Summer 2009 Magazine of The Gator Nation* www.ufalumnimagazines.com/florida
4 the Future
A century after its founding,
Florida 4-H isn't just for J
ag kids anymore.
We're New J
and Improved r
lorida, the tabloid, is no and mail that many magazines. By
more. The magazine you're changing Florida's size and tweaking a
reading replaces it. Same couple other things, UF is saving what
name, same university, amounts to two dozen or so scholar
same content ... new look. ships for low-income students -or
It's our attempt to be better stewards dollars that could be used to hire a pro
of the environment and gentler to UF's fessor, conduct research or support a
bank account. community ser
he new Florida "We hope you like the new vice project.
is far kinder to (and, we think, improved) these are
Mother Nature tough times.
than the tabloid Florida. We invite your UF's budget is
was. Fewer trees feedback- good or bad." bruised thanks to
less energy is consumed to manufac
ture it; less pollution billows into our
skies and trickles into our streams. In
other words, Florida's carbon footprint
goes from Shaquille O'Neal-size sneak
ers to baby booties.
Then there are dollars saved. Florida
is sent to roughly 280,000 homes
and businesses throughout The Gator
Nation. It takes a lot of cash to print
a weak economy.
Our planet's health is wobbling. Under
these circumstances, cutting Florida's
expenses and being more considerate
of the environment seem like the right
things to do.
We hope you like the new (and, we
think, improved) Florida. We invite
your feedback -good or bad.
David Finnerty, Managing Editor
The magazine may have a new look, but one thing hasn't changed our desire to
hear from you when we goof. Especially since so many of you seem to take pleasure
in letting us know. If you find an error in Florida, send it to us at Florida@uff.ufl.edu
or P.O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604-2425.
Liesl O'Dell (BS '92)
Meredith Cochie (BSJ '06, MAMC '08)
Nicole Seigel (2PR)
Jillian Kremer (2JM)
April Frawley-Birdwell (BSJ '02)
Alisson Clark (BSJ '98)
Pat Dooley (BSJ '76)
UF Foundation Publications Department
Florida is published three times a year and sent
free to all alumni, parents and friends of the
University of Florida. Opinions expressed in
Florida do 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.
Please e-mail your address changes or
corrections to Bioliaison@uff.ufl.edu.
UF Alumni Association
P.O. Box 14425
Gainesville, FL 32604-2425
Copyright @ 2009
On the Cover
One hundred years after 4-H clubs got their start
in Florida, the program has stayed relevant by
expanding beyond its agricultural roots to offer a
variety of science, math and technology training.
Learn more on page 14. Illustration by Lindsey Cull
S UNIVERSITY of
The Foundation for The Gator Nation
2 I www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
Summer 2009 1 Magazine of The Gator Nation
14 4 the Future
A century after its founding, Florida 4-H
isn't just for ag kids anymore.
20 First Class
Thanks to the Florida Opportunity Scholars program,
seven UF students have become the first in their families
to attend and graduate from college.
8 Chat Room
String Theory: Evan Kassof combined his interests
in a most unusual way.
10 Simply Said
Hear the latest about UF people and developments.
11 Gator Aid
An Old-School Art Project: UF volunteers use paint
and imagination to brighten a Gainesville school.
12 Stadium Road
Son Shine: Father and son adjust to new roles
on UF's golf team.
13 Playing Field
Flex your brain cells with these mind games that actually
improve your memory, according to a UF study.
24 I'm a Gator
"0" My!: Teran and Teman Evans' wooden jewelry line
takes off thanks to the first lady of talk shows.
27 Hitting the Bricks
Guess that Growl: Can you recall when these
comedians took center stage?
28 My Old School
Join other alumni on this walk down memory lane.
30 Back in Time
Special Delivery: See one of the most
unusual archives items yet.
How much do you know about Gator Growl? Test yourself on page 27.
In Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series, senior Ali Gardiner shows off the ball she hit over the left field fence for a grand slam in the bottom
of the seventh against Alabama. Those four runs advanced the Gators to the championship match against Washington on June 1. Although the Gators lost to
Washington, they ended their season with an astounding 63-5 record better than any other college team in the country. The team set 39 separate records
4 1 www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
along the way, which included a season .323 batting average, a .543 slugging percentage and .423 on-base percentage. Three Gators recorded eight single-season
records, including runs (69 by sophomore Aja Paculba), home runs (18 by junior Francesca Enea) and slugging percentage (.713 by sophomore Kelsey Bruder).
The senior class set another 17 individual career records in their four years.
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida I 5
In the wake of the world's swine flu outbreak which included more than 5,700 U.S. cases including one UF student UF administrators issued precau-
tionary tips and hand sanitizer for those attending commencement ceremonies in May. The UF student, who was not on campus at the time, experienced
6 I www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
only mild symptoms and has fully recovered. Meanwhile, as family and friends cheered in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center stands, commencement cere-
monies continued as usual for more than 6,566 graduates.
