Inside FGCU - February 2024

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February 2024 | Edition 7 | FGCU.EDU/INSIDE


Your Campus. Your News.

IN THIS ISSUE Page 2 • • •

OT research project SPUR Best Article Award SAC resources for employees

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Years of service Retirements Employee achievements

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Photos from the presidential installation ceremony Five things to know



t’s official: the five-year plan for the university has been approved by the Board of Governors (BOG), and FGCU will now begin the process of bringing its strategic plan to life. The document, called Innovating for Student Success: FGCU’s Journey to Excellence, consists of five goals, each with a set of objectives that act as a roadmap for the university’s daily operations. They are: 1. Innovate in Academic Excellence 2. Enhance Student Success and Wellbeing 3. Elevate Partnerships for Regional Impact 4. Strengthen Organizational Culture and Commitment to Employees 5. Champion Sustainable Practices and Resiliency Each goal is aligned with the 2025 State University System Strategic Plan, and FGCU’s document was created with statewide and regional economics and demographics in mind. It also connects to the university’s Accountability Plan, as well as the National Survey of Student Engagement. FGCU will track its progress over the next five years by using a Measures of Success Summary, which is a scorecard included in the strategic plan that will keep track of how the institution is performing.


ave you visited Academic Building 9, home of The Water School, yet? When you walk in, be sure to take note of the wall colors on each floor. The colors are meant to represent the ocean. On the first floor you will see the lighter, sand color representing the beach and shoreline. As you move up floors, the “water” will get darker as the progressive depth of the ocean is showcased in blue tones.

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The university began working on the strategic plan nearly two years ago. Throughout the process, FGCU collected feedback from faculty, staff, students, Trustees and other key stakeholders in the university. This input is evident throughout the document, and it led to slight revisions in FGCU’s mission and vision statements. Also included in the document is FGCU’s original Guiding Principles, which were approved by the Dean's Council in June 1996 — a full year prior to the university opening its doors to teaching and learning. Now, these

eight values are enshrined as “Founding Principles,” ensuring that the goals and objectives in the strategic plan reflect the university’s unique history and identity in the Southwest Florida community. FGCU’s Journey to Excellence will be the roadmap used university-wide to make decisions and allocate resources. Now that the document has been approved, FGCU divisions, colleges, departments and units will work on operationalizing the plan, by developing and implementing strategies, tactics, special projects and initiatives to ensure that FGCU is meeting the objectives of each goal. The process links back to what President Aysegul Timur has referred to as FGCU’s 3P’s — Passion, Partnerships and Performance. Timur referenced these principles during her presentation to the BOG on January 24. “With this plan,” Timur explained, “we are going to strengthen our high-quality academic degree programs that meet the state’s economic and workforce needs. We will expand our cuttingedge scholarship and research to solve problems from the local region on up to the global society. And we are going to continue to improve the quality of life for Southwest Florida and Floridians overall by collaborating with our community. Through these efforts, we are reinforcing our partnerships and building upon our sustainability and resiliency practices. And we are ensuring that FGCU continues to be a great place to work because we are going to keep strengthening and investing in our world-class faculty, dedicated staff and overall organization.” What happens now? As administration puts together information for the university on next steps, employees should take time to read through the plan. Read the plan:

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findings at the Fort FGCU’s OT Research research Myers YMCA. They work with Dr. Brigitte Belanger, project: The role OT faculty professor. of animal-assisted Their hope is to increase awareness of animal-assisted interventions in therapy and encourage community members to join rehabilitation the OT program’s efforts to


raduate students in the Occupational Therapy (OT) Program — Almarys Molina Ruiz, Michael Camarda and Mary Frances Morris — presented their animal handlers and therapy dog-training

become animal handlers and train therapy dogs for interventions in schools, hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

FGCU PHOTO Left to right: OT graduate students Almarys Molina Ruiz, Michael Camarda and Mary Frances Morris with Dr. Brigitte Belanger, OT faculty professor.

