Four Spartans Selected in the 2019 MLB Draft

June 2019

The University of Tampa baseball program was represented by four Spartans in the 2019 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. This marks the 17th consecutive MLB Draft in which a Spartan has been selected. A total of four players were selected, including Sammy Peralta in the 18th round by the Chicago White Sox, Yorvis Torrealba in the 20th round by the Colorado Rockies, Keven Pimentel in the 28th round by the Colorado Rockies, and Tyler Beck in 30th round by the Minnesota Twins.

Restaurateur Wary of 5 Percent Tariff Plan on Mexican Goods

By Ashley Paul
Bay News 9
June 5, 2019

President Trump said in a tweet that starting June 10, prices of Mexican imports will increase by five percent and will continue to rise by five percent each month, reaching up to 25 percent by October. That is, unless Mexico finds a way to keep illegal immigrants out of America. But Michael Coon, UT assistant professor of economics, says tariffs tend to hurt local consumers more than the country where the tariff is imposed. Coon says Florida imported $6.6 billion worth of goods in 2017. If those numbers stay the same for this year, that would equal an extra $300 million Floridians would have to pay for the same goods.

SportCenter Top 10

June 4, 2019

UT’s outfielder, Danny Blair, made the SportCenter Top 10 list at number five with a spectacular diving catch during the Spartan’s win over UC San Diego.

Florida Imagined

May 30, 2019

The UT’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery is hosting a new exhibit titled, “Florida Imagined.” The exhibition was organized by groups that work with people with disabilities and all artists are either physically or mentally disabled. Art allows people to express themselves, and the exhibit provided the opportunity for the community to experience and enjoy these works of self-expression.

Perspective is Everything

By Annie Sabo
May 29, 2019

Yorvis Torrealba, UT junior majoring in business information technology and Spartan outfielder, is a team leader despite joining the baseball team this spring. “He doesn’t take anything for granted and works hard every day, and the guys look up to him,” said Joe Urso, UT head baseball coach. Torrealba was recently named the South Region Player of the Year and is geared up to help the Spartans claim their eighth collegiate world series title.

University of Tampa's Dynamic Coaching Duo Enjoys Lasting Success

By Kevin O’Donnell
May 29, 2019

UT’s Joe Urso, head baseball coach, and Sam Militello, assistant baseball coach, were the fastest staff to reach 500 wins in Division II history. Now the Spartans are within five wins of another Division II national title. "It's two head coaches, basically, in the dugout,” said Urso. "We bounce things off each other. If I'm going to go with a bunt play or whatever it may be, I'm asking him his thoughts before I even put it on."

University of Tampa Advances to Division II World Series

Tampa Bay Times
May 25, 2019

The top-seeded University of Tampa advanced to the Division II World Series with a 6-3 11-inning win over No. 2 Delta State in the South Super Region on Saturday. The Spartans will go for their fifth national title in the 19-year tenure of coach Joe Urso when the Series begins June 1 in Cary, N.C.

Similar stories appeared on WFXP (Erie, PA), WTVT, WABG (Greenville, MS) and in the Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction, CO).

Lynn, Tampa Win Sunshine State Conference Mayors Cups

By Ray Beasock
The Lakeland Ledger
May 21, 2019

The Sunshine State Conference announced the winners of the Mayors Cup for men’s and women’s programs. UT won the Women’s Mayors Cup for the first time since the 2013-2014 season. Teams are given points based on how they fare during the course of the regular season. Tampa racked up 75.5 points to easily outdistance second-place Nova Southeastern with 57. Tampa won regular-season titles in cross country, volleyball, swimming and lacrosse.

The same story appeared in the News Chief (Winter Haven, FL).

Tampa Professor Warns E-Cigarettes Can Harm Young People's Brains

By Libby Hendren
May 21, 2019

E-cigarettes started off looking more like conventional cigarettes, marketed to adults as a way to try to kick the traditional habit. But in the past few years, more and more children are vaping. Mary Martinasek, UT associate professor of public health, was a respiratory specialist for more than 20 years before she started studying the effects of smoking hookah and now vaping. “The brain develops from the back to the front, and the prefrontal cortex doesn't develop until about the age of 25,” said Martinasek. High levels of nicotine can have negative effects. “It affects cognition, it affects memory, it affects executive functioning.”

The same story appeared on WFMY (Greensboro, NC)

Viruses Can Scatter Their Genes Among Cells and Reassemble

May 21, 2019

Viruses can scatter their genes among cells and reassemble. FBNSV, for instance, depends on aphids that eat fava bean plants to transmit it. But the little insects must collectively capture all eight segments of FBNSV and introduce them to the same plant to successfully pass on the infection. Why a virus would benefit from a multipartite lifestyle is also up for debate. Eric Freundt, a virologist and UT director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, speculates that if a host plant’s innate defenses destroy only those cells that express certain viral proteins, then distributing the genes for the proteins into different particles might guarantee that the virus goes undetected in some cells.

Indivisible Groups to Protest Vern Buchanan

By Jacob Ogles
Florida Politics
May 20, 2019

Progressive activists will on Monday protest outside U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s offices in Sarasota and Bradenton. Local chapters of Indivisible will demand the Longboat Key Republican hold a district-wide town hall to address a “Constitutional crisis” underway. “The Mueller Report brings serious charges of obstruction of justice against President Trump that the Department of Justice itself cannot prosecute, but which Congress should evaluate,” said Liv Coleman, UT associate professor of political science.


By Allison Walker Torres
Central Florida News 13 (Orlando, FL)
May 19, 2019

Abigail Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics, appeared on InFocus as part of a panel discussion debating the pros and cons of the ballot initiative to add a proposed constitutional amendment increasing Florida’s minimum wage to $15/hour. “When you mandate paying people a higher wage than what their productivity demands, then what we would expect to see is exactly what has already been discussed, is higher prices get passed on to consumers for the products they enjoy. Also, business are going to get creative in how they cut cost. One way of doing that is cutting labor,” said Blanco. “At the end of the day, for those workers in Florida, this is a blunt policy instrument that may actually wind up harming the very people that we’re intending to help.”