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida | 7
UF student Evan Kassof combines his two passions physics and music into one
A double major in phys
ics and music composition,
Evan Kassof, 20, brought
a winning combination to
the national Celebration of
Undergraduate Creativity in
the Arts and Sciences at UF in
January. He won $1,200 for
his "Physics Suite," in which
six cellos capture his joy and
befuddlement over quantum
mechanics and Einstein's
Theory of Relativity.
How did you come to combine
physics and the cello?
I was a musician before I
decided I wanted to be a
physicist. One day when I
was first learning cello, I was
watching TV and I happened
to see someone playing cello,
so of course I had to watch
it. They were talking about
quarks, these one-dimen
sional strings that vibrate in
11 different directions, and
they were explaining it with
cello notes. It totally changed
my world, as cheesy as it
sounds. I had wanted to be an
engineer, but then I knew I
had to do physics.
How did you even begin to
capture physics in music?
The first movement is my
homage to the elegance of
general relativity. General
relativity is the most beau
Evan Kassof says the arts are what stoke his fire and passion for life. He calls
the cello the "most beautiful instrument in the world."
tiful thing in the world: It
says that gravity doesn't
exist, that why we stick to
the Earth, why we orbit, is
because space curves and
time curves. The idea that
there's no big force sticking
its hand out and holding us
to the Earth, that we're kind
of riding -rolling down the
hill of the universe, if you
will -just captivates me.
Why did you choose
quantum mechanics for
the second movement?
In one of the quantum
mechanics textbooks, the
author says that if you really
think you understand what's
going on, you're wrong. I
took that idea and ran with it.
The second movement is
a person experiencing what
it's like to learn quantum
mechanics, which is really
weird and very confusing.
The first cello, the person
who's trying to learn, plays
a tonal, romantic melody set
against completely atonal
parts from the other five cel
los. In the beginning, it's
very vague, very dissonant.
Then as he comes to grips
with it, the guy gets more
excited, and the melody gets
louder, brighter, more rich.
You're planning a career
in physics. Why add a
second demanding major
This is actually one of my
better semesters. I'm only
taking 18 credits. Double
majoring is tough. [With]
composition, I have to be in a
performance ensemble, plus
I have modern physics, linear
algebra, music theory, com-
position, piano, orchestra,
chamber music, music his
tory ... I'm busy all the time.
But I'm doing it so I'llbe a
better musician when I can't
take classes ever again. This
is the only time I'll ever get to
study music. I have the rest of
my life to study physics.
Were you ever tempted to play
something more portable?
No, never. It's worth the has
sle. Cello is the most beauti
ful instrument in the world.
There's something about the
tone ... so rich and honest.
Playing violin eight octaves
over middle C? There's noth
ing authentic about that.
If you hadn't taken music
in school, how would your life
I can't even think about it.
Without the arts, you lose so
much fire and passion.
Alisson Clark (BSJ '98)
8 I www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
PLUG INTO THE GATOR NATION.
Visit us online to keep up-to-date on all things Orange and Blue.
www. UFAlumni Magazines.com/ Florida
JOIN THE CONVERSATION.
Share your news, memories and photos. We want your pictures with famous people,
celebrities, sports icons or, hey, even legenday.Ctors. Log on and click "submit."
DISCOVER THE EXTRAS.
If we don't do something,
we're going to be faced with a
second-tier university system.
State Rep. Will Weatherford to The Tampa Tribune, addressing
the Florida University System's budget shortfall and the resulting
departure of top faculty.
"How you respond to adversity
at the end of the day defines
who you are.
Pamela Bingham (BSISE'92), pictured in 1986, UF's first and only black
female Student Government president, speaking in February about her
1986 election and the death threats she received.
" ". You would like to say that
i l people learn from their mistakes,
but that's not the case.
Distinguished professor of anthropology Mike Moseley, comparing
modern building trends in environmentally vulnerable areas to those
of Peru's ancient Supe Valley. A series of environmental disasters
wiped out the Supe 3,600 years ago.
It's a big deal.
UF herbarium researcher Paul Martin Brown, explaining
the significance of finding a rare native orchid, Cyclopogon
elatus, in a preserve near Naples.
B O = BIOTECH NOLOG Y bi-o-tech-nol.o-gy: n.
Any technology that involves biology, particularly in agriculture, food
science and medicine. Biotechnology research examples at UF include
developing the flat-iron steak and studying how the human body
may be able to regenerate diseased limbs and organs.
Electrifying UF engineers
are studying how electrical stim-
ulation may be combined with
computer technology to help people
regain more lifelike control of para-
lyzed limbs. For a stroke sufferer, for
instance, a wearable, pacemaker-
sized device could help the patient
walk more normally.
$30 million Estimated whole-
sale value of Florida's avocado crop,
making the industry the nation's sec-
$27 million Predicted eco-
nomic impact if a new disease that
kills avocado trees, laurel wilt dis-
ease, reaches South Florida. UF
researchers are scrambling to find a
way to contain the disease and the
beetle that helps spread it.
