Page 1


FALL 20 15

READY FOR RESEARCH UWF gives undergraduates a competitive edge with immersive summer program







Connection Inside UWF President DR. JUDITH BENSE STAFF LIST

University Advancement Staff DR. BRENDAN KELLY, Vice President, University Advancement; President, UWF Foundation, Inc. MARTHA LEE BLODGETT, Associate Vice President, University Advancement MISSY GRACE ’10, Alumni Relations Director, University Advancement

Editorial Executive Editor MEGAN GONZALEZ ’09 & ’15, Director of University Communications, University Marketing & Communications Copy Editors MATT ROWLEY, Assistant Director of University Communications, University Marketing & Communications ALYSSA TOWNSEND, Communications Specialist, University Marketing & Communications

Graphics & Photography POLA YOUNG ’02, Creative Director, University Marketing & Communications JENNIFER PECK ’08, Senior Graphic Designer, University Marketing & Communications LAUREN SMITH ’08, Assistant Director of Digital Media, University Marketing & Communications JOHN BLACKIE, Photographer, University Marketing & Communications

Contributing Writers






Web Email Phone 800.226.1893 Mail UWF Alumni Association, 11000 University Pkwy., Building 12, Pensacola, FL 32514 TO GIVE Online Direct Kenda Hembrough at 850.857.6112 or UWF Connection is published semi-annually by the Alumni Relations Department with the assistance of University Marketing & Communications. The purpose of Connection is to communicate and engage with UWF alumni, donors, friends and others interested in the activities of UWF.





25  26 








In the summer of 2015, UWF students had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural College of Science and Engineering Summer Undergraduate Research Program. This program was designed to expose participants to advanced research in their field of study.


President’s Q&A With new developments on the horizon, we caught up with President Judith Bense to discuss plans for UWF — from physical enhancements to program initiatives.

What developments are planned that will shape the future of UWF? As an institute for higher education, it is important that the University continues to seek out new opportunities for student growth, whether in the form of buildings or brochure offerings. This summer, we announced an important gift and new partnership with Quint and Rishy Studer to create the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Business. This Center will serve as a comprehensive resource for students, as well as industry and community partners. In anticipation of the Center’s opening, the College is launching a fully online MBA with a specialization in Entrepreneurship.

UWF continues to evolve academically, as well as physically. How is the campus changing? We are consistently working on a variety of projects that will enhance academic opportunities or provide a service for the University community. One such project is the Argonaut Village on the East Campus, a partnership of UWF BEI and Chartwells that will house restaurant and retail facilities in a vibrant atmosphere for current and prospective students, faculty and staff, and the general public. We were pleased to welcome Starbucks Coffee® as our first official UWF Argonaut Village tenant on June 16, 2015 and look forward to continuing the development of this project.

What recent programs highlight UWF’s commitment to providing new opportunities to students? This summer, UWF launched the first Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) for students in the College of Science and Engineering. The 10-week intensive program was funded almost entirely by private donors and guided by faculty mentors – enabling participants to complete research projects that will change the shape of their academic and professional careers. Learn more about SURP in this issue’s feature story on page 9.

Letter from the Vice President DEAR ALUMNI & FRIENDS,

As the University of West Florida looks forward to its 50th anniversary in 2017, I find myself more connected to our story than ever. Our students and alumni are the characters of our story, and their successes serve as the central narrative of a University that continues to grow in size and scope of opportunity. Take, for example, the story of Chris Roney, featured in this issue. Today, Chris owns Ace Unlocks in Pensacola, a business he started as a UWF student. His story began on our campus, when a golf teammate was locked out of his car. From that fateful moment grew a thriving business – and continued service to the University that got him there. This issue also features artist Patrick Jacobs, class of 1994, who is currently a successful artist living in New York City. Patrick has excelled in his field, traveling the world to display his art exhibitions and working on private commissions, including one for Neil Patrick Harris. For Patrick, and for many of our successful alumni, it all began here at UWF. We thank Chris, Patrick and all our alumni, for continued support of the University and its programs through your generous gifts. It is our responsibility and privilege to provide unique opportunities to our students and meaningful contributions to this region. Without you, our big ideas might never leave the ground. Thank you for giving back to the place that gave you your start. Sincerely,

Dr. Brendan Kelly Vice President, University Advancement President, UWF Foundation, Inc.

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO RIDA Fall 2015




Stay informed with the most recent news headlines from the University of West Florida by visiting ment of 21st century skills related to career development, such as global awareness, initiative and self-direction, flexibility and adaptability, social and cross-cultural skills, critical thinking and problem solving.

Massively Open Online Course on the map at UWF

UWF students study abroad in Japan for hands-on learning

UWF’s College of Education and Professional Studies’ Emerge Program sponsored a group of nine students to participate in a college-wide, interdisciplinary study abroad opportunity in Japan in May 2015. The Japan study abroad program was hosted in collaboration with the Jikei Group of Colleges and led by Paula Rappe, assistant professor of social work, and Dr. Kimberly McCorkle, associate dean of the college and associate professor of legal studies. The Emerge Program emphasizes the develop-

Development of Environmentally Benign Electrophilic Chlorocyclization Reactions Using Table Salt and CuSO4 for the Synthesis of Diverse Heterocycles. RCSA seeks out groundbreaking scientific theories developed by scientists who will be leaders in their fields for decades to come. Over the past century, 40 of the scientists who have received support from the RCSA have gone on to earn the Nobel Prize.

Prestigious Cottrell College Science Award presented to UWF chemistry professor

Dr. Tanay Kesharwani, UWF assistant professor in chemistry, was one of 33 scientists to be presented the Cottrell College Science Award by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Dr. Kesharwani was recognized for his project,

UWF music student James Matthews, returned to Carnegie Hall

UWF launched its first massively open online course — an innovative addition to traditional lectures — on May 18, 2015. The sixweek, low-impact, free online course entitled, “Introduction to Geographic Information Systems,” is open to the public via the Internet.

Student from the UWF Department of Music returned to Carnegie Hall

UWF music student James Matthews, returned to Carnegie Hall for an encore performance in New York City on May 23, 2015. The invitation came from the American Protégé International Competition, where he received an honorable mention in last year’s competition. Matthews performed “Funerailles” by Franz Liszt. Matthews will be graduating in the fall of 2015 and is a member of the studio of distinguished university professor, Hedi Salanki.

National Writing Project summer institute for educators hosted by UWF

UWF and Escambia County School District hosted a Summer Invitational Institute for educators on June 8-25, 2015, as part of ongoing efforts to become a National Writing Project site. 3



The three-week workshop invited teachers to become students, immersing participants in engaging writing activities to create innovative and motivating curriculum for their own classrooms. NWP is a network of sites anchored at colleges and universities and serving teachers across disciplines and at all levels. Sites provide professional development, develop resources, generate research and act on knowledge to improve the teaching and writing and learning in schools and communities.

shore to establish the Gulf Islands Research and Education Center. The GIREC enhances and promotes conservation, research and science education by directing research to high-priority resource management issues; promoting greater interaction between students, scientists and resource managers; and providing high-impact STEM educational opportunities for local students. GIREC joined a network of 19 National Park Service Research Learning Centers that are working cooperatively to address regional and national environmental issues. Each year, the research learning centers, working with partner institutions, involve thousands of scientists and tens of thousands of students in park-based research and educational programs.

Center for Research and Economic Opportunity announced at UWF

UWF recently announced the creation of the Center for Research and Economic Opportunity. CREO is the result of a merger of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Office of Economic Development and Engagement. Dr. Rick Harper, who, until CREO’s creation served as executive director of OEDE and assistant vice president for economic development for the University, will lead the new center. Harper’s new position is associate vice president for research and economic opportunity.

UWF College of Education and Professional Studies honors second class of Emerge Scholars

Nicole Beck, Bachelor of Science, Hospitality Yolonda DuBose, Master of Social Work Chad Eckert, Bachelor of Science, Physical Education

This spring, UWF celebrated a new partnership with Gulf Islands National Sea-

UWF provost and executive vice president selected for the distinguished Fulbright International Education Administrators Program Dr. Martha Saunders, provost and executive vice president at UWF, has been selected for the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program in France, a bilateral program of educational exchange between the United States and France. The program will take place in October. The Fulbright program is part of an educational exchange between the United States and France. The Board of Foreign Scholarships and the Franco-American Commission have recognized this award under the auspices of the Fulbright-Hays Act. The program is financed by both governments and administered by the Franco-American Commission for Educational Exchange.