The same story appeared on Bay News 9.

American Express Credit Cards

Wallet Hub
May 2019

American Express credit cards account for nearly one-quarter of all U.S. credit card spending – more than any other issuer. Amex has built this lead thanks to a reputation for strong customer service and attractive rewards. But an American Express credit card isn't for everyone. You need good or excellent credit to get one. When asked if Amex will start offering credit cards to people with less-than-good credit, Gary Beemer, UT marketing faculty, said, “If they allow outstanding balances with high interest rates to justify the increased level of default, they certainly could.”

Alpha, Omega, and the Letters in Between: LGBTQI Conservative Christians Undoing Gender

By Dawn Moon, Theresa W. Tobin, J. E. Sumerau
Sage Journals
May 16, 2019

J. E. Sumerau, UT assistant professor of sociology, co-authored an article showing how the movement for LGBTQI acceptance within U.S. conservative Protestant churches works to make gender not always relevant by challenging conservative complementarity narratives. The authors explore this movement’s contradictory ideas about relationship with homonormativity, highlighting three ways this movement resists projecting binary gender narratives into scripture and examining how some in this movement see the pursuit of social justice as a Christian mandate. The efforts of LGBTQI conservative Christians exemplify how reshaping sex/gender/sexual narratives can create possibilities for undoing gender. 

UT Spartans Baseball Dancing Toward Playoffs, Possible National Title

By Kevin O’Donnell
May 15, 2019

University of Tampa Spartans Head Coach Joe Urso has created a championship culture at The University of Tampa. He's taken a team to the playoffs every year of his 19 years at the helm. With a winning tradition, it's easy for the players to buy into the program, but even within a team concept, there is room for individual expression. "We have some special dances," smiled Spartans outfielder Yorvis Torrealba. "Spanish dances, Spanish words that we say. The rituals are staying loose, not think too much. Just have fun."  

These Power Skills Are Key to Success for Students Throughout Their Careers

By Mary Johnson
Tampa Bay Business Journal
May 15, 2019

About four years ago, The University of Tampa went through a cultural shift. School administrators analyzed the core competencies identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers as those most valued by employers and created a plan to integrate them into the foundation of the school. Those skills have become the so-called “Pillars of Spartan Readiness” and are now woven into academic programs, extracurricular activities, residential training and campus recreation. The goal is for professional development to start the moment students set foot on campus during freshman year. “We’re trying to identify those skills that are important for students, how they can improve on those skills and how they can articulate those skills to a future employer,” said Mark Colvenbach, UT director of career services.

'This is Awesome': Benet Graduate Emily Eshoo Closes Out Career at Tampa as Academic All-American

By Matt Le Cren
Chicago Tribune
May 3, 2019

Four days before playing in her last game, Emily Eshoo '19 picked up the most prestigious award of her career. She was honored as a third team NCAA Division II Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America. “I just didn’t really consider it as something big,” Eshoo said. “The more people told me, ‘Congratulations, this is awesome,’ I started to realize this is something I should be proud of. Now I appreciate it a little bit more.” Eshoo is tied for first in program history for career free-throw percentage (85.0) and tied for third in career 3-point field goal percentage (39.6).

Why Did Bebe Rexha Wear a University of Tampa Sweatshirt to Michelle Obama's College Event?

By Jay Cridlin
Tampa Bay Times
May 2, 2019

On Wednesday, former first lady Michelle Obama hosted an event at UCLA called College Signing Day, celebrating high school students from diverse and low-income backgrounds who were pledging to attend college. Lots of celebrities attended, many in university-themed gear. Bebe Rexha chose to represent UT. The Grammy-nominated singer popped up on stage in a black Spartans sweatshirt with block red and white lettering, singing her smash hit Meant to Be. She later posted a photo of her outfit to Twitter and Instagram, attracting more than 200,000 likes on Instagram alone, plus a whole lot of comments from UT students, alums and fans.

Similar stories appeared on TMZ and WFLA.

Strahan and Sara Love #ATL

By Strahan and Sara
WABC (New York, NY)
May, 1, 2019

During an episode of Strahan and Sara, Jordan Nixon announced that she plans to attend The University of Tampa. Nixon, a high school senior, was accepted to 45 colleges and universities and was awarded 1.7 million dollars in scholarships. “I’m choosing this school because of their amazing international business program,” said Nixon.

Similar stories appeared in the Douglas County Sentinel11 Alive (Atlanta, GA) and WXIA (Atlanta, GA).

Coral Grown in Tampa Bay Helping Rescue Florida Keys Reefs

By Steve Newborn
April 28, 2019

Florida's once-colorful coral reefs are under siege. Warming seas, ocean acidification and diseases like coral bleaching and Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (White Plague) are leaving parts of the world's third-largest reef a ghostly white. The Florida Aquarium may have an answer. In early April, divers transplanted about 3,000 tiny Staghorn corals throughout the reef, where they'll be glued to existing coral beds. Gabby Vaillancourt '19, who is majoring in marine science, is an intern at the aquarium and she’s tending to various forms of coral fragments that are suspended from hangars in the water stream. "And so they're hanging down," Vaillancourt said. "And this orientation helps them grow ten times faster in here than in the wild, so they can grow, I believe a year in here, and then they can send those pieces back out to be planted in other coral trees out in the wild."

The same story appeared on WGCU (Fort Myers, FL), WFSU (Tallahassee, FL) and WJCT (Jacksonville, FL).

University of Tampa to Break Ground on New Performing Arts Center

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer
Tampa Bay Business Journal
April 26, 2019

UT’s construction boom will next add a new performing arts center to the campus. The new Ferman Center for the Arts is slated to be completed for Fall 2020. The new building will include a 200-seat theater, a black-box theater, sound insulated music classrooms, music practice rooms, recording studios, various types of art studios and many other features. "UT's reputation is rapidly escalating nationally and internationally," said Ron Vaughn, UT president. "Continuing to advance our fine and performing arts programs is very much part of this effort." This building will elevate this whole set of college programs as well as further enhance UT's reputation."

