ENTERED FEB 2 2 Z005
news for alumni and friends of t
- 7-Wk ^l^t^l
Club offers pick-me-up
for UF thrill seekers
A look at UF's efforts to recruit
and retain the best faculty
stay connected volume 5 number 2 winter 2005
he university of florida
= M *
Liesl O'Dell (BSJ '92)
Alisson Clark (BSJ '98)
Meredith Cochie (3JM)
Jan Annino Godown (BSJ '74)
Kristin Harmel (BSJ '01)
Angela Hsu (4JM)
Meredith Jean Morton (3JM)
Dan Rachal (BS '04)
Katie Reid (BSJ '04)
Lee Smith (BSBR '61)
Carl Van Ness (MA'85)
Staci Zavattaro (4JM)
University of Florida
News & Public Affairs
University of Florida
Randy Talbot (BA'75),
Florida is published twice a year and
sent free to all alumni, parents and
friends of the University of Florida.
Opinions expressed in Floridado not
necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors
or official policies of the University of Florida,
the University of Florida Foundation
or the UF Alumni Association.
Fax: (352) 392-7676
UF Alumni Association
UF Alumni Association Web address
Florida is printed on recycled paper
and is recyclable.
This summer's Florida Alumni
News was great!
On page 8 under the sidebar
"You've Come a Long Way, Baby,"
you mention that the first UF
building named for a woman will
be Kathryn Chicone Ustler Hall,
the renovated Women's Gym.
We're proud to say this is wrong.
The following residence halls were
named after women a long time
ago. They were the first women's
residence halls on campus and
housed only women before the
concept of"coed living" become
popular. They are all coed now and
house both men and women.
Yulee Hall Dedicated in
memory of Nancy Wicklife Yulee,
wife of U.S. Sen. David Yulee and
daughter of Charles Wickliffe,
governor of Kentucky and U.S.
Postmaster General. Opened
Mallory Hall Dedicated in
memory of Angela Mallory, wife of
Stephen Mallory, Confederate
secretary of the navy and U.S.
senator from Florida. Opened
Reid Hall Dedicated in
memory of Mary Martha Reid,
third wife of Robert Raymond
Reid, fourth territorial governor of
Florida. She was also the daughter
of Samuel Swann, famous Civil
War blockade runner, developer of
real estate on a large scale in
Florida after the Civil War, and
secretary of the Florida Railroad.
Broward Hall- Dedicated in
memory of Annie Douglass
Broward, wife of Florida Gov.
Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.
Rawlings Hall Dedicated in
memory ofMarjorie Kinnan
Rawlings, famous author. Opened
Jennings Hall Dedicated in
memory of May Austin Mann
Jennings, wife of Gov. William
Sherman Jennings and daughter of
state Sen. Austin Mann. She was
also nationally known for her
conservation efforts, specifically in
regards to the Everglades. Opened
Our staff would like to see even
more undedicated halls named
after women. We still have a few
available undedicated residence
Assistant Director ofHousing
for Marketing and Public Relations
I usually enjoy your publication,
but needed to let you know the
Gator Tales feature in your last
edition (summer 2004) offended
me. Frankly, I was shocked that a
public relations publication cre-
ated by professionals at UF could
publish a racial slur like the one in
this article. The article only
marginally amusing to begin with
was about a dorm prank and
for no reason identified fellow
dorm members as "two Jewish
brothers from Miami." The reli-
gion of these dorm members had
absolutely no bearing on the story
written by Bill Van Duyn (BCHE
'61). If these students were Mus-
lim or Christian or black or Asian,
would they have been identified as
such? I think not. As a former
nist, I know it is unprofessional
and insensitive to allow such slurs
to see print. I would think most
first-year journalism students
know better than that. And I think
you owe your readers an apology.
Hanna (Skolnick) Krause (BSJ '82)
The article in the summer 2004
issue of Florida written by
Catherine Smith was and is an
insult to at least one alumnus ...
I, for one, have absolutely no
interest whatsoever in visiting or
learning the language and culture
of Garifuna (wherever that may
A class for this purpose only
emphasizes the criticism now
being heaped upon UF for offering
unnecessary class studies which
only prolong time for graduation.
Get real! Offer to graduates a
magazine and a university that
emphasize an education necessary
for a successful career.
Henry Bishop Jr. (BSPE '49, MEd '53)
Reading the story on "Rocket
Man," Mark Adler's work in the
Mars Spirit mission, I was struck
by two things. First, I am an
engineer with Boeing that helped
test and launch the Delta II rocket
(pictured behind Adler) that
placed the Spirit into orbit. Both
Boeing and Jet Propulsion Labora-
tory performed top-notch to make
this mission successful, and every-
one is proud of the effort.
Secondly, I am always amazed
at how intelligent people, receiving
the same data, come to opposite
conclusions. Adler questions, "If
life did not form on Mars, does
that mean life is some sort of
cosmic accident?" Given the
uniqueness, complexity and obvi-
ous integrated performance of a
living human, I conversely ask the
question, "If life did not form on
Mars, does that mean life on Earth
is a result of an intelligent, pur-
posefiil design?" I ask this because
organization results from con-
certed planned effort, not random-
ness. If Adler observed a map of
Gainesville and its direction/
number-named streets (e.g., S.W.
34th Street) forming a pattern and
then saw the streets of Orlando
(no pattern), would he wonder if
Gainesville's street names were a
result of a society in chaos? If
someone observes Spirit riding the
crust of a deserted Martian surface,
would they opine that the rover
must be the result of random
forces and events? I believe the
obvious answer is, "No."
I hope Adler and his team find
as many facts as their resources
permit, but also hope they would
understand that interpretation of
facts into conclusions always passes
through one's presuppositions.
Here is mine: Life is wonderful
and is the project of the Finest
Engineer God and His Son,
Glenn Ellison (BSME '86)
volume 5 number 2 winter 2005
ON THE COVER
(BSBA '03) jumps in
tandem with parachute
instructor David Vamon.
The Falling Gators
parachute club offers
for UF thrill seekers of
all skill levels.
PHOTO BY JAIRO GARCA BS '98)
10 ................................................................................. Free Falling
The Falling Gator Club offers a pick-me-up for UF thrill seekers
14 ................................................................................. Radio-ology
Daily broadcast offers health news to listeners nationwide
16 ............................................................................. The Three Rs
UF's quest to recruit, raid and retain top faculty members
IN EVERY ISSUE
UFL.EDU NEWS ABOUT CAMPUS, FACULTY AND STUDENTS
4 ............................................................................. Skeleton Keys
Faculty Profile: Unlocking the secrets of the dead
5......................... .................................................... Warm Welcome
Student Profile: Greeting UF visitors with friendly enthusiasm
......................................................................... In the Classroom
Learning about life by studying death
.......................................................................... Proctor's Purview
Early dance societies brought tradition to UF's campus
........................................................... .... ............. Go, Gators
Sports Profile: Ashley Kellgren leaves her mark on Gator soccer
9 ....................................................................... Hitting the Bricks
How well do you know campus?
S................................................................. Swamp Shooter
Photographer John Moran (BSJ '78) captures Florida's overlooked beauty
22 ........................................................... Third Time's the Charm
After just three books, Kate DiCamillo (BA '87) wins high praise
UFALUMNI.EDU ALUMNI MEMORIES AND HAPPENINGS
24 ........................................................................ My Old School
UF alumni share their memories
27 ........................................................................ Show Stopper
A small gator caused a big fuss in a prank "of unusual merit"
COURTESY OF THE PIONEER PRESSED
news for alumni and friends of
the university of florida
Michael Warren, 46, still gets upset.
As a forensic anthropologist, he
gets upset when Serbian nationals
kill civilians and dump the more
than 120 bodies in a mass grave.
As an investigator, he gets upset
that the 1989 disappearance of
University of Florida finance junior
Tiffany Sessions still is unsolved.
As a man, he gets upset when a
nearby small-town crematorium
drops boxes of artificial knees and
hips into a river with bone frag-
ments still attached.