The UWF College of Education and Professional Studies recently recognized seven students who graduated as Emerge Scholars this spring. The Emerge Program is open to all UWF undergraduate and graduate students in the college, regardless of their major. Students who earned the distinction of Emerge Scholar in the 2014-2015 academic year include: Jacob Adams, Bachelor of Science, Hospitality

UWF and Gulf Islands National Seashore celebrate new partnership

Fulbright Scholars

Paul Glass, Bachelor of Arts, History Erin Haslag, Master of Social Work Kayla Williams, Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education

As part of the Emerge Program, the students were required to participate in at least two high-impact educational practices and complete reflection pieces, which they presented at events such as regional and national conferences.

UWF political science professor selected for a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant Dr. Alfred G. Cuzan, distinguished university professor of political science at UWF, is the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant. Cuzan will be affiliated with the University of Tartu, the national university of Estonia, where he will be teaching American politics and Latin American politics during the Spring 2016 semester. Founded in the 17th century, UT is one of the oldest universities in northern Europe and the largest and most highly ranked institution of higher learning in Estonia. U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO RIDA Fall 2015



TRAVIS CRAIG, John Carff, Duncan Calvert and Doug Stephen with IHMC’s humanoid robot.





Robot [Whisperer] BY AMY MINCHIN

espite far-reaching advances in technology, robots remain a futuristic or fantastical concept for most of us. Images of R2-D2, C-3PO or Wall-E may come to mind, but robots are not purely the work of science fiction. John Carff (B.S. ’07, M.S. ’09) knows firsthand that robots are a real and viable solution to contemporary problems. A research associate with the Pensacolabased Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), Carff and a team of IHMC colleagues placed second in a worldwide robotics competition held this summer in Pomona, California. Known as the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, the contest awarded a total of $3.5 million to teams representing the brightest minds in the field. Carff was the main operator of IHMC’s humanoid robot, which brought home $1 million of the prize money. “Much of current robotics research focuses on disaster and military applications,” Carff explained. DARPA, the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, encourages collaboration and advancement of the science and engineering that power robotics, with the recent competition focusing on a disaster simulation of an area in which humans could not safely operate. More than 20 teams from across the globe — including U.S. teams from such prestigious institutions as MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Lockheed Martin — competed at DARPA, programming robots to complete such tasks as driving a car, walking over debris, cutting a hole in a wall, and turning a valve for a fire hose. The IHMC robot, known as Running Man, is a six-foot-tall Atlas robot built by Boston Dynamics. Part of the user interface software that controls the robot was built


by Carff, who originally produced it as his master’s thesis project in computer science at UWF. Others at IMHC developed related aspects of the software that the robot uses to navigate through its surroundings. “I’ve been developing the user interface for the last six years,” he said. “Once IHMC got accepted to the DARPA Challenge, we began tweaking it for the competition. It was pretty exciting to work on such a big project.” Unlike other robotics interfaces that require a programmer to code each move a robot makes, Carff’s software affords the robot more autonomy by integrating situational awareness and problem-solving abilities. It allows the robot to view its surroundings in 3D and determine a course of action.

“I’ve been developing the user interface for the last six years. Once IHMC got accepted to the DARPA Challenge, we began tweaking it for the competition. It was pretty exciting to work on such a big project.” —John Carff Because of the collaborative nature of DARPA, other research teams have gained access to the software, too, making it a potential game-changer for global robotics work. Carff credits Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, associate dean, College of Science and Engineering, professor of computer science, and interim director, Center for Cybersecurity, with encouraging him during his time at UWF. As Carff’s advisor for his master’s thesis work, El-Sheikh says she is not surprised

by his success, recalling him as a bright, hardworking student who was always eager to learn. “John’s master’s project focused on a collaborative human-robot team navigation system. His project was very novel for its time, and I recall telling him that,” she said. “I encouraged him to publish his research results, and indeed he published and presented his work at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems as a graduate student.” “I’m delighted that he’s having such great success and impact on robotics,” she added. Other UWF alumni are members of the IHMC team, as well. Doug Stephen (’13), Duncan Calvert (’14) and Travis Craig (’14) represent the rest of the Argo contingent that took part in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. They contributed to the “whole body algorithm” software that helps control the robot, and developed some crucial attachments for the machine. “We have a great relationship with IHMC,” El-Sheikh said. “Our top students often intern at IHMC or work there after graduation, and several UWF faculty, including myself, have collaborated with IHMC researchers on projects.” Last year IHMC founder and CEO Ken Ford was the guest speaker for the inaugural UWF Artificial Intelligence Research Group Seminar, and this year, organizers have invited members of the IHMC robotics team. As for Carff, with the DARPA Challenge behind him, he’s turning his focus at IHMC to work on other droids. “Once [robots] get a little better, they can be used remotely, such as for nature surveillance or anywhere it is too dangerous for humans to go,” he said. The future is in good hands – both human and robot. U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO RIDA Fall 2015





QUINT STUDER at the Center for Entrepreneurship announcement.

Partnership with Quint and Rishy Studer to establish the Center for Entrepreneurship T he University of West Florida recently announced a partnership with Quint and Rishy Studer to develop the Center for Entrepreneurship for UWF’s College of Business. The Studers have committed $1 million to fund the center, which will be located in downtown Pensacola. “This is the most excited I have been about any project that Rishy and I have been involved in,” said Quint Studer. The Center for Entrepreneurship is dedicated to seeding economic growth. The Center encourages and supports educational initiatives related to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking and serves as a comprehensive resource for economic innovation for students, industry and community partners. The Center for Entrepreneurship seeks to serve as a source of support for the complete life cycle of an entrepreneur. The Center will be housed in the College of Business and host numerous activities and initiatives related to creating a culture of entrepreneurial thinking. Additionally, affiliate units and organizations will create a synergistic support for entrepreneurial efforts and innovation. Studer will serve as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence to mobilize a professional network of entrepreneurs that will positively impact the Center through contributions to advisement, seminars,



classes, workshops and a host of other initiatives. The UWF College of Business is actively developing degree and certificate programs in entrepreneurship. Currently, UWF provides an undergraduate certificate in small business management/entrepreneurship and graduate certificate in entrepreneurship. “This is just another example of Quint’s spirit, innovative thinking and seemingly endless enthusiasm for building a community that fosters opportunity,” said Dr. Bense. Quint Studer has high expectations for the Center’s lasting impact and legacy. “In the long-term history of Pensacola when they look back at monumental days, I think that this will be one of them,” said Studer. While numerous activities and initiatives related to the Center will be held on the UWF main campus in order to impact a substantive cross section of students in multiple disciplines, the primary physical location will be in downtown Pensacola. This location will facilitate accessibility to resources for industry and community partners. Additionally, the location will provide a more direct link to the epicenter of commerce activity for students seeking to break into the professional world. The majority of the work of the Center will be conducted in downtown Pensacola.


Besser Family Continues Support to UWF T

DR. BRENDAN KELLY, Dr. Sheila Dunn, Bobbie Perry,

Peggy Butler and Dr. Steven Brown, celebrating the new fund in honor of Larry Butler.

New Fund in Honor of Larry Butler R

ecently, the University of West Florida announced a new fund in memory of Pensacola native and celebrated musician and producer Larry Butler. Gifts made by Butler’s family and friends led to the establishment of the Larry Butler Memorial Music Award. This award will be used to support UWF music students in academic competitions or performance-related travel. Butler – an award-winning songwriter and producer who worked with top-recording artists such as Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers – ensured that he always showed Pensacola his love and support. He even produced a benefit concert following Hurricane Ivan to raise money for rebuilding efforts. “Larry Butler was a great musician, producer and friend to the University of West Florida,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, vice president for university advancement. “We could not be more pleased to have the support of Peggy Butler and the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival in allowing his memory to live on in new generations of musicians.”

he legacy that Val Besser, and her late husband Ron, have built at UWF spans a long history and will continue to influence generations of UWF students to come. Recently, Besser established two new endowed scholarships to the University, benefiting history and English majors. Additionally, Besser increased support for an existing third scholarship, previously established in the Department of Theatre. “Without English or history, you’re lost in the world. Without English, you can’t communicate and without history, you will continue to make the same mistakes,” said Besser. Her commitment to supporting students resonates with various departments she views as fundamentally important to the University. Besser feels that English and history are the basic building blocks of success; and that artistic creativity is an endeavor she refuses to ignore. “I’ve always loved theatre and performing arts, especially the technical part of theatre. It makes the big egos look good.” The English and history scholarships are open to upper division and/or graduate student(s) in the department who meet enrollment requirements of UWF. If funds allow, more than one scholarship award may be given. The theatre scholarship gives preference to a student at any level of study who meets the enrollment requirements of UWF, specializes in Design/Technical Theatre and maintains at least a 3.00 GPA. Eligibility for all scholarships is based solely on merit to reward students who continually excel in their discipline. The English, history and theatre department chairs will select the scholarship recipients for their respective areas.


