Respecting remains
 Astronomy's shining star
 Feely follies
 Graduate student teaching...
 Back Cover

Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073863/00002
 Material Information
Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students
Series Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students. Vol. 2. No. 1.
Uniform Title: Excel: news for and about University of Florida graduate students
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida Graduate School
Affiliation: University of Florida -- University of Florida Graduate School
Publisher: University of Florida Graduate School
Publication Date: Spring 2002
Subject: University of Florida.   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073863
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida

Table of Contents
    Respecting remains
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Astronomy's shining star
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Feely follies
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Graduate student teaching awards
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Back Cover
        Page 16
Full Text

News For
Un i v e r s i ty
E X C Graduate

& About
of Florida





Manatee Mustache
page 6



Walsh-Haney says the flag, which survived the assault on the towers to later fly at the 2002
Superbowl and Winter Olympics, inspired the workers sifting through the enormous amounts
of rubble gathered from Ground Zero and brought to the landfill for processing. University of
Florida graduate student Walsh-Haney was one of those workers.
"I learned that I could handle that travesty emotionally; I could handle the pressure,"
Walsh-Haney says. "And I was proud to help the nation.
As members of the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT),
Walsh-Haney and UF anthropology Professors Anthony Falsetti and Michael Warren were
called to New York within hours of the attacks to help identifying victims' remains.




Despite her frequent

exposure to death,

Walsh-Haney is quick

to smile and radiates

enthusiasm for her

chosen field

Walsh-Haney recalls being in a meeting with Falsetti and a Gainesville police officer when
word came that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. As they watched events
unfold, the pair realized their DMORT team would likely be mobilized. Forensic anthro-
pologists are often deployed following a mass fatality as part of the DMORT program,
which is managed by the United States Public Health Service.
That evening, Walsh-Haney was contacted by her DMORT team leader and told
to be ready to leave the next day at 6 a.m. for a two-week minimum stay in New
York. She scrambled to dear her schedule and pull together her gear, which included a
laptop computer, field manual, calipers, camera, film, dental probes and hand lens.
By the next night, Walsh-Haney was sleeping on a cot in a Stewart Air Force Base
airplane hanger in Newburg, New York, with hundreds of Army reservists. The
following evening she settled in at the La Guardia Marriott command center and
awaited orders.
Impatient to use the forensic skills she has learned at UF, Walsh-Haney asked to be
reassigned from administrative duties at the DMORT command center to work in a
scientific capacity. The next day she began grueling, 12-hour shifts at the Fresh Kills
Landfill, sifting through debris from the buildings, searching for remains that could
be cataloged for human testing. She and Warren worked alongside officers from the
New York City and Nassau County police and the New York Port Authority, as well as
federal agents.
Despite her frequent exposure to death, Walsh-Haney is quick to smile and radiates
enthusiasm for her chosen field. As a laboratory technician at UF's C.A. Pound Human
Identification Laboratory she spends her days studying human bones in a nondescript steel
building tucked among the trees and bamboo stands not far from Lake Alice. It is here, and
in the field, that she has learned the craft of forensic anthropology, first from the late William
Maples and now from Falsetti, director of the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine.
On a typical day, Walsh-Haney trains volunteers and graduate students to process crime
scenes and human skeletal remains during the morning and works on her dissertation
research in the afternoon and evening. She is responsible for ensuring that the "chain of
custody" for criminal evidence is not broken, and for preparing samples for Falsetti and
Warren to analyze.
A latecomer to college, Walsh-Haney began her undergraduate studies at age 25. Origi-
nally from Alexandria, Va., and raised in Chicago, Walsh-Haney put school on a back
burner after high school, working in hospitality and restaurant management for Hilton
Hotel. After moving to Florida for her hotel job, she was drawn to the University of Florida
by the work of the late UF anthropologist Marvin Harris.
Harris, who died in 2001, originated the theory of cultural materialism and wrote
numerous non-fiction books and essays. Walsh-Haney says his books, like Cows, Pigs, Wars,
and Witches and Our Kind answered questions of interest to her, such as the definition of
culture, and the origination of humankind, the first human societies and certain food taboos.
She says she experienced an "epiphany" when Maples guest lectured in her biological
anthropology class. Maples was known internationally for his work on criminal and historical
cases, participating in hundreds of high-profile investigations, including the identification of
Czar Nicholas II and his family.
After buying and reading Maples' best-selling book about forensic anthropology, Dead
Men Do Tell Tales, Walsh-Haney says "I knew it was for me." She arranged an interview with


