Why the Pandemic Could Be an Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

By Bradley George
WUSF
May 12, 2020 

The U.S. is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Rebecca White, UT professor of entrepreneurship, said people out of work might find it easier to create a new job rather than find one. “You're probably going to see an increase in what you might call necessity entrepreneurship,” White said. “There’s going to be all kinds of educational technology products that are going to come out of this or products that are already out there that are now suddenly going to gain some traction,” said White. That includes products that help with distance learning and the mental health of students.

A similar story appeared on WFTS.

Elon Musk Reopening His Tesla Factory Is a Game to Him. But He's Playing with People's Lives.

By David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism
NBC
May 12, 2020 

David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism, writes about Elon Musk’s decision to open factories without a county-approved safety plan. “One might think that Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, would be among the billionaire business leaders with the best understanding of the science and public health risks of the coronavirus; after all, his wealth is based on his science and engineering acumen. But, instead, he is seemingly treating the pandemic like it’s a game of The Sims, in which his choices are nothing more than tactics to win a challenge in a virtual world. But unlike in the video game, Musk’s choices — like reopening his California factory on Monday without a county-approved safety plan to address worker safety in a post-coronavirus world — can have life-and-death consequences,” said Wheeler.

Institute of Notre Dame Created Lasting Memories for This Graduate

By Amanee Cabbagestalk, UT admissions counselor
The Baltimore Sun
May 11, 2020 

Amanee Cabbagestalk, UT admissions counselor, writes about the unexpected news that her beloved Institute of Notre Dame (IND), Maryland’s oldest Catholic college preparatory school for girls, would permanently close its doors this summer. IND has been a Baltimore institution since 1847. “IND did so much more than just provide me with an education. It helped shape me into the woman I am today. I was instilled with so many of the qualities that I pride myself on, including leadership, independence and love for the community,” said Cabbagestalk.

Students at UT, USF Graduate from College Virtually

By Elizabeth Fry
WTVT
May 10, 2020 

"You have worked hard, you have adapted, you've demonstrated resiliency, and you have reached this day with an ending challenge like no other class in UT history," said Stephanie Russell Krebs, UT dean of students. The class of 2020 graduated amid a worldwide pandemic. UT graduates didn't get to cross the stage surrounded by friends, families and professors. Instead, their achievements were honored through a virtual commencement posted online. Students are encouraged to walk in the December ceremony so they can get the full graduation experience.

Keith Todd on University of Tampa Give Day

By William Franchi
The Lawfather Podcast
May 10, 2020

Keith Todd, UT vice president of development and university relations, appeared on The Lawfather Podcast to discuss UT’s Give Day. UT Give Day, an annual on-campus event, was originally scheduled for April 21 but was postponed until May 27 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, Give Day will be host primarily on social platforms. The predominant amount of dollars raised goes to fund student scholarships. Because of the effects of the pandemic, it’s believed that these scholarship dollars will be even more crucial to UT students.

Need for Rapid Virtual Training Boosts Demand for Instructional Designers

By Mary Johnson
Tampa Bay Inno
May 8, 2020 

One group of professionals who have moved seamlessly into the new normal created by COVID-19 are instructional designers. They are specialists who create educational programs and online courses for institutions, organizations and corporations. In essence, when an organization needs to train or teach something, an instructional designer plans and designs the most compelling way to make that happen, said Suzanne Ensmann, UT assistant professor of education. “For our field, COVID-19 was a seamless transition. We can create every kind of instruction; it doesn’t have to be digital. But when it comes to digital, our students are already prepared,” Ensmann said. 

University of Tampa Students Create #FaceTheFactsTPA And #HappyAtHomeTPA Designs in Partnership with the City of Tampa

City of Tampa
May 8, 2020 

With classrooms at the University of Tampa empty due to COVID-19, Christina Singer, UT assistant professor of art and design, challenged her students to use their digital design skills to create public service announcements (PSA's) for the Tampa community. "In the same way that it is a citizen's duty to vote, it is a designer's responsibility to be socially aware and employ our skillset to spark change with design activism and creative visual PSA's," said Singer. "It makes me proud to see students using their creativity to stay involved, uplift our city and spark change," says Mayor Jane Castor. 

A similar story appeared on the States News Service.

25 Years of Progress: Ron Vaughn Leads The University of Tampa

By Kyle Parks
Tampa Bay Magazine
May/June 2020 

With 25 years under his belt, UT President Ron Vaughn is one of the longest-serving university presidents in the country. When he first accepted the role of president in 1995, UT was in dire circumstances. Vaughn pulled off a turnaround and transformed the University. “Most executives are either very strategic, and don’t have a clue about what’s going on day to day, or they’re tactical and not strategic at all,” said John West, chair emeritus of the UT Board of Trustees. “Ron Vaughn is that rare leader who combines the two skill sets. He’s the most complete executive I’ve ever met in my life.”

The P2P Simulation Hypothesis, with Professor Marcus Arvan

By Michael Woronko
Medium
May 6, 2020 

Marcus Arvan, UT associate professor of philosophy, was interviewed about his peer-to-peer hypothesis regarding simulation theory. With the advent of quantum computing and unprecedented technological capabilities, we’re on the precipice of creating virtual realities that cannot be distinguished from true reality. This begs the question of whether or not we already exist as mere coding, as avatars or as something entirely different from what we actually are.

Tampa Bay Universities Are Giving Back Close to $25 Million in Refunds During Coronavirus Shutdown

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
May 6, 2020 

As students are staying off campus and learning has pivoted completely online to slow the spread of the virus, a majority have left their residence halls and will no longer use their dining hall credits for the remainder of the spring semester. This has led many colleges and universities to refund millions of dollars to students. UT refunded $11.2 million in prorated room and meal plan refunds to students. Eric Cardenas, UT director of public information and publications, stated roughly 4,300 residential students had meal plans and would have received the prorated refund.

