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USF students, faculty & staff who participated in the 2024 MLK Day parade
Nearly 75 students, faculty and staff rode on the USF St. Petersburg pontoon boat and marched along with thousands of others on January 16 to commemorate the life and ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. Participating in the MLK Day Parade came days after a USF event on January 11 that honored Dr. King by recognizing Pinellas County students embodying his ideals.

Bulls In the Burg: January 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 highlights the ways that USF faculty, staff, students and administration are active in the community. If you’d like to engage with USF St. Petersburg, or are a campus staff, faculty or student interested in engaging with the community, please contact Caryn Nesmith, Community Relations Director.

Chancellor speaks to City Council in support of Rays-Hines Development

Regional Chancellor Christian Hardigree spoke to the St. Petersburg City Council

On December 14, USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Christian Hardigree spoke to the St. Petersburg City Council on behalf of USF in support of the Rays/Hines proposal to redevelop the Historic Gas Plant District. Hardigree specifically mentioned the historic investments in affordable housing, emphasis on developing and retaining young talent through internships and apprentice programs, and commitments to honor the legacy of the Historic Gas Plant site through the celebration of arts, history and community connections, including the creation of a new home for the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. In a letter of support for the redevelopment, Chancellor Hardigree said, “We enthusiastically support moving forward with the Hines Historic Gas Plant Partnership. This unprecedented investment in our community will pay dividends for generations to come and we stand ready to do everything possible to help ensure its success.”


Graphic Design class project supports Alpha House

alpha house tri-fold brochure design

Every fall semester, students in Packaging Design create pro-bono design work for a nonprofit organization in the community. This semester, the client was ALPHA House of Pinellas County, whose mission is to prevent the cycle of homelessness and child abuse by providing a safe residence and supportive services to homeless pregnant women and babies. Students worked in small groups and came up with different designs and then met with Jennifer Stracick, executive director of ALPHA House. At the end of the semester, the client chose a final design. Students Emily Bayer and Bella Fuentes, both juniors in the Graphic Arts Program, created the chosen design. With funding through USF’s School of Art and Art History, 1,750 copies of an updated and well-designed trifold brochure were printed to help the organization increase its presence in the community.


School of Hospitality hosts food sustainability student challenge

food sustainability student challenge, hands picking up dirt

The USF School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has teamed with USF Dining Services and Aramark to host a student competition to address pressing food system issues and showcase solutions. The contest is open to USF and local area high school students. Entries should include an abstract (250 words) of the project and the submission can take multiple forms to reflect the need to adopt transdisciplinary approaches to tackle the challenges to the food system as well as promote solutions. The solutions presented should align with at least one UN Sustainability Development Goal, which should be featured in your idea and have implementable outcomes (to reduce food waste with a target goal, to increase awareness about an issue to a specific group of people, to create a map of local food systems, etc.). Prizes go up to $3,000 for the winning entry. Submissions are due March 20 and the pitch competition will be held on April 5 at the Muma College of Business in Tampa.  For more information, visit the USF Nault Center for Entrepreneurship website.


Campus hosts training to mentor Pinellas County School students

group of people who attended the mentor training workshop

The St. Pete Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a Pinellas County Schools mentor training workshop on campus on January 11. It was attended by a dozen aspiring mentees who seek to take part in one of two programs to be an individual mentor in a local public school: Lunch Pals and Take Stock in Children.

A goal of the Chamber’s Future of Work Task Force, chaired by USF St. Petersburg’s Regional Chancellor Christian Hardigree, is to increase chamber members’ participation as mentors within Pinellas County schools.  Mentoring in schools allows businesses to identify and nurture potential talent early on. By investing in the education of local students, businesses contribute to the long-term development and prosperity of the community. The mentor workshop is the first step to become a Pinellas County Schools mentor. For more information on how to become a mentor, visit Pinellas County Schools Office of Strategic Partnerships.


