USF

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.

GradImages

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.

Candace Kaw

Twelve teams of students from eight Florida universities recently faced off at the Second Annual State of Florida Healthcare Innovation Competition to determine whose medical technology reigned supreme -- and the winners walked away with $10,000.

"The competition brings together collegiate healthcare innovators from across the state, and allows them an opportunity to pitch their innovation ideas, concepts, and products before a panel of qualified judges," said Dr. Michael Fountain, director for event co-sponsor, the University of South Florida Center for Entrepreneurship. "In addition to winning cash prizes, these innovations gain insight from these world-class experts to help them move their technologies forward."

A wide variety of products and ideas was pitched, from a Google Glass application for people with cognitive and physical disabilities to a grocery store chain that sells healthy food in low-income neighborhoods.

"I think it speaks, very clearly, to the breadth of what can be done in healthcare innovation, whether it starts out with an application all the way to a small molecule," Fountain added.

GradImages

In addition to the "to selfie or not to selfie" debate, there are a number of other stories making news at this weekend's University of South Florida Spring Commencement - including a family of graduates, a former migrant worker turned educator, and a USF professor whose voice is recognizable to thousand of alumni.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Is there a better way to handle the stress of final exams than by petting a miniature stallion?

Okay, it's not Wellness USF's entire plan to help students manage the fear of the last days of class, but Scooby Boo, a tiny 12 year-old horse (wearing USF green sneakers), is one of the organization's secret weapons to provide a break from the pressure.

If you're a University of South Florida student graduating next month and your plan is to take a selfie photo on stage, the University has one word for you: don't!

In a story that's receiving national attention, the USF Division of Student Affairs sent out a notice to all graduating seniors and placed an ad in the school newspaper, The Oracle, requesting that they don't take pictures of themselves when they receive their diplomas from President Judy Genshaft.

Also on the list of what's labeled as 'inappropriate behaviors' are stepping, strolling and marching. Just a simple handshake, pose for the official photo with the President and move on, please.

Violators may face disciplinary action, including the withholding of their degree.

USF News

In an honor for both the students and the school, three University of South Florida juniors have been named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars.

Not only are Michael Calzadilla, Kaitlin Deutsch and Fiona Kearns among the 238 students from across the country receiving the honor, they're also the only Goldwater Scholars this year in the State University System of Florida.

Who Will Have the Bomb in 2020 in the Middle East?

Mar 17, 2014
Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Over a two-day conference that started Monday at the University of South Florida, experts are looking into the future of the Middle East and Central Asia in the year 2020 and what implications that has on American foreign policy.

One of the big "what if" questions at this conference was "who will have the bomb in 2020?" In other words, what are the possibilities of a Middle Eastern country getting a nuclear weapon?

One of the most powerful questions that can be asked is "What if?"

What if America lowers its troop presence overseas? What if there's another Arab Spring? What if a new country or even terrorists get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction?

As Dr. Mohsen Milani explains, those kind of scenarios are the focus of a conference, The Greater Middle East and Central Asia in 2020 and Its Implications for American Foreign Policy, taking place at the University of South Florida next Monday and Tuesday.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

When it comes to the new Florida Center for Cybersecurity at USF, managing director Sri Sridharan isn’t afraid to aim high.

“If someone has a question a couple of years from now in Billings, Montana, and says, ‘I have a question on cybersecurity,’ the answer should be, ‘Hey, go to those guys at University of South Florida, they’ll have the answer for you,’” Sridharan said.

Beginning this fall, the center will offer a master’s degree in cybersecurity through a program that goes well beyond typical information technology (IT) offerings.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

On Wednesday, Dr. Mohsen Milani's boss came to him with an idea.

USF Provost, Dr. Ralph Wilcox, wanted Milani, the Executive Director of the USF Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, to organize an event focusing on recent events in Ukraine, including Russia's military intervention in Crimea.

"His argument was that as a globally engaged university, it is one of the responsibilities of our university to inform and educate our students as well as the community about important and developing news," Milani said.

So, between USF faculty and Milani's contacts in the world of foreign affairs, he had three experts lined up to take part in a 'campus conversation' Thursday afternoon - barely 26 hours after Wilcox's initial request.

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