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University Beat

Candace Kaw / USF College of the Arts

The curtain goes up tonight on the University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance's production of the musical Hairspray. Here are five things to know about the show.

1. While the show from both John Waters' original 1988 film and the 2003 Tony Award-winning musical (along with the 2007 Hollywood adaptation), director/choreographer Andy Frye (who previously directed USF's productions of Rocky Horror Show and Hair) says USF's version is something all its own.

“We’re trying to use the original John Waters movie as inspiration. It’s a little darker and quirkier, which this new version is as well, but it’s a little ‘bubble gum’ and ‘cotton candy,’ and everything just like fun, fun, fun, and we just wanted to bring a darker side so we have somewhere to grow.”

Deb Holland / WUSF Public Media

It's one of the more humorous, yet heartfelt moments at the University of South Florida--hundreds of men stumbling around in women's shoes at the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" march.

During the event, scheduled for this Friday in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, male students and faculty will again pledge to help end sexual violence against women. This year's march comes as University Police continue investigating a pair of apparently unrelated sexual assaults that occurred in campus residence halls over the last four weeks.

USF

Contrary to some University of South Florida football fans' wishes, Coach Skip Holtz will keep his job, despite USF losing four games in a row and 10 of its last 11 Big East games.

Athletic Director Doug Woolard issued a statement Tuesday supporting the embattled coach, saying: "As has been our practice in the past, we will evaluate the status of each of our 19 programs at the conclusion of their respective seasons. We'll identify where we are as a football program at that time and continue to build from there."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Police at the University of South Florida continue investigating a pair of sexual attacks reported in residence halls on the Tampa campus. And while authorities say the incidents are apparently unrelated, they're also encouraging students to be cautious, but not afraid.

University police have yet to file charges in this past Sunday morning's incident in Epsilon Hall, where a woman alleges she was attacked by a man she knows.

They also continue seeking an unknown suspect who reportedly attacked a student in Kappa Hall on Sept. 19. The woman did not know her attacker, who's described as a white male, 18 to 22 years old, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds with a muscular build and short black or shaggy brown hair.

Physics World

For more than 60 years, scientific Nobel Prize winners, researchers and students have gathered in Germany for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting—an annual series of lectures and discussions. Until this past summer, the University of South Florida has never sent a representative.

But that’s changed because of Evan Lafalce, Aaron Landerville and Joseph Fogarty—three USF physics graduate students who were among the almost 600 young researchers from around the world selected to attend the meetings. That compares with such institutions as MIT and CalTech, which sent two researchers each.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

Thanks to a $12 million endowment from some noted bay-area philanthropists, the University of South Florida will soon have a new college that focuses on improving the lives of people around the world.

Doctors Kiran and Pallavi Patel's donation creates the Patel College of Global Sustainability, and brings their total contributions to USF to almost $26 million. It's also the latest extension of a decade-long effort at USF that looks at sustainable global development and healthcare. Previous donations led to the construction of the Patel Center for Global Solutions and the Patel School of Global Sustainability.

University of South Florida

Despite a hiring freeze and no pay raises for a number of years, an online jobs website has named the University of South Florida's Tampa campus as the eighth best college in the nation to work for.

Forbes reports that the site, Glassdoor, polled employees at 50 of the country's largest universities to find out how satisfied they were with the schools they work for.

USFSP News

Until recently, USF Saint Petersburg has been the definition of a “commuter school.” With no place for students to live on campus, many would come to class and then leave. That’s slowly been changing. First, a 370 bed residence hall was built a few years ago. And now, another 200 bed residential tower—along with a central gathering area for students—is in place, in the form of the new Student Center.

“Before this building, we really didn’t have a place to meet,” said USF St. Pete Student Body President Mark Lombardi-Nelson. “There wasn’t that central location for people to hang out, and this provides that, and that’s why you’ll see the energy, it’s just crazy.”

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

NBC's TODAY Show dropped in Thursday morning at the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida, and a longer visit may just be in the university's future.

USF is one of six finalists in the show's “Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College” contest, which is trying to find the institution "with the greatest creativity, originality and most school spirit." The institution that gets the most online votes from viewers will have the fourth hour of the Today Show broadcast live from its campus next month.

Photo illustration by Thomas Todd / USF News

UPDATE Sept. 19 11:30 a.m. -- USF will hold a 'tropical paradise' themed welcome event Thursday, September 20th, as TODAY Show correspondent Sara Haines reports live between 10 and 11 a.m. from the Marshall Student Center bull fountains. Students, faculty and staff are being encouraged to wear green and gold beach wear and show up starting at 8:30 a.m. to show off their school spirit.

ORIGINAL POST

The University of South Florida is battling Syracuse University, Ohio State University and three other colleges for the right to have NBC's TODAY Show broadcast live on campus.

