UWF

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Most people would agree that there’s a deep divide between the right and left in the United States but two University of West Florida researchers want to find out if those ideological differences are reflected in the legislation lawmakers introduce.

This Fall, Dr. Adam Cayton and Dr. Brian Williams of the UWF Department of Government will begin a study to classify specific actions being proposed in legislation.

Courtesy, The Oplontis Project

Dr. Kristina Killgrove, a researcher from the University of West Florida, is preparing for the trip of a lifetime. She’s heading to Italy soon to study skeletal remains of victims of the 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius volcano eruption.  

Killgrove is a biological anthropologist and assistant professor in UWF’s Anthropology Department. Her classes include Intro to Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, and Human Osteology.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

As technology evolves, so do cybersecurity threats.

Dr. Jacob Shively, assistant professor of government at the University of West Florida, recently received a GROW Institute grant from the UWF Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to begin to look at the implications of technology and security policy.

“My larger area of interest is national security and foreign policy, so naturally cyber-issues have become more and more prominent,” Shively said. “I started doing a lot of reading and wrote a paper on the topic and have recently written a research grant proposal.”

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in 52 adults, or 4.7 million people, are on probation in the United States. In the Pensacola area, that number is more than 8,000 people.

Two University of West Florida Criminal Justice professors, Dr. Andrew Denney and Dr. Natalie Goulette, are offering students in their Community Corrections course a chance to learn not only effective techniques for managing offender behavior, but a chance to explore probation from the other side.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

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.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson was in Pensacola recently to get a firsthand look at the University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity.

Center Director Eman El-Sheikh provided a briefing on the facility, one of only six National Center Academic of Excellence (CAE) Regional Resource Centers in the country, serving the Southeast and Puerto Rico.

“We’re thrilled about what we’re doing to cybersecurity, and we certainly want to help advance the state of it overall as a national leader in cyber-education,” said El-Sheikh.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Lionfish have long been a prodigious threat to native species in the Gulf of Mexico, taking a big bite out of the region’s vital ecosystem as well as its economy.

However, the invasive species are not just doing harm in the warm waters of the Gulf. They have also moved into the mouths of local river systems, a researcher at the University of West Florida has discovered.

“Those are big nursery grounds for juvenile (native species of fish), a lot that are economically and ecologically important here,” said Amy Brower, a graduate student in the Department of Biology.

University of West Florida

Almost four months after taking office, Martha Saunders was installed as the University of West Florida’s sixth president on Friday, as part of the school’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Dr. Saunders was named to succeed Judy Bense, by a unanimous vote of the UWF Board of Trustees last September, and confirmed by the state Board of Governors two months later.

Courtesty of University of West Florida

Press Release from the University of West Florida:

The University of West Florida formally installed Dr. Martha Saunders as its sixth president during the inauguration ceremony held on April 21 at the UWF Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

“The inauguration of a new president is really a celebration of the university she serves,” Saunders said.

Northern Arizona University

One of the world’s leading experts on the planet Mars will be speaking in downtown Pensacola and on the University of West Florida campus this week.  Dr. Nadine Barlow is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University. She’s coming to Pensacola for a pair of lectures on the search for water on Mars. She spoke to WUWF's Bob Barrett about her passion for Mars.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Ron Finley started a food revolution when he planted vegetables on a curbside dirt strip outside his home in South Central Los Angeles.

His initiative was not only geared to stop the inequality he saw, in which some enclaves had easy access to fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, while others lived in what he terms “food prisons” - having to drive miles upon miles to get the same produce. It was also to help build communities.  The design of his gardens are just as important as the food he plants in them.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

The University of West Florida's Department of Government played host to Dr. Keith Whittington, professor of politics at Princeton University, on March 21.

In his presentation, "Why Free Speech is Central to the Mission of a University," Whittington explained that while controversial speech on campus is not a new topic, it’s one that the educational community needs to discuss, as pressure to limit speech can come from all sides.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

University of West Florida students and community volunteers on Saturday saved native plants from a site in Gulf Breeze that is slated for development.

Those plants, which ranged from beach rosemary to small blueberry trees, were moved from the now barren property behind the Gulf Breeze Zoo to the University’s greenhouse. They will be stored there until they are ready to be replanted and preserved at UWF’s Community Garden.

Courtesy of Ron Finley

It’s officially spring and that means you might have thought about starting your garden. Or maybe you’ve never grown anything. Either way the University of West Florida invites you to meet Ron Finley, the activist “Gangsta Gardener,” when he is in town this week for a series of lectures and panels.

“Basically I’m going to talk about life and community and people and food and health and love, and you know, and air, how it all goes together. And beauty, and design and growing your own food and being a gangsta for mother nature,” he said.

Courtesy of Aisha Fukushima

As part of Women’s History Month observance, the University of West Florida is hosting internationally renowned speaker, singer and rap activist Aisha Fukushima. The performance lecture will take place this Wednesday evening at 6:00 in the University Commons Conference Center.

Earlier in the day, Fukushima stopped by the WUWF studios.

Her greeting was in multiple languages, including Arabic and French.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

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.

The 16th annual University of West Florida Women’s Studies Conference is slated for March 24 at the UWF Commons Conference Center.

This year’s conference will feature a number of student presenters as well as keynote speaker, Capt. Wendy B. Lawrence, a retired astronaut and naval aviator. Lawrence was one of the first two female helicopter pilots to make a long deployment to the Indian Ocean as part of a carrier battle group, according to her biography from the U.S. Naval Academy. In addition, Lawrence, who retired from NASA in 2006, is a veteran of four space flights.

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.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Among the projects funded by BP because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the deployment of artificial reefs along Florida’s Panhandle as part of an effort to restore crucial habitats for fish and other marine animals.

University of West Florida researchers are part of a team conducting a study to see how effective some of those reefs are in creating a productive ecosystem that will attract fish and help revitalize the commercial fisheries affected by the spill.

Facing a proposed ten percent budget cut, Florida’s 12 state universities and their leaders are pledging to soften that blow as much as possible for students.

Rep. Larry Ahern, who chairs the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, says the 10 percent target reductions for each school are aimed at a projected $1.7 billion shortfall.

“Agencies are precluded from submitting across-the-board reductions,” said Ahern. “So what you will be listening for today is how each of these entities would make specific decisions to meet the target.”

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