Dr. Thobias Sando, University of North Florida civil engineering professor, was recently awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, a scholar fellowship program for educational projects at African higher education institutions. [Read more…] about UNF Professor Awarded Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship
With the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year, the University of North Florida Athletic Department is celebrating the extension of one of its most impressive streaks as UNF student-athletes recorded their seventh full academic year with a cumulative department GPA of 3.0 or higher.
“Our student-athletes continue to raise the banner of success higher and higher,” said UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon. “It’s exciting to see all of our teams excel in the classroom, representing the academic success of our University in such a consistent way.”
Following a 3.324 cumulative GPA in the fall, North Florida student-athletes amassed a 3.415 cumulative GPA during the spring semester, assisting the Department in finishing the academic year with a 3.370 GPA. The final spring GPA marked the 14th consecutive semester North Florida Athletics boasted a GPA of 3.0 or higher and also established a new Department record for highest cumulative GPA.
All 19 UNF varsity teams recorded a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for the fourth successive semester—two full academic years—highlighted by all 11 women’s programs finishing with a GPA of 3.30 or higher, a first in Athletic Department history. The women’s cross-country team led all programs with a 3.761 GPA, while men’s soccer topped the male programs with a 3.401 GPA. Additionally, 29 student-athletes notched perfect 4.0 GPAs for the spring semester.
The mission of UNF’s Intercollegiate Athletic Program is to provide a high-level, broad-based program of intercollegiate athletics for student-athletes who demonstrate academic and athletic excellence. The Athletic Program is committed to the principles of fairness, gender equity and community involvement as well as moral and fiscal responsibility. The Program reflects the athletic interests of Northeast Florida, bringing identity and recognition to the University.
Outstanding African-American students in the Duval County Public Schools were honored for academic excellence and community impact at the 34th annual High Potential Youth Recognition Awards Program last night at the University of North Florida Fine Arts Center Lazzara Performance Hall.
The top eight high school seniors received one-time academic scholarships and include Sandrilla Awad Elkarim, Atlantic Coast High School; Eric Mitchell, Paxon School for Advanced Studies; Alonna Turner, Alexis Williams and Victoria Laws, Robert E. Lee High School; Nkosi Alexander-Williams, Sandalwood High School; Mahelet Dalke, Samuel W. Wolfson High School; and Sydney Lewis, Stanton College Preparatory.
Alexander-Williams and Awad Elkarim are also committed to attend UNF and are recipients of the Jacksonville Commitment Scholarship. Awad Elkarim has a 4.0 recalculated GPA and was also presented the Dr. Caroline Annette Cody Memorial Scholarship Award, while Alexander-Williams, who graduated with a 4.73 recalculated GPA, enters the UNF Hicks Honors College with an associate’s degree.
UNF presented scholarships along with the Dr. Caroline Annette Cody Memorial Foundation, Dr. James A. Joyner, III Memorial Foundation, The Gary Legacy Scholarship, Ralph and Jeannine Frasier Scholarship and the Jack and Jill of America. A new scholarship, the Conqueror’s Award, was awarded to honor exceptional students with learning disabilities who have conquered some of life’s greatest challenges.
More than 830 students with a GPA of 3.50 or above were invited to the program and were recognized with gift certificates and prizes. Melanie Lawson, WJXT Ch. 4 morning anchor, served as the master of ceremonies, while Charles Griggs, 100 Black Men of Jacksonville president, gave the keynote speech.
The program is a joint venture between UNF, DCPS and Gamma Beta Boule, the local member boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Business partnership donors are PGA TOUR, Inc., Florida Blue, The Gary Firm, The Renaissance Group and Southern King Holdings, LLC.
Since its inception 34 years ago, the annual High Potential Youth Recognition Awards Program has honored the top African-American students in Jacksonville. Through partnerships and joint ventures, it has provided more than $1 million in scholarship money to honor students for outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular community involvement.
Lyndsey Smith, a senior in the University of North Florida’s Jacksonville Teacher Residency (JTR) program in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS), was recently honored as the 2018 AmeriCorps Member of the Year.
Volunteer Florida recognized Smith at an April 9 ceremony in Miami out of 1,500 Senior Corps and AmeriCorps members who are currently serving in 34 Florida counties. Smith, a Bartram Park resident who will graduate today with an education degree, is being honored for providing exceptional service to the community and exemplifying Volunteer Florida’s values of service, leadership, collaboration and excellence.
