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Contributors Editors: Josie Leonard, CEPS Communications Coordinator Dr. William Crawley, CEPS Dean Dr. Diane Scott, CEPS Associate Dean Writers: Brandy Allport, Division of Research and Strategic Innovation Mike Ensley, Division of Research and Strategic Innovation Josie Leonard, College of Education and Professional Studies Amy Minchin, University Marketing and Communications

Inside the Report Message from the Dean


By the Numbers 4 Advancing Directions 5 Outstanding Faculty 6 Program Highlights 10 Outstanding Students 14 Outstanding Alumni & Partnerships


Generous Donations & Support


We Sea Change 22

Photographers: John Blackie, University Marketing and Communications Josie Leonard, College of Education and Professional Studies John Perkins, University Marketing and Communications Michael Spooneybarger, Division of Research and Strategic Innovation Designers: Josie Leonard, College of Education and Professional Studies Thank you to our staff, faculty and contributing authors for making this publication possible.

On the Cover: Dr. Aneurin “Nye� Grant, UWF Department of Instructional Workforce and Applied Technology (IWAT), shows building construction students how to properly use surveying equipment on campus. Dr. Nye Grant serves as assistant professor for the Building Construction program in the College of Education and Professional Studies.


Message from the Dean Dr. William Crawley As the University of West Florida (UWF) closes out celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary, we are afforded an opportunity to look back upon its history as an institution founded in service of Northwest Florida. A significant part of UWF’s contributions and growing capacity to impact its numerous stakeholders has rest in contributions from the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS). As one reflects upon the CEPS story, it quickly becomes clear that faculty, staff and students have a long history of valuing community, and placing the college’s mission at the core of all its activities. As a result, the college has evolved over the years to emerge as a community of collaborative scholars, where people are drawn together to achieve important and impactful work.

For instance, this past year Associate Professor John Pecore was awarded a $1.3 million grant to support UWF students in pursuing teaching careers in STEM fields, and Assistant Professors Andrew Denney and Melinda Lewis joined the Pensacola Task Force for Human Trafficking. Additionally, Assistant Professor Haris Alibašić was recognized for his sustainability and climate preparedness work while also getting students involved in competitions like MuniMod. These examples serve to demonstrate how CEPS distinguishes itself as an exceptional college in service of an outstanding university. Moreover, all the stories in this report share one common outcome — each contributes to enhancing Northwest Florida through innovation and collaboration.

In this latest College of Education and Professional Studies annual report, you will discovery stories illustrating how CEPS faculty collaborate with students, industry and sector practitioners, and members of our greater community, to achieve initiatives resulting in far-reaching impacts.

The college is grateful to the students, alumni, faculty, staff and community partners who have joined forces over the years to give life to our university. Likewise, CEPS is eager to welcome the next generation of partners, as we look forward to the next evolution of our journey together.

Dr. William Crawley Dean 2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 3


By the Numbers Departments Aerospace Studies Criminal Justice Instructional Workforce and Applied Technology Legal Studies, Public Administration and Sport Management Military Science Research and Advanced Studies Social Work Teacher Education and Educational Leadership


Students Enrollment


Degrees 10 Bachelor’s 9 Master’s 1 Specialist 1 Doctorate

1,491 1,393

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

1,744 $15,706,832

$517,807 Scholarship Awards

General Operating Budget


Fully Online Students

Advancing Directions Student Retention The CEPS Advising Center assists all CEPS students with course selection, registration and degree planning. Our advisors provide students with the opportunity to discuss academic programs, career objectives, scholarship and internship possibilities and other topics vital to overall academic development. We recently expanded the CEPS Advising Center by transitioning four Other Personal Services (OPS) positions into University Work Force staff placements and adding an advising assistant position. This past year, our CEPS Advising Center implemented the 4 Year Navigation Chart for Student Success! This was inspired by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) principles, and is designed to help students stay on track to graduate. The Navigation Chart includes a timeline for students to follow, resources available to students and engagement opportunities offered by the college and university. To learn more, visit

Student Success We pride ourselves in cultivating quality experiences to engage our students in their passion as they become early professionals in their fields. During the 2016-2017 academic year, CEPS used financial enhancement awards to help many graduate students take part in conferences, workshops and other professional development opportunities. This past summer, the UWF Department of Research and Advanced Studies (RAS) participated in the Mixed Methods International Research Association conference held in Michigan. RAS was able to take a graduate assistant and attendees participated in an international mixed methods research in education and social sciences professional development workshop. Each RAS attendee developed and presented an integrated, proposed mixed methods research project mini-poster session during the workshop and was provided feedback by researchers from around the globe.

2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 5

Outstanding Faculty

Celebrating Faculty Achievements By: Josie Leonard, Photography: Josie Leonard The College of Education and Professional Studies held its Annual Showcase in downtown Pensacola at the Museum of Commerce this past April. The event is a chance to celebrate yearly achievements and to honor the work of faculty, students, alumni and community partners. At the showcase, three well-deserving faculty members were honored for their outstanding contributions.

Julie Patton, assistant professor in the Department of Social

Work, was selected as the recipient of the 2017 CEPS Faculty Service Award. Julie was recognized for her constant work in the community. She heads up monthly meetings with a group she helped form, called Race and Reconciliation. This group meets to discuss current and relevant issues in the local community and beyond. The group has grown exponentially over time, and serves as an outlet for voices in the community to be heard. This is just one of the many examples of Julie’s efforts in service. Julie was also recently honored as Social Worker of the Year by the Northwest Unit of the Florida Chapter for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Dr. John Pecore, associate professor in the Department of

Teacher Education and Educational Leadership, was selected as the recipient of the 2017 CEPS Faculty Research Award. Dr. Pecore has had an active year with several publications and conference presentations. He was recently awarded a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant will allow select STEM majors to become Robert Noyce Scholars and receive funding to cover their UWF tuition during their junior and senior years. Dr. Pecore’s visionary research funding provides support to the community in the form of highly qualified middle and secondary STEM teachers. Julie Patton, Social Work, received the 2017 Outstanding Contributions in Service Award.

