelerated master program in TESOL, with an expected graduation date in Summer 2021. Self-described as globally minded, it’s not surprising that they are applying for Fulbright scholarships to teach English as a second language in a Spanish speaking country. Beyond that, both might consider teaching English to refugees and immigrants in the United States.

Originally from Sterling, Illinois, they moved to St. Augustine five years ago. They chose UNF for the majors they were seeking and the study abroad opportunities. Though they share majors and ambitions, they have their own unique perspectives on their UNF experiences.

Hannah MeinersMeet Hannah Meiners
What do you like most about UNF? What I like most about UNF is the international friends I have made and the opportunities I have had through my majors. I am thankful to be able to use what I have learned in the classroom outside in a real-world situation. While at UNF, I was an intern at Catholic Charities in the refugee resettlement program and was able to translate for Spanish-speaking refugees. This internship helped me gain a better understanding of the world and how politics effect our communities. Also, I am a part of the student leadership team at the Interfaith Center. I love connecting with students to learn about different worldviews and faiths. The interfaith promotes pluralism and gives students the opportunity to discuss deep topics in a safe judgmental-free environment. Through learning about other faiths, we can learn to respect each other and realize how much we have in common. I have made many friends of other faiths, and we engage in conversations around shared concerns. By overcoming stereotypes, we build mutually inspiring relationships and fight injustice together. 

What has been your coolest UNF experience so far? My coolest experience at UNF was working for the International Center and being a chaperone for a group of South Koreans. As a chaperone, I took students on field trips to Disney, Universal, St. Augustine and around Jacksonville. I enjoyed getting to know the students and helping them with their conversational English. This would be my dream job! I love working with international students and have also worked at UNF’s English Language Program. Through these jobs, I have made lifelong friends from around the world and learned a lot about their cultures. 

What does being an Osprey mean to you? Being an Osprey means I am a part of a diverse and accepting environment. I am proud to be an Osprey because of our values of promoting diversity and inclusion. It means I am supported by a community of educators who want me to succeed. 

When you’re looking to de-stress and relax a bit, where do you go on campus? When I am wanting de-stress my favorite place to go to on campus is Starbucks. I have had many deep conversations, big study sessions, made new friends, and practiced Spanish at Cafecito. I love this spot because it's where I can get away and enjoy some coffee, but also meet up with friends. 

Do you have any advice for high school students? I recommend that high school students get involved in many kinds of activities and get out of their comfort zone. I highly recommend that they study abroad when in college because it will change their lives.

Rachel MeinersMeet Rachel Meiners
What do you like most about UNF? My favorite part of UNF is the English Language Program. I love meeting international students and learning about their culture. As a future TESOL teacher, I enjoy volunteering at the English Language Program and learn how to teach English. I am a part of the Conversation Partner Program and meet up once a week with students to help them practice their English. I also really enjoyed being part of Coggin Delegation. I met international students from all over the world. I even got to visit them in Germany and England when I traveled abroad in Europe. 

What has been your coolest UNF experience so far? On campus, my coolest UNF experience would be ziplining and paddle boarding at Eco Adventures. I love that UNF has these services for free. Outside of campus, my coolest UNF experience would be interning at Catholic Charities. I worked in downtown Jacksonville at the Refugee Resettlement Center and assisted refugees from all over the world. I was able to help set up their new homes when they arrived in the U.S., teach English, and translate Spanish. I learned a lot about what it means to be a refugee and the struggles they face. In the future, I could see myself working at a similar center and teach English.

What does being an Osprey mean to you? Being an Osprey to me means embracing diversity. I am proud to be an Osprey because we embrace different racial and religious backgrounds on campus. I love that UNF has the Department of Diversity Initiatives, which encompasses the Interfaith Center, the Women’s Center, Student Alliance for Inclusion/Diversity, and Intercultural Center for Peace. I have learned how I can embrace diversity and break down stereotypes on campus and within my community. I worked as a student assistant at the Interfaith Center and learned how to promote pluralism and build bridges of interfaith cooperation.

When you’re looking to de-stress and relax a bit, where do you go on campus? There are so many great places on campus to de-stress. UNF’s campus is so relaxing and beautiful. I like to go to the bamboo garden to de-stress. I am lucky that UNF has places like this to unwind. It does not feel as if you are on campus, and it transports you to another place. 