Warren (MA '95, PhD '97)
transforms his anger into enthusi-
asm when he teaches "Skeleton
Keys: Introduction to Forensic
He began teaching the dc
1998 as a visiting assistant p
and freshly minted UF doct
graduate. Back then it was a
anthropology course with ab
students. Today, about 80 sti
from seven colleges pack Tur
"That's interesting when
students from so many diver
backgrounds to try to explain:
forensic anthropology is," W
The course is set up to m
what would happen during
actual death investigation "fr
time the body's found until 1
time it's returned to the fami
He warns students the m;
is for a mature au
only. If graphic de
about a autopsy or
suicide are too mu
handle, the studer
"I don't think t
expect it's going to
real as it is," Warn
One topic he p
discuss is his expert
cremains, or crem;
remains. He work
many cases each y
either through the
Pound Human Ide
citizens who call f4
On the slightly
tered desk in Warr
office, for instance
box about the size
ANTHROPOLOGY PROFESSOR MICHAEL
WARREN USES FORENSICS TO UNLOCK THE
SECRETS OF THE DEAD.
ass in video cassette. It was sent to him by
professor a man whose wife recently died.
oral She was cremated, but her remains
general did not look right to him. There-
out 20 fore the man called Warren at home
udents for help.
lington Inside the box were two Petri
dishes, each filled with cremains.
you get One looked sandy in color while
'se the other appeared dark gray.
n what Warren agreed along with
warren UF bone chemist John Krigbaum
to determine how the samples
irror are chemically different and what
an else could be causing the vast color
*om the difference.
the In addition to being able to help
ily." someone in need of answers, War-
aterial ren says these types of requests
dience provide him with ideas for his class.
tails During a lecture on the topic of
r a cremains, he says he probably won't
ich to discuss the intricacies of cremation
it can because there are so many non-
anthropology majors taking the
hey course. Rather, he'll teach in a
Sbe as general way and possibly even
n says. convert some audience members.
plans to "\Whai happens in this class is I'll
rtise: concert majors," he savs. "That's not
ated really a goal of the class for me."
s on One person he is not converting
ear, is microbiology junior Mandy
entifi- "It's interesting, but not for a
or career," she says. "I ruled it out
or when I went online and saw pic-
tures of dead bodies. It freaked me
men's Staci Zavattaro (4JM)
:, sits a
At hoiWth the butterflies
Get close a idz ti butterflies that
mnkethei E ioe axJng'htropicaIfliage of the
Butterl y Ran dbest,':he lo MIiseui.o f .Natura
,. i- i .. s. ,.i : .e ; :
,History's new-," ,. t nt exhibit. Th. s i .
Vivarium isw h.:budts oferfhes t .r
Getloseus ibm gu tes canf esat .
ing path and fela
. ... ":han lili j ': "''+d; "".'..''"
thousands of preserved and photographed butterfly
and moth specimens.
The African Arts of Personal
Adornment exhibit, open through
June 2006 at the Samuel P. Harn
SMuseum of Art, draws on the
museum's collection of every-
day and ritual objects used to
adorn the human body. These
accessories including gar-
ments and jewelry are used
to extend the color and tex-
turebf their body.
SENIOR JEREL REGISTRE GREETS UF VISITORS AND
ALUMNI WITH FRIENDLY ENTHUSIASM.
It's not likely you'll find Jerel Registre without a smile on his face.
Whether he's working in the UF Alumni Association office or driving across campus, the
call, broad senior from Coral Springs always conveys a friendly, helpful demeanor.
"I'm always smiling," the 22-year-old Student Alumni Association president and Cicerone
says. 'There's not many reasons to frown in my life. I've been very fortunate to meet so many
interesting professors, administrators and other people."
It's Registre's outlook and demeanor that
makes him such an effective ambassador for
UF, says Michelle Lovell (BSBA '97), fac-
ulr adviser for the UF Cicerones.
"He's able to fit into many different
situations well, whether it's working with
distinguished alumni at the president's
house or leading a biweekly meeting of his
peers within the Cicerones," she says. "His
dv namic personality blends well with fac-
ulv and staff and alumni."
Becoming a Cicerone one of UF's
official hosts was something Registre
stumbled upon at UE A transfer student
from the State University of West Georgia,
he was initially consumed only with the
usual student concerns: finding the right
major later six tries), finding parking,
sun ivmng his classes and the like.
Since joining the group three years ago,
however, Registre has made campus in-
volvement one of his priorities.
"Cicerones has allowed me to see UF
from another perspective, a much more
decentralized perspective," he says. "When Jerel Registre
you're at UF, you see UF as a student.
When you become a Cicerone, you work with admissions, athletics, the alumni association
and pretry much everyone on campus. So you get to know a lot more of the inner workings
than just parking and the other standard student worries."
These days, Registre has a lot on his plate. In addition to being the SAA president, he is a
member of the Honors Ambassadors and the Students in Free Enterprise, a group that edu-
cates individuals on free markets. All of this is in addition to finishing his degree in finance.
He credits his Cicerones training for giving him the ability to juggle it all.
"Cicerones helps you learn a lot about poise and how to convey yourself," he says. "You
learn how to manage and set expectations that are reasonable and toward a determined goal."
Dan Rachal (BS '04)
- I I
suwanee.mp3- Hear a barber-
shop quartet arrangement of
"Suwannee," a George Gershwin
tune originally popularized by Al
www.mil.ufl.edu -Wonder atthe
creations of students in UF's Ma-
chine Intelligence Laboratory,
including Koolio, a cross between
moviedom's R2D2 and a vending
machine, and the DeLuminator, an
autonomous rolling candle extin-
hurricane damage to some of UF's
facilities in the Florida Panhandle,
particularly the Turfgrass Science
Watch the action at Turlington
Plaza in nearly real time. This
Webcam, which gives a dean's-eye
view of the plaza, refreshes every
See the first images of Mars
through the Gemini South
Observatory's T-ReCS telescope.
Recognize the alumni and friends
who financially supported UF dur-
ing the last fiscal year.
UF STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT UFE BY
STUDYING THE CULTURE OF DEATH.
Rachel Visschers already knows
The UF senior lost her father,
Rudy, to lung cancer in 2002. He
was just 52.
Yet Visschers chose to immerse
herself in the culture of death last
fall when she took Susan Bluck's
Death and Dying course at UF
Now the class has Visschers think-
ing about life.
"We spoke about how it is to
lose a father, and one of the ques-
tions was, 'Do you reflect on your
life regularly?'" says Visschers, who
discovered several classmates who
had lost siblings and friends, in-
cluding one who was also dealing
with the loss of a parent. "Because
we both lost people, the answer
was, All the time.'"
Bluck, an assistant professor in
the Center for Gerontological
Studies and the Department of
Psychology, says she hopes to edu-
cate her 20-plus students about the
many facets of death and how
death affects each of us every day.
This includes dismantling taboos as
well as raising awareness of quality
of life at the end of life. While the
curriculum focuses on death and
life, students often walk away
from the course with a better
understanding of themselves.
Bluck often engages her stu-
dents in candid discussions about
death at the personal and societal
level. Close to September 11, for
instance, they talked about war
and terrorism. From then on,
that tone created a basis for frank
discussions about many facets of
death, often controversial.
"All of us are going to have
this happen to us," she says. "All
of us are touched by death right
now in one way or the other."
Bluck sees death as a time of
potential growth. She says there
is no way to overcome the emo-
tional, mortal and real side of the
last stage of life.
It's not something you just
"get over," she says.
Bluck, who came to UF four
years ago from Berlin, actually
revived a Death and Dying
course previously taught by UF
professor emeritus Hannelore
Wass. Bluck has taken his con-
cept and added many of her own
topics, including homicide,
suicide, care-giving, quality of
life and biomedical research.
Bluck even has the students
write their own obituaries. And
oddly enough, it's an exercise the
Choosing how to die was the
hardest part for Visschers and her
classmate, senior Kristen Viverto.
In the end, Viverto decided she'll
be hit by a car.
Mirroring her father's death,
Visschers chose cancer.
"I think it's a good reflection on
life because it makes you realize
what's important in life and what
you want to be," Visschers says of
Going into the course, Bluck
says she had certain expectations
for undergraduate students they
might not be familiar with death or
ready to discuss it so openly. The
range of experience in the class,
however, surprised her.
"The students are responding
really well. I love doing this," she
says. "It's sort of funny to say that
it's fun teaching a death and dying
class, but I enjoy it. I'm doing
something that's meaningful."
Staci Zavarraro (4JM)
.e w.o biggest dances were the
W;*S:-W.'.'' "?' .. .. """ '"
.-k .- *.- .. .
ecamp.ts:ei=- .. ..e:e Council took charge.