The Champ Is Here! UT Baseball Head Coach Joe Urso Joins The Ron & Ian Show

By Jay Recher
WDAE
May 5, 2020

Joe Urso, UT baseball coach, appeared on the Ron & Ian Show where he discussed the canceled baseball season, his all-time favorite manager, his coaching style and why he’s still coaching at UT. “I feel like with what we do at The University of Tampa and our recruiting philosophy, it’s just made it a perfect family job. Obviously running down championships at UT is a lot of fun and being home to do it where I graduated from is real special to me,” said Urso. 

Elon Musk is Unfit to Lead Us into Space

Orlando Sentinel
By David Wheeler
May 5, 2020 

David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism, writes about Elon Musk’s reckless vanity and how it could endanger human lives in his factories during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as when he eventually leads astronauts into space. Wheeler believes the government should rethink the scale and scope of its reliance on SpaceX and this inspiring but seemingly negligent visionary (Musk). 

Colleges Weigh How to Reopen as Frustrated Students File Suit

By Sam Brock
Today
May 5, 2020 

NBC’s Sam Brock reported for TODAY from The University of Tampa campus to discuss potential law suits faced by colleges and universities nationwide. With campuses shut down with classes moved online, some students are now suing for refunds.

The same story appeared on Yahoo!, WILX (Lansing, MI), WAGT (Augusta, GA) and WTVJ (Miami, FL).

CBS All Access Price Guide

By Anna J
Credit Donkey
May 5, 2020 

CreditDonkey evaluated CBS All Access to see if the streaming service is worth the monthly charge. They asked Jennifer Burton, UT assistant professor of marketing, what having so many streaming options easily accessible mean for consumers. “When there were only two to three major streaming options, consumers saved significant amounts of money by "cutting the cord." But now there are so many options. If you sign up for all of them, you will end up paying just as much or more than you were originally paying for your expensive cable and satellite services. Consumers have to gain control by prioritizing their entertainment options and finding the optimal combination of streaming providers to provide them that entertainment for the least amount of money,” said Burton.

UT Virtual Commencement: Saturday

By Josh Benson
WFLA
May 4, 2020 

For the first time ever, UT will hold commencement virtually. This is the school's 150 th commencement with nearly 1,800 students will receive their degrees. May graduates can participate in the December 2020 ceremony if they chose to. 

Similar stories appeared on WTVT and WTTA 

COVID Diary #2: Florida Soul and Gospel Roots

By Bob Pomeroy
INK19
May, 4, 2020

Bob Pomeroy decided to tackle a pile of “I’ll read these someday” books while social distancing in his apartment. The first book he read was Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band by John Capouya, UT associate professor of journalism. “Capouya’s book actually confirms that Florida was something of a backwater. The biggest names – Ray Charles or Sam Moore of Sam and Dave fame, found fame after moving out of Florida,” said Pomeroy.

I Went to Spain for Spring Break. I Came Back with the Coronavirus.

By Lauren Karwoski
Hartford Courant
May 3, 2020

Lauren Karwoski '20 writes about her spring break trip to Spain that was cut short when President Donald Trump announced a European Union travel ban. Karwoski was forced to return home early because of the ban. After her return to the U.S., she discovered she contracted the coronavirus while in Spain.

Similar stories appeared in the Napa Valley Register (Napa, CA), The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, ND), Democrate-Herald (Albany, NY), Billings Gazette (Billings, MT), ArcaMax, Daily Journal (Park Hills, MO), WiscNews (Madison, WI), Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY) and The Press of Atlantic City.

Tips to Help College Grads Find Jobs

By Laurie Davison
Bay News 9
May 2, 2020

College seniors are about to graduate and enter the work force at a difficult time. Nationwide, millions of people have either been laid off, furloughed or terminated. Career counselors say they're concerned some new grads will just give up looking and think "I won't worry about it until the crisis is over," but they say that is a big mistake. "Jobs aren't going to fall out of the sky either," said Mark Colvenbach, UT director of career services. UT is hosting virtual job fairs and seminars, setting up Zoom interviews and encouraging students to network. They're also advising grads to consider targeting businesses that are still doing well right now, even if it means a career change.

Spartans' Coach Not Stressed About Missing Chance to Defend Title

By Jeff Tewksbury
WTVT
May 2, 2020

UT baseball coach Joe Urso’s 2019 squad went a perfect 9 and 0 in the playoffs and College World Series to win the Division II NCAA national championship. The team was 22 games into the 2020 campaign when play was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Spartans had won 15 of those 22. Urso makes clear that safety has to take precedent over the chance at a repeat. That will come when it is safe to resume competition. "We were building something special,” Urso said. "The chemistry was really starting to come together. Although it was a new group and we were winning in different ways, I was looking forward to making a run with those guys."

Smaller Baseball Draft Creates Logjam That Hurts High School, College Players

By Eduardo A. Encina
Tampa Bay Times
May 1, 2020

A Major League Baseball draft modified because of virus fallout is creating a roster logjam in college programs across the country. But now that the draft is being shortened from 40 rounds to possibly five to 10, many players who normally would have been drafted late — whether high school seniors or college juniors — will likely opt to stay in school. “We’ll have to make some tough calls and some cuts, which has never happened here,” said Joe Urso, UT baseball coach. “A lot of them, I’ve already started laying the groundwork, telling them, ‘Look, if you want to start looking for another place to play your last year, you can still do that.’ I feel like my obligation, No. 1, was to bring them in here to graduate from UT. I think we’ve done a good job of that, and obviously the baseball part of it they all love. And you hate to take that from them.”

USF, UT Officials Hope to Reopen Campus for Fall Semester

By Ryan Smith
WFTS
April 30, 2020

Officials at UT are hoping to reopen its campus for the fall semester. "Remote learning is continuing throughout the spring and summer. The University expects to resume a return to face-to-face learning in the fall along with various adjustments to provide additional safety for students and employees," said Eric Cárdenas, UT director of public information and publications.

