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UT Media Coverage

House Hopefuls Draw on Trump’s Refusal to Reveal Tax Returns

By Ahmed Namatalla
Associated Press
May 29, 2018

President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns is helping renew a debate on whether the practice should be expected of elected federal office holders ahead of this year’s midterms. Although there’s no constitutional requirement for candidates or elected officials to make their returns public, Trump has broken with more than four decades of tradition set by previous presidents. At issue are people’s right to privacy and the potential usefulness of information obtained from tax returns, said Abigail Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics. “If someone’s business dealings indicate they’re more inclined to engage in cronyism, that’s important for people to know,” said Blanco, “But if someone is making a half a million dollars from a legitimate business, then having people digging into their tax returns isn’t very productive or indicative of whether or not they’re qualified to do their job on a national level.”

Similar stories appeared in many outlets, including the Daily Herald (Seattle-Tacoma, WA), Post-Star (Albany, NY), St. Louis Post-Dispatch,  Tulsa World OnlineLancaster Online (Harrisburg, PA), Billings Gazette (Billings, MT) and Washington Times.

Business School Sold on Sales Education

Business Observer
May 25, 2018

UT’s Sykes College of Business will be home to a new academic initiative dubbed the Institute for Sales Excellence. It will offer a curriculum focused on methodologies and techniques that will prepare students for careers in professional, business-to-business sales. The institute will also serve local businesses as a staffing resource by facilitating connections between students and potential employers. Stacey Schetzsle, UT associate professor of marketing and director of the institute, says the curriculum will be more practical than theoretical. “I don’t think you can learn sales from a textbook,” said Schetzsle. Full story

The Case of: Caylee Anthony

May 19, 2018

The documentary, The Case of: Caylee Anthony, examined the criminal investigation and trial of Casey Anthony. Casey Anthony was charged with murder, manslaughter and child abuse in connection with the death of her daughter, Caylee, and was acquitted of those charges. As part of the documentary’s investigation they came to UT to talk to Kenyon Evans-Nguyen, UT associate professor of chemistry, and test to see if it’s possible to manufacture chloroform at home. “People have tried it from time to time, and it’s never worked right,” said Evans-Nguyen. 

Similar stories appeared on Bravo, Fox NewsMSN and Press From.

College Admissions: Show Your Best Side on Social Media

By Pete Musto
Voice of America
May 18, 2018

Social media has found its way into almost every part of everyday life. It has even affected college and university admissions. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. are now using social media to share information with applicants, says George DaPonte, UT director of international admissions. Using social media brings the information directly to students, instead of making them find it themselves. And, DaPonte says, it is not just how schools communicate that is changing. School officials are also looking at what applicants’ post. Almost 400 admissions officials were questioned. About 70 percent said it was fair for them to consider an applicant’s social media messages and pictures when making their decisions. Full story

A similar story appeared in Jakarta News.

AJC Digging Deeper Boy Scouts of America; Atlanta-Area Mormons Weigh Church's Split with Boy Scouts

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 17, 2018

The alliance between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Boy Scouts goes back more than a century and was based on shared values. Now, the church, one of the biggest sponsors of Boy Scout troops in the U.S., said it plans to end its chartering relationships with BSA in December of 2019. "My sense is that the LDS Church has felt in recent years that the Boy Scouts were assimilating to broader shifts in values more quickly than the LDS Church has," said Ryan Cragun, UT associate professor of sociology. "As a result, there is a misalignment between LDS Church values and those of the Boy Scouts. This, of course, was a major issue when the Scouts allowed gay and lesbian leaders and gay and lesbian Scouts. The church dropped some involvement with Scouting shortly after that (which was very much a harbinger of things to come). With the latest change, which puts males and females on equal footing, that's a 'bridge too far' so to speak." 

With Sales in the Future of Many Students, University of Tampa Launches Institute for Sales Excellence

By Richard Danielson
Tampa Bay Times
May 8, 2018

UT is creating an institute to prepare interested students for careers in sales and educate them in sales methodologies, no matter what their major. Based in the Sykes College of Business, the new Institute for Sales Excellence will encourage networking between students and businesses, serve as a staffing resource for regional, national and global firms, and provide learning resources for local and regional businesses. "Top sales program graduates have an average job placement rate of 92 percent, and more than 50 percent of college graduates will hold their initial job in sales," Stacey Schetzsle, UT associate professor of marketing and director of the institute. Full story

Making the Tampa Connection at the Henry B. Plant Museum

By Cathy Salustri
Creative Loafing
May 8, 2018

There's a new exhibit at the Henry B. Plant Museum, Red Cross Nursing and the War of 1898: The Tampa Connection, travels with the women who came to Tampa from New York — and then headed to Cuba — as the first American Red Cross nurses in a time of war. Charles McGraw Groh, UT associate professor of history, did the bulk of the research, but his students curated the work for exhibit. The students researched different ways of curating history for the public. They also worked with local museum pros, especially Plant Museum curators Susan Carter and Heather Trubee Brown, who worked with students through every stage of planning this exhibit. Full story

University of Tampa Plans Big Renovation, Expansion of Riverside Center

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer
Tampa Bay Business Journal
May 7, 2018

UT is about to kick off a major campus construction project. The Riverside Center, built in 1962 on the Hillsborough River, will be renovated and expanded by 20,000 square feet. It will add 5,000 square feet to the university's career services department and 4,500 square feet of new classrooms and conference spaces. The post office will be completely redesigned to accommodate an upswing in package delivery. “The new Riverside Building will benefit the UT community in many ways,” said UT President Ronald Vaughn. “I believe students will especially benefit from the expansion of career services and the addition of classrooms and study spaces, and I think they will particularly enjoy a modernized, functional post office.” It will be complete for the spring 2019 semester, though some elements will be ready by this fall. Full story

Similar stories appeared in the Business Observer and

Drinking, Drugs Are Most Dangerous Things College Students Face

By Amanda Ciavarri
May 4, 2018

UT senior, Anna Pollard, spoke to WFLA about her problems with alcohol addiction and how she was able to get help. Pollard, now a year sober, wants to help others that may be in a similar position. “I think it is important for college kids to see this is a problem now. It can also be a problem after college. It doesn't just stop after college,” Pollard said. Full story

A similar story appeared on KAMR (Amarillo, TX).