Do you have any advice for high school students? My advice would be not to miss out on all the campus events and clubs. When you graduate, you are not going to remember all the times that you studied, but you will remember the fun times you had. It is important to make memories, take risks and try new things. I recommend going out of your comfort zone and meeting new people who think differently than you. College is a great time to discover who you are and figure out what you like. 

Around Campus

October is LGBTQIA+ Month

UNF President and the First Lady in front of Wings of PrideOctober is LGBTQIA+ History Month and UNF’s LGBT Resource Center has a number of special events planned for the campus community.

The month kicked off today with the unveiling of a multi-location art installation Wings of Pride. President and First Lady Szymanski unveiled pride-themed wings at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library during the opening event and were joined by VP and Chief Diversity Officer Whitney Meyer, Center director Manny Velasquez and keynote speaker Brian Silva, founder and executive director of the National Equality Action Team and the National Equality Action Team Fund.

Other Wings of Pride locations include the Women’s Center, John A. Delaney Student Union and the Fine Arts Building. Each set of wings represents a specific pride flag and shares the flag’s history and significance. Head over to one of the locations to take a selfie in front of the wings to show your pride!

Visit the LGBTQ Center’s website for a full list of LGBTQIA+ History Month events.


Balloons with UNF logo

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

20 Years
Armisha Bartley, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Richmond Wynn, Associate Professor, Public Health

15 Years
Anissa Agne, Assistant VP, Enrollment Financial Aid, Financial Aid Office
Donald Harris, Senior IT Systems Engineer, Systems Engineering
Miwa Nguyen, Director, Academic Advising Services, BCH Advising

10 Years
Kathie Carswell, Coordinator, Outreach and Recruitment, College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Norman Dickerson, Assistant Director, Educational Training Programs, Florida Institute of Education
Ernest Vickers, Senior Heavy Equipment Operator, Physical Facilities

5 Years
Kiersten Lampe, Assistant Director, Educational Services, MOCA Jacksonville
Cindy Lee, Custodial Worker, Student Union
Kristina Phillips, Assistant Director, Benefits Retirement, Human Resources

The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions recently:
Jordan Batchelor, Assistant Athletic Coach, Men's Golf
Courtney Cobb, Assistant Athletic Coach, Women's Golf
Abigail Crosten, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
John Daugherty, Assistant Professor, Music
Kyle Greene, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Marjorie Hartmann, Senior Registered Nurse, Student Health Services
Ryan LaFoy, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Athletics
Josh Linder, Accountant, Controller
Elizabeth McKenna, Assistant Athletic Coach, Women's Swimming
Scott Piersall, Instructor, School of Computing
Emily Putnam, Coordinator, Alumni Services
Susan Sever, Specialist, Florida Institute of Education
Kathryn Shapiro, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Amy Sims, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Christina Stevenson, Academic Support Services Coordinator, One-Stop Center
Kenton Strickland, Office Manager, Office of the Dean of Students
Alina Verdeja, Assistant Athletic Trainer
Christina Walker, Office Manager, Management

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:
Linda Connelly, Associate Professor, Nursing
Ryan Duzon, Associate Director, Enrollment Services Processing
Elizabeth Hardy, Admissions Coordinator, UNF Online
DeAnna Irvin, Director, Academic Support Services, Enrollment Services
Timothy Maddox, Associate Director, Networking Telecommunications
Andrew Morse, Senior Application Systems Analyst, Enterprise Systems
Ernest Vickers, Senior Heavy Equipment Operator, Physical Facilities

Heartfelt wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees who left UNF recently:
Jeff Chieppa, Post-Doctoral Associate, Biology
Susan Daniels, Instructor, School of Computing
Rebecca Durney, Assistant University Librarian
Sarah Flaniken, Instructional Specialist, English Language Program
Emily Frederick, Academic Support Services Coordinator, Undergraduate Studies
Matthew Holcombe, Data Processing Associate, Registrar's Office
Patricia Holley, Training Specialist, Training and Services Institute
Joseph Jackson, Office Manager, Management
Kenneth Jossey, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Omari Kemp, Student Financial Aid Coordinator, Financial Aid Office
Qhamora Kimbrough, Admissions Coordinator, Welcome Center
Chelsea Kisner, Admissions Processing Specialist, Enrollment Services Processing
John Kulpa, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Mark Ratliff, Groundskeeper, Grounds
Kayla Rodriguez, Accounts Payable Receivable Associate, IPTM
Joshua Smith, Instructor, Psychology
Kim Whitney, Accounting Associate, MOCA Jacksonville
Peter Wludyka, Instructor, Mathematics and Statistics


In Memoriam

UNF is saddened to learn of the recent death of Dr. William Ganza, an adjunct instructor in the College of Education and Human Services, who passed away Monday, Sept. 28. Ganza has taught at UNF since 2015 and was an adjunct instructor in the Department of Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management. He was currently teaching the Personnel Management elective in the program, a course he created. Committed to quality education and faculty development, he was a past president of the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children and served as the director of faculty development at the University of St. Augustine. An early supporter of the Higher Education Administration program, Ganza was also a UNF alumnus, receiving a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership in 2012.