.wt Pie1,..c: = ,.. Tb.,,he two biggest dances were the
aoetihe-l e: ::;. '... :. fall.and spring Frolics when hotels.
i aioy..for :.' filled to capacity and fraternity
emb ': "" '. ..brothers vacated their houses to
ibis e '6.-", ... p-:acco=mmodate dates. The.third
i Sml- I.. ,: ., ajor event was the Military Ball in
s- .-.,Maich. In d a time when miilitar
d dur- ducon was mandatory, the
... litary B, became, in its way,
ea eo se.. anothercostumed event.'.
Q bft um-arescos^'-X. -s 4W orlcd War II interrupted the
i. n '-.... d ncesbur they returned even
4. a-iii tfie, |_b
seton er te university became
e.was the e coeducational in 1947. Among the
i n erfor- : acts tha performed atProlics were
Georgie Auld; Will Osborne,
purpose oPtheMsiet- Freddy Martin featuring Merv
"to.spjPsor..la w hl Grif as vocalist- and the ever-
amces atieimpessio : popular Tommy Dorsey...
& nation of :.... At the 1948 Fail s, ..F
in. sac th. e t'rli uz:rA u o
I~ ith L aeiOake t:" re.ahand Hi .h"
,t..wo ac-:,-. :.
-.. ,Idi tes,.,..
in t .hnity houses and lal t
e eAt the desigzia'ed;2:30m a;
"" ati pask found Uii iivers .
a ;:flti ".- /; ->.,,*The Frolics onihdnued a ,danc .
.' .: . . :A. I. i s, g ", i
S j".p-,"g of.issUuieuty.oflori,".-
.'-- h ,Eshug.:
r. '',:. M" " , : .. t . .
le=;::: :, : -;?^u .,: *.*:| a, ,,,
.. A '42, PhD 58.), WWhioi O i .
from an illnes..
David Grove, an anthropology
courtesy professor, was named a
fellow of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences. Kathleen
Kelly, professor and chair of the
Department of Public Relations in
the College of Journalism and
Communications, has been named
the 2004 Outstanding Educator by
the Public Relations Society of
America. Barbara Oliver Korner,
associate dean for academic and
student affairs at the College of
Fine Arts, received a special rec-
ognition award for her role as a
founder and director of the Asso-
ciation of Theatre in Higher
Education's Leadership Institute.
Richard Lehner, general manager
of Gainesville's public broadcast-
ing stations WUFT-TV/DT and
WJUF-FM, was elected to the
board of directors for The Asso-
ciation of Public Television Sta-
tions. Pierre Ramond, distin-
guished professor of physics and
director of the Institute for Funda-
mental Theory, received the 2004
Oskar Klein award and presented
the Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture
in August at AlbaNova University
Center in Stockholm, Sweden.
winter 2005 7
,, ,,h(. , ,
. .' i ^.; ." .. -. ..
=, =, .l,.at #. == -.,,...... ....A.
Did You Know:
RIDE ON: Former UF mathemat-
ics professor Kermit Sigmon
(PhD '66) is considered the father
of bicycling advocacy in Florida.
Gainesville's newest bicycle trail,
which runs along Archer Road
from S.W. 34" Street to the over-
pass at S.W. 13"' Street, is named
the Kermit Sigmon Trail in his
WINNING SEASON: Before the
Spurrier era, one of UF's
winningest football coaches was
ROTC instructor Maj. James Van
Fleet. Van Fleet, who later served
as America's second-in-com-
mand during the Korean War,
racked up a 12-2-4 record during
his two-year stint as head coach
JUICY TIDBIT: UF is home to the
world's largest citrus research
center. The Citrus Research and
Education Center in Lake Alfred
includes more than 225 acres of
groves, greenhouses, a citrus
packinghouse, a citrus process-
ing pilot plant, more than 40
laboratories and the world's
largest citrus library.
SEEING STARS: Since 1985
roughly 45,000 people have got-
ten a closer look at the night sky
through the telescopes at the UF
Department of Astronomy's
campus teaching observatory.
The observatory is open from
8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. each Friday
during the school year, weather
permitting. Admission is free.
"" '" ', SCORE ..:'-.. . Y '
For soccer player Ashley Kellgren, team's leading scorers h heped ff.th field as she has also been
being on the Gator soccer team was lead te Garors to two N CAA succesfu in heracademicstudies.
a family affair. tournameen.ts. Soccerls i-partof'
Kellgren came to UF in the .."Ashley does whatever is needed. Kellgrens life fo osfrh .2 .
footsteps of her older sister Jordan to help the.ream be surccessil, says years. .. .
The Kellgren sisters played for two Becky Burleigh, Kelgren's coach.: I started playing ~c":r ihen
years on the Gators squad, with. "During her career, se hasplayed .was in first grade because
Jordan as goalkeeper and Ashley as as a defender, midfielder andas . friends were plairng, too," says
outside defender. forward -she is t.lyai .selfish Kellgren, a..200 adi~t of
Four years later, the younger player. She's been a reamtsconig, Mary High Schbol: joined.
Kellgren has made her own mark.. leader tie last twd: ns, led ,. traveling teanihei,: ias i
on the ream. The senior forward in points as a junio and in sst fifth or grade and thats when
leaves UF this year as oneof the as a senior. Asley is also a older I decidel really e .
". .' ":". :".". .W ""Jo:d n a
:: .,,attend .UF; too....
is .. .. fe bei .
astte sis' ters.games.t..
Kelgrens sucssi o thefield -c
bshe finished th e,f4 ini 'ovem-
,-s .wit .lsi::~: al ssists-om ..r .
the"s:i lgiuep s .....se
'" `~ ~+?~.- .r 21`
~C-?" ~ , ?
~: :/:~Id ~
Looking at the UF campus, have you
ever wondered whose brother is in the
masonry industry? There's much more
to UF than bricks and mortar, but that
doesn't stop us from having an abun-
dance of bricks and mortar. Study these
examples and see if you can match
them to their locale. Then check your
answers on page 24.
Hitting the Bricks
BLOWOUTS: UF suffered roughly
$13 million in damage last summer
when four hurricanes blew
through Florida. Damage on the
main campus was mostly minor,
but several UF Institute for Food
and Agricultural Services offices
throughout the state experienced
severe building, equipment and
ONE DOWN, ONE TO 00: Library
West remains closed as the uni-
versity'takes on the second half of
its two-year renovation project
The entire building has been gut-
ted and a new 60,000-square-foot
wing is under construction on the
north side. The library will reopen
in January 2006.
HEALTHY DIET: To prevent unsafe
food from reaching'consumers,
the Food Safety institutee of the
Americas is being established by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture
in cooperation with JF and par-
ticipants in 31 other nations in the
Western Hemisphere. The insti-
tute will allow countries to ex-
change information to help make
meat, poultry and egg products
Forthe latest UF news,visit
THE FALLING GATORS
OFFERS A PICK-ME-UP
FOR UF THRILL SEEKERS.
Donna Campbell (4LS) fell 14,500 feet
out of the sky. And she loved every
moment of it.
"That was awesome," she yells as
she lands on her bottom.
Campbell is a spectator-turned-thrill-seeker. She
recently experienced her first skydive at Skydive
Williston thanks to the help and instruction of UF's
The Falling Gators is UF's skydiving and sport-
parachuting club with membership open to all UF
students, faculty and staff, including first-time, nov-
ice and experienced jumpers. The club offers one-on-
one coaching, national competitions and U.S. Para-
chute Association License certification programs.
The club has 22 active members and as many as
60 people on its mailing list, says Christina Norris
(BS '01) who was president of the club for two years
and has completed more than 200 jumps.
"A lot of people do it for the adrenaline rush,"
Norris says. "Later on you'll see some people are kind
of like addicted to skydiving ... it's actually really
BY ANGELA HSU (4JM)
"A l u n ..... ..... .....
Clockwise from top, Ken Seebeck, Gary Hancock, Rick Chryst and Chrissy Coy-Huckaba are among the Falling Gators who regularly fall from the skies over Skydive
For Campbell, the desire to jump had as much to do
with curiosity as it did with thrill seeking.
