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InsideSeptember 2020

Around Campus

Swimmers Eager to Make a Splash on Campus

Architectural renderings of planned Aquatic Center


Student-athlete and junior Anne Fletcher can’t think of a better way to finish her swimming career at UNF than training and competing in a new pool on campus. “I was told on my recruiting trip of the possibility of having a pool by my senior year, so seeing that become a reality is extremely exciting,” Fletcher said.

Seeing was believing in late August when construction fences went up and equipment began moving dirt to make way for a new athletic complex that will include a 50-meter Olympic-size concrete pool with nine swim lanes, along with LED scoreboard and competition timing system. Plans also include three buildings with workspace for lifeguards, changing area, restrooms, pool equipment and pool storage, and space for a swim team locker facility.

Located behind the Student Wellness Complex and adjacent to the Softball Stadium and the Field House, the new swimming complex is expected to be completed in June 2021. When it opens, after an eight-year wait, the 24 swimmers in UNF’s NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming program will have the ability to train and compete on campus instead of traveling to area high school pools.

In addition to the swim team, all student-athletes and University students will have access to the pool. Ashley Ballard, senior director of Recreation and Wellness, said that although no detailed plans have been finalized, students will have access to the new pool through Recreation and Wellness. “As of now, RecWell and Athletics have been slated to jointly manage the pool,” Ballard said. “We are very excited about partnering with Athletics on this facility.”

A Home of Their Own
If all goes as planned, Coach Ian Coffey expects his team to be swimming in the new pool this time next year. “Our swimmers are looking forward to having a home of their own,” Coffey said. “This will cut down on a lot of driving, and also it brings a different atmosphere knowing that this is our pool, this is our home, this is where we train, this is where we’ll have our competitions, which makes the program more visible to the campus community.”

Since joining UNF as head swim coach in 2014, Coffey has been commuting with the team to area pools, first Episcopal High School for two and a half years, then at The Bolles School, where the team now practices. The previous campus pool, the Andy W. Sears pool, was closed in 2013 due to the magnitude of needed repairs. The Field House, an indoor facility for recreational basketball and volleyball, now stands in that location.

Despite the inconvenience of traveling to practice and competitions, UNF’s swimming program has added new school records and improved each year. In February 2019, UNF concluded the CCSA Championships with 15 swimmers in the finals, the best finish for the Ospreys in program history. In addition, five swimmers competed in the 2019 National Invitational Championship held at Cleveland State.

“It’s really a testament to our student athletes,” Coffey said. “They do very well in school, they work hard in the pool, they really don’t care that they have to drive somewhere and they all understand what goals are of the program.” Yet, there is no doubt for the coach that the new pool will be a plus for recruiting. “It’s really going to bring a new aspect to our recruiting, because this will now be the focal point,” Coffey said.

Meeting Title IX requirements
Athletic Director Lee Moon has been hoping for the new pool since the old one was closed. In evaluating campus facilities, he said he’s had two priorities to help the University meet its Title IX requirements and provide more opportunities for young women: adding a beach volleyball court and an NCAA competition pool. The beach volleyball court opened in February 2020, and planning for the pool has been ongoing since late 2018.

To begin that planning, UNF formed a building committee with representatives from Athletics, Recreation and Wellness and Student Government. In August of 2019, UNF selected Borelli + Partners, a Florida architecture and design firm, and a month later hired Ajax to manage the construction. Funding for the pool was provided through UNF’s Capital Improvement Fund. The Guaranteed Maximum Price awarded has been set at $8.26 million.

Though it’s been a long time coming, Moon said he expects that seeing shovels in ground and tractors moving dirt around finally will make the project seem real to everyone. “Having a vision and seeing a rendering can be thrilling, but when the actual construction begins on a project, that’s when and where the true joy and excitement arrive,” Moon said.

Around Campus

Data Science Program Scores Another Win

FL-DSSG Big Reveal over Zoom

Success is clearly the trend for a one-of-a-kind summer internship program in Florida, created and run at UNF. Referred to as FL-DSSG, or Florida Data Science for Social Good, the project has completed its fourth year, and a team of interns once again has succeeded at finding data-driven solutions for area nonprofits.

Temple DePlato, the assistant vice president of Quality and Risk Management at Episcopal Children’s Services, one of three nonprofits participating in the summer program, called the team’s results “amazing.” Speaking over Zoom at the program’s annual Big Reveal Aug. 18, DePlato explained that the organization operates with limited funding to provide early childhood services that improve school readiness. Having a better way to find the area’s most vulnerable families would improve the organization’s impact.

To solve the problem, the interns used multiple data sources to create an interactive dashboard with profiles of area neighborhoods. “Our vision was just to have a basic heat map that would guide us to where to find those families and serve them,” DePlato said. “This decision tool that has been created by the team allows us to do so much more … we’ve just been amazed with the outcomes.”

Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy (left) and Dr. Dan Richard presenting in 2019Reasons behind the success
The seven-member team of interns, comprised of students from UNF and other Florida universities, also worked with the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida and the Center for Children’s Rights. For each project, they were guided by the program’s creators, Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy, associate professor in the School of Computing, and Dr. Dan Richard, director for Center for Community-Based Learning and associate professor of psychology. In addition, students relied on expertise from community mentors and UNF faculty.