Remembering two former faculty members
Two additional members of the UNF family passed away recently — former faculty members Don Farshing and Charles Galloway.

Dr. Donald David Farshing, Jr. died on Sept. 22. A former naval aviator, Farshing managed hydro-mechanical engineering for Eastern Airlines and taught at Florida Community College at Jacksonville prior to his 24-year career at the University of North Florida. Farshing retired from UNF in 2007 at the age of 82 as an associate professor in the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. Read his obituary.

Dr. Charles Galloway passed away Sept. 27. A professor emeritus in the College of Education and Human Services, Galloway retired from UNF in 2006. He served in a number of roles during his time at the University including chair of curriculum and instruction, associate VP of Academic Affairs and several stints as the acting VP of Academic Affairs.

Faculty and Staff

Osprey Fountain Brooks College of Health
Dr. Helene Vossos, director of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-DNP Program, and M. Reeder had the article “Feed America’s Kids. Strengthen Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” accepted in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Elsevier publishing group, 2020. Vosso also was an Invited Reviewer of Education Module, Content Expert: “Pressure Injury and Prevention,” Lippincott: Wolters Kluwer. In addition, Vossos was nominated for President of the American Psychiatric Nurse Association (APNA): Florida Chapter.

Coggin College of Business
Dr. Rachel Frieder
, assistant professor of management, was recently elected to the five-year Officer Rotation of the Southern Management Association (SMA). She will serve as Program Chair Elect of SMA this coming year, followed by Program Chair, Vice President, President, and Past-President (in each of the successive years).

Dr. Gregory Gundlach, Coggin Distinguished Professor of Marketing, presented via zoom “Reflections on Research at the Intersection of Marketing and Law: Discussion, Examples, and Encouragement,” to Ph.D. students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Sept. 25. 

Dr. Natalie Mitchell, instructor in marketing and logistics, published a book chapter as lead author titled, "Understanding the Luxury Brand Consumer: A Proposed Conceptual Framework," in Building Consumer-Brand Relationships in Luxury Brand Management.

College of Arts and Sciences

Art, Art History and Design 

Amy Bennion, assistant professor, was awarded the UFF-UNF Mini-Grant, along with professor Lance Vickery, for the joint project “ArtWork(ers) United," a collaborative effort between community artists, UNF faculty and local advocacy groups, September. Bennion also published work in Brenda Magazine, Issue 6: MEMOIR, September.

Jessica Borusky, newly appointed Gallery director and instructor, published an interview with artist and curator Rick Lowe for Number, Inc. Magazine (Issue 101, March 2020). Borusky also presented a panel discussion on arts education, “Art Education in the Red: Strategies for Cultural Education and Resilience in Underfunded Communities” for Common Field National Convening (Houston, TX- moved online due to COVID). In addition, Borusky was a panelist on performance and digital practices in the Hypothetical Space panel for In-Process: an international performance organization, August, and a panel moderator for the Activist Curation panel, a part of the Baobab Black Art Series through the UNF Department of English, September.

Sheila Goloborotko, associate professor at AAHD, is one of the international artists and curators at the 10th Biennial of Douro, at the Côa, Portugal, August-October. Goloborotko’s work also was selected for the exhibition, “A Peculiar Proximity to Spiritual Mysteries” at the Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA), Kennesaw, GA. The show, curated by Ginger Wolfe-Suarez, interim director, and Pablo Helguera, curator at the MOMA in New York, showcases various key contemporary works from the permanent collection of the ZMA. The curators researched artists of diverse cultural backgrounds in the permanent collection of the ZMA and chose 20 artists to highlight, September-December. In addition, Goloborotko curates the exhibition, “Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia” at MOCA, and presents Curatorial Talks on Sundays, 9/27, 10/11, 11/15, 12/13, and 1/10 from 11 a.m.-noon.