Offering Comfort: it's
rare for a terminally ill child to
receive hospice care in the last year
of her life insurance requirements
often deter parents from seek-
ing care. In response, UF launched
a pilot program, "Partners in Care:
Together for Kids," which makes
hospice care available as soon as
a child is diagnosed with a life-
10 I www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
Volunteer students from almost 60 UF student groups participated in Project Makeover: Williams Elementary edition. Volunteers planted trees, created an
outdoor classroom and painted murals during the weekend project.
An Old-School Art Project
UF volunteers use paint and imagination to brighten a Gainesville elementary school.
n a renovation worthy of Ty Pennington, more than
800 UF students took a Gainesville school from drab
to dramatic in a weekend.
Inspired by Pennington's ABC television show,
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Project
Makeover added benches, murals, landscaping and play areas
to Williams Elementary.
Plain white walls and floors made Williams look "more
like a hospital than a school," says Samantha Reho (4JM),
vice president of the Student Alumni Association, which
coordinated the effort. Volunteers planted trees, created
an outdoor classroom and painted hallway murals ranging
from the lifecycle of a butterfly to wall-sized postcards from
around the world.
Sandy Davis' second-grade class loved the hall that included
a portrait and quote from each American president.
"They were just enthralled," Davis says. "It's wonderful
for them to know that someone appreciated them enough to
come and do this."
SAA member Nawal Fakhoury (4JM) says the volunteers
up by more than 300 over last year's event at Rawlings
Elementary -represented nearly 60 campus groups,
including Greek organizations, service organizations, cul
tural and major-based groups.
While the work took just three days, Project Makeover
directors met with Principal Kathy Dixon (BAE '72) and her
staff months ahead to choose projects. Dixon says the results
surpassed everyone's expectations.
"The kids have been picking up litter out of the flower beds
because they feel so proud of how the school looks," she says.
"For the teachers, it's really uplifting to see young people
contributing to the community."
Fakhoury and Reho say the experience was just as uplift
ing for the volunteers.
"As college students, it's important to step outside of cam
pus and see what we can do to help," Fakhoury says. "In
four or five years, we may have left UF, but the people and
the facilities we help will be here long after most of us have
Alisson Clark (BSJ '98)
See More Project Makeover photos at
Senior Tyson Alexander says his decision to play for UF on his father's golf team wasn't hard. "I knew what I was getting
[in] a coach and how the program was run," he says.
Most fathers and sons play golf together for fun. For the Alexanders, it's a way of life.
t's a testament to their relationship -and to the
experience of the father -that it hasn't happened
more. But it has happened on occasion.
"It's very unusual," says Buddy Alexander,
"He'll jump on me pretty good," says Tyson Alexander,
What has happened rarely is that Tyson talks to Buddy as
a son would to a father. That's fine at home, but on the golf
course it's a different environment. There, Buddy is the coach
and Tyson just one of the golfers who plays for the Gators.
For the most part, the situation has worked out beautifully.
Tyson, who just finished his junior season as a top five player
on the team, has shown steady improvement.
"When [Dad] was recruiting me, he did a good job of not
putting pressure on me," Tyson says. "He let me test the
waters. I've never second-guessed my decision. He's doing
a great job. We have a great relationship. On the golf course,
it's player-coach. We know how to flip the switch."
Most of the time.
"There was one time in particular," Buddy says. "But those
are rare moments. He's a pretty cool kid."
For Tyson, one of the deciding factors was that there
would be no surprises from UF's head golf coach.
"I knew what I was getting as a coach and how the pro
gram was run," he says.
The most difficult part was the first season when Tyson
was always "on the .."i 1.. and was iffy for a spot at the next
event. Dad wanted him to make it, but coach had to be fair.
"It was tough," Buddy says. "From a father's standpoint,
it was tough to leave him home. But it never entered my mind
to let him play if he didn't qualify."
That hasn't been an issue the last two years as Tyson's play
has improved, making him one of the top five players (in golf,
the top four scores are counted each day of an event.)
For the coach, that evens out his worry among five players.
"I've been doing it so long," Buddy says. "I used to get a
kick watching how emotional parents got in junior golf when
their kid messed up. When he's playing for me, I'm pulling
for him hard, but I'm pulling for everyone on our team.
"It doesn't mean I don't enjoy it a little more when he
Spoken like a true father.
-Pat Dooley (BSJ '76)
12 1 www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
A UF study determined that having
confidence in your memory actually
improves your memory. To that end,
psychology researchers recommend
keeping your mind sharp by playing
games such as crossword puzzles,
word games and number puzzles.
We're here to help sharpen your
pencil and come play.
Every UF president has left an
impression on the university -
and some have been quirkier than
others. Can you match the president
to an item he is known for?
D5 Vt7 9E 3Z oL :sa3MSNV 3VyV9) HDiVJAJ
As 92T 1
he white sheets of paper are spread like treasure maps on the floor, with strips
of black electrical tape marking circular paths and straight routes. A cluster of
children crowd around as a boy places what looks like a yellow brick sprouting
wires and wheels onto one of the tape marked paths. Then, with a slight jerk,
the brick lunges.
