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USF St. Petersburg campus April 2023

During spring break, the Student Success team cleaned up Clam Bayou Nature Preserve for their annual community engagement service project. A total of 34 staff, family members and one prospective student joined in on the fun. Teaming up with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, the group removed 240 pounds of trash from Clam Bayou!

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

The USF St. Petersburg campus is an urban university that aims to integrate seamlessly into the fabric of the city and region, thereby increasing prosperity for students, businesses and the public. This community roundup series intends to shed light on the ways that our campus hosts community and ways USF faculty, staff, students and administration are active in 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.

St. Pete Regional chancellor out in the ‘Burg and beyond

hardigree

In her second full semester on the job, Regional Chancellor Christian Hardigree has fully embraced her role representing the campus in the community. She’s started a column with the St. Pete Catalyst, was featured by the City of St. Petersburg for Women’s History Month and was part of two leader panels for the Suncoast Tiger Bay; one in March with the theme “Women Rule the World” and in April’s “Power Breakfast.” A couple of weeks later, Hardigree participated in the Leadership Tampa Bay Power of Access event for a round robin-style discussion on important regional challenges such as human trafficking, transportation and affordable housing. And in case you missed it, Hardigree was “fueled up” to attend the weekend of racing during Grand Prix week in St. Petersburg. She even got to put on a race suit and take a spin.


From poetry to leadership summits, thousands of youth visit campus

poetry out loud

Youth having the opportunity to visit a college campus can have major effects on lifelong learning. So USF St. Petersburg takes pride in hosting thousands of youth on campus for events large and small throughout each semester.  There were the 1,000 elementary, middle and high school students from every Pinellas County school that participated in a series of first ever leadership summits. USF’s Pinellas Access to Higher Education program hosted the diverse group of students for sessions that challenged them to become advocates in their schools. Activities included a team Lego building competition, brainstorming solutions to school challenges and for some a first-hand look at campus life. The campus also hosted and organized the state of Florida’s Poetry Out Loud (POL) as part of a nationwide high school poetry recitation competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in all 50 states. In Florida, 40 high schools held local competitions and 23 sent a finalist to the state finals on March 11. Thanks to local partners Keep St. Pete Lit and poets and teachers Yuki Jackson, Tyler Gillespie, Sara Ries Dziekonski and Curtis Davis, who judged the competition. Congratulation to winners Yan Luis Lebron from Blake High School in Hillsborough County and Janessa Montilla from Pembroke Pines Charter High School in Broward County. Finally, on March 28, Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay 3DE competition brought 90 11th grade students from Dunedin and St. Petersburg High Schools who worked in teams on a yearlong project centered around entrepreneurship, which consists of developing a tangible business, product or service.


Students get ample chances to meet with city, county and state leaders

women in politics

Students studying political science with the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of Florida Studies Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan had amazing opportunities this semester to engage with local elected officials. On March 21, a Women in Politics panel included Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters, School Board Member Caprice Edmond, Republican Party State Committeewoman Pam McAloon and the Executive Director of Ruth's List Florida Christina Diamond.  On April 7, McLauchlan and students visited St. Petersburg City Hall to meet with Mayor Ken Welch, Public Works Administrator Claude Tankersley and Director of Government Affairs David Thompson to discuss a range of topics, including affordable housing, career options, criminal justice reform and the importance of getting involved in local government. And on March 10, Student Government visited the Pinellas County Commission to explore career options.


Let’s Talk: Adulting covers topics of life outside the classroom

lets talk adulting

On March 31, the Career Services Office hosted community partners and alumni to educate students on life skills. Let’s Talk: Adulting offered a conference-style event covering topics like entering the workforce, applying to graduate school, investing and employee benefits. This year, guest speakers included alumni and community partners from JJ & the Lens, LLC, Financial Optimist, Chick-fil-a on 4th Street, Sunrise of Pasco County and Ceridian. Employers interested in participating in similar events can contact Career Services to discuss how to get involved and how to connect with USF students via usfspcareerservices@usf.edu.


Lecture uncovers archaeology from St. Pete parks

preserve the burg

Did you know you can visit archaeological sites right here in St. Petersburg?  In a collaboration with Preserve the ‘Burg, the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library hosted Rachael Kangas, regional director of the west and central regions of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, on March 22 for the second lecture in a series called PlaceMattersSP.  In celebration of Archaeology Month, Kangas described thousands of years of human habitation within four St. Pete parks: Jungle Prada, Maximo, Indian Mound/Princess Mound and Abercrombie. She discussed what we know about the indigenous populations as well as early settlers from the Spanish onward. The final PlaceMattersSP lecture will take place on April 25 and feature Elizabeth Strom, USF Associate Professor, and Jenee Priebe, Director of the SHINE Mural Festival, to talk about Street Art and Urban Revitalization.


Florida Studies professor makes 2022 book awards

humanities hops

“Dreams in the New Century: Instant Cities, Shattered Hopes, and Florida's Turning Point,” by faculty emeritus and co-founder of the Florida Studies Program Gary Mormino, was selected as the gold medal winner in the 2022 Florida Book Awards nonfiction category. The Economist also listed Mormino's latest nonfiction book as one of six to read about Florida. The book depicts early 21st-century Florida and its connections to some of the most significant events in contemporary American history.  Though retired, Mormino continues to teach on campus, and was spotted on March 7 along with English Professor Tom Hallock and Geography Professor Chris Meindl at a USF Humanities Institute community conversation Humanities and Hops at Pinellas Ale Works. The series features USF faculty discussing issues of sustainability and culture in Florida.


Employ-a-bull series highlights local jobs opportunities

USF St. Petersburg recently launched the Employ-a-Bull video series on Instagram, which highlights jobs opportunities available within the local community and the alums who were employed in them. The monthly series has done short video spotlights on recent alums who work for the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, Pinellas County and WTI Pure Air Control Services in the fields of marketing, environmental science and biology. Follow along on the USF St. Petersburg Instagram page every month for the next Employ-a-Bull.


Student Success team keeping Pinellas beautiful

During spring break, the Student Success team cleaned up Clam Bayou Nature Preserve for their annual community engagement service project. A total of 34 staff, family members and one prospective student joined in on the fun. Teaming up with Keep Pinellas Beautiful, the group removed 240 pounds of trash from Clam Bayou!

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