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Astronomy's Shining Star

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Chris Marshall noticed it when he snorkeled with manatees: Even
when he remained still and quiet in murky water, they kept a safe
It was as if the lumbering sea cows had a sixth sense that kept them
posted on his location. Now, Marshall, who did his doctoral research at
the University of Florida, and two UF colleagues think they've discovered
exactly what that sense is.
In a paper in the journal Brain, Behavior andEvolution, the researchers argue
that manatees use small hairs on their body as "tiny antennas" that pick up
information about water currents, nearby landscape and the presence of other
animals. Such an "underwater distance tactile system" is found in fish, which monitor
underwater surroundings through sensory pores set along their bodies in twin lateral
lines. But the results represent the first time such a system has been documented in
mammals, the scientists say.
"In the underwater environment, if you don't have echolocation, and most of the time
you're in a situation where the water is not all that clear, then another option is to use the
tactile sense," said Roger Reep, the paper's lead author and UF associate professor of
physiological sciences affiliated with the UF College ofVeterinary Medicine and UF's
McKnight Brain Institute.
"Fish use their lateral line to detect movement and objects in the environment, and
we're arguing that manatees are doing something similar with tactile hairs.
Although many Florida residents see manatees in Florida's clear springs, they spend
most or their lives in water stained by tannins or clouded with sediment, said Marshall,
now an assistant professor of marine biology at Texas A&M University.
Researchers have long puzzled over how manatees, which have relatively poor vision,
find their way in these conditions, he said. Also puzzling to scientists: manatees' proclivity
for taking advantage of water flow. For example, manatees often swim from an estuary
into a river just as the tide starts coming in, Marshall said. In research beginning in the
early 1990s, the UF scientists focused first on manatees' unusual facial hairs, known as
That research, which has appeared in Marine Mammal Science and other journals,
showed that manatees use the vibrissae both as tools to grasp plants to eat and as sensory
organs. Although only the long hairs near their mouths are used for grasping, the sensory
hairs are distributed all over their faces, which is very unusual for mammals, Reep said.

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Student Pursues Love Of
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Council President Encourages Grad

Students To Be Aware

Jaimee Perez understands that most
graduate students are focused on their
own research and the pursuit of their
degree, but she also thinks it is impor-
tant for them to keep abreast of events
on campus and in Tallahassee that
impact their education.
Perez, who will serve as president of
the Graduate Student Council for
2002-2003, sees the GSC as a vehicle
to inform graduate students about
decision that affect them and to
motivate them to become more actively
involved in their graduate education.
"I'm glad I got involved. It's a great
way to meet other grad students who I
wouldn't have met otherwise," Perez
says, adding that she also enjoys the
opportunity to work with UF adminis-
A third-year clinical and health
psychology doctoral student, Perez
became involved with GSC in 1999,
when her roommate at the time, former
GSC president Natalie Blevins,
encouraged Perez to come to a GSC
"She got me roped in," Perez says.
Perez enjoyed meeting the other
graduate students. In fact, she enjoyed
it so much that she began actively
participating in the GSC, becoming a
graduate liaison to the Graduate
Council and chairing the Graduate
Student Orientation for new graduate
The GSC acts as a voice for graduate
students to express their concerns and
issues to the UF administration and
student government.
"The GSC is not a governing body
per se," Perez says, "but I want it to be a
powerful lobbying force to the student
government and the administration for
grad students."

She points out that UF is very
dedicated to graduate student education
and is motivated and committed to
improving graduate student life in order
to make the university more competi-
tive in recruiting graduate students.
Student Government and the
Graduate School financially support the
GSC, which then funds services such as
the Baby Gator Childcare Program,
Graduate Student Orientation, the
Graduate Research Forum, and the
Travel Grant Program. Perez says one of
the GSC's main functions is to offer
financial support to graduate students
traveling to national and international
As president, Perez says her main
responsibilities are to work with the
secretary and treasurer to develop a
budget and to run the council's
monthly meetings. She also serves as
the primary liaison between the GSC
and the Graduate School.
Perez wants the GSC to be a venue
for all graduate student concerns. She
wants to make the GSC more visible, to
advertise the ways the council assists
graduate students.