FGCU faculty and staff honored with SPUR Best Article Award and department chair, received the Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Award for Best Article from the Council of Undergraduate Research. The research article, “Benefiting FGCU PHOTO Historically Excluded Student Populations Left to right: SPUR awardees Charles Gunnels, Jaclyn Through Targeted Chastain, Santiago Luaces and Dr. Melodie Eichbauer. Undergraduate Research Programming,” is based on aclyn Chastain, coordinator for an evaluation of the Work in Scholarly Academic and Curriculum Support, Experiences & Research (WiSER) program. Santiago Luaces, coordinator for Scholarly WiSER was developed by FGCU to meet Innovation and Student Research, Dr. the imbalance of equity, inclusion and Melodie Eichbauer, professor of History access in support of students with financial and interim director of Scholarly Innovation limitations, ensuring their participation and Student Research, and Dr. Charles in undergraduate research experiences. Gunnels, professor of Biological Sciences Chastain, Luaces, Eichbauer and Gunnels


appraised two key hypotheses for the success of the WiSER program: •

Whether the program supported the target population of historically excluded students as compared with their non-WiSER student peers. The impact of WiSER on students’ success with respect to GPA and credit hours.

“The article’s empirical depth, precision, and direct relevance to student success stand out in academic research,” reads the award statement by the Council of Undergraduate Research, which praises the article for providing a thorough comparative assessment of WiSER students against a matched control group from the general FGCU student population. Read the published article online at resources-publications/spur/about-spur/ spur-awards.

Staff Advisory Council provides resources for faculty & staff


he Staff Advisory Council (SAC) at FGCU can be described as “a voice for staff.” It serves this purpose by providing a number of initiatives and programs to serve FGCU faculty and staff. Jena Padilla, President of SAC, shares more about this group and how employees can take advantage of their offerings. What is the purpose of SAC? We help to facilitate effective communication between the staff, the president and the administration of FGCU. We are comprised of 24 elected representatives through all divisions of the university. SAC representatives serve on committees organized by SAC, which include elections, employee recognition, policies, professional development and special events. In an effort to support the staff at FGCU, SAC representatives serve as members of, and participate in, university committees. Here is the list of committees that a SAC member currently represents: • • • • • •

ADA Advisory Faculty Senate Grant-in-Aid Institutional Affairs Intercollegiate Athletics Internal Communications

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Parking Advisory Parking Citations Space Strategic Planning Sustainability and Resiliency Title IX

What are some services and resources SAC provides that staff can utilize? The SAC Professional Development Program (PDP) was established to assist staff with covering the cost of professional development opportunities that would not be possible without financial assistance. The opportunities must be directly related to career goals and current job responsibilities at FGCU. SAC also offers educational awards for eligible employees. There is a SAC and Barnes & Noble Bookstore Award that grants two staff members a $250 award each semester. There is also an annual scholarship opportunity for a staff member or their dependent. SAC, in partnership with the Gabor Agency, awards the Outstanding A&P and SP Employee of the Year. This award recognizes one Administrative & Professional employee and one Support Personnel employee each year who contribute outstanding and meritorious service to their department, the university and the community. Requirements and application information


Above, members of SAC at the Human Resources Benefits Fair. for all of these opportunities can be found on our website, How can interested staff get involved with SAC? We host monthly SAC Meetings and committees are open to all employees. For more information, email

SAVE THE DATE 13th Annual Soar into Spring March 3-8, 2024 For details visit

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elebrate your fellow Eagles who have reached new career milestones in January and February. Information in this list was provided by Human Resources.

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25 Years

Gerard Garth Carrington | Associate Vice President, Advancement Finance, University Advancement Donna E. Vazquez | Associate Director, Business Operations, University Library

20 Years

Patrick Gerard O'Connell | Library Manager, University Library Customer Services Joslyn Pendenque | Library Collections Management Specialist II, University Library Collection Strategy

15 Years • •

Dr. George Alexakis | Professor, Entrepreneurship Instruction Mark J. Chew | Lab Manager, Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering Dr. Jong-Yeop Kim | Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering Dr. Serge Thomas | Associate Professor, Department of Ecology & Environmental Studies

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Brendan James Bevins | Academic Advisor II, Advising-College of Health & Human Services Matthew James Botsford | Head Coach/Director of Program, Women's Volleyball, Athletics Operations Joanna Kathryn Hoch | Events Coordinator, Bower School of Music & the Arts John Erik Loscuito | Gallery Director, College of Arts & Sciences Anthony J. Parrilli | Maintenance Technician II, SOVI Maintenance Kaye Straley | Administrative Specialist, Department of Psychology Brenda Lee Thomas | Colloquium Coordinator/Instructor II, Academic Programs and Curriculum Development Kristen Amy Vanselow | Assistant Vice President, Innovative Education and Partnerships, Strategy and Program Innovation

