2014-15 Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows

  1. Dr. Elif Akcali
    College of Engineering

    • Project: course modules on creative ideation and storytelling

      Engineering students tend to be quite systematic and linear in their thinking, i.e., they are convergent thinkers. This is in part due to the fact that current engineering curricula train students to apply rules to arrive at the ‘correct’ solution to a problem, and the reward structures in place favor the thinking process that guarantees to find this correct solution. In entrepreneurial settings, however, individuals need to be spontaneous, free-flowing, ‘non-linear’ in their thinking, i.e., they need to be divergent thinkers. The ability to generate multiple related ideas for a given topic or multiple solutions to a problem becomes important as a driver of innovation. As a UF Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow, Dr. Akcali will develop and deliver a module entitled Creative Ideation for ENG6640/EGN4641 Engineering Entrepreneurship course to introduce engineering students to adopt divergent thinking approaches. Similarly, current engineering curricula train students to become good technical communication focusing on two key competencies: (1) Ability to understand technical language and (2) ability to express that knowledge in a clear, concise, and coherent manner. In entrepreneurial settings, however, individuals need the ability to express their knowledge in a manner that is accessible to non-technical audiences. Furthermore, they need to master the skill of storytelling to be able to 4 connect with potential customers and investors. As a UF Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow, Dr. Akcali will develop and deliver Creative Storytelling for ENG6640/EGN4641 Engineering Entrepreneurship course to introduce engineering students to develop their story telling skills. Inclusion of divergent thinking strategies and storytelling within engineering curriculum is new. Hence, Dr. Akcali will submit an application for UFIRB02-Social and Behavioral Research to assess the benefits of proposed work. The findings of the study will be disseminated through conference presentations at IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers) Annual Conference and INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences) Annual Meeting.

    • Bio:

      Elif Akçalı is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Industrial & Systems Engineering. She holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the Middle East Technical University (Turkey) as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Her research interests include mathematical modeling and analysis of manufacturing planning and control along with closed-loop and reverse supply chain design and operation problems. Her research has been supported by the NSF, Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation, General Motors, and Motorola, and her work has been published in Naval Research Logistics, the Journal of Operations Management, and International Journal of Production Research, among others. She teaches courses on inventory, supply chain, and lean production systems in her home department as well as courses exploring interactions between visual and performing arts and engineering in the Honors Program. Currently, she is a Creative Scholar-in-Residence in the School of Theater + Dance at UF. Her creative activities explore how artist engineers address engineering problems and how engineering artists develop installations and performances. As a visual artist, Akcali focuses on paper to develop 2D and 3D pieces as well as site-specific installations that are contemporary and abstract. Her early education in piano and formal training in industrial and systems engineering influence the geometric shapes, hidden structures, and repeating patterns in her work.

  2. Dr. Charkarra Anderson-Lewis
    College of Health and Human Performance

    • Project: community health advisors and mHealth technology in the delivery of health and wellness interventions

      Drawing from community-based research practices, the utilization of community health advisors (CHAs), also known as community health workers, community health advocates, lay health educators, community health representatives, peer health promoters, and community health outreach workers, coupled with communication technology through mobile health, shows promise for helping achieve the goals and objectives of Healthy People 2020 in historically underserved health consumers. Having the advantage of being from the community in which they serve, CHAs communicate in the manner in which the community does, understand the traditional and cultural beliefs and values, are sensitive to their identity and are more informed about the local resources to promote efficient and effective care. Internationally, evidence based research utilizing community health workers and mobile health technology have proved to improve health outcomes in rural, disparate populations and low-income communities as well as overcome typical barriers. The use of health communications technologies could have even greater benefits for racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with lower health literacy, individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals with disabilities, and persons living in rural and other isolated geographic areas—populations that often experience the greatest disparities in health care and health status. However, in the United States the literature in this area is sparse and limited, thus highlighting a gap and opportunity to add knowledge in the subject area especially concerning the population of interest. When we look at mobile usage trends in the United States, mobile phones are demonstrating an ‘inverse digital divide’ with nearly half of African Americans and Latinos accessing the Internet and e-mail on their mobile phones compared with just over a quarter of whites in the United States. CHAs are a source of information for their community, and with the addition of mobile health technology including texting and mobile phone health applications they can extend their knowledge database of information. By integrating CHAs and mHealth technology to deliver tailored culturally appropriate health promotion interventions, CHAs can increase accountability, social support, and the number of people they reach with specific messages and responses to those messages by using mHealth technology. Therefore, the aims of this research are to use community-based research principals to develop, implement and sustain a Digital Health for Health Disparities Community Advisory Board and to conduct extensive formative research with CHAs, experts in the area of CHA trainings/research and community individuals served by CHAs to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and best practices of using mHealth for CHAs to deliver health and wellness interventions.

