Interdisciplinary and experientialSTEAM Institute

What is STEAM?

The STEAM Institute is one of the first of its kind in the nation. Human-centered and project-based, STEAM is an interdisciplinary approach to education, applying various disciplines to examine a theme, question, or world issue. The skills acquired through combining technology, arts, and sciences with business and health studies empower our generation of learners—leaders—in their mission to engineer an improved tomorrow.

A spirit of critical thought, curiosity, and boldness unites the work of the STEAM faculty and students, whether they are probing fundamental questions in their specific disciplines or applying new knowledge to solve the most complex issues of our time.

Read about the Institute.

Facilities and Lab Spaces:

  • Animation Studio
  • Cyber Forensics Lab
  • Cyber Range
  • Design Thinking Studio
  • Engineering Design Lab
  • Engineering Design Competition Suite
  • Film Studio
  • Film Editing Suite and Equipment Cage
  • FinTech Lab
  • GIS Lab
  • Graphics & Illustration Labs
  • Immersive Learning Studio
  • Robotics, Drone, and Animatronics Lab
  • Student Professional Societies & Industry Partners Collaboration Suite

What we're curious aboutEnhancing Business Decisions using AI

Artificial intelligence is used to manage risks and improve decision-making in business by leveraging advanced algorithms to analyze large data sets and identify patterns, trends, and potential risks. Business and finance students use AI to improve their overall performance by automating complex tasks and predicting changes in the market.

Learn about our FinTech programs.

people pointing at a wall of green and red data points
student looking into a telescope

What we're curious aboutPromoting Climate Action through Technology and Art

Our artists, engineers, and scientists encourage a richer and more complex conversation about climate change through the cumulative impact of their art and visual messaging. Students illustrate the impacts humans have on animals and their habitats in books and magazines; photography students capture melting ice caps, floods, or wildfires; map-makers use GIS and Adobe to accurately and aesthetically depict what is in our oceans and how they’re evolving; sculptors design with recycled materials.

Join the Climate Innovation Challenge.

What we're curious aboutHealing with Technology

In the field of healthcare, proficiency in emerging technologies is in demand. Thus, STEAM students receive the necessary education to be qualified nurses and train using simulation, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D anatomy tables, and cyber security in preparation for a new wave of expert health systems.

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JU FutureMakerMeet Ian Rivera, Electrical Engineering & Music

Meet Ian Rivera, a passionate double major in electrical engineering and music at Jacksonville University. Ian shares his journey, showcasing how his love for music and expertise in electrical engineering merge to address real-world problems and inspire his community. The future is made by those who invest in it. Building a better tomorrow is what Jacksonville University does. Our investments today will shape the results of tomorrow. Together, we'll propel the next generation of future makers, like Ian. It starts today. It begins with you. Learn how you can make a difference:

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Meat Ian Rivera, Electrical Engineering & Music

My name is Ian Rivera I'm a Double Major in Electrical Engineering in Music at Jacksonville University.

I believe music does make me a better problem solver, you're doing a lot of calculations on how to play certain notes. You have to do a lot of cross referencing between different scores. That can be applied to engineering because you constantly have to make cross references between different subjects in order to eventually arrive at the final product.

I chose JU because they had Electrical Engineering and a Music program that I liked. I was like: this has to be the best option because I'm able to do both things at the same time.

My professor Dr Lockwood, when I talked about my interest in music and I really wanted to be a part of JU. Now, when I told her I also wanted to do Engineering she believed that it was possible.

I currently play the Cello for the Jacksonville University Orchestra. My mother was a flautist. She has a Master's of Music and she really made sure that music was present in my life. My parents got me a cello when I was around third grade and then ever since I just loved it so much.

So I've been in music education for basically most of my life. My passion for engineering started at a young age I used to dismantle everything because I really wanted to know how it worked.

My father he did a lot of soldering work when he was younger, so when I showed interest in soldering, in electronics, he really showed me how to do it and that practice has translated to JU and helping me in the engineering department helping as a teacher's assistant and being able to help other students with solder work and also electronic work as well.

The STEAM Institute recently just opened and it's wonderful! It has a bunch of labs that helps Engineers really come together as a group and come up with nice little solutions to problems. The STEAM Institute has really set the bar for many other schools and really trying to cultivate problem solving because now we have graphic designers literally in the same classrooms as us.

So, when I graduate, I hope to be able to pursue a Masters in Music and eventually when I finish my music education I would like to go back for a Master's in Engineering.

I believe JU has made me a lifelong learner. I'm not done learning just because I get a piece of paper.

My name is Ian Rivera and I'm a Future.Maker!

Keason Drawdy speaks with cybersecurity students

“There’s no such thing as resting on your laurels in cybersecurity. Something I could deploy yesterday could already be compromised by the following day. You have to make sure your systems maintain their integrity.”

Keason DrawdySenior Cyber Security Solutions Consultant with Emtec

Read more about cybersecurity.

Connecting physical and virtual worlds Advanced Technologies

The STEAM Institute houses technologies to engage the mind, ignite the imagination, and inspire the future of our students. STEAM focuses on connecting the physical and virtual worlds through engaged learning spaces that leverage advanced technologies.

The first floor of STEAM focuses on two-dimensional investigations of these transitory worlds, highlighted by a real-time Cyber Security Simulation Range, a Financial Technologies Laboratory that leverages Data Science, Geographical Informational Systems, and a U/X Design Studio. The second floor expands into three-dimensional research, highlighted by a high-tech immersive learning studio, a robotics makerspace, a virtual creative content studio, and a compressive 3D printing facility. 


30,000-square-feet of high-touch technology

News from the STEAM Institute

Contact usThe STEAM Team

  • Bill Hill, Executive Director
  • Dr. Bob Boylan, Department Chair, Accounting, Finance & Economics
  • Dr. Daniel Franz, Department Chair, Mathematics
  • Dr. Ashley Johnson, Department Chair, Geography
  • Eric Kunzendorf, Department Chair, Media Arts
  • Tiffany Leach, Department Chair, Visual Arts
  • Dr. Amber Santos, Assistant Professor of Nursing; Director of Innovation and Quality
  • Dr. Emre Selvi, Director, School of Engineering & Technology
  • Dr. Mini Zeng, Department Chair, Computing Science

Contact Information

Jacksonville University
2800 University Blvd N
Jacksonville, FL 32211

Phone: (904) 256-7337