Science writers will share expertise as UF Science Journalists in Residence

Published: September 17th, 2014

Two leading science journalists will each spend a week on the University of Florida campus this year as part of the university’s new Science Journalist in Residence Program.

Jennie Erin Smith

Jennie Erin Smith

David Epstein

David Epstein

Jennie Erin Smith, author of “Stolen World: A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skulduggery,” will visit the university in early November as UF’s first Science Journalist in Residence, speaking to students in the College of Journalism and Communications, giving a public lecture and interacting with faculty researchers.

David Epstein, author of “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance,” will serve as the second journalist in residence in late January.

“The goal of the program is to give students and faculty the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of science journalism through interacting with some of its most captivating practitioners,” said Diane McFarlin, dean of the College of Journalism and Communications.

Smith specializes in science and natural history writing and has a longtime interest in zoos, museums, animals and conservation. A former environmental reporter at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, she currently writes for the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and other publications.

“I am honored to become UF’s first science journalist in residence,” Smith said. “Science journalism can mean a lot of things, but all good science writers demonstrate curiosity, impartiality, attention to detail and the ability to simplify complex ideas without distorting them. I look forward to a great exchange of thoughts and experiences, with students and faculty alike, during my week at UF.”

Smith spent years investigating the exotic animal trade for “Stolen World,” which The New Yorker called an “accomplished, often uproarious account of the international reptile trade,” and Salon called “a flabbergasting chronicle of atrocious behavior, foolhardy schemes and dangerous animals, that reads like a real-life Elmore Leonard novel.”

“The Sports Gene” was a New York Times bestseller for Epstein, who has written for Sports Illustrated, Discover, Scientific American, Slate, The Washington Post, National Geographic and many other publications. His TED Talk on the subject has been viewed more than 1.7 million times.

“The fact that the program is specifically looking to promote discussion about science journalism is really meaningful to me,” said Epstein. “I think opening a discourse with journalism students about the power and peril of communicating science will be invigorating both for me and for them.”

UF Provost Joe Glover said that as part of its preeminence initiative, the university wants to create more opportunities for students and faculty to interact with the top leaders in their fields.

“We’re pursuing this goal through the new faculty we’re hiring, but we are also committed to bringing in more leading academics and professionals as guests – esteemed visitors who will both share their wisdom and get some exposure to our dynamic and exceptional university,” Glover said. “The new Science Journalist in Residence program is a great example of that approach, and I look forward to hosting our first two science journalists this year.”


Contact: Quenta P. Vettel, 352-846-3013,
Writer: Joseph Kays

The Innovators Series – Mark Little of Storyful

Published: September 17th, 2014

The Innovators Series kicks off Thursday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. with Mark Little, founder and CEO of Storyful, the world’s first social media news agency.  He leads a team of journalists and technologists who discover and verify the most compelling content on platforms like YouTube and Twitter.

His company works with the biggest news organizations and social networks in the world, including YouTube, ABC News and the New York Times. The company was acquired by News Corp in December 2013, and entered an agreement with Facebook to power the FB Newswire earlier this year. Mark has more than two decades of experience in journalism. He was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Irish national TV station RTE. He also presented the network’s top-rated current affairs programme, Prime Time, and was its first Washington correspondent. Mark was educated at Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University.

For more information, go to:

The Innovators Series - Mark Little of Storyful - Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m., Gannett Auditorium

Sandi Chance speaking at Law School’s Constitution Day event this Wednesday

Published: September 15th, 2014

Sandi ChanceThe Levin College of Law is holding Constitution Day on Wednesday, Sept. 17 from noon – 1 p.m. in the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center courtroom and foyer. Constitution Day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, and each year the University of Florida – along with other public funded universities – celebrate the day with special programs and activities. 

This year’s event, “National Security and Privacy After Snowden,” will feature talks and Q&A from Senior District Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Jon Mills, Director for UF Law’s Center for Governmental Responsibility, and Sandra Chance, UF journalism professor and executive director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information.

A reception will follow in the foyer, with cake and lemonade.


