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THE CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIRS
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Florida Tomorrow campaign chairs praise donors for generosity
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Paula Mejia-Velasquez hopes to one day research fossils in Colombia. Photo by Chen Wang
AND ONE WOMAN'S CURIOSITY
Doctoral student's research in paleobotany made possible thanks
to Britt Endowment
lowers and rocks may not be a match made in heaven, but they're the match
that has given Paula Mejia-Velasquez direction. As an undergraduate at the
Universidad de Antiqua in her native Colombia, Mejia-Velasquez discovered
how two opposites could be a perfect fit.
"We had this class where we had fossils, and we were trying to determine how
plants evolved ... and that was it," she says. "I decided that's what I wanted to do for
the rest of my life."
Mejia-Velasquez, a UF doctoral student, is focusing on the evolution of flowering
plants. After going through an evolution of her own to U.S. resident and gradu-
ate student she received funding from the R. Jerry Britt Jr. Endowment in 2007 to
support her fieldwork. The endowment honors Jerry Britt Jr., who worked as a paleobi-
ologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
"Without the endowment, I couldn't get my fossils. Without my fossils, of course, I
cannot do my studies, I cannot do my research," Mejia-Velasquez says.
She hopes to return to Colombia as a professor and paleobotany researcher.
Colombia's low altitude and tropical temperature make it difficult for fossils to survive,
meaning less research has been conducted in the Southern Hemisphere.
"It's like we have a hole in the tropics. If we can get more studies in tropical areas,
we can get the whole picture," Mejia-Velasquez says. "Worldwide, it will help to
understand the evolutional patterns of plants."
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OR CONTRIBUTE TO THE R. JERRY BRITT JR. ENDOWMENT AND OTHER ENDOWMENTS,
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THE BATTLE FOR HEALTHIER HUMANS, PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Glenn Morris (top right) will lead skilled researchers from across campus at the Emerging Pathogens Institute (rendering top left). Photo by Ray Carson
UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute targets some of
nature's most-elusive disease agents
isciplines that don't often share the same room will be
moving in together this fall. The goal is to develop solu-
tions to emerging pathogens such as citrus canker,
West Nile virus, black mold, avian flu, E. coli and salmonella that
threaten Florida's population, agriculture industries and ecosystems.
UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute is already fusing research pro-
grams, and a state-of-the-art facility is scheduled for completion in
August. The $55 million, 80,000-square-foot building will be shared
by researchers from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
and colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dentistry, Engineering,
Liberal Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health and
Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine so they can work more
collaboratively and efficiently. Initiatives will focus not only on human
diseases, but also on plant and animal pathogens that could impact
human health, economies and the environment.
"Understanding why and how new pathogens emerge requires a
multidisciplinary approach, with the ability to move from basic genet-
ics to global public health," says Glenn Morris, EPI's director. "My goal
is to bring faculty together to build a strong interdisciplinary spirit and
to play on each other's strengths. If you put them all together in one
room and close the door, it is amazing what can happen."
FOR INFORMATION ON THE EMERGING PATHOGENS INSTITUTE,
AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2008
i n )
THE FLORIDA TOMORROW CAPITAL CAMPAIGN IS
REACHING THROUGHOUT THE NATION WITH THESE
REGIONAL KICKOFF EVENTS:
Broward County . . . ..Feb. 4
Jacksonville . . . ... April 23
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE REGIONAL CAMPAIGNS, VISIT
WWW.FLORIDATOMORROW. U FL.EDU/REGIONALS.
THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
UNIT AMOUNT RAISED (GOAL)
athletics $45,318,137 ($75,000,000)
warrington college of business administration $83,826,171 ($112,000,000)
dentistry $12,731,596 ($15,000,000)
design, construction and planning $8,920,468 ($31,000,000)
education $18,687,641 ($20,000,000)
engineering $43,173,279 ($80,000,000)
fine arts $1,474,881 ($6,000,000)
florida museum of natural history $42,637,643 ($30,000,000)
harn museum of art $24,670,979 ($30,000,000)
health and human performance $4,592,418 ($7,000,000)
institute of food and agricultural sciences (ifas) $75,903,683 ($100,000,000)
international center $130,004 ($1,000,000)
journalism and communications $12,110,743 ($27,000,000)
latin american studies center $412,508 ($7,000,000)
levin college of law $27,326,943 ($47,000,000)
liberal arts and sciences $45,450,367 ($65,000,000)
smathers libraries $11,116,069 ($20,000,000)
I I, f f ., l it r l..,.,hi T T i f. I '- C i
S D) mcknight brain institute $4,510,449 ($25,000,000)
ZZD medicine $147,370,727 ($315,000,000)
00 D nursing $8,143,619 ($14,000,000)
0 = uf performing arts $3,184,395 ($5,500,000)
1m pharmacy $8,370,441 ($19,000,000)
00 D public health and health professions $5,215,089 ($13,000,000)
1 1 student affairs $9,210,082 ($10,000,000)
ZZ hands healthcare $29,318,215 ($75,000,000)
Veterinary medicine $29,780,724 ($40,000,000)
ID whitney laboratory for marine bioscience $1,558,662 ($4,000,000)
Z> campuswide initiatives $132,306,945 ($306,500,000)
PROGRESS PURPOSE AMOUNT RAISED (GOAL)
S ~) faculty support $86,865,657 ($433,770,000)
I ) graduate support $46,636,276 ($197,950,000)
S)Z D undergraduate support $9,424,785 ($67,830,000)
ZZD campus enhancement $124,038,562 ($299,000,000)
Program support & research $570,487,600 ($501,450,000)
FINE ART OF SHARING,
Retired professor lends hand to faculty, students
When graduate students or faculty members in UF's
College of Fine Arts are invited to present their work
on the national or international stage, they're faced
with a dilemma: decline the invitation or pay for the travel out of
their own pockets.
