NSU University School Preschool Students Engage in Hands-On Learning Experiences


NSU University School’s smallest Sharks are back in the classroom and have been busy with many different hands-on learning activities. As part of a sensory activity, PK2 students were given a bin with sand and a paintbrush to explore. Teachers then placed a letter card in each of their bins to further provoke their inquiring minds. Some students used the brush to trace the letter on the card while others began making lines and circles in the sand. The final part of the activity involved students using a small cup and spoon to practice scooping, filling, and pouring the sand – all important skills to enhance their fine motor strength. PK4 students have been learning about the impact of soap on germs and why healthy habits like proper hand-washing are so important to help prevent the spread of harmful germs. They read the story “Germs, Yuk!” by Sky Davis and then used pepper, water and dish soap to make predictions and test their theories on how the germs (the pepper) would react to the soap. Keep up the great work Sharks!

NSU University School’s Preschool is currently enrolling new students. For more information about this program and the COVID precautions and recommendations being followed, please call 954-262-4506.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine Student Creates Mask Initiative for Overtown Community

With Miami, Florida being a hot spot for COVID-19, areas with large populations of BIPOC in the city lack the funds to keep up with sanitation and protective equipment for its residents. This was witnessed by second-year student Yara Khalifa as she assessed the historic Overtown community while working on a project in her NSU Master of Public Health degree program.

“What I found was that the government, on all levels, conspired to destroy this vibrant community,” Khalifa explained. “Due to prevailing racism, the government systematically persecuted and ruined Overtown by running a bunch of highways through it. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had purposely done that to African American homes and businesses in an attempt to disenfranchise and resegregate.”

As Khalifa learned more about the community along with her grocery drive volunteering at the Masjid Al-Ansar’s mosque—a pillar in the African American Muslim community in Overtown—she learned about the mask shortage and wanted to help. Resistance was met with many of the South Florida mosques due to colorism, which led Khalifa to follow her own life mantra of, “Well, I’m just going to do it myself.”

Through raising awareness in various channels, Khalifa surpassed her initial goal of 1,000 masks, and the mosque’s request of 200, by purchasing around 1,200 masks through monetary and shipped efforts. The masks are to be distributed on the second and fourth Saturday of each month at Masjid Al-Ansar’s grocery food drive in Overtown, with a second mask initiative to follow when the community runs out.

Halmos College Researcher and Alumni Work to Create Probiotic for Diseased Corals

In early September, researchers at the Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) partnered with Halmos College Research Scientist Brian Walker, Ph.D. and his GIS and Spatial Ecology laboratory to test two new probiotic application treatments for wild corals infected with stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD).  These treatments, a bag for covering whole colonies and a paste for individual disease lesions, were developed by researchers at SMS, including Halmos College MS alumna Kelly Pitts.

The bag method entailed covering whole Montastraea cavernosa coral colonies with a weighted enclosure, injecting probiotics inside, and waiting two hours before removing the enclosure to allow colonization of the coral with probiotic bacteria. Video of this method can be seen here: https://youtu.be/MnJaA7-SVYA

Additionally, scientists experimented with a probiotic-loaded paste, developed by SMS, to apply treatments directly to individual disease lesions. The paste hardens on contact with seawater to prevent it from floating away, and adheres to the coral tissue, which allows probiotics to colonize the coral.

The research team will revisit treated colonies regularly to assess the probiotics treatment success and retreat the corals if necessary. These two innovative strategies have enabled the first coral probiotic treatments of SCTLD diseased corals on the reef.

College of Pharmacy COVID Kit Distribution

In preparation for the return of the NSU College of Pharmacy Sharks, the Student Government Association (SGA) of the College of Pharmacy purchased and prepared a COVID kit for distribution to every student, faculty, and staff. Each kit contained a pencil pouch, a personal bottle of hand sanitizer, and a specially designed NSU College of Pharmacy facemask.

The kits were distributed at the Palm Beach campus on Monday, August 17th, and at the Fort Lauderdale campus on Wednesday, August 19th, and Saturday, August 22nd.  The COVID kits were distributed at the Puerto Rico campus during the week of August 17th.