A similar story appeared in GlobeSt.comAmerican School & University MagazineTampa Bay Reporter and 83 Degrees.

Bracelet Can Detect Date Rape Drugs

April 25, 2019

Alexsandra Wolfe, UT first-year student and inventor, is launching a jewelry line she says can detect date rape drugs. The device is discrete and looks like a normal bracelet. However, the locket opens to reveal a test for common date rape drugs. Wolfe made the device into a bracelet so women can have this tool available at the touch of a wrist. “No matter how loud or dark it is, you can test at any given time,” said Wolfe.

A similar story appeared on KTBC (Austin, TX), KMPH (Fresno, CA), KOMO-AM (Seattle, WA), WVUE (New Orleans, LA), WTTG (Washington D.C.), KOKH (Oklahoma City, OK) and many others.

Haslag Wins Beach Volleyball National Championship at Tampa

News Tribune
April 24, 2019

Erica Haslag, UT graduate student, helped the Spartans to an NCAA Division II national championship at the AVCA Small College Beach Championships at Hickory Point Beach. During the tournament, Haslag was paired with Jordan Duffy, UT sophomore, in the two-on-two matches, and the duo combined to go 6-0 in their matches at the No. 5 doubles position. UT did not lose an individual match during the national tournament, outscoring its opponents 18-0.

Beach Bytes: FIVB, AVCA Small College Champs, NORCECA, U21 qualifiers

By Ed Chan
Volleyball Magazine
April 24, 2019

UT’s beach volleyball team swept defending champion Texas A&M Kingsville in the final at the Small College Beach Championships, becoming the only school to win both NCAA DII indoor and outdoor in the same year.

A similar story appeared on The Weather Channel.


University of Tampa Student Invents #1 Spy Pen

By Gayle Guyardo
April 24, 2019

A rising entrepreneur at UT is the creator of the No. 1 spy pen sold worldwide. iSpy Pens are hugely popular, because they capture a clear, high-resolution picture and pick up clear sound. "It's a fully functional pen that records HD video and audio. We sell these all over the world. We've shipped to 20 countries and every state," said Andrew Gilliland, founder of iSpy Pens and UT senior. Gilliland also has office space at the University's Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.

Ask the Experts: Cashing in on Credit Card Rewards

Wallet Hub
April 2019

Elio Alfonso, UT assistant professor of accounting, provided expert advice for credit card consumers looking for the best cash back credit card. Alfonso said consumers should be aware that the best cashback benefits are usually available to those with good or excellent credit. If you have poor or fair credit, you should generally avoid cash back cards because of the combination of higher interest rates, annual fees and lower cash back rewards. No matter which card you choose, do not forget to always pay off your balance. If you forget, the high interest rates will consume all of the cashback you worked so hard to earn!

Thursday’s Letters: Teachers Carrying Weapons Would Pervert the Profession

By Liv Coleman, UT associate professor of political science
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
April 18, 2019

Liv Coleman, UT associate professor of political science, writes about the Florida Legislature’s proposal to allow teachers to carry guns in public schools. Coleman believes that teachers should teach, and law enforcement should provide security. The idea that a teacher could carry a “service weapon” is a perversion of the teaching profession.

Combatting Invasive Species in Florida

By Stephanie Colombini and Robin Sussingham
WUSF Public Media
April 16, 2019

Florida is home to more than 500 invasive species. They can harm the state’s native wildlife, and a lot of time and money is spent fighting them. Todd Campbell, UT associate professor of biology, and his team found gopher tortoises in the stomachs of argentine tegu lizards they trapped. Gopher tortoises are a protected species that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission lists as threatened. Campbell stressed the importance of early detection and rapid response. Only in the last couple decades did wildlife groups start taking a more proactive approach to controlling invasive species.

The same story appeared on WJCT (Jacksonville, FL) and WGCU (Fort Myers, FL).

19-Year-Old Woman Meets 22-Year-Old Stranger Who Donated His Liver to Her

By Katie Kindelan
Good Morning America
April 16, 2019

An emotional reunion more than three months in the making took place live on “Good Morning America” when Madison Ricci, UT sophomore, met Jaelin Highsmith, the complete stranger who gave her his liver. Ricci was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, at age 12. Doctors told her family that the best hope for survival for Ricci was to find a living donor who would give her a piece of their liver. Ricci and Highsmith underwent a liver transplant surgery in December that took a total of more than 20 hours. "I’m speechless," said Ricci, who just had two words for Highsmith: "Thank you."

Similar stories appeared on WTOP, 17Ok.orgNewsLive.comHealth Medicine Network and

Jewelry with Drug Detector Wins UT's Annual Entrepreneur Expo

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
April 12, 2019

Alexsandra Wolfe, UT first-year student and newest member of UT's entrepreneurship accelerator program, pitched the winning product at the third annual UT entrepreneur expo. Wolfe's product is jewelry that incorporates date rape drug testers within it. Rebecca White, director of the John Lowth Entrepreneurial Center, said for budding entrepreneurs, the event gives students a crash course in pitching to the public, gauging the feasibility for the business and fostering friendly competition.

Florida Lawmakers Consider Raising Legal Smoking Age to 21

By Libby Hendren
April 10, 2019

Florida lawmakers are talking about raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. That's part of an effort to keep young people from vaping. In 2018, nearly 5% of children reported trying e-cigarettes within the last 30 days. That's one in 20 middle school students in the U.S. Mary Martinasek, UT associate professor of public health, says parents should educate themselves on what's out there and talk with their teens when there’s an organic opportunity to open the lines of communication. "And have that caring attitude that you should with your child if they are trying the product or they have tried it, express your concern that they’re using this product," said Martinasek.