What Is a Credit Score? Credit Score Definition & More

By Odysseas Papadimitriou
May 2018 (updated)

A credit score is your credit history expressed as a number. You can also think of it as a grade for how responsibly you’ve managed loans, lines of credit and other financial obligations over the years. Kevin Lee, UT assistant professor of finance, does not believe that people check their credit scores often enough. “In today’s day and age of identity theft, people must be vigilant. Many banks and credit cards providers offer a free FICO score tracker. There are also some online services that provide free credit score monitoring. It is helpful to check these scores frequently as they may warn you of unauthorized activity,” said Lee. Full story

Wharton Alum Drew Ehrhard Playing Like a Veteran for University of Tampa Baseball

By Joey Johnston
Tampa Bay Times
May 1, 2018

University of Tampa freshman second baseman Drew Ehrhard has made a rapid adjustment to college baseball, leading the Spartans in batting at .360 and establishing himself as a key contributor for a team with designs on winning an NCAA Division II national championship. "You really don’t see many freshmen making this kind of impact on our program — ever," Spartans coach Joe Urso said. Ehrhard said it’s a thrill to be producing, but particularly because it’s at UT, a program he always followed. Ehrhard’s father, Rodney, played two seasons at UT before spending some time as a catcher in the Yankees’ minor-league organization. Full story

Book Excerpt: BEAUT by Don Morrill of Tampa

By Don Morrill
83 Degrees
May 1, 2018

An excerpt for Don Morrill’s recent work, BEAUT, was featured in 83 Degrees. Morrill, Dana Professor of English at UT, won the 2017 Lee Smith Novel prize for BEAUT. The novel’s protagonist, Jill Lundgrove, is secluded in a cheap apartment on a ring road of Des Moines after a fire has destroyed her house -- a blaze “the Monster,” her drug-addicted, adult son might have caused -- she confronts her precarious circumstances. Full story

A Tampa Artist Made Portraits of All 17 Parkland Shooting Victims

By Maggie Duffy
Tampa Bay Times
May 1, 2018

Symone Hall, UT senior drawing major, presented her senior project that focuses on the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Hall created a charcoal portrait for each victim; 14 students and a teacher, a football coach and an athletic director. Each person has a piece of tape over the mouth. "The purpose of the tape was to make the portrait speak louder," Hall explained. "The point was to show how they were silenced." Splattered inkwash gives the illusion of blood. Hall also included a haunting 18th piece, blank except for the splatter. "I wanted my portraits to say something more. I want viewers to stop and think about the person, or that they could have potentially lived," Hall said. "Although they’ve died, I want people to remember them long after the tragedy." Full story 

A similar story appeared on Bay News 9.

Technology, Generation Z and Solving a Labor Shortage

Business Observer
April 27, 2018

While many employers focus on milliennials for hiring, there’s another generation of employees to watch out for: Generation Z. The first wave of Gen Z are in college and close to entering the workforce. Monnie Wertz, UT assistant vice president for operations and planning, says some of the influences that shape Generation Z include: widely-publicized violence, total saturation of the smart phone, pragmatism, diversity and growing up even more slowly. She added that Generation Z is less likely to tolerate bigotry and less likely to desire homogenous environments. Full story

Dear Abby: #MeToo

By Jessica Weisberg
New York Times
April 26, 2018

The most concrete goal of the “Me Too” movement has been to reform workplace culture. But the movement has also accomplished something broader, and more nebulous: It has given women the ability to talk about some of the hardest moments of their lives with less shame, stigma or fear of repercussions. It has, in other words, created room for the sort of discussions that once were restricted to, essentially, just one type of public space: advice columns. If advice columns were a kind of predecessor to the ”Me Too” movement that fostered an honest discussion about womanhood, they were different in that they typically did not seek to dismantle the strictures their readers faced. According to a study by David Gudelunas, UT dean for the College of Arts and Letters, when Esther Lederer started her column under the pen name Ann Landers, 91 percent of letters included a question intended for her; by the 1990s, only 34 percent did. Readers didn’t appear to be looking for advice: they were looking to participate, to get things off their chest. Full story

A similar story appeared in

Most Americans Believe in a Higher Power, But Not Always in the God of the Bible

By Yonat Shimron
The Washington Post
April 25, 2018

A new survey finds that one-third of Americans — both those who say they believe in God and those who say they don’t — trust in a higher power or spiritual force. Among the so-called “nones” — a broad category of atheists, agnostics and those who answer “none of the above” on questions about religion —72 percent believe in a higher power of some kind. Ryan Cragun, UT associate professor of sociology, said some people may say they believe in a higher power to avoid the social stigma and even discrimination atheists face. He pointed to studies suggesting that white heterosexual men are the most likely to say they’re atheist because they have a certain social privilege that others don’t, and therefore may feel less at risk in making such a statement. Full story

Similar stories appeared in the Religion News ServiceNational Catholic Reporter, Huffington PostThe Presbyterian OutlookSalt Lake TribuneMorning Sun (Flint, MI) and Oakland Press (Detroit, MI).

Can Guns and Trump Turn Out Florida’s Youth Vote? So Far, Not So Much

By Steve Contorno
Tampa Bay Times
April 18, 2018

Gun violence and a polarizing president may have spurred more activism among millennials, but so far it isn’t generating new voters in Florida. Across six of the seven largest counties, there were 4,500 fewer registrations among 16- to 25-year-olds compared to the same point in 2014. UT student Ryan Johnson said the president’s behavior and executive actions have sparked much more dialogue and interest in national politics in the classroom and on social media. “Awareness is so much more prevalent, and so you see it everywhere,” Johnson said. Full story  

Holocaust Survivor Reacts to Study Showing 2/3 of Millennials Don't Know What Auschwitz Is

By Michael Paluska
April 18, 2018

Holocaust survivor Marie Silverman spoke to students at UT a day before Israel’s 70th Independence Day. “Very emotional for me… my grandparents' aunts and uncles were all executed by the Nazis,” Silverman said. Her memories are just as vivid as they were all those years ago. She will never stop telling people, especially the younger generation, the pain and suffering she endured when she was just nine years old. Full story

Do the Math: UT’s Vanina Iordanova Aces on the Court

By Joey Johnston
April 18, 2018

For Vanina Iordanova, UT sophomore majoring in finance, life inside the rectangle has come full circle. Iordanova, the former Wharton High School standout, has returned home to play tennis for the Spartans after spending one season at another university. She has always enjoyed the competition, particularly the thoughtful construction of a point. Her style — a baseliner who looks to charge the net at opportune moments — translates well to hard and clay courts. "I would hold Vanina up as an example of the perfect student-athlete," Spartans coach Al DuFaux said. "She’s a wonderful person. She does what you ask. She’s brilliant in the classroom. And she wins tennis matches. I’m so happy that she’s maximizing her experience." Full story

Criminal Justice Reform: University of Tampa Hosts Panel

By Emerald Morrow
April 18, 2018

UT students Larry Washington and Melissa Font were interviewed as a preview to the criminal justice and immigration panel discussion at UT. The topic covered, criminal justice reform, included a range of issues, such as mandatory minimum sentencing, immigration and bail reform. Full story

UT Growing, Showcasing New and Innovative Businesses in Downtown Tampa

By Cheryl Rogers
83 Degrees
April 17, 2018

83 Degrees profiled several of the 54 UT students and alumni who participated in the 2018 New Venture Expo that took place at UT’s Lowth Entrepreneurship Center. Some with business ideas were earning a grade; others were obviously engaging in trade. “The philosophy that basically drives all academic programs here at the University of Tampa is learning by doing, the philosophy of experiential education,” said Dean Koutroumanis, UT associate professor of management. “We want to see Tampa Bay on the map when people think ‘where am i going to start my business’.” Full story  

