ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING aspects of the USF System is our evergrowing research enterprise. From groundbreaking discoveries that make international headlines to hurricane modeling focused on protecting Tampa Bay from the next big disaster, USF System researchers are making a difference that has real-world impacts both near and far. Our health researchers relentlessly seek new cures and treatments for the world’s most aggressive diseases, viruses and infections. Our engineers are harnessing new ways to utilize renewable energy in developing countries and improve transportation options at home. Our business professors are lending their expertise to corporate leaders in finding new efficiencies in their own business practices – contributing to our local economy and helping Florida maintain its reputation as one of the country’s most business-friendly states. As you will read in this issue’s cover story, one of our most exciting recent examples of our research prowess is illustrated in the work of Drs. Kathryn and John Arthur. This dynamic husband-and-wife duo earned international praise for the university through their discovery of the first complete ancient African genome. This discovery will have real-world implications on studies of DNA and disease research. Because of these and many other examples of USF System research, we have now risen to the top 25 in national research rankings among all public research universities by the National Science Foundation with an impressive $488.6 million in research expenditures. I am so proud of this accomplishment, which is truly a reflection of the culture of innovation and creativity that unites USF in
8 UNIVERSITY of SOUTH FLORIDA
Photo: AIMEE BLODGETT | USF
From the President
Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Of course, this is just one pillar of the USF System’s three-part mission that also includes providing excellence in education and meaningful outreach and service to help our community thrive. To that end, in this issue you will also read about how so many of our local alumni are providing meaningful mentorship to current students – providing professional and personal advice, opening doors to valuable relationships and connecting them with job opportunities. This is what being a part of the Bulls family is all about: working together to make an impactful difference. This also supports a priority of Gov. Rick Scott’s “Ready, Set, Work” challenge, which calls upon universities to help graduates of our top degree fields secure productive jobs. You will also read about how so many of our students are also benefiting from the generosity of other members of our USF community,
through personal scholarships and dedicated gifts to our colleges. In particular, we applaud the recent trend of increased female philanthropy, with impactful gifts recently made to the Muma College of Business in Tampa and Kate Tiedemann College of Business at USF St. Petersburg by women leaders from across Tampa Bay. This trend is also reflected in our own Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, which recently celebrated 10 years of supporting women leaders of all ages through scholarship, mentorship, research grants, and service to the community. These stories provide just a glimpse into the churning engine of education, research and community outreach that is the USF System. We thank you for sharing in our excitement for this institution’s incredible energy and positive trajectory. Go Bulls! Judy Genshaft, President University of South Florida System
The official magazine of the University of South Florida Alumni Association.