“The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

“Larry Butler was a great musician, producer and friend to the University of West Florida. We could not be more pleased to have the support of Peggy Butler and the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival in allowing his memory to live on in new generations of musicians.” — Dr. Brendan Kelly, vice president for university advancement

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R IDA Fall 2015


READY FOR RESEARCH UWF gives undergraduates a competitive edge with immersive summer program BY ASHLEY KAHN SALLEY


esearch is at the heart of every great program in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Getting a head start on acquiring the skills necessary to create new scientific knowledge can make a definitive difference in a student’s career, both before and beyond graduation. In the summer of 2015, students had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural College of Science and Engineering Summer Undergraduate Research Program at UWF. Funded almost entirely by grants, the program was designed to expose participants to advanced research in their field of study.



U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



“Sitting in the classroom really doesn’t give them everything they need to be competitive in the workforce. In a research environment, students can take the theoretical knowledge they learn in the classroom and apply it to solving real-world problems, which will allow them to be successful in the workplace.” —Dr. Michael Huggins



Participants completed a formal application, including identifying a faculty mentor. Selected students spent 20 to 25 hours per week for 10-12 weeks in collaboration with their mentors, culminating either in publication or presentation. However, the program’s most valuable contribution lies in its impact on student development outside the traditional lecture hall. Dr. Michael Huggins, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, is a proponent of students engaging in hands-on learning experiences in order to be truly competitive once they leave the University. “Sitting in the classroom really doesn’t give them everything they need to be competitive in the workforce,” Huggins said. “In a research environment, students can take the theoretical knowledge they learn in the classroom and apply it to solving real-world problems, which will allow them to be successful in the workplace.” The original research projects were clustered into six broad subjects: • • • • • •

oastal and Marine Studies - 6 projects C Cybersecurity - 3 projects Data Science and Informatics - 3 projects Energy - 5 projects Health and Wellness - 11 projects Molecular and Material Science - 26 projects


“A lot of universities allow their undergraduates to participate in research, but I’m not aware of any that have a formalized program like this, particularly where the students are supported by donor money,” Huggins said. “We have more than 40 students being supported from donations. I’m not aware of anybody doing anything on that scale.” Donor support was critical to the success of the first-time program, with $107,500 awarded to 43 undergraduate students through private gifts. Internal and external research grants in the amount of $42,400 contributed to projects for 11 students. Five students were selected for experiences away at prestigious research facilities. Twentyeight College faculty mentors — 21 percent of total College faculty — worked closely with the undergraduate student participants.


In order to participate in this first-time research experience, undergraduates were required to identify a faculty mentor, who would supervise and direct the 10-week studies. The projects that follow are representative of the scope and breadth of research completed by this year’s 54 SURP students, culminating in a research celebration at summer’s end. Each pair had different reasons for joining the program, but all will leave with new skills and self-awareness.

JEFF EBLE, NICHOLAS ZIELINSKI + RYAN LAVOIE Pilot Study: DNA-Based Gut Content Analysis of Invasive Lionfish Invasive lionfish were first observed off Pensacola in 2010, but are now the most abundant predator at many sites. This Citizen Science project seeks to develop protocols to allow local high school students to conduct DNA-based identification (barcoding) of lionfish prey. Once established, it will provide students with valuable hands-on training in genetics, and the data students generate will be used to better understand the impacts of lionfish on native species, including red snapper and other commercially important fish. “Students interested in careers in science and engineering will be entering a very competitive market where success is measured by your experience and what you have produced more than what degree you have,” said Dr. Jeff Eble, research coordinator for the newly established Gulf Islands Research and Education Center, a partnership between UWF and Gulf Islands National Seashore. “That is why we encourage all undergraduates in the college to get involved with research – early and often.” Nicholas Zielinski and Ryan Lavoie have taken note, each working with Eble on different projects. Lavoie has learned a lot about science, but also about himself. “Through this program, I was able to gain some experience in many different areas of science at every step of the research process, all the way from initial research design and data collection to data analysis,” he said. “I also had to learn to think and work independently, as well as learn to find the most efficient ways to motivate myself.”

Zielinski found new direction. “I decided to apply because I knew it would give me an opportunity to utilize what I have learned and the ability to focus on a project beyond the classroom,” he said. “This experience has given me a better idea of what I would like to pursue in my career, which is a huge step when searching for the right graduate school.”

KAREN MOLEK + AARON MENA Study of Zinc Oxide Quantum Dot Characteristics by Synthesis Modification and X-Ray Diffraction

NAMED SCHOLAR POSITIONS • Alancy Chemistry Research Scholars • Ascend Performance Materials Research Scholars • Burr Undergraduate Research Scholars • General Dynamics IT Research Scholars

Quantum dots (QDs) are nanoparticles with fluorescent properties, enabling their use in applications such as LEDs and chemical sensors. Most quantum dots are made with biologically toxic materials such as cadmium; however, our research team has successfully synthesized non-toxic zinc oxide QDs. The inert properties broaden zinc oxide’s applications to include biomedical applications, such as medical imaging. The goal of this project is to increase the length of time of our synthesized quantum dots fluorescence, thereby improving the potential applications for cancer imaging or chemical sensors.

• Manziek Research Scholars

Dr. Karen Molek is an assistant professor of chemistry whose research group has been working on this project for almost three years. She took on the mentorship after identifying Aaron Mena as an exceptional research student. “It’s simply impossible for students to apply their knowledge in STEM disciplines without having additional research experience,” Molek explained. “In today’s job market, the research experience sets our students apart from the rest by giving them experience with teamwork, communication,

• American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund

• Seifert Research Scholars • Webb Electric Research Scholars • Health Alliance Research Scholars

GRANT FUNDING SOURCES • National Institutes of Health

• Research Corporation’s Cottrell Scholars Program

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015


“While obtaining practical experience for my own future career, I am helping to address a critical health issue in our local and national community.” —Te’Asia Mason

planning, problem solving, project management and many more skills not easily learned in a traditional lecture.” Mena is surprised by how much he has learned, both professionally and personally. “I’ve loved every second of being in the lab, discovering, learning, and attempting new ideas towards my research,” he said. “Although not every idea has a positive outcome, making mistakes is an even greater learning experience; it isn’t research if everything you do results in a perfect outcome.”

TOBY DALY-ENGEL + EMILY MILLER Multiple Paternity in the Gulf Spurdog Shark, Squalus cf Mitsukurii Despite growing concern over the health of the world’s oceans, we know very little about the reproductive strategies of most large, slow-growing marine predators, such as sharks. This study examines the genetic mating system of the Gulf spurdog shark, Squalus cf mitsukurii, using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA analysis. Results will shed light on the natural history and evolution of a poorly known, recently described species, with implications for the management of deep-water fishes throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Toby Daly-Engel, assistant professor of biology, echoes the sentiment expressed by her colleagues. “STEM is competitive,” she said, “and undergraduate research really gives our students a leg up on the competition because it provides the kind of real-world experience that most people don’t get until after they graduate.”



Daly-Engel points out that research experiences such as SURP also help students understand the differences and similarities between STEM in the classroom and STEM as a vocation, giving them get a better idea of what to expect and how to be successful in the professional world. Her student, Emily Miller, has learned a lot about being a researcher, such as reading and choosing an appropriate scientific journal, how to properly dictate in a scientific notebook and how to write a CV. “This experience has changed the way I feel about my chosen field of study by opening up new doors to what is possible for me,” Miller said. “I always thought I wanted to work in conservation, but since working in the lab, I am enjoying seeing how everything comes together. I like being able to ask a question and gather data to see what possible answers I can get.”

