University of North Florida

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The University of North Florida has suspended a student following a threatening social media message, UNF President John Delaney said Tuesday night.

Florida Universities To Bolster Mental Health Services

Nov 10, 2017
Sander van der Wel / Wikimedia Commons

Spurred by the state Board of Governors, Florida universities will hire 56 mental-health professionals this year and a total of 105 over the next four years.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Have you ever wondered what you might look like if you were born a different race? An art project on display at the University of North Florida is giving students that opportunity.

University organizers hope it fosters more empathy and understanding.


Thursday on First Coast Connect, ahead of white supremacist Richard Spencer’s appearance at the University of Florida, we spoke with WUFT Multimedia News Manager Ryan Vasquez on what is occurring on campus and the rest of Gainesville (01:08).

JEA announced this week it will greatly expand its use of solar power. We spoke with Steve McInall, who is JEA’s director of electronic production resource planning, Pete Wilking from A1A Solar, Sarah Boren with the U.S. Green Building Council and TerraWise Homes CEO David Shacter (21:18).      

We heard about the Transition to Health, Resources, Independence, Viable Careers and Education (THRIVE) program at the University of North Florida with student Robert Rittenhouse. He's the vice president of the Education Student Leadership Committee at UNF (36:30).   

To commemorate Get Smart About Credit Day we spoke with Mary Svoboda, Chief Lending Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Jax Federal Credit Union (44:00).

       

Wednesday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with former State Representative and CEO of Agape Community Health Center Mia Jones about the bipartisan health care proposal announced Tuesday in Washington (01:10).

OneJax speaker Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer discussed what can be done to reduce political dysfunction and incivility in our political system (29:28).

To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month we spoke with Mayo Clinic oncologist and breast cancer survivor Dr. Dawn Mussallem (37:40).

Our tech guru Ray Hollister told us about the dangers of new computer attack that affects Wi-Fi networks (44:00).    


UNF investigating Snapchat 'mocking' Black Lives Matter rally

Oct 12, 2017
News4Jax

The University of North Florida said it's opened an investigation into a video that appears to show "people mocking, in a racist way," students who participated in a Black Lives Matter rally on campus Wednesday.

Thursday on “First Coast Connect,” we heard about the 2017 edition of the State of the River Report with co-authors University of North Florida Chemistry Professor Dr. Radha Pyati and Associate Research Scientist Dr. Gerry Pinto at the Jacksonville University Science Research Institute (01:07).  

We were told about a new partnership between UNF and the Peace Corp called Peace Call Prep with UNF Peace Corp Prep Advisor Dr. Tim Robinson, and UNF alumnus and returned Peace Corp volunteer Frances Luna (24:53).    

Patty Crosby of Hospice of the Golden Isles spoke about this weekend’s St. Simons Food and Spirits Festival (32:30).    

We heard about the Fall Makery, a move to get more people to buy local products with The Makery co-founders Sara Flowers and Taryn Nilson. Along on hand were Sailors Siren co-owner Whitney Canney and Fish Lips Paper Design owner Kimi Chronis. They were joined by Kerry Speckman who talked about other upcoming events this month (42:03).  

   

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard how climate change affects storms like Hurricane Irma with Jacksonville University climatologist Jeff Martin (01:13). Ahead of the Ken Burns PBS documentary, “The Vietnam War,” we spoke with female veterans Rene Johnson and Margaret Yarborough (27:09). Our monthly First Coast Connect Book Club with Stacey Goldring featured the classic novel “Catch 22” (38:48) and University of North Florida Gallery of Art Coordinator Jim Draper talked about the gallery’s latest exhibit (45:09). 

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with New York Times bestselling author Ibram Kendi about his latest book, “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideals in America” (03:05). Our Going Green segment featured North Florida Transportation Planning Organization Executive Director Jeff Sheffield on the upcoming North Florida Electric Drive Rally (21:13), and Angela DeMonbreun, executive director of Florida Solar United Neighborhoods, and homeowner Warren Clark talked about the recently established St. Johns County solar co-op (31:56). CEO of the Healthy Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition Faye Johnson told us about September’s being National Infant Mortality Awareness Month (38:44), and the Executive Director of the forthcoming Tag! Children’s Museum in St. Augustine brought us an update on the project (43:04).    