Speaking prior to The Big Reveal, Umapathy described the role of mentors this summer as “very powerful.” He explained that unlike classwork with the sole consequence of a grade, the nonprofit projects have a dramatic human impact. With only 12 weeks to find solutions, there is an urgency to find the right answers and avoid mistakes. For example, while using a data visualization software, the team hit a few roadblocks. “We needed tricks and tips to get over the limitations of the tool, so our mentors gave us some tips that allowed us to add more information,” Umapathy said. “Their guidance and directions were critical to our success.”

Richard said the interns also benefited from the expertise of UNF faculty. For example, Dr. Jody Nicholson, associate professor of psychology, gave advice on the cognitive development in children, which allowed the team to select the most important variables for the dashboard. “They were getting advice from data scientists who are actually working in the industry and also getting domain expertise from facility at the academic institution,” Richard said. “All these people came together to serve the needs of the community.”

How students benefit
In part, Umapathy and Richard created the program in 2017 to help students develop their skills in data science, an important emerging field. Yet, there was more. “Of course, the purpose for this data science is to do social good as well,” Richard said. “We are training data scientists to have a social conscience, and that’s the purpose of the internship.”

In addition, the interns have a unique opportunity to work with real-world data and real-world issues. “They’ve learned that sometimes data is messy, sometimes it’s not well organized,” Richard said. “They also learned that data is really about people. They can crunch numbers and run reports, but ultimately we have to draw conclusions that impact human beings.”

Dr. Chip Klostermeyer, dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, told the Zoom audience that he considers the FL-DSSG one of the signature programs at UNF. “It embodies everything that UNF is about, all that we value,” he said. “I really want to thank Karthik and Dan and all the people who work at it. I’m really proud of them. They put a lot of time and their own resources into this project. It’s really a labor of love. It’s just such a joy to watch.”


Read more about the 2020 program online.

Around Campus

Reflecting the Times with Music

Dr. Clarence Hines on trombone; James Jenkins on tuba

To find an engaging piece of music to perform for a virtual concert, Dr. Clarence Hines looked back to the year 1942 and the song “Come Sunday” by Duke Ellington. The trombonist and director of the UNF School of Music made his choice not only because he’s an Ellington fan, but because he felt the song’s lyrics about racial struggles were meaningful today.

“I was thinking about all of the protests that happened this summer, and I wanted to write and play something that was relevant,” he said. “To me ‘Come Sunday’ represents the struggle for social justice and related to what was going on with the police brutality of George Floyd. The song also has a spiritual message about Black people turning to religion to see them through troubled times.”

Hines then wrote a new instrumental arrangement of the song for trombone and tuba. His efforts were well received. The Boston Symphony Orchestra featured the arrangement in its Tanglewood Virtual Music Festival Series Aug. 14, reaching a national audience.

Ironically, Hines hadn’t planned to submit the music to the Boston Symphony. At the time, he was working with several UNF musicians to produce their own virtual concert and had planned to perform the arrangement with fellow musician James Jenkins, principal tuba with the Jacksonville Symphony and adjunct professor at UNF. That all changed when a musician from the Boston Symphony reached out to Jenkins to see if he knew of any new music, and Jenkins sent him to Hines. 

“So my name was thrown into the hat, but I hadn’t written the piece yet,” said Hines, who expected to have several more weeks to finish the work. “This was on a Friday afternoon, and I had to finish the arrangement by Sunday morning to get it to them in time to make a decision by Monday. In the end, however, it was a success. Not only did the orchestra perform the song, but Hines and Jenkins did as well. Hines recorded three parts on his own and then submitted the music to Jenkins who recorded his part. 

A lesson for UNF music students
The music Hines wrote also serves as a real-life example for UNF students in the jazz arranging course that Hines is teaching this fall. Late in the summer, he sent the video of his performance to students. “I wanted them to know that I’m dealing with the same thing they are dealing with,” he said. “I wanted to encourage them to be open to the possibilities of collaborating with other musicians in ways that continue to provide challenging and rewarding experiences.”

In his course, Hines will be teaching student musicians how to write and arrange music for various types of ensembles, from small jazz combos to big bands to studio orchestra. They will be recording their music at home and the final project will be a virtual ensemble performance. 

Though they would all prefer in-person performances, Hines said that using technology has a definite upside because musicians no longer compose on paper and hand it off to someone else to finalize. “It’s challenging, but it’s a good challenge,” he said. “It’s important that they embrace technology because it is necessary for success in the real world.”

Watch the video recording of “Come Sunday” as written and performed by Dr. Clarence Hines, trombone, with James Jenkins on tuba.

Around Campus

Online Creativity Gets Top Marks from Honors Students

Hicks Honors College bannerIf every cloud has a silver lining, then maybe even a pandemic can produce a bright spot. This summer, 13 students from Hicks Honors College used their creativity to do just that.

These student facilitators ― sophomores, juniors and seniors ― worked remotely with Leslie Kaplan, director of the Honors College, to switch a three-day in-person retreat into a virtual event for 266 freshmen, a record enrollment. As in other years, the retreat was held the week just prior to the start of classes. For their efforts, the facilitators received top marks from the freshman class, who in a follow-up survey overwhelmingly rated the retreat as a worthwhile experience. In addition, more than 90% of those surveyed agreed that the retreat had provided a sense of community, the same level of positive response given in the 2019 survey.

