USF Student Journalism

  WUSF News regularly collaborates with University of South Florida journalism classes in Tampa and St. Petersburg, providing students an opportunity to share their work with the greater Tampa Bay area.

Some of the projects have included:

  • “Past Plates” - a podcast and written stories produced in Spring 2017 that look into people’s memories and traditions related to food, food culture and food business in south St. Petersburg. 
  • In fall 2016, students profiled candidates running for Tampa Bay area elected offices. They  were produced as part of the USF Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications' Advanced Reporting or Public Affairs classes; and as part of the Media and Elections class at USF St. Petersburg’s Journalism and Mass Communications Department.
  • In 2015, WUSF journalists joined the USFSP Neighborhood News Bureau in creating oral histories of residents of St. Petersburg's historic Midtown neighborhood. That work was featured on WUSF's Florida Matters public affairs show.

Munch’s Restaurant A Family Tradition

Jun 16, 2017
Bernardo H. Motta / USF St. Petersburg

Larry Munch is the proprietor of Munch’s Sundries & Restaurant, a longtime famous hangout and food port in south St. Petersburg.

It didn’t start out that way, when Munch’s parents started in back in 1952.

Sweet Memories Of Sweet Mangoes In South St. Petersburg

Jun 15, 2017
USF Student Journalist

Walking down the dirt roads of South 34th street, near Gibbs High School, Sylvester Norton Jr. recalls how as a child, he never had to worry about where he would find food.

“I mean you had all kinds of fruits (on trees outside)…Everything, you know. You don’t have it right here now, but back then, I mean you could survive,” he said. “Got no money much, but you didn’t get to worry about something to eat.”

Midtown150: “Past Plates”

Jun 12, 2017

Midtown150 is a production of the University of South Florida’s Neighborhood News Bureau, an advanced reporting journalism class.

In the podcast, NNB student-reporters explore current and relevant topics through a historical lens through the memories of the local residents of south St. Petersburg – an area known as Midtown.

USF Student Journalist

At Chief’s Creole Café, Head Chef Lorenza Jackson is training the next generation of great cooks, something he learned by growing up near historic 22nd Street S. in Midtown, St. Petersburg. A neighborhood also known as “the Deuces.”

We’re nearing Election Day, and millions of Florida residents are still contemplating who they will select to represent them in Tallahassee and local offices.

Most of the attention this campaign season has focused on the important presidential race, and some voters may still be wondering about the candidates for school board and state legislative races.

Election 2016: House District 65 Candidate Chris Sprowls

Nov 3, 2016

In a campaign video, Rep. Chris Sprowls walks down a busy street. He helps a young boy who sits on a countertop. He shakes hands with a retail worker, then discusses a piece of art with an older couple.

Then he looks directly into the camera and smiles.

Elections 2016: House District 66 Candidate Lorena Grizzle

Nov 3, 2016

When she ran for the Legislature two years ago, Lorena Grizzle was clobbered by a well-financed Republican incumbent in a Republican-leaning House district.

So why is she trying again?

Elections 2016: House District 69 Candidate Jennifer Webb

Nov 3, 2016

Two and a half years ago, Jennifer Webb went to Massachusetts to celebrate one sister’s college graduation and try to convince another sister that her life mattered.

It was too late. Beset by drug addiction and depression, her troubled sister did the unimaginable: She killed herself in front of her family.

Age: 36

Education: Louisiana State University, two bachelor’s degrees; University of South Florida, master’s degree

Occupation:  Director of community partnerships, USF Tampa

Election 2016: House District 65 Candidate Bernard “Bernie” Fensterwald

Nov 3, 2016

In 2009, Bernard “Bernie” Fensterwald retired to Florida. But he is no ordinary retiree.

As a lawyer in northern Virginia, he worked alongside his father, an intriguing, somewhat mysterious attorney whose clients included the man who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., and one of the five Watergate burglars.

Age: 65

Education: Vanderbilt University, bachelor’s degree; Tulane University School of Law, J.D.; Virginia Tech, master’s in education

Occupation: Retired; owner of storage business

Election 2016: House District 66 Candidate Larry Ahern

Nov 3, 2016

Larry Ahern’s introduction to politics came on a trip to the state Capitol in 2009.

