March 27, 2020

Faculty spotlight: Monika Oli from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

How do you teach a microbiology lab online?

For senior lecturer Monika Oli and her colleagues in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences microbiology and cell science department, it took some quick thinking, some creativity, and a trip to Best Buy to stock up on webcams and microphones. Here’s how she kept more than 1,000 students learning.

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UF in the News

From NPR: Testing Florida’s largest retirement community for coronavirus

Doctors from the University of Florida say the tests are part of research looking at the transmission rates of the coronavirus. The tests will be available not just for people with COVID-19 symptoms, but also for people who have no symptoms. Dr. Michael Lauzardo, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Florida says, “The most important question we’re trying to determine is how many people have the virus but are showing no symptoms at all.”

Researchers making an impact

From UF Health: UF researchers​ lead the way in rapidly designing, building low-cost, open-source ventilator

As a University of Florida mechanical engineering student decades ago, Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D., helped respiratory therapist colleagues build a minimal-transport ventilator that became a commercial success. So, when the coronavirus pandemic hit and he heard the desperate international plea for thousands more ventilators, the longtime UF professor of anesthesiology set out to build a prototype using plentiful, cheap components that could be copied from an online diagram and a software repository.

Dance Marathon will go on…virtually

Demonstrating resilience, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to supporting UF Health Shands Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network, Dance Marathon will be held online this year starting at 12 p.m. on March 28 and culminate 26.2 hours later on Sunday, March 29 at 12:12 p.m. Dance Marathon at UF is the most successful student-run philanthropy in the southeastern United States, raising more than $3 million last year. Learn how you can support this effort at and follow along at

Aid-a-Gator available for students and employees

The Gator community sticks together in all sorts of weather, and that’s never more evident than in times of transition and hardship. Aid-a-Gator has processed more than 1,000 requests for a total of $955,695 from students to help cover a variety of needs, including rent due to lost wages, unanticipated travel, additional technology requirements, replacements of medications, emergency childcare due to extended school closures, and other needs. To file an application or to donate for students, visit and for employees, visit

Graduation tweet triggers outpouring of responses

When news broke on social media that commencement would be rescheduled, students and families from throughout the Gator Nation made us proud with their perspectives and resilience. Check out the below tweet from PhD candidate Daniel Pimentel as well as the outpouring of responses.

See the UF PhD candidate’s full thread

Dispatch from IFAS

To help prevent the spread of germs to family members, it could be helpful to sanitize your house nightly, including wiping down high-traffic common surfaces. Tips are available at