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Babe Ruth Home Run Ball Is Back at UT After 102 years

By Evan Axelbank
FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Dec. 28, 2021

On April 4, 1919, Babe Ruth hit a monstrous home run at Plant Field during spring training workouts. After news of the gargantuan blast, Tampa became known for baseball and Ruth became known for his power. It has changed hands a few times since 1919, but this week, the ball landed right back where it started, now in its final resting spot in the Henry B. Plant Museum.

Crucian Coach Guides the University of Tampa to Fourth National Volleyball Championship

By Mark J. Daniel
St. John Tradewinds
Dec. 27, 2021

Chris Catanach, head volleyball coach, has coached women’s volleyball at The University of Tampa for almost 40 years, leading the Spartans to win their fourth National Division II Volleyball Championship. He has accumulated a record of 1,106 wins and 210 losses, which ranks him tied for 6th all-time in the number of wins of all NCAA volleyball coaches in history.

Lacrosse Has Experienced Substantial Growth Throughout Florida

By Tom Layberger
Dec. 22, 2021

As interest in lacrosse was growing in Florida over recent years, J.B. Clarke accepted the position of men’s head coach for lacrosse at UT. Many other schools and universities, like UT, have blossomed in lacrosse recently. Some former players, such as Charlie Cummins, remain in the Sunshine State to coach and help the sport grow.

Are COVID Symptoms Different in Vaccinated People?

By Ed Browne
Dec. 22, 2021

People who are vaccinated but still get COVID are less likely to develop severe symptoms, experts have said, but not necessarily different symptoms to those of unvaccinated people. "I haven't seen reports of different symptoms occurring in breakthrough infections compared to unvaccinated COVID-19 cases, but those who experience a breakthrough infection are more likely to have asymptomatic or mild disease," said Eric Freundt, associate professor of biology.

University of Tampa Hockey Team Ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Hockey Federation

By Kyle Burger
ABC Action News
Dec. 20, 2021

University of Tampa Spartans hockey team is off to a 16-1-1 start and ranked number one out of 153 teams. The players of the team credit their wins to their small, close-knit team and a roster of northern players with a lot of skill.

Henry B. Plant Museum Celebrates 40 Years of Victorian Christmas Stroll

By Charley Belcer
FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Dec. 20, 2021

Lindsay Huban, Henry B. Plant Museum relations and operations manager, shares how the museum has been extra excited for the anniversary and what they are doing to make this year the best Christmas stroll yet.

Tampa Bay Is at the Mall Seeing Santa Claus up Close and Personal Again

By Sue Carlton
Tampa Bay Times
Dec. 14, 2021

Santa Claus is back for visits at International Plaza this year after foregoing last year due to the pandemic. UT students Victoria DeLaurentis ’24 and Laura Finneran ’24 were secret Santa shopping when they decided to stop for a photo. “It’s nice to be somewhat back to normal,” Finneran said.

Treasurer Accused of Stealing $79K From Pinellas Charity Golfers vs. Brain Cancer

By Chip Osowski
Dec. 14, 2021

A volunteer treasurer for a nonprofit charity was arrested for stealing over $79,000 from the organization. In order for the organization to prevent any future issues, Rob Goodwin, instructor of accounting, suggests it should look at its checks and balances. He believes there was a likely possibility this person was able to write checks that nobody reviewed.

Tampa Wins NCAA Volleyball National Championship

By Mari Faiello
Tampa Bay Times
Dec. 11, 2021

The top-seeded Spartans defeated the No. 3 Ichabods 25-21, 26-24, 25-21. Tampa’s 34-2 record will go down as one of the program’s best, ending on a 21-game winning streak dating to Oct. 12 and a championship title won on its homecourt, the first time the program has done so.

Top-seeded University of Tampa Set to Host NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship

By Mari Faiello
Tampa Bay Times
Dec. 9, 2021

For the first time since 2015, the Spartans will host the tournament’s final three rounds, including Saturday’s title match. After besting West Florida in the region final on Saturday, the top-seeded Spartans will play No. 8 Augusta in the quarterfinal round Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Bob Martinez Athletics Center.

UT Volleyball Team Shooting for Its Fourth National Title

By Kevin Lewis
ABC Action News 
Dec. 8, 2021

UT Spartans are aiming to win their fourth national title in volleyball and also are hosting the entire Elite 8. Libero Claudia Rivera, according to her teammates, is the backbone holding the team’s plays together. However, she credits everyone’s hard work for their success.

UT Women Seek 8th-Straight Win

FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Dec. 4, 2021

University of Tampa senior Dori Nagy is the leading scorer and rebounder for UT women’s basketball, making them the best team in the conference. Her coach says her selfless skills holds the whole team together.

UT Women: Spartans Welcome New Assistant Coach Hillary Hamm

Florida Lacrosse News
Dec. 2, 2021

Hillary Hamm, a graduate from Towson University, was hired by the University of Tampa to fill the position of women’s lacrosse assistant coach. Since graduating at Towson, she has coached at two Division I programs and served in various roles as instructor and director of lacrosse camps and clinics.

A Journalist, a Philosophy Major and the Mad Scramble for Video Game Consoles

By Kellen Browning and Julie Creswell
The New York Times
Dec. 2, 2021

The popularity of video game consoles has been rising while the supply has been scarce over the pandemic, so people are resorting to video game YouTubers and bloggers to get tips on how to buy new consoles. One live-streamer who helped an accountant in Texas acquire several new PlayStations and Xboxes, goes by the name “Lord Restock” and is a philosophy student at UT. He asked to remain anonymous to avoid being targeted by online resellers.

UT’s Entrepreneurship Programs Ranked in the Top 50

Tampa Bay Newswire
Nov. 30, 2021

The University of Tampa was ranked the 27th and 30th top school for undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship studies by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Over 400 startups were launched by UT alumni in the last seven years with over $80 million of funding raised. The rankings were based on surveys that included questions about the percentage of faculty, students and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; mentorship programs; scholarships and grants; and level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.

Here Are 5 Ways To Celebrate Christmas Before Thanksgiving Across the Tampa Bay Area

By Leonardo Santos
Nov. 19, 2021

The Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum at UT will allow guests to explore different exhibits that are all Christmas-themed. There will be a display of 40 vintage Santas, cider and cookies for guests, and live music on most days.

UT Gains Recognition at Global Pitch Conference

By Cheryl Rogers
83 Degrees
Nov. 16, 2021

University of Tampa student Alexsandra “Allie” Wolfe created jewelry that can detect if drinks are laced with drugs as a way to combat date rape. Her company, Pure-Sipity, earned $5,000 as the second-place winner at the 38th Annual Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Conference and $15,000 Global Pitch Competition. At the event, UT earned the Best Cross Campus Innovation and Networking Award for engaging students from different disciplines.

How the University of Tampa Is Meeting the Increasing Demand for Doctorate-prepared Nurses

By Laura Newpoff
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Nov. 12, 2021

The nursing profession continues to be challenged in many ways, but UT is taking the right steps in ensuring their nursing students are well prepared for their future careers. UT is adding two new tracks, Leadership in Population Health and Leadership in Clinical and Academic Nursing Education, to its online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. The new tracks require an RN or APRN license.

The Alzheimer’s Association Holds Tampa Walk

Osprey Observer
Nov. 12, 2021

The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Tampa residents to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Adriana Garcia ’22, who will be walking with her Sigma Kappa sorority sisters, became a caregiver at an early age when her great-aunt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “As a child, nobody expects you to become a caretaker,” Garcia said. “All I could do was sit on the sidelines and try to process what was going on.”

A Still-Dovish Fed Raises the Risk of Stagflation Lite

By Vikekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
Nov. 10, 2021

Vikekanand Jayajumar, associate professor of economics, wrote an opinion article discussing the prospect of the U.S. experiencing a stagflation lite shock. The article discusses details of inflation, unemployment, supply-demand and shortages.