"Life After Life" Premiers at Sarasota Film Festival

By Alejandro Romero
SNN News
April 8, 2019

Christopher Boulton, UT associate professor of communication, will premier his film, Life After Life, at the Sarasota Film Festival. The film follows three grandmothers as they embark upon a challenge to create a modern dance based on their life stories in one week. The name of the film was inspired from one of the interviews in which one of the main characters learns valuable life lesson from her granddaughter. "She hoped being in the performance would make her grandmother realize that there is life after life, in the sense that when someone retires and stops either raising a family or stops having a job, sometimes people think that's it, you're done. But you can start anew, you can try something different, you can reinvent yourself and have life after your life is supposedly over," said Boulton.


Tampa-St. Pete’s Innovation Culture Draws Praise

By Margie Manning
St. Pete Catalyst
April 8, 2019

The Tampa-St. Pete area has plenty of reasons to brag about its innovation culture. Workforce, access to experts, a culture that is open to taking risks and a fun vibe were among the factors cited by a panel of people involved in the startup community who talked about what is needed to further connect the two major cities on either side of Tampa Bay. “In the three years I’ve been here, I have had more access and more conversations and more productive work done with folks at high levels of industry and government and academia than I’ve had in 20 years in senior leadership positions in large organizations elsewhere,” said panelist Thomas Pittz, UT assistant professor of management. “If you want to build a company here, you will find that you will have access to people quickly and often.”

Why Local Law Enforcement Should Not Enforce Federal Immigration Law

By Michael Coon, UT assistant professor of economics
Tampa Bay Times
April 5, 2019

The Florida Senate is considering a bill, SB 168, that would require local law enforcement agencies to carry out all federal immigration enforcement requests. This bill is part of a two-year long national push to co-opt local authorities to divert limited law enforcement resources toward enforcing federal law. Michael Coon, UT assistant professor of economics, says this law is unnecessary and will hurt the state of Florida. “The reality is that, if passed, SB 168 would divert resources away from the prosecution of serious crimes toward deporting individuals who pose no serious threat to the public,” said Coon.

Masterful Performance from Area Business School

Business Observer
April 5, 2019

A graduate-level degree program offered by UT’s Sykes College of Business has received a hearty pat on the back. CEO Magazine ranked UT’s executive MBA (EMBA) program No. 34 out of 91 institutions worldwide that offer an EMBA course of study. “This ranking validates the increasing worldwide reputation and prestige of the Sykes College of Business and its MBA program,” said Frank Ghannadian, dean of the Sykes College of Business. “Our program is proven to help students develop the sophisticated strategic mind-set demonstrated by successful executives.”

Sarasota Concert Association Matinee Event Showcases Strong Partnership

By Marty Fugate
Your Observer
April 3, 2019

Pianist Grigorios Zamparas and soprano Hein Jung, both associate professors of music at UT, delight in creating music together. Jung and Zamparas met at UT about 10 years ago. They quickly began performing and recording together. “We had our first concert at the University and discovered a natural musical chemistry,” says Jung. “Music is always a journey — a process of discovery,” says Zamparas. “Hein and I take it together, and it’s always a new experience.”

UT Students Ready to Perform Spring Musical, 'The Theory of Relativity'

By Charley Belcher
April 3, 2019

Theatre students at The University of Tampa are preparing for their spring musical, “The Theory of Relativity.” It’s a fairly new show, written in 2015, about college students preparing for a physics test. They soon begin to question everything, including how they relate to each other and how we all exist in today’s world. It’s part comedy, part drama, with a modern music. This show has become a bit of a cult classic, even though it’s never made it to Broadway.

Miss Florida Citrus 2019 Steps up into the Spotlight

By Paul Rusnak
Growing Produce
March 28, 2019

Juliana Fray, UT sophomore majoring in political science, took the title of Miss Winter Haven, a Miss America preliminary pageant. She will vie for the title of Miss Florida. Fray is seeking a career in campaign management. Fray’s career plans also double as her platform, “Your Vote, Your Voice,” which encourages youth voters to perform their civic duty and vote, as well as become educated voters to facilitate discussion and participate in public discourse.

A similar story appeared in The Arcadian (Arcadia, FL).

Why Don’t More American Men Get Vasectomies?

By Christina Caron
The New York Times
March 28, 2019

A study last year found a peak in the number of vasectomies performed during March. Every year, men schedule their vasectomies in conjunction with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, so they can watch the games while recovering on the couch. However, in the U.S., female sterilization is twice as prevalent as vasectomy, despite the fact that vasectomy is equally effective, less invasive and carries a lower risk of complications. Even though it is estimated that about half a million men receive vasectomies in the United States each year, Ryan Cragun, UT associate professor of sociology, said it isn’t something men tend to talk openly about.

UT Sculpture

March 26, 2019

WFTS showed footage of a 6,000-pound stainless steel sculpture arriving at UT. The sculpture came from Sarasota and was installed on the east side of the Southard Family Building.

Newsroom Shooting Survivor Still Rejects ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Unless Action Comes with Them

By Paul Guzzo
Tampa Bay Times
March 25, 2019

Selene San Felice, UT Alumnus, has earned a distinguished alumnus award from UT for her perseverance in the face of tragedy. San Felice is among the Capital Gazette's reporters honored collectively as Time magazine’s "Person of the Year,” hailed as a "guardian" of the truth, in part, for returning to work the day after a shooting that killed five of her coworkers. John Capouya, UT associate professor of journalism, had San Felice as a student. Capouya said overcoming the newsroom massacre is just one reason she deserves the accolades. She also is a talented journalist. "She is having a great career and shows a passion for local news, which is endangered all over the country," he said.

Study Predicts High Costs for Pre-Trial Release

By Jacob Ogles
Florida Politics
March 24, 2019

As Florida lawmakers consider expanding pre-trial release programs, a new study by David Krahl, UT assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice, suggests that the cost could be prohibitive. “There is no indication whatsoever that pretrial release defendants are systematically languishing away in pretrial confinement because they cannot, for some reason, afford some type of secured pretrial release mechanism,” Krahl wrote. “These data show the exact opposite.” Beyond the burden or lack thereof for any program on inmates, Krahl stresses pre-trial release could bring tremendous public costs. His study shows surety bonds cost the state almost nothing. Other forms of unsecured pretrial release, meanwhile, cost more than $95 million over a three-year period.

