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InsideMarch 2021

Around Campus

Add Your Creativity to MOCA's Next Atrium Exhibit

MOCAs first Imagination Squared in 2010 - colorful squares on white walls


If you ever imagined seeing your own artwork on display in an art museum, here's your chance. The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville is inviting you to share your voice by creating your own personal art on a five-by-five inch canvas as part of the project Imagination Squared10. To participate, visit MOCA downtown, pick up your free canvas during public hours and return your finished art to the museum by March 21. The completed canvases will be exhibited in MOCA’s Atrium Gallery, April 16 through Aug. 8.

Ten years ago, the Jacksonville community participated in the first Imagination Squared. At that time, nearly 1,000 square canvases of art created by the public were installed at MOCA Jacksonville’s Atrium Gallery and viewed by 5,000 people who attended the opening. This collaborative installation kicked off MOCA’s Project Atrium Series, which for the past decade has included installations of today’s contemporary artists.

A decade later, MOCA is again inviting the community to participate in this celebration of art. Learn more about Imagination Squared online and don’t miss your chance to be a part of this exhibition. More than 600 people have already signed up to participate.

Around Campus

UNF MedNexus Adds New Academic Partnership

FSCJ President John Avendano and UNF President David Szymanski at MedNexus ribbon cuttingIn February, UNF MedNexus took another step forward with the announcement of a new Jacksonville training location and an academic partnership with Florida State College at Jacksonville.

With this latest agreement, UNF MedNexus will locate its nurse training and healthcare simulation center at the FSCJ Deerwood Center, enabling students to learn hands-on skills and practice clinical scenarios. In addition, UNF President David Szymanski and FSCJ President John Avendano signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an academic partnership that will create a master’s pathway for FSCJ students to get a head start in UNF’s nursing graduate programs as well as an accelerated entry into high-wage jobs in the region.

“UNF MedNexus addresses the region’s growing and evolving healthcare needs through education and development of talented nurses and healthcare workers who are prepared to enter the workforce,” Szymanski said. “Our academic and facility partnership with FSCJ allows us to advance healthcare education in an innovative and progressive manner by positively impacting the number of high-demand healthcare professionals.”

This agreement with FSCJ marks the second expansion of educational partnerships in the region. After the Florida Legislature funded the initial phase of the UNF MedNexus program in July 2020, the program announced its entry into Palm Coast in October and its partnerships with Daytona State College, the City of Palm Coast, AdventHealth and Allete Energy.

UNF MedNexus is designed to be the nation’s first comprehensive, university-based medical and healthcare nexus, connecting healthcare providers with University students, faculty and researchers. Learn more about UNF MedNexus and the FSCJ partnership.

Information for this story was submitted by Ginny Walthour, UNF Media Relations Director

Around Campus

OneJax Invites Hicks Honors Students to the Table

OneJax Community Suppers logo

Difficult conversations ― those you might not feel comfortable having at the family Thanksgiving table ― are the types of discussions that OneJax believes are essential for communities to be able to solve problems. To facilitate those types of interactions, the organization began holding Community Suppers five years ago to bring together people with vastly differing viewpoints in order to find common ground.

Last month, students from UNF’s Hicks Honors College participated in a virtual format of the dinner table, adding the voice of another generation to the mix. The topic was “Voting: How we should safeguard and improve elections.” OneJax, an Institute of UNF, invites prominent community members to host the suppers, which are sponsored in cooperation with the Jacksonville Chamber. The popular Community Suppers, which typically include 10-12 people in each of four or five groups, fill up in just a day or two of being announced.

The students who participated in February’s virtual event are taking a freshman English class with Dr. Leslie Kaplan, director of Hicks Honors College. Kaplan said the theme of the class is Difficult Conversations, an idea she borrowed from Russell Turney, an associate instructor of English at UNF, who has been teaching the class for many years. “Russ has been doing this work a long time, trying to make sure that we seed our community with students who have learned a better and more productive way to discuss controversial issues, and I can’t think of any work more important than that right now,” Kaplan said.

Adding to what Turney does in his classroom, Kaplan used an online program “Common Ground for Action,” which is a platform for deliberative discussions from the Kettering Foundation, a nonprofit involved in researching ways to make democracy work better.

Kaplan said the online program is used to add structure to the conversation. On the computer, participants rank solutions, which the group is able to see in an anonymous format, adding a visual element to the talk. In this way, they can see where they agree. As the discussion progresses, the group ranks the choices again, showing if opinions have shifted. “The whole idea is that we are weighing pros and cons,” Kaplan said. “What are the tradeoffs? Rather than argue or debate for our chosen idea, right or wrong, let’s identify the tradeoffs.”