Dr. Charlie Penrod, assistant professor in the Department of

The faculty recognized at the Annual Showcase are exemplary and their work is representative of similar efforts by all CEPS faculty.

Dr. Diane Scott, Associate Dean

Legal Studies, Public Administration and Sport Management, was selected as the recipient of the 2017 CEPS Faculty Teaching Award. Dr. Penrod’s influence and impact on students is far-reaching. Students respect the high expectations he has for them and seek him out for professional advice and counsel. Dr. Penrod engages students through applied projects providing space for them to connect their classroom learning with real world scenarios. He is dynamic, sincere and caring when engaging students in the classroom. This is obvious to anyone reviewing his recent evaluation comments.


Sustainability, Climate Change Focus of Professor’s Research By: Mike Ensley, Photography: Michael Spooneybarger Dr. Haris Alibašić’s award-winning research on sustainability and climate change deploys a two-fold approach. “It was a combination of my work and academic pursuit — trying to apply research to my work and vice versa,” Alibašić said. The field of sustainability seeks to avoid the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain the ecosystem and to address social issues. Alibašić, an assistant professor in the Public Administration program at the University of West Florida, said the research also considers the nature of cause and effect. “Another reason for being interested in sustainability and climate resilience was an idea that every action of an organization in either the private or public sector should be viewed long term,” he said. “Sustainability provides such a framework and furthermore looks at issues not just from the economic, but from the social, environmental and governance impact.” Alibašić’s work was recently recognized by the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and previously recognized by West Michigan Environmental Action Council and the local university in Grand Rapids. Prior to joining the UWF, he directed energy, sustainability and legislative affairs policies and programs for the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan. During his tenure, the city won national sustainability and climate change awards, but he said his work in the field is ongoing. Recently, his research was recognized at an international conference on sustainability held in Rio, Brazil where he presented findings on the use of quadruple bottom line in local governments sustainability efforts.

Alibašić’s paper “A Nexus of Sustainability and Climate Resilience Planning: Embedding Climate Resilience at Local Government Level” has been accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses to be held this month in the United Kingdom. The paper focuses on climate change and sustainability planning efforts at local government levels. “Internationally, the U.S. must play a much bigger role in providing leadership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to get other countries to follow,” he said. “However, in the past, whenever there was no federal government leadership on either sustainability or climate change, local governments played a more prominent role in committing to reduce the impacts of climate change.” Alibašić also took a group of interdepartmental students to the state-wide competition on municipal services modernization last May in Orlando. “The MuniMod competition is organized by the Florida League of Cities, where I serve on their research partnership for local governments team,” he said. “Four UWF students competed against students from other universities around the state and were tasked to develop a technical solution to an ongoing municipal service issue or problem. This is the first time that UWF participated in this competition.” As his research continues, Alibašić said that it’s important to not lose sight of how big an issue sustainability and climate change is and will be. “It’s important to remember that leaving politics aside, this is one of the intergenerational issues that will define the future,” he said. “After all, we have a responsibility and duty to our kids and future generations to leave this planet a better place to live.”

“Being honored three times in Michigan for my sustainability and climate preparedness work does not make me think that I am done,” he said. Earlier this year, Alibašić was appointed to the newly formed City of Pensacola Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Task Force. “All the sustainability and climate change work in Pensacola is at the very early, nascent stage and a lot of work needs to be done to move this agenda forward,” he said. “There has to be a commitment from local governments and the private sector to support the work in the community.” In the current national political conditions, climate change can be a controversial subject, but Alibašić said that where government might step back, the private sector shows willingness to fill in funding gaps. “Climate change research will be impacted as there will be no federal funding available to support such work,” he said. “However, because people care deeply about our shared environment, there are indications that private sectors and certain foundations are stepping up to support the research.”

Dr. Haris Alibašić had his work recently recognized by the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. 2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 7

Outstanding Faculty

Two UWF Professors Join Human Trafficking Task Force Drs. Andrew Denney and Melinda Lewis, faculty members in the University of West Florida College of Education and Professional Studies, have been asked to serve as members of the Pensacola Task Force for Human Trafficking. Organized by the Florida Department of Children & Families and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the task force aims to bring together government agencies and community partners to better address human trafficking issues in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. It is one of several task forces across the state mandated by House Bill 7141, passed in early 2016. “Human trafficking does happen in our area, and a lot of people think it doesn’t,” said Denney, an assistant professor in the UWF Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “Many people are aware of sex trafficking, but there is also a labor aspect, especially with the number of hotels and attractions on the Gulf Coast and our proximity to New Orleans, Atlanta and other larger cities.”

“As an instructor of human trafficking courses at UWF, I am passionate about spreading the word on various forms of modern day slavery,” Lewis said. “The prevention of human trafficking is such an important cause and I am pleased to be a part of this new multi-agency interdisciplinary task force in Florida’s first circuit.” As an Emerge Faculty Fellow in the College of Education and Professional Studies, Lewis has been instrumental in creating high-impact learning opportunities for UWF students on the subject of modern day slavery. One such collaborative high-impact practice activity, entitled “From the Underground Railroad to Modern Day Human Trafficking,” took place on a weeklong learning journey in 2014 as students, faculty and staff traversed rural portions of the historic Underground Railroad across several states. Denney and Lewis will be working to raise more awareness of human trafficking in the community using the University of West Florida as a venue to provide resources such as education, training and outreach.

