Class of 2018-19


Meet the LEAD Class of 2018 - 2019

Holly Ellis

Holly teaches in the Educational Leadership (M.Ed.), Instructional Design and Technology (M.Ed.), and Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.D. and Ed.S.) graduate programs. A fourth generation educator, teaching has always been in her blood. Growing up, it wasn't uncommon for dinner conversations to center on teaching and learning – what was learned that day (both formally and informally), how it was learned, what could have improved the learning experience. Through these conversations and impromptu opportunities for self-reflection, the fire that fueled her passion for education was fanned.

Ramie Gougeon

Ramie (Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2002) came to UWF in 2010 after several years in cultural resource management (CRM). He currently serves as president of the Florida Archaeological Council (FAC), a group advocating for the profession of archaeology and the protection of cultural resources. On campus, Ramie teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in anthropology and archaeology and oversees master’s student research. His most recent publications have examined the evidence for and implications of culture contact on the Gulf Coast in the 15th century. Ramie was recognized with the Distinguished Faculty Service Award in 2018. He has served on many committees and service roles since 2010 and is currently the chair of CASSH Council. Ramie’s most rewarding role, however, continues to be serving as ‘dad’ to his 11-year old son.

Jia Liu

Dr. Jia Liu is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Liu’s research focuses on computational mathematics, especially the numerical solver for large sparse linear systems. She studies Krylov subspace iterative algorithms, preconditioning techniques, biological models, machine learning, and complex network structures.

Dr. Liu’s finds have been published in SIAM Journal of Scientific Computing, International Journal of Computer Mathematics, Journal of Biological Dynamics, Journal of Applied Physics and other peer-reviewed journals. They covered such topics as preconditioning techniques for the solving the Navier-Stokes problems, iterative solvers for optimization problems, Geometric and Topological properties of Ellipsoids, community detection algorithms in complex networks, and disease prediction. Liu also has made presentations at prestigious academic gatherings in China, Canada, and the United States.

She earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at Central China Normal University, where her bachelor thesis won the highest honor. She joined UWF in 2006 after receiving Ph.D. in Mathematics from Emory University, where the National Science Foundation funded her doctoral dissertation on “Preconditioned Krylov Subspace Methods for Incompressible Flow Problems.” She has been an editor or editorial board member of several peer-reviewed publications and has reviewed papers proposed for other journals as well.

Barbara Larson

Barbara teaches 19th and 20th century courses, including art and science in the 19th century, 19th century European art, women and art, and modern art. She is a world-renowned scholar of science and 19th century visual culture, with a focus on evolutionism, medicine, history of the brain and mind, and the art movement Symbolism. 

She is author of The Dark Side of Nature: Science, Society, and the Fantastic in the Work of Odilon Redon, a book that delves into the scientific interests of Redon, a French artist. She is lead editor of The Art of Evolution: Darwin, Darwinisms, and Visual Culture and Darwin and Theories of Aesthetics and Cultural History. Barbara has contributed a number of catalogue essays to international exhibitions and authored many articles on issues in art and science. She is series editor of Art and Science since 1750 for Routledge Press, inclusive of volumes that explore how the arts are informed by emerging scientific theories and technologies. 

Barbara has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Melbourne.

Ludmila Cosio Lima

Ludmila teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in exercise testing and prescription. Since her arrival at UWF, she has designed various courses including exercise electrocardiography interpretation and medical physiology. She is responsible for the endorsement of the program by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the Program Accreditation by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She is also the Chair of the UWF IRB committee.

Before joining UWF as a faculty member Ludmila received her Ph.D. in clinical exercise physiology from Springfield College, Springfield, MA, while working part time and doing research at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, MA (1996-2003). She did her post doctorate at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT, as a Clinical Research Associate in Cardiology working under one of the best cardiologists in the country, Dr. Paul Thompson (2003-2005). She holds very distinctive certifications in her field: Exercise is Medicine level 3 Credential, Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, (ACSM) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with Distinction (NSCA). Her research interests are in sports cardiology, prevention of illnesses and injuries in civilian and military population and the investigation of modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

She is a nationally ranked in triathlons and has completed 24 Ironman Triathlons. She speaks six languages fluently.

