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USF Year in Review: Key Stories from 2017

A look back at our advances in research and innovation, student success and community engagement

As we look ahead to the New Year, let’s take some time to celebrate the 2017 accomplishments of the USF System through its advances in research and other academic endeavors, student success and community engagement. Here are just some of the many stories that encompass how the continued push for excellence is taking the University of South Florida, one of the top public research universities in the nation, to the next level.

JANUARY

USF College of Engineering and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine Partner to Create a Department of Medical Engineering
The new department is home to USF’s growing biomedical engineering program, combining related aspects of engineering and medicine while providing access to real-world health care environments for education and research...


USF unveils preliminary renderings for new medical school and cardiovascular institute in downtown Tampa
The initial renderings offered the public an early look at USF’s newest state-of-the-art facility, which combines under one roof a medical school to teach the next generation of physicians and a cardiovascular institute to pioneer new discoveries in heart health…


USF College of Education Professor Receives National Educator of the Year Award for Impact on Students with Learning Disabilities

--> David H. Allsopp recognized with the 2017 Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award…


FEBRUARY


Three University of South Florida Professors Elected AIMBE Fellows
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering recognizes the nation’s top medical and biological engineers…

New Nature study: Bird lovers help scientists discover secrets of beak evolution
Citizen scientists and bird lovers across the world have helped researchers at the University of Sheffield and the University of South Florida uncover new secrets about the evolution of bird’s beaks over time in a ground-breaking study published in the journal Nature.

USF, Florida Orchestra Partner to Give Student-Composers Invaluable Career Preparation Opportunity [video]
It’s a Friday morning at the University of South Florida School of Music Concert Hall. The Florida Orchestra is on stage. The lights dim. Conductor Michael Francis taps his baton, and the space fills with sound…

The excitement of science is shared with 10,000 school students at Engineering Expo 2017 [video]
There are few occasions when explosions are positive things…

Sloan Foundation Selects USF Biologist as 2017 Research Fellow
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announces that a USF assistant professor who studies the vast and complex underwater world of tiny ocean organisms was selected as a 2017 Research Fellow, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for young scientists…

President Judy Genshaft Receives Donna Shavlik Award from American Council on Education
The award honors an individual who demonstrates sustained commitment to advancing women in higher education, through leadership and career development, campus climate and mentoring…

USF Leads the Nation as the Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars
With an outstanding 12 faculty members named as scholars, USF doubled its numbers from last year surpassing other top research institutions, including the Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Southern California and more…

MARCH

USF Recognized as #1 in Florida and #6 in Nation for Black Student Success
New report analyzes nearly 700 institutions nationally, highlights USF's achievements…

USF Graduate Program Ranked No. 2 in the Nation by U.S. News and World Report
New rankings list USF STEM and USF Health graduate programs in the Top 50 for all U.S. public universities…

Lucky match! USF senior medical students learn where they will spend their residencies [videos]
The celebratory vibe had a glimmer of green this year – spring green, USF green and St. Patrick’s Day green – with students and family members also wearing specially designed shirts that helped raise $2,500 toward Morsani College of Medicine scholarships...

Medicine, engineering researchers use facial expression software to help measure pain felt by newborns
The research may lead to a new technology to help health care practitioners more precisely gauge if a baby is experiencing pain, or simply needs a diaper change.

Cost of neurological diseases in U.S. approaching $800 billion a year
USF study shows research investment critical to prevent destabilizing economic impact…

APRIL

Hundreds Attend Florida Business Analytics Forum to Hear Latest Developments in Data Collection, Analytics and Creativity
The mantra that data never sleeps was hammered home during the inaugural Florida Business Analytics Forum at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business on April 4…

USF Ranked No. 7 in the U.S. among “Golden Age Universities”
The University of South Florida was ranked the seventh best public university in America and 34th best university in the world, according a report released by the Times Higher Education comparing universities founded between 1945 -1966…


Seven Years Later: BP Oil Spill Settlement Funding New Way to Manage Fish Populations
A new technique developed by researchers at the USF College of Marine Science is paving the way in discovering where a wide range of species spawn…

