Task Force Members

Shaun Boren, Assessment and Research for Student Affairs

Shaun Boren, Assessment and Research for Student Affairs

Shaun Boren came to UF in 2017 to direct the new Office of Assessment and Research in its mission to champion a culture of evidence-based decision making for Student Life. Prior to this role Shaun served the University of West Florida for 12 years in a progression of experience including creating the Outdoor Adventures program, supervising all Recreational Sports programming, instructing undergraduate and graduate courses, and managing assessment initiatives for Student Affairs. His leadership style and strategies for building assessment capacity draw from his bachelors in animal behavior, masters in experiential education, and doctorate in physical education and health.

Artificial intelligence is a powerful set of tools in timely response to an era of being data rich and analysis poor. With considered design, AI complements and supplements the application of our human intelligence to better understand increasingly complex data. Data literacy is of increasing importance regardless of industry, so our graduates should at least be critical consumers of data, if not co-creators of solutions. - Shaun Boren

Jeff Citty, Innovation Academy

Jeff Citty, Innovation Academy

Jeff Citty serves as the founding director for the Innovation Academy and has over twenty years of experience in higher education in building programmatic solutions to help solve issues in higher education. He received his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration, focusing his dissertation on retaining engineering students through first year extended bridge programs. Dr. Citty provides vision, leadership and strategic direction in the development and attainment of the Innovation Academy priorities. As the founding director of the program he oversees all curricular and co-curricular aspects of the program as well as building the institutional infrastructure for the program.

Artificial Intelligence enhances the speed, precision and effectiveness of human efforts and can cut through an abundance of data for valuable insights. - Jeff Citty

Nancy Fichtman Dana, College of Education

Nancy Fichtman Dana, College of Education

Nancy Fichtman Dana, Ph.D., is Professor of Education in the School of Teaching and Learning and Distinguished Teaching Scholar at the University of Florida.  Her research focuses on educator professional learning through inquiry.  She has published eleven books and over 100 articles and book chapters on the topic, and has worked extensively throughout her career in supporting schools, districts and universities in implementing powerful programs of job-embedded professional development through inquiry across the United States and in several countries, including China, South Korea, Belgium, Portugal, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Estonia and Spain.

As an educational researcher, I am always looking for new ways to gain insights into the complexities of teaching and learning.  AI has amazing potential to provide greater insights to both researchers and practitioners by using untapped educational data with the ultimate goal of improving learning outcomes for all students. – Nancy Dana

George Hack, College of Public Health and Health Professions

George Hack, College of Public Health and Health Professions

George Hack, PhD, MEd, is the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Associate Dean for Educational Affairs. Dr. Hack received his PhD in Educational Technology from the University of Florida and currently provides administrative leadership to academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, including program evaluation, academic advising, and student services.

Dr. Hack’s research and development interests have focused upon pedagogical approaches, blended learning applications, and the interactions of educational technologies, teaching methods, and student attributes as they impact levels of learning. My recent investigations have included the following questions: how methods of instruction can change student attitudes toward safety in a clinical setting, how technology can be utilized to improve clinical reasoning in a radiographic imaging course, and how mobile technologies can improve student performance in blended classrooms. Knowledge gained from this work include the development of better user interfaces for learners, improved teaching methods for improving problem solving and clinical reasoning, improved technology integration into instruction, and insights leading to better programmatic administration of instructional activities.

Increasingly, large data computing and machine learning are regarded as key to biomedical modelling, improving the health of populations, and advancing the health professions. AI for healthcare and public health also has the potential to be interventional through the evaluation of different what-ifs, or actionable strategies, like prevention, risk mitigation, and public health policy changes. – George Hack

Youssef A. Haddad, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Youssef A. Haddad, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Youssef A. Haddad is a Professor of Arabic Language and Linguistics and the Undergraduate Coordinator of the Arabic Language Program in the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures. His research focus is on syntax, pragmatics, and their interface. In his research, he examines phrase and sentence structure of human language and investigates the social conditions on language use. He has published broadly on these topics. His publications include two books: Control into Conjunctive Participle Clauses: The Case of Assamese (Mouton de Gruyter, 2011) and The Sociopragmatics of Attitude Datives in Levantine Arabic (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). Dr. Haddad has also co-edited two volumes of Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics (Benjamins, 2016 & 1019). He is currently working on a textbook entitled Introduction to Arabic Linguistics (Wiley Blackwell).

In Linguistics, a special significance is often given to the naïve native speaker; that is, to the speaker who uses her language daily and who has an intuition about it, but who is not familiar with linguistic terminology and complex linguistic analyses as a linguist would be. My sense is that very soon, if not already, most of us will have a relationship with AI that is very similar to the relationship that a naïve native speaker has with language. AI is bound to become an essential component of our daily activities. We may not know how it works exactly, but we will use it nonetheless. The importance of AI resides in its inevitability. My hope is that it will continue to serve as a tool that enhances our performance and productivity, and that we will not allow it to take over our life. - Youssef A. Haddad

Kyriaki (Kiki) Kaplanidou, Department of Sport Management

Kyriaki (Kiki) Kaplanidou, Department of Sport Management

Kyriaki (Kiki) Kaplanidou, Ph.D., is Professor at the University of Florida, Department of Sport Management. Dr. Kaplanidou is the Director of Innovative Research Initiatives in Sport Events (i-Rise) lab at the University of Florida.  Her main research interests relate to the sport event consumer behaviors and the evaluation and management of sport event legacy outcomes for the quality of life of residents of host cities. Her findings suggest the importance of socio-cultural programs embedded in the planning of sport event to improve residents’ quality of life. Dr. Kaplanidou’s research has been funded by the International Olympic Committee, the Athens Marathon (Greece), and Qatar University.