"I wasn't actually sure what I was doing when I started using them," remembers Nicolas
Green, who teaches kids how to operate the bricks -actually kid-friendly robots -during a
4-H camp each summer. "I could make it go forward, bump into something. It would dance
around. Well, I call it dancing. It was more just erratic movement."
The camp at which he teaches -think of it as an intro to robotics started in Walton County
after Green, a self declared computer whiz, noticed the yellow bricks perched on a table at his
county 4-H office. The agent let him take them home. Soon he had mastered them, program
ming the robots to crawl in circles and "dance."
Robots, computers, teaching kids -none of it was what Green expected when his mom
signed him up for a weeklong stay at 4-H's Camp Timpoochee two years ago. His thoughts
about 4-H camp then? Boring.
"I thought what everyone thinks," Green says. "I thought 4 H was just about agriculture
He's not alone. The sentiment is so common that the i i. I'. ii "We're more than cows
and cooking" has become a defacto slogan for 4-H, which celebrates i1 I'" 'th anniversary in
Florida this year.
MerHnd n elii
S Flria' 4- 00ub
Housed in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, Florida 4-H got its start giving kids hands-on
experiences that would help them in the fields or at home.
Now, 4-H finds itself keeping up with the iPod generation
with clubs focused on robotics, geographic information sys
teams and healthy lifestyles. But as much as Florida 4-H has
evolved in new directions, it 1i ,. .' sold out its agricultural
roots or its key mission to teach kids to be ] p..i ii 1.1.- and to
learn by doing. They're just learning in different ways.
"Kids' interests have forced us to move in a lot of different
directions," says i! 1 N..1 .i a UF associate professor
and dean of Fl. i I 4-H.
So how do they serve kids interested in cows and kids
interested in computers? The answer is pretty simple: 4-H
can be whatever a kid wants it to be depending on what
interests him or her, says Norman, paging through a dense
book filled with projects 4-Hers can take on. Public speaking
is the most popular, but in 4-H parlance, agriculture is the
alpha and technology the omega.
"We haven't forgotten our agricultural roots," Norman
says. "We know that is what people perceive us as. But if we
are i..I i .i'i1u in the fields of Florida, we are also in the cities."
Nicolas Green hopes to transfer the computer knowledge he's gained in 4-H
into a career in computer security.
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Having raised four steers so far including Ziggy last year Tiffany Banner is trying to decide what kind of agricultural career she'd like to pursue.
16 1 www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
THE COWGIRL WAY
Tiffany Banner steps out the side door, the autumn grass
crunching underfoot as she strides toward the pen where her
steer Ziggy stands. The November air is crisp, and
Banner keeps her hands tucked in her pock
ets until she reaches the small barn, which
houses chickens, hulking rabbits called
Flemish giants and pens for Ziggy and two
goats her little sisters are raising. She flips
a switch, flooding the yard with light, but Ziggy,
a black fat steer, is chewing an itch on his side and doesn't
seem to notice.
Ziggy is the fourth steer Banner, a student at UF's P.K.
Yonge Developmental Research School, has raised for 4-H.
The first was Bode, then came Bubba and last year there
was Texas, named for the brown likeness of the state on
"It was really intimidating for me at first," says Banner,
who got her first steer when she was 13. "I had a 700-pound
animal, and I was 110 pounds."
Watching as her sisters Victoria and Savannah climb into
the pen with their goats, Squeakers and Pumba, Banner
I ..i i I ..., raising a steer. There's the obvious -feed
ing and cleaning and the not-so- .1 i'....i -fur clipping
and negotiations with buyers, sellers and supporters during
the ri.ii il ..i i' ... . of preparing to show a steer at the
S'i....- fair, the final destination for many 4-H projects.
"I used to be scared to
death to talk to people," she
says. "My mother dragged
me in there and made me
talk to people."
Ronda Banner, Tiffany's
mother, is her 4 H club
leader. A 4 H state pres
ident when she was a
teenager, Ronda Banner
grew up next door to where
her family lives now, and
her parents were her 4 H
leaders, too. She worked on
sewing and leadership proj
.- *ects when she was in 4 H,
but she thinks raising ani
mals has helped teach her
daughters to be responsible.
"It's amazing what kids
can do. The little one will go
in there and bake cookies by
herself," she says.
Aside from daily care,
hours teaching each steer to
walk with a halter and mar
k. Ii her steer for sale,
GC.. i, !, learned to manage
money. In past years, she
made enoti !: ..iii sellingg
her steer to buy the next one
and tuck a few thousand in
her car and college funds.
Teaching kids how to raise and market animals has long been a staple of the 4-H program. These days it's just one
S option among hundreds of projects 4-Hers can take on.
One of the highlights of each summer is the 4-H Congress, which brings 4-Hers to Gainesville to take part in workshops and educational programs. Last year's
offerings included an opportunity to make biodiesel from used vegetable oil.