Denney said the task force will initially meet monthly as it works to develop community outreach programs and initiatives. “To help out in any capacity and affect change in the local community is exciting,” he said. Through his work with the UWF Criminal Justice Student Association, Denney previously has helped to place student interns with the Pensacola-based KlaasKIDS Search Center for Missing & Trafficked Children. “Dr. Denney’s appointment to the Pensacola Task Force for Human Trafficking is a wonderful example of our department’s commitment to engage with the community to develop solutions for our most pressing societal issues,” said Dr. Matthew Crow, professor and department chair. “We are proud to have him represent UWF and share his expertise as a taskforce member.” Dr. Melinda Lewis, assistant professor in the UWF Department of Social Work, joined the human trafficking task force at its second meeting last November. 8 | COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Dr. Denney’s appointment to the Pensacola Task Force for Human Trafficking is a wonderful example of our department’s commitment to engage with the community to develop solutions for our most pressing societal issues.

Dr. Matthew Crow

By: Amy Minchin Photography: Michael Spooneybarger/Josie Leonard

Dr. Lakshmi Prayaga volunteers to teach programming to juniors at the West Florida High School of Advanced Technology.

Escambia County Awards UWF Professor By: Brandy Allport, Photography: Michael Spooneybarger Dr. Lakshmi Prayaga recently received the Information Technology Partner Award from the Escambia County School District. Prayaga is an associate professor of information engineering technology and networking and communications in the College of Education and Professional Studies. The school district selected Prayaga for the award based on her dedication to volunteering in schools, where she exposes students to current trending topics in the realm of information technology. “I primarily pick topics that result in workforce skills,” Prayaga said. Her areas of expertise include data analytics and visualization, storytelling with computer graphics and music simulations, 3-D gaming and mobile app development. This last semester, Prayaga has been working with juniors in Mary Massey’s programming class in the Academy of Information Technology at West Florida High School of Advanced Technology, a magnet school in Pensacola. “She does an awesome job with students and puts a lot of time and effort into showing them technology that expands their perspectives about the field of computer science,” Massey said. Prayaga is working on a project called “Juniors say Hello to HADOOP.” She has a UWF computer science graduate student, Keerthi Devulapalli, assisting her with the endeavor. “HADOOP is one of the most current and advanced technological tools that deals with data analytics,” Prayaga said. Massey’s class of 18 juniors studying with Prayaga are learning to use HADOOP

to analyze information about two main topics: crime statistics in Chicago and airline company flight data. The data sets for these two topics are publically available and are over a gigabyte in size, which works very well for this project. “The power of HADOOP is evident when using large data sets, those over one gigabyte,” Prayaga said. Students work in small groups to answer questions about these two large data sets. Example questions include: • What types of crimes occurred in each area during a certain time period? • How many arrests were made for each type of crime during a specific time period? • How many people were arrested for drug possession in a certain area during a certain time period? • What flights destined for specific cities landed on time during a certain time period? • What flights were canceled and for what reason during a certain time period? When they complete their HADOOP projects, the students will highlight their methods and their findings at a presentation called the Data Analytics Showcase. “There will be administrators from the school and the county in attendance as well as our business partners from the IT community,” Massey said. “Dr. Prayaga teaches us how to process data in the fastest possible way,” said Lukas Baker Mattson, who is one of Prayaga’s students in the session. “It’s fun to do, and it’s amazing how many different things you can find out about with just a few lines of code.” 2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 9

Program Highlights

National Science Foundation Awards $1.3 Million Grant to UWF By: Brandy Allport The National Science Foundation awarded a $1.3 million, five-year grant to support University of West Florida students pursuing teaching careers in STEM fields, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “Eighteen STEM majors will become Robert Noyce Scholars and receive funding for the cost of attending UWF during their junior and senior years,” said Dr. John Pecore, the principal investigator. He proposed, and will administer, the NSF grant. Pecore is an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership in UWF’s College of Education and Professional Studies. To be eligible to become a Noyce Scholar, students must be pursuing a UWF-Teach degree. Through a collaboration between the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering and the College of Education and Professional Studies, UWF-Teach students graduate in four years with a Bachelor of Arts degree in a STEM field and Florida grades six through 12 professional teacher certification. Students complete the content of a regular science or math major along with education coursework and practical teaching experience. The Noyce Scholarship Grant will fund the participation of the 18 UWF-Teach Noyce Scholars in a citizen-based education research project where they will collaborate with a Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering faculty member and a STEM master mentor to design lessons that elicit middle or high school students to engage in an ongoing UWF faculty research project. “After graduating, each highly qualified Noyce scholar will work with an average of 150 different students per year for a total of approximately 750 students every five years. Eighteen Noyce Scholars will impact an estimated 13,500 students every five years in high-need school districts,” Pecore said.

