University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus



USF St. Petersburg campus July 2023
This summer, lots of youngsters played, fished, sailed, flew drones, and raced robots and more as part of the many youth experiences on the USF St. Petersburg campus.

Bulls in the Burg: USF St. Petersburg July 2023 community relations roundup

USF St. Petersburg is an urban university that aims to integrate seamlessly into the fabric of the city and region, enhancing opportunities for students, businesses and the public. This community roundup series sheds light on the ways that USF faculty, staff, students and administration are active in the community every day. If you’d like to engage the USF St. Petersburg campus, or are a campus staff, faculty or student interested in ways to engage in the community, please contact Caryn Nesmith, Community Relations Director.

Urban Planning class wins award for Innovation District project

People sitting at a conference table looking at a presentation.

The Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association awarded a USF Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning class with an Outstanding Student Project award for a master planning project they conducted for the St. Petersburg Innovation District. The St. Petersburg Innovation District contracted with USF Urban and Regional Planning Department to conduct a mobility and wayfinding study in attempts to understand current and future needs and to assist with the future masterplan update for St. Petersburg. The USF team had various meetings and discussions with stakeholders and others involved in the Innovation District. Their research then examined ways to address problems, and identified and recommended solutions to help create a desirable integrated urban district. In April, the students presented these options for city officials and district stakeholders.

Tampa Bay Rays gets inclusive award for UMatter collaboration

Joseph Davis and Sam Essman wearing Rays jerseys standing in frontn of the touch tank at Tropicana field.

The Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities chose the Tampa Bay Rays as the 2023 recipient of the Inclusive Employer Award. A major reason for this recognition is the Rays ongoing collaboration with USF’s Eileen Hoffman Hafer UMatter Program, an inclusive postsecondary education program that provides young people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to experience higher education and campus life. Joseph Davis, a current UMatter student, is participating in a paid internship as a fan host for the Rays, while Sam Essman, a UMatter alumnus, is employed as a fan host. “The staff at the Tampa Bay Rays demonstrate an inclusive environment and hold this value as one of their core motivations to drive the events forward,” said Alycia Bobak, the assistant director for the UMatter program. The Inclusive Employer Award was created to highlight companies that imbue diversity and inclusion across all aspects of the business.

Students celebrate PRIDE

People getting ready to march in the Pride parade.

This year marked the 20th year since St. Petersburg began holding the Pride Parade.  Since that year when the City held its first “Pride Promenade,” the event has turned into a monthly-long celebration featuring activities across the city.  The parade is organized by St. Pete Pride, a nonprofit created to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community.  In addition to USF students and staff participating in the parade, the USF LGBTQ Alumni Society hosted a table in the St. Pete Pride Street Festival on the Sunday following the parade. 

Discovery shines here: Open house on August 12

USF Open House St. Petersburg campus

Join us for our summer open house on August 12 from 9am to 1:30pm to explore our sunny, waterfront St. Petersburg campus. The open house will offer a glimpse into our vibrant campus community, state-of-the-art facilities and an array of academic programs. Whether you are a prospective student, a parent, or an enthusiastic supporter of higher education, we encourage you to come and explore the multitude of possibilities that await you at USF St. Petersburg. Learn what it means to be a Bull, hear about the application process, see our beautiful campus and more! Register for the event.

Community Relations leaders tour campus

People posing in front of a USFSP sign filled with balloons.

On June 24, 15 community leaders working in and around St. Petersburg visited campus for a tour followed by a social hour at The Tavern at Bayboro. Organizations represented included the James Museum, Duke Energy, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Habitat for Humanity of Pasco and Pinellas County, St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St Petersburg College, Florida Craft Art and Daystar Life Center. Tour highlights included: the newly renovated Nelson Poynter Memorial Library; Harbor Hall, home to USF’s Graphic Arts Program, including an art gallery that will host an October exhibit by the international artist collective SUPERFLEX; Lynn Pippenger Hall, home to the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance and includes the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Center and the Customer Experience Lab; Osprey Hall, the newest residence hall and home to The Nest dining hall; the College of Marine Science, which will undergo renovations and expansion to enable a new Environmental and Oceanographic Center of Excellence; and a new Research Vessel called the Western Flyer. Contact us, if you or your organization would like to tour campus.

