The latest JRAD (Journal of Research Across the Disciplines) is out!


The latest edition of Jacksonville University’s Journal of Research Across the Disciplines (JRAD) is out, at

The journal, overseen by Ed McCourt, director of the Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum, and assistant professor of English, is a peer-reviewed electronic journal dedicated to publishing and showcasing student research.

The 2014 edition includes an essay on Romantic Literature and Science via the work of Barbauld (Alyssa Stubbs); on family life in North Florida during the Civil War (James Thomas); on the effects of a Hunting and Fishing Club’s efforts to preserve a historic site (Richard White); and an artist’s perspective on illustration as a means to navigate a chaotic world (with images, Arelis Resto).

The WAC committee reviews all submissions, which are almost exclusively derived from coursework completed in JU classrooms, McCourt said.

JU Wind Ensemble Spring to perform “Piece of Mind” April 13 in Terry Hall

The JU Wind Ensemble

The Jacksonville University College of Fine Arts presents the JU Wind Ensemble in a free Spring Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13, in Terry Concert Hall on the JU campus. The public is invited.

The Wind Ensemble will present a program titled “Piece of Mind” that features an award-winning work by composer Dana Wilson. The composition is a sonic exploration of the inner workings of the human mind. The four movements are titled “Thinking,” “Remembering,” “Feeling” and “Being.” Other selections include music by Mackey, Grundman, Saint-Saens and Sousa.

The concert will feature outstanding trombonist and JU senior Corey Wilcox in Ferdinand David’s classic “Concertino for Trombone.”

The JU Wind Ensemble includes woodwind, brass and percussion instrumentalists and is led by music professor Artie Clifton. The group studies and performs the best of traditional and contemporary wind literature.

For more information, call (904) 256-7386.

Over-exercising not a good fit with eating disorders, JU researcher Hausenblas finds

Exercise, as we all know, can improve your health, but if you have an eating disorder and also exercise compulsively to help manage your weight, you may find your overall quality of life going down even further

JU Prof. Heather Hausenblas

Those are some of the findings of research by JU Professor of Kinesiology Heather Hausenblas and colleagues in a study titled “Pathological Motivations for Exercise and Eating Disorder Specific Health-Related Quality of Life” published in the April 2014 issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

“People with eating disorders often engage in purging behaviors to manage their weight, including self-induced vomiting, over-exercising and the use of diuretics, enemas and laxatives,” Hausenblas said. “The purpose of our study was to examine exercise dependency’s relation to eating disorders and a person’s quality of life. We found that exercise dependence may further worsen the quality of life for these patients.”

For example, a person with an eating disorder whose motivation for excessively exercising is to control their weight may experience heightened negative emotions such as anxiety, depression and stress that will further reduce their already low quality of life, she said.

An abstract of the study is at The researchers are Brian Cook, PhD.; Scott Engel, PhD.; Ross Crosby, PhD.; Heather Hausenblas, PhD.; Stephen Wonderlich, PhD.; and James Mitchell, MD.

A .pdf of the full study is below.

Veterans’ issues, best college coaches, shape-shifting cell phones and much more on tap at JU Symposium March 26-28

JU’s 2014 Faculty & Student Symposium March 26-28 features results from more than 100 projects, with topics including everything from shape-shifting smartphones, veterans’ college transition issues and using yoga in kindergarten classrooms to the best college coaches of all time, how social media use affects SAT scores and reviving oyster harvesting in Jacksonville.

The free symposium, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  each day in the JU Davis College of Business Conference Rooms B and C, spotlights the excellence of JU students and faculty who engage in cutting-edge research in intriguing topics across a range of disciplines (see a .pdf of the full schedule below). Students and the community can stop by DCOB any time during the event and learn about JU’s exciting research, teaching, service, study abroad and internships, said co-organizer Dr. Brian Lane.

JU student Bryon Heylock presented a review of "Evolutionary Ethics: A Defense of Anti-Realism" Thursday, April 4, 2013, during the 2013 Faculty and Student Symposium at JU's Davis College of Business (Photos by Kevin Hogencamp/JU)

“The JU Symposium is a venue for faculty and students to share their work with the rigor and expectations of a professional conference in JU’s friendly campus environment,” Lane said. “We receive abstracts of all topics, allowing students to learn about work in fields very different from their own.”

For example, he said, research in history is very different from research in mathematics, and a business major’s internship is very different from a sociology major’s service learning project, so the JU Symposium is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about what their classmates are working on.

“Many of these presentations will later be delivered at national conferences (such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research) or lead to papers submitted for publication, so the feedback that presenters receive at the Symposium is vital to the further development of their work.”

Another great feature of the Symposium is that professors and students present side by side, sometimes even co-presenting, Lane noted.

“As students near the end of their projects, the Symposium marks a rite of passage to becoming a professional in their fields.”

This year’s Symposium Planning Committee included Dr. John Buck, Dr. Laura Chambers, Dr. Teri Chenot, Dr. Janet Haavisto, Dr. Jesse Hingson, Dr. W. Brian Lane, Prof. Ed McCourt and Dr. Chris Robertson. The 2014 Symposium is funded by ECHO: JU’s experiential learning program.

Follow the Symposium on Twitter (@JUSymposium) and Tweet about it using hashtag #JUSymp2014.