Guest Column: The University of Tampa Marks 90 Years of Progress

By Ronald Vaughn
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Nov. 5, 2021

In the column, UT President Ron Vaughn said that while UT held its first classes 90 years ago, “much has changed between those early years and now. Today UT has more than 10,500 students who come from all around the country, and 130 countries around the world. About half of UT students are from out of state. Today UT has 759 faculty who provide a high-quality educational experience.”

Professor at University of Tampa speaks about invaders from another part of the planet

By Philip Morgan
Tampa Bay Times
Oct. 30, 2021

Todd Campbell, associate professor of biology, is a herpetologist who led the effort in the early 2000s to study, trap, and remove the predators taking over Cape Coral. Now, he is researching and studying the invasive Nile monitor lizard, which has settled in two areas of Florida, and the Argentine black and white tegu lizard, which is found in Hillsborough County. He discusses methods of identifying invasive species, the harm they cause, and how to get rid of them.

Four African Americans Who Have Been Named to University Diversity Positions

Journal for Blacks in Higher Education
Oct. 29, 2021

Thomas Witherspoon is the new chief diversity officer at UT. He previously was the senior director of campus community centers at North Carolina State University, which included the African American Cultural Center, the Women’s Center, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Center and the Multicultural Student Affairs.

Missing in the media: Gender and Racial Disparities in News Coverage

By Anthony Hill
ABC Action News
Oct. 28, 2021

When people of color go missing, it’s often without any coverage of their disappearance in the media. Meanwhile other missing people, such as Gabby Petito, become household names. “To be entirely honest, all of us can probably continue to do better,” said Jeff Neely, associate professor of journalism. He’s teaching the next generation of journalists to be more intentional in how they cover the news.

If You’ve Had Weird Thoughts About Zombies and Vaccines, You’re Not Alone

By Angela Ufheil
Oct. 26, 2021

Sara Juliet Lauro, associate professor of English, was quoted in an article about America’s newly renewed fear of zombies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine controversy. Lauro’s expertise on the myth of the zombie provided a modern perspective of the common, but irrational, fear.

Ronald and Renee Vaughn Honored by Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts

Tampa Bay Newswire
Oct. 26, 2021

President Ronald Vaughn and his wife, Renée Vaughn, received the 2021 Patrons of Culture and the Arts IMPACT Award from the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA) on Thursday, Oct. 21. The Vaughns earned this award by contributing an invaluable amount to the evolution of the Tampa Bay community. 

After Tampa Gained Popularity Through 2020, University of Tampa Sees Record Enrollment

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Oct. 22, 2021

UT ushered in record enrollment amid declining numbers at private institutions across the nation. UT’s total enrollment topped over 10,000 students, up 12% from 2020’s enrollment. Dennis Nostrand, executive enrollment manager, attributed the rising numbers to the increase in Tampa’s visibility and efforts done by staff.

Youth Voices: “I Am a Young Black Man’’ Book of Poems

Lauren Wong
83 Degrees
Oct. 19, 2021

Tavis Myrick, part-time education faculty at UT, was interviewed as the executive director of Gentlemen’s Quest of Tampa Bay Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk students realize their full potential. The organization published a collection of poetry and prose written by students from Gentlemen’s Quest, though that wasn’t the plan during the Gentlemen’s Quest summer camp, when Myrick was engaging the boys in activities to inspire writing and public speaking.

UT Swimmer Kristen Wagner Hopes To Inspire Female Athletes Through Writing

Kevin Lewis
ABC Action News
Oct. 15, 2021

Swimming World Magazine published the article “Like a Girl: The Pride in Being a Female Athlete,” an article by Kristen Wagner ’24, who swims at UT and interns for the magazine. The inspiration from the article comes from the other women in the swimming program, as well as from herself growing up. Head swimming coach at UT, Jimi Kiner, said the women in the swimming program also inspire his daughters to pursue sports.

Stageworks Theatre Returns To Full Capacity Just in Time for Halloween

By Robert Boyd
ABC Action News
Oct. 13, 2021

Max Dalton ’24 and Hannah Perreault ’24 are two of eight UT students cast in Evil Dead: The Musical, the first show in 18 months at Stageworks Theatre. The cast also includes professional actors. Karla Hartley, part-time theatre and dance faculty and director of the show, and Michael Staczar, chair and associate professor of speech, theatre and dance, set up a partnership with Stageworks Theatre to give students their first chance of working in a professional setting.

‘Grandma’ Nickname Suits East Lyme’s DeLaforcade Just Fine

By Gavin Keefe
The Day
Oct. 11, 2021

Stephanie DeLaforcade is in her fifth year of collegiate soccer at UT, her third and final university, where she earned the nickname “Grandma” by her teammates. DeLaforcade is continuing her college soccer career and education at UT where she’s working on her master's degree in marketing and playing for the Division II program. Her previous stops included Syracuse University and the University of Maryland.

School Funding Issue Highlights Pasco Legislative Delegation

By Kevin Weiss
The Laker Lutz News
Sept. 28, 2021

At the annual Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting at Zephyrhills City Hall, Pasco County School Board member Colleen Beaudoin opened the conversation on education — addressing the delegation on virtual school financing inequities. Beaudoin, chair of the education department and math lecturer, asked state leadership to consider an amendment that would strike language from a Florida statute that puts Pasco’s virtual program at a disadvantage to the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) program. 

Meet Scott Gossen, a 2021 40 Under 40 Honoree

By Chris Erickson
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Sept. 28, 2021

Scott Gossen, director of design and construction, earned a spot as Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honoree. He did a Q&A with Tampa Bay Business Journal, in which he touches on his past experiences and career.

WMU-Cooley Takes Part in Constitution Day Observation

Legal News
Sept. 24, 2021

William Meyers, associate professor of political science, presented at the virtual discussion, “The Constitution and COVID: Do State and Federal Government Have the Power to Enforce Mandates,” for Constitution Day. Meyers’ presentation explained how the federal government has police powers during a pandemic and compared the current COVID-19 vaccine requirements to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Jacobson v. Massachusetts.

Top 30 NCAA Woman of the Year Honorees

By Annika Johnson
Swim Swam
Sept. 24, 2021

Julia Ingram ’21, a UT basketball alum who graduated in the spring, is one of 30 semi-finalists nominated for 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year. Next, the NCAA will determine the top 3 honorees from each division. The 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year will be chosen from the group of those 9 finalists and announced on November 9th.

The Long and Short of the Snip

By Anita Rao
Sept. 24, 2021

Ryan Cragun, sociology professor and co-director of the Honors Program, discusses the relationship between masculinity and vasectomies. Cragun recalls the paper he co-authored where he opens up about his own procedure and his experience facing the threats to masculinity often associated with vasectomies.

Despite Compromised Immune System, Local Woman Won't Let Anything Stop Her — Even the Pandemic

By Wendy Ryan
ABC Action News
Sept. 21, 2021

ABC Action News interviewed Allison Avery, MBA ’22, on how she stays positive amidst the COVID-19 pandemic while living with a compromise immune system. Avery has Friedrich’s Ataxia, a neuromuscular disease that weakens the muscles over time. Avery works for the NFL managing their grant programs while pursuing an MBA at UT. 

UT Ranked Among Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Best Business Schools of 2021-2022

Tampa Bay News Wire
Sept. 18, 2021

The Sykes College of Business was ranked overall No. 74 out of 84 schools in the U.S. Additionally, UT was also ranked highest on component indexes of learning and diversity.

Southern Baptist Missionaries Receive a New Coronavirus Vaccine Mandate

Sarah Pulliam Bailey
The Washington Post
Sept. 18, 2021

The Southern Baptist Convention's organization announced last week that it will require missionaries to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Ryan Cragun, professor of sociology and co-director of the honors program, said that when he served his mission in the 1990s, getting vaccines was simply part of preparing to go overseas. He said that the vast majority of Mormon missionaries expect to get the shots, but given that vaccines have been politicized more recently, it is possible that a few will weigh their desire to serve against the requirement to get a vaccine.

