The University of Florida is an institution on the rise. Its climb in academics, research and service have been recognized by being chosen No. 8 among national public universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 ‘Best Colleges’ annual rankings. Founded as a land-grant research institution, UF is committed to making a difference in the world, and that begins in its hometown of Gainesville.
A dynamic and diverse university on 2,000 acres in the Greater Gainesville area, UF is a major research institution. The proportion of students who stay in the area after graduation, the school’s graduate and professional students and its faculty and staff all add to Greater Gainesville’s pool of highly educated residents. Its cutting-edge research also attracts companies that require educated workers.
With more than 55,000 students enrolled in 16 colleges, UF is proud of its intentional and intense comprehensiveness, boasting a legacy of academic and athletic excellence.
UF believes in the power of collaboration and is working on many levels and in many disciplines to build a vision for the future, to help us all understand the implications for society, and “solving for next.”
– UF President Kent Fuchs “UF’s stature and ranking is in the stratosphere of our nation’s 4,000-plus universities and colleges. We are relatively young, and yet we are among the very best public universities. Our ambition is to be the very best.”
Increasing Educational Excellence by Strategically Hiring 500 Faculty
The University of Florida is continuing to expand its faculty to further enhance teaching and research and to maintain its national stature as one of the best research universities in the U.S. By hiring 500 new researchers and scholars over the next few years, UF is addressing two of its goals: reaching top-ranked status by strengthening various research disciplines and by improving the university’s student-faculty ratio. The new faculty hires represent a number over and above the 300 to 400 faculty that UF hires annually to replace those who retire or leave the university.
As of Fall 2018, more than 200 new hires began working at the University, bringing great new talent to the Gator Nation.
Great Gator Minds Have Shaped Our World
2 Nobel Prize Laureates
13 Pulitzer Prize winners
8 U.S. Ambassadors
10 U.S. Senators
50 Federal Judges
42 U.S. Representatives
28 Presidents of Universities and Colleges
Why I Love Living in Gainesville…
“The best part about living in Gainesville is the people. There is someone from everywhere and something for everyone. People here care about the local environment, local resources and local initiatives. I love that I can spend time outside at Paynes Prairie or Ginnie Springs, attend a sports or non-sports event at UF and go to a local farm-to-table dinner all in one weekend. I moved to Gainesville in 1999 for pharmacy school and I have been so lucky to stay and make this my home. I love it here.”
– Dr. Katie Vogel Anderson, College of Pharmacy associate professor and chair of the Faculty Senate
Naren Masna, doctoral student in UF Electrical & Computer Engineering is working with Swarup Bhunia, professor and Steven Yatauro Faculty Fellow, UF Electrical & Computer Engineering, on a detector for fake pills.
Spotlight on Research
Using technology to stop deadly fake pills
Researchers with the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering have developed a way to instantly detect counterfeit pills, a growing problem in developing countries and a danger to others worldwide as online pharmacy use increases and sales of nutritional supplements are skyrocketing.
The device uses nuclear quadrupole resonance, which is used in explosives detection and oil production. It can also can be used to sniff out toxins on or in food. Swarup Bhunia, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a lead researcher on the project, said the technology could be available to consumers and retailers within two years and could include a version that works with your smartphone, allowing consumers to test medicines and supplements themselves.
Spotlight on IFAS
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources and the life sciences while enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible.
While extending into every county in the state, UF/IFAS has developed an international reputation for its accomplishments in teaching, research and Extension. Because of this mission and the diversity of Florida’s climate and agricultural commodities, UF/IFAS has facilities located across Florida.
UF/IFAS provides research and development for Florida’s agricultural, natural resources and related food industries, which made value-added contributions of $123.2 billion to the gross domestic product of the state economy in 2013.
Bringing International Flavor to Gainesville…
UF was honored with the 2018 Senator Paul Simon Award for its broad commitment to international education and research, grounded in its fundamental goals of preparing our students to meet the challenges of a globalized world, striving for faculty research excellence with a global impact and advancing campus diversity.
