University Beat

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Few states have as close a tie to the U.S. space program than Florida, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a growing number of would-be rocket scientists at the University of South Florida.

In 2013, a mixture of mathematics, engineering and physic majors came together in a student club, the USF Society of Aeronautics and Rocketry, or SOAR.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Milo Yiannopoulos is scheduled to speak at the University of South Florida in Tampa Monday night, and while student organizers are defending inviting the openly gay conservative firebrand, other students are preparing to protest his appearance.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

(Originally aired August 9, 2016)

Bill Nagely was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, and for the past three years, he and his wife, Sheila, have made the hour-long drive from their home in St. Petersburg to the University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa.

"It’s really improved our quality of life to be able to have the resources they have here at Byrd," Sheila Nagely said. "They have a wonderful support group, which really helps me, and they just are connected with all the resources that we need."

A tale of two Florida universities and their presidents sees one school part ways with its leader, while the other has found a new boss.

By a vote of 10-1, the Board of Trustees of Florida A&M University approved a plan Thursday under which President Elmira Mangum will step down immediately.

FAMU Trustees Set Stage For President's Exit

Sep 14, 2016
Florida A&M University via Twitter

Elmira Mangum will no longer lead the country's largest historically black public university if Florida A&M University trustees approve a plan advanced Wednesday to end her two-year presidency.

Under the terms of an agreement, endorsed by a special presidential leadership committee, Mangum would immediately step down and be replaced by an interim president if the full Board of Trustees approves the plan on Thursday.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Florida is called the “Sunshine State,” but we don’t really live up to the name when it comes to solar power.

Research by the Solar Energy Industries Association shows that while we’re third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, we’re 14th when it comes to solar capacity that’s actually been installed.

The University of South Florida is trying to change that, with ground-breaking research and solar installations at both the Tampa and Saint Petersburg campuses.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

One of the trademarks of Judy Genshaft's tenure as President of the University of South Florida has been an effort at raising the school's national reputation when it comes to research.

The result of that work was on display Wednesday when she made her annual address to faculty, staff and students.

USF St. Petersburg

The goal, according to school officials, is for USF St. Petersburg to have 10,000 students enrolled by 2025. But to turn the campus from a commuter school to one where students live and study is going to take the addition of residence hall beds - a lot of them.

The school is taking steps towards the addition of a new residence hall by seeking out a suitor who will finance and build a facility under a public-private partnership (P3).

Elizabeth Herdter / USF College of Marine Science

A team of marine scientists, led by representatives of the University of South Florida, are about midway through a six-week expedition looking for evidence left over from the two largest accidental oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mariana Sánchez Ramírez

University of South Florida senior Mariana Sánchez Ramírez received a political awakening in Cleveland in July.

The Mexican born 22-year-old was one of a hundred students invited to take part in the Washington Center for Internships and Academic SeminarsRepublican National Convention event. The independent nonprofit group invites students from around the world to gain college credit through various political programs.

Almost 3,000 students will wrap up the summer - and a major step in their education - by receiving degrees this weekend from the University of South Florida.

The three schools of USF System will confer degrees to approximately 2,924 graduates, with around 1,500 marching in a pair of ceremonies at the USF Sun Dome Saturday.

Daniel Yeh / USF College of Engineering

For USF graduate research assistant Robert Bair, work he normally does in the laboratory isn’t as easy when he’s out in the field. And in this case, we literally mean a field in India.

"So a lot of things happen that you wouldn’t expect in a lab - a few weeks ago we had a few coconuts from a tree fall onto our data logger, and of course, not a lot of damage was done, but it wasn’t something we expected," he said recently via Skype. "And we had to rearrange the site configuration just so that wouldn’t happen again so we could prevent further damage."

TV coverage of the 2012 elections
iStock Photo

"The days of surprise about actual election outcomes in the big data world are likely to be fewer in the years ahead, at least to those who may have access to such data."

Those are the opening words of an article written by a University of South Florida Muma College of Business professor and his research assistant, who broke down nearly a half billion minutes of TV viewing in 2012 to determine that what people watch could show who they'll vote for president.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

You would think after playing defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for nine years, and then 11 more as a Tampa firefighter, John Cannon might have back pain.

But the engineer-driver said he feels pretty good, thanks in part to a short exercise program TFR put together with researchers from USF Health - a program that, with the help of a $1.3 million federal grant, will soon be tested by firefighters in the Tampa Bay area's three largest departments.

Jesse McLane / WUSF TV

A University of South Florida student who came to the United States from Mexico when she was 6 years old is in Cleveland this week, working and studying at the Republican National Convention.

USF Communications and Marketing

A trio of rankings recently came out on a variety of subjects, and for the University of South Florida, two out of three weren't bad.

USF picked up the top spot in a national ranking of public universities when it comes to student success and once again made the top 10 among public universities for U.S. patents.

But it placed almost right in the middle of some 700-plus schools in Money magazine's "most valuable" universities.

WUSF TV

Teddy Mullet has always liked building things by hand. While his cousin bought a kit to build a laser, Mullet decided to buy the parts separately and make his own. So when he was in his junior year at Sarasota Christian School, he was thinking of applying to University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

One problem – USFSM had no engineering program.

Visit Tampa Bay

While Britain continues dealing with the fallout of its vote to leave the European Union, tourism experts are looking at the possible effects the decision will have on tourism here in Florida.

The M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation at USF Sarasota-Manatee hosted an online panel discussion on the subject Wednesday.

Wikimedia Commons

Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel died Saturday at the age of 87 in his New York home.

Wiesel taught at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg as a visiting professor. Every year he would speak to incoming freshman, who were required to read Night, an autobiographical account of his experience as a Jew during the Holocaust.

At the age of 15, Wiesel was taken to Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp in 1944. His family was separated from him, except for his father Shlomo.

Recent USF graduates Victor Sims (left) and Frank Cirillo are both running for political office this year.
campaign Facebook pages

CORRECTION posted at 7/5/16 3:30 p.m. Copy and University Beat radio report updated to indicate Frank Cirillo graduated from USF's Tampa campus and not USF Sarasota-Manatee.

This year, while a lot of college students are getting ready to vote in their first presidential election, two recent University of South Florida graduates are running for office.

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