AI is a tool that can capitalize on the large amount of consumer data that is created and provide some useful feedback regarding choices of products and services, which ultimately will help organizations to make better strategic decisions.

Similarly in education, the role of AI can be critical in predicting student performance and guide interventions early in the course delivery.

With technology advancing as fast as it is right now, AI will be the platform to be able to make sense of all technological data that are created from consumers using these new technologies and should assist (in an ethical manner) with the improvement of services. - Kyriaki (Kiki) Kaplanidou

Barbara Mennel, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere

Barbara Mennel, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere

Professor Barbara Mennel is the Rothman Chair and Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. She has been awarded the University of Florida Foundation Research Professorship (2018-21) and the Waldo W. Neikirk Professorship (2014-21). She is author of four books, including Women at Work in Twenty-first Century European Cinema (2019) and Cities and Cinema (2008, 2020). She has co-edited the volume Spatial Turns: Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literature and Visual Culture (Brill, 2010) and Turkish German Cinema in the New Millennium: Sites, Sounds, and Screens (Berghahn, 2012).

Faculty and students are engaging with AI on all kinds of levels and asking interdisciplinary questions about ethics, usage, and its history in their teaching and research. - Barbara Mannel

Chris Pinkoson, Center for Instructional Technology (CITT)

Chris Pinkoson, Center for Instructional Technology (CITT)

Chris Pinkoson is a Senior Instructional Designer with UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology (CITT). Stepping out of the classroom eight years ago, Chris now facilitates the course design process with faculty across the university, as well as manages a wide array of instructional development opportunities offered by the CITT. He earned his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Florida and through his professional experiences at the university decided to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Disabilities in Society.

Artificial intelligence allows for accurate and efficient responses to strategic decisions. For education, this can mean a more personalized and responsive approach to learning. AI allows for a targeted and adaptive instructional experience, tutoring that focuses on specific skills and deficiencies, and faster turnaround time for grading and feedback. Not only does this increase the quality of the educational experience for the student, it provides the instructor the opportunity to focus their time more intentionally. – Chris Pinkoson

 

Chris Sharp, UFIT Center for Instructional Technology and Training

Chris Sharp, UFIT Center for Instructional Technology and Training

Chris Sharp is an Educational Technologist in the UFIT Center for Instructional Technology and Training. Chris explores emerging technologies and how they can be applied to improve teaching and learning across many disciplines by working with instructional designers and faculty. He enjoys finding innovative and creative solutions to teaching or learning challenges using web technologies, XR applications, or AI tools. Chris has a BS in Computational Physics and a Master’s in Teaching from the University of Arkansas.

Understanding the implications of AI in the workforce, academics, and research is important for our students and faculty. Enabling student success at UF and beyond requires us to use AI ethically while also providing access to the tools and knowledge for all Gators. - Chris Sharp

Rick Stepp, Tropical Conservation and Development Program

Rick Stepp, Tropical Conservation and Development Program

Rick (John Richard) Stepp is Professor of Anthropology and a core faculty member in the Tropical Conservation and Development Program. He also serves as Director of UF Quest 3, the forthcoming university-wide experiential learning requirement for undergraduates. He is actively involved in community outreach and international education opportunities for students. He is an affiliate of the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Florida Museum of Natural History and other interdisciplinary centers focused on human-environment interactions. He has conducted research over the last two decades throughout the tropics, especially in the Maya Forest and in the Greater Mekong Region of Southeast Asia.

Andrew Wolpert, UF Quest

Andrew Wolpert, UF Quest

Andrew Wolpert is the Director of UF Quest and an Associate Professor of Classics. After receiving his PhD from the Committee of the Ancient Mediterranean World at the University of Chicago, he taught first in the Department of the Classics at Harvard University and then jointly in the Department of Classics and the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin. In 2006, he joined the faculty of the University of Florida. Wolpert has written extensively on questions concerning the politics, society, and culture of democratic Athens, and he led the way in applying theories from memory studies to research on ancient Greece and Rome. Throughout his academic career, he has also been a leader in undergraduate education. As Director of UF Quest, he has helped faculty reimagine the undergraduate curriculum, develop innovative courses, and implement major changes to UF’s general education program.

New technologies create new ways to collaborate and new ways to explore our world. They can break through barriers, and they can help us solve problems that seem intractable. But how do we open ourselves up to these new opportunities and apply these new resources constructively so that they serve the greater good and the world changes for the better? How do we provide students with the tools that they need so that they can thrive in a world that is rapidly changing? Artificial intelligence has an enormous potential to advance the mission of the university. This is why it is crucial for UF to develop a quality enhancement plan that focuses on AI. - Andrew Wolpert