ERICA JORDAN + TE’ASIA MASON Examining Beliefs About Recommended Infant Care Practices to Provide Insight About Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality in Escambia County The goal of this study is to examine local community members’ beliefs about infant care practices to determine how those beliefs may be different among various racial groups and age groups. Results will be used to identify potential barriers to recommended infant care practices and to develop new strategies for promoting health across diverse groups. Dr. Erica Jordan didn’t intend to take a new student into her lab this summer – until she met Te’Asia Mason. Describing her as “driven and passionate,” Jordan hopes the experience will guide Mason throughout her life.

“It is critical that students obtain a basic understanding of research so that they can be conscious consumers of it, rather than passively accepting media sound bites about research findings as the complete truth,” Jordan said. “Actively engaging in the research process helps students to understand both the strengths and the limitations of specific research studies so that they can make the best decisions to guide their lives based on the scientific evidence that we uncover.” Mason says conducting research made possible by the SURP has helped her to obtain practical experience, learning important skills that will help her to be more competitive in the highly competitive field of psychology. But more than that, Mason feels a transformative connection to the project’s subject matter. “While obtaining practical experience for my own future career, I am helping to address a critical health issue in our local and national community,” she said.


“The impact of the program is on the student experiences and preparation for the workforce,” Huggins said. “Hopefully, it will expand to support more students and disciplines that did not participate this year; ideally, we hope to have the capacity to support all UWF students interested in research experiences.” Undoubtedly, the Summer Undergraduate Research Program will give participants exposure to techniques, scientific concepts and real-world issues not available in a traditional classroom setting – but its ultimate significance is the experience itself, one that has the potential to define these young people’s lives and careers.

“I always thought I wanted to work in conservation, but since working in the lab, I am enjoying seeing how everything comes together. I like being able to ask a question and gather data to see what possible answers I can get.” —Emily Miller U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015






DR. SCOTT KELLER, David Bear and UWF logistics

students touring the Lewis Bear Company.


ou may be familiar with the economic model of ‘supply and demand,’ but what about demand for a degree to help students manage the supply chain? In response to market demand locally, regionally and beyond, the University of West Florida recently approved a degree program in supply chain logistics management. The Department of Marketing and Economics has offered coursework in logistics within the College of Business for the past 10 years. As students filled the classes, won national academic competitions and were hired to fill logistics operations and sales positions upon graduation, the University identified the field as an important academic area. Dean of the College of Business Dr. Timothy O’Keefe confirmed there has been a steadily growing student interest in logistics study over the past several years at UWF, beginning with an introductory course taught by Dr. Scott Keller. Complementary marketing courses then produced a highly successful certificate program, followed by a logistics specialization, which led to the standalone B.S./B.A. degree. The new degree program will offer high quality and practical courses that produce relevant skills in UWF graduates sought out by industry managers. In addition to analytics fundamentals that logistics professionals require to make decisions in the field, primary coursework will include global logistics, supply chain logistics strategy, transportation management, purchasing and supply management, warehousing and terminal management.


Dr. Scott Keller is largely responsible for the establishment of the new degree offering, a process that can take up to two years. “Businesses recognize the need to hire college graduates with practical and analytical skills in supply chain logistics to reduce cost and improve service and product quality through logistics management,” Keller said. “Ultimately, our students help companies in our region, the State of Florida and the U.S. become more competitive through efficient and effective logistics decisions.” Keller noted that UWF logistics professors are highly active and connected with industry partners, like the Lewis Bear Company. Indeed, the Bear Family Foundation allocated $300,000 of a $1 million gift to fund an Endowed Professorship in Supply Chain Logistics. Students benefit from such connections through touring working logistics and transportation facilities and interacting first hand with professionals managing operations and sales for various national and international companies – including C.G. Railway in Mobile, Alabama; Crane Worldwide Logistics in Atlanta, Georgia and Houston,

“Businesses recognize the need to hire college graduates with practical and analytical skills in supply chain logistics to reduce cost and improve service and product quality through logistics management.” —Dr. Scott Keller

Texas; CSX Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida; UPS in Mira Loma, California; and Pensacola’s QMotion, Gulf Power Company and Avalex Technologies. SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS

Robyn Duncan, who first became interested in logistics after hearing of growing career opportunities in the field, accepted an offer of employment with Avalex Technologies after graduating from the UWF logistics program. “It’s amazing to me how much the world is driven by logistics and how we have to have people to manage it,” Duncan said. “Every product that we deal with in everyday life, down to the pens that we use or chairs that we sit in, is a part of a complex system of people and communication that got it to you – the customer.” Duncan now works in Strategic Procurement, dealing with everything from prototypes to inventory in the production of electronics for the aerospace industry. She says she used all the concepts from her core coursework within her first three days of real-world employment. “Most people don’t realize UWF has built a reputation among the major universities as a competitive and quality logistics program … our certificate alone produced a 99 percent hire rate within the first six months of graduation,” Duncan pointed out. “I can only imagine the success a full B.S./B.A. will give to students as more resources become available to them.” Mike Juchniewicz is president of the Supply Chain Logistics Association at UWF. He said the industry is still fairly young, with

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



“Every product that we deal with in everyday life, down to the pens that we use or chairs that we sit in, is a part of a complex system of people and communication that got it to you—the customer.” —Robyn Duncan, ’15 UWF College of Business Graduate

many businesses becoming concerned about supply chain strategies only in the last 20 years – after recognizing the effect suppliers and shipment schedules can have on profit margins. “This is the exact reason I am so passionate about the Supply Chain Logistics program, because we all have the opportunity to leave a lasting mark on companies by looking at their business models from a logistics point of view,” said Juchniewicz. The UWF senior, who will graduate in December with the first class to earn the standalone B.S./B.A. in Supply Chain Logistics, said the timing of the degree could not have been better as the University works to build partnerships with local companies in order to give students real-life case studies and in-class internships. REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS

For those who think logistics is limited to trucking companies, think again. Graduates with a logistics degree in sup-



ply chain management may find employment in sectors such as corporate management of regional and international logistics operations, company trade show management, inventory management and analysis, logistics strategy and planning, materials planning, international and domestic transportation management, transportation sales and brokerage, transportation pricing and negotiations, transportation fleet management, railroad or warehouse operations management, ocean freight terminal management, supplier management or logistics engineering. “This new degree, along with the previous specialization, gives a fantastic base for anyone to pursue any interest they have,” Juchniewicz said. “I love having options, and for our students, the future is full of opportunities in any field of interest they may have.” Both Duncan and Juchniewicz credit marketing and logistics faculty Dr. Scott Keller, Dr. Stephen LeMay and Dr. Peter Ralston with creating unique opportunities for learning about the flourishing field. “All of us look to enhance basic supply chain knowledge while also developing communication skills, teamwork effectiveness, and situation analysis foresight to

create a well-rounded student,” Ralston shared. “Student interest, along with the immense need for supply chain and logistics professionals locally, regionally, nationally and globally, led to new resources to make UWF a desired destination to learn about supply chain logistics management.” Ralston feels fortunate for UWF to have received approval for the new degree and, along with the rest of the faculty, looks forward to representing the institution well while providing the best experience possible to current and future students. MEETING MARKET DEMAND

Dean O’Keefe said the projected demand in Florida for graduates trained in supply chain logistics over the next decade exceeds the existing educational capacity to meet that demand. “We have a successful program with world renowned professors,” he explained. “We are perfectly positioned to step in to meet that demand and to provide our students with exceptional opportunities to enter and thrive in a growing STEM career field.” Learn more about the Logistics B.S./B.A. degree program at


A Green (and Blue) Thumb The UWF Community Garden Project BY AMY MINCHIN


igging around in a campus garden may not be the first place you’d expect to find college students on a Saturday morning. At UWF, students taking part in classes like Dr. Gregory Tomso’s Honors seminar course, Politics of Food, have come together with other gardening enthusiasts to cultivate a place of community that promotes the benefits of sustainable agriculture. Begun in 2010, the on-campus Community Garden Project provides a mission worthy of waking up early and sacrificing a little weekend time. “The Community Garden Project started to raise awareness of healthy eating,” said Tomso, associate director of UWF Kugelman Honors Program. “Students approached me about it. They were upset with fast food culture and the industrialization of food. Starting a garden on campus was an opportunity for students to learn about the time and labor required to produce food, and the students responded astoundingly.” Saturday workdays are when the bulk of activity occurs, drawing students and other volunteers to the garden located behind the UWF water tower.