5 Years •

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10 Years

Ney Arias | Senior Director, First Year Experience & Retention Programs, Academic Engagement

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Sherry R. Alexander | Assistant Director, Research Compliance and Integrity Officer, Sponsored Research & Scholarly Innovation Wheatly Dorsainvil | Academic Advisor I, Advising-College of Health & Human Services Michael Benjamin Dunbar Jr. | Instructional Technologist II, Digital Learning Marilyn Kennedy | Traffic Manager I, WGCU Technology & Operations Brandon Lovette Robertson | Instructor I, Bower School of Music & the Arts Tricia Yvonne Miller | Academic Advisor III, Exploratory Advising

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Shelby Smith | Marketing Specialist I, Provost & Executive Vice President Administrative Operations Rose H. Stone | Administrative Specialist II, FGCU Academy Huan Vinh Luong | Research Laboratory Manager, Sponsored Research & Scholarly Innovation Kara Winton | Instructor I, Department of Communication & Philosophy

RETIREMENTS Julio Estremera Small Business Advisor I, Small Business Development Center ESTREMERA

Brian R. Price TV Director, WGCU Video Production Services PRICE


Dr. Peter Robert Reuter Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences




ssistant Vice President of Innovative Education and Partnerships Kristen Vanselow has joined the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Work Florida Advisory Board.


he University Police Department (UPD) and the FGCU community collected nearly 3,000 toys for UPD's 6th Annual Heroes Unmasked Toy Drive. FGCU’s generous donations have a positive impact on our neighboring communities as they benefit Florida children’s hospitals and homes of children with illnesses that require residential care.

CONNECT WITH US The Inside FGCU newsletter is created by a committee and editorial support staff, including the following Eagles:


hanks to the generosity of University Advancement employees, 50 children in the community received toys, clothing, strollers and a bike to celebrate the holiday season.

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Emily Helm, Pamela McCabe, Tami Tassler, Lexi Velte, Rosario Welle, I’Riel Williams and Lori Zallie Got a tip, upcoming event, submission or suggestion? Email or fill out a submission form online at

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Celebrating FGCU's past, present and future O

n Jan. 12, FGCU's past presidents, students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members as well as state and local dignitaries attended President Aysegul Timur's formal installation at Alico Arena. During the ceremony, she received the articles and symbols of FGCU's President's Office and the Presidential Chain of Office from the FGCU Board of Trustees. The university-wide celebration marked FGCU's achievements over the past 26 years and set the stage for the bright future ahead. FGCU PHOTOS

Alumni from each year of FGCU’s history are recognized.

Chancellor Ray Rodrigues shares congratulatory remarks.

Emory Cavin represents Student Government and the Board of Trustees on stage. President Aysegul Timur gives her inaugural address.

The four living presidents of FGCU are recognized: Aysegul Timur, Mike Martin, Wilson Bradshaw and Roy McTarnaghan.

Above, left and center: Students, faculty and staff celebrate President Aysegul Timur's inauguration and the 26 years of FGCU's achievements.



he new year is a great time for trying new things and starting fresh! Here are five things to do oncampus in the new year. 1. Library’s Makerspace | Get crafty in the Wilson G. Bradshaw Library’s Makerspace, which is open to all faculty, staff and students. The space has 3D printers, laser cutter/ engravers, a milling machine and a Cricut Maker. The Makerspace is located at Library West, Room 119, and it is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Sign up at makerspace to complete an orientation to learn how to use the tools. 2. LinkedIn Learning | Gain a new skill with LinkedIn Learning, which is free for faculty and staff. Lessons are available on a wide variety of topics, including everything from how to show up authentically in the

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Students from the Bower School of Music & the Arts provide entertainment during the ceremony.


workplace to how to use different Microsoft Excel features. Employees can gain access through Workday Learning, linkedin-learning. 3. STEMinars | Learn something new by attending a STEMinar hosted by the Whitaker Center. STEMinars is a STEM speakers’ series, typically with an hourlong talk followed by Q&A. You can find upcoming Whitaker Center events by visiting

4. Lucas Center | Work on your professional development and personal growth with the Lucas Center. The Center hosts many opportunities for faculty and staff, such as book clubs, academies and faculty learning communities. Visit programs#ProgramsOverview for more information. 5. Wilson G. Bradshaw Library | Check out a book with your Employee ID at the Bradshaw Library. You can even check out items like cameras, laptops or phone chargers. Simply use your UIN for access.

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