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18 1 www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
BLINDING THEM WITH SCIENCE (HOPEFULLY)
After two years in 4-H as a member of Walton County's
teen council, Green has figured out what he wants do with
his life -computer security. It started with the robots. He'd
always liked messing around with computers, but until he
learned to program the Lego Mindstorm robots, most time he
spent on a computer wasn't exactly constructive. Now, he's
the go-to kid for solving technical trouble at the 4-H office.
Inspiring kids to choose careers in science, engineering
and technology is one of 4-H's major national movements.
Green, who leads the 4-H tech club in his county, thinks
teaching other kids how to program robots helps i' i i 1
that exposure to the scientific side of 4-H. His own club
works on a variety of technological projects ii. i i i si cod
ing, Web design, alternative energy i I ... k. I iy.
"I j,,i i. iii I .. ..i. I. would drop the preconceived notions
that 4-H is all agriculture and realize there is a technology side
to it, too," Green says.
To nurse these budding interests in science and tech
nology, UF's Department of Agricultural and Biological
Engineering holds a. i!i.. !.. 4-H kids each summer this
summer's focus is on sustainable energy. Arthur Teixeira, the
UF professor organizing the camp, hopes to develop the pro
gram into a curriculum that can be taught to all 4-Hers.
"Too many of our youngsters seem to develop no or lit
tle interest in pursuing studies in these directions," Teixeira
says. "Where will our scientists come from? We're already
importing them from China, India and Latin America,
because of this dearth of interest in our youth. That is a very
valuable mission that 4-H can accomplish."
Green, a Walton High student, doesn't mention increased
exposure to technology when asked how 4-H has helped
him. Instead, Green, who has also worked two summers as
a 4-H camp counselor and worked to raise money for brain
cancer victims, lists the same qualities as Banner when asked
the same question: confidence and responsibility.
"4-H has given me all these opportunities to take charge
and learn responsibility and to handle myself," he says.
"I thought it would be a boring day camp and now I have
friends all over the state. I even have friends in Hawaii."
Learn more about Florida 4-H at www I .. ., -i rg. To sup-
port 4 Hprograms, contact Jake Logan at 352-392-5427 or
, . ,1 fill .in
14F 1 4
,L i s
k i "
ing up that she
wanted to go
to college. She
made sure she
placement classes. She was elected class
president her junior and senior years. And
by the time she graduated third in her class
at Carol City Senior High in Miami Gardens,
she had earned 24 hours of college credit.
In fall 2006 Davis matriculated at UF as a
This could be the story of thousands
of other students at UF except for a few
important differences. Davis was sin
gle minded in her determination to go
to college not because that was the norm
among the people she knew, or because her
family necessarily encouraged her to do so.
She was determined because she was des
operate to get out of her household where she
endured raging arguments about the fami
ly's sinking finances.
"Things had gotten bad between my mom
and dad," Davis explains. "Academics was
my way out. It was my escape, and it was the
only way to make me happy."
Because she was the first generation of
her family to go to college and her family's
income was less than $40,000, Davis qual
ified as one of the first participants in the
Florida Opportunity Scholars program. In
May, she and six others became the first class
of Florida Opportunity Scholars to graduate.
UF President Bernie Machen started the
program in 2006 as a way to draw students
such as Davis to UF -students who are
academically talented but generally don't
bother to apply to the university because
their families can't afford it.
w Spring 2009 represents
the first class of Florida
Opportunity Scholars graduates,
but there has already been a
solo graduate: Chris Cruz (BA
'08), who now works for Royal
Bank of Canada International
Wealth Management in Miami.
w Football coach Urban
Meyer and basketball coach
Billy Donovan are spearheading
a $50 million challenge to help
finance the Florida Opportunity
Gangs invaded Marquitta Davis' Miami Gardens neighborhood when she was in high school. She hopes to use her new criminal justice degree to work with
young people "to keep them out of trouble and out of the system."
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida | 21
Jean Rodriguez had a rough transition to Gainesville at times he missed Spanish-speaking Miami, but didn't have a reliable car that allowed him to visit.
Now, however, he hopes to pursue graduate work in Arab studies.
"The Florida Opportunity Scholarship is the University of
Florida's effort to realize the goal of opening this public sys
tem, not just to the traditional group, but to families and
young people who never dreamed they could have it within
reach," Machen says.
The program awards ... She's work
about $5,000 per student *
per year, which they can m e to get an f
use for living expenses.
Jean Rodriguez, from
Westchester in Miami
Dade County, is a first-generation American whose parents
emigrated from Nicaragua. His father works in a restaurant
and his mother worked at a pharmacy until she was laid off
because of the economic downturn.
Rodriguez's family was poor growing up, and his mother
and father split when he was young. But his mother "always
looked out for my grades, and she's always looked out for my
success ... She's worked hard to allow me to get an education."
Rodriguez says his academic potential came to the fore in
high school and he transferred to a dual enrollment program
where he picked up college credit while earning his high
school diploma. Most of his peers who continued on to higher
education attended community college in the Miami area.
