Government Relations

The Legisgator

A newsletter for the Gator Caucus

Publication Date: January 24, 2012

Hello, and welcome to The LegisGator, the University of Florida’s newsletter designed for members of the Gator Caucus. The LegisGator is a quick read featuring UF news bites you may have missed but would like to share with your fellow lawmakers or others.

Mark your calendars for Gator Day

Gator Day, one of Florida Blue Key's most prestigious annual events, will commence Thursday, Feb. 16. Student leaders from the University of Florida will travel to Tallahassee for the day aiming to educate, inform and promote awareness about issues facing Florida and its future leaders. This year’s plans include: leadership speaker sessions with cabinet members and the Gator Legislative Caucus, a tour of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Canady, and an evening reception honoring the Gator Legislative Caucus and Tallahassee Florida Blue Key Leadership Honorary.

Did you know?

The university libraries form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida, containing more than 5.6 million volumes, 7.9 million microfilms, 453,000 e-books, 158,695 full-text electronic journals and 1,162 electronic databases.

Economic impact in all 67 counties

UF infuses $8.76 billion into the Florida economy each year and provides more than 106,000 jobs directly and indirectly. For a county-by-county look at UF's impact, go to this website. The University of Florida – Working for Florida.

This week's spotlight:

Elizabeth Porter (R)

Elizabeth Porter (R)

Gator connection: Her district represents part of Alachua County, and her family members include Gator students, alumni and supporters.

Background: Elizabeth Porter represents Florida's 11th district, which includes Gilchrist, Lafayette, Suwanee and parts of Alachua, Columbia and Dixie counties. Porter was elected to the Columbia County Commission in 2004 and to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010. Previously, she served on the Suwanee Valley Transit Authority and appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to serve on the Judicial Nominating Commission and the Florida State Medical Examiner’s Commission. She has also served as the chair of the United Way Campaign in 2007 and on the American Cancer Society High Five Board of Directors. In addition to serving in the House, Porter also is a partner in Professional Electronic Revenue Consulting, a medical billing and consulting firm. Porter graduated with her associate of arts degree from Lake City Community College and her bachelor of arts in communications from Florida State University. She has been married to Andrew Porter for more than 20 years and has two children, Erin, and Drew.

This week’s featured faculty:

Christopher McCarty, Director, UF Survey Research Center, Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Lonnie Ingram

Christopher McCarty

Christopher McCarty is director of the UF Survey Research Center and the director of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, or BEBR. McCarty received an undergraduate degree in anthropology from West Virginia University in 1980 and a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Florida in 1992. He has conducted research in Mexico and West Africa and has consulted with U.S. Agency for International Development on projects in Cameroon, Ghana and Jamaica. McCarty's current research interests are in the area of social networks. He has worked on the adaptation of traditional network methods to large-scale telephone and field surveys and the estimation of hard-to-count populations, such as the homeless and those who are HIV positive. His most recent work is in the area of personal network structure. He has developed a program called EgoNet for the collection and analysis of personal network data. McCarty currently uses this program for a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation to use personal networks as a measure of acculturation among Hispanic migrants to the U.S. and African migrants to Spain. McCarty also conducts a variety of studies concerning economic issues in Florida using data generated by BEBR's monthly survey. The monthly Consumer Confidence Index is produced from one of these surveys. He has published in several social science journals and presented papers at a variety of professional meetings.

News Bites

A new chapter for innovation

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Innovation Hub at UF is officially open for business. Local, state and federal dignitaries were on hand for a dedication ceremony on Jan. 11.
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UF researchers discover ‘green’ pesticide effective against citrus pests

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida researchers have discovered a key amino acid essential for human nutrition is also an effective insecticide against caterpillars that threaten the citrus industry.
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Parkinson treatment shows positive results in clinical testing

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Researchers from the University of Florida and 14 additional medical centers reported results today in the online version of The Lancet Neurology journal indicating that deep brain stimulation — also known as DBS — is effective at improving motor symptoms and quality of life in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease.
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Global warming caused by greenhouse gases delays natural patterns of glaciation, researchers say

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are disrupting normal patterns of glaciation, according to a study co-authored by a University of Florida researcher and published online Jan. 8 in Nature Geoscience.
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Bob Graham Center launches cutting-edge digital tool for civil debate

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A unique, innovative social media tool — one that could revolutionize civil debate and political conversation among youth — is being unveiled this month at the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service.
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UF named a 2011-2012 best-value public college by Kiplinger’s

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For the seventh year in a row, the University of Florida has ranked No. 2 on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 best values in public colleges. The ranking — this year’s was released today — cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value.
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UF, Moffitt researchers find blood cancer may be more common than realized

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A group of life-threatening blood disorders collectively called myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, may occur four times more often than reported by national cancer registries, according to new research from the University of Florida based on data from Medicare claims.
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UF veterinarians hope new gene chip will help detect, treat West Nile virus in horses and humans

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new “gene chip” developed at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine sheds light on brain response in horses infected with West Nile virus and could lead to better ways to diagnose and treat both equines and humans, researchers said.
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