Louis A. Ritz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office Phone:  (352) 273-5533
Email:              lritz@ufl.edu
Website:  http://www.ufspiritualityandhealth.org/directorsadvisors/ritz.asp

Education:

1980 Ph.D. (Neuroscience) University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
1980-1983 Postdoctoral Fellowship (Physiology) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Research  Summary:

The University of Florida Center for Spirituality and Health receives research funding that enters the University of Florida through the UF Foundation. Since its inception in 1999, the Center has received $1.85M from the Dharma Endowment Foundation and modest funds from other sources. A primary focus is on counseling, nursing, medical and premedical students, who will impact many patients/clients throughout their careers. The Center provides yearly support to the Department of Neuroscience for my administrative functions ($5K), for teaching classes in the University’s Honors Program ($5K each), and for website maintenance ($12K). In March 2017, a 5-year report of Center functions was provided to the College of Medicine Office of Research.

The Center has continued to offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, through the College of Education, the College of Nursing, and the UF Honors Program. We have supported two student-initiated UF groups (The MOR Club and The Create Club), each with more than 650 followers on Facebook. Within the College of Medicine, our Center recently offered a “Mindfulness in Medicine” course, over 4 weeks, to 13 self-selected medical students.

During the past two years, we have formed a partnership with the UF Mindfulness Program (https://mindfulness.ufl.edu/). Dr. Grunwald and core team members of UF Mindfulness are also part of the UF Center for Spirituality and Health. To build the UF Mindfulness Program, funded for 1 ½ years by the UF Creative Campus Program, an interdisciplinary team was formed: (i) leadership: Dr. Sabine Grunwald, (ii) core team members: Dr. Monika Ardelt, Dr. Ana Puig, and Dr. Grunwald and (iii) 13 faculty & staff members representing various colleges and disciplines. Within the first year, an affiliate membership base was build comprising a mailing list of about 550 students, staff, and faculty with interest in mindfulness.

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Dr. Louis Ritz — University of Florida Honors Professor of the Year 2017-2018

Congratulations to Dr. Louis Ritz who has been chosen as the 2017-2018 University of Florida Honors Professor of the Year. This is a prestigious award given to an Honors professor who has exhibited exemplary leadership, mentorship, a compassion for teaching, and an energizing educational environment for their students during the past academic year. The nomination for this prestigious award came from the Honors students.  The award will be presented at the annual Honors Banquet on Tuesday, April 10th, at the Cade Museum. Since 2000 Dr. Ritz has taught in the undergraduate Honors program, and is one of the few COM faculty who teaches in the program. UF honors students are among the brightest students on our campus.  At least 110 of Dr. Ritz’s undergraduates have gone on to medical school, with others going to graduate school.  More recently, some of these undergraduates have been finding their way into research labs within the Department of Neuroscience and the McKnight Brain Institute.

 
Dr. Louis Ritz — 2015 Anderson Scholars Faculty Honoree

Anderson HallDr. Louis Ritz, Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, has been identified as a faculty honoree by one of this year’s Anderson Scholar Award recipients.  The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences awards Anderson Scholar Certificates of Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction to those students who have maintained a full, uninterrupted course load and at least a 3.90, 3.95, and 4.00 GPA, respectively, during their first two years at UF.  When a student is notified of the award, they are given an opportunity to identify one faculty member who has been particularly inspiring or influential. Dr. Louis Ritz has been named as a 2015 faculty honoree by an Anderson Scholar. UF is home to many outstanding teachers; standing out among this group is a real mark of distinction.  Dr. Ritz, congratulations on being recognized in this fashion, and thanks very much for your excellent work.