"I want to brainstorm more ways to
let graduate students know about the
organization's existence and help them,"
Perez says.
She also hopes to increase the
funding for conference travel grants,
which is currency $150.
She plans to continue working with
the Graduate Assistants Union to lobby
the UF administration for health
insurance benefits for graduate teaching
and research assistants. She also plans to
expand the web-based survey current
GSC president Chuck Seegart piloted
last fall. This survey sought graduate
student opinions on various subjects.
Perez says the response was encouraging
and that it felt good to know they had
reached some graduate students. But
she would like to increase graduate
student response to the next survey.
Perez realizes the difficulties in
expanding graduate student involve-
ment because so many of them have
busy schedules and are focused on
obtaining their degrees. She under-
stands the time constraints many
graduate students face.
She admits, "I feel I get so wrapped
up in my own part of campus, I forget
there's an entire campus out there."
But she stresses the importance of
graduate students being aware of
administration proceedings, especially
in light of the budget cuts the Florida
Legislature has handed down.
She hopes that with a litde encour-
agement, other graduate students will
come out of their caves as well and join
in her efforts to create a more active
and involved graduate student commu-
nity in 2002-2003.



Faculty Recognized With

Doctoral Dissertation/Mentoring Award

The University of Florida Graduate School has recognized five faculty for excellence,
innovation and effectiveness with the inaugural Doctoral Dissertation/Mentoring Award.
The five awardees are Cecil Mercer, Department of Special Education, College of Education;
Jose C. Principe, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering;
Marianne Schmink, Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;
William W. Thatcher, Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture; and James D.
Winefordner, Department of Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Each of the faculty members will receive $2,000, plus an additional $1,000 will to support
graduate students.
A committee of faculty and students chose the five award recipients from
more than 200 eligible faculty across campus. Nominees were required to
have served as a committee chair or co-chair for at least one doctoral or
MFA student who graduated in the last year and at least three who
graduated in the past five years.

"If I had to label my mentoring process, I would refer to it as guiding
the student along a learning path of 'informed discovery"' says special
education Professor Cecil Mercer.
Since becoming a full professor in 1980, Mercer has helped lead more
than 95 Ph.D. students down that path as chair or member of their
doctoral committee.
"Every member of my family has remarked about how lucky I am to
.9) have a met a faculty member of Cecil Mercer's stature who is willing to
....... work with me on my own interests," wrote one doctoral student. "In my
f opinion, his example should be a model for many professionals entering
higher education on how to help graduate students reach their potential.
Mercer has received the College of Education's Teacher of the Year
Award three times and student evaluations consistency rank him among
,.-- the best in his department.

/".....Jose Principe believes that engineering blends science, art and innova-
..........ion to explain the external world and invent new technological realities.
"As a scholar, I immensely enjoy working with graduate students to
communicate these three facets of engineering," says Principe, who has
chaired the committees of 22 doctoral students and 26 master's students
since coming to UF in 1985.
"I was strongly drawn toward working with Dr. Principe because he
offered an immense flow of ideas and comments," wrote one student. "He
was just the right mentor; someone who had more enthusiasm about
.. science and learning than anyone I met, even more than I had."
"My vision of graduate instruction leads to a creation of a constructive
atmosphere to imprint in the student's intellect the methodology of
science, to build the gift of autonomous thinking and eloquence," Principe
says. "The core of my mentoring style is to develop a one-to-one, intense
communication with a student by sharing my enthusiasm, vision and
knowledge in the hope that (s)he will slowly absorb and integrate them in
( his/her cognitive space.