Milken Institute Ranks USF in Top 20 of American Universities for Technology Transfer
USF surges to 19th, up from a 74th place standing in 2006, in a report examining how institutions fare in turning basic research into technologies, products and companies…

MAY

USF scientist one of 14 world-changers named 2017 National Geographic Emerging Explorers
Groundbreaking research by a USF evolutionary biologist and epidemiologist uses virtual reality to help paleontologists learn more about dinosaurs…



Muma College of Business Grad Student Brings Own Brand of Inspiration to Commencement
Of the thousands of graduates crossing the USF Sun Dome stage this weekend to receive their diplomas, Sam Bridgman's steps may be the most poignant…

Study Finds Mosquito-Borne Viruses Like Zika Could Be Spread at Lower Temperatures, Potentially Expanding Impact
University of South Florida researchers play key role in pinpointing optimal temperature for mosquito-borne disease transmission…

Alum makes largest contribution in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s history
Bill Mariotti was enrolled at USF when his father plunged through a skylight at a demolition site, prompting swift changes at the family business, including a decision by Mariotti to delay college...

U.S. military to improve communication using USF technology [video]
Engineering students contracted to create satellite payloads for U.S. Special Operations Command...

USF Partnership With Local Zoo Helps Save Manatees [video]
The USF College of Public Health is working with Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo to make a difference for a "threatened" species...

New Research Vessel to Impact Marine Research Across Florida [video]
The R/V W.T Hogarth will support the research of over two dozen institutions and agencies across the state…

JUNE

Reaching New Heights: USF is 5th Leading Public University in U.S. Patent Ranking [video]
USF is first in Florida and 11th worldwide among universities generating new inventions…

USF Researcher Joins NASA Deep-Sea Mission
NASA NEEMO 22 space analog simulates mission to Mars…

University of South Florida Earns Cybersecurity Research Designation
USF receives inaugural designation as a National Center for Academic Excellence in cyber defense research…

Florida Blue $1 Million Gift Supports Health Knowledge Exchange in New Downtown Building
Florida Blue’s $1 million gift to the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute building in downtown Tampa was recognized by the USF Board of Trustees with the naming of its health sciences library…

USF System Places Second in State University System Performance-Based Funding Scores
The USF System is first in Florida in the percent of bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded in programs of strategic emphasis and the percent of graduates employed…

JULY

Researcher Behind “Fake Grouper” Sensor Creates“Red Tide” Detector [video]
A USF distinguished professor at the College of Marine Science is lead inventor of Red Tide Chek, the first hand-held device to detect red tide in the field…

What Does It Take to Maintain the Bull Topiary? Hand Shears, Pool Noodles, Spoons — and Pride [video]
Thousands of students, faculty and staff walk by the topiary in front of the USF Marshall Student Center every day, but have you ever stopped and wondered what it takes to maintain this mossy bull?

AUGUST

Home sensor network technology helps older adults live healthier
USF College of Engineering researchers create home monitoring system technology to help detect movement and activity in a home environment – empowering older adults to become the drivers of their own health…

USF Shares Results of Feasibility Study Regarding an On-Campus Football Stadium
Further studies to be conducted prior to any decisions regarding a new stadium…

Failure to Attempt Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Results in Up to $820 Million Wasted in Health Care Costs

A recently published USF College of Pharmacy study finds that using metformin to treat patients with prediabetes would save approximately $20 per patient each year, resulting in $820 million yearly savings in health care costs…

Medicaid Coverage Brings More Silence to Hearing Impaired
A study led by University of South Florida audiologist Michelle Arnold is the first comprehensive review of state-level Medicaid coverage for hearing aids...

World’s Oldest Italian Wine Just Discovered
Chemical analysis on ancient pottery, led by a USF professor, could dramatically predate the commencement of winemaking in Italy…

SEPTEMBER

Genshaft Announces USF Reaches the Benchmarks for “Preeminence”
During her annual fall address, USF System President Genshaft also reveals a record research year and a fundraising milestone…

University of South Florida continues to climb in U.S. News & World Report rankings
Since 2014 USF Tampa’s ranking has risen from No. 170/No. 94 (all universities/public only) to No. 140/No. 68. This unprecedented gain comes on the heels of The Chronicle of Higher Education recognizing USF Tampa as the nation’s leader among public universities showing the greatest improvements in six-year graduation rates from 2011 to 2015…

Helping One Another: USF Comes Together for Hurricane Irma
As Hurricane Irma churned toward Florida’s west coast area last week, USF Bulls did not just hunker down or evacuate in preparation for the monster storm. They rallied big time…

Construction Officially Begins on New Facility for Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute
USF leaders, friends and supporters from across the region gather to mark the start of construction for the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute...