Over 150 countries are represented in the UF community, which includes over 6,500 international students, on campus or pursuing practical training, as well as almost 2,000 visiting international scholars every year. More than 2,200 UF students studied abroad last year in over 100 destinations. UF has almost 500 collaborative agreements with partner institutions across the world.
“I tell people on any given day, there are UF faculty, staff and students in all continents, dozens of countries, perhaps a hundred countries on any given day, doing research, teaching or service at some point.” -Leo Villalón, Dean of UF’s International Center Keeping Our Hometown Steeped in Traditions
Everyone is welcome to attend one of the longest-standing Gator traditions, the annual Homecoming Parade. The largest student-run parade in the nation draws a crowd of over 100,000, decked out in the school colors of orange and blue.
he parade route extends from University Avenue to Main Street, downtown. More than 120 different groups including local charities, businesses and student organizations participate in the festivities. Local schools are closed for the day as well, so bring the family to this spectacle of floats and show off your Gator spirit!
Why We Love Living in Gainesville…
“Megan and I are so excited to come back home to Gainesville. We have so many fond memories here from before that extend beyond winning two national championships. It has been great to rekindle the many relationships from years past and develop new ones in the athletic department, University and community. It’s an honor to work at an institution that is among the best in the nation in both academics and athletics and shares our values. We are also thankful to have the opportunity to raise our children in a community that offers a variety of educational and recreational choices.”
-Gators Head Football Coach, Dan Mullen.
Informing Our Community
The University has been in the business of informing the greater Gainesville community for 90 years, starting in 1928, when its radio station, WRUF-AM, began operations as one of the first radio stations in Florida. Since then, the UF College of Journalism and Communications has been providing news and addressing local issues for 19 counties in the North Central Florida area on multiple platforms.
The stations operated by the CJC are WUFT-TV, the PBS affiliate for North Central Florida and WRUF-TV, the local news, weather and Gator sports channel. CJC also operates commercial radio stations ESPN 98.1/850 WRUF, the market’s leading sports-formatted radio station and flagship of the Gator Network, 103.7 The Gator, which programs contemporary country, and the market-leading news/talk NPR affiliate WUFT-FM 89.1, which also has a weekly Spanish-language news broadcast, “Noticias.” Other stations include WUFT Classic, the 24-hour classical/arts channel at 102.7 FM and GHQ, a student-targeted Top-40 radio station at 95.3 FM. Since 2012, the CJC and its students have earned more than 300 state, regional and national awards for news coverage.
…In All Kinds of Weather
Additionally, UF’s CJC runs the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN). Through this service, which is offered thanks to funding from the Florida Legislature and other public radio stations throughout Florida, WUFT staff provide hurricane, tropical storm and other emergency messaging content to 13 stations that cover the entire state of Florida. FPREN also reaches residents through the Florida Storms app, which provides up-to-date storm information and tracking, real-time evacuation and shelter information and a live stream of the closest Florida public radio station geo-targeted to the user’s location.
Did you know that the libraries at UF are open to the public? All campus libraries are open to guests and researchers looking for information covering a broad range of subjects. Resources from topics in education to Latin America to Judaica collections are waiting for you. Guests are able to access all online resources through the UF Smathers Libraries. There are many library events that may also be of interest.
Improving Life in Our Community
Gainesville is on a roll!
Autonomous vehicles, connected to smart devices and sensors, are no longer a thing of the future. UF is proud to partner with the City of Gainesville and the Florida Department of Transportation on testing the vehicles coming to city streets soon.
