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UT Media Coverage

The Hot New Brand of Higher Education

By David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism
The Atlantic
Feb. 1, 2017

David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism, discusses how President Donald Trump’s decision to tap the president of Liberty University to lead a task force within the U.S. Department of Education reflects a backlash against liberal policies at American colleges and a move to create a brand for the conspicuously conservative college. Full story

From Book to Boom: How the Mormons Plan a City for 500,000 in Florida

By Stanley Ward
Jan. 30, 2017

The Deseret cattle and citrus ranch in central Florida occupies 290,000 acres of land – more than nine times the size of San Francisco. Today, the Mormon church owns land and property across the US through a network of subsidiaries. Its holdings include farmland, residential and commercial developments, though it remains notoriously tight-lipped about its business ventures. Ryan Cragun, UT associate professor of sociology, previously worked with Reuters to estimate in 2012 that the church owns temples and other buildings worth $35 billion and receives as much as $7 billion in members’ tithing each year. “Estimating their total land holdings? Good luck,” says Cragun. “Nobody knows how much money the church actually has – and why they’re buying all of this land and developing land.” Full story

Economists Warn Americans Would Foot the Bill for Mexico's Wall, Under Trump's Tax Proposal

By Isabel Rosales
Jan. 27, 2017

Economists are warning it's American consumers who will end up paying the price for Donald Trump’s proposed tax that will supposedly pay for the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. "This policy would be absolutely disastrous," said Abby Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics. Mexico ships $295 billion dollars worth of products to the U.S., every year. Including produce that we can't grow in America, cars, medical supplies and appliances. "20 percent doesn't seem like much but when you consider the volume," said Blanco, "20% tax on that is remarkably significant." Full story

University of Tampa's Matt Johnson Making Most of a Second Chance

By Joey Johnston
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 24, 2017

Matt Johnson, senior point guard for the UT men's basketball team, averages 5.9 assists per game and projects as UT's third all-time career assist man. At the age of 15 he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes. At the time of his medical incident, he was considered one of his state’s top players. "In the past, I always thought about playing pro basketball. That's not my dream any more. I think I'm destined for something bigger. I enjoy every day, and I'm determined to make a difference in other people's lives. I think that's why I'm still here," said Johnson. Full story

Are "Alternative Facts" True or False?

By Phil Buck
Jan. 23, 2017

The phrase “alternative facts” has spread across social media with people all over the world weighing in on what the term means to them. "I teach my students that facts are important. In fact, they're sacred,” said Jeff Neely, UT assistant professor of journalism. "We can't have alternative facts, we can have alternative opinions, but facts are facts," said Neely. “To disagree on verifiable facts is a dangerous position for us as a country, I think,” Neely said. Full story

A similar story appeared on WMAZ (Macon, GA).

FBI: Student Job Seekers, Instead of Getting Hired You Could Be Getting Swindled

By Isabel Rosales
Jan. 19, 2017

The FBI is warning student job-seekers about legitimate looking job advertisements sent to their official university email as well as their school’s job boards. The job ad looks real, often times involving a work from home position. They’ll write you a check and then tell you to keep some of the money as your salary and instruct you to wire the rest to a client or a vendor. Then, the check bounces. Leaving the student owing the bank the full amount of that fake check. “We’re definitely seeing a tremendous growth in it," said Mark Colvenbach, UT’s Career Services director. Full story

Similar stories appeared on WPTV (West Palm Beach, FL), WFLX (West Palm Beach, FL) and in the University Herald.

The Unintended Consequences of Minimum Wage Hikes

By Abigail Hall-Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics
Jan. 18, 2017

A reported 21 states from Maine to California will increase their state minimum wage this year. It will mean bigger paychecks for some workers—and no paychecks for others. The servers who work in a restaurant have acquired no new skills that will generate additional revenue. They will simply cost more to employ. The restaurant owner can raise menu prices, get by with a smaller staff or reduce the staff even more by replacing servers with table-top tablets so customers can place their own orders. The intended beneficiaries of an increased minimum wage turn out to be unintended victims. Government mandates don't increase living standards. A growing economy does. Full story

A similar story appeared in

Ethical Hacking Course Preps Students for Art of Cyber War

By Jamie Pilarczyk
Private University Products and News
January 2017

UT offers a class in ethical hacking where students break into systems in a sandbox environment where they can hone their skills and develop talents within a safe and legal place. There are no PowerPoint slides or handwritten notes on the wipe board. Instead, class is treated like one endless lab. "It's definitely pretty cool to say that after the first day you've already compromised and managed to access a target," said Anthony Bilotto. Full story

Rare Ruby Seadragon Caught on Video for First Time

By Michael Greshko
National Geographic
Jan. 12, 2017

Scientists have filmed the ruby seadragon in the wild for the first time. The footage marks the first time that the 10-inch-long fish has been seen alive. The ruby seadragon, a brilliantly colored fish related to seahorses, was declared a new species in early 2015. According to Heather Masonjones, UT professor of biology, syngnathids—the fish family containing seahorses and seadragons—are usually sparse on the seascape. “You might find a few together if you can locate a patch, but otherwise [researchers] can sample for days… and not sample a single animal of a particular species,” said Masonjones. Full story

A similar story appeared in Before It’s News.