    • Bio:

      Dr. Anderson-Lewis received a B.S. in biology and a M.P.H. from the University of Sothern Mississippi. She received her Ph.D. in Health Education and Health Promotion from the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama Birmingham. She served as a faculty member in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi for nine years before leaving to take a position as a faculty member in Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida in the fall of 2013. Dr. Anderson-Lewis’ research has primarily focused on community-based participatory research. This research has included health disparities issues, cancer prevention and control, cardiovascular health, obesity, digital health, mobile health technology, community capacity building, evaluating community capacity, training community health workers, and the use of community-based research principles to design, implement, and evaluate community health worker/lay health worker interventions. Dr. Anderson-Lewis also has expertise in qualitative research, community building and organizing, conducting community assessments, working with community advisory boards, and working with diverse populations dealing with health disparities related issues.

  3. Dr. Shirley Baker
    IFAS - School of Forest Resources and Conservation

    • Project: course on innovation and entrepreneurship in marine science

      Dr. Baker will be involved in the development and delivery of a new upper-division course that explores the intersection of marine science with entrepreneurship and innovation in a case-study based format. Students will explore contemporary issues in marine science through participatory presentations and discussion. Case studies will examine the historical and scientific context of a problem and the entrepreneurial and innovative ways in which communities and businesses have responded to the problem. Dr. Baker proposes to collaborate with guest instructors, drawn from the vast knowledge base available at UF and in Florida including faculty from policy, economics, social science, and human health backgrounds, and leaders from communities, businesses, agencies, and non-profit organizations. This course would serve as an elective for Interdisciplinary Studies Marine Sciences majors and could be considered for a core capstone course in the curriculum. The major, which debuted in Summer 2012, now has 40 students in CALS and 15 in CLAS and is growing rapidly. She is excited by the opportunity to interact in an interdisciplinary setting with other faculty in the Entrepreneurship Fellows program and to incorporate entrepreneurial concepts and tools into her academic activities – particularly teaching.

    • Bio:

      Dr. Shirley Baker is an Associate Professor in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences program. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she received her PhD in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Dr. Baker then became a land-locked marine scientist, completing a postdoc at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. A second postdoc brought her to Long Island and SUNY Stony Brook. Dr. Baker came to the University of Florida in 1999, where she conducts research on the physiological ecology of molluscan shellfish, especially as it relates to the hard clam aquaculture industry of Florida. Over the years, her work has focused on the effects of change in the environment - increased severity of hypoxic events in the Chesapeake Bay, introduction of the invasive zebra mussel to the Great Lakes, global warming in the Gulf – and the impacts of that change on ecologically and economically important systems (e.g., oyster harvest, clam aquaculture). As a result, she has become intrigued by the entrepreneurial nature of businesses and communities, who find innovative ways to adapt to, and embrace, change. Dr. Baker is the faculty advisor for the new CALS Interdisciplinary Studies track in Marine Sciences. Dr. Baker enjoys hiking and biking with her husband and triplet boys.

  4. Dr. Warren Dixon
    College of Engineering

    • Project: functional electrical stimulation cycling system and development of new intellectual property that supports technology transfer

      Neurological disorders (NDs), such as spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, affect the mental and physical wellbeing of more than 76 million people worldwide yielding limited mobility, loss of independence, inability to participate in social activities, isolation, loneliness and depression. Without physical activity, people with NDs also are at greater risk for secondary health issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal atrophy, and collectively spend more than $67 billion per year in the US on associated medical and living expenses. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a promising solution that can help restore mobility and has been shown to improve physical and physiological health of people with NDs. FES works by sending electrical current to nerves and muscles, causing those muscles to contract and generate functional movements. However, human muscle is inherently difficult to control, so FES devices currently in the market suffer from problems such as poor precision, low power output, and inefficiency. These issues, rooted in the control algorithms responsible for regulating the FES, are limiting the effectiveness and practicality of FES devices. In Dr. Dixon’s lab there has been an ongoing focus on improving FES control methods with the goals of improving control precision while mitigating muscle fatigue. The application of modern nonlinear control methods and novel stimulation waveforms to the problems of FES-induced movements like knee extensions, ankle stability, and cycling has generated important progress. In the process, IP has been generated which OTL is currently pursuing protection on. One of Dr. Dixon’s students has started a company, Myolyn LLC, based on this work on FES-controlled activities and is seeking a license from OTL to use the technology, and Dr. Dixon has started a company with other faculty members, Sensory Integrated Solutions Inc. (SIS), which is similarly licensing IP generated by the research. The proposed project is to leverage the ongoing research focused on control methods for FES-cycling. To further the research, improved data acquisition and instrumentation is required. With these additions, new insights will be developed from quantifiable engineering data that can be used to develop new IP for the start-ups, Myolyn, and SIS. The ultimate goal of the proposed project is to enhance the exploratory research capabilities of Dr. Dixon’s lab and to thereby transform it into an incubator where novel ideas can be developed into commercially viable IP to facilitate technology transfer from the lab to the marketplace. Hence, the project with produce an experimental FES-cycling System upon which many different products can be developed. For example, using currently in-place and in-queue IRBs, products for stroke victims with hemiparesis could be developed which utilize FES and electric motor assistance to balance contributions to cycling from the subject’s healthy and affected legs and thereby improve pedaling quality –an experiment which has never been done before and would surely result in new IP which could be licensed to companies developing FES-cycling technologies, such as Myolyn.

