USF Appoints Leading Researcher to Develop Global Initiatives

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 20, 2008) – The University of South Florida has appointed an award winning teacher and researcher as its new head of global initiatives.

Linda Whiteford, PhD, MPH, has been appointed to the newly created position of associate vice president for global strategies and international affairs, reporting to USF President Judy Genshaft.

"The university of the future will be a global university," Genshaft said. "Linda Whiteford is the perfect person to develop and lead our efforts in global research and learning. She’s an expert in her own right and an advocate for USF’s role as a global university.

"This new position is part of our efforts to organize the university’s leadership around our strategic goals, and USF’s role in the world is a central goal."

Whiteford will continue to hold her current title, associate vice president for academic affairs, with responsibility for sustainability and community initiatives. The new position carries no increase in salary.

"We want to make a real difference in the global quality of the education our students receive at USF," Whiteford said. "One immediate initiative is creating the USF World Task Force with Donna Petersen, the dean of the college of public health, where we look forward to developing exciting opportunities for both students and faculty."

As associate vice president for global strategies and international affairs, Whiteford will also be responsible for:

• stimulating new opportunities for international students and scholars and for the university’s students and faculty who go abroad as international students and scholars;

• creating strategic opportunities to collaborate with international universities;

• initiating and promoting contract and grant activities and development successes that support the university’s global strategy;

• sharing information, coordinating the university’s international activities, and developing a repository of shared information.

Whiteford is a medical anthropologist whose work has taken place in Ecuador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cameroon, China, Malaysia, England, Scotland and Argentina. Much of her work has focused on maternal/child and reproductive health, water scarcity and water-borne diseases such as cholera and dengue fever, and most recently, human health during and following disasters such as volcanic eruptions. Whiteford has been a consultant for organizations such as the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the United States Agency for International Development and the Canadian Agency for International Development. In 2003, she was elected president of the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Most recently, Whiteford received the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Award for Research (2007). Since 2002, she has been named the Santa Clara University Scholar of the Year; received the Patel Center Award; was an invited speaker for the Humanities and Critical Thinking Program at the University of Washington in Seattle; was an invited jurist for the Staley Prize, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico; co-chaired the invited symposium (with Paul Farmer and Barbara Rylko-Bauer) Global Health in Times of Violence; received two National Science Foundation Awards (with co-PIs Graham Tobin, Arthur Murphy and Eric Jones), on Social Networks and Mitigation in Areas of On-Going Disasters; was an invited presenter for the Cities on Volcanoes IAVCEI Conference, Quito, Ecuador; was an invited presenter for the conference on Reproduction, Globalization, and the State, Bellagio, Italy; was an invited presenter for the Extreme Events and Community Preparedness at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; was an invited presenter and keynote speaker at the Universidad de las Americas, Cholula, Mexico; was keynote speaker and co-director for the Summer Institute for Anthropology, Zagreb, Croatia; and was chosen the George and Mary Foster Distinguished Lecturer, Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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