Category: Faculty news

Clay Calvert quoted in The National Law Review

Published: September 15th, 2014

DSC_0007The Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project is mentioned and Clay Calvert is quoted several times in an article by Tony Mauro that appears in today’s edition of The National Law Journal, the nation’s leading daily newspaper for attorneys.

Tony Mauro is the newspaper’s Supreme Court reporter, and this article focuses on the brief that the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project filed with the Court in August in the case of Elonis v. United States.

Read the article here: Clay Calvert quoted in Clay Calvert quoted in The National Law Journal


Category: Faculty news

College-led delegation holds seminar in Colombia

Published: September 15th, 2014

Juan-Carlos panelOur globe-trotting Juan-Carlos Molleda and three of his colleagues held a three-day executive seminar on “Strategic Communications and Public Relations Management” in Medellin, Colombia Sept. 10-13. The seminar was held in conjunction with the Colombia Center of Public Relations and Organizational Communication (CECORP).

In addition to Juan-Carlos, speakers included Marta Hartmann, a lecturer in UF’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; Randy Moreau, Chief Financial Officer of Bilzin Sumberg and a lecturer in the College’s master’s program in Global Strategic Communication; and Associate Professor of Telecommunication Michael Leslie.

According to Juan-Carlos, “September is International month for public relations in Colombia. Public relations is expanding in Latin America and the need for professional development is increasing. It is a great opportunity for us to extend the reach of the College and University, and share our leadership in public relations and communications.”Michael[1]

Sessions were held on effective leadership, business and financial essentials for communication professionals, sustainability communications and stakeholder analysis and engagement. It is a program the College hopes to grow and partner with groups from other countries.

The UF delegation also spoke at Remington and EAFIT universities. Potential partnerships for future training and education opportunities were discussed.

22[2]Congratulations on a great seminar.

Category: Faculty news

Letter from UFPD Regarding Recent Assaults

Published: September 8th, 2014

UPD_LogoDear UF students, faculty and staff,

In light of the three assaults that have been reported on or near campus during the past week, I am writing to remind you of the importance of looking out for your own safety and that of others.

The University of Florida Police Department (UFPD) and the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) are investigating three incidents of women who reported being grabbed by an individual and subsequently battered. In response, UFPD and GPD have increased patrols on campus, adjacent to campus and in the Sorority Row area. In all three incidents, the suspect has been described in a similar manner. We are looking for a white male in his late 20s to 30 years old, between 6’4” and 6’5”, and 250 to 260 pounds.

We recognize that these are troubling incidents but want to assure you that both police departments are focusing their efforts toward apprehending the suspect or suspects, and we are asking for your help. If you prefer to remain anonymous, please use the UFPD Silent Witness or contact Alachua/Gilchrist County Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867. Remember, safety is a shared responsibility so we also ask that you follow the University of Florida Police Department Safety Tips. Those include:

  • Report suspicious activities or individuals immediately by calling 9-1-1. 
  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. This is particularly true if you are wearing headphones and may not be able to hear someone near or behind you. 
  • If someone bothers you, don’t be embarrassed to attract attention to yourself. Yell! 
  • Avoid walking alone. On campus, use the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP), a safe campus escort service available between 6:30 p.m. and 3 a.m. by calling 352-392-7627 (SNAP) or downloading the SNAP safety application and requesting an escort. 
  • Stay in well-lighted areas, away from alleys, bushes and entryways

Other available resources include U Matter We Care; UFPD Victim Advocates (352-392-5648); and the Counseling and Wellness Center (352-392-1575).

As always, please call 9-1-1 during an emergency or use one of more than 300 Blue Light Safety phones located throughout campus. We also encourage everyone to download the “Tap Shield” safety application that also can be used to contact police. Finally, please follow us for updated information through the UFPD home page, the UF Alert home page, or the UF Public Safety Twitter Page.

Deputy Chief Darren J. Baxley
Associate Director of Operations
University of Florida Police Department

Sandra Chance speaks on policy, copyright and social media issues

Published: September 8th, 2014

Sandra Chance has been busy the past several months, speaking on policy and social media issues to industry and scholarly groups.