    • Bio:

      Prof. Warren Dixon received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clemson University. After his doctoral studies he was selected as an Eugene P. Wigner Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 2004, Dr. Dixon joined U.F. in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept., where he currently is the Charles Taylor Faculty Fellow and holds a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship. Dr. Dixon’s main research interest has been the development and application of Lyapunov-based control techniques for uncertain nonlinear systems. He has published 3 books, an edited collection, 9 chapters, and 300 refereed journal and conference papers. His work has been recognized by the 2013 Fred Ellersick Award for Best Overall MILCOM Paper, 2012-2013 U.F. College of Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award, 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Dynamics Systems and Control Division Outstanding Young Investigator Award, 2009 American Automatic Control Council O. Hugo Schuck (Best Paper) Award, 2006 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Early Academic Career Award, an NSF CAREER Award, 2004 DOE Outstanding Mentor Award, and the 2001 ORNL Early Career Award for Engineering Achievement. He is an IEEE Control Systems Society Distinguished Lecturer, and currently serves as a member of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board and as the Director of Operations for the Executive Committee of the IEEE CSS Board of Governors. He also serves as director of the Florida Institute on National Security. He has been awarded several patents, has several students that have started startup companies focused on medical/rehabilitation technologies, and he is a co-founder of Sensory Integrated Solutions, Inc.

  5. Dr. Nancy Hardt
    College of Medicine

    • Project: a new business model for achieving neighborhood-based early childhood education and supportive care

      During prior work in the community, Dr. Hardt and colleagues were able to identify neighborhoods with disparities in health, education, finance, and safety. Neighborhoods identified generally had disparities in all areas studied, not just one. A root cause analysis of these disparities indicated that the common denominator is disparities in early childhood brain development. In order to optimize early childhood brain development, there is a need to do interventions at the neighborhood level which make it easy for community members to do the right thing for their children and other people’s children. An ideal intervention would be to provide neighborhood based (walking distance of identified hot spots), 24/7 early childhood education and supportive care. This would be a combination of day care (with extended hours) and pre-school. The service needs to be offered free or heavily subsidized, hopefully with the children’s family caregivers being trained to work in the center and providing hours of service in exchange for services received. Professional staff could be supplied through the Early Learning Coalition, early childhood educators could be affiliates of Santa Fe College. Another source of staff might be UF students who recently graduated, do not yet have a job, and have loans to repay. These college educated students could be trained in early childhood education in a “Teach for America” style orientation before providing a year or two of service in one of these neighborhood centers in exchange for typical childcare provider (low) wages plus loan repayment. Likely partners in this effort would be the Southwest Advocacy Group, the Santa Fe College CEID center and entrepreneurship program staff, Florida Works, the Gainesville or Alachua County Housing Authority, Alachua County Schools free VPK program, and the Early Learning Coalition. If a pilot is workable, it could be spread to other neighborhoods in Gainesville, and shared at the state and federal level. Desired outcomes would be optimal early childhood brain development for those in the most disenfranchised neighborhoods in the community. Enhanced early brain development would lead to improved school readiness, improved school performance, reduced behavioral problems, and reduced unexcused absences, reduced truancy and dropout. For the UF graduates, at the very least they would have enhanced parenting skills and knowledge. Some of them may wish to continue training to become managers of their own early learning centers. For the parents/caregivers of the children, there would be the opportunity to earn certificates in early childhood which could lead to starting businesses of their own. For the taxpayer there would be long term reductions in health care costs, special education costs, jail and prison costs, disability and unemployment costs. For local businesses there would be a better prepared local workforce. The project will seek to generate a workable business model, a plan for attracting investment, a suitable building in a suitable location, a governance structure and management team for the early learning center, community partners and defined roles for each.

    • Bio:

      Nancy Hardt, M.D. is a Professor of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Director for Health Disparities and Service Learning Programs. In past, she served as the Senior Associate Dean for External Affairs, and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Managed Care. She is serving her second term as President of College of Medicine faculty Council, two decades after her first term. In her current role she fosters collaborations with community leaders to address local health equity issues. A health report card for Alachua County was developed by Dr. Hardt, and key indicators were mapped, resulting in numerous community actions to respond to highlighted health inequities. She spearheaded the University response, a Mobile Outreach Clinic, in which an interprofessional team meets the needs of the underserved in neighborhoods throughout Alachua County. Most recently she was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow during which time she worked as a health legislative advisor for Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. She directs the Rural and Urban Underserved Medicine special admissions track into the medical school which admitted its first cohort of students in 2013. She co-founded the innovative Intimate Partner Violence Clinic in conjunction with the College of Law, in which law and medical students learn together how best to meet the needs of victims. These community outreach efforts have resulted in recognition by Blue Foundation in 2013 (Sapphire Award), and Loyola University in 2014 (Damen Award).