“We are extremely proud of Lyndsey’s selection, as she exemplifies a commitment to service while enacting the core principles of the program,” said Dr. Wanda Lastrapes, JTR AmeriCorps program director. “Her passion and commitment to urban teaching is evident through her knowledge and implementation of relevant and engaging standards-based lessons.”
Smith spearheaded the launch of a Girls on the Run (GOTR) program at Andrew Robinson Elementary School to build her students’ confidence, communication skills and connections with their peers and in the community. The program focuses on values that may not be taught in school: self-esteem, bystander intervention, diffusing anger and other important social skills as well as improving physical health by training to run a 5K race.
“I participated in a GOTR program when I was in third grade,” said Smith. “I took so much out of the program and realized the need for it at Andrew Robinson.”
As part of the JTR program, Smith completed several community service hours, including completing a beautification project on MLK Day, while teaching her students about the importance of service.
Smith currently serves as a UNF COEHS ambassador and has served in leadership positions on campus as communications chair of the UNF chapter of Student Florida Education Association, vice president of a politically affiliated club and resident assistant.
The JTR is a partnership between UNF’s COEHS and Duval County Public Schools, supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National Science Foundation and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. The program is currently preparing its fifth cohort of teachers for urban classrooms.
The mission of the JTR program is to recruit, prepare and retain a diverse population of highly effective teachers who serve in high-needs schools to ensure that Duval County students are college and career ready.
Dr. Shyam Paryani, University of North Florida health administration instructor and CEO of Medical & Dental Consultants, was recently named a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the leading professional society for health care leaders.
“I am delighted that Dr. Paryani has received this tremendous honor,” said Dr. Mei Zhao, UNF Department of Health Administration chair. “He has been an incredible asset to our department and students. His hard work and dedication to furthering the health administration field, as well as the local community, is inspiring.”
Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development. To obtain this honor, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including meeting academic/experiential criteria, earning continuing education hours, demonstrating professional/community involvement, passing a comprehensive examination, committing to ongoing professional development and undergoing recertification every three years.
“I am extremely honored,” said Paryani, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident. “This is the culmination of my membership in this organization spanning my career as a health care professional.”
Paryani is an engineer, nuclear physicist, physician, scientist, teacher, innovator, entrepreneur as well as philanthropist. His current research is in quality management in health care. Paryani is leading efforts to develop policy for health care reform in Florida as chairman of the non-profit community organization, Floridians Advocating Insurance Reform.
Paryani served on UNF’s Foundation Board, College of Health Dean’s Council and the Health Administration Advisory Board. He was honored as UNF’s Distinguished Alumnus in 2007 and Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Health Administration in 2017.
Additionally, he co-founded the Florida Radiation Oncology Group in 1983. Keeping alive his passion for education, he founded the Continuing Medical Education (CME) program at Memorial Hospital in 1991 and has served as chairman of the CME Committee for over 20 years. He has also served on the Florida Medical Association CME Committee for Accreditation since 1995 in various capacities, including chairman and surveyor.
Paryani earned his doctoral degree in internal medicine at the University of Texas and M.D. Anderson Hospital. He completed further training in radiation oncology at Stanford University. Paryani graduated from the University of Florida with a nuclear engineering/radiation physics master’s degree and graduated magna cum lade with an electrical engineering bachelor’s degree. He earned a second master’s in health administration from UNF in 2002, with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Four Jacksonville teachers were recently surprised in their classrooms with the 2018 Gladys Prior Awards for Career Teaching Excellence, which were established by Gilchrist Berg, founder and president of Water Street Capital, to honor teachers who have had lifelong careers in teaching and inspiring students. [Read more…] about 2018 Gladys Prior Awards for Career Teaching Excellence Honor Four Teachers
The University of North Florida’s Department of Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management along with the Taylor Leadership Institute will host the Collegiate Achievement Mentoring Program (CAMP) Osprey Leadership Mentoring Awards, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at the Student Union, Building 58W, Ballroom, Room 3703.
The ceremony will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the CAMP program which has impacted more than 1,500 students and trained over 500 collegiate mentors. Drew Dudley, Ted Talks speaker, author and founder of Day One Leadership, will be the inspirational keynote speaker. Jonathan Catherman, best-selling author of “The Manual to Middle School” will also provide advice to students on achieving their full potential.
