USF St. Petersburg campus opens new residence hall
The University of South Florida opened a new 125,000-square-foot residence hall on its St. Petersburg campus, increasing the number of on-campus beds by nearly 70 percent. The 375-bed facility, called Osprey Suites, has five residential floors as well as a first-floor lounge and study area that includes a spacious community kitchen. READ MORE
Decorated Civil Rights historian and campus champion Ray Arsenault to retire
Historian Ray Arsenault was taken aback the first time he arrived on the USF St. Petersburg campus in 1980. After four years of teaching at one of the biggest universities in the country, the University of Minnesota, Arsenault took a chance on a professorship at a small regional campus in a resort town on the Florida Gulf coast.
“When we arrived, the campus was so small. Davis Hall hadn’t opened and there wasn’t even a separate library building. I’d never seen any other university like it.” But Arsenault fell in love with the city and campus community. "It felt like a place that could grow into something special.”
Over the next four decades, Arsenault compiled a remarkable record as a teacher and historian of civil rights and the South, while playing a vital role in the transformation of the campus by the bay. He plans to retire at the end of the 2020 fall semester. READ MORE
USF mourns the death of beloved campus leader Bill Heller
The USF St. Petersburg campus community bid a fond farewell to one of its most transformational leaders, Bill Heller, who died at age 85.

Heller is credited with launching the rise of USF’s St. Petersburg campus from a small, commuter school that served only upperclassmen and graduate students to the thriving place it is today, with more than 4,000 students. A dedicated leader, he was a genial presence who built strong connections with faculty, staff and students. READ MORE
Innovation Scholars program returns to help incoming students explore career paths
For the second year in a row, a job-shadowing program will offer first-year students a head start in exploring their interests and career path. This year, the Innovation Scholars Career Exploration Program will pair more than 70 students with professionals in downtown St. Petersburg, giving them a sneak peak into the day-to-day activities in the professional world. READ MORE
How the facilities department prepared for a return to campus
Jim Waechter is glad to see people back on campus. As director of facilities, Waechter and his team of roughly 55 employees have been roaming the sparsely populated hallways and breezeways of the buildings along Bayboro Harbor, which in the months since the coronavirus shutdown have felt something like a ghost town.

During that time, the department has been hard at work hard to prepare campus for a return to in-person courses. They have installed 80 plexiglass shields at high-traffic locations, set up five hand sanitizer vending machines and delivered thousands of personal protective equipment to sites across the campus. READ MORE
Mercury concentrations in Yukon River fish could surpass EPA criterion by 2050 due to thawing permafrost
The concentration of mercury in fish in Alaska’s Yukon River may exceed EPA mercury criterion by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions are not constrained, according to a new scientific research paper co-authored by a professor at the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus.
The new report, led by the National Snow and Ice Data Center's Kevin Shaefer and co-authored by USF Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Change Yasin Elshorbany, estimates potential releases of mercury from thawing permafrost in high and low emissions scenarios. READ MORE
UMatter program to provide young people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity for a college education and experience
A new program will provide a population of students who aren’t typically represented on college campuses the opportunity to experience higher education and campus life. A $900,000 grant is establishing the UMatter program at USF’s St. Petersburg campus to provide young people with intellectual disabilities the learning, social skills and career training to set them up to be competitively employed and live independently. READ MORE
Task force on diversity and inclusion seeks campus-community collaboration to address racial inequities
In the wake of a series of police shootings and racial injustice incidents that ignited a national civil rights movement, USF’s St. Petersburg campus is working to bridge efforts between the university and the greater community to address pervasive racial inequities.

The campus organized a diversity and inclusion task force to examine its current policies and practices alongside ongoing efforts in the city of St. Petersburg, with the intent of strengthening actions that promote greater equality and a more inclusive environment. READ MORE
Live oaks get new life as reclaimed lumber on campus
As the first students moved into Osprey Suites, welcoming them into the new residence hall were furniture and design features made of reclaimed wood. The wood was salvaged lumber from oak trees that were removed during construction of the sustainable, LEED-certified building.

When new buildings go up, the campus works with a local cooperative to turn the wood from trees that have to be removed into sustainably produced furniture and other key components of the architecture. READ MORE
Responding to the pandemic through remote instruction, virtual learning and engagement tools
We continue to respond to the coronavirus in a number of ways to ensure our students have the tools and resources to continue their academic success, the latest health guidance and science to stay safe and numerous ways to engage with one another.