Northwest Florida State College. Support comes in the form of teaching experience in conjunction with coursework and a summer internship at a middle or high school in a high-need school district. “The idea is early and often,” Pecore said. “We want to get STEM majors into the classroom as early in their college career and as often as possible during their four years of study. These field experiences in the school setting are invaluable.” Besides funding 18 Noyce Scholars and supporting recruitment of STEM majors into the teaching field, the NSF grant is also dedicated to supporting graduates during their first few years of teaching. Pecore said one of the ways to support new teachers is to provide continual opportunities for professional development. “By collaborating with school districts, UWF-Teach graduates will receive additional supports to ensure their success as novice teachers, increasing the likelihood that Noyce scholars will remain in the teaching profession and continue to impact thousands of students,” Pecore said. In addition to administering the grant throughout its five-year duration, Pecore will also conduct associated research. “We want to determine what factors encourage STEM majors to consider teaching careers and what factors contribute to their retention in the teaching profession,” he said. Dr. Jaromy Kuhl, chair of the mathematics and statistics department at UWF, is the co-principal investigator of the NSF grant. The other two co-principal investigators are Kirk Bradley from Pensacola State College and Sean Psujek from Northwest Florida State University.

Students applying to receive a Noyce Scholarship must maintain a minimum GPA, submit faculty recommendations, write a twopage essay and sit for an interview. “The goal of the Noyce program is to recruit the best and brightest STEM majors who want to pursue a teaching career in high-need school districts,” Pecore said. In addition to funding the studies of juniors and seniors who become Noyce Scholars while pursuing their UWF-Teach degrees, the $1.3 million NSF grant will fund recruitment of students, with a special focus on recruiting underrepresented minorities into the STEM teaching field. The project supports eligible dual-enrolled freshmen and sophomore STEM students at UWF, Pensacola State College and 10 | COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Explore the world of STEM teaching.

Students in the IB Program at Pensacola High School take part in citizen-science project – DNA barcoding of lionfish.

Citizen-Based Education Research Project By: Josie Leonard, Photography: Michael Spooneybarger The University of West Florida began the Lionfish DNA Barcoding Extraction project as a way to collect data for a biology research initiative, while developing positive science attitudes of students in local school systems. Lionfish are an invasive species that is rapidly populating waters right here on the Gulf Coast. There is major concern as to how this species is affecting the local economy. Dr. John Pecore, Associate Professor in the UWF Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership, is one of the faculty members who went into local classrooms with UWF scholars to engage high school and middle school students with this citizen-science project. “It is my hope that this real world research project will pique the interest of these young students while they are learning required science content and entice some students to pursue STEM or STEM teaching careers,” said Pecore. Students dissect the specimens to examine the contents of the stomach, and extract DNA for further testing. Students assist in determining the type of prey the lionfish are eating at various locations in Gulf waters of the region. Cherie Stephens, International Baccalaureate (IB) biology teacher at Pensacola High School, is just one of the local teachers

participating in this project with her class. “This project goes right along with my curriculum. It’s nice that they actually get to perform real science, like scientists, in a citizen-science project and become part of society.” Pecore described his experience with students participating in the DNA extraction process. “They’re all engaged, they’re all smiling and enjoying it, and they also realize the importance of the work that they are doing because they are doing work that is beneficial.” Amy Cozart, 8th grade science teacher at Woodlawn Beach Middle School, thinks the Lionfish project is a great way to bring something currently affecting the community into her classroom. “It’s an awesome partnership to be able to bring college students and teachers into my classroom — and get 8th graders to not want to leave science class!” One of the students at Woodlawn Beach Middle School, Mackenzie Wright, said, “It feels cool because you usually feel like you can’t do much, especially right now at my own age. But seeing the professors coming in, it makes me realize that I can do this too and I can help with it.” Cozart said, “They love it, they love every part of the lionfish lab and investigating it. To have that passion and then watching young people have a love of science ­— maybe that’s contagious, and that it’s a bug, catch it!” 2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 11

Program Highlights

Probation Simulation Project Offers Students Insight Into Justice System According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 52 adults, or 4.7 million people, are on probation in the United States. In the Pensacola area, that number totals more than 8,000 people.

“We’re hoping that they get a little taste of what it’s like to work in community corrections and be a probation officer and also a taste of what discretion is like — making that judgment on when your probationer violates,” Goulette said. “How do you handle that? Do you admonish them? Do you talk it out? How do you problem solve?”

Two University of West Florida Criminal Justice professors, Dr. Andrew Denney and Dr. Natalie Goulette, are offering students in their Community Corrections course a chance to learn not only effective techniques for managing offender behavior, but a chance to explore probation from the other side. In the fall of 2013, Goulette began the Probation Simulation Project. “I had this idea to put students on probation so they knew what offenders go through on a daily basis,” Goulette said. “I did several iterations of the project over several semesters and then Andrew and I started planning in spring 2016 to collaborate together.” While Community Corrections is a standard lecture-based class, the project is a unique addition to reinforce in-class learning with real world experience. “For eight weeks out of the semester, students had to role-play essentially,” Denney said. “For four weeks of the semester, they were a probation officer, and they had another student who was their probationer. And they switched roles at the end of four weeks, but they had the same partner for the entire semester.” The students were given very realistic scenarios, developed with Escambia County and Federal Probation, to act out and then turn in weekly journals detailing their experiences.

We’re hoping that they get a little taste of what it’s like to work in community corrections and be a probation officer.

Dr. Natalie Goulette

By: Mike Ensley, Photography: Michael Spooneybarger

The other side of the project offers students a glimpse into what someone on probation experiences every day. “A lot of our students think probation is a walk in the park,” Goulette said. “Having to answer to someone on a weekly basis and also make a call into an office to say, ‘Hey, I remembered to make my call,’ and just get a taste of what it’s like to be supervised.”