  6. Griff Jones, Ph.D.
    College of Education

    • Project: achieving national roll-out of a unique web-based, mobile-ready, coaching and professional development platform to support new science and math teachers in grades 6-12

      In the Fall of 2012, Dr. Jones received a 2-year, $2.3 million grant from the Florida Department of Education to create a prototype of a unique web-based, mobile-ready, coaching and professional development platform to support new science and math teachers in grades 6-12. The platform is called Florida STEM Teacher Induction and Professional Support (STEM TIPS). STEM TIP addresses the challenges of retaining beginning math and science teachers and accelerating their growth by leveraging an innovative online mentoring system to extend flexible, personalized content-focused support. Using a unique mobile-ready platform, online coaches provide immediate feedback and broker a wide range of vetted resources promoting high-quality instruction focused on improving teacher practice and boosting student achievement. This cutting-edge platform integrates distant coaching video technology with the combined knowledge of an online community of practice coupled with 24/7 access to classroom-tested resources. Project implementation and field-testing is currently underway in several partner districts (Duval, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and the fifteen district Northeast Florida Educational Consortium) supporting over 1000 new math and science teachers. The funding ends June 30, 2014. His project as an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow seeks to expand the scale of the model to assist institutions and organizations across the nation in their efforts to first, prepare highly qualified and passionate STEM teachers for K-12 schools; and then secondly, provide ongoing support to the novice teachers to ensure their professional development and retention. As part of this expansion, he would like to devise a viable, self-sustaining business plan. His current plan is to establish a subscription-fee-based model to ensure sustainability and continuous improvement of the STEM TIPS program. User or user groups would purchase a yearly subscription to access the STEM TIPS platform. Subscriptions would provide access to all levels and features of the platform as well as technical assistance with implementation and use of the site. Another possible revenue source is to trademark/copyright/license the platform then sell site licenses to user groups (Work Disclosure forms have been submitted to UF’s Office of Technology Licensing). Potential user groups are university-level teacher preparation programs or organizations /foundations, public school district consortiums, individual public school districts, charter or private school consortiums, individual public or private schools, or individual teachers.

    • Bio:

      Dr. Griff Jones is a clinical associate professor of science education in the College of Education at the University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. and M.Ed. degrees in science education from the University of Florida and his bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida Southern College. Currently, Dr. Jones is serving as the Director and Principal Investigator for the Florida STEM TIPS (Teacher Induction and Professional Support) Initiative; an online induction model to support Florida’s districts in developing and retaining new STEM teachers in grades 6-12. Dr. Jones specializes in designing effective inquiry-based, interdisciplinary science programs. As the Coordinator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Undergraduate Cross-Disciplinary Laboratory at the University of Florida, Dr. Jones helped develop a new curriculum and laboratory design that together constitute a fundamentally new model for undergraduate natural sciences instruction. He has authored several highly successful and nationally-disseminated inquiry-based science textbooks, curriculum guides, online-course materials, and science lab teaching materials. His award-winning educational films focusing on STEM applications in car crashes, created with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, are used by thousands of teachers throughout the U.S. and impact millions of high school students each year. Dr. Jones has received state and national-level recognition for his efforts as a K-adult science educator, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching awarded by the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

  7. Dr. Norman Lewis
    College of Journalism and Communications

    • Project: course on Media Entrepreneurship and related culture building initiatives

      Dr. Lewis believes the future of journalism involves entrepreneurship. The Internet is disrupting existing media platforms and the advertising base upon which journalism has traditional relied. At the same time, the Internet allows a thousand media flowers to bloom. Students in the College of Journalism and Communication are going to have a brighter future if they think like entrepreneurs. So at the surface, Dr. Lewis’ project involves creating a Media Entrepreneurship course starting in spring 2015. In January of 2014, he participated in weeklong training in journalism entrepreneurship and now needs to make local connections. He wants to connect with like-minded souls on campus. He also wants to connect with incubators and accelerators and start-ups in the greater community so that the course is 100 percent experiential. At deeper level, the project will involve infusing intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship into the culture of the College of Journalism and Communications, helping it become a national leader in creating an academic culture that prepares students for the world just over the horizon. That transformation will require a sustained effort and many spiritual partners. Dr. Lewis would like to find some of those partners through the UF Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows.

    • Bio:

      Norm Lewis, Ph.D., is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication. He joined the faculty in 2007 as an assistant professor after completing his doctorate at the University of Maryland. He was promoted to associate professor and granted tenure in 2013. Lewis has more than a quarter-century of experience in newspapers, ranging from The Washington Post financial desk to three dailies in the Pacific Northwest where he served as editor in chief. He was the publisher at a 100-employee newspaper for three years. During his time in the industry, he created two publications and was an early adopter of technology. His academic research, published in eight different peer-reviewed journals, focuses on newsroom culture and ethics, especially plagiarism. He co-chaired a national Task Force on Plagiarism and Fabrication, which produced an e-book and held a multi-organizational summit in April 2013. He was named the UF Teacher of the Year in his third year at UF. He is currently expanding his skill set to include coding and data. His interest in entrepreneurship flows from seeing how both evolving technologies and changing consumer preferences have permanently altered media economics as well as enabled a thousand flowers to bloom online.