“With four raised beds, we grow a wide range of crops, from vegetables to herbs to flowers for pollinators,” said Chasidy Hobbs, environmental science instructor and undergraduate advisor. “We envision having fruit trees and grapes growing on site, too.”

“Starting a garden on campus was an opportunity for students to learn about the time and labor required to produce food, and the students responded astoundingly.” — Dr. Gregory Tomso, associate director of UWF Kugelman Honors Program

Hobbs says funding will determine the garden’s future growth, and community support is invaluable. “The garden is for anyone who wants to donate time, sweat or supplies to help in the mission,” she added. Jordan Yee, a Pensacola architect with STOA Architects, is a Board member and community supporter of the UWF Community Garden Project.

“It has been a pleasure collaborating with students and other Board members on the many design issues that a garden poses — big picture site planning issues, as well as smaller human scale features like the entrance signage,” he said. “And who doesn’t love delicious, organic vegetables?” Produce harvested from the garden is shared among campus and community members who grow the food. Any surplus is donated. “In the past we’ve donated to either Manna Food Pantries or Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen,” Hobbs said. “We are looking forward to expanding so that we will have more to donate to those in need of healthy food.” Tomso noted that students, like much of the larger community, have access to food, but they are starving for healthy food. The Community Garden Project is doing its part to fill that void, while also offering hands-on gardening experience and an opportunity to impact the community.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tomso at


Community Garden vice president Jonathan Sherman and Greg Tomso, associate director of the UWF Kugelman Honors Program and Community Garden coordinator.

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



Argos in the Pros BY CHUCK CORDER


emember those first steps into the real world following the best years of your life at the University of West Florida? Equally scary and thrilling. A roller coaster of emotions as you adjust to life opening its next chapters. Athletes aren’t immune to experiencing those feelings. In fact, their accomplishments and miscues play out before hundreds, sometimes thousands, of strangers every night. “You’re going to have ups and downs,” Argonauts baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat said. “Everybody does in pro ball.” One of Jeffcoat’s prized former pupils is a great example. Former Argos center fielder LeDarious Clark was, arguably, the hottest hitter in all of professional baseball earlier this summer. Then, a few days later, the Spokane Indians leadoff hitter was battling through a fourgame hitting slump. “Things are certainly more intense up here,” said Clark, speaking from one of his team’s unbearable road trips in July. “I’m just trying to go out and perform to the best of my abilities.” Clark became the highest player drafted in UWF history on June 10 when the Texas Rangers snatched him up in the 12th round, making him the 348th overall selection. He was designated to Spokane, the Rangers’ Class-A affiliate team. Clark busted the gates wide open from the moment he arrived, enjoying an 18-game hitting streak almost immediately. The Meridian, Mississippi native enjoyed



“I was already prepared for this moment when I got here. I’m kind of on my own out here, you know. It’s a job. If you don’t do your job, you get fired.” —LeDarious Clark, Spokane Indians Baseball Player one stretch where he collected multiple hits in nine of 10 games, including two games where he had four hits. “I felt good at the plate,” Clark recalled of those virtually unheard of four-hit explosions. “It was like a beach ball the whole time. Not too many of those nights come around.” But just as soon as that hot start helped Clark get comfortable in his new surroundings, he endured four hitless games in consecutive nights. Being able to handle the ups and downs is how a player is defined. “I was already prepared for this moment when I got here,” Clark said in crediting his parents and his time at UWF for molding him. “I’m kind of on my own out here, you know. It’s a job. If you don’t do your job, you get fired. “With me, I can get released if I’m not performing. So there is a lot you have to do for yourself while also doing the best I can for the team.” Brian Ellington understands that, as well. The former Argos pitcher recently competed with Team USA at the Pan Am Games in

Canada, losing a heartbreaking gold medal game to the home country in extra innings. “Being chosen to represent the U.S. in the 2015 Pan Am Games is a great honor and a result of a lot of passion and dedication,” Ellington said. “There’s a lot of people who played a huge role in my success while at UWF and probably don’t even know how much they helped me.” Ellington made more program history in June when he became the first formerUWF player to play a game in Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in downtown Pensacola. As a member of the Jacksonville Suns, the Double-A team for the Miami Marlins, Ellington faced the Blue Wahoos in relief appearances on June 7 and July 1 and did not allow a run in either game. On Aug. 3, he made his major league debut with the Marlins, striking out two in one scoreless inning against the New York Mets. At the time of publication he had made five appearances for the Marlins, allowing two runs in 5.2 innings pitched. “The biggest thing I took away, and the thing I thank coach Jeffcoat for teaching me, is how to not take any days for granted and make every opportunity count.” It’s that type of mentality that has Clark, Ellington and other former UWF studentathletes, who are pursuing sports professionally, unafraid of what the real world will throw at them. To keep up with Clark, Ellington and many other former UWF studentathletes competing at the next level, visit



Spokane Indians Baseball Player, Former Argos Center Fielder

Photo by Christopher Nelson

“The biggest thing I took away, and the thing I thank coach Jeffcoat for teaching me, is how to not take any days for granted and make every opportunity count.” —Brian Ellington, Miami Marlins Pitcher, Former Argos Pitcher Photo Courtesy of Pensacola News Journal U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



One year from now the University of West Florida football team will take the field for its first official game. To make sure you’ll be there for the historic inaugural season at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, follow the steps below. Step 1: Complete the football season ticket interest form at

Step 2: Join the Argonaut Athletic Club and build your priority points. More information available at

Step 3: Make a season ticket deposit if you choose not to build priority points.

Game Schedule 9/3 at Ave Maria

Ave Maria, Fla.

9/10 vs. Missouri S&T


9/17 at Chowan

Murfreesboro, N.C.

9/24 at Valdosta State*

Valdosta, Ga.

10/1 vs. Florida Tech*


10/8 at Mississippi College*

Clinton, Miss.

10/15 at Delta State*

Cleveland, Miss.

10/22 vs. Shorter*



10/29 vs. West Alabama*


11/5 at North Alabama*

Florence, Ala.

11/12 vs. West Georgia*


* Gulf South Conference Game Game times TBD



Step 4: Continue to track and build priority points through April 1, 2016.

Step 5: UWF Athletics will contact you to confirm your requested number of seats and schedule your seat selection time.

Step 6: Select your seats in Spring 2016 and purchase your tickets.

Dugout Club - $250# Blue Level - $115$ Green Level - $95$ Silver Level - $70$ # Includes dugout access, food and beverages Faculty and staff discount prices available $

For more information contact UWF athletic ticketing at 850.474.ARGO or visit Policies and procedures about UWF football season tickets are subject to change.



Whether we gather at a grand opening, recognition dinner, chapter event or Homecoming, our events provide the perfect opportunity to show our appreciation of your continued support. They are also a wonderful chance for you to socialize with fellow alumni, current students, staff, faculty and friends of the University. Don’t miss out! We continue to add new events to the mix. For a look at upcoming events, visit

Bill Rone, Dr. Brendan Kelly, Martha Lee Blodgett and Jerry Williams at the Eglin Federal gift announcement. Bill and Caroline Jones at the Tallahassee Alumni Chapter Event with Pete Shinnick.

Tyler Milkeris-Zellar, Dustin Retherford, Zachariah Pritchard, Rylee Hart, Gloria Malpica and Jillian Brown receive scholarship awards at the UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center Scholarship Luncheon on July 29. Teresa and John Hoyt at the Atlanta Alumni Chapter Event.

Mike Little providing a tour during the grand reopening of Arcadia Mill Archaeology Site. U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



UWF Historic Trust Open

UWF theatre and art students with the Ireland Ambassador during the University’s program, “The Irish Experience.” Alumni networking at the Atlanta Chapter Event.

