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Article Originally published in the June 2006 issue of CLASnotes.

Pugh Hall Construction
Site supervisor Richard Smiley (right) and Clint Cannon plan out the day’s work schedule on the Pugh Hall construction site.

CLASnotes encourages letters to the editor. E-mail or send a letter to CLASnotes, PO Box 117300, Gainesville FL 32611. CLASnotes reserves the right to edit submissions for punctuation and length.

Pugh Hall Construction Update

Preliminary construction on Pugh Hall began in mid-June. As a result, Union Road is closed permanently between Buckman Drive and Fletcher Drive. Fletcher is closed temporarily at Union Road in front of the Student Health Care Center and is scheduled to reopen in August 2006. Northbound traffic will detour through the service drive behind the Student Health Care Center and rejoin Fletcher above the closure, continuing north to parking facilities and University Avenue.

Gated parkers should note that the existing entrance to the gated area south of the Student Health Care Center off of Fletcher Drive remains open. The gated areas at Dauer Hall and Murphree Hall may be accessed via the detour noted above.

Student Health Care Center patient parking will be relocated from Fletcher to the east side of the service drive behind the Student Health Care Center.

These road closures occur in conjunction with construction of Jim and Alexis Pugh Hall, which will house the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at UF. The new building, scheduled for completion in 2007, will be located north of Newell Hall within the former Union Road roadway. Substantial utility work to support the new building necessitates the temporary closing of this portion of Fletcher Drive.

CLAS Students Snag NSF Fellowships

The National Science Foundation recently named the 2006–2007 winners of their Graduate Research Fellowships. Of the 14 UF recipients and 24 honorable mentions, half were from CLAS. Each fellowship provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees and carries a $30,000 annual stipend, as well as coverage of tuition and fees.

The winners are: William Cox, English; John Harter, physics; Edwin Homan, chemistry; Michael Perry, zoology and microbiology; Elizabeth Van Wagner, chemistry; and Linda Watson, physics and astronomy. Students to receive an honorable mention were: Becky Blanchard, anthropology; Layla Booshehri, physics; Christina Boyd, political science; Luke Carlson, anthropology; Amanda Chunco, zoology; Christopher Cook, physics; Brian Dorvel, chemistry; Thomas Keller, zoology; Jaaved Mohammed, computer science and mathematics; Maria Elena Morales, interdisciplinary neurobiological studies; Jonathan Oliver, microbiology; and Sandra Vergara, microbiology.

Ongiri is UF Teacher of the Year

Amy Ongiri
Amy Ongiri

Amy Abugo Ongiri, an assistant professor in the Department of English and the Film and Media Studies Program, has received a UF Teacher of the Year Award.

She has taught at UF for three years, and her research interests include gender and sexuality studies, as well as African-American literature. She teaches African-American Literature and also has taught courses through UF’s Paris Research Center.

The UF teaching award is given annually to two professors who demonstrate excellence, innovation and effectiveness when teaching undergraduates. Gary Fairchild, a professor of food resource and economics, also received the award this year.

Christou to Advise Canada

George Christou
George Christou

Chemistry Professor George Christou was recently invited to serve on the Scientific Advisory Panel on Nanoscience of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The panel brings together 12 scientists from Canada, the US, Israel and Australia working in diverse areas of nanoscience.

Christou is the only chemist on the panel, which otherwise consists of experimental and theoretical physicists. He was appointed as a result of his research in the area of molecular nanoscience, which involves the use of synthetic chemistry methods to prepare molecules that function as nanoscale magnets (nanomagnets).

Thanks for the Memories

Allyson Beutke DeVito
Allyson Beutke DeVito

It is with much excitement and sadness that I write this farewell letter to my friends and colleagues in CLAS and at UF. I have worked in the CLAS Dean’s Office for almost six years, and now it is time to move on to another adventure. I will start a PhD program in journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in August. Many loyal members of the Gator Nation are concerned about my presence in this new place, but I can assure you that I always have been and will be a Gator.

I will miss so many people on campus, and I thank those of you who I have worked with for your time, energy and passion for what you do, especially my co-workers in the CLAS News and Publications Office. Jane Dominguez, Buffy Lockette and Jeff Stevens have taken the college’s publications and web sites to a new level of excellence, and they have made my job easier by serving as dedicated staff members.

I have literally been on UF’s campus since the summer of 1995 when I started as a freshman during Summer B, and it will be a change not seeing Century Tower or driving through the various construction spots on campus each day. However, I am looking forward to having seasons in Tennessee and not suffering through 90-degree heat and humidity from May to October. I am hoping to make my new email address, but you can always contact me at

Thanks for the memories, and please keep sharing story ideas with our office. If you do not tell us, we might never know.

Go Gators!

Take care,
Allyson Beutke DeVito

Japanese Consul General Visits UF

Consul General Masakazu Toshikage of met with administrators and faculty from the Asian Studies program and tAfrican he and Asian Languages and Literatures department

Consul General Masakazu Toshikage of the Japanese Consulate in Miami
met with administrators and faculty from the Asian Studies program and
the African and Asian languages and literatures department.

Consul General Masakazu Toshikage of the Japanese Consulate in Miami visited UF for the first time in late April to forge ties with the university. In addition to meeting with UF and CLAS administrators and faculty from the Asian Studies program and African and Asian languages and literatures department, he was particularly interested in talking with students. More than 100 undergraduates attended his speech, “Japan/US Relations and East Asia,” on April 21, which was followed by a spirited question and answer session.

Toshikage joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1968 and has held posts at the Japanese Mission to the United Nations and the Japanese Embassies in Pakistan, the Philippines, Austria and the US. Under his leadership, the consulate has hosted a variety of cultural programs across the state to increase awareness of Japanese art, music and culture.

Department News


Alan R. Katritzky was recently appointed an honorary fellow of St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Jena in Germany.

Communication Sciences & Disorders

Cassie Effort, a doctor of audiology student, recently received the Audiology Foundation of America’s Outstanding Third-Year AuD Student Scholarship. She is one of two students to receive a $4,500 scholarship for the 2006–2007 academic year.

Linda J. Lombardino recently was honored with the 2006 Clinical Career Award from the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in recognition of her outstanding contributions to improved care and service in the practice of speech-language pathology.

Toshikage photo courtesy Yumiko Hulvey
all others by Jane Dominguez

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