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UNF Journal: Fall 2018

Coastal biology students on a boat doing tests

Collaborating to understand coastal challenges

To many of us, oysters are best known as the tasty main course served at an oyster roast. To scientists, the bivalve mollusks serve a more crucial purpose. Within the estuaries they inhabit, oyster populations filter water and act as stabilizers to reduce shoreline erosion. Yet as the coast is confronted with environmental changes — rising sea levels and severe storms — will oysters be adversely affected, and will that alter the future health of the area’s coastline?

President Szymanski on move-in day in his office

From the President

Last month, I participated in my first commencement ceremony as president of the University of North Florida. Commencement represents the dedication, sacrifice and hard work of our students, and what an honor it was for me to share that special day with our graduates and their families! As our fall semester gets underway, we are excited to welcome a new group of students to campus who are beginning their academic journeys with us.

President Szymanski talking with students

President Szymanski 100 days in

There is no doubt that UNF’s new president Dr. David Szymanski looks presidential. His imposing 6’6” frame exudes a stately presence, and if you’ve met him, you know he has a really good handshake. Szymanski is focused and efficient. His comfort level is highest when he is leading, and his wife, Maria, will tell you he’s always been that way.

Florida Data Science for Social Good group talking about a project

Spinning data into business gold

Britni Surprenant and seven other students spent the summer writing code, entering data records and running reports. But they weren’t simply manipulating numbers. Their ultimate goal was to reveal information that would tell a story.

Archaeology student surveying property

Students uncover history in Archaeology Field School

Spending six weeks digging in a trash pile is not typically how students want to spend the summer, but Juliana Sims, a senior anthropology student, was more than up for the task. The daily excavation was part of the University of North Florida's Summer Archaeological Field School — an annual transformational experience hosted each year by UNF's Archaeology Lab in partnership with area residents and national and state parks.

Nursing students with professor at Volunteers in Medicine

Where passion and learning connect

Alumna Nina Smith, ’04, juggles two roles at Volunteers in Medicine, a healthcare clinic that provides free medical services to Jacksonville’s working uninsured.