"Skydiving is one of those extreme sports that I've
always wanted to try, even if just once to see what it
feels like to be flying through the air at 120 mph to-
ward the ground," she says. "I wanted to know what it
feels like to put your life on the line like that, with a
parachute being the only thing that's going to keep you
from crashing into the ground. I'm not a big daredevil
and not one to really take risks, but it seemed like the
best extreme sport to try with the least likely chance of
physically hurting myself."
Campbell prepared by watching a video and pairing
up with an instructor. She suited up in the student
government-provided orange-and-blue jumpsuit and
harness, climbed into the plane with 12 other skydivers
and realized she was about to plummet 14,500 feet.
She watched as Alachua County turned into a patch-
work of green, brown and grey.
A burst of cold air poured in as the door was
At this point, knowing the National Security
Council reports a fatality only once for every 110,000
jumps making skydiving 17 times safer than being
involved in a fatal car accident may not have
One by one the jumpers scooted toward the open-
ing and fell out of the plane at what appeared to be an
alarming speed. The instructor secured to Campbell's
tandem harness assured her that even though it
looked as if the others were falling fast, there would
be no sensation of falling when they jumped. They
would be the last to exit the plane.
"The only time I thought I was crazy for
wanting to jump was as we were crouching at
the door of the plane watching the ground go
by thousands of feet below," she says.
The next thing she knew she was flipping
somersaults that seemed to have no end or
beginning. She screamed as they descended at
At 5,500 feet her tandem instructor pulled
the ripcord, jerking them out of their 9,000-
foot free fall. The parachute billowed and they
began to float over the marvelous scenery be-
low. Campbell says she felt an amazing sense of
freedom as she floated from the sky, seeing the
world from a different perspective.
As she looked out at the horizon she could
see Gainesville in the distance. Several minutes
seemed to pass like seconds as they spiraled and
turned toward the landing field. On their final
approach, they slid onto the ground in a seated
"Words really can't describe the feeling of
jumping out of a plane and plummeting toward
the earth," she says. "'Amazing' just doesn't do
Reaching New Heights
Jairo Garcia (BS '98) of Orlando, the Fall-
ing Gators' club photographer, a tandem in-
structor and an accelerated free fall instructor,
couldn't agree more.
"I just did 17 jumps this weekend and I'm
afraid of heights," Garcia says. "That shows
you how surreal it is ... you lose all concept of
height when you reach that altitude."
When members such as Garcia can't satisfy
their obsession in the skies over Williston. they
plan trips to "drop zones" across the nation.
Garcia and Norris have tasted the wind over
Virginia, Arizona, California and various towns
in Florida. Garcia's favorite jump was on cam-
pus, right over Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
"Overall, it's still hard to beat Williston
because of the great vibe and family atmo-
sphere," Garcia says. "And, since it's home to
the Falling Gators, there are always friends
there that are willing to push the limits with
Erika Lindroth (BSBA '03) and her instructor, David Vernon,
glide to earth to complete their jump.
DAILY BROADCAST OFFERS HEALTH NEWS TO
PUBLIC RADIO LISTENERS NATIONWIDE.
A S GAINESVILLE RESIDENT LISA GEAREN DRIVES TO WORK EACH MORNING, SHE
TUNES INTO ONE OF NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA'S NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
STATIONS TO RECEIVE A DAILY DOSE OF THE LATEST IN HEALTH AND MEDICAL INFORMATION.
Gearen catches up on general consumer-health
information in the form of a two-minute radio
segment, "Health in a Heartbeat," to which
Gearen, a nurse practitioner, has been listening
almost daily through the duration of the
program's five-year existence.
"Although I'm in the health-care profession,
the information covered by 'Health in a Heart-
beat' is sometimes more obscure than what I
might hear at work," Gearen (BSN '82, MSNSG
'90) says. "There have been at least 20 times that
what I have heard on 'Health in a Heartbeat' has
encouraged me to research a topic further. It
really alerts you to what's going on."
"Health in a Heartbeat" is a collaborative
effort by the UF Health Science Center and
Shands HealthCare in partnership with UF radio
stations WUFT-Classic 89 and WJUF-Nature
Although the program originates in
Gainesville, local listeners such as Gearen aren't
the only ones receiving the up-to-date health
information. "Health in a Heartbeat" is distrib-
uted free by satellite, airing on non-commercial
radio stations to provide health and wellness
The program provides an easy-to-digest mix of
consumer-health information and the latest news
on medical research, patient-care breakthroughs
and health-care industry trends. "Health in a
Heartbeat" has covered topics as basic as why
people sneeze and why people should wash their
hands to more complex issues such as how choles-
terol-lowering drugs may raise the risk of nerve
"'Health in a Heartbeat' fills a niche; I don't
know of any other academic medical center that
produces a health program of this nature with this
kind of national reach," says Melanie Fridl Ross,
assistant director of news and communications at
the Health Science Center and the program's
senior producer and managing editor. "The goal
is to inform the public about health and wellness
issues. It's meant to be a catalyst, a way to get you
thinking about something and bring something
to your attention, to go and explore it further -
doing so in a way that the consumer can use it."
"Health in a Heartbeat" is designed to break
down cutting-edge issues of the medical world in
a way that is easily understood by the average
consumer listening on the drive to work. Each
month, Ross works with a team of Health Science
Center writers to pore over an array of suggested
topics gleaned from recent scientific reports and
news articles. More than 20 scripts are generated
for each round, and the program recently aired its
"After they're written, the scripts are approved
and edited by physicians at UF, with a final ap-
proval by the program's medical editor, Dr. Whit
Curry," Ross says.
Curry (BA '67), a professor and chairman of
UF's Department of Community Health and
Family Medicine, says he admires the collabora-
tive effort used to make the program a success.
"The way we function is seamless between
Shands, the Health Science Center and the UF
radio stations," Curry says. "It gives a richness
that would otherwise not be there."
The idea for a consumer health radio program
was developed in 2000 by Kimberly Rose (BSJ
'91), director of marketing and public relations
for Shands HealthCare, and Polly Anderson,
former director of corporate support for the
"WHAT 'HEALTH IN A
HEARTBEAT DOES IS
GIVE IT TO LISTEN-
ERS IN A MANNER
WHERE THEY CAN
RECEIVE IT, DIGEST IT
AND HOPEFULLY PUT
BY MEREDITH JEAN MORTON (3JM)
Susan Wagner is the voice of "Health in a Heartbeat," which airs on about 60 public radio stations in 13 states.
public broadcasting stations at UF
"What they came up with was unique because
there was nothing out there to rival the program's
scope and function," Curry says.
"Health in a Heartbeat" airs weekdays at 7:48
a.m. and 11:58 a.m. in Gainesville. It also airs on
about 60 public radio stations in 13 states, with
affiliates as far-reaching as Alaska, Texas, Pennsyl-
vania, Washington and New Mexico. The UF
radio stations alone report nearly 8,700 local
listeners hear the morning airing while about
5,600 listen to the noon broadcast.
"'Health in a Heartbeat' is a way to showcase
the great work being done by the UF Health
Science Center, and is a way to put Shands
HealthCare at the forefront in the country," says
Susan Wagner, director of communications for
the public broadcasting stations at UF and voice
of "Health in a Heartbeat." "It's providing a pub-
lic service to the listeners while giving Shands and
the University of Florida a national audience,
presenting them as a leader in the health science
Wagner (BSJ '81) has provided the voice for
"Health in a Heartbeat" since last March.
"I try to do it very conversationally, so even if
I'm explaining a complicated medical problem,
the way it's written, the layman can understand it
on the drive to work," Wagner says. "We try to
make it user-friendly in content and presentation.
We want the listeners to remember what they've
For those who miss the broadcasts, scripts can
be viewed and listened to on the "Health in a
Heartbeat" Web site, www.heartbeatradio.org.
The Web site also directs visitors to other medical
topic-specific Web sites and experts.
"Health in a Heartbeat" provides useful health
and medical information to listeners in an easy-
to-digest format, in a way they can fit it into their
busy schedules, says Ross, who also writes some of
the program's scripts.
"Nobody wants to sit down and read a 12-
page medical journal article about why they
shouldn't be eating so much," she says. "What
'Health in a Heartbeat' does is give it to listeners
in a manner where they can receive it, digest it
and hopefully put it to practice in their lives. It's a
great way to get the information out there."
2 za IeartliL
winter 2005 15
THE ABILITY TO RECRUIT, RAID AND RETAIN TOP FACULTY MEMBERS IS VITAL TO
UF'S QUEST TO BECOME ONE OF THE TOP 10 PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN THE NATION.