Several honors students participated in the discussion as others ran the software. Grace Glennon ran the program in her group and said she enjoyed being able to apply what she had learned in class. “I felt respected and trusted,” she said. “The group had faith in my ability to run the software.” Morganne Percevault appreciated the chance to join the discussion. “It was a real confidence booster to feel in the course of conversation that we were on the same level as the successful adults in the room,” Percevault said. Skylar Close agreed, and said she had the impression that her voice really mattered. “A lot of times you feel like you are shut out of conversations because of the assumption that you don’t really know enough yet, but that didn’t happen here,” Close said.

Other than dealing with a few technological glitches, the community participants also enjoyed the discussions, according to Jacey Kelley, OneJax associate director of operations. “It was wonderful working with Dr. Kaplan and the students on this and to make it work,” Kelley said. “We’ve heard from participants that the experience was greatly improved by having the Honors students in the discussions, particularly because they were well prepared and had well-thought-out perspectives. Some even suggested we always include them, so I think it was a great success, and hopefully there will be more in the future.”

The February supper hosts included Dr. Kimberly Allen, CEO, 904WARD; David Miller, executive chairman, Brightway Insurance; Nate Monroe, Metro Columnist, Florida Times-Union; John Peyton, former Jacksonville Mayor and president of Gate Petroleum; Nicholas Thomas, president, Baptist Medical Center South; and Cindy Watson, CEO, JASMYN.

Learn more about the Community Suppers and the work OneJax does to create an inclusive community.

Around Campus

Women Who Inspire Us

IWomens History Month graphic in blue and whiten honor of Women’s History Month, five award-winning women on campus were asked one question: “Who are the women who inspire you?” Some told stories of women throughout history, while others concentrated on colleagues or former teachers.

The women in the "Who Inspires You?" video represent multiple departments at the University: Vivian Senior, director, Career Discoveries; Ashley Smith, employment coordinator, Human Resources; Sericea Stallings-Smith, associate professor, Public Health; Jennifer Kilpatrick, assistant professor, Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education; and Anjeanette Alexander-Smith, adjunct instructor, English.

These are just a few of the outstanding women who are part of the faculty and staff that make the University of North Florida so unique. Their professional excellence should be celebrated and shared along with the rest of the women at UNF.



Video created by UNF Marketing Student Intern, Carissa Marques, Senior, Communications 


View the full list of events in celebration of Women's History Month on theUNF Women's History Month Calendar.

Faculty Forum

Alexandra Schönning

Dr. Alexandra Schonning headshot

Alexandra Schönning is a professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering. As someone who joined UNF during the early stages of the engineering program, Schönning has had the opportunity to teach and develop a broad variety of mechanical engineering courses ranging from highly applied such as Integrated Design and Manufacturing to more analytical courses such as Strength of Materials. She has taught Computer Aided Engineering, a technologically intense course, and Advanced Engineering Analysis, a highly theoretical course at the graduate level, that focuses on mathematical methods used in engineering. In the last few years, she also has taught Professional Issues in Engineering, which focuses on leadership and related topics.

Schönning’s research is in mechanical system analysis with a focus in finite element modeling and analysis. Applications include biomechanics and more traditional mechanical systems. She also conducts research related to engineering education and increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM.

What brought you to UNF?
I joined UNF in 2003 because it had great potential — an institution to which I could contribute. It had a very new and promising engineering program, a beautiful campus, and a location in Florida close to the beach. It was also an institution in which balance was placed on high quality teaching and research, and it seemed that there was good collaboration among students, faculty and staff.

What’s one thing in your field of study that people might not know? There are some misconceptions about engineering that unfortunately lead to reduced diversity in our profession; only about 12-14% of engineers are women, and only a little more than 4% are Black. One common misconception is that engineering is a hands-on dirty profession, where in fact most engineers work in a clean office. Some people may not know that people can contribute to engineering with a variety of skills and strengths. And some people may not recognize that engineers work on projects that improve the world we live in.

Do you have a favorite spot on campus? I like the beauty of campus, walking in the woods and around the lakes and ponds. I also like our tranquil bamboo garden.

What’s the most rewarding academic experience you’ve had at UNF in or out of the classroom? There are so many — seeing students learn, having students connect with you years after they graduate and letting you know how UNF has impacted their lives, participating in and leading initiatives that improve UNF and our community, leading the Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering, connecting with future students and parents, having success in research, working with colleagues and administrators, and making lasting relationships.

If you weren’t teaching, what else would you be doing? I’d work as an engineer, or lead educational or STEM initiatives; maybe I’d be a politician. Thankfully I am at UNF and don’t need to think too seriously about a different career.