“This event serves to honor the work of the amazing leaders who have helped to create CAMP Osprey,” said Dr. Matthew Ohlson, program director and assistant professor of Leadership, School Counseling and Sport Management. “We want to model our mission of ‘leaders can change the world, one person at a time’ by allowing every participant the opportunity to enhance their own leadership skills and be a force for positive advancement in their schools and communities.”
The ceremony will honor three student mentors from the CAMP Osprey program, junior Nicholas Marchese, sophomore Casey Estes and senior Diandra Thompson. Three community leaders will also be recognized, including Tenikka Hughes, Emmy-nominated Action News journalist; Dr. Bruce Taylor, former UNF Board of Trustees chairperson and co-founder of the Taylor Leadership Institute; and Lt. General Rick Tryon, Taylor Leadership Institute director. Francesca Enea-Bruey and Jason Watkins, two former mentors who helped to get the initial program off the ground, will also be honored.
Marchese is a student-athlete who received the Jeffrey Dow Leadership Award for his commitment to service as a leadership mentor working with high-poverty students from Putnam County. Estes is a student-athlete who served as a mentor at Tiger Academy in Jacksonville’s Northside and exemplified service leadership by helping a group of high-needs girls increase confidence as well as leadership skills. Thompson is a communications major who created her own expanded mentoring model for female students within the culturally diverse River City Science Academy.
Hughes will be honored with the Community Engagement Award for her passion in promoting education and for making a positive impact on local youth. For their exceptional commitment to creating leaders at the University and in the community, Taylor will be honored with the Leadership Legacy Award, while Lt. Tryon will receive the Leadership Catalyst Award. Students and community partners from Flagler County schools, Putnam County schools and River City Science Academy will also be honored.
Admission is free with a children’s book donation to Tenikka’s Books for Kids drive to benefit the Jacksonville Public Library’s summer learning programs. Ticket and sponsorship packages are available on the CAMP Osprey website. Contact Ohlson for event questions at (904) 620-5271.
In 2008, the CAMP program began pairing collegiate students with high-needs children as CAMP Gator at the University of Florida. The hallmark of the program is effective leadership development that increases student achievement, confidence and leadership abilities.
The program moved to UNF as CAMP Osprey in 2015 and has expanded to nine schools in three states utilizing face-to-face and virtual mentoring. CAMP Osprey has been supported through generous grants from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Deerwood Rotary, the Cummer Foundation, Clay Electric and Florida Blue.
When it comes to value, the University of North Florida is among the top universities in the country, according to a new ranking from Forbes.
UNF has been named a Forbes 2018 “Best Value College” and is among an exclusive class of only 300 schools nationwide ranked to help students as well as families evaluate the likely return on their investment. The University is the only Northeast Florida higher education institution to land on the list.
“We’re pleased to be included on this list and take great pride in being nationally recognized by some very elite organizations for delivering an exceptional education at an extraordinary value,” said UNF President John Delaney.
The 2018 Forbes Best Value College ranking indexes schools that deliver the best bang for the tuition buck based on net price of tuition, net debt, alumni earnings, timely graduation, school quality and access for low-income students. Forbes used data collected from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and PayScale, the world’s largest salary database.
The Forbes list evaluates institutions offering four-year degrees and doesn’t include private for-profit schools such as the University of Phoenix or DeVry University. In-state tuition is used for state universities.
This latest recognition comes on the heels of UNF receiving several other national designations, including U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best Online Programs,” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s “Best College Value of 2018,” 2018 “Best in the Southeast” by Princeton Review, 2018 “Best Regional” University by U.S. News & World Report, 2018 “Best Colleges” by College Factual, to name a few.
The University of North Florida will honor students with outstanding records of volunteerism and caring spirits, when it hands out more than 1,850 degrees Friday, April 27, during spring commencement at the UNF Arena, Building 34, on campus.
Senior Sara-Marie Saliba, who will graduate from the Brooks College of Health with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, will be recognized as the recipient of the Senior Service Award, while Ayshka Elise Rodriguez-Velez, who will be graduating with a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, will be recognized as the recipient of the Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award.
The UNF Alumni Association presents the Senior Service Award to a graduating senior for outstanding volunteer service to the University or community. The Caring Award recognizes students who demonstrate the spirit of caring, humanitarianism and volunteerism exemplified by Albert Ernest.