SHE NORTHERN UNIVERSITY MADE ITS PLAY FOR UF DENTISTRY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
SCOTT TOMAR LAST SUMMER.
Scott Tomar, associate professor of
dentistry, decided to stay at UF despite a
tempting offer from another university.
The job offer, Tomar says, was tempting: a
department chair, a higher salary, a chance to
make his mark on a struggling program, not to
mention an opportunity to further his tobacco
and oral cancer research.
"It was a wonderful professional opportunity,"
In the end, Tomar chose to stay in Gainesville.
His family was a large part of his decision as
was a healthy counteroffer from UE
"Scott is a great example of the kind of faculty
we want here at the University of Florida," says
Dentistry Dean Teresa Dolan, who in her effort
to keep Tomar met the other university's dollar
figure and offered to make him the director of his
own department. "He brings a lot of skills to this
college, and besides that, he's a good person."
The attempted raid on Tomar is indicative of a
cutthroat game played by top universities nation-
wide. Each institution tries to recruit the best
faculty raiding other universities to do so -
then fights to keep them.
It's a game UF has the skills to play well, but
not always the resources.
"It's come up three or four times, and in each
case we've been able to retain people," Dolan says
of her own two-year experience in dentistry. "But
it's a challenge if 30 faculty showed up with
similar offers, we couldn't match them all. We
have to be selective."
As UF works toward its goal of becoming one
of the top universities in the country, it recognizes
that a quality faculty is its greatest asset, says UF
President Bernie Machen. That's why UF is mak-
ing better faculty support including salaries,
research money and graduate assistantships its
No. 1 priority.
"As far as I can tell, there is one way and
only one way -this university will reach its po-
tential and that's doing a better job supporting
our faculty," Machen says. "If we want to keep
our quality professors and researchers, and do a
better job recruiting faculty stars, we need to
figure out ways to do that."
The ability to recruit and retain a quality faculty
is vital for any university. The caliber of a faculty's
teaching, research, mentoring and participation in
national endeavors provides the foundation for a
university's reputation and standing.
In the battle to recruit top faculty, UF cer-
tainly has its charms: for various professors it can
offer the chance to work with respected peers,
career advancement, opportunities to further
one's research, a family-friendly community and
even a mild climate.
"We have a lot of very good things to offer
here," Machen says. "We have a national reputa-
tion in several disciplines. We have a vibrant
alumni and student base. There is great commu-
nity support. But our best quality, I think, is that
we have fantastic potential here. I think the fac-
ulty who come here and stay here recognize that
and want to be part of it."
BY CINNAMON BAIR
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELIZABETH SHURIK (4JM)
I-aye marnson was recruited trom ne university ot tennessee to nelp develop ur-s ATrican American stuaies program.
winter 2005 17
UF's benefits have attracted a number of out-
standing new faculty members this year, including
law professor Paul McDaniel from Boston Col-
lege, philosophy professors David Copp and
Marina Oshana from Bowling Green State Uni-
versity and joint African American studies and
anthropology professor Faye Harrison from the
University of Tennessee.
Reputation alone was enough to entice
McDaniel, who accepted a position as the new
James J. Freeland Eminent Scholar in Taxation
with the Fredric G. Levin College of Law last
summer. He recognizes Levin as one of the top
law schools in the country.
"It's been everything that I had hoped," says
McDaniel, who is helping establish the college's
new master's program in international taxation.
"Boston College is a pretty good place, but it's
purely a juris doctorate (bachelor's-level) program.
When (UF) decided they were going to do this, it
opened an opportunity. I'm able to teach and write
and do research in something I'm interested in."
Meanwhile, Harrison was successfully re-
cruited from Tennessee on the promise she could
help build UF's African American Studies pro-
"I'm happy with the prospects here," says
Harrison, who says she was also drawn by the
caliber of her prospective colleagues in the an-
thropology department. "Florida is a respected
university and the Department of Anthropology
is certainly among the most respected among
public universities ... they made it an offer I could
Intangibles aside, however, UF can't compete
well when it comes to money. The university
ranks 55" among its 60 peer schools in the Asso-
ciation of American Universities, for instance.
Such a low rate of compensation makes it difficult
to bring new faculty in and keep current fac-
ulty on staff.
"Our challenge at the University of Florida is
no different than that of hundreds of other uni-
versities and colleges: balancing budget con-
straints with the price of academic excellence,"
Florin Curta, for one, doesn't deny he's been
Disappointed with his salary, the associate
professor of medieval history sought and received
a job offer from the University of Colorado in
UF did counteroffer with a raise, although not
as much as Curta might have hoped for. In the
end, it was Boulder's high cost of living not
anything UF did that caused him to shy away
from the deal.
Despite his raise, Curta is still frustrated that
some faculty members and academic departments
receive stronger financial support than others.
"Things can be done apparently for some
people," he says. "I don't know what I have to do
to be 'some people.'"
Curta's case represents the other side of UF's
faculty battle: keeping quality faculty from leav-
ing for other universities.
The reasons faculty leave are as varied as the
faculty themselves: some are hired away by other
institutions, some leave on their own seeking new
opportunities, and some leave simply hoping to
find a better fit and possibly salary else-
"It really depends on what stage your career is
in," says Pierre Ramond, chair of UF's Faculty
Senate and a distinguished professor of physics.
For junior faculty with young families, for
instance, salaries are more important.
"WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT
SUPPORTING THEM, ITS NOT JUST
SALARY, WHAT WE'RE REALLY
TALKING ABOUT IS PROVIDING AN
ENVIRONMENT WHERE OUR FACULTY
UF PRESIDENT BERNIE MACHEN
"When junior faculty are raided by other
institutions, salary becomes more of an issue,"
Ramond says. "Junior faculty are vulnerable.
They're at a stage in their careers when they need
In Curta's case, however, salary isn't the only
issue. He's concerned his wife, who recently got
her doctorate in history, can't find a job at UE He
says he also doesn't believe the university is com-
mitted to his research.
"Institutional commitment" is a common
thread when weighing a decision to go or stay,
"It's very important for the university to have
an institutional commitment to do the type of
things you want to do," he says. "If the university
isn't committed to their research, that person is
That commitment can be shown in a number
of ways, including funding for research, laborato-
ries, equipment, special studies, graduate assis-
tantships and academic endeavors, Machen says.
It's all part of the vital support a university pro-
vides for its faculty and that UF hopes to
"When we speak about supporting them, it's
not just salary," Machen says. "What we're really
talking about is providing an environment where
our faculty can flourish."
Raising the Bar
Copp and Oshana are thrilled to be at the
University of Florida.
The husband and wife, who were successfully
recruited from Bowling Green State University 15
months ago to join UF's philosophy department,
say they love their situation: they have a support-
ive dean, quality students, generous salaries and a
chance to work together.
"The main thing for us is to be able to do our
research and teach good students," Copp says.
"Those academic factors were really the main
factors in our choice to come here."
Yet there is also much that has disturbed them
about UF, including inadequate facilities, salary
disparities and a cumbersome bureaucracy.
"I've been a bit surprised by UF," Oshana says,
sitting in her husband's un-air-conditioned dor-
mer office. "I'm surprised it's not as good a uni-
versity as you expect it to be."
The professors are not alone in noticing room
"It's clear the University of Florida is lagging
behind our peer institutions in terms of faculty
support," Machen says. "The difference is that at
the other universities we consider our peers the
Michigans and Virginias and Californias their
hands aren't tied quite so tightly as ours. We're
forced to play catch up."
Why the disparity?
Machen says UF's budget
has grown more than 100
percent in the last two
decades as it took on
more students and pro-
grams. State funding
simply hasn't been able to
keep up. Private support
and federal funding have
helped, but not enough to
properly take care of
Therefore, in an effort
to bolster UF's support of
its faculty, Machen this
year launched the Faculty
Challenge, an initiative to
raise $150 million in
private support specifi-
cally for faculty.
The money, which
will be placed in an en-
dowment, will do more
than simply make salaries
more competitive, Philosophy profe
Machen says. It will also from Bowling Gr
help give faculty the tools cumbersome UF
they need to enhance classroom instruction and
conduct research, as well as fund new professor-
ships, fellowships and lectureships.