According to Kaplan, that was no small accomplishment. “We don’t even change the schedule for the retreat anymore because after so many years we have got this thing perfected,” Kaplan said. “So then, what do we do when it has to go remote? How are we going to make this retreat make sense for the largest class we’ve ever had?”

To begin, Kaplan and the students examined each activity, discussed the purpose of each and looked for remote ways to achieve the same goals. “There are some gifts that remote gives you, and what we were trying to do was figure out how do we maximize those gifts and how do we avoid doing things that really are better in-person,” Kaplan said.

The problem-solving team of students replaced the eco adventures, which offer physical and team-building activities, with Zoom Olympics. Collaborating in remote groups, participants took on challenges at home, hoping to outscore the competition.

In addition, an “All We Share” activity that Kaplan had done several times in-person was actually more successful on Zoom and one of the most enjoyed student activities. Facilitators ask questions to connect students with common interests, such as “Do you like outdoor activities?” Instead of standing in a circle and responding yes by stepping forward, participants on Zoom started with their cameras off and responded yes by turning on their cameras.

Freshmen also participated in a home scavenger hunt. The facilitator would name an object and everyone would rush to find it. Kaplan said she participated in one of those hunts, which for her was a favorite of the retreat. And though she said not all virtual events were better than in-person, there were some bright spots.

“We asked them to get something they loved and many of them brought a parent or sibling or pets back to the Zoom screen, which was very touching,” Kaplan said. “And, as a teacher, how often do I get to meet their families or pets?”

Faculty Forum

Meet Jessica Borusky

Gallery director Jessica BoruskyJessica Borusky is UNF’s new gallery director and instructor in Art, Art History, and Design in the College of Arts and Sciences. Borusky has a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Tufts University and School of the Museum of Fine Arts, with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies through the MIT Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium. Currently teaching Gallery Practices, Borusky is working with the department on other courses that reflect a diverse background in arts and social justice, queer-feminist art and theory, new media in art, and arts administration.

What brought you to UNF? When interviewing for the position, I was deeply moved by the empowering relationships between the AAHD faculty and students, which generate and promote camaraderie within the classroom and through activities that connect with the greater Jacksonville community in sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. This kind of connectivity and emphasis on varied and inclusive learning practices is transformative for undergraduate education, particularly for a school whose demographic includes many first-generation college students.

What research are you doing? As a curator and educator, what is unique to my position is that it is praxis: what I research within the field can be materialized on campus, benefiting the campus and local community, student learning initiatives, artistic research and practice. As a writer, I am working on how to navigate writing art reviews and interviews during a time in which experiential practices have changed so drastically during the pandemic, and the socio-economic, cultural and racial issues in our nation are newly highlighted. As an artist, I am beginning research on a project connecting the Florida housing crisis from the 2000s, to housing schemes in South Florida from the turn of the 20th century, to memoir and queer theory dealing with domesticity.

What’s one thing in your field of study that people might not know? While the field is certainly capitalist-driven (who pays for what to be seen and circulated, for example), the methods, practices, and engagement within art are quite prismatic. In short, there are many art worlds: many ways to cultivate cultural practice, work within different organizational approaches to art, myriad forms of audience engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration. Art is not a fixed and dislocated field; it is a product, and reflection, of a rich assemblage of its current conditions ― a thick and detailed tapestry of influences, forms, reactions/responses, identifications, media, politics and history. Art engages the simultaneity of the corners of a/the world in which the work was made and shown, alongside and within the viewers’ present condition and all the externalities that envelop them.

If you weren’t teaching, what else would you be doing why?
Teaching infuses itself into my curatorial and writing practices, as there is inherently a platform for learning and discussion. However, if I were to remove myself from all these aspects of my work, I think I would more deeply pursue my poetic and essay writing practice.

What is your personal philosophy?
“What you pay attention to grows” is a quote from writer and activist Adrienne Maree Brown. Recently, this thought has enmeshed itself into, not only an understanding of my personal resilience, but as a consideration for my academic and creative practices. For, this action can materialize through negative or positive forces ― it can be applied to ways in which we try to improve ourselves, learn, grow; show empathy and compassion toward ourselves and others; examine the world around us. In an economy that buys and sells our attention at rapid pace, this idea becomes critical and vital to our personal and collective capacities.

If the world were silent for 20 seconds and all ears were turned to you, what would you say? Nothing: how incredible would it be if the world were silent for 20 seconds? I’d want to participate in that phenomenon.

What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate? Advice a mentor offered me: When you sail, you may understand you have a destination, but you never get there in a straight path. Rather, in order to achieve this task, you must work with your vessel and realize that you will ebb and flow, you will ride with and against the tide, you will capsize, you will have to cut back and forth ― zigzag ― in order to keep moving toward that destination; at times, your journey will feel cyclical, circular, not linear. As long as you know your destination (your purpose) and you work with your vessel (your toolbox, resilience, resources within and around you) you will reach the space/place you need to.

