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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.”

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.