As these cars are rolled out onto our streets, UF’s Transportation Institute, part of the Wertheim College of Engineering, has faculty and students working to conduct research into how these vehicles will relate to pedestrians, bicyclists, regular vehicles, traffic lights and flow, and more. This insight will help these technologies decrease the number of crashes and pollution on our roads. Mobility will be increased for the elderly, the disabled and the young, improving the way traffic flows. Autonomous vehicles will optimize the use of our travel time by allowing passengers to conduct activities that would otherwise not be permissible while physically driving a car.
Preparing a Qualified Workforce
Career Connections Center
Now in its 65th year of service on campus, the nationally recognized UF Career Connections Center has reopened following a 14-month renovation and expansion.
The center, which serves the over 55,000 UF students and alumni, provides students with career education and guidance to enrich their college experience and prepare them for life beyond college.
Located in the J. Wayne Reitz Union, its many features include four engagement centers with virtual capabilities so that students can access events online and virtual workshops can take place, along with several interview rooms for students, four of which have the technology that allows for virtual interviews. Additionally, students can borrow professional clothing for interviews, free of charge, at the Molm Family Gator Career Closet. Donations of business attire are welcome.
The Career Connections Center holds annual career fairs and other events, and works with local and national employers to recruit on campus.
“Employer development is a major focus for our team and connecting our students to local businesses is something that we take very seriously,” said Ja’Net Glover, Senior Director for Career Services. “Our team works with the Chamber, Innovation Hub and the CIED Center to bring new businesses to Gainesville and to make sure local companies and entrepreneurs see the incredible talent coming from UF.”
“Gainesville is a truly magical place to live and work. The people, the community, and the unique culture all tie into the strong connections that make Gainesville what it is. I enjoy the diversity of activity that I can get in involved in, especially anything arts related. You may catch me at a local arts festival, the Hippodrome or the annual craft show at the O’Connell Center! I’m always big on supporting local business, whether it’s personally or through my role at the career center.” – Ja’Net Glover, Senior Director for Career Services
At UF, our researchers are consistently making breakthroughs and new technologies that are creating a better world. But their biggest impact has been in establishing the unique culture found at UF. A culture of innovation where questions and connections across disciplines are encouraged. A culture that established UF Innovate | Tech Licensing and more than 160 startups and companies that are bringing millions in revenue back to Florida, seeding future innovations to come.
In 2017, the Milken Institute ranked the University of Florida third in the nation for its tech commercialization efforts. With the benefit of UF Innovate’s two business incubators and its Ventures organization, Tech Licensing connects researchers with investors and industry to lead them through the commercialization process.
UF Innovate provides outstanding programs to assist startups and early-stage growth companies. Offerings include assistance with finding finances and forming relationships with venture investment groups, access to legal and accounting help, matching company leaders with experienced entrepreneurs and advisors in specialty areas, and guidance on recruitment of qualified employees.
Caring for Our Community
UF Health is moving medicine forward
UF Health is the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center, which encompasses nine hospitals and two veterinary hospitals, nine research institutes and centers and physician practices and services across Northeast and North Central Florida. With main campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, UF Health represents the shared vision and commitment to patient care excellence of more than 22,000 faculty and staff.
The UF Health Heart & Vascular and Neuromedicine hospitals opened last year in Gainesville, consolidating focused lifesaving care into one building. Patients now have streamlined access to highly specialized, comprehensive outpatient treatment options and inpatient services in one location. These specialty hospitals allow physicians, nurses and providers to save and extend more patients’ lives, advance UF Health’s research and education goals, and enable a new phase of growth for the health system.
Bridging Health Gaps in Our Community With Innovative Engagement
Research influences our health policies and practices, yet less than 2 percent of the population participates in health research. HealthStreet is an innovative community engagement program with a mission to change that, and to improve the health of our community by bridging gaps in health care and health research. HealthStreet’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) go out to the community and build meaningful connections with people where they live, work and play. When community members agree to join the HealthStreet cohort, a CHW will assess their health conditions, health concerns and research perceptions. They then provide them with health education and referrals to medical and social services and connect them to health research that meets their diverse needs. Involving a greater percentage of the population in the health research taking place at UF allows the research findings to be a reflection of our diverse community and applicable to the greatest number of people.
