Thanks to the efforts of Lesa Shouse and Vaishali Gakhar of USFSP Career Center, USFSP recently established the Alpha Mu Iota chapter of the Delta Epsilon Iota (http://deltaepsiloniota.org/) honors society. Delta Epsilon Iota focuses is on the education of their members about career development. It also encourages academic excellence, and promotes the principles of Dedication, Enthusiasm, and Initiative in all aspects of campus life.
Congratulations to Ms Shouse and Ms Gakhar for this important initiative.
USFSP is partnering with the Rowdies, the St Pete based professional soccer team, to upgrade our soccer pitch. The project will result in a better soccer pitch and a fence around the facility. We are also hoping to be able to put in lights. The Rowdies will use the pitch from 10:00 until 12:00 and from 4:00 until 6:00 as they prepare for the Spring season, which will start in April. USFSP students and faculty will be able to use the pitch at the other times.
Dr Julie Wong will be leaving the University of South Florida St Petersburg. Dr Wong has served USFSP as associate regional vice-chancellor, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of our students. Dr Wong has been offered and has accepted the position of Vice-President for Student Affairs at California State University East Bay.
While I am sad to see Dr Wong go, I am at the same time delighted for her as she pursues this new opportunity. I wish her every success.
On Thursday October 16, as part of open access week (http://www.openaccessweek.org/), and in collaboration with the USFSP Student Government, Dean of the Library Carol Hixson convened a forum to discuss open access textbooks. One of the under-appreciated factors in the public discourse about the rising cost of higher education is the rising cost of textbooks, and the forum heard from a student, a representative from the Library, the USFSP book store manager, and a representative from academic affairs about their thoughts on open access textbooks.
The subsequent discussion, which involved students, faculty and staff, was thoughtful. Thanks are due to Dean Hixson for making this event possible.
On September 9, the Division of Student Affairs hosted its fall Student Leadership Dinner. The dinner brings together leaders of student organizations with senior personnel on campus to discuss wide range of issues but with an emphasis on leadership. The dinner was attended by around 60-70 student leaders and about a dozen or so campus leaders. The event was a great success and enabled student leaders to build connections with each other and with campus leaders, and for campus leaders to build connections with student leaders.
USFSP will welcome its very first residential Living/Learning Community (LLC) this fall. Working with the Division of Student Affairs, the Department of Biological Sciences has taken the lead in forming USFSP’s first LLC. The idea behind LLCs is that by ensuring that students live together and learn together, they will become more engaged with their institution and their program of study, and thus become successful. Research elsewhere indicates that LLCs are associated with better student retention, better academic performance, and higher graduation rates.
There will be 12 biology students in the first cohort, all of whom are first-time in college students. They will be housed together on a single floor in the University Student Center, and they will attend at least three mandatory co-curricular events during the Fall. Moreover, the Office of Academic Advising has been able to maximize the number of classes these students take together and the Director of the Academic Success Center is prepared to offer specialized tutoring services as needed.
I am grateful to the Department of Biological Sciences, and Dr Norine Noonan in particular, and to the Division of Student Affairs, and Dr Julie Wong in particular, for establishing our first living/learning community. It is a clear example of how academic and student affairs working together to improve Student Success and Culture.