Meet the Fellows

Faculty Fellows luncheon
Elif Akcali

Dr. Elif Akcali

Herbert Wertheim 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.

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.

Anita Anantharam

Dr. Anita Anantharam

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Project: LeaderLync: Student Engagement and Cohort-based Leadership Development Platform and Mobile Application

LeaderLync is an educational technology data-driven platform that enhances students’ abilities to showcase their accomplishments and co-curricular activities in a simple to use online platform.

LeaderLync started with the premise that possessing a bachelor’s degree does not provide the competitive edge it once did, especially in fields outside of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Students in these fields struggle to find jobs when compared to students within STEM. Even within STEM, women are vastly underrepresented despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce.

LeaderLync is a cohort-based leadership development tool that prepares students for rapidly changing market needs by encouraging innovation and leadership through collaboration and teamwork. The software is offered to students through their academic institutions and uses a point-based system that rewards cooperation, engagement, and the acquisition of skills.

LeaderLync helps students build a comprehensive resume (or co-curricular transcript) of everything they learn outside of the classroom during the years they spend in high schools and universities. This allows them to effectively measure their employment potential and skill level against a realistic market forecast of employers’ needs and expectations.

Anita Anantharam has worked in Higher Education for the past fifteen years. She is a tenured professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and her research interests are in the fields of gender research, international politics (particularly emerging markets), and social justice movements. Her MBA training highlights her commitment to women and business, leadership training, and executive education. She has won awards for her teaching and research from USAID-MEAS, J. William Fulbright, and the U.S. Department of Education. She holds a BA from Columbia University, a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Hough Graduate School of Business, University of Florida. She is the founder of LeaderLync, an Ed tech platform launched through the Hatchery Program at Innovation Hub. LeaderLync is an online application that incentivizes and tracks student leadership at the high school and university level.

Shirley Baker

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.

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.

Joshua Brown

Joshua Brown

College of Pharmacy

Project: The project involves the development of a student-edited, reviewed, and authored journal in pharmaceutical sciences facilitated through courses within the College of Pharmacy’s graduate program.

The journal will be an independent research journal, publishing any student authored work including original research, study protocols, systematic literature reviews, meta-analyses, commentaries/viewpoints, and methodology/technical papers. The journal will accept submissions from anyone in the pharmaceutical sciences and affiliated scientific areas (public health, epidemiology, etc.), with a particular interest in developing content in translational, multi-disciplinary research. Editorial and review policies will seek to foster interdisciplinary collaboration with a particular focus on developing skills in writing to audiences of varying expertise. The journal will be a locally hosted, open access publication, allowing free access to the work, without publication fees for the author. Funding for the journal will be sought through institutional, college, and private support from scientific and professional associations in addition to potential revenue from advertising and tuition generated from associated courses in publishing. Publishing-focused courses will be incorporated into the residential and online graduate degree course offerings within the Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes & Policy. Credit-based courses will emphasize general writing skills, academic/scientific writing, editing, and peer-review critiquing skills through focused assignments.

Joshua Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes & Policy in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. He conducts pharmacoepidemiology and health outcomes research with particular focus on cardiovascular diseases, thrombosis and hemostasis, oncology, and geriatric pharmacotherapy. His entrepreneurship project will develop a student-led research journal for professional or graduate students, residents, and post-doctoral researchers in the pharmaceutical sciences. Publishing, editing, and reviewing research articles will be developed into the pedagogy of the residential and online graduate programs in order to ensure researchers-in-training are adequately prepared to communicate in their respective fields.

Ann Christiano

Ms. Ann Christiano

College of Journalism and Communications

Project: Establish the field of public interest communications as an academic discipline through curriculum building, establishing a scholarship and the frank gathering

Ms. Christiano is working towards three specific goals:

  1. Establishing a public interest communications curriculum at the graduate and undergraduate levels
  2. Finding the science and scholarship that can define the discipline and improve practice of public interest communications
  3. Build community and connection among those already working in the field, engaging in scholarship, or funding communications as a part of a larger change strategy

Frank is a community of public interest communicators dedicated to using strategic communications to drive change who work for nonprofits, foundations, agencies, and corporations, universities and think tanks. The frank gathering brings together the foremost movement builders from throughout the world.

Ann Christiano is a Frank and Betsy Karel Endowed Chair in Public Interest Communications and a Professor in the Department of Public Relations. She received her BA IN Public Relations from the University of Maryland in 1994 and her Masters in Public Affairs and Policy from Rutgers University in 2003. Before joining the University of Florida, she directed communications for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Vulnerable Populations portfolio. Christiano oversaw communications strategies for programs like the Greenhouse project, which is a radical reinvention of the traditional long term care model, and CeaseFire, which uses a public health approach to reduce gun violence in America’s most violent neighborhoods. Earlier in her career at RWJF she developed a robust government relations program that helped Foundation grantees build productive relationships with their elected officials and significantly increased the Foundation’s profile among Washington policy-makers. She has also worked with the Washington Business Group on Health, now the National Business group on Health.

Warren Dixon

Dr. Warren Dixon

Herbert Wertheim 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.

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. Herbert Wertheim 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.