Who is your favorite fictional character? I think our favorite fictional characters change again and again. I read Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys a few months ago, and the central character, Sasha Jansen, has lingered with me this summer. Perhaps because the pandemic has generated a different and difficult relationship with time/space, I find Sasha to be a fantastic femme-response to the Flaneur, a strange and seemingly relevant figure.

Where is the best place you’ve visited? Morni Hills, India (outside of Chandigarh) is a very special place to me, as I had the opportunity to meet ― what I consider now ― to be my international art family. I look forward to reconnecting with Morni Hills once we determine how to globally care for one another during this pandemic.

How do you recharge? A few ways: having days or weekends in which I do not speak to anyone, visiting the water, keeping a journal, practicing yoga, and reading different periodicals and books that are not directly connected to my courses.

What do you like most about Jacksonville? Where else have you lived? As someone who grew up in the Tampa/St.Pete/Clearwater area, I am deeply appreciating the coastal ecological difference in the Jacksonville area. I have also lived in Sarasota, South Florida, Boston, Kansas City, Tulsa, Atlanta and Nashville.

Around Campus

Inside News Roundup

Here’s a recap of UNF news that you might have missed:

University recognizes two employees as Osprey Heroes for dedicated service
Stephanie RaceStephanie Race, head of Research and Outreach at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library, quickly found a way to help others when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Race decided she could serve the community by sewing face masks.

“From a young age, my parents instilled in my sisters and me the value of helping others,” Race said. “When things started to shut down and people wanted to take precautions, I saw several patterns for making masks. I knew my sisters and I had the resources, and this was a need we could help fill.” Read the full story about Stephanie Race online

Dr. Lauri WrightDr. Lauri Wright, associate professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, helped established and now oversees two programs ― UNF Food Fighters and Meals on Wings ― that are feeding people in our area who don’t always know where they will find their next meal. Meals on Wings, the newest of the two, was created to provide food for hundreds of homebound seniors in Duval County who remain on the waiting list for the county program Meals on Wheels, due to a lack of funding. Unused food that would normally be wasted is collected from Baptist Medical Center and other local hospitals and then repackaged and delivered to these seniors. Read more about Dr. Lauri Wright online.

Business Journal Recognizes Dean for Leadership
Dr. Diane Yendol-HoppeyDiane Yendol-Hoppey, UNF professor and dean of the College of Education and Human Services, has been named a 2020 Women of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal. The award recognizes women leaders in Northeast Florida whose leadership has helped their organizations grow and has shaped the next generation by providing a model for the community. Nominated by her colleagues within the College of Education and Human Services, Yendol-Hoppey has been a strong leader and mentor at the University. Read more about the award online.

Tommy G’s is Back
The Thomas G. Carpenter Library, aka Tommy G’s, an essential part of the campus and now has made some important changes to provide a safe environment for all Ospreys this semester. Thanks to the work of a dedicated group of faculty, staff, and students, the library was able to remove miles of shelving, actually 5.4 miles, in order to provide additional space for students in what is an often crowded building. Now social distancing can be maintained and furniture can be spread out in the rearranged space. Read more online about the changes to the Library.

A Dozen Years as Healthiest Company
The University of North Florida has been awarded the Platinum Level Award for the 2020 Healthiest Companies by the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council. This is the 12th consecutive year that UNF has received the Healthiest Company award. As a Platinum Award winner, UNF is recognized for its outstanding commitment to a healthy environment and its noteworthy strides to improve the health and well-being of its campus community. Read more about the award online.

Around Campus

September Events

Mark your September calendar for these events!


Let’s Get In 'Good Trouble:' 21 Days of Awareness, Engagement and Action
Begins Tuesday, Sept. 1
The Department of Diversity Initiatives invites you to participate in a 21-day challenge, inspired by the life and legacy of John Lewis. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1, you can become an #OspreyMakingChangePossible and "get in good trouble," as you participate in a series of activities designed to heighten awareness of social inequalities and explore ways to personally become involved in advancing social change. Find a detailed schedule of events online and follow @unfddi on Instagram.

The Justice Sessions
A year-long virtual webinar and discussion series titled “The Justice Sessions” has been developed by an interdisciplinary group of University of North Florida departments and will feature speakers from UNF and the local community who will discuss Jacksonville’s history of racial and civil rights struggles. Sessions will take place noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays during fall semester. September dates and topics are listed below. Find other sessions and Zoom registration online

  • Sept. 9 – “Reading James Weldon Johnson in Jacksonville” featuring Paige Perez, UNF English instructor and alumna, and Dr. Keith Cartwright, UNF English chair/professor, discussing what’s at stake in reading our most accomplished public figure.
  • Sept. 23 – “Jacksonville Consolidation” featuring Ben Frazier, founder/president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, addressing social, racial and economic injustice in the consolidation of metro Jacksonville.

OneJax Humanitarium Awards OneJax 50th Humanitarian Awards Event
Thursday, Sept. 10
Virtual Networking Reception: 6-7 p.m.; Virtual Event: 7-8 p.m.
Free, but online registration is required
Join OneJax for its very first virtual Humanitarian Awards event and celebration of its 50th anniversary. OneJax will highlight this year’s honorees and take a brief look at the history of the organization. Find more information about this year’s honorees and Onejax online.