The HealthStreet location on Archer Road in Gainesville provides a variety of free classes, services and events that help community members pursue better health and learn about opportunities to participate in research. Some community favorites include:
- Weekly yoga classes
- Hands-on cooking courses that teach how to cook healthy meals on a budget
- Monthly town-hall discussions around a range of health topics and research discoveries
- Fun community events such as the annual Night of Dance in October
Check out the community calendar at MyHealthStreet.org for classes and events or call 352-294-4800 for more information.
UF isn’t only home to a top-ranked higher education system, but also to an elite early childhood development facility. Baby Gator Child Development Centers offer high-quality care to children ages six weeks to five years. Children grow and learn in a safe and healthy environment with a caring and attentive staff of well-trained early childhood educators. Curriculum is designed to encourage children to experience the world around them. Baby Gator addresses the needs of all children and fosters growth in social, behavioral, cognitive and physical skills and early literacy skills.
Baby Gator’s mission is to provide quality care and early education, foster a lifelong love of learning, advance research across disciplines, support professional development in all fields related to children and families and to promote UF’s rise to preeminence. Enrollment to Baby Gator is reserved for children who have at least one parent or guardian associated with any college or department at the University or UF Health.
To learn more, visit babygator.ufl.edu.
Arts in Medicine
UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine is one of the largest arts in health care programs in existence. There are 16 paid artists, specializing in subjects including visual arts, literary arts, performing arts and design and aesthetics who work throughout the UF Health system.
The program is designed to transform the hospital experience for patients, visitors, caregivers and staff. Patients have the opportunity to create paintings, write poetry and perform music inside the hospital. These experiences create a more positive environment in which healing can take place.
The program also works to educate UF medical and nursing students about the benefits of arts in health, researching the effects of arts in health care settings and working with local Gainesville arts organizations to bring arts in medicine messages to the community.
Caring for Our Furry Neighbors, Too
The Veterinary Community Outreach Program is an elective clinical rotation for junior and senior veterinary students at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. The service was started in 2003 under the direction of Dr. Natalie Isaza and is part of the UF Small Animal Hospital.
This program is designed to introduce students to the challenges of veterinary practice in shelter environments, and to give experience in spay and neuter techniques of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens. The importance of community involvement in reducing the number of unwanted animals in local shelters is part of the Veterinary Community Outreach Program. Operation Catnip of Gainesville is a nonprofit organization that offers free spay/neuter and vaccines for unowned free-roaming cats in our community. Visit operationcatnip.org to schedule an appointment or to volunteer.
Gators Give Back to Our Community
The University of Florida’s culture of caring extends beyond campus walls to our community of Greater Gainesville. UF employees gave $1 million to local charities last year through The UF Campaign for Charities, held each fall. There are over 93 community agencies, including the United Way of North Central Florida, Community Health Charities of Florida and many independent agencies that benefit from this support.
Showcasing the Arts
UF is proud to put arts at the heart of our community by supporting and enriching student and faculty exhibits, performances, concerts, recitals and arts. The University is a place of discovery, both terrestrially and intergalactically.
Begin your journey by visiting UF’s Cultural Plaza, home to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Harn Museum of Art and the Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts. From there, continue your voyage by taking a walk through UF’s campus to explore the University Gallery or learn all about the moon, planets and stars with the Department of Astronomy.
Florida Museum of Natural History
Located on the University of Florida campus, the Florida Museum of Natural History is home to more than 40 million specimens and cultural archival treasures. Since its founding in 1891, the Museum has advanced its mission to discover and disseminate Florida’s biological diversity and cultural heritage.
As Florida’s official natural history museum, it is celebrated for its exhibitions that explore Florida’s unique habitats and cultural history. An exceptional hub for teaching and learning science, the Museum is dedicated to advancing research, education and public engagement for the Gainesville community.