*....A..... X

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Awa rds

Carlos Alfonso
Carlos Alfonso graduated from
University of Florida with a bachel
degree in architecture in 1978 and
master's in architecture in 1986. H
member of UF's Department of
Architecture professional advisory
and he received the Young Archite
Design Award from the College of
Architecture in 1995.
"My two degrees from UF have
helpful in many ways. The archite
program at UF has
S provided me wit
excellent platfo
S from which to
forward the pi
art that is the
profession of
Alfonso says. "1
,c mbination of c
and analytical though
processes fostered by a rigorous un
graduate and graduate curriculum
has allowed me to confidently und
seemingly unrelated tasks such as
helping to revise Florida's Constitu
and serving as a UF trustee.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Alfons
now president and director of Alfo
Architects in Tampa, Fla. The firm
received recognition and awards fr
variety of organizations, including
American Institute of Architects, I
Trend magazine and the Hillsboroi
County Planning Commission. T
was also named small business of t
year in 1999 by the Tampa Chami
Alfonso is CEO of Alliant Parti
real estate development entity whi
currently develops retail properties
throughout the United States. He
director of Alfonso Architects Inte:
and serves as a director of Florida
of Tampa.

o ttcsuUGsu

Marshall Criser
the Having worked
or's e his way through
a school as a *
e is a cafeteria cashier .
and construc- e
board, tion laborer,
cut's Marshall Criser
graduated from
the University of a
been Florida with a I
cture bachelor's degree in business adminis-
tration in 1949 and a law degree in
than 1951. AtUF, he was a leader of student i
rm political parties and president of Sigma
carry Nu fraternity.
public From 1953 to 1984 Criser was an
Attorney and partner in the Palm Beach,
Fla., law firm of Gunster, Yoakley,
SCriser & Stewart, P. A. During his 30-
The year professional career in Palm Beach I
creative he served as president of the Florida
t Bar, was a member of the House of
der- Delegates of the American Bar Associa-
at UF tion, a member of the Board of e
ertake : Governors ofThe Florida Bar and was
attorney for the Palm Beach County
tion Board of Public Instruction. In 1980 he .
was named a Distinguished Alumnus. I
o is From 1984 to 1989, Criser served as *
nso the University of Florida's eighth
has president. Criser considers UF's *
om a advancement in academic excellence to
the : be the greatest achievement of his
lorida presidency. It was during his adminis
ugh tration that UF was invited to join the .
e firm prestigious Association of American
he Universities. *
ber of : Currently, Criser serves on the board
of directors of Flagler System, Inc. and *
ners, a is chairman of Rinker Materials. He b
ch also serves as president of the Alliance o
for World Class Education of Duval
is also : County and is a retired partner of c
riors McGuireWoods LLP, a Jacksonville law
Bank firm.

John Dasburg
John Dasburg, president and CEO of
Burger King, understands the value of a
;ood education, and he attributes much
f his business success to the advanced
education he received at the University
)f Florida.
"I believe the MBA I earned at the
University of Florida was essential to my
advancement in corporate America,"
Dasburg says.
Dasburg, who graduated from the
University of Florida with an engineer-
ng degree in 1966, received a
master's in business
administration in 1970
nd a law degree in
"The link between
in MBA and a
business career is very
direct. I encourage
everyone who is thinking
bout a career in business to
arn an MBA," he says.
Dasburg became president and CEO
)f Northwest Airlines in 1990. Faced
vith the company's bankruptcy in 1993,
Dasburg negotiated $1 billion in
concessions from Northwest employees
nd banks, and then guided Northwest
n a profitable economic course. Under
lis guidance, the airline went from near-
)ankruptcy to a revitalized company.
Before joining Northwest, Dasburg
leld a series of senior positions with the
varriott Corp. including president of
varriott's WorldWide Lodging Group.
Realizing a long-time desire to head up a
najor restaurant company, Dasburg
became chairman, CEO and president
)f Burger King Corp. in 2001.



Software Piracy In

Decline On College


In a lesson for the music and movie
industries, software makers appear to be
winning the war against software piracy
-at least among chronically offending
college students, says a University of
Florida researcher.
Surveys of undergraduates at several
public and private universities reveal the
number of students who admit to using
illegally copied "free" software remains
high but dropped noticeably between
1996-97 and the 2000-01 school year.
Software makers are slowly figuring
out how to make it more attractive for
students to buy their products than to
steal them, says Eric Chiang, a UF
doctoral student in economics and the
lead researcher on the project.
"It's not like the mentality of the
students has changed -their attitudes
remain somewhat defiant," Chiang
said. "Rather, the software industry has
found ways to get students to buy or
use their product through legal
Chiang and Djeto Assane, a
professor of economics at the University
of Nevada at Las Vegas, first began
gathering data on copyright infringe-
ment on college campuses in 1996.
They focused on college students
because, as a group, they tend to be
technologically savvy, have low
disposable incomes and often need
cosdy specialized software for technical
education classes -all of which seem
to add to the appeal of piracy. Chiang
and Assane believed if they could get a
handle on the scale of the problem
among college students, it likely would
represent the worst it gets among the
general population.