Learning better communication was also a key component of the project, as was learning to empathize with those being supervised. “One of the key words that came up time and time again when we were planning this was empathetic understanding,” Denney said. “That’s really where we were really wanting students to sit in both the shoes of both the probation officer and the probationer to get a feel for what they had to do, and we feel pretty comfortable that’s what came out of it.” Denney said students were often surprised by how difficult managing another person could be in practice. Goulette said the pair was surprised that though many students felt empathy for the probation officers, they were less empathetic towards those on probation — even after admitting they didn’t like the experience themselves. “Students talked about having a difficult time managing that relationship with their probation officer — having to think about what they did for the entire week and divulging that information to literally a stranger,” she said. “But at the same time, not having that empathy towards probationers. They said, ‘I don’t like being supervised. I feel like I’m in my parent’s house again,’ but at the same time believing that probation was easy.”

Criminal justice professors teach students effective techniques for managing offender behavior.

The pair recently completed a content analysis of the student’s summary experience papers, which has been submitted for review to the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.


Dr. Susan James makes a presentation at the National Writing Project where she is the director.

National Writing Project Continues to Inspire Pensacola-Area Teachers By: Brandy Allport, Photography: Michael Spooneybarger Twenty-five teachers from Santa Rosa County and 25 teachers from Escambia County recently participated in the National Writing Project Invitational Institute at the University of West Florida. The three-week program is designed to highlight writing activities that educators can use with students throughout the school year. “It’s a passion of mine to give students the tools that they need,” said Ordeane Lamar, who teaches 5th grade at Brentwood Elementary School in Escambia County. “I want to be a better teacher of writing so that I can teach students the importance of their own words.” This is the third summer in a row that the University of West Florida has been an official National Writing Project site. “Not only are teachers provided with engaging writing instruction that is relevant to today’s world, but they also spend much time writing themselves,” said Dr. Susan James, an assistant professor of teacher education and educational leadership in UWF’s College of Education and Professional Studies. James is director of the UWF National Writing Project. “It is critical for teachers to feel comfortable with their own writing, as students need their teachers to be models of good writing,” James said. “Teachers have a strong need for this type of intense training and knowledge of creating a community of writers.” Many of the teachers who attended the National Writing Project seminar in past summers return to instruct. “I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s session, and you couldn’t keep me from coming back,” said Susie Forrester, who teaches eighth grade at Ferry Pass

Middle School in Escambia County. “Some of the practices and strategies I put into play in my classroom include quick reflection and haiku. I want to show kids that writing is fun so it will take some of the fear and worry out of having to write for grades.” During the 80-plus hours of professional development that is the National Writing Project, teachers who work in elementary, middle and high schools in the Pensacola area, discussed and practiced using everything from prepositional phrases to poetry based on the five senses. “We want to engender a love of writing in reluctant writers and help all students realize the value of writing,” James said. At the same time that teachers are trying to learn new methods to inspire students to be good readers and writers, they also spend time at the National Writing Project seminar figuring out how to cover G.U.M.S. in writing lessons. That stands for “grammar, usage, mechanics and spelling.” “Our teachers are fully aware of the mounting rigors of literacy in the 21st Century, and many of them look for ways to best prepare students,” James said. “Creating a community of educators who can rely on each other for support and ideas is a main thrust.” Lori Ziegler, who teaches sixth grade at Holley Navarre Primary School in Santa Rosa County, was thrilled with the concepts she learned during the National Writing Project this summer. “So many of our students have a fear of making mistakes,” Ziegler said. “I want them to throw everything down on paper and learn that writing is a messy process and there isn’t one right way to do it. Being around teachers with similar ideas makes me excited to go back to my classroom and try new things.” 2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 13

Outstanding Students

Kennedy Hand is one of the inaugural recipients of the Linda Evans Memorial Scholarship.

Inaugural Recipients of the Linda Evans Memorial Scholarship By: Josie Leonard, Photography: John Perkins The University of West Florida College of Education and Professional Studies received a $100,000 gift to establish the Linda Evans Memorial Scholarship. Evans, a UWF alumna, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and was in UWF’s first graduating class in June 1969. She devoted her life to teaching students at Royal Green Elementary School in Miami. “We are very fortunate to have alumni like Linda Evans,” said Dr. William Crawley, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. “Her lifetime devotion to education is a true inspiration to the university and educational community alike. We are proud to establish this scholarship, which will support future educators from UWF.” The Linda Evans Memorial Scholarship will be dispersed to students starting in fall 2017. Three teacher education students will receive funding based on their outstanding academic performances: Kennedy Hand, Melissa Marquis and Erin Pugh. All three students will be graduating from their respective programs in May 2018. The UWF Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership is committed to preparing students with the professional education knowledge and necessary skills to teach students with diverse learning needs.

Kennedy Hand is an undergraduate student majoring in

elementary education with endorsements in English for Speakers of Other Languages and Reading. She is also pursuing two minors in exceptional student education and psychology. “I feel very honored to have been selected as one of the first recipients of this scholarship,” Hand said. “The fact that I was hand-picked to represent Linda Evans in a memorable way made it very special for me.” Hand currently serves as a camp counselor at the National Flight Academy in Pensacola. Her work involves helping with STEM-oriented activities and acting as a facilitator on aircraft simulations. “I never used to see myself as someone who really likes STEM, but I caught onto the concept really fast,” she said. “It’s definitely something I would consider teaching in the future.” Hand plans to enter the field as an elementary school teacher. She completed her student teaching at Pea Ridge Elementary in Santa Rosa County. She plans to attend graduate school after gaining a few years of teaching experience. “I’m not particularly worried about where I teach, I just want to educate kids in some way, shape or form,” Hand said.


curriculum and instruction. She currently teaches pre-K in New Port Richey and has seven years teaching experience, with two years at Richey Elementary School. Marquis works with ESOL students, many of whom speak Spanish. “With the ESOL class I took at UWF, I’ve learned to be very influential with the children and their families,” she said. “I’ve been able to help other teachers as well.” Marquis’ long-term plans include helping educators be successful in the profession. “I’ve noticed when talking with other teachers that there are some really easy fixes to the challenges they face every day,” she said. “I’d like to work as a coach within a pre-K system or on a college campus to help other teachers.”

