University Beat

A few busloads of students from all three University of South Florida campuses will be heading to Tallahassee on Tuesday to meet with state lawmakers.

At least 70 students, along with university officials including President Judy Genshaft and head football coach Willie Taggart, will take part in USF Day at the Capitol.

They'd like to talk to legislators about a number of issues, including in-state tuition for veterans.

But USF Student Government President Brian Goff says the major topic of discussion will be funding for higher education.

Chris Urso /

In a move that's prompting a round of "I told you so's" from critics, Florida Polytechnic University trustees are asking state legislators for $25 million in additional funding.

The Tampa Tribune reports those who stood opposed to creating the new university last year are again voicing their displeasure.

"I told my colleagues and I told the governor last year that this was going to be a monstrous cost," said state Rep. Mike Fasano, a Republican from New Port Richey who was in the Senate at the time. "Very few people wanted to listen. Now it's coming back to haunt them."

Daniel Peck Photography

Whether it's in the classroom or on a popular YouTube video series, USF Mechanical Engineering Professor Autar Kaw uses a style that challenges his students. At the same time, they're not only learning complex mathematical formulas, but they're remembering them.

As a result, Kaw has been named one of four 2012 "Professors of the Year" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. This week's University Beat on WUSF 89.7 profiles the professor, but here's three quick things to know about him:

1. Kaw was honored, in part, because he's the "Numerical Methods Guy."

Kaw's Holistic Methods Institute website, his blog and his YouTube video lectures, have been seen by thousands of engineering students around the world. Using those tools, he says, builds a strong base for future learning.

It's fitting Brigham Young University comes out with its rankings of college accounting research programs in the midst of tax season. USF's School of Accountancy placed highly in a number of categories, including first in the nation in the 'accounting information systems' field.

BYU's preliminary 2012 rankings also ranked the School of Accountancy 21st in audit research and 29th in tax research.

Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

For college football fans, signing day is like Christmas, when you finally see what new presents your team has under the tree. For players and their families, it's the culmination of years of preparation, pressure and recruitment. And for coaches, it might just be the difference between losing your job and winning your conference.

USA Today took a look at signing day through the eyes of USF's new coach, Willie Taggert.

For the 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), there is nothing quite like national signing day; a carnival of unnecessary pomp, overwrought expectations, dramatic twists, and – for the coaches who spend countless hours recruiting players – plenty of nervous anticipation.

USF Athletics

If Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco has his way, the Big East Conference will pick up a 12th team, sign a TV rights package that includes multiple networks, and keep its name. reports that Aresco said on Monday that, in light of recent defections, the conference no longer wants to expand futher west than Texas -- but adding another team is likely.

"We probably at some point will add a 12th team," Aresco said. "We are going to have 11 when Navy comes in '15. We'll have 10 this year. There's no urgency, but we think we'll probably think about adding a 12th team."

A University of South Florida communications official accused of creating a hostile work environment has resigned. Michael Hoad, who as vice president of communications was the face of the university during such events as the firing of football coach Jim Leavitt and the acrimonious split of the Florida Polytechnic campus from USF, resigned effective Friday.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Students who transfer to the University of South Florida can still earn a degree at their former school.

USF and four Tampa Bay colleges signed a "reverse transfer" agreement Monday.

That means when a student completes a class a USF, the credits can count toward an associate's degree at Hillsborough Community College, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Polk State College and St. Petersburg College.

HCC president Ken Atwater says students who earn enough credits at USF will automatically receive their degree.

Moffitt Cancer Center

Ground has been broken on the latest expansion of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, with both the economic and physical health of the Bay area being the main beneficiaries.

Moffitt Cancer Center's new outpatient care facility will be located on McKinley Drive, about two miles south of Moffitt's main site on the University of South Florida's Tampa campus. The 200,000 square foot, eight story structure will feature four ambulatory surgical suites and clinical space for Moffitt's breast and skin cancer programs.

USF College of the Arts

It's a concert where smartphones and tablets aren't frowned upon--they're actually a part of the show!

This week's University Beat has a preview of Louder Than Ever Before, a multimedia, interactive concert performed by the band "Touch," which plays all of its music on iPads.

The concert is Friday, February 1st at 7:30 p.m. in USF's School of Music Concert Hall.

USF Saint Petersburg

Three finalists have been named to become USF Saint Petersburg's regional chancellor, and the man currently filling the seat is not among them.

The Tampa Bay Times reports interim Chancellor Bill Hogarth was among the six candidates interviewed for the position this week. However, the director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography did not receive enough votes from the advisory committee.

George Guthro / R/V Weatherbird II

The University of South Florida and a trio of WUSF reporters are being honored for their work in response to the BP Gulf oil spill in 2010.

A team of USF researchers and officials, led by Dr. William Hogarth, are among the recipients of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Tampa Bay's STEM Catalyst Collaborative Partnerships Award.

University of South Florida

1/28/13, 3 p.m. CORRECTION: The story has been updated and revised to indicate that neither man is a student, but are both affiliated with USF.

Police at the University of South Florida are investigating a reported sexual battery that took place at the Marshall Student Center.

According to a release from University Police, on January 25th, a male student man reported that he was attacked by another male student man on the afternoon on January 18th in a public restroom in the USF Marshall Student Center. The release says the victim and the alleged attacker knew each other. The attack remains under investigation.

Police Department spokeswoman Charlotte Domingo tells the Tampa Bay Times the men are not students, but are affiliated with the university.