In Addition to Top-Tier Ranking, UT is Again Highlighted by U.S. News for Innovation and Top Undergraduate Business and Nursing Programs

Tampa Bay News Wire
Sept. 14, 2021

The Sykes College of Business and UT’s nursing program were named as top undergraduate programs and was also ranked in the top tier by U.S. News and World Report in the category Best Regional Universities. UT was also named as a most innovative college, which is for making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

A #SHRM21 Interview with Jennifer Currence, a Champion for the HRDOO

By Jenni Stone
Sept. 12, 2021

Jennifer Currence, part-time management and entrepreneurship faculty, was recognized as a Thought Leader by the International Society of Performance Improvement.

‘It Should Never Be Forgotten’: Polk Participates in National 9/11 Remembrance

By Paul Catala
The Ledger
Sept. 11, 2021

In a reflection of remembrance on Saturday, Polk County Teen Court hosted the 9/11 Flag of Honor Across America Memorials ceremony. Those members weren’t yet born when the 9/11 attacks occurred, but significance of the attacks remains relevant, said teen court member Melissa Belem ’25. Prior to the ceremony, Belem, a freshman criminology major at UT who plans to become a prosecutor, said remembrances such as the Flag of Honor are important – especially for those not born at the time – to prevent repeat acts of terrorism.

Danley Sound Labs Drives Sonic Upgrade at University of Tampa Arena

Sept. 7, 2021

The Bob Martinez Athletic Center recently had a completed renovation that includes a new sound reinforcement system. The new installation makes it much clearer to hear announcements over the speakers.

Musical Bell Tower Team Collaborating to Hit All the Right Notes

By Jim Parsons
ENR Southeast
Aug. 31, 2021

The Ars Sonora bell sculpture expected to be completed on UT’s campus in 2022 has been in the works for almost two decades. The project is a major collaboration of several different participants, which is why it harbors many intricacies, visions and requirements of design. The design-build team has been conducting virtual meetings since before the pandemic to ensure the perfect design for UT.

Fall Semester Starts at the University of Tampa, Students Return to Campus

By Larissa Scott
ABC Action News
Aug. 30, 2021

Stephanie Russell Krebs, vice president for student affairs, gave some insight on the changes throughout the campus for the fall semester. Students will be transitioning from a hybrid of online and in-person classes in the spring to completely in-person this fall. Some of the measures UT is taking to keep students face-to-face are indoor mask requirements regardless of vaccination status, partnering with a contact tracing company and a Walmart vaccine clinic, and free testing and temperature check kiosks on campus.

Spartan International Volleyball Freshman Adjusting To New Surroundings

By Andrew Keesee
FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Aug. 27, 2021

Nathaly Perez ’25 left her family and home country of Honduras just two weeks ago to play volleyball at UT. Perez has been feeling overwhelmed by the move, but volleyball and new friends are helping her adjust. Perez admitted she was worried about making friends, but her teammates proved her wrong almost immediately.

How Nearly $13M Was Embezzled From USF Health Without Anyone Knowing

By Walt Buteau
Aug. 27, 2021

A former accounting manager at USF Health admitted to embezzling nearly $13 million from his employer over six years. Robert Goodwin, instructor of accounting and coordinator of accounting internships, weighed in, as he used to investigate fraud in the private sector. Goodwin suspected the manager knew the money wouldn’t be missed, as the amount stolen ended up totaling less than 1 percent of the university’s total revenue from those six years.

Students Return to University of Tampa

ABC Action News
Aug. 25, 2021

As new and returning students move back into The University of Tampa, there are new protocols for handling COVID-19. Vaccinated students do not need to go into quarantine if coming in contact with COVID-19, while unvaccinated students must quarantine. The school also has put back in place their mask mandate to keep students safe.

‘This Is the Gold Standard’: Doctors Hope Full Approval of Pfizer Vaccine Leads to More Shots in Arms

Justin Schecker
Aug. 23, 2021

UT student Caitlin Cifaldi ’23 was interviewed at a CVS pharmacy on Kennedy Blvd. after receiving her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the same day it became the first to get full approval from the FDA. Cifaldi said her parents have also encouraged her to roll up her sleeve before the 20-year-old student returned to college at UT.

LEA celebrates 50 years of lake service

By Peter Lowell
The Bridgton News
Aug. 20, 2021

UT student intern Erin Antosh '22 is working with other students from different colleges studying 41 lakes through the Lakes Environmental Association’s (LEA) premier lake lab and testing program at its Maine Lake Science Center. The goal of the center is to analyze lake water quality and warn of impending problems.

People and Places: August 17, 2021

Aug. 17, 2021

The Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa received a grant from the TD Charitable Foundation for its Spartan Incubator Program. This assists more low to moderate-income individuals in advancing their early-stage businesses.

UT Creates New Safety App for Students, Provided by 911 Cellular

Tampa Bay Newswire
Aug. 11, 2021

UT created a new campus safety app, Spartan SOS, which seamlessly connects the UT community with the Department of Campus Safety. The app features access to send anonymous tips, set a timer when they travel on campus and easy access to the Campus Safety phone numbers. The software in the app’s system allows Campus Safety to track an emergency caller’s location to reach them quickly. 

Tampa Virtual Production Studio, Al Script, Elevates UT Summer Film Class

By Virginia Johnson
Bay News 9
Aug. 10, 2021

Tiffany Durbin ’24 is a film major at UT with the goal of making music videos. Durbin, along with rest of her UT summer cinematography class, are training on the latest technology in virtual production at Vu Studio in Tampa. This is all happening thanks to a unique partnership with Vu Studio, set up by Gregg Perkins, associate professor of film, animation and new media. 

University of Tampa Student Turns Sports Cards Into an Instagram Empire

By Emily Cortes
83 Degrees
Aug. 10, 2021

UT senior, Marc Franklin '21, started his own internet side hustle called Prestige Pullz Sports Cards on Instagram Live, in which he auctions and sells famous sports cards to interested buyers. Franklin uses his background knowledge of sports and his communication and broadcasting knowledge from school to run his business.

Tampa Rotary Club’s New President Is Longtime University of Tampa VP

By Amy Scherzer
Tampa Bay Times
Aug. 8, 2021

Linda Devine has been the vice president for operations and planning at The University of Tampa since 1995. This past month, she became president of the Rotary Club of Tampa. This is an impressive milestone, and she is only the third female to lead the chapter since 1914. 

University of Tampa Hires First-ever Chief Diversity Officer

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Aug. 6, 2021

UT has hired its first chief diversity officer. The new officer, Thomas Witherspoon, is expected to create a diversity strategic plan and bring awareness to diversity, equity and inclusion in the upcoming years at the University. 

University of Tampa Plans a Soaring Bell Tower With a Message

By Divya Komar
Tampa Bay Times 
Aug. 6, 2021

The University of Tampa has just announced the newest addition to its beautiful campus. The 105-foot-tall tower, called Ars Sonora, will be featured at the center of campus and was generously donated by the Sykes family. School officials state that this will be the first of its kind in the country.

University of Tampa No. 1 Safest Campus in Florida, According To Report

By Ciara Brown
July 27, 2021

The University of Tampa has been named the safest college campus in Florida. The rankings were decided by Florida campuses that had at least 5,000 students and offered two- and four-year degrees.

UT Partners with Hillsborough County Public Schools to produce education leaders for the future

Capital Soup
July 22, 2021

The University of Tampa has a new partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools. The partnership provides the county’s educators the opportunity to pursue a certification in educational leadership or a master’s degree in educational leadership. 

J.B Clarke Named Head Coach of Tampa Following Rory Whipple’s Retirement

Press Release
USA Lacrosse Magazine
July 20, 2021 

The University of Tampa has hired J.B Clarke as the new head coach of the men’s lacrosse team. He is the second coach in the team’s history, as he is now replacing Rory Whipple.