In April, she participated on a panel that discussed “The New Media as an Advocate for Human Rights Reform in Colombia” at the Conference on Legal and Policy Issues in the Americas: Human Rights in Colombia.

The conference, which was held in Colombia this year, was sponsored by UF’s Center for Governmental Responsibility in cooperation with the Law and Policy in Americas Program.  The conference is held each year to provide a venue for scholars, business and government leaders in the Americas to analyze legal and policy issues of importance to the countries of this hemisphere.

This summer, she spoke to two Florida groups about copyright and its impact on social media, discussing how posting, reposting, Tweeting and re-Tweeting are abundant, but is it legal to do so?

In May, she spoke to a joint meeting of the Gainesville chapters of the Florida Public Relations Association and the Advertising Federation, and in June the Ocala chapter of FPRA welcomed her at its meeting.  

Congratulations, Sandi.

UF/CEI seeing nominations for the 100 fastest growing Gator-own or Gator-led businesses

Published: September 8th, 2014

gator100The University of Florida and The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) are introducing the inaugural Gator100 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of leading UF alumni entrepreneurs around the world.

The Gator100 will rank the 100 fastest growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses each year, regardless of the school or college from which the alumnus/a graduated—recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit in all Gator alumni.

To nominate a Gator entrepreneur for the 2015 Gator100 awards complete the form found on the Gator100 website by Sept. 15.

Open enrollment begins Oct. 20

Published: September 8th, 2014

The fall benefits Open Enrollment period is scheduled for Oct. 20 – Nov. 7. During this period, employees may make changes to their State of Florida and UF plans for the 2015 calendar year.

UF’s annual Benefits Fair, which features UF’s benefits and retirement vendors, will be held Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Touchdown Terrace.

What can you do to get ready?

  • Ensure your mailing address is up-to-date in the myUFL system. Need to make an update? See our instructions on “Updating Your Address in myUFL.”
  • Employees enrolled in state benefit plans should have their People First user ID (PFID) ready. To locate your PFID, login to the myUFL portal and navigate to: Self Service > Benefits > Dependent and Beneficiary Information. Please note People First passwords expire every 90 days. To reset, log onto the People First website and follow “Forgot Password” instructions. For further assistance, call 1-866-663-4735. Be sure to verify your mailing address by Sept. 30 to ensure you receive mailings from the state.
  • Watch for state Open Enrollment packets to arrive by mid-October.
  • Information on UF plans, such as UFSelect and GatorCare, will be shared via your work email address and by the monthly InfoGator newsletters.
  • Attend the Benefit Fair on Oct. 29 at the Touchdown Terrace from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Residents outside of Alachua County may attend a state benefit fair in their local area. However, UFSelect and GatorCare vendors will only be participating in the UF Fair. Check the DMS website closer to Open Enrollment for locations and dates.
  • Refer to the state’s myBenefits and UF Human Resource Services’ websites frequently for updates.

Questions? Call (352) 392-2HRS or email for assistance.

UF launches “For the Gator Good”

Published: September 8th, 2014

For the Gator GoodUF has just launched a new national campaign, “For the Gator Good,” developed from its recent university re-branding effort. It will highlight many of the incredible things happening here on campus by telling the stories of those impacted by UF from around the world.

Not only does the campaign show those affected by UF’s research, but it invites others – Gators or otherwise – to join in and “help move our state and the entire world forward.” It’s part of UF’s mission, its greater purpose, to use its tremendous resources and spirit of collaboration to tackle the challenges facing us all.

The campaign will use various media channels to direct other universities, companies, the general public and everyone in Gator Nation to the campaign website,, where they’ll have the opportunity to read these stories and learn more. Then, if they’re compelled, they can go one step further by getting involved and doing what they can to make a difference.

The campaign takes a unique approach. It doesn’t just talk about what UF is doing, but why we’re doing it. And it lets our motivation to work hard and work together towards a greater purpose show.