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.

AP Photo

Under President Barack Obama, U.S. relations with Cuba saw a considerable warm-up, including new airline flights between Tampa and Havana. But now, with the election of Donald Trump as President, some wonder how the relationship between the two countries might change.

USF Sarasota-Manatee recently marked International Education Week with a panel discussion on Cuba, its future, and how the two sides might get along moving forward.

USF Student Government

University of South Florida students flying home this week for the Thanksgiving holiday can catch a free ride to the airport.

Under a plan put together by Student Government, students flying out of Tampa International Airport Tuesday night or Wednesday can hop on board a bus outside the Marshall Student Center.

USF Communications and Marketing

Jeffrey Sargent enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from high school in 1999. He ended up serving 12 years, including two tours of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom. During that time, he received a Bronze Star, but also lost several members of his unit, including his platoon leader.

He was a decade into his military career, when during a promotion ceremony to Sgt. First Class, he suffered his first panic attack. It was the initial sign of post-traumatic stress disorder.

JP Yim / Getty Images

A former Presidential candidate is dropping by the University of South Florida Tampa campus the day after Election Day.

Retired four-star U.S. Army General Wesley Clark is the next speaker in USF's student-run University Lecture Series.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Forensic artists at a recent workshop hosted by the University of South Florida wrapped up their week of work by presenting their creations - fourteen clay busts of unidentified victims in cold cases - to local law enforcement.

But in the middle of their presentation, a woman looking at one of the works at the rear of a downtown Tampa conference room broke down sobbing, sure that the face staring back at her was that of her sister, some thirty-eight years after she went missing.

Rahmat Gul/AP

In 2003, Raj Chandarlapaty graduated with his PhD in English from the University of South Florida.

While the teaching career that followed took him all over Florida and Texas, he maintained a close relationship with his mentor at USF, Phillip Sipiora. That included writing a number of articles for The Mailer Review, an annual collection of works about author Norman Mailer that Sipiora edits.

USF Communications and Marketing

University of South Florida students are saying goodbye to the Andros housing complex and saying hello to "The Village."

University officials unveiled the name of the estimated $133 million housing development at an event Thursday, along with the names of the five planned residence halls.

USF Sarasota-Manatee

Florida, especially the Tampa Bay area, has turned into very fertile ground for aspiring beer brewers and up-and-coming microbreweries.

That spirit will be on display Saturday in Sarasota as an all-Florida craft beer festival takes over Nathan Benderson Park.

Sip the Sunshine will benefit the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Food & Beverage Science Program.

Ryan Johnson Photography

While USF English professor Jay Hopler's new book is inspired by one of the most painful things a person can experience -- the death of a parent -- the work is nominated for one of literature's leading awards. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

There’s a storefront along Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, a planned community between Sarasota and Bradenton, where future restaurant and hospitality employees are learning their chops.

It’s the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Culinary Innovation Lab, and beginning this semester, every few weeks, it transforms into the Bulls Bistro.

USF Sport and Entertaintment Management MBA Program

Executives from the most financially successful U.S. sports league and one of the up-and-coming leagues will speak at the University of South Florida next week.

USF's Sport and Entertainment Management MBA Program will welcome Tod Leiweke, the Chief Operating Officer of the National Football League and Don Garber, Commissioner of Major League Soccer, to campus on Oct. 26.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

For the second time in four years, the University of South Florida Herd of Thunder Marching Band will ring in the New Year overseas – this time in Rome.

According to Matthew McCutchen, director of USF’s Athletic Bands, the Herd was invited to perform in the Rome New Year’s Parade by the same organization that invited them to perform in front of a half a million people in London’s New Year’s Day Parade in 2013.

Marko Korosec / Barcroft Media/Landov (via NPR News)

According to NASA, the United States sees about 25 million lightning strikes per year.

The state that gets the largest number of those, by far, is Florida. The area between Tampa and Orlando is even called “Lightning Alley” because it receives as many as 50 strikes per square mile a year.

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.

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