Health Care Simulations at The University of Tampa

By Alfred Bonati, Kimberly Bermel and Ethan Youker
American Medicine Today
March 23, 2019

Marisa Belote, associate professor of physician assistant medicine, was interviewed on American Medicine Today about some of the new technology in UT’s Graduate and Health Studies building. Belote talked about how healthcare training simulators are being used to provide students with hands-on training before they ever work with their first patients. 

Bach Bash Fundraiser in Tampa Celebrates the Birthday of the Johann Sebastian Bach

By Philip Morgan
Tampa Bay Times
March 21, 2019

Ryan Hebert, UT associate professor of music, is one of five organists performing at Bach Bash this year. This annual event celebrates the birthday of the 18th century composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Hebert said it's thrilling to play a massive pipe organ in church, accompanying the choir and congregation. "It's a singing instrument. It has wind that goes to a pipe, and the human voice is kind of the same thing,'' he said. "I think the organ imitates the human voice in so many ways.''

'We Will Miss the Warm Winters.' Retirees Are Fleeing Florida as Climate Change Threatens Their Financial Future

By Rebecca Mordechai
March 19, 2019

Florida, with its plentiful beaches, warm weather, and lack of a state-income tax, is the most popular destination for older adults in the U.S. But some who have lived in the Sunshine State for years are moving in the opposite direction. Damaging storms and other effects of climate change have hit Florida particularly hard in the past few years. Jessa Madosky, UT assistant professor of biology, is especially attuned to how global warming is affecting and will continue to affect Florida. “With an increase in global temperatures and an increase in ocean temperatures, hurricanes are becoming more severe,” Madosky says. “Warmer air can also hold more water, so hurricanes will be dumping a lot more water when they come through.”

The same story appeared on and MSN.

University of Tampa Celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Henry Plant's Birth with a Year's Worth of Events

By Jennifer Ring
Creative Loafing
March 19, 2019

On Oct. 27, 2019, Henry B. Plant, were he still alive, would be 200 years old. Plant is known for bringing the railroad down Florida’s west coast. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that without Plant and his system of steamboats and railroads, Tampa wouldn’t have had a cigar industry,” said Lindsay Huban, UT’s Henry B. Plant Museum membership, museum relations and operations manager. The city was literally just a village before Henry Plant came to town and built the Tampa Bay Hotel. The hotel thrived for 40 years, from 1891 to 1933, before the building was acquired by the newly formed University of Tampa. Now we call the hotel Plant Hall, and it’s home to the Henry B. Plant Museum, UT classrooms and faculty offices.

A New 'Wearout' Standard for a New Era of Advertising 

March 15, 2019

Jennifer Burton, UT assistant professor of marketing, co-authored a study in the Journal of Advertising Research, "Revisiting the Relationship Between Ad Frequency and Purchase Intentions," arguing against the established assumptions about advertising wearout in today’s media ecosystem. The findings suggest consumers have a higher threshold for advertising repetition than suggested by prior research. If the aim of media planning is to maximize purchase intent, the new research indicated that companies should strive for an average frequency of beyond 10 exposures.

The Best Colleges in Florida 2019

By Melissa Dimon
University Magazine (Canada)
March 15, 2019

University Magazine ranked UT #8 for their list of Best Colleges in Florida. Schools were ranked on several criteria, include data provided by the U.S. Department of Education, outstanding academic programs, accomplished faculty and strong job placement rates.

IWLCA Div. II Digest: Battle for Bragging Rights in the Sunshine State

By Amari Pallard
Inside Lacrosse
March 14, 2019

It would be a mistake to overlook all the lacrosse power teams within the Sunshine State. “I tell the girls that we play in this region and we play in this conference for a reason,” said Kelly Gallagher, UT women’s lacrosse coach. “I totally believe that the Sunshine State Conference is the best, top to bottom conference in the country right now for Division II.” The conference has helped develop numerous top players who hold IWLCA honors, its teams garnered 83 wins altogether and was responsible for 1,379 goals last season, and saw two fierce competitors in Florida Southern and UT make it to the NCAA Tournament, where they faced off in a tight second round game.

Tampa Poet Erica Dawson Named a Gold Medalist in Florida Book Awards

By Colette Bancroft
Tampa Bay Times
March 14, 2019

Erica Dawson, UT associate professor of English and writing, won the gold medal for poetry in the Florida Book Awards for her book-length poem When Rap Spoke Straight to God. “When Rap Spoke Straight to God was inspired by, and written in response to, my almost-nine years in Tampa, FL — the good and the bad. I am incredibly honored to receive this recognition. It means the world to me,” said Dawson.

Vernetti Rows Her Way to Success with Spartans

By Brian Lester
Navarre Press
March 12, 2019

Hanna Vernetti, UT senior, was a standout weightlifter, but tried rowing when she arrived at UT in 2016. “The only thing I knew was that it had sometimes been called weightlifting on the water, which is what sparked my interest in joining a rowing team in college,” said Vernetti. “Boats are very reactive, so rowing takes very intense focus and every moment counts.”

Spartan Swimmers and Baseball Players Featured in the Toronto Observer

By Marcus Rebelo, Thomas Williams, Brandon Cameron, Andy Clark, Mark Fisher, Dannika Russell, Joshua Howe, Ryan MacEachern, Wesley Cheng and Pierre Sanz
Toronto Observer
March 8, 2019

The Toronto Observer's sports journalism post-graduate program recently spent time in Florida covering spring training. In addition to covering Major League Baseball, the Observer staff wrote feature stories about UT baseball players Keven Pimentel, Yorvis Torrealba, Danny Maynard, Nick DeTringo, Drew EhrhardAlex Passarella as well as UT swimmers Molly O’Hara, Brian Valedon, Luke Hene and Jessie Tobin.