Employ-a-Bull spotlight: Biomed student interns with Johns Hopkins ACH

Biomedical Sciences major Samantha Greenfield is proof that USF students are Employ-a-Bull! In her first year at USF St. Petersburg, Greenfield participated in the Innovation Scholars Career Exploration Program during the spring semester, and her mentor introduced her to many different areas of the hospital. That led to a summer internship in the Pediatric Emotional Developmental Studies Unit at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, which studies the relationship between psychology and cancer in children. “I am hopeful this will help me figure out if I want to continue this as a career,” Greenfield said.

Community organizations invited to connect with faculty, students

Civic Engagement Fair at Harborwalk

At the start of each fall and spring semester, the Center for Civic Engagement invites local community partners to campus for a Civic Engagement Fair as part of Week of Welcome. The intent of the fair, which will take place on August 22 from 11am to 1pm, is to connect faculty with opportunities to arrange service-learning placements for students. Local organizations are invited to feature volunteer and internship opportunities. Community partners who have participated include the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Feeding Tampa Bay, CASA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, Tampa Bay Watch,and more.  If interested, email

Boys & Girls Club, PCS and Urban League partner with USF through “Discover Your PATHe”

A person presenting the PATHe program to a group of people.

The Pinellas Access to Higher Education Team hosted three Discover Your PATHe events this summer: a one-day experience with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast and Community Tampa Bay; another day with Pinellas County Schools: Elevating Excellence; and an overnight experience with the Pinellas County Urban League, welcoming a total of 84 Pinellas County high school students. Discover Your PATHe is an immersive college life program showcases college fit and student experience, career and major exploration, college admissions and financial aid education, and allows students to experience our on-campus residence and dining halls.

Summertime puts the “camp” in campus

Fishing camp participants

Throughout the months of June and July, youngsters learned lessons, made friends, and one day may become future Bulls after they played, fished, sailed, flew drones and raced robots as part of the many youth experiences on campus. Here were some of the programs offered for youthful adventures:

  • Oceanography Camp for Girls: For three decades, the College of Marine Science has run a three-week summer ocean science exploration program in June for young women in Pinellas County, with the mission to inspire them to consider careers in the sciences.
  • STEM Robotics Camp: Every summer, the College of Education offers students in grades 5 through 8 experiences with coding, programming and hands-on learning – from building a robot to creating a working model of a roller coaster. Campers learned from a variety of educators including USF St. Petersburg campus faculty, Pinellas County teachers and Microsoft experts.
  • Camp Rocky: Campus Recreation Summer Camps provide a safe and educational environment where young people can grow and explore. Our future leaders are empowered to make everyday decisions within their groups and learn from these experiences. Campers enjoy an action-packed summer with camp activities including arts and crafts, sports, indoor and outdoor games, and guest appearances from the College of Marine Science, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Florida Fish and Wildlife, University Police Department and more.
  • Florida Fantasy Fishing Camp: This camp utilizes our waterfront campus every summer for a series of week-long outings that allow young anglers to fish with the best captains in our area to learn target casting, knot tying, cast netting, fishing techniques and tackle rigging. Other camp activities include night fishing, shore fishing, pool time, log rolling, kayaking, marine biology and fly tying.
  • SOFWOLF Drone Camp: For the second year, SOFWOLF – a nonprofit that offers a college and career outdoor leadership program for the teenagers of fallen Special Operations Forces – hosted a drone program on campus that taught youth how to collect and process geospatial data using drones in real-world scenarios. 

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At the USF St. Petersburg campus newsroom, we highlight the people, events and initiatives that make us distinct. From groundbreaking research to inspiring student profiles, we are dedicated to telling our campus' story and promoting its value to the greater Tampa Bay community and beyond.


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