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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.

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.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Almost two dozen students in a USF St. Petersburg political science class traveled to New Hampshire to work on presidential campaigns in advance of the first in the nation primary elections.

A high-tech simulated operating room at USF CAMLS.
WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida has released an audit critical of some of the practices at its high-tech Tampa medical training center, shortly after the head of the center stepped down.

WUSF Public Media

As part of the launch of the new half hour weekly program, University Beat on WUSF TV, University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft sat down to talk with show host, veteran Tampa Bay journalist Denise White. 

VideoWorks / St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs

For the fourth year, diplomats, military experts, media and academics from around the globe will gather at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg for the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs.

It's the biggest conference so far, with more than 60 speakers and 30 panel discussions taking place February 17 through 19.

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 Public Media

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.

While the Florida Legislature debates allowing concealed weapons on college and university campuses, the State University System's Board of Governors is asking for $20 million to increase the number of school police officers and student counseling centers. The Tampa Bay Times reports that "at one point this fall, the waiting list for a student seeking help at the University of South Florida's counseling center in Tampa was three weeks, or a quarter of a semester."

USF St. Petersburg

UPDATED 3:30 PM 11/12/15 - Updated with interview with USF St. Petersburg Special Collections Librarian Jim Schnur

Fifty years ago, a state investigative committee shut down after years of work that threatened Florida's college system, including a then-fledgling University of South Florida.

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