Rafael Guzmán

Dr. Rafael Guzmán

Department of Astronomy, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Project: Challenges for establishing a successful international business partnership in a global environment

  1. internationalization: obstacles and opportunities for international partnerships in a global “campus”: funding leverage across agencies/nations/continents, market access, etc. vs. regulatory restrictions such as EAR/ITAR, politics, etc. (round table with UF personnel)
  2. how to influence the role/changes in public policy to encourage technology development in a university environment (series of lectures by Juan Tomas Hernani, former Secretary of State for Innovation of the Spanish Government and current CEO of Satlantis LLC)
  3. ideas to develop a successful environment for entrepreneurship in a university environment: e.g., seed funds for TRL1-2, partnership with state seed funds for TRL3-5, prioritize development of technology with dual scientific & commercial applications (round table with UF personnel)
  4. role of the Innovation Hub: e.g., incubator, shared labs, mentorship, legal & financial counsel,facilitate access to business angels and venture capital, etc. (round table with UF personnel)
  5. how to attract major private sponsors to support entrepreneurship activities within UF: e.g., interdisciplinary courses for undergrads, funding for graduate projects (round table with UF personnel).

This project is directly related to lessons learnt from Dr. Guzman’s experience founding the UF spin-off company Satlantis LLC to develop small satellite technologies, and setting up a major international collaboration in this “New Space” industry with Spain. The project consists of a series of lectures by guest speaker Juan Tomas Hernani, former Secretary of State for Innovation of the Spanish Government and current CEO of Satlantis LLC. It also includes a series of “open forum” debates on several topics related to these lessons with emphasis on international aspects, including: intellectual property, regulations limiting access to sensitive technology, changing political support, etc. The challenges to be discussed under the proposed project relate to the following areas:

Dr. Rafael Guzmán is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Florida. Rafael has over 25 years of experience in observational astrophysics research. With more than 170 published articles, he has obtained R & D funds worth more than $10 M from prestigious institutions such as NASA, Spitzer Space Telescope, Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), and the Spanish Ministry of Economy. He has been a member of several scientific committees like the International Space Station Utilization Committee (USA), the International School for Advanced Instrumentation (Spain), the Steering Committee of Gran Telescopio de Canarias (Spain), and more than 20 PhD committees in Spain, USA, Venezuela and France. Rafael has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Durham (UK), and a Master in Physics and Astronomy at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). He speaks English and Spanish.

Rafael is also the Chief Technology Officer and founder of SATLANTIS. He has spent the last 3 years applying his experience in astronomy instrumentation design to develop ISIM (integrated Standard Imager for Micro-satellites). He coordinates the Research and Technological Development activities of the company and also performs Business Development activities in the United States and Europe with both private and public customers, including NASA and ESA.

Nancy Hardt

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.

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).

Susan K. Jacobson

Dr. Susan K. Jacobson

IFAS – Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Project: Developing Creative Environmental Problem Solvers and Effective Communicators Using Biological Field Stations

My project builds upon preliminary work I have completed on melding scientific investigation with art inquiry. Here, I worked with graduate classes from fine arts and wildlife ecology in the creative training and development of interpretative signs and kiosks about climate change for public visitors to the UF Seahorse Key field station. I will now pursue an applied research project reviewing the use of non-traditional methods for field station training and research and new materials to enhance environmental communication. New curricula are needed to solve real-world sustainability problems with meaningful training, practice, and reinforcement (Glover 1980, Barrow 2010). The project will allow me to explore opportunities as well as barriers for developing a framework to use local landscapes and surrounding human communities to create a new type of interdisciplinary field activity to address environmental topics. Working across disciplines requires changes in communication, research methods, classroom structures and learning paradigms (e.g., Jacobson 1995). The Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows Program provides a valuable setting to explore this type of change. Outcomes will include:

  1. A review of existing interdisciplinary programs involving the arts and sciences at field stations in the US and globally, to determine the specific roles that field research stations and campus natural areas can play in the development of higher order cognitive skills and creative problem-solving across the disciplinary spectrum, and also identify the expanded role field stations must play in helping diverse groups of people acquire new ways of approaching emerging environmental challenges and communicating effectively about them.
  2. Development of a framework for teaching-learning modules that is exportable via lesson plans and other documentation. The framework would promote a greater awareness of, and deeper appreciation for, natural and cultural systems and would stimulate researchers, students and stakeholders toward innovation and creative communication.
  3. Development and submission of a viable proposal for funding agencies for implementing interdisciplinary modules at a number of trial field stations in the U.S. and international settings in Latin America and Africa, in order to test techniques in cross-cultural settings and develop a global context for the framework.
  4. Dissemination of findings at national conferences and service as a catalyst for interdisciplinary activities for other university field stations.
    We must bridge the divide that separates the academic cultures, such as science and the arts, in order to creatively solve society’s environmental problems, transform how we educate tomorrow’s leaders, and expand how we communicate about the environment. More work is needed to reduce tensions that often accompany the use of creative activities in university science and natural resource programs (Guevara 2002).More resources are needed to expand these efforts to support curricular innovation (Adams and Chisholm 1999).

Professor Jacobson is a Distinguished Teaching Scholar and Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and the director of the Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. She teaches and conducts research on the human dimensions of natural resource management. She earned her Ph.D. degree in resource ecology from Duke University and has published well over a hundred journal articles, chapters, and books dealing with environmental management education and natural resource conservation in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Her books include Communication Skills for Conservation Professionals, 2nd Edition, published in 2009 by Island Press, and Conservation Education and Outreach Techniques, 2nd Edition, published in 2015 by Oxford University Press. She has served on the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology and the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Delores James

Dr. Delores James

Department of Health Education and Behavior, College of Health and Human Performance

Project: Creating and Disseminating Online Health Videos for Low-Resource Communities