School of Communication
Dr. John H. Parmelee
, professor, and Dr. Nataliya Roman, assistant professor, published an article, “The strength of no-tie relationships: Political leaders’ Instagram posts and their followers’ actions and views” in the journal First Monday, August. 

Dr. Nataliya Roman, assistant professor, Anna Young, and Dr. Stephynie Perkins, associate professor, published the paper, “Displaced & Invisible: Ukrainian Refugee Crisis Coverage in the U.S., UK, Ukrainian and Russian Newspapers,” in a special issue of the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, August.

Criminology and Criminal Justice
Dr. Jennifer Wesely
and her research on canine-inmate programs were featured on Entrepreneurs in Overdrive.


Mr. Marcus Pactor, associate instructor, published the short story “A History of People” in Harsh Literary Journal, August.

Dr. Jessica Stark, instructor, presented a poetry reading on Carolina Quarterly's CQ Speaks Podcast, August. Stark also published the article “What I'm Reading Now” in Tarpaulin Sky, August and was interviewed in “Original Obsessions: An Interview with Jessica Q. Stark” for Tarpaulin Sky, August.

Dr. Michael Wiley, professor, published the novel “Lucky Bones,” August.

Dr. Devki Talwar, visiting faculty, published a peer reviewed research paper titled “Dielectric and energy storage properties of Bi2O3-B2O3-SiO2 doped Ba0.85Ca0.15Zr0.1Ti0.9O3 lead-free glass-ceramics” in the journal of Royal Society of Chemistry 7, 191822 (2020), September.

Political Science and Public Administration
Dr. Michael Binder w
as featured on the front page of the Jacksonville Record and Observer, discussing his work a Director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory. On Oct. 21, he will speak on “The Art and Science of Polling in the 2020 Presidential Election” as part of the COAS Scholars Lecture Series


Dr. Josh Gellers, associate professor, presented the paper, “Greening the Machine Question: Towards an Ecological Framework for Assessing Robot Rights,” at the virtual Robophilosophy Conference, August.

Dr. Emily Maiden, assistant professor, in collaboration with D.B. Guzman and J. Bleck, published a paper “Who Leads? Village Development Committees and Local Governance in Southern Malawi.” Governance; 1-19, August.

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Dr. Jacqueline Meier
, assistant professor, published the paper, “The contextual taphonomy of middens at Neolithic Kfar HaHoresh” in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, September.

Dr. Anne E. Pfister
, assistant professor, published the paper, “Bla, Bla, Bla: Understanding inaccessibility through Mexican Sign Language expressions" in Sign Language Ideologies in Practice (Edited by Annelies Kusters, Mara Green, Erin Moriarty and Kristin Snoddon) De Gruyter Mouton Press, August.

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Dr. Brian Kopp
(electrical engineering – first inventor) received a patent titled: Integrated System for Optimal Extraction of Head-Driven Tidal Energy with Minimal or No Adverse Environmental Effects – Working with UNF Taylor Engineering Research Institute. 

College of Education and Human Services
Dr. Terry Cavanaugh
, Dr. Dan Dinsmore and Dr. Paul Parkison were recently promoted to professor.

June Ann LeFors was appointed to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind Board of Trustees by Gov. Ron DeSantis. LeFors recently joined the COEHS team and is an instructor in the Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education Program. Read more about Lefors’ appointment

The new Dr. Katherine M. Kasten Doctoral Advising and Mentoring Award was announced by program faculty at the Ed.D. programwide meeting Sept. 9. Dr. Katherine Kasten was one of the founding faculty members of the Ed.D. in educational leadership program and her leadership was instrumental in developing and implementing the Ed.D. program. During her time working with the program, Kasten was program director and chaired 45 doctoral dissertations. The faculty and administration wanted to honor Kasten’s longtime commitment, leadership and legacy to the doctoral program by adding her name to the award, which will be given annually to a COEHS faculty member for excellence, innovation and effectiveness in doctoral dissertation advising and mentoring.

Dr. Anne Swanson was announced as the 2019-20 inaugural winner of the Katherine M. Kasten Doctoral Advising and Mentoring Award. Swanson taught research foundation courses in the program and advised and mentored countless first semester doctoral students over the past five years. She also successfully chaired eight doctoral dissertations and served on 10 other dissertation committees between fall 2015 and summer 2020. In 2017, one of her advisees, Dr. Travis Henderson’s, was awarded the Thomas A. Mulkeen Dissertation Award, given annually to the student whose dissertation best exemplifies practice-centered inquiry. Swanson earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, Administration and Supervision from Loyola University in Chicago and was an assistant superintendent for Woodland School District in Illinois before coming to UNF. 