  8. Dr. Esther Obonyo
    College of Design, Construction and Planning

    • Project: social entrepreneurship project involving new course on affordable construction and housing at the base of the pyramid

      Proponents of Prahalad’s Base of the Pyramid (BOP) approach. such as Paul Polak have demonstrated that a social business approach on the part of multinational companies (MNCs) can be used to trigger a geographic concentration of economic activity and investment targeted at existing social needs. The key is to integrate the poor into the value chain. Although there have been a few examples of the social business approach being applied to housing, the social impact remains relatively small compared to experiences with access to water, health services or tele-communications. Dr. Obonyo has recently returned from a field visit to Mexico as part of an existing NSF award in which she and her collaborators are assessing diffusion and adoption barriers for innovations in sustainable and resilient housing technologies. During the field visit they had one-on-one interviews with CEMEX representatives who shared some of the successes they have had in BOP housing where they have erected as many at 80,000 units in some regions. CEMEX is the world's third largest building materials supplier and cement producer. CEMEX has operations extending throughout the world, with production facilities spanning 50 countries in North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This MNC has won several awards for their social housing efforts. They have attained much bigger results than efforts championed by governments, development agencies, non-profits and community sector organizations which, due to lack of capital are usually capped at 5,000–10,000 units. CEMEX identified as an area that needs further investigation the development of business models for scaling up and replicating their efforts not just regionally across Latin American countries but in other parts of the world. Construction and real estate is a highly complex and highly fragmented sector that requires what Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University’s Earth Institute refers to as “a differential diagnosis”to identify the optimal pathways to scale and impact.

      For the proposed project Dr. Obonyo will develop educational material for a new multidisciplinary course that will use an integrated solutions approach to identify sustainable pathways for business solutions for extreme affordability in construction and real estate (CRE) at the base of the pyramid. The specific objectives for the project which will also serve as the learning outcomes for the multi-disciplinary course are:

      1. Quantifying the CRE needs at the BOP focusing initially on understanding why extreme affordability remains an elusive goal. An initial review of the existing BOP housing stock revealed that prices start at $10,000. A key goal here will be establishing the extent to which economies of scale through MNC-championed mass production coupled with efficiencies and productivity improvement through prefabrication can decrease the final cost.
      2. Identifying transferrable lessons from other sector through a case study review of innovative, MNC championed BOP Ventures and initiatives. Using Jeff Sach’s differential diagnosis approach to compare and contrast trends in Construction and Real Estate with other experiences in other sectors such as social business for access to water and health services.
      3. There is a growing consensus that access to housing at the BOP is fundamentally a problem of lack of resources. Businesses through generating profit while meeting a social need can create wealth that results in a self-sustaining delivery system. This notwithstanding, housing is a large ticket item thus requires performing a comprehensive analysis of the risks and critical success factors for and long term financial profitability.
      4. Mapping out the critical partnerships and collaboration framework for an MNC in the social business of housing: The CRE sector is highly fragmented with several key players including the regulators (government and local authorities), material producers, developers, financiers, nonprofits, community sector organizations as well as built environment professionals and service providers (engineers, architects, contractors, etc.). There are context-specific nuances that make some alliances more suitable in one region versus the other. This will be demonstrated through performing a comparative analysis of the CRE landscape in Mexico, Tanzania and Kenya context (places where Dr. Obonyo can leverage her existing NSF projects). This will culminate into a framework for assessing the scalability and replicability of emerging Value Chain/Network Business models for BOP housing needs.
    • Bio:

      Esther Obonyo is an Associate Professor of Construction and Rinker Holland Professor at U.F. She received her bachelor’s degree in Building Economics (Quantity Surveying) from the University of Nairobi and a graduate degree in Architecture from the University of Nottingham (UK). She holds a doctor of engineering degree from Loughborough University’s Center for Innovative Collaborative Engineering (UK). Obonyo’s professional experience includes in various projects in Kenya, the UK and US doing quantity surveying, cost engineering and project management. Prior to coming to UF, she worked with the Balfour Beatty Group as a Business Improvement Analyst and the Building Information Warehouse as a Research Engineer. She worked for three summers as Faculty Intern with United Forming (Orlando) Lend Lease (Bethesda, Maryland) and JE Dunn (Ocala). Her proposed project (Social Enterprise for Construction and Real Estate) builds on the work she has been doing in the area of business/ productivity improvement, construction informatics and sustainable/ resilient design and construction. Her research work, largely funded by the National Science Foundation, has been integrated with globalization of education initiatives. For example, between 2008 and 2011, Dr Obonyo and her collaborators have created international research experiences opportunities for sixteen graduate and undergraduate students from several US institutions. The program helped students develop skills necessary for successful professional practice within a global context. Dr Obonyo has taught Structures, Construction Methods Improvement and Civil Engineering Management Courses.

