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Their press release says it's just in time for New Year’s resolutions. The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee will become a completely smoke- and tobacco-free campus on Jan. 6.

Here's the details:

USF College of Nursing / Florida Hospital Tampa

The holidays may be just a bit happier for some children thanks to the USF College of Nursing’s B.E.A.R.S. program.

Participants in B.E.A.R.S., which stands for “Bulls Encouraging and Assisting Research and Scholarship,” handed out 500 teddy bears last year – and they topped that this year, delivering 800 bears to young people at six Tampa Bay area hospitals.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Despite not having all the funding accounted for yet, ground was broken Tuesday (December 17th) on the USF Health Heart Institute.

The five-story, 100,000 square-foot facility will sit in the middle of the USF Health campus -- Moffitt Cancer Center and the USF Health Morsani Center take up the other three corners of the intersection where the new Institute will be based.

The Institute is expected to cost $50 million to build. However, the state and Hillsborough County have awarded USF about $21.4 million so far. House Speaker Will Weatherford says he'll fight for the portion of the remaining funding from the state.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Located around St. Petersburg's waterfront are a number of research institutions that would be the envy of most coastal cities: the Florida Institute of Oceanography, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and  both USF St. Petersburg and the USF College of Marine Science, just to name a few.

That collection of institutions, which some are calling St. Pete's Marine District, is drawing worldwide attention, including the BLUE Ocean Film Festival, which is bringing more than 100 ocean films, as well as big money sponsors like Google, to town in November 2014.

Among those who see bright days ahead for the Marine District is Larry Langebrake.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the nation's top-rated passer who led his team to college football's title game in his first season, was named the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Saturday as the country's best collegiate player.

Winston, 19, became the youngest player and second straight redshirt freshman to win the award, following Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Winston completed nearly 68 percent of his passes for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Undefeated Florida State plays Auburn in the Jan. 6 Bowl Championship Series title game.

On Saturday night, there's a very good chance Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will win the Heisman Trophy, awarded each year to the best college football player in the country.

For Winston, family, friends, teammates and Seminole fans, undoubtedly it'll be a shining moment, but a discordant note continues to run through this tale of football glory.

John O'Connor / WUSF

The attorney for the woman who has accused Florida State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Jameis Winston of sexual assault is asking Florida's Attorney General to investigate the case. Patricia Carroll says Tallahassee police have yet to fully investigate the charges.

Holding up 248 pages of investigator documents, Carroll says most of the documents refer to her client's phone, text messages and social media account. Just eleven pages focus on the man she accused of sexual assault.

USF file

Among the highlights of the University of South Florida's Fall 2013 commencement ceremonies this weekend are an honor for former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker and the 50th anniversary reunion of members of USF's first graduating class.

In addition, more than 4,200 degrees will be awarded to current students at ceremonies for the three campuses of the USF System.

When USF opened to students in 1960, some of the first 2,000 enrollees already had college credits, enabling them to graduate in about three years.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Members of USF’s Greek system recently braved a wet, dreary November afternoon to show off their firefighting skills. Don’t worry - they weren’t putting out any real fires during the first annual "Fireman's Challenge."

“We have five obstacle courses. All the obstacle courses mimic what firefighters go though in order to become a firefighter—their physical examination," said Jordan Romero, a member of the USF chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

Douglas Jones / US Presswire

Even though the bay area doesn't have any schools playing NCAA Division I men's ice hockey, the Tampa Bay Times Forum will once again serve as host for the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championships in 2016.

It will be the second time Tampa hosts the Frozen Four. Boston College beat Ferris State 4-1 to win the championship in 2012.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville - the closest school to field a Division I hockey team at the time - was the host school for that tournament.

The Grammy nominations are in, and the talk now is of what actors will be chosen for the Academy Awards, but not once have I heard anyone suggest that any of the singers or actors may not be nominated because of some character deficiency.

Likewise, when it comes to awards in theater or television or dance or literature, I don't ever recall any candidate losing out because of a personal flaw.

USF School of Theatre & Dance (left) / WUSF Public Meida (right)

The third time will hopefully be the charm for a pair of University of South Florida inventors who are scheduled to speak in Washington, DC, this weekend.

USF graduate Alexei Novitzky and School of Theatre and Dance academic advisor Merry Lynn Morris had their appearances at two previously scheduled Smithsonian Institution conferences on innovation canceled -  the first due to the federal government sequestration, the second because of the government shutdown.

Now, barring bad weather, the pair will be among the speakers at “Innovation: Brainstorms, Big Ideas and the Creative Future,” a day-long program Sunday in the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center.

FSU Students Celebrate After Winston Announcement

Dec 6, 2013
tracking.si.com

Scores of Florida State students traded high-fives and danced in restaurant aisles Thursday after learning that prosecutors would not pursue a sexual assault complaint against their football team's star quarterback, Jameis Winston.

Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston, considered a Heisman Trophy front-runner, will not be charged with rape, the state attorney, Willie Meggs, announced Thursday after an investigation into the allegations.

