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University Beat

USF President Steven Currall poses for a photo in front of a backdrop.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

For the first time since 2000, the University of South Florida has a new president. Steven Currall, who was named to the job in March, officially became the university’s seventh president on July 1.


Steven Currall speaks to USF research faculty at the Patel Center in Tampa on his first day as USF President Monday.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

By Mark Schreiner

Steven Currall’s first official day as University of South Florida President Monday began with a trip of a few hundred feet from his new home in the Lifsey House on the Tampa campus to the Gibbons Alumni Center next door.

It wrapped up with visits to the USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee campuses. In between, he laid out a plan that will take the school into the next 12 months and beyond.

Steven Currall
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

By Mark Schreiner

The changing of the guard becomes official at the University of South Florida Monday as Steven Currall becomes President.

He succeeds Judy Genshaft, who is retiring after 19 years leading the school.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a bill-signing event at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Wednesday.
Adam Bakst / WUSF Public Media

By News Service of Florida, Carrie Pinkard and Adam Bakst

Governor DeSantis said in Tampa Wednesday that he wants Florida to be the number one state for veterans.

He then promptly signed legislation that would help with that goal.

Children play soccer in stock photo
Petaluma Youth Soccer League

Children's recreational sports are growing more competitive than ever, and with that can come big injuries. 

A first-of-its-kind study on children ages 5 to 11 who play recreational sports has found that concussions are the most common injury in this age group.

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.


New Surgeon General Keeps UF Employment

Jun 25, 2019

Florida’s new surgeon general has negotiated an unusual two-year arrangement that allows him to remain employed at the University of Florida --- and keep his tenured position --- while also being in charge of the state Department of Health. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed into a law a higher-education package that changes how public universities and colleges will fund construction projects, a top priority of House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.

The bill (SB 190) was prompted, in part, by a high-profile financial scandal at the University of Central Florida. The university was found to have misused millions of dollars in state funds for a construction project.

Judy Genshaft talks with WUSF's Mark Schreiner about her 19 years as USF System President in April.
Adam Freeman / USF Communications & Marketing

We’re into the final days of Judy Genshaft’s tenure as president of the University of South Florida.

I sat down recently for a two-part interview with Genshaft, who will retire July 1 after leading USF for 19 years. In the first part, we discussed her successes. In this part, she reflected some more, including on some of the low points of her administration.

High school students from across Florida gathered at USF St Petersburg to learn about careers in government from Florida legislators.
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

For some high school students, summer is a time to relax. But for nearly one hundred Florida high school students, it's a time to study civics, thanks to a program from USF St Petersburg and the YMCA. 

The pair partnered to create the Civics Fellows Program, a yearlong fellowship that immerses students in local government and public service.

David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez speak at USF College of Public Health.
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

Sixteen months ago, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and opened fire.

He killed 17 people and injured 17 others.

David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez were among the students who survived the shooting. They’ve since turned the tragedy into an opportunity to advocate for gun violence awareness around the United States.

USF System President Judy Genshaft and Trustee Vice Chair Les Muma at a June 5 meetin.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

On July 1, Judy Genshaft will retire after 19 years as the president of the University of South Florida System.

During the 71-year-old’s nearly two decades leading USF, the school’s enrollment grew by 40 percent, its four-year graduation rate tripled. Its endowment nearly doubled from $254 million to $480 million.

Tampa General President and CEO John Couris and USF Health VP Chatles Lockwood address the USF Board of Trustees.
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

University of South Florida Health and Tampa General Hospital announced at Thursday's USF Board of Trustees meeting that they will be strengthening their partnership.

The two have been working together since the College of Medicine's creation in the early 1970’s, and TGH already serves as the official teaching hospital for USF. 

New Health Secretary To Keep Ties To UF

Jun 6, 2019

When physician Scott Rivkees takes over as secretary of the state Department of Health, he will continue to be employed by the University of Florida. 

Students assembling a rocket.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Anyone who has ever built and launched a rocket – from a child with a store-bought kit to the NASA scientists who put a human on the moon to Elon Musk – know it’s a saga of many failures and (hopefully) massive successes.

It’s also a story that the members of the University of South Florida’s Society of Aeronautics and Rocketry, or SOAR, are very familiar with.