  9. Dr. Edward Schaefer
    College of Fine Arts

    • Project: interactive software and videos that aid student learning, drills, and skill development with early notation systems

      Dr. Schaefer is one of the leading scholars in the application of chant research to performance. He has developed a seminar on the topic that he teaches online (live and synchronous, but online) to professionals around the country. The seminar has two major components:

      1. Developing proficiency with two early notation systems. This is taught largely through a series of exercises in the “language” of each notation system.
      2. Applying the information of the early notation systems to contemporary performance. This is done through analysis, discussion, performances, and critiques of recordings.

      Dr. Schaefer believes that the proficiency of reading the early notation systems could be done through interactive software that would actually provide more opportunities for drill/skill development than can be accomplished through a small series of exercises. It could also be customized so that students can work more specifically in areas where they need the most work. To develop this software is the primary goal of the project.

      Dr. Schaefer has had two initial meetings with a software developer who has a successful company that develops computer games. He is now developing a list of the various skills and types of exercises needed to accomplish those skills. Once that is done, a fairly quick development schedule can be put in place. As a secondary project, Dr. Shaefer has found a very simple-to-use video software that he has used to develop five short videos that present basic information regarding chant and the early notation systems. He uses these videos in place of lectures. Student view these videos and absorb the material outside of class so that class time can be devoted to discussion, analysis, performance and critiques. He plans to develop another six for this particular class. He is interested in exploring Camtasia for more sophisticated work, which may have some commercial application.

    • Bio:

      Edward Schaefer is professor of music and associate dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. He is also the director the Florida Schola Cantorum, a group of dedicated singers of chant and polyphony. Dr. Schaefer’s area of study focuses primarily on semiology, the study of ancient musical notation, and its impact on contemporary performance of chant. In addition, he is an advocate for the improvement of education through technology. Combining these two interests, he has taught online courses since 2001. Currently, he is teaching a professional development seminar to music professionals across the country on the subject of semiology. He hopes to take the various exercises used in the course for the teaching of early music symbols and transform them into an open-source, interactive program. Dr. Schaefer is the translator of Daniel Saulnier’s Les Modes Grégoriens and Le Chant Grégorien, both published by Solesmes. He is also the author of Catholic Music Through the Ages, published by Hillenbrand, and author/editor of Missa Cantata: A Notated Sacramentary, Cantáta Evangélia: A Notated Book of Gospels, and numerous articles on various aspects of sacred music.

  10. Prof. Daniel Sokol
    College of Law

    • Project: scholarly research applying the transaction cost economics to understanding contractually-related opportunities for entrepreneurial firms, together with identification of related case studies

      One set of underexplored issues in the entrepreneurship literature is at what point younger firms grow vertically internally versus through contract externally and what role law has in this process. The basic problem for an entrepreneurial firm is that such a firm lacks capital, distribution networks, an effective sales force or knowledge of manufacturing to reap the gains of its innovations. Vertical contractual relations provide an entrepreneur the ability to create new opportunities that the entrepreneurial firm on its own may not be able to capture. Consequently, entrepreneurial firms look to larger and more established firms for “strategic alliances” to fill these gaps. The proposed research will argue that the decision-making for these vertical contractual relationships will be different for entrepreneurial/growth firms than for the larger firms because of the inherent instability of entrepreneurial/growth firms and their objectives. Incomplete contracting and relational contracting in uncertainty due to technological change and rapidly changing industries can be explained in certain circumstances through a strategic decision on the part of the larger firm to renegotiate contractual terms (or choose merely not to enforce certain terms) or alternatively to use the contractual asymmetry to acquire either upstream or downstream entrepreneurial firms. In this light, incomplete contracts are not an obstacle to be overcome, but rather a mechanism that enables both commitment and distance. Both parties in this strategic alliance in effect try to play the contingencies. They want commitment if early promise becomes reality, and they want distance if early promise fizzles. The output of the proposed research is an article that will discuss this relationship in both theory and practice and to identify a number of case studies that will tease out how the legal environment creates and shapes these opportunities for entrepreneurial firms.

    • Bio:

      D. Daniel Sokol is an Associate Professor at the Levin College of Law. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Robert F. Lanzillotti Public Policy Research Center (Warrington College of Business Administration). His research focuses on issues of competition law and economics. Professor Sokol is series editor for the Global Competition Law and Economics series (Stanford University Press). He has published books with Oxford University Press and Stanford University Press and articles in both law reviews and economics journals. At UF he teaches Law and Entrepreneurship, a class that addresses structuring venture capital, contracting IP rights and exploring how law shapes business strategy for growth firms. Other classes include Antitrust Health Care, Antitrust Intellectual Property, Antitrust Mergers, Business Enterprises, Comparative Corporate Governance, and Global Compliance. His current research focuses on mergers and acquisitions, collusion, contracting for entrepreneurial firms, and pricing issues.