"The initiative will provide a resource outside
typical public funding that can be used to reward
outstanding faculty who are here now and to
recruit outstanding faculty from other universi-
ties," he says.
Machen says he believes the initiative and the
support it will provide for faculty is a crucial step
toward UF's goal of being one of the top 10 pub-
lic universities in the country.
"We have a growing reputation as being an
excellent institution of higher learning," he says.
"We can talk about the accomplishments we've
made as a major research university, but at some
point we need to put our money where our
mouth is and reward our people for the outstand-
ing jobs they're doing."
Faculty members say they are thankful for his
support and for what it could mean for the
"The university has enormous potential, and
the state is short-sighted in not supporting it
better," Copp says. "I think this fund-raising
effort Bernie's engaged in is crucial for the institu-
tion to get done what needs to get done ... things
could be so much better for the students and the
university and the state."
David Finnerty and Liesl O'Dell (BSJ '92)
contributed to this report.
ssors Marina Oshana and David Copp, who were recruited
een State University, say they've been surprised by how
s bureaucracy can be.
To learn more about the Faculty Challenge, visit www.uff.ufl.edu/facultychallenge or call Carter Boydstun at 352 392-5472.
winter 2005 19
'1 WANT TO
OF REAL VALUE
ABOUT WHY IT
HAVE A DEEP
WITH THE PLACE
WE CALL HOME."
PHOTOGRAPHER JOHN MORAN
(BSJ 78) CAPTURES FLORIDA'S S h ooter
OFTEN OVERLOOKED BEAUTY.
Driving along Florida's roadways,
you might see a man standing on
the roof of his SUV or lying on his
belly in the mud of Paynes Prairie.
Don't be alarmed: It's just John
Moran, making another picture.
Moran (BSJ '78) is an award-
winning nature photographer
whose pictures have appeared in
National Geographic, Life, Time and
His latest work comes in the
form of a book, "Journal of Light,"
which chronicles his travels across
the state. The book includes one of
his most famous pictures, "The
Night has a Thousand Eyes," which
shows the shining eyes of dozens of
alligators. The image has been
published in books and magazines
worldwide, and although it's not
one of his personal favorites, Moran
understands its appeal.
"There's a universal fascination
with animals that can eat you in the
dark," he says. "That picture plays
to our deepest dread."
Born in Boston and reared in
Fort Myers, Moran fell in love with
the Gainesville area after coming to
UF as a freshman in 1973.
"I bought my first camera and a
good bicycle, and the next day, I
took a 70-mile bike ride through
rural North Florida," he says. "That
began a personal process of discov-
ering Florida with a camera in my
Originally an architecture major
at UF, Moran quickly shifted gears
and began working as a photogra-
pher for the Independent Florida
Alligator, where he met his wife,
Peggy Bowie (MRC '77). (Their
daughters, Alexis and Caitlin, fol-
lowed in their parents' footsteps in
attending UF: Alexis studied En-
glish, while Caitlin is a junior in
Like many UF students in love
with Gainesville, Moran's only
concern "was that I had to graduate
someday." After a brief stint as a
news photographer in Miami,
Moran returned to Gainesville and
started working at The Gainesville
Sun, where he remained for 23
years before leaving in 2003 to
devote more time to nature photog-
raphy. Now he's touring the state,
shooting pictures and selling them
at art shows where his booths are
jammed with fans and fellow
Gators eager to reminisce about the
places he photographs. He's also the
inaugural artist-in-residence for the
Florida Museum of Natural
History's new arm, the McGuire
Center for Lepidoptera and
"I want to retire having said
something of real value about why
it matters to have a deep personal
relationship with the place we call
home," he says.
Moran's deep connection with
stuff." not have been a lost endeavor." TO VIEW MORE OF JOHN MORAN'S PHOTOGRAPHS,
For Moran, the act of being out Alisson Clark (BSJ '98) VISIT WWWJOHNMORANPHOTO.COM
winter 2005 21
AFTER PUBUSHING ONLY THREE BOOKS,
KATE DICAMILLO (BA'87) WINS THE
HIGHEST HONOR IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE.
As a student, English major Kate
DiCamillo (BA '87) often studied
in UF's Baldwin library, famed for
its vast collection of children's lit-
erature that spans the early 1700s
through the late 1990s. She can't
recall how many times she sat on
the floor "reading my way though
picture book history. I have too
many favorites to mention," she
In all those trips to the library,
never once did the notion cross her
mind that one day she would join
the ranks of the many successful
children's authors she studied there.
But in June DiCamillo, 40,
accepted the American Library
Association's 2004 Newbery Medal
for outstanding literature. The
award, considered to be the highest
praise for children's literature, is
one of several honors DiCamillo
has received after publishing only
three books so far.
"The Newbery Medal is prob-
ably the most amazing award in all
of literature because it virtually
guarantees that a book will stay in
print," DiCamillo says. "Years from
now, long after I'm gone, children
will still read what I wrote. That's
an incredible thing."
The Newbery Medal was
awarded to DiCamillo for her third
book, "The Tale of Despereaux."
But this story of a smaller-than-
usual mouse who loves music,
stories and a princess named Pea
isn't the only DiCamillo story hon-
ored by the American Library Asso-
ciation. Her first book about a girl
and the ugly dog she adopted at a
supermarket, "Because of Winn
Dixie," received the 2001 Newbery
Honor. And her second book, "The
Tiger Rising," which tells of a be-
reaved boy and a tiger caged in the
woods, was a finalist for the Na-
tional Book Award.
Considering her whopping
success, it's no wonder Hollywood
also took notice of DiCamillo's
Director Wayne Wang of "The
Joy Luck Club" fame has turned
DiCamillo's "Winn-Dixie" story
into a movie starring Cicely Tyson,
Jeff Daniels and Eva Marie Saint,
among others, that is set to be
released in February.
Universal Pictures has also
picked up "The Tale of
Despereaux" to turn it into a big-
screen animated film under French
director Sylvain Chomet, whose
"The Triplets of Belleville" was
nominated for a best animated film
Oscar in 2004.
It's all overwhelming for
DiCamillo, who says she had to
quit her bookstore job to fulfill all
the speaking engagements and
book tours she has agreed to
"I'm still astounded, amazed,"
she says. "I get recognized and
asked for autographs. It's all kind of
Things may be happening fast
for DiCamillo these days, but her
journey to this point was a long
After graduating from UF in
1987, DiCamillo spent several years
as an usher at Epcot. Her nights
and weekends were dedicated to her
desired career, writing. As an un-
published author, however,
DiCamillo often felt she had noth-
ing to show for herself.
"I was very conscious after col-
lege ... when all of my friends were
getting real jobs and wanting to
attend reunions, I would say, 'I
don't want to come. I'm not doing
anything,'" she says.
Her mother, a Central Florida
learning disabilities teacher, even
AWARD IN ALL OF
THAT A BOOK
WILL STAY IN
- KATE DICAMILLO
endured years of telling friends that
her daughter the writer didn't
have much published yet.
When a good friend moved to
Minneapolis, DiCamillo decided to
follow on a whim, hoping the
impending move would get her
boyfriend to pop the question. He
didn't, so she left.
DiCamillo missed Florida, how-
ever. Amid DiCamillo's homesick-
ness, the voice of a girl, India Opal
Buloni, came to her. DiCamillo ran
with the idea, producing characters
of small town Naomi, Fla.: a wise
crone, a creative librarian, a pre-
occupied father and a big, suffering
dog named Winn-Dixie, among
DiCamillo rose at 4:30 a.m.
daily to write at least two pages
before standing all day on the con-
crete floor of a Minneapolis book
warehouse. She found support in a
writer's group and eventually
earned two grants of $10,000 and
$25,000 from the McKnight Foun-
dation, which helped blunt the
force of nearly 500 rejection slips
for her children's work and some
adult fiction, which she still writes.
DiCamillo has since drawn on
her memories of Florida and
Gainesville many times for creative
"I loved Gainesville. Some of my
happiest days were in Gainesville,"
says DiCamillo, recalling 11 p.m.
visits to Leonardo's Pizza just as
roommate and still-best friend,
Tracey Priebe Bailey (BA' 87),
finished her shift.
DiCamillo credits Bailey's son,
Luke, now 12, with inspiring "The
Tale of Despereaux" by asking for a
story about "an unlikely hero, one
with exceptionally large ears."