Historically, most people have educated themselves about a health issue or done some level of self-diagnosis prior to consulting a health care provider. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, most American adults have now added the internet to their “personal health toolbox.” Eighty percent of adult internet users (or 59% of all American adults) have searched online for a specific disease or treatment. African Americans, Hispanics, those between the ages of 18 and 49, and those with at least some college education are most likely to search for health information online using a smartphone. Individuals use online health communities to learn about an illness, seek support, offer encouragement, and connect with others with similar issues. According to the American Medical Association, the number of online health communities continue to grow rapidly. Most online health communities have a dedicated website, but many are organized as Facebook user groups. During my sabbatical in 2014-2015, I conducted 20 focus groups and a survey with more than 900 African Americans to assess smartphone ownership, internet use and access, eHealth literacy, barriers and motivators to participating in mobile health (mHealth) research, and willingness to participate in mHealth research. My results show that most owned smartphones (71%) and laptops (69%), believed the internet to be helpful in making health decisions (79%), were willing to participate in mHealth research (62%), and were interested in watching short, online health education videos (86%). At the end of my sabbatical, I founded the electronic community health advocacy team (ECHAT), which is a research and advocacy group of researchers, health professionals, and students at the University of Florida working in partnership with community members, groups, and agencies to develop and disseminate health education messages and programs using digital technologies to improve the health outcomes in minority and low-resource communities. The next step for ECHAT is to create a series of health education videos and disseminate them through our YouTube channel and our social media channels.

Accordingly, my project as a UF Entrepreneurship Fellow seeks to:

  1. Create studio-quality health education videos (5-8 minutes). The videos will be developed in phases, with the first phase addressing children health issues. We will do a 6-part series on “Preschool Nutrition,” a 5-part series on “What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick,” a 3-part series on “Keeping Your Child Safe,” and a 4-part series on “Parenting.”
  2. Identify and work with a videographer to develop the video series. I would also like to train interns to assist with filming, editing, and producing the videos.
  3. Develop and execute a robust social media marketing model for a national and international audience.
  4. Develop a robust, self-sustaining business model that will allow us to: 1) have a paid internship each semester, 2) expand the library of health education videos to address disease prevention and self-management (weight management, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, addictions, eating disorders, etc.) and health issues through the life cycle (pregnancy, breastfeeding, men’s health, adolescent health, and health aging), and 3) translate the videos into Spanish and Haitian Creole.
  5. Explore the long-range possibility of establishing a subscription-fee-based model to ensure sustainability and continuous improvement of ECHAT and the expansion of the health video series. User or user groups could purchase a yearly subscription to access specific ECHAT health video series. Another possible revenue source is to trademark/copyright/license the ECHAT health video series and sell site licenses to user groups such as local and state health departments, private physicians, hospitals, and other for-profit and not-for-profit health organizations.

We must bridge the divide that separates the academic cultures, such as science and the arts, in order to creatively solve society’s environmental problems, transform how we educate tomorrow’s leaders, and expand how we communicate about the environment. More work is needed to reduce tensions that often accompany the use of creative activities in university science and natural resource programs (Guevara 2002).More resources are needed to expand these efforts to support curricular innovation (Adams and Chisholm 1999).

Dr. Delores James is a scholar, health educator, and registered dietitian nutritionist. Before graduate school, she worked as a public health nutritionist and provided services to clients in 12 rural counties in north central Florida. She was exposed to clients with very low health literacy and quickly realized that the Western health care model of providing printed materials written at high reading levels just did not work. As a result, she was forced to create and/or adapt health education materials suitable for that population. In 2014, she completed a nine-month online certificate in Distance Education Leadership and Management from the University of West Georgia, and her project focused on creating a model to engage online health communities. During her sabbatical in 2014-2015, she founded the electronic community health advocacy team (ECHAT), which aims to create and disseminate messages and programs using digital technologies to improve health outcomes in low-resource communities. For the past eight years, many of her students’ projects have focused on creating online health videos and writing health blogs. Dr. James holds a Ph.D in Health and Human Performance with a major in Health Behavior and a Master of Science in Health Science Education from the University of Florida as well as a Bachelor of Science in Allied Medical Professions with a major in Medical Dietetics from The Ohio State University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the College of Health and Human Performance, Department of Health Education and Behavior.

Griff Jones

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.

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.

Kristin Joys

Dr. Kristin Joys

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center

Project: “Find Your Gator Good,” course teaching undergraduate students from any major the key skills, mindsets, and competencies of changemakers (aka entrepreneurs & social entrepreneurs).

The emphasis on the word “changemaker” is to dispel the stereotype that entrepreneurs only start businesses, we believe that learning the skills, strategies, competencies and mindset of entrepreneurs empowers students to impact change, through innovation and disruptive technologies, in ANY setting— whether they are launching for-profit ventures, non-profit organizations, working in major corporations & established firms, or working with institutions & governmental agencies.

Instead of asking students what they want to “be when they grow up,” we will ask:

  • What problem(s) do you want to solve?
  • What impact will you create?
  • What change will you make?

In order to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset, the curriculum for the course will revolve around the 10 Work on Purpose activities in order to teach the 7 key skills of Social Entrepreneurs outlined by Scott Sherman of the Transformative Action Institute in his Stanford Social Innovation Review article and the 13 competencies of entrepreneurs outlined by Michael Morris perhaps most recently in this article from the Journal of Small Business Management.

Our vision is for the course to be a one-credit large enrollment survey course in hopes of reaching as many students as possible, live– similar to Sustainable Food Systems– where students meet in a large auditorium one class period per week and are assigned to small groups to facilitate their exercises and activities. The small groups will be led by student facilitators (similar to the First Year Florida/Introduction to Business model). The course will be co-facilitated along with two other Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows: Professor Ann Christiano, endowed chair of Public Interest Communications in the College of Journalism & Communication, and Associate Professor Elif Akcali in the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering & Engineering Innovation Institute. We imagine this course may become a feeder for the undergraduate minor in Entrepreneurship and the other programs of study represented by the instructors, as it will likely reach many students from diverse fields of study (beyond the Warrington College of Business) who might previously have had a narrow view and limited understanding of the many ways that an entrepreneurial mindset can help impact change.