Jacksonville’s colleges unite to enliven City Hall windows at One Spark

JU student dancers will add some electricity to the opening of this year’s One Spark festival April 9, joining with UNF, FSCJ and the Looking Lab in “Spaceshifts,” a collaborative art installation.

JU student dancers

“The Looking Lab: Art in Empty Storefronts” began activating the Downtown urban core with storefront art projects in February, thanks to the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s Spark Grant initiative. The latest, “Exhibit B: Spaceshifts” at City Hall in Hemming Plaza, is curated by UNF Sculpture Prof. Jenny Hager, JU Dance Prof. Lana Heylock, FSCJ Art Prof. Mark Creegan and Looking Lab Director Joy Leverette.

The professors are not the only contributions from the schools, however. University of North Florida sculpture students will install art in nine City Hall windows with a theme related to “place,” Deep Sea, Coral Reef, Swamps, Forest, Mountains, Cities, Clouds, Deep Space, and Other World. Each window will be carefully curated to transform the “place” from day to night and will be fully built with foreground, middle ground and background spaces.

The middle ground spaces are of particular interest: the Jacksonville University Dance Department will perform in the ongoing “Spaceshifts” installation within the middle ground of the UNF installations. The JU performances are scheduled for the opening of the exhibit at 7 p.m. March 28 and three performances starting at 5 p.m. April 9. They will also present a dance for city officials at 4:30 p.m. March 25, prior to the City Council meeting.

JU student dancers

“The JU Dance Department embraces the collaborative experience and is thrilled to be a part of this exciting project,” Heylock said. “Each year, Choreography III dance students embark upon site-specific assignments.  The very nature of site-specific involves taking dance off of the traditional proscenium stage and putting it into the environment.  This produces a closer audience encounter and a vibrantly engaged experience for the performer, as well as the viewer. The Spaceshifts Project between JU Dance choreographers, UNF and FSCJ visual artists, The Looking Lab and the Cultural Council has epitomized the spirit of artistic synthesis in Northeast Florida.  It is an exciting prospect to truly ‘Enliven Space’ with dance and art.”

“I’m so honored and excited to be a part of this renaissance in Jacksonville,” said Leverette. “Here we are, transforming the old department store windows of City Hall with cutting-edge installation art. Our partnerships with City Hall, Petra and Prime Realty are proof that Northeast Florida city and business leaders are realizing how this storefront art initiative can revive dead space and restore vibrancy to our urban landscape.”

“The Looking Lab” is a series of unconventional pop-up exhibits featuring regional artists within empty storefronts throughout downtown Jacksonville. Participating artists include Jim Draper, David Montgomery, Crystal Floyd, Staci BuShea, Casey James, Mark Creegan, Sister Feathertoe, the UNF Sculpture Program, and the Jacksonville University Dance Department.

For more information, please visit

New JU Beta Gamma members inducted; Finley, Hoffman honored

By Courtney Jimenez

JU Communications Senior

JU’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society for business, initiated new members  March 7 in the Kinne University Center. Senior Alexandra Hoffman was introduced as the scholarship recipient for the year, and Renee Finley ’88 ’02 was named an honorary member.

New JU Beta Gamma members were inducted March 7. Photo by Courtney Jimenez

Beta Gamma Sigma is the honor society for students enrolled in business and management programs accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Election to lifetime membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest honor a business student anywhere in the world can receive in an undergraduate or master’s program at a school accredited by AACSB International.

Todd Hall, JU assistant professor of sport business, said Hoffman was a triple threat on Jacksonville University’s campus.

JU Senior Alexandra Hoffman

“Alexandra is an excellent scholar, an amazing athlete and a contributing citizen to the community,” he said.

According to Hall, Hoffman has held a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout college, is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and was recognized by Advantage Business Magazine as one of the Top 40 students in the Davis College of Business. She was a spring 2013 Beta Gamma inductee and was chosen to receive the annual Beta Gamma $100 Scholarship based on an essay she wrote and her outstanding GPA and JU contributions.

Her other accomplishments include:

  • President’s List each semester
  • Brumos Circle of Excellence
  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • 2014 Lead manager of JU’s Fin Fund
  • 2013 A-Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year
  • 2012-2013 Academic All-Conference
  • 2012 1st team all conference
  • 2012 MVP JU Women’s lacrosse attacker
  • 2012 Lead JU women’s lacrosse team in points and assists
  • Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Academic Honor Roll.

“As a freshman, I saw one of my classmates get invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma, and I immediately went back to my dorm and researched it,” said Hoffman, a business major and lacrosse player. “I realized what an honor it would be to be part of such a prestigious society and knew I had to make goals for myself to succeed something like this.”

JU alum Renee Finley

Meanwhile, Finley, vice president of Innovation and Market Intelligence for Florida Blue and a JU EMBA graduate, offered the students some words of advice as they proceed with their education and careers.

“Each of you has this wonderful gift ahead of you of the many paths not yet taken,” she said. “We start out on a path of life without always knowing where that path will lead, but eventually we will find our way.”

The key to success on the path is education, she said.

“Learning is truly the foundation of life. Without the education I received at JU, I wouldn’t have gotten a job with Florida Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and I wouldn’t still be there 16 years later.”