Learn more by visiting floridamuseum.ufl.edu.
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
The Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts convenes a conversation across the disciplines of science, art and humanities. Dedicated to the cultural and artistic wellbeing of the Greater Gainesville community, the Performing Arts Center brings world-class international performers to the stage in Gainesville. Whether it’s a Broadway show, a transcendent dance performance, a musical act, or a public figure sharing their life story, the Phillips Center does it all.
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida is an 112,800-square-foot-facility, which includes 40,400 square feet of exhibition space, five garden spaces, a 250-seat auditorium, study center, museum store, café and classroom spaces. The Harn’s collection totals more than 11,300 objects including African, Asian, modern and contemporary art, and photography with significant representations of Ancient American and oceanic art, as well as a growing collection of natural history works on paper.
UF warmly invites the greater Gainesville community to the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art for an exclusive, free once-a-month event. Museum Nights offer an array of activities and performances with the purpose of creating meaningful connections between community and art. The museum is committed to the continued collaboration with the university and community partners to inspire, educate and enrich people’s lives through art.
Pull quote with
PHOTO: Lee Anne Chesterfield
Why I Love Living in Gainesville:
“Coming to the university town of Gainesville, my family and I knew there would be plenty to keep us busy, but we were surprised by just how much there is to do both on the University campus as well as downtown. We were also happily surprised to meet many residents who like Gainesville so much that they have lived here for 30-plus years.” – Lee Anne Chesterfield, Director of the Harn, who joined in July, 2018
Take a walk through UF’s campus to the School of Art + Art History in the College of Arts and you’ll find the University Gallery. The space is organized into three art galleries that encourage appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society. University Gallery’s primary mission is to provide the community with a contemporary venue that continually explores new directions in visual art and historical perspectives.
Why I Love Living in Gainesville…
“Gainesville has a thriving community where a sophisticated and complex appreciation for art and the way it intersects with science, technology and the design of human experience thrives and where we are cultivating and nourishing a partnership between the city and university. By being a regular visitor to the UF College of the Arts’ art exhibitions, music concerts, theatre
productions and dance performances, Greater Gainesville residents participate in an ecosystem of social infrastructure and lifelong learning and wellness that is an ideal context to facilitate our students’ success. In turn, we aim to extend our work to function in harmony with the community through programs such as:
- The Center for Arts in Medicine’s Dance for Life classes and 352Creates network.
- Outreach by faculty members such as voice professors Brenda Smith and Ronald Burrichter’s Sing for Life project with the University of Florida Arts in Medicine program and the Oak Hammock Singers.
- Jacaré Brazil, who performs every year in the World Music Festival, held downtown at Bo Diddley Plaza.
- The Hippodrome, where the School of Theatre + Dance co-produces works each year.”– Onye Ozuzu, Dean of the College of the Arts, who joined in August 2018
The Live Oak Tree of Life projection artwork in Innovation Square is a symbol of how campus and community are connected, much like the Tree of Life represents the relationships between all living things.
Department of Astronomy Teaching Observatory
UF’s Department of Astronomy welcomes the Gainesville community to observe the moon, planets, double stars, star clusters, nebulae and other astronomical objects through 8-inch, 12-inch, 14-inch Cassegrain telescopes. The Department of Astronomy operates an on-campus Teaching Observatory for educational and public programs, free to the public Friday evenings when UF classes are in session, weather permitting.
Learn more at astro.ufl/edu/outreach/Public_Nights
Why I Love Living in Gainesville…
“I’m fundamentally interested in how to increase access to public education, and the University of Florida as well as Santa Fe College are principal educational opportunity engines for Florida and the nation. So naturally, Gainesville made the short list of places to live and work in. That I’ll never have to plow snow or rake endless bales of leaves is gravy!” – Antonio Farias, UF Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Advisor to the President, who joined in July 2018