University Beat

NPR Story
10:27 am
Fri August 29, 2014

FIU Study Finds Link Between Good Handwriting And Good Grades

Art may be another way parents can help their children practice their fine-motor skills, says FIU professor Laura Dinehart.

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:03 am

Do you have sloppy penmanship? A Florida International University professor's research finds that kids whose writing is easy to read tend to do better in school.

 

After examining the handwriting of 3,000 preschool students in Miami-Dade County, an FIU study found good handwriting and good grades are related.

FIU early childhood education professor Laura Dinehart focused her study on students from low-income households.

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University Beat
7:45 am
Thu August 28, 2014

USF Unveils Dr. of Business Administration Degree

USF College of Business
Credit University of South Florida

The University of South Florida College of Business is adding to its Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Executive MBA programs with a degree that focuses on a combination of  researching business practices and putting them into use - the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

While DBA degrees are popular in Europe, they are gaining traction in the United States. Speaking to WUSF's University Beat, program director Grandon Gill said it's actually a return to the way things once were.

"It (the DBA) was the original degree for business professors - before (they) started getting PhDs, they got DBAs. But it's a multi-disciplinary degree that tends to span across all the functions instead of being highly specialized," Gill said.

Extended University Beat report on the new USF Doctor of Business Administration program

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Culture
8:30 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Comedy to Break Down Myths About Muslims

Comedian Negen Farsad is scheduled to appear at USF Thursday as part of the Building Bridges Project.
Credit Courtesy of Negin Farsad

A female Muslim comic is the opening act followed by a humorous documentary titled “The Muslims Are Coming” this week at the University of South Florida Tampa campus.

Are you smiling yet?

The dual events kick-off the two-year grant project, Building Bridges, that has the goal of using art to span the gap between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

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Culture
12:27 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

First Black USF Faculty Member's Story in Library of Congress

Henrietta Smith was the first African-American faculty member at USF.
The HistoryMakers

Poet Maya Angelou, actress Ruby Dee and even President Barack Obama have something in common. They've all participated in The History Makers project--the country's largest African American collection of video interviews capturing the struggles and achievements of the black experience.Those 2,600 HistoryMakers videos have a new home--the Library of Congress.

It was 1985 when Henrietta Smith was the first African-American faculty member at the University of South Florida at the School of Library Science.  

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Education
12:01 am
Fri August 15, 2014

University System Chancellor Wants Students to Graduate Sooner

Marshall Criser III, Chancellor of the State University System of Florida
Credit State University System of Florida

College students in Florida need to graduate more quickly while chasing degrees in fields where jobs exist, according to the Chancellor of the State University System of Florida.

Marshall Criser III has led the nation’s second largest university system since January of 2014.

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Health News Florida
10:49 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Sex Talk Didn't Help HPV Vaccine

Dr. Anne Schuchat, left, stands next to a poster promoting HPV vaccination. The poster and other education materials were created by USF Public Health graduate students.
Mary Shedden/WUSF

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 10:57 am

Florida lags behind the rest of the country in vaccinating children for the human papillomavirus

Part of the problem started eight years ago, when the HPV vaccine was introduced as a way to prevent a sexually transmitted infection that researchers knew was a major cause of cervical cancer and other disease.

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Law & Order
6:29 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Giving Dozier Victims Their Names Back

A poster with a picture of a young George Owen Smith playing the harmonica.
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

Ovell Krell was only 12 years old when her brother died -- but what she remembers most about him was his musical ability.

"He could walk into a music store and pick up any instrument they've ever made and within two minutes, he could play it," she said.

Mark Schreiner's report on USF anthropologists' efforts to identify the remains of students buried on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys.

George Owen Smith, 14, tried to teach his sister how to play music, but those lessons stopped in 1940 when he was sentenced to the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys after being caught in a stolen car with a 19-year-old friend.

Shortly after arriving at the reform school in Marianna, Fla., Smith reportedly escaped, but was found dead several months later under a house two miles away.

"Though the family told authorities to hold his remains at a local funeral, as they made their way on the long journey from Auburndale in a borrowed car, they arrived to be shown a mound of dirt by a superintendent who said that they had just buried him in an unmarked burial ground," according to University of South Florida associate professor of anthropology Erin Kimmerle.

That superintendent promised that a name plaque would be placed on Smith's grave -- a promise that was never met. Because of the mysterious circumstances of his death and the nature of his burial, Smith's mother refused to believe her son was indeed dead. That led Krell to make her parents a promise.

"I was searching for him, not only out of my love, but for a vow that I had made my mother and father on their deathbeds that I would find my brother if it was in my power, I would look till I died," Krell said.

Now, Krell has found her answer, thanks to a team of USF researchers.

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University Beat
11:24 am
Fri August 8, 2014

USF Plans for Summer Commencement

USF Tampa held graduation ceremonies at the USF Sun Dome in May 2014. A similar crowd is expected at a pair of ceremonies Saturday.
Credit GradImages

Almost 2,800 students at the University of South Florida will wrap up the summer semester the best way possible Saturday - by graduating!