Higher Education: MBAs

By Cindy Krischer Goodman
Florida Trend
March 2019

This article features UT’s Sykes College of Business MBA programs, including the recent addition of the professional MBA. UT continues to refine existing programs by adding more content to build “softer” skills such as interpersonal communications, cross cultural competencies and career management strategies. 

Tampa’s Most Influential Women 2019

By Kacy Vance
So Tampa
March 7, 2019

The Tampa Bay area is propelled forward each year by the women in our community. Erica Dawson, UT associate professor of English and writing, was named as one of the women who keep the ball rolling in Tampa. Dawson is the director of the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program and has brought writers like Colson Whitehead to the area for readings and lectures in an attempt to further the community’s experience with poetry and writing. She recently appeared on PBS NewsHour, discussing African-American poetry. Dawson also works with children in several local schools promoting poetry, art and the power of English.

Contingency Planning for the Red Team

By Jordyn Short, UT graduate student
Info Security Magazine
March 2019

Jordyn Short, UT graduate cybersecurity student, has studied contingency planning and provides tips on how to be efficient in preventing, responding and post-activity actions. Her focus in this article is on contingency planning strategies for an organization participating in a Red Team exercise. "I think that the cybersecurity community may benefit from integrating 'playbook' concepts when developing contingency plans. My goal with this article is to provide a snippet of the aforementioned 'playbook' notion," said Short. 

The History of Soul Music in the Sunshine State

By Mike Kiniry and Julie Glenn
WGCU (Fort Myers, FL)
Feb. 27, 2019

John Capouya, UT associate professor of journalism, was interviewed about his book, Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band. The book explores Florida’s contribution to soul music and highlights some of the most noteworthy Floridian musicians. 

The same story appeared on WJCT (Jacksonville, FL) and in The Daily Ridge (Winter Haven, FL).

Medical Simulators Help Train Healthcare Providers on Simulated Patients

By Lloyd Sowers
Feb. 27, 2019

New medical simulator technology allows students to sharpen their skills while no life is on the line. 3-D holograms are projected in patient simulator mannequins. The student puts a viewing device on their head, which allows them to see internal organs and learn treatment procedures. "The great news for folks like you and I, who are consumers of healthcare, is that our students will have worked on simulated patients long before they touch a real human being," said Marisa Belote, UT associate professor of physician assistant medicine. 

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Returns to Curtis Hixon Park This Weekend

By Maggie Duffy
Tampa Bay Times
Feb. 27, 2019

The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts returns to Curtis Hixon Park showcasing the work of 235 of the nation’s top fine art and fine craft artists. The festival includes the Emerging Artist Showcase, which features 15 artists who were mentored by Duncan McClellan. For Nneka Jones, the mentoring session provided valuable information about how to price her mixed media work. “I’m looking forward to the reaction of people to my art, because in terms of people seeing my art, it has mostly been my professors and my classmates,” said Jones, UT junior majoring in fine art and minoring in marketing. 

Assessment and Implications of Article Comparing E-cigarettes to Nicotine Replacement Therapies

By Mary P. Martinasek, UT associate professor of public health and Caroline Bakyta, UT student researcher
American Association for Respiratory Care
Feb. 22, 2019

Mary P. Martinasek, UT associate professor of public health and Caroline Bakyta, UT student researcher, published work regarding the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as a nicotine replacement therapy. e-cigarettes are advertised to aid individuals in tobacco cessation. There remains much debate and discourse over the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for cessation, as advertised. 

A similar story appeared in State News Service.

Swimmer Joe Show with Tampa’s Jimi Kiner

By Diana Pimer
Swimming World Magazine
Feb. 17, 2019

UT men’s swim coach, Jimi Kiner, appeared on the Swimmer Joe Show. Kiner swam for the Spartans and was the assistant coach before transitioning into the head coach position. 

Florida’s Oldest Place to Grow Old

By Jeff Neely, UT assistant professor of journalism
Christianity Today
Feb. 15, 2019

Jeff Neely, UT assistant professor of journalism, writes about the history of American retirement communities. Many of Florida’s retirement communities were founded by religious groups to provide a close connection to the denomination. Today, more than 81 percent of the nation’s largest nonprofit retirement organizations are faith-based.  

Trump’s Emergency Declaration Won’t Help the Overdose Crisis, Say Narcotics Experts

By Dan Vergano
Feb. 15, 2019

President Trump’s decision to build part of the wall along the Mexican border with Defense Department counternarcotics funds produced strong criticism from international drug trafficking experts. Trump declared the national emergency to make “available additional troops and funding for military construction,” saying he would redirect some $8.1 billion in federal funds, including $2.5 billion in money now allocated to military drug interdiction efforts. “It would be really ill-advised,” said Alex Toth, UT visiting assistant professor of criminology. 

The Taliban-Linked Man Accused of Trying to Funnel Heroin into NYC

By Francisco Alvarado
Feb. 13, 2019

Trafficking cases involving Afghan heroin into the US have historically been rare. But two recent busts paint a picture of the Taliban as an increasingly ambitious opioid cartel at a time of intense national demand for those drugs. Some experts believe that it was US policy in the region that arguably made the opioid explosion there possible. “The US and Afghan governments created a strong prohibition policy that led to the conditions allowing the Taliban to act as a cartel,” said Abigail Hall Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics. “They [the Taliban] provide protection to poppy farmers, accepting payments they then use to fund terrorist activities.” 

Tampa Artist Joe Testa-Secca's Life in Art on Exhibit at UT Gallery

By Jennifer Ring
Creative Loafing
Feb. 12, 2019

Former UT professor Joe Testa-Secca’s career retrospective exhibition, Modernism Reimagined: Joe Testa-Secca in Full Color, opened at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery. On display is 60 years of work by Testa-Secca with many of the pieces came from the homes of private collectors. Curating the exhibition was a challenge for Francesca Bacci, UT associate professor of art and design. Even a 4,500-square-foot exhibition space wasn't enough to display it all. 