Erin Pugh is a fellow online master’s student majoring in

curriculum and instruction. She earned her first master’s degree from UWF in exceptional student education in spring 2017. Pugh currently lives in Italy, but she plans to move back to the states in the near future. “When I graduate, I would like to find a job working with disabled students,” Pugh said. “I grew up with a brother who is severely handicapped, so that has piqued my interest. After I settle back into the states, I am interested in pursuing the education specialist or doctoral program at UWF.”

We are very fortunate to have alumni like Linda Evans. Her lifetime devotion to education serves as a true inspiration to the university and educational community alike. We are proud to establish this scholarship, which will support future educators from UWF.

Melissa Marquis is an online master’s student majoring in

Dr. William Crawley, Dean

2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 15

Outstanding Students

Army ROTC Cadets Represent UWF in Annual Bataan Memorial Death March By: Tom St. Myer/Cadet Chelsea Adams, Photography: Lt. Col. Henry Delacruz/Capt. Pat LaMonda Six students from the University of West Florida Army ROTC program recently competed in the 2017 Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The annual 26-mile march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and in many cases, their lives. For Cadet Chelsea Adams, graduate student in the cybersecurity program, participating in the march was a special way to recognize the sacrifice made by her grandfather, an Army veteran who endured the Bataan Death March in 1942. “I grew up hearing stories about his march, about the things he saw — the things that he survived — and it was always so surreal,” Adams said. “He died when I was young, so these really were nothing but stories to me. Marching in the Bataan Memorial March was especially meaningful because it was a way for me to honor his march, his life and his enduring spirit.” Other cadets from UWF who participated included senior Brian Condon, junior Claire Brown, junior Kaleb Campbell, junior Matthew Cook and sophomore Caleb Day. “This was the first year UWF students participated in the march and the first time the ROTC program has participated in an event outside of cadet command’s purview,” said Lt. Col. Henry Delacruz, chair and professor of the Department of Military Science. Brig. Gen. Michael Ferguson donated $2,000 to the

Bataan Death March Lunch with General Michael Ferguson. ROTC program to pay for travel expenses. Delacruz said they plan to make it an annual event to build cadets’ personal challenge and physical fitness, and to foster esprit de corps within the UWF ROTC program. “By participating in this event, our cadets can learn, then honor the sacrifices of the heroic service members who defended the Philippines during World War II,” Delacruz said. “The Argonaut ROTC program can also showcase its best and brightest cadets and represent the University in an event that brings marchers from across the United States and several foreign countries.”

26 miles

UWF participated in the Annual Bataan Memorial Death March in Spring 2017.


UWF Air Force, Army ROTC Cadets Commissioned As Second Lieutenants By: Capt. Linda McCullough/Lt. Col. Henry Delacruz, Photography: Cadet Nathanael Rogers Twenty cadets from the University of West Florida Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC were recently commissioned as second lieutenants during spring 2017 commissioning ceremonies. The presiding officer for the Air Force ceremony was Lt. Col. Scott Lamont, Detachment 014 commander. Col. David Hanson, vice commander of the 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field, served as guest speaker. The distinguished graduate of the spring 2017 Commissioning class was Joekenny Duran. The following cadets were commissioned into the Air Force and will serve in the designated Air Force Specialty Code: • • • • • • • •

Tinamarie Castro, cyber security officer Joekenny Duran, pilot Nathan McMurphy, remotely piloted aircraft Megan Murphy, logistics readiness officer Chance Pritchard, air battle manager Matthew Stott, remotely piloted aircraft Blaine Underwood, developmental engineer George Underwood, developmental engineer

Col. Shana Peck, UWF alumna and 1991 distinguished military graduate, was the guest speaker for the Army ROTC Commissioning ceremony. During her 26-year career, she has served with distinction in numerous air defense artillery command and staff positions, and currently serves as commander of the 11th Air Defense “Imperial” Brigade at Fort Bliss, Texas. She made history in her unit as the first female to ever command the brigade and only the second woman to command an air defense artillery brigade in the Army. The following cadets were commissioned into the Army and will serve in the designated branch: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Antonio Allende, armor Javier Cardona, infantry Brian Condon, cyber Hakeem Douglas, signal corps Claude Ellenberg, military police Caleb Goodson, combat engineer Christopher Hicks, armor Kelyan Hurley, military intelligence Alexandria Rodenbaugh, medical services corps Andy Rodriquez, military intelligence Carly Thomas, military police Yuzo Yamamoto, medical services corps

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Outstanding Alumni & Partnerships

Graduates and Community Friends Making an Impact By: Josie Leonard, Photography: Josie Leonard The College of Education and Professional Studies recognized some of our outstanding alumni and community partners at the 2017 Annual Showcase. The remarkable achievements and positive impacts each of our alumni and community partners makes contribute to the outstanding reputation of our college and university.

Kaley DeVito graduated in 2016 from the Interdisciplinary

Social Sciences Informal Education and Learning program. Since then, she has begun to work at the Educational Research Center for Child Development at UWF on campus. Kaley opened her pre-K classroom to our Emerge students and provided them with valuable opportunities to explore how to teach science and social studies to young learners effectively.