Describe your teaching style. Do you like to integrate tech or are you more comfortable with a lecture-style classroom? I like teaching period, and I like challenges and trying new things. So, I like the traditional classroom, and I also like the Zoom classroom, and the lab and tech classrooms. The variety keeps me happy.

Who has been the biggest role model in your life? I learn from most people around me, and I see them as mentors. Everyone does something well. So, I’ve learned from my family, students, professors, colleagues, leaders, friends and other people I’ve encounter in a variety of ways.

If the world were silent for 20 seconds and all ears were turned to you, what would you say? We are all on the same team, living in the same world.

What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate? Always continue learning — in your career and personal life. Learn beyond your discipline. Find how you are unique and how you can uniquely contribute. Seek balance in your life.

If you could witness any historical event, what would it be?
Formation of earth and our universe.

What is your favorite memory from your undergraduate days? Graduating. It’s a major accomplishment.

Who is your favorite fictional character? Pippi Longstocking.

How do you recharge? Turning off electronics, hanging out with family and friends, going to the beach, going for a run, going camping, traveling, having engaging conversations, and eating good food, pastries and chocolate.

What do you like most about Jacksonville? Where else have you lived? I like that Jacksonville is on the beach, in a warm climate, and that it is not too large of a city. I’ve lived in Sweden, California, and in Orlando and Sarasota, Florida.

What would you most regret not having done by the end of your life?
Not spending enough time with my family and friends and not standing up for what I believe in.

Get to Know

Whitney Washington

Whitney Washington headshot

Whitney Washington coordinates the Victim Advocacy Program at the Women’s Center in UNF’s Department of Diversity and Inclusion. She is responsible for training a group of dedicated on-call advocates who work with her to provide services to anyone in the UNF community who has been victimized or experiencing a crisis. She also provides trainings on consent, bystander intervention, and healthy and unhealthy relationships, and facilitates a program called Victim Advocate’s "Talks & Topics." In spring 2020, Washington was honored as a Presidential SPOT Award winner.

What do you enjoy about working here and why? Working in higher education brings me lots of joy. I get to assist students through their journey through adulthood and higher education.

How long have you lived in Jacksonville? Where else have you lived? I moved to Jacksonville in July of 2019. I am from Livingston, Alabama, located in the Black-belt. Before my residency in Jacksonville, I lived in Mobile, Alabama (home of Mardi Gras).

What one memory do you most treasure? Summers at my grandparents will be a memory I always cherish. It was the time all of my cousins and I would spend weeks with my grandparents. It was like summer camp but at my grandparent's home.

If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, from the past or present, who would be on your guest list? My dinner party would consist of Maya Angelou, Myleik Teele, Nikki Giovanni and Erykah Badu:

  • I love Dr. Maya Angelou; her womanhood journey is inspiring, and I believe that she vibrated at her highest frequency in all things. I had the opportunity to read some of her autobiographies, and my favorite is “Letter to My Daughter.”
  • Myliek Teele is one of my favorite podcasters. I would invite her to dinner because she is rich in wisdom.
  • Nikki Giovanni, I am learning more about Nikki Giovanni through her poems and lectures. However, I would love to ask her questions directly.
  • Last but not least, Erykah Badu. Erykah Badu is one of my favorite artists. She will provide the party with musical selections throughout the night.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? I would be at a job dedicated to community development and social impact work. Community development has always been a passion area for me.

What superpower would you like to have? How would you use it?
Teleport! I would love not to have to drive or take planes to destinations. Was I supposed to use my superpower to save the world? Lol

If you ruled the world, what would you change on Day 1?
On Day 1, I would ensure the community had the resources they needed to thrive. I would address policies that dealt with housing and food insecurity, health and poverty. I would find ways to remove the middle person so that individuals could get direct access to resources.

What one food do you wish had zero calories?
French Fries

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
Paris, I want to visit the Lock Bridge.

Tell us a few of your favorite things.
Board game
: Checkers
Book: “I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch” (My mom read this to my siblings and me growing up.)
Childhood memory: Summers at grandparents
Magazine: Essence
Movie line: “Just Keep Swimming – Dory”
Physical activity: Dance
Quote: “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

Around Campus

ASUN Championship Tickets on Sale

UNF Mens Basketball team

Here's an Update from UNF Athletics about the Men's Basketball Championship:

The ASUN Men's Basketball Championship tournament will take place March 3-7 at both the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University. All nine league teams will qualify for the championships with the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seeds facing off on Wednesday, March 3. Four quarterfinal contests will be conducted on Thursday, March 4 with semifinal games on Friday, March 5. Following an off day on Saturday, the championship final tips off on Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m.