Similar stories appeared in the Tampa Bay Business Journal and WTVT. 

Admissions Counselors Offer Advice to Students Surrounding College Decision Day 2020

By Mary O’Connell
WFTS
April 30, 2020

National College Decision Day deadline is typically May 1: the day when students need to make their final choice on where they’re going to college in the fall and reserve their spot with a deposit. The COVID-19 outbreak makes this time of year more complicated for many students. Incoming and returning college students must decide if it’s best for them to take online classes, in-person class or take a semester off. “I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to be on campus to some extent, but I’m not thinking it’s going to be exactly the way it was last semester,” said Preston Wimbish, UT junior. 

Tennis: Busch Recovering from Torn ACL Injury

By Keith Kimberlin
The Westerly Sun (Pawcatuck, CT)
April 29, 2020

Dakota Busch, UT sophomore, suffered an ACL injury on Feb. 17 while competing at Nova Southeastern University. "It was the loudest popping noise I've ever heard, and I felt it through my entire body," Busch said. "It's not that common of an injury for tennis. I never enjoyed playing tennis as much as I was enjoying it this season. And it's the best tennis I've played," Busch said. "I had even fallen more in love with the game." Busch had a 3-1 singles record and 2-3 mark in doubles. But Busch, who is at home in Westerly taking classes online, is far from done with the sport. She is seven weeks out from her surgery and in the midst of rehab. 

University of Tampa Report Shows Banner 2019 Year for Startup Investment, and Still Optimism Toward 2020

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
April 29, 2020

The past two decades, the National Venture Capital Association has compiled a yearbook showcasing the amount of venture capital funding raised. This year, the first Florida Venture Capital Yearbook was created through UT's Lowth Entrepreneurship Center. The report was co-authored by Speros Margetis, UT professor of finance, and Justin Pate, recent UT graduate. While 2019 was a solid year for the Tampa Bay metro area, Margetis believes it shows 2020 can also be a strong year, despite the pandemic. "There's a lot of dry powder, a lot that needs to be deployed," he said. "The good VC firms are still finding good deals and still growing through this pandemic. The firms that have raised this money, they have to deploy the cash. The worst thing they can do is give it back investors when their job is to spend money."

Using LEGO Robotics to Increase Minority Representation in STEAM

Walden University
April 29, 2020

Jennifer Blessing, UT assistant professor of psychology, is co-principal investigator for the grant, “Impact of LEGO Robotics Enrichment Curriculum on STEAM Interest in Minority Girls in Grades 4 and 5,” which will look at how battling with LEGO robots engages children in the excitement of competition and the engineering design process. One of the major goals of this grant is to see if it will help in the bigger battle to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in STEAM careers, where women and minorities are historically underrepresented. “Studies I have done in museums demonstrate the importance of conversations children have with each other and with adults in the early construction of scientific knowledge,” says Blessing.

Uncertain Job Market Awaits Soon-to-Be Graduates

By Greta Anderson
Inside Higher Ed
April 28, 2020

The healthy job market that existed just months ago is gone, and this has heightened the anxieties of college seniors worried about postgraduate employment. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many employers to rescind or shorten previously offered internships and jobs. “What’s interesting is what we experienced back in the last Great Recession,” said Tim Harding UT associate dean of career development and engagement. “Students coming out of college, we did see that they were a bit more competitive because they would bring new ideas, new approaches and could be paid a lower pay rate. College students graduating now could be at an advantage in some ways compared to those who have lost their jobs.”

Some Colleges to Offer Graduation Virtual, Others Opt to Wait

By Brianna Kwasnik
Sun (North Port, FL)
April 28, 2020

After Gov. Ron DeSantis announced all Florida schools would remain closed through the end of the school year, prospective graduates across the state were left wondering about the state of their long-awaited commencement. Some colleges opted to go full virtual with their spring commencement, while others decided to delay until a later date. UT’s virtual commencement will be held at 11 a.m. on May 9. Spring graduates are also invited to participate in the December commencement ceremony Dec. 18 at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

A similar story appeared on WFTS

Business Credit Cards with Rewards

WalletHub
April 2020

James Welch, UT professor of instruction of management, provided expert advice for WalletHub’s review of business credit cards. Business rewards credit cards give small business owners cash back, miles or points for every dollar they spend. Welch said the prospect of earning cashback or points can be an extra source of business revenue. “For some businesses that make significant purchases in regular categories, having a rewards credit card where you can designate reward percentages for certain categories is a distinct advantage,” said Welch.

2020's Best Credit Card for Groceries

By John Kiernan
WalletHub
April 2020 

WalletHub’s editors compared more than 1,000+ grocery credit card offers and identified the top options for different types of shoppers. Pranjal Gupta, UT associate professor of marketing, offered expert advice on these cards. “For individuals who travel frequently, earning rewards on travel may seem more beneficial. For individuals who don’t travel as much, grocery rewards will be much more salient,” said Gupta.

Tampa Bay Area University Leaders Find Ways to Help Entrepreneurs After Digital Pivot

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
April 23, 2020

Just as the entrepreneurs they're advising, Tampa university accelerator programs are pivoting during the coronavirus pandemic. "I feel like we've really adapted well and it's been really fun," said Rebecca White, UT professor of entrepreneurship. "The University of Tampa has such a beautiful campus and students come from more than 1,000 miles from home — for us we would never — nor do we want to — totally give up the in-person experience. But we are for sure moving more quickly than we ever would have [becoming tech-enabled] and the outcome would be more hybrid learning." 

University of Tampa Faculty Gets Creative

By Paul Lagrone
WFTS
April 27, 2020

All UT professors are getting creative while quarantining in their homes. Faculty members are creating podcasts, games, virtual tours and virtual escape rooms to engage with students virtually.