Pre[serve] Art Exhibition

Thursday, Sept. 10 — Wednesday, Sept. 30

Location: Lufrano Intercultural Gallery
By appointment only
The fourth annual Pre[serve] Art Exhibition was originally scheduled to open in March but had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19. There will be no opening reception. Please send an email for information on visiting the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery. The exhibition is a student and alumni juried exhibition featuring works inspired by the Sawmill Slough Preserve, a 382-acre nature preserve located in the UNF campus. The event is sponsored by the Environmental Center and the Department of Art, Art History and Design, with support from the Cummer Family Foundation and Lufrano Intercultural Gallery.

Healthy Osprey Teaching Kitchen Cooking Demonstration
Wednesday, Sept. 23, noon to 9 a.m.
Instagram @unfnutrition
Join the wellness dieticians, Kelly Schooley and Chelsea Chandler, in a virtual cooking demonstration using the Healthy Osprey Teaching Kitchen


Balloons with UNF logo

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

25 Years
Michael Fritts, Coordinator, Classification and Compensation, Human Resources

20 Years
Matthew Taylor, Manager, Police Communications, University Police Department

15 Years
Maria Castro, Coordinator, Career Development Services, University Housing
Richard Elmore, Assistant Director, University Facilities Planning

10 Years
Amy Bishop, Academic Advisor, CCB Advising
Carrie Cragun-Atchison, Psychologist, Counseling Center
Dong-Young Kim, Professor, Management
Adam Margulies, Coordinator, Budgets, Business Services 

5 Years
Heather Corbitt, Assistant Director, Student Union
Ricarla Jackson, Coordinator, Admininistrative Services, College of Arts and Sciences
Joseph Janaski, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department
Dee Dee Jones, Accounts Payable/Receivable Associate, Controller
Sylvia Johnson, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Melanie Plourde, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Dina Ricco, Mental Health Counselor, Counseling Center
Andrew Rush, Course Media Developer, Distance Learning Fee

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

Fnu Amrita, Instructor, Management
Nicole Andreoni, Assistant Professor, Art, Art History, and Design
Tamer Arafa, Assistant Professor, School of Computing
Stephanie McLain Araujo, Instructor, Communication
Elizabeth Aull, Instructor, Nursing
Donna Bailey, Assistant Professor, Art, Art History, and Design
Tamara Baker, Instructor, Construction Management
Kara Barber, Assistant Director, Coggin College of Business
Eli Beal, Lecturer, Biology
Frederick Beck, Chief Medical Officer, Student Health Services
Antoine Bedard, Lecturer, Physics
Amy Bennion, Assistant Professor, Art, Art History, and Design
Evelyn Blanch-Payne, Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology
Jessica Borusky, Instructor, Art, Art History, and Design
Samantha Brown, Assistant Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Lisa Byrge, Assistant Professor, Psychology
James Clyburn, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department
Ian Crawford-Goss, Instructor, Physics
Sara Davis, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Jan Duggar, Instructor, Economics
Hank Eng, Lecturer, Chemistry
Kaitlyn Erhardt, Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology
Mohammadjavad Farrokhi, Lecturer, Physics
Sean Freeder, Assistant Professor, Political Science & Public Administration
Leonard Fritz, Instructor, Transportation and Logistics
Terrie Galanti, Assistant Professor, Foundations and Secondary Education
Miriam Griffin, Instructor, Nursing
William Harding, IT Security Analyst, IT Security
Stephanie Hooper, Instructor, Public Health
Danielle Hoyt, Instructor, Mathematics and Statistics
Matz Indergard, Lecturer, Biology
Emeline Jones, Admissions Coordinator, Admissions
David Justice, Assistant Professor, History
Indika Kahanda, Assistant Professor, School of Computing
Vamsi Kalasapudi, Assistant Professor, Construction Management
Upulee Kanewala, Assistant Professor, School of Computing
Lauren Kelly, IT Software Engineer, Enterprise Systems
Jonghoon Kim, Assistant Professor, Construction Management
Taeho Kim, Assistant Professor, Leadership SC and SM
William Lane, Instructor, Physics
June LeFors, Instructor, Exceptional Deaf and Interpreter Education
AmirHossein MajidiRad, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Gokan May, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Eirin McBride, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Diane Medycki, Office Assistant, Faculty Association
Emily Moore, Instructor, Public Health
Donald Moore, Instructor, Writing Program and Center
Francisco Javier, Morales Garcia, Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Mona Nasseri, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Allix North, Coordinator, Research Program Services, Biology
Michelle Parker-McGriff, Director, Alumni Services
David Phillips, Instructor, Exceptional Deaf and Interpreter Education
Mario Pickens, Assistant Professor, Childhood Ed Literacy and TESOL
Shannon Romagnolo, Assistant Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management  
Lena Salpietro, Assistant Professor, Public Health
Ramin Shabanpour, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering
Ryan Shamet, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering
Di Shang, Assistant Professor, Management
Samana Shrestha, Instructor, Physics
Deborah Smith, Lecturer, Biology
Jessica Spangler, Athletic Academic Advisor, Athletic Academic Support
Jessica Stark, Instructor, Academic Affairs Development
Sara Steffen, Visiting Instructor, English
Candice Ginn Tahimic, Assistant Professor, Biology
Joshua Tomlinson, Instructor, Music
Christine White, Instructor, Teaching, Learning and Curriculum
Lifan Yu, Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology
Varaidzo Zvobgo, Visiting Assistant Professor, Political Science and Public Administration