SGA representatives set up a table outside the entrance of the Palm Beach building and the Terry Administrative Building in Fort Lauderdale to distribute kits to students. To allow for social distancing, students were instructed to drive up to the entrance, wear a mask, and remain in their vehicles. Each student showed their Shark ID to pick up their gift. This was a great event to start off the new school year and have students on campus while also being safe.



NSU Recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation

Recently, NSU was recognized as a 2019 Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA is a national program, launched in 2008, that honors colleges and universities, and their leaders, for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. (Earlier this year, Tree Campus USA was renamed to Tree Campus Higher Education.)

To obtain this distinction, NSU met the five core standards for an effective campus forest management, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and the sponsorship of student service learning projects.

NSU’s recognition by this foundation is a testament to the university’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

To learn more about Tree Campus Higher Education visit: arborday.org/programs/tree-campus-higher-education

Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumna to Work on Greys Anatomy


Carisa Champion, D.O., J.D., M.P.H. (‘16), is working in Los Angeles, California on the long-running TV show Grey’s Anatomy as a medical adviser and a surgical communications fellow. She will help accurately portray surgical procedures and guide the direction of surgical storylines as the show will take another dramatic turn when its 17th season premieres—focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic as the season’s overarching plot point. Additionally, Champion taught her first course as an adjunct professor—Professional Ethics and Health Law—for the KPCOM’s Master of Science in Medical Education program. Champion also serves on the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners’ COMLEX PE Committee.

NSU Achieves Highest New Entry in Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020: Golden Age

NSU ranked 51st in the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings 2020: Golden Age. NSU was recognized as the highest new entry for the international rankings which included 308 universities from around the world.

“We are proud of our high standing in this year’s Golden Age rankings,” said Dr. George Hanbury, NSU’s President and CEO. “As we continue to position NSU as a preeminent university, our hard work is being recognized by industry leaders who see the value in the NSU Edge.”

The performance indicators that Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings 2020: Golden Age used to rank universities are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income, and reputation); Citations (research influence); International outlook (staff, students and research); and Industry income (knowledge transfer).

As Florida’s largest private research university, NSU has made a splash on the national stage attracting top student talent and bucking the national undergraduate enrollment trend. Enrollment during the last few years has averaged a 21% growth among freshman classes.

In addition, NSU has seen a 400% increase in research revenue for a variety of initiatives during the last five years. More than $107 million in externally provided funding is advancing the university’s mission of research, academic excellence, and public service in the areas of healthcare, biotechnology, life science, pharmaceutical research and more.

The Golden Age Rankings, named to reflect what THE describes as the Golden Age in global higher education, rapid university expansion and increasing investment in research, focuses on universities that were founded after World War II. For the complete list, visit Time Higher Education.

NSU College of Business Alumnus and Entrepreneur Makes Generous Impact During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Thomas DeSernia (B.S. ’12) is the CEO and Owner of SA Company, a sports apparel and outerwear business based in Boca Raton, FL. The company has donated over 100,000 FACE SHIELDS® in South Florida since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March of 2020.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic started affecting the U.S., Thomas was determined to “put FACE SHIELDS® on every person in Boca Raton.”

This initiative resulted in a drive-through handout of 100,000 FACE SHIELDS® at the company’s facilities, which was then moved to other drop-points throughout the city.

“These are challenging times but we, at SA Company, have a product that is helping people. There’s a sense of urgency, that’s what keeps us going,” Thomas said.

DeSernia has worked tirelessly to develop SA Company and to be able to assist the community and make an impact. He has also founded other SA, Co. branches, companies, and business partnerships along the way.

Thomas remembers his time at NSU as deeply motivating and nourishing.

“NSU played 70% of the role for me to be successful in what I do,” Thomas said. “They teach as if you are the employer, not the employee.”

“NSU moved me to always look to fix problems, 360-degree sustainable solutions, […] it always ran at a high velocity and because it kept me going at that speed, I was able to adapt fast and accelerate my business to where it had to go,” he continued.

SA Company has also been impacted by new health and safety measures for their employees because of the pandemic.

“We do temperature checks and sanitize constantly, while also doing a good job providing supplies, timely fulfilling orders, and keeping our team safe,” Thomas said.