Incoming Freshman Class Helps USF Break Several Records
The 2017-18 freshman class is the strongest academic and most diverse group of incoming students in school history…

USF Researchers Awarded $5 Million Grant to Continue Studying 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
College of Marine Science researchers will continue studies on how the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has impacted the environment and how future environmental disasters might be better mitigated…

USF Honors Vinik Family Generosity by Naming Program After Couple [video]
Muma College of Business names its Sport & Entertainment Management program after Tampa Bay business leaders and philanthropists Jeff and Penny Vinik…

OCTOBER

3D Imaging to Help Protect American Heritage Sites from Hurricanes and Natural Disasters
USF researchers will perform scans Oct. 16-18 at national monuments Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine, Fla…

USF's Newest Living Community Formally Opens First Phase [video]
Community gathers to celebrate the new facilities…

USF Hosts Business Exhibition, Strengthening Supplier Diversity Program [video]
More than 70 exhibitors participated in the all-day event, which connected owners of diverse businesses to key purchasers within the USF system and its prime contractors…

Improving Young Children’s Social and Emotional Competence while Reducing Challenging Behavior Focus of $5.5 Million Grant
A USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences Professor leads a national team of experts who will work directly with states and local programs…

Invention Generates Power, Cleans Water Using Untapped Source
University of South Florida engineering professor wins $1.14M grant through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to solve water and sanitation crisis worldwide…

NOVEMBER

New Fund at USF Honors Veterans of Past Wars, Provides Financial Support to Current Student Veterans
John Jacoby, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, is the first recipient of the Next Greatest Generation Fund created by the Office of Veterans Success at USF…

Pam and Les Muma Announce $15 Million Gift as USF Celebrates Reaching its USF: Unstoppable Fundraising Campaign Goal of $1 Billion
The Mumas, whose landmark philanthropy has made a transformative impact on the University of South Florida, announced a new major gift of $15 million to benefit three areas of the university they already support: business, athletics and health…

Intervention Becomes First to Successfully Reduce Risk of Dementia
A 10-year study led by USF’s Jerri Edwards concludes computerized brain training program reduces risk of dementia 29 percent…

American Association for Advancement of Science Honors Six USF Faculty Members as 2017 Fellows
Prestigious honor recognizes researchers who lead their discipline on a global scale…

USF Named the Best Public University in the Nation for Veterans
Prestigious honor from Military Times marks the third consecutive year USF ranks in the top two in the country…

New Findings: Burglars Have One of Four Personalities… and They’re Finally Getting Caught
New burglary profiling system designed at USF helping to solve cases…

DECEMBER

University of South Florida Named Institution of the Year by Education Dive
Use of analytics to close the graduation rate gap between race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status earns USF national accolades…

Mexican Government Selects USF Health for Disaster Response Training
Recent natural disasters exemplify Mexico’s need for a stronger emergency plan…

Early NIH-funded study shows new shoe attachment can help stroke patients improve their gait [video]
Cross-disciplinary team at USF develops and tests the Gait Enhancing Mobile Shoe, or GEMS...

University of South Florida Named the Top Public University in the Nation for Latino Student Success
New report analyzes more than 600 U.S. institutions and highlights USF’s success in graduating Latino students…

Building a Stronger STEM Workforce
Study looks at the experiences of LGBTQ+ undergrads in STEM and how that impacts their persistence in the field…

USF Researchers Play Prominent Role in Top Scientific Journals
Science and Nature feature USF research on the covers of their December editions...

And, for a look at the USF’s Top 10 Stories of 2017, click here.

-Compiled by Anne DeLotto Baier, University Communications and Marketing


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