University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus



USF St. Petersburg campus May 2023

Over 50 St. Petersburg City, business and community leaders attended the three-day Thinking Outside the ‘Burg benchmarking trip to Austin, TX from April 24-26 pm.

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

USF St. Petersburg 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 new community roundup series intends to shed 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.

Thanks to scholarship, student learns to fly

emily anderson

Emily Anderson, a first-year integrative biology major, received a $5,000 flight instruction scholarship from the Friends of Albert Whitted Airport. Anderson said she was inspired to earn her pilot’s license during orientation when she heard the planes flying overhead. Also, thanks to St. Pete Air, which offers discounted flight lessons for USF students!

Book emphasizes importance of informed political discourse

G. Michael Killenberg, professor emeritus and founding director of the Department of Journalism and Digital Communications, recently published a new book, “Democracy’s News: A Primer on Journalism for Citizens Who Care About Democracy.” Along with his co-author, Rob Anderson, a professor emeritus from Saint Louis University, Professor Killenberg provides a very timely look at the importance of informed political discourse in our country. 

Librarian’s book explores sex and diplomacy during the Vietnam War

On Monday April 17 at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, Amanda Boczar, Curator for Digital Collections at University of South Florida Libraries, discussed her book, “An American Brothel: Sex and Diplomacy During the Vietnam War,” about sexual encounters between American servicemen and civilians throughout the Vietnam War. From the consensual to the coerced, the encounters shaped the war.

Program gets award for Outstanding Service-Learning Collaboration

youth government

The USF St. Petersburg campus Florida YMCA Youth In Government Civic Fellows program received an award for Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education at the Gulf South Summit on Service Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education. The Center for Civic Engagement Director and lead Instructor for the Civic Fellows Program, Judithanne McLauchlan, attended the conference held in Georgia in April to accept the award - as well as to present a paper titled, "The USF St. Petersburg YMCA Civic Fellows Program: Developing a University-Community Partnership to Improve Civics Education.” This year, the Civic Fellows Program Civics Institute, now in its fifth year, will take place on campus from June 4 – 10.

Career Services Director takes over as Junior League President

junior league

In addition to her critical role ensuring USF students get jobs and internships, campus director of Career Services, Lesa Shouse, is also a community leader who has been involved with the Junior League of St. Petersburg for the last nine years. On May 1, she assumed responsibilities as the service organization’s president after serving previously in roles such as Communications Vice President, Executive Vice President and Chair of the Digital Transition ad hoc.  The Junior League of St. Petersburg is an organization of women committed to advancing women's leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration and training.

English Professor gives a Tour of Salt Creek in St. Petersburg, Florida

salt creek

Urbanized streams take us into the heart of a city's history, English Professor Thomas Hallock wrote in a research article this month in Southern Spaces, discussing the history of St. Petersburg’s Salt Creek.  When a creek becomes a culvert, protections disappear. Salt Creek, a fragmented stream that feeds the Gulf coast of Florida, flows northwest from the Pinellas Peninsula into Tampa Bay. This culverted and fragmented waterway runs counter to a tourist destination's official story, providing a study in the recovery of urban environs. If we can reconnect a disjointed creek, can we also heal the rifts in our human communities? Click here to view more about the beautifully written multi-media story.

A year of community-engaged student government


Throughout his tenure as student governor this academic year, Sean Schrader emphasized the importance of connecting students with their local community, with the goal of creating exposure to job and internship opportunities while also showcasing ways that a youth perspective can help shape the future. This year’s student government (SG) worked with the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), the Office of Community Relations and the Muma College of Business to make it easier for students to navigate the local Tampa Bay community by organizing events like the day with the City of St. Petersburg and a day at Pinellas County government, in which students learned about local government and how to get engaged. SG also partnered with the CCE on providing transportation to the polls for students on election day in November, which was a great way to promote voting awareness. Career readiness is also very important to ensure students are ready to enter the workforce upon graduation, and thanks to partnerships with the Muma College of Business, SG hosted two successful events with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to showcase different career opportunities in the sports industry. Reflecting on the year, Schrader said, “I’m proud of student government's stronger focus on community engagement, and I'm excited to see how it continues to expand in the years ahead.”

Graphic Arts senior theses showcases themes of dystopia and utopia

graphic arts

The senior Graphic Arts class of 2023 explored topics of utopia and dystopia. Students conducted in-depth research, analyzed literature and examined aspects of society and nature in order to gain inspiration for the exhibition titled, “We Should Talk Over Dinner,” which was on display and open to the public in Harbor Hall from April 14 – 20.  The exhibit showcased student creative thinking and skills on the power of community and the importance of open dialogue in fostering meaningful connections. Works explored the interplay between technology, nature and society and examined how these elements can be used to create different versions of utopia and dystopia.

Florida Politics class presents solutions to local policymakers 

Judithanne McLauchlan and students in her Florida Politics course presented at the Florida Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting about the Civic Leadership Project. Students used the Citizens Campaign 10 Steps of No Blame Problem Solving method and worked together in groups to research public policy issues, develop solutions and present those solutions to local policy makers. Student groups presented at the Pinellas County School Board, the Pinellas County Commission, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, St Petersburg Community Planning and Preservation Commission, the Pinellas County Air Quality Division and the Pinellas County Library Cooperative.

USF joins City leaders in Austin to “Think Outside the ‘Burg”


USF St. Petersburg Chancellor Christian Hardigree and Director of Community Relations Caryn Nesmith were among 50 St. Petersburg community and business leaders to visit Austin, TX from April 24 – 26 on the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce annual benchmarking trip called “Thinking Outside the 'Burg.” The trip entailed discussions with Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, Austin Chamber of Commerce members, officials working on Austin’s most transformative projects in housing, transportation, and education, as well as leaders creating the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the city. We learned about the successes and challenges that have come with the city’s explosive growth over the last two decades, As true for Austin as it is for St. Pete: An imperative for any great city is the diversity and intellectual capital that comes from a university that calls it home.  Go Bulls and Longhorns!  Read more about the visit here

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