Bulls Fans in Haiti
By Barbara Melendez
TAMPA, Fla. (April 6, 2010) – We don't know how he acquired his tee-shirt but this Bulls fan recently gave the executive director of USF’s Joint Military Leadership Center, Maj. Gen. Luis Visot, a pleasant surprise (and a touch of homesickness) while driving to a meeting in – of all places – Port au Prince, Haiti.
Serving as commander of the Joint Logistics Command-Haiti for the U.S. military's response to the devastating earthquake that shook the country in February, Visot is overseeing support for Operation Unified Response, the humanitarian aid/disaster relief effort. His assignment involves working with the Department of State, the U. S. Agency for International Development and non-governmental agencies to help restore Haiti to a pre-earthquake condition.
Visot is commanding general of the 377th TSC, the largest command in the U. S. Army Reserve, headquartered in Belle Chasse. La. He was promoted from brigadier general to major general last July. Many soldiers from this unit have first-hand knowledge of living through the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
"In addition to bringing their military experience and training to Haiti, many of our soldiers also bring the heart-felt compassion and empathy of ones who have been affected by a natural disaster. They have experienced this pain and want to help alleviate it for the people of Haiti," Visot said. "It is that kind of experience and perseverance that makes them perfect candidates for the job."
A young Haitian in a green and gold Bulls tee shirt and the presence of Maj. Gen. Visot in Haiti just go to show that Bulls fans can be found just about everywhere.
The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.