University Beat

University Beat
5:16 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

USF, MOSI Strike Up 'Innovative Partnership'

Rocky the Bull and MOSI's "steampunk scientist" Sky Captain Fallwind pose after the signing ceremony
MOSI

Previously, the main connection between the University of South Florida and MOSI was a physical one - a walkway over Fowler Avenue that joined USF's campus to the museum.

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University Beat
6:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Board of Governors Pauses USF Med School Plan

An architect's rendering of the proposed USF Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa.

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:50 pm

Even with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik voicing their support for the plan, the Florida Board of Governors put the University of South Florida's proposed downtown Morsani College of Medicine on hold for the moment.

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University Beat
5:08 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Tampa Innovation Alliance Aims to Redevelop USF Area

Map of area covered by the Tampa Innovation Alliance
Tampa Innovation Alliance

The 15,000 acre area surrounding the University of South Florida's Tampa campus has been called "the University Area", "University West," and, derisively, "Suitcase City," due to the number of transients.

But no matter what you call the region, which is bounded by Interstate 275 to the west, I-75 to the East, Busch Boulevard to the south and Bearss Avenue to the north, it's home to thousands of residents, hundreds of businesses, and a few dozen of Tampa’s most recognizable organizations and sites.

To the members of the Tampa Innovation Alliance, however, it's is an untapped gold mine of potential.

"The purpose (of the Alliance) is to make this location recognized around the world as the destination for innovation, creative activity, business enterprise," said Alliance Executive Director Mark Sharpe. "It’s to make this place a place you want to live, work and play."

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Law & Order
10:05 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Campus Gun Bill Clears First Committee

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:50 pm

Florida lawmakers are considering whether to allow people to carry guns on public college and university campuses.

The bill comes in the wake of a November shooting at Florida State University, which injured three people—one critically—and left the gunman dead. During a committee hearing on the proposal, Eric Friday general counsel for the pro-gun lobby group Florida Carry, backed thebill.

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Education
4:19 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Local Professor Testifies Against Campus Concealed Gun Law

If approved, the bill will allow concealed weapons to be carried on Florida college campuses.
Credit wral.com

A House subcommittee has approved a bill that would allow guns on college campuses in Florida.

If legislators pass the bill during the upcoming session, it will repeal a state law that prevents concealed-carry permit holders from bringing their guns on college campuses and universities around Florida.

Marjorie Sanfilippo, a psychology professor at Eckerd College, testified before the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. She believes the rates of psychological disorders in college-age students may lead to trouble for students who have access to concealed weapons.

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Health News Florida
2:58 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Moffitt Looking at Expansion Options

The hospital Moffitt Cancer Center officials are considering expanding is at the far left.
Credit Moffitt Cancer Center

It's in the very early stages, but officials with the Moffitt Cancer Center are looking at expanding or rebuilding their main hospital.

According to Moffitt Chief Operating Officer Jack Kolosky, nothing has been decided yet, but they know they need to do something to address hospital overcrowding.

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Education
8:33 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Final Word Before USF Graduate Moves On

Noor Shakfeh (center) with Syrian children in one of the refugee camps. (March 2013)
Photo courtesy of Jihad Saadeh

We first met University of South Florida student Noor Shakfeh after she spent her spring break in Syria helping at a refugee camp along the Turkish border almost two years ago.

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Law & Order
7:30 am
Thu January 15, 2015

House Panel to Consider Guns On Campus

Three people were shot in November on the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee. Police killed the gunman.
Associated Press

A House panel is expected next week to take up a bill that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on the campuses of state colleges and universities.

The bill (HB 4005), filed by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, is scheduled to be considered Tuesday by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. It comes after a shooting incident in November at Florida State University that left three people wounded and the gunman killed by police.

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University Beat
5:36 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

USF Conference Examines Middle East Extremism

Militants of the Islamic State stand with a captured Iraqi army Humvee outside Baiji oil refinery, north of Baghdad, in June 2014.
Credit AP Photo / NPR

In just the last two weeks, members of terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS allegedly took part in a number of deadly attacks in France, as well as the hacking of social media sites for U.S. Central Command, based at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base.

The growing reach of these extremist groups is the subject of a conference taking place Thursday at the University of South Florida.

Dr. Mohsen Milani, the Executive Director of the USF Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, said the conference will focus on extremism in the Middle East and how it's effecting the policies of the U.S. and many other countries.

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University Beat
5:17 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Lecture Series Looks at Dollars & Cents of Sports & Entertainment

Credit istockphoto.com / NPR

The dollars and cents of the sport and entertainment industries will be the topic of discussion during a series of free lectures taking place at the University of South Florida this week.

The second annual USF Sport and Entertainment Lecture Series, presented by Fox Sports Florida and the Tampa Bay Lightning, features an all-star lineup of speakers:

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Florida Matters
9:00 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Florida Matters Preview: Researchers Trying to Identify Remains Exhumed from Dozier

Glen Varnadoe speaks at a September 2014 news conference at USF announcing the recovery and identification of remains of his uncle from the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys.
Credit Lucielle Salomon / WUSF

For years, claims of abuse, beatings, rapes and murder of students by staff have come from those who survived the Dozier School for Boys,  the now-closed state-run reform school in the Florida Panhandle.

Many families are still wondering what happened to their loved ones, and some are getting answers as researchers from the University of South Florida identify remains that have been exhumed from the grounds of Dozier.

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University Beat
10:02 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Shooting Victim Headed Back To FSU

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 5:41 pm

Florida State University President John Thrasher said Monday that campus shooting victim Farhan “Ronny” Ahmed should be ready to return to classes in February or early March.

Administrators are doing everything they can to ease his transition, Thrasher told the FSU board of trustees on Monday.

“We’re working on ways in which we can accommodate him in terms of his transportation, in terms of his place to stay on campus, doing something for his mother who plans to be here with him for a while and certainly some other things involving fundraising,” Thrasher said.

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University Beat
9:52 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

FSU Counters Bad Ink

FSU President John Thrasher

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 4:45 pm

Florida State University officials say they’re pushing back against recent bashing in the national media. Top administrators are developing a strategic marketing campaign to polish the school’s image.

Board of Trustees Chairman Allan Bense said he’s ready to send fellow trustees, armed with positive talking points, on speaking tours to spread the good news.

“I think it’s time for us to tell the world about how great FSU is. We’ve taken a few shots. I get it. I understand that," Bense said.

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Law & Order
8:29 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Ex-FAMU Band Member Sentenced To Prison For Role In 2011 Hazing Death

Robert Champion, 2011

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 5:50 pm

Dante Martin has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the 2011 hazing death of a Florida A&M University band drum major. Martin is the second person to get jail time in the hazing death of Robert Champion.

Robert Champion died in November 2011 after he was beaten in a hazing ritual following a football game in Orlando. A judge ruled Dante Martin was the ringleader of the hazing ritual. 9-1-1 calls sent immediately after Champion collapsed reveal the severity of the situation:

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Education
3:36 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Obama In Tennessee To Promote Free Community College

President Obama speaks at a Ford assembly plant on Wednesday in Wayne, Mich., about the resurgent automotive and manufacturing sector.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 7:15 pm

President Obama is in Tennessee previewing some of the big issues he'll talk about in his State of the Union address later this month. Friday, he'll speak in Knoxville, focusing on education and an idea that is gathering steam in some states: making community college tuition-free.

In the emerging debate over this idea, there are skeptics and there are true believers.

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