University Beat

University Beat is a radio and television program that focuses on the research and work at the University of South Florida and how it benefits the Tampa Bay area, Florida, and the world around us.

Each week, reporter Mark Schreiner looks at the latest USF efforts in medicine, engineering, education, arts and sciences and explores other programs that reach out to both students and the community.

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.

Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan

A University of South Florida St. Petersburg political science class is taking off Saturday for the Granite State, where students will be taking part in presidential campaigns ahead of New Hampshire's first in the nation primary election.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

State lawmakers in Tallahassee indicated late last week that a pair of bills that would allow concealed guns on college campuses may not come up for a vote this year.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Shopping will soon be a pleasure for University of South Florida students, faculty and staff who will be able to stop at a new Publix Supermarket going up where the Andros student living complex currently is. 

The Florida Board of Governors - the head of  the State University System of Florida - approved the plan to build the store Thursday.

The contract with the Lakeland-based chain would run for 21 years, with six five-year renewals available for a 50-year total term. 

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

One of the hottest gifts this past holiday season - figuratively and literally - was hoverboards.

And while more than 30 colleges around the country have banned them in residence halls or otherwise restricted their use because of reports that the self-propelled devices caught fire while being charged, the University of South Florida is not one.

Bodi Karsono / USF University Communications & Marketing

In its previous two editions, the University of South Florida Sport and Entertainment Lecture Series has featured a variety of guests from both worlds, ranging from agent David Falk and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson to ESPN analyst Andrew Brandt and Women's Tennis Association CEO Stacy Allaster.

This year is no different, as the series welcomes a trio of speakers, including executives from the NBA and WNBA and pizza magnate "Papa John."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

More than sixty student groups showed off their ethnic pride at the University of South Florida’s recent International Festival. The event exposed students to music, culture, games and food from around the world.  Find out more on this week's University Beat.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

An idea that’s been percolating on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida for a decade is now being applied halfway across the world, just as its inventors imagined.

Christmas came early to Florida State University. President John Thrasher unwrapped a $100 million  gift Friday to start a new School of Entrepreneurship. The money comes from the foundation of Jim Moran.

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University has taken steps to fire a professor who has repeatedly raised questions about the shooting deaths of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and other mass killings.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida football team is headed to its first bowl game in five years next week, and some students will be going along as a result of head coach Willie Taggart's generosity.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Frank Morsani's family name graces dozens of buildings and projects throughout the Tampa Bay area,  including the soon-to-be-built University of South Florida medical school in downtown Tampa, as well as at his alma mater, Oklahoma State University.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

It's a busy three-day weekend for the University of South Florida system as the school confers almost 4,200 degrees during the fall 2015 commencement ceremonies.

According to USF officials, the Tampa campus will award 2,467 bachelor’s, 920 master’s and 130 doctoral degrees during four ceremonies Friday and Saturday.

Tom Kramer

Breakdancing - or any kind of dancing for that matter - is a challenge for most of us.

But "b-boy" Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli makes spinning his entire body on one hand look easy, despite the fact that the 31-year-old has lived his entire life with arthrogryposis.

"Basically it’s a neuromuscular disorder. It affects the bones and the joints in your body," he said, baseball cap turned to one side. "For me, it primarily affects me in my legs, so I have very little muscles in my legs, but it also affects me in my shoulders, so I’m limited in the level of how I can raise my hands."

But that hasn’t slowed him down. Patuelli incorporates his crutches into his breakdancing, using them as equal parts propulsion and prop.

University of South Florida

12-7-15 5:00 p.m.  This story has been changed to reflect the correct number of degree programs eliminated by the USF Board of Trustees.

University of South Florida trustees took on a number of issues in their final meeting of 2015 last Thursday, including the dropping of some degree programs, System President Judy Genshaft's bonus, and a delay in the planning process of a campus Publix grocery store.

Miami Beach Bowl

The University of South Florida football team had one of its most eventful weekends in recent times, first with Saturday's announcement that head coach Willie Taggart's contract will be extended and the Bulls accepting an invitation to the Miami Beach Bowl on Sunday.

USF University Communications & Marketing

The University of South Florida now ranks 25th among the country's public research universities for research spending, up two spots from a year ago.

The rankings, which were put together by the National Science Foundation, also puts USF at 41st in the nation among the 895 public and private research universities surveyed. That's up two spots from 43rd, a ranking the school held the previous two years.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Ann Stevens has been receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute for nine years.

But on this day, it's her husband, Jim, who's taking a balance test.

A USF Board of Trustees workgroup is recommending the university cut a number of underperforming bachelors and masters level degree programs. The Tampa Tribune reports the cuts will allow USF to offer programs that have better job prospects. The full Board of Trustees will take up the recommendations at its meeting this Thursday, Dec. 3.

Jeff Scolaro / WUSF TV

Until recently, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s offerings for student veterans were limited to say the least.

According to Milton White, it was basically him – a single Student Services employee – along with a table outside his office covered with pamphlets. A good portion of the time, he’d have to send student vets to the Tampa campus for assistance.

He said that’s not the ideal way to help someone transitioning from one important chapter of their life to another.

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