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UNF Journal: Winter 2011


Alum gift makes VERB garden possible

UNF alum Katrina Norbom, a volunteer coordinator at UNF's Wildlife Sanctuary, proposed establishing an organic VERB (vegetable and herb) garden as a way to foster environmental stewardship on campus. With the help of donor Bruce Ogier, who jumped at the opportunity to provide startup funds, Norbom’s idea blossomed.


Alums open hearts and home to UNF

Debbie and Jay Johnson, whose love for each other and UNF began more than two decades ago, like to open things. They open their home to UNF alumni on special occasions; they open their checkbook for UNF causes; and they open their hearts to help others earn a college education.


Compassion in the midst of chaos

When the worst earthquake in two centuries hit Haiti last January near Port au Prince, the aftershocks were felt 1,000 miles away in Jacksonville. Once UNF alum Martha Seneca learned of the devastation caused by the quake, she knew it was time to jump in and lend a helping hand.


Donated artwork focal point for students

UNF art students can now go beyond textbooks and the Internet to view actual examples of art prints, thanks to a recent donation by Dr. Saul and Judy Eisen. The couple donated 15 prints and paintings to the Department of Art & Design to be used for educational purposes.


Dual-purpose endowment inspired by family

Roy Clarke Jr. and Iris Cooper McGuffin were interested in finding a way to honor their respective parents while at the same time helping future generations. They achieved that goal by establishing an endowment, which recently became fully funded and is helping UNF students become teachers and nurses.


Former UNF soccer star shines bright at ESPN

A lifetime ambition for Sara Walsh, a former soccer star at UNF, was to work for ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports. That dream became a reality last year, when ESPN hired her as a sports anchor. She now anchors SportsCenter and SportsNation programs and conducts high-profile interviews with athletes.

President John Delaney at the library

Letter from the President

Ever since the University of North Florida opened in fall of 1972, students have benefitted from individualized attention and class sizes small enough for interactions with each other and their professors. Alums often talk about professors who knew them by name and were genuinely interested in their academic success. Those hallmarks remain true today, but UNF is also gaining a reputation on a number of other fronts.


Photo collection documents history of area

When future generations want to see what Jacksonville looked like in the early ‘70s, they may get the best picture by browsing through the 50,000 images by award-winning photographer Lawrence V. Smith recently donated to UNF’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library. The collection includes everything from the gritty to the glamorous.


UNF baseball player recovering from shark attack

After nearly eight years of good, uneventful surfing on the Atlantic coast of Florida, 20-year-old UNF baseball pitcher Clayton Schulz said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was attacked by a shark last July in the waves Jacksonville Beach.


UNF biologists attack shark research

A team of student researchers headed by UNF biology professor Dr. Jim Gelsleichter has been fishing the waters of Northeast Florida to study the many varieties of sharks that live and reproduce here. This fieldwork allows students to gain hands-on experience that teaches them more than any textbook possibly could.


UNF golfers enjoy banner year

Two members of the UNF men’s golf team have teed the program up for success with their outstanding play at the national level: Kevin Phelan of Waterford, Ireland, and Sean Dale of Jacksonville. And in the 2009-10 season, the team recorded Top 10 finishes in all 13 tournaments played.


UNF researcher bent on preventing knee pain

Michelle Boling, assistant professor of Clinical & Applied Movement Sciences at UNF, has spent several years researching patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as “runner’s knee.” She and her colleagues hope their research will help prevent the musculoskeletal disorder that afflicts up to 33 percent of the adult population.


UNF sets lifelong educator on path to service and success

After nearly 35 years in the Duval County Public School district – first as a teacher, then an administrator and now to her current role as DCPS deputy superintendent – Patricia Willis said she has UNF to thank for providing a solid pathway to her career in education.


UNF students sowing seeds of hope in urban Jacksonville

With the bright sun beaming down, birds chirping in unison and produce sprouting up all around, the setting seems like a rural farm, but in reality it isn’t Sunny Brook Farms. It’s a small organic garden located in the heart of an urban jungle outside the Clara White Mission.