Justice Mbizo

Justice teaches epidemiological research methods and applied public health analysis. His research focuses on applying epidemiological and statistical methods to understanding underlying multi-level causes of health disparities in chronic diseases. He is interested in the role of personal, community, and systems factors contribute to the health and health-seeking behaviors of people with chronic diseases among the underserved and marginalized. His work also extends to international health on HIV and gender-based violence and its public health impact.

He has been involved in several community-based participatory projects. He was the principal investigator for Florida Department of Health-funded projects that assessed health disparities among minority infants, and H1N1 vaccine uptake in Escambia County. He has collaborated to investigate if sickle cell trait leads to erroneous hemoglobin A1C test results among African American diabetics. He has authored and co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed articles. He has co-authored two book chapters: “Public Health Informatics” and “Public Health Informatics: Currents Issues and Trends”. He has collaborated with researchers at the National Cancer Institute, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and internationally from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

At UWF since 2006, Justice has served on the National Board of the Association of Accredited Public Health Programs and currently on the Executive Board of the Florida Public Health Association. He is a member of the Florida Public Health Association, and American Public Health Association. He received a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Concordia College - Michigan, master’s in health services administration from Central Michigan University, and a doctorate in public health from Morgan State University.

Bhuvaneswari Ramachandran

Bhuvana has more than 15 years’ experience teaching power engineering. Her many research areas include auction strategies in electricity markets, real time power system modeling and simulation using software tools, integration of distributed generation, storage and plug-in-hybrid vehicle into the grid, smart grid and micro grid scheduling and economics, and phasor measurement-based analysis.

She taught at Annamali University in India and at Florida State University before joining UWF in 2012. Bhuvana was a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at FSU’s Center for Advanced Power System. She also has worked for the Office of Naval Research. She has co-published more than 30 refereed journal articles. Publications include International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, the 6th IEEE International Conference on Cybernetics and Intelligent SystemsExpert Systems with Applications, Smart Grid, and Measurement.

She received three degrees from Annamali University: Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, M.S. in Power Systems Engineering, and B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

Cynthia Smith-Peters

Cynthia teaches courses in public and community health nursing, health assessment, maternal-child nursing, and nursing leadership and serves as the director of the BSN program. Her research interests focus on health disparities, minority health, and the transition of the graduate to professional nurse. 

She is the UWF liaison for the UWF – Baptist nurse residency program, an innovative program providing additional support to nursing students and graduates to prepare them for the demands of professional practice.

During her 23 years as a professional nurse, she has practiced in medical-surgical nursing, public health nursing, geriatrics, pediatrics, and maternal care. In addition, as a parish or faith community nurse, she is routinely invited to give presentations at community churches and centers where she encourages individuals to focus on preventive health care and the management of chronic diseases. She has also worked as a public health nurse and nursing consultant providing education to healthcare professionals and families regarding perinatal HIV transmission and HIV prevention and treatment options, and she has assisted in clinical trials for HIV-exposed infants.

Before coming to UWF in 2014, she was an assistant professor of nursing at Pensacola State College. She received a bachelor's in nursing and master's in nursing with focus on public health from the University of South Alabama, master's in health education and management from UWF, and doctorate of nursing practice from Duquesne University.

Jacob Shively

Jacob is an assistant professor in the Reubin O'D. Askew Department of Government. In addition to work on the relationship between technology and national security, his research focuses on foreign policy and United States national security strategy. His current book project evaluates the early Trump administration and expands on his 2016 book, Hope, Change, Pragmatism: Analyzing Obama’s Grand Strategy. Shively has been nominated for a Student Government Association teaching award and has developed a wide roster of international relations courses. Occasionally, Shively also delivers briefings to military professionals in the region. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University after working through college and receiving his B.A. from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a school similar to UWF. Shively and his wife have four children. They will laugh with hidden tears when asked about hobbies, free time, and other fantastical topics.

Aletheia Zambesi

Aletheia is a Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of West Florida. She received a B.S. in Mathematics, an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences, and an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from UWF. She is currently working to complete an Ed.D. degree and is interested in researching the link between mindset and mathematics achievement in undergraduate students. Aletheia joined UWF in 2013 and is responsible for administration of lower division mathematics courses, mathlab tutoring, and supervising graduate assistants. Aletheia recently worked to implement open educational resources throughout lower division mathematics at UWF significantly reducing fees for undergraduate students. In her free time, Aletheia enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, traveling, and cooking.