Tampa College Coach reflects on his story after NFL player publicly comes out

By Mary O’Connell
ABC Action News - WFTS Tampa Bay
June 28, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders player, Carl Nassib, became the first active NFL player to publicly come out as gay. For the LGBTQ+ community, his courage has helped support and honor many athletes and others, including University of Tampa’s assistant baseball coach, Mark Johnson. “It was very exciting for the NFL and the sports world when Nassib shared his story," Johnson said. "Nassib is a great role model to have out there for younger people to see his story and know they can also have a place in sports.”

University of Tampa Offering $3.5K Grant for Students Who Defer Enrollment to 2022 amid Housing Shortage

May 26, 2021

As many incoming freshmen were notified of an on-campus housing shortage, The University of Tampa announced that students who defer their 2021 enrollment to 2022 will receive a $3,500 grant. Students who defer their enrollment will be “prioritized for on-campus housing for Fall 2022.”

Digital gold: Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
May 24, 2021

Associate professor of economics at The University of Tampa writes on the fundamental value and use of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.  

Pasco Schools Partners with University of Tampa To Help Educators

May 23, 2021

Pasco County Schools are starting a partnership with the University of Tampa to increase levels of leadership for Pasco County educators through a master’s degree program for educational leadership.  

Ron and Renee Vaughn Honored as Lightning Community Heroes
May 21, 2021

Ron and Renee Vaughn were honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning as the 29th Lightning Community Heroes. The Vaughn’s received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and The Lightning Community Heroes program and will donate the money to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, LifePath Hospice, University of Tampa, Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church and the Tampa Museum of Art.

After Michigan State Program Cut, Quentin Bishop Lands on Deck at Tampa

By Jessie Tobin
Swimming World Magazine
May 19, 2021

Former Michigan State University swimming and diving assistant coach, Quentin Bishop, joins The University of Tampa as their assistant swimming coach starting Fall 2021. Bishop is looking forward to joining the UT team and working with head coach, Jimi Kiner.

Joe Urso Tries to Build a Family Atmosphere at UT Each Year

By Tom Ponzo
Beckles & Recher
May 19, 2021

Hosts of Beckles & Recher speak with Joe Urso about The University of Tampa’s baseball team as they prepare for the NCAA Division II South Regional. They discuss the family-like relationship the team has built and Urso gives insight on coaching during a challenging season.

Should the Fed be less complacent about inflation risks?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
May 18, 2021 

Opinion contributor Vivekanand Jayakumar, who is an associate professor of economics at The University of Tampa, writes on the recent surge in inflation and the Federal Reserve’s policy stance.

University of Tampa’s MBA Program Placed in the Top Tier by CEO Magazine; EMBA Program Ranked 62 nd

Tampa Bay Newswire
May 16, 2021 

The University of Tampa was placed in “Tier One” out of schools in North America regarding a ranking of MBA programs that stressed “fact-based criteria.” The factors for rankings included quality of faculty, international diversity, class size, accreditation, faculty to student ratio, price, international exposure, work experience, professional development, gender parity, and delivery methods.

Teen’s early crypto investment shows big returns

By Angie Angers
Spectrum News
May 14, 2021 

Jackson Shembekar, who plans to attend The University of Tampa in the fall and pitch for their baseball team, invested a small amount of money into cryptocurrency. Over time, his portfolio has grown to $750,000. 

University of Tampa set to break ground on six-story technology building

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
May 14, 2021 

In the center of UT’s campus, a six-story technology building is being built. It is expected to house over a dozen tech-focused programs. The technology building will be linked with the Graduate and Health Studies building by a sky bridge.

Giant Squid Discovered by Shark While Eating Last Dinner, Fossils Show

By Miguel Brown
Nature World News
May 11, 2021 

Dan Huber, biology professor at The University of Tampa, examined the head of a tiger shark during research into the biological mechanics of the shark. Huber and other researchers plan to remove muscles from the head of several sharks to create a digital version to help determine the bio-mechanics of the potential bite force of sharks.

Daytime - Sykes Chapel Tour

May 10, 2021

Haig Mardirosian, dean emeritus of the College of Arts and Letters at The University of Tampa, gave a tour in 2015 of the Sykes Chapel Center for Faith and Values on campus, which was a gift to the university by John Sykes. The building is meant to be a place where students could gather for spiritual and ethical purposes, and the segment on WFLA was a throwback to “when the world felt normal.” 

University of Tampa grad pulls off a college-baseball-military trifecta

By Kevin O'Donnell
FOX 13
May 10, 2021 

The Spartan’s baseball team is starting their playoff run at the end of the month in search of their ninth national championship. Leading the team is Second Lieutenant Eric Zimmerman who just graduated first in his class of UT’s ROTC program. 

Her Campus to Host 2 nd Epic Virtual Graduation Ceremony “To The Future”

By Mike Johnson
May 8, 2021 

Her Campus, an online women’s magazine with over 400 campus chapters, announced a virtual graduation ceremony named “Graduation 2021: To The Future.” It is scheduled to take place on May 14, 2021 at 12 p.m. EST. The class of 2021 will be honored by a line-up of performers and speakers. Fourteen graduating students from across the country have been selected to give a speech at the ceremony, including Karla Maiden-Vazquez from the University of Tampa. 

Nearly 1,800 students graduate from University of Tampa

By Natalie Weber
Tampa Bay Times
May 8, 2021 

The University of Tampa held a virtual graduation ceremony honoring the graduation of nearly 1,800 UT students. The university decided to hold the ceremony virtually to maintain the safety guidelines recommended for COVID-19.

Republicans should just win our votes, not limit them

Tampa Bay Times
May 7, 2021 

Kirk Hazlett, adjunct professor of communication, wrote a critique of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s lack of control and guidance on COVID rules and restrictions.

Area college student scores Shark Tank win

By Beth Luberecki
Business Observer
May 7, 2021 

University of Tampa first-year entrepreneurship student, Shirah Benarde, pitched her innovative product of a scrunchie-turned drink cover for the bars, named NightCap, on ABC’s Shark Tank in an episode that aired in February. Benarde and her brother made a deal with Lori Greiner of an investment of $60,000 for 25% of the company. Benarde is part of UT’s Spartan Accelerator program, which pairs entrepreneurial students with business experts to help grow their projects. 

National Championship Bound

The Gaffney Ledger
May 7, 2021 

University of Tampa’s Kiira Riihijarvi, the nation’s top ranked-golfer, won medalist honors. 

Is Mother’s Day hard for you? Companies let you opt out of painful reminders

By Sue Carlton
Tampa Bay Times
May 7, 2021

Companies are offering options to opt out of email reminders for Mother’s Day for those who have lost their mothers. The emails ultimately let consumers decide if they would like to receive promotional emails or not.  “Research suggests that when you give the consumer control in the dialogue and the interactions, it fosters a stronger relationship,” said Jill Mosteller, professor of marketing at the University of Tampa. She called the Mother’s Day option respectful, gracious and smart.

Former Mallard Named Athlete of the Year

By Shawn Soper
The Dispatch
May 6, 2021

Lacrosse player Ross Dickerson was named The University of Tampa Male Athlete of the Year for the 2020-2021 season. He was a three-time captain for UT’s lacrosse team.

Will the Inflation Spike be Temporary?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
May 3, 2021 

Vivekanand Jayakumar, associate professor of economics, discusses the potential long-term prospects of the current inflation spike. Although recent reports highlight a surge in the price of raw materials, commodities and crops with a shortage in labor and increased wage pressure, Jayakumar says the Federal Reserve believes that the inflationary surge will be temporary. 