3 Key Takeaways from the Zuckerberg Hearings

By Jonathan Lewallen, UT assistant professor of political science
The Washington Post
April 12, 2018

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testified before House and Senate committees after revelations that political research firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to 87 million Facebook users’ data during the 2016 election season. Jonathan Lewallen, UT assistant professor of political science, provided three takeaways, including how Congress examines privacy concerns. Congress has rarely focused on privacy issues related to technology and cybersecurity even though breaches have become an increasingly widespread public problem. Full story

Seminole High School GSA Honors Pulse Victim, SHS Grad

By Tiffany Razzano
Tampa Bay Newspapers (Beacon, Leader and Bee)
April 11, 2018

Nearly two years ago, Christopher Andrew Leinonen was one of 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. The Gay-Straight Alliance, a group Leinonen founded, held a dedication of a memorial sculpture created in his honor. The bronze sculpture of two clasped hands was created by Kendra Frorup, UT associate professor of art and design. Full story

WHS Graduate Presents Paper at International Conference

By Donna Harris
The Daily Tribune News
April 10, 2018

UT senior Noah Oakley was one of only 23 students from the United States and Canada accepted to present works at the American Comparative Literature Association's 2018 Annual Meeting at UCLA. Oakley presented his paper, "So Queer Ya Can't See Straight: Hemingway, the Double and Digital Archives." Oakley's research on Ernest Hemingway began last fall in course taught by Sarah Lauro, assistant professor of English. "My paper dealt with digital archives and how that changes the way we engage with literary texts… The conclusion the paper focuses on is that Hemingway might not have been the ideal macho man we create him to be and that there is a lot more about gender and sexuality in his texts than we previously give." Full story

'Unhappy Hour' Marks Equal Pay Day in St. Pete

April 10, 2018

April 10 is National Equal Pay Day. Businesses and professional women in St. Petersburg organized an event to shine a light on the wage gap between men and women. “We shouldn’t stop looking at and addressing those particular problems. But one thing that is important for us to keep in mind is to really examine what progress has looked like,” said Abigail Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics. Blanco says there is plenty of room to grow as a society. Full story

UT Students Racing Across Europe With No Phones and Only Red Bull as Currency

April 9, 2018

A trio of University of Tampa students known as the Young Dreamerz will attempt to make their way across Europe with nothing more than cans of Red Bull to use for bartering. Narenzo Kershaw, Jomely Breton and Tyler Santos submitted a video entry and were selected as one of 100 college teams from around the world that are finalists in the Can You Make It contest. With no phones and no cash, they rely on their ability to negotiate rides, shelter and whatever else they’ll need in order to get from Madrid to Amsterdam. Full story

Best Credit Card Rates

April 9, 2018

WalletHub produced an analysis on which credit cards have the best rates for purchases. Jennifer Burton, UT assistant professor of marketing, provided additional insight into credit card rates. “The first thing you should do with a zero percent introductory rate is transfer any balances you have from your highest interest credit cards to the new card with the zero percent interest rate.” Burton also said that another great way to use a zero percent interest rate credit card is for large, and perhaps unexpected, purchases that you need a couple of months to pay off. Full story  

How Does Union Strength Affect Economic Development in Latin America?

By Giacomo Mattei, UT senior
Undergraduate Journal of Politics, Policy and Society
April 7, 2018

Giacomo Mattei, UT senior majoring in history and government and world affairs, published a case study analyzing the effect of union strength on economic development in Argentina, Mexico and Peru. He tested whether union strength has a diminishing returns effect on various economic development indicators such as wages, productivity, equality, employment and social well-being. Full story

When the Line Between Police and Military Blurs, You Get the Stephon Clark Tragedy

By Christopher Coyne and Abigail Hall, UT assistant professor of economics
USA Today
April 5, 2018

Abigail Hall, UT assistant professor of economics, discusses in this article how police have come to use aggressive military tactics. The recent and tragic death of Stephon Clark raises serious concerns about aggressive police tactics. While many factors converged to create the current atmosphere of policing, there is one cause that is often overlooked: How America’s foreign policy helped create some of the very domestic controversies, such as militarization of the police, of the last few years. Military innovations are often imported back and used domestically, within the United States, including in domestic policing activities. When this happens the distinction between the traditional peacekeeping function of police and the more aggressive approach of the military begins to blur. Full story

Similar stories appeared in the Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS), Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY) and Daily Times (Salisbury, MD).

Union to Bay Area Teachers: Don't Even Think About Striking

By Eric Glasser
April 5, 2018

The state union that represents Florida teachers has a warning for Tampa Bay educators who might be looking to what’s going on in Oklahoma and Kentucky, West Virginia, etc. Don’t even think about it. A walkout or teachers strike in Florida, they say, would have severe consequences. If they walk off the job, they could lose their job, their pension and more. “Nothing would happen if they just keep doing their job as it is. I mean, how are they going to show that it’s something that’s really important to them?” said Bruna Ferreira, UT first-year student. Full story

Here's Why a Trucking Safety Tool Could Cost You Money

By Eric Glasser
April 3, 2018

Just about everything we use, eat or have delivered these days gets to us by truck. And now, the cost of that trucking trip from point A to point B is likely to get more expensive. Truckers now have to use EDLs (electronic logging devices) to ensure they don’t drive more than 11 hours a day. It monitors, logs and records how long engines are running, and that info can be read by law enforcement. James Lee, UT associate professor of marketing, says ELDs are designed to keep all of us safer by making sure that the person driving that semi next you is awake and alert. “I think we are going to see higher prices simply because of this,” said Lee. Well, there’s already a shortage of qualified truck drivers, and strictly enforcing their hours is driving their driving rates higher. “Someone is going to have to pay,” said Lee. “And the shipping companies are going to take less in profits. So, they are going to pass it on down the line to the consumer.” Full story

Holy Hazelnut Mocha! California Has Gone Off the Deep End

By David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism
March 31, 2018

David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism, satirically reviews the State of California’s decision to post warning labels on coffee because it may increase risk for cancer. “…the unintended consequences could be enormous. We already have a crisis of confidence in our governments, institutions and scientists. Maybe this is my second soy latte talking, but why risk incurring the wrath of the nation to prove a nanoscale point? Why cast the country into even more confusion by overreacting about a beverage consumed by Americans on the order of 2.1 cups per day per person? We need to be restoring the public's trust, building confidence, taking measured steps to real science-based threats, not causing hysteria over an extreme unlikelihood.” Full story

Similar stories appeared on KITV (Honolulu, HI), KAKE (Wichita, KS) and Erie News Now (Erie, PA).