Kristin Joys is the Director of the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative in the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center in the Warrington College of Business. She also founded and directs the Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) High School Summer Program at UF, the only summer program in existence where college bound high school students learn and practice the skills of successful business and community leaders, while being inspired to solve social, environmental, and economic problems. In 2016 YELS received the USASBE Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education—Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program Award.

She received her B.S. in Psychology with minors in Sociology, Religion, and Women’s & Gender Studies as well as her M.A. & Ph.D. degrees in Social Psychology from the Department of Sociology, and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies from the University of Florida in 2003. In 2013 she graduated from the AACSB Post-Doctoral Bridge Program, with a specialization in marketing and management. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the International Social Entrepreneurship Programme at INSEAD in 2012 and in 2014 she was awarded a 75% scholarship to attend the Stanford Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship along with 50 other students from 23 countries around the world. In 2014 she earned a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, sponsored by USASBE, NYU, and the Kauffman Foundation.

Her research and applied interests center around entrepreneurship & social entrepreneurship, innovation & sustainability, corporate social responsibility, experiential learning and creating positive social change. Kristin is passionate about teaching and empowering students to use the skills and strategies of business to create innovative and sustainable solutions to social, environmental, and economic problems locally and around the world. She is the co-author of “Teaching Social Entrepreneurship,” a chapter in the Annals of Entrepreneurship Education (2014).

In 2006 Kristin was named Service Learning Professor of the Year at UF, because of the community service completed by her students. In fact, each year her students complete more than 1⁄4 of UF’s Goal of 1 Million minutes of service for all UF students. In 2012 Kristin served as a Sustainability Fellow at UF and in 2013 was presented with the UF Champions for Change Sustainable Solutions in Academics Award (aka Sustainability Professor of the Year). In Spring 2015 her “Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship” ENT3503 course won the UF Online Education Excellence Award.

Frederick “Rick” Kates

Frederick “Rick” Kates, MBA, PhD

College of Public Health and Health Professions

Project: Seeks to create and market a course that provides an in-depth look at current technologies,…

including wearable sensor-based systems for health monitoring and prognosis and the use of mobile health (mHealth) applications in the medical and healthcare sectors, and to gain an understanding of their emerging role in health informatics. Further, it seeks to recognize and capitalize on opportunities for potential commercialization of and research on of these emerging technologies. An underlying objective is to connect entrepreneurial thinking to the changing U.S. demographics and the delivery of health care, and link entrepreneurship to the home discipline of Public Health & Health Professions so students have a different lens to view careers in health care. The course would help students develop a strategy for approaching the health care industry from the eyes of an entrepreneur. Some examples might be: a) the realization that with health care reform comes increased regulation; if viewed differently, regulation can be an opportunity or could provide a competitive advantage; and b) identifying areas in healthcare that are struggling in terms of access, quality, or delivery —instead of only focusing on useful applications or processes—and develop solutions to alleviate these problems.

Frederick R. Kates III, MBA, PhD, serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor for Health Services Research, Management and Policy Department in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. Rick received his doctoral degree in Health Services Policy & Management from the University of South Carolina. He has various research interests related to health policy, most recently outcome-based evaluation of service quality in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the impact of the Medicaid expansion. His other research interests include public health issues related to tobacco control and educational technology aimed at improving the delivery of online instruction. Rick has won the South Carolina Public Health Association’s J. Michael Suber Media Excellence Award for sharing best pedagogical practices and online course development strategies and the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Educator Award. Prior to this position, he was an instructional technology coach and instructor for Beaufort County Schools in South Carolina. He was involved with the integration of over 8000 iPads into classrooms, instructional design and software integration, and the YEScarolina entrepreneurship program. Rick also developed the dual credit computer service and networking curriculum with the local community college. Concurrently, he taught managerial and financial accounting for Park University on the Marine Corps Air Station. Before becoming an educator, he was the Purchasing Manager for Eaton’s Electrical Engineering Services and Systems Division for the U.S and Canada. He was part of the division’s initial startup with responsibility for $60 million in capital expenditures and facility build out. He negotiated the division’s national agreements with suppliers, developed the national calibration program for the electrical testing equipment and the freight payment system, and was the project manager for the roll out of Oracle Projects and Purchasing software modules. He has also served in the United States Army, with active duty service patrolling the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea.

William Marsiglio

Dr. William Marsiglio

Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The web-based project that is at the center of my faculty fellow application is a direct extension of my research interest in fathering. For the past three decades I’ve studied various aspects of fathering, and over the last 5-6 years I’ve focused my attention on the intersection of fathers’ and children’s health. I currently have a book, Dads, Kids, and Fitness: A Father’s Guide to Family Health, in press at Rutgers University Press. This book is anchored in qualitative interviews with 87 fathers and 15 pediatric health care professionals from around the country as well as my autoethnographic observations of raising two sons who were born 31 years a part. My book is closely connected to my proposed project. The website will expand my platform to promote the book and, in turn, I specifically showcase in the book how initiatives like my website can educate and motive dads to manage more effectively their children’s health/fitness as well as their own. Together, my book and website highlight the value of promoting health and fitness while taking into account what I call the “social health matrix”—the myriad conditions, relationships, and choices that define matters of health, fitness, and well-being for fathers’ and children’s intersecting lives.

In addition, I’ve taught an upper-division course Men & Masculinities (and graduate version too) for 30 years which explores numerous topics related to my project’s mission—to encourage fathers and children to be proactive and mutually supportive in managing their health, fitness, and general well-being. I incorporated an earlier version of the website into one of the assignments I prepared for my Men & Masculinities course and I will continue to find ways to make it relevant to this course and my Principles of Sociology course.