DiCamillo says as a student she
was also inspired by one of her
professors, John Cech, who is a
children's author himself as well as
creator of the National Public Ra-
dio series "Recess!" and director of
UF's Center for the Study of
Children's Literature and Media.
Cech's literature class was "among
my favorites," DiCamillo says.
Cech says his respect for
DiCamillo is mutual. Although, he
says, her Newbery Medal alone is
enough to command respect from
"Most authors would feel their
careers were somehow complete if
they won just one of these awards,
but three? Wow. It's an astonishing
record," Cech says. "It's unprec-
edented. I can't think of another
author whose early success has been
this brilliant and distinctive."
-Jan Annino Godown (BSJ '74)
winter 2005 23
HITTING THE BRICKS
ANSWERS FROM PAGE 9:
This soldier looks out from
above the Murphree Library
in Fletcher Hall; a staircase
outside the J. Wayne Reitz
My Old School
Please join us in a walk down memory lane. We welcome your letters and reminiscences at Florida@uffufl.edu or at Florida
magazine, PO. Box 14425, Gainesville, Fla. 32604-2425.
Believe it or not, some of my
fondest memories come from living
in the dorms all four years. I started
Graham living with my best friend
from high school. We soon
swapped roommates with the girls
across the hall as our living styles
weren't meshing. You got to meet
so many people in the dorms. We
got to initiate the new apartment-
style dorms our junior year when I
cooked my first Thanksgiving
turkey. As a senior I was an R.A.
[resident assistant] in Broward
where my dorm director led me to
grad school at Ohio State (where I
met my husband).
I remember having to go to hot
UF football games in a dress and
stockings, and a date after lunch at
the Kappa Sigma house. The frat
parties were fun and sometimes
crazy with food fights. I found out
later I was pretty naive about other
things that went on there.
One Homecoming and Gator
Growl was particularly memorable
with the Strawberry Alarm Clock,
Buffalo Springfield and Beach Boys
providing our entertainment.
I remember the friendly students
and student teaching in a rural
community. As a EE. major and
the outstanding female athlete from
Coral Gables High, I was a bit
taken aback when the UF golf
coach told me, "I hit the ball pretty
well for a girl." I've played golf only
once since. I was fortunate to have
great instructors in the physical
education department in Norman
Leavitt and Owen Holyoke. They
helped me prepare for my 27-year
career teaching physical education
at all levels.
Living in Colorado, I've only
been back once and it is still a
-Karen Kinnin Dils (BSPE '69)
Buena Vista, Colo.
I was a student at UF from 1932
to 1940 when it was strictly for
men only. However, a woman
could attend if she was of good
moral character and wished to take
a course of study in an area not
taught at the Florida State College
for Women (now Florida State
University). This fact accounted for
much traffic between Gainesville
I was fortunate to meet
Kathleen (Kay) Wheeler, who was a
student in the Department of Ento-
mology in the College of Agricul-
ture. As I remember, she was one of
the six women and 3,000 men
enrolled as regular students at the
Kay Wheeler received a
bachelor's degree in agriculture on
June 7, 1937. Surely she must have
been one of the first women to
receive a degree as a regular stu-
dent. She continued her work on a
master's degree, which she received
on May 29, 1939.
To my great joy, Kay and I were
married on July 23, 1939, in
Penney Farms. Later we lived in
Tallahassee, West Lafayette, Ind.,
and Stillwater, Okla. To my great
sorrow, Kay died on June 20, 1960,
(BS '36, MS '39)
New Berlin, Wisc.
In the old law college buildings
in 1945 to 1948 and beyond, the
floors were all bare wood. Students
scraped their feet on those bare
wooden floors to show any and
every emotion from disgust to
applause. No one ever clapped or
cheered or groaned; scraping feet
was the only way of showing
amusement to anger. I don't know
of any other place in the world
where emotions are expressed by
scraping feet, and I regret that the
new law buildings don't have bare
wooden floors to continue that
unique way of expressing emotions.
David Higginbottom (LLB '48)
I have many memories from all
the years my husband and I at-
tended UF and lived in Gainesville
while employed there. While still
dating, I lived in Broward Hall, and
I think the women living on cam-
pus today would find it hard to
believe that we were not allowed to
wear long pants through the lobby
shorts, OK, but not slacks.
Curfews were strictly enforced,
there was no air conditioning, and
the occasional "fire drills" were the
order of the day. Of course, no men
were allowed in the halls unless it
was visiting hours from 1-3 p.m. on
After we were married and were
"poor" graduate students living in
Corry Village with a toddler, we
shared economic challenges with all
the other resident families. One
evening in the summer of 1968,
word spread that another fraternity
"streaker parade" was to happen
near frat row. So we packed blan-
kets and snacks and headed over to
watch the action and enjoy the free
entertainment. In keeping with the
budding women's lib movement,
there were even a few women in the
mix of males streaking for our
amusement. On other occasions, a
rogue alligator would emerge from
Lake Alice and show up on the
lawns of the housing areas (prob-
ably looking for the marshmallows
we foolishly fed them), but they
were quickly rounded up and re-
turned to the lake. We may not
have had much money, but we
surely did have fun.
Pam Spencer Harrington
(BA '66, MEd '69, EdS 73)
I am a certified veterinary tech-
nician, and I worked at the UF
College of Veterinary Medicine in
the anesthesia department for nine
years. I have been a rabid Gator fan
The University of Georgia's
mascot, "Uga" the bulldog, was
sent to our vet school for eye sur-
gery in the middle 1980s. I was
assigned the case and, while "Uga"
was asleep, I wrote, "Go, Gators!"
with a Sharpie pen inside both his
ears. He returned to Athens with
During our senior year (1957-
58) at the University of Florida,
Dick Marshall (BS '58) and I
caught and sold snakes and wild
animals for extra money. We were
both married and things were tight.
Dick was majoring in biology and I
was majoring in agriculture. We
practically lived on Paynes Prairie
catching frogs, snakes, raccoons,
possums and anything else we
During the freeze of January
1958 we had to move all the snakes
inside to keep them from freezing.
We counted more than 120 that
were waiting for shipment.
That spring semester Dick was
taking a sociology class and his
professor, having heard Dick's tales
of the snake business, brought him
a coral snake that he had caught at
After class Dick went to the
professor's car, a black '47 Buick
convertible, to retrieve the snake.
The professor had put the snake in
a wooden keg with cheese cloth
over it. When Dick opened the keg,
the snake was nowhere to be seen.
The first thing Dick did was turn
the back seat over and there the
snake was, in the springs of the
seat. Dick just reached down and
grabbed the snake by the tail, as we
always did. Unfortunately, the
snake was wrapped in the springs
and it bit Dick on the finger. Dick
immediately sat down on the curb
and waited to die. His vision got
blurry and he started to sweat.
After 20-30 minutes he decided
that his symptoms were psychoso-
matic and he went back to looking
for the snake. He never found it.
Coral snakes have highly toxic
venom and a very dangerous repu-
tation, but a very weak body and a
poor delivery system. They have to
chew on you to get the venom into
your blood stream. So Dick was all
right, but the professor refused to
get in his car ever again.
After graduation as we were
leaving Gainesville for the real
world, we passed the university
parking lot on 13' Street and there
sat that black '47 Buick convertible.
It had not moved for more than
A few years ago Dick and I got
together with our families and they
were amazed that we told the same
stories. All these years they thought
we were making it up.
George Cooper (BSA '58)
The fat course catalog arrived in
the spring of '62, my high school
senior year. Its cover was fiery or-
ange parchment imprinted with the
U of F great seal. It smelled like
newly minted knowledge, mere
vapors of the mother lode in
Gainesville, 70 miles north. It
might as well have been as far as the
moon Kennedy was talking about.
My grades and SAT scores were an
affirmation of "cool."
The "college bound" made their
plans. Summer came and a new
newsman, Walter Cronkite, told
about some U.S. citizens killed in
Vietnam and Telstar's launch. At
midsummer, my last narrow chance
involved the flashy air conditioning
contractor I worked for and his
drinking buddy, a sometimes UF
English instructor who, ironically,
was also not in perfect standing
with the university. The three of us
faced the dean of admissions in
Tigert Hall, which to this day looks
like a courthouse. The dean,
amused by the menagerie before
him, chuckled as he read my file.
The interview did not go well.