Activists Ask Tampa City Council to Change Rules That Hinder Feeding the Homeless

By Kate Bradshaw
Creative Loafing
Jan. 12, 2017

Members of the group Food Not Bombs as well as supporters lined up in Tampa City Council chambers to appeal directly to council members that rules governing who can feed the homeless and when be changed. "The code says no person shall conduct any activity or utilize any department-managed land in a manner which might result in commercial activity, which Food Not Bombs is not, as defined in this chapter, or provide the distribution or sampling of any materials — merchandise, food or beverages — to the general public, which they do, without prior written approval from the department. That's all the code says,” said Aaron Walker, UT assistant professor of communication. Advocates say barring food-sharing without proper permitting is wrong. Full story

College Choice Releases 2017 Ranking of the Best Colleges in Florida

KOTV (Oklahoma City, OK)
Jan. 12, 2017

UT has been ranked as the 11th best college in Florida according to College Choice. The ranking for Best Colleges in Florida was based on a program's reputation alongside its average return on investment. UT’s nearly 8,000 students are part of a globally connected campus and come from all 50 states and 140 countries, creating a dynamic and diverse educational environment. Unique to The University is their First Year Experience, which goes well beyond typical orientation activities, in which students set goals and acquire the skills needed to excel in their academic careers. UT also has much to offer in the way of recreation, including over 200 student clubs and organizations. Full story

Similar stories appeared on WVUE (New Orleans), WXIX (Cincinnati, OH), WSFA (Montgomery, AL), KFMB (San Diego, CA), KTVK (Phoenix, AZ), WRCB (Chattanooga, TN) and KVVU (Las Vegas).

UT a Perfect Fit for Basketball Transfer

By Joey Johnston
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 11, 2017

UT senior point guard, Elena de Alfredo, is happy to be in Tampa. "I love this university, and I love the city of Tampa,'' said de Alfredo, a native of Madrid. "This is where I should've been from the start." She served a key role on the under-18 Spanish national team, which finished fifth at the 2012 European Championship. UT women’s basketball coach, Tom Jessee, learned of de Alfredo's desire to transfer and immediately saw that this was his program's "missing piece." She was a key reason why the Spartans won last season's Sunshine State Conference Tournament and has started this season averaging 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Spartans. Full story

Universitarios de EEUU Estudian la Obra Poética de Fernández Gomá

By María E. Selva
Jan. 11, 2017

Lola Hidalgo-Calle, UT professor of Spanish, Languages and Linguistics, and Mark Putnam, UT associate professor of English, published an anthology that analyzes the poetry of 21st century Andalusian women. The work is a bilingual study of prominent Andalusian poets and works to fill the gap in English language literature in relation to Spanish poetry. The intention is to reach more readers who love the Spanish language and literature written by women. Full story

Future Founders Names 2017 Fellows: 17 Entrepreneurs You Should Know

KTVK (Phoenix, AZ)
Jan. 10, 2017

Future Founders announced the 17 entrepreneurs who were selected to participate in the 2017 Fellowship, a part of its Future Founders Startup program. The Fellowship is a selective year-long cohort that accelerates the development of the top student entrepreneurs in the nation. Making the list is UT’s Ryan Deitrich with Spared, Inc., an app that helps pay off student loans with spare change. Full story

Similar stories appeared on 
WVUE (New Orleans), WWBT (Richmond, VA), SpokeKMOV (St. Louis, MO), KHNL (Honolulu), WIS-TV (Columbia, SC), WAFF (Huntsville, AL), CicagoInno and KFMB (San Diego, CA).

Here's Which Tampa Bay Colleges Churn Out the Highest-Paid Grads

By Janelle Irwin
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan. 9, 2017

The national average for grads in their first post-college jobs earn $33,400, according to a 2016 College Scorecard. How did UT stack up? Grads from The University of Tampa average an annual salary of $43,900. Full story

College Football Playoff: Top 10 College Games Played in Tampa

By Joey Knight
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 4, 2017

When the third College Football Playoff national championship game is staged Monday night at Raymond James Stadium, we'll douse it with watershed-moment status. However, it’s not the first time that the bay area served as college football's epicenter. Nov. 29, 1969, The University of Tampa took on Florida A&M in what is believed to be the first interracial college football game in the South. Then on Oct. 26, 1968, the Spartans defeated the SEC’s Mississippi State 24 to 17 in what was described as "the most significant victory in the school's history." Full story

U. Tampa Names New Deans in Arts and Letters, Natural and Health Sciences

By Claire McNeill
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 4, 2017

Two new deans will join The University of Tampa in early June. Paul Greenwood will lead the College of Natural and Health Sciences, and David Gudelunas will lead the College of Arts and Letters. Both deans begin June 1. Full story 

A similar story appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Lower the Legal Drinking Age

By Anna Wavrin, UT sophomore, and Abigail Hall-Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics
Jan. 3, 2017

Four out of five college students drink, and almost two out of every three engaged in binge drinking, even though few of them are old enough legally to imbibe. These trends are nearly unique to the United States. While Europeans consume more alcohol overall than their American counterparts, they have lower rates of binge drinking. Some explain this by cultural differences, but economics suggests a different culprit — bad policy. Prohibiting young people from consuming alcohol doesn’t stop them from drinking. But it does make drinking much less safe. Full story

Similar stories appeared in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Duluth News Tribune (Minnesota) and The Detroit News.

Tampa’s Burdick Named IMLCA Assistant Coach of the Year

Florida Lacrosse News
January 2017

University of Tampa men’s lacrosse assistant coach Chris Burdick has been named the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year as announced at the IMLCA Convention. Burdick has a career record of 57 wins and only 16 losses, winning each Sunshine State Conference games since the league adopted men’s lacrosse in 2014, winning all-three regular-season conference championships and winning all-three tournament titles. Full story