     

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

  Amidst the recent dramatic rise in opiate addictions and overdoses, a Jacksonville author says it’s not hard to see how we got here by looking back over the last hundred years.

University of North Florida history Professor David Courtwright has long studied the use of drugs in the U.S. Thirty-five years ago, he authored “Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America.” It focused on the narcotics scourge of the late 1800’s. Recently, he’s focused on today’s opioid crisis.

  Today on “First Coast Connect,” University of North Florida history Professor David Courtwright (01:08) talked about the nation’s long history of opiate addiction. Our series “Moveable Feast with Leigh Court” featured Flippin’ Good Cookies owner Janice Newton (32:33). And we spoke with MOMS for Sight Executive Director Lisa Pleasants (42:53).  


Monday on “First Coast Connect,” we have an update on the possible development on Cumberland Island with former St. Mary’s (Georgia) City Councilman Sam Colville and Jamie Ferguson (01:01), a member of the extended Carnegie family, who owns the island. We spoke with Zachary Schwartz (31:38), the developer of the app intoGo. University of North Florida program director Wanda Lastrapes (39:14) told us about the Jacksonville Teacher Residency program and Cole Pepper (45:13) talked about a great week for Jacksonville sports teams.   


         

  Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard from local labor attorney Tad Delegal about Mayor Lenny Curry’s pension reform plan. The First Coast Connect Book Club with blogger Stacey Goldring focused on the classic novel “The Stranger.” University of North Florida Communications Department Chair and director of the master’s program Brian Thornton talked about the school’s new master’s degree program in communication management and Florida Blue Foundation vice-president Susan Towler talked about being this month’s “Woman with Heart” raising awareness of Volunteers in Medicine. 


Friday on “First Coast Connect” it was our weekly Media Roundtable with Florida Times-Union columnist Ron Littlepage, Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and contributing writer for the Jacksonville Free Press Charles Griggs. We also spoke with University of North Florida professor Parvez Ahmed about the upcoming presentation of the movie “The Sultan and the Saint.” Ahead of its concert Sunday in Jacksonville, we heard a live in-studio performance by Pharaoh’s Daughter. 


Monday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed Jacksonville’s drinking water with a study by three University of North Florida professors: assistant professors of economics Russell Triplet and Chiradip Chatterjee, professor of accounting and finance Parvez Ahmed, and JEA director of laboratory compliance Kevin Holbrooks. This is National Kidney Month and we spoke with Dr. Seth Strope, head of the urologic oncology at the Baptist Anderson Cancer Center. New author Tricia Booker talked about her book “The Place of Peace and Crickets” and Cole Pepper talked about his tournament picks for March Madness, the Jaguars aggressive free agent signings and Jacksonville University making the College Invitational Tournament, playing host to St. Francis (Pennsylvania) on Tuesday.   

The University of North Florida will face a major change next year, after its longest serving president announced his retirement last week.

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with University of North Florida President John Delaney. He announced last week he’ll be retiring from his position in May 2018. We also heard about senior care from Penney Farms director of marketing Rebecca Padgett. Commentator Jay Solomon spoke about President Donald Trump calling the media the enemy of the people. Host Melissa Ross spoke with Celtic Woman violinist Tara McNeill and we heard from Zach Rocheleau owner of Genetic Potential Academy. 


Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Mike Binder, the director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida, about a poll released this week giving Senator Bill Nelson a six-point lead over Governor Rick Scott in a hypothetical 2018 U.S. Senate race.

Dr. Peter Szatmari from the University of Toronto and Dr. Peter Mundy from the University of California-Davis Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute joined the show to talk about Wednesday’s ninth annual Autism Symposium on the UNF campus.

Jacksonville Pen Women President Duncan Sawyer talked about the national organization’s 120th anniversary and Pixie Larizza from the Women Business Owners of North Florida talked about their event next week “Unstoppable.” 


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A new University of North Florida poll could spell trouble for one potential Republican candidate next year.

But UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory Director Mike Binder is cautioning against reading too much into the data more than a year away from the 2018 midterm elections


Our weekly Media Roundtable included Florida Times-Union reporter Dan Scanlan, Jacksonville Business Journal Editor Timothy Gibbons, Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and WJCT business analyst John Burr. Artists Tracie Thornton, Jenny Hager and Lance Vickery told us about the exhibit “Humanity: The Value of a Life,” beginning Friday at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. HGTV star Tyler Wisler joined the program to discuss the Home and Patio show at the Prime Osborn Center and we met “Show Boat” cast members Billy Clark Taylor, Annabelle Fox and Peter Jackson. 


Monday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the future of Enterprise Florida with JAX Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis. This month’s edition of First Coast Success with Karen Brune Mathis featured Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes & Cemeteries president Jody Brandenburg. We also heard about a new video series through the Environmental Leadership Program at the University of North Florida. We were joined by Sean Lahav, the project leader and producer of the videos, John November from the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida and Maria Mark, program coordinator. 


UNF President John Delaney To Retire Next Year

Feb 27, 2017
University of North Florida

University of North Florida President John Delaney announced in a press release Monday he’s retiring from his position at the end of 2018.

The UNF Board of Trustees selected Delaney in the summer of 2003 and is the longest serving president in UNF history.

 Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we discussed the prevalence of Confederate monuments in Jacksonville with historian Wayne Woods, activist Chevara Orrin and Jacksonville Magazine editor Joe White. The magazine recently published an article on the monuments. We spoke with Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, and we talked about this weekend’s Jacksonville Science Fair with Nadia Hionides of the Foundation Academy; Ashli Archer, academic director at Florida State College Jacksonville Eddie Whisler, director of the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium and School at the Museum of Science and History; and Jessica Santiago, founder of the Wall Street Art Gallery and Art (Re)public. 

        

Facebook profile pic
George Louissaint via Facebook

A candlelight vigil is scheduled Monday night to remember University of North Florida student George Louissaint Jr., 20, who was found Saturday in a pond at the District on Kernan apartments.

The vigil will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Osprey Plaza at the student union.

Police Continue Search For UNF Student Missing Since Campus Party Sunday

Feb 14, 2017
Facebook profile pic
George Louissaint via Facebook

The search for a missing University of North Florida student intensified Tuesday as police expanded their efforts to find 20-year-old George Louissaint Jr., with between 100 and 150 officers, recruits and corrections recruits from training academies involved in the search.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

The holidays are coming early for some Jacksonville children with disabilities. On Friday evening, they’re getting special vehicles and toys modified just for them.

University of North Florida students adapted the toys as part of a class that meshes engineering and physical therapy.

On Thursday, students were putting the finishing touches on the cars they’re upgrading for eight lucky patients, like Brycen, who has Down syndrome. His vehicle is a mini BMW with lots of customization.

UNF Professor Finds Young People Among Most Pessimistic

Nov 28, 2016
Tim Sackton / Flickr

New research from the University of North Florida finds a link between poor memory and pessimism.

At the same time, researchers were surprised to find young people were more pessimistic than older people.


Flickr/Creative Commons

As the work week comes to an end, let WJCT's interns Kayla Davis, Blake Allen and Andre Roman be your guides for art, culture and fun on the First Coast.

 

Tuesday on First Coast Connect, we hosted a conversation about the Electoral College with Jacksonville University political science professor Stephen Baker and visiting professor of history at the University of North Florida Yanek Mieczkowski. We were also joined by Sen. Aaron Bean and pastor Lance Jones, who spoke about the new Outreach Center of the Journey Church in Yulee that helps feed those in need. Former pro golfer Jeff Klauk then joined host Melissa Ross to talk about Perfect Golf Events, and author Christopher Phillips spoke about his latest book, “The Philosophy of Childing: Unlocking Curiosity, Creativity and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest.” 


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 Story updated 11/22 at 5:30 p.m. with additional interviews.

Thanks to a big federal grant, the University of North Florida plans to prepare more people to teach Duval County students from other countries.


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