A dedication to competition

More than 30,000 participants gathered in downtown Tampa last weekend for the 2016 Gasparilla Distance Classic. Leading the pack was Joey Gibbs, a young athlete who has overcome paralysis to keep racing.

Gibbs was one of four racers in the 15K wheelchair division. These athletes started the races just five minutes before the running participants.

“Oh, yeah, he’ll typically outrun everybody at an event like this,” said Matt Gibbs, Joey’s father, when asked about Gibbs’ exceptionally fast pace compared to the running participants.

This claim was proven when Gibbs crossed the finish line minutes before anyone else in the race with a time of 34:57.

Gibbs was paralyzed in a motocross accident when he was 11-years-old. After losing the use of his legs, he pursued racing in other ways like cart and RC-car racing.

“I always had that mentality, that drive or that determination and it just stuck with me,” said Gibbs.

Gibbs embraced wheelchair racing when he joined the track team during his sophomore year at Vanguard High School in Ocala, Florida.

Since then, Gibbs has competed at an elite level all over the country; earning 48 medals over his career, including six state and seven national championship titles. Gibbs simply wouldn’t let his condition stop him.

His current goal is to compete in the 2020 Paralympics in Japan.

USF’s annual career fair looks to bring career opportunities for students

Nearly 3,000 USF students flocked to the Marshall Student Center Ballroom last week for the annual USF Career Fair.

Students from all different majors were able to speak with hundreds of employers across the four different fairs held throughout the week. They were able to discuss future internship and employment opportunities in their chosen career fields.

“I’m excited about Career Fair because it’s a great opportunity to make connections and kind of get my foot in the door at the start of my career,” USF accounting major, Mitchel Geron, said.

The fair has been held twice a year, one in each fall and spring semester, for over 20 years on USF campus. This fair has given many students the platforms they need to learn the opportunities they have with the degree they will earn.

“Many of these interactions will lead to full-time job interviews, internship interviews, and summer employment opportunities,” Assistant Vice President of USF Career Services, Russ Coughenour, said.

USF Career Services will return with another career fair in the fall of 2016 with more employers and opportunities for students to network with major organizations.

Coughenour finished by stating, “These fairs get USF students the valuable out of classroom experience that they so desperately need so each year Career Services is very proud to bring Career Week to USF students.”

Energy fund looks to use oil waste as fuel

In 2011, the University of South Florida Tampa campus launched the Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) in order to help make the campus more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

In its few years at USF, the SGEF has already set up various projects throughout the university such as electric vehicle stations and a campus bike-share project. This year, SGEF plans on creating a bio-diesel fuel in order to replace fossil fuel as an energy source for vehicles on campus.

“It would be used for the Bull Runner buses that travel around the campus,” SGEF Chair, Harold Bower, said. “The goal of the bio-diesel project is to take waste oil from cooking function on campus and process it so it can be burned in the bull runner vehicles as fuel.”

The SGEF plans for the bio-diesel to be made from oil waste collected from campus eating facilities in order to be reused.

“The bio-diesel project I think, in my opinion, one of the best projects you can think of, because we are really being able to mitigate the carbon footprint that we create as a school,” SGEF Inspector, John Pilz, said. “We are able to utilize wastes that would just be going to the trash can.”

The bio-diesel project was awarded $100,000 in funding and is currently in the final stages of its research before implementing the new fuel. If the research shows great results, then students and faculty can expect to be riding bio-diesel buses as early as next fall.

 

Author James Morrow gives lecture at USF

On Monday, March 21, 2016 renowned science fiction author, James Morrow, will be visiting USF to discuss his new novel, “Galapagos Regained”.

Morrow will be giving a lecture on the fourth floor of USF’s library at 6:00 p.m. where he will discuss issues of science, religion, and pop culture. Joining Morrow will be fellow science fiction author and USF professor, Rick Wilbur.

“I’ve been in the science fiction community for a long time,” said Wilbur. “Getting Morrow to do this lecture was as easy as some scheduling and making phone calls to a comrade.”

After a small amount of aligning schedules between Wilbur, the university, and Morrow, the author is set to discuss his latest novel as a part of USF’s humanities institute’s lecture series.