Undergraduate inductees into the honor society are in the top 10 percent of their class; graduate students are in the top 20 percent of their class. Only the best business students in the world, and the professionals who earned the distinction of “the Best in Business” during their academic careers, can claim membership in Beta Gamma Sigma.

Davis College of Business Beta Gamma Sigma officers are Dr. Don Capener, chapter dean; Dr. Matrecia James, Chapter President; Dr. Angela Mattia, chapter advisor and vice president; Dr. Hugh Van Seaton, chapter treasurer; Dr. John Shaw, scholarship director; and Mary Boggs, chapter graduate director.

For information on Beta Gamma Sigma’s JU chapter, contact Mattia at For more information on the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, visit

Following are the newest JU Beta Gamma Sigma inductees:

Juniors: Joseph Merritt and Victoria Seitz.

Seniors: Theresa Acevedo, Kristopher Bacon, Macy Bedingfield, David Dibagno, Carlie Gehlhausen, Ellis Harr, Samuel Helms, Shaun Hysler, Jena Kent, Krista Lamberti, Sonya Larson, Tanja Leiser, Alexis Richens, Rodney Smith, Charles Springer, Lisa Stover and Toi Tanner.

Masters: Subbarao  Ayyagari, Maram Alessa, Faisal Alhunaiti, Fahad Althanyan, Matthew Bauer, Andrew Broyles, Ryan Bush, Brian Dodson, Christopher Farrell, Tyler Fugitt, Ranganath Gangasani, Herbert Hadley, Thomas Johnston, Kelli Kemple, Michelle Markum, Juliane Mickler, Janice Milligan, Tetiana Musiienko, Ashishkumar Nayak, Amy O’Brien, Martina Partee, Amanda Poole, Kiran Reddi, Frances Teller and Haomin Yang.

Chapter honoree: Renee Finley, vice president, Innovation and Market Intelligence, Florida Blue.

JU’s Dr. Paulina Rippere awarded APSA Congressional Fellowship

Dr. Paulina Rippere, JU Assistant Professor of Political Science, has been selected for a prestigious Congressional Fellowship for 2014-15 with the American Political Science Association.

Dr. Paulina Rippere

Congressional Fellows are announced after a rigorous selection process and learn about the legislative process through direct participation. Over their nine-month fellowship that begins each November, they work with congressional staffs, securing their own office assignments and interacting with members of Congress to learn about their governance and electoral roles.

“Working as an APSA Congressional Fellow is an invaluable opportunity for me to learn about Congress from the inside,” said Rippere. “This experience will help me bring the institution to life for students in my political science classes. It will also aid me in my research on bipartisanship and networking in Congress by giving me the opportunity to observe real-life interactions among legislators.”

Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) has said that few other Washington mid-career programs have admission standards for awarding fellowships that “come close to those set by the American Political Science Association.”

“Paulina came to JU last fall as a new assistant professor after completing her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Florida,” added Dr. Sherri Jackson, Chair of Social Sciences and Interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts. “This is a huge accomplishment and a great honor for both Paulina and JU.”

Here’s a video with more on the Fellowships:


More on the fellowships can be found at

Tony Award-winning musical “Drowsy Chaperone” April 3-6 at JU

The Tony Award-winning play The Drowsy Chaperone April 3-6 at Jacksonville University is a clever tribute to the “Great American Musical” tradition — with a sarcastic twist sure to delight anyone who appreciates Broadway shows.

The production by the JU divisions of Music and Theater, which won five Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards in 2006, was originally conceived by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. A nostalgic evening of wit, exciting dance numbers and great singing voices, it is classic Broadway fare with a snarky edge.

As a spoof on musicals, the romp never leaves the small apartment of a devoted and slightly Mad Hatter-like narrator, “Man in Chair” (senior theater major David Bilbray). When this die-hard fan of musical theater dusts off his favorite cast album, a 1928 smash called The Drowsy Chaperone magically bursts to life and the audience is immersed in the glamorous, over-the-top comical tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day.

JU’s production is under the direction by JU theater Prof. Deborah Jordan, with choreography by Jacksonville’s Curtis J. Williams and musical direction by JU music theater Prof. Jay Ivey. A send-up of the conventions of musical comedy, the play has been lauded as one of the wittiest, zaniest shows to hit Broadway.

The Drowsy Chaperone (music theater junior Lexi Inks) dazzles the audience with her rendition of “As We Stumble Along.” Other memorable musical numbers include Janet Van de Graff (music theater sophomore Rachel Romo) performing “Show Off”; Alec Hadden’s “I Am Adolpho,” the tale of the sordid Latin lover; and the snazzy tap number “Cold Feets” (musical theater freshmen Matt Robertson and Parker Lawhorne). Endearing gangsters disguised as chefs (Wayne Woodson, Chris Robertson); the cigar-chomping producer Mr. Feldzig (James Webb); and the adorable Kitty (Victoria Miller) add to the cast in comic supporting roles.

The Drowsy Chaperone is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). Critics have praised it as “irresistible,” “a witty, winning, refreshing cocktail of a show” and “delightful and sparkling entertainment.” The accolades are well-earned for this clever and witty production with uproarious songs and great performances.

More information: Prof. Jay Ivey, JU Assistant Professor of Voice and Music Theater, (904) 256-7334.

