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The University of South Florida St. Pete will host the first annual St. Petersburg in the World Conference on World Affairs.

Speakers at the two-day conference will include professors, journalists and former government officials from the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Panels will cover topics like a post-Castro Cuba and a post-Chavez Venezuela, the United States' role during a worldwide recession, and the ever-expanding issues surrounding the Middle East.

Tampa's Raymond James Stadium is an apparent long shot finalist to host the first championship game in Division I college football.

While the Tampa Bay Times quotes Bowl Championship Series Chief Operating Officer Michael Kelly as saying Raymond James Stadium and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, are the two finalists to host the game on January 12, 2015, ESPN cites sources who say those were the only two communities submitting bids.

In addition, those sources tell ESPN Cowboys Stadium, which has seen crowds of over 90,000 for college football, is a "virtual lock" to host the championship game.

Sen. Nelson's staff photo

As USF researchers and government officials, including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, get ready to tour the grounds of what was once the the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, the major obstacle of funding the researchers' work may soon be resolved.

A team led by USF Assistant Professor of Anthropology Erin Kimmerle is awaiting approval -- which may come any day -- to begin exhumations of graves found around the school, which was closed after decades of alleged abuse and the mysterious deaths of boys who lived there.

Associated Press

Until this past weekend, the USF women's basketball team had never won a game in the NCAA Tournament, but you wouldn't have known that Monday night.

The #10 seed Bulls put on a heck of a show in Lubbock, Texas, rallying from a 10 point deficit with less than a minute left in regulation before falling 82-78 to #2 seed California (30-2) in overtime.

Down 63-49 with 7:44 left in the second half and 68-58 with 58 seconds left, USF (22-11) tied the game at 70 when Inga Orekhova (22 points) hit three free throws with .7 seconds left.

Texas Tech Athletics

Just like their male counterparts did last year, the USF women's basketball team won a NCAA Tournament game for the first time in team history, as the #10 seeded Bulls knocked off seventh-seeded Texas Tech 71-70 in Lubbock, Texas Saturday night.

Now, they hope to do something else the men did during the tournament a year ago -- beat California.

ESPN

Even without a name, the athletic conference USF will soon play in has a seven-year, $126 million TV contract with ESPN -- a deal worth about $1.5 million annually to USF Athletics.

However, citing industry sources, ESPN reports if this new conference loses two schools, the deal can be terminated.

NBC Sports Network's contract divided the league into Group A (Connecticut, Cincinnati, Houston and Temple) and Group B (the remaining members, including USF), sources said.

The media rights deal can be terminated if either two Group A schools leave or one Group A and one Group B school leave. If two Group B schools leave, the contract will be renegotiated, sources said.

Penn State Brandywine (PA)

Sophia T. Wisniewska, the chancellor of Penn State Brandywine, has been named the new regional chancellor of USF St. Petersburg.

According to a press release from USF News, the scholar of Russian language and literature held a number of leadership positions in the Penn State System. She also served as dean and CEO at Temple University Ambler for six years.

Katy Hennig / USF News

When it comes to technology, history is not kind to the middleman—the person who gets an innovation from the prototype stage to the point it’s an everyday item. Just about everyone knows IBM’s punch cards slowly evolved into Steve Jobs’ mini-super computers that we carry on our hips. But hundreds of lesser-known names moved us along that road.

USF Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Craig Lusk readily admits that he’s one of those middlemen. This week's University Beat on WUSF Public Media examines Lusk's work with 'shape-shifting' devices and the ideas he's come up with for the technology, such as a lighter, more flexible form of body armor or containment for oil spills.

Tom Hagerty / GoUSFBulls.com

For only the second time in team history, the USF women's basketball team will play in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bulls (21-10) received the 10th seed in the Spokane Region and will play the 7th seed Texas Tech (21-10, 11-7 Big 12) at the Lady Raiders' home in Lubbock, Texas, at 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

Police at the University of Central Florida say a 30 year old student about to be removed from his residence hall planned to open fire on classmates this morning before his plan was foiled by officers responding to a 911 call from one of his roommates. James Oliver Seevakumaran, a graduate of Seminole High School in Pinellas County, was found dead in his dorm room at the 51,000-student Orlando campus of the University of Central Florida. No one else was hurt.

Last Friday was a day the members of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Class of 2013 have long looked forward to: Match Day. Find out what it's like when your entire future might be dictated simply by a school's name hidden inside an envelope.

There's worrisome news from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where a man who authorities say was a student at the school apparently killed himself Monday — which led to the discovery of "a handgun, an assault weapon and [improvised explosive devices]" in his dorm room, according to school officials.

Eric Younghans / USF Health

USF Health has broken ground on its new Specialty Care Center in the Villages, providing coordinated  health care to the country's largest community of people over the age of 55.

According to USF Health officials, the center will serve as a collaborative compliment to The Villages Health primary care network, which is going to soon have seven different medical offices in The Villages.

