USF’s College of Business has once again picked its “25 Under 25,” a collection of students who excel both inside and outside of the classroom. University Beat on WUSF TV introduces you to some of these incredible undergraduates at a ceremony recently held in their honor.
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All college kids are remarkable in their own way…and this week’s University Beat introduces you to some who really stand out in a crowd! From a young Haitian woman who graduated college at the age of 20 to a rock-climbing billboard model to an opera-singing football player, USF's College of Business has honored some of its outstanding students with a program called "25 Under 25." This week's University Beat introduces you to some of the honorees and tells you which one was named the "most remarkable" student.
One thousand miles. That's how far a group of people will be walking through the heart of Florida. And they'll do it for 100 days straight - through swamps, cattle pasture and subdivisions on the creeping edge of suburbia.
They're not just doing it to get their feet wet. It's called the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition.
They're doing it to focus public attention on protecting connected wild areas to create a wildlife corridor from the Everglades to Georgia. Much of that corridor has been fragmented, leaving many animals vulnerable in much of their natural range.
They'll trek through the Shark Valley Slough, delve into the watery heart of the Everglades, skirt around Lake Okeechobee and slog up the Kissimmee River Valley.
The team will document the corridor through photography, video streams, radio reports as well as daily updates on social media and digital networks.
We recently spoke with photojournalist Carlton Ward Jr., documentary filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus and bear biologist Joe Guthrie as they prepared for the journey.
You can learn more about the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition by going to their web site.
Reports on the progress of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition will air on both WUSF 89.7 and WUSF TV. All Reports are made possible by our production sponsor, Mosaic.
A man jumps from the Sunshine Skyway…and survives. A new governor enters and a columnist leaves. And a Sarasota school remember being there when a President learned about the 9/11 attacks.
Here are what WUSF’s news team chose as our top stories of 2011, in no particular order.
1. More police officers killed
It was another rough year for police in our region. In December, Lakeland police Officer Arnulfo Crispin, was shot and killed in the line of duty.
In January, fugitive Hydra Lacy Junior, cornered in an attic, shot and killed Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz. Then just a month later, according to police, a teenager shot and killed Officer David Crawford.
WUSF reporter Steve Newborn went to cover the first slayings…and was surprised when some people in the mostly African-American crowd heckled the police officers who arrived at the scene.
Of course, there’s a history there – including the 1996 shooting death of 18-year-old TyRon Lewis by the police.
We went to Bethel Community Baptist church in St. Petersburg to talk about the relationship between police and the black community with state Sen. Darryl Rouson and St. Petersburg resident Lisa Wheeler-Brown.
2. Deaths at Assisted Living Facilities
An investigation by the Miami Herald and public radio station WLRN revealed dozens of questionable deaths in assisted living facilities statewide.
And one case in particular, that of Aurora Noves who drowned at age 85, exposes both the failings of some faciltieis, and the failings of state oversight.
3. Governor Scott’s First Year
The lack of regulation at Assisted Living Facilities was just one of the issues we discussed with Governor Rick Scott earlier this year. After declining interviews with many media outlets, Scott reversed course this summer amid record-low approval ratings.
Scott sat down with WUSF News Director Scott Finn to discuss state employee morale, the coarsening of political discourse, and the proper balance between protecting our seniors and cutting budgets for agencies that regulate assisted living facilities.
4. St. Petersburg Times Columnist Howard Troxler Leaves Florida
Shortly after Governor Scott and the Legislature succeeded in passing most of their conservative agenda, long-time St. Petersburg Times columnist Howard Troxler announced he was leaving Florida. Not retiring. Not taking another job. Just…leaving.
WUSF’s Bobbie O’Brien tried to find out why. Troxler is a symbol of the anger among some Floridians that’s led to Gov. Scott’s low approval ratings.
5. Surviving a Jump From the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is an iconic symbol of the Tampa Bay region. It’s also unfortunately an attractive place for people who want to end their lives.
But not everyone who jumps, dies. Hanns Jones survived, and became the subject of a radio documentary by Lakeland native Rich Halten called “Splash.” Here’s an excerpt.
6. The Pet Goat: Witness to 9/11 History
We end our look back on 2011 with a story that looks back on ANOTHER day ten years earlier.
On Sept. 11, 2001, WUSF’s Steve Newborn went to cover President Bush at an elementary school in Sarasota. They had no idea they’d become witnesses to history.
Charter schools are supposed to accept students regardless of ability…but in Florida, many are not.
Charter schools are designed to be an alternative for students who aren’t happy with their neighborhood school. But an investigation by StateImpact Florida and the Miami Herald found that charter schools aren’t an option for many students with severe disabilities.
Only 14 percent of charter schools serve kids with severe disabilities, compared to half of traditional public schools.
StateImpact Florida reporters Sarah Gonzalez and John O’Connor tell us the story behind their investigation, and the impact it is having.
We also talk with Kathleen McGrory of the Miami Herald. She and reporter Scott Hiaasen published “Cashing in on Kids,” a six-month investigation into charter schools.
Culture, customs, costumes and cuisine were all on display at the recent USF International Festival. Come along as University Beat on WUSF TV takes you to an event that showed off the ethnic diversity that helps make up USF.
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Medical anthropologist, Doctor Paul Farmer, has been praised for his humanitarian work while also raising controversy for his views on topics like the recovery efforts in post-earthquake Haiti. Farmer was a recipient of an honorary degree at USF’s recent commencement ceremony, and afterwards, he talked to a class of USF graduate students for almost two hours. This week’s University Beat on WUSF 89.7 takes you to that meeting and introduces you to the always outspoken Farmer.
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For more information:
USF International Festival website