Freshman Winston, who led his team to the national polls, has been facing allegations that he assaulted a female FSU student in December 2012, prior to his college career.

Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen of Tallahassee, has contended that his client had consensual sex with the woman.

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Florida Polytechnic University is still a work in progress. Travelers can see the iconic innovation, science and technology (IST) building from Interstate 4, just east of Lakeland. It's not done, but the admissions center building is open to the public.

Prospective students are able to register for tours online. Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker says this building brings the brochure to life.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

As a journalist, I try to remain detached from the people I interview. But thanks to the example of a USF student I profiled, I found myself recently helping change a flat tire for an elderly woman I had never met before.

The story begins on Nov. 22, when biomedical sciences honors student Vaneesha Patel celebrated her 22nd birthday. Instead of asking for gifts for herself, she decided to give gifts to others through "random acts of kindness" - 22 of them to be precise.

Steve Cannon / Associated Press

The prosecutor investigating sexual assault allegations against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston wants the process to be “thorough” and won’t let football dictate when he will wrap up his inquiry.

State Attorney Willie Meggs on Monday reiterated he won’t let FSU’s football schedule or Winston’s Heisman Trophy possibilities determine when his investigation will be completed.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

While research spending at public and private universities across the country remained relatively stagnant from the previous year due to economic uncertainty, grants and contracts at the University of South Florida grew to a record level.

USF AD has Tires Slashed at USF-UCF Rivalry Game

Dec 2, 2013
USF

USF Athletic Director Doug Woolard went to his car after a 23-20 loss to rival UCF Friday night and discovered all four of his tires had been slashed.

UCF officials provided him a complimentary car to drive back to Tampa.

UCF Athletic Director Todd Stansbury, who personally returned Woolard's car to him Saturday morning, expressed regret over the apparent vandalism.

John Arthur / USF St. Petersburg

The U.S. is home to ubiquitous ads touting Miller Lite and Budweiser, not to mention a burgeoning microbrew industry. However, beer, in developing regions of the world, plays a much different role.

It's a role that John Arthur has been examining for years - one that the USF St. Petersburg associate professor of anthropology says may just change what we think about the development of mankind.


Jorge Cunha / WUSF

In late 2009, the University of South Florida formally announced its USF: Unstoppable Campaign, with a goal to raise $600 million dollars to fund the future needs of the school. Earlier this year, USF System President Judy Genshaft announced that the goal was surpassed with over $621 million raised.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images for the NY Times

The sexual assault case involving Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has devolved into a series of conflicting claims, first with a statement Wednesday from the alleged victim's family strongly criticizing how Tallahassee police have handled the investigation.

The Florida Board of Governors has officially designated Marshall Criser to head the state’s public university system. Criser’s appointment comes after a committee of the board recommended him for the job last week.

“One candidate rose to the top as the person who could best be able to articulate this board’s priorities and understand the specific challenges the system faces. That person is Marshall Criser," said Board member Mori Housseini, who oversaw the search process.

There's no rush to pick the new leader for USF Health, but three internal candidates have been named.

The Tampa Bay Times reports search firm Quick Leonard Kieffer is still looking for candidates from outside USF, but has named three current USF Health executives, who are scheduled to be interviewed this Friday.

USF St. Petersburg

More than forty authors will appear at this Saturday's 21st Annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. While some of them will come from around the country, a number with ties to the University of South Florida will have a much shorter trip to the USF St. Petersburg campus.

Times Book Editor Collette Bancroft, who assembles the roster of authors, calls the university "a rich resource of talent,” adding that by inviting local authors, the Festival truly becomes a community event.


The University of Miami "lacked institutional control" and didn't notice multiple violations by a booster who for years gave cash and gifts to athletes, the NCAA said. But the organization says the school's football team can play in the postseason, stopping short of the harshest punishment available.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Poverty, economic inequality and the education disparity that affects children in poor neighborhoods—they’re three hugely complex and important issues, and some people at the University of South Florida want to do something about them.

Such action has to start with conversation first, which is what about sixty interested faculty, researchers and students engaged in at a recent event, "Poverty and Inequality: A Forum on Research, Action, and Community Engagement."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The ongoing inertia in Washington, D.C., is keeping a pair of University of South Florida inventors from appearing at a Smithsonian Institution event--and it isn't the first time it's happened to them.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The next time Florida legislators propose raising tuition or cutting budgets for higher education, members of the University of South Florida Student Government want to respond quickly.

So to make sure politicians in Tallahassee hear their concerns, student senators and other representatives were out on campus Tuesday signing up classmates for a "rapid response team" that can be put into action calling and emailing legislators when an issue arises.

USF To Host Human Trafficking Summit

Oct 2, 2013
rt.com

A statewide human trafficking summit focusing on labor and sex trafficking will take place Thursday at the University of South Florida.

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the Interagency Human Trafficking Work Group is hosting the summit.

Invitees include advocates, law enforcement, members of the medical community, as well as the legal community.

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