An American Dream in the Making

By Kelley Lash
College Media Matters
March 29, 2018

Alejandro Romero, UT senior, wanted to do a documentary on how public transportation could benefit UT students, but thanks to an uninformed security officer, Romero is informing students, and other journalists, of their rights. While pursuing the class assignment, Romero and his classmates were approached by security and told they needed permission to record at the bus station because it's private property. The students returned to campus and to a dismayed professor who “was outraged” students were being treated this way. The students went back twice more and were again turned away. This encouraged them to change the focus of their documentary. “With this change in documentary, we plan to explore where are we legally able to stand and be at to film on public property, and if a location is private property, how can we legally get the footage we need without trespassing,” Romero said. Full story

The Anti-Liberty Boomerang of U.S. Militarism

By Jerrod A. Laber
Taking on Issues
March 28, 2018

This article discusses the new book by Abigail Hall-Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics, Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism. The book states that, “coercive foreign intervention creates opportunities to develop and refine methods and technologies of social control.” It explains how eventually, interventions end, the interveners come home, and the practices employed on foreign soil are imported for use against the domestic population. Full story

When Sharks Attack

National Geographic
March 27, 2018

UT associate professor of biology and shark expert, Dan Huber, was featured in National Geographic’s When Sharks Attack documentary. “The rogue shark theory was developed in the 1930s, and the basic idea is that one shark would develop a taste for humans and then be responsible for a cluster of shark attacks in one area,” said Huber. He said that recent history has provided evidence that sharks can become habituated to people and associate people with food. This can potentially lead to attacks. 

Star Wars Universe is Second Home for UT Coach

March 22, 2018

Mark Johnson, head coach of UT’s JV baseball team, is in his eighteenth year coaching the Spartans. He is also a member of the 501st Legion, the largest costuming organization in the world for Star Wars, where he builds replica costumes and animated droids. “I like being able to create and build things and put things together,” said Johnson. “You have to have a lot of patience, which is tied into baseball, and there’s a lot of thought that has to go into it.” Full story

Similar stories appeared in Journal Courier (Jacksonville, FL) and Middletown Press (New Haven, CT). 

SUU Brings Universities Together with Experiential Leadership Retreat

The Spectrum
March 24, 2018

Southern Utah University experts recently hosted the Experiential Learning Leadership Institute (ELLI) for experiential education leaders from several universities to share ideas on helping students through hands-on learning. Stephanie Thomason, UT associate director of the TECO Energy Center for Leadership, said her university’s mission centers on experiential learning and is continually looking for ways to enhance teaching effectiveness. “My teaching philosophy is focused on continuous improvement, so I’ve always tried to find ways to improve my delivery and assure student learning,” she said. Full story

Rising National Debt Threatens Future Generations

By Rajul Mehta
Tampa Bay Reporter
March 23, 2018

Rajul Mehta '18 wrote a guest column about the effects of rising national debt. “According to the Congressional Budget Office, if we fail to address our rising national debt, a family of four could see its income decrease by an estimated average of $16,000 per year by 2047. Imagine losing a material part of the income in an economic situation where the federal debt and the interest payments for it are crowding essential investments like healthcare, social security benefits and education. This would decrease our growth and our savings. A country saddled with debt will have less to invest in its own future, which in this case would be the millennials and the younger generation. The growth in our community that we see today will be heavily impacted by the national debt.” Full story

Japanese Politician Fights for Gender Equality

By Sarah Foster
Medill Reports (Chicago)
March 23, 2018

In Japan, women represent just 10 percent of members of prefectural assemblies, 15 percent of city and ward assemblies, and 10 percent of town and village assemblies. The same study found no women in 32 percent of Japan’s town and village assemblies. These figures represent many sociocultural barriers that women face when hoping to make it into Japanese politics, said Liv Coleman, UT associate professor of political science. “You have a lot of Japanese citizens saying in public opinion polls they would be happy voting for women candidates, similar to what you find the in the United States,” she said. “But because of a lot of pressures for women in Japan, balancing work and family responsibilities makes it challenging to build the resume for leaping into a career in politics. It’s harder for women to get their foot in the door.” Full story

PM Tampa Bay: UT Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Abby Blanco

By Ryan Gorman
March 23, 2018

Ryan Gorman and Abby Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics, discuss the recent volatility in the market, how the latest tariffs being pushed by the Trump administration could affect you, the change this week in interest rates and a new study on income and race. Full story

DreamIt Ventures is Expanding in Florida

By Joseph N. DiStefano
The Inquirer (Philadelphia)
March 20, 2018

DreamIt Ventures, a tech company “accelerator,” has helped 300 software and health tech companies since it was founded in Philadelphia 10 years ago. It expanded to New York in 2011 and now is setting up a third base in Tampa, thanks to a $12 million investment from Jeff Vinik. “This is something we need in Tampa to up our game,” said Vinik. Vinik noted that UT helps to make the region a university center for entrepreneurship, management and other tech-ready graduates. He and his partners believe that DreamIt will help with the much needed tech “eco-system” so start-ups can take root locally.

No One Knows the Importance of the Mental Game Better Than UT’s Makaleigh Dooley

By Joey Johnston
Tampa Bay Times
March 19, 2018

At random unexplainable moments, UT junior Makaleigh Dooley became a pitcher who couldn’t throw a strike. She has consulted with mental coaches. She has learned techniques to control her mind and the strike-throwing issues haven’t surfaced this season. "It’s not a fun thing," said softball head coach Leslie Kanter. "It’s a scary thing to think about. But Makaleigh was determined to do whatever it took to be successful." Dooley’s the ace for UT, and she already has been a first-team all-Sunshine State Conference honoree. She has pitched a no-hitter and also provides some offensive pop. "You can have all the physical skills in the world, but this is a mental game. To be successful, you have to be in control of your own mind and your own self," said Dooley. Full story

Erin Hanson named Community Hero of Tomorrow
March 17, 2018

The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Erin Hanson, first-year student at UT, as the 36th Lightning Community Hero this season. Hanson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half of the funds to the Positive Coaching Alliance Student-Athlete Mentor Program, while the other half will go towards a scholarship for her own education. Erin has a diverse volunteering background and has also been involved in sports. But as she got older she was told that sports were for boys. Through her transition from middle school to high school, she saw the number of girls trying out for sports teams drop dramatically. Because of this, she decided to take part in the PCA Student-Athlete Mentor Program that teaches young women about the importance of athletics, health and fitness. Full story

A similar story appeared on Bay News 9.