Touring Colleges from Home: School Tours Go Virtual Due to COVID-19

By Ashley Paul
Bay News 9
April 21, 2020

All across the country, colleges and universities are trying to welcome prospective students without those students setting foot on campus by way of virtual tours. “We’re offering virtual information sessions Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week. We also do have a virtual tour online so students are able to go on and see our beautiful campus,” said Samantha Speziale, UT Admissions counselor.

Docked: Jessie Tobin and Cole Kuster Reflect on Shortened College Swim Seasons

By Mike Walsh
The Berkshire Eagle
April 21, 2020

Jessie Tobin, UT junior, spent her winter churning up pools around the country, and leaving opponents in her wake. Now, she has been prematurely dry-docked by the coronavirus' grip on the college sports world. Tobin was one of the few collegiate swimmers fortunate enough to compete at nationals before the cancellations laid waste to the American sports landscape. "I think the hardest part was seeing the seniors on the team that didn't get to end their careers the way they deserved to," said Tobin, before also noting that longtime coach Ed Brennan was set to retire after 40 years at Tampa, following nationals. "It was just very unsatisfying for him, it was a huge shock to everybody, and we couldn't do anything to fix it."

Autoimmune Disease Patients Worry About Drug Shortage Amid COVID-19 Crisis

By Mary O’Connell
WFTS
April 16, 2020 

Many Americans are living with the autoimmune disease lupus. One of the main drugs, hydroxychloroquine, used to manage lupus is now in short supply because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the drug to use in trial to treat patients with COVID-19. Gregory Burns, UT associate professor of physician assistant medicine, says while some studies may show promise, there have not been enough clinical studies to determine its effectiveness for COVID-19. He says it’s hard to say how long a drug shortage could last, but there are several variables that could help reduce the shortage. “Just a better awareness of prescribing when appropriate as well as making sure that the companies that are making this product or drug are stepping up their efforts to make more pills,” said Burns.

Economist Says Florida's Economy Will Recover, It Just Might Take A While

By Liz Burke
WTSP
April 14, 2020

Florida’s economy has taken a big hit during the coronavirus outbreak. From March 15 to April 4, about 472,000 unemployment claims were filed in the state of Florida. According to one study, only 22% of financial leaders think their business will be back to normal a month after the outbreak is over. Abby Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics, believes Florida’s economy will bounce back. “I do think that the economy will eventually completely recover,” said Blanco. She said it is impossible to provide a date, that it will be industry dependent and depend on how long businesses remain closed.

States with the Most Affected Small Businesses Due to Coronavirus

By Adam McCann
WalletHub
April 13, 2020 

WalletHub asked Thomas Pittz, UT assistant professor of management, what are the most important steps a small business can take to survive in the current conditions. “While it is nearly impossible to plan for a disruptive event such as COVID-19, maintaining the spirit of determination and fortitude that propels entrepreneurs is now more important than ever,” said Pittz. "Now, with the very survival of their businesses at stake, owners need to exercise their muscles of resilience and reinvigorate a mindset of opportunity recognition.”

Employment Opportunities Amid a Pandemic

By Dave Jordan
Bay News 9
April 10, 2020 

Paige Depagter, UT MBA student, just did what millions of Americans are unable to do. She landed a job in her field during an economic downturn. She is set to graduate in May and has been offered a job at Benicomp Health Solutions. Depagter said she is one of the lucky ones. “I think a lot of us put tons and tons of applications out there and everything’s been terminated,” said Depagter. 

Linwood Sisters Making Easter Baskets for Isolated Seniors

By Ahmad Austin
Press of Atlantic City
April 8, 2020 

With COVID-19 keeping millions all over the world in their homes, holiday gatherings will be little more than wishful thinking for the foreseeable future. Jaime Wilson, UT first-year student, and her sister, Lindsay, are doing what they can to fill that void for the less fortunate. The sisters started taking donations to fill Easter baskets with essentials like food and toiletries to give to seniors who are unable to spend time with their families due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Coronavirus Increasing Stress Levels for Higher Education Students

By Melissa Eichman
Bay News 9
April 8, 2020 

Bay News 9 interviewed Ishani Chetal '22 about increased stress levels due to coronavirus concern for college students as they adjust to everything from new learning environments to transitioning to their new normal. “Your mind is focused on so many different things," said Chetal. "Like, is your family OK? Your friends OK? Are they all OK? But you still have to keep on top of the schoolwork, which adds to the chaos.” 

Shielding Health Care Workers: University of Tampa's 'Fab Lab' Makes Face Shields

By Claire Farrow
WTSP
April 3, 2020 

Emma Quintana, UT fab lab coordinator, is using the digital fabrication lab located inside UT’s Bailey Art Studios to make personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline medical staff. Quintana creates faces shields by using eight 3D printers to create the shield frame and then uses a laser cutter to precisely cut the clear plastic shield. “The appreciation that I've received from the few individuals I've donated to is heartwarming,” Quintana said. “We are all doing our best for others during this time by socially isolating and modifying our daily routines, our workdays and our academic lives. I'm giving back in my own my way, but so are many others.” The university also says Quintana plans to donate 100 face shields to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Similar stories appeared in Florida Daily, Florida Politics, 83 Degrees and the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

ICUF Schools Helping in the Fight Against Coronavirus

Florida Politics
April 2, 2020

The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida this week highlighted the actions being undertaken at its 30 SACS-accredited, nonprofit member institutions. This included the donation of protective equipment by UT’s College of Natural and Health Sciences. Unused supplies it had set aside for clinical and scientific teaching labs are heading to Tampa General Hospital. 

Coronavirus: Worthington College Student’s Semester at Sea Round-the-World Voyage Becomes 2 Weeks Floating in Indian Ocean

By Mike Wagner
The Columbus Dispatch
March 29, 2020 

Mike Weirick '21 was one of 550 students participating in a Semester at Sea aboard the 575-foot MV World Odyssey. It was scheduled to be a 105-day voyage around the world with stops in about 10 countries. But virus concerns started in January, shortly after the students had visited Japan. There wasn’t outright fear on the ship, Weirick said, but there was worry about “what ifs.” Even though the trip ended sooner than he hoped, Weirick is thankful that he was at least able to experience some new cultures and make new friends. He also understands that much of the world was enduring much bigger hardships connected to the virus. “We got to do and see things that some people never experience in their lives,” he said. 