  11. Prof. Jill Sonke
    College of Fine Arts

    • Project: a three-phased initiative that addresses the use of live preferential music in medical interventions

      Arts in Medicine is a rapidly growing field that integrates the arts into a wide variety of healthcare and community settings, and has been increasingly embraced by healthcare organizations worldwide over the past three decades as a means of meeting organizational and patient care goals. Within this field, professional artists provide arts services in healthcare and community settings to enhance health and quality of care. Since she started working as an artist in residence at Shands Hospital in 1994, Professor Sonke has recognized the ability of the arts to reduce anxiety and the perception of pain among patients. Anxiety and pain, and the medications used to counter them, cause individual suffering and risk and also drive enormous costs in healthcare. The project she proposes seeks to investigate live preferential music as an intervention for reducing pain medication utilization, improving satisfaction, and reducing healthcare costs in emergency and trauma care.

      Over 130 million people access emergency care in the U.S. each year. Emergency departments are particularly stressful environments, and a major driver of high costs in healthcare. Studies confirm the effect of music on pain, anxiety, and other measures in clinical settings. A 2005 study by Walworth demonstrated that live preferential music played for children prior to CT scanning can eliminate the need for sedation and anesthesia, drastically reducing risks and complications. The study documented cost savings of $567 per procedure, and suggests a potential savings of $2.5billion annually for this procedure alone. However, few studies have investigated the impact of live music in emergency departments, where there is significant potential for improvement. Professor Sonke has partnered with the UF Department of Emergency Medicine to launch an innovative three-phase project, including a randomized controlled study utilizing a group of highly talented musicians to provide live preferential music in our ED and level one trauma center setting.

      The project seeks to demonstrate that live preferential music in an emergency and trauma care setting can positively impact both quality and cost of care. This project has the potential to demonstrate and affect significant improvements in emergency medicine, and healthcare in general. Replication of music programs in healthcare institutions nationwide could result in significant improvements in care and reductions in costs for our healthcare system. The Florida legislature has engaged with this project over the past two years. Senator Joe Negron has championed a proposal for statewide replication of three best practices in arts in medicine, including this emergency medicine program, in order to demonstrate major improvements and cost savings in healthcare. The $400,000 proposal was approved last year by the Senate, but blocked in the House of Representatives. It is Professor Sonke’s goal to complete the proposed research and to continue to work with the legislature to see the proposal approved in the coming year. She hopes to help the State of Florida demonstrate leadership in healthcare by documenting the potential for music as a highly innovative and risk-free intervention to affect significant improvements and cost savings in healthcare.

      The proposed project includes three phases: 1) a unit level data study (currently underway); 2) a patient level randomized control trial; and 3) dissemination of the program model to 6-10 hospitals in Florida, including study replication, multi-site data analysis, and dissemination of results and best practices. A set of best practice models, including the ED program model and our Dance for Parkinson’s disease program model, that aim to reduce the cost of key services through arts interventions will be replicated at eight Florida hospitals through training, consulting, and a competitive grant process. The Center for the Arts in Medicine will work with participating hospitals and the State of Florida to document program outcomes, create a final report detailing quality of care improvements and cost savings, and publish a guidebook for replication of best practices. Research findings will be disseminated through public access journal publications and presentations, including in academic emergency medicine and arts in medicine journals, to prompt the replication of this study and the resulting outcomes and best practices to peer institutions state—and nationwide. Professor Sonke will work directly with partners in the Florida legislature to disseminate project information at the national level.

      The project represents a significant confluence of work Professor Sonke has undertaken over the past 20 years at UF. She believes it has the potential to reduce health care costs, risks, and suffering, to spur more creative problem solving in healthcare, and to help healthcare leaders to see that arts in medicine is good for business, both altruistically and economically.

    • Bio:

      Jill Sonke is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. With over twenty years of experience and leadership in arts in medicine, Jill is active in research, curriculum and program development, international cultural exchange, and is a past president and Distinguished Fellow of the Global Alliance for Arts & Health. Her current research focuses on dance and Parkinson's disease, the impact of arts programming on medical-surgical care and nursing retention, and the effect of music on cost and quality of care in emergency medicine. Jill is the recipient of a New Forms Florida Fellowship Award, a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award, an Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a UF Internationalizing the Curriculum Award, a UF Most Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, and over ninety grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.

  12. Dr. Catherine Striley
    College of Public Health & Health Professions and College of Medicine

    • Project: innovative approaches to inventions involving community health workers

      As the Assistant Director of HealthStreet, Dr. Striley has been able to develop different aspects of the community health worker (CHW) role and tools for that role. She seeks this interdisciplinary entrepreneurial training to enable her to continue innovating changes to efficiently and effectively help meet important health needs in the community through paraprofessional roles, and to design tools for those roles. CHWs are increasingly recognized as a part of the solution to the overtaxed health care systems in the US and in developing countries. Based on here experience, Dr. Striley is able to facilitate the design and testing of different interventions that utilize CHWs unique place in their communities. Video-integrated screening and tablet or phone based mHealth referral tools that CHWs can use do not require sophisticated programming or expensive platforms. Dr. Striley plans to manualize the intervention she has been funded to implement to reduce hospitalizations, and introduce mHealth tools to help streamline their intervention. The intervention, and tools to support it, will be marketable; healthcare systems are required to keep rehospitalization rates to a low benchmark. The Peer-Partnered and the Ambassador forms of the CHW role have no analog she isaware of in the CHW literature. They should also be marketable when prepared as a manualized intervention. As CHW models expand, tools prepared in English, and then properly translated into other language should be marketable. In the course of this work to date, multidisciplinary collaboration has been and will be necessary. Anthropologists, sociologists, nurses, health administrators, physicians (neurologists, psychiatrists, family medicine practitioners), computer scientists, health educators and social workers have all been a part of this work at various times. In her last CTSI pilot, Dr. Striley worked with a professor in communication. She has begun to explore work with a computer scientist and videographer to develop the mHealth tool. She submitted a grant that was not funded to work with Health Literacy Missouri and has discussed work with the health literacy group in Florida. She will continue to explore new multidisciplinary collaborations.

