September 24, 2020

Some tips and reminders for this year’s election season

I Voted Gator StickerOn National Voter Registration Day this past Tuesday, UF’s Student Government announced it had partnered with the Gator Get Out the Vote Coalition and the Bob Graham Center as one of more than 75 colleges and universities working to register potential voters through the TurboVote system. Floridians have until Oct. 5 to register to participate in the upcoming election.

A few things to know as we enter this election season:

  • Early voting will be available at the J. Wayne Reitz Union’s Career Connections Center Oct. 19 through 31.
  • As discussed in this UF Administrative Memo, UF encourages faculty and staff to be informed, active and engaged in the elections, but please remember that you may not use UF facilities, email, logos or other university resources for political campaigning or other political activities. You can review the UF Political Activity policy for more information.
  • The UF Libraries have created a handy Voting Guide for the UF Community that explains how to register, create a plan and explore this year’s ballot.

Check out the Bob Graham Center for Public Service’s website for a list of upcoming events and public programs related to this year’s election season.

inLine ticketing system designed to lower health risk when voting

Juan Gilbert, Ph.D.As people across the country head to the polls over the next few months, a concern on many minds is how to stay safe while voting. With the COVID-19 pandemic surging nationwide, what can election officials do to ensure everyone has the ability to vote without risking their health?

Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D., The Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and chair of the UF Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, has created a ticketing system to help voters maintain social distancing while exercising their right to vote. Dr. Gilbert, who has been conducting research on elections for more than 15 years, saw a need down to the local level and filled it.

“Everyone wants to feel safe while they are casting their vote,” he said. “The inLine Ticketing System lowers voters’ risk of contracting COVID-19 by reducing the length of lines and reducing the amount of time people need to stand close to others.”

Complete student mental health literacy training by Oct. 30

Student and professor wearing masksKognito’s “At-Risk for Faculty and Staff” training course is designed to help us all improve our mental health literacy, notice when students show signs of stress, learn how to talk about these signs, practice sharing concerns, and motivate students to seek help. While not all faculty and staff will regularly interact with students in the one-on-one way depicted in the training, it is important for all of us recognize signs of distress and guide students to resources that can support them.

At the beginning of this year, faculty were asked to complete the “At-Risk” training course. This week, any faculty who have not yet completed the course as well as all staff will receive an email from myTraining prompting them to complete this required training by October 30. This effort is also being undertaken by UF’s colleagues at other state universities at the request of Florida’s Board of Governors in order to collectively improve our ability to work with students in crisis.

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Higher Education Opportunity provides tuition assistance to children of TEAMS staff

Hand holding a rolled up diplomaUF’s Higher Education Opportunity (HEO) provides children of full-time TEAMS employees with the opportunity of tuition assistance for an undergraduate education at the University of Florida.

In spring 2021, UFHR will select — at random from a pool of eligible HEO applicants — 150 TEAMS employees to participate in this program. Each eligible employee may submit one child’s name into the drawing. To be considered for this benefit, the TEAMS employee must apply for the HEO by Nov. 1, 2020.

Children of full-time TEAMS employees must also have applied for admission to the University of Florida no later than Nov. 1 to qualify for the HEO. Visit the HEO website to read about additional steps and eligibility requirements. For questions about this program, contact Verlissa Ford by email at or by phone at (352) 273-0149.

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UF inventors honored at Standing InnOvation event

More than 200 innovators participated in a livestreamed event and virtual happy hour hosted by UF Innovate | Tech Licensing to celebrate their achievements in fiscal year 2020.

“Despite the challenges we’re all facing, UF Innovate had an incredible year,” said Jim O’Connell, director of UF Innovate, as he opened the live-stream event. “We had record numbers of invention disclosures, record numbers of deals, and we have the No. 1 incubator in the world.”

Dr. David Norton, vice president for UF Research, and O’Connell emceed the event, introducing six inventions of the year chosen from the record 393 inventions disclosed in fiscal year 2020. The event culminated in the announcement of UF’s Innovator of the Year, Dr. Richard Snyder, a former UF researcher and founder of UF spinoff Florida Biologix.

You can read more about this year’s winners on the UF Innovate website and view a recording of the ceremony, which includes video vignettes highlighting each of the winners, below.