Kinne, Hogshead-Makar, Corey, Bayat featured at JU Women in Leadership March 7

Some of the speakers for JU's first Women In Leadership Conference March 7, 2014

State Attorney Angela Corey, Olympic gold medalist and Title IX advocate Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Afghanistan’s Ariana Television Senior Vice President Fatema Bayat and Ambassador Marilyn McAffee are just some of the speakers lined up for the first JU Women in Leadership Conference this Friday, March 7, at the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business.

With the theme “Lean In To Leadership,” the event geared to students is designed to connect JU women with each other and give them a chance to learn from outstanding and accomplished local women. (See schedule and .pdf of the program and speaker bios below.)

The conference will begin with a panel dialogue based in part on the work of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” a bestseller and an inspiration to many young aspiring graduates.

The afternoon will continue with two breakout sessions that will allow participants to choose from several different topic areas, including “The Leadership Ambition Gap,” “Success and Likeability,” “It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder” and “Working Together Toward Equality.”

The JU Women’s History Month Event honoring Women of the Year is being held the same day (story at

Students may register for the Women’s Leadership Conference and the Women’s History Month Reception and Program on DolphinLink:

Students may register for only the Women’s History Month Reception and Program on DolphinLink:






March 7, 2014


12:30 p.m., Conference check-in begins, Davis College of Business atrium

1-2:15 p.m.: Keynote Discussant Panel, Davis College of Business, 165, 171, 174

Opening remarks, Dr. Fran Kinne and Mrs. Stephanie Cost

Panel Moderator, Dr. Sherri Jackson

Panelists: Fatema Bayat, Angela Corey, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Honorable Mia Jones,

Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, Lisa Rinaman, Kim Anspach Ward

2:15-3 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

The Leadership Ambition Gap: What Would You Do if You Weren’t Afraid?

Identifying your Leadership Style, Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, Davis College of Business 114

Success and Likeability

Professionalism in the Workplace, Honorable Mia Jones, Davis College of Business, 119

It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder

Creating Your Path to Success, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Davis College of Business 117

3-3:45 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

Working Together Toward Equality

Cultural Diversity in the Workplace, Dr. Carole Barnett and Fatema Bayat,

Davis College of Business, 114

Sit at the Table

Leading with Passion, Crystal Freed, Davis College of Business, 117

It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder

Creating Your Path to Success, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Davis College of Business 117

4-5 p.m.: Closing Session, Davis College of Business, 165, 171, 174

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette

Seek and Speak Your Truth, Kim Anspach Ward

5 p.m.: Closing remarks

5:30 p.m.: Jacksonville University Women’s History Month Reception and Celebration

Honoring JU Community Woman of the Year, JU Woman of the Year, and JU Student of the Year, Davis College of Business atrium

Smart policy led to Florida schools progress, Chartrand tells JU PPI education policy forum

By Courtney Jimenez

JU Communications senior

Leadership, strategic planning and budgeting were topics brought to light during “Education Policy: Why it Matters,” a forum hosted Tuesday, Feb. 11, by the JU Public Policy Institute.

From left, JU Public Policy Institute Director Rick Mullaney moderated as Duval County Schools Supt. Nikolai Vitti and State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand led a JU PPI Education Forum discussion in front of a crowd of about 150 people at the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business.

State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand and Duval County Schools Supt. Nikolai Vitti led the discussion in front of a crowd of about 150 people at the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business (see a Facebook photo gallery here).

Chartrand, who has been in his post almost a year, said he came to JU because Florida’s 2.7 million students need the attention that places like the JU PPI are paying to public policy.

Duval County Schools Supt. Nikolai Vitti

He said Florida has made a turnaround with five policy initiatives: early literacy, no social promotion, school choice, accountability and effective teaching.

“Policy does matter,” he said. “It starts with leadership, and that leadership starts with the executive branch that has to make education a top priority.”

JU PPI Director Rick Mullaney, who moderated the discussion, said education policy is important to the country.

“How do we give every child, how do we give every person in this country an opportunity for a better future, economically and otherwise?” he asked. “The answer to that is education.”

Chartrand said during the past 10-14 years the high school graduation rate in Florida have risen from 50 percent to nearly 80 percent.

“If you go back 10 years, Florida was 30th of the 41 states that took part in the National Assessment Educational Progress reports, but this past year, Florida was sixth of 50 states,” he said. “That’s pretty significant.”

Vitti said he has acclimated four goals into the Duval school system to ensure there can be more charter schools and a better system added to the county.

The goals are to develop great leaders and great educators, to engage the community, to be more efficient and effective with resources and to develop the whole child.

The first goal is being reached by revamping the curriculum and training more than 500 teachers over the summer. The second goal is being addressed by developing a parent academy to engage 900 parents on issues from how to teach literacy in the home to graduation rates to how to create a better environment in the home for discipline.

For the third goal, a zero-based budgeting process was created. Vitti said $7 million was moved from the district level back to schools to put music, art and physical education teachers back into the schools.

The fourth goal, to develop the whole child, is being addressed by placing a graduation coach at every high school and expanding dual language at the elementary level.

State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand

Chartrand said that in accordance with these goals, teachers are just as important to the classroom.

“The most effective component for student achievement is certainly all of these policies, but most important is effective teaching,” Chartrand said. “Nothing trumps effective teaching in the classroom.”

Vitti agreed with Chartrand’s point, but also said Duval schools are different from others.

