USF Honors College

USF Innovative Education

(originally aired March 14, 2017)

The University of South Florida is 61 years old – and believe it or not, that’s pretty young compared to many of the premier research universities that USF wants to be in the company of.

Universities also like to get successful alumni to share their stories with faculty and students, and USF’s age makes that a bit of challenge.

So, USF Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation Paul Sanberg reasoned, why not create an institute that taps into the pool of talent whose careers have recently ended?

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.

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.

USF Communications & Marketing

While USF's Board of Trustees has identified 17 degree programs it suggests the university system should drop, the news may not actually be that bad, as 15 of them are from the now-defunct USF Polytechnic in Lakeland.

Garrison Games

Whether you didn't enjoy high school (I was a 5'3" tall freshman, but it got better after that) or it truly was the best time of your life, a board game created by a USF Professor and his friends gives you the opportunity to relive high school.

Philip Bishop is a visiting professor teaching philosophy courses in USF’s Honors College and a self-professed "gaming geek." During a gaming session with friends, including his own high school classmate, USF graduate teaching assistant Alan Shaw, the group began discussing making a board game out of their high school experiences.

“That spilled into, well, how would you do that, how would you make in a game, getting to the hallways, getting to your classroom, just getting through the day?" said Shaw. "And that turned into, oh, that mechanic would work perfectly, why isn’t somebody writing this down?”