Digital Learning Nothing New for Pasco School Board Chair

By Jeffrey Solochek
Tampa Bay Times
March 27, 2020 

For many educators, the distance learning forced upon them by coronavirus closures meant learning a whole new way of doing business. But not for Colleen Beaudoin, UT lecturer II in mathematics. Beaudoin was one of the first instructors at UT to take part in a hybrid learning pilot program in 2012 where she created a video library of lessons and altered live lessons to connect with online components. “It took several years to build up a full library of videos,” Beaudoin said. “I feel like it’s more work to teach online when you’re doing it well, to prepare for it.” 

Public Health Expert to DeSantis: Florida Needs Statewide Stay-At-Home Order

By Stephanie Colombini
WUSF
March 25, 2020 

Tracy Zontek, UT associate professor of health sciences and human performance, did a Q-and-A with WUSF discussing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ response to the coronavirus. “But ultimately, we need to make sure that people are alive and that the majority of people are going to be healthy. What is the greater good for our state, our country and our communities? I truly believe that it’s going to be the stay-at-home order until we get through this, and it's probably going to be a longer than a lot of people want,” said Zontek.

The same story appeared on WLRN (Miami, FL) and WFSU.

UT Will Stream Spring Play Online for Free to Public

83 Degrees
March 25, 2020

UT was originally scheduled to do live, in-theater performances of Richard Wilbur's English verse translation of Molière's Les Femmes Savantes (The Learnéd Ladies) between Thursday, March 26, and Sunday, March 29, but the global pandemic has caused UT to change its plans. Rather than cancel the production entirely, UT will now offer a free, virtual production of the play, a staged reading performed remotely by the students from their computers on opening night. "While streaming with actors performing from their computers is not the ideal venue, nevertheless the students will now be able to share their talents with as wide a virtual audience as possible. Our university is proud to produce a work of art that will demonstrate that this crisis will not silence or defeat the human spirit,” said Robert Gonzalez, UT associate professor of speech, theatre and dance. 

How UT and Other Tampa Bay Private Universities Are Tackling Coronavirus Effects

By Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
March 25, 2020 

The Tampa Bay Business Journal talked to Monnie Wertz, UT assistant vice president of operations and planning, about what is keeping administration up at night in addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

Once-Bustling Parks and Beaches Eerily Quiet After COVID-19 Forces Closures

WTVT
March 24, 2020

Before the novel coronavirus forced officials to order restrictions on public places and businesses, you could find a packed Curtis Hixon Park on any given day. Since the recent cancelation of events and the suggestion to stay at home, some have described Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa as a ghost town. “There is no traffic noise, there is like nothing, no commotion going on,” said Jordan Duffy, a UT junior.

Tampa Organist Records Brahms, Bach to Help Promote Calm Amid Coronavirus Chaos

By Diane Egner
83 Degrees
March 24, 2020 

Haig Mardirosian, UT dean emeritus of the College of Arts and Letters and professor emeritus of music, is a concert organist who has earned international standing by performing at major concert halls around the world and recording more than 20 bodies of work. But since the outbreak of the coronavirus, he has started recording pieces and posting them to YouTube for the enjoyment of members of his church congregation and others looking for a bit of respite from the chaos. “I do intend to continue doing these with some regularity, and, yes, it is a specific response to these incredible times. It is also a very small emblem of the great shift that we have been seeing but will continue to see in a greatly accelerated fashion, in the arts,” said Mardirosian. 

University of Tampa Senior Pivots in the Face of Coronavirus

By Lauren Wong, UT senior
83 Degrees
March 24, 2020 

Lauren Wong, UT senior, writes a touching feature about how she, as a graduating senior, feels about having her final semester cut short without warning due to the coronavirus. Wong describes the friends and faculty members she may never get to say “thank you” and “goodbye” to. She also reflects on how she spent her time with friends and how those interactions have changed with social distancing.   

A similar story appeared in input Fort Wayne.

Spectrum Sports 360

By Catherine Smith
Bay News 9
March 24, 2020 

UT’s sports history is just as beautiful as the University’s campus. Joey Johnston, UT sports historian, has been documenting the Spartan’s history for a series on UT athletic department’s website. “We want our history to be known,” said Larry Marfise, UT director of athletics. “So, we’d like the story to get out there and be told. Also, from the standpoint of our student athletes, we’d like them to know they’re building on a rich history.”

The same story appeared on News 13 (Orlando, FL).

Libraries Search for Alternatives as Coronavirus Close Doors

By Dylan Rudolph
WUSF
March 23, 2020 

Libraries across Florida are closing their doors as COVID-19 continues to sweep across the country. UT’s Macdonald-Kelce Library closed after the University notified students and faculty that it would be moving classes completely online for the rest of the semester. The library, like many others in the Tampa area, will provide an online catalog and delivery services for those who want - or need - books during the closure. “It is truly unfortunate, because it’s contact and we’re trying to be helpful on both sides,” said Marlyn Pethe, UT library director. “But certainly, if they called us… we would do the research and either mail it to them or something like that." 

University of Tampa Players React to MLB Possibly Skipping 2020 Draft Due to Coronavirus

By Kyle Burger
WFTS
March 19, 2020 

Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the growing threat of coronavirus. COVID-19 has shutdown baseball on all levels. “What we're dealing with right now is so much bigger than baseball,” said Sam Militello, UT assistant baseball coach. “To see the season end abruptly, it kind of hit hard. There's not much we can do about it now. Just keep getting ready for next season,” said pitcher Jordan Leasure, UT junior. 

