At the University of West Florida, learning knows no bounds.
We know where we came from, and we can see where we’re going. We’re here to seize opportunities on campus, in our community and around the world.
For more than 50 years, we’ve been the gathering place for bright minds across Northwest Florida. We’ve transformed the lives of our students with a close-knit academic experience and we’ve collaborated in the community with a progressive spirit.
Through these efforts, coupled with our innovative programs, we've served as an economic driver in our region and state, with $1.1 billion in total annual economic impact.
We are forward-thinking. We are innovative. We are bold.
Learn more about our impact through the stories of our students, faculty and alumni. These Argos exemplify what it means to unleash your potential and to know no limits.
We’re in good company.
Bloomer, Geri & Company
Because we’ve made hiring UWF graduates a company tradition. Pensacola accounting firm Bloomer, Geri & Company was founded by UWF graduate, Donna Bloomer, so it’s only fitting that they’ve made it a company tradition to hire directly from UWF’s Department of Accounting. Currently, the company’s accounting staff, ranging from part-time interns to partners and shareholders, is solely comprised of UWF alumni. In 2017, UWF’s Master of Accountancy program was ranked third in the nation and first in the state of Florida for first-time pass rates on the CPA exam, so it comes as no surprise that our graduates are well sought after by employers looking for talented, workforce-ready professionals. View more about Bloomer, Geri & Company
My skills have a global impact.
Skills learned at UWF can take you around the globe. Heysi Barrientos was pursuing a degree in global marketing and management when she took a required course in supply chain logistics that would change the course of her career. Desiring to learn more about the dynamic industry, Heysi changed majors the following semester. A problem solver with great attention to detail, she was hooked on the intricacies of products making it to a shelf. After landing a job with Crane Worldwide Logistics, Heysi traveled to Shanghai, China, for a nearly three-month training, and was immersed in the local culture, while providing exposure to the global business. Since then, she has advanced in the company to become Regional Operations Coordinator for The Americas. Heysi advises students to explore all the options available and acquire as many skills as possible. View more about Heysi Barrientos
I stitched my passions into a small business.
Earning an online MBA can turn dreams to reality. The summer after her freshman year, Emily Dennis spent a week at her grandmother’s house, where she learned how to quilt—an art that quickly became a hobby. Emily graduated and began working in event management, but soon realized it wasn’t what she wanted out of a career.
She applied for the MBA program at UWF so she could work full-time while furthering her education online. When Emily’s coursework required her to write a business plan, she took the opportunity to launch a quilting brand. Home Made Emily Jane funds her hobby and teaches others the art, forming relationships she calls a blessing and a joy.
View more about Emily Dennis
I know my own merit.
UWF does, too. Cara Womacks, marine biology major, participated in the National Merit Scholarship competition for the potential opportunity to afford the college of her choice. A homeschool graduate from the St. Louis area, she received a letter in the mail informing her that she was among 1,500 students across the country to become a finalist and knew her path was clear to make the leap from Missouri to Florida to attend the University of West Florida on a full ride scholarship. UWF students are working hard for their futures, and we want to help them dream bigger. View more about Cara Womacks
I’m exploring a new career path.
UWF paved the way for me. UWF alumna Trista Blouin knew she wanted to pursue a marketing career, but hoped to determine her niche in the field. An internship with the Pensacola-based branding firm idgroup proved to be the perfect opportunity to explore marketing research and gain firsthand experience in a professional environment. Through her internship, she was able to see where her passion for helping people merges with her skills in research-based, creative project design.
She graduated magna cum laude in May with a BSBA in comprehensive marketing and minors in both management and psychology. She wanted a job that would allow her to give back to her community, encompassing her love of consumer behavior and research and found that in her current role as Volunteer Resource Manager for the State of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, Judicial Circuit 1.
In this position, she is responsible for marketing the ad Litem program as well as the training and retention of volunteers. She regularly analyzes the status of volunteers, developing initiatives that positively impact retention. She is a bridge builder between our program, the community, the volunteers, and most importantly the children she serves.
View more about Trista Blouin
I found my second chance.
You can, too. UWF graduate student Renee Cox is living proof that it’s never too late to pursue your goals. After overcoming nearly a decade of substance abuse through an unplanned pregnancy and the open adoption of her son, the then-24-year-old college dropout pursued competitive running as her new outlet, unknowingly putting herself on the path to higher education and a brighter future. At one race, she connected with UWF head cross-country coach Caleb Carmichael, who offered her an athletic scholarship to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Now, Cox is in the graduate nursing program at UWF, pursuing her dream of becoming a family nurse practitioner and ultimately, helping others struggling with substance abuse. At UWF, potential world changers are running toward their dreams, and we help them finish strong. View more about Renee Cox
I have big goals.
Higher education is making them achievable. First generation college student Yhana Burbel is determined to build a career in aircraft routing, a passion she discovered during her sophomore year while pursuing a major in supply chain logistics management. When she's not in the classroom, she serves the community through mentoring local youth and volunteering in the Escambia County School District. She said she owes it all to her Pensacola Pledge Scholarship.