UNF Arena is set to be the site of two quarterfinal games, at least one semifinal game, and the championship final. The locations, which were determined by weekend conference contests, are now available online.
Tickets are available for online purchase. Seats will be available behind the baskets in the lower level only in addition to the upper level of the arena. The seats behind the benches will be pushed in for increased social distancing of the team benches. There is a possibility that UNF will not be playing a quarterfinal or semifinal game at UNF Arena. Check the ASUN Conference website for the latest updates on game locations and matchups. Tickets will not be available for sale to the general public for tournament games at JU due to limited capacity. All tournament games leading up to the final will be available to watch on ESPN+. The championship final will be televised on ESPN at 2 p.m.

Stay tuned to the UNF Athletics website for more information.  

Around Campus

Goldfish and Shark Back on Campus

Shark Attack sculpture on campusColonel Crackers goldfish sculpture on campus


University employees who may still be working remotely will be happy to know that two beloved student sculptures have been relocated to campus. Colonel Crackers, the large goldfish who once floated in the pond near Thomas G. Carpenter Library is back along with the Shark Attack sculpture, both created by past sculpture classes taught by Jenny Hager, sculpture professor. 


The reappearance of the iconic aquatic sculptures was spearheaded by Kayla Dougherty, UNF Student Government vice president. With the help of Hager, Dougherty organized students from the Sculpture Guild and Student Government to move the sculptures back into the water. Colonel Crackers is back in the pond by the library, and Shark Attack is located behind Building 6 along Alumni Drive.

Around Campus

Inside News Roundup

Here's a recap of UNF happenings from the past month that you might have missed:


Winner of the Gerson Yessin Award announced
The recipient of the Gerson Yessin Distinguished Professorship in Classical Studies for 2020-21 is Dr. James Hall, associate professor, tenor and area coordinator, who has worked at UNF for 10 years. This award is an annual recognition of an outstanding music faculty member and named for Gerson Yessin, the first chair of the Department of Fine Arts in 1971. Learn more about James Hall and the award.

Scientists doing research UNF Environmental Center Seed Grant research findings to help predict extreme floods
UNF researchers Dr. Chris Brown, civil engineering professor, and Samantha Kovalenko, civil engineering graduate student, have recently completed a study on predicting extreme floods in Northeast Florida. This research was funded by the UNF Environmental Center’s 2020 Seed Grant program. Learn more about the flood research.

C.A.M.P. Osprey program receives Leadership Award
The University of North Florida’s Collegiate Achievement Mentoring Program, better known as C.A.M.P. Osprey, has been awarded the grand prize honor for Leadership and Organizational Development by the LEAD Awards. The C.A.M.P. Osprey program award is under the education category for its innovation and superior practices in the leadership space. Read more about the LEAD award


UNF College of Education receives gift through the Lastinger Endowed Scholarship
The University of North Florida College of Education and Human Services has received a $1.35 million gift from the Lastinger Family Foundation, Inc. to provide scholarship funds to students pursuing teaching careers with the newly-created Lastinger Endowed Scholarship. Learn more about the donation and the scholarships it will provide.

College of Education and Human Services adds a doctoral program
As the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, COEHS adds another Doctor of Education program. This fall 2021 semester, students will be able to join the inaugural cohort in the Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Learn more about the new doctoral program.

Lend-A-Wing's new locationLend-A-Wing Food Pantry Reopens at Student Union
In February, the Lend-A-Wing Pantry reopened at its new location in the John A. Delaney Student Union, Building 58 in Room 1204 next to the Game Room. Founded in 2012 by students, for students, Lend-A-Wing Pantry offers free food items to students in order to combat food insecurity on campus. Learn more about the pantry and ways to donate

The Sport Management Program wins award
UNF’s Sport Management Program, which is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation or COSMA, recently received the “Biz Connectors Award” in recognition of its innovative partnerships with the sport industry. The program of study provides an academic foundation in sport management in a variety of sport settings to help students gain the needed skills to compete for jobs in the fast-paced and growing sports industry. 


Dr. Catherine Christie named a ‘Woman with Heart’

Dr. Catherine Christie was honored in February for her commitment to leadership, advocacy and the health of the Northeast Florida community. Volunteers in Medicine, at their 5th Annual Women with Heart Luncheon, recognized Christie, along with seven other honorees, as a “Woman with Heart.” Christie is associate dean and professor in UNF’s Brooks College of Health. She is a registered dietitian, fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and fellow of the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association. Christie was recognized by UNF as Distinguished Professor in 2017. Read more about Christie’s recognition.


Masters graduates from Kings Trail ElementaryCollege of Education and Human Services continues to impact Duval County Schools
A total of eight teachers at Kings Trail Elementary, a designated Professional Development School in the Duval County School District, received their master’s in Education from UNF in fall 2020. As mentors of UNF teacher candidates, the professionals were offered tuition waivers allowing them to continue their education, and the teacher candidates benefited from the hands-on classroom experience. Read more about Professional Development Schools.