According a release from USF News, the University is one of six finalists in TODAY's “Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College” contest, which is trying to find the institution "with the greatest creativity, originality and most school spirit." The school that gets the most online votes will have the fourth hour of the show, featuring Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, broadcast live during the first week of October.

USF College of Business

Moez Limayem has been named the new dean for the USF College of Business. Here are five things to know about the man who succeeds Robert Forsythe, who served as dean since 2006.

1. Limayem brings a "world" of experience with him. He was born in Tunisia, has lived on four continents and speaks at least a portion of six languages. He received his MBA and PhD in business administration from the University of Minnesota, where he also began his teaching career. He's taught or served in administrative positions at Laval University in Canada, City University of Hong Kong and Lausanne University in Switzerland.

Ryan Dillow / WUSF Public Media

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

It's an old joke, but USF researchers are putting that concept to the test, as they look at what piano training can teach us about how we learn.

“The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of intense musical training, in the form of piano training, on auditory processing, cognitive abilities and bimanual coordination throughout the lifespan,” said Dr. Jennifer Bugos, an instructor in the USF School of Music.  

In other words, the research is attempting to determine what piano classes teach us about how we listen, learn and then coordinate our actions.

USF is hosting the first ever "Remember Our Heroes" concert and field party this Saturday. The event will benefit Soldiers' Angels, a non-profit group that lets people provide aid and comfort to military members serving overseas, as well as veterans and their families.

Courtesy of the Mahan Collection, Special Collections, USF Tampa Library

Dr. Charles Mahan, Professor and Dean Emeritus for the USF College of Public Health, has been collecting cartoons and cartoon-related memorabilia for sixty years.

In fact, he's already donated over thirty boxes of materials, including original Disney animation, to the USF Library's Special and Digital Collections. But in addition to Mickey Mouse, Mahan also loves political cartoons, collecting over eight thousand of them. 

“A good one tells you at a glance, sort of catches your imagination," said Mahan. "Maybe you say, ‘boy, that’s right on’ or maybe it makes you mad, but it makes you react.”

Now, with the continued help of the USF Library, a small portion of his vast portfolio is on display at the Tampa Museum of Art.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

A new effort to promote clean energy for transportation in the Tampa Bay area was launched at USF Tuesday morning, but it's not the first time such an initiative has been attempted. In the late 1990s, the Suncoast Clean Cities Coalition brought together dozens of member groups interested in alternative energy. However, the coalition died out in part because resources weren't available.

Fast forward to today, when electric cars are more prevalent and gas is nearly four dollars a gallon, and the need for a centralized organizing group has been rekindled. That need is being met with the Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition.

"The timing is perfect because now I think the general public that doesn't have time to pay attention to this stuff on a daily basis can see that these technologies are not for hobbyists or transportation geeks like me," said the USF's Patel School of Global Sustainability's Stephen Reich. "They're really mainstream alternatives to filling their tanks with petroleum or diesel every day."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF

It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie like "Minority Report" -- 3-D image pops up off a monitor, then a person reaches out to touch the image and actually feels something. Such activity is becoming reality at USF's new Advanced Visualization Center.

USF Sun Dome

About 1400 of the almost 3000 students graduating from the USF System this summer are expected to attend Commencement ceremonies on the Tampa campus Saturday.

University officials estimate 2948 degrees will be awarded to graduates from the three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee: 1923 bachelor’s degrees, 893 master’s degrees, and 132 doctoral and specialist degrees.  '

Kelli Burns / USF School of Mass Communications

Thanks to a superhero, USF’s Advanced Public Relations class returned home from Washington, D.C., with a second-place finish - and first-place prize money - after taking part in America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) Collegiate Energy Challenge.

Bentley University Observer

Have you ever been tempted by the smell of a bakery? Drawn in by the color of the walls of a restaurant? Or wondered why certain music is being played in a store?

It's called "sensory marketing," a field that USF Associate Professor of Marketing Dipayan Biswas knows a lot about.

“Anything that appeals to our senses are more impactful in sort of influencing our behavior, our choices, and often, it happens at a very subconscious level, so we are not even aware of that,” according to Biswas, the author of a dozen articles and over fifty studies on sensory marketing.

Discovery Channel

Fans of the Discovery Channel's "MythBusters" TV show will get a chance to interact with show hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (sorry, no Kari Byron!) when the pair appear at the USF Sun Dome on October 13th.

During "MythBusters: Behind the Myths," Savage and Hyneman will share behind-the-scenes stories, as well as bring fans on stage to assist them in their experiments and demonstrations.

Adam Craig / USF Marketing Dept.