Over 1,600 of the students are expected to receive their diplomas during USF's 103rd Commencement Convocation. According to the university, a pair of ceremonies will be held at the USF Sun Dome on the Tampa campus.

9:00 a.m. ceremony will recognize graduates from:

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University Beat
8:14 am
Fri August 8, 2014

First of Boys Buried at Dozier Identified

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain Tampa Bay Times

  It's taken University of South Florida researchers more than three years to provide one family with an answer they've been looking for, for more than 70 years.

The researchers uncovered remains from 55 unmarked graves on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna last year.  DNA testing has identified one set as belonging to George Owen Smith, who's believed to have died at age 14 -- shortly after being sent to the Florida Panhandle school in 1940.

USF Anthropologist Christian Wells says Smith was the first body found, but was in the worst shape.

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University Beat
8:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Tales from the Border: USF Professor Visits Texas & Mexico

Migrants ride trains known as "La Bestia," or "the Beast," through Mexico to reach the U.S. border.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images/courtesy NPR

If things had gone as planned, USF Department of Anthropology Associate Professor Heide Castañeda would have spent the last two months in Texas and Mexico on a pair of research projects. She was going to talk to "mixed status" families on both sides of the border - families who have both legal and undocumented immigrants living in the United States - as well as meet with immigrants returning to Mexico.

Instead, she arrived just as the world's attention turned to the increasing number of Central American migrants fleeing their homes for what they thought was the promised land of the U.S.

Castañeda talked to University Beat on WUSF 89.7 about her visits to Sinaloa, Mexico, and McAllen, Texas, and what she saw there.

An extended University Beat interview with USF Department of Anthropology Assoc. Professor Heide Castañeda on her trip to Mexico & Texas and the Central American immigrants she encountered there.

Here are some highlights from that interview:

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University Beat
1:58 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Florida Colleges Make Princeton Review Rankings

The Princeton Review's new book, The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition, ranks schools in 62 different categories.
Credit Random House

Alcohol is apparently pretty popular at the University of Florida, students at New College are active in politics but not so much in sports, and studying isn't necessarily a priority at some Florida universities.

Those are just some of the conclusions that one might draw looking over the Princeton Review's new book, The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 edition.

Schools are ranked in 62 categories, ranging from best financial aid and best party school to colleges with the worst libraries and least politically active students. The rankings are based on surveys of 130,000 students at the 379 schools (read more about the rankings here).

While the University of South Florida didn't place in the top 20 of any of those categories, its overall performance was enough to make Princeton Review's list of the Best 379 Colleges.

Four Florida schools posted second place finishes in a variety of categories, the best performances of state schools.

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Florida Matters
9:08 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Florida Matters: Sexual Assaults on College Campuses (LISTEN)

WUSF's Craig Kopp with Aaron Hubbard, Assistant State Attorney with the sex crimes division for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Hillsborough County (left), and Sabrina Griffith, the Associate Director of Residential Communities and Residence Life at the University of Tampa.
Credit Lottie Watts / WUSF

 A report from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault says universities are not providing all the resources they can to protect students from sexual violence. Dozens of schools are under investigation for how they have handled sexual assault cases. 

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University Beat
4:02 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

USF Special Collections Shows Off 'Favorite Things'

1 of only 2 wooden scale models of a sculpture Picasso was going to create for the USF Tampa campus in the 1970s. The model will be on display at a USF Tampa Library Special Collections event Thursday.
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

They're not raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but the staff of USF Tampa Library's Special Collections is putting a few of their favorite things on display for the public for one day only.

According to Special Collections' librarian Andy Huse, the event, A Few of Our Favorite Things (Thursday, July 17 from 1-3 p.m.), allows he and his colleagues on the library's fourth floor to show off some of the most interesting objects, ranging from centuries-old spiritual texts and rare maps to Babylonian clay tablets and Victorian-era novels.

WUSF's Mark Schreiner talks to Andy Huse about the USF Tampa Library Special Collections' "A Few of Our Favorite Things" event Thursday.

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NPR Ed
10:55 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

Everest Institute in Boston.
Mallory Noe-Payne WGBH

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:49 am

Listen to this story on Morning Edition.

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

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University Beat
4:25 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

1Apple Grocery an Oasis in a 'Food Desert'

1Apple offers what co-founder Hector Angus calls "fresh fast food" -- organic fruits and vegetables direct from local farmers' markets.
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

This week's University Beat radio report on 1Apple Grocery.

You know the saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away. Now two USF students are hoping that “one apple” might help keep an entire neighborhood healthy.

Hector Angus and Andrea Little have opened 1Apple Grocery in Plant City, in part to provide relief in a so-called “food desert.”

"A food desert is an area where the residents don’t have access to fresh fruits, or nutritious foods," said Angus, who's pursuing his bachelor's degree in information technology with a minor in business.

"So that’s one of the problems that we’re trying to tackle with 1Apple is being able to provide the fresh produce for the families," added Little, who just completed her third year of medical school.

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