Around Campus

Free Events in March

The UNF-JZG Scholars Lecture Series: ‘Building a science of animal societies: Understanding social behavior from the individual to the group, and back again' 

Tuesday, March 2, 12:30 p.m.
This talk by Greg Kohn, assistant professor of psychology, will explore how researchers are beginning to peer into the complex social lives of animals through the study of interaction networks. From measuring developmental changes in the moment-to-moment behavioral patterns used during interactions, to uncovering how individuals collectively shape the structure and stability of societies, Kohn will explore how the study of interaction networks is changing our understanding of animal behavior. Registration required.

Alice-Anne Light headshotCummer Chamber Music Series
Tuesday, March 2, 7:30 p.m.

School of Music YouTube
The Cummer Family Foundation Chamber Music Series presents mezzo-soprano Alice-Anne Light, opera singer and music teacher. Light has performed around the country and has been noted by Opera Today for her even tone, wide range and sound technique.

Dr. Olenda Johnson headshotWomen's History Month Celebration
Wednesday, March 3, noon via Zoom

Join the Women's Center for its virtual Women's History Month Celebration and presentation of the scholarship winners and the Susan B. Anthony Award winner. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Olenda E. Johnson, professor of Strategic Leadership and Leader Development at the U.S. Naval War College. Learn more about the speaker and the event. Registration required. Find more events in celebration of Women's History Month on the UNF Women's History Month calendar

UNF Percussion Spring Concert
Thursday, March 4, 7:30 p.m.
School of Music YouTube
UNF Percussion presents its virtual Rhythm and Redemption Spring Ensemble Concert. From ethereal ambience to bombastic drums, a diverse and exciting program of music will be expressed through many percussive sounds. A unique timbral spectrum will evoke scenes of nature such as space, water, and the clouds.

Science Cafe: 'Developing a COVID Wellness Program'
Friday, March 5 at noon via Zoom

Attend a presentation by Dr. Dawn Witherspoon, professor of psychology on developing a community wellness program during COVID that targets physical and mental health.
Registration required.

Yangas Freedom Cry - artworkThe Justice Sessions: 'Yanga's Freedom Cry'
Wednesday, March 10 at noon via Zoom
Dolores Flores-Silva screens her documentary on Yanga, the Afro-Mexican freedom fighter who forced recognition of the first free Black community in the Americas. Yanga will be discussed in relation to the First Coast's Fort Mose.
Registration required.


Dr. Clarence Hines headshotCOAS Scholars Lecture Series: 'The Impact of Jazz on Social Justice'
Wednesday, March 10 at 5 p.m. online

Join Dr. Clarence Hines as he discusses the ways that jazz artists have fought for social justice through their music. A performance of his recent creative work that was inspired by the death of George Floyd will follow. Hines is an associate professor, trombone and arranging, and director of UNF's School of Music.
Registration required.

colorful musical notesAn Evening of Jazz
Friday, March 12 at 7 p.m. via Zoom
Enjoy a live virtual jazz concert with Kinney Harold, a classically trained percussionist who served eight years in United States Air Force concert, jazz and rock bands. Presented by UNF as part of its Baobab Black Arts series. Registration required.



MOCA: Exhibition of UNF Student Artist-in-Residence
Exhibit open now through April 18
Free admission for UNF employees and one guest
For her residency, Ally Brody developed her ongoing series “Public Domain”
documenting street artists in Florida. The semester-long residency at MOCA Jacksonville began in August 2020 and culminates with this exhibition. See MOCA's hours.

UNF Gallery Exhibition: 'Multiple Ones'
Now through March 25 at the UNF Gallery of Art
“Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia,” curated by UNF Professor Sheila Goloborotko, presents prints as a one-of-a-kind object, installation, sculpture, mural and video. Visit the UNF Gallery 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday. Friday hours by appointment by emailing

The UNF-JZG Scholars Lecture Series: ‘Promoting wellness in a Zoological Institution: Challenges and Breakthroughs’
Wednesday, March 31, 12:30 p.m. online
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens employees Dr. Lindsay Mahovetz and Fatima Ramis discuss the role of welfare science, evidence based management, and cognitive research in zoological environments for the purpose of improving animal wellness. They present case studies of their on-going work, giving you a first-hand look into the challenges and breakthroughs of evidence based management and research in the modern zoo. This lecture series is co-presented by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and the UNF College of Arts and Sciences. Registration required.