With the help of the Florida Opportunity Scholars program,
Rodriguez headed for UF.
hard to allow .He I. i i.. his best
day at UF as his visit to
ucation.) the International Center
in the Hub when he
Jean Rodriguez .1. l.:i li his mother's
dedication to his attendance at UF learned he would not
have to take out a loan
to participate in a six-week study-abroad course in Fez,
Morocco. Study abroad costs were covered for the first two
Florida Opportunity Scholar classes only.
The study-abroad trip had such an impact that he is con
sidering Arab studies for graduate work. "You learn so much
about yourself and you grow so much as a person" during a
trip abroad, he says.
Another Florida Opportunity Scholar, Taly Cruz, attended
Carol City Senior High with one of her best friends, Marquitta
Davis. The two have competed academically since mid
22 I www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
13v I ~l
die school, and Cruz finished second in her
class, one slot above Davis.
Cruz is a first-generation native born
American. Her mother is from Cuba and
her father from the Dominican Republic.
Her mother worked long hours in a fac
tory sewing job to support Cruz and her
^1h two sisters, one of whom is now
I, Illh. li, i ii ,, I I ,,,,,I
her desire to earn a college degree. "They
really stressed that you have opportuni
ties here and take advantage of them," she
says. "I just figured I want to be somebody;
I want to do something and the way to do
that is education."
The Florida Opportunity Scholars program
lets her graduate from UF without a heavy
I,,, , I , I, I [I l l, , I 1 i ,,l I . l
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wr The Florida Opportunity
Scholars program offers
financial assistance to
students from economically
Taly Cruz enjoyed the support of her whole family when she came to college they pressed her to take advantage of every opportunity. She now has a sister
following in her footsteps at UF.
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida 1 23
Back when they were contestants on HGTV's "Design Star", Teman (BDES '01) and Teran Evans (BDES '01) attended the show's
premiere in New York.
Wooden jewelry? Teran and Teman Evans' venture seemed far-fetched until the first lady
of talk shows took notice.
were driving through New York City on Nov. 1, accident -though it has brought more attention to the
2005, when their mother called and instructed Evanses' fashion accessory company, Dioscuri. After Winfrey
them to get home right away. This was an emer featured a silk scarf by the Evanses in an issue of O, The
agency. Oprah Winfrey, she told them, was Oprah Magazine, they sent her a cuff bracelet as thanks.
wearing one of their Seems it caught her eye.
bracelets on her show. O nce you've landed O prah, it's In the September 2005
"I thought she was hal issue of 0, the entire col
lucinating," Teman recalls. like clim bing M ount Everest. election of cuffs called
After all, Winfrey could Teman Evans Fruit Salad for its bold fin
wear any piece of jewelry ishes like cherry, lime,
she wanted, and there are a lot of bracelets in the world. But a plum and lemon -was featured on the "O List" of Winfrey's
mother knows when her kids' work shows up on the "Oprah favorite things. That, says Teman, was more than he and his
Winfrey Show." When the twins got home, they switched brother could have expected. Then, of course, she went and
on the TV. There was Winfrey interviewing Jay Leno -and wore that cuff on national TV.
sure enough, the queen of talk shows was sporting a lime cuff The success of the hand-carved cuffs and bangles, which are
bracelet from the Evanses' Spring/Summer 2006 jewelry line. made from Thai tropical mango wood, was a bit of a surprise,
24 1 www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
especially considering that everyone
told them not to do it.
"Everyone said, 'There's no value for
wood in the market. You'll lose your
shirt,'" recalls Teman.
But they took the risk and the col
election debuted around the
time the wooden ban
gle trend took hold.
In addition to
Winfrey and her
pal Gayle King,
have been seen
on the famous
wrists of fashion
models Kim Stewari
Teman says the
a pleasant surprise, and really, he feels
like they've hit the top.
"Once you've landed Oprah, it's
like climbing Mount Everest," he says.
"Who else is there at that point?"
These days the twins have moved
beyond just bangles. They are consul
tants, offering their architecture skills to
various New York City offices and
their brand management skills to
other growing companies like
But bangles remain their
bread and butter -and
their first love. Their lat
est collection includes bright,
fruity-colored bracelets and
necklaces with geometric shapes
.riven by our love of form and
architecture," the twins say.
Off the Cuff
* Now in New York, identical twins
Teran and Teman Evans are originally
from Gainesville. They graduated
from Eastside High in 1997 before
* They design jewelry, but the Evanses
have degrees in architecture from the
Harvard School of Design. "The two
aren't so far removed," Teran says. "It's
just an issue of scale."
* The twins were working for Rem
Koolhas, a world-renowned Dutch
architect, when they launched
Dioscuri in 2005.
* Dioscuri (dee-oscar-ree) are the
equestrian twins of Greek mythology,
Castor and Pollux.
* The Evanses' first line of jewelry
included cuff and bangle bracelets for
women and money clips and cuff links
* The twins competed in season one of
HGTV's reality series, "Design Star," to
help promote their design talent. Teman
was ousted in the third episode; Teran
followed in the fourth episode.
* The twins walk the streets of New
York City looking for inspiration. Both
work on the designs.
* Teran's specialty is seeking out the
materials, colors and graphics to make
the designs work.