“I urge all students who can make it to attend Morrow’s lecture,” said Wilbur. “He’s an incredible author and this is a great opportunity to discuss contemporary issues with a knowledgeable professional.”

Morrow, a self-proclaimed scientific humanist, is an author famous for his unconventional historical novels, which often examine the intertwining concepts of religion and science. His latest novel, “Galapagos Regained” plot centers on a Victorian adventurer who decides to repeat the voyages of Charles Darwin.

Anyone, whether a student, faculty or community member, will be able to attend both Morrow’s lecture and the event’s reception and book signing free of cost.

USF alumni eats like a caveman

 A young entrepreneur has taken her passion for eating healthy and combined it with her passion for cookies to create her own company Base Culture. This company is not like any other sweets retailer that sales brownies and banana bread; all of the products are paleo friendly, meaning they follow the popular Paleo Diet.

“The Paleo Diet is nicknamed the caveman diet for a reason” says Base Culture founder Jordann Windschauer, “If you were to follow the Paleo Diet, you eat meat, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruit.” Windschauer praises the diet and even goes on to say that she felt “more alive than ever and had more energy than she had had in years.”

While the Paleo Diet did have its ups it also had its downs. Windschauer enjoyed the new found energy boost, but she also missed all the sweets she used to eat.

“You know it got really hard not being able to just grab banana bread on the way to work in the morning. I looked for products that could satisfy my sweet tooth but would also satisfy paleo requirements but there were none” said Windschauer. It was that same day she took matters into her own hand and stated creating “sweets” that were made solely from seeds, nuts, and fruits.

She then took her paleo friendly sweets she baked to her local gym to share with her friends and they became an instant hit. People soon began offering compensation for her products, and overnight the company Base Culture was created.

Many customers have claimed to not even taste the difference between paleo friendly brownies and regular brownies. “I just tasted it and it’s actually really good and it’s awesome that it’s really healthy” said satisfied customer Lexi Ashby.

The idea of paleo friendly products has taken the market by force. Since the company’s beginning in 2013, Base Culture products are now available in over 50 stores nationwide and will soon be available in Walmart.

 

 

 

 

Students take a global approach to learning

TAMPA- Every year USF is improving and becoming a well-known institution are the world. The University has always stated that it is a global campus with a strong education system. Now the university is pushing for its students to become more global citizens.

The Global Citizens Project was developed in 2013 and was fully implemented in the fall of 2015. Its main goal is to make sure it’s students are not only well educated but also global citizens.

The director of the Global Citizens Project is Karla l. Davis-Salazar. She has been leading the project since it was first created. For those who are skeptical of the new project and how it’ll affect the classes, Davis-Salazar says there isn’t anything to fear. “It’ll be the same like any other class expect it’ll have a strong global emphasis”, she says.

The program is also trying to encourage students to participate in global experiences. In order to do this it has created an awards system called the Global Citizens Awards.

There are currently only four USF professors who have made the switch and got their courses globally certified. However, out of these four there are some who have already begun to see positive results.

Sara Dykins Callahan, PhD said, “I would say that one of the significant changes that I’ve seen in practice in my classroom is that I feel less rushed to make it through material. And students have more of an opportunity to engage deeply in the content that we do cover.”

Florida Focus News Brief April 19, 2016

In this episode: A Pasco County detention deputy is arrested for slapping an inmate; a woman pushing a stroller is struck by a vehicle in Sarasota this morning; West Kennedy Boulevard is closed between Fremont and Albany due to a water main break; countries struck by earthquakes are getting free calls; and Tampa ranks third in the nation for best breweries.

Web Image

Florida Focus News Brief April 19, 2016

In this episode: A Pasco County detention deputy is arrested for slapping an inmate; a woman pushing a stroller is struck by a vehicle in Sarasota this morning; West Kennedy Boulevard is closed between Fremont and Albany due to a water main break; countries struck by earthquakes are getting free calls; and Tampa ranks third in the nation for best breweries.

https://youtu.be/WYlc-0R-_dQ

Web Image

Florida Focus News Brief April 18, 2016

In this episode: a North Port elementary school was on lock down while officers searched for a stabbing suspect; a pedestrian hit by two different vehicles in Pinellas Park has passed away; a Tampa man is in critical condition after his home catches fire; lanes on Seminole Blvd will be closed for sewer main repairs; local post offices stay open late to help last-minute tax filers.