Jeff Mislevy, president and CEO for Covenant Care, received the 2017 Outstanding Community Partner Award.

Elona Jouben graduated from UWF in 2006 with a degree in

legal studies. She is a local paralegal and has distinguished herself in the field by earning a master’s degree in legal studies from George Washington University. She went on to work for several years at a national organization in Washington, D.C. She is active in several national paralegal organizations, and was recently selected as the managing editor for the national Paralegal Today publication, which is truly an outstanding achievement.

Covenant Care, Jeff Mislevy

Jeff Mislevy became president and CEO for Covenant Care in Pensacola, Florida in 2014. From the moment Jeff arrived in Pensacola, he reached out to UWF. To date, the CORAL Center has partnered with Covenant Care in five research projects producing several scholarly reports, one funded grant, and two publications under review. Three faculty members from CEPS

serve on the Covenant Alzheimer’s board of directors and work directly with Jeff on many ideas for involving faculty and students from UWF in the many community-based research efforts and field site experiences afforded by the partnership of UWF and Covenant Care. In addition, Jeff has provided opportunities for CEPS graduate students to use the educational training sessions provided by Covenant Care for conducting research and pilot projects related to educational preparation sessions and career training experiences.

Escambia County Sheriff ’s Office

The UWF Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Department of Legal Studies, Public Administration and Sport Management have had a long-standing partnership with the Escambia County Sheriff ’s Office. The Escambia County Sheriff ’s Office has supported the UWF domestic violence training for the last six years and has helped to make the event possible. They also provide numerous opportunities for our students to complete ride-alongs, internships and other hands-on experiences.

Intelligent Decision Systems, Inc.

Elona Jouben, legal studies alumni, received the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award.

Intelligent Decision Systems, Inc. is a partner of the UWF Department of Instructional Workforce and Applied Technology. Intelligent Decision Systems, Inc. (IDSI) is a Virginia-based instructional design-consulting firm with a local office in Pensacola. They do a great deal of work with military bases, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating a wide range of instructional products. In addition to hiring many of our graduates, they contacted us seeking opportunities to engage with our students. To facilitate this, they presented a series of webinars for our students this semester. The webinars have covered a wide range of topics and provided students with practitioner perspectives related to the application of the knowledge and skills they are developing in their academic programs.


UWF Honors Escambia County School District By: Amy Minchin, Photography: Josie Leonard The University of West Florida College of Education and Professional Studies recently recognized the Escambia County School District as an Outstanding Community Partner. Dr. William Crawley, dean of the college, recently presented an award to Escambia Schools Superintendent Malcolm Thomas at a meeting for college faculty and staff. The recognition is an acknowledgement of the many ties between the college and the school district, which include the National Writing Project for educators’ professional development, lesson plans for field trips to Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site, the student teaching and internship program and other projects and initiatives across the college. “Partnerships, like this with Escambia County School District, are mutually beneficial to the organization and to UWF,” said Dr. Diane Scott, associate dean of the College of Educational and Professional Studies. “These partnerships provide opportunities for students, faculty and the community to engage with one another and have an impact on real-world issues faced by our community. This partnership with Escambia Schools reflects the mission of the college and university.” The Escambia County School District was integral in UWF receiving designation as a National Writing Project site in late 2015. During the application process, Thomas and other school district administrators worked with Dr. Susan James, assistant professor in the UWF Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership, to identify teachers’ professional development needs. Area teachers then took part in a three-week summer workshop at UWF to discover innovative and motivating curriculums to share with their classes. The Escambia County School District paid the teachers’ salaries during this time. When a site reviewer evaluated UWF before the National Writing Project site designation was given, Escambia County teachers

shared their perspective on the program and how they are using the methods they learned in K-12 classrooms. In summer 2017, 25 teachers from Escambia County and 25 teachers from Santa Rosa County participated in the National Writing Project Summer Invitational Institute at UWF. At the Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site in Milton, 10 UWF students and two faculty members developed a field trip and associated lesson plans for approximately 200 students from Brentwood Elementary School and Ferry Pass Elementary School. The project was part of the UWF Emerge program, an initiative developed by the college to help faculty incorporate high-impact practices within their curriculum. The lesson plans developed by the UWF Emerge students included a tour of Arcadia Mill, a scavenger hunt, worksheets to help teach the students about Arcadia Mill and a craft activity in which students learned to weave using an index card and yarn. The lesson plans are available for schools to use on future field trips. Each year, 10 to 20 UWF students complete student teaching and other internships in Escambia County schools. Before they become student teachers, the students must complete two field experience courses that include 100 hours of exposure to a classroom or school environment. Escambia County School District provides these opportunities by allowing UWF students to gain hands-on classroom knowledge that can help them become impactful teachers. The Weis Community School is another example of the collaboration between UWF and Escambia County schools. The school is supported by both the Department of Social Work and Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership — both in the College of Education and Professional Studies — as well as the UWF College of Health. Social work students also have the opportunity to complete their internship there.

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Generous Donations & Support

Internal Funding

Grants & Contracts

Center for Research and Economic Opportunity

The College of Education and Professional Studies faculty submitted 20 grant proposals, of which 75% were funded. The various grants and contracts were valued at over $1.9 million during the 2016-2017 fiscal year to include:

The Center for Research and Economic Opportunity (CREO) awarded a total of $69,836 to CEPS faculty to help fund various projects. Awarded funds supported new faculty research, faculty research, and research pilot projects.