* Teman is in charge of giving new pieces
life through a name and marketing.
* Teran on Teman: "I wouldn't have cho-
sen anybody else [as a partner]."
* Teman on Teran: "I trust him implicitly."
* Brothers will be brothers. "Just
because I trust him implicitly
doesn't mean there aren't arguments,"
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida 1 25
AlU n I r Assl ciationr
Gator Nation Tailgates
Coming to a football game in Gainesville this fall? Check out the UF Alumni
Association's Gator Nation Tailgates at Emerson Alumni Hall.
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Hitting the Bricks
How much do you know
about the world's largest stu
dent-run pep rally? Can you
recall what year these comedi
ans took center stage?
(1) Robin Williams, (2) Jim
Gaffigan, (3) Bob Hope, (4)Jeff
Foxworthy and (5) Jon Reep are
just five of the many famous
acts from the past 85 years.
started as "Dad's Day" in 1907.
It wasn't until 1924 that the Blue
Key organization was started to
help plan the official homecom
ing scheduled for Thanksgiving
day. The event included a
parade, alumni luncheon and
concert before the UF football
game against Drake University.
The following year, organizers
moved the event to Saturday so
a pep rally -later dubbed Gator
Growl -could be planned for
the Friday before the game.
This year, the 86th annual
Gator Growl -themed
"Legends of the Swamp" -is
scheduled for Oct. 16 in Ben Hill
For ticket or event information,
800oo 900o t 866L'E 8g6i Z E8g6 ONV 6L6 '9gL6 'L :sa3MSNV
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida | 27
My Old School
Back in the Day...
I arrived in the fall of 1946 as a
17-year-old freshman from a Miami
parochial high school, graduating class
of six boys and 12 girls.
The U of F was inundated with stu
dents, some who were only a few years
older, but also guys who had flown 30
missions over Germany, been Marines
or combat riflemen,
artillerymen or sailors He
on surface ships or sub
marines. It was a heady find
mixture of maturity, fri
volity and academia. right
Some of us were
mischievous kids. Two very memo
rable pranks are still vivid. Before we
became a coed institution, our morals
were guarded by night watchmen (this
was way before university police),
and they made sure the dorms were
not defiled by women (particularly at
night). Several of us got together and
dressed one of the smaller guys as a
28 I www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
girl (lipstick, wig, etc.), passed briskly
by the watchman with our "friend"
and bid the watchman good evening.
We hit the stairs at a run -everyone
jumped in bed and pulled up the cov
ers and pretended to be asleep when
he came through the rooms. Of course
he didn't find a woman. The next day
acknowledged that he
'her,' but that she 'was
t pretty little thing.'
we asked him about it (he hadn't
really gotten a good look at us) and
he acknowledged that he didn't find
"her," but that she "was a right pretty
I had some good friends who were
in forestry or forest entomology. They
spent a great deal of time in places like
the Austin Cary Forest; sometimes they
would keep small alligators on their
balconies or even a large nonvenom
ous snake (usually a bull snake or an
Indigo snake). In those days, neither
the snakes nor alligators were endan
gered -they were plentiful and were
returned to the wild.
One of these guys knew his roommate
would come back from
bunk, so he put a large
s a snake in the pillow and
waited in an adjoining
room. When his room
mate yelled, they came
back in and found him perched on a
dresser with a broom while the snake
(coiled) was in the middle of the floor.
I miss these guys -many are gone,
but those who are left still (occasionally)
get to say !. ii., il.. i when," and the
laughter and the joy comes alive.
Denis Riordan (BSBA '50), Bell
It was just another night at the Rat.
My buddy Mike and I had just closed
it down and were looking for a little
mischief. So we strolled by Century
Tower and noticed some sort of
construction going on in it. Pushing
our way through the chain-link fence,
we found the door at the bottom
unlocked. Curiosity reigned as we went
inside. There, we were confronted by
a series of stairs to the top -so why
not? As we reached the third landing,
we noticed a small room filled with
mathematics books written in German.
We reached the top, where the carillon
bells sound. Wow, what a sight! Hardly
romantic, though. We were playing
slip n slide on layers and layers of
pigeon guano. Ah, what glorious days!
Bruce Robinson (BA '76), Miami
When I saw a picture of Century
Tower's carillon bell in UF Today, it
brought back memories. In my first
few years, there was an automated
speaker system that didn't work very
well, and they finally gave up on it. I
guess funds were raised
to put in a quality bell
carillon worth of the
Century ..,. i
It was i! i
installed . I I oi
happened to run into a buddy, Joe Toph
(BDES '77), during a change of classes
at noon. All different sizes of shiny
bronze bells were sitting on the grass
outside the tower, and the door to the
tower was open. Temptation was beck
oning! Joe and I decided we would
never have another chance to climb the
tower, so we decided to go for it.
We continued to the top and took
in a magnificent view of campus from
a very rare perspective. Campus was
beautiful with all the trees and foliage.
The workers also must have thought
that the view was spectacular because
they had left two 35mm cameras hang
ing on their straps from the framework
the bells were being attached to.