Web Image

NFL hopefuls show off their skills at USF pro day

Football is no longer just a game for a group of former Bulls turned NFL hopefuls, it’s a business. And these 14 prospects participated in their first job interview March 21 at the Frank Morsani Football Complex during USF’s annual pro day.

For this interview, a button-up shirt and tie were not required. Instead, skin-tight gray shirts with neon green lettering stretched over the bodies of these young, ambitious athletes as they attempted to leap, run and muscle their way into an NFL camp.

Photo by Jacob Hoag. Participants Eric Lee, Sean Price and Marlon Pope slip in a few jokes and memories before drills commence at Monday's pro day. This was the first time all of the 14 attendees had been together since their loss to Western Kentucky back in February.
Participants Eric Lee, Sean Price and Marlon Pope slip in a few jokes and memories before drills commence at USF’s pro day. This was the first time all of the 14 attendees had been together since their loss to Western Kentucky back in February.  Photo by Jacob Hoag.

 

Photo by Jacob Hoag. Former USF defensive end Eric Lee runs the cone drill at Monday's combine shortly after running the day's third-best 40-yard dash at 4.56 seconds. Lee weighed in at 254 pounds of solid muscle.
Former USF defensive end Eric Lee runs the cone drill at USF’s pro day shortly after running the day’s third-best 40-yard dash at 4.56 seconds. Lee weighed in at 254 pounds. Photo by Jacob Hoag.
Photo by Jacob Hoag Wincing in fatigue, son of a former 1986 first-round draft pick, guard Thor Jozwiak, has far more obstacles in his path to an NFL job. Jozwiak is slated to go undrafted in May's draft.
Wincing in fatigue, son of a former 1986 first-round draft pick, guard Thor Jozwiak, has far more obstacles in his path to an NFL job. Jozwiak is slated to go undrafted in the upcoming NFL draft. Photo by Jacob Hoag.
Photo by Jacob Hoag. Arguably USF's top NFL draft prospect, safety Jamie Byrd looks on as he was unable to participate in most of Monday's drills due to a nagging hamstring injury. Byrd will attend a local workout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 15th. His times and drills will be recorded there.
Arguably USF’s top NFL draft prospect, safety Jamie Byrd looks on as he was unable to participate in most of USF’s pro day drills due to a nagging hamstring injury. Byrd will attend a local workout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 15. His times and drills will be recorded there. Photo by Jacob Hoag.
Photo by Jacob Hoag Former USF defensive lineman James Hamilton lunges at the pads during a slew of positional drills. Weighing in at 308 pounds, Hamilton was one of the heaviest participants.
Former USF defensive lineman James Hamilton lunges at the pads during a slew of positional drills. Weighing in at 308 pounds, Hamilton was one of the heaviest participants. Photo by Jacob Hoag.
Photo by Jacob Hoag. Former backup quarterback for the Bulls Steven Bench throws a scripted sequence of passes for NFL and CFL scouts on hand. Bench had arguably the most impressive showing at Monday's pro day running a 4.55 40-yard dash and leading all participants with a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump.
Former backup quarterback for the Bulls, Steven Bench, throws a scripted sequence of passes for NFL and CFL scouts on hand. Bench had arguably the most impressive showing at USF’s pro day running a 4.55 40-yard dash and leading all participants with a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump. Photo by Jacob Hoag.
Photo by Jacob Hoag. Tight end Sean price shows athleticism after being medically cleared to resume physical activities three weeks ago afollowing a PCL injury in USF's February bowl game. He ran a 4.7 40-yard-dash in Monday's pro day.
Tight end Sean price shows athleticism after being medically cleared to resume physical activities three weeks prior following a PCL injury in USF’s February bowl game. He ran a 4.7 40-yard dash at USF’s pro day. Photo by Jacob Hoag.