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.

Heide Castañeda

While many viewed the recent U.S. Supreme Court case involving President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration with a passing interest at best, Heide Castañeda's involvement was much more personal.

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.

TheatreUSF

What is beauty? Is it more than skin deep?

And what about courage? And love?

Those are the questions TheatreUSF is taking on with their spring production – an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical “Violet.”

The musical opens on the University of South Florida Tampa campus tonight and runs through April 24th.

courtesy Paul Spector

In the 1980s, one bestselling book advised people to "do what you love, the money will follow."

Others believe in the adage "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."

While neither of those concepts can probably never really be proven correct or not, a pair of University of South Florida psychologists are taking on a similar idea: if a person has a a calling, a form of work someone finds fulfilling, what happens if they pursue it - and what happens if they don't?

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The building that will house University of South Florida St. Petersburg's College of Business will bear the name of a woman who worked her way up in a Tampa Bay corporation from payroll clerk to Chief Financial Officer.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

While the University of South Florida's Tampa campus has 1,700 faculty and 1,800 staff members, the largest part of the workforce is the school's 2,300 graduate assistants.

During contract negotiations that have lasted for almost a year, the union representing that group is pushing USF for a pay raise and continuing full healthcare coverage.

USF Athletics

One of the two University of South Florida football players suspended after being charged with firing a gun on campus last year has been reinstated to the team.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, senior cornerback Lamar Robbins was reinstated after charges were dropped. 

Texas Tech University

UPDATED 3/25 at 6 P.M. with statement from Zimmerman School.

The director of the University of South Florida Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications has been placed on leave after questions were raised about relationships he had with students at his former university. 

GoUSFBulls.com

Some business practices at the University of South Florida have raised a red flag about athletic department contracts, according to the Florida Auditor General.

A report from the office of Auditor General Sherrill Norman reviewed four different areas at USF and reported five separate findings of concern.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

It's amazing how one little envelope can dictate the direction of someone's life for the next three to seven years, but that's what happens on "Match Day," where medical school students find out where they'll serve out their residencies.

A total of 172 University of South Florida medical  students joined thousands of their counterparts from around the country in finding out what hospital or medical center they'll be working at at events last week.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Members of the State University System's Board of Governors said Thursday they were disappointed that Florida's newest university will miss the original deadline for getting accredited, a designation that can affect students' job prospects and ability to receive financial aid.

State University System Florida Board of Governors

The University of South Florida once again finished near the top of the State University System's performance-based rankings, and  USF President Judy Genshaft's contract extension has been approved by state officials.

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

Norine Noonan said she'll never forget that "Discovery" wasn't just the name of the third space shuttle, but also the name of a TV network.

That's because that was a question that tripped up the USF St. Petersburg professor of Biological Sciences when she appeared on an episode of the game show "Jeopardy!" that aired Thursday night.

Noonan finished third out of the three contestants on the show, taped in California earlier this year.

USF St. Petersburg

If the answer "Norine Noonan" elicits the question, "who is the USF St. Petersburg professor of Biological Sciences who's on 'Jeopardy!' tonight?" you'd be correct.

Courtesy Mary Lumapas / "Share Your Spare" Facebook page

Mary Lumapas is in her third year studying cell and molecular biology at the University of South Florida, but, because of health problems, she’s a sophomore.

You see, for most of her life, the 21-year-old from Lecanto has been battling cancer.

“Three cancer diagnoses, two of which are Wilms tumor, the last one was myelodysplastic syndrome, which is also (called) MDS,” Lumapas explained, running down her list of major ailments.

USF Health

The Florida Legislature is getting closer to finalizing its proposed budget, and the State University System stands to pick up a sizable amount of money for construction projects next year.

The $713 million approved during the House and Senate appropriations conference Sunday includes $22.5 million for the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine.

USF University Communications & Marketing

The longest serving president in the history of the University of South Florida will remain on board for at least one more year.

The USF Board of Trustees unanimously approved a one-year contract extension for Judy Genshaft at their meeting on Thursday.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

UPDATED 3/3/16 10 P.M. Updated to correct possible percentage increase on Genshaft's contract with bonus offer. The removal of a retention stipend of $100,000 per year that was in her previous contract was not factored into our equation. Taking that removal into account drops the possible increase from 20 percent to 8 percent.

The University of South Florida Board of Trustees is expected to offer System President Judy Genshaft a one year contract extension - with a pay raise - at a Thursday meeting.

Genshaft, who turned 68 in January, is already USF's longest serving president, having held the position since 2000.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

To borrow from the old adage about getting to Carnegie Hall, it takes a lot of practice to be a great classical musician.

But to become a great conductor, there’s not too much a would-be maestro can do, according to University of South Florida masters student Brent Douglas.

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