Micah and Katelyn Milligan of Textbook Brokers with Dr. Tim O’Keefe and Dr. Kimberly McCorkle at a reception celebrating the new Textbook Brokers Scholarship. Bernard and Nina Walsh with Martha Lee Blodgett at the Loyalty Lunch.

Congressman Jeff Miller presenting a Nina Fritz portrait to the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum. 23



Students pose with Argie at the UWF Football Kick-off Event. Alumni at the Emerald Coast Chapter Event.

Student-athletes celebrating at the Argonaut Athletic Club Donor and Student-Athlete banquet.

UWF Night at the Wahoos Event.

Ninth Annual

ALUMNI GOLF CLASSIC The UWF Alumni Association Golf Classic will be held Sept. 25, 2015 at Scenic Hills Country Club at the University of West Florida. All UWF alumni and friends are invited to join us for a day filled with golf, food and fun! All net tournament proceeds will support the UWF Alumni Association.

Date: Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 Time: 11 a.m. Registration/Lunch 12 p.m. Shotgun Start Location: Scenic Hills Country Club 8891 Burning Tree Road Pensacola, FL

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Missy Grace at, 850.474.3423 or 800.226.1893 for additional information.

Thanks to our Signature Tournament Sponsor:

Thanks to our Chambered Nautilus Sponsor:

Fees: $325–Foursome $85–Individual Register online at Registration deadline is Monday, Sept. 19, 2015.

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



Meet the Alumni Board

University of West Florida Alumni Association Board of Directors


Congratulations to the 2015-16 University of West Florida Alumni Association Board o f Directors.

Jeff Bedenbaugh ’92 & ’02 Residence: Tallahassee, Florida Major: BA Accounting & MBA Employment: Director-Analytics, Healthcare Economics, Florida Blue

The Alumni Board of Directors represents UWF’s alumni population and helps us stay connected with the interests of alumni. Board members support the mission of the association, create engagement opportunities for alumni and share their expertise to further the association, university projects and programs. Learn more about your board at

Sonya Daniel ’14 Officer: Secretary Residence: Cantonment, Florida Major: MA Strategic Communication & Leadership Employment: Deputy Supervisor of Elections, Administration, Escambia County Supervisor of Elections

Joel Balistreri ’98 Residence: Gulf Breeze, Florida Major: BS HLES-Leisure Studies Employment: Vice President, One Source Networks

Stephen Hester ’91 Residence: Lewisville, Texas Major: BA International Studies Employment: Senior Training Specialist, Shermco Industries

Brett Barrow ’87 Officer: President Residence: Pensacola, Florida Major: BS Management Employment: Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Regions Bank

Kristie Kelley ’98 & ’99 Residence: Cantonment, Florida Major: BS Biology & MEd, Educational Leadership Employment: Workforce Development Coordinator, Gulf Power Company


Jennifer Hammond ’93 & ’95 Residence: Washington, DC Major: BA Legal Administration & MPA Employment: Radio Talks Show Host & Relator, Sirius/XM & TTR Sotheby’s

Paul Pratofiorito ’81 Officer: Treasurer Residence: Pensacola, Florida Major: BA Accounting Employment: Customer Ops Analyst, Gulf Power Company Luke van Blaricom ’02 & ’03 Officer: Past President Residence: Orlando, Florida Major: BS, Biology & MS, Biology-Education Employment: Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Central Florida Jay Windham ’01 Residence: Pensacola, Florida Major: BS Business Employment: Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Harriett Wyer ’92 Officer: Vice President Residence: Pensacola, Florida Major: BS Marketing Employment: Oncology Sales Specialist, AstraZeneca


Alumni Spotlight: Chris Roney BY AMY MINCHIN

CHRIS RONEY holding a 1997 issue

of the UWF student newspaper, featuring his business.

Chris Roney (’97) is the owner of Ace Unlocks in Pensacola, a business he started as a UWF student. He is a donor and supporter of UWF Athletics, including the men’s and women’s golf teams. Q. Why did you choose UWF? A. I was offered a full scholarship as a member of the golf team. Q. You started Ace Unlocks while you were in college. Why a locksmith business? A. A buddy and I wanted to be entrepreneurs. We had looked into some business ideas that didn’t pan out. One night, a golf teammate was locked out of his car and called a locksmith. It cost him $55. My friend,

who had experience working in a towing business, said “I could have done that if I’d had my tools.” So we saw the opportunity. We started out offering our services on campus for $20. We ran the business out of a 1989 Forerunner and a 1988 Mustang. To this day, we charge $20 to unlock a car at UWF as long as the person has a student or faculty ID. Q. What is the business like today? A. We serve Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties with a fleet of eight vehicles and 14 employees. We’re the sole AAA affiliate in the area. We’re open 24/7, like Waffle House. During and after Hurricane Ivan, we never closed. It’s been quite a ride. Q. What part of your UWF experience has been the most valuable for you as a business owner?

A. Learning things like how to create a business plan and forecasting was helpful when we started, but it wasn’t one particular class. It’s really the overall experience of having to graduate, which took discipline. You need discipline when you’re called to unlock a vehicle at 3 a.m. Q. What advice would you give to current students with entrepreneurial interests? A. Make a plan. You can change it as you go, but without a vision or goal, you’ll fail. Also, when choosing a business, look at its long-term viability. We all want to do something we love, but sometimes a career finds us. Don’t limit your options. Lastly, I’d tell them to get involved in a business that asks for $1 from one million people vs. one that asks for $1 million from one person. There is stability in having more customers. U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



Alumni Events Alumni Events From gatherings in their own hometown to events on campus, UWF alumni have plenty of opportunities to engage with UWF and meet, work and play together. If you have ideas and suggestions for a great alumni event, email us at For event updates visit

September 8 Whiskey Tasting, Old Hickory Whiskey Bar

OCT 19-24 Homecoming



SEPT 25 Golf Tournament, Scenic Hills Golf Club


OCT 23 Homecoming Tailgate

October 17/24 Football Scrimmages 10/17 Pensacola Bayfront Stadium 10/24 UWF Pensacola Campus

October 24 Wine and Spirits Alumni Event

DEC 12 Fall Commencement

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015


Alumni Spotlight: Patrick Jacobs

Pink Autumn brings internationally-known artist home BY OLIVIA WISE

FLY AGRIC #9 by Patrick Jacobs


n the spring of 2015, Patrick Jacobs (BFA ’94) returned to the University of West Florida for his solo-exhibition Pink Autumn. This was the first time Jacobs had spent an extended period of time at his alma mater since his time as a student. During his visit to UWF, Jacobs did more than simply share his dreamy and imaginative dioramas with the community; he engaged with students who are currently at the same point in their academic careers that he was in nearly 20 years ago. “Returning to UWF was a both wonderful and strange experience. In a way, it was very much like returning home to visit your family after being away for a long time,” Jacobs said. “You’re reminded of who you are and where you come from. I was suddenly aware of the passage of time and the personal growth that has occurred since being a student.” During his visit, Jacobs led a gallery talk in which he described the technical process of his work. He often draws on whatever materials, processes or means necessary to achieve the right effect. “People are always surprised to learn that many of the flowers in the dioramas, for example, are actually cat hairs meticulously assembled with tweezers,” he said. “Art doesn’t have to be made with precious materials or using a complicated process; if you can get the viewer to make the leap from something mundane or unexpected to another imaginative reality, it is very exciting.” For Jacobs, art has always been an integral part of his life since early childhood. His experience in the art department at UWF was unique because of the faculty’s of29


ten very divergent views on art, which not only prepared him for graduate school and beyond, but also shaped his views on the world. “More seasoned professors often championed a formal approach to artistic disciplines and their respective processes, while a younger generation espoused an interdisciplinary crossing over between media,” Jacobs said. “I emerged from UWF with both points of view: a respect for and delight in traditional craftsmanship and simultane“Art doesn’t have to be made ously a need to break the rules in order to say something new. The with precious materials or two approaches sound at odds, but using a complicated process; they go hand-in-hand.” if you can get the viewer to Jacobs constructs three-dimenmake the leap from something sional dioramas that are viewed through lenses and embedded in mundane or unexpected to a gallery’s walls. The dioramas another imaginative reality, it depict both interior and exterior is very exciting.” landscapes that captivate viewers as they explore new realities. — Patrick Jacobs, BFA ’94 Jacobs also creates copper plate etchings, a printmaking process that dates back to the early Renaissance. Both encapsulate his synthesis of modern and traditional artistic styles. Today, Jacobs lives in Brooklyn, New York. He has been included in “Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Currently, he is working on a few private commissions, including one for Neil Patrick Harris and a high-rise hotel in Manhattan.