Lunch with monks

group of 4 monks reading Innovation Magazine sitting at a table

Even monks are reading USF St. Petersburg’s new Innovations Magazine! Caryn Nesmith, director of Community Relations, had the honor of hosting traveling Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery of Southern India for lunch in downtown St. Petersburg on January 10. The monks were in town for a week as part of an annual “Sacred Art Tour” to the United States, where they visited communities, created and dissolved an intricate sand mandala and hosted a cultural pageant to teach communities about Tibetan culture. Locally, Florida CraftArt hosts the visit each year as one of many U.S. stops on the tour. This year’s visit included Florida stops in Key West, Homosassa, Spring Hill, West Palm Beach and Hollywood as well as several stops in Louisiana.


Exhibit to showcase art inspired by science on January 28

Arts & Science exhibit information info graphic

The USF College of Marine Science and student-led STEM Club are inviting the public to submit art for a one-day art and science exhibit Sunday, January 28, from 3-6 p.m. Submissions should be by local artists and include works inspired by science. The exhibit was inspired by a similar event in 2019-20 that brought artists into labs at the College of Marine Science to inspire them with science. Artists then had two months between the inspirational event and the exhibit to work on their pieces, which included sculptures, paintings, a performance and more. In November 2023, the College of Marine Science brought artists into their labs hoping to inspire works for the January 28 show.
 
“We hope this event will allow community members to see science in a new light and allows artists to be inspired by science topics they may have never heard of before, giving them a new muse,” said Makenzie Kerr, a lab manager in the College of Marine Science.
 
The event will take place in the USC Ballrooms on the USF St. Petersburg campus. Anyone is welcome to submit art by filling out this USF St. Petersburg Art & Science Submission Form.


PAL marching band performs at BSA Block Party

Black Student Association back-to-school block party kickof

Weather did not hold back the party for this year’s Black Student Association back-to-school block party kickoff! The event on January 10 consisted of games, music, food and comradery. The event was topped off with a surprise performance by the Pinellas Police Athletic League of Lealman’s Marching Band. About fifty middle- and high-school aged youth marched through the parking lot and performed several dance and band routines to a crowd of 100 USF students. The Pinellas County Police Athletic League, better known as PAL, has provided thousands of kids with educational, athletic and mentoring programs. Based in Lealman, PAL’s goal is to give children the opportunity to have fun, grow and learn from the organization’s free programming.


Judy Genshaft Honors College partners with Keep Pinellas Beautiful

female student wearing USF Judy Genshaft Honors College logo shirt

USF students have recently been partnering with Keep Pinellas Beautiful for a number of events on the St. Petersburg campus and in the community. In Fall 2023, Brooke Hansen offered the course Destination Stewardship: Promoting Sustainable Tourism in Pinellas County for the Judy Genshaft Honors College. The major project for the class was to partner with Keep Pinellas Beautiful to develop and host a workshop for local business owners in the hospitality sector, where they could learn about sustainable practices and products. Held on October 25, the Business for Good workshop welcomed more than 40 participants from the community to campus, who heard from speakers, entrepreneurs and environmental experts about practical strategies that make a difference to their bottom line and to the environment. In planning and hosting the workshop, students not only learned about ecotourism as a subject, but were able to develop communication, management and marketing strategies that will be useful in their careers.

In November, the Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council at the St. Pete campus continued the collaboration with Keep Pinellas Beautiful by partnering with the organization to conduct a clean-up of Tangerine Plaza. Students visited this hub of the south St. Pete community, where they collected trash and helped beautify the environment.


Applications open for Oceanography Camp

USF College of Marine Science's Oceanography Camp Especially for Girls returns once again this summer, encouraging a positive sense of self, science and the environment through ocean exploration. The 3-week summer ocean science program seeks to inspire and motivate teens entering high school to consider career opportunities in the sciences. Applications are now open for the camp, which will take place June 10-27. The camp is open to 8th graders in Pinellas County. Applications are due February 1 and students can apply online or by emailing ocgoutreach@gmail.com.

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