Sports Club showcases bond between Tampa and its teams

By Joe Henderson
March 15, 2018

The Sports Club of Tampa Bay has been around since 1960, when it was known as the Tampa Sports Club. The founders were relentless advocates for sports of all kinds. Their highlight event is the Hall of Fame dinner. At this year’s event the club’s newest Hall of Fame members, including Joe Urso, will be honored. Urso, head baseball coach at UT, has won more than 700 games and four Division II national championships. Full story

Synapse Innovation Summit Looks to Cultivate Tech and Startup Connections

By Richard Danielson
Tampa Bay Times
March 15, 2018

Now in its second year, the Synapse Innovation Summit at Amalie Arena aims to gather together the Tampa Bay area’s entire innovation ecosystem. Why do this? A 2016 University of Tampa study by the Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation concluded that the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem needed stronger leadership, less duplication of effort, startup-savvy investors and a specific brand for the bay area. In a five-county area, it found 64 entrepreneurial support organizations, but they were lightly connected, uncoordinated and, too often, all but invisible. Full story

University of Tampa Introduces New Beach Volleyball Program

By Jeff Tewksbury
Fox 13
March 15, 2018

The UT beach volleyball complex is an oasis in the middle of campus. The school added a brand new program to play on one of the coolest venues in the area. UT has won two national titles in indoor volleyball, so expanding to the outdoor game as well was a natural fit. But instead of six players per side, there are only two players to cover the court. "It's a lot of trust," said Katie McKiel, UT sophomore. "A lot of responsibility and preparation. You have to really communicate with your partner and make sure the whole court is taken care of." UT head coach Jeff Lamm grew up playing beach volleyball. "The ground moves, first of all. That's completely foreign to them, and then you add the wind and sun in here. The ball just reacts differently." Full story

We Tell Kids to Stay in School. They're Learning More Outside It.

By Sady Doyle
March 15, 2018

The University of Tampa was featured in this article about Wednesday’s student walk out, where almost a million students walked out of school for 17 minutes to demand gun control legislation. The article described how these kids have gotten ahead of the curriculum. They've effectively marshaled and led a political protest that's gained national press attention—a feat that many intelligent adults still haven't achieved. Full story

A similar story appeared on WTVT.

How Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Could Affect Tampa Bay

By Ryan Gorman
March 10, 2018

Michael Coon, UT assistant professor of economics, was interviewed about the new tariffs on steel and aluminum and how it could affect the average household. Coon expects that there will be an increase in steel manufacturing jobs in the Midwest and Pennsylvania. "But you're going to see a much larger decline in jobs that are related to steel, because they're going to start incurring higher costs," said Coon. "All of the economic estimates that I've seen so far say there's going to be a net loss nationwide of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of jobs." Full story  

Bitcoin 101

Good Day Tampa Bay
March 9, 2018

Tim Smith, UT assistant professor of information and technology management, was interviewed by Good Day Tampa Bay about bitcoin. He briefly covered the history, trends and function of the cryptocurrency.

Spartan Swimmers and Baseball Players Featured in the Toronto Observer

By Jessica Koffie, Braden Jones, Jennifer Redenbach and Fares Kaff
Toronto Observer
March 8-12, 2018

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 swimmers Marc-Oliver Caron, Brett SaundersMcKenzie Street, Hana van Loock and Megan Waddell and UT baseball players Cole Perry, Drew Ehrhard, Brandon Gali and David Drysdale.

UT Center Scores Coolest Office Spaces Readers' Pick Award

By Jo-Lynn Brown
Tampa Bay Business Journal
March 7, 2018

The John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa's Sykes College of Business received the Tampa Bay Business Journal's Readers' Pick award for Coolest Office Spaces 2018. More than 5,000 votes were cast by Tampa Bay Business Journal readers with UT's Entrepreneurship Center receiving 24 percent of the vote. Full story

Kevin Pimentel Gives University of Tampa Baseball Another Stellar Arm

By Joey Johnston
March 5, 2018

UT junior right-hander Kevin Pimentel has rediscovered his confidence - and that's bad news for Spartan opponents. Coming off a broken arm, he was seeking a fresh beginning. "It's like we've acquired another No. 1 pitcher," said Joe Urso, UT baseball coach. Overall, Pimentel has a 2.96 ERA with just five walks and 19 strikeouts in his 27 1/3 innings, to go along with his 5-0 record. "I wanted to show that I was still good enough," said Pimentel. "I feel like I'm back to being the pitcher I used to be." Full story

Tampa Bay Wave: Diversity Highlights Latest Tech Cohort

By Cheryl Rogers
83 Degrees
March 5, 2018

Jonathan Truong, UT senior entrepreneurship major, has parlayed a painful lesson into an innovative new business. After he was injured playing tennis, Truong frequently skipped physical therapy because he found it boring and repetitive. Because of the missed sessions, his injury took two years to heal instead of eight months. Now Truong is at the helm of a company to help other patients get it right. "We utilize virtual reality to create immersive games for physical therapy," said Truong, CEO of Verapy. "Our goal is to make therapy a lot more fun and engaging for patients." Full story

Cameron Newton: The Swimmer

March 4, 2018

When you think of the name Cameron (Cam) Newton, you think of the Heisman winner MVP Quarterback, but there is another successful Cam Newton at The University of Tampa in the sport of swimming. Newton recently broke one of UT's oldest school records in the 200 free posting a 1:37.5 time, shaving a few tenths of a second of his personal best. Newton has qualified for Division II Nationals. "He's actually been a really really great addition for the team. He's one of the hardest workers I've ever seen in the pool," said head men's swim coach Jimi Kiner. Full story  

Coaches Chow Down on Meat Pies for Cancer Charity
By Beth Weber

March 1, 2018

Athletic coaches from UT and USF participated in a pie-eating contest to raise money for Children's Cancer Center in Tampa. "I'm a cancer survivor, I have squamous cell carcinoma, so this is dear to my heart," said Keith Fulk, UT's assistant soccer coach. "I haven't eaten for three days so I'm really ready to fill up my belly." Walkabout Bakery supplied the meat pies and says a percentage of meat pie sales for the month of March will be donated to the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa. Full story

FHS Grad Finds the Perfect Match

By Juri Love
The Foxboro Reporter
March 1, 2018

Lianne McCarthy, UT assistant directory of enrollment evaluation, had been given a new lease on life after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare blood cancer with a 25 percent survival rate. After a long recovery, McCarthy was able to meet the stranger who generously donated the bone marrow that helped her beat the odds. "Meeting the person who saved you is unlike any other emotion you can experience. When I hugged him it made me realize that my life for the past year and a half, and every day in the future, is only possible because of this man," said McCarthy. Full story

Review: University of Tampa Exhibit Examines Human Response to Natural Disasters

By Maggie Duffy
Tampa Bay Times
March 1, 2018

Hurricane Irma was an eye opener of human response in the face of a natural disaster. The notions of preparation, exodus and refuge are explored in Julie Heffernan's exhibition, "When the Water Rises," on display at UT's Scarfone/Hartley Gallery. Inspired by Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey-based Heffernan's large-scale paintings depict a planet where things have gone very wrong, though the environments are deceptively beautiful. The narratives portray a great flood, and the masses who had to flee for safety, but the only way to survive is retreat up to the trees, or to build floating fortresses. Heffernan makes no bones about her views on climate change and carves the names of people she sees as perpetrators against the environment in the trees of her lush landscapes. Full story

Bobby Bones Inspires First-Year Research on Collegiate Happiness

The Bobby Bones Show
Feb. 28, 2018

Jennifer Wortham, UT associate professor of health sciences and human performance, assigned her first-year students to read Bobby Bone's book - Bare Bones: I'm Not Lonely If You're Reading This Book - then do a research project based on the glass-half-full mentality that every day can be a good day. "We wanted to take a look at what makes college students have a good day. Once we started gathering the data, we realized it could lead to higher retention rates. If students are having a good day or more students are having a good day, the higher your retention rate would be," said Jason Behnke '19. Full story

