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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.

Glenn Nickerson / WUSF TV

In 2009, University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design students Sean Verdecia and Jason Ross watched Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath.

What struck them was the lack of quick, proper shelter for the victims of an event like this.

"The Committee" website via UCF

Thanks in part to work by WUSF TV, more than 70 public TV stations around the country will air an award-winning documentary that looks back at a 1950s and 60s legislative effort that targeted a then fledgling University of South Florida.

"The Committee," which was produced by faculty and students at the University of Central Florida, examines the Florida Legislature Investigation Committee -- also known as the Johns Committee, after its chairman, state senator and former governor Charley Johns.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

UPDATED at 2:30 p.m. on 6/23 with Pres. Genshaft quote and information on how USF will use the funding.

The University of South Florida is one step closer to joining the University of Florida and Florida State University as one of the state's elite public universities - and one step closer to receiving the funding that goes with that ranking.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

  If you drive through the Unity Park area of St. Petersburg, maybe looking for parking for Tropicana Field, you’ve probably seen Faith House Florida - a collection of four brightly colored apartment houses and a garden on 15th Street North.

What makes Faith House stand out in the oak canopy lined neighborhood, surrounded by single family homes, is that it’s a structured residential program for people battling substance abuse issues, recently released prison inmates and homeless people.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

  It’s a problem that affects 700,000 people in the ten-county Tampa Bay area: food insecurity.

Thomas Mantz, the Executive Director of the group Feeding Tampa Bay says food insecurity is when people like you and me don’t have consistent access to food due to a lack of money or other resources. 

Pressure Builds In Debate Over FAMU President's Contract

Jun 8, 2016
Florida A&M University

As the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees prepares for a crucial meeting, a powerful Tallahassee pastor and former trustee said Wednesday the panel should not renew the contract of FAMU's embattled president, Elmira Mangum.

courtesy Paul Spector

(This report originally aired April 12, 2016, and is reairing June 7, 2016.)

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?

While officials from USF and FIO and local politicians look on, Duckworth Steel Boats owner Junior Duckworth (center, back) performs the ceremonial keel laying of the new research vessel.
Amie Blodgett / USF News

Next summer, a group of marine researchers and local politicians who gathered at a Tarpon Springs shipyard for a ceremonial keel laying plan to return for the dedication of a new research ship.

With the touching of a blow torch to the keel Wednesday morning, construction formally began on the 78-foot vessel at Duckworth Steel Boats.

USF students in the "Introduction to Food Studies" course gather at their vegetable garden planted at the USF Botanical Gardens.
Jesse McLane / WUSF TV

Think back to the last time you had a salad.

Was it one of those bags that you buy at a store, tear open some envelopes with the various ingredients, mix and eat?

Or are you one of those folks with a green thumb who takes your vegetables all the way from seed to the salad bowl?

Well there’s a class at the University of South Florida that’s trying to turn students from the former into the latter.

Gobulls.com

Ever since the University of South Florida started playing football 19 years ago, the question has been: Will there ever be an on-campus football stadium?

We soon might have an answer, thanks to a feasibility study the university is conducting.

WUSF Public Media

Preparing to make public universities a priority during the next two years, incoming Senate President Joe Negron says more and better scholarships will help take Florida's higher-education system to the next level.

The Stuart Republican has made clear his goal of finding an additional $1 billion for the 12 public universities during his two-year term as president, which is slated to begin after the November elections.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The upcoming end of the school year was the perfect reason for students from USF St. Petersburg and Fairmount Park Elementary School to hit Tampa Bay recently.

The day brought together students from USFSP’s College of Education and Outdoor Leadership Program and about a dozen high-performing fifth graders from the St. Petersburg-based school.

Florida Board of Governors

The Florida Board of Governors has taken the first steps toward approving a standard search process for university presidents, with a final vote on approving the policy expected at the panel's June meeting.

Ahmed Mohamed

Ahmed Mohamed received a pair of degrees at the University of South Florida’s recent commencement ceremonies, graduating in just three years with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida starts four days worth of Spring Commencement exercises, the 108th commencement convocation, with three ceremonies on the Tampa campus Friday.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The special meeting of the University of South Florida Board of Trustees Tuesday only covered two topics, but ended up running as long as some regular meetings due to the importance of both subjects.

First, the board approved a contract with the more than 2,220 graduate assistants who teach classes and conduct research - a deal almost a year in the making.

Then, they approved an increase in rates for USF residence halls.

USF Communications and Marketing

On Monday, University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft sent a letter to faculty and staff announcing a new direction - a "path to preeminence" - that aims at bringing the school into "the ranks of America's most elite universities in the next few years."

It's more than just a phrase. Schools in the State University System that achieve "preeminence" or "emerging preeminence" get additional funding from the Florida Legislature.

But what do these statuses actually mean?

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.

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.

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.

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