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:

Jose Acevedo, Persistence Specialist, Undergraduate Studies
Tracy Alloway, Professor, Psychology
Berrin Beasley, Professor, Communication
Christopher Brown, Professor, Civil Engineering
Terence Cavanaugh, Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management 
Sherri Charles, Coordinator, Athletic Business Operations, Athletics
Michael Cherbonneau, Associate Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Vanessa Cruz, Professor, Art, Art History, and Design
Cynthia Cummings, Professor, Nursing
William Dally, Professor, Civil Engineering
Pieter de Jong, Professor, Accounting & Finance
Daniel Dinsmore, Professor/Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Services
Stephen Farris, Law Enforcement Sergeant, University Police Department
Christopher Flynn, Associate Professor, Management
Dwight Gabbard, Professor, English
John Hewitt, Associate Professor, Physics
Christopher Johnson, Professor, Coggin College of Business
Jacey Kelley, Associate Director, OneJax Operations
Dong-Young Kim, Professor, Management
Junga Kim, Associate Professor, Communication
Brian Kopp, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
Nathan Kunz, Associate Professor, Management
Deidre Lane, Associate Director, Youth Programs, OneJax
Juliana Leding, Professor, Psychology
James Littleton, Associate Instructor, School of Computing
David MacKinnon, Associate Instructor, English
Angela Mann, Associate Professor, Psychology
Elise Marshall, Associate Instructor, School of Computing
Jonatha Matheson, Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Joshua Melko, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Deborah Owen, Associate Instructor, Public Health
Paul Parkison, Professor, Teaching, Learning and Curriculum
Sandeep Reddivari, Associate Professor, School of Computing
Melissa Simmons, Associate Professor, Music
Sericea Smith, Associate Professor, Public Health
Russell Triplett, Associate Professor, Economics
Lauri Wright, Associate Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics
Jennie Ziegler, Associate Instructor, English

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

Anthony Aiuppy, Instructor, Art, Art History, and Design
John Anderson, Associate Lecturer, Physics
Michael Aspinwall, Assistant Professor, Biology
Audrieanna Burgin, Instructor, Economics
Jackie Cook, Office Manager, Counseling Center
Adina Diehl, Instructor, Music
Roger Eggen, Professor, School of Computing
Peyman Faizian, Assistant Professor, School of Computing
Michael Fehlauer, Instructor, Exceptional Deaf and Interpreter Education
Cheryl Freudenthal, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department
James Garner, Professor, Physics
Julie Hartline, Assistant Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management 
Robert Heslin, Maintenance Mechanic, University Housing
Lucy Hoover, Instructor, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Warren Huelsnitz, Lecturer, Physics
Christopher Leone, Professor, Psychology
Rebecca Marcon, Professor, Psychology
Kevin Monahan, Associate Director, Small Business Development Center
Pamela Shuman Peavy, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services

Doreen Radjenovic, Associate Professor, Nursing
Kathryn Santilli, Assistant Director, Prospect Management, Constituent Programs
Jacqueline Shank, Instructor, Nutrition and Dietetics
Lori Stanton, Office Manager, Office of the Dean of Students
Anne Swanson, Assistant Professor, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Osprey FountainBrooks College of Health
Dr. Erin Largo-Wight, director of the UNF Environmental Center and professor of pubilc health in the Brooks College of Health, and Dr. Heather Truelove, associate professor of psychology, along with colleagues from Eckerd College have been awarded $145,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for their project "Toward Sustainable Campuses — Individual Accountability in Single-use Plastic reduction campaigns." The two-year project will focus on reducing single-use plastics on campus.

Dr. Michele Johnson Moore, professor and chair, Department of Public Health, with R. Zeglin, K. Terrell and E. Barr, published "Depression in high school: LGB identity as a moderator of sexual assault" in the Journal of School Health, 2020. 

Shyam Paryani, MD, MHA, FACHE was appointed the director of the Executive Masters in Health Administration Program starting Fall 2020. Dr. Paryani is a graduate of the UNF Masters in Health Administration and is committed to connecting with the community healthcare providers to help support the program. The program, which has accepted about 20 students for the upcoming year, will target clinicians and other healthcare workers with managerial experience who are interested in becoming healthcare leaders.


Dr. Sericea Stallings-Smith, associate professor of public health, presented two projects at the annual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology held virtually in August: 1) “Association between exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and stroke among adults in the United States”, a collaborative work with Breck Peterson (MPH graduate) and Dr. Joshua C. Gellers, associate professor of political science and public administration; and 2) “Sociodemographic characteristics associated with influenza vaccination among adults in the United States,” a collaborative work with Carley Robinson (MPH graduate) and Grace Kambach (MPH graduate).