Is the U.S. Housing Boom a Cause for Concern?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
April 26, 2021 

Vivekanand Jayakumar, associate professor of economics, published on op-ed on the nation’s booming housing market. Jayakumar argues that the single-family housing market is seeing a historic boom. Some are wondering if the nation is in the midst of a housing bubble that may ultimately crash and adversely affect the broader economy. He goes on to explain a few factors that are driving the surge in home prices: the fall in mortgage rates, the perceived role of housing as a long-term hedge against inflation and structural forces.

Following a Local Trend, The University of Tampa Launches Cybersecurity Leadership Course

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
April 16, 2021 

The University of Tampa announced a new certificate program titled “Navigating Cybersecurity: The Foundations for Leaders”, which begins May 9 and is offered through the TECO Energy Center for Leadership at the Sykes College of Business. The program lasts six weeks and is meant to provide business leaders with tools to amp up their cybersecurity knowledge.

Similar stories appeared in  The Observer News EnterpriseAntlers American OnlineDecatur Daily DemocratPilot-News OnlineSweetwater ReporterCommunity Post and  Winslow, Evans & Crocker.

University of Tampa Turns Plant Park into Crime Scene for Students to Learn

By Charley Belcher
FOX 13
April 15, 2021 

Criminology and criminal justice students had the opportunity to learn about crime scenes and crime scene investigation on April 15 in Plant Park. Anthony LaRose, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, initially developed the idea for a mock crime scene learning experience years ago and has grown the event to include professionals in the area – such as investigators with the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office –  to come out and help educate students. 

Students Get Experience in Virtual Production at Cutting-Edge Tampa Studio

FOX 13
April 14, 2021 

University of Tampa students are getting the opportunity to gain studio experience in a hands-on way through UT’s new partnership with Diamond View Studios in Tampa. Students pursuing a career in film, animation and new media are able to go to the studio to see the full process of production. “The film side is really cool. It’s interesting to see how the cameras interact, but from the Mac and coding side, I get to see the backside and how they build the actual environments behind the scenes,” said Gina Bernardini ’21 . 

Bill Nelson’s NASA Nomination is Good for Florida

By David Wheeler
The Gainesville Sun
April 10, 2021 

David Wheeler, assistant professor of journalism, published a column with The Gainesville Sun on Bill Nelson’s nomination to lead NASA. Nelson is a former Florida Democratic Senator, and Wheeler states that with Nelson’s distinction as an experienced and well-liked former senator who has been to space himself, he is good for the future of Florida’s commercial space sector.

Melissa Morris: 5 Things You Should Do To Optimize Your Wellness After Retirement

By Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine
April 5, 2021 

Melissa Morris, professor of instruction I of Health Sciences and Human Performance, was interviewed for an article in Authority Magazine on wellness tips after retiring. In the article, Morris says that retirement can have positive or negative effects on health. Some may find more time to engage in exercise, cooking healthy meals, spend time volunteering or even socializing with others. However, others may find it difficult to stay productive with the unstructured and less scheduled days. In order to stay healthy, Morris recommends staying active, eating healthy, socializing, following medical advice and practicing cognitive activities.

A similar story appeared on Thrive Global.

University of Tampa Launches Program to Fill Shrinking School Leadership Pipeline

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
April 1, 2021 

The University of Tampa has teamed up with Pasco County Schools to help current teachers earn the credentials required for leadership positions more easily. UT is offering two paths for Pasco County teachers. The first is the traditional path of receiving a master’s of education in educational leadership, which is offered in hybrid, remote and in-person formats. The second option is for those who already have one master’s degree, which allows them to take the courses to be certified in the leadership program without having to obtain another master’s degree.

A similar story appeared on Ed Prep Matters.

These Women Came Back For a Fifth Year of College Golf. They Got a Second Chance at Augusta National, too.

By Julie Williams
March 29, 2021

Last December, University of Tampa student Kiira Riihijarvi received an email that she was in consideration for an invitation for the Augusta Women’s National Amateur (ANWA). Riihijarvi then started paying close attention to her position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, which paid off when she received her invitation to Augusta in February. She will be the only NCAA Division II player in the 84-woman field. The ANWA has been on Riihijarvi’s radar since 2019, and even pushed her to pursue a graduate degree in order to be eligible for another year. “The Augusta Women’s Amateur just makes it all worth it,” she said.  

Similar stories appeared in on MSN, WFLA, the Daily Magazine and

Spotlight On: Frank Ghannadian, Dean, Sykes College of Business – University of Tampa

By Max Crampton-Thomas
Capital Analytics Associates
March 29, 2021 

Frank Ghannadian, the dean of the Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa, was featured in a Capital Analytics Associates article speaking on digital learning, projections for economic recovery post COVID-19 and how UT contributes to the Tampa Bay economy. Ghannadian believes there will be a return to the classroom for the most part, but some remnants of virtual learning will likely remain. 

Religious Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage

By Ashley Paul
Bay News 9
March 2021

Ryan Cragun, UT sociology professor, appeared on Tampa’s Bay News 9 speaking on LGBT issues and religion. Cragun says that many religions have the same position as the Catholic church on same-sex marriage, which recently made headlines after the Vatican restated that same-sex unions do not have their blessings. Cragun also notes that one of the biggest reasons people end up leaving religions is due to the church’s stance on LGBT rights and issues. However, he also stated that he wouldn’t be surprised if these stances change as society more broadly accepts and embraces same-sex marriage.

5 Best Low Interest Credit Cards

March 26, 2021 

James Welch, professor of instruction I, management, was featured in a WalletHub article on low interest credit cards. In the Q&A-style article, Welch explained some things to keep in mind when looking at low interest credit cards. Welch recommends credit cards with low, regular APR’s for consumers who don’t need to take advantage of low interest rates, such as those who don’t have much debt to transfer to their new credit card.

Exclusive: University of Tampa Unveils New Ferman Center for the Arts (Photos)

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
March 25, 2021 

This spring The University of Tampa officially opened the new Ferman Center for the Arts: home to classrooms, performance spaces and practice rooms available to students. David Gudelunas, UT’s dean of the College of Arts and Letters, says he sees UT as part of the downtown arts community, with great relationships with the Tampa Museum of Arts and Straz Center.

A similar story appeared on 83 Degrees.

What Comes After the Stimulus-Fueled Short-Term Economic Boom?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
March 16, 2021 

Vivekanand Jayakumar, UT associate professor of economics, published an op-ed with The Hill on the longer term consequences of the potential economic boom from stimulus checks and an anticipated increase in consumer spending.

A similar story appeared on MSN.  

A Tampa Librarian Wants to Save Florida’s Vanishing Citrus Labels – and Her Family History

By Gabrielle Calise
Tampa Bay Times
March 16, 2021 

UT librarian Elizabeth Lee Barron is on the hunt for the lost citrus labels from her family’s citrus companies. As a descendant of influential Tampa Bay citrus growers, Barron has been trying to preserve the past of Florida’s citrus labels as they have been disappearing in recent years. “It used to be one grove after another,” said Barron. “You could look in the distance and it was beautiful.”

Similar stories appeared in the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News and  Florida Trend.  

Mental Health App for College Students Can Help Improve Emotional Wellbeing

By Wendy Ryan
ABC Action News
March 10, 2021 

Ajivar, a new mental health app developed specifically for college students, is meant to teach students about emotional intelligence and help an individual become more self-aware every day. This is accomplished through breathing techniques, relaxation tips, positive affirmations and other skills. University of Tampa student Ben Conness ’23 shared his experience with the app in an ABC Action News article. “To be honest, I didn’t really have any knowledge about my emotions…I was that typical tough guy, just fight through it,” Conness admits. Though, after using Ajivar, Conness says he’s able to better understand himself and the emotions he’s feeling after the isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll.