I am committed to helping men become more engaged, health conscious fathers. As a first step, in May 2014 I began to develop a new website Dads & Kids: Health & Fitness Talk and a companion Facebook site, both of which I launched for public viewing later that fall. I continue to revise this website as I add new subpages and update information. As described on the homepage, this is an:

interactive web resource to inform and inspire individuals committed to promoting healthy lifestyles for fathers and children. It targets parents—especially dads, youth and young adults, as well as professionals working with kids in the community as health care providers, coaches, teachers, youth ministers, Big Brothers, and the like.

The website offers significant subpages and materials that include mini documentaries and my own and others’ blogs as well as subpages that target dads, moms, teachers, health care providers including pediatricians, young children, teens and young adults, and scholars. To date, I’ve devoted most of my time to expanding and refining the substantive material and resources that appear on the various subpages and improving the site’s visual appeal and functionality.

Moving forward, as a UF Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow, I intend to forge and execute a multifaceted social marketing plan to engage a larger, attentive audience for the site. In particular, I will:

  • develop the technical expertise to reach out more directly, effectively, and often to fathers, health care and fitness professionals, and others interested in promoting fathers’ and children’s health,
  • integrate social media strategies to target stay-at-home-dads, fathers of children with disabilities, vegetarian/vegan fathers, and fathers connected to fitness subcultures—for themselves or their children (e.g., running, triathlon),
  • explore ways to get youth and young adults—including college students—involved in using my site,
  • produce additional mini-documentaries as outlined on the site tab dedicated to this medium,
    • the initial videos will provide tips for fathers about educating their children concerning food choices, developing exercise routines and rituals, dealing with health care issues, creating body weight monitoring plans, and developing community partnerships with educators, daycare workers, and other adults who supervise children
    • I’ll complement this video series with my own blog and the blogs of others who I have recruited to be active on this site. These blogs will explore different aspects of how fathers’ and children’s health and fitness issues overlap
  • use the website as vehicle to establish a partnership with a video production team to cultivate a larger project, perhaps for profit, that would address issues pertaining to fathers’ and children’s health
    • I expect that any professional video product would either be advertised and/or made available through my website
    • I would like to enhance the website’s reach prior to making serious overtures to documentarians, although I have established contact with a producer, Keryn Thompson, at Pureland Pictures in New York City who recently released the film Daddy Don’t Go
  • learn how to integrate search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to enhance the site’s visibility while maximizing my professional Facebook and Linkedin domains

When my book, Dads, Kids, and Fitness: A Father’s Guide to Family Health, is published next year I will be able to use the website to promote the book. I can also use the book to promote the website.

In short, my web-based project is a form of community outreach informed by my background as a family and gender scholar with a specific expertise on fathering and men’s health. The website is a work in progress because I continue to refine the skill set necessary to maximize this medium for sharing insights about fathering to diverse audiences. Over time, I anticipate expanding the website (e.g., faith-based leaders) as I develop collaborative arrangements with individuals from diverse backgrounds who can contribute to the website’s mission to promote health and fitness for dads and kids.

Most of Dr. Marsiglio’s research and teaching focuses on the social psychology of men’s sexuality/reproduction, fathering, and paid/volunteer work with children outside the home. In general, he is interested in how men socially construct their identities as persons capable of creating and caring for human life in various settings. His books include:

  • Dads, Kids, and Fitness: A Father’s Guide to Family Health (in press). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • The Male Clock: A Futuristic Novel about a Fertility Crisis, Gender Politics, and Identity (2015, with Kendra Siler-Marsiglio).
  • Nurturing Dads: Social Initiatives for Contemporary Fatherhood (2012, with Kevin Roy)
  • Men on a Mission: Valuing Youth Work in Our Communities (2008)
  • Situated Fathering: A Focus on Physical and Social Spaces (Ed. with Kevin Roy and Greer Litton Fox, 2005)
  • Stepdads: Stories of Love, Hope, and Repair (2004)
  • Sex, Men, and Babies: Stories of Awareness and Responsibility (with Sally Hutchinson, 2002)
  • Procreative Man (1998)
  • Fatherhood: Contemporary Theory, Research, and Social Policy (Ed. 1995).

Since 2000, Dr. Marsiglio’s research has been based on qualitative in-depth interviews. His forthcoming book focuses on the intersection of health issues for fathers and their children and is grounded in interviews with dads and pediatric health care professionals as well as autoethnographic observations. His 2012 book integrates data from seven different qualitative studies to explore the prospects for developing a wide range of social initiatives that encourage fathers to be more attentive and responsive to their children. In his 2008 book he focused on men’s experiences working with children in diverse areas (e.g., coaches, teachers, youth ministers, probation officers, Big Brothers, Boy Scout leaders, 4-H club leaders, youth intervention specialists). One facet of this project examined how youth work and fathering mutually influence one another. Another study with teenage and young adult men focused on how they described their romantic relationships, sex lives, and procreative experiences. It provided the foundation for Dr. Marsiglio’s Procreative Identity Framework—a model exploring how men become aware of their ability to procreate and its meaning for them over time. His research with stepfathers considered how they develop and manage their involvement with stepchildren and the “family” network (mother, biological father, own children). He is also interested in how physical and social spaces affect fathers’ identity work and involvement with their children.

Currently, Dr. Marsiglio is devoting time to developing a set of web-based projects. Dads & Kids: Health & Fitness Talk and Facebook – Dads & Kids: Health & Fitness Talk. This site is an interactive web resource to inform and inspire individuals committed to promoting healthy lifestyles for fathers and children. It targets parents—especially dads, youth and young adults, as well as professionals working with kids in the community including health care providers, coaches, teachers, youth ministers, Big Brothers, and the like.