For student scholars like Yhana, the Pensacola Pledge Program not only provides access to higher education closer to home, but also expands opportunities to give back to the community that made it all possible. Equipping students with the resources to achieve their personal and professional potential is one of many common goals for the Pensacola Pledge Scholars Program and UWF.
View more about Yhana Burbel
I can engineer my own success.
Volunteer teacher, research assistant, engineering intern – all describe hard-working electrical engineering major Everette Petsinger. His education and experience enabled him to help the Caterpillar engine plant in Seguin, Texas eliminate downtime in production by diagnosing the problem and re-coding it himself. With the help of his internship through the University of West Florida, the company offered Everette a full-time position available upon graduation. Empowering students to be self-starters and engineer their own success—that's UWF. View more about Everette Petsinger
My hard work is paying off.
A college education can come debt free. As a freshman mechanical engineering major, Diana Hanks knew the cost of her education would be high, as she aspires to ultimately pursue a doctorate and become an aerospace engineer for Boeing. After participating in the National Merit Scholarship competition, Hanks was named a finalist and awarded a full-ride scholarship to the University of West Florida. UWF is helping today’s bright minds blaze past old ways of thinking. View more about Diana Hanks
Discover your potential at UWF.
There’s potential here – in our students, in our University, in our community. Graduate student Kelby Thornton is creating his own dream job. Thanks to resources made available through the UWF College of Business, Kelby is starting a personal and professional development center to help others in their lives and careers. At UWF, we support students who know no bounds.
Learn more about the
UWF College of Business. View more about Kelby Thornton
This is the college experience of my dreams.
UWF feels like home. Hannah Funk, a pre-nursing major from Fort Walton Beach, dreams of the day she’ll become a nurse practitioner to make a difference in people’s lives. But first, she’s ready for an undergraduate college experience like no other. As one of three National Merit Finalists to enter their freshman year at UWF in Fall 2017, Funk was given a scholarship covering tuition and room and board, as well as book and research stipends that enabled her to live on campus, but still be close to home. View more about Hannah Funk
Be part of groundbreaking research.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
UWF is here to help. In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, University of West Florida researchers jumped into action to study the interactions of oil with the environment, gathering crucial data on how the changing chemistry affects microbial and food webs over the course of ten years. To date, the UWF Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation has been awarded more than $1.8 million in research grants funded by BP. When the ocean is your backyard, you’ll use every resource you have to protect it. View more about Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
There are endless possibilities for innovation.
Mother Mother Ocean
We connect and engage a culture of creativity and collaboration. The University of West Florida’s Innovation Institute brought together five exceptional faculty researchers to showcase everything from local history and archaeology to economy and environment in a free online course for the general public to enjoy: Mother Mother Ocean, the first in a series of Gulf Stories highlighting UWF’s deep engagement and connection with the Gulf of Mexico. Through sustained shared thinking, we’re full-speed ahead on creating transformative experiences. View more about Mother Mother Ocean
We’re making healthcare smarter for our community.
Usha Kundu, MD College of Health and Andrews Research & Education Foundation
We’re increasing quality of life through research and collaboration. The Usha Kundu, MD College of Health and Andrews Research & Education Foundation have partnered to promote research, education, industry engagement and community outreach in the medicine and public health fields. The partnership focuses on injury prevention and rehabilitation for both amateur and professional athletes. We’re moving forward together for the health of the community. View more about Usha Kundu, MD College of Health and Andrews Research & Education Foundation
I’m breaking records.
Excellence in the pool and in the classroom. In her two years swimming for the University of West Florida women’s swimming and diving team, student-athlete and German native Theresa Michalak won five national championships. But it’s not just her success in the pool that makes her a champion. She was also a nominee for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year award, which honors graduating female college athletes who have distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Michalak is just one example of the “total package” often seen in Argo sports – the very best athletes setting records for their future. View more about Theresa Michalak
Museums are for everyone.
UWF Historic Trust
Seek, include and welcome all. The UWF Historic Trust is ensuring opportunities for every family to explore what museums have to offer through the "Museums for All" program. In partnership with 140 museums across the country, the UWF Historic Trust is offering free admission to all of its museums and the Pensacola Museum of Art for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cardholders. By providing access to museums, the UWF Historic Trust is opening doors to brighter futures for all children and helping families from all backgrounds make memories that will last a lifetime. View more about UWF Historic Trust
We’re a community of communicators.
National Writing Project
Confidence in reading and writing starts young. As a National Writing Project site, UWF is making good on its promise to educate the educators—helping teachers engage students at the K-12 level with the communication skills they need to succeed in a digital, interconnected world. View more about National Writing Project
Our community’s future is in good hands.
