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Stephanie Colombini

Reporter

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters, WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.

Stephanie was born and raised just outside New York City. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, where she got her start in radio at NPR member station WFUV in 2012. In addition to reporting and anchoring, Stephanie helped launch the news department’s first podcast series, Issues Tank.

Prior to joining the WUSF family, Stephanie spent a year reporting for CBS Radio’s flagship station WCBS Newsradio 880 in Manhattan. Her assignments included breaking news stories such as the 2016 bombings in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and Seaside Park, NJ and political campaigns. As part of her job there, she was forced to – and survived – a night of reporting on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

Her work in feature reporting and podcast production has earned her awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the Alliance for Women in Media.

While off-the-clock, you might catch Stephanie at a rock concert, on a fishing boat or anywhere that serves delicious food.

Contact Stephanie by emailing her at scolombini@wusf.org or follow her on Twitter @steph_colombini.

summer reading
Pixabay

By Robin Sussingham and Stephanie Colombini

Summer can be a great time to catch up on reading, so this week Florida Matters is offering up recommendations for good books to check out this season.


Army veteran Mike Monthervil (left) uses an adaptive controller to play video games as his VA recreational therapist Jamie Kaplan watches.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

By Stephanie Colombini

Some VA medical centers have realized that helping vets get back in the game can also help with their recovery.


USF President Judy Genshaft stands in front of a fountain on the Tampa campus.
USF Marketing and Communications

With University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft’s July 1 retirement approaching, this week's Florida Matters looks back at her 19 years leading USF.

Host Robin Sussingham talks to Assistant News Directors Steve Newborn and Mark Schreiner, who have covered Genshaft since both arrived at WUSF in 2001, shortly after Genshaft became USF's sixth president.


Appearing at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Secretary Pompeo addressed the recent decision to send 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid growing tensions with Iran.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed growing tensions with Iran Tuesday. He spoke to reporters after a closed meeting with military leaders at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa.


Patron boarding bus
HART

Less than a month after one of their drivers was killed by a passenger, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority is installing safety barriers on all of its vehicles.

Podcast microphone.
Tumisu/Pixabay

Whether you’re interested in politics, music, crime, technology or just about anything, there is likely a podcast for you. But while millions of people enjoy listening to podcasts every day, others still don’t understand this relatively new form of media.

This week on Florida Matters: Podcasting 101.


Lt. Gerald Berry of Clearwater flew one of the planes that transported paratroopers behind enemy lines on D-Day. He was honored with eight other WWII vets during a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Nine World War II veterans were honored Thursday in a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.


Mosquitos are just one of the types of insects out in full force in Florida this season.
CDC

Lovebugs, termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches – there is no doubt that Florida is home to many insects, and they seem to thrive in the state's hot, humid conditions.

You can’t avoid them, so this week on Florida Matters we’re talking about how to deal with them.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida. Meanwhile the number of cases of Hepatitis A in the state continues to rise.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about how the environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico shaped human life over the years with Jack E. Davis, whose book The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History.


The James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital's new outpatient clinic in southern Hillsborough County is up and running.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Veterans in southern Hillsborough County no longer have to travel to the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa every time they need to see a doctor.


People board a HART bus.
HART

Presenters at a Café Con Tampa event Friday talked about how they want Hillsborough County to spend transportation funds, particularly future revenue from the higher sales tax voters passed last fall.

Most of the time they talked about not wanting any rail service.

95 year-old WWII veteran Joe Perricone will walk at Hillsborough High School's graduation Saturday to finally receive his diploma in person.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

A 95 year-old World War II veteran will walk across the stage Saturday at Hillsborough High School's graduation ceremony to finally receive his diploma in person.


Citrus greening shrinks the size of oranges.
Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Citrus has shaped the state’s identity for 100 years. But it has been a tough ten years with freezes, hurricanes, development pressure and, worst of all, citrus greening.

This week on Florida Matters we take a deep dive into the state of Florida’s citrus industry.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new study finds four counties in Florida are some of the most vulnerable areas for a measles outbreak in the nation.


Neonatal Intensive Care Units help keep premature babies alive, but they can also be very stressful environments. Music therapy can help buffer the jarring lights and sounds to help a baby's brain develop in peace.
Dave Barfield / Tallahassee Memorial Hospital

Research shows that music therapy in neonatal intensive care units helps infants get released from the hospital early. Experts in Florida helped pioneer the practice, and now it's expanding.

Construction in downtown Tampa
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about zoning and how it affects the way our state manages growth.

It may sound mundane, but zoning and building regulations affect us intimately because they hit us where we live.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials in Pinellas County are investigating a measles case in a 72-year-old man. This comes amid a national uptick in measles outbreaks.


Florida Matters hosted a taping in front of a live audience during the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. The topic: Tampa Bay as an international dining destination.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

These are exciting times for eating out in Tampa Bay. Our cuisine is getting better and more varied and starting to draw national attention.

  

Long-time transit advocate Ed Turanchik outlined the plan to expand ferry service. Click through the slideshow to view graphics that show how service will run.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Ferry service in Tampa Bay could include a new stop as well as commuter service to MacDill Air Force Base if a new plan moves forward.

The invasive tegu lizards are known to eat the eggs of some of Florida's native wildlife. Recently scientists discovered gopher tortoises, a Threatened species, in some tegu stomachs.
Mike Avery / USDA Wildlife Services

Florida is home to more than 500 invasive species. Not all of these plants and animals are big and scary like pythons, but they can still harm the state’s native wildlife, and a lot of time and money is spent fighting them.

This week Florida Matters speaks with scientists on the front lines of this battle about how we’re doing.


Tampa mayoral candidates Jane Castor (l) and David Straz.
Daylina Miller and Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Tampa mayoral candidate Jane Castor leads her opponent David Straz by 36 points in a new poll from the University of North Florida's Public Opinion Research Lab.


Debbie Kemp is a member of the unofficial Lightning fan group Sticks of Fire. Members pack section 307 of Amalie Arena to lead chants every game.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay Lightning began the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a loss Wednesday night. They were defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 despite a strong first period.  

Therapist Keith Smith demonstrates virtual reality equipment at the University of Central Florida. Smith uses virtual reality to help treat veterans' post traumatic stress disorder.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The University of Central Florida is using virtual reality to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. It's worked well enough that the Pentagon will fund similar programs elsewhere.


Aerial view of University Mall in Tampa.
Google Maps

The University of South Florida's planned Institute of Applied Engineering will build its headquarters at the re-developed University Mall in Tampa.


Robert Wilkie
Department of Veterans Affairs

The James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa is undergoing a $148 million dollar expansion to meet the growing demand for health care in Florida. 

WUSF's Stephanie Colombini recently spoke with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie about the expansion and other ways the VA is trying to increase access to care.


Ocala-based artist Robert Mickelsen used a torch to transform thin glass tubes into a human hand. Scroll through this slideshow to see how it came together, and see some other pieces on display at free exhibits for the public.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hundreds of glass artists and enthusiasts from around the world are in St. Petersburg this weekend for the 2019 Glass Art Society conference.


Florida’s legislative session has been underway for almost a month and there have already been some big changes.

We talk with reporters about key issues lawmakers are considering and how their actions could affect our lives on this week’s Florida Matters.


Tampa mayoral candidate and millionaire David Straz said he wouldn't accept a salary if elected. And he said his opponent Jane Castor shouldn't either.

Marijuana plants
Mark, flickr

Smokable marijuana is already available for patients at some dispensaries just days after Gov. Ron DeSantis legalized its use.

But the new law still requires the state to craft rules about how to obtain it.

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