AbleNook, an expandable, customized modular dwelling.
AbleNook

In a nondescript warehouse in Tampa's Ybor City, a young company is in the process of creating a new kind of modular home that could change both luxury living and post-hurricane shelters.

USF System President Judy Genshaft and her husband, Steven Greenbaum, are surrounded by students from the USF Honors College.
Adam Bakst / WUSF Public Media

In about a month, Judy Genshaft will retire as the President of the University of South Florida. 

But, thanks to a $20 million gift from her and her husband, her name will live on with the USF Judy Genshaft Honors College.

Baljinder Sekhon plays the piano.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Earlier this year, the Florida Orchestra debuted a piece written by a University of South Florida music compositition professor. 

You can hear Baljinder Sekhon’'s "Stars" Thursday night at 7 on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 as part of its Evening Masterwork series. 

USF logos
USF Communications and Marketing

The University of South Florida is officially throwing in the towel on its controversial bull logo barely eight months after it debuted.

Joe Hice, USF Vice President of Communications and Marketing, released a statement Monday morning to students, faculty, staff and alumni acknowledging the vocal response it received from some quarters since it was unveiled last September.

David Mearns
The OPEN Partnership Education Network at USFSP

In 1986, David Mearns received his Master’s degree in Marine Geology from the University of South Florida College of Marine Science.

Since then, he's become one of the world's most renowned shipwreck hunters, with 25 discoveries and three world records, including one for the deepest shipwreck ever found.

Drew Falkowitz, 16, will become the youngest person to ever graduate from USF when he receives his Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology this weekend.
Rachel Smith / WUSF Public Media

Spring is in the air--and so are graduation caps.

The Spring 2019 graduates from the University of South Florida will make their mark as the largest graduating class in school history. An estimated 7,500 degrees will be handed out during the May commencement ceremonies, but one stands out among the rest.

The red and orange sun sets over dark water
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF Public Media

Sad songs. Why do we love them so much? And might they be bad for us? Especially for people with clinical depression?

Psychology researchers at the University of South Florida studied this question, and uncovered some surprising results.

Sophia Wisniewska
USF St. Petersburg

Former University of South Florida St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska, who stepped down in the wake of controversy following Hurricane Irma two years ago, has filed a lawsuit against USF and System President Judy Genshaft.

Local band performs at music festival in St. Petersburg
Nicole Slaughter Graham / WUSF Public Media

On a recent Saturday morning in downtown St. Petersburg, residents near Williams Park were jolted awake by potent guitar riffs and an explosion of drums from Frostfang. The heavy metal band includes members who go to St. Petersburg College and USF St. Petersburg, making them the perfect act to open the Good Vibes Only Art and Music Festival.

USF forensic anthropology students and FBI agents learn crime scene mapping skills at the annual field day at the Facility for Outdoor Research and Training (FORT).
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Since 2006, the University of South Florida has brought together FBI agents and students studying to become forensic investigators for a field training day.

In earlier versions, they’d meet on the Tampa campus or on the nearby grounds of MOSI and look at how the bodies of buried pigs decompose in Florida’s climate. But for the past few years, they’ve actually had a dedicated field – and real human bodies – to study.

A mockup of the ISEAUTO, designed at Tallinn Technical University in Estonia.
Tallinn Technical University

Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland has a new partner in autonomous vehicle research--a university in Estonia that’s built a prototype of a driverless car.  

A drone controlled by a pilot's brain flies during USF's first ever Brain-Drone Races.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Anyone who’s ever flown a drone can tell you – it’s not the easiest thing to do. Now imagine if the only way you could control that drone – is with your brain.

That’s the challenge 16 University of South Florida students faced recently at the school’s inaugural Brain-Drone race.

Opening performance
Nicole Slaughter Graham / WUSF Public Media

Across the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, both students and the public are finding a smattering of free live performances to enjoy. The inaugural Short and Sweet Theatre Week kicked off Monday, bringing the arts to the university.

WUSF is looking for student interns for the summer and fall 2019 semesters.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

WUSF News is looking for student journalists ready for the opportunity to work in a professional newsroom. We're taking applications for a number of internships for the Summer and Fall 2019 semesters, including the Stephen Noble Internship - a semester-long chance to develop into a public radio reporter - and a new visual news internship.

Screenshot from FRED Florida Measles Simulator.

A new online measles simulator shows how quickly the disease could spread in Florida.

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