College of Arts and Sciences
Art, Art History and Design
Sheila Goloborotko, associate professor of printmaking, curated “Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia,” currently featured at MOCA Jacksonville. The exhibition features contemporary printmakers who are breaking away from the traditional techniques, highlighting the multitude of possibilities that printmaking holds as a medium to produce unique works through unconventional methods, materials, and displays. This nationally-toured exhibition was showcased at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey; the Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture; and William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California. Check MOCA’s website for upcoming gallery visits, curatorial talks, and participating artist's panels. Goloborotko also was featured by MOCA in the Studio Sessions Series, a studio video visit presenting artistic practice and production during the pandemic. She also participated in the Virtual Lecture Series “Can We Talk About This?” that was organized by the Kwan Fong Gallery to discuss diversity in art curation in our contemporaneous cultural moment with Demecina Beehn and Rachel Schmidt.

Jenny Hager, professor of Sculpture, was nominated for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville for the Helen Lane Founders Award, presented by PNC Bank. Also, Hager’s sculpture the “Wings of the Phoenix” was installed at her hometown Shelbyville, Kentucky. The installation is a part of the Art in Public Places Program.

Stephen Heywood, professor of Ceramics, participated in the following July exhibitions:
Serve it Up National Juried Exhibition, Victor Keen Gallery, Las Vegas; Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival National Juried Exhibition, Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Cheers! Drink Up! National Juried Exhibition, Commonwheel Gallery, Manitou Springs, Colorado; and Cup Show National Juried Exhibition, Victor Keen Gallery, Las Vegas.

Dr. Doria F. Bowers, professor of biology, in collaboration with Yani P. Ahearn and Jason J. Saredy published an article: “The Alphavirus Sindbis Infects Enteroendocrine Cells in the Midgut of Aedes aegypti” in the Viruses, 2020, 12, 848-862. July

Dr. Quincy Gibson, associate professor of biology, published “Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) social structure and distribution changes following the 2008 unusual mortality event in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida” in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

Dr. Bryan Knuckley, associate professor and chair of chemistry, and Dr. Corey Causey, associate professor of chemistry, published “Histone H4-based peptoids are inhibitors of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1)” along with UNF chemistry undergraduates, Sarah Mann, Megan DeMart and Braidy May in the Biochemical Journal.

School of Communications
Dr. Nataliya Roman
, assistant professor of communication, Anna Young and Dr. Stephynie Perkins, associate professor of communication, published “Displaced and invisible: Ukrainian refugee crisis coverage in the US, UK, Ukrainian and Russian newspapers” in the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research.

Dr. Nicholas de Villiers, professor of English and film, hosted a virtual screening of the documentary “Whores on Film,” featuring an interview with Dr. de Villiers. He also moderated a discussion with the filmmaker Juliana Piccillo on Zoom for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Adult Film History SIG.

Marcus Pactor, English and creative writing instructor, published “Accidental and Inevitable: An Interview with Christian TeBordo” in Heavy Feather Review, July.

Dr. Bart Welling, associate professor of English, organized and ran a nearly carbon-neutral (NCN) virtual conference with Jordan Kinder of McGill University and Jacob Goessling of Christian Brothers University. Titled “Humanities on the Brink,” the conference was sponsored by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment and hosted by the University of California, Santa Barbara. The conference, which was live from July 10-30, featured 114 video presentations by scholars in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia and New Zealand, with many other non-presenting scholars around the world viewing presentations and participating in both asynchronous and live discussions. Presenters and other participants focused on how the humanities can respond effectively to the multiple crises currently afflicting modern societies.

Dr. David Courtwright, Professor Emeritus, appeared in the aviation history documentary, “Across the Pacific.” The three episodes will be available online for a limited time.

Dr. Harry Rothschild, professor of history, presented a paper, “Heroic Śāktism with Chinese Characteristics: The Female Warrior Sovereign Prophecy, the Navarātri, and a Trio of Devīs of War in the Accession of Female Emperor Wu Zhao,” at the “Enduring Discoveries of the Cosmopolitan, Multicultural, Expansive and Relative Orthodoxies in the Study of East Asian Buddhism, History, Manuscripts, Archaeology, Literature, Art, and East-West Exchanges” Conference (First), in Honor of Antonino Forte, Princeton University. It was a virtual conference.

Mathematics and Statistics
Dr. Daniela Genova, associate professor of mathematics, received the 2020 Distinguished Teaching Award of the Florida Section of the Mathematical Association of America and was featured in MAA FOCUS, the newsmagazine of the association in July. 

Dr. Nick Curry, associate professor of cello and assistant director of the UNF School of Music, taught masterclasses at the Cincinnati Young Artists Virtual Seminar. Other faculty included were from the Julliard School, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Colburn Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, and included well-known, world-renowned soloists Johannes Moser and Ralph Kirschbaum. 


Dr. Clarence Hines, associate professor and director of the School of Music, wrote an arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" that was perfromed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra as part of its Tanglewood Virtual Summer Concert series Aug. 14. Listen to the recording of the song performed by Hines and James Jenkins, prinicpal tuba at the Jacksonville Symphony and UNF adjunct professor.

Philosophy/Religion Study
Dr. Sarah LaChance Adams, Florida Blue Distinguished Professor, ethics, feminist philosophy, and critical existential phenomenology presented a paper “In Defense of War Toys,” at the Society for Philosophy of Emotion, Online Author meets Critics Panel on “Love and War” by Tom Digby.

Dr. Jody Nicholson, associate professor of psychology, collaborated on a paper that is in press at the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement titled, “Applying the Health Belief Model to quantify and investigate expectations for computerized cognitive training.” 