Finally the dean said, "Son, Florida
is one of the most challenging
universities anywhere. We accept
only the most qualified students.
Even so, the dropout rate is one in
three." He scribbled in my file and
continued. "Anyway, I am going to
give you a shot. I expect you will be
gone by Christmas."
I moved onto the second floor
of East Hall and started studying,
scared as hell. The dean was right
Florida was tough. But at
Christmastime, a letter arrived
informing me I had made the
(BSIE '67, MSEG '69)
Washington, D. C.
Ways to Reconnect with UF
G Send a Gator e-card.
Visit www.ufalumni.ufl.edu/E%2DCards to find Gator cards
for every occasion, including birthdays, anniversaries,
graduations and holidays.
SDrink a bottle of Gatorade.
Royalties from the world's first sports drink, invented by
Dr. Robert Cade in 1965, help fund UF research.
0 Join your local Gator Club.
Clubs can be found across Florida, throughout the nation
and in 10 foreign countries. To learn more, visit
OTeach your kids "We Are The Boys."
The song lyrics, as well as a recording, can be found at www.ufalumni.ufl.edu/
e*Read the Independent Florida Alligator.
Catch up on campus events by reading the student-run newspaper at
Attend Spring Weekend in April.
More than a reunion, the family-oriented event will include a fun run, campus
tours, an alumni barbecue and the annual Orange and Blue scrimmage game,
among other events. To learn more, visit www.ufalumni.ufl.edu/Reunion/
SAttend a non-football-related UF sporting event.
UF offers events in at least 18 men's and women's sports, including soccer,
volleyball, baseball, basketball, swimming, diving, tennis and track and field.
To learn more, visit www.gatorzone.com.
O Satisfy your nostalgic cravings with a burrito.
Burrito Brothers can ship its fabled burritos anywhere in the country. To learn
more, visit www.burritobros.com.
UF graduates can regularly be found on the small screen, including actor
Stephen Root (AA '72), CNN correspondent Jamie McIntyre (BSBR '76),
Saturday Night Live comic Darrell Hammond (BSADV '78), home improve-
ment guru Bob Vila (BSJ '69), network newscaster Forrest Sawyer (BA '71,
MED '76), sports analyst Elfi Schlegel-Dunn (BSTEL '86), Weather Channel
meteorologist Stephanie Abrams (BS '99) and, in reruns, the late Buddy
Ebsen ('26-'27) as Jed Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies."
* Join the UF Alumni Association.
Membership benefits include a subscription to UF Today magazine, an annual
wall calendar, international business discounts and more. To learn more, visit
*e A SMALL GATOR CAUSED A BIG FUSS IN A
r PRANK "OF UNUSUAL MERIT."
By Les Smith (BSBR '61)
November 26, 1960, the day after
Thanksgiving. The Gator football
team was set to play the Univer-
sity of Miami Hurricanes, and
Florida headed into the Orange
Bowl stadium with a 7-2 record,
its best in years.
The Gator band's busses and
truck pulled up beside the stadium.
David Brooker (BAE '62) and I,
both second-year drum majors,
were getting everybody and every-
thing out of the vehicles and into
the stadium when I heard my name
"Smith. Smith! Hey, Lest' It was
Jurgen Wekerle (BA '62) and Bill
Kirchhoff (BA '62), non-band
members and fellow Florida stu-
dents from Sanford, my hometown.
Jurgen came right to the point:
"How can we get in the stadium?"
"Just give the gate attendant
your ticket and walk in," I replied.
"Well. uh. vou see. the name is
sold out, and we don't have tickets.
Can you get us in?"
I gathered some uniform hats
and a band letter sweater, had
Jurgen and Bill put them on, then
asked a couple of female band
members if they would walk into
the stadium with these two guys.
Apparently it worked. I next saw
Jurgen and Bill inside the stadium
carrying a box. Bill's father ran a
wholesale gladiolus business, and
their box was a cardboard flower-
shipping container. It was 4 feet
long, a foot square and had im-
printed on the side, "W. E.
Kirchhoff, Jr. Gladiolus of Unusual
About five minutes before the
half, we filed out of our stadium
seats and along the sidelines. Jurgen
and Bill, carrying the box, came onto
the field with us. The band members
walked down to the end zone and
got into formation for the opening
fanfare. Bill and Jurgen squatted with
their box down on the side of the
field at the 50-yard line.
The Gator band did a great job.
We played our last piece standing
in the final formation and, as the
crowd applauded, started our exit
number and marched toward the
sideline. At this point, Jurgen
hustled onto the field carrying the
box. By the time the exit music
finished and the last rank of musi-
cians had cleared the field, Jurgen
(with the box) was back on the
sideline, blending in with the
crowd. It was now the Miami
The University of Miami Band
of the Hour started its show as soon
as we finished. It was playing and
marching toward mid-field and had
reached the 20-yard line when
suddenly the drum major stopped.
The majorettes stopped.
The first few rows of musicians
And the rest of the Miami band
piled up behind, its music dying
away, its formation in shambles.
There, in the exact middle of
the field was a real, live alligator.
It was only 3 '/2 feet long, but it
was an alligator, and it was not in a
good mood. Jurgen had found it on
the Florida campus. It had spent
one night in the upstairs shower
room of the Pike house, then rode
in the trunk of Bills car down to
Sanford where it was put into the
gladiolus box for the trip to Miami.
Now, in the middle of the Orange
Bowl, the alligator was situated
next to a stake, and on the stake
was a sign, one side of which said,
"Go, Gators," and the other, "Right
here" with an arrow pointing to-
ward the beast.
The Miami drum major strode to
the 50-yard line and bent over to
take a closer look. The alligator
snapped, and the drum major
jumped backward. By this time the
fans in the stadium noticed what was
going on and began to laugh and
cheer. The drum major walked back
to the end zone to confer with the
director of the Miami band. The
Miami band director sent word to
Florida's band leaders that Miami
would not budge until Florida got
that alligator off the field.
Finally, Clark Lord, a Gator
band trombone player, decided it
was time for a rescue. He managed
to pick up the gator without get-
ting bitten and carried it off to a
rousing ovation. Once Clark and
the gator reached the sideline,
Jurgen, ever helpful, stepped up
and said, "Here's a container that's
about the right size. Why don't you
store the gator in this?" So back the
gator went into the "Gladiolus of
Unusual Merit" box, and the Mi-
ami band finished its show.
Florida won, 18-0, capping the
greatest Gator season since 1929.
After the game we started the long
trip back to Gainesville. By now, it
was late night. But at one point, as
we passed through the then-rural,
swampy South Florida landscape,
the instrument truck rolled to a
stop, so the gladiolus box could be
removed and the alligator liberated
into a roadside canal.
Somewhere in a deep swamp
south and east of Lake
Okeechobee, I like to believe that
there is a very large, old alligator
who fascinates each year's
hatchlings with the tale of a long,
strange journey and that shining
moment when a reptile entertained
an Orange Bowl crowd, baffled
officials and stymied the entire
University of Miami Band.
Les Smith (BSBR '61) of
Gainesville is a professor in the
Department of Telecommunications.
Have a Gator Tale ofyour own? Send
your submission to Florida editor,
PO. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL
32604-2425 or Florida@uff.ufl.edu.
Selected essays will be edited for
clarity and length and should be no
longer than 700 words.
winter 2005 27
This bas-relief can be found in an alcove on the east side of Sledd Hall. Test your knowledge of other campus details on page 9.
Return to campus and expand your hori-
zons. Attend educational sessions con-
cerning the Seahorse Key Marine Lab,
the new McGuire Center for Lepidoptera
and Biodiversity, health nutrition and
More than a reunion, the weekend will
include activities for the whole family,
including campus tours, open houses,
receptions, a fun run, an alumni barbe-
cue and the annual Orange & Blue
spring football scrimmage.
Join members of Gator Clubs and Spe-
cial Interest Groups worldwide as Gators
take part in service projects in their
To learn more about these and other UF Alumni Association events, visit the UFAA Web site at www.ufalumni.ufl.edu,
call 888-352-5866 or 352-392-1905, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Florida Alumni Association
Emerson Alumni Hall 259-105-7
P.O. Box14425 MRS. DBLE B. CARELAS
Gainesville, FL 32604-2425 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
P.O. BOX 117001
GAIHESVILLE FL 32611-7001
East Greenville, PA
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