Forrest Masters

Dr. Forrest Masters

Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment

Project: streamlining the time and people it takes to design infrastructure

Planners, architects, engineers and construction managers collectively drive the design of buildings, bridges and other infrastructure. The simplest designs can take weeks to months to execute because of the communication burden, despite the relatively simplistic code-based calculations that underpins most civil infrastructure design.

My vision is to streamline the (a) time required to produce a complete, working design to one session lasting a few hours and (b) number of people involved in the planning and development stage to a small team, or perhaps even one highly trained person. The users will communicate with AI agents that control aspects of the design such as structural and geotechnical engineering, architecture and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) functions.

The goal is to put this information at the ‘fingertips’ of the user to allow for unprecedented creative expression. The users will be freed up to focus on maximize building functions (e.g. a high-performance workplace), attaining a desired aesthetic with the confidence that the underlying engineering is in place.

Sharing information will be effortless. Sending building information model data, control flow diagrams, or GIS files to external team members will be as simple as posting images to the web or initializing a 3D printer.

As the team gains experience with the machine, it will learn to anticipate user needs, predict incipient workflow, and better interpret meaning and intent from machine-user and user-user interaction. Done right, the machine will become another team member in the eyes of the user.

I see a future where designers can work side-by-side with owners to produce whole designs within the scope of work. In the near term, this system will produce a whole working design that can be sent to an engineering team for validation. In the not-too-distant future, this system will produce a finished design ready for external peer review.

Ultimately, this streamlined approach will reduce design and construction errors, produce better designs at less cost, and enable designers to innovate boldly to push the envelope of infrastructure performance.

Dr. Masters’ research interests primarily focus on the hurricane boundary layer and its effect on the built environment, with emphasis on the advancement of damage mitigation strategies and building product innovation. He is one of several ‘full-scale’ academic researchers in the international wind engineering community, having conducted experiments in (1) extreme wind events to study wind, wind-driven rain and structural loading and (2) the laboratory, where full-scale building systems are subjected to realistic simulations of fluctuating wind load and rain conditions to evaluate their performance. Computational and theoretical research is integral to these efforts. His findings appear in wind engineering, building science, meteorological, arboricultural and psychosocial literature. Dr. Masters has received support from more than 30 grants from state, federal and private sources, including the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program and the Major Research Instrumentation Program. He is a reviewer for more than a dozen journals and a specialty chief editor for Frontiers in Built Environment. Dr. Masters is the chair of the next Americas Conference on Wind Engineering and is highly active in the American Society of Civil Engineers, serving on the structural and environmental wind engineering committees; chairing the Task Committee on Wind-Driven Rain Effects; and serving on the Ex-Com of Infrastructure Resilience Division. He also chairs the Technical Advisory Committee for the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and serves on its Board. In 2014, Dr. Masters was awarded the junior International Association of Wind Engineering award, which recognizes significant and original contributions to research by an individual under the age of 40. He was also honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award in Mitigation at the National Hurricane Conference.

Jasmine McNealy

Jasmine McNealy, JD, PhD

College of Journalism and Communication

Project: To create a “lab” that connects business, communicators, and the broader public to promote understanding and accurate communication about technology.

Bad communication, miscommunication, and misunderstanding are significant influences on the choices consumers make concerning their use of technology. This lab will engage members of the public in providing feedback to businesses about the messages sent about their products and services, and then using the feedback to enhance company communications.

Jasmine McNealy, J.D., Ph.D., is a scholar of media, information, and technology with a view toward influencing law and policy. She is an assistant professor of telecommunication at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. Her research focuses on privacy, online media, communities and culture. She is the 2016-2017 Head of the Newspaper and Online News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Vice Chair of the International Communication Association’s Communication Law & Policy Division.

Czerne Reid

Dr. Czerne Reid

College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Project: Equipping science PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty for research-related careers

Fewer and fewer PhD graduates in the biomedical and other sciences are finding faculty positions, and fewer still land in tenure-track. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group in 2012 noted an appreciable decline – from 34-26 percent – in the proportion of biomedical science PhDs who move into tenured or tenure-track faculty positions compared with two decades ago.

Conversely, participation in research-related careers – including fields such as science communication – has grown. Still, many doctoral and post-doctoral trainees aren’t aware of the breadth of career options that exist. Often, graduates find their way to these careers by chance, then express the wish that they had known about these options earlier and had resources to prepare them for those careers.

To help fill that need, this three-part project involves writing three books and producing associated resources, including a website, aimed at providing an introduction and guidance for science graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty interested in learning about research-related careers.

The first part of the project will be devoted to producing a book focused on the field of science writing (as distinct from “scientific writing”), which involves translating science into engaging stories for a lay audience. Science writers work for magazines, newspapers, websites, museums, universities, and research institutes and other outlets. This practical guide will draw on the experiences of several PhD scientists who have successfully made the transition, and offer advice and steps readers can take to venture onto a new career path in science writing.

The second book will give a broader look at careers in science communication, including areas such as scientific/technical writing, medical writing, science advertising, and science curriculum writing.

The third book will go even broader, and based on collaboration with colleagues in various fields, will introduce and discuss a wider variety of research-related careers beyond science communication, such as patent law, science policy and technology transfer.

Accompanying the books will be an interactive website with “living” resources that are updated regularly. The project will also entail the production of various hands-on training workshops. I envision that this multimodal project with books, website, workshops, research projects, will become a career resource hub for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and others at UF and beyond. It will be a place where people can find postings of available positions, and peer mentoring networks of individuals who have successfully navigated research-related careers. It will also be a valuable resource for mentors seeking to guide their students and trainees.

