Brandy Hilboldt Allport

CREO Staff Writer

Brandy Hilboldt Allport works as a staff writer for the Center of Research and Economic Opportunity at the University of West Florida.

She spent most of the past two decades as a reporter, editor and children’s book columnist at The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. She won numerous awards, including two national ones from the Newspaper Association of America. Brandy chatted weekly during “First Coast Connect,” a morning news segment broadcast on NPR affiliate WJCT 89.9 FM. Topics included literature for children and young adults and author interviews.

Brandy was also known as “Mrs. Allport.” She taught creative writing, speech and journalism in Jacksonville high schools. Her pre-school students called her Mrs. Brandy.  

Brandy worked for newspapers in Missouri and Virginia, and magazines such as Water’s Edge, Dreamweaver and Found have published her features.


When she is not reading, Brandy enjoys searching thrift stores for trash-to-treasure material. She also collects vintage children’s toys and books.

Brandy recently moved to Santa Rosa County with her husband, Richard. They care for a 5-year-old Chinese crested-poodle. Her name is Lily May, and she yodels.

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Gabriela Cintron, who graduated this Spring with a degree in psychology from the University of West Florida, recently won first place and $2,500 in an Internet contest.

She wrote an original song and created a video to go with it.

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A free Children’s Day Celebration will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Saint Sylvester Catholic Church, 6464 Gulf Breeze Parkway in Gulf Breeze.

The event provides children with a variety of Japanese cultural activities, including carp-streamer painting and a coloring competition.

It is organized by the University of West Florida’s Department of Government, which is part of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

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Seventeen graduating University of West Florida graphic design students will showcase their work at “Ellipsis.” The exhibition is scheduled for April 25-30 at the Pensacola Museum of Art.

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Artist Caitlin Rhea creates sculptural objects, installations and two-dimensional artwork that relate to water issues.

“Water is an uncontrollable natural resource that governs all existing life on this planet,” Rhea said. “My concepts are inspired by the problems that arise throughout humanity’s battle over the control of water.”

Rhea, who teaches art history and two-dimensional design at Pensacola State College, spoke recently to a group at Artel Gallery in downtown Pensacola.

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Artists Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki run Plantbot Genetics, a parody of a biotech corporation that develops combinations of robots and plants. Their mission: Spark a discussion about the environment.

The Plantbot duo delivered a presentation recently at First City Art Center in downtown Pensacola.

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About 100 youngsters divided into large groups, navigated an obstacle course, played pickle ball and practiced tennis swings in the gym on a recent weekday afternoon at the University of West Florida Pensacola Campus.

All of them are members of the Movement Academy, which meets for two hours from 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and caters to home-schooled students.

Author and journalist Daniel Connolly has covered immigration for more than a decade. He’ll speak at the University of West Florida Thursday about the topic in general and his recently published title, “The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America.”

Connolly wrote “The Book of Isaias” after spending three years shadowing Hispanic immigrant students at a high school in Memphis, Tennessee.

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An art exhibit called “STEAM2017” opened Feb. 2 and will continue through March 11 at The Art Gallery, also known as TAG, on the Pensacola Campus of the University of West Florida.
The exhibit is the centerpiece of a program that is also called STEAM2017. It’s a five-week presentation of lectures, workshops and talks with artists and scientists. Activities explore how art can be added to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math to examine issues related to water and the preservation of a clean environment.

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STEAM2017 is a five-week program of exhibitions, lectures, workshops and talks with artists and scientists at the University of West Florida that explores how art can be added to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math to explore issues related to water and the preservation of a clean environment.

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People who want to see examples of what kinds of artwork students in the art department create can attend the new “Points of Departure” exhibit. It’s in The Art Gallery in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

“The objective of the exhibit is to showcase the challenges and successes introductory level art students encounter in drawing, ceramics, painting, digital arts and graphic design,” said Nick Croghan, director of The Art Gallery, also known as TAG.

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Coffee table books are the perfect solution for hard-to-buy-for people on anyone’s holiday gift list. Why? Because titles cater to specific interests, and they are packed with history, facts, trivia, photographs, illustrations, graphics, lists and bibliographies that lead to even more sources of fun and enlightening information.  Other advantages of big books as gifts? If you pick the right title for the right person, size isn’t a problem, and books are guaranteed for year-round use.  Here are some of the stand-out choices for the 2016 shopping season.

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The diversity of the human form inspires Emily Teets.

Her ceramics feature the figure whether it’s in three-dimensional form, such as legs, feet or arms emerging from a vase, or in two-dimensional form, such as a nude figure carved into a clay slab.

Teets, a senior who will graduate from the University of West Florida next month with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, will feature her ceramics in “Synthesis: A Group BFA Exit Exhibition” at The Art Gallery in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

Whether you’re into classical or jazz or even something else, you’ve got an opportunity to be entertained. It’s the opening of music season, and there are three chances to hear different groups from the University of West Florida perform live during the next week.

The first opportunity to hear a performance is presented by the Runge Strings Orchestra and String Quintet. They will showcase works by Mozart, Vivaldi and Holst.

UWF’s Dr. Leonid Yanovskiy will conduct during the concert.

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In what has become an annual affair, the University of West Florida’s Irish Experience study abroad program participants will share their summer work in several events over three days at the Center for Performing Arts on the UWF Pensacola Campus.  

Everything begins with a musical recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It will include Irish folk songs and a piece by Irish composer Liam Lawson called “Far Beyond.”

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Josh Green points out that artists who paint or draw trees can get away with a lot more than artists who render people.


“If most of the tree-like elements are there, you’re OK,” he said. “But if there is something even a few millimeters off with a body or a face, even an untrained eye will notice.” 


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 Alan Manning grew up loving history, which he learned first-hand from his grandfather who used to regale him with stories of World War I.

When he was 8, his grandparents gave him a book about American presidents. He read it over and over. He started to collect campaign buttons, and he continued to read about the presidents. When he was in college, he read “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” by Edmund Morris.

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 Thomas Asmuth spends his time outside the classroom at the University of West Florida exploring the boundaries among art, science and technology.

He is an assistant professor of art whose most recent endeavors include doing a Florida Research fellowship-funded project that uses remotely operated submersibles to collect data and images of the turbidity of water.

Turbidity measures the degree to which water loses transparency because of suspended particles. It is one several factors environmental scientists use to measure water quality.

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  Alea Kittell came up with a bright idea.

Kittell, a University of West Florida senior majoring in graphic design, created a black shirt embedded with rainbow colored LED lights. The lights blink when activated by motion. The garment was a final project submission for her Interactive Design class.

“I wanted to create something unique and fun,” Kittell said.

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Ramel Price plays violin in the University of West Florida Runge String Orchestra, and he practices for four hours every day.

“I love the violin because I think that more than any other instrument it has the power to move people,” Price said. “I love the tone, the sound.”

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Summer heat does not have to leave you wilted or cause you to skip your normal exercise routine. Make the best of it without putting yourself in danger.

As temperatures climb, keep certain safety tips in mind, said Dr. Ludmila Cosio-Lima, professor of exercise science at the University of West Florida. Cosio-Lima specializes in studying the state of the human body during exercise.

She said one of the most important things to remember is to hydrate before, during and after exercise.