“I think what’s different about Duval County public schools is that we still have the heart and passion, but we function with a sense of urgency and a bottom-line perspective when it comes to student achievement,” he said.

The passion, urgency and developments taking place in Duval County schools and in Florida are bringing education to a new level in Florida, Chartrand noted.

Vitti said his goal is to modernize Duval county schools from a technological perspective and that it will be important for the future of Duval County.

He said it was time to embrace changes in the classroom so children can learn better, so that these good numbers of graduation rates and literacy rates can keep going up.

“At the end of the day, I think we can all agree that every child should have access and be exposed to the highest level of education standards.”

For more information on the JU PPI, visit, or contact Rick Mullaney at (904) 256-7342,

JU students look to a bright future at Career Expo

By Courtney Jimenez

JU Communications Senior

This May, seniors at Jacksonville University will walk across the stage to their futures. To prepare them, JU’s Career Development Center held a career expo Wednesday, Feb. 26, in JU’s Historic Swisher Gymnasium.

The event saw 75 employees from the Jacksonville area offering jobs and internships, including companies such as Acosta Sales, the Ritz Carlton, JEA, Marineland and The CW television station (see Facebook photo gallery here).

This was the first year the Career Expo was held in the gymnasium rather than the Kinne University Center. Emily Asay, Assistant Director of the CDC, said the space offered more room for an increased number of employers and opportunities for the students.

JU President Tim Cost was everywhere to be seen guiding students during the Career Expo.

“With the new space we were able to provide a better layout for all of the companies,” she said. “We strategically placed the companies so students could find what they were looking for and it wasn’t just random.”

Asay and Career Development Center Director Devan Coughlin invested many hours in planning the expo.

“Our main goal is to have everyone meet the employers and come away with an idea of what they want for their future,” Coughlin said. “We would love for everyone to come out with an interview, but we’re just happy being able to give them the experience.”

Some students, like senior Ethan Wellhausen, came out of the event not with one interview, but two.

Seniors looking for more job opportunities and other students looking for internships can head to the third floor of JU Davis Student Commons, where the Career Development Center is located.

For more on the JU Career Development Center, visit or

JU a host site for March 8 Jacksonville Science Festival!

Jacksonville University, MOSH, Hemming Plaza, Friendship Park and
Jacksonville Main Library to feature free S.T.E.A.M.-related exhibits

What: The Second Annual Jacksonville Science Festival highlighting the power of S.T.E.A.M. through more than 125 interactive exhibits, hands-on activities and staged performances celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Student contests and participation events will also be featured. The event has quadrupled in size from the first year, with up to 2,500 students and residents rotating among sites. The premier sponsor for the event is Microsoft, whose representatives will be on the JU campus along with other sponsors and vendors.

A cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the winning K-12 student team based on popular vote. A college scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded to a the winning K-12 student participant. A cash prize of $50 will be given to Art Contest Winners in each grade category.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 8.

Where: Host sites are the Jacksonville University Marine Science Research Institute, the Museum of Science & History, Hemming Plaza and the Jacksonville Main Library. Shuttle service will be available for festival-goers.

Details: The Second Annual Jacksonville Science festival is free to the public and will feature a wide variety of exciting, hands-on, interactive exhibits featuring science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Highlights include The Physics of Skateboarding with InstaRamps at Hemming Plaza; BIG Science at MOSH; a StarLab Portable Planetarium at Jacksonville Main Public Library; a floating Science Lab on view at Jacksonville University; and more than 120 other engaging exhibits, activities and performances. Science Festivals help unite communities, develop connections that foster new collaborations, create pride and generate knowledge, innovation and invention. For the economy, the Jacksonville Science Festival makes a strong statement about a region’s leading role in STEAM, an economic driver of the 21st Century. It can help develop the local workforce and foster a positive business climate. The festival can also bolster local tourism.

Attendance: Up to 2,500 people per event site, rotating at sites throughout the day. More than 1,000 children on public/private/homeschool field trips will attend March 6-7 at The Foundation Academy Campus host site.

More information: Visit for details, and for group/school registration. A promo video is at For host-site information, contact Dr. Gerry Pinto of the JU MSRI at (904) 256-7338 or; and for JaxSciFest general information, contact Cindy Rathburn at (904) 493-7300 or

Future looks bright for JU Scholarship Luncheon speaker Zoe Rocke

By Taylor Agnew

Jacksonville University senior

If not for her Honors scholarship and the relationships she cultivated with faculty members, Zoe Rocke wasn’t sure if Jacksonville University was in her future. But that future now seems set: She has been on either the President’s List or the Dean’s List each semester at JU.

JU senior Zoe Rocke

The senior chemistry major’s academic success and campus accomplishments are a testament to her determination. Among other things, she is Athletic Representative for the Jacksonville University Student Alliance, Vice President of the JU Medical Professions Society, Secretary/Treasurer of the  JU Green Key National Leadership Society, a Mayo Clinic Florida intern and Treasurer of the Biochemistry Club. In addition, she is involved in cheerleading and works two jobs off campus.

Rocke is using her scholarship funds – and time management skills – to take full advantage of all the University has to offer.

She is the student speaker for JU’s Seventh Annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Davis College of Business. About 70 student scholars will join others in the JU community to show their appreciation to nearly 90 donors expected at the event.