Czerne Reid is a Lecturer and Program Director in the UF College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. She earned her Ph.D. in environmental chemistry at Emory University, and a graduate certificate in science communication at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her bachelor’s degree in chemistry is from the University of the West Indies, Mona, in her native Jamaica. In her role as Program Director, Dr. Reid leads the development, administration and evaluation of online programs and courses in psychiatry. She also created and taught an upper-level undergraduate science writing course in the UF College of Journalism and Communications. Her current research interests focus on science communication by scientists. Dr. Reid has worked as a science writer and reporter at various outlets across the U.S., including The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Salinas Californian, Stanford News Service, Stanford School of Medicine Office of Communication and Public Affairs, and UF Health Communications. Her awards include an Exemplary Teacher Award from the UF College of Medicine, an Educational Innovator Award from the UF Health Educational Scholarship Program, a 2007 Kaiser Media Fellowship, and awards from the South Carolina Press Association and the South Carolina Medical Association. She serves as co-chair of the Education Committee of the National Association of Science Writers, coordinating a stable of career development programs for students, and was co-chair of the Regional Committee on Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Conference of Science Journalists 2017.

Edward Schaefer

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.

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.

Daniel Sokol

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.

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). 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.

Jill Sonke

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.

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.

Yulia A. Strekalova

Dr. Yulia A. Strekalova

College of Journalism and Communications

Project: Develop a grant writing course under the title Grant Writing for Social Entrepreneurship

Just a decade ago, most academic grant partnerships were mostly with technology start-ups for SBIR/STTR proposals. Increasingly, funding opportunities in the various areas of social entrepreneurship include a requirement for meaningful participation of non-profit and community organizations in the development and deliberation of project activities. While there many grant writing books, there is a lack of resources that provide a foundation for proposal development and grant writing as well as guidance and framework for the collaboration between academic researchers and non-academic stakeholders. The project involves developing an online hybrid course that will include lectures and hands-on exercises, vignettes about academic-community partnerships, and peer-to-peer mentoring to support social entrepreneurship proposal development activities during the course. The course will target social entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders as the core audience and will include examples and strategies for the participation in academic projects.

Yulia A. Strekalova, Ph.D., M.B.A., is Research Assistant Professor and Grants Development Director in the College of Journalism and Communications. Her research examines how health-related knowledge is shared, translated, and managed by lay consumers and healthcare professionals. She is particularly interested in the effects of communication and information behaviors (including information seeking, avoidance, and sharing) on health decision making and behaviors. To date, Dr. Strekalova has published 18 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and has presented at numerous academic and professional national meetings. As a PI, she has recently completed a funded project that developed and evaluated a prototype of an interactive online application for information about clinical research. She is currently a PI on a CTSI-funded project that aims to understand stakeholder decision support needs and develop a knowledge exchange community around the topic of personalized medicine in leukemia care; and she is a co-investigator a project that assesses decision and communication support needs of clinicians, caregivers, and patients for pharmacogenomic testing in adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Strekalova also has over 10 years of research administration experience. As Grant Development Director she facilitates collaborative proposal development, oversees the submission of research and outreach grant proposals, and teaches grant writing. She has taught graduate-level courses in grant development at the University of Florida and University of Amsterdam.

Catherine Striley

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 is aware 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.

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.

Marko Suvajdzic

Mr. Marko Suvajdzic

Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Project: bridging the gap between academia and video games startup industry

Startups in the area of video games, mobile apps, and IT industry in general are growing at the unprecedented rate. According to Thomas Reuter data published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, venture capital funding in the US amounted to $12.97 billion in Q2 2014, which is by far the highest level it’s been at since Q1 2001. One important thing to note is that a vast majority of startups are located in clusters in the very specific areas of the country: Colorado, California, Washington, and New York. This specific layout poses certain challenges to the students at University of Florida, as they are not as immersed in the startup culture as their peers in the other areas of the country. My goal is to bring some of these activities to our students and through these activities encourage and support their entrance into the startup way of things.

In my project I would like to work on the updated syllabus for the classes that I teach:

  • DIG4097C: Entrepreneurship in New Media (EM)
  • DIG3713C: Game Design Practices I (GDP1)
  • DIG4715C: Game Design Practices II (GDP2)

My goal is to create a module for my classes that will focus on bridging the gap between academia and video games startup industry. Depending on the initial findings this module will be directly implemented into the syllabus or will be delivered as a separate activity to my students.

My plan includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Creating a network of startup industry professionals willing to participate by delivering a one hour lecture.
  2. Organizing project review sessions, where students can present their works to the industry veterans and receive immediate feedback.
  3. Networking with Gainesville startups, with the goal to increase the students’ awareness of the challenges facing many young companies.
    Facilitate students’ efforts to publish their own video games, and mobile apps.
  4. Live Internet broadcast from various gaming conferences – I have already done this during the Game Design Conference in San Francisco in 2014, and the students’ response was overwhelmingly positive. I covered the conference in live video broadcast, tying the content to our class goals and lectures. Academia + Networking + Journalism = Student growth!

The timeline for this project is 2 years. During the first year, I will come up with the initial concept and deliver the “beta” version of the updated module. Once the first cycle is over I will perform a detailed post mortem with the participants, the goal of which is to upgrade the next and final version of the module in the year two.