UNF balloonsMilestones
Congratulations to the following employees with a milestone anniversary in March:
20 Years
Deborah Miller, Assistant VP, Digital Learning, Digital Learning and Innovation
Yacchari Nash, Maintenance Mechanic, Housing/Residence Life
Patricia Robbins, Executive Secretary, Education and Human Services

15 Years
Kenneth Fonder, Library Services Specialist, Library
Shelia Lopez, Assistant Director, Custodial Services, Physical Facilities
Shao-Yuan Peng, Custodial Worker, Physical Facilities

10 Years
Jennifer Bass, Office Manager, University Center
Terry Moon, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department
Melissa Tucker, Senior Academic Advisor, Honors Advising

5 Years
Mary Bernardi, Office Manager, School of Computing
Marsha Blasco, Assistant Director, Content, Marketing and Communications
Meredith Hixson, Accountant, Controller
Whitney Meyer, VP and Chief Diversity Officer, President's Office

The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions recently:
Robert Greenlaw, Emergency Manager, Crisis Management
Marsha Keyser, Student Financial Aid Coordinator, Financial Aid Office
Donna Kuntzi, Groundskeeper, Grounds
Khoi Nguyen, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Huston Pullen, Director, Small Business Development Center
Xavier Rozas, Coordinator, NEFSTEM Professional Learning, COEHS STEM Initiatives
Alfred Santersiro, Law Enforcement Officer, University Police Department
Carroll Thomas, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management
Christopher Wilson, Academic Support Services Coordinator, COAS Advising

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:
Timothy Barnes, Student Affairs Specialist, SG Business and Accounting Office
Carrie Guth, Assistant VP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Human Resources
Vivian Senior, Director, Career Discoveries, Career Services
Valerie Stevenson, Assistant VP, Controller

Heartfelt wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees who left UNF recently:
Corbin Blair, Groundskeeper, Housing/Residence Life
Erica Cardenas, Assistant Child Development Teacher, UNF Preschool
Roosevelt Davis, Floor Care Worker, Custodial Services
James Edwards, Telecommunications Manager, Telephone Services
Jeffrey Gouge, Assistant Director, IT Security
Bailey Hatcher, Admissions Coordinator, Admissions
YaJaira Hausman, Assistant Child Development Teacher, UNF Preschool
Alyssa Hockenberry, Museum Registrar, MOCA
Joshua Jasterzenski, Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Services
Dallas Maddox, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management
Lashundra Miller, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Don Zavesky, Assistant Director, Research Program Services, Small Business Development Center

Faculty and Staff

UNFs Osprey Fountain

Coggin College of Business
Dr. Rachel Frieder
, assistant professor of management, was elected to a three-year term on the editorial board of the Journal of Organizational Behavior. In addition, Frieder, with colleagues T.P. Munyon, C.B. Satornino, A.M. Carnes, W. Bolander and G.R. Ferris, had the paper “Selling your network: how political skill builds social capital and enhances salesperson performance” accepted to the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management.

Dr. Dong-Young Kim, professor of Operations Management and Quantitative Methods, and Dr. Bruce Fortado, professor of Human Resource Management, Negotiation and Labor Relations, recently published “Outcomes of Supply Chain Dependence Asymmetry: A Systematic Review of the Statistical Evidence” in the International Journal of Production Research (Impact Factor: 4.577).

College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Dale Casamatta, professor of biology, was awarded over $85,000 by the National Science Foundation to study algal mats on the bottom of Lake Huron. Algal mats are key to understanding environmental problems, such as algal blooms, and the origins of life on Earth. Read more about the award

Dr. Jim Gelsleichter, associate professor and program director, spoke with First Coast News about a sand tiger that washed ashore on St. Augustine Beach.

Dr. Amy Lane, associate professor of chemistry, presented an invited webinar at IISER Tirupati (India) titled, “Marine Bacteria as Biochemical Factories,” in January. Lane also published “A Virtual Screening Platform Identifies Chloroethylagelastatin A as a Potential Ribosomal Inhibitor” in Biomolecules with UNF undergraduate Joon Seok Oh and Mayo Clinic collaborators (October 2020).

Will Pewitt, English instructor, published “Three Translations of Ulayya bint al-Mahdī” in Shenandoah (January) and published “Five Translations of Hafsa bint al-Hājj ar-Rakūniyya” in The Columbia Journal (January).

Russell Turney, associate English instructor, presented "Facilitating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom" as part of The Bolles School’s “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” program (January).