Birds + Brains

Here We Are
By Shane Mauss
March 19, 2020 

Scott Husband, UT associate professor of psychology, appeared on the Here We Are podcast discussing the brains of birds. Husband studies brain evolution and how human brains compare to other animal brains, specifically birds. Bird brains are organized differently than mammal brains and are smaller by comparison, but birds are quite smart. According to Husband, birds are capable of tool use, performing cognitive tasks, navigation and advanced visual functions. 

Primary Election Night

By Bill Logan
WWSB (Sarasota-Bradenton, FL)
March 17, 2020 

Liv Coleman, UT associate professor of political science, was featured on ABC 7 (WWSB) discussing Florida’s primary election as voters work to get their voices counted amid coronavirus concerns. Coleman said things have gone well at the polls so far despite the effects of the coronavirus. “I think they’ve gone well partially because we’ve had such success in getting voters to vote by mail and to do early voting. So, to be successful in November, we would love to see everybody transition to vote by mail,” said Coleman.

Florida Shutters Bars, Extends School Closures, Suspends Student Testing

My News 13 (Orlando, FL)
March 17, 2020

UT has extended remote instruction through the end of the spring semester in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. An in-person commencement ceremony will not be held in May. The decision followed a similar announcement from the State University System of Florida and comes after the CDC recommended against gatherings of 10 people or more. “We want to minimize the amount of students on campus so we can minimize the risk to our community,” said Stephanie Russell Krebs, UT dean of students. “This has been completely new and our community is coming together to figure out how to move forward.” 

How to Get New Students When Campus Tours Are Out of the Question

By Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Ed
March 16, 2020

The coronavirus situation is forcing colleges to teach online for a few weeks or the rest of the semester. Budgets are tight. People are stressed. But for admissions, the timing is just as colleges are rolling out their days for admitted applicants. Most colleges have canceled these days (along with most student activity on their campuses) and are left to recruit students without what for most of them is one of their best assets: their physical campuses. Anthony Pinto, UT assistant director of enrollment management, said that several years ago, after storms struck the New York City metro area, Tampa was left without a way to hold events in a key market. That prompted the shift to creating lots of content online. UT cut the one-hour in-person program to a half hour online with separate videos for students and their parents.

'Edward Scissorhands' Carved His Way into Hearts of Americans from a Set in Lutz, 30 Years Ago

By Aaron Mesmer
WTVT
March 13, 2020 

It's been 30 years since parts of the Bay area transformed into a Hollywood movie set for the filming of what's now an iconic piece of cinematic history: 'Edward Scissorhands.' It was the summer of 1990 when Tinseltown came to Tinsmith Circle in Lutz. Kathy Lockwood, UT staff assistant I in communication and public speaking, was a cast member and was on the set almost daily during filming. "I'm walking along and I'm thinking, 'I'm walking through this world that right now we're creating, but at some point, it's going to be out there. People are going to be fans of it and it's just cool to think that I'm here in this world."

The same story appeared on WAGA (Atlanta).

Local Bars and Restaurants 'Concerned' About Impact of Canceled and Rescheduled Events

By Liz Burch
WTSP
March 12, 2020

Major events across the Tampa Bay area have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. While the full impact has not been felt yet, managers at local bars and restaurants are worried about all of the cancelations. Abby Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics, said it's hard to put an exact dollar amount on the business that will be lost in Tampa Bay. "The pandemic is having very real effect on particular industries. That could have immediate and long-lasting effects on industries here in Florida," said Blanco. "While in the short term things will be a little rough, I think in the long term we'll see a complete recovery." 

Tampa's Jack Wood Out to Show He's 'Not Just an Average Division II Player'

Matt Hamilton
US Lacrosse Magazine
March 12, 2020

Jack Wood, UT first-year student, transferred to UT in December and is already making his presence felt. He led the Spartans with 22 points through five games played. Since the transfer, Wood has established himself as one of the most important offensive players in Division II ... and he’s got three-and-a-half years left. “In Division II, it’s hard to get those guys that can come in and impact the team,” said Rory Whipple, UT men’s lacrosse coach. “He did it, Andrew Kew did it, my son did it. Now, we’re going to get Jack to have a lot of success. He should be one of the best attackmen in Division II.”

Officials Begin Search for Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life

By Ilena Peng and Shannon Mallard
The GW Hatchet (The George Washington University)
March 12, 2020 

Officials at The George Washington University have begun the search for a new assistant director of fraternity and sorority life. Greek life experts said the new director must be able to serve as an effective liaison between administrators and students, particularly in facilitating conversations about pervasive issues in Greek organizations. Ryne Burds, UT assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, said the new director should have strong institutional knowledge of how different Greek life councils operate and “excellent” leadership skills to effectively advise Greek life leaders.  

University of Tampa Coronavirus: Face-to-Face Classes Move Online Starting Monday

WFLA
March 11, 2020 

UT has announced that all face-to-face instruction will transition to online delivery starting Monday, March 16. This news comes after the State University System of Florida asked all universities to make plans to transition to remote instruction as soon as possible due to coronavirus concerns. Students are being encouraged to not return to campus for now and to continue their coursework online. The campus residence halls will remain open for those who need to stay on campus. 

Similar stories appeared in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa Bay TimesSt. Pete CatalystWTVT, WJXT (Jacksonville, FL), WFXT (Boston) WFTS and WTTA.

Spartan Baseball Program and Players Featured in the Toronto Observer

By Rachael Bishop, Abdulhamid Ibrahim, Hayley McGoldrick, Marco Leal Oliveira, Wade Zanchetta,
Toronto Observer
March 12, 2020

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’s baseball program dominance as well as UT baseball players Jacinto Arredondo, Nick Derr, Drew Ehrhard and Bo Weiss. 