Also speaking will be JU alums Marty and Cindy Chomiak, ASPIRE Scholarship donors. The University Singers under the direction of Dr. Tim Snyder will perform as well.

Attending Jacksonville University as a chemistry major with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in psychology has also helped Rocke in reaching her next academic goal of attending medical school, she said. She credits JU’s support system and faculty for giving her the confidence she did not know she had. That boost led to her becoming a leader in the classroom and in her many organizations.

In particular, Dr. Janet Haavisto, director of the Honors program and a professor of English, and Dr. Karen Jackson, professor of biology and marine science, encouraged her to try new things and set higher goals. Because her family is in Rhode Island, having two adult figures in her life to count on is important to her.

“Dr. Haavisto and Dr. Jackson have been an integral part in everything I have achieved here at Jacksonville University,” Rocke said.

For more on JU University Advancement and how to give, visit

Ready for the trip of your life? JU Study Abroad deadlines approaching

By Chelsea Wiggs

JU Communications Senior

Each summer, college students face choices about how to spend their break: Take more classes? Get away for something new?

Students take in the sights during their JU study abroad trip to China in summer 2013. Photo by Dr. Douglas Johansen/Jacksonville University Davis College of Business)

At Jacksonville University, they have a third choice: they can do both.

JU’s Study Abroad programs allow students the unique opportunity to enjoy the summer traveling and learning new things while earning a few credits along the way. Deadlines to apply for summer programs are typically in early April, and for fall programs as late as May or June.

Kelly Marton, JU Director of Study Abroad, said students often return from the trips more independent, academically focused and engaged in the community. In addition, studies show that study abroad alumni perform better scholastically than their peers and are more likely to graduate college, she said.

“Students need to bolster their resumes with experiences and skills that set them apart from the increasingly overflowing pool of applicants most employers must wade through,” Marton said. “Study abroad provides the opportunity to gain valuable lifelong skills, many of which are sought after by employers.”

At JU, programs to Ecuador and Shanghai were among those offered this past summer, and each experience gave students and faculty something to write home about. (See a Facebook gallery of photos of the two trips here.)

A Southern tamandua seen in the jungles of Ecuador during a summer 2013 JU study abroad trip. Photo by Dr. Natasha Vanderhoff/Biology and Marine Science

Dr. Natasha Vanderhoff, Assistant Professor of Biology and Marine Science, and five JU students traveled to Ecuador to study tropical biology. They were joined by a former colleague of Dr. Vanderhoff’s, as well as JU Assistant Professor of Marine Science Dr. Jeremy Stalker.

The group spent the majority of the three-week program at Wildsumaco Lodge, a remote field station in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, where Dr. Vanderhoff said their “cushy” living quarters consisted of bunk-beds, home-cooked meals and hot showers.

“The field station was very nice,” she said. “We were lucky.”

Each student was required to do an independent study project as part of his or her study-abroad curriculum. Topics included mammal research using camera trapping, the study of hummingbirds, and the comparison of primary and secondary forests, to name a few.

The group had the opportunity to take in the rainforest and get a closer look at unique animals such as the Southern Tamandua, mountain tapirs and even a puma.

The JU study abroad group takes on inclement weather during a day of sightseeing in China during a summer 2013 trip

“A puma was walking the trail at 8:30 p.m., and a couple of the guys were going to do their project, walking that same trail just afterward,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

Dr. Vanderhoff said plans for the next study abroad excursion in summer 2014 are in the works. The next adventure will most likely take place in the Bahamas, as it did in the summer of 2012. Dr. Vanderhoff encourages students to take advantage of everything the study abroad programs have to offer.

“Do it and keep an open mind,” she said. “When you travel, things aren’t going to be like they are here in the States, and you just have to have an open mind and a laid-back attitude.”

These students are just some of the more than 100 that International Education Programs (IEP) at Jacksonville University sends abroad each year, offering semester, summer and spring break programs all over the world.

Several JU faculty organize spring courses that embed a mandatory travel component over spring break, Marton said. Students enroll in these popular on-campus courses for spring semester and travel with their JU peers and professor over spring break.

“Students and their families often perceive these (study abroad) experiences as an expensive addition to the cost of a college education,” she added. “However, study abroad programs are much more affordable than most realize. Many programs cost the same as taking courses on campus. Furthermore, scholarships are available, and students may be able to use financial aid.”

A summer 2013 JU study abroad excursion into the Ecuador jungle.

Last year, Dr. Douglas Johansen of the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business (DCOB) and his nine students traveled to Shanghai and Beijing for a month to study international business and global strategy. This opportunity was the first-ever intensive business program abroad offered by DCOB.

The program provides international business students an immersive, hands-on experience in business and strategy in a foreign economy.

“There’s no better way to understand differences in culture and economics than going there and taking a good long look at it,” said Dr. Johansen.

The group was made up of six JU students and three students from other universities, as the program was open to students throughout the U.S. Their curriculum while abroad consisted of a global business course focused on global business strategies, a global business experience class and a Chinese language course.

Part of the hands-on experience included site visits to an advertising agency, a local human resources company and electronics/engineering giant Siemens. The students conducted research, then presented a marketing plan to a U.S.-based company on the potential success of expanding its agricultural equipment business in China, which Dr. Johansen said was “very well-received.”