Jessie Tobin, Former MassLive Swimmer of the Year, Competing in NCAA Division II Championships for University of Tampa

By Meredith Perri
Feb. 27, 2018

Jessie Tobin will compete in the NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships after a successful freshman campaign at UT. Tobin earned a second-place finish during the 2018 Sunshine State Conference Championships earlier this week, finishing the 1,650 free in a time of 17:02.58. Tobin has qualified for four events during the meet. She is the No. 20 seed in the 1,000-free, the No. 76 seed in the 200-free, the No. 44 seed in the 500-free and is the No. 17 seed in the 1,650-free. Full story

Florida Legislature Has Options When It Comes to Strengthening Gun Laws

By Evan Donovan
Feb. 21, 2018

The Florida legislature is considering a bill that would raise the age to purchase military-style assault weapons from 18 to 21 and extend the waiting period to three days. Those measures are currently required for buying handguns in the state of Florida. The efforts are the first movements in the direction of reforming gun laws since last week's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 14 students and three teachers were shot to death. Mary Anderson, UT associate professor of political science, said there are a number of measures that the legislature can take. "There's broad public support for different types of bans on assault rifles," said Anderson. She said there is a lot of public support for gun control measures but there has to be a political will to make those changes. Full story

UT's Softball Sisters Create Family-Like Atmosphere for Entire Team

By Marissa Lynn
Feb. 19, 2018

They're two UT softball players who have spent most of their lives playing on the same teams. Maddie Farrell, the Spartans' catcher, and second baseman Taylor Farrell. These two sisters have played on the same team through high school, travel ball and now college. Just by watching them practice, you can tell, the sisters are each other's biggest supporters. "It's nice having someone, like, not only your sister, but like a friend that's always there for you and someone you can rely on," said Taylor. Full story

Is Your Kid Cheating in School with Technology, Social Media?

By Ryan Hughes
Feb. 19, 2018

"Having technology so easily accessible makes it really easy to cheat. And I've seen it all throughout my life almost, with technology so prevalent," said UT freshman Eve Flett. Phones. Computers. Tablets. Watches. Getting it right is getting easier-and-easier. "There's opportunities," said Patricia O'Grady, UT associate professor of education. "And students are now able to use those tools." While that opportunity exists, O'Grady believes it can be wiped out. "I think in the digital age, you can take precautions. If students don't have access, obviously, to cell phones and watches during testing time, that would eliminate it," O'Grady said. Full story

A similar story appeared on KRON (San Francisco, CA).

Why the Zombie Craze Still Has Our Undying Affection

By Neda Ulaby
Feb. 17, 2018

Disney has a new original movie-musical Zombies, where a high school is integrated with zombie students. Why are we still so obsessed with zombies? Sarah Lauro, UT assistant professor of English, relates the popularity to the overwhelming terror we see every day on the news. "Every day is a new and terrible terror coming at you from the news, and it's just nonstop," she says. "I think people are feeling overwhelmed. And that's a great metaphor for a zombie invasion. Like, that is the iconic scene for a zombie invasion, a horde coming to overwhelm a town or a mall or a handful of survivors." Full story

Similar stories appeared on KXJZ (Sacramento, CA), OPB (Portland, OR), WHRO (Norfolk, VA), WBGO (New York, NY), WUWM (Milwaukee, WI), Texas Public Radio (San Antonio, TX) and NHPR (Boston).

Having it All?: Ashes to Ashes

By Kacy Tillman, UT associate professor of English
Creative Loafing
Feb. 15, 2018

Kacy Tillman, UT associate professor of English, writes about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. She noted that the tragedy occurred on Ash Wednesday, a day that is intended to remind people of their mortality, and wonders how much time she has left with her son. Full story

Going Vintage in Tampa, FL

House Hunters
Feb. 15, 2018

Chris Gurrie, UT assistant professor of speech, was featured on House Hunters. Gurrie was on the hunt for a vintage bungalow with a pool in Tampa. He hopes to find a place in close proximity to his job, and he'd like storage for his ski boat. Full story

Light, Bright, Airy and Modern: See Tampa Bay's Coolest Office Spaces Finalists of 2018

By Jo-Lynn Brown
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Feb. 14, 2018

The John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at UT's Sykes College of Business is one of the 25 finalists for the Tampa Bay Business Journal's 2018 Coolest Office Spaces. Each year the TBBJ puts out a call for submissions for the coolest office designs in town. The Coolest Office Spaces awards produce new inspiration for companies looking to update or create new workspaces for their employees. Full story

A Toxic Friendship Turns Deadly in The Radicals

By Erin Vanderhoof
Vanity Fair
Feb. 14, 2018

How does someone become so devoted to a cause they would kill for it? That idea was in the back of Ryan McIlvain's mind when he started his second novel. The Radicals tells the story of grad students overcome by pessimism who derail their lives in the name of socialism and commit acts they can never recover from. McIlvain, UT assistant professor of English and writing, gives a rapturous look at how committing to an idea could be your undoing. Full story

A similar story appeared in the Tampa Bay Times.

Media Embrace Liberal Push to Forgive Nearly $1.4 Trillion Student Debt

By Aly Nielsen
MRC NewsBusters
Feb. 14, 2018

As good as free college may sound, it is an economic fantasy. But that did not stop media outlets from embracing two recent studies arguing for loan forgiveness. A study from the left-leaning Brookings Institution calling for increased federal regulation on for-profit colleges was lauded by media. Another study from Soros-funded Bard College also called for student debt forgiveness. Instead of identifying the liberal biases of both Brookings and Bard College, media outlets like New York Magazine promoted their findings without question, proclaiming "We Must Cancel Everyone's Student Debt, for the Economy's Sake." However, critics like Abigail Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics, said the economics behind student debt forgiveness "is fallacious." Furthermore, forgiveness "would likely increase college tuitions" by "creating perverse incentives for both schools and students." Full story

College vs. University in the U.S.: What's the Difference?