in a 1996-97 survey of 148
undergraduates at three public
universities and one private liberal
arts college, the researchers found 53
percent of the students admitted to
pirating software -meaning the true
number likely was considerably
higher, Chiang said. The material
most likely to be pirated was games
and technical software such as design
programs for engineering majors.
Assane said it helped to have
Chiang, then a master's student at
UNLV, involved in the survey
because he was familiar with student
lingo and culture.
"You have to have someone who
can work with students, because they
understand and can talk about the
technical stuff, such as how to
infringe, how to evade the protec-
tions, and how students share this
information among themselves," he
Chiang and Assane followed up
their initial research with a more
extensive survey in 2000-2001 at two
large public universities. In that
survey of about 700 students, the
lumber of students
Suing pirated

to about 40

said, a 25 percent
I Hcline.
Anti-piracy strategies
that seem to have worked for software
makers include "bundling" software
with new computers; offer licenses to
colleges and universities for enrolled
students; and reducing prices, Chiang


Black Tourists Report

Wide Range Of

Racial Discrimination

Leisure travel for college-educated
African Americans is often tainted by
the ordeal of racial discrimination as
more than three out of four black
tourists report biased treatment in sit-
down restaurants, new University of
Florida research finds.
Black tourists perceived racial
discrimination the most when they
stayed in hotels or motels, dined out,
traveled by airplane or private vehicle,
and participated in activities such as
shopping, going to the beach, visiting
amusement parks and attending
predominandy white festivals, said
Cynthia Willming, who did the
research for her doctoral dissertation in
UF's recreation, parks and tourism
"It is disappointing to discover that
when African Americans are traveling
for pleasure, they are faced with the
inescapable realities of racial discrimina-
tion," Willming said. "As we move into
the new millennium, the significance of
race continues to be a very real issue for
African Americans."
The research is based on 131 mail
surveys that were completed last year by a
random-stratified sample of black men and
women who attended UE The respon-
dents' ages ranged between 30 and 75, and
47 percent had a combined family income
of $85,000 or more, she said.
All the study participants were college
graduates and about half had advanced
degrees, said Willming, who became a
professor in the Department of Recre-
ation and Parks Management at Califor-
nia State University in Chico last fall.
The survey broadly defined the term
racial discrimination as any behavior


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11 1 ----

Graduate Programs offer Opportunities

The Graduate School at the University of Florida is experiencing unprecedented growth in
graduate students and unique graduate programs. This growth is necessary to ensure that Florida
remains a major source of highly qualified leaders to serve the needs of industry, agriculture,
business, health, education and government.
The university's 9,000 graduate students take advantage of more than 200 degree programs
taught by talented and dedicated faculty. Students are attracted to the university because of its
world-class research, professional graduate studies, scholarly and creative arts, and the opportunity
to create their own unique educational plan. Programs that combine bachelor's and master's
degrees accelerate the educational process for hundreds of our most-qualified students. Others
take advantage of more than 50 joint degree programs that give students the opportunity to blend
different fields of study, such as business and engineering or nrli.. p..1. ., and law.
,* '! Our students recognize the changing landscape of society and want their education to be
meaningful and portable. While the economy of the 20t century relied on physical commodities
such as steel, oil and chemicals, the currency of the 21 t century will be largely dependent on
human capital. Industries of the future telecommunications, biotechnology, microelectronics
and others yet to be conceived will require the intellectual capital graduate education provides.
The University of Florida will continue to recruit high-quality graduate students interested in
addressing the social, economic, health and political challenges of the future. These students will
demand educational opportunities and the university will be prepared to provide them through
strategic planning and positive action.

Kenneth J. Gerhardt, Ph.D.
Associate Dean

F FLORIDA Organization
U.S. Postage
CE News For & About PAID
University of Florida Gainesville, FL
SEL Graduate Students Permit No. 94

Box 115515
Gainesville, FL 32611-5515

I, I. t j 1 1

Laura cIll
k~~~I~ .~

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