Class Notes 1960s ’69 David Walby, BA History, has been elected president of the Gulf Breeze Historical Society for the 2015-2016 year. David has had eight historical books published, most having to do with Pensacola and Santa Rosa Island history. ’69 Laurence Richards, MS Aeronautical Systems, was appointed interim vice chancellor and dean at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus.


’75 State Alexander, BA Communication Arts, has conferred a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, December 2014. ’75 John Ellisor, MA History, presented at the Brown Bag Adult SouthFirst Lecture Series about the story of Creek Indian removal. ’77 & ’79 Clifford Walters, BA Political Science & MPA, was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority. ’77 Larry Burggraf, MA Mathematics, has been inducted into the Cardington Lincoln High School Alumni Hall of Fame. ’78 James Hardin, BA Philosophy & BA Mathematics, was appointed as the Samford University’s new provost. ’78 Paul Bowers, BA Political Science, was named one of the 100 influential Atlantans, for his influence in shaping one of the largest projects in Georgia history: the $14.5 billion nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle.

’72 Katherine Johnson, BA History Education, retired from her 10-year tenure as president of Pasco-Hernando State College.

’78 Jackson Tuttle, MPA, retired after 24 years of serving as the Williamsburg, Virgina city manager.

‘79 Terrance Hall, BA Music, took office in July 2014 as the president of the Virginia Music Educators Association. The association is made up of nearly 5,000 music educators in the Commonwealth of Virginia.



’74 Daniel Delis Hill, BA Art & Design, has published his seventh fashion history book: “Necessaries: Two Hundred Years of Fashion Accessories.” Hill has also contributed two essays on men’s fashion of the 1960s and 1970s to the “Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion.”

’84 Dennis Everett, BS Systems Science/Business, was named the “Administrative Professional of the Year” at Chipola College, completing 30 years at Chipola. Everett is currently the associate vice president of information systems.


’84 Tommy Wright, BS Systems Science, was recently promoted to senior principal for the MITRE Corporation – a federally funded research and development center supporting the Department of Defense. Wright also serves as MITRE’s portfolio manager for Naval Aviation Systems in Patuxent River, Maryland.

’81 Phillip Wright, BSBA Management, is the new chief executive officer for the Haywood Regional Medical Center. ’82 Terry Halvorsen, M.Ed. Educational Leadership, has been selected as the acting Department of Defense chief information officer which serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for information management/ information technology and information assurances. ’82 Michael Nelson, BSBA Management & BSBA Marketing, has been named the chief executive officer and executive director of the National Court Reports Association. ’84 Walter Gordon, MS Sports Science, retired from principal at Catersville Primary School after 46 years in education.


’85 Doug Marshall, BSBA Accounting, was named chief financial officer and chief taxation officer of the Alabama Family Trust – a 501(c)3 organization created by the Alabama legislature to administer special needs trusts serving children and adults with disabilities who receive government entitlements such as Medicaid and SSI. In 2012, Marshall was honored by UWF as a distinguished alumni. ’86 Steven Seege, BA Communication Arts, is the new director of sales and marketing for Lennar. U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015




’87 Elijah Smiley, MBA, has been unanimously selected to serve as chief judge of the 14th Judicial Circuit. The 14th Judicial Circuit is comprised of Bay, Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Gulf and Washington County. ’87 Daniel Murphy, BSBA Marketing, began as the general manager for the Canby Utility on July 1, 2015. ’88 Joanne Persinger, BSBA Marketing, have been named to the Channel Company’s prestigious 2015 CRN Women of the Channel list. The list honors outstanding female executives across vendor channel organizations.

1990s ’90 & ’98 Della Scott-Ireton, BA Anthropology & MA History, received the 2015 Senator Bob Williams Award at the annual Florida Heritage Awards ceremony for her contribution to exceptional historic preservation in Florida. ’92 Harriett Wyer, BSBA Marketing, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016.

’97 & ’12 John Love, BS HLES Physical Education & M.Ed. Educational Leadership, is the new Walker Elementary assistant principal of Crestview, Florida.

’04 & ’13 Brandon Koger, BA Education & M.Ed. Educational Leadership, is the new assistant principal for the Woodlawn Beach Middle School in Santa Rosa, Florida.

’98 Jason Hill, BS HLES Physical Education, was named the new women’s basketball coach of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

’05 Clenita Jones, BS Biology, has been hired as the new head coach for women’s basketball at Pensacola State College.

’98 Wendy Peel, BA PR & Advertising, is the new vice president of sales and marketing for ReverseVision, Inc — a leading software and technology provider for the reverse mortgage industry. ’99 Jean Gillson, BS Business Administration, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016.

2000s ’01 Sheldra Howard, BA Journalism, is the newest weekend anchor and reporter for Oklahoma City News Channel 4. ’01 Adetoun Sanders, BA Communication Arts, was promoted to vice president of marketing and business development for Members First Credit Union of Florida. ’03 Pamela Homyak, BSBA Marketing, was named the 2015 “Big Sister of the Year” for the state of Florida. ’03 Anna Jamine Barry, BS Health Education/Community Health, is the 2016 Escambia County “Teacher of the Year.” ’03 Amanda Hindsman, BA PR & Advertising, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016.

’96 Stacey Ramos, BS Business Administration, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016.


’07 Hong Tran, MBA, is the new operations services director at Baptist Heart and Vascular Institute. ’07 Nicholas Whiting, BA PR & Advertising, joined the women’s soccer coaching staff at the University of Louisiana. ’07 Sophia Young, BA Social Work, joined the Pensacola Young Professionals as the operations director. ’07 Marco Matteucci, BS HLES Exercise Science, joined the women’s tennis coaching staff at the University of Arizona. ’08 Maegan Leonard, BA Journalism, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016. ’08 Matthew Williams, BA Psychology, accepted a position as an assistant coach with the men’s soccer program at the University of Memphis. ’08 James Henderson, MS Business Administration, was named the president of Northwestern State University. ’09 James Roberts, BS Hospitality Management, joins the Hotel Vandivort in Missouri as the general manager.


’97 Christi Hankins, BA Political Science Pre-Law, has been named the next Pensacola Camellia Club President.


’06 Broward Peoples, BA Social Work, is the new assistant principal at Chipley High School.

’09 Jessica Barrale, BS Business Administration, joined EW Bullock Associates as the account services coordinator in March 2015.

’93 Edith Franklin, BSBA Accounting, has joined the New Horizons Credit Union as the new controller.

’97 Robert Gillander, BA Public Relations, started working at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as a senior customer service analyst in May 2015.

’05 Kyle Newsom, MS Administration/ Education Leadership, is the new principal at Chipley High School.

’10 & ’14 Joshua Newby, BA PR & Advertising & MA Strategic Communication and Leadership, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016.


’10 & ’14 Daniel Akerman, BA PR & Advertising & MA Strategic Communication and Leadership, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016.


’14 Daniela Cruz, BS HLES Exercise Science, competed for Costa Rica during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

’78 Randy Blake, BA Communication Arts; died March 10, 2015

’14 Mark Nisbett, BS Business Administration, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016.

’79 Conrad Jaburg, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; died March 4, 2015.

In Memoriam

’79 & ’87 Doris Massey, BA Special Education & MA Clinical Teaching; died Feb. 15, 2015.

’69 & ’74 Hazel Hunsucker, BA Psychology & M.Ed. Educational Leadership; died March 15, 2015.

’77 Nelson Bowers, BS Technological Vocational Studies; died March 15, 2015

’69 Ann Bullock, BA History; died March 7, 2015 Blizzard

’11 Caitlyn Blizzard, BA PR & Advertising, the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau’s director of communications, has been selected as one of Destination Marketing Association International’s “30 Under 30” professionals for 2015. ’12 Jean Ndione, BS Business Administration, will join the Pensacola Chamber Foundation Leadership class of 2016. ’13, ’74, & ’75 Jerry Maygarden, Honorary Doctorate, BA Communication Arts, MA Communication Arts, has been named the new chairman of the UWF College of Business Advisory Council. ’13 Joseph Montgomery, MS Business Administration, is the new command chief for the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland.