We took in the view for about 10
minutes and figured we had pushed
our stay to the limit and started back
down the stairs. Halfway down the
stairs, we ran into some of the workers
coming up returning from their lunch
break. They were talking and laughing
on the way up until they ran into us,
and I'm sure
they thought about the cameras and
other things they had left up at the top
and were worried. We told them it was
a great view and kept on going down
before we could be stopped and repri
manded. I'm sure they were relieved to
find everything as they left it.
The only thing we took was the
memory, and what a fine memory.
Randy Hedrick (BS '79),
Remembrances as a student include
the small, very friendly student body,
the glee club at $50 annually (a lot
of money in those days), the concerts
around Florida and even New York, and
the declaration of war on Dec. 7,1941,
and the enormous response of student
enlistments in supporting the U.S.
Arthur Zupko (BSP '42),
North Fort Meyers
I continue, after 57 years, to recall
the most rewarding years of life as a
vet student in Flavet I where the Reitz
building is now located. A chicken had
to last a whole week, and on the last
day was chicken soup. A six pack on
the last day of the month, before the
Si [. Bill checks came in, was shared
I.- two other apartments in the vil
i ge. Football by the Gators was always
Wait 'til next year," and now I find
myself in philanthropy, which is nice
particularly for the benefit of oth
ers in need. I continue to give
thanks every day that I am mind
ful of the needs of others, but
Mainly because I recall the happy
times as a student with only the
desire for education.
Bob Mills (BSBA '50),
Florida@uff.ufl.edu or at Florida magazine,
P.O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604-2425.
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida | 29
Back in Time
The story goes that this inedible UF mess hall biscuit was
so hard, student Albert McIntosh ('13-'14) of Brooksville
mailed the pastry to his friend, Sallie Burwell at Shorter
College in Rome, Ga., as a ...... i.i in 1913.
Although the biscuit does have a faded 1-cent stamp on it,
it lacks any postal markings, which means it probably didn't
go through the mail, says UF Archivist Carl Van Ness.
"It's a typical college prank," he explains.
The biscuit remains intact, complete with "Handle with
Care" penned along its circumference. Burwell kept it, allow
ing McIntosh to borrow it in 1958 shortly before Burwell died.
McIntosh's wife donated it to UF in 1983.
Today the biscuit resides in a little box within the UF
Archives' Artifacts Collection. It is on display once or twice
Jillian Kremer (2JM)
Want to see what's written on the other side? Visit www 1 11, i.
Si I.. .i lufdc and search "biscuit."
30 I www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida
Cancer Survivors Aid Search for Cure
start UF's cancer program with a $5 million
donation. Now they've strengthened their commit
ment in the fight against cancer with an additional
$21 million for the UF Shands Cancer Center.
The Jacksonville couple gave $20 million to the College of
Medicine -the largest single gift ever to the college -to
create the Jerry W. and Judith S. Davis Cancer Endowment
to support teaching, research and programs, with spe
cial emphasis on research in lymphoma, breast cancer, bone
marrow and gastrointestinal cancer. Shands HealthCare
received $1 million for its Raising Hope Campaign to sup
port construction of the $388 million Shands at UF Cancer
Hospital. The 500,000 square foot hospital will house 192
private inpatient beds and include a critical care center for
emergency and trauma-related services.
Jerry (BSAdv '68) survived several bouts with cancer, and
Judy is a breast cancer survivor. In 1998 they donated $5 million
to UF for cancer research. The gift was matched by the state,
Sand the $10 million endowment was used to recruit world-class
scientists and expand research programs. The outpatient care
component of the UFSCC was named the Jerry W. and Judith S.
S Davis Cancer Pavilion in recognition of their support.
"Jerry and Judy Davis understand that gifts that sup
port university research can really improve people's lives,"
The 500,000-square-foot hospital will house 192 private inpatient beds and
include a critical care center for emergency- and trauma-related services.
President Bernie Machen says. "Their gifts have a real poten
tial to lead to new treatments or cures for other cancer
patients who today have limited options."
To learn more or give a gift to the i .-i I at UF Cancer
Hospital, visit www.shands.org or call 352-265 7237.
UF's Florida Opportunity Scholars program Endowed professorships, such as the Hyatt
is helping students from lower-income house- and Cici Brown Professor of Florida Archaeology
holds realize their dreams of earning UF degrees, currently held by UF associate professor Ken
thanks in part to the leadership of football head Sassaman, are making a difference in UF's ability
coach Urban Meyer and men's basketball head to teach and discover.
coach Billy Donovan.
Campaign progress as of May 31, 2009
Total Goal $1.5 billion
THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Globally, tomorrow may now benefit from a
grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
to UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute to develop
modeling tools for malaria elimination.
How will you change tomorrow?
Visit www.floridatomorrow.ufl.edu or call (352) 392-5472.
www.UFalumnimagazines.com/Florida 1 31
University of Florida Alumni Association
P.O. Box 14425
Gainesville, FL 32604-2425
University of Florida