By Kelly Mae Ross
U.S. News and World Report
Feb. 14, 2018

The word "college" doesn't have the same meaning in every country, which can create confusion for prospective international students interested in studying in the U.S. "In Spanish, 'colegio' means high school," says George DaPonte, UT director of international admissions. "'Collège' in French is high school," he adds, citing another example. For this and other reasons, some prospective students may pass over U.S. schools that have "college" instead of "university" in their name, admissions experts say. By doing so, students could miss out on a school that may have been a good fit. While some four-year postsecondary institutions in the U.S. have "college" in their name and others have "university," both types grant undergraduate degrees. Full story

Center Molly Franson's Value to UT is Easily Quantifiable

By Joey Johnston
Tampa Bay Times
Feb. 13, 2018

Coaches often point to "intangibles" – the subtle positive qualities that usually don't show up in the boxscore - when praising their key players. But UT women's basketball coach Tom Jessee has a different definition when describing the value of center Molly Franson. "She's a very, very tangible kid for us," Jessee said. "I think it's pretty cut-and-dried. We need her. It's easily quantifiable." Before Wednesday's game at Palm Beach Atlantic, the Spartans were 16-2 with Franson in the lineup - and 0-5 when she was out with injury. Franson, a 6-foot-2 senior who averages 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds, is a team-first performer who can pick up her offensive game when needed. Most often, though, she gives the Spartans a defensive presence and is a player who contributes in all areas. Full story

Vintage St. Pete Postcard Sparks New Exhibit

By Virginia Johnson
Bay News 9
Feb. 13, 2018

An entire exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg started all because of one vintage post card. Sunshine City, by artist and UT associate professor or film, animation and new media Gregg Perkins, was inspired by an E.G. Barnhill postcard of the St. Petersburg landscape circa 1930, with the now demolished Hotel Soreno near the middle. Barnhill shot the black and white photograph on film, and then hand painted it with color. "So I basically found the vantage point for that photograph," said Perkins, who saw a new city through his lens. "This is kind of a hybrid in that it's still shot on film to be true to the original but then it was painted with digital tools - Adobe Photoshop and illustrator," said Perkins, "using contemporary tools to achieve similar outcomes." Full story

Similar stories appeared on News 13 (Orlando) and Creative Loafing.

Good Day, Tampa Bay

Feb. 7, 2018

Katie Schubert, visiting assistant professor of sociology, appeared on Good Day Tampa Bay to discuss how different types of couples can improve their relationships by improving their communication styles.

A Little Twin Power in the Pool Ahead of NCAA Championships for UT

By Joey Johnston
Feb. 6, 2018

It was always a given that Brittany and Katie Bayes – identical twin sisters and award-winning swimmers from the Philadelphia area – would attend college together. But when their path led to UT, they could hardly contain their glee. "You go from our hometown, where it's gray and bland in the winter, to Tampa, where everything is bright and colorful," said Katie. Brittany (a distance freestyler) and Katie (a sprinter and backstroker) are on track to represent the Spartans at the Division II national championship meet on March 14-17 at Greensboro, NC. "They are two of the nicest kids I've had in almost 50 years of coaching," UT coach Ed Brennan said. "They are just a joy to be around. And let me tell you, they have been tremendous swimmers for us." Full story

Spartans Aim for Title Number Eight

Feb. 1, 2018

UT baseball coach Joe Urso is one of the most successful coaches in the country. Urso has spent 18 years as coach and is responsible for four of UT's seven Division II titles. This year he is focused on bring an eighth title home.

Democrat Liv Coleman Files to Run Against Joe Gruters

By Zac Anderson
Sarasota Herlad-Tribune
Jan. 26, 2018

Democrat Liv Coleman, UT associate professor of political science, has filed to run against Republican state Rep. Joe Gruters for the state House District 73 seat. District 73 covers a large portion of eastern Manatee County and part of eastern Sarasota County. "I have a concern about the growing lack of confidence in Democracy today," Coleman said. "I think we need government that works for all of us, and I think that getting that government that works for all of us is worth the fight." Coleman said she realizes she's an underdog but hopes to wage a strong grassroots campaign and "get people reconnected to our system of government and our Democratic process." Full story

Similar stories appeared in the Bradenton HeraldSNN News (Southwestern Florida), TBO, WWSB (Sarasota) and Tampa Bay Times.

There Is No 'Chain Migration' Problem

By Michael Coon and Abigail Hall Blanco, both UT assistant professors of economics
RealClear Policy
Jan. 26, 2018

Controversy continues to swirl around immigration, with some politicians recently opposing any deal that would grant amnesty and a legal path to citizenship for "Dreamers." Some anti-immigration activists claim that continuing DACA and granting amnesty to its recipients could unleash a flood of new immigration applications because Dreamers would be able to sponsor family members for green cards. It is true that under the family-based system, the number of visas issued to immediate family members is not fixed. However, most relatives of DACA recipients who would fall under the family-based preference system probably already have some form of legal status. Those who do not would have a long road to obtaining legal status. Full story

The Health Risks of Getting a Tattoo

By Greg Hall
Jan. 26, 2018

Almost half of people between 18 and 35 have tattoos, and almost one in four regrets it. Based on an estimate of about 60 million people in that age group, that would mean that about 7.5 million people have tattoo regret. A study at The University of Tampa confirmed that 86 percent of students believe that having a visible tattoo is a detriment to their business prospects. While a vast majority of people age 51 and above are comfortable with professional athletes having tattoos, the acceptance decreases significantly when doctors, primary school teachers and presidential candidates are included. Full story

A similar story appeared in The Apopka Voice.

NHL's All-Star Skills Competition Undergoes Some Changes

By Kevin Allen
Jan. 25, 2018

As much as NHL officials like the four-division set-up for their 3-on-3 All-Star Game format, they thought the four divisions added messiness to their All-Star Skills Competition. The league has remedied that. In order to get the format right before adding extra players to mix, the NHL improved technology in all of the events. For example, the four Styrofoam targets in the shooting accuracy competition have been replaced by LED lights. Instead of shooting at any target, players now will see five targets, and have to hit the target that lights up. On Jan. 8, the NHL brought in players from the UT's hockey team to test the new set-up and liked what they saw. Full story

Randi Zuckerberg to Local Entrepreneurs: Get Back Up When You Fail

By Malena Carollo
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 24, 2018

Randi Zuckerberg's first solo project after leaving Facebook was a failure. "I remember turning to my husband and saying, 'How am I going to recover from this?'" she said. "My first project was a turd on the floor." Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, mentioned the anecdote to a roomful of entrepreneurs at The University of Tampa Wednesday morning as a measure of hope. Zuckerberg was one of several entrepreneurs, business leaders and political figures to speak to participants about making it as a business during a three-day bootcamp called the American Dreams Academy organized by HSN. Full story  

UT Student Looking at Big Business with Launch of Spy Pens

By Josh Rojas
Bay News 9
Jan. 24, 2018

Andrew Gilliland '19 started his company, iSpyPens, from his dorm room with $400 and grew that into a six-figure business with the help of his partner, Josh Hackett '18. "I have a team of right now of eight independent contractor employees. All of them are students here at UT," said Gilliland. The iSpyPen Pro that sells for $59.99 has a tiny hidden HD camera above the clip that's activated by the button on the top of the pen. It's also a usable pen. "After collecting a year's worth of data, we found that victims of workplace harassment were purchasing the product," he said. It's also popular with private investigators and detectives as well as technology enthusiasts. Sales have increase from $100 per month to $3,000. Full story

A similar story appeared on Fox 13 and News 13 (Orlando).