Saliba, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Lebanon, believes that a nursing career will provide her the opportunity to greatly impact individuals and the community. She has been an instrumental member of the Student Nurses Association, serving as volunteer chair and first vice president. She also revived the Red Cross Ospreys Club on campus in association with the American Red Cross, functioning as the club’s vice president.
Because Saliba wants to drive change and promote health, she has participated in the UNF Environmental Center’s “Garbage on the Green” project. This initiative educates students, faculty and staff about ways to reduce campus trash through recycling and litter-prevention practices.
A Jacksonville native who lives on the Southside, Saliba has exemplified the University’s commitment to community service through her seven-year volunteer involvement with St. Maron Catholic Church and Holy Family Catholic Church. She has volunteered at Mayo Clinic’s optical shop and emergency department, in addiation to tutoring Sulzbacher Center students twice weekly over the last two years as well as mentoring other adolescents in the community. Rodriguez-Velez, a Southside resident, plans to pursue a career in biomedical application and devices that will help serve the world community. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate careers at UNF, she has been a member and an officer of the Society of Women Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
Rodriguez-Velez has invested her time outside of class by volunteering for programs such as the SHPE Jr. program at Ribault High School and Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day. These initiatives that promote STEM awareness and offer hands-on activities, give children from underrepresented households opportunities to see the world beyond their backyards. As a Hispanic female engineer, Rodriguez-Velez hopes to inspire other young women and Hispanics to pursue their dreams, no matter what they may be.
The ceremony for the Brooks College of Health and the College of Education and Human Services will take place at 9 a.m., followed by a 12:30 p.m. ceremony for the Coggin College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences (art, biology, chemistry, economics, English, fine arts, French studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, math, music, philosophy, physics, practical philosophy and applied ethics, religious studies, Spanish and statistics.)
The ceremony for the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction and the final ceremony for COAS (anthropology, communication, criminal justice, political science, public administration, psychology, social work and sociology) will take place at 4 p.m.
The University expects to award a total of 1,545 bachelor’s degrees, 242 master’s degrees and 71 doctorates this term. Including the spring 2018 graduates, UNF has issued a total of 75,501 bachelor’s degrees, 18,883 master’s degrees and 602 doctorates since first opening its doors in 1972.
The University of North Florida’s Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP) is launching a large-scale public art mural project to supplement Civil Rights Movement curriculum and teach Jacksonville’s high school students about local historical events like Ax Handle Saturday and the 1960’s Sit-Ins.
This initiative, “Hope and History: Learning from Our Past to Lead into Our Future,” will be discussed with the public 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 6, during the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s Public Art Week event at The Eastside Brotherhood, 915 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.
The event will feature Dr. Rudy Jamison, CUEP community initiatives coordinator and UNF visiting assistant professor of educational leadership; Dr. Chris Janson, CUEP director and UNF associate professor of leadership, school counseling and sport management; Rodney L. Hurst Sr., local author and civil rights leader; Bruce Moye, Eastside Brotherhood president; as well as Roosevelt Watson III and Nicole Holderbaum, local artists. The high school students involved in the mural project will also speak about their experiences.
This project is part of a historically significant community-based learning curriculum that the CUEP developed to immerse students in understanding civil rights issues and meeting community leaders from a local perspective in order to foster a deeper understanding of historical, as well as modern, struggles against prejudice and oppression.
“Ax Handle Saturday is the quintessential public education and youth leadership development story where students fought for dignity and respect through sit-in demonstrations,” said Jamison. “Through this collaborative project, we hope to amplify a story of resistance in the spirit of hope, love, courage and agency.”
The high school students involved in the project are being guided by regional artists Roosevelt Watson III, Nicole Holderbaum and Suzanne Pickett as they conceptualize, prepare, design and implement their interpretations of regional events that occurred during the Movement into a large-sized mural that the students will paint on the side of the Brotherhood building.
For more information on the project, contact Dr. Rudy Jamison at (904) 386-8926.
The Center for Urban Education and Policy at UNF believes in empowering schools and communities by uniting strengths, inviting advocacy and inspiring innovation.
The Eastside Brotherhood is one of Jacksonville’s first African-American social clubs, founded by “OutEast” community members. As a central preserver of the historical Eastside, The Eastside Brotherhood is committed to a healthy, thriving community.