Student assistants play a critical role in library staffing, serving library users and supporting internal processes across the Library. Through part-time employment, students build lifelong skills and help cover the costs of their UNF education. This award is intended to reward top performing student assistants who demonstrate excellent service and commitment to the Library and its mission. The award is provided through the Dr. Carolyn Williams Library Student Assistant Fund, established with support from the Dean’s Leadership Council to honor Dr. Williams’ memory and contributions to the Library.
Dr. Carolyn Williams was an associate professor in the history department at UNF. She grew up in Durkeeville and the Jacksonville area and graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in history from UNF. While a UNF student, she worked as a student assistant in the library and valued that experience as part of her academic career. She later received a master’s in U.S. history from the University of California at San Diego and a doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she examined women in the anti-slavery movement.
Dr. Williams spent many hours immersed in the “too-often forgotten history of Jacksonville.” In a 2008 interview, she said history can help revitalize a community by instilling pride and encouraging people to invest in its future.
She passed away in November 2011 at the age of 63.
In considering applications, the committee will select award recipient(s) considering evidence of one or more of the following criteria:
Eligible students may be nominated by any library faculty or staff member using the nomination form. Student nominees will be invited to submit the following:
Kamiar Arjmand and Leanne Triplett were the Carolyn Williams Student Assistant Award winners for Spring 2016. Kamiar has worked in the Library Periodicals area since 2015 and he is majoring in Psychology at UNF. In his application he explained:
The purpose of this fund is to support scholarship opportunities for students who have an interest in majoring in STEM related programs such as Computer and Information Sciences, Engineering or Mathematics, with preference given to students working in the Carpenter Library and/or who are involved in community service.
The Library Dean’s Leadership Council Scholarship was established in 2015 with support from the Dean’s Leadership Council. It is an annual scholarship and may grow into an endowed scholarship fund to last in perpetuity.
Applications will be reviewed by a committee of Dean’s Leadership Council members and the Library’s Director of Development (ex officio). The committee will make its recommendation of scholarship winner(s) to the Dean. Scholarships will be awarded based on eligible applicants and available funding. The Dean’s Council will establish funding levels annually, beginning with FY 15-16. The scholarship may be renewable provided the recipient continues to meet the criteria and submits a request for renewal.
The committee will select award recipient(s) based on the following as eligible students must:
Edna L. Saffy was a professor, human rights activist and founder of NOW chapters in Jacksonville and Gainesville. She was active in city, county, state and national political causes. As Gloria Steinem said of her, 'Edna always makes it happen.'" Dr. Saffy was a member of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee for 35 years. In 1975, Dr. Saffy was a key organizer of a march on the state capitol in Tallahassee in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, leading a group of women estimated at 3,000. The amendment passed in the state House in both 1975 and 1977, but it failed by a few votes in the state Senate and never gained approval in enough state legislatures to become part of the Constitution. Although the struggle for the ERA was unsuccessful, Dr. Saffy felt that it was a battle worth fighting, one that helped change hearts and minds and open up opportunities for women.
The Jacksonville native graduated from Lee High School before heading to the University of Florida where she earned her bachelor's degree and master's degree in rhetoric and public address. In 1968 she went to work as an English and speech instructor at what is now Florida State College at Jacksonville. She taught speech and oral communication at the college until she retired at the end of 2007 and was named professor emeritus. Dr. Saffy returned to Gainesville in 1972 to work on her doctorate and founded a NOW chapter there, two years after she and some friends had founded the Jacksonville chapter.
Dr. Saffy was recognized for her human rights efforts by being named "a woman of courage and vision" in 2001 by the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women during Women's History Month. In 2005, Dr. Saffy was presented with the EVE Lifetime Achievement Award. Her public service included mayoral appointments to the Duval County Hospital Authority, Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, advisory committee on LaVilla Cultural Heritage District and the Jacksonville Area Planning Board. She was active with numerous groups including Planned Parenthood, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society, Hubbard House, Karpeles Manuscript Museum and the American Association of University Women. Dr. Saffy also served as president of the Florida Women's Political Caucus and founder of the Jacksonville Women's Network. Nationally Edna Saffy was active in Mideast peace groups and a member of the American Arab Institute, she was invited by President Clinton to witness the signing of the Mid-East Peace Accord in 1993. She also was appointed by President Clinton to the Advisory Committee on the Arts of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in 1995-2001, and by President Gerald Ford in 1976 as a Florida delegate to the International Women's Conference. She was a Florida State delegate to Democratic National Conventions in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2000.
After her death in 2010 Edna Saffy’s husband of 41 years, Grady E. Johnson Jr. established the fund for a scholarship in her name. The first scholarship will be awarded in 2017. The UNF Thomas G. Carpenter Library houses the archives of Dr. Saffy’s papers and memorabilia. Digitized items can be accessed through the UNF Digital Commons.
The purpose of the Dr. Edna L. Saffy Library Scholarship is to provide support for a student with an academic interest in women’s history. Preference will be given to students with an interest in (ascending order of priority) American Women’s History, Florida Women’s History, Jacksonville Women’s History, and/or Dr. Edna Saffy’s contribution to Women’s History.