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Press Release for Friday, September 12, 2014

UNF Presents Annual 2014 Distinguished Professor Award

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

            The University of North Florida presented Dr. Kristine Webb, professor in the Department of Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education and former UNF Disability Resource Center director, the 2014 Distinguished Professor award during the 43rd Annual Fall Convocation ceremony recently held on campus.


            Webb, a Southside resident, is the 37th faculty member at UNF to hold the title of Distinguished Professor, which is an award given to a professor who demonstrates excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. This award is the highest honor to be conferred upon a University faculty member and was presented September 5 in the Fine Arts Center Lazzara Performance Hall.


            Dr. Kris Webb exemplifies excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Her commitment to her students and to advocating for individuals with disabilities is unwavering,” said Dr. Marsha Lupi, interim dean for the College of Education and Human Services. “She has transformed our campus with programs such as THRIVE, On-Campus Transition and the work in the Disabilities Resource Center, all programs which have elevated UNF as a model institution that promotes inclusion of all students.”


            Under Webb’s direction, the Disability Resource Center experienced tremendous growth in the numbers of students who use accommodations and services, and the number of successful graduates increased 10 times the number of students who graduated a decade earlier. Further, the grade point averages of the graduates who were registered with the DRC were equal or exceeded the mean GPA of UNF graduates from the general population.


            She has written or edited a number of books about the transition process, including the most recent, “Handbook of Adolescent Transition Education for Youth with Disabilities.” Webb is a past-president of the International Division on Career Development and Transition, an organization dedicated to improving life for adolescents and adults with disabilities.


            Webb has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Desmond Tutu Peace and Reconciliation Award and the 2012 EVE winner in Education, awarded by The Florida Times Union. She also was awarded the UNF Outstanding Faculty Service Award, the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and was a nominee for the

UNF 2003 CASE Undergraduate Teaching Award.


            Prior to UNF, Webb served as the director of the Florida Network: Information and Services for Adults and Adolescents with Disabilities, housed at the University of Florida. She also served as the coordinator of a collaborative special education intern program at the University of New Mexico. Before transitioning into higher education, Webb was a high school teacher for 17 years in Colorado and New Mexico.


            In addition to her own service commitments, she has developed several programs for students enrolled in education classes and registered with the Disability Resource Center at UNF to highlight the importance of community and professional service. Along with her interest in teacher preparation, Webb has a long-standing passion for promoting successful postsecondary education experiences for individuals with disabilities, family involvement and collaboration, and transition to adult life for individuals with disabilities. 


            UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.