Talking with Warren Cockerham of the Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival

By Ben Wiley
Creative Loafing
Feb. 6, 2019

FLEX, or the Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival, has just recently moved from Gainesville to UT/Tampa, under the direction of Warren Cockerham, UT media production coordinator. It’s a juried festival of many moving parts involving diverse filmmakers, varied venues, American and international submissions, all with an experimental, avant-garde approach. As the programmer and artistic director of FLEX, Cockerham brings dual skill sets in theory and production to the table. “I’m afraid that the shared experience of film is slipping away because of iPhones and individual media. FLEX means that students and the film-going public and filmmakers can share and converse and argue and inspire one another,” said Cockerham. 

People Who Attend Worship Services Regularly Are Happier Than Others, Study Suggests

By Carol Kuruvilla
Feb. 6, 2019

After analyzing data from over 20 countries, Pew researchers concluded that people who regularly participate in religious congregations tend to be happier and more civically engaged than their peers who are infrequent attendees or who don’t identify with a religion at all. Ryan Cragun, UT associate professor of sociology, was concerned that the data about religious activity and happiness didn’t include reports from Nordic countries. These countries are often rated as some of the happiest places in the world, despite also having large numbers of religiously unaffiliated or inactively religious people. “This report strikes me as religious fearmongering,” Cragun said. “It is designed to make people think that the declines in religiosity that are occurring in the U.S. are going to lead to something bad.” 

Nerf the Dog Helps University of Tampa Student Achieve Her College Dreams

By Sean Daly
Feb. 5, 2019

Leigh Dittman, UT first-year student, suffers from brittle bone disease. It makes her prone to fractures and has kept her in the hospital for many of her 18 years. All Leigh wanted since she was 7 years old was pay back all the love and support she received and become a nurse herself. Nerf, a Golden-Lab mix from Canine Companions for Independence, is helping Dittman achieve that goal. “He’s considered a pull dog,” says Dittman. “So, he has strap on the back of his harness that I can grab onto, and he’ll actually pull me and my wheelchair, and we’ll get a quicker pace.” Nerf understands some 40 commands and helps Leigh navigate busy college life. 

Similar stories appeared in The Laker/Lutz NewsOne News Page and on WPLG (Miami – Fort Lauderdale), KHBS (Fort Smith, AZ), WDIO (Duluth, MN – Superior, WI) and WFTX (Fort Myers – Naples, FL).  

Catching Up with the Ray’s Kevin Kiermaier

By Kevin O’Donnell
Jan. 30, 2019

The Tampa Bay Ray’s outfielder Kevin Kiermaier has spent the past few preseasons training with the UT Spartan baseball team. He initially came to UT for an opportunity to train, but now he is also an unofficial coach to the Spartans. He has found his future calling in coaching. “After my playing career is over, it’s something that I definitely want to do because I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping these guys out here,” said Kiermaier. 

The Digital Revolution is Coming to Tampa Bay with Fab Labs

By Jennifer Ring
Creative Loafing
Jan. 29, 2019

They don’t make things like they used to, but that’s not such a bad thing. The University of Tampa will be joining the ranks of universities with digital fabrication labs “fab labs” this spring. This new development will allow students to turn their digital designs into realities. GE and Siemens are already manufacturing parts with 3-D printers. But 3-D printers and their associated fab labs are still quite rare in a university setting. Only four percent of colleges and universities in the U.S. have a fab lab. UT’s Bailey Art Studios rebuild also includes a new photography studio and darkroom, a re-imagined printmaking studio with more digital tools and enhancements to the Scarfone/Hartley gallery. 

Spartan Outfielder Recalls Childhood Kidnapping; Thankful for Life in Tampa

By Kevin O’Donnell
Jan. 29, 2019

It's been a long and tumultuous road to UT for Spartans outfielder Yorvis Torrealba. He feels very fortunate to be in Tampa and playing baseball after being kidnapped at the age of 11 in his home country, Venezuela. "It was pretty scary. All I did was cry. I wanted to speak to my mom, They wouldn't let me. I wanted to see my dad, they didn't let me," said Torrealba. Shortly after his release, his parents moved Torrealba to South Florida. "I don't take a day for granted whether it's with family or with baseball, anything," he said.

The Best Big College Towns in America

By Andrea Powell
Jan. 28, 2019

The City of Tampa ranked #2 in MSN’s list of The Best Big College Towns in America. One of Tampa’s biggest attractions for college students is The University of Tampa. Other factors that make Tampa a popular destination to attend school are warm weather year-round, relatively low cost of living and a number of corporate offices.  


Top 10 IT Issues, 2019: The Student Genome Project

By Susan Grajek and the 2018-19 EDUCAUSE IT Issues Panel
Jan. 28, 2019

The EDUCAUSE 2019 Top 10 IT Issues addresses the data challenges confronting educational institutions. This list was created by Tammy Clark, UT vice president of information technology and security, and the other 2018-2019 EDUCAUSE IT Issues panel members. The list of issues is focused on organizing, standardizing and safeguarding data so that educators can use it to address their most pressing priority: student success. These 10 issues cluster into three themes: empowering students and improving student outcomes, safeguarding data and preparing the institution to use data meaningfully and ethically, and addressing today's funding challenges and preparing for tomorrow's more competitive ecosystem.

Running Motivation: North Attleboro's Ryan Poholek Uses Past Setbacks to Drive His Success

By Peter Gobis
The Sun Chronicle
Jan. 25, 2019

The best motivation middle distance runner Ryan Poholek, UT graduate student majoring in entrepreneurship, had was not being selected to The Sun Chronicle All-Star team. In the fall of 2013, he was having one of his best cross-country seasons ever and was sure that he would be picked as an all-star. But he was awarded honorable mention instead. “I owe a lot of my success to that (Sun Chronicle) article. It really did change my life, seeing all my friends in the newspaper, and seeing what giving up looked like motivated me to be successful,” said Poholek. He will compete as a member of UT’s track team and will run the 800 and 1,500 meters. 