UT Baseball DominanceBo WeissJacinto Arredondo, Nick Derr and  Drew Ehrhard

Medical Students Care for Mechanical Patient that Simulates Symptoms of COVID-19

By Lloyd Sowers
WTVT
March 7, 2020

Anna Lorine, UT physician assistant student, is being trained for dealing with COVID-19 using computer-controlled patient simulators. "We want to make sure we are protecting our patients but also protecting ourselves," said Lorine. They can create any scenario using the simulator. In this case, the simulator is exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19. The trainees first learned how to don protective clothing and face masks. Then they began to evaluate the maladies of the humanlike piece of equipment. "When I saw the heart rate going up to 130 and the blood pressure dropping, my heart skipped a beat, as well," Lorine said. "It's really preparing us for the real world."

UT Lacrosse Team Goes Bald for a Cause

By Jamison Uhler
WFTS
March 6, 2020

 The UT men’s lacrosse team posted pictures on social media of the team with clean shaven heads to raise money for the Boston Children’s Hospital. The team raised $47,000 to support funding for pediatric medical research and awareness.

Univ. of Tampa Student Self-Isolating After Recent Return from Study Abroad Program in Italy

By Wendi Lane
WFTS
March 5, 2020

Lia Janeiro '22, an animation major, is under self-quarantine in her home after returning from Italy. Janeiro’s study abroad trip was cut short when UT students were sent home after the CDC upgraded its travel guidelines for the country due to coronavirus. Even though she’s feeling fine and has not been tested for the virus, she decided to self-quarantine.

"Considering I have two sisters who go to high school, I don’t want the risk of getting them sick and then them bringing it to school," said Janeiro. 

A similar story appeared on WFLA.

Hand Sanitizer Frenzy Has State Officials Monitoring Price Gouging

By Romy Ellenbogen
Tampa Bay Times
March 3, 2020 

The day after two positive coronavirus cases were announced in the Tampa Bay area, residents ran to stores and left them clean of most cleaning supplies. Some private sellers on Amazon are charging hundreds of dollars for hand sanitizer and face masks. Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a public health emergency on Sunday, but unlike a hurricane, a public health emergency doesn’t fall into the state law that prohibits price gouging. Michael Coon, UT assistant professor of economics, said it’s natural for people to worry they won’t be able to access products later and hurry to the store to prepare. “There’s an increase in demand for the goods, so in a market system there’s a natural tendency for a price to rise,” Coon said. “Now how far it rises, you can argue whether or not we reach the gouging level.” 

University of Tampa Students' Study Abroad Program Cut Short Amid Coronavirus Scare

By Ashley Paul
Bay News 9
March 2, 2020

The CDC raised its travel advisory to Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak. UT’s policy now requires that students return home. As a result, UT students studying in Italy have had their time in the country cut short.

Similar stories appeared on WTVTWFLAWFTS, One News PageTampa Bay Business Journal, Central Florida News 13 (Orlando), WFLA-AM and WTTA. 

Evidence of Life: A Conversation with Gregory Siff and Cassie Greatens about CASS Contemporary's New Residency and Show

Juxtapoz
Feb. 28, 2020 

Los Angeles artist, Gregory Siff, is completing a residency at CASS Contemporary. In addition to creating art in the CASS gallery, Siff has made time to interact with UT students. “I also got to do some lectures at The University of Tampa and meet some of the students for their senior critiques,” said Siff. “These young artists already understand the power in the practice of painting."

A similar story appeared in the Tampa Bay Times and  WTVT

Leap Day 2020 Sales and Deals: Look Before You Shop

By Courtney Jespersen
nerdwallet
Feb. 27, 2020

Discounts that appear only every four years must be hard to beat, right? Maybe. Or, maybe not. Leap day adds an extra day to the shopping calendar, and marketers will use every holiday as an excuse to host another sale, says Jennifer Burton, UT assistant professor of marketing. After all, retailers “have to give customers a reason to leave work or leave their homes and go pick out some new stuff,” said Burton. 

Similar stories appeared in NasdaqSFGateSan Antonio ExpressNews and St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tampa Artist Honors Kobe Bryant with Touching Mural

By Aubrey Jackson
WTSP
Feb. 25, 2020

UT student, Bianca Burrows, was on a trip when she heard Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, tragically died in a helicopter crash. Burrows chose to honor Bryant by painting a mural onto a 6-by-8-foot vinyl tile. "I remember being in shock... and for the mural, I had originally thought to paint Robin Williams. It was sketched and marked, all I had to do was paint. But as soon as I landed back in Tampa I said, 'Oh no I have to do Kobe,'" Burrows said. Spending more than 15 hours to finish the mural entirely, she incorporated the Laker's team colors and even added clippings of newspapers where Kobe and Gianna were the headlines.

Coronavirus Concerns: University of Tampa Cancels Study Abroad Trip to China

By Sarafina Brooks
WFLA
Feb. 21, 2020 

As the coronavirus continues to spread, travelers are on high alert. The CDC has even urged the public to avoid all nonessential travel to China. UT has taken that warning into consideration and has canceled its upcoming study abroad trip to China. “We would never put our students at risk. Looking at the situation in China with the CDC warning, travel warnings, flight cancellations, it just was not feasible to take students there,” said Kristen Foltz, UT professor of instruction I of speech.

A similar stories appeared on  WFTSWTSPTampa Bay Times, WUSF, WFTS, WTTA, Bay News 9, WDBO-FM (Orlando) and WUSF-FM.

Mormon Church Introduces Transgender 'Restrictions' While Softening Stance on Gay Members

By Nicholas Rowan
Washington Examiner
Feb. 20, 2020 

The 2020 handbook for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints introduces "restrictions" regarding transgender people while stressing that they are to be treated with "an abundance of Christlike love." The handbook places restrictions on transgender people who pursue sex reassignment surgery and discourages "social transitioning." The church does, however, make some concessions to transgender members. Yet changes to Mormon teaching in this area can only go so far before they begin altering the fundamental nature of the religion, said Ryan Cragun, UT professor of sociology. "The church would have to change its concept of salvation," said Cragun. "It would be like the Catholic Church saying that Mary is not a virgin." 