The hotel accommodations for the trip allowed the group to immerse themselves in the business districts of both Shanghai and Beijing. Throughout their month abroad, they began to familiarize themselves with the metro transportation system, local restaurants, shopping and various museums and cultural sites, including the Great Wall of China.

The program’s intensive structure is the first of its kind for DCOB, and Dr. Johansen was pleased with the result.

“In the end I think everybody was able to develop a deeper knowledge through the intensive and immersive experience,” he said. “It’s a very hands-on program.”

Like Dr. Vanderhoff, Dr. Johansen is also thinking ahead to summer 2014’s Study Abroad opportunities. IEP and DCOB are offering programs in China during the summer, and one in Brazil. Dr. Johansen encourages students to look into studying abroad not only as a way to acquire skills that can one day be used in their chosen careers, but also to form lasting friendships with their peers.

“Having had this experience together, we have a certain bond, and I think that’s something important.”

For more on Jacksonville University’s Study Abroad programs, visit

Learn “The Truth” Feb. 27 at JU

A Jacksonville University College of Arts & Sciences panel discussion Feb. 27 focuses on getting at “The Truth.”

Topics on everything from “Truth in Education” to “Personal Truth” to “News is Not the Truth!” will be presented and addressed by JU faculty members.

The yearly cross-disciplinary panels give faculty members from different academic areas a chance to address topical issues from the perspective of their respective disciplines.

This year the general theme for the fourth annual event is the slippery nature of truth — its political, scientific, educational and personal components — and how it is often misunderstood by the public, said Douglas M. Hazzard, Arts & Sciences Dean and the evening’s moderator.

“Truth: Have It Your Way,” which is free to the public, is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in Terry Concert Hall. Attendees can also view student artwork inspired by the topics, and attend a reception prior to the program at 5:30 p.m.

A complete lineup of topics is below, followed by a .pdf of the program.

For more information, contact (904) 256-7100,


Presenters and Topics:

Rethinking the Search for Truth — Matthew Groe, PhD., Associate Professor of Philosophy

Truth in Education: Is It on the Syllabus? — Steven Davis, PhD., Associate Professor of Education

It’s Just a Theory — Jeremy Stalker, PhD., Assistant Professor of Marine Science

News is Not the Truth! — Keith Saliba, PhD., Assistant Professor of Communication

Personal Truth: A Modern Oxymoron — Nathan Rousseau, PhD., Associate Professor of Sociology

The Liar’s Paradox — Capt. Herb Hadley, JU NROTC Unit Commanding Officer

Are you ready to step up for “JU’s Got Talent” March 5?

JU School of Nursing accepting first Veteran RN to BSN on-campus cohort as part of $870,000 federal grant

The Jacksonville University School of Nursing is now recruiting qualified veteran RNs into an on-campus cohort of students who will benefit from an $870,000 federal grant JU received to help them excel as they pursue bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

The grant to JU, awarded through the Health Resources and Human Services agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be used to enhance recruitment and advance education, graduation, employment and retention of qualified veterans seeking BSNs. JU’s School of Nursing was one of only nine nursing schools nationally to be awarded the grant, one of JU’s largest in the past five years.

“We’re extremely excited about the launch of this new program,” said Associate Professor Lynnette Kennison, JU’s Veteran BSN Project Director and a retired Colonel from the Army National Guard. “It will significantly improve the ability of local veteran RNs to obtain a Jacksonville University BSN degree, and will most certainly lead to enhanced levels of nursing care throughout the community.”

Up to 25 veterans are expected in the first on-campus cohort starting in May. Once enrolled, they will receive assistance such as tutoring; career and stress management/resiliency training; focus and support group help; linkages with veteran service organizations and community health systems; and even Heartmath training, which is a biofeedback technique to help with reducing stress, promoting resilience and improving focus.

Kennison added that “Initial response from local hospitals and veterans organizations has been quite encouraging.”

The new veteran RN to BSN cohort is based on an established successful RN to BSN off-campus RN-BSN program. The HRSA grant has allowed the School of Nursing to bolster existing JU programs supporting higher education, including veteran-specific counseling and veteran-specific tutoring. Additionally, a full-time veteran BSN Program Advisor, Sam Young, MD, has been hired and integrated into the School of Nursing. Young, a combat veteran, is a retired U.S. Army Family Physician with more than three decades’ experience in clinical, operational and academic medicine.

“I am thrilled to be part of this tremendous program, and truly amazed at the pro-veteran learning environment created by JU students, faculty and administration,” he said. “This, coupled with a strong veteran cohort identity, will ensure the success of our students.”

Because veterans have already earned their VA educational benefits, it is important not to lose them by inaction, or to waste them with poor choices, Young added. “Choosing the right career path, the right educational institution and the right program is extremely important. Veterans deserve the best we can offer, and the best is here at JU.”

The JU Veteran BSN Program supports three distinct educational tracks: Track 1 helps qualified pre-licensure Veterans obtain a BSN through traditional, transfer, or second degree full time on campus study. Track 2 promotes on-campus RN to BSN of existing veteran RNs from the community. Track 3 promotes RN to BSN education of existing veteran RNs worldwide via on-line study.

In the first year alone, projections are for 31 additional veterans to be added to Nursing Track 1 (students with little or no medical background), up to 25 more to Track 2 (those with an associate degree in nursing) and 34 more to Track 3 (online students with an associate degree in nursing).