Tampa Bay Businesses Hope for the Best, Brace for the Worst Under Biden

By Catie Schwartzman
Capital Analytics Associates
March 4, 2021 

Tampa Bay is a politically diverse community, leaving Tampa residents and businesspeople mixed on their expectations for President Joe Biden’s term. Frank Ghannadian, the dean of the Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa, was among a group of other Tampa businesspeople featured in a Capital Analytics Associates article, each giving their takes on the upcoming administration. Ghannadian said that regardless of who is in power, he doesn’t foresee any regulations changing drastically. After 2025, the U.S. will have a reduction in the 18-to-22-year-old population, which will impact the entire education sector. Ghannadian believes that institutions must prepare for what’s coming in the next five to 10 years, otherwise, some may not survive. 

How Many Internships Should I Apply To?

The Editors
Up Journey
March 1, 2021 

Kirk Hazlett, adjunct professor of communication at The University of Tampa and member of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), gave his advice in an Up Journey article on how many internships students should apply to. Hazlett says that it’s important to have internships on their resume because it will help them get a better sense of what they’re good at as an up-and-coming professional. Not only should a student have one internship, but they should seek to have multiple internships in multiple industries, such as in nonprofit organizations as well as corporate settings. His advice stems from a personal experience while working as a paid intern in public affairs, after spending eight years as an audiovisual media specialist in the U.S. Air Force and holding two bachelor’s degrees and an MBA. The role showed Hazlett exactly what he wanted to do and what he didn’t want to do.

The Economic Trends That Will Create Post Pandemic Policy Changes

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
Feb. 24, 2021 

Vivekanand Jayakumar, professor of economics at The University of Tampa, published an op-ed piece in The Hill on the economic impact of the pandemic and the following policy. The Biden administration’s science-based approach to tackling the pandemic, along with its emphasis on better federal coordination of nationwide vaccine efforts, has now made it possible to consider early attainment of herd immunity in the U.S. From an economic standpoint, Jayakumar says that this raises the possibility that the U.S. will experience an unusually rapid economic recovery in the second half of 2021, which may pose challenges to policymakers, investors and financial markets.

A similar story appeared on  MSN

Celebrating Black History Month: Nick Cave at TPA

Tampa International Airport
Feb. 22, 2021 

The University of Tampa visiting assistant professor of art and design, Mora Beauchamp-Byrd, gave commentary on Chicago-based artist Nick Cave’s work, who created a sculpture for the Tampa International Airport (TPA). TPA highlighted Nick Cave’s work as a part of Black History Month, who frequently talks about the issues that black Americans face, particularly with police and law enforcement. Beauchamp-Byrd reflected on Cave’s work, as well as the importance of Black History Month, saying, “Art brings out a lot of the concepts that are important to history…what Black History Month does is it gives us an opportunity to reflect on all of the ways that culture has been impacted by an African presence.”

University of Tampa Golfer Invited to Augusta National Women’s Amateur

By Gabrielle Shirley
Feb. 19, 2021 

Marketing major Kiira Rihijarvi ’21, from Oulu, Finland, qualified for the Augusta National Women’s amateur, a golfing competition that highlights the world’s top amateur golfers. The tournament will begin on March 31. The first two rounds of the competition will take place at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, GA, followed by a practice round at the Augusta National Golf Club. The top 30 players will then advance to the final round. Riihijarvi admits that she wasn’t sure if she was going to qualify and was excited to receive her invitation in the mail, saying, “I was so excited. It is such an amazing opportunity.” 

Similar stories appeared in  Spot On Florida and  FOX.

UT Basketball is Happy to be Back

By Kevin Lewis
ABC Action News
Feb. 19, 2021 

The University of Tampa men’s basketball team opened their 2021 season on Feb. 17 after the coronavirus pandemic delayed the regular season by three months. The season is also shortened and will be an eight-game, conference-only slate. Despite these changes, UT basketball players say they’re happy to be back on the court. Max Jones ’24, a guard for the Spartans, said, “It doesn’t matter who we play, when [we] play. As long as we play.” Richard Schmidt, the men’s basketball team head coach, says it’s been easy keeping the team motivated, even during uncertain times. The Spartans went against Saint Leo University in their opening game, winning 79-75.  

University of Tampa Creates Virtual Production Program with the Help of a Local Studio

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Feb. 17, 2021

The University of Tampa announced a new partnership with Diamond View Studios, which will allow UT students access to hands-on experiences at Diamond View’s new Vu studio, located in University Mall. The studio is a 10,000-square-foot virtual production studio. Tim Moore, CEO of Diamond View Studios, hopes that the opening of Vu studio will give surrounding college students the opportunity to get some hands-on experience prior to graduation. Gregg Perkins, UT’s associate professor of film, animation and new media, said, “In a field like virtual production, with ever-changing technology, a graduating student might not be ready to meet the needs of the industry. This new partnership works to bridge that gap between academia and industry.”

A similar story appeared on WTVT.

Have Misguided Policies Led to Recent Asset Bubbles and Boom-Bust Cycles?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
Feb. 16, 2021 

Professor Vivekanand Jayakumar wrote an op-ed that was published in The Hill. In the piece, Jayakumar gives his take on the recurrence of financial bubbles and boom-bust cycles in the modern American economy. These cycles involve the rapid inflation of asset prices, followed by an inevitable collapse of asset values, which in turn is followed by ultra-loose monetary policy for an extended period that lays the groundwork for a follow-on asset bubble and a new boom-bust cycle, according to Jayakumar. Recent policy may lay the foundation for a new cycle, which initially was done to help alleviate the effects of the pandemic. 

University of Tampa Senior Ready to Chase Film Dreams

By Bobby Lewis
Feb. 15, 2021 

Abby Byrne ’21 worked on several film projects over the last few years at UT with the help of UT alum Doug Tower '95. Byrne got the chance to work on projects for HGTV, FOX and Discovery. This experience jump-started her career after undergrad. She has been offered a position with Towers post-graduation. On choosing to attend UT, Byrne says, “I think without UT I definitely would not have been able to grow and learn the fundamental skills and learn kind of the basics of the industry, so I definitely appreciate them preparing me and getting me ready for the real world. Tampa will always have a special place in my heart.”

Report: 46% of American Workers Struggling with Mental Health

By Jordan Bowen
FOX 13
Feb. 15, 2021 

University of Tampa student, Benjamin Conness, was included in a FOX 13 article on a rise in mental health issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half of all American workers suffer from a mental health issue since the pandemic began, according to a new report by Oregon-based insurance provider The Standard. Conness believes it’s just as bad for college students, saying, “It’s a completely different atmosphere. You walk around campus now and you may see 10 to 15 people from one building to the next where you used to see a couple hundred.” Conness says that the isolation can take a toll, making it harder to build relationships with students and professors.

Inside the Tank: University of Tampa Student Closes Deal with “QVC Queen” on Shark Tank

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Feb. 9, 2021

Entrepreneurship major Shirah Benarde ’24 appeared on Shark Tank on Feb. 5 with her brother, FSU graduate student Michael Benarde. The two pitched their product, NightCap, a scrunchie designed with a pocket that stores a drink cover to help deter drink spiking. Many who have pitched in “the tank” are seen in a back-and-forth barter with real-life investors or pleading their case to make a deal. But as soon as the Benardes’ pitch was done, they already had a bite. Lori Greiner quickly offered the sibling duo their requested $60,000 in exchange for 25% of their company. The two accepted the deal and the contract between the two parties has officially been signed, according to the Benardes.

A similar story appeared on  83 Degrees.

Super Bowl Host Committee Logo Began as Idea From University of Tampa Intern

By Haley Hinds
FOX 13
Feb. 3, 2021 

Patchanit Sriviroch '19 helped design the Super Bowl Host Committee logo while interning with Schifino Lee in the summer of 2019. Sriviroch dedicated lots of time to researching what makes the region special to have the logo represent Tampa’s history of football with a nod to Gasparilla. After a three-month-long process of edits and tweaking to create the final design, her logo was chosen by the Super Bowl Host Committee. The logo has red and pewter for the Bucs, blue coloring for the water-side attractions, a Gasparilla pirate ship, five sails for Tampa Bay’s fifth Super Bowl and five laces for the “Forever 55” social initiative. 