UT's Riverside Center Nears Completion as the University Plans for Future Projects

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan. 25, 2019

The Riverside Center at UT which began construction in May, will have people moving into the space in the next two to three weeks, according to Eric Cardenas, UT Director of Public Information and Publications. The space will be a multi-use building, with classrooms, a language lab, a post office space and an admissions office all being housed in the space. "We’re certainly thinking about the future in different ways and preparing for the future," Cardenas said. "It's very exciting and continuing on with the transformation of campus." 

City of St. Pete to Honor the Legacy of Ray Charles

By Roy Peter Clark
St. Pete Catalyst
Jan. 17, 2019

It all started about two years ago with the book Florida Soul, written by John Capouya, UT associate professor of journalism. The book traces the legacy of 40 musical artists who created soul music in the Sunshine State. The first chapter is about Ray Charles. Many people associate Ray Charles with the State of Georgia, but Ray Charles grew up in Florida. In 1950 Ray Charles wrote and recorded a song called “St. Pete Florida Blues.” The City of St. Petersburg, FL, is getting ready to issue a proclamation. It will cite Charles' many accomplishments. It will proclaim him an adopted son of St. Petersburg, and his song “St. Pete Florida Blues” as an official song. 

Birdman: UT’s Richard Schmidt is a Rare Bird

By Scott Smith
Jan. 17, 2019

UT men’s basketball coach, Richard Schmidt, has been coaching UT basketball for more than three decades. He has collected over 700 wins. Schmidt is also a rare bird collector, housing some 250 colorful birds at his home aviary. “I imported probably the rarest birds maybe that’s ever come into this country,” said Schmidt.  

Destination Forecast: Tampa

The Weather Channel
Jan. 15, 2019

The Weather Channel’s destination forecast featured UT’s Vaughn Center webcam. The webcam displays the iconic Plant Hall with downtown Tampa in the background, as well as the Sykes College of Business.

Adding to the Family Legacy

By Brett Saunders, UT senior
Jan. 14, 2019

Brett Saunders, UT swimmer and senior finance major, writes about his family’s many athletic achievements and the success that’s in his genes because of it. “Four generations of provincial, national and international athletic achievements in numerous sports such as badminton, tennis, swimming, curling and sailing run in my mom’s side of the family. When I step up to the blocks, I can feel the weight of being part of a family legacy. Despite the pressure however, it gives me a sort of ease and confidence knowing that success is already in my genes.” 

Teaching Entrepreneurship – The Now and Next

UNC Innovate Carolina
Jan. 11, 2019

Can you teach entrepreneurship? The explosion of successful entrepreneurial education programs has answered this question with a resounding “yes.” Yet, many questions remain. Renowned entrepreneurial education expert Rebecca White, UT professor of entrepreneurship, lends her insights to these questions, talks about the need for resiliency and discusses key factors in communities that are emerging as entrepreneurial hotspots.

University of Tampa's Anthony Gamble Displays Artistry Beyond the Arc

By Jeff Tewksbury
Jan. 11, 2018

For UT Spartan Anthony Gamble, three-point shots seem completely effortless. He ranks in the school's top five all-time for 3-point accuracy. He leads the Spartans in scoring and has started every game this season. Gamble says endless hours of practice, ball after ball launched into the air, makes shooting from beyond the arc appear easy. His mindset makes the difficult appear routine. "I honestly just let it go," explained Gamble. 

More Top US Business Schools Share Their 2019 New Year Resolutions

Jan. 11, 2019

When asked about 2019 resolutions for UT’s Sykes College of Business, Paul Venghaus, UT international graduate admissions counselor, said, “Our resolution is to welcome our first group of international students to our M.S. in cybersecurity program.” Fall 2019 will be the first time international students are approved to enter UT’s M.S. in cybersecurity program. The program is housed in the college of business, making graduates extremely competitive in the private industry of cybersecurity and cyber intelligence.

Curricular Changes Show Success by Fourth Year

Science Daily
Jan. 11, 2019

In a four-year study, a group of science faculty found that student buy-in to a new curriculum, and therefore satisfaction, increases with each successive undergraduate cohort – and learning gains did not suffer. The results of their study should help encourage college faculty and administration to create, adapt and support innovative courses for their students. Over the past few decades, biologists have learned that the most effective ways of teaching biology are to move away from lecture-based classes and to be more inclusive to students across majors, with student-centered curricula and hands-on discovery as a critical component to learning. "Students were able to increasingly attribute specific components of the new student-centered course to their learning,” said Jeffrey Grim, UT assistant professor of biology. 

Similar stories appeared in Health Medicine Network, ElexonicNews WiseEurekAlert!SCIENMAG Science and

Can Student Journalists Teach the Media a Lesson About Neutrality?

By David R. Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism
Columbia Journalism Review
Jan. 3, 2019

David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism, writes about how students in his class are disappointed by what they see as a lack of neutrality in political reporting, particularly on social media. “To be clear, my students fervently support the media’s tenacious reporting on the Trump administration. They also applaud reporters’ aggressive face-to-face questioning of the president,” said Wheeler. His students have a clear expectation that news outlets that claim neutrality should strive for neutrality in all headlines and articles in the news section, as well as all social media feeds of all news reporters.

The same story appeared in Editor & Publisher.

Innovocative Theatre’s Production of Columbinus

Jan. 2, 2019

America will mark the 20th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in a state of contradiction. In response, Innovocative Theatre’s first production this season is Columbinus, a docu-drama based on the watershed 1999 Colorado attack. Ryan Fisher, UT first-year student majoring in theatre and communication, will lead an eight-person ensemble in the role of Dylan Klebold. Columbinus confronts us with the fatal consequences that result when a culture succeeds in weaponizing the alienation and angst of its own children. 

A similar story appeared in Broadway World.