Dr. Heather Truelove, associate professor, and Dr. Erin Largo-Wight, director of the UNF Environmental Center and professor of public health in the Brooks College of Health, along with colleagues from Eckerd College have been awarded $145,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for their project "Toward Sustainable Campuses -- Individual Accountability in Single-use Plastic reduction campaigns." The two-year project will focus on reducing single-use plastics on campus.

Dr. Anita Fuglestad, instructor in psychology, co-authored a paper, along with her colleagues, titled “Early delay of gratification predicts later inhibitory control and academic performance in children with prenatal alcohol exposure,” published in the journal Child Neuropsychology in July.

Sociology/Anthropology and Social Work
Professor Gordon Rakita co-edited the volume, “Ancient Southwestern Mortuary Practices” (University Press of Colorado), in which he co-authored the introduction and authored the chapter, “The Longue Durée of Mortuary Ritual in Chihuahua, Mexico.”

Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull, professor of anthropology and religious studies, was an invited speaker for the International Webinar: “Higher Education in the Time of Pandemic: Rhetoric, Reality, and Reform” hosted by State Islamic University of North Sumatra in July.

Hicks Honors College

Dr. Leslie Kaplan, associate director, published the chapter “Community-Based Learning and Identity Status: The complexities of community engagement in a first-year seminar,” in the book “Community-Based Transformational Learning: An interdisciplinary inquiry into student experiences and challenges,” edited by Drs. Christian Winterbottom, Jody S. Nicholson and Dan Richard, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020.

Thomas G. Carpenter Library
Metadata librarian Marielle Veve published the article “Using the Harvesting Method to Submit ETDs into ProQuest: A Case Study of a Lesser-known Approach” in Information Technology & Libraries 39, no. 3 (September 2020).


Swoop Summary

Fundraising logo for 904 Day

Osprey Athletics Announces Plans for 904 Day Campaign
With the need for more online instruction due to COVID-19, the North Florida Athletic Department plans to host a day of giving campaign focused on increasing academic resources. "904 Day" will be held Friday, Sept. 4. The "904 Day" campaign is being spearheaded by UNF Athletic Development and the Osprey Club with a specific goal of raising funds to provide additional laptops for use by Osprey student-athletes and managed by the Student Athlete Center for Excellence (SACE). Read more about the giving campaign online.

Student-athlete Jazz BondBond as UNF’s Nominee for Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award
Redshirt-senior Jazz Bond has done a little bit of everything on the court for the UNF women's basketball team. Her hard work off the court though helped her be selected as UNF's nominee for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award. The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award is an honor given to outstanding sports scholars at U.S. colleges and universities. Athletic achievement, academic performance and a passion for community service and student leadership is factored into the selection of nominees and recipients.
Read more about Jazz Bond and the award nomination online.

Conroy Awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
North Florida women's golf graduate Teresa Conroy was recently awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship to assist her in completing her master's degree program at UNF. Conroy, a multi-time All-ASUN and ASUN All-Academic selection during her career for the Ospreys, completed her undergraduate degree in statistics with a marketing minor in three years boasting a 3.99 GPA. Read more about the NCAA post graduate scholarship online.


Focus on Healthy Eating for Kids

Family preparing their meal together

August is best known as the month kids head back to school, but it is also designated as Kids Eat Right Month. Now that families are heading into September, it’s still a great time to focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children of all ages, from infants to teens.

Children are at a pivotal point of their lives. Their health and nutrition are extremely important to help nurture their growing bodies and lead to healthy futures. So make every month a Kids Eat Right Month and focus on key principles such as smart shopping, cooking healthy, eating right and getting active.

  • Smart Shopping: Take the children on a grocery shopping adventure! Explore your local grocery store, farmer’s market or local farm. Have the children choose a fruit or vegetable that is new to them or one that they are interested in trying. When children are involved with learning where foods come from and help to choose what foods the family eats, they are more likely to be encouraged to eat those foods at mealtimes.
  • Cooking Healthy: Get children involved in planning and cooking healthy meals together. When kids are involved in planning and preparing meals (with age-appropriate tasks), they are more likely to try new foods and will have a greater understanding of nutritious, healthy foods, which will benefit them for a lifetime. Children can help with cutting, mixing, assembling, measuring or just reading a recipe.
  • Eating Right: Children need a variety of nutrients for optimal health. Encouraging fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and dairy ensures that children are getting a balanced diet. For beverages, choose water or milk instead of drinks with added sugars. Also, remember to enjoy family meals together, a perfect time for parents to model healthy eating practices to their children.
  • Getting Active: Move every day! Kids need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous active play each day. Get active as a family. Take a walk together after dinner and plan fun activities every week such as a family bike ride, swimming, tennis, softball, basketball or a dance party.

Submitted by Jamisha Leftwich, Instructor, ISPP Coordinator


Spread the Word!

Balloon mark return to campus Fall 2020

UNF Receives Notable Rankings

  • For the 12th consecutive year, The Princeton Review named the University of North Florida to its Best in the Southeast list, a prestigious ranking based on excellence of academic programs.

  • UNF received its sixth Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, recognizing the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    Spread the Word!


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

    September issue contributing writers:  Jamisha Leftwich, Instructor, ISPP Coordinator