The Beat: These UF Women Are Dominating

Quote of the Week

“I’m reminded daily what a special place Florida is … Gators are really good people.”  – Florida AD Scott Stricklin on life in Gator Nation.

Stricklin dove deep in an interview this week with the Gainesville Sun, discussing future plans for Florida football. He touched on everything from The Swamp’s seating capacity to Florida-Georgia in Jacksonville. We definitely recommend giving it a read, as it’s a look into the thoughts of the main man in charge.

Gators Running The World

You know, sometimes great headlines land in our lap and, even if we tried, we couldn’t help ourselves from sharing. For instance a recent article in College Magazine is titled “10 University of Florida Women Alumni Changing the World.” Incorrect Latin aside, it’s pretty awesome, right?!

And, you know, for those of us in Gator Nation this is a big no brainer. Still, it’s always great to flex our muscles and remind the world just how incredible the women who come from UF are.

Sooooo, who are the 10 women chosen for this article? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Abby Wambach – Olympic gold medalist and one of the greatest soccer players of all time.
  • Susan Cameron – Former president and CEO of Reynolds American Inc.
  • Erin Andrews – America’s sweetheart and the GOAT sideline reporter.
  • Faye Dunaway – All that’s missing for the EGOT is a Tony.
  • Heather Mitts – Three-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer and 1998 NCAA champ.
  • Beverly Purdue – First female governor of North Carolina.
  • Dara Torres – One of the greatest Olympic swimmers (male or female) ever — gold medals, four silver medals and four bronze medals.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher – Actress who’s been tearing up the screen in everything from Judd Apatow productions to Gossip Girl.
  • Riko Higashio – One of the best pro golfers to come out of UF.
  • Jes Macallan – Another actress who’s been on network shows from Lifetime to ABC.

But Wait, There’s More

You know this list is great, but off the top of our head, there’s just so much more that could be included. Like …

  • The better part of Team USA softball.
  • Kathy Fields, the inventor of Proactiv — only the world’s most-used acne treatment.
  • Eva Vertes George, one of the leaders in the fight against both Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.
  • Pam Bondi, the first woman Attorney General of the State of Florida.
  • Bernadette Castro, former New York State Parks commissioner and COO of Castro Convertibles (the first convertible bed ever created).
  • Rosemary Barkett, the first woman and Arab American on the Florida Supreme Court.
  • Marjorie Holt, the first Republican woman elected to Congress from the state of Maryland.
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the first Jewish female congressperson from the state of Florida.
  • Carol Browner, former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.

And we could go on forever! Point being: Gator Nation is awesome, and Gator alumnae are most certainly impacting the world — not an understatement, even slightly.


Top 5, Baby!

We’ll start this section by saying look out, because the Gators are coming for that No. 1 slot! UF was just ranked the No. 5 online program, according to U.S. News & World Report.

After such a banner year, it’s hardly a surprise. Last year, UF partnered with Disney, Walmart, and Discover Financial to deliver online education to their workforces. Make no mistake, this is the future of education. Companies offer free degrees to qualified workers, making them competitive employers and offsetting rising tuition costs for people that don’t have the means to a traditional education.

“Through UF Online, UF is demonstrating that a preeminent, research university can modernize its undergraduate experience, expand access to higher education, and deliver engaging and supportive bachelor’s programs fully online without compromising the academic rigor it is well-known for,” said Evangeline Cummings, UF assistant provost and director of UF Online.

In individual recognitions, The College of Education’s graduate online program climbed to the No. 1 spot, the online MBA program is No. 4, and the online graduate engineering program rose to No. 16 this year.

We feel like it’s a safe assumption that UF will land more big companies this coming year, and that these individual rankings will keep going up, up up. UF’s online education is setting a model that will be looked back on in 5-10 years as transformative.

For more on the rankings, check out this article.


Gator Tracks

Here’s a smattering of all things Gators from the week. Enjoy!

On Flu And Pregnancy

UF Dr. Sonja Rasmussen was featured in an NPR report on mothers who give birth while having the flu. Pretty interesting stuff for anyone pregnant or near that wild, life-changing time. The long and short of it is: always, always, always get a flu shot.

“When moms are in the ICU, they often need help breathing, they need a ventilator to breath for them, and it may be that there is some period of time where they aren’t breathing well enough to get adequate oxygen to the baby,” says Rasmussen.

After reading this, it makes a lot more sense why my wife’s OB half-jokingly threatened me if I didn’t get a flu shot, and said, “If you sneeze while in my waiting room, I’ll treat you like ebola.”

Check out the NPR report!

Only One In The USA

UF’s vet school is launching a canine open heart surgery program that will be the first (and only) of its kind in the States.

“We want to give the maximum effort to save many dogs with mitral regurgitation, working with the UF team,” Masami Uechi, DVM said of the new program. “I am very excited to develop innovative medical and surgical treatments through academic exchanges.”

Read more on this groundbreaking program

Black Hole Sun

We read this article, and are comfortable enough in our own skin to say that we’re not properly equipped to summarize. Basically, UF professor Stephen Eikenberry co-authored a paper on black holes. The paper is changing previously held beliefs about what the heck happens around black holes.

Says Eikenberry, “This result will already require overhauling of the theories we have for jet formation.”

Give it a read and prepare to have your mind blown

Florida Brilliance

Darn right, UF scientists have created a new strawberry. And you better believe that bad rascal is already getting rave reviews.

The strand, Florida Brilliance, lasts longer on shelves, tastes better than many other strawberry varieties, and yields quite a bit more in November and December (typically an earlier, more expensive part of the season).

Get ready to see Florida Brilliance in a grocery near you. “It definitely looks like we’re going to use it as our workhorse,” says Dover, Florida farmer Adam Young.

More on this BAMF new fruit strand

Puerto Rico

Select members of Gator Nation — students, faculty, and alumni — are taking it upon themselves and making it a personal mission to rebuild Puerto Rico.

The event allowed Kaitlin Knotton, a 27-year-old UF architecture sophomore, to not only support her professors but learn about the impact of architecture on a greater scale.

“It’s our responsibility to make beautiful buildings,” 27-year-old UF architecture sophomore Kaitlin Knotton said. “But it’s also our responsibility to bring a new quality of life to places.”

More on UF’s continued efforts on the embattled island

Six Bits

    1. Senior gymnast Alicia Boren was named the SEC Gymnast of the Week, and Trinity Thomas the conference’s Freshman of the Week!
    2. Softball is No. 1 in the SEC Coaches Poll, taking 10 of 13 first place votes!
    3. Baseball enters the season ranked No. 6 in D1Baseball’s list, No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball, and No. 9 by Perfect Game.
    4. Soccer has signed a legit stud in defender Madeline Gravante, a Pitt transfer.
    5. Dan Mullen jokingly stiffed the Rowdy Reptiles so he could go recruit …
    6. … aaaand now we’re ranked No. 10 in the national recruiting rankings (and looking for more)!


UFact of the Week

UF ranks No. 3 nationally in “tech transfer,” a measuring stick for how universities transform basic research into new technologies, products, and companies!

See y’all next week!

Go Gators!