CEO Nancy Tower's Goal for Tampa Electric: Renewable Energy

By Malena Carollo
Jan. 23, 2018

Tampa Electric Co.'s future will be green if new CEO Nancy Tower has anything to say about it. Speaking at a UT panel Tuesday, Tower outlined her plan to move the Tampa-based utility toward a completely renewable energy portfolio. But "that won't happen until we crack the battery storage nut," Tower said. "The sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow." To crack that nut, Tampa Electric is getting help from Tesla Inc. Full story
 Trump Makes U.S. a Less Attractive Tourist Destination

By David Wheeler, UT assistant professor of journalism
Jan. 23, 2018

UT assistant professor of journalism, David Wheeler, discusses the reason behind the decline of U.S. tourism and education dollars. Although definitive numbers have not yet been published, France is expected to remain the most popular tourist destination in the world in 2018, with second place going to Spain, instead of the US. Wheeler states that Donald Trump's rhetoric is scaring people away. "If Trump is going to obsess over dollars flowing into and out of the US, wouldn't he want to keep the tourism dollars flowing? But it's not just tourism. His harsh rhetoric against other countries is also hurting the United States' higher-education sector, another economic area where we've been 'winning,'" said Wheeler. Full story

Similar stories appeared on KTVK (Phoenix), KITV (Honolulu), KXLF (Mutte, MT), Erie News Now and WENY (Horseheads, NY).

Go a Step Beyond Basketball Junkie, and That's UT's Staja Tyghter

By Joey Johnston
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 23, 2018

She's the leading scorer and rebounder for UT's women's basketball team, so junior Staja Tyghter, a guard/forward, has clearly made an impact during her first season on UT's campus. "You've heard of terms like 'basketball junkie' and 'gym rat,' but they don't do justice to Staja," Spartans coach Tom Jessee said. "There are two kinds of people in this game. You're either a basketball player or somebody who plays basketball. Staja is a basketball player." Tyghter averages 13.0 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Spartans. "I'm into playing basketball, watching it, hearing about it … I guess you could say I'm obsessed with the game," said Tyghter, "But I don't think that's unusual. You always want to do something you truly love, right?" Full story

Wages of Awful Policy: Minimum Wage Hikes Cause Hundreds of Bus Boys to Lose Jobs at Red Robin

By Abigail Hall Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics
The Daily Caller
Jan. 16, 2018

Abigail Hall Blanco, UT assistant professor of economics, discusses how Red Robin, a popular burger chain, will cut jobs at all 570 of its locations because of hikes in the minimum wage. Despite what many people, including policymakers, would argue, this is an altogether painfully predictable response to increased labor costs. It's basic economics. The "first law of demand" teaches us that when the price of a good or service increases, people will tend to buy fewer units. Restaurants like Chili's and McDonald's have taken to installing ordering kiosks to save money, allowing customers to order and pay without ever having to speak to a server. It's easy to vilify restaurants and other companies when they respond to higher costs with layoffs. But in this case, it's bad policy – not incompetence, not corporate greed – that's causing people to lose their jobs. Full story

Similar stories appeared in Western Free Press and 97.1-FM News Talk (St. Louis, MO).

A 3 A.M. Wakeup Call Re-Focuses University of Tampa Guard Mekhi Biffle

By Joey Johnston
Tampa Bay Times
Jan. 9, 2018

UT sophomore and men’s basketball guard, Mekhi Biffle, has a perpetual smile on his face. "I have a great opportunity here," Biffle said. "A great opportunity." Biffle, who’s averaging 8.5 points per game with a high of 26 against Barry University, is a combination guard who can also play small forward. He has displayed versatile skills, burying 3-pointers, hitting mid-range jumpers and driving to the basket. "Of course, I want to continue improving at basketball and I’d love the opportunity to play overseas one day,” said Biffle. "But I know why I’m here primarily. I’m getting my education. I like to think I put in a lot of work over the years and it has paid off. So I’m having the time of my life." Full story  

How to Get the Best Out of Exercise

By Nic Fleming
The Guardian
Jan. 7, 2018

Conflicting theories on how to maximize exercise would stretch anyone to their limit. As New Year fitness plans begin in earnest, The Guardian provides a scientific response to some frequently asked questions. In response to the question on whether it’s better to use weights, cardio or both, The Guardian references the results of 21 studies, published by a group at UT, which showed a more nuanced picture. It found that those who focused on weight training gained more lower-body strength than those who did concurrent weights and running, but not weights and cycling. Full story  

Working in the Shadows

By Harold Bubil
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Jan. 7, 2018

Herald Bubil has traveled around the state in the past year, photographing interesting examples of architecture for his “Florida Buildings I Love” series. Doing so gave him fresh perspectives on Florida’s built environment. One insight he shared with the Herald-Tribune was how tough it must be to be an architect in the shadows of landmarks. In Tampa those shadows are cast by minaret-topped Plant Hall at UT— one of America’s most distinctive buildings. Full story  

Hometown Heroes: Former Knight Shelton Surging for Spartans

By Tommy Scott
Ocala Star Banner
Jan. 4, 2018

Duke Shelton, UT senior, has been the leader for the Spartans basketball team over the last couple of seasons, and this year is no exception. He got the year rolling with a big performance against the Florida Gators a few months ago, and hasn’t looked back since. He averages 33.6 minutes per game, which is good for second-most on the team. Shelton is averaging 13 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks per game. His last two games have been two of his best of the season in terms of percentages and points. Against Hawaii Hilo and Embry Riddle, Shelton scored 20 and 17 points respectively, and shot 80 percent from the field. Full story

These 3 People Have Big (but Totally Achievable) Money Resolutions for 2018

By Kelly Anne Smith
The Penny Hoarder
Jan. 3, 2018

New Year’s is defined by the sound of Champagne bottles popping, glittery dresses, fireworks and midnight kisses. Then, there’s the most complicated tradition of all: New Year’s resolutions. The odds are against us. Around 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. But defining these goals early and frequently assessing their status can lead you to success. Mikaela Herres, a UT senior wants to double her savings account. “That’s mainly money I’ve saved throughout the years, like from high school graduation and small modeling jobs I did along the way,” she said. “But I’m ready to get serious about growing it.” To do so, Herres has started monetizing her Instagram account by getting paid to feature products in her posts and funnel all that money into her savings account and emergency fund. Full story

UT and HSN Launch American Dreams Academy for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

By Al Ruechel
Bay News 9
Jan. 3, 2018

In today’s gig economy, students are doing a lot of freelance work making entrepreneurial skills a top asset to possess. HSN recently partnered with UT to developed a curriculum for their American Dreams Academy and provide faculty to teach courses designed to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into a business. Many beginning entrepreneurs expect to reach rockstar status off the bat. “A lot of people think it’s really easy to be a Mark Zuckerberg or a Bill Gates. A lot of people try this but don’t understand some of the nuances, so our goal is to kind of take that blindfold off and help them be more successful,” said Rebecca White, UT professor of entrepreneurship and director of the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.

ABC Action News at 5:30 PM

Jan. 2, 2018

When you think of UT’s basketball program one name comes to mind, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Richard Schmidt. Schmidt is on the cusp of a milestone: 700 wins. This milestone will place him fifth among Division II coaches. Schmidt resurrected UT’s basketball program in 1983 and now finds himself coaching sons of his former players.