Thomas’ company has been recognized by the Office of the Mayor of Boca Raton with the Business Award for creating significant employment opportunities in this city. He was also honored with a profile in the “30 Under 30 Edition” of Forbes Magazine.

“If you want to be successful in life, you have to make sure you’re happy and making an impact. Everything else is a byproduct,” he concluded.






Grateful Sharks: NSU Students Share Their Gratitude For Support During Pandemic

Thanks to the generosity of NSU alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and community partners, the COVID-19 Student Support Fund provided emergency aid to students during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.

Recipients of this student fund share their gratitude to donors who helped them swim forward through difficult times.

Thank you so much for all of the kind and selfless individuals who donated to this fund. The COVID-19 Student Support Fund allowed me peace of mind because I was able to pay my bills that I would have otherwise been unable to pay. I can’t thank each person individually, but if you are reading this, I hope you know that you seriously helped me during a very scary and uncertain time. I hope you know that you did good and provided support for a student that already has a mountain of student debt. Thank you a million times over.” – Megan DeRiso

Sashana Dixon

“I am humbled and grateful for the assistance I received through the NSU COVID- 19 Student Support Fund. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the donors that have contributed to this cause. Your generous contributions have afforded me the opportunity to fill the gap in my strict budget. This help was able to allow me to purchase the essential items needed which was an additional expense brought on by the pandemic of COVID- 19. Your donation has afforded me great sense relief from the overwhelming feeling derived from a financial challenges and worries caused by this pandemic. It is my sincere appreciation and wish that you all receive greater than you have given.” – Sashana Dixon


Vania Arboleda

“My dad resides in Peru, and due to this pandemic, he cannot fly to visit me, nor I can fly back home. [My sister and I] had trouble coming up with the amount required to stay in our rental apartment for more than what we had planned. We used this money to pay for our deposit. Thankfully, after that one month, we were able to adjust our expenses and invest all our savings in paying for summer rent. Thanks to the student fund, we were able to stay in our home and not get kicked out.” – Vania Arboleda


Skylyr VanDerveer

“After losing my job due to the pandemic, I was so worried about how I was going to afford my summer classes. I decided to try to apply for the Student Support Fund out of desperation. I was thrilled to receive my acceptance email, allowing me to pay for my summer textbooks and groceries. Thank you so much to all who donated. I cannot thank you all enough.” – Skylyr VanDerveer

Ashley Jackson

“I would like to say that I am so very grateful and appreciative of being able to receive assistance during this pandemic from my school! Words cannot express my gratitude! Thank you so much to everyone who donated in helping us students!” – Ashley Jackson

Kwadwo Mfoafo

“This fund helped relieve some of the burden off my neck and helped me focus on my academic work. I am very grateful to anyone who contributed to the fund and made it possible.” – Kwadwo Mfoafo

Click here to make a gift to the COVID-19 Student Support.

Conflict Analysis and Resolution Alumna Co-authors Article in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Jenny Chang, Ph.D.

Jenny Chang, Ph.D., doctoral graduate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences and the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Research Center, is the corresponding author and one of the co-authors of the article “Self-regulation of the newlyweds in Taiwan: Goals and strategies” published on June 30, 2020 in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. The article relates to a qualitative study of eight newlywed couples in Taiwan. Findings indicate that under the influence of Chinese culture, the newlywed participants pursue the goal of harmony in their marital and in-law relationships by using different self-regulatory ways proper to contexts to cope with their marital adjustment problems. While there are two types of harmony, genuine harmony and superficial harmony, the participants would try their utmost to attain genuine harmony (the preferred type of harmony) and then pursue superficial harmony only if genuine harmony is unattainable. The other co-authors included Szu-Chia Chang, Ph.D., Meng-Yeow Low, Ph.D., Tzu-Chin Chen, Ph.D., and Shih-Hsien Kuo, Ph.D.

Chang is currently an associate professor in the Department of Social Work in the School of History, Culture and Tourism at Huaiyin Normal University in China. She teaches courses in counseling, conflict and crisis invention. Chang not only blends theories with applicable practical conflict resolution skills, but also introduces the courses from cross-cultural perspectives to broaden students’ horizons.



1 2 3 16