U.S. News and World Report

U.S. News and World Report has tallied up the data on nearly 1,800 colleges and universities around the country and issued its 2015 Best College Rankings. While there's little movement at the top, schools in the Sunshine State are seeing some changes.

Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Innovation will be honored Wednesday night as the inaugural class is inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame at a private ceremony in Tampa.

Jane Goodall: Young People Can Make Difference

Sep 9, 2014
Yoselis Ramos

Jane Goodall, the scientist behind a landmark study of chimpanzee behavior, spoke Tuesday night at the USF Sun Dome about her environmental conservation efforts and primate research experiences. But before that, Dr. Goodall visited local children at the USF Botanical Gardens.

She spoke to Pizzo Elementary students about her love of animals since childhood and how her mother supported her interests.

Yoselis Ramos

Legendary scientist Jane Goodall is speaking tonight at the USF Sun Dome at 7 p.m.  She first stopped at the USF Botanical Gardens to speak to children about her experiences in nature and her enthusiasm for botany, sharing simple goals everyone can take to protect nature.

Watch the video of part of her address:

The University of South Florida has been awarded by far the largest grant in the state to hire "navigators" who help uninsured people sign up for health insurance coverage through the federal Marketplace, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

Only two other Florida organizations won  navigator grants: the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, $871,275, and the Pinellas County Commission, $535,156. 

The HistoryMakers

Poet Maya Angelou, actress Ruby Dee and even President Barack Obama have something in common. They've all participated in The History Makers project--the country's largest African American collection of video interviews capturing the struggles and achievements of the black experience.Those 2,600 HistoryMakers videos have a new home--the Library of Congress.

It was 1985 when Henrietta Smith was the first African-American faculty member at the University of South Florida at the School of Library Science.  

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

When I asked Matt Knight, the Coordinator of the University of South Florida Library Special and Digital Collections, how many pieces are held in the archives of the USF Tampa Library – I mean, individual pieces: every book, every oral history, every single piece of minutiae in the dozens of separate, smaller compilations, I got this reply:

"Boy, I wish you didn’t ask me that question - I am not sure, I mean, it’s just…" he said, his voice tailing off with an exasperated sigh.

That’s because the total is most likely in the hundreds of thousands, if not the low seven figures.

So Knight and his fellow Special Collections Librarians Andy Huse and Melanie Griffin really had their work cut out for them when they had to pick just some of those items to put on display for the public at a recent event called “A Few of Our Favorite Things.”

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

  It's taken University of South Florida researchers more than three years to provide one family with an answer they've been looking for, for more than 70 years.

The researchers uncovered remains from 55 unmarked graves on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna last year.  DNA testing has identified one set as belonging to George Owen Smith, who's believed to have died at age 14 -- shortly after being sent to the Florida Panhandle school in 1940.

USF Anthropologist Christian Wells says Smith was the first body found, but was in the worst shape.

John Moore / Getty Images/courtesy NPR

If things had gone as planned, USF Department of Anthropology Associate Professor Heide Castañeda would have spent the last two months in Texas and Mexico on a pair of research projects. She was going to talk to "mixed status" families on both sides of the border - families who have both legal and undocumented immigrants living in the United States - as well as meet with immigrants returning to Mexico.

Instead, she arrived just as the world's attention turned to the increasing number of Central American migrants fleeing their homes for what they thought was the promised land of the U.S.

Castañeda talked to University Beat on WUSF 89.7 about her visits to Sinaloa, Mexico, and McAllen, Texas, and what she saw there.

Here are some highlights from that interview:

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

They're not raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but the staff of USF Tampa Library's Special Collections is putting a few of their favorite things on display for the public for one day only.

According to Special Collections' librarian Andy Huse, the event, A Few of Our Favorite Things (Thursday, July 17 from 1-3 p.m.), allows he and his colleagues on the library's fourth floor to show off some of the most interesting objects, ranging from centuries-old spiritual texts and rare maps to Babylonian clay tablets and Victorian-era novels.

Associated Press

Federal prosecutors on Friday dropped all charges against former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, whose criminal contempt case had sat in limbo for five years in front of a skeptical judge.

Al-Arian had been a target of the Justice Department for more than a decade. He was initially charged with playing a leadership role in the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He ended up taking a plea bargain on greatly reduced charges after a jury failed to convict him following a lengthy trial.

The University of South Florida has donated 1.4 acres in downtown St. Petersburg to All Children’s Hospital for a “research, education and training facility” that would benefit pediatric care, the two organizations said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Even though she's relatively new to the research world, Crystina Bronk knows there's a not-so-complementary - but partially true - stereotype about her and her colleagues:

"We’re not ‘people-persons,’ like, you can’t have it all, right? You can’t be good at science and be good at talking to people!" said Bronk, a graduate student in the University of South Florida Cancer Biology Program.

It's funny how a little blueberry ale can change that.

USF News

Among the big winners in the 2014-15 state budget signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday is the University of South Florida, which picked up funding for a number of projects that still needed support.

According to USF News, all five of the university's top legislative priorities were met.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Ahmad Saadaldin and members of the group USF Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) thought that this time, they were going to be successful. For over a year, they've been working to change how the University of South Florida's $391 million endowment operates when it comes to politically sensitive areas, particularly in relation to Israel and Palestine.

USF Dept. of Anthropology

In April 2013, the decomposed remains of a woman were discovered behind a truck stop at I-75 and State Road 44 in Sumter County. Authorities there weren’t able to identify her, so they turned to Dr. Erin Kimmerle and the USF Forensic Anthropology Laboratory for help.

Combining a three-dimensional scan of the woman’s skull with photos from the scene and other details, Kimmerle says they were able to use Photoshop and put together a composite image of what the woman likely looked like.

"The more information that we can learn from the scene or autopsy helps inform us about those individual characteristics, for example, using her own glasses in the image," Kimmerle said at a press conference earlier this year. "But it’s really just based on skeletal anatomy and we hope that it will trigger someone's memory or bring new information to light."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

It may be an understatement, but biomedical research is a big business.

The National Institutes of Health has an annual budget of around $30 billion, and since it provides most of the federal funding for research at universities and laboratories, it supports over 400,000 jobs across the country.


In addition to the graduates honored during the University of South Florida's Spring Commencement Ceremonies, Dr. Stuart Silverman was singled out after almost half a century of service.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The recent Spring Commencement Ceremonies at the University of South Florida were certainly big on numbers, according to this week's University Beat.

Over 6,400 hundred degrees were awarded at seven ceremonies - Five exercises were held at USF's Tampa campus, and one each at USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. It's the most degrees ever conferred in a single commencement by the USF System.

The University of South Florida is being asked to repay $6.5 million in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant money it claimed, The Tampa Tribune reports.