Marko is the Associate Director of the Digital Worlds Institute, and an Associate professor of Digital Arts and Sciences. He holds an MFA degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is a diverse thinker with 17+ years of achievement in the creative production space. Marko is a serial entrepreneur and veteran of 6 startups total, ranging from 1 to 4 years each. At the Digital Worlds Institute, Marko teaches classes related to video games design, entrepreneurship, and digital culture. Prior to his appointment at the University of Florida, Marko was the department head and the founder of the very first department for the Computer Arts and Design in the Republic of Serbia. Marko’s industry experience includes a range of digital startups and educational projects including Artificial Intelligence-intensive video game titles for major corporate clients to co-founding startups with Internet/games industry visionaries. He is a CEO/Owner of O2D Studio, a video games development company. Their recent games have regularly ranked in the top 10 lists, and earned prestigious Collector’s Edition labels. Marko has won many awards in his career, amongst them: Grand prix award at the International Festival of Documentary film in Belgrade, and The International Who’s Who of Information Technology Professionals. Marko has lectured internationally at schools and conferences in the U.S.A., the U.K., India, Serbia, and Norway. His research interests are: Influence of technology on learning, gamification of education, and transhumanity.

Michael F. Weigold

Dr. Michael F. Weigold

College of Journalism and Communications

Project: Establishment of “Master Access”

Under the working title “Master Access”, Professor Weigold is developing an innovation that would make it possible for all UF distance Masters of Science, Masters of Arts and Masters of Arts in Mass Communications graduates to audit graduate courses for a reasonable subscription fee, perhaps $500 per year. The program will offer UF graduates an opportunity for lifetime engagement with the university.

Dr. Michael Weigold graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a BA Honors in English in 1980. He received his M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida in 1985 and he stayed at UF to receive his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1989. He is currently the Director of Distance Education, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Enrollment Management for the College of Journalism and Communications. He has also served as the Director of the College’s Study Abroad Program since 2003.

Yan Wang

Dr. Yan Wang

Department of Epidemiology, Colleges of Public Health and Health Professions and Medicine

In November 2016, the state of Florida passed the “Florida Medical Marijuana Act,” authorizing a registered patient or a designated provider to purchase, acquire, and possess up to the allowed amount of medical marijuana for medical use. From June 2017 to September 31, the number of patients certified in the MMP more than doubled from 16,760 to 38,000. Future projections estimate that the number of registered patients could climb to 300,000 in 2 years.

Despite the rapidly increasing number of patients who will start using medical marijuana, there is a large gap in knowledge about the optimal components (e.g., CBD or THC or combined), dosage, mode of administration (e.g. vapor or oral), the corresponding treatment effects, and possible side effects. The industries (e.g. medical marijuana clinics, marijuana-related app company) are actively collecting such information, but systematic data collecting using scientifically-sound approach is needed to provide evidence-based knowledge.

In this project, I will work with the Compassionate Care Clinics of America (CCCA) in Florida to collect data from their patients. Currently the CCCA has 7 clinics located throughout the state of Florida, including Gainesville. This project will recruit primarily from the Gainesville clinic with a target sample size of 300. Information on each participant’s qualifying condition and the medical marijuana product they use will be recorded. Survey and smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment will be used to collect both short-term and long-term treatment and side effects of medical marijuana. This information will be made available in a privacy-enhanced database that can be accessed by anybody (patient, provider, decision maker) who potentially needs it.

The database will be hosted by the Clinical and Translational Science Data (CTSD) Center (Director: Dr. Samuel Wu, Professor of Statistics, PI of an NIH R01 project on privacy-preserving data collection and processing). Of note, I will serve as the Assistant Director of the CTSD center starting from April 1, 2018. Dr. Robert Cook (Professor of Epidemiology, Director of Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium, PI of multiple NIH R01 Projects including the one on medical marijuana use in HIV+ individuals) and Dr. Hong Xiao (Professor in College of Pharmacy, who will soon get data from the Florida Department of Health medical marijuana registry) will also serve as consultants of this project.

Yan Wang is a Research Assistant Scientist of Epidemiology. She has training and expertise in both psychology and epidemiology. Dr. Wang received her MS and PhD in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University in 2013. She joined the Department of Epidemiology as a postdoctoral research associate in 2014, working on NIH funded projects on risk behaviors among rural-to-urban migrants in China. With an interdisciplinary perspective, her research focuses on leveraging advanced methodology and new technology (e.g., wearable sensor) to improve health behavior monitoring and intervention. One of her current research projects focuses on improving alcohol use monitoring using a wearable alcohol biosensor and ecological momentary assessment. She has also worked on a number of NIH funded projects including those on mental health and risk behaviors among rural-to-urban migrants in China, alcohol use and marijuana use among persons living with HIV/AIDS in Florida, and advanced quantum modeling on sexual risk behaviors. One of her research papers, “Stress and Alcohol Use in Rural Chinese Residents: A Moderated Mediation Model Examining the Roles of Resilience and Negative Emotions” published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence has been recognized by the Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Honor Program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (NIH/OBSSR).

Kristin Weitzel

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.

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 Department 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.

William E. Winter

Dr. William E. Winter

College of Medicine

Project: The Creation of an online educational program suitable for medical students, physicians in residency training, and physicians in practice.

William E. Winter, M.D., earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Santa Clara University. He pursued his medical degree at Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine. His pediatric residency training was obtained at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. He then served as Chief Pediatric Resident at the University of Kentucky during his fourth postgraduate year. At the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, his fellowship training was in pediatric endocrinology. He is board-certified in pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology and chemical pathology. Moving into pathology to continue his research in unusual forms of diabetes in 1984, Dr. Winter worked under an NIH Clinical Investigator Award from 1985 to 1990. Since late 1999, he has been NIH-funded through his involvement in DPT-1 and now TrialNet. Dr. Winter then ran a clinic for children with dyslipidemia, obesity or type-2 diabetes until 2009.