Have you ever seen an advertisement that you just know is wrong, you realize the moment you’re watching it, you’re being lied to?  You know, like the bracelet that promises to make you smarter, more attractive, and lower your cholesterol?

But no matter how outrageous those claims, some people still fall for them. USF Assistant Professor of Marketing Adam Craig is studying how our brains react to advertising—particularly deceptive ads—and he’s using neuroscience techniques to do so.

Katy Hennig / USF News

During its 111 years in operation, at least 80 young men died at the Dozier School for Boys in the Panhandle city of Marianna. Some died in fires, some from health problems, and some from violence.

Last year, citing budget cuts, the state closed the reform school.

However, decades of allegations of torture and abuse mar the school's legacy--as does the fact that some of the boys who died there found their final resting place in the unmarked graves of the campus’ Boot Hill Cemetery.

“Today there are 31 metal crosses in rows to commemorate the 31 boys that are believed to be buried there," USF forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle tells USF News. "But what’s sort of unknown is whether those crosses really correspond to actual graves.”

WFTS.com

A bear that might have been looking for love was captured at Busch Gardens early this morning after making an earlier stop at USF's Tampa campus.

The 270 pound, 2 1/2 year old Florida black bear was first spotted by a USF student around 1 a.m. Tuesday outside of the Argos Hall residence hall. 

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission officials had been tracking the bear since it was last seen in Land O'Lakes last week, so they were able to monitor him as he made the three mile journey through campus, before climbing up a tree near the main entrance of Busch Gardens off Busch Boulevard. 

USF News

The leaders of the University of South Florida's Saint Petersburg and Polytechnic campuses are both stepping down, but under somewhat different circumstances. 

David Touchton, the interim chief of USF Polytechnic for the past six months, is leaving as the campus prepares to close. USF Associate Vice President Kathleen Moore will lead USF Poly through its planned "teach out" of the students who remain after the state approved its transition to an independent university. Touchton's last day will be Friday. 

Superhero Training Network

Sam DuPont and Audrey Buttice were once mild-mannered USF Ph.D. students. As part of a National Science Foundation-funded fellowship program, they’d visit elementary schools around the Tampa area and do science demonstrations. But they thought that they could reach more students by videotaping their work—they just needed a hook. DuPont says they found their answer while waiting in line at Disney World.

"At first we’re like, ‘Pirates!’ and we’re like, ‘Nah, that’s not good.’ Then we’re like, ‘Clowns!’ and we’re like, ‘Ah, that’s a little too juvenile,’ and then we were like, ‘Ah, I got it, superheroes!’ and from there, that’s history!”

So, along with classmate Robert Bair, they came up with new alter egos and a back story--a lab accident that transformed them from normal scientists to super-powered members of The Scientific League of Superheroes.

Taegan McMahon

New research from USF is finding that a commonly-used fungicide may be toxic to aquatic life.

The chemical is chlorothalonil, the most commonly used synthetic fungicide in the United States. It’s used on peanuts, tomatoes, potatoes, and turf grass.

It’s in the same family as DDT, the chemical that was banned after conservationist Rachel Carson’s 1962 book “Silent Spring.”

USF biologist Taegan McMahon, a doctoral candidate in the USF Department of Integrative Biology, has published two papers with associate professor Jason Rohr about the dangers of chlorothalonil.

Dennis Garofalo

UPDATED Sun 6/10 4:30 pm with more info from Speer
 

In addition to the ducks, squirrels and Bulls that populate USF's Tampa campus, there's another species roaming the grounds, as at least one bobcat has been caught on camera.

Aramark/USF Dining Services Production Manager Dennis Garofalo took pictures of a bobcat eating a duck near the Argos Center around 6:30 Thursday morning.

Garofalo says the bobcat, which he and employees have taken to calling the "Fresh Food Company Cat" after the division they work in, has been seen lurking in the area for the last month or so. 

USF Sun Dome / Global Spectrum

With a list of past performers that includes such luminaries as U2, Garth Brooks and Frank Sinatra, a major name was needed to headline the newly renovated USF Sun Dome's grand opening.

Arena officials think their choice - Sir Elton John - more than fits that bill. The award-winning singer/songwriter will play the Sun Dome Friday, September 14th at 8 p.m.

USF College of Marine Science

Researchers at USF's College of Marine Science are finding new and creative ways to use social media to share what they're learning. This week's University Beat on WUSF Public Media looks at how one teacher used Skype to continue teaching her Honors College classes while in the middle of the ocean on a once in a lifetime research cruise. It also shows us how an underwater vehicle is using Twitter to share the information it’s discovering with both researchers and the public.

USF Athletics

In a game in which the only run scored on an infield pop-out, USF softball's magical season ended Saturday with a 1-0 nail-biter loss to LSU in the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. 

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