He was in Tallahassee for the annual Catholic Days at the Capitol event, when church members take tours, get policy briefings, and meet legislators.

Election 2016: House District 69 Candidate Kathleen Peters

Nov 3, 2016

In politics, you can’t start much smaller than Kathleen Peters did – on the Planning and Zoning Board in tiny South Pasadena (population 4,964) in 2006.

But that post led to election to the City Commission, which led to three years as mayor and then the state House of Representatives in 2012.

Elections 2016: Pinellas County Commission District 3 Candidate Charlie Justice

Nov 2, 2016

Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice rode into office four years ago with a promise to reverse the commission’s controversial 2011 decision to remove fluoride from the county’s water system.

Now he is running for re-election against an opponent who is sharply critical of a different County Commission decision – a 2013 vote to block a luxury condominium project in Safety Harbor.

Age: 48

Education: St. Petersburg College, associate degree; University of South Florida, bachelor’s degree

Elections 2016: Pinellas County School Board District 5 Candidate Eliseo Santana

Nov 2, 2016

A delinquent and troublemaker – violent and unteachable.

Those are the words that Eliseo Santana uses to describe himself as a teenager in the early 1970s.

Elections 2016: Pinellas County Commission District 3 Candidate Mike Mikurak, Republican

Nov 2, 2016

Something sounds familiar in Pinellas County this election season.   

Mike Mikurak, the Republican running for the only County Commission seat up for grabs, says “it’s time to put a businessman and not a politician in charge of our tax dollars.”

Age: 62

   Education: Mercer County (N.J.) Community College, associate degree; Rider University, bachelor’s degree in business administration

   Occupation: Retired businessman and consultant, civic activist

Elections 2016: Pinellas County School Board District 1 Candidate Matt Stewart

Nov 2, 2016

If Matt Stewart wins election to the Pinellas County School Board, he would be its  youngest member, at 36, and the only one with a doctorate.

But another attribute, he said, would be more beneficial to the board. He’s the parent of a public school child – a distinction shared by none of the current board members. (Newly elected member Eileen Long has two children in public school.)

Age: 36

Elections 2016: Pinellas County School Board District 5 Candidate Carol Cook

Nov 2, 2016

Carol Cook never thought it would come to this.

She planned on having a seat on the Pinellas County School Board wrapped up by now.  Instead what she has, is a fight for re-election.

Age: 65

 Education: University of South Florida, bachelor’s degree

 Occupation: School Board member, retired teacher

 Political Experience: Pinellas County School Board member, 2000-present

Elections 2016: Pinellas County School Board District 1 Candidate Joanne Lentino

Nov 2, 2016

She has high kicked with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, shared a stage with Jimmy Durante, managed a city department in Las Vegas and taught in public elementary schools in south Pinellas County.

Now Joanne Lentino wants another job: Pinellas County School Board member.

  Age: 67

   Education: University of Nevada Las Vegas, bachelor’s degree

   Occupation: Retired elementary school teacher

Elections 2016: Hillsborough County Commission District 6 Candidate Tim Schock

Nov 2, 2016

Tim Schock, the Republican candidate for District 6 County Commissioner, is heading into the general election with one central message: he is not a career politician. And he says he’s running a homegrown campaign to prove it.

Elections 2016: Hillsborough County Commission District 6 Candidate Pat Kemp

Nov 2, 2016

Patricia “Pat” Kemp is a mother of two twenty-somethings, a family law attorney and former chief aide to a county commissioner, among other jobs, and now this Democrat has her goal set on being a county commissioner herself.

The 59 year-old is running against Republican Tim Schock.

Age: 59

Education: Boston University, Stetson University College of Law

Occupation: Solar Consultant

Political Experience: Legislative Aide to State Representative Sara Romeo; Chief Aide to Hillsborough County Commissioner Kathy Castor

Elections 2016: Florida House Of Representatives District 73 Candidate Joe Gruters

Nov 1, 2016

House District 73 will have a new face in Tallahassee after incumbent Greg Steube’s decision to run in District 23 for state Senate. Native Floridian Joe Gruters hopes to be that new legislator so he can reform the education system in Florida.