Speaking at the formal ground-breaking last week, Dr. Stephen Klasko, USF Health CEO, said such collaboration allows residents to receive health care without leaving their neighborhood.

USF College of Education

For the tenth straight year, USF's College of Education has been named one of the country's top graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report.

According to a USF News release, the College of Education was ranked 81st overall and 34th 52nd in funded research.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF

The answers to the mystery of what lies below the site of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. -- as well as what happened to many of the young men who may have died and been buried there between 1900 and 1952 -- may be closer than ever before.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed a petition on behalf of Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Hunter to allow him to exhume human remains from the school's "Boot Hill Cemetery" and surrounding areas.

Emails obtained by the Tampa Bay Times show the relationship between USF Health and Tampa General Hospital is not as strong as it once was, with enough issues on both sides that Hillsborough County officials ordered the two organizations to seek the equivalent of marriage counseling.

USF will say goodbye to the Big East Conference June 30th, the now-official date that the so-called "Catholic 7" schools will take the conference name and start their own league. ESPN reports that, in addition to keeping the Big East name, the new league will continue playing its postseason men's basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden, one of the last remaining questions about the split.

The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) has come out with its 2012-2013 list of the 75 Best College Towns and Cities, and while Gainesville (University of Florida) and Tallahassee (Florida State University) make the grade, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota (USF), Orlando (UCF) and Miami (University of Miami) fall short.

US Presswire

Since it's become clear USF and the other schools that field Football Bowl Series (FBS) level teams will lose the "Big East" name, they'll have to come up with a name for their new conference.

If some of the domain names filed for by the conference's law firm are any sign, it looks like some form of "America 12" will be the choice.

Ryan Dillow / WUSF

From virtually controlling a robot, exploring a man-made cave, and creating their own lip gloss, the more than 20,000 people who attended the recent USF Engineering Expo had a huge variety of activities to choose from.

The 41st Annual Engineering Expo—believed to be one of the longest running events at USF—drew in students from elementary, middle and high schools around the Bay area and across the Southeast United States.

USF News

You might not recognize the name "Jerry Greenfield," but take away the last name and add "Ben and..." and everyone suddenly knows the ice cream magnate.

Greenfield will bring that notoriety, along with his business acumen (and some tasty treats), to USF's Tampa campus Monday night as part of the University Lecture Series.

Big East Conference

After memberships in the Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA, the University of South Florida will reportedly soon say farewell to the Big East Conference -- but not by choice. ESPN.com reports the so-called "Catholic 7" schools splitting off from the league will keep the Big East name.

According to ESPN, the seven schools, which don't field Football Bowl Series (FBS) level teams, want to formally split off in July of this year. Sources say the seven -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova -- will be joined by Butler, Xavier, and possibly Creighton in the 'new' Big East.

Kathleen Cabble / Tampa Bay Business Journal

The University of South Florida Saint Petersburg's campus continues to grow. The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports the College of Business will be built on the College's current location, the Piano Man building on 7th Avenue South.

The Journal reports that the university had been planning to use a parking lot across from the University Student Center, but that site was ruled out after officials decided they might use it instead to expand the nearby Science and Technology Building.

While Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford says Florida Polytechnic University is "a disaster" that could use an outside ally, he's looking for an entity more like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and not USF -- the university Florida Poly was spun off from.

Speaking to the Tampa Tribune editorial board, the Wesley Chapel Republican presented what he admits is "a crazy idea... go talk to MIT or CalTech or Stanford and see if they want to have a satellite campus in Florida."

ESPN

USF, along with its fellow Big East Conference schools, will remain on ESPN after a deal was announced over the weekend. And while the unease over not having a TV rights arrangement is gone, so is a relatively substantial amount of money.

TED Comes to USF

Feb 21, 2013
TEDxUSF

It's one of the biggest speaking series in the country, drawing such major names as Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and Bono. Now TED is coming to the University of South Florida with its TEDxUSF event, "On the Edge of the Future," Friday night at the School of Music.

While TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment and Design," the concept has grown to include philanthropists, religious leaders, and musicians. It originated in the 1980s in Silicon Valley, and now includes a pair of major conferences in California.

Speakers give 18 minute long talks on "ideas worth sharing" -- an idea or concept they're passionate about, in hopes of motivating their audience.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

Ground has been broken on the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center's new McKinley Drive Outpatient facility, which will serve patients with a variety of cancers, while also creating a number of jobs for the Tampa Bay area. This week's University Beat on WUSF Public Media has more on what the plan means for Moffitt, USF and the community.

Eric Younghans / USF Health

Anyone who's ever gone to college probably remembers the thrill of getting that letter of acceptance.

For student Ellen Bickel, how and where she received word she was accepted into the USF College of Pharmacy may be even more memorable than the fact she got into the school: College Dean Kevin Sneed hand-delivered Fickel's letter -- as she stood on the court as a cheerleader for the USF Bulls men's basketball team.

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 / TBO.com

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."

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