That bothers retired UF dean and professor Madelyn Lockhart so
much so that she donated $110,000 for an endowment to help offset
travel costs to professional conferences, seminars and workshops.
Lockhart's gift, Dean Lucinda Lavelli insists, comes at a critical time
for her college.
"Without this funding, our ability to maintain a strong national
and international presence is greatly challenged," she says.
"Significant learning occurs outside [the university]; and this is
especially the case with the fine and performing arts, which are
global by their very nature."
Lockhart joined the College of Business Administration faculty in
1960. As a professor and dean, she saw firsthand the need for doc-
toral students to broaden their education and become involved
professionally, but there were no budgeted funds. Now, with budget
cuts especially in the fine arts she sees an even greater need for
Her donation to the College of Fine Arts is her latest gift to the uni-
versity. Others include establishing endowments in the Department
of Economics, Center for Women's Studies, Center for African
Studies, Harn Museum of Art and George A. Smathers Libraries.
"I've looked for where I thought there was a need and I can con-
tribute," explains Lockhart, who retired in 1995. "I also look to where
there have been budget cuts, and fine arts have taken a big cut."
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WAYS TO SUPPORT RESEARCH-RELATED TRAVEL, CONTACT THE UF
COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS' OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT AT 352-846-1211.
(left) Retired UF faculty member Madelyn Lockhart is still giving to the university.
Photo by Kristen Hines
POWER OF ZINC
Robert Cousins proves humankind's need for one often
To most people zinc merely finishes the list of ingredients in
their multivitamins; but UF professor Robert Cousins has
devoted 40 years to studying how the body uses this essen-
tial compound, including for fighting infections.
When the body gets an infection, zinc is "shunted" to the liver,
bone marrow and glands, he explains. Much like in a factory, the body
delivers zinc a raw material to these organs in order to manufac-
ture white blood cells.
"Those cells all need zinc, and they need it in a hurry," Cousins says.
"The bone marrow and the immune organs are producing millions
and millions of immune cells to fight that infection."
Zinc supplements have significantly cut mortality rates espe-
cially among children and elderly in developing nations over the
past decade. The Wall Street Journal cited Vitamin A and zinc supple-
ments as the No. 1 way to improve the condition of the world's poor.
Support from UF's Eminent Scholars program and the Boston
Family Chair in Human Nutrition has allowed Cousins one of 11
UF members of the National Academy of Sciences (like the National
Baseball Hall of Fame for researchers) to purchase technology
required for tracking zinc in the body.
"It's provided me with the opportunity to work at a level that allows
one to compete quite effectively at the national level," says Cousins.
"I've tried in my 26 years here to certainly live up to that."
FOR INFORMATION AND TO SUPPORT THE FOOD SCIENCE AND HUMAN NUTRITION
DEPARTMENT, VISIT HTTP://FSHN.IFAS.UFL.EDU/INDEX.SHTML.
$2,000 Current annual threshold for being recognized
through UF's President's Council.
$5.7 million Cost of the Florida Opportunity
Scholars program in 2008. With 1,600 first-generation,
low-income students expected to participate in 2009 an
increase of 500 students those costs are projected to rise.
$50 million Amount basketball head coach Billy
Donovan and football head coach Urban Meyer hope to raise
for the Florida Opportunity Scholars program. The coaches
co-chair the fundraising drive.
$285,000 Amount UF President Bernie Machen
and his wife, Chris, pledged for the Florida Opportunity
120 Number of women participating in a UF program
funded with a $100,000 grant from the Blue Foundation
for a Healthy Florida to address hypertension and obesity
concerns in black families. UF's Department of Psychology
will work with the women and their churches' congregations
to improve food choices and make other lifestyle changes.
$2.5 million Dollars raised for scholarships by
UF's 100-plus Gator Clubs.
5 Consecutive years UF's Association of Hispanic Alumni
has held its Gator Guayabera Guateque. This year's event
raised $50,000 to fund scholarships through UF's Institute
of Hispanic and Latino Cultures.
92,048 Number of UF specialty license plates sold in
Florida as of October. Proceeds from the tags available
at tag agencies in Florida for a $25 annual fee, in addition
to regular registration fees benefit scholarships and
academic advancement at UF.