’70 Margie F. Bailey, BA Elementary Education; died Feb. 5, 2015. ’70 Lt. John D. Ward, BS Systems Science/Business; died Feb. 27, 2015. ’70 Donald Schofield, BSBA Management; died June 7, 2015. ’71 Kevin Kenney, BSBA Accounting; died April 25, 2015. ’72 Frances Tolar, BA Communication Arts; died June 1, 2015. ’73 Judith Bonifay, BA Elementary Education; died March 7, 2015. ’73 Horace Harrison, BA Political Science; died May 3, 2015. ’73 Arlie Hughes, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; died May 10, 2015. ’73 Wayne Hall, BS Systems Science/ Business; died June 28, 2015 ’74 Dorothy L. Ensor, BA Social Work; died Feb. 10, 2015.

’79 Lewis Kieffer, MA Psychology; died March 30, 2015.

’77 George Vanta, MBA; died March 22, 2015. ’77 Deborah Bhandari, BA Music Education; died April 5, 2015. ’75 Hammond McAdams, BS Systems Science/Business; died March 15, 2015. ’76 Harry Mathers, BS Cell & Molecular Biology; died June 3, 2015. ’80 Micheal Snoddy, BA Communication Arts; died May 19, 2015. ’81 Lillie Fuller, MA Reading Masters; died Feb. 27, 2015 ’82 & ’90 William Kenyon, MS Systems Analysis & MS Computer ScienceSoftware Engineering; died March 4, 2015. ’82 Sheila Barfield, BSBA Management; died May 12, 2015. ’82 Robert Murphy, BSBA Management; died March 26, 2015. ’83 & ‘93 Jerry E. Lewis, BA Social Work & BA Studio Art; died Feb. 24, 2015.

’74 Charles Aplin, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; died March 4, 2015.

’83 Robert Dickerson, BA Interdisciplinary Social Science & BA Psychology; died June 30, 2015.

’75 Larry Jividen, BSBA Management; died March 15, 2015.

’84 Patricia Dodson, BSBA Accounting; died March 7, 2015

’75 Andrea Gaume, BS HLES Teacher Education; died April 4, 2015.

’84 Tina Gatlin, MA Elementary Education; died March 14, 2015.

’75 Gary Houghton, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; died April 1, 2015.

’84 James Husser, MPA; March 6, 2015.

’75 Richard Spitz, BSBA Accounting; died Feb. 25, 2015. ’75 & ’79 Hazel Simpson, BA Interdisciplinary Social Science & MA History; died June 5, 2015. ’76 Jerry Brooks, BA Interdisciplinary Social Science & BS Biology; died July 1, 2015.


’78 Walter Howard, MA History; died May 7, 2015.

’86 Richard Longen, BA Social Work; died March 25, 2015. ’86 & ’89 Philomena Marshall, BA Psychology & MA Psychology; died March 11, 2015. ’86 Leo Guenther, BA Accounting Information Systems; died Jan. 7, 2015 ’89 Buford N Baily, BA Legal Administration; died Feb. 5, 2015.

’76 Thomas H. Knowles, MBA; died Feb. 19, 2015.

’89 Arthur McMillion, MS Physical Education; died May 12, 2015

’76 Dolly Partidge, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; died March 5, 2015.

’90 Brian Water, BSBA Management; died Feb. 20, 2015. U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



’92 Melissa Patterson, BA Communication Arts; died June 19, 2015.

’96 Mary Roberts, BA Elementary Education; died May 14, 2015.

’07 Melissa Orbik, BA Pre-K Education; died April 29, 2015.

’94 Barbara Vanderlaan, BS Computer Science; died March 8, 2015.

’96 & ’02 Hugh White, BA Math Education & M.Ed. Educational Leadership; died May 23, 2015.

’10 Rodayne Allan Hart, BA Television & Film; died March 2, 2015.

’94 Charles Gee, Master of Accountancy; died May 15, 2015.

’98 Daniel Labrador, BA Elementary Education; died May 28, 2015.

’94 Mark Bryan, BA History; died June 30, 2015.

’06 Frank Hughes, BA Criminal Justice; died May 2, 2015.

Jesse Earle Bowden, 1928–2015 Jesse Earle Bowden, former chairman of the University of West Florida Historic Trust, passed away on Feb. 4, 2015. As a guardian of Pensacola’s legacy, Bowden was active in the formation and success of several preservation efforts in Pensacola. His efforts directly led to the establishment of the Pensacola Historical Preservation and Restoration Commission signed into law by Gov. Claude Kirk in 1967. He served as a founding Board member, vice chairman and chairman until September 1969. In November 1981, Bowden received a gubernatorial appointment to the Historic Pensacola Preservation

’12 Maryellen Gibson, BS Computer Science; died May 31, 2015. ’14 Robert Alfich, MPH; died March 14, 2015.

Board of Trustees. He served as vice chairman until February 1982, when he was elected chairman, an office he faithfully served until the board was dissolved in 2001 to form West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., a direct support organization of UWF. Now known as UWF Historic Trust, the Board benefitted from Bowden’s dedication and passion for more than 30 years. He resigned in 2012 to serve as chairman of UWF Historic Trust’s Board of Governors, a group created to serve as advocates and advisors to the Historic Trust Board of Directors. The University of West Florida recognizes Bowden with great admiration and appreciation for his contributions, devotion, knowledge and compassion.


Photo Courtesy of Pensacola News Journal





anine Velez Vazquez embodies ambition. A senior at the University of West Florida, the Puerto Rico native has benefited from extensive involvement during her time in college. She is a full-time student, majoring in international studies – with a focus in international business – and biological anthropology, with a minor in art history. She is a member of three honor societies. In addition to her academic commitment, Janine devotes her time to UWF as a third-year resident assistant and a student ambassador. For the last two years, she has been a trip leader for Alternative Spring and a volunteer with UWF Homecoming. Serving as a student ambassador has allowed Janine to have interactions that strengthened her communication skills. “From working graduation to leading tours on campus, I have had the chance to meet a diverse community and refine my ability to express myself and my ideas to others. Being a student ambassador has helped me shape and achieve my goals,” she said.

Meet Janine Velez Vazquez FUN FACTS


UWF Ambassadors Represent

6 Countries 7 Nationalities 9 Languages

Janine credits UWF for the opportunity to challenge herself beyond her comfort zone. She hopes her time at the University inspires others with a mindset of progress and encourages students to eagerly serve as student ambassadors. “Being a student ambassador helps you learn more about yourself by revealing your potential and providing you with professional development opportunities,” she said. “I have learned how to apply classroom concepts in real life, network and understand the bigger picture at hand.” She links her desire to be a positive role model to her strong family ties, citing her mother as the catalyst for her drive to pursue higher education. “Having someone to look up to who leads by example is not only motivational, but it also makes dreams seem more obtainable,” she said. Due to the unwavering support from various University departments, Janine feels fully capable to embark on her career. After graduation, she hopes to join the Peace Corps, then pursue her doctoral degree. She has accomplished many goals in a short time span, but her proudest thus far have been being selected to participate in Vanderbilt University’s bioarchaeology project in Peru and receiving a National Science Foundation grant to conduct research.

Summer Internships Austin Burkhard, US National Park Service, Biscayne National Park, Key Biscayne, FL Janelle Ferguson, The Washington Center, Kalik & Associates, Washington DC Kate Singletary, The Washington Center, Peace Corp, Washington, DC Janine Velez Vazquez, Vanderbilt University, Bio-Archaeology Project, Peru

U NI V E R S I TY o f W E ST F LO R I DA Fall 2015



University of West Florida 11000 University Parkway Pensacola, FL 32514

Show You’re an Argo Wherever You Go Whether it’s cheering on your Argos at the homecoming soccer game, making a groundbreaking discovery with your favorite professor, or maybe even rubbing the cannon for good luck before that tough exam, #UWFMemories are timeless. Join the conversation with past and present Argos and share what made your UWF experience memorable.

Use #UWFMemories and tag UWF Alumni for a chance to win a new UWF car magnet to show your Argo pride!

#UWFMemories /UWFAlumni @UWFAlumni

Connection Fall 2015  

The University of West Florida's Bi-annual Alumni Magazine