Marijuana Use: Poses Risks with Heart Disease

WTTA
Feb. 19, 2020

Mary Martinasek, associate professor of public health, appeared on Bloom to discuss the recent research that has shown that smoking marijuana carries increased cardiovascular risk for individuals with heart disease. “It is legal in some states, but I think the public confuses legal with safe,” said Martinasek. “It’s not approved by the FDA, and recent reviews suggest that it’s one of the top triggers of heart attack in people who have existing heart disease.”

University of Tampa President Ronald Vaughn Named ‘Outstanding Citizen of the Year’

By Dan Sullivan
Tampa Bay Times
Feb. 7, 2019

Ronald Vaughn received the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award at the governor’s luncheon in recognition of his leadership of The University of Tampa the past 25 years. When Vaughn became the president of The University of Tampa in 1995, the student body numbered 1,500, school finances were shaky and the buildings on the small campus badly needed repair. He has built the University into a bustling hub of 10,000 students who live and study in a collection of modern buildings as well as historic ones on a 110-acre campus and produce an economic impact of more than $1 billion per year.

Social Media Posts Can Make a Lasting Impact

By Hannah Shalleli
KTNV (Las Vegas)
Feb. 2, 2020

Teens turn to social media to further themselves and their careers. But not all followers are supportive. Jennifer Blessing, UT assistant professor of psychology, studies the effects of social media on college students. She says that students are searching for their identity online but are often left feeling empty. “It’s not about the social media, it’s about ‘who am I,’” said Blessing. 

Renowned Conservationist Jane Goodall Will Speak at The University of Tampa This Spring

By Kyla Fields
Creative Loafing
Jan. 31, 2019 

Jane Goodall is UT’s first speaker for its new Distinguished Speaker Series, where she will discuss her life’s work of studying the behavior of chimpanzees and other primates. She’ll also be discussing the legacy of the Jane Goodall Institute, which has continued her work through the Gombe Stream Research Center—host to the world’s longest-running chimpanzee study. Along with talks about animal conservation, Goodall also discusses innovative tactics that we can apply to our lives to help combat climate change.

Dad Becomes Coach for UT Spartans Freshman Shortstop JD Urso

By Andrew Keesee
WTVT
Jan. 29, 2020 

In coach Joe Urso's 20th season, his son JD joins The University of Tampa Spartans baseball program. There’s very little Urso hasn’t seen or accomplished. His 831-242-1 overall record would back that up, but coaching his son at the college level will be a brand new experience. JD considered going elsewhere so he could, as he put it, “carve his own path,” but he just couldn’t see himself in any uniform other than a Spartans uniform. “I mean, I've watched so many games from this field and rooted for the Spartans for so long, it was just going to be so tough playing for a different college team,” said JD. “My heart will always be with the University of Tampa.”

Good Day Tampa Bay

By Lloyd Sowers
WTVT
Jan. 18, 2020 

This year marks the 114th Gasparilla invasion. The first Gasparilla celebrations were all held at the Tampa Bay Hotel, now UT’s Plant Hall. “It started as a May Day celebration where some of the leading citizens would ride in on horseback and invade the city,” said Lindsay Huban, UT membership, museum relations and operations manager at the Henry B. Plant Museum. While much has changed in Tampa over the last century, Gasparilla remains an iconic event. 

This Young Lady from Trinidad is Using Condoms to Paint Sexual Abuse Victims to Raise Awareness
By GloriousMane06
Lipstick Alley
Jan. 17, 2020 

Nneka Jones, UT senior art major from Trinidad and Tobago, took a chance to pursue her passion for art, and it is paying off as her recent works are a mixture of contemporary portraiture fused with media artwork that have an embedded message pertaining to social issues. The reason why Jones does what she does is to “raise awareness, to speak and to give life and attention where it is needed.” 

Mushroom Volume Hits Record High; Prices Continue to Rise

PerishableNews.com
Jan. 17, 2020

Mushroom growers are entering 2020 with record sales volumes, increasing retail prices and solid demand for fresh mushrooms, according to the American Mushroom Institute. Mushrooms are also trending in the food service sector. The National Restaurant Association named mushrooms the top produce item of 2020. “As mushrooms become a staple item for many Americans and more people start consuming them, demand has risen steadily for the past decade,” said Mark Lang, UT associate professor of marketing.

University of Tampa Will Launch M.A. in Professional Communication Starting in Fall

Florida Daily
Jan. 15, 2020 

The University of Tampa announced this week that it will begin offering a master’s of arts degree in professional communication starting in Fall 2020. Through a unique schedule of accelerated seven-week courses, students take one course at a time, allowing them to engage fully with each topic and build close connections with their peers during lively classroom discussions. Chris Gurrie, UT associate professor of speech, said all classes in the program will have immediate, real-world applicability, making the program ideal for both working professionals and those beginning or changing careers.

Florida Faith Leaders, Religion Scholars Weigh in on Proposed Methodist Church Split

By Laurie Davison
Bay News 9
Jan. 3, 2020 

The United Methodist Church has announced a proposal to split following an impasse over same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy. Ryan Cragun, UT professor of sociology, said it will be interesting to see how resources are divided and if doctrines change. "You'll probably see the more progressive splits accepting LGBTQ individuals be more accepting of a variety of different things, probably changing a number of their polices and values very quickly. Then, the more conservative side really doubling down on its opposition to equality for LGBTQ individuals," said Cragun.

Linden Native Writes About Loyalist Women During American Revolution

Texarkana Gazette
Jan. 1, 2020

Kacy Tillman, UT associate professor of English, has written a book "Stripped and Script." Tillman's point in her book is to have the reader understand that women loyalists during the American Revolution were often punished for their views. And since they were regarded almost like property of their husbands in that period, they had little recourse. Tillman makes the point that the American Revolution is better understood when the views of women loyalists — as uncovered in their writings — are included in the history.