The first Track 2 Veteran on-campus RN-BSN Cohort begins in May. It is an 18-month accelerated adult education program consisting of 10 individual eight-week nursing courses, totaling 32 credit hours. Students will attend one afternoon/evening class per week, allowing them to remain employed while in the program.

For more on this unique program, see a .pdf below. It includes general information, admission requirements and curriculum.

For information and to apply, contact Sam Young, Veterans BSN Program Advisor, School of Nursing, Jacksonville University,, (904) 256-8911, or

JU Student Veterans of America chapter recognized for “outstanding” efforts

Veterans of Foreign Wars District 6 recently recognized the Jacksonville University Student Veterans of America chapter for its outstanding efforts for student veterans, including being an advocate and providing outreach and volunteerism opportunities.

Pictured are VFW Department Adopt-A-Unit Chairman Steve Holland; National Legislative Committee Chairman Karen Nigara; JU SVA President Danielle D’Amato; JU SVA Vice President Lissette Matos Minehart; and District 6 Senior Vice Commander Arden Battle.

JU Women of Year event March 7 coincides with first JU Women in Leadership Conference

This year’s annual JU Women’s History Month Event March 7 honoring distinguished community women coincides with the inaugural Jacksonville University Women in Leadership Conference, designed to connect JU women with each other and give them a chance to learn from outstanding and accomplished local women. Both events are in the Davis College of Business.

The conference in the Davis College of Business will begin with a panel dialogue based in part on the work of Sheryl Sandberg, CFO of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” a best seller and an inspiration to many young aspiring graduates. The afternoon will continue with two breakout sessions that will allow participants to choose from several different topic areas presented on by distinguished guests.

More in information on the two events is below:

JU Women in Leadership Conference

Hosted by: Student Involvement

When: Friday, March 7, 12:30-5 p.m.

Location: DCOB – 171, 174, 165, 114, 117


16th Annual JU Women’s History Month Event

2014 honorees

  • Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, JU Community Woman of the Year
  • Dr. Karen Jackson, JU Woman of the Year
  • Ms. Brittani Wyskocil, JU Student of the Year

Reception and Program

  • Friday, March 7, 5:30 p.m.
  • 1st floor Davis College of Business
  • Hors d’oeuvres and Wine, followed by Women’s History Month Program
  • Cost $15, or two swipes from JU Meal Plan or Club transfer of funds.


Students may register for the Women’s Leadership Conference and the Women’s History Month Reception and Program on DolphinLink:

Students may register for only the Women’s History Month Reception and Program on DolphinLink:

  • Julie Brannon & Carole Barnett, Humanities Office
  • Carolyn Barrett, Registrar’s Office 1st floor Howard
  • Students Solution Center, 1st floor Davis Commons

Sponsored by Jacksonville University Women’s History Month Committee.

Congratulations Keith Taylor Jr.! Elected president of JU Student Alliance as voter turnout soars

JU students have elected junior Keith Taylor Jr. as Jacksonville University Student Alliance president and junior Prince Agyemang-Gyau as vice president, in elections that saw voter turnout rise by nearly 200, to 523 students.

“Right now I’m feeling great,” said Taylor, a double major in aviation and political science who served as JUSA vice president for the 2013-14 academic term. “This week has certainly been full of ups and downs, but now to hear the results, it’s pretty intense. I’m very excited.”

Taylor said he woke up on election day Friday, Feb. 14, earlier than usual, asking himself: “Will I win? Is it in God’s plan right now?”

The results only made Taylor feel ready to get started.

“Monday we’re hitting the ground running,” he said. “Prince and I are going to look at where we need to start and ask ourselves how we can reach our goals.”

Current JUSA President Will Baxley, a junior music composition major, said the new DolphinLink system for JU students made voting a cinch.

“This was our first time using the new system, and the voting process was so smooth,” he said. “The software was everything we hoped it would be.”

The higher voter turnout this year impressed Baxley.

“The final tally shows a huge shift in the focus of the student body to being concerned about the direction of the campus,” he said.

Returning members of JUSA were not guaranteed their seats; each position was determined by the popular vote.

“The election was anybody’s game, but I think that within the general assembly we have men and women on this campus that have already demonstrated their abilities as leaders,” Baxley said. “It’s going to be amazing to see what we get done by the end of this semester and next year.”

Taylor and Gyau, who is a nursing major, will move to their elected positions after a three-meeting transition period.

The following are JUSA election results for next academic year’s representatives:

Jacksonville University Student Alliance 2014-15 Election Results

President – Keith Taylor Jr.

Vice-President – Prince Agyemang-Gyau

College of Arts and Sciences

1. Chris Herring

2. Brittany Bush

3. Cody Foxwell

4. Christie Charlebois

5. Raegann Conner

Davis College of Business

1. Matthew Shank

2. Maria Figuerado

3. Robert Dougherty

4. John Gislason

College of Fine Arts

1. Adam Keller

2. Parker Lawhorne

3. Haley Cox

College of Health Sciences

1. Arielle Bas

2. Ryan Wagner

3. Katharine Jakobsson

College of Education

1.Christina Robb

Graduate School

1.Illiana Tidd

At Large

1. Samuel Medlin

2. Samantha Wicklund

See more on the elections at