University of South Florida St. Petersburg



USF St. Petersburg campus June 2023

On June 3, the CEO of Red Apple Group, Inc., John Catsimatidis, met with students and faculty from Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, Finance and Real Estate in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance.

Bulls in the Burg: USF St. Petersburg June 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.

Campus partners with YMCA for 5th Youth Civic Fellows Program

youth civic

For the fifth year, the USF St. Petersburg Center for Civic Engagement partnered with the YMCA to host the Youth Civic Fellows program, a dynamic and engaging program designed to immerse high school students in the realm of Florida politics and government. Led by Dr. Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, participants engage in a series of interactive workshops and activities aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the role of civic engagement in shaping society. The curriculum includes sessions on the history and structure of Florida's government, as well as hands-on experiences in community leadership through the practicum component. Additionally, the program included networking opportunities with prominent figures in Florida politics and government. In sum, the civic fellows provided a comprehensive and immersive experience, equipping participants with the knowledge, skills and connections necessary to become effective community leaders and agents of positive change in Florida's political landscape.

USF Offers Free Mental Health and Wellness Course

mental wellness

USF is responding to a global demand for guidance on how employers can address mental health. In partnership with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences is offering a free, online course starting June 12 designed to help managers and employees become well-versed in addressing mental health and its impact on their organizations. Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace is a seven-session course that covers symptoms of some of the most common mental and behavioral disorders, how to identify behaviors that may suggest an impairment and how to approach the employee. The course features 40 speakers from organizations and corporations across the country, such as Tampa Electric, Bealls and USAA and includes executive coaches, intervention specialists and several USF faculty and staff members who have expertise in mental health and human resources. Read more about the course and register here

Employ- a-Bull Spotlight: Marine Bio student interns at CMA


Click image to watch full video.

Kierstyn Benjamin, the marine biology student at USF St. Petersburg who spotted Burro, the distressed manatee rescued from Bayboro Harbor in January, landed a summer internship with the rescue team at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). CMA offers 60 structured internships to current college students that directly benefit their education and ultimately their career in fields from marine biology and conservation to marketing and guest experience. As for Burro, he is still doing well and getting excellent care. The team at Zoo Tampa says he was recently transferred to one of their Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership facilities to continue his rehabilitation journey. 

Red Apple CEO “common-sense billionaire” talks lessons learned

On June 3, the CEO of Red Apple Group, Inc., John Catsimatidis, met with students and faculty from Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, Finance and Real Estate in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance.  Over lunch, students learned about Catsimatidis’ personal history, business philosophy and current developments. The New Yorker will be a frequent visitor to the sunshine city as Catsimatidis is currently building a 46-story luxury condo in downtown St. Petersburg. Residences at 400 Central will be the tallest building on Florida’s Gulf Coast and will include 301 luxury condos, retail spaces, restaurants and a rooftop terrace. The afternoon concluded with Catsimatidis signing copies of his new book, “How Far Do You Want to Go? Lessons from a Common-Sense Billionaire” for each of the students.

“Salty” scientists to row across the Atlantic for marine conservation


In December 2023, Chantale Bégin, Isabelle Côté, Lauren Shea and Noelle Helder will attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for organizations on the frontlines of marine conservation and education. The all-women team of marine scientists, known as Salty Science and all of whom have studied or now teach at the University of South Florida, will row unsupported for 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in a race called the Atlantic Challenge that will take approximately 40 to 60 days to complete. They recently gave a talk at a St. Petersburg Innovation District’s Tech X-change and demonstrated their amazing vessel.  Over the next six months they’ll be in and around Tampa Bay as they train for their trip.

Business school hosts Inside St. Pete

On May 12, the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance hosted the kickoff to Inside St. Pete, a program organized by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce aimed at educating newcomers, business executives and civic leaders who are shaping the city’s future. Through a day-long event, 20-plus attendees participated in a guided city tour of different areas, businesses and organizations, highlighting some of the city’s most anticipated projects and initiatives. Regional Chancellor Hardigree welcomed the group at a breakfast in Lynn Pippenger Hall. Read more about the program here and here

Regional leaders discuss regional resilience strategies

brooks frazier

Regional leaders joined together in May just prior to the kickoff of hurricane season for a two-day conference on resiliency strategies to respond to climate change and sea-level rise. Among them was the College of Marine Science Dean and executive director of the Florida Flood Hub Tom Frazer, who discussed the regional resiliency state of Tampa Bay. He was joined by Wesley Brooks, Florida’s chief resilience officer, to share data, science and regional resiliency projects, including the $97 million in state and local funding that have supported projects like planning initiatives, vulnerability assessments upgrades to wastewater systems, drainage improvements to reduce flooding and living shoreline projects to protect against storm surge. Read more about the summit here.

St. Petersburg hosts 70 international law enforcement officials


Assistant Chief Michael J. Kovacsev, St. Petersburg Police Department. Photo by World Partnerships

The USF St. Petersburg campus was the first stop in Tampa Bay for an international delegation of judicial, law enforcement and security officials brought to the United States through the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Sixty-eight leaders from 56 countries convened to share lessons and best practices on the threats associated with transnational crime and synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Following a three-week program in Washington, D.C., the St. Petersburg-based World Partnerships organized the events in Tampa Bay. The day-long conference titled “Towards a More Safe and Secure World Initiative” featured representatives from several area organizations, starting with the host agency – the St. Petersburg Police Department, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and USF’s Center for Cybersecurity. Read more here and here.

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