Quality Enhancement Plan Awards

A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a proposed course of action for enhancing educational quality via student learning. The College of Education and Professional Studies was awarded $20,000 in QEP awards for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Florida Department of Education awarded the UWF Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership a total of $225,000 for the ESE Tuition Support Program in 20162017. This project focuses on student to teacher professional development, services to disabled, financial aid and pre-service training programs for the Bureau for Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEES).

The National Science Foundation awarded UWF’s

$89,836 Internal Funding

Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership and the College of Science and Engineering grant funding for the UWF-Teach Noyce Scholars initiative. This $1.3 million project will support recruitment, production and placement of 18 graduates in local high-need school districts. The highly qualified, certified STEM teachers will teach grades six through 12 in subjects that include mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology or earth environmental science. Moreover, without this grant these teachers may not otherwise have attained teaching certification nor considered a career teaching in STEM fields.

Santa Rosa School District awarded UWF’s Department of

$1,925,701 Grants & Contracts

$142,357 Donations


Teacher Education and Educational Leadership a total of $339,181 to develop the Santa Rosa Mentoring Program. The Santa Rosa County School District awarded an additional $7,300 to the department for the implementation of school leader simulations within Santa Rosa County. The Santa Rosa School District also awarded UWF Department of Research and Advanced Studies Community Outreach, Research, and Learning (CORAL) Center. The amount of $68,527 was given for Title I schools and an additional $17,072 for non-Title 1 schools from the Santa Rosa School District for the evaluation of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative. The UWF CORAL Center will observe professional development methods, imbedded coaching for teachers, and innovative laboratories to assist in determining their impact of promoting STEAM activities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

awarded the UWF Department of Social Work a total of $43,400 for the Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program 2016-2017. In addition, the department received $2,500 from the Florida Institute for Child Welfare to build mutually beneficial relationships statewide to enhance the child welfare scientific knowledge base in Florida.

Gifts That Make An Impact During the 2016-2017 academic year, the UWF College of Education and Professional Studies received many generous gifts that had positive impacts. Thanks to our many donors, our college has been able to establish scholarships, send students to conferences, improve on-campus facilities and much more. We also want to thank our alumni for the continued support they have given to both our college and the university as a whole. Our alumni are a huge reason for our success. They give back in a

multitude of ways such as mentoring students, providing opportunities for internships, hiring other CEPS alumni and giving their time and resources to make sure our students are successful. We want to encourage our alumni to continue their relationship with CEPS and UWF. Their continued support is vital to the success of our students in their early professional career. Please visit to share your CEPS story with us, brag on CEPS alumni, or find other ways to support CEPS.

A special thank you to all who supported the College of Education and Professional Studies and its diverse programs, initiatives and scholarships. You are sincerely appreciated, and we hope that you continue your support in 2017–2018. Visit to make your donation. 2016 - 2017 ANNUAL REPORT | 21

We Sea Change

A Profound Transformation At the University of West Florida, we see change and rush forward. Because we see change as inspirational: a source of ideas and insights, startups and breakthroughs, innovation and collaboration. We see change coming, faster than ever, and we’re ready for it. Because we’re leading it.

making a significant impact, not only in our surrounding areas, but across the globe.

Sea Change: A Profound Transformation. It’s how we define the heart and purpose of the University of West Florida: to make waves on campus, in our community and around the world.

Visit us at

Learn more about Sea Change through the stories of our students, faculty and alumni who exemplify what it means to make waves.

For the past 50 years, we’ve been the gathering place for bright minds in Northwest Florida. We’ve transformed the lives of our students with a close-knit, academic experience and we’ve collaborated in the community with a progressive spirit. Through these efforts, coupled with our innovative programs, we’ve served as an economic driver in our region and state, with $1.47 billion in total annual economic impact. UWF has undergone its own transformation over the last 50 years to become the forward-thinking, innovative side of Florida. We’ve come a long way from making small ripples of change in our community, region and state. Now, we’re creating waves and

We see innovation through analyzation. Watch, evaluate and learn. For the second consecutive year, the University of West Florida Community Outreach Research and Learning (CORAL) Center is evaluating Santa Rosa County School District’s STEAM Innovate! program, a five-year plan to infuse more science, technology, engineering, arts and math into the curriculum. The University’s CORAL evaluation team will collect data from more than 900 classrooms in 25 schools by summer 2017. UWF is dedicated to improving K-12 education in Northwest Florida by becoming a partner in research and evaluation.


We see a community at play. It’s a place you go to relax, eat lunch or play ball. It’s a space where community members of all ages can come together and enjoy the great outdoors. It’s a park. The University of West Florida’s public administration and sport management program is partnering with Pensacola’s Parks and Recreation Department to evaluate and enhance the city’s current park system. Because we believe that the community that works together, plays together.

I see a career helping children with behavioral issues. It started with Silly Putty. While working at UWF’s Educational Research Center for Child Development, social science major and special education minor Kaley DeVito connected with a little boy. A little boy who craved attention and struggled with behavioral issues. She wrote her senior thesis and published an article about how something as simple as Silly Putty helped modify the behavior of a 4-year-old. DeVito’s experiences at the Center have propelled her to pursue a graduate degree and a career focused on helping children.

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College of Education and Professional Studies 11000 University Parkway Pensacola, FL 32514

Dr. Haris Alibašić discusses a research project with graduate students in downtown Pensacola.

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UWF College of Education and Professional Studies

UWF College of Education and Professional Studies 2016-2017 Annual Report  

Read about the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) at the University of West Florida. In the 2016-2017 Annual Report, CEPS...

UWF College of Education and Professional Studies 2016-2017 Annual Report  

Read about the College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) at the University of West Florida. In the 2016-2017 Annual Report, CEPS...