Dr. Hope Wilson, associate professor of education, was recently featured on the MindMatters podcast where she and Erin Miller discussed "Misinformation, Misunderstandings, and Myths in Education" in Episode 66. Listen to the podcast

Thomas G. Carpenter Library
Metadata librarian Marielle Veve presented the poster session “Getting ETDs into ProQuest: A Comparative Analysis of the Online Submission Options Available in the Digital Age” at the USETDA 2020 Virtual Conference Sept. 23.

Around Campus

Fall Superfoods for Good Health

Fall vegetables

Fall is here and the cooler temps make cozy comfort foods seem more appealing than ever. Did you know that many fall foods are superfoods? Fall produce and seasonal flavors allow home cooks to make supercharged swaps for traditional ingredients in some of our favorite dishes, from soul-warming casseroles to bountiful pasta medleys. 

There's no better time to load up on fresh produce like apples, squash, beets, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, kale, pumpkin and potatoes during the harvest season when they're at their peak. Using in-season fruits and veggies brings out the best flavors in this collection of easy dinner and lunch ideas. 

  • Squash is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber which help blood pressure and vision. Try some pumpkin overnight oats, butternut squash soup or acorn squash with brown rice and turkey sausage.
  • Fall fruits such as apples and pears are high in fiber and been shown to help heart health. Try apple compote with yogurt or gorgonzola pear chicken salad.
  • The Brassica Family also known as the cruciferous are rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, and folic acid which are good is good for your blood and are anti-oxidants. Try roasted Brussels sprouts with cranberries, throw kale in your smoothie or stir-fry broccoli and shrimp.

Contributed by Dr. Lauri Wright, Assistant Professor, Chair and DCN Co-Director

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

Emily KohlerKohler Earns ASUN Women's Track All-Decade Accolades
Emily Kohler, '06, earned a spot on the 2000-09 ASUN Women's Track and Field All-Decade Team, announced by the conference office. Kohler, a member of the 2016 UNF Hall of Fame Class, was the Most Outstanding Field Performer at the 2006 ASUN Outdoor Championship. Kohler is one of two student-athletes from North Florida to be a three-time event winner at the Championship. Read more about Emily Kohler and the All-Decade designation.

Jeff Davis, golferASUN All-Decade 2001-10: Men's Golf - Jeff Dennis
Former North Florida golf standout Jeff Dennis was one of 20 student-athletes named to the ASUN Conference Men's Golf 2001-10 All-Decade Team as announced by the league office. The 2006 ASUN Freshman of the Year, Dennis was a three-time All-ASUN selection with three ASUN Championship Top-10 finishes (2007-09). Dennis helped the Ospreys capture the program's first-ever ASUN Championship crown in 2008. Read more about Jeff Dennis.


Athletics Achieves Goal with 904 Day Campaign
Last month, the North Florida Athletic Department successfully completed its inaugural 904 Day campaign raising the needed academic resource funds to triple the number of laptops available for use by the Student-Athlete Center for Excellence. The final numbers for the day included $16,230 raised via 220 generous donor contributions. Those donations combined with other available resources amounted to the total needed to purchase 28 new laptops. Read more about the donations received and how to donate.


Amanda DaveyDavey Earns ASUN Women's Cross Country All-Decade Honors
Amanda Davey, '08, earned a spot on the 2000-09 ASUN Women's Cross Country All-Decade Team, announced by the conference office Wednesday. Davey is one of four student-athletes from the Ospreys to be named to the ASUN All-Conference First Team twice during a career, earning the distinction in 2006 and 2007. She finished her career with two ASUN Runner of the Week awards. Read more about Davey and the All-Decade Honors.

Around Campus

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Two Years Ranked as one of the “Best Colleges” in the Nation

USA mapA full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, and a commitment to produce groundbreaking faculty research are a few of the ways that U.S. News & World Report selects universities for its national ranking. For the second straight year, the organization named UNF among the best national universities for its 2021 edition of Best Colleges.

The U.S. News rankings are based on key measures of quality including academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, class size, student-faculty ratio, and the percentage of faculty with the top academic degree. View the full 2021 Best Colleges list.

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

October issue contributing writers:  Dr. Lauri Wright, Assistant Professor, Chair and DCN Co-Director; Brian Morgan, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications; Isabel Pease, Assistant Vice President, Marketing