Quint and Rishy Studer
We’re breaking down barriers to higher education. Philanthropists Quint and Rishy Studer are committed to Pensacola’s growth and development. A driving force behind the revitalization of the city’s historic district and waterfront community, the Studers know that investing in young people always pays off. And they want to keep the best talent local. Longtime supporters of UWF, the Studers helped to establish the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, thanks to a $1 million gift in 2015. Quint serves as entrepreneur in residence at the Center, guiding Northwest Florida business owners and entrepreneurial students. Since 2012, the Studers have funded the Pensacola Pledge Scholars Program, providing scholarships for graduating high school seniors in Escambia and Santa Rosa County to attend college locally, either at UWF or Pensacola State College. Most recently, the Studers gifted a $150,000 Interactive Early Learning Playground to UWF, which is located at Museum Plaza, a historic preservation and education initiative in Historic Pensacola. View more about Quint and Rishy Studer
We analyze and innovate.
Community Outreach Research and Learning (CORAL) Center
Watch, evaluate and learn. The UWF Community ORAL Center is in year four (2018-2019) of a five year research and evaluation program of the STEAM, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, educational initiative in Santa Rosa County School District. Through the program, more than 1,200 classroom observations are completed each year by UWF education doctoral students as trained observers. The year four research also includes empirically connecting classroom observations to Florida Standard Assessment Test Scores to determine efficacy of the STEAM program for improving math, science, and language arts student performance. The UWF role in conducting the STEAM research and program evaluation provides an external validation assessment and mutually beneficial partnership with the K-12 district pertinent for improving education for the school district and for the UWF graduate students pursuing a doctorate in education. View more about Community Outreach Research and Learning (CORAL) Center
A community at play is a healthy community.
Dr. Matthew Ruckman
It’s a place you go to relax, eat lunch or play ball. It’s a space where community members of all ages can come together and enjoy the great outdoors. It’s a park. The University of West Florida’s public administration and sport management program is partnering with Pensacola’s Parks and Recreation Department to evaluate and enhance the city’s current park system. Because we believe that the community that works together, plays together. View more about Dr. Matthew Ruckman
I’ve found a career to leverage and improve my skills.
Fernanda Luvizotto do Amaral
Set your sights high. Fernanda Luvizotto do Amaral joined UWF’s College of Business Executive Mentor Program as a senior, seeking professional development opportunities. Thanks to her mentor’s encouragement and professional connections, she landed a job at Silver Bullet Technology, where she is using her education and professional skills to excel within the company’s dynamic culture. View more about Fernanda Luvizotto do Amaral
We can conserve critically endangered species.
Dr. Alexis Janosik
It’s fish forensics. The Alabama sturgeon is so rare that the last documented capture was in 2007. Many believe that overfishing, environmental degradation and river impoundments have caused it to go extinct. But Dr. Alexis Janosik, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, can demonstrate the fish is still out there. Seventeen water samples—out of the hundreds she’s collected over the years—have captured the environmental DNA of the fish. An entire conservation movement, sparked by traces of scales, feces, urine and gametes. And one persistent UWF professor pursuing a breakthrough. View more about Dr. Alexis Janosik
We’re ending the teacher shortage.
Dr. John Pecore
Only the best and brightest for Florida’s schools. Nationwide, 50 percent of teachers leave the profession after five years. In Florida, schools are short more than 240 science and math teachers. Dr. John Pecore, associate professor for the Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership, has teamed up with a coalition of Northwest Florida higher education institutions. Together they are using a grant from the National Science Foundation to turn this trend around. By stepping up the recruitment and mentoring of “STEM”—science, technology, education, Pecore is combating the teacher shortage at its root. View more about Dr. John Pecore
We’re getting inside the heads of 16th century Spanish explorers.
Division of Anthropology
This is where they stepped ashore. Six years before the Spanish settlement in St. Augustine and 48 years before the English settlement in Jamestown, Spanish explorer Tristán de Luna y Arellano led an expedition to colonize the northern Gulf Coast. But one month after 1,500 colonists arrived in 11 ships, a hurricane hit. Now it’s a historical puzzle, pieced together through Spanish and Native American pottery sherds, wrought iron nails and trade beads. The discovery of the first shipwreck, then the second. Finding the colony in a developed neighborhood in Pensacola. A third shipwreck confirmed the whole fleet lies in Pensacola Bay. For the faculty and their students in UWF’s archaeology program, it’s a dream come true. It’s real history, and it’s right here. View more about Division of Anthropology and Archaeology
I’m helping children with behavioral issues.
It started with Silly Putty. While working at UWF’s Educational Research Center for Child Development, social science and special education graduate Kaley DeVito connected with a little boy who craved attention and struggled with behavioral issues. She wrote her senior thesis and published an article about how something as simple as Silly Putty helped modify the behavior of a 4-year-old. DeVito’s experiences at the Center have propelled her to pursue a graduate degree and a career focused on helping children. View more about Kaley DeVito
I found my future in nursing.
From the Air Force to the ER. Matt Lichtenberg had been in the Air Force for almost 16 years when he enrolled at UWF to get a bachelor’s degree and become an officer. After graduating from UWF, he’s now in the hospital at 6:30 in the morning. Taking vitals, observing procedures, heading to the operating room. Thriving in the challenging and fast-paced environment of making people well again. By welcoming active duty military personnel, UWF has made Lichtenberg’s lifelong dream of working in medicine come to life. View more about Matt Lichtenberg