Jason Bombaugh / USF HOT

USF's Herd of Thunder (HOT) marching band rang in 2013 by playing London's New Year's Day Parade in front of an estimated crowd of more than half a million people. Band members and some of the staff that traveled with them shared their memories of the trip with WUSF's University Beat. Here are half a dozen 'high notes:'

1. HOT was the featured band, marching the two mile route through historic downtown London after almost 10-thousand band members, cheerleaders and other performers had already gone past the huge crowd.


Less than three years after its formation, the USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Program has been named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States.

The program, based in USFSP's College of Business, received the award this past weekend at the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship's annual conference in San Francisco.

The University of South Florida won't be making any trips to the West Coast anytime soon, as yet another school is apparently pulling out of the Big East Conference without ever playing a game. reports San Diego State will return to the Mountain West Conference, joining Boise State, which decided last year not to join the Big East as a football-only member.


USF St. Petersburg is one step closer to finding its next regional chancellor, as the pool of candidates is now down to six.

According to USF St. Pete News, the Search Advisory Committee will interview the remaining candidates in person at Tampa International Airport January 28th & 29th.

USF College of Engineering

The University of South Florida continues expanding its web presence as it prepares to roll out a pair of online masters degree programs.

The College of Business' online Master of Science in management information systems (MIS) degree program launches in the spring 2013 semester, while the College of Engineering's online MS in Electrical Engineering for professionals degree program gets underway in the summer 2013 semester.

USF Arts & Sciences

When the 53 contestants take the stage for the finals of the Miss America 2013 competition Saturday night in Las Vegas, a USF Bull will be among them.

Aniska Tonge graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in psychology only three months before winning the title of Miss Virgin Islands 2012. She also minored in women's studies.

Eric Younghans / USF Health

Singing, dancing and magic acts are just some of the things attendees at Friday night's "BANDaids for BRIDGE" charity fundraiser can expect to see. And the best thing is that the performers are all trained professionals--well, trained medical professionals.

BANDaids creator Madeline Snyder, a second-year student at the USF College of Medicine, says the event features USF Health students, faculty and staff showing off their talents.

"We have physicians dancing in the show, singing, playing the drums, playing the guitar," Snyder said. "So it's really neat to see your mentors get up on stage and kind let loose for an evening for a good cause."

Garrison Games

Whether you didn't enjoy high school (I was a 5'3" tall freshman, but it got better after that) or it truly was the best time of your life, a board game created by a USF Professor and his friends gives you the opportunity to relive high school.

Philip Bishop is a visiting professor teaching philosophy courses in USF’s Honors College and a self-professed "gaming geek." During a gaming session with friends, including his own high school classmate, USF graduate teaching assistant Alan Shaw, the group began discussing making a board game out of their high school experiences.

“That spilled into, well, how would you do that, how would you make in a game, getting to the hallways, getting to your classroom, just getting through the day?" said Shaw. "And that turned into, oh, that mechanic would work perfectly, why isn’t somebody writing this down?”

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

The USF Herd of Thunder marching band had an eventful 2012, which included performances on the Today show and at the Republican National Convention.

But 2013 might be tough to top, as they'll ring in the New Year with possibly the most important performance in band history.

More than a hundred members of the USF marching band, along with two alumni members who now live overseas, will take part in London's 27th annual New Year's Day Parade. The HOT is the only major American university band invited to the event, which is expected to be seen by more than 220 million people worldwide. The parade will be broadcast by WUSF TV.

A USF student is giving thanks to those who came to her aid and saved her life after she collapsed outside a classroom during finals week.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

It's a four-course meal fit for a king - or at least a dedicated foodie - and it's the work of USF Sarasota-Manatee students.

Start with hors d'oeuvres like passed wild mushroom topped with fontina cheese and pulled lamb bruschetta... move on to a salad of four different greens from Bay Area farms... then "turf and turf," a pairing of Cornish game hen and seared beef tenderloin, alongside a heirloom tomato stack and parsnip puree... and wrap it up all up with "Sweet Endings," a trip of pear cobbler, chocolate fudge brownie over mint syrup, and Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream.

That's the menu planned and prepared by students in USF Sarasota-Manatee's College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership for the "HospitaBull" event held last month.

USF and The The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton will host the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Golf Championships.

Over 2,900 students across the USF System received their diplomas this past weekend, and like most graduating classes, there were a few individual stories worth noting:

Big East Conference

While USF Athletic officials put up a brave front, questions remain about the school's athletic conference future as seven fellow Big East teams announced plans to defect this past weekend.

The seven schools, which do not field Football Bowl Series (FBS) level teams like USF does, unanimously voted to leave the conference on June 30, 2015.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports the seven non-Football Bowl Subdivision schools in the Big East have agreed to leave the conference. All that's left is figuring out how they'll depart, a decision that will have a huge effect on the three schools left behind, including USF.

Katy Hennig / USF News

Even as researchers unearth more information about what may lie under the ground of the Dozier School for Boys, the allegations of brutality that marked the reform school's history continue to also live on.

For months, a team of USF anthropologists and archeologists have been studying the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna - particularly the school’s Boot Hill Cemetery and surrounding woods. Now, with the release of its interim findings, Professor Erin Kimmerle says the question remains: just how many young men are buried on the reform school grounds.

USF St. Petersburg News

USF St. Petersburg students got a little extra help dealing with the stress of Finals Week in the form of wet noses and fuzzy faces.

Dogs from the Pinellas County chapter of Therapy Dogs International stopped by the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library Wednesday afternoon to give the students a furry study break.