    • Bio:

      Dr. Catherine Woodstock Striley is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. She is a psychiatric epidemiologist who conducts community engaged research that aims to increase the recognition of mental disorders and substance use disorders and to decrease barriers to care. Much of her research has been conducted using community health workers (CHWs) to recruit, assess and intervene with community members. She conducted two of her three studies in movement disorders using CHWs in the community (here and in St. Louis), and unlike findings from clinic based studies, she found that Tourette Syndrome was as prevalent in minority communities as majority communities. Dr. Striley has also used CHWs in community engagement efforts in the Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida areas through HealthStreet (Cottler, LB, PI). She is the managing co-investigator on the NIDA-funded Transformative Approach to Reduce Research Disparities Toward Drug Users that is testing the effectiveness of an Ambassador-model to ensure access to relevant research and needed services among drug users. She was the intervention specialist for a study using CHWs as peer-partners to reduce risky behavior among women in drug court. She is also the Director of the Master of Science in Epidemiology program and the Certificate in Psychiatric Epidemiology program, a member of the UF IRB, and the chair of the College of Public Health and Health Professions Research Committee.

  13. Dr. Kristin Weitzel
    College of Pharmacy

    • Project: development and marketing of an online course addressing student use of genotyped DNA information

      Dr. Weitzel currently leads the educational aims of an NIH‐funded genomic medicine implementation grant within UF College of Pharmacy. Within this initiative, she is spearheading the development of an inter-professional genomic medicine elective to be offered to students in all UF colleges of the health sciences center (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health and Health Professions) in Fall 2014. As part of this course, students are offered the opportunity to have their personal DNA sample genotyped on a custom pharmacogenetic chip; with selected information provided back to them for use in the subsequent educational efforts (if participants prefer not to have their personal genotyping conducted then they will be provided with a de‐identified genotype dataset). Students then utilize their genetic information to work through a series of case scenarios where they are faced with making decisions about whether and how to use the genetic information in making clinical decisions. The course will have a strong focus on pharmacogenetics, as one of the strongest early implementation examples, but will also have students consider the potential uses of genetic risk predictions for common complex diseases, including the ethical issues and challenges. This course is similar in concept to a medicine elective offered at Stanford University.

      This novel, interactive approach will engage students in a proactive way that will stimulate their interest in the topic and cause them to consider in concrete ways the decisions that they would make personally based on the genetic information provided to them; and once they have personalized it then their thought process regarding the same information with patients is likely to be different. As an extension of this program, there is a desire to expand the concept of incorporating personal genotype evaluation into the teaching and learning processes for health care provider professional educational programs. For example, as part of a continuing education course, an online course available to practicing allied health care professionals, a graduate certificate, and/or a masters level course or degree program. Specific project goals include:

      • Develop the content for this course in an innovative and engaging way to ensure that it is competitive with industry best practice standards for online learning;
      • Develop content for this course in a way that ensures it is fully repurposable and able to be utilized immediately to support the expansion of existing programs and the development of new online educational programs within the College of Pharmacy;
      • Market the course nationally as an elective to students in pharmacy, medicine, and nursing beginning in 2015; and
      • Use innovative dissemination and marketing strategies to improve awareness of the UF Health Personalized Medicine program, thereby increasing the market presence of UF Health, and the UF College of Pharmacy in this area.

      The plan to achieve these goals involves a two‐pronged approach to develop the Genomic Medicine course while simultaneously building a market presence for the program on a national level that incorporates students and residency trainees.

    • Bio:

      Kristin Weitzel received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Florida in 1998 and completed residency training at Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Weitzel is currently Associate Director of the University of Florida Health (UF Health) Personalized Medicine Program (PMP) and Clinical Associate Professor in the Departent of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research in the College of Pharmacy. She has practice and leadership experience in pharmacogenomics, primary care, drug information, and experiential education. Dr. Weitzel currently leads patient, student, and health care professional education efforts supporting clinical implementation of pharmacogenetics within UF Health PMP and has extensive experience developing and marketing online professional education programs. She also participates in genomic medicine practice and educational initiatives stemming from the National Institutes of Health, including the IGNITE (Implementing Genomics in Practice) network. Dr. Weitzel is a past recipient of the College of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year Award and the American Pharmacists Association Distinguished Achievement in Service Award, and is a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association.


College Info

Warrington College of Business Administration
100 BRY
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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