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Collaborations: Ancelin & Patterson


One of the many benefits available to students at UNF is the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty members to experience stimulating scholarship, research and intellectual engagement. Both undergraduate and graduate students work as colleagues alongside their professors to conduct original research, initiate groundbreaking projects and gain firsthand experience in their fields.


Student-faculty collaborations take place in all five colleges at UNF. This issue features four student-faculty teams from the College of Education and Human Services. Whether making children’s music, researching and presenting teaching and learning methods, finding new ways to improve literacy or developing innovative curricula, these groups illustrate the importance of one-on-one interaction in academia. Such collaborations are mutually beneficial and have a transformative effect on everyone involved.



Two decades after completing her undergraduate degree, Jennifer Ancelin decided to earn a master’s in special education and disability services at UNF. Ancelin, who has a son with Down syndrome, spent the previous several years volunteering and embracing the community of people with disabilities. It was when she began speaking to students in Dr. Karen Patterson’s Exceptional Student & Deaf Education courses through the Family as Faculty program that Ancelin was inspired to pursue a career in disability services. Patterson became Ancelin’s mentor, supported her as she transitioned to grad school, and the two have collaborated on scholarly research projects ever since. Ancelin graduated in July after completing an internship at Hope Haven Children’s Clinic and Family Center, and looks forward to a future full of research endeavors with Patterson, whom she describes as her own personal “rock star.”


Jennifer Ancelin:

I would not be in the program without the incredible one-on-one interaction I’ve had with Dr. Patterson from the very beginning. It’s been extremely important to have her guidance as I’ve weighed and explored all my options. It’s been such a gift to have her time, attention, support and outstanding guidance. She’s just fantastic.


Dr. Karen Patterson:

As faculty, we’re here to provide meaningful experiences for students. People come into the graduate program as students, but they leave as colleagues. I actually felt that way about Jen even before she joined the program because of her role in Family as Faculty and because of her many life experiences. She clearly had a path, and I’m glad to have helped her see it. Jennifer is an outstanding student, mother and educator, and I’m just so proud and honored that she’s been a part of our program. Now that she’s moving on with her career, we can focus on doing additional innovative research together, so it’s really a win-win situation for us.