Dr. Alison J. Bruey, professor of history, was awarded honorable mention for The Conference on Latin American History's Susan L. Socolow and Lyman L. Johnson Chile-Río de la Plata book prize, for her book, "Bread, Justice, and Liberty: Grassroots Activism and Human Rights in Pinochet's Chile" (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018), January 2021. Bruey also published the article "Protest and the Persistence of the Past." Radical Americas 6, 1 (2021), 1-22

Dr. Andrea Venet, assistant professor of percussion, gave the world premiere of her commission, “Shimmer Curio,” for solo vibraphone and gongs by Stephen Ridley at the 2021 World Vibraphone Congress international event in January.

Dr. Jason T. Haraldsen, associate professor in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, was awarded $195,000 over three years by the Institute for Materials Science, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, for the project “Undergraduate Research Education Program in Materials at UNF: Theoretical and Computational Investigations of Correlated Electron Materials.”

Dr. William B. Lane, visiting lecturer, was interviewed on the Physics Alive podcast about integrating computer programming into physics education and replacing lab reports with Letters Home, both of which we use at UNF. Lane also was named as vice-chair of the American Association of Physics Teachers’ Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education.

Dr. Devki N. Talwar, visiting lecturer, has published two peer reviewed research papers: “Comparative spectroscopic studies of MOCVD grown AlN films on Al2O3 and 6H-SiC” in Journal of Alloys and Compounds 857 (2021) 157487; and “Optical and Electronic Energy Band Properties of Nb-Doped-Ga2O3 Crystals” in Crystals 11 (2021) 135.

Political Science and Public Administration
Dr. Michael Binder
, associate professor and Public Opinion Research Lab director, discussed the impeachment of former President Trump with News4Jax.

Dr. Josh Gellers, associate professor and MAIA director, was interviewed by First Coast News regarding tracing the source of odors in the Murray Hill community.

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

Jennifer Barr, instructor of social work, has been named the Social Work Educator of the Year by the Northeast Florida Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Dr. David Jaffee, professor and program coordinator, and Dr. Rick Phillips, associate professor, discussed partisan polarization with Dr. Sean Freeder, assistant professor political science and administration, on Jaffee and Phillips’ podcast, Civil Discord. Civil Discord is series of podcasts devoted to discussing current political, economic, and social issues.

Dr. Ronald Kephart, associate professor of anthropology, had his entry “English as a World Language” published in the print edition of the International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology, edited by James Stanlaw and published by Wiley-Blackwell.

College of Education and Human Services

Dr. Katrina Hall and Dr. Kim Cheek, associate professors in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum, published “FTCE Florida Teacher Certification Examinations PreK/Primary PK-3 (053),” in Research & Education Associates, 2021.

Dr. Mark Halley
, assistant professor in American Sign Language/English Interpreting, with Lynne Bowker, University of Ottawa, published a book chapter "Translation by TARDIS: Exploring the Science Behind Multilingual Communication in Doctor Who" in the book Doctor Who and Science: Essays on Ideas, Identities and Ideologies in the Series. Halley also published “Rendering Depiction: A Case Study of an American Sign Language/English Interpreter" in the Journal of Interpretation.

Dr. Matt Ohlson, director of the Taylor Leadership Institute and associate professor, published the chapter “Using Positivity and Happiness to Establish Work-Life Balance,” in the book “The New Teacher's Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges: Curated Advice from Award-Winning Teachers.”

Dr. Jennifer Kane
, associate dean, and the Sport Management Program were recognized at COSMA’s virtual conference. Kane was presented with the “Task Master” award and the Sport Management program received the “BizConnector” Award for their outstanding work connecting the UNF program to the community and sport industry.

Dr. Chris Janson, associate professor and center director, Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management, was recently named this year’s Kathy Kasten Doctoral Mentoring and Advising Award Winner. Learn more here.

Hicks Honors College

Dr. Leslie Kaplan, director of the Hicks Honors College, Sophia Zevoli and Dr. Andres Gallo, UNF GlobalMBA director and professor of economics, published “Transformational Study Abroad” in Internationalizing Honors. Editors Kim Klein and Mary Kay Mulvaney. National Collegiate Honors Council Monograph Series. National Collegiate Honors Council, 2020. Pp. 135-162. Read the abstract. 

Thomas G. Carpenter Library
Susan Swiatosz, head of Special Collections and University Archives, published “Adapting to a remote life: Using a work environment at home to our advantage at University of North Florida Special Collections” in College & Research Libraries News Vol. 82 No. 2 (February 2021) p. 66-69. 

Around Campus

Personalize Your Plate During National Nutrition Month

plate full of salad

March is National Nutrition Month.® Are you ready to add some nutritious foods to your plate?

Developing a healthful eating pattern is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. This year, the theme of the nutrition month is “Personalize Your Plate,” a reminder that you can create nutritious meals to meet your own cultural and personal food preferences. Here are some tips to help you personalize your plate at each meal.

Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day
Include healthful foods from all food groups ― fruit, vegetables, dairy, protein foods and grains ― to help you obtain all of the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Fruits and veggies not only add color to your plate, but also flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Make two cups of fruit and two-and-a-half cups of vegetables your daily goal. On the other hand, it is important to limit foods and beverages that are higher in saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. Read the nutrition facts labels on the food packaging to help you make healthier choices.

Plan your meals each week
Life is hectic. Planning ahead may help relieve mealtime stress. In a convenient place, keep a pad and pen, and as you use up grocery items, mark them on your list. This way you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything when you hit the supermarket. On the list, include healthy foods that you like to eat and prepare. When ordering out, you can stick to your healthy eating plan too. The key is to plan ahead, ask questions and choose foods carefully. Compare nutrition information, if available, and look for healthier options that are grilled, baked, broiled or steamed. To prepare for work or school, prevent brown bag boredom with easy-to-make, healthy lunch ideas. Try a whole-wheat pita pocket with veggies and hummus or a low sodium vegetable soup with whole grain crackers or a salad of mixed greens with low-fat dressing and a hard-boiled egg.

Learn skills to create tasty meals
Preparing foods at home can be healthy, rewarding and cost-effective. Master some kitchen basics, like dicing onions or cooking dried beans. Reduce your chances of getting sick with proper food safety. This includes regular hand washing, separating raw foods from ready-to-eat foods, cooking foods to the appropriate internal temperature and refrigerating food promptly. Add more nutrition and eating pleasure by expanding your range of food choices. When shopping, make a point of selecting a fruit, vegetable or whole grain that’s new to you or your family.

Consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Whether you want to lose weight, lower your health risks, manage a chronic disease or just prepare healthier foods for your family, many struggle with meal planning and cooking, so consult the experts! Registered dietitian nutritionists can help you by providing sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice. You can ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN or you can meet RDNs in a variety of settings throughout the community. Find a local RDN

Submitted by Zhiping Yu, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, Associate Professor and MS/Online Program Director, UNF Department of Nutrition and Dietetics

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

Volleyball Completes Reverse Sweep at Stetson

In a match of momentum, the Ospreys (5-6, 4-1 ASUN) seized theirs late completing a reverse sweep at Stetson (1-3, 0-3 ASUN) Thursday, Feb. 25. Learn more about the volleyball win. Watch the team celebrate the win.


Ospreys Win - with two female athletes Women's Soccer Tops The Citadel to Remain Undefeated

Thais Reiss netted her fourth goal in three matches and freshman Amanda Hartmann scored her first career goal to push North Florida women's soccer past The Citadel, 2-1, Tuesday, February 23. Learn more about the winning soccer match.


Ospreys Dominate Field in Taking Title at First Coast Classic

The North Florida women's golf team captured their first tournament title of the season in convincing fashion, as the Ospreys topped the field at the First Coast Classic by 16 strokes and had all five players finish among the Top 20 individuals. Learn more about the golf title.


Men's Cross Country Sweeps ASUN Weekly Honors

North Florida Men's Cross Country sweeps ASUN weekly honors for the second time this season after a strong performance at the FSU Winter Classic. Learn more about the honors.


UNF swimmers break records 800 Free Relay Breaks Pool Record at Georgia Southern

UNF swimming's 800 free relay squad set a pool record for the event, but the Ospreys came up just short, 147-130, at Georgia Southern Saturday. Swimmers Taylor Warren, Ashley Kephart and Ashley Cozard each won first place in the 100 back, 100 free, and 200 free respectively. Learn more about the swimming records.


Ospreys Claim Team Crown, Medalist Title at Sea Best Invitational

With four golfers in the Top 25 including individual medalist Nick Gabrelcik, the North Florida men's golf team earned its first tournament title of the season, besting the field by 12 strokes at the Sea Best Invitational. Learn more about the tournament.

Around Campus

Spread the Word

Soldier saluting the flagUNF’s recognition for its commitment to military students hits 12-year milestone

This year marks the 12th consecutive year that UNF has been designated as one of the most military friendly schools in the nation by Military Friendly. The 2021-22 Military Friendly Schools list honors educational institutions nationwide that are doing the most to embrace the nation’s military students and dedicate resources to ensure success both in the classroom and after graduation. Read more about the ranking.

Spread the Word!



Inside UNF is a monthly publication produced by UNF Marketing and Communications
Marsha Blasco, Editor; Contributing writers: 
Zhiping Yu, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, Associate Professor and MS/Online Program Director, UNF Department of Nutrition and Dietetics; Carissa Marques, Student Intern, Marketing and Communications; Ginny Walthour, UNF Media Relations Director, Marketing and Communications; Isabel Pease, Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Marketing and Communications