Similar stories appeared on  FOX 35FOX 13 and  ABC Action News.

How This Gay Soccer Player Came Out on TikTok

By Alex Reimer
Out Sports
Feb. 1, 2021 

Josh Leafer ’22 was featured in OutSports, a sports news website focused on LGBTQ+ issues and personalities in the sports world. Leafer had battled with his sexuality throughout high school and college, until he started a TikTok account. Leafer started the account in February 2020, posting about his fears to come out as gay. His first video, where he posed the question, “Anyone else like totally straight but secretly gay?” quickly gained over 100 thousand views. In the last year Leafer grew a community of other closeted gay guys who were going through the same thing. Support from this online community helped Leafer come out in real life, and he continues to post on the platform. His account now has over 60,000 followers.

A similar story appeared on  Queerty.  

The Pros and Cons of Running the Economy Hot

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
Feb. 1, 2021

Vivekanand Jayakumar, associate professor of economics at The University of Tampa, published an op-ed in The Hill on the current state of the pressure we’re putting on the nation’s economy. Jayakumar introduces famed economist Arthur Okun’s high-pressure economy hypothesis: in a situation where actual output is, at least temporarily, maintained above its potential level, utilization rates of economic resources could be pushed momentarily above their long-run sustainable levels. Jayakumar says President Trump’s highly expansionary fiscal policy agenda with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Bipartisan Budget Act and a near-trillion-dollar budget deficit in 2019, combined with the Federal Reserve’s decision to abandon its rate-hike cycle and instead engage in three rounds of rate cuts in 2019, appeared to have provided a real-world test case for this hypothesis.  

University of Tampa Freshman Headed to “Shark Tank”

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan. 29, 2021 

Shirah Benarde ’24, entrepreneurship major at The University of Tampa, appeared on Shark Tank on Feb. 5 with her brother, FSU graduate student Michael Benarde, to pitch their NightCap product: a scrunchie that’s able to act as a covering to prevent drinks from being spiked with drugs. In 2019 the two started their business after an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, which raised over $12,000. The two went on to win pitch competitions at Tallahassee Startup Week’s Annual Pitch Competition and received the FSU Jim Moran Micro Grant. Since then, NightCap has hit more than 10,000 sales in less than two years and the company is cash-flow positive.

Similar stories appeared in the  Orlando SentinelFOX 29FOX 13South Florida Sun SentinelFort Myers Florida WeeklyBig Spring HeraldDecatur Daily DemocratThe Community PostDaily Herald and  The Ridgeway Record.

Make Plans to See Nneka Jones’ New Work at University of Tampa’s Ferman Center for the Arts

By Jennifer Ring
Creative Loafing
Jan. 28, 2021 

The University of Tampa recently opened the new Ferman Center for the Arts, which houses performance spaces, practice studios, study spaces, faculty offices and classrooms for students studying music, art, speech, design, theatre and more. The center features work from Nneka Jones ’20, who was named one of 15 emerging artists in 2019 by the Gasparilla Arts Festival Committee. Jones also gained national recognition for her TIME Magazine cover for an August 2020 issue, “The New American Revolution.” 

Modifying the Pathway to Becoming a Licensed CPA

By Robert Marley, Steven Platau, Jacob Christian Plesner Rossing
The CPA Journal
January 2021

UT's Robert Marley, director of the Center for Ethics and associate professor of accounting; Steven Platau, professor of accounting; and Jacob Christian Plesner Rossing, associate professor of accounting, authored an article published in The CPA Journal examining whether or not accounting practitioners believe the pathway to becoming a licensed CPA needs modification. In the article, the three present findings from a survey of accounting practitioners and their opinions on the current competencies tested on the CPA exam.  

Interview: Jaime Aelavanthara – ‘Untamed’

By Michael Kirchoff
Analog Forever
Jan. 24, 2021

Jaime Aelavanthara, professor of photography at The University of Tampa, is also a fine art photographer. Her work portrays themes of the human condition and our interconnectedness with nature. Analog Forever Magazine, a publication to showcase contemporary analog photography, sat down for an interview with Aelavanthara to feature her in a Q&A-style article. Analog Forever highlighted two of her signature bodies of work, titled Untamed and Where the Roots Rise, both of which are explored through her extensive experience and mastery of the cyanotype process. Aelavanthara discussed her passion for creating art, her favorite technical processes and her experience working as an educator. 

NASA Has Figured Out How to Make Food Out of Air

By Joe Thompson
Jan. 21, 2021

CNN Health reports that roughly 80.5 million people in the world don’t have enough food to eat. The World Economic Forum ran a story on the new NASA invention, solein. Scientists used carbon dioxide to create food by combining air with water and solar energy. The final product includes proteins, carbs and fats. Melissa Morris, professor of instruction I of health sciences and human performance at The University of Tampa commented on NASA’s latest discovery in Parentology. “This is exciting and has some great potential. It could definitely solve some of the issues with protein malnutrition in underdeveloped countries." 

University of Tampa Pilots Test-Optional Program for Admissions

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan. 21, 2021 

The University of Tampa is piloting a test-optional program for admissions. The program is a one-year pilot program that won’t require ACT or SAT scores for student admission in an effort to close an access gap occurring because of the coronavirus pandemic and within minority populations. Since in-person testing has become difficult and many have been impacted financially by the pandemic, a growing number of students across the country have been unable to register and take the standardized tests. UT has joined several other colleges and universities around the country foregoing the exam requirements for admission.

A similar story appeared in  Newspapers2Day

Watch, Listen, and Learn: MediaVillage Announces Multitude of New Podcasts, Videos and Columns

Yahoo Finance
Jan. 19, 2021 

MediaVillage, whose mission is to advance the media industry’s growth through investing in diversity and education, announced that over a dozen new columns, podcasts and videos are debuting on their platforms. Christopher Boulton, associate professor of communication at The University of Tampa, is a columnist for MediaVillage. Boulton’s latest column, titled “Multicultural Media”, explores the intersection of race, gender and class within the media and advertising business. Boulton has previously written columns on race, partisanship and other topics in the media industry. 

Similar stories appeared in the Daily Herald, Buffalo News and  Inyo Register.  

Lambda Chi Alpha & DeMolay International Join Forces to Build Groundbreaking, Lifelong Mentorship and Leadership Experience

Deer Park Tribune
Jan. 19, 2021 

Lambda Chi Alpha, one of the largest fraternities in North America, and DeMolay International, the world’s premier youth leadership organization that strives to shape men into leaders of character, announced a joint pilot program and commitment to offer young men lifelong mentorship and networking opportunities. The two organizations will encourage their chapters to promote and engage in joint advertising, mentoring programs, service opportunities, charity fundraising and other opportunities to grow and enhance their respective chapters. The Pi-Omega Lambda Chi Chapter at The University of Tampa will be one of four Lambda Chi Alpha chapter’s in the country to begin the program this spring with the Paul Revere DeMolay chapter.

Similar stories appeared in  KTVN, WICZ and the Buffalo News.  

Tampa Nabs Top Spot in Nike/U.S. Lacrosse D-II Men’s Preseason Top 20

U.S. Lacrosse Magazine
Jan. 19, 2021 

The University of Tampa men’s lacrosse team will start the 2021 season as the top-ranked team in the U.S., according to the Nike/U.S. Lacrosse D-II preseason top 20. This preseason ranking marks the first time that the Spartans held the top spot in any ranking. Last season, the men’s lacrosse team were 8-0 before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Inside Lacrosse Player of the Year, Ross Dickerson, and two All-Americans, Jake Mosher-McGraw and Scott Phillips, were featured in the U.S. Lacrosse Magazine article announcing the rankings. 

A similar story appeared on Florida Lacrosse News.

University of Tampa Launches New Master’s Program in Social Media

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan. 19, 2021 

The University of Tampa announced a new master’s program in social and emerging media, which will launch this fall. The program will blend technology and creativity to help students engage with audiences and build social media strategies. The program will be led by a group of faculty specializing in art, film, journalism, public relations and communication. “In addition to receiving hands-on media training, students will have a chance to network and collaborate in Tampa’s vibrant downtown and gain marketable skills that are immediately applicable in a variety of fields,” said Stephanie Tripp, UT associate professor of communication and future program director.

All 468 Stars in Milky Way Stellar Stream Theia 456 Are Related – “It’s like Finding a Needle in a Haystack”

Sci Tech Daily
Jan. 18, 2021

The Milky Way houses 8,292 recently discovered stellar streams, all of which are named Theia. Theia 456, however, is different. Simon Schuler, associate chair of The University of Tampa’s chemistry and physics department and associate professor of physics, worked with other astrophysicists from Columbia University, Western Washington University, Northwestern University and Pontifica Universidad Catolica on researching Theia 456 and the Milky Way. The team discovered that Theia 456’s 468 stars were born at the same time and are traveling in the same direction across the sky in a long, stretched out stream, rather than in a tight cluster – which is how most stellar clusters are.   

Similar stories appeared on and  Blogarama

Does U.S. Higher Education Need Fundamental Reform to Survive and Thrive?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar and Brian Kench
The Hill
Jan. 15, 2021

Vivekanand Jayakumar, associate professor of economics at The University of Tampa, wrote an op-ed piece that was published in The Hill that explored the potential economic model reform for many regional public and mid-tier private colleges and universities following the COVID-19 pandemic. Jayakumar argues that the pandemic shock and recent technological breakthroughs offer an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the economics of higher education. This is especially true for the two most vulnerable: regional public universities and mid-tier private colleges. These institutions have long faced a problem of rising price and declining quality due to a flawed incentive structure. In order to reduce risks and survive the economic impact of the pandemic, these institutions may need reform on multiple fronts. 

2021 Travelers Auto Insurance Review

By Melissa Sherrard
Wallet Hub
Jan. 14, 2021

Jennifer Burton, associate professor of marketing at The University of Tampa, was featured in a Wallet Hub Q&A on traveler’s auto insurance. Burton emphasizes the importance of reading reviews about different products provided by the many companies that compete in the insurance sector. The three things that consumers should pay attention to, according to Burton, are how responsive the company is to claims, what quality is the repair work and are the customers satisfied with the resolution of their claim. While the highlights of insurance policies are quite similar from company to company, the extent to which the companies take care of customers and fulfill their end of the bargain differs a lot in the insurance industry, Burton says.   

2021 Travelers Auto Insurance Review

By Melissa Sherrard
Wallet Hub
Jan. 14, 2021 

Pranjal Gupta, associate professor of marketing at The University of Tampa, was featured in a Wallet Hub Q&A on traveler’s auto insurance. Gupta speaks on the importance of reading reviews about products and services of insurance companies, saying that “for services that can only be evaluated by experience, potential buyers are unable to ‘try’ services such as insurance before purchase.” This, Gupta argues, is why reviews are such a strong source of information to serve as a proxy for personal experience before purchase.

Prioritizing Mental Health

By Lindsey Grundfast
Behind the Whistle
Jan. 13, 2021 

At the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s (IWLCA) virtual December convention, Kelly Gallagher, The University of Tampa head women's lacrosse coach, hosted one of the Zoom social events for the convention. The theme Gallagher chose for her event was mental health. In the Zoom session, women’s lacrosse coaches from across the country discussed different ideas and resources to create positive atmospheres within their college women’s lacrosse teams. This included sharing websites designed to support college students and college athletes, ideas to dedicate time to educate teams on the importance of mental health and several social media resources shared by Gallagher. 

A similar story appeared in US Lacrosse magazine.

Primary Hypothyroidism: More Common Than You Think

By MaryAnn D’Alesandro
My American Nurse
Jan. 11, 2021

MaryAnn D’Alesandro, University of Tampa assistant professor of nursing, wrote an article that was published online with My American Nurse. In the article, D’Alesandro discussed statistics and facts about hypothyroidism, the causes and types, signs, symptoms, screening and diagnosis as well as treatment options. 

University of Tampa Will Use $19 Million Bond for Fitness Center Expansion

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan. 8, 2021 

In October, The University of Tampa announced that the construction of a new fitness center will break ground in Spring 2021 and bring three new basketball courts, a reconfigured beach volleyball complex, a new aquatic center with a competition-sized swimming pool in addition to a smaller recreational pool, a two-story pool house, more workout spaces and several classrooms and individual study and work spaces. The university will be using a $19.9 million bond to help fund the new fitness center space. 

Florida Professors Sign Letter Urging Trump’s Removal from Office

By Divya Kumar
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 7, 2021

Over 1,000 political science professors across the nation signed an open letter to Vice President Mike Pence, urging him to invoke the 25th amendment and remove President Trump from office based on actions Trump took to incite the Jan. 6 siege on Capitol Hill. William Myers, associate professor of political science at The University of Tampa, was among those who signed the letter. In a Tampa Bay Times article, Myers said, “On some level it feels like we’re living through history that we never wanted to. Whenever these types of things happen you think they can’t happen here, until it does.” Myers goes on to say that typically, political science professors are educators as opposed to active practitioners of politics. But he described the events of Jan. 6 as a distortion and perversion of democracy, going beyond politics.

Arts in MIND Reaches People With Early Onset/Early Stage Dementia 

By John Davis
Jan. 7, 2021 

Angel Duncan, adjunct professor in art therapy at UT, created the Arts in MIND program, in collaboration with Yale University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit and the Yale University Art Gallery. The program targets younger patients (50-65 years old) with early onset dementia as well as those in the early stages of dementia. In talking about her work teaching at UT, Duncan expressed surprise at seeing a diversity of majors from students in her arts and health classes. “It was great to see these young minds interested in the arts and health…I’m advocating them to go to the National Endowment for the Arts, please go to your congressman, please go to your healthcare providers and demand for better.”

What is Behind the Recent Surge in the Price of Bitcoin?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
Jan. 6, 2021 

Vivekanand Jayakumar, associate professor of economics at The University of Tampa, wrote an op-ed on the recent surge in the price of Bitcoin for The Hill. The price of Bitcoin has risen by more than 300% in the past year, which is the third major cycle of price spikes involving Bitcoin since 2013. According to Jayakumar, the fundamental value of Bitcoin is hard to determine since it’s dependent on how much people believe it’s worth. In the article, Jayakumar dives into the history of Bitcoin and the current impact it’s had economically.

The Cathartic Experience That is Finally Shaving Your Head

By Madge Maril
Harper’s Bazaar
Jan. 5, 2021

Harper’s Bazaar covered the unexpected quarantine trend of women shaving their heads and the many emotions that came along with it. University of Tampa student JoHannah Yankey was featured in the article, where she told her story of shaving her head while quarantining at home in Maryland. “I would say me cutting my hair represented a fresh start. When we're born, we're born with short hair—we're newborns. I think of myself as like, "Oh, I'm a newborn!" I'm starting all over again, I'm growing my hair out again, and I feel like it's a learning experience getting to know yourself again and the new person you're becoming every single day,” Yankey says in the article. 

Are the Increasingly Upbeat Economic Forecasts for 2021 Warranted?

By Vivekanand Jayakumar
The Hill
Jan. 3, 2021 

Vivekanand Jayakumar, associate professor of economics at The University of Tampa, wrote an article that was featured in The Hill. In it, Jayakumar cites the economic difficulties that the U.S. faced in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the hopeful economic projections for the coming year. “The key thesis underlying hopes for a surge in economic activity in the second half of 2021 is tied to expectations of a relatively rapid roll-out